Novelty hats and Chicken Express.

1 Comment

Good morrow, everyone! I am back with a full-fledged post this time around! Yay!

This morning I woke up to a text message from my good friend Conner, asking if I was going to church, to which I replied with a hearty (as hearty as you can get via text message) “Yessir!” I remember that I had received the text at exactly 9:19 this morning, and, knowing that church didn’t start until 10:30, I decided another 25 minutes or so wouldn’t hurt anyone. I got out of bed at around 9:50 or so, getting dressed, using the restroom, fixing a cup of coffee (hazelnut!), and heading out the door. I drove to Conner’s house, let him hop in, and then we were off. We arrived at the church about 5 minutes before the service started, so it turns out that I have pretty good timing. The service went really well, though it was another long one, this time being because of the congregation partaking in the Lord’s Supper.

After church, Conner and I ate at Chicken Express for lunch before we had to be at FUMC for CCBB rehearsal at 2. We finished eating before 1, at which point I dropped him back off at his house, drove back to the dorm, changed clothes, and then left for the church. Rehearsal went really well; I wore my new Back to the Future part II replica hat, and it was a big hit; everybody loved it! The director even went so far as to say that it was good that I had worn the hat because he had almost messaged me on Facebook to make sure that I DID wear it to rehearsal.

Look at me lookin' (Mc)"FLY" in my hat!


At one point, this little kid ran up to me while I was sitting at the side during a break and stole my hat off my head…I head never seen him or talked to him before in my life. I thought to myself “who the heck is this kid?”, and I got my hat back within a minute, but it was still a bit frustrating. Anyway, though the primary reason I bought the hat is because of its relation to Back to the Future, I think it’s a really cool hat; a picture can only do so much. You have to see this hat to truly behold it. It’s awesome.

From rehearsal, I went back to the dorm and started cleaning up the room a little bit; Conner had expressed interest in coming over later tonight and watching Inception while working on our Music History reading/online quizzes (which is easier than it sounds, considering that both of us had already seen Inception before). I dumped our trash cans, cleaned up my desk, arranged my receipts (which will be logged in my checkbook sometime this week) chronologically, and just made our room a better place to live in general. Conner came over at around 7:30; we put on the movie, I fixed my dinner (Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes, which are really good), and started on our music history, which wasn’t too difficult at all; I ended up getting 4s and 5s on all of the quizzes, which is a good thing.

Conner left after the movie had ended before 10:30, at which point I began to semi-start on music theory homework (more like “waste time on the Internet with the theory workbook open next to me”). Andrew got back at around 11:15 or so from his fraternity/church stuff, and we talked a little bit while I continued to procrastinate. I finally got my theory homework done after doing my so-called “Gaston workout” (the workout routine that I did every night for two months during our production of Beauty and the Beast so that I could look the part better).

WHAT'S COUNTERPOINT?

So, I had gotten a journal in my stocking this Christmas, and I brought it to college with me, but I hadn’t used it. I had made previous attempts in my life to keep a steady journal but never got past 3 or 4 entries. I had this idea in my head that, if I kept a journal, one day after I was gone someone might find it and publish it, making me famous like Anne Frank…minus the whole Holocaust thing (this isn’t me poking fun at that, I promise). I would always start a new journal with this long, detailed essay about who I was, what I had been through, who I had dated, who I had liked, who my best friends were, etc.; basically, the story of my life, so that when it was found the reader would know who they were reading about. Dumb ideas, most definitely. Lately, however, I’ve felt thoughtful in a personal way, and, wanting somewhere to jot down some of these private thoughts, I pulled out the empty journal (with the statement “I avoid clichĂ©s like the plague” printed on the front), got a fresh pen, began to write, taking two pages front and back. It was nice to get some of my thoughts down on paper, and I’m really hoping that I continue to keep up with it, daily if I can. I would doubt my ability to do so if I hadn’t recently proved my dedication in more than one way: I still have not had any soda since mid-August of 2010, and I’ve posted on this blog daily (even when I “missed” a day, I had a short one explaining) for more than 60 days now, something else I thought impossible, yet here I am. So I have no doubt that I’ll be able to keep up with this.

