Tonks - Viva la Strega

I am The Work That Dares Not Speak Its Name...

I've got to recover the joy of living and performing music. I'm not old enough Yet to give up on life and Favorite activities. I can't seem to get my backside Outside to play music, play at open mics, practice music, listen to music, make new polymer clay ornaments, or do much of anything Else. I've got to figure out how to make a living with Original creative work. I've got to get more performing opportunities. I've got to get Out more, period. I can't even get myself out of bed at a Decent AM hour. I can't keep living like a freaking recluse. I just don't quite know what is really Worth getting up for.

I can't seem to be Open about my Real thinking, my Real spiritual beliefs, my Real orientation (I think), and my True goals in life, because Certain people would stop speaking to me. I've got most of the New guitar gear I need; but I also need New scoring software, mics and Other equipment. But aside from that, I need motivation and determination, being Convinced that there's something Worth getting out of bed for. If I get a New job, it's got to be something I absolutely want to do. But I need a mindset of wanting to do Interesting things that are Worth waking up for. I can't seem to make a living doing anything, which may be part of the problem. I can't finish my recording project; I can't get a radio show; I can't find anything Lucrative to do with Original songs and photos; I can't get performing gigs, or Other musicians to work with. No one will invest in creative projects that I want to do. And when I start screaming in protest and frustration about this state of affairs, Online or Off, I get lectured about being Egocentric (which I am NOT, FFS). How do I maintain a Positive outlook when rejection and disregard feel Normal? I've got to convince myself, Somehow, that life is Worth living, and dreams and goals are Worth hanging onto. Caffeine and antidepressants don't seem to work to wake me up Anymore. Would psilocybin work any Better...?

  • Current Music
    Something barely audible
Captain Jack Sparrow - Hallelujah

What Needs Updating, and What is Adorable...

So, here I am in the Belltown Pub (see previous post), wondering why LJ has two Different posting/editing systems.  I really don't need more than one at a time, thanks.  Lately, I'm working on processing and Photoshopping aerial and other photos; a slideshow video of the set from the volcano Haleakala, on the island of Maui, will be in progress shortly, I hope.  I'm trying to keep from getting Overwhelmed by the size and extent of my photo backlog.  I need to finish my music video of the Oscar Wilde song ASAP, which will include footage of me singing along with the audio.

The Home Lair needs updating.  My photo galleries need updating.  I need Paid accounts on my music sites, and I need to create something that actually sells Online.  The lighting in here is keeping me from seeing my laptop's keyboard clearly.  In other news, I've just about exhausted myself explaining to crowds of strangers on Twitter that "allegations" against a certain Controversial public figure are NOT proof that a crime has been Committed, regardless of how Salacious the details of Said allegations might be.  I can only imagine what the Hollywood media would say about ol' Joe Kennedy (JFK's skirt-chasing daddy), if he were alive and on the hunt here and now (he was, more or less, the Harvey Weinstein of his own day).

I've been discovering some new Pagan and/or Scandinavian folk, folk-rock and folk-metal bands recently.  There's Faun, and Omnia, and Heilung, among others.  I want to play in bands like those.  I want a band like the old Afro-Celt Sound System, or like Loreena McKennitt's veteran backing team.  I need, as I've written previously, to raise around $20k to do some of my own recording, editing, music video projects, and open mic tours.  I need to raise money to make money.  While learning more about these bands, and wondering what to do with my own music, I look with envy upon their freedom to believe what they please, and wonder why I'm still Stuck in Unsupportive, Protestant monotheism.  At least some of these folks are unabashedly Pagan; so why can't I change my spiritual beliefs as I please?  I still struggle to do what I want to do with regard to when I go to sleep, and when I wake up, on any Given day.  I'm so Accustomed to an Assigned existence, I hardly know that I want, much Less what I want.  I can hardly keep from feeling Guilty about sitting here in the Belltown Pub munching on guacamole and chips right at this moment.

Is there a deity out there that will dissolve the blocks to my success and prosperity, whatever or whoever is creating and maintaining them?  Is there some Supernatural being out there who will support me in living the life I want, without even trying to drag me Along in their own agenda Instead?  Will they help me shake the feelings that I'm not Allowed to succeed at anything, not Allowed to make money doing anything, not Allowed to follow the spiritual path that I want to journey on?  Is there a religion out there that treats charting your own course in life as a good thing?  I look around at all these folks who feel Free to be musicians, to be sexual beings, to be shamanic practitioners, to be artists, to do what the fuck they please, as long as they harm no one; and I want to know why I can't be like them.  I want to know why all my work is Ignored; why I can't make a living doing anything that's worth doing; and why I hardly dare to dream that things could be the Exact opposite of the way they are Now.

