Don’t you see what’s happened? I’ve become George!

The gym got new treadmills, and they’re fabulous.  I didn’t know the old treadmills sucked until I ran on a new one.  The deck is so wide and smooth, it felt like running in grass.  I listened to In Your Dreams by Stevie Nicks in order twice through.  I ripped it from the CD into FLAC files and loaded it on the DAP I got on MassDrop.  I listen to an album with various headphones and amps because it reveals details I miss otherwise.  (I take my music listening seriously.)  When I finished, I was all disoriented like I just woke up.  I’ve been smiling since.

I saw previews for The Dark Tower movie today.  It’s the first I’ve heard of it, and I’m ecstatic.  I want to see a lobstrosity, and all the other creatures described.  Especially Shardik.  I remember reading that in 8th grade.  It’s a good thing I finally watched TV today.  (I abandoned it in favor of Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac live concert DVD’s weeks ago.)  Now that I’ve seen Mick Fleetwood play Dreams, I’m copying his technique.  He makes the drums sound like a thunderstorm in this song, and it’s so good.

M. wants me to meet his parents.  They’re coming in August and will return home with his sister.  Naturally, I’ve decided to start feeling anxious now.  Sigh.  My virtual presence device project is at a frustrating point.  Basically, hiring a college student to carry a video rig is the most logical and cost effective solution so far.  It solves the problem of theft, vandalism, teasing, etc.  Not to mention transportation, and all the other logistical bummers I’ve encountered so far.  I was hoping for a robot, but it’s not looking good.  Ah, well.  Maybe I can find a college kid who talks about robots while being my virtual presence device.  I’m off to read.

But I don’t wanna be a pirate!

I’ve devised a new bribe to get myself to exercise.  If I run on my treadmill, I can watch music videos and interviews.  I just need to go a bit slower to prevent vertigo.  I don’t have a forgiving space to land in if I go flying off the back.  I have a credenza full of quilting supplies.  (It would probably only hurt my ego.)  I have an oddly shaped room over a stairwell, (which is the only reason I don’t feel guilty about running in my apartment.)  Nobody uses that stairwell, anyway.  My near-neighbors are funny to me.  I’ve seen most of them working out in the gym, at the pool, on the bike trails, etc., but they all use the elevators religiously.

I’m going to go ahead and apologize in advance for the length of this post.  I’ve been living in my head all weekend because my niece is visiting.  She’s the niece that’s older than me and used to beat me up, (because isn’t that fucking hilarious.  🙄)  She asked me earlier why I never seem to relax.  In my head, Michelle Obama and Lisa Bloom both looked at me and mouthed, “Don’t answer.”  So I’m bugging you instead.  Nope.  They didn’t say, “Don’t blog.”  🙃

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 26: Drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 26, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Mick Fleetwood looks a lot like my dad did now, which is an awful lot like Santa Claus.  Cool.

Oh yeah, I promised to tell my cocaine story.  In the Army, when you get promoted to SGT, you have to dump all your friends who aren’t SGT’s.  When I got promoted, the woman who dropped me as a friend when she got promoted became my mentor while I made the transition.  I was delighted to be able to hang out with her again.  She’s probably in the top five coolest people I’ve ever met.  Anyway, the night of my promotion, she invited me to hang out.  I accepted.

I didn’t even realize the NCO’s (non-commissioned officers) were coming together to celebrate my promotion until they brought out the cake.  It was the point where my being upset over losing my few friends became, “Oh wow, I’m an NCO now.”  It felt pretty good to have them acknowledge my achievement.  The only thing I’d ever actually said to most them before was, “Yes, SGT.”  Soon, bottles of beer were passed around, (and I passed because I don’t drink.)  No problem, no pressure, yay.  We listened to music, and they shared stories while I sat listening in awe.

After a while, the SSG (who totally looked like an Ewok, and made me dig a 6′ x 6′ x 6′ hole for pointing it out,) started passing around a picture he took off the wall with lines of cocaine on it.  They passed it around to everyone.  Everything seemed to be in slow motion to me, as my brain sorted through what was going on.  By the time the picture came to me, I knew the wisest choice was to follow suit.  In hindsight, I think it was a test.  But I’m not sure.  Anyway, my ignorant ass took the rolled up dollar bill with shaking hands, arranged a neat line with the razor, and blew it all off the picture.  Sigh.

