Archive for the ‘@ The Red Butt’ Category

Movin’ On Up

Photo © 2009 Stan Syckes

Ok, so about that apartment I mentioned …

I’ve actually been pretty quiet about the whole apartment saga on this blog as 1) I thought the band stuff was way more interesting and 2) the whole story was kind of a blur. I didn’t have much time to process it all, much less feel like I could write about it. Anyway, here’s a brief, listed synopsis of it all:

  • Monday, 6/29 – After deciding to look for a new apartment months ago, we finally go to see first one. It’s in a building located in the east 60’s and includes both a gym and laundry but we aren’t fans of the apartment, itself.
  • Thursday, 7/2 (Afternoon) – The plan was for Cassie to check out a few more apartments on this second outing before I got home from work. I’d catch up with her upon returning home, but as it happened she was just leaving the last of the apartments as I arrived. Luckily, Cassie said she wasn’t a big fan of any of the places she saw. She did, however, make a date with the broker showing her around for early the next day to go look at another batch.
  • Thursday, 7/2 (Night) – Cassie heard back from a broker that an apartment in the building directly behind us was open and we could check it out that very night. We went over, picked up the keys from the doorman and let ourselves in. The cleaning man was the only soul in the place and he let us look around for an hour. However, it only took 5 minutes to realize this was the apartment we wanted: bigger than our current place but in the same great location; not that much more expensive; included a dishwasher in the kitchen, a gym upstairs, and laundromat downstairs; housed a glass-encased pool on the roof; and offered an open sunroof with an amazing view. We immediately emailed the broker back and said we wanted it.
  • Friday, 7/3 – Meet at broker’s office to sign application, pay $500 fee to get apartment unlisted, and get credit background checks.
  • Monday, 7/6 – Thursday, 7/9 – Fax a shit load of paperwork to the broker. I think these jobs were the only the second things I have ever faxed in my life so I was actually nervous operating the fax machine!
  • Friday, 7/10 – Met with the broker and (unbeknown to us) the owners of the apartment at the broker’s office. We handed over all the leftover paperwork and, after about an hour, we left feeling pretty good. The owners appeared to like us and were very easy going about everything. We were told that all the paperwork was going to be delivered to the condo committee who would give us the ultimate approval. We had no idea how long this process would take.
  • Monday, 7/20 – Received an email from broker that we had been approved by the committee and that the apartment was officially ours!!

Anyway, sorry I’ve been so quiet on here but I’ve now spent every night/day since we heard we got the apartment cleaning, packing and planning for the move (it happens Tuesday)! Give me a few more days and I’m sure I’ll be back to talking about basketball ….

Current Mood: Excited emoticon Excited

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  • Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 16:19 | #1

    obligatory asshole Stever VA Trip part 2 comment

TWITTER: Haricut

Getting this moptop hacked about 2 weeks later than I should have. Never been good with haircuts …

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TWITTER: Zelda Youtube

Watched a video of someone beating NES Zelda in 30 mins. I barely played it but remembered a ton.

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TWITTER: New Apartment!

Breaking news: dream apartment is ours >:)

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Oh, Yes, That Apartment Will Be Mine

This just in!

I’ve just received word that the apartment we have been wanting is now officially ours! More to come when I have a chance to blog!

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  • Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 16:33 | #1

    when’s the second part to the Virginia Weekend showing up?

  • Zepmoon
    Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 15:15 | #2

    How about an address so we can Google map your new place.

Guitar Sim


I picked up my amp a little over two years ago: the Vetta II essentially simulates something like 40 other, famous amps and allows you to tweak these sounds to your specification. Want to run your guitar through both a Marshall JCM 900 and a 5-watt amp that fits on your belt? The Vetta II can make that dream a reality! And, after many a tweak, I found a guitar tone I really liked.

However, the Vetta II weighs 100 pounds or so and just doesn’t make sense to roll into our weekly rehearsals at UltraSound Studios. And, since I have only invested maybe $25 total into pedals (the crappy, orange Boss Distortion from a decade ago) this means I’ve had to rely on the amps (good) in these rooms as well as their distortion (god awful). So, while I enjoy the power and loudness I receive, the actual tone of my guitar during rehearsals leaves much to be desired. This, in turn, limits my inspiration – I just don’t feel like me as I’m playing – and as a result my playing suffers. This predicament really shouldn’t be a surprise, however, since the distortion on these amps have become so muddy after being in constant use 24-hours a day, 7-days a week by random people at different levels. Ugh.

