Friday, December 26, 2014

OC Day 5 / SF / the NO

OC DAY 5!

Because I had a few high school and college aged ex-students contact me and say they wanted to get together, I decided to make myself available at Starbucks, should anybody want to come by and say hello.  About 10 people showed up (not bad for short notice via Facebook!) and we chatted for a couple hours.  I have one former student who is graduating college this year, and I'm rather blown away that even though she hasn't been in my class in a very long time, that she'd still want to see me.
All in all, visiting was much like being a grandparent.  You get all the good stuff without any of the responsibilities or downsides.

There was one former student who only had me for one year, as a 4th grader, but ended up meeting me at the airport!  His flight came in about an hour before mine headed out, so he dropped by to say hi.

Monday, December 22, 2014

OC - Day 3 (no 4)

I went to my morning school.

To wake up at 7:30 was painful - how did I wake up at 5:30 every day for 9 years?!  Of course, to be fair, I was asking myself this question as I was doing it for 9 years.  "It burns!"

PV - morning school

Thursday, December 18, 2014

OC - Day 2

I'd like to start by saying, Enterprise lies and doesn't tell you that they will only pick you up within 2 miles, and it may take hours and hours for them to come pick you up.

VV

VV was my afternoon school.  My entire reason for keeping my visit a secret was so I could surprise my band partner, M~.  We spent every day together for 8 years.  Everyone called me his work wife, including his wife.

I popped into the orchestra class first (I had asked the current teacher if that was okay, so as not to be a jerk), and it was pretty amusing.  Kids looked at me and clearly initially had a reaction of, "There's a lady here," followed immediately by, "Wait!  Wha...is that?  OH MY GOSH!"

"Has M~ seen you, yet?" asked the orchestra teacher.

"No, not yet!"

"I have to see this."
"So do I," said another former coworker who had let me into the orchestra room.

All 3 of us walked out the room, and I walked up the staircase and leaned against the banister behind him.  Kids saw me first, and it was HILARIOUS.  Instruments literally fell out of their mouths, and then you heard gasping.  M~ turned around, and I asked, "So how much did you miss me?"

Kids were kind of adorable.

When I announced to my 5th grade that I was leaving, literally every single kid in that class cried.  Upon my return, now 8th graders....they cried again.  It was super sweet and adorable.  They still had their 5th grade music binders because I had signed them.  They had kept their 5th grade music.  It was enormously sweet.

I'm glad I went.

It was nice to be able to go back as a visitor.  It's like being a grandparent - all the fun and none of the responsibility.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Back to the OC

I kept this one a secret, because I wanted it to be a surprise.

But I am back.

I have returned to Orange County, from whence I came.  My aunt, who lived in Orange, passed away and I have come for her memorial service to pay my respects.  I've known I was coming for a little bit over a week, and have basically been complaining about it for an entire week.

DAY 1 - WEDNESDAY

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sam Smith's - I'm Not The Only One (Cello Cover)

It's yet another song that I discovered through work.

Seriously, you guys, I'm all...up to date with pop music.  It's weird.  Having never been up to date ever before (I missed the whole grunge movement when I was a teenager...I can't even remember what I was listening to...)

However, having been exposed to Sam Smith's I'm Not The Only One, I thought, wow, this is really pretty!  Wow...this is kind of a depressing video.  I bet these harmonies would sound nice on cello.

So.

Here we go:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Updating is Hard...

...when you're boring?

1.) I got an iPhone 6 Plus!!
- No, it's not too big.
- Yes, I love it.

I don't care that people make fun of me; I think it's great!  I can text without hitting the wrong keys now!  My farm looks amazing.  The camera looks way better than real life - seriously, guys, I think I'm going to start viewing everything through just my camera.

2.) I went to a friend's wedding!  She had donuts as wedding favors.  Needless to say, I went home with half a dozen donuts.  I gained 8 pounds in 3 days....after gaining 10 pounds in New York.

