Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Can you suggest quick, easy-to-get sources of LEGAL income?

Brothers and sisters, can you spare some time?

I'm researching a talk radio/podcast series (and possibly more!) addressing ways to raise two types of income, LEGALLY. Specifically, I'm seeking stories about how people snag...

  1. Cash in a flash when your back's against the wall and the wolf's at the door, and
  2. Easy-to-get gigs that pay steady, reliable, SUSTAINABLE income - the kind of jobs that tide you over until you land your dream gig or your ship comes in. (Anna Nicole would know what I'm talking about.)

The topic's nothing new but fresh suggestions are needed. There are eight million (and more) stories in the naked city. You surely know at least one.

What types of hourly jobs, moonlighting gigs or parallel careers do artists and entertainers, students and entrepreneurs do to fund their passions? How do job seekers who are harder to employ - such as those who are "overqualified," gray haire, ex-cons and returning-to-work people with gaping resume gaps make ends meet?

It's my goal to compile and share actionable advice, specific leads and success stories and share them with the world! Aunt Lisa wants YOU to help.


Suggested gigs MUST be legal (UNLIKE selling s-e-x or illegal substances, stealing, scamming, extortion, kidnapping, killing-for-hire, engaging in green card marriages, smuggling, etc.). However, suggested gigs NEED NOT BE traditional, resume-material, or anything to write home about. In other words, it's OK to suggest manning a psychic (or Girl 6-like) hotline or bartending at a strip club.


Suggested gigs CANNOT be hazardous to one's health (UNLIKE selling body parts). However, suggested gigs CAN involve selling hair, eggs and s-p-e-r-m or participating in legitimate medical studies.




Clearly distinguish between cash-in-a-flash solutions and sustainable-gigs. Also, please specify:


For example: (a) Wear a Santa suit and conduct customer intercept surveys (b) to gather consumer data (c) from male and female golfers and other patrons age 18 and older (d) at the 19th hole at Swinging Greens golf course in Yourtown, Yourstate (e) for In-Your-Business, Inc.

  • HOW FAST can you GET THE GIG and START WORKING? The problem with many highly paid opportunities is the lead time between finding them, signing the dotted line, and reporting to work. On the other hand, some other gigs (like day labor) start right away.
  • HOW MUCH does the opportunity pay?
  • HOW FAST do you get your first paycheck?
  • WHAT IS THE PAY SCHEDULE? Is your check (a) based on piecework, (b) time-based (hourly/daily/weekly/monthly), or (c) based on another scheme _____ (please specify)?
  • WHAT IS THE COMPENSATION BASIS? What percentage each are: (a) commission, (b) bonus, (c) base pay, (d) tips, (e) percentage collected, (f) based on another scheme ______ (please specify)?
  • HOW STEADY AND RELIABLE is the work? (a) Is the opportunity seasonal, (b) event-based, or (c) based on some other schedme? _________ (please specify)
  • HOW/WHERE/THROUGH WHOM DOES ONE SIGN UP? Can you apply (a) online, (b) in person, (c) other ______(please specify)? Must you be referred? (If so, by whom?)
  • WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO ENTRY? Are there prerequisite credentials (specify), tests (specify), citizenship (specify), residency (specify), experience (specify type and number of years), looks, demographic characteristics, temperaments, age, etc?
  • HOW CAN ONE HURDLE THE BARRIERS? For example: cover up body art.

Got suggestions? Please email them to: info AT 360meridian DOT com with LEGAL INCOME in the header, or fax them to: (01) 309-279-7528.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Swing with these rare Treemonisha performances on WGBH 89.7

Yeah, boyee. The web is a wonderful tool. Just look at how my random post a few days ago has reverberated through the internet to create an informative cultural exchange:

Hi Lisa - I just came across your mention of Joplin's Treemonisha, and just wanted to let you know that you can hear a rare performance of the opera next week, Feb 26-28, through WGBH 89.7's Web site at

You can also find a press release about the broadcast


No Ben, thank you!

I'd planned to share some info and excerpts from Treemonisha on Wednesday's Lisa Tolliver Show, during which I'll be celebrating Black History Month. But maybe, instead, I'll refer listeners to WGBH and use my precious 1/2 hour, from noon to 12:30 PM, Eastern Time, to share some other treasures. For example, one guest, Jerome, will perform a famous gospel tune a capella. Another participant will read a poem. There'll be plenty more and the joint will be jumpin'.

