Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another day in my life...

Ok, I'm going to start off with the tag that KM sent me last week. And then, more updates on life... From Boulder, CO.

...rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?Hmmm... it was 1998. I was finishing up my sophomore year of college. I had finally gotten to make out with the boy I had crushed on for the entire year - he moved to Boulder, CO a few weeks later, and I only heard from him once or twice. Wouldn't it have been funny if I ran into him today? Wonder if I'd still recognize him?

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
hmm... well, the day is over... but on the list were...
Send Jen a sympathy card for the lose of her granddad
Get a hook for my work id
Explore a bit of Boulder, including the yarn store (more on that in a sec)
Organize my suitcase a bit more
Knit a bit - either cast on sock number two or get more of the clapotis done

3) Snacks I enjoy: chips and salsa or guacamole, chocolate covered pretzels, carrots dipped in peanut butter, cashews

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Buy a house, pay my parents back the money they loaned me, travel across Europe and Asia, pay off my credit cards, buy myself the Georg Jensen ring I want

5) Places I have lived: Norton and Worcester, MA, Arlington, VA, Las Vegas, NV, New York City, tour busses and hotel rooms (aka my suitcase)

6) Jobs I have had: Babysitting, short order cook, bartender, scene shop manager, accounts payable assistant, AmeriCorps Promise Fellow, teacher, Project Associate, Sales Associate (retail), stagehand, lighting technician, personal assistant, administrative assistant

And I'm skipping number 7. I love being tagged, but not much for being a tagger.

And now on to the past few days of life. It rained yesterday. I played with electricity in the rain. We were on a portable stage, which was tiny and the roof comes in and out to rig the points. Which was ok, except for having to rig the audio points, while the audio boys were still on a bus in the middle of no where trying to get to the Lehi, UT. We had all sorts of weather, from rain, the overcast cloudy, to hail, to sun. It was a long day, to say the least. Dealing with my crew chief continues to frustrate me... and even frustrated the local crew, as they voiced their displeasure with his working style. And several of them were like I don't know how you do it working with him. The way he talks to you is ridiculous. I attempted to speak to him after the load in was done to discuss setting up a plan of action as to what were my responsibilities on a given day, verses what are his. But he dismissed the idea. I feel like at times he thinks the entire thing is his responsibility, and I'm not even there, but then at others, he demands me to do things that he could easily do himself. I wish he were easier to work with, cause I think I'm pretty easy going and pleasant.

Today I spent in Boulder, alas there was nothing cool to take pictures of to share. I wandered to a great yarn store. The biggest one I have ever been in. They had all sorts of spindles and spinning wheels. And more yarn than I've ever seen in one place. I bought three different yarns for making more of my souvenir socks. They all just spoke to me. One is called Happy Feet, which was my nickname last summer on tour, so I had to have that one. And another is from here in Colorado. So, again, had to have it. I also wandered around Pearl Street, which was great. Lots of shops that sell local art. I picked up this great glass ring for myself. And then I had a great dinner of shrimp and crab dip with fried plantains.

The only bad part of the day was the call I got from the big boss in Chicago. Apparently, the crew chief voiced some complaints about me. I was on the bus briefly during show last night - and this got relayed back to the big boss. Rather than come to me and say something about it, he took it to a level that was out of proportion for the fault. Apparently he was afraid I would argue the point with him. Yes, I may argue a point when I see that there may be a better, easier, more understandable way of doing something, but I won't argue a point when I know I am in the wrong. And especially when in previous conversation he had alluded to be ok with people being on the bus during a show. I tried to express a bit of my issues, but I felt as though the boss did not want to listen to what I had to say. Once again, I say, its going to be a long month. I have to suck it up and just accept his attitude, his yelling at me and the crew and the rest of it, it seems. Doesn't seem fair, does it? The boss did tell me he knew I was working hard and doing a good job with the work. So I guess that is the silver lining.

And now I think I'll pull out my yarn and look at my new purchases. And make a few more rows on the clapotis.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A really long post...

