Biking in work boots

April 15, 2015 Leave a comment

The past two nights I have had load outs.
For these jobs it is best to wear some steel toe shoes and me being me I decide that boots are better than shoes and biking to work is a better idea than driving.
Sure the biking part made sense because I would have to go from Downtown to the KeyArena which is a longish walk, a random amount of time monorail trip, or a 15 minute bike ride.

I chose bike.
Also it was a nice day on Tuesday.
That is except this bit in the afternoon when it started raining and I wondered if that was going to be going on later that day. Nothing quite like getting really really soaked because I felt wearing a cotton sweater was a better idea than my normal green wool over coat.
Yeah brilliant.
I have yet to master looking ahead at the weather before setting out in the morning. After all the weather can change. I know madness but this is a real thing it seems.
So Tuesday.
No rain in the later evening and then when I finished the load out it was dry.
Cold but dry.
And that meant a slow ride because I was tired and the chill of night didn’t help.

Then there is today.
Today where I have a meeting Downtown, then one in Belltown, then seeing a show downtown, then a load out at KeyArena.
Pronto helped me out by giving me a bike to use for the back and forth trips and then getting me ready to go load out a show. Also to see a show… and to go to a meeting.

Yeah the bikes are heavy but in some defense of that it makes mine seem so much lighter and easier to ride I rather like it. Also glad to have that bike share around again for the reasons of having bikes available when I don’t bring mine and also to make the trips around the center of Seattle (and to a lesser extent Seattle Center) that much easier.

30 Days of Biking

April 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Or an odd reason to like Pronto

So my bike is being worked on again.
Finally shelling out cash for a new rear wheel something stronger than the old and hopefully stopping my broken spoke issue. Oh well, happens, right?
Or so I tell myself.

Any way I have been using Pronto Bikes Share for most of my rides and there’s an odd reason I am liking the bikes: the weight.
See these heavy internally geared bikes are no where near as quick as my regular bike and require more power to get up in some of the gentle hills of Belltown to Downtown.
Speaking of which who knew there was a hill going from 2nd and Bell to 2nd and Olive (or is it Virginia there?) but I found out the first time I took a Pronto. Did that bit for a while on my bike and didn’t notice but on a Pronto it suddenly felt in surmountable.

So taking these bikes can be a pain because the added weight makes hills that much harder but frankly on these short trips that are mostly flat taking one of these bikes is really nice. Yes I want my bike back but these bikes aren’t a bad substitute.

Still I miss my bike but I do enjoy being able to ride even if it is on a bike share bike.

Union Boss

March 19, 2015 Leave a comment

I was called this yesterday.
Took until today to make me realize it is somewhat true.
Also the fact that people want certain things from me and demand a lot more than when I was just a stagehand is so bizarre.
Doing budgets.
Setting up committees.
Follow through.
And if I fail I will be blamed.
And then called a union boss.
My training was not for this.

Categories: Scare Yourself

PI Day

March 14, 2015 Leave a comment

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The most delicious day of the year.
Or one of the most delicious if you celebrate some of the other PI days.

Also having recently replaced the pedals on my bike and feeling confident of the time I rode into work.
Stopping for pie.
Luckily the Dhalia Bakery is on my way to work and they had some 6″ pies I could bring in.

But before I made it there I happened by Mercer.
I had a stop in Belltown and cutting across Seattle Center was easier than any alternative.

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While the Mercer Mess is still a shit show the underpass is coming along.
I hadn’t known about that bike lane and I’m excited for it go in.
There are additional lanes along 5th which will be great once they open.
Not exactly separate from the sidewalk but that yellow line had some texture so there is some feeling change to separate the two.
Can’t wait for those pylons to come down and this to be opened.
It’ll be a nice change from how that section used to be,
Now if only the Ballard Bridge would get some improvement so I could go back to going along Myrtle Edwards to get to the Labor Temple.

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PI Day in the Allen saw each of the stagehands bringing in pie to share.
Good to know who takes this day seriously.

