Warning: My filter flew out the window somewhere in the 727 miles I drove since Friday morning at 5 am. Therefore this blog article is likely to be disorganized, rambly, and probably contains more than the FDA’s daily approved number of swear words.
If you don’t know me personally, you might as well push the back button on your browser as this is really a love letter to my tribe. Ya know, the Village that raises this Artist. So if you don’t actually know me, or we haven’t met personally, that’s not to say you can’t read this… I just don’t know that it will make a whole lot of sense. I’m okay with that. There are plenty of other bloggers, blog articles, and hell, even back pages of mine you can trawl through if you are That Bored.
There comes a point every September when I pretty much look at my life, swear a whole bunch, and ask, “Why the FUCK do I do this job? Why? Why? Why?” (This is also the time of year when some well-meaning person announces in my booth that “Your job is so glamorous! What a glamorous lifestyle!”… which is ironic on a level that only O. Henry could dream up.) This time of year usually involves tears or banging my head metaphorically against a hard object, because for six weeks I juggle two booths in two Ren faires in two different states of the union. The good news is that they both have the same tax rate (thank Gods) or I’d really be losing my cheese. The bad news is that I never get a day off between the middle of August and the first week of October, and I generally work 80-100 hour work weeks, drink too much coffee, and put about 1000 miles on my car weekly. I’m carving time out to write this because I feel like it needs to be said. Count your blessings and all. to
Why I do this job is because there are parts of it I love. Being able to eat whatever the hell I want and not gain an ounce this time of year is a pretty cool benefit, all things considered. But seriously, WHY I continue to do this job is because it takes a village to raise an artist. When “the artist” crumbles (always this time of year, and generally no other, with little to no exceptions) my Village steps in and tapes me back together so I survive until October. When I get a day off.
This year has been particularly noteworthy both in its extreme ups and its extreme downs. There wasn’t a whole lot of middle section in my sine/cosine wave diagram, in other words. We call this the “yay, fuck” syndrome. Happens a lot when you work for yourself I think. Example: “YAY!” We sold to the walls this weekend. “FUCK!” I have three working days before I have to reload the car and have enough stock for whatever things we particularly sold out of for next weekend.
Further examples: Yay! I own a house. Fuck. It took 5.5 months to close and I moved in freaking February. (Do you remember the week of -6?) I do. My fingerprints are still growing back because I have never had the skill of moving glass with gloves on. Over 500 square feet of glass. In February.
But I own a house I own a house I own a house!!!!!
Also: One of the two serious guys in my life (who generally functions as my stock runner this time of year) totaled his car last week. He is okay, (YAY) and it wasn’t a wreck that he should have walked away from. Literally. (Yay he is OKAY, yay, yay, yay ad nauseum.) But now I am my own stock runner for All of the Things this time of year. With my time already crunched by trying to make All of the Things. (Fuck.)
See what I mean?
So when the credit card system went down at one of my booths this weekend, I about lost it. And it feels too early to be losing it. (Please may all the elements I’m pulling together please fix it for this rest of the run because I can’t lose another paycheck, amen…)
So here’s the thank-you’s that need to go out to the crazy-ass Village I’ve assembled. They are jn no particular order and I apologize to those at the bottom. The list is freaking EPIC this year, ok?
Elliot: Tech support the week before DragonCon, TN and ALL of the phone therapy. I love you.
Marc: All of the Things. From tackling the dinner monkey more times than I can count to quoting Twain at exactly the right time.
Ian: for understanding me enough to know my phone forgets to dial out, unknotting all the sore spots, and an epic photo of a motorcycle dog.
Josh: for motorcycle dog.
Katla: Venison, loving me because of and perhaps despite myself, and Wookie sitting.
The visitor from Toronto: for fixing what I couldn’t, and therefore I will be forever in your debt.
Mom: phone calls and offering to help my friend.
Dad: phone calls.
Emmy: care packages that involve lots of chocolate.
Mr. Katla: a much-needed lesson on peripheral vision, and wookie sitting.
Mz LIzzie: Please don’t ever quit. I really don’t think I could do this without you.
Mz Sarah: Guerilla retail sucks, and I hope you stick with it. I couldn’t do this without you either.
David: Roses are lovely, and yours are always well timed. As is the coffee tradition and the knowledge that I can leave you at the dinner table without you being angry with me.
Milissa: Coffee and the loan of your handyman.
Ed: Being the handyman on loan when I freaked out about the floor.
Wayne: Fixing parts of the damn floor.
Linden and Emma: Ice cream and chick time. I’ve always been good at the first, rarely at the second. Appreciate the assist.
Sammi: Wading thru the Charlie Foxtrot that was “that” show this year.
CJ: 7 am baby. Let’s do it again next year but at a different time. I had a freaking blast.
Fuzzy and Denise: Coffee.
Jane Huff: kid wrangling and food delivery.
Kelley S: Use of your couch, and the general care and feeding of a Rennie.
Cloud: Helping in a capacity I don’t have the ability to repay right now.
Brian “the Chessboard”: For being patient with my art not happening the way I would wish.
Melissa R: offer of a couch, and helping unload the truck
Adele: reorganizing the truck.
Amy H: I really thought I had it covered this year. Thanks for having my back when that changed.
April M: wookie sitting.
Rob Z: Vehicular problem-solving.
Lori H: For going to bat for me if needed because the car ate my stock.
Mz Switzerland and her tipsy companion: For stating what you did and the hugs.
Katryna: learning how to talk to people this year. And the dependability of the fact that you know my schedule better than I do.
Vlad and Tommasa: For staying up late at night for random acts of glass, and thereby allowing me a huge range of options for stock this week because, well, this week just sucks.
The deity(s) responsible for me having tiny pieces of good fortune all day yesterday that made this week look quite not so insurmountable.
If I forgot anyone, I apologize. Hugely. I don’t do drugs, but this time of year my brain has limited RAM, too much coffee, too many to-do lists, and therefore functions as if I am on drugs, including but not limited to high margins of error and rambling.
Love you guys. My bitchy boss is demanding I go work more now. Ain’t quitting time yet.