I've been a little busy, but I am enjoying (mostly) every minute of it. I started off with 3 Preservation Hall Jazz Band / Del McCoury Band gigs at Pennsylvania State University, Spring Texas, and the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. As always, working with such a high caliber of musician pleases my ears, makes my body move, and makes my job easier. Also, everyone in both bands are genuinely nice people and a pleasure to work with.
The real highlight of this run was that I lost my luggage at Penn State Friday night. A member of the local crew was overzealous unloading the equipment and somehow my luggage got unloaded as well and placed in a back hallway somewhere; we didn't realize I was missing my luggage until about halfway through the van trip back to the hotel. The hotel was 90 minutes away from the venue, and it was already late, so turning around wasn't really an option. Luckily federak express reunited me with my luggage on Monday. I learned a lesson (always verify that your luggage is in the van / bus / rental car even if you didn't take it out) and the bands were kind enough to give me a couple of shirts (Thanks Michael and Ms Jean!) The hotel gave me toiletries; I bought some clean socks and underwear at Wal-Mart the next day, and I was set.
I took Monday off in Little Rock. Beth's college room mate and good friend Bryan Borland lives there. He was kind enough to share his house and company with me, and also provide an address where fedex could catch up with me. I mainly hung around the house, had a nap, went for a run around the subdivision, rested during the day, and caught up with Bryan when he got home from work.
Next, I flew to Las Vegas to work with Physician Resources, who provide technical services to companies to link them with doctors and help with peer review journal submission, advisory boards, and dinner meetings. I provide technical services supervision for the A/V component of these meetings. I hadn't seen Stacey in a while, and it's always good to catch up with her and her team.
Stacey took us out to eat Korean BBQ, which was delicious. We ordered entirely too much food. I've noticed that since I've started dieting my tendency is to order more food than I can eat even though I know that I'm only going to eat half the restaurant portion. This will be a problem soon, as I will try to eat everything on my plate instead of just ordering the amount of food I should eat.
The meeting was good, but we had serious problems with the equipment vendor. My counterpart, Kris Wotipka, had specified that certain gear be at the gig. Of course, the vendor made substitutions, even though there is a no substitutions clause in our rider. Also, the gear was very poorly maintained and I had several gremlins rear their ugly little heads during setup. Gremlins are shorthand for intermittent technical issues.
Lastly, on this gig, the company that contracted out the gear also contracted the local labor, but for some reason it seemed like there were 3 or 4 levels of subcontractors (company a hires company b who in turn hire company c who in turn hire company d.) This actually happens more often than you would think in our freelance centric world, but the problem (other than the fact that there are 3 companies squeezing a profit off of the labor of one human) is that the directions got mixed up. We had our labor order, but no one else had accurate information so there were crossed wires somewhere.
From Vegas I flew back to New Orleans late Thursday night and set off for Gretna Fest during the weekend. I had a great time at this festival, and I got to wear my new adventure hat!
On Monday I went to Kingston Audio's shop to pull a show that I met in Alabama on Tuesday for Load In. This show ran Thursday and Friday, so I was in Alabama from Tuesday morning until Saturday morning, then Beth and I went to Ville Platte Saturday for a party at Bayou Farm. On Sunday, Clayton, Ray, and Mary Jane met us and the Keller clan at the Tornoi, which is a form of jousting competition.
From there I went to Alexandria to help my father clean his house, but will return to Ville Platte today to process chickens and from there I will return with Donald on Saturday to New Orleans where I can finally have a free day with Beth.