Tuesday Tune-Up: A Saga – Part the Second.

Musical Interludes

Yesterday, which was Wednesday, I posted this week’s Mantra Monday post. Today is Thursday, normally reserved for philosophical musings I call Thoughts for Thursday. However, as you’ve not doubt figured out, I’m a bit behind this week. See yesterday’s post, “Part the First,” of this Saga, to get caught up if you haven’t read it yet.

The long and short is that I’m a teacher and writer with a Master’s degree who’s working full-time as a janitor this week because I took a job I thought was only going to be part-time.

So… What? You Can’t Write After Work?

I can, and am currently. That’s not the totality of the thing.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have about fifteen hours of steady work per week as a freelancer. However, I got complacent last week and put some things off, believing that I would have time later in the week to do them. Then this job came along. By the time I’d finished orientation a week ago, they already had me scheduled for eight hours on Friday and forty hours this week.

Okay, so, I started Friday, then went home and did some Brandonia related tasks – a bunch of behind the scenes stuff like business owners do (By the way, that’s not counted in the fifteen hours of “freelance” work I mentioned before). I did that until around 6:30. Then I went to the gym.

Well, You Didn’t Have to Go to the Gym…

Yes I did. Have you not read anything I’ve written for Mantra Monday? I skip workouts occasionally, but the rule is – I have to go the next day, no matter what. I had a full Saturday (that’s where the “Musical Interlude” part of this post comes in – soon, I swear) so I couldn’t go then. Going to the gym is a major priority for me. It is one of the most important commitments I’ve made for myself, and I’m keeping it. That means I had to go Friday.

Look, I get it. I could have made an excuse and said “Well, I already done over 12,000 steps, and I’ve been sweating all day. I think I burned enough calories.” I thought about it. Then I thought about how, if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to say at the end of June that I’ve run at least 1.5 to 2 miles three times per week since the end of April – eight weeks in a row. That accomplishment is important to me, and I’m sure as hell not going to let a minimum wage temp job as a janitor screw me out of that experience.

So I went to the gym. I ran my two miles, and it felt awesome! One of the best runs I’ve had in a while, actually. Endorphins flooded my body, and life was good. I finished off with my weightlifting circuit for that week, and added a couple of core exercises.

When I got home at around 9:00 pm, I thought about writing my Fearless Friday post, but that’s when I made the disciplinary mistake and said, “I’ve worked hard enough today. I can work after I’m done with the show tomorrow.” I watched an episode or two of Firefly and was in bed by 11:00.

Told You We’d Be Talking About Music Soon

Selfie of me standing side stage in the beer garden area of the Cannonball Festival.
Pre-show Selfie

So Saturday rolled around, and I had a show to play. I thought that my show started at 3:00pm, so when I found that I’d overslept until noon, I woke up freaking out. Then, I checked my phone and found that we weren’t actually on until 5:15. I felt better. I wrote the Fearless Friday post, ran a couple of errands, and then played a rad show.

The Cannonball Festival

Here in Spokane, there have been a few annual early-summer music festivals for quite a while now. They come, they go, but there always seems to be a couple around. The most prominent is Volume, which is sponsored by Spokane’s independent weekly paper, the Inlander. My band, Buffalo Jones, have played the festival for the last three years, but the organizers wanted to avoid repeat bands this year, so we weren’t a part of this one.

Collage of the crowd as the rain tent was being put up during Kung Fu Vinyl's set.
Collage of the crowd as the rain tent was being put up during Kung Fu Vinyl’s set.

One of the others was called Elkfest, and until last year, it was very popular. Then they couldn’t get permits. So the organizers decided to scale things way back, confine the party to one house with a pretty big yard on exactly the same block they used to use anyway! The festival had some great bands this year, including Kung Fu Vinyl and Indian Goat, both of whom followed us. All ages were welcome, and there was a beer garden for those with ID. It was totally pro – just really small scale.

Probably the coolest thing about it was the fact that the audience kept changing. People just walking through the neighborhood, would come in and watch for a bit. Then they’d move on and some new people would take their place.

A Spokane Legend Makes an Appearance!

The Tambourine Man Showed Up!

