Rock on!!

Back to school today, but at least we didn’t start out with PT since it was Tuesday. The first 2 hours this morning were spent in our small groups. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the instrumentation/who’s in my group, so I will now. We have what we’re calling a modified Woodwind Quintet. We’ve got SSG Jason Gilmore on Flute, SGT Chad Martin on Clarinet/Oboe, SSG Marci Nemtzow on Bassoon/Contra-Bassoon, me on trombone, and SGT Jeff Dudzienski on Marimba. We rehearsed 4 of the 5 songs from the group – Chad’s not quite done with his yet (they’re our MIDI projects). My song is Fun, Fun, Fun by the Beach Boys, Jason’s is Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Marci’s is the Theme from All in the Family, Dude’s (that’s what we call Dudzienski) is Harbor Lights by Bruce Hornsby, and Chad is doing the theme from Motel 6. All the pieces are pretty neat, and it’s fun having such a wide variety of music.

The rest of the morning was spent with Rock Reports. I was about 4th or 5th to go – I did mine on The Beach Boys. My closer got a good laugh out of the class – “Let me end by saying Wouldn’t it Be Nice if California Girls Barbara Ann and Rhonda could help you Get Around in your Little Deuce Coup or 409 while having Fun, Fun, Fun Catching a Wave and Surfin’ with your Surfer Girl or feeling the Good Vibrations while you Dance, Dance, Dance in Kokomo? And just remember, next time you go Surfin’ USA, Be True to your School!” That was my bit of creativity, and if you know anything about the Beach Boys, you’ll get this. The rest of my presentation went well also, I think. I’m happy to have it over with and now all I have left is my MIDI project, final audition, and the STX.

After lunch was our practice hour and then STX Prep for the rest of the afternoon. For about the first 45 minutes, I worked on my PT plan and my classes and then the Brass Quintet went and rehearsed for the rest of the afternoon. We just sight read through a bunch of stuff – had a very productive rehearsal I feel. Some of the guys don’t really want to be in the group, but because of instruments needed/available, they have to be in it. I, on the other hand, want to be in there. I love playing in BQ.

Once we were done for the day, I came home and changed and then went for a run with Dan and Jason. We just went 2 miles on the track, but it was a really good run. I ran the 2 miles in 17:04 and I felt great afterwards. Of course, when I got back to my room, I took a nice long hot shower and then called my guys. Robbie talked a lot tonight – he got to hold the phone while Ryan was changing his diaper before bed. It was really nice talking to him, and I think it cheered both of them up a little after a long day back to work/school.

It’s getting late and Sasha Cohen is next up to skate (women’s short program for the figure skating competition), and after she’s done I need to get to bed. Talk to ou tomorrow.

Overnight low: 34
Today’s high: 45

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A Fun Weekend Away!!

We had a 4-day weekend, so on Friday morning after a stop at the Post Office, I headed north to Madison, VA, to my friend Robin’s. She and her husband Bruce have a beautiful home near the mountains, and it was soooooooooo quiet and peaceful out in the middle of nowhere. Friday afternoon I stopped by Robin’s school and let her 3 students (special ed) meet a real live soldier. I talked to them for a little bit and they got to try on my equipment (flak vest, load carrying vest, and kevlar helmet). They thought it was neat getting to meet a real “Army person”. When we got home from school, I got to meet Bruce for the first time, and he is a true gentleman. He helped me carry my stuff in from the car (I didn’t really have *that* much), and then he cooked supper for us (Robin doesn’t cook, and Bruce does a great job). We had chicken and rice and asparagas. It was really good, and I got the “recipe” for the rice from him to try on Ryan. After supper, Robin and I stitched and all 3 of us watched TV.

Saturday after breakfast, Robin and I headed out to her cross stitch shop in Stephens City, about 90 minutes away. She had some projects that needed to be framed and others that were ready to be picked up. I stitched in the car on the way there, shopped a little (bought a couple of kitty charts), and then we went to lunch at a neat little restaurant. I had the appetizer sampler – chicken tenders, jalepeno poppers (YUM!!), mozzarella sticks (not the best I’ve had), and tater skins. It was a LOT of food. Then I stitched all the way back to their house. We hadn’t been home for maybe an hour or so, and we left again to go “downtown” Madison (Madison is very tiny, maybe bigger than Rock but smaller than Gwinn) to a little pizza place for supper. They had other stuff besides pizza, and I just had a chef salad cuz I was still kind of full from lunch. After supper I was really full. Then we spent the evening doing more stitching (well, at least Robin and I did). I got 6 1/2 hours done Saturday.

Sunday was more of the same – breakfast, stitching for a while, lunch that Bruce made (well, he heated up from stuff he had gotten at the store on Saturday) – pork BBQ sandwiches, leftover rice, and cajun crab dip. In the afternoon we went for a walk around their property. If I remember correctly, they have 10 acres. They have a pond (man made), and it’s stocked with fish. Bruce fishes in the summer. Jazz had fun with me – we raced up hills and across the yard. Jazz is their chocolate lab. And she didn’t bother my allergies at all! It was a beautiful day, and was wonderful smelling the cool, crisp, clean mountain air! After supper (leftovers from the weekend – I had another pork BBQ sandwich cuz the one at lunch was so good), we settled in for yet more stitching and Olympics. I got 7 1/2 hours in on Sunday.

This morning Bruce made scrambled eggs for breakfast and they were good. We had sticky rolls along with them (same thing as the previous 2 mornings, but minus the eggs). Then I got my stuff together and said my goodbyes to the three of them and headed back south to Norfolk. It was a wonderful weekend with wonderful hosts! My drive back was uneventful and I got back early afternoon. I got my laundry done and went up to the school house to print out my paper (which I’ll have to reprint tomorrow after some corrections had to be made after I had a friend proof it) and finish up my Power Point presentation. For supper, I went to Sonic with a friend. The main reason I wanted to go there was because I wanted a Sweetheart Brownie Blast after seeing it advertised all weekend. Well, they were out of brownies so I didn’t get one, but my food was still good. Once I got home, I spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympics and stitching. I’m really glad the U.S. got silver in the Ice Dancing. Of course, gold would have been better, but anything is good after 30 years of nothing!