So the total damage is —

— I owe Da Fed’ral Gummit a whopping sixteen bucks, and I got three hundred back from the state. I don’t mind giving the state an interest-free loan since I can see what it gets spent on, and my state has a fairly extensive public education system that I don’t mind underwriting. I kid myself that the feds give all my tax money to NASA, and that fiction keeps me mostly content about giving them anything at all.

This is likely to be the last uncomplicated tax year for me if the music thing gets off the ground in time to become an issue when I do my 2013 taxes. At some point I’ll have to find a tax lawyer, throw an hour’s worth of money at it, and find out what paperwork I’ll have to deal with to keep the feds from shaving me bald.

Cables, computer, gear, writing, recording, yadda yadda …

I put an external sound card in my cart at Amazon and will see what I can do about picking up a shielded cable.

This shit is annoying. I like computers, and even I think this is annoying. Well, I like basic coding and learning to use programs. I’m not intimidated by computers, thankfully. But I do not like hardware. My interest level dies the minute we’re talking about anything electronic that can be dropped on your foot. If a mechanism doesn’t have gears, pulleys, pistons, and stuff I can actually see moving, I lose interest. And at that, I’m endlessly grateful that I have the ease and comfort with computers and the Internet that I do. A lot of musicians tend not to — certainly in my age cohort — and my technical background keeps me from being frightened of all of it.

I think that the technical abilities that I have that will stand me in the best stead as a musician are that I know Illustrator and Photoshop and am better with them than many graphic artists. All of the graphic work that I will need to support this rigmarole will be done by me; I need pay no one else. All of the publicity and media contact garbage that I need to do I can also do myself without cutting a single check. All of the website/blog maintenance I need to do I can do myself. I’m very fortunate to have the skills to be a shop-unto-myself. I am also lucky to play an instrument that requires relatively little post-production. The only things I do not know about are the bureaucratic junk behind it all — what unions I may need or want to join as a musician, what paperwork I need to keep straight so the government doesn’t shave me bald on April 15th, the paperwork required to perform live should I ever decide that I’m going to, that sort of thing.

But I still get a reflexive burst of petulance when I’m forced to concern myself with gear of any kind. I would be a terrible guitarist. They love that stuff.

I’m also starting to realize that I should have concerned myself with it a lot earlier. I had a (typical classical, I think) vision of writing a full compilation worth of music, and then woodshedding it piece by piece and recording the whole thing. Probably comes from those days when I’d have complete albums of composers’ work propped in front of me as if the compositions had all come into being as a single large block of work.

What I wish I had done now is piffled around with whatchamacallits and framizams and reversing the polarity of the neutron flow much earlier so that I could have recorded each piece as I finished it. That’s the best time to get a piece recorded, when it’s still for the most part coming naturally to your hands. Now, I have to go back and re-learn eight pieces anew — about thirty pages of sheet! — and record the stupid things. I should have bitten the bullet on the technical junk much earlier.

Hopefully now that I am making myself untangle this, I will be able to write/record more quickly in the future because I won’t have this idiotic backlog of completed pieces building up anymore. We’ll see how that goes.