Monday, June 23, 2008

Its a new kind of adventure...

I owe you all a long post to catch up on my life. It has been a whirlwind lately. I feel like I never stop... Living this rock star life will do that to you though.

First up, the big news. I am no longer a single girl. I have a boyfriend. I have romance in my life again. Its crazy, cool, exciting and scary as all hell. Turns out the really cool addition to my lighting team, is also a really great addition to my life. We hit it off, we complement each other in so many ways, we contradict each other in so many too, that it just balances out and we fit. Its rough as hell dealing with living together, and working together and trying to find time to be together, but we're managing to make it work, and enjoying every second that we can be around each other. (and totally not thinking about that part where he goes one way for the next tour and I go the other).

Its been a long road for me to get to the place where I can do this again. I'm petrified of having my heart broken again, but he makes me laugh and smile and constantly tells me and makes me fell that I'm beautiful and special. One day at a time, and we'll see where this goes... for now, its the greatest feeling I've had in a long time, and I only hope it continues to feel that way.

I've had no time to work on my knitting or projects. I do have a long plane ride coming up, so hopefully during that I'll get the clapotis done. I'm looking to find the pattern for my next pair of socks. I'm discouraged by the ones I am working on, because I messed up the pattern yet again.

So, I'm working on getting caught up on my reading and blogging and keeping in touch with you all. I'll get it done one of these days... But there you have it, my big news... I had to share with someone!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Don't Mess With Texas!

Howdy, y'all.

Sorry, I had to. I'm in Dallas today. Well, not really Dallas, cause I can't see much from my hotel, but the address card says I'm Dallas, so we'll believe it.

Life has been crazy... I feel like its been days since I had time to catch up with myself and what has been going on in life and the world. (I don't even fool myself into thinking I might know what is going on in the world at all, for that matter... so we'll just worry about life today.)

I haven't had a day off in over a week now. After the crazy storm in Brooklyn, we had to take a day to dry out our lights and figure out what was and wasn't going to work the following morning. We turned out ok, and only lost a few fixtures. Thankfully. And I was able to get a new phone - which was a huge hassle and cost me $400. But, communication is important...

Then life got strange the next morning. I walked out to the morning bus call to find another person joining the lighting team. It seems I was the only member of our entire crew that was unaware that he was coming to join us. So I had the freak out moment of ummm... am I losing my job and no one told me about it?? Is the crew chief finally being replaced? Turns out neither of these was the case, and Crash was just brought on board to make things easier all around. I haven't quite figured out if it was to ease tension between the crew chief and I or just cause things were moving too slowly and not getting done in the time table that production wanted. Either way, he's great to have around. He has made the working conditions improve greatly for me... we get along, we joke around, he's teaching me things I need to know to improve in my job. And he offers a buffer zone between the crew chief and I, which is definitely a bonus card.

So, four shows later, and I finally get to have a day to relax and enjoy. Yesterday was Bonarroo... and man do I wish the rain hadn't kept me from getting my memory card back from Alyssa as she fled the concert in Brooklyn. It was a site that deserved lots of pictures, as no words can really describe the spectacle that is a music festival like that. I felt odd being a preppy kind of girl, surrounded by hippies. But it was great fun to wander around and experience the different culture. And made even more fun by the fact that we didn't bring in our own lights and I essentially got to have the day off.

We're into the home stretch now. 7 more shows to go. Seems unreal that I've been in so many place in the last month. I can't even begin to think about how many more I'll add to the list come fall. I'm hoping to cross a few more states off my list of place to visit (I only have 6 states left to visit before I have all 50 covered).

Its been way too hot to knit. Not to mention I've had no time. I did add a few more rows to the clapotis. But I've got three skeins left, so I'm going to make it bigger and keep going for another ball and a half or so before I decrease. Technically, I could decrease now, but bigger is better, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Adventures Continue

The horrid store that whipped across Manhattan last night blew right over the pool where I was. It came in quite rapidly, with tents flying over head and truss swinging crazily. The show got called early, to boos from the crowd. Until they saw the tents blowing away. They ran then. The first 20 minutes where crazy... wind blowing dust and sand everywhere, rain coming down at 45 degree angles, boxes getting pushed this way and that way as lights and backline and sound equipment got tossed in them in the vainest attempts to keep them dry. Things slowed down after that, but it made a very long day even longer.

