Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday thoughts (Halloween edition)

Here we go another list of 10 meanderings.

1. I don't care how old I get, I don't think I'll ever not love Halloween.

2. At this point in my life, as I start reflecting on the past some (more on some days, less on others). I love thinking about Halloweens of years past, some of my favorite, parties, trips, memories, and drama from my twenties happened during this weekend.

3. I haven't decided what to wear tomorrow for the party at my brother's house. Nothing ground breaking, pirate, punk rocker, or something that's fun to wear but not cumbersome.

4. Bronwyn is dressing up as a princess this year, (big surprise :) ). I believe she's chose Belle from Beauty and the Beast over, Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. However as with any women, I think she's reserved the right to change her mind 5 minutes prior to going out.

5. I think I'm going to take Laurie to a Haunted House tomorrow before the party. She's been wanting to go, we haven't been in about 3 years. We used to make it a couples night out, but a couple years ago, I really started to dread standing outside with a pack of teenagers.

6. I could do without carving pumpkins on Halloween, I know it's for the little one, but I so tire of pumpkin goop.

7. Not really Halloween specific, but the Automatic for the People album by REM always reminds me of October/Fall/Halloween, just something haunting about it.

8. I have bought no Halloween candy this year, save the gross candy corn, that my daughter asked for and then very wisely didn't eat.

9. I do hate that most gatherings and all trick or treats are on the same night this year (Saturday around here). I'd have rather they put trick or treating tonight, at least all the communities are doing it at night this year.

10. I miss the fact that we don't get an extra hour for Saturday night "Halloween" anymore, since they changed Daylight savings around.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween everyone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Feeling out of sync

This has been a very weird week, I'm not exactly sure on the reason, but I feel completely out of sync and out of sorts. The problem is that I don't know exactly why , I'm not sick, have been sleeping fairly well, I'm no longer overwhelmed at work and I don't have any pressing, immediate issues that need to be resolved. I'll chalk it up to the sun's alignment or some other funky reason.

Hopefully I hit the apex of out of sync last night at practice. The short version "I stunk". The longer version is I couldn't get out of my nasal voice, I was missing marks in the songs, my timing was off, my breathing was all screwed up and with all of that, I continued pushing on the voice and could hear it starting to go, so we called it a night.

I cannot begin to express my frustration on this, if this was my audition, they'd have laughed me off the stage. And it's the first time I've ever run into a situation like this, where I was not able to bring things around and at least be decent.

There are a couple factors at play, one I didn't look over songs for the week, I mistakenly thought giving myself a mental break would be beneficial and it just exasperated the problem. Also from trying to lay down recordings the past couple weeks we were a bit rough in our timings overall and although I've come a long way since the beginning, I'm not quite able to just kick it into gear on songs I'm not as familiar with. The other aspect is my friggin house is drier then shit, which wrecks all sort of havoc on my voice, I had previously been using a vaporizer in my office to get some moisture in the air, but with Laurie working the last week and me watching the little one and by default working downstairs I haven't been able to use it, coupled with the heat being on which takes the little moisture in my house and sucks it up like a shamwow, it leaves the voice pretty harsh and out of shape.

I haven't mentioned that I was finally starting to feel like the strength of my voice was getting stronger and that I could sort of relax instead of extending for some singing, which seemed to go out the window last night. I truly hate being so wrong about something and I'm going to have to reevaluate things, take a couple steps back from a confidence level and aim for a good practice next week.

Last night was really just the culmination of out of sync though, even during work this week, I've just felt like I was one step behind or all over the place for managing things. Hopefully I'll make it through the week, get this behind me and start hitting a groove again.

Til next time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Micro is easier

It seems to be getting worse and worse, what exactly am I talking about, updating my blog. In the interest of trying to keep a semblance of updates, I'm going to try and commit to doing some micro style blogging for a bit and see if I can't break this rut.

Things have been very busy this last week, two band practices , a dinner out with the family, a night out to see the singer I replaced in his new band, my niece's birthday party, a night at home with Bronwyn, a poker game and an afternoon at the playground with the little one. Phew, I'm tired from just recapping it. It's been a great week and although it can be a little tiring, I love being able to have multiple things to do instead of sitting around bored, thinking of something to do.

I still haven't found time to work out again, but I think I'm going to make that effort this week. I compare having a large amount of activities on the plate to working out, once you start doing it, it feels healthy and right and forces you to take advantage of the time you have in the most productive manner possible.

It's always a bit of a struggle to incorporate multiple activities into a family/work life, but doing so is extremely rewarding. It's amazing to me when I get back to doing things like this, I start to realize how much wasted time has been in my previous days, it's almost sickening.

While it doesn't mean go non-stop or to not find time for things at home. I do find it's so easy to get into a rut with life and not taking advantage to what's available to you and when you do that, it ultimately makes for a rather stale environment.

