Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

It's All Happening At the . . . Delta Center

And I'm not there, which required a huge paradigm shift on my part. Simon and Garfunkel are playing in concert as I type this and I was almost there. My friend Scott bought a pair of tickets as soon as they were available for $300. But he wasn't satisfied. Section 7 row 11, isn't good enough. So, when he found a pair of 10th row center seats available, he snapped them up. Of course he'd be able to sell the other pair, right? I mean, it's Simon and Garfunkel, for crying out loud. That's something that was never going to happen again. Never mind that the price is obscene and exclusionary and elitist. He came to me, knowing I'm a huge fan, and proceeded to ridicule me because I wouldn't buy the tickets. I don't care who it is, I'm not paying that much to see them. It's ridiculous of them to think they're that special. I'll admit they're pretty special, but not enough for me to take food out of my kids' mouths or run up my credit card bill. The memory of a great concert only lasts so long and then I'm wishing I had it on video so I could recall what was so great about it. That's not worth $300 bucks.
So he began making the rounds. He hit up everyone he knew. Finally, last thursday, he took out an ad in the paper. He hit me up once more but not for money. He wanted me to give him some edit time for the tickets. I wanted a definate number of hours and we agreed on 30--a very generous settlement on my part: That's only $10 bucks an hour. The station charges $250 for my services and I ask at least $40 when doing freelance. So I was going to the concert. However, this all hinged on the tickets not selling. Frankly, I was secretly hoping they would sell. I mean, 30 hours? Come on. I came to work yesterday and he told me how many bites he'd had: None. Zilch. Nada. So I was still going to the concert. I had the tickets in my hand today and I invited my friend Steve to go with me. Then the great and awful thing happened. Someone bought his tickets. I was glad. Glad for me and glad for him. But still...Simon and Garfunkel. If they'd only lower the price about a hundred dollars a ticket. Hmmmm.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Tears for Fears

I try to be professional at these things and usually I am. I never become a "fan", following the artists around and asking stupid questions like some little kid backstage at an N-Sync concert.
But there are times, like yesterday, when I'm so captivated by the musicians' abilities and my experiences with their music, that I have a hard time containing my excitement. Tears for Fears inspired that sentiment in me. The experience was an about-face from the one with A.M. The band didn't seem to need any "space".
I pretty much stayed in the corner, having nothing to say that I thought they would want to hear. But the other guys on the crew were chatty as always. My friend, Dick, couldn't get over the pianist's t-shirt, which had a picture of John Lennon spinning DJ-style at a double turntable, and Mike talked a lot with the drummer about the drummer's other band, of which Mike is a fan.
Everybody was quite friendly with us, and they were very accepting of the cameras, which were in their faces most of the time. Even when they cleared the room for the sound check and we all started to leave, they called to us camera guys and said, "Not you. You guys can stay and film it."

The sound check turned out to be a pretty painful experience at first. There were some problems setting up the board with all the mics and headsets needed to record the drums, bass, piano, and guitars.
It took about 45 minutes to resolve it while the 65-plus radio station listeners who were invited to the intimate performance waited in the atrium downstairs. I could see frustration on the faces of all the band members, particularly the drummer, Nick D'Virgilio (who also plays with the band, Spock's Beard), and Roland Orzabal, but it was definately tense for all of us.
The sound setup was entirely the responsibility of the radio station, not us, so all we could do was sit there and watch. But the wait was worth it when the soundcheck began.
They did parts of "Call me Mellow" and "Who Killed Tangerine" from their soon-to-be released Everybody Loves a Happy Ending. We were all digging it. Most of us are huge Beatles fans and the obvious influences of that band on this one were not lost on us.
After running through the songs and tweaking the levels a little, Nick asked about the order of the songs and, Roland said, "The same as yesterday: Mellow, Tangerine, Heaven, Everybody, and Seeds." Then he looked at us and said, "Let's do it." We brought the listeners in and seated them all around the band.

