what’s in a name, really…

now playing: john gorka, “blue chalk”

deja vu.

i had started a long entry, gotten most of the way through it, and everything went black. i came back to the computer and had to hard-boot it to get it back up.

ashes to ashes, dust to dust…ones and zeros to – well, never mind.

had to put something mellow on – i had a scramble of a playlist up for the longest time, and i just went from “golden country” by REO speedwagon into “don’t you ever get tired of hurting me” by ray price, and that was that. enough.

this is better.


my apologies to anyone who might’ve stopped by these past few days looking for the inevitable “red sox – wtf” rant…i had one in me, but it felt a bit like stating the obvious. i feel as though i’ve known for some time that they didn’t have it in themselves to repeat. i started getting that inkling before the regular season was out, when they took it upon themselves to blow their lead in the AL east and ended up settling for the wild card, but i knew beyond all reasonable doubt at the moment that graffanino let that ball go through his legs. i could hear the subconscious heavy sigh of red sox nation and the cloud of “here we go again” rolled in and that was it, really. if a clincher was necessary, though, it was when they loaded the bases in the sixth of game five with no outs and failed to squeeze a single run across.

this is not the 2004 team.

it looks like them, they dress alike, there are a lot of the same faces there…but it ain’t them.

this team didn’t play like a team that had been robbed of a trip to the world series the year prior – this team played like a team that just won the big one and felt as though they were entitled to a return trip. no fire, no hunger.

they didn’t have the eye of the tiger, man.

and if the playoffs were determined by the number of men left on base, i think the sox would be playing the now-eliminated yankees for the title.

ok. rant over. short and sweet.

my little corner of the world got its own taste of hurricane season this past weekend – it rained hard from friday all the way through saturday night…a total of between 7 and 9 inches, according to the newspaper. it hadn’t been so bad on friday, or so it seemed…i woke up on saturday and lay in bed for a while just listening to the rain outside – but eventually the thought of checking the basement for water got me to my feet and down the stairs.

longtime readers will remember that when wendy and i first moved into the house, we had a strong rain that filled the basement with water. the cause was determined after the fact to be a clogged storm drain, and we managed to clean everything out successfully – but had it not occured to wendy to check the basement when she did, there would’ve been extensive damage to the contents of the room. we had just moved in, and there were guitars on the floor in gig bags, studio equipment sitting on the floor, albums piled on the carpet – it could have been a disaster, if she hadn’t gone down to see how things were holding up. as it was, it was enough to scare me into building a shelf to keep the albums up off the floor (that also doubled as guitar storage) and put wood down in the closets to keep the instruments up off the carpet in the room that had been most affected by the water.

the basement had been the clincher for me, in terms of the decision to move into the house. i knew that my friend justin, who had lived there before me, had kept a studio in the basement, and when i went to look at the place, it seemed like the perfect space to set up in – two separate rooms, plenty of space, out of sight of the rest of the house – i couldn’t wait to move from the cramped room i was using into the new space and set up shop.

but the water thing, to put it mildly, freaked me out. it put The Fear in me, and i was pretty reticent to move forward and set everything up properly. i set up the equipment and finished my work on the blake allen record there, but i never threw myself into it the way i’d expected to.

but time passed, winter came and went without incident, and not another drop came into the space – and i started to allow myself to think that maybe it really was just the result of a clogged storm drain, and that i didn’t really have anything to worry about.

so when the concept for this new project came up, it didn’t feel as though i had anything to worry about when i decided to get the space together and set it up properly as a legitimate workspace. so i set about doing it, and i’ve gotten a lot done up to this point. i’ve also managed to grudgingly accept the fact that it’s always going to be a work in progress and that there’s never going to be this “finish line” that i’ll arrive at where it’ll be “done”. but i do feel as though it’s becoming the very thing i’d envisioned it being when i allowed the concept to motivate me to move there.

anyway…flash forward to saturday morning….

i went downstairs, barefoot, and walked around the rooms and – nothing. the carpets were completely dry in both of the main rooms. good.

i opened the door to the front room, though – where the oil tank is, and where i have a few things stored – and there was water on the floor. not a lot, but water nonetheless.

sooo…i let out a heavy sigh and went for the mop. soon, though, it was becoming obvious that the water was coming in faster than i was mopping it up. i’m watching it actually start to pool in the floor…not gushing, but at a gradual rate. so i went upstairs and got a square tupperware container and started actually baling the water into a bucket and carrying it back to the storm drain in the back of the basement (which was bone dry, oddly enough). after repeating this exercise about sixteen to twenty times (at 2 1/2 gallons per trip), wendy stepped in and saved my ass by going to sears hardware and picking up a wet/dry shopvac and bringing it down. we made five trips (at 12 or so gallons per trip) back and forth from the room to the drain before we brought the rise of the water under control…but not before it could creep out into the second room through the doorway.

we figure we probably removed somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred gallons of water from the basement on saturday. and there remains some dampness in the carpet where the water crept out – first in a smallish, horseshoe shaped pattern, but later spreading out into a larger, scrotum-shaped wet spot that runs about five to six feet out from the door. i have the dehumidifier on 24 hour duty right now, removing the moisture from the carpet as best as it can, and i ran a space heater in its general direction for a while over the weekend as well, but the carpet has a nice brown patina to it where the water made it in…

…and i’m a little spooked again.

i’m grateful that the whole thing unfolded when it did, because i’d planned on setting up the drums on saturday, and they would’ve been well within the reach of the deadly scrotum stain – but as it was, i never got that far, and they were spared from the reach of the water. i will, however, be building a platform to set the drums up on – in light of the fact that the first leak obviously wasn’t an isolated incident and that the basement isn’t as impervious as i’d really, really wanted to believe it was.

by last night, when i retreated to the basement to watch baseball and football at the same time and continue working on the studio, the carpet itself was no longer wet – there was still some dampness, but you could walk on it without your feet getting wet. the scrotum stain is still there, though. i’m concerned about whether or not i’ll be able to get it out – i’m going to try to scare up a shampoo unit within the next couple of days to see if i can purge the space of the ghost of the scrotum stain, but i wonder if it might not be here to stay, now that this has happened twice.

on friday night, i had sat down at the kitchen table and made a “to do” list for the weekend of all the stuff i’d wanted to accomplish over the weekend. on saturday night, when wendy and i went back upstairs after busting ass to beat back The Flood, i was sitting at the table while she talked to her parents on the phone…and my eyes glanced over to the list. i pulled the pad over to me and scratched everything out and wrote at the bottom of the list – “suck water”.

as i was talking to my buddy todd on monday about the whole ordeal, i told him about the revised list and said that i was actually thinking about that for a name for the space. it kinda had a ring to it – “suckwater studios”. and while utilizing the term “suck” in the name might have certain negative connotations to it, i can’t imagine it being worse than something like, say…”scrotum stain studios”.

maybe i’ll just stick with the name blake saddled me with and not give this whole incident too much power.

i do expect to be up and running by this weekend. hold me to that, so i actually get it done.

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