Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


When is it time to 'call it a day'?

Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 01:28 AM
mg 26 Jul 11 - 01:37 AM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 02:36 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Jul 11 - 03:08 AM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 03:15 AM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 03:19 AM
Will Fly 26 Jul 11 - 03:30 AM
Howard Jones 26 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM
Alan Day 26 Jul 11 - 04:09 AM
Banjiman 26 Jul 11 - 04:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Jul 11 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,livelylass 26 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM
Waddon Pete 26 Jul 11 - 05:25 AM
stallion 26 Jul 11 - 05:35 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Jul 11 - 05:55 AM
banjoman 26 Jul 11 - 06:15 AM
jacqui.c 26 Jul 11 - 08:31 AM
maeve 26 Jul 11 - 11:26 AM
Lonesome EJ 26 Jul 11 - 12:43 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 01:21 PM
VirginiaTam 26 Jul 11 - 01:42 PM
Amos 26 Jul 11 - 02:00 PM
stallion 26 Jul 11 - 02:02 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 02:14 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 02:16 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 02:32 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 02:46 PM
MikeL2 26 Jul 11 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,mg 26 Jul 11 - 03:09 PM
Waddon Pete 26 Jul 11 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,livelylass 26 Jul 11 - 03:22 PM
meself 26 Jul 11 - 03:30 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 04:04 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Frug 26 Jul 11 - 04:25 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 05:16 PM
jonm 26 Jul 11 - 05:31 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Jul 11 - 05:41 PM
JohnH 26 Jul 11 - 06:03 PM
Lox 26 Jul 11 - 06:17 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 06:25 PM
Genie 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
Genie 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
Genie 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
Mary Katherine 26 Jul 11 - 09:50 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 10:07 PM
Big Ballad Singer 26 Jul 11 - 10:51 PM
Crowhugger 26 Jul 11 - 11:43 PM
mg 27 Jul 11 - 12:22 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Jul 11 - 01:44 AM
KathyW 27 Jul 11 - 01:50 AM
Howard Jones 27 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM
Crowhugger 27 Jul 11 - 12:58 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 27 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM
Big Ballad Singer 27 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,livelylass 27 Jul 11 - 03:18 PM
GUEST 27 Jul 11 - 07:56 PM
KathyW 28 Jul 11 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 28 Jul 11 - 02:48 AM
Big Ballad Singer 28 Jul 11 - 10:50 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Jul 11 - 11:29 AM
olddude 28 Jul 11 - 11:49 AM
Big Ballad Singer 28 Jul 11 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,livelylass 28 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM
Crowhugger 28 Jul 11 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,mg 28 Jul 11 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,mg 28 Jul 11 - 07:32 PM
SharonA 31 Jul 11 - 12:57 AM
SharonA 31 Jul 11 - 10:01 AM
Stringsinger 31 Jul 11 - 11:17 AM
Art Thieme 31 Jul 11 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 03 Aug 11 - 03:25 AM
GUEST,livelylass 03 Aug 11 - 04:38 AM
GUEST,Desi C 03 Aug 11 - 08:27 AM
Andrez 10 Aug 11 - 07:34 AM
Big Ballad Singer 10 Aug 11 - 10:43 AM
fat B****rd 11 Aug 11 - 06:17 AM
Andrez 12 Aug 11 - 09:00 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 01:28 AM

I started playing guitar as a young teenager. I've been singing for over 30 years. I began singing in church choirs at age 7 and have performed solo or with groups for about 20 years now.

I used to gig with bands and as part of a duo. We worked, the duo especially, about 6 times a month or so. We also ran an open-mic that we were paid to host. The money wasn't great, but it was over 10 years ago and the economy and our particular region of the country were much better off back then.

It's not like I haven't gigged before; it's just that there's nowhere near me where I could even GET a paying gig. It's all top-40 rock bands and classic-rock-cover bands around me.

As I have mentioned in other threads, I have physical problems that make finding work very difficult. If Medicaid (US-govt-sponsored charity so-called 'health-care') doesn't approve surgery for my cataract, I will lose my driver's license the next time I have to renew.

I've been out of work for 19 months now. I left a good-paying job in a nice town to move back to my hometown area. I moved with the promise of a job waiting for me. That job fell through, and the repeated promises of that particular company that they would find me another position never came through, either. I eventually found work, but left due to the aforementioned physical problems and other issues at that job.

All this time, I've been trying and trying to find gigs. There are plenty of open-mic nights, and I am always well-received at those, but they are at venues that do not book 'folk'-type performers. That, of course, means that I am not getting offers for gigs no matter how well I go over in those rooms.

There are places in my state and in my region that DO feature my sort of music or 'style', if you will, but getting to them involves travel, which involves fuel costs, which involve money, which thing I do not have.

Now that financial pressures and the threat of losing utilities (again) are looming large, I have had to put the remainder of my music gear up for sale.

I'm taking this all to mean that this singing/playing/performing thing just isn't a viable option for me. I'm not sure whether that's true "for now", or more permanently.

Anyway, my question to you all is this: If you, or someone you know, came to a decision to stop performing, whether temporarily or more long-term, how and why did you make that choice? Were there definite 'signs', so to speak, that whatever you were doing just wasn't cutting it?

This might just be me feeling really sorry for myself because I am in a terrible bind in life right now.

The only performing option I have left that makes any logistical and/or financial sense right now is playing on the street for change or playing outside churches when Mass lets out.

At least if I'm playing something, it won't look or feel TOO much like begging.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: mg
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 01:37 AM

Is it an option to go back to the other town?

Could you get Social security disability?

Playing gigs or on the street sounds like a good way to supplement even a very modest income but it would be very hard to bring enough in for even the basics in some areas...are there part-time jobs in your areas that you could supplment with music? mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:36 AM

Only you can say if you're feeling sorry for yourself. Sometimes a situation calls for a big scrumptious wallow over what you've lost. Give yourself time to wrap your head & heart around all that's happened and is still happening.

Every supplier needs to be able to get their product to market, but as you say right now you can't. Sucks, no question. Yet being on forced hiatus doesn't mean you need to make a decision about forever. Music is in you to restore when you circumstances permit. You mentioned elsewhere that family is already financially helping you out, but would it be possible for someone to buy your last couple of instruments and store them for you to buy back when times permit? It wouldn't feel so final, especially if you're the sort who gets attached to certain instruments. Don't worry if they can't do that for you though. The reality is that are plenty of guitars & banjos in the world to be had when you can afford it.

Don'tcha hate when life throws those damn personal growth opportunites atcha? I know I do!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:08 AM

My greatest sympathy. I'm sorry you can't bank that. Did you leave your former employers on good terms and might they be susceptible to an approach with a view to moving back there?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:15 AM

mg:

1) no, it's not.