Here's how to join us:

  • WHEN: Tune in at noon, Eastern Time.
  • WHERE: WVOX 1460 AM and
  • PARTICIPATE: Phone our call-in line, (01) 914 636 0110.

Image attributions:

  • The public domain photo of Scott Joplin is from
  • The public domain image of the Treemonisha opera bill is from Wikipedia - Treemonisha.

Food for thought: Advice for thriving, not starving as an artist

I was 14 when I attended a performing arts camp whose youngest chaplain blessed our picnic lunch thusly:

Man cannot live by bread alone. He must have peanut butter and jelly.
That tongue-in-cheek prayer came to mind this morning, when I was seeking resources to support my multimedia projects. Some such resources were posted at

For example, an article in the Creative Capital Artists' Toolbox provides food for thought for greedy artists and fundraisers who want to pursue their passions AND eat three squares daily. The piece, entitled, "Fundraising Advice for Individuals," is an artist interview with Creative Capital Assistant Director Alyson Pou.

The article was excerpted from Margaret Lazzari's: The Practical Handbook for the Emerging Artist( Second Ed. USA: Harcourt College Publishers, 2002). As the title suggests, the book provides practical advice for thriving, not starving as an artist.

If you have room for more after devouring that book, take a bite out of Caroll Michel's How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

ON TV: Reel To Real - Malcolm X

Today's Academy Awards Sunday. It's also the tail end of Black History Month. What better way to start the day (besides going to church), than by watching movies about black history?

The History Channel hit the spot this morning with a 240-minute documentary, Reel To Real - Malcolm X. The movie's characters, cast and crew comprise a veritable constellation of role models spanning six decades.

As the History Channel describes, the movie is an:
Epic biography of America's fiery civil-rights leader, who is superbly played by Oscar-nominated Denzel Washington, from his early days as a zoot-suited hustler known as "Detroit Red" to his spiritual maturity after his pilgrimage to Mecca, as a Black Muslim by the name of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz. Directed by Spike Lee the film also stars Angela Bassett, Albert Hall and Delroy Lindo. (1992)
- Movie: Reel to Real - Malcom X. (1992). The History Channel website. Retrieved 13:40, February 25, 2007, from
Some other prominent figures featured in the film are Muhammed Ali, Nelson Mandela and Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior.

Search the History Channel Schedule to learn when this and other Black History Month films will air in your time zone.

Friday, February 23, 2007

ON STAGE: As in 'American Idol', the audience and judges select The Strawberry One-Act Festival winners

They're baaack! The audience, judges and wild card have spoken: Welcome to Norway's cast and crew are survivors. They have advanced from last week's round in the 12th annual Strawberry One-Act Festival to the next.

The next showdown will be staged tonight at Manhattan Island's Riant Theater. Check the schedule.

As I posted in "Kissing and Telling," Welcome to Norway (by writer-director Robin Anne Joseph) is about a woman (played by Laura Maggie Kramer) who "discovers a powerful lesson about life's destinations and how to accept it." Also acting up acting out acting again in the production will be my pal, Stephen Plaushin.

Although thespian rather than musical, the Riant Theater's competition smacks of American Idol (sans Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest, of course), but it's better. According to the Riant Theater website:

The Strawberry One-Act Festival [...] is a play competition in which the audience and the theatre's judges cast their votes to select the best play of the season. Twice a year, hundreds of plays from across the country are submitted for the competition, of which 40 are chosen to compete. Plays move from the 1st round to the semi-finals and then the finals. The playwright of the winning play receives a grant and the opportunity to have a full-length play developed by the Riant.
Van Dirk Fisher created the Strawberry One-Act Festival a dozen years ago to find and nurture best-in-class talent. I'm sure he also recognized it as a good device to garner attention and revenues for the competition's venue. The same can be said for FOX-TV's creators of American Idol (which debuted less than a decade ago).

Despite their similarities, the series' philosophies and approach differ drastically. The Strawberry Festival's producers publicize the competition at the Riant Theater as "a wonderful opportunity for the audience and the industry alike to see some of the best talent in the nation." The festival staff cherry-picks the Strawberry Festival entries and presents only the best-in-class contenders. Submissions that don't pass muster never see the lights of the Riant's stage, and consequently are never seen by the festival's audience. And the audience - although involved (they vote by ballott) - is tame and civilized.

