2016 Impulse National Tour Part 4:Β 

July 28 Thursday about an hour outside Green River UT

Made the buses stop. I was starting to get backed up in a bad way. I still need to go more, but I’ll wait until its not just a hole in the mountain that passes for a restroom. F’ing Utah rest stops! Β some of the guys watered the local landscape instead of going in the mountain hole. Its such a Beautiful night sky too. Ftank and Phil asked me if I was ready to get going again I told them no, give the kids a few more minutes to look at the stars. Its an amazing night. How does Connor end up sitting with Nohemi? Whatever. πŸ˜›

Meh, those kids have been out there long enough. Gonna round them up now.

The deal tomorrow is no deal. Not sure if there is anyway I can put a positive spin on this to the kids. I’ve never in over 14 years of national tours, as a member and as staff combined, dealt with a tour with so much uncertainty and so many unknowns. Its really not acceptable to put kids on the street because arrangements weren’t made. That is basically the situation. I cannot imagine how this is not going to hurt in both retaining members and in recruiting new members.

Friday July 29 Littleton Colorado

This day is starting out clusterfuckish. On the plus side AZ had a Snickers for breakfast πŸ™‚ ❀ Fernando asked me if he and his staff really need to go supervise the kids going to the waterpark or minigolf. No I said. The people that created the situation should be supervising them. Whatever, its cool, I got other staff to cover the kids. Kind of reminds me of the old days when I firsted started with Impulse where instructional staff had to double as support staff because we just didn't have enough adults on tour to handle everything.Β 

Redacted: clusterfuck rant, AZ and Trevor notarized πŸ™‚ ❀

Redacted: conversation with AZ on an idea to help her feel better.

Some people that I yelled at yesterday have been physically avoiding me, I'm Moses and they're the Red Sea. Seriously that was yesterday, Β get the fuck over it. I'm not planning on yelling at anyone about anything anytime soon. All I ask is to please just follow directions!Β 

Redacted: comments about how the position of staff coordinator was managed in the past.

Tom spoke with theΒ park ranger in charge of this area. The ranger said we can rehearse here if we want, just to stay in the parking lot areas that we are already in. Great. I don't have a key to the truck. I haven't had a key since 2014. Don't remember who borrowed it and never returned it. Yes I could have asked for another key, but its not been a secret that I don't have one. If it was important for the kids to have access to the equipment, Β why make sure the guy that's always there have a key. Grrrr.

Bwahhahaha! I fell asleep! Β I'm solo watching Camp Impulse. All the adults have gone off to do their thing. Not a big deal. Sleep and showers are overrated. Tour is the time to get shit done. Its not a vacation. Besides, let's assume a vacation would have been better planned!

There's a light rail train nearby.

Esteban for corps director? Β Why not?

Uber, Uber, Β Uber!Β 

Part of my frustration with the corps yesterday was their response to my question: are you doing uour best? Well, right now, this organization is not doing its best. And it certainly hasn't done its best in preparing for this tour.Β 

Redacted: comments about how to turn a vision in an action plan.

I'm dozing off again. Gonna go walk aeound the bus and trucks.

There's a little river, a creek down the hill from the parking lot we are in. Kids are going back and for, up and down. What the hell is an Aldo Grande and why is it in a cup?!

Called my friend Happi, she lives down the street. I'm surprised she was home. OMG!!! She's here!!!!

Well that was a fun visit! πŸ˜€ So surprised she was home and not hanging out at her Huntington Beach condo. She's going to be in California next week. She asked why we weren't rehearsing today if its only our second day of tour. She marched drum corps with me.Β 

Kids are coming and going back and forth now, changing clothes, checking in, gojng down to the creek. Some kids are calling to check in, some are texting, some are messaging. Couple still haven't checked in. I've not heard any sirens, I am sure they're alive πŸ˜›Β 

Damn I hate kids. πŸ™‚ Mitch, Avery and Ricky brought me a drink and snacks. In the grand scheme of things, maybe rehearsing today wouldn't have made a difference in their oberall achievement. In the end, maybe today was the kind of day that enhances their overall experience for this summer. Either way, it is what it is. And I woild have rather rehearsed today than not, particularly this early in tour with a show two days away.

