Stick With It
For the most part, I stored trivial information on mine. A few months ago when I was upgrading my machine, I copied the contents of all my notes into a generic text file. So, most of what I lost on Saturday morning was stored elsewhere. I'm not sure how I lost all my notes. All I know is that I launched the application, and not one note appeared. I quit and started it up again, and it only opened two notes, the default ones that appear the first time the program is used.
I live my life by checklists and calendars. I keep lists of tasks I have to do at work and at home. I check my calendar for deadlines and dates for musical jobs. A few months ago I posted my ultimate to-do list. While some of those items were “big picture” and others were jokes, I've actually accomplished about 6 or 7 things from that list. On a smaller scale though, I have my weekly sticky list, which I had to recreate.
At the end of each week, I open this digital note and add to it. I put some small things on there that I know I'm going to do anyway, because deleting them on Sunday evening gives me a sense of accomplishment. Things on the list like novels or long-running television series stay on there a lot longer than things like laundry or throwing out empty bottles. To the best of my memory, this is what I recreated:
sliders last seasons
catch Chuck encore
PBW piano cat
sort & box books
use B&N gift card
tmnt missed eps
Joey last 2 eps
Physics of Superheroes
rr martin 4
As you can see, grammar and spelling aren't a big concern for me, nor proper names. I only added proper links for this post. In most cases, I'll complete and delete items from the list within a day or so, with the exception of the books and television series that have been on there for months now. And of course this doesn't take into account my Netflix queue, and the text file on my hard drive for overflow since the queue has a limit of 500 and I consistently have about 614 movies yet to see. I started making more of an effort with movies about two or three years ago, and the number still hasn't changed.
Some things on my list definitely affect other things. Until I sort and box the stacks of books in front of my mom's piano, I'm never going to get a video of my cat “playing” a song. If my “Tony gig” on Sunday takes too long or I hit traffic, I might not make it to B13's to get pictures of his puppies. I know I won't get everything done on this list in one weekend, but I feel good on Monday morning when I've gotten most done, and it's good to keep track of things I'll eventually do.
Other than cartoons, Chuck, this post and the “Johnny gig”, I didn't eliminate too much from the sticky on Saturday. The gig was on a triangle in Queens, an island surrounded by three busy streets on a which a small park held a barbecue. Parking was tough, and between my dad and our friend Bill the trumpet player, I had two old guys in the car making different suggestions at the same time. It didn't help my stress level, and I snapped a bit when my dad suggested I follow a sign he saw that said “Shea parking”. I'm not going to say where we were, but it was several miles from the stadium so even if we could park in that lot, it would have been more of a trek than it was from the spot I eventually found two blocks away.
We had a small group that, in addition to the three of us, included the band leader, a retired drummer on snare, and his wife on the bass drum. It was an easy job, strolling around to a new spot every few minutes and playing a short song. Bill especially was getting tired, and on the ride in had admitted he was getting tired in general of these gigs, regretting accepting the one that had come up for Sunday. My dad agreed that when it becomes a chore, it's hard to stick with it. I feel that way sometimes, but I haven't been at this anywhere near as long as the others. At one point the drummer took a poll of ages. Bill was 84, Johnny was 61, my dad was 77, and the drummer and his wife were both in their late ‘60s. At nearly 33, I was the youngest guy there. “And thank GOD he’s here!” added the drummer.
We met with insane traffic on the ride home, cars beeping when there was nowhere to move and trucks cutting in to my lane when I was up against a wall. Bill was making suggestions for alternate routes to take for Sunday's gig, but my attention was elsewhere. I found a side road, bypassed traffic, cut back into a highway, somehow crossed four lanes of bumper to bumper to reach my exit, and then found another local detour. I had Bill home in an hour, and tried not to think about the traffic and the bridge I'd be facing in just over twelve hours for the next job. I literally will cross that bridge when I come to it.
I was surprised to hear my dad admit to Bill that these jobs are almost more trouble than they're worth sometimes. He's always encouraged me to stick with it, and I'm sure he won't be quitting anytime soon. He was just sympathizing with our friend, but I think there was some grain of truth to his words as well.
It's funny; at one point between songs I heard the guy who hired our band ask the leader “What's with that guy? He always have a puss on like that?” I looked up as the leader said “That's just his demeanor.” Realizing they were talking about me I managed a smile, which brought laughter and cries of “There you go!” I can't imagine the expression I must have had; I know I was deep in thought at the time, mentally perusing lists of things to do. I have fun playing music. It's easy for me, and nice to have extra/back-up income. Ultimately, I think it's the time that gets to me. Sure, some jobs don't take that long, and we only spent two hours on that triangle. But the traveling gets to me, fighting traffic, searching for parking, and hoping our car is there when we finish. Local work would be nice or, failing that, the ability to teleport would be nice as well.
The demographics vary in the myriad groups I belong to, and I'm not always the youngest. But there are a lot of people twice my age who stick with it. I once played a job with a 93-year-old clarinet player. Hearing my dad commiserate with Bill made my dad human, and I didn't feel so bad about those times when it all seems like a hassle. If my dad can feel that way, then it's okay for me to feel that way. No one ever calls me weak or lazy outside of my own brain. I guess I'm not weak or lazy when I grumble or get tense fighting traffic; I'm just human. Admitting that, and realizing it's okay to admit that, makes it a lot easier to stick with it. As long as I'm here, I'm always going to have something on my list.