Barbecue and tsunamis.

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Welp, I’m back in Lubbock for the semester and have been for nearly two weeks now. I drove in on a Tuesday night so that I would be in town for the three-day Goin’ Band leadership camp, followed by full band camp, which started that next Saturday. Band has kept me incredibly busy, but I’m definitely enjoying the different perspective of being in a leadership position. One of my responsibilities was helping to teach the incoming freshmen our basic marching techniques, but my main job is as one of the two French horn section leaders. The other section leader, Rachel, and I work well together, and we accomplished a lot in the week of band camp; in fact, our section was paid a few compliments by the directors, something that didn’t happen too often in the past. We are both determined to keep our progress going so that we can have the best section possible! I’m really excited to see what this season brings us. Our first show, which contains music by George Gershwin (An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue, so far), is one of the more ambitious marching shows I’ve been a part of here at TTU, and the other shows that we will be learning this semester should be interesting as well. I’m looking forward to it!

Andrew and I moved into our new on-campus apartment last weekend, with the aid of our parents, of course. So far, we love it! There is so much more space available to us, and having our own rooms and a kitchenette is truly a blessing. As an added bonus, we lived in it for a week on our own; neither of our roommates were here this week until one of them showed up yesterday. He’s a nice guy, but it’s a little strange having him around; he’s 16-17 years older than us, so I feel obligated to call him “sir” every time I talk to him. Not necessarily a bad thing, but still a little bit awkward since we’re living in the same apartment. We’re still waiting on the other roommate to show up, though.

Andrew and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises in theaters again last weekend with Lexi and one of her friends, which was nice since I hadn’t seen her since I left Lubbock. We also hung out with Jenny one night, eating dinner and watching a movie together, and we even bumped into Tessa yesterday, who I hadn’t seen since our Christmas shindig last year. We live much closer to both Jenny and Tessa now, though, so hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other now, at least in comparison to last year.

Well, there’s not much more to talk about right now. This is the first day since July that did not involve band in some form, so I’m enjoying kicking back and relaxing all day. I was able to go to church this morning and eat lunch with Lexi afterward, and later tonight I’ll be going to her house for a game night. Should be lots of fun! My first class is at 9am in the morning, meaning that I’ll get to sleep in just a little bit later than I was able to during band camp…what a relief! I’m excited to see what my new classes bring this school year; since I finished music theory, aural skills, piano, and music history for the last time this past semester, I will be taking all kinds of different classes this semester, including conducting, brass methods, and music for children. We’ll see how it goes! The plan is to start updating this thing on a more regular basis again, so here’s hoping that I stick to that plan!

I hope all of you have a great day!

Chad

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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!

Boomroasted.

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So, this past weekend was pretty much the most boring thing ever. With my music history research paper out of the way and no other homework to hold me down, I pretty much sat around and did nothing all weekend.

On Friday night, I was up until 2 or 3 in the morning before I decided to go to bed. I woke up on Saturday morning at about 9ish, thought to myself, “Is there anything I want to get up and do right now?”, decided there wasn’t, and then went back to sleep. I repeated this process for the next several hours until 3:45pm came around. At this point, I realized that I had to be at a recital at 4, so I finally got out of bed, got dressed, and made it up to the music building on time. The recital was for a graduate student, so it was nearly an hour and a half long, but, since I had had plenty of sleep, I had no problem staying awake the whole time.

When the recital was over, I went back to Sneed, grabbed some food, and then joined Andrew in the room. The Jason Segel movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall was on, which I hadn’t seen before, so we watched for a while before I hopped in the shower and then got ready for our choir concert on Saturday night. This concert wasn’t just us Matador Singers, though. It was all of the choirs combined together, so there were lots of us up there singing together. We sang along with the orchestra/band combo, which was really cool. We sang Mozart’s Requiem, which was really super awesome. The extra rehearsals leading up to the concert were awful, but I really enjoyed the performance itself.

