Tonight I'm kind of in a funky mood. Not funk like Earth Wind & Fire, unfortunately, but funk like...well, I've said it before...funk like "What is that FUNK growing in the refrigerator?!" When I am in a funky way, writing usually helps me get the nasty out of my system.
Actually life has been pretty sweet lately. It's been crazy busy, and at times that's taken a toll (i.e., chest pains, enough to warrant me discussing this with one of the docs I work for, who ordered a stress test, which turned out fine, and the other doc ordered another test, which showed some mild changes, but nothing too scary, but my meds have changed...and it's actually inspired me to eat better and get more exercise, so I feel a lot better now) but it's been good overall the last month or two. The weather has FINALLY cooled down and it's actually NICE to go outside. Work has been all right - some days are busy, others not so much, and I've had plenty of hours. Randy and I are getting along, the kids are well. The rest of the relatives are well, too, I think. At least they were a few days ago.
The kids are back in school, which is great for D and not so great for Tiny. She has had a LOT of work, and not in the classroom. She has P.E. and colorguard, and the band schedule is really, really hectic. Combine that with her busy social life and you can see why I'm spending an awful amount on gas every month. Every night it's something. On Monday night she has piano. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings the band practices until 6. Wednesday nights she usually likes to go to church with some of her friends, about 12 miles away. Friday nights are football games (except tonight - but I'll get to that in a minute), and they have band contests six out of the next eight Saturdays.
And there were parents at the first band boosters meeting who wanted to know why we weren't going to MORE contests. These are people who don't have a blanking life. I mean, these people SERIOUSLY do not know how to have fun. There is a really big problem. I know a few good psychologists they could call.
For the record, I do not mean that about ALL band parents and certainly not all the ones in our organization. I just mean, anyone who thinks our band (or any band, for that matter) needs to go to more than six contests in eight weeks (and really, they're going to seven - they're doing two one weekend) is certifiable. I mean, these kids aren't NASCAR drivers who get paid big bucks to travel from place to place every weekend. They DO have school to attend. They have families, churches, and some of them even have part-time jobs. Heck, all of them probably need part-time jobs to pay for the constant bleeding of wallets that takes place in a school like ours.
The hemorrhage of money is unbelievable. I know people told me this before I had a high schooler, but I didn't realize just how serious this problem would be. I don't think I would've believed them if they'd had the words to convey the reality to me. It's like this. Imagine your fingers representing your paycheck, after taxes. Now look at your pinky. Now imagine all the other fingers, and the top two sections of your pinky were cut off. See what would be left? THIS is what you have to live on until your next check. Oh, and by the way, the cupboard is bare and your mortgage and two car payments are due. Good luck.
Did I mention she's counting the days until she turns 15 and can get a LEARNER'S PERMIT? I'm just thankful she won't turn 15 until the last day of July, 2007. She hates this. I can understand why, but I don't hate it with her. I think there are five kids in her class who are younger than her. This means the other 494 are older. Of these, approximately 485 were born between October 1 and December 31, 1991. In other words, most of the kids in her class will be getting learner's permits within the next 90 days. I find this to be a frightening fact.
D is spending less of our money. Of course, once he figures this out, he'll be hitting us up for some unnecessary, expensive gadget, which, once he acquires it, will maybe come out of the box three times before he either gets tired of it or tears it up. He's playing the drums in middle school band, which means he does a lot of practicing here at home, which is sometimes rather annoying. As long as he keeps it down to a dull roar, it's all right. When he starts doing rim shots and hard banging, I'm ready to move to the outbuilding. He's also into this game online called "runescape." It doesn't look much different than what he's been playing on his x-box. FYI, this name is pronounced like Rune Scape, not Run Escape, which is what I would've said. Apparently, this is a pretty popular game among...well, among people who like to play online role-playing games. And I don't mean 50 year old men who pretend to be high school cheerleaders in chat rooms.
Randy's playing the Toy Run tonight. For the non-Clarksvillians out there, the Toy Run is an annual event where a group called "Bikers Who Care" (or BWC) collect toys for needy children. Tomorrow, it will be a lot of fun to see the many, many bikers who'll be coming in from all over the country. Actually, today would've been a good day for it too. They have a huge party at the Fairgrounds in Clarksville. The radio ads emphasize "FREE BEER" and music and good food and vendors and did we mention, FREE BEER? All for the admission price of $25, which goes to the BWC, and they use the profits to benefit needy kids.
I know someone else who'll be playing tonight, and she told me I could take my kids. I mentioned this to Randy. He said, "I don't want MY kids going." So HIS kids aren't there.
Of course, Rachel had plans anyway. The game tonight's an away game in a rather unsavory neighborhood in Nashville, so with the first contest being TOMORROW, the band director thought the band would benefit from rehearsing on the football field under the lights in the team's absence. No one complained that we weren't going to that game. No one.
A second of Randy's bands plays the Toy Run party tomorrow afternoon, after a third band Randy sits in with plays the Jostens employee picnic. Randy's taking Derek with him to help set up. So, tomorrow's a me day, pretty much. I'll drive to Clarksville, watch his band and eat free hockey puck and chips, then go to Hendersonville for the marching band contest (about a 60 mile drive), then on my way back home, I'll go to visit Granny and maybe, if it's not too late in the evening, Granddaddy too.
I got in a funky mood tonight because I wanted to go hear Randy tonight, but I understand his concerns. Kids aren't supposed to be out at the party after 9 pm anyway, and Randy's band is playing at 10. I think. I love my kids, DON'T GET ME WRONG!!! Occasionally, though, I'd like to be Randy's WIFE instead of his babysitter. I know, it won't be long. Time flies. Just like the last hour flew by while I was typing.