Caput, if I remember my Latin, means head. We get a million words from Caput, everything from recapitulate to capitalism to, um, cap, probably.

But on the head-making money front, I had two phone calls this morning. First, a forty five minute call from my mom and then a forty five second call from Jordana. Which, actually, is how they both like to work, my mom in long spastic meandering idioms, Jordana in simple declarative statements.

My mom is in Utah doing a set of recordings that have effectively eaten up a few extra years of her life. She is working on a project that is not her own music, simply because her financial life is so desperate she has no choice. I wish she was working on music for herself, instead of devoting an enormous amount of time and energy to a show that I think has a limited chance for success…

Y’know what? I’m not gonna start. There is a person who has devoted himself to creating a musical despite the fact that he has no experience with any one aspect of creating a musical. So my mom is stuck in a flea bag hotel in Utah, miles away from her family, unable to celebrate her son’s engagement with her future daughter-in-law, and she is trying to rewrite music, press releases and scripts, all of which are borderline impossible to decipher.

But my mom has no money. Once she committed herself to the life of an artist, she has basically been barely getting by ever since. True, she is terrible with money, the other day I rescued a hundred dollar bill that she had accidentally thrown away in a grocery store trash bin, but she also had no money from her family as a child, effectively started from zero after the divorce, and, even at 71, is still working just to pay her rent.

I got off the phone with her after finally yelling at her that she was wasting her life trying to make this piece work to her standards. Some people are perfectionists and some are musicians, and unfortunately for my mom, she is both of those, and poor, all at the same time.

Then Jordana called me and quietly said, ‘I need your help getting me out of here.’ She doesn’t work for a bad man, she doesn’t do work that steals her real talent… but she has gotten awfully good at something that she cares nothing about. And it isn’t fair. ‘I can’t come in late, because it just means I’m behind. I can’t miss a day because that day’s work has to be done on top of the next day’s. And I don’t enjoy weekends because I just have to come back on Monday.’

And that’s all she said.

So, the life of an artist? What is it worth? Do I want Jordana, at 71, to be doing a job like this so we can get by, so we can help our kids? Are we starting out all wrong? I need to figure out what I can do to move myself from a sullen artist to a man concerned with capital, and fast. I have skills that can be parlayed, I just have to figure out the right way. And eight dollars an hour may not be the right way to go, but it might be a reasonable first step.