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[ website | Kari's Lair: Home of the Virgo Folkie ]
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Okay, another little experiment... [Jan. 24th, 2017|05:39 pm]
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[Current Location |Belltown Starbucks]
[Current Mood |curiouscurious]

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...

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A little experiment with Associates link... [Dec. 29th, 2016|09:14 pm]
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[Current Location |Crossville, TN]
[Current Mood |depresseddepressed]

Hello, all!  I still wonder how I might earn money promoting products via Amazon.  I also wonder how I might use Visual links on this blog.  I'd like to post Short descriptions of recordings or mp3 albums, for example, with the graphic link floating Left.  Let's see, now...

[UPDATE: No, no joy on that front.  I've heard tell, from more than one Authoritative source, that text links have Better conversion rates, anyway...]

Anyway--this item is my Mom's Christmas present, Whenever it gets here (I'm writing from Crossville, TN)...


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Reprinted From the Lair, December 2006... [Aug. 26th, 2016|03:42 am]
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[Current Mood |melancholymelancholy]

Tommy, Guide Me Through the Gate of Horn

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2006: When our Irish folksinger friend Tommy Makem was Interviewed several years Ago, he made mention of a folk club in Chicago called The Gate of Horn, the name of which, he said, referred to a story in Classical mythology about two gates that a ship could sail Through and change the fate of those Sailing. There was the Gate of Ivory, which would call down bad luck or fate upon those misfortunates who sailed Through it. Hence, those who knew Better made Sure they sailed through its opposite and counterpart, the Gate of Horn, which would bestow a Beneficial fate on the ship and its crew. Tommy went on to say that since his own life and life's work had been incredibly Lucky to date, perhaps performing at the Gate of Horn club quite Early in his career had provided him a Certain good fortune.

Today, after a singularly Successful musical career spanning More than fifty years, Tommy is facing a Harsh challenge head-on in the form of lung cancer. He has defied the disease to do its worst, insisting that he will go on Performing as long as he possibly can, at the age of 74 (his birthday was this Past November 2). His attitude toward his condition is splendidly Positive. My good LairCronies, if only my attitude, and my luck, could muster Such positivity. I am so in Need of good luck, or a Positive change in luck, though my travels Abroad this spring (an opportunity for which I am, of Course, sincerely Thankful) would appear to be a result of both good luck and months of Advance planning. I need to be Shown the way to the Gate of Horn. I desire and pray for both a change in luck, and for Tommy and my Dad to be well Again. I have no idea what effect, if Any, praying for somebody has, or how exactly it works, despite all my research into spirituality and mystical traditions. Too Many people I have prayed for ended up dead Anyway; does that mean all my petitions got Vetoed, and were all for nothing? Did they just go Straight into the Divine shredder? Beats me. Whatever actually transpired, seems the prayers didn't work. What do I do to get them to work Properly? What use is it to pray for someone or something if Said supplication doesn't work in the end? I might be more Inclined to use prayer for healing if I could be Sure that it would actually accomplish something Positive.

In any case, my luck in musical work needs Changing for the better. I'm beginning to think I need a new name, a new identity; people seem to run Screaming from my Current one. All that I do, in songwriting, performing, busking, photography, computer art, writing, etc. just seems to be Ignored, Disregarded, Rejected and Declined (politely or Otherwise) for the most part. I need to change something in order to stop being Ignored. What is the antidote for the Curse of Disregard? Even this Venerable Home Lair doesn't get nearly Enough traffic. And our lovely Cafepress LairShops have gotten Little if Any notice in the past couple of years. If I myself didn't order from them Now and Again, Cafepress might pull them down Altogether. There must be something that I'm not doing, or not doing Correctly, that my creative efforts are attracting so Little notice.

