Life goes on.

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

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

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

Well, besides him.

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

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

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

Relevant.

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

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

SATURDAY

Breakfast – Waffles and eggs.

Lunch – Chili Cheese Hotdogs

Dinner – Made-from-scratch lasagna

SUNDAY

Breakfast – Eggs, bacon, and sausage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I loved it thiiiiiiiiiis much!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just let it out.

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

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

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

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

Relevant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welp. Goodbye! God bless.

Chad

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Time issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chad

300th Post Spectacular!

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I’m gonna try and make this 300th post a thumpin’ good’n. Just for all of you!

After (finally) going to bed at 3:15 this morning, I was awake and out of bed by 7:15 for the drive home. I had piled all of my stuff into my backpack last night (clothes, laptop, iPad, and all), so all I had to was get dressed, grab both my backpack and my horn, hop on my bike, and ride to my car. It was at the time of day where it was still really dark outside, as well as a little chilly; it was so early that I didn’t run across a single car during the long bike ride across campus. In fact, the only sign of life I saw was a black cat…an omen? Nah.

This guy? Not so lucky.

I met Marcus and Michael in the parking garage, and we were off before 8! We stopped for gas and snacks/drinks at the edge of town; I made sure to have a NOS energy drink just because yesterday was a long day and I hadn’t gotten much sleep. The drive actually wasn’t all bad, though. Michael and I hadn’t really seen each other since I had graduated, and, even then, we didn’t talk to each other all that much, so it was nice to sorta get to know him during our six hours in a car together.

On the open roooooooooaaaaaaaaad!

Marcus was pretty quiet the whole time; he actually slept most of the time. Michael slept for just a little bit after we left Abilene, but he was awake before long. Speaking of Abilene, we stopped at my usual Subway (why change tradition just because I have new guests?) before getting back on the road.

The forecast originally said that it was supposed to rain once we hit Abilene, but we didn’t run into any sprinkles until a while after leaving Abilene; I think we were right behind the major rain during the entire final stretch, never running into more than some heavy sprinkles and water flung up from the road by cars in front of us. Very fortunate, I think. I check the radar coming in to Fort Worth to decide whether to take 20 or 30 home, and 30 looked clearer, so that’s the way we took this time around. A good decision!

I make them every now and again.

We hit Mesquite around 2, and, once I dropped the two guys off, I was home! Hallelujah! I mostly just sat around the living room all day with Mom and Dad; Blake, of course, was in his room playing video games until dinner. I got out my horn at around 4 and practiced for about an hour or so before reclining in my dad’s chair and taking two or three short naps. We ate Chipotle for dinner since Granna will be making my the spaghetti I like in Lubbock this week (yay!), and we definitely returned to our watch-through of Criminal Minds while we ate! We’re almost done with season 3…three more to go!

I brought my horn out again just before midnight and practiced for a while longer; the plan is to do the recordings I’m supposed to submit on Tuesday in the Poteet auditorium sometime tomorrow, so I spent today making sure that I was ready to do that. I’m excited about visiting Poteet, too! I had initially planned on going to the band’s morning rehearsal before school, but they’re not having it tomorrow, so I’ll show up early to try and record before school starts. I’ll definitely be hanging out in the band hall for at least the first period, and I’ll hang out in the choir room during third, but I haven’t quite figured out what else I’m going to be doing at the school. If I get the opportunity right after school let’s out or something, I’ll probably see if I can catch any of my old teachers and say hi before they leave for home. Also tomorrow, Johnny and I are probably going to the movie theater! Apparently, he works at AMC 30 now, so he gets free movie tickets…cha-ching!

I KNEW that kid would come in handy eventually!

(teasing, of course)

Anyway, this isn’t my longest post ever, but I hope it was nice to see funny pictures/captions again. It’s hard to believe that I’ve kept up with this thing for nearly a year now, after so many failed blog attempts in the past. And thank you all for reading! I hope that you’re at least somewhat entertained by the boring life I lead.

Welp, it’s time for bed…I’m sleepy, and I’ve got a bed and a cat waiting for me. 🙂

Like this, except bigger and cuddlier.

Goodnight, all!

Chad

Where’s my water?

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The title is the name of a game on my iPad (it’s available for iPhone too). There’s a croc/alligator/whichever one it is living in the sewer who wants to take a bath, but the other croc/alligator/things have taken measures to keep him from doing so! Oh no! So your job is to provide the …thing… with water for his bath! It’s loads of fun, and I’m up two hours later than I could have been if I didn’t have the game on my iPad. Whoops!

Today was a pretty normal day, minus the fact that IT RAINED. A LOT. I had to walk to band in the pouring rain, which I wouldn’t have minded if not for the wet shoes that come along with that. Rehearsal started inside, but we went outside after the rain had stopped. Everything else (as far as my classes go) was the same as always. After my voice lessons, I went back to the room for my Wednesday nap time. I slept until 7:15, when I woke up to the news of Steve Jobs’s death.

