Hey, Steff! Only here in Tulsa is it lonely...We're from New Orleans, where everyone of all persuasions/races/etc. converge and enjoy each other. Gainesville - I've never been, but I'm guessing it's rather conservative. Isn't that where Lynard Skynard's from, or is that Gainesville, GA.?
Anyway, about the bass - sounds like we're on the same level. It has always been the instrument I "hear" in music (and drums). Guess I'm a backbeat kind of girl. A suggestion to get better - it may be difficult to endure at times, but tune into the classic rock station. You'll be playing nearly every song relatively well even before it's over! Then, just for fun, tune into the Motown/R&B stations - forget about it!
Anyway, nice to meet ya.