Friday, February 2, 2007

20 - Answers (Part 1)

Two of the questions this week require so much contemplation and thought that I'm going to answer them in a separate post (which I've been working on for a couple of days). Just to hold you all over (and because one of the questions is time sensitive), here are the answers to the rest.

Q: Brett Gobe - Earl Grey or Green Tea?
A: I'd have to go with Earl Grey. I'm not really a fan of Green Tea. I like my tea to have a bit of a kick, and green tea just doesn't do it for me.

Q: Lisa Jeffers - will the groundhog see his shadow?
A: Yes. This will result in six more weeks of winter, which could be extended to as many as eight more weeks of winter if he's REALLY spooked by his shadow. Along those lines, I wonder why there isn't a scale to this system? What if he's only slightly scared? Shouldn't that result in only two more weeks of winter? Just a thought.

Q: Adam Barnello - Rent or Buy? AKA, should I buy a house?
A: In my opinion, rent, then buy. Renting is a great way to get a feel for the city in which you live, and also gives you the opportunity to save up some money for a down payment. Once you have enough, I highly recommend buying. Interest rates are still low by historical standards, and you can lock yourself into a good rate. Home ownership is a good investment, so I'd say go for it when you're ready.

Q: Karyn Graves - Serena was pregnant?
A: Yes, as a matter of fact, she was. Now she is no longer pregnant. She is a mother. For those of you who aren't aware, Serena Blackmer gave birth to a baby girl on Monday. The baby's name is "Alexandra Mae Blackmer", and weighed in at 8 pounds 15 ounces. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Blackmer's and wish them all the best with their new daughter. For pictures and more details check out

Q: Bill Jeffers - And when do we get to hear more about this growing up thing? Everyone seems to be doing it lately so I thought I might try it. But if you want to demo it for me that would be great.
A: Let me use the occasion of your question to just ramble a bit, Bill. In the course of typing I think you'll see what I mean by "growing up". If not, then I'll try again later! Oh, and while I'm honored that you'd consider using me as a "demo", I wouldn't recommend it.

Things are a little crazy in my life right now. Work has gone from "really fun" to "not as much fun" in the space of about a month. My group was the victim of a reorganization, and as a result I'm working on things that I never really wanted to work on. Now, I'm still employed, and I still get to work with some really talented people, but unfortunately a lot of the joy (for lack of a better word) has gone out of my job. This is something that has never really applied to me before; I'm one of those fortunate enough to really like what I do for a living. But ever since the reorganization I'm not as happy as I usually am. Am I complaining too much? Yeah, I think so. Do other people have it worse than me? Absolutely. But I have to be honest with myself. This change has me feeling more cynical and disaffected than I normally am, and frankly I don't like it. I know that I need to change my attitude, but actually changing it has proven difficult. Part of my "growing up" is dealing with all aspects of this situation. It's been interesting to say the least.

In addition there is tension in my band lately as well. It basically boils down to everyone in the band being happy with playing shows in and around Rochester / Syracuse / Buffalo except for our trumpet player. He has grand aspirations for this band which I do not share. I (and everyone else in the band) am perfectly happy working for a living and playing music as a hobby, while he wants to make a living playing music. This has led to some tense inter-band discussions of late, and I don't see that situation changing. The whole situation has me feeling on edge and nervous, and as with my work changes has taken a lot of the joy out of drumming. In another month I'll begin working on my third album (tentatively titled "I Hope You Didn't Pay Money For This"), and maybe that will turn my attitude around. Who knows?

Finally, recent events in my life and the lives of others have thrown certain things into focus for me. I'm starting to realize that if I wait for my life to settle down then I'll never get anything done, and that I need to decide what it is I want and just go for it. If I worry too much about the consequences, if I continue to second-guess myself, I'm never going to live up to my potential as a human. This may require change. Then again, it might not. I don't know yet. When I figure it out, you'll be the first to know.