Sunday, March 07, 2004

Commence Relaxation

(ADVISORY: An almost, but not quite, Dingus-sized post ahead)

The first of my two partial spring breaks started Friday, and now it finally feels like I'm on vacation. I'll catch things up here since my Friday morning car mishap:

Friday night was the time to put the finishing touches on Halfling's UNT audition (granted, we also tinkered ever-so-slightly with his jazz tune from the night before, and worked a bit on what we had guessed might be on the "mad aural skillz" exam that would happen an hour after the audition). Finally, it was time for the big run-through: all five movements of Tableux back-to-back. It went well, and we were both spent when it was done. It was time for a diversion now.

After a quick bite at Whataburger, we headed out to (where else?) Bowl-A-Rama, where we were joined by Demon Matt, Fizban, Matt's girlfriend Kristen and their friend Alicia. We did two games, and they came out pretty normal. Halfling found his groove near the end and came in second, beating Fizban by one pin.

The group dispersed a bit after eleven, leaving Fizban, Demon Matt and myself to continue on. The evening had been fairly free of scary/annoying people (though one Amazon-ish woman on the next lane was more than a bit unnerving to Fizban), but then a family of eight took over the next lane, and again there were etiquette issues (mother taking five minutes to teach daughter to bowl, on my turn of course; one guy who just barged up there to bowl even if you were getting ready to go). I dealt with it this time by popping a clave pattern on one of the ball holes. Demon Matt dubbed this the clave of peace, because it calmed me down enough to keep from going off on someone about their selfishness on the lanes. By the end of the fourth game, I lost my spare completely and lost the game to Fizban by three pins.

This morning dawned way too early, as I left a little after 8:15 for Denton and Halfling's audition (he and his dad had to be there at 7:30...eww). When I got there, they were chillin' in the Union, having been through the first round of meetings. The food court wasn't open yet (it would turn out not to be open on Saturday at all), so we hoofed it across campus a bit to find a place I used to go to once upon a time called the Kharma Cafe. I wasn't sure if it was still in business...even when we walked up to it (the windows are tinted quite dark). I tried the door and it worked, so we chilled there for a while. Finally, it was time for a lovely walk across campus (thank goodness for nice weather) so Halfling could get his horn and warm up a bit. After a quick pep-talk, I went to hang with my Sinfonia brothers, who were serving as guides for the day.

So Halfling actually ended up going about 15 minutes earlier than scheduled, and they only made him play three of the five movements. By the time I got there to listen outside the door, he was on the sight-reading portion, which evidently was somewhat weird (it ended on a Bbb). But he was happy, and relieved, and now all that's left is the three-week wait. After more chill time in the Union, all that was left was the "aural skillz" test, for which it turns out we had waaay overprepared. All they did was play a musical example and play it again, and you had to tell whether or not the second time was different, and if so, how (melodically, rhythmically or harmonically). To cap the morning off, Halfling's dad treated us to Chipotle on our way out of Denton...always a good way to end something like that.

After a chillular afternoon, I went to hear the Lakeview jazz concert, which featured a return engagement from Adam Rapa, the amazing trumpet soloist from "Blast!" He made a comment about how much the program had improved in a year, but what I noticed was how much he had improved in a year. He was already amazing last time, but his improv has matured a lot, so that he's not just exploiting his amazing high chops anymore, but also coming up with some really nice lines. He got to duel with Micah on "Fox Hunt," which was a lot of fun. Micah held his own, too (he had been concerned about that beforehand, since Adam is 23 and has done all this amazing stuff, and Micah is 20...but a lot of us think that in three years, Micah could be just like Adam).

But Adam was right--the band did sound a lot better than last time. (UPDATE: Dingus, being in the band, has a much harsher assessment in his own post). The block setup gave it more depth, and, though there were plenty of mistakes, it was an improvement. The biggest problems to me were the rhythm section issues--way too many mistakes from the drums, and the piano was virtually nonexistent. They need (and are getting--next year) a new sound system too; it was especially a problem on Halfling's "SNL" solo on The Chicken. He did a fine job but was cranked way too loud; he probably could have played everything a dynamic level lower, but there had been no soundcheck and there was no monitor, so he had no way of hearing himself. Still, I'm glad he got to do it, even if he had no chance to relax afterwards, as Angie's prom was beckoning. Talk about long days...

The concert ended on a fun note, as Adam, Fizban and Dingus did an acapella reprise of The Chicken (Chicken Bones, you could say). It nearly wore Fizban out playing six choruses of bass line on bass bone, but it was cool. Afterwards, we (Fizban, Dingus, Dingus's GF Cassi and some others) hung with Micah at Chili's for a while and Whataburgered in the parking lot (yes, we could see Whataburger across the street) until 12:45. And now for some sleep...

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