House Concerts Along the Way

Could I possibly end up performing in St. Helens, Oregon, Everett, Washington, and Vancouver? (Edit: St. Helens is out, this trip.)

House concerts beat coffee shops hands down. Coffee shops are really a place to go practice, knowing that absolutely no one is listening.

But show up to someone’s living room, where they’ve invited all their friends, and everyone brings something to drink and a snack, and you’re the guest host of a very cool party. When the hat is passed, literally or metaphorically, even a few drachmas from each guest turns into more than I’ve earned in every coffee shop I’ve ever played in.

There’s more than you really want to know about my house concerts at my tunehenge site.

More of the Plan

The long-term goal is to own nothing but what we can carry in a few suitcases, besides a few possessions too expensive or emotionally precious to replace. This isn’t meant to be Sherman’s march to the sea, slashing and burning as we go. At some point it’s likely we’ll come back to a more traditional lifestyle, and I’ll regret getting rid of all my books and my Dad’s stuff.

We rent our home right now, so we won’t have to sell anything that huge. Sue’s son might find a roomie or two and stay here, meaning we’d have an attic to store stuff in, an address to get mail at, and a place to sleep when we’re in town. Otherwise, we have dozens of friends who’d offer a room, an address, whatever we need.

We’ve got a tentative test trip planned for August 2nd through the 24th-ish. We’d be house-sitting just outside Vancouver, British Columbia. I mentioned the trip to a close friend today and he talked endlessly about the marvelous vacation he and his wife took there; about the mind-boggling beauty of the scenery.

Sue discovered that another one of her virtual assistant contacts is in Vancouver. She was going to track her down when she noticed late this afternoon that said VA had Tweeted something about looking for accountability partners to help her take her business to the next level . . . so tomorrow, we have a call planned to talk about arranging some sort of workshop (or workshops) while we’re there.

In the spirit of transparency, if we can make $600 in extra income while we’re there (beyond what we would have earned staying home) it will completely cover the cost of the trip. And if the big web job we’ve signed issues the first payment within the next month (almost a foregone conclusion) we’ll even have the funds up front, seed money, so to speak, and earn it back on the trip. Lather rinse repeat.

Might make a pre-dry-run (yeah, I just make this stuff up) to San Diego in July. Don’t tell Sue. If we can arrange a small informal event in LA and one in San Diego, we could make up the $300 that trip would cost.

These trips would let us test out what it’s like to work completely remotely. My wonky little Sony Vaio laptop; Sue on her son’s borrowed Dell beast (don’t tell him, either.)

Skype calls? Have to test. No headphones. Do we take speakers? Do we take the musician-quality microphones we’re used to using?

House concerts: if I could connect with folks who’d host a house concert, I show up, play music for an hour, pass a hat, play for another half hour.

Video everything (already a habit.) Take notes about everything (already a habit.)

Van needs rear tires and rear brakes. And windshield wipers.

There must be a dozen things I’m forgetting.