I took a day off from Leftovers. In fact, I took a weekend off from Leftovers.
Today I needed to finish off a DVD slide show for a retirement party as well as show up and present it. And tomorrow I need to do the same thing with a different DVD at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Both gigs are paying me. Not a lot, but enough so that each will pay off a utility bill.
I got up at seven this morning. And I was so happy that I didn't have to be up in Seguin for a 5:30 call time. In fact, I realized that seven was way too early. I rolled over and slept for two more hours.
Nine o'clock I woke refreshed. Made a pot of coffee and began playing with all those little pesky things that need to be addressed in the final edit of a video project. Opening and closing credits, transitions, font choices, audio (or in this case, music) cross-fades. I was done by noon. I took a break to pick up some tacos at a little drive-through place on Presa and Steves.
Back home I ate tacos and finished off the orange juice that Pete and Cooper had brought me earlier in the week to help me through my cold. I designed a basic DVD menu. I burned five DVDs in all, just in case family or friends wanted to buy some. I also printed a copy to mDV tape as a fall-back. And then, in preparation for tomorrow, I burned a couple of fresh DVDs of the Locos documentary.
Burning disks is a baby-sitting job. I sat at my desk and listened to some more science podcasts.
I made it to Centro Cultural Aztlan by 5:30, half an hour before Gloria Vasquez's retirement party began. I hadn't been to the Centro since it officially opened its doors at the new location in the Deco Building. But it's looking great. Malena Gonzalez-Cid is pulling it all together nicely.
When I walked in, Gloria was sitting with one of her sisters who was in from out of town. Javier was there. As was Juan. And I finally got to meet Gloria and Ramon's two daughters, Edna and Marisol. They are wonderful and beautiful women. The grandchildren, the cousins, the co-workers, the old friends, the new friends … everyone started coming in. And I was wrestling with a digital projector loaned to us by Gabriel, the DJ. It had a fixed lens, so I had to drag it closer to the screen. I plugged it into my DVD player, and managed (with the help of Gabriel) to patch the audio into the DJ PA system.
The video slide show was well-received. I thought 12 minutes would be too long. But there were enough family members in the room, so that people were whooping it up throughout.
I was sitting at Gloria's table. Her daughter Marisol was sitting beside me punching at her cell phone trying to get ahold of her father. Marisol's parents, Gloria and Ramon, have been divorced for most of her life, but they remain good friends. I made some quip that maybe Ramon was having a hard time making it to the party — he lives about five blocks away.
Ramon finally showed up. When the mariachis arrived along with the video guy (Roger, and I can't remember his last name — but he's a fellow NALIP member), I looked up. There was Ramon, in the middle of a knot of people. Later I kidded him about how he must have waited until he saw a man with a camera, and then he made his entrance.
It was a nice evening. Good food, good people, good music. I felt included in this extraordinary family's extended circle.