...ends up in my blog! Well, the highlights anyway. This last week was my final trip as a member of the CSU Band. I played my last Fight Song after a disappointing loss to SDSU on Thursday night and sang my last Alma Mater as we pulled up to the UCA last night at 12:30. As my time as a band member slowly drew to a close, I took some time to reflect on how my "last hurrah" in Vegas with the band was definitely an adventure.
First off, I'd like to mention that there are some really great people that I have come to know in the band. Vegas was an opportunity to hang out with these great folks in an "out of band" experience that led to some really great times and lasting memories. Given my current situation with someone I had spent almost my entire CSU "career" with (especially in band-related activities), I took this opportunity to break out of my usual clique. I spent some time with people I had always considered to be good "band friends" but never really hung out with. Between late-night bowling, hot-tubbing, Fremont Street, the Hofbrauhaus, and walking around just taking it all in, I found myself in a new "rat pack" so to speak.
One of the truly memorable points was the game against SDSU on Thursday. The men's game against SDSU was both heart-breaking and heart-warming. Our team played fairly well, but we ended up losing by one point. Our desperate three-point shot at the buzzer fell a little short, but I hold true to the fact that our guy was horrendously fouled just outside the three-point line and should have been given shots that may have won the game. With the outcome of the game aside, the band sounded amazing! In the last 10 minutes of game time, we had the entire place rocking. Our usual small group of die hard CSU fans was increased by a factor of 10 (not kidding) with fans from around the conference all chanting for CSU. We had people from UNN and UNLV even starting up chants for CSU that they had converted from their own stuff, and every time the band would play we were met with a roaring crowd. It felt like everyone in the Mountain West (except SDSU) was a Ram for the night. It almost brought me to tears. I will feel like I will remember that night for a long time when I look back to being a proud member of the CSU Band.
As far as gambling goes, I actually left Las Vegas this year with more money that I started with. I played some blackjack on Tuesday night and left the table $20 up. After giving a buddy a crash course on how to play back at the hotel Wednesday morning, I proceeded to lose my Tuesday winnings as well as the $20 I had spent to buy in. My friend ended up winning $5 and calling it quits. After our basketball team lost on Thursday I hit the tables again before we had to leave the next morning. One of the guys from the UNM cheer squad also playing at the table won over $200, but a guy from UNLV slowly lost an equal amount. I never imagined that I would be holding a $100 chip, but when I finally cashed out, I was holding $125 in Southpoint Casino chips. Wow! It was a great way to end the night (well, it was actually about 4:30 in the morning when I was done).
I have thought recently that life is a lot like a book with many sub-books and chapters that are all interrelated into one amazing story (a lot like the Bible actually). The book about my as life as a CSU band member is almost finished. It has contained some amazing chapters about friendship, camaraderie, and love; and some of the chapters have shown some deep conflict, sadness, and hurt (especially recently). I feel like the chapter just written about this final trip to the Tournament in Vegas showed a lot of climax and resolution with some amazing experiences and friends that helped begin a great ending. As the epilogue is written, it's time for me to look to some of the other books I'm writing.
Turn the page, but don't close the book.