Summing Up The Year

So I know I’ve been terribly remiss in posting on Zenarchery these past few months. It has not been a good year for me. Long and short of it is just mostly money issues, some of which seem to be mostly settled, some of which are only beginning. But there’s also my wisdom teeth, which I simply can’t take care of right now. The abscess under my tongue went away with medication, thank God…but one of the teeth is apparently growing through the joint of my jaw and, in fact, slowly breaking it. I’ve begun to be able to feel it, like my jawbone is being pulled apart like a wishbone, slowly and inexorably. Sucks, but I just don’t have the money or the time to do much about it right now.

And frankly, I’m sick of hearing myself complain about it, so fuck it. No more complaints this year.

I’ve been considering repurposing this site entirely as a professional sort of thing, a work blog/portfolio. I just haven’t had the interest in blogging much, quite frankly. It seems too much effort for a gradually dwindling audience. (I look at my server stats.) And I’ve been very busy simply trying to survive and pay bills and, y’know, afford to eat daily.

But I find myself reluctant to do that. What I am going to do, though, is start posting some real content. Now that I have my own apartment with my own recording studio, I’m trying to finish the album. (Really.) I’ll be posting those tracks as I finish them here — I’m not going to wait to have everything done — so you can expect to hear a couple of them in the near future, tracks that are already done. And I’ve been writing new stuff and totally reworking old stuff as well.

I’m also rebuilding my design portfolio and adding some recent work. And I think I’m going to be adding a design sandbox to the site — an area where I can post experiments, personal projects, Actionscript and Processing stuff, links to inspirational or interesting stuff I find. This might actually take the form of an entirely separate work blog.

I have a suspicion that I’ve lost work recently because of my public profile on the Internet — I think that a couple of potential employers have found this site and been offended or made uncomfortable by what’s on here. Which is unfortunate, but I couldn’t fix that now even if I wanted to, thanks to things like the Wayback Machine and Google’s cache. Everything you say is out there somewhere, and I’m willing to take full responsibility for that. You can accuse me of a lot of failings, which I’ll willing admit to, but one thing I am not is duplicitious. I am who I am, and I accept the consequences of that.

But it does mean that I’m going to have to figure out new ways of generating revenue. Y’all have been incredibly helpful with that over the years, and don’t think it doesn’t go appreciated — some of you have dropped me cash simply because you enjoy what I do, and that cash has paid the bills or the rent or bought a cupboard full of groceries a few very important times. So thank you for that.

And I want to continue. I want to give you your money’s worth, even if you haven’t or wouldn’t send any my way. So: more music, more content, more value. And, frankly, a PayPal donation button and an Amazon wish list, because I’ve got to pay the bills somehow, and I’d rather do it writing and making art and music if I can.

Christ, I can’t even remember if I’ve mentioned my apartment — the first solo apartment I’ve had since San Francisco in the mid-late ’90s. It’s a two bedroom that I’m getting from a friend at a great price — which allows me to have my office/studio, which I desperately needed. I’m right near UNLV and quite happy with my situation. It’s so wonderful to not be a loser living with one’s parents; to feel proud of paying the bills, even if I have to stress all the time and spend all my hours trying to find work.

I’m not good at anything else. I’m terrible at office jobs. I try, I do, but I just suck at sitting in a cubicle. I can’t think, and if I can’t think, I can’t be creative, and being creative is what I do. I do better work in my own little office, in my own environment.

Which reminds me: I’m thinking of hanging out a shingle as a new media consultant. Tricky gig in these economic times, I know…but I think most of you will admit that I know as much about online music and media as anybody else, and that I’ve been pretty successful in predicting trends, even if I’m a couple of years ahead of myself.

I’d like some advice on this, if you have any. It’s part of the reason I want to build a work blog — I want to build a useful set of information that also shows that I actually know what I’m doing. Which I do. I just don’t have enough of a public track record.

Oh, and there’s another project in the works that I don’t want to talk about. Well, it’s actually an old project I’ve revived. Music related. And I’m doing a lot of thinking about collective culture-making, and the various roles of producers (i.e. people who make stuff) vs. enablers (people who make ways to make that stuff available) vs. curators (people who filter through the crappy stuff to find the good stuff). Curatorship is, I think, the key to the next Web revolution…and I’m working on some stuff in that department right now.

Anyway, that’s my chatty little update. I’m going to go make myself some jambalaya and try to figure out how to properly hook up the wiring on my new dryer, which has a cable that’s about 8 inches too short to reach the outlet. I feel a trip to Home Depot coming on, or at least Wal-Mart.

And let me say it now: I really hope you’re all doing well for the holidays. This is a dark moment for the world, but there’s hope. There’s always hope.


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