How to become devastatingly charming…

If you’re not, already 😀

How to become devastatingly charming? BE YOURSELF!!!

Ah ha. Therein lies the problem.

Who are you? Who am I? Who were you? Who are you striving to become?

Shit. What were we talking about? Oh yeah. How to become devastatingly charming. 

Charm is a perception others can have about you in a given moment. Its not a permanent personal trait, it can be, but for most, its usually not. The dictionary defines charm as the ability to arouse delight or admiration. So by this definition we are going to find people charming that we already have a degree of like and admiration for. Now things are really going to get tricky. Your ability to charm will depend greatly on whether that person likes you in the first place, and some people that we like, or that like you, we will NEVER find you charming!

Gah D: WTF, Ray. I JUST WANT TO BE DEVESTATINGLY CHARMING!!! How do I do that?

First, be careful what you wish for 😀 But seriously, just be yourself. This reminds me of what I tell friends that are anxious prior to interviewing for a new job, if they don’t get hired they didn’t want to work for that company anyway. You can’t make people like you, as in a genuine like, not a superficial like.

GAAAHHHHHH! Raaaaaayyyyyy!!!! Why are you making this complicated!!!

I’m not. It is what it is. Complicated. Simple. Its all about perspective. 

Be you. Like who you are. Get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and good, bad, or otherwise, that is who you are today. Own it. Love it. Love you. Go out and rock it. That is charming. Comfort, acceptance of who you are. Will you charm everyone? You will charm only those people that matter. People that are not charmed by you are living in a separate reality that doesn’t include your awesomeness. You go be you, rock it, own it, love it. Love you, EVERYDAY!!!

That is devastatingly charming.

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Things to talk about with your boyfriend/girlfriend

What complicates our personal interactions are the expectations we have on the outcomes. I do understand , from many points of view, it is more than reasonable to have a given expectation for a particular social exchange…

but that’s not where the magic happens!

Whether you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or whether you’re looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend, there are some conversation basics that should always be followed if you want good, open communication: A) be the giver, B) be the listener, C) show an interest in anything and everything the other person is saying. 

Umm, okay. Sure Ray, but…

A) what the hell does be the giver mean?

B) I got stuff to say. When do I talk?

C) honestly, I’m not intersted in stuff I don’t know about, or, I just want to get to my point, etc.

Being a conversational giver is easy or difficult, depending on you personality and general experience, but there are basics here too.

1) Initiate. Make eye contact, acknowledge. Smile, say hi, hello. Use simple openings, after the initial initiation, like: “How are you?””How’s it going?””How’s your day?” Be mindful that any and all types of responses may come your way, including negative responses. This may or may not have anything to do with you. Either way, at least its communication! 

Now its time to listen…

2) Shut up and Listen. Plenty of time for you to blather about what ever you want to talk about later. Listening builds trust. Trust is built and earned through being a good listener. SHUT UP AND LISTEN. This is a potentially a tricky point. There are times when someone you’re trying to talk to really doesn’t want to talk; but sometimes they do, but maybe you’re not the one they feel comfortable talking with at that moment. Its all about nonverbal nuance. Reading nonverbals is part art and part science. Remember if you’re trying to start a conversation, silence is okay. After initiating, be patient, let the moment dictate how things proceed. Be there to listen AND SHUT UP.

Now try to create a moment…

3) Hopefully, positive or negative, the response to your initiation results in some kind of verbage you can respond to. Remember to not focus completely on what they are saying, but also how they are saying it. You’re interested in the other person. Show interest in them. You’d be surprised how interesting some things you previously had no interest in can be when you are interested in the person talking about it. Good communication, good relationships don’t follow schedules or timelines. Always understand you need to show respect and appreciation for the other person’s likes and dislikes, if you want them to show respect and appreciation for your likes and dislikes. You’ll get your chance to talk about what you want to talk about when the moment is right, but you have to help create that moment too.

So! Things to talk about with your boyfriend or girlfriends depends on several things first:

Initiate a conversation with eye contact, a smile, and some kind of warm greeting that acknowledges them beyond that moment

Listen or more accurately,  SHUT UP AND LISTEN. Resist the temptation to think you need to speak for there to be good conversation. Moments of silence let the person you’re with time to gather their thoughts and that will result in a better conversation. 

Enjoy the Moment you’re with the person you want to be with. Sometimes we fail to appreciate that when we talk, we just mess things up. Ironic, yes. Conversation and communication are about more than words. We speak more with our eyes and other nonverbals.

