Category: Personal

The life and times of John Fontana — personal blog posts about things John is dealing with / going through / thinking of / experiencing.

 

A Classic Spin of the Song “The Piano Man”

I think most can agree that Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” is a classic song. As a kid, I would hear the tune and think of it as a st9ry of bar life. Hell, it was the 1980’s and “Cheers” was dominant. I didn’t associate “Piano Man” with Billy because his hit songs and music videos were the pop music of the moment in sound. Songs like “Uptown Girl”, “Pressure”, “Tell Her About It”,, and the song that really made me a Billy Joel fan: We Didn’t Start The Fire. Unless you know the career and life of Joel. you wouldn’t associate that music with “Piano Man”. You wouldn’t know the true autobiographical story behind the tune and Billu.

I love that song. I also love a classic blog post that puts a humorous spin on the song.

Clark Brooks is a long-time online presence in the Tampa Bay metroplex – from his own blogs since the 2000s, to his Tampa Bay Lightning coverage with me at Raw Charge in the 2010s, to his comedy coverage on The Identity Tampa Bay. His post, Everybody Hates the Piano Man, takes the song and puts a for-humor spin on them. I’m not saying parody a-la “Weird Al” Yankovic but in literal meaning.

It’s an old post that’s not sowing up on search engine results at this point That’s why I’m writing about it – to share it (clicky-clicky!). Like Billy Joel with music, Clark Brooks has shown a thorough ability to write and joke over time.

“The Piano Nab” (above) and the blogger/comedian (below).

The (Forced) New Look of JohnnyFomts.com

This blog needed a theme upgrade… Partly due to look, partly because it was not properly compatible with WordPress – and not been for years.

But…

Sunday night, I was casually messing around in a potential theme upgrade and I accidentally activated it. That would not be a big deal, just switch to the other theme, except the out-of-date blog theme was/is no longer available for use. Oops.

So… The blog’s look is changing, ot must be configured and la-de-da. Mind the dust as I reconfogure the site.

A personal ramble at my milestone in Blogging

Writer John Peter Fontana II, also known as Johnny Fonts (who is aka John J. Fonts Esqyuew) – the dude writing this. Me. Hi. – has been a weblog author for 20 years now.

What I am connonly known for, hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning, didn’t start for another year and a half. My start in blogging began during the forced end to a static web site devoted to the Beatles. It will be 20 years on Thursday since the feature on that incident was published by the St. Pete Times.

I am not proud of everything in this blog’s archives (most of whicj was written on “The Stibegauge”), and I also don’t know what stands out in my career in general. I just know this is the avenue I took and it gave me a place to vent, ramble wxpress, inform, and share.

Physical hardsjo[ makes it tough to do this now… Oh, I say so much about THAT. It’s a tough job to even know what is going on in sports, movies, politics, and the world around me, let alone the challenge to type it out.
NF2 is a bitch.

Johnn0y Fonts lacks new content, but I am on here daily updating TunedQuest… It’s a listing that grows a!d must be tended to. I spend ample time looking into stations and sites that accept music submissions. * get thanked… That’s something.

So…! Utilize and the words if Cassie McClellan: reader continues to take advemture and entertainment in what I put out.Typing remains an adventure for me, I hope an0

When Doubts and Dollar-signs Muffle Daydreams

I have the conflict between concept and cynic playing out in my head. It/s an empty daydream at the moment that inspires this contrast “♪ and probably will be for life♫”.

In recent months, I’ve thought to start a fundraising campaign tied to the rare genetic disease I suffer from, Neurofibromatosis Type 2, you can find reads about my plight with that here on Johnny Fonts. I tried to fundraise in 2016 at Raw Charge and had it fail with no network support from fellow hockey blogs or SB Nation. Or many readers for that matter. “Deke The Deuce” didn’, it died.

That was straight finance. My passing thought this time is purchase-of-music through a charity album.

A charity album of songs provided by independent musical artists the mainstream doesn’t know for a widely unknown disease? Oh, that has #FAIL all over it!!… or does it?

It’s just a thought. I have no clue on costs, artists who would agree to partcipate (tough I know performers I’d approach about this), or even the ideal medical institution researching NF2 specifically. I just know it’s a path creative and challenging. Especially for someone in the state I’m in.

I want to save others and fight the suffering, that’s grounds to seek charity… Can I achieve via rythem, harmony and goodwill? One can dream…

Consistant music in lyrics and genre, album art, costs, living with that black hole… The promo challenge to sell any music to make any mone… The list of challenges is intimidating, as is the doubts…

So is life with NF2.

I wrote these words 25+ years ago and they seem fitting here:

[…] And so, the damned strides on
Fear in his eye, courage in his heart […]

“Destitute”, circa Oct. 1996

It’s a daydream, and I may very well try it…

No beat from  Tampa Bay’s  Pulse Radio

Tampa Bay’s Pulse Radio is sadly in a still-beat [UODATED]

There’s a high likelihood that you’ve never heard of Tampa Bay’s Pulse Radio. This applies to almost the entirety of the Tampa Bay metroplex. While these words introduce you to an audio operation, right now you can’t hear it.

An arm of Pulse Media LLC and based in New Port Richey, Tampa Bay’s Pulse Radio is out to highlight the music of independent artists, but not in the locals-only play form like Music Tampa Bay and Radio St. Pete. Pulse only came to be in the spring of 2021 with the ambition to stream music online and in a terrestrial broadcast. There About Page wukk tell you more.

It’s flatlining though.

I found Tampa Bay’s Pulse Radio by chance last fall while researching college radio stations in Florida that accept music submission, Pulse Rado is not a college-tied property a-la WUTT Spartan Radio (University of Tampa) or SPC Radio, the music submission article just coincidentally came up high with that search.

There’s been no other media coverage for Pulse that I have crossed despite the fact an upstart radio property seeking an FCC license and trying to be big is a feature story.

It’s out there, but it’s not. The station’s online stream doesn’t load as of this writing, nor has it since Christmas week Why not? No explanation from TBPR on the main site, on their weblog (not updated since August) , or via social media…

In fact, they rarely post on Twitter (the more-common social media tool for radio), posting a dead-link the last time they did, while not

responding to questions and comments sent their way. That, and their Twitter account only has 12 followers while following 14 themselves. Not exactly ideal self-promotion there.