Carol, Tom, Maribel, and Dave are back. Carol brought me snacks too, and Tom brought me Gatorades. Maribel asked if Mike or Bob had shown up while I was here. Nope, but apparently they had told her they would. Hiven thought and time, I can list a variety of reasons the van should have been here all day. I can also make amlist of reasons the van shouldn't have been here all day . The first list would show a thoughtfulness for others and the second list…

"Logistics are the easy part" a phrase spoken to the caps adter the corps performance at RCC. That phrase will forever make my smile, cry, and die a little on the indide esch time I think sbout it.

Bob and Mike are here. Β I got shit gor letting kids go all over. What did those guys want the kids to do for 14 hours in Littleton? Β 

Random circleness of drummers around me. Need to gind a quiet spot. Ha! Good luck eith that, Ray. Storm is approaching. Drivers are here! Yay! Off to Nebraska! Corn for days!

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2016 Impulse National Tour Part 3

*Just for clarification because the question comment came up yesterday, these posts about tour and stuff are coming straight out my yellow notebook. No Monday morning quarterbacking. I’ve cleaned up spelling,  grammar, sentence structure,  and there’s been a few very select rephrasing of some things, (because I’m educated AF and I can be articulate and shit when I want) but this is as it was, when it was.*

July 27, 2016 Fullerton train station Wednesday
Its been so long since I’ve written about Impulse stuff. I’m sure I’ve written about Tom and Carol before. I dunno,  but I’ll be brief. Besides all the extraordinary things they do for the corps, and quite frankly, over the years, many aspects of the corps would have face planted without their efforts, Tom and Carol have opened their home to host those coming from long distances. They have helped many, many members and staff during everydays with not only a place to rest between everyday rehearsals,  but they’ve provided food and other comforts, making the “like family” phrase more than just something that’s said. This past season they hosted Amy, Emma, Azaliah, and myself. Tom and Carol exemplify selflessness,  dedication,  and commitment in helping Impulse. I am not sure I would have been a part of Impulse these past two seasons were it not for the help and support they both have given me πŸ™‚ ❀

…and then there were the sugar crackballs after practices at Lynwood HS and late night ice cream πŸ˜› 

I thought I was going to rant and ramble about all the piles of poo, all the missteps thus far this season, but guess not πŸ˜€ Good for me and good for you! Allthe major missteps are easy enough to recall if and or when anyone cares to hear my perspective. I’m waiting for the bus now and the time to talk about would haves, could haves, and should haves has long passed. Its all about right here and right now. All of us pulling together and doing our collective best.

I’ve seen a lot of FB posts from staff and members being excited about going on National Tour. I’ll be sure to remind them of that excitement when the reality of tour starts kicking their asses, because it will. Tour will kick all our asses. It always does.

I haven’t spoken to the members much about tour, or anyone for that matter, about what to expect. Everyone, right now, seems to have their own ideas about what this tour is going to be. My gig is to be ready for any questions, comments, and concerns when they come up. Here’s something minor that came up: The Impulse flag. Not minor to the members, but a minor concern in relation to questions and concerns I have right now about tour. The Impulse flag has been missing in action since the end of last season. Questions about it have come and gone throughout the season regarding the flag. Not that the members or vets need to know or should know the history of the flag, but I do find it interesting that it’s lack of presence is a concern when, as far as I know, no one knows how or why it even came to be.

Tradition, like the dismissal thing. It was changed because someone decided it needed to change. I have no bothers either way. The dismissal thing has been evolving for several years now, and it will change again in the future, or not. Either way, that we spent time being concerned about it and took time to discuss it is amusing to me. Like the flag. Impulse existed for years without a flag on the truck, then it appeared, then it was gone. Symbols and rituals can be great, but only if what they represent are great, otherwise…

Because I know things or have opinions about things doesn’t make my thoughts important. I’m not invisible, but I’m not the driver of this beast. 

