July 19th, 2015


Busy weekend

It's kind of funny that the busy weekend started out with taking a half-day off from work on Friday. That wasn't even my choice - the entire studio had the half-day off because they took us to see Ant-Man! It's a bit of a tradition for our studio to go see opening-day Marvel movies, as well as some other highly-anticipated non-Marvel geek movies. We used to be a Disney studio, and one of the Disney perks was that they'd rent out a theater for the company on opening day for the Marvel movies. (Being a gaming company, that was the major draw; there wasn't much interest in other Disney movies among the employees.) Well, they'd do that for the locations in the big cities. For a small studio in a small town, they'd buy a bunch of tickets at one of the local theaters. Anyway, though we're no longer working for Disney, it's still a tradition and Ant-Man is the newest one.

Bottom line: Go see Ant-Man. Despite my reservations (Ant-Man? Really? And it's not even Hank Pym as Ant-Man! Who cares?), I really enjoyed it. Don't expect a heavy, meaningful movie: it was a hell of a lot of fun!

Slightly longer review behind the cut, for those of you who don't like spoilers (like me).

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Yesterday was a parade, and this time, the snare drummer was absent, so I had to step up and play snare drum in the parade and in the following concert. Yikes. But I have to say, I'm pretty pleased at how I did. Parades are pretty easy, as all I have to do is keep up the marching cadence between songs and then during songs, just kind of make things up. I don't know why, but I had a bit of trouble keeping step with the songs - I had to do this last year and didn't have a problem then - but we're an informal marching band and there are quite a number of people who don't even step in time to the music, so no one's watching me and I don't have to be so self-conscious.

The concert was much harder. There were a couple of songs with snare drum solos, and you have to understand, I'm not a drummer. I'm a terrible musician in the first place, I only play drums during the summer band, and I don't practice, and I've only been doing this since last summer, so that's about four months of playing drums without practicing. I managed to muddle through the solos just fine, happily enough. The most fun songs, at least for me, were the rock and swing songs, and I did a great job on "Big Spender" (the director told me so afterwards!), but at the end of one of the songs, during the big finale, I lost one of my sticks. But I was having so much fun that it was just funny - the director nearly lost it when he saw what happened - and I managed to grab the stick back and finish the last couple of measures in time. This is the kind of thing that creates wonderful memories.

The only problem with parades and concerts is that they just blast me for the rest of the day. The marching harness for the drum is bloody heavy, and I have bruises on my leg where they hit the drum every step. I'm better now after a night's sleep (one of the best sleeps I've had in a while - a whole seven hours!), and happy to relax for the day.