Well, the solution to the problem is to bring in your own effects pedals, plug your guitar to them, and have the output go to a clean (non-distortion) amp. Therefore, you retain the great, loud presence these superior amps are still capable of producing while not being tethered to their dilapidated (and extremely limited) distortion effect. Now, as I mentioned before, I’m not much of an effects man (remember, I only paid $25 for a crappy pedal in my guitar playing career) so I didn’t know where to really start with taking this route. I really like the tone I get from my amp, so I decided to surf around and see if its producer (Line 6) created any effects pedals. And voila! I hit the mother load!!!

I came across the Pod X3 Live … essentially a simulation effects pedal (much like my simulation amp). It basically condenses the majority of what my amp can do into something the size of a large computer keyboard (well, minus any amplification). This means I can recreate the exact sound I like on my Vetta II amp into this pedal and play with “my sound” anywhere! I’ll be testing it out at tonight’s rehearsal for the first time. We also are auditioning another singer tonight, so I’ll be back with how everything went.

Long live the stanus.butt follies!

    Site Updates

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TWITTER: Iphone Scratch

I’ve had this iPhone for 4 weeks … Already has a scratch 🙁

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Get Ready To Ignore This One

Big news.

My basketblog site is no long located at projectnbasim.com. Nay! It is now nba-sim.com!!! I always did hate that “project” part of the name, but nbasim.com was (and still is) taken. I’m not a fan of hyphens in domain names (I’m looking at you, Z-News), but I felt this was easier to remember and made more sense than a random “project” at the beginning. So, update all of your bookmarks … man, I can just feel all the appreciation for this announcement from here!!

Oh, and a quick thanks to Brandon. Sure, he can’t update his own blog, but he did help me figure out how to get the new domain working on NBA Sim.

Current Mood: Conquering the NBA Stats World One Step at a Time emoticon Conquering the NBA Stats World One Step at a Time

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We Got Problems …


And now, the sad, tragic conclusion to the Rock Thrillogy: a tale teemed with such promise, such excitement only to be crushed down in its final days!


Rock: A Blog Thrillogy

Part 1: In Which Our Hero Describes The Detection of a Musical Compatriot of Equal Greatness
Part 2: In Which Our Hero Forms the Nucleus of a Musical Juggernaut
Part 3: In Which Our Hero is Reunited with his Mighty Excalibur
you are here » Part 4: In Which The Ship Be Sinking

It was almost a month ago since I last checked in on this thing I’ve called the “Rock Thrillogy.” Basically, it was just going to be a three-piece series of blogs that dealt with the sudden rise of both my band and my optimism with music again. I had reconnected with a great drummer, found a great singer, and had my number one guitar finally fixed after over a year of being on the shelf. I was ready to start making some heavy progress.

Which is why I added that mysterious 4th link in the Rock Thrillogy: TBD. I wanted to finish the three-, now four-part series with another huge piece of news so I was waiting out for one. I didn’t have to wait long as Brendan, the singer, brought a bassist friend of his (named Sam) to our third rehearsal. The practice session was a bit of a mess as John, the drummer, was stuck at work until the very last 30 minutes. Therefore, Sam really didn’t get a feel of the whole band’s sound for very long and no one really got loose. But he (the bassist) did seem to be interested and even talked about places where we might be able to play gigs at (he was quite the connected guy).

I was going to make this the fourth and final blog post, but I was caught up in the speed of things progressing and too lazy to stop to comment on them. Right before the next practice, Brendan announced he had contracted lyme disease over the weekend and was going to be out of commission for the next couple of weeks due to medication. I still set up a rehearsal so John and I could give Sam a more accurate picture of how we sounded, but scheduling conflicts caused the session to end up going from 10-12 AM on a Wednesday night. This was definitely not something any of us are used to, but dammit if that was when we had to practice, then that’s when we’d practice!! John and I showed up but at the very last second Sam emailed saying he was stuck at work and couldn’t make it. John and I forged on, trying to make the rehearsal as productive as it could. But I was now stuck in limbo – nothing surrounding the band seemed concrete enough to be able to blog about. And none of it certainly was exciting or uplifiting. So, I held my breath for another week.