The past few days have been a bit crazy in my world. I had a connecting flight to get to Portland, OR to meet up with my tour. The part where we flew from LGA to PHI was probably the worst flight of my life. I got off it feeling sick and completely tossed about. Thankfully it was only a short, 45 minute flight. The flight to Portland was long. But, they showed a decent movie, and I diligently worked on my socks. And I have this to show for it. My first finished sock! I'm so impressed with myself. Although, I realized as I tried to do the decreases for the instep I had worked two different patterns to create my sock. I had cast on for the Yarn Harlots Basic Sock Recipe, and turned the heel of the pattern that Jen gave me with the yarn. Oops. So I adjusted as best I could to try and get the decreases back to the right spot, as I had several stitches too many. It worked out ok, Until the decreases for the toe. And well, I still had too many stitches for the pattern I had one me. So once again I faked my way through it and tried to make it shape out like a toe the best I could.

I think I was fairly successful, don't you? Even if I won't have two socks that match...

After the long flight to Portland, where my suitcase was still 10 lbs too heavy, I arrived on my tour bus (we'll have pictures of that later, as I am living on an amazing bus, that has never been on the road before). No one was there upon my arrival, so I found an empty bay spot and tossed my luggage in and tried to get a bit settled in. Somewhere in that, I managed to misplace the pouch that I had my license, debit card and amex in. (of course, I didn't realize this til last night when I was separated from the bus) I'm hopeful it just got tossed in my suitcase, and didn't fall out on the grass outside the bay. I met the rest of the crew in bits and pieces that night, before passing out. I was stuck on east coast time, and in the world of west coast time. I headed to bed early instead of joining everyone for drinks.

Our first load in and show were yesterday. Bend, OR is literally in the middle of nowhere. And most stagehands don't know much. It made for an interesting first load in. But, in the end, everything got put in its place. There were lots of little issues. Several of our lights decided they didn't like us, and needed to be swapped out. The data lines (that tell the moving lights when and how to move and change color) didn't get connected completely, which caused other issues. It turned into quite a long day for something that should have been fairly simple. It was a really small stage though, you could touch some of the lights from the ground when they were hanging from the roof. I really like my coworkers; Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. Which is great. And the music is decent too. I am going to enjoy this month.

(shots of the first show, and some of my toys!)

Well, I'm going to enjoy it if we can figure out load out. Last night got a bit ridiculous. Things seemed to move in slow motion on the out. It took longer to load two trucks than last years 22 truck load out. There wasn't a plan of action or attack, and there was no organization to things. I need to fix that tomorrow. Things will go along much smoother if we work methodically and do things the same every night. I am going to try and instill that, and hopefully move things along quicker on future shows. My crew chief is still getting on the edges of my nerves. I wish he'd give more direction and delegate exact tasks to me. I could do with a higher level of organization and structure. And someone who realized that sweat pants are not acceptable wardrobe for outside the house.

Today I traveled to Salt Lake City. I'm done with airports for the rest of the month, thankfully. This flying has messed up my body. I feel scatter brained and out of sorts. I accidentally threw away my boarding passes on Friday - thankfully I realized before anyone threw something in on top of them or emptied the barrel. I've misplaced my license and debit card. I forgot a medicine that should be taken daily in my suitcase on the bus (and when I take the two extra pills tomorrow, my body is going to over react). I'm bloated and dehydrated. I'm looking forward to road travel for the next stretch of time.

I think I've rambled on for enough time tonight. I was tagged by KM the other day, so I will get to that tomorrow. For now, I'm off to bond with my clapotis... The 4th ball of yarn is being attached tonight!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A day and a half at home...

Why does life get so crazy when you just want a couple of relaxing days?

I spent a leisurely day wandering around Chicago on Tuesday. I went to a cute yarn store (Loopy Yarns) If you are ever in Chicago, stop by and visit. They had a great selection, and we're very friendly and helpful. I picked up a long size 2 circular needle, so I could attempt magic loop for my socks. It makes them so much easier to work on. I'm loving socks now. I even picked up some new yarn while I was at the store to make another pair. I've decided that I am going to pick up some yarn in every city that I can find a yarn store in while I am going across the country. Then I can say these are my socks from Chicago. Or this sweater is from Salt Lake City.

After about an hour of browsing through yarn, I headed off to wander through Millennium Park.