Steve Jobs’s death, like Michael Jackson’s, is a bit hard to grasp. I know that he’s been dealing with cancer for a long time, but he’s always been one of those guys who’s just always been around; the first computer I learned to use was a Mac because that’s all my elementary school used, and that was back in 1998. I don’t use Macs very often anymore (though I’m still toying with the idea of buying my own Macbook Pro to use in addition to my PC), but I’ve owned three iPods, three iPhones, and an iPad in my lifetime; Jobs’s influence is everywhere. Also, Jobs made Pixar what it is today, so we have him to thank for so many great movies. Rest in peace.

I watched the newest episode of Criminal Minds at 8, which was pretty good, though it was one of the more depressing ones…watch to know why (I hate spoiling things!). CBS showed a preview of next week’s episode at the end, and it seems like it’s going to be a bit terrifying…something to do with the anniversary of the Columbine Massacre or something like that. Should be interesting!

That’s pretty much my day in a nutshell. I finished my homework very early tonight; like I said, I’ve been playing that game for a couple of hours here in the dark. It’s time for bed now!

Goodnight.

Chad

Red velvet-y goodness.

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Confession: I missed my first class of the semester this morning. I woke up for my 8am COMS class AT 8am. Honestly, I could have gotten to class and still been there most of the time, but I figured that, since we took a test last time we met, it wouldn’t be a big deal missing this one (don’t worry, I won’t make a habit of it, I promise). I ended up dozing for a while longer before getting out of bed for my aural skills midterm at 9:30. I got up to the music building by ten after 10, which was good because my midterm was scheduled at 10:15. Like I said, it was only sightsinging, which I’ve been doing consistently since 7th grade, so it went swimmingly. Admittedly, the one she had me sightsing was fairly difficult, but the two-minute practice time proved useful; I ran the difficult part several times in a row to make sure I had it in my ear before the actual graded performance. It’s funny, actually: in middle/high school, we were only given 30 seconds to practice a sightreading piece at region auditions before having to perform it, so having a full two minutes to practice now that I’m in college is laughable. I also had two minutes to perform the line of music as many times as I cared to, which sorta had me worried…after I performed it the first time and was pretty confident with it, my teacher said something along the lines of “you have two minutes…do you want to try it again to make it better?” I was thinking that I had nailed it, but she had me doubting myself, so I sang it through twice more for good measure. I already saw my grade: a 94, which I’m not upset with, but I’d like to know what I got counted off for, considering the fact that I thought it was at least 97 or 98 material…oh well.

Strings was next; we’re playing more and more with the bow, which is cool, but we’ve still only played Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and a couple other easy songs…understandable, since we’re all still beginners. The weirdest part of my string class was this (STORY TIME!): right after we had finished singing/pantomiming a new easy piece on our violins, the teacher paused and asked, “Chad, what’s your birthday?” Naturally confused, I answered him and he said, “I just had a feeling. We’re only 3 days apart.” What the heck, man?! Very strange. I like the teacher a lot, though.

Outside rehearsal for Goin’ Band was easily the hottest it’s been in a while; we didn’t really do anything too stressful, but I had sweat nearly pouring down my face. It was AWFUL. All we did during rehearsal was run through the classical show, record us playing it (and another short piece), and then practice the first two movements of the Journey show. Music tech was immediately after, where I learned that I got a 94 on my first project (creating a website); apparently, the teacher ONLY gives up to 95s, no 100s, so I only missed one point. Yay Chad!

Once we had finished up in that class, I went to the honors college building to use the computer lab available exclusively to us, with the intent of printing something for horn studio only an hour and a half away. It was 20 pages, so I wanted to avoid using the computer in our room at all costs. Unfortunately, there was no paper in the printer there, so that was a letdown, but there’s a computer lab over in Sneed as well…which has no printers. Go figure. So, ultimately, I ended up printing from our printer anyway, but the printer had trouble halfway through, so I only got 13 of the 21 pages, which ended up not being a big deal since we didn’t get that far in the packet during studio anyway.

I returned to the room when studio had finished, playing inFAMOUS again (I didn’t have any homework to do!) before getting dressed in my Goin’ Band marching stuff and driving out to Lowrey Field, where Lubbock ISD was having a marching band “extravaganza” thing going on that we marched at. One of the bands there was playing a medley of songs that consisted of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” transitioning into Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”…I didn’t understand the relation between the two songs and the need to put them back-to-back like that, but I’m not going to bother thinking too hard about it.

