Playing bass in the box.

I bought a bass guitar.  Which means I've begun to hear every "bassist joke" there is to hear.  About how they're not real musicians, about how they know nothing about music, and about how they're who groupies need to sleep with to level up before they're allowed to sleep with the real band guys.

Actually, I'm okay with that last bit.

However, a few things - Paul McCartney was the bassist.  So was that guy from Kiss.  Or Roger Waters.  Point is... bass may consist of simple notes compared to guitar.  But figuring out which simple notes to play requires a degree of musicianship, and listening, that you don't find with too many guitarists.

The last few weeks of playing bass have taught me a ridiculous amount about music.  Plain and simple.

But I'm still a little boy.  Because, see, there's this thing in bass playing - it's a set of four notes that go together when you're trying to develop a simple riff to accompany an impromptu guitar line.  It's called "box notes", because they sort of form a box shape when you connect the dots on the fret board.

It's called "playing within the box".  And I giggle like a school girl each. and. every. time.

Guess it's the only action some of these bassists get.

Someone Like Me

I'm at a grocery store.  It's around lunchtime on a sunday, and I want my deli potato salad and root beer in my belly, so I can go back to killing indiscriminate numbers of reavers in Skyrim.  Because they're not going to kill themselves, people.

The cashier takes a long look at me.  "Do I know you from somewhere?"

"Um.  Maybe?  I suck at remembering faces, sorry."

"Do you workout?"

I choke a little, biting back a laugh.  Me?  Work out?  I wear a women's size small t-shirt.  If I were to be in a movie, I'd play the guy that gets sand kicked in his face at the beginning of "Charles Atlas:  The Gay Musical".  Instead of laughing in her face, though, I lie.

"Um.  Sometimes, I guess?  Why?"

"Do you work out at the YMCA?"

Is this a gay reference?  Does she expect me to dress up like a construction worker?  "Um.  No, I don't work out there."

"Are you sure?"

"Depends.  Are you a cop?"


"I'm joking."

"Oh.  Um...."  

I'm losing her.  As in, she's stopped ringing through my delicious potato salad, and is now trying to figure things out.  "Don't worry about it."  

"It's funny.  There's someone there who looks just like you."

"Really, like me?"


"Bet you I can guess what he looks like," I say, as smarmily as possible.

"Um...." This girl does not get my sense of humour.  Or how a barcode scanner works.

"So, yeah, he's tall, black, and muscular.  Am I right?"

"No, he's about average height, super skinny, and has red hair....."

"You know what?  I'm gonna pay with debit."

I got home, told the reavers, and they laughed and laughed.  At least, 'til I Fos Rah Dah'd their asses off a cliff.

My Tattoo Guy:

I have a "tattoo guy".

This realization hit me hard, when an acquaintance asked me who did my latest tattoo, and I said "I'll introduce you to my guy."

Let's put this in perspective, here.

I go to the same coffee place at least four times a week - I know no one there, and they barely recognize me.  I haven't gone to the same barber twice in a row, pretty much ever.  I go to the same book store every week, and the same music place, but I wouldn't say any of the workers there are "my" people.  And to them, I'm just the guy who makes weird requests and then buys way too many books on Roman Military History.

I've got a thing for people that kill elephants while wearing funny hats.

So why do I have a tattoo guy?  He's given me one tattoo, and he'll be doing my next.  So why is he "my guy"?   I see him less often than I see, say, my general practitioner.  Who is most definitely not "my guy", although the last time I saw him, he did stick his finger up my butt, so maybe I owe him dinner or something.

The point is, in the last decade or so, we've entered a tattoo culture.  A lot of people have them, but it's a new cultural tradition, and people are still feeling out the boundaries.  And so, we do what our monkey-brains have programmed us to do - communicate with fellow monkeybrains.  And this is why, when friends ask me, I tell them I "have a guy".

Because I'm cool like that.

Food Run

So, last year, when I was stuck between a whole slew of shitty jobs and forced to move back to Sooke with my parents, life was pretty bad.  I have all sorts of horror stories, but the one I'm going to share involves Pizza.

See, I had worked a somewhat decent amount of hours that week, and decided I was going to buy a pizza.  I had worked a ten hour shift, and taken a two hour busride to get home.  It was nine PM, and I had just been paid.  I was going to order a late night pizza, and share it with the family members who were still awake.

This being Sooke, though, the pizza place had shut down.  I let the phone ring four times, until an annoyed guy answered and curtly told me that the place had closed fifteen minutes ago.

At nine p.m.

The fact is, Sooke basically shuts down after nine.  The only things that stay working are the gas station, the McDonald's (though only the drive-thru is open;  you can't walk in), and the street lights.  That's it.

This meant that if I was hungry, I had to walk down to the Chevron, and make do with godawful potato chips or stale donuts.

Flash forward to today.  I live in the middle of Victoria, where basically anything I want is a ten minute walk away.  There's a comic book store three blocks away, a pharmacy across the street, two liquor stores within a block, a nearby grocery store, three book stores within two blocks, a guitar store down the street, and so many coffee shops.  The point is - if I want for something, I can get it.  And if it's 3 am, and I want food... I can get food.

