Monday, September 22, 2014

Been awhile...! Just turned 40 as well

Greetings loyal reader(s), it's been awhile.

Not that nothing worth writing about has been going on, but have been so busy lately I simply haven't had the time/energy to write.

Busy is good. Busy means bills aren't as delinquent as they usually are (but I'm still late as shit on some things... Ugh)

End of August I took my first actual vacation since March, got back and hit the streets running with gigs, recording, new projects, old projects, etc etc etc. Just had to learn 40 songs for shows around the general Houston vicinity with 100 Miles Gone. Then learn another 20 for gigs with Ulrich Ellison and Tribe, as Ulrich's wife/bassist had to fly home to Austria for health reasons (expected to make full recovery and be back for their touring in October).

Last week I turned 40 with little to no fanfare. The show I'd been trying to book I had to cancel as all the bands I asked had prior commitments. Decided to have a night off and just invite friends out for drinks at various shows I wanted to attend. Then was offered an Eric Tessmer Band gig at The Roost up north for that night. Which then fell through a few hours from downbeat due to the flooding rains. Fuck me dead.

So went out to see Amplified Heat and just hung out. Was fun and low-key. Then while nursing a rather brutal hangover in spite of my modest alcohol consumption the previous night, drove with Heather to Houston for a gig with 100 Miles Gone. Would have rode with the drummer or guitar player but one was staying for gig next night, the other had things to do in Houston the next day, and I had to be back in Austin by 1pm Satruday to ride with Ulrich to San Angelo for a gig at Sealy Flats. Only to be back in Austin the next day for a last-minute early 3pm show with Deann Rene Band at Saxon Pub. Had tentative plans to invite people out for belated birthday drinks afterwards. But I was too fucking tired. Maybe next year I'll have a party.

So yes, I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to stay on top of bills and still failing miserably.

I keep working harder and harder and am not making any more money or any dent in my bills. I don't know what else to do, music is my most marketable job skill and I make more money doing it hour-for-hour than I was working full time at a TV station. And gig offers come in all the time. But I can't take all of them. Cancelled gigs are the bane of my existence. Just had to spend $600+ on amp repairs with money I don't have and one still isn't functioning properly. I could get a part time job, but doing what?!? Who the hell is going to hire a 40-year old college graduate who hasn't worked a straight job in 7 years? And I would have to work 3 days for the amount I'd get paid doing one gig.

My main problem is none of the bands I am involved in are full time (10-20 gigs per month, touring etc). So I'm having to take what I can get, keep searching, and try to stay positive and hope for the best, when the reality of the situation is if things don't change by the end of the year then it is Game Over. My credit cards (already drowning under those payments) will be maxed out. I have no savings. No 401k. I live gig-to-gig and can barely survive. And this is with me working as hard as I possibly can, doing what I am best at. And it's not enough.

Don't mean to be negative. Just explaining my current reality. I'm 40 years old now and starting to feel like Don Quixote. I can't keep this up the way I have been going all year. I am exhausted and reaching my wits' end.

Just trying to count my blessings in the meantime. I have a roof over my head which I own. It leaks but it's mine. I still have my health and feel in very good shape for 4 decades, tho with my back/abdomen still causing aches and stiffness I'm starting to feel older. I have a loving family, supportive friends, and am spending my time with a woman who is a wonderful human being (as opposed to the energy vampire I was with previous).

I am living in poverty, but my life is rich beyond measure in all the areas that really matter. And I have to remind myself that several times a day.

Here's to another 40 years. May they be better than the previous 40 (and those previous 40 weren't all that bad).

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