Days of our lives…


In case any of you are joining me already in progress in 2007 I taught design here for a semester.  While I was here I learned all the ins and outs and dirt and gossip about everyone that works here.  Flash forward four years and four trips later and I still know what’s going on.

And how do I know what’s going on?  Well it’s funny that you ask.

Everyone who works here will corner me while I’m here and then proceed to tell me everything that’s going on.  They know that I know the back story, so I know who and what they are talking about.  They also know that I will go away in just a couple of days and will be gone for the next six, eight, etc months.  So they are open, and honest.   I just stand there and nod mostly.  I occasionally will ask a question, or offer a comment, but for the most part I just listen.

The most fun part of all this is listening to everyone’s take on the same story.  The hiring of the stage manager for this show…who made the decision is different depending who you ask.  Whey there were issues with the costumes…depends on who you ask.  And it goes on and on.

Of course the only thing that has sort of caused a problem was being told that the director from last fall told her colleagues that it was my fault that the show was so bad, because I took so long to cue the lights.  Hmmm.  It wouldn’t be surprising to find out she said this.  What I do find funny is that she wants me to come back next year and design for her.  The person who told me all this told me I should ask the TD to confirm this.  I know I should just let it go…but there’s a part of me that just wants to know.  I’ll let you know what I decide to do.

In the meantime there are a couple of people I have not had “drinks” with yet, so it will be interesting to see what else I hear about  this week.

I’ve been missing again…

I just got scathing email from my boyfriend chastising me for not having written a post in forever.  So because my life is happier and easier when Adam is happy.  Here goes.

I’m in Iowa.

Although we’ve had lots of rain there have been no tornadoes.  In KY they’ve had tornadoes.  Last time I was in Iowa in the spring we spent one whole afternoon in the basement waiting for the storm to pass.  Two days later I broke my ankle.  I just realized as I was typing this that it was three years ago today that I broke my ankle.  My how time flies when you are having fun.  I do have to admit that I’m very cautious when I’m here now.  I’m terrified that I’m going to step off the edge of the stage, or trip over a chair, or fall down the stairs.  Erik the TD told me to just remember that I will survive if I break something.  I told him physically it’s not so bad.  Financially I would be fucked.

Speaking of financially.  They pay me to be here.  They also furnish funds to get me here.  And they put me up while I’m here.  The catch to all of this is that I usually don’t get paid and reimbursed for travel until I’m done.  Sometimes it’s even a week after I’m done.  The problem with this is that before I leave I have to make enough money to pay all my bills through the time I’m gone until I start making money again, plus make enough to live on while I’m here.  I’m off work for three weeks.  That’s a lot of money.  I explained this to the powers that be here and told them that I couldn’t wait to be paid till I was done.  I at least needed to get reimbursed for the travel as soon as possible.  I was assured this would not be a problem.  The first three minutes I was here, I handed over all my receipts so that I could get paid.  That was more than a week ago.  Erik came to me on Friday and told me that he didn’t know when I’d get paid.  Someone in accounting has been out sick and they are behind schedule.  And this is my fault.  I bet they’d be on schedule if it was his check they were missing.  Or the president’s.

I’m having my typical theater drama here.  The stage manager kind of has her head up her butt.  To start she isn’t a student.  She dropped out of college at the end of last semester because she was tired of being here.  (She has two more semesters to go).  I’ve berated her about this the whole time I’ve been here.  It’s stupid to drop out when you are so close to finishing.  Tonight I found out that she isn’t that close to finishing.  Seems she flunked most of her classes last fall and that’s why she’s dropped out.  So anyway, they couldn’t find a student to stage manage so they “hired” her.  And let’s just say it’s not going well.  She didn’t know where any of the cues went today.  She didn’t even have a book to write them in.  When I left rehearsal today, the td and design teacher were giving her what for because she’s so far behind.  Let’s hope they can light a fire under her ass.

I got through the first piece today.  It’s the one about boxes.  And okay.  Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe the dance is not as bad as I thought it would be.  In fact under light it looks great.  I’m hoping to video some of it with my camera later in the week and try to upload it.  If I can I’ll post it on here.

In the meantime…it’s time for bed.

I promise I’ll write more tomorrow.

Another day, another dollar.

I’m going to be in bed by 5:00 a.m. tonight.

I swear.

I have one more day in a five day work week.  I feel beaten and abused.  It’s far too many days for me to work in a row.  I know, I know, I know.  Everyone works a five day work week.  But I challenge anyone to come work my job for a week and see how much you disagree then.

I had a list in my head tonight of new rules regarding eating out.

Now I can’t think of any of them.

My schedule was good this week.  I wrote it myself.  I have two great shifts on Monday and Tuesday.  I requested those as well.

This time next week I’ll be in Detroit.  I’m going to be staying with Adam’s friends Joe and Joe.  They got married last fall.  Adam thinks it’s weird that I would go stay with people I barely know.  Now I’m paranoid about it.  I’m going to be there 24 hours and then drive on to Iowa on Saturday.  Sunday I get settled and on Monday I hit the ground running.  I can’t wait to not be at work for almost three weeks.

