Long Absences and Changes

Leave a comment

“I promise it won’t be three months before you hear from me next!”

…obviously, I have an apology to make because I’m now coming up on six months after my last post. My movie review site has taken the priority for me; coming up on a year later, it’s still going strong and I’m loving sharing my opinions with people. More news on that further down.

This semester has been a good one. My first as a senior (though this was my third year, I completed enough credit hours to be classified as a senior this semester), it has been pretty busy but in a completely different way than past semesters. I started off the semester enrolled in Advanced Brass Methods, Texas History, Music and Your Mind (an honors seminar), Symphonic Band, Matador Singers, The Superhero in Film, Television, and Popular Culture (another honors seminar that I just took for fun), Instrumental Conducting, and, of course, horn and voice lessons. I ended up dropping Texas History due to it being too reading intensive in addition to all of the reading I was already having to do in my honors classes, but everything else went just swimmingly.

Advanced Brass Methods was great until after spring break, but the second half of the course was taught by a teaching assistant who I just do not care for. Music and Your Mind has been lots of fun; it is taught by a professor I have had twice before, but I was the only music major enrolled since it is an honors course, not a music course. It’s sort of like music philosophy and physiology, and it has been very interesting. Our final project was a presentation and a paper over a subject of our choice, so I did a study on the recognizability of film music, which ended up being incredibly fascinating…more to come on that later. Symphonic Band with Dr. Allen has continued to be extraordinarily rewarding; he’s one of the best directors I have ever had, and I really enjoyed everything we played this semester. Being back in Matador Singers was also a lot of fun, though I wish that our concert hadn’t been so early in the semester…it was back in March, I think. But I’m enrolled in Matador Singers this fall for the first time (I’ve only been able to participate in the spring semesters so far), and Andrew will be joining me! Exciting news. Going back to classes with Dr. Allen, conducting was also a lot of fun this semester, with the focus being less on conducting and more on rehearsal techniques and lesson planning, which was a very enlightening experience. My superhero class has been interesting as well, with us learning about how superheroes came to be and how they were and continue to be reflections of the world we live in. As far as my lessons go, horn has been about same-old, same-old, though I plan on getting even better over the summer, but voice lessons go things were a lot more active this semester because I did a recital! It went quite well and was fun to put together. Video for that will hopefully be posted soon, once I can figure out how to split up large video files without losing quality. Soon!

Summer plans are pretty basic at the moment; go home, practice horn, make an attempt at working out and getting fit (I’m down to 200lbs now!), etc. I wish I could say that I was returning to my job playing horn for Garland Summer Musicals again, but, unfortunately, the guy who was music director for South Pacific last year is not returning this year and didn’t pass on his information to the new guys, so the orchestra spots have already been filled. I am hoping to return to teaching French horn private lessons at Kimbrough and Poteet, maybe even North Mesquite, but we’ll see how things go. In any case, I will be teaching at Poteet’s band camp again this summer, so I have that to look forward to.

Now onto the “more news” I referred to above. As much fun as it was to maintain this blog for my first two years at Tech, as I said, my movie review site has taken the priority as far as my writing goes. This does not mean that this blog is going away, though; rather, it is now being re-purposed. In the coming weeks, I will be re-structuring “chadadada.wordpress.com” into a supplemental editorial-style blog for my ChadLikesMovies.com review site. This space will be a place for additional commentary I may have on movies or their soundtracks or on anything else that I find relevant. The first post for this will be a thorough write-up of my findings in movie music recognizability, which will be up in the next week or two.

I want to thank you all who have kept up with my blog these past couple of years and who care what goes on in my life, and who knows? I may even keep up a portion of this site to allow for the occasional personal update or two, but your best place to keep up with my day-to-day ramblings will be over on Twitter or on Facebook. I hope that you all enjoy this new idea of a supplemental blog for ChadLikesMovies.com and will give feedback as those changes are implemented soon.

God bless,


Night to remember.

Leave a comment

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!


Gracious speech.

Leave a comment

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!


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

There is nothing free…

Leave a comment

…but the grace of God. -True Grit (2010)

Sorry for the extra day of absence; after a long day of driving and rehearsal on Sunday, plus the added bonus having homework to do before bed, it was necessary to forego a post in order to get some sleep.

