Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Din of Inequity...

Life's complicated. Work, kids, family, friends...nothing is simple. Seems every aspect in my life is in some sort of state of flux. Not all of it's bad, mind you, so I'm not fishing for sympathy, or even help or advice. Nothing catastrophic is happening yet, it just feels...weird.

Work's going through a pretty bad slump right now with the economy being in such rough shape, and my pay's been cut. The chorus annual show is coming up in two weeks and I've been cast in a character role, so that's occupying some time. My quartet's on the show, so we've been working on polishing up our number for that - more time. Liam's Cub Scout Blue & Gold banquet is next week, so there's another addition to the crowded schedule.

I've had a lot to think about lately, and since the radio in my car stopped working, it's given me time for these thoughts to grow and develop on my various commutes. I'm not sure exactly what they're developing into yet, or if these nuggets of contemplation will result in any kind of change in me or my life. I don't expect them to, as I have a history of not effecting change in my own life, but just working harder in the direction I'm used to going. Still, all of this introspection may lead to at least a deeper self-understanding of how I think and feel.

Thoughts range from what kind of slacks I'll wear at the office or coffee I'll get in the morning, to my career options & educational path, to my kids' behavior and home life, so it's all over the map. No one subject keeps me occupied for very long - which is normal - but lately it's been longer than usual.

No prayers or condolences needed. No validation of my self-esteem required. I just need to find a way to get these various, jumbled thoughts to coalesce into solid decisions or plans of action in their respective milieu.

To sum up, my brain's a jumbled mess right now and the din only grows louder in silence and solitude. Time to pick up the baton, tap it on the stand, and get this orchestra to stop tuning and start playing.

Coming up: On a Lighter Note...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ubergeek's Alter Ego: SUPERDAD!

Yesterday, I dropped the kids at school, worked 9 hours, came home, tidied up the living room, did several days worth of dishes (by hand - we have no dishwasher) while simultaneously making a nutritious dinner for my family, then did all of THOSE dishes, cleaned the cat box, transferred the laundry, returned a DVD to Blockbuster, returned the deposit bottles, went grocery shopping, refilled the cat box, and took out the garbage.
All without the slightest prompting.

That's right, ladies. Fantasize away...
Fact is, I almost never just walk in after work and plop on the couch. I walk in and immediately start putting things away, gathering the dishes and clothing scattered throughout the house by the younglings, making dinner and/or putting away ingredients and food items left on the counter, throwing away wrappers and junk mail... I simply cannot relax in a cluttered environment, and in my tiny 752 sq. ft. house with 4 people in it...the clutter never ends.
I've tried to do great purges of unused stuff to the Salvation Army, but it's difficult in a family of packrats. Granted, I'm no angel, in that regard. I have a record collection I haven't listened to in years, books I haven't read, a drawer full of small odds-n-ends, etc., but I keep my clutter contained. My stuff has places to go. If it doesn't, I make room by clearing out stuff I don't need.
Also, I generally don't hold on to things that "may be useful, someday" - at least, not for long. I avoid starting optional projects I don't think I'll finish, to avoid more clutter. I keep 'mementos' to a minimum. I regularly go through my drawers and closet to evaluate if I actually wear what's in there and donate what I don't. I have a collection of old band/drum corps/barbershop t-shirts and 1 small box of keepsakes from my youth in the shed - that's about it. Anything else I need, I keep in my car to avoid cluttering the house. Hell, I even keep my guitar at work because there's no room for it at home!

I've often been considered by many of those close to me as lazy and disorganized. I beg to differ. Between 2 jobs, freelance learning tracks, chorus, quartet gigs & rehearsals, Cub Scouts, and keeping the house kept up as best I can, sloth & disorganization is something I just don't hve time for.

Next plan it to reverse the spin of the Earth and turn back time to fit it all in.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Radio Days...

There was a posting on the PioNet (the regional listserv for Michigan barbershoppers) that WWJ Newsradio 950 wanted a quartet to sing a bit at their annual radiothon for THAW (The Heat And Warmth fund), an organization that provides assistance to low-income households with their heat bill in the winter months. The trick is that they wanted the group on a Friday afternoon.

The original quartet they asked was unable to doi it due to work conflicts. Having Dig Dave back in town, I thought I'd look into it. As the venue is only 2 miles from where Bari Dave works, Big Dave and Lou are unemployed, and I could take 1/2 a vacation day, I threw our hat into the ring. After a bunch of exchanged e-mails with Chuck, who was the radio station's contact with the first quartet), I connected with the producer and got us the gig. It's unpaid, but it's for a wonderful cause, and GREAT exposure!! We may get a free meal at the casino buffet, too... Nom, nom nom....

We had a GREAT rehearsal last night to work out the details. The new song is sounding fantastic! We're past the building stage and into spit & polish. We have all the notes under our belts, worked out the coordination of syncopated sections, and have it sounding performance-ready. Now, we just have to iron-out the 'brain farts', fix a few phrasing issues, and work the dynamic contrast. In the Wee Small Hours is still a bit rough, but we've only worked that a couple times. We need to decide on interp and phrasing, but that'll fix most of it.

So, if you're near a radio (locally) or computer (anywhere) between 11am & noon (EST), check out WWJ Newsradio 950 or go to and see if you can hear us!

Oh...and hire us. Seriously, we got 2 guys out of work and a convention in Traverse City coming up in 2 months! We need the cash!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I have been in the front row of my barbershop chorus for about 3 years now. For the non-barbershoppers out there, this means I get extra choreography and more exposure, generally because I either look better, sing better, emote better, or at the very least, remember my shit better (most likely the latter).

It also doesn't hurt that at the tender age of 34, I am the relative baby of the chorus. When I joined, I brought the median age down from 'deceased'. This gives me certain physical abilities that necessitate me being in the front row: more vocal control, a more youthful look to the chorus, and the fact that I can kneel without breaking a hip...yet.

Another advantage to by youth is that when they are looking for a young character for the show (assuming it has a story line) I'm pretty much it. Hence, I was told on Saturday that I would be taking the lead role of 'Ted' in this year's show. Apparently, they decided to change the show design concept a bit last minute and threw together a script centered around a young man returning home from the Korean War to his home town. Being the only one even CLOSE to a 'young man' I was (ironically, given the show premise) drafted.

So, I will officially give my plug now...


Hear ye, hear ye!
Come one, come all to the Detroit-Oakland Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society's
70th Annual Parade of Harmony Show entitled
"Fabulous Fifties"!!

Revel in the music made popular in the mid-20th Century as we follow the story of Ted, who returns from the Korean War to his hometown!

Featuring 2 Amazing guest quartets, 2007 Pioneer District champs Chordiology and Several-time International finalists Storm Front!

Clarenceville High School Auditorium
Livonia, MI
February 27th at 8pm
February 29th at 7:30pm
Tickets $18 (all seats reserved, so get the good seats now!)

My quartet will be on the show as well, doing a FANTASTIC medley of 'Fly Me To The Moon' and 'Come Fly With Me'.

In know. All of 5 or 6 of you actually read this, and at least 4 of you are prohibited by cost or distance. Still, I figure if there's one or two that stumble upon this and come...

Tonight, quartet rehearsal with Big Dave! We're back, baby!!

Other stuff to catch you all up on, but I gotta get to work. In the meantime, go check out my more recent pictures on Flickr. Click on the pics in the sidebar --->