Holy Crap

Good gosh, I haven’t posted in what seems likes ages to me. Maybe to you if you read this thing at all… So maybe I should update you with what’s going on around here.

You may or may not know but I’m staying here at Nick’s place. It’s surprising that many people didn’t know that. Maybe I neglected to tell them. In any case, it’s been relatively busy these days. Many practices for our jazz combo and the Charlottetown Jazz Ensemble. The PEI Jazz and Blues Festival’s fast approaching and I’m playing at three venues. Two of them are with the Charlottetown Jazz and I’m fairly well concealed in a mass of about 20 players. Not too much to worry about there. We’re actually playing starting at midnight on Saturday so that should be fun. Playing for a bunch of a drunk people is always entertaining and the tune’s we’re playing are all pretty kickass. Not to mention the fact that there’s gonna be some world class musicians playing with us. Pretty awesome in general.

Now the tough one is our combo. We’re opening for the Jive Kings reunion concert on Sunday. If you’re not from the area, you’ll have no clue who the Jive Kings are. It’s a local band whose players actually switch from time to time. They had stopped playing as the group quite a few years ago, but I’m guessing due to popular request, they’ve decided to get back together for one most show. To say the least, they’re pretty well known here and there should be quite a lot of people there. So how does this involve me or the combo? We’re opening for them. Yes, that’s right, we’re opening for the Jive Kings. I think the most people we’ve ever played in front of would have been at some music festival in front of maybe 100 of our fellow band members. This performance will be in front of more like 1000+ people we don’t know. Should provide entertainment for the people who enjoy watching people crap themselves on stage at least. We’re practicing and pulling out all the stops to provide something more than the cocktail music we usually play on the Row in front of the restaurants. This time they’ll be focused on us instead of how to start their chicken fajita..

In anycase, we’ve actually had a first for the combo. Nick and I arranged an arranged version of the Beatles’ “And I Love Her” for our performance. It sounds pretty good and we’ll hopefully use it for the opening show. Now that I think of it, it’ll probably be the last arrangement we do as well for our group. Sunday will be the last time our combo will play with its original members. It’s kind of coincidental that it will probably be the biggest gig we’ll ever have as a combo. Should make for an exciting ending to something I’ve really enjoyed doing over the past 3 years.

Aside from that, I’ve actually been getting quite a bit of excercise recently. I’ve played some tennis and had an intense (well, sort of…) game of Ultimate Frisbee. I could definitely feel some soreness of the muscles, which really tells you how little I excercise or something like that. Now, I’m not a fat slob or anything, in fact I’m quite skinny, but I just don’t lend well to excercise. I actually enjoy physical activity; it’s just I hate excercising for the sake of excercising.

I’ve also been playing a ton of Rome Total War. Damn, those creators knew what they were doing when they made the game. It’s addictive as hell and its replayability is like no other. Every campaign is different depending on who you feel like decimating first. Anyways, world domination is something every guy enjoys. =P

I see that I was going to write a review for the Creative Zen Micro there on the sidebar. Well, it’s just my luck that I seemed to have run into some troubles with it. It seems like it doesn’t want to connect and be recognized by my computer very much. Maybe it’s scared to know that it’s going to be filled with music downloaded off that Russian site. Hehe… Either way, it works sporadically which is a piss off and I can’t really even say what the problem is. I’ve contacted the Creative support team and while they’ve been quick to help, their tips are kind of useless. They’re asking me to install random programs and firmware that I’ve already got. Anyways, I’ve kind of given up on it as I know the Zen Micro in general are pretty buggy. This being the second one I’ve had, the first having crapped out totally (froze and I couldn’t do ANYTHING with it no matter how many times I reset). I can see why Apple has such a damn large following. Their stuff just plain works which is sort of useful when you buy something. Too bad they’re relatively featureless comparatively. As much as I’d hate to spend any more money on MP3 players (already have a Zen Micro 5GB, 3G IPod 15GB and a MPIO 512MB FL350) I do need a working one for university. The IRiver H10 5GB looks pretty enticing so far. I kind of wish there was an IPod Mini that incorporated the features of the Creative/Iriver and used iTunes. Now that would be the perfect combination between reliability and usability.

