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All Things Being As They Are | PJ Newman

Can life just get any weirder or more stressful? I truly hope not, dear readers, for if it does, someone will most definitely get very hurt!

Case in point: I finally got the keys to the new studio but 10 days after signing the lease. Did I mention that I was the only one who signed the document? Not the landlord? Not quite kosher or legal? The biggest reason I was sweating this is because my partner in recording crime, Jon Stone, is getting ready to become a dad any moment, so he’ll be taking himself out of circulation. Jon’s doing the design and overseeing as much of the construction as he can before he has to start changing diapers. On top of that, he’s also building One Reel’s new world headquarters in Pioneer Square.
I got so fed up that I gave landlord dudes a deadline that I either needed the keys or my deposit back. 2:30 pm of deadline day, he calls up and requests a credit check. I’m thinking that maybe this should’ve been done before I signed the lease? When I flip him shit over this, he asks me for an additional $2000 in deposit. Finally, I e-mailed him asking for my money back. 9:00 pm he calls and literally screams at me for being an ingrate for not appreciating all of the work he did for me that day! That day? Where the fuck was he for the past 10 days? He then tells me JUST HOW IMPORTANT the managing partner is, how they had to shove the lease under his nose as he was boarding his private jet to Australia and and and….
I reply that I understand JUST HOW UNIMPORTANT I AM and how understandable that I should be forgotten. A few seconds of dead air later and he says I’ll have keys at 6:00 am!
Noon thirty later, the keys are sitting on my desk in a torn envelope. Now the fun begins.
All seriousness aside, I’m relieved to finally get rolling on this project. As my Klingon cousins are so fond of saying, “It shall be glorious!”

Stress in the work place? Say it ain’t so! But alas, dear readers, stress has been laying eggs in the bottom right drawer of my desk regularly and they have begun to hatch. Ever since I returned to American Music/Triamp Group, money and inventory have been disappearing faster than the ozone layer. We went as far as not allowing cash transactions to try to staunch the hemorrhaging of legal tender. About a month ago, a customer came in to pick up his guitar in or repair. He was told he couldn’t use cash, so he went across the street and bought a money order. Of course, he didn’t fill in the “Pay to the Order Of” part, so the money order and receipt vanished later that day. When I mentioned to cast and crew that we’re waiting for a photocopy of said money order to arrive and culprit shall be terminated and prosecuted, the reactions were classic. A few were outraged, calling for blood and crackers. One wasn’t there, didn’t care. One joked nervously. One asked immediately for a leave of absence.
Film at Eleven.

Last Saturday pretty much saw critical mass. I was asked to do sound for a Mardi Gras party in the heart of Fremont, a risky venture at best. I arrived early afternoon and began to assemble the sound system. Not quite state of the art, but hey, it’s in an old beer brewery, so what could go wrong?
Funny you should ask. Firstly, they were missing a few key components (speaker cables). I made a list of things I needed and called the shop to have gear pulled. The shop was in panic! MC decided to pump about 16 gallons of gasoline into a diesel truck. Luckily he caught his blunder before starting the truck. That caused a mad scramble to get the gear to the Sheraton for load in. Then SR’s girlfriend needed to go to the emergency room.
I went to the shop to grab some cables and the phones were ringing off the hook and the showroom was filling up with customers picking up gear and the few “Oh, by the ways.” I got back to the brewery and finally got everything working. Little did I know that was only temporary. Finished sound checking Capt. Leroy and the Zydeco locals (minus the guitarist and one monitor mix). The production manager (?) told me that he would bring what I needed for the show when he came back from dinner. I guess we both had different ideas about what I needed. I was thinking along the lines of more monitor cables, an amplifier and some spare somethings. He thought I wanted a cheap extension cord. OK, run back to the shop for the 3rd fucking time and grab what I can. Everything starts on time and works perfectly. Soon, I noticed a change in stage volume. Sure enough, the monitors that I struggled to make work died. I tried swapping cables restarting the amp. Nope, sorry, no service after 8pm. I tried telling anybody who would listen (the producer of the event) about my problems. Got blank looks and a pat on the shoulder. Somehow managed to pull the gig off with 1 monitor mix (tough when the 2nd band is a piece with 3 horns and 4 vocals). Then I get a call from MC at his show at the Sheraton…”The wedding is tomorrow!”
Well, of course it is! It’s a Jewish wedding ceremony. Nothing happens on the Sabbath.
The band plays an incredible 2-hour non-stop set and leaves the stage.
I leave, too.
Back at the shop at 8:30 in the morning to load a few trucks.
Robert is throwing a house warming party of sorts today. We finally completed (?) the rebuild of the front house. BBQ, beer and a band? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to play at noon on a Sunday, Boom box to the rescue.
I’m taking the week off from work to prep the studio for the build. A final measure or 2, pressure wash and watch my dream studio come true. Well, dream studio…of course, that would be in Bali, but this will be the next best thing.
I’m off to decompress and prepare myself for my next adventure…A Bluegrass Festival.

Hoping this finds you well, exhausted readers.