That's all for now, hopefully I'll have some more things to discuss this week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New gadget on the right

It looks like I've managed to figure out how to add a Facebook gadget this page. If you are using Facebook, I hope you add us as a fan. Our Facebook page is currently our web presence, I'll be working on a regular web page shortly with details to follow.

If you are a fan of the Torrn Facebook page, make sure you look for event updates, reminders, and other general mayhem coming soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Friday (Tuesday) thoughts

Wow, almost another week, with no blog posting. That's not a way to encourage repeat readers. But I'm still pressed for time, so I'll go with list of thoughts for a Tuesday.

1. Recording equipment is in, and we are recording tonight, hope to have some postings within the next week. (I have no idea what's involved from moving it to recording to a presentable format, while I think it should be rather simple, too much unknown for me to commit to more.)

2. We have a commitment for a first paid show (well at least at an establishment, rather then performing for a party). It looks to be either November 21 or 28.

3. I'm hoping Kim Ng gets one of the open baseball GM jobs this year. It would be a serious glass ceiling break for professional sports for a women to be placed at the top position of an organization as a talent evaluator. Not only do I hope she is named, but successful as well, baseball and basketball are the two sports where this makes the most sense and it's long overdue.

4. Finally some actual Autumn weather here in Cleveland, mid September to mid October have been damn cold (think late November) refreshing to go back to light coats and enjoy some of the season.

5. October is such a fun month, Boo at the Zoo last week, apple festivals, Halloween at the end of the month, and my niece's birthday next week. Plenty of things to do and lots of activities, makes it nice before settling in for the winter months where it's more difficult to get out of the house.

6. I can't remember the last time I got to the gym. Amazing how easy it is to get out of synch when schedules change.

7. Where the Wild Things are is a pretty special movie. Not a great movie for little ones, as it's going to lose their attention in parts, but for the content they had to work with and the story that's told through the features they've added to the creatures it's pretty special and worth a watch.

8. We're thinking of taking the plunge and getting a new car, been long enough, now just have to decide what we want. Probably some type of hatchback, sounds so much better then station wagon. Doesn't it? I'm a master of fooling myself.

9. I think I've thoroughly broke my TV addiction again, it had gotten bad for awhile, but I've weened myself now to only DVR'd episodes of Fringe and of course Spongebob anytime it's on. This may change when American Idol and Lost come back on, Lost for sure, but it was hard to get into Idol last year, and not sure I'm loving that Ellen is now a judge, why in the hell couldn't they just keep it as three?

10. Number 10 is always the hardest to come up with something. I had an interesting thought come to mind for a short story last night. I might give it a shot on flushing it out. In comparison to other stories that have popped into my head over the last couple months, this one seems to be one I can start with. Not overly complicated or long, but has the type of philosophical questions I think I can write about given the correct situation to present them in. It would be classified as science fiction, which I'm not overly fond of, but it's the only way the story will work. And by science fiction, I mean along the lines of Jules Verne, Robert Heinlein, not George Lucas. We'll see what happens though.

11. Crap, mentioning Heinlein, made me think of another 'thought'. For a truly different read I would suggest "I will fear no evil" by Robert Heinlein. While it's classified as 'Science Fiction' it's an interesting perspective on life, death, consciousness, gender and sexuality. It's a bit of a tough read at times as it drags in certain parts, but for those interested in such things, it's different then anything I've ever read. (oh and by the way, this isn't one of my 3 influencing books, I'll get to that at some point.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The interesting thing about today's technology

By now most of us are familiar with social networking sites such as Facebook or Myspace, well at least I'm assuming anyone reading a blog has a fair idea of what those are.

Besides being a nice way to express irrelevant thoughts on your own home page, you get the chance to share it with everyone else who has 'friended' you. In addition to this, you find yourself connecting with people you haven't talked with in years.

Without this technology in most cases you wouldn't hear from those people again unless you had an extraordinary network of friends (grapevine) or you ran into them randomly or at some type of reunion.

I had a situation like this come up recently, I've wrote before that I moved out of Parma at the end of my 8th grade year, my parents bought a new house in Streetsboro, so I was shipped off to a new city leaving the majority of my friends behind. I only managed to stay in contact with one of them after the move, my friend Mike, who in a surprising twist I hadn't met until I was in 7th grade. My other friends from elementary and middle school others moved on as I did. It really wasn't a surprise to me, high school was on the horizon for all of us, and it was likely to take us all in different directions anyway.

I had fond memories of a lot of those friends from the middle school and earlier years, but I sort of was resigned to the fact, that I likely wouldn't see any of them ever again, moving during the middle of your school life, sort of ends it for good, as you aren't even going to be at the same reunions and such. But with the new social networking sites, a fairly good memory (by myself and others) and one or two common friends you can even reconnect a bit with those from many years ago.

