Follow by Email

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blog down?

Wow. That's not good. I was able to log in to my blog through blogger.com but not by going to look at my blog first. Hope Google gets the server problem fixed!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Like Yeast

The Sweet Ladies Showcase is growing and evolving, now it's not just going to be every Thursday at Michele, but I've obtained a booking for a Friday night in January. I am also currently seeking talented kids in south Florida for a Youth Showcase, also to be held in January. The Youth Showcase will be on a weekend afternoon at Michele, and if we generate sufficient interest may become a weekly thing just like the Ladies Showcase.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Success and failure

Well, last night I had a huge success with my "Sweet Ladies of South Florida" musicians showcase. I've been asked to repeat the event every Thursday night at Michele so I'm really psyched about that.


On the failure side, I did not manage to get all the way to 50,000 words with my book, but it's only about 11,500 words shy at the moment and close to being finished so I'm going to go ahead and wrap it up. Therefore it's not COMPLETE failure, just failure to meet the 50k mark... but it's a success in writing a book!

Monday, November 27, 2006

34,518

That's how many words I've written thus far in my quest to produce a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. Thanks to Mikel's book from a couple of years ago, I've chosen to write one that's largely autobiographical, with some names changed to protect people. I can't believe that I'm just over 15,000 words away from achieving that goal!

I think, however, in order to do that, I may need to add a significant amount of embellishment, as the truth can only get me so far, LOL

Gosh. I hope somebody doesn't creep out and shoot me over it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Political Party Quiz

Interesting! Wow, we obviously have vastly differing ideals, yet: we are (I think) good friends. It just goes to show that when you've been discriminated against in any way, it tends to make you more tolerant of others and their right to be and think what they do.

You scored as Green.

Green


83%

Anarchism


67%

Republican


50%

Socialist


50%

Communism


33%

Democrat


17%

Fascism


17%

Nazi


0%

What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with QuizFarm.com

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Being, apparently, a parent...

Being a parent is as individual a thing as one's personality. There's the milk-and-cookies mom that we all wished was waiting at home for us after school, and the working mom which most of us DID have. I wonder how many of us really appreciate what a sacrifice that was for our mothers to make.

They had to choose to hand their children over to someone else to be raised, for the most part. And in this daycare society, that usually means someone the mother has never met before, has no idea of their background or morals... scary.

In our tribal past, the elders would have kept the tribe's children while the women went about the busy work of keeping things in order. The men would have gone out hunting, and it was a peaceful life until someone else decided they wanted the land your tribe inhabited.

It amazes me how history is full of examples that a piece of land, which no one could TRULY own, time and again proves to be of more value to someone than human lives. Oh, the stories that were lost forever when the last voice that told them was silenced. And the songs... and artwork.

I think that as a society if we continue to move further and further away from a tribal lifestyle we are nailing humanity's coffin shut in the process.

Monday, October 30, 2006

My daughter's boyfriend

It has come to my attention that my daughter's silly boyfriend has been reading my blog. No telling how far he's gone... but hope he's enjoying himself. He must be REALLY bored with life, LOL

Friday, October 27, 2006

NaNoWriMo 2006

For the past two years I've made pathetic attempts to write a novel in November, which is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo issues an annual challenge to which more and more people are responding.

This year I've created an outline and list of characters as well as begun upon character sketches. It's against the rules to start writing the actual book before November 1, but it's encouraged to prepare with notes, etc.

Previously I had used Blogger to post my novel in progress, but it seems that is no longer an option due to some of the changes they have made to the way posts work. Therefore I have developed a template for my book. It's here: http://www.sistersunshine.com/neighbors/novel

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

What I really want

What I really want may seem so selfish as to be unthinkable, but nonetheless, if I am to be honest... what I really want is to be pretty much left alone to write, without having to bother with basic needs such as housework, etc.

Of course, to make that possible... I could not actually BE alone, or who would do the laundry, dishes, and so on?

I suppose if I have realized that I truly love writing more than performing, more than any other endeavor... then it behooves me to investigate means by which I might achieve this dream and thereby turn it into a goal.

I can think of several satisfactory scenarios, any of which may have its associated drawbacks, but let's explore them.

1. Stay with various wealthy families who enjoy being patrons of the arts. The drawback to this is that I would not be able to impose on such people with my entire family, therefore it would require separation from them. On the other hand, in a few years, once my youngest has grown to independence: why not?

2. Obtain a grant or grants to underwrite such expenses as my lifestyle would require. Currently I could do quite well with $1500/month, but in order to hire a maid, I may need an additional $500 or more per month. (Depending on his/her duties... and I am NOT opposed to hiring a man for a maid if he'll do a good job!)

3. Win the lottery... well, we all know the likelihood of this. And if I won, it could turn my loved ones into monsters, so I don't know if I would actually keep the money. I am thinking I would do best to have a highly trusted friend cash the winning ticket and pay me an allowance. I have someone in mind whom I know has invested well for HIMSELF... like Warren Buffet with Bill Gates, I could hardly do poorly with this gentleman in charge of my finances. Well, anyway: winning is a long shot.

4. Since I love playing music ALMOST as much as I enjoy writing, I could continue to pound the pavement looking for gigs... which could pay the bills and MAYBE hire the coveted maid... but might leave me with less than satisfactory energy levels to spend enough time on my writing.

Okay. I think that is enough options for argument's sake. The point is, I don't feel that I can plod through life as "normal" people do... work my 40 hours, get my paycheck, pay my bills, with that pathetic carrot of "retirement" at the end of the road.

If I don't find my equilibrium soon, it's going to have far-reaching consequences. Therefore it is imperative that I make SOMETHING work. Any ideas from the peanut gallery? And any "get a job" posts will likely be deleted, so if you have no imagination, please go post comments on someone else's blog.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Satisfaction can be oh, so sweet

This has been a good week thus far. I was able to obtain sufficient funds to pay the past due amount on my van (although this month's payment is still due, so if you want to make a donation...) and more than half of my cell phone bill. In addition to this, I was contacted by Bellsouth who made special arrangements and met me halfway regarding the issue of defective equipment, etc.

They are going to send me a new base unit and handset, as well as two return labels: one for the original base unit and (defective) handset, the other for the extra handset we really don't need. (Actually, I'd like to keep it, but dh doesn't care to pay for it right now when money's so tight)

So in the end I should have a functional phone without having to give up the other one until it arrives: as it should be. However, I'm still a little miffed that I'm going to have to reprogram the new unit when it comes. (It has talking caller ID... but you have to record your own voice on it)

Oh... and I also forgot to mention that the problem with Timmy at school has been fixed: he was taken out of Home Ec. and put into P.E.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Permission to be Weird

I have begun to write a book, and since I love to share everything with you people, here is the current length of it. Please, tell me your thoughts... as I am truly baring my soul with this.

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
I have always felt “different” from other people, even though that might sound strange to someone who doesn’t feel that way. I never felt like I fit in anywhere, even in groups whose members all seemed to like me. Always the odd man out, I was never good at sports and usually the last to be chosen for team sports in school. I never understood the point of forcing team sports on those who clearly aren’t cut out for them - perhaps in the future schools won’t do that any more. It is a dream of mine to see individuals treated individually, rather than clumping us all together and treating us as if we were identical. We’re not identical, and neither are our needs.

