Saturday, May 31, 2003

Candles, Caps and Gowns

Happy birthday Jonathan! Welcome to adulthood...

Also happy graduation to all the GISD people in my studio: Zack P., Zach V., Brandon, Michael, and Will. Whether I've worked with you for many years or just a few, it's been great watching you grow musically and personally, and I hope that, no matter where your next path takes you, music will continue to be a part of your life.

Friday, May 30, 2003

2BC, Or Not 2BC

OK, let me explain the 2BC: It's another one of those goofy contests that only guys would do, along the lines of Basketbottle but requiring a completely different type of physical skill. You know, of course, of the collective affinity for Chipotle among my crowd. Well, one night after big band, a friend comes with us and tells us how he once ate two burritos in one sitting! Well, that made people think--always a dangerous thing--and the idea for the Two-Burrito Challenge (2BC) was hatched. We didn't impose a time limit (but found out today that the original guy inhaled his two in 20 minutes *shudder*) but the idea was to finish without getting sick.

So we actually had 8 people show up, but few participants, when it came down to it. Most of us just had our normal burrito lunch and didn't even go back for the second one. Lee and Matt and Pat and myself were pretty much operating under the same idea: too much food, not enough money. (In fact, Stephen S., the original guy, didn't eat even one because he was broke!) However, Steven D. (Dingus 2) actually successfully completed the quest. Even Zack, who'd been anticipating this for weeks, didn't quite finish the second one (he made it about 2/3 of the way). His dad was in town for graduation and really liked the place...nothing like that in Pennsylvania, evidently. But the good thing was, nobody got sick, we had the longest burrito hang in history (3 hours) and I'm sure there'll be a "rematch" sometime.

(UPDATE: As the 2BC has evolved, we did in fact add a one-hour time limit to the proceedings; the longest anyone has taken so far is 45 minutes, and the speed record is now 13 minutes. Oddly enough, both of these records were set on the same night.)

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Freedom, and an Upcoming Challenge

As of yesterday, the school year is over. Yay! I hope not to see 6:00 a.m. again anytime soon, unless I'm up from the night before. :-) Not much of a break, really, as I start summer teaching on Monday, but it beats being poor (always my summer goal to not do that).

Happy belated graduation (last night) to the Plano people (15th Street Jazz, et al.). Must've been weird having that at Reunion Arena, but with around 1200 people in a class, the choices are limited.

The 2BC is tomorrow! I'll tell all afterwards..

Tuesday, May 27, 2003


Finally....on the fourth try, I can now say I've coached a quartet that got a first division at state. :-) There was really no doubt; the judge had nearly all nice things to say, including the first things out of his mouth (always a good sign). They did a great job and hard work was rewarded. (And it's not like it was an easy judge, either; he only awarded four 1's all day...still a lot compared to this other sax room, which was a total bloodbath: only one 1 all day and mostly 3's. Bet he doesn't get asked back....) And on the way home, we got to experience the Trifecta (Chipotle, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks) in Round Rock. A quite successful weekend, all in all.

And now, just one more day of teaching for the semester ('course the summer will start up on Monday for me, heh heh). Still, I'm looking forward to kicking back a bit. I'll probably write more on this thing too, so get ready for a screenful...

Sunday, May 25, 2003

What Kind of Material Do You Give People for Being Married Seven Years?

Happy Anniversary to Kristen and Justin!!

It's been a loooong week, not any time to get on this site...I'll resume things on Tuesday. For now it's a trip to Austin, taking the RHS quartet to state, seeing if we can come up with that elusive first division. Everyone have a safe holiday.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Art for Kev's Sake?

Nice to have a quiet, lazy day for once. Didn't do much of anything but catch up on the last 2 weeks of taped TV shows...also the first time in two days not to see the Matrix, and the first time in three days not to go to Chipotle. I guess man cannot live by burritos alone...

OK, so about the art project thing: It turns out that, someone was taking pictures on Friday night of the Jazz Festival, though I had no idea she was there (I was too busy playing "Stella by Starlight" with the rhythm section playing in the wrong key...but that's a story for later). Then she took one of the photos (nice black and white pix of the kind used by performers for 'publicity stills' and did the silk-screen thing with it, so that my image ended up as the white highlights on a black background. She comes into big band rehearsal the other night, and Kris goes over to her and takes out this picture and says "does anyone recognize this?" and I look at in and realize: holy crap, that's ME! She took pics of a bunch of different players that night, but mine turned out so well that she wanted to use it for her portfolio. I had to sign a 'model release' and everything (haha right, me a model!) but I got a copy of the publicity shots (which I can use in that manner if the need arises) and the silkscreen thing too, which will be part of the new frontpage when I redesign my website sometime over the summer. (The site is somewhat vanilla right now, but if you wanna see it you can click here.) Once I get this thing scanned, maybe I'll have a link to it before it goes on the page, cuz it really is pretty cool even if it's a picture of me. :-)

Oh yeah...Go Mavs!!

Thursday, May 15, 2003


The new Matrix movie rules! I'll tell more later (as if anyone won't have seen it by then, haha) and explain that thing about the art project too. This week's just been too busy. College may be out, but "nature abhors a vacuum" I guess. Oh yeah, and happy birthday Matt B.!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

A Work of...Kev?

Now this is weird...unbeknownst to me, during the last month or so, someone at the college was spending class time turning me into a work of art. I'll explain more later...

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Who Says Jazz Is Dead? Not While This Guy's Around...

I saw Kurt Elling perform live tonight, with the TI Band up at school. Wow, what a talent! He basically has the whole package: Scatting, making up lyrics to famous instrumental solos, microphone tricks, cool sounds, stage presence, the whole visual thing. He did over an hour with no intermission and it didn't seem long at all.

The male jazz singer is becoming quite a rare commodity these days; all the old greats (Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Sinatra, etc.) are gone, and there haven't been too many to fill the void. In the past decade, two guys have stepped up to the plate in a big way: Kevin Mahogany and Kurt Elling. And now, both of them have graced the stage of the John Anthony Theatre. I got to share that stage with Mahogany in '97, and man, it would've been great to be up there tonight (the lead alto of TI even asked me after the concert if I was secretly hoping someone would get sick at the last minute so I could fill in like I did last year). I had never gotten to see Kurt live before, and I was appropriately thrilled; he's taking the music to some really exciting places. Anyone who says jazz is dead should have been in that theatre tonight, as it was very, very much alive.

Friday, May 09, 2003

A Basketbottle Primer

OK, so here's the deal with Basketbottle: You know how guys always turn anything into a competition, right? Well, ever since I can remember, I've consumed either a bottle of water or some Powerade while teaching combo class. Then I usually go and fling it across the room and totally miss the little wastebasket in the corner. So this semester, my buddy Steven (a.k.a. Dingus 2) challenges me, saying if I ever actually make the shot, he'll reward me with the local "wampum"--a Chipotle burrito. Eventually the challenge becomes mutual, and Basketbottle is born.

So we both miss, from various distances, and it looks like there may never be a winner in this ridiculous game all semester...until yesterday, the very last day, right before semester's end. Our good friend Lee is there and is in on the competition too. I have a bottle of that new Tropical Remix Sprite (good stuff, incidentally), and I rare back ..and sink it! Woo hoo! Steven soon follows suit, and all of a sudden it's, uhh....what do we do now? We had never provided for two people making it. (Lee put up a valiant effort and came Really Dang Close but didn't make the finals this time--so he doesn't owe anyone a burrito either.) So we do "sudden death" kinda like college football...the next time someone makes it, the other one has to follow suit, or he loses. After several more misses, I drain another one...and Steven just barely misses. Yay! I win!

And the really funny thing is..Steven gets frustrated and takes several "practice shots" once the competition is done...finally gives up, says "ehh, screw it" and just chucks the bottle to actually throw it away....and nails it, just a little too late.

So now that we know it can actually be done...I'm sure I'll be defending my championship into the summer and beyond...

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Victory Is Mine

I finally won at Basketbottle today. :-) Confused? I'll explain a bit later...

And now, the college semester is basically over...still need to do grades, but that won't take long. Oh yeah, and I got to see 15th Street Jazz open up for their HS big band tonight...finally made one of their school concerts, the last one before they graduate. They were always the same night as one of my gigs...even blew off a possible dinner with my parents to go. It's really great to see just how far a student can go when they take what you give them and run with it...and when music becomes a part of their very being. And it's awesome for them to have put together a combo on their own while in HS, and gig for I tell them often, they still don't totally know how cool this is.

One more day to go before some sleep....and six days till the Matrix!

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Back to So-Called Normal

Been a while since I could post to this thing...another loooong weekend. Saw "X2" on Friday night--way cooler than the original--then got about 2 hours sleep before a visit to the chapter at TCU on Saturday morning (their event was at 7 a.m.) and spent the rest of the day resting up for the concert...which did go quite well. Even though there were four groups and it broke the two-hour barrier again, it didn't seem as long as the one last semester. All the groups played well, so we were happy.

And now it's just a matter of winding down the college semester so that the last few weeks of teaching will be basically half-days. It's always nice to have that little break at the end of the year. I still have one exam to give, tomorrow night, but it's improv so it'll be easy to give and quick to grade.

And I tell ya what, after an April of band trips, UIL, and TAKS, it's sure nice to get back to a month that can almost be called normal...if I can even remember what normal is. Oh yeah, and nice to be collecting money again too... :-)

Thursday, May 01, 2003

A Slow Week

It's been kind of a slow week at school, what with the TAKS test going on. I've only been able to teach about 4 lessons a day, instead of the usual 12-15...but at least it's better than during the snow week in February (and much better weather). It almost feels wrong to take a nap during mid-day, but no complaints here. I'm just trying to catch up on R&R, after my whirlwind weekend to Waco and Nacogdoches, and trying not to think about all the lost lesson income.
Oh yeah, and the college semester is winding down, but three concerts this week (one down, two to go). The big one is Saturday night, and I sent emails to nearly 80 (!) people about it, so chances are if you're in the area, you already know. Come fill the place!