Ok, enough about that, I think you get the idea anyway, I now have a couple facebook friends from my 'childhood' including one I spent a large amount of time hanging out after school with for a number of years. I saw recently that John was still playing the drums and his band "Chief Bromide" was playing a number of shows in the area.

I've been wanting to see more local bands lately due to joining one. I tend to learn and refine my skills by doing and then observing. I find that if I can run through a task and understand the outline of what it takes to perform it, then I can observe or read the instructions to better refine it. By doing it this way, I find myself recognizing the details of the task and I'm able to incorporate those details quickly into my own actions. Which is the reason I've wanted to get out and see some performances. I also thought it would be a nice way to say hello and reacquaint myself with a friend from the past.

Last week, I saw a facebook posting from John, that Saturday was going to be their last show of the year, so I figured if I didn't do it Saturday, I'd probably not get a chance for a fairly long period of time. So I made plans to go see the show. It was a multi-band show starting at 11pm at the Beachland Tavern, I was fairly certain that they wouldn't be first up and I was right, as they turned out to be the third band on the ticket. I got there about 11:15 and spotted John and said hello, we were able to catch up for a bit, and as it turned out another friend from those years was there as well, and I hung out with him as John helped get things set for the show and performed.

I sort of expected it to be weird seeing John after so many years, not to mention the fact that you sort of get a casual feel for a person as a facebook friend, still weird to even have close friends say oh yeah, I saw you went there last weekend. So I really didn't know what to expect, in truth I'd say my worry was unwarranted as we hung out and talked for a bit based on the time he had available and caught up a bit on life. It was sort of 'neat'.

Plus I got a chance to hear the band, let me say I was blown away, they were incredible, a 6 member group and the sound was incredible. If you have a chance to see them, either in the Cleveland or in their tour cities come spring (St. Louis, Chicago, and somewhere else). I highly recommend it. You can also listen to some of their tracks off the myspace page.

It was quite a night, reconnected with an old friend and got to hear a great band, can't ask for much more then that, all from some small piece of technology. listening to some good music

Monday, October 12, 2009

One more layer

Ok, so through the first two shows with the band, there's been something bugging me a bit. It wasn't nerves, or anxiety over remembering my timing and words, or even keeping my voice intact.

What then has been bugging me? Well if you've read my blog at all, you might be able to guess, it's the clothes. I just have not found anything in my wardrobe that seems to foster the feeling of being a singer in a rock band or feels comfortable enough to stand up on stage and be like, here I am.

I changed that tonight. I went out and bought clothes. I wound up with about 5 shirts. 4 printed long sleeve shirts and 1 sort of pullover. I've been debating whether to buy a military style jacket and decided to forgo it tonight and just focus on some things that I could alternate. So I took my $100 Macy's card and went crazy. The shirts are similar to thermals but thicker and fully screen printed in dark color and for lack of a better term rock design. The pullover is pretty sweet, love the way it feels and looks with the collar. None of them are things I'd probably typically buy for wearing around, although that might change now too. But I like the fact that they cover the imperfections that happen from not getting to the gym enough and working at a desk all day.

While not exact, here's some pics of the styles.

Here's an example of the thermal
And an example of the sweater
The best part, a total of $20 out of pocket tonight for all 5. The thermals were relatively cheap, but the sweater was $60, nice to have those credit card rewards. Now at least the anxiety level can be down a bit for the next show.
I also stopped at Gabriel Bros. tonight, which is an outlet store for clothes and came close to picking up a faux waist cut leather jacket, but I decided to wait and see if I can find something cheaper in the military style I was looking for. More to come I'm sure.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mapleside Farm Saturday recap

Here's another shot at getting back in the swing of writing regularly. We had quite a weekend here. Laurie, Bronwyn, and I headed off to Mapelside Farms apple festival on Saturday and met up with some of Laurie's friends and her cousin Felicia and her family.

It was a bit cold starting out in the morning, but turned into quite a nice fall day. A little cold and the ground was muddy as hell, but there was a lot of warm apple cider, great food, and a lot of things to do.

I'll get to some food thoughts in a minute, but I'd remiss if I didn't mention the one thing that drove me crazy, the damn bees, they were everywhere. I know they tend to congregate around sweet smelling things, but having a cup of cider was like having a target painted on you. They were relentless, and I friggin hate bees (could be the severe allergies my brother has to them, whether I do or not, we don't know as I haven't been stung before). I thought for sure with the cold weather that there would be a lot less of them, but they were everywhere. Very frustrating to try and eat lunch or sip a cup of cider, with one trying to fly into your cup every 2 seconds.

