Tell me if you’ve heard this one before:
A Bass player , A vocalist and A Pianis–t walk up to the Home Bar….
Once the equipment was torn down , several of us began to gather around the kitchen table cracking up over old stories and shear silliness when one of the guys suddenly looks to me , with a manic glint in his eye and a panicked grin , and said:
“This going to end up in the blog isn’t it?”
I smiled my evil smirk and answered:
” Most likely..”
Of course; This and next week’s posts are going to hang on the band and the reunion… Hopefully it won’t be too boring or touchy feely for too many… *chuckle* whatever
The final days before our 40th class reunion
The band was able to get together again this weekend , play some music , make some plans and even some time left over for a wee bit of relaxing together , some drinks , some pizza and a smidge of craziness.
Now I thought about this on the trip home :
Do I continue with; Bass , keys , singer etc.. or simply use the first names.
Now I thought : ” Hmmm , well anyone that knows us , well, knows who I am talking about by instrument anyway and anyone that doesn’t know us , our first names mean nothing to them so I guess first names are ok ….it is simply my phobia …
You will notice however I didn’t put up any of the band pics that were taken. Once again my twitch.. believe it or not , it gets read from around the world..Who knew snark translated so well.
Of course y’all know that ; ” What happens at Band Camp stays in Band Camp
I believe that so long as I skim as usual , well……… “It’s all Gud “
Everything from teasing Lisa..”In the round” between all us boys to….yeh well… Maybe not everything…
Happy Birthday Mark !
Today is Mark’s birthday… in the event that it slipped by you…We however sat around the table waiting to wish him happy Birthday on Friday/Saturday at midnight when He broke down to tell us it was Sunday , not Saturday…
” Thanks Dude . “
Every time I am able to run up and Hang with the guys , Mark always makes me feel at home….before I can even get in the door He and Eliza are a great pair The two definitely do the ” couple thang” well I have ran into far too many couples that didn’t . The two remind me of Ma and I …in a Higher Tech Townie version .
Some how the guy doesn’t seem to age normally… We are way too close in age ( months apart ) for him to look so much younger than I do…..Makes me want to slip up behind him and smack him in the back of the head….
” Mosquito !…Yeah… That’s what it was…Probably saved you life Dude ! Hey! Why are your eyes crossed? ..It’s a good look on ya Man..”
Seriously Dude.. What the Hell? Are you eating faeries or something? Age for cryin out loud. * mutters* “freak”
” Mosquito !” ….” Just lookin out for ya Man ”
Actually , I am very thankful as it kept all of us together while Jeff poured and we just got sillier.
” You Drank ?”
” Well, yeh 64 oz of the hard stuff :”Zen Mountain Well water”..I am such a simple man….” and yet somehow I was the one that woke up with a hangover…from laughing till I literally cried. It just CAN”T be a pretty sight when I laugh so hard I go into full conniption mode…Then start wheezing , cuz that’s perdy..Then I begin coughing..any internal organs I coughed up probably weren’t in good repair anyway..”Lighten the load ” I says…
I am twisty crazy and yet….I didn’t feel like the clown…. It was more like the small car full of us……That or a circus full of batshit crazy flying monkeys.. Take your pick of analogies .
Sometimes…..Just Some times ,you do have a choice when it comes to Family
I have to say; this was the first time that I didn’t feel like a weak link in the band but that was the least of the night….. Sitting around the table laughing and joking with several good twists on memories as well as a few takeoffs from said stories.
Every time I show up and when I leave , Stan is there .If I had to decide on the ” Heart” of the band it would be him.
That would make Mark the ” Soul” Jeff the Mind , The girls are the voice , Rob..well..He’s the pianis..t ..Me? We all know I would come up with something nether…
Jeff was tending to the drinks * chuckle* I am glad I wasn’t drinking , I think I caught a buzz off the vapors from the constant rumfall … Being the mix master , he had one hand filling glasses with ice and the other with a half gallon of rum…I believe I saw a coke bottle cap being waved over the glasses in a benediction of booze . Soda has a lot of sugar and salts in it ….Ya gotta keep that stuff to a minimum ya know. More of us started watching the progression as the stories flowed . Jeff made faces, cracked jokes , heckled with the best of us all the while keeping glasses the pretty shade of amber…It’s an Art thing Man.
