Band, Podcast, Pushy Parents

Jazz has been banished to the garage. He was getting on my nerves and I couldn’t take it anymore. I’m sure he’s hot and it’s stuffy out there but TOO BAD – feel the wrath of MOM.

Okay, not really. He IS out in the garage, but we had nothing to do with it. He’s out there practicing his saxophone because today was the first day of band camp and since he’s sectional leader, he has to set … what? You didn’t hear?

Yep. Jazz is SECTIONAL LEADER. *goofy grin*

Which really simply means, he’s in charge of the entire saxophone section. Which, with the incoming freshmen, is at a whopping SIXTEEN. (Including Jazz). Yes ya’ll, 16 freaking saxophones.

Can I get a “HOLLA?” Woot-woot

It’s because saxophones are ‘DA BOMB’, that’s why. Everybody wants to play it.

Actually, it’s quite possible they won’t end up having 16 saxophones when school starts. Some of the kids drop out when they figure out how hard marching band is, and the band director might ask some of them to play instruments in areas that need them – but for now, he’s in charge of making sure every saxophone player knows his/her part so they can kick butt in competitions.

Jazz has been all business since coming home from camp today. He spent a few hours transferring his dot schedule (please don’t ask me to explain what that is, it’s in essence, well, look at that picture – it’s a marching plan and it tells the kids where they’re supposed to be at all times during their show. There’s some sort of app that he has on his iTouch that he can transfer the schedule to so when he has to refer to it, he can just pull out his iTouch instead of carrying around a stack of papers. Cool, right?), and he’s practicing the music so he can “set a good example, mom.”

That’s my boy. Show em who’s boss. (Only don’t be TOO cocky, no one likes a know-it-all, in-your-face, I’m-better-than-you sort of figure head).

The band is also collecting canned goods to donate to a food charity, so Jazz and I will make a trip to the store after camp tomorrow and pick up some stuff. I also need to buy more bacon and eggs because we’re been MAKING our boys eat a big breakfast every day. We’re doing that because we’re concerned. I don’t know how they did it, but our boys have lost weight these past weeks and they both look malnourished. No seriously, they are skinny as rails and Kevin and I are both a little freaked out with how skinny they’ve gotten.

Also? Dude has been drinking coffee. I haven’t been buying him Mountain Dew (he just drinks it late at night, making him stay up all night and AARGH – not while he’s living IN OUR HOUSE he’s not!), so in order to get his caffeine fix, he’s been drinking coffee. It’s really weird drinking coffee with my son. It’s like he’s a grown up … sort of. (In my dreams – patience, Karen, patience).

*Jazz just told me that he’s part of a quartet. Apparently, he, and three other saxophonists (that word sounds funny) will separate themselves from the group at some point in the show, come up to the front and play a solo, only … there’s four of them and … oh, you know what I mean. He said they had to try out for the part and he made it . Have I mentioned I’m fiercely proud of this kid??

They’re having an ice cream social next Tuesday night and the parents get a chance to hear what they’ve been practicing on. I’ll take some pictures.


I have an appointment to get my teeth cleaned tomorrow. *GULP* I haven’t been to the dentist in … oh gosh, a few years. My teeth are a bit sensitive when I bite down so I’m thinking either I’ve lost a little filling, or maybe I have some food caught up in there and it’s decaying. I usually put these things off, but I figure the longer I wait, the worse it’ll get and the more expensive it will likely be which … OUCH. We don’t have dental insurance anymore.

Yeah.


I got a lot of work done today. And in between all of that productivity, *ahem*, I played around with putting a podcast together. I want to start posting a podcast starting this Wednesday just to break up the blog monotony. I’m getting bored, I’m sure YOU’RE getting bored. (Listen to me, talking as if I’m the ONLY blog ya’ll read all day long. HA!)

What am I going to talk about? Well, brace yourselves … I wanted to talk about something I’m passionate about and if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you’re probably a few steps ahead of me – politics.