While I may have been good at word games, I never truly enjoyed any sort of games, so I just quit playing them sometime during my 20’s. There was no specific event which occurred after which I said “I will never again play games” or anything as dramatic as all that, I just came to a point in life where I decided “why bother, if I’m not enjoying myself”? I’ve since applied the same concept to most other things. I no longer attempt to “learn to enjoy” things just to spend time with someone. I’d much prefer that they go have fun and leave me out of it. I don’t enjoy competition.

To be honest, I’m not sure I ever really “enjoy” things much at all. I find that most of life is a series of choices: to enjoy, loathe or tolerate… and most of the time I simply tolerate the situation. When I do find myself actually enjoying something, such as a good movie, I’m pleasantly surprised. I savor the moment… and more often than not: will become so absorbed in that which I am doing that it would be difficult indeed to obtain my attention. However, when I sometimes come to the sudden realization that I am not only NOT enjoying myself, but that I am actually having a BAD time, my attitude may seem to change abruptly. I suppose it DOES change abruptly. This is often the case when I go somewhere and become overwhelmed by the sounds, bright lights, smells or closeness of other people.

It is equally true that no matter how hard I may try, I can not bring myself to maintain interest in something that bores or disinterests me. I’d rather be boiled in oil. Well… maybe not, but I would certainly rather live under a bridge as a derelict than do the “nine to five” thing like a robot. Yes, I’m peculiar. Strange. Odd. Bizarre at times. But I’m not the only one. The world is full of us, and we’re tired of being cast aside as unimportant. We deserve to be accepted as we are, just like we accept those who are “normal” and “sane.” Stop trying to convince us we should be like you… let us be who we are… and the world will be a much better place, for you as well as for us. If you don’t, if you insist on eradicating us through selective breeding by genetic testing and so forth, one day you may find the world sadly lacking in creativity or innovative new procedures and inventions.

From the beginning of time there have been individuals who “marched to the beat of a different drum” and who often seem to be in their own world. Those who are not a part of the spectrum may never understand that world, but for those of us who live within it, it’s a fragile and nebulous alternative reality. It is a retreat and an oasis. A safety zone which we can always have nearby, because it is no further away than our next thought. To zone out, unfocus our eyes and enter this apparently coma- or zombie-like state is preferable to what we are experiencing is a defense mechanism of the highest order. It harms no one, but it helps us, so it is important that people understand that “we’ll be back” when we feel no further threat.

Many of us are hypersensitive to the point of pain and must either retreat outwardly (as in leaving a room or situation) or inwardly to avoid disaster. When we can’t retreat, when we’re backed against the wall so to speak: we crumble. We melt down. We may even get violent. That is when those who do not understand need to accept that they do not and can not understand and just back off. Leave us alone. Let us chill out and recharge. We will be okay if you let us. It is usually a matter of over-stimulation of one or more senses and can be easily remedied by momentary calm (peace & quiet) and dim lighting. The further you press us the more damage you may ultimately do. Get over the idea that you can “fix” everything and realize that some matters require only time, patience and acceptance.

This inability to tolerate certain situations (or even certain people) is not conducive to working in some environments, but there are wonderfully fulfilling positions that we can hold without being triggered into a full-scale meltdown. Many of us are performers, artists, poets and other sorts of writers, inventors or creative people. Despite having difficulty with motor coordination, a number of people within the spectrum are excellent martial artists and dancers. Working with animals is also ideal, because we often identify better with creatures other than homo sapiens. Mankind has messed itself up a lot… name another creature on this planet you can say that about.

I have always loved horses. One of the true examples of evolution on this planet, the horse began as a small, unassuming creature with five toes, which somewhat resembled a dog. Over time this creature, eohippus, adapted and changed according to the environmental pressures surrounding it, to become the powerful and majestic beast we enjoy today.

I mention horses and evolution because I believe that those of us with hypersensitivities may be the precursor of a new type of homo sapiens. The next adaptation. It would be interesting to me to see if there is a subgroup of individuals whose sensitivities lie beyond the usual five senses in the realm of the paranormal… and whether those people could help piece together the next part of the puzzle of life. I read today a speculative article suggesting the opposite: that we are throwbacks to our Neanderthal roots, exhibiting traits that are easily explained by biological bygones.

Whatever be the case, surely mankind cannot continue to race headlong down the garden path expecting to one day arrive at “retirement” and some sort of Nirvana. Can they not see that racing headlong is not wise when there might be a cliff around the bend? Once caught up in a stampede it is impossible not to be swept over the edge along with the rest of the hapless sheep/buffalo/rats take your pick of illustrative creatures, but the result is the same. A serious dead-end of destructive massacre. Perhaps it is a survival instinct, that there are those of us who would rather die than join in that “group mentality.”

No, I don’t seek to join the “rat-race” and share the fate of those who are not willing or able to heed the signs. Nor am I anarchist, although I suppose that would be the closest in ally to my beliefs that exists in politics. I’m anti-society, but my antisocial tendencies all have sound reasoning behind them. They’re a reaction to the vulgar and base manner in which society chooses to conduct itself. If this is society, I have no reason to want any part of it. Society has shunned my kind, and we, in turn, happily shun them back.

As a child, I detested group activities, and still do. No one ever “socialized” me into enjoying them. I think it’s a ridiculous waste of time to force feed unwilling victims your own expectations. It is more important that people learn certain basics, and the rest should be left up to the individual. The educational system has so many gaps in it, it is not surprising that perfectly normal people barely have a clue how to live their lives. The world is dysfunctional for the most part, however few care to admit it. Without their servants, how many of the high-born of this world could cook, clean, do laundry and perform the duties required for childcare, etc.? Precious few, I’ll wager. So why should the middle and lower classes be much different? Necessity? Hardly. One can always find an excuse for that which we are deficient in.

I have ideas which I believe could revolutionize the educational system worldwide, if I ever make the time to finish getting them out of my head and online or on paper, etc. so that others can share my thoughts. I am absolutely convinced that our current educational system needs to be scrapped and restructured more appropriately and efficiently. It is not a question of if, but more a question of when… because it’s glaringly obvious that our country is falling further and further behind the rest of the world. There are good reasons for this.

May God help me as I attempt to set forth the basic premises here, along with my other lucid ramblings. And to present it coherently enough that the world can understand and utilize what it is that He has given me in concepts and clarity. There is so much that must be explained along the way, I pray to maintain focus for a moment or two on this path.

Education begins in the womb, believe it or not. So therefore I believe it is a good idea to start with the pregnant mother. We require premarital counseling in our state (Florida) in order to obtain a marriage license, and pre-divorce counseling in order to dissolve that same marriage license. Is it not conceivable, then, that we should be requiring some pre-parental classes during pregnancy?

