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THE GOOD NEWS THREAD!


Burgundy LaRue
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I met my friend for the first time in a while on Wednesday at our local for tea/drinks. We had a great time and while there, someone on staff was putting up flags around us for each nation competing in the World Cup. I surprised myself, my friend and that staff member by getting them right with the exception of two.

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I met my friend for the first time in a while on Wednesday at our local for tea/drinks. We had a great time and while there, someone on staff was putting up flags around us for each nation competing in the World Cup. I surprised myself, my friend and that staff member by getting them right with the exception of two.

Screwing up England and the USA should count double though.

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I met my friend for the first time in a while on Wednesday at our local for tea/drinks. We had a great time and while there, someone on staff was putting up flags around us for each nation competing in the World Cup. I surprised myself, my friend and that staff member by getting them right with the exception of two.

Screwing up England and the USA should count double though.

 

 

Thank you for giving me a smile. I needed that. Will like this post when I have them back.

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So, I didn't get the part in "The Producers" I auditioned for. However, I'm playing three smaller parts. Utility player is nothing to be ashamed of. It's disappointing, but I now have three different voices and characters to create and play with, which is pretty cool. 

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So with the news that Mom's got breast cancer and will have surgery (see that other thread...), I found myself thinking "damn, I really don't wanna spend $1200 on plane tickets right now" to get my wife & I back to Michigan to care for her & Dad.  I'm talking to Mom yesterday and she says, totally unprompted, that one of my uncles wants to be able to help but can't come - and so he wants to buy plane tickets for my brother & I.  How awesome, right?  That saves me a bundle right there.  Then I come into work this morning and my brother, totally unprompted, says "hey, I'm gonna use points for my ticket, Trish can use my ticket from Uncle Awesome".  So that's a big relief off my mind.

 

Also awesome: my company is going to let me "work from home", even if half days, while I'm in Michigan so I don't have to burn any sick time or vacation time if not needed.

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So before I did what I do now I was a freelance writer. For a lot of reasons, including a personal falling out with the management of the paper that I wrote for, I stopped freelancing about three years ago. The other day, the arts editor of the local daily paper asked me on twitter to submit a pitch for a festival that is happening in August. I submitted a pitch, in a rather flippant way, and this is it:

 

 
 I am super excited about the Transfigurations Festival that Harvest Records is putting on, and I thought what the hell, I'd try to write about it. 
 
So here's a little bit about me: from 2006 through 2011 I was a full-time freelance writer. It was fun, I went to a lot of shows out of town and drank a ton of bourbon. Then the work dried up. Now I work in Communications for an organization that is like the United Nations for the Methodist Church. It's weird. I'm pretty much the odd man out here, but it's been going for two years now, so they must like me on some level. 

But ANYWAYS, I've written for papers all over the country like the Indy in Colorado Springs, the Pitch in Kansas City, Flagpole in Athens, GA, the SF Weekly in San Francisco, MetroPulse in Knoxville, and the Mountain Xpress in Asheville. I have a great relationship with every paper and editor that I've written for except the Xpress, which I would enjoy peeing on if I still drank like I used to. 
But enough about that, on with the clips!
 
My favorite piece that I wrote was about Van Dyke Parks, an arranger and songwriter who worked with the Beach Boys in the 60s. The paper where it ran has redesigned their website, and the only version I can find is at this link. I'm also attaching the raw, unedited story as a word document here. 
 
I wrote about Tony Clifton here. Clifton was an alter-ego of Andy Kaufman who came to Asheville a while back. 
 
interviewed Lindsey Buckingham for a paper in Colorado. It was a fluff piece, but the name is impressive to some. 
 
This isn't rock and roll, but it is larger-than-life stuff. A cover story for the Mountain Xpress on pro-wrestling. I love this article. Here it is
 
And this is probably my second-favorite piece. It's on the Beach Boys playing Canton, NC. The lead singer was a prick to me. Read it here
 
And now, the pitch
 
Record stores aren't supposed to last. Now music is widely available for free online via spotify, youtube or other nefarious means. Or we sell it cheaper than a pack of bubble gum. But somehow Harvest Records have survived. 
 