Anyway, that’s just about enough for tonight. Tomorrow, I’ve got all of my normal classes with a CCBB dance rehearsal at 7pm, with a possible short nap between the two; I’ve discovered that, if I take one just the right length, a nap sufficiently gets me through the day to finish homework that may be due and to write out this blog. We’ll see.

That’s all for tonight, folks. Sweet dreams!

Chad

P.S. – Queen song of the day: “These are the Days of Our Lives” – One of my picks for last year’s choir banquet CD, I heard this song on my iPhone’s shuffle today and it brought back lots of good memories. It’s just a great song with great lyrics. Enjoy.

This was filmed around 6 months before Freddie’s death from AIDS. It was shown in black and white instead of color because Freddie was in the final stages of the disease, which the color showed too strongly; you can see how frail he looks in the video. The final words of the song, “I still love you”, were Freddie’s last words on camera. God bless you, Freddie. Rest in peace.

P.P.S. – Conner got a call tonight from someone at the International Quidditch Association, encouraging our Quidditch team to apply to host the regional tournament here at Texas Tech, What that means is that we would essentially be the hosts of the “world cup” of our region, giving us lots of publicity and funding (which we need). The only other school applying to host this is Texas A&M, so here’s hoping that we can beat them out for this.

Advertisements

Exhaustified.

Leave a comment

I know I said to expect a full post tonight, but today was rather long and I’m rather tired. So I’ll sum up:

Coffee.
Rehearsal.
Back to the Future hat.
Lunch.
Quidditch.
Jenny and Tessa.
Dinner.
The Two Towers.
Blog.
Shower.
Bed.

And with that, I leave you. Church in the morning, rehearsal in the afternoon, homework in the evening. Good night, all.

Chad

P.S. – Queen song of the day: Is This the World We Created? Slightly depressing (but a beautiful song), this questions what us humans have done to this world that God has created for us.

Technical Difficulties

1 Comment

Hello everyone. I hope you all had wonderful days.

First off, happy 16th birthday to my little brother Blake! To those in the Dallas area, be wary on the roads from this point on; as soon as he gets his licensed renewed, he’s street legal. BEWARE!

Second: I took a super glorious, wonderful, much-needed nap today. Just thought I’d share that with the world.

And lastly, the Internet on-campus here at Texas Tech is doing a very good job of NOT WORKING AT ALL right now, so I’m ending here (all this has been from my phone, which is a pain to blog from).

Goodnight everyone, sweet dreams, and expect a full blog post tomorrow night.

Chad

P.S. – Queen song of the day: “Bicycle Race”. It seems to be a ridiculous song, but these lyrics are genius. Very well-written.

Song that seems to be paired to the above is “Fat-Bottomed Girls”. I love the opening to this song.

P.P.S. – For those who may be interested, our window was fixed today. So no worries.

Don’t put Twinkies on your pizza.

Leave a comment

/Heavyweights (Kenan Thompson’s character says this)

This post will probably be brief, like yesterday’s. Tomorrow’s SHOULD be longer, but we’ll see for sure.

I woke up a little later than normal this morning, though I wasn’t “late”; I just didn’t wake up early enough to make my bed and fix my coffee. I made it to aural skills on time. Today, we had a duet sightsinging quiz; I had all of my notes down, and so did my partner for the most part, but it was in a VERY slow 6/8 pattern with 16th notes and neither of us were able to follow it and stay together well. I’m sure we did fine on the quiz (meaning that I’m sure we passed), but we definitely got at least a few points taken off. I’m not worried, though. Aural skills is the stuff I’m really good at.

Then I had the usual hour break, but by this point I was really hungry for some reason, so I ended up getting a super early lunch at about 10 (it would have been breakfast if the Chick-Fil-A in the SUB sold spicy chicken biscuits, or chicken biscuits at all, but it doesn’t). From there, I went on to piano, which was a lot better today. We had about five people not show up for class, and it seems as if they were the ones who played most while the teacher was talking because it was a lot calmer today; it made class a whole lot more bearable. We hit Let It Be at the very end, and he’s teaching the chords in different variations than I had taught myself (though MINE are right, I promise!), but I don’t think I’ll get counted off any for doing it my way. I’ll double check for sure before I perform it for a grade, though.