Okay, require sounds harsh. But it has been speculated and in some cases proven that babies in the womb can learn languages, musical scores and other things. Therefore, to teach mothers FROM THE EARLIEST SIGN OF PREGNANCY ONWARD deep breathing, relaxation and other means of ensuring a healthy baby, it should be done. Nutrition is all a matter of taste, but it is equally important. The choices we make have long-lasting repercussions.

Currently, there are childbirth classes which begin in the latter stages of pregnancy. However, this may be “too little too late” because in some individuals it is a lifetime of breathing wrong that needs to be corrected and taught sufficiently to become habit. Yes: how you breathe is as important as what you eat, drink or otherwise ingest. I read a study which said that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of heart attack victims were “chest breathers” which means that they did not practice deep breathing techniques. Tell me – are you breathing deeply or shallowly yourself as you read this? Do YOU know proper breathing techniques?

Breathing should continue to be taught and reinforced at all levels of education. Each day of learning should begin with deep-breathing and proper nutrition. The proper breathing oxygenates our tissues better, including our brains. The lack of proper nutrition can make it virtually impossible to learn, even for the most eager student.

After breathing, stretching and general physical fitness should be the order of the day. A little stretching and light aerobic activity gets the blood flowing and awakens the adrenal glands to release their precious energy-producing elixir into our systems. NOW we are ready to learn, and will soak up the material like a sponge. Oxygenated, nourished and adrenalated, we can focus more clearly on what is presented to us.

But, you may ask, at what age should education begin? At birth, of course. There are a number of things that can be shown to babies right from the start. Of course, this will vary greatly from one private home to another, but if we lived more tribally, as mankind should, that would be less of an issue. However, I digress.

Children should be tested annually, on or near their birthday for convenience sake, to ascertain what their aptitude and direction is. As that becomes more apparent, steps should be taken to initiate the path each individual needs to travel. While this differs from one person to another, there are certain basics we all need to learn, in order to be capable of continuing our own education.

Once a child shows the readiness for reading and writing, that is the time to begin. Not at a specified age, but rather, whenever their test scores indicate they have achieved the appropriate level of focus and interest. Trying to teach a child before they are ready is like trying to teach a pig to sing: it’s a waste of time and annoys the pig. Therefore a child may be three years old or ten years old when they begin their reading, writing, math with figuring, etc. but this does not mean they can’t be taught other important things in the meantime.

Without having learned to read a child can be taught the lifesaving skills of swimming, CPR and first aid. Prior to knowing how to read words and write them, many children excel at learning to read music and play beautifully. Dance, gymnastics and other physical activities all require no reading. But the confidence to be gained from these things will assist the children in their further quest for knowledge later as they DO learn to read, write, do math and build the strong foundation for the rest of their education.

In other words, I believe that traditional educational approaches often “put the cart before the horse” and in doing so, sell the world short. There is a better way, and if you read further I shall continue to expand upon this idea. Ultimately, as the old saying goes, “the proof of the puddin’ is in the eatin’” so until and unless someone, or rather LOTS of someones agree with me and put these methods into practice, no one can know what good will come of it. I’m fully convinced that it would transform and revitalize learning as the world knows it.

Age-centered learning should be thrown out like old bathwater. It is ludicrous to base education upon the age of the child. While it is true that we can expect most children to achieve certain milestones at certain ages, there are studies that have proven that it is detrimental to force a child to read when he is not yet ready. Interestingly enough, when those who are so inclined wait upon the child to express readiness, sometimes they are not really interested in reading until 8-12 years of age. Once they ARE ready, they learn it very quickly and rapidly catch up with classmates who have been reading for years.

The system I propose would center upon using diagnostic testing to find each individual’s proper learning style and needs, then group children with similarities together for instruction REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGES. When in life are we expected to sit with a bunch of people the same age we are? After school: never. That is not to say that we won’t be required to get up, go to work, perform certain duties, and maintain adequate levels of hygiene and so forth… but I am totally against grouping people together based on their age, once they have left diapers behind.

Speaking of hygiene, since there is no guarantee that a child is being properly taught such things at home, it is best to begin at the earliest possible age to teach the basic tenets to schoolchildren. For example, most people do not know that you need to wash your hands for a minimum of 15 seconds to remove bacteria. I see it all the time in public restrooms: ladies walk in, dampen their hands, soap them for about five seconds, rinse, dry and leave. Likewise, it is recommended that we brush our teeth for a minimum of five minutes, covering each surface carefully before rinsing, flossing and a final rinse with a mouthwash.

Daily life skills may seem to be things which parents should teach to their children, but in the hubbub of daily life, quite often these things are not passed along properly, and the result is another generation will pass along their bad habits (or lack of good ones, at least) completely ignorant of the fact that they are missing something.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Letter to Bellsouth

Does this make sense to you? Am I being unreasonably angry or should I send their stuff back and sign up with Vonage?

Hello,

Hopefully you care about your company and whether or not it keeps losing customers... because if certain policies are not changed, you will continue to lose them in record numbers.

I am writing to you today because my husband and I have had an account with you since 1984... but we are considering a change. This is why:
I purchased a telephone from your company, which has a defective handset... but the base unit, which has taken time and effort to program... is fine.
However, in order to replace the defective handset, I'm told I must return the base unit and live without a telephone until the replacement comes.

Is it your policy to inconvenience your customers? I didn't think so, until I was told that I could not just order the replacement first, and THEN return the other... which would inconvenience us LESS (the unnecessary new base unit will STILL have to be programmed, needlessly... as the handsets are interchangeable with these base units)

No. I was told that I must follow this inane procedure. Just because. Because that's the way it is.
Please give me credit for having more intelligence than that. I wouldn't even expect my four-year-old to accept a lame reason like that.
Your policies need to be reviewed and CHANGED.

Not only that, but when I told your supervisor that we could not be inconvenienced like that... without a phone... she told me to go borrow one from a neighbor!

This method only serves the manufacturer... and MAYBE Bellsouth. But in the long run, it will serve neither: as discontented customers leave in droves.
It's bad enough that our DSL service isn't worth HALF what we pay for it... since it only seems to work HALF the time... now you sell me overpriced equipment and inconvenience ME, the CUSTOMER when it's DEFECTIVE? Yeah... that's the way to keep customers. Sure. Whatever.

If this situation can not be resolved to my satisfaction, I will return ALL of the bellsouth equipment and expect a full refund: right before I close our 22 year old account and sign up with someone else. Yes, I will still have to purchase another telephone, but to be quite frank, the volume level on this "premium" phone system is pathetic anyway.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another letter to the school board

I probably said too much, but I'd rather say too much than not speak up at all. Here is my letter:

Dear Sir,

This is the second year in a row I’ve found the need to write you about the situation regarding our schools.
Maybe it’s just this particular teacher… but the problem is this:

My son Timothy was put in a home economics class. His teacher expected the parents to go out and buy the materials necessary to create a doll, which they is to care for like children.

The teacher was not sympathetic when my son told him that we couldn’t afford the materials for this project, and told him if he can’t do it he fails.
Frankly, my son has a four year old sister and has had plenty of experience caring for babies. He could probably TEACH that segment of the class.
We could have easily given him a baby doll to use…

I am unemployed, and have been since the hurricanes last year, despite having looked for jobs in my field from south Miami to WPB.

