Tuesday, October 07, 2014

More Standing on the Box

At this point, I've survived four events while wearing a shirt that has the word "Security" splashed across the back of it. The first two times, I was at the main gate for the last couple Rays games. So I was standing in the full Florida sun for several hours wand-ing down people and repeatedly yelling to the crowd to "Please take everything out of your pockets. Everything means EVERYTHING. Cellphone, keys, change, wallets, small furry mammals. Everything needs to come out of your pockets. Please" Then the first person I wand gets a beep. "Do you have something in your back pocket?" "Just my cellphone. I need to take that out too? You want me to take my shoes off? This is worse than going to the airport..." Blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, there are 20,000 very hot, very sweaty, very impatient people behind said person. Fun stuff. I didn't actually lose my voice, but by the second or third hour, I was starting to sound a lot like Darth Vader. But other than being hot and hectic, it really wasn't anything I'd call hard work. One thing I really like about the company I work for: they do the laundry. You're handed a clean shirt at the beginning of your shift, then seven sunny, Florida hours later, leave the sweat-soaked toxic mess for someone else to deal with. Sweet. The downside was the drive. The stadium is waaaaay down in St. Petersburg, so the cost of gas takes a serious chunk out of my take-home pay.

The second pair of gigs were concerts. The first was a real pain in the ear; 65,000-plus screaming, prepubescent girls and yet-another, record-label-created boy band. (Four Directions? One Dimension? Ah, here it is: One Direction.) I started out at one of the gates doing bag checks. (Primary things we were looking for: weapons, sex toys, lewd or profane language on signs and/or clothing. Simply wearing lewd clothing was not a problem.) Once the warm-up act was done, my gate was closed and I was "redeployed" (yea, some of these guys are seriously into their military jargon) to the main floor. My job was to keep the aisle clear and make sure that no purple wristbands tried to get up to the stage. I expected it to be a nightmare, but it only took me making one pass down the aisle before things got rolling, making sure everyone knew the drill. After that, all I mostly had to do was start walking towards someone or even just wave them back into their row. The only real problem children were not, in fact, children. They were the cougar moms trying to get to the stage. I'm not sure on what planet any self-respecting 20-something guy would give these wrinkled crones a tumble. When said 20-something is an international celebrity, its a safe bet the odds are effectively zero. And for Cthulhu's sake, put some clothes on. Anyway, it was a fairly easy gig, although we did have to do the human line thing when everyone on the floor tried to rush the stage during the final encore. No one tried to scratch my eyes out, so I guess that makes it a good day.

The second concert was a road trip. We all jumped on a big tour bus and headed north to Archer, Florida. Well, to be precise, we were bused to a cow pasture somewhere in the general vicinity of Archer, Florida to help beef up the local security presence at one of Luke Bryan's Farm Tour stops. I got a major cush gig in the VIP area, checking credentials of people trying to get on the roof of the lounge they had set up. It was kind of a cool little deal; a semi-trailer that expanded out into a 1,000 square-foot lounge and bar, complete with restrooms and four flat screens connected to a satellite dish. (We'll leave aside the question why someone would pay hundreds of dollars to get into the VIP area, then sit indoors and watch a ball game....) People with VIP passes could pay an extra $500 to go up a ladder onto the top of the trailer for a better view and all the free beer, soda, water and Five-Hour Energy they wanted. My job was to make sure the people up there had actually paid and that they didn't try to jump off the roof. It was the easiest money I've made in a long time. It did get a little intense when all fifty people started bouncing in unison. Me and the other security guy both had two fistfuls of railing trying not to get thrown clean off the roof. I swear a couple times I had a good foot of air under me. But we made it through, then did our usual herd-everyone-out-the-gate routine and got back on our bus. The only bummer with the whole thing was the five hours on the road. I came crawling into the trailer around 3am Sunday morning.

Anyway, so far, so good on the whole security thing. I can pick what events I want to work, and they don't mind that I'm going to disappear for tax season. This weekend coming up, I'm doing a couple football games. We'll see if my luck holds out, or if some drunk tries to knock my teeth out.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Native American Powwow

Debbie happen to be reading through one of those free ad papers and found a blurb for a Native American Powwow not too far from here. We both had Saturday off, and we didn't feel like more yard work, so off we went:

These three girls had been named princesses at other powwows for work they do in the Native American community.

Some of the regalia. Love the blending of western and Native American.

More regalia.

This little guy was having a blast running around behind his dad.

The only time we could get a pic of this guy that wasn't blurry was during a break between songs.

The Head Woman Dancer and the Head Man Dancer and his son.

The guy in the shorts on the left was still going strong after a couple hours of dancing; the Native American version of Tony and Leo Boris?

The regalia was awesome, but I can't imagine wearing all that in Florida, never mind dancing around in it for hours.
This little guy just stole the show. You could hear the Awe's and OMG's follow him around the circle:

video


I could have sat and listened to the music all day. Unfortunately, the weather seemed to have other ideas. Everyone shrugged off the first couple rain showers, but when the lightening started, the organizers pulled the plug. By then we were pretty well drenched anyway, so we called it a day.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Standing on the Box

So I've been back in school for the last week. I've got a new gig for the nine months of the year that I'm not doing taxes: security. Yea, I'm That Guy you see at ball games and concerts rummaging through purses or standing around looking important. In Florida, you have to spend forty hours in class, pass not one, but two tests, and blow over $200 in fees.

To stand.

I feel safer already.

We really haven't done much lately. Days are just sort of going by without much to show for them. We have been playing with plants that were given to us. Our side yard is beginning to fill up with green stuff.  Here is where things stand at this point:

My parents' hibiscus has been doing well back here, so we got one of our own.
Some sort of night-blooming cactus. Ugly as sin, so we sort of hid it on the other side of the car.

Vine with clusters of white flowers. We're hoping it will eventually cover most of the frame over our parking spot. The canvas cover that went on the frame never surfaced, and we've been trying to figure out what we were going to do with it. Trellis is as good an idea as any other.

No idea what this is.

No idea what this is either.

Looks like some type of philodendron, maybe? It had been a bit scorched by the sun before we got it. Seems to be perking up nicely.

Ginger that had gotten a bit toasted in direct sun.

We also need to relocate several plants from the small bed on the south side of the trailer to the shady side. The afternoon heat in summer is too much for some of what we stuck there. And I've finally gotten the round tuit I needed to finish pulling out all the random weeds and grass that volunteered in the big dirt patch and sowed wild flower seed. We'll see if that does anything.

So off to get some sleep so I'm ready to be on my feet for twelve hours.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Another One Gone




Another comedian from my younger days is no longer with us.

I'll do a real post here soon. Promise.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014