Thursday, November 8, 2012

a random text thread

some poor punter from Kentucky texted me randomly this morning. here's the transcript (all spelling and punctuation kept the same for continuity sake):

KY: Who's this?

me: Perhaps you should look in a mirror and ask yourself that. I can't tell you who you are.

KY: Thats cute......then why don't you tell me your name and mine as well

me: Apparently my label is "cute". But I couldn't tell you yours as I'm not really into limiting a person or idea by naming it.

KY: Hahaha I didn't say you were cute it was sarcasm for wat you said. But when are you going to give me a name....??(I don't know how to type upside down question marks, but there are 2)

me: I already said I don't limit things by naming them. So I won't give you one, but you're welcome to give one to yourself.

KY: I already no my name but you have a name you were given so wat do your friends call you

me: Oh many things: Hey you. Oh gracious, serene and beautiful one. Dude. You know, the usual.

KY: Well wats the name your parents gave you

me: "are you sure we brought the right kid home from the hospital?" I know its long, but its what's on the birth certificate. People call me "kid".

KY: Lol smh so when are you gunna stop giving me the run around in tell me your name

me: I just did. Kid.

KY: Ok well tell me how you got my number

me: You're the one who texted me. So I should be asking that question of you.

KY: No you texted me first saying.... I hope so.I don't what to have to start all over again. Again.

me: Hm... Nope. I didn't send that to you. Or to anyone.

KY: Well that's wat my phone is showing

me: I think your phone has mutinied and is lying to you.

KY: Lol chill out...but wat school to you go to then

me: I go to the school of hard knocks. Where do you go?

KY: Can I get a real answer though

me: That is the real answer.

KY: In where is that located at

me: There are several campuses worldwide.

KY: In how does this so called school work

me: It utilizes aversion therapy to educate.

KY: Mhmm I how old are you

me: Old enough to know better, young enough to keep on doing it. Often.

KY: Why don't you give straight up answers

me: Like Paula Abdul answers? Last time I checked she was heavily medicated. I wouldn't trust her answers.

KY: Do you act like this to all the people you text

me: I act like this to all of the strange people who text me, yes.

KY: O I see

Friday, September 14, 2012


i wear 30 pounds of armor. it's very soft, squishy, kind of uncomfortable and nearly impenetrable. even though it's uncomfortable, i'm afraid of what would happen without it.

if ever i get a chink in it, i eat a cookie and it straightens itself out.

magic. gray magic.

Monday, August 20, 2012

sleepy sleep sleep

where you at? its 2am on an early Monday morning where I have to be up at 5:45am to get to work and my eyes, my body nor mind are the least bit tired. if my foot weren't fucked I'd run a couple of miles right now or at least meander outside with all the drunks, hobos and insomniacs. instead I'm playing around in my head with a house I haven't met yet and projects that only live in my head that I can't wait to touch with my hands.

dirt sifting though my fingers
the smell of hot, freshly cut wood
temperate nights
fort beds in the attic
rocking chairs
the scents of the day
the scents of the night
aaa baseball
pirate bars
finding art
monkey bread
swimming holes
iron beds
homemadey stuff

I'd like to sleep now so I can not bite heads off later on today. his will all be here for me when I'm supposed to have it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


i had this flash today. a flash that started as me sitting cross-legged in pajamas on the worn wood floors of a home office with printed spreadsheets strewn about me as i was deciding how they needed to connect. there was sunlight coming through the windows and i could smell the grass and trees outside.

so analog.

this flash then grew into a daydream that didn't, for the first time, scare the bejeezus out of me. it encompassed me in a house that i own, someone sharing that house with me, me settled into a sort of work/life balance routine that doesn't look anything like i have now. it was a 20 minutes daydream of living an awesome life. and it didn't feel wrong or undeserved for the first time.
i'm so used to being mobile and enjoying that mobility and all of the freedom that comes with it. i've gladly traded the downsides, most notably loneliness, for the many perceived upsides of FREEDOM.

it's kind of weird. and it makes me feel more grown up than old. i'm not sure what to do with this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

talkin' it out vlog - le deux

here's #2 for you where i talk about my way bigger than expected number of views, plans for the future and respond to last week's many letters from bob lefsetz's newsletter (and also give you a rad little geology fact).