We do not qualify for assistance, due to the fact that our 20 year old son lives with us, and his income is considered even though he does not support the family with his income.

There are seven of us in this family, three of which are in school this year and my husband has had fewer hours than usual this summer so it’s a struggle just to pay the basic bills and keep food on the table.
As a matter of fact, my van will be repossessed unless a miracle occurs in short order.

What I’m trying to say is, we are not starving… but we can ill afford extra school supplies, particularly at the outset of the school year when we have just had to purchase supplies for three kids. As it is, they are attending classes in LAST YEAR’S clothes, and my daughter has sewn her own bookbag to avoid the embarrassment of carrying the tattered remains of last year’s. Children whose families qualify for assistance get all of these things through those programs, but we seem to fall through the cracks.

I’m going to attempt to get my son transferred out of that class, but I believe this problem needs to be addressed. In my opinion, if the teacher wanted to assign a project like this, she should have spent her summer collecting the materials for her kids so that those with no money wouldn’t have to be embarrassed or feel like they might as well not even go to school any more. It’s very demoralizing on a kid, you know? There are lists such as Freecycle.org and Miami.craigslist.com where a “wanted” request for the necessary things could have been posted, but she gave the kids only a week to get the materials and complete the project. It was due today.

I’m going to be very upset if my son ever feels the need to lie to me and say he has a sore throat again, over something like this. He shouldn’t be ashamed to go to school because his parents are broke.
Respectfully yours,

Mrs. Lydia Shelley

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Linguistic Profile

I'm through with trying to figure out why this puts so much extra space in...














Your Linguistic Profile:


55% General American English
20% Dixie
15% Yankee
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern

Monday, August 14, 2006

Jung Personality Test

INFP - "Questor". High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Astonishing, maybe... but true

Why I believe I have Asperger’s Syndrome,
a form of Autism…

and possibly Dyspraxia as well.

By Lydia Glider-Shelley Monday, August 07, 2006

I began to research adult autism accidentally. I followed a link, describing the humane treatment of livestock, and found information about Temple Grandin. This information did not exactly “sink in” at the time, but I began to think I had symptoms of autism, however I did not realize how many or what it meant if I put it all together.

I took a test on this British website: http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=128&a=6730 which said that:

“The sole purpose of this measure is to screen for the presence of indications of autistic spectrum conditions. It is not a diagnostic tool and The National Autistic Society takes no responsibility for any misuse of this measure other than its intended purpose.

This measure was developed through the Greater Manchester Consortium to develop local services for people with autism.

It is intended for use in any setting or service for adults, including Learning Disability, Mental Health, Probation and Employment Services or Further and Higher Education.”

Here are my explanations for the responses I gave to the test questions. Following are further puzzle pieces, added as they come to mind… enlightening now that I have a context to put them in.

1. I seek the company of other people conditionally, for example, if I need an opinion or a partner for musical performance… but seldom just to “hang out” or go much of anywhere.

2. No doubt about it, I like to share my interests, enjoyment and achievements with others. But I don’t like to “toot my own horn,” either.

3. While I often “feel” others’ pain, anger or other emotions, I don’t recognize it for what it is, and it just makes me uncomfortable and sometimes even panicky. I often misread their facial expressions and/or body language, too.

4. I’ve often been told to wait my turn, and have had a bad habit of interrupting. While I’ve learned to control this, it is with great difficulty. Sometimes I feel as though I’m going to burst while awaiting my turn.

5. It’s always been a prevalent speech pattern for me to repeat things, sometimes in a stuttering manner… but also I’ll often rephrase and say the same thing two or three times because I don’t quite know if I’m coming across to the listener.

6. I often repeat what others say to me, to make sure that I understood them clearly.

7. I’m often told to speak more quietly, that I tend to be inappropriately loud… or the opposite, that I’m not enunciating well enough and speak as though I’ve got rocks in my mouth.

8. I have often used words which mean something to me but others do not comprehend my meaning… sometimes because their vocabulary is not as extensive as mine, other times because it’s a word I made up, but which seems to work. For example, when talking about a black neighborhood, I’ll say “The Hood” but not everyone understands the reference so it often draws puzzled looks.

9. I said no to this one because of its ambiguous wording, but I do have repetitive physical habits that drive me mad, and which I would love to be free of. They are: a) picking at my head (scabs) until it bleeds, b) chewing my fingers until they bleed and c) chewing the inside of my cheeks ‘til they hurt… and this last habit has caused me to push on my face so often and so much that I’ve developed unattractive permanent lines in my lips.

10. My mother tried hard to break my intense attachment to objects early on, but I do remember having a habit of sniffing a diaper pad – and later the edges of bedspreads – while “clicking” my tongue. (I can demonstrate…) I still wake up sometimes and catch myself doing this with the edge of a pillowcase in my sleep.

11. I have problems filtering background noises if there are too many. For example, if the television AND radio are both on, and someone speaks to me, I can’t understand them nor process any thoughts. I “short-circuit” and must leave the room or turn off one of the audio sources. I also have great difficulty functioning within any kind of group… due to the fact that when there are several people speaking, it sets me off.

If the total score exceeds 4, particularly if it includes a score of 2 for questions 7 and/or 9, further assessment of whether the person has autism is necessary. My score was 12, and I had a 2 on question 7.

There are so many things that add up together and make me sure that this is why I’ve had the sort of problems I have, it’s hardly likely to be coincidental. Witness:

All of my life I’ve had digestive troubles, IBS as a child and young adult and gallstones now. I also have a swallowing problem that tends to be more prevalent when I’m upset.

From the earliest age, I never felt like I fit in or belonged anywhere. I always had an innate sense of “wrongness” although I had no idea what to do with that feeling, so naturally I always have felt uncomfortable around most people, especially larger groups.

As a child, I did anything I could to avoid “recess” where I was expected to mix & mingle with my peers, who tended to give me wide berth as they saw me as crazy. When given the chance, they taunted and teased me, saying “Lydia, pity ya” among other things. (The saddest part is that I didn’t “get it” and understand what they’d been saying all those years ago until just recently) I had no desire to expose myself to constant rejection from them… so I tried to find ways to avoid going outside with the other kids: taking my time and eating my lunch VERY slowly, asking for assignments from various people such as painting a barrel for the gymnasium, re-shelving books for the librarian, etc.

I’ve grown better at keeping my thoughts to myself, but for most of my life I stunned people by blurting out whatever was on my mind, regardless of consequence. In fact, at times I delighted in the astonished reactions my comments drew from people. This tendency sprang up in places such as church, the classroom and other places where it was not appropriate to just “say something” as well as in more informal situations.

While I’m very good at striking up conversation with strangers, I have a problem with knowing when to cut it off and end the conversation. This makes me feel incredibly awkward in social situations, even one-on-one.

Sometimes I talk on and on about something and don’t notice the other person is not the least bit interested in what I’m saying until they yawn or start looking desperate to get away from me… then I’m terribly embarrassed for having rambled on like that.

