Saturday, September 27, 2008

Concert Accomplished!

The first concert as a member of the Charlotte Concert Band is complete. Despite no one in Charlotte being able to leave home due to a lack of fuel, we had pretty decent attendance. The new tuxedo held up and so did my lower lip. The key that I had fixed on my sax is sticking again, however. I think I need to spend an hour on saxophone maintenance sometime soon.

Secondly, the Tar Heels managed to beat Miami in Miami today. The season seems to be looking upward again, despite losing our starting QB last week. We're 3-1 and have a good chance to finish with 7 or 8 wins if everything stays normal.

Thirdly, I got The Force Unleashed for the Wii today. This is the lightsaber game I mentioned months ago. My arm is already sore from hacking and slashing, but this game ROCKS! I totally need online partners to duel with.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'll Be There For You

I've got this damned Bon Jovi song stuck in my head, and worse! My brain keeps thinking of new lyrics for the chorus.

I'll be there for you...these my words I swear to you
When you breathe, I wanna be the air for you...

New versions:
When you sit, I wanna hold the chair for you
If you're naked, I'll strip down bare for you
If you've got a quarter, I'll call someone who cares for you
If you pick the truth, you know I'll do the dare for you
If you go deaf, you know I'll swab your ear for you
If you cheat, I'll lie and say it's fair for you
If you drive, you know I'll shift the gear for you
If you're dirty, you know I'll wash your hair for you
If you play, you know I'll shout a cheer for you
If you cave, I'll look out for a lair for you
If you ride a stallion, you know I'll ride the mare for you
If you're a child, I wanna be the au pair for you
If you want steak, you know I'll cook it rare for you
If you're up, you know I'll take the stairs for you
If you die, you know I'll shed a tear for you
On Halloween, there's nothing I won't wear for you
You go to jail, you know I'll wait a year for you
If you get old, I'll dye my hair grayer for you
If you get mooned, I'll bare my derriere for you
If you paint, I'll go and rent a sprayer for you
If you want, I'll listen to John Mayer for you
If you hunt, I'll track down all the deer for you
If you fly, I'll pilot a new Lear for you
If you drink, I'll buy up all the beer for you
If you want cheese, I wanna buy gruyere for you
If you're bored, I'll watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air with you
If you like Dune, I'll be Jose' Ferrer for you
On Halloween, I'll give the kids a scare for you

Someday, they'll come up with a cure for this condition.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Three Hours and I'm Worn Out

I was admitted into the Charlotte Concert Band on Tuesday night, and participated in 3 hours of rehearsal for a concert taking place in two weeks. My lower lip is worn out. After 2 1/2 hours, it felt like a piece of leather that was nearly bitten in half. Then we played a song where the alto sax part had no rests. None. Zero. For the whole song. While they are playing, band members are usually thinking "please don't stop us" to the director. During this one, I was thinking "For the love of God, please cut us off!"

I had a blast, though. During my four days of frantic practicing, I only think I got back about 50% of my formerly mad skillz on the sax. Last night, I got to 65% after an hour. The first chair sax player wasn't there, but the rest of the section told me that she's one of those "unique" personalities and that meeting her would be an experience. I've met lots of musicians in my time, and I bet I won't be too surprised.

I need to get a spring replaced on my sax and the director gave me the number of a guy who can fix it. In Charlotte, there apparently aren't many places that do instrument repair in-house. I'm spoiled by my years in Raleigh where I could drive down the road to Marsh Woodwinds and talk saxophones and music with Rodney and the guys while they worked on my horn. How can a much bigger city like Charlotte lack so many things that Raleigh has?

Anyway, I'm happy to be back playing music again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Charlotte - Home to Green Lanterns

Okay, call me a geek if you must...I just think it's weird that not one but two people with the same names as the superheroes named Green Lantern just happen to be prominent citizens of Charlotte NC.

All we need now is a Charlotte Bobcat player named Guy Gardner.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

From Geek to Band Geek...again

Those of you who know me probably are aware that my social life, outside of my family, has been virtually zero since I moved to Charlotte four years ago. This week, I made a decision that should have been a no-brainer long ago.

I'm picking up the saxophone again.

I emailed the director of the Charlotte concert band, told him that I wanted to play, and he asked me come and play for him on Tuesday, rehearse with them that night, and play in their pops concert on Sept 27. I guess my resume impressed him enough that he's confident I can do that.

Now, I haven't played regularly since college (grad 1992), where I played in the wind ensemble, jazz band, marching band, pep band, etc. Back then, I probably played about 4 hours a day, despite being a Biology major. I've played a few times in a temporary capacity here and there over the years since, but it's been at least 4 years since I last practiced. When you get out of shape on the sax, your lower lip loses the callus that protects it from your bottom teeth. When you first start playing after losing that callus, it hurts and bleeds, and eventually toughens up. Since I have a short timetable to get back into form, I'm practicing as long as I can every night. Yesterday was painful, and tonight it is not nearly as bad.

The director wants me to play Alto Sax, which requires more pressure to play than the Tenor or Baritone, which I have more experience with. This makes the job a little tougher and I don't expect that I'm going to be as good as I used to be right away.

It still feels wonderful to be doing something I know I'm good at, though.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Happy Birthday Dear Bernie...

I hope I look that young when I'm 35.

Love you, darling! :)

What in the Wide Wide World of Sports...

Go Panthers!

Aside from not scoring TDs in the red zone, I thought the Carolina Panthers played a pretty nice game today, beating the San Diego Chargers on their field with a last-second TD.

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