Never not be having fun!

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I will post this video on people’s FB pages for their birthdays now.

Well, it’s been an eventful week. I won’t go into terrible detail, but I’ll give you the highlights.

Last Wednesday night, I decided to go to Best Buy to buy Marvel’s Thor on Blu-Ray. I hadn’t seen it before, and, since the midnight premiere for The Avengers was the next night, I figured it was time for me to watch it. As it turned out, all of the Marvel movies were on sale, so I went ahead and bought The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 as well to complete my Marvel/Avengers collection.

Despite the fact that I bought Thor for myself, I ended up going over to Lexi’s house to watch it with her. She has it on Blu-Ray 3D, and she has the capable Blu-Ray player and TV and glasses to allow 3D viewing. Unfortunately, one of the pairs of glasses were out of batteries, so we didn’t watch it in 3D, but the few minutes that I did see in 3D were pretty awesome. I definitely wouldn’t mind having a 3D Blu-Ray Player/TV of my own!

As for the movie, I really enjoyed it. It was definitely different than the other Marvel movies being that it’s topic was considerably more “supernatural”; lots of it takes place on a distant planet. I was glad to finally see it!

The next day, after classes had gotten out, I went and picked up our tickets for the midnight showing later that night so that we could skip the line whenever we showed up later. I then stopped by Target to see if I could find an Avengers shirt that I liked to wear to the midnight premiere, but they didn’t have any, so I went to jcpenney instead, which had LOTS of great choices…I ended up buying two! Very cool.

I ended up going to the theater at about 10ish or so, meeting up with Lexi and her sister Bekka, who had arrived at about 8 and saved Andrew and me seats. Andrew showed up a little bit later because of a meeting he had with his fraternity. When midnight rolled around, I made sure to call Granna for her birthday before the pre-movie trailers started, which was cool because she was definitely surprised!

After I wished her a happy birthday, I turned off my phone and returned to the theater just in time for the trailers. The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus…so many great movies coming out this summer! I can’t wait!

And now, The Avengers. THE AVENGERS. I can say the following with complete conviction: I’ve never had so much fun watching a movie as I did while watching The Avengers. It managed to throw humor, action, and quality acting together to make one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. EVERYONE should see this movie. Really, if you haven’t already, you should go see it. The score by Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Captain America: The First Avenger) was fantastic as well…the track “The Avengers” is now my ringtone!

I only had a couple of classes the next day, and they were pretty evenly spaced out throughout the day, so it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t handle, even on limited sleep. However, once I was done for the day, I went back to the room and crashed. I slept from 4 to 6:45, at which point I shaved and got semi-dressed up for a musical audition at 7. The audition was for next fall’s musical, Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, and my audition went well, but, after I had told the director that I’m a Goin’ Band section leader next fall, he told me that there would be no possible way for me to do the show. Oh well!

I came straight back to the room and proceeded to sleep some more, this time until about 10:30 or 10:45ish. I woke up, played video games for a few hours, surfed the Internet some, and then went to bed at 4ish or something.

Get this – the next day, I was in bed until 7pm. I know, crazy, right?! There was nothing pressing that I had to do or attend, and I didn’t feel like doing much else, so I just stayed in bed all day. I woke up several times throughout the morning and afternoon, but I officially woke at 5, staying in bed for another couple of hours, playing games on my phone.

When I finally got out of bed, I grabbed dinner and wasted away in the room. I returned to the comics that I had downloaded onto my iPad last summer, reading some Spider-Man, Fantastic 4, Iron Man, and the first issue of The Avengers. Good stuff.

I again went to bed at 4, but I was up early enough to make it to church in the morning. I came back to the room after church, changing into some more relaxed clothes and eating a quick lunch before heading back out and meeting Lexi at the movie theater for round 2 of The Avengers! It was actually Lexi’s third time to see it…her goal was to see it 4 times opening weekend; she ended up seeing it for the fourth time on Monday! It was just as good the second time, and I’ll be honest…I plan on seeing it at least once more in theaters. I’ve got to see it in IMAX 3D back home!

Later Sunday evening, I went to the University Bands’ concert at the music building, which was lots of fun. I went to last year’s concert as well. Though the University Bands are comprised of mostly non-music majors or music majors playing secondary instruments, their end-of-the-year concerts are lots of fun because they typically feature movie music, which, as you all know, is my favorite!

The better of the two bands was the first to perform. They played a piece about/for/in memory of Rosa Parks, which was probably my favorite of the ones they played (Rachel, my co-section leader, had a solo or two! She sounded great!). The first band also played some music from a few video games and an Eric Whitacre piece and music from John Williams’ score for Far and Away. They were really good, though! The second band wasn’t as good, but their program was still fun. They played music from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Star Wars, as well as something else that I don’t remember. Still lots of fun, though!

