Saturday, October 31, 2015

Chicago Go-GO!!

Did a 'hometown show' today in the Chicago area.  It started as a fairly low key day. 
Everyone was so tired this morning.  It was like we were all trudging through mud.  Then things got crazy once the QnA started then the meet n greet was crazy then the post meet and greet and then getting back. 
The layout of the building was terrible. There was only one room backstage. All the other rooms you had to walk through the church, down stairs, down a hall...way too far for it to be functional.  But we got through it.  

I had a friend stop by tonight too!! 
April was in the area, so she swung by for 8 hours and walked around with me as I worked. She even bought/brought me Starbucks!!!!

The autograph session after the show felt like one of the smoothest sessions we have had. We've gotten it down to a science! 

I also did a little bit of makeup for Halloween. I wore it until mid afternoon before cleaning it off - it is a family concert...
I also made some 'heads in a jar' using me own face. 😳

Tonight is also daylight savings. It doesn't help us though. We are traveling from central to eastern time zone so it cancels each other out. :(
I can't wait to sleep a lot on Monday. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

...After The Break.

I Had three days off. Three glorious days. Got my overdue car tags.  Got some much needed rest. And also caught a movie. 
Highlight of the days off was going to the Gainesvile Botanical Gardens with one of my bosses, Jamie. 

The Farmer in the Wisconsin Dells

Today was a weird day.  Lots of weird things happened...

Some guy asked my name and put me in his phone notes as 'Joe - Ass Tour Manager'
Catering broke down the food thirty minutes early, so we bought Culvers. I've never had it, but I decided to have shrimp since we've had burgers and chicken so much lately.  Jenn and I had a good laugh over the fact I was trusting the seafood at a land locked Wisconsin restaurant. 
It brought up memories of eating a hot dog from a stand in NYC and then going to see a Broadway show and proceeded to throw up the hot dog during the intermission.  
I joked with the runner that the hot dog ended up costing me $7/hr for the 45 minutes I was able to keep it down. 
We had someone go up to the stage and leave a bucket of candy.  We grabbed it immediately and tore into the gourmet popcorn before the next song ended!!  

We had to store the empty production boxes outside today.  In the cold. And rain. Unprotected. 

While we were rearranging our office, we found a photo of Bill Cosby that someone purposely hid behind some chairs. I hung it back up.  It made for several great conversation centerpieces. 

I also got bored for two minutes, so I started drawing an L on a bunch of Paya shampoo bottles:

We also got a new bus this week. Several things have changed:
The color of the bus.  It was black. It's now white.  It does throw me off sometimes still walking outside looking for the big black bus. 
The toilet faces the other way.  I now face the front of the bus when standing to pee. It has helped decrease my 'that awkward moment when you are urinating standing up on a moving bus and the driver hits the breaks so you grab the nearest handle, only to find that the handle is attached to a door that opens the same direction your being moved by the breaking of the bus so instead of slowing your fall, it does nothing but move with you...backwards, as you're still peeing' moments. 
We had four drawers for refrigeration. Or so we thought. Three for refrigeration. One is a freezer.  We exploded milk and some iced coffee in glass containers in the freezer, and accidentally let some ice cream melt in the fridge. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Effingham, Effingcheese and Effingeggs

After a great three days off, it was finally  time to get back at it. So we decided to do it as comfortably as possible. 
Nice comfy chairs totally made our day. 
Our morning started out great. We got things laid out and done in record time!  
Then things slowly one by one didn't go as much our way from then on. Nothing terribly horrible happened, but small things like the tea strainer didn't work right so I spilled 20oz of hot water everywhere, we broke a lamp, we were missing some paperwork that I had called for weeks ago...nothing major. We handled it all. Just small annoyances. Ugh. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Matthew: Live In The House

We had a radio spot this morning. There was a contest that was put on months ago where the winner would get a concert in their house with MW. 
This morning we fulfilled that. We came in and performed acoustically several songs AND recorded it for radio AND recorded it on video for the station. 
Matthew letting a kid strum as he sings the song. 
WayFMs Wally hosts the event. 
It was a pretty cool fun prize for them. We had pulled up in the bus and parked it in front of their house.  We were greeted by about 20 people. 8 kids that immediately sprinted at Matthew and crowd hugged him. 
At the start of the recording, Matthew asked them if anyone had any stories about any of his songs. Typically people answer, "it got me through this..." or "this song encourages me". But not today!!  A little six year old kid pipes up, "I played one of your songs at school!  ...they didn't like it."

So Matthew sang some songs, answered questions, and even did some praise and worship since it was Sunday.  Overall, it was a really cool experience for them and really cool that I was able to help 'manage' this event for the morning. 

Meanwhile at the venue:
Jenn was going to have to do BOTH OUR JOBS this morning since she was without me...or so we both thought.  Jenn had three of our crew people help her to knock out my job and get things done. Pulling together as a team to cover being a person short was nothing short of amazing and touching/heartfelt. 

Our show tonight started at 5pm. That's two hours earlier than normal.  Which means we end two hours early!!!  

