Welcome to Glenn's Blog!

Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Going on Tour

Well, today we head out for Santa Cruz, for the marching band's annual 'tour'. It made me start thinking about all the past tours I've done with band, dating back to 1993 (before most of the current members were even born...). We've done everything from Utah to Portland, Oregon, to Disneyland and San Diego. I've been quite a few places just due to this band. In recent years, we've kind of gotten into a routine of always hitting the Santa Cruz band festival and playing a standstill on the beach. This year, for the first time, there's rain in the forecast...should be interesting.

But I've had interesting times before, and have learned a great deal of useful things. For example, powdered non-dairy creamer is in fact flammable, and will set off the fire alarm if you ignite it. That's a good one to remember. Also, you can in fact teach a parrot to say bad words. That came from San Diego. As did this: lighting random bonfires on the beach at night is apparently frowned upon by the local police. And course who can forget: if you happen to be wandering around the bad part of San Francisco at night, and some guy in a trench coat approaches you and ask if you want to buy a speaker, the correct response is not, in fact, "Well what do you have?". Good times.

Well the tours have certainly tamed down quite a bit since then. Or maybe it's just that I've gotten older and tamed down...or maybe it's that I'm on staff now and just don't see all the shenanigans anymore. Well, whatever it is, it certainly seems to have a different vibe. But we still have fun, and even though the band only does one night, I stay an extra just to try and enjoy being by the ocean a little longer.

And this year, being in the rain a little more...

Monday, October 10, 2016


You ever wonder whatever happened to all the people you knew growing up? You meet a lot of people as you wind your way through life, and some get to be close friends, people you think you'll always have an association with. You know, the people without whom your life seemed incomplete. It's true at every stage of life; there's close friends in grade school, in high school, in college, in careers. In life. But the passage of time tends to fade them out of existence. At least out of your sphere of existence. Where do they all go? What are they up to? What did they turn out to BE like?? Do anyone of them ever wonder about me?

I guess in most cases we'll never know. It's easier today, than it was when I was growing up. Or at least it seems it should be easier. With things such as Facebook, you can look up a lot of people you've forgotten over the years and see what they're up to. Or at least what they look like now. All you have to do is sit at the computer, and CLICK CLICK CLICK. There they are, once again. But they're strangers now. That's assuming of course that they didn't unfriend or block you in Facebookland. Maybe some don't want to be in touch anymore. There's always that I suppose. Back when I was growing up, you exchanged phone numbers when the school year ended, or maybe a mailing address. These were home phone numbers. Cell phones didn't exist. Email didn't exist. But even with things like Facebook today, some people just slide in and out of your life, never to be seen or heard from again.

This is especially true when you work at a school. It's like standing still with a slow but endless conveyor belt that continuously brings new people into your scope of vision. And eventually they pass on. They move on. But you're still there, watching the conveyor belt. It never breaks down. It never stops.

That's life.

Well it's another Monday here at Sac State. Into the heart of October, and fall. It's finally starting to feel like it at least. Temperatures are cooling, rain is flirting with the five-day forecast. Pretty soon it will get to be very busy around here, and I won't have time for such pondering. Just as it's been for the past 17 years here, really. And then December will be here, and then some more people will disappear. And then January, and February, and some new ones will appear. And so on. Not much changes when you think about it.

I wonder what all the people I used to know are up to.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week Three

Well, today begins the third week of school. I'm kind of in that limbo area where I can't figure out if the semester is dragging on or flying by. Three weeks already? Or has it only been three weeks?? We're kind of in that dead lull right now where not much is happening. People are scurrying about like rats, trying to get ready for what's in store this semester. We haven't quite started having busy concert weeks, and it's too early to start scheduling for next semester. So I'm mostly biding my time doing paperwork, processing parking requests, and listening (currently) to the Big Phat Band. The selections change daily. Good thing, or I'd think I was in a rut.

28. That's my magic number. If I retire at 55, I'll have 28 more semesters here. Too early to start counting down? Well that assumes of course that I actually stay working here. Haven't heard anything either way, on either of the prospects currently cooking in the fire. But by age 55 I will have just over 30 years of service; really 31 plus whatever my accumulated sick time translates to. If I don't stay, I'd likely have to keep working till at least 62. Which I could certainly do. But I think I'm ready to move on. Heck on blasé Mondays like today, I feel like I could move on right now. Oh, to be independently wealthy. Where's the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol when you need them??

But anyways, today is a Monday just like any other, really. Cleaning up from the things that took place or came into the inbox over the weekend. Reminiscing over the past, daydreaming of the future. And just chugging along.

Sigh. Well, hey, it's already week three and there's only 28 semesters to go...

Friday, September 2, 2016

I Saw A Green Garbage Truck

This morning, on the way to work, I saw a garbage truck. A big green one. That would have been far more exciting had Connor been in the car, but he was at the old folks' home already. But he loves to narrate his car rides, pointing out every garbage truck, tractor, van, fire truck, ambulance, and so on. And he names them by color too. Smart kid. The back seat driver thing gets old though...Daddy Go!, Go That Way!, Turn Around! And so on.

Anyway, here we are at the end of the first week of school at Sac State. It's been a busy week, which is par for the course in the first week of school. Tomorrow is already our first football game. I'm still here at work, though I applied for and interviewed for a new job at UC Davis, stage managing for their brand new music building which is set to open next week. Haven't heard anything since last Wednesday's interview. It was a good interview though, and no matter the eventual outcome, I'm glad I did it. It was only the second interview I've done since taking the job at Sac State 17 years ago. Oddly enough both times were at UC Davis.