Redacted: the bus seating arrangements and plan for people flying in,  or actually,  the lack of a plan.

I’m really not looking forward to almost 3 weeks of 24/7 with people in either gyms or the people pickle jar on wheels. I love my quiet time. Quite the contradiction I am πŸ˜›

I am looking forward to helping these kids max this gig. That’s all I’m here for. I got no skin in the game. This doesn’t add or take away from my resume either way, good or bad.  I’m all about making this a positive, educational, and hopefully life changing experience for these kids. I want to encourage them to, and be accountable to them for, demonstrating the best that we can be as people, who are dedicated and care for each other, as we endeavor a most difficult of ensemble endeavors a group of young humans can attempt.

 August 28 Thursday on the way to St, George UT

Walmart stop at 5AM. Pee break and apparently some people needed some basics. Azaliah is not well, needed some pepto, but she looks better than she did last night. Emma bought ice cream! πŸ™‚

7AM Looks like we’re headed to the park we were at last season, which means no showers 😦 The place reminds me of Radiator Springs, the kids will get great pictures. The drive in from Vegas was pretty sweet. America! Blast through those mountains and make a highway! Tom and I came through here going the other way last October. 

Nobody wanted to talk to us at the port of entry. St. George next 5 exits.

Redacted: thoughts, again, about the lack of a bus seating plan for upcoming changes.

Nice that my head is more clear this tour πŸ˜€

Bob sent out a schedule,  2 blocks, but no indication of what those blocks are designated as. I was going to text Fernando,  but I’ll talk to Randy and Aldo first. Nevermind, I’ll wait until I see Bob. 

Saw Bob,  but I still had to ask what block was starting the day. My staff had just asked me also. Even though we obviously didn’t have I field I wasnt going to assume we would start in sectionals. There were rehearsals throughout the season where we started the day in visual, with no field yet painted. Throwing down a field is not a problem. My staff snd I just need to know. Even in the heat today we threw a field down in about 30 minutes πŸ™‚

Off to Starbucks with Alice, Jorge, Ruben, Tom and Carol!

115! Geezus! That really kicked some asses today, including mine! It also rained, very briefly. Battery missed me going off on the hornline. I don’t care that its hot. You need to respond when I ask you a question. I was patient the 3rd and 4th time, rephrasing the question and even adding optional ways to reply. I’ll admit, I did lose it, but the response from those unintentionally caught in the buckshot indicated to me I wasn’t completely unreasonable in my anger with the lack of effort.

AZ, sigh, hope she greats better soon. Emma was kicking that heat in the ass right back! She’s a rock! πŸ˜€ ❀

Leaving St George. Watching Goonies. HEY YOU GUYS!!! I slept through most of it.

On the way to Denver with no housing site and no plan…well…no plan to rehearse 😦 sigh. Day #2?! Really?!

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2016 Impulse National Tour Part 2: My Staff

I’m still at home πŸ™‚

Other people that have made the magic happen this season besides Fernando and his staff,  my Staff! ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀  Without going into great detail there was a Taffy, Amy, Ducky, Stacey, Tim, and cameos by an Alan and a James. The Road Warriors were Ruben, Alexis, Jorge, and Brooke.

Say what you want about Ruben (Lord knows Tom has πŸ˜› ) Ruben AKA Roo buns, Roo Bunny Buns, Milton Hotcakes, Panda, Sugar Daddy. I love the guy as much as i have ever loved another guy (except this one bus ride when I was in corps…

J/K πŸ˜›

He is my all Time and Forever Zombie Apocalypse Team Leader. When shit goes down I want Ruben there. He’ll always be able to call 911 while I’m bleeding from a severe wound or at the least he can identify my body from my tatoos only he has seen.

