Saturday, February 19, 2011

Harnessing the madman

After initially making this post, I was informed that it does not meet the standards of this blog and removed it. I decided to reinstate an edited version 6 weeks later.

On May 13, 2002 while my wife was recovering in the hospital, I went to the grocery store to pick up pictures taken at AlCon 3 which happened a few weeks prior. I needed a pick me up as that roll contained a picture of me with Weird Al Yankovic who appeared there. When I got the envelope, it felt very light as the only picture that developed was the one I took of my daughter to make sure the camera worked.

The camera fell out of the pocket of the Hawaiian shirt I was wearing while helping setting up the stage and it came loose. I did snap it back and it took pictures but I did not realize the film in the camera was overexposed until that point.

As I explained in a previous post, I have yet to retake that pic. It usually does not bother me much except when he is on tour and I see other pics people post of themselves with him and especially on the shows I attend where I see others go backstage after the show. It has gotten to the point where I don't even want to spend any more money on his music or see him live. The only reason I saw a show last year was because my daughter asked me to take her.

Right after the school year continued for my daughter in January, she told me she wanted to dance by herself in the school vareity/talent show. My wife and I were against it afraid she was going to embarass herself but looking into my daughter's eyes, I could tell she wanted to do it and reluctantly signed the permission form. Last week, she needed me to rip the song she was using to burn it on a disk for the show. I also had to start my internet radio show late the night before the show needing to drop her off for rehearsal.

Shortly after I signed the permission slip, I heard Weird Al was going to sign copies of his new childrens book "When I Grow Up" in Naperville on the exact same night as the talent show. I knew that in spite of my desire to go there and possibly get a pic with him, I had to be at the school to see my daughter on stage.

Of course some of my friends were going. Carrie was happy that she with her husband Josh was finally going to meet Al and Bill was driving from the Detroit area with Moonbeam and her 5 month old son for the event and then hang out over the weekend.

Last Wednesday morning, I tweeted about how upset I was while being at work one step away from losing it and then how I almost lost it when that exact step happened. Carrie texted me why I was so upset. I was unhappy that I could not go but did not want to tell her since I did not want to get her upset so I said something else.

Then a thought occurred to me about the event. Last October, my daughter wanted to see the band Big Time Rush in person at a bookstore. (If you don't know who they are, imagine the Monkees in this time) After driving an hour, we found out there were wristbands needed to see them and people were lined up outside the store at 10PM the night before to get one to come back at 5 the following day and they were out by 9:30. I wondered if any of them thought about preregistering and when they said no, I took my break early.

Checking the website, I found out it was a ticketed event, called the store directly and found out there were exactly 4 tickets left. They allowed me to put the 4 books on my credit card so they can get tickets not wanting to risk them getting shut out while trying to relay the info to Carrie. After work, I drove to the store to get the books and tickets finding out the event was actually at the college a few blocks away where Al was going to talk about the book and read from it and dropped everything off with Carrie who paid me for them.

On Friday, I met up with them to make plans for Saturday and after grabbing food and telling them the best way to get to the expressway from where we were, headed home with my daughter so she can get ready to be on stage.

I was initially worried about them getting a text that they were lost but they found the place and it was time for the show which my wife after seeing dress rehearsal said was not pretty.

I noticed that via guitar, singing, tap dance and regular dance the song "Dynamite" was listed four times. My daughter was on right in the middle of the show and seeing the kids were sitting up front stage left (sex section), I sat in back on the stage right (Satan) section.

As expected, there were kids who looked like a deer in headlights on stage. A magic act ended up becoming an onstage shoving match between three kids and after someone very slowly played the riffs from Iron Man and Smoke on the Water on a guitar, it was my daughter's turn.

I could not even sit my stomach churning with nerves and when the music started, she seemed a little stiff. Then things kicked in for her and she showed the energy, enthusiasm, and most importantly fearlessness that most of the other acts lacked. I could picture myself as a 10 year old (or even as an adult before a damaged bursa sac, three knee surgeries, and age made that no longer possible for me) dancing like she did had I not been so self conscious of myself back then. I was preparing to complain on line about missing Al to see her perform but instead my comments were reflective of how proud I was of what she was able to do with only minimal help from me. I trusted my daughter to make sure she did well on stage and she did.

The next morning, I noticed pics taken with him from that night including one with a chibi of me. Though I appreciate the effort and thought of it, I did not care for it since it is not the same.

I did what I should do. I used my anger to help others rather than hurt them and to put my family above my personal feelings. I just wished it felt better than it does.

Three months later, one of my friends has an extra backstage pass to see Weird Al in St. Charles. Though it would cause me to miss part of one of my daughter's softball games, I decided to get a ticket not wanting to miss that chance again. Good fortune fell that day as an afternoon thunderstorm made the field unplayable and I could go without missing anything. After the show, I was finally able to replace the pic 3,321 days after the one I took in 2002.

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