3.) I've had to buy some new pants.  For...some mysterious reason, my old ones hurt.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NEW YORK

DAY 1:
Travel

- Actually, I discovered that, after working at a startup of some kind for a year and spending 8+ hours a day sitting and working on a computer, I can now sit on an airplane and work on a computer and be completely distracted by the length of the fight.
- On both flights, the person next to me asked if I was a DJ.  I guess that's what happens when you spend the whole flight using Logic to make midi files.  #musicnerd
- I made an airplane buddy.
- Two people told me I was awesome within an hour of landing.
- Three people asked me for directions on my way to Brooklyn.  I told them I was the wrong person to ask.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Preparing for Travels

Since I was 18, I have wanted to visit New York.

Since I was 18, I've said to myself, "I'll go when I have extra money," or "I'll go when I have time."  Well, in over a decade, neither of those things have happened.  There was always something to pay off and there was always something to get done.

However.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

David Bazan And The Passengers

Saturday night, I went to The Independent for the first time to watch David Bazan and the Passenger String Quartet.

I've never heard of either, but my friend L~ invited me and who am I to say no to a music date?

I happen to be of the perfectly biased opinion that everything is better with strings.  His music is calming and lyrical, and him + Passenger = layers of harmonic beauty.  I appreciate any music that makes me close my eyes.  If you can get me to do that, you know that I'm either really enjoying the music or I'm confused by something.

Or possibly both.

If you have interest in checking them out, you can listen to them HERE: http://www.davidbazan.com/david-bazan-passenger-string-quartet-album-tour/


Watching/listening to them really made me want to join a band.  As a cellist, that is.  How do I make that happen?


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hardly Strictly!


This year, I went to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival!

It's a free music festival held in Golden Gate Park in SF.  My first year in SF, I didn't realize it was happening.  My second year in SF, I think my aversion to crowds kept me away.  

This is, however, the year of The Naoko.  I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and trying a lot of new things.  Besides, it's not really that I avoid things because of being uncomfortable...it's usually a combination of laziness and poverty.  

Since Hardly Strictly is free (yay!), I figured...why not?!

My only complaint is that Lyft totally tricked me and I ended up being charged $40 for a Lyft ride.  I'm glad I had a coupon.

Here's the festival picture!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2 Year SF Anniversary

Today marks 2 years since I arrived in San Francisco.

Crazy.

When I think about how much in my life has changed in such a short amount of time, I'm filled with a sense of gratitude and relief.

A friend from Orange County brought up a former colleague - someone who was very negative and actively tried to sabotage other people.  I mean, honestly, people shouldn't be like this in general, but teachers REALLY shouldn't be like this!  (shame shame)

I stopped for a moment and thought, oh my gosh, I have no *******s in my life now!  Everyone in my life is about supporting co-workers and lifting people up instead of keeping them down so they can rise up.  The sad reality is that there were quite a lot of *******s in my former life, and the fact that I have absolutely none right now makes me happy.  I don't take that for granted.

I have made new friends who are my friends because we enjoy each others' company.

I feel recovered.

I feel like Naoko.

On another note, I've been hearing from former students a lot this past month.  I love this.  My favorite part of teaching was interacting with kids, and having some kind of positive impact on their lives.  I love that we can still interact and that I get to still be part of their journey to become whole people.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Update

I've been a little busy.

What's new?

Here is a list of things that have happened since I last updated my blog:

- I accidentally sat on some people on the bus
- I killed a giant spider by trapping it in a cup and then flushing it down the toilet
- Someone tried to get me to join a cult.  I declined.
- I watched TWO movies
- I ate deep fried french toast.  Again.
- I have been trained on how to make songs for a new app
- I am now dabbling in QA
- I went to my first happy hour at my newer workplace.
- I FINALLY had a blue drink.
- Found my spine
- Ate a lot of ice cream
- Facetimed for the first time
- Housed a visitor
- Moved offices - kind of

Other things happened, but those are the main points.

Or at least the ones I'm willing to speak about publicly.

Otherwise, I'd have to kill all who read this.  So.  Like 2 people.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

CONTENTCON 014

CONTENT CON!!

