A Few Notes…

Here are a few random things that are on my mind at the moment…

  1. I’m still kind of sick.  Mostly just drained.  Plus, my sinuses and throat are fairly swollen.  Swollen enough that it kind of hurts to open my mouth too widely (that’s on account of the throat) and a couple of times throughout the work day, it just got pain HARD to look at the computer screen and I just had to close my eyes for a little bit.  (I swear did NOT go to sleep!)  Kind of a shame that I consider that, “better” than earlier in the week, right?
  2. I read online that Mike Portnoy has quit the band Dream Theater.  Portnoy’s been their drummer for about 25 years and is a founding member.  He’s also done a ton of work behind the scenes as a producer, semi-manager, product overseer…etc, etc…  According to him, he wanted a “break” and the other guys didn’t, so he quit.  A few points on this…so let’s do this in “bullets…”
    • I don’t ever know how much to buy of any one person’s story in a band-split…but I kind of believe that.  However, what with him recently taking up full-time drumming duties for Avenged Sevenfold (who presently are better known than DT—Hmm…), having regularly occurring events with bands like Transatlantic, and still working on every side project in the industry…I don’t know what a “break” would be, nor why he would need it from Dream Theater, and not all his side projects…one of which mysteriously went “permanent” in Avenged Sevenfold… 
    • Portnoy’s proven himself to be a little “mouthy” over the past few years (and I should know—we can recognize our own) having called out Geoff Tate of Queensryche (referring to him as “Geoff Taint”—as though we’re in seventh grade) for having privately commented to a mutual friend that he didn’t like Mike—note PRIVATELY.  Portnoy also took a blow at his own fans in the song “Never Enough” on the “Octavarium” record, complaining that some of them have the audacity to not like some of his music—GASP!—and don’t show proper appreciation for all he “does for us” (sic).  On the Maiden tour, when I saw them, during their song “As I Am” Mike kind of backhandedly cheap-shotted the fans AGAIN in replying to the lyric, “feeling like the underdog” with the words, “That’s been every night on this tour!”  (Funny…but maybe don’t pick on the fans of the band you’re supporting, Mike.)  Even his appearance in the Rush documentary this year seemed a little bit like he was bragging for being able to play “La Villa Strangiato,” as though he’s the only one who can.  Not the best PR man in the business.  Might not be bad to have someone else do the talking for a while.
    • I don’t really know what anyone whose been in the same band for 25 years (and made his NAME with that band) plans on accomplishing by walking away from it.  Sorry…but Mike, you are the drummer for Dream Theater.  That’s who you ARE in most people’s minds.  Now you’re the guy who USED to be the drummer for Dream Theater.  You’ll never escape that.  You are irreversibly linked to that band FOREVER.  So why leave it?  This is neither profitable for Portnoy nor that band…both have been tarnished in the parting.  Why torpedo something that’s been your bread and butter for a quarter of a century?  I just don’t get that.  (Even though the band and Mike have publicly wished each other well, I sense a tinge of bitterness in Mike’s official statement…and that just doesn’t make anyone look good.)  Sorry…just how I see it…I may be wrong.
    • In some ways, this might be a good move.  I’m one of the fans who hasn’t liked a lot of the DT material ever since Portnoy (and Petrucci, to a lesser extent) took over the producing duties…  I’ve been saying for a couple of years that they benefit from an outside producer and they should really bring one back in.  So maybe this is a blessing in disguise for the band.  I guess time (and the next record) will tell.
    • I get the sense that Mike will be back.  It may take time…but a “reunion” gig is almost inevitable in this scenario, unless the rest of the band maintains a “sour grapes” facade and keeps him from coming back after he’s had time to cool off, or chill out, or whatever he needs to do.  I just imagine that both sides will eventually see that it’s more profitable to work together than to wither separately.
    • Still…can’t blame a guy for being worn out after 25 years.  I get it and I hope he gets the rest he needs from touring and recording by…uhh…touring and recording with someone else.  Ahem…  But seriously…  I think the evidence of him being burnt out dates as far back as the lyrics to “Never Enough” and hopefully, he’ll get energized, remember why he liked being in that band, and makes his “reunion” announcement before we even have time to miss him.  He’s been a big part of the band’s signature sound for 25 years, and even though I’ve clearly got mixed emotions about the guy, he’ll be missed.