2) tried, and was denied, despite having several verifiable and obvious issues. I was told to "go get" a job from a made-up list of non-existent positions in fields I have no experience in.

3) Even part-time work is very hard to come by for anyone, let alone someone with the issues I have.

Crowhugger:

I understand your points, but the idea of family members supporting us is actually a nice way of saying that there are grandkids involved, and if it weren't for the grandkids, we wouldn't be getting the help we do get. None of my family members are musical; the instruments would mean nothing to them in terms of value and these are not the kinds of people that make loans like you suggest.

I'd call this a "personal growth opportunity", but I have no time to concern myself with ME or what I might learn or whatever through this situation. I am only concerned with making sure our utilities don't get turned off and that we have money to keep the car going so I can keep looking for work.

To amend what I said in my OP, I'm actually NOT feeling sorry for myself. I know that I am working like a slave over this PC to search job listings, Craigslist, whatever, just to find something to help make ends meet. I know that I am doing all I can, so it really doesn't matter if anyone else notices my efforts.

I've just reached the point where NOTHING, including instruments that have meant a lot to me, is off the table when it comes to making money to take care of my wife and kids.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:19 AM

Hi Richard,

I left the job in the other state on good terms; in fact, it annoyed the boss that I had to leave, since I never missed a day and did my job (shuttle bus driver for a county transportation system) even in the worst winter weather, when other drivers parked and didn't run.

No, sadly, I can't go back there, as we moved to our current town because we felt it right to be nearer our family; they wanted their grandkids closer to home. They've also now paid 18 months' worth of our mortgage and car insurance, so we couldn't possibly entertain the idea of going elsewhere.

Thank you for your kind words. They are bankable in at least an emotional way, and for that I am grateful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:30 AM

My only comment - from a perspective which is probably quite different from yours - is that, no matter what the circumstances, I would never, ever sell instruments which could help to bring in money and soothe my weary soul.

What happens when the few bucks you'll get by selling your gear have gone? Even one electro/acoustic guitar can earn you money.

But - as far as earning money from music is concerned, you have to ask yourself "How good am I?"; you have to consider whether you can change your style to accommodate music work which does pay. If it's "all top-40 rock bands and classic-rock-cover bands" around you, then if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Particularly if it brings in some folding money.

I've known many ex-musicians who, through family pressure or other cirumstances, have sold their instruments and stopped playing. With few exceptions, they've all regretted it. I meet them at band gigs - they come up and talk wistfully about when they used to play and what gear they head, etc. Don't be one of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM

I would agree with Will - your instruments will only pay the bills for a short time. Once they are gone, what are you left with? Your instruments will give you solace when things are tough, and at least the potential to earn some extra income.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Alan Day
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:09 AM

I agree with Will, there are many times that one gets depressed about a performance, or lack of bookings, but never sell instruments.When I get fed up with my lot I move on to other pastures, other challenges, other tunes, write my own tunes and songs for myself and others to enjoy.Join other bands, change musical direction. Most times a new and challenging tune sorts me out.Will and I get very few bookings, but we go out and do our own thing,as long as we enjoy enjoy ourselves and make people happy, that is the main criteria.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Banjiman
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:20 AM

Any chance you could do a bit of music or singing teaching? It's what a lot of folkies on this side of the pond do to supplement their gigging income. Must be worth a thought.

Why not busk? It is not begging......it's a noble profession!

Good luck anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:59 AM

I agree with Banjiman on this one. Of course its easier for us in England - after World War 2 - every shade of government agreed there would be a national health service. We pay huge taxes - one American assured me there would be armed insurrection if Americans had to pay what we did for a litre of petrol. But you would be on a list and waiting for your cataract operation - no quibble, over here.

All that said - in England. You can usually earn a living as a musician and or/performer - but you have to be VERY flexible. My own career has encompassed teaching guitar, having a hit record, playing miners welfare clubs (then Thatcher closed all the mines and with them the clubs!), Irish theme bars (then the fashion for them went cold), old people's homes (firstly working to a script with backing tracks) , an instore Father Christmas, being a film extra, running a recording studio, thousands of iffy pub gigs - all stuff that makes use of your nerve , skill and sinew as a performer/musician. I tried busking, but I was rubbish at it. Talk to other buskers - there are hints tips and wrinkles to every profession.

Try to think divergently, and don't say - oh i don't do THAT! Some of my best years as a musician came doing stuff that i had previously despised and discounted through my ignorance and predjudice. Your poverty can force you learn more about the nature of real folk music.

The saddest cases on Mudcat are those imprisoned by the narrowness of their vision and the unshakeable belief in their correctness.

Above all - don't sell your instruments until you have a clear idea of what path you're going to have a shot at making you career take. You will need to finance the next chapter somehow. In future years and in times as yet undreamed of, you will regret selling your beautiful instruments ( almost always at a fraction of what they're worth)to make the next step forward. Still - they're not museum pieces - they are the assets of your working business. use them wisely!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM

BBS in another thread you said that you are unable to claim state financial assistance because in order to do so you would have to attend state organised work training days or some such, you said that because your children are home schooled, you and your spouse were unable to attend the required days. Obviously I don't know why you prefer to home school, but is it worth considering sending your kids to school in order to free up your days so that you can get some kind of cash in? Until such time as you are in a better financial position at least. Your kids might even enjoy the change.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:25 AM

Hello BBS,

Lots of interesting thoughts for you already.

My thought would be this. You clearly enjoy your music and you obviously transmit this to others as you say you go down well in open-mikes.   To sell your instruments and give that up would not be right for you. You say they don't book your kind of act, but people listen and are appreciative. I'm sure you talk to your audience. Ask them if they would like a house concert? Do they know anyone who would like to learn to play? Have they a church fund raiser coming up? Etc. Etc.

Being out of work is more than hard, but it does give you focus. Is there any mileage in being self-employed doing something useful around the neighbourhood and using your skills?

But above all....don't give up on your music. It is your relaxation and your solace. Your self expression and your creativity.

Best wishes,

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: stallion
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:35 AM

selling instruments is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, even if it is one instrument you keep. Time to give up is when you turn up for a gig not wishing to be there and being relieved when it's over. If you still get a kick out of "job well done" then of course you must go on. The kids schooling at home thing is a bit self indulgent, don't know the full circumstances of the why's and wherefores but I know my kids have to send their kids to school because they can't afford the luxury or sacrifice that home teaching requires. And, i am in the UK , that makes a huge difference because our cultures are different it is difficult for uk residents to get their heads around what is going on. I also notice that the vast majority of the posts are from UK residents, is that because locally there is a lack of empathy with your situation? Is it because uk residents have a different mindset? Take care and I hope you find a solution to your problems


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:55 AM

If you are "home schooling" your grandchildren (I assume it's "grandchildren" since the children have paid some of your mortgage and car insurance) you are doing a job for your children and they should be paying you for it the more so since it may be stopping you getting a different job.   I know some schools in the USA are dreadful but I get very worried about the narrowing effect of home schooling and the potential reasons for doing it.