After piano, I went back into the sitting area of the SUB and played a game called “Cover Orange” on my iPhone until band time came. It’s a really addicting game: you have one or more animated oranges (the fruit) sitting around the stage, and you get different tools (barrels, wheels, boxes) to move the oranges around and protect them from a cloud that rains some sort of chemical over them; if they’re protected and sealed off, then you advance. If not, you have to try again until you save all of the oranges from peril. Super fun, and I beat it today, all 100 levels.

Band wasn’t anything to speak of; people can’t count, but that’s just about it. Of course, we have a concert in less than a week now, so I’m really hoping people get their acts together so that we can sound good when we perform. I had voice lessons next, and for the second week in a row we didn’t sing, but I’m okay with that; last week, as mentioned, we picked out a cool German song for me to sing, and this week I requested that we pick out a song from a Broadway musical. He suggested “I’ve Heard it All Before” from a musical titled “Shenandoah”. I was kinda iffy on the song until it hit the slower, grander section, and then I was hooked. You see, I had read through the lyrics BEFORE looking at or listening to any of the music (I like to connect emotionally with the song to aid my performance), and, after looking at the lyrics to this song, I loved it, and the slow section I spoke of just solidified that decision. Here’s a recording; beware, this is probably an amateur (i.e. not very good):

Actually, after listening to this, I really liked this guy. Yay.

For the remaining time leading up to musical rehearsal at 7, I hung out in the room, lounged around on the computer, listened to the latest episode of Mugglecast (a Harry Potter-themed discussion podcast; really good), and downloaded the soundtrack to Inception by Hans Zimmer. If you know me well enough, you know that I am very critical of Hans Zimmer’s film music a lot of the time due to the similarities between so many of his scores; I swear I hear bits and pieces of his music for the Pirates of the Caribbean films in more than half of his scores. Batman Begins/Dark Knight was an exception because he collaborated with James Newton Howard, and now Inception is an exception. I was skeptical at first; there was a time when I was listening to the end credits to a movie I had never seen and was able to guess from the music that Hans Zimmer had composed. It was awful. I didn’t want the same thing from Inception. However, once I had seen it and gotten glimpses at the music, I went ahead and decided to download it from iTunes, and, now that I’ve listened all the way through, I must say that I am impressed. Of course, I prefer more orchestral movie scores (Back to the Future, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean), but the electronic sound he used in Inception really fit into the style of the movie and was very effective in its usage. Congratulations, Mr. Zimmer, on a job well done. Keep up the good work.

Musical rehearsal went really well. Today, we learned most of the dance for a song titled the “Bombie Samba”, which wasn’t in the original film, so I’m not very familiar with it yet. It’s got a really Latin kind of beat, and there’s lots of hip movement and lifting and spins and stuff like that. There’s one part where my dance partner, Clemmie, has to jump up, wrap one leg around my back, and stick the other foot straight out behind me while I spin here, all while laying flat on her back. A little later another guy and I have to lift up the lady who’s playing the Baroness (who isn’t light, though not fat at all; apparently, she was on the vocal staff at Tech when I had my audition last February, and she remembers me!), lock our arms, and carry her downstage. It’s difficult, but we’ll get it.

I went to Walmart after rehearsal and bought some Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes and mac and cheese (two of each), which you just stick in the microwave for a few minutes before they’re ready to eat, and they’re VERY good! Tonight was my first time to try the macaroni. I also went ahead and bought some more milk for the room, as well as a couple boxes of Tic Tacs, which I’m addicted to. I got the wild cherry and the arctic rush kind, and I like to mix one with the other at the same time. Very good.

Anyway, I studied for my test that I have in music theory in the morning a bit tonight, so pray I do well on that, and I am off to bed now. Goodnight, everyone.

Chad

P.S. – Queen song of the day! – “Dragon Attack” – this one has a really cool bass guitar beat.

Another song with a great bass guitar beat, one that you all know: “Another One Bites the Dust”.

P.P.S. – This post wasn’t brief at all. Oh well.

Shaving and Such.

