He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.
(Come on Jesus, get your head in the game!)
For the last little while I’ve been operating on 3 pairs of casual pants: 2 jeans and a pair of khakis. The khakis are a little short but still do the trick but both pairs of jeans developed fatal tears in them. As a result I was forced to go shopping for pants. While I was in the change room I was trying to think when the last time was that I had done this. It turns out that I updated the wardrobe for my lower half during the summer between grade 8 and 9. I was excited about starting high school and went to the Lambton mall and bought the pair of Mavi jeans that I now have to throw out (The khakis were purchased a year or two before that and the other pair of jeans was a hand-me-down). At first I was disappointed for spending $100 on two pairs of pants but then I did the math and over 9 years that works out to be ok.
Lately I find myself physically uncomfortable in malls but a funny thing happens when you shop and I now understand it. When I got home with my new pants I was excited to show them off. It gave me a little pep the next day at work and then at my show at Classic Jack’s. (I also bought a sweatshirt over xmas and I pretty much wear it everyday). Anyway, this is not something I would want to do weekly but I guess once every 9 years is a good thing.
The aforementioned show was an interesting affair. I was working until about 3pm. I then went home and was going to have a nice nap and a shower before heading over for soundcheck. I then remembered that I needed to get a spare set of guitar strings. I postponed the nap and walked down to the shop. While I was waiting my turn I texted the bar owner about patch chords. The conversation went something to the effect of this:
I assume you have patch chords?
Ok. Well how long of a chord do I need to get from the floor to your sound board?
We don’t have a sound system. Our musicians just bring their own.
What!? Oh wow I wish you would have told me sooner I could have gone and rented one.
I’ll see what I can do…
It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get you one for tonight.
Well, I can try to rent one but it will be difficult and expensive on such short notice
I’ll give you $400 if you can make it work
I explained to Jay, at Kick Axe Guitar, about my situation. After a good laugh he called his sound guy, who then had a good laugh himself (no one had ever heard of anything like this). The tech guy, Nikk, totally did me a solid and gave me a mock system for $50. I then called up my buddy Ryan to poach a bunch of cables and other paraphernalia. Then the owner texted me and said I could meet a guy at his other bar to pick up an extra speaker. When I got there a guy took me down into the basement and presented me with an entire sound system. As you can imagine this caught me off guard as it made my previous purchase totally superfluous. Apparently this guy usually works the sound too but the owner never told him about my show. This meant that not only did I have to provide my own equipment but I also had to manage sound engineering during my 3 hour set. All the while I am desperately trying to put together a good show so that I can book more dates. Bring it on Universe! What else you got?
Anyway, I lug all the gear over to the gig and when I walk in the front door I am directed to yet a third sound system that is set up on the stage. WTF? Whatever. I selected the best pieces from my boat load of sound gear and rigged up my set. Afterwards I was going to go back home for a bit and grab some food but then the host told me that I had a $50 tab to use that night. I was thinking: You guys are going to pay me $450! But on the outside I was cool as a cucumber. I honestly felt like I should have waited tables as well just to earn my keep. I did my best to use up the tab, which came in handy as I had to wait for the hockey game to end, which of course went in to O.T. Rather than being 9pm-12am my set ended up more 10pm-1am.
The show went about as well as it could have. I had a blast, made some new fans and got offered more shows. One of the fans I made was a fiddle player from Scotland. Her last name was hard to understand because of the accent so I just called her Linsey Fiddle. She is here until August and is debating moving here. She approached me after my 2nd set and asked if she could join the band. So far I’ve had a cello and a viola. All that is left in that category is the fiddle. She said she lived in the South-East so I gave her a ride home afterwards. Calgary is a spread out city so even though we technically live in the same quadrant I had to drive practically to Okotoks to get this girl home. Whatever. I’ll totally start up a taxi service if it means people will come listen to me play. Plus, it just so happens we listen to exactly the same music. She told me that she say Damien Rice live and cried the whole time. Then I put on Ben Howard and we sang every song on the way.