Can you get a different angle on your cataract operation? I know in India charities knock them out in tents in about 10 minutes each.   Is there any angle on medical charities in the USA, or some medical benefits? With grandchildren how far are you away from a federal age program of some sort (well, as long as the USA still has a federal government).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: banjoman
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:15 AM

My wife & I have been playing Church music and gigging as a duo and with a band for almost 40 years. There are times when we feel like giving up but always end up going on as we would miss it all. The only problem now is one of mobility and problems of age (Arthritis etc.) Never give up as you will always find some solace or peace in your music. Hopefully your situation is only temporary and better times are just around the corner. Best of luck and keep playing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 08:31 AM

I also notice that the vast majority of the posts are from UK residents

Peter - that's because we've only just woken up on the East Coast. The USA has mostly been snoring its head off since this thread was started!

BBS - don't know what part of the States you are in and I don't know enough about the way Medicaid and unemployment work over here to really comment, but I would agree that it might be an idea to put your kids in school, maybe just for a year or two, if that might help improve your overall situation. You can always give them extra tuition at home, in the evenings, if you don't feel that they are getting all you desire from school.

I agree that selling your instruments would be a bad move.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: maeve
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:26 AM

Sometimes when in a precarious, vulnerable position we think we have to sell ourselves short- dreams, goals, passions. As someone who has been in such a position more than once, I'll encourage you to:

1. Be practical (public school for a year or two might fit here; selling all instruments might not. Finding other homeschool/public school families who are willing to work together for mustual support might be; insisting on earlier choices might not.)

2. Be flexible (talk with many different people regarding many different approaches to employment, a different look at what makes sense regarding the children's needs verses the family desire for home education, finding someone who can provide free or bartered counseling for getting state and local short-term aid, employment counseling for you and your wife, educational counseling to offer fresh employment options...)

3. Be a survivor rather than a victim (it's easy to feel powerless after having tried many things to survive. Time for a different approach, a different direction, a change of perspective...)

4. Define and believe in what is most important to family members and the family itself. What are your goals? What can be worked for now? What is a goal for your future? Write 'em down, post them on the 'fridge, make family and individual books. (The children can be part of the solution in age-appropriate ways. Even young children can take part in a family meeting, brainstorm ways to save or earn money, helping out at home, being brave and positive, talking about feelings, being kind...)

5. Seek and be thankful for the moments of delight, the songs sung together, the adventurous soul, the time spent with your spouse, shared burdens, successful strategies. (It's what makes life worth the effort!)

6. Consider the living lesson you and your wife are to your children. What do you want them to learn from your approaches to hard times? What are they learning now?

Keep us aware of your struggles and progress as you need to; don't spend too much energy seeking our virtual support and long distance advice. There are people very near you who can pitch in with solid help and community support, perhaps becoming part of your circle of friends sooner than you might think.

I hope for you to find the strength and endurance and joy we have found.

Maeve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 12:43 PM

Where do you live now? Maybe some one knows a company that can use your expertise?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 01:21 PM

I live in New Jersey, USA.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 01:42 PM

Mission Cataract USA offers free cataract surgery for of all ages who cannot get the surgery under Medicare or Medicaid.

http://www.missioncataractusa.org/index.php?n=1&id=1

I also would not advise selling instruments. I sold my guitar when I was 18 due to family financial pressures and regretted it until I finally bought another in my 40s.

What about putting together a number of short sets to perform in nursing homes, schools, hospital wards, etc.? Make certain your sets are relevant to the audience musically and in your banter. An hour long concert once a week per venue for a fee they can't turn down.

Start by offering free 10 minute shots. Get your kids to make up some business cards, leaflets, posters to leave at churches, schools, nursing homes, shops, etc.

I do hope things work out for you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:00 PM

There may be a lot of retirement homes, orphanages, and other institutions in range where what you do would be valued. Old people love acoustic music more than younger people in general. Children are inspired by it. Museums, summer camps, grade school classes might really enjoy a progra, of historical songs.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: stallion
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:02 PM

oops yup jaq, i quite forgot the time difference. My dad once sold my instruments, drum kit and 12 string guitar and my car to pay the repair bill for the car. the items were sold at way below their market value to get the money back, my dad wasn't short of a bob or two I was being punished for going on holiday instead of paying him back. I never really got back from that, by the time I was in a position to buy replacements I had a family and no time to indulge myself


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:14 PM

I too like to imagine I would never sell my instruments. But if a guitar, viewed by welfare agency as an asset, prevented me receiving assistance that would fill my kids' hungry stomachs three times every day, said guitar simply would have to go. How can one keep or prepare even food bank groceries without electricity? Or run a fan when it's 100 degrees out? The only way it would be feasible to keep the instruments is if one could earn at least as much with music as the welfare I'd lose by keeping it.

On which topic Will Fly makes a darn good point about adapting to the local market.

BBS, it sounds like you've ruled out moving back to the paying job, so that suggests you are okay with the price everyone in the family is paying to give grandkids and grandparents access to each other. Sadly I have to say that wouldn't be the case with my in-laws. But that's another thread for another day...

Are you able to do the old job with your present health issues?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:16 PM

So many of these ideas are wonderful, but I am so behind the "8 ball" right now that I can't even get to these places. I've got to come up with $300 by Saturday (our utilities are on a computer-managed system, so if our account is not current as of Saturday, the computer at the central offices simply sends a notice to the line workers, in the case of the power utils, and sends a signal to our line, in the case of the phone and PC. Either way, by noon on Saturday, we're either caught up or things start getting shut off.

I can't ask the family members who are helping us already for another red cent, as the utilities and gas for the car are OUR responsibility. If those bills were also being paid by others, we would lose all our county assistance (food stamps) support.

I understand what everyone is saying about not selling instruments, but I have no choice when there are no jobs to be had and I have no other avenues through which to get any funds together.

There are people here on the Mudcat who have helped in the past, even the more recent past, but all that help has just gone from their hand to the bills. I've never been in a worse position before in my life.

If it weren't for my wife and kids, I could go on the bum and make my way elsewhere in the country and try to busk or whatever, but I have them to take care of and so I have to hustle every day like this.

It sure sucks, but it's going to be better than losing our services.

I can't even imagine what looking for work would entail without the internet. Our local papers don't even have very large classified sections anymore, and even those ads all tell people to apply at so-and-so-.com and all that.

I can't be sentimental or dream too big right now, folks. I have to do what I have to do, barring a miracle of some sort.

