Archive of the Lair

Here are Archived Entries and Links from the Beautiful, Burgeoning Home Lair Page.

Archive Lair 1 Archive Lair 2


I've Got a Spiritual Backup on the Ol' Jersey Turnpike (If You Know What I Mean)...

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2018: Good evening, LairLurkers all; welcome to the First Home Lair article of 2018! This weekend also marks the beginning of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, a city Somewhere in South Korea that I've never heard of until Now. I watched the Opening Ceremonies last night on the TV behind my building's lobby's front desk, as my giant television that I won in a drawing a couple of years ago wasn't registering a very good picture. But I digress.

The intentional blocking of my attempts to make money and achieve Professional success continues Unabated; and I believe my Personal version of the Cosmic Intelligence is doing all or most of the blocking. And this is not Right. Not everything Divinity does is Right, Good or Necessary; and this shit has got to stop. I will not tolerate being Treated as a piece of machinery, a cyborg, or a puppet on strings by any Higher Power, be it good, bad or Indifferent. I am nobody's slave; I need someone to help me succeed at the work I want to do and the life I want to live, not to block me at every turn. I want to be a Successful touring folksinger, songwriter, photographer and writer; and I need someone who will support my agenda, not force me to fake interest in theirs. If this requires Intentional manipulation of the Cosmic Web or whatever, so be it. I will not live in Dire poverty any Longer; I do not want to continue being Afraid of sex and intimacy (I often fear that I may, in fact, be Asexual, and I don't like that one bit); and I will not use my skills and abilities to plug ideologies that I find Abusive and Intolerable. Somehow, however, I suspect that this blockage I speak of will not respond to doses of castor oil or Metamucil. If only Hogwarts actually existed, and had an Adult Wizarding Education program Up and Running. Minus an Actual guide and mentor from Wizarding Britain, where will I go for help? Religious Right types are screaming bloody murder about the "rise in Paganism" going on here and there; but I don't consider this a bad thing. Lots of folks, myself Included, need help that we are not finding in more-Conventional world religions, with their billion-plus memberships. Not everyone feels at home in the same house.

I wanted to study and work with my all-time favorite musician, and this opportunity was snatched Away from me over twenty years Ago. That was and is, simply freaking Wrong; and that whole course of events has got to be Reversed and Corrected. I have a right to chart my own course in life; and nobody has the right to fling one wrench after another into my gears. I wanted to tour and perform with my favorite Irish band many years Ago; instead, I was Obligated to sign my life Away in one Academic semester after another, because my relatives insisted on it. That was also Wrong; and I want to continue relating to these musicians as guides, mentors and guardian angels for my musical work (gosh knows I dream about them often Enough, even Now). I want to perform, tour and compose new music with my favorite Local performer; he's still Alive, of course, but how will I persuade him to work with someone whose "silhouette does not agree with [him]", to quote one of the songs I've written for him? That will have to be Arranged somehow, in any case. Plus, there are any number of other folk and world music performers I want to work with while they're still here on the Earth Plane, even though they have Yet to hear of me, thanks to the Abovementioned chronic/intentional blocking mechanism. By hook, by crook, or by carefully Channeled magick, this shit (as Aforementioned) has got to stop. I am seeking new and benevolent Cosmic Energy to put a stop to whatever is blocking my progress, and send it the hell Back to Wherever it originated.


Yeah, Yeah--I Know the Drill...And It's Been A Hectic Week in Lake Wobegon

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017: Well, good evening, LairCronies. Y'know, Garrison Keillor, now-Retired longtime host of an old Favorite live-radio program, "A Prairie Home Companion", seems like about the least-Likely person ever to be Accused of any sort of impropriety, Sexual or Otherwise. But recently, his old stomping grounds, otherwise Known as Minnesota Public Radio, reportedly fired the guy (Ahem...did I forget to mention he was already Retired, aside from a very short Daily radio spot Devoted to new poetry?) due to a Former colleague alleging "Inappropriate Behavior" on his part. No, I don't know of any Official, Clinical or Legal definition of "Inappropriate Behavior"; but based on the MPR president's Unilateral decision to cut all Contractual ties with the Renowned raconteur, you'd think Garrison was in the habit of sleeping with half the "Prairie Home" staff, while groping their grannies and kicking their puppies. All of which is highly Unlikely, given the guy's Longstanding reputation for avoiding physical contact with other people, unless completely Necessary.

So, what nefarious "Inappropriate Behavior" has Mr. Keillor perpetrated? The MPR Prez isn't saying. Top Secret. Only he and the two allegers know the allegations. And he alone (as Aforementioned) made the decision to sever all ties with Garrison, which legally necessitates the renaming of the show's Current incarnation (a lot of folks are Upset about that, too), plus no longer using Garrison Keillor's name, image and old show reruns. The Prez didn't even divulge the allegations to Garrison himself, or to staff members at a Recent meeting. Surely, Garrison, and his attorney, have the legal right to see and respond to the allegations ASAP, right? But no! Garrison, after all, was the first to announce his own firing to the National and Social media. And we couldn't have him sharing Said allegations on Facebook, could we, even Given that they supposedly involve..*cough*Garrison Keillor*cough*! Actually, a lot folks out there in Cyberspace suspect that Garrison's real "Inappropriate Behavior" involves his frequent Public criticism of the person and policies of a Certain orange-faced guy who has been despoiling the White House for most of this calendar year. Trumpy Darling's media contacts are out targeting anti-Trump critics of all kinds these days, which may include the firing of Said critics for Hushed-Up allegations, Blown out of proportion in the public's Collective imagination to include groping grannies and kicking puppies. Gosh, is that what Harold and Bob were whispering about at the Sidetrack Tap yesterday evening??

Anyway...the word now is that Garrison Keillor is fighting this as Well as he can manage, in between trips to the Mayo Clinic (he's undergoing treatment for heart issues, and will soon have a pacemaker Installed). Hopefully he'll be Okay in the long run. And hopefully we'll be able to access the old show reruns Somewhere soon, despite MPR's idiotic attempts to erase any evidence that "Prairie Home" and its creator ever existed. Meanwhile: I'm still not making any money. It seems that, for some reason, I'm not Allowed to make any money in self-employment. While meditating on this conundrum the Other night, it came to me that I really must focus primarily on getting club gigs, open mics, busking, song videos, and other performing outlets. And I need to commit to a new spiritual path Bigtime. The old one is doing me no good, and is only perpetuating negativity, depression and Hopeless stuckness. I need to worship creativity, artistry, music, and the power to make change; and let go of authoritarianism, micromanaging, and being Stuck in someone else's agenda. Amen.


