Mark, Mara And Mama

Today Mara and I went with Mark to his band’s practice building to hear the new 12-string bass and the Alembic through his bass amp. Everyone was carried away with the 12-string. Hell, Mark is in love with it, I think. Mara would shit, but it has me thinking about trying to buy him one. I won’t say much about that, and will probably let the notion slip away.
I also plugged up the Alembic. Man. That’s the fucker that sounded good. Mara was impressed. We both were. It’s been a long, long time since I heard the Alembic on a decent bass amp, and I wanted to see how it sounded with the Piano Design strings. They made a big difference. I’m looking forward to hearing the Alembic through the Hartke bass rig that I’ve set my sites on.
The 12-string sounded good; but it sounded like one would expect a 12-string bass to sound. I couldn’t help but wonder how it would sound with a set of Rotosound strings and some Alembic pickups. We’ll start with the strings and see if we can get a little more life out of it. I wasn’t disappointed, though. The electronics seem to be incredibly strong. I just thought that the sound of the pickups was a little flat. As I said, though, I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve heard it with a set of Rotosound strings.
I enjoyed hanging out with Mark a bit. I hope we can continue to patch things up. We’re cousins. It’s true that there’s been a lot of bad blood between, because of a lot of things that Mark said and did through the years. But there’s no point in hanging on to shit like that. Life is too short, and we’re both getting old.
I also wish Mark would give himself a little credit as a bass player. He was playing the Alembic and started tossing out old Rush, Pat Travers, and UFO songs. I just looked at Mara and smiled. I may be able to thump a bit and Mark might really like the tapping thing that I do, but that certainly doesn’t mean that I’m miles ahead of Mark on the instrument. I just wish he would give himself a break. He’s a great bass player. I think it’s a shame that he’s only singing in his new band. He should be playing, too. I imagine he’s probably better than the bass player that they have.
After we got back we took Mama to Sam’s Club in Gastonia. We dropped $250, but we came out pretty good. Afterward we went over to Cracker Barrel and had dinner. It was nice to get out with Mama, but Mara was in an evil mood all evening. At least until after we ate. Then she suddenly was in a good mood again. I can’t really say anything because it’ll start a fight and she’ll get defensive, but sometimes I think she’s a little rough on Mama. I can take the sniping, but Mama doesn’t know how to deal with it. I’m very afraid that one of these days she’ll go too far and she’ll say or do something that I just can’t forgive.
That doesn’t sound right. I’m making Mara sound like a bitch, and I don’t mean to. She was in a bad mood today. That’s all. I should have asked her if there was something wrong, and showed a little more understanding. Instead I got kind of defensive myself. That never helps.

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