I really like Chicago, it has a quiet city feel to it. I was able to get birthday presents for my mother and my sister in law, which are going in the mail today before I head off for Portland. Alas, my friend who was working in Chicago didn't get my messages in time, and we weren't able to see each other. Hopefully we'll have time to catch up when I go back through town in a few weeks with the show.

Wednesday, I flew home to NYC for a lovely 36 hours. And I've managed to pack so much in. I got a free bikini when I purchased my face soap at Bloomie's. I had dinner with friends both nights, I wandered around. And then got the worst migraine I've had in such a long time. I went to bed with a bag of frozen corn on my head (got to love the make shift ice pack). Thankfully, I feel better this morning, as last night the pain was so intense it had me in tears.

Now I have to hope that my suitcase is 20 lbs lighter than when I flew in from Chicago as I get ready to head out for the tour. The car picks me up at 12:15 to get to the airport. I have a couple more errands (mailing the birthday presents... getting some breakfast and cash... mailing in the last of the receipts for reimbursements... ). And then we're off... to see where I'll be until June 25th you can go here DCFC Tour Schedule... and stories to come of stagehand adventures.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The truck is rolling

Prep is officially over. The truck is rolling its way towards Oregon. It was a long day. And things shouldn't have taken as long as they did. The truck had to be packed twice. Not all the boxes are marked as I'd like to see them marked - but I knew that was happening from the beginning. The boxes could be quite messy when we get off on the other end, as I have no idea what got flipped up off the wheels. But, the trucks are rolling and we'll see what happens in Oregon come Saturday morning.

There was a bit of stress this morning. Things came to a head a bit with the crew chief, and one of the higher ups with the company stepped in and talked to us both separately. It should work out in the end. He wants to see us both happy and able to get the job done. Which is what I want too. I stayed calm and just went with the flow for most of the day. There were only a couple of points I argued, and in a way that was like just look at this issue from my perspective too not in a your way is wrong manner. The one point that irked me to no end was his constant saying of trust me, trust me. I'm sorry, but I don't know you, and things you are doing don't quite make sense to me, so trusting you isn't going to really happen right now.

Due to the double packing of the truck, I didn't get to visit with my friend who arrived in the city today. And his day is long and obnoxious tomorrow, so it looks like we won't get to see each other this time around. Which makes me sad. We were going to get together last week, as he was going to treat me to the beach in Miami, but that fell through as I had to be in a cornfield. If the weather is decent, I may drive into Chicago tomorrow and spend some time wandering around and try to meet him for lunch or dinner. But it seems like we'll be once again putting off a get together. The crazy life that we lead when you work in an industry that never stops, and constantly sends you off to different corners of the globe. Maybe I'll get to have vacation after the tour. But I'm not counting on it.

So thats about it tonight. Tomorrow is a day off before flying out on Wednesday. If the weather is nice, perhaps I'll hit chicago. If not, I'll be here and bonding with the clapotis.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pizza and beer

This is the view from my hotel window. That is a huge empty corn field out there. It stretches as far as you can see. There is another one of the other side of the hotel.

This is my clapotis. I've gotten to both the third drop and the third ball of yarn. I love the way this knits up. It is a quick and fun project.

I tried the socks again on the double points. It didn't work out at all. I cast on using two needles, rather than just one, in hopes that it would keep the stitches loser. Which it seemed to. Alas, my pizza arrived half way through a round, and when I picked up the needles after eating, I reversed direction. And this really messed up the ribbing. So I pulled out the needles, and tried on the piece before I pulled it out. It made it all the way to my knee before it was tight enough. So, when I am in NYC for two days next week, I am buying some addis in size two or three. So I can make my stitches nice and tight, and have them slide on the needles and make my first socks. Cause I really want this to work. But the dps just aren't for me (even if they are the really pretty redwood ones). Its time to try magic lopping.