I don't dare ask most people for advice about this, since most people in Mainstream society consume; they don't create things themselves. Most people I know wouldn't even contemplate developing a career in musical performance, writing, visual arts, or much of anything else arts-Oriented. I've tried asking some of them for advice Before; and they just give you this Blank, Resigned, Averted stare and mumble On about how Hard they imagine success in Such work is to achieve. They have no idea at all on HOW to go about it; if they were I, they simply wouldn't even consider going there. "Well, I'm glad you have such passion for your dreams", one of them sighed in a transparently Doubtful tone to me one time. Translation of Said tone of voice: Kiddo, these dreams of yours are just bound to crash like a jet plane sooner or later, just like they always do for us ordinary people; and you'll have no option left but to go into conventional office work just like everybody else in an ordinary station in life.

So, how to change one's luck, one's fate? How to attract (hopefully Positive) notice when Most people have utterly disregarded one's work up till Now? How to make one's living at work one enjoys and produces oneself? Why do most people ignore me? Do I need to perform under a Different identity? Tommy, where is the way to the Gate of Horn? Where is the magic to change my fortunes? Who will guide me to remake my fate in the way that I desire? And what name must I give myself that will draw a crowd to admire and purchase my Creative wares? Fellow musicians and artists, please do not simply look at me and mutter that you have no idea what to tell me that will be Helpful. You know bloody Well that you DO know what advice to give me; it's the Same advice you would give to anyone Else in my predicament, but with a Different name and appearance. Please, someone, take my hand and point me to the Gate of Horn; I am badly in need of far better luck in my work than I have dredged Up so far...

A/N: For some reason, I've been dreaming about Tommy quite frequently over the Past few years (just had another dream about him last night, in fact), even though it's been nine years since he passed On; and I didn't know him all that Well--certainly not nearly as Well as I would have liked, anyway.  I have no Logical explanation for this Curious phenomenon...


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More about Online Income, or the Lack Thereof... [Aug. 6th, 2016|08:38 pm]
[Current Location |Belltown Starbucks]
[Current Mood |apatheticapathetic]
[Current Music |Something jazzy]

I'm not sure why I'm spending time building Amazon aStores right Now. I can't seem to make money with any other Online projects I've undertaken over the years. The more LairShops I construct and excavate, the more Money-Jinxed I feel; each just seems to be one More thing that will be completely Ignored, more clickbait that will rot on the hook before anything bites on it. Cafepress LairShops? Seldom noticed. Imagekind galleries? Nothing. Bigstockphoto profile? Nope. Photostockplus collection? Lots of views, but no sales. ReverbNation downloads? Nada. Amazon Associates Affiliate links and banners? Fun to make and install; no response. Monetized Youtube videos? A few cents' worth of views. Cashparked domain names? Barely registered. Finally: live busking sets? A few bucks in tips on a Good day. Any questions? It's the money jinx, I'm telling you. It's whatever is telling me, and the rest of the world, that I'm not Supposed to have any money. And I will need Serious professional help in order to shake it.

And please, oh please, don't tell me that I simply need to change my beliefs or outlook; or that I need to pray or parrot "affirmations" more Often. Trust me, I've tried every New Agey neurolinguistic thing Known to humanity. I can't just make myself change what I think. I need to see HARD EVIDENCE that warrants a change in belief. With all Due respect to the late, great Dr. Wayne Dyer, "you'll see it when you believe it" simply doesn't work for me. Right now, I'm resorting to vitamins and minerals to lift my mood: D-3, chromium picolinate and magnesium, along with the Usual Paroxetine.

The problem is that I can't seem to make any money with Original creative work, which is one of my Primary goals; one of the few Left to me since some snarky Higher Power or other insisted on stealing the Biggest dreams of my life, just because it could; and just because I appeared to be enjoying life too Much. Can't have that, can we? Not when self-hatred is Supposed to be the Default status of most of humanity, unless one's last name happens to be Trump. That's why I've been writing songs specifically Naming and condemning Dream-Stealing, whether by snarky Higher Powers, or Mere mortals who get Off on power-tripping. When I've discovered or developed Major goals, dreams, plans or aspirations for my own life, I expect and demand that whatever Cosmic Intelligence is out there to either support them, or leave them the fuck Alone. Period. I'm not the least bit Interested in anyone else's grand plans, agendas or designs for my life, unless they specifically relate to me writing, recording and performing my own music--and not in a Conservative religious setting, thanks Anyhow.

