My Computer “Still At’ent Dead” And Other Thoughts

“I STILL AT’ENT DEAD”

My computer turned on again. And with the help of a friend in tech it’s actually partially restored to it’s former ability. Not completely, but it’s hobbled now rather than crippled or dead. Not only that, but my move and jobhunt are both over so I can be more consistent about putting actual, quality content up on this blog again. Because what good is doing 52 blog posts in a year if all of them are “sorry this is so short but I’m busy and doing this for routine without putting any heart into it?”

So let’s recap my last few weeks. I moved halfway across the country as you know, but due to circumstances I was unable to transfer my Gold’s Gym job. That was unfortunate as Gold’s Gym was a wonderful place to work with awesome people. So after a quick hunt I got a few jobs. One is scooping ice cream between now and the winter for a friend. The other is a fitness coach at an elite fitness club in Brookline, Massachusetts. So that was a stroke of extraordinary luck, wouldn’t you say? That said I am caught between checks like an extended version of the last three days of a bi-weekly pay cycle. Once that comes to an end everything is basically back to what passes for my normal.

As far as non-work stuff, I’ve caught up with a good deal of my friends but there are still a few outliers whose schedules I haven’t been able to mesh with yet. There was a party where I drank vodka as though it were beer, and several shows ranging from local bands like Aminals, Actor|Observer and The Shallow End Divers to the original metal legends, Black Sabbath. At my youngest brother’s urging I played Shadow of Mordor on his Xbox One and it was actually a good deal of fun. I borrowed The Zen of Screaming for a friend of mine and I watched it and am making decent progress at screaming well. As I’ve mentioned previously I have a short story in a physical anthology and I’m prepping for NaNoWriMo, especially now that my work life is settling down. There’s still a lot to do both for work and for everything else, but the chaos of my life is more of the magnitude I prefer, which is still present but not much that I can’t keep my head above water.

So I hope all y’all had and have a great week and I’ll be back to doing real blog posts next week, I hope!

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My Computer “Still At’ent Dead” And Other Thoughts

A check in and a new blog series – Screamer Day Three

​Hi everyone,

So after SXSW and however much other stuff, I’d say I’m in a positive groove now even if I lost count of days. So I think I can call Operation KNITTING a full success. I’m happier now than I was before and able to push through problems with more reasonable reactions. I’m still not going back to politics – I’m going to treat it as recovery for an addiction and stay away.

As for my new blog-ish series, I’ve decided, as regards creativity, I’m going to teach myself how to ​actually​ metal scream and document my journey. I’ve looked up a few tutorials so far and overall I think progress shouldn’t be too slow. According to the tutorials my throat may be a little scratchy and sore for a week or two before my false cords get more used to it, much like how muscles you aren’t used to working out are sore for a bit until they get used to it. If after a week or two I practice and I still feel a bit raspy and tight that means I am doing something wrong and need to go back to the drawing board. 

In the meantime, here’s some information about what I’m doing:

1. I’m training primarily “false cord” screaming and growling with some supplementary clean work if possible. This is mostly because false cording is the only variation of metal screaming I understand the mechanics of. I’ve looked up explanations of compression fry screaming – which is what several of my friends do – but I don’t understand the explanations of how to do it. It’s hard that you can’t see the throat, so the explanations of “just do x, y and z” make no sense to me. But that’s okay, since while I like the sound of both I feel like a lot of what I like is also false cord – traditional death metal stuff.

2. I’m drinking a lot of lukewarm/room temperature water. Supposedly this helps to recover after practicing. I also plan to buy some honey and tea in the near future since that also helps the throat. 

I figure I’ll try to do four full songs a day for a while on top of the practice noises I’ll be doing (more on those tomorrow, maybe?) and share them here if there’s a legal way to view them. In this case all four practice songs were from Vanna, off of their label’s official youtube channel. Feel free to give them a listen because they’re good anyway.

1. Fuel – Metallica Cover off of Vanna’s ALT album (I failed this one, tonal distortion escapes me almost as much as Fry screaming)

2. Digging – one of my favorite songs, from Vanna’s album VOID.

3. The Beautiful People – Marilyn Manson Cover off their ALT album

4. Bienvenue – also off of VOID

 

Hope you enjoy the songs and wish me luck!

A check in and a new blog series – Screamer Day Three

Operation KNITTING – Another Day One Down!

​I got through another Day One! It’s definitely getting a lot easier to keep myself positive as I get more and more used to ​trying​ to think that way. And my reactions to negative events are getting a lot more controlled, a lot more normal and less extreme. So I’d call it progress even if my numerical day is still just “Day One.” 

