The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


MUSIC: All-County Band Performance (Volusia County)

What a treat it is to get to see some of the best players from around Volusia County play at the Peabody Auditorium.   None of the Malena Family decided to try out for All-County this year (at least, that's what I'm told..) so we all got to watch from the audience this time (though I was pretty busy taking pictures as usual for the band).

THEATER: Beauty And The Beast (Seaside Music Theater)

My children and I last saw Beauty And The Beast performed by the same theater group a couple years ago, and it was fantastic.   At that time, they were performing their plays at their own center (small stage on Beach Street in Daytona Beach) and at the Daytona Beach Community College.

Now, they are performing at the brand new News-Journal Center on Beach Street.

Let's just hope they work out the technical glitches before my summer subscription kicks in for five more plays, because we saw BATB on the second night it opened at the new NJ-Center, and it was... so-so.

Curtains catching on each other, fireworks going off and smoke billowing around the upper atmosphere for 20 minutes, air conditioning that turned on and off sporadically during the performance, and worst of all, the music-to-singing volume ratio was horribly out of balance.   At first, I thought my own hearing was to blame, but then I noted two different couples within seats of my position commenting on that very problem during the intermission!   The orchestra drowned out the verbal portion of the play at every turn.   One slightly laughable situation (which the actor, James Haase playing Gaston, handled quite well) was when Gaston's armband got caught on Le Fou's (played by Mark Catlett) shirt button after Gaston lifted him up and then brought him down.   James very quickly tried to get the armband removed from his partner's shirt, then immediately gave up and slid his arm OUT of the trapped costume piece... the result being that Le Fou sang for the next two minutes with an armband hanging from his chest (which eventually fell off and disappeared during the next scene via a set change).

We "enjoyed" the play, but in truth, it was very troubled -- and I'm sure they'll work these things out.   Well, I hope they work these things out.

MOVIE: Underworld Evolution

I thought the first Underworld movie was pretty good.   It had an interesting storyline with fairly good (not the highest quality, but good..) special effects.

This movie was about on par with the first.   There was more "background story" (or should I say, a more convenient background story) told, and better effects.   It balanced out in the end.   There was a lot more "flesh" than I would have dreamed (based on the first one), which was a little unnerving with my sons there to see it with me, but life goes on.   It had some Blade-esque moments (especially the ending outcome) but that was fine.   Speaking of fine... Kate Beckinsale.   Wow.   :-)

MOVIE: Chronicles Of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

(apparently I'm very late posting a review about this)

This movie was a very dazzling special effects effort, with the daylight-based CGI and near-flawless integration of live and computerized characters (plus characters which were half-each).

It's definitely a kids' story, but was worth seeing at full movie price, in my book. I liked it better than King Kong, that's for sure.


New Website To Take Care Of

Apparently being the "official high school band photographer" was not enough.   Now I'm taking care of one of their websites (nothing done yet other than a "stay tuned" text, but www.LakesideJazz.Org should see some new content soon...


Why Can't I Be Special?

I am appalled that my chosen lifestyle is NOT represented on the web!   How is it that there are sites out there for the socially accepted, the individuals who have been given special privilidges for who they are, not what they can do?   Why can't I have legislation made to help me and my kind?

I speak, of course, of the Straight White Average Man (or SWAM, for short).   (1/24/06 - updated this since I had the words as "SAWM" instead - Tony=dumb)

With so many special programs made for every other specialty group (sexuality-based, race- and ethnicity-based, gender-based and more), why am *I* being overlooked?   Perhaps I need to design a "Masculinist" website.. or better yet, the official "SWAM" site!   (rofl)

(before anyone gets into a tizzy, I am making light of the fact that there are so many programs aimed at so many specifically-targeted groups in the United States, it makes the average white Joe like me feel... inconsequential, sometimes -- effectively making us a minority in our own sense)   (I am not a racist, or similarly derogatory group-name for the others mentioned herein, by ANY stretch of the imagination)


Blonde Jokes

Okay, once in a while, I have to bite.

This is the best blonde joke ever.

Young Adults (aka Children)

Having four children has taught me alot... especially that, no matter how much I learn, I will never learn "enough" to do the job anywhere near perfectly.

On a good day, I have three of them "happy".   On a bad day.. well..

I've decided to set my foot down about the whole "social netorking" scene.   For those not well versed in such matters, that means I will be restricting (perhaps blocking, long term) access to such sites as MySpace and LiveJournal (and a variety of others which they may know about already).

Back when I found it necessary to track a former family member's movements on the home computers, it was very enlightening (and eventually brought about the end of a very long, very poorly ended relationship).   Now, I find myself setting up plans to do the same thing with my children.   I've teetered back and forth on this issue for what seems like years, and I've finally decided that part of parenting is not just trusting and allowing kids space, but also CHECKING UP on them and HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE (or educating them, depending on the circumstance).