Categories: Bicycle Adventures

Discworld

March 12, 2015 Leave a comment

I don’t reject Fandoms.
There is an old familiarity and understanding of being a pariah because of a fandom. That bitter feeling of rejection because you liking Star Trek while no one cared about or that the love of Anime when most people only knew is Hentai or complaining about the national expansion of Loveline and the lose of the community feeling.
For much of my life I always felt one step away from a pariah and while many were my friends I was often accepted in the bigger world but I had to be careful.
Or so it felt and attending an all male high school made this all the more obvious.
Still in 1996 or ’97 I was at a Blockbuster video and Carmen, my sister, saw Discworld, felt it looked funny, and told me to rent it. Still learning what this new generation of video game meant I was debating between some shooter, some flying game, or this puzzle game. What made me rent it is beyond me but I did. Perhaps it was the warning that there was sexual innuendo, or Eric Idle, or knowing deep down that Carmen is so much cooler than me I rented it.

Frustration and hilarity filled that rental period.
I don’t believe I had a memory card then or if I did I couldn’t a save file because Discworld required too much space. So I played the first hour or so again and again. Didn’t help that point and click adventure games are not my strong suit. Often I can’t get into the logic of the game and have problems and I hardly would think to look to the Internet. If we even had the internet then.Yet this game intrigued me. I wanted to beat it and liked Dune 2 before it I felt the answer may lay in the source material.

I found “Small Gods” at Borders. The lone Discworld novel in their fantasy section. Not being aware how extensive the series I bought it.  The style of Discworld written without chapters and seeming like Sir Terry Pratchett was telling me the story spoke to my teenage self. Here was something that it seemed like no one else knew about. Later I would find a few other books. Men at Arms at Barnes and Noble,  a forgotten copy of Faust Eric at Waldenbooks, or the UK release of Moving Pictures at Crown Plus when they went out of business. My collection slowly grew but I felt all alone.

None of my friends had heard of this series. No adult seemed aware.  Had I been more into DIY or idealistic I would have made a zine about it.
But I didn’t.
The few people I would talk to about fantasy seemed clueless and I felt alone.
Constantly on the look out in second hand stores for old releases of the early stores. Hunting library sales on the look out for them and hoping there would be a new release.
The Long Beach Public Library filled in the gaps but only as a loan during the summer of ’98. Learning how to use the inter library loan I read my way through the series and found his other books. The Johnny Series, Strata (still a favorite even if I’m not totally sure why),  and the Nome books. That summer despite having to attend summer school and feeling a bit without purpose I dove into the Disc.

Around then my family went from pay by the hour internet to unlimited and I found some community. I joined the Discworld MUD at that point but I tended to play games solo so I was never a big member of that community. Still I learned of upcoming books, or events, and found people that were bigger fans then I could ever be and I checked in now and again as time allowed until college.

When I moved to Las Cruces it was the first time I had to decide what mattered to me.
I packed some clothes but many books.
I read, reread, and escaped into those books again during my first semester. I also played the MUD a lot. Not like some friends that would risk expulsion because of Ashron’s call, Everquest, or WoW but I spent a lot of time logged in. Which may have also been why I was so lonely that first few months.
Sometime in my second semester I drifted away from the MUD. I still read the books but was not as involved in any online community. By sophomore year I had some friends that I would argue fantasy novels with. Most had not read Discworld or dismissed them for other works fantasy but if I made a comment about 1 in a million during an RPG session I would receive caution about setting up a Discworld situation.

And after college I continued to read the books. Bought them on occasion and maintained my collection of the series. I had found other novels as the years past but even today I remember the day I found many of the books in hardcover at Value Village. The shock and wonder at this discovery. Part of me still looking for these novels when faced with a pile of books and on that day it paid off in a way that my 16 year old self would have loved.

But I don’t consider myself part of the fandom.
Nor any fandom for that matter. Yes I am a fan and yes I am saddened by the death of Sir Terry Pratchett but I while I am sad I don’t feel so alone. The days when I would talk about Soul Music and receive looks of confusion are gone. The difficulty in tracking down the latest release are over. Nor do I have to hunt through dusty shelves of a second hand store hoping to find a copy of Witches Abroad. (Which eluded me until I found one at a garage sale by pure luck) Sure I meet people that don’t know the series but it is not exclusive like when I found it.
Not tucked away in a fantasy section but out in the open.  Yes I am sad because of the lose of this writer but I learned things from his novels.
Learned that the Darkness should be feared but be controlled. That containers change what is contained in them or that racism effects people in many unforeseen ways. And that luck can beat fate but you shouldn’t expect luck to save you. These novels challenged me to think and consider other views. It showed me the new ideas through humor and for that I will be forever grateful.

