Monday
Jan262004

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(...With a tip of the hat to Michael K. who actually admitted to reading this journal.)

I don't really know what I am about to tell you, but the aforementioned MK (not Keneally) was just begging to have something new to read. Whatever. Some people! :^) So here I am. And there you are. Well, I assume you are. If not, who am I talking to? (Actually, WRITING to.) I am not really talking to any of you. But you get my drift. Actually I don't have a drift, and never had. But if I did, it would be teal and would operate on Mac OS 9 where I still operate. Actually, I am not licensed as a doctor, so I am therefore not allowed to operate. But I am aloud when I play drums. I play fairly loud. Some people wish that wasn't aloud, you know? You probably don't actually know, so you will have to take my word for it. But I hope you won't take it far. I need some of them. Without them, I would be speechless. Some people wish I was speechless. But I did well in speech class so they can shove it up their class. (I really did do exceedingly well in speech class last semester— #3 of 102 total students in my instructor's classes. Made me proud.)

Okay, so I'm stalling for time. I've been discovered. You want fries with that?

Well, among the couple of newsworthy things to take place since the last entry at the end of the year, I have to report that I have cracked the whip on myself (not literally, I don't play that rough) and made myself shut off the damned internet and stop screwing off at my computer needlessly like I did for the first two years I had it. Well, that has freed up a good deal of time to get back into the studio where I really belong. I can't believe how many hours I needlessly sacrificed to be on the net when I could have been recording or whatever. Well, I guess things happen for some reason. The net was a fascinating place for the time I was rabidly into it. But now I know what to expect in the certain corners of it that I frequent.

For one, repetition, repetition, repitition. In hanging out on a number of music and recording related boards and groups, certain topics are bandied about so freaking often its sick. I mean, how many times can people talk about preamps and compressors and the world's most underrated guitarists in one day? A month? A year? I don't really know. But finally I decided I'd been around that block too many times and had to get back to work, because my time has been more measured in the recent few months, and frankly, I worsened my depression by hanging out on the net as a substitute for other things. It surely cost me a lot of studio time, caused some relationship snags, and in some groups made me unpopular when I would sort of troll just to keep things interesting. The time on the net came at a turning point for me anyway, and I was really ready for something new, and well, I just got addicted. I mean, addicted. You know, like, it tells ME how life will be. You know how people smoke cigarettes when they wake up, then at meal times and after sex and all? I swear, that was me, but I was a net addict. In my most indulgent days, oh, maybe in early 2002, I was on the computer doing one thing or another for most of the 18 hours I was up. I suppose maybe it was 12 or more of those hours. I don't even know how, but I wasn't working and I sort of inched myself out of a social life. I also did my graphics related stuff (not even music then—I didn't have Pro Tools then, nor anything else). It was just prowling the same 5-10 groups over and over all day long. I later took to messaging with Doug in Texas, sometimes going at it for hours and hours. Doug is one of the few success stories I have to claim. Once we transcended the topics of preamps and what recorder sucks less or more, we got on with some good chat about a huge range of things.

There are people in some of those groups that write so many entries it is a wonder they have time to do anything else. I swear, I see some dudes on multiple groups, and it seems that nearly around the clock they have something to say on the same five topics, day in and day out. I can't for the life of me figure how in the world they have a chance to play or hold a day job. It baffles even me, who did clock some good time doing the same thing, often sans job or social life, or music. It just boggles my mind. When I got into the net, I was finishing my CD and was all excited about having the computer to do a little bit of everything—social life, art, some music (at least for listening), studying, promoting my CD, making web sites, etc. So I completely threw myself in head first. I would find any excuse to do something on the computer. The only thing I really didn't do was play games and buy porn (no, really!). Any excuse was good enough. It really was an addiction. If nothing else, it got me a little fatter and sedentary, and sort of kept me from having some other more varied and maybe even more real encounters with the world, even as it opened up a whole other world of its own. I would wake up and switch the computer on and spend an hour before work if I had any at all, and I would kiss it good night as late as I could, about 18 hours later. In between, I just couldn't peel myself away.

I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. Some can actually do real damage. But addiction is a pattern of behavior, and is basically the same rules apply to whatever the variable is. I guess I must have had some addiction before the computer, and it just transferred. I used to be addicted to cross referencing my life, and doing all sorts of introspective and sometimes destructive stuff by keeping myself acquainted with old events and experiences and people who maybe I should have let go of. Really, it tied up a lot of time. I didn't sit in one place, but it DID act in the same way as the computer later did. It consumed my energy and told ME how it was going to be. I think that the difference might be that some addictions only TAKE, and I do have to say that my time on the computer and the net is not all a waste. Certainly not. It did give, and it continues to give. But living out of balance certainly is a problem. I think moderation is called for. Just about anything is good in moderation. I guess I can aspire to that.

Oh yeah, I was going to talk about my studio time lately. I came up with a great hybrid system last week. Since all the gear is in the little room now, I feel a lot more like experimenting and at least getting ideas out and captured. But now I have made it so I can run Pro Tools from the little room while the full computer system is undisturbed in the other bigger room, complete with scanner/printer and all the other stuff. What I did was get a second mouse, keyboard and VGA monitor in the small room, and passed relevant audio cables from the PT system into the computer with the help of the little mouse hole between rooms. Now I am jazzed. I like all the flexibility of PT, and having all my instruments right near me. Now I got the best of both worlds. So far it is working for me. But I think I just got so damned frustrated at things that I just HAD to find something that would work. So now I am just committing myself to getting in there and getting something, anything out of myself.

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