i also want to address artists that don't take advantage of that which is at their fingertips - their fans. instead of signing to a label so they can take care of administrative tasks for you, why not look to your fans to help you out with those tasks? i bet you'd be surprised at the vast amount of talent and ability that lives in your fanbase. and, while they may not help out for free (but they might) i bet they help out at a deeply discounted rate, with a far more authentic touch and be WAY more excited about doing so. in their mind, it's creating a deeper or different kind of connection with you. take advantage of that and open yourself up to allowing that connection, it'll only make things better.

finally, i want to address the percentages i talk about in the video - they're not numbers that i pulled out of my ass, but they're not steadfast either. in the research i've done thus far, it's a pretty usual set of numbers. most of it comes from here because it's a simple and easy to understand breakdown that is easy to point others to. i use the iTunes example because it's the most ubiquitous and one of the easier to break down. essentially, apple will always take 30%, no matter what. the remaining 70% is up to you.
Let's do some math to put this into perspective using an oversimplified example: assume the artist's goal is to net $10,000 for themselves on an album they are selling for five dollars on iTunes. Assume, in both scenarios, the artists is a solo singer-songwriter with their own publishing company to further simplify the calculations. The independent artist spends $5,000 to write, produce, record and distribute their album. To net $10,000, the artist needs to make $15,000 in sales. 70% of five dollars is $3.50. $15,000 divided by $3.50 is 4,236 five dollar albums that the artist needs to sell to net $10,000.
Alternatively, a label artist spends $20,000 to write, produce, record and distribute their album (that's pretty thrifty), but it's not as simple as grossing $30,000 in sales for the artist to make their $10,000. This requires some higher math: at the outset, the label is taking 15% of the sales price ($0.75) until costs are recouped. So, $20,000 (the cost to make the record) divided by $0.75 is 26,667 albums that need to be sold to recoup costs. The artist has only netted 7% ($0.35) per album sold thus far, making their income $9333.45 on 26,667 albums, $666.55 short of the $10,000 goal. Since the costs of the album have been recouped, the artist now is making their full 22% ($1.10) per album sold , so they need to sell another 606 albums to make their full $10,000 bringing the total number of albums sold to 27,273. That's more than an 636% increase in sales to net the same amount. The label has made $68,121.90 in pure profit at this point.
these numbers don't represent any certain situation except the one listed above that i pulled out of my ass, but it gives you an idea of what goes on. every deal is different.

if you even get paid.

to put it further into perspective, jeff bridges, who went on a full media junket for his pet album, took 4 weeks with the "POWER" of tv, print and radio behind him to sell 27000 albums. to a nation of 250 million people. if even one percent of them saw "the big lebowski" or "crazy heart" and loved either one, that should give him at least 2.5 million people who would potentially buy that album, right? he just barely topped out at 1% of that 1%. funny, but i can't seem to find the year to date cumulative numbers on that album. hm.

let me step off my soapbox now.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

this is my zappos blog

on friday morning i was walking to the train and found a good sized purple plastic egg in a bush on the corner of 20th and burnside. i looked at it, scooped it up in the crook of my arm and kept walking to the train. a young man and his dog ran across the street and accosted me when he saw that i had an egg and interrogated me about it and then acted like i should give him HIS egg. i didn't.
i got to the train and had 10 minutes before the next one was coming, so i dug in.

inside the egg was a big, green, boys marmot hoodie. i read the card and thought to myself, "this is a fancy and fun way to (presumably) get rid of their promo items that they get from their suppliers!" turns out that hoodie wasn't a promo item, but an actual product valued at $55. the card in the egg said that if i didn't like what i got in the egg, i could return it for free and get a site credit/exchange for a different item. i bundled the egg back together and into my bag and continued on to work.

here's where the brilliance (on zappos' part) happens: when i got to work, i told at least 7 people throughout the day that i found this egg and what the deal was with it. because, how often do you find an egg with free shite in it? i know of at least 2 of those 7 went onto zappos that day to look into the whole thing. i still didn't even know what was really going on with anything, what the deal with this whole promotion was, only that it was REALLY doing its job.
around lunch time, i called the number on the card to see how the returning and exchanging worked. a nice young man named michael from the zappos couture department (that shocked me too) answered and we learned together about what was going on as he hadn't fielded a call about this yet. he signed me up for zappos' vip service which allows them access to track more closely what i look at, favorite and buy in exchange for free next business day shipping, exclusive features, at least 24 hour notice of new releases on their site and expedited returns. seems fair to me. and then michael emailed me a label for UPS or USPS (my choice) so i could send the hoodie back and made a note on my account that i have a $55 credit. it was all very friendly and awesome.

