Sunday, August 30, 2009

The End, The Beginning, And The Next Chapter...

Today was a great day. The chapter in my life dedicated to obtaining my under-grad is now closing and I find myself eager to move on to the next. Finishing (and more importantly, passing!!!) a final test for credit course was what made the day exciting. I can't wait to receive my degree and have it hanging there on the nice, finely wrapped receipt for a job well done!! Woo-hoo!!!

The school term will find me playing lead with our big band and that's about it. I'm not quite sure what to expect from the performing aspect of it, but do know where I'm comfortable and that place is center spot in the big band! I'm pretty sure that the semester will find me performing on some student recitals as well as a few duets and combo settings. Should be a good time, and this year is definitely dedicated to making quite a bit of progress in arranging and writing.

All is quiet on this Sunday night and the condo-community is settled in for some sleep before starting another week. School tomorrow, but not for me...I'm going to try and not sleep in, but I may just treat myself to an extra hour or two for all the hard work this summer and the last five years...

Sweet dreams...Ciao!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gigs and Pictures...

As I walk through my new apartment the atmosphere is transformed into something resembling home...for a while anyways...

The hanging of pictures, and the like, really does make a difference to the way a place feels. The new apartment, now moving towards the end of my first month here seems more and more like home. With less to organize than when I first started, the process of unpacking is shortly coming to a close. I feel like I'm settling in and that this place is going to feel nice and cozy before too long.

The gig yesterday afternoon was great. With a large audience of students, their families, and the faculty in attendance, the brief shuffling of notes and air was well received. I was glad to get back into performance mode and it is pretty safe to say that, even with this dreadful cast on my arm, it sounded nice and they all enjoyed the show. Kudos to my fellow musicians for coming in and reading down the gig, bravo!

The weekend has been spent, thus far, hanging pictures and fiddling with the newly moved TV and DVR/HDMI options on our cable box...receiver...thing. For not having a TV for the last year or so it's been a change to have one in the house. I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of it but I think it's safe to say that my roommate will.

All for now as I hear my soft bed and covers calling out to me....


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lips Slurs and Technology...

With another Wednesday fading into the distance I take a brief moment to pause and reflect...

School begins next Monday for the fall trimester and, alas, I am committed to a life of "fruitful" exile amongst the working class. Graduating college and moving forward is going to be interesting to say the least. I am excited to still be a part of the big band and help keep the jazz movement progressing forward at my Alma mater. The best part is never having to go back again!!! (At least for a year...then it's off to grad school...woo-hoo!!!)

The day was filled with computer and network updates. Working in our club's tech-lab is proving to be a bit more sterile than I had anticipated. I'm not sure that the technology side of life is something that I'd want to do forever. It is good to know that I'm working to help ensure a better after school education for the community youth. They do love their Internet and games after school. (Ungrateful little yuppie larvae...ha ha ha...just kidding...)

So, the freshman convocation gig is this Friday and the lip slurs have really paid off. Another extended round of long tones this evening felt great! I love getting my chops worked up for a gig. Makes them feel very relaxed and ready for a great afternoon of playing and performing to show just what our music department has to offer. That and the fact that I'll now be performing as an alumnus of the college! Sweet!!!

All for now as I hear the soft pillows and warm bedding calling my name gently in the breeze...


Monday, August 24, 2009

Rainy Afternoons...

The rain today came from out of nowhere and was extremely voracious! (Not quite sure I used that last word correctly...???) Any who, it was quite a change from the sunshine and blue skies we've been seeing for the past week. Needless to say it will probably get a bit chilly this evening and I'll have to close the window around 3am....blasted weather patters...ha ha ha.

The cast has already been on for over a week and time is racing by. Though, on this chilly evening, for this broken right arm, time has slowed to a crawl. There has been a bit of aching and frustration during my practice time as slow and steady are the steps that make up the road to recovery. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming..."

On a more musical note (ha...ha...ha) - playing long tones these last couple of days have proven to be extremely therapeutic. I've always enjoyed playing them for warm ups/downs, but in my time of physical duress the long and slow buzzing has really relaxed my arm and my mind. I get lost in the internal resonating and feel humbled, taken away from the mundane stress of my day. If feels great and I'm definitely going to allow more time for long tones in my practice regiment.

I hope that the day was great for everyone and that the week has started off with music, love and laughter!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

The In's and Out's of Nesting...?

Boxes of books, boxes of music, boxes of....well boxes! Today was the day for moving into the new apartment. With the afternoon spent meandering through the seemingly endless piles of stuff I now find myself taking a break from arranging and situating my "things" to resemble, hopefully, some logical order.

I'm definitely not going to blog about the necessity of "stuff" or the needlessness of it all. I think that I'm reaching an equilibrium with my accoutrement, and, after thinning some of it out, the world feels less cluttered. Needless to say there were some odds and ends that I simply don't need any longer...bye bye!

The weekend has been excellent so far and the coming week should fair well under easy going conditions. I practiced for about an hour yesterday and it was a bit of a chore with this cast mucking up the process. I'm going to head to head with this thing! Hopefully the run of buzzing and warm ups today won't leave me as sore as yesterday did.

Here's to a bright and sunny Sunday and I hope everyone is enjoying their weekends!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spinney Rooms And Long Tones...

The last day and a half have been the most trying with the cast on my arm. Yesterday was the first time it felt like the cast was weighing my arm down to the floor. Keeping it elevated has been the best piece of advice so far. It really relieves the stress and helps with the "end of the day" soreness that has been creeping in around the break point and my upper forearm. Needless to say Tylenol has been a lifesaver as I'm not too keen on medicating with the percocet that the doc prescribed. So far I've only taken two of the prescription pills. Each time the effects are strange, spinney, woozy, sleepy...and I never really like feeling that way. So, I guess I'll stick with the Tylenol endure some of the throbbing.

Practicing has been a little slower than I would have liked but, as the trumpet is such a visceral instrument, I'm having to remember to take baby steps when trying to finger through some of the faster technical studies. Jazz is my love and I'm already chomping at the bit to get back on the horse...for lack of better cliche

Anyways, just buzzing tonight and going to work through some long tone studies. Always a relaxing process are long tones and, with the upcoming gig next week, it will prove a great resistance measure taken.

The first run today down the highway was a unique experience as well. Running with this cast makes my arm tingle. It feels weird and I can only assume it's the increased blood flow that is causing the arm to feel that way. After a while I became used to it, but let me say that it feels very strange and other worldly.

The music is coming and I'm hopeful that the gig next week will be bright and successful. Until next time...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My World With A Pink Cast...

The world, one-handed, is one with which I am quickly becoming acquainted. Yesterday I visited a very highly renowned orthopedist who applied a cast to my arm and told me that things are going to heal up as they should. The cast is bright neon pink! (Hell ya!) Needless to say it was a great relief when I was able to move at the elbow once again. That splint was on for five days and it was a real downer to not pivot at the elbow. My upper arm is a bit sore, but another added bonus of the short arm cast is that my fingers are free to move.

Practice room here I come!

Thankfully I'm getting through the healing process relatively unscathed and surgery has pretty much been eliminated as an option. (Thank goodness!) So, with an upcoming gig on the 28th, the practicing issue will be fun no doubt.

Wish mew luck and hope for the best. More to come...


Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Bit Of News...

So this bit of news comes directly from the ER. As of Wednesday evening I now have a broken radius of the right arm.

Homo say what?!?!

Yes...unfortunately my decision to switch up my cardio for that day resulted in a nice little bicycle crash on beautiful 3rd avenue. The ensuing injury has left me listing in the wind with the use of only one hand. Though I'll be the first to admit that things could be a lot worse. I'm truly grateful that it is only a minor break and that I'm not in a hospital bed somewhere resembling a modern day mummy...

Sooooo....I guess I'll be posting with one hand for a while. The time spent typing with one hand is already creating a resentment against the layout of a standard keyboard...damn you years of practice with two equal appendages!!! lol

In unrelated injury news...

The gig at the winery last weekend, prior to the now infamous "crash", was a blast! Jack, the regular pianist for my quartet, and I played a three hour gig in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable. The weather was calm and warm. It invited the music to waft among the tall cotton trees and flow into the hearts of the people in attendance. The jazz standards were paired nicely with with the crowd's consumption of Blanco Rojo and Malvasia Bianca while fruit and various cheeses added great support to the structure and the people had a wonderful time. Needless to say we had a wonderful time as well.

Orthopedic appointment to come on Monday afternoon. Keep at least one set of fingers crossed that surgery won't be necessary. Hoping for a standard cast and healing process here.

Until tomorrow...


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Longing For Summers Gone By...

The concept of time as a fluid thing is beyond me....

I can't believe that July is gone and the calendar says it's August. The first week literally flew by! (I know because I waived at it as it passed...) Summer is leaning into the end month(s) and it's hard to imagine that fall is on it's way. (No...say it isn't so!) I feel kind of lost during the summer as I've let so many pass by me, not taking the opportunity to let go and do something fun. I've always worked or gone to school during the summer. Maybe its because of where I grew up geographically, or maybe its because I never seized the moment to do something during the summer. I'm not really sure why there has to be an "off season", but I don't think I've ever taken one of those.

Being a musician, and among a group that really doesn't understand what taking an extended break really means, we find ourselves cooped up in a practice room, or working to pay the bills year round, or gigging (which in all practices is the only break we truly get, performing for an audience...definitely the most fun!). I guess if I had to take the last 10 years of summers, I would definitely do things differently. Maybe not the life thing, but try and toss in a few trips to the coast, or camping more, or tanning even...ha ha ha.

Anyways, the month of August is holding some golden opportunities for gigs and performances and I'm ready to make some more music with my friends.

To all the musicians out there: Take a break, even a short one, and step outside the practice room for a while. It's worth me!