I KNOW! I’m going where no blogger dares to venture without being blog-crucified.

But here’s the thing – I keep up on this stuff and I get so frustrated because a lot of people don’t and considering our news media is BEYOND biased (they’re basically the liberals’ customized bullhorn), and don’t report on anything (translation: TRUTH), then maybe I can help enlighten people and provide a FAIR analysis of the crazy things going on in politics.

And I will. Try to be fair, that is. It’s hard to be fair sometimes, but I like to challenge myself and besides, not every issue is black and white. A lot of issues are a lovely shade of gray.

At any rate, I hope you’ll listen and if this sort of thing makes your skin itch, then by all means, skip it. I was going to vlog my thoughts but UGH, who wants to stare at my ugly mug for ten minutes while I rant, erhm, DISCUSS the hot topics for the week.

I call them podcasts but really, I’m just making MP3’s and posting them online. It’s pretty easy to do, here’s what I’m doing/using in case you’re curious.

I downloaded Audacity – it’s free and pretty much rocks my socks off.

The only problem with Audacity is, it doesn’t automatically convert the files into MP3’s – you have to download a plug-in program that Audacity recognizes and uses to convert the files into MP3’s.

Still with me?

The plug-in program is called LAME MP3 Encoder. (CAREFUL! The actual download you want is down a ways on the page – it’s NOT the big download button you see, though you could use that for the files listed. But the Audacity file is different and you will need another program for that, so keep scrolling and read before you click on anything. Even though these programs are free, they sort of trick you in order for you to download all sorts of extra “tools” you don’t really need and only serve to clog up your computer, so please, read and make sure you’re installing only what you want. Also, even though I ran a virus scan on these files and they were clean, I would recommend you do the same, just in case. Actually, you should ALWAYS run a scan before you install any online program onto your computer).

After you have these programs installed, all you need is a mic, click the record button in Audacity, make your recording, “export” it into an MP3, (the LAME Encoder will convert it for you), and then all you have to do is upload it to your server. (We have a private web host that we don’t do a lot with, so I’ve been storing our audio files there and inserting the URL into the wordpress audio player to play on this blog).

All of this sounds complicated, but really, it’s not. Just take your time and read everything and you’ll be fine.

Anyway, I’ll be posting my first “podcast” this Wednesday so stick around!


Dude update: He’s been filling out applications like crazy. He’s been keeping a list of where he applies and the date so he can follow up in a few weeks if he doesn’t hear anything.

Kevin has really been pushing him to put some applications out there and I pray to God he has actually been putting them out there and not SAYING he’s been putting them out there – he’s been applying online. So, we’re sort of taking his word for it. But if he doesn’t hear anything, we’re going to make him print out the applications and actually walk into these places and turn them in – even if it means we (actually Kevin) has to drive him those places and watch him turn them in.

This kid is getting a job if it kills us.

Since Kevin and I are working out of the office and Jazz is at band camp, Dude has been bored and lonely at home by himself. We’re hoping this also motivates him to DO something. In the meantime, he’s not going to sit home and do nothing, so we told Dude tonight that he’s going to be our housekeeper until he gets a job. He gets to do all the household chores (thereby freeing Kevin and I up from having to do it on the weekend) and we’ll teach him how to cook, too, so he can possibly cook us dinners, too.

To my surprise, he actually liked this idea. (Again, I think he’s getting a little bored and having something to do sounds pretty good right about now). This will also teach him the skills he’ll need whenever he gets out on his own.

I also suggested (told) Dude that since Jazz has an hour and a half break during band camp (I know, that’s a LONG lunch break, isn’t it?) that he could pick Jazz up for lunch on Wednesday and take him to Wendys (which is very close to the school). That will get him out of the house and give Jazz a break away, too. Plus, it will make them feel all grown up – eating out together without mom and dad.

We’re such pushy parents, aren’t we? 😀

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