Ok, back to the food though, let me just say that these past two weeks, I've done horrible in trying to watch what I eat. Not to mention, no time for the gym over the two weeks, and I'm not thrilled with how much indulging I've done. But indulge I have, in addition to the aforementioned cider, there were: (by list as it's a fairly detailed list)

Apple fritters: easily in the top 5 for apple fritters, although I think West Side Market still holds the crown. They were crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, just enough apple taste and not too much glaze. Had one there and took a bag home. They didn't make it to Sunday night.

Caramel apples, these were to take home and I finally cracked one open tonight, mine was caramel with pecans surrounding it, it was delicious. Laurie's was a caramel apple, made up to look like a buckeye, layer of caramel, covered in chocolate and peanut butter. The caramel the farm uses is very thick and chewy.

Cider donut: Bronwyn had one and she offered a bit I couldn't refuse, good, but I wasn't going to choose that over the fritter.

Brownies: Don't ask me why I took a couple home from their bakery with everything else we had, but I did, for a $1.50 they are awesome, dark chocolate, moist and frosted. Every year when we go now, I have to take some home. Even if they get slowly eaten by Laurie and Bronwyn before I get through all the stuff I bought, I know I at least made an effort.

Orange Blossom honey: Ok haven't eaten this yet, but it's local grown and I get a bottle every year. Here's a quick bit of advice, never ever buy that corn syrupy honey shit they sell in the big box stores again, just throw it away, get a bottle of real honey and make some biscuits and eat it all in one sitting. Go now.

Huge bag of apples: Yes, we do actually get apples too, a huge overflowing bag of apple goodness. Best thing is by the time we are tired of the eating just the apple, I get to go crazy cooking with them. I think apple crisp is in the future. (My apple pies suck).

Unpasteurized Apple Cider: Once again, see honey above, if you go to the store and buy pasteurized apple cider, just dump it down the sink or go buy some apple juice. It sucks and it can't compare to the unpasteurized stuff. So much flavor is killed from the pasteurization, yes I know it's "killing harmful things" blah, blah, blah, whatever, pour in some bourbon and drink up, alcohol is good for cleaning, so there's nothing to worry about.

Chocolate covered marshmallows on a stick for Bronwyn, these were very cool looking and she loved them, they had a regular marshmallow and a strawberry one covered in thick chocolate, not my thing especially with the strawberry, but the kid enjoyed it.

Pulled pork sandwiches: We didn't get to eat at the restaurant they have on site (darn), where we ate at last year. But we did get something close to it, by eating at their outdoor tent and grill and getting the pulled pork with apple butter based bbq sauce, pork was perfectly cooked and delicious.

Kettle corn: Bronwyn loves popcorn and signs were everywhere for their kettle corn. Even though I've listed a ton of crap here, all we ate at the fair, was the sandwich and a fritter, everything else was to be taken home, so I bought a bag of kettle corn for Bronwyn on the drive home. The problem was we only gave her like a cup from the bag and kept the bag for home, well actually that wasn't the problem, the actual problem was that I've never had kettle corn before, holy crap how had I skipped over this? Salty, sweet, with perfectly popped kernels, can I get a kettle for my basement and make it? I'm not likely to ever skip buying this when I see it again. This is seriously negative expectation on the waist line.

Sorry there are no pictures hopefully the descriptions due some of the food justice. While most of it was brought after all of that food and again indulging in Mr. Hero's romanburger today for lunch during the football game, I think I've fallen completely off the watch what I eat wagon, at least over these last two weeks. I so need to get back to the gym, guess what's on the agenda for 6am Monday morning?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some band photos

Still not able to get to anything very deep as far as writing goes, but thought I'd put out some of the photos of the band we took the other day for those of you that might be looking for updated content as well, you can find the page on a facebook search, by searching for Torrn.
Here are the photos. We're debating a webpage at the moment as well, which I think we'll be doing at sometime in the near future as well.

Here's our drummer, Jim.

Our lead guitarist, Chris.
Our base guitar player, Roy.

And this guy, the singer.

Yes, that's me, god I take bad pictures, need to get to the gym too and I swear I was trying to give a good look for the pictures, not that squinty eyed thing I did. Can I blame it on the lighting?

And finally our group picture.

The lighting of the picture is one of our new running jokes, in the constant repositioning and how many shots it sort of appeared in unusual ways. A little taste of Spinal Tap I perhaps.
More to come as time goes on, looks like we are going to try and start booking shows within a week or two. We've ran through all 30+ songs at this point, now we just need to tighten up the final 10, with about 5 of them needing the most work.
Hopefully I'll have some audio for everyone soon enough too, we have some video/audio of Bon Jovi's Dead or Alive, that I think sounded pretty good through about half of the song before we got too much feedback. We have to see whether we can pull it from the phone though for posting.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On absence and delays

Sorry the blog has been silent for awhile. Real life seems to have reared it's head. Which has taken all of my meandering time and forced me to apply that energy to real situations. I'm hoping to have some time over the next week or so to get back to some writing.