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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 176′ Monday Melancholy’

As I pulled up my chair to the large dining table where our guests had gathered, I took the time to survey the company I was to keep for the next few hours, old friends and colleagues of my other half, but strangers to me.
Being amongst a group of strangers is nothing new to me, something as a performer I have experienced over and over again. As the clatter of getting comfortable at the table began to die down and with pleasantries out of the way, I watched the decay into an awkward silence as people sat quietly, seemingly not knowing what to do next. If there is one thing in this life I know I am good at, it’s putting people at ease and bringing them out of their shell. But being good at something does not necessarily equate to enjoying it. The silence was deafening, and I could hear my inward weary sigh as I began to fill the void. I smiled at the chap opposite me and asked a question. His face lit up like an abandoned Christmas candle met with flame. He proceeded to answer my question in extraordinary detail, barely pausing for breath. I sat there, keeping his gaze, nodding my head as he enthusiastically filled in every conceivable blank. As he finally came to a pause on that answer, he looked at me like a starving puppy, beseeching me for more. As I studied his face, in my head, I saw Oliver Twist raising his bowl. “Please, sir, I want some more.” I felt other eyes upon me now, staring, waiting, wanting to be involved. And as always, I obliged. Around the table I went, getting people to talk about their lives, loves, interests, jobs, and family. With momentum finally in play, the conversation began to flow freely, unaided from me. Everyone was happy, the tinker of cutlery on plates drowned out by the multiple chatters being thrown about like confetti. My job done, I sat back quietly in my chair and finished my dinner. As the evening came to a close, it was apparent people had been buoyed by the outing. “We really must do this again, what a great night.” As we gathered in the car park saying our goodbyes, eyes turned to me, as the person I started the conversations with said, “Oh it was so lovely to meet you……um…..er…Sally? Was it? Oblivious to all but my other half, that no one had asked me anything, let alone my name, I just said, “sure, it was nice to meet you too.” I’ve learned not to take this personally because it isn’t. I have observed over the last few years how much people ‘don’t ask.’ Many will fob it off as being introverted, yet time and again, these same folk are more than happy to talk about anything if asked. I believe people are starved of any interest being shown in them and in return show no interest in others. I have an old friend with a running joke of how I’ve educated him on the art of “try asking a question.” I’ve had people sit at my dinner table consistently every week for nearly a year that know absolutely nothing about me, but I know everything about them. I’ve observed these same people talk at each other, but not with each other. The game seems to be, wait until the other person finishes so I can start talking again. Not much listening appears to be happening. On the journey home, hubby observed my drained state. Being a facilitator is exhausting. Part of the reason I stay with this blog is it’s one of the few places I have genuine conversations with people. Truthfully I expected it to peter out, as my face to face interactions with people would suggest no one would be interested. That in itself is an interesting fact that my fidgeting brain would love to know why. These days I tend to find I am content in my own company for much of the time, it’s far less isolating than being at a table where no one sees you as anything more than a fire starter. The art of great conversation, I grieve its loss.

Thanks for listening,
Until tomorrow!
Stevie x

MY BLOG: Every day for a year.
Day 175 ‘ Silly Sunday’

Well, I smiled 🙂 Thx Holly Erin Campbell

Until tomorrow.
Stevie.

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 174′ Saturday Sounds.’ (Guitarist only really. Everyone else will fall off the snooze log……stories to resume shortly 🙂

The cheap SX Strat picked up from Pakenham Music for about $250, (before getting the Fender Strat) has a solid neck and body, although the back of the neck has had a slight going over with 1200 grit sandpaper to take off the shine and give it a satin feel. We’ve also taken off one of the string trees, more in the lines of the way Leo Fender did on his guitars. The single coil pickups with ceramic magnets sound pretty good but have since had a treble bleed circuit installed. The trem system has been blocked off as it is unlikely ever to be used, there’s a Fender for that if ever needed. The tuners were just the crappiest vintage style, with the low E tuners already slipping, and needed assistance to turn on the second string change. These have now been replaced by a set of Gotoh locking vintage tuners, these feel great, and with being locking tuners, string changes are quick, and stability is improved. The internal electronics are ok; however, one of the tone pots did have the thread around the post come free, and it needed to be swapped out.

Still to go, replace the plastic nut with a bone one and update the remaining string tree with one that lessens the friction. Other improvements might be to add a push-pull pot to activate the neck pickup when in positions 1 and 2 and upgrade the cavity and pickguard shielding to reduce a bit more Hum

Here endeth the nerd session!

Thanks for listening.
Until tomorrow!
Stevie x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 170 ‘ Tuesday Talents.’

Today’s blog is inspired by a friend responding to the AMA Sunday sessions. The gist of it is, how do you rekindle lost interest? We’ve all been there. One moment you’re all over something, enthusiasm beams from every part of you. The next it’s like swimming through wet concrete that is moments away from setting. Ebb and flow are healthy, but when that downflow lingers far longer than it should, it’s time to examine why. In my experience, it is little things that can push you one way or the other. Too many of those little things and suddenly you’re standing on a crumbling cliff, carrying these massive angsty boulders. It’s tough to remain enthused with the ground falling apart. Small amounts of positive affirmation or validation can be the difference in someone’s day. It doesn’t have to be much, and just a kind word will do it. I’d like to see as many people post something about their talent. A painting/picture (Sharon Van Ert, today’s inspiration for this post), a sculpture, a knitted jumper, a restoration, a song, a poem, a photograph, a garden, the list is endless. Anything that shows your talent.
Don’t think me too altruistic, I might be just mining for people with particular skills 😀 Rightio off ya go…show me what you’ve got!

