I've been meaning to write something meaningful these past few days, as I don't like things hanging on the tone of my last post. Fortunately, the antidote to those sentiments came in the form of an hour long phone call with my warrior brother, Murray, on Sunday. It made all the difference. Work and study, in the meantime, have been kicking my ass. Both are choices, however, so I can't complain, but the job has been grueling. It'd be easy to go off on a bartender's rant, but it'd be a waste of virtual ink. Nonetheless, it's pushing toward 5 a.m. and I'm exhausted. Despite having a few things drafted, none are ready yet, so I'm just gonna punch this out, come what may.
I've finished six consecutive half-hour lessons with my new Pimsleur Greek course since it arrived, and am very pleased with my progress. I can't speak more highly of the method employed in the course. In short, it works, and I'm finally getting the results I always wanted. Each lesson is thirty minutes long, and you only do one a day. I love the fact that I don't have to look at any pictures, write anything down, or go through any of the other headaches that are normally associated with learning by other inferior means. The program builds on the previous day's lesson in a logical order without overwhelming the student, it has a comfortable saturation rate, and there are many opportunities to reply to the audio tutor. The whole point is to speak and understand, which I am, so it's all coming along very nicely. All I do is put on the headphones, listen, and respond. It's amazing how much a person can learn when they have the right teacher. It takes out all the frustration. I'm totally committed to finishing the remaining 24 CDs by September 17th. After that I'll take a short break and then resume with Greek 2. Normally each course is $345 from Simon & Schuster, but I got mine (brand new) off Ebay for $132. It's some of the best money I've ever spent. After work tonight, I was pleasantly surprised to find a map of Greece in my mailbox, so naturally that will go on my wall tomorrow as I begin plotting out the dream. Thanks, Mom.
In other news, I have not done any paragliding this year since shortly after returning from Los Angeles in April. After whacking myself in the hand with a hatchet, I needed time to heal. For awhile, it was a fully legitimate reason not to run off Tiger Mountain. I don't need to be tossed around in thermals without full braking power with both hands. As things unfolded, this year took me down another path. Not flying saved a lot of money that would've otherwise been spent on my passion. Last year I had over a hundred individual aviation adventures, but consequently saved nothing. Passion has a price. So does moving to another state. In keeping with my financial goals to get that done, I just worked and stayed home -- pretty much what I've done all summer. As my hand got better, I put myself on a sort of rehab that consisted of playing my keyboard every day, worked through all twelve keys, and spontaneously started composing again. Though my wings were wrapped up in a bag, my fingers slowly learned to fly again. It's been great, actually. In the process I've learned a lot about my own sonic vision, and am close to completing a new piece in Bb minor that I think has turned out really cool. My synthesizer rests mainly on the "strings" setting, so most of my stuff sounds like it belongs on a soundtrack. Or at least I think so. There's still some flying days left, but I won't feel bad if I don't use them for that because I'm getting so much done in other areas of my life. I'm saving money, creating music, and finally "getting an education" -- one that I actually care about and can use when I get to Greece.
In the meantime, my apartment building is getting a new roof. I'm on the 3rd floor, just underneath it, so it's noisy as hell around here. The guys show up at 7:30, ripping, pounding, shouting, and throwing crap into the alley all day, so getting adequate sleep has been a challenge. Being on a schedule that's opposite from the rest of the world usually works very well for me, but sometimes it backfires because everyone else works while I'm sleeping. Oh well, it's better than endless winter rain seeping into my room, and earplugs are cheap.
Tomorrow night should be fun. I'll be going to my second Sounders game, and if it's anything like their last match against the Houston Dynamo, it will be great. I'll also be checking out a position to beer-tend during games, as I heard they're looking for people. I asked my boss for a raise yesterday and was declined, so maybe it's time to get it elsewhere. We'll see. Either way I'm really looking forward to seeing how Seattle fares against Mexico tomorrow. With enthusiastic fans, pounding drums, good-looking women, and plenty of Blue Moon on tap, the atmosphere alone is worth going for.
I hope everyone out there is doing well. Please do something fun.