After classes on Friday, Andrew and I hit the road. We left Lubbock at around 4:15 or so, and we ended up getting to El Paso at about 9:20 or so El Paso time (an hour behind Lubbock/Dallas). The drive was pretty uneventful aside from one event. When we got to Carlsbad, New Mexico, we started searching out somewhere to eat. At a stoplight, I heard a sharp squeal of brakes and, looking up into my rear view mirror, saw a truck right before it rear-ended me. Furious, I pulled into the Walmart parking lot nearby and climbed out to assess the damage. Lucky for me, there didn’t appear to be any, which is awesome; Poppa, Dad, and I just replaced the back chrome piece on my car before the start of the semester, which was damaged because someone had hit my car while it was unattended. It appears that people just like to hit my car, apparently. Oh well. Like I said, there was no damage done, so I suppose there’s not much to complain about there.

In El Paso, we spent that first night playing a game called the Settlers of Catan with Scottie while his girlfriend Laura finished typing up a paper and took a nap on the couch. The game is definitely interesting; it’s sort of a mix between Risk and Monopoly. I ended up winning the first game we played, and Andrew won the second one, which is funny because neither of us had played before. When it came time for bed, Laura left and the rest of us got ready for bed. Andrew read an assignment for one of his classes while I read another chapter of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest…moving along slowly, chapter by chapter.

On Saturday, I slept late, not waking up until Scottie had prepared lunch for the four of us (Laura was back). He made us homemade pizza, but it was different than any kind of pizza I had had before. He made two different pizzas: one with tomato and feta cheese, and the other with tomato, (some different kind of cheese that I don’t remember), and spinach. I was hesitant to give them a try, but try them I did, and guess what? They weren’t half bad. I ate a few slices, and then we all hung around for just a bit before it was time for us to truly get our days started. Scottie had a meeting at 2:30 and Laura had a test to study for, so they went about their business while Andrew and I went to see Chronicle at the movie theater. Both of us went into the movie without knowing what to expect, but we both really enjoyed it. The ending was a bit difficult to watch because it was a bit depressing, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the film as a whole. I definitely recommend it.

After the movie, the two of us walked to the nearby mall and roamed around until Scottie and Laura were finished with their business. They came and picked us up, and the four of us went to eat dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Andrew and I had hoped to have sushi again, but Scottie had gotten a good deal on a bowling place that was near the Chinese restaurant, so Chinese it was. We tried a few different dishes and shared it family-style. I tried all but one dish and liked them; this was only my third or fourth time to ever have Chinese food before and my first to try something besides sweet and sour chicken or an egg roll, so you should be proud. Sushi is better though!

Bowling after dinner was lots of fun. We played three games total; Scottie won the first and Andrew won the next two. Somehow, Andrew had some sort of magic streak in the second one, scoring four or five strikes in a row and finishing the game with something like 160 points…lucky dog. I didn’t do terribly, but I don’t think I managed to pass 100 at any point, so whatevs. Nothing much happened after bowling. We returned to Scottie’s apartment and watched some TV before going to bed.

We left El Paso at about 10am on Sunday so that I could make it back to Lubbock for my 6:30 play rehearsal. We stopped in Carlsbad once again, this time without anyone attempting to damage my car, buying a couple of Little Caesar’s pizzas to take on the road (I only ate half, bringing the other half to play rehearsal for people to split). I relaxed on my new healthy lifestyle just a bit this weekend since I couldn’t expect the others to change their habits because of me, but, upon arriving back at school and weighing myself, it appeared that I still managed to lose just a bit of weight…how cool is that? I’m nearing the 20-lbs. mark…maybe I’ll get there within the next week or so!

When we got back into Lubbock on Sunday, I ran to Walmart to buy a couple of costume things for the play before heading to rehearsal. This was my first rehearsal in costume, so that was lots of fun, despite the fact that my costume consisted (almost) entirely of clothes from my own personal wardrobe. We ran through the whole show, which went relatively smoothly…definitely a good sign since this week is opening week! It technically opens on Friday, but there is a sort of “preview” performance (or, rather, “open dress rehearsal”) on Thursday. Today, I finally sent out Facebook invites to friends who live around Tech who I figured might be interested; here’s hoping I see some friendly faces in the audience!

