Friday, June 28, 2013

Missing My Missus

It's been a little while since I've posted. I wonder if anyone is still following me? I just was having a couple of thoughts and it's going to be a day or two before I get near anyone I can talk to.

My Missus is the type that doesn't want to go anywhere. She likes it at home. Not that she doesn't get tired of being cooped up with the short people but her idea of getting out is going to the library or finding some knitters to hang with for an afternoon, not world travel.

So when she spoke up one day and said that she wanted to go on a church mission trip to Lebanon to help Syrian refugees I figured God was in it and I had better go along with it. It was so far outside of her normal range of things that she would ever want to do that it had to be. Two other things contributed to making it OK. She had been sad for the Syrians for months every time she saw anything about them in the news, and I felt no panic. So there you go.

I'm a worrier though. So I kind of had to blank it out in the weeks leading up to the trip. That was a little hard on her because of course she wanted to talk about it. So as fund raising and planning was going on I was pretty distant about it. I owe her an apology for that. Even at the moment of departure I was pretty collected. I hope she doesn't think I'm mad at her for wanting to go.

Because for me this is kind of a taste of my worst nightmare. What if I lost my wife? How am I going to shove the kids in public school and still work all my odd hours and be able to get along? Well, of course our family, friends and neighbors would be there to help and they are for sure these next two weeks. But if I let that thought creep in at all it's going to suck.

Not that I'm that worried about her safety. It's not like she's going somewhere where she'll have to dodge mortar fire and crowds of angry young men. The area they're in is largely Christian and the only people who really hate the Syrian refugees are their government and those guys have their hands full at the moment. So that's not it.

So the frame of mind I'm trying to get myself in is to take notice of every time I find a hole in my life where my wife should be. In our home, in our kitchen, with our kids, in the quiet late at night when it would normally be just us two. All those times have been put on notice. They're not allowed to make me sad. They're only allowed to make me get ready to appreciate my girl when she gets back. Those times are going to remind me to make life good for her when she's in my house again.

The last thing she did before she took off was to take her wedding ring off for safe keeping. I put it on a chain around my neck and that's where it's going to stay until I get the gem that came with it back.

Have fun babe. Love on people. Come home safe.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This Is What Heaven Is

Before you read this, start the song playing. You'll be done reading by the time it gets to the good part and you can scroll back up.

This song has brought a (literal) tear to my eye for twenty-five years now. I don't even know all the words, the music strikes me that deeply. It's the sound of hope on a dark ride. At some point I realized that it was because it was drawing an image of heaven for me. It came to me in parts.

When I was on tour I saw a place out in Phoenix where the suburbs were expanding so fast that the city was getting a jump on the developers and had built a whole network of roads with nothing on them. They were just numbered, no names.

When I was growing up I asked my Dad what Heaven was like. He said he didn't know, only that God was pretty powerful, and He loved us a lot, and was building a place that would be perfect for us.

My Dad was a builder. I also can't think of any person on Earth, not my Mom, or my wife, or my kids that loves me as much as my Dad. He hasn't said it to me five times since I was a little kid, but he showed me every single day from that to this. I figure he understands about building something for someone you love.

I don't ever think about suicide. Sometimes though, the world makes me squeeze my eyes shut and wish I was done. That I could go home. To that place. By the time the second verse starts I don't feel that way anymore.

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Blog

I've been wanting to write lately but after posting every day on one or more blogs it seems like I ran out of stuff to say about child rearing and life-in-general about a year ago.  There's a need for me to write stuff pertaining to the art and science of sound and light, but turning out a well thought out document is no easy task and too daunting to even start on most nights.

So I started another blog for the purpose of ironing out some ideas.  I don't know if any of my former readers will be interested in any of the nerdy stuff, but there's likely to be some interesting back stage type posts as well.   Here's the link if you care to check it out.

Smart To Noise Ratio


Thursday, November 10, 2011


 iTyped with my iThumbs

Monday, September 5, 2011

Found Objects

When I was about seven or eight I found a bank of clay near the stream that runs out behind the elementary school. I got the idea to make a clay tablet like I was always hearing about in Sunday school. I went back to the house and found a small scrap of plywood in the garage and some chunks of two by four and got to knocking it together.

