I. AM. ON. VACATION.

So that’s it until next Tuesday. I’m on vacation!

My plane leaves tomorrow morning for Arizona. Well, it leaves for Newark and then another plane leaves for Arizona. I’m not working! I have hotels waiting for me! My friend Dawn is going to pick me up at the airport! There are people who are going to meet me in California and we’re going to have a great time together!

I had one big demo to do before I left work, and I worried about it quite a bit, but it turns out the Big Deal VP really liked the product I’m creating and the way I demo’ed it, so that was great, as well.

I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, vacation-wise. Like something disastrous is going to happen. But honestly, the worst thing that has happened is that I’m almost entirely out of oil, but I called the oil company and I’m pretty sure they’ll come tomorrow and put some more in the tank and I’ve left the check on the door, so that’s okay, too.

All is well. I’m on vacation. I’M ON VACATION!

One More Day!

One more day until vacation! I’m so very excited!

My work teammates are starting to get a little bit nervous about having me away for a week. We’re in a period where we’re gearing up for a big milestone in the project I’ve been working on, and me taking a week off, while not necessarily a bad thing, is something that we’re prepping for. One of the bigwigs in my company is going to be looking at the project tomorrow, and will be exploring it for awhile while I’m gone, so we’re making sure that the whole project is in the exact order it should be and looking good.

I always have a little bit of nerves, just before taking time off. I know everything won’t fall apart while I’m gone, but I worry that things will go wrong that I could have taken care of. I know that my team is going to be fine, but I worry that it’s going to be difficult for them to navigate the site I created without me there to offer technical support.

And I always worry about vacation in general. The relaxation is almost not worth the stress of getting ready for it; though I’m okay with a little bit of stress to trade off for the time off.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t stress out about something.

Do-Nothing Day

Every Sunday, I think to myself, “I have nothing to do! I’m going to spend the day on the couch, doing nothing!” And every Sunday, I find a way of loading my day up with stuff to do, obligations to take care of, and places to go.

Today (Sunday), I thought to myself, “I have nothing to do! I’m going to spend the day on the couch, doing nothing!” And damned if that’s not exactly what I did.

I’ve been watching a marathon of “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and napping on the couch. Peter’s been doing some computer projects and napping on the other couch. The cat has been doing whatever it is that the cat does and napping on either Peter or me.

It’s exactly what it’s cracked up to be, this “do-nothing day.” I highly recommend it.

Art Contests

I missed last night’s entry, mostly because I was so tired by the time we got home from the show and from the dinner after the show. I would be tempted to go back and update, but this “everyday” thing doesn’t have to be taken quite so literally. I have a 365-pictures thread on my Flickr account already, so that’s obsessive enough for me.

The second (and final) performance of “Spot Me” was terrific. The actors really got into it and found their rhythm. I wish they had more times to perform the show…that’s one of the problems with a new works festival, in that most of them try to squeeze so many shows in that there isn’t enough time to perform more than a couple of times.

At the end of the Track B performances, the audience vote was taken and a plaque was given to the most popular show of the track. I won that award years ago, but I’ve gotten a little bit tired of the idea of awarding prizes to plays in a festival. What that does, in my opinion, is make the playwrights anxious to compare their works against the others in the festival (or the track), when we should all be celebrating all the works. Even though I knew my piece wasn’t going to win the audience choice award (given that they resoundingly go to comedies when audiences are polled), I still felt disappointed when our show wasn’t called, and that’s stupid. Feeling bad after such a great run of a new show where friends and strangers told me how much they liked the play is entirely wrong, which is another reason why I don’t think art should strive for awards.

The next things on my plate are producing a play called “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” and submitting a proposal/pitch to direct a play called “Sordid Lives.” I’m really hoping my pitch is accepted, because it would be really nice to have another full-length production under my belt.

Especially since I won’t worry about what awards it might get.

Getting There

I keep seeing evidence that people I know, people I’m close to or not-so-close to, are getting to the place where they want to be. They’re living creative lives, making things and sometimes making a living off of the things they create.

I’m far away from that. I’m doing well at work and there are a lot of things I like about work, but my heart is entirely wrapped up in my creative life. I’ve been doing a lot more creative stuff these days, with a play that I get to see one more time tomorrow night and doing some other work in the theater (I’m faux-painting a wall for the next production at my main theater, for instance), writing new scripts, making bracelets and selling them, and keeping up with this blog and a photo every day. Working at the creative stuff is the only way to get the creative stuff into my life in a realistic way.

But it just seems so far to get to where I’d like to be. I don’t know if I’ll ever be creative for a living. I don’t know if I’ll ever create anything that’s as worthwhile to me as the things I have in my head. But I know I have to keep at them. I can’t give up on them. Someday, I might just get there.

Responsibilities

I have a lot more things to do at work than I did before.

It’s pretty nice, and it feels a lot more stable, when I get more work piled on my desk. I like the fact that I’m doing more, learning more, and trusted with more things then when I started. I like being busy throughout the day, and knowing that the people I work with respect and trust me. It’s a marked difference from where I was this time last year, when I was pulling my hair out because the people who had taken over the company made it their mission to treat me badly. (To be fair, they didn’t single me out, they made it their mission to treat everyone in the old company badly.)

It is great to have all this confidence and education in new things. I do feel like I’ve grown as a professional much more in the past ~7 months than I have in the past few years, and that’s really amazing. But I would like it to be just a little less busy and for me to have a little less responsibility right now, until I get back from vacation.

I see a lot of projects and a lot of decisions coming to a head just about the time when I’ll be jumping on a plane to Arizona. I expect I’ll be checking my work email quite a bit while I’m trying to relax. And I do feel like I’m going to have some stress going on, wondering just what needs to get done when I get back from vacation.

