So it's late and I have no idea what I'm going to write about. But hey, that's OK, Paula Hyman seems to be able to wing it quite well, so I'll give it a shot. The weather in Iowa can't seem to make up its mind. In a sense it's very frustrating, but at the same time it's quite nice. Generally, running (which is much needed) is hard to do in the winter outside in Iowa, but last weekend that wasn't the case at all. In fact it was in the mid-60s, which is even warmer the West Coast. So to celebrate, I went for a very long run in the middle of the day, and I was able to do so comfortably in shorts.

Joe Smith
Then on Saturday, when we once again had some nice weather, I met up with an old friend, and we went to do something that I haven't done in 11 months. In the time before I knew what drum corps was (a little more than 3 years ago), I used to be a very avid paintball player. I spent every weekend at a paintball field trying to be one of the best around, which I never did succeed at. I gave it all up, though, in the summer of 2002 so that I could buy a new trumpet and really pursue my goal of marching drum corps. Everything seems to be working out wonderfully in drum corps, but I do still miss playing paintball every once in awhile. So we spent the entire day running around in the water and mud at a local paintball field. It was a day well spent.

On Sunday I went back to something I haven't done since September -- playing with the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble. Since my junior year, it seems like when it comes to the concert setting, I'm always playing French horn. The school I was a marching tech at was a host on Sundays to the CIWE, and they invited me to come check it out. It was a great outlet for me to have a chance to play trumpet in the concert setting, and also to submerge myself in more college-level literature. From the looks of it, I am the youngest player in this ensemble, but I'm not 100 percent sure on this fact. The literature we played was great. We started to read a Bernstein piece that I have never heard before, and it is definitely a lot of fun. Then we moved to my favorite composer and played "Festive Overture" by Shostakovich.

So my weekend turned out quite wonderfully. On Tuesday I was able to finally finish my tape assignment and send it off to James, our friendly mello tech. I have never had to do tape assignments before, and wow, they really are frustrating. When I turned in my tape assignment I realized just how close camp is. Tomorrow I will be getting on a plane at about 6:30 a.m., but I'll be in Santa Clara by 10:25, so I will have a good part of the day to enjoy the wonderful weather, and maybe even try to find a Jamba Juice, since I am craving one.

Now if only there were eight more hours in a day, then I'd be able to get more accomplished and actually get enough sleep at night. Maybe I'll put that on my birthday list for May, just in time for tour.