Never not be having fun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re almost caught up…hang in there!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Less than a week until I’m home!

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

Chad

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

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So Long, Farewell

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Today was our last day in Alabama. =/

I’m really going to miss it here. I feel that I’ve gotten a lot closer to my aunt, uncle, and cousins since the vacation my brother and I took with them over the summer to Florida on a Disney cruise, especially to my uncle; I’ve already explained that. But I think I also got a lot closer to my cousin Summer. We got along really well; I made sure to spend time with her and do some things that she wanted to do, such as play Just Dance 2 for the first time (which I really enjoyed and did pretty well on). All yesterday evening we were messing around with each other, teasing and such, and just having a great time together. I think it was good that I made it a point to spend time with her because I haven’t always been the greatest about doing that with her in the past, since my younger cousin Carson likes me so much. We used to play with each other almost nonstop just because he was so attached to me, and I think that Summer felt a little left out at times. So yeah. I did a good thing, I think. I also got a bit closer to my aunt this time around because we share a common gift: we both got iPads for Christmas. I helped her figure some things out, dress it out in accessories, and we even played on them a bit together; we’ll be playing Words with Friends often, I can tell…I’m gonna miss them so much. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we next see them, since they don’t live so far away anymore. Maybe this summer? We’ll see.

Anyway, today I slept until 11:15ish. I went downstairs, had a couple of bowls of Fruit Loops, fixed a cup of coffee, and then joined in playing “Bananagrams” with my grandma, my aunt, my dad, my uncle, and Carson; it’s a sort of Scrabble-like game, but here’s how it works: you have a big pile of letter tiles lying face-down in the center. Everyone grabs 11 tiles to start with. Someone says “split” and everyone flips their tiles right-side-up and proceeds to form their own crossword. Once you form all 11 of your starter tiles into a crossword with valid words, you say “peel” and everyone, including you, draws a tile from the center. If you have a tile that you just can’t play, you return it face-down to the center, say “dump”, and draw three tiles. The goal is to use all of the tiles on the board; once the pile in the center runs out, the first person to use all of their tiles shouts “Bananas!” and wins the game. It gets really fun; I might have to go buy it for myself for party occasions. It’s a blast, and we spent more of the day playing that than anything else.

After a while, at around 5:15 or so, my mom, dad, aunt, and I left for Kohl’s again to exchange a couple of shirts that my aunt had bought for my stocking (a Bob Marley shirt and a Beatles Apple logo shirt (that I honestly already have anyway) because they were a size too small, but the store ended up not having larger sizes of the same shirt, so I got two new ones: a new Beatles shirt that simply has the logo on it and a Star Wars shirt that has a grid with different characters in different colorful squares. It worked out well, and they’re both really cool shirts; great additions to my pop culture shirt collection. From Kohl’s we went to Pizza Hut to pick up the pizzas my uncle had ordered by phone. Taking them home, we all ate it together at the kitchen table. I don’t ever eat from Pizza Hut, but this pizza was pretty good. I liked it a lot.

On the subject of pizza, I’ve been toying with the idea of quitting pizza in 2011. Crazy, I know, but I really do have a pizza problem; during my junior and senior years of high school, I’d get pizza for lunch nearly every day in the cafeteria, and now, in college, Andrew and I will order it three times every two weeks, with the gaps often filled with me buying Sbarro in the Student Union Building. It’s pathetic. Yes, I enjoy it, but yes, it’s also a problem. Despite the fact that I quit soda for the purpose of drinking healthier drinks and losing weight, I don’t think I’ve lost any weight at all; in fact, I think I’ve gained just a few. No “Freshman 15” just yet. Maybe I should do anything so radical as to quit cold turkey like I did with soda. It might be a good idea to simply limit my pizza intake to once every two weeks or a month or something. We’ll see; it’s something I’ll have to discuss with Andrew.

I may also try eating fruit every day, though that could get expensive. We’ll see about that, too.

Following our pizza dinner, my grandma insisted she take a few pictures of my cousins, brother, and I to put in a picture frame she got. After that, which only took a few minutes, Summer brought down the Wii from the game room and had it hooked up in the living room. After a few moments of lazy digesting, I joined her in playing Just Dance 2 for a while. Both cousins played, Blake joined in this time, and my mom even played it a bit! Fun stuff. I was still winning most of the time tonight. 😉

After playing that for a while (I have no idea for how long), I joined my mom, my grandma, Blake, Summer, and Carson in more Bananagrams. A few games in, I got an email notification via my iPhone, and guess what? TELLTALE GAMES RESET MY ACCOUNT PASSWORD. Do you know what that means? I PLAYED BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE GAME FOR THE FIRST TIME. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

OHMYGOSH I KNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW


And what a great game it is. It’s not like a lot of video games you might see out in the world; for one, this is only part one of five; the next four will be released one at a time, once a month for the next four months. It’s not an action-type game, but instead a game where you search around for clues, talk to people (with several different choices of what to say or ask each person), and analyze situations. It’s really creative how they did it. Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc Brown (<3), but, other than by allowing his likeness to be used in the game, Michael J. Fox was completely uninvolved, which may seem as a surprise once you hear Marty in the game: it sounds just like him. The voice actor's name is AJ Locascio or something like that (I don't wanna look it up), and he does a great job as Marty. I don't know how far through the first part I am, but I'll consider typing out a full review of it once I finish.

On the subject of Back to the Future, I received the 25th Anniversary Trilogy on Blu-Ray for Christmas (the gift I told my parents that if I got it they wouldn't need to get me anything else, and I was serious). I haven't done anything with it other than put the free digital copies of all three films on my computer, which I need to fix when I get the chance at home. I am literally going to sit down and watch through all of the special features I can get my hands on; I'm SO EXCITED.

Anyway, this post ended up being a lot longer than I expected, though I actually typed it out pretty quickly. Now, it's time for bed; we are planning on waking up at 7 in the morning, with plans to leave as soon as possible so we can get home earlier in the day, which will be nice.

See you all back in Mesquite!

Chad

P.S. – You'd be surprised how addicting it can be to play with these little magnetic balls:

Cube.


Snowflake.


Erm...Thing.