Saturday, September 12, 2009

We Won 3rd Place!!!

Last weekend we won 3rd place in finals competition!

Check out the following links for pictures and video and such:

No one expected us to do much of anything this year, and we blew them all away. So there! Ha!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Minnesota Trip

I returned home from Minnesota at 2:30 this morning. I had driven up on Friday to St. Peter because my drum corps had 2 performances over the weekend.

The weather was gorgeous...not hot at all, and the cool nights were so very refreshing.

Our show on Saturday was in St. Paul, and we didn't perform very wonder since most of us had driven 15 hours the day before and we had just had a 5 hour rehearsal that morning/afternoon. Still, the crowd seemed to really enjoy the show.

Our show on Sunday was in St. Peter, and we did much better. Our score jumped 3.25 points from Saturday to Sunday, which is very nice.

We are currently seeded 5th in our division going into the World Championships in Rochester, NY over Labor Day weekend. The top 4 corps in our division (Class A) after the prelims round get to march in finals. We're really shooting for getting to be in finals.

We have rehearsal this coming Saturday and Sunday to clean things and add things, then we're off to Rochester. I'm driving, of course. I need to mapquest it to see how long of a drive it's going to be.

That's all for now. I'm exhausted and am off to Tulsa early tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Congratulations to Me

I have been promoted to district manager.

To be accurate, I am the interim area manager for one half of my original district.  My boss, my DM, has a 6-month temporary new position for a special project type of thing, and the district was split in two, with half of the stores going to me, and half to another person whom I know well and have worked with for many years on committees and in field training.

Yay, go me.  We currently have the #1 district in the company, and we plan to keep it that way.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Show Tonight

The show went ok on Friday night.  It was hot, the sun was bright, but we made it through, which is actually saying quite a bit considering everything that has stood in our way so far this year.  The crowd applauded where they were supposed to, and nobody fell over from the heat.  I played my solos well and was pleased with my marching.

Yesterday we rehearsed from 9am to 7:30pm, got a LOT accomplished, and I have a 1pm call time in Denton for our 2nd performance today.  We don't actually perform until 6:30pm.  Our show should be much better tonight because we got the first-show jitters out of the way and had that great rehearsal to clean up a lot of stuff.  It was fun to watch all the other corps perform.  It brings back memories of when I marched DCI in 92.  

If you want to join our unofficial corps mascot's facebook page, go search for Octopookie Vigilantes and send him a friend request.  I'll approve it and then you can see some of the silliness we're up to.  Octopookie is an octopus-shaped cookie that I bought from my store and brought to rehearsal one day in May.  I declared him to be the unofficial corps mascot, and the thing has exploded from there.  Octopookie attends rehearsals and performances and will travel with us.  He has lots of photos on facebook, so be sure to go on there and find him.  

Too funny.  Well, I need to get showered and ready to head off to Denton for this next show.  Have fun!

Also, here's a link to an article on us:  Vigilantes.  You'll have to scroll down for the bit on us.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Hey everyone, I wanted to post something that happened to my drum corps last Saturday.  I'm copying and pasting our public relations person's forum post here:

The Vigilantes will hit the field for the first time this week.

After a handful of standstills, the field show will debut this Friday at day 2 of the DCI Dallas show. The corps will have a long Saturday rehearsal and a second opportunity to perform Sunday evening at the DCI show in Denton. The corps is excited to get it all on the field and in front of some rather large crowds (Dallas is usually 15,000, Denton 20,000). Due to circumstances beyond the corps control, no scores will be announced. 

Last weekend was what Vigilantes affectionately call a power weekend. The corps rehearsed from 9-9 on both Saturday and Sunday with high temperatures of 103 and 104 per the weather reports. There was good news and a fun break during the Saturday lunch break.

The corps has been talking with a new fast food chain that is moving it's headquarters to the area. The grant process has been encouraging. A few members of the management team decided to eat at one of the restaurants for lunch, talk with the store manager, and develop some local lines of communication. As fate would have it, the corporate marketing director was to visit that store during the visit. So, the fund raising guru asked to talk with her when she arrived. The marketing exec was there to film footage for internal corporate videos as well as commercials. During their discussion it came up that the drum corps was a few miles down the road and available to do some performing.

