Monday, December 31, 2012

Good-bye, 2012!

I have a tradition of looking up my yearly horoscope, both astrological and Chinese, saving it in a word document, and then reading it at the end of the year.

For YEARS, my Chinese horoscope has told me I would have 10 bad months and 2 neutral months.  Then 9 bad months and 3 neutral months.  Thanks, Chinese horoscope, for your boundless optimism.  -_-  And my horoscope for 2012, both Chinese and regular astrological, said I would be seeing a career change.  At the time of reading it, I laughed at both.  I don't really BELIEVE in astrology, I just think it's fun.  But there ya go.

I'm glad to see that both horoscopes talk about a huge positive turn I'm going to have in 2013 and how great things are going to be.  And my Chinese horoscope says I'm going to have 11 favorable and 1 neutral month!!  What?  That's a sudden change from years passed.

And 13 is my lucky number.  I know that's odd and out of the ordinary, but Friday the 13ths are always my best days!

I realize these are all just superstitions and whatnot, but I still think it's fun.  And it's better to think things are going to be good than worry that they're going to be bad in a situation where...you really don't know.  The mere fact I can look forward to something unknown speaks volumes, really.

I feel really good about 2013.  Not hopeful.  Just...good.  I know good things are going to happen, which is not something I say lightly.  I just have....a feeling, though.

Unless I get hit by a bus tomorrow and die.  Then...I take it back.


Friday, December 28, 2012

My Journey To Caruthers

I have a friend who lives in Caruthers, which is about 35 minutes away from where my parents live in Fresno.

It is in the middle of nowhere.  NOwhere.  Like...empty dusty land and some...crops of something and one QUIK STOP with a fake airplane going into the gas pumps.

I went to visit my friend Jenny who I have mentioned before.  She is the amazing mom of a 3 year old girl and a 1 1/2 year old special needs baby.  To make her life a little easier, which I am happy to do, I visited her out in Caruthers today.

I am not a baby person.  Most people know this about me.  I don't think babies are particularly adorable (I find puppies WAY cuter), I don't think babies are interesting, and being around babies doesn't make me want one myself.  In fact, oftentimes, it is the opposite.  I like kids once they hit about 2 or 3 and can have a semi-conversation with me, and I can mess with them a little bit.

However, today I played with James, and we had a good time!  Any time I took an object and slowly started attacking his arms...he would watch intently and then burst into a huge smile and wiggle away. We were both entertained.  It was also the first time I saw him smile, so that was nice.  I did this with a toy moose, a fake flower, the state of Montana...each time with great results.

Attack babies with Montana.  They LOVE it.

I was also amused when Josie, the 3 year old, asked to watch "Polka dot polka dot afro circus".  Madagascar 3.  =)

A good day was had by all.

Except I might have gotten sick.

And the 2 cats sensed my disdain and therefore sat on my legs.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Or Happy Christmas, if you want to be British about it.

This is our fake Christmas tree that I put together for my parents.  They aren't really into Christmas, and my sister hasn't been back in over a decade since she started dating (and then marrying) her future husband.  It's really not the same without Santa.

But still, I like the holidays.  It felt the least holiday-ish this year, I think, since I wasn't teaching and had a pretty hermit-like lead in to the holiday.  That's okay, though.  I just wish people around me were more into it rather than complaining and asking to finally be done with Christmas.

I remember when I was little, and I'd wake up SUPER early and shake whatever present Santa would bring me (he brought one, unlike a lot of other families).  I'd count all my presents.  I'd shake my sister's present.  I strategically placed the presents I got/made for the rest of my family.  And then'd I'd wait impatiently for 7:00 to wake up the rest of my family.  We'd go through a series of Christmas pictures that were always the same every year.

My favorite memory is still from when I was 9, and I tried to shake my sister's present from Santa.  I was startled to find I couldn't pick it up!  It ended up being a television...

Sneaky, Santa.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Back in the 'No

Well, I'm in Fresno.

I'm cold.  I'm bored.  I'm watching Sound of Music with the volume off.

I am not an avid watcher of The Office, despite the fact that people frequent tell me I'd like it.  It started with watching SNL last night, and watching Bill Hader start laughing while doing Weekend Update as Stefon.  I didn't understand why he was laughing, so I googled "Sidney Applebaum" which brought me to the top 21 breaks of character on SNL.

I remember how much I loved Jimmy Fallon for always losing it and cracking up during sketches.  The best is Rachel Dratch trying to look like a downer when she was really exploding with laughter.  <wah wah>  From there, I watched the famous Stephen Colbert break on The Daily Show.  Watching a normally dead pan performer laughing uncontrollably is quite delightful.

Of course, that made me think of Stephen Colbert.  Insert hours of watching bloopers from The Office.  Thank you, youtube.   And I now have decided I really like John Krasinski.  I love that he tries to stop himself from laughing/smiling by putting his hands up to his face and smushing his smile.  But I especially love that he goes into this high pitched laugh and makes little squeaks.

This is what I do when visiting my family.  I also spent 12 minutes teaching my mom how to copy and paste a link into email.  I fixed the tv.  I explained cable television to my dad.  Again.  And I wrapped the presents for my family.  We have no boxes in the house, so I used tupperware.

I think outside the box.  Heh.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friends and Food Trucks

I set my alarm and actually woke up at 9:30 in the morning.  While I wasn't meeting my friends until noon, it was in Palo Alto, and I wanted to give myself an hour and a half to get there.  Especially when going to new places, I like to add on time, just in case.

I arrived first at the Palo Alto Creamery and put down my last name for 3 adults, one booster chair, and one high chair.  When I spelled out my last name, the guy said, "Yeah, I know how to spell it.  That's my grandfather's last name, too."

Stopping for a moment, I said, "That means we're related!"  My last name is very uncommon, and all of us in the United States are related.  But there is, apparently, a whole side of the family we've never met because of some...problem that happened years ago between two sides of the family.

The guy didn't seem as excited as I was.

My friends, Jenny, Justin, and their two kids, Josie and James.  Josie was wobbly on a scooter, and James was being pushed in this...it wasn't a stroller.  It kind of looked like those old toy vacuum cleaners that have colorful balls that pop around, but you could sit in it.  And they also had the biggest backpack I've ever seen for all of James' medical supplies (he has a genetic disorder and has an enormous amount of...stuff that accompanies him everywhere).  They were, in fact, visiting the area to take James to the doctor.  He spent most of the first year of his life in the hospital with the family split apart.  They are an amazing family.

Justin is also a teacher/coach and we talked about my recent exit of the profession.  All the while, kids were breaking straws and zooming around and being...kids.  James is 1 and Josie just turned 3, I think.  At one point, when the very breakable straw broke and Josie could not drink out of it, she turned to her mom and said, "This straw is defective."  To be fair, we had been using that word earlier, but it was still amusing to hear out of the mouth of a 3 year old.

