Another bug has seemingly worked its way into my system… again. This is the umpteenth time this winter, and I’m sick of being sick.
News for February 2006
My Latest Peeves
1) those people to whom I give money in advance for a service, and they don’t follow through on their part of the arrangement
2) people who drive slowly in the passing lane (left lane) on the freeway
3) people for whom I do work for and never pay me
4) me, for trusting people and having faith in humanity (see #3)
5) February in Wisconsin
6) Educated adults who can’t spell
The Continuing Ear Saga
My ear hasn’t stopped ringing. It’s been almost a week. I don’t always notice it, but when I do, it gives me at least a mild amount of concern.
Yesterday, I went to an audiologist and discussed the ringing while he made a custom mold of my ears for professional musician earplugs. The ringing is called tinnitus, and there is no cure for it. Whether it is permanent or temporary depends largely on the indivual. I did find out, however, that I’m not the only one who suffers from this problem, and that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. I’m resolving to wear earplugs whenever I play, or whenever I may expose my ears to loud noise.
Ear Still Ringing
My right ear has been ringing since Thursday night. I’ve got an earplug in it to prevent any further damage from incidental noise. If this persists I will need to see a specialist.
Music Reading Class
Last week, I was complaining about a guy in my class who was always playing in class while the teacher was talking. Today, the same guy ended up completing the class successfully. Apparently, he’s quite motivated and managed to sight read well enough to complete all the class requirements. I’m quite impressed, and also a little bummed that the guy got done with the class before I did. I hope this will be a type of motivator for me. I’m not really the competitive type, but that guy was truly annoying.
Do You Have Any Protection?
Ear protection, that is.
During the four hour Mangee Troi show last night, my ears gradually became fatigued by the volume of the music. I became irritable, and definitely felt discomfort in my ear by the end of the night. The discomfort is present today, although it has decreased. It is definitely time to invest in some custom-molded musician’s earplugs. I’ve made some calls to audiologists and found the price to be anywhere between $150-$170 for Westone earplugs, which includes the cost of the fitting. Not bad. I spend tons of money on upgrading my gear, it only makes sense that I should spend as much money protecting my ear. Alternately, I’ve found an online retailer called the Earplug Store, which offers a Etymotic Research earplugs with a DIY ear fitting kit (allowing you to bypass the audiologist), for about the same price. For the same price, I think I will stick with an expert.
I beheld a strange sight today. Squirrels usually pick the most random locations along a road to cross, and often with dire consequences. I’ve witnessed many a squirrel meeting the wheels of a passing Cadillac with a crunch.
Not today, however. With my own eyes I beheld a squirrel using the crosswalk. I was approaching a stop sign, and a squirrel walked onto the road as I drove up. He was watching me carefully, and tenaciously made his way across the road. When he got to the other side, he looked at me as if to say, “Didn’t I do a great job?”
I said, “Good job,” and drove home, thinking how great it would be if all squirrels could cross like that. It totally breaks my heart to see animals run over.
Source of great irritation
As some of you are aware, I am taking a music reading class at MATC in an effort to refine my musical knowledge. I’ve been playing by ear for years, and feel somewhat deficient as far as reading music. For example, my sight reading is so poor that it’s not even worth mentioning. I’m slowly improving.
There is one guy in my class who noodles on his guitar while the professor is talking. It has become a real pain in my rump. Unfortunately, the professor is really laid back and the class can’t depend on him to say anything. I’m afraid I’m going to snap on the annoying noodler. It is so irritating having to hear him bend notes and pretend he is a wailing blues guitarist. For crying out loud, did he take the class to learn, or did he take the class to practice his scales? If I ever needed to hire a guitarist for a gig, it would certainly not be him.
This is turning out to be a type of rant. I can feel it now. I’m generally annoyed by guitarists. Why are they always wanting to draw attention to themselves? Why is it always, “look at me, here I am, me, me, me?” My conclusion, which is based on personal experience (and the fact that I, too, am a guitarist), is that guitarists feel deficient (most guitarists can’t read music and don’t know theory) and are consequently overcompensating. Compare the average guitarist to that annoying little companion dog that is always barking, while the Great Dane just chills.
I need to be careful with this guy. I don’t mind saying something to him, but I’m a little nervous about how he will react, and I’m likely going to have to deal with him, especially if I choose to take more music courses at MATC. I figure I can either approach him one of two ways:
- I can pull him aside and tell him it’s distracting, and that I’d appreciate it if he would stop. How could he say no?
- I can say something during class, when he’s noodling while the teacher is talking. This option is more likely to humiliate him. I will choose this option if I’m feeling especially cruel and want him to hate me.
I just got back from class, and for some reason, the aforementioned troublemaker was much quieter today. Unfortunately, the guy sitting right behind me seems to have picked up the slack. Guitar scales, noodling, and general sonic spaghetti were emitting from his fingertips as my teacher was explaining stuff to us. Thankfully, I took my quiz and got out of there quickly before I went ballistic.
Gotta love those damned guitarists.