this is also pretty brilliant because it allows people who may not have used zappos before to experience their customer service (their top selling point to anyone and everyone) without having to buy anything first. how many times have you just kept or threw away something because you knew it would be way too much of a pain in the ass to send it back? zappos nips that in the bud for you with this experience.

if you look at the 1st picture, you'll see there's a little green sticker on it that says 51 implying that it's egg #51. further implying that there were at least 50 other eggs around. friday evening, when i got home and before i disco-napped, i researched a bit and found out that there are 100 eggs total playing in this game and that zappos was tweeting clues of the eggs whereabouts through saturday evening. on saturday, the office wife and i looked for a few of the other ones, but gave up tout suite as many seemed to be on the hunt and we wanted to enjoy the day.

to wrap this up: zappos is evil marketing genius. the hardest part about the whole thing so far is figuring out what i want from their site with my $55 credit.

smarty pantses.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

look who started VLOGGING!

vlog.  vlogging.  gosh, both of those sound so drrty. 
but i've started doing it.  and everyone thinks i'm cute.  i've never thought of myself as cute.  i've never really thought of myself to be honest.  so...  here it is.  i talk about kim chee, volcanoes destroying portland and give a brief overview of what this is all about.  in my thinking.

Friday, March 16, 2012

all i (don't) know

i just finished watching my first kickstarter campaign gift, "all i know", and i was absolutely blown away (again) at how much trust and courage it requires to be a musician and to work with other artists.  every one of the 12 musicians in this documentary showed assertiveness, gumption and verve at some point.  they all were so open to the new (to some of them) experience of co-writing songs.  with people they've never met.  who have a different native language than each other.  and then performing the songs live after only 12 days or so.
i know some of the people in the film and i know that they don't have an intentionally cruel bones in their body, but my heart was still scared for all of the musicians at the prospect of these ideas or melodies - their contributions - wouldn't be heard or welcomed by the partner.  of course there were a few bumps along the way.  of course it all turns out well in the end.  but i can't even fathom baring yourself like that in front of other people to be potentially judged harshly.
then, about 20 minutes into it, i realized that these people do that everyday: make themselves, via their art, available for judgment.  it's not that i didn't know that before, but i needed to re-remember it.  i needed to re-remember what it's like to take pride in others for being themselves.

there are lots of colorful, inarticulate fragments floating around in my head that, in there, seem to say this so much better or more floridly, but it's not coming out.  i don't know.

baby, i'm amazed.

Friday, February 24, 2012

epiph-ionic spree

the teeny tiny readership of this blog all know that i've been working my balls off for the past 9+ months so i could quit mortgage forever and go to la for school.  i've been going to school full-time and working 50+ hour weeks at work all while living on 1 paycheck a month and putting the other paycheck away in the bank.  it was going to work out beautifully: i put in notice at my job on 3/1, last day is 3/15 (the same day the quarter ends), i leave for la on 3/21, registration is on 3/23 and classes start - synchronously - on my birthday.  talk about a way to kick off a year, right?  32 was going to be the best, most kick-ass year ever for me.  for once, it was a birthday i was REALLY looking forward to. 
turns out, that's not meant to be.  due to a lot of boring details i'm ending up short on money to go.  i have enough saved for living expenses but not tuition on top of it (funny how those 2 amounts are so similar), so i COULD still go, but i would have to live on the street.  while i would probably be queen whitey (or ice cream queen, whatever) in the homeless village downtown on 6th, i don't know that i'd be in the right frame of mind to get the learning done that i need to get done.  i did a lot of running around this past weekend to make sure there weren't any other viable options.

that said, i was, understandably, frustrated, disappointed and very, very sad when i got back.  i was so numb to it that it took a good day and a half to sink in.  i talked with a few people about it and started getting really sad and then very pissed off about it.  so pissed off that i've been mentally blowing the wad of cash i saved up for this trek.  it started last night when i said to myself, "fuck it!  if i can't do the big thing i want to do, i'm gonna buy myself that $20 bottle of shampoo because i like how it smells and it makes my hair awesome."  and i did.  that mentality stayed put through the train and bus ride to work this morning and it looked kind of like this:

what i CAN'T do:
 - put a down payment on a sexy tesla electric car
 - go to la for school during the spring and summer quarters