Life here in Sycamore, IL is dull. We worked today, which went ok. I'm trying my best to just relax and let the crew chief do things, even if I don't agree with them or would rather have them done differently. It is slightly annoying when he changes my labels and color schemes. I want to argue points and make him see that the way I was taught makes more sense than his way. As much as I disliked my boss last summer, I respected him and trusted his way of doing things and I just don't feel the same way this summer. I'm sure it will be easier once everything is all built and its just a matter of putting it up and down every day. Only one more day of work and a truck load before that happens. Tomorrow I am treating myself to new tools and a volt meter and then a girly movie. Tonight, its been a treat of Chicago style pizza (which can't even compare with my beloved NY style) and beer.

I did finally get my flight information for getting to Portland on Friday. I'm slightly sad that I don't get to go to our shows in Washington, as I was going to meet up with one of the more amazing people I have ever met and get a massage while I was there. But alas, I get to go to Salt Lake City instead. I'm hoping we are actually in a hotel in the city and not at the airport. Six airports in the next week. Crazy.

So, there you have it. Another Saturday night. Hope yours are all exciting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In the middle of a cornfield...

... in the middle of Illinois is where you will find me. I can see two from my hotel room window. Its odd being out in the country after NYC. And its really odd to be driving again. (but i did rent the cute yellow car)

So far work has been easy. I spent all day labeling things up. That is about as far as we have gotten on the work portion of our week. Which is a bit frustrating. Hopefully tomorrow we'll make some real headway. What we have is really simple, but taping and labeling always takes longer than you'd like it to. And I don't think my crew chief realizes the looming he is in for once we get started. He's new to the company, and we have a very specific manner of doing things, to which I get to introduce him. He is an interesting person. There is much name dropping that he does. But, as I don't know the names, it just sounds ridiculous to me. And he likes to talk for the sake of talking it seems. I'm looking forward to meeting the rest of the crew at the end of next week, and having others to absorb the brunt of the personality.

My travel was uneventful. I made it to the first drop on my clapotis. So exciting. I worked a bit on the socks too, but it was just too tedious for the plane. I still haven't figured out the best way to hold the needles comfortably, which makes it really slow going. Plus the stitches don't slide as smoothly on the wooden needles. I'm trying to be conscious about not knitting too tightly, but I don't think I really know how to do that. Plus, I'm hating the ribbing part. I keep messing up on it. But I'm too lazy to go back and rework it. Perhaps I should though.

And I've just found out my hotel doesn't carry Bravo. Which means no Top Chef for me tonight. :( Sad The time zone change is also messing me up. Central Time runs their tv shows at different times... the 8 pm shows are on at 7, and so on. Its confusing me.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane

Its my last night here in the apartment before leaving town til late June. I've been packing and organizing. Well, kind of. Mostly, I've been procrastinating and knitting. I finished the first ball of noro for the clapotis, which got me to the point of being on the very last row of the increases. I'm not sure if I'm going to throw a couple more in just for the hell of it. I think I might want it wider. I also cast on for my first ever pair of socks. I've got the first few rounds done. I think that is going to be my plane project for tomorrow.

I am a bit scared of taking my needles on the plane. I don't want TSA to take them away from me. I think I would cry. Especially if they were to take the Addis (which my clapotis is on). I'm thinking I might be safer with the wooden dps. Any one have any experience with flying in or out of LGA or ORD?

I think I do have most of my stuff packed up though. I keep finding more things though. You do forget how much you have when you live in a place for a bit. I think I have everything condensed down though. Hopefully. I've yet to try to close the suitcase. I have to drag it to the subway and then on a bus tomorrow though. Hopefully it isn't too heavy. I don't think my clothes weigh 50 lbs, but you never know. I do have several pairs of shoes and books in the bag. Those could be an issue. And along with the duffle bag that has the tools in it. Those things are heavy, which is why I need a second bag for them.

I still have dishes to do and sleep to get. My alarm will be early in the morning so I can gather up the last of everything, empty the trash, and vacuum one last time. The last night here with D was good. We ordered in some food and had a low key evening. It was so great that the week ended on such a high note.