Again, all my thanks, all the same. You are a wonderful, colorful and interesting bunch, to be sure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:32 PM

Crowhugger, it's ONLY because of the grandkids that we even have what we have. My parents wouldn't take me in on my own right now for all the tea in China. My mother-in-law would refuse even faster.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a substantial and growing cataract in one eye. I also have an irregular heartbeat that I was born with. Every couple of years, when I have had to go have physical exams, the ol' ticker has freaked the doctors out. I always have to reassure them that I was born with it, I have never had any issues, and it is just what it is. They, however, always go about putting provisos on my commercial driving record letting everyone know about said heart condition.

I passed my last vision exam by the skin of my teeth. I am certain that I will not pass my next one, because my vision has markedly deteriorated since the last exam. I will then not only lose my commercial driver's license, I will also lose my standard driving privilege.

So, long story short, I wouldn't really be able to go back to the old line of work if I wanted to.

My other major experience is in security work, as a night watchman, etc. My abdominal hernias, heart issue and vision issue make those jobs untenable as well. I used to be able to lift up to 50 lbs (you are required to be able to lift in case of emergency situations), and you have to be able to stand for long periods of time. My hernias in my abdomen (the by-product of emergency appendix surgery years ago) put a lot of strain on my back because my posture is poor. I have to stand and walk out-of-whack to avoid putting any unnecessary strain on my abs.

The US Social Security Administration, however, has informed me that even though I cannot do the work I formerly did, I should just "go get" (their words) some non-existent jobs, like "sitting-down security guard" (their job title) or some such. Never mind that even a "sitting-down" guard, if they existed, would still have to stand, walk, run and lift in crisis situations. I'd also still have to be able to SEE clearly and be able to move and bend with ease, things I cannot do. All that aside, the SSA has decided that because they can IMAGINE what I COULD do, if it existed, then I must not be disabled, because they can think of jobs I'd be able to do. I should just "go get" THOSE jobs instead.

See what I am facing? I am damned if I do and if I don't. When I try to get jobs, my physical issues limit my marketability and my potential to the client. When I try to claim disability, I am told to go look for work that doesn't exist. The one thing I could do, make music or teach guitar or harmonica, requires gas to travel and instruments to play. Those instruments are "assets of value" and as such must either be sold or levied against the assistance we receive. If we did not receive the assistance via food stamps, we would have hundreds of dollars a month in food bills that we simply cannot afford by any stretch.

If I sell the gear locally, to the one store that buys used gear, I will get nowhere near what the gear is worth nor anywhere near the amount of money I need to offset the latest financial crisis deadline.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Another approach
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:46 PM

Would this work:

    Wanted: Someone to technically own BBS' last 3 instruments...

    Qualifications:
    (1) The successful candidate can get the money to BBS in
    time to pay BBS' utilities by close of business Friday (or
    whatever the deadline is to prevent cut-off Saturday)
    (2) The successful candidate has no room for these
    instruments "yet" and so cannot permit them to be shipped until
    some date TBA in the future, and is able to provide a notarized
    letter to this effect.
    (3) The successful candidate is totally flexible about when
    s/he'll sell them back to BBS.

Or would this just piss off the social service people? In theory they shouldn't care as long as you don't own the asset. The question is, have they the right to decide what instruments you can borrow and for how long, or would you lose the house while appealing their decision? No point winning the war while living under the stars with no food or stove.

Well anyway it was a rather pleasant idea.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: MikeL2
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:58 PM

hi BBS

As some have said above living in the UK is different in some ways which helps in situations like the tragic one that you find yourself in.

For instance i too have cataracts, in both eyes but at the moment I can drive and my doctor has fixed up for me to go and have a consultation with a specialist to get them fixed. This is on the National Heath and will cost me nothing.


However I do agree with Will. Over the years I have played anything and everything, anywhere and everywhere in order to perform my music. Almost all of the time I really enjoyed and and it kept the bank manager happy.

Several years ago I developed throat cancer and was forced to give up performing. ( I am a singer/guitarist).

I found it terribly frustrating not to be able to do the thing that I loved most of all. However I chose not to sell my instruments and equipment. I saw that this was a positive way to give my some help in beating the dreaded big C.

I was lucky as I did not have your financial situation but at that time money was not important - it was my health that mattered.

I was lucky my throat responded to the harsh treatment and gradually, ever so gradually I got myself back to thinking positively.

I decided that performing in public was not for me any more. But I picked up my guitar and started to play for myself. At first singing was out but again gradually my throat improved. It is not anything like it was but now I play and sing to the family and I enjoy that.

I also teach a group of interest young students who can't afford tp pay for professional lessons. I don't get paid, the pleasure for me is pay enough.

I wish you well in your endeavors and wish that I could hep in some way.

Cheers

Mikel2


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:09 PM

Is your wife able to work? Is she working?

Are either of you veterans? Probably not or you could have tied into their health system.

If you did not have the health problems, I would move back to the better state if I had a job lined up. Can you contact former employer and say I can no longer drive but do you need a scheduler or something????

You could, again without health problems, do what others have done before and leave family in one area and work in another..horrib le option but could be short-term.

How many kids and how many bedrooms? Could you rent out a room?

If your wife is not working, I suggest she focus her energies on looking for work. Men, even in the best of health, get very demoralized..it seems worse than some women..and often women find the job first that will tide them over. Home school could be done by you or you could analyze that situation and send the kids to school, for free lunch if nothing else. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:17 PM

Crowhugger, that is one excellent idea!

Now needs someone in the area to step up to the plate!

Best wishes,

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:22 PM

"I passed my last vision exam by the skin of my teeth. I am certain that I will not pass my next one, because my vision has markedly deteriorated since the last exam. I will then not only lose my commercial driver's license, I will also lose my standard driving privilege.
So, long story short, I wouldn't really be able to go back to the old line of work if I wanted to."

Did you see this? If not you probably aught to look up the link VirginiaTam supplied:

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 01:42 PM

Mission Cataract USA offers free cataract surgery for of all ages who cannot get the surgery under Medicare or Medicaid.

http://www.missioncataractusa.org/index.php?n=1&id=1


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: meself
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:30 PM

Am I the one confused, or is there some confusion in this thread? I got the impression from BBS's posts that his own children are the 'grandchildren' in question, and that he moved to be closer to the grandparents of his children. The rest of the world seems to think that it is BBS who is the grandparent, and is interpreting his experience on that basis .... BBS, can you clarify (or not, as you feel)?

You seem to feel that busking is little more than glorified begging - if you go at it with that assumption, you're going to find it a depressing experience. If, on the other hand, you can convince yourself that it is a valid way to earn a bit of money, then you may find it worthwhile.

If you have been doing home-schooling with your kids, you may want to consider offering tutoring services for other kids/parents. Slap an ad up on Kijiji and see what happens.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:04 PM

MY parents are the grandparents. I'm WAY too young to be a grandpa yet! :)

No, I don't think busking is glorified begging... in fact, I got lots of notoriety back years ago by being a rather popular busker. I was just having a little pity-party just then. There was, however, no cake, and fat people never stay at parties with no cake, so I split from the pity party a while ago.

