Gear Acquisition Syndrome, or NAMM – Day One

NAMM Show Floor (2014) - your source of gear acquisition syndrome

It’s the opening day of Winter NAMM 2017, the music gear event of the year for most musicians I know.  Vendors roll out their latest drool-worthy instruments and gear. And there’s a name for the affliction many musicians emerge from NAMM with – Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS).

Umm… Gear Acquisition Syndrome?

Yep, it’s a thing. GAS’s key symptom is a relentless drive to grab your wallet and upgrade all your instruments, gear, and accessories to the shiny new hotness you’ve just played with.  When it comes to GAS afflictees, I’m pretty much a poster child – so it’s a good thing that I’m not attending in person this year.  Restraining my wallet hand is getting easier with age, but from early signs we may need medics at NAMM this year.  It’s gonna be a gear acquisition syndrome outbreak!

Here’s my first two candidates for ‘wallet magnet of the week’.

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The Road Ahead

Forging the road ahead.

2017 hasn’t come fully into focus yet, but already feels like a breath of fresh air. I haven’t really gotten back into the swing of my daily routine(s) yet, but I already feel like the baggage of 2016 has finally slipped free. The road ahead is foggy but highlights are starting to poke through the haze, drawing me forward with curiosity and intent.

I decided to not kid myself this year with the usual New Year’s resolutions. Instead I’m just sticking to the basics, with the goal of leaving this year stronger than I began it. And by doing so, hopefully find the road ahead to more productive paths for personal and professional growth.

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2016 Was Quite the Turbulent Year

2016 - a turbulent year

In retrospect 2016 feels like such a mess- oh, what a glorious disaster this year has been. Not without it’s blindingly bright moments in time, mind you, but an utter disaster year nonetheless. Just over a week ago my company held it’s monthly ‘InDay’, a Friday that all employees are allowed to take off of regular work in order to focus on a particular theme. This last InDay’s theme was ‘reflection’, and ohmygosh looking back on 2016 was a ton of fun for me this year.

(Feel free to walk back my last few posts for broader context on that. I’m gonna shoot from the hip and not crosslink like I usually do.)

As I looked back, sprinkled throughout this year were serious moments where I nearly said ‘okay, fuck this all’. A true WTF year, 2016 was shockingly beautiful in it’s tragic optimism yet absolutely crushing in it’s toll on my emotional and physical well-being and the general state of the world around us.

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Expectations can really suck.

Letting go of expectations

I’ve been living a bit of an experiment with expectations the last few months during my healing process, and it’s become so telling that’s it’s far less of an experiment now and really just a Very Good Thing to be mindful of in general. My experiment really gets down to managing expectations, and/or the lack thereof.

Given tonight’s Supermoon is the biggest in years, ushering in a phase of rebirth and cleansing, I’m gonna focus on what I’ve recently learned about expectations and hopefully get an energetic leg-up this evening.  Let me explain.

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Time to turn that page.

Turn the page

To say the last two years have been strange would be an understatement. Beautiful, tragic, confusing, powerful, humbling, life-changing – all of these words apply equally well, and collectively. Any sense of normalcy took a hard turn in the opposite direction last year.

In some ways, that was all expected. A little over two years ago I very nearly died. In practical terms, I was actually dead for a hot moment. I was out of critical care and back home recovering within a few weeks, but the devastating ripple effects of this experience couldn’t be predicted or prepared for.  And as a result, I didn’t realize what was happening until it was far too late.

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An armchair, post-NAMM wishlist.

2014 NAMM Show - Day 3

I always look forward to January, and my annual trip to the NAMM show in Anaheim to gawk at the cutting edge of music hardware (and software).  When I realized my schedule wouldn’t get me to NAMM this month I was bummed, but kept my ears and eyes peeled online. Despite no significant time on the show floor this year, there were a few announcements and developments at NAMM 2015 that still caught my attention. It should come as no surprise that I’m rather focused on effects & amps for guitar & bass. Here’s my video post-NAMM wishlist, with commentary.

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