Monday, October 5, 2015

The Worst Song

I try to be relatively positive in life.

I consider myself an optimist.

I find joy in small things.

However, I'm sad to say that I have discovered the worst song.  I THOUGHT it was "Party Hard" by Andrew W.K. (it's really really bad).  I've come across a lot of forgettable songs in my line of work.  I've come across some gross ones.  I've come across songs that other people may like but I find very blah (What Do You Mean by Justin Bieber would fall under that category).  I have discovered both the music of and my dislike for Calvin Harris.  I many times can you do a 16 bar build up of nothing with the same syncopated rhythm that just drops into...the same thing.

Having said this, THIS song is worse.

So so much worse.

Are you ready?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Back to Orchestra

I joined an orchestra.

It's just a local community orchestra, but it's said to be the best in SF, so that's nice.  I had to actually audition to get in, which is reassuring.

I haven't been a regular member of an orchestra since graduating college - it's something I miss.  I love being part of a group and being surrounded by sound.

Monday was the first rehearsal, and just getting there was stressful.  It involved having to get my car jumped by AAA (the guy rolled my car out into the middle of the street), and then driving into the sun with a very dirty windshield, and then spending 40 minutes looking for parking.  And then parking super far away and using my phone's GPS to get me to the rehearsal room.  Gross.

BUT I made it!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Holberg Suite - Air (onenaoko)

Holberg Suite!

Every string player eventually plays this piece.  I have definitely forced more than one former class to play the Prelude (I have these vague memories of talking about galloping and coconuts.  Props to you if you get that references).

This is the Air, which is the slow and very pretty movement.

A student once said to me, "I wish my bow was this long" and spread his arms out as far as they would go.  Yeah, that's basically how I feel about this piece.  I wish my bow was ridiculously long so I could sustain a note FOREVER.  In lieu of that, I opted for a lot of staggered bowing.

I doubled up on the parts for two real reasons:
1.) Most of the parts had divisi parts
2.) I thought 10 mimicked a chamber group better than 5, and created a fuller sound

On another note, I'm looking for new video editing software that can handle multi-track videos.  My software is nice but....once all the parts are in, the video gets super choppy and I can't properly align everything toward the end.  I have both a PC and Mac, so if you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

Okay.  Here it is:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My First Racial Slur

Today, someone emailed me back, after I tried to help with a problem, and said merely that I was dumb and was writing from a third world country.

I had two reactions:
1.) Eugh, just because you haven't seen my name before doesn't mean I'm writing from not-America
2.) Uh...Japan is not a third world country.

And also, this person did not write anything else in their response to me.  Not exactly giving me a lot to go on to help you out...

I wrote back asking if she had tried any of my suggestions, and what the results were.

She wrote back, saying she was from America and she knew I was writing from a third world country.  And then called me "chingy".

I gasped out loud and went, "Oh.  My.  God."

And then I laughed.

Monday, July 6, 2015

BUS STORIES - Can't a white man ever catch a break?

Going home, I took my (now) normal #2 bus home.

Since they prefer you going through the backdoor rather than the front, I walked up to the bus, held down the button to open the door, and walked into the bus.  Easy, right?

As soon as I sit down, a man starts angrily muttering.  "Oh, you open the back door now, huh?  You open it for HER?!  That's DISCRIMINATION!  I'm being discriminated against!"

I peaked over at him and furrowed my brow with confusion.  It was a 60 something year old Caucasian man.


Yeah, man.  You have it so hard.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

3 Years

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of my last last day of school.

It's a little crazy that it has already been 3 years.  It feels like it was both a couple months ago and a lifetime ago.

On Friday, a co-worker asked, "Do you miss it?"  I do still tell a lot of teaching stories...

My honest answer was, "No.  Not really."  And everybody laughed.
Another person asked, "Did you like it?"
My honest answer was, "Yes.  I loved it, at the time.  I loved it until I didn't, and then I stopped."

Especially when talking with people who have not been in education, it's hilarious to me when they ask me about my classes and ask me which was my biggest one.  The look on peoples' faces when I say, "I had a beginning 4th grade class of 100," is priceless.  It brings me such amusement, I can't even tell you.

"How did you do it?!"
"I don't know.  I didn't know how I was doing it at the time...I just did."

Everyone asked me this at the time, too.  "I don't know how you do it," is the phrase that was told me the most often.  It's the phrase that people still say to me.

I miss the good kids.  I miss the banter and the funny things that would happen on a daily basis that only happens with kids.  I miss making a difference and seeing that difference over time.

However, there's such a long list of things I don't miss.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin'

I'm not sure if I would know who Meghan Trainor is if I didn't work for a music company.

It started with All About That Bass.  It was a divisive song at work.  We agreed that it was almost empowering except that it wasn't and it fell short.  We supported Ms. Trainor's notion of being all about that bass, but were worried that she still sought validation from men about it.

Personally, I just changed the lyrics:
"Because I'm all about that cake, 'bout that cake (no veggies),
I'm all about that cake, 'bout that cake (no veggies).
I'm all about that cake, 'bout that cake (no veggies),
I'm all about that cake, 'bout that cake.

I'm bringing JUNK FOOD BACK....go ahead and tell them skinny b*****s that..."

I like my version better.

Then came Lips Are Movin.  And then Dear Future Husband.  That sealed it.  Meghan Trainor is a feminist icon.  (Can you hear the sarcasm?)

Nobody wanted to do any of these songs for work, so I ended up doing every Meghan Trainor song (because I always blink first) for all of our apps.  A quote I never thought I'd hear anybody say, "So really, Naoko IS Meghan Trainor."  No.  No, I am not.

However, her music IS catchy.  And once you remove Meghan Trainor from it words, I think it's quite enjoyable.