Posts tagged ‘money’

July 5, 2007

I changed my flat tire by myself!

The Bad News: The fix a flat didn’t hold much longer. The tire went out again today. I ended up getting two new back tires and now I’m beyond broke until my paycheck goes through and clears.  I got the check in the mail today after work, but the banks had been closed for hours by the time I got home. This sucks. I hope I can still see Lennex tomorrow night at Rams Head Live. I hope I have enough gas to get to and from work tomorrow. Eek.

The Good News: I finally was able to change the flat tire all by myself! I’ve come close before but ended up needing help with this or that. The only thing was my best friend Adam came by to make sure I drove to Sears okay on my spare (and give me a ride home in case I’d have to leave it there over night. Luckily, they fixed it tonight).  Since he was there, I had him double-check that I had the lug nuts on tightly enough. And I did! WOO!!!!! Now I know the next time I get a flat tire, I probably won’t have to bother anyone for help.  I hope that’s how it works anyway.

Some of you are thinking “Big deal, I’ve been able to change my flat on my own since I was 16”. But I know many of you call AAA the moment the flat goes out and you have no clue how to do it.  😉

For me, I just feel a little more independent now, hehe. One less thing to stress about. Getting a flat in the future will still suck. But it won’t suck as much.

July 3, 2007

Paycheck got messed up, flat tire

Nothing important. I’m just venting…

I usually get paid every Tuesday and it gets directly deposited into my account. I noticed today my money wasn’t there. Apparantly, something got screwy with payroll’s computers and so they mailed me a check instead of doing direct deposit. Of course this has to happen when there’s a holiday smack dab in the middle of the week. I was waiting until today to go grocery shopping. Now I have to hold off. I’m hungry. This check is coming from Texas, so it’s going to be a few days.  Plus, by the time I get the check after I come home from work, the banks will be closed. When I can finally deposit it, it will take at least a day or two to go through. This had to happen the same day I get a flat tire and have little money! I walked to my car after work and one of my tires was flat. I used the fix-a-flat stuff and went to a gas station to inflate it a little more. It seems to be okay now, but who knows how long that will last. Tires aren’t all that expensive, but I recently dropped a lot of money to fix my brakes and since I haven’t gotten paid yet this week, money is tight.

Tags: ,
June 14, 2007

When I finally wasn’t broke, this happened…

Last week, I had to drop over $1200 on my car! I had to get the brakes done – but not just the brake pads and shoes. Oh, no. I had to get the pads, shoes, calipers, rotors, and the master cyllinder done.  And get this, it was only the back brakes that I got done. I had to spend $600 a few months ago getting a bunch of stuff done to the front brakes. My g-d. It’s ridiculous. And yes, I took my car to a few different places over the past few months, so the mechanic was telling me the truth – unless they all lied. I just hate the fact that it’s so hard to ever get a new car. Whenever I save up a little bit of money for a potential down payment, I have to spend it all on the car I have now. And it’s on stuff that I can’t just ignore.  I don’t want to end up killing someone because my brakes are shot.

So basically, I am broke for a while.  I won’t be able to see Margaret Cho or any of the awesome bands that are performing on the True Colors tour. It’s coming to town Sunday.

This kind of stuff is so frustrating.

December 7, 2006

I’m in a disco band

Original entry and comments: http://cherryteresa.greatestjournal.com/2006/12/07/

The beginning of last week, I posted a bulletin on MySpace.com that I was in a funk/disco cover band that’s seeking a female singer. I got a bunch of messages from people going “HUH?!” So let me explain the deal.
Yes, I’m in a band now. We juuuust started working on stuff and that’s why you didn’t know.
No, we’re not being sexist. The reason why we want a female singer is because our guitarist (who’s male) is also singing. But there are a lot of disco songs that were performed by females and have lyrics that refer to being feminine subjects, so that’s why. We want a singer who can really sing well and sing the high notes. Anyone who’s ever heard me sing or even talk knows that I have a deeper voice so there’s no way I could do that. So basically some songs will have male vocals, some will have female, and some will have both.