SHUT UP AND LISTEN

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2017 WGASC Savanna Show @valenciahs

The day started simple enough. Even though I was going to do something completely different today I was feeling confident and comfortable. It was about 6:30am and after parking my car, saw Big Ruben (Machete), and walked over to chat. Love that guy. We talked for a good 15-20 minutes about this, that, and the other when Diane called to me. She was holding a big stack of 9″x12″ envelopes. “Ray, You’re in charge of check-in…”

Hee. 

https://storiesfromaguynamedray.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/whos-in-charge-dont-judge-others-d/

As I go towards Diane, Lori points out where I’m going to be spending the next 12 hours. I’m sure Diane knows where to lead me, but Lori is in charge of the entire Savanna HS part of today’s endeavor. Honestly, Lori was already in full management mode and I’m not sure she even heard or saw Diane. I heard Lori say “white table” but I saw a lovely brown table that my 7am logic told me was the place to park my butt. I would soon be made aware of the error of my choice. (BBL)

Big Ruben came with me. He had volunteered to help that day also and we lucked out and worked together that day! Soon, however, we learned we were going to have to overcome our limitations as men. (As explained by BBL) 

Becky,  Big Boss Lady (BBL), (her self proclaimed moniker), is a WGASC show director-coordinator. She came to check out the check-in gig. Honestly, it must have been a surprise to her to see two men there (and two ruggedly handsome manly men at that). All the guard shows I’ve been to, the check in people have been women and any males I’ve seen helping were boys/students. Becky reinforces what Ruben had said just before she arrived; the white table across the walkway, away from the perforner entrance, would be a much smarter place to set up check in. 

Of couse!

Kudos to Lori, Ruben, and Becky for knowing better than me, although that line of people is astronomically long.
After getting check in set up proper, Becky starts explaining to Ruben and I the details of what to do, and how to do it. There was an early arriving performing unit and with Becky there, she was able to go through the check in procedure, and that made things even more comfortable for me. 

With Becky, as Tom would say, Ray was being Ray. Not gonna lie. Becky is pretty, but even better, she knows what she’s doing, she knows how to communicate. She was very clear about the expectations for the check in gig, and she has a great combination of energy and positive personality traits to deal with muliple people for an all day event.

With Big Ruben there, check in ran smoothly. This is a very exciting-anxious day for a lot of people, and its important to me not only to do a good job getting directors/instructors and their performers on their way, but to make our interaction brief and little personable: Greet everyone with smile and a warm welcome. Offer a few words of support and encouragement and get them on their way. Ruben did a great job helping with that too. 

Saw lots of old friends that I see every season or so at these kind of events. Its a small community, the pageantry world, and everyone knows everyone or knows someone who knows someone. Becky happened to come around when I met someone who I’ve been hearing stories about for the past 15+ years, Laura Baker. Pageantry people are like any other group of people,  there’s good and bad, tightly wound and super chill, etc. So in that variety of people, the ones I know, all had the most positive things to say about Laura, and it was genuine thrill for me to meet her.

I may have been a little over the top in my explaining to basically a complete stranger how I knew of her, but she looked quite stunned, and she kept staring, so I kept talking. Becky teased me later about that, and what Becky said Laura was saying about that crazy check in guy. Whatever. On that note, it was always great to see Becky throughout the day, what ever the reason.

Another fabulous babe, Lori, also came by throughout, making sure all was good. Ruben said something about the Savanna program, in general, and the Savanna boosters, in particular. The organization is always supportive and appreciative of those that work it. Word! On that same thought, Lori and I had a conversation about the Rose Parade float work she does every year. So right here, right now, I’m committing to helping, with the caveat, Lori has to contact me and give me the deets.

I hardly saw Carol and Tom, two other people I love, but as usual, they were busy doing their gigs, so yeah, makes sense I’d hardly see them. Same with little Ruben, AKA Panda, AKA Milton Hotcakes, AKA SugarDaddy, and V (F.I.B.) Well this is V’s last home guard show, so she was way busy doing guard captain stuff, and Hotcakes was busy maxing his gig too. Aldo made an appearance, so I took the opportunity to manhandle him. I think he misses that.