The interview was sparse, but that didn't bother me. I was there for the music. After discussing the breakup of Roland and Curt, which they were fairly open about, they kicked into the first two songs. Roland's vocals were amazing. The high notes were crisp right up into the falsetto. And Nick's backup vocals on "Tangerine" during the line, "It's not over" made me tingle.
After the show the listeners were lined up down the stairs, through the atrium and around the corner into the hall, where they waited turns for pictures and autographs. Roland and Curt were both very engaging and funny with everyone.
After 20 minutes or so when that was done and I asked them if they would be in a picture with the tv crew, Roland said, "You'd think we were famous!"
The thing that struck me the most about this experience after the last one was how accomodating they were to us.
They seemed very willing to be on camera and have access to the obvious promotional opportunity there is in having a local show about them broadcast. This is by far the best of these I've been involved with.
The pictures were taken by my friends, Scott Frederick and Bret Barton. I'm the one in the Utah Football T-Shirt.
Be sure to go out and buy the new album, "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" when it comes out September 14th. Take it from me, it's going to be great if the three songs I heard are any indication!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Are You Ready for This?

First of all, let me clear up some confusion. The rock star I met the other day was extremely nice. She even made little old me feel comfortable around her. She had an amazing singing voice and the guitarists were nice guys as well. I chatted with one about playing the guitar, which is a hobby of mine.

I made it sound like she was a diva but she wasn't. It was her "people" I had a hard time with. Here's a photo of her with our crew:

OK. Now that that's all cleared up, I can depress you all. This blog has really turned into a downer lately. But I've got to chronicle everything that's been going on. That's what I started this thing for anyway.

There's a kid in our neighborhood--I think he's about 22 but I've known him since he was sixteen. He's a great kid, very considerate, a HUGE sports fan, and just a nice guy. About a year ago he noticed his eyes going blurry. He went to several eye doctors and no one could figure out what the problem was. It kept getting worse and finally he was given an MRI. It turns out that he has a massive tumor that covers the whole top of his brain. They're starting chemotherapy now. I haven't been up to visit him yet. I was told he was coming home but they've kept him there for over a week now. I need to go see him.

Are you just totally bummed now? Wait! There's more!

Not living in Idaho has its drawbacks. I'm not up on all the news there. I guess my parents think I can pick up this stuff telepathically so they don't call, but I guess my dad and his twin brother have both been diagnosed with prostate cancer. In fact, my uncle has been undergoing radiation therapy for over five months. My dad doesn't want to go that way. He's opting to have his removed. He doesn't like the idea of having a glow-in-the-dark butt. They both act like it's nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, emotions don't flow easily from either of them.

Do you want to know what I got for father's day? Aside from all the lovely cards my boys gave me and the wonderful new shirt and tie from my wife (I love new clothes--before the washer has had a chance to take the life out of them), I got a huge, devastating migraine. It consumed the whole world for about eight hours. My body wanted to get rid of anything and everything I would put in it. I looked dead. I couldn't lie down and I couldn't sit up. It hurt to breathe. Pain relievers didn't help. Finally, my wife got me a Diet Coke and I sipped it very carefully for about twenty minutes. The headache went away after that. But it came back around midnight and I was up until 4:30am when it finally went away again. How's that for a nice gift?

Friday, June 18, 2004

Stick with Me, and we Might go Places...I Hope.

Tension filled the building when I walked in this morning. There was a lot of anticipation but no one really knew what to expect. It had been over a year since we had been involved with one of these things and now there was the added distraction of having it at our building instead of at the radio station. We had worked that out with them because they were remodeling their building and needed a place to have their little live (in this case, almost live) interview with a rock band that they frequently broadcast. What we were to get out of it was the chance to video tape it and possibly ressurect the show we had attempted a while back. The only thing was that, now that everything was arranged, it looked like the tour manager for this particular artist wasn't keen on the idea of having cameras there. When you think about it, it is kind of unusual. Here's a big rock star who decides to do a promotional radio tour and suddenly she finds out that one of the stations has a loose comraderie with a tv station and would like to televise the brief performance. So I guess I can understand. That doesn't help the disappointment I feel when I hear something like that. Couple that with the fact that everyone keeps asking me about camera angles and lighting when I would rather leave all of that to someone else. They do that because I'm the one who'll be editing it and I know what I want. Yeah, right. I don't know anything.

Anyway, the artist turned out to be very nice and cordial. It was the people surrounding her that made her seem like a diva at first. I've experienced that before. Which leads me to a very sappy thought I had earlier. I've met a lot of celebrities and many of them have been very nice, but there are the snitty little jerks who think the world revolves around them. (Let me make it clear that this particular artist is not one of those.) These people have people who reinforce that to their face. They go for anything they need, they make sure the riders--the instructions to the venues including things like, "You must have only green m&m's and a packet of white BVD men's briefs"--are lived up to, and they tell them whatever they want to here. Sometimes that can be detrimental if one of these divas is on a creative path that the public just can't get their heads around. If no one is there to help them see their error they may just end up without an audience and without the money they're used to. Then what happens to the yes men? They disappear. There's no reason to hang around anymore. That's why I often wonder why my wife hangs around me. There's no money and no fame, nothing particularly special about me. It must be something a lot deeper and I'm sure there are times when she can't figure it out, either. What I'm trying to say is, I'm sure glad she sticks with me even though there's absolutely no glory in doing so.