There was a pause.  To me, it was excruciatingly long, but it probably wasn’t in reality.  Then my mentor punched me in the shoulder while they all laughed weirdly.  (Look.  If you’re not supposed to blow it, then why the fuck do they call it blow?  Which is more logical?  Snorting it up your nose?  Or following the obvious instructions in the nickname?  I still haven’t managed to live it down…)  I just wish more care was taken in naming things, that’s all.  So that pretty much ended the party, but the cake was delish.

The reason I knew I had to go along was this:  These men and women were the backbones of my unit.  They literally ran it from day to day and kept us prepared to deploy to war with 72 hours notice at all times.  Accusing them of using an illicit drug, (a career ending mistake), wasn’t an option.  Fortunately, I was fresh out of leadership training and was able to recognize it immediately.  The unwritten rules.  Had I refused to go along, I would have separated myself from the NCO’s, and become a pariah.  When I was a private, my instinct would have been to refuse and report.

If it was a test, I passed, (but barely.)  I’ve never actually ingested cocaine.  That’s the only time anyone ever offered me any.  Oh no, wait.  When I visited the aquarium in the inner harbor in Baltimore, some random guy waved at me to step outside, so I did.  Then he asked me if I wanted some crack.  I didn’t understand the question, so he walked away.  Now I know what crack is, so that’s my only other experience with it.  I’m a weed only woman.  I’ll vape cannabis, but no on the rest.  (And only in states where it’s legal, because the consequences are out of the question, and a cop could stare a confession out of me in five minutes.  Okay, less.)

It’s fusilli Jerry.

The rest of my Stevie Nicks music and videos arrived yesterday.  I’m further along with the In Your Dreams documentary.  I had to pause again when Stevie Nicks went to visit military people at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital.  The footage was from 2005, so it was a few years after I was at Walter Reed.  As a disabled veteran, there aren’t words for how much we appreciate such visits.

I’m overwhelmed in a good way.  First I find a unicorn in plain sight (Stevie Nicks,) then I discover she makes rainbows in her spare time.  I don’t know a better way to express it.  I’ve been beating on my drums, trying to match Mick Fleetwood beat for beat on Dreams from the Rumours album.  The first time, I spent most of the song like a deer in headlights.  I didn’t want to mess up the song by playing wrong notes, but I wasn’t ready to play the right ones.

It turns out; I needed to learn how to play the blues first.  I practice the forty drum rudiments, then play along to blues songs in my drum module.  At some point, it clicked.  Now I like the blues.  I didn’t recognize the rock connection before now.  Now I can match him for the first half of the song consistently.  Unfortunately, I get too excited at that point and ruin it.  At least it makes me laugh, and I won’t stop until I can nail it every time.  Good thing I love practicing.

After playing on a studio grade acoustic kit for two hours, I figured out why acoustic drums are necessary.  While my electronic drum kit is all kinds of awesome, it’s a different experience.  I  remember the fullness of sound being nearly tangible while playing the acoustic kit.  I still smile when I think about it.  I plan on booking more time on the acoustic kit in the future.  Real cymbals are fucking fabulous compared to electronic versions.  I can’t wait till next time.

 

I’ve been dating a guy I met at the gym for just over a year now.  I adore him, but he’s getting on my nerves.  His sister is visiting from India, and I’m spending more time with her than him.  It’s logical to me because she goes home in August.  I told him I’d rather hang out with her if I have to choose.  He said I don’t have to choose.  I’m glad.  His sister likes Stevie Nicks as much as I do.  He asked if we could watch something else while we were watching the documentary.  🙄

I have a feeling he’s not going to be thrilled by the rest of the videos.  Welp.  His sister and I have a Twilight marathon in the works, to boot.  I think he has to work this weekend, anyway.  I understand he wants me to spend more time with him doing what he wants to do.  We’ll have to talk about it again from this more accurate perspective.  I’m sure we can work something out.  I’m off to firm up plans for a Twilight marathon.  Squee!