OK, I'm back, and what a great weekend it was. I'll review the ACL Festival in the next entry, but here's the rest of what went on:
Saturday morning meant Region Jazz tryouts, and this year was really great, as I came close to having a clean sweep--as in all the saxophones who made the band coming from my studio. As it was, I had four of them (and I've taught the other guy in the past). So congrats to Matt B.and Matt D. on lead and second alto, respectively; Jason R. (a freshman!) on tenor and Betsy on bari. Another freshman, Andy, came in right behind the two Matts on alto, which certainly bodes well for the future. The judging was quick and easy--we got done by noon--and the panel was almost all of one mind, at least on the altos and the baris. By the time we got to the tenors, we started to veer off a bit like in previous years (as in the band directors on the panel liked the more classical sounds--ugh--and I didn't), but all in all it was a great day. Oh yeah, and Lee made it on bass bone for the fourth year in a row....surprise, surprise (haha). Next week they'll get to tape for State, which means I'll be hosting more jam sessions next week during this flurry of activity which never stops.
After the judging was over, I headed for Austin, stopping off in Waco to get my buddy Chris, who also went to see Soulive and visit a friend. It took a second to find "the dorm across from the parking garage," as there's more than one parking garage on the Baylor campus, and I was pretty sure the one I was supposed to go to wasn't the one with the Starbucks and Chili's in it (and btw, that Chili's is the only one in the entire nation which doesn't sell alcohol!). Chris is car-less for his first semester (as I was for mine), so he was happy to be "sprung" from Waco for the weekend.
Once we found the friend he was staying with (no easy feat at UT-Austin), I drove out to my sister and brother-in-law's to see my new nephew Caleb and my older nephew Noah. Noah, who's 2 1/2 now, is very interactive and full of new vocabulary, so I would point out a lot of stuff for him to name, which he did successfully, and then we of course shot hoops, which he's been into for a long time. (OK, the basket is two feet tall, but still...)
Caleb slept during most of the time I was there, but I did get to hold him for a little bit. Not to pontificate too much, but I don't see how anyone could gaze upon the face of a newborn and still think there's no God. Every little feature is so perfect, there's just no way it could have been formed by chance. It'll be great to watch him progress through the same stages that Noah done for the past several years, and if he turns out even half as sweet as Noah is now, what a blessing that will be.
Oh, and while I was there, I got to see the prototype for a new Despair Inc. catalog that'll be blanketing the nation soon. I'll make note in a post when it actually comes out.
So after the first decent night of sleep in a long time, I bade my sister and Noah farewell and headed out to the festival. Not much else to say about the trip, except that I got to try Rudy's BBQ on the way home--great stuff. I don't know why the one in Lewisville didn't last, but I hope it comes back to the Metroplex soon.
One more week of frenzied activity, then chill time sets in about 2:00 on Saturday.