I realized on Friday night, after I made it to rehearsal, just how mentally exhausting this month has been. My wandering attention made it very difficult to focus on everything going on, meaning I was constantly feeling overwhelmed, and was not getting out in front of my tasks as I prefer to do. On the other hand, it was great exercise for my “working under pressure” muscles, and things worked out.
After recovering from an illness that came down on me like a ton of bricks last Saturday night, I finally got back to the office on Tuesday. Sinus illness tends to hit me hard, probably because mine aren’t in great shape on the best of days to begin with. The congestion headache made it difficult to do any Fedora work, so I gave up for the most part and got a little reading done.
On Tuesday evening I also did a spot for the virtual FUDCon (notes here) and plowed through some email. I believe I did some Docs publishing work and helped out one of our legion of awesome translators who is working on a revamped guide for their contributors.
On Thursday night the guys from the office came over for wings ‘n’ beer. We’d been making an occasional habit of going out on Thursday nights — since several of the other guys are off on Fridays — to a local happy hour, but the service at our usual haunt has been increasingly unsatisfactory despite our really good tipping proclivities. (I could rant about that for a while, but it’s likely not worth it.) So I bought a sampling of really good beers and cooked up some chicken wings. There was a slight smoky mishap involving my ill-advised use of cooking spray — I thought it would make the wings easier to retrieve after baking, since I don’t do deep-frying — but otherwise, yummy!
Friday after work I headed up to a “night-before” rehearsal at Rich’s and as I got there, I felt like everything from the past month had just crashed down on me. My mood was not really conducive to music-making but I resolved to put my all into playing that night, and putting away my fake sheets. That turned out to be the right decision, and the tensions of the month evaporated as we built up some really solid arrangements for Laura’s songs. By the end of the night, I felt that everything was OK and that we’d be in for a good gig.
On Saturday I did a whirlwind shopping tour to pick up some autumn casual and gig-worthy clothes. It’s tough finding good vintage/thrift stuff when you’re a big fat guy like me, so I had to content myself with some new stuff I found that at least obscured the sight line to my inevitably nearing Four-Oh. Thanks to the asinine level of traffic on the roads in the northern Virginia and DC area, Eleya got home with the kids from an appointment with only about an hour overlap before I had to hit the road for our premiere gig.
The gig actually went swimmingly well. There were some various “clams” and other assorted seafood idioms thrown into a few songs — substantially aided and abetted by the worst on-stage monitor mix I’d ever had at that particular venue. The vast majority of the show, however, went well, and we had an inordinate amount of fun on stage. The packed audience truly felt that, and responded in kind with uncharacteristically boisterous applause, even in the middle of songs. I find that DC area audiences tend to be a little jaded, but not so last night — the audience was clearly enjoying hearing Laura backed by a full band, and didn’t mind telling us so.
To all of you who showed up and gave us some love and appreciation either through applause or your kind and generous comments afterward, thank you, thank you, thank you! You guys truly made it a great night, and we promise it will only get better from here on out.