There have been a FLOOD of responses, both in threads and in PMs; please don't be offended if I don't reply in either way just yet. I have a LOT of reading to do!

Thanks, all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:15 PM

How nice to have the "problem" of too many people caring!

LL, that link from VTam is brilliant...gosh, wouldn't that be the cat's pyjamas?!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 04:25 PM

BBS
You probably need a longer term solution however in the short term why not try "passing the jug" at open mike nights?? Also if you do originals a simple home made sampler CD sold at open mikes and whilst out busking might bring a few dollars and would put you out there! Could you give music lessons? On a more long term basis....retraining for something? but sorting the cataracts if it could be done is clearly a priority.

Good Luck

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:16 PM

Frug... innnnteresting. Very, very interesting.

Thanks!

Oh, believe me, once I get some of these issues sorted out, there'll be some changes made, as the old son goes!

You people make me smile. Really, ya do.

To All Of You - Jimmie Rodgers said it best...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: jonm
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:31 PM

From experience, if you absolutely have to sell something musical, sell amplification, mikes and "gear" - these are easier to replace when times get better without such a sense of loss (most of this sort of gear is mass-produced and doesn't mature with age) and also easier to borrow if, for example, you do some playing for a church group and then ask to borrow the amplification for a non-church gig.

If you have time on your hands, busking always helps. It reconnects you with why you play, what you play and the effect you have on the one man and his dog who actually stop and listen. Additional income is incidental but welcome.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 05:41 PM

PM me with your contact info and I will see if anyone in my industry is hiring there


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: JohnH
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:03 PM

Answer to Q. When you are dead!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Lox
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:17 PM

Well I say NEVER give up.

One way or anotherm choose the road that allows you to be yourself in all your radiant spectrum of colours and characteristics.

You owe it to yourself and those who love you.

Its natural to feel sorry for yourself, but only so long as it takes for you to listen to your soul and take stock of what it needs.

Then you have to look around and find that stuff.

Good Luck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: If there's a guitar available to borrow...
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:25 PM

BBS, if there's a guitar you can borrow, it won't hurt to let everyone you meet know that you do special occasions like baptisms, anniversaries, family barbecues, engagement parties, business luncheons, Rotary or Lions club dinners. Give them a choice of professional performance, campfire style sing-along, or background music (hey a gig is a gig at this point).

My a cappella quartet finds itself well received at retirement residences where we do performances with a sing-along segment. Even some government-run places (read: near-zero entertainment budget) are willing to scrape together our full fee from other budget lines because the residents love us.

My point of course is not mainly to share my pride in this (although it's nice to do that) but to bring your attention to this pleasant non-bar gig market: We've been tld by RR staff that there are a lot of bad karaoke singers passing themselves off as entertainment for these retirement homes, so (if you can borrow a guitar) why not try what we did: Make a 1-minute demo mp3 (we used 5 to 10 second excerpts from several well-known songs, cross-faded, put our best ones last, recorded just on handheld mp3 voice recorder). We send this out with our inquiry e-mails; you of course will limit your enquiries to locations you CAN afford to drive to. If they know up front that you sound better than what theyve had before, they'll book you in a second. At least they do here in the Toronto area, knock on wood it continues.

We just started giving out business cards (large print for RRs) during our meet & greet time with the audience after our performances. We tell them we love to do both family and business occasions; so far one booking from such chat but it's a start at diversifying. Rather than pay for cards you might prefer to use 1/3 or 1/4 of letter page as a mini-flyer, so you can produce as few or many as you need only as you need them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Genie
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Genie
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Genie
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 09:50 PM

Keep your best-loved guitar. Use it to TEACH. Teach beginners their first chords, teach kids, teach whoever. Put a 3x5 card up at the nearest market, church bulletin board, wherever. Get hold of the music dept. or music teacher at your local middle school and high school. "Half hour private guitar lessons, any level, $25. Call xxx-xxxx." You can do it at home, and it keeps you doing music, which you clearly love, even though not on the level you are capable of. In two hours a day you can make $200, if you can work your way up to four students a day. Best of luck, don't give up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:07 PM

MK, and everyone: BBS cannot keep the guitar unless it will earn him at least as much as he'll lose in social assistance: The State views it as an asset that must be liquidated and spent before the State will offer to kick in anything. BBS says there aren't enough gigs within affordable driving distance, and he should know. I would suggest that a new teacher in a depressed economy will need time he doesn't have to build up a clientele. Not that he couldn't choose to start down that path, if only the State would provide him with food stamps + utility payments AND let him keep his guitar. But it's against their rules. It's a nasty, nasty rock vs hard place he's between.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 10:51 PM

Crowhugger, that's a very succinct and accurate summation of my situation.

See, the problem here is that there's almost always a highly disproportionate value placed on ANYTHING that might suggest to the Social Services Board that their assistance is not really necessary in a supplicant's case.

They'd rather tell me that my $125 guitar is an impediment to their helping me, because, after all, if I can afford a guitar that cost $125, then I must not need that extra $125 a month in food stamps. Their policies allow them to assume that whatever assets we have must have been bought new, or that we must have some other channel through which we are able to get such nice things. They inform us that if we have any resources for these "luxuries", then we must not need their assistance.

I'm working on figuring out how to maximize exposure for my guitar and harmonica teaching, and I am going to hit some familiar street-corners to do some busking soon, when the weather cooperates.

Thanks, all, again, for the encouragement and advice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:43 PM

BBS, do you happen to know if the State social assistance office would insist someone sell their gently used leather couch in favour of a cloth one? It would be interesting to know where they draw the line. Such a thing in comparable condition would net far more money than your guitar. But if a leather couch doesn't have to be traded in on something cheaper, I'd start to suspect the State of systematic or bureaucratic discrimination on the basis of your profession. Would a mechanic have to sell their tools if there wasn't an immediate job opening in that capacity? The State's behaviour really has the odor of bureaucrats run amok, HOWever, arguing with those who have dug in their heels--especially when they hold the purse strings--is a losing proposition, innit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: mg
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 12:22 AM

One of the best places for employment, although poorly paid employment, is in elder care of some sort. Going from house to house checking on them..being male is apparently a problem even with older males..most people it seems prefer women..but there are undoubtedly some who need checking and not heavy lifting..it sounds like you have experience from your driving position, and also checking on their security at home ..you have the security experience. Also, you could sing them an occasional song. Catholic Charities often hires people. Except some discrimination as a male unfortunatley. Perhaps you and your wife, if she does not ahve a job already, could tag-team. And with a better financial base, you could still give lessons and get the occasional gig, specializing perhaps like Genie does in nursing homes.

If ss or whatever does not know about a guitar, I would give it to a friend for now and get it back later.