Jorge impressed me from day one last season. I remember that time when I pulled him aside during a break in visual basics to speak with him personally and directly. He remembers that day too. We talked about later while I was interviewing him about the possibility of joining the vizh staff. He thought I wanted to talk to him, on the day during the basics break time, because he thought he was in trouble. I just wanted to compliment him on his consistent excellence and his consistent energy πŸ™‚   I also remember watching him teach that first time at Bell Gardens HS. It was very cool to see that he was very efficient at transferring his knowledge and skills as a performer to the newbies. Jorge has also consistently demonstrated that given the opportunity his skills as an instructor continously improve.

(Side note, the reason I contacted Alexis was it was the first time that Taffy told me she was not able to commit to the gig)

Alexis caught my eye, ironically, by not catching my eye. As a rookie with Impulse in 2011 she was one of the youngest in the hornline. Her section also had some of the best people in the corps, in terms of their performance level and consistency. She more than held her own and although the trumpets were more talented and had many great performers also, the mellos to me were the best section, best hype, and consistently encouraged , supported, and pushed each other throughout that season. In 2013 with Impulse she was much the same in consistency, intensity, energy, and her excellence. In 2014 she was with Troopers and I saw her frequently featured in social media posts from DCI showing Troopers on the field. 

In 2015 at the Rose Bowl show, this beautiful young woman approached me and at first I’m like, cool. Then I recognized who it was and I was like, WOW πŸ˜€ ❀ She cleans up well and was doing the dress and hair thing very, very well.

But, for the record, I never would have contacted Alexis and asked her to be on vizh staff if Taffy had given me any indication that she would be able to commit to helping the corps. Life happens, I get it. Coincidentally,  Alexis is the reason I asked Brooke to be a part of the vizh staff.

I had met Brooke last year. She’s friends with a couple of Impulse alumni, one who has done a couple of years with Vanguard and another who could have easily been in World for several years. Brooke and I talked a few times on tour last year while she was with BDB and we messaged a few more times last fall and early winter, talking about her world auditions and school (UCI) and stuff.

One lunch during everydays at Marina, Ruben, Jorge, myself and Alexis were having what I thought was a very garden variety conversation.  Apparently this garden had grown a bag of *****,  maybe several bags of *****, like baguette sized, sticking out of the bag *****. Alexis kinda snapped and said something I shall not repeat (but you can ask me, I’ll tell you. She would tell you too, I’m guessing πŸ™‚ ) Strongly motivated by Alexis’ situation I went home and called, texted, and emailed 4 friends to recommend to me a female that I could consider as a candidate for vizh staff. I got 3 names right away. First one contacted got bsck to me quickly, but she was in training in another state as an Army reservist. She did give me anotber name and I contacted that person. While I waited to hear from the 3 other candidates that I had now called, texted, and emailed, I started going through my contacts and saw Brooke’s name. (For the record I never heard back from the other people I contacted.)

I contacted Brooke. We talked, went back and forth on a few things, and bam, it was done. Its only been a week or so of everydays, but I’ve seen her get better and more comfortable on the field as a tech, everyday. I love her confidence and look forward to her contributions to the 2016 tour. 

It was coincidental that Taffy joined the staff last year. I didn’t know her, but Aldo got a message from her asking if he was interested in being part of a squad to go see DCI at the Rose Bowl. Aldo was like, already going with Impulse, I’m on brass staff. She was no way!, and he’s like, Way! πŸ™‚ Aldo invited her to a rehearsal. I met her and was like, hey, what’s up, wanna tech some drum corps? It worked out well enough for her and I that after that first rehearsal she asked if she could bring a friend who did Colts. 

I met Amy and Taffy for lunch. It clicked. I watched Amy work, liked. Amy and Taffy, with Ruben helped push that 2015 corps through a very rough but satisfying season. Amy also was a big part of developing and strengthening the visual program this year. But life happens. Now Amy is band directing and Taffy is band camping. Good for both of them. ❀ ❀ ❀

Redacted: my ideal drum corps, my general philosophy about women being better than men, classic paradigms that have existed throughout history, and listing the names of everyone in the drum corps (just to have my own personal record about who was a part of the 2016 beast)

Still haven’t gotten on a bus and I’m on page 11!

