Thursday, January 31, 2013

Concert Review: M83 plus Tegan and Sara

I went back and forth on whether to treat these bands separately or together. Both of them played before The Killers, so I saw them together, but going to see the Rejects led to five separate posts and a screenplay. In this case, there are similarities in some ways where it makes sense to treat them together, which I shall now proceed to explain with much guilt.
Let me be clear, I enjoyed them both, and would totally be fine with either of them opening up for another band at some point. They did a good job, I felt personally engaged, they had the audience with them, and it was completely fine. I initially thought I would just have a three-band review week. Then I started listening to their discographies.
This is actually an interesting thing, because I can enjoy a band in performance where listening to them in other forms drives me crazy, and I wouldn’t have necessarily guessed that. Perhaps there is something about a live situation where matters of personal taste are less important. That’s really kind of cool. So with no personal rancor at all, M83 and Tegan and Sara both are not my thing.
I know they are other people’s things. While I was wrapping up listening to M83, someone tweeted about one of their songs, “Midnight City”. His exact words about it were”nomnom”, which is pretty high praise, so I listened to it again, and I could kind of get why he would like that specific one, and it would stand out more, but in general, none of them did stand out to me. I could tell some had been played at the concert when I was listening, but then they left my head again, leaving me with nothing but vague annoyance. So if anyone wants to tell me a Tegan and Sara song that they love, I will give it another listen, but I don’t have high expectations.
Wikipedia has been fun again for looking up both bands. The common link between the two seems to be synth pop, and indie also came up for both, but there were many new terms that came up with M83, including shoegaze, dream pop, and indietronica. Synth pop may make the most sense, as synthesizers did play an important part there and, well, it didn’t feel like rock to me. Actually, I had been thinking it was almost like ambient music, and they did use that term for M83 also.
Let me back up a bit to before the concert. I had never heard of M83. I had heard of Tegan and Sara, but I didn’t know any of their songs. On hearing the name, my first thought is always Tevin Campbell, of “Round and Round” fame. Then I realize the names do not sound that much alike, and in a case of horrible stereotyping that shows that I am a bad person, think that maybe they will sound somewhat like Indigo Girls. The truth is somewhere in between. I felt like there was a bit of the folksy/hippie vibe of the Indigo Girls, but instead of their mellow harmonies, it was a bit higher-pitched and synthetic, leaning more towards Campbell in that way.
Actually, that higher pitch may have been part of my problem. My dog left the room, and he stayed all the way through my singing my Non-Annoying Love Songs playlist. I don’t think that’s a vocal quality issue, but dogs are sensitve to the higher register, and possibly so am I. At one point I found Tegan and Sara reminiscent of the Cranberries, at least on “Dreams”, but I don’t really listen to the Cranberries either.
Again, this didn’t really bother me at the concert, and I have to say that as people they were delightful. They were so polite and appreciative. They did mention being from Canada at one point, but we had already figured that out. So I wish them well, but they are not for me.
With M83, it was almost more performance art than a concert. Perhaps that is one reason that the music was less of an issue, because it was almost superfluous. They did shoegaze a little, though apparently that is supposed to have more guitars (which would have been nice). There was a lot of dancing around and banging on things, which was cool. The light setup was interesting. They had these light stacks where I don’t know if they were actually connected to the bass or treble, but it could have been, and I liked that. If I were a DJ, I could see using something similar.
Karen leaned over to me and said “Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance”, and she was right, except, and she said this too, they weren’t depressed enough. They were not all in black and gaunt, so we figured they were not German. Karen thought maybe Belgian, but actually they are French, from Antibes. It works.
Again, I would totally willingly watch them again with a band I really wanted to see, and I hope they do well, because there are people who like that, and I am all for people finding their audience, even if I do not belong in the equation. But I’m not bringing them up anymore. You know, they had a real opportunity on “Bruits de Train”. They could have put some “chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga” in it, and I was so hoping for something like that. I heard no train noise whatsoever. But hey, it’s over, the review is done, the sting is gone.
It’s a good thing we resolved my negative review issues yesterday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Comic Review: Wolves and The Mire, by Becky Cloonan

So, it has been two months since my first comic review, and honestly, while I have talked a few people into checking out Memorial, that seems to be more from my conversation with them than anyone actually reading the review.
The lack of influence didn’t stop me, or I’d have given up blogging a long time ago. There were two other areas of hesitation. One is that I always feel a little iffy reviewing anything, like who am I to comment on it? The other is that these were the two works that it made the most sense to review next, and I still wasn’t sure that I’d understood them.
Two things helped me move past that, though I didn’t realize it until today. Yesterday The Gaslight Anthem tweeted a link to a Tumblr review which was passionately favorable about their music, but kind of not about their musicianship, as in “Sometimes Brian Fallon’s voice is up to snuff, sometimes it isn’t.” I’m here like, What are you talking about? They’re amazing! Seriously, I keep liking all of these little touches and thinking how good they are when they are playing, and she has listened to them more, but okay, you can criticize and the band can handle it.
That clicked in today when I read a post on Becky Cloonan. Again, it was very positive, but what resonated with me is that while reading it hit me that the writer, Nathanial Perkins, came away with a different understanding of Wolves than I did. He didn’t come right out and say his interpretation, but that is what I felt, and somehow this makes it okay for me to have doubts about the resolution. I’m not saying logical, but suddenly this was the thing to write.
I am going to treat the two together. They aren’t exactly sequential, but they are connected, and will be connected to a third mini-comic, Demeter, as part of a thematic trilogy.
Perhaps once I have gone through Demeter a few times, I will see them all in a new light.
First of all, let me say that the art is absolutely gorgeous. I love the expression and the detail in Cloonan’s work anyway. Actually, the first comic review included more of her work, and again, beautiful. First I am drawn to the people, and the eyes in their expressive faces, but the scenery too is rich and detailed, and important for the mood.
Let me see if I can explain that mood. Well, it’s easier to talk about The Mire. As Aiden works his way through the title setting, there are his thoughts, and the words of a letter from Owain, and there are parallels where it is hard to immediately know whose words they are. It is fitting, once the path Aiden is taking is understood. And yet, it is easy to get mired in the past, which has created the present.
In the case of The Mire, a few years past is catching up to the present, with a protagonist who is just as uninformed as the reader as he starts out. Perhaps that is why I felt like I was on more comfortable footing there. In Wolves, everyone is complicit. They may all have things that they don’t know right away, but their moments of understanding come, and make perfect sense, based on what has gone before.
If I was not sure of everything that the resolution to Wolves meant, well, that may not be the point. There is a plot, but it is more about what you feel as you are reading, and what you think afterwards and the lingering mood. They are books, but it seems fair to say that both pieces function more like snatches of poetry, or music.
Again, I’m not ruling out revisiting this after Demeter.
For now, I have not decided on a set schedule for reviewing comics. I just worked out how I’m doing music a few weeks ago. Even knowing that, I suspect at some point when I build up a head of steam on some socio-political topic that will take more than three days to cover, it will feel weird to break off for Thursday and Friday to review bands. At the same time, it may still be good for me, because those heads of steam often frustrate and depress me.
I can say that regarding my plan to buy some new comic and music every month, I took two months off for Christmas and my birthday, receiving three CDs and one comic between the two. I am set to buy again in February, but I am saving that for vacation. I have heard there is a pretty cool comic book store in Downtown Disney, and maybe I’ll see if Alturas has a new CD, as they always seem to be playing there, and I really like the one I do have, Caminos.
Also, I have been reviewing all comics on Goodreads when they are listed. It may make sense to save the blog reviews for single issues and just use Goodreads for bound works or compendiums, but I’m still feeling my way along on this one, as I do.
Thank you Rachel and Nathanial.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wedding Bell Blue$

