Time for another Ask Jana. I do these on Facebook, so friend me or whatever.
Tamara asks: To you, does the Walla Walla river valley remind you of the Rio Grande Valley north of Santa Fe? (To me, the high dry fields punctuated by a sudden drop to a cold river with greenery, with Sangre de Cristo or Blue mountains, are similar).
YES. When we were up there this summer in Richland, I looked around and said, “This looks like New Mexico.” It’s scrubby and brown. Instead of chile everywhere, there are grapes. I don’t like grapes as much as I like chile but they’re ok. Can you mash up grapes into a sauce, add some flour to thicken, and smother a burrito with it? No you cannot. I think I digress.
Oh look, a chile photo. Surprise surprise.
Amy asks: If you were in the circus- what would be your act?
I would be a mentalist, wear a top hat, tell you the future, and try to levitate things like shoes, books, and elephants (in progressing order from easiest to hardest of course).
John asks: If someone offered me all the tea in china to do something does it seem like it might be worth it?
No, John…and let me tell you why. China is no longer making tea, they are making iPhones. If someone offered you all the iPhones in China, I’d take it.
David asks: Think music could solve this stale mate in congress? I mean everyone on both sides of the aisle must like music… unless they have no soul, right?
I think you just answered your own question, David. (Soulless politician joke: check!) Unfortunately, if you want my jaded view of things, it would have to be one of the Big Three Record Labels offering them a lot of money to listen to some manufactured song to make anyone do anything up in DC, and yes I did just post below about how much I love pop music. A Libertarian could solve this stale mate…but that’s another blog.
Bragitta asks: If a musician farts in the woods, would it be considered music?
Birgit asks: Why does the guy sitting next to me smell like cheese?
Somehow these questions seemed related to me. The guy next to Birgit could be a musician, but if he passed gas in the woods, he would most definitely not be making music unless there was some sort multiple tone scaled-note system happening, and if that was the case, then it might explain the cheese smell.
Deb asks: Do you use a wireless hotspot on the road? Is it your phone or a separate hotspot-what do you recommend? And what sort of package (how many gigaBytes) is necessary to have a hotspot for mobile laptopping via say an iPhone or staying connected daily to your fans via your social networks?
Tech question! I’ll caveat this and say I don’t use one right now, though I am tempted. We used to use a wifi USB through AT&T and it was generally slow but useable. That was a couple of years ago, so I imagine things have sped up since then. Currently my “always connected” solution is my iPad with 3G on Verizon, while my iPhone is on AT&T. I find that I am generally always getting a good signal from one (usually both), unless we are in the middle of nowhere, which these days it’s rare to find “nowhere” somewhere. For heavier computing that I need to do on my laptop (uploading videos, for instance) I always just wait until I find a wifi spot somewhere (hotel, coffee shop) so I’m not maxing out any data caps. America is surprisingly wifi’d at this point, and on our last 5 week trip there were only a couple of days where the internet access was a little frustrating. The iPad plan also lets you pay for GB’s as you go, so there’s no cap. On non-busy months, I use way less and pay less. Handy.
James asks: What’s your favorite song that you’ve written and why is it your favorite?
The stereotypical answer is that my favorite song is my newest one, but it’s always true. I will play it until it runs into the ground or until the next new favorite…it’s a great testing ground for new stuff. So right now my favorite is one called “String Theory” that I just finished.
Christina asks: What’s your favorite dessert(s)?
I tend to gravitate toward savory foods first, but in the dessert world my mom makes the best pumpkin cake ever. It has cream cheese frosting. Many have tried to replicate it, all have failed. It is the epitome of cake and pumpkin and dessert.
Melinda asks: Why am I obsessed with Bob the Alien?
I googled Bob the Alien and I’m not sure if I just didn’t find it or if my Google results are skewed because I look up Roswell and alien conspiracy sites all the time. Anyway, Melinda, I think it’s in your DNA as an American to be attracted to aliens because we are steeped in UFO culture. If his name is Bob, he sounds pretty ok in a non-threatening sort of way, so that’s even better. Zxxbrhhk the Alien is way harder to spell and way scarier sounding.
James asks: Do you name your guitars?
I do not. I have never named my things. I think I had a doll named Steven as a kid and then I saw the commercial on TV for Child’s Play and never allowed a doll in my room again. I don’t mess around with possessed plastic. I digress…I have never named my instruments or my cars. The closest I have come is deeming Susan’s new Sprinter van “The Grey Whale” for a minute and a half, then diverting back to “The Sprinter” because it’s easier to say and it’s a van, not a sea-faring mammal. My roommate Katie, however, is excellent at naming things. Her cute red car is Redda James and the microwave is Wavy Jones.
Katie asks: What is your preferred method of wake-up alarm? Buzzer? Music? iPhone noise?
Oh hey, Katie, I was just talking about you. I’m glad you ask this because it means as your roommate, my alarm does not bother you across the apartment in the morning. I have an annoying iPhone alarm called “Bells” or something that makes me want to throw it across the room, but it certainly does the job.
Jon asks: How would you like to see yourself on September 24th, 2017?
I would like to see myself rendered in lifelike 3D through virtual reality glasses…Google is making them now but by then, I assume they’ll be the new iPhone or something. It won’t even be a phone, it will just be called iContact and you’ll stick the lens in your eye. I would also like to be raking in the dough from this very iContact idea I just had.
Alternately, I’d like to be at the helm of a small but mighty empire involving blogging about being an independent musician, an eBook author, and helping artists get their music into the world. Also I’d like to be raking in the cash (see a theme?) from having my songs on every hip TV show ever as the background music for the tense “let’s make a decision oh we did now we’re happy” scenes, ideally starring Tina Fey, Christopher Walken, and Amy Poehler.
Jay asks: Should I record my new song, “Attila The Hun Of Hearts”…or sell it to someone in Gnashville?
Nashville all the way, but you should record it first to pitch it. Then everyone wins!
Beth asks: Would you rather have a flying monkey or a flying pig? Also – how should one properly solve the problem of a cold morning toilet seat?
I would prefer a flying monkey because every morning it could wake up about 10 minutes before me and go sit on the toilet to warm it up. Then it could wash its little monkey hands and go make me coffee. A hygienic, flying coffee monkey…that’s what I want.
Gail asks: What….is the capital of Assyria?
I guess this makes sense…the city of Assur was the first capital of Assyria. And now we know.