The end of marching band season. Evan left yesterday to head off to Indianapolis to march in the RCA dome in competition with about 100 other bands from all over. They call it “Grand Nationals” but they never talk about any schools from anywhere but the midwest and south. Perhaps they just don’t make a big deal about high school marching contests in California or Maine. That would make sense – it’s always Texas and states in the middle that make such a big deal about high school stuff. Every Friday night they spend the last 15 minutes – half !– of the ten o’clock news talking about high school football which is silly to me. Who cares besides pathetic middle-aged people trying to recapture their youth?

Anyway, Evan was off on Bus number 3. We had fixed up “goody bags” with candy, silly stuff, and a rather nice fleece throw with each kid’s (in Evan’s section – he’s section leader) name embroidered on it. It’s amazingly cheap to make these things – apparently fleece is incredibly cheap to manufacture because you can find these throws on sale at WalMart for less than $5 if you watch for it. Embroidery is pretty cheap as well. Evan also had custom T-shirts made up for the kids in his section so right about now Evan is the lord-high coolmaster as far as his section is concerned because he arranged for them to get all the free stuff. Of course, we dunned all their parents $25 to cover everything. Such is life before adulthood. I wish I could go back to that stage myself; the stage where good things happen and it never occurs to you that somebody had to work and spend to make them happen.

He’s dreadfully behind in some of his classwork and so taking two days off is not the best thing that could happen academically speaking. He has a research paper to write and so I sent him off with my laptop in a suitably padded backpack in the hopes that he could get some writing done on the bus. I texted him to get him to try and find out who stole our copy of the movie “Wayne’s World” on the last band trip and he responded by telling me that the laptop was in use by some other kid who “really needed to get his T-shirt artwork done”. Apparently the kid didn’t feel like he could do much until he found out that somebody had a laptop with PhotoShop on it, then suddenly he felt the pressure. My response was:

  1. I sent that along so that you could do work, not some other kid.
  2. His emergency is not my problem nor is it yours.
  3. He can’t email the artwork to the T-shirt guy because I disabled the wireless card to conserve batter power (and to keep the other kids from taking it while you’re asleep and surfing the internet for pr0n.
  4. Tell him I said “Get the hell away from that computer and stay away!”
  5. I’m calling his parents and having them call him and tell him the same.
  6. Don’t let other kids mess with my precious gadgets.

That last bit was not sent but I felt it.

I didn’t call the kid’s parents but I think I will. I know this kid and he can be persistent. I can hear it now: “Come on Evan you can type those 400 pages any time!”

Last year they won the grand prize; this yea, they’re hoping to make the finals.  It’s all art and very subjective so you never know.  There’s a prejudice against last year’s winner I think; nobody wants to be accused of letting some sort of dynasty form so I think they’re destined for second place at best.  That would be fine though.

I just hope he can get back and pull his calculus grade back up.  That’s the most important thing in the long run.  He’s in the doghouse because of that and his arrival back home will be greeted by groundings and revoked privileges  until things improve.  It may be a tense holiday.