What? Write Something?

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I know I have a blog, and the point of a blog is to write things or post pictures or do something with it. I’ve been terribly lax for weeks. But at the moment I’m sitting on the terrace watching it rain and enjoying some free time, so why not check in.

I’ve said before, I don’t know how I had time to work. I seem to keep busy every day and never get to the end of my “to do” list. But I don’t set my alarm clock in the morning, and I often enjoy laying around a while before I get out of bed. I don’t do much work in the evenings. I don’t carefully schedule every hour of every day like I used to when I was working. I’m retired now and enjoying the benefits.

The band always keeps me busy, and this week has been busier than usual. Our drummer is in Florida with his sick mother, and we are pretty concerned about her and him. They both had the flu and he’s better, but she doesn’t seem to be improving. He can’t leave her alone there in this condition so there is no way of knowing when he will be back. We consulted with the owner of our venue and it was decided that we will play as a duo for the foreseeable future.

No big deal, right? Turn on the drum machine and go. We also have midi files we can use as backup, but which songs are going to use which? Who is going to run what? How do we be sure we are all starting at the same time when we are working with a midi file that may or may not have a count in? How does it end? We need to connect these drums to the mixing board and have the appropriate speakers. We need to be sure one song isn’t super loud and the next one is too quiet. What is that instrument in the background that sounds like a strangled goose? But if we use the drum machine it does exactly the same thing until we hit the stop button, no breaks, no changes for different parts of the song, not a shred of humanity. But some songs are straightforward throughout and this works well.

This is what we have been working on all this week and today, finally, dress rehearsal went well. We’ll do it again tomorrow and then we should be ready to take it out. Thank goodness our neighbors don’t mind the music. They have listened to the same 30 songs every day since Tuesday! Unless you are a musician, when you go to hear music, you have no idea of all the work and preparation that goes on behind the scenes. And we are only doing it on a tiny scale in a bar, not some big venue with tons of people and equipment to make it all happen. And, these are all songs we already know well.

It’s rainy season and it seems like we have been getting rain every day, sometimes really heavy downpours. I don’t mind the rain and the plants sure are happy. Everything is growing and the weeds are having a great time. I like to work in the yard in the late afternoon when it’s cooler but that doesn’t work out if it’s raining. So, excuse the weeds in my yard. I’ll get to them eventually.

And, I decided to paint the house. It was yellow but the landlord had the fence and wall out front painted this really nice, mellow, kind of mango or peach or coral color which I like a lot better. We painted some of the house quite a few years ago, and the rest that you can’t see from the street was done who knows how long ago so a fresh coat of paint is a big improvement. But this is morning work. My idea is to work until noon or 1pm until it’s too hot outside. Then the paint can dry before the rains come later in the day, and the sweating that happens at night. Yes, I said sweating. When it cools down at night the metal roof sweats and the water trickles down the outside walls. Weird huh? Occasionally when it really sweats I can hear the drops of water falling on the upper side of our drop ceilings. Such is life in the tropics and the land of high humidity.

New color and old color. I’ll have to paint over my artwork and redo it at some point.

Sometimes there are also the sad moments. I learned today that an old friend died, someone I’ve known for at least 50 years. We were close friends in college and lived a few blocks from each other in NYC. We spent a lot of time together and weathered many ups and downs in each other’s lives. We drifted apart when I left the city but we always kept in touch, and we got together on my visits back if he was in town. None of us get out of here alive and as we get older, we are likely to lose more of our friends. Live for today and appreciate the people in your life today because you just never know what tomorrow will bring.

So, that’s what is happening around here. We’re off to the Boston area soon to visit my sister in her new retirement home and she’s looking forward to sharing a lot of what the area has to offer, and it will be fun to have some time together.

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