There had been many issues with the load in. Things moved slowly, which lead to the management being displeased. At which point, my crew chief stated bitching about managements complaints... yet from where I stood, it did look like he could have done more to get ahead quicker. But, I can't say anything. And then there were issues with control of the lights, which I attempted to fix, but while attempting to fix it I was being yelled at for not having it working. It was painful (on top of the physical pain I was in from having slept wrong and pinching a nerve). The issue continued after lunch as well. I had the steward approach me after the day was drawing to a close and complement me on how well I handled myself and kept my composure through the ordeal. He remarked on my strength on dealing with, as he put it, an "asshole".

The other issue of the day was that my phone decided it didn't want to work any longer. It started when I tried to place a call but I could never hear the person on the other end. I solved that problem with speakerphone. But alas the ringer was stuck on loud. I changed that to vibrated, which was great, but then the screen decided it wanted to die. So I can now make three phone calls, to my voicemail, to D and to mom and dad, and only because these numbers are programmed into my speed dial feature. And I know which button activates my speaker phone after I dial.

The first stop of my day was going to be the AT&T store here in Philly. But alas, we lost our day off because of the storm yesterday. So, I am stuck on a bus for another hour, then have a couple of hours of work, with hopes and prayers that work is done early as the store closes at 7, and my next day off is 5 days away. I can't wait that long to get my phone replaced.

And now for the GOOD news. I have my next gig. I will be traveling the US with Neil Diamond, starting in mid July. I am going to be part of the catering team, helping to set up the dining room. I am excited to be heading back out again, and its great as it runs through December, which means job security and a paycheck til then. Which is a huge bonus.

I'll be coming soon to a town near you... well, most likely...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oye... How time goes by

Its been days since I had the time to dedicate to filling you all in on my life. I've been to a different country and back again. I've been stranded on a island with little to do for a day. I've been woken at 4 am by a border patrol man to make sure I really was the girl in the picture on my passport. I've tried to tell stagehands that spoke french where my things went.

Its been crazy, but I love it. We are outside of DC today, and things went in like they were supposed to. There were a few errors, but nothing major. A few could have been avoided had I paid a spec more attention. A few were unforeseeable, like one of the important motors breaking. We have more extreme weather to add to the challenge of the day. Its hot and humid and sweaty.

The stream of consciousness writing continues for me... I get to the point where I can sit and write and it all just flows out of me in the most random of orders. I had posts planned about "Par le vous fransais (ok, I spelled that wrong, but I studied spanish, not french!)" And my time lost on an island off the coast of Toronto. Which was a bit boring, but nice to be out in the wilderness. And to have a work day off. I also got some alone time on the bus, where I was able to catch up on Top Chef. I can't believe they sent Antonia home. But, alas, I'm still rooting for Stephanie so the first woman can win this competition.

I've had a chance to bond with the girls that are out on this tour. We did a girls day at the movies, where we saw Sex and the City (including a smuggled in bottle of white wine) and followed that with a leisurely dinner. Its nice to feel like I have people to grab dinner with now. Or do something on the days off with.

I did get to a point just past the turning of the heel on sock number two. I'm not happy with it, cause once again, I mixed patterns. Part of me wants to just toss in the towel on it and say oh, screw it. And part of me just wants to continue along with my made up pattern and see where I end up. Its been too hot to even touch my yarn the past few days though. I'm about to add in ball five to the clapotis... I think I'll repeat through another ball so it gets a bit longer, and then start to decrease into the corner. I really need to get started on my mother's purse though. Because its the third incarnation of the pattern, I just keep putting it off.

I found out today the company I've ben working with for this tour doesn't have anything to send me out on when this one is over. So, I'm hoping another connection will come through for me. I hear that they are looking and desperate for people, so say a prayer or cross your fingers for me, which ever you prefer to do.

So, thats a bit of my rambling. Tomorrow I'm off to Brooklyn. The show isn't sold out yet for all you NYCers if you want to come say hello and enjoy some good music. Just let me know if you're coming by so I can say hi.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Out of Sorts

I feel like every time I sit down to update what's going on and what I'm up to, I am out of sorts and not making the most sense. It stems from the constant movement and being in a different city every day. Its the part I love and hate about this job. I've seen more places than I ever thought I would, but I've been more tired than you can ever imagine at the same time. Toss in a glass of wine with dinner, and I'm not sure my mind works in a reliable pattern.

Its been a crazy few days. We're on the third show of three in a row. Luckily, they have been good venues with good hands to put all of our stuff in. And two of the three were inside shows. The middle one, the on on the home turf for me (well, home turf because the big boss was there) was outside. And you guessed it, it rained on us again. We have not yet had a day where there were no rain drops. So much for getting a tan and napping in the sun. I cross over the boarder tonight into Canada for shows in Montreal and Toronto. I do get an extra day off in Toronto though. Apparently we are playing on an island, and to get to this island, you have to cross a bridge. The bridge can't handle the weight of our trucks, which means no lights. That makes me happy. There won't be much to do, but maybe I can finish my second sock (which I did cast on last night). I'm excited to get to my happy feet yarn. I'm guessing that that might be the cause of second sock syndrome. The desire to use new yarn, rather than repeating with the yarn you have already made one thing with. Too bad we can't just wear mismatched socks all the time, eh? (I'm getting ready for Canada).

I am very happy out here though. Everyone from my home life that I sound happy. And I feel happy. So it must be true.

I have been starting to chat with a couple of boys from Its been interesting thus far. One is quite the romantic, and keeps proposing picnics in Central Park and candle light massages. But I don't think he quite gets this lifestyle as a job. He keeps asking when I'll be back in NYC so we can meet. And stating how important being together is in a relationship. And while I do agree, it is important, I'm not willing to give up a job I love and a place I am happy for a relationship. I've had so many jobs in my life, finding one you love is hard. And while finding a guy you love is hard too... I need to find one that understands my life isn't in one place all the time. Most often, its going to be in a different state every two to three days. We'll see how things develop.

And now, for dinner... and a show. More from Canada tomorrow.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I look like a traffic cone

Its been a crazy few days on the road.

Red Rocks was fabulous. It was stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the picture I wanted to do the place justice. But here are a few shots.

The place was amazing. The stagehands knew what they were doing and were great to work with. I had some downtime in the afternoon so I had the chance to walk around and take some amazing photos. I climbed the 100+ stairs to the top of the amphitheater twice. And to see all the people that were there made me realize why I do this job. I love to hear the roar of the crowd when the band comes on stage. Cause they couldn't be on stage if it weren't for me.

After Red Rocks, we packed up and headed for Kansas City, MO. Not a bad ride, as I slept for most of it. I got the chance to explore a bit, and went to the Plaza area. I picked up a pair of cheap sunglasses to replace the pair I left in NYC. I had some fabulous BBQ for which KC is pretty famous for. And I got a mini facial at the Origins Store. The girl freaked when she found out who I was working for and offered up her store discount for tickets. I was able to accommodate her, and got some great products for great prices. Sometimes, the perks are great.

From there we traveled onto Columbia, MO. I wish I had pictures so you could see the difference in size of stages that we are dealing with. The stage in Columbia was tiny. We hung 6 of our 50 lights. As that was all the roof could hold. And put a few more on the floor. The load in was easy. And fairly painless. Until about mid afternoon, and a midwestern thunderstorm cropped up. Including downpours. Things got flooded. The rain came down for a good while. We threw tarps over almost everything, but it didn't quite save everything from the water. We lost one of our lighting boards, as well as 10 different lights to water issues. At one point there was 6 inches of water coursing down the gutter. The gutter that our power (400 amps worth of it) was running through. The show went on, a bit late, and with only some of the right stuff.

I was also able to find a great deal on recycled sari silk, woven into yarn. The woman was selling 100 gram skeins for $5. So I bought 9. Ooops. Ah well, I couldn't refuse a great deal. Not sure what I'll make with it. Maybe a clapotis for my mother.

Today we are in Minneapolis. I had some time to wander around. And had meals at outdoor cafes. This city is very mellow, but there are some great restaurants to choose from. Its been a good day. I'm a bit tired, and slightly buzzed from the glass of wine with dinner. I did get to see the Sex and the City movie. Which was great. It made me cry and miss my girlfriends back in NYC. But also, so thankful that I do have such great friends in my life, both in NYC and out in the world.