Obviously, I’m still worried about the job thing. Very worried, if I’m being honest. But I have it under control now, and am using it to push myself instead of letting it weigh me down. Which I would also call an improvement.

I’m really tired now, so I’ll give a quick runthrough of some of the positives of the day as usual and then relax a little. 

1. I lit my kitchen on fire a little bit making cheeseburgers. It was absolutely hilarious and I only wish my camera was still going at the time, it made a great noise too. My hair didn’t even catch! (I’m not being disingenuous here, I thought it was funny).

2. I finally got around to cooking cheeseburgers in my apartment. It was a bit strange that I hadn’t done so since before I moved, so I rectified that by making some delicious burgers. I have enough of them to last me several days, as it happens. So I’m pretty thrilled about that since I love burgers and would gladly eat them and nothing else.

3. Thanks to LoZelda (who streams on Twitch at http://www.twitch.tv/rt_lozelda ) I finally had an excuse to head to Rudy’s when she had a community get-together there. No, yeah, you read that right. I’ve lived here since September and I still hadn’t been to Rudy’s. Hell, I still have Torchy’s on the to-do list, as well! That’ll come soon enough. I know I’m technically cheating because this happened yesterday, but it was after my last journal so I’ve decided to count it.

4. I did some math and, realistically, if I’m careful I’ll be fine. Without bogging y’all down with the numbers, between the final check from my old job, my tax refunds and the unemployment I qualify for (MA state unemployment is a bit weird, but I do qualify since my old job was there even though I worked remotely from Texas) I’ll be fine for a good while. I’m choosing to believe that by the time I would actually have to worry about it I’ll have another job ready to go. But even if I don’t I think, even if things are tight, I should actually be basically fine. 

5. SXSW is coming up soon! I’ve never been to one before but the boys from AMINALS are coming down from Boston and they are playing both a paid and free/unofficial event! On top of that there are a lot of free events, networking get-togethers and unofficial (read more free) metal shows. So I’m going to have a hell of a time!

Hope all y’all have a good night, see you on Day Two!

Operation KNITTING – Another Day One Down!

My Week Back With A Mushy Brain

So for some reason today my brain is just absolutely mush. Before that happened I did manage to write my weekly Buff Buddies post on the Rooster Teeth website. I’ll grant that I put that up today rather than Thursday/Friday as usual, so that doesn’t actually count as points in my favor.

This week was pretty mentally foggy overall, since I flew back on Monday, went from the airport to my place, dropped my stuff, walked to the library, swung by the H-E-B on the way back, then went straight to the gym.

After passing through my entire work week in a haze of post-travel tiredness and, to be honest, slight depression about leaving Boston and my friends and family behind, yesterday was pretty top. Hung out with some Austin friends and met a particularly interesting Australian pest control guy. Rewind that sentence a little, to clarify: this is a guy who lives currently near Houston but previously did pest control in Australia. So basically some kind of superhero. Through him I learned the Australian way to wear a hat and that their word for a “duster” is a “dry-as-a-bone.”

I also tried authentic Aussie Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls, and got my first taste of tim-tams ever all washed down with some Cooper’s Red, Cooper’s Stout and this one guy’s homebrew. All of it was delightful, and I had Homeslice Pizza for the first time afterwards which was also quite nice. I still need to try Torchy’s and Ramen Tatsu-Ya but at least I can check Homeslice off my list of “Austin places I always hear about and want to try but haven’t for some reason.”

So overall, I’ve had some ups and downs since getting back to Austin, but I will say at least I get to skip the winter weather!

For some reason I am beset with an overwhelming urge to get pizza despite my self-imposed Buff Buddies responsibilities (yesterday, as you may have gathered, was my cheat day) so I either need to just shut up and get pizza or start cooking so I’m committed to eating something else. Probably the latter. So off I go to make (and film?) my chicken stir fry!

My Week Back With A Mushy Brain

Colds and Shows

So I have a cold.

The gross kind.

That being said, I’m sad to inform you that between the A Loss For Words final show at the Worcester Palladium last Sunday and the NHBooking New Noise festival in Derry, NH yesterday – alongside a few other stragglers I encountered at New Year’s Eve parties – the entire New England punk/hardcore/metal community probably does too.

Because of that I’m going to keep this short, but I will say that even if I still lived in New England I would have overcome my cold to go to the New Noise festival. It was really great to see a bunch of local New England bands all supporting one another. It was a great way to see as many of my New England friends at once as possible, to boot (and, in the way I always do, I made a few new ones).

This cold (and DayQuil, my beloved archnemesis) is making me loopy, so let me just end it with “the New England music community is fucking cool” and go to bed with DayQuil’s nefarious sister NyQuil.

Colds and Shows