Leave a comment

Nothing special happened during classes today, so I won’t go through any of that, and the routine before the classes was the same as well. So now we’re up to speed. 🙂

We had horn sectionals this afternoon at 4, which were led by one of the teaching assistants this time around instead of being student-led like they normally are. We’ve got a concert a week from today (Thursday), so she was helping us to get some stuff down. We ended up running for an hour and a half, versus the 45 minutes we did last week. Long, but we got a lot of work done, so that was great. After I had finished with that, I ate a quick spicy chicken sandwich in the SUB and then headed back to the room, where I grabbed my gift card and finally went to Target. I ended up spending it all on Amazon gift cards; the way I see it, anything I could get at Target I would also be able to get on Amazon, possibly for a cheaper price; plus, I’d have access to books for my Kindle. I bought this off of Amazon after getting back:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001RJ1U6G/ref=ox_ya_os_product
Feel free to judge me; I don’t care. This is awesome. Anyway, while at Target I bought myself a razor and some shaving cream, and tonight I shaved with a razor (as opposed to an electric razor, which is what I’ve always used) for the first time. I only cut myself once, and it was very small. Yay!

That was most of my day today. I talked with Brianna on Skype for half an hour about Academy Awards nonsense in the later evening, and to my mom for a few minutes later, but that’s it. Andrew and I had some cheesecake that was leftover from my birthday last week. We watched some Family Guy. Just hung out, chilled. Nothing special.

And that’s it for tonight. I apologize for being less interesting tonight, but I’m honestly pretty tired and ready for bed, and I plan on taking a shower first. So goodnight, everyone! Sleep well.

Chad

P.S. – Queen song of the day: “Who Wants to Live Forever?” – written for the movie “Highlander”, in addition to several other songs they featured in the film. I LOVE this song. I’m only going to post the studio version of this one because I feel it’s so powerful, though the live one is very good too. I’ll leave it up to you to look it up if you’re interested.

While on the subject of films, Queen also wrote the score for the 1980 film Flash Gordon; a super-campy film (designed to look that way), with lots of corny/lame moments, but it’s lots of fun. I recommend it. Here’s the theme:

P.P.S. – Just wanting to repost this.

I Wake Up to the Sound of Music

1 Comment

/Let It Be

Good morrow, everyone. I hope everyone had a splendid day.

Woke up plenty early this morning for my aural skills class at 8:30. We had a dictation quiz, which wasn’t difficult at all. I’m sure I did fine. After class, I hung out in one of the chairs in the sitting area of the SUB on my iPad, looking up the Academy Award nominations for this year’s ceremony. Here’s the link, for your convenience:
Clicky
Highlights from the nominations:
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1, nominated for Visual Effects and Art Direction. I wish that it would receive more serious nominations (actors, screenplay, music, etc.), but, being the kind of movie it is, that’s just not going to happen. At least the movie WAS nominated for something; they deserve it after 10 years in the franchise.
-How to Train Your Dragon nominated for both Best Animated Picture and Best Original Score. Though I think it definitely stands a good chance in the category, I doubt it beats out Toy Story 3 for best animated. I was VERY happy to see that it was nominated for best score, though; I LOVE the music for this movie, and I think John Powell did a fantastic job. However, I doubt that it wins; best score will probably either go to Trent Reznor for Social Network or maybe even A.R. Rahman for 127 Hours – after all, he won best score and best song two years ago for Slumdog Millionaire.
-Day and Night, the animated short that preceded Toy Story 3, is nominated for best animated short. I’m not familiar with the others nominated, so here’s hoping that it wins!
-Whether Inception deserves Best picture or not, it was an fantastic film with an incredible smart script and phenomenal acting across the board, and Christopher Nolan did a fantastic job with the concept, the story, and the direction. However, a repeat of the 2008 Academy Awards when the same thing happened with Dark Knight, he didn’t receive at the very least a nomination for best director, whether he won it or not. I think that’s pretty messed up. I feel bad for the guy.

My guesses for winners in select categories:

– Best Picture: I’ve only seen 3 of the 10 films nominated for best picture (Inception, Toy Story 3, and Social Network; if any of these win, it will be Social Network), so I can’t make an accurate guess on what will win, though my favorite film critic, Roger Ebert, is guessing (not not yet predicting) that True Grit will win best picture. We’ll have to see for sure, though: there were a LOT of critically-acclaimed films released this year.
-Best Actor: I’ve only seen one of these, so I can only base off critic reviews, but I’m guessing either Jesse Eisenberg for Social Network or Jeff Bridges for True Grit will walk away with this one. However, I think James Franco stands a good chance as well, based on reviews I read for 127 Hours.
-Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3, hands down. However, if How to Train Your Dragon somehow scrapes ahead, I’ll be okay with that too. Both were fantastic.
-Best Original Score: My guess is either for Social Network or 127 Hours. I’m not sure which.
-Best Visual Effects: I’m inclined to lead toward Alice in Wonderland for this one. MAYBE Harry Potter, but I doubt it.

Those are the only ones I have educated guesses about; I’ll let you know how those go. Expect live coverage of the Academy Awards for the second year in a row on my Twitter page, linked below:
@Chadadada’s Twitter Feed

Anyway, after looking all of this up, I went to piano, which was a huge pain yet again. People don’t seem to get the concept that it’s rude to play while the teacher is trying to teach. I have half a mind to email the actual piano professor (a teaching assistant/grad student is teaching my class), who I had last semester, to tell her what’s going on and see if there’s anything she could attempt to do to fix the problem, even if it’s just sitting in during one class. We’ll see. However, what made the whole class worth it was the assignment we got at the very end: to learn the Beatles’ “Let it Be”. I left the class and immediately went to a practice room to figure it out, skipping lunch until much later in the day; the video you see above is the final result. It took more than 200 tries to get that as good as it turned out; to put it in perspective, I practiced it from 11:30-12:45, 2-2:30, 3-4, and 6-7. What is that, nearly four hours? Yeah. Beast mode. “Let It Be” is one of my favorite Beatles songs; it was actually the one of the first I ever knew, singing it as a duet with my dad in 6th grade for the Mesquite Boys’ Choir’s final, Beatles-themed concert (I first listened to the Beatles because of this). It’s just a great song.

So, the Chick-Fil-A in the SUB definitely started selling spicy chicken sandwiches this week; before now, it only sold chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fries, and salads. All it needs now is a breakfast menu and life will be even better, but no rush – we must take baby steps for now. When I first discovered this today when I finally decided to eat, I texted Andrew “SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICHES IN THE SUB”. He responded with “PRAISE THA JESUS!!!!” Oh, how awesome we are.

When I got back to the room after I had finished recording myself singing/playing “Let It Be” (or, rather, after my phone had died from excessive video recording), I plugged my phone into my computer and started trying to find my favorite of the 5 or 6 takes in which I actually made it all the way through the song with minimal mistakes, but, after leaning back and closing my eyes while listening to one of them, fell asleep. I didn’t sleep for too long, though: only two hours or so, so it was definitely a decent nap. I woke up after Andrew had gotten back from doing whatever with his fraternity pals, and we went downstairs and I bought a burger at Sam’s Place. They have surprisingly good burgers here. I also got a large Powerade (blue, of course; my first Powerade or Gatorade in weeks since I’ve been sticking to fruit juice, milk, water, and tea) and a pint of vanilla Blue Bell ice cream, which I haven’t eaten yet; I’ll save it for lunch tomorrow.

While eating, I popped the Social Network Blu-Ray into my PS3, and we watched it for the first time. I was very impressed; I thought that the acting was fantastic, the script was interesting, and even the music was pretty good – I might have to look into buying the soundtrack. Andrew, on the other hand, though he enjoyed it, felt that it was way over-hyped and didn’t deserve to be the award-winning movie it has become. To each his own, amirite?

The ice in my cup from dinner just shifted out of nowhere and freaked me the heck out. Not cool.

Before I started typing this, right after the movie had ended before midnight, I called a friend of mine at midnight for her birthday; I met her at Tech, and she’s a piano student, and I had had a discussion with her about how well I remember birthdays. She didn’t think I would remember, so me calling her proved that I did. Happy birthday! Ha.

Anyway, I’m off to bed for tonight. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I go to the other Target; it keeps not happening. We’ll see. Goodnight, everyone, and sweet dreams.

Chad

P.S. – Queen song of the day: “Don’t Stop Me Now” – This song is just a load of fun. Enjoy.

