I have not left the house since Friday night – since dragging my sorry self in from the humidity with guitar and amp and bookbag after what maybe would have seemed like one of the longer days of my life had I not just helped to put on a music festival last weekend.
I unapologetically turned on the central air, flopped on the couch, and that was that.
Waking up the next morning – and, in fact, all the way through the weekend until earlier this evening – I couldn’t quite tell if I was sick, or just “under the weather,” or if my body was simply mounting all possible protests at once: sore from lugging amp and guitar around the city, voice fading after a week of talking and singing, stuffy from allergies (also: I need to change the filter on the central air).
I’m being paid to help an acquaintance write and record two songs.
It’s a peculiar arrangement – even beyond the peculiarity of being paid to do something that I spend the majority of my non-working life doing for free. She has words, and melody, and even some chords, but she needs help translating them into a coherent, performable, recorded song.
On her first song we completely clicked, suggesting the same exact chords to each other, minus our personal flourishes. The exception is a single, recurring section where she hears the accompaniment as happy and major, whereas I just feel it as minor and unresolved. She sees where I am coming from, but she doesn’t hear the song that way.
She’s the (paying) client, so I’m doing it her way, but it hurts a little – the song is losing a layer of nuance that only I will ever know. It’s a peculiar direction to head in, given I’ve spent the last year or two mercilessly deconstructing my own writing, trying to eliminate all of the nonsense whims to drill down to the perfect song underneath.
I’ve been reflecting on how my threshold for wasting money seems to be pushing in two opposite directions, leaving a vast middle ground of amounts to waste.
On one hand, I won’t even spend $.99 on a song I like on iTunes, whereas in the past I used to buy albums just based on cover art. On the other, a $400 piece of furniture or recording equipment is a necessary evil, whereas three years ago it took months of prodding to get me to buy my first brand-new electric guitar for that amount.
Is that normal? As we grow up are we all at once more willing to nickle and dime and more willing to throw money at seemingly inevitable larger purchases? It seems like the sort of thing I couldn’t understand as a child, but I feel like I live an entire life that I wouldn’t be able to understand as a child, so the finer points are getting harder to discern.
Last night I watched Battlestar Galactica on the floor of my room/office, head propped up by cardboard box because i was too sore/sick to wander downstairs to find a pillow. It was thing infinity-n on my list of things to do, but I did it anyway.
What is more modern-day than being able to download exactly the thing you have a whim to watch at 3am on Monday morning?
Do you remember when blogging was about recording that instant gratification? Now we have Facebook status and MySpace walls to record the instant – the offhand comment, the spurious wish – while our blogs sit in silence, waiting to catch a thought that is more fully formed.
Lying on my floor somewhere around 4:37 a.m. I thought, fuck that. If my modern adult life says I can stay up all night watching television on my floor because I am too impatient for the DVD to arrive in September, then I’m allowed to blog about whatever damn errata I want to.
It’s not the errata that is alluring and readable, in the same way that watching that one episode doesn’t mean that I am modern and adult. It’s that watching that episode was any of a thousand possibilities of things I could be doing at 4:37 a.m. – a range expanding from sleep to flying to Kansas City just to get drunk.
It’s that enough amassed errata is defining – maybe even arresting – but the only way to find that out is to collect it all in one place, instead of squandering it on everyone else’s internet page.