I also would question the homeschooling too. For one thing, it would get you and your wife out of the house and available to go to interviews, training classes, etc..and it would get the kids away from an environment that is highly anxious, worried..family stuff from inlaws..it would give them a few hours a day in an atmosphere with hopefully some sports, and counseling if they need it (and the school still has counselors)..some social support, perhaps a school nurse (if they still have nurses), and of course the free lunch. That is one less meal to cook or prepare. Is it philosophy, religion, or what that makes you stick to homeschooling? Don't have to answer of course ..could be safety of children in chaotic schools..but most children do OK in public schools, and soemtimes it is the healthier option. Like someone said, you can supplement whatever education they get there. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:44 AM

Move to Oregan.

They have a program

It is much better than going it alone.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Tu plonges dans la pensée de la nuit.
Tu dois réveiller mon coeur. Jusqu'à la fin de la lumière. ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: KathyW
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:50 AM

Were I you, I'd try to make the argument that your $125 guitar falls under the category of "personal effects" that you are allowed to keep along with things like household goods, clothing, the family auto, etc. (This, Crowhugger, is why people are not asked to sell their leather couches.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM

I posted this answer on a different thread, but here it is again:

if you can demonstrate that you've gigged in the past, then can you argue that your instruments are "tools of your trade"? It seems a nonsense for them to make you sell an asset, the proceeds from which will be spent and gone in days, when you could use it to earn at least some income. Would they expect an electrician or plumber to sell their tools?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 12:58 PM

KathyW I was whinging a bit there.

Howard your point is very well taken. The cruel fact remains that when one is living that close to the ground, pushing a point bureaucrats who believe they are correct can be a risky course of action even if one's premise is unassailably right. Unfortunately, winning an appeal in 6 months' time won't pay the utility bill this week.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM

Wishing you the best BBS! During the potato famine starving Irishmen were forced to eat seed potatoes needed for the following years planting. In the short term it staved of starvation but greatly complicated the problem for the following year. That would seem to me akin to selling tools that you need to rise above your adversity. If you can spare some instruments, so be it, but keep what you really need! Public school for the children seems to be a reasonable option. In most advanced countries medical care is considered a right of citizenship. I know that Obama tried to make improvements in the USA but his vision was shot down by big corporations bleeding big bucks from health care. Will any of the limited improvements that he made help your situation?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 01:56 PM

Believe me, people; I have tried to reason with the desk-jockeys at Social Services, and all they care about is following the letter of their policies. The office I have to deal with routinely has people working the phones and the desks who speak poor English (I don't mean bilingual immigrants who are hired to be able to help the Hispanic applicants, I mean idiots who speak gutter English that should well know better). Everything on their documents and on their PC-based forms that they fill in is "fill in the blank, tab to the next" kind of baby-steps stuff. These dopes wouldn't know how to generate a report or type an officially-worded document if their lives depended on it.

So, no, appealing to their common sense doesn't work, and by the time I do go through the hassle of appealing to higher authorities, Crowhugger is right... six months or better from now, I'd be stuck all the same.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 03:18 PM

"all they care about is following the letter of their policies."

Thing is those 'desk jockies' (I've known a few myself) are only paid to help you fill out the necessary forms correctly so they can process your application for assistance as efficiently and as quickly as possible. They are not usually in a position to make decisions or judgement calls on individual cases. Those judgement calls on individual cases are far more involved, which is the very reason appeals can take far longer to process. But despite the seeming hassle, appeals are still very much worth pursuing. Don't abandon any appeal that might deliver you some cash, even six months down the line. Even if short term issues are pressing, the long term ones also need to be addressed. Meanwhile, as said, I've actually known a few people who got work at their local DSS office doing that very same desk jocky job of processing new claimants. Have you ever asked your local office about vacancies there? It might be worth your while. In the UK at least the DSS is a very equal opportunities employer which will not be prejudiced against a job applicant because of disabilities or present unemployment status. Plus as you say, so long as you can tick boxes and stay polite when people on the other side of the desk are getting pissed off with you, you don't really need any prior expertise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 11 - 07:56 PM

It is the nicest time of year
To bring out the camping gear
The woods are good and plenty
With lots good and splentiful

Give it all to Jesus the gardener down the street
Within six months (before the winter snows) there will be bounty to reap.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: KathyW
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 01:13 AM

It looks like you've decided to sell your instruments. I'm not sure what program you are trying to obtain aid under, but it sounds to me like the people you are dealing with are wrong. Have you asked to see a copy of the policy that requires you to sell your guitar? At the risk of arguably going a bit off topic, let me be specific about what I meant in my earlier post.

Title 10, Chapter 90 of the New Jersey Administrative Code, governing the "Work First" program provides, at Subchapter 3, "Eligibility-- income, resources, benefits" under § 10:90-3.20, "Exempt resources" as follows:

(a) Exempt resources are not subject to any requirement for liquidation and are not considered in determining WFNJ eligibility or in determining the cash assistance benefit. In addition to the exempt income set forth at N.J.A.C. 10:90-3.19, the following resources shall be exempt for each assistance unit:
. . .
6. Personal property, such as, but not limited to, house furnishings and clothing which are used regularly or likely to be used;
    i. Furnishings and clothing in storage may be deemed to be exempt in the presence of a reasonable plan for their use;
    ii. Personal effects if regularly used or of small intrinsic value;
. . .
7. Livestock, machinery, tools, equipment, and stock-in-trade which serve to produce some net income in cash or in kind or serve as an incentive for self-help; livestock or property owned or used by a child in connection with a group or school activity (such as 4-H); and farm and garden products raised by the eligible assistance unit for its own use;

I don't know anything about public aid and I'm not a New Jersey lawyer, but if I were in your situation, I would have pointed to that regulation and claimed the guitar to be exempt both under § 10:90-3.20(a)6.ii., as a regularly used personal effect and under § 10:90-3.20(a)7. as a tool which could produce some income.

I suggest getting a copy of the regulations that affect the program that you are applying for and study them carefully. You owe it to yourself and your family to know the rules so you cam use them to your advantage. This website may help:
http://www.michie.com/newjersey/lpext.dll/uanjadmin/1/4f9b7?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm&2.0#JD_analysis21995


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 02:48 AM

These days, even homeless people are using the local library's computers for job searches, blogging, networking, etc. And I'd agree with a couple of comments above in regards to the guitar. Either use the regulations to show that it is your money-earning tool, or sell/give it to a friend who will then loan it back to you indefinitely. Send the kids to public school, freeing your wife up to work a day job. If you have to, leave your family temporarily to go wherever you can get work. It's for a good cause, and many have had to do it over the years. Get the cataract surgery. Author Richard Bach wrote a book called "Illusions." Lot's of good stuff in there. One quotation comes to mind in particular right now..."Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours." Keep plugging, pal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 10:50 AM

KathyW, I've been over the statues you referenced, but what people need to understand is that it's very hard for me to get gigs right now - there just aren't many places in my area booking folk/ballad type music, and, even if there were, I'd have no real way to get to those places to audition. Then there's the idea that just because I could get to a place once doesn't mean that next week or next month I'd be able to - no job means no money means no gas.