EFFORT

Leave a comment

/inside joke with Andrew

I got out of bed at a decent time this morning, at about 7:20 or so. I did all my usual, made sure Andrew was awake (he had trouble sleeping last night, not truly getting any sleep until 5) for his 8 o’clock class as well. He left before I did (his class is farther away), and I left just a few minutes later. So, I decided today that my education class is just a big joke. The point of the class is to teach effective teaching methods for use within a CLASSROOM setting, not within a musical setting (band, choir, orchestra); us music kids (and there’s LOTS of us in there) are just in there for the education credit we need for our major in music education. I must admit, though, that I kinda like the class. It’s nice to have a sort of chill class like that where we do activities like review bingo and stuff like that all semester long.

Music theory was spent finding errors in counterpoint, which wasn’t bad at all, and music history was just taking notes over stuff we had read and quizzed over online yesterday. Calculus was after music history, and it was interesting today. We had taken a quiz during the last class on Friday (as we do every Friday). It was only two questions, and I was fairly confident with my work on the first of the two. However, the second one had me baffled; I worked it out as best I could, wrote “I don’t think I did this right. I don’t understand it.” at the bottom, and turned it in, certain that I would fail the quiz. Despite all that, when I showed up for class today and got my quiz back, I had received credit for 19 out of 20 points…I only missed a negative sign in the second problem, still getting the correct answer. I was mind-blown. I couldn’t believe that I had actually passed since I had thought that I had no idea what I was doing. Cool beans. The rest of the class was spent learning some new stuff.

After calculus, I came back to the room (where Andrew was catching up on sleep) and ate two of the three (or was it 3 of the 4?) slices of pizza leftover from Orlando’s last night for lunch, leaving the last for Andrew. Then I just messed around for a while, probably played a few rounds of Words with Friends on my iPad against my uncle, and then went off to band at 1.

Band was actuall enjoyable today. We are playing a piece by J.S. Bach, Bach’s Fugue a la Gigue or something like that, which was written originally for organ but transcribed for wind ensemble. We got the treat of getting an organ player (who also happens to be the accompanist for my choir) play the original piece on the organ in Hemmle Recital Hall, which was awesome; I love listening to organs, especially live. The sounds are just incredible, and the physicality involved when playing the instrument itself is impressive. Definitely really cool.

I was done for the day after band, so I went back to the room. I put Inception back on (as you may recall, I started re-watching it last night but never finished) and finished re-watching it. I must say, it was even better the second time. It doesn’t surpass Back to the Future, in my opinion (I don’t know if a movie ever will), but it definitely ranks pretty high on my list of favorite movies. I especially love the ending of the film; I’m not going to give anything away, but I just think it ends perfectly. Very good movie.

I sat around waiting for Andrew all afternoon/evening, not knowing when he’d be done (though his classes were over by 5), learning that he went and hung out with people from his fraternity after class. I ended up going to Subway (again) for dinner, with plans to visit the other Target location in Lubbock afterward, if time permitted. However, I didn’t go to eat until 10:15ish (it was still open!), and Target closes at 10, so I just went back to the room. Maybe I can go tomorrow.

Since then, I haven’t been doing much. I had started watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Blu-Ray before eating, so I finished that up, and, with Andrew having gotten back just before I got back from Subway, we watched the first Sister Act movie (one of his personal favorites) while I completely my aural skills dictation homework.

So, get this: IT WAS TOTALLY SNOWING! For a long time, too, and more is in the forecast until 4, but it’s already stopped, so we’ll see. It probably didn’t snow enough to cancel any classes, but it snowed enough to cover the ground with a light layer of the stuff. Really cool. I love the cold, so I love the snow, and it it happens to bring about class cancelations as well, awesome. I hope it snows more like this throughout at least the first part of semester. After all, the bulk of winter hasn’t hit yet; that big snowstorm thing from last year didn’t hit Mesquite until mid-February, so we’ve still got time.

Anyway, I’m really tired. Goodnight, everyone.

Chad

P.S. – Two Queen songs tonight, both from their early days:
First, we have “Doing All Right”, released on Queen’s very first album. I really like this song.

Next is “Killer Queen”, their “breakthrough hit”. This song charted at number 2 in the UK and 12 in the US.

Older Entries