Big Ruben bought me a cheeseburger combo lunch, very delicious. Later on, early evening, while Lori was making her rounds, she offered to bring me some food. Just then a lady was passing by with a tray of turkey wraps. She was packing up her guard and she still had a bunch of leftover sandwiches. “Want a turkey wrap? Take two!” Why yes I do, and yes I will. A little later after that that same lady came by again, but this time with a tray of cookies. “Want some cookies?” Yes!, says Ray the nomnomster.

All in all, it was a great day. Much thanks to Carol, Tom, Lori for inviting me to their soirée and for always making me feel welcome. Thanks Big Ruben for hanging out all day and making the day funner, and thanks to Hotcakes and V just for being great people. Finally, thank you Becky for pleasure of working under you.

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2016 Impulse National Tour Part 8

August 5 St.Mary Pennsylvania Friday

4:30AM

Terry is our school contact. Guess I mumbled my name when he asked me because he keeps calling me Murray 😛 He helped me figure out how to get the girls showers on. Had a moment with Emma and AZ before lights out ❤

After afternnon Rehearsal Block

Their second run through wasn’t worth watching either. Sigh. They just walked through the first one, said they could do better. Maybe its me, maybe I’m wrong,  but probably not. Meh. I don’t even want to go to the show. Seems like some of them don’t either. I’m mot sure about anything anymore at this point. It seeems like we’re just pushing the kids around right now: get on the bus, get off the bus, move in, go eat, unload the truck, get on the field, etc. And they’re compliant,  the kids that is, they’re doing what we ask, to a point. Maybe I’m not explicit enough in my communication of expectations. Maybe I’m not a good enough example. Sigh. I dunno.

Everyone seems very tired. Kids, instructional staff, support staff. We’re all pushing but there’s this odd feeling of uncertainty hanging in the air.

My mind is just wandering aimlessly right now. Between runs I talked to the corps, acknowledged the difficulties we’ve all been struggling with, and I asked them to make it mean something. We are all going through struggles individually and as a corps, it has to mean something, they have to find a reason to continue to push past these moments and find what they want this to be about, soemthing more, something greater than how they feel right now. Sigh. I have to figure this out too and make this mean something to me too.

Johnsburg Pennsylvania Show

The truck is here but locked so I’m holding the key out as the kids are getting off the bus. No one looks up as they go by. No one even looks at me but I am just watching them go by and not saying anything either. They are all on automatic. Camilo put he horn in the locked bay before we left the school and not on the truck, but didn’t tell any staff or the bus driver before the driver left. I’m heading straight to the stadium. 

I was going to give up all our vizh warm up time to Josh,  but Alexis talked me out of it. There’s an awesome pre show mix on the PA system inside the stadium. There seems to be a very limited gene pool in this area. Very limited. Two bus loads of kids from I’m guessing local schools just got off and are walking in. Lots of FLKs and funny looking adults too. So judgemental right now, not gonna lie.

Local high school is sponsoring the show and their PTA is having a bake sale. Not interested but it looked so good I bought 10 bucks worth of stuff, then I handed it off to brass staff, Marco and Johnny (#3 and #4 both have bad ankles)

Rain hype after the show, right before Spartans encore. Third rain moment this tour, Utah, Wisconsin,  now Pennsylvania. This is the first time since California that I helped myself to the judge’s leftover hospitality. The DCI coordinator dude was like, hey! What are you doing, I said, what? Want me to put it back? 🙂 Naw he said, just messing with me. It was just drinks, candy,  cookies, and granola bars and I passed it all out to staff except I kept one water 😀

Got back to the school, St. Mary middle school and had a short chat with Emma and AZ ❤

Redacted: nail polish?

Terry has to repeat my name like 3 or 4 times because I forget he’s been calling me Murray since we got here and I’ve never corrected him 😛 He’s sleeping at the school entrance with me tonight. He offered me a cot, I politely said no thank you. He seeemed puzzled by my sleeping arrangement choice. 

August 6 Saturday Johnsburg Pennsylvania

Bagels and PB and J for breakfast and then the food crew went straight into lunch prep. Vet leadership,  cough cough,  questioned by rookies, again, for good reason, again.

Daniella, I haven’t used this term in a looooong time, is one fabulous babe. She is meticulous about all her personal details all the time. Her appearance, head to toe, side to side. She has a warm genuine smile, her attitude is always positive, her field performance is always excellent. Her consistency in all areas is just amazing.

On the way to Avon Lake Ohio

Movietime! Ratatouille 😀 thank you AZ ❤

Just crossed the Ohio border. 

