The clanking of crystal.

So this is the new year. Again. 2009 was a hell of a year for me. My Rock Band year (but that’s a different story/post/whatever). This year hasn’t quite started like I was hoping, but I’m financially in better shape than I thought I would be. That’s at least something. Once of the biggest “looking back” things I’ve been working on is how much I didn’t write this year.

I’ll clarify a bit. I actually did a lot of writing. In fact, I was published multiple times this year over on the RockBand.com ‘Zine. I had a great time writing those articles and the response I got was overwhelmingly positive. I enjoy writing, a lot. The problem is that no one would know that from this website. This blog/journal/whatever it is offers pretty slim pickin’s when it comes to providing solid examples of my literary pursuits. The site is obviously not finished, since work keeps me out on the road so much, but the reality is that there is a single overwhelming reason for the lack of creative writing.

Most of my inspiration for writing is born out of personal experience, as I imagine the case is for most writers. The issue, though, is that I can craft and revise my narrative very quickly in my head. Anyone who hangs out with me knows this. I have a penchant for delivering highly articulated rants and lengthy monologues within minutes of having my imagination sparked or my ire set aflame. Of course, I’m almost never behind a keyboard when this occurs. Even when I plot out the entire course, every detail, of an article in my head I’ll lose the majority of it before I can commit it to any kind of medium. If I could record my thoughts at time of conception, this website would be updated on a daily basis, if not moreso. I usually just find better things to do. My inspiration, or at least my desire to act upon it beyond thought or speech, is fleeting.

A good example is the post just before this one. That entire transcription, from start to finish, occurred in a matter of minutes in a Subway, over a foot-long turkey on wheat with lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard. My next destination just happened to be a Starbucks across the street so I was able to get it down and out quickly. Those are the kinds of things I compose in my mind every day, but never get into any kind of long term form. My next subject, distraction, anything, is just on the horizon and as soon as it comes into focus, the last one is lost.

Even now, in the sidebar of Windows Live Writer, are dozen of drafts for posts I started but never finished. It’s not that I didn’t want to; it’s just that the next best idea for one came on too quickly and I had to shift gears. It’s interesting to me because it’s pretty much the only area of my life where I don’t see a task all the way to its finish.

Something I like about myself, typically, is that I have a pretty strong OCD streak when it comes to my work. I am notoriously meticulous, almost to a fault. I will work to nail down every little detail, tweak every possible option, and adjust anything that can be. I subscribe to a simple philosophy: Perfection is unattainable, but that’s no reason not to try. The devil is in those details. This is especially true when it comes to consumer interaction. I’m tweaking and adjusting things they will never know about, but all those little things will contribute to a better overall experience. The consumer should be totally focused on that experience; the best possible result is what they should be walking away with. The downside is that people I work with think I’m an obsessive nutcase. A lot of people subscribe to a “good enough” mentality and that’s a very hard thing for me to do. My work is a reflection of me; It has to be the best it possibly can be every time.

Anyway, I’m like that it nearly all aspects of my life, except this one. This writing. It kills me. I’ll spend hours creating highly specialized metatags and non-existent sub-genres of music to keep my iTunes library in a ridiculously precise order. I even hacked in half-star ratings for more rating structure control. I can’t take 30 minutes to commit thought to word though.

Twitter helps a little bit. I’ll send the base ideas out for later cataloguing, hoping I can respark interest in a later date or letting me get the gist of something out there. It’s not a substitute, but at least it’s something. I suppose. It’s not like giving up twitter would help, all those things would just back up and get lost in my mental æther.

Let’s take a look at what I can remember (at the moment) not writing about this year:

  1. My Rock Band Year. (This may still happen)
  2. The total eclipse of Helio. (An ongoing battle)
  3. Hello East Coast, I missed you… kind of. (I’ve been back for two months)
  4. The Take Away. (Needs to still happen, more site related)
  5. Leaving Las Vegas, without the drinking myself to death part. (See “Hello East Coast”)
  6. Observations on human proximity.
  7. A guide for the unexpectedly freelance. (Been working on this for too long)
  8. “I just kind of fell into it.”: Observations on employment.

