Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm so glad that the holidays are over.

I hate the holidays. I hate them with all I am. If the Beatles and Christmas were one entity, I would cause an apocalypse of some sort. But, they're not, so you're all still alive.

This was the first Christmas that I haven't been at my parents house for. This may also be the Christmas that I despise the least. No big fancy production, no eight hours putting lights on a stupid tree, followed by another two hours of re-arranging ornaments, because they're not symmetric on the front and back(which is in a corner) of the tree. No stupid family dinners that make a ten year old want to drown his Christmas in another bottle of something at least 10 years old.

This year we went to Amanda's mom's house. Three hours away from anyone overly bothersome. And we were able to relax. We played Mario Kart and Super Mario, drank eggnog, ate Chinese food, and lots of candy, and watched stupid MTV show marathons. Not too bad. Only con, Amanda's mom got me a Journey t-shirt. At least she'll wear it.

So now, everyone can get back on with their lives, and I can start taking the Christmas decorations at work down, and not need to mix my booze with eggnog to make it seasonally acceptable.

Whiskey and ice, daddy is home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Because, other people aren't able to.

It seems that I may have not gotten the full list of things that I need to do when I got this job. I am not at all complaining, however, I've gotten into a l0t of stuff that I have never worked with before. For example, In one day, I had to work on a little electric, re-route some drainage lines, build a portion of a website, hang from a ceiling and repositioning ellipsoidals with a broom stick (Because the trusses are 10 feet apart, and the only ladder we have to get up there is an extension ladder, and I don't have a 10 foot wingspan) I suppose changing gels like that could be more dangerous....
Also, in the same day, I did my personal assistant duties, and got coffee, and finally, did some work on the patch bay, because the moron that put it in before, couldn't manage to figure out how to use a punch down tool. Only one of these tasks, is actually in my job description. Not a big deal, if it's every once in awhile, but there is something interesting around the corner.

Recently, because Christmas is upcoming, and I work at a church, there was a musical in the near future, I had a decent amount of stage work in front of me. Set building was no problem, running tracks and setting up a clear com system, not a big deal, Flying props, ok. Re-designing an entire lighting install, design a show, and set cues for the person that will be running it during the actual production.
I want to be very honest when I say, I do not belong behind a light board. I can turn them on. I can make the smart lights spin and change colors, I can install them, and I can change gels. That's about it. I've gotten a crash course a couple times, but am in no way prepared to make this thing "sing".

I found out this afternoon, that I will be assuming control of the theatrical lighting department.

That's great.

I may as well be taking charge of a R&D team for a new flavor of Doritos. I have as much experience. I mean I like Doritos. I can manage to buy them, and make them disappear. Perhaps, comment on the taste of said Doritos. But, I probably shouldn't be making any kind of decision about them.

From this point on, I am solely in control of the most expensive equipment on campus. Because, well... We're still on PCs.

I guess it isn't a bad thing. I may as well learn how to operate them, in a pinch, it would be useful.
People assume that the guy at the desk knows how to fix all the problems. Mostly because they also assume he is the one causing them. But, having to learn an entire system in 3 weeks (Remember, I have a show to design) and make it work well enough so that no one knows the difference, might be a little more than I was expecting to chew this winter.

I guess as long as it comes with a pay raise, I won't mind too much. Depending on the raise, I may LOVE running lights. Who knows? Other than the person putting the pay rate increase request in, obviously.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's been a year?

That wasn't the pre-arranged title for this blog, but, seeing as how I haven't posted in literally a year and a day, it seemed appropriate.

Quick run down of whats happened in that year...

I turned 21
I got married to Amanda
I got a new job that I absolutely love, it's seriously been my dream job since I was 10.
I got a cat named Bones.
Bones has separation anxiety, so we got another cat named Toby.
I got a custom made overdrive pedal with my name printed on it. It's bitchin.

Beyond that, I remembered that there is only so much that I can post on fudgebook before someone notices that there is a liberal asshole on their church staff. I guess I should take the link to this off of there...

I've been doing pretty well with the new job, I love doing it, I get to make my own schedule, unlike that old crappy version of "making your own schedule" at the collections place.
Amanda and I both get a day off together, which is nice, considering how much she hates her job, and would rather be at home together watching movies.

My biggest dilemma at this new job, is the old/current Sunday morning "sound guy" you know the one that shows up some where and says "Don't worry, I got this, I run sound at my church"

(To make a note, the only reason I don't mix on Sunday, is because I play in the worship band, and any time that I walk behind the board while this guy is there I get shoved out of the way. Even though I was hired as the Audio/Recording studio engineer. I've got freaking business cards that say it!)

