I've come to the realization that I do indeed have a problem. That's the first step, or so I've heard. Last night I found myself without my computer, and thus, internet access. All it took was several ounces of hibiscus tea, sticky with a super-saturation of sugar, spilled across my keyboard. I sponged, rinsed, and dried the board with a box fan set on a gentle breeze. But nothing could bring it back. These are the times one realizes the depths of ones internet dependency.
It was like some life-affirming PSA. While the fan was doing its work, I sat down on my porch to enjoy a perfect night. I watched as a curious skunk waddled across Jerry's yard and between the fence slates to nose around in Hope's rose garden. A frisky rat scampered along the telephone line above my driveway, and leapt into Marlyss' palm tree. Matt came out to put his trash on the curb, and we chatted. He said he's leaving at the end of the month to move into a small house over near Brakenridge Park. Phil stopped for a moment while out walking his dog. He give us an update on his inept contractors who have pulled up his kitchen floor yet seem not to know how to put in a new one. Phil and Cutesy padded off down the street and Matt told me that the firm he works for, Lake Flato (one of the more reputable architectural firms in the country), was currently involved in only one local project. It's that cool four story building off the river walk where the Circus Museum used to be. And years earlier, it was the downtown branch of the public library. He suggested that I give him a call next week, and he could tour me around inside. I sure as hell will. It's done in a style I have a weakness for. What I refer to as Nuremberg Gothic. That depression era style with clean lines and just a hint of deco. It's Empire Period placed in the hands of the WPA. At that moment five cyclists with halogen lamps strapped to their heads glided past, their skinny tires make no more noise than a dog passing gas. Wow. There's just all this stuff going on around me that isn't associated with a http://www. How quaint. How empowering.
The next morning I gulped down my espresso and choked down a couple of oat cakes while I sat at my desk where — any other morning — I'd be reading foreign papers online, or listening to recent archived shows from Pacifica Radio. When I'd finished my breakfast I drove out to Office Depot. They had a few relatively cheap keyboards with USP connections which professed to be Mac compatible. They had the aesthetic appeal of a parsnip. But it was the best I could do. I sure as hell wasn't driving to the Apple Store. The pretentious hellhole was way up in La Cantera shopping center — a place which has the same effect on me as when vampires inadvertently stumble onto consecrated ground.
Well, my new keyboard (branded with the word “Microsoft” in 72 point type) worked straight out of the box. But my old beautiful Mac keyboard had come with additional USB ports on the upper rail. Two of them. One I used for my mouse. The other for my jump drive. But now, I have to plug my mouse into the second USP port on my CPU, just below my keyboard feed. And that's all I have. Two. Until I figure this out, I'm SOL when is comes to my printer and my jump drive.
Apple, Microsoft … why can't you boys just learn to play together?
At least I have a keyboard. My shakes were beginning to level off when Pete stopped by. He was working a bartender gig at some sports event at the Alamo Dome. He, understandably, cringed at the thought of 10 dollar parking. So I drove him to the entrance, and said I'd await his call to pick him up. Maybe not until midnight. That sounded like one damn long day. I hoped he'd get a mountain of tips.
Back home I waited on news from one of my actors to see if things were go for tonight's final shoot for my Short Ends short film. When I found out it was a no-go, I started making the calls to cast and crew. With those fires out, I headed over to Urban-15 to see how things were coming with this film festival I'm coordinating for them. George was over at the Smithsonian (the San Antonio annex) working on his installation piece. So, Catherine helped me get access to their website's mail server so I can begin adding contact emails to the address book in anticipation of the first wave of calls for entry. She explained that their web-master would be by around 6. I told her I'd try and make it back then, but I had a few things to do.
Things like stock up on coffee. That internet withdrawal had been harrowing enough, but I sure as hell wasn't going to wake up Friday with nothing but herbal tea.
