A week in and so far so good on the touring…we hit San Angelo, Amarillo, and Albuquerque.  We’ve had the chance to stay in Amarillo (Susan’s hometown) and Albuquerque (mine) for multiple days which is always nice.

Pool View

San Angelo was warm and Susan played with Ray Wylie Hubbard.  Maybe my first time merching next to a pool.

Ice Cream Stealer

To make up for the heat…there was ice cream.

No Pushing

Push did come to shove the day I got to Albuquerque, though. My laptop track pad has given me some issues in the past, but it’s been ok for a while. On Saturday I pulled it out of my bag and it was permanently depressed into the computer. I had a spare mouse for just this situation, but after a bit that wasn’t even working and things were selecting and deleting and moving around on their own volition. This will not fly for four weeks on tour with no Apple stores around, so I decided it was time to invest in a new laptop.

The purchase was in my 6 month plan, though not my week plan…but once I manhandled all my files over to the new one, I felt a lot better and am now ready to take on the portable technology world again. It was a 4 year old laptop that has been around the country several times and it was time. RIP, old laptop.

Intern

First, IN MY DEFENSE…this photo makes me look like I was an intern in 1986, if you look at that computer.  In all reality, everything in our PBS station was from 1986, even though it was 2005.  I am not that old.  That was a crochety computer even then.

Anyway…the other day we were at Schreiner University in Kerrville listening in on some classes and playing the coffee house series at the student union that night.  One of the super nice frat guys that helped set up chairs asked, “How do you get to be a tour manager?”  I said, “Work really hard for free for a long time.”  In other words, make yourself an intern.

Josh, my fellow KNME intern, now works full time there.  He does their social media, a job that didn’t even exist when we interned in the prehistoric ages of 2005.  In fact, we invited the first ever blogger guest  to appear on In Focus, the local show we worked on.  Our overlords at the time said, “Blogger?  What type of respectable news source is a blog?”  We won and the blogger appeared on the show.  Turns out we were so right.  (Her name is Chantal Foster, she started Duke City Fix, the best ABQ blog around ifyouaskme).

So Josh worked for free at KNME and landed a sweet job.  I worked for free selling t-shirts and carrying stuff into venues, which after a while naturally turned into more stuff, which after a while allowed me to acquire enough skill that made what I do…reimbursable.

Now I work with Team SG and Rubicon Artist Development, and a big part of my job is social media…but with a focus of building a community with social media as the means of collecting and maintaining that community.  The other night I was one some tangent driving home from a show, as I am wont to do, and I estimated that I have been studying social media for about 7 years now and actively using it to engage people online for a purpose for at least 4.  That’s a long time in internet years.

All that experience, in which I worked for free, is now parlaying into paid time in forming useful and profitable online presences for the organizations I work with.  It takes a lot of try, fail, and try again to get to a point where I feel comfortable calling myself knowledgeable about anything…and then something new breaks through and I start learning all over again.

The point is, I guess, to value your time.  This goes both ways…value your time so that you get paid for what you do.  However, if you’re drawn to something but are in the beginning stages of it, value your learning time.   Sometimes the internship is the best doorway to bigger and better.

Since I literally have 4 offices (Red Leaf, Rubicon, SusanG, and my home office), I thought I’d show you what the music school desk contains.  We have a great vibe here at Red Leaf School of Music, and Bob Dylan hangs out on my desk, backed by a significantly darker shade of green than the ForTheRecords office below.  But it is green nonetheless.

Red Leaf is a great place; people who come here come because they want to learn music, so all of our clients are super nice, curious, artistic people.  And no one’s ever asked me, “Why the heck do you have Dylan on your desk?”

Office

Except my ForTheRecords office has awesome green walls, Christmas lights, and bottomless Topo Chico.  (If there is a bottom to the Topo, I haven’t hit it yet).

It also has the largest desk name plate known to man.  So large, in fact, that it’s not a desk name plate at all…it’s a wall plaque.  My friend Spring made it when I played the Empty Bowl Benefit, and The Boss decided it would look good up there.  Also, it reinforces that the “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy” thing will never happen here; I am always playing.

Today we made some extreme merchandising decisions, printed some posters, I designed a postcard, The Boss researched radio stations for her new record.  And now I have been sufficiently screened out enough to…write this blog post.  Somebody unplug me!

Here is my abstract, floaty post for the week.  I am chomping on some cinnamon gum before the stress of 1000 tiny little tasks eats me alive.  Tiny tasks are not supposed to cause this much need for chewing something.  This is not a whine, it is an outlet.  It’s my blog, so there.  Amen.

Cinnamon!

Thinkin'

The other night we played a rousing game of Would You Rather, a Christmas present from my dear sister.  This game consists of predicting what your fellow players will say when you ask them something like, “Would you rather smell through your feet or breathe through your fingers?”  It’s something that makes you ponder.  Or wonder.

There’s also the part of the game where you make up your own “Would you rather?”  You try and create a scenario complex enough so your fellow players disagree with each other.

It’s a low key week except in my own head, where I’m playing a huge game of “would you rather?” with myself.  It results in me waking up ridiculously early and then kind of…wandering.  There’s a lot to do.  Would I rather renew my expired car registration (oops) or work on an awesome promo video for Susan’s new record or email 40 people or read the New York Times or postpone my jury duty summons or make coffee or write a blog post (look what won right now) or figure out WordPress?  That was just the last 2 hours.  I’m not whining, though…just trying to keep it all straight.

Maybe I’ll hit the coffee first.  Add cinnamon.