Jet has had marching band competitions both last weekend and this weekend. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on how you look at it, last year, his high school's marching band placed dead last in the standings, so there really was only room for improvement. And they have improved. The band director is really fun, and really wants his kids to have fun and grow with the experience, so it's been good watching the kids figure out what it is that they can do.
One of the ways we got introduced to how all this worked was a parade at the end of the summer, we got there when the kids were to arrive, and all the kids had dumped their cases under some trees, and Mr. Legg was standing by the cases. The drum majors were running the show, the tubas were running laps around the whole band, and the director got to take a moment to just sit with the stuff and greet parents. This was entirely different from the middle school experience, where Mrs. Clanin basically played shepherd to all the kids, and had to keep watch of where they were, what they were doing, and they didn't really go or do anything without her.
But these kids led, learned, and figured stuff out. Today, the lead player in Jet's line wasn't able to be there, so Jet learned how to lead last Thursday, and then went and did it for his section today, so that was a thing for him, and he was pretty good about how it went down.
We had to do all this the weekend before, too, but since John volunteered to drive the UHaul that carried all the stuff for the band, he had to be there Friday for them to load up the truck. There was a home game that night, so he was there for that. Tom and I went to the game and ran through sleet and rain to figure out where to sit until the halftime show. And the weather cleared just enough for the band to do a damp-run of the show that night. Then John took all the stuff home, and he and I drove to the competition in the morning and stayed there all day with the kids and the equipment.
Tom and Donna had come to visit for the weekend, and it was great having them. They were super flexible about the fact that we were just out all of Saturday, and we had fun playing games with them the rest of the weekend, and just talking. Tom was even brave enough to come to church with me on Sunday, and he had a wonderful time in Julie's class. Sadly, both Donna and Jet had colds, so I'm now fighting the colds off desperately with lots of liquids, sleep, and every herbal remedy that has ever worked for me before.
Last weekend, I was one of the Plume Ladies, who put the feathers on the hats and take them off again with the special gloves; but when they were running all the pit items to the field, they needed a few more hands, so I started hauling. Today, when we arrived, we found the pit crew immediately, and when they needed to move, we moved with them. That was fun.
They did great. Last week, they actually moved up the ranks, to third from last, which was really good given the size of their band and how the judges seem to score based as much on size as on their actual performance. It's kind of strange that way.
This week they looked and sounded great to me. *laughs* Proud mom, I guess, and they all seemed to have a blast doing it and staying to watch the other bands. When we got back to the equipment it seemed that they needed another plume lady to help get the things off the hats, so John and I helped with that, again. They were all staying to watch more bands, but John and I were happy to leave and head back toward home.
We got to hit an HMart for snacks for after church tomorrow, and have a nice lunch on our own. I was so grateful for the parents' lunch last week, when I'd been up too early and knew I was going to have to stay most of the day. Today, though, we were able to hit a little Chinese BBQ place next to the HMart and I had roast duck rice, which was basically a plate with rice, duck, and some vegetables. Yum.
We got home before the farmers' market closed, too. Which seemed startling, to have done so much and it still not really be afternoon... I got my knives all touched up by the sharpener there, and we got a few things to go with the Korean marinated ribeye we'd gotten at HMart. It's definitely the fall produce now, onions, squash, and chilies. The apples are in two weeks, the potatoes haven't come out in force, yet, and the carrots haven't gotten their frost in, yet. But... definitely shading toward fall and the sweet corn is gone. It seems so fast...
So it's been busy. I'm happy to say that someone talked to me about the moderator position this last week and looked like they were still thinking of doing the job after we had a good lunch together and talked about everything. And it's looking like I really will be able to move on at the end of January. It's quite the relief to know that I'll be able to share things with someone that is likely to take it on in the future.
And best of all, I leave for BigBadCon next week, and I realize, now, that I never finished up last year's write up and how the games went. It just hit me really hard, last year, that the games were experiences unto themselves, and amazing for that. And that sometimes it really didn't do justice to the game for me to write them up as a narrative story. It's kind of strange thinking of it that way, but the experience of gaming with those amazing people wasn't captured, at all, in the stories that I told from them.
Carl, this year, has this quote that he's using for our planning stages for this year: "Memories are unkind. Even the sweetest ones are tinged by the fact that the experience has fled. A memory is a funeral for experience. Roleplaying games are designed to create those funerals. It's the way they work." — Malcolm Sheppard
John heard the quote and said, "Why not make it positive? What if it's a memorial? Funerals, you put someone in the ground, a memorial is the celebration of their life..."
So, this year, I intend to celebrate the passing of the experience of the games. *laughs and laughs* I may well write up what my experience was with last year's games, too, as they were utterly amazing, and there are still memories of those that I do want to celebrate.