6.08.2014

Rust In Peace

My beloved yellow Bug is no more. Or, more precisely, no longer mine. I loved my Volkswagen. Loved it. I just didn't love writing all those checks to my mechanic. While I was driving through the Rockies last summer, part of the undercarriage fell off. Alarming, but apparently unnecessary for continued driving. Then, a big bubble developed in the paint on the hood and peeled off. Did I mention that I was living in the high desert and the AC was kaput? Then, on the way to a gig early one Saturday morning this winter, I hit a patch of ice on 294 and hit a concrete wall. I was fine, but it was the beginning of an extremely antagonistic process with my insurance. Multiple times, important information was "lost" by the agent handling my claim.
Well, a little over a month ago, I was on my way to meet up with an out-of-town friend on a layover in Chicago, when a Spring rainstorm turned to hail. Horrible, monsoon-like lashings of rain and hail. And I couldn't get my windshield to clear because the AC didn't work. I had to wipe the inside down with a towel I happened to have in the car, then keep the window cracked to equalize the temperature. Fuck that shit. I could tolerate the Bug's various hoopy quirks until they adversely affected my ability to drive, and brother, not being able to see is a major problem.
If you'd told me that I'd drive an SUV, I would have laughed in your face. Somehow, in my search for another Beetle, I ended up with a RAV4. It's great. I looked at the Suburu Forrester, too, but it was more car than I need. Now, I can schlepp gear without looking like the punchline to a joke, and it isn't much harder to parallel park. The AC is chilly and everything works! It still needs a couple of irreverent bumper stickers, floor mats, and maybe some fuzzy dice.
And boy, have I been schlepping lately. Full sound rigs, a mixing console the size of a yacht, a handcart, and the other sound designer I'm assisting have all made an appearance. At the end of next week, I will have three musicals running concurrently. I'll also be tired. I've been designing almost exclusively this season, which is a change of pace. Mostly assisting my pal Mikey, who shares my love of Silky Johnson and lets me take pictures of him sitting on a pink toilet at 2 am.
On the knitting front, I've picked up my hexipuffs again. They're addictive and don't involve knitting lying on my lap during the humid, hot months. The puffs are zen, since there is no real end to their project. At some undetermined point in the future, I will look at my pile of puffs and decide that there are enough of them to make a blanket. Blankets come in many sizes. then, I will spend hours arranging them in an artful "random" pattern that is anything but. And I can cheat on the puffs and not feel guilty, unlike my one sleeved cardigan.

11.29.2013


9.18.2013

It would be fair of you to think that this blog has been abandoned. Really, it's just been terribly neglected while I've worked in summer stock. For any civilians reading this, I should explain that summer stock is an intense form of theatre in which everyone works impossible hours, drinks too much, and sleeps too little. I highly recommend it.
I hadn't worked a stock season in six or seven years. One of my dearest friends, herself a summer stock vet, asked me if I wasn't too old for this shit. I was insulted at the time, but while working with a department full of twenty-two year olds, I saw her point. "Kids today," I find myself saying to one of the other adults here. Mostly, I mix my shows and try not to be too homesick. I like to think of myself as a bit of a gypsy, but I miss the familiar things: strong coffee, good ethnic foods, and decent fucking pizza.
I've been knitting less than I do at home. Just as well, since there's no local yarn store within two hours' drive. I packed what can best be described as an optimistic amount of yarn, knowing that I'd be left to my own devices, knitting-wise, here. So far, I've knit: two shawls (and abandoned a third), a funky lace weight scarf, a big lace cowl, opera-length armwarmers, an unfortunate tee, and a single sock. Looks like a long list when written down, but it hasn't felt very productive. Most days, I spend hours with my hand hovering, ready to spring over my mixing console, or doing painstaking repairs with a soldering iron. Both involve a similar wrist movement to knitting, which really cuts down on the amount of lacemaking I do at the end of the day.

