Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Time-lapsed Blogography Day: Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago today was January 17, 1998. It was a Saturday in Blacksburg and I lived with Dan Shiplett in 3119 East Ambler-Johnston. This was also the day of the "Bandquet" for the Fall '97 season of the Marching Virginians during which I got an "Outstanding Rank Member" award for having memorized all three trumpet parts of every song and never needing to march with a drill chart after the first two days of learning a new drill. I didn't actually hear about this award until after the Bandquet because Bandquets are social events and why would anyone go to a social event when they have a T1 Ethernet line in their dorm room?

The evening of the 17th started with a trumpet practice session in Squires. As the 3rd chair trumpet in the lowest tier university band, it was important that I maintained the ability to sound better than the 9 worse trumpets below me. I also worked some on jazz improvisation, which was not helpful as I went 0 for 2 on getting into the Jazz Band that year (I ended up in "Jazz Improv Lab" instead which was where we met with Chip McNeill once a week while he played his sax for a half hour and then class was cancelled the other 3 weeks out of the month).

On the way back, I picked up a chicken patty sandwich from Dietrick Express and ate it in my room while reading the webcomic, Sluggy Freelance, chatted with my online friends in the "Silvermoon Forest" roleplaying chatroom on the Webchat Broadcasting System, and listened to the loud populace of East AJ fan out for parties through my ground-floor window. (3119 was on both the third and ground floor at the same time, either because building engineers are bad at math, or because of hills).

Once the dorm had quieted down, I switched gears to composing the fourth movement of my interminable trumpet concerto, The Hero, which I was struggling to end authoritatively yet quietly. After fighting the music for about an hour, I shut down Finale 97 and ended the night with a game of the recently released Quake II. I went to bed around midnight which was about average for that time in my life.

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