So now we can judge me for all my existential failures: I managed to do pretty well on only two of my five resolutions last year, and truth be told -- they were the easy ones! But there's plenty else that came of 2015, which I'm happy to recount now.
For starters, much of my first year of marriage -- complete with all its joys and challenges -- was couched in 2015.
Early on, we began searching for a new addition to our young family, a black pug puppy, so that our other pug, Maribel, would have a companion when my wife and I were not home. In March, we found the perfect pug puppy, Popeye, and brought him into the fold. Though he was very cute and energetic, he was also a handful. He was not potty-trained, so we were constantly cleaning up after him; he likes to destroy anything and everything he can get his chompers on; and he often terrorizes his sister (as all good brothers do).
Some time in the spring, we learned that Maribel had very serious dental problems that were causing her much pain and discomfort. On one hand, we could not financially afford to remedy her condition; on the other, we could not bear to see her in such a state, much less remain in it. Moreover, I presumed that the expense would only increase with more delay. So we maxed out all our credit cards and dumped the entirety of our emergency savings fund into removing all of her not-so-pearly whites. Thankfully, friends and family pitched into a go fund me campaign, which we used to recoup losses and take the family on a much needed trip out of the city.
Over the summer, I worked hard on what would be the last project under my moniker GioSafari. I knew that John Lennon's 75th birthday was in October and I wanted to pay him tribute with an album of covers spanning his illustrious songwriting career. So after exhaustively researching his life, music, and activism earlier in the year, I arranged and recorded covers of twenty songs by the Beatles and from his solo career. I also created a new sound-collage in the style of Revolution 9, sourced from the sounds of my own generation's revolution.
In the fall, I took a class at City College called The Musician Entrepreneur, basically a music business class. We learned all about how to make a living as a working musician -- something that I quickly realized I had not been doing as the DIY singer-songwriter GioSafari. In fact, I came to terms over that semester with the fact that the DIY musician is only a romantic myth. Or, perhaps I should say -- the successful DIY musician is only a myth. The notion that a person can write, record, and perform his or her own songs, without the help of a manager, agent, publisher, record label, publicist, social media gurus, bandmates, and so many other roles that support artists in today's music industry, and actually have some real, sustainable success... it was a punk rock pipe's dream that had infiltrated my naive high school mind, and which I'd pridefully clung to for six years under the pseudonym of GioSafari.
So. Within just a few weeks of my stormy (literal and figurative) album release show, I announced that I was pulling the plug on GioSafari. Around the same time, I also quit my day job at an outdoor sporting goods store in the city. I was sick of working retail and I wanted to seriously advance my career in the performing arts.
Thus the remaining months of 2015 were spent in discovery: reinvesting in my music lessons, searching for other music-related jobs and opportunities, busking, attending artist workshops, tracking down old friends and collaborators, starting a new band (or two), and even exploring a career in acting.
It's been fun, 2015, but good bye and good riddance!
We're now well into January 2016 and I don't have much to show for all that work yet. I understand that it takes some investment of time and money before these things really take off. Unfortunately, I'm running low on patience and there's no money left really. But my determination is through the roof (perhaps my landlord will accept determination for rent this month...?). I have big plans and ambitions for my future (stay tuned for more) and you can bet on this -- I'll be working my ass off, no matter the result.
So 2016, bring it right on.