It's time that I made enough money to travel when I want to; shoot, to be able to afford to buy teeshirts and hoodies from my own freaking Cafepress shops.  It's time that these e-commerce sites helped me a bit with marketing and promotion, rather than insisting that their contributors do all their own marketing work.  I want to be able to get Away for long weekends (or longer), to catch up on my photo or video editing, or blogging, or whatever I need to work on.  I want to abandon all Assigned schedules and other obligations, and spend a week in some location with Better weather than we've got in Seattle at present.  I work hard on my music, writing, photos and whatnot; and I want my efforts to pay off.  There's got to be something I can create that actually sells.  I'm done with being Available for outside agendas, unless they line up with mine.  So there...

The Wifi closes too Early around here...

I think I need to find a Starbucks with Later hours than the Belltown store currently has, or I'll never get any work done.  I think I'll be headed to the Belltown pub after dinner tonight.

I'm getting Overwhelmed by the backlog of photos, video clips, HubPages and other Assorted bullshit, on top of repeatedly commenting on a certain Infamous legal case that is currently dominating Twitter, among other places.  I'm still horrendously Short of funds, and my e-commerce efforts, as Usual, are going Nowhere.  Time to start busking Again, where I can create value in "real time", and get tips that don't have to go through PayPal; and where my teeshirt design site doesn't keep around 60 percent of my markup.  First, though, I'm in Serious need of new nylon guitar strings...

Tonks - Viva la Strega

Hello from Crossville: Let's See If We Can Get Any Work Done...


Hello from Jantel Drive, Crossville, LairCronies!  I've escaped Damp and chilly Seattle for the Dry and chilly Cumberland Plateau.  I've got work to catch Up on, now that I don't have folks calling me up to type their emails and Whatnot.  Let's see what can be Accomplished, when I'm not feeling like a Jetlagged zombie.  And if I can stop being Obsessed with (in my opinion) people who may be wrongly Accused of improprieties that have been turned into firing offenses.  Anyway, there is to be Updated...

  • A bunch of our HubPages are in Sore need of attention.

  • Let's see if our ReverbNation Profile is of any use.  It needs to be a Paid subscription if I want to submit music Anywhere.

  • Complete the update for OutLiners, our Adult Coloring Book Review Site. I can't seem to finish updating anything Anymore...

  • The Sing Globally affiliate site is nearly Updated; look at adding to the Festival Page, and finish the Folkal Profiling section.

  • Find public swimming pools on a map of Seattle, and nail Down the bus routes needed to get there.

  • The Lair of Cards is badly in need of new wall calendars.  Processing of aerial photos now in progress.

  • Older LairShops are all in need of updating.  New LithicLair images Planned, among Other things.

  • Is our SonicBids Profile still in existence?  I think it's Inactive.

  • The LairMistress's Myspace Page: Does it even exist Anymore?

  • Our Flickr Profile may have uses that we have not Yet explored.  Ditto the LairMistress's BigstockPhoto Profile...

  • We don't even know what they're doing over at Photobucket these days.  It looks suspiciously Repurposed, or something...

  • PLUS...We've got loads of photos and video clips that we need to work with.  Some terrific Youtube items should be under construction Shortly.  Focus on the Central American cruise videos and Bumbershoot videos.

Okay, meanwhile, I need to get to bed Soon, as I'll have be getting Up tomorrow around 8:00 am, if I want to take part in my Mom's dulcimer group practice.  No, the two of us play fiddle in the dulcimer group.  We even had a performing gig at a Scottish society function back in May.  There may or may not be at least one Other gig at the Local art gallery just before Christmas, Solstice, or Whatever...
  • Current Music
Nusrat 1993 - photo © by Jack Vartoogian

The Stuff of Musical Dreams...

God, I really don't want to travel Tomorrow.  But the bloody reservation is Made.  Gah...