Alright, this is a great example right here. Everything prior to this sentence was written a week ago. A solid week. In that time I’ve wanted to write about like, 15 new things, but I knew I still had this to finish. At this point, having been removed from the writing and the mood I was in when I was composing, I, of course, am not nearly as committed to it as I was during mid-creation.

Fortunately, as I re-read this, I’m not completely disgusted by it (only partially). The fact that you’re reading it means that I didn’t hate it enough to not publish it and saw to it that I at least attempted to complete it. I suppose that’s a good start for the year.

I still have so much to do around here. Little things, like the fact that this site doesn’t display to my satisfaction on my netbook (right gutter needs to be narrowed) and that while my portfolio is constantly expanding I need to work on the fact that my professional persona is more than just the sum of my contracts. The cold, hard, facts only paint part of the picture. They are what I do, not who I am.

So, anyway. I have tons more to write about but this particular document it already an idiotically long wall of text. If you’re just scanning over it:

TLDR Version:

The writing process is the one aspect of what I do that constantly evades my meticulous, OCD, perfection seeking, nature. I’m working on it. I promise.

Electronic Entertainment Awesome

Well, today wraps up my last day on the Can’t Stop Rockin’ 2009 Tour. It’s been a mixed bag. The production team i was placed with was absolutely fantastic. So awesome to work with. The crew on my bus was equally amazing, they made some of the long rides really fun. Styx and REO Speedwagon, while not really my first choice in music, we’re also really awesome, both onstage and off. They’re some of the most devoted bands i’ve ever toured with.

On the other hand, the marketing agency that hired me, and who iIve worked with before, seemed to not have really thought this tour through. It’s a shame too, because the sponsor, who I’ve also worked with directly, is amazing. There was potential here, but it wasn’t really capitalized on.

Anyway, speaking of amazing clients… i’m off to E3!

That’s right, E3 2009, All Access, thanks to the, wonderful, amazing, people at MTV Games/Harmonix. I’m going to be working the show floor, attending events, and checking out all the awesomeness. It’s like a dream come true for me. In the meantime, i’m going to be updating my portfolio and fixing some of the things on the site. I’ll be twittering live from E3, so you can follow the sidebar on this site or follow along at http://twitter.com/dropslash.

Can’t Stop… Somethin’…

So, first off, Total Rock, Total Rewards 2009 was, in actuality, Total Awesome 2009. Easily one of the best jobs I’ve ever worked and one of the best projects I’ve ever worked on. The people i worked with were all amazing and the bands who participated, in every venue, were some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Huge grats to The Gurn Killers from my long-lost NYC for taking home $10,000 and putting on an awesome show at The House of Blues in Atlantic City opening for The B52’s. There are still reports and interviews and pics coming in, but here’s some links to catch you up on all the madness.

I promise to get more links in here later. There are tons of pics on FaceBook at the moment so it’s gonna take a while to pull together that much linkage.

In other news, I’m currently out on the Can’t Stop Rockin’ tour with REO Speedwagon, Styx, and .38 Special overseeing the activation and management of one of the custom Rock Band stages from last year’s Rock Band Live! tour. It’s certainly an interesting time. Not exactly my cup-o-tea demographically or music-taste-wise, but they can’t all be. It’s just strange for me to be around that many drunk/stoned baby boomers, especially since they just kind of stare at the RB stage dumbfounded most of the time. Before it took this gig i predicted to myself that this gig would probably just end up as glorified daycare for the kids who’s parents dragged them to the show. That prediction has been dead on so far. The biggest issue really is that the gig isn’t really practical as a one-man-show, which is how it’s currently being executed (by me). Oh well, the production crew is friendly and I’m done on May 30th so it’ll at least be 100% until then.

