August 29th, 2009


Well, Hi There!

I actually have a breather this afternoon, so maybe I can catch up a bit on stuff since the Tuesday before last.

If I can remember that far back.

Well, since I had a couple of extra hours' time at the Shamrock, I was, in fact, able to get an idea of what was going on with the tangle of cables, receivers, and modulators in the corner. The output of all the modulators ended up converging on the "outputs" of a "splitter," the "input" of which was fed into an amplifier, and then sent out to the bar TVs.

One great thing about passive circuitry is that power flow is symmetrical.

So I was able to hook my own "splitter" in, which gave me a free connection I could use to inject a channel 3 signal. Fortunately for me, everything they modulate is in the upper end of the cable spectrum.

Oddly enough, it worked, with no visible degradation of the channels they were showing.

The show itself was the closest I've had to a "normal" rotation there - 8 rotations of 27 singers. So of course, the place made less money than previously. We had a couple of women (Charlene and Dede) that came out for the defunct contest, and stayed because they were having a good time. Mostly, though, it was a bunch of locals.

I've since heard that the owner is unhappy about the income from Tuesdays, and is talking about dropping me. And that's before the following Tuesday, which sucked. Granted, I don't know what the Tuesday baseline was before I started working there, but Dianah's said the only reason we're getting people at all is because I'm there, so it's likely the owner's just a little, well, bar owner-like.

It's one of the dangers of working in bars. A very large proportion of the owners seem to have no concept of how a weekly entertainment venue works.

Ah well.

Anyway, apart from a couple of drunks dropping the yellow mic, and "Jonny Walker" doing his best to start a bar fight, it was a fairly pleasant night.

The following night at the Cat Club was also pretty busy, and in that case, reasonably profitable. It started out dead-ish, as usual, but by the end of the night, I'd had 31 singers and 5 rotations. Lots of new people, which is always a good thing.

The yellow mic got dropped again, this time by Evan. I'm actually surprised it's still OK - he was pretty drunk, and shaking the mic stand while holding it in the air. So the thing dropped from a height of about 8 feet.

Sennheiser makes pretty solid equipment.

Then on to Thursday, which was a particularly pleasant evening at the Daybreak. 32 singers, 5 rotations, and the bar did quite nicely. The Kristin W group came in, which is always entertaining. We also had a new couple, "Molly Luna" and "Green Lion," who sang well (I believe I heard something about a band), and talked about coming back. We also had Terry, Terry's awesome car, and Terry's insistence on singing a cappella because the karaoke track timing is always "wrong."

No comment.

And, of course, quite a few more, like, for example, Honey and Uva.

Friday the 21st, I did a show for the Frosh welcoming party at SJSU. I was, of course, mildly late, as I remember because I'd spent the afternoon printing a couple of new books, mostly because I had a couple in the process of self-destructing.

"Late," in this case, means I got there an hour before the show. Strangely enough, when you have to haul everything either up a long staircase, or through a tortuous path involving distant elevators, then schlep it to the opposite corner of the building, it takes a little longer to set up.

So I got started 15 minutes late. Fortunately, most of the kids were a bit late, too.

As always, a fun group, with some amazing singers, and some more on the "simply enthusiastic" side of things. The inflatable guitars (did I mention I got some inflatable guitars? No? Oh well) went over very well.

Way too well behaved, though. I arranged to run a little late, just to get a last few in (and to make up for starting late), but with 10 minutes left, the kids started picking up books and straightening tables. At 5 minutes, there was almost no-one left in the room.

Kinda spooky.

But hey, I get paid either way. Eventually. SJSU takes its concept of "Net/30" very seriously.

Saturday was mostly down time. I was going to go hang out with raven2000 in the afternoon, but by the time I crawled out of the shower, it was 6:00pm, and I was supposed to be at Sarah and Paul's party at 7:00pm.

Nice little party. Sarah cooked, so the food was on the "extremely good" side of things. We played several games, because Sarah insisted that we all wanted to play games.

When we weren't playing games, I got some time to talk to sugarbare, which hasn't happened in far, far too long.

One of the people at the party I didn't know was an extremely hot girl and her son. She seems to have succeeded in developing a reasonably decent mind, despite working under the handicaps of (1) being named Tiffany, and (2) being naturally blonde. She's a brunette right now - we were talking about hair color for some reason, she mentioned she's actually blonde, and I had to suppress a snort.