They’re on other, media platforms, including Spotify, but the fact is they aren’t going anywhere by way of it. Not when their involvement is nil.

The other killer fault for Pulse is charging musicians to submit music ($10 for up to 3 songs). Stations that accept submissions are bombarded with them, Add operational costs for the stations — many are non-profit voluntary operations – and you can understand stations charging for artists and labels to submit their music…

…which they don’t. I’ve only crossed a handful of ‘Net Radio stations true stations that do as such and one terrestrial, co,,unnity station that being in Los Angeles makes it a necessity.

For an unknown and struggling start-up to charge for submissions stops them except the few who have the cash and have the desperation.

I am not against a submission feen I’m surprised it’s not more common, but that comes later when you prove you have reach and the influence. TBPR lacks both.

Pulse Radio’s web site is well designed and flashes the station’s ambitions for success. Sadly, inconsistency in property management is part of Pulse Media: Pulse Media Magm Pulse, Radio’s sister, hosts its own web*version of TBPR intead of redirecting users to Pulse Radio’s site.

The way to look at Tampa Bay’s Pulse Radio and hold out hope as a listener, indie musician, or a curious and interested local, is to realize the tech fact they are in BETA mode. They’re still at start-up and getting things together while chasing an FCC license. Only time will tell when Tampa Bay’s Pulse Radio’s beat will start in full and how rhythmic it will be.

UPDaTE: I have had email contact with TBPR. Issues had and have come into play that have delayed resumption of airplay. They estimate being back on-air on or around March 1st.

The Designated Hitter Debate and My Premier as a Cited Source in Sports

The Designated Hitter Debate and My Premier as a Cited Source in Sports

Baseball was my introduction to sports as it is and has been for so many Americans. It was also how I first had remarked in a national media publication.

I have grown away from the game for multiple reasons which I’ll spare you. Nevertheless, I’m a National League fan…and don’t like the designated hitter. That hasn’t changed after 23 years in an American League market.

I went so far with my DH disgust as to run a petition website for a few years – Abolish the Designated Hitter from Major League Baseball. That obviously went nowhere.

I don’t remember when I shuttered that site, but before that happened I had a reporter from USA Today contact me, looking for DH remarks, The article wouldn’t run until the Sydney Olympics in la the late baseball season…

So… I did an email exchange and that satisfied the writer. I had no clue as to how my words would be presented.
Right next to one of MLB’s best managers and a part of one of the motor memorable monologues by a major film actor.. How about that.?

“I think there should be the same rule for both (leagues), and I’d vote for cutting the DH. … I think you see more of the total game (in the NL). There are a lot of parts of the game that are really beautiful that you don’t see that often in the AL … a lot of the offensive and defensive things you use to make or stop a single run.”
— Tony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, who managed Oakland and the Chicago White Sox in the AL.

“I personally am tired of the game being stacked in the batter’s favor. With expansion having diluted pitching talent around the game, you’ve seen run production increase to levels that went through the roof. … (Also), it really gets rid of one of the challenges of baseball — managing the roster during a game. …
“(In the Braves-Mets playoffs of 1999) you saw a chess match between Bobby Cox and Bobby Valentine as they had to manage their batting orders and pitching staffs along with bench players to keep competing. It was artwork and a prime example of how the sport can be a head game.”

— John Fontana, 24, of Palm Harbor, Fla., who has run an anti-DH Web site for five years. (http://abolishthedh.stonegauge.com)

“Well, I believe in the soul … the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curveball, high fiber, good Scotch. That the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter.”— Crash Davis, fictional minor leaguer played by Kevin Costner in Ron Shelton’s classic baseball movie, Bull Durham.

Renewing the DH debate, USA Today, 09.06.2004


My remarks may only bring disagreement, but the fact here is holy shit I’ve been quoted for hockey many times since and in many media publications, but my words were never aligned with sport and pop culture might like this. And likely never will be again.

An update from a blind blogger

You cannot correct severe cornea scarring with regular, commercial eye rewetting drops. To push this as a remedy amounts to inaction. Especially when the patient is on file w3ith the medical organization with their condition, and the patient has been using rewetting drops regularly for decades.

Basically, without saying shit, I’ve been told my eye condition is either a risk or untreatable; enjoy what )little_ you can see while you can. And we’ll see you in three months!

Ease with the Chill of Cabela and Schmitt’s Single ” Lose My Mind”

Ease with the Chill of Cabela and Schmitt’s Single ” Lose My Mind”

How widely known the Nebraska-based indie band Cabela and Schmitt are, I dunno. I knw they have a devoted follower count on Spotify – 97,600+ as of this post – -and have a place on underground stations like Lonely Oak Radio. Do they have any reputation in mainstream music and pop culture though? I dunno.

What I do know is that I tend to like their arranfements. They can do chill/easy listening or boot-stomping rockers. It’s the chill tunes that catch my attention though. Case in point, their latest single, “Lose My Mind”:

It may be a re-release, as they did that with other singles lately, but that’s besides the point. Take a listen. You can find the song on , Spotify but not the other services. At least not yet.

Why tje lack of new posts? I’m in hell.

I need to post this update specifically because of frustrations that are dominating me.
It ain’t much to say: Blindness and physical issues limiting my typing ability have stunted and stopped this blogger. And it sucks. NG2 sucks.

An Open Letter Request to the Tampa Bay Lightning

Please note: note: My apologies for poor spelling and grammar. While I have a reputation for typos, copy-editing with ighly limited vision is a challenge.

To the relevant Department and Personnel og the Tampa Bay Lightning Franchise:

Sirs and Madams, to the relevant Department and Personnel og the Tampa Bay Lightning Franchise:

Sirs and Madams, I have a large request., I state this as a man no longer relevant in coverage of the franchise and it is arguable if I ever did.I was not a press-box resident, nor an employee of a major media entity, though my writings did help found SB Nation’s Raw Chargw which I also ran from March 2009 until October 2016.

This isn’t about me, yet I am an example of the plight I request the franchise’s charitable involvement in.

Sirs and Madams, I suffer from a genetic disease that effects a sliver of a fraction of the population of the United States and the globe. My request is simple (but much more complex than this writing can show): For the Lightning franchise to help research Neurofibromatosis Type 2.

Neurofibromatosis Type 2, or NF2 for short, is not cancer. Its effects are disabling in mobility impairment and robbing patients of hearing by way of Acoustical Neuromas.. In simplicity, nerves grow tumors in highly sensitive areas of the body (brain, spine), leading to impairment or death.

My request is made with youth and future generations in mind. Finding weapons in this battle — or one hell of a netminder to stop this opposition’s charge (how are you, Andrei Vasilevskiy?) – is a necessity. Help from the high is as well, sus this open letter to you.

My one situation is irrelevant, but the same if a smidgen of insight – I’m lucky to be alive at this point in my life. Blind, naturally deaf, loss of sensation/coordination in my hand and mobility-impaired… But still here and gladly. Others eith NF2 were not so fortunate to last until middle age (and I nearky was in that group).

I’m certain that a research arm can be established with  USF Health, but I also would not be shocked to hear of a more genetralized research body already out there and charitably funded by the Lightning. While that is to be applauded, a generalized researching project spends more time on medical issues that hit a wide number of people. This is why NF2 is a backburner medical issue: As I already said, NF2 effects only a sliver of a fractionn of the population. Stopping calamities hitting many tajke priority over dilligent work to aid the few.

I’m asking the Lightning organization to make an exception.If a high class pro sports franchise won’t give to fight such a niche malignance, who will?

Thank you,

John “Johnny Fonts” Fontana

P.s. For the sake of sayi g, I kegan blogging about the Lightning in February 2004 while I recovered from a pair of spinal-tumor operations. There was only a scant wreb presence of Lightning fans online with most fan web pages being inactibe since the late 1990s.

Blindness and failing hand prevent me from contributing my voice to the sports world. I miss hockey  Iblogging.  I miss the Lightning.

A final note: My apologies for poor spelling and grammar. While I have a reputation for typos, copy-editing with limited vision is a challenge.

P.s. For the sake of sayi g, I kegan blogging about the Lightning in February 2004 while I recovered from a pair of spinal-tumor operations. There was only a scant wreb presence of Lightning fans online with most fan web pages being inactive since the late 1990s.
Blindness and failing hand prevent me from contributing my voice to the sports world. I miss hockey Iblogging. I miss the Lightning.

Blind and Anxious, an update on my status

I congessed in late 2019 how hand issues are affecting me and limiting my writing on Johnny Fonts. Late in the summer of 2020, I made another confession as I explained why this long-time Tampa Bay Lightning blogger wasn’t saying hit sd the Bolts ran the gamut and won Lord Stanley’s Cup: I couldn’t follow what was going on. I couldn’t see.

I still can’t, folks. And it’s getting worse.

Oh, it’s not the entire reason I have not blogged a write-up of substance or opoinion in forever; I’m neurotic and don’t finish posts all the time for opinion shifts on what I wrote, or I lose focus and just move on.

Scatterbrained or not, my participation online is being stopped by the cloudy, blurred vision that seems to worsen daily and make me further appreciate Al Pacino’s performance as Frank Slade in The Scent of a Woman.

Just one scene; Charlie.

I am not in the dark though. It’s a white blur. No carbon-freezering recovery involved.

So, I’m limited in multiple fashions, and my general online life is joining my stunted life participation. Writing, forums, streaming video, chat/instant messaging… It’s all in a hazr sent from hell with a little note attached (that I can’t read, but seem to include the letters “F” and “Y”).

My anxiety is also bubbling., I’m so lost in day-to-day life that my ignorance in what is going on can lead to me erupting, and certainly does when I’m pushed to partake in something I am not prepped for, or when I’m left to feel like nothing more than a rag doll. John can’t, so lets put him in that chair and thrn go do that living thing!!

I miss being, knowing, doing.

My eye situation likely needs a cornea transplant – replacing the eye lenses. I don’t know if other visual issues will ever be dealt with – cataracts and an astigmatism – I just know I need aid or else.

[It was tough writing this. While I can if typos, general editing, and rewriting are just too visually tough.]

In brief: Still here, thanks

“A blog with a blogger who doesn’t blog? Huh?”

I lack regular readers, I think, but in case you are a regular and have noticed a lack of new posts, I must confess my bad.

Most of my time has been spent focused on the radio submissions post which is now 250+ listings in length and 10,000 words. I spend time promoting music on Reddit in the Adult Contemporary subgroup…

And I write things I don’t complete as doubt and overthinking stops me (with plenty of og types().

I’m here though. Johnny Fonts is still on Johnny Fonts.

Will fresh content be up soon? Dunno. Will it be sports again such as the 2020 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning which I covered for so long? Who knows. What about politics and Wannabe-King, I-won’t-concede Trump? Meh, to hell with him and that.

I’ll write when I write… And hope my hands cooperate.

In search of Tampa Bay music for a Spotify playlist

The Lighter Side of Tampa Bay is a Spotify playlist I put together that is supposed to be the Adult Contemporrary version of chill; “relaxing, easy favorites.”

It originally was saturated by too many songs by artists, but I scaled that back to single-songs by artists I found and…and… It’s gone nowhere.

I know there are and were many recording artists in the Tampa Bay area, with some actively promoting themselves. I’ve never had one approach me to have one of their songs added. I haven’t gone on a search for content either as I’m busy enough and don’t listen to local shows that would highlight songs that fit the list.

I’m looking for tunes. I’m looking to highlight artists, and, most importantly for all, I am looking for listeners.

Ig you are an artist from West Central Florida with a song or music you think fits the bill, drop me a line on the Contact form. Tell me where you are from, if you’trr part of a group or a solo act. Point me to the song on Spotify. Do not submit explicit songs. Ig you happen to be one of the few artists on the playlist as-is and would like another song featured, let me know either in the comments on this post, through email contact, or on Twitter..

In both cases, it doesn’t have to be new music, but please submit songs from the past decade (210 at the latest).

If you are included on the list, I’d appreciate it if you let your fans know about the playlist. Listeners and followers is the key to gaining exposure – and royalties – for all acts involved.

Regarding my absence ftom 2020 NHL playoff blogging and my social withdrawal online

Regarding my absence ftom 2020 NHL playoff blogging and my social withdrawal online

Here we are, deep into the NHL’s COVID-19 affected NHL playoffs! It’s sports-content when the world is generally forced to step back. The NHL’s system is proof of the step-back: Two host-cities for gameplay, no attendees, players/team personnel in a “bubble” to prebent catching the dreaded virus that has afflicted the globe.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are once again facing the Columbus Blue Jackets (last season’s series is a painful memory) and have taken two of three games played… Well, unofficially, it’s two of six games as the clubs had eight(!!!) periods of play in the series opener – regulation play and five overtimes.