But all I could think was...Jenny and Justin must be tired all the time.

I headed home, rested for a bit, and then went out to meet a friend and her friend for food truck eating and a comedy club adventure.  Below is the picture of the food truck I perused.  I found it funny because they were showing episodes of Full House.


It was a fun evening, and I was happy to meet someone new.  It was FREEZING, however, and when we went to the comedy club, all 3 of us fulfilled our 2 drink minimum with two rounds of hot chocolate.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 6

This video, in particular, I'm a little....hesitant about, but it's meant to pay respects and tribute.  It is the andante section of the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Conservatory of Flowers

This afternoon, I visited the Conservatory of Flowers at Golden Gate Park.  I thought the flowers would mostly be outside, for some reason, and it didn't occur to me that the majority of the exhibit would be inside this exotic looking building.



Admittedly, I know nothing about flowers and plants except that I kill them.  I don't mean to, and I have good intentions.

Orchids.  I keep alive orchids.  I have no idea how.

$7 admission (I didn't have any proof that I was a San Francisco resident) and I was able to peruse the many many flowers and plants.  I am proud to say I didn't sneeze ONCE (being allergic to nature and all, this is quite the accomplishment).

Once again, I was (by far) the youngest person walking around.  I guess plants and flowers isn't really a big draw to most people my age?  I have no idea.

A nice older gentleman told me about all his flowers and proceeded to tell me the species of flowers we were looking at.  I had...no idea what he was talking about, but he was nice and I had the intention of being interested despite the fact the Latin names were going in one ear and out the other.

He also showed me pictures of his own flowers at home :)

I can definitely picture my dad doing the same thing, as he loves taking pictures of the same tree over and over again, at different angles, in different weather, with different people.



Below are a bunch of pictures of flowers.  Look or don't.  My mom would appreciate them, though :D Don't bother asking what the flowers are.  I will respond with, "pretty" or "interesting".



















Monday, December 17, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I feel like it's been raining and/or threatening to rain forever.

I've spent day after day indoors in a definite hermit-like state, afraid to go sloshing outside for fear of becoming sick.  Instead, I watched The Jersey Shore for the first time and mused what would happen if I ever had to interact with any of them, random tv, and Toy Story 3 (also for the first time).

I went to Japantown today, to do some holiday shopping for my mom and dad.  Yes, their gifts will be $1.50 each this year.  I'm going to get other things, too, but the $1.50 gifts are kind of awesome.  I also bought myself a bench scraper for $1.50 and a raincoat for $2 at Ichibankan.  The raincoat is a child's raincoat, but it fits fine....except the sleeves are too short.  That's okay, though.  It'll do for now, and it has a hood!

Nijiya was another stop today, a Japanese market.  My mom had asked me to get something for her, and it took every ounce of self control not to buy my two favorite things: tonkatsu (pork cutlet), and salmon onigiris (rice balls with salmon in the middle).

Maybe later this week, depending on when I leave.

I guess that's it.  Not terribly exciting.  I attempted to make a video but was too halfhearted and not satisfied with the result.  I kind of have the blahs right now, though they are cheerful blahs.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pier 39


Yesterday, it had been my intention to go to Pier 39/Fisherman's Wharf/Ghiradelli Square but awoke to find cloudiness and gloom.  Today was supposed to rain, and I woke up to find sunshine!

I didn't have as much time as I wanted, so I only went to Pier 39.  It was COLD!  I couldn't figure out how people were walking around in short sleeves when I had on jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a really thick sweater, a jacket, a scarf, and gloves!

Walking around, perusing the little shops, I didn't buy anything.  Maybe when I leave San Francisco I will buy something, but it seems a little odd to be walking around your own city with your city t-shirt.  Maybe that's just me.  I'm also in the phase of don't-buy-it-unless-you-need-it-or-really-really-love-it.

I was really tempted to get a waffle cone at the Dreyer's, but it was so cold I couldn't do it.  The smell was intoxicating, however.  I wish there was perfume that smelled like that...I would spray it on my arm...and then eat my arm.

See the rainbow?
Alcatraz

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmastime is Here

I love Christmas.  It's been my favorite for...ever.

When I was little, it was one of two days I ever got presents (the other one being my birthday), so I always knew exactly what I want.  But it's more than presents; it's how everybody is a little more cheerful around this time of year.  It's the festive decorations and the smell of pine.  It's twinkly lights and hot apple cider and gingerbread cookies.

My parents are Buddhist, so it's not exactly a religious holiday for us.  My sister is now Jewish and refuses to acknowledge Christmas exists (we exchange "holiday" presents and the Christmas tree has to be gone by the time she arrives for New Years).

I love getting/making presents for people.  This year I have to be a little more...crafty than most, but fortunately I live next to a Daiso and a Japanese grocery store.  When I was little I used to draw pictures for my parents, and one year in college I made bookmarks (index cards, markers, scotch tape, electrical tape).  I never really understood the concept of preferring something handmade over store bought until I became a teacher, and began receiving generic gifts in mass quantities.  Chocolates, lotion, bath gel...I was lucky enough to receive enough to last me the whole year!  I'd bring them home and share them with every non-teacher I knew.

This year, I can't put up a tree since I live in an apartment and that would be a pain.  There's not even really a lot of room for my Christmas decorations.  But that's okay.  It still feels festive to me, despite the lack of ostentatious decor.

And now I am enjoying Christmas movies!  I love any Christmas movie.  ELF - Will Ferrel is just so sweet in it (surprisingly), and Zooey Deschanel has a beautiful voice.  HOME ALONE - a classic.  I think I always liked it because I'm the same age as Macaulay.  IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - a MUST watch for the holiday season.  THE SANTA CLAUSE - Even though I'm not a huge Tim Allen fan, I think this is a smart movie and answers a lot of questions.  POLAR EXPRESS - I watch it just for the message: believe.  And to listen to Josh Groban sing.  A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS - once I bought the music for my orchestra, I started watching this every year.  It's kind of sad, actually, and as a kid I never noticed how mean everybody is to Charlie Brown!

I even went to watch the very boring Jim Carey version of Christmas Carol.

What are your favorite holiday movies and traditions?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Danville

Yesterday, I woke with a text message inviting me to a family holiday party in Danville.  While I assume that most of my coworkers have already forgotten about me, more or less, this one has family up here and was visiting.

I figured...why not?  My original plan for the day was to go to the California Academy of Science's museum since they were having a free day.  A normal person could do both, but a person who wakes up at 12:30 has to choose.

I normally also bring something to parties, but wasn't sure what to bring and figured...I WAS invited a few hours before it was supposed to happen, so it's okay, right?  My mom would be mortified, but she doesn't have to know.

