Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Passing Afternoon"

I love this song. I hope you take the four minutes to listen to it. I always feel different listening to this song, depending on how life's treating me. Content, sad, contemplative, hopeful, grateful, regretful, it's amazing how a single song on a different day can do that to you, eh?

Summer 2010 has been great. A little uneventful, but we needed the uneventfulness. Spring Semester kicked Ellie's and I's butts, and it was almost hard to believe when we finished finals, "The gross injustice is over?!" For the next three days, we fit in every summer activity we could think of. That was about three weeks ago, since then it's been one blissfully-lazy day after another. Ellie and I got jobs working at "Journeys", the "Anti-Options". Word had gotten around that place that Ellie was looking for a new job so the supervisor let her know the rest of her shifts that week would be covered and that she didn't have a job anymore. He said, "it wasn't a fire". But Ellie said, and I have to agree, that it sure felt like one. Following a whole lotta job-searching and praying, Ellie landed a job at Journeys. And they loved her so much, they decided to hire on her dorky husband too! How nice!

I do need to mention one unique circumstance this summer has brought:

We took on a few roommates since the temperature rose here at the Burg.

This, is an earwig. And no, I didn't find the grossest picture I could find on the internet as a blatant exaggeration. This is what they really look like (in much smaller form). They started invading in the shower, then we started finding them in piles of clothes, then they made their way into our bed. One night, I woke up three times to the feeling of a creepy crawler wandering up my leg. The fourth time I woke up I was convinced my mind had consigned to a state of paranoia and I was hallucinating. They remind me of those horrible, horrible creatures Khan used to mind-control Chekhov in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan!
Ellie, despite her height and aggresive-competitive nature, shrieks like a four-year-old every time she sees them: "RANDY! There's one crawling up the bookcase! Oooohhh mmmmmm!" She then does that girly half-cry, the one that's not very convincing and is only one step above whining. I can't help but smile while I type this, she will be sooo angry I'm putting this up. I love her for it, though. Makes me feel all manly and tough. "Stand back, Ellie! While I contend with the enemy!"
One trip to wal-mart later we came home with a special spray and a passionate vengeance! We completely de-bugged our apartment, and when I say "we completely de-bugged our apartment" I mean we layed so much waste behind and under everything, that we physically could not breathe indoors for a half hour. We took a walk and celebrated our victory over our adversaries. In Genesis we read, "God gave man dominion over the creatures of the earth". I felt like giving Heavenly Father one big air-five!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Full House Music

It looks like May isn't a good month for blogging either, ha ha! But ya know what? I don't feel too bad. At least I don't feel as bad as this guy, who left his blog bare for about four months.

"I don't even know how to write a blog anymore. I used to do this because I needed to talk, and couldn't. Or I needed to create, and couldn't. It made me feel less alone than I do most times. Now it haunts me. Do I use this to open up? I'm carrying a lot of hurt right now. If I dump that all here, people will want to fix me. The broken boy. And frankly I can't stomach that. Do I use this to be funny? It feels strained, painful. It just isn't in me anymore. Do I share my daughter's growth, and revel for a moment in the one great thing I have done? I think right now I just enjoy her when she's here, and try very hard to stop thinking when she isn't. The thing is, I'm not the man I was, nor the man I want to be, and the man I am is not good enough. So why chronicle it all? So I give myself a week. If I'm not compelled to write in a week, the blog goes away. Thanks for reading, and don't worry about me too much. It's just words."

Geez louise! This guy needs some Full House music! Wait, you don't know what Full House music is? When I was young my family religiously watched Full House, and every episode there was this lesson to be learned and it was always delivered in a monologue accompanied by some really cheesy music. Observe:

(cue the music at 3:20)

(Gotta love Joey's epic high-ten FAIL at 1:43!!!)

When I read that guy's post I just feel like some cheesy touching music needs to accompany all that. The truth is, my life's going great. I'm married to a beautiful woman and studying music! What more could I ask for? If those two things are keeping me too busy to write in my blog then I consider myself one lucky man!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A New Semester

April has not been a big month for blogging.

Spring semester has started and, as hard to believe as it is, I'm actually busier than last semester!

9:00 - 10:00 Musicianship I
10:15 - 11:15 Music Technology
11:30 - 12:30 Education 200
12:45 - 1:45 Work campus job
2:00 - 3:00 University Band
3:30 - 4:30 Teach Piano Lesson
5:00 - 6:00 Work campus job
7:00 - 9:00 Required 2 hours of practicing

9:00 - 10:00 Musicianship I
10:15 - 11:15 Choral/Vocal Methods
11:30 - 12:30 Work campus job
12:45 - 1:45 Book of Mormon
2:00 - 3:00 Devotional
3:15 - 5:00 Percussion Ensemble
5:00 - 6:00 Drumline
7:00 - 8:00 Work campus job
8:00 - 10:00 Required 2 hours of practicing


You get the idea. This may be a slight exaggeration, this schedule is built upon the assumption that I'll actually do the required two hours of practicing a day. (Turns out music practice is not an exact science.) Even taking that into account, that doesn't leave me a lot of time to spend with my wife or on homework.
My ED 200 class is already on my nerves. We talk a whole lot about nothing. Today we analyzed Bush's "No Child Left Behind" campaign and how it was an epic fail, then we analyzed Obama's plan to change education and how it's on it's way to an epic fail. My teacher, Sis. Anderson, assured us that it won't matter if we coach basketball after school or get into administration, we will never make a lot of money. Okay maybe we do talk about something, but nothing very uplifting. I faced the reality that I will never drive a BMW to work long ago, I don't need reminders.

