Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pedal to the Metal...

I've been running on all cylinders lately. I've had something going on most every minute of every day for the past couple weeks...and I'm exhausted!!! Days are filled with work or household chores, nights are filled with rehearsals, gigs, or working on these learning tracks. Last week, abut the only 'Me' time I managed to grab was 2 hours to sit and watch Undercover Brother on Comedy Central on Saturday afternoon. Even most of that was spent helping (or trying to help, anyway) a friend through a difficult time via IM. Oh, how I long for some time to just sit and do nothing for a while.

Not that It's been entirely unpleasant, mind you. I love rehearsals and gigs with my quartet. Doing learning tracks can be a lot of fun, especially when I'm proud of the end result (and paycheck). I just wish I could find some time that isn't scheduled or where I could look around the house and say, "that can wait".

Work's looking up lately. The summer slump seems to be waning and my long-dormant clients seem to be warming up to me nicely. I know I needed an adjustment period to get things flowing, but the past month has been a bit scary. Couple more obstacles to overcome, but they're only temporary (I hope). The economy still sucks and it's still tough to sell musical instruments when folks are wondering how they'll fill their tanks to get to work, but I believe the worst is over (in my little sector of the business world, anyway). Gonna need to do some financial planning for next summer, though.

Meanwhile, I'm getting a lot of nice compliments on my learning tracks lately. The quartet that hired me seems impressed with my work. That last arrangement was a REAL buggar and took me about twice the time I expected it to, but they liked the result and sent a nice first installment of my fee. 2 down, 9 to go, and the rest seem like cake in comparison to the last one (a 4-minute medley with 2 standard key changes and one that was a bitch). While I love that my tracks are appreciated, I only wish I didn't have to rely so heavily on my software to fix things. I love how adept I'm getting at using it (which is a talent in itself), but I wish I had better control and intonation without it. I shouldn't get down on myself too much, though. Even Van Gogh didn't create in just fingerpaint - he had tools, too.

Sonya and the kids are running every bit as much as I lately. Between camps, vacation Bible school, trips to the in-laws' cottage in Canada, and other summer activities, they don't sit still for very long, either. They've been out of the house more than I lately, but most of that is by choice. Seems everything I do these days is in pursuit of the Almighty Dollar in one way or another.

This week:
Monday - 9-6 work, 7-7:30 Loving Memory quartet rehearsal, 7:30-10 chorus rehearsal
Tuesday - 9-6 work, 6:30 make & consume dinner, 7:30-11 work on learning tracks
Wednesday - 9-6 work, 7-10:30 quartet rehearsal
Thursday - 9-6 work, 6:30 make & consume dinner, 7:30-11 work on learning tracks
Friday - 9-6 work, 6:30-10:30 work video store, 11-2 work on learning tracks
Saturday - 9-12 chores, 1:30-5:30 benefit gig w/Coda Honor, 6-10:30 work video store
Sunday - Likely chores, grocery shopping, and lots of work on learning tracks.

Monday should be fun, though. I plan to head out with my sister and her boyfriend to a DCI show in Toledo. This is against my better judgment, as after the last DCI Big Screen event, I vowed not to give ANY money to DCI again. However, the prospect of hanging with my sister and several old drum corps buddies was too much to turn down. There will be at least half a dozen folks I KNOW will be there, and likely a dozen more I haven't seen in a long time that I'm fairly sure will be there, and the inevitable handful of folks I haven't even though of in years.
It's been a good 5 years since I've been to a live drum corps show. Barbershop as pretty much replaced my drum corps addiction. LOTS of similarities: music, competition, lots of "WOW" moments, similar planning and pacing of competition sets, internal bickering between the "old guard" and "progressives", lots of inside jokes and history. The big difference is that I don't tend to carry a bell-front baritone in my pocket to whip out and play an arrangement with other drum corps vets when 4 of us happen to convene. Getting older, the other nice difference is that you don't "age out" of barbershop, you actually more often "age INTO" it.
Anyway, better close the 'ol laptop and get to work. I'll see you at the checkerd flag...

1 comment:

dianaschnuth said...

Wish I could say I'll see you at the Toledo show, but I've really lost all interest in DCI. Didn't go to any shows last year, didn't miss it. Haven't even researched what shows the corps are performing this year, beyond the Bluecoats' seemingly non-jazz show.

(It's the apocalypse. It must be.)