Okay, Any Suggestions on What I Should Call Myself This Year...?

SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2017: Good evening, LairLurkers; and once Again, welcome to the Upcoming Summer Festival season! It hasn't quite begun Yet (the Northwest Folklife Festival is kind of the kickoff event for Said festival season); but we recently premiered a new event called the Upstream Music Festival that I missed due to not getting Home from Tennessee soon Enough.

I'm still being Jinxed out of making any money, Online or Off, from my Original creative work; but I'm beginning to realize that the jinx is being Powered by everyone I know (relatives or Otherwise) that is Unsupportive or Disapproving of me making a living as a self-Employed musician. Their negative thought patterns created the jinx against me because they see me as being "Disobedient" to their desires, or something equally Nonsensical; and this Negative energy of theirs (Including passive-aggressive actions such as refusing to support or encourage my Creative efforts, even emotionally) is throwing wrenches into my Creative gears at every turn. I'm still pondering and meditating on what must be done to break Free of this negativity and undo their jinxing (or "crossing" as some magickal practitioners call it). Certain individuals may be jinxing me more powerfully than others; but there are a great many people Involved here, even if they're not necessarily collaborating or "comparing notes." Basically, they want me to fail at what I want to do, because it's not what they want me to do; they may even have created a Constructed "higher power" energy that makes me feel that the Divine Intelligence is out to stop me doing anything Worthwhile in my life. That, plus the fact that I'm simply not Accustomed to being financially Independent, and I (at least subconsciously) believe that can only have money or success when someone deigns to give or send me some. I've been Led to believe that I can't be Successful or Prosperous on my own, in other words.

Once again, I've been wondering if I should take on an Alternative identity that will generate more online sales, Paying gigs, and all the other things being denied me. It often feels that my own name is working against me Somehow. Would I be doing Better if I used the Irish-language version of my name? Should I legally change my surname to "LairMistress"? My current first name and surname sound uncomfortably like the phrase "carnal sin", when they are pronounced together quickly. Not exactly, but somewhat. Should I change my surname to an old Norse patro- or matronymic? Would the name "Paulsdatter" sound more Attractive than "Olsen"? Not that the latter name is anything to be Ashamed of; it just seems to have a frequency, or something, that repels cash and Potential collaborators.

At any rate, I have to get over the idea, long-Bludgeoned into my head in my youth, that I couldn't accomplish a damn thing without my parents shoving me Along through it, and micromanaging whatever it is that I'm trying to achieve. I don't need them to realize Personal goals, though it would be Awesome if they'd at least provided emotional support for things I wanted to do. Lately, I've been asking myself constantly whom I'm supposed to pray to for help, if the Old White Guy Upstairs won't lift a finger on my behalf. Somebody has just recently come along in Nonordinary Reality, so I'll see how that works. I need to force the development of a Certain musical partnership, as well as getting the freaking money jinx off me. My would-be ally has offered to help with both issues. Nonordinary Reality is where one needs to go if one wants straight answers these days...


Another World Is Not Only Possible; It's Smacking Us Upside the Head Right Now

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017: Well, friends and folkies, LairCronies all, the world has changed. You know how Progressive activists have this old saying, "Another world is Possible"? Well, we've got another world, all right. And at least some conservatives are utterly Giddy over it; but I'd advise them to be Careful what they wish for.

This crazy old orange-faced dude beat out Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Presidential Election via an Electoral College majority (even though Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote by a Sizeable margin); and the Religious Right is chalking it up to "Divine Intervention." If that was true, the Whole galaxy would be in a huge mess right Now; I keep reminding myself of this, as a form of reassurance. We really don't need a deity with that Twisted a sense of humor. So--now this orange guy named Trump (or Drumpf, or tRump, or Twitler, or Der Trumpenfuhrer, or: insert your favorite Trumpish nickname Here) is Ensconced in the White House, which the Obama family occupied with such class and dignity; and now the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government has gone clinically Insane. There is literally NOTHING normal about the people's execrable executive mansion at the moment. We will have to watch him and his Cryptofascist cabinet and staff like a hawk for the Next four years; or until he resigns or gets Impeached, whichever happens First. He's had a Weird penchant for nominating department heads who have previously sought to abolish their Respective departments (which makes no Logical sense, unless they want to be out of a job pretty Soon); and he apparently prefers to govern via Executive Orders, at least one of which (the "travel ban", or "Muslim travel ban", in media shorthand) the judiciary have happily shot Down. Trump insists he's going to issue a Revised version of that one, but it hasn't happened Yet.

Thank heavens the year 2016 is Over and one for the history books. It really sucked in Many respects. It seemed like nothing happened except for Renowned and Beloved public figures dying by the score: Alan Rickman (dammit, you can't kill off Snape for freaking Real!!). David Bowie. Mary Tyler-Moore. Amjad Sabri, for whom I performed opening sets two years in a row (an excellent Qawwali artist, the most popular one in Pakistan for the past Several years, brutally Murdered in his car, in broad daylight, in his own neighborhood in Karachi). My friend Riz's youngest brother, Anwar Samad. There were but two Bright spots for me during the last calendar year: attending a huge rally with Bernie Sanders (who should have been our current President, but for some really shady goings-on in the Democratic National Committee); and the wedding of my brother, Leif, and his beloved girlfriend, Cuc Kim Ly, who was born in Vietnam, but has lived most of her life in Oklahoma. It was Delightful for my Mom and I to attend and participate in the Latter event especially. I seriously never expected that either my brother or myself would ever get Hitched and settle down; but Leif and Cuc pulled it off brilliantly! It still lifts my mood these days to think about it. Hence, I now have a large family of Vietnamese in-laws whom I need to get to know Better; I must go out and visit them again, Sometime in the next few months.