So calls were made to get the corps to the store quickly. Once at the store, Brass Caption head Mike Rossi taught the brass a quick arrangement of Michael Sembello's "Maniac." Paul Rennick and his crew drew up drum parts and Jenn Vaught taught some guard work. 15 minutes later cameras rolled! After playing that tune (it coincided with their email "club" that sends out coupons and promotions to loyal customers), the corps played the field show opener ("It Don't Mean a Thing (If Ain't Got That Swing).

The impromptu show was played in front of the restaurant. A good bit of a traffic jam was created as drivers passing by would stop to watch and listen. The marketing team loved that as they took the opportunity to hand out coupons for free meals. It was not planned at all, but it gave the corps some much needed exposure and a short break from the oppressive afternoon heat. The restaurant brought trays of food and drinks as well as providing T-shirts for every member of the corps. Once filming was complete, the marketing team was ecstatic. They were hoping to get some happy customers on film when they arrived, but got a live drum corps instead! Many had never seen one live and commented that they got goose bumps during loud volumes. 

The corps has been promised film once clean up is complete. The corps will share with the public when it becomes available! 

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Three Months Is a Long Time

I must admit I have temporarily/semi-permanently/who-knows-for-how-long dumped my blog in favor of Facebook.  Yes, Facebook, that delicious evil pastime that I once swore I'd never join nor enjoy.  But enough of that...on to what's been going on in my world, specifically my new hobby:  drum corps.

We're at the height of the season, now, rehearsing a couple of weekends a month on both Saturday and Sunday from 9am to dark as well as hornline sectionals Monday nights 6-9.  There are also optional Wednesday night "Drill Club" rehearsals from 7-10+pm.  I'm thoroughly enjoying all of it.  

In June I only had one day where I didn't have either work or rehearsal (or both), so it's keeping me busy, which isn't exactly a bad thing.  The current problem we have is the heat.  A couple of weeks ago the heat index was 114 degrees, and that can be dangerous if we're not careful.  The staff is very good about ensuring that we have sectionals (working on music and not marching on the field) during the hottest part of the day, but even in the shade the temps are well over 100 degrees with the heat index.  

I tend to drink 2 gallons of water + gatorade each day that we have a full rehearsal.  With no bathrooms at our rehearsal site, this might first seem like a problem, but it's not.  When you're sweating that much, and even though you're drinking as much as you think you can hold, you still don't have to use the bathroom except at lunch and dinner breaks.  When I cool down at lunch/dinner and the sweat dries, I can literally scrape salt off my arms.

Our corps website is HERE.  Our uniforms look nice (they're brand new), and we have a fun show, it's just not ready to perform yet.  Due to our fluctuating numbers, we've had to re-write the drill a few times, and we still don't know all of it.  If you're not familiar with how the marching/playing piece works, this may sound silly to you.  But for each shape we make on the field, there is a very specific set of coordinates that each person has to hit, and it takes lots of time and hundreds of repetitions to hit the set, play the music correctly, do it in time at tempo, step off at the same time, look good, etc.  

Regardless of not being ready right now, we have two shows next weekend.  One is Friday night the 17th, and the other is Sunday night the 19th.  While we've already done several standstills, these will be our first shows on the field marching.  And this is our hometown crowd, so we've GOT to be good.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.

My endurance is improving, which is a very good thing.  I'm trying to think of something comparable, and this is what I came up with:  go run around the block for 10-12 minutes.  Now, do it again, but this time hold up a 3 1/2 pound weight in front of  your face, put on black and red clothes that cover you neck to wrist, top to ankle, add gauntlets, gloves, a hat that has no breathablility, throw in some 100+ plus heat, add that now you can only take a breath every 8-10 seconds, and you've got our performance situation.  Of course during rehearsal we don't wear the uniforms, but we do 'take it back and do it again' for hours.  Frequent water breaks are vital, and we make sure to continually hydrate ourselves.