what i CAN do:
 - shell out for a fairly fancy trip to this year's sxsw and even get a BADGE if i wanted.  and still have enough left over for an ipad.
 - buy outright a new-to-me car
 - buy 1000 shots of whiskey at my corner bar.  and still have enough left over for an ipad.  that i wouldn't be able to use because i'd be dead due to alcohol poisoning.
 - buy outright a house in memphis
 - buy outright two homes in memphis (i didn't say they were nice houses)
 - give myself a "what not to wear"-esque shopping spree
 - find some boy hookers and lots of blow
 - stalk david wenham

then my CAN list started to get less fanciful.  when that happened, i had to re-ask myself why it was i thought i had to wait a whole year to go back to la to try this again because I FORGOT.  i couldn't come up with a good answer, so i'm thinking it was just self-punishment for not being ready when i thought i should be ready.  then i thought to myself, "self, if you take the next 2 quarters off of school, you could TOTALLY go to la in the fall and you might even be better off."  i could get myself an ipad.  i could get a fancy phone when my contract is up in july.  i could slowly build my wardrobe up to where i want it to be.  i could start taking care of myself.  i could do all these things i'd been denying myself for a long time.  a very long time.
if i wait until fall, i will probably have more of my tuition covered by student loans too because i was AWESOME and completed my fafsa on the first day it was available this year.

so, this weekend i'm going to set a goal of what i want and where i want to be financially by the time i leave for la.  and then i'm going to work backwards from then to now to figure out what i need to save up per month.  i don't think it's going to be a whole paycheck which will leave me money to do things for myself like, starting to go to hot yoga again (to shoot for 5 days a week), buying a few pieces of clothing every month rather than a spree, getting myself an ipad, read for fun instead of school, get myself pedicures, go to shows again, etc.

when i came to this realization, it was like a weight lifted.  i was a totally different person at work (i don't expect that to last too long).  i felt light and awesome all day.

and to celebrate, i took my first steps today: notifying la school that i was going to attend in the fall, modifying the financial aid a little bit, and moving $500 from the school fund to the "let's spend some money!" account and promptly bought myself 5 rollers of my good smellin' smell stuff from nordstroms since it's discontinued and they're the only ones that still have any left.  it felt good not to freak out about spending $130 on knowing that i'll smell how i want to smell for the next 12 years.

Friday, February 10, 2012

cheese and rice, i'm hanging on by the tiniest fraying thread right now.  scratch that.  i don't even feel like i'm hanging on by that thread.  i work at a thankless job that sucks all my energy from me, affecting the things that i want to do.  i'm behind in my classes and feel like i'm never going to catch up.  i feel like i would burst into tears immediately if someone were to touch me right now but the thing i want the most right now is a big huge tight actual physical hug.  it's so hard to do this alone.  it's so hard to do this alone.  it's so hard to do this alone.  it's so hard to do this alone.  it's so hard to do this alone.
any of the things i need right now seem impossible:  i need to not have to go into work at all next week.  i need my paper to come together.  i need a hug.  i need a viable, actual living situation for la.  i need a massage.  i need to take care of myself.  i need extra hours in the day where i'm not sleeping or at work or on the bus.  i need to collapse.  i need someone to pick me up when i do. 


i feel compelled to add this post-script:  while the above is very valid and true for me a vast majority of the time, it's really coming to the forefront now because i'm due to start bleeding out my kooze in the next day or so.  hopefully this will pass with the crimson tide.  if not, i might check myself into a purple house.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

how to?

i've finally found that i'm not the only one who has run into this problem, so i've decided to pose this conundrum to you, my meager (understatement) readership:

say you're bold and you tell someone that you like them "like that" (yes, i'm still in seventh grade) and they don't return the feeling.  say you have come across this before and you have become (possibly too) adept at acknowledging and redirecting these feelings so that you don't have them anymore, but you still appreciate the person and are interested in continuing to build the friendship (because, to be honest, you wouldn't have liked them "like that" if there wasn't something there to like to begin with).
how does one let the other know that said feeling is quelled so that whatever potentially awkward feeling harbored by the previously affected party is diminished so you can get back to being "normal" (whatever your definition of that might be) and continue to be friends?  can that be done?  has that initial act turned incurably from bold to impetuous?

upon reflection, i've found that i've been in this situation more than once (heh) and, previous to now, have always let the friendship go, losing out on some potential radness in the buddy department, i'm sure of it and i would rather that it didn't happen again.  yes, one solution could be to cure my own rashness, but that's just not me - my magic would quickly dwindle if i did that, so i'm reaching out for another option.  i'm shameless and not easily embarrassed, so if it requires prostration, i'd be ok with that.

i'd be sad, but would deal with it, if there were no solution.