It took me almost 45 minutes to get over the Bay Bridge.  There was an accident both getting into the bridge and ON the bridge yesterday.  It wasn't horrible, but I had a flash back as I sat stuck in traffic of: I used to do this every day!!

Once I got to Danville, it was dark and I wasn't sure what was going on.  But I had fun at the party.  I only knew one person, and it's always been difficult for me to maintain a conversation with someone I didn't know.  And trying to explain to the relatives of a teacher that you used to be a teacher but aren't anymore is a bit...difficult.

Though, when explaining my assignment (2 schools, 5 grade levels, 500 students) one man exclaimed, "That's ridiculous!  How can you take it; that doesn't seem right!"  I answered, "I couldn't; that's why I quit," which made everybody laugh.

In talking with my friend's nephews and nieces (12, 14, and...16, I think) upon finding out that I used to be a music teacher, they all got very excited and the 14 year old said, "Aw, I wish you were MY teacher!"  That was sweet.  The 16 year old boy asked me what the worst part of being a teacher was.   I didn't even have to think.  (But I'll let you sit in suspense)

At the end of the evening, Santa came and had an individual gift for everybody at the party (very impressive).  Thank you, Santa, for my awesome colander with happy faces in a bright happy orange.  It's very Naoko.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inner Richmond

Last night, I went out to Inner Richmond for the first time with my good friend, A~.

It was a free night, with all sorts of local businesses offering free goodies and raffles.  I think it was sponsored by The Bold Italic, a local newspaper, and Green Apple Books.

I arrived early, so I perused Green Apple Books.  I got stuck in the music section, as they had tons of CDs (and records) from various artists.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the one CD I was looking for (The Best of The Beta Band), but I still enjoyed perusing the various selections.  I love book stores...a little too much.  I tried to restrain myself from buying more books, as I am still working on the two that I bought during Thanksgiving.

Once A~ arrived, we entered the raffle at Green Apple Books.  Everyone who didn't win jokingly "boo"ed, which I found funny.  I appreciated that it was a funny boo and not a malicious boo.  We got some delicious free cookies.  Free hot chocolate, a free scoop of ice cream (salted caramel chocolate brownie for me!), A~ made a Christmas card, we got free tater tots (YUM!)...and then we ate dinner.

free cookies!
Hooray for free events!  And hooray for exploring new neighborhoods!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

San Francisco Symphony REHEARSAL

Apparently, if you are a donor to the San Francisco Symphony, you get invited to a rehearsal every now and then (not sure how often).  While I am not a donor, my DAD is!  And since he lives in Fresno, he sent me his invitation and I got to go!

At first, I wasn't sure.  I walked a mile in the rain with ill fitting rain boots.  I never did see a bus pass me, so I'm fairly confident my decision to walk was a good one.

When I got there...I couldn't help but laugh.  I was literally the youngest person there by at least 30 years.  And I think I was one of 3 non-white people.  And people kept staring at me!  I think the older people were confused what I was doing there.  I did have a very pleasant conversation with two ladies about umbrellas and my rain boots.  =)

They rehearsed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major with pianist Yefim Pronfman, Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, and a debut piece by Mark Volkert called Pandora.

There was a lecture beforehand that reminded me of my music history classes in college.  Very interesting and entertaining, but I fear my brain probably won't retain the details given.  That and I hadn't slept and still haven't slept since yesterday.  Then there were coffee and donuts....or so I am told.  While others left to get refreshments, I stayed for what I think is the most interesting part; the musicians arriving and warming up.

I am a sponge.  I love to watch what other people do to see their process, method, and to steal all the wonderful things I can.  And one-by-one, as the musicians came on stage, I got quite a few looks and smiles from them.  Again, I think it's because I was the youngest one and I just stuck out like nobody's business.

Sitting in the 6th row was...awesome.  It's an experience I've never...experienced before.  I can't afford those seats!  I plopped myself as close as they would allow us and right in the middle.  I wanted to watch the technique of the cello players with an eagle eye, and I wanted to be able to hear Michael Tilsom Thomas's comments to the orchestra.


Empty, right before the lecture
The piano concerto was fun.  It's not one of my favorites, but I was right in the pathway of the piano's sound.  The Strauss was...Strauss.  It was loud and exciting, brassy, technically very challenging, and a lot of fun.  I was taken aback by how LOUD it was in the 6th row.

And the Pandora piece was really interesting.  The bass player got a cadenza!  I was so happy for him!  I've never seen or heard a bass player play such an intricate and technically demanding...anything.  All the principal string players had really really difficult solos.  It was very impressive.

It was very inspiring and a good reminder that music fills my heart and soul the way nothing else does.

Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5
Full Orchestra



Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's the little things

With the rain pouring down this week, I've left my apartment a total of 3 times....each time to go to the grocery store.  The downside of not eating processed foods is you can't exactly buy produce and expect it to keep for a week.  The mushrooms get slimy.

It was sprinkling when I left my house, and even though I have enough food for today I don't have enough for tomorrow, and it's supposed to super rain tomorrow.  I crossed the street and stopped to listen to a violinist who was practicing.

Walking a bit more, I heard a piano player practicing, and stopped again to listen.  A big part of me wanted to say, "Helllo!!!!!" but I refrained.

Almost to the grocery store, I was startled and said, "Oh!" when something licked my hand.  I looked down, and it was a dog!  I think a golden retriever; I'm not sure though.  I do love dogs.  If I win the lottery, I'm so getting a dog.

When I got home, I was drawn to my window by lights.  I realized that the violinist lived directly across from me, and he was practicing by his lit up Christmas tree...shirtless.  I found that really funny.  The best part?  He seems to be probably a 50+, very skinny older gentleman.  Good for him.

I'm debating whether or not I want to go to an anime party.  If I do, it's going to be the laziest costume ever.  But considering it's raining, it will require 2 bus rides, I don't know anybody, and it starts at 9:00...and It's A Wonderful Life is playing tonight, I probably won't end up going.

I want to be sociable, but I don't want to get rained on.

I will be more social next week.  I will talk to someone besides the workers of Whole Foods.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I should really do something...

Maybe it's because I've never ever had this much down time.

And I do mean EVER.  I started piano lessons when I was 3.  I stared preschool when I was 4.  I took summer school during vacation and my mom made me do math and writing workbooks.  I took tap and ballet classes.  I took cello classes.  I never took that year off that people take during or after college.

This is the longest I've done nothing since I was literally 2.  And when I was 2 I was working on...I don't know, the ability to walk and speak and learn the alphabet.

Doing nothing has always been something I've treasured and waited for impatiently.  When I was a teacher, people would laugh when they asked me what I did during summer vacation, and I'd say, "Sleep."  When asked where I went during vacation, I'd say, "My couch.  And then my refrigerator.  Then my bed."

Spending so much time doing nothing in San Francisco is different, though.  I feel guilty.  There's so much to do in San Francisco that I feel I shouldn't be sitting here playing Chefville and watching Youtube videos.  I should go out and DO something.

