Monday, January 25, 2016

Hits and Misses (January 17-23)

Here's a look back at the week that was....


  • Four day work weeks are the best! Even though I didn't accomplish everything that needed to be done, I certainly appreciated the extra day of rest.
  • The week has been full of looking at new music. It's one of my favorite parts of my job and never gets old.
  • Nothing is better than a lazy Saturday lying on the couch watching TV and catnapping. It was definitely needed.


  • Getting sick is the pits. I started dealing with a sore throat and lots of phlegm on Thursday night. I was pretty worthless on Friday and Saturday. Hoping the worst of it is behind me.
  • I'm ready for the weather to figure out what it's going to do! These shifts between early Spring and Arctic blasts have my body temp very confused.
  • I found myself very bored this weekend. I was tired of just sitting on the couch, but I didn't feel like doing anything else. That's not a good formula at all.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Things That Never Go Away

We all have things in our past we would like to forget. Missteps. Poor choices. Fashion blunders. If you're like me, you also have friends to make sure that your past never truly goes away.

While at Pepperdine, I was beginning to dress like a young professional. But I didn't want to fall into the boring realm of only wearing white and blue oxfords. I like wearing vivid colors. They make me happy.....and I am really a happy guy!

On a certain shopping trip -- I honestly don't remember the details -- I decided to be a little more adventurous than normal and bought a "dusty rose" shirt. I must place that term in quotation marks because my housemates quickly informed me the color was more appropriately described as "pink." My conservative Southern roots at the time could not come to grips with the idea that a man could wear pink and maintain his manhood. I tried passing it off as "peach" -- but that didn't work since it hung near another shirt in my wardrobe that could only be described as the color of the fuzzy Georgia fruit. So...the harassment began because of my pink shirt.

It has been many years since that questionable shirt has hung in my closet -- although I am certain you could find other offending items there now. The harassment never ends. Like clockwork, my college friend will frequently make mention of THE shirt in our conversations. I still attempt to educate her on the fine line that exists between "rose" and "pink." My efforts fall on deaf ears and I find myself once again reliving the misguided mistake of my youth that seems to be destined to follow me for the rest of my life.

And the taunting reminds me that I am loved...and I wouldn't have it any other way!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Settling into the Routine Again

 I'm finding it hard to believe that it's only the second week of the new semester at Wayland. I hit the ground running this term and there's been no looking back! I think I'm finally getting settled into the routine again.

I think part of the reason things are feeling so frantic at the moment is that my semester seems to be front-loaded. I will play 2 faculty recitals in the next 3 weeks....just before traveling to San Antonio for the TMEA conference. I've already submitted a short article for publication and given a final (closing out last term's grades, at last). To say that my plate is just a little full at the moment is an understatement.

Thankfully, I learned some things last semester. Experience is the best teacher sometimes. So I'm taking steps now to avoid pitfalls later in the term. There's lots of practicing, planning, and organizing going on in my little corner of the world right now. I'm hoping to get much of the lesson planning settled in the next few days so things don't go crazy once I start attending student voice lessons next week.

Despite the fact that I'm struggling to hit my stride at the moment, I'm having a blast....and wouldn't have it any other way! The break was nice for a few weeks, but I'm really ready to get back to the process of making music and learning a little more along the way.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hits and Misses (January 10-16)

Here's a look back at the week that was...
  • Another semester has gotten underway. It looks as though the Spring is going to be a little calmer than the Fall was. That's a good thing!
  • I had my first rehearsals this week for my upcoming faculty recitals. Neither is ready to go to stage yet, but it was nice to see that the music is progressing and will be ready in time for each performance.
  • There's excitement in the School of Music with the hiring of two new faculty members this term. A candidate for the choral education position visited with us this week and made a very positive impression on everyone.
  • Since this will be one of the final long weekends before Spring Break, I decided to escape Plainview and headed east. Enjoyed a change of scenery, great restaurants, and a much needed massage while visiting Fort Worth.
  • Nothing is more upsetting than getting a call that the Geriatrics are on the way to the ER. Everything turned out fine, but I didn't rest well on Sunday evening after getting the call.
  • In the middle of an extremely busy week, I found myself dashing around to get everywhere I was supposed to be. You can imagine I was a little frustrated to arrive at one appointment only to realize that I had been replaced but not informed about it. I was glad I didn't have to play, but I would have liked to have found out earlier in the day.
  • Round-abouts are not what you want to encounter when driving in an unfamiliar city. I still haven't found that store!
  • It never fails! If I don't make a list before packing a bag, I'm going to forget something I need. This time it was my medicine.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hits and Misses (January 3 - 9)

Here's a look back at the week that was....