I have a lot to do before then.  Although for the life of me I can’t think of what those things are right now.

They fired the new cute manager at work yesterday.  Seems he lied about something on his resume…that’s one story.  Or that he was caught stealing at one job…that’s another.  All I know is he was cute, worked hard, and it seems kind of crazy that they’d fire him after spending two months training him.

I’m reading a book that I’m not too fond of right now.  If I weren’t so close to the end I’d say fuck it and give it up.  But I have about three more chapters to go.  I think I’m going to read something light and fluffy next time.  Any suggestions?

That’s it.

It’s 4:27.  I can shower and be in bed in 30 minute.

Maddog’s Work…

For many years I’ve spoken of what I do.  Or at least what I like to do.  I fancy myself a lighting designer.  And most days I think I’m very good at it.  Of course where ever I go I seem to find drama but I think that’s par for the course for just being me.


While I was in a unnamed state several years ago, I designed Candide and Into the Woods.  The master electrician used his very small digital camera to record several moments in the show.  The director had a cow when he found out so they are listed as “unknown” theater productions.  But they are mine.  The quality is far from good and the sound is somewhat distorted and gives the impression that it’s not as good as it is.

Anyway.  Here are three links from the show.  The first is the overture to Candide.  The second is the finale of Candide.  And the third is one of my favorite designs ever.  I found a very simple solution of the big problem of making the witch disappear at the end of the scene.

I’m not fishing for compliments just wanted you guys to see what I do.


Boxes, boxes, boxes.

I’m supposed to be working on my light plot.

I’m not.

I should be taking a shower, to get ready for bed.

But I’m not.

I should be paying bills.

But I’m not.

I should be washing the dishes.

But I’m not.

I should be putting things away in “my” bedroom.

But I’m not.

I should be turning down the volume on my computer.

But I’m not.

Okay.  I’m trying to think of other witty things to stay in my riff.  Unfortunately, simultaneously I’m watch an online video of one of the dances I’m designing.  It’s 40 minutes of ten girls moving hundreds of boxes.  Seriously.  I’m not exaggerating.  I’m bored and I’m not even finished watching it.  And I haven’t even started designing.  Now they are stacking them.  40 minutes of boxes.  What the fuck am I even supposed to do with this.  One big box gobo and call it a day.  (A gobo is a metal template you put in a light that projects a pattern.  So if I want shadows of leaves on the stage, I put in a leaf gobo.)  Now they are dropping boxes.  And pretending to be little kids…playing with boxes.  Now they are moving in slow motion…with boxes.

Okay.  I’m done.  I tried taking screenshots of the video but I can’t figure out where my computer is hiding them.

So you’ll have to wait.

And with that.

Good night.

Wait….I found the screenshot…

Stacks of boxes, and it’s hard to tell but stacked against the white wall are hundreds of white boxes.

Boxes, boxes, boxes.

He’s back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been in a bad mood for the past three weeks.  I think I might still be in a bad mood.  I know it’s not as bad as it was.  Let’s hope that it continues to get better.  I’m sure Adam hopes it continues to get better.

That’s the excuse I’m using for not blogging.

It’s a poor excuse at best but what you can you do?

Work has been sucky again.  I sent a very terse email to the GM and to Michael my 12 year old manager.  I’d post it on here but it would clearly give away where I work.  As if you don’t know already.  I think I finally got their attention.  The GM, Daniel, in front of the district manager, told Michael to give me what ever I wanted.  Finally.  Of course I give it about two weeks to go back to the way it was.

Of course it can’t get any worse.  The reason I was driven to write the email is because I made almost 50% less last week than I did four years ago when I was getting the same schedule every week.  I told them I’d be happy to bring in my calendar and show them how much I made, and in what section I was scheduled.

This has resulted in a SEVERE shortage of funds.  In fact I still haven’t give Adam my share of April’s rent.  I’m hoping to have it by the weekend.  Thank god he’s lived here forever and he doesn’t get a late charge when we don’t pay on time.

That’s the real reason for the bad mood.

I’m going to Iowa again in two weeks.  Actually I am leave next Thursday.  I’m driving.  It’s a long story which I’ll share some other time.  They are paying so it doesn’t really matter.

Of course as is always the case when I do shows ANY WHERE I don’t have any of the information I need to start my design.  It’s dance show and I was supposed to have DVD’s of the choreography three weeks ago.  That was two weeks after it was supposed to be posted on line.  It will all be fine I’m sure.  It always is.  It makes for a very grumpy Maddog though.

My birthday is in 7 days.  Next Tuesday.  I’ll be 46.  I never in a million years thought I’d be a 46 year old waiter.  I suppose it could be worse.  I could be unemployed.  I always misspell unemployed.

My friend Kelly messaged me on Facebook this weekend to tell me her husband was coming to NYC with his marching band and that they were eating in my restaurant tonight.  I told her I’d go introduce myself.  Which I did.  I got the feeling he was VERY uncomfortable.  Especially when he asked a student to take our picture so he could text it to Kelly and I put my arm around his shoulder.  VERY uncomfortable.


It’s time for bed.

Hopefully I will see you all back here tomorrow.