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2016 Impulse National Tour Part 1: planning for success, or not :)

July 26 Glendoria Home

Hey y’all, long time no see! πŸ™‚ Quick review: we spent most of the season at Marina HS, with more than a few rehearsals at Bell Gardens HS.  There was effort, by several inside and outside the organization, to re-establish our presence at Cerritos College as a part of the Music and Extended Education Community Program, but that never happened due to a variety of factors. 😦

As a disclaimer, and to be absolutely clear, my journal and blog ramblings and notations are entirely and completely my perspective. However, whenever I state something as fact, I am more than prepared to stand behind those statements. Fight me! πŸ˜›

I have to say, early in the season I still felt disconnected from the organization, as I have the past two plus seasons, and quite honestly most of my thoughts about Impulse were in my rear view mirror and I was thinking about other aspects of my life that I’ve ignored or that haven’t thrived and would totally benefit from more time and attention from me. But things changed, ❀ , obviously and I never went anywhere.

Great stuff this season: Fernando and his staff. It started early in our October and November meetings. Fernando and I had some very brief but very honest exchanges.  I took his concerns very seriously and understood he could see the big picture with a clear perspective that I needed to be more aware of that. Ive always had a tremendous amount of respect for Fernando,  as a person and as a talent, although in 2015, that respect wasn’t apparent. (As my staff has learned this year about me. My love for them comes out in unconventional and sometimes very quirky ways.) πŸ˜€

My first opportunity to work directly with Fernando was in March of 2015. Mike called a meeting to reset the our course, because frankly, we were floundering. Fernando (replacing Rob Carson) Josh (replacing Jeff McGinnis) Ron Z, Craig Jordan, Mike and myself formed the team to push the beast forward. He impressed me right away with his intelligence and the fact that even though he wasn’t speaking up as much as the others, he was definitely listening and very aware of what was being said. Can’t say the same for everyone at that meeting. One example, everyone got blogged down about a 12 or 16 count chunk and what to do musically with the horns at that moment. After going in circles 2 or 3 times I stopped the discussion, also I got tired of watching Fernando’s eyes spinning as he tried following. I asked Fernando, can you write something that will get us through that moment?  Yup, he sure can! (He’d already been writing percussion music at that point, which was a fact I emphasized to the others. They had heard his writing, and liked it. Let him do his thing and let’s move on!)

2015 was messy, sloppy,  and at times unfocused (more my fault than anyone else’s. I had a few personal issues I gave priority, hop hop hop πŸ˜› ) That a corps made it to the field was a miracle,  achieved by the energy and will of a new and fresh staff. God bless them ❀ The few times I spoke with Fernando after that March meeting, those conversations were very direct, focused, productive, and I always felt like we moved something forward in those moments.

This season past, after our early fall  meetings, Fernando and I had developed a rapport and we had more than a few phone and text chats throughout the late fall and early winter. We discussed a whole range of topics: the 2015 season,  instructional staff then and now, management staff then and now, life in general, basically any and all things were discussed. Turns out we are in agreement about many and most things, the only differences being in our communication style.

A few general comments about where Impulse is at right now. In the past, I’ve taken copious notes at any and all meetings, but not these past two plus years. As we prepare for our first national tour since 2008, I was reviewing some of those notes randomly, to see where we’ve been as an organization and how we got here. I looked at notes of meetings from 14 years ago, 8 years ago, and 3 years ago. Except of the dates, they could’ve easily been notes from the same meetings πŸ˜› : We need a schedule for…, support staff needs to get a copy of that schedule ASAP, the members are behind in their payments, watch your emails for any changes or updates in the schedule and or rehearsal location, we need an itinerary for…ASAP and share it with any and all, need to make sure we get a driver to get the truck to…by…, etc. A failure to plan early and communicate that plan by any and all means, consistently, is a plan to fail. Logistics, no matter if large or small, are never easy. πŸ™‚


