My 4th wasn't too bad. Had the day off the new job, but had to work Blockbuster in the evening. In the morning, Sonya and Liam had a parade to do in Huntington Woods (big houses, winding roads, for you non-Detroiters) with the Unicycle group. I packed up Courtney after they left and headed to find a spot to watch the festivities. The parade winded down the residential streets of the tiny community. Nice shade and lots of room to find a spot, given the small nature of the parade. Courtney and I had a lot of fun. Being the picture of the adorable, toe-headed baby-doll, she got a HUGE haul of candy from the passing groups, which she split with her brother. Sonya and Liam did great and Liam impressed the crowd, as usual.
After a nice afternoon barbecue with Sonya, the kids, Leigh, and Sonya's brother Jeremy, I head to work. It was INCREDIBLY slow. Sonya and the kids headed to her parents' cottage in Canada that night, so once again, having to work Friday & Saturday at the video store, I had to stay home all by my lonesome.
You’d think this would either lead to a weekend of boredom or debauchery, but it was a happy balance. Friday, I spent much of the day cleaning the living room and digging into the often ignored corners of the room putting away the lost treasures of the past several months. Sonya had me cancel her debit card Friday night because she couldn’t find it. The next day, I found it safely wrapped inside a receipt on the hutch. (Sigh).
Saturday, I did some more cleaning, hit the comic store, had a nice conversation with the kid Chris hired so he wouldn’t have to work 6 days a week, and visited my mother and grandfather. It was nice to be able to catch up with them. They only live about 15 minutes away, but somehow, I only get to visit them about once a month. After that, I went to work.
About 20 minutes before my shift ended, I notice my friend, Paulie B., wandering the aisles. We chat for a few and after work I head to hang with him, Sarah Bradley, and a few others at Sara’s place to watch Clerks II (which I had almost started while I was cleaning earlier).
Sunday, more cleaning, only now the stuff I despise: laundry, dishes, toilet, bathroom sink, etc.. After I come to a stopping point, I head to my sisters to drop off a volcanic rock from my grandfather’s garden that she wants to use in her own garden. I play with her dog, water her plants (as she was away with her boyfriend for the weekend), grab some Taco Bell, and head home to start on a new assignment.
The past week, I’ve been corresponding with a fellow barbershopper from Nevada that my chorus director put me in touch with. He has a quartet called the Rat Paq, and is in need of some learning tracks for the Rat Pack-esque songs his quartet will be doing. I found out that he doesn’t just need a couple, but ELEVEN! After exchanging e-mails, sending a sample of my work, and haggling the price – a LOT – we finally strike a deal. I’m giving him a HELL of a deal compared to the $150-$200 going rate for learning tracks from the pros. Being my first real gig doing such, and being that between the members of his quartet, they’re connected with 3 choruses with 9 other registered quartets between them to suggest my service to, it’ll likely bring in a LOT more business. Call it a promotional deal.
I have been contemplating trying to make a few extra bucks by doing learning tracks for quartets for a while, after doing a few gratis ones for my chorus. This will be my first REAL paid gig as such. Over the weekend we exchange e-mails and on Sunday morning I found all the songs he needed in Finale files in my e-mail box. I’m hired! I spent much of Sunday evening recording “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning”, and I must say, I’m pretty damned proud of how it turned out.
I e-mailed it out to him last night. I think he’ll be impressed with a 1-day turnaround. I may not see the money for a while, but I trust barbershoppers. We’re an absent-minded lot, sure, but not crooks.
By the way, if you could all send happy thoughts and prayers to my buddy, Chuck May and his darling wife, Molly, they could use it about now. Chuck & Molly are kindred spirits to me on many levels. Both are barbershoppers, music educators, and 10th level geeks in their own right, and they’re raising their 10-month old son, David the same way (bless them!).
David was diagnosed a couple weeks ago with a Wilkes tumor. He had one of his kidneys removed and is undergoing chemo for the next 23 weeks to treat the remaining tumor on his other kidney. The prognosis is good so far and David is starting to act like his bubbly, happy, precocious self, but 24 weeks of chemo won’t be fun. Any positive thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated.