I Got 99 Problems…

So we have a new member of the family to go along with the Rev., the Diva and our poor daughter who has to deal with two teenagers in aging adult bodies.

We have always had animals. And back in Nov. very suddenly, our German Shepherd named Rhiannon went from aging but still doing fine to dead in about 36 hours. So we were down to the blind beagle (Diego) and the blood-drawing, screaming blue and gold macaw (Rufus).

We knew we wanted another dog and all of our animals have always been rescues or adoptions. So we went to the one large shelter in Las Vegas a couple of times until we found a great dog that is neither Pit Bull nor chihuahua (which accounts for about 85% of all of the dogs in that shelter). Her name is Luna and she is some kind of Australian Cattle dog mix (we are pretty sure mixed with Border Collie). When I am working, she is usually laying next to my desk and when we go to bed she jumps up and takes what she considers her place at the foot of the bed.

But I did not set out to write about dogs. While we were waiting in the long line to get into the kennel area and see the dogs available to be adopted. I was totally struck by a tattoo on the inner forearm of the guy controlling access at the gate. You can see a picture about it on this page. (and yes, i asked permission to take the pic and told him I wanted to write about it).

Some People Have Real Problems…

Comedian Louis CK did a bit on the old version of the Conan show called “Everything is Amazing and No One Is Happy—which you can see by clicking on that tattoo photo—that pokes fun at the phenomenon. I have heard it called “First World Problems” and among some of my friends, White People Problems.

I find myself thinking more and more about this guy’s tattoo when I am losing my mind over something stupid—which happens way more often than I really want to admit. I am, I think, the only un-inked audio guy/musician in Las Vegas but I may need to get this one on my own forearm just as a reminder.

I got reminded of all of this a lot over the past couple of months. We have been doing a ton of extra work and—as you read this— a totally new version of the SPLNetwork.com site has just been launched. It is easier to read, easier to search, works better on mobile devices and is built on a platform that we understand well enough to change ourselves if there is an issue or a feature that we want to add. And it allows us to provide much better metrics to potential sponsors and hopefully grow this thing a bit.

So to anyone out there who has dealt with my frustration over the past months, please know that while i am trying to avoid the tattoo, I am open to it. When our 24-hour news cycle culture shows me the latest tragedy or atrocity and i am losing my mind over not being able to get a response from someone I am trying to reach about SPL sponsorship or a venue or agent about a band gig… When I am sitting in a band meeting bitching about how the sax player du jour is a jerk like it is the end of the world and suddenly remember that one person at the table is almost totally destitute and another had a child die within the past couple of years… When i am really building up a head of steam about being misunderstood and not accepted and then think of the crap my gay friends are dealing with on social media and in the regular media when all they want to do is get married like any other couple in love…

My stuff? Nothing. First World, problems. Or as a guy named Randy Holland who first taught me how to trudge the road of happy destiny called them, “Cadillac Problems.” Wish he was still around. Randy was kind of the personification of that tattoo.

We’ve been able to hang on to our home despite a massive economic realignment worldwide and personal fall out from my old job dealio which is now more than four years in the rearview. We are pretty happy but not always content. We have a home but not much in the way of ‘Just because’ budget.

In other words, Life is good. Not perfect. And some people have REAL problems…