No, this title does not mean that I am getting married and worried about paying for it. I am also not depressed about not getting married (at least not at this time). It’s something different.
We have been talking to a number of engaged people recently (seven couples between the three of us), and we are happy for pretty much all of them, but it has been a strong reminder of how stressful getting married can be. Actually, the other night I dreamt of 70 people from out of town descending upon Oklahoma for the wedding of a couple that is not yet engaged in waking life. So, weddings are on the brain, but grounded in the details of reality rather than just a gauzy vision sparkling with fairy dust. I am no fun.
I was looking up something for one friend I had written up a few years back. It came out of an email thread with a different friend. It was essentially organizational, sorting out what she already had and what she could think about. I’m not sure how helpful it will be for this couple. I am toying with the idea of doing a better write-up that instead of starting with one couple takes things from scratch.
The one theme that would keep coming up is consciously choosing your priorities. That has always been my thing – mindfulness in general is important to me – but I was thinking about it more after a conversation with the mother of one of the engaged.
In this case, the bride’s family is in Utah, and the groom’s extended family is in Utah, and so there was the question of whether to do something here, and the answer seems to be no, the immediate family will just go to Utah.
There was some concern about that, but as we were talking I told her that often people don’t really even remember receptions. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I realized it was true. Sometimes I can remember specific things, but often not which couple it was.
I don’t want to give the wrong impression about that. I have enjoyed going to receptions, and visiting with people, and getting together with other people can totally be great, but there may be easier parties to throw.
One of the couples will be spending $5600 on their location. (From another couple, I know that there are places that charge significantly more for weddings than other events, though I don’t know if that applies in this case.) It is something they really want, and that’s their call. For me, that’s more than ten weeks of take-home pay, and it would be completely irresponsible.
I remember once helping roll rosebuds for a wedding favor. Basically it was two Hershey’s kisses in pink cellophane and then there was green floral tape and a wire. I can’t remember if we had leaves or not. Now, I did inded take my rose, and eat the two kisses after the reception, and the labor wasn’t awful because I think it was four or five of us doing it while chatting, so it could have been much worse. Still, I’m not sure it was the best use of resources. They did look nice.
Pretty much every component of a wedding is expensive. Sometimes you can mitigate the expense with labor, and some things are both a lot of work and money. Most of us don’t have a lot of money or time, so it is worth considering the actual value of any one componenet.
And yes, I did indeed go through and plan my dream wedding more than once on the path from little girl to adult woman. In fact, I know I still have at least one wedding dress sketch somewhere, along with a solution for how to make a veil work with my unruly hair.
It’s not that I don’t want things to be beautiful or memorable, but it’s a matter of realizing that a lot of what is standard is not essential, and then letting that liberate you to come up with something that works for you.
I know people who have skipped the cake, the flowers, and the dress. (Not all the same ones; those were multiple different receptions.) I have seen music come from a 4-piece string quartet and from an iPod. I have seen environments totally transformed, and not transformed at all. I have even seen the reception happen the night before the wedding because that day was just going to be too busy. I’m not saying some things didn’t work out better than others, but I’m not sure how much any of those details matter to any of those couples now.
After all, nervous exhaustion and bankruptcy is not the best way to start your future.
Link to the old post is here, but I can probably do better, and yes, my sisters and I are generally available to help.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Away with the humble brag

The day we went to Yellowstone Park, the five of us were eating lunch and talking, and something in the conversation reminded me that I had just taken a medical terminology course and gotten 100% on the test on my first try. I felt really good about this, and wanted to mention it, and I was wondering if there was a way to get it into the natural flow of the conversation. There wasn’t, so I just told them.
I did not preface it as me doing a humble brag. It was not humble. It was merely a brag. It was also a brag in proper perspective. I knew that part of my success was that the material was really well organized, I knew that Jen knows more about anatomy than I do, but still, I felt good about it, and they felt good about it when I told them, and that was pretty much the end of it and we went on with talking about other things. It was a day of really interesting conversation and seeing cool things, and that was just a small part.
I have been thinking about this for a couple of reasons. One is that the term “humble brag” seems to be more prevalent. I’m not even sure if I had heard of it back in August. I know I have always thought it was stupid in principle, but I will get more into that later.
The other reason I have been thinking about it is because of how hard it seems to be for people to feel good about themselves, or like anything about themselves, especially the young.
In many of these cases, they haven’t really been given a good foundation, and there are lots of messages from society about them not being good enough. With all of those obstacles, I really hate that a false idea of what humility should be could be making things worse.
I know humility is important. I also know humility does not consist of tearing yourself down and only knowing what is wrong about you.
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
I will give myself this level of credit: I got pleasure in doing well on the test. I took the course because a coworker recommended it. She also got a perfect score. I take pleasure in that too. Getting that score did not make me a better person than Jen, Steve, Julie, or Maria, none of whom are slouches intellectually. That’s part of why we could have good conversations all day. This was all good stuff.
I see girls comparing their bodies to the bodies of singers or models, and they feel inferior and they are miserable. I believe if they were coming from the other end, and comparing to others and feeling superior, that could lead to misery too. It might not be as direct a path, but I know at least one person who has a miserable life because he has only been able to look down on others. He has managed a lot of denial about his misery, but that’s still what it looks like to me.
And now I am judging him, and proud, darn it, except, I take no pleasure in being happier than him. I do take pleasure in being happy, but I would like him to be happy too, and there actually is enough happiness to go around.
People are posting all the time about not being happy, and wishing for it, and wondering if it is even possible. I vehemently say, yes, happiness is possible. It requires appreciation though. Some of this is gratitude for and acknowledgement of what you have, but also, it requires appreciation of others. Not jealousy, not competition, and not enmity.
I love you and want good things for you. I understand that good things happening for you does not take anything away from me.
Well, unless your greed and lust for power ends up destroying the economy or the environment and actively working against the happiness of many so your bank accounts can be larger even though you already have more than you can really spend. That’s actually NOT good for you though, so it still stands, and anyway, we’ll get into that more later.
Otherwise, like the things that you like, enjoy the things that you enjoy, and just own it. This is a good hair day. I am a skilled shopper. The dinner I made came out great! Take any little bit of luck or grace or blessing that comes into your life and be thrilled about it, and be just as thrilled for the good that others get. We’ll all be enjoying ourselves more that way. Try it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Concert Scorecard

