And I can vouch for that. When you buy something like a relatively inexpensive drumkit, you come away thinking Well, it's certainly cheaper than the other ones in the shop by quite a long way, and this is enough to dazzle you. After a while though you realise that it's 'cheap' for a reason - the skins are inferior and never sound tight enough, the stands are difficult to keep exactly in the position you want them, and the stool is made of a metal which bends by you just looking at it. I attempted to shove a broomhandle through the tripod of the stool to push through the firmly stuck extendable bit, and ended up with a double-ended wooden lightsabre until I eventually cut or drilled the broomhandle out. I'm not particularly DIY.
For the second time in my life, I own a drum kit. It's a nice enough kit; it's black and made by a company called "Rock Tubs" (hence the cheapness). Effectively it's a step up from buying a kit from Argos. I bought the kit because I'm playing in a band which has been specifically brought together to play the live backing music for a version of Twelfth Night, which is going to be set in the 1960s, so we're playing versions of All Along the Watch Tower, Loves is All Around, Hit the Road Jack, Folsom Prison Blues, and the like. We've been practising for about three months now, and it sounds good. We've played live a couple of times and we've received some good reactions, so we seem to be all set. I've found myself obsessing recently (as I tend to when i properly get into something) about drumming. I've been watching a lot of Keith Moon videos on Youtube, and also Luke Flowers, the drummr from The Cinematic Orchestra, who is possibly my favourite drummer. I'm not the best drummer in the world, but I can hold a beat and I suppose that's the main thing. I also only joined this band because of Max, my housemate from the first year, who excitedly told me one day all about this idea he'd got for Twelfth Night set in the 60s, with a band and everything, and how he was looking for a drummer. I said I could drum, and I was asked to join.
A couple of weeks ago, Max organised a social for the band, cast and crew of Twelfth Night. Just a casual 'integrating' of everyone, before full rehearsals and run-throughs begin. Whilst out, Max sat next to me and we started talking about the first year and living together - the Aerobie nights, the Christmas party, jamming on guitar together, all of that - and he told me that he still, once in a while, reads this blog. I was delighted that someone out there actually still reads it because, having not updated it for about 7 months, I assumed that no one would want to read it anymore. Max said that he enjoyed reading it though because I'd actually documented those days in my words. Sure, everyone documents everything with Facebook (especially photos, where a picture supposedly captures everything) but Max said that he liked my blog because it was a new angle on events he remembered, events that he only had his perspective on. I know that makes 'events' sounds like serious, significant situations, but it's more a case of these are memories which, to Max, someone else deemed fit to document, and it's intriguing to find out why.
I told him that I didn't really have interest in continuing this blog any more, seeing as it was meant to be a document of my time as an undergrad and that was coming to an end. He did advice me to wrap it up, though. Conclude it somehow. I agreed. I started the blog deliberately, so I should end it deliberately; it deserves that much. This blog meant a greaty deal to me during my time as an undergrad, especially during my first year and part of my second year. Or rather, writing it in meant a great deal to me. I still write now - I have two little notebooks, Fact and Fiction (I'm sure it's obvious what they're for, althogh sometimes I get them confused and with interesting results) which I write in fairly regularly. But I've simply found that as I've become busier and busier with whatever uni life has thrown my way, I simply haven't felt the need to keep something like a blog maintained.
I look back now at some of the entires here and it's almost as if I was discussing what was going on in order to figure something out. Eventually, for a large part of my experiences at least, it seems I must have 'figured things out ' (whatever that means) because I just got into the flux of doing them instead of the hesitancy and the analysis. It's still there, obviously. That's who I am. But I'm a bit more of a do-er now, and that's a good thing.
But this is the thing, isn't it? Things eventually just fall into place, and you don't notice them falling into place because you're too busy doing these things. To just do things instead of worrying about whether said things will work or fail is pretty much the best anyone can hope for, and in some ways it's possibly the best state of mind you can achieve. Yes, life can be shit; we lose things, we fail at things, we accidentally stick broomsticks up things, and sometimes we gain things that we didn't really want in the first place. But we should always carry on doing, regardless. If history or evolution has taught us anything, it's that mankind is a Do-er of Things. you look at structures like cathedrals, docks , superclubs in Ibiza or Stonehenge - man has always gotten up early and done things. Sometimes it's a mystery why he did it in the first place, but nonetheless he did it. He felt compelled to make estimations of the world which currently suurounds him by making things with purose and with use, and most of the time with zero aesthetic detriment to natural surroundings because they were part of his nature. It's the same with individuals; you can create, no matter how small or ephemeral, in order to make estimates, to calculate, and it's the process - not the final product - which is the important bit.
Anyway. I'm all done now. My dissertation is handed in. It was a long final year, and now it's over I suppose I need to find something else to keep me just as occupied (after all, why on earth would I want anything less now?) I feel the need to just do. I'll leave you with a decent-enough quote about satisfactory work from one of several above-average Western authors in the world, Kurt Vonnegut: "If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in the Kingdom of the Blind".
Here's to half-assed jobs.