I did my best to convince her to drop by KoC some time. She's actually free Thursday evenings.

That brings me to only a week out of date, and I think I'll take a break.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful

Things Take a Dive

The week before last was very profitable.

This last week, with one noticeable exception, not so much.

There have been various explanations put forth - school's starting, a bunch of people are off to the Burn, life simply sucks, and so forth.

But for whatever reason, it's been slooooow.

Not that it's been miserable, just unprofitable. Besides, there were little things like Sunday afternoon's birthday party for my Dad - the Indian contingent was back in town, so they threw him an extra party.

I of course ate to bursting. There were even samosas left over when I was done, which is just wrong - but I only have so much room. Several unexpected visitors - Dave and Pele, who I haven't seen in forever, but also my parents' neighbors Andy and smallI forget her name</small>...

The Sunday show was 19 singers in 8 rotations, so apart from the lack of income, a nice little evening. The big thing that night was genuine_snark and onyx101 showing up. Together.

There has been reconciliation. I rather believe this is a good thing.

Matt H. came in and sang one of my new Muse songs, kshandra spent most of the night, and there was quite a pleasant amount of Gia.

Afterwards timenchanter, Blake, and I visited April, and then home.

Monday afternoon was spent hanging out with raven2000 and Sean at a seedy motel in Santa Clara.

Seemed appropriate.

That evening, Timmie and I were sorta hoping to make up for the lack of Sunday income. Not so much. The weekend income was 30% off of target, though the elder Mark did his best to help me through tips. 10 singers, and 13 rotations, the singers including synkitty, Kim, Kathy & David J, Andrew S, trivialt, and supersniffles.

We had fun, though Timmie's car did get towed. I'll refer you to his post on the subject, for those that can read it.

Tuesday at the Shamrock was back to the "pulling teeth" category, in terms of getting singers, and the least profitable night to date (though I still made more than I did on Sunday and Monday). As far as I can tell, I'm only still employed there because the owner is out of town.

I had one guy show up, hoping for the contest. He sang a song and left. I did a bunch of "me only" rotations.

Danny came back, which helped make a few of the 24 at least two person rotations. About halfway through the night, a blonde girl (apparently Dianah's boyfriend's ex) showed up with her new boyfriend, and sang a bunch. Though she kept on forgetting that she'd already done Summertime. Twice.

One of the more... lush... clients of the bar, "Sam Stone," got angry at me (again, actually) for intentionally screwing up the rhythm and lyrics of various songs. For a guy that claims to have slept with Janis Joplin, it's interesting that he can't recognize her version of Summertime...

And it's actually kind of refreshing to run into someone who thinks that I personally put together the lyrics and background tracks to 14,500 songs. I haven't dealt with one of those for years.

He tipped me a peanut.

I did have one group of kids call me the best KJ in Alameda, which was nice, if not necessarily saying too much. Hopefully they'll be back.

Wednesday was, again, a pretty slow evening. With tips, I made $35.

Not to say that I didn't have an awesome time. For one (and a very major) thing, the elusive tankgirl made contact, we had dinner, and she rode along to the show, where she had much fun flirting with people.

We also had Carly, Matthew, a return of T/Tyrone/Pain with a very nice singer (Unic or Unique) in tow, that he's apparently promoting, DJ Friz-B, Carly & Kevin, Scott Free as "Pippi," Evan, Oni, a very energetic blonde named Nora that says she'll be back with more people in tow, Wil, and more.

16 singers, and 8 rotations. Kym sang several songs, as well as singing with various people, and Rachel even got pried out from behind the bar to sing a few.

And I think I'll stop here, check on my laundry, and maybe even get up for the day.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful


I got to sleep Thursday morning around 7:00am or so. Around 10:30am, I got a frantic call from raven2000 - she needed help.

So I dragged myself into cleanliness and consciousness (in roughly that order), headed over to her location, to find that the emergency was that she needed to get to Seven Trees for a new tat.

And oh yeah, she was being kicked out of the motel.

So I got her down to her appointment, and then headed off to do a few vital errands. She was done in only a couple of hours, so I headed back down, picked her up, and then drove her to her present crash space in San Mateo. Through evening rush hour.

