3 Taiko songs and a funeral

Last week I went to Indy for my step mother’s funeral. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to go up there the end of July to spend some time with her and process it. I will probably save another post about that for later but –  I was ready to get back to Atlanta the following Saturday. I did want to get back because we had our drum recital on Sunday. After taking Taiko lessons for almost 3 months I didn’t want to miss the finale.

Once we were there we ran through our (3) songs and then the regular group came in to play. We’d only heard them play this one song so when they started to play all these other songs we hadn’t heard we were blown away. I was kinda like, Yeah we suck. But later the group assured us that they have been playing together for over 2 years (which, by Japanese standards is an infantile amount of time to hone the craft of Taiko drumming).

This is a video I took of them:

I really didn’t think anyone would show up for our recital but then Emil, LB and Benji’s new gf from out of town showed up. Charlie was really nervous but I wasn’t that bad. Afterwards, we went next door for post recital libations.

Tonight, we’re going to our first real rehearsal since the recital. We were asked to join the group afterwards by Peter our instructor. Apparently, according to Ginny in the group not everyone who takes the class is asked the join. By no means do I think we were asked the join because of our Taiko prowess but for the fact that we’re fun and we get along with the group – which, is primarily all women except for two men. I had already decided if this one meth head guy that was in our class joined that I wasn’t going to join because every time he was in class I wanted to throw my stick at him. He was the most annoying guy EVER. Frequently, in our sessions he would be back there dicking around playing his drum when Peter was trying to talk to us about something. This guy toted that he was a “drummer” and knew how to drum already. (So was I but I wasn’t saying anything). Constantly he was asking about the music and how to play a certain part we were working on. There were only a few of us – myself included – who could read music but Peter would put words above the notes to read so it would be a natural beat. Charlie caught on quite well and so did the rest of us except this guy who SAID he was a “drummer”. (And, most musicians I know who play drums call themselves percussionists not drummers) Fortunately, our last class Peter announced that “Kip-dip”was no longer going to join us because he was pursuing an opportunity and had to go out of town. Great – go cook your meth in Telluride, mf-er, I thought.

I think Peter was a little sad to lose another guy but I really don’t think he would have been asked to join as we later learned most of the other’s in our class didn’t like this guy either. Peter wants more men in the group but he says a lot of men who take the class want to be able to perfect it in just a few sessions and frequently get frustrated and quit. I just remember being in band and practicing the same numbers over and over again for shows. We practiced those songs daily, sometimes on the weekends -or- at band camp. We memorized everything, too. So, from only practicing once a week I would think there will need to be a lot of at home practice to get up to speed to perform shows –which is what we’ll eventually do. Right now we’re so green that we’ll need to practice with the group for a while before we do a show with them. Charlie and I scored some Congo drums from her son and we’re going to start practicing on those. I need to get us some felt tipped mallets so we won’t ruin the heads. Taiko drums are INSANELY expensive or else we would have a couple already to practice on. Peter has a whole video on youtube on how to make a drum out of an old tire (I’m actually surprised that Charlie hasn’t started this project yet) we have a lot going on right now – we may have her youngest and his gf up this weekend from Florida. They have been without power all week and are over it but gasoline shortage is still a problem down there. Benji’s gf that came up to get away from the storm said it took her 12 hours to get back to Jacksonville yesterday. Charlie’s parents are coming up next week to visit and fortunately the Taiko group is performing on The Beltline so we’re going to take them to that and support our new group.

Friday we have our friends doing a backyard concert again – the first of this year. Saturday we have the neighbors coming up to make post-hurricane drinks and I’m sure we’ll have a bunch of food. If I don’t talk to y’all have a great weekend! Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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concerts & kicked out

I’m so exhausted this morning. Last night we went to see Counting Crows with Matchbox 20 with Emil and Maybe-Nicole and the Thursday before that we also saw Emily Saliers play at Edie’s Attic for the late show.  We had a lot of fun and I enjoyed both shows but I’m showed out for a while.

(Charlie and Emil with photobomb lady in the background)

In between all the concerts, we went to friends down the street for dinner, saw Benji and managed to make an hour of drum practice yesterday.

So, Charlie and I made the decision to sell her Harley on cycle trader simply because we’d like to streamline our debt a little more and get out from under the payments. Once we sell hers I’m probably going to sell mine but it’s not really necessary because it’s paid for and I can always ride her on the back of mine. Charlie first posted an ad on Facebook in case any of her peeps on there were interested – plus, they could share it with friends of theirs. She no more got it posted on FB when Shutter asked why she was selling and Charlie said she just wanted to at this time that wasn’t to say that she, me, us would never ride again. Next thing you know – we get thrown out of the motorcycle group that we were in with Link, Shutter and Rooster – Rooster had created the Meetup page and kicked us off of there.