Today wasn’t anything super special; I know that I often say that about classes, but it’s really true. We had a dorky guest speaker in my theory class who acted like music theory was just about the COOLEST THING in the world. Admittedly, though, I liked her better than the guest lecturer we had last week…I actually understood what this one was teaching, especially since most of it was review for us. At the end of theory, as we were turning in our homework, my teacher told me specifically that I did really well on my last homework assignment…awesome! Made me feel good. We had a short lecture in music history due to the fact that the beginning of the class was spent going over research topic information. I’m proud to announce that my research topic proposal was accepted! I will be comparing and contrasting three different overtures to three different adaptations of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; the teacher even called it ‘interesting’! I’m taking that to be a good sign.

I went back to eating a salad for lunch, and then band, choir, and piano happened. Nothing to speak of there. I went back to the room and grabbed some milk for the room and bought myself a Moon Pie to snack on. Rehearsal was same old, same old; another dress rehearsal leading up to the first performance. Can’t wait!

When I got back from rehearsal, I got a spicy chicken toaster sandwich from Sam’s Place, and, after eating, I went and started my laundry. Unfortunately, 10 at night is just about the only time I had to do laundry this week. Not ideal, but I need clean clothes, particularly jeans! I introduced Andrew to the new True Grit film with Jeff Bridges (upon asking him what he thought of it, he responded with “too many dead ponies!”), and now I’m about to go pick up my laundry before getting in bed. Luckily, I didn’t have homework due tomorrow, so I took the evening off to relax; I’ll have a little bit of homework to catch up on tomorrow night, but I needed just one night of nothing.

Later this week, particularly Thursday and Friday, most of my classes are canceled because of the TMEA conference that’s taking place this weekend; since most of the professors and lots of the students attend the conference, it means lots of canceled music classes! In fact, I should only have two classes total on Thursday and Friday, which is a blessing; I even have one or two canceled classes on Wednesday! Praise the Lord! I’ll appreciate the free time.

Now, it’s time for bed. I hope that this 1500-word post has sufficiently updated you all.



Time issues.

Leave a comment

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!


Kicked today in the face.

Leave a comment

Mostly. There was maybe 1/4 of unbruised Friday face once I was finished with it.

Starting off with yesterday, I woke up early to take my sight-singing final for aural skills, which I got a 99 on, bringing my final grade to a 96…the class average was an 80. Aural skills is by far my easiest class; thank goodness for my choral background! The rest of the day was spent practicing my horn, napping, and watching a documentary called The Pixar Story on Netflix Instant. Some of the best films out there are documentaries, and this was one of the better ones I’ve seen. I recommend it!

I hit the hay soon after 1am, knowing that I had to wake up early for my busy day: four finals. I woke at 6:15 for my first final (music theory) at 7:30, which went really well. I finished and less than an hour; I’m fairly confident I got at least a B, maybe even an 8. As long as I keep my overall A in the class, I’m happy. After turning in my final, I warmed up on my horn, practiced piano a bit, ate some yogurt for breakfast, and then took my piano final. This one also went well, not only because I practiced more for it than I ever have for a piano final but also because my teacher liked me; our class isn’t the most respectful since he’s a grad student and not an actual professor, so he thanked me for being the guy in class who always worked hard and paid attention. Woohoo! Another A? Check!

At this point, I returned to the room for a couple of hours, finishing up edits to my research paper, filling out my repertoire/judge sheets for my horn jury, and printing them all out. I wanted to take a short nap, but I figured it would be wise to study at least a little for my music history exam, which was at 1:30. I wasn’t too worried about this test since it technically wasn’t a “final”, instead acting as the third of three exams. My grades for the first two were an 86 and a 91 or 92, so it all averages out to a good grade no matter what. That being said, this test was just a bit more difficult than I had hoped it would be (a thought echoed by the many vulgar words I heard people utter after they left the test room). On the last test, a grading curve was applied, so I’d assume the same would be done to this one. Possibly another A? We’ll certainly see, but I’d be satisfied with a B.

I finished my music history exam much quicker than I had anticipated; I had worn my suit to the exam so that I wouldn’t have to go back between my exam and my jury, but I ended up having about two and a half hours of free time, during which I ate lunch and hung around before re-warming up, practicing a bit, and having a quick spot-check with my accompanist. The jury went well; it started rough, but I improved as the piece went on, so I’m hoping for at least a B on that as well. I’ll be sure to let you know!