Pictures tomorrow of projects and perhaps cornfields. Here's hoping for a smooth travel day, no over weight suitcases, no confiscated neeldes and no exploded bottles of shampoo this time around. (an entire bottle ended up all over everything last year when I took the flight to O'Hare. Teach me to pack without ziplock bags....)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Teaching myself to say no

I said no to a request last night that I normally would have caved to. It was an odd feeling. The request was for something that is not good for me, and something that I need to close the door on. If the request had been reversed, I have no doubt his answer would have been no without a second thought. Yet, it still felt strange to actually say it, as its something that I'm just not good at. It is something I need to learn more of though. To stand up for my own feelings and make sure I am getting what I want, not just providing others with what they want.

I then spent the rest of the night plagued with odd and scary dreams. Murders of friends, trials, stolen cars. How my mind combines things and creates dreams is beyond me, but I think I'll lay off the mixing of tequila and red wine for a bit. (the day started with an all you can drink mexican brunch with the girls, and finished with knitting and red wine with Alyssa.... a great day, but odd drinking combinations...)

Its odd to think I'm leaving NYC for the next six weeks. I've spent the week making the rounds of everyone and hanging out as much as possible with friends before I leave. I will miss how social my life has become, and the constant having someone to spend time with or do something fun with. I think I better get to my packing...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

More Stash and new toys

My knitting friends are the best. Not only did the take me out for dinner last night, they bought me yarn so I won't get bored while I am away from them. We all met for dinner and tea at Alice's Tea Cup. It was an entertaining night, full of good food and scones and lots of tea (and even little drip catchers that had balls of yarn). I am going to miss these girls while I am away. Who knew a knitting group would lead me to form such close friendships?

I hit the yarn store here in town to get the last few things I needed to make sure I can complete projects on the road. I somehow managed to break one of my bamboo needles yesterday, so I replaced them with some addis. Which really are my favorites to work with. I also picked up some point protectors, as I'm going to be going through airport security a few times... I don't need TSA deciding that I might stab the person in the seat next to me and taking away my needles. They had these totally cute Devil and Angel Ducks at Knitty City today. And I totally turned them into tip protectors.

I need to recast on my clapotis. I dropped a stitch along the edge, and as the edges are where you add stitches to each row, the dropped stitch unraveled and I couldn't figure out how to pick back up the dropped messed. Combined with the broken needle, I just frogged the whole thing back. I'll recast on tomorrow on the addis.

(pictures of the new stash additions and the fun tip protectors to come tomorrow. I think the tea kept me up last night... It was after 4 am before I managed to fall asleep.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


One week from today I leave. I kind of wish I was leaving now... its a bit rough sharing the small apartment. Especially where it has been my home for the last three months, but its still his house. I feel a bit awkward being here. We had a bit of an issue over space yesterday, but today things seem to be back to normal. Which is a good thing, as we're both here through the week.

It is going to be so different leaving on tour this year. Its exactly a year to the date that I left for my last tour. But life is so much different this year than it was last. It will be hard to be gone from the friendships and connections I have made here in the city, but nice to know I have a home to come back to. Last year, I didn't feel that way with Vegas. My relationships there were over, and other relationships in my life were all up in the air and confused beyond belief. This year, I know myself more and have a place in the world that I feel is mine. Amazing how 365 days can change so much in life. As quickly as it goes by, a year really is a long time.

Tonight was dinner with some girls, tomorrow is dinner and tea with others... And I need to do errands and clean and pack at some point. Its going to be a busy week.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Here it is... me in my sweater.

I'm not sure I liked how it came out so cropped. I guess I too am part of the freakishly long torso club. I might try wet blocking and see if I can get a few more inches out of the wool. Also it's a bit tighter around my rib cage than I'd like. But I'm not sure there is much I can do for that.

I might knit a medium next time around. Cause, although I take an XS in most stores these days, I think the small a bit too small in this...

Happy Friday night everyone. I have a couple of movies, and some cleaning to do. And ice cream.

My first sweater

I've finished knitting the sweater. I'm working on the ends. And then some blocking. I love the way the shoulders fit. But I'm not sure about the ribbed bottom. I guess I'll see what happens after I block it. I'm excited to have finished the project though. And I love the way the yarn knitted up. Now if only I didn't dislike my ribcage so much...

Pictures to follow... once ends are woven in and blocking is underway.

And for those of you who are curious, I'll be going out with Death Cab for Cutie.... I don't know their music, but maybe you do...