American Idol drums up drama differently. Each season, early episodes of the hit FOX-TV reality series feature the show's talent-shopping spree and weeding-out process. Ratings are spiced by screening samplings of well-done, medium-well, and bloody-bad performances. Selected performers who make the cut are served, like raw meat, to the judges and TV viewers, whose worst remarks couldn't possibly rival Simon Cowell's notoriously cutting, sometimes vicious comments.

If the Strawberry One-Act Festival suits your palate, check it out. Two flavors are available: sit down and take out.

Admission to sit down in the theater costs $20-$25. To take out, view the productions online at the day after they are performed on the boards.

To Stevie and company: break a leg!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Does your first date signal "keeper" or "cast another net"?

Today, MSN Dating and Personals united this pair of articles under "Finding the One". His read: 10 sure signs she's a keeper (a.k.a., She's a keeper!). Hers said: 6 First-date signs he's Mr. Right (a.k.a., First date signs he’s a keeper).

Those articles evoked memories of dates I've had and those of my friends. We've got tons of tales to tell about belles and beaus whose first date behavior signalled either "keeper" or "cast another net".

I'm sure you have stories worth sharing, too.

If so, I invite you to share them in a series of intimate conversations I'm planning for a few million listeners and me. They'll air during episodes of my upcoming talk radio and podcast programs.

Whether you're shy and commitment phobic, or demonstrative, even exhibitionist, not to worry. We can engage on any number of levels of involvement. You could:

  • Emulate Cyrano de Bergerac by submitting your story, tips and advice for my team and me to report for you;
  • Speak your own piece, live on air;
  • Keep me, by serving as a paid sponsor, and, in return receive public displays of gratitude and promotion of your products and services;
  • Serenade, and otherwise tantalize all involved, by submitting original AND RELEVANT (!) music, poetry, script, love potions, recipes for romance, and other products and services for consideration.

[NOTE: my team and I reserve the right to select and edit submissions at our discretion, and intellectual property rights to transcripts and recordings of my broadcasts and other media will be held by original creators and 360 MERIDIAN, LLC.]

Here's how to reach me. Email ltolliver AT 360meridian DOT com, or phone or fax (01) 309 279 7528.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Happy Chinese New Year!)

Goodbye Year of the Dog; welcome Year of the Red Fire Pig or Boar.

According to the Western solar calendar system, The Year of the Pig or Boar began two days ago. Consequently, according to the Chinese lunar calendar system, this is year 4705: a new moon day, the first day of the first Chinese lunar month, and a yin year. says New Year's is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. Because of cyclical lunar dating, the first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. Holiday Insights explains that the 15 day celebration begins on the first day of the new moon, and ends on the full moon. The celebration on the15th day is called the Lantern Festival.

The astrological new year in China begins a short time later, at the winter solstice. According to the Chinese Fortune-Telling calendar system, the Red Pig New Year began February 18th, 2007, coincident with first day of Tiger month and the Start of Spring.

I hope your year will be happy and healthy, joyful and prosperous.
  • More resources: Access Websites that provide more details and ideas for celebrating the Chinese New Year. Access a book list, delectables, music, and music items.
  • Image attributions: Astrology On the Web.

Conflicting instructions for affixing Nassau Community College parking permits could really jam drivers up

He read, he registered, they arrived. ("They" are the permits for parking on campus at Nassau Community College.)
Now he's perplexed. So am I.

So unfolds the saga of student parking at Nassau Community College.

As I previously reported in "Nassau Community College has driven up the cost of parking on campus," all registered students who plan to park on campus must register their vehicles and display pre-paid parking decals as of February 2007. The non-refundable permits cost $5, $17.50 or $45 per vehicle (depending upon when and for what time period(s) they are purchased). Violators risk incurring $90 fines.

The College's Vehicle Registration Program Information Sheet clearly and publicly states:
All vehicles must be registered to be legally permitted to park on campus. However, registration does not guarantee a parking space in any particular parking area. In time the program should prevent non-registered vehicles from parking on campus, thereby making more space available for registered vehicles. There is currently ample parking available on campus for all students although some spaces may not be conveniently located.
That sounds reasonable. The following message on the back of each parking permit (which one must purchase in order to read), however, does not:

A parking decal entitles a vehicle to parking on the campus when space is available.
At peak class periods(9:00 AM to 1:00 PM) all lots may be full.
Alternate methods of transportation are strongly encouraged.