I honestly have to say , finally not feeling like the rusty anchor , I was able to dig out of my sardonic self defense mode…my norm… and into my mellow full on sarcastic mode..No Dude, it’s completely different …look at the spelling and all… My being more comfortable I am sure helped with the all around making it the most fun I have had with Jeff and Mark , Lisa , Liza and Rob, Stan crashed early…. Oh and EJ , though not there, was not left out.. Lisa text her , in a small part to let her know that ” The guys ” missed her …..She Being Jeff’s and Lisa’s daughter , showing the true ” Tryx” spirit , answers back..:
” Tell them to suck it up. ” * chuckle* She’ll be with us this coming weekend.
Rob , ” our ” pianis..t , is not only a blast to play music with but also he and I seem to have our own heckle jeckle team set as the insanity circled the table. I don’t add family easily just ask Ma , but this guy is simply one of those kind of guys and part of the band family .
Actually when it comes down to it….It is more myself slipping into the family … I tried to stay quiet in hopes that no one would notice and shoo me off but..well…ya know..ME… I just don’t do quiet…Yeah..Shocker…Seems , at least for the Summer, I was let to hang with them…
Rob and I would start up , in between songs , playing off each other as well as setting up spots for the different songs:
” How about if you do this and then I’ll come in here on the next solo..”
I know that if we were to have more time playing together , we could do some insanely cool weaves in solos .
He then starts in with the “pianis…t” stuff once we shut down for the night and all was lost after that. We simply never stopped laughing. Stories and jibes coming from every direction and I haven’t laughed so hard or felt so at home other than at Zen in ages…..Well , not since the original Tryx .
I had honestly forgotten what it was like and how much I enjoyed hanging with these guys and gals… So I do my best to let them know each time… I am sure they totally appreciate it… Though I had a heck of a time finding their new phone numbers each time and I am sure the locked door was an accident.
What’s the plan ?
All along I have figured that the reunion would be my ” Swan Song ” as far as live music goes. This makes every moment we all take together very special. I am so glad I was able to pull myself together enough to get as far as I have since we talked about getting together this Spring.
Going back to the old songs never really seem like something I would enjoy. Funnily enough , I have really gotten into learning parts I use to play and others that I never thought to dig into.
I never had a chance to dink around with all the parts I figured out. I would work up a new part and as we all saw, or read anyway , my dang hands would get injured again.
I was so worried and freaked out that I would let down the guys as well as anyone listening by not being able to work on the songs like I wanted to and yet , somehow , every time I would heal and start again , something would stick .
I know I simply would have never started playing on the old stuff without this , making that one single , small part of all of this more than worth all of the work , all of the hand craps, swelling and whatever… I mean heck , my stupid eye blew up yet again for no good reason so at least any Nancy complaints I have about my hands come with benies too . That alone is something I get to keep..for the now… All of the time with a family that I have been parted from for so long has been icing..
For that :
Thanks Mark (Bass), Eliza (Mrs. Bass), Jeff,(Vocals, guitar, bass ) Lisa )Mrs. and vocals), EJ (daughter and vocals), Stan( drummer) and Rob (keys/pianis..T ) and of course…Especially for Ma ( my better half ) who has help me with all the support I could ask for…and for all the positive notes from everyone.
Though there is already a mummer of ” Well maybe we could…” That is more than I want to “worry” about just yet as that is too tempting to think about.
Whether or not we get together for more than BBQ I am happy… I am also already looking at the list for ” The first set of songs I want to dig deeper into for me. ”
Cling wrap , oil and a squirrel
I am afraid Lisa got teased pretty hard by all of us boys…generally stacking one on top of another as she tried to tell stories …
She would remember a short story, try to pass it along while Jeff , Rob and myself would do the whole annoying historius interruptus that Ma knows so well from me…
The evening..well…fine.. morning before bed …
Jeff and Lisa worked on cling wrap for the tower o pizza left from the evening.. Well, as one would expect ….. By now … Lisa started a “run” on cling wrap ..Jeff , of course , added oil... Me being me and a wee bito twisty….And a squirrel Lisa asks , with an eyebrow raised;
” With a squirrel? “
Me being the Old man from Zen replies;
“Well , Duh..” ………….in a , ” But of course I put the butter on the up side of my toast .”voice.
The whole evening was just hilarious to the last.
It’s all about the music
There is that portion of all of this as well.
The band has gotten together something like four times now. Each time we do , we inevitably play at least one song for the first time . We had several on Friday. Were they perfect? Close enough for Rock & Roll…
We still have several songs that somehow we haven’t played together. We may yet on ” Crunch Day” The eve before the Reunion.
Terminology has changed since I last was in music…
We use to Practice now they Rehearse ( don’t spread it around but when they don’t look… I practice )
Cover which replaced “Yeah, we play pretty much the songs of several bands…. Now simply ” Cover Band ” ….Ah….. I spent a long time looking like the “ RCA dog ” before someone mentioned that… Good to know…
I still practice playing other bands’ songs….shhh , don’t tell the guys.