But it's raining.

So instead, I've started reading two new books.  I appreciate that I have the time to read.  I'm distraught because Anna Karenina has come out in the movie theater, and that is my Everest of books.  I think I've attempted to read it maybe 9 or 10 times in the last 10 years.  The same thing always happens.  I start, I make a chart of all the names (those Russian names confuse me...why does everybody's name end with "sky" or "vich"?) read diligently....and then inevitably I get busy, and upon returning to the book have forgotten every character and what has happened.

-_-

On another note, a student let me know that their school has organized a mustache day!  =)  I find it thoroughly amusing that THAT is the legacy I left.  I find it thoroughly amusing that people, young and old, associate mustaches with me.  And cellos.  And the color orange.

That probably says something strange about me...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

BFFs :)

The best friends I have ever made, I made in elementary and middle school

They are the only friends I have who are not teachers or musicians.  =/  The funniest thing about them was said about one of my newer great friends, a fellow teacher who came to my birthday party.  When she met some of them, she said, "Oh my gosh!  Your Fresno friends are just like you, just in different fields!"  They are all very nice, funny, smart, and quirky in their own way.

I had dinner tonight with four of them tonight.  It always amazes me that we are able to pick up right where we left off.  I appreciate their friendship; now more than ever.  I appreciate that I didn't have to initiate the get together.  I appreciate that everyone was on time.  I appreciate that nobody forgot or didn't show up.

I am amused that all of us got carded when buying fruity drinks.  I had a pineapple mojito.  It tasted like pineapples.  :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving

I've gained 2/5 pounds back.  Delicious.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for:
- friends who care about me, not what I can do for them
- courage
- kindness
- my house selling well
- mushrooms
- students who miss me
- my cello, George
- Google Drive
- good sneakers
- the freedom to be able to change

It was exactly one year ago today that I got sick, and I spent the next 8 months with a damaged voice. I'm thankful I can speak and sing again.

I didn't go out shopping today.  I just...don't want a pair of jeans that badly.  The parking, the people...just...no.  And Fresno people are MEAN when it comes to parking!  And then knock me over when shopping.  I'm actually SMALL in Fresno!  These big dudes always just bump into me and send me flying.  Not cool, man.  Not cool.

I did, however, give a cello lesson and set up my mom's laptop.  "What do you need me to set up?" I asked.  "I don't know," was her answer.  She also still doesn't understand youtube and wants to send the video itself to people instead of a link.  "They don't HAVE youtube," she keeps trying to tell me.  I also taught her how to close programs in her iPhone, I installed Google Drive on her laptop, desktop, and phone.  I updated her facebook status to talk about how awesome I am.  I put a profile picture on her facebook.

My parents think I'm a technology genius.

My mom also thinks I'm incredibly smart because I can do the sudoku in The Fresno Bee.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

I made something.

I will admit...as I listened to the final product I said, out loud...in a sing songy voice, "I am so rad!"  I think it's the first time I've used "rad" since 1989.



It took me a day to transcribe this, which was a LOT faster than I thought it was going to take.  I'm actually quite shocked at how quickly I did it, and seriously....if there were some kind of music transcription job I'd be super awesome at that.

The funniest part is I actually looked up the lyrics for the first time.  I have this...tendency to not know the lyrics at all.  And when I was little, I didn't know a lot of words so I THOUGHT I knew what the lyrics were....but I actually just made up nonsense.  For example, when the real lyrics are, "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me!" my 10 year old thought they were singing, "The algebra has a devil for a sidecar"

-_-

What was wrong with me??  :)

I figured the easiest way to keep track of everything was color coding, not only to help people watching but to help myself when I went back through the video.

I was really surprised to find I had hats in every color....except green.  The green leprechaun hat is from Old Navy that I bought for $1 and wore to school on the Friday before St. Patrick's day.  I caused chaos when I walked by a kindergarten class and they all pointed and shouted, "A leprechaun!!!"  I also discovered I have no yellow clothes.  I had a big bird costume, but I thought the feathers would get in the way.

I recorded the purple square first, then blue, then started back at the beginning of the rainbow and went in order.  I ALWAYS start with the bass part because it lays down the foundation for my intonation.  The blue came next because it goes along with the bass line and has a lot of moving rhythms.  Lay down the bass and then the metronome part, and that makes everything a lot easier.

Some people have already asked me which was the most difficult.  The yellow part was difficult in that...I was wearing a really thick hat and so it was hard to hear through the yarn.  My mom made me that hat when I was a baby :)  (It must have been HUGE on my baby head)  The green part was the most technically difficult because of all the "guitar" runs.  The red was hard because of all the skips in the high parts.  The orange was my favorite part, and it was a complete coincidence it ended up orange.

Please leave me a comment either on the blog or on youtube to let me know what you think.  I actually like this one quite a bit.  But I think it's because I like this song so much!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chamber Music Day

There was a free event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts of chamber music all day (it's still going on right now).  I like chamber music.  I love free.  It's on!

It was a little confusing, because there were multiple performances at the same time in different places, and having never been there I had no idea what was going on.  But I watched a piano trio and a baroque group.  The piano trio performed Mozart.  It was very relaxing and inspired me to practice.  The baroque group was interesting because there was actually a viola da gamba.  The tuning messes me up a little bit, but since I didn't know any of the pieces they performed I was okay.  As far as I was concerned, it was just in Db major :)

In the program, I saw "INSTRUMENT PETTING ZOO" and I got...very excited.  I was hoping there would be crazy instruments I have never gotten to play (world instruments, mostly).  I finally found the place, and when I got there it was....3 violins and a quarter sized cello.

Disappointment!

I so didn't want to play with instruments I already know how to play :(  And own.  And there were mostly just little kids playing the instruments...who already knew how to play.  There was Vivaldi happening.  Some smaller kids were just scratching on the smaller violins and I had to fight the urge to go and help them.

Alas.  No steel drum.

Oh well.  The music was nice.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving, the countdown

I like countdowns.

I actually started a week ago.  My goal is to lose 5-10 pounds before Thanksgiving...so that I may consume as much food as possible without guilt, and more importantly...without having to buy new pants.

That's really the worst part.  When your pants are tight and you feel constricted.  It's why I wore pajama pants every day my senior year of high school.

Now, herein lies the problem.  Between having surgery and my two preliminary trips to San Francisco to go apartment hunting, I gained 10 pounds.  I didn't really care and figured it would come off as soon as I stopped eating potato chips as a meal (New York Cheddar Kettle Potato Chips, anybody?  Mmmmm...) or mashed potatoes or...bread.  Something about me and bread.  I have a love of bread that's deep and real.  But that love is not returned.  =)

Realistically, I know that I can't lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks without...cutting off my arm.  I was a little slow in realizing when Thanksgiving was, so I really just started last Thursday.  I guess I'll just do what I feel like or can.

