jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
On Wednesday I finally got the home office area set up. Now I can work from home with an actual monitor and keyboard and trackball and standing-desk, rather than laptop on couch/bed.

It's all in acceptable shape, but only just. I'll need to drag in another mat or two to stand on, to get the desk to the right height. My Mac keyboard has lost the use of the S key and spacebar, but I've got a Windows keyboard which works well enough for now. The real problem is that Microsoft hasn't updated the Mac software for my trackball in several years, and it won't talk to the latest version of macOS. So the trackball works, but the buttons are ALL WRONG. I've found a couple of potential workarounds but they looked more involved than I wanted to get on Wednesday afternoon. Sometime next week, I expect.

The office is actually the back of the second bedroom. It's got yellow walls that desperately need some art hung, the (two? three?) TUCKER'S OFFICE boxen need to be unpacked onto desk / bookcase, and there's some other miscellaneous /stuff/ that needs sorted or scooted or something. But the window's nice (though glare is problematic in the afternoon) and it's good to start to feel like there's a space that's mine again. The 'office' in the New West place was that, more or less, but it was dim and stuffy and caught a lot of dust from the dryer vent. This room is substantially nicer, if more cramped.

There are things about this apartment that frustrate and irritate me: the laundromat-style laundry, the dining room being a little narrower than we'd thought, the kitchen in general. Overall, though, it's not so bad. It'll do for now.

I am also now the proud owner of a bass guitar (Freeway 4) and an amp. My friend Chani's partner had been talking about selling his bass and amp for, o, months now, and it's sort of been at the back of my mind since then.

I think I have this idea that it'll be faster to pick up bass than it has been for viola, or that I'll be more readily able to find places/people to play bass with than viola, or something. This of course all depends on me finding my way to the alternate universe where I have enough time to learn not one but two instruments.

I'm also looking into an ear-training app for the phone, for commutes and such. And perhaps some actual formalised music theory learning, instead of the ad-hoc bits Tegen's been teaching me.

I'm not sure why music's becoming more of a focus than fiction-writing. Maybe it's that I understand how to get better at music, or that I'm more comfortable with not being very good. There's something in there about smashing awful pots, too. With music I'm learning a skill; writing feels more like creating a work. And yes, I do know that there's a hell of a lot of skill inherent in writing, skill that improves with practice, but I've not figured out how to feel comfortable practicing my skills in fiction.

Or maybe it's as simple as music being what's pulling me right now. Being more interested in accessing a space without words.

It's not like I can make rent (well, "mortgage payment," which sounds even worse despite being a smaller number) on either of those activities in any case. So in that sense it doesn't really matter which it is, as long as I'm having fun with it.

As always, we shall see.

Date: 2017-02-25 08:49 pm (UTC)
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)
From: [personal profile] okrablossom
>> Maybe it's that I understand how to get better at music

I feel like I don't know how to get better at writing at the moment, either. My writer-friends just keep saying "Write! Write!" and I am trying but oh the molasses it feels like I am stuck in. So I sympathize. And I totally understand and encourage your desire to play music. Perhaps I should allow it to encourage me to tune the harp. :)

Date: 2017-02-28 01:41 pm (UTC)
okrablossom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] okrablossom
I shall try.

Date: 2017-02-26 06:39 am (UTC)
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
From: [personal profile] wohali
Weird. One of my Apple (wired, relatively new) keyboards also had a key fail out of nowhere, and I don't even use it all that often. So frustrating.

I live in like a 13 foot wide house (outside measurement). You're not allowed to complain. :)

I use a recent Logitech trackball (M570) and the Mac support for it is decent, if you need to buy a new one.

Yay new musical instruments! Have you considered Rocksmith 2014? It has bass support.

FAWM did wonders for me making music. 12 of the 14 "required" songs are done now...hopefully I can get the last 2 songs done tomorrow, I have nothing else to do.

I think 2017 will be an amazing year if I can make $10 from Bandcamp on my new album. :)

Good luck!

Date: 2017-02-27 07:26 pm (UTC)
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
From: [personal profile] wohali
Houses in downtown Toronto are pretty narrow.

I was a long-time Model M user, and still have a couple on various machines around the house, but recently became a convert to Cherry MX switches.

I used to use one of the big Marble Mouses but, yes, stopped using it once I realized I needed a scroll wheel on a regular basis. I've gotten good with the thumb-based trackballs, and even use a Trackpoint (ahem, "clitmouse") on my laptop instead of a trackpad.

I believe the very latest Rocksmith update allows you to use any sort of audio input as your guitar source now, so if you buy it through Steam you should be able to jam straight away. You might have to set levels, though.

Thanks! 2 more songs to go.....

Date: 2017-02-28 04:33 pm (UTC)
thanate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thanate
Just ran across this last night: https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-music-theory-berkleex-oharm100x-4

Yay space, & enjoy the musicking, however it works out.

Date: 2017-02-27 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vvalkyri.livejournal.com
ooo. If you find an ear training ap I'd be interested as well. I don't have much music theory and I'd like to be better able to sight sing.


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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