First of all, let me tell you how grateful I am to have a job. Every morning I wake up to NPR, and by the time I get out the door there’s always a story about the unemployed.
From May through September, that would be me, as I mentioned in last week’s blog The Show Biz Hiatus Dance.
I’ve now been back to work for three weeks and have received two glorious paychecks. I’m not scrambling to grab another balance transfer on a 0% interest credit card to pay for the DWP bill, yet knowing that the temperature has to reach triple digits in my house before I turn on the air conditioner.
Because I am a very VERY busy mom, my calendar is always chock full of commitments, most of which I try to fulfill, and because I work from home, my schedule is flexible enough that I can usually pull it off.
Here was my extracurricular schedule this week:
8:30 am – 5:30 pm Models of Pride conference with Emily
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Going away dinner for my neighbor
8:00 pm – 12:00 pm Colfax Charter Elementary Parents Social
8:00 am – 1:00 pm AIDS Walk LA
9:00 am – 10:00 am Meeting
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm Colfax Annual Giving Telethon
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Meeting
4:30 pm – 5:15 pm First basketball practice for Jake
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Valley Village Homeowners Association Meeting
10:20 am –? Great California Shakeout
7:00 – 8:30 pm Take Mary Belle to Turning Pages volunteer group
9:00 – 10:00 Celebrate my friend Lisa’s birthday
This doesn’t include car pools, daily community reading in my son’s kindergarten class, family dinner, chores, helping my kids with homework, or obvious things like taking a shower or sleep.
This was a tough week. I’m a dialogue editor working from home on the new ABC show Once Upon a Time, and frankly, the production sound sucks. There are probably a lot of variables of which I am unaware, but there should never be a reason why I should be cleaning 5000 microphone zaps out of a show. A job that typically takes me 50 to 60 hours this week took close to 80.
Where did I get those 80 hours? I made it to Jake’s first basketball practice, but otherwise everything after Monday was a wash, including the car pool, reading, dinner, chores, and even eventually the shower. And sleep. On Wednesday and Thursday I crawled out of bed, parked my butt in my Herman Miller Aeron desk chair and stayed there until the wee hours, leaving only to make a smoothie or use the bathroom.
Thursday morning, I got a call from the dub stage saying my tracks sounded like crap (ok, they didn’t use the word “crap,” but it was the same implication).
What? No one has ever accused my tracks of sounding like crap. My boss told me that they were trying to move along with the mix, but that I would need to recut the problem areas, which apparently were across the entire show.
While I was on the phone with my boss, I got another call with the caller ID from my daughter’s high school. Emily wasn’t feeling well and wanted me to pick her up. The school is 20 miles away, and I realized at that moment that there was no earthly way for me to finish my show by Friday.
I started to cry. Not just cry, but bawl my head off, heaving and jerking around like some daytime soap star. It was the hardest and longest crying fit I’ve had probably since puberty. My 15-year old was still on the other end of the line.
“Breathe, mom. Breathe. It’s ok. I’ll just lie down in the nurse’s office and wait til school gets out.”
I barely heard her as I cried some more and dripped tears and runny snot all over my bed. I wanted to take a nap. I wanted to die.
I sobbed a little longer, and then started working again.
My husband Tom came home from work, made dinner, and read to Jake. Mary Belle helped Jake with his crafty project (don’t get me started – those crafty projects will soon be getting an angry blog of their own). Emily took the school bus home and said she felt better by the end of the day.
I kept working.
I started to make better time.
It turned out that there was a technical glitch on the stage, and my tracks were actually not crap. Oops. I started to reclaim a small portion of my fractured self image.
I worked again until after midnight, then drove to Disney at 7:00 am with four more minutes of material to cut. I brought my laptop, MBox and drive and finished cutting on the stage, managing to stay just one step ahead of what they needed.
I left the Disney lot just after 1:00.
And now I’m on to the next episode.
I’m going to start early erasing some of my calendar for next week. And I’m thinking of turning on the air conditioner tonight, just to remind myself how lucky I am to have a job.