What IS ContentCon?

We have a content team at my workplace, and we basically create all of the content for the apps that our company makes.  Most of us are all around Northern California, but we also have a New Yorker and a fellow from Japan.  This week, we all came in and gathered together for the first time.

w00t!

Having been on all types of teams before, from awesome and supportive to distrustful and sabotaging, I appreciate the fact that I love my content team so much.  They are the smart, nice, funny, silly, awesome people I had hoped to find.

Wednesday was basically us working together all day, having dinner (did I have a burger that had chili and a hot dog on it?  Yes, yes I did.  NAILED IT).  I then hung out with the NYer and Japaner who were staying together.

At around 11pm, I conquered a first.

I went to a club.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cello Love - ZZ Ward's Last Love Song


Because I liked this song so much and it got stuck in my head for so long, I thought I'd do a cello arrangement.

However, there were some problems due to the fact that my PC laptop isn't exactly a laptop anymore.  Since the top isn't completely attached to the lap part anymore, I had to plug the display into my tv in order to edit.  Any little jiggle meant the picture would cut out.

Because of this, I thought I'd use my Mac to do the sound editing part.  The only "problem" is that it sounds a lot different on my Mac than my PC, so when I exported the sound file and sent it to my PC, it was very very different.

Hmmm.

Conundrum.



Because of this, I had to play with my sound a few times and export it a few times.  Eventually I just gave up, though.

Bah!

Humbug!

Also, editing the video on my tv was surprisingly difficult!

It's time for a new PC laptop, really.  I will buy one in the next few weeks, I suspect.

My Mac is my laptop for work, and I'd like to keep them separated.  Also, after two months of working on a Mac I have to tell ya....I don't get the hype.  I mean, it's better at some things than my PC, but not enough to justify the price difference between the two (even though I didn't actually pay for the Mac).  Even if they were the same price, however, I'd choose a PC for non-work related things.

Okay.

Off topic.

Here's the vid:





***EDIT**

You guys....ZZ Ward favorited my tweet and responded to it :)

Huzzah!



Friday, August 8, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Workaholic = Boring Naoko

I have old lady tendencies to begin with, but constantly working has made me even more boring than normal.

Well.

Except.

Today I got proposed to.

By a stranger.

While walking to Safeway.

Friday, July 25, 2014

#classicsanfranciscoday

My day started with me waking up without hitting my snooze button.  WHAT?!  Yeah.  That happened.

I was excited, thinking I'd get a slightly earlier start to my day.  I was early enough to take the good bus (the one that doesn't have people who yell at nobody or hit themselves or smell particularly badly).  5 minutes, here it comes.  3 minutes!  1 minute!  Arriving!  20 minutes?  Wait, what??!!

Yeah.

My bus didn't come.

When I looked up to see where my non-good bus, I knew I was too slow to catch it and then it was another long wait for THAT one.

Instead, I waited for the good bus for 20 minutes.  I also decided then would be a good time to download Uber because I have a coupon (I know people...or one guy).  But it was taking forEVER to download and by the time my bus came 20 minutes later it still hadn't downloaded.

I got to the office 30 minutes later than normal rather than my planned 15 minutes earlier.  <<< petulant sulk >>>  Fortunately, startups tend not to have set start and end times, so nobody really cares except me.

After a few hours of work, we took a break to sing Happy Birthday and have....FOUR different kinds of cake!  You know how, when you get a group of people to sing Happy Birthday, it always sounds terrible?

Not at:
1.) A music teacher staff meeting
and
2.) A music startup company

It was pretty awesome to hear a group that large sing that well.

Did I eat a giant slice of cake for lunch?

Perhaps.

I then packed up my stuff and went to job #2.

It was hot.

Not FRESNO hot, but definitely San Francisco hot.  By the time I got to my next job, I was a hot mess.  Literally.  At least I carry around a folding fan for such occasions.

After our meeting, we went upstairs for a party/happy hour.

