Dante Spumante Again

Yes, we went to see Dante Spumante again. This time, John, the bassist from Juan Hit Wanda (aka Flat Rabbit) and Squidlick (aka Better Than Nothing) and his wife were there. Also, Trevor, one of the guitarist/vocalists for Dot Com, and his wife Debra showed up. Brad the Drummer‘s wife Cindy was able to get a babysitter tonight, and showed up as well.

The rest of the crowd was pretty quiet, but those of us at the band table had fun. I must confess that part of me wanted to be at Fiddler’s Green watching Rush on their first tour in six years, but we didn’t have the money for that concert. Dante Spumante was much less expensive, and though they didn’t have lasers and fog machines, they were entertaining in their own right.

At the end of the night, John, Brad and I briefly talked about getting together to jam next week. I hope that comes through; we haven’t played together for at least a month and a half, and probably more. Trevor also expressed interest in playing with us, so maybe we’ll have a miniature party that night. It was good seeing John; I still entertain delusions about being good enough to play in Squidlick with him and his other band members.


The tryout for Better Than Nothing went very well. I wasn’t nervous, and I played pretty well. We went through the five songs that they had asked me to learn, then jammed through several more on their song list before going back to the original five. I won’t know anything for a while about whether I’m in the band, but even if I don’t get the gig, it was a positive experience and a confidence builder. When I know about it, I’ll post the news here, and if it’s good news, I’ll post it on the main page of this site.

I did work on the poem inspired by the death of the little girl on I-25 on Father’s Day. It doesn’t feel like it’s done yet; there’s something missing or something misdirected in it, but I haven’t figured out yet what it is. I feel a responsibility to the memory of this little girl. I want to make sure the poem says exactly what I want it to say before I release it.

Good Days

Last night’s writing group was excellent. Only two people showed up, which was monetarily unfortunate for Melanie, but very fortunate for Michael and me. We discussed a short-short that Michael had written, the responsibilities of an artist in recording true-life events, and they both offered wonderful feedback on my “Saint and Cynic” story. After incorporating some of those suggestions, I’m going to cut this one off and start circulating it.

Melanie also wondered if I had done anything with my “Fear Sphere” stories since the last one. I haven’t, other than thinking about them. She encouraged me to write more of them and collect them together. I hope I can get some of these projects rolling when Ryan moves out. Having that spare room for working in the early morning will be a blessing, as long as I take advantage of it.

Tonight, John, Brad and I donned our collective instruments to become Flat Rabbit, and we had a very good night. We covered a lot of material and added a few songs to the list. We played “Sweet Child o’ Mine” better than we ever have, I think, and even went over a bunch of old originals that Brad and John wrote years ago. All in all, it was a fun night, and I was reluctant to break down my equipment.

I did have one problem, though. My Strat started squealing, and I traced it down to what seems to be a jack problem. I took the jack plate off to check the insides but it seemed fine, with no loose wires. It worries me a bit, since I will be trying out for Better Than Nothing on Tuesday night. Later in the night, the Strat played fine, so I may have put off the problem for a little while, but I need to recreate it at home and figure out what’s wrong.

Morrowind Creativity

The most creative thing I did today involved playing Morrowind. My character contracted a disease in a remote area after fighting several undead creatures which had drained his strength and endurance. The disease (called “the Blight”) further drained him until he had no strength or endurance left at all. (In this game, Strength and Endurance are physical attributes of the character. Both attributes had values of zero.)

The challenge before me was to get my character back up to full strength and get the disease cured, but since his strength was sapped, he couldn’t carry anything with him. Part of his quest involved returning a couple of items to a guild master in another town, so he had to be able to carry things to complete the quest. However, in order for him to be able to move at all, he had to take off all the armor and possessions that he carried, leaving him defenseless against creatures in the wilderness. Fortunately, in Morrowind, gold evidently weighs nothing, so he was at least able to carry money.

After stripping to his loin cloth and picking up his gold, he ran through the wilderness to the nearest town. In several places along the way, he encountered creatures that tried to attack him, but he was able to get by the creatures without being injured too much more. When he arrived at the town, he spoke with several locals who were a bit offended by his lack of dress. Through those conversations, he learned that there was no healer in town and no place to purchase healing potions. Fortunately, the town was coastal, so he was able to book passage on a ship to another, larger town.

In the larger town, he found a healer and purchased potions to cure the Blight, restore his strength and restore his endurance. With the few gold coins he had left, he bought a knife and some clothes, took the ship back to the small coastal town, and ran back through the wilderness to gather his things. He then ran back to the small town, took the ship back to the larger town, and was able to use other transport to get back to the guild master and complete his quest. That was the closest this character has come to death and still avoided it.

Of course, I could have just loaded a previously saved game and completed the quest again, but that wouldn’t have been creative, now would it?

(I also went to see my friend John play with his band, Better Than Nothing, and that was fun. I couldn’t stay late enough to see the whole show, unfortunately.)