That's what I see this piece as, a story about survivors. 
 
Mudhoney survived the grunge boom and indie rock cave-in that happened in the early 2000s and are still putting out great music. They survived.
 
Lee Fields has spent 40 years cranking out awesome soul music. Now, he is experiencing a resurgence in the classing soul music revival that is happening with groups like Sharon Jones. He survived. 
 
The Clean have been around since I was a year old (that's 35 years to you). They played music that was popular in their remote corner of the world (New Zealand) that influenced groups like Yo La Tengo and Pavement. Those concentric circles that their music have rippled out all over the world and now they are coming here. Surviving. 
 
That's my vision. I'd interview these bands and make it happen.
 
Why should I write this instead of a staffer/more trusted freelancer?
 
I think because I can tie everything together and make it something more than a bullet pointed list. I also think because I'm not really a part of whatever bearded Asheville in-crowd I can do it. Plus, I fucking miss writing about shit that I like. 
 
So let me do this. I'll do it for cheap (as in you or Josh buy me lunch). I just want this experience. Help me write about something besides Jesus, please! I'm going insane from inertia!
 
Jason
 

PS - sorry this wasn't brief or proofread or whatever.

 

 

 

So it was a stupid pitch and one to the Gannett newspaper full of swear words, typos and other crap. But I received word this afternoon that they loved the pitch and I'm going to get to write the article. Now I'm going to have to sit and actually do the work needed, but it's so freaking awesome. I can't wait to do this!

 

I'm not planning on quitting my job or chasing the freelancing dream anytime in the future, but it'll be nice to write about something that isn't work-related. Hopefully it'll be the shot in the arm that I need. Woo hoo!

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Oh the email where they gave me the job told me that I am going to get paid $150.

 

The nice thing about that is that I'm spending $100 to meet Dusty Rhodes and Harley Race, so I am literally writing about rock and roll in order to pay for my pro-wrestling geekery. 

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So my boss took the entire staff and our families to a Rockies game tonight. God damn, I love this company. And I got to bring my nephew to his first Major League Baseball Game and he had a blast. I bought him a foam finger and as we were leaving a genuine Rawlings glove that fits him. He walked all the way to the car staring at it like it was the most awesome thing he's ever seen. What a great night.

 

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Went to the wine store to pick up something for my wife so she can celebrate having a baby finally. The store opened when we moved here and we've been going there ever since. 

 

I did a little tasting and when I picked out a cava for the missus, the manager told me it was on the house and congratulations on the child. 

 

Good News: There are good people in this world, they sell wine, and I live across the street from them.

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Realized we ran out of bread for the week, making us clueless on how we were going to make food for the kiddo (we're not destitute, but she's a really picky eater, and if it doesn't have bread, cheese, and/or chicken nuggets [NOT STRIPS, she knows the difference], she won't eat it), then I realized I cashed out on some money I made from online surveys for a gift card worth about $15, which can be spent on online purchases.  And the supermarket here lets you order groceries online for pickup.  So I basically am able to get some stables to last us until payday.

 

Oh, and I got my laptop fixed last week, so now I'm looking for a side-hustle for some extra scratch.

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Realized we ran out of bread for the week, making us clueless on how we were going to make food for the kiddo (we're not destitute, but she's a really picky eater, and if it doesn't have bread, cheese, and/or chicken nuggets [NOT STRIPS, she knows the difference], she won't eat it), then I realized I cashed out on some money I made from online surveys for a gift card worth about $15, which can be spent on online purchases.  And the supermarket here lets you order groceries online for pickup.  So I basically am able to get some stables to last us until payday.

 

Oh, and I got my laptop fixed last week, so now I'm looking for a side-hustle for some extra scratch.

 

So these surveys are legit?  I'm looking to save a few dollars toward a new car, and every little bit helps.

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I don't know where you live, but here's where I go: http://www.focusgroup.com/

 

They're little piddly surveys that take about 10 minutes and only give you a few bucks a pop, but if you figure you do a few a day, it adds up.

 

There's also a way to sign up for actual focus groups for the big bucks (like $75 for a few hours).  Mind you, I live in Philadelphia, so location might have something to do with that.

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