Redacted: personal previous experiences in Ohio

Chicken Nuggets

Sitting in the parking lot at the show site waiting for the truck. Alannah was telling me last night that since our talk in Illinois,  she’s felt better and gotten a little better each day. Feeling more confident,  more comfortable, and rehearsing and performing better each day. Tears can sometimes be helpful. Ha! If only it was that simple all the time! 😀 ❤

We’ve been here almost an hour and the truck is still an hour away. Logistics are easy 😦 I knew back in the parking lot of RCC after the show we were going to be in for a rough tour. I failed to appreciate at the time the depths,  levels, and complete variety of communication gaps we would experience. Let it never be said that this organization can ever rise above a fundamentally messy and sloppy level of basic operation.  Impulse seems to accept as a challenge how to define the term organization. 

All this extra chill time on the bus is giving me more opportunities to perfect my personal filters and mental compartmentalization. 

Redacted: various members sharing personal issues

Its awesome and sad that I’ve seen so much in this activity from so many different points of view and so many perspectives. One thing is for sure, good friendships last forever ❤

After the show

Well, tonight was the last show before Michigan City. I failed to prepare them better for this season. I could have stepped up when others didn’t. When they didn’t I shouldn’t have expected them to figure it out. I didn’t do all I could have done. I could have done a better job and maybe the corps would have been better. Maybe what they did tonight was their best. I dunno.

Here’s a thought. If I’m aware of my own fault and error, the fault and errors of others shouldn’t matter . I’m confident and capable enough to overcome my faults and errors and help others overcome their faults and errors. I can accept that responsibility. I have earned the opportunity to be accountable. Jeesuz ray, lighten up. Its an all rookie staff and they’re just kids. Chill out.

Josh and Bob are talking, while we wait for the drivers. While Bob spent 20 minutes talking to the whole staff and then to only the caps, Mike sat in the van, then Mike left to get the drivers, after our EDT passed. Logistics are easy, but I love the consistency. 

Speaking of ray doing a crappy job, Trevor commented that I didn’t journal near as much in ’14 or ’15. In ’14 I was dying, and did a crappy job of that too. In ’15 … well… hop, hop, hop, kinda hard to write while holding crutches. 

The hole in my chest where my heart used to be is now quite dynamic.  Perfect, as I sit here contemplating my soulless exisistance,  Bob decides now is the time to talk to me and Svettie about some drill issues she’s having in the closer. I know the chunk of music, but I don’t know what they’re talking about because that’s the 20%-30%  part of the field I can’t see because of the circus tent over the synth and other electronics in the pit.

I know this is a slight exaggeration,  but death sounds peaceful ❤
On the way to Michigan City

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2016 Impulse National Tour Part 7:

August 4 Swanton Ohio Thursday

Brooke just got here. She and Big Ruben were picked by Bob and Mike at the airport. They are just getting out of the van now. Everyone is still sleeping. I’ve been up for hours 🙂 Vampires need no sleep, we’re already dead 😛 This town seems to have only one of everything, including only one traffic signal, hanging horizontally in an intersection, suspended by two wires. Means that laundromat a couple of blocks away is where we’re probably washing. Gonna get my stuff and head over there before anyone wakes up.

Got my stuff ready, but changed my mind about flying solo. I should probably wait her Bob and Mike to come back and find out what the schedule is. All Maribel knows right now is that breakfast will be an hour and a half off from the schedule Bob gave her yesterday. Our travel time took longer than was planned. I’ve walked around the park and the showers we’d planned on using are apparently being serviced and won’t be available today. Ha. Perfect . We’ll get showers tonight when we get to a real housing site. Today we’re at a park. I think this is park number three. Basically one third of tour, so far, has been a park, and no showers. 

Trevor just woke up. What the fuck is the schedule, Ray? I dunno, but I’m guessing eat, laundry, eat, rehearse, dunno after that. Eat probably then off to Pennsylvania. 

God, why do you want me here? I know why. The devil doesn’t want me either. I sold him my soul for rock n roll when I was younger, but he rejected it after awhile too. God found it on a clearance rack but only bought it back when the devil threw in an Ipad and an eternity of free WiFi.

Wanna put my tender heart in a blender

Watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion

Rendezvous and I’m through with you

I’m remarkably consistent . I’d rather not think or feel than deal with the hole in my chest where my heart used to be.