After the concert, Andrew went and hung out with some of his fraternity friends, while I chilled out in the room, getting in bed at 2 or so. I woke up for church the next morning, but all we really did was have an extended Sunday school meeting in which we discussed future social opportunities for us as a group. Somehow, the fact that I’m playing horn for a musical this summer got brought up, so everyone started making plans to visit Dallas as a group to see the musical I’m playing for, to maybe visit Six Flags, and to even go to the Medieval Times restaurant place in June, which is really cool! I’m excited to see if they’ll all be able to come and check it out.

I had a Goin’ Band leadership meeting at 1, where we all took turns teaching each other some of the band’s marching techniques. That went on for about an hour before Rachel and I went and uncased all of the marching horns to make sure that they were in working order and didn’t have to be sent to the shop over the summer before marching season next fall. From there, Rachel and I said goodbye, and I joined a girl from my theory class in the Student Union Building to finish a project that we were partnered for. It only took us about 20 minutes to get what we needed done done, but then we sat around and talked to each other for a couple of hours, which was nice since we had never really talked to each other before.

The rest of my day was spent doing pretty much nothing in the room. I ended up cleaning up a bit, emptying out all of our trash and stuff so that the room was a little tidier, but, other than that, I just sat around, bored.

Today was pretty awesome though, for a couple of different reasons. Theory and woodwind methods weren’t anything special, but today was the day we were supposed to get our music history research grades. Our class rolled around, and, while we didn’t have our own personal grades just yet, all of the papers WERE graded, so he told us how many people got each grade. There were 21 As and only 6 failing grades, with everyone else getting Bs and Cs; at this point, I was fairly positive that my paper wasn’t bad enough to make me one of the students with the failing research paper grade. I was thinking that I would be getting a B or a C, which was fine with me since he was giving us all the opportunity to revise and resubmit our papers for a possible higher grade. Our individual grades were posted online a few hours later, and guess what? I got a 98! It was completely unexpected; remember, this was the paper that I started and finished within a 34-hour time frame of no sleep, so I didn’t think it was THAT high quality, but, wow! I was certainly surprised, and even more relieved…a 98 meant that I was completely done with this paper! Huzzah!

The rest of my classes flew by, and I was back in the room before too long. Andrew and I watched a couple of episodes of How I Met Your Mother before he had to go to work, at which point I pulled out my paperback copy of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, the book that I’ve read at least once a year since I first read it for school in 8th grade. In case you don’t want to do the math, that means that this was at least my 7th time reading it, maybe even my 8th or 9th. In any case, Tuesdays with Morrie is the one book that I’ve read more than any other book I’ve ever read. I LOVE it. If you haven’t read it, you should. I’ve learned a lot from this book and from the lessons it teaches; it’s the only book that I’ve willingly highlighted material in. It can change your life if you let it! Anyway, I picked it up, started reading nonstop, and had it finished less than 3 hours later. So good!

Andrew eventually made it back to the room after work. I grabbed dinner, and we proceeded to put on more How I Met Your Mother, watching several episodes before calling it quits for the night; it’s too late to watch any more. It’s time for bed!

I’m sorry if this post has been sort of disjointed and abrupt; it’s late, I’ve been watching HIMYM, and I’m ready for bed. So goodnight!

Chad

Night to remember.

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It’s been a busy week! So sorry for the delay.

I drove home after classes on Friday, arriving back in Mesquite about 20 minutes after the Friday night performance of the Variety Show had finished, so I met up with my family at the school. Granna and Poppa took some family friends who had come along back home while Mom, Dad, Blake, and I (as well as a couple of Blake’s friends) went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. Mom, Dad, and I left earlier than Blake and his friends so that we could get dessert at Braum’s. When we got back home, I did my flute playing quizzes for my woodwind methods class and then got in bed after a long day.