I dreamed about Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan last night; and it wasn't the first time Either, right after I'd been listening to clips of him in a tribute article on my laptop.  In fact, it feels as if I spent all night in an Alternate reality, where he was Alive, and performing all over Seattle for a mostly Desi crowd--even outside, on University Way, in a sort of Glorified busking set.  I was Elated, and Confused at the same time; I couldn't figure out if I was in an Astral plane with him and his ancestors, relatives, friends and whomever; or if he had died and come back to life (as I keep wanting to happen in real life); or if he had never died in the First place.  Plus, I kept moving from place to place with him and this whole crowd of fans, cousins, et. al.; and it seemed as if we ended up in a house where people were partying all night, and I fell asleep in a chair around a table with a bunch of other folks.  Eventually, it seemed as if Nusrat himself was telling me it was time to wake up and get on with Waking hours, while puzzling over how to deal with the next time I'm missing him something awful (this past Friday would have been his 69th birthday; and I'd been thinking of how I gave him early-birthday presents for his 47th, way back in '95, when Riz and I organized that crazy show at the Moore Theater).

  • Current Music
    Ray Charles
Podge & Rodge - the Gruesome Twosome

So, What Will $20k Buy Me Once I Raise It?

Happy Autumn, LairCronies!  Before I leave for Miami, there to embark into Hurricane Alley (aka the Caribbean Sea) in a few days, I need to figure out how to restart a previously Failed crowdfunding campaign.  While in Hurricane Alley, the MS Regatta will be my (and my mom's) home away from home for a couple of weeks; and when we're not doing land excursions and swimming, I hope to spend some time outlining future plans and goals for promoting my music.  For Realz.  Since a close friend of mine has become Accomplished at fundraising for Various humanitarian causes, I need to enlist his help to raise around $20,000 for music recording, publication and promotion, which would include traveling.  Dammit, I'm not getting any Younger in this universe; so it's time to Just Do It Already™.

In reference to my Previous post (the still-in-progress To-Do List), I need much of the following, and more Besides...

  • New guitar strings

  • New gig bag

  • New guitar case (hard case)

  • New fiddle strings

  • New musician's business cards

  • Duplicate EP CD's

  • Now, the updated Open Mic tour info can be easily Had online for free, of course.  And I can design my own business cards, stickers, flyers, etc.  But there is the matter of...

  • Transportation (I'm thinking of whatever deals are Available via Greyhound and Amtrak);

  • Lodging (easily Obtainable online);

  • Portable Recording items... Zoom H2 and Zoom H4N come Recommended (by at least one Local club booker/open mic host).

For Social Media bells and whistles, I'm currently in need of...

Overall, I want to make more money because I want to travel more often, especially for Musical, Photographic and Archaeological purposes.  That is to say, the businesses I want to work in, as my own boss.  I can't do too much of that Yet without more money, though; so I must do some fundraising First.  And since I am Jinxed at making and raising money, I need to enlist another Trusted individual to manage that sort of thing.  Why?  Because I refuse to resign myself to always being Broke, Unknown and Unfulfilled, just so whatever Cosmic Jerk is screwing with my life can get its own fucking way.  So there.

Tonks - Viva la Strega

Let's See How This Lair Looks as a To-Do List...

Okay, LairCronies; I'm going to be 53 years Stiff in a couple of days.  What am I still doing on LJ?  Probably saving money that I don't have Anyway.  Funny, I thought I'd posted here since April!  Where the hell did summer go?  And here I'm boycotting Bumbershoot for the second year in a row, because: 1) It's gotten insanely Expensive: $115 per day for what has become corporate version of an Indie Rock festival just isn't worth it; 2) It's no longer run by One Reel; some outside Corporate conglomerate has glommed our freaking arts festival, dammit; and 3) Volunteers are required to turn over their bloody bank account info in exchange for a volunteers' 3-day pass.  Ugh.  Hell, NO.  I want Bumbershoot re-localized ASAP, if we want to have any hope of salvaging its Local spirit and flavor.

Anyway, what needs to be Done very soon; and what do I need to buy with my birthday cash?  Second item First:

  • X I need a swimsuit pretty Soon.  My Mom and I are going for a Caribbean/Gulf cruise Caribbean/Gulf cruise in October/early November via Oceania.  For realz!

  • X New lingerie: cotton only, thanks

  • Request a good-quality portable audio recorder (H2 or H4 Zzounds, or something like it)

  • X More socks

  • New sneakers

  • New guitar gig bag and strings

  • More of my own LairShops' teeshirts

  • X A birthday present for my new sister-in-law.  Preferably an Original LairShop product.  She liked my greeting cards and Cherry Blossom calendar, apparently.  I still need to get to know the lady better, she being a new family member and all.  Geez, I feel so Isolated out here in the Northwest sometimes.

