June 17th, 2004

mandolin

Mandomaina!

Today was my mandolin lesson. I'm going to try to do a better job of updating my journal after a mandolin lesson. If nothing else, I can update with the song Jeff teaches me each week.

This week, Jeff showed me Billy In The Lowgrounds. It's a fun song. It's still rolling around in my head. Last week, he showed me Sugarfoot Rag, which was also lots of fun.

My lesson went OK. I hadn't practiced a lot last week, due to lots of reasons. Work's been keeping me busy, and tired. I had a major touch of insomnia earlier this week, which kept me up late, and I've been living an exhausted life ever since. I should have played my mandolin while suffering the insomnia, but I played Grand Turismo on the Playstation 2 instead. I usually get to my lesson at least fifteen minutes -- usually thirty -- early, which gives me enough time to warm up and refresh my memory on this week's song. Today, I couldn't get out of work 'till almost the last minute, and only arrived about five minutes early for my lesson. Oh, well. Even with my bad week for practicing, I did OK. One of the things that Jeff was impressed about was my ability to keep the song going in my head so that when I mess up and miss a run or two, I can pick it up down the road without messing up the rhythm of the song. It's a good skill to have when playing with other people. It's also something that I get pretty good at, 'cause I mess up a bit -- especially in a "pressure" situation, like my lessons seem to be for me.

After my lesson, I came back home for a quick supper. After some yummy sushi, I headed back downtown for the twice-monthly High Lonesome Strings jam session. It's been a few months since I've hung out with those folks. It was lots of fun. I even took a break for two songs: Red Haired Boy and Soldier's Joy. I was able to keep up with most of the other songs, just playing chords. I think I really need to learn Will The Circle Be Unbroken, because that seems to be a good song that they play every time to close the jam.

It was lots and lots of fun. I played for hours. My fingers hurt. But it's the good kind of hurt. I'm definitely going to need to start going to the jam sessions every time. I'm also going to have to go to a local barber shop on the 2nd Sunday of every month for a jam session, too. One of the guys at tonight's session said that the jam at the barber shop is in danger of being cancelled due to lack of participation -- he was the only one who showed up with an instrument this month.

After the jam session, I headed back to the office 'cause I had unfinished work that needed to be done tonight. I spent about an hour making up estimates for a development project which are wildly inaccurate, because I was making up estimates without having any requirements. *shrug* I put in a big disclaimer that my estimates were likely extremely inaccurate.
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drmellow's Reading List

I've caught up on my reading. In fact, I'm now ahead of where I need to be to achieve my goal of reading 12 books this year. In the past month, I've read three books: Hometown Hero,
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I've caught up on my reading. In fact, I'm now ahead of where I need to be to achieve my goal of reading 12 books this year. In the past month, I've read three books: <i>Hometown Hero</i>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570089949/johnnycashtri-20";><i>Sarah</i></a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/076534128X/johnnycashtri-20";><i>Rebekah</i></a>. They were all quick reads. <i>Hometown Hero</i> because it was pulp. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570089949/johnnycashtri-20";><i>Sarah</i></a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/076534128X/johnnycashtri-20";><i>Rebekah</i></a> because they were terribly engrossing.

If the women in Genesis interest you, I highly recommend <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570089949/johnnycashtri-20";><i>Sarah</i></a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/076534128X/johnnycashtri-20";><i>Rebekah</i></a>. I'm sure I'll also highly recommend <i>Rachael & Leah</i>, but it's not been released yet. Orson Scott Card really puts some meat on the matriarchs and tell the Genesis stories from their perspective. I think it was great fiction. The theology was good -- Card did take some liberties, but at least he told the reader when and where he was doing so (via the Introduction and/or Afterword). Reading those three books so quickly brings my annual book count up to seven so far.

It's good to be ahead of my goal, 'cause I just picked up <i>The Covenant</i> by Mitchner, which is something approaching a bazillion pages long. I've conquered three of those bazillion pages. I think I'm going to really enjoy this book. I chose it over all the other Mitchner books out there 'cause it was the only one that was sitting on the lend-a-book shelf at the office.