I'm Bound To Pack It Up, I'm Bound To Pack It Up And Go Away
Hard to believe the office move is a mere four weeks away. So far, things have gone relatively smoothly; the build-out is essentially done, with just a little bit of network cabling left to install, and what's turned out to be the most complicated project, tracking down a suitable sink cabinet to install in the kitchen.
Turns out that, because of the location of the plumbing and the dimensions of the room, a standard six-foot sink and counter won't fit - we've only got a five foot opening between the stove and a portable dishwasher we're bringing in - so after rather exhaustive research, it looks like we're going to have to have one custom-built; which is fine actually, since the handyman at our current location is willing to do it, and can get the job done a lot sooner than the 4 - 6 weeks shipping lag we've been given by other businesses, and for several hundred dollars less than the cheapest commercial estimate we've been given.
Otherwise, it's a matter of starting the process of packing what we're going to take, consolidating and getting rid of our excess office furniture, shredding no-longer-needed documents, and making sure all the little "i"'s have been dotted and "t"'s crossed between now and the 26th, when the move itself is scheduled.
Then of course, there's the "making sure everything ends up in the right place and that all the machines work like their supposed to" part that happens immediately afterward, at which point we can actually think about settling in, which hopefully won't take more than a few days.
Because I have a major fundraiser for the theatre happening the following weekend.
And a board meeting the following Monday.
And then, I think I'll deserve a bit of a vacation.
Sat With Strawberries & Cream Listening To The Players Scream
Our local Performance Art presenting organization decided to host a city-wide badminton tournament yesterday, featuring teams from a whole slew of different arts groups (theatre, music & dance companies, art museums, funding orgs, pottery collectives, even a local weekly news-and-arts paper) as part of their Season Kick-off. What they expected to be a handful of participants turned out to be something like 26 teams, all vying for the coveted "Golden Shuttlecock on top of a bottle of Jack Daniels" Award (J.D. being sort of an inside joke among the org's staff).
The parking lot across the street from the venue was fenced off, four courts set up, plenty of beer was available, as well as hot dogs and great Hawaiian/Korean/Mexican mash-up comestibles (the kimchi fried rice was particularly delicious, as were the spicy pork tacos!), and teams engaged in ritual racket combat until darkness descended and everyone moved inside for the championship match played out on the venue's main stage.
In the end, the top honors went to Pottery Northwest(that's them in the photo above, on the far side in the pink-and-black outfits) who pulled off a come-from-behind upset over the heavily-favored team from Seattle Repertory Theatre. There was a slight bit of controversy attached to their victory, as no one could definitively say whether the twosome met the team qualifications (participants had to be either a staff or board member of the organization), but in the spirit of fair-play, they were allowed to take-court anyway.
A good time was had by all and the whole thing turned into a very unique and fun networking event. Unfortunately, "Team Annex" made a pitiful showing, being eliminated in the very first round by the team from the above-mentioned publication; a grudge rematch is already in the making for next year.
Last week "Big Red" went into the shop for annual maintenance and a complete rebuild of the front end: new ball joints, tie rods, linkage; pretty much everything but the steering box itself (which is still being contemplated, but may not be necessary.) At this point in time, I've now replaced all the major mechanical components with new or newly rebuilt parts: engine, steering, suspension, transaxle are all less than seven years old and have - at most - less than 50,000 miles wear.
Just to put that into perspective: when I replaced the engine with a new rebuild back in 2001 Red had about 190,000 miles under his wheels. Currently my odomoter is just over 240,000. Granted rebuilt parts don't have the same kind of useful life as new OEM parts, but they should get 75 - 80% of that, if not more with due care and regular maintenance. And, given that I'm only putting about 3,000 a year on it at this point (with an average annual mileage of only 6,250 over the past eight years), barring an unforeseen catastrophe, it's entirely possible I can keep Red in good running order for another 20 years.
Assuming of course that gasoline is still available in 20 years time, that is.
(Although secretly, I'm hoping mass-produced hydrogen fuel-cell conversion kits will hit the market in about 10 years.)
I Have Missed Things And Kept Out Of Sight, But Other Girls Were Never Quite Like This
Dawn and Bob were married today. This was the first time I've actually met him; he seems like a nice guy, and you can see that they're truly, deeply in love with each other. So, in some respects it wasn't as hard as I thought, watching it happen, but it wasn't exactly easy either. I felt privileged to have been invited; I'm sure it's not common for ex's: boyfriends, husbands, lovers, get invited to the wedding, so I imagine it's indicative of a level of trust when it does happen, and I'm grateful and humbled to be found worthy of that degree of trust. And yet, while I'm truly happy for both of them, at the same time I can't help but acknowledge the tiny, selfish-sounding whisper deep down inside that taunts, "buddy, that could have been you."