I quite often don’t “get it” when someone is teasing me or joking with me… taking them quite literally. The reverse is true as well: often my jokes don’t seem funny to anyone but me. In fact, quite often people don’t follow what I’m trying to say at all.

Speaking of awkward, I’ve always been clumsy… and often it’s because I just don’t “notice” that there’s something there to stumble over or run into. It does, however, relate to my inability to properly judge spatial distance. I always thought this was a quirk of my eyesight-related problems, but since it seemed to go beyond what that could explain, it’s a relief to have a reason for it. Perhaps this is why I never enjoyed games involving balls.

I quit playing all games some time during my 20’s. I don’t know if it’s related to this condition or not, but I don’t enjoy playing most games at all. If I am persuaded to play a game, however, it must be one that involves words and vocabulary. (I kinda like “Mad Libs” – does that qualify as a game?)

Sometimes I find it difficult to make eye contact, and people can misunderstand, thinking I am shifty or dishonest. I’ve often blamed it on my eyes, because when I don’t wear my glasses, my left eye will cross if I concentrate too much… but I find myself avoiding eye contact even when I DO have my glasses on. This is something I have tried to work on, with little success. It’s often made me feel inferior.

I’ve had a tendency toward Obsessive-Compulsive sorts of behavior, such as focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all else. This can be temporarily beneficial, but usually over time it turns out to be problematic.

I never have gotten into a proper rhythm with hygiene, housekeeping, meal preparation, etc. and for years have blamed this on my poor husband’s night shift schedule, but it’s really not his fault. It’s all me.

I have always wanted to be a spontaneous sort of person, but find it hard to just go do something “at the drop of a hat” so to speak, without prior warning and preparation. Until just recently, I never could quite grasp how long it should take me to prepare for things, which led to a lot of anxiety surrounding appointments and other obligations which require me to be somewhere at a specific date and time. I still struggle with time and how many things I can accomplish in a given time period, etc. such as cooking all the elements of a meal and having them ready to put on the table at the same time.

I get very upset if my belongings are moved or missing. But since I’m a packrat, and also busy, my “things” pile up and my family walks on eggshells, afraid that if they move any of it, I’ll freak out: and I will. I’m learning to be more accepting of changes, but still find massive changes to be extremely stressful. (Like if someone else is cleaning my house from top to bottom… although I am grateful for the help, I’m extremely anxious while they’re doing it)

Conversely, I detest routine and schedules… which is a shame, because all of my reading thus far regarding ASD and AS suggests that what I need MOST is to create and stick to a schedule somehow. Hopefully therapy will help me to do this.

I suffer from terrible claustrophobia, and can’t stand to be stuck in a crowd, particularly indoors. For some reason, I can tolerate elevators okay, but being in a small crowded room to work for more than a few short minutes is out of the question.

Another problem I have is “texture issues” with food, which is why I have an aversion to most fruit and many other foods. My mother used to just tell me I was peculiar. She’d make me stay at the table and finish what was served to me, even when I protested that it gagged me.

Although I prefer being barefoot, I wear socks to bed, especially when the temperature is my preferred 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I like my socks to be snug, and it bothers me if they slip down so that there’s loose space beyond my toes.

To a neurotypical person, all of the above MIGHT seem coincidental. But I’ll wager that there’s not a single Autie or Aspie out there who reads this that won’t say “welcome home.”

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new...

Okay, so the original venue canned my gig. However, I found a new and better venue to replace it with... so no harm done. In fact, the new venue is RIGHT ON the beach, downstairs from a hotel. Here are the details:

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mixed Success

The open mic. night on South Beach has huge potential, although I'm not sure the venue is going to work out. Time will tell... I won't quit if he won't. I believe we can build it up with a little effort: we got half a dozen great artists to come out, and all of them said they'd return and bring friends. That is better than some of the open mic. nights at Club M, but I digress.


Click here to read about it... just scroll past my bio 'til you see a black title that says "Lessons learned..."


More than one of the people who showed up at the open mic. night thanked me profusely for opening up a new venue to local musicians, which encourages me to keep trying until I find the perfect venue. Seven may be it, but the club needs work to succeed. Time will tell... time will tell.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Forgiven

Name removed due to the fact he's been forgiven. Thanks for caring.

I have just been insulted by the aforenamed individual, who had the nerve to say "I know I'm better than you."

He called me a loser and took every single statement I made to him out of context. I have never seen anything like it.

It all started over this "Global Warming" movie and our differences of opinion on the movie and subject matter. After going back and forth and growing ever more heated in debate, he had the nerve to say he cares about his fellow man.

I told him I thought that was bullshit because he'd go put $2k in a stripper's g-string, but he'd never help out a friend like me whose vehicle is about to be repossessed.

Okay... so maybe I am a loser. I sure as hell can't come up with the money to NOT lose what I have, so what else can you call me at this point?

But to say he's better than me? Pshaw! He could just as easily find himself in my shoes next year, after his wild spending habits catch up to him or he runs over and kills someone while out driving drunk. So who is the WORST loser?

I rest my case.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I am so ashamed sometimes...

I was watching tv today, and saw this program with Dr. Wayne Dyer and a woman named Immaculée Ilibagiza. I want to remember her clearly the next time I am tempted to sit upon my "pity pot" and feel sorry for myself regarding whatever situation I am in.

This woman stayed hidden in a cramped space of about 4x3' with seven other women during the genocide of her people in 1994. For THREE MONTHS she stayed hidden, weighing an astonishing 65 pounds upon her release from this hideous situation.

She found God in there... in the depth of her misery and suffering, she found God. And the most profound thing she said when I heard her speak on PBS today was: "When we hurt ANYONE else, ultimately, we hurt ourselves somehow." For more of what this astonishing woman has to say, go to:


http://www.drwaynedyer.com/articles/ltt.php

Friday, June 02, 2006

So Tired...

I'm so tired of people who promise the moon and deliver NOTHING. I have been hopeful for months now, and NO NAMES MENTIONED HERE but there have been numerous. Not one, or a few or even just several but NUMEROUS parties who have really let me down over the past six months.

I'm tired of having a carrot (work) dangled before me, then chasing after it, but never receiving it. I'm dreading the day my van is repo'ed. And don't tell me I could get a job because I have interviewed from Boca to south Miami (the furthest I could possibly expect to commute) and come up empty.

I've even had contracts with people who never paid a deposit nor went through with the deal. At this point I'm so disgusted with humanity I'm ready to shave my head bald again and rub ashes on myself.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Myspace acting up, birthday, etc.

I don't know what's going on over there, but it's getting to be really annoying. I sure hope they get it straightened out soon.