That night, I did my music theory final exam review that was due in class the next day, which was really easy. Then I hit the hay!

We’re almost caught up…hang in there!

Monday was pretty simple. Theory was spent going over the review, and all we did in woodwind methods was turn in our instruments and notebooks. I got an A in the class, so I don’t have to take the final that would have been next Tuesday, which is a relief…I get to go home a day earlier now! We had our final music history lecture, which was interesting, but it wasn’t exactly what I had hoped it would be; last spring, our teacher ended the year by bringing his accordion to class and playing for us, which was awesome! Oh well. I really enjoyed this iteration of the music history class; after the final on Saturday, I’m done with undergraduate music history classes! Hooray! My only other classes that day were band and piano, which were pretty standard. Done with those too (minus my piano final on Friday)!

Monday evening was spent typing out my 4-page paper for my science class that was due today. It was really pretty easy; it had to be about anything in the field of biology that interested us, so I wrote about stem cell research. Michael J. Fox first introduced me to stem cells in his memoirs. As you should know, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 and since has become an advocate for funding further stem cell research.

Stem cell research is also really controversial, but only one area: embryonic stem cell research. This involves taking an embryo five days after an egg has been fertilized, called a blastocyst at this stage. The debate is whether or not an embryo this early in development can be considered “living” or not. My personal opinion? Yes, they are living at this point, so they should not be used for stem cell research.

HOWEVER, there are lots of stem cells are thrown away for no reason, and I think that they should be taken advantage of. No matter your moral stance on embryonic stem cells, the fact of the matter is that further research into this area may eventually provide the key to curing diseases previously though incurable, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Parkinson’s disease. I need to look further into this area so that I can form a better opinion. I encourage all of you to look into this and other issues of political debate…this stuff matters.

Anyway, I finished my paper and eventually went to bed. My science class was my only real class today, so I woke up and went to class at 9:30, turned in my paper, listened to a brief lecture, and then returned to the room. Back in the room, I finished up my Powerpoint presentation for my movie project that I’ve been working on for the past month, the conclusions of which we presented in our final lab today. It went well.

Our last horn studio for the semester was at 5. I practiced on my horn for a while after it was over, and then I came back to the room and just messed around. I balanced my checkbook, I listened to music, I read some of my book, etc. When Andrew got off work, we walked to Chipotle for dinner, and then I just did more of the same thing. Exciting, huh?

Now, I’m about to hit the hay. I have no obligations tomorrow until 1 in the afternoon, at which point I’m meeting with my accompanist and my horn lesson teacher to practice my jury piece for a while, after which I will be meeting with my friend John (who directed CCBB last year) for lunch. I haven’t seen him in a while, so it’ll be great to see him! Later in the evening, I have my final voice performance lab that I have to sing at at 5:30, and then I am heading over to Lexi’s house for a game night with her and one of her friends, which should also be lots of fun.

Less than a week until I’m home!

Welp, I know it’s been more than a week since my last post, but this is my longest post in quite a while, so I hope it was worth the wait. Goodnight!

Chad

P.S. – Want a good place to read more about stem cell research? Click HERE for the source that I used to write my paper. Do it!

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Been listening to the Captain America soundtrack by Alan Silvestri (of Back to the Future fame) all day.

Today started off a bit rough; Andrew had an 8am class, and I was awake 45 minutes before he left and I remember him walking out, but, once I had laid back down for a while longer, I didn’t wake up to the rest of my alarms…I got out of bed for my 9am class at 8:50. Believe it or not, I got dressed super fast and sped to the music building on my bike, walking in the classroom at 9, with a couple of minutes to spare before the teacher officially started. What luck! I definitely won’t make a habit of that.

My schedule was more nonstop today than it was on Friday because of my first piano class; my piano class only meets on Mondays and Wednesdays, which means I have an extra hour of free time between classes on Fridays. What that meant for today is that I had classes constantly from 9am to 1pm, at which point I had an hour-long break before band at 2. This was our first band rehearsal since audition results were posted on Friday. It turns out that I’m a chair higher than a graduate horn student (!), and he’s a pretty cool guy; after band, we had a nice little conversation about film soundtracks and how I love them so.

When band had finished, I talked to my adviser about a couple of things regarding my schedule. I had been signed up for 15 hours when classes started last Thursday, but then I realized that I wasn’t signed up for a class that I was supposed to be a part of (she put me in the honors section but not the actual class). Resolving that issue added 3 more hours to my schedule, bringing the total up to 18 hours. I then noticed that I wasn’t signed up for voice lessons, so I talked to my adviser about that as well, so I’m sitting at the maximum number of hours allowed: 19. Whew.