On my way home, while waiting for the bus, there was a parade of bicyclists.  I got waved at, seeing as how I was the only person on the street waiting for the bus, and there were no other people around.  I saw two naked guys wearing top hats.  Does it count as "naked" if you're wearing a jaunty hat?  All I could think was, 1.) I feel like that must be uncomfortable and 2.) I wouldn't want to be the bicyclist behind these guys.

Good motivation to be at the front of the pack.

I also ran into a friend on the bus on my way home.

I had intentions of exercising, but have decided that it is too hot and I ate and drank too much to exercise.

Ah, San Francisco.  Your days are so odd.  :)


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Things just got musical

My freshman year of college, I was submerged into my Music Theory class.

I lived with two sorority girls (don't know how THAT happened), one of whom was nice and the other was...less so.

I have a vivid memory of sitting at my desk, doing my music theory homework, and quietly humming to myself.  That's the thing about music theory homework: you need to sing a little bit and probably don't realize you're doing it.  (This made finals and midterms especially comical.)

All of a sudden, she yelled, "CAN YOU STOP THAT?!"

I had no idea what she was talking about.

"WHY ARE YOU SINGING?!"

"Oh.  Sorry, I was doing my music homework.  I didn't realize I was singing."

<<< insert sad face here >>>

Friday, July 11, 2014

Birthday!

It's my birthday today!

I think you should wish me a happy birthday.

I started my new job on the 1st of the month.  It is awesome.  I feel incompetent and stupid every day, even though I know I'm not...which just affirms to me that I'm surrounded by intelligence.  If I'm the stupid one of the group, then the group is pretty dang smart!

It's just the learning curve.  I know it's to be expected.  I know I should be patient with myself.  I know I'd never be as demanding of another person as I am of myself.  But still.  I want to know everything RIGHT NOW and be awesome at everything THE FIRST TIME!  :D

Spoken like a true overachiever with a problem.

It's a great job, though.  I really like it.  It feels like I'm spending my day getting paid to learn a new hobby, which is GREAT.  It's demanding of the skills I have but in the fun challenging way I enjoy.  Besides, if it were way easy on day 1 I doubt I'd enjoy or respect it.

Since I have a July birthday, I grew up not having my birthday in school.  Since I was a teacher, I also...spent my birthdays outside of school.  While this is only my 2nd week, I was excited to have my birthday at a place for once!

Hooray!

I refrained from wearing my cake hat that lights up.  I mean, 2nd week and all.

(That's not the real reason.  I didn't want to take this giant hat on the bus because I carry so much stuff with me already!)

Monday, June 30, 2014

New Job!

My new job begins tomorrow!

I'm excited.

Like...the day before school excited.  But not the day-before-school-as-a-teacher excited, but day-before-school-as-a-student excited.

I resisted the urge to buy myself new school supplies.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Great Week - It's Coming!

This week has been a metaphorical sigh of relief.

JOB #1 - I got a promotion and raise!  This job isn't glamorous, but it's easy to do and the people are nice and very smart.  My promotion makes me "specialized" into a particular department rather than doing general word.  I'm actually really excited about it because now I get to focus on my favorite problems (for that job).  I'm basically helping with anything involving money - account management, refunds, purchasing, whatever.  Okay, I have a confession.  Whenever I took those career personality tests as a high schooler, college goer, and then lost adult - they ALWAYS told me to be an accountant.  Boo.  The creative side of me groans and says, "Man that sounds awful."  However, the very logical side of me who likes math goes, "Yeah, I'd be good at that."  And I am.  And I do like it the same way I liked math over history - there's always a logical answer.

JOB #2 - YES!  I have a second job!  Well, rather, I signed a contract to start a second job next week.  It...is...an AWESOME job even though I don't know the full details.  Basically, I'm transcribing/creating music for a music app company.  This job will nourish the creative side of me.  After some pretty awesomely geeky email exchanges with the hiring manager, I get the feeling that this place is a very Naoko place.

Wait, two jobs?

Here's the deal.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Robbery!