Redacted: something about nail polish and makeup. 🙂

Laundry block was awesome! Thr kids were amazing. The owner lady said she’s never seen so many polite young people,  cleaning up after themselves, helping each other, just overall great manners and respectful. The ice cream shop had many, many food options!!!! Lots of money was dropped today in that place. They can probably close the next 3 months, and live off the profits from today. Trumpet Josh didn’t have enough money for a shake so I bought him a shake. Randy had already had ice cream so I only got him a drink.

Bacon wrapped hot dogs for lunch. Communication breakdown. Bob wants a tighter transition between the ballad and percussion feature, having the tubas hold their note until the down beat of the timpani entrance. No big.  Got it . We’ll start with that at the top of ensemble time.

Ensemble was sucky, sloppy drum corps. Seems like were all spending what ever energy we have just holding ourselves together. I am so ready to go off and shred people, but what good would that do? I can’t want this gig to be anymore than what they want. It is what it is? I dunno. I need to take a walk and get away for awhile.

Wow. I know how to steer a ship, but I can’t corral a bunch of rafts floundering in a choppy sea. I am completely useless. Wah, wah, wah. Somebody call the wahmbulance. It seems like we’re doing everything we can to inhibit, restrict, and undermine the corps ability to achieve and thrive. I need to get off this emotional roller coaster I’ve created. 

Color guard battery flirt time 🙂 ❤ ok kids, get on the bus 😀

I need to get over myself. This organization has not planned, prepared, and implemented a course to reach the top 12, let alone finals, this season. That was a goal many of us had originally, but then we swerved violently off course long ago and now we’re all in survival mode. But I still could have been doing a better job along the way, I saw the signs of how far we were getting off track. I need to stay focused on the here and now, keep the gig moving forward,  and keep my attitude in check. 

Off to PA!!! Yay? 🙂 

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2016 Impulse National Tour Part 6:

August 2 Tuesday McComb Illinois

Western Illinois Univetsity 😀 We are heading into rehearsal right off the bus.  Dinner is at 9. Sections are in warmups then straight into ensemble. I talked with the guard briefly. After dinner there will be showers from 10-10:45. After tonight’s rehearsal the truck is moving 1 mile away to a field around the corner on to another part of campus. That’s where we’re rehearsing tomorrow, and we’re getting there by foot 🙂 Guard did a quick warmup and are on the field already.

We are housing with SCVC in a big ass gym, floor to ceiling tarp dividing us. Which means we’re also sharing showers with them. In this day and age, corps that house together have separate shower times, for whatever reason. However the restrooms, we are able to share, but complicating this situation is one of the restrooms has a small set of showers. A few hilarious questions from SCVC kids as I’m sitting in the hall by the restrooms/showers: *several Impulse kids walk into a restroom, SCVC kids sees, sees me, asks, “can I use the restroom?” Yes,  you may. “What if someone in there is changing their clothes?” Don’t stare. “Can I go into the showers, if I’m not going to shower?” Yes, but again, don’t stare. SCVC has some really young kids. 

Had a brief conversation with AZ before lights out. It was good, overall. We’ll talk more later.

Don’t know what they said to prompt me, but had a very random share with Dean and Trevor at lights out too. Girls, women, dolphin shorts, marathon bus rides in the 80’s. So many standards are so different now as far as acceptable behavior in close quarters. 

Our host did a great job getting lights out. I was talking with the SCVC director. He was telling me when the housing was being arranged,  the hosts asked him if he preferred housing with us or with Gold. After he stopped laughing,  he said he told them Impulse!  🙂  I’ve always admired the whole Vanguard organization, almost joined them after my third year with VK. I noticed the SCVC kids moved a lot faster in everything they did, compared to the Impulse kids,  except when our kids are going to the food line! 😛

Bob freaked out a little at the changes to the battery drill in Ballad. I had forgotten about the changes, its been that way since we taught it the week after memorial weekend camp at Taft. The original drill had the battery scattered and that made no sense musically, so we never even taught them those dots. Bob really wanted to change it to what he wrote, but that wasn’t going to happen. 

I’m so glad Randy was able to make it onto tour. I remember talking with the guard before tour, the last rehearsal at Lynwood before getting on buses. Wasn’t sure what was going to happen for tour but I wanted them to know I believed in them, stick together,  and I’ll do my best to push them through whatever needs to be done. But with Randy on tour, they are making changes and improvements they wouldn’t have been able to make without him. 