Okay, so nothing seems Normal right now; but at least Seattle is pretty far Removed from the madhouse that is "the other Washington." Meanwhile, I've taken my affiliate marketing experience up a notch, and recently began a new music affiliate site called Sing Globally, Think Universally. Why is it called that? Not sure. I needed some phrase with "Sing Globally" for a title, since the (still overly-Broad) focus is on the folk and world music genres. It comes with a companion blog for reviewing songs in digital mp3 format. No money made Yet; but I want to concentrate on providing content that music fans and musicians Alike may find Helpful, like a G-Map for locating folk festivals, and LairLinked sources for open mics and busker-friendly cities. I will almost certainly have to narrow the site's focus pretty Soon; but at present, Sing Globally is still pretty Much in the development stage. Now, if I could just get my new mini-mouse to work properly (did it really need an on/off switch, for eff's sake??)...


Another Year Older, and Deeper in Debt, Music Videos, Menopause, Passive Income, and Dead Celebrities

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2016: Good evening, LairLurkers all! Per usual for 2016, public figures are still dying like beetles in Used motor oil (the way my brother and I used to rid the rosebushes of Japanese beetles when we were kids); Gene Wilder is the Latest one to decide to break Loose from this mortal coil. Meanwhile, I will turn 52 at exactly 07:09 Pacific time Tomorrow! Technically, since I was born in Bethesda, MD, I should say 7:09 am EST; but oh well. Anyway, this reminds me all the more that I'm not going to be Around in 200 years (and probably not even 50); so I'd best get a move On with all the projects, and move out of a Depressed and Lethargic state, at least to the extent of getting the laundry done in a Timely fashion.

Unfortunately, I'm boycotting Bumbershoot this year, something I've never done Before. Why? Well, two Main reasons: 1) Single day passes are $125 (yes, that's not a typo!); and 2) festival volunteers are Required to provide their credit/debit card info in order to register for volunteer shifts (they've got a new MO this year: they issue three-day passes to volunteers, in exchange for a certain number of volunteer hours; and if you miss or skip a shift, your checking account gets Charged. Ugh. I don't provide that info to anyone, unless there's a really Compelling reason why they need it. Besides, I'd rather spend my Limited funds on other things right Now.

Even though I really don't feel anywhere Near my Current age, my biology is going through Normal shifts these days. That Time of the Month hasn't snuck up and grabbed me in over a year, and I don't miss it, Either. I may or may not have a Partial hysterectomy sometime in the future, depending on whether the uterine fibroids start getting large Enough to complicate my life. I'm also researching what I might do, or take, to keep my skin from drying Out and keeping me Awake nights with itching spells. Happy Cronehood to me.

I'll have to wind this essay Up pretty Soon; but I must mention that my pursuit of Passive Income is kicking into high gear, as I've been Overtaken by the desire to travel more Widely and Frequently. I've got plenty of Original material to plug into Passive income processes, but the stuff isn't selling. What is selling, so I've heard, is Original information products (eBooks, informative/educational Youtube clips, and the like); but I'm not Sure what I have to offer in the way of Unusual information to share with the world. I have begun promoting music on Amazon in Earnest; and I must have time to promote my own work on a number of different channels. But promoting my Unique knowledge of something for money? Knowledge of what, exactly? Painting with backgrounds or other photos on Photoshop? Centering and Otherwise customizing aStores on Amazon? This old Lair (the anniversary of which I forgot this year, once Again) is Replete with affiliate links--text, image, and Combined. Where else should I use them? How many aStores do I need? And how the hell do I get more Youtube subscribers? I guess I'd better take distance lessons from Mikey Chen, the Beyond Science guy, pretty soon...


So, What Shall We Write About Now..?

SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2016: Good evening, LairLurkers! Just imagine, a week from Tuesday will be the Lair's 15th Anniversary, which I will probably forget, as Usual! I don't have anything too Brilliant to write about right Now; but I figured it was time to archive the "Jumpscare Movie" post, besides updating its Specific link. But there is Plenty to recap, Prior to our wifi spot closing...

#PulseShooting (just today, in the early AM): Mass shootings in this country just keep getting Worse and Worser. This time it was in Orlando, Florida, in a gay nightclub called The Pulse. Something very Similar nearly happened here in Seattle on New Year's Eve, 2013, when some jihadist dude nearly detonated a homemade bomb inside one of our own gay nightclubs, Neighbors in Capitol Hill. Somehow, employees of the club smelled smoke amid the crowd of 750 partiers, and shoved the guy Outside before his explosive device went Off. In Sunday's massacre, the Afghan-American shooter (he was born in New York to Afghan immigrant parents) first visited the club a number of times, likely to scope out the place; purchased firearms legally since he was Employed by a private security firm (though he was Thought to be seriously mentally ill); and allegedly abused steroids, on top of whatever mental health issues he was struggling with. Will write more about the Horrific shooting in Orlando later--at least forty-nine people are confirmed Dead.

Have I mentioned here Yet that my brother Leif and his girlfriend Cuc (she and her family are Vietnamese) got Engaged a couple of months Ago?? Our family being rather Small, we don't get to have family weddings too Often! They're still in the planning stage, and not totally Sure where the wedding will be Held; but I told them to let me know if they need any music. So, assuming all works out as Planned, I will soon have a large Extended family of Asian in-laws! And here I always figured my bro and I were both Confirmed bachelors--or spinsters, or Whatever...

Music videos on our Youtube Channel continue in production, including the one for "Sebastian", my Oscar Wilde memorial song, written in 1992 on the way to a wedding in Shelton. That one is going to be quite Complex, using both still photos and video footage. I just need to eliminate the clips that are too Shaky to use.

I need to run Away for a while, in order to get videos and such Finished without too much distraction. I'm being asked to write emails and do grocery shopping way too Often by various friends and neighbors. I want to spend more of my time on busking, videos, more Neolithic-themed ceramics, blogging, et cetera. Am now looking for cheap weekly rates on motels outside of Seattle.

Finally, I must have at least one Successful fundraising event to raise Upwards of $25,000 for me to complete my CD and go on an open mic tour FINALLY--as soon as Possible, if not Sooner! Am asking my friend Riz for ideas, as well as brainstorming concert ideas, and trying to think of whoever Else to ask for assistance in Said planning. More later as it transpires...