There are just times when I want to eat an impressive amount of food.  And I find I'd rather plan ahead than deal with the consequences afterward.  Like tight pants.

---

OACDN (on a completely different note): a lady at the bus stop complimented my hair.  She then asked if it was mine and pulled it.  Should strangers be allowed to pull your hair?  Discuss...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Love Song - Sara Bareilles

I made yet another new video!

I really like this song!  What's funny about this is...I'm an okay piano player.  I'm an okay singer.  But with this song, I learned that if I try to sing and play piano at the same time...I'm terrible at both.  I become strangely tone deaf.

On another note, I met my across the hall neighbor!  He heard me practicing and knocked on the door. It's weird being able to be heard by...everybody when you're practicing.  That's the ugly part that you're supposed to hide from people =)  Well, not really, but maybe that's my own perspective.

I bought a microphone for my iPhone for the videos (this is how much I'm geeking out over it), which I think helps.  It wasn't a super expensive microphone or anything.  Maybe Santa will bring me one of those....


Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Faces and Star Trek

I learned if you walk around with a smiley face sweater, a lot of people smile at you.

I think everybody should wear smiley face sweaters all the time.

=)        --> (it's a picture from the website...not of me!)

I went to Guitar Center today in hopes of buying an awesome microphone for my iphone, and instead I bought a pretty okay microphone.  But for the 5 minutes I was in the store, I got complimented twice on my super awesome fingertipless gloves with Spiderman on the back and a web on the palm of the hands.  I like them because they have good grip (I use them to drive home so my hands to get tired) but have no finger tips so I can play cello and use my phone.

I came home to test out my new microphone.  Well, after I made stuffed mushrooms and half a baked potato.

So here it is!  Themes from Star Trek!
(While I'm not hardcore enough to be a Trekkie, I did watch TNG as a kid and made Lego versions of all the characters.  They would go on adventures.)


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Union Square Skating

Yesterday, I headed downtown to go to The Gap for a pair of orange khakis on sale.  Yup.  I really love orange!   At some point, when I go back to work, I will have orange work pants.  Yeah!

Getting off the bus, I walked through Union Square...because I enjoy it.  First, I saw the giant half Christmas tree.  Seems a little soon, but that's okay.  The holiday spirit is a good one, so I encourage it.  I made a mental note to come back when it was done.
The other thing I saw was...an ice skating rink!  I have a special place in my heart for ice skating, so of course I was drawn to the rink.  I stared happily, but refrained from skating.  I have no health insurance right now, and the last time I skated it ended up with me having surgery and not being able to walk for 2-3 months.  I probably shouldn't get on skates again until I can afford the consequences.
BUT, I did watch other people skate.  There was a very impressive man and woman who were doing...jumps.   Lutzes?  Salchows?  I have no idea.  But the BEST...there was a construction worker skating around.  At first, I thought...well that's nice!  And somewhat unexpected.  I don't know why I was surprised to see a construction worker skating.  I just was.  BUT, he came with a friend.  His friend, who looked like the guy from MythBusters, was squatting and sort of...floating across the ice.  Seriously, a 90 degree squat, arms out precariously, legs wide apart.  He clearly had no skating experience, but good for him for trying!

So the squatting guy's friend came over, laughed at him, and then took his hand and started trying to help him skate!  It was so nice!  :)  I, of course, stood on the outside laughing because he looked so ridiculous, but I wasn't laughing in a mean way.  Church giggles.  I REALLY wanted to take a picture, but didn't want to be rude.

It was just...NICE to see a grown man helping his friend.  They had one more co-worker who was standing, taking pictures, and hysterically laughing at the poor squatting ice skater.  Watching them made me happy.

I kind of want to be their friend now.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DeYoung Museum

What to do after voting?

The first Tuesday of the month is free admission day at the DeYoung Museum.  After voting, I hopped on a bus and went to go visit.  I wandered looking at paintings, sculptures, photographs, and....randomness on a very sunny afternoon.

Okay, the fruit was my favorite because it was like 6 feet long.  That pear is a good 3 feet tall, and for some reason I thought it was really funny.

This one was for my mom.  :)

Giant safety pin?  Yes.

This was a painting!  It got me hungry...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting 2013

Ask me my political party and....I can't tell you.  Because I forgot.

At 18, walking down Bruin Walk, I registered to vote, and I registered as a Green Party member.  Even though I'm very pro-environment, I mainly registered Green Party because I thought it was funny, I thought I'd get fewer phone calls and mail from the Democrat/Republican side, and I liked being a 3rd party.

I re-registered when I moved to SF, and I thought I'd give up the Green Party.  So I re-registered as another 3rd party...but...I can't remember which one.  Not Libertarian.  But.  Yes.  Clearly, political parties don't really matter to me in terms of labels.  =)

My polling place was across the street at a senior housing center.  I've voted mostly in schools and someone's garage once (that was weird), but voting at a senior housing center....where the poll people are mostly seniors and the people voting at 12:30 are seniors...let the hilarity ensue.

I walked into the voting room and noticed immediately that there were no machines.  Huh?  As I was trying to figure this out, a young man was fighting with an older poll guy (who I presume lives in the senior housing center) about the lack of machines and how our votes will take 7-10 days to be counted.  The poll person said, "Who are you getting your information from?" and they fought some more.  And the young man said he never had problems like these in Arizona, and the polling person said, "This is California!"  

I wasn't sure what that argument meant.  I'm living in the techiest city in the United States.  Shouldn't there be machines for everybody?

Then an old lady cut in front of me.  And the old lady in back of me pointed at her and said, "She's a Republican you know!"  The poll guy tried to shush the lady in back of me, and then she said, "Darling, what happened with the garden?  Who caved, darling?  She's a Republican!" at which point...I started laughing.

I checked in, and they handed me a folder and a pen.  I had to draw a line connecting two parts of an arrow to indicate my choice.  Seriously?  The young man who had been arguing before mumbled, "I don't want another hanging chad situation," which made me laugh.  I took out my notebook and diligently started filling out my ballot.  Good thing I wrote it all down.  There was very little description.

Part way through, one of the polling people started helping an older lady fill out her ballot, and they were very audibly talking about the choices.  "I don't want to vote for her!  I voted for her last time and she let me down!!!" yelled the older lady.  The poor guy said, "Well, you can vote for the other candidate..."  The older lady yelled out her opinions about every single person and ballot measure.

So much for not talking politics =)  

That's okay, though.  I found it all amusing, personally.  I spent a good 3 minutes looking for the cap of my voting pen, and was told when I went to return my pen that there was no cap.   <<<face palm>>>  While I found the whole process entertaining, I'm sure it won't be as entertaining to the people voting at 6:00 p.m. right after work is done.