On Saturday, I woke up relatively early and got dressed. One disadvantage to living in Lubbock is that there’s not an IMAX screen at any of the theaters, but Mesquite DOES have one, so, while I was in town, I took advantage of Mesquite’s IMAX screen and went to see Titanic 3D in IMAX with Dad, Poppa, and Granna. It was awesome! Mom stayed behind since Blake wasn’t able to go (he had to be at the school to prep for the Variety Show), but Granna and I met up with Mom after the movie and went to a store to put together a goody basket to give to Blake after the performance. The Variety Show itself was really good; the women especially impressed me with their rendition of Adele’s Rumour Has It, but the guys sounded great too. Seth came in town as well, so we were the only two (real) alumni to join the group onstage to sing the traditional song. Of course, since Mrs. Westgate is leaving after this school year to take care of her baby, she was invited onstage as well; after all, she IS a Poteet and Variety alumni as well. It was a fun show, and I was glad to be able to make it into town to support Blake. Seth joined us for dinner (minus Blake, of course, who was still doing cleanup at the school) at Applebee’s, after which we went over to his house and watched The Strangers. It was some good hangout time.

On Sunday, I made the decision to skip church and sleep late because, if you remember, I had a research paper to do, and Sunday was the night that I designated as my all-nighter to knock out the paper in one clean cut. So I slept late (until about 12:30), loaded my stuff, said goodbye to my family, and hit the road. I rolled into Lubbock at about 6:15 or so, which was good timing since I had a choir rehearsal at 7. Before heading to that, however, I filled up my gas tank (gas was about 20 cents cheaper in Lubbock than back at home!) and drove through a quick car wash…my car needed it after last weekend’s “raining mud” incident. Choir rehearsal went fine, and then I returned to the room, ate a quick dinner, and then made it to the library by 10:15 to get started on my paper. I had stocked up on supplies to keep me awake and focused: two Coke Zeroes, two bottles of water, two 5-Hour Energies (something I hadn’t tried before), and a package of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies (which are AWESOME).

I’ll admit…it was very slow-going at first. I had lots of trouble with getting focused on my research, particularly because everyone else was still awake, posting interesting things on FB and Twitter. I settled into my productive groove by about 3:30am and worked pretty hard until 7, about 6-7 pages into the paper, when I decided to move my car before it got ticketed at 7:30 and to get ready for class at 9. At this point, I was still running on the first 5-Hour Energy; I had taken it at 3am, and it worked pretty nicely. I got back to the room by 7:30, changed clothes, and shaved (you’re welcome, family!) before heading up to the music building. I grabbed some coffee and a couple of blueberry bagels (my new addiction) before heading to class.

For not having slept a wink in nearly 24 hours, I functioned and focused relatively well throughout all of my classes, the exception being woodwind methods…we didn’t play that day, so it was pretty boring. After that class, I grabbed my second cup of coffee before music history, where staying awake wasn’t a problem because we were taking notes the whole time. Nothing to speak of happened in my final classes of the day. When they were done, I gulped down the second 5-Hour Energy and got back to work. I finished my research paper after only a couple of hours…woohoo! To celebrate, I went to Cici’s for dinner; I ate Cici’s while working on my previous two research papers, so I continued the tradition. After eating, I came back to the campus, did my homework, took a shower, and got in bed at about 10:30…for those of you keeping score, that’s 34 hours of no sleep. I was EXHAUSTED, BUT my paper was finished, so it was worth it.

Other than finally feeling rested on Tuesday, not much happened. I went to class, which was all pretty uneventful, and then Andrew and I had choir rehearsal from 7-9. You see, all of the Tech choirs and the bands/orchestras join together once a year for the Scholarship Concert, which is how they fund all of the music scholarships given out each year. This year, we’re singing Mozart’s Requiem, which is actually pretty cool. The concert is on Saturday and should be lots of fun!

Today, I went to my 8am class and grabbed some coffee before my 9am class. When we got to music history at 11, we turned in our papers and were then let go for the rest of class…huzzah! Conner suggested that the two of us go back to my room and watch Back to the Future Part III during our free time, so we did. We got a little past halfway before I had to go back to the music building for band, but we had lots of fun during that time while watching. I’m so glad that Conner can quote the BTTF movies (almost) as well as I can!

I went to my remaining classes before meeting up with Rachel, the other horn section leader, at 4 to talk about what we want to focus on and accomplish in our section next year. We talked for nearly an hour; we’re so awesome! We even scheduled a meeting with our band director for Friday; he’s treating us to Chipotle, and we’ll all discuss next year as we eat delicious Chipotle goodness. Should be cool!