The closest I could come to properly acknowledging the many wonderful birthday wishes people have sent was to leave a blog post. (over there)

In other news, I continue to be in the red financially but have been working on some projects that should bring money later. For now, though, it's slim pickins.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

60 things about me

I have been doing these 20 at a time... so I just scooped up the last 40 from a previous post and now I'll add 20 more:

1. I'm my mother's only child
2. My father had other children, but I've never met any of them. (Are you one of them?)
3. I love rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate almost more than life itself
4. The size I prefer to be is a 3-5 (American... not sure what that translates to anywhere else) But right now I'm more like a 12
5. My ideal "job" would be writing/producing/directing both films and animated videos to accompany all of my songs.
6. I love to be barefoot...
7. On hot days I prefer not to have BOTH my feet AND my armpits covered. One or the other needs to be bare, LOL (Otherwise I feel faint!)
8. I like WB T.V. shows like Smallville and Gilmore Girls.
(This was written before WB became CW, and both shows were cancelled)
9. I once shaved my head... completely bald.
10. When I was a child I wanted to be a Veterinarian.
11. I am allergic to cats, which is one reason I changed my mind about #10
12. My mother was an awesome artist.
13. My father wrote television screenplays... I have some of them in my possession. Not sure if they were ever used, but they include plots for the "Twilight Zone".
14. My father was a disabled WWII veteran who had no legs from the knees down.
15. I went to a camp when I was young where we were assigned a horse and taught how to care for it. I got to go there two summers in a row (for a week or two each time)
16. My second toe is longer than the first on both of my feet.
17. I cut my nails short on my left hand to press the strings for chords on the guitar, but I keep the nails on my right hand longer for fingerpicking.
18. I haven't been writing and performing songs publicly lately, but I'm getting ready to do it again.
19. I like to have fires in my backyard... we have a homemade barbecue to make them in, and they are similar to campfires.
20. I grew up going to Reds games at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati
21. I broke my arm when I was 6 years old, by putting my feet on the handlebars, and both arms straight out (like an airplane) then attempting to coast down a hill.
22. I started smoking both tobacco and cigarettes at the age of 13, quit both more than once.
23. The only places I have been outside the U.S. are Canada (for 5 minutes as a kid... then got in a fight with my mother and that was the end of that) and Peru.
24. I love to cook, and I'm pretty good at it... but I HATE to clean up afterward.
25. I prefer to wear my hair long.
26. My favorite color is that fluorescent pinkish-orange the sky turns at sunrise and sunset.
27. I prefer antiques to modern furniture.
28. If I were to design my dream home, it would be primarily underground... built into the side of a mountain and made to look like a series of separate cottages and pavilions from the outside that are interconnected from within.
29. I absolutely detest mindless humor.
30. I don't enjoy most comedy much any more.
31. My favorite actor is Johnny Depp, but I also love Charlie Chaplin, Roberto Benigni, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe.
32. I have a very hard time getting motivated to do things for myself, but do a good job when I have been given a task to complete for someone else.
33. My favorite alcoholic drink is a Strawberry Daquiri, followed closely by wine... usually white.
34. I hope to fly a paraglider one day.
35. I've never been much of a dancer.
36. I've always wanted to have a horse.
37. I had braces (on my teeth) twice, but didn't get the job finished properly and never wore a retainer.
38. Out of six children I gave birth to, two were c-section births.
39. If I could visit anywhere in the world, I'd most likely go to Hawaii,
Israel and maybe England.
40. I believe people are meant to live tribally, or communally, rather than in separate little apartments or single-family homes.
41. I have a split between my front teeth.
42. I have given up a child for adoption.
43. I sometimes regret giving that child up for adoption.
44. I prefer to sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair.
45. I build websites: Rainbow Websites
46. I have sometimes hosted open mic. nights.
47. I used to have a P.A. and enough equipment to perform in a small to midsize establishment. (Not any more, sold it...)
48. My son and I went to college together. (You may know this if you've read more of my blog!)
49. My children range in age from 9-25 right now.
50. I am a packrat.
51. I have two bunnies, a cat, and a dog.
52. I am terrified of tornadoes.
53. Cool wind makes my ears hurt, but warm wind is nice.
54. The only time I willingly wear shoes is when it is cold and rainy or just cold in general.
55. I wear socks to bed.
56. I don't sleep well if the room's too warm or the air too still.
57. I've begun to get "hot flashes" and drive my family crazy by raising the thermostat every time I feel cold. <~~ That was when the central air still worked
58. I found this great tonic called Mona Vie that is awesome! I drink it daily. <~~not any more
59. I am very thrilled with my middle son right now because he won an award for his mathematical abilities. Could he be my rocket scientist? (Now that son is in Washington State with his big brother & pregnant wife... so Frank's wife won't be alone when he has to go for training or out to sea)
60. I think my oldest daughter is beautiful beyond words. Her spirit as well as her shell: I only wish she and I were not always griping at each other. <~~I think this is nearly universal with teenagers at some point

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Having a rotten Mother's Day

I don't think it's too much to ask for all my children to gather for a meal with their mother one day a year... do you? Well... I know it's unusual, but we don't sit down to meals together as a general rule. We are all on different schedules: my husband works third shift, there is always something going on. We don't get hungry at the same time of day either. But for Mother's Day I think it would be nice if they'd all spend that one or two hours with ME. Not their girlfriends and THEIR mothers... but I guess I'd better just get used to that.

Well... Happy Mother's Day to the rest of the world. Hope your day is going better than mine. I need to go get rid of this headache I'm plagued with. And seek to improve the rest of the day!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Screwy

I tried to post in here the other day, but the code was screwed up. Hope it's fixed now! I was trying to tell everyone that I had a gig last Saturday night!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Silly me!

I had a gig Saturday night, and promoted/blogged about it everywhere but here. Sigh. No one reads this any more anyway...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Google Adsense

I don't know why, but in the past month, my Adsense click-through rate has gone WAY up. I wonder if it's because of the ad on NOT Weird?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Idiot Test

I am (only) 5% Idiot.
Friggin Genius
I am not annoying at all. In fact most people come to me for advice.
Of course they annoy the hell out of me. But what can I do?
I am smarter than most people.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Let sleeping dogs lie

I wrote the following in response to a question that our local TV station, UPN 33 posted on the "Ask Angela" section. The question was: "Should celebrities respond to insults on the internet from strangers?"

In response to the question of whether a celebrity should respond to internet insults from strangers: where would it ever end? You give a dog a bone, he comes back for more. He'll whine and cry at your door 'til you give him something more, and it only ends if you ignore him or otherwise dispose of him. Since the latter is not practical, only the former applies (ignore it). Besides... remember that old saying? "There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary." ~~Brendan Behan Irish author & dramatist (1923 - 1964) So, in conclusion, unless, as Mark Twain once said, "the rumors of your demise have been greatly exaggerated" it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Work won't do itself

Sigh. Too much to do, and I've been soooooooooo sleepy! I was supposed to see the doc on Thursday, but got a call that she was sick so had to postpone 'til later in the month. Hope she has some insights. I'm not depressed, but my body might be! LOL

Friday, March 10, 2006

Going Legit

I just sent off my Articles of Incorporation today for Rainbow Websites. Should be finished with the incorporation process by April 1st, I hope!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

No one comments any more

I have made it nearly impossible for the spammers to get through with their viagra ads and stuff... but no one else is leaving comments either. I had thought since my life was getting a little less boring that I might find more feedback, but alas, I think my online friends have gone to greener pastures.