That kind of chapped my –well- chaps over that. I mean, this is not to say we’ll even get the Harley sold – and if not then we’ll keep it, ride and keep on. Whatever. I didn’t think we deserved to be kicked out of the group for that. Granted we hadn’t ridden with the group for a while but that didn’t mean we’d never ride with them again – until now. But, hey – now that I’m no longer a member of the group I will say this – I never really liked riding with the group. Don’t get me wrong – I liked everyone as people – just not riding with them in a group. Rooster always led the group and honestly would ride a little too fast for my taste up the busy 4-lane street in Atlanta (that she always insisted that we take to get out of town) when anyone could and would pull out in front of you. What happened to space cushion?? The last time we went barreling up Candler Road I spaced myself back and when one of the girls on her Harley got her hazard light stuck on for an hour and we had to pull off into a gas station we got lectured on riding faster to keep up.

I wanted to say, B*tch, I don’t keep up with anyone when I’m on this machine. I ride my own mf-ing ride. If I’m going too slow then you just go on and I’ll see you another time.  

It’s probably not helping their cause that I have 10 years of being a motorcycle instructor under my belt and this stuff is ingrained into my behavior and brain.

Also, Rooster has no GPS and relays on some paper with directions rubber-banded to her arm. After a long, hot ride to Macon for a history lesson (now those I did enjoy) and lunch on the way back I was running my GPS and it showed that unless we wanted to extend our trip another 2 hours that we should turn at this one particular intersection. Charlie and I pulled off into the gas station at the intersection and they circled around and back and asked what was up.

Gas, and we’re turning here.

This isn’t on my directions – we were going to ride closer to Athens and then turn back. By then, the paper with the directions had blown by us and had been lost on the road and I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence she really knew where the F we were going. But, I knew because I had GPS.

That’s fine but we’re going this way. Enjoy getting lost the rest of the ride.

And, we left. Which, brings me to the question as to why, if you’re leading a group of riders don’t you get some sort of GPS device on your bike so there won’t be any confusion? Or ask someone like myself to lead.

But, no that would be too hard and too advanced.

Maybe it is a good thing we got kicked out of the group. Charlie and I were going on our own rides anyway. It’s just easier to get an early start and go and get back so the day isn’t all taken up. That group would plan a trip to Birmingham and wait until 10:00 to leave and get back at 9:00 and we’d say, No thanks.

I mean, I don’t know if I’ll keep riding. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t but I don’t like other people making that decision for me. I mean, I’ve gone to a couple of Meetups for this screen writing group – I don’t go all the time because it always meets way up in Dunwoody during rush hour and it’s kind of hellish to get there. Even so I haven’t been kicked out of the group. I just find the whole thing to be mystifying.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you ever been kicked out of a group? Became a lesbian and kicked out of the Junior League?

 

 

the weekend

Friday evening Link and Stiletto met us down at a Elmyriachi for dinner and then we moved on to darts at a pub in downtown Decatur. This place just happens to be located right next to Benjis apartment and she ended up meeting us down there. We had a fun and pretty late evening and the next morning I was feeling it. We were to meet up with Benji and Emil to go to Tunes in the Tomb. After much freaking planning, we picked up Benji and drove down there and miraculously found free parking on the street. The event had three stages with different performers but honestly, we mostly stood around drinking beer and talking. The one highlight was as we were walking around (trying to find a beer tent that would give me a free PBR sweatband) we heard this group of drummers play Taiko which ultimately led to me and Charlie signing up for an 8-week course.

We eventually decided to blow the Tunes taco stand and head for a real taco stand, Mezcalito’s, next door. Emil had been whining wanting to go there for some time to eat with us so we did. After dinner, Charlie and I Lyft’d it back to the house while Benji and Emil went on to see another concert at the City Winery.

Sunday, we smoked ribs and corn in our new smoker and had Emil over for dinner and to play her guitar. Since we had Benji’s dog, Squid, she ended up coming for dinner as well. Between the two of them, though, they had their faces into their cellphones comparing Tinder dates. I had to shut it down after a while saying, Ok, let’s put the cell phones away and have a conversation like adults. Geez, I felt like such a parent but sometimes it’s really annoying. (Single friends should just leave their Tinder dating app at home.)

I’ve been teaching myself a few chords on the guitar so (according to Emil) I can play along with her the next time she’s over. I learned A, D & E so far (A is a bi-otch, btw). We’re trying to get some concerts going in our backyard but we’ll see. I have a feeling it’s going to be an impromptu show with little planning that just happened. Val is coming down from Maine in July and I’m really hoping between her, Emil and LB we can get something going. Link has already said she’d supply the microphones and between all of us surely we can find an amplifier. Maybe I’ll know FIVE chords by then, who knows.