Say what? Nassau Community College is a commuter school located in the heart of the suburbs. Many students, like my friend, work full-time and don't have the luxury of time to dally with public transportation. That's exactly why parking spaces are at such a premium on campus.

But that's not the half of it. Conflicting instructions on the back of the decal and the placard it's attached to are enough to put another bee in one's bonnet.

The tag's back side, immediately above the WARNING! message, reads:

Peel label from this side and affix label to the inside of the windshield.

A windshield is in front of the car, as indicated in picture one. However, the placard headed "READ THIS FIRST!" advises:
Follow the instructions on the back of the permit for removal and attach to the window on the driver's side of the car towards the rear of the vehicle.

The driver's side is on the left, the rear left window is mounted on the door behind the driver. Specifically, it's on the door that the chauffeur in picture two is about to open.

Since tags are non-refundable and placing them incorrectly could cost $90 per day, per car, my friend and I phoned one of the four numbers listed in the Vehicle Registration Program Information Sheet. Two of the numbers didn't apply [those for the Senior Observer Office and the Lifelong Learning Program (Continuing and Professional Studies)]. The one that seemed appropriate (for the Office of Public Safety) was out of order. So we called Credentials Order Processing Services, Inc. at 1-800-646-1858.

The lady who answered the phone clarified what school we were calling about and conferred with someone else. Then she informed us that both sets of instructions that accompanied the decal were incorrect. Proper sticker placement is in a vehicle's rear window (depicted in image three), on the left side, behind the driver!

She further explained, security officers seeking to enforce the parking rules would find it easier to inspect parking stickers and license plates if the vehicles were all parked in the same direction and the decals were uniformly placed in rear-view windows. In contrast, it would be too time-consuming to walk up and down the rows to inspect stickers affixed to side windows.

That makes sense, even though Nassau Community College does not mandate either nose-in or nose-out parking. At least, not yet. Since that's the case, it would also make sense of all decals were uniformly placed on vehicles' windshields.
Where the rubber meets the road is the location where Nassau Community College and the county's Traffic Violations Bureau decide permits should be posted. Since that will remain foggy until the school administration returns from "Winterim" break, it could be easy to get jammed up by the three sets of conflicting instructions. My friend will CYA by propping, but not gluing, his decals where Credentials Order Processing Services advised.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Kissing and Telling: My Valentine's Day program was a public display of affection

On Valentine's Day, USPS representative Tony Musso and actor-radio host Steve Pal (nee Stephen Plaushin) joined the WVOX engineers, listeners and me for a lovely show. There was something for everyone, whether looking for love or in love, lovelorn or about to tie the knot, distant lovers or chocolate lovers. Content included kissing and call-ins, telling of tales and history, serenading and songs, advice and confessions.

Steve, by the way, is starring in Welcome to Norway this Saturday, February 17 at 3:00 PM and invites one and all to come. The play, by writer-director Robin Anne Joseph, is being presented in Series F of the Riant Theater's Strawberry One-Act Festival.NYC. In the play, "a woman [played by Laura Maggie Kramer] discovers a powerful lesson about life's destinations and how to accept it." - source: the Riant Theater Website

Now, about the Valentine's Day Lisa Tolliver Show. The broadcast included:


We played...
We serenaded listeners with selections from:
We discussed relationship songs mentioning letters, stamps and mail, such ...

Love at the USPS...
Information and advice, such as...
  • Valentine's Day history and facts, courtesy of Crew's Nest Holidays (which provided the image, above right) and
  • Love-themed libations, such as those tagged "bride," "honey," "kiss," "lip," "love," "romance," "sex," "sweet," "Valentine," and "wedding" at
  • How to write a love letter.
  • Many lovers get married on Valetine's Day (and other holidays), but divorce divas say, "don't do that." (If the relationship sours, the holiday will forever serve as a painful reminder). On the flip side, many vengeful spouses also file or serve divorce papers on Valentine's Day.
  • Why, on holidays, it's better receive than to give engagement rings.

I'd be insulted if anyone ever sang or dedicated either of these popular songs to me:
I don't want clever conversation
I don't want to work that hard.
I just want someone to talk to
I want you just the way you are.
Your looks are laughable, unphotographable.
Yet, you're my favorite work of art.
Is your figure less than Greek ?
Is your mouth a little weak ?
When you open it to speak, are you smart ?
But don't change a hair for me, not if you care for me.

I love you for listening! SWAK