It’s hard to explain The Tambourine Man. His real name is Michael, but I won’t publish his last name because I haven’t asked his permission. He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever come across as a musician and he’s one of the greatest music fans in the world.

Michael doesn’t live in Spokane anymore, but when he did, he was (and still is) a Spokane legend. He was at every show that was any good in Spokane. If it was a local rock show, and it was really cookin’, The Tambourine Man would show up sooner or later.

In his hay-day here in town, he pulled out all of the stops. He had this amazing mullet – I mean even more outrageous than the one in the video above. He’d show up wearing tight colored jeans – never blue – usually white, black, or red – fancy cowboy boots, and a tasseled red leather jacket. In The Tambourine Man would come rolling, with his faithful tambourine. He danced to every song in front of the stage, whether he was the only one doing it or not, and just hyped the hell out of the crowd!

A lot of times people didn’t know what to do with him. There were tons of rumors about him and nobody really knew who he was – except “The Tambourine Man.” In the late 00’s, he was like an urban legend. In fact, my good friend and long time musical conspirator, Glenn Case wrote and released a song about him. Even now, if Michael pops up at one of your shows, (because he still comes back to Spokane every so often) you know you’re on a good ticket!

I’ve talked to Michael a handful of times after sets. He’s actually a pretty big Buffalo Jones fan, so he does tend to show up more at our shows than others these days, but we really love him right back, so there’s that.

The Rest of the Weekend

I spent a lot more time than I usually do watching the following bands on Saturday – even though I knew that I had work to do, there was magic in the air at that festival. It was raining, but Kung Fu Vinyl was absolutely killing it as the tarps were going up. The rain was light and it came and went. I had a couple more beers and enjoyed time with old friends with whom I’ve not caught up in a while, and new friends I just made.

I got home around nine and was in bed by eleven. Then I slept a very long time again. I got up and got to work on the article I’d been putting off. I was about four hours in when my bandmate called and asked if I could help him move. I told him earlier in the week that I’d help him, and he’s a very good friend. So, I dropped what I was doing and went to help him move for a couple of hours. Then I went to a weekly gathering at my friends’ house. It’s kind of like a family dinner, but with friends. I got to talking to my best friend and went to bed far too late.

Back to the Saga

So It’s Monday Morning at 6:30 am.

I’d had only about three hours sleep, but I was alert and ready nonetheless. I put in a solid day’s physical labor, then I came home and took a nap. The problem was I kept extending the nap. Finally at around 6:30 pm I woke up. I had every intention of going to the gym and writing, but only one of those things happened.

I worked on the client piece I was behind on until 2 am before I finally called myself nuts and went to sleep.

Tuesday Comes Around.

I was finished with most of the article before I went to bed on Monday. I showed up to work at 6:30 Tuesday morning. I walked a lot more at the job site that day because I had more mopping to do than usual. Then I went and mowed my dad’s lawn for him because he’s in a bad way and can’t do it himself. It’s not a huge yard, front and back, but I use a push mower to do it, so even more walking. After that, I went home, finished up the article and sent it off (the quality was below my standard, by the way, and I was ashamed of myself when the editor’s notes came back – I never submit work that bad).

At that point, I had two more commitments that I had to keep and only about six more hours in the day. Because I’d skipped the gym on Monday, I had to go Tuesday, so I did. I went and ran two miles, but didn’t do weights because I didn’t have time. After I was done with the gym, I headed straight for Buffalo Jones rehearsal.

I can hear you asking “Well why didn’t you blow that off, surely it wasn’t that important…” Well, actually, it is that important. We have an amazing opportunity to do have a one-of-a-kind recording experience this summer, and again… I’m not throwing that away because of a minimum wage temp job. We need every minute of rehearsal time we can spare, and Tuesday nights are it. So it was a late one again. I came home at around eleven – exhausted – watched a couple of episodes of Firefly to unwind, then went to sleep.

Stay Tuned for Writers’ Wednesday

We’ll leave the saga there for now. I may or may not get to Writers’ Wednesday tonight, but I’m going to take a break for a bit now. After all, I was at work again this morning at 6:30 and started working on this post almost as soon as I got home. See you again soon.