Now several of you have asked me why I haven’t written anything about my new laptop on here. Well to tell you the truth, I’ve just been lazy plain and simple. I’ve actually written a long ass review at Notebook Forums. It’s here for you geeks who actually want to know every nook and cranny. I’ll be sure to write some random non-technical musings later on, but for now, this’ll have to do. I don’t want to write anything too specific in this post of general going-ons.

And here I am in my last days of being on the Island, the Island I’ve lived on and become part of over the last 12 years of my life (that’s friggin 3/4 of my entire life…). It’s definitely going to be extremely difficult to leave the people and the surroundings I’m so familiar with. I’ve been trying to live these remaining days (sounds like I’m about to die or something doesn’t it?) here in total indulgance. I’ve thought about the money I’ve been spending away at Victoria Row eating at Fishbones almost daily and listening to great jazz, but in the end, why not enjoy what you have while you have it. It’s too easy for those things to be taken away from you.

Here I sit in the grotesque heat listening to John Mayer’s Split Screen Sadness thinking how appropriate this really is. I’ll soon be far, far away from this place looking back upon the days with some sadness in my heart but also with joy that I have spent many great times here. This place holds something special for me and although I don’t know when or under what circumstances it’ll be, I will definitely return here to the Island at least to visit bygone friends and bygone places. I hope I’ll still remember where the house I lived in is, if it’s still there.

So here’s to the end of one journey and beginning of another, hopefully as fruitful.

And So It Begins

This week is stupid. Yep, that’s right stupid. We just did a chemistry test last Friday and got it back today (wasn’t bad at all, got 98%) and then we’re going to have one on the next chapter this week. Kinda cramming I’d say huh? I’ve spent a good part of tonight studying for the calculus test tomorrow. We’re actually starting into the more interesting stuff now. We’re learning derivatives and how that can apply to real life. I spoke with my calc teacher today after class and I can understand why we have to do the monotenous stuff before we can get into the more interesting parts. We need to build a good foundation in limit skills before we can properly tackle derivatives. It doesn’t make the work any less boring from before, but at least I can have something to look forward to now.

Oh and I have a physics test on Thursday too. That I haven’t done too much for. I really need to hit up the practice problems I’ve got loads of in my binder. Seems like I’ve been neglecting my physics recently. Perhaps it’s cause of what we’re doing right now. We seemingly have to do the problems exactly how our teacher wants them. There’s no need to think outside the box; in fact we shouldn’t think outside the box. We get marks taken off for that now…

One bright point to today was that I found out I got 49/50 on my jazz solo transcription. I’m finding that I’m enjoying that class more and more recently. It seems like the band’s starting to get its stuff together and we’re playing more tunes. We even brought out Schmoozability and worked on it basically all class today. It’s an awesome piece but we had put it away cause we couldn’t play it before. Hopefully we’ll be able to play it for our final concert. It’ll definitely be impressive for the listeners (if we play it well that is =P).

Ahhh our final band concert. It’ll definitely be a sad one for most of us. I’ve been in band and basically with the same bunch for a good 6 years now. That’s a long time at this stage in my life. We’ve been on several band trips together and get up to rehearsh together multiple mornings per week. It’s definitely going to be different not playing with any of them after this year. It’ll be the last time I play in band of this sort. We were talking about it today at jazz rehearsal. Our band director was saying we’d be passing in our band uniforms soon after the concert and I it really struck me then that I would soon no longer be a part of this organization. Our jazz combo’s going to be playing at that concert as well. We’ll definitely make it good as I’m probably closest with that group. We spent our summers playing down at the Row; those were times I won’t soon forget.

Last week was like the calm before the storm. I had a relatively quiet time last week, but this week we’re paying for it bigtime. I kind of regret not having done more work when I had the time. Ah well, regrets don’t get you anything so I’ll push that thought out of my mind. I guess I can look forward to the Victoria Day long weekend after I’ve got all my tests out of the way and I’ll be able to relax again. Sleep is so enticing right now.

Oh, also, I’m the process of writing up a review of the Zen Micro I’ve got here. It’s a very nice little MP3 player and that’s coming from a person with an Ipod as well. But if you read my earlier posts, you’ll know my views on Apple… In any case, that’s an upcoming article and I’ll eventually get to doing that Linux tutorial as well. Oh, so much to do. These blog thingies are pretty addictive. 😉 But in a good way.

Well, I’m off to studying a bit more before I hit the hay. I won’t have gone to bed this early in a long while and I’m looking forward to it. Sweet dreams!

Charlie.