Thursday, November 08, 2001

A Weekend in Blacksburg: Part II of IV

After a late night spent catching up with friends and hearing the latest topics in useless gossip and rumours, I was roused from my sleep around nine o' clock the next morning by a phone call. Philip, Shac, Liz, and I watched the Pittsburgh game at noon, which was a horrible display of uncohesiveness as Tech lost 7-38. Kelley was off in Lexington earning gig money and Nikki was doing the student teaching thing by taking her students to All-District tryouts some three hours away. The rest of the day was pretty low-key. I checked in on my cat a few times, since everyone in that apartment was away for the weekend.

Blacksburg really hasn't changed much in six months. On campus, a couple construction projects have wrapped up while several more are beginning. It's always been a peculiarity at Tech that the construction budget is seemingly endless while departmental budgets suffer. That's how the useless Math Emporium got built, but that's another story altogether. Foxridge is about the same, except that the level of dog crap around the buildings has increased exponentionally. In corporate team-building exercises, they have the routine where you and your coworkers cross a stream or marsh using only a couple of boards and some stepping stones. Now that dog crap is so prevalent, you could probably use it in a team-building exercise and travel at least a hundred yards in any direction without touching the grass.

I went to the Polifrone recital that night with Nikki, and found it fairly well-attended. There was a lack of fanfare surrounding it, but the performances were professional and articulate. Five pieces by Jon Polifrone were performed: three short piano works, a sonata for solo viola, a string quartet, a song cycle for soprano and piano, and a longer single-movement song for tenor and piano. Dr. Polifrone accompanied both of the vocalists. All the performers were either faculty members or professional musicians, and the string quartet was played by the litigation-plagued Audubon Quartet without David Erlich. They didn't call themselves that of course, but there's no doubt that it was on everyones' minds. That's another story as well.

We did dessert at Macado's, which unfortunately has canceled their half-price sundae special after 10 PM, and then spent a low-key night at Nikki's, since everyone seemed too busy with their imminent orchestration projects to hang out.

To be continued tomorrow...

As a bonus feature today, I've added an MP3 of the SC-8850 rendition of the MV Trumpets '99 theme song. This one played on the front page of the MV Trumpets web site in 1999 and is a medley of marching band arrangements from Crosstown Traffic, Twilight Zone, A-Team, Caravan, Chameleon, Scatman, Makin' a World of Difference, Fanfare for the Common Man, and Avalon . This one's small -- only about 370K.

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