Friday, May 5, 2017

A Day In The (Yikes!) Life (PART ONE)

Oh my . . . what a couple of weeks it's been.  First off, my mother is dying.  Of course, yes, we all are, but she is clearly on the last leg of the mortal journey.  She is in "hospice" care, which has been less than impressive, and it has been left to me to fill in all the gaps of her increasingly needy care, as much as I am able.  I am fairly jaded about death, having faced it squarely in mind and heart since a young age but it is still a heavy reality, especially when it's your mom.

So, while pretty much daily attending to the various needs of getting my mom set up so she can function reasonably well in her alone time in her little new old folks apartment . . . there is also the matter that I have 2 rocknroll bands to attend to.  One is a David Bowie "tribute" band of sorts and the other is a vehicle for my own original music.  I am in the midst of trying to record a "debut" album with my originals band, with 2-3 days/nights per week spent in the studio recording, mixing, producing, trying to keep relatively within budget expectations (Ha! those expectations got blown away when I plowed through the last of the money I raised through crowdfunding and only had 2 songs finished and mixed with 8 others songs in various stages of development.  Oy, find more money...and gotta keep the momentum going)..... So there's that situation tucked into the ongoing worry and work for ma, which also includes that my millennial snowflake bassist has stopped showing up for recording sessions and practice--yikes....

And then there is my Bowie band, where my atheist, hard-leftist keyboardist quit saying he needed to work with "people who share my same ideology" and also because we weren't already touring the world (after less than a year as a band together) with Aussie Pink Floyd.  Lol.

AND . . . we've got two important gigs coming up.  So I'm also scrambling to find a keyboardist replacement for the impending shows.

So . . . one night--it's about midnight and I am on the phone with my studio engineer discussing another disappointing "mastering" job on my two finished originals songs sent to a "mastering" outfit in Boston . . . after a prior awful effort by a young "masteriong" fellow in Vegas . . . and I notice Isaac hovering about. . . . I finally get off the phone and he says, "I want to show you something". . . .

So we go to the basement, to his bathroom down there and he points to some apparently water stains and moisture newly appeared. . . . Hmmm.  Interesting.  We venture out, down the hall to the unfinished room in the basement and I see a small pool of water in the middle of the floor there.  My first thought is some pipe must be leaking in the unfinished ceiling.... I look up.  It's fine.  Walk around to where the furnace and water heater and voila!  Water is pouring out the bottom of the water heater tank.  Yikes again.  Scramble.  All my musical equipment is just feet away and the water is moving out, a couple inches high.

After a quick panicked search on Youtube "water heater leaking" . . . I figure out how to shut off the water and turn off the gas . . . and then its scramble time again to get all the boxes and equipment up and out of the water of the still pooling overflow.  And yes, I have managed to shut the water source off ... BUT . . . there is still all the water in the tank that is continuing to drain out.  And the lovely builders of the house have made the drain into a volcano shape so that no water makes it to the drain but instead falls back into the wall and under, going into the previously mentioned (Isaac's bathroom... where, it turned out, water now was squishing up through the grout line as you walked on the tile...bad news.)

Next day is all bustle calling emergency plumber types and disaster clean-up crews.  In they come, dudes all day, tearing up tile, cutting out walls, setting up an industrial array of high powered fans which now must be left on roaring for days to follow.  Of course we get hammered for the "emergency" cost of getting a new large water heater which isn't covered by homeowners insurance and then its dance time with the insurance investigator to see what paltry sum we can finagle to cover the costs of all the various damage/repairs. . . .

Then the garage door breaks.  Won't open all the way.  Me and Lindsay try to fix it ourselves and only screw it up more.  Now it can't be shut and locked, which is disconcerting since not too long ago, some neighborhood creep creeped into our garage and stole a bunch of (rare, of course) cd's and money and things from my car.  Cue garage door fixer guys.  Fans still roaring 24-7 in the basement. Mom needing me to swing by and make her "dippy eggs" and do her laundry.  Did I mention I'm not real big on body stuff?  Kinda squeamish in that category.  Anything to do with issues, body functions, weeping swollen lymphodema skin profusions--uhh, not my bag.  BUT, I'm great in a crisis and I manage to help as I can in the midst of my own home chaos.  Hey, and somewhere in all this I gotta keep working, yet it seems that all my regular paint clients think I'm a rock star now and don't need my day job and have stopped calling.  Scary.  And I don't have the time to alert them and others that, hey, I still paint and need the work--when I can find the time away from all the other costly stuff I'm engaged in (buying new water heaters, promoting the band(s), garage doors etc.)

Well, since that wasn't all apparently enough to deal with, the old trickster came up with a doozy in the middle of all this. . . .

So . . . I want my fantastic guitarist from my Bowie band to put a couple lead solos on my original songs I'm recording in the studio.  I text him.  He's slow to respond, mentioning that he just lost his job but that he wants to help me out.  Great.  Except, I'm a bit shocked.  You see, he is/was a school teacher at a charter school and he was obsessive about his job--maintaining it proper and was always whining if I booked the band for a weeknight gig.  He's the oldest in the group and needs his sleep.  He said it screwed up his work if we played late on a weeknight and his job came first (that is until we got to that world tour thing).

Anyway, yeah, I'm really surprised he lost his job over, what he said was "breaking a school policy".  Mr. Milquetoast--the most "anal" . . . slightly obsessive and finicky of fellows somehow screwed up and broke a rule.   Didn't quite compute.  But oh well, I thought, maybe now I CAN book weeknight gigs.  Anyhow, we have 2 important gigs coming up regardless.

[AND now I must pause, because also while all this was going on, I've been driving on grinding breaks.  Yeah, down to the rotors.  But didn't have the time or the money to get new brakes so have been utilizing my down-shifting skills to get about until I can figure it out...... Fast forward to today... my car is in the shop finally getting brakes and now I'm out the door to retrieve it . . . and then to get some wallboard to begin the downstairs repair (since the insurance scammers didn't really give us enough money to hire proper dudes to do it)  So this is PART 1 of the saga . .. . and stay tuned for PART 2 . . . it's a mind blower and . . . and . . . well, just wow.....]



Linda L. said...

Wow! Thomas, wish I were closer to help out some way. I will be praying for you and your mom. Sorry to hear she is in her last days. Yes, I have been in an apartment previously when my hot water heater blew up and water poured out everywhere. Renting so I did not have to pay for it luckily.

Mark said...

Prayers for energy to move through life .

Lee in TN said...

Oh my, BroT! God bless you!

Prayers continuing for your Mom, provision, home & car, the band situations, and your family!

Blessings - Lee

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