Fits the stereotype, almost to a t. His ears are about as useful at the board as a lighter at the bottom of the pool.
The guy uses headphones to mix the house, not to EQ individuals, actually to mix the house. Because in his words, "If it sounds good in bose headphones, it sounds good in the house"


He's been running sound here for about a decade if I can remember correctly, I lost a few years in there somehow. It's sounded bad for exactly.........All of those years, however long it may be.
Recently to show my disapproval of this, along with his other mad church sound guy skillzzzzz, I threw a picture up on gaybook. Anyone else that I know that has stood behind, or even to the side of a desk went off. It's kind of annoying when you drop a couple grand on compressors, and they're not even being utilized, because the old audio consultant, the church used before they hired me, got them set up, "So they don't ever need to be adjusted again".

Right. Because people don't ever change the way they sing, and they've sounded the same for the last 10 years.
This on top of the tin ears, and the incredible lack of utilization of the crappy board that he told the church to buy has gotten me to the point where I've just started correcting all of his mistakes while he isn't there.

The general rule of thumb for the worship team at the church is, if you don't show up for practice, you don't play on Sunday morning, it seems logical. If you don't know what the hell is going on, you shouldn't be there to screw it up on game day. The same thing should apply to the FOH desk. I'm there, along with a volunteer, (who also gets shoved out of the way on Sunday mornings, unless the mighty sound warrior has somewhere else to be) and everything is mixed down to a point that we're both happy with. I even stopped zeroing everything out after, and would leave it set for the services, so all he had to do was flip the on switch and let it ride.
But, it seems that putting all the guitars in the VCA that says "GUITARS" on it, doesn't work for him, nor does the VCA that has the grand piano and both keyboards in it that is labeled "KEYS"
along with the last group labeled "LEAD VOX" which coincidentally contains the three worship leaders on Sunday mornings, not to be confused with the BGV's group or the Head Sets group.
I don't know if I could actually make it any easier. I do all the work during the week, run the practice, and it all gets blown up when it actually needs to be run the right way. We've even had people, like the senior pastor, who is almost 80 years old, come up and compliment the way that it sounded when the volunteer that I had to re-train, was running sound by himself on a Sunday morning. It's kind of funny that, that has happened every time this kid, or myself has run the board in the last 6 months, and hasn't happened for the 10 years prior.

But, alas. Every week I hear complaints along the lines of "It hasn't sounded this bad since I before I started running sound" or "I wish the person who screwed up the way I have this set up had to run sound for service"

In all reality, as stated by common consensus, and compliments from the stiffest people in the place, about how it finally sounds nice in here, along with other musicians noticing a huge difference, and me saying that I would run the desk on Sundays, if he would stay out of the way. I still find myself in a bind of how I am supposed to actually do my job effectively. I'm still searching.

As a closing note, remember that almost 80 year old Senior Pastor of the Church?, who is also a Bishop, within the denomination, the guy I'm talking about, is his son in law.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's getting closer...

So, next week I'll be turning 21 which means I can finally buy my own liqour. So not a lot will be changing. But at least I don't have to hope there is something that I like will show up on my fridge, and for anyone reading into it, whiskey always manages to make its way to home, which I'm totally ok with. Other than that I haven't written in awhile and making a post on my phone is getting a little tiresome on my thumbs.

As I've been working a job in collections I've gotten to talk to a lot of, um, nifty people. People my age who can't find a job anywhere, old people who are on social security, or people who are just plain dumb. The economy is only an excuse for so long, you need to get off your ass and get a job. Please. I hate the fact that people can do whatever they want with someone elses money, and assume that they won't mind because it's a bank. At least the people working at the bank have a job. You can't blame them for doing their job, and holding people to the contracts they sign. Not my fault people don't read that fine print. I'll need to post some actual stories another time.

Another new fun fact: I just got in a car accident. Some schmuck going to the beach merged into traffic and proceeded to merge right into my car. Awesome. I don't believe that much else has changed, other than the wedding is only a few weeks away and were not doing so well with people returning rsvp's on time. But, it's not about other people I suppose. The karioke and heavy metal at the reception, along with the open bar will make up for it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How is that miserable bastard?