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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Day 169 ‘ Monday’s Marvellous Mutleys.’

Keep on those questions for yesterday’s post. I’ll be getting to those shortly. Monday’s are generally a sluggish day for everyone, but this post I stole from Shane Pacey brought a smile to my dial. I am this person 🙂 I’ve never been without dogs. I couldn’t imagine life without them. They go where I go. Guess I better track down some Steely Dan!

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 168 ‘ AMA Sunday session.’

So here’s an idea put to me by a fellow blogger — the AMA Sunday session.
AKA Ask Me Anything 🙂 I’m doing an eye squint as this one, it has merit, but frankly I’m not that interesting. Before anyone feels they need to provide comfort to my self-deprecation, keep in mind, I kind of like it that way:-). But I am interested in a more interactive dynamic than just me having a yak. It doesn’t have to be a question to or about me personally, just something you’d like to throw out into the ether for a general chit chat. So here it is, ask away. This one stays open until next Sunday, but I’ll be partaking in any questions through the week. The best question (determined by likes and interaction) wins a free T-shirt.

Ask me anything………………..but make it a gooden! )

Until tomorrow! Thanks for being here.

Stevie x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 167 ‘ Saturday Sounds.’

My second guitar came into my life at the tender age of ten. I was only three months into learning to play when my classmate decided to use my first guitar as a hammer! My then music teacher, (after advising me that my fists were not the best way to seek justice) presented me with his guitar. He’d had it for some years and had always taken great care of it. I’ve forever treasured it and kept it under glass somewhat. Many years later, he came to see me at a show and presented me with pictures of my broken guitar (patched up) hanging above his mantlepiece. He claims a good trade, but I reckon I got the better end of the deal. I’ve had it out recently to do some recording with, and I’m pretty chuffed with the results. It’ll be nice to present him with a CD when completed. For interested guitar buffs, it’s a very decent instrument. Martin D18 copy. (One of the lawsuit guitars Martin V Takamine.) Takamine conceded, and the case never went to court. A little bit of trivia for your Saturday 🙂 (Pardon the puppy photobomber)

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 166 ‘ Second Wind.’

An unusual case of ‘grumpysaditis’ (courtesy Paigepedia) beset me yesterday. It’s tough not to let the mindset of others impact you. I’m mostly pretty resilient, but occasionally one gets through. Happy to report all systems are now functioning normally and your regular services shall recommence forthwith.
Here’s your Friday funny for those wondering what to have for lunch/dinner today. 🙂

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 165 ‘ Not ready to tell this story.’

A wonderful man once told me, write what you know. He was talking about music, but it translates to most anything creative I believe. Imagination is all very well, but truth has an authenticity to it that makes it relatable. I started down the short story path and decided for my comfort to write from the perspective of a character, mostly because I didn’t want to be in it. It’s quite tricky to manufacturer a fictional world around an event that happened. I’ve realised I’m not quite ready to tell this story, and when I am, it has to be what I experienced. Apologies to anyone that was reading, I will come back to it, but for now, I’m just going to put it in the freezer and will revisit at a later time. Thanks for the indulgence and opportunity to experiment. Every day brings a little lesson does it not 🙂

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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Day 164 ‘ Short Story Tales-Part Two.’ (Part One Previous Blog Post)

The door was so heavy, almost pushing back as Rinty ventured her face through the opening. Slithering light escaped past the curtain gaps and danced with the dust particles created by the door draft. A thick air of ‘old’ greeted her as she stepped into the room. “Oh, for heaven’s sake” came the impatient voice, “come in and sit down.” Rinty dithered, as Bru pushed past her with the confidence of a lion. Pulling up a chair like she owned the place, Bru turned to Rinty. “You heard what he said, for crying out loud hurry up and sit down.” Principal Thornley’s face looked sickly pale in the dimly lit room. Large brown eyes set against a round face, wild eyebrows, dark lips, and white koala tufts of hair upon his head. His business suit seemed heisted from another man’s body. As Rinty visually dressed him in long red robes and matching staff to boot, he disrupted her flow by firmly asking, ” Is there something you want to say young Rinty?” Burning cheeks for the second time in a day, Rinty mumbled into her chest, “no sir.” “Oh, yes, you do!” exclaimed Bru. “Go on tell him. You’re a wizard Harr……Mr. Thornley.” Guffaws of laughter expelled from Bru’s lungs, clearly much amused with herself. Thornley, unperturbed by the outburst, remained focused on Rinty. An unusual name isn’t it? ” Rinty bristled in defence. Without pausing, he continued, “but you’re an unusual person, aren’t you? “No, sir!” Rinty sharply spoke, “I am not anything of the sort.” Quickly checking her abrupt response, she continued more softly, “I’m just average everything, sir.” Cocking his bushy right brow ever so slightly, Thornley assessed the teenager in front of him. Average height and build. Short cropped curly hair, muddy red, with skin that looked like it had never seen the sun. “Indeed,” he said. “That is how you present yourself.” Rinty shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “Am I in trouble, sir?” Thornley pushed back in his chair, clasping his hands in front of him as he leaned upon the leather armrests. “I believe you are, but not with me.” Rinty shot a look at Bru, who had become like stone, not a flinch not a sound. Narrowing her eyes back at Thornley, she said with some disdain, “I’d like to go now.” Quietly making tracks back towards the classroom, Rinty paused as Bru languished behind. The black skies above were sending down large droplets of rain upon angry swirls of wind. “He knows,” came the cold and matter of fact statement from Bru. Rinty’s feet tapped nervously on the ground as she pulled up the jacket hood to cover her face. Darkness sitting wearily on her chest, she shut her eyes tightly against the oncoming storm….. (to be continued)