Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wow... is July gone already?

Not quite, but I think I see the end of it around the corner.

What's been happening? Got back from Switzerland (had a great last couple of days), got back into classes, was deluged with gigs, got a new scooter, and a massive head cold. That enough?

Where to start? Gigs. Wow. Normally, late July/early August are especially quiet for me, and I was kinda looking forward to lots of practice time. Not this year. Over the last week or so, I've gotten a ton of calls I wasn't expecting, and I'm as close to booked solid as I can get. Upcoming dates that are open to the public are listed in the right-hand column of this blog (hint, hint to music lovers), and those don't include the obligatory rehearsals before many of the gigs. It's fun, though... two musicals, a bunch of big band stuff, and a couple of R&B gigs with Chadwick Williams. On one of the musicals (Oliver), I'll be reading the woodwind IV book, which is a bassoon book. That would be no problem if I played bassoon, but since I don't I'm going to be transposing from bass/tenor clef (both in C), to play the parts on a Bb treble clef instrument. I'm sure I'll be kicking myself later for saying I'd do that, but it's a good skill to develop, so I've already started practicing. I'll have to post again on how it goes.

On the work front, things are going well this quarter. I'm teaching three strategic management classes, and although it's never easy to keep people focused in summer classes (and let's face it--who can blame them?), I've got a nice group and they seem to be enjoying the class. We're pilot-testing a new version of the learning management system (a web-based system that allows me to provide online content, making my class a "hybrid" format as opposed to strictly face-to-face), and although I'm starting to get the hang of it, either the interface isn't as intuitive as the one I'm used to, or I'm just getting brain damaged in my old age. Something simple as quiz feedback suddenly has more options, the flip side of which is having more ways to screw things up. I'll get it, though... eventually.

In the ongoing quest to be greener, we've been taking a harder look at transportation costs and energy use, and with all the driving I do, that's a pretty sobering thought. In an effort to address some of that and have a bit of fun in the process, I started looking around at scooters, and about a week ago we picked out a true geek rocket--a Yamaha Vino 125. This is one of those in-between sized scooters--it requires a motorcycle license, but isn't big enough to be freeway legal. But it's FUN to drive... should hit up to about 55 or so (I'll have to test that once it's broken in), and so far I've been getting around 80-85 MPG. The first time I filled up the tank, it cost a whole whopping $2.40, and it was everything I could do to not dance around the gas station, giggling and pointing at the other drivers. I don't get to ride it at night until I take the skill test for the full license, but for the time being I'm having an absolute ball, taking it to rehearsals (I can't carry anything bigger than the tenor sax, but that still covers a lot) and trying to get a little practice in every day.

Other than that, I'm getting over my latest cold (and this completely sucks in July--thanks A LOT to whomever gave it to me), and gearing up for class tomorrow. Midterm exams are in about a week, so things should be interesting.

Yawn. Off to bed. G'night!

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