For the first time in recent memory, I didn't have anything scheduled after church today. It was really nice to have a chillular afternoon around here for once; while I'm not likely to be completely caught up with things by day's end, at least I'll be plugged into the recharger a bit before I drive to San Antonio for TMEA on Wednesday night.
Yesterday was a "bond with the band" session at the college, as we had our second bi-annual big band "retreat" (thankfully, no camping was involved, as it was 29 degrees outside when I woke up). Basically what we do is rehearse a few hours, then go over to Main Event for pizza and pool and come back and rehearse a little more. It gives our once-a-week band a few extra "weeks" on the schedule and also helps the band members get to know each other better, much like I did with my hangs at the Tomato when I directed a lab band at UNT.
When that was over, I went to North Garland to check on the results from Solo & Ensemble. Generally speaking, most things turned out like they were supposed to (though I heard that the rooms for some other instruments were somewhat of a bloodbath at times). Halfling got a first division (even if he said he would have been harder on himself), as did Fizban, Dingus and the Rowlett quartet, so I'll be taking my fifth consecutive trip to State at the end of the year. Most of the rest of the Kevosphere also got first divisions, so it was a good day once again.
And now starts my favorite teaching time of the year: the time between Solo & Ensemble and tryouts for next year, where I can pretty much teach whatever everyone wants to learn (which often ends up being jazz...imagine that). That's right, instead of teaching contests, I can teach music. What a concept.
Jumpin' for java joy, part 1: Even though there's still a little time until Firewheel Town Center is built, there will soon be a slightly closer Starbucks to me in Garland. I found out today that it's going in somewhere among the new stuff being built in the parking lot of Super Target. That's not as close as Firewheel will be, but closer than the one in Rowlett or in my old neighborhood.
Jumpin' for java joy, part 2: My perseverance paid off; even though I had been stuck staying out by the airport for TMEA this year, I kept on going back to various websites every day or two, just in case. Sure enough, my efforts were rewarded; I'll now once again be at the Red Roof Inn downtown, within walking distance of everything. Yay! No rush hour to deal with, no parking fees...and my Starbucks breakfasts with Fizban are intact. They just better not try and put me in a smoking room again (a story for later).
One more Starbucks story: I did a coffee hang with Demon Matt and Coop last night, and I heard a funny story: Evidently, that Starbucks was taking names with everyone's orders last week, and Coop, who's a huge Homestar Runner fan, used that as his name. However, the guy behind the counter (and several customers) thought he said "Humpstar Runner." That was really funny, since it sounds like a porn-star name, and Coop is pretty much the polar opposite of that. And hopefully the cartoon-porn guy from Halfling/Fizban/Dingus/Frobird's webmastering class won't hear that name and get funny ideas...