In any case, I must do some Serious self-Reiki and Shamanic chain-breaking with regard to the Aforementioned money jinx, because I'm not putting Up with it any Longer. And if I have to resort to using Fictional allies in this effort, I will. I surely wouldn't be the First shamanic practitioner with ties to the Potterverse, among Various other realms that exist only in the Astral Reality...

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Must Get Away; Now Taking Donations for CD Completion Fund... [Jul. 5th, 2016|08:02 pm]
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[Current Mood |listlesslistless]
[Current Music |Something reggae]

I've simply got to get Away for a while. Something--be it weather, hormones, midlife crisis, or Whatever--is stressing me out and making me severely Depressed. I have to get Away from people wanting me to do all their shopping for them, and from weekly or Monthly obligations like my building's House Meeting, and my own Weekly desk shifts. I would like to spend a couple of weeks on the Oregon coast, or Someplace near a coastline, in a fairly Decent motel that does your housekeeping for you, but also has Reasonable weekly rates. I would take one or two instruments and my laptop with me, to catch up on writing, photo processing, and music video projects, with no Outside disturbance. If I could get as far Away as Hawaii, that would be Cool; but Newport, Oregon sounds good too--my bro and his fiancée have vacationed there a couple of times. In any case, I have to get out of town, and Soon.

Very soon, I will restart my campaign to raise funds for my album completion, and one or more open mic tours around the country. I'm thinking of a Live fundraising event or two, Accompanied by busking with a cardboard notice of such a campaign in process; and a Gofundme campaign that someone else would manage, as I seem to have a money jinx Laid on me from Somewhere. I have had no luck Whatsoever with crowdfunding on my own. I hope to raise around $25K for both recording and touring/promotion; but if I could raise More than this, that would be perfectly Cool as well.

There is also the issue of work that I might do to have a Regular income; but that has to relate to music or other original Creative work. I'm interested in writing music and perhaps stories for video games, as well as music for films, TV and advertising. I have to find out how to apply for such things Online; jobhunting is Different these days from when I was trying to get work in law firms after getting my paralegal certificate. Most job listings appear to be Online these days, on one site or directory or another. And one thing that I must make very Clear: just because I'm a middle-aged person of size who has been on Disability for a while does NOT mean that I'm going to consider working in any sort of Pointless, dead-end menial job Such as those I did when I was Still signing up with temp agencies. Hell, no. I can do way Better than that, whether the employment counselors who fixate on my midsection can wrap their heads around that or not.

Basically, I do four things: I write; I create music; I take photographs; and I design things (primarily paper and digital art-Related things like Custom business cards and Original photos on postcards). All four categories of skill run in my blood, I'm Pleased to say, on both sides of my family. I want to remain self-Employed, because working for other people and their companies has never helped me in the slightest to accomplish any Personal goals, Short-term or Otherwise. I need people to help me realize my goals, dreams and aspirations; not those of the Visionary guys in upper management of Whatever company. I'd be more than Happy to contribute Original designs, Written pieces and/or photos for someone else's promotional materials or what-have-you; but my focus has got to remain on my own work. The music and photography must be my Main priority. I certainly must not waste another minute of my life doing dead-end, Pointless tasks that I either hate, or could care Less about. I'm not here to be anyone's wage slave. Let people who enjoy Terminal boredom do the Worthless, Pointless, Dilbert-persona work. Not for me, thanks...
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I ain't got nothin' but the blues... [Jun. 11th, 2016|07:23 pm]
[Current Mood |blahblah]
[Current Music |Damien Rice - The Blower's Daughter]

Ain't got no coffee that's perc'in,
Ain't got no winnings to lose,
Ain't got a dream that is workin',
I ain't got nothin' but the blues!