With giving the Gin Blossoms an extra post, it threw off my music writing schedule a bit. No regrets.

My initial plan was to review Revenir, because they do come first out of the bands that I have become acquainted with via Twitter, by leaps and bounds! However, they are currently recording, and it doesn’t really make sense to point people at them until the music is available. The drummer, Matt Pelissier, says it’s going to be insane, and I believe him.

One reason I wanted to write about them is that there is a benefit show for them on February 9th. They had a break-in and equipment stolen, which was a blow, but they haven’t let it stop them. They have found a new place, and are making things work, and there is a benefit show at The Music Hall (Wayne, New Jersey), that night.

Obviously I cannot attend anything in New Jersey, though now that it seems to be the promised land for music that does seem more desirable. At one point there had been some talk about streaming it, which is a great idea but maybe not practical. Also it would still not work for me, because I will be traveling that day, which is great. I am going to have a great time, and am looking forward to it. Regardless, this seems like a good time to review how I am doing for makeup concerts.

If you will recall, the original lost opportunities were Gin Blossoms, Presidents of the United States of America, and the Cherry-Poppin Daddies. To be fair, with the Daddies it was more that I had seen signs for their shows all the time when I was in college, and then they were nationally known, and it felt like I should have been on that. With the Presidents and the Gin Blossoms, it was just financial. Yes, back then the tickets were $13.00, but it was still just completely out of range.

Eventually I saw both the Presidents and the Daddies at the Crystal Ballroom, plus the Presidents again at Rose Festival, and they were really good shows, and it made me feel like I still had hope with the Gin Blossoms, but every time I would look and they would have shows, it was just in places like Missouri and Indiana.

So, one left, and that list suddenly expanded to five. This involved mainly cruel twists of fate. I had Maroon 5 tickets, and I got deathly ill. I had Keane tickets, and well, the cancelled tour dates were sort of health-related. I’m glad he got the help he needed. Jimmy Eat World I actually had seen, but Maria wanted to leave early, and then when they were opening for Green Day Maria made me late, and we missed them completely. And with the Rejects, I just realized I wanted to see them after the one tour was done, and then the closest they got was Salem for a while.

I remember shortly after I got onto Facebook (about 2008) people were always posting different quizzes and things (I may have all those blocked now), but one was your 5-band lineup for a music festival, and I had that list so ready, and I posted that it would be a concert of great healing.

Well, it took a while, but there has been much healing going on. October 28th, Novemeber 10th, and January 8th. The All American Rejects, the Gin Blossoms, and Keane. It’s been so amazing.

(Incidentally, Maria really wanted to go to Keane, but she knew she would want to leave early, and we mutually agreed it was for the best that she stay, so I went alone, my first time doing that, and I will write about that in two weeks.)

So, I am feeling pretty good about this. First of all, I have seen at least part of a Jimmy Eat World show, and they are in the studio anyway. I am optimistic about something coming up. With Maroon 5, I actually need to figure out if I still want to see them, but they’re not coming to Portland on this tour, so I have time.

Of course, now things have just been added. I came to My Chemical Romance after a tour was wrapped up. I learned that the Gaslight Anthem existed on the day they played their sold out show here. Obviously, I need to be more on the ball.

I do feel more optimistic about getting second chances—that has been going well for me. I am still go grateful for all the bands that I just got to see the first time, especially for A-ha, because they never came back, but I am hoping the others will.

To some extent, there is also a need to make good choices. Torche came, and I wanted to go, but didn’t. I initially phrased this in terms of my needing to know that I can get there and back without being raped and murdered. In truth, that probably would not have happened. It’s more likely that I would have been vomited on, or slipped in urine, or something like that.

This is not a reflection on Torche, but on the venue. It was a cool lineup, but they were playing a dive that was in no way conveniently located. I am still a lone female who doesn’t drive, and I have to think about that. With Keane, because it was late and I was alone, I took a cab back. That was expensive, but it was a concession to safety, and it seemed like a reasonable one. Also, the Crystal is a great venue, and I’m really familiar with it, and it’s not exactly close to home, but not as remote.

And also, some of it was a matter of desire. If Keane was playing the dive on the other side of the river on a Thursday night, I probably still would have made it happen. With Torche, I listen to “Triumph of Venus”, and I am just amazed, but I don’t love them. If I had gone, I totally would have liked the show, but also, I am not merely a lone female who relies on public transportation. I am a white Mormon girl from the suburbs. Loving the Ramones and voting liberal is probably as hardcore as I’m going to get. Unless I get a nice biker boyfriend who likes going to shows and can provide the transportation and protection.

So no matter how good the musical pilgrimage to New Jersey sounds, just going to clubs and hearing what’s new, probably even the nice biker boyfriend won’t cut it unless he’s native, which seems highly unlikely.