In all the stories I just shallowly touched on with this, I haven’t said one damned thing in written content. The fact I’m writing this with a sudden personal turn is bad enough, but I was the original Tampa Bay Lightning blogger and this is my personal site so…

Why haven’t I said shit? That in itself is personal.

I have it upfront on Johnny Fonts that I have an issue with my hands which makes typing more difficult. I’ve also written on Raw Charge about my condition in general in a (failed) fundraising attempt. There’s stuff here too, but none of it speaks about the now. I haven’t gone public with this one – with friends on social media or on this site.

Oh, my silence has been influenced in part by the risk factor for the NHL that is at play with the virus. In May it made this writer turn up his nose at the playoff-system (so did the Lightning) but this isn’t the virus or politicking that has muted me…

Han Solo said it best in the Tatoonie desert in Return of the Jedi, “Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur.” Subtract the daek and you have my silencing ailment, cornea scars that have rendered me blind.

It’s not total blindness or I wouldn’t be able to even attempt to write this. It is profound though and stops me from spending time reading coverage of the Bolts in articles or on social media. I struggle to read, I lose patience with thanks to pop-up elements on top og illegible text and give up. I also lack – and always have – the ability to keep up with the fast-fast pace of Twitter during games or events.

And then there’s watching games. I can’t. Or movies. Or news coverage. It’s blurred into discontent for me.

I pay attention to headlines I see; I follow news on Reddit specifically for that. I’m just not going deep in coverage as the die-hard sports fan that I am… And it sucks. It sucks that I am not invested in my passion covering the Lightning.

My general health affliction (paired with anxiety and insecurity issues) has always prevented me from much involvement with things. This vision issue continues that plight. The cornea scars are a result of eye-dryness which is a condition I’ve suffered for decades by way of tumors and necessary surgery. This explains why I’m always in sunglasses in photos: To hide the scats unsightliness.

To be visually impaired like this on top of my heating issues? It’s making me into a modern-day Helen Keller.

So, I’m not in the playoffs and coverage of the Coolest Game on Ice during this time of plight. I have been investing myself in music in a manner derived through my blogging days: Content management, promotion, and research. Oh, listening is a part of it too. It’s a step down from sports coverage as many independent musicians who are out there are only doing things as a hobby and I am and will remain irrelevant to them as I have no reputation in the industry. Having been part of Lightning coverage for so long made me relevant in hockey and Bolts coverage, especially seeing local media has never given the Bolts more focus and coverage which the franchise has earned through competitiveness.

So, uh, yeah… I’ve shut up. I suppose that makes some people happy. Perhaps this explains to my friends and colleagues why I’ve been scaled back on social media (though Facebook corporate/political issues have contributed, that’s one platform though). I media-share a lot and sometimes post messages. I don’t exactly enjoy making it seem like I want all focus on me by not reacting to others.

We]l see (pun intended) if things ever improve, but John Fontana is muted in many ways in the online world that has been his home for most of his life. And it pains him. Profoundly.

Music, Politic, and the Contrast of Eras

I have an album coming that I bought off eBay. I had to get this CD from 1996 because it features a track you cannot buy in MP3 format through the ‘net… At least I haven’t been able to find it. The song is Automatic Baby’s libw performance of U2s “One” at the 1993 inauguration concert for Bill Clinto.

Automatic Baby was R.E.M. and U2 in a collaborative performance.
It’s coincidental and ironic that I wait for the Childline album specifically for a song performed at a political event and now, 27 years later, a message has been sent by many titans of the music field – including R.E.M. – to keep unauthorized use of music out of politics. In essence, it’s a message for Donald Trump and his campaign staff who have partaken in this action for Trump rallies and political events since before he took office in 2017. It’s resulted in cease-and-desist messages over, and over, and over again from musicians and public comments by artists (example: Axl Rose of Guns n’Roses) but ultimately no legal actions that hold Trump accountable.

Knowing habits of The Donald by way of histenure in the White House, unauthorized use will continue with jealousy encouraging it. After all, Bill Clinton had music’s blessing, as could Joe Biden. Where are the big shits of music – people who perform music he likes – tftor support??? He wants and needs popular music to keep his base of supporters content too!

It would be rather fitting if the Automatic Baby cover of “One” got a prominent MP3 release in 2021 to commemorate the group’s lone performance…and more specifically to mark the completion of Donald Trump’s one-term presidency. We’ll see if that happens in the months ahead. For the moment, I get to rip an MP3 file as the Trump Administration continues to operate as if rules and laws don’t apply to them.

Contemplating curating a weekly Spotify Playlist

Contemplating curating a weekly Spotify Playlist

Spotify playlists are a hobby or something for big-name/big-reputation people to do, no? I can tell you the few I have done are a hobby. I have no reputation, nor do the playlists stand out and draw attention. Especially the underground Underexposed Soft Rock and Easy Listening playlist. That one is huge.

Yet I sit here and I’m thinking of trying a weekly playlist. Maybe.

I listen to Lonely Oak Radio and seldom cross songs that fall into a big queue of tunes that could make the Underexposed playlist and/or the Adult Contemporary Reddit community where I post most of the content. It ultimately amounts to me promoting indie musicians in my own way. If I have fans, I don’t know about it. I do know I have some appreciative musicians who I interact with on Twitter.

My weekly-playlist thought is a 10-song list of “relaxing and easy” tunes – stuff I try for in Underexposed – and perhaps highlight certain acts who I cross and enjoy (AirCrash Detectives, Cahela and Schmitt, and Icicle among others) as well as acts I know and have tried to highlight lik3 Gypsy Star.

The thing stopping me is the fact I don’t expect to draw listeners, let alone status-symbol followers. Why do a weekly playlist if you don’t have anyone who listens? Hell, it makes me feel like people don’t enjoy the tunes I pick out as-is (though the artists appreciate it).

It’s a matter of confidence. It would also help if it were an accomplishment that paid me back fairly which my endeavors in life never seem to do.

“Relaxing. Easy. Indie.” It’s a thought. I just don’t know if it will happen.

