May 13, 2005


Her first job application. It's a big step, although I'm not sure she will realize it for a very long time. Kids who get sent down into the mines early in life are like that, you know. Got home yesterday and swooped inside and picked up Rebecca and coordinated with my better half on the meeting place at the high school for the concert, and then was off again down Main Street.

Arrived at the facility in question--a small house converted into a hospital for cats--with about ten minutes to spare before closing time. Walked in and spoke to the nice girl at the desk as Rebecca hid behind me. I finally shoved her around so she could be seen, although I never could get her to do much more than smile. She's very quiet, you know.

The assistant let us go back to the back and look at the kitties, most of whom seemed very aloof. Go figure. She explained that they had a couple of other people who had asked about working during the summer, but they always needed some help. Although most of the work would be in the kennel.

She didn't really explain all that was involved in this, but I did later after we left. Cleaning cages and feeding. Which isn't fun, but as I told Rebecca, you have to start at the bottom. You don't just be a vet. Which she already knew, but I'm so used to trying to convince her older sister that anything worth doing requires some hard work, and that you can't just be something without training, that I felt I had to make it clear to her in no uncertain terms. I used the example of when she was learning to ride horses, and they had to help clean them and clean the poop out of the stalls.

Anyway, the assistant gave her an application, which was obviously geared to people older than 12, but that was okay. She filled it out mostly by herself, although I had to explain what was meant by "experience." "I've never worked before." So, what you have to do is tell why you want to start working--I told her to put down that she wanted to be a veterinarian and needed to learn what all goes on in an office. Should be sufficient, I think.

As she filled that out, one of the various resident cats who has the run of the office came by and started swiping on my legs, so I obliged him with various head scritches and pats. And then realized he was shedding all over the bottoms of my black pants. ::sigh::

All done, and she turned her application back in, and now we wait to see if they'll be able to use her.

I wonder if she'll remember filling out an application when she gets to be an adult? I hope so.

THEN, on to the high school for the concert. In a hard-to-believe coincidence, we managed to get there right as Reba and the rest of the kids did, and parked right beside them. Amazing, I know!

Walked in, paid our nine bucks, waited in the lobby for a while for the beginner band parents to clear out. It's a bit like hot bunks in a sub--as soon as one group finishes, another group starts and all their families and friends take over the seats. We managed to sneak in and grab a row after the beginner band and before the start of the middle school concert band's performance.

As always, I am surprised at how good the kids sound, even though most of the middle school pieces are real heavy on the percussion rhythm--variations on oompah and boom-chicka-boom--and just ever so slightly on the slowish side. But no squeakers, so you figure that's pretty good.

Next on the list was the middle school symphonic band--less boom-chicka, more horns, slightly more rapid tempo. The last thing they played was a medley of TV comedy theme songs, and they did a darned fine job of it, especially the theme from "I Love Lucy." Very nice.

FINALLY, time for the high school concert band, which is what Ashley was in. BIG difference. These kids have won a lot of awards this year, and they deserve them. They are good, and not just proud-parent good. Their set included "The Last Battle" by Ralph Ford, which various sources on them there Internets says was written by Mr. Ford as an homage to the last siege of the Civil War, fought at Fort Blakely down in Mobile. To me, not knowing the story behind it, it sounded like a swingy jazzy edgy piece like something from a '50s gangster movie. Cool, daddy-o. Or huzzah. In a similar vein (although I didn't know it at the time) was a medley of Civil War marches called "The Blue and the Gray" by Clare Grundman, which was identifiably pertaining to that particular era, and finally the music from The Incredibles, which really IS a swingy jazzy edgy piece intended to evoke '50s gangster movies. And it was great! I love that hard-edged, synchopated percussion, horn-heavy sound. Wonderful job all around.


Well, it shouldn't bother me.

By now, I should be used to people without the common courtesy not to cough up a lung when the band's playing. I should be used to oafs knocking over their expensive tripods during the quiet bits. I should be used to everyone's proud deaf meemaw bugling like an elk in heat during the music about HOW GOOD THEY ARE WITH THAT THERE MUSIC. I should be used to the ::bip::blip:: of someone's Nextel radio going off. I should be used to people sitting there in the dim din of the chairs with their screaming brat and loudly shushing him. I should be, BUT DANG IT ALL, I'M NOT! Would you people PLEASE. SHUT. UP! You sit there and act like you're so proud of your kids--then show THEM, and EVERYONE ELSE, a LITTLE RESPECT! Sit DOWN. SHUT UP. AND QUIT FLASHING THAT FRIGGIN' CAMERA IN MY FACE BEFORE I TAKE IT AND STOMP IT INTO A MILLION LITTLE BITS AND FEED THEM TO YOU THROUGH A STRAW.

Maybe I'd had too long of a day. Maybe I need to just not care--no one else seems to. But, doggone it, it's just not right. Good thing I'm a very calm and rational person. And that I didn't have a shovel handy.

After they got done, it was time for the high school symphonic band, and they are just great. Began with the overture from "Also sprach Zarathustra" (and given the behavior of the audience, I would not have been surprised for them to have begun jumping up and down and throwing bones in the air, although I must confess in my mind I was kinda hoping for a big black slab to crush the worst offenders), "Poet and Peasant Overture," and "Bugler's Holiday," with three buglers drawn from the ranks of graduates, including the former director at the school. That was pretty neat. Then a musical comedrama of sorts called "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas," by Eric Whitacre, which was pretty darned cute, and played well, to boot. A finale of "Pas Redouble," and then the band awards, and then gift giving, and then a final finale with the combined group marching band, who are tighter than wax. They can really put out the volume, and they know their stuff.

A long night, but pretty fun, even though we didn't get home until nearly ten, and had to choke down some burgers from Burger King. Good thing that plastic-headed ninny didn't show up at the house, or I would have gone and FOUND a shovel.

Kids off to take their baths, at which time Rebecca informed me that she needed some pictures for her Decade Box project in social studies. They're studying the 1960s, you know. And each group has to make something of a time capsule of stuff related to that wondrous time in our history. And to decorate the box, pictures from the era. I tell you, the Internet is a blessing and a curse.

Anyway, I managed to stay up until 1 a.m. printing off pictures--Nixon and Elvis (yes, I know this was 1970, but let's face it, what better way to end the '60s?), JFK, MLK on the Mall, George Wallace, Rowan and Martin, Jimi at Woodstock, a '66 Corvette and Corvair ad, Gilligan's Island cast, Rolling Stones "Paint it Black" album, Raquel Welch (don't worry--I used a demure version, although one with an admitted emphasis on her very, an infantry M-60 gunner in Viet Nam.

My, what a strange decade.

Anyway, I am a bit punchy this morning, so later on when I get my wits about me, I intend to introduce to you a BRAND NEW WEEVIL! And he writes about baseball, whatever that is.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 13, 2005 09:40 AM