For now, though, I have two more concerts to review, lots of bands I haven’t seen to review after that, and I do not have to go to Soundgarden because Maria found a friend for that. I’d be all over it if it were Audioslave. Yes, I might appreciate it anyway. Still relieved.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Gin Blossoms and I

So last week was not enough. This will probably not feel like enough either, but at least it covers more.
I once had a well-organized CD collection, and when I started taking CDs into work, and bringing them back, that fell apart a little. When I got Gin Blossoms tickets I wanted to jam in preparation, and I could not find them. (Yes, I realize this could be used as an argument in favor of going digital.) I used Spotify as backup, and also dug out my old concert DVD.
I discovered some interesting gaps with it. First of all, Spotify did not have Dusted or Major Lodge Victory. They did have a lot of compilations that I was not familiar with, and the “Rarities” version of New Miserable Experience brought in a lot of the tracks from Dusted, so it was there, but still, it was weird. Also, Spotify has no Gas Giants and no Northey Valenzuela, and that was frustrating because there were some people that needed to hear “Hurting on the Outside” and there was nothing to link to.
Spotify were not the only ones lacking. When I found my CDs I realized that somehow I had never acquired Major Lodge Victory and I had never even heard of No Chocolate Cake. I requested, and got, No Chocolate Cake for Christmas, and Major Lodge Victory arrived today, due to an Amazon gift card for my birthday, but I was trying to figure out how I had been so remiss.
Major Lodge Victory came out in 2006. That was the year of the divorce, and buying the house, and other scary and stressful things. On the plus side, those things went relatively smoothly, and I think that’s why the name and the cover are familiar to me.
2010, when No Chocolate Cake came out, was a completely different story. That was adjusting to the new job while drowning in frustration with the writing partner, and the first knee surgery and the refinance – well, I’ve written pleny about that time. I never even heard of it.
Naturally, I can’t help but wonder if they will release something new in 2014, and in what interesting way my life will fall apart then, but after all, now I know that if I miss music on its first release I can still find it later, and also, they’re on Twitter now; surely I would at least see an announcement.
In thinking of where Gin Blossoms fit in with my favorite bands, they hold a unique spot. A-ha and Charlie Sexton came to me through MTV, when everything was exciting and new, and I could fall for a band and get to see them in a few months, and I could always find their releases at Tower Records, and view pictures and interviews in teen magazines. Neil Finn sort of comes out of that period too, and if I can’t remember ever seeing a Crowded House spread in Tiger Beat, they were at least guest VJ’s once.
The Clash and the Ramones were bands that I vaguely knew of, but did not really get a chance to hear until they were dying off, and so it was kind of instant nostalgia, as well as starting to realize the ways in which MTV was not my friend—well, not a completely reliable one anyway.
Now I am in this phase where it would be really easy to miss good bands. I knew about the All American Rejects and My Chemical Romance and liked something of them before I got really into them, and now I am finding bands that may or may not be new, and I don’t necessarily have a strong sense of time with them. That is partly that I am disconnected from the contemporary music scene, but possibly also that good bands are as well, and that those two disconnects are connected.
The Gin Blossoms are special because they were kind of the first band that I loved as an adult, at least as much of an adult as my college self was. Yes, I have them associated with the Presidents of the United States of America and the Cherry-Popping Daddies, because they were all bands that I should have seen in Eugene, and couldn’t, but the Gin Blossoms are the most important of those three. The other two are both great, and I am glad that I have seen them now, but it’s not the same. Actually, the first time I saw the Presidents was on MadTV, and based on the serious name and the unserious music, I kind of thought they were a joke.
The Gin Blossoms were just always more serious. There was a touch of melancholy in their songs. It’s not that it was depressing to listen to them, and I have never been into that kind of band, but still, you could feel like there was sadness there. As I was no longer reading teen magazines, I did not know their background then, but they have had some rough times.
They had humor too. One of the fun things about the concert DVD is that Robin was handing out Three’s Company trading cards, and then one of the Spotify live albums has them doing a great bluesy cover of “Moving On Up”, the theme from the Jeffersons. This shows me that not only are they fun, but we watched the same shows back in the day. But still, there was that touch of sadness.
That’s one thing that made it so amazing to finally hear their newer stuff. No Chocolate Cake sounds so happy! It’s not that there are no hard times, but it seems more optimistic about overcoming them. I was also able to listen to the Major Lodge Victory tracks via Youtube. The songs were heading in that direction, but also, the name itself I think is a reference to the late Doug Hopkins, and doing that openly seems to be a sign of being able to remember the past with less pain now, and I appreciate that.
I think at the time they were classified as alternative, and maybe that makes sense. I used to get my music from MTV and VH1, and they still were playing videos when I got back from my mission, but I turned it on, and my impression was that it was all grunge and rap, and not old school rap. It was like everything had gotten angrier and meaner—uglier. It wasn’t working for me.
The Gin Blossoms were beautiful and caring and vulnerable, which appealed to me then, but also they are survivors. I go through phases where different songs resonate with me more. “29” means more to me now than when I first heard it, or than when I was 29, and it’s because of a line that I didn’t even think about when I first loved it. That can happen, because they have depth. There is familiarity, but no staleness.
Of course, “Hey Jealousy” and “Till I Hear it from You” are wonderful, and those are the ones I tend to sing, along with “29”, but let me make some other recommendations for tracks to check out if you are interested.
Dusted is their independently produced debut. It is interesting in that it has a live feel, even though it isn’t, and also, some of the tracks are ones that show up later, but here everything is at the same fast tempo, so “Found Out About You” and “Cajun Song” here are kind of a trip.
New Miserable Experience is the most familiar, and I’ve already mentioned a lot of the tracks on it, but it’s worth listening to the whole thing, especially for the diversity it shows, as along with the regular rock you get some country, some Cajun, and some harder-edged songs, as well as the hauntingly beautiful. “Until I Fall Away” should not be missed,
Congratulations I’m Sorry is not as well known, but “Follow You Down” got at least some play. I am also very fond of “As Long As It Matters” and “Perfectly Still”.
I have not listened to enough of Major Lodge Victory yet to call any out, but I will say that I am reading Leaves of Grass now, and I am assuming “Jet Black Sunrise” is a reference to that. My favorite might be “Curious Thing”
No Chocolate Cake is so good! I feel bad for not finding it sooner. “Miss Disarray” is beautiful, and I can see why it was the release, but I think I love “Don’t Change for Me” most. It combines that need to strive for improvement with that desire to just be loved as is. I also appreciate the Rapunzel imagey in “If You’ll Be Mine”, and like “Go CryBaby” quite a bit.
Follow You Down: Okay, I really thought I was not going to get into this one. I don’t even know what to call it. 45, cassingle, and what for CDs? It’s not even a single, because there are four songs on it, but I can’t skip it because “Seeing Stars” does not seem to appear anywhere else, and it has an interesting flow to it and no one will find it except by finding this 4-track disc.
Okay, actually, my subtext on all of these is that you should listen to them all, but see, I can pick and choose. Also, my feelings about different tracks have changed over time, and so you might feel differently now, and I might in the future.
However, since I am in fact a completist, I am just going to throw in the side projects, and say that you can, and should, via Youtube, get a listen to Gas Giants “Quitter”. It’s harder with Northey Valenzuela, but “Not a Lot Goin’ On” was the theme song for Corner Gas, and so you can find a few versions of that.
And so after trying to explain all of that, it seems anticlimactic to just say I love the Gin Blossoms, and I am grateful for them, but it is nonetheless true.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Birthday Girl