And here’s what I want to make clear:
Why am I in a cover band?! I’ll be honest, at first when I was asked, I said no. But being in a cover band is a way to make money. For those of you who don’t know, most original bands lose money. Sure you usually get paid to play gigs but that usually doesn’t even cover the amount of money you’ve paid into for studio time, practice space, gas money driving to play out of state shows, merchandise, etc. And plus a lot of gigs you may get paid little or nothing because you are getting something bigger in return – such as you might be opening up for some big national act, or the show will be aired on the radio, or the show is guaranteed to have a big audience. I certainly never played in a band before for the money which is obvious when you know that I lost more money that I’ve even earned for being a musician. I’ve always done it for the love of the music. But at this time, I’m playing music for both the love of the music and to make some money.
As I stated a few months ago, I do not have a keyboard that I can use to perform on anymore; I just have a practice keyboard. (Go down a few entries on my journal and you will see the explanation on this). One of the huge obstacles I have in ever being in a serious band again is that I need to save up hundreds of dollars to get gear again. And when you consider the tens of thousands of dollars of debt I have from being sick, that’s going to take years to happen.
I am lucky enough and our vocalist/guitarist is nice enough to have offered me to use his keyboard for this band. So problem solved on that one! I can play out using his keyboard. And hopefully I will eventually save up some money to put toward buying myself one. Before you point the finger at me and call me a sell-out, thnk about this. I am making money doing something that I love. There are many musicians who make extra money by doing illegal things such as selling drugs whether as a full-time job or on the side. Then there are those who will do things they might not like such as working long hours at a high paying job they don’t like or even stripping. (I’m not saying people shouldn’t strip. I’m just saying that there are those who hate it but stay in the business for the money). Would I be called a sell out if I were doing any of those things for money? Probably not as likely as being called a sell out for being in a cover band. Sure I am adjusting to what the bar owners want but at least I am still doing what I enjoy. (Plus I actually like disco and funk music).
I also realized that until I find a band or find people to start a band that I really get along with musically, personally, “professionally”, etc. (and I am picky), I can still be out there performing. And while yeah part of it will be unfulfilling because I won’t get to be very creative (considering none of us are writing anything), there are still a lot of great things about this band. We just started practicing a couple weeks ago, and already we are getting along well. And I’m lucky in the fact that again I am in a band where every musician is very talented. (There is no weak link or person who is just there because we needed someone who plays “fill in the blank”. Unless you count myself haha). I actually like practice, I find it very fulfilling and I think it helps keep me centered. Then there’s the fact that the places we’re more than likely going to be playing are places that have built-in audiences/regular followings. So while we’re still going to bring our friends to shows, there’s no pressure to bring a certain amount of people. There’s also no pressure of having a CD done by a period of time since we’re a cover band. There’s also a lot of pressure taken away because this is something we’re doing for the fun of it. It’s not like we’re trying to make a name for ourselves or we have to question what direction we’re headed or if the band is going somewhere.
Don’t get me wrong. I like going into the studio. I like building up a following. I like having band merch and all that other stuff. But in a way, it will nice to just concentrate on playing rather than other things such as the business aspect of the music business.

Before you go off on me about how it’s messed up or backwards that most unsigned original bands lose money while cover bands make money (if you do it the right way), realize this: I know it’s messed up! But I don’t make the rules.
Also, my opinion still stays the same about orignal bands doing covers. Original bands should only do a small amount of covers. They should be really picky about what they cover. And the cover should sound like the artist who’s covering it while still doing justice to the original version. (For example: Johnny Cash did a cover of the song “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails. But many Cash fans had no idea it was a cover because the song sounded like a song he would have written/performed usually. But the cover did not – in my opinion – do an injustice to the original version. And many Nine Inch Nail fans give Cash the thumbs up on his version). If your covers stick out like sore thumbs, if they are songs that anyone could tell is a cover because it doesn’t sound anything like your other songs, you’re doing it the wrong way. Also, if most crowds have little interest in your originals, but get pumped up when you peform a cover, you probably need to work on your originals or perhaps play different venues.
I don’t think that original bands should throw in a ton of covers in their set. I don’t normally like some of these half original/half cover bands. Pick what you want to be! If you want to stay an original band, then be selective with your covers or just don’t do any covers at all. If you really enjoy doing the covers (and especially if the covers sound like the original and not your band), then consider just being in a cover band.
(I’m not dissing the original bands who will sometimes play two or three hour sets at clubs they don’t usually play to make some extra cash and have to throw in several covers).