Daniella took a sabre to the forehead and Emma was waving her hand in front of Daniella’s face, like that was going to help! Love these kids ❤

The field around the corner we walked to is a shit field. The air is moist and very cool. Crazy storm clouds are swirling around. I dont care. They need to get better, They need to get better. THEY NEED TO GET BETTER!!!

I climbed on top of the equipment truck,  just because. Nava joined me. I was loving it, he, not so much. Those sirens I told the kids were just a test turned out to be actual tornado warnings. I asked Nava what we should do. He pointed out the people in the houses across the street and some that were sitting watching us rehearse. So our plan was, if the locals bail, we bail 🙂  It did end up raining and we did a run and had the kids do sub sectionals with the rest of the block time. Had some random conversations,  but one really important one was with Allanah. She needed to know I knew she was struggling. Tim and AZ were there too. Some tears, but good tears. Cleansing of the mind and soul. I rhink she’ll be okay now, but only time will tell.

We scored a 58.7 in Wisconsin and a 58.1 tonight in Illinois, and it was a much better performance from the corps. Two nights ago this show would have been 2 points higher, whatever. We are definitely in the numbers game right now about who should be in what place. Can’t get lost in the game. The numbers mean something, but they don’t. We, staff, need to keep the kids focused on their on the gig and making it better. Kids chirpiness is a little muted tonight. Not sure if its numbers related or their fatigue is getting to them.  Probably a little of both.

August 3 Wednesday Apling Illinois

We were at this crazy old school. It was the high school until 1957, then they built a new one across the street and made this the middle school. No pop in the gym 😛 We’re on our way to the Dixon show. lots of silos, farm houses, and corn, corn, CORN!!! Vern was a kick ass host. He’s a retired engineer from the local nuclear power plant, doing custodial work as a hobby 🙂 Horn kids watched the Arnold Schwarzenegger documentary Pumping Iron. Hype on it, Gabe! Its actually their second time watching it, didn’t finish it the first time in Wisconsin. Trevor has continually stepped up all season, pushing the horns. Not sure he is getting all the support he needs from Josh. 

Talked to the whole corps before the last run through. Some clapped after I spoke. I wasn’t trying to be inspiring, I was sensing a possible sucky show tonight. They seemed low on energy and a little more beat up than anyone wants to say. Staff looks beat up too. I’m beat up, mostly emotionally. I was sitting in the stands by myself after I sent them to lunch, then AZ came up to sit with me. I don’t remember what dark thoughts were spinming in my head, but she helped chase them away and kept me straight. I felt like if she hadn’t been there, I might have let the earth throw me into space. Fuck gravity!!! 😦

Its after the show. Score was another 58. something. I’m watching the food gig right now. Its always fascinating to me. So far, in general,  the kids were happy with their performance. Something worth mentioning at some point, to who, I dunno 😛 The numbers game with the scores is maddening. I’m honestly feeling super tired physically. Alexis is here, just sitting. She looked at me for awhile then told me I looked disheveled. Thanks Alice 😛 Heading to critique now.

Well, that went great and terrible all at the same time. As much as I dont mind being wrong, I really don’t, but tonight I wish I hadn’t been so right. 😦 All the words from the GE judges, even down to some of the hand gestures and some of the body language, you could have videoed me at the talk I gave this afternoon and played it back to me right now 😦  Specifically,  the remarks I made to the corps earlier and the remarks the judges made tonight in critique about where we are falling short, as a corps, and what we can do to fix it, were strikingly identical.

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2016 Impulse National Tour Part 5:

Millard Nebraska July 30 Saturday

Another clusterfuckish start today. Brunch at 11AM, block after 12-6, 1 1/2 hour block after brunch. Had a meeting coming off the bus, given a schedule for the day. It dis noy inclide shower time. Do you think they want showers? Randy eyes fell out of his head, bit he did manage to answer, yes, the kids woild like showers. Do you think so? Fernando agreed, kids and staff would like showers. Day #3 of tour, might be a good time to hose down and de-louse the rabble. 😛

So glad Sage is here and that Eddie is on the way. This season has been much better for the pit, and for the corps, with the leadership and guidance the front ensemble staff has given. They are a big part of the overall improvement the kids are getting instrucionally and in their whole experience. 

