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Workin' Man Blues (Or Is That A Two-Step?)...


Just a list of things to do, while I rest. The job is tiring, and I have been sleeping a lot—which I shouldn’t: I have way too much to do, and just reduced by a third (by getting a job) the time available to do it in. (Got to start setting an alarm clock again.) On the plus side, I’ve been paid twice, and next month’s mortgage payment is covered, and I managed to afford new tires for the old truck, too. Backscratcherz has “Justin,†the giant computer I bought last summer that has a defunct processor, and with luck I’ll have him working soon (and not too expensively). “Justin†was custom built (for someone else) for online gaming, and has tons of RAM and speed, and is probably ideal for both my music and my graphic-design work. And that’ll free up “Lazarus†the laptop to mostly do just square dance calling (before I fill up his hard drive with other stuff). I am slowly working down the list of things I said I’d do once I had a job.

Ran a couple of errands today before work: I needed to make sure the Arts Center is available Wednesday night for square dance caller practice before work, I needed to make sure whether a PA system Charlie set up will work for the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership’s “Bounty on the Bay†event next weekend, and I needed to go see Victor in Rockaway about a band for the Rocktoberfest. And yes, it was nice to be doing something that wasn’t work. Makes me feel I still have a life. The gig at the Thirsty Lion Tuesday night will help, too.

Tuesday, I collect the information for my column, then head for Portland to my last square dance caller class, and then to the Thirsty Lion for the gig. Grocery shopping, too, and I want to see the vacation rental guy—he hasn’t answered my e-mails. Wednesday, office hours at the Arts Center, record the base tracks for “Sleepover at My House†at Jim’s shop (which I didn’t do last week), and caller practice with my guinea pigs before I go to work. Thursday before work I’d like to try a one-on-one marimba practice with Larry (he’s offered—and I haven’t been able to make the Sunday afternoon practices for almost a month, because I’ve been working).

I’m assuming my schedule will default ultimately to three swing shifts and two graveyards (what the person preceded me was doing before she quit and they hired me), with just Fridays and Saturdays off. I would like the occasional Monday off, to attend Planning Commission meetings (since I’m on the P.C.) and to cover City Council meetings for the paper (extra money, there); if I had every Monday off, I’d spend the remaining ones at that new jam session at Kelley’s Place, the newest tavern in town.

If the graveyard shifts start starting at 11 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., it’d make square dance caller practice on Wednesday nights easier (and on alternate Wednesdays, I could practice with the band), and on Thursday nights I’d be able to sit in for a little bit with the musicians at the Tsunami in Wheeler (once the new Tsunami opens—it’s not open yet). All that is probably in the future; things have not settled down schedule-wise yet.

Biggest casualty of the Working Man Syndrome is being unable to just go play music for fun, which I used to be able to do five nights of the week if I wanted (and I usually wanted). I am now working every single one of those nights. On the plus side, I am grateful to have Saturdays off (and am glad I planned every gig this summer to be on a Saturday).

It’s really not much different from two years ago, when I was working full-time out of town and only got to come home on weekends. The frustrating part is simply that I’m in town, this time, and get to see all that stuff happening around me. I expect I’ll get over it. I like the job too much.



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