UPDATE (SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2016): Our old review-writing site Epinions, as we knew it, is Gone. And I didn't know that till recently. It was pretty much Gone by the time the site that "acquired" it was itself Acquired by eBay a couple of years Ago. Looks like the bloody Internet as we know it has gone all Oligarchic on us. Arrrrgghhh....


They May Just Make Jumpscare Films About Me One Day...

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2016: Folks, I've long been having fantasies about haunting people--whether while still Alive, or Post-Mortem. I think I've even dreamed about this. There are a number of Certain folks in my life who deserve to be Hunted and Haunted, in the Latest and Greatest horror movie fashion. You know the Popular trend in horror flicks these days, where Scary figures jump out at protagonists from behind doors, windows, mirrors, the slats in window blinds, and Whatnot? That's what I should be sending my Doppelganger to do to a bunch of folks right now, in order to send them a Relevant message. I'm kind of in a mood for revenge right Now, and for giving people who brush me Off a proper Paranormal shock.

I've also been thinking a lot about Parallel Universes. According to Various people's interpretations of Quantum Physics (especially when they're trying to sell you software that claims to reprogram your mindset to that of an already-Successful rock star), there are Alternate or Parallel universes where your dreams come True, and your goals are fully Realized, without any hindrance from power-tripping relatives or your own Negative brainwashing by a family and society that tell you that you suck if you're not absolutely Flawless (and even if you are absolutely Flawless, you still suck; so don't even bother having any of your own goals in life). Hence I've been thinking, and microblogging/tweeting, about what I could be doing in Parallel universes, if I was Unencumbered by the Poisonous influence of Janteloven (which, alas, is quite Capable of migrating thousands of miles from Scandinavia):

In a Parallel universe, I have ten albums released by now. In this universe, I can't even complete one. Why is that??

In a Parallel universe, I am happily studying with my all-time Favorite singer. In this universe, he died before I ever got this opportunity. Why??

In a Parallel universe, my family fully supports and encourages all my musical and creative goals and dreams. In this universe, they threatened to cut off my college tuition if I majored in music (I kid you not, folks; they actually said this, before I even started college).

In a Parallel universe, I am the leader of a band of top-quality world music instrumentalists. In this universe, my band is all on my hard drive (MuseScore, at the moment).

In a Parallel universe, I am touring, performing, songwriting and recording with my Favorite local performer. In this universe, I am struggling along completely on my own; and my Favorite local performer freezes me out, and won't even practice music with me, because he doesn't like my looks. Of course, he barely has a clue what I am Capable of, musically.

In a Parallel universe, my Favorite Irish singer is also my lover and stage partner. In this universe, he was born about 25 years too Early, and is currently Deceased.

And finally, in a Parallel universe, I make loads of money selling my music, photography and graphic designs Online. In this universe, I'm practically the only one who buys my stuff; and I am virtually Unknown, online and off. Why the hell is that..??

Anyway...I have also been incubating ideas for some really dark, Negative short stories Lately; it's been a while since I wrote any Original fiction (and of course, my relatives would all try to tell me that my Original fiction will never sell, just as they tell me that no other Original work I do will ever sell. Seriously, they all talk as if I really shouldn't exist in the first place; or else, give up all Individual goals and dreams, and disappear behind a Microsoft or Amazon cubicle, never to be seen busking Again). One is a suicide/postmortem fic called "Not Part of the Plan", in which I haunt everyone who ever turned me Down for performing gigs or collaborations, after offing myself on the Ballard Bridge. And there's one called "If Songs Could Kill", in which I somehow figure out how to inflict judgment on cruel, abusive or rejecting people, by singing or humming some song that relates to fighting back against an Unjust situation. This includes magically incinerating music venues that turn me Down, and assassinating Corrupt and Unjust political and religious leaders--all by singing or humming the appropriate protest song, or whatever. And then there's a Doppelganger fic called "Not What We're Looking For", which is Similar to the first story, except that I send a psychic doppelganger to haunt bands, musicians, Unsupportive relatives and Local concert bookers who won't give me half a Fair chance to prove myself. I think all of these Potential short stories are Companion pieces to one of my Finished stories, "Don't Know What to Tell You", one of those I'm thinking of publishing in ebook format. These little pieces are all Creative ways of dealing with rejection, when it gets to be way too Common an occurrence. One reaches a point in which "working on oneself" is nowhere Near as Satisfying as sending a ghost version of oneself to stalk the hell out of people who have been treating one like crap one's Entire life...

*Note: Amazon Affiliate text links are marked in red-violet.



Falling Sky Alert: Hurricanes, Drought, and Other Apocalyptic Phenomena Coming Soon to Fevered Imaginations Near You...

SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2015: Good afternoon, LairLurkers far and near! Our society is going through some Significant Changes these days, and it's scaring the holy crap out of some folks! Just in the past month, the U.S. Supreme Court (a hotly Divided outfit if ever there was one) solidified the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) in one Major, long-Awaited decision (King v. Burwell) on June 25; and the very next day, June 26, struck down Remaining bans on same-sex marriage by their decision on the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which had been even more anxiously-Awaited--including by Yours Truly. Seriously, I was on pins and needles during the whole month of June, and I am neither Gay nor Married! Joyous celebrations ensued, not only across the United States, but across the planet (I was especially Moved to receive the congratulations of Ireland's own Queen of Equality, Panti Bliss), as the union of America's citizens became a little more Perfect, and rainbow-Colorful to boot.

HOWEVER. Obviously, not everyone was going to support the SCOTUS' decision in favor of marriage equality; but some folks on the Religious Right went completely Medieval on us. That loud noise you heard around 12:00 noon EST was Scott Lively's head exploding, followed by the Spontaneous combustion of a bunch of other public fundies' brains. Great Goddess, LairCronies; to listen to these folks, you'd think the 13th century had just reloaded on us. Gay marriage, we've been told, will cause: hurricanes, earthquakes, worsening drought in California; civil war, terrorist attacks, food shortages; God "lifting his hand of protection" from the United States (assuming that He/She felt any need to "protect" the world's Sole superpower to begin with); and the Wholesale collapse of western civilization, Aided in no Small part by gay men wearing "bottomless pants"! Now, I've got a pretty Creative imagination, folks; but I rather doubt I could make up this stuff on my best days. Practically the only historical phenomenon that comes Close to these folks' Weird ways of thinking is people in the Middle Ages blaming witchcraft for the Plague outbreaks. And don't even get me Started on the funny-looking chappie who tells God to "send hornets" after everyone who supports marriage equality for all.