It’s not a terrible thing, and I probably just just shut off the work world while I’m out of state, but that’s really not me.

One Week ’til Vacation

I have one week to go before I get to go on vacation!

I’ll be off to Arizona a week from tomorrow morning. Of course, since I’ll be out for a full week, things are getting really busy and interesting at work. Nothing I can write about in public, and certainly nothing bad, but I’m going to be a very busy boy up to the day I take off and twice as busy the day I get back. In fact, the VP of my department keeps asking me for my plans on the very minute I get back, so I suspect I’ll be answering emails and putting out fires right up until I leave.

I had a couple of things in the past few years where I needed to take time off for medical reasons, so I haven’t had a full week of nothing but vacation for a long while. I’m so excited about this, I can’t stand it. I’ll visit with friends, and go on a nice long car trip, and spend some time hanging out and doing nothing. It’s going to be so great!

That’s all I have for tonight.

Hobbies

I set myself a goal tonight. Two friends of mine are insanely talented improv comedians, and they jokingly asked if I’d write a short play for them. I’m taking them up on their offer and writing and trying to write a 10-minute play for them. I thought up a title (which I’ve mentioned on Facebook, but I should keep it a little quieter, because it’s kind of a cool title, and I don’t want someone else writing a better play with that title), and I have a situation to write out, with a theme.

The theme (I don’t mind writing that out here) is, “What if the thing you’re best at is something that people don’t respect or even like very much?” It’s a theme that really resonates with me, being a playwright and sometimes actor/director/other theater stuff. One of the things I often hear is people saying things like, “You spend so much time on your hobby! How do you do it?”

I know they mean well, and sometimes, I feel like I’m nothing but a devoted hobbyist. There isn’t any real cachet in doing theater (writing, acting in, or directing) in North Suburban Boston, after all. I mean, my family and friends are awfully indulgent of what I do, and will come to see whatever I’ve done recently, but I sometimes feel…no, I often feel that I’m taken about as seriously as a kindergartener pointing out the drawings he’s put up on the family fridge.

It’s not a feeling that hits me often, and I can generally work through it. I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if I were a braver person, or a more disciplined person and kept at this back when I was a bit younger, and took more chances with it. I was in a professional improv group that was going places when I was in my 20s, and when I first started online journaling, it was such a new medium that a lot of my fellow journalers made it somewhat big as writers. There are a few TV writers that I used to be friendly with, and a few novelists…I took the corporate route, and while I’m generally okay with it, I do feel like I’ve relegated myself to a lifetime of doing what I love most as a hobbyist.

At any rate, I’m trying to do it a little bit more diligently these days. Who knows? Maybe I’ll turn out to be a 45-year-old wunderkind of some kind, and folks will worry that they haven’t gotten as far as I did doing the same things someday?

Artistic Obligations

Today, I actually felt anxious that I hadn’t made a new bracelet in a couple of days. Mind you, I have 30 or 40 of them in my drawer, and about 15 of them on my selling site. I don’t really need more stock in either place, but I thought I’d lose…something if I didn’t make another one or two.

My coworker Sarah asked if I could make an anklet with red beads and freshwater pearl accents, so I did that today. I also bought a bunch of new beads (I needed the smaller red ones) and made a black and white bracelet to sell, as well as perhaps another couple of them to either wear, sell, or give away.

I took another of my better-looking bracelets that was in my personal stash and mailed it to a “Pay It Forward” recipient from Facebook. That makes me feel a bit less anxious about having so many in my jewelry drawer. I bought a bunch of metallic green/gold/brass-looking beads to add to the more masculine ones I’ve made (I have very few masculine ones on my site…I should add them in), and I’ll either wear or sell them as appropriate.

It’s such a recognizable pattern with me…If I start an artistic project, I want to do it all the time, and I feel bad if I’m not keeping up with it, which generally means every day in some way (I haven’t missed a day of blogging here since I started, and I’m taking a photo every day for my Flickr site, as well). I hope that means that I’m fulfilling some sort of artistic inspiration in my soul or something, but it may just be my OCD starting to kick in.

Whatever it is, it’s a good way for me to keep myself occupied, and I have things to show for it when I’m done, so I can’t be unhappy.

And on that note, I think I’ll make myself another bracelet.

“Spot Me” Opens

I’m very tired tonight. I went out with friends for lunch at Margarita’s early this afternoon, catching up after several months away from one another (just for scheduling reasons, nothing else). It was great, and they got to meet Peter, and we’ll probably get together again sooner rather than later.

After that, we went out to Peter’s friends’ foster son’s birthday party at TGIFridays. About 14 people came, and it was a nice time meeting some new folks from Peter’s past. The foster son turned 23, and it was fun listening to him and his friends talk about their lives as if they’ve been through it all and seen it all.

After that, we were off to Maynard to see the premiere of “Spot Me” and 8 other short plays in the New Works Winter Festival. As with all such festivals, there were really great plays and some that could have used a little bit of work, but for the most part, it was a strong night of theater. I was very pleased with what my actors did, and I think they’ll be even better this Friday when they get to do it again (for the last time…boo!).

Each time I see my work produced, I’m happy that I’m able to do this. I think I’m becoming a much better writer as I get older, and audiences seem to appreciate my words. I have a definite point of view, and I’m starting to feel more and more comfortable with the way I express myself in writing. I’m not quite the director I need to be in order to get my work across the way I want to, but I’m working on that, as well.

All in all, it was a really good (if busy) day. I’m glad that I have tomorrow completely off. Peter is suggesting that we don’t get out of bed all day. I think that might be a fine idea.