Moral of this long entry is that I’m in a disco/funk cover band and that doesn’t make me a hypocrite. And whenever I get a keyboard and meet the right people in the future, I will also be in an original band at the same time. And if it wasn’t for this cover band, I might not ever even have the chance to be in an original band again or at least not anytime soon. If you have a problem with that or would like to call me a sell-out then I suggest you buy me new gear yourself or raise money to pay my medical debt. Don’t want to? Didn’t think so. So shut it!

September 26, 2006

What I’ve been up to lately…

Original entry and comments: http://cherryteresa.greatestjournal.com/2006/09/26/

Well, surprisingly some people actually still check this journal to see if I update it. Due to some personal issues, I don’t have the internet at my apartment for the time being and haven’t for the past few months. But I do have internet access elsewhere so I will still update this from time to time. Just not as much as before. Thanks to those who do actually take the time to read my blog! 🙂

Let me just take a minute to answer some questions I’ve been getting a lot from people to clear some things up.

First of all, my health much better. I’m still not completely well and according to my doctors I probably won’t ever be well until I hit menopause – then I will have a whole host of other issues, of course! But compared to how I was before my second surgery, I feel like a million bucks. Now if only I could feel like I used to a couple years ago before all of this got really bad, I’d feel like a billion bucks. But you know, I shouldn’t complain because there are many people who have worse things they are going through. I just started being able to work again a couple months ago, which is something I couldn’t do before – not even a non-physical desk job. But now I can and I am and I feel like my life is starting to get back into a routine again.

My health still is up and down and at this point there is no way that I can commit to being in any type of serious band that plays out regularly, records, and all that good stuff. It’s just hard to predict how I’ll be feeling on a given day and I still have to go to pain management once a month along with other doctors every couple of months. The pain has only reduced it hasn’t gone away like I wish it would. It does break my heart that I am getting older and while time is slipping away, I can only stand back and be an observer. (Well, I’m not old. I’m turning 25 on October 25th, but these days I’m considered to have just a little bit of time left in the music business).

I really want to be out there in the music scene once again. And I feel soo weird just having a day job. Before this, I had a job with either: a band and/or a boyfriend and/or school and/or other commitments or lessons. But I just have a job now and that’s how a lot of people live their lives. And I’m not knocking those people but I don’t know how they do it! I have been so stressed out. Yes, that’s right – not having enough things to do makes me stress out. I can’t just sit still but I really have to for once in my life. For other people, this would be joyous and relaxing but not for me.
I’m so bored! Now I think I know why some people are so obsessed with being in a relationship and aren’t comfortable being single even for a minute. They end up with someone not so great because they think that’s better than being single, which isn’t good. But that’s a whole other story for another time…

As of a few weeks ago I’ve started going back out again and it feels great to see everyone again and see a lot of the bands in this area that I’ve grown to love. It has been weird just going to a show. With no flyers to hand out, no show dates to push on people, with no tickets to sell nor a CD to let people know about. You’d think that would feel great and relaxing. It is for the first few minutes. Just being able to: watch a band’s set, listen to their songs, and not worry about your own upcoming show. But when you see someone else out there promoting their band you just really miss your old life. At least that’s how it is for me.

And there is something else that happened that I don’t even like to admit. It makes me so sad! I had to sell my Yamaha S-80 and my Alesis amp. I didn’t want to, of course. It was either sell those or get evicted. If I got evicted, I’d end up having no place to put the keyboard anyway, so if I didn’t sell them I’d be homeless and and have no keyboard. So I had to sell it. With all the medical debt that I have now from being sick and on top of that not being able to work for about a year, it’s going to take me forever to save up enough money for a new keyboard. I still practice and write on my really crappy Kawaii keyboard. It’s better than nothing but it only has like three octaves, with voices that aren’t great, a bad feel to it, and I couldn’t ever use it to perform or even really jam out unless it was with acoustic instruments. I can’t hook it up to an amp (even if I still had an amp but I don’t even have that anymore!)

So basically to sum up the answers to the questions I’m getting a lot… Yes I’m a lot better but I’m still not “well”. And yes I’m still making music. I never quit. I was forced to be on a hiatus. I’m just not out there like I was before. But I hope and I am fighting to come back again when things get better. I have to get a lot better healthwise and if that happens then I still will be saving up to buy my equipment again. I just have to be patient. I am not a patient person so it’s going to be tough.

Please keep your emails coming. I love hearing from everyone.

Here is something random I found on a friend’s Myspace page.