the danish outpost
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my kingdom for a '5'

15.09.2001

feeling kinda how a girl feels

i've had a lot of thoughts noodling around in my head lately. but it turns out that all i can think about when i sit down to write is the missing '5' key on my keyboard.

how did that happen, you might wonder. well, it's like this. i have a little collection of tchotchkes on top of my monitor. since the monitor got bigger, so did the collection. right now, there's a small gold crown, a book of Zen quotes, a spring loaded monkey wearing a fez, the Tasmanian Devil peeking out from behind my grandfather's bronze name plate, and a small British palace guard. and until recently, Grib lived up there too.

Grib is a little gargoyle gifted to me by a friend from Canada. he watches over things and makes sure life stays okay. he chases the minkies away from my computer, and smiles at me whenever i look up.

but last week, he had a little accident. he leapt off the monitor and nosedived onto the keyboard, taking out the '5' key and a small piece of his ear. i yelped, and mooed, and promised him that i'd get some Crazy Glue to fix his ear. he's going to need a little cosmetic surgery as well, as there are a few small shards missing (probably buried in the keyboard at this point). fortunately, gargoyle plastic surgery can be accomplished with a Sharpie.

i didn't think i'd be bothered by a missing 5. i mean, if you're not an accountant, then how often do you need a 5? and it's an extended keyboard, so i've always got the number pad if i really wanted. but i'm so used to touch typing on a regular keyboard that option #2 doesn't really fly. and somehow, that missing key really bothers me. it's like talking to someone who's lost a front tooth. it's distracting.

lots of things are distracting these days. sirens, loud noises, unexpected questions, the phone ringing... even trying to get up and dressed is challenging. i feel frayed, and things jump out, louder and brighter than they have any right to be.

perhaps that's part of the reason i felt so nervous tonight. i got down to the Orpheum to work, figuring i could just snag a split position (stand in the stairs, look at tickets, direct people, thank you for flying Orpheum Airlines) and that would be that. turns out that the boss had other plans for me. i, however, did not know this. i'd been at work all day, at the day job, to make up for being out on Friday. so all the messages went to the home number. and i arrived, clueless.

tonight, my friends, was my maiden voyage as ... shift manager, head usher, floor manager, whatever. there's not really a name for what we do, except being in charge. i knew what to expect from the audience, having worked this band before. and that was good. but we were short staffed. and that was not good.

much to my annoyance, i had the Overly Helpful Usher working for me. when i got downstairs, he was directing people, loudly announcing what they should be doing, and contradicting me to my face when i went to reassign someone. when he did that, i looked at him and thought 'a: she has a mouth. b: you're not in charge. shut up.' *sigh* but people have been so on edge recently that i bit it back, looked at him, thought it over, and still moved her, but not to quite the same place. eh.

funny, this isn't really a change from what i normally do there. i do wander around, pitching in where needed, explaining stuff to people, and troubleshooting. so why was it nervous making? hrm. maybe just because every other time i've jumped in voluntarily, and this time i didn't have a choice.

worked out all fine, once we convinced everyone that they really did have to work where i put them, not wander backstage to schmooze with the band, or stand around shooting the breeze with friends. there was the usual amount of incidents - drunk patrons, mistaken seats, missing or broken seats, people flubbing around, missing flashlights. but nothing traumatic. and it just turned into a long night.

at one point, i was working the ramp and happened to look up. there was a kid in a neon green shirt flopped over the wall. at first, i thought he was looking down for a friend. then he didn't move. he just sort of twitched. i started to get nervous, as i realized i was well within hurl vicinity, and backed up the ramp slowly, keeping one eye on him. the security guy at the top of the ramp looked over and shook his head. well, at least he knew the kid was there. it's not as if you could miss that neon green. he disappeared later; i have no idea where he went. hope he enjoyed the show.

the opening act was quite good - the Jazz Mandolin Project. upright bass, drum, and mandolin. that's it. no guitar. but it certainly sounded like they had a guitar; they made a wonderfully rich sound, the three of them. i'm thinking they might be in the next round of CDs i get.

managed to duck out sometime before the end of the second set, which only means i wasn't there until midnight. caught up with some friends, and headed home to crash. i'm working again tomorrow, so all i really want to do is sleep. sleep and music have been the two panaceas this week. both soothe the soul. lots and lots of sleep, a fair dose of music, and pasta. comfort food, baby. it's all about comfort food.

oh, see, here we go again with the '5' key... because i'm posting for the fifteenth. see what i mean? :)

yesterday :: tomorrow

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