(Side note: in a heated exchange a couple of weeks ago I qouted and repeated back exactly what someone just said to me. His response was for me not to use his words against him. My response was that he needs to choose his words more carefully.  πŸ™‚ )

The basic framework of how any organization operates is relatively constant, hence the term framework. Everyone has their own style in communicating. Some prefer face to face meetings, some prefer email, some text, and for some the phone call. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. For best practices in any and all organizations, all methods of communication should be employed consistently, unless specific individual preferences are specified, and even then, repetitive communication and clarification is always better than any communication deficit. 

We are all ego driven, but something I like to say in regards to working with others: its not about you, its not about me,  its about us. Its difficult to imagine and consider all personalities and egos when planning and making organizational decisions, but that is not an excuse to at the very least have a protocol to address potential conflicts and be able to refernce that protocol if and when any conflicts may occur.

Redacted: rant about tour departure time and when is laundry day. 

In 10+ national tours, I’ve always had an itinerary in hand and or in an email. Dates, times, places. That we know things are going to change is not an excuse to not have a basic framework. Another thing I looked at besides old notes was itineraries from national tours in the past. And back in the day, I used to get a BINDER with maps, show sheets, email correspondence to and from road contacts, names and numbers, just about any and all info needed to embark on a difficult endeavor. Difficult even when armed with basic pre-planned travel data. Rare are the occasions where I am wrong in basic assessments. I honestly look forward to those few and far between occasions. 

(FYI: I dont speak up more often because, A) who the f*** am I, B) everyone deserves a chance to figure stuff out themselves, C) if you really want to know something, I’m not invisible, D)  I’m a facilitator at heart, make it happen, get shit done.)

(As Ruben jr. lkes to say, Ray, you just want to watch the world burn. 

Wild fires are a part of nature, something new always replaces what burned πŸ™‚ )

I’m definitely a factor in any shortcomings this organization has experienced. I’m accountable, knowing I could have said and done more, but at what cost, to me, to others? In the absence of leadership, I’ll speak and do, but we’ve not had a shortage of people that want to lead. 

Redacted: another rant about communication

There has been success in this organization. It speaks for itself. The members, the corps, the organization have all achieved. That is the standard, that is the expectation. The organization should expect success, the corps and members should expect success. The only question should be at what level is each person committed to achieving? What level of excellence is each person willing to push themselves, be an example for others, and ultimately accept accountability for goals not achieved. I’ll always help facilitate,  always ready to make it happen and get shit done. I can create the space for any level of achievement.  What’s the plan; I’m locked and loaded. πŸ™‚

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2016 Guard and a few final thoughts

These thoughts I’ve shared the past few days are only a moment in time from my perspective. Things change, people change, my perspective changes (not really, but let’s say that’s true) πŸ™‚ I spoke with someone last night about why I’ve posted what I have. The memories of our summer will ebb and flow over time. The true meaning of this experience, of the people and places, will be found inside each person. My hope is that as you all dive back into the real world, you hold onto your thoughts and memories just a little longer and marinate in the amazing, incredible feelings you had this summer.

Also, the reality is its over, and we will never be together again as we were. Maybe in the future, some will, but most of us won’t. The time, energy, and resources an individual needs to participate in this activity are great. So are the rewards, but soon we will each evaluate our own situation, prioritize, and move forward. Maybe we will be together again, maybe we won’t. 

And on that happy note…

Great skill set, in all aspects as a person and performer. We talked about her style and the effort she makes to always look her best. Its the same intensity and focus she applies to each rep, to each run. She consistently gave everything she had and to top it all off, she’s beautiful, kind hearted, soft spoken, and probably one of the best friends a person could have. 

