Friday, August 17, 2007

Last night was another wonderful night and I'm still exhausted. I was the co-host for our company talent show. This was the 5th annual show and my friend, Kenny and I were the emcees. It was an amazing night.

Occasionally there have been acts that were just slightly on the lame side, but this year was exceptional. We had musical acts and each one of them were right on the money. There was a sax player who had the house in the palm of his hands. There were two comedians including one guy who was less than perfect last year but hit every joke perfectly and had timing and pacing that had the audience laughing all the way through. I did help him a little by tightening up with writing but the material is only half of the ability; he was really funny!

I had my moment, not only as co-host but in a mini-set by myself at the beginning of the second half of the show. After the intermission I came out and told some of my older material that a lot of the audience had never heard before and it all worked as well as it did five years ago. The best moment of the night was when I led the audience in the Spongebob theme song. Last year I had tried to get them to do our monitor statement in unison and it was luke warm. Funny, but still didn't work as well as I had wanted. This time I came out and talked about how I had wanted to sing a song myself but had not been able to get the music together but if anyone had ever seen my desk at work they would know what song I had settled on.

With that I did a perfect Clancy Brown/Mr. Crabs impression yelling out, "Are ya' ready, kids?!"

And the audience immediately screamed back, "Aye, aye, captain!"

I swear almost 95% of the audience was singing along in perfect unison!!!


Between traveling through two time zones over the weekend, working and then rehearsal and the show I was spent by the end of the show. We didn't get out until 10:30PM and I don't think anyone had noticed that the show had ended up at almost 3 hours.

I am looking forward to plenty of sleep!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Karma is such a wonderful thing.

When I returned to work today I went to where I had just moved my desk as part of our department's move to a different part of our building. When I got to what I remember being my cubicle only to be met by a completely empty desk. My first assumption was that they had decided to move me around again while I was gone and simply lugged all of my crap for me. Standard procedure when someone is away on vacation.

I went into the office of my department head and asked, "OK, I give up; where's my stuff?"

She looked me straight in the eye and said, "We'll give you your work for the day....and then we'll talk."

This, apparently, was the moment when all the blood left my face because she immediately said, :Come here, let me show you." She led me to an empty office where all of my belongings had been hidden. She had a big shit eating grin on her face for successfully playing her part.

Yes, I had fallen for it; hook, line and sinker.

As my heart began working again I immediately put together a hit list of possible suspects. My first choice, the girl to whom I had done the newspaper wrapping gag, denied any part in it. She had been "invited to the party" but found out too late.

"PARTY"?!!!!! This had been a group effort apparently and it was all masterminded by my "friend", Crystal. When she heard how well it had played out she walked around for the remained of the day with a smug grin on her face. She would occasionally stop my and giggle or, at lunch, just look at me with a self satisfied smile that she had beaten the master.

Of course, this only means that now it's my turn again!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The next few posts are done after the fact as I've had a very busy week and a half since getting back from Denver.

WOW! Denver! What a beautiful city. My flight there was hassle free and I got in early enough to do some sight seeing. The best difference from Florida was that while it was 93 degrees I was able to be outside without sweating my ass off. There is a pedestrian mall right outside of the hotel and I spent the afternoon walking around and taking the free bus from one end to the other.

Friday was the ECAB meeting. For those not Starfleet affiliated, this is the annual board meeting of our organization. It is a mix of tedium, procedure and bullshit. This year was highlighted by some old business involving some nasty politics and personality conflicts within the organization. You would think that an organization based on such a forward thinking concept as Star Trek would be devoid of childish personalities, backstabbing and just plain idiocy. At times, it seems to run rampant. Luckily, I was able to help broker a deal on one of the problems and, unfortunately, had the other problem slip between my fingers due to a number of factors all hitting at the same time.

I have been in Starfleet international since 1986 or 1987 and have seen all matter of butt-headed goings on. I have seen people steal from the organization. I have seen two faced liars in positions of responsibility. I have seen and endured some of the most frustrating and immature people pretending to be more important than they really are.

