Today I had the privilege of taking my first private music lesson. My teacher has already made a fantastic impression on me and really fueled my excitement for learning this fantastic instrument.

I bought a violin last week. It was an almost religious experience finding my first violin. I truly love that instrument already. I’m sure this relationship will only strengthen as time goes on.

I have a lot of work ahead of me to be able to do the violin justice. This week’s lesson focused on the first of many underpinning skills and techniques I need to begin playing properly.

I found several things that will improve as I learn to play and practice the exercises specifically targeting these weaknesses. I have exercises for this week working on the flexibility of my left shoulder and hand, the strength of my right pinkie (for bow control) and my sense of rhythm. Some of the exercises make me feel a little silly (clapping and marching in place at different paces, really) and some of them cause me some discomfort. That is to be expected aw I am using my body in ways it has never been used before.

Thus begins one of my potentially lifelong relationships. Come back and read more as this relationship blossoms.

Ok – If you are in Brisbane this week – YOU HAVE TO GO AND SEE THIS PRODUCTION. It is frikkn awesome.

It’s an intense 75 minute circus and contemporary dance  presentation that just kicks arse and tickets are only $35 & 25 for concessions and groups of 10+.

Oh and if you leave a little inspired: They offer classes. Just sayin’.

Ok so the concept of ‘the rules’ will be familiar to anyone who has watched some NCIS, or read a dating book, or played a sport.  They are firm pointers to the proper behavior and typically penaties or disadvantes exist for those who do not follow the rules.  Be it a 90 s powerplay for ‘fisticuffs’ in the NHL or 10 – 15 years for aggravated assault, penalties exist for deviating from the ‘true path’.  Not quite so much when you build you own rule book for your own purposes.

My rules do not have penalties other than opportunity cost associated yet, and they probably never will.

I am creating this list, building this book one rule at a time, and I will explore why I have added each rule.  This will explore what it means to me, what I hope to achieve, why this is the best framework and any historical impetus behind this rule.

These rule poss (for the first three rules) will appear as I get around to completing them. But there will be more of the usual ranting and such coming soon.

Yesterday, I had a kind of awakening.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I had an epiphany, because I already knew this thing, I’d just let myself forget it. I’mma gonna let this thought finish, but first some background.

Yesterday I went to Live Spark & Livewired at the powerhouse.  Both great shows and I would highly recommend anybody who can checks out Live Spark’s Indie acts at least once, and Live Wired every chance the get.  Yesterday the Live Spark acts were Ichabod’s Crane and The Lucky Wonders. (As an aside why do all indie bands have MySpace profiles?) I really liked Ichabod Crane’s sound even though I only really caught the last third of their set, and The Lucky Wonders were really good.  Livewired was awesome with Wil Anderson starting us off with a quick 10 before he headed to the airport (allegedly) and with Sammy J headlining.

I met a few of the QUT Cliffhangers there for us to check out the lineup for Livewired and have a good night.  I rocked up at the previously notified time of 1600.  At about 1530 N called and said that she would be there at 1700 rather than 1600 as previously discussed and L & A were still maybes. B (not a Cliffhanger) couldn’t make it because she was tired and F (also not a Cliffhanger) really needed to study. At first while I was sitting there alone I got a little perturbed and even slightly upset, but I allowed myself to get into the acts and just enjoy the performances as I had alone many times before.

Don’t get me wrong sometimes I like to do things alone, I would even go so far as to say that from time to time most of humanity shits me to tears; however, I have really started to like doing things with other people.  Human beings are social creatures after all, even strange little monkeys like me.

Then N arrived and the happy little social creature time began. Then L & A got there. Seeing the happy couple got me thinking and not in a way likely to leave my jumping for joy.  I started thinking about opportunities lost through inaction, disappointments felt and potential joy missed out on.  In short emotional opportunity costs I had incurred.  And I remembered an old maxim “where a choice exists between action and inaction, always choose action” that I should pay more attention to and follow where I can.

Coming back to this I started to think of Jethro Gibb’s rules (the TV series NCIS, but how can you not get the reference?)  and how while violable under certain circumstances they provide him (the character) a valuable framework to guide his actions.  I’m not in a position to lay down such a rigid system for myself but there are a few I will endeavor to keep in mind:

  1. Never screw over a friend.
  2. In a choice between action and inaction, choose action
  3. Don’t believe what you’re told. Check for yourself.

At the moment those are all I want to start with.  Like Gibb’s rules I want mine to grow from experience. After all ‘good decisions comes from experience and experience comes from bad decisions’.

I have made errors of omission simply by staying home.  Sure I’ve been hurt in the past, but I need to jump back up on those horses and ride on.  To make this happen I need to get back on the cliffs and so what if a 10 m grade 11 takes me an hour, I need to talk to strangers and acquaintances who could be good friends or even more, and I need to seize each and every day.

I need to leave my inherent shyness behind and embrace every opportunity to be with people.

So go forth people and embrace life. Understand that walking the long road and taking the scenic detours involves pain, but that the rewards are commensurate with the risks. And love. Above all love you fellow men and women because if you don’t this little rock will get pretty crowded.