    • Now…  Let’s see…replacement drummer for Mike Portnoy?  Tall order…and Neil Peart’s busy…
  3. Speaking of which, I’m still reading Neil Peart’s “Ghost Rider.”  I’m just shy of halfway through.  Reading a chapter or so a day.  I’d like to speed that up a little, but the chapters are pretty long and there’s only so long you can sit still these days.  I was warned that parts of it drag a little bit…but I either STILL haven’t gotten to those parts, or I just don’t mind it.  (I’m thinking it’s the latter…after all, I list “Gilead” and “History of Love” among my favorite books.)  Been a good read, and somehow a timely one, even though I’m certainly not going through anything like what Peart’s describing in the book.  I think it just serves as a good buffer between Vonnegut reads or something.
  4. Stuff at work is going pretty well, I think.  We bought some new office space and we’re pretty busy.  Lots of changes happening all at once—which I’m honestly not usually very good at dealing with, because I’m a creature of habit.  But they’re GOOD changes that I saw coming and am glad are happening.  So that’s easier.  Go Team Us Guys!
  5. You are NOW aware that the “ABCs” song has the same melody as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
  6. I need to buy drapes.  I’ve got blinds…but they look a little bare on their own.  Plus, I just got a new back door fastened onto the house and it needs something covering it other than the blue sheet I’ve tacked up.  (Yikes.)  I’m thinking the same drapes have to go over each of the respective light-giving holes in the walls.  My main color throughout the house is a chocolate-milk colored brown (they call it “Sands of Time” but I think they should call it “Peavley with Vitamin D Added”).  The back “accent” wall is a deep, espresso brown, as is my front door (and as the hallway doors soon will be, once the contractor is out of my bathroom).  I’m thinking that pushes the drapes into a “red” scheme.  Maybe a wine red to tie into the theme in the bathroom?  I think I like that.  The ladies at the office kept telling me to go for an “aqua” color in the drapes…but I really hate aqua (though that “Barbie Girl” song does sometimes get stuck in my head) and I can’t see living with it.  I can see living with wine red.  One of my favorite colors.  Even got a very expensive guitar in that color (my Les Paul).  I’m thinking I’ll go that route…maybe I’ll even look this weekend if I live through this cold or whatever I’ve got.
  7. A few months ago, a coworker of mine asked me if I could recommend a comic book for her (10-year-old?) son.  Of course, almost without thinking, I recommended “Bone“—my favorite of all comics, and my favorite of all stories.  She bought him the first “book” of the (BEAUTIFULLY colored) Scholastic edition this week as a reward for a good grade.  Apparently, he’s just devouring the thing and was pretty much through it in a day and begging for more.  (Fortunately, he’s got eight more “books” to work through.)  Good to know that something I love so much—and began loving when I was roughly that kid’s age, no less—still works for the current generation or youngsters.  Kinda cool how art can be timeless like that.
  8. I’ve been experiencing random bouts of absolutely irrational anger, related to being sick.  I’ve ALWAYS got some degree of irrational anger, and I’m aware of that.  (I blame my mother’s genes.)  But even today I was listening to someone tell a story about how he was watching his young cousins and some middle-aged ladies looked over at him.  He then felt compelled to explain that they were his cousins and it’s okay that he was playing with them.  I believe my exact words regarding the nosy ladies were, “F*ck them!  You don’t owe them anything!”  I’m still pretty sure I’m right about that…but I then proceeded to stew about it for about ten minutes.  Which is crazy.  It wasn’t even my story.
  9. Why is it that even when I’m not regularly working, I still want to buy new guitars and equipment?  I’m not even actively doing a recording project…but I saw a couple of things on the Internet this week and almost clicked “Add to Cart.”  Only thing that stopped me was the realization that I don’t have the money or available credit to buy much at the moment.  (Actually, my credit’s pretty good…but I’ve got a number I don’t want to exceed on the card, and I’m GOING to keep it down!)  I guess it’s just an addiction like anything else.
  10. I’m looking for an “oil-rubbed bronze” toned faucet for my bathroom sink.  Most everything else in the bathroom is bronze.  The shower door.  The towel bar.  The mirror and shelf mounts.  Etc.  The tarnished-toned silver that is on there now will just look out of place.  Unfortunately, the cheapest one I’ve found is $80, and that just seems like a LOT to spend on a bathroom faucet—especially since the cheapest one isn’t the one I want.  🙂  So, if anyone sees one on sale, let me know, okay?

…and that’s it for now.