In other, other, news, i just bought a Dell Mini 9 and I’m already in love with it. I was worried about the size compared to the Mini 10, but after discovering that the Mini 10 was not upgrade/hack friendly and finding a perfectly configured Mini 9 on the Dell Outlet site, i had to just go for it. It wasn’t out of the box for 5 minutes before i dropped an extra gig of RAM into it and it never even got booted to it’s pre-installed Windows XP OS. I dropped Windows 7 Release Client into it first thing (with a sweet USB hack) and never looked back. It’s runs like a dream. Next upgrade is the SSD from 8GB to 32GB. I ordered the drive already and hopefully it’ll make it out to me during this three day stretch in California. Once i have that installed i can drop all my favorite apps onto it. I’m using a 16GB SD card as storage, so the total of 48GB will serve me fine. I’m a huge stickler for efficiency and clean HDs, so i clean out my systems and HDs religiously. I can’t wait to start using it as my regular road computer and seeing what it can handle. Here’s a pic of it next to my current road system, my trusty Dell XPS M1210.

M1210_And_Mini9_Small

Road work…

Well, this is how it all turned out. I haven’t ported this new design over to Blogger yet, but it’ll get there eventually. I’ve been busy with work recently, but I wanted to get this revamp up and all the bugs worked out before I head out on tour again. Speaking of which, if you’re a Rock Band fan and reading this, come visit/hang out with me while I’m on tour. Here’s where I’m headed:

Harrah’s Total Rock, Total Rewards Rock Band Tournament:

If you’ve been following my Twitter Feed, you already know all about this.
Here’s where you can find me:

After that I’m headed out on the Can’t Stop Rockin’ tour with REO Speedwagon, Styx, and 38 Special.

Can’t Stop Rockin’: (More dates coming soon)

  1. May 13: Albuquerque, NM (Sandia Casino Amphitheatre)
  2. May 15: Phoenix, AZ (Dodge Theatre)
  3. May 16: Las Vegas, NV (Thomas and Mack Center)
  4. May 17: Fresno, CA (Save Mart Center)
  5. May 21: Ontario, CA (Citizens Business Bank Arena)
  6. May 22: Los Angeles, CA (NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE)
  7. May 23: Kelseyville, CA (Konocti Harbor Amphitheatre)
  8. May 24: Mountain View, CA (Shoreline Amphitheatre)
  9. May 27: Seattle, WA (ShoWare Arena)
  10. May 30: Sandy, UT (Rio Tinto Stadium)
  11. May 31: Morrison, CO (Red Rocks Amphitheatre)
  12. June 4: Kansas City, MO (Starlight Theatre)
  13. June 5: Thackerville, OK (Winstar Casino)
  14. June 6: Oklahoma City, OK (Zoo Amphitheatre)
  15. June 7: Woodlands, TX (Woodlands Pavilion)
  16. June 16: Boca Raton, FL (Sunset Cove Amphitheatre)
  17. June 18: Orange Beach, FL (The Amphitheatre @ The Wharf)
  18. June 20: Roanoke Rapids, NC (Carolina Crossroads Amphitheatre)
  19. June 21: Atlanta, GA (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)
  20. June 23: Columbia, MD (Merriweather Post Pavillion)
  21. June 26: Atlantic City, NJ (The Borgata)
  22. June 27: Gilford, NH (Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion)
  23. June 28: Mansfield, MA (Comcast Center)
  24. July 1: Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun)
  25. July 2: Verona, NY (Turning Stone Resort Casino)
  26. July 3: Scranton, PA (Toyota Pavilion At Montage Mountain)
  27. July 4: Saratoga Springs, NY (Saratoga Performing Arts Center)
  28. July 9: Clarkston, MI (DTE Energy Music Theatre)
  29. July 10: Chicago, IL (Charter One Pavilion At Northerly Island)
  30. July 11: St Louis, MO (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)

I have a lot more to get done around here and it’s going to be a busy summer.