When my jury was finished, I packed away my horn and came back to the room, hanging up my suit and crashing on my bed…it had been a long, busy day, and it was now nap time. I slept until about 7:30, staying in bed until Andrew got back from work and we started watching more of The Office. We’re done now, having just watched Season 6, episode 5; we’re almost completely through all of the episodes available on Netflix! Wow! It’s a great show…I can’t believe I hadn’t watched until now! Andrew and I are constantly cracking up while watching.

I had my first “argument” over whether or not “Linus and Lucy” is a Christmas song or not (IT’S NOT) today. Megan had posted a status on FB about how the song came up on her Christmas Pandora station and how it made her day, and then Hannah commented, wondering how long it would be until I corrected her…this is something I feel strongly about. Ha. Here was my response:

‎…it’s not. If I’m making a Christmas movie and decide that I’m going to write a song that has no relation to Christmas, and then I use that same song in the next two non-Christmas sequels, does that make it a Christmas song? Nope.

And my mind will not be changed…feel free to try!

Anyway, tomorrow I have no plans until the evening. My friend John, who was the director of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang back in February, invited me to see his latest production, A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley, offering free tickets for me and whoever else. I accepted the offer, so Andrew and I are going to go see that tomorrow. It’ll be great to see him (I haven’t seen him in months!), and I also know someone in the cast, so it’ll be lots of fun.

Until then, it’s time for sleep! I’m going to enjoy sleeping late tomorrow. Only four more days until I’m home for a month! Goodnight!


P.S. – The only other final grade I know right now is for my strings class – an A! I would have been concerned if I HADN’T gotten an A in that class.

P.P.S. – My friend Jonathan and his family are going through a rough time right now; it’d be great if you could all pray for him. For details, read his blog at THIS LINK.

Catching you up.

Leave a comment

I’m sorry, everyone…it’s been a busy few days here in Lubbock, America. Hopefully these 3-4 day gaps won’t become the norm.

I guess I’ll start with Sunday! I went to the same church I had visited the week before (where my friend Lexi goes), attending both bible study and worship service. I still really enjoyed the atmosphere of the church and the pastor during the worship service (“big church”), so I plan on staying there. On a side note, I’ve still been keeping sermon notes on my phone, so that’s good! I’m glad I haven’t lost that habit. After church, Lexi and I went to Rosa’s and ate lunch together; since we’ve technically only known each other for a week, we spent the whole time getting to know each other more, talking about high school extracurricular activities and stuff like that. When we had said goodbye, I returned to campus and spent well over an hour cleaning our room…it was a huge mess. Since Andrew was out of town this weekend (visiting Scottie in El Paso), I was the only one cleaning, but I didn’t mind. I ended up cleaning up his closet a bit while I was at it, and I vacuumed the carpet and emptied the trash. Very productive! The only thing I didn’t finish was doing the dishes…those are still waiting for me to tackle them.

After Court Jesters at 5 (Prof. Hill, for the second time this CJs season, told the horns that we sounded great!), I went back to the room and saw Andrew for a few minutes before we both left: him for his church meeting and me for a Halloween get-together kind of thing for church. It was the college ministry and the juniors and seniors of the high school ministry, and we snacked before playing a game called Sardines; basically, we sent two people down into the dark classrooms to hide together. After enough time had passed, all of the lights in the building were switched off, and those of us who weren’t hiding had to go find them in the near pitch-black. When one of us would find the ones hiding, we’d stay quiet and get down with the hiding people, getting close as if sardines in a can. The game would end when the finders gave up, flipping on the light switches. It was LOTS of fun! I had a blast; we ended up staying until 11 that night.

Monday was Halloween! I wore my costume all day (if you haven’t seen it, refer to my Twitter feed or FB), which turned out really well. If I haven’t mentioned it on here before, I was Indiana Jones, and I threw the costume together 100% myself: I wore my own brown leather jacket, my Indiana Jones fedora, a light khaki shirt with brown pants, a brown belt, some shoes that I bought at Ross the other day, and a whip (which stayed fastened to my belt all day; not once did I remove it or whip it…just so you know). The very first person to say anything about it was a lady working at Sam’s Place when I bought a drink before class; she asked, “are you supposed to be Indiana Jones?” …”Really?!” I thought. “What gave it away? The whip, the leather jacket, or the fedora with the Indiana Jones pin on the side of it?” (I didn’t actually say this, of course). All day long people came up to me, smiling and saying, “Indiana Jones!” as if I should be proud of them. Frankly, I would have been very disappointed if there had been someone who hadn’t known who I was…it’s not like Indy is an iconic American film character or anything. I’ve already started thinking of ideas for next year’s costume, but I’ve come up with nothing good so far…this year will be hard to top! Probably my favorite costume I’ve ever done.