Since then, of course, the sky has most definitely not Fallen; and western civilization, for better or worse, is Alive and Well--but there has been fallout from the Obergefell decision, as is to be Expected. Some county clerks and judges are refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds, even though government offices are, of course, not religious institutions of any kind. Some bakers, florists, wedding photographers and other business owners are refusing to provide services for same-sex weddings on account of Said business owners' religious beliefs, which incidents have also resulted in legal wrangling. Oh, well...these folks can't stop same-sex couples from getting Hitched, regardless of whether or not they provide cakes or flowers for wedding ceremonies; and their arguments from "religious liberty" are more than a bit Tenuous. What the Opposing sides really ought to do is to get Together, talk these issues Through, and come up with some kind of middle ground that safeguards the rights of all Concerned parties to their Mutual satisfaction. Will they do So? It's doubtful; but that's what we at the Lair are recommending as a Reasonable alternative to all the litigation and cries of "religious persecution" being Bleated nonstop by bakeshop owners and others who are not, of course, doing business as religious organizations...


Angelfire, Don't You Ever #@!$*&# Scare Me Like That Again! And Merry Christmas to Everybody Else...

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2014: Egads, that was a Close one, LairCronies! Here I was on Facebook, just about to close a comment about creation myths with a link to my controversial Genesis: Notes for Research article; when up comes a message page at that url saying the Entire freaking site had been "permanently Removed"!! Why, Angelfire, why?? What did I do wrong? Well, having shot off a Nasty email to their Customer Servicecritters ("WTF??? Why the hell has my site been removed??"), and gotten a comparatively Pleasant reply, I have some Vague idea of what happened; and now the Entire Lair, as far as I know, has been Reinstated and Restored (turns out the account itself had been Disabled by an Automated review program over some sort of Broken or Questionable link or two. Word to the wise: Beware of Automated site review programs. I've tangled with them over at Squidoo as well; and half the time, they're not worth the CDs they're shipped on). The lesson for me here is: Back up every bloody word on the Lair from now on, on CDs as well as your hard drive, if you value the preservation of your Original written content, LairMistress! I admit I've gotten Lax about that over the past couple of years. And thank God/dess for the Wayback Archive mechanism; prior to this site coming back up, I was at least able to save the source code from Several pages onto my LairScript backup folder.

Also, I must keep in mind to Login to this site on a reasonably Regular basis. The scary thing about all this is that I was never Notified or Contacted in any way by Angelfire/Lycos, prior to my account being temporarily Disabled. The only ways to find out what had transpired was either to attempt to Login; or to type in the url to one or more pages or SubLairs, thereafter suffering near-heart failure upon discovering the "Permanently Removed" blurb page! And then, if one survives, to shoot off a nasty note to the Aforementioned Customer Servicecritters, and await their reply email. At least their Customer Service department seems to function way better than does its Outsourced equivalent at Hewlett-Packard...

Anyway...I suppose all's well that ends more or less Intact. Right now, my Mom and I are spending the holidays with my brother Leif at his new/retro home in the Canyon Creek neighborhood in Richardson, TX, which he claims provides a Shorter commute to his workplace. It's a nice one-story, early 70's house, though a bit large for one person. Among other things, it's got a Roundish backyard pool that gets used rather Seldom (obviously, it's a bit Chilly for good swimming at the moment). The neighborhood is also very nice, but also very quiet (borderline-Dead, in fact; when I go for walks around here, I might meet two or three other people. Gosh knows where everyone is), with large Inflatable Christmas lawn decorations at every four or so lots. There's a nice little shopping center with a couple of coffee shops a short walk Away; I was just down at this place called Pearl Coffee yesterday. My brother has been on Major fishing trips several months Back; and he is pushing grilled salmon on us (very Tasty, actually) every few days. He's got something like fifteen pounds of the stuff that he needs to get Rid of before he goes off on the next fishing jaunt...

At any rate, we at the Lair wish everyone Lurking nearby a very happy Christmas, Solstice, Yule, Kwaanzaa, Mothers' Night, Saturnalia etc.; whatever you're into. Hanukkah has already Wrapped for this year; but hopefully it was a good Festival of Lights for all who celebrate it. L'Chaya Tova; and Together Across the World!!


BRAND SPANKIN' NEW ARCHIVE UPDATE (WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2011): Good evening, LairLurkers! If you've been Lurking here for any length of time, you'll know that Early in the year is the time for us to go Archiving the stuff from the Previous year! So, now that we've torn ourselves Away from bloody Facebook and the Egyptian Revolution for a Brief spell, we're now in the Archiving process for 2010, even though we haven't done a great deal of posting at the Home Lair over the past year and a half, what with bloody Facebook eating our brains (and much of our online time and effort)! Whose farking idea was Facebook, anyway? And now they've actually made a bloody feature film about those eejits and their social-networking megalopolis, no less! Oh, well; we have rediscovered some of our high school and college pals via Facebook; so perhaps it's not all bad. Still, the best new bands are still to be Found on Myspace, which is NOT dead Yet...!


A Post-Birthday News Recap (Or, How Many Score Does It Take Me to Get Anything Accomplished?)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014: Good evening, LairCronies all! Keanu Reeves and I turned 50 (count 'em!) a couple of weeks ago; but this, in fact, was one of the least Traumatic things that have happened Lately. Seems that everyone Interesting on the planet has died during the Past six weeks or So. Robin Williams! Joan Rivers! Jean Redpath! My best doggie friend Sammy! Rev. Ian Paisley! Okay, so maybe I wasn't that Interested in Big Ian. But he died Nonetheless, after living way Longer than a lot of better humans out there. And, for some reason, I've fallen in love with the good Mr. Williams all over Again since he ended his life, having read many accounts of what an Amazing human being he was on top of all his achievements in film, TV and comedy. I've been rather hard on myself for not getting to know him personally while he was still on this side of the Divide (he was Online quite a bit, it turns out--he posted regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Elsewhere--where the hell was I all that time? Well, the sad truth is, I'd nearly forgotten him over the past couple of years; I didn't even know about his Recent TV show, The Crazy Ones, until it was Cancelled after only one season). Now, I'm trying to play catchup with the spirit of the man; trying to get to know him through his Online posts and video clips on Youtube, as well as sending him distance Reiki and visiting him in Nonordinary Reality. Strange way to get to know someone; yet I want to be of help to him, if I can. I also seek help from him besides; I hear and read that he had a warm, loving, positive, very giving and Supportive presence and personality, and I desperately need someone like that in my life, if I am to avoid many more episodes of depression and Dark impulses toward harming myself, due to being Ignored as a musician and otherwise Creative person. There! I've said it. I'm seeking the support of dead artists, because living ones, including my own relatives, totally dismiss everything that's currently keeping me Alive.



