Life goes on.

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Okay, it’s nearly been two months, but I assure you all that I am alive and well and enjoying my summer thoroughly.

I’ll try and walk you through everything so far, so this may end up being pretty long. Probably.

First off, final exams. Everything went really well, and I ended up finishing the semester with 10 As and 1 B. Okay, okay, I’ll confess…one of those was an A-, but who’s counting that?

Well, besides him.

Actually, one of those As is still listed as a B, but I queried my professor about it and confirmed that it should be an A; it’s in the process of being fixed, supposedly. What I’m most proud of this semester, concerning my grades, at least, is that I got As in my two most difficult classes: music history and honors integrated science. Hooray!

During our final weekend at Tech for the semester, Andrew’s parents and my dad came up and helped us pack up all of our stuff. Mr. and Mrs. Grant went back home on Saturday/Sunday (Mrs. Grant left a day early), while Dad stayed until Monday morning. While he was there, the three of us watched the last few episodes of How I Met Your Mother that were on Netflix. What a great show! There’s still one more season to watch before we’re caught up, but it wasn’t on Netflix yet, so maybe we’ll get to it later in the fall sometime.

After meeting up with Lexi for lunch and taking my final final exam, I climbed in my car and began my long drive home. Lubbock wept that day.

Relevant.

And then summer began! The day after I came home was the Poteet Choir’s Spring Show, which my brother is still a part of, so I attended that and sang with the choir onstage for the traditional end-of-year song, “May the Music Never End”. Fun times! Mrs. Westgate was just over a month away from having her baby at this point in time, so that was exciting, and this was also right before Blake was elected to be president of the Poteet Choir! Congrats to him!

That weekend, Andrew, Seth, and I bought lots of food and traveled out to Lake Tawakoni State Park for our now-annual Bro Camping Trip. We were there for three nights, and we had a blast. Also, our menu was pretty delicious. Here’s the walkthrough:

SATURDAY

Breakfast – Waffles and eggs.

Lunch – Chili Cheese Hotdogs

Dinner – Made-from-scratch lasagna

SUNDAY

Breakfast – Eggs, bacon, and sausage

Dinner – RIBS (the most delectable, delicious ribs you can possibly imagine, courtesy of Andrew)

I don’t know if these are supposed to be ribs or popsicles, but you get the idea.

Yes, it was a menu fit for 5 kings. We didn’t just eat, though; we played frisbee curling (a game of our own invention) for several hours, walked a couple of trails, sat around the campfire and made s’mores, and watched lots of movies. Let’s see if I can remember everything: Lord of the Rings Extended Trilogy (yes, all 12 hours), Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, Thor, The Phantom of the Opera, and Get Smart…I think that’s it. So yes, it was a very involved, busy, enjoyable weekend.

The day after we came back, Tuesday, was the Poteet Band Spring Concert, which was super exciting because the Honors Band premiered a piece that was commissioned in honor of Mr. Coulson, called “Elixir”. Composed by Michael Markowski, whose music the band had played a couple of times before, the piece was lots of fun, and the whole ceremony/involvement of Mr. Coulson made it even better. Here’s a YouTube video of the premiere:

Later in the concert, Mr. Davis, who had also retired this past year, made an appearance, presenting a new scholarship named after both him and Mr. Coulson. Overall, it was just a great night full of fun reunions and awesome music.

For the next week or so, I spent most of my time in the living room watching TV with my parents, mostly Criminal Minds, but with some CSI and others interspersed into that. For Memorial Day, the four of us Hopkinses went up to my grandparents’ house, where we feasted on more delicious ribs. It was a good day.