At the end of the day, once classes and a recital and stuff were all over, Andrew, Megan, and I ate dinner at Sonic. I then dropped Megan off at her dorm, with Andrew and I heading to the movie theater to FINALLY see Paranormal Activity 3! I’m not gonna review this movie like I do others, but I’ll say this: the second one was scarier, in my opinion. I still really enjoyed PA3, but I didn’t feel as much tension as in PA2, and I didn’t feel like it tied into the previous two movies like it should have since it was a prequel. However, I liked the main characters in this one a LOT more than the ones of the first two movies. They just were more likable…it’s hard to explain unless you’ve seen them. Like I said, I enjoyed it either way, and so did Andrew.

Today didn’t offer much for me to speak about. I got my test grade back from my COMS class that I took last Thursday; I got an 85, which is higher than the grade I got on the first grade, so that’s great. Plus, I think I got a really good grade on my second presentation as well. Yay! I also had my second aural skills midterm of the semester this morning, which went well. I had trouble at first (sightsinging modulations), but when I got it right, my teacher said it was perfect, so I’m anticipating a good grade. The rest of the day was actually pretty boring.

The big news today, of course, is the official disqualification of the Poteet Pirate Band from next Tuesday’s UIL State Marching Competition. I don’t have too much to say about it, but I typed a note up on FB, and I’ll post it here as well.

Poteet Band: this is not a time to express your dislike for a rival school or to ruin this experience for them. This is a time for you to keep working hard to give the best performance possible at the Frisco Centennial Marching Invitational.

No matter your opinions of them, the Forney band members worked just as hard as you did and now they have an opportunity to prove that…you have the opportunity to become a three-time grand champion band, but only if you put this (and Forney) behind you and press on with every fiber of your being.

I had the pleasure of being present throughout your summer band camp, so I’ve been able to see you grow as a band as the season has progressed. I am SO proud to have been a part of this band during my high school days, and I’m proud now to have been a part of the teaching process.

State Marching Competition. Yes, it’s awful that you can’t go, and that’s UIL’s loss, but you’ve got to realize that you DID make it. You worked your rear ends off and you proved to everyone that a change in leadership didn’t change what the Poteet Band can do. Juniors and Seniors: be thankful that you participated and performed VERY well two years ago; a bronze medal is something to be proud of. Freshmen and sophomores: if you want to go to SMC in 2013, keep working hard and don’t give anyone a reason to turn you down…stay “undeniable”.

You all have the potential to show everyone how hard you’ve worked this year, how nothing has changed from last year to this year, and you can show everyone that nothing can or will keep you down…you’re still the Poteet Pirate Band and I love you all. Now put your best foot forward and give Frisco everything you have!

Now, for something I asked you all two years ago: what will you leave behind?

That’s all I have for you tonight. Goodnight, everyone.


P.S. – Only one holiday until Christmas music season begins. My favorite! If someone could get me Michael Bublé’s new Christmas album, I’d be appreciative!


Leave a comment

Today was a pretty standard, non-extravagant day. This’ll be relatively short, I think.

I arrived at the music building early enough before my first class to get a brief warmup/practice session on my horn. In music theory, we got an assignment back…the last few graded assignments have been good grades for me, and this one continued the trend, so I’m thankful. Piano was standard, as was music history. In Goin’ Band, we got our music for the first two movements of the Journey show that we’ll be marching at the A&M game: Separate Ways and Any Way You Want It. We haven’t gotten our third movement yet, but I believe it’s a medley starting with Don’t Stop Believin’ – this show’s gonna be a blast!

After GB, I had my horn lesson and then symphonic band, going back to the room after I had finished. I submitted an online assignment for my music history class before pulling out a PS3 game that I’ve owned for a while but never actually touched, called TimeShift. The best way I can describe it is as a cross between Call of Duty and Prince of Persia; you play a character who wears a suit with the ability to pause, slow, and rewind time (briefly, of course). It’s quite interesting; you can’t pass certain areas without figuring out which manipulation of time will best help you, so it takes a fair bit of thinking. I later switched to inFAMOUS, which I’ve been slowly working my way through again as a bad guy this time (I already beat it once as a good guy). I finished it, and Andrew was there to catch the ending…it sort of blew his mind. inFAMOUS is on my list of top 5 video games, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the sequel – video games that play like interactive films, complete with character development, cinematic cut-scenes, and top-notch dialogue/voice-acting/music, are the best.