My favorite part?  The sticker, of course.

Lifelong Student

Today, I learned two things.

1.) YOU DON'T HAVE TO VOTE FOR EVERYTHING.  I feel stupid for not knowing this.  I remember the first time I went to vote (embarrassingly not until I was working...), I was ready to vote for president and propositions, but I was not ready to vote for school board members.  I felt bad voting for people when I had no idea what their background was aside from the little blurb by their name.  I ended up voting for anybody who was a current or former teacher.  And if there weren't enough,  I voted for any woman or minority....or female minority.  It was Orange County, I was trying to force some diversity in my very non-diverse area.

This is the first time I actually properly am going through my sample ballot, am looking at all the websites (I'm being late about it but at least I'm doing it), and actually really know who and what I am voting for.  I have to admit, there are just some things I don't have a strong opinion on.  I don't know who would make the best BART director.  I don't know what really qualifies a person to do a good job.

I'm sad to see that, out of the 11 people running for school board spots, only one mentions the arts.  One.  That's it.  He gets my vote.  I put a star by his name.

2.) I watched a guy walk by with a lit up pizza sign....the kind that you normally see on top of a delivery car...and I had a realization...they just stick the sign on their own car!!!  All these years, I thought pizza delivery cars were kind of like...taxi cabs.  I assumed that the sign was somehow attached and that the business owned the car!  It didn't even occur to me that the delivery people were driving around in their own car and just propped a lit up sign on top.

My friend, A~, looked at me with the same shocked face.  It made me feel better that such a smart person had the same exact reaction as I.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Books and Coffee

I had a lazy Sunday...following an even lazier Saturday.  Walking down Fillmore, I got lured in to Browser Books.  I love bookstores.  I spend way too much time in them and always end up buying more than I read.  I love buying books.  I love having books.  And now I finally have time to READ these books :)  I read before, of course, but it took SO long to finish anything.  With the exception of Harry Potter.

I ended up with 3 books.  YES, I can buy it cheaper on Amazon, but I like support bookstores, especially local ones.  I've never really had a local bookstore before.

Starbucks can be a controversial choice, but...I have over $200 worth of gift cards and I'm using them!  Again...finally.  Today, I tried .... wait for it ...a salted caramel mocha soy frappucino.  It was delicious.  I love a caramel frappucino to begin with, but this was a whole other level.  The other thing I love is in San Francisco...people say my name right!

It's been YEARS of people not just mispronouncing my name but absolutely butchering it.  And I'm STILL surprised when the Starbucks barista can say my name correctly.  He asked, "How else would you say it??" which made me smile.  Nay-oh-koh, Nye-yoh-koh, No-oko, Noko, Na-ah-ko, Nye-yah-koh, No, Nilico....

There's something strangely comforting being somewhere, after over 30 years, where people can say my name.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Don't go chasing waterfalls

If you got the TLC reference, congratulations.  You are old.  :)

Today, while coming back from my second Target trip, I walked past the Yerba Buena Gardens and was drawn toward the waterfall.  I like that there's a waterfall in the middle of downtown.  It's strangely peaceful.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bach - Air

New video!

When it comes to slow pieces, I tend to either love them or hate them.  Well, maybe not hate.  But I'm easily bored.

And even though the cello never gets melody, I've always thought this was a pretty piece.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Halloween

How am I celebrating?  Well, I got out of bed at 11:30 this morning, and by "got out of" I mean "dragged myself out of".  I ate breakfast and had planned on going to Target again except...there was a massive parade (GO GIANTS!) happening, and when I hear there are 1 million people where I'd like to get my coffee creamer, I'm inclined to wait.

I don't run toward the crowd, I walk quickly away.

I was so exhausted that I decided to lie down for a little while.  I fell asleep while Rachael Ray was on, around 2:30, and woke up when Paula was making cinnamon rolls at almost 5:30.  Oops.  Yeah, I was productive today.

I'm kind of grinchy when it comes to Halloween.  I usually tell my annual story to my students, but since I have no students, I will retell it via blog.

I was 5, and my mom had made me a Big Bird costume.  It was my very first Halloween, and I didn't quite understand what was happening; I was just excited to go to school as Big Bird.  When it comes to trick-or-treating, there are two types of parents: 1.) Parents who walk with their kids up to the door, or 2.) Parents who wait by the sidewalk and send their kids up to the door without them.  My parents fell into the latter category

So, with my plastic jack-o-lantern, I went up to one of the last doors of the evening.  A man who lived on my street.  He jumped out wearing a monster mask, and growled at me.  Freaking out, I threw my jack-o-lantern full of candy at his head and ran away.

Hey, I was 5.

I don't think anybody was planning on me attacking my attacker.

Apparently, I am fight then flight :)

After that, I have vague memories of Halloween.  I was an angel.  I was a witch.  In 6th grade I won "the most creative costume" in my class because I was a painter and walked around with a brush and a bucket and had painted my clothes.  I didn't dress up again until my senior year of high school when my friends wanted to go trick-or-treating for the last time.  I wore my Youth Symphony dress and a fishing hat and told people I was a witch on vacation.

Every Halloween, the dress code was bent at school to allow hats, so every year I'd wear a hat on Halloween.  No costume.  I'm surprised nobody ever said anything about that, in retrospect.

A couple years ago, after avoiding my co-worker's Halloween party for years, I finally went as Edna Mode from the Incredibles.  It just involved buying a $5 pair of glasses and curling my hair inward.

I DO like the candy involved, and take the opportunity to buy tons of Reese's and Butterfingers.  I've eaten 5 already.  Maybe that's why I needed a nap; sugar crash.

To those who do enjoy it and celebrate it, have fun and be safe!

Monday, October 29, 2012

San Francisco symphony

On Saturday, my parents took me to go see Yuja Wang and the San Francisco Symphony.


I love watching and hearing them.  My favorite moment is when a slow, quiet movement ends, and everyone in the room...the musicians, the audience...everyone stays completely still and tries not to make a sound.  You can hear everybody holding their breath so as not to ruin the moment.
It made me want to join a community orchestra.  It's been so long since I've played with a big group...I miss the camaraderie involved.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pretending I Am Clean

I wouldn't say I'm messy.  But a little bit of clutter is fine for me, as long as I know where everything is.  Organized clutter, I guess.

The rest of my family, however, are TYPE A obsessive compulsive cleaners.  My sister bleaches the counters after every meal.  If you put a glass of water down in the kitchen, go to the bathroom and come back, my mom will have mysteriously made the glass disappear.

I keep a glass in the refrigerator that I use for water for several days.

My parents are visiting me tomorrow for the first time since I moved.  I spent the day orange oiling the wooden surfaces, windexing the floor, bleaching all the countertops, vacuuming the carpets, and generally straightening up.   I know it makes no difference, since my parents will still sit and fluff the couch pillows.  My mom will clean that small crevice where the water faucet and sink meet.