I came back to the room after all of that had gotten sorted out, and then I procrastinated doing laundry for a couple of hours before I finally got my butt up and went to the laundry room. The laundry system is different this year: you don’t have to pay for it. Of course, it was probably one flat fee snuck into our tuition or something like that, but the key is that I’m not using my own money every time I have to wash my clothes. How nice! While I waited on my clothes to get clean, I read more comics. Today’s issues? The Amazing Spider-man #10 and the first bit of Detective Comics #10. In DC10, which was published in 1937, need I remind you, there was totally a character who used the phrase “what the deuce?”. It was SO funny…I didn’t expect that phrase to be that old!

Anyway, after laundry, I came back to the room, ate dinner, did homework, started watching Spider-man (the 2002 one with Tobey Maguire), and now I’m off to bed. I start at 8 in the morning…goody? Oh well. I’ll wake up on time, I promise!

Goodnight, everyone!

Chad

P.S. – I have a surprise for you all in tomorrow night’s post. I can’t share with you before then, so don’t ask. You’ll see!

P.P.S. – To be honest, it’s more of a surprise for me that I’ll share for you tomorrow when it’s official. Just so you know.

In a tad.

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Today was good, albeit slow, day.

I woke up originally at about 6:15 this morning to use the restroom, and then I went back to sleep until time to get up for band rehearsal at 8. We did our “march over” for the first time of the season today, which is always lots of fun; as an added bonus, I wasn’t one of the freshmen who had no idea what was going on this year! Always a plus. When we got to the stadium, we worked some pregame for a while, then some music, and we finished off with the first bit of the halftime show that we’ve learned. Finishing early was definitely a blessing…another five hours of rehearsal would have been pure torture. After we had marched back in our parade block, Prof. Hill started a new tradition in handing out certificates granting us ownership to our “foot-and-a-half” (each Goin’ Band member is said to have own a square foot and a half of prime real estate on the marching field, indicating that we’re all a part of something bigger and that we each have our own responsibility to the group and the task at hand). I think that it is a very cool new tradition.

From band, I went back to the room, and Andrew and I went across the street to Bledsoe/Gordon’s food place, “The Fresh Plate”, and ate brunch. The place is a buffet, and I had pancakes and eggs. Unlimited food for less than five dollars! Once we had finished, we went back to the room and spent the rest of the day watching TV (Good Luck Charlie, one of the two good shows on Disney Channel, and later Criminal Minds) and movies (Ghostbusters, Insidious, and Toy Story). We walked to Papa John’s and picked up a couple of pizzas; they had some sort of special tonight because we only paid $7.50 apiece for two large pizzas. Wonderful!

I finished reading Detective Comics #9 today, and I also (finally) got the letter/picture that my Twitter friend Shauna, who lives in England, sent last Thursday. She had been posting pictures of crayon drawings she had been doodling out of boredom on Twitter, and she asked for suggestions, so I requested a Back to the Future picture. She obliged, and, when she posted the picture online, I told her what a shame it was that it would be too expensive to mail it to me. She said it wouldn’t, so she sent it along with a letter at my request…another penpal! I’ll be writing my return letter within the next couple of days (maybe even before I go to sleep tonight…we’ll see), and I’m expecting to receive a letter from one of my other penpals, Lacey, who lives in San Antonio, sometime this week. Very cool.

Anyway, Andrew and I just turned off the TV for the night, so I suspect that we’ll both be fast asleep soon…I fell asleep for a while earlier while watching Ghostbusters and after Toy Story, but I’m still feeling pretty tired. I’m going to church for the first time since returning to Lubbock tomorrow morning, which I’m looking forward to. I plan on going to the same church I attended all last year, though I’m not sure if I’ll stick with it…the staff has completely changed since I first started going and I’m not sure I fit in there anymore. Just please pray that I find somewhere where I feel comfortable!

Welp, that’s it for tonight’s post. Sleep well everyone, and goodnight!

Chad

P.S. – For those wondering, I think that my toe is doing a lot better. Hopefully toenail removal won’t be necessary.

You must use the force.

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Today was a pretty good day, though I was tired.

I went to bed earlier last night than I had all this week, but, for some strange reason, Andrew and I both woke up this morning just after 4am…strange. I woke up to my first alarm at 7:45 (yay 9am class!) and woke up to every alarm I had set after, not officially getting out of bed until 8:30. I again fixed some coffee (butter toffee this time) before heading to class, which was theory. This is the largest theory class I’ve been in so far, though I wouldn’t call it “large”, at least, not in comparison to my music history classes. All we did in theory today was a slight review over seventh chords (I’m definitely going to need to spend some time refreshing my memory!).