We weren't able to shoot the whole performance. We were told to shut off the cameras in the middle of the first song. I don't know how we'll make a show out of it. You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned the artist's name. I don't want to alienate anybody with comments that might be construed as negative. If you really need to know who it is, email me and I'll send you a clue and you can guess or whatever. I'll post some pictures as soon as I get them, too.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Where Do They Get This Stuff?

I stumbled out of bed this morning on my way to the shower when I heard my wife say, "Tell your dad what you told me." My six year old came to me in his underwear holding a silver gift bow to his crotch and said, "This is what they call a weiner wrap!"

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Around the World

My friend, Tony, gave us some free passes to an early screening of Around the World in Eighty Days the other day. We don't go to the movies much so I thought it was a great chance to spend some time with the kids. After waiting in line for a while, and passing through Disney's stiff security gauntlet who prodded us looking for cell phones and recording devices, we entered into the seething madhouse. The movie was far more than I had hoped for. Jackie Chan was great, as usual, and this time he didn't have to fight (no pun intended) for screen time and laughs with Chris Tucker, always a tedious thing to watch. The kids seemed to love it. My eight year old was laughing his head off at the slapstick and repeating the one-liners in my ear. After the movie my four-year-old threw a fit because we couldn't afford, even with my HUGE 10% employee discount, any popcorn. But aside from that, I think we all had a pretty good time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Conversation with my Six-Year-Old

Me: Do I look old?
Him: Uh, no. You kind of have a mustache but you don't look old.
Me: Am I old?
Him: How old are you?
Me: 37
Him: No. You're not old. Maybe when you're 93 you'll be old.
Me: That's good news. I won't be old until I'm 93? That's a long way off still.
Him: Well, you'll be old when you're 90.

Monday, June 14, 2004


For our lunch hour, I went with a buddy of mine who also works in televsion to visit a high school assistant principal to pitch him on an idea. We were both pretty excited about it. The idea was to videotape the student body throughout the year and edit a year-end video that we would then sell to the students. We were sure to make a lot of money. The assistant principal sounded excited too. On the phone, he told me it was a great idea. The students already put out a video like that every year but if a couple of professionals could come in and do it, it would probably sell a lot more copies. So we went into his office and had a chat with him. Again he seemed pumped about it and he was very nice. There were a couple of kinks that had to be worked out but we felt we could get past those. He set up another appointment for us to meet with the head of the production department and he gave us a copy of the dvd that they had produced last year. We looked at it when we got back and now we're both depressed. While not airable, it's still not a bad little video. And the coverage is amazing. They had cameras out at every conceivable event. Some of it was cheesy but there's nothing we can offer them without much more work than we want to do that they can't provide for themselves. The kicker is that no one buys the little gem. I may be giving up early, but it seems like we've struck out. I've got to get my future ironed out. My current job just isn't cutting it.

I also learned today that my next door neighbor, a nice kid who's very friendly and always waves to me, was ripped off this weekend. Someone broke his car windows and stole the stereo and speakers. He's in very low spirits. I feel nearly as bad for him as I did for myself a couple of weeks ago when that happened to me. I'd sure like to catch the people who are doing this.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Another Birthday

My five-year-old turned six today. He got a lot of swag including an inflatable swimming pool with a whale slide. He seems to have enjoyed himself.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Did Anyone Else See It?

I meant to say this before today but I'm a slacker. The episode of Trading Spaces that was shot in my edit bay aired today. In fact, it is on as I type this. It's fun to see the room in which I spend most of my time on a national program.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Finally! The Photos

Here are the pictures from the day with Trading Spaces and Paige Davis:

Weather and Book Reports

It's amazing how quickly the weather changes here. Suddenly it's in the 90's. A week ago we had 50 and 60 degree temps. The heat is the roughest for me at night, when I'm trying to sleep. I bought a little fan that clips to my bookcase next to my bed but all that does is blow the heat around the room. I'd love to get central air and redo all the windows but in our financial state, that's the stuff of fantasy. At work the temperature in my editbay hovers around 58 to 60 degrees. So I get used to the chilly air and then walk into an oven at 6 pm. I got pneumonia that way in Florida, going between air-conditioned buildings and the sauna-like, blazing air of Pensacola. So I hang out in our basement a lot. It's like a cave down there, all of the curtains drawn, and much cooler.