But here I am at Sac State, and for the moment assuming I'll be here for at least another 14 years. Time flies by. It really does. Hard to believe I've been on this campus for 23 years now, counting my undergrad years. So many people have come and gone, and meanwhile I've just sat and watched them fly by as I slowly grow older. Sometimes folks from the past come back to visit for one reason or another (sometimes it's because they have an old hold on their record from not returning their practice room key...). I usually can't remember if it's been 5, 10, or 20 years since I last saw them. Everything tends to blend together. The years are all just one big work of impressionist art, smeared together to form a vague sense of all that's happened in that time. Sigh.

But I digress. Here it is, the end of the first week of school, with a three day weekend looming. I've been busy doing paperwork for this and that, and everything here at school this week. And now it's time for lunch. Then the afternoon will be more of the same, I'm sure, and soon it will be time to go home and decompress. Maybe I'll see a garbage truck on the way home...

Friday, August 5, 2016


Southeast Alaska is just a small nub on the tail end of what is an exceptionally massive place, but even this tiny corner seems massive in its scope of raw nature. We've been back just over a week now from spending 8 days in downtown Juneau. We've visited Alaska a few times before, always on cruise ships. You only get to spend a part of one day in each port, which is still nice in itself. But this time we got to explore more of the state capital and dig into its raw and expansive beauty a little bit.

It rained. A lot. Actually, it didn't rain at all the first day we were there. And then it didn't stop. It wasn't a hard rain really, just a consistent one. Every once in awhile it would stop for 15 minutes, or a half hour if you were lucky. But that didn't deter me from getting out there and exploring. We spent a day on top of Mt. Roberts via the tram, another day at Mendenhall Glacier, another at the Glacier Gardens, and toured several museums in the interim days. Not having to hurry back and catch a cruise ship meant that we could take it leisurely, and most nights we were back in the hotel anyway by 7pm. You might think it would be a great area to stay up late and watch the stars. Maybe it is, but we only saw clouds the whole time.

This was Connor's second trip to Alaska, as he went with us on a cruise when he was only eight months old. This is the first trip he might remember. Or if not, at least the 475 photos I brought home will give him an idea. As a 2.5 year old toddler, although he's got an abnormally high amount of energy, he still is only good for about six hours at a stretch before needing a nap. So I got to spend some time exploring on my own while Connor and mommy slept.

Alaska has some of the most beautiful hiking trails I've ever seen. And I only scratched the surface of what's up there, just in Juneau. But on Mt. Roberts I hiked up the trail that heads to the summit. I didn't quite make it to the summit; actually it was hard to tell how close I got, because the fog and most air rendered visibility down to under 30 yards once you got to a certain height. So eventually I had to turn around and head back, while I could still see the trail! The East Glacier at Mendenhall is even more gorgeous, hiking through a temperate rain forest with babbling streams and eventually the river that flows over the cliff, becoming Nugget Falls. Even though visibility was fairly poor this day, it was still gorgeous exploring.

You might be thinking, "Wow, did you run into any bears out in all this wilderness??" Alaska is somehow famous for its wildlife, but I still have yet to see anything bigger than a bald eagle in the port towns. And that's how it was in Juneau this time around. Very little wildlife outside of birds and salmon. Maybe next time...

We also took a day ferry trip to Haines, which is a little town we had never been to. Unfortunately the ferry terminal in Haines is four miles from town, and it just so happens that there's no busses, no shuttles, no taxis, no anything to take you to town. So we walked...until we got picked up by a nice German couple in an RV. They had seen us on the ferry, and felt bad for us I guess as we were pushing the stroller along the two-lane highway. In any case, they graciously offered to give us a lift to town, which we happily accepted. We still had to walk back though, and it was a nice walk, but due to the time it takes, we didn't get to spend more than a couple hours in Haines. I don't think we saw most of it. Or perhaps maybe there's just not much there...

In any case, the trip was good despite occasional problems trying to convince Connor that it was, in fact, bedtime. He did do really well on the plane though, only crying as we descended and his ears were bothering him from the elevation change. We tried to convince him to drink some juice from his sippy cup, knowing the swallowing motion would clear up his ear problem. He didn't quite understand though when we said that drinking would help his ears, as he kept trying to stick the sappy cup IN his ear. Well fortunately that sensation didn't last too long.

I'll pick up with some more specific stories on our adventures next week...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summertime Blues

Wow, did a whole semester go by since the last time I wrote on here? Sigh. Time flies when you're having...whatever. Spring 2016 was something of a melancholy semester for me. I just couldn't get any inspiration to be productive. I'd like to say the summer has improved that situation somewhat, and I guess in some ways it has.

In April I played in the pit orchestra for The Producers at Sac State. That was a bright spot for the spring, I suppose. Haven't touched a bass since then. Right now I'm in the middle of conducting All Shook Up at Runaway Stage; we just completed our third weekend, and have one more to go. All Shook is a fun show, based on the music of Elvis with a storyline that's strangely similar to Bye Bye Birdie. But it's funny, and the music just works - and makes the story and the actors shine. There's always some joy to be had watching these guys perform on stage.

In the world of composition - well I just haven't accomplished much. I've arranged the fall show much for the marching band, but outside of that I'm in something of a drought. Just like the weather here. Which has been in the low 100s for several days now. Remember when I talked about finishing my string quartet, and having it performed? Yeah I barely remember that myself. Haven't touched it at all. Or even really thought about it much. Not sure when or if I'll get around to it. Did I mention I was in a drought?

Well, after a four-day weekend in which I was the primary caretaker for Connor owing to the fact that Whitney is in New York at a band director's conference, I'm back at work today. It's slow. It's quiet. I've already almost caught up on all the messages that came in during my absence, and it's not even 8:30am yet. Wait...it's not even 8:30am yet??

It's going to be a long day.