Anyway, back to my day. After Rachel and I met with each other, we said our goodbyes so that I could be on time to this week’s voice lab. I sang tonight, and I’ll be singing again tomorrow night for a bigger audience. Tonight’s performance really well, so I can’t wait for tomorrow’s!

The rest of the evening has been spent hanging out in the room and basically doing nothing. Of course, I did do some reading; last night when I went to Walmart to buy more mouthwash and a new toothbrush, I bought a copy of TIME Magazine’s 100th anniversary Titanic book/magazine/thing, which was very interesting. I read the whole thing tonight! The Titanic is still one of my favorite things to read about.

Now, I’m about to hop in the shower and then get in bed. So goodnight!

Chad

It’s been a privilege.

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Hey all. Time for my weekend post!

Nothing worth speaking of really happened on Thursday, and not much happened on Friday, either, at least, not until after classes were done for the day. Andrew’s parents flew into town early that morning, but we didn’t see them until after 4 or so! They stayed in our room for a while, hanging out, until they left so that we could get dressed and prepared for our choir concert. The concert went really well, and we had a great time performing. Afterward, Andrew was surprised to see Scottie and his girlfriend, Laura, had also made the trek into town, something he hadn’t expected. It was a nice little surprise for him (Mrs. Grant had told me earlier). The six of us went out to eat at Ruby Tequila’s for dinner before parting ways for the night, making plans for breakfast the next morning. Andrew and I went back to the room and stayed up for a while, watching a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother before going to bed.

We woke up a little late on Saturday, but we still met the others at IHOP not too long after they had shown up themselves. We ate breakfast and then went back to the room, where we all relaxed for a bit before Andrew’s parents, Scottie, and Laura left to take care of some airport/rental car stuff. Andrew stayed behind in the room, but I went up to the music building at noon to attend a recital. It was Zach Houston’s percussion recital; he graduated a couple of years ahead of me at Poteet. His mother and his brother, Aaron, who’s my age and is a good friend of mine, had driven into town the night before, so they were also in attendance (which, admittedly, is the main reason why I went). With two other Poteet graduates sitting next to us, we had a nice little sort of reunion going on. When Zach had finished his recital, I said goodbye but not before making plans to meet up with Aaron later in the day.

I went back to the room, where Andrew’s family had regrouped. We watched the Rangers game for a while before we went for a tour across the campus. Laura had never been to Lubbock before, so it was mainly for her benefit. We literally walked from one side of the campus to the other and back, which took a little more than an hour. We were slowed down just a bit by the excessive wind…expected, I suppose. It IS Lubbock, after all! Unfortunately, all of Andrew’s family had to leave once we had finished our little tour, so we said our goodbyes and they were on their way.

I attended another recital at 4:30, this one for a fellow horn player, and I even stuck around afterwards and practiced on my horn for about an hour! I was proud of myself. From the music building, I contacted my friend Lexi. Recall that I first met Lexi on Twitter back in May or so of last year and officially met her last fall when I visited her church, which I now attend. Through me, Aaron started following Lexi on Twitter, and they got to the point where they tweeted each other quite a bit. So I arranged for the two of them to officially meet. Lexi and I went and ate at Chipotle while Aaron ate dinner with his family, and then Lexi and I picked Aaron up. The three of us went to Bahama Buck’s and talked for a while before driving back to the Tech campus and watching a movie in the room (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which neither of them had seen before). It was a nice little get-together, and Andrew even got to meet Lexi for the first time; he had been working at Relay for Life with his fraternity, but he made a quick visit to the room when he learned that Aaron was here. Such a good evening!

I woke up this morning a little late, but it didn’t matter that I showed up 20 minutes after bible study had started because our teacher had lost his lesson book, so we just socialized until service started, which went well. I left the church and went straight back to campus for a Goin’ Band Leadership meeting, where we practiced teaching a couple of techniques to each other; I did really well with it! No worries there. I went straight from the meeting to another horn recital and then back to the room for a while.

