It’s a quiet, pleasant morning in my office, a day before commencement. It’s overcast and unseasonably cool for Mondoville, but I’m quite content with the latter, being better insulated than most people. I’m reading a little (James Ellroy’s Brown’s Requiem), writing a little (a short story I started last night), and doing a bit of (what I hope is creative) loafing, all of which is a sort of post-Gradeapalooza decompression.
Although I’m scheduled to teach a couple of courses this summer (assuming sufficient enrollment), I’m already starting to feel a bit dislocated. It appears that I will be on something like a sabbatical for Fall semester, as my brother’s trial is now scheduled to fill the first six or so weeks of the term, and I don’t think I’d be doing anyone any good if I stepped into my usual courses at midterm. Consequently, some of the rituals of this time of year (ordering textbooks, thinking about changes to the syllabi, that sort of thing) aren’t happening. In a way, it’s a reminder that I’m heading into a kind of terra incognita.
But there are brightnesses as well. The Spawn once again passed Color Guard tryouts (which was not guaranteed — there were six kids who were “alternates”, and two outright cuts), and this year, she’s going to be focusing on sabre, which she calls “the classiest of the spinny-type props,” and which she’s wanted to do since she first started thinking about this stuff more than a year ago. She has a practice version for right now, and we ordered her real one last night. It’s two hundred bucks, but compared to kids who have to buy instruments, we’re getting off cheap.
To make matters better, one of her two best friends passed tryouts as well, so she’s guaranteed a bus buddy and such. To top things off, I’ll only be missing one of her competitions — and it’s the one Mondoville is hosting, so her band won’t even really be “in competition” — just performing an exhibition show. I’ve mentioned before that some of the band parents take this stuff terrifyingly seriously, but I just get a blast out of watching the Spawn have fun, and the passion she has for being part of her team. In regard to this latter, she said, “It’s cool being part of something bigger than yourself sometimes. It’s probably why people join cults — or become Democrats.”
Speaking of bands, The Berries have been inactive as the semester wound down, but I’m hoping we can squeeze out a few gigs this summer, and finally put the album out there. Meanwhile, there’s a part of me that wishes I were in Raleigh, NC this weekend, where the annual Instro Summit is going on, featuring a couple of bands we’ve split bills with. If you’re around there, check it out — you won’t be disappointed.
And just to wrap things up for now, here’s a well known, nearly perfect power pop song, which I picked up on a compilation CD a few weeks ago. Enjoy your Friday!
(And remember, weekends are a great time for reading.)