Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 Editorial Part 1

I think it makes sense to go into detail a bit more about this year, and things. When I started this blog (or when it started, I came along like a week after it was), I was looking to write about any and all forms of entertainment and media that crossed my mind. Music of course being the largest. And at some point, I found myself doing a pretty good job, even though it started to evolve into less about reviews, and more about news, because of the nature of the web, people want to know when something is new/news.

Was it out of desiring attention? maybe, but not primarily. But inevitably, when I realized this blog receives many hits by some hard to believe chance, but largely due to the fact blogger, blogspot, etc are in bed with Google.

But fast forwarding, as I wrote at the beginning of 2011, I took on a brand new kind of job, for the 1st time in my life. Up to that point, I did, to put it simply, Data Entry work, involving many things, but the Medical/Insurance field was a large part of my work. Especially when I started working for the employer I still work for, back in 2004.

Data Entry work, especially with Insurance Bills, is a big right brain/left brain kind of work. You more or less look at different information like dollar amounts, dates of birth, and CODES, and often so they are matching what is on the bill, into the software and database, etc. It is pretty straight forward, although there are rules to learn, and that change off and on, for the most part, once you know the rules and get used to finding the right info to KEY in, it's easy to do that, and then the other side of your brain can focus on something else, like music or talk radio.

This is what I did, and have done. It's not rocket science, it's not something I went to college to learn to do,  but it became something I discovered I could do, do fast, and do efficiently.And over time of course I learned a lot of standard things, just about said types of Bills and insurance, and specifically in my hometown.
So I got to do that, pay my bills, through ups and downs, often using a lot of the disposable (and maybe not so disposable) income on my addiction to music and music related things.

Anyway, but in 2011, the new job I took required more of my brain work to do. First off, it was a new position, and I was in effect training for a year or more. What it was, was not so much Data Entry, but Data Analysis and more coding rules involving paying, denying, and explaining details about Insurance Bills.

Many others I saw take positions like this, from where I came, so I figured, why not me? And in some ways, learning/training was easy, given some of the simpler work, thus I found time to do the right brain/left brain stuff. But training ended for the most part at the end of the year.

So 2012, there was more responsibility on my shoulders to produce and know how to do my job. And that factor, led me to just not be able to do as much listening to music for long periods of time. In other words, I had countless times in 2012, I would put an album on, and within 10 or 15 minutes, I'd have to pause it and focus on my work. And it would happen, a lot more than I was used to in 2011 and especially in my old Data Entry work.

It can be kind of frustrating. And I just came to the point this year where I didn't care anymore. I just could not slave away trying to listen to X number of albums a day/week because my job was more important. Now mind you, I still listened to a lot of music, especially considering I worked a shit ton of Overtime. Just a guess,  but I would guess I earned 1/4 of the amount of money just in Overtime this year. There's a lot more as to why that is, but I am not really at liberty to go into details about that.

But I can add, part of it is desire to listen to albums. When I get to work in the morning, I login, get some coffee or hot chocolate or whatever morning beverage and quasi breakfast I seem to have (sometimes none, sometimes M&M's, sometimes cold pizza, sometimes a banana and hot chocolate, or on the best days/back-in-the-day, a toasted bagel with cream cheese which I kind of discovered was a bad addiction to have/moderation probably was best).

I'm just going to go out and say this. I really don't think I'm a very good writer. I know I'm not, and I don't intend to come across as one. I never got a college degree. Although I often found English as something I liked, but I also found I hate/hated being edited. Constructive criticism, right? But I guess I don't see it that way. The way I see it is, the point of just being able to communicate. No matter how poor the grammar, spelling, facts, structure, terminology/knowledge, repetition is.

I'm sort of caught between a rock and hard place in a lot of ways. And I feel masochistic. I suppose I see myself as doing a dayjob to pay my bills, and doing somewhat well actually, if not thriving in my own way, as responsible to just take care of myself. I did try and go into Radio, back in the 90's by interning at KFAN and then with KFAI, and both experiences didn't end up as I hoped. But then, maybe I learned from trying them, what I hoped they would bring me, wasn't actually all desirable anyway.

I guess another way to put it is, I think I should have my taste reflected in media. Music, for example, I should influence if not be directly or indirectly involved in at least some of the music on a station like 89.3. It goes back to the point I made a few weeks ago about that station. It's not only that they don't play the music I love, but unlike a corporate station, they actually COULD play stuff like Kevin Gilbert and Marillion, but CHOOSE NOT TO. And I did apply to DJ there, but there's no way in hell I would have given up my dayjob and the vastly more secure employment, for working there. But I still thought I could be like a part-time DJ or even just work part-time with the people who run the station.

And I earlier this year sent an email to their Program Director, suggesting they do a feature about blogs, local blogs. The problem is/was, I was too cryptic in my email, and actually, it read poorly. Which really struck me hard that night about how poor a writer I can be, if not often. That experience, along with about a year ago, pursuing writing for mplsmusic.com and they more or less having the same exact reaction to my writing, kind of hit me how poor a writer I can be. And that this whole extensive, time consuming work I do here, might actually be as pedestrian and amateurish as I wondered.

It's almost like, the traffic this site receives, is not intended for the writing, it's just intended for the names and albums/songs/videos it shares. And that I could just become like any other cliche blog out there, and have nothing to say personally, and have that just within those names.

So, like I should just post about Marillion and their album Sounds That Can't Be Made. And just say, it's good, and nothing else. Or not even say it's good. Just post, and post, and post with no opinions, no details, because the actual attempt at writing about them is too inept to even have value.

I also add to the whole caught between worlds, in that my taste seems to be a dichotomy as well. To put it as simply as I can. When I mix with the prog folks, and prog metal folks, my taste isn't prog enough for them.  Just trying to review for Progression magazine earlier this year is proof of that.

I mean if artists want me to review their music, I either am just being nice, or too shy to be brutally honest. I come across as being so prog-centric, but the truth is, most of the stuff overtly prog that has come out, especially in the last 10 years or more, I find totally fucking sucks. It is a chore to listen to. Blah Blah Blah. I almost think by not wanting to review the album, says that itself.

But I'd also say when among hipsters or the p4k, 89.3, Radio K, Sound Opinions, and many other message boards, my taste doesn't work too well either. Unless the music is hip enough for those college rock addicts.

So I'm sort of caught in no man's land. If I made a festival, it wouldn't be called prog nor would it be a p4k approved festival. It just would be the stuff I'm into, which call it college prog, or call it just interesting rock music, or whatever, but I also sense I'd be like the only person who might go, or at least would be a fan of the majority of the artists playing.

I guess I'm just trying to enjoy music and entertainment, while now finding the many ups and downs of a relationship. Paying bills and budgeting, trying to eat healthy, live healthy. Sometimes with entertainment being so trivial to others, but not to me, I think I may not have a choice but to agree with their stance. It's just music. It's just television. It's just a movie. There are a lot more real world/real life things, that are more significant. But for the longest time, this entertainment was/is my best and only escape. And so, I wanted it to be what I did as much as possible. But if it did, it might not be as enjoyable. It might feel like a *job*.

Someday, I've said for years, I want to retire and do 2 primary things. Watch films and do this as a job in terms of time. Namely listen to Jazz and maybe Classical music. Perhaps at that point, I could also do a radio show. It may depend on just cost of things for me, and what other agenda I may have like volunteering or something.

But the idea of just working in something totally unrelated to music and entertainment, to try and save up and retire some day to do ultimately, may sound crazy and unrealistic, but maybe I will find myself able to do that.