I’ve been reading a lot this summer, mostly just before bed every night. I started off by finishing the second volume of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Two Towers, which finally got moving about a quarter of the way through; Tolkien’s usually a slow read. After having finished that, I decided to take a break from Tolkien before reading Return of the King. Here’s everything I have read with a short review attached:

Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf – This has been on my reading list for quite a while. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the film directed by Robert Zemeckis, is based on this book and is one of my favorite films, so I gave the book a try. Just about the only similarities between the two are the character names and, even then, that’s only four similarities total. Sure, there’s a few things here and there that I can tell influenced the film, but, overall, they are entirely separate entities with entirely separate stories and characters. All that goes to say I LOVED it!

I loved it thiiiiiiiiiis much!

Wolf’s novel reminded me a lot of another, much older, crime book I once read, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. It definitely had a darker “noir”-type feel to it than the movie did, though it was definitely present there too. I sat down with it one day and finished it in a matter of a few hours.

A Night to Remember by Walter Lord – This book is a documentary-style book about the night the Titanic sank. The author interviewed several survivors and other people connected to the disaster, so it’s just about the most accurate description of the Titanic ever. It was adapted into a film in 1958 that is excellent; I bought the movie on Blu-Ray shortly after finishing the book. The Titanic fascinates me, so this was an awesome read for me, albeit pretty depressing and eye-opening.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – This book was the basis for the recent film with Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer. The film did a good job adapting the source material, but the book is even better. It explores the characters more in-depth, and there are a few plot additions/differences that I really enjoyed. Bonus fun fact: Octavia Spencer, who portrayed the character of Minnie in the film, is a friend of the author, who actually based the character of Minnie in the book off of Octavia. How cool is that?! If that was confusing to read, here’s the gist: Octavia Spencer played a character who was based off of her in the first place. Better?

What’s It All About? by Michael Caine – This book is is actor Michael Caine’s first autobiography. I actually read his second biography first, The Elepehant to Hollywood, and rated it five stars. Had I read the two memoirs in the proper order, WIAA? would receive its deserved five stars, while TETH would only receive four. In WIAA?, Michael Caine gives us a fascinating, detailed tour through his entire life: his life growing up in the countryside of England, his time spent in the army, his rise to fame, and his life since. He introduces us to actors and actresses he has had the pleasure of getting to know throughout his long career, and he reveals to us the things he finds importan in his life. His second autobiography repeats much of this before moving on to new material. If you’re a fan of Caine’s, or if you’re at all interested in what it’s like to be film star, What’s It all About? is for you. Make sure to read The Elephant to Hollywood afterward, but know that it is repetitive.

Now, I’m finally getting to The Return of the King. I haven’t read more than a few pages just yet, but hopefully I can really dive in soon. As long as it doesn’t take me all summer like Fellowship of the Ring did last summer, I’ll be happy.

My group of friends from high school and I met for a couple of dinners/hang-out nights together before going on a pseudo-campout at Seth’s family’s land out in East Texas. They have a small cabin and several acres of land that they use for hunting, and it’s out in the middle of nowhere, so there’s no cell phone reception.

Just let it out.

At first it was weird not having any Internet of any kind because I’m used to being able to pull out my phone to look something up on Wikipedia at a moment’s notice, but I got used to it pretty quickly and actually enjoyed the limited connectivity with the world. The seven of us were cramped into the small two-room-and-a-bathroom cabin, with the four girls (Megan, Regan, Kate, and Hannah) sharing the bedroom and the three guys (Andrew, Seth, and me) were in the living room area. A little cramped, but we managed to enjoy ourselves. Activities included cooking (yes, there were more ribs), movies, shooting guns at targets (a revolver, a .22 rifle, and an assault rifle), and riding around the property on a four-wheeler. We had a great time together!

