Greetings, for the first time in a while. The sun has finally shone again for what feels like ages, and from mountains of melting snow and ice I think we're going to see our way out of all this.
Want to see pictures and video? Go there...
...so what has been happening? Well, I'm slowly getting back to work. My training with Tango Traffic is complete, and I'm now working weekends and fill-in, generally for northern cities.
www.tangotraffic.com is the site: that's a basic listen of what we do for major cities. The format is not much different than what I did for XM Radio, but the company is delivering this content in localized and specialized ways. I can't really tell you all the details, because I don't know them. Suffice to say, the vision is for something a little bit different. Tapping another market, so to speak.
I like the people I work with...just about every one of us has been in the business for some time...some of us, decades, and I mean decades. I'm back aboard with a couple of my former XM compadres, and everyone seems to know everyone from somewhere. Radio, and broadcasting in general is like a small town.
Now this is out in the Philly suburbs, and it's a drive on Route 30. I have considered moving, but I am not sure I will. See the link above? Why would I leave that?
Yes, getting up and down that hill in winter is dangerous...why I didn't buy a Jeep I don't know, but whatever. The drive is no longer than some I made in the past. From that place to DC? Even longer. It worked out that it became a best option.
This also lets me remain in this area, and I can keep my hand in the business around here. I will still do work for the Radio PA Network, and whatever else I can find and fit in. Needless to say, the Tango money is way better. But I don't just do it for money; this is what I do. We all find ways to stay in this business, and no matter what role we've got, we give it our best.
Besides, this beats working!
Now how about this:
"Parasite Girls" is selling slowly, across the Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other platforms, but I do not mind so much. I'm working on getting it out there. I have it in a few indie stores, most of them in the York area. I have also donated copies to the York and Dauphin County Library Systems. I even got one in the Varnum Library, in my old hometown in Vermont!
Suppose I could blanket more, but I have to select my targets. Made a trip yesterday to Lancaster to try and get some action there. Some places just don't do "new" books, and others have to also choose carefully. I did have a nice talk with the manager of the bookstore at Franklin & Marshall College. She might just take it, I gotta hope.
Never been to the campus, and my short walk across it was interesting. Reminded me of days of walking across St. Joseph's...didn't feel much different.
Now...what is coming next? I hope to do more readings, once I get my schedule straightened out. And this:
Selected bits of future projects are here...what one will I do next? Hmmm...
Not sure at this point, because I need to give a push to "Parasite Girls," as far as I can this year. But also get ready for the follow-up.
My wish is to make my next one a first step into the Young Adult world. I will not be kept to one genre, no need to do that. I have to figure out which story fits, which story works, and so forth.
Either way, I'm having fun.
At the bottom, click on the "Play" thingie, and listen:
If that song does not blow you the fuck away, I don't know what will. "We Are All Whores" is a great song that is direct in a way so many pop songs today are not.
Gene is an old and dear friend...we did Rocky Horror together in the 90's, and this guy was the one out of all of us that had the talent to take it wherever he wanted to go. His band has done some great music over the years, and I'll explain why I am plugging it.
I may be back in the writing and critiquing business for this part of PA. I was a music critic for years for the old FACE Magazine. Didn't always know what I was doing, because in writing that was an ongoing exercise.
A certain publication might be taking me on, and I have a new way to serve the public around here, yet again. I hope.
One thing you need to remember, folks: CRITICS (AND/OR REVIEWERS) ARE JUST PEOPLE WITH AN OPINION. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE EVERY FUCKING THING THEY SAY.
I tended to not often agree with the writers of Rolling Stone or other publications about what they thought of music, bands, etc. We all have our views and we have a right to those views. We just have to remember a couple of things: THE OPINON IS LIKE AN ASSHOLE. WE ALL HAVE ONE.
Now, the other one is very hard for my colleagues in the media to figure out: JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE WRITING THE STORY DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE THE STORY.
I cringe when I listen to or watch people in the media (sports media, in particular) go on about some subject, when you know it's really all about them. Their views, their authoritative blatherings and rantings about what makes this good/bad, etc. And of course, what must we do about this...
Small-town and syndicated columnists are even worse. To get paid, they have to write the most ridiculous, inflammatory and downright hateful garbage. This is how they get attention.
We don't need that kind of attention. I don't want it.
Look, if I write something nice about someone, or I criticize somebody's work, I'm not trying to kiss up/start a fight. Just opinion. You do not have to believe it.
But look at how we are...talk radio, scream TV, Internet mania, anti-social media...we believe every goddamn thing we hear/read, don't we?
I'm using this potential gig as a means to say to you: we are all here trying to get along, get forward, get going. At least I am...if you want to wallow in your private universe, and regurgitate everything you read/see/hear from what comes out of the radio, the TV, the net...go ahead. Don't expect me to give you the time of fucking day. I don't have time.
I have work to do. This is my role; I write, I create, I offer my services in the best way possible. I am a service machine; I admit it. I do my own original things, but I also can do things that I hope make a difference, even if that difference is just a miniscule blip on your radar screen.
I want it to help.
I am not interested in being a talking head, where the head does all the talking and no thinking exists. I do not care to be a crotch-grabbing loudmouth pumping up the virtues of the local sports team, at the behest of whomever.
None of that makes sense to me...I've lived it, seen both ends of it. At this stage of my life, if being a traffic reporter (as I was for several years before) makes a difference to a commuter, then good. I did something good, and right.
With regards to "Parasite Girls," I have received two positive reviews on one of its aspects, mental illness. Both have told me I hit on the issue correctly, and well. That's great news...I drew on the experience of those around me, and my own issues, to try and make it work.
The whole damn thing works, I know it does.
So you see, why I'm like this. I do not expect you to believe anything I say, or write, or whatever. Understand this exercise helps me do what I have to do to survive. I don't blog much, because I don't have time. Not for you, but I just have better things to write, to work on, and I have to be on the go.
The other point, in using Gene's title is this...we do get off on our attention, don't we? We're all human, we all do it. Sometimes, it's good to have a little of that.
I was relieved, and happy to hear a family member and a friend say what needed to be said about "Parasite Girls."
I did something right. Nice feeling.