I know that even at its most exciting my life is still a little on the dead side these days. But it's getting more and more interesting every day. Well... here's to the day when it finally gets to the point where I have readers again.

Or do I have readers that just don't have anything to say? I just don't know. My stats say people visit this page... but the lack of comments suggests that they were either just passing though or found nothing worth saying something about here. Well... unless y'all tell me, I guess I'll never know why.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Forgot to mention...

On Friday I went to begin the process of incorporating Rainbow Websites. It should be completed by the end of this month... at which time I plan to toast with a nice bottle of Moet!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Optimistic

Well... things are looking up.

Just spoke to my client regarding the sleep apnea site and he ordered more work which may prove to be ever more lucrative. If I can just keep my self-destructive nature from allowing me to shoot myself in my own proverbial foot...

This guy is unreal... I don't know what made him choose me or why he so tenaciously insists that he'd rather have me than others he could choose, but he's got to be the most diplomatic easygoing person I have ever known. That is very atypical in his position... president of not one but several companies! Always has 1000 things going on, yet it does not appear to faze him at all!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Long strange trip

I have made a decision that a lot of people aren't very happy with, but it is mine to make nonetheless.

I'm putting my music up on the web... and not charging for downloads.

I have already had my lyrics online for years, so people need to just get over it.

If I'm meant to be wealthy I will be: but not at the expense of my reasoning.

How many more people will hear my music if I give it away for free than if I demand money for it? I am much more interested in having my music span the globe than I am in a petty monetary reward.

I fully believe that my methodology is sound. I will not explain it in detail here, but would be delighted to expound upon its virtues to anyone who cares to email me privately about it.

Well, off to get some work done. Websites don't build themselves!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Email to WSVN (local FOX affiliate)

The subject line on the email was "myspace.com story rebuttal"

Hello,

I saw a teaser on your upcoming program, and was dismayed by the heavy negative slant on this story.

I am a myspace user, as are most of my kids. While protection is good... awareness is better.
Meaning: there is no substitute for teaching your children the perils of this world prior to their having to encounter such things.
In a perfect world there would be no evil, but alas... there is... and turning a blind eye does not diminish its veracity.

When you seek to curtail your children's activities it leads to two things:
1. The child does not feel trusted and conversely finds it difficult to trust others, and
2. The feeling of "damned if I do, damned if I don't" will lead that same child (who might have been the most upstanding and honest child ever) to lie and hide things from parents.

I believe in allowing my children a sense of privacy, while keeping an eye (quietly) on their activities.
As a result, my children allow me into their world and know they can turn to me with any question no matter how oddball or off-the-wall it might seem.
Online, I allow them nearly complete freedom.

I don't allow my children to go wherever they want to and do whatever they please in the physical realm, but I do allow them that freedom online, because they are learning how to express themselves there. HOWEVER there are those red flags and negative instances which I won't belabor because WSVN has already done so in their segment on the subject.
I would say that anything hate-related should definitely be investigated - but then the apples don't fall far from the tree, do they?

I think it is important that you show the good side of myspace.com such as the Pay it Forward group and other positive groups designed to assist others and offer advice.
I created such a group myself in response to a perceived need. There is a balance.
For every loser, pervert or creep you find on myspace there is also an angel there, working to make this world a little kinder and friendlier.
Please don't forget that in the "dirty laundry" game.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you'll consider what I've said and make a sincere effort to look at "the flip side" of the situation your report covers.
I'd be glad to write the piece for ya, LOL

Sincerely,
Mrs. Lydia Shelley
Hollywood FL viewer

--
www.rainbow-websites.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Mentor Site

Hello folks! I hope all is well in everyone's world, but if it's not... I have a new resource for you. And even if it is, we need both mentors and people seeking advice/support/love so please join!

It's a myspace group, so if you don't have a myspace profile, you'll need to make one. You can set them to private if you're a paranoid type... then only friends can see it. But don't do that if you're a band, sign up with myspace music as an artist in that case... and upload some of your music to stream!

The group's url is http://groups.myspace.com/life4dummies and in case you're wondering about the name, I chose it because a dear, sweet friend who's hurting wrote this in her blog: "I wish there were a "Life for Dummies" handbook" and I thought a group of live people willing to offer support was a far cry better than a handful of dead tree. Capisci?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Chronic Self-Sabotage

I was bouncing around Skwigg's site today, and came across a must-read article for those of us who consistently pull the proverbial rugs out from under our own feet. She is insightful and compassionate among other things, and anyone who has never read her material is really missing something. Her blog alone will make you laugh, cry, and laugh again... but don't think that's all there is to this fascinating woman. She's a martial-arts maniac, a fitness freak and a doggie's delight: well-educated regarding nutrition and exercise and keeps up to date on all the latest nonsense in those arenas. Check her out!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Glitches in the systems

I'm wondering if there's some kinda virus going 'round hitting big servers today or something, cuz jamwave.com is all messed up (fan clubs aren't showing, full charts aren't showing) and gmail just went down, too! What next?

Not that I'm complaining... only spots 1-10 on the country chart are showing, and I HAVE ALL TEN OF THEM, LOL!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What's Your Hidden Talent?




Your Hidden Talent



You have the power to persuade and influence others.

You're the type of person who can turn a whole room around.

The potential for great leadership is there, as long as you don't abuse it.

Always remember, you have a lot more power over people than you might think!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Letter to Jagermeister

Actually, I wrote to their promo company with this one:

I was singing at Club M in Hollywood Florida last night, when I choked. I mean REALLY choked. Broke up coughing: after the first song! "Holy crap!" I thought... "I'd better find my cough drops!" But lo and behold, there were none. Sorrowfully, I shook my head and told the disappointed assemblage that I could no longer perform. "Oh," said Ed... the host, "have you ever tried Jagermeister?" Which I had not, as I live under a rock and rarely creep out into the world... so I gave it a try. ONE SHOT - and I was able to perform a flawless set, my vocals perfect. Yes, I could definitely promote any product that will do that! Jagermeister: THE vocal elixir. No doubt about it.

BTW... I made a new email address. It's lydia@jager.com

And to bands of all sizes and styles, check out the promotional kick you get from Jagermeister!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Emotional

I am very emotional right now, and I don't know whether it is related to hormones or to the immense transitional period I've jumped into. Probably a bit of both.

I'm finding my dream client is turning out to be a nightmare, and my old, dusty dreams of doing something with my music have taken a quantum leap out of the box and into the present.

More and more I am finding it difficult to focus on anything that is not related to my music or charitable efforts... yet I must generate income. Do I dare go play $100/night gigs around town? At my age? Will they come hear me play, or will I feel bad for taking the owner's money after playing to an empty room?

Just playing 12-15 nights/month would cover my overhead. Anything beyond that could be put into recording, equipment for performance, costuming (my clothes suck!) or even the kids' college funds (currently nonexistent)

I love building websites, but not for the corporate world. Does that make sense? I am much more interested in nonprofits and the creative community. I suppose from now on I could pass sites I'd prefer not to do along to other designers...