Amid all of this was South Pacific, which just finished up this past Sunday. It was a pretty awesome experience for me. Rehearsals started at the very end of May. There were six rehearsals total: three orchestra rehearsals and three dress rehearsals with the cast. The other horn player ended up being a recent graduate of SFA, so she’s just a couple of years older than me. We got along really well, making jokes together and sharing funny pictures with each other on our phones when we weren’t otherwise occupied with the music. The performances all went really well too; I had several friends and my family attend and enjoy the show. Not that I was too involved in the actual production…the horn part wasn’t very active, so lots of the time I was sitting in the orchestra pit on my phone, playing games and whatnot. I even ate chocolate while down there, but don’t tell my horn professor that! Like I said, it was an awesome experience, and the music director, Larry, has said that I’m on the spreadsheet for contacts next year, so hopefully this’ll be a summer-by-summer recurring gig!

Remember when I first auditioned for Garland Summer Musicals a couple of months ago and how I really wanted to be in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying? Well, it opens on July 20, which just so happens to be the day that I LEAVE TO GO ON A DISNEY CRUISE WITH MY AUNT, UNCLE, AND COUSINS! Things definitely worked out for me since I was neither cast in How to Succeed nor asked to play in the orchestra for it, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go. Unfortunately, Blake can’t go because of summer school, so that’s a bummer, but I’m still excited to be spending the time with my family. It’ll be a Caribbean cruise, my fourth, and it’ll be on the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Fantasy, which just launched back in March. I’m super excited! I keep thinking that it’s coming up sooner than it actually is, but we’re still about three weeks away. Counting down the days!

This summer is the Summer of Movies, much like 2008 was a few years back. So far this summer (since coming home), I’ve only seen Brave (review here in a sec), but I have pre-ordered my tickets for The Amazing Spider-Man (next Monday night/Tuesday morning midnight showing) and The Dark Knight Rises (July 19), both in IMAX. In the case of The Dark Knight Rises, I actually bought a ticket to three movies: THE ENTIRE CHRISTOPHER NOLAN BATMAN TRILOGY IN IMAX! AMC is having a trilogy event on the night of the midnight premiere, at which they’ll be playing Batman Begins starting at 6pm, followed by The Dark Knight, and then the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. What this means is no waiting in lines for me! Other movies coming out this summer that I might be seeing include Ted (comes out tomorrow) and The Bourne Legacy, coming out August 10.

Relevant.

Okay, now Brave. I went to the midnight premiere for this, which was really weird because people didn’t start showing up until about 11:40 or so. Never been to a midnight premiere like that. Anyway, though it was a sort of departure/new direction for Pixar, it worked really well and was pretty enjoyable. The trailers did a pretty poor job in marketing the film, so I’m glad I went and saw it anyway. The trailers gave absolutely no hint at what the actual plot of the film would be, which I suppose could be considered a good thing, but it would have been nice to have a bit better idea of what I was walking in to. The story was definitely geared toward mother/daughter combos, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable for people who don’t fall in to that profile. The soundtrack by Patrick Doyle (who I used to shun because I HATE his score to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) was excellent, truly capturing the Scottish setting of the film. And the Academy Award-nominated short film before Brave, La Luna, was one of my favorites. I want a soundtrack album for the Pixar Short Films that has all of the music from the shorts! Some good stuff from Michael Giacchino, among others.

At the start of the summer, I watched through the awesome Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, for the first time; it was incredible. I won’t go too into detail on it, but it’s on Netflix Instant, so you have no excuse for not checking it out. The sequel series, The Legend of Korra, just had its Season 1 finale this past Saturday, and it was incredible too. Can’t wait for Season 2!

I’ve also played through a couple of video games in the past week. I’ve been getting more and more each year, and I only play one or two a year, so I had quite a stockpile to work through. I started off with Halo: Reach earlier this summer, which was decent, and this past week I played through both Star Wars: The Force Unleashed I and II. The first one was pretty excellent, minus some frustrating moments, but the best part of the second one was the incredible screen quality. The graphics blew my mind. Now, I’m playing through Fallout: New Vegas, which is a new kind of game for me. It’s mission-based, whereas I’m used to playing story-based games. It’s not a bad thing, though. It’s a nice change, and I’m really enjoying it, but it’s slow-going.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention my pen pal, Shauna. You may recall that I sent her a package a month or two ago filled with every single kind of Reese’s Candy that I could find. Well, she finally sent her package to me, which was FILLED with all kinds of British candies! Yeah, she’s pretty much the best pen pal ever.

I’ve had a Tumblr account for quite a while now, but I never cared for the service so I pretty much left it alone aside from reading friends’ posts that were linked to Twitter. However, yesterday I decided that I’d start using it as a means to review films and film soundtracks, so there’s about to be some regular posting from there. Here’s the page: Clicky

Anyway, that’s pretty much my summer in a nutshell so far. I probably missed a thing or two, but don’t take offense to that if you were involved. This was a long enough post already. Now, I’m heading off to the Rangers game with Seth! Woohoo!

I’ll try not to wait so long before updating this again, but the truth is that I don’t use my computer all that much during the summer, relying instead on my iPhone and iPad for Internet access.

Welp. Goodbye! God bless.

Chad

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Heavenly inheritance.

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Hey all! I’d like to again apologize for the lack of posts lately; I’ve had a variety of different busy things going on that always keep me up too late to have me post at a reasonable hour. But here I am!

I suppose I’ll start with Saturday. I slept late (thank God for not having to set alarms!), waking up first at 11-something and later at 1:30 or so. I got dressed and ready to go for the basketball game, at which I got free food…that’s the best! The game was pretty intense; it was the game against UT, and, though it started out badly for us, it quickly became a very close game…it even went into overtime! Alas, we lost, but it was still lots of fun. From the game, I came back to the room, snacked, changed clothes, and then drove off to the theater for our last performance of the play! I got lots of “we missed you!”s from the cast, including a hug or two, and that made me feel awesome. I wish I had been available to be in Friday’s performance, but choir had been on the schedule since December. The Saturday performance went really well, though! We sold out for our third Saturday in a row, and my voice teacher came to see me! She really enjoyed it; she said she laughed the whole time! When everyone had cleared out, most of the cast went over to one of the cast member’s house for a sort of “party”, where there was wine (don’t worry, I didn’t even look at it, let alone drink any), a deli cracker platter, and pizza. We played a game or two, including Pass the Popcorn, a movie trivia game that I did pretty well with. It was a great night! I’m going to miss being around these people; I had lots of fun with this show, and I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity to be a part of it.

Since I had been out so late on Saturday night, I decided to sleep through church, not waking up until early afternoon again. Andrew and I went to Chipotle for lunch (with me getting my reduced-size meal), and then I hung out for a few hours, eagerly anticipating the Academy Awards! When they finally rolled around, I got my tweeting in gear and had lots of fun; I ended up guessing exactly half of the winners correctly, which is better than I think I did last year. Improvement! I was upset that Viola Davis didn’t win Best Actress, and I was also a little upset that neither Harry Potter nor Moneyball (nor Rise of the Planet of the Apes, for that matter) walked away with any form of recognition, but I won’t complain too much…this IS the Academy we’re talking about, after all. Billy Crystal hosting was a breath of fresh air after last year’s Anne Hathaway/James Franco co-hosting. You can’t go wrong with him! After the shows were over, I studied a bit for my first music history exam of the semester…better late than never, right?

Though I had trouble getting up Monday morning, I made it to all of my classes on time. I’m also fairly confident that I got at least a B on my music history exam, which I’m happy with…hopefully, the next one won’t be the morning after the ONLY awards show I watch (it won’t). My day went fine, with me even squeezing in an hour of practice on my horn that I normally don’t do, so that’s a step in the right direction! That night, I pulled out my Bible and read 1 Peter chapters 1 and 2, proceeding to write in my journal for several pages (with several distractions in-between, of course). By the time I had finished everything I wanted to do with my journal/Bible-reading (I didn’t even have any homework!), it was super late, and I still had to shower! Another late night for me, but it was worth it to be learning more about God. I’m really wanting to get into the habit of spending more time in my Bible, and not just reading…studying and learning, too, which is why I take notes in my journal.