Johnny Fonts on Spotify; follow me, won’t you?

Johnny Fonts on Spotify; follow me, won’t you?

Here you go, John Fontana on Spotify… That’s right, Johnny Fonts on Spotigy be here.

https://open.spotify.com/user/22qpw4iumghxoxlb2mnruwwsq?si=TvGUnI-NRBmUX6E0h3b4CA

TunedQuest: How the Radio Music Submissuib Resource Got Started

No one has asked me why. Why has a traditional sports blogger with a reputation for covering hockey (and making typos… I still pull that off really damn well, thank you) published a list of radio stations? Why in God’s name (and Wayne Gretzky’s… Or Gordie Howe? Maybe Martin St. Louis is more appropriate? I’m a Lightning fan after all and Marty was oh my God!)  have I spent so much time building on that list? Radio’s dead, Spotify Uber Ales and my vocal other reasons to wonder, doubt, and put down the post of 150+ radio and streaming stations that accept submissions. Why have I done it?

The short answer is the same reason I started hockey blogging in February  2004: Ir I don’t do it, who will?

The longer answer is tied to my own want to get into music and get out there… and how it failed, like it has for so many others. Don’t conclude I’m a musician/recording artist who didn’t know how to get out there. No, I’m just a writer, a poet, a would-be lyricist. For various reasons, I can’t do more than that.

I still got close to having lyrics put to the song; I paired up with an artist who started talking extended-play album with me. This had been back in the spring of 2018. I was thisclose to being within the realm of music, all the while knowing the next step was to get the would-be songs out there through airplay. So, what I did was throw a few inside music stations I knew (by way of me helping the Pretty Voices get their 201t album, Jangulaar out into the radio world)  into a simple text file. I added a few more stations that I found in web searching, and I saved it to my Windows desktop.

Then nothing happened. Life drew the artist away from music, I moved on, and the file stayed on my desktop.

In July of 2019, a long time friend of mine filled me in on her upcoming debut single. I was surprised and thrilled I’ve known Antheia Jayne since the fall of 1997. I’d known she had a music touch for quite some time. I also know she’s an educated woman (to say the least), earning a Masters’s degree. I didn’t know her plans for the music, or how much time she was to invest in promoting the tune and herself in the music field now (her Masters is not in Music by the way).

I wanted to help with promotion, I didn’t know how I could be involved… up until I remembered the list. The text file was raw, so I threw together an excel spreadsheet (in a unique, sloppy, and raw fo4emat) and sent it to Antheia Jayne. I was left hoping success would come for her with the publication of Beta Life.

With the excel file and not much else going on. I’m not involved in hockey like I used to be, no one’s courted me to resume the practice (in a respectable, serious manner), my hands aren’t quite cooperating anyway. I also knew that I’ve crossed too many indie musicians (by way of radio, Spotify, and Reddit) who don’t seem to try to achieve or push themselves down the traditional broadcast avenue. It’s either playlists, forums, or a single music stream that they’ll take a chance on. How many artists (who have music published online through a distributor) know there are so many places to try to push their art? So, I took my little list, added a few more options I discovered on a casual web search or two, and put together a blog post. That was the start…

I keep going with that thing – researching station submission options has become my hobby. I rarely have musicians remark about it, but the rare remarks that do happen drive me to find and list more options.

Why is there a list of 150+ stations? There are other articles on the web that promote music submission options. The catch is, they provide limited numbers or just station-name and an email address. While my post doesn’t provide for every listing, there is more context (including experience in some cases) with the sites/stations. There’s also no “this is the best sire to try with” declaration because the music business is a busy and complex place and the best avenues for some turn into a dead-end for others. It’s important to know there are more options out there… That, and to always keep going and not wait for success/fails with one single submission at one station. That kind of practice will work against you if you want to go far.

While submission options for musicians is whar the radio/streaming post was created for, it also can serve as a music discovery tool for listeners (and free advertising for stations). While it’s tough to find some of the listed sites, listeners aren’t necessarily going to find the music those stations air on Spotify, Apple Music, or elsewhere.playlist

So, why did I do the list? Because the option was there, so why not? Because some people could use it and might find success through the chance the broadcast options provide. Or just because. Take your pick.

It’s odd to remember “The Daily Show” having to be defended

It’s odd to remember “The Daily Show” having to be defended

I searched site traffic this morning to see popular blog posts here on Johnny Fonts.. Someone ventured to an old blog post I did in 2006 where I ranted in defense or The Daily Show. I also got reminded by way of that post that I had written a letter-to-the-editor at in defense of The Daily Show.

Seeing the St. Pete Times (now Tampa Bay Times) archives are no longer public, I’m going to quote my letter in full. Mind you, I can’t link to the Op-Ed that drew my reaction. It is likely online, but where? I’m not sure:

‘Daily Show’ is not a detriment

Re: Is “The Daily Show” bad for democracy?

What’s this now? Jon Stewart and his crew of reporters are turning off youth with their irony, cynicism and sarcasm concerning the antics of our elected officials?

I find it hilarious that the article in question thinks so little of the youth of America. We’re a generation of people whom elected officials tend to ignore and brush off. We’re a generation of Americans who have grown up through scandal after scandal (Iran-Contra, the S&L fallout, Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, 9/11 failings, Valerie Plame, etc.) and the article in question thinks that a TV show with a humorous take on the sorry state of affairs in this country is detrimental to democracy?

No, sir. What’s detrimental to democracy is how little the older generations – especially the one in control – inspire the rest of us. It’s detrimental that the Daily Show, which bills itself as “fake news,” has been more biting and investigative than the mainstream media for the past six years.
— John Fontana, Palm Harbor

Letter to the Editor, St. Pete Times
Published June 28, 2006

In my opinion, there’s a lot more I should have said. More accountability was pointed toward government by the humor of Jon Stewar5, Stephen Colvert, Samantha Bee, and others ton the show. It seems funny — and stupid — a show with the intellectual weight that Stewart pulled off would draw criticism like the non-preference-linked column pulled off.

Stewart and crew didn’t dissuade. If they had, this blogger never would have written anything of a politically driven piece.

It’s January 1 and this is 2020

It’s January 1 and this is 2020

Appropriate and fitting. Happy New Year!

Typing

“Typing’s an adventure…” takes on new meaning

For those who check in on me here with any regularity, while I wish this was just an extension of season’s greetings, sadly it’s not.

