Gratitutde

Five things.

  1. A super generous uncle
  2. Catherine
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Orchestra in intermediate and High School
  5. Sodastream

My uncle that I live with, is more generous to me than I deserve. First of all, he lets me stay with him and his family for almost nothing (which I will stick to for legal reasons, haha). He’s saved me in a pinch when I needed speakers for a wedding ceremony since he happens to have battery-powered Bose speakers that some of my friends gig with, but he just uses to listen to music while working in the garage. He lets me borrow his expensive camera to take photos with when I need it, like when I went over to the Big Island to shoot some photos of the owls with my friend Darcy. He even lets me take over his home to host parties and cook massive amounts of food. The latest example of generosity was allowing me to borrow one of the two keyboards that he owns. It’s much nicer than anything I’d ever know what to do with. One day we were talking, and he asked me how my music was going. I mentioned that I was thinking of buying a keyboard on craigslist or amazon to fiddle around with, and he said, “Nah no need, just take one of mine.” I’ve spent maybe an hour on it, and it’s crazy just how much easier it is to learn music theory than on a guitar. In theory, I knew what inversions of chords were, but the visual of it on a keyboard makes the theory party stick a bit more in my mind. I’m very much looking forward to doodling more on this thing.

I didn’t mention that I had this conversation about the keyboard with my uncle months ago. Catherine told me to stop procrastinating and borrow it already. Thanks, Cat. Also, she got me to write on here two days in a row!

Wikipedia… Music theory. That is all.

This whole post is kind of about the keyboard. But if not for orchestra in intermediate and high school, I wouldn’t have this general grasp of music theory knowledge to pull from. I didn’t think learning the notes on a piano, so I could have a reference note to tune my standup bass from, would come in so much handy today. Clutch. 

I lied, the whole post isn’t about the keyboard. I purchased a Sodastream machine from Target like a month ago. It’s one of those contraptions that allows you to carbonate your water. Safeway and Costco were getting a ton of money from me in the form of bottles and bottles of sparkling water purchases. In turn, I have piles and piles of trash bags full of plastic bottles that need to get taken to get recycled. Figured it might end up costing more to buy the CO₂ cartridges, but it’d save me time and would probably be better for the environment in the long run. Doing the keto diet right now, and the one craving I have isn’t rice, or candy, or ice cream. It’s “bubbles.” Sometimes, all I need is a little bit of carbonation in my life. Hits the spot. 

Influenced

When I sat down here in the spare bedroom that I thought I’d be using as my “music room,” but has just been acting as “the room I hang my laundry in,” I wasn’t sure what I’d write. But It became clear what I’d write about today when I looked over at Catherine there on my phone through the magic of FaceTime. Oh, what a time we live in.  

I wish I could say I started typing this of my own volition, but Catherine pulled on the motivation strings today. When I think about it, she’s been tugging on those motivation strings for the last few months. And I’m okay with that. Catherine asked me yesterday if I’ve been writing, and I embarrassingly replied, “no.” I laughed nervously and responded with, “honestly, I should just be striving to write just 15 minutes a day, of any kind of writing.” She said, “yeah, you should… I’ll call you from work, and you’ll have to write for 15 minutes with me while I work.” I didn’t realize she meant today because she woke me up with a facetime and an enthusiastic “get up! Work with me!”

The last few months I’ve spent watching her fall asleep, and she’s been waking my lazy ass up. When you say it like that, it seems like I have the harder part of this arrangement, but I don’t just watch her fall asleep, okay? She found this cheap little adapter on Amazon that allows me to turn off and on whatever she has plugged into it from an app on my phone. So sometimes she’ll fall asleep watching me on Facetime while I’m at a gig, and I’ll make sure I turn off the lantern she has plugged in mid-song. Other times I’ll be at home, and I’ll sing her to sleep while I sit in my computer chair and play my nylon string guitar and sing in as much of a whisper as I possibly can. Sometimes she’ll fall asleep while I chop up veggies for whatever I’m cooking for dinner. Luckily she falls asleep relatively quickly when she’s tired. I’m talking 1-3 songs max! Anyway, she woke me up today to have me write while she works, but I resist a little until the weight of knowing she’s been at work for 6 hours hits me, and I roll myself out of bed. 