Today was long, and there was a certain element of stress to it as well; my horn professor sent an email to the studio saying to be ready to play the (DIFFICULT) etudes we were to be working on in studio class today. I HAVE been working on them, but they are very hard…I don’t think anyone was quite prepared to play through them. Thankfully, when studio rolled around, he had changed his mind…we still have another three weeks of preparation before we have to perform them for a grade. Practice practice practice!

When I got back to the room after studio, it was about 6:30. I picked up dinner from Sam’s Place and talked to Mom on the phone for a few minutes before pulling out my Bible and reading the passage that we were going to discuss in Bible study tonight: Hebrews 5:11-6:12. I read it and took notes on some notebook paper so that I had stuff to say in the study. I made it over the Chasya’s house (one of my friends from high school), where the Bible study was being held, just after 8. There were about 17 of us there tonight, and we had a good time discussing God’s word for a couple of hours. I’m really liking this Bible study! Glad to not have any conflicts to keep me from going.

Except next week, of course! Next Tuesday evening is our next band concert, after which a few members of Court Jesters is climbing on a bus and departing for the NCAA basketball tournament in Kansas! I’m really looking forward to it! Of course, depending on how the teams do, we may not be returning to Lubbock until Saturday evening, which means that my time spent at home will be a little shorter, but, either way, I’ll still have at least a week in Mesquite for Spring Break.

Now, it’s time to write in my journal, transfer (and add to) my notes over tonight’s Bible-reading, and then get in bed…I don’t anticipate it taking too long.

Goodnight!

Chad

Gracious speech.

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Today was a good day. Since I stayed up so late last night writing about my experience at Paradigm and what I learned from the message, I had a little bit of trouble waking up, but I was on time for class so it was no big deal. Theory went normally, and I picked up a smoothie after class was out, sipping it and playing a game on my iPad in the free hour I had between theory and music history.

Nothing special happened in music history, but I’ve got a test on Monday that I need to study a bit for. I’ll get on that sometime this weekend; I’m not too stressed about it. I had my voice lesson today during my lunch break, and we worked on two songs: “Silent Noon” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and “Sunset Boulevard” from the Broadway musical of the same name. One piece is extremely beautiful, while the other is just lots of fun…I love them both and can’t wait to perform them, hopefully as soon as in a few weeks.

Band and choir went as expected, and both felt delightfully brief. Since I had no obligations after choir let out, Andrew and I grabbed food from the SUB (back to salad for me!) and waited at a table for Andrew’s Chi Ro friend Chelsea to join us. I sat back and played on my iPad while eating so that they could talk without my interruption. I know Chelsea, but we’re not much more than acquaintances. No biggie. They chatted for quite a while before we parted ways, the two of us walking back to Sneed together. We watched a couple of episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures on Netflix (such a great show!) before Andrew went out to eat with two other friends from Chi Ro. I stayed behind and read Total Money Makeover for a bit before I decided that it was time for a nap. It was actually a short nap this time, with me only sleeping from about 6:40 to 7:40 or so; we had a choir concert tonight (kinda).

The concert tonight was not Matador Singers-exclusive; in fact, this concert showcased almost all aspects of the School of Music, with a flute ensemble, a jazz ensemble, a world music ensemble, a viola ensemble, and us singing with the top band. It really was a pretty cool concert…each act flowed right into the next, meaning that the next group started performing almost immediately after the group before them played their final notes. The effect was very cool.

Anyway, we were done with that before 9 I think, at which point Andrew and I walked down the street to the parking garage so that I could grab my car and park it behind Sneed for the weekend. He changed clothes and went to hang out with friends, while Conner came over so that the two of us could continue our Back to the Future-watching; we watched Part II tonight. Watching BTTF with Conner is the best because he can quote the films almost as well as I can! Well, let’s be fair…I think he quoted the second one better than I did, but the second one is not my favorite of the 3. When the film had ended, Conner left, and I decided to pull up the Bible app on my iPad and read something random.