And then a 14+ hour drive to Tennessee. Followed by a 4 hour drive home. Followed by dinner made by my room mate (probably as I do laundry). Followed by a long nights sleep in my bed. And then taking care of my car tags on Tuesday, sigh. 

After We Wake State Count (15)

Add three more states that we travelled through (including tonight's ride home to TN)


Started this week at 12, adding these three brings us to 15 states I have been to on this tour!!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Having a Bad Altitude About Things

I had to make signs this morning reminding everyone (including myself) to drink plenty of fluids because of the higher elevation in Colorado Springs. 
My chest has felt so tight since about lunch time. Luckily no headaches, but doing one flight of stairs has become tiresome.  

Tonight I am on the bus alone with the West family. I've been put in charge of a special event tomorrow I'm kinda excited about. I'll tell more tomorrow after the event, so for now it's surprise!!  

I had lots of wins today. At least three times maybe four when I was asked about something (ice on buses yet?  Schedules printed?...) that I was already done or was presently working on. 

Overall a pretty good day.  😊

Colorado Springs Into Action

First thing this morning, I went to get a cup of tea.  As I filled it, it emptied just as fast. Catering left broken cups out hit us to use.  Tea spilt all over. It ended up no big deal after I drank my first sip. I poured it out too as it was not *sweet* as the sign said. 

I then found a baby and zombie room. 

But most beautiful of all was the view of the east side of the church. 
The snow capped mountains wee breath is this altitude.  
"Please remember to stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water. Do not rely solely on your osmosis capabilities."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Albu-quirky New Mehiko

Just another show day, other than only having two rooms for two bands, three artists, a crew and production office.  
We did arrive a little late, which was nice. It made things all run a little tighter and close together. It did equate to less down time, but I'd rather work harder for less hours than work slower and get bored during the day. 

On arriving late: I rode up in the front cab with our driver Jay and Jenn and enjoyed the views of New Mexico. 

Not Juan Son, But Tucson

Long day. 
Stressful morning. 
It got to the point today that Jenn could even read on my face that I was feeling exhausted by some of our circumstances. I am typically pretty easy going, so when I get to the point of verbally and aggressively asking questions you know I'm frustrated. 

So Jenn pulled us both off site and we made an 'emergency run' to get some special lunch and Starbucks for the crew. It was a much needed break in the middle of the day for both of us.  
And the crew got some special beverages too. 

The view was so beautiful today too!!!
Most of the rest of the day was uneventful.  
I did have one little girl come up to me at the end of the night as Matthew was doing autographs, "Your jacket says Insurgent Film Crew..."
"Yep.  That's my other job. I work in movies."
"Oh my goodness!!!  That's like my favorite movie!!  When I was in a wheelchair, my mom rented that for me a lot!"

Other random conversation today was with me and a couple of band members. One of the guys had mentioned lent and having to give stuff up for lent.  So I jokingly said, "for lent, I'm going to give up sobriety....last year I gave up lent.  The year before, I gave up hope."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Vegas: Continued

Previously on my blog:
Went to Mandalay Bay. 
Saw the Aquarium. 
Looked at plasticized fish. 
Lost $20 at blackjack in New York New York. 
Rode the monorail. 

Insert late lunch here as I monitor the cleaning ladies tidying our bus. 

I was about to get back on the monorail as Jenn texts me. Turns out we were both about to head to the Bellagio.  Instead of getting back on the monorail, I jump in her cab and we ride together. 

At the Bellagio, the lobby is adorned with a piece by famous glass blower, Chihuli. 
Next I seek out the botanical gardens. I'm a little disappointed that the gardens are about the size of my parents back yard in the suburbs. It's not very big at all. Within five minutes I'm done. 
There is quite a bit to see, but just not a lot of square footage. 
I then proceed to walk down and see more of the strip.  I've been here twice before, so I've seen a lot already.  There's not much I still need to see or need to see again. But I still took a couple more pics. 
The Bellagio:
Caesars Palace:
Treasure Island:
The Venetian:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

12 and counting...

We have been to 12 states so far up through and including California.  

States we visited or went through this last week:

That brings the total to 15 states now!!!

Vegas. Day 2. Part 1.

Woke up, packed up and put all my stuff back on the bus. 
Ate a little bus-lunch of fig newtons and granola bars then headed out. First stop: the Vegas Monorail.  

$12 for an all day unlimited pass. Kinda spendy, but I needed to go to the south end anyways. A cab is $20 one way. 
Took the monorail as close as I could to Mandalay Bay.  This meant passing by several landmarks including Excalibur
The MGM Grande
New York New York
The Luxor
And a couple others. 
My first destination was the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium. It was a little disappointing, especially after being spoiled by Georgia's Aquarium. 
I still got a couple decent photos. 
I opted to add on a second experience which was the Sea Monsters Exhibit. 
The SME had several sea creatures that had been plasticized just like they do with the Bodies Exhibit. 
Shown above is the dissection of a grouper. 
The insides of a moray eel. 
Inside a large sunfish. 
A left-eyed flounder. Notice that both eyes are on the left side. Hence the name. 
The octopus was really cool too. 

Then I had to head back to the hotel for a bus cleaning.