Archive for September, 2005

mono tones

Monday, September 26th, 2005

Saturday I played for the Ashley Blank/Tom Billings reception and it went quite smoothly right up till about 10pm.

* The best man started off his toast by congratulating Ashley on finally getting a last name.

* While trying to call the bride’s sister stationed in Iraq, a drunk bridesmaid exclaimed “Use my phone – I have a nationwide plan, so I can call China!”

* At every reception I throw in “Jump Jive and Wail” and have a swing dance competition. There was a very experienced young couple swinging their hearts out and when the song was over I commended their skill. However, I decided that even though they were the most talented, they came in second to a cute elderly couple. Shortly after, the girl came over and said: “You DJ’d our wedding last summer. And you gave us 2nd place then too!!” Oops. I told her that just goes to show they needed to work harder. I did later play their song and told them they would always be number two in my heart.

Ten o’clock rolls around – everyone is on the floor and the dance is in full force. I hit a 90′s groove, mixing in songs I forgot I even had and they loved it! The groom was finally out break dancing, the guests are bouncing off the walls, I’m having a blast when suddenly “GGKKKSHSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” blasts out of my left speaker. Not good.

I killed everything and suggested everyone take a trip to the bar. I opened up the rack and looked in – sure enough there’s a bunch wires and doodad thingy’s. Might as well ask a three year old to fix your transmission. So I closed it up, took down the speaker and continued the dance in mono.

The floor was still packed at midnight.

Afterward the parents, bride and groom all thanked me for a great job. I couldn’t really celebrate though – like when your team wins the game but you lose your star player for the season. I dreaded calling Ryan, but I was at least semi-sort of confidant this one wasn’t my fault.

“Son I have some bad news” I told him. “Jesus Christ!” he exclaimed, “what now??” I told him what happened. Not sure if it was the wiring (minimal dollars), the speaker (ugly dollars) or the amp (file for another loan dollars). He said wow then told me how he had blown an amp and also got stiffed on the same job. At first I thought this was a story from his past to console me…”Wait a minute, you blew an amp and didn’t get paid tonight??” Yep.

Ryan’s top amp shut down before he played a single song. He still managed to pull off the 8 hour reception, and then asked the bride’s father for the $1200 balance due. The man replied that he didn’t have that kind of money on him and told him to stop by his house the next day. We bump into this mentality far too often but it still stuns me every time. When you buy your groceries, do you tell the checkout person to come over to your house and collect the money tomorrow?? Ryan informed the man that he needed to be in Detroit for a bridal show in nine hours. The man said tough luck.

Tough luck indeed – Ryan went over their house the next morning, collected payment, raced down to the Palace of Auburn Hills, stole the whole show from all the other vendors and collected hundreds of high paying leads – which our agent then left in a box under a table, never to be seen again.

But at least he can unload both shows in to the garage and get them fixed up…just as soon as he pumps out the flood water from yesterday. Fortunately it only did about $2000 in damage this time.

see “Media, dumb”

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Flipping through the propaganda channels last night I came across an anchorman interviewing a scientist who spent five hours flying through the eye of Rita:

Anchorman: “So is Rita a stronger storm than Katrina?”
Scientist: “I wouldn’t say it’s stronger. It’s definitely shaped differently.”
Anchorman: “So wouldn’t the different shape make it a stronger storm than Katrina?”
Scientist: “No.”
Anchorman: “Oh.” (disappointed)

Then they went on to show a “Worst case scenario” graphic that wipes out the entire city of Galveston, TX. Oh please, please! That level of human suffering would put us on top of Nielsons for weeks!

So they have no soul – this is nothing new. Even still, I don’t think they are seeing the big picture. On that graphic, just a few miles north of Galveston was a little place called Texas City. This is where most of my actually cool coworkers live and I talk to them daily. Just off the graphic is another city call Houston, where another one of my not lame coworkers is currently boarded in to her house with her kids and eight dogs.

The reason she is there and not running north is because the chemical industry does not sleep. Even if you are anti-big business or anti-chemical companies, I defy you to go a day without using them. Chemicals and plastics are used in *everything*. Phones, computers, fabrics, paper, paint, roads, metal coatings for bridges and buildings, medicine and food. And guess where the majority of it is produced? The Texas Gulf Coast.

So when the media’s worst case happens and everything is wiped out, they will gleefully raise their commercial spot rates only to find their advertisers disappear because they can no longer afford to make the products they are trying to sell.

To quote the anchorman: “Oh.”

Go Steve, it’s your birthday!

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

31, whoo!!! Well maybe not, but it was as good excuse as any to ditch work, so I can type this in my underwear (they just don’t handle that well at the office).

I’m diving in to real estate investments now, so hopefully I will really have something to celebrate when #32 rolls around. I closed on my duplex last week and officially met my tenant for the first time. She’s a little obsessive about the groundskeeping which she does all herself. She was actually worried that I was going to take away her lawnmowing privileges – HAHAHAHAHA!

But she’s already complaining about nitpicky little things, like the garage ceiling falling down on her car. Like *I’m* supposed to do something about it. She really needs to get a hold of her landlord…oh wait that’s me. Well I’m sure it will all work itself out.

Time to go do a little birthday exercise at the gym. In my underwear of course.