Oh well.

Even though I was known for being absolutely meticulous at work, there are just some things...I don't care about.

As a small child, I was a complete slob.  My room...had....foot holes where I had cleared off the junk so that you could hop around.  Then, literally over night, I became obsessive compulsive clean.  Everything was parallel or perpendicular.  It FREAKED everybody out to see the sudden change (I think I was in 4th or 5th grade).

Since then, I've found a happy medium.  I clean as well as I can, then watch as things get messier and messier, and then I clean again when I get frazzled by my environment.  And with a smaller home, I get frazzled faster because there is less space for the mess to hide.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Target

I love Target.

I usually got AT LEAST once a week.  Usually twice.  Back in Orange County, I'd go to two separate Targets so they wouldn't know just how often I went.

Upon moving to SF and discovering there was NO Target, I immediately had difficulty finding...things.  Where do you buy a bathmat?

Fortunately for me, Target opened last week in San Francisco!  Hooray!  I keep joking that they must have known I was coming.  Well, today, I finally went to go visit.  I tried to go in the middle of the day, hoping it wouldn't be too crazy.

I walked in, Starbucks on the right, and athletic apparel on the left in this separate little store area.  Directly in front were escalators.  Huh?  Escalators in a Target?  After checking out the athletic apparel (which I don't need at all), I went upstairs.  The layout is...weird.  I know the 3 different types of usual Target layouts.  This was nothing like any of them.

It was so disorienting.

It makes sense that the layout would have to be different to accommodate a city type of building.  It's not a suburb; there's not plenty of land to spread yourself out on.  The pharmacy was right there (where the Starbucks USUALLY is), and then on one side was women's apparel and on the other side was cosmetics and bath stuff.  You keep going and men's apparel is on the left, and pantry groceries are on the right and fresh groceries are right in front.  You turn to the left and walk through home goods, and then way in the back are electronics.  Circling back around you have...the stuff I never look at.  The garage/sporting goods stuff.

This is going to take me a while to get used to.

I ended up buying Doritos, Cheez Its, 2 packages of Kleenex handiwipes to go, a vest, Mio, trash bags...I think that's it.  I still needed more stuff but that filled my one bag, and I've learned to only go on the bus with one extraneous bag (not including the backpack I tote around everywhere).

I hung out in Union Square for a little while, taking in some sun, trying to be somewhat human.  It's fun to watch all the different types of people who walk through there.  I also like to try to guess who are tourists.  The giant overstuffed backpacks are a dead giveaway, especially when paired with a giant camera around your neck.  The fanny pack is also a good indication.  It's very fun :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fighting Hermit Tendencies

I finally went to Starbucks.  

It was a farther walk than I was expecting, but the baristas were friendly and I sat reading my box for about an hour.  Drink of choice: soy caramel macchiato.  

I also went to Union Square because there was a Korean festival happening.  But when I got there, there were 12 year old girls "hip hop" dancing  to "Joyful Joyful" from Sister Act 2.  It probably says something about ME that I can identify the Sister Act 2 specific rendition.  The rapping was gone, however, left with just a "hip hop" beat....that wasn't very hip hop.

Losing interest quickly, I walked to the Ferry Building.  In my head, it was just a short walk, but it's actually about a mile away.  By the time I got there, I had taken off my jacket and had pushed up my sweater sleeves as high as they would go.  I walked around a bit, bought a loaf of Pain au Levain from Acme Bread (was shocked at how large a loaf it was), and finally returned home.  I ate two slices of leftover pizza and a good amount of that bread.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

I kill electronics.

Computers, printers, phones....I kill them all.  They have a really short lifetime around me, and it's not because I'm careless....they just...die.  In my mind, I'm convinced this has something to do with my ability to make streetlamps turn off when I walk/drive by.

Since high school, I've never had a computer go more than 2 years without it dying.  I started with Macs, killed them for years.  In college, I switched to a Dell desktop and then a dell laptop.  My Toshiba laptop had a horrible death where something with the hard disk died and I couldn't recover ANYTHING because I couldn't get into it.  I've had 2 HPs that have last the longest...they both made it a month or two past the 2 year mark.

Well, last night, my laptop was having some problems and I had to power it off the painful way: holding the power button down.  I've been having to do this more and more often over the past few months.  But this time, it made this....clunk sound.  I even said, "That wasn't a good sound."  Upon restarting, my computer went into a startup repair.  It had gone 3 hours long when I went to bed.  When I woke up, it said it couldn't fix the problems.  I had to shut off my computer again, and when I tried to start it up it said there was no bootable device.

Great.

This morning, I went to Staples, basically when it opened.  I cannot live without a computer.  I just can't.  I'm an addict.  I hung around the computer section, but nobody came to help me.  So I went to the computer helping desk, and this lady was having a conversation with this man about....operating systems and linux, and I stood there as they chatted happily.  3 separate Staples employees walked by me or just stood in the corner watching me wait.

The gentleman finally left, and then she went back behind her computer and started working.  Um, hello?  Hello?  Girl who has been waiting could use some assistance?  She finally, with a sigh, asked me what I needed, and I asked how I would go about getting one of those laptops on display.  She asked me which one, and very slowly went to check.  And then she asked me which one, again.  All the while sighing and kind of rolling her eyes at me.  "What operating system do you want on it?"  Huh?  I have a choice?  I got confused and said I didn't realize I had that choice, and how I really wish I still had my windows 7 cd.

She sighed again, and said the computer came with Windows 7 but did I want Microsoft Office or an antivirus program?  I said no thank you, and she said, "Computers don't really come with preinstalled software anymore.  It's why they're so cheap," talking to me like I'm an idiot.

Did I miss something?  Did I do something to offend you?  Do I look like the girl who stole your boyfriend??

She finally came back with the laptop, rung me up, didn't ask me if I wanted a warranty protection service or anything, didn't offer me a bag (though I brought a big tote bag, fortunately, which I pulled out outside the store).  She kind of acted like...a snotty person would act if I were buying VHS tapes and cassette tapes.

Boo.

I am now on my HP Pavilion g7-2017us laptop.  You would think that after my computers have died so often I'd be paranoid about backing up.  But...alas.  My last backup was months and months ago.

My old laptop, I can now kind of restart but it gets stuck on the "starting windows" graphic no matter what I do.  It won't reboot in safe mode.

I'm trying to remember my bookmarks but...have only remembered a small hand full.

Oh well, if I can't remember, can't be that important, right?


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Dreams May Come

I used to have CRAZY ridiculous dreams.

About a year and a half ago, I had a realization.  Not only did I only dream about teaching, but two school years ago I only dreamed about one class.  Normally, I would dream about each class, usually either every day dreams or anxiety dreams.  But two years ago, I only had anxiety dreams that really mirrored real life with one specific class.  It was a very disturbing discovery.