You may be wondering how that birthday thing went:
The actual day, Thursday, was uneventful. There was pizza and some gifts. The main event was Saturday, and we all knew it.
Saturdays always being hectic, my mother, sisters, and I got to Pyzanos a few minutes late. I did not think it would be a big deal, but there were already people there! There were tables set up for us, and a huge bunch of balloons on the chair at the head of the table. That was from Pyzanos.
Various people arrived at different times, but we started with I think five people already there, and another eight coming in soon after. I will get a bit more into that later.
In terms of the venue, there was  a lot of good. I was so impressed with the balloons and the tables being ready. I feel bad that there were not many drinkers. I tried to tip well. There were some drinkers and some people got food, but realistically, it was a lot of Mormons.
The KJ is great, and she got everyone to sing Happy Birthdy to me, and she is great with finding selections. They did have both “I Wanna” in the style of the All American Rejects, and “Dragostea din tei” in the style of O-zone, and I sang both. If I had done a third, seriously, I would not be surprised if they have the Misfits, but I decided two was enough.
Actually, there is video of “I Wanna”. It is through Facebook, not Youtube, so it is not super easy to find, and I can live with this. I knew it was a possibility. With smart phones, you can be tagged in photos and videos before you even get home, and I was. In retrospect, I should have started with the O-zone one. I did a better job, and so that would have been a better one to have captured on film.
The other patrons were very nice. One old islander said it was a tradition to dedicate a song to people on their birthdays, so he told me he would, and when he got up there he said the tradition was also that I would hula, but since I didn’t know the hula I could just dance. I actually threw in some ersatz hula moves, because I can, and also his song was the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version of “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World”, so it worked.
There was another guy I danced with a couple of times. The first time I thought he was a good dancer, but I kept up pretty well. The second time he unleashed greater moves, and I did not keep up.
There was also another, skeevy guy, who kept hitting on all the women, wedding rings or not. We all rebuffed him, but at another point three of us were out there, and he tried again, and basically three of us let him twirl us. I mean, he was basically harmless, and we didn’t want to be hurtful, so that seemed like a reasonable allowance. You know, bar in Aloha.
The other thing that was kind of cool was there was a girl who was wearing a great outfit, and I told her, and she thought I looked familiar, but we couldn’t place it, and suddenly I thought maybe she was someone from college. Well, she was not that person, but we lived in the same complex our freshmen years, so we would have seen each other all the time.
So, let’s look at some of the specific goals and concerns. In terms of converting others to karaoke, I absolutely did not. The only other person in my group who sang was Moana, and she has done it before, though she prefers private room karaoke, like at Voicebox. Also, my family left before my second song, so they still don’t know how amazing I can be. (That may actually be insurmountable.) Still, I sang, I danced, and I visited with friends, which is not bad at all. Also, cards and presents kept appearing. I wasn’t really expecting that.
The other concern was how the friend interactions would work out, and it really went pretty well. One advantage to pulling from a single social group is that everyone knows each other, and in theory they get along.
In this mix, other than the immediate family, there were people whom I had known from anywhere between 35 years to two months. No one knew everyone, and one person knew only me. And yet overall, it went really well. Cathy and Jen loved each other! Mom and my sisters had never really talked to Toni, but now they have. Sonya and Sid got to catch up, twenty years after we all lived in Hamilton together. John and Kristin want to set Russ up with someone they know.
I was told I did a good job of mingling. I hope that is true. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with Angela and Toni. It was fun catching up with people, though, and it is so gratifying that they like each other, and that I can look around and remember once again how many smart, funny, kind people it has been my privilege to know. That’s not bad at all.
So, it felt pretty good over all, but don’t think I let things go to my head. My family had already left and were in bed, so Moana gave me a ride home, and the dogs seemed happy to see me, but as I was sorting everything out I hung my purse on a chair and Geno immediately peed on it. I think he may have resented me staying out a little bit. Or maybe the attached balloons were freaking him out. Brought back to earth quite quickly there.
There was one other interesting thing about the evening. I was telling Richard about the comic book, and how I am putting up the chapters and now I will need to draw it. Apparently there are some really good online drawing courses, which I will need to check out, but also, I mentioned something about how many characters there were, and he said “That would make a good desktop game.” Is that where it will lead me next? Perhaps I should try and finish the drawing in five years instead of nine, so then I can work on game programming. As long as there is always something to learn and some way to be creative.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A second look at diabetes