On a happier note, we've gotten great numbers for the drumline! 5 basses, 4 snares, 3 tenors, 3 cymbals and 2 on the frontline. Bro. Taylor has given me the task of writing a marching show for "Spirit Week" in June. We'll play on the field with 3,000 student body in the stands, easily our largest audience all year. I need to have this written and printed by next Tuesday. No pressure, right?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Single Ladies

In college, there are boring mentor groups and there are... BORING... MENTOR GROUPS. Mine was the latter. There had to be a way to make this Music Theory class requirement more entertaining! One week our beloved mentor Christina, informed us we would be playing a game - figuring out the solfege to pop songs (the epitome of excitement, right?).

(For all non-Music-Majors, solfege is what you heard in the Sounds of Music, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, etc. and for kinetic purposes there are hand signs for each ones. You learn songs in solfege, do the hand signs, and it trains your ear to hear intervals and melody so you can write music easier.)

Much to pop music's discredit, we discovered how elementary the melody of most pop songs are. My personal choice was "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. I walked out of that mentor group with an idea. If I could convince Christina that making a music video to Beyonce's hit, and including solfege, would be to our benefit then we would solve the problem of our boring mentor group.

She bought it. Two hours of filming and six hours of editting later and:

The best part is it's been on youtube for only five days and has 156 views. I've heard of three teachers in the music building showing it in their classes!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Concert

Last Tuesday we had our Rix Stix Concert. Rix Stix is the BYUI's percussion ensemble group, an entire night of rhythm without the inconvenience of horns or woodwinds! My night started at 3:15, that's when we started the tech rehearsal.

Along with a "dress rehearsal" where we went over our pieces to play, a "tech rehearsal" is necessary to coordinate the different setups for each piece. Unlike a regular band concert where all the students stay in the same place for an hour and a half, a percussion ensemble concert features songs requiring elaborate placement of different instruments. We were scheduled to have tech rehearsal for two hours then spend two hours going over music but such was not the case. Not a lot of time management was observed. Before we knew it we were an hour behind schedule and I was freaking out that my piece "Schruted" wouldn't be able to be ran through. We had a few extra practices the weekend before and it did not go well. Parts of the song that were fine were starting to get dirty and people were forgetting parts, a step backward rather than a step forward!

(This was the eventual setup for "Schruted", I loved it cause it put us right next to the audience!)

Completely disregarding our behindness, we ran through all the pieces and by the time we were done it was 7:15, with the concert starting at 7:30. Technically, we were supposed to be out of the hall at 7:00. I'm sure there were a couple people not happy... I know because I was one! We had been setting up and practicing for four straight hours, and now we were expected to pull off a great concert that would last another two! All of us were exhausted.

However, the concert was great! There were a few songs that I felt it was the best we ever ran them! It had it's quirks though. For example, a song where all of us are playing garbage cans and pails, during rehearsal I wore jeans and we had all sorts of choreography, including one point where my group put a pail between our legs while standing up, and playing it.
Well...... I don't know what my concert slacks are made of. But they're really, really slick. The pail kept slipping down and I had to keep picking it up! I was all smiles, and some of my friends said it just looked like part of the choreography! Ellie teased me about it, but I'm planning on telling my kids that yes, it was all part of the show!
"Schruted" went off without a hitch! The audience loved it and Ellie told me it was the most-applauded out of the entire concert! I feel really good about it, we had some people with very little drumline experience and they all went great. This was probably my first piece I've ever written that actually went on stage and was performed! There's a certain amount of pride you take in something like that, that's hard to describe. But it was a lot of fun. I will definitely be writing more in the future!

And here it is....

(please excuse the text inserts that's the work of my fellow tenor, Eric, who uploaded the video.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

birthday ideas

My birthday is coming up in a month and a half. And I just hate it when I have a friend who has a birthday coming up, and I have no idea what to get him! So here's some helpful ideas:

I am a HUGE House fan. And Greg House is always tossing this around in his office when he's deep in thought. I think that every aspiring Seminary/Band teacher should have one, don't you think?

I consider myself a man of simple tastes, because it takes a man of simple tastes to love an '03 Ford Focus hatchback (aka "the silver bullet") the way I do. And after working at a detailing/lube bay all of last summer, I love keeping my baby clean!

Probably no explanation necessary for this one. I own this first two, must have the third.

I don't need the album, I've had it and loved it for four months. But he made a dvd documentary following his tour, Ellie and I found it at wal-mart and I made some not-so-subtle hints.

Okay this one is a little on the pricey side (around 90$ on Ebay). I've been hooked on Calvin and his stuffed tiger since I was five!

What can I say? A boy needs his toys!!!!!

Brad's Theories

I like this guy.