Being totally honest, I hate reunions. I really do. Almost every reunion I've ever been to, I didn't want to be at. Usually, the people that you haven't seen in a long time, you haven't seen for a reason. I'm dreading my high school reunion because I hated almost everyone in my school, except the few that I still keep in touch with regularly. This last weekend, was a sort of bittersweet reunion. Don't even try to take that as some sappy loving load. Cause it's not. It was a pain in the ass.

Enter Friday afternoon, after lunch time. And no, I haven't eaten yet. I get out of work and drive clear across the city to meet up for a load in with the original Relevant Worship tech crew. As usual, this group of too many musicians has arrived and already proven themselves dead weight. Should be used to that now, hanging out, watching everyone else put together a sound system. Predictable to say the least. Anyways, this is the first time in almost a year that the original tech crew got back together. Jon, Kevin, Amanda and myself. I'll admit, I was useless until breakdown, because I honestly had no desire to be there, other than the post game activities that became attached to it.
The event itself was supposed to start at 6:30 pm. Doors opened around 7 if I remember correctly. Didn't get out til 11. Maybe it was the dirty hippie's sound guy, who managed to be useless other than whining and making a sound check take too long. Maybe it was the "Native" band who also spent more time on a sound check than actually playing their music. Maybe it was because of personal vendetta Indian guy, who went half an hour too long speaking about injustice, after his very plain set. Or maybe the guy who has a 10 minute slot that turned into an hour, or maybe the general disregard for any kind of time schedule.
After we wrapped the mess of weekend day 1 up, we spent the greater part of the midnight hours in my backyard, around a sad excuse for a fire pit. Mostly because the rich bastards in Williamsville outlawed fires taller than 3 feet, and the poor fires have to be contained in a manufactured pit. Not joking. So as we had finally all re-united, we tried to do something interesting, but the long day wouldn't have any of it. So about 3 in the morning, we all crashed at my house, only to be up a little after 6 (for Jon and Kevin) and 9 (for the girl and I)
Arriving at 10 A.M. we walked in to Relevant Worship, once again over playing for the situation. It was a big church, not a stadium, and, my God, you can tell they're all white musicians before you see them. As I grew quickly disinterested me and the oldest er, most distinguished, member of the group, made a walk over to the store for some batteries, and sustenance (Tops sushi, did not fit the second requirement. Be warned) I got a bit of the, you're taking too long talk. I'll just leave it at that, and more of the, wow, I can't wait til this is over talk. Anyways, since we ducked out, we figured it would be in poor taste to disrupt, whatever the hell was going on in there. So, we got to spend some actual time hanging out, not doing anything. Not worrying about the garbage that normally eats our minds on the weekends. I think about an hour later, Jon grew a conscience and returned to his post inside. Amanda and I went home to nap. I knew better than to assume this thing would be on schedule.

Surprise. It ended early. Cause that makes sense. Start it late, end it early. Usually someone would get a raise for that kind of positive use of time, and lowering of overhead cost. Too bad we didn't have overhead. Just a little more time to make good on the almost lost fun part of the weekend.

Once again, we all ended up at my house, the 4 of us. All together again. And, about an hour or so into that, I had worked a good dent into the bourbon, as well as the half a slaughter house worth of chicken drumsticks that we cooked up. Then we worked onto the cigars, and eventually, the coffee my mom made us at 2 in the morning to sober up. Jon and Kevin left, I managed to stumble upstairs, Amanda, well, I think she made it to sleep.
Really, with all the stupid stuff that's gone down with the people our 4 used to be involved with, it's nice to just relax. It took a long week, and a longer weekend to get there. But I almost think it was worth it to get a little down time together. Being back there again, re affirms that I'm glad I'm not involved anymore. I can only deal with so much hypocrisy on a regular basis. That'll be over on the other blog shortly. Sitting on the sidelines, and seeing people befuddled by themselves is quite the reward. I like seeing people make idiots of themselves. I'm just glad I got to see that happen with the old crew back together for the weekend.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Responsibility and musical equipment

I'll admit it. Most of the time I can be a pretty unreasonable person, but this time, I have a damn good reason to be pissed. Awhile back I was playing with a band called Relevant. Essentially I was a fill in, until they could find someone that they liked better. So the time came where the so called executive director's best friend moved back into town. Coincidentally, he owned a bass. So I was removed. 8 months or so later, here we are. At the time I had purchased a couple thousand dollars of equipment to use while I played for them. When I was systematically removed, I continued being a somewhat reasonable human being, and let them continue using my speaker cabinet, which I spent close to $1000 on. I was planning on retrieving it when I saw it next which would be in two weeks.
Enter yesterday morning.
I got a text from my friend who is a guitar player for the band letting me know that he found an identical match to a guitar that he used to have. I was excited, so a little while later, when I got out of work, I gave him a call. We talked about the guitar for a bit, then he asked me,

"So, um, did anyone tell you about your cabinet yet?"