I ended up choosing Colossians 3 to begin with, but I liked it so much that I went back to Chapter 1 and read all four chapters in Colossians. LOTS of good stuff; after finishing reading, I wrote for a long time again in my journal, some of which I plan to post on Facebook in a note. I don’t want to post it to show people that I’ve been reading the Bible or anything like that, but rather because I want to share what I learned from the passage in the hope that others can learn from it as well, perhaps even taking away more than I did. So check that out!

Andrew showed back up not long after Conner left, and he read his book for a bit before he passed out; I’m about to do the same. There is a basketball game that I will be attending with Court Jesters tomorrow afternoon, and the final performance of You Can’t Take It With You is tomorrow night as well; I wish I could have performed tonight, but I dedicated myself to choir before I dedicated myself to this play, so that’s just the way things worked out. Hopefully some of my friends will be able to make it out to see the performance tomorrow. I know that my voice teacher is planning on attending, and hopefully at least Andrew will come as well. The other section leader, Rachel, mentioned coming with one of the other horn players in the section, but she also told me that she had lots of homework to do…I told her that my feelings wouldn’t be hurt if she wasn’t able to come.

It’s bedtime…goodnight!

Chad

P.S. – The Academy Awards are almost here!

Mostly dead.

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It’s been a VERY long day, folks.

I’ll start with a brief visit to yesterday. Nothing extravagant happened in my classes, BUT my theory professor stopped me in the hallway at one point during the day and mentioned how good I am at music theory…made me feel good! Of course, I don’t know how much of my theory prowess is attributed to skill and how much is attributed to guessing, but still. It was a good feeling. The rest of the day went pretty smoothly. After classes were over, I napped for a bit but woke up with plenty of time to get homework done and spend an hour or two on the computer. Andrew and I also watched Tangled last night, so it was a pretty good night…until we tried to go to bed. I don’t know if it was because of my nap or if I was uncomfortable or WHAT, but I just couldn’t for the life of me fall asleep last night. I was awake past 4:30am.

The horn studio had a guest horn player visit yesterday and today who gave each of us in the studio 30-minute lessons. Mine was scheduled for this morning at 9 before my first class at 9:30, which meant that I had to be awake at 7:30 in order to get to the music building, warmup/practice, and be early for my lesson, resulting in me only getting 3 hours of sleep total. From then on, I was going nonstop, no matter how much I wanted to slow down.

My lesson with the visiting professor went well, despite the fact that I had to sightread some the piece I had chosen to play for him. I had only worked on the first of the two pages, and my lesson teacher told me that we probably wouldn’t get past half of the first page in this lesson with the guest, but we ended up going all the way through. I sightread pretty well, though, and he was impressed with my playing. It’s funny; the horn professor at Tech introduced me to the guest as both a horn player AND singer, so the guest related everything he was telling me to singing. That makes me unique, I suppose. In any case, it was a nice lesson. I really enjoyed it.

The rest was all just ongoing, unwanted class. I had a science lecture from 9:30-10:50, an aural skills sightsinging test (which I aced) from 11-11:50, a half-hour lunch break, band from 12:30-1:50, and science lab from 2-3:30, which means that we got out early. This left me about an hour and a half of free time before I had to go to horn studio (where the guest was doing a recital for us) at 5, followed immediately by a basketball game with Court Jesters. I then made my overdue errand to Walmart for my Cuties and apples, meaning I didn’t get back to the room and officially settle down until just after 10 or so. Yeesh.

Anyway, that’s my day in a nutshell. Now, I have an announcement.

Today was “Fat” Tuesday. I’m not entirely sure why it’s called that (it’s nothing that a quick Wikipedia search couldn’t remedy), but it’s not of my concern anyway. The reason I point it out is because on “Fat” Tuesday I am officially 20 lbs. lighter than I was at this point a month ago. How awesome is that?! This is the lightest I’ve been in quite a while, though I couldn’t give a specific date. Ideally, I’d like to lose AT LEAST another 20 lbs…that’s my goal, and, heck, if I can lose just a bit more than that, that would be fantastic.

Welp, that’s all. It’s just past midnight and tomorrow is my “official” long day, but I won’t have the opportunity to nap tomorrow like I normally do on Wednesdays. So it’s bedtime for me.

Goodnight!

Chad

P.S. – The Academy Awards are on Sunday! I’m so excited!

Time issues.

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Well, I woke up this morning exactly when I had wanted to. Well, actually, I woke up a little later than I had wanted to…I didn’t have time to take a shower. Oh well. Anyway, I made it to church by 10:30 so that I would be on time for Sunday school. When I arrived, I walked in and ran into my Sunday school teacher, who said that they “missed [me] this morning”. I was confused until I realized that SERVICE started at 10:30; Sunday school class had started an hour before. Oops. Again, oh well. At least I was there for service!

I drove back to the room right after church so that I could change clothes and maybe grab a quick lunch before a Goin’ Band leadership team meeting. Unfortunately, my lunch had other plans; I had a cup of soup that you’re supposed to microwave, and then you just sip the soup right out of the can. After it had gone through most of the time required to heat it in the microwave, it suddenly pretty much exploded. SOUP EVERYWHERE. I wiped up the mess and threw away the can, which had fallen over in the explosion. Bleh.

The leadership meeting today was just a photoshoot. We took section leader photos, visual instructor photos, officers, and group photos of everyone. My section leader picture with Rachel turned out very well! All of these pictures are viewable on my FB page.

I called Andrew and picked him up for lunch. We were eventually going to eat on-campus at The Market, but we got there only to discover that it had just closed. We decided to go eat at Chili’s instead; I’ve got to take a break from eating healthy every once in a while! We had a good meal before returning to Sneed, where Andrew got ready for church while I shaved and showered before my audition for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

This was my first audition for anything in 14 months, so I was a bit more nervous than usual, but everything turned out fine. I sang my song excerpt for the director without forgetting any lyrics, and, after I was finished, the piano player was smiling. Now, this could just be me over-analyzing things and it actually means nothing, but still. Maybe it was a good sign. Who knows? Anyway, the director acknowledged that I’m a part of another show right now, so most of my weekends in February are busy, and then he let me step outside while he finished up auditions. When everyone had finished, he called a few people back in to read bits from the show, and I was part of the first group. I read for Charlie Brown while two girls alternated reading as Lucy. When I was finished, the director told me and one of the girls that we were done. Here’s hoping that that’s a good sign! I should find out within the next couple of days, and I’ll be sure to let you know.

The rest of the day was spent working on homework, playing Monopoly, and watching TV. I watched the last bit of the Screen Actors Guild Awards…it was so great to see The Help get some well-deserved recognition, especially because it’s unlikely to do as well at the Academy Awards. I still have high hopes though! We also watched some Family Guy and Criminal Minds, so it was a good night.

And now, it’s sleepy-time. Ready for a new week! Goodnight!

Chad

The Internetz.

