So my first online streaming revenue statement was made available today.
And Wow. Just Wow.
Now it would be totally gauche and unladylike to talk in specific dollars, but lets just say that bankable rockstars have a lot to complain about.
I feel for them. I really do. I have never seen so many zeros to the right of the decimal point since taking a Pre-Calculas class back in 1994. These are atomic numbers. These are numbers with negative exponents. These are the kind of numbers your mother warned you about, but you just wouldn't listen cause she couldn't possibly know how you feel, cause she's never been in love like this before.
Yet, to be totally fair, I have never once entered streaming revenue in to my budgetary calculations. Performance fees, CD sales, and music licensing are the only (relatively) logical income that one can expect until one is Bono. Spotify, Pandora, and the rest, are part of the mix solely for the egotistical reason of wanting to be everywhere for everybody, all the time.
If it buys me a pastrami sandwich at some point, I'd consider it a wash.
It would be fascinating to get a little peak at the accounting numbers of the major online streaming companies just to get a sense of scale.
But on second thought, that might just make me sad.
And I don't want to be sad.
So let us have a little fun with numbers:
That's the number of songs need to be streamed in order to replace my modest middle class income for one year.
That's the number of hours of entertainment I would have provided to the listeners who collectively streamed my songs 8.25 million times, in comparison to:
Which is the number of hours I used to spend making Pumpkin Spice Lattes. And they say musicians are lazy.
Which, based on the current trend of streaming, is the number of months it will take before I have enough to buy myself a pastrami sandwich.
Is what I'd get if I didn't try.
And if given the choice between nothing and a pastrami sandwich in October 2018, well, I think we all know who the winner is.
"What do you want?"
"Chow mein, beef and broccoli, and lemon chicken."
"They don't have lemon chicken."
"Of course they do, Taylor gets it all the time."
"No, they don't . . . they have orange chicken."
"Fine, whatever, lemon chicken it is."
"No, orange chicken."
"What'd I say?"
"Right, that's what I want, with beef and broccoli."
"Exactly. Chow mein, beef n broccoli, lemon chicken."
"You need to stop doing that or I'm gonna try to order lemon chicken and they're gonna think I'm an idiot."
"Okay, sorry. Try to grab some chop sticks and hot mustard."
"Why hot mustard?"
"How else can you eat lemon chicken?"
To be fair, this conversation may or may not have happened exactly like this. What did happen was when later, Calvin asked me why I kept calling it 'lemon chicken', my only response was because it was now a thing.
Joann and I are starting to become a little terrified that what with all the time we've spent glued to each other for the last decade that we have too many things.
And by 'things' I don't mean stuff. We have too much of that too, but that's a conversation we wait to have until after the holidays.
No, by 'things' I mean inside jokes. Little reminders of shared experiences. Some couples travel, some couples dance, some couples have pets or children or both or neither, some couples finish each other's sentences and some couples bicker at each other from different sides of the house. Most couples do a little of all that.
But Joann and I collect 'things'
And I'm not even going to begin to list, because the 'things' have become so convoluded over the years that you might think the two of us were speaking in code.
Suffice it to say, neither of us will ever pass by a Panda Express without thinking about lemon chicken for the rest of our lives.
Yet the nature of 'things' isn't limited to two or three intimate participants, millions can share in the thingness of 'things'. For example, prior to the VMAs, twerking was a 'thing' for hundreds of thousands preadults with wifi access and a penchant for silliness. Afterwards, Miley Cyrus is a household name and suddenly it's a 'thing' to a billion or more.
And 'things' don't have to be the result of 'Dad Jokes' or ridiculous behavior.
Recycling can be a 'thing', quitting smoking can be a 'thing', buying local or calling your grandmother once in a while can be a 'thing'
Peace can be a 'thing'
Even Waitdad is a 'thing' for some of us. I mean, yes it's a real thing for me and those I write about, but nothing makes me happier than when it becomes a 'thing'
Calvin walked into the living room and said "Wait . . . Dad?, how far have you gotten on Zelda?"
And Joann, sitting beside me said "It's wierd when he calls you 'Wait . . . Dad?' I mean, I know that's where that comes from, but to hear it out loud is a little creepy."
It's creepy because to Joann, 'Wait Dad?' is no longer the odd way through which Calvin prefaces his questions, it's a 'thing' she reads and mostly enjoys.
And I've been a bit obsessed with how things become 'things'. I've read books on the subject, studied trends, compared statistics and analyzed analysitics and I've come to the conclusion that the universe offers nothing in the way of a road map in making things 'things'
Marketing people will tell you the exact opposite.
At their very best they can imitate how other 'things' became 'things' and the geniuses in their field will modify trajectories in real time and space. The rest are just alchemists trying to squeeze gold from urine based on the color similarities.
All of them are blind.
Blind in their blindness.
Which is my new 'thing'
Have you had the chance to see/hear the trailer for the new Hobbit movie?
Well, there's a line in the trailer when Gandalf, for no real reason at all, says "We are blind in our blindness."
Which has got to be, by quite some margin, one of the dumbest things ever uttered by Ian Mckellen.
How could a line that stupid have made it through rewrites? Or not be pointed out as stupid on film day? Or not be edited out by the gal/guy who spends days upon days on every minute of film? And lastly, how exactly does that make it into the trailer?
