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Dicey

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  1. Also, I feel like sharing this video of the Aggie Band during marching practice. I hope it doesn't break any rules or anything. Those wearing the maroon shirts (instead of the white ones with the Aggie Band eagle on them) are incoming freshman. Video from a couple weeks ago. The counter march (where the band turns back in on itself, going in the opposite direction) I think is probably the worst thing for the current times, people passing shoulder to shoulder into the faces of those playing instruments. Nightmare. Plenty of high schools who march military style will be doing similar kinds of things too. The only thing worse would probably be the 4-way cross, which normally takes an entire season to perfect, in which two people cross taking up the same "grid" space within the march with someone's toe against the other person's heel as they pass rubbing shoulder to shoulder with bodies turned to slide past each other. Man, it takes me back. My days in the Band were probably some of the toughest days of my life, but I look back on it now with extreme fondness and pride. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- @ManvsMini - Playing in the stands is not the same kind of performance from a uniformity standpoint. People were allowed to wear jackets or not, use music stand or not, etc while in the stands. But, once on the field, everyone is in the same uniform and there are no music stands. So, because there are no halftime performances, it's probably not going to be an issue. The SEC rules limit those who can be on the field or sidelines to very specific people. There will be no awards ceremonies, no performances, no recognition of alumni on the field, etc. And yes, Aggies normally "march in" to the stands pre-game, then get to their section of seating. Then, they would play from the stands for the entire Corps of Cadets as it passes for Review (on the sidelines) prior to every home football game at Kyle Field. The National Anthem and such are normally played from the stands since the Band is already there. The Corps would typically exit Kyle Field in formation and then re-enter via the normal gates to attend the game. This is all done at least an hour prior to kick-off.
  2. Well, since it's a safety thing, I'm not sure what they would do. But, from my experience, all members of the Aggie Band must match, at least during performances. I remember games where it was very, very cold and since woodwinds (clarinets) could not play with the uniform's thick black leather gloves, no one could wear gloves for the performance. Brass players had to put cold hands on cold keys for no other reason than so everyone could match. But, there's also not going to be any halftime performances this football season, so... Who knows.
  3. I worry deeply for the students on university campuses this year. I went to Texas A&M University and I was in the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band. The whole Corps has issued masks for their uniforms now, but I think about the Band... Marching so close together... and you can't wear a mask and play an instrument. I worry. I don't know anyone in the Band this year and I still worry. Per SEC rules, no halftime performances will be taking place this year. And no away game travel for bands, cheer, pep, etc. But the Band is over 300 people and (also according to SEC guidelines) have to fit in a certain section of space within the stadium to be fair. So, close. And all the high school bands. I just can't get over how anyone can do marching band right now and be safe. Maybe I worry overmuch, but I can't help it. I worry for all the musicians this year in schools. Well, and everyone else too.
  4. That's what I was told. So since I haven't been getting email updates I've been checking back periodically for updates to things. So, I posted about this in the ReaperCon forum this morning. We discovered on the Discord that even though Reaper has their Zoom settings set up to email attendees about changes to the class, Zoom does not seem to be doing so. Most of the classes have been updated with google drive or dropbox links to pdfs, but who would know since those emails aren't going out? So, basically, you have to go like you're going to register again. When you get to the Zoom landing page to enter your email like you did when you first registered, the updated class description with text links (not hyperlinks) to the class handouts should be there if there is one.
  5. So, I bit the bullet and joined the Discord. I learned something there. Apparently, many of the class descriptions have been updated and even though the settings are such that they should be sending out emails to those registered when the description is changed, Zoom is not doing that. Reaper is already aware of the issue. In order to check to see if your class now has a google drive link for a handout, you need to go to the class, open the description and click the "Register" button, just like you were going to register for it again. When the Zoom page opens to register, you can see the updated class description, including any google drive handout links that have been posted. It is frustrating for me, as someone who registered for classes early, to have to go back and essentially "re-register" to be able to see the handout links. By the way, @Iridil - there is a handout for the Water Basing class. Who knows how long it has been there... Also, they are not hyperlinks, so you have to copy/paste them into your browser.
  6. It seems like every time I take some time away from these forums (because life), 150 pages of this topic go by. Heat advisory today. Again. I'm not sure if the weather channel website is nuts or not, but it says it's 87* F but feels like 102*F outside right now. Ugh. And humidity is 77%. Gotta love Houston in the summer.
