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I'm etrace... and you're not!

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My Rig
Back in the late '80s, when I first started to become a Serious Musician, I decided I needed some Serious Equipment. The cheap Peavey bass and amplifier I was using just wasn't going to cut it. I needed something more.

I walked into the new music store in town. I had started making friends with the owners, and had bought enough equipment to have earned a little special treatment. I explained that I was looking for a professional rig, something that would hold up in the bigger clubs and outdoor venues against the guitar amps in the band. The salesman showed me a few options, including this monstrosity of a rig with bright fluorescent green colors and a gaudy black light. I thought it was ridiculous. "That thing is ridiculous," I said. "Wait until you hear it," they said.

And they were right. It was a fantastic amp. It had everything I wanted and more. It was made by a company in the UK and at that time they only made this particular type of bass amplifier. I forgave the obnoxious color scheme and took it home. The company was called Trace Elliot.

A few years later I found myself in college. My second year composition professor required us to keep a journal, but as a character and not our actual selves. I thought that was great! I based my fictional personality on the eponymous character in one of my favorite books at the time, Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. My character needed a name, and with little difficulty I settled on "Elliot Trace". Elliot Trace was a holistic detective like Dirk Gently. An observer of life, a pointer-outer of weird or unusual phenomena that we as typical humans take for granted. It was a lot of fun to write as him.

A few years later, when the Internet became a thing, I found I needed user names and aliases and those kinds of things. Often the fields were limited to ten characters or fewer, so when I was able I was "EllioTrace". And when that was too long, I was "etrace". Sometimes shortened to just "et". Once, a guy in some chat room asked me, "Are you a bassist?" and it totally made my day!

The fortunes of Trace Elliot went up and down over the years. They eventually branched out and started a line of acoustic guitar amplifiers, and as the company changed hands, the quality of their products became less certain. I'm lucky to have one of the original high-end models and still use it to this day. Interestingly, Peavey bought Trace Elliot in 2005.
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1994 scrapbook
Back on the bus, headed in the opposite direction. I can't imagine how our weekend together could have been any better unless it was longer.

I am feeling pretty good, much better than I thought I would feel after having to let her go. I made a point to not bring up our impending separation until it was necessary, and in that I think I was successful. (This is something else I never could have done before. I would have brooded all weekend about her leaving, and not made the most out of our time together. ) We joked about her staying, but (from my perspective at least) like so many other Things we joke about, there was an underlying Deadly Seriousness to the conversations.

We had a lot of Fun. We had some Serious Discussion. We spent hours and hours and hours separated by no more than an arm's length. We fulfilled our one stated obligation to have breakfast with one important friend (it was important that chanaleh meet him, whole 'nother story) and blew off all of the other possible "goings out" in favor of staying in. We did have dinner with my mother and her crazy friend which felt more like a necessity than anything else (if only I could shield her from my family!).

Most importantly, I feel we made Progress. I'm not sure if anything is more clear than it was a couple of days ago, but parameters are better defined and the likely (as of right now) options are laid out. Still more to figure out, but it really seems to be logistics more than anything else.

Next up is more phone calls, more email, more texts, more Skype. More staying up way too late (we need to work on that) and more waiting. The second weekend in November I am headed to NYC. This seems like the Next Big Step to me, as I will be stepping out of my comfort zone and into her environment for the first time (again in almost twenty years).

And I absolutely cannot wait! (But, it seems, I must!) :)

Hello World!
1994 scrapbook
Here I sit on the bus on my way to the airport to meet chanaleh. And doing yet another thing I never expected to do.

I am not a blogger. I hate the word - "blog". It sounds like the name of the creature in a bad 1950s sci fi horror flick. I do have a "site", but I try not to make it about me. I like to pretend my site is not a blog (but of course it is).

So why? Why am I here? Why am I on Facebook when I swore I would never? Why, in a few short weeks, am I getting on a plane (scary) and going to New York City (scary!)? Why am I suddenly compelled to share things, personal things, with people I haven't met and don't know?

It's all because of her.

To borrow a cliche, today feels like the first day of the rest of my life. I feel significantly different today than each of the last days over the past month. Calm. I'm actually going to see her, and not just on Skype or in pictures. I will be able to hold her hand as we talk instead of the phone. After this post, I may not touch a keyboard for three days.

I see an incredible circle of friends around her. Since I'm hoping (expecting) to get to know all or at least some of you, I thought perhaps I'd start sooner rather than later. I'm already growing quite fond of some of you (looking at you bluepapercup!).

And at the same time maybe I will keep up with this blogging thing and chronicle my version of our journey together. Who knows? Sometimes crazy things happen. Even to us. :)