Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Life Intervenes

Tito the vampire

© 2010 Stan Syckes

Wow, I’ve been away for a while now, haven’t I? Unlike hiatuses in the past, this one hasn’t been the result of apathy, writer’s block or boredom. Instead, I’ve been jonesing to do some work on this site and NBA Sim (!!!) but have succumbed to terrible timing! Pretty much every area of my life has increased in intensity … all at the same time!

I’ll spare you the boring details (for this post, anyway), but here’s the quick lineup: working in Brooklyn, putting in around 60 hours a week at work, funeral in Virginia, 5 guests staying in my apartment, and band ramping up practices getting ready for recording/gig. Something’s gotta give and I’m afraid it’s my hobbies (though I did manage to squeeze in an hour on Ninja Gaiden Sigma last Sunday).

I’m pretty exhausted and will finally have a couple days to myself this weekend. I hope to use some of that time to get all of my batshit projects (like [stanus.butt]) back up to snuff. So, look for the triumphant return of all this nonsense by Monday! Either way, you know I’ll keep all you bored people posted here!

    Site Updates:

  • Renamed Jungle Juice category title
  • Completely sanitized site from mentioning a certain person per their request

Current Mood: Bleary Eyed emoticon Bleary Eyed

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It’s Been A Bumpy Ride

An easy metaphor for my past two weeks

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster these past two weeks.

First, I finally got a huge burden off my shoulders. Wednesday the 21st, my emotions and patience were tested as the giant project I’ve been plugging away on at work finally “went live.” This was a momentous event as it was the culmination of my 3 years at my firm. I started out on this project as the “Robin” to my manager’s “Batman” but with all the twists and turns of multiple years, I ended up being the damn Batman with several Robins! What a strange trip.

When things didn’t go completely according to plan at the deadline, the atmosphere got extremely tense, people became a little crazy and there was a bit of a mad scramble to set things right. But, we succeeded in getting the beast out the door and work is finally coming back down to normal levels. I’m even beginning to get used to what free time outside of the office feels like again.

Coinciding with my work’s most intense point was my grandfather’s internment. The weekend of the 24th, I traveled to Cumberland, Maryland and – although I spent 18 hours aboard a bus, a metro, and driving a car – I ended up feeling way more emotionally exhausted than just plain tired. It was nice to see all of the clan, and it was comforting to honor Pop Pop’s life in a way that was equally grand and private, but I was super sensitive at times and found it hard to really do anything but what was on the agenda. The one night we were all together, for example, I was asleep by 10pm.

I’d love to throw in my two cents on some of the reflecting that I did during this period, but I’ll save it for another post (maybe). Meanwhile, enjoy far better recaps of the weekend at these links:

After being stretched to the absolute limit by stress one day and then faced with final loss the next, I almost didn’t care when I saw my NBA season end with the Mavericks getting ousted last Thursday. Yet, somehow, I found a few last ebbs of emotion somewhere deep in my bowels – enough to still experience that “reliable disappointment” of another losing Mavs season.

To be honest, there was a moment last week where – taking blow after emotional blow – I didn’t know what more to expect.

But fear not, dear reader! I haven’t succumbed to this assault of agitation. Just the opposite in fact, as I feel stronger having survived it all! Hell, with everything I just went through, this calls for a serious celebration. Get ready for something super awesome coming next week that will include all the greatest ingredients of []: archival material, witty commentary, music, photos, way too much information, and never-before-revealed … uh … revelations!

Take shelter! You’ll need it for this huge event.

    Site Updates:

  • Removed The Mothers of Invention – Absolutely Free (1967) from Currently Enjoying
  • Removed The Rolling Stones – Some Girls (1978) from Currently Enjoying
  • Added Carly Simon – No Secrets (1972) to Currently Enjoying
  • Added Outkast – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994) to Currently Enjoying
  • Separated out Dead Blog Categories into their own section on the sidebar
  • Created How It Used To Be [Backups 2003] from old Cool Edit Pro session and removed it from the To Do page
  • Altered recording page of musicDB: moved recording type to bottom of recording information
  • Added instrumentation, time worked, genre and lyrics data to recordings on El Demo [Disc 3] in musicDB
  • Altered song page of musicDB: Increased List View description size and 1-recording songs without descriptions now display the description of the recording
  • Increased List View description size and show all tracks on album page of musicDB
  • Added instrumentation, time worked, genre and lyrics data to recordings on The Home Stretch in musicDB

Current Mood: Relieved emoticon Relieved

Weighed Down

My anchor: work!

Ugh … I haven’t checked into here as much as I’d like to. In fact, I haven’t done as many things as I’d planned to for the past 2 months or so due to a large anchor that’s been weighing me down. Namely, work!

A huge project that I’ve been on and leading for the past year is finally ending this Wednesday, so it’s been a hectic last couple of weeks getting everything ready and making sure all goes according to plan. This means I’ve invested about 3 of my past 6 weekends to the office and I’ve been staying late every other night.

Anyway, hopefully things will calm down a bit once this beast is off my back and I can get to what’s really important … blogging at work!

    Site Updates:

  • Edited “Add a comment …” link to automatically scroll to comment form
  • Removed Matthew Sweet – Inside (1986) from Currently Enjoying
  • Removed Sneaker Pimps – Becoming X (1996) from Currently Enjoying
  • Added Slash – Slash (2010) to Currently Enjoying
  • Added Avenged Sevenfold – Sounding the Seventh Trumpet (2001) to Currently Enjoying
  • Removed Justice League Heroes [PS2] (2006) from Currently Enjoying

Current Mood: Busy Bee emoticon Busy Bee

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Down But Not Out

The Batman and I agree: UGH!

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve updated but I’ve run into a bunch of problems. First, I decided to change my blog theme. However, it wasn’t too shortly after I made this decision that I hit some serious crunch time at work. Then I visited the relatives down in Virginia for the usual, marathon Thanksgiving holiday. Then I return only to find that my site has been taken down by my hosting provider!!! And this is the second time they’ve done it, too! Who can’t handle WordPress – the industry standard blogging platform? Time to look for a new hosting provider.


Gotta pick myself up, make a list of all the things that need to happen here and just slowly get through it. We’ll make it, dear reader, if we do it together! Hmm … actually, as usual, I’ll do all the work. Sit tight.

Site Updates

Current Mood: Banged Up emoticon Banged Up

TWITTER: Bad Karaoke

Ugh … I’ve still never received any evidence contradicting the fact that karaoke is for non-musicians

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TWITTER: Forgot Keys

Just got home from work to find I left my keys on my desk. Back to work at 12am after a 13 hour day …

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TWITTER: Stolen Jacket

Ugh … My nice jacket is stolen from underneath my nose. Ah, New York

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TWITTER: Crazy 48 Hours

The last 48 hours have been a marathon: moving, work and only 3 hours of sleep. Huge crash coming soon …

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TWITTER: Iphone Scratch

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

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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


    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.