In between the two video games and after finishing inFAMOUS, I started messing around with the NEW new Facebook…no, the change from last week isn’t the only thing different. Aaron sent me a message on FB with a link to an article explaining this new update and how cool it was (and also how much people are going to hate it when it first comes out); whereas last week’s update affected your home page, this one affects the profile pages. Aaron and I both figured out how to get this new feature, called “Facebook Timeline”, and we both LOVE it. Simply put, the Facebook Timeline maps out your entire life on your profile, literally starting with your birth. You can see every post made on your FB ever, every friend you’ve made, every picture you’ve uploaded or been tagged in, etc…it’s quite an update. I spent the vast majority of my night reading through all of my FB posts since I first joined in January of 2008, and it’s been one huge nostalgia-fest. I’ve remembered relationships that have since faded, I’ve laughed at memories with Andrew and Seth and other best friends, and I’ve just loved being able to reflect on how I’ve grown and matured since first joining nearly four years ago. It’ll take some getting used to, but I think that everyone will learn to love it. You’ll see.

Anyway, tomorrow I have my first midterm, a sightsinging quiz for aural skills. Stuff I’ve been doing for 7-8 years now, so no worries. Everything else should be pretty relaxed. Goin’ Band is actually giving a sort of exhibition performance for a local high school tomorrow night, so I’ll have that going on.

Speaking of band, my first official Court Jester performance/thing will be this Saturday at a volleyball game; there was a sign-up sheet available outside of the band director’s office and I signed up for all four available volleyball games. In CJs, there’s a point system in effect: you get certain amounts of points for participating in events, and, at the end of the official season, the people with the highest point totals get to travel for the playoffs and such. Lots of fun!

Welp, that’s all for now. It’s time for bed. Goodnight!


That’s not obscure at all.

Leave a comment

I’m gonna have to edit my practice schedule; I had scheduled practice time on MWF at 8am before my first class, but I’ve decided that it’s too difficult to wake up earlier than I have to. The benefit of having a 9am class is supposed to be to give me an extra hour of sleep, which makes all the difference in the world. So I’ll be moving that 45 minutes of practice time to some time later in the day.

Classes went by as usual with nothing interesting to speak of. After marching band had finished (my first break of the day), I ate lunch and hung around with some other band kids before going to concert band. When that was over and I had put my instrument away, I rode my bike over to the parking garage and drove to Ralph’s Records to see if they had any positions available. After asking, they neither had applications printed for me to fill out nor positions available, so I just spent my time looking around at what they had since it was my first time there. They had some Beatles albums that I already own, but they also had Meet the Beatles for $10, the second Beatles album released in the US; I didn’t get it though. They also had a couple of Queen albums that I already own, and they had sealed copies of A Kind of Magic (which I ALMOST bought) and The Cosmos Rocks, the 2008 joint album from Queen+Paul Rodgers (Rodgers is the lead singer from bands Free and Bad Company, with hits including “All Right Now”, “Can’t Get Enough”, and “Feel Like Making Love”). What really impressed me about Ralph’s Records was their soundtrack collection…they had TONS of film and Broadway soundtracks on vinyl, and I couldn’t resist buying the soundtracks to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Star Wars, and Paint Your Wagon. Yay!

When I got back to the room, I had initially considered staying awake so that I could be ready for quidditch practice at 7, but I was EXHAUSTED, so I stuck to my original plans of making Wednesday my official “nap day” and napped for a couple of hours. I woke before 8 and got up and did my normal Internet stuff: FB, Twitter, etc. On Twitter, one of the Back to the Future-related accounts that I follow retweeted something from Frank Marshall, one of the producers for BTTF. He was talking about how something big was coming, but how “no one should know too much about their own future”. However, stuff started popping up online, including a teaser video, talking about Nike releasing the Mags from Back to the Future Pt. 2, and that Michael J. Fox would be on The Late Show tomorrow night to talk about something fun relating to his foundation…how cool! It seems pretty definite that Nike will be selling these in the near future: when, for how much, and whether or not they will have auto-laces are the questions. Before you scoff at the idea of auto-lacing shoes, Nike filed a patent for auto-lacing shoes in August of 2010; the report that I read said that they were still working on the technology, but it’s been 11 months and I think that it might be possible that these are going to be the real deal. If so, I’m hoping that they aren’t too expensive so that I can snag a pair!