When trumpets flare up,
I keep my hair up,
I just can't make it come down!
Believe me, pappy,
I can't get happy
Since my ever-lovin' baby left town!

Ain't got no rest in my slumbers,
Ain't got no feelin's to bruise,
Ain't got no telephone numbers,
I ain't got nothin' but the blues!

--from "I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues", by Don George/Duke Ellington (c) 1937

Actually, LairCronies, I can't get Happy if I start obsessing about my age and everything I can't seem to get Done in a Timely fashion. I also can't get Happy if I think too Long and Hard about my Creative projects that haven't paid for themselves Yet, and which I can't seem to promote to any effect.  I'm too Addicted to the internet Besides; I have to put it down and make some day-Long trips around the area to promote my LairShops with their own business cards, far Away from anyone who wants me to write their emails or do their grocery shopping for them.

Also, I'm a supporter of Bernie Sanders who knows that most voters in this country, for all their talk of a "political revolution", are too freaking Lazy to carry the flame all the way to the Democratic National Convention, never mind beyond it.  But I'm tired of playing it safe and settling for "Incremental Change" and crumbs Tossed my way by the Wealthy and Powerful, which is one reason I've been "feeling the Bern" in the first place.  Another reason is that, prior to Bernie's ascendance in this year's election primaries, presidential candidates have Seldom if Ever even given lip service to Poor and Homeless people.  I'm formerly Homeless, and currently living on Disability benefits; and I figured out a long time Ago that if I don't speak on my own and others' behalf, no one else will.  Who in the Washington State legislature knew that employers can legally refuse to hire people without Permanent addresses until a bunch of us from Dorothy Day House brought it up on one of our Housing Advocacy Days down in Olympia?

Anyway, I need time Off from doing errands or favors for anyone for a while, because I need to do some more of my own publicity right Now.  I've got to get out of bed before 1 pm, and travel across the area leaving publicity flyers at pubs and bookstores like I've done many times Before.  I need a week or more outside this area to get writing projects Done, with no distractions Whatsoever.  I've got to get back to making song videos.  I've got to improve my mental health Somehow; the same old pills aren't doing it for me too well Anymore.  And I've got to do more MUSIC!  More gigs in coffeehouses and street fairs and farmer's markets.  I'm not "too old" for that; I just need to energize myself more Often to be up to the task.  And I must discover how I'm being Blocked from earning a living from my own work, and kick Said blockage to the curb, right effing NOW...

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I'm supposed to be out Busking today... [Apr. 11th, 2016|07:03 pm]
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[Current Mood |lethargiclethargic]

Hello, LairCronies--I'm trying to create a new PayPal donation button for my CD Completion fund. Exhibit A (Note: it appears that the Actual link is getting Deleted automatically here, for some reason.  Will have to try to paste the Full code on my User profile):<input ... >

<input ... >

I'm also trying to figure out why I'm so hesitant to walk the few blocks to Pike Place Market every day--or, at Least, every Other day--to play music Outside.  I seem to have no motivation right Now, despite having a Grand time with a bunch of tourists down there a week or so Ago.  So, what's the problem Now??

There are Various rationalizations on my part:

  • I don't like walking long city blocks with my guitar.

  • I might not find a good spot, if any spot at all.  There's a Fair amount of competition for spots among Pike Market buskers, which sometimes causes conflicts and controversies for the Market Master to deal with.

  • I don't want to perform when it's raining or seriously chilly.

  • I can't seem to drag myself out of bed at a Decent hour most days.  I lie there and wonder if there's anything in life worth getting out of bed for.

  • I'm seriously Addicted to online activity.  It decreases my motivation to play music outdoors.

  • I might not get any tips for performing, or not Much to speak of.

  • Certain bodily functions might interfere with my performance.  I won't gross you out with the details.  My body is middle-aged; put it that way.

  • The crowds might just ignore me, and make me feel like I'm wasting my time.