Well, time is running short, so I'll have to stop this in mid-stream for now.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dumped for Jesus

I hate it when my birthday falls around Easter weekend.  People always choose to go to Good Friday church services, an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, and of course church on Sunday instead of celebrate with me.  I am not a churchgoer, and it's annoying to get repeatedly dumped for Jesus throughout my life.  I mean, how can I compare with that?

This year I decided to throw myself a party; that way I won't be disappointed when no one does anything for me on my birthday.  So, I rented 3 bowling lanes for 3 hours at a place called Main Event.  I haven't bowled in forever, but I figure between that, the pool tables, laser tag, gravity ropes, arcade, food, and full bar, people will have enough options.  I'm only paying for the 3 lanes, of course.  

I invited all my family, all my GM friends from work, and all my drum corps new friends.  I set the time at 8pm-11pm so people would have plenty of time to go to church and come afterward.  That's not working out very well.

I have 17 people confirmed to come, and after several of them forget/have other plans/ something comes up/etc., I'll have probably 10 people, 7 of which will be my family.  And then the other 3 will leave early because they feel uncomfortable that there aren't more people that they know.

I hope I'm very wrong, and I hope that I'm pleasantly surprised when a lot of people show up.  I don't want my $300 to have gone to waste on the lane rental, and I want to feel that I have enough worth that people will show up to a free party (no gifts allowed) to celebrate with me.  

But I am not optimistic.    

Sunday, March 22, 2009

To Blog or to Facebook

I've been a bad bad blogger lately because I like to be-bop around on facebook in my free time nowadays.  And yet I find that there are still times when I want to write something longer than 100 characters, or whatever the max length of a status update is.

A lot, or a little, depending on how you look at it, has been going on in my world.  I've been working a lot...too unhealthy amount.  But starting this week, it will all be well again, for the most part.  And I'll be back to working just a silly silly amount.

Like the fool that I am, I volunteered to coordinate the corps' efforts regarding our big fundraising venture for this year.  We are working concessions at a local minor league soccer stadium to raise money to run the corps.  There are 10 more events spread out between now and October, and it is my responsibility to gather all the information on who is volunteering for which dates and communicate everything to our contact with the concessions company.

I had a hell of a time getting enough people to work 8 days ago, and it took up a huge amount of my time, tracking folks down and trying to persuade them, so I've had several conversations with various people on the corps management team, and I am optimistic that a better system will be worked out shortly.  Basically, they need to get people to commit, and I am just the information it should be.

There was a drum corps party last night at an area bar, where we ate food, drank, and watched DVDs of various drum corps finals performances from throughout the years.  It may sound lame to the un-initiated, but it was a blast for all of us there.  People made requests for the shows they personally marched, and it was fun to watch the activity evolve from the 70s to today (though it's been around for decades and decades longer than that).

Guy was there last night, of course.  A lot of people now either know or have figured out that I am keen on him.  And according to Guy's brother, who likes to chat me up on Facebook, Guy knows, too.  So we chat sometimes online, have the occasional phone call that is completely corps-related, and see each other at corps functions and rehearsals.  He gives me a hug at the end of each one of these, but he hugs everyone else, too, so it's not like I'm getting special treatment.  And yet, there is something extra there, though I can't quite articulate it.

I now have a handful of people giving me advice on how to proceed, which I consider and then decide what I want to use, if any.  And so we'll see what happens.    

And now I must get ready for work. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

That's Scarlett with TWO 't's

I can't remember if I ever wrote about the first part of this story, so if I have, you can skip over this next paragraph.

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving this past year, my Dad told all of us at one Sunday dinner that my male cousin has taken to wearing women's clothing.  After the anticipated amount of giggling that one might expect, we calmed down.  Dad then explained how this cousin's brothers and sisters were shunning him for his choice.  THAT we had a problem with.  So when this cousin came to Thanksgiving dinner, dressed smartly in a skirt, blouse, pumps, and jewelry accessories, we were prepared for his looking different and therefore treated him as we always have (with fleeting interest and false concern since we none of us ever cared one way or the other about him before anyway).