Other than that, nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary has happened tonight; I ate dinner and watched several episodes of Criminal Minds with Andrew, and now I’m off to bed. Movie night with Andrew, Tessa, Jenny, and Megan tomorrow! I think that we’ll be watching Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King since I have yet to see it…I’ve kinda been waiting to see it with them since I saw the first two with them. Can’t wait! Something else exciting: Andrew and I are officially driving to El Paso this weekend to visit his brother and spend time with him. Should be a fun weekend!

Anyway, that’s all for now. Goodnight, everyone, and sleep well.


Google Plus everything.


Today’s work day consisted of waking up at 7:30, cleaning up by the gutters around the house with a chemical/powerwasher combo, cleaning window screens, and installing blinds on 10 windows (so far; 14 or so to go). That’s pretty much it. Mom was here for the vast majority of the day, helping Granna clean windows and such inside.

For dinner, we had lasagna. No movie tonight, but Blake, Granna, and I watched a couple of episodes of Criminal Minds while we ate.

Most of my free time today has been experimenting around with the Internet’s new big social networking site, Google+. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s probably because it’s not open to the public just yet; registration is available by invite only. I was fortunate enough to snag an invite last night, granting me access to the site this afternoon. At first, I was unimpressed; the lack of people I know made it seem pretty boring in comparison to my Facebook news feed, which is populated with updates from my nearly 400 friends, but the more I experimented with it, the more impressed I became.

So, what is it, you ask? I feel like the best way to describe it is that it is a mix between Facebook and Twitter/Wordpress; you have the same status update feature available on Facebook, but, unlike Facebook, friendships don’t have to be mutual (which is why I liken it to Twitter or WordPress); you can keep up with posts from people such as celebrities or even people from school, but they aren’t obligated to keep up with yours.

Will it pass up Facebook as the most popular social network? Only time will tell, but there are certain features that really make it stand out. Here’s what you have to look forward to:

Post editing: Gone are the days where you have to delete and re-type posts due to spelling errors or other mistakes. If you need to make a change to one of your posts, you simply click a small dropdown menu that gives you the “Edit this post” option.

Circles: Facebook has had a “List” feature for quite a while, but it doesn’t serve much of a purpose; at least, I don’t believe it’s widely used. However, “Circles” are fantastic: you arrange users into groups (each user can be listed in more than one Circle, something that Facebook Lists can’t boast), and from there you can share posts with the public, with individual people, or with specific Circles. For example, I have a “Best Friends” Circle created; I would be able to ask them all to hang out by sending a post only to the people I put in that Circle. Very handy. Additionally, when on the Home page, you can sort what you see by Circles: click on your “Best Friends” Circle and you only see posts from your best friends, and likewise with your other circles. A great way to clean out possible junk/unwanted posts from your news feed!

Notifications: Much like Facebook, your new notifications appear in an upper corner of your page; when you click on the red number (number depends on how many new notifications), the notifications menu drops down, displaying all of your latest notifications. If you click on one (i.e. a new comment on a post), the post opens within the notification menu rather than loading a new page. No going back and forth between your home page and wherever your notifications might have lead you!

Sparks: This is very much like StumbleUpon. With Sparks, you search for things that interest you (for example, I currently have both “film soundtracks” and “movies” saved), and then it shares recent news stories/articles regarding that topic. From the results page, you can click the “Share” button (again, to the public, to individuals, to Circles, etc.) or just open the article in a new tab/window for your reading enjoyment.

Hangouts: I’m sure you’ve noticed that Facebook recently came out with a video chat feature. Believe or not, Google+ introduced this concept to its users first, and it’s called “Hangout”. What this is is the functionality to VIDEO chat with up to ten people from a Circle at a time. Cool, huh?

Ultimate Integration:

What you’re looking at is the top left portion of Google+, and, as you can see, you have links that give you access to every Google function in existence: Google search, Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Docs, YouTube, etc. Definitely super handy.

That’s all I’ve really experimented with for now; if I find more cool stuff, I’ll let you know about it.

Anyway, tomorrow we’re hanging more blinds before going to a wedding in the evening for a family friend. Now, it’s time for bed! Goodnight, everyone!


Older Entries