I'm glad to report that my ridiculously strange dreams have finally returned on a regular basis.  Two nights ago, I had a dream where my subconscious created a whole new Harry Potter movie that I played out.  Sometimes I was watching the movie, sometimes I was Hermione.  We were trying to escape school, but not Hogwarts.  Perhaps we were visiting a different school and trying to escape it?

Last night, I had a dream that Ryan Reynolds and I were eating Sees chocolates, discussing the unpleasant chocolates in the box, and then we were flying into space....and then something went wrong.  I can't really remember, but it was exciting at the time.

I had lunch with a former...friend?  I guess he was a friend.  Someone I've known since I was 12.  I don't remember ever really having a conversation with him, but we were in the same orchestras, we traveled to Europe together in a small chamber ensemble, were in the same orchestra at school and outside of school.  I took my second trip out to the Marina, though instead of deli sandwiches we ended up at a Vietnamese restaurant.

I keep forgetting I don't like cilantro.  I keep ordering these Vietnamese sandwiches, bahn mi, and I keep forgetting that it comes with cilantro and jalapenos.  I don't like cilantro, apparently.  And I am a spice wuss. I only ate half my sandwich because I discovered the jalapenos too late and was then scared to eat the rest of my food.  Stupid jalapenos right next to cucumbers.  They looked the same.

Last night I went to sleep at 6 p.m. and woke up at almost 1:00 a.m.  I was disappointed.  I had hoped I would wake up at 3 a.m.  I'm already ready to go to sleep right now but am going to try to at least make it until 6 again.  The good news is that I'm awake during daylight again, so I can go out and do things.


Monday, October 15, 2012

YouTube - My New Hobby

I went to sleep around noon and woke up around 7 p.m.  I'm slowly going to bed and waking up later and later.  I know if I really wanted to, I could do it in one go and stay awake for 30 + hours, but I'm in no rush.

Because I am sleeping during the day, it's limited my activity pretty significantly.  Aside from continuing to be a Zynga game addict and watching Bravo way too much, I started making youtube videos!

I'm really enjoying myself.  It brings together a lot of the activities I enjoy.  I'm taking songs or pieces or soundtrack bits and am turning them into quartets for cello, my main instrument.  I have a strength for dictation; something I've known since my freshman year at UCLA.  I can hear something and write it down a lot faster than most people.

Then, I warm up on my cello, record using my iPhone...and work on the video syncing.  It's really fun!  It takes a lot of time, though, because I have to get everything in one take.  This leaves very little room for mistakes...or forces me to be okay with imperfection.  But it's just for fun, so imperfection is perfectly fine :)

Below is the most recent one.  I amuse myself.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

SFMOMA

I visited the SFMOMA on Thursday night.  It's my first venture out into the world at night all by myself :)  And that's because it is half priced on Thursday nights!  Below is the entrance that twinkles at you with exciting possibilities...


I spent a lot of time going to museums as a kid.  Whenever I walk through museums now, as an adult, I'm struck with how little I know.  I spent Thursday looking at everything, mulling it over, observing it...but being acutely aware that I really should know more.

I suppose it makes sense.  I never took an art class, aside from a watercolor summer school class in 3rd grade.  I still have the painting.  I didn't realize that watercolor meant the waters were going to flow into each other, and I got very upset that I couldn't keep the colors separate.  What did I know, I was 8!  

My horoscope said that a job would find me this weekend.  

We will see :)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Sleep Glutton

Being a sleep glutton has taken away my ability to go out and do things.

This is mainly because my schedule right now is to go to sleep around 6 a.m. and wake up around 3 p.m.  When I was in college and would do this during spring break or summer break, I was somehow able to go to sleep and wake up 3 hours later every day, and would go full circle in less than a week.

Being no longer 20, I don't seem to be able to do this anymore.  Well, maybe I could.  Maybe I could try to stay up a little later every day.

It's a little odd to wake up and think, "Oh, I have to take a shower before it's too late to go grocery shopping!"  I've also limited my cello practicing time, since quiet hours start at 10:00 p.m.

I guess it's all part of my weird sleeping disorder.  Fortunately for me, when it comes time to be on a proper schedule, I can do it fairly easily.  My body is both used to not getting enough sleep (I've been sleep deprived since 6th grade) but grateful for the opportunity to sleep and will happily gorge itself if I let it.  I still remember the glorious trip to Japan where I basically slept for 24 hours straight.

I was really sleep deprived in high school.

Since it takes until 4:00 p.m. usually for me to be showered and fed my breakfast, it doesn't leave me a tremendous amount of time to go exploring before the sun goes down.  I have to fix this.  I can't keep sleeping my day away and being up all night.

On another note, I purchased some bluetooth headphones for $40!  They're pretty good, except for the fact that the volume control and track selection are the same button...and the button keeps getting stuck.  I'm realizing how much easier it is to have headphones when you don't have a long cord.  It gets tangled in my hair!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

SUTRO BATHS

In an attempt to ignore what I SHOULD do and do what I want to do for once in my life, I've been sleeping as much as I want.  As a result, I woke up at 1:30 this afternoon for the second day in a row.  I figure, this is the last time in my life (until retirement) I will have this opportunity.  I've been sleep deprived since I was 11 (literally) and I could use some sleep.  Waking up at a certain time because I feel like I should do so...I will put that on pause.

A lot is happening in SF this weekend.  There is a music festival, the Giants are playing, the 49ers are playing, and it's Fleet Week...and America's Cup is happening....I've been hearing the very loud swooshing of planes overhead.  That always freaks me out a little, because you always see terrible grainy footage on the news of those kind of things going horribly wrong.

I heard the airplanes while inside Whole Foods.  A woman looked up and said, "It's the sound of war machines!"  I just thought it was amusingly loud...

After grocery shopping, I hopped on the 38 and went all the way to the beach.  It was a long and awkward bus ride where I was standing on the steps into the bus pretty much the whole time.  I would get hit by the doors every time they opened and closed, and the other guy who was standing on the other side of the railing on the steps...he and I had to exit the bus at every stop to let people out, and then get back in.  It was rather amusing.

Once I got to Land's End, I went to explore.  Down the trails to the Sutro Baths, back up to various points, walked around some trails really for an hour and a half.
 
Sutro Baths
At one point, I got a very nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It's my first time actually seeing the bridge since getting here, and it was a pleasant way to view it.

Watched the sun set, walked around a bit more, and finally got back on the 38 to return home.  I got off on the wrong bus stop -_-  Just one too soon.  It was my first time walking around SF at night by myself.  Fortunately, walking around Japantown is perfectly safe, and all the old Japanese ladies politely smile at me and greet me with a nod.

I ended it with a brown rice tortilla quesadilla.  It was really good!  Brown rice tortillas = yummy.