  • I might lose my voice while singing; or Sudden overuse of vocal faculties without enough warmup exercise might cause some type of throat infection.

  • Or something else Unpleasant might happen...

At any rate, none of these are Valid excuses.  The acedia just keeps hitting me over and over Again.  I've got to stop with this bullshit, and get to playing every other day for sure--at the Market, on street corners, in the bus tunnel--Somewhere...

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Some words from a Long-Ago tribute article... [Mar. 9th, 2016|07:19 pm]
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[Current Mood |discontentdiscontent]

I was just adding some new text links to the Lair's Tribute Article for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; and began reading through the Last few paragraphs. I decided to insert a couple of them Here, as they could not be more timely Today...

"...While it is great that I have vivid memories of interacting with a musician whom I loved, respected and cared about so strongly, I miss him terribly; and so many musical dreams I had have been stolen from me and destroyed so senselessly. I was very serious about wanting to work with Nusrat on a professional basis. I had many ideas about blending his music with traditional Celtic music in some fashion; and for this reason I tried to learn as much about qawwali music and Sufi philosophy as I could from reading and listening to recordings and videotapes, even when I couldn't be in direct contact with him or other Sufi musicians. When I met him and his group the day before their Seattle concert in 1995, I gave him two cassettes as an early birthday present: one by a local Native American flute player, and a live concert tape by Makem and Clancy (my favorite Irish musicians). He told me later that evening that he had listened to them while some of us were out shopping for him up in Lynnwood, and that he had especially enjoyed the Irish tape. He asked me a number of questions about Ireland and Irish musicians; and in August of the next year (the last time we spoke), he mentioned that he had bought a number of Irish albums since then on visits to the UK. He had already been introduced by Ry Cooder to members of the Chieftains group some time before that. He listened avidly to all kinds of music, from Indian classical to western opera to Bruce Springsteen; and announced in 1996 that he was looking for a good jazz vocalist to collaborate with. Most importantly, to worship God through music was the primary aim of his entire life.

But now I am left with many precious dreams of music gone up in smoke. Sometimes it seems that nothing I want to do works out; that it is useless to have any creative dreams, goals and aspirations, because our society (and perhaps even fate) just doesn't support people with an artistic calling. Part of the problem is my own negative inner voice that discourages me so often from pursuing and realizing these dreams, even though I know plenty of other people who do just that without too much of a problem. My own family have not been much help either; whether well-intentioned or otherwise, most of my relatives have tried to discourage me from professional musicianship, perhaps unaware that music is a high and blessed calling and my greatest love, and I simply cannot sacrifice it to fit into the mainstream corporate world like everyone else. No other work that I do means anything to me except for the paychecks, and I cannot live for that alone. Some family members speak disparagingly of my supposedly selfish desire to "do my own thing", as though dedicating myself wholly to music and creative work is somehow equivalent to being a drug dealer or peddling sex on the streets of Seattle or Tacoma. This is outrageous nonsense; and that sort of discouraging attitude is what is truly selfish and life-denying. A calling to music or other arts is many people's form of service to the world, and artists need the full moral support and encouragement of the people closest to them; my spirit has been crushed and smothered for so long without this that I feel like I have been slowly dying for years from the inside out...."
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So, I bought a few domain names, and my subconscious went Crazy... [Mar. 8th, 2016|07:34 pm]
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[Current Location |Belltown Starbucks]
[Current Mood |enterprising]
[Current Music |blues guitar]

Folks, I've got to make money somehow.  Dire poverty has gotten really old Yesterday.  So, not two months Ago, I got the idea to try so-Called "domain flipping" (on a really small scale, mind you) from one of those Goofy junk emails from Ewen freaking Chia, which piqued my curiosity, for better or worse.  Now, prior to then, I'd visited Godaddy.com a couple of times before, seeking new domain names for my friend the travel agent; so I wasn't a Total stranger to the site.  But I'd never actually bought domain names for myself before.  But since I had a few extra bucks left Over from the Christmas holidays, I decided to look into it.  Before doing So, however, I did tons of research on the ins and outs of buying and selling domains, which is still something of an Online novelty.  And even since I bought my first few domains (which have to do with sourcing raw materials, for Some reason), I've continued to do tons of research.  One surprise side effect of this enterprise, one that I hadn't been expecting at all, was some long-Buried associations with making money that came popping spontaneously out of my Subconscious thinking.

