Trying again

So, I’m giving this another shot.

I am attempting to learn the guitar again. I’ve tried this before. I even took a college credit class in it. Learning a skill like this is usually kind of like my Kryptonite.


Guitar (Photo credit: mrwalker)

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I tend to acquire a base level proficiency in most things relatively quickly. I can pick up a lot of complicated skills and I can learn the basics very quickly.

This can be good, because if it’s something I’m going to have to be doing long term, I can become proficient quickly and then build on that base set of skills. It’s very handy for job-specific skills and things of that nature.

It also tends to be frustrating. When I’m learning something for me, I plateau at that base-level proficiency quickly as well. I’m sure all that’s really needed is a decent amount of practice. I can come to terms with this. The trouble is that I don’t usually have the patience for this practice.

Whether it’s an overall lack of patience, or a false sense of accomplishment creating false expectations, I get frustrated when I don’t progress learning something as quickly as my initial surge might suggest. This leads to a lot of trying things and then quitting when I can’t learn more right away.

This is kind of how I previously learned to play guitar. I borrowed one and eventually bought my own. I learned some simple songs that I could play that I really liked. I felt like a king! Then I got stuck. I couldn’t figure things out because I never got enough of a base in music. I never learned to properly read the music. I had trouble learning chords on the guitar.

Like everything else, I eventually gave up.I have been wanting to try again though. It’s going to be ugly this time. This time I’m learning the basics. no songs, just lessons on YouTube. I’m learning from the beginning. Even though I’m sure I could do more already, I’m going to do this like I’ve never held a guitar before. I’m going to keep watching tutorials and learning and not move on until I master the lesson I’m working on.

We’ll see how this goes.

A/V Club


Great video from my favorite song by one of my favorite bands. They’re actually only kind of a band. Gorillaz is only a pseudo-band, but they’re absolutely excellent.

I have to say that I think that song captures how I feel more often than not. There’s almost never a time when I don’t want to hear “Clint Eastwood”, and it always seems to suit whatever mood I’m in. I first heard that song over a decade ago in high school, and I think it has aged quite well.

The chorus goes:

I ain’t happy, I’m feeling glad.
I got sunshine, in a bag.
I’m useless, but not for long.
The future, is comin’ on. Is comin’ on, is comin’ on, is comin’ on, is comin’ on…

You know I feel like that a lot. I feel content, I feel like I’ve got all I need with me. I also feel useless and unfulfilled. I expect it to get better in the coming days.

That can be a bad way to look at things. Always looking for the future to be better than the present can have a tendency to make you unhappy all the time. You wouldn’t want to be the only cause of your own unhappiness, right?

I do think that I am not as skilled as I would like to be in certain areas. I really wish that I displayed an aptitude for something that interests me. It would give me an idea of where to focus my efforts. It would give me some hope that whatever skill I was trying to develop might actually progress forward.

I tend to not be great at sticking with difficult, skill-based things. I seem to make a few large jumps at the beginning and then I hit a decent wall and I  just can’t ever get any better. That definitely contributes to my feeling like I’m useless sometimes. I mean, think if every time you tried to do something that interested you, you found out that you probably weren’t good enough to ever  get any better. Cooking, baking, writing, drawing, music, singing. Something that you enjoy and consider yourself adequate at; What if you just learned ytht you were actually pretty bad and never seemed to get better?

That is just how it feels when I try something and get stonewalled.

Oh well, someday I’ll find my niche. Until then, I’ve always got the Gorillaz to keep me company.

Mad Skillz

So I had this idea.

I solve problems. It’s what I do.

Being presented with a problem or a puzzle gets my juices flowing. The best description I can give, is imagine someone gave you a 20′ rope, tied into a knot the size of a basketball. To me, this looks like a beautiful little treasure chest. I can’t wait to pluck and tease each little strand loose and separate it from it’s fellows. Piece by tiny piece I want to unravel this mystery until I look up to see how much rope was really contained in such a complicated little package.

What I want to know, is how I can market this particular skill. Can I just declare myself an independent consultant of problem solving? I have a sense for the best way to get results out of lots of different situations.

I suspect I’m not just going to be able to jump into a badass suit every morning and walk into people’s businesses and tell them I can solve all their problems. Even if I did that, I would suspect that I might have a hard time charging them $100 and hour for it.

Anyone have any ideas how I could turn this love of puzzle and problem solving into an actual job skill? I’m just laughing at myself over here thinking of driving around in a phenomenal suit, just walking into people’s workplaces telling them I’m the answer to their problems, not knowing what those problems are. It’s a very amusing mental picture.