Cello

Mar. 8th, 2017 09:34 pm
yunikoneko: (Default)
My cello arrived on January 24, I think... at least, according to Facebook. I didn't actually get it to stay in tune until the following week. I've been feeling it out for at least an hour every day for the past month, but I don't think I really learned much besides posture (which I still struggle with) and proper bow holding until my etudes arrived last week. I'm using Cello Playing for Music Lovers: A self-teaching method, Schroeder's Foundation Studies, and The Art of Cello Playing.

I am pretty sure I'm holding the bow correctly except that sometimes I tense up and wind up using pressure instead of weight, as evidenced by the somewhat painful callus developing on the thumb of my bowing hand. I try to be aware of it and relax my hand, since most literature and other sources on the subject say playing should be fairly pain-free.

I've mostly been using the Foundation Studies to practice and am pleased that I've at least mostly correctly interpreted the first three movements. This is the fourth movement:



I played the first half correctly, but once I hit the open G, I started misreading the music. Which is unfortunate, but I guess I'd breezed through it a little too easily... sans vibrato, that is. I just watched a few tutorials and I think that's the next thing I'll work on, besides correcting the notes.

I don't know why I didn't check out youtube sooner. Knowing what the music is supposed to sound like helps so much.
yunikoneko: (Default)
Las Vegas
In brief, we left Las Vegas in the green. Grant it, it was only $20... but hey, better than $0! It was definitely better than the -$200 we budgeted for, though it would've been $45 had we not stopped at Caesar's Palace for lunch and gourmet chocolates for our moms... but oh well, it was worth it. :) Also, Wednesdays Matchbox 20 concert was enjoyable, if not a bit cheesy. The theme for the conference was the Olympics and "Party like rockstars" so, on concert night, they had fake paparazzi snapping pictures of everyone entering the venue. They were all wearing trench coats and fedoras with note cards stuck in the brim, as if it was the 1940s. It was lol.

This Week's Thing
When I was in Vegas, I went to the KidRobot store and got a Bub (friend of Munny) for painting. I thought he kinda looked like Vanilla from Kaiba, so I plan to paint him as so. I also used the extra Bitty 'Bitsu I had to make a Chroniko to go with him. Here's a shot on my tumblr. I've actually finished painting Chroniko already, but now I have to make her clothes and figure out how to make her teeny tiny red boots! I want them to work with her magnet feet, though, because she's kind of top-heavy and slightly tricky to pose.

Mother's Day
Mother's day morning, we went over to Ben's parents' house for brunch and presents. I made an exploding box (last week's thing).



Basically, when you lift the lid, it falls open to reveal a bunch of little compartments. I had Ben pick out some pictures and come up with some mom-centric anecdotes, then I put them together.



I also made an exploding box for my mom, but I forgot to take a photo. (Let's just say there was a lot of dancing and singing and distraction at my family's Mother's Day gathering, now that all of her sisters and their kids live nearby.) Anyway, hers just had pictures in it, because by the time I got to making it, it was pretty late and I was running out of juice. Plus I'd already shared my memorable Mother's Day story on twitter/facebook. ;P

Etc.
Ben and I came up with the brilliant and possibly soon-to-be-short-lived idea to be a toy cover band. We don't have a name, though Ben is rooting for Facsimilation or Various Artists. His glockenspiel is on order. For the life of me, I can't hold down Em without it sounding horribly out of tune, even when it's perfectly tuned otherwise... so I want to look at new ukes to see if it's a problem with me or my uke. I've had problems keeping mine tuned before, but I thought I'd fixed it when I tightened the screws on the pegs. It's serviceable, but.. still want to check out others.

Zoetic

Mar. 4th, 2012 12:02 am
yunikoneko: (Default)
This week's thing was an album cover for Nebyoolae's new album Zoetic, which is available for download at Bandcamp.



It may or may not be the art actually on the website because the album went live Wednesday and I didn't actually finish painting it until this morning and didn't finish processing it until this afternoon. I don't actually even know if it will be used. He approached me about it months ago, but the project kept getting put off and so I kind of forgot about it until he pushed me a beta of the album and asked for my input. Then a few days later it was on the 'net.

