Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Hectic Week

I know this might not technically be "very soon" according to regular time, but in Kate time I think I'm doing pretty good. Last Tuesday was the WYSE Sectionals at EIU. EIU's about an hour and fifteen minutes away, so we had to catch the bus before school at like 7:30. Not too bad, that's usually when I leave my house in the morning. We did terrible, everyone kind of expected that though. My friend Caleb finished 3rd in computer graphics, so he'll go to the state competition at the U of I. One plus was the guy sitting to my left. He was very good looking. (Maybe that's why I didn't do so good? I try to give myself more credit than that, it was hard. But still. I'm only human. Plus the guy on my right was annoying. He'd get done super early and just stare at us. I don't care if you're a genius, that's no excuse to be rude.)

We got done with testing around lunch time. So we went to the food court in the student union for lunch. I saw my cousin Kelsi there (she goes to college at EIU). I didn't get to talk to her for long, unfortunately, because the band members had to get on the bus to go back to the college in our town for the band festival. Which, I have to admit, sucked. We played last so, of course, everyone had left. My grandparents came, though, and my mom, too, since she works there.

Mass band
On Thursday we had the all county mass band. Basically what it is is 7 bands from the same county all get together at one of the high schools. In the morning the honor band (about 50 students) rehearses with the guest director. We eat lunch and then the rest of the bands come (about 250 including those from the morning) and rehearse all afternoon. We eat dinner, get changed into dress clothes, and have a concert at 7. The way our band director does it is he takes volunteers to do honor band. Except this year there weren't enough to picked people. I was picked. Yaaaay, not. Because of this I played for pretty much 12 hours straight. This is extremely tiring, more than you would think. The guest conductor was kind of a jerk. He kept throwing mini-tantrums. Of course, you know how they are, so at the actual concert he was Mr. Personality. The good thing was that the girl sitting next to me in honor band was hilarious. She was so sarcastic, we bonded over the fact that neither of us wanted to be there.

Now we get to the good part of my week. The St. Patrick's Day Parade! As you may or may not know St. Patty's day is March 17. Well our town, like most, has the celebration the Saturday before. My family is of Irish heritage and takes extreme pride in it. (We're not like recently descendant, our family's been here since the Civil War. But hey, we're still Irish!) My dad also belongs to the local KC Hall (he's one degree from being one of the head honchos) and so about 10 years ago they approached him about organizing the parade. And, of course, he jumped at the chance. My dad looooves St. Patty's Day. So the month before we spend our time contacting groups and sending out messages to papers about finding people to be in the parade. This year we had 55 groups enter (well over 900 people) and since the weather was so nice (it can get iffy) a lot more showed up unannounced.

A company downtown has a massive parking lot so they let us use that to organize all the people. We break it up into 6 sections. A bunch of my aunts, uncles, spouses, cousin, my brother, mom, and I all volunteer to help organize. The KC Hall pays for us to have breakfast, so we all have breakfast at the Downtown Cafe at 7:45 and get ready. It gets so chaotic when people start showing up. My mom and her friend Sue guard the entrance and tell people where to go. And then the various family members are split up between the sections and tell the people in what order they go. A local Verizon store loans us walkie-talkies and the park district loans us 4 golf cart. It's chaotic, but fun.

Bagpipers at the KC Hall
The fire engines and police cars always lead the parade. Well one of the firemen asked my dad if he had anyone who wanted to ride. That way we could tell them to slow down if there was too much of a gap. My dad told my aunt Mary and me that we could do it. (Originally he asked my cousin Michael and me, but Michael, Conor, and my cousin Aaron were taking a golf cart in the parade and throwing candy.) It was so much fun! We waved and I even got to make the siren go. Basically all my childhood dreams came true. (I sat up front with the driver, who was middle aged. My aunt sat in the back with others. The other young, hot firemen. Not fair Aunt Mary. Not fair.) Then when it was over we went down to the KC Hall for the big celebration. We ate lunch, there were carriage rides, and of course anyone over 21 got drunk. Typical St. Patrick's Day, but it's my dad's favorite day of the year.

Well that was nice and long. I promise the next one will be short, and soon. Soon in normal time, not Kate time. Have a good week!

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