At about 7:25, I met up with Lexi at the movie theater to see Titanic. You see, I had never seen it before tonight. I don’t know why; I guess my parents never made it out to be a big deal when I was a kid, and, despite my fascination with the actual Titanic as a kid, the idea of the film never really appealed to me until pretty recently (the last couple of years or so), at which point a 3D re-release had already been slated, so I decided to wait and see it properly. And what better day to see Titanic for the first time than on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original ship?!

I LOVED it. I couldn’t believe I had never watched it before, but, then again, I’m glad I waited and saw it for the first time on the big screen. I’ve always said that that’s the proper way to see movies (which is why seeing Back to the Future on the big screen for the 25th anniversary re-release was such a big deal), and this didn’t disappoint…the 3D was even excellent! It’s hard to point out everything I liked about this movie, let alone what I DIDN’T like (there wasn’t much, if anything), but, overall, it was magnificent. Definitely one of my favorites now, and I only have to wait five months for it to be released on Blu-Ray for the first time! Woohoo!

Now, I’m back in the room. I’ve finished my homework, and now I’m about to shower before bed. Goodnight, everyone!

Chad

Unexpected places.

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It was a good weekend.

Friday, as far as classes went, was pretty simple. I had theory at 9 and then nothing until voice lessons at noon, followed by band and then choir. Easy! Andrew and I packed earlier in the day, so we were on the road half an hour after choir was finished. The ride was pretty uneventful, but it started out pretty windy. We even saw a dust tornado or two in the fields outside of Lubbock! It was pretty cool. This was Andrew’s first time to make the trip with the faster speed limit, so it surprised him when we made it back home in 5 hours…a much shorter time than it used to take.

On Saturday, I went out to eat with Andrew and Seth at Chili’s, which was great. It was the first time I had seen Seth since the end of Christmas break, so it was nice to spend some time with him. After we had eaten, we went back to my house and watched The Muppets…Seth hadn’t seen it yet! Andrew left after the first song, but Seth stayed and really enjoyed it. Later in the night, after Seth had left, Mom, Dad, Blake, and I ate spaghetti for dinner and watched a few episodes of Criminal Minds together. It was some good family time.

The next day, of course, was Easter. We went to church before heading over the Granna and Poppa’s house. We all got our own sort of little goody basket, and mine had some Reese’s eggs, some Dove peanut butter-filled chocolate, some beef jerky, some Jujubes, and some other things. I also got War Horse on Blu-Ray (haven’t watched it yet, but I will within the next couple of days) and the soundtrack from Titanic (which I also haven’t seen…hopefully that’ll be fixed within the next couple of days as well). We had a nice dinner of ham and creamed potatoes, and I later napped for a while. It was some good relaxation time. Unfortunately, we eventually had to leave, which meant goodbye to Poppa and Granna for at least a month.

Today, I visited both the honors band and the Variety at Poteet. For the band, I just sat in the audience (they were in the auditorium) and listened the whole time, taking notes on my phone; I actually had an assignment for my intro to music teaching class that required a “professional observation” of a music teacher, so I used Mr. Newman as my example. They sounded pretty decent, and they’re even playing a song that I played here at Tech earlier in the semester, Folk Dances by Dmitri Shostakovich, which is lots of fun. I think they’ll do well at UIL next week!

In Variety, I helped to teach a new song that they’re singing at Variety Show next week, since we sang it back in my junior year. When class was over, I said goodbye, left, said goodbye to Mom, drove by Dad’s work and said goodbye to him, and then hit the road. I made it back in Lubbock before 9. Upon arriving, I filled up my gas tank and drove through a quick car wash to get rid of most of the bugs before coming to Sneed. I unloaded all of my stuff and took it to the room, at which point it started pouring rain and storming outside. So much for a car wash! Unfortunately/fortunately, I still had to take my car over to the parking garage, so I did that and ended up riding my bike through the pouring rain across campus…which was the most fun thing EVER! I definitely unleashed my inner child a bit as I sped across campus, splashing through puddles and getting soaked to the bone.