As long as we are focusing on health and fitness a little, this may be a good time to go back to the diabetes.
I do associate it with being overweight. I have no doubt that my weight has been a factor in my having it. However, I have also seen that there is a genetic component, and have been learning a lot about how my body responds to things.
One thing that has been a surprise fairly recently has been the diagnosis of three friends with it. None of these friends are obese. They aren’t sticks, but for example, of the two females, I believe they are a size 6 and an 8, and the male is fairly athletic. None of them are elderly, ranging from , I think, 32 to 45.I believe there is something to be learned from looking at their cases.
W has had issues with ovarian cysts, and recently had a hysterectomy. When my endocrinologist and I were discussing the possibility of surgery, she said that sometimes diabetic patients would be able to go off insulin even before losing weight, because the surgery changed their body chemistry. It appears that other types of surgeries can make other changes to body chemistry. Of course, there were already other issues going on, or the suregery wouldn’t have happened, but it is interesting.
R is the 45 year old, and I think his age is just catching up to him, and that’s not calling him old. He has always been strong, with a lot of stamina, where he could skip sleep and eat irregularly and still keep going, and I think his body is starting to tell him “no”. I remember in college I would keep crazy hours and for a while it would just make me more energized. 41 is not like 21. I need my sleep, I need my exercise, and I need balanced meals. He is severely constricting carbs, kind of going Paleo though not officially, but I think it will also be really important for him to start remembering to eat, and sleep, and relax, and not let his job run his life.
A has a lot going on. She has recently been diagnosed with one severe bacterial infection, as well as a disorder where she is not absorbing Vitamin B, and she has been anemic for a while. Honestly, once they have those things sorted out, I don’t think the diabetes will be an issue.
For me it’s a reminder of a couple of things. One is that going back to yesterday, we are complex systems with lots of interactions. With diabetes, people focus on the pancreas, and the pancreas underproducing insulin would definitely be an issue. However, you also can have your cells resist the insulin’s effort to get the glucose entered into the cells, and that can be due to fat cells in the way. You can also have the liver releasing too large quantities of sugar into the bloodstream.There are lots of things that can impair the liver. There can be environmental and immune factors that contribute to diabetes.
Medicine is a complex field, and so doctors tend to specialize a lot, and that totally makes sense, but I think it is also important to take a look at the whole system. This is where I find it unfortunate that there is not better cooperation between conventional and natural medicine. They could be helping each other instead of looking down on each other. Yes, the tendency towards arrogance in doctors is nothing new, but it helps no one.
We can’t necessarily solve that issue, but I think it can be a reasonable thing for every person to be in touch with their own health. Am I getting rested? Am I eating well? Do I have energy? Do I have pain? Are there logical reasons for the pain? When do I feel best? When do I feel worst? Is that logical? And be looking at the physical and the mental.
There was an episode of Frasier where a new doctor was getting Frasier jealous, and taking a call together with a woman who struggled with getting out of bed in the morning, Frasier diagnosed deep depression and recommended intensive therapy, and the doctor suggested she might have low blood sugar The caller then remembered that the other morning she’d had an egg and felt better, and got mad at Frasier.
I can give you a real world counterpart to that story where another psychologist had a patient who had depression symptoms, but it turned out to be a potassium deficiency. The mind-body connection doesn’t always have clear boundaries. There are people who need SSRIs, but there are also people who need a banana.
Again, arrogance can be an issue here, because one thing that is really common is for something to work for one person, and so then they assume that’s what will work for everyone else, and no, it’s not always like that.
One thing I did talk about with A is if maybe she needed more meat for the anemia, because she is vegetarian. However, she did try eating meat for a while, and her iron levels did not improve. At least she was willing to try it, and she knew.
I have friends who are very healthy as vegetarians, and happy. If I go for very long without getting any meat, I am going to start biting people’s necks. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but understanding my specific needs, and meeting those needs, is a good thing.
So yes, we are complex systems, and there is a lot that can go wrong inside. There is also a lot that can make it right. Look at any food group, and consider how much variety is available within it. Think about all of the advances in medicine. It is all so interesting, and there are so many answers. So look at yourself, get to know yourself, and take care of yourself, because you are important. That becomes more clear to me every day.

Monday, January 21, 2013

10 Year Plan Update: Triathlon

I honestly hoped to have accomplished more here, but I have started running.
Please do not be impressed at all by this. What this means is that in the course of about every other walk, starting recently, I will pick a spot, and run till I get there. I haven’t done it very often. I am not great at estimating distances, but I doubt it is generally much more than fifty yards, and I am not doing it as a dash. I huff and I puff by the end. I don’t know that I even go much faster than I would walking, though a lot of the runners that I see are not going much faster than walking speed, so that may be okay.
Of course, my original plan when I set out was always for a slow buildup, so that is okay. I am exercising pretty regularly, my weight has gone down some and my blood sugar is improving, while the rest of my health is overall good. While I am not doing anything really hardcore, which I still think is possible, at least I feel like I can maintain momentum on this, which might not be true of more ambitious action.
I was thinking about whether I was looking at things wrong, based on something Michael Moore said. He gave up diet and exercise, because they weren’t working for him. Once he did that, he lost 60 pounds. What he does do is walk for thirty minutes a day, even if it means walking at midnight because he did not get to it earlier. But it is not exercise, it is a walk.
I think there is something valuable in there, but ultimately I decided that “exercise” is reasonable for me. I don’t seem to have much stigma for the word, perhaps because what I do does tend to be something that I enjoy. I like aerobics for the most part, and while there may be suffering involved during, I still feel energized by the end, or I probably won’t go back to that routine. I don’t love the running, but it feels better than when it was something we had to do in school.
The thing is, I really want to run. Obviously, it was a result of reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, and that’s where I started wanting to do the triathlon. Previously, I always thought the biking and the swimming sounded good, but it was a pity they needed to ruin it with the running. Then I started to wonder about it, I guess, which is why I read the book, and then I couldn’t lose the desire to run.
Now there is something interesting between Moore and McDougall. When McDougall was consulting with a doctor about running he asked about doing things differently, like whether he should lose weight first or make dietary changes, and the doctor told him those things would follow. We are systems with complex relationships between the parts. So perhaps Michael Moore is only committed to walking thirty minutes a day, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t eat differently now, regardless of how conscious it is.
I have noticed that I seem to be noticing that I am full, and not continuing to eat. That may be more of a physical thing, but it could come from being better off mentally and emotionally. A lot of different things have gone into that, but the exercise probably didn’t hurt, even though I don’t think of it as exercise. The fresh air component is certainly helpful to me, though I am not always outside. I don’t know where it all comes from, or where it all will go, but it is generally positive, so I may just go with that and not worry about the details too much.
So right now, the plan is to just keep throwing in these running bursts, and to have them get more frequent and longer. I am going pretty easy right now, not just because I am a wimp, but also because it has been so cold lately, and that affects the muscles and the lungs. I should be able to do more as it gets warmer.
My shorter term goal was to run a 5K in August, which seemed doable. I have already walked a 5K, and there was a reasonable amount of time in between. That specific goal came from seeing something about the Electric Run coming to Portland, and it looked like it would be an August date.
It turns out that it will be July 13th, and it will not be through downtown, but around Portland International Raceway. This is a little less intriguing. I am not ruling it out, but I am still deciding. The overall goal is still the triathlon in 2022, and specifically an Ultra Distance triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile ride, and 26.2 mile run), though not specifically the Ironman, which is the most recognized branded Ultra Distance triathlon. (Yes, I looked it up.)
The individual steps to that ultimate goal may change a lot, as long as I still feel like I am moving forward.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Concert Review: The Gin Blossoms