I'm a computer geek, born and raised and lived these 37 years.   I'm one of (I consider) very few who truly understand the workings of what's currently known as "the Internet", and I find every single day that my kids really have VERY little clue about things.   They're wise (to a degree) and have a great deal of intelligence, but they have very little EXPERIENCE (something life brings).   Even in day-to-day life it surprises me what I assume my kids' know, only to find out they have no clue (from simple things like what certain words mean, to the complexities of a relationship where there is a love for someone that a person should never be near ever again).   I try to be the thoughtful father and educate them on the things that will get them through life, but being alone and taking care of all four of them gets to be overwhelming.   They only see a dad who is grumpy a lot of the time, who seems to fly off the handle about the "small things", and who they solely rely upon for their well-being.

A friend of mine says I just need to "get laid".   Another says I need to stay busy... and to both, I agree to some extent.   However, I am not partial to casual sex, or even encounters with someone other than a lifelong partner.   I stay busy as much as I can, though most of it is high-school related (i.e., involves my children) so the things I keep busy with keep my in close proximity to the kids constantly.   I don't know how to alleviate this.   I'd love to wake up next to a special woman in the morning;   I'd like to get back into some of my old hobbies more seriously;   I'd love to see my kids BUSY with things, but they, too, find themselves stuck "with me" most of the time.
My oldest daughter should be driving errands for the family by now, but is not.   Why?   From my perspective, she doesn't want to earn money, therefore earning the right to drive.   From hers, she probably thinks at various times of the week that I either hate her or that I don't care to see her drive.

My second daughter should be doing a lot more with her ambitions and drive, but is not.   Why?   I fear it is family issues pulling her down, plus a sweet-n-sour relationship with her sister, who I know she happens to love very much (but her sister is very hard to show love to sometimes).

My boys both should be ten times more active than they are.   Why aren't they?   I am constantly battling them over the "small things" such as how to complete a task (chore or otherwise), and to be responsible for things that are under their care (animals, property, etc).   So, I end up giving them grief, restricting their freetime, taking away privilidges, and generally making their life post-divorce that much more unpleasant.

And me?   I just exist most of the time.   My job is a good diversion (and keeps me valuable there), but outside my job, I only really have high-school related activities.   I keep telling myself that's more than enough to keep me busy, but then when I have to deal with diverse parents of other children, a few of which I *really* can't appreciate much, it becomes hard.. and my pre-marriage, quiet, seemingly aloof self comes out.   I frequently have daydreams of stepping up and giving a few "adults" a piece or seven of my mind, especially in regards to the ongoing "demand for respect" they have from the high-school students while they have ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT for the students themselves (this is an assanine concept).   Since doing this would make my children's lives miserable within the Music program and at High School in general, I don't do it.   I try to educate my kids about people who demand respect and give none -- as if they are God's gift to whatever they are participating in and that "we" are lucky to have "them" around.   What a crock.   I sometimes think that having self-esteem is a BAD idea, depending on who you are.

Frankly, none of this really matters, because it will be read by my kids, it will be read by two or three friends, and possibly a member of the aforementioned "adult group", and no one will care.

So the hell with all of it.


iPods With Useless Firewire Connectivity

(technically this falls under the "Duh, Read The Manual" category, but I find it really stupid, so I'm going to complain about it)

Now that TWO of my children have iPods, I find it VERY frustrating that they do not support Firewire on a Windows machine.   That's just.. gay.   I just wasted $18 on a returned Firewire PCI card for Amanda's computer so she could use Firewire instead of USB via a hub.   (sigh)   What is that.. a "perk" reserved for the tiny masses that use Macintosh still??     *phbtbtbtbt*

(if anyone knows a hack that allows use of Firewire for file transfers via Windows onto an iPod, let me know)


SCHS Peach Bowl DVDs = $5

If you'd like a Spruce Creek High School Peach Bowl DVD, feel free to contact me.   They are only $5, and include slideshows of pictures (set to music), videos, and a special bonus video!   I'm already filling orders for many of the students, so if you'd like one, please let me know ASAP.

Payment can be sent via cash, Paypal, money order, etc.   If you require shipping, please be aware that I'll need shipping costs included.

If you are familiar with Paypal, and/or have your own account, feel free to send payment to me at anthony AT malena DOT net.


Peach Bowl 2005

I served as a chaperone for Spruce Creek High School's band as it attended the 2005 Peach Bowl.   Over 2,500 students from top-notch bands across North America attended, being judged for Field Show, Marching, Jazz and Concert band categories.   Spruce Creek "of course" took many awards under the direction of Andrew Kidd and John Seth.

These awards included:

  • Grand Champion - Jazz Band Competition

  • 1st Place (Gold) - Twelve O'Clock Jazz Band

  • 1st Place (Gold) - Eleven O'Clock Jazz Band

  • 1st Place (Gold) - Color Guard

  • 2nd Place (Gold) - Symphonic Band

  • 2nd Place (Gold) - Concert Band

  • 2nd Place (Gold) - Parade Competition

Gold is applied to awards with extremely high levels of distinction.