In the same breath....I have made some of my best friends in Fleet. I have done some good works. I have been to interesting places. I have met the actors I watched as a kid and made close friends with some of them. Fleet may even be the doorway to the career of I have always dreamed.

I have stayed with it for all these reasons and more. It is more than a devotion of my appreciation of a TV show. There is a heap of political bullshit happening now in the organization; it's part of the beast. Now, that it is election season, it is simply piled a little higher than usual. The organization will survive and probably proser. There are indications that many more people are getting more and more tired of some of this bullshit and are trying to make changes in the nuts and bolts of the organization in order to save it. did I get on THAT soapbox?!

The rest of the weekend was OK. There were some organization and planning problems with the conference itself but I was able to have enough fun, meet enough people and drink enough alcohol to make up for the bad parts.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This weekend I am headed off to Denver Colorado for the annual Starfleet International Confrence. Yes, it's a geek fest! Yes, it's an excuse to drink. It is also our annual Board of Directors meeting mandated because we are a non-profit organization. The rest of it is just a perk.

My return to Florida on Sunday will be the start of some major changes around here; the biggest is that I am moving.

My friend Jason, who is soon to elevated to the level of "saint" is married to an unbelievably patient woman who works as a cardiac ultrasound technician. This is a VERY high paying job which is in great demand. So much so that there is a whole network of these techs who travel around the country working months at a time from hospital to hospital. Each job pays extremly well along with living expenses, food stipends and travel money. While they are doing this they have to maintain a permanant home residence; that's where I come in.

For the next year they will travel the country and I will be caretaker of their 4 bedroom, 2 bath, pool and jacuzzi home rent free!!!!! This little move will allow me to catch up on a number of bills and debt and also save a bundle of money which should put me in a better living situation.

Not that Sunny Acres has been all that bad. Come September 1, the day I am supposed to move, it will be 6 years exactly that I have lived here. In that time I have locked my door only when going away for an extended period of time. I have made some friends and I have had as close to a home as I have had since moving here. It is a relatively quiet neighborhood and the people around me are good.

The landlord is another matter. But, I'll save that part of the story for another post since I have to go pack for Denver.

Monday, August 06, 2007

There have been no blogs in a while? My son was here for a week....what do you expect?

It was a great week. Before he got here I had been obsessing, in the deep dark recesses of my mind, that he had turned ultra-teenager and simply didn't want to be around me any more. That was completely dispelled. Each day was so natural and easy between us, as if he lived here all the time. We had discussions about trivial matters, TV, movies but also had deep discussions about his future and family.

Part of this discussion was that he had an interest in becoming a police officer. I swear the picture of my father in the living room smiled more when he said that. Ya' see, it's genetic. His grandfather was a cop, his aunt was a cop, his godfather was a cop, I worked for my police department for 5 years and his step father is a cop. His step dad didn't seem too supportive of the idea and I will admit that it threw me for a moment. I talked over with his the good and bad of the job but reminded him that, ultimately, the decision was his.

I talked to him a little about parental expectations. How, no matter how hard we fight not to be our parents that is exactly who we end up being. That we see that little infant in a diaper and imagine him addressing a joint session of congress or curing cancer even before he is able to control his own bladder. I told him how excited I was when he was looking into animation or cartoon work; imagining him designing a cartoon or computer game and he doing voices for it. But I again reminded him that it is his life and no one else's.

I felt very Ward Cleaver when it was over.

The best part of this whole weekend was that I began to feel that I was no longer talking to my "child" but to a man. We talked on an even level and it was an exchange of ideas and emotions. I used to enjoy walking along the river near here with him on my shoulders. We would debate who was the better superhero, Superman or Batman. When that was done we would invent superheroes of our own making; mixing and matching superpowers and imagining what Super Dog Man would look like. I miss those days but I am so happy and proud of the man who sat beside me this weekend and told me where he sees his life headed.

Ward Cleaver never had it so good!