In all honesty I'd like to maintain a certain "attitude" among my clientele. Is that too much to expect? Am I too idealistic? It really bugs me that one of the people I'm doing work for evicts people from low-income housing in order to convert those apts to condos for sale.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hauntingly Sweet Vocals

Another wonderful singer/songwriter friend of mine on jamwave has really impressed the hell out of me. She is recording with the most rudimentary of equipment, but her desire to put forth her talent and share her gift comes across in an incredible way. Click below to check out her music!

O.C. Bloom

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Full Circle

It's funny how life works. I walked away from my music again and again, yet everything I do leads me back to it again and again. You would think that by now I'd get it through my thick skull that there's a message there, LOL.

Recent case in point: offering to do free websites for bands, musicians, artists and photographers led me to begin playing again, and now I'm actually making plans to perform publicly more than just at an open mic. night or two.

It's amazing... at my age... to be doing this, but I've discovered on myspace and jamwave that I'm the rule rather than the exception in this case. I've met some really talented artists and begun to enjoy a whole new dimension to my life.

I guess I'm a long way from being depressed... but the memory of that "black dog" as Mikel puts it, will always dog my steps and I know it's never far away despite the best of circumstances. It's been a long time since I truly gave in to it, and I hope it will be a long time before I do again, if ever.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Taking bold measures

For those who deserve it.

I just faxed the following letter to "Live with Regis and Kelly":

Florida fan of Bleecker Street Bands wants to know why Regis doesn’t take us all on a tour of Greenwich Village and show us the great places that so many great musicians have played.

Bleecker Street: http://home.nyc.rr.com/jkn/nysonglines/bleecker.htm

A meeting place for such awesome acts as Bonnie Bowers, Benny Landa and Jenny Amlen… (all three currently perform in NYC and should be on your show!) among so many others, past and present.

The above-mentioned artists are all on a website you should take note of as well. It’s called jamwave.com and is home to an online melting-pot of talented unsigned independent artists who collaborate over the internet from thousands of miles away to lay down tracks for each other. This long-distance music deserves a look. There are several artists there who have posted such collaborative efforts.

I can’t afford to come to NYC and catch all my favorite acts there: Regis, you can bring them right into my living room. I beg of you, please… let me SEE them perform!

Very sincerely yours,

Mrs. Lydia Shelley

Of Hollywood Florida

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another #1!

Well, Jim and I seem to be taking turns with the top spot on jamwave's country charts, but at the moment my song "Creature of Habit" has hit #1! It's thrilling to say the least.


What's even more exciting is that 1) I'm getting ready to convert my homemade multitrack analog tapes to digital and upload songs you people have never heard before... and 2) I've been rehearsing to do some more recording and should commence soon! Stay tuned for developments.


Oh, and by the way... I've been blogging regularly over at my jamwave site.


http://jamwave.com/sistersunshine

Saturday, January 21, 2006

New #1

My friend Jim Windwalker has passed me up to claim the #1 spot. Click on the picture below to listen to his heartfelt music and see why: Jim Windwalker


Shortly after I posted this it changed... but he'll be back in #1, I'm sure of it.
: )

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

#1 on the Country Chart!

I'm amazed... and the other songs are climbing, except for "Creature of Habit" which alternately rises and falls. But "Take a Little Ginseng" has actually made it to THE MAIN CHART where ALL songs are scored... it was #42 last time I checked. I am so psyched! This has me totally motivated to get my ass in gear and record some more to put up there. I'm so thrilled! (For those who don't know what I'm talking about, scroll down to the next few posts)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Jamwave.com

I love how one thing can lead to another. I found the following site:
jamwave.com/sistersunshine by posting this ad on craigslist which has gotten me delightful responses. I was going to link to the ad, but then remembered that they expire after a certain amount of time... so I'm going to copy/paste it below:

Wanted: Bands, musicians and artists who want a free website


Reply to: mizlydia@gmail.com
Date: 2006-01-02, 2:21PM EST


There are no limits to this offer: please, stretch my skills!

Let people around the world hear your MP3s, see your awesome artwork and order your merchandise!

Any colors or style you like, we'll sit down and storyboard the whole thing before starting. If you want it to be finished quickly, call me now! 754-444-0551

It is my desire to specialize in sites for bands, artists and musicians of all sorts. In order to attract future clients, I need to build a portfolio of such sites. For a limited time, I will create these pro bono for you, to build my own showcase.

www.rainbow-websites.com

  • this is in or around Anywhere

  • no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

  • yes -- ok to transmit this posting into outer space
Good. Now my ad is never going to expire... unless this blog is deleted!

Anyway, what I wanted to say was that when all else fails, volunteer. You never know where it will lead you. The jamwave website is a real brotherhood of artists... and in less than 24 hours I have begun to make great connections and hear a wide variety of music that I would not have been likely to hear otherwise. Awesome!

P.S. I just looked at the charts... and while I didn't place in any other genre, I'm actually #8 in the Country category with "Take a Little Ginseng"!

Took another look just before noon EST and noticed that I've moved up to #6 in Country! Wow! It's exciting to know that people are really LISTENING to my music!!!

Okay, just looked again and nearly hyperventilated... ALL FOUR OF MY SONGS are on the charts! I'm #6, 12, 17 and 40 on the Country section!!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Interesting information on the grading system

I have begun to use Google's "home page" and have laid it out with things that are of interest to me, at a glance.

Today had a teaser from Yahoo that reported on when the "A to F" grading system started, and why. In reading it, I followed a link to this page, which had truly disturbing information: http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/krumbol.htm

It is sad that the object of education has been lost in the methodology. The primary purpose of education is (duh!) TO EDUCATE!

Small wonder that while I've considered re-enrolling to obtain higher degrees, I've been hesitant, and now I'm more inclined than ever to embark upon a course of self-led study that will produce the same results, sans degree: but who cares?

I'm not looking for a J.O.B. in a corporate setting... in which I might be evaluated based upon my credentials on paper. What I desire most in life is to be FREE but productive. To perform my duties using my God-given talents to the utmost best of my abilities... while enjoying life.

In 2006 I plan to:
1. Publish my catalog of music
2. Go completely wireless... so that I can work from any location
3. Develop as many of my business ideas as possible... reach for the stars!

Maybe it's a product of my age... but I feel a sense of urgency that I hadn't noticed before. Maybe it was always there and I just ignored it... but now that I'm "tuned-in" to it... there is a LOT to do!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hope and Dread

This new year has me full of conflicting emotions. I am encouraged by last year's successes, yet know that I must forever learn more to be capable of growing beyond my current situation.

I've made great strides, but now it is important that I do not lose momentum. I've just placed several new craigslist ads and also have my previously mentioned game plans in action... although postponed somewhat due to my husband's schedule being 12 hour shifts until further notice.

He'd rather pay my bills and have me free to pick up kids, etc. for now... and go back to earning for myself when work slows down for him. Nevertheless, I would like to have some "pots on the stove" so to speak... so I have been getting ever more creative in seeking projects.

I will design some websites for free in order to showcase my skills... especially for artists, bands and musicians. If you're interested: let me know!