Folks, I seriously wasn't expecting this; but it turns out that I did, in fact, have some associations with wealth and making money that I didn't know I had, prior to my first couple of domain purchases.  First of all, it seems that I subconsciously associate making money with organized crime, the black market, the so-called "Underworld", and other things that are Dishonest, Corrupt, Shady, and borderline Illegal.  Seriously.  Secondly, I also apparently have Subconscious associations with money as something Dangerous, something Out to Get Me, something to be Scared of, or look constantly over my shoulder for.  My subconscious has been giving me hints that any sort of money-making scheme is Shady and Corrupt, an environment where I will quite likely by Ripped Off and robbed Blind (as if I actually have that Much to lose).  Mind you, none of these Subcon reactions necessarily mean that anything Bad will happen to me if I engage in what some call "domain flipping" or just "domaining" (though I have gotten a few Suspicious emails that I decided should be Overlooked).  But they are Valuable signs regarding why I've always had trouble accumulating much in the way of monetary lucre.

So far, I've only purchased and parked eleven domain names, one of which I plan to keep myself as the Home Lair's new url (I just haven't gotten Around to introducing them Yet).  But I do want to see if they will, at least, pay for themselves at some point.  And don't ask me about domain auctions (sites for which are disturbingly Abundant); I haven't quite gotten that far Yet...
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My desire, my whim, my idyll... [Feb. 21st, 2016|06:54 pm]
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I need to get back to Hawaii; Seattle in winter is not a good place to be when you've got a head cold followed immediately by aggravated allergies/sinusitis. Perhaps I can do a new crowdfunding project to get me out to Hawaii for a few weeks..?

I'm supposed to be on an open-mic tour up and down the West Coast right now; that's another thing I need to fundraising for; gosh knows my relatives aren't going to help me with that. My Mom just sent me money as a commission to do a genealogy compilation project for her and my aunt; no way will either of them help me to fund a musical project to promote my own songs. My brother could fund the Whole thing by himself; but he won't, just as a matter of principle. And I need to find people who believe that it's a good thing for me to promote my music on the road.

This Election season is completely batshit Crazy. Our two remaining Democratic contenders are an unlikely pair (Clinton and Sanders); but no way in hell am I living in a society under a government run by ANYONE on the GOP clown car. They're all completely Insane, especially Cruz. The only halfway Sane one, Jeb Bush, just dropped out Yesterday.

I've got to make money to finance my album and touring somehow.  I need to focus at least Some attention on what I actually want in life.  When I reconnected (via meditation) with Rachel Yaakar's portrayal of Poppea (in the opera The Coronation of Poppea; I get quite Intoxicated by that Particular portrayal Somehow, in a very Erotic/Bisexual fashion), with whom I had a Strong girlcrush many years ago, one thing her apparition told me that got my attention very strongly was, "Not only do you not know what you want; much of the time, you don't even know THAT you want."  In my inner world, she represents the Temple of Aphrodite, and the principle of Fulfilled Desire (regardless of the historical Poppea's tragic end).

In my Everyday existence, I have pretty much all that I need; but I want a higher income.  I want to travel more Often, including outside the country.  I want to travel and perform music inside and outside the United States.  I want to go on more adventures to visit and photograph Archaeological sites in Europe and Elsewhere (half the countries I want to visit for Archaeological purposes are in the Middle East, and Judged by our government as too Dangerous to visit!  Go figure).  I also need to come up with a fitness regimen that gives me more energy Overall.  Anyway, this quest for a higher income is also being Covered in the post directly after this one...


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