Blind in our blindness.
It's now part of how Joann and I communicate to one another.
Calvin's jumpy in his jumpyness
The sky is clear in it's clearyness.
Instead of telling her she's pretty, she's hot in her hotness.
Instead of getting out of bed, I'm sleepy in my sleepiness.
Making dinner? Cooking in our cookingness.
What am I doing now? I'm writing in my writingness.
Could have been 'Blind to our blindess' or even esoteric enough to be 'blinded by our blindness', but 'blind in our blindness' is just pathetic, and it's pasted on the audio track for all to hear.
If you haven't heard it, you will.
And now, you will never unhear it.
You will be hearing it in your hearingness.
Annoyed in your annoyedness.
Hate me in your hatingmeness.
And how meta is this?
Now that I've made it a 'thing' in it's 'thingness'?
But there is a bit of shining hope for those of us, blind in our blindess, that work very hard to make things and hope to turn them into 'things' And it's not really anything different than what a marketing directer will charge you to listen to.
Here's how things become 'things'
First, they are discovered, then adopted, then shared, then repeat.
Whether it's a magnum opus, a dance craze, or a terrible line from a mediocre movie. Discovered, adopted, and shared.
That is how you become in your becomingness.
Terribly sorry for the lack of Friday Five.
No excuses, I just got super lazy. Seems to be a particularly seasonal pattern of mine. I notice readerships drops dramatically during the holidays and then I notice that the number and length of my posts are responsible and then I eat more pie.
Pumpkin pie is my favorite. It's a breakfast, lunch, and dinner dessert as far as I'm concerned, so I can totally understand why people want to put it on everything from lattes to candles.
But I also understand meth addiction and trickle down economics.
I did a Super Sunday Seven last year to make up for the super lazy Friday, but nothing, nothing, not even all the people I love and admire are going to come between me, trays upon trays of hot wings and twelve hours of football tomorrow.
What have I become?
A work in progress, I guess.
Leonardo Da Vinci carried the Mona Lisa with him for most of his whole life making minor adjustments throughout the decades. The most valuable object in the world and was completed not because of it's perfection, but because of the artist's death.
I can imagine Leo on a super lazy friday, standing in the hallway between his bedroom and studio, staring at the particular angle at which the sun is dancing upon her elusive smile and thinking "I'd love to get back to work, but the History Channel is having a 'Pawn Stars' marathon."
Did they have the History Channel during the renaissance?
I'm sure they did, but it was mostly rediscovered footage of the crusades.
Colorized for the first time.
Which might have taken longer to do had Leo dedicated more time to Mona.
But we all need distractions.
Here are six of my favorite:
Number one: Tea
Green, black, white, oolong, whatever. Tea is unlike coffee in that you can't set a timer for it and have it ready by the time you make your way from the bedroom floor to the kitchen sink. Tea requires deliberate manipulation. The right water, the right tea, the right pot. Temperature is a factor, steeping time is a factor. This ain't no set it and forget it, it is a full seven minutes of constant care, and producing it requires that you drop whatever it is you were previously doing, or previously thinking of doing. It'll never replace a cigarette, but you can do it indoors.
Number Two: Books I've already read.
Starting a new book is hard. There are too many characters to remember and modern authors are constantly trying to push the intellectual envelope, which I applaud, but secretly hate. I need you to trick me with eye candy and falling in love before I realize I've made a commitment. Rereading an old book is like having friends over for dinner. Good friends. The kind that bring cheap wine and already know what's in your medicine cabinet.
Number Three: Helping Calvin with video games.
I can't honestly say I'm much help anymore, but there was a land before time in which I had magical powers. Somewhere between the Sega Genesis and the Xbox 360 my skills have diminished and followed the elves to the gray havens. But I will stop in the middle of whatever I'm doing to at least have a look and in some cases be able to offer suggestions. I will get sucked in, and in doing so eventually have to create my own file, so I can play after he has gone to bed.
Number Four: Chores.
Sometimes, doing anything is better than doing something, and right now I'm sitting here wondering when the grass is going to need to be mowed next.
Number Five: Personal Hygiene.
It may sound gross, but I do my best work in the morning between my first and second cup of coffee. But sometimes it takes longer than that. Sometimes I'm looking up at the clock and thinking that I should probably put on pants because I have to start dinner soon. A hot shower between paragraphs makes a real difference.
Number Six: Social Media.
I have yet to find the balance between social media as a tool and social media as heroine. And I'm active on so many different platforms that by the time I've cycled through them all, it becomes almost necessary to start again from the beginning to see if any of my posts, likes, and comments have been reposted, liked, or commented upon. I'm not alone. There are ten bazillion of us, and more natural born surfers are being squeezed out every minute. I have a friend who has given up Facebook for the holidays and a niece who has deleted her account entirely. I envy them in the way I envy anyone who can drink a single glass of wine. Which is to be both admiring and find them ridiculous at the same time. Coupling social media and fantasy football and it is a miracle I've gotten any work done at all since September.
And as I close out this week's list, I hope you all have had a wonderful coma inducing holiday weekend, sorry you have to go back to work/school, Hunger Games:Catching Fire is well worth the price of admission and go Niners!