Due to issues, I am experiencing with my left hand (and many many typos by way pf it), my online content production – writing – is vastly hindered. This has frustratingly slowed my writing to end 2019.

I do hope to have new content up in the days ahead, but certain typos are not seen by spell-check editing apps and programs. Ig puts my love of writing in a mire of inability.

In essence, fair readers: Technical difriculties; please stay tuned.

For those looking for the Adult Contemporary chart archives

For those looking for the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart archives

As someone who reflected on the Billboard Music chart archives to discover music as well as be reminded of classics from days-gone-by, I was a little taken aback gy the new paywall Gillghoard has put into place. Fees for access are growing common on the Interweb, but something like this?

Yike$!.Nice cost to reflect on history or find a reference to the past. Of course, the fee enables broader access than charts.,

There is a way to access the weekly charts compiled over the years by Billboard Music up until approximately September 2019. It comes with thanks to a URL and the Wayback Machine. Through the latter, you can access archived versions of web pages/articles. That comes off very hsndy when old articles are taken offline.

Though there’s a lot of content that is blocked now, in this article the access in the Billboard chart history is for specifically the Adult Contemporary charts. I’ve grown a habit of reflecting on those charts before posting content on Reddit, where I currently run the Adult Contemporary community.

The charts-via-archives won’t work right for every weekly listing Billboard has posted from the 58 years of the Adult Contemporary charts but you can get access to most Top 30 listings through these steps:

  1. In the table below, choose a year (1961 – 2019) and click on it. You will be taken to a week-by-week list for that year.
  2. Choose a week and click again, you will go to the latest archived listing for that week
  3. Look at the top of the web page and the Wayback Machine date listing on the top right of the page.
  4. If the listed page date is listed is on or after September 24, 2019 (which is when limits to the chart results began =) click on the left arrow next to the listed date.

Now here’s the archival web listing of the Adult Contemporary archives…

1960s 1980s 2000s
—– 1980 2000
1961 1981 2001
1962 1982 2002
1963 1983 2003
1964 1984 2004
1965 1985 2005
1966 1986 2006
1967 1987 2007
1968 1988 2008
1969 1989 2009
1970s 1990s 2010s
1970 1990 2010
1971 1991 2011
1972 1992 2012
1973 1993 2013
1974 1994 2014
1975 1995 2015
1976 1996 2016
1977 1997 2017
1978 1998 2018
1979 1999 2019 *

*archives of 2019 stop working as a full listing on charts  listed in September. Working archive pages may not be indexed for weekly listings earlier in 2019.

This Johnny Fonts has been on Twitter 11 years

(Im)mobility in Tampa Bay

This will be short, but I’m in a serious situation right now where I’m researching transportation assistance for the mobility impaired (disabled). What I’m finding in my research is the grand division of the Tampa Bay metro region.

Perhaps there are options from singular cities that serve the region, but searching for Tampa Bay options resulted in Tampa-specific and Hillsborough County-specific options. That didn’t state or show support for those in the region who have to commute from Pinellas County to Tampa or vice-versa.

The Hatfield-vs-McCoy approach of his region is a disability of its own that impends the mobility in progress.

“Where are they now?” of hockey blogging?

It’s on my mind as something that should be done but I don’t think I’m the one who should do it:

Someone should do a feature on members of the hockey blogosphere of the 2000s that helped bring media into the current state it’s in (hello, James Mirtle!_.

While we’re at it, someone ought to explore what happened to SB Nation hockey site founders and key staff members on certain sites. Some who came into the network in 2008-09 are still there while others have disappeared into the cosmos or onto rinky-dink personal blog sites that don’t have much exposure or notoriety. Like myself. Hi. 😁

The day John Fontana discovered John Fontana Day in Tampa

The City of Tampa has a John Fontana Day! I mean, really?! They named a day or the year after the region’s first Tampa Bay Lightning blogger who helped bolster and broaden hockey coverage as well as voluntarily assisting other weblogs o the region while ogercomit a rare genetic disease–

WHEREAS, the City of Tampa takes pride in recognizing those individuals whose commitment and dedication have made a lasting impact on our community and its citizens. John Fontana, President of Seminole Hard Rock Support Services [ … ]

Oh. Oh well. But still! I done gots me a day I share the name of! July 12th, 2018.

Only one player stands out from Steve Yzerman’s 1st round draft history with the Lightning

It’s such a minor enigma and yet so profound. Draft picks don’t pan out all the time nor serve tenure with the team that selected them. That’s how it goes in hockey. Some last. Some serve. Some succeed.

The expectation is for the first-round draft picks to do the most and go the furthest in the NHL, and when a team is ardent on player development, you’d think those picks would be keepers.

That’s the enigma of Steve Yzerman’s tenure as General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning… First-rounders have tended to be meh in one way or another.

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Lyrics calling foe Unity in America in a Time of Division

Taylor Swift or staff who work for her will never read this tweet, let alone the lyrics or “Unity (We the People)”… Yet what kind of message would it send if such a figure turned the words to vocals in song?

I had to try…

Amalie Arena, the Ice Palace of Tampa, Florida.

Reflecting on the history and the Ice Palace that is Amalie Arena

I’ve got a phrase in my head. It’s a pretentious intro to a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game. Something to be used repeatedly to give weight to the event and where it’s being played (as well as merit to the person saying it).

Weight comes to words with repetition. Sometimes it’s dubious, sometimes it’s forgettable, sometimes it goes down into the history books and is engraved in society (or, in this case, sports culture).

Along the banks of the Garrison Channel at the heart of Tampa, Florida. We welcome you to the hall of the venerable ice palace known as Amalie Arena for a night of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.

To see that turn of phrase might lead Joe Q. Average to wonder what the hell venerable means (here’s your answer). Others of the Tampa Bay area (specifically younger generations and transplants of recent years) may be curious (or scoff) at Amalie Arena being called an “ice palace”. That just happens to be the building’s original name. That fact isn’t news for long-time Lightning fans. This fall will be the building’s 23rd anniversary of its opening.

And yet we’re left to wonder about the story behind the name Ice Palace.