This girl, the sweetest, most adorable person, and a most unique character πŸ˜€ but she’s no push over. If you cross her at 3 in the morning,  with her arms full of luggage heading to the gym, from the bus after an all night ride, she will cut you! Unless you’re related to her πŸ˜› She’ll never bring out a knife to what she knows will be a gunfight. She, unknowingly, helped hold the guard together, just by being herself.

Gorgeous, not so much every moment of everyday, but in those brief moments where she feels she can relax. Then that inner light and strength shines through. As one of the more experienced members of the guard, she helped mentor some of the less experienced which greatly helped the overall success of the guard.

I remember her first rehearsal,  Taft camp. I thought for sure she was going to quit. I spoke with her, and I honestly had no clue what to tell her, other than it will get better, and that we are all here to help and support her. But she hurt my eyes, the flag thing and feet were not happening. She’s had as many ups and downs as anyone, but pushed herself through it all and became one of the best performers and one of my all time favorites ❀ ❀ ❀

Love her, not love her. πŸ˜€ I saw a maturity in her I’ve not seen in the past, but she still gave me more than a handfull of, really?!, smh moments. Deceptively cute. I say deceptively because her piercing eyes and chola attitude can cause some to over look that she’s very pretty. She helped me become a better person and a better instructor. 

Here’s someone who I’ve known for a long time, but we’ve not talked much. Tough minded, talented, determined to succeed, but not always determined to breathe. A great daughter, a great sister, a very good friend.

First time I saw this girl spin and do choreography I was like, wow! Another very consistent performer, always doing her best on the field. She hit a rough patch and started struggling. I forget how many days this went on before I decided to speak with her about it. It was a great talk, one of the best I had with anyone. She thanked me at the time and again a few days later, but our talk helped me also.

A star is born. She came quite able, with her equipment and dance skill, but she also possesses a natural grace and beauty that she is able to apply to everything she does as a performer, and it got better and better πŸ˜€ Humble, funny, great companion and great friend. Forever in my heart.

I have a lot more to say about guard, some from my notebook, some just because ❀ These comments are quite reserved. I’ll not be posting on the FB page my notes from the summer because: 1) don’t want to, 2) don’t have to, 3) can’t make me πŸ™‚  If you’ve not figured out yet how to access my blog, outside of my FB postings, then you’re really not interested. Frankly, what I noted was nothing more than what any reasonable observant person would have noted…

Ok, that’s a lie πŸ˜€

There’s personal stuff, both warm emotional stuff and cold hearted, Ray do you need counseling, stuff. There’s boring, slice of life stuff. There’s me being completely random and amusing myself with my own words. It’s a hodgepodge, eclectic lot, not what could be considered a documentary. 

On that note, after this post, I am going to share one more post. Its something I wrote about 3 yeaes ago and since it might be the last thing you hear or see from me, thought I’d leave you with something good to marinate on. πŸ˜€

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2016 Impulse Euphoniums and Instructional Staff

Talented, very bright, a quiet and different kind of confident. If stuff is going down, in a bad way, I think I could count on him to stand shoulder to shoulder with me. Actually, I believe that about all three guys. They’re euphoniums, for goodness sakes! πŸ™‚ 

He reminds me of me, a very, very long time ago. Sweet, gentle young man. Kind to all. Now, I’m probably completely wrong, in both regards about him and me, but hey, its my world πŸ˜› Always worked hard

He was another in the winter season that worried me greatly, his tolerance,  or rather, his body’s intolerance of very high physical demand. But he kept coming back too. I’m sure many of his friends and family have already remarked how much he has changed, for the better, I believe. Taller, leaner, more skilled, more confident. 

I’m not going to make individual comments about instructional staff because: 1) don’t want to, 2) don’t have to, 3) can’t make me πŸ˜› Also, I spoke individually to them throughout the season expressing my appreciation for their efforts and how much it means to the kids, how much of a positive difference they are making in the lives of the young humans.

