The news of the day is that my family is one member larger today.  At 2:00 am on Wednesday morning, Elden Vincent was born into the world.  Everything went very smoothly.  Both my sister and the baby are doing well.  Congratulations Melissa!!

Figures! I drive all the way back up to Chippewa yesterday.  If I had just stayed one more day...I would have been able to be there to share the joy with the rest of the family.  My sister is so inconsiderate in her labor planning! Haha!  In all seriousness though, I'll be heading back down this weekend to congratulate her in person and share in the joy.

That joy is unfortunately partnered with some other news I got this week.  Monday, while I was logging footage at my parents house, I overheard her phone conversation with my sister.  I am going to be intentionally vague because I don't know if my mother wants this getting out.  Let's just say, I heard some bad news about my mom and her doctor visit.  It has me very concerned.  I'll leave it at that.

Now...on to the interesting news of late.  I was the official videographer for Milwaukee's Pridefest.  It's the largest gay music festival in the world.  It's also one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world.  It's the largest in the United States for certain.  There were over 30,000 people there over the course of 3 days.

This opportunity literally dropped in my lap.  I knew two people that happen to be on the Pridefest board.  Both of them dropped my name when someone suggested videography.  So I was the only person ever considered for the job.  Unfortunately it wasn't a paying gig.  It was all volunteer.  That being said, they covered everything else.  The camera rental, the food, parking, tickets, and really anything else I'd need were all paid for.

I have to say, it was a blast.  I made a ton of new friends.  I shot 8 hours of footage while I was there.  I got some of the best footage I've ever shot in my life too.  Not only did I get awesome footage, I got it of big stars, like Cyndi Lauper, Brandy, and Etta James.  This volunteer opportunity really raised my video profile.  Because of the type of footage I shot and access I had, I can now charge people more for the work I do for them.

One of the things that was kind of disappointing about the weekend...I was only asked for my number once.  I also have not been called by the girl that I gave it to.  I must just look too straight.  Curse the queer expectations.  If that was the only disappointment though, I'm ok with that.  On the other side of things, I was told that everyone was blown away by my skill and talent with a camera.  I guess they are very excited to utilize my talents.  It will be a big boon to Pridefest.

Some people refer to Pridefest as "Ex-Fest" since everyone sees former lovers or partners there.  I only ran into ex Tracy.  I said hi, stopped, and had a nice, though brief, conversation.  I got to meet her current girlfriend, who is very pretty, and a few of her other friends.  It was nice to see her.  At the time I was setting up for the Cyndi Lauper performance.  So I didn't have a lot of time.  I didn't see Jenn there, which I'm actually a bit grateful for.   I'm not sure how that would have made me feel.  Might have taken away from the weekend.

I had a fantastic experience running into someone I hadn't seen in a long time.  Brendan, the manager of the Wal-Mart that I used to work at, was a volunteer for the children's area.  He was just as surprised to see me as I was to see him.  He gave me a big hug, and we caught up on what's going on.  I told him thank you and shared with him that I tell my story a lot and talk about that one manager that was great to me.  It was so good to see him again.

One of the other things that happened this weekend that was parents came to Pridefest!  They'd never been to a pride event before, and this was the perfect opportunity for them.  I was able to get them in free, give them free food, and walk around with them for a couple hours.  My mom said to me that she and my dad had a great time.  In fact, my parents both commented on how it was better than Summerfest.  Summerfest is so jam packed with people, and you can barely breathe.  I think they may come back in the future.

Pridefest was exhausting.  I rarely got enough sleep.  I was constantly working, and I was on my feet almost the entire time.  I wouldn't have passed it up for anything though.  It was amazing.  So many great people brought together.  I finally had that feeling that I was needed, was making a difference, and was appreciated.  That shouldn't be, but is, so rare.

This weekend was just what I needed.  My drive to be my own boss and do this freelance / business thing is totally restored.  I have my meeting with the small business resource center Thursday, and I think I'll come out of it feeling much more confident about my direction.  I love shooting video.  I want to continue it as a primary focus.

So, tomorrow before this meeting, I will be revising my business plan significantly.  I know what I need now, which is good.  I can easily reduce my equipment list to just a few things.  I think I can easily tailor this plan to be very targeted, and very plausible.

I've almost kicked the exhaustion.  Last night was the first good night sleep I got since last week.  I don't feel like I'm dragging my feet anymore.  I feel like I have a spring in my step.  In fact, I'd say I'm in much better spirits than I was a week ago.  So that's great.

Even with all that, I did finally find out when my unemployment hearing is (July 8th) and also found out that one of the jobs I applied for is not hiring.  So to sum up...some great things...some not great's been a bittersweet week.  I'm feeling the energy of the world swinging my way though.  I think things are on the up side for now.  :)  Here's hoping it stays that way.

Oh...and Chris bought the Ghostbuster's video game today.  It's way fun.  I recommend it.