Segarini: The Weekend Roundup: Broke and Bored?
Things are difficult in the Segarini household these days. Like so many folks suffering the effects of the economic meltdown of the last couple of years, we find ourselves living hand to mouth, one day at a time, and wondering when things will turn around, get better, or at least be less stressful. The financial woes of the music industry, the meltdown of the print media, and the lockout of innovation, the format riddled inability of consulted radio to allow creative on-air personalities to spread their wings, and staff downsizing on the part of corporate radio, have made it almost impossible for many of us to get jobs in the fields we know best, leaving us with a huge amount of passion, frustration, bills, and problems that seem insurmountable. I thank God, and David Farrell for allowing me to write these columns and at least exercise my creative muscles so they don’t atrophy, and for giving me hope in the face of so much gloom. If any of you feel like investing in a worthwhile cause, have a gig I could do, orvoice-work, you know where to find me. For those of you in the same boat, let me share some of the great diversions that have kept me from sliding into the deep, dark black hole of depression….
Of all the crap you have to deal with when times are tough, boredom is probably the most debilitating. My dad always said, “If you can’t have fun without money, you can’t have fun with it, either.” Truer words were never spoken. If you have love and family, you are wealthy beyond words. Don’t fuck it up. Never take your frustration out on those who care about you and you care about. Keep yourself busy, and keep yourself amused. The worst thing you can do when it seems that the world is a dog and you’re a dog biscuit, is nothing. Devote all the time you can to seeking out solutions to your problems, but when you feel overwhelmed, don’t curl up in a ball and hide under the covers. Take a vacation from the weight you carry around every day by getting your mind off the pressure that comes with feeling like you’re in free-fall.
Jade and I have whittled our monthly bills down to two things, the rent, and Rogers’ bundled cable, cell phone, and internet access. The total Rogers bill is less than the amount I used to spend a week on groceries and alcohol, but it allows us to continue to look for work, stay on top of what’s happening out there, and for me, to be able to work from home. We may have to drop cable soon, but with the internet, we won’t miss a thing. I also just signed up for a free month of Netflix, and that is looking like something I might even consider keeping. At $8 bucks a month, it really is a bargain. More on that later. My dad also used to say, “Only boring people get bored.” Assuming you have an internet connection, here are some tips on how to chase Mr. Boredom out of your house and into oncoming traffic.
Social Networking and Time Consuming Diversions…
I am not providing links for these sites. That’s what Google is for.
Facebook: Forget the pokes and Farmville and horoscopes and other detritus people post, and connect with people you haven’t seen since grade school, your best friend from college, or the girl you crushed on when you were 18. Most of these people are online doing the same thing. Kids might use it to OMG, LOL, and talk about the latest episode of True Blood, but if you’re older, Facebook is a great place to be reminded of music, places, and people you may miss and not even know it. You will find interesting pictures, vids, and threads containing topics of interest you can comment on, joining in a conversation without having to leave the house. It’s like virtual a coffee klatch…and you can do it in your underwear.
Twitter: Great for news updates and things you find of interest. Also neuters chatterboxes.
My Space: If you want to go shopping for t-shirts, home made jewelry or other trinkets, this site has become a kind of flea-market for hipsters and kids. Still a great place to find indie music, though.
YouTube: More of a social hub than you would think. Lots of video blogs and interesting tirades from all over the place. Needless to say, you can spend hours here watching old music videos, discovering new artists, and watching live performances from years ago or yesterday. If you click on an artist ‘mix’, and related vids will run one after another until you change the channel. Lots of funny shit, documentaries, television shows and movies, most of which come in 10 minute segments.
YouPorn: Like YouTube only way more Porn-y. Search for whatever fogs your glasses. There is also a PornTube, but it’s not as good.
Funny or Die: Will Farrell is behind this collection of often hilarious videos. Where famous people and celebrities post thier home movies and other independent output.
Huffington Post: News and opinions. A kind of free range newsstand.
Hypebot: Always interesting and a cornucopia of thoughtful editorializing.
KickAss Torents and EZTV: I have paid to see or buy more movies because of KickAss, than any amount of advertising or trailers try to convince me to do. And if you pay for cable and the shows they carry, but miss a lot because of your chedule or time constraints, EZTV allows you to download the shows you want to see and watch them at your leisure. Check out both of these places while you still can before the luddites try to shut them down. Two sites I would gladly pay a reasonable fee for.
RTDS: Todd Miller has put up an internet radio station that actually sounds like a radio station. Real jocks, an incredibly deep playlist, and available as both a streaming station and on-demand shows. For people who miss the kind of radio that had good broadcasters and a wealth of music and information to share.
Slacker: Enter a song, album, artist, or genre, and Slacker streams the music you want to hear. Like RTDS without the jocks and Spotify and Pandora, which aren’t available in Canada. You can even type my name in and get music from me, The Wackers, Family Tree, Marshall Crenshaw, Elvis Costello and others who Slacker thinks you will like. RTDS and Slacker are both free services.
Human Fun at Home…
I miss being able to afford to go out to dinner or club hop like I used to. There is a great way to enjoy that experience at home, though.
When Jade and I lived on Crawford Street we had a weekly get-together with a group we called The Crawford Street Regulars. One or more of us would cook dinner and we would sit around the kitchen table and tell stories, give each other the business, and pass an acoustic guitar around when someone wanted to share a tune or lead a sing along. Sometimes we would chip in and order out, and when times got tough, we would have a pot-luck dinner with everyone bringing something to share. We occasionally invited a guest to join us and full of food, beer, wine, or whatever, sit around just talking about everything until the wee hours of the morning. Highly recommended, especially if your friends are as interesting and verbose as mine.
Pets: If you have one or more, count yourself lucky. They are the best medicine for depression, loneliness, and self-absorption. They need you…and pay your care and good will back with love and companionship. We need them as much as they need us. If you don’t have a pet, there are lots of homeless kitties and puppies out there. Go make yourself available….
Television: Pick a show or shows you like. Look forward to them.
Get Out of the House…
If it wasn’t for Cherry Cola’s, I think Jade and I would have gone nuts a long time ago. A great, friendly place owned by 2 wonderful people and populated with a vast array of diverse folks of all ages who love music and a good time. If you have a favourite bar, make sure to go there at least once or twice a week. Old friends might buy you a drink or two, and you’ll make new friends too, maybe even someone who can find you the kind of work you’re looking for. If you don’t have one and are in the music/entertainment field, I couldn’t recommend anywhere better than Cherry Cola’s to spend your hanging-out time.
Things to do When You’re Broke…
Do the laundry
Clean the house
Get a library card
Finish a book or start a new one
Learn how many different ways you can make potatoes
Go for a walk
Keep a journal
Work toward (and refine) your goals
…and most importantly,
Don’t give up hope.
Have a great weekend, we’ll see you on Monday.
That’s enough for now. Email me at email@example.com with your comments, complaints, and thoughts…and remember…don’t believe a word I say.
Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, The Segarini Band, and Cats and Dogs, and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now provides content for radiothatdoesntsuck.com with RadioZombie, The Iceage, and PsychShack. Along with the love of his life, Jade (Pie) Dunlop, (who hosts and writes “I’ve Heard That Song Before” on RTDS), continues to write, make music, and record.