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when I called my sister to congratulate my nephew on his first chess tournament.  My brother-in-law was asked to relay the 'new and interesting' news on this cousin.  It so happens that this cousin, who sells jewelry at a very high end department store, had requested that he be able to dress as a woman at work.  To their credit, the department store said yes, and following a week of vacation, cousin returned to work in full ladies' regalia.  

All this is quite nice and accepting, and good for all involved.  And I thought to myself how lovely it is that people outside the book industry are being so accommodating and open about this.  My thoughts were all warm and fuzzy for cousin UNTIL....yes, UNTIL....I heard my BIL say one final thing:

Cousin now wishes to be called Scarlett.....with TWO 't's.  WTF?  Scarlett?  You want me to call a grown man Scarlett?  Come on....Scarlett?  Is he becoming a stripper or something? 

I'm still laughing at that one.  I was with the whole situation until I heard the name he is choosing.  Scarlett, good grief. 

Friday, February 06, 2009

I Hate Indiana

Sorry, Emma, but I must simply hate Indiana for the time being.

My drive up to Ann Arbor was 2/3 fine and 1/3 hell as I tried to navigate around the middle of the state, including the loop around Indianapolis.  Apparently, they don't believe in snow plows in that state, because the highways were covered in icy snow at 1 in the afternoon.

Then, I-69N was completely closed down due to wrecks, so I had to detour along with hundreds/thousands of other vehicles.  I went 2 miles in one hour and finally got to a state highway.  Then I called my Dad to have him look online to see if this particular highway would meet up again with I-69.  And so, two hours and about 20 miles after that, I finally got back on the interstate.  Good god.  

Northern Indiana had clear roads, so that's one good thing.

On Monday night I was ready to stop for the night but couldn't find a hotel room because they were all full of utility workers who were helping restore power to the ice storm area.  I had to drive another 2 1/2 hours beyond my first wanting to stop so that I could find a room.  Coming back today in the daylight it looks like a tornado hit all the trees and power lines.  But there wasn't any ice or snow below Missouri, so that's good.

It was negative 14 degrees in Ann Arbor yesterday morning.  Brrrr!  I'm glad I bought that coat!  I've never been in temps that cold before, so it was a new experience.

I have to get up in a few hours to go to rehearsal, so that's all for now.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Well, There Goes the Strip Club

I overheard a stoned young man say this to his buddy this evening as he was buying a DVD and paying for it all in $1 bills.  The cashier later told me that the guy asked to have two magazines, High Times and another one, taken off the transaction.

So, it's true what they can support your local bookstore AND a local strip club.  You don't have to choose one over the other!  

Ain't life grand that way?

I'm leaving for Michigan tomorrow and will be back late Friday night.  Wish me a safe journey, if you please.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kentucky Bypass

I've been keeping careful watch of the power outage situation in Kentucky, and it doesn't look promising for those poor folks.

And since I'm a selfish person, it also doesn't look promising for me.  Fortunately, I have taken a variety of routes to Ann Arbor from Dallas before...I think this is my 5th time driving it won't be too much of a hassle. 

Still, I enjoy the scenery of Tennessee and Kentucky and going up through Ohio rather than the bleak winter-weary plains of Illinois and Indiana.  Spring through Autumn the plains are gorgeous, but in winter they are depressing, and the wind is fierce since there is nothing to cut it.  It's sort of like it can be around here, since we are a relatively flat area and are actually the southern part of the Great Plains.

Last year when I got caught in that blizzard and wasn't fully prepared, I was mad at myself.  This year I have a proper coat, just had new windshield wipers put on my car, bought a long-handled ice scraper, and will pack my snow shoes, more warm clothes, food, and water in my car....just in case.  I did have some of this last year, but the proper coat and shoes would have been helpful when I had to dig out my car in Elizabethtown, Kentucky after stopping for the night.

I have been thankful for my 4-wheel drive so many times since I bought this car on January 19, 2006.  I'm glad I didn't let the car salesman talk me out of it, because I have made good use of it on many occasions and draw great comfort from knowing that it helps me both in everyday driving as well as these special extreme circumstances.  The reduction in gas mileage is worth the piece of mind, for certain.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Night Lights

I have discovered and have been watching episodes of Friday Night Lights.