#FreeJustina and the Three-Ring Circus

SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014: LairCronies, maybe y'all can help me here. I've been rather Preoccupied with this Bizarre civil rights/medical custody case since late last year, when the progressive news/petition site clued me in about what has befallen a teenage girl from Connecticut named Justina Pelletier. The youngest of four daughters in a family from West Hartford, Justina had, until February of last year, been treated for a Rare genetic condition called mitochondrial disease (which potentially affects the entire body, aside from red blood cells), with which one of her sisters has also dealt for some time. Long story short: Justina, described as a Talented young artist and "ice-skating fanatic", caught the flu a year Ago in February, was transported to Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) to see her gastrointestinal specialist. Almost immediately upon her admittance, her case was "Intercepted" by a couple of neurology residents, who unilaterally decided to change her diagnosis (which she hadn't come for to begin with) and treatment plan. Her folks disagreed with this action, and tried to return her to her Usual doctors at Tufts University Medical Center; the BCH psychiatric and neurology team, with lightning speed, called in a Child Protection team, and alerted Massachusetts' CPS agency (DCF, or "Dept. of Children and Family Services"), accusing Justina's parents of something called "Medical Child Abuse", insinuating that they had "overmedicalized" the teenager (or, at least, erred on the side of too many doctor visits). This got Justina taken into custody by DCF as a ward of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, even though she and her family reside in Connecticut. Still following me here? Yeah, I struggle to keep track of the whole scenario myself. For some reason, BCH was Desperate to hang onto this kid as a psychiatric patient. But for what ends?

Ever since this occurred some fifteen months Ago, an entire National movement, bearing the hashtag moniker "#FreeJustina" has sprung up, and the story has flown all over the world, Online and Off. Rumors, facts, half-truths, accusations and intimations Galore are whipping up the Internet at the speed of a Tweetstorm. It's completely bloody Bonkers. Among said notions are suggestions as to exactly why, as I just mentioned, BCH and DCF are so freaking hell-bent on keeping custody of an out-of-state teenager that they've allegedly spent $2 million dollars of the DCF budget on her case Alone. Speculations include, but are not Limited to, the following: 1) Justina's condition is Psychiatric or Psychosomatic, and her family brainwashed her into thinking she has mitochondrial disease like her sister Jessica; 2) The hospital's psych department is using DCF to recruit young patients for some kind of Somatoform research study, using them as guinea pigs with or without their and their parents' consent; 3) DCF is hanging on to Justina in a personal vendetta against her parents, because the latter are going Hardball in "fighting the system", and state social workers don't like the parents' attitude; and 4) Justina is being Tortured and semi-Sacrificed by evil psych-ward medical personnel and staffers who may or may not have participated in Harvard University's dramatic re-enactment of a "Black Mass." Seriously, LairCronies, I couldn't make this shit up. I have actually seen, heard and/or read all of the Above in online articles, Facebook and Twitter alone. Which brings us to the Abovementioned "Three-Ring Circus"...

UPDATE (TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014): Just today, Justina Pelletier was (finally!) Released to her parents' custody by the juvenile court judge in Massachusetts who has been screwing with her life during the Past sixteen months. Nonetheless, the "Three-Ring Circus" referred to Above still exists; they're just happier, as of Now, than they used to be. To be Clear: when I refer to the "Three-Ring Circus", I am not speaking of the Vast majority of Justina's good-hearted, Dedicated supporters and advocates, among whom I am Proud to be Counted. Rather, by "Circus", I am referring to the smaller numbers of equally Visible and Vocal individuals and Public figures who persist in bringing their own agendas (related and Otherwise) into the Free Justina campaign. It's those folks whom I consider to be less than Savory or Beneficial to Justina & family's cause; their involvement, if anything, could potentially do more harm than good. To be Concise, they comprise:

1) THE POLITICAL HAYMAKERS: These are (usually right-wing) supporters of Justina and family who keep bringing Unrelated political causes and quarrels into discussions about the Pelletiers' long-running situation. They tend to be right-wing partisans who believe the whole mess can be squarely Blamed on the Democratic majority in Massachusetts' state government, and/or on "liberal politics" generally (seriously--everything from Obamacare to the Common Core curriculum have been brought Up and Vilified in discussions about Justina, online and on-air). Glenn Beck and Matt Barber, among others, are Notorious for displaying these tendencies. Some of them have been verbally Hostile towards progressive supporters of Justina's release--though, to be Fair, most people supporting Justina, though mainly Conservative, are Welcoming of practically anyone who supports the #FreeJustina campaign, Regardless of political affiliation. This Circus crowd, unfortunately, also includes "parents' rights" activists who yell for the Complete abolition of all Child Protection agencies, without addressing the Obvious question of how else children should be Protected from Actual abuse, neglect or sexual exploitation.

2) THE "GOOD VS. EVIL" AVANT-GARDE: There are many religious supporters of Justina who have prayed ceaselessly on her behalf for months, and this is likely a good thing; they are not whom I'm referring to Here. I'm speaking of some really Fanatical types who suspect (and post, and tweet, etc.) that Dark Spiritual Forces are behind Justina's longstanding captivity and her family's suffering, influencing the minds of judges, doctors, social workers and elected officials to refuse repeatedly to release Justina back to her parents. They have been in the habit of demonizing Said clinicians and authorities on Facebook, Twitter and Elsewhere, posting all manner of Frenzied rhetoric on the theme of "spiritual warfare." One frequent implication is that progressives and Democratic voters like myself are also on the "side of evil"; and they are seldom Inclined to retract such allegations. They have likely caused a number of progressive supporters of Justina and family to run Away screaming. I've had to take Occasional breaks from reading their posts myself, to preserve my own hold on rationality; they often read like Lunatic opinion pieces on WorldNetDaily and And then there's...

