Member’s Journal – Kansas

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25 July 2007
Wednesday, 10:21pm
Pittsburgh, KS

In the past week we have endured cricket infestations, scalding hot showers, and fourteenth place. But really, that's looking at everything from a very negative point of view. Last Wednesday night (July 18), we had the Lafayette, LA show. It would've been a great show if my cold and asthma hadn't mixed together. At the end of the closer, there was phelgm lodged in the back of my throat. I was wheezing walking out of the gate. The next day we had a shortened rehearsal day. It threatened to rain all day, although it held off until we began our full run. We stopped at the end of the opener to vacate the field in the rain. We had a very delicious Cajun cookout for dinner- rice, pork, and sausage. We departed to do laundry elsewhere in Louisiana.

The next day we arrived at our San Antonio regional housing site. It was the same place we stayed last year. Unfortunately it is cricket season. No matter where I set down my sleeping bag, there were crickets. I thought it was disgusting. I had trouble sleeping during floor time because of the racket. The rest of the day it appeared the rain from Louisiana had followed us. From 5pm on Friday to 10am on Saturday it was pouring rain. We were unable to do our planned evening ensemble block. Instead we had a half hour of nap time. It seemed like a very long half hour to me. I went to check a clock only to find out we'd been asleep for an hour and a half. Rehearsal was obviously cancelled. We woke up for snack, took showers and went back to bed.

On Saturday morning, we woke up at 6am after 11 hours of sleep. It was dark and still raining. We stretched inside and warmed up outside, in the rain. I wore my poncho the entire time. Since the fields had turned into lakes, we tracked segments with the battery instead. We departed for the regional around noon. In the show's visual warmup, I stepped in a puddle during across-the-floors. My run during the morning show was awesome. It was easily my best run of the season. However, the same was not true for the rest of the corps. When I found out we hadn't made the night show, I had nothing to be sad about. I had a great show- everything else is what I can't control.

After I found out the scores, I went to Bill Miller's BBQ to get my traditional bucket of soda. Of course, I couldn't finish the whole bucket, and wound up giving it away to another mellophone player. In an effort to watch some good drum corps, I watched nearly every corps at the night show. I went to watch the Bluecoats warmup with my boyfriend Lee, who marched the past three seasons with them before filling in a hole here. He talked to the staff and I listened with intent ears. We went back inside the dome to watch them perform. That night, Spirit returned to our housing site, only to discover the doors to the gym had been left open. Crickets galore… yuck. Girls were screaming as the lights went out. I had even more trouble sleeping; there was a cricket right next to my sleeping bag. I got my boyfriend to kill it for me, though.

Sunday, we had our annual San Antonio Riverwalk free day. I went to watch the fifth Harry Potter movie with Lee and we ate lunch at a great Mexican restaurant. We got these tortilla chips and spent a majority of time before our order came out feeding the ducks and pigeons… they swarmed around us because we couldn't stop ourselves. I got a pigeon to eat chicken, and Lee got a duck to eat beef. The rest of the afternoon, I was planning on going shopping for clothes… but, the driver for the corps SUV told me he'd just bought the second to last copy of the Harry Potter book at a Sam Goody store. By some miracle, the last copy was still available by the time I got there. The people in line behind me had also been hoping to get that book, but I got incredibly lucky! It was the best free day I've had by far.

Monday, we had a rehearsal day Cooper, Texas. This day was tough on our chops; I could barely play during the ensemble full run. We changed the beginning of the show to be a very loud impact. Tuesday we were in Wichita, Kansas, for a show. I had a rough rehearsal that day, and the show warmup wasn't that great either. I took out my anger through my horn during the show and had my best show to date. It was similar to Stillwater, MN- I had a bad day yet an amazing show.

Today was a good rehearsal. The show was better than last night; afterwards I took advantage of the BAC Horn Doctor. My mello is no longer dented, yay. And we finally broke 80!




Publisher's Note: Michelle is a member of DCI Division I corps Spirit of JSU, a music education major at Florida State University, and a member of the DCP Forum Support Team. Member's Journal is a regular feature column of – following the journey of a drum corps member thru rehearsals and the competition season … providing our readers with a sense of the committment, challenges, and rewards associated with membership in a corps. Our thanks to her, Biff for his transcription of Michelle's journal while she's on tour, and the Spirit of JSU staff for helping make this column possible – and best wishes to all the members of Spirit of JSU for a great season.

Posted by on Thursday, July 26th, 2007. Filed under Member's Journal.