The morning after
Although we headed in to sleep at a bit after 2am I was up at 6am close to normal Zen time.
All of us crashing at Mark’s had me off the kitchen area with a door to the backyard..It was great as I enjoy mornings outside as well all know.
Waking up I found the the air mattress had deflated around me which made me chuckle. Even the best will , at some point , leak. We all know my luck so OF COURSE I was the one it randomly chose.
I grabbed a cup of coffee…or 10… and sat by the pool listening to the morning sounds of a home at the edge of town. It was as close as ” city” can get to Zen-like conditions.
A hummer came in while I sat there. Like most of the hummingbirds that aren’t from Zen, it came in and back out in moments.
The hummies from up here play around Ma and I , hang out with us chatter at us. Generations of hummies have come through so we have ” always been here.” I imagine to them we are as much fun as they are to us. I can imagine them flying in , chattering at each other;
” These guys are so cute! They come out and chatter at us in our faces while we eat… They are almost like Hummies. “
The hums I see in other areas seem a little “washed out” from what ours are like.
The trip home
The trip is only some two and a half hours though I still have trouble driving that far. The trip up I came very close to parking and calling Ma around the half way point as my eye was making my life miserable…But
I pulled up my little girl eye patch and kept driving.
I managed to get to Mark’s for the very first time without getting lost ..Go Me…of course that makes it almost useless achievement as we have one last trip…
I did manage to get lost in one of the smallest town in the Northwest on the start of my trip home…So I had that going for me…. I followed the guys to the diner. By the time I had my act together , they were probably back home … I am slow… I pulled out of the parking lot and made a wrong turn….
The trip back was more interesting…
Driving along the highway , I saw what looked like a cop rig… Sure enough , right behind me they hit their lights… Being me , I looked at the dash , checked mentally to see how drunk I was before I remembered I didn’t drink at all , thought about contraband… Oh wait.. No chance of that either all while pulling off to watch them pass me… I have seen too many cop shows I guess… OH .. NOW I look out…. A fire in the hills…
I drove along the road watching the smoke , trying to see how close..Before I got to said fire I see two vans pulled over by the cops.. Vans full of kids..as in maybe early teens .. No idea..
Next I see the fire.. I haven’t checked to see cause size etc… What I actually saw was the fire looked to start next to the Northbound lane..The winds took it South for a long long way, It also jumped the road , glad I missed that part , filling the hills to the west as well as to the east. Several miles of burn by the time I drove between the fires. There was smoke and flame still from the beginning to the end ( at the time) Fire rigs were there and more coming in.
I just saw that a character is in custody , walking around the fire areas setting more. That explains why it was both sides and such a distance. They were simply walking Northward setting fires. Ummm That is messed up .. They aren’t the smartest tack in the stone either if they just continued walking along side of a highway setting more…..
Father down I saw another cop with a wreck. The hood of the car was crushed.. That was about as much as I caught..It was on my right side. Farther down the road I saw a deer had been hit…Hmmm…Probably a connection there… On a straight away going uphill during the day as it had also happened just a little before I saw it….So ..How exactly does THAT happen? I don’t want to hear ” Oh it jumped out in front of me.” Crap .. Where the deer was there was no cover on either side..Going up hill in the day… More like some citiot bugger their ” Smart phone” ..Oh Good job hitting like on Betty eating that taco .. OMG that couldn’t have waited.
Sunday Sunday Sunday
Yes , so here is the ” I’m an idiot ” Portion of our post…..Because that’s just how I roll…
Today’s plan , all along was to sit and work on some music while it was still fresh.. Slept in till 6am then out and about doing the quickie chores with Ma before she had to go to work..
The AC unit in the living room , we use Window mount as I am a wimp and like where I am cool while Ma doesn’t have a problem with the heat , leaked into the house Sat night.. When I did the mount I didn’t notice that my screw actually tipped it in the wrong direction so condensation went in instead of out.
For WHATEVER reason none of our Sharpe units have a drain ..except for , apparently , somewhere towards the front..Makes sense..??…
I had switched over from LG to Sharpe several years ago as they are quieter a little higher BTU and cheaper to run…all close but still….. LG still puts in a drain… Point to them .
Well..As I say , I am an idiot….. I looked at the frame , more than once and thought I saw where I could put in a drip hole…..Yeah , I know …. I grabbed the drill picked a small bit to keep out of things.. CAREFULLY got the drill to tap… The metal was hard on the outside but soft inside on the cover, Drill punched in..Just a bit.. It would have been fine but THAT alone changed my angle as I jerked it back out ” Before I hurt something” …OOPS!
