A thought occurred to me last night; while it’s true that I’ve been good about keeping up my blog lately, it would be nice if I had some help.  That thought led to, What if I recruited some of my friends, all of whom are creative and intelligent in their own right, to contribute a story every once in a while?  Brilliant.  A bunch of new and (hopefully, ha ha) compelling content for BFS&T, and my friends get to have an occasional outlet that most of them don’t normally have.  Not to mention the fact that I get to find out something new about each of my friends who contributes.  Everybody wins.  So don’t be too surprised (or do, if you want) if some guest bloggers appear from time to time.

On the home front, times are still really tough.  I’ve applied for about a million jobs (okay, a few hundred), which have led to exactly one interview and not an ounce of success.  The problem is that I have plenty of skills in music, but precious little going for me outside of that.  The types of jobs that I’ve gone to in the past have evaporated in this slowly-improving-but-still-crappy economy, and by the colossal number of un- or underemployed people here in MyFairCity.  To add insult to injury, quite a few gigs have cancelled in the last month or so (due to ‘lack of budget’), which has left me with essentially zero income.  If not for my family’s intervention, I would be on the street, in my car, or in any number of other untenable situations.  I was struck down the other night by feelings of utter hopelessness, which is a new and unpleasant trend lately.  I could use some good thoughts, or advice, or prayers, or whatever parlance of your choice.

I’m trying desperately to maintain my famously indomitable spirit, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the constant and crushing feeling that my life is careening out of control, and I’m going slowly crazy.  Suffice it to say that anxiety and depression are off the charts.  Creativity is practically nonexistent.

It seems to be a season for suffering.  A week before Sandy Hook, Portland had its own gunman shoot up Macy’s in the nearby Clackamas Town Center mall, which traumatized the city.  A couple of weeks later, one of my bandmates and her wheelchair-bound significant other were struck by a car that blew through a stop sign and blindsided them in a left turn as they walked across the crosswalk.  They were only slightly injured, thankfully, but it’s now been quite a few weeks since the accident, and they’re still dealing with the physical ramifications, the emotional frustrations, and the insurance issues.  A very well-known musician friend has been recently diagnosed with cancer.  Particularly cruel is the fact that it manifested itself in his neck, and he’s a singer.   The support shown by the community has been absolutely astounding, but he’s far from being out of the woods yet.  Here’s a link to his story, and how to do what you can to help.

Be all that as it may, this was not intended to be a pity party, I just felt I should let you in on the magnitude and severity of the things I (and others, whose issues definitely put my own in perspective) have been dealing with lately.  But it ain’t all gloom around here.  More frequent breaks in the weather—as well as the longer hours of sunlight—are proving to be worth their weight in gold (Can time and light be worth their weight in gold?  ANYWAY.  Moving on.), and I’ve been going for long walks almost every day.  I do have a couple or three music production projects scheduled for to begin in the near future, and that’s the best way I know of to improve my spirits and slough off the yoke of dark thoughts.

So that’s the news at this point.  I appreciate your continued support and good ‘parlance’ in these stressful and difficult times.  Here’s hoping they’re over soon, and dare I say it (albeit in a Tiny Tim falsetto voice), may God bless us, every one.