But I said I would do some art for it, so I did. And there it is.
yunikoneko: (Default)
lyrics )

mp3

---

I'm a day late with the documentation again... sort of. Last week I'd claimed my little cousin's hula hoop as my "thing," but since then, I've also made a second trick hoop for myself, I made a tiny dress for a tiny doll I picked up while swapmeeting last Sunday with Lauren, I put up a clipboard art wall in my office/studio, and last night I wrote this song... even though I'd just decided I was dropping guitar lessons from my list of things I want to accomplish this year.

Yesterday, I also went hunting for a new body for George. Sadly, the skin tone on the Liv I bought was not as close a match as I would've liked, but I still gave it to her, and now the old Liv head has been put on George's old dollfie plus body. I don't mind, it, though, because it's the Alice in Wonderland Sophie, so she's now sharing shelf-space with my Pullip Romantic Alice doll. Big-head Alice Dolls Unite! I'd also found an Operetta in the unlikeliest of Targets, so I'm pretty stoked.

I was thinking of swinging by the Target in Mission Valley to hunt for Cupid, since I'm slated to see Chronicle there with Lauren, today. I don't know whether or not I should be afraid because today is the release date of the Jason Wu for Target collection. I read that Maggie was in and out in 10 minutes, though... and I'm going a bit later, so I hope it would've slowed down by then.

Ravel

Jan. 13th, 2012 08:33 pm
yunikoneko: (Default)
lyrics )

mp3

---

My thing this week is a song. It's not really a finished product.. in fact, I recorded the whole thing in one take and it's not as long as I think it will be once I've done a few lessons and start fleshing out the musicky bits. But anyway, the lyrics have been years the making... the idea was always there, but kind of fragmented... and today I sat down and just said, "Dammit, I'm going to write it, for better or worse."

So.... there you have it. Until I get fancy with it (if I ever do), it seems like one I'd forget. But hey, I haven't recorded an original song since 2008. /shrug

Hologram

Jan. 4th, 2012 09:58 am
yunikoneko: (Default)
One of my favorite artists, [profile] naomiii is practicing portraiture and asked for pictures and little notes about yourself, so I linked to a picture of myself and also my doll tumblr in the comments.

That made me start thinking I haven't taken any doll pictures since last November, and looking at my tumblr I miss it. I think the Jem photo was over a year ago! I think my "thing" this week will be another Jem photo.

Jem reruns have been airing on the Hub. I've only watched a few.. to be honest, I barely remember them from childhood. I know I dressed my Barbies, pretending they were Jem, because Jem dolls were too big to fit in Barbie world. And being in a band was cool. But anyway, from those episodes, it seems Jem's problems boil down to keeping her identity a secret and the Misfits rivalry. She's so clean and nice.

It made me think about Miley Cyrus. I remember seeing her on The View when she was just starting Hannah Montana several years ago. She was so sweet and cute, and the hosts made a stab at Lindsay Lohan, telling Miley that she better grow up nice, because look what happened to Lindsay. I guess, compared to Lindsay, she did, but she still got scrutinized for posing nude and pole dancing on the Kid's Choice Awards and smoking whatnot. She's not an angel, but it's not like she's the only one who's ever done dumb stuff. She's human.

Anyway. Jem was in a highly successful band, trying to make a living while protecting holographic technology from exploitation, in a love triangle with her boyfriend and her own alter ego, and taking care of a dozen orphan girls? Okay, sure... improbable but possible. But I can't imagine anyone doing it all with as much finesse as she did.

I've probably thought about it way too much...

But I'll sometimes hear a lyric and think of Jem. The one I'm thinking of right now is the chorus of the Katie Herzig song Hologram, which is totally obvious, but whatever.

I'm in a love affair without a love song
I'm in the habit of having what I don't want
I'm just a hologram


The song actually makes me think of my late teens and early twenties, and what it was like to live in my head and have a huge crush on someone... then dating or getting to know them and coming out of it and finally realizing you weren't in love with the person, just the idea.