Old Friends

March 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Over the past week I ran into two friends I have not seen in quite some time.
The first was while working a show at ACT. We had opened house and I came back to the booth to prepare myself for a show when I looked out and saw what looked like someone I knew.
Debating if I should go and see if it was them I ultimately chose to see if it was her.
This was a stage manager I had done several shows with years ago.
At a different and a little difficult theatre which was the last place she would work. She had a great passion for theatre but that place was burning her out. Asking so much and giving so little in return and in the end she found that becoming a therapist was a better fit. To hear that she had transitioned to that and enjoyed it quite a lot made me happy.
How things change.
For an example

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So Many Years Ago

That was me years ago wearing the candle hands of Lumier from Beauty and Beast.
A fun show to run except the 48 hours I was trapped in Issaquah Washington when a snow storm set down upon the NW.
Great times even if they had to end.
I look at the folks in this picture and many have moved on and changed. I was force out because I made some bad choices and frankly the theatre did the right thing in getting rid of me. But that is a story for another day.
But damn to run into someone like that was quite interesting.

I am once again visiting California because something happened to my family.
Odd how that works out but I managed to finally see one of the few people that I have been in communication with since high school. Not constant communication but off and on since I was 18. The amount of time we have known each other could now drive which is a frightening thought. Thinking about her I remember either the 14 year old I met when i was 18 or the stoner that she was when I got back from college. She is now a single mother paralegal really getting her life together.
It is a good thing to see and also see someone grow in that fashion.
No idea if she feels the same about me but for her to have aged, changed, grown, and become such an adult has been a great transition to witness.
Yet I am left to wonder about my changes and my growth.
But that is a worry for some other day.

Categories: Memories, Scare Yourself

A Week in a Suit

February 4, 2015 Leave a comment

On January 6th I was trusted by the members of my Local to be their leader.
Which means the focus of work on this blog will change from some of my stagehand work to one of leadership. It also means I will be scaring myself with beginning to dress in a way that I feel represents both me and my Local. This is really a big change and one I’m nervous about but feel like I’m prepared to do.

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So that’s my first suit.
Odd to write those words. In some ways I feel as if I have betrayed my family because they aren’t exactly the suit wearing type. Hell I recall my Dad dressing for a wedding in a pale blue shirt and some khakis. I didn’t learn to tie a tie until last year. It was not something that really mattered until recently.

Frankly I was tired of being just another shabby stagehand.
That was part of the scare myself that got me dressing better but I have never spent that amount of time in a suit. And I will say it was both nice and quite interesting because this is something I have never done.
First off the amount of pockets in a suit are great.
I am a huge fan of pockets and tend to use all the ones I have. The number of internal and external pockets in a suit are great. I had no problem carrying all the things I tend to carry. Also despite the suit being wool it seemed very light and required me to wear my overcoat when I was outside of the time I was outside in North Carolina.
Second changing only minor elements did cause a different look.
Different tie or shirt or even doing without either caused a different look. Hell the day I had to speak before the International Leadership I made sure to have the one that was most formal looking. That is not something I am used to with my other clothing where I need to have a whole variety of elements to change the basic look. Kind of refreshing and interesting. I recall reading about this on a site but didn’t fully take it in until in that situation.
Good times.

Lastly the fact I felt more professional.
I mentioned to a friend that when I flew in wearing a blazer and slacks I was called Mr. Ponce at the airport while I hadn’t heard anyone else greeted in such a manner. Most were merely told to have a nice flight. Similar treatment on the way back.
Then there was better treatment at a few places I went. I tended to have breakfast or lunch at a little coffee shop near the hotel. After the first time they learned my name and asked me how my trip was going and what was going one. I realized later in the trip that they may have thought I was lawyer because the court house was near that place but that treatment as a professional was different from people nearly thinking I was homeless as I had in the past.
Yes I will continue going with this route.

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