As I was leaving, Dawn came up to me and asked if I was doing okay, as if, of all things on her wedding day she needs to be worrying about me. Of course I told her I was, and told her how beautiful she looked, because she did look beautiful, and that I was sorry we hadn't kept in better touch over the past few months. She rolled her eyes, "yeah, we've both been kind of busy, haven't we?" which is certainly an understatement. I reminded her that the wedding present I'd just delivered had originally been intended as a Christmas present, and later was repurposed to a birthday present. "I'll do better about that," she said and gave me a hug, which in hindsight was really what I needed at that moment.
So, here's to Dawn and Bob: may they share much happiness, peace and prosperity as they begin their new lives together.
Mille failte dhuit le d'bhreid, Fad do re gun robh thu slan. Mo ran la ithean dhuit is sith, Le d'mhaitheas is le d'ni bhi fas!
Sooooo, I keep thinking there hasn't been all that much going on lately, and thus nothing of real import to convey, but then I realize the reason I think that is because I've been so darned busy of-late that I haven't had much time to think much about all the things I HAVE been doing.
A brief summary to-wit:
Although the office move is still a good two months away, there's been a huge amount of prep work involved: for example, I've been dealing on an almost daily basis with the contractors who are building out the new space, which frequently involves mid-day site visits to check on progress, answer questions, clarify where things are supposed to go, etc., etc.. Fortunately, we have lots of time to get this phase completed, and the contractors are making excellent progress, so that part of the job should be finished by next week, which will give me a little bit of a break before dealing with the second phase, namely, starting to get the current office ready for the physical move.
In addition to the above of course, I'm simultaneously identifying and implementing the various logistical elements involved with the move: securing the services of a mover, document disposal, scheduling with the phone companies, the post office, getting change-of-address info out to vendors, our members, and our national staff, getting bids on new signage, et al, along with starting the process of figuring out what we're getting rid of, what we're taking, and where it's all going to live once it gets there.
And of course, all of this is occurring in the midst of our normal, day-to-day work load, which has been much busier this late summer than normal. The TV series shooting down in Portland is winding up for the season, but because the last two episodes are being shot simultaneously (I'm guessing it's a two-parter), it's essentially doubled the amount of work we would normally need to do during an equivalent time-frame. Plus, they're adding and subtracting cast as the scripts and shooting-schedules change, so I've literally been on the phone with their Associate Producer and/or modifying cast clearances three or even four times a day. It's not a huge amount of extra work, but it is high-priority, so anything I happen to be doing at the time gets dropped; definitely messes up the "flow".
On the good side though, they've been renewed for a 3rd season, and it looks very likely they'll return to PDX for shooting next spring.
And in the middle of all of this, I'm well into week four of the ELDM diet. Haven't actually started weighing myself, as I thought I'd try to drop a few pounds before self-inflicting the dread of whatever scale number is going to come up, but I continue to notice a gradual loss of extra padding, to the point where a couple of days ago I could actually see something that vaguely looks like a rib beginning to show through; just one mind you, so I've got quite a ways to go before I have to start worrying about losing too much (!), but it's an encouraging start.
Things at the theatre are in a bit of a lull for the moment. We just closed our final shows of the season, and are officially on a teensy hiatus until the next show opens in late October, although we have a month-long "mini fringe festival" event coming in starting next week.
Actually, it's pretty exciting. Back in 1991 Seattle was the first U.S. city to put on a Fringe Theatre Festival (there had been several running in Canada prior to that), but it went belly-up in 2003. Still, a lot of Seattle performers have continued to ply the Canadian and eastern U.S. festival circuit, and they've frequently returned with reports of terrific performances and companies that no longer have an opportunity to be seen here. So, a bright, ambitious individual, one Andrew Connor, himself a veteran of the fringe fest circuit, has decided to do something about this, namely, to invite a whole passel of fellow festival acts to Seattle for a month-long "best of" mini-fringe fest, appropriately titled, The Suitcase Festival.
Annex has had an ongoing relationship with Andrew and his company for a couple of years now, and we've been kicking around ideas for some time as to ways we could collaborate, so this was pretty much a no-brainer so far as our Company was concerned. Several of the groups are local, but most aren't, so this will be the first chance in a long time (if not the first time ever) that Seattle audiences will have so see these companies perform.
And who knows? Maybe it'll get people here excited about the idea of reviving the now long-somnolent Seattle Fringe Festival...