And there was Light. And God saw the Light. And it was Fucking Rad.
I signed my contract yesterday. After 2 separate temporary contracts they officially hired me and though nothing changed outside the drawer of some worker at the HR section, it felt like a really big deal. On my way to the city hall, I remember thinking, “Last chance to back out, now. The choice is made right here.”
But really, there was no honest choice involved. This is the way things will go, the continuation of the events that I set in motion when I decided that I would be there for my son, and that have only picked up in speed as I set my shoulders behind them. Today, I can beat my chest and say that I am almost there- almost to the point where I can face myself and say without shame,
I am a father. I am a stage technician. I have done the things necessary to lay the foundation for the life that follows; my own and that of my son. What happens next, nobody knows, but I can face it with my head held high.
As predicted, I pretty much just ran out of time to write. Between the job, Czech Republic and the girlfriend, I pretty much have zero time for anything else and if some statistical anomaly would occur (usually triggered by me texting ‘I need to be alone for a bit’), it is entirely dedicated to building a factory in order to launch a satellite into space, or watching my friends take a bullet while saving the earth from alien inv- games, yeah. Computer games. I might elaborate on my internet addiction later once I get over the shame.
I am actually at work now, if you could call this work. The job consist of that of a single dad at his kid’s birthday party: Putting in a vaguely inappropriate dvd and running for the nearest computer for some mental escape while the kids sit and stare. Just upscale by about a hundred kids and you get the idea. I’m not watching the movie because it is literally about cancer. I don’t feel like cancer today. Or, ever.
What I do feel like, is telling you about the one time I got arrested for begging. (more…)
My grandmother asked for a picture of my son, and that’s how it began.
She loves him so much, it’s endearing. It would seem that with every passing generation, she loves the next one more. Since he is the first of the third one down that she can see growing up, she is absolutely smitten with him.
I chose 3 photographs and printed them out, forgetting to render them in AdobeRGB so the colors looked terribly faded and I chose too large a size to be of any practical use. But she had them at least, one in a picture frame and the others curling up on her living room cupboard.
As happens easily with photos of children, they are now outdated. He couldn’t even walk back then, and his face has changed. I figured she would need new photos soon, if she still wanted to feel that closeness that pictures can bring her. I was already dreading the whole process of getting that digital image on paper and delivered at her house in a timeframe small enough to not make me feel like a failure of a grandson.
Just how easy would it be to have one of those digital photo frames for her, I thought. But then I’d have to remember to carry a memory stick with updated pictures, and we all know how easily those get lost. The probability of her being stuck with the same old photos for months was still high. So how about one that updated over the internet? They’ve been making these horrible things for ages now, and although their popularity has all but faded, surely some clever little employee somewhere must have come up with the idea of putting a wifi adaptor inside one of them?
Perhaps one of the most risky things about getting a job is the fact that you become part of an organisation and represent its political tendencies and convictions. This may not be that important for your average concrete manufacturing plant, but in some cases this is a thing you might want to be aware of. The moment you sign your contract, you agree to work together for the profit of whatever thing you are employed by and you better consider your boundaries well before they are reached, lest you do things you’ll regret.
Again, for the average worker (like you) this is a pretty trivial thing. But what if you were asked to perform your tasks not just for, but with some party that you strongly disagree with, supporting their propaganda? Perhaps you can imagine that, as an employee of a city theater, you better have your principles in order or you might find that you crossed them in retrospect. (more…)
I was 10 year old and I stood in my grandmother’s living room when I last believed that things would be okay. My aunt was checking on me, seeing if I was up to the challenges ahead of us. I said that I understood that the future would be difficult, but that “good would prevail” at the very end. That things were going to be okay.
24 hours later, I learned that things were not so simple, as I stood crying for all my little worth in my father’s embrace, after being told that my mother was now dead and I’d have to grow up without her. The ground shook and cracked and I fell, and beneath me, I saw hell opening in anticipation for the world to descend.
I have since lost my belief that ‘good’ and ‘bad’, or ‘evil’ if you will, are higher forces that exist on a higher level than our own conscience. Where before I found hope in the idea that there was a higher force driving us towards the everlasting happy end, I now recognize it for what it is: A good chunk of wishful thinking, made believable by the desperation of a mother’s child.
When I am involved in a production and fill in the archetypal role of the technician (I prefer to call it “the specialist”), I have no inhibitions to step forward and contribute actively to the end product. Many will know, I would literally put my hand in the fire for most jobs I’ve had so far. I take these things very personal.
But as a house technician, things are different. When you have a new production passing through every day and sometimes even multiple, you can’t keep up the sprint that you put down as part of the team. If you want to keep this up for 7 days, a whole season long, you have to eat. You have to sleep. At some point, you’ll have to put your foot down and say, “No. Now I take a break and those things you are panicking about, are your problem, not mine.”
2016 sucked, I think we can all agree on that. For me, it was marked by 2 milestones, moments that I remember like they were yesterday. It proves my bad memory because the last one happened just today.
The first was the death of Lemmy. I wasn’t just a big fan of his band Motörhead, but greatly looked up to the man himself, more than I realized. His death was a blow strong enough to make me take a long, hard look at my life and discover that his influence on it was significant.
The second was the election of Donald Trump for president, news that made me call out “You are joking” while I was completely alone. From the very beginning, I considered his victory a possibility more than my peers, because it would be the perfect cherry on the irony cake that had been baking since the last few American presidents. And if life taught me anything, it is that fate loves it some irony cake.
XLR cables, commonly known as microphone cables, are designed to carry a so-called balanced AC electrical signal from point A (generally a microphone) to point B (generally and audio mixing desk). They have a relatively simple task but a big problem in accomplishing it: Electric current is prone to disturbances from pretty much any magnetic interference from fields in the space around it. This means just about every light fixture, cell phones, pacemakers, hell even the sun.
There is a point to this. Bear with me.
Although I work for a single organisation these days, I do get around. The “Cultuurcentrum Sint-Niklaas” that is the overarching city service and the instance calling the shots, is active in 3 separate locations throughout town (they hate it when you call it a town), ranging from a fully functional, well-equipped city theater to the shittiest parish hall you’ll find in any sleepy hollow. If not here as part of the crew, you’ll find me flying solo at the “Museumtheater”, the in-between venue in terms of size and relevance.
I ended up there pretty much from the very beginning, when things were hectic and the crew was spread thin across all locations and more, and I just kind of stuck there.
I like it. The work is less one company to another and more human. Also the director is less likely to say, “Oh didn’t you get the email, we need 50 chairs onstage to seat our choir.” The others don’t like the place too much so I am often democratically selected to run the productions there. (more…)
Do not skip this. Do not think I am joking.
The following is about a theater play that kicked up some controversy because of its highly sexual content and explicit imagery. Since I am not planning on censoring my content based on this, you better believe there will be offensive language under that line below.
By continuing to read you are agreeing that you are a consenting adult, capable of making your own decisions. Complaints will be met with language much worse.