Getting back to Sneed, I changed into my pajamas and threw the wet clothes in the dryer before adding them to the hamper, and I watched Ratatouille for the first time, despite owning it since Christmas. I loved it! I went ahead and bought the soundtrack on iTunes while I was at it; the music was composed by Michael Giacchino, who also scored the Incredibles, Star Trek, and Up, so I knew it would be worth it.

And now, it’s time for bed. It’ll be weird to start the week on a Tuesday, but I’d say that it’s preferable to starting with a Monday. Goodnight, everyone!

Chad

Coincidences

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As you know, I drove home to Mesquite this weekend for an audition with Garland Summer Musicals on Saturday night. I showed up to the audition and, after filling out the audition paperwork, went into the auditorium where auditions were being held and sat down. The director was having people read from the scripts on stage, I guess as part of their auditions, and I ended up having to wait there for half an hour or more. My turn to audition finally came around, and I did really well. I sang an excerpt of a song from Shrek the Musical (“When Words Fail”) and the final chorus of “Sunset Boulevard”, both of which I sounded really good on, if I may say so myself (the hot earl grey tea I had prior to my audition certainly helped).

After I had finished singing, the director (who must be at least 75 years old) asked me to come up to the table where he and a few others associated with the musical were sitting. He asked me what the top of my singing range was and he made sure that he could read my phone number, so hopefully that’s a good sign. I didn’t read anything, though…oh well. Something interesting happened next…

One of the other people at the table was the music director for South Pacific, the first of the two shows being put on my GSM this summer. I had written on my audition sheet that I play the French horn, and it turns out that he needed another French horn player to play in the pit orchestra for South Pacific. He asked if I had my horn with me and if I could come by the next day and play for him. I said sure! I drove back out to the arts center earlier today with my brother’s horn and mouthpiece (I didn’t bring my own horn home this weekend) and a couple of old solos that I still had lying around the house. I played for him, and he gave me the job! I’m set to play horn II in the pit orchestra for South Pacific in June. Though I wasn’t cast in the show (there’s still a chance I might be case in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, though, so here’s hoping!), the orchestra job also pays, possibly a bit more than a role would have. Pretty cool! This is my first job getting paid to play my horn.

Not much else happened this weekend. I slept late on Saturday after a full evening of driving on Friday night, waking up at about noon to go eat at IHOP with Mom, Dad, and a couple of band chaperons. After that, we went back home, where I got a lot done on my science project, getting everybody officially started on the experiment portion. Can’t wait to see how it turns out! Granna and Poppa’s cruise with my aunt and uncle and cousins ended on Saturday, so they got back in town at around 5, at which point the 6 of us went out to eat at Spring Creek Barbecue for an early dinner. It was nice to see them; they didn’t know I was home for the weekend until they got off the cruise ship, so it was a nice surprise for them.

This morning was church, and my friend Hunter was in charge of bible study. He did a great job! It’s always great to be back at my home church, though I’m loving church out in Lubbock, as well as my new bible study that I’m a part of and the Paradigm worship service. Lots of good things happening in my life right now!

The only other exciting thing that happened this weekend is that I finally found Dunkin Donuts K-cups for my coffee maker in the room. I’ve only had the hazelnut so far (I also bought French vanilla), and it was good. Not quite as good as if I had ordered a hazelnut coffee from the store itself, but I still enjoyed it.

Because of my impromptu “audition” for the South Pacific pit orchestra, I didn’t leave the Dallas area until after 5, meaning that I didn’t arrive in Lubbock until after 10, at which point I drove through a quick car wash and stopped by Walmart for coffee creamer and cinnamon bread (I eat it warm for breakfast now; low-calorie) before returning to the university. Once I had gotten everything settled and parked my car back in the garage, I had to start on the little bit of homework I had due tomorrow: music theory (which was mercifully easy after a long day), piano, and a brief music history study session for a listening quiz in the morning. It’s late now, but I’ll hopefully be able to get in bed at least a little bit early tomorrow night. We’ll see, though; last week, Andrew and I made plans to hang out with Jenny tomorrow night, and we haven’t seen her in a while.

Anyway, that’s pretty much it. It’s time for sleepy-bye. Goodnight, everyone!

Chad

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