After my shopping trip, Russ dropped by. He'd spent a long day teaching at Harlendale. I told him we'd not be shooting, so we might as well grab a late lunch at Tito's Tacos.
At Tito's, Russ entered ahead of me. He chose a booth and took a seat, forcing me to take the opposite side, in line of sight of the TV. I want an absolute moratorium on TVs in restaurants. When did this happen? And why? Anyway, it was the news. Some crap about Anna Nicole Smith's mom. Won't these people ever go away? I kept trying to look away — but, like most Americans, I was practically raised by the TV. And then I saw Tim Gerber. He was standing in front of the Alamo Dome, cautioning commuters to take an alternate route, because this big sports event was causing a major cluster fuck (though I believe he used a different phrase). It's always a treat to see someone you know on television (unless, you know, they kill someone or embezzle from an orphanage). Tim's the hubby of actress Anne Gerber, and he always appears so relaxed, doing his schtick effortlessly. How refreshing. Most news folks come across as smarmy jackasses. You just wanna smack them. Not Tim. Yeah, he can put that on his CV. “I do not want to smack Tim Gerber,” –Erik Bosse.
After the overload of cheese enchiladas at Tito's, I waved goodbye to Russ and checked my email. It was pushing eight. I felt over-fed and bloated, but decided to head on over to Casa Chiapas (which was pretty much across the street from Tito's — but hell, they are both in my neighborhood). NALIP was having a member meeting. It started at 6:30. But when I got there, things were still in progress. Seven people sat around the table in the back room. I wasn't surprised by the low turnout. I got the email yesterday. It was Roger Castillo, Lisa Cortez-Walden, TJ Gonzalez, Robb Garcia, Dora and Manuel Pena, and some guy whose name escapes me. They were in mid-meeting, so I took a seat a bit back, and tried to get up to speed. They were mostly talking about the recent national conference many of them had attended in California. When Lisa mentioned something about one of the upcoming film series that needed attention, I piped in that if they needed help, I could organize it. I was already gearing into event manager mode with the Josiah Festival and the 48 Hour Film Project. She shrugged. Prez Roger said, sure. Then I learned it was a paid curator position. Not a lot of money, but something. I guess it was a good thing I showed up.
I headed home and lounged around until midnight when Pete called. I drove to the Alamo Dome, half fearing a crush of fans trying to drive home. But, no. It was just Pete, standing forlorn at the entrance to parking lot A.
Seems it was not the gold mine of high rolling tippers he'd been led to believe. The final analysis, he was wise to avoid paying ten dollars on parking. What we do for money … shit.
Anyway, this is a rambling post that might bore most people (except perhaps Anne's mom who gets to read a snippet about the son-in-law), but I'm offering it as a typical day in my life. I do lots of things, most which don't amount to much. I'm usually immersed in several projects — some that pay, most that don't — and they all are subject to the uncertainty that comes with collaborative work. You have to be flexible, and you have to learn to get over those things that piss you off — the quicker the better, because you need to figure out a new course of action.
Last week when we were shooting the Short Ends film, Thorne made a comment. We were packing up the equipment after a fairly short and successful night of shooting. “I want Erik's life,” he said, while collapsing a Lowell light stand. I made some quip about how I've heard people say that before, and that “everyone wants my life, but me.” And Thorne quickly returned with: “Well, I want certain parts of Erik's life.”
Fair enough. We had just finished a wonderful rock-out scene where Roze, Adrian, and Laura were pantomiming playing their instruments (actually, Roze was really playing his drum kit). And I was running around spritzing down the trio with a spray bottle of water. So I think I know what he meant. I can't complain when I find myself in a situation where I'm spraying fake sweat on a heart-achingly beautiful girl playing a Fender bass. At the point, yes, indeed, life is good. I hear you Thorne. But otherwise, it's buying coffee or trying to be in the right place at the right time when you can score a job as a curator or event organizer … or get paid to go to Mexico to make a film. Sometimes it's not bad being Erik. Even without the spray bottle.