So, when I started trying to cover the previous concert, I meant to go in chronological order, and it never felt right until I covered the All-American Rejects first, and then once that was done I could write about the other bands.
I thought it might be this way again, and yet I wanted to listen to the Gin Blossoms for longer, and give writing about them more time than Ambrosia, so that’s why they were yesterday, and I find I still want to write more about the Gin Blossoms than this. Maybe I just have too much to say about them. After all, they were the concert I waited the longest for, and they have a unique place in my heart.
So, this post will just be about the concert weekend. It is pretty much taken from my letter to Aaron recapping it, with some editing for clarity, and to remove an anecdote that was already covered in another post. There will be another post where we cover everything else, my history, their discography, and any psychoanalysis and fashion tips that come to mind. It might be Monday, or I might change the end of next week, and put off the next concert for a week.
The concert was November 10th at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, Oregon. I had seen Cheap Trick at Chinook Winds, and it was disappointing, so I was suspicious of casino venues in general, but this one worked really well. I went with Jeana and Angela.
We checked into our room and met up and went to get dinner. They have a buffet, a deli, a sports bar, and a regular restaurant, and we did the restaurant. One thing that is important to realize is that there is nothing else in Grande Ronde, and the hotel, concert hall, restaurants, and casino are all one building, so I thought I might see some band members. You do not even know how true that ended up being.
While we were waiting for our check in the restaurant, Jesse Valenzuela, the guitarist, came walking out. I do not want to be a pest, so if he had made eye contact I would have said something, but he didn’t. Then, we were walking back to our room, and Robin Wilson, the lead singer, was talking to someone in the lobby.
Well, I didn’t want to interrupt, but I needed to run down for something else. (Actually, Jeana and Angie borrowed a corkscrew from the gift shop to open some wine. Since I was not going to drink any, I was happy to get another chance to see him and volunteered to return the corkscrew.) Okay, Robin was still talking, but as I was heading back the other guitarist, Scott Johnson, was also getting in the elevator, and we rode together!
I did talk to him. I asked him what floor, and told him that I was really looking forward to the show, and I may have gushed a little. Anyway, he said thanks, and at least I ended up not being the most psychotic fan there that night. I will say, it seems highly probably that there is some sort of directly proportional relationship between how socially awkward the fans are, and how much the music means to them.
Finally, it was time for the concert. Yes, Ambrosia was good, but I had not been waiting twenty years for them. We definitely clapped for Ambrosia, and I think we even got up a couple of times, and Jeana and I could not stay away from the stage. We started in our assigned seats, and then we moved towards the end of the row, and then we moved up to the stage. I mean, everyone else was doing it!
Robin was just great. He sounded good, he was energetic, and he had us all in the palm of his hand. Many cell phones were being used for pictures and video, and many of those were taken, and sung to, and held against his face. It was funny, but I have to say also that it is great showmanship. The phone owners will always remember that and it is the kind of thing that makes the fans love you forever.
Robin gave a round of high fives that I missed, and then later on he did it again, and he was just leaving before he got to me. I know I felt a wave of disappointment, and I guess he saw it. He definitely saw my hand there. He was in the wrong position for a five, so he tried to give me a fist bump, only it hit my palm instead of a fist, because I am awkward and slow on the uptake, but still, he touched me! I will never forget that.
Of course, the lead singer is the star, but also of course, I was paying attention to the others. Scott Johnson, from the elevator, was clearly having a good time too. It was harder to tell with Jesse and Bill Leen, the bass player. Jesse started really lightening up on “Till I Hear it From You”. He started smiling, and then he was joking with people in the crowd. Later on he and Robin shared some banter about how Portland is so much better than Seattle. In fact, Seattle is overrated. Portlandia Mayor would totally agree. I don’t think this was merely telling the crowd what they want to hear, because Robin backed this up by saying that he has gotten four of his tattoos in Portland, and none in Seattle, which is pretty specific.
Bill, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s that he was not enjoying himself; I just think he’s lower key. Actually, I suddenly realized there that if I had seen him in earlier I might not have known it, because he was not wearing a hat now, and he was always wearing hats before. That’s a bit of an exaggeration—he was not wearing a hat in the video for Till I Hear it from You, but there are also not very many shots of him in it, and most of them are from below the neck.
When they left the stage, we just kept clapping, we knew there had to be an encore. I was mentally going through what songs they had not played, and realized that they had not done “Follow You Down”, and I knew that they would come and play it, and they did. Victory!
I realize it is pretty much expected that the headliner will do an encore now, that maybe it’s an artificial construct, but it’s still so exhilarating when they do come back. I’ll take it! Then they covered a Replacements number, and then they really were done, but we were still exhilarated.
We were too wired to go to the room right away, plus we had been seeing people everywhere. We went to the sports bar, but it was kind of crowded, so we ended up at the deli, and this is where we saw the drummer, Scott Hessel. I had not been paying as much attention to him during the show, because he is new, and I really loved Phil Rhodes, but he was fine, and now I have to love him because I have seen him play and talked to him.
I went to tell him great show, and he was very nice and we chatted briefly. He said he was totally wiped, which I believe, but I said we appreciated it, and I asked if he had been here before, and he hadn’t (the rest of the band had), and that was cool.
So at this point I have spoken to both Scotts, had physical contact with Scott and Robin, and seen Jesse and had him walk right by me. This just left Bill.
As we were leaving the hotel the next morning, he was standing right out front. He was talking on the phone, so no contact again, but still, close proximity to the entire band! Great reason to stay overnight if you go to a show at Spirit Mountain. We walked by one of the Ambrosia guys too, but it just wasn’t the same. How could it be?
Obviously, there is more to write about them, but that was that weekend, and it was a good one.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Band Review: Ambrosia