3) THE "PSYCHIATRY IS A CIA CONSPIRACY" THEORISTS: Since Justina Pelletier was (wrongly, most believe) treated as a psychiatric patient at Boston Children's Hospital for many months, the campaign for her release has attracted scores of folks who believe that psychiatry by itself is a Dangerous pseudo-science, if they don't Otherwise assert it is some kind of evil sorcery Dreamed Up by the CIA during World War II as a way to control and mess with the minds of the masses. There may well be too many Modern "disorders" out there that are, in reality, Normal teenage behavior that's been over-Analyzed; but the anti-Psychiatry crowd are not Content with Proposed overhauls of the DSM-V. They are Keen on discrediting any sort of mental health practice as Postmodern snake oil, going even beyond the aims of MindFreedom International et. al. My only real point of agreement with these folks is that I believe that Justina, and a number of other children and teens have, in fact, been seized by CPS agencies on Fraudulent accusations of abuse (which the medical staffers making Said accusations probably did not even believe themselves), who then pimped them out to hospital psychiatry departments and mental health facilities as psychiatric research study specimens ("wards as lab rats", in my own shorthand). Such practice, even if Legal, cannot possibly be moral, ethical, or Condoned by any precepts of Basic human decency. Let's hope this practice is busted wide Open for public scrutiny very Soon, and Abolished as soon as Possible.

Anyway, my Essential point here is that, even though Justina will be happily Free to go home first thing Tomorrow, the multifaceted issues Raised throughout this debacle are not going Away anytime Soon; and we can look Forward to loads of investigations, reports, and revelations, Unearthed with varying degrees of Invective and political mudslinging... #FreeJustinaAlready


A New Year's Eve Visit (Because I Promised Myself to Slink In Here on New Year's Eve)

NEW YEAR'S EVE (TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2013): Happy New Year's Eve, LairCronies! I've often asked myself if I should keep all my CyberLairs going--Including this one. Because Facebook and freaking Twitter seem to be eating my brain, I have trouble remembering to post here in the Home Lair more than every few months or So. But I'm keeping this sucker Up. Why? Probably because I don't know when to quit. However, there's no use making New Year's Resolutions (a complete waste of time for 99.9 percent of the population Anyway) to post here more Often; it's not going to happen unless I stop guilt-tripping myself about it. For that matter, I'm going to keep posting at The Confundus Conspiracy too, as long as the site doesn't delete it for me. I started a post talking about the ins and outs of being a Djinn-Seeker; and dammit, I'm going to finish that post!

In order to do all that stuff, though, something's got to give. I've got to spend less time on bloody Facebook; it's good for promoting things like my Squidoo lenses, but there are other good promo sites too. There are tradeoffs to be made: more time updating Squidoo lenses and promoting on LiveJournal and Myspace; less time on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (yes, I've got one of those silly things too, on top of everything Else). So: Resolution 1--stop neglecting blogs and stuff. And maybe get back on Sonicbids. It didn't get me anything when my account was Active; but I knew less about marketing and promotion back Then. With what I've learned Since, maybe there's a chance it could pay for itself.

This past year, 2013, was the Year of the Snake, so they say across the Pacific pond. There was a lot of skin-shedding to do on many levels. It was a Major bummer when my old HP laptop was Stolen (I kid you not) from my neighborhood's Starbucks back around the end of November; but since most of the stuff on it has been Backed Up on CD's back home, perhaps the Cosmos was simply telling me that it was time to get a new effing laptop Already. So, now (writing from my Mom's house in Crossville, TN), my Mom has purchased me a brand-new Dell Inspiron 15 with Windows 7, which is working Fine thus Far. I do, of course, have to reimburse her in installments (she wasn't about to buy me a Christmas present running over $500, thank you very much).

This coming year will be the Year of the Horse in the Chinese calendar. Presumably this means building up stamina and working toward goalposts as Hard and Fast as Possible (among other things). This, for me, means fighting like hell to finish my CD and make more money than I subconsciously think I deserve. Change always comes kind of hard for me--it's been that way literally since the day I was born, when due-date time snuck up on me, and I was Caught in utero not having turned Around into the right position. Hence, I was born breach-style, dislocating my left hip in the process (my left leg was sticking straight Up while the right one was properly Curled up against my torso), and getting my umbilical cord wrapped part-way around my neck. Some kids die under those circumstances; but I figure I must have made it here for some reason, especially Given that both my parents nearly died at birth due to the Misguided tendency in the 1930's for doctors to induce labor early, for whatever reason. addition to a nice, new laptop, I will need a new set of headphones, and funding for some Updated versions of software for music and photo editing, Including Photoshop Elements, Audacity, Finale Songwriter and possibly Pro Tunes or Cakewalk Music Creator (along with tutorials Provided, especially for those last two). Making money and obtaining funds will be a Major focus--but only to help with my music and online businesses. I also want to have a hysterectomy sometime in the next year. I have at least one uterine fibroid at the moment, Confirmed by two different ultrasound methods; and things have been getting Intolerable when, as my Canadian online friend Logospilgrim puts it, Voldemort beckons. But that's a whole 'nother post by itself. I need money to complete my CD project and go on an open mic tour: these constitute Job One for 2014. Together Across the World!! And Bust Justina Pelletier the fuck outta that Hospital!!


My Band is All on My Hard Drive

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013: Dear LairCronies, I have Long been a Solitary in the world of folk music, ever since the old praise band at the little church formerly Known as Agape Lutheran Chapel (now called "The Chapel on the Ave", because that's where it's still Located, for better or worse) disbanded, along with most of the Agape community itself. I am still a busker, but a Solitary one. I want a band Regardless; so I am in the process of developing one on my laptop. You heard me--a new Potential band is Incubating on my Finale Songwriter software; and I am Determined that it will ultimately help me complete my CD, since no one Else will work with me, and I can't afford to hire anyone Anyway. The curiosity of having a band stashed Away on my laptop nearly inspired me to write a song about it. I figured I would title the song "My Band is All on My Hard Drive", and I would set it to the tune of O'Carolan's "Planxty Burke". Or maybe not. But then I got Busy, and so the song idea fell by the wayside. The software band, however, is still Incubating, and waiting to be Unleashed.