I nicked the radiator line..JUST but JUST enough…Soooooo There goes that unit.. On a day we are suppose to hit triple digits up here… Oh yes.. There was swearing… Both Ma and I hit the comps to search out a replacement ..
They don’t even make that one anymore .. So We will have to check on a small upgrade once we find one. For whatever reason only the crap ones seem to exist… I assume it is something akin to hard to find decent Non Smart phones now let alone Ipods… Everyone has to have Phones the size of a friggin TV..Don’t even get me started about Flat Screen size .. Do they even still call them Flat Screens? Probably some ” THEATER VIEWING SPECTACULARAMZA GODMODE SENSOROMA or whatever…It’s a friggin TV and smartphones are computers that you can talk on…Whatever..
Well .. A couple years ago , we gave away our horde of LG units to someone that really needed them….. EXCEPT..I am a rainy day kinda guy…for obvious reasons ….
I grabbed the old LG , same width a little shorter..Yeah I figured that out WAY later than you would imagine during framing and sealing…I’m slow…
It is up and running until we can find an upgrade.. We lost 2000 BTU and some really cool modes …Hey! Even I like Some tech stuff ..If I have a use for it.. A phone that will tell me the time in dozens of countries in dozen of tongues does me no good… My only time change I care about is going from Pacific to Mountain and even I am smart enough to tack 1 to 11am and come up with noon. A turn on and shut off timer , setting the temp to where I sit compared to the wall where the AC is set up at SHH mode and others now see that makes sense to me.. Using my phone to adjust the temp in my wine cellar… yeh.. right…
So.. Now we are up to date. My right hand is still swollen and buggered but I could play fine with a compression glove on , well actually two styles one on each hand.
If I can keep from doing anything else stupid until after the gig , we are good to go….Don’t say it…
Have you ever taken a vacation and the excitement..and dread.. of the night before when you rush around getting ready while making sure you fed the dishwasher and put your cat in the cupboards …Or something to that effect ? Then comes the midway point .. Lots of fun left however, that little nag kicks in that it is all down hill from here….Finally the afternoon before everything goes back to normal and the dread and a bit of sadness strikes home as you realize the road led you back to home. At the same time , you take a deep breath and relax .. It isn’t quite time to pull out the pictures to remember but you just wish for one more day…then you remember the taxi and the cliff , the mountain goat and the bus coming down the single lane path you were on and that living room couch settles you back in……??…
Yup , that’s where I am running towards . This Spring when I got the texts and calls after a 30 year break for me and 40 from Tryx… “We would like to get together.”
Notice of an upcoming reunion had hit shortly before that. I was sitting at the counter talking to Ma when my face drained of color and it hit me….I told her then….
” They know I have been trying to get going with my music …. 40 year reunion… Mark my words.. There will be a call…..”
After surviving by the skin of my teeth the Band’s 40 year reunion …as in since I had seen , well almost any of them…let alone grab a guitar….
I came home, sat down and looked at the songs I had been working on for four days…You know, songs from the seventies that I listened to …ummm in the seventies .. The first time I had tried to learn something off of ” vinyl ” in decades …
Gloomy but thinking; ” Well , at least I can try to learn these for just me now. Some are pretty cool. “………………Then I got another call with conformation…..
” The band is playing for the Reunion.”
” Told ya so..”
Here I sit, the weekend before the reunion . I laugh to myself , as any crazy person does , at the antics of the crew .
One thing that I have to admit to myself is that I have gotten better , quite a bit actually. Ma always tells me but…Ma.. Ya know…. her view could be a little slanted my direction I think.
The second time we got together , the guys stopped to tell me that the change was marked…I still shrugged it off… I wasn’t doing what I wanted to for them…
And so on..
This weekend again.. More than one actually paused to watch…Yeah..even I noticed for once. Finally maybe… Sorta like not getting lost finally to Mark’s.
Even mentioning it ..which I do to force myself to read it..in case you wondered why I bring up something that ” If it isn’t in a video it never happened” … Oh yes.. I so love technology ..It makes people so warm and fuzzy like that… I write it so I have to force myself to , I suppose believe in myself.
I actually did the same thing with a small target group with basically a ” Before” video set.. The reason there was so I was forced to ” Know” I was being watched..whether I was or not.. That changed something… Yeah guys, it wasn’t as much “woodshedding” ( I had to have that explained to me too ) Mark had said that and I pulled the RCA Dog thang again until Jeff saw me and told me so I would know I didn’t get slapped in the face or whatever.. I honestly had no idea…..Anyway.. It was every bit as much , in the beginning , putting up the vids so that good bad or ugly , I was being seen.. The worst was now over and I could build…
Same thing here..Actually , yo can find that in a lot of my posts if , of course, you knew to look…
With all that blabbered…
I thought about that during the few hours of ” sleep” The riffing ( no idea what the terminology is now ) I had done was indeed faster and smoother than even the last time we were together..huh…Then I thought about the bad crap…Well, it turned out better than I was afraid of…Still crap but not like pig crap or anything…
My plans? After my debut/swan song ? * chuckle* yeah… I am going to sit with most of these songs and dig through those parts I have been aching to learn ..For me .
I sat down with my guitar for just a bit last night playing through some of my stuff and noticed.. I have changed…Again.. Thanks guys .
When this is over…. The good news is , I’m not dyin so worst case? I’ll get back to work on my stuff and hittin the vinyl in between . I’ll work towards those MP3s I was asked to put out and use the changes this has made in me.. I find it all exciting .
What about the band?
The guys have bands . I would like to think that I’ll drag myself down off Zen to visit . That alone is a big change…All theory of course …
I have no idea what has set off the Uric Acids in my system nor why it targeted mine and Ma’s hands the same but different.. The other guys are getting hit too different parts but it is all Uric Acid. Ma and I live very different than the others and yet.. same problems..
Any time I find things that help I try to share with the guys , well and here as well..
Vit C , Zinc , Potassium , Starting the morning with Lemon water..lots of water in fact. Tea Green helps one thing Black another … Turmeric , Garlic , Dandelion , Apple Cider vinegar ( the real stuff) in the eve and more …
I am so brutal on my hands at work and on Zen , not to mention playing..well and even right now typing for all of that..
I had to laugh when Lisa tagged me that.. I of course told Ma , and Hummie about it..
He wasn’t too impressed however.
The sun crossed the top of the house , the shading beginning in the Test Garden.
I sat on our new porch watching the dozen and more hummingbirds flying about. They in turn come up to me , looking me in the face before another tags them in a chase.
The new , as in this week , porch coming out from our covered porch area, puts us high enough that the hummers don’t have to fly into the porch to ” come play “.
Ma sits across from me giggling at the antics of the wee leetle birds as they buzz between us , grab a bite and swing around each of us again in a game of tag.
A light breeze makes even the open deck comfortable even in the summer heat. Ma and I look out into our opposite directions now . Ma to the North , myself to the South with views , though only elevated are so different from a week ago.
I sit looking at the porch and thinking of the several next trials and steps for it. Plans are on hold until after next weekend. We have plants to put in though I know it’ll be insane as I am the one that build it up..for a pad so lots of rock..
All the while hummies zoom around us flying as close as they possibly can..simply because they can. I laugh as I get clipped by a wing. Ma steps back quickly as a hummer zips across the bridge of her nose. The kids have known us their entire lives all several weeks of it. The older ones , mostly born here to Mr. and Mrs. Hum Hisself haven’t forgotten us or how to get new food..
One of the feeders has a bug in it..We know this because of of the hummingbirds pulls a ” Lassie”..
“What Lassie? Little Timmy is down the well? “…” Oh.. Bug in yer juice..You shouldn’t talk with your mouth full. “
Hummie sits by his feeder that Ma had JUST filled . Condensation still beading from the chill of the fridge. Another hummer flits in seeing the new juice only to get b*tchslapped by Hum before he sits back down yawning , nodding to Ma and myself as we chat with him.
You know he is listening. If I ask him a question , he flares red. Only if I ask a question to him directly…well or when he is pissed off at me.
Evening sets in as the sun drops. Temps begin to cool the breeze softens . The hummies seem to multiply yet again . Time to visit , chat with Ma and I ,all under the direction of the True Zen Master : Hummie .
Hum begins his evening call . All his kids as well as Mrs. and even the others from tiny calliope to Rufus swing in , take their perches … It would be friggin Alfred Hitchcock all over again if they were bigger than they are. The young kids flit about , in mock battles or trying to all fit at one feeder ; the Hummy version of a phone booth I suppose while the older ones settle . Now and again one wings to a feeder for the evening meal. Even Hummie’s feeder gets hit hard. He sits , watching as they come in by him. It’s fine now. They do it because he called them in to do so.
Ma and I sit , watching Hummie and his crew in the nightly ” sitting down to dinner with Ma and Pa.. It truly has been
Just another day on Zen Mountain.