Going back many blog posts, Gin Blossoms were on my original three bands that I regretted not seeing in Eugene, and the other two, the Presidents of the United States of America and the Cherry Popping Daddies, were both bands that I saw at the Crystal Ballroom, so it occurred to me that it would be fitting to see the Gin Blossoms there.
That did not happen, but two from the expanded list, the All American Rejects and Keane, were healed at the Crystal, so it is still coming through for me. Still with old posts, I have also written about the Crystal’s history of having horrible opening bands, and that is something that has improved greatly. Perhaps I am more appreciative now, but looking back, some of those bands were truly awful. Where I am trying to put all of this together is that I would not expect to like Ambrosia, but I did.
Until that night, I could not even remember their name. Twice people mentioned them as as the opening band for Gin Blossoms, and having never heard of them, it went in one ear and out the other. I did ask once if the other person knew anything about them, and they were from the 70’s, and that did not motivate me to remember.
Here is the thing about the 70’s: I spent them listening to 50’s music. I found the music annoying and depressing, and then the 80’s came and made everything better. And then I found out there were things happening in the 70’s that I had not heard of that were not awful. I mean, I was born in 1972, so regardless of whether local radio stations were cool or not, I was at the mercy of what other people decided to listen to. (In the case of my parents, it feels like it was mainly ABBA, Neil Diamond, and Ray Conniff.)
So, I did not have high expectations for Ambrosia, but they really rocked their show. They were into it. They were lively, they were having fun, and they really got the crowd going. That was great.
Yes, the name was completely unfamiliar to me, but the music was not. I have definitely heard “How Much I Feel” and “Biggest Part of Me”. I may have heard “You’re the Only Woman” before, though I can’t be sure. I don’t know if I actually heard them on the radio, or they were on commercials for “Songs of the 70’s” type collections, but I know they were there.
I’m pretty sure that I never heard “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” until I was listening to them on Spotify in preparation for writing this. If I had, it would have been one of those songs that made me put on At the Hop again. However, I don’t think they played it that night, so all was well.
I know this is rambling, but here are two points I want to make from this, and they are related.
Firstly, okay, this is not my band, but there are people for whom they are the band. There were many people trying to get old albums signed, and the lead singer said they keep meeting girls named Ambrosia who were born in that time period.
My other point is that, okay, they are not my band, and that is exactly why I  have rambled so much in trying to convey my feelings about them, but I still enjoyed their show. And what this shows me is that when you have people who are good at what they do, you can appreciate that and enjoy it, even if it isn’t to your taste.
Those bands I complained about at the Crystal just weren’t that good. Ambrosia is really good. They have to be. All of the odds were in favor of me completely zoning out on them, or just being really irritated, and they didn’t let me do that, because they were good.
I appreciate that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Writing Update: Going Pro

As stated yesterday, I really want to move up to the next level. 
Realistically, I have a pretty good life. I am worried about how the cost of living is going up, which happened even before my income went down, but I am getting by, occasionally getting to help people and to do fun things, and that’s good.
I can’t give up writing, regardless of whether it ever pays off. I am happier and saner when I am doing it, and that’s important. I am a writer for the long haul.
Knowing all of that, I still want to move to being a paid writer. Yes, it will almost certainly be more money, even working on small projects, because I don’t make that much now. Mainly, though, if I can support myself without being a document specialist or customer service agent or product knowledge expert, then it means I have more time to write. It means that instead of being lucky to get in an hour a day, I could have a few hours a day. It probably wouldn’t be eight, because a lot of thinking about writing while doing something else goes into writing, but I could get so much more done, and it feels so luxurious to think of that.
So this is what I want, and it is a reasonable desire, and I don’t really know how attainable it is, but I have to try, and these are the three things that I feel like I should be working on now or soon.
Update my LinkedIn profile: I know it could change, but right now I have a day job, and I am not looking for another day job. I don’t want to join any related organizations, and it’s nice that people are giving me all of these endorsements for things they know or believe I can do, but it does nothing for me. I want to update my profile to reflect the job I want: screenwriter.
Sadly, I am not sure how to do this. For the day jobs I have had, I know all sorts of platforms, programs, and applications. For screenwriting, I basically use Final Draft. I can use Screenwriter. What else do you put? I have written X screenplays. I collaborated once on a book adaptation. Do I mention the freenlance web content, or is that too off-track? I believe I would be a good script doctor, but I have no proof. I mean, the odds of the profile paying off seem low.
However, one thing I have started doing is making sure that I am connected to the creative types I know, and I can try and find other writer profiles and see what they put. Perhaps viewing the profiles of working people will show me that I have other skills. Maybe they have organizations and events. I feel like I should look.
Revise Coulrophobia and submit it to Amazon Studios: That was the last traditional script I completed, and while it does need some work, I believe it has a fair amount of appeal. Amazon does buy scripts to make movies, and people can vote and weigh in on them.
A big part of the difficulty of breaking into screenwriting is that no one wants to take unsolicited scripts. There are too many legal pitfalls. So, if you know people, they can get you an in, or if you have an agent, they can use their connections to promote your script. I do not really know anyone, and I do not have an agent. Finding an agent to take me seriously without having sold anything or having any track record is also difficult. Therefore, Amazon is a nice path around that.
Let’s be clear on this. Looking at the scripts they have up there now, the first page has 30, and there are 281 pages. That’s not even being a needle in a haystack; that’s being a straw in a haystack, with no one looking specifically for you. It’s still a better chance than a lot of other things.
So, I want to submit fairly quickly there, but I do want to do some revising, and also get more familiar with the site before I send my child up there. When it happens, rest assured that I will be trying to contact everyone I know to read it and vote for it. I only want sincere votes, but I expect people to like it. It’s marvelous.
Start making agent inquiries again: This was a remarkably discouraging business the last time I tried it, but it was also a worse economic environment, and there were union negotiations that were not going well, so this is probably a better time for it. Don’t get me wrong. The odds of success are probably only up from ridiculously unlikely to pretty dang unlikely, but still, an agent would make a huge difference for me, and I at least need to try.
I do truly believe that the harder you work the luckier you are. After I had been unemployed for eleven months, and was pretty desperate, I came up for a temp job. It was not the one I had applied for, which had already been filled, but the person at the contracting company who saw my resume thought I would fit, and it just so happened that the person at the client company who was going to make the hiring decision knew me, and had worked with me before.
That was luck. It was luck that the person from the temp company saw me, and luck that my resume went to Lexi. However, it was not luck that I had put in hundreds of applications, searching every day, for anything that might work, leading my resume to that one spot, and it was not luck that people who have worked with me tend to respect my abilities and work ethic.
There are things you can control, and things you can’t. These are the things that I think I can reasonably do, so that’s what I’ll do, and see where it leads.
Okay, two days of music while I cover the November 10th concert coming up, and we pick up Monday with the last of the three goal areas. Plus, birthday karaoke is this weekend, so I expect at some point I will need to write about that.