Sunday, October 27, 2013

Gameday Gifts and Things That Happen On Gameday That Aren't So Fun

Around here, folks sometimes replace the word "Saturday" with "Gameday." College football is king.

And me? I'm in the marching band. So even though I never liked football at all growing up (I was one of those people who watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials), football has pushed and shoved its way into my life, and now it'll probably never go away. That's okay.

Being in the marching band is very time-consuming. We practice for an hour and a half every day of the week, and then we have to get up early for a special Gameday practice. Although I love band with all my heart and soul, waking up early on Saturday mornings is sometimes very disagreeable. However, the clarinet section has a way to make it much more bearable.

We have Secret Pals. At the beginning of the semester, the organizer of the Secret Pals assigned everyone a Secret Pal to buy presents for. Everyone provided her with a list of our likes and hobbies so our assigned Pal could know what to buy for us. For every home game, we go out and spend around $10 on a gift or a bunch of little gifts for our Secret Pal. We wrap the gift and label it with our Secret Pal's name, remaining anonymous, and then on Saturday morning, we secretly slip the gift under the Clarinet Tree before rehearsal starts.

Don't get any crazy ideas about tinsel or bright lights; the Clarinet Tree is not a Christmas tree. The marching band doesn't have any kind of building or facility. We actually go to the Arby's next to our field to use the restroom. It's kind of funny, and it's actually a symbiotic relationship. They let us use their restrooms, and while we're in the restaurant, we smell the curly fries, and suddenly we want Arby's for dinner. But since we don't have a building, each section has claimed a spot around the field to leave their equipment and warm up. This often occurs under a tree (although the color guard, unfortunately, was recently forced to relocate because a huge limb fell out of their tree and almost hit someone). The Clarinet Tree is a big, tall tree on a hill. I don't know what kind it is. It's currently producing some kind of nut that's small and isn't an acorn.

Although the Clarinet Tree is not an evergreen and doesn't resemble a Christmas tree in any way, it certainly looks merry with a huge pile of wrapped presents surrounding its trunk. It's very exciting to finally finish Gameday rehearsal and run over to find our presents. The entire Secret Pal process is exciting for me, even though I have a Secret Pal who's very hard to shop for this year. Usually I get so excited about finding the perfect gift for my pal and wrapping it up just right that I forget that I'm also going to receive a present. It's twice the fun when I remember.

I really have no idea who my Secret Pal is. I think it's a girl. That narrows it down (sarcasm). She (he?) tries to give me hints so I can guess who she (he?) is, but I haven't had any luck yet. I did enjoy the gift bag that my Secret Pal left for me today. A lot of people did a Halloween theme since this is our last home game before Halloween, and my Secret Pal didn't disappoint. However, she (he?!?!?!) found a Thanksgiving gift to include, as well.

In the information I gave to the Secret Pals organizer, I listed foxes as some of my favorite animals, although I wasn't expecting anyone to find cool fox gifts. Lo and behold! It's a fox!

I got started on this after the game (and after my initial crash from sheer exhaustion).

It was fun to color! I colored while waiting for episodes of the Superman animated series to buffer and while listening to Tobuscus scream at some Happy Wheels game or other. Very relaxing. With only four colors, I didn't have a ton of options for creativity, so I basically just copied the picture on the package, but I still like it! Lookit that fox! He's so cute!

I colored this while nursing some very chapped lips. You see, I tragically forgot to bring lip balm with me to the game today, and my lips were dry before we even performed the pregame show. I've got a red mark under my lip the size and shape of a clarinet reed, and it still stings a little. I've applied three coats of ChapStick since returning home, and I'm finally getting some results. Yaaaayyyy! Hopefully I've learned my lesson about football and ChapStick. Sheesh!

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