I now have a mini-obsession with Kyle Chandler.  

I heard from several sources that this show was excellent, and it really is.  I think the kids drink too much and have too much sex to be realistic, but then again, I'm not sure of the exact amount of drinking and sex that high school kids have these days.

I can vouch that the bleakness and ugliness in the portrayal of a small west Texas town is spot on.  I think west Texas is bleak, ugly, dirty, and poor.  And it is definitely big football country.  Did I say big?  I meant BIG.  HUGE.  GINORMOUS.  Texas is big on high school football and band, with even the worst football programs receiving huge funding.  

These kids from successful teams are treated like home town gods.  The only drawback is that for many, this is the pinnacle of their existence.  They may go on to marry, have a family and a career, and yet their 'best time of my life' experience would be playing varsity football.  I think it's a bit twisted that football could be a better thing in one's life than getting married or the birth of a child.  Imagine reaching the height of your greatness at the age of 17.  How sad that it might be all downhill from there.

Anyway, I was a complete slug today (woke up at 11am) and didn't go post any flyers, so I feel like I'm letting down the recruiting coordinator, whom I adore.  So, I've drawn out a plan to hit about 30 places tomorrow.  This means it'll be a long day of driving around, but at least I won't feel unproductive.  I always feel unproductive if I don't accomplish anything worthwhile in a day...even if I truly need the day for resting and relaxing.

I am a bit concerned about my drive to Michigan on Mon/Tues.  I hope all the power is back on along the route I'm taking and that I have good weather on the drive there and back. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I told the corps recruiting coordinator that I would help this week with posting flyers around town and also with posting free online classifieds for percussionists.  The hornline and the guard positions are filling up quickly, but we still need pit and battery to round out the drumline.

Translation of pit and battery:  pit is the vibes, xylophone, marimbas, timpani, etc. that are on the front sidelines...they are also called the front ensemble.  The battery consists of snare drums, tenor drums, bass drums, and sometimes cymbals...these folks march on the field.

Since I'm on vacation this week I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to drive around and post the flyers in some of the southern suburbs to hopefully pique some interest.  Because of the nasty weather the past few days, I've not gotten very far on that front, though that is my plan for Thursday.

And tonight I have spent a couple of hours trying to get a very simple ad placed on several free online classifieds/online advertising websites.  And I have to say I am really aggravated.  I have to go through the entire process of registering on each site, waiting for the confirmation email, clicking through on that, then navigate my way through each website's ad posting process.  I don't have the patience for it, I tell ya.  It seriously took me 2 hours to do 6 of these.  And one big failed attempt with Facebook, which I inherently detest, though not as much as Myspace.

I really really really really hate Myspace.  

Anyway, these ads had better yield something substantial.  In all likelihood they won't, because they're just one ad among thousands and thousands.  Still, I shall choose to believe the ads will work, and I got to help out the recruiting coordinator who is a lovely gentleman, so that's nice.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Amazing Rehearsal

I played really well today for the most part, which makes me happy.  I also nailed the mellophone solo in the opener every single time, and that feels damn good.  I had so many people come up to me throughout the day and at the restaurant afterwards and compliment me on my playing, so I am one very pleased person.  I wanted very much to perform well today.

The running block killed me, so I need to work on that.  

And I'm so exhausted that I'm now going to bed; and I'm going to bed happy, which is a wonderful thing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm On Vacation!

And tomorrow I have drum corps rehearsal.  I'm very excited.  There is a particular gentleman there whom I enjoy talking to very much, wink wink, so we'll see how/if that progresses.  He is quite reserved, so it mightn't go anywhere anytime soon.

I get to see my family on Sunday, and then I don't really have any engagements for the rest of the week after that.  It's going to be one heckuva year at work, so I plan on resting up for it.

I go to Michigan the week after next....brrrr.  I bought a coat from Lands End...a pretty pink-tinted one, because I was ill prepared for the blizzard I encountered last year.  Hopefully there will be no blizzard this year.

And great news:  my grocery store started carrying Rising Sun Farms Key Lime Torte.  Sweet toasted Jesus, that thing is tasty!  And the ones I bought weren't even moldy!  Remember my fiasco last time?