After leaving the field, I called up Andrew, who had just gotten off work, and asked if he’d like to go eat dinner at Chili’s since we hadn’t been yet this semester. Megan, who worked the same shift as him, joined us, so the three of us enjoyed dinner in each others’ company at Chili’s. It had been WAY too long since I last had their queso! We had coupons that gave us a free appetizer or a free dessert; we almost used it to get our queso for free, but, when debating over whether or not to get dessert, our waiter mentioned “red velvet cake”…we were sold instantly, and, golly, it was good! Red velvet cake is delicious.

I dropped the two of them back off to get their bikes while I took my car to the garage so that I could ride my own bike back to the room, where I played more inFAMOUS, mostly, before just sitting in front of the computer.

Going back to our Journey show, I must admit something: when I heard that Journey was still around and touring, albeit without Steve Perry, I was skeptical…how could a band that became so famous for their lead singer’s voice continue without said lead singer? Well, after listening to recordings with the new guy, Arnel Pineda, heading the group, I must say…WOW. This guy is GOOD. You need proof? Listen to this:

I’m a believer.

Anyway, it’s time for bed; this is my first 1000-word post in quite a while! Maybe I’ll get back into the habit, and, who knows, maybe I’ll start using pictures again! Only time will tell.

Tomorrow is Nap Day! And a new episode of Criminal Minds! I love Wednesdays.

Goodnight, everyone!

Chad

#Roomie

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Andrew now has a Twitter account! How exciting. I’ve always used the #roomie hashtag (if you’re not a Twitter user, you don’t need to understand) when speaking of Andrew, rarely using his real name, but now he’s got his own username for me to reference!

Today was my second-longest day of the week, but it wasn’t a bad day; I actually got a lot accomplished today! I started off with my speech in my communications class. It went reasonably well, though it could have gone better. Our first speech was a tutorial speech, not a persuasive or motivational speech, so I didn’t have the opportunity to show off my speech-writing skills…maybe on a future presentation. Aural skills was afterward, where we had our first harmonic dictation quiz of the semester. Harmonic dictation is much more challenging than melodic dictation because, instead of writing a single line of music, you have to write a bass line from a four-part harmony, sometimes the soprano line too, and you have to provide a Roman numeral analysis of the line of music as well. I’m not a fan of the way we practice it in class, but I do reasonably well with it…it’s just a matter of practice, like all other things.

During my first half-hour break of the day, between aural skills and strings, I took out my horn and did a warmup for the day, which I hadn’t done in a while. It felt great to play for the first time outside of a marching band setting, which isn’t always a very good warmup. Strings went well; just more beginner stuff, of course, because we’re all still learning to play the violin – there’s not much else we can do at this point. Once we had finished in strings class, I decided to eat lunch, but, instead of heading straight for the pizza or Chick-Fil-A, I decided to go for the healthy choice and get fruit to eat instead. I went to Sam’s Place in the SUB and bought a banana and an apple; I had never had a banana before (during infancy doesn’t count), so I figured that I would give it a try. Once I figured out how to open it (this was a legitimate struggle), I ate the whole thing. It wasn’t bad, but it took me a while because 1) I wasn’t used to the mushy texture 2) it wasn’t as sweet as I had anticipated…I’m not sure if it was fully ripe or not. I’ll go for one with just a little bit less green next time. It definitely wasn’t bad! I saved the apple for later.

During Goin’ Band, we learned the rest of the classical show, which we are marching at Saturday’s game versus Nevada. I really like this show (minus the last movement), so I can’t wait to perform it and hear the crowd’s reaction! Music technology was right after Goin’ Band. We continued work on our first project, the website, and I got most of the stuff done; it’s due on Thursday by the end of class I believe, which will give me plenty of time to add the finishing touches…I don’t anticipate it taking too long. Once class had ended, I grabbed my horn again and practiced for a little more than half an hour, working on the all-state etudes assigned to the studio for eventual recording and grading. When 4:15 rolled around, I packed my horn and took it with me to the SUB, where I waited for studio by eating my apple and starting my reply letter to Shauna, my British penpal. I’ve also got a letter from another penpal I met via Twitter, Lacey, who is going to school in Galveston. Speaking of letters, I have another one coming in from my dear friend Claire this week! I love this whole snail-mail thing we’ve all got going on.

Horn studio flew by, after which I put my horn away and came back to the room, where I watched the season premiere of NCIS on CBS before taking a short nap, eating dinner, and starting on homework while watching Criminal Minds with Andrew. Now, it’s time for bed. I promised a full update, and you got it!

Goodnight, everyone.

Chad

P.S. – Criminal Minds season premiere tomorrow night! I’m so unbelievably excited!

Speechin’

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Today:

School from 9-3.

Nap.

Dinner.

Criminal Minds.

Homework.

Shower.

Bed.

Tomorrow: speech. Which means I need to go to bed. Goodnight, everyone. I’ll be sure to give a full update tomorrow.

Chad

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