While I have personally been robbed a few times (well, my parents were robbed and my stuff was the only stuff that got stolen), I've never actually witnessed a robbery.

I'm not sure this counts.

While at Walgreens, while perusing nail polish (that's always the sign you know I'm bored), I watched 3 guys run out.  The poor Walgreens lady said, "Code 7!  Code 7!" and then picked up the phone and over the loud speaker yelled, "Code 7!"

One very slow guy showed up and walked out the door to see what had happened.

Apparently, the 3 guys had stolen toilet paper.

I'm inclined to say that...if you need to steal toilet paper, then everyone should just let you.  I mean, it's a staple.  If you're stealing that, you're probably pretty hard up, right?

My quest for toothpaste got a little more interesting.

In case you were wondering, I ended up buying Pringles, too.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Walked into a wall. No. Really.

It's the second time I've done it now.

Walking up the staircase, walking through the door, I was distracted by two flyers on the door.  I turned back around to read what they said.  Unfortunately for me, there's a tiny 6-8 inch wall by the door that's easy to not notice under normal circumstances.

When I was done reading, I turned around to go along on my merry way, not even thinking twice, but apparently I hadn't cleared the 6 inches of wall.  I was also, unfortunately, very very close to the corner of the wall and immediately smacked my face against it.

I get hurt quite a bit and quite often.

Friday, May 16, 2014

OneRepublic's Counting Stars

This one was by request.

OneRepublic's Counting Stars.

Did I have to Google that to double check if there was a space between "one" and "republic"?  Possibly.  Did I want to make sure that I wasn't really thinking of One Direction?  Maybe.  Am I too lazy to Google "one direction" right now to see if there's a space between THEIR name?  Definitely.

I've taken an unintentional break from making videos.

Really, I was just preoccupied with some other things, I guess.  I've been in the interview process for another job, and I tend to obsessive compulsively prepare for all things important.  

I also jammed my 3rd finger this week.  Again.  I've lost count of how many times I've jammed/sprained my finger.  Oh, there was that one time I got attacked by carnivorous bees and got stung on my finger only to discover I'm allergic to bees.  If I could do the cello solo from William Tell Overture with that...

It's so perfunctory now that I don't even talk about it or bring it up in conversation.  I'm way more likely to talk about how badly I feel like eating some sour cream and onion potato chips.  And I do.  REALLY badly.

Here's the vid!  I like comments :)  Unless they're mean.  Then...you can keep those to yourself.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Trying New Things

On Sunday, I ventured to Fisherman's Wharf.

Why is it a venture?  I think most San Franciscans will tell you that they avoid that area because it's extremely touristy.  Not that tourists are bad.  But...well...there are so many of you guys and you guys walk so slowly!  :)  

I will admit, when I'm by myself and walking around I'm usually walking fast and get annoyed when people walk in front of me too slowly.  I get especially annoyed when there's a group of people taking up the whole walkway and I can't get around them.  All I want to do is yell, "MOVE!!!!" but I'm too polite to do that for real.  

I went to the Musee Mecanique for the first time.  Honestly, I was super excited to go here because...Anne Hathaway took Julie Andrews here in The Princess Diaries.  Yeah.  I said it.  Shut up.   Don't judge me; Anne Hathaway is awesome.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Arcade Fire - Wake Up



I'm secure enough to admit how lame I am - that I was exposed through Arcade Fire because of the trailer to Where the Wild Things Are.  Strangely, the song isn't actually in the movie at any point.

I then made the beginning of Wake Up into my iPhone ringtone.  Did the principal of one of my schools make fun of me for my "weird chanting music"?  Perhaps.  Was I annoyed that she'd put down my music?  Perhaps.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Really? We're going to fight about this?

I got a phone call on my cell from a 949 phone number (Orange County).

A man from a mortgage company was calling.

I promptly said, "I don't own a home..."

"I know you don't own a home, but you're thinking of buying a home," he said, very matter of fact.

"No, I'm not," I said.

"Yes, you are," he insisted.  What are you, the Great Carmine?

"Nope.  I used to own a home.  And then I sold it and moved," I informed him.