As I've mentioned before, the open mic nights around me are all at places that routinely book cover bands, usually either top-40 or "classic rock" outfits.

For me to justify getting out to the places (all an hour from home or more) that would potentially book me, there would have to be some better-than-average chance that I could get work there. Otherwise, right now at least, I'd be spending gas money that I don't really have just to go out and play three tunes and listen to some others. That constitutes a luxury.

BigDaddy, the guitar has been "leased"; that's as much as I'm going to say about it.

Send the kids to public school - not with a gun to my head.

My wife has brought in money from childcare from time to time, and will likely one day be able to do so again.

Please bear in mind that I am not arguing "for my limitations"; I am a person who has braved these odds for years and have always been mule-stubborn when it comes to doing things the way I see them done right. The fact is, however, that difficulties with time and age (I'm not old, but nowhere near as young as I used to be) and health and the economy are realities and daily "ingredients" of my day, if you will, not excuses or even obstacles. I don't see the lane-markings on the highway as obstacles, I just see them as things I sometimes have to follow, avoid, or be controlled by. In this period of my life, the issues I am facing are just some heavy traffic on a road I know well. It leads where I want it to; I am just trying to navigate a very congested stretch right now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 11:29 AM

Did you show the pen-pushers the statute, and did you follow up on the free eye surgery?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: olddude
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 11:49 AM

Please don't do that, your instruments are like your arms or legs. If it were not for my guitar I could not get through all the crap that has hit my family this year .. I play to get my mind off of things.

I have been told by my biggest client that they are going with an overseas company for new development and support. So I am screwed. I just will figure out what is next for me and hustle the best I can.

There are lots of things we can do. We are upright still to some extent .. just need to sit , think and redo ..

Please do not do that, I know things are hard for you ... It will workout but you need to clear the mind and think. It is hard to do believe me I know

God Bless


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 12:03 PM

Richard, suffice it to say that if anyone officially inquires, there's "nothing to see here; move along". Like when the magician does his thing... it's GONE! Or, is it...?

Yes, not only following up on the free-surgery option, but also going to a family friend who is an eye surgeon to determine what needs to be done and when. I was not eligible to see him on my state insurance until just recently; he doesn't accept Medicaid for surgery, because his EXAM practice is his own, but the surgical practice is with others and they do not allow Medicaid patients. He's a good Christian who opened his own examination/eyeglass practice in a poor neighborhood so people on Medicaid could have a REALLY excellent eye professional to go to.

olddude, God bless you as well. Trust me when I tell you that there are friends who are making all of this easier to deal with and are taking the finality out of it, if you catch my drift.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM

"if anyone officially inquires, there's "nothing to see here; move along"."

If appealing anything, you need to go via a formal paper route, don't just drop in and get narky at the desk jockey. Front of house staff can't just make up stuff as they like, and if they are doing so, then you should seek redress. Apply in letter, for the formal paperwork with which to make an appeal. Return said appeals paperwork with clear details of why you are appealing and why there decision against you is wrong. A signed note supporting your claim from an advocate - some kind of official person would be good, if you are a Christian go to the vicar maybe - but there are also usually charitable advocate bodies out there who can help. Keep copies of ALL correspondence. Retain evidence from post office of posting these materials. Do take these procedures seriously and consider the long term, if your health is going to become increasingly impared over time, you may have to consider rolling up shirt sleeves and ensuring you are in receipt of everything that you may be entitled to receive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 06:24 PM

If one has declared income from using the guitar, a copy of the tax return and related assessment (or whatever they call it in the USA when you get a statement confirming the tax payable & paid) should be credible enough evidence. It would need to be fairly recent I'm sure, last year or two, maybe three, I would think.

But the details of that, obviously, are not something you wanto to put on a public web site.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 07:27 PM

If you truly love children and have a stable, happy household other than the financial issues, have you checked into being foster parents? I would limit myself to children younger by 3 years or more than your own..perhaps a couple of 3-5 year olds if possible, perhaps a sibling group. I know you are not supposed to be foster parents just for the very modest money, but there are two of you home at the present time and you have a security background, presumably would pass a background check, and your wife has done child care as well as your own children. You shouldn't do this only for the money, which ranges from awful to OK in some states, but there is nothing wrong iwth it being a factor that enables your wife to stay home, or you..perhaps not both of you. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 28 Jul 11 - 07:32 PM

http://www.state.nj.us/njfosteradopt/foster/faqs/

Am I reading this right that rates start at $713 a month? Here in WA they are about $300 a month.

Also, there are children with special medical needs that need special care, and payment would be higher.

There is also the possibilit, although very difficult, of being an adult foster care home or elder care..I would only do elder care personally with children in the house.

Romanian immigrants have really set up a lot of these homes in my area. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: SharonA
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 12:57 AM

"The State's behaviour really has the odor of bureaucrats run amok..."

Well, we ARE talking about New Jersey, after all. :-D

But since it's New Jersey we're talking about... BBS, unless you're living in the Pine Barrens, I can't imagine that you'd have to drive that far to find a folk gig, because New Jersey is such a well-populated state! I'm thinking that you just need to make the right connections. I'm in southeastern Pennsylvania (Philly suburbs), and I may very well be able to help you with networking. Please send me a PM.

--Sharon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: SharonA
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 10:01 AM

...or, better yet, please respond to the PM that I sent to you!

To answer your original question, though, I'd have to say that the time to "call it a day" and decide that "this singing/playing/performing thing just isn't a viable option" is when you give up on it as a viable option.

Sure, traveling to the gig takes fuel, which takes money... but that's why you book paying gigs, right? If the pay doesn't cover the cost of getting there and back, plus some profit, don't take it. For goodness' sake, why are you wasting your time, money and fuel to go to open mike nights where you're not getting paid and where there's no chance of getting booked for a paying gig at the venue? If it's for the "exposure" in hopes of getting hired by one of the audience members for a private party or something, I hope you are at least pumping a lot of hands and handing out a lot of business cards (which cost next to nothing to print on a computer).

Sure, it would be difficult to transport yourself to gigs if you don't get your cataract removed. Glad to hear that you're working on that problem, but I can't help thinking that blindness didn't stop a whole big bunch of fine musicians from finding someone to transport them to gigs. If you want to get there and play the gig, you'll find a way... and people will be willing to help you. (Ummm, doesn't your wife drive?)