OKAY.... enough procrastinating... I have to prep these computers for work!!
yunikoneko: (virgo)

So, this morning I set up the camera because I’ve been trying out an off-body hooping move I saw in one of The Baxter’s (*) videos. Typically, since I’ve been hooping on the lawn in front of the house, I just watch my reflection in the big front window, but because I’m turning and the important part happens behind my back, I can’t position myself for a good view consistently.

I was listening to music, so I wasn’t entirely focused on the one trick and wound up video-ing other stuff. Mostly isolations, since that’s what I recently started getting the hang of. I was just going to keep it for my own reference, but thought, Oh, heck. Why not? The answer, btw, is because I think I look like a blob. But at least I’m a quasi-graceful blob. :P I am still a little bitter about some of the comments on the spoof video I made for Ben’s birthday… which I mostly anticipated and is why I didn’t post it on YouTube, myself. Yes, the point is that it’s dumb and embarrassing. And yes, I am fat. Moving on, I posted because I’m proud I am capable of way more than snarking and poor spelling. Nevertheless, the following video isn’t searchable or commentable on YouTube. Here is me hooping to Tori Amos’ “You Can Bring Your Dog.”

If you’re curious, the move I set up for starts at 26 seconds, but it doesn’t quite make it all the way around and hooks on my neck. Didn’t stop me from hooping through, though. Need to figure out how to keep it vertical. HM.

I was really excited to realize that I can control my flow with hand-hooping for slower music. My favorite thing to hoop to lately is a song called “Babay (Eat a Critter, Feel its Wrath)” by The Blow. It’s pretty silly and unexpected(ly gross), but I like it. They also have another song I like in spite of the fact that it sounds a lot like something I could have written in my woeful single days, called “True Affection.”

I wonder how long it will stay on Youtube before they strip the music, if they do? I only used about half the song. Oh- ha! They just sent me an e-mail saying that due to licensing restrictions my video is blocked in Germany. LOL.

Anyway, I’m at least glad I have it for reference. I sort of wish I took videos of when I was a total n00b, just to see the progress. Also because I’d like to see if there was much change in my figure. You probably can’t tell, but I’ve lost 20lb since I started hooping. My dentist noticed, though (given as she only ever sees me every 6-12 months). The main way I can tell I’ve lost that weight (besides the scale) is that I can comfortably wear all the Threadless shirts I bought just before I gained 45 lb. I do have to say, though, I’m never wearing jeans again. I recently threw out the last pair I owned. Yoga pants, ftw, forever.

Last month, I got pretty bad at food logging and pretty much plateaued at just under 200. I haven’t really gained, but I haven’t really lost, either, and so I’m pretty behind on my goal. I’d also stopped hooping a while, which didn’t help any. But now that the weather is pretty much beautiful and I’m learning new stuff, I’m back on it with a passion. I think that so long as I am as into hooping as now, I don’t have to do food logs because, for whatever reason, I’m more acutely aware of when I am no longer hungry and have an easier time stopping eating. I don’t really have that same awareness if I’m doing something stationary, like surfing the ‘net or watching television, which is horrible because those are the times I am most likely to snack. I haven’t really been snacking at all, lately, though. I guess because I’m frequently outside or just too tired to want to.

*The Baxter, or Jonathan Baxter, is the founder of Hoop Path. He seems to have an extensive following of hooping hippie chicks, which kind of irks me and made me skeptical of his approach. But after watching his videos (instead of videos of people who have been taught by him), he’s pretty cool. I guess I feel towards him the same way I feel towards Jesus and Apple. Like the product just fine, it’s the fanatics I’m leery of.

Mirrored from ampersand.

yunikoneko: (Default)


Typically, I tend to veer away (read: run like hell) from over-produced pop acts with cheesy lyrics... preferring artists who have a thoughtful, almost literary lyricism. Owl City is probably my biggest exception (next to Lady Gaga, who I listen to exclusively while hooping.. hey- it's really danceable!). My husband says it's brain poison. I prefer to consider it a musical anti-depressant.

Yeah, it's rot-your-teeth-out sugary. You either like him or hate him.

I think he's the most earnest-sounding vocaloid I've ever heard.