On to other things. A few months ago, the kids and I started something that we really look forward to each night. At bed time we go down to their room and I read a few chapters from a book. They're long books, too, but we've finished quite a number of them. So far I have read all seven of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe books, Tom Sawyer, and a few others. We just finished a fun book called The Thief Lord, a 352 page book in the style of Dickens. The kids had fun learning about Venice and its streets of water. Last night they were busting up at the end and we were all giggling about it. I recommend this great bonding experience.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Long Day

I should be in bed, but I wanted to scratch out a few words about today before the memory of it dissolves into nothing.

It began early. At 5 am the alarm shook me awake long enough to reach over and silence the evil thing. I instantly dove back into sleep and in another instant the wretched piece of machinery was screaming again. This time my wife got up and some of the kids were awake so I couldn't get back to snoozing as eazily. We packed everybody in, got our "Sunday clothes" ready, and took off. This time I made sure the deadbolt was locked. (I must take a moment to say that I'm glad I didn't lock the car door the other day. I'm missing a stereo, but I'd have to deal with a broken window as well. So it was for the best.)

Everyone was hungry, so we stopped at Mickey D's. This put us behind schedule and stressed me out a little. We listened to the rest of the "Swiss Family Robinson" audio book. They sure had everything they needed just in the nick of time, didn't they. I got the book mostly for my kids, but I enjoyed it, too. I thought the language might be a bit overhead but they astonished me by actually listening to it. They even asked questions and speculated about why a certain event was happening.

We arrived later than we expected. When we got to my mom's house there was a note on the door that said, "We're at the church. Please join us." We spent another ten minutes coaxing the kids to change into their church clothes and then raced to the church. We weren't late. My dad's twin brother arrived at the same time we did.

The service was nice. A lot of very nice things were said about my Grandfather. I still can't believe he's gone. It's going to take some time for that to sink in. My brothers and I sang a hymn. We were also, along with our California cousins, the pall bearers. I, being ten years older than the next oldest bearer, let the other guys do most of the work. My back, with it's missing disk, and my hernia wouldn't hear of anything else.

We drove the two miles to the cemetery, and carried the casket to the plot next to my Grandmother's. After the graveside service we went back to the church and had dinner. I'd like to say that I got to know some of my relatives, but I mostly just hid from them. I'm no good at small talk and I just didn't konw what to say. I'm afraid they take it as arrogance or dislike. That couldn't be further from the truth, especially with my mom's brother's family. I admire them so much. They're all so well-manered and nice, but I don't know how to talk to them. I'm sure they think I feel I'm above them, too good for them. Oh well.

My four-year-old sat next to me across from my dad and his twin. My boy leaned over to me and said, "There are two grandpas." It's fun to see how each of my kids responds to seeing their grandpa's carbon copy. They call him Uncle Grandpa and often confuse the two.

After the dinner, we let the boys get some of their wiggles out on the trampoline. My parents' house is on a big lot next to a wheat field. There's a lot of space out there and I think that's why my children like it so much.

We blew yet another $35.00 on gasoline and headed back. I was afraid to go in the house, almost certain that I find everything gone. But it was all still there and I let out my breath.

People ask me how the funeral was and I tell them it was nice, but nothing compares to the brief time I spent with him just before he died. That was all the funeral service I needed.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Emotional Week

My range of emotions is complete.

This morning my boy, the neighbor kid I take to school, and I all got in the car to go. I reached down to turn on the stereo and grabbed a handful of wires. The stereo was gone. I can't describe how impotent I feel. To want smash someone's face in but to not have a target because they left no calling card is an enormous frustration. I feel violated, to say the least. I'm doing my best to not take it out on everyone around me. I yelled at the kids to get in the car because they were fighting over the seat. It came out pretty harsh and they were silent all the way to the school. I waved to my boy and he gave me a half-hearted wave in return.

The stereo was a nice one that I won at a company party. It's the only possession I own that's worth stealing. Part of what's killing me about this whole thing is how stupid I am. I should have taken the detachable face plate off. I should have locked the car. I guess I just think more of people than I should. I expect them to treat my property like I would treat theirs. I keep looking down at the dash for the clock or to turn on the stereo and the feeling rush back.

So I can add rage to my list.