Brass staff, there’s a whole lotta Mexican there πŸ™‚ Ayi!, Que Rico! Speaking of, with all the Mexican on the percussion and brass staff, and vizh-guard staff, and kitchen πŸ˜› we should have had at least one Taco Tuesday!!! Can I get an Amen. Testify! Palabra de Ramon πŸ˜€

It was great to see brass and percussion staff in conversations here and there through out the season and on tour. In addition, Randy did an amazing job solo. I was solo “guard staff” in ’13 for a 8-9 day tour and it emotionally drained me. And speaking of guard…

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2016 Mellos and Trumpets

We did a recruitment thing at a guard show in Arcadia.  For what ever reason I thought it was a good opportunity to teach him how to talk to girls. Don’t know how well that lesson went. He’s been a solid team player. A great person to build a section around. I need to spend moretime with him and learn his ways πŸ™‚

Ray, Ray, guess what happened…Ray, Ray, check this out…RAY WHY ARE WE DRIVING IN CIRCLES!!! So the time we got pulled over by the cops,…Ray, you seem to know a lot about these situations πŸ˜€ Great part of the mornings during everydays and some rides home, pokemon hunting, etc. πŸ˜› Glad I was able to be a part of that.

At some point during tour he made it a point to say hi to me everytime he saw me. It always made me smile or smile a little more when he would do that because he was otherwise not one to be demonstrative about much. Still waters run deep. There’s a lot more to this guy than meets the eye. Respect and appreciation.

Every year I see someone that in the back of my mind I’ll think, yup, they’re not going to make it, for whatever reason, and usually I’ve been wrong, which to me, is actually kinda cool. I’m completely guessing now, but maybe its because they seem to be working harder than the results they’re demonstrating and not appearing to enjoy themselves. That she kept showing up was admirable. Tough. Determined. 

This has been a life changing experience for this guy. The same could be said for most, or for all, for that matter. In this case, too early to tell whether its for his betterment or not. Drum corps can leave you a little tattered and worn. I’ll be checking on him periodically these next few months.

I was excited the first time I met this guy. Since then,…well πŸ™‚ Always interesting to see how some deal with the mental, emotional,  and physical demands of this activity. His attitude was consistently positive and that smile was always nearby.

Consistent excellence. Articulate. Great person to build a organization around. Appreciated the politeness he showed me in tolerating my nonsense. 

Passionate. Loyal. Frustrated the heck out of me with her inconsistencies. A good and kind soul. 

A shining beam of moonlight. Mysterious and subtle,  but plain and forthright at the same time. Very intelligent and quietly fabulous πŸ™‚

One of the people I took time to personally and directly express my appreciation for his presence. Cool guy. Another one whose still waters run deep, but maybe not as deep as I’d like to think. 

Didn’t always appreciate this guy’s presence early. There was nothing I disliked about him, my concerns were that given the instructional time parameters, I wasn’t sure that even my ample skill set and experience would be enough to get him to an achievement level we wanted the entire ensemble to reach. He proved me wrong πŸ˜€ I give him thanks and congratulations. 

This girl hurt my eyes. But from where she started the season to where she ended it, as a performer, she was two completely different people. To her credit, it never changed who she is.  Sweet, kind, always a breath of fresh air. 

If I were to start a Jason Bourne program, I’d recruit this guy. 

Chatted with this girl a few times. She said some nice things to me I’ll always remember πŸ™‚ Shared with her early on also about the effort I could see her making. Obviously, everyone was making efforts, but speaking of drill, depending on who you’re near can greatly effect how easy or how difficult you individual vizh gig can be. 

This guy drove me crazy. He was definitely interested in being a part of his section and ensemble and doing well,  but knowingly or unknowingly,  he was going to do it his way. We accommodated each other, another methodological strength and weakness of mine. He also made it a habit of politely greeting me each time our paths crossed. Gotta respect that.

I used to worry about this guy, in terms of his physical stamina. The winter season was hard on him, but he kept showing up, and one day he pushed through it. From that day on, every day, he was a little better, a little stronger. I want him on my Zombie Apocalypse Team also πŸ˜›

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