"Was this recently?"

"Almost two years ago."

"No, that's not true," he said.  Um.  Really?  Because I'm pretty sure it IS true, random man.

"Uh, yes it is."

"No, ma'am.  You called us recently asking about a mortgage."

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did."  Seriously?  Even if I were in the market for a mortgage, I wouldn't get one with someone who was arguing with me about it.

"I think you have me confused with someone else," I said, trying to be polite.

"No, ma'am.  It's how we got your number.  You're looking to buy a home."

"Nope," I said, simply.

"What do you mean, 'nope'?" he asked angrily.

"That's not true."

"Yes, it is true!"

You're fighting with me about whether or not I'm looking to buy a home??  Yeah, great business strategy there, sir.  "Nope," I said again.  At this point, I was rather bewildered and amused.

He then hung up on me.

In case you were wondering, I was called by (949) 528-6877.  When I looked it up online, there were lists of complaints about tele-marketing.

Heh.

You'd think they'd be slicker, then, instead of having a "Yes you did!" fight with me.

Ah, Orange County....you suck.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Boardwalk Food Empire

This weekend, instead of partaking of my normal exciting weekend plans of grocery shopping (okay, confession, I did that, too) I headed to Santa Cruz for the...second time in my life?

The day started with a trip to the Mystery Spot.  I had been there once before and I must confess...it seemed a lot more mysterious when I was 7.  Somehow, I managed to miss the notable fact that the Mysterious Cabin is slanted and on a hillside.  It was still pretty entertaining and I got a pretty sweet sticker out of it.  It's going on my cello case.
So mysterious

Friday, March 21, 2014

Christopher Meloni - Cinequest

I'm inclined to say that I'm not a fan of surprises, but I've come to reevaluate that statement.

I'm not a fan of bad surprises.

GOOD surprises, however, bring it on!

I was pleasantly surprised on Sunday with an excursion to Cinequest, and a screening of Christopher Meloni's movie Small Time.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball

I don't want to be a hater.

Nor do I want to put negativity out into the world.

Upon seeing the original Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus (I think the first time I saw it was on The View, strangely enough), I, like many people, thought oh dear.  Yes, my inner voice is a 76 year old lady.  Sometimes she's also a 6 year old child or a 13 year old boy.  It depends on the situation, really.

My reaction was one of: Miley Cyrus has lost her way.  She doesn't know who she is; she's trying to figure it out and trying to be what she'd like to be for the sake of being provocative.  One day she will look back at this time and either be embarrassed about it, embrace it as an odd time in her life, or she will have ended up a sad headline of some sort.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Get in mah belly!

I may have eaten too much.

As a treat to myself, I ordered pizza.  I very rarely do this (maybe 2 - 3 times a year?) because...I will eat the entire pizza in 24 hours and gain 3-8 pounds.
Before
30 minutes later
That was my Friday.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day - Again?

If you've known me a while, you know that I'm not really into Valentine's Day.

While lavish displays of consumption still evokes a hipster sense of cynicism in me, I believe I may have had a slightly Grinch-like change of heart.

Not a heart that's filled with chocolate, however.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mini-Update

Despite myself, life has been very work oriented recently.  I can't help myself, I suppose.  Also, overtime has been available and I will jump at the chance whenever the opportunity is presented!

Apparently, I've gotten the reputation of being both super speedy and impressively effective!  I began with rather mundane happenings (password resets, refunds), went on to basic game questions and account administration, then a few weeks ago I moved to tech support (that was exciting!).  I'm a quick study!  Now I'm helping the Science team, because they're a little behind so I offered my assistance.  I'll basically volunteer to go wherever I'm needed!

I love learning new things.

I also recently was granted the access to look at my numbers, and man alive!  I had been told that I was quite the little machine, but I didn't realize just HOW much of a machine I was!  The fact that people also express their appreciation and gratitude is HUGE for me.  Being acknowledged for working hard and doing a good job is meaningful for me.