Let's face it: the REAL question you're not asking (at least, not on this forum) is: "Is it a viable option to continue living where I'm living, in the lifestyle to which I've become accustomed?" If you're in such a terrible neighborhood that free public school is not a safe option for your kids, it's time to find a safer school district to move to. Okay, the in-laws might not like it if you're farther away and they can't see their grandkids as often, but it doesn't sound as though you're dependent on them for child care because you're home-schooling the kids, so what's the point in living so close to them if it's not working for you? (I'm not asking for a response here; just prodding you to think about this.)

"...they wanted their grandkids closer to home. They've also now paid 18 months' worth of our mortgage and car insurance, so we couldn't possibly entertain the idea of going elsewhere..." Sure you could. Entertain it. Think about moving to a nearby state where car insurance isn't so astronomical. Rent if you can't own. It sounds like your in-laws have you by the short hairs and they know it. Cut loose before they choke what remains of your life out of you (your music, for instance), and "circle the wagons" around your own family unit (you, the wife, and your kids). Forsake all others, as you promised before witnesses that you would do.

If for no other reason than that your kids need to develop an understanding of music theory which will help them with math and science concepts as part of your home-schooling, keep your instruments. Teach your kids to play them. Tell the Social Security folks that the instruments are part of the home-school curriculum. Find a way -- any way -- NOT to "call it a day".

If you decide to stay where you are, at least for the time being, do the necessary networking to find the necessary gigs. As I said, I think I can help you there... if you're willing to refrain from labeling viable options "impossible".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 11:17 AM

Performing is a need. Lower your expectations of success and enjoy the small performances that you give. Be flexible in your choice of gigs. Big venues and lots of bucks will not give you as much pleasure as you think.

Be careful about home-schooling. Much ignorance is being peddled which will put your kids at a disadvantage in the real academic world.

A great teacher is however like gold.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 04:01 PM

Alas, BBS,I do understand all you are saying. We've been dealing with the same bureaucracies ever since I lost the ability to play, to make music, to walk, and to have anything like normal bathroom experiences. --- And my wife's problems are, in many ways, as bad as, or worse than, mine. In so many ways, the land of the free is a travesty. Sometimes we get pure oxygen, and sometimes just farts, but I'll continue on -- breathing deeply--until I can't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 03:25 AM

I found the following on another website...I hope it may be helpful. "We are very prone to blaming others, blaming events for our circumstances in life. The brain is structured to protect our perception of events so it can maintain a strong consolidated self. In other words, we will unknowingly rationalize, confabulate, or attribute fault or reasons to other than ourselves. Lots of research in cognitive labs illustrate that we tend to do this.

We will interpret events so as not to threaten our core self. This may not necessarily be the way you intend it to occur but that's the way our brain is biased to work.

Therapy is about learning how we are responsible for our life. And with that learning comes greater self-esteem. Unless you are able to get to a place where you can take full responsibility for your decision you won't hold the lesson in your mind in the same way than if you made the decision yourself.

A good therapist is aware of his or her potential for influencing a client. S/he also knows that a therapist cannot know the best answer because ultimately s/he can never know your life as you know it. A good therapist will empower you to find the answers within yourself, so you can profit from this experience." ...from http://www.myshrink.com
    The reason I posted this is because when I read your response to my previous post, I remembered something I had been taught in Social Work school. We were always told not to give advice. In part, because the first thing people in crisis do is to reject advice. It doesn't matter whether the advice is good or bad, it's part of the human psyche to reject whatever is offered as "advice." You ultimately have to find our own way. If what you are doing isn't working, do something else.
    As another writer puts it: "Therapists aren't your yes man. We've got your back, yes, but this doesn't mean enabling you, coddling you, or hugging you better. We are trained to have difficult conversations with people to help people realize how they often make themselves miserable. Therapy, effective therapy, will have you pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, because change can be uncomfortable. Your therapist won't always be your favorite person, but if you stick with it, you can get some really fulfilling work done and be on your way to being the best you you can be!" While we at Mudcat may not be therapists, I think many of us have a tendency to try to fix things and people, or situations. We can't. While some may offer helpful tips (e.g. how to deal with instruments as tool vs asset), ultimately we all have to "fix" ourselves. Or not, as the case may be. I'll say no more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 04:38 AM

There was another thing you brought up on a previous thread concerning mobility restrictions which limit the kind of work you can do. You said hernias prevent you from doing the job which you are mainly experienced in doing (that being security) as they restrict your mobility. But before you can have the needed operation to fix them, you need to reduce your weight first and that would take around six months to achieve. Without searching I can't recall how many months ago you posted that message, but was wondering how you're getting on with work on that health issue and whether you're succeeding in making any progress there, or indeed if you've sought out any support groups in the local community or on-line and so-on?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 08:27 AM

Well, busking can be a living though it helps if yoiu can get around to festivals, fairs etc. But why not find a venue locally and start your own Folk club, if there's enough interest you may be able to book artists and give yourself support spots. Sounds bad that there are booking clubs there who don't can't give you work, maybe you need to promote yiurself better and a club of your own is a very good way to do it, I know from experience. I don't think a realmusician can ever just give up music. I'm really sorry to hear of your troubles but I hope you'll persevere and fate turns back in your fav our


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Andrez
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 07:34 AM

Hi there Big Ballad Singer, you've shared a lot about yourself and your situation over a couple of threads recently and I was just wondering if there is an update on what is happening for you and yours after the more recent posts above?

Cheers,

Andrez


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 10 Aug 11 - 10:43 AM

Andrez/everyone,

I've got an appointment with the eye specialist. I am hitting the streets this week to play some (was going this weekend but got rained out. There were places I could have played under shelter/awnings/etc, but there wouldn't have been anyone around to play for.

I've actually got a line on a job... I got a relative to spring for the renewal of a professional license I hold that's been expired for a few months now. It's really costly, especially when broke, to get it renewed. I was able to get the paperwork process going and have had a position dangled in front of me upon completion of all the necessary duties.

The only reason I'm not jumping for joy at this point is that this exact same thing happened when I first moved into this house, leaving another state and a decent-paying job and a lower cost of living. I moved down to my current locale with the promise that if I got the certain license, etc, I could have a job with XYZ outfit. Made the move, got the license, job disappeared and XYZ hasn't bothered to keep looking for positions for me. Meh. Whatever.

Long-ish story short, I am going busking, my sights are set high, my family is behind me and I feel as though things are changing for the better.

More to come...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 11 Aug 11 - 06:17 AM

Good for you, BBS. stay lucky and keep us informed of progress.
ATB from Charlie in Scotland


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: When is it time to 'call it a day'?
From: Andrez
Date: 12 Aug 11 - 09:00 AM

Yes, thanks for the post feedback Big Ballad Singer. Wishing you all the best for the gigging and looking forward to hearing how everything pans out. It certainly doesn't sound easy.

Cheers,

Andre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 14 August 7:22 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.