It was in the 70s here today, but tomorrow is supposed to be a high of 42.  I haven't felt the cold front whirl in yet, but I'm sure I'll wake up tonight when it does.  It's a good thing our rehearsal is indoors tomorrow, even the visual block where we're learning the first drill(shapes on the field that we march to) of the season.

And with that, I should get ready for sleepytime.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

THIS is drum corps

This is the Madison Scouts in 1988, playing Malaguena.

There are some differences between this and what I'll be doing.  Madison Scouts is a DCI (Drum Corps International) corps, which means that their members are 21 and under (or 22 if they turn 22 after June 1st of the marching year), while Frontier is a DCA (Drum Corps Associates) aka all-age corps.  And, Madison Scouts is an all male corps whereas Frontier is co-ed.  

In 1988, a corps could march 128 people, which the Scouts have in this clip.  This year, Frontier is going to march around 60+.  The other big difference is that DCI corps practice all day long in the summer and go on an extended tour of 30-40+ cities and shows.  Since many of us in DCA are adults and have careers, we rehearse a couple Saturdays a month, maybe a couple of hornline rehearsals a month, a few weekends in the summer, and travel to 5 or 6 different cities for shows.

All that being said, you can just watch and listen and see how exhilirating it is to be a performer or an audience member.  

There is absolutely nothing in the world like the high you get when the crowd cheers.  I was reading something earlier today that I think is rather true.....The purpose of drum corps is to make the audience stand and scream.

My God how great that feels!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vacation Next Week

I'm using a week of vacation next week.  Our PTO (Paid time off) year ends the 31st of January, so it's 'use it or lose it' time.  I don't really have any plans other than sleep (a lot), practice my mellophone, do some chores around home, and work up to running at 180 bpm (beats per minute) for 10 minutes.  This last one is to get into good shape for corps, as the show is a maximum of 12 minutes at multiple tempos, but the visual caption head (ie marching instructor) told us that we're going to build up to 180 bpm for 10 minutes during stretching/conditioning at each camp, and if we can achieve that, we'll each be in good shape to march the whole show.

I don't want to go anywhere out of state, but I might take a few day trips to various undetermined places.

What do you think I should do on my vacation?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Age Is Too Old?

This is a question for the ladies, with an alternate question for the gentlemen.

In your opinion, and based on whatever criteria you wish to use, what is the oldest age at which a woman should have a baby?  And I thought of another one...what is the ideal age range during which a woman should have a baby?  Basically, how old is too old to become a mother for the first time, and what is the best time?

And for the old is too old to become a father for the first time, followed by what is the ideal age range?

I don't know if I'm going through a very early midlife crisis, or if I'm just feeling liberated to be all I can be since I have branched out to things other than just work.  I don't currently want kids, but I'm also not currently involved in a serious relationship, and I know the baby part could change with time in the relationship part, if I were to be so lucky at some point in the future to have one that I would classify as 'serious'.

Answers, thoughts, advice?  

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hornline Rehearsal

I have just returned from hornline rehearsal.  We rehearsed at the very lovely Park Cities Baptist Church and had 27 horns present, plus a few from the guard, and the percussion caption head along with a couple of relatives of the younger kids.

I've been practicing every day and improving as I go, so I played fairly well.  Another mellophone and I traded off playing the solo in the opener.  It is such a sweet, kickin' solo.  

I'm getting to learn many of the peoples' names, and I try best I can to greet the high school-age kids to help make them feel included and special in an room half full of adults who are 2 or 3 times their age.  

What's funny/interesting is that I'm actually using my skills as a GM and a Trainer with these folks as well.  I am not in charge and I have no seniority whatsoever, but I think it makes people happy to know that I notice when they do a nice job at something or are obviously trying very hard to play something right and I make a little comment to that effect.

Several of us went for a quick bite to eat at a mexican restaurant after rehearsal, and I got to spend time talking with a couple people I hadn't talked to before.  I'm getting to really like some of these folks.

I'm going to be tired for work tomorrow...have to be up in 6 1/2 hours.