In all the years that have passed this memory sometimes surfaces when I walk near that stream. Usually I just remember that none of my friends were at all interested in the idea and I never got around to making that tablet.I never think much about the box though.

Today I found it on my living room floor with stuff piled in it to go out to the trash. Somehow this thing survived through the intervening decades and made its way up the street from my parents' house to where I live now. I just spent a couple minutes reliving the experience while looking at it.

At first I just dumped the contents in the trash and took it out to the wood pile by the fire pit. I hadn't recognized it. But as I chucked it on the pile I started to notice certain things about it. The plywood was of a certain age, something subtle about it that made it look different from what you see today. The mill stamps on the two by fours seemed different two, not as crisp as what they're using now.

Then my carpenter's brain started to decode the building process. First I spotted a corner with only one nail in it, not the hallmark of experienced carpenters like my father and I. Next I spotted a couple finish nails, half driven and bent over by the hand of an eight year old swinging a sixteen ounce Stanley that was too much for him. Then I saw where a couple had been pulled and re-started. That was the point at which Dad found me and lent a hand. I expect he grabbed the old Rockwell circular saw from his van and did a little trimming. Then he was obviously the one who sank about two dozen evenly spaced eight penny sinkers to hold the bottom on.

My next thought was, "Well, I can't burn that with all those nails in it, the kids will step on them". Which makes me proud as a recovering pack rat. So with just a hint of sentimentality I stuck it in the garage, somewhat lovingly as I looked over the nails my father helped me sink twenty seven years ago. I'll likely toss it in a dumpster next time we clean out the garage. But not before giving it one more good look to cement those memories firmly in place.


Friday, February 18, 2011

My Wife Is Trying To Kill You

My Missus knew what she was getting into when she married a sound guy. The first thing I did after we got back from our honeymoon was go out on tour for three months. More than once we've had to make plans to fit delivering a baby into my production schedule. She's even got a clever scheme to pacify the Short People when they get upset that I'll be gone to yet another gig... "We like to eat kids. Say bye bye to Daddy". But she has her ways of exacting her revenge. One way really, and it's this:

Opening night of a theatrical run she feeds me beans.

It started a few years ago when we were particularly poor and eating rather a lot of beans to keep the grocery bills down. I went off to mix a musical one night after downing a hearty dish of red beans and rice and, well... to put it politely the last ten rows of house right seats didn't have such a good time of it that night. I remarked on it to her at which point we both had a good laugh.

The thing is, she keeps doing it! And I never catch on till it's too late. I've never been able to get the drop on her. The last theatrical run I mixed it hit me as I was pushing my chair back. Ugh. Maybe someday I'll catch on before I sit down to eat and say that I'm running late and I'll just grab a burger on the way to the venue. Somehow I doubt it though.

She informs me that it is always going to happen and it is always going to be funny. True and truer. So now you know. If you're buying advance tickets for opening night of a musical in Genesee county it would serve you well to find out where the sound guy is mixing from and stay at least ten rows away.


Monday, January 10, 2011

You'll Just Have To Wait

I keep getting responsibility heaped on me at work. Possibly quite a bit more than I ever bargained for. I've been trying to up my game recently to figure out how I can do my best to keep everybody happy, including me.

One of the biggest problems is that I'm involved with so many different projects that it's almost impossible to sit and work on something for ten minutes without having to answer a phone call, a call on the radio, or turn to deal with someone poking their head in. Likewise walking down the hall, it's tough to make it twenty feet without getting stopped. Sometimes a group forms around me.

One thing that really helped was some advice from my boss to ignore my phone and radio during meetings. Easily done, just silence that little bugger and unless the same person calls three times in two minutes don't answer it. Something that made me kind of a power user was setting up Google Voice on my work phone. (I'm receiving no compensation for saying this). People call the same number, but if it goes to voicemail a transcript is taken and forwarded to my e-mail and I also get it as a text (most of the time).

Another thing is just to tell people no. I can't really put my boss off, he's going to give me assignments no matter what and he realizes that I/we have to prioritize because there's just so much going on. Making other people realize this isn't too tough though. When the fire alarm guys showed up on Friday and need assistance, I asked them to grab a seat while I finished the drawing I was working on. They were glad to wait and everything got taken care of in a timely fashion. The world didn't end or anything!

So that's it. Just one more tiny step in the constant battle to have it all make sense.