Dé Luain, Bealtaine 28, 2007

Not enough coffee...

I was excited about playing this morning, I really was. It had been a while since I had gotten to play my electric, and was looking forward to playing. If only things would have gone well, somethings are just amazing certainties. Problems with the Churches sound system are one of mine. The group hadn't been able to practice the week before, the room just wasn't available, so we met at eight this morning. I'm glad that I stopped long enough to grab a cup of coffee, because I was about to need it. It took me too long to set up my cords and effect boxes, so I didn't have any time to simply try things out again and make sure everything was sounding correctly. I had to borrow a chord from the back because I didn't have my second one. I miss tuned one string on my guitar which through off the tuning, but not enough for me to know that it was out of tune right away. I was borrowing an amp that I would have rather not used...and I actually didn't. I finished set up without realizing any of this. I started playing at once realizing that my guitar was not playing what it should tone wise, and for that matter the sound coming out is sporadic and horrible. I'm not happy, and I'm confused. I assumed, because I needed to(desperately needed too), that there is something wrong with the amp. I switched aways from the amp and ran directly into the system, praying that this simple fix was all that was needed...it wasn't. I picked up the closest direct box and plugged in. Nothing, no sound, no nothing. My dad, whose thankfully the sound man for the service, quickly came up to give me a hand. I told the leader to just start and keep going, and that I would pick up when I could. Dad quickly flushed out the problem, the other end of the cord never got plugged into the system, I sighed heavily. Not happy but appeased. I strum...sporadic and fuzzy...getting annoyed. I checked all of my lines, no response through the system. Strum one more time...accidentally touching the pickups, response. Stunned and trying again, same response...beyond angry. Dad takes guitar before I break it (literally). I spent the next ten minuets hooking up someone else's guitar praying hard that it wouldn't work, it didn't. Now I'm angry that I've wasted so much time switching guitars. Dad tells me that the chord I picked up wasn't working. I stare blankly, wondering why I'm learning this now. I don't remember saying anything out loud, and I hope that didn't, I pray that I didn't. No one said anything, but they could have been just being polite. I reattach my guitar, change out the lines two more times before finding the last working free line on the stage. With everything finally set, I notice that the one string is still out, I fix it. I let off the bypass and strum hoping to hear my guitar...nothing. Dad had changed the line I was connected to, and didn't tell the guy at the soundboard. Five more minuets and one button later I finally hear my guitar. So with one song left to practice I was set to go. Not enough coffee in the world, no where near enough coffee for that.

My morning. I wish I could give it back. I thought about it, and all I really needed to do was change on line and I would have been fine, but it was the sequence of events that set me off. I normally have a tight reign on temper, but this morning...I'm just happy I had a reign on my tongue. I don't feel good about it, I'm embarrassed by it. I was beyond frustrated, beyond angry, and that my dad had to take my guitar from my hands is just embarrassing. It wasn't a proud moment to be sure. I just couldn't help being angry at what happened, and how simply it could have been solved. I was able to spend time in prayer before we started, and just asked God to settle my mind and focus on Him, and thankfully he did. But now, at the end of the day, I remember what happened. I don't have a good lesson from all of this. In certain respects I'm ashamed of how I reacted and in others I know I acted correctly. I think that this is one of those days where drawing even is a win.

Dé hAoine, Bealtaine 25, 2007

The Man in the Shadows...

I remember a moment a long time ago when I was in maybe seventh grade. The memory is actually kind of fuzzy, but there are certain things leading up to it that make the feelings genuine. I was standing on the outside of the roller rink, arms across my chest, slight smile on my face. I was watching a friend of my dancing with his new girlfriend. You see I had been helping him get in good with this girl for the past two weeks. Telling him what to say, talking to her for him, all the kid things that middle schoolers do when they like someone else. I didn't mind doing this, I liked it actually. There was always something about helping my friends that I enjoyed greatly. Having the chance to do this just made me happy, and standing there alone in the dark I felt happy. I've always preferred to be off in the shadows, leading from the side. No matter how much time I spend out front I'll never feel as good as when I'm off to the side in the shadows.

Things haven't been going well lately. I won't be going to grad school in the fall like I had hoped. I was rejected from all of the schools that I applied to, and there isn't much chance of me getting in under anything else for the fall. On top of this I lost my job. I've taken this as a positive thing, I'm looking for a church...or anything really, though I'd prefer a church. I've sent my resume out to a few places, and while I've not really heard back from anyone (who's offering a job that I'd be interested in) I'm trying to be patient and make the best use of my time. There's a part of me that would really like to stay in my area for a while. It's been seven years since I've started moving and I've not stayed put for more that nine months at a time. I'd like to not move for a while. I've been looking at what I would need to do to get involved with Wycliffe Bible Translators as an Ethnomusicologist. They have some basic grad level classes that I could take, but by all accounts I think it would take at least five years to do the classes, if not just go for a full degree, which would be better, and work off enough of the debt to be eligible to go with them. I'm not a patient person, but it's a goal. But for right now I could use a few good things to happen to me, a church in the area would be nice...I think I'll pray for that. The other things seem like too much of a miracle to ask for right now.

When I was in high school I used used to be in the Show Choir. I loved it, and we were good. I'll probably spend a good part of tomorrow looking for a tape of our last performance my senior year. I'd love to see it again, but on the other hand I'll probably watch it and hate it. I'll take that chance though, but first I have to find it. I've been thinking about this because yesterday I went to Friends and Family night. Friends and Family night is the Show Choir's very last performance. The Director invites all of the alumni and family from the past groups to come and see the years last show and to come up and attempt to sing the last song, which has been the same for the last 10 years. It's been seven since I graduated and Seven since I sang that song...I didn't remember any of it. Besides that there were only two people there that I was in show choir with, both underclassmen. One was a guy, guy recognized me before I did him. The second was the one person I wished would be there. She was actually my last "crush" from high school, a great friend, and one of the few people I managed to keep in touch with after I left for college...at least for a little while. We lost touch sometime during my sophomore year, like I did with everyone. We talked once or twice after that, but eventually the silence that became my relationship from high school took this one as well. When I came back to the area I heard that she was working at the school, so I sent her and email and even tried to stop in and see her. I never heard back from her. I kind of chalked it up to not receiving my email, and me just missing her. Though my second attempt to stop by was less encouraging. I saw her for a second, walking towards me, then she turned quickly and walked the other way. I decided not to follow. Before I go on, my intentions here were simply to reconnect with an old friend and nothing more. Whatever my feelings had been, they no longer are. They quickly left after I left for school. Yesterday I didn't notice her until we went up to sing the last song. There was quick recognition of who I was, by several of the guys. One saying something about "Big Combs." it was the easiest way to differentiate between me and my brother my senior year. Actually he was "Little Combs" and I was just "Combs," but that's not important. I saw her, and she saw me, but I didn't have any time to say anything to her. We knew that each other were there. As soon as the program ended I got up to talk to her, but she was gone before I got the chance.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. I've had friendships that fizzle. There are people that I used to talk to at length that I don't really say more than two words to now, but it's expected. I didn't think there would be jumping for joy or any great conversation, but she didn't even say hello. it makes me wonder if I might have offended her, or made her angry. I really wonder. We did a lot of things together when I was in high school, and to not even acknowledge my existence. I'm not angry, just confused and a little hurt. It's not been a good month. I really feel like I'm living in the shadows, in more ways that one.