  7. Is there any other way to find information about the Water Effects class than Discord? I've been avoiding Discord like I avoid Twitter. Looks like I may not be able to avoid it for ReaperCon, but I wish information was readily available on multiple platforms. I really hope you have a better experience with her class online than I did last year in person. Hands down the worst class of the Con for me and it felt like a waste of money. But, since it's free online this year, what have you got to lose? And there's a good chance it may be better than my experience too. Just a cautionary tale, I suppose. Good luck.
  8. I growl with you. It feels sort of like they split them into smaller bundles and charged more for each of them. It doesn't sit quite right with me. I am on twitch, but I dislike that it's the primary source of information these days.
  9. @Morihalda - So many people were impacted by Harvey. Truly a terrible storm. We helped our good friends clean their house after Harvey. They had 42" of water in their house and couldn't get to it except by boat for over a week. They had enough notice to move most valuables upstairs and drive out before it got too bad. They never moved back in after we cleaned it out about a month after Harvey. Sold it for a loss, moved in with her grandma, and there they've stayed for over 3.5 years. They are building a house now. We had a little idea of what to do because of their experience, though. And, after they flooded, I bought flood insurance even though it wasn't required. I'm glad I had it, but wish I didn't have to file that claim. We lived with my in-laws just a couple miles away for the past 9 months, which was its own torture. That relationship is ruined, at least for now. I don't wish it on anyone. Luckily, the rain tonight seems to be a no-show for me. It rained harder every day this weekend than tonight. *knock on wood*
  10. @TGP - You're exactly right. Basements don't exist here. The waterline won't support them. My house is not in a high-risk 100 year flood plain, though it is close to one. My concrete slab is 4" above grade, so there is a "step up" into the house. It's worked for 62 years, just not this time. Our garage partially floods fairly often, since it's lower than the living area by that 4". The city actually improved the drainage in my neighborhood since Hurricane Harvey (no flood then, but it was close), and stopped just around the corner from my street. I can see the new curb-and-gutter area from my yard. The change in drainage patterns made by the city actually hurt my property and made our street (higher than the yard) like a dam. Five homes flooded on my street, including two that haven't flooded before. Plus, there's always a condo or a subdivision taking over a park or a golf course and taking away the natural green space drainage. We had a development like that near us recently too. I have literally no control over my situation short of moving, lifting my house, or putting up some sort of flood-proof wall. I know they exist, but they are tens of thousands of dollars. After going through this flood, I admit I gave it some serious thought. My neighbors and I have discussed getting in contact with our city councilwoman to try to lobby the drainage improvement project to come to our street. I can't imagine having to deal with basement seepage and water intrusion that way. It's so foreign to me. I can say that I'm glad I don't have to worry about that.
  11. Staying up late to get more work done for what feels like the 10th night in a row. And then procrastinating and not getting as much done as I should. Which might have something to do with binge-watching Gilmore Girls and Cardcaptor Sakura in turns. Also, sort of staying awake in order to watch the weather. I am slowly starting to realize, after months of denial, that I may be a little traumatized by our house flood last September. I work from home, so I was there when the water started coming inside. I think it was easier to deny before we moved back in. We're in a flood watch currently and I can't help but check the radar and listen for the rain to start. I know I'm being a bit silly, but I also am realizing that I have real anxiety about this. I had anxiety before, when we had almost-floods, but now that it's happened once (the only time the house has flooded in the 62 years it has existed), I'm even more nervous about the rain. If I'm not going to sleep, I hope I can at least get some work done. Edit: The more I watch the radar, the more I think the rain will go mostly northeast of us. The rain band seems to have broken up right around where we are... at least right now.
  12. I'm not a huge fan of cherries, but I love Rainier Cherries. Those look so good!
  13. So, these are most of my picks (better late than never). At least I (mostly) beat Pineapple posting his picks after me. I still haven't gotten my husband to pull his selections back out yet to take photos of those. Some things aren't in the group picture, but I'll try again later when we can get the rest out. I think my for-now favorite is the Were Armadillo with the missing ear. I also took out a set of Pizza Dungeon dice (blue), which should not be much of a surprise.
  14. @NebulousMissy - My husband worked with quail for one of his past jobs. He often complained that they were the dumbest, most difficult birds to raise. Apart from ducks. He said that the babies would often drown themselves in their water for no reason, would get sick and die with the slightest draft, and if you put a thermal bulb near the cage, they would stand there until they burned and died rather than move away when they got warm enough. They were only slightly more intelligent/sturdy as adults. I wish your mom all the luck and patience in the world for her quail if even half of the stories I heard were true.
  15. You know, I gathered them all together to write them down and then didn't take a photo. I think my husband already sorted and put his picks away. He's excited about his new hobby desk space. I'll see what I can do.
  16. Yay! May the teenage girl scout throwback days be banished for a good long while.
  17. Our house flooded a while back. We moved everything out that we didn't throw out as ruined in 3 days. We had some help or we wouldn't have made it. It went to my in-laws where it stayed mostly packed except for the things we needed to live. Then, things happened (it was the most miserable living experience of my whole life) and we got kicked out. We had 3 days to move back into our house (which wasn't finished and didn't have a kitchen or bathrooms at the time we started moving). By ourselves. It really sucked. And things are still in boxes a week later. I wish I could snap my fingers and be done with it. And that the pain in my back would go away. I hate moving.
  18. I once participated in a similar concept with dice that uses a Small USPS Flat Rate Box. One person decided to put a handmade dice lamp in the box. Naturally, a lamp wouldn't fit, so he just changed the box size. He didn't see what the big deal was, but people were freaking out. They only signed up to pay for shipping for the Small Flat Rate Box and now all of a sudden someone had tripled their shipping obligation. So, we had to go through the list, give people a chance to say yes or no to the lamp in order and we agreed to ship the lamp separately to that person to be able to reduce the box size again. He still didn't understand why it was a big deal. I haven't done another one since then. That box was kind of a headache. This is my second try at anything similar, and first time doing the Box of Goodwill. It's been a good experience so far.
  19. My husband had parents that acted similarly. He was pushed in a direction based on an early aptitude test and he really struggled to succeed at higher levels of education in that field (science). But, it was what he was "supposed" to do and never really got to explore his own interests. He has a passion for history and I learn more just from listening to him talk passionately about it than I ever did in high school. He also loves tinkering and building and painting. But, he never got to explore much of those things and is kind of stuck in a dead-end career that just gets him by. *shrug* They meant well. I, on the other hand, grew up with incredibly supportive parents. They were strict and expected a lot from me, but if I was interested in something, they tried to find a way to make it happen. As a child, I took ballet classes, tap dance, horseback riding, gymnastics, competitive swimming, etc. I didn't have my life planned. I was allowed to learn that I'm a superclutz not cut out for ballet, or that competitive swimming is way, way different than swimming for fun and something I definitely wasn't interested in. I got into competitive jump rope (yep, it's a thing), sang in choir, and I still loved horseback riding. I went from wanting to pursue a career in science to hospitality to business and they supported all of it. To this day, my parents listen to me talk about things that they personally don't care about just because it matters to me. I can tell when they don't get it, but they always try. I've been chastised by my mother-in-law for giving in too much to my husband's hobbies. She has told me I shouldn't buy him things that support those hobbies, that it's a waste of money. Now, he has made up for lost time in trying to discover his interests as an adult. He has a lot of hobbies and he bounces around between them in phases. Just like my parents did for me, I support them all. I don't know any other way. And he's stood up to his mom before about this topic. At one of our first gatherings together after we got married, he called her a bad word because she was teasing him over something (a feeling you probably know and understand). It shocked her and she was upset. He explained how her teasing made him feel and she's like "it's no big deal, I'm just teasing" and he responded that he never teases her or makes her feel bad about things. Would she like it if he did? It got her attention. She makes fun of him way less now and seems somewhat more interested in some of his hobbies. I do think that she wants him to be happy, but doesn't always know how to get there. She tries. Parents come in all kinds. You can't choose the ones you have. But, you can choose how you deal with them. Maybe you don't need to call your mom a bad word like he did, but a serious conversation may not be a bad idea. She may not understand how discouraging she's been or how much it weighs on you. And, if the support won't come, then find somewhere else to get it. Your wife seems plenty supportive. Lean on her. I've had several friends that have been to Japan. One of my friends from high school went, became an English language teacher, found his wife there, got married, has two beautiful young girls, and has recently come back to Texas to try to teach Japanese here. He loved it and I think he wants to return. A friend from college spent almost a year stationed there when he was in the Navy. It's never too late to follow your dreams. Being sensible and have a plan is prudent, but you shouldn't give up on something that is a true passion just because it's difficult in the moment. Keep working toward it, even if it takes baby steps and a lot of time. You'll probably be happier just trying. I wish you the best.
  20. Chaoswolf box has been sent! On its way to @Pineapple.
  21. My husband is out running errands and one of those is taking our box to the post office! Get ready, @Pineapple!
  22. A little sad I missed seeing this in time, but it may turn out to be for the best due to other things I have going on. I look forward to stalking and seeing how it works so I can hopefully catch the next one.
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