4.15.2013

Things I Have Said Recently

I'm having an accordion emergency.
Yes, I'd like to try some free wine.
I need to work on my fundamentals before getting a concertina.
Fuck this shit.
I'll have a Cabernet.
He says that he's straight but he puts off a gay vibe. He's welcome to prove it anytime.
I'm getting a new accordion and you can't touch it.
God, this shawl is taking forever. Maybe it's the 300+ stitch long rows.
Mad Men last week was a disappointment.
Thank you for asking to see my ID.
The DMV was full of other people having a birthday. You know, procrastinators.
I'll take a Febreeze shower on the way to work.
Why does it smell like Salisbury steak?
Apparently, they respond well to me being a total dick.
My dentist told me to stay away from leftover Easter candy. Leftover, ha!
Thanks for making that awkward.

4.10.2013

Here I am, nursing my first giant cup of coffee of the day. My grandmother gave me a burr grinder for my birthday, so I'm finally able to use my French press. I love the ceremony of making the coffee and just want to drink it all the time.
The mixing console came back from the shop a few weeks ago, with an amusing diagnosis. I was right about shorts on the board; there was tinsel inside the mixer that was creating arcs. No one at work can remember the last time we used tinsel, though there was an aluminum tree in our Christmas show. Even though everything is dandy with the analog mixer, I'm doing most of my heavy lifting with the digital board.
The other reason for using the digital board is that it will make things easier when I hand my current show off to another engineer. My secret motivation in wanting the system shipshape is that I am leaving my gig at the end of next week. It's so much easier not to have to explain dozens of quirks. This is a positive move for me. I will miss some of my coworkers, but I need more work than my current gig offers.
I'm taking off for a sit-down out West and it is slowly dawning on me how long six months is. There aren't any yarn shops where I'll be, so I have to take whatever I'll need (or want) to knit for the next half-year. Predicting what I will want to make is tricky. Fortunately, I have a fairly deep stash, but I don't want to take all of it. My friends and family keep reminding me that anything I need or forget can be obtained through the magic of the Internet, but you can't fondle yarn through a computer screen. Sometimes instant gratification is required!

2.14.2013

Today, I impulsively decided to go see a movie. This time of year is usually dead for films, but I managed to find a real gem: Quartet. I was the youngest person in the theater by at least thirty years, but I don't think that I am the target audience. If you haven't heard of it (and it hasn't received a lot of press in the States), Quartet is a film directed by Dustin Hoffman about a group of retired musicians and opera singers. The acting and music were superb.
The film ends with the quartet from Rigoletto, which really has to be heard to be believed. Transcendent, really. When I was walking down the hallway, I passed by another theater playing Les Miserables, with one of Fantine's songs bleeding through the wall. It was like smelling Burger King after eating at Mortons. Why would anyone want to listen to that when there is real music, I thought. All my friends who have been raving about the new Les Mis film are just not going to convince me to see it.
The other thing that struck me about Quartet is that it is an unusual film. How many films are made today about adults, without sex scenes, violence, action, or some other element that appeals to 18-25 year old men? How many films focus solely on characters in the autumn of life, without some sort of subplot involving an adorable or troubled grandchild? I suppose I am a sucker for a film like Quartet, since I adore music and understand too well the way in which the characters reminisce about productions they did fifty years earlier. The work was their lives, in a way that it isn't, I suspect, for actuaries and garbage men and postal workers. Performers and artists really shoot for the moon in expecting their work to provide everything. Civilians don't expect that, do they?

On the personal front, I haven't been shooting the moon lately. I've had a lot of technical problems that make me feel like I might have a heart attack every night at work. One night, I was just sitting there in front of the mixer, not touching anything, when all of the channels' signal lights blinked off and on for about a minute. What The Fuck? There's got to be a short in the mixer somewhere, damned if I know where though. I hate having to fervently hope that all of my gear will work as the (metaphorical) curtain goes up every night. I just want everything to work consistently. The mixer is in for repairs, where trained technicians who probably make more an hour that I do can track down all those intermittent problems. I'm trying to get everything shipshape and Bristol fashion, to counteract all of the short term thinking that has allowed the sound system to be in such a state.

 
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