In non-work news, I have been eating SO MUCH FOOD.  Glorious.  Simply glorious.

After gaining 5 pounds in 48 hours in Fresno, I spent the next weekend enjoying Mexican food, Pho, and a delicious burger at Gotts.  There is nothing better than a delicious burger.

That's all for now.

I'm boring :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy New Years...a little late

In our household, we have a tradition of New Years (day).

It started, as far as I know, at my Grandma's house when she would have all the relatives over for a giant New Years Day lunch/dinner.  All the women would be in the kitchen and all the men would be in the living room watching tv.  Being the feminist I was (even at the age of 4), I always refused to go and help in the kitchen and would stay with the men to watch football.  

This happened through my teenage years, until my Grandma died and then my aunt and uncle died and then my other aunt died.  New Years was then moved to our house.  

I still tried to avoid being in the kitchen, but it's a lot harder when your mom is the one doing all of the preparations.  Instead of everyone pitching in, somehow, over the years, it became solely my mom's responsibility.  

The last 5 years or so have broken with tradition.  My mom got ill.  Then my dad got ill.  And then my mom went on strike because my sister didn't come back to celebrate.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Great Big World - Say Something

Made a new video!

I was driving in Fresno, which is the only time I really listen to the radio these days (I sound like such an old person) and on my way to Ulta.  I wish they had one of those in SF.

But I heard this song on the radio and thought, huh, that's a cool song.  Who sings this?  I bet it would sound really good with harmonic Ds the whole time.  Because that's how a dork thinks, right?  Well, that's how THIS dork thinks, at least.

The version I heard was the one with Christina Aguilera, though I didn't realize it was her until I Google searched it later.  Yes, I listened to both versions.  I like both, but thought that the Christina Aguilera version would make a more interested rendition for a video.

Oh, yeah, and I got new glasses.

I'm kind of excited about it.  The 15 year old version of me who really wanted to have Janeane Garofalo glasses is uber excited.


 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Being Interviewed - George's and my Anniversary :)

This was kind of a big week!

George and I (my cello) celebrated our 8th Anniversary on January 8th.  We're very happy together, in case you were wondering.  He's not so happy about the cold and rainy weather recently, however, and is spending his time sulking in the corner.

I was also interviewed by First To Know!  This was a pleasant surprise; I've only ever been interviewed by a 4th grader for the school newspaper.  I totally forgot that my Instagram is so public, and that literally anybody can look at the pictures.  That's cool; I just wasn't expecting it to be used in the interview.  Not that that's a problem.  I guess I assume that the only people following my Instagram / blog are students or friends.

So here's a link: http://firsttoknow.com/naoko-marukos-love-music-allows-create-epic-renditions-favorite-songs-cello/

I like that "epic" is in  the title.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

System of a Down - Lonely Day

I've been saving this transcription for a day I felt horribly depressed.  Fortunately for me (or unfortunately for you), I never got THAT depressed, and the song just sat by the wayside.  Since I've gotten so much sudden attention because of my Muse cover, I thought those same people might like System of a Down?

Also!  I got a new microphone!

Can you tell?  I used no filters or effects or anything on the sound, so it's all just me.  It's a lot of Naoko coming at you.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

What's Happening?!!!

Oh...my goodness.

What is happening?!

It started with my dad sending my cousin Roberta a link to my youtube videos (since my dad now knows that everybody has youtube and you don't have to download it).  She sent it to her kids (I assume).  And one of HER kids posted it on reddit.

http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/1u7ebq/just_found_out_that_my_cousin_a_cellist_has_been/

I woke up on the 2nd of January to an inbox full of subscription notices.  My Muse video jumped from a few hundred to over 24,000 (as of now).

Then I found this.  I'm in the Huffington Post.  WHAT?!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/02/cellist-five-parts-knights-of-sedonia_n_4531631.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

I repeat.  What's happening?!

While before, it was mostly my own former students who watched my videos (if that), it seems I have opened myself up to a new audience.

Sharing the cello love, people.  That's always a good thing, right?

Still.

I'm kind of in shock....