Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I want to go where the sidewalk ends...

Where the Sidewalk Ends-Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



I've been seeing a lot of projects lately. Some for Camille's Winter Fest at her school, some on blogs, at school, etc. and I realize I don't really do anything haha. It makes me want to go out and start playing music, or writing stories, or taking beautiful photos. It's just cool that people can make things like that, I admire them for being creative. I think it's even more impressive when they just do it on their own--not for a grade or whatever.

I also like this video even though it's kind of cheesy.

I'm one of those people who are probably not the creative type. I think I want to try new things this year (probably in the summer) that will challenge my creativity a little.

Also, studying the mind and physical brain in Psychology has made me more aware of how amazing our brains really are, how complicated and intelligent. So I kind of want to take advantage of it a lot now. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Wall.

You know, today was actually a pretty great day. I was surprised because it didn't start out terribly well and I was in an awful mood. I was nervous for my italian class, but it turns out my midterm is a take home test with open book, open note, open dictionary and that was only the first good thing that happened. My physical science teacher is funny and Jamie joins me on fridays for that class and it's nice to have a friend in that huge group. After that we set off to go apartment hunting for next fall-winter semesters and the first one we looked at was really really good. And it turned out that it was the only one we looked at since the other one we went to find looked kind of creepy. It still felt like quite a successful hunt though. Then we decided to go to Guru's but we wanted a friend to come with us. Everyone was busy since it was such short notice but we finally got a hold of Jamie's friend Nathaniel, and he really is just enjoyable to be around. So Jamie and I took the bus and got yelled at by the bus driver because we were late and she had to wait for us to get on. (We looked at the clock and we were right on time). Then we got off at the Wilk and got on the wrong bus... so we walked the rest of the way. We felt very accomplished afterwards though. Guru's is a pretty wonderful place, I've decided. The decorations are pretty cool and unique and the food is healthy but delicious... and goodness, they have the best sweet potato fries.
Google image.
 So when we came back we put tons of photos from our lives on our wall. Now our room looks a lot happier and more lived-in than it did last semester. I like it. :) 
Also, Camille and my mom are coming home tomorrow and I am really excited to see them.

The end.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Art of Sound

Music absolutely amazes me. We can string together sounds that create certain feelings, bring memories back to us, and influence our mood, provoke deep thought and that’s not even all that music can do. It’s complex and beautiful. Musical instruments are constructed so that the sounds have a pattern and theory behind them, that way we can mathematically figure out how to create these sounds and emotions. And there are so many different instruments that make their own unique sort of sound. I mean look at this list: and I’m sure there’s even more than that. And they all have their own unique sound and way of being played. Each one is crafted perfectly to make that particular type of music. When you touch a piano key it actually triggers a small, felt covered hammer to hit a metal string and when it vibrates it is transmitted through a sounding board that perfects that vibration. When you stop pressing the key, a damper causes the string to stop vibrating. Pretty amazing right? I think so anyway. And every instrument is constructed in a different way.
But of course, an instrument would be useless if no one could play it or if no one composed melodies. After ten years of taking piano lessons I am still completely in awe of people who can sit down at a piano and just compose something beautiful. Like Jennifer Lin. She is 14. Watch this video, it blew my mind. Music composition is daunting to me. There is so much more that goes in to it than I think we usually realize. The sounds have to be organized so there isn’t dischord, so it evokes the kind of feeling you want to portray. You have to consider if you want it major or minor, what key you want it to be in, naturals, flats, sharps, timing, volume throughout the piece, melody, complex patterns, etc. etc. I don’t know enough about it to really tell you. But I just really appreciate those people who can do that.
Also, music memorization and sight-reading. I love sight-reading music, I love how I can read it like I read words but it comes out my fingers and transforms into sounds. (Weird way to describe it I know). I’ve never been good at memorization though. But it feels so good when you know the song so well that your hands just flow through the piece and you can hear in your mind what is coming next and make it happen simply from your hands remembering.
Which brings me to a thought I had today. Listening to music is wonderful. Like I said before, it influences the listener so much even though it really is just a bunch of sounds strung together in some sort of structure. But it’s actually a whole different experience for the performer. I am terrible at performing in front of people, but when I’m home alone sometimes I’ll just sit down at the piano and play. There’s just something euphoric about being able to make music. It’s not necessarily better than just listening to it, but it is kind of a different experience for me. I guess I can’t really explain it very well, but my point is, music is versatile. It influences all sorts of people in all sorts of ways and from both sides—the performer and the listener. I realized this when I was watching a very impressive violin piece. It was amazing but it was really long. I got kind of bored half way through. But while I watched the girl play, I remembered, when you perform something difficult, it doesn’t bore you. It’s challenging and exciting to try to get through the piece and make it flow and sound beautiful. And it can definitely wear you out. Camille and I worked on a duet for a piano competition a few years ago and I remember a lot of people liked one duet better than the other. I loved the one that wore me out the most though because it was difficult to get through and it was very dramatic. It was fun to play, basically. I felt more accomplished after playing that particular song rather than the other one. But I think if I were just listening, I would enjoy the other one better because it was more pleasant and relaxing to listen to.
So this was much longer than I anticipated and I doubt anyone wants to read my rambling thoughts about music. But all in all, I love love love music. And I really just want to keep learning about it, learn more instruments, and to sing, and go deeper into the theory aspect of it. I just need to remember to practice. :P 

P.S. If you want to see one of my favorite musical artists performing go here. He plays tons of instruments and is a one man band. He uses some sort of loop pedal or something (I don't completely understand it) to make the music keep going even after he stops playing so he can move on to his next instrument and create his own little orchestra. It's pretty long, the first few minutes can give you an okay idea of how talented he is though. His style is really unique so you may not like it, but it's pretty amazing to watch him create music like that even if you don't like it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A few resolutions...

A lot of changes happened in 2010. I lost friends, but gained a few, and strengthened some old friendships, I moved out, I realized just how important my family is to me, cried a lot, but laughed a lot too, went on so many adventures, but sat at home bored sometimes too. I am actually pretty excited to see what happens this year. A little nervous too, but mostly excited. I actually made resolutions this time (I normally don't) and I am really looking forward to working on them.

So here are just a few of the ones I came up with:
-Run a 10 k.
-Eat healthier and more natural foods.
-Three A's winter semester. (ahhh scary).
-Choose a major. (Scarier).
-Move forward with my musical skills. (Learn guitar, keep practicing piano, perform, etc.)
-Spend much less time on the computer and more time reading, writing, etc.
-Focus more on serving other people and helping others be happy instead of being so focused on my own happiness.
-Actually use a planner for at least a couple of months. (I rarely even stick to it for 2 weeks but I need to be more organized).
-Go on more adventures, even if they're local. (Holi, concerts, hikes, etc.)

So yeah, those are just a few. And I know a lot of them aren't really measurable goals that I can just achieve and be done with, but I like it that way. I tend to get more excited about starting goals than finishing them so most of these are just ways I want to improve my life this year. That way I can keep working on them and hopefully just get better and better at living the way I want to.

So... that's the end.