After theory, I had an hour-long break until music history, so I got a cheese danish, some juice, and a water bottle and sat in the Student Union Building, reading Detective Comics #9. I almost put it away and took a short nap, but decided against it. History wasn’t anything special, but, based on my first impression, I don’t like the teacher as much as the teachers from my last two semesters. Oh well; maybe I’ll change my mind by the time we’ve officially started class.

Marching band was a bit ridiculous today, not in the sense that we did a lot in our short amount of class time, but in the sense that it was SUPER HOT; I was wearing my new Spider-man comic shirt, which isn’t exactly “light-colored”, but I was sweating more than I expected I would. I was drenched by the time we were back inside less than an hour after starting! When we had finished, I sat down for a while and just cooled off before grabbing lunch at the Chick-Fil-A in the SUB. I then went back to the room and chilled out, taking an hour-long nap (hey, I needed it!) and afterward watching an episode of Criminal Minds with Andrew before leaving for band’s evening rehearsal at 6.

It was at this point that I saw the results of my band audition: I placed third chair in symphonic band, the same as last semester. I was bit disappointed that I didn’t qualify for SWE, but I’m not too upset because I achieved my goal of staying in Symphonic Band, and, plus, the only people ahead of me (aside from one freshman who made it into SWE and a new graduate student) are people who had already been ahead of me, so that’s good too. Who knows: with a little bit more work than I put into this audition, I could make SWE next semester! We’ll see.

Tonight’s band rehearsal went very well; our 6-9 practice was finished by 8:30, meaning I got back to the room with Andrew by 9. We grabbed dinner at Sam’s Place and then Megan came over. Andrew and I had said earlier today that we wanted to have a full-fledged movie night tonight, with popcorn and everything, and Megan joined us for that. We originally started watching Lilo & Stitch, but the disc was too scratched to watch past a certain point, so, after having seen the trailer for Atlantis: The Lost Empire (with Michael J. Fox voicing the lead character) attached to the DVD for L&S, so we rented it on iTunes and watched it instead. It had been quite a while since I last saw it, so it was a nice refresher…I’ve been wanting a re-watch for quite a while now.

And now, it’s 1am and I have band rehearsal at 8. It was originally supposed to last most of the day until 5pm, but it’s since been shortened to only three and a half hours, meaning we’ll be done by 11:30! Thank goodness I have a Saturday! I won’t know what to do with myself with all of this free time, though…I’ll find something. Maybe I’ll have my first Back to the Future marathon of the school year? That sounds promising.

Anyway, I’m off to bed. Goodnight!

Chad

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Was in bed early again…guess who woke up exhausted AGAIN? THIS GUY. Oh well; nothing I can’t handle.

Band went well. The rehearsal started with a bit of cloud cover which faded in less than 20 minutes, but we had a breeze fairly consistently throughout our outside time. Inside rehearsal went well, but I can’t wait until we get Part 3…right now it’s almost beyond the point of me being able to help them on everything and more to the point where they just need to make sure they’re practicing on their own. I’m doing the very best I can, though. One fun part about today was that Becca visited, so she sat in our playing rehearsal for a while before heading out. I hadn’t seen her in a while, so it was great to see her.

When I got home, I napped on my bed for a couple of hours with my cat, waking up at about 3:30 or so to a phone call from Poppa, who brought Carson into town and took Blake and I out to AMC 30 to see Captain America, just us guys. I really enjoyed the movie, more than I expected to, actually. The entire ensemble did a great job with their characters (I spent the entire movie trying to remember the name of the actor who played Red Skull, but didn’t figure it out until the credits), and I really liked how humanized Captain America himself was. He wasn’t necessarily given super powers; he was given strength greater than that of a normal man, but he was still susceptible to all of the same injuries as anyone else, which was a breath of fresh air in the superhero world. My biggest complaint about Superman, for example, is that he is too perfect; who wants a hero who only has one weakness? Not me. In that respect, Captain America was awesome. My only real complaint was that everything came naturally to him…he gets strength and he suddenly knows how to fight, despite never having thrown a successful punch in his life. He gets in a flying machine, he’s suddenly a pilot. I understand that the filmmakers couldn’t have spent precious time onscreen training him to do these things, but it was just a little nitpicky thing that I noticed. Like I said, I really enjoyed it, and the film was well-supplemented by Alan Silvestri’s (of Back to the Future fame) film score…definitely gonna have to download that one!

After the movie, the four of us went to Cici’s for dinner before heading home afterward. This was our last time to see Carson before Christmas, most likely, so we said our goodbyes. Once Poppa and Carson had left, I spent the rest of my evening finding more comics to put on my iPad…Captain America, Iron Man, and Fantastic Four. I’m not reading them all that fast, but it’ll be nice to have them available when I’m ready for them.

And with that, I’m off to bed. Goodnight, everyone!

Chad