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Fireworks or Kellog’s? You decide

 if your lust in early July is for the snap, crackle, and pop from fireworks, might I suggest you go with the alternative means to accomplish such: Rice 

“And I desperately need a manicure!” – The look, the feel, the folly

I’ve spent a bit of time the past month or two looking to simply upgrade The WordPress theme for this site. Too often the look isn’t something I want to build around. Lately, I’ve been finding interesting themes that have flaws that I can’t correct.

It’s a distraction from writing, so I’m a little lapsed on that… But it’s also a challenge for a long-time blogger to find a fitting, the functional theme for a WordPress 5 site (…for free).

My love for hockey and the glory of the Stanley Cup

With the start of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals tonight, I got a wee bit nostalgic.

In 2014 the Raw Charge staff of Tampa Bay Lightning writers participated in a series of posts chronicling things that endeared each of us to the sport of Ice hockey.

My Five Things post was published on February 18th, 2014. The final topic that makes me love this sport is what I quote in full here.

One reason I love ice hockey and am tied to the game is my reverence of the Chalice of Lord Stanley and it’s history:

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Lack of writing is a visualization thing…

For those who are left wondering why Johnny Fonts hasn’t had new posts lately: I’ve been focusing on other aspects of the site and other web projects lately. In the case of this site, I’ve redone the logo and I’m trying to find a new theme for the blog:

JohnnyFonts.com Logo 2019 Edition

The theme issue… Well, that was a quirk I was thinking of dealing with, but it gets more interesting – and complicated – with the theme bells and whistles on the development end of new WordPress themes. Some themes are VERY powerful while others are arcane. Finding something visually appealing is a must, but finding something with a working backend goes along with it.

It certainly feels like networking – indie music promotion on Twitter

I love how networking can go and what it can show you – about yourself and your colleagues.

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Without a job and without a path forward

I’ve got a conundrum.

In the business world, it’s not a problem really: Long-time veteran of a field of business leaves said-field for two full years and then gets an inkling to re-enter as issues faced personally or an attempt to find a career in a new field hadn’t pass muster. This ambiguous jargon makes it seem plain and simple, don’t it?

It’s not that simple. Not for me.

You can see in a couple of recent blog posts I’ve done that I’ve been touching on my old forte in hockey blogging. I am one of the original hockey bloggers, having founded Boltsmag.com in February 2004, running it independently for five years before being recruited by my long-time colleague James Mirtle (who started his own writing career independently at Blogspot) to SB Nation where I founded Raw Charge. I blogged about the Tampa Bay Lightning and NHL for 12 and a half years before resigning due to burnout (a burnout which also seen as symptoms of a surprising health issue that almost killed me).

Blah, blah, blah… Maybe I should ge back in? I’ve got nothing else going for me.

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Summarizing my life with Neurofibromatosis Type 2

I had someone approach me to write my story to aid in lobbying Congress for research funding Neurofibromatosis (and Neurofibromatosis Type Two) research. The idea piqued my interest because, hey, I’m a writer! I’ve been doing it for so long and have a unique voice in saying things. I knew I couldn’t write a huge piece or an autobiography, but I thought it’d still be an opportunity…

Yeah, well, I had to work in a plea for funding in it, and I couldn’t have more than a page for my story. I could work in issues I’ve dealt with and family plights, but just a page!

I can’t write a story about what I deal with while having the genetic disease NF2 in only a page. Oh, I could summarize things in a bulleted list… but that doesn’t make a true case to politicians to actually give a care.

There’s also that aspect – politicians of the United States of America at the moment – that works against truly trying to coerce federal support toward researching a rare medical disease. After all, there’s a faction that thinks a physical wall is a necessity for national security, and that $5.7 billion is a worthy investment. That doesn’t touch on others who push for federal “aid” for multi-billion dollar conglomerate corporations who need no such help in order to profit.

Yeah, my story, as a short summary and plea for cash, would mean shit to that element of political America. Preventing a disease that affects about one in every 25,000 human beings on the planet is not something that these people are going to be sold on when it comes to listing ailments and hindrances in a few words.

Yet here I’ve written 300 and haven’t said a thing about my story. If a Congressional representative or the United States Senator ever reads these words is not something I expect. Nor do I expect to sell them or readers from the general populous on contributing to the NF Network and helping fund research and support for Neurofibromatosis/Neurofibromatosis Type 2 patients, but whatever. Here’s my story.

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“Die!! Can I get fries with that?”

Reviewing morning headlines… I’m not sure if I should be laughing or cringing at this one.

Woman chokes a McDonald’s restaurant manager over ketchup

Police are seeking a woman who pushed, punched and choked a McDonald’s manager because she wanted ketchup.

Police in Santa Ana, California, say the assault took place around 11 p.m. on Oct. 27 when the drive-thru customer entered the restaurant through an employee door and asked for the condiment.

(There’s video footage by the way, click the link to see it.)

It’s a sign society is twisted – that someone was led to do this. It also makes me wonder how she would have reacted to In-n-Out Burger giving her mustard and no ketchup?

 

 

Personal note: I’ve taken back “Boltsmag”

Just a heads up:

When I started blogging about hockey, the posts were published on Boltsmag.com. Upon me founding Raw Charge, I pointed the domain name at the new SB Nation site. All my archives are posted over there, after all. It’s been set up like that since 2009.

With the two-year anniversary of my resignation from the network and with me posting re-direct links to Raw Charge archived articles I wrote there, I’ve decided to redirect the Boltsmag domain name toward my hockey post category here on JohnnyFonts.com.

I don’t know if anyone even knows of the domain name, let alone uses it. If you do use that domain, this post should explain why you’ve landed on this blog site and not on Raw Charge.

Wordiness and a would-be song; “Cool Dude, Loose Mood”

Poetry and I are not strangers, the evidence is here on the site in the “Creative Writing” section and elsewhere if you look around. I’ve been penning prose of one variety or another since the 1990’s.

Yeah, I’m old. Deal with it.

There are some that have inspired musicians to actually put the words to music. That’s a longer story than I can tell at this time (wink wink, nudge nudge) but my point is that songwriting is something I’m dabbling in. It has created a plight, though.

