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Shadows and Floods

Business has picked up this week, but it's still nothing near what I'm expecting one of these days. Seriously, I think working at Music & Arts ruined me. When someone says, "It's going to be busy today," I picture arriving at work with a line already waiting at the door. What I see in my mind is piles of returned instruments, empty shelves (because we've run out of things and everything is backordered),  kids tearing instruments off the walls...you get the idea.

It hasn't been like that so far. But I still worry, because I'm a pessimist.

But things have been ok. There have been more rentals and accessories sales have picked up. We were able to order in a large shipment of reeds and oils that should come in handy. Customers have been pleasant. Not so bad.

I've been getting up early to practice. No one has bothered me so I think it's ok. In the mornings the music side of the building is still pretty empty.

I ended up getting a smaller mouthpiece this week too. Playing a small bore for the past five years has altered my embouchure quite a bit, and it'll be a while before I feel comfortable on a big mouthpiece/horn again, so I figure may as well help myself along.

Oh yeah, the eclipse. That happened on Monday. Kansas City got a few minutes of totality.

It was not too busy at the time of the eclipse, so we were allowed to go outside and have a look. Our boss even brought eclipse glasses! It was strange to see a chunk missing from the sun, and later to see it as a crescent. It got darker and darker as the shadow of the moon passed over the sun. Soon it was like twilight at 1pm...the streetlights were coming on, and the birds quieted down.

Finally the sun was totally covered. Our shop is south of Kansas City, so we only got a few seconds of totality and the "diamond ring" effect. It was surprising how bright the sun was with only a sliver of it showing. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy and our view was obscured a bit. Still, it was amazing. I'm glad I got to see it. Here are two pictures that I took with my crappy phone, one with the eclipse filter and one without.

Despite the seeming magnitude of the event, the rest of the week was normal. Work, eat, sleep, practice. On Monday night it rained quite hard; I heard that some places got as much as seven inches of rain in an hour. The little creek behind my apartment building spilled over its banks, flattening the grass on either side.

On Saturday, I expected work to be chaos. It was pretty busy, but there was still time to do things other than wait on customers. Eric (trombone repair tech) will be joining us at the retail store...he's been working at the factory for the summer. He unloaded a ton of repair gear from his car and began setting up in his old space, dislodging my boss to a different work table. While they were reorganizing their spaces, I worked on quality control for some rental BAC clarinets that had come in. Strangely, I enjoy repetitive tasks like this: carefully unwrapping each piece, labeling the boxes with barcodes, removing tiny pieces of stabilizing cork, oiling the main bore, and re-packing each instrument. I like the precision and care of it. Gosh, maybe I should work on an assembly line.

I finally peaced out close to 5pm, and went straight home as I felt very tired.

On Sunday, with some regret, I decided to skip the nature center. I know it's only three hours of my time, but I felt that I needed that time to myself this week. Too much to do. I cleaned, cooked, and spent two hours doing some much-needed practicing...and then spent two hours watching some much-needed Game of Thrones. Gotta catch up yo.

And now for the introspective diary portion of the post. I really want to see Jameson again. I wonder, every moment of every day, what I ought to be doing right now, what my goals should be, and what should be the next move. I just have no idea. I think I've said this before...the circus ended up being my dream job. And it's gone. That hurts. It hurts to think about it, it hurts to talk about it, and it hurts to dream about it every night. Every night as I'm falling asleep, I'm walking the streets of a different city, trying to get home.
While it's possible to maintain a good work ethic anywhere, and always take pride in your work...I'm not sure that it's always possible to be fulfilled or happy regardless of the circumstances.

James "Applesauce", former Ringling sound tech, is currently on tour with Cirque du Soleil. They're playing Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. It so happens that that's one of the places where elephant crew left a little memento of better days. Mable (elephant) blew paint onto a stencil, creating this image, which the crew then signed. I am glad that it wasn't removed.

(photo courtesy Applesauce)

...and then this fantastic photo courtesy B'dette. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Aug. 28th, 2017 01:32 pm (UTC)
My heart goes out to your beautiful thoughts about missing Jameson and the circus. ❤
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )