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Monday, October 24, 2011

Fantabuliffiper Blog

Alright, so after the week from hell I feel like I should update this thing. It really has been a week from hell. I had a history quiz, music history exam, french assignments out the ass, a music composition, a theory assignment worth 10% of our grade, and an electronics studio project...all which were due last week. If I was taking 12 credit hours and doing absolutely nothing else, I would have felt like I had enough time....but after aligning all of these out, which were of equal priority, I realized I probably needed to have about eight more hours added on to my week to get it all done. So unfortunately, some of them got done late but thankfully my professors accepted them without penalty.

Because I promised him and I'm sure he's currently waiting so anxiously...... Good way to start the morning, I suppose.

So let's talk about sports for a minute.

The Colts.....

Last night they were MURDERED by the New Orleans saints. Didn't even bother checking the final score, but I believe it was 62-7. Most unfortunate was that even though I feel like Sean Payton could have pulled his starters two touchdowns sooner, their backups were even able to make noise against the boys in blue. Ugly ugly game....hopefully never witnessed again. I don't think the Colts had ever been beaten that bad during the Manning ERA, but they aren't technically in that ERA right now I suppose.

Hopefully when he does finally retire, Manning will be replaced with....

Seems to be the trendy pick, and right now I'd imagine the Colts are dead last in just about every category except field goal percentage. Thank God for Adam Vinateri.

On a more positive side, the Cardinals of Louisville (Not to be confused with that filfthy barrage of stick-swingers from the dirty city of the arch) ended up winning against a top ten defense (Rutgers) in probably the oddest game of the season. It started with two early picks from the Rutgers QB, along with two missed field goals from one of the best field goal kickers in the league. And of course, through in a few Philpott blunders....yeah, very odd

The worst thing was when Anthony Conner went down. It was also announced by Strong that he had broken his neck, and even though he is lucky to have not been paralyzed he probably has a pretty lengthy road to recovery and will never expect to play football as a career again. Very sad for him. In case you missed it, here is the video from the accident.....

Ouch. Props to Rutgers for being so classy, but they also had the same thing happen to one of their players last year....only he wasn't able to walk again. You never want to see this happen.

Thanks for giving us four solid years, Anthony.

The world series is now tied 2-2 after the Rangers took down the Cardinals in Houston last night. I'm really pulling for the rangers to win this year....but of course that comes from being a big Cubs fan and not wanting to hear from every single St. Louis fan on the planet talking about how great the Cardinals are. Just once, I'd love for us to OWN them so we can feel the bragging rights. It may happen soon enough....but probably not with Quade at the helm.

Can't say I can argue with that.

Halloween is coming up and I've been furiously trying to find jean overalls that wouldn't cost me a fortunate, but it seems they are all out. I'm trying to go as Super Mario, and my friend is gonna go as Luigi. I think we're just gonna do a jeans and suspenders getup, which is a bit odd if you ask me, but it will work.

Speaking of Halloween, Erin kept asking everyone if they knew what a yip-yip alien was...from sesame street. She wants to be one of these for halloween. Not knowing what it was, I decided to research...and this is what I found.

I'm curious to see how that's gonna work, exactly. More power to her if she pulls that off.

In the world of music, I'd like to give special shout outs to Daniel Weeks (Tenor, University of Louisville) and Carrie Ravenscraft (Clarinet, Indiana University Southeast) for giving two absolutely amazing recitals and for giving me the opportunity at two concert credits in one weekend. :) Three down, two to go.....

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

Out of the current context, the picture of that kitten is adorable.

So as of yesterday, there are only two more weeks left before the big premiere of 'Fantasy on an American Folk Hymn' I've been getting quite a lot of attention over it lately, but its not like some of that I didn't push for. But as an artist, you learn very quickly that you have to be good at self-promoting if you want to survive in the industry. So the e-mails, facebook page, posters, etc that I've been aggressively putting out there will hopefully pay off because it sounds like we'll have quite a lot of people there!

I am still pretty nervous about how the audience will receive the music. Only now am I starting to wish there were certain things in the music I had changed. Must be the composer in me to always want it to be perfect.

Well, anyway...that about does it for today. Don't forget to check out "The World Famous Mokracy Blog" for more laughs and interesting discussions.

Peace out.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three Things You Should Never Discuss With People: Religion, Politics, and the Great Pumpkin

I rarely start these things off politically, but I want to start off with my irritation over the use of the word "unconstitutional" I believe that word has lost all value and is now used as nothing more than a political war tactic to play on the fragile and cowardly minds of the American public. In layman's terms, it makes people think "oh crap! We can't go against the constitution!" In reality, how many people actually know what is written in the constitution verbatim?

This debate started when someone accused the fact that we are now requiring drug tests for welfare applicants as being unconstitutional because it violates the 4th amendment. I guess I don't know enough about political science to understand the details, but doesn't the 4th amendment state that you can't perform search and seizure without reasonable cause? HELLO. The government is giving out free money!!! Isn't it reasonable cause to ensure that the money is actually going to the right place? You have to get a drug test when you apply for most jobs. I don't see how this is any different.

The worst part about this debate was that the guy chose to use the American Civil Liberties Union as a legitimate source. You remember them? The ones that defended Westboro church for protesting the funerals. Trying to stop them is 'unconstitutional'.

I found the above cartoon especially interesting because we just talked about this in my history class. It's 'unconstitutional' to force someone to stand for the pledge. Then I guess I have the right to say 'If you aren't going to stand for the pledge, GET THE HELL OUTTA THIS COUNTRY!'

Anyway, that's my political rant for the day. Just for fun, here's a clip of Michele Bachmann attacking Hermain Cain for his 9-9-9 plan.

President Michele Bachmann. Now THAT's something we can all laugh about.

I got my history test back yesterday. You remember? The one I studied EIGHT HOURS for? And to my surprise, I got an 81%. I was pretty disappointed with that because I could have sworn I did a whole lot better. The worst part was that it was the multiple choice that killed me. I actually did pretty good on the essay question....25/30. And her essay questions are RIDICULOUS. I wouldn't be so upset about a B- if I hadn't studied so much. I mean, I didn't think the test was any harder than I expected it to be...and I don't think the knowledge of what her tests are like will help me on the 2nd I'm not even sure if its POSSIBLE for me to get an A on her test. Such a frustrating place to be.

I don't particularly agree with that, but it was a neat mug so I bought it anyway.

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

A colleague of mine got particularly disturbed by the rude lack of respect shown by some musicians during a rehearsal the other day. I was very glad someone actually did say something, because this has been something that has irritated me for years. Sometimes, it seems that when these musicians lose their focus they lose their right to be called an artist. Our rehearsals could be going a lot better but some people seem to lack the ability to understand the importance of playing with an ensemble, and it becomes more of a hobby for them.

I had a talk with Dr. Goldstein, the IU Southeast Orchestra director, last semester about the lack of commitment some of our orchestra or band members show to the group. When I was at UofL, we were trained to believe that missing a rehearsal was unheard of. You just DIDN'T DO IT. If you are going to commit to an ensemble, COMMIT to it and be there every rehearsal. Since college, I can honest to God say I've only missed two rehearsals, and both of them were previously arranged. It boggles my mind to think that people who chose music as a profession do not respect their directors enough to show up to rehearsal every week. That I will never understand.

I saw this statement on someone's facebook and I had to share it. It's beautifully written and exactly how I feel about forgiveness, with the except that if I forgive someone they are already back in my life - only perhaps from a different perspective. This is of course relevant to a recent event that's happened to me.

And simply because I relate to it so well......

Well that about does it for todays blog. Thanks for reading, and as always be sure to check out the "World Famous Mokracy Blog" for more entertainment!

Au revoir!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flash Blog #1

OK, so in order to keep this blog updated daily on days that I have less than an hour to create a new post I'm going to start doing something called a 'Flash Blog'. This means that there most likely won't be any pictures, rather there will be a stream of random thoughts in two or three sentences max that I will write - today in the course of 20 minutes. This will keep my blog updated, but also allow for me to make deadlines and appointments on schedule without working about a lengthy and entertaining blog entry. And who knows - a bunch of random thoughts has potential to be pretty entertaining as well.

So here goes!


1. Rumors are that Indiana has recently pledged to join the line of states who want to require drug tests for applicants of Welfare. Hmmmm, the government is handing out their money but wants to make sure people aren't blowing it on the wrong things. WHY ARE PEOPLE PROTESTING THIS??

2. The republican primaries were last night and supposedly Herman Cain took several political blows from his opponents. Clearly, they must be racists because they disagreed with him. In hindsight, I'm not quite sure why its necessary to attack members of the same team so viciously - but the republican party has been known to split on issues before.

3. I have begun the 3rd movement of my clarinet piece. It is expected to be finished by next week, however the performer, Carrie Ravenscraft, will not be able to look at it till after October 23rd as that is when her recital is.

4. I watched someone almost have a Michael Douglas 'Falling Down' moment at McDonald's the other day. They ranted and raved because their large fry wasn't filled to the top. Given the circumstances, I'm kind of surprised all that blood boiling didn't cause them to have a heart attack. Imagine what the headline would have read for THAT one.

5. Speaking of headlines.....

6. Yes....I lied about no pictures. Are you really that upset?

7. I'm still managing to get good grades on papers and homework assignments that I complete within a few hours before class. Good for my confidence, but bad for the quality of my works. If my name wasn't 'Peter' I'd have no problem giving myself a nickname and putting 'Last Minute' in front of it.

8. AA meetings are for quitters.

9. I'm on cup of coffee number 4 this morning. Some might consider that an addiction.

10. I have 9 minutes left to write this and I'm running out of things to talk about. So I'm going to just write the first five words that come to my mind. NOW.

11. Muskrat

12. Fire

13 Babies

14. Rocket Fuel

15. Jack Palance

16. Well that was fun. 7 minutes left of this Flash Blog.

17. I had a good talk on the phone with an old friend, Amanda Martin last night. I have to clarify her last name because I know 502,845,039 Amandas. Needless to say, it was nice to catch up on some things and we both promised to try and call eachother once a week....if we're not too busy of course.

18. I have approximately 10 games of Words with Friends going on right now, all of which it is my turn to make a move. That's a lot of words to come up with, especially with a limited choice of letters. Would it be a bad move to just resign all of them?

19. Who would win in this battle?


20. One minute left. So I will just use that minute to remind you to check out the "World Famous Mokracy Blog" for more interesting info about what's going on the world as well as hilarious commentary and pictures.

21. Peace out!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

After all, It IS a Music Blog

Today's blog will be a little different, but worth checking into. I don't have a lot of time so most of this will be stolen material. But steve job said "Good artists copy. Great artists steal."

Speaking of artists and stealing, Tony Clements had the decency to post a very valuable lesson from his idol on what makes an artist. It's a very good read, especially for those musicians out there who think its all about perfection. There is so much more to music than the technicalities. Strongly encourage reading this.

The Path of An Artist by Allan McMurray
From the Blog of Tony Clements

The common level of commitment is that of the participant. The music participant enjoys the experience of getting together with friends and engaging in the events. The participant is conscientious about rehearsal times, works to learn the music in rehearsal, and is interested in being a good section member. The participant likes music with a good beat.

The next level is that of a player (or singer). The player/singer is a person who loves music because it gives him/her a chance to play. The player wants to play a lot and practices to achieve range and technique that can represent a great sound whenever the player plays. The player arrives early to practice his “licks” and wants great parts to play. In fact, the player judges music based on her/his part. If it’s a good part, it is a good piece of music; if it’s a bad part, it is a bad piece of music. The player likes solos and strives to be heard. The player loves her/his instrument and enjoys getting together with other “players.” The player will learn her/his part outside of rehearsals so s/he can sound good in rehearsals.

The third level is that of the musician. The musician plays her/his instrument well and shows up to rehearsals with her/his part mastered. The musician loves chamber music and ensemble because of the opportunity for musical collaboration. The musician does not come to rehearsal to learn her/his own part; the musician comes to rehearsal to learn everyone else’s part. In that way, the musician is learning how to play together by concentrating on intonation, articulation, phrasing, blend, balance, and style. The musician is about listening, learning, and collaborating with other musicians. The musician evaluates whether or not a piece of music is good by the sounds that are created by everyone and enjoys listening as much as playing. The musician likes being a contributing part of every rehearsal through collaboration.

Level 4 – Artist
The fourth level is that of the artist. The artist has all the skills of the player and the musician, but the artist is also a creator. The artist comes to every rehearsal prepared in every way and leaves every rehearsal with new goals. The artist loves great music making and loves to bring expression and inspiration to the performance. The artist has imagination that is fueled by opportunity. That opportunity might come in a solo passage or in an approach to style that amplifies the intent of the piece. The artist is a collaborator with the other members of the ensemble, with the conductor, and with the composer. The artist is intuitive and original, but only uses those skills in pursuit of the most beautiful performance possible. The artist evaluates whether or not a piece of music is good by how it is composed and what it expresses. The artist has the potential to elevate the listener’s perception of an average piece through an extraordinary performance. The artist loves music because music fuels her/his soul.

If it were only about choosing a level, then all performers and conductors would be artists. But it is not about choosing: it is about growing, listening, and surrounding oneself with great music, great books, great art, and great people. It is about informed intuition. It is about learning theory so the architecture and harmonic language can be heard in every melody. It is about knowing performance practice and style of music of all periods. It is about listening to challenging pieces by imaginative and original composers, and pushing the envelope of personal preference. It is about reflection on life, death, pain, celebration, passion, grief, and nature to understand and experience those things that inspire meaning in art. It is about learning to be at home in solitude and seeking it out. It is about beauty and spontaneity and imagination and spirituality. It is attempting to approach every sound and every silence every day as if it matters, because it does. It is recognizing that the pursuit of perfection is a lifelong goal and that it is unattainable. It is knowing that the artist’s life is not about a destination—it is about the journey.

Thoughts? I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed this article and strongly agree. And as someone who's spent a lot of time worrying about how much other's viewed me as a musician, I am proud to say that no matter who likes or dislikes what I offer musically, I have grown from a musician to an artist over years of hard work, dedication, and above all passion. We could all only be so lucky.

Yes. Chuck season 5 (The Final Season) starts on October 28. Really excited that its on Fridays this year because I will actually be able to watch episodes when they air now!

Speaking of Chuck, I actually had probably two of the most important hours of my life yesterday in an informational seminar hosted by Duncan Bohannon, who works as an assistant/composer for Tim Jones, who writes the main music for Chuck. Duncan explained to us the entire process of working on a film project, which answered a lot of questions I had about the industry. He also showed us the breakdown process of scoring for 'chuck' which was especially cool because he literally extracted the tracks and showed us the time frames. I wish I had a video to share with the world of this seminar, but unfortunately for legal purposes its prohibited. Still, it was an amazing experience for me, considering writing music for film has been a dream since I was 12. I now feel closer to it than ever.

Another thing that was mentioned briefly today was about helping assist a potential musical director for an upcoming musical theatre performance. Unfortunately, I am not going to post any details yet because all it was was casual discussion at the time. However, this would also be pretty big news for me as I've also wanted to write for musical theatre. I have tons of ideas, but would need help writing the story line or the lyrics to the songs. And to be honest, I would probably have a lot more self-worth success writing for musical theater than I would writing for film. Not to dog the film music industry, but one thing that did concern me that Duncan talked about yesterday was that unless your name is John Williams, Hans Zimmer or Danny Elfman you pretty much have to take a back seat to any fame or credit for the work you do. And a lot of times, its flopped around so much that it isn't even your music anymore. That does cause some hesitance in wanting to go after this dream.

Well, that's the blog for today. I need to get going so I'm not late for the wonderful world of music theory III. Hopefully today we expand our knowledge on Neapolitan Chords!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Hate Mondays

I was going to update this blog on the weekend, but I got tied up into too many things. Oh well.

This is a very inspirational story about a deaf woman who received a hearing implant and was in tears when she heard her own voice for the first time ever. I have to admit, even I got choked up watching the video (Story)

If nothing else, this story is a good reminder that not everyone is born with the same abilities and some people have a more difficult time getting through life than others.

Bad weekend for Sports.

Louisville lost.

The Colts Lost.


Is it basketball season yet? And no, I am not waiting for basketball season so I can watch the Kentucky Wildcats play. I'm tired of those moronic fans thinking that their program is the only program worth talking about. That is not the case at all....and I can't wait to see North Carolina beat their ass.

Yeah, I said it.

True that.

So it has officially been a year since I got hired at the KFC Yum! Center. And six days from now will be the one year anniversary of the first concert, which was the Eagles. Pretty cool...even though I haven't been back to work in over two months. I wonder if I'm still on payroll over there? I don't think my boss ever took me off because I've basically been his reserve Supervisor that works whenever it fits into my schedule. Which is probably the best kind of 'job security' to have. Right now I'm not desperate for the funds, but if I ever need some extra cash I can call him and see about picking up some hours. Plus, I also have a couple of campus jobs that I get paid for as financially I'm not doing too bad.

Thoughts? Anyone? Yes.....I....Know. That resign button is looking MIGHTY FRIENDLY.

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

Short blog today, but since I spent most of the weekend procrastinating I really ought to get some work done. Peace out everyone.

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Blog is Rated PG-13

Yes. you read that right. The irony is astounding isn't it?

I don't really intend to get into a big discussion about Westboro church because I feel its pointless since pretty much the entire world thinks they are a series of uneducated, misguided, and ignorant douche bags. They have a right to do what they are doing legally, but I'm really hoping the God I believe in doesn't consider it a right to protest and disrespect the funerals of soldiers who gave their lives to protect our AMERICAN rights. Again...more irony. They have to be one of the most ironic groups of individuals I've ever heard of.

It seems that things are not getting any better for the Louisville Orchestra (story). As much as it pains me, I have learned to accept that we don't really live in a world that has a strong appreciation for traditional culture. I have mentioned this before, but it appears that many people are so highly focused on the new cultural out pour of musicianship that they don't quite respect where these ideas originated. But who can blame them when it isn't being taught in school. It's not really in everyone's nature to listen to a song and say "I wonder where these foundations of music originated....I'm going to look that up. Hmmm...well son of a gun, who would have thought that Beethoven was using secondary dominants long before Aerosmith." That's just not the way our mind works.

I used to believe that I had a gift in music. I have recently changed my mind about that. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of gifts I believe God did give me when he created me - but I'm musically inclined because I was trained to be. It isn't the natural talent for music that I have, its the persistence and passion I gained for it over the course of many years. What I'm trying to say is that the understanding and appreciation for music is not something that grows out of nothing. It is something that has to be channeled, and directed. If you don't teach someone the foundations of music, chances are they will never know about them.

Lucky for me, I was at a school that prided its self in the music department - but I guess when the band was winning more competitions than the football team was scoring touchdowns you can kind of see why Lafayette was more of an arts school. I had good directors, and good connections to the music department at UK....which is really what pushed my musical drive. But ultimately, it was making the choice to go further with it that got me where I am today.

I understand this is kind of a sporadic rant, so I will summarize by making a pretty bold claim.

"When the economy finally collapses, half the nation is homeless, and the entire world is in terrifying shambles we are going to NEED the arts as the one thing left in this world that can keep us sane as a society."

And let me be very clear about this. Musically, the arts stretches from as early as Pythagoras to Lady Gaga. I say this because there was a misconception that I was against pop music, which is absolutely NOT the case.

Well, enough on that. Here's the autocorrect for the day.

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

It's quite possible that was actually a spelling error and not an autocorrect. Still pretty freakin' hilarious, nonetheless.

Music Majors.....

It's sad how realistic this is pertaining to a lot of music majors.

So Duncan Bohannon, a film score composer that lives in LA, is coming to New Albany on Monday to give a seminar on writing music for film. Apparently he has written additional musc for the TV show 'Chuck' which happens to be my favorite show, so I'm pretty excited about the opportunity to meet him. His father plays trumpet in two of the ensembles I am in, so his connections with IU Southeast are really strong.

And if you haven't watched 'Chuck' before, I will give you two reasons.

Yes...he is....A BADASS.

And of course the other reason, which most guys will enjoy.....

You're welcome.

It appears that I may need a new radiator. It's leaking antifreeze...which pretty much sucks because I don't really have a whole lot of money to pay for a new radiator, so I'm hoping its a minor fix that won't cost more than $100. I've had several pieces of guy recommended I drop the contents of an egg in there to stop the leak. No offense to him, but I never read the Redneck's Guide to Auto Repair, and don't plan on reading it anytime soon. The other advice that my brother gave me was to use water instead of antifreeze. I have never heard that before, but I may try it cause I can't really see water hurting anything. I mean, if someone suggested using water as a way to fix an electrical problem, then of course I'd be concerned. But water is certainly a lot cheaper than antifreeze.

"Nothing a month? Yes! I think we can afford that!" - Homer Simpson

Less than a month away before the biggest performance of my musical career!!! The band is sounding really great on 'Fantasy on an American Folk Hymn'! a composer, and because it IS my baby, allow me to be critical for just a second.

The biggest problem they seem to have is playing together and in time. Lots of very talented musicians, but I just wish they would look up from time to time. One thing that always amazes me is how people that have been playing longer than I have - and I mean by DECADES - can't seem to read a 7/8 bar. I've never read a 7/8 bar where the duration of the triplet eighth notes is faster than the duration of the duplets. But for some reason, so many performers want to speed them up, no matter how the conductor conducts them.

Props goes to Phil Thomas, however. He has done an outstanding job rehearsing the piece, and his interpretation is nearly dead-on with what I was expecting. Which I guess says a lot about my writing many times have you read a piece in which you weren't quite sure what the composer was going for?

For those of you who aren't a big fan of drinking Bourbon straight.....

I recommend the Goldstein.

Alright, I think I've made this blog epic enough. Be sure to check out the "World Famous Mokracy Blog" for more entertaining if this wasn't enough.

Au revoir!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Special

I'm going to start today's blog talking about the biggest news to hit the papers in years. Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and CEO of Apple, passed away yesterday. And for those of you who live under a rock, he is the man, the visionary, that changed the face of modern technology. It doesn't matter if you have an iPhone, Droid, or even the Windows can thank Jobs, because his iPhone was a 'reinvention' of the telephone. I have never been a big fan of apple products, and spent many days criticizing them for the high prices on a product you can get with a lesser known brand name for much cheaper. However, I have nothing but respect for this guy and what he has been able to accomplished. In fact, I can't remember ever saying anything negative about Steve Jobs.

To Steve,

The entire world is saddened by your passing, and we all know deep in our hearts that we owe your our utmost gratitude for all that you've done to make this place a wonderful world to live in. Thank you, and may you RIP

In other news, I am happy to announce that my newest composition has a title and a premiere date!! The sonata for unaccompanied clarinet, officially titled "Perceptions of Strife" will be premiered by Carrie Ravenscraft on December 7, 2011 at 12:20 PM in the Recital Hall of the Ogle Center at Indiana University Southeast!

Without Steve Jobs, we wouldn't have

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

Fox news has officially announced yesterday that Sarah Palin is not running for president. Really? They a little late? I thought this was already an official decision months ago. I mean, even if she had changed her mind - how many debates has she already missed? Would she really expect to break any ground if she decided to join at this point in the primaries?

Here's the video of her talking about why she decided to not run, following by a brief reflection on the life of Steve Jobs.

"An effective voice and role in helping to get true public servants into office." If John McCain didn't give them a heads up already, hopefully these public servants are currently blacklisting her name from having anything to do with their campaigns. Sorry if you are a Palin supporter....but the media destroyed her, so there is little she can really do at this point.


Just in case you didn't already know this. It's a DROID X2....and a really nice phone. Only difference between the X2 and a DROID 3 is that the DROID 3 has a keypad. But I never used my keypad on my other DROID, so what was the point in getting the DROID 3? (Really, its the same price as the X2 but they were out of the 3 so I didn't have an option)

True that.

I am still hearing rumors that Louisville is going to be joining the Big 12, but I've not seen any news reported that its GOING to happen. Just that we are a potential candidate. But after watching us get embarrassed by Marshall, perhaps they will give it a second thought. Oh wait....the BCS is all about $$$ which Louisville makes. So yeah, we're fine.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I had no reason for posting that except for the fact that I goggle-imaged 'money' and that was one of the pictures that came up. And now I can't stop laughing.

So I'm happy to say that I got a 90% on a French Exam. Highest grade I've ever gotten on a French exam.....I consider that a pretty significant success. Unfortunately, it was a review exam....and learning NEW crap is always what gets me. Overall, I'm still fightin through and doing pretty well in school. I just keep telling myself GRADUATION IN 2012. GRADUATION IN 2012. And then I'm fine.....well, not really. But better.

I have some upcoming projects I will start working on soon. Aside from the clarinet piece already in construction, I will be writing a piece for saxophone, tuba, and piano as well as piece for brass quartet which will be entered into a contest. And then next year, Dr. Goldstein, IUS Orchestra director, wants me to write an orchestral piece to be performed at the Summer pops concert so that is pretty exciting.

Well that about does it for today. Check out more hilarious posts at "World Famous Mokracy Blog"!

In the words of Steve Jobs, "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's 8:30, I Have Homework Due at 11, and I Have Yet To Start

Morning world!

This is what I woke up to this early morning

Yes...the 3rd movement is ridiculously fast. We are playing the whole symphony in orchestra but right now we are taking this movement about 40 bpm slower than Mr. Bernstein decides to take it. But Bernstein, as we all know, was a crazy crazy man. He liked to conduct things fast. Needless to say, I love to listen to Sibelius symphony number 2 but as the illustrious third trombonist - it's not the most exciting piece to play. I'm not gonna lie - during rehearsal I spend most of my time trading dirty jokes with the tuba player or messing around on facebook mobile. When my phone broke last week, rehearsal was pretty rough.

Oh....I don't think I mentioned this before, but I got a new phone.

Pretty sweet, huh? Only bad thing is that my battery is not charging very fast and dies pretty quickly. I guess that means I should take it back and ask Verizon "What gives?" Verizon has been super cool with just about everything I've ever had to deal with. Certainly better service than AT&T or Sprint ever had. I mean....we know ALL phone companies are the devil, but its all about finding the one with the least amount of evil built in.

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

Speaking of phones and crap, the iPhone5 was supposedly released yesterday. And people are already going nuts....and I have to ask WHY??? First of all, AT & T is a shitty service so unless you are getting an iPhone with Verizon's plan, which I'm still trying to figure how that works, then I greatly sympathize your choice. Secondly, with the iphone you are essentially paying a couple hundreds of dollars so you can legally call your phone an 'iphone'. There are other smartphones (and not just the droid) that are so much cheaper and can

do pretty much all you need it to do that the iPhone does.

You have to admire their honesty.

So in the sports world, it seems as though Missouri has decided to leave the Big 12 conference, leaving yet another open spot open in the thinned out conference thus increasing Louisville's chance of going to the Big 12. I think that would be a good move, because the Big 12 is the only conference who's key sports are equal in quality. I.E., they have as good of basketball programs as they do football programs. Yes, that is a bold claim when you talk about the Big 12 holding football dynasties such as Oklahoma and Texas, but they also have Kansas in basketball and even Texas has a good basketball program. I hope they make this decision soon cause us cards fans are getting pretty anxious!

It's not enough that he's been recruiting ineligible players - now Calipari is recruiting NBA players too?

All jokes aside, I would like to remind Mr. Corbett that predicting a team will go undefeated is a ridiculously claim considering only four programs have been able to accomplish that AND win the Tournament. Pop quiz: Who were those programs? (Hint, one of them did it four times)

The point being, Mr. Corbett, I know you love tasting that blue koolaid, but things happen and if you made that claim about an undefeated season the first loss is REALLY going to hurt. Plus, you have no clue who you will face in the tournament. And you have two legitimate threats on your regular season schedule: North Carolina and Louisville. You will probably go undefeated in that joke of a basketball conference called the SEC, I'll give you that. Last years team made it to the final four and had 9 losses. NINE. The team before that had a much better record and got beat by West Virginia in the elite 8. So tell me are you so sure that this Kentucky team is going to go undefeated? Hopefully for your sake, Kentucky doesn't have any 'selfish mother f---ers' on the team this year, because that's worked well for them in the past.

CalMoney.jpg image by Hypertech_photos


Well that's about it. Again, no politics in today's blog...consider that a blessing. Just some good ol' ranting and trashing of things I believe are a waste of people's time and money. iPhones and UK basketball. :)

And if you really want to read more, feel free to check out "The World Famous Mokracy Blog"

Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Side Order of Bacon

The title alone makes you hungry, doesn't it? It's too bad it has NOTHING to do with this blog entry, but I've heard the best titles are the ones that are completely abstract and unrelated to what follows. :)

Alright, I am updating this blog right now while I should have been in a staff meeting for my Community Advisor job this morning. Yes....I missed the meeting. Because I forgot to set my damn alarm last night. This NEVER happens. Oh well.

Let's talk about the colts for a minute. So yesterday, they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Making their record 0-4, the worst start since Manning joined the team in 1998.'s not like anyone is really that surprised. Losing Manning was like losing the engine to your car. And maybe its true....maybe we really CAN'T win without Manning. But let's talk about another individual who has really started to step in the game, after receiving so much crap (from myself included) for some blown opportunities when we really need it. Yes.....I'm talking about Curtis Painter. Who was a backup under Peyton Manning and got pushed to 3rd string QB when Kerry Collins was brought on. Collins, who has yet to throw a TD pass in three games, was a clear waste of money.

Now 13/30 is not something to write home about, however 281 yards in 13 passes IS. And the reason why he was 13/30 was because the Colts offensive lines is horribly beaten down. They were giving him an average of 1.5 seconds to throw the ball last night. Painter's passer rating was even higher than his TB counterpart, Freeman. So in conclusion, we keep hearing all this talk about how the Colts are gonna lose every game and be able to draft Andrew Luck out of Stanford, but personally even if we don't get the number one pick....I feel pretty confident that we have Manning's apprentice on our side.

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders


So I have officially joined the "World Famous Mokracy Blog" as a writing contributor. As if I can afford to take on any more responsibilities, however this one isn't expected to take up too much of my time. It seems like it will be a fun thing to do, cause that is a GREAT blog. Aside from that, I have also just gotten a job as a music theory tutor. We all know that's because I'm a musical GENIUS. Ok, maybe not...but theory I and II did come pretty easy for me, plus if I'm really interested in a masters in music theory then this will be a good experience for me, right?

History sucks. I mean, its an important thing to know....but trying to take an exam on 10 chapters of it yesterday was pretty rough. I'm pretty sure I got a B, but it even could have been a C because there was so much I was unsure of. Oh well, I've given up on my hopes of trying to get a 4.0 in a now I'll just work on trying to maintain a B average. Doing pretty good so far!

Just because its fun to post things like this, here is a little snipit of a piece I'm working on for clarinet, to be premiered by Carrie Ravenscraft. :)

Looks fun, huh? Definitely a different transition from my writing about three or four years ago. But its it leaves a lot of room for imagination and liberties. Plus, according to Tim Miller, the clarinet has unlimited capabilities. What a dangerous thing to say.

I wonder if I should write in this part to allow for a bouquet of flowers to bloom from the bell, and when Carrie says "WHAT?!?!" I'll reply "Hey...unlimited capabilities!"

That was the coffee really.

But speaking of Carrie, you all should attend her Clarinet Recital on October 23rd at 2pm if you are able to. She's a kickass clarinet player!

My little bro, Mario, has a business card now. He teaches guitar in Lexington, Ky. Since most of my viewers are in the New Albany/Louisville area I can't see any of you really finding any use for this, but just in case I'll go ahead and post his card here...and in case you want to drive an hour and half for some guitar lessons, feel free to call/email him!

Alright, well that does it for today. Thanks for reading!

Au revoir!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Blog is BACK


And guess what....this time I'm going to update it daily! Every morning before 10 am there WILL be an entry!

I promise.

It will happen.

It will be done.

I discovered a much easier way to get pictures on my blog. Apparently the right click/copy image option works wonders. I'm almost as excited as I was when I saved 15% on my car insurance by switching to Geico.

I also just realize how ridiculously stupid that campaign slogan was. I mean....I know I always felt it was dumb, but seeing it like that reminds me how idiotic it was. you can. Will you? Um....I think we can all answer that now, cause things don't really seem to be any better than they fact they are worse. We are even more in debt, and closer to a depression.

So here's a good campaign slogan for the upcoming election....

Yes. I know...all you Obama supporters want to jump on this and talk about how great he is but your only defending argumentative statement is to say "he's better than Bush!" and even THAT is debatable. And I really don't see him winning the election in 2012 anyway. And I have a message for you blind O-Men...
But here is the REAL reason we can't get anything done in Washington.....

Ok.....I'm done with politics for the day.

And in Sports News......

The Colts are off to their worst start that I can remember....maybe Manning's first season as a Colt? They are 0-3...and it doesn't appear like they will be getting wins any time soon. With Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game, being out with a neck injury it looks very grim. Although, Painter did get a decent Manning-ish drive against the Steelers, hes NOT Peyton Manning. The Colts have got to figure something out and soon....cause we know how Colts fans are.

Rough week for sports. The Louisville Cardinals lost to Marshall, a team they should not have lost to. I'm guessing they were struggling with the hangover from beating Kentucky two weeks ago. Charlie strong says it all.....

Yeah. He's pissed. As he should be.

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

I spent 7 hours studying for a history exam yesterday, and I'm planning on studying for three more hours today. Sound excessive? Well, this test is over 10 chapters and includes 60 multiple choice, 10 identification questions, and 1 essay. I don't anticipate it being the easy test. I would rather take more tests than three if each test is going to have this much information on it. mind feels kinda fried right now.

And now, a few explanations on why it is teachers drink, brought to you by

Why Teachers Drink 3

Why Teachers Drink 13

Why Teachers Drink 15

Why Teachers Drink 23

The last one made me roll over laughing.

Rehearsals are underway for "Fantasy on an American Folk Hymn" The first rehearsal, the read through....well, it was pretty ugly. But make no mistake about, I didn't write an easy piece. The ensemble is still struggling with it, but they really are getting there. It's strange though.....I've been to rehearsals of my music before, but this is the first one where I really feel like a 'composer' who is wanting to make sure his baby is well taken care of. I guess I'm at the age of musical maturity to where I'm over the blind excitement that I'm having a piece premiered and now I'm focusing on making sure its premiered RIGHT. I feel much more comfortable walking around the room and helping the musicians understand the interpretation. The most satisfying thing to me is that everyone seems to really enjoy their part. As a composer, it is often times very difficult to give everyone a decent part and instruments are frequently ignored. I definitely consider that a success!

Though I've always thought about doing that, sadly I can't take credit for it.

So I spent half of my day with my ex-gf(yes, we are speaking to each other again but as friends now)for her birthday Saturday. I felt bad because she had a date cancel on her for family reasons, and since my plans cancelled on going to the game I thought it would be fun. Ain't I a nice guy. :) It had also dawned on me that despite our Grover Cleveland style relationship in the past, this was the first time we had seen each other on her birthday....and I've known her for 12 years. Anyway, it was a fun time even if she did whoop me in bowling. But hey....I'm in no way SAYING that I let her win, but if that thought happens to cross your mind then I can't be held responsible for those kinds of assumptions. :)

Well that about does it today. Remember that this will be a DAILY blog and I will be sure to update it every morning!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Funny Sign Edition


I am sick. It sucks. I hate it. My throat hurts. And I've tried EVERYTHING short of kissing a goat with a mouth full of sugar.

Well, perhaps there's a lot more I could have done but in case you are wondering, here are the different medicines and remedies I've attempted.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Cold Medicine (Multi-Symptom)
Zantac...........ok that was just for my heartburn and upset stomache.
Cayenne Pepper in Water - Liquid Fire, Thanks Paul
Salt Water
Wild Orange Sweet Tea
Blackberry Tea
Black Coffee

And I've been trying these for the past three days and only NOW my throat is feelings slightly better. But I had a couple of allergy attacks in the middle of the night - you know, the kind where you feel like your lung is about to pop outta your mouth? Yeah that kind....not exactly fun. My mom suggested that it was the mucinex working.......WELL F*** YOU MUCINEX. Surely there is an easier way to control the mucas than making your entire respiratory and digestive system feel like its having a nuclear meltdown.

Oh well....I guess the IMPORTANT thing is that I am feeling better and don't have strep.
OH yeah....this is the funny sign addition, so I will be posting a lot of those.

You might be laughing at the fact that a gas station might pay more than the police, but perhaps with their improper use of the word "THEN" they should consider putting a note at the bottom that says "Education is not required".

Still, I wish gas was only 3.25 right now.

So today was President Obama's declared Armageddon. I'm still waiting for the earthquake in New Zealand to follow up with Harold Camping's prediction. But I guess in Obama's opinion if the United States crumbles the rest of the world will. As if people don't already think we are arrogant enough.By the way, it's PAUL'S birthday today and also the day the declaration of independence was signed. So if you have any left over fireworks from the day that it was adopted by the first continental congress, today would be a good day to shoot them off. And you can celebrate Paul's 34th (HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA HE'S OLD!!!) Birthday by checking out the World Famous Mokracy Blog and posting a comment. He'd appreciate it!

I probably could have gone without posting that one, but my blog my rules. :)

I am feeling better, but my throat still hurts. A lot of people told me to go to the doctor right after I told them I had a bad sore throat. That bothers me......aside from the fact that I don't have insurance, I'm a big fan of trying to figure out whats wrong first before going to pay a doctor to tell me I have something I could have found out on the internet or from friends in the business for free. I mean....I believe in going to a doctor when you have a condition that can only be treated by prescribed medicine...not to get a symptom based analysis. Why would I want to pay $25 (or $150 without insurance) to have a doctor tell me to buy some Tylenol and get some bed rest?

I had one person tell me that just because I didn't have white spots in the back, had no fever, have had it three times and know what it feels like, and wasn't showing most of the symptoms I couldn't be sure I didn't have strep throat. Really? Then I'll ask again - what is the point of going to the doctor for symptom-based analysis?

I don't care what religion you are, THAT'S funny.

I just got a random Instant Message from someone with the screenname "BigMelons3434". So far that's the most exciting thing that's happened.

I will officially have walked this earth for 30 years on Sunday. be fair, I wasn't walking for the first year and a half....but my tri-decade birthday is on the 7th. Having a big party at tumbleweeds on Saturday - and then Bardstown road. Needless to say, I'm not sure how far I'll get with any plans on Sunday but it will be interesting.

This is more appropriate on a bumper sticker, but the idea is still funny.

Speaking of Jesus, I've been going to church more regularly. Found a Lutheran church ironically called 'Faith Lutheran Church' in Jeffersonville, Indiana. I like Lutheran's. We are a welcoming bunch that don't get too hung up on what is written and focus more on a belief system that guides people's morals. Of all the church people I've known, I've found Lutheran's to be the least judgemental....and I'm pretty comfortable there. Particularly, because I believe it's not in our place to's in God's place.

Hopefully I'll remember this next time I'm on the road and call another driver "You stupid piece of inbred garbage!!!" Not that that happens very often, but to quote Val Kilmer in Tombstone (which is a great flick by the way), 'My Hypocrisy goes only so far.'

While I admire them for not dancing around it and being straight and to the point, in this day and age that could probably be considered a 'threat'.

Well, that does for it today. I'm going to go take more medicine and pray that I don't die this week.