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I woke up bright and early this morning, at around 7:40ish, despite the fact that my first class wasn’t until 9:30. This is largely due to the fact that the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony were announced this morning at 7:30, so I stayed awake to see those play out. I must admit, the nominations surprised me this year in more than one way. No, I’m not one of the people who’s crying about Harry Potter getting “snubbed” (I KNEW it wouldn’t get any major nominations, but I still had hoped I was wrong). However, I feel the need to point out just a couple of things:
-Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has gotten relatively poor critic reviews but still ended up with a nomination for Best Picture
-The Adventures of Tintin, which won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, was not nominated in the same category for the Academy Awards.
-While I’m happy that “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets received a nomination for Best Original Song, there’s something wrong when there’s only two songs up for nomination.
Those are my biggest complaints…I haven’t seen enough of the nominated films to give my opinion on some of the other categories. My prediction about Deathly Hallows Part 2 wasn’t entirely accurate, but I wasn’t entirely far-off either; I guess two nominations for Best Visual Effects (which I got right) and Best Sound Editing (which I got wrong), but it ended up with three for VE, Best Makeup, and Best Art Direction. Unfortunately, it probably won’t win any of those; VE will go to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (or, rather, it SHOULD), makeup will probably go to Albert Nobbs, and I’m just guessing that Art Direction will go to The Artist. We’ll see how those turn out…my main prediction for the Oscars is that Viola Davis will win the Academy Award for Best Actress; I said that as soon as I walked out of the theater having seen it for the first time, and I’m sticking with it.

Classes were classes. In my science class we had our first lecture but still finished 20 minutes early, so I had time to eat a quick yogurt and granola breakfast before aural skills at 11. We had our first dictation quiz today, which was incredibly easy; I had the whole thing nearly completed after only one hearing out of eight. I ate a steak sandwich sort of thing from the SUB for lunch and then went to band, where we played the pieces that we didn’t get to in class yesterday. Right after band, I rushed over to the English/Philosophy building for the lab portion of my science class. I wasn’t looking forward to this because it takes out a 3-hour chunk of my life every Tuesday, but it actually wasn’t too bad (and not just because we left after the first hour and a half). Our professor basically just introduced us to what we were going to be tackling in the lab. The main focus after spring break will be a scientific investigation of our choosing, and he gave us a few examples. I’ve already come up with an idea, but I don’t want to share it; my idea largely depends on the test subjects being uninformed as to what they’ll be tested on…I’ll explain eventually, I promise, but the bottom line is that I’m excited about it.

I had a bit of a break before horn studio at 5, which lasted for less than 10 minutes. The main focus of the meeting was to decide on a fundraising option for the Tech Horn Society, but a side-focus was to decide on officers for the organization. After everyone had joked around for a minute or two and avoided volunteering themselves or anyone else, I was nominated for VP. I didn’t particularly care to have the position, but everyone else seemed like they wanted me to do it, so I decided to go ahead. Honestly, though, it’s not really a big deal; our president, Chelsea, told us that we don’t really do all that much. We just have to have officers to put on our official student organization papers. So that’s cool, I suppose.

In play rehearsal, we ran through act II a couple of times. It was my first time to familiarize myself with it, but none of my lines are overly complicated. In fact, I anticipate having my lines memorized by the first rehearsal next week at the very latest. Here’s hoping! I’m enjoying myself, though.

I talked to Kate on Twitter for a bit just a while ago; she asked me what show I was in, and, after I told her, she asked if I was going to audition for a musical that has auditions this coming weekend, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. We had actually talked about this show and possibly auditioning sometime last academic year, but I hadn’t put much thought or consideration into it until she mentioned it tonight. Now, I’m leaning toward auditioning for it. There are only 6 roles in the show, with no chorus, so I’d either have a lead role or I wouldn’t be in it, which I’d be okay with. This sounds a bit snobbish, but I wouldn’t want to sacrifice my time in an already busy schedule for a chorus part. CCBB was different: I wasn’t taking 19 hours last spring, so it wasn’t an issue. So I’m thinking about auditioning for Charlie Brown. We’ll see.

Tomorrow is going to be a terribly long day. I have 4 classes from 8 to noon, an hour for lunch, and then three more classes from 1 to 4. Then I have 3 hours off before play rehearsal from 7-10. Oh goody. Better get to sleep so I don’t make myself more exhausted than I already will be!

Goodnight, all.

Chad

P.S. – Forgot to mention something important: I WILL be having my 3rd Annual Academy Awards Live-tweet this year! I’m already excited about it!