I know the guy she's staying with. He knows me. I just can't, for the life of me, remember where I know him from.

In any case, really nice guy, has a reasonably successful band, and terribly concerned about where she'd been. I left her there, and came home, with a couple of hours to spare before the Thursday show.

I slept, and got there late. And tired, very very tired.

The Thursday show was nice, just much less well attended than lately - 24 singers, 6 rotations, and income 40% below target.

Of course, Thursdays I get a fixed amount, and the elder Mark was stuffing my tip jar, so I made out fine. Paula, not so much.

There was Albert and ajayav, a large part of the Alex group (sans Alex, as is usual lately), qzar_mystik, cybrenn, and, in a big blast from the past, Patrick.

Haven't seen him in quite a while.

We had a new guy, David R, who seemed like a standard karaoke circuit type. Shane came back from last week. Hex went out and dragged Kellen and Stacey back with him. And, of course, more, like snafflekid, trivialt, and supersniffles.

I believe I had supper with timenchanter, but I wasn't very conscious at that point. I mostly just came home and passed out.

Friday I was up just a bit before noon. I had a buyer for my parents' loom in Stockton, and I'd agreed to get it up there.

Stanley was kind enough to help me.

We picked up a 10' U-Haul truck in Sunnyvale, and drove it up to the Dome. Stanley had initially said he'd be happy to do it himself.

Halfway through the drive, he declared he was very happy I was driving ("Tree! There's a tree!" "What do you prefer, the tree or the cliff?" "I'll take the tree!").

So Stanley's gotten to see the dome - at least part of it - and meet my parents. I'll have to take him up again later for a more leisurely visit - in a car that fits on their road.

We got the loom extracted from the back room and lashed to the truck, and then proceeded back down the hill, past fallen trees.

Really. A tree fell on my parents' road after we'd made it up to the Dome. Stanley got out and guided me around it. Good thing those trucks are fairly small.

Then back down to the rental place to pick up my car, and caravan up to Stockton. Through the Friday evening rush hour from hell. We figured we'd be there around 6:30pm. We got there closer to 8:30pm, and tried to find the location in the dark.

Which is tricky on an unlit country road in the middle of nowhere. Turns out the buyers own a farm - a very nice place, from what little we could see in the dark.

They're also extremely nice people, though it was a little odd having him wandering around with his shirt open. Mostly because he just had heart surgery, and it was hard not staring at the dotted line down the middle of his chest.

So, anyway, got the loom and accoutrements delivered, and then headed off to Stockton proper to return the truck - with the slight difficulty that Google maps couldn't place the location properly.

U-Haul was closed, of course, but we followed instructions, parked the truck in front, and dropped the key and paperwork in the lockbox out front.

Being my usual worry-wart self, I was concerned that they'd try to charge me for a bunch of things that were wrong with the truck when we got it - like the portion of the center console that's broken off - but they just charged me about $9 for the extra 40 miles we drove it.

Stanley and I piled back into my car, and drove back down to civilization.

He headed off to see Final Destination. I decided to do my usual get out of the house thing, and had a leisurely dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I thought of inviting someone, but I actually felt like I needed to recharge.

I also apparently needed to gorge. I've been eating a lot lately, I assume because the stress levels have been just a teensy bit high. My scale has been responding accordingly.

Ah well.

Got home, fiddled around a bit, and got to bed before 2:00am.

And then woke back up around 11:00am, feeling much better.

Today has so far been largely spent catching up on this, and doing laundry. From here, I'm heading off to spondee's bachelorette party, which should be fun.

And I'm caught up.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful


One little thing that's been happening over the last couple of weeks.

I've been getting a lot of phone calls (like, three a day) from a particular number in the 651 area code. They never left a message, and a return call would result in a voice staying "please stay on the line."

Half the time I picked up, they'd hang up. A few times, I'd get the good old "Please stay on the line for an important message" - and then they'd hang up.

I figured I was being stalked by the world's most incompetent collections agency, probably about MCI.

Yesterday, I answered, and actually talked to a human being.

They were looking for Vanessa S, who'd couch-surfed at the HoD several years ago. She apparently gave my number to someone.

Last I'd heard, she was living in Florida, which is almost far away enough for my taste.

Anyway, I simply said that there was no-one by that name associated with my cell phone, and they'll hopefully give up on calling me.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused