Speculations

April 25, 2013

Speculations

Ah, yes. Springtime in Michigan.

The Track season is in full swing.

Prom is just around the corner.

Talk of graduation is becoming more frequent.

Mock Election pictures are being taken.

And today, it was hailing one second and sunny the next!

Yes, it certainly is a Michigan Spring.

With the talk of graduation, comes Speculation about who will win all the different awards that are given out to the Senior Class. For example: Who will be Valedictorian and Salutatorian? Or: Who will be honored by each of the different departments? Or: What athletes will be recognized for their impressive achievements?

From what I’ve heard, Valedictorian and Salutatorian are neck and neck. We’re talking about two kids who’ve taken so many AP Classes, their GPAs can be brought down by an A in a regular class that isn’t weighted by AP standards.

At Gull Lake, just to clarify, Seniors are awarded in a number of different ways. Primarily, there’s the Valedictorian and Salutatorian; they’re determined by GPA. Then, each different department (Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Publications, Business, etc.) honors one or two students for their achievements in that subject area. Lastly, there are things like Class Musician, Class Poet, and Class President (of course, Class President has been decided for quite a while) who all speak or perform during the graduation ceremony.

I think these awards are exciting to Speculate about because it gets me thinking about my class as a whole and the sort of people that fill it. It’ll be cool when we finally hear who wins what because I think it will helps define who we are as the graduating Class of 2013. We’re the class that had Cara as our Class President. We had so-and-so as Valedictorian and what’s-their-face as Salutatorian. Our Math expert was [insert name here]. The Class Musician sang that song at our graduation.

Or maybe Lance will just get every honor. A very real possibility. Kid’s a freakin’ genius.

Anyway, it’s just another reason to be excited for the rapidly approaching graduation season.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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It Was A Beautiful Day

April 22, 2013

It Was A Beautiful Day

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to MayoClinic.com, SAD lasts from the beginning of Fall until the end of Winter. This disorder usually results in a sapping of energy and intense moodiness…

Well, I think MayoClinic.com is a bit of a pessimist. Because I was feeling the good kind of SAD today. After I finished up a nice outdoor rehearsal with Erica and my Trinity, I went for a run and I felt myself smiling like an Idiot the whole way.

The air felt lighter, the sun was definitely brighter, the sky was clear, the grass was green, and the world was just a happier place.

It was finally Spring-y out.

Maybe the weather wasn’t the only reason I was smiling. Maybe it had a little something to do with where I was this morning and where I was last night. See, when I woke up this morning…I was definitely not in Southwest Michigan. I was in Traverse City. At 7:00 am, my groggy self was guided into a dark blue Volvo and driven 3 hours to our humble little village of Richland, just in time for my 4th block AP Chemistry class.

Why did I wake up on the wrong side of the state?

MORP.

I was up in Traverse City so I could accompany my favorite red-haired girl to her Junior…MORP. She attends this private arts academy called Interlochen and, because they’re so artsy up there, they can’t call their dance: Prom. Certainly not. So they call it: MORP. “Prom” spelt backwards.

Well, MORP was a blast. A night out dancing and bowling with Ms. Carly Rae was an excellent Sunday in my book.

The night started out with some quick picture taking on a breezy balcony over a frozen lake in the Great White North. Then we took a bus to the Grand Traverse Resort where we ate a quick dinner before a night full of dancing commenced. Around midnight, we hitched another bus out to a local bowling alley filled with bumper cars, laser tag, a laser maze, and (obviously) bowling.

It was all pretty fun, to say the least. Around 1:00 am, we finally took another bus back to Interlochen Arts Academy.

And here I am, less than 24 hours later, home again with nothing but a head of buzzing memories, desperately trying to relive the awesome MORP that I was lucky enough to experience with Carly.

I think Mother Nature just knew I’d had a great night and decided to make the next day just as perfect.

Because It Was A Beautiful Day today.

And I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Senior Spring Break

For my Senior Spring Break, I was given the amazing opportunity to join the Snow and Hostetler family in their trip to Pensacola Beach, Florida. Truly, I couldn’t possibly thank them enough. Their generosity and their patience exceeded even the most absurd expectations. I mean, I was down there with eleven other kids, all of us running around like chickens with our heads cut off…I don’t know how they put up with us.

I can still remember the first day, when we pulled up to the beach house we’d be staying in. My jaw dropped. The house almost looked like Atlas, holding the sky upon it’s shoulders. It was raised up on high stilts and the frame of the house seemed to be reaching upwards. Balconies were attached to nearly every room and they looked like hands, supporting the clouds. It took all my willpower to help unload instead of taking off in a dead sprint to see the inside of the house.

When I finally did see the inside, my jaw dropped even further. I must’ve looked like some of the fish we’d be eating later that week. The house was amazing. I didn’t think I’d have any trouble spending a week there.

A Senior Spring Break comprised mostly of boys meant a few things: Primarily, crude jokes frequently resounded throughout the already noisy house. Secondly, farting and belching suddenly became everyone’s favorite pastime. And thirdly, food disappeared from the cupboards like we were hosting very crafty mice. (Although, Mikayla and Kylee probably had something to do with that third thing.)

Mikayla and Kylie Makin' Bank

Reflecting upon the week, I still remember certain highlights with a warm fondness. Like when we took to the skies and went parasailing. Or when we went with Mikayla and Kylee down to the Boardwalk and had them hula-hoop for money (they made $22). Or when we made a sand sculpture in front of our house that resembled a very voluptuous woman. Or when Ben, Brady, and I went into the ocean on a windy day and got tossed around like dolls in the rough surf. Or even the rainy day that we spent inside…playing Pokemon and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There were so many moments during this break where I just had to look around for a moment…and appreciate that these were my people, these were my friends, and these were my teenage memories that I was making. And it was in these brief moments that I found myself smiling the fullest.

IMG_0737

Most fondly, though…I remember the balconies. There was something about those balconies that really stuck with me. I think every beach house should have a million balconies. The more obvious reason is that it provides everyone with an outlet to see the ocean, which is always a plus. But as the week progressed, I began to see another reason. Almost every night, I found myself on a balcony with our group of Senior boys. In particular, we liked to stand on the highest balcony, the one attached to the roof. It was almost as if we had to physically express our current state of elation. All of us were filled with such high spirits, we could’ve touched the moon…And when we climbed to the highest balcony, we were saying: “Why not give it a try?” I think every beach house needs to be A House Full of Balconies because anyone who’s on vacation in a beach house…

Well, I’m thinkin’ they’ll wanna try and touch the moon, too.

You wanna know the funny think about this blog post? I wrote it Friday morning as I lay awake in bed, waiting for Brady and Zach to wake up. We hadn’t left Florida yet. And I made that comment about wanting to touch the moon, right? Well, Friday night we were out on the back porch when suddenly Austin said: “Look at the ocean! The waves are neon!”

Sure enough, the ocean waves were glowing.

It only took a few seconds for the entirety of our Spring Break crew to be down on the beach, looking in awe at tiny, blue, glowing specks that littered the water and shore.

“It must be some kind of fluorescent algae,” Mr. Snow observed.

Whatever it was, it was amazing. We immediately began playing with this latest discovery. Digging a hole in the shore resulted in a pool of water and a high concentration of the glow being left behind, as opposed to it being swept away by the waves. Scooping up a bucket of water and splashing it anywhere created a sort of “ground firework”.

The thing that really stood out to me, though, was when I scooped up a small handful of the algae covered sand…the tiny blue spots on the dark sand made Zach say:

“It’s almost like you’re holding the night sky.”

So, we didn’t quite touch the moon. But we got the next best thing:

We held the stars.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

A Call to Arms

March 23, 2013

A Call to Arms

This upcoming Wednesday, the Performing Arts Company will hold auditions for the 2013 One Act Play Festival.

Personally, I think that the One Act Play Festival is one of the most fun and fulfilling things that a kid can do at Gull Lake High School. The plays are 100% student created. They’re directed by students (usually Seniors, like yours truly). They’re performed by students. And all of the tech is run by students.

This Monday from 2:45-4:30 in Mr. Nott’s Room, we’ll be hosting an Orientation where students who are maybe a little hesitant about auditioning can come and learn what we’re all about in the Performing Arts Company. It’s open to everyone in every grade. The Senior Directors will talk a little bit about what it’s like to audition and what the different technical crews are.

On Wednesday from 2:45-5:30 in Mr. Nott’s room, we’ll be hosting our auditions. These auditions are open to everyone in every grade and there’s no experience necessary. It’s always great to see fresh faces at auditions, so I encourage any budding thespians that may be reading this to come.

Personally, I can’t wait to see what sort of kids come audition and I can’t wait for Erica and I to find that magical trinity of cast members that will make up: The Pan Complex. The ball is beginning to roll and I’m sitting expectantly on the edge of my seat.

So, this is A Call to Arms. I’m calling out to any and all Drama kids hiding at Gull Lake, requesting that you come help make this year’s One Acts the best ever.

On a very slight side note…Glitter’s tonight. Doors open at 6:30. Show starts at 7:00. There’s still some tickets left to be sold at the door.

Fingers crossed for a successful One Acts and for a successful Glitter.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

My Closet Door

February 25, 2013

My Closet Door

Due to the effect of Michigan weather, we Richlandites won’t see Spring take over our environment for a while, but Spring is certainly approaching…rapidly.

Spring is a busy time for an Idiot like me. Spring means Track…Spring means One Acts…And Spring means Glitter. Glitter auditions have already come and past, the Call Board was posted just last week. This year will be my fourth as a Master of Ceremony. There’s a opening Track meeting tomorrow. And just today, Mr. Nott updated the Call Board with information on One Acts.

So, I’m very aware that my final season of High School will soon be upon me.

Just the other day, I was looking at My Closet Door and it hit me just how close we are to the end. See, my closet door has these four panels. On each panel, I’ve placed a poster and a playbill from that year’s PAC events. The problem with this decoration is that once it’s finally finished…I won’t be around long enough to appreciate it. With One Acts on the way, My Closet Door will soon be complete.

Well, shoot.

Anyway, the non-morbid part of Spring is that it’s always fun. Busy…But fun. And I can’t wait to try my hand at Directing my very own show.

I haven’t talked about it for a while, but The Pan Complex will soon be presented for the community to see. While Erica and I may have been slacking slightly in our author-ly duties, we’ll have the play done before it’s due…this Thursday.

I think the most exciting thing about The Pan Complex is that it’s being invented 100% by Erica and I. We wrote the play, we’ll cast the players, we’ll decide the movements, we’ll design the set, and I’ve even asked a good friend of mine, Brady, to make the music. For four years, I’ve been under the direction of Mr. Nott or Mrs. Stahr or some Senior…But this year, I get to grab my megaphone and see what I can do with the right side of my brain.

It’s the compilation of everything I’ve learned in four years of PAC and High School packed into one 15 minute show.

Spring means a lot of things that I can look at morosely…my last Track season, my last trimester of High School, my last Glitter, my last PAC Show…Or I can realize that I’ve been blessed to have these opportunities given to me. And I’m lucky to still have a little bit of time to make a splash at Gull Lake High School.

So, here’s to the completion of My Closet Door. Here’s to Spring. Here’s to Track. Here’s to Glitter. Here’s to One Acts. And here’s to Peter Pan.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Quest for Fast Food

August 21, 2012

And so we begin, right? If there is anyone reading this, you’re doing it, presumably, for some form of entertainment, you want to hear more about the Life of an Idiot. So, it’s story time. My first story is dated. The Quest for Fast Food happened many months ago…my Junior year Spring Break…

*Insert Dreamy Transition*

I was vacationing down in Panama City Beach with some of my best friends of all time. When in conversations with my parents, to save time, they are most commonly referred to as: “The Cross Country Guys”. However, this particular trip did not feature the entire team, only a handful of us made it to Party City, USA. It was me, Nate, Jeremy, Sam, Zach, Pop-Tarts, Dallas, and Ryan. We had the time of our lives. A bunch of teenage boys given free reign over a beach city packed to the brim with other teenagers on Spring Break? Can you say: recipe for success?

Well, it was mostly successful. There was one night, though, that our good buddy David (dubbed Pop-Tarts…that’s a funny story, I’ll have to tell you it sometime: “How David Became Pop-Tarts”) really got on our nerves. It should suffice to say that he was being very…difficult. Without going too far into unnecessary details, (so we may focus on the main point of this story) the group at large was thankful when it was time for bed. There were a few of us, though, who decided that bed was not enough comfort after such an annoying night…we needed sustenance. We needed Fast Food.

The Quest for Fast Food began with 5 of us getting grumpily into a van. There was me, Jeremy, Sam, Ryan, and Dallas. Nate, Zach, and Pop-Tarts had stayed behind. So, we set out into the night, in Quest of adventure and greasy treats. Had we known what we would endure that night…perhaps we would’ve stayed back. Perhaps we would’ve given up on burgers and fries. Perhaps we would’ve quivered in our very skin just from knowledge of the horrors…

“To Sonic!” cried Sam “I’m in desperate need of a shake.” Off we went, our first stop on this trip of terror was Sonic, the Drive-In Diner. We rolled up to one of the available windows (there were quite a few) and sat there for a good ten minutes as everyone debated what they would be ordering. Finally, when everyone was settled on their choice, we pressed the order button. Before we could get one word out, though…

“Sorry, our computers are down…” said the Sonic worker. If hateful thoughts could kill, this world would be down quite a few Sonic employees. With Sam near tears, we all nursed our wounds as we set off to our second choice: McDonald’s. Since when have the Golden Arches ever let down those in need of some grease covered comfort food? It was the logical choice.

We could sense trouble was afoot as we drove into the McDonald’s parking lot. The Drive-Thru line almost wrapped the Fast Food joint entirely in an automobile cocoon. To complicate matters, the line coming out of the front door didn’t look any friendlier. I’ve never heard five teenage boys whimper like we did. Always the optimist, I attempted (deeply in denial) to salvage the situation:

“Maybe it’s not that long of a wait…” I said. I mean, it is Fast Food, right? Just at that moment, two stately looking young gentleman came stumbling by…

“Man! Don’t even botha’, it’s like an hour wait!” they cried. All of our hearts sank. Despair started creeping into our stomachs…and, at the same time, a sudden passion for Fast Food. With renowned vigor, we set forth once again. Where to now, though? On a suggestion from Ryan, we drove to where we thought a Chik-Fil-A was.

Twenty minutes of driving later, Ryan admits that he’s a little lost…With about ten minutes worth of backtracking, we finally find the Chik-Fil-A. Of course, the reason we didn’t see it when we drove past the first time was because it was closed…all the lights were off. In our desperation, we went through the Drive-Thru anyway and screamed at the speaker for about ten minutes.

To say that I wasn’t hungry before we left would be an understatement. I really wasn’t. Some fries just sounded nice, I wasn’t actually “hungry”, per say. Now, however, it felt like I’d been starved my whole life and if I didn’t get a burger in the next five minutes, Sam would have to do as a midnight snack. It’s funny what desperation can do to you.

We left Chik-Fil-A with a fiery passion. Hitting up 3 Fast Food joints and nearly an hour of driving had yielded no favorable results. We still found ourselves without fries and shakes. All this time, by the way, our anger at Pop-Tarts skyrocketed. Obviously, it was his fault the computers at Sonic were down. Clearly, he was responsible for the back up at McDonald’s. Of course, it was Pop-Tarts who closed the Chik-Fil-A. It was all his fault. Dang that Pop-Tarts.

Through his tears, Sam whimpered that we should try Sonic again…to see if their computers were fixed. We were foolish boys living in a foolish daydream. Tonight had already proven it was not our friend. Why would our luck suddenly change now? Of course Sonic’s computers were still down. We left with our tails between our legs. Had Fast Food been nothing but a fever dream?

One last stop. One last chance. This had to be it: Burger King. It may not have been our first choice, (or our second (or our third)) but it looked open. Was this it? Would we finally get what we had Quested for? Was Fast Food really within our reach? The answer: Yes.

The greasy aroma of burgers, fries, onion rings, and chicken soon filled the car. We decided that this food was to valuable to just inhale on the way back to the hotel, we would eat it properly once we got back. However, there was no way in any Universe that Pop-Tarts (who’s a total mooch) was getting any of our Food (not after he’d shut down Sonic’s computers for so long…) So, we decided to eat our midnight snack in the lobby.

The night was almost over. One last challenge awaited us: The Idiots at Burger King hadn’t given us any ketchup or ranch or…anything! Just Food waited in our bags, there were no condiments. Sam, Dallas, and Ryan were ready to give up and just call it good with the Food…but not Jeremy and I.

This was America, was it not? The land of the brave and the home of the free or something like that! We would not sit there and eat food that we were not satisfied with! We deserved ranch! We deserved ketchup! We deserved condiments! Not only did we deserve them, we demanded them! Together, Jeremy and I sprinted across the street to a smelly old gas station where our delicious sauces awaited us. Only in America can two random kids get burger toppings at 2:00 in the morning.

It had taken us two hours. It had taken us five stops at four different Fast Food joints. It had taken us blood, sweat, and tears. It had taken us one trip to a shifty gas station. But we did it. We finally got the Fast Food meal we so deserved. Fast Food had never tasted so dang good.

Though the Quest for Fast Food seemed ridiculous and annoying at the time, I can’t help but reflect back upon it with the biggest of smiles. That trip to Panama City Beach was amazing and probably one of the best Spring Breaks I’ve ever had…yet, here I am telling you about a random Fast Food trip we took. The Quest for Fast Food, I believe, holds an important Truth…especially in the Life of an Idiot.

You could plan out every single day of your Life with events of so much grandeur that the Queen of England would weep at the sight of such a schedule…but you’ll never live as full a Life as those of us who know that the best memories are made through spontaneity. The best memories are made when you’re not planning to make them. They’re when you turn over a rock and find flowers waiting for you, instead of worms. They’re when you find your favorite restaurant after making a wrong turn. They’re when you round a corner and find there’s a festival happening downtown. They’re when you and a bunch of your closest friends decide one night that they’re hungry…and they want to go on a Quest for Fast Food.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)