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Archive for September, 2014

Hill Climb

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Didn’t make it to Chuck’s for this accomplishment.
Today I biked up Capitol Hill to meet someone for lunch.
Ahh yes the Hill, the place that makes me feel older and older as well as less & less cool ( not that as if I was everything but kind of cool) each time I end up there.
Yet it was easier to meet on the Hill than to explain my apprehension about making the climb.
So I went up.
Didn’t make it up that quickly and maybe I should have gone Pine because there is a bike lane, or a sharrow at least, but I took Pike.
Got me thinking about this strange experiment and the other hills that I wonder about going over.
Sure Dexter is a steep looking Hill but is it really that bad?
I guess only time will tell.

Influences

September 27, 2014 Leave a comment

The other day I found out the scene shop foreman from when I was at Knott’s Berry Farm died.
He wasn’t a great friend or colleague because I worked in the theatre and wasn’t a shop guy but because on occasion I’d have to work in the shop I did encounter him and other members of the shop staff more often than other tech ones.
He did the tech one tool orientation which boiled down to, “If you don’t know how to use a tool then don’t fucking use it”. But my first real memory of him took place my first summer there.
During the load in of The World According to Snoopy (or TWATS on Ice as we called it) I was sent to the shop to either get a tool or work on a project I don’t recall now. I got there, and let us say it was to work on something, I set up and begin laying out my project.
This guy with a big moustache appears demanding to know who I am what I think I’m doing. Now he isn’t yelling but his voice is full of authority and I get a little scarred. This is after all in my first week and I barely know my way around any where so to be thrown to the wolves and I feel like I’ve done something completely wrong.
I stammer out a response about having to work on something for the theatre and who I am.
He took a moment looked me up and down, then at what I was laying out, probably asked me what it was, and told me to check with the shop guys before starting.

Something about that interaction stuck.
After that I would ask permission to use the shop.
Not all the time, mind, there would be points where I was so well known it didn’t need to happen but for the most part that small ritual played out.
Even today I tend to do that.
Without saying a word about it Mike told me that I was an outsider in his space, he wasn’t sure of me and needed to know what was happening. But more than ensuring people didn’t fuck up projects he made it known that I needed to give the most basic level of respect to him and his workers by seeing if there was space or materials for me to do my project. And that lives on in me.
After all if you can’t do anything else you need to respect the people and places you work at.

Mike maybe gone but I will remember him for that lesson.
Also if you know where to look there are monuments to him at Knott’s .

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Autumnal Equinox

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

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On the last day of Summer I decided to go along Elliot Bay instead of my usual role by Lake Union.
It was worth it as I took this picture and got to enjoy the end of summer.
Especially when the next day it rained and I finally got to wear wool.
Great times being able to break out the wool.
Feel like I’ve missed it all summer.
Though to be honest this means the start of having arms covered and soon hands covered and then it’ll feel so strange when I finally go out with short sleeves.
Looking forward to it even if riding in rain isn’t great.

Categories: Bicycle Adventures Tags: , ,

Schadenfreude

September 20, 2014 Leave a comment

When I moved to Seattle it was under the guise of creating a theatre.
Like many fringe and near fringe companies we had passion, drive, and were going to change the way people looked at theatre. And ultimately we didn’t.
We found something of an audience and produced a few plays but never really got it together.
Often it was just the time we could devote to making the company work.
Also despite our degrees we were woefully unprepared to do the work of running a theatre.
Honestly who knew that advertising was so tough?

Still we were one of the first companies to produce trailers for our shows. In fact some of those trailers were more fun and imaginative than the shows ended up being. One which no longer exists which was a shame.
During that time of trying to make theatre the idea was hatched to perform a show called ““Matt and Ben” which is actually a very fun show and was a good choice for us.
Now we were theatre nomads not having our own space we had to rent, borrow, share, you know what have you.
But we had learned about a company called, “Balagan” which was getting big and was opening a new space. We had talks with them and we were going to use that venue.
Thing is while they swore on a stack of bibles that the space would be ready for us there were doubts.
Doubts about the floor being done, that the electrical would be in place, doubts that it would actually be finished. Even with constant reassurances it still felt doubtful. And when we had posters with locations made we felt ready until an email was sent saying that the space wasn’t ready.

Talk about screeching halt to our plans.
We got mocked in a weekly paper, while on their blog we were called “scrappy”, when we moved production to a new space. But the show happened. It was fun, a bit of a success and we did it.

And I mostly forgot about them.
Mostly except when I’d hear their name and I would mention this story.
When they took over another theatre to the chagrin of other theatres.
And I told my story.
Then they lost that space and I told my story.
They started doing big musicals and becoming a company that did risky, risqué musicals.
And I’d tell my story.

Last night Balagan officially dissolved
They did some good shows.
They had some success but they overstretched.
I don’t hate them but I do take some pleasure in this failure.
Sure Seattle has lost an interesting company that made some good theatre.
Just because I didn’t always agree with them doesn’t mean they were bad.
But I now won’t be able to tell my story of losing a space because of their poor planning.

Namebadge

September 18, 2014 Leave a comment
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This thing is huge

For “A Chorus Line” I have to operate a spot light in a box boom.
This means I walk through the house in a harness while carrying a radio.
Yet ushers stop me.
Stop me from leaving.
Stop me from getting in.
Ask where I am going.
I lamented not having anything identifying me as an employee of the theatre.
Then I got this giant name badge.
Since I whined about not having one I now I have to wear it.
Well done theatre. Way to get me to wear this.

Categories: Sarcasm Tags: , ,

Well Hell

September 16, 2014 Leave a comment

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I’ve had this spat for protecting my pants from getting caught in my cog or chain.
On the Raleigh there was a lip that protected me from the teeth of the cog.
Guess what?
My Jamis does not have that feature and it seems being in the middle gear on the front puts my pants at risk of being eaten by a hungry bike.
Well live and learn.

Categories: Bicycle Adventures Tags: , ,

New Bike

September 14, 2014 Leave a comment

When the fourth spoke broke after a single ride I gave up on my Raleigh.
Perhaps more a throwing in the towel with difficulty but it was a defiant realization that I got as much from that bike as I could.
The Detour got me into commuting, helped me find that enjoyment me in the struggle of making it up hills, and then came the knowledge that 6 miles really isn’t that far.
Still things kept breaking.
Each maintenance problems arose and the cost just to keep going a bit longer added up.
As much as I enjoyed riding it when a new tire seemed to be my answer I decided that a new bike might be my answer.
First off it is not a large Dutch bike.
I had the desire and even tried speaking with a shop about that. The service I received turned me off from giving them money. Not the least when I mentioned it the response felt more of a demeaning “Why would anyone want that bike” than an explanation of the problems associated with that bike and Seattle.
Shame really.
Then there was the trek to another neighborhood to look at another one I was looking at. The one I had been drooling over they didn’t have and again the service just felt a bit off. As if I were intruding. To be honest I don’t expect people to bend over backwards nor do a hard sale but when I’m eyeing bikes at least ask if I’m considering buying one.
So I ended up at the shop I often go to. Why I didn’t start there I’m not sure but I’m glad I did.
What I bought is a zippy steel bike. A commuter but with more aggressive geometry than my detour. What’s odd is the weight. My new bike, despite being steel, is lighter than my old bike which was aluminum.
Really this became most shocking as I took it for a test ride and easily made it up the hill to my apartment. Sure it took a bit of effort but I made it up there with an ease that I barely had in the past.
It’s going to take me a bit to get used to this bike but right now as I dash up hills that had been a huge problem I rather like it.

Categories: Bicycle Adventures Tags: