Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ummmm... Tom.

So I promised a Tom update... but I'm stumped. He's sitting right here, and even HE can't think of anything for me to write.

For those of you who don't already know, he plays George Harrison in a Beatles tribute called 1964... The Tribute. His schedule doesn't change that much... but it does. It doesn't in that it consists of only a few things: touring, taking care of his family, and down time. It does in that it's unpredictable as far as when he'll be gone and where he's going. He's always got great tour stories to tell (I should have him start a blog of his own), even though he has his fair share of dull moments when he's on the road. As you can imagine, he doesn't really get to see much of most cities he plays. They check into the hotel, go to sound check, play the gig, get something to eat, and go to sleep. Up the next morning, straight to the airport, and onto the next town. You might think it would get old, but he loves it.

Tom as George, Sylvania, OH, July 24, 2007

When he's home, he's home full time, which is nice for all of us. He does a lot of work around here--laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping.... I think I'll keep him.

He hit a creative spurt, and he's been writing quite a bit of music on piano. Most of his pieces don't have lyrics as of yet. His music is, in his words, "some weird cross between Broadway musical style and classical." He uses the phrase "tone poem," if any of you know what that means. I don't. I don't know where he finds all of his inspiration, but it seems like every other day he's coming up with something new. So we've invested in some recording equipment for us to use at home. Finally. People have been suggesting it for years, and it's always been something we've wanted to do, but never have. Now, with technology advancing the way it has it is an expense we can easily justify. We won't have top quality recordings, but we'll have something, and we're excited to get started. We need a few more upgrades before we can get going, but hopefully we'll have something to show you relatively soon.

Summer is usually his busiest time, but it's slow right now. The band always takes a week or two off in June for vacation; so he's home now until July 8. It's unusual for him to be home that long, especially in the summer.

The future of the band is uncertain right now. Gary, who plays Paul, had a brain tumor removed about a month ago. The bad news is it was cancerous. The good news is they got it all out. Now he's on chemo by oral medical, plus radiation. He's in remarkably good spirits, and when we saw him last week he was the same upbeat, friendly, positive guy he's always been. So we all have high hopes for him. But he won't be touring with the band for at least another year.

At this point, they plan to carry on with a replacement; so things shouldn't change that much. But the band is getting fewer and fewer gigs, dropping from about 124 in 2008, to 94 scheduled so far this year. That may pick up, but probably not by much. I guess the economy is affecting everyone. So we're thinking of ways to make up for the dip, but we haven't made any big decisions yet.

As for me, my job at the elementary charter school is finished. I was working as the cafeteria manager there. Not my dream job by any stretch of the imagination, but when I started out part-time, it was convenient because my kids were going there at the time, and it kept me busy. When they asked me to go full-time, I found it difficult to refuse because we had been without benefits since Tom re-joined the band in 2006. The people were great and the schedule was perfect, and I never needed daycare or even babysitters--but my contract has not been renewed due to budget cuts. A number of people lost their jobs there, along with all of the schools in Ohio--charter and otherwise (although our governor clearly has something against charter schools). I took the ParaPro Assessment Test--and got a perfect score, I might humbly add--so that I could become an Assistant Teacher, and hoped to go back there next year in that capacity, but their budget was cut 24%; so they're going to start out with no assistants at all.

So I'll be collecting unemployment as of August 1. I'm not sure what else is available to me. My options are limited because there are no TA jobs. I have years and years of clerical experience, but I really need to work at a school, because I refuse to go the daycare route during the summer. The school schedule was perfect for me.

For the past four years, Tom and I have been directing the spring musical at Woodridge High School, about half an hour from where we live. I'm director and choreographer--don't laugh--and he's musical director and set director--I said don't laugh. We started in 2006 when Avan was a senior. She had been involved in the spring musical in previous years, but their director had left, and Avan was facing the threat of having no musical her senior year. So Tom and I stepped in and threw together a show for them in 5 weeks. Our initial plan was to do just the one show for Avan, but we were so captivated by the charm and talent of so many of the students (you know who you are) that we kept coming back.

Tom in the pit, March 2006. Taking one for the team. Poor guy.

This past year though, was very difficult, with it being the first time I'd done the show with a full-time job. I loved it, but it was stressful, and it affected the kids in a big way. There were a lot of late nights, missed school events, and sleepy school days. So we had come to the difficult decision that this would be our last year. OK, actually, it wasn't that difficult. On top of the stress, we had grown overly tired of the paperwork, red tape, fund-raising, and other necessary but tiresome production details for which we have no passion. Besides that, the freshman we worked with in our first show at Woodridge graduated this year, and it seemed natural that we should leave with them. Now, however, we are rethinking the situation, since I won't have my full-time job, and we'll need extra money to pay for the health benefits we're losing. But we need to decide soon before they hire someone else.

So, considering I started out suggesting I couldn't think of anything to write, I think that's enough for now. Kind of dull, I know, but updates can be that way. I'll try harder to entertain when I get back to the day-to-day stuff.

Until then, check out some of my links. My brother's, full of many of his updated caricatures, which are brilliant. Also brilliant is my friend Hayley, who has been in all four of the shows we directed at Woodridge. She is a great writer, and her blog will not disappoint. She's also a YouTube celebrity; so you should check out her vlog, too.

Oh, pictures!

1964, Sylvania, OH, July 24, 2007

1964, Carnegie Hall, January 2008

OK, I'll be back....


hayleyghoover said...

Well now I'm blushing.

chumpmonkey said...

incidentally, i frequent a beatles message board called the cavern club (, where the general consensus is that 1964 is the greatest beatles cover band of all time! they were pretty impressed that i was related to "george", and that i had drawn their caricature (albeit with the other "george") for their promotional material.

Nokorola said...

First off, hello.

Second, I LOVE 1964, I saw them several years ago (honestly probably about 11 years ago cause it was at SeaWorld in Ohio which hasn't been SeaWorld in Ohio for awhile.) and still haven't gotten to see them again :-(. ANYWAY, nice pictures, and thanks for reminding me of them :-).