This next week, we set up our regularly scheduled Thursday 8-10 PM rehearsal. Brendan emailed saying he was still recovering but that he might be ready to go the following week. Just six hours before practice was to start the enigmatic Sam emailed saying he believed himself to be stretched too thin musically and couldn’t commit the appropriate time to our band. That’s right, even though he had been well aware of this Thursday rehearsal for several days he decided to tell us just 6 hours before it was occurring that he was quitting the band. John and I met up at Mustang Harry’s – our local pub, I guess – and I got a little too drunk. We played through our songs and I showed him the beginning of a new one I was composing but the practice was less than stellar: I was too drunk to really play coherently and the mood was grim.

The next week was a busy one for me and I couldn’t lock down a practice date that the remaining members of the band could agree upon so we let it go. Yet another week wasted.

However, I entered this past weekend with high hopes. Brendan emailed us announcing that not only was he free from his disease but that he was available to rock out Tuesday night. I knew that there might be a potential problem with John’s schedule for this particular night so I cleared it with him first before booking a session for 8-10 PM. Which leads to this morning: I’m at my office desk, guitar sitting on the floor next to me after commuting to work with it. I am finally ready to move on with the band now that the singer is back on board and we have a new song to work with. The past month was a terribly frustrating experience to go through but things (and feelings) would just have to start moving in an upward direction for this band. Right?

As I sign into my mail I notice there’s one from Brendan. I guess maybe he has some suggestions for tonight’s practice. Oh, what’s this? He was lying about having lyme disease in the first place and was just dedicating all of his time to writing scripts? And he’s quitting the band. Great!

I sat there and looked at the screen for a few minutes. Did I misread this? I re-read. Nope, he had lied about having lyme disease and was quitting the band. Now, I have no problem with someone quitting any band for a good reason. If he feels like he wants to pursue another field and believes music would take up too much time away from that pursuit, I think it’s totally fair of him to quit and I wish all the luck to him. But what I don’t understand is why he strung us along for a month? During those four weeks we pretty much wasted 3 rehearsals (over $100 of our own money and 6.5 hours of our time), merely treading water until his return. If he had just communicated earlier with some common courtesy, we probably could’ve found a new bassist, new singer or both by now. To make things a little more personal, though, he waited to tell us his plans the DAY OF a rehearsal that HE SUGGESTED!!!! Now there’s no way we can cancel this one, either. The whole thing really rubbed me the wrong way.

Anyway, there’s your fourth update. Band morale is at an all time low, but John and I are determined to still meet up today, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start taking those painful, initial steps forward again.

UPDATE: I should add that several weeks ago John said he felt Brendan’s head was out of the game. We talked about it for a while and I think I convinced him that Brendan really must have been sick and that, either way, we had to move on thinking he’d be back. Don’t worry, readers, I immediately sent a humbling “you were right, I was wrong” email to John when we got Brendan’s resignation.

Current Mood: Angry emoticon Angry

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  • Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 12:40 | #1

    your ship is named Murdock??? MouseOver

  • Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 12:43 | #2

    Ha … an obvious mistake, but I think I’ll keep it.

  • Thursday, July 30th, 2009 at 17:37 | #3

    What??

    That is the craziest thing I’ve heard in a long time. I guess he was subconsciously giving you a hint. As in Lie-(m) disease. Lyme Disease? If you make up the fact that you contracted Lyme Disease, is it inevitable that someone will ask you where you were when you were infected? And then you have to make up something like:

    “I threw my Aerobee into the bushes in Central Park and…”

    “Oh. I was out hiking upstate.”

    “I frequent a fly-by-night petting zoo and…”

    Well, then again. He is a writer.

    Good luck with your efforts. Musicians. It’s like herding cats into an icy lake.

TWITTER: Broken Sandal

I blew out my sandal in the middle of central park. Fun!!! 🙁

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