Okay, now the at-home To-Do List...

  • Update the Folksite, including the Accompanying mp3-review blog. (In progress)

  • New song videos (In progress)

  • Experiment with already-Recorded songs and MuseScore instrumentation

  • X Continue updating the Supposed ghost videos, whether they're uploaded to my Youtube Channel or not.

  • Work on LairLinks pages for the Folksite.

  • Add new cherry pics to the Flickr profile and Imagekind galleries.

  • Print out new business cards

  • The whole studio apartment needs dusting Bigtime. (In progress)

  • I'm overdue for: eye checkup, regular checkup and colon screening. (In progress)

And right Now, I'm not feeling particularly Motivated to do any of the above.  At least I'm finished with my building's committee membership for the year...

Steve Irwin - Crocs Rule

Now, how does one promote an affiliate site once it's Up and Running??

Hi from soggy Rainytown, folks!  I just finished a New affiliate site that reviews and promotes Adult Coloring Books!  Why adult coloring books?  First of all, the term "adult coloring books" refers to coloring books that are Marketed to adults as DIY tools for stress reduction, meditation and mood elevation; it does NOT refer to "adult subject matter" (though examples of that are Available in the coloring book market).  Since the new site is on WordPress (*shudders*), it looks pretty; but I had to wrestle with malicious gremlins that I'm convinced infest that Particular platform.  WordPress is NOT easy to work with, nor particularly User-Friendly.  But I used it anyway, because I was somewhat Familiar with it already (my Slow-going genealogy archive project is also on WordPress).

Anyway, here is one example of my coloring book mini-reviews, which also link to their respective product items.  Click on the image to check out the Actual coloring book...

A coloring book of SNEAKERS?? What the actual..? Yes, I know--it sounds like a strange selection, in a universe jam-packed with volumes of pretty, mind-expanding spirally mystical thingies. But think about it for a second: who hasn't dreamed of (or attempted) repainting their own sneakers with way better colors than the ones they came with? You know you have, at some point. Well, here's your chance to try it by proxy, with 100 or so pages of the best-selling makes and models! Shoot, if your color jobs turn out really well, submit those beauties to your favorite brand's design department for consideration. This could be the start of something yuge! Seriously...
Tonks - Viva la Strega

Sing Globally, Think Universally...

Well, LairCronies, we've got a new music-related Affiliate site and companion blog to spend loads of time on!  And it didn't cost us anything (not that we've got any budget for this stuff--why do you think we're using Angelfire again?).  This site is marketing old albums via eBay, while also promoting new releases via Amazon, and publishing blog posts with mini-reviews of some of the Lair's favorite songs over the years, both Old and New.

I also just finished editing my first new song video in many months, a Live version of "Come In From the Cold."  Meanwhile, I'm busy reading Up on which categories of stuff sell Best on eBay and Amazon affiliate sites.  Though I may be under some sort of money jinx from Somewhere, I'm still trying to make money.  Why am I under a money jinx?  Maybe my relatives are trying to stop me accomplishing anything music-Related; or maybe the Universe, or God, or somebody, doesn't want me to travel more Often, as I really desire to do.  Well, I really don't want to remain Stuck where I am, thanks Anyway.  And I'm tired of feeling Tired as Often as I am, even if it's the time of year for us Bear-Kin to hibernate (I often tell people that I must have bears in my ancestry Somewhere; literally all I want to do during the winter months is sleep half the day).

Anyway, in addition to the Above text link to my new affiliate site, I also have a graphic link that's Supposed to go to the same place.  Check it out here...

eBayLair Photo_Mini.jpg

Steve and Bob Irwin with Iguana

Okay, another little experiment...

Hello, friends; and welcome to Starbucks' VERY SLOW Wifi connection! This is the first evening I've been at home Lately; my friend the travel agent (who never saw a business deal he didn't lust after) has had me up at his office for several nights straight writing emails and construction invoices (he runs a construction company out of the same office, and wants me to design a website for it; I've already designed the stationary and invoices. Sigh...).

Anyway--I'm working on a Brand-New music affiliate website called Sing Globally, Think Universally; I've already embedded an Amazon aStore on that sucker, and I also want to embed an eBay shop for Popular, out-of-print folk and Celtic albums very soon.  Now, however, I'm trying to figure out how to embed Youtube playlists on that site; so I want to try it out here First.  We can still do that on free LJ's, can't we?  Well, here goes nothing...