I am certainly not the first person to attempt to create instrumental parts for an album using music composing, editing or scoring software. Many a high school rock band is now enjoying Modest success on iTunes and Elsewhere, thanks to Pro Tools, Finale, Cakewalk, or whatever other electronic bass-and-beats program they could get their hands on. But since I'm apparently getting old and gray (well, not too gray just Yet), it's taking me longer than the Average 12-year-old to decipher the music-Related software I've got now (older editions of Finale Songwriter and Cakewalk), mostly because they've got so damn many features and functions to wade through. Shoot, I'm still learning new things on the version of Photoshop Elements I've had for over five years Now.

Anyway, thus Far, I've got the free download of Audacity music editing software, and the 2005 version of Finale Songwriter up on my hard drive, along with mp3 versions of all but one of the songs I've planned to put on my first CD (assuming the bloody thing ever gets Finished!). I've also got the software for Cakewalk Music Creator 3 in its Original packaging; but I really need to take a crash course on it via DVD tutorials or something; otherwise, I haven't got a clue how it all works. Why do I mention all these band-in-a-box software products? Because it seems to be my Only option for Full instrumentation on my CD at the moment. Why is that? Why don't I have an Actual group of backup folks playing on my recording project?

Funny you should ask. Well...given the Sorry outcome of my first-Ever crowdfunding campaign, I don't, first of all, have any funds to hire backup musicians; and I have an Awful time getting people to work with me in any Substantial way, for another thing. I do seem to be Jinxed as far as both money and professional success goes. Something is continually getting in my way, blocking my path, throwing wrenches in the machinery, and telling me I haven't got a chance in hell of doing what I really want to do in life. And besides, it continues, Decent people don't do what they want to do in life; their lives are Supposed to be all about other people. L'enfer, c'est les autres, as Sartre would say. L'enfer, et l'embouteillage aussi. Pas de choix pour toi.

In any case, I need a couple of guitarists--including a 12-string player; a bassist, percussionist, violinist; possibly a flute and hammer dulcimer. To be Honest, I'll have to go back and listen to each song a few times over again, to see what arrangement and instrumentation would fit it best. I already know the playback on Finale doesn't match the pitch on the Original recordings. Hence, the pitch will have to be Adjusted on either the software files, the mp3's, or both. And that Nebulous something that's jinxing my work had best get out of the damn way, because I've got some Uncrossing juju Brewing on the old hard drive too...


So, What Exactly IS "Meant to Be"? (Or, How to Predict the Future Without Being Accused of Occultism)

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2013: Dear LairCronies, doesn't it goad you into a near-Homicidal rage when someone tells you, after a Longed-for occasion (be it a movie date, a chance to see your Favorite band, or some other event you've been craving practically Forever) falls through and leaves you damn-near Devastated, "Well, it just wasn't Meant to Be"? How the hell do they know that? For that matter, how do any of us know what's "Meant" to happen, or not Meant to happen? If anyone who routinely says such things can pass Along the link to sign up for your Higher Power's own e-newsletter, we'd all be much Obliged. I'm really Curious about this Oddball tendency to kinda-sorta predict the future after the fact, or whatever folks call Said horsepucky.

What's Meant to Be, or not Meant to Be, that is the question. It's an everyday issue with Yours Truly. Was my youthful wish to play fiddle/guitar backup for my favorite Irish musicians (Including for their Reunion tour) really not Meant to happen? Was I truly "not Meant" to study and collaborate with my all-time Favorite singer, who (not, I think, coincidentally) died suddenly the Very week I wrote him a letter asking about the status of an academic program he was trying to start up in southern California? And, of course, was I actually not Meant, Intended, or otherwise Supposed to work with my favorite Local performer here in the Seattle area? Is any musical collaboration or solo success at all "not in the cards" for me? My aunt's personal variation on the "Not Meant to Happen" ideology is that I'm "not Genetically Qualified" for my own life's work. For some reason, though, I have yet to hear her say what she thinks I AM "genetically Qualified" for. Hell, both my great-grandfathers on my Mom's side were Accomplished fiddlers; and many still-Living folks on my Mom's side are also musicians of some aptitude. On my Dad's side, my great-aunt Borghild Olsen over in Norway was, like me, a singer and guitarist. If those aren't "Genetic Qualifications", what the blazes is?

Longtime readers of my LiveJournal blog have probably figured out by now that I have Significant trust issues with Higher Powers and other authority figures. I still believe in the Divine; I just don't trust Him/Her/It completely. I do not find the phrase "God is in control" particularly Reassuring. I also don't much care for the notion that "If it's God's will, it will happen." This, for me, constantly begs the question, "What the heck do I do if it's NOT God's will? Maybe I want to do 'X' (or have it happen) Regardless. How am I supposed to pull off something I really want to do if whatever Higher Power doesn't care to give it the Divine green light?" Maybe it's just paranoia on my part; but that stems from the idea that God is Opposed to my musical career (and Various collaborations Therein) because it's something I want to do, as Opposed to something that was Assigned to me from the Cosmic HQ. During my youth, as I recall, I didn't do very much of anything because I wanted to do it, or took pleasure in it. So much of what I did on a Regular basis was an assignment from Home or School. Hence, I guess I got Accustomed to a rather "Assigned" existence, and still feel Insecure and borderline-Guilty about doing things strictly because I WANT to do them. I still feel that a good bit of my life is Saddled with someone else's expectations; and I wonder if I will ever be Rid of this sort of mental programming.

(UPDATE: APRIL 29, 2013) Not long Ago, I did a little experiment. I attempted to spend an Entire weekend doing only things that I truly wanted to do. Trust me, it wasn't easy. But I think I could get Used to that. I will speak more on this Later. Now, I'm off to deal with those who want me to fail at what I want to do, so I'll give it all up and resign myself to doing what THEY want me to do Instead. That, of course, is not going to happen. There is nothing "sinful" or "selfish" about doing your very own Chosen life's work. Alas, there are always those who want to chose and direct a Bogus sort of "life's work" for you...



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