All things considered, the kids had a good morning. Spent time talking with Pit and guard before focusing on the horns. Wanted to give pit and guard a heads up, it is what it is, lets stick together, push through the bullshit, and figure it out what we can do to make this better for us talk. Did the end of  basics because Alexis, Ruben, and Jorge were running low on fumes. We all are, but I’m still pretty damn good when I’m less than optimal. 🙂

Ensemble went well. I think we accomplished a lot. Big credit and thanks to Fernando,  Randy, Josh, and most especially all the techs on the field today. Of course, the kids did their part too, as well they should!

Redacted: comments about the food truck’s road worthiness.

My head and my heart hurt so very much right now. Much wow, much hurt -doge 😦

We’re on our way to Wisconsin. The horn line is singing on the bus. Maybe they became a drum corps today.

July 31 Sunday Waukesha Wisconsin

Omg its cold. My phone started blowing up at 4AM. Our housing site is changing, school district drama. Just tell me what I need to know , please. Show sponsors are our housing hosts. They hooked us up well! Didn’t have the heart to tell them we not going to be using the stadium. Kids are digging the small town middle America looks of the neighborhood. Lots of ponds, lakes, rivers.

Well, so far we are surviving ourselves. Hopefully we’ve prepared the kids to have a smoking hot show. I’m loving the idea that Impulse is re-introducing itself on the drum corps national stage. No hype,  no bullshit, let’s just go fuck shit up!

Started vizh warmup at the show in front of Colt Cadets,  Josh picked the spot. Kids were unfocused at first but pushed through and locked in. I said nothing, hung back and watched Alexis, Ruben, and Jorge work it. Those guys always do a great job with the pre-show warmups. Can’t imagine how exciting it must be for all three of them as Impulse alumni to be bringing the corps back on a national tour. 

Kilties are here. Getting lots of crazy flashbacks. So many times through here as a member, and many more times as staff. Not much has changed at all. Kids and our newbie staff are marveling at how green everything is, how nice people are, how quiet it is, and lots of white people, besides the Mexicans playing soccer 😛

After the show had a great conversation with Robert MacTavish, he called, as did Irene and Martha,  wanted to know how things are going, how the first show went. Its all about perspective,  right now I dont have it. My nose is too close to the shit. They preached patience,  understanding,  flexibility. The premise of my response was that because so much has been left to chance, we’ve left ourselves little to no room  for flexibility. 

Im feeling very drained emotionally and mentally. I can push through physically,  but my heart is tearing apart. Its great that communication is flowing from the kids. So many came to me after the show to tell me they felt they could have done better. Join the club, there’s a lot of that going around. Sigh. I’m glad they want to share with me but even the biggest sponge can absorb only so much emotion.

Randy wants guard to get their equipment. I think they’re retaping or something.  Walked with guard out to the truck. Oh, I have a key now! 😀

August 1 Monday Waukesha Wisconsin

Didn’t have any trouble getting the kids down and to sleep, relatively speaking. Its their first night sleep on a non-moving surface. There were some squirrelly battery and percussion kids, different faces, same squirrels, says I, the squirrel King, but you’ve never heard him sing! 😛 Can you make the Squirrel King sing? Wow, old school Rayray, never far away!

Got the guard, Sage, and Dani into the showers last night. Forgot who told me, Esteban? Fernando?  Both? That BDB staff were getting all agro about us using the showers after their lights out. Kicking kids out and shit. Well  BDB needed to get the fuck over it. Chicks needed to shower. I was wearing my Cheif Bassline blouse too! I would have brought the wtath of my tribe if anyone had given us shit.

Breakfast sandwiches! Kids and staff are dragging ass this morning. Most people have been coming through as best they can through this point,  but I still don’t know if they can keep pushing through the whole tour. Either way, I have to be ready, but if they start to suck, that will be a hugh challenge for me on which way to respond. Bleh. One day, this corps will demonstrate some consistency. This is not that day. Its a good corps, member wise,  but its not a corps that can become legendary. Unless…  ❤

I'm eternally optimistic and a shameless romantic 🙂

On our way to McComb Illinois

Stopping at a Super Target shopping center in Davenport Iowa for lunch. Emma discovered the secret ice angel 😀 ❤ She is consistently amazing!!!

Steak n Shake in Davenport! 🙂 We crossed the Mississippi,  twice! That's a big ass river. Second day of tour staff was given a general itinerary, but there's a lot of gaps in times and locations,  and generally void of detail. So far the estimated travel times have been terribly inaccurate,  never enough time is planned. I'm not looking at schedules anymore, unless someone makes me. I lost phone service anyways. If you need to communicate with me, you know what bus I'm on. 😀

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