Thursday, January 28, 2010

3 Things I Learned from Being Kicked Out of the House by My Wife

I wasn't going to go.  My film was being screened at the LDS Film Festival on Thursday night, but I'd vacilated too long.  I didn't want to take more time off from work.  Our daughter's birthday party was that weekend.  Airfare was now fairly expensive.  But my wife, Emily, emailed me at work:  "Just go.  I'll send you pictures of the birthday party.  There's high inflation on regret.  Buy a ticket and I'll see you Sunday or Monday.  I love you."  So I bought a ticket Wednesday night at 8pm.  8am the next morning I was taking off from LaGuardia on my way to Salt Lake City.  (She even got up at 6am to give me a ride to the airport.  That's love!)  Here are some things I learned on my way:

1.  Don't fight it.  Let the magic happen.
2.  Everyone uses the bathroom.
3.  Mellow music makes many things possible.

1.  Don't fight it.  Let the magic happen:

I had two connections--due to the late nature of my purchase.  So after my first flight to St. Paul, I was in Albuquerque. My final destination was SLC.  As I landed, my connecting flight was right there.  I could see it through the window of my arriving plane.  By the time I got my bag and deplaned, it was gone.  It'd left without me.  I was going to miss my movie.  I did my best to keep my cool.  After my whirlwind effort to get there, I was going to miss the screening of my own film.

After I was booked on the next flight out, I made as many phone calls as I could to get myself to the theatre as quickly as possible.  Now all I could do was buy some dinner and wait.  Emily and I chatted on the phone.  She suggested I turn a negative into a positive by writing a song.  Not exactly what I had in mind, but okay.  It just sort of happened.  I was just walking down the corridor and lyrics and a melody just started coming into my head.  I jotted the lyrics down in my notebook, hummed the melody quietly under my breath, and then faced a plate glass window (so nobody would think I was crazy) and recorded it into my iPhone.  Stay tuned for my airport demo as well as a "real" recording of Flying.

I'm glad that--instead of fighting the situation with frustration--I let something magical happen.

P.S.  I made it to the screening with 5 minutes to spare.  It was great to connect with friends, cast members, crew, etc.  And the movie looked great on the big screen.  It got a rave review.  It's not the New York Times, but I'll take it.  I'm glad I went.

2.  Everyone uses the bathroom

Saturday I went up to the Sundance Film Festival and saw a great movie call "A Small Act", a film about a retired school teacher in Sweden who sponsored the secondary school education for a boy in Kenya ($40/month).  Inspiring film.   I could of sworn I'd seen Bill Gates in the audience and thought for sure he was going to be part of the Q&A afterward or something.  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, etc.  But no.  The Q&A included people who were in and made the film.  I went to the men's room before leaving the theatre.  As I was washing my hands, Bill Gates walked in.  No security.  No entourage.  No VIP bathroom.  Just the regular men's room.  Me and the richest man in the world.  I stared at him for a moment and he stared at me.  It was a little surreal.  I was tempted to say something, but I thought that a man on his way to the toilet deserved his privacy.  We just looked each other in the eye and went on our way.  I guess everyone uses the bathroom.

3.  Mellow music makes many things possible

Saturday night I went skiing at Sundance, alone.  I love to ski, but I'd never been by myself before and never night skiing.  It was amazing.  I'd just skiied a hard run so decided to take an easy route down this time.  As I rode the lift up, I watched the people skiing below.  What made the good skiiers and snowboarders good?  They made it look so easy.  They looked so relaxed.  Hmm.  What if that was the secret?  Relax.  I thought I'd give it a try.  As I got to my "easy" run, I put on some mellow music.  (Never having skiied alone before, I'd also never skiied with music in my ears.)  I picked something chill and headed down.  I just let myself relax.  What a joy.  It was beautiful.  It was fun.  I arrived at the bottom.  I decided to try the same approach, but this time with a black diamond.  (For those non-skiiers, black diamonds are the most difficult routes.  I have almost always been a blue diamond skiier--the next level down.)

So I rode the lift up to Top Gun, the highest black diamond run open that night.  I put in my tunes, took a deep relaxing breath and eased myself over the edge.  I took it nice and slow.  No fast or fancy moves.  Deliberate.  Steady.  Even.  I turned smoothly.  My body felt fluid.  Nothing was clenched or tight.  I bobbled a few times, but I stayed up on my skiis.  And before I knew it, I was down on the flats, cruising easily and smoothly to the bottom.  I hadn't fallen once.  I'd just skiied Top Gun.  Thank you Bono, The Edge and "The Moment of Surrender".  With God all things are possible.  With mellow music, many things possible.

On my way home from the airpot, I had a chance to ponder.  Travel is good in that way.  I'm glad Emily kicked my out of the house.  She was right.  There is high inflation on regret.  There's also a high dividend on adventure.


  1. Great post! Sounds like it turned out to be a memorable weekend.

    I'm looking forward to hearing the new song.

  2. Michelle has a Bill Gates story or two also. I think you should have said "hey" or something, as if he were anyone. You're right, of course, that "Everyone uses the bathroom" -- its a corollary to "Puts his/her pants on like everyone else."

    And, when's the DVD out?

  3. Hooray to Emily for kicking you out! And thank you for so generously sharing your experiences and lessons learned. I'm thrilled you are blogging. Can't wait to hear the airport song and I'm glad the screening was such a success. It is an amazing film.

  4. I totally agree. Shout out to Emily! When will we get to see your play on Broadway?

  5. You guys are too kind! The Berlin soundtrack just became available on iTunes yesterday. Feel free to give it a spin.

    We still need to negotiate DVD rights, but I'm hoping we can make it available for rental on YouTube soon.

    And yes, I wish I'd said "hey" to Bill. I guess I'll have to wait until next time : )

  6. It sounds you had an awesome weekend. Congrats on the film and btw, I like your glasses.