Thursday, May 19, 2005

It was great!

I had a good time last night. Me and my two kids went to see the midnight showing of Star Wars III. IT WAS GREAT!!!

We bought our tickets on May 1st. That was the day they went on sale in our small town. My guess is that people must have been camped out waiting to buy tickets because by the time we got ours, the entire main theater had been sold out and we got tickets for the second theater. That was OK with us because the movie was being shown in both theaters at the same time…

Our intention was to get to the theater about 9:00 pm to get in line. That way we would be assured a good seat and not get stuck sitting too near or far from the screen. Well… my daughter was on line with one of her friends at about 6:00 pm. This friend was on the phone with someone who was already waiting in line. The report was that about 20 people were already waiting to get into the theater.. oh , oh… our plans were about to change. I talked to my kids about going earlier than 9:00 pm and I was sure that I was going to be met with… “so soon… I don’t want to wait so long…”, but to my surprise they both said “Let’s go!”… They wanted to get there and make sure we got good seats as much as I did.

My son is a Star Wars geek…. He knows everything about the movies and all of the side stories that go with Star Wars. If you were to look in his room, you would see movie posters on the walls from all of the Star Wars films. If you looked at his shelves you would see that they are full of Star Wars models and figurines. His book shelf is filled with nearly 200 Star War books that he has read… some of them twice. He loves the adventures, science and philosophy surrounding this story… Now that the last film has been made, I wonder how he is going to get along…

My daughter also likes the story… not to the extent of my son, but she does enjoy it. I think she probably likes the love story between two of the main characters and all the action and thrills that are part of it.

When we got to the theater, not as many people were standing in line as I had imagined. That was good. Me and Jamie sat in the car, while Ryan joined the crowd. He loved it. He was with friends… some he had never met before, but because of this common interest he was soon talking and having a great time.

The crowd soon swelled into a mob. Ryan had gotten a good spot, so we were assured some decent seats.

They let us in the theater 2 hours before show time. We had our fill of popcorn, nachos and soda… and then the lights dimmed and soon that familiar opening and music was filling the theater. The crowd burst into wild applause.

I remember seeing the first Star Wars movie in 1977. As I recall, a fellow percussionist and I had some sort of bet. I think it had something to do with who would screw up first during a snare drum duet that we were doing for competition. Well, she screwed up first and owed me a dinner and a movie. We went out to dinner and then went to see Star Wars. That was a good night. Who would have thought that 28 years later I would be sitting in a theater with my kids watching the story that came before that 1977 movie. It was great!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I’m sorry Shirley

My words hurt people. I've used them without thinking on so many occasions.

The other day my girl came home from school. It was a big day. She had auditions for next year’s placement in the top concert band. I asked her how it went and I could tell instantly by the look on her face that it didn’t go as she planned.

She said that she got real nervous and had troubles with all of her scales. I said “What? You’ve been practicing those every night for the last three weeks… How could you screw up? Oh well, welcome to the second band!”

Instantly I knew that was a terrible thing to say. My little girl has been worked up about this audition for the longest time and was trying her absolute best – all in a effort for me to be proud of her, and I go ahead and say something stupid like that. She started crying.

I tried to tell her I was sorry and how terrible that was for me to say. I tried to make her feel better by saying something like… “I’m sure things will work out, and you’ll get your spot back in the top band.” Boy, I really hope she does. If she doesn’t, she will be so hurt. She was one of only two freshmen in that band this year. The Alto Sax section is limited to 4 players. That’s a pretty hard chair to get in this largest high school in Wisconsin.

I’m sorry Jamie.

I’ve had this problem my entire life. I’ve said things to just about everyone I’ve cared about that should have never been said. If only I would think before opening my mouth, things would be so much better for me and the feelings that I have hurt.

I’m probably most sorry about the things I’ve said to my mom and dad. Those were two very special people that deserved so much better than I gave them. I really can’t remember specifics of what I said, but I do know that I hurt them each on more than one occasion. They were great parents and I should have thought a little more before opening my mouth.

I’m sorry mom and dad.

For a short while, several years ago, I was a Technical Group Leader in a department that developed specialized software for factory automation products. I was in the middle of working with one of my people on a very large software project that she was heading up. She was very worked up about some details that I felt should be swept over. In my mind I thought she was missing the “big” picture. I said angrily… “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” She instantly started crying and became upset. I should have known better. She was so concerned that every detail was taken care of and everything was to my liking… and I go ahead and say something stupid like that.

I’m sorry Shirley.