Saturday
Feb252006

« It's Not Vacation, It's Part Time Employment! »

One of the things about working part time in the world of event production is that even more than it is the case with full time cats, it's feast or famine. For a couple weeks there, it was 30 hours a week with totally odd hours thrown in with totally normal banker's hours. Then it was 21 hours. Then this calendar week, I worked precisely no hours at AV Concepts. And next week, it appears that there will be the 30 hour plan due to a death in the family of one our drivers. And, the shifts are equally well messed up. There is talk about two drives on consecutive days up to LA, which in itself isn't too odd, but the timing is just fucking over the top weird—load IN and load OUT each at two in the morning! It's plenty whack, sez me. The following week looks like it will have a trip to San Francisco, which at least puts me in the league of maximum part time, with some per diem pay which makes up for a few "lost hours."

Ah, so what does my week turn into when there is utterly no work? Well, part of it is the continuation of my moving house project—more things find their intended nooks and crannies. Or, on a day like Tuesday, I get to enjoy doing the morning Bible study with some church folks. I hardly ever get to do the stuff unless I am unemployed, and would far prefer to leave my life open for stuff of that sort. On the same Tuesday, there was another midday church organization that met and I was able to attend. Tis also a rare thing to take part in. I got to learn about Panama and Costa Rica from one of the fellows who took a tour and shot some video, then, since I was carless after having Kelli drop me off, said fellow asked me to help him take his TV back to the house, which I did, and got my ride home that way. Also, later on that same evening, Kelli and I went next door to Phil's Urantia Book group reading which we usually do every other week. It's more stimulating material and it's always nice to share life with Phil and Nancy next door, especially now that they really are that close.

Oh, then there is the studio stuff. I finally got to do more stuff in the studio. It's feeling more and more normal to me now, though instruments are still there to remind me how long its been since I played. But overall, it's nice to be able to at least operate in an environment that is conducive to making music. After the apartment, it is nice. No more tiny apartment, no more loud annoying neighbors, and all my gear and office like stuff is in one place. I spent some time sorting out all sorts of audio files on the computer, trying to clean house on a bunch of shit that never got dealt with from the hours of jams that end up being done and partially worked with. It's led to some amazing discoveries of things I thought lost, or bits of stuff that when edited down to the potent scraps seem to make music. I put up a second video monitor today for the benefit of ProTools primarily where it's easier to operate with both of the primary screens filling their own monitor space. My acoustic guitar is out with Glenn, but I finally availed myself of one of Kelli's guitars which had been right around for a couple years now but I never touched it except to restring it maybe three years ago, only for it to get funky and green again. Well, I shined up the frets and oiled the board, and it's like new. Comparable to my old Fender, this is a similarly modest Yamaha. The discerning ear will notice I hardly ever record acoustic guitar. I like to mess with it because it's a sweet thing to hear chords on, but I am not really a guitar player who can make it sing. So it sits for months between short bouts of intense dabbling and experimentation with alternate tunings.

I also spent some time cursing and swearing at some web design projects of my own, and on the site I do for my church. I recently got into a position where I am the sole designer and maintainer of that site. After a terrifically long time of slow indecision in a not-quite-cooperative partnership on that project, the other person resigned. At least now the pace can pick up. We never properly announced the site to the church, though of course folks know it's there. In a month or so, the proper announcement will come down, and I want it to sit there looking like a new Camaro when I talk about the features it has, so I am combing it and trying some new stuff that will make any improvement I can make, but often by way of a really fucking frustrating exercise in tolerance of Dreamweaver and PHP.

okua the wolf dog sitting rather queen-like under a treeOkua the Wolf DogOh, then what else do I do on my not-quite-vacation? Well, Okua the wolf dog is as mischievous as ever, and this time, she knows the neighborhood. After all, this is her turf now! Oh, she can jump the fence with no problem then run in the no man's land behind our house, the school and the neighboring houses on the street in the canyon below us. She follows the mostly fenced corridor that runs along the school fence then somehow gets into the school field. She likes to hang out and get in some sniffing since the field doubles as a regular park when school is not in session. She cuts quite a figure; a blond wolf/shepherd of strong build comes walking in from nowhere and is all about the school. Sometimes she just goes and sits, but mostly she just likes to get out and run. She sets her own schedule in that regard. All it takes is a short moment of inattention if left unattended and unleashed in the back yard. The entrance to the park is close enough that I could walk, but I've used her recent escapades as an excuse to use my bike, and that is something I should be doing more of.

Ah, my boring life. Hopelessly chasing the dog on a piece of turf she knows since a pup. Working around the clock one day then not at all the next. Bible study with old people and my wife. Pulling hair out at web design. Next week it's all work and I will long for the days of doing all this. Push, pull, push, pull.

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