I can't wait until Saturday when we have a full corps rehearsal and begin learning the drill for the opener.  Our show is called "Pastime" and is baseball-related music.  The opener is "It Don't Mean a Thing (If You Ain't Got that Swing)"...get it?....swing?  hah!  I love it.  It is a super-terrific arrangement and is really amazing.  Once we get it all down and record it and post it to our website, I'll provide a link here.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm Either Very Smart or Very Stupid

Let's put it to a vote.

Today I passed on the opportunity to be promoted to district manager at work.  To be accurate, I passed on the invitation to go through the interview process.  I didn't even apply for this position because I thought someone else was going to get it due to some shifting and realigning.  But I learned I was their primary person of interest, and I know I would have gotten the job because I'm qualified and ready and can prove how I would be successful in it.  

And you're probably wondering why on earth I would pass on this.  Drum corps.  Yep, it's true.  Taking the position would require me to move several states away, and I wouldn't be able to march drum corps because I'd be too busy learning my new role and learning a new city/state.  

So I gave up a career opportunity to be able to pursue another passion.  I let it pass by so that I can create a better work/life balance here and now.  This is very unlike me.  I am always the one to grab every opportunity at work.  I knew this position was open, and I honestly kind of thought I'd be asked to go for it.  And as I was thinking about this last night, I almost cried alone to myself because I didn't want to give up my drum corps just yet to take that position...not when I've just found my music and marching passion again.

I feel ok about my decision, but am wondering if I'll regret it later.  On the flip side, I know I'd have VERY bittersweet feelings if I had said yes.

What would you have done?  What are your thoughts?  Was this a smart decision or no? 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Drum Corps Rehearsal, Take 2

I just had THE best time at rehearsal today.  God, I had such a great time.  Even when I was sweaty and out of breath, I was never too sweaty or out of breath.  The people are fun, the music is great, the esprit de corps is strong.  I didn't want rehearsal to end.  I wasn't too tired to keep going.  Many of us went out for pizza afterwards and had a great time.  

It is so wonderful to be developing this new peer group of lively, intelligent, fun people.  

We have a brass only rehearsal on the 19th, and another full corps rehearsal in 2 weeks. 

I can't wait!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My Travels in 2008

I could get all sentimental and philosophic about mental, emotional, and spiritual travels in 2008, but how dull is that?  Instead, I'll recap the physical traveling I did last year...if I can remember all of it.  And yes, I drove all this.

Detroit, Michigan--I think this was early March.  Each year I have my field trainer conference in either Ann Arbor or Michigan.  I specifically remember this trip for the hellacious time I had driving back in the blizzard that hit the mid-west.  It was a terrifying and tense trip home.  And I got a speeding ticket about 90 miles from Dallas.  States covered include Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.

Orlando, Florida--This would be the first of two trips to Orlando and occurred the week after my trip to Detroit.    I was facilitating a training session for Managers.  It was a good drive there and back, and the hotel was nice, though we didn't get to see any of the actual city.  States covered include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

Orlando, Florida--Back again a few weeks later, at the end of April, for the company spring GM conference.  Again, we didn't get to see the city, but we stayed in the Peabody and it was lovely.

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida--Just two weeks after that I drove to Ft. Lauderdale to hop on a cruise ship.  I had just been diagnosed with pneumonia 3 days before leaving and was in bad shape, but I'll be damned if I was going to miss that cruise.  After all, it was a completely free trip...a company sales contest prize.  

Cozumel, Mexico
Belize--These were the ports of call on the cruise.  I sunbathed and swam and snorkeled, in order, at these locations.

Bar Harbor, Maine--Six weeks later, I traveled through Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee,Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine during a trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

St. Louis--The first week of November I traveled to St. Louis to facilitate another training session.  States covered include Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

All together, I believe that is 21 states, 3 countries, one ocean, and one gulf traveled this year.  I have no idea how many miles that is...certainly not as many as someone who travels for work each week, but more than I've ever traveled before in one year.

I'm sure there are lessons I learned along the way, and wisdom I gained through the travels, but really, no one wants to read about that, do they?

Where did your travels take you in 2008?