I think some religious folks might say that material wealth such as this does not equate to spiritual wealth.  That Sooke, for all its faults, is more spiritually "pure" because of the lack of an all-night grocery store or a donair place that can sell you fresh lamb at 3 am.  But I have to say, those people are wrong.

There is something so satisfying about ordering a midnight pizza. Or hot dogs on the street corner with Mr. Tube Steak.  Or a timmy's run at 2 am.

My theory?  Small towns rely on closed social groups - you know everyone, so you have a group to draw upon.  In a city, that's thrown out the window, and because of this, everyone subconsciously realizes "we're all in this together" and acts accordingly.

But maybe I'm just happy, because it's 1 am, and I have warm food that I didn't have to cook.

one of us, one of us...

I love sitting in a coffee shop and playing around on my laptop. But you see some interesting people if you're here long enough.

I've been visiting the Serious Coffee on Broad for a couple of weeks now, and almost everytime I'm here, there's the same guy sitting in the dedicated wireless room. He's.... well, he's something else.

Greased back hair that looks like it's been bleached blonde, a white polo shirt, and general "nerd jeans" (you know what I'm talking about). He wears a microphone headset and always clicks madly, and I assume he's playing World of Warcraft or something. He's here for hours (I presume - I've never seen him show up or leave) and only orders one drink for the duration... and it's a pink smoothie. .

Random quotes I've heard just while writing this entry:

"Wait, what day is it? Did school start today? Shit."

"Yeah, he's not playing anymore, he's got a girlfriend now."

"BRB guys, need to pee."

Also, he has one of those scooter things that look like a skateboard with a handle. He's at least twenty two.

Moral of the story?

I think I need to stop going online in public places and troll the internet in the privacy of my own home like a normal person. Lest I turn into some sort of carnival freak

Dildos, dildos, everywhere!

Another day at work, and I am busily assembling work kits. A co-worker comes up from behind me. "That's not what I think it is, is it?"

I look down at the long metal rod in my hands. "Well, it's most definitely NOT a dildo, lemme tell you," I say, putting my best shit-eating grin on my face.

Co-worker becomes confused. This is when I realize that the person I thought was "co-worker" is ACTUALLY "boss". This is also the moment I realize that what I thought was a nearby "door" is actually "the last thing you'll see of this place when you get thrown out on your ass."

Instead, boss looks at metal rod, and goes "No, that's definitely the piston I thought it was. Thanks for finding it."

He then grabs the piston, and turns to look at me. "And you're right, it does look kind of like a dildo. How'd you find that out?"

The shit-eating grin returns on my face. "You don't wanna know."

Sound Effects

I am in the warehouse with a bunch of former military engineers. Naturally, the conversation turns to Die Hard, as warehouse conversations are wont to do. This quickly leads me into making an imaginary uzi, and shooting a co-worker.

"Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!" I sound, making the stuttering noise of a semi-automatic rifle that is, if I say so myself, scarily accurate.

Of course, he dodges, because he is a male, and therefore, able to dodge super-sonic bullets. I can't blame him, although really, I should have hit him, because I am a male, and therefore, unable to miss. Anyways, he draws two imaginary desert eagles (I suppose they could be glocks, but if we're gonna deal with imaginary guns, they should probably be cool imaginary guns, right?).

With his deagles, he proceeds to blast at the table I am hiding behind. "Bkchhsss! Bkchssss!" He says, scrunching his face up, Axl Rose style, while he makes the sounds. Of course, he doesn't hit, but that imaginary computer in front of me explodes in a cascade of imaginary sparks.

Another man rushes to my defence with a shotgun, letting out a loud "BOOM!" and then a cocking sound. He covers me while I run to cover, just as two more men rush into the fray on the other side. One sprays the area with AK-47 fire ("ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta!") while the other seems to be working on some sort of shoulder-mounted rocket launcher which is sure to blow a hole in that imaginary wall behind me.

I will walk away from that explosion in slow motion.

It's looking bad. That rocket launcher is being loaded up, and I can hear Marc in the next room, supplying the "pings!" and "Chinks!" as imaginary bullets tear up the warehouse. And then, my compatriot comes to the rescue.

Jill comes out from behind cover, standing in the middle of the doorway like an easy target, and has some sort of derringer pistol which seems to consist of her thumb stuck out like a hitchhiker's along with a pointy-finger... the ol' "Finger-Banger". She points this puny pistol at the rocket-man, and begins firing.

"Pew! Pew!"

Silence rains in the warehouse, the only sound being that of imaginary sparks firing off a broken screen and phantasmal flames lapping at spilled diesel on the floor. The combatants all look at each other, and then put down their arms.

"Girls don't know how to make sound effects," Rocket man says.

Another man holsters his desert eagles. "Did anyone watch that football game last night?"

"I miss my kids," the assault rifler says, strolling out of the room, shaking his head as he looks at Jill's pistol, still in her hand.

Jill looks at me, but I'm trying to avoid eye contact. "What'd I do?" She asks.

I shake my head and get back to work.