Friday, December 31, 2004


Happy New Year (Almost)

2004 is almost gone! Good riddance! OK, I've said that about the past couple of years, but the last couple of years haven't been the best for me. Ah! What're ya gonna do?!? Here's how my year went, if you go solely by amount of money earned this calendar year, I would be a professional game show contestant, followed by substitute teacher. Until I started teaching, number two would have been musician. That would have been cool to say but also pretty sad considering I played just 3 paying gigs and shared one payed open mic with the 957 fellows. It's also pretty sad that a second place finish on a national game show ranks as my top income producing activity. Sadder still that the show aired in 2003, but they didn't see fit to pay me until 2004. Even worse, to recoup my state income taxes from the fine folks in California, I have to file CA income taxes once again. Man, I thought I was through paying state income taxes when I moved back to South Dakota!

So what did I accomplish in 2004? I got really good with Photoshop. So good, in fact that I PO'd some guy in Liberia (yes, the West African nation) with something I posted on a local political blog. Yes, the internet is wonderful, I can infuriate people I've never met a whole world away. I became a better musician (good since I actually got paid for it this year) and I play guitar a lot better than I did this time last year. Granted I am still the worst guitarist who shows up to open mics. If I miss one thing about the Patient 957 days, it's that I really enjoyed being a guy who owns a guitar rather than one who plays a guitar. The harp playing really progressed, though, and I'm comfortable with the instrument in a way I never have been before. The little bit of music theory I had in high school and college has really gone a long way this last year, I've really started to understand what the letters stamped into the harmonica mean, and how that impacts what I need to do on the guitar. Or, in a perfect world, what TSA needs to do on the guitar.

I've never been good with New Year's resolutions. Who can keep them? When I do something I try to keep it simple. One year it was to every day be a little more like Homer Simpson. That worked pretty well, though I put on quite a bit of weight. That being successful, the next year I resolved to each day be a little more like Springfield's resident lush Barney Gumble. I kept that one even better than the Homer one, but it probably wasn't the wisest pursuit of my life.

Live and Learn

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The Bert Convey
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