  • It was wonderful to be in church with my family the past few weeks. It was especially nice to see my youngest niece worshipping through her solo. I can't take credit for all of her skills, but I will gladly admit that I had a hand in her musical development.
  • Getting back to Texas before the start of classes afforded me some quiet time in the office before the insanity of the semester began. I had forgotten just how nice it is to work on music without having to think about the multitude of other things that need my attention.
  • I finally figured out how to work on multiple blog posts on my iPad, so I don't have to feel as though I have to complete one post before starting another. It's amazing when technology makes tasks easier!
  • I started watching the new season of American Crime this week. Such an interesting concept that features a strong ensemble cast. I'm looking forward to this one!
  • To end the week, I enjoyed dinner with the Browns on Saturday evening. It was a wonderful time to laugh together, play with their children, and share with friends. What a treat!


  • Saying goodbye is never fun. Can't I just convince the geriatric patients to move to Texas already?
  • On Thursday, I learned the horrible news that a fraternity brother had died earlier this week in an accident while enjoying winter break in South America. Cam Johnson was a sophomore at Pepperdine who was participating in the study abroad program in Argentina. It was upsetting to learn that another young man had lost his life in this close-knit group in such a short span of time. Cam was definitely a fun person to be around who seemed to have such a bright future. He will be missed greatly.
  • Long road trips with a stomachache are turning into my modus operandi. I do not like it at all!
  • Sinus issues are a constant issue for me these days. I can handle the stuffiness and drainage. The headaches and pressure are the pits!
  • For some reason I managed to procrastinate writing an article that has a deadline coming very soon. I'm happy that I got something written and submitted, but I would have liked more time to polish things up. Lesson learned for sure!
  • Even though I wasn't around for the Texas snow storm, I've felt its effects and I've had enough! Definitely wasn't excited to watch more snow showers move into the area on Friday evening.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Resolutions for 2016

It has come time to commit my 2016 resolutions to paper. None of them are Earth shattering, but they are all intended to keep me focused on my goals. Without too much commentary, here are my New Year's resolutions.

  • Become more healthy. I've decided not to mark this with weight loss (although that would be nice!) this year. Instead, I'm more interested in how I feel. I plan to increase how much water I drink. I want to become more active so I feel better. I want to feel comfortable with how my clothes look on me and how they fit. I'm not pursuing a number....and I think this is going to be a better method for me.
  • Increase my personal reading. I'm getting back into the habit of reading daily for pleasure. My goal for 2016 is to complete 24 novels.
  • Reconnect with treasured friends. When I was frantically piecing together a life with several part-time jobs, I allowed myself to become too busy to nurture friendships. I take responsibility for that decision. Now that I'm settled in one place without all of the family responsibilities, I intend to repair and re-establish some of the friendships that I miss the most...and hopefully build some new ones as well!
  • Visit two cities I've never been to before. This sounds like it will be more difficult than it really will be. I'm living in a new part of the country and haven't done a lot of exploring yet. It's time to hit the road and see what I can find.....

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hits and Misses (December 27 - January 2)

Happy New Year! Here's a look back at the week that was...


  • As things settled down after Christmas, it was very nice to meet a friend for lunch. We've known each other for nearly 20 years and have both experienced significant changes in our lives in the last half of 2015. Even though we've been separated by miles, it was nice to reconnect and begin catching up as though we had just seen each other last week. I know that having such close friendships is one of life's greatest blessings.
  • I was introduced to Memphis Barbeque Company this week. What amazing food! It was so good that I returned for another meal just a few days later. I suppose it's a good thing that I don't live closer or else I might have to take stock in the company to support my addiction.
  • Since we had so much to purchase for Christmas gifts when I finally returned to Memphis, Mom and I decided to return to the mall this week to purchase my Christmas gifts. I never have to worry about updating my wardrobe. Mom has spoiled me and takes care of my closet every year as her Christmas gift to me. Even though you might not be able to tell it by looking at me, I really do enjoy shopping for clothes. It's so much fun!
  • New Year's Eve was quite nice. I enjoyed a quiet evening at home, curled up on the couch reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before settling in for the annual gala of the New York Philharmonic broadcast on PBS. On the next day, the Geriatric patients and I feasted on chicken and dumplings accompanied by Buffalo Chicken dip. It was a strange combination, but both offerings were quite good.


  • It's never exciting to realize that my time at home is coming to an end. Since I've spent nearly 3 weeks in Arkansas, I'm not excited to return to Texas. Don't misunderstand. I am ready to get back to my job and my church family. I just wish I could take the comforts of home -- and the security of family -- with me.
  • I have to admit that New Year's Day was a bit of a let down. For various reasons, my siblings and their families weren't in Arkansas for lunch. I know the reasons and understand....but it doesn't mean I have to like it. I had so little time at home and wanted to spend every possible moment surrounded by them. (Does that make me greedy?)
  • With all the changes in my life in 2015, I wasn't very successful in keeping my resolutions. That fact was upsetting to a degree and has caused me to pause before making new ones for 2016. Some goals remain and are already being pursued; others are under review. I plan to finalize my resolutions by the end of the week and anticipate sharing them in an upcoming post.