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31 August 2005

We Are Cheerios

With Hurricane Katrina now in the past, I'd like to share a rather weird analogy that my brother came up with. It's not the best analogy, and is probably not very sensitive to those who lost everything, but I need something to post before August is done.

Imagine a big bowl of Cheerios. The bowl is the basin of New Orleans. Each Cheerio represents a house. The crumbs are people.

Now imagine that the aforementioned bowl is floating...floating in an endless sea of milk. You look left, you look right, but all you can see is milk (which would initially be tasty, but after a while it would get boring).

Somehow, a hole is poked through the protective shell that is the bowl. Milk begins to seep in. Then it begins to flow in. Cheerios get soggy. Crumbs scream for their lives as they float into the infinite abyss of lactose.

Pretty scary, isn't it? (Pretty weird, isn't it?) That's my brother for you. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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29 August 2005

Forty-four Chairs

An odd headline, isn't it? Well, maybe for most people. However, the people who stayed with me in Cabin 8 at band camp this year know exactly what it means.

You see, we have a new director this year, Mr. Chris Dearbeck. A 2000 graduate of Girard himself, he was a saxophonist in the marching band throughout high school. Each year through college he wrote our drill and was assistant director. When our previous director finally retired, he got the job.

Mr. Dearbeck has always been the kind of person who enjoys a good, harmless prank. If I'm getting the story right, he once was involved in duct-taping a chair to the roof of a cabin at band camp. That got a little messy under the sun, and since then, the use of duct tape has been severely limited at camp.

Needless to say, when we realized that the last day of band camp this year was going to fall on Mr. Dearbeck's birthday, we knew we had to do something.

Ideas were thrown around each night. It was obvious that it was going to be done in the middle of the night, when no one would see it. As a drum major, however, it was my responsibility to make sure they didn't decide to do anything too drastic.

Finally, the night before, it was decided that we would all get up at 02:30 and take all the small wooden chairs off of all the camp's porches and place them on the front porch of Cabin 9, which would essentially lock Mr. Dearbeck inside his cabin were it not for the back door. In addition, large, comfortable orange chairs can be found on the porches of Cabins 9 and 10 (you can see one in the background of the picture below on the porch of Cabin 10). We had decided that we should take the orange chairs back to our own cabin and get up at 06:00 to wait on our porch for Mr. Dearbeck to come over and say something.

I suggested some sort of assembly line to make things go quicker, because I have had many a night of insomnia at camps, and I know that 02:30 is not when people sleep their heaviest.

We all went to bed, and once 02:30 rolled around, the person in charge of the alarm slept through it. I awakened once again at around 05:15, at which time I set my alarm clock to go off at a later time. It made a little confirmation beep, ensuring me that it was, in fact, set. This slight noise awoke some of the others in the cabin, who woke up the rest, and to work we went.

The assembly line worked almost extremely well. From 05:20 to 05:40, four of us removed chairs from the porches of Cabins 1 through 8 and took them across the gravel road (which was hard to do quietly), while two stayed back at Cabin 9 and began putting them up on the porch. By 05:45, we had forty chairs stacked on the front porch, with four left over. We quickly decided to put them just outside the back door, so that once Mr. Dearbeck resorted to the back door he would find another surprise, but not so much of one that it would be a fire hazard (always thinking ahead).

It was nice getting up at 05:15 to do this, because we could just sit around and wait for Mr. Dearbeck then. There was no need to go back to bed and wake up to a second alarm. Around 07:20, Mr. Dearbeck finally came over. The first words out of his mouth had nothing to do with assigning us laps, or making us take the chairs down later. He simply said, "I'm impressed."

The prank was flawlessly executed, and the director, who himself would have done something similar, was there to commend us. Forty-four small wooden chairs were given in exchange for six large comfortable ones. I have now made 44 my second luckiest number. What is my luckiest number? Twenty-three, the age Mr. Dearbeck reached that very morning.

How ironic.


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27 August 2005

Apology for Delay

Wow. Has it really been five and a half weeks since I last posted? The calendar doesn't lie, however. This is the last week of August, and this is the first post of August. In fact, half the reason I'm posting now is so that years from now I won't be looking at my archives wondering where August 2005 went.

There are a multitude of reasons for the delay. Firstly, I had always known that it would be like this. June is always a slow month for me activity-wise, so I had time to post with some sort of frequency. As July rolled around, my posts thinned out, and now here I am, trying to make up for lost time.

Why then, you ask, did I start my blog in May, knowing that my summers are filled with things that prevent me from posting? Simple: that's when I thought of it. Had I thought about starting a blog in January, I probably would have done so, but I didn't, so there.

Another reason is that I like all things with which I fill my life to have meaning, to not just be some useless waste of energy. So, I've only posted when something truly amusing or profound has come up in my life. Unlike some other blogs I frequent, my goal has been to steer clear of the type of blog that is essentially a mindless regurgitation of everything one did on a particular day (although if I have another dry spell, I may finally resort to that).

That being said, August has been a wonderful month, what with band camp and the typical mutterings of my brother. I have several ideas for entries on topics covering the past month, which, assuming they all fully develop, will yield three or four posts before school starts on 06 September and I get back to some sort of interesting life (and I can't wait).

So there. I've finally posted. Prepare to see some real content here soon.


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