"No Jer, what happened to my cabinet?"

"Um, when it was in the trailer Pete's drum stool fell through the front of it and went right through one of the speakers. No one told you about it?"


"Sorry man, it was like a month ago. I thought someone told you"


So, no, no one in a month had contacted me about the fact that they had wrecked my cabinet. Not the 'responsible' executive director, nor the lead singer who I see at least once a week, not my friend who is a tech for them, not my other friend who is a tech/guitar player, nor the guy who uses it, because it's better than what he has. Nope. Not one. The problem is, I have talked to all of these people since it's happened. The one who told me about it, I haven't talked to in a month. And the first contact I had with him, he told me. Thanks Jer, for not being a douche bag.

This is the kind of stuff that gives Christians a bad name. You'll go out to save the rest of the world, and do all kinds of stuff to get as much recognition as possible, but you're not capable of growing a pair and telling someone you fucked up. Just because you're a Christian, doesn't mean that you can get away with screwing people over, although, it seems that no one gets that part of co-existing with the other 7 billion people that live on the planet. I screw up on a regular basis. But hell, If I wreck something, I'll at least make an attempt to right the wrong. I'm pretty self centered, but I wouldn't stand a chance against these guys. I feel bad for the couple people involved with them that are responsible, and that do care. It seems that the nice guys were systematically removed. Our egos simply weren't as big. Another case of the mine is bigger than yours argument. You win. Your egos are WAY bigger than mine. Ok, I'm done ranting on that.

In closing, If anyone knows where the most expensive place to get this thing fixed is, give me a call. I'd love to have it fixed there. Haha, I can apply the same mentality they did, it's not my problem! I'm not paying for it. Maybe Ill have it encrusted with diamonds as well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Time passed

So, I haven't written anything in over 3 months. Or something like that. Those past three months have come close to being some of the most interesting months for me in recent memory. All of my old posts were about my old stupid job, that subsequently took a huge toll on my life and most of the people around me. As of last month, I finally grew a pair and got a new job. So, instead of dealing with ornary annoying people at overnight hours, I deal with them over the phone durring the day, where they can't actually do anything about their threats of killing or injuring me. I now work in the wonderful world of collections. I still haven't decided which group makes me more sick. The drunks, or the people that don't understand that when you borrow money, you have to pay it back. I don't work normal collections, I work pre-legal. So if I call you and you don't come up with the money, people are going to come and take your car, your house, or any other assets that they can sell to get their money back. It's not a nice place to be. Trust me. But at least this job offers health insurance and I have an almost normal schedule. That I can live with for now. I know I won't be doing this forever, but for now, it's paying the bills and helping me get my head a little bit farther above water than it was before. Other than that, life has been looking all sorts of up. Since I was booted from Relevant, I have been offered a ton more opportunities to play music, and even have a say in what I'm playing, not used to that at all. It sure is nice though. That being said, now I can pick and choose when and where I can play and still have time to myself to do what I want. Like what I was able to do last weekend.
I've been meaning to talk with Amanda's mother for quite some time, and last weekend, we finally worked out a trip home. Friday we left mid-afternoon and drove to Utica. Amanda's mom lives out in the country, on the top of a hill, so we had a great view, and a whole weekend to just relax. No one bothering us, no one calling to see if we can arrange something, just a whole weekend of doing the same thing we do in Buffalo when we have time off. Sit around, eat junk food, watch movies, and usually sleep whole days away, but this time we were a couple hundred miles away. And that couple hundred miles makes all the difference. Finally, we got to go to church, and weren't expected to do anything. I almost didn't know how to deal with it, other than the fact that we're going to try and do it more often as long as our schedules allow for it. If they don't, we'll make them. I never had an idea of what it would be like to go out to stay with someones parent for a weekend. But, I liked it. Enough to go back for more. Best part is, it seems like mom approves, which makes me feel 100% better.
Honestly, this is the first time that everything is really starting to come together, the future is starting to look good, and I'm not anxious for it, but at the same time I'm not afraid of it. I'm excited to see what is going to happen, and more importantly, when it's going to happen. I've always waited for everything to fall apart, but now it's doing the opposite. And I couldn't be happier. Unless someone just gave me $50,000. Then at least I could pay everything off now. But oh well. Just gonna have to keep looking forward to it.