It’s not just with the writing thing that she’s helped me stay more on top of. We started a weight loss competition between the two of us a few weeks ago, and I’ve been really on top of my diet for two weeks now. I’m not saying she’s been participating in the competition yet, but she’s been very busy at work, as well as hosting her mom at her place, so I’ll give her a pass for now. She’ll tell me that’s not an excuse, but I understand. She only has to lose 10 pounds while I have to lose 20 pounds, so she’s in the clear for now, since I’m only down about 4 pounds. Sometimes she’ll FaceTime me during the day while she’s working from home, and I’ll feel guilty and go through emails and whatnot. I’m beginning to realize I do have a lot of these clerical type things to take care of, even as a musician. There are checks to deposit, contracts, invoices to send out, and emails to reply to. Sometimes I’ll also clean my place, so she doesn’t see a mess when we’re FaceTiming. I even started running again so that when I go and visit her in SD, we can go running together with her dog Ilio. 

The thing is, she hasn’t asked me to do any of these things. She just silently makes me want to follow through on things I should be more responsible with. It’s a welcomed influence I’m incredibly grateful for. I can’t wait for her to wake me up tomorrow. 

It’s been a while

So yeah… it’s been a while.

My excuse would be, “this gig life of mine has been taking up all of my time, so there’s no time for blogging!” The sad truth is, I’m probably just lazy. I have a ton of free time when I’m not gigging. 

Anyway, I made it back for my annual blog entry to get my money’s worth here. How about a little update with what’s been happening this past year and a half I’ve been M.I.A. from WordPress:

  1. Gigging. A lot. Currently, I have six weekly gigs on the schedule. Although that changes week to week when I need to take a quick trip to San Diego (more on that later) or take a private gig. Gosh, it’s been almost ten months since Eating House 1849 Kapolei closed (back in March 2019). That spot had a special place in my heart, being the first venue to hire me to play there regularly. My Solo gigs right now are Eating House 1849 Waikiki, Doraku Sushi (Kakaako), Merrimans Honolulu, Amuse Wine Bar, Shore Fyre (International Market Place), and Goen (Kailua). Still doing the once a month gig with my Smooth Remedy brothers at the Honolulu Club on random Wednesdays every month. We’ll be there tonight! 
  2. Uncle Status!  Dang, my two best friends had their first kids this past year! Aaron had his daughter, who just turned one this past December 7th, and Kamaehu had his son on April 25th, 2019. I admit I don’t see them as often as I’d like to. I’ll make a stronger effort to get them to remember my face and voice this year 🙂 
  3. San Diego. I went to San Diego to watch John Mayer play a concert at SDSU last September, and I left San Diego quite smitten. Not with John Mayer, though he’s excellent, and an idol of mine. But with a girl I reconnected with from Intermediate/High School days, though, she reiterates that we were not friends in High School. I fly back home after watching a Zac Brown band concert with her, and next thing I know, we’re texting a bunch, then FaceTiming for sometimes 2-3 hours every day. And I look forward to it, every day 🙂 Going to see where this thing goes, but I’ll say that I’ll be carefully revaluating my living situation/location for the future. 
  4. Photography. I’ve leaned into that aspect of my life a bit more in the last year and a half, due to the extra time that I usually have as a gigging musician. I’ve got this one friend specifically who’s been very generous with her time and knowledge. Darcy Fiero Photography, check out her stuff. Go, do it, you won’t be disappointed. She’s known as the lady who photographs the sunset almost every day, probably why she’s so good at it. She’s very protective of her locations, and rightfully so, but she’s been kind enough to let me in on that information, though I’m sworn to secrecy! I’ve also had a couple of friends pay me in a professional capacity to take photos for their work. It’s been sometimes a stressful learning experience, but still all fun.
  5. Songwriting. I attended, for the first time, the Hawaii Songwriting Festival on the Big Island this past year. The most important thing I got out of it was that I’m an idiot for not going the previous few years that I was aware of its existence. I genuinely believe there’s nothing like it in the world, as far as the proximity to powerhouses in the music industry goes. If someone told me I’d get songwriting tips, for a song I wrote, from John Cruz, a local songwriting idol of mine growing up in Hawaii, and Kenny Loggins, a global songwriting idol of mine growing up with his albums playing in the house, I would have laughed in your face! I remember how proud I was to tell my dad afterward that Kenny Loggins played my guitar! I could dive deep into the festival, but maybe another time. The bottom line is I’m going back, as often as I can. I’m not writing as much as I’d like to, but I’m writing a lot more than I have the past few years, so we’ll call it a win for now.

I’d say that’s enough for now. I told my San Diego friend that I’d try and write on here more frequently, and not tell anyone about it, in hopes that this can be a public but secret diary. 

Till next time (hopefully next week), adios.

Shane