See, early in the summer I had a friend send me a guitar riff he recorded. He was looking to build a song around it. Now, this idea was garage-rock in caliber. Do-the-job, verse-chorus-verse simple and straight. The riff is the base and the center for the song in melody and what has to be done is to give it some words to finish the product. The problem there was… well, maybe I’ve been exposed to too much Alternative over the years or maybe I’ve seen too many rock songs that have been larger tellings than Keep It Simple Stupid? Then again, maybe I’m a poet and lucky if my words ever go to a finished song… Read More

It’s not very clear how to recycle Cochlear sound processor technology

I want to recycle Cochlear sound processor technology as well as accessories and Cochlear doesn’t lay out how to do that. And that’s bad. Read More

Really… Just Do It

“Here’s a truism – everything is a big deal up until you actually do it. Don’t dwell or dread on doing something, making it so monumental that you make yourself sick. Just do it. You’ll deal with what comes next as it happens.”

— John Fontana on Facebook, originally written Sept. 16, 2011

When events lead to self-realization and rolling along while lost at sea

I don’t know what was worse: How the news of Tuesday and the stepping-down of Steve Yzerman laid out one hell of a road bump for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018-19 and the general road ahead… or the realization through that event that I’m not a hockey blogger any more.

No, no, it’s not the words I wrote over the weekend that casts my credibility into doubt (if you differ in opinion, oh well, too bad, so sad) as-so-much my reaction to things, my stepping-up and opening my readiness to comment to other bloggers (supply quotes) and such about the news…and not hearing shit back. It was me drawing a conclusion about Julien BriseBois getting an assistant GM hire on Wednesday and then finding out (from fans) that wasn’t in the plans and it had been stated in articles and in tweets from members of the media.

The guy who had been the original blogger of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey, lasting for 12 years while founding SB Nation site Raw Charge in the process, was ready to roll and yet so very, very out of the loop.

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Flailing Credence

The lines are quite direct
The facts, they intersect
It doesn’t change the status quo
Or raise the bass to falsetto

Doubt is such an ugly feat
Factual is a caveat
Truth be told, no confidence
What a flaring coincidence

Read the lines and know the story
Unite, divide, war and glory
To know the past is not the moment
Opinionate: a faulty torrent

Looky here! Four lines to a verse!
My self-doubt, it’s getting worse!
Oh, so lost in a middle eight
And I know no reader can relate

Choice is such a deed
A foley or agreed
Rockin’ in a silent case
Mar-a-Lago’s such a horrid place

And no, it’s not a song
In your own words, you sing along
Personally? A forced taste
Of wordplay’s saucy taste

Satisfaction: Next to nil
Getting older, genetic ill
Lacking in a filling role
Falling, failing, in a hole

9/11 brought unity while we stand divided in the moment of the now

We stood together. In shock, in disbelief, in mourning, America stood together with social and political divisions irrelevant.
 
We stood together as Americans. That continued for I-don’t-know how long or brief. We stood together.
 
Now, today, we are foreign to each other. Enemies over what differences we can find and decisions we can react to. And the toughest part of all is knowing how we’ve moved away from the concept of unity. We’ve moved away and displaced ourselves from the values and practices that make America great.
 
Wrongs were committed and the atrocious transpired on September 11th, 2001. A different kind of atrocious transpires seventeen years later. If only we, the people, would wake up to it instead of standing firm with divisional and thinking/acting for self and striding away from each other.

Speaking of My Faith

I’m not comfortable talking about my faith and personal ties to religion but here’s back story on…me. It’s where I stand and what I believe and in some ways, how I came to it. Read More

Finding relevance today in a 1978 television theme song

Do you ever get a television theme song in your head? Y’know, earworm type deal? Yet you go further, looking at the lyrics, and suddenly they take a new weight to them or just seem fitting for the moment in time that you (or life around you) are in?  That’s my morning… Read More

Contribute to my Neurofibromatosis Network charity drive (via Facebook) and aid research into the genetic disease

“Unity (We the People)” – a would-be song of protest

Late this spring, curiosity and recollection started pushing in my head toward music and what was going on in the political and social spheres. This isn’t the 1960’s but with how much upheaval has been playing out regularly – race attacks, propaganda, lies and distortions, pitting business and profit over the welfare of the country, and the protests tied to them all – I was left wondering what those in the music industry were doing about it?

I mean, really, with how much was produced that was just tinged with the social stuff from the ‘60’s, you’d expect 2017 to be filled with songs inspired in some way or another by what was going on – some offering calm, others decrying certain aspects.

In June I put down my own song lyrics of protest. My intention at the start wasn’t to directly protest as so much make a social decree or write something based off of what was ongoing… but it turned into a generalized summary of the status-quo of 2017.

What really leaves me in awe is how things have played out to make the words more relevant. This was penned before Charlottesville and other strife of the summer.

A key line in the chorus is still a truth here in mid autumn 2017: We must defy the great divide. We stand strongest as a society and as a country of the world when we stand together. When all sides come back to this truth, that will be when the course will plot in the right direction.

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Suffering an unsound situation – Epilogue: Sunrise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgiQD56eWDk

It’s odd when a song takes a new dimension in your life and you sob while listening to it.

I’ll admit, I’ve been locked on to The Beatles and their 1969 classic audio impairment suffered by chance mid-summer.

Mr. George Harrison, who penned “Here Comes the Sun”, was inspired by way of coming out of a (repeated) boardroom blandness (the downside of Apple Corps LTD for the members of the Beatles) and seeing London delighted in the sunshine of spring. In my case, the silence is a night that lasted far far too long.

In some ways, this moment of my life is a learning experience as the technology difference between the Nucleus Freedom and the Nucleus 6 (which I was upgraded to) is profound. Many similarities are there, too… especially the root of it all: Sound.

It’s the dawning of a new day in my life, yet it’s a resumption of what I’ve known naturally and artificially through my existence. I don’t want to be without it again. It stands in its existence as a verification of who you are, where you are, who others are and the textures of life. Sound has that dimension. It’s not as if those who embrace deafness can’t find these through visual means and other senses. I’m just not one who embraces the silence nor found a direction in life as a late-deaf adult.

Where things go from here, I don’t know. That’s life, though, isn’t it? This is the dawn of the resumption of an aspect of life that makes me elated and optimistic at what the next day holds and where it will take me.

 

The plight of a newbie lyricist marketing a song demo

Even if they aren’t into country music, my friends have been impressed. I’ve already unveiled it but here it is, all over again! A nineteen-year old poem converted into a would-be pop/country song! Slowly, Her Name Fades Away:

Okay, so now what?

Seriously, now what? Read More