Relieved

Oct. 23rd, 2010 10:07 pm
yunikoneko: (Default)
So, a few months back, Mike and I were hired to pull a Love Actually style wedding surprise for a couple who are friends of [internet] friends. We were fed and also got paid fairly well for what appears to be 5 minutes of work... even though it was really several hours of agonizing over the various ways to reproduce a very highly orchestrated piece of music without sacrificing its integrity despite only using only two guitars and a voice. And also there was a lot of driving and waiting involved.

It actually went over fine... really well, all things considered. My body seems to like to rebel against me just before big gigs. Did it in high school... I was out all week before a play premiered... they were going to drop me if I didn't make my last rehearsal, so I dragged my sorry butt over and pulled through. Then, right before PYC's first long gig, I also got sick, but still managed to perform that night. And I got sick this week.

Really? REALLY?

I feel awful, but at least things went over okay. I don't think I sounded particularly sick... to others. I sure sounded off to me... and I can't taste things well. On the bright side, the food there was spicy enough to register on my palate and temporarily clear my sinuses.

Of course, by the time I got home, I was back to being stuffy again. I had Ben prepare a cup of Theraflu for me. Now, I'm sure the cold is bad because the Theraflu tasted delicious... and also my blood sugars have been terrible all day. Ugh.

But anyway, the response was highly positive, and I think everyone got their money's worth. Not sure I'd ever want to play someone else's wedding again, though... so much pressure!

Now I just want to sleeeeeeeeep.

Golden Boy

Jun. 30th, 2010 12:12 pm
yunikoneko: (tee.  hee.)

Mountain Goats ~ Golden Boy [LIVE] from roger scott on Vimeo.



you must try to lead a good life
you must do unto others as you would have them do
so that when you die you'll find golden boy peanuts waiting in the
afterlife for you

there are no pan asian supermarkets down in hell
so you can't buy golden boy peanuts
there are no pan asian supermarkets down in hell
so you can't buy golden boy peanuts

if thine enemy oppresseth you
you must let him oppress you some more
so that when you go shopping in paradise
you'll find those magnificent peanuts from singapore
with the drawing of the young chinese farmer
the eastern sun behind him smiling at you from the shelves
if we want to spend eternity in happiness
well we're gonna have watch ourselves
you must give to the march of dimes
you must be on guard against wickedness at all times
and you'll find that your efforts have brought you great joy
when your spirit is munching on that golden boy

there are no pan asian supermarkets down in hell
so you can't buy golden boy peanuts there
but the streets of heaven are lined with shelves
and there's billboards of the golden boy everywhere
there are no pan asian supermarkets down in hell
so you can't buy golden boy peanuts
there are no pan asian supermarkets down in hell
so you can't buy golden boy peanuts... GO!
yunikoneko: (Default)


I can't remember whether I've posted this particular video before... I vaguely remember posting about Joanna Newsom, and how I thought her voice, in all its untrainable childlike wonder, was kind of hard to listen to, but I was fascinated enough to look her up because... hello? Her accompanying instrument is a harp.

Apparently, she'd developed vocal nodules, which kind of changed her voice. She sounds more like Kate Bush on her newest album. I guess you can argue she kind of had a Kate Bush-esque quality about her already... and with both of them, I guess you could take it or leave it.

Anyway, she's kind of growing on me. I've always liked the aesthetic of this video, but the song took some getting used to. Have to admit, I still have a harder time listening to her old stuff. I like her new "broken" voice a lot better.

I do have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that she's dating SNL's Andy Samberg.

Whatevs.
yunikoneko: (virgo)
Last month, my focus was on starting to develop a routine. Despite the fact that I would grade myself a C+ or B- at best, I think I am getting the hang of accomplishing minor daily tasks without the cheat sheet I initially thought I needed to get up and go. My mornings are still quite messy, no doubt... but now I at least have the anchor of taking my medication and multivitamin then checking my blood sugar. I have been fairly good at making Ben lunch, and I cook dinner from scratch 4 nights out of 5. Ben says that the fact that we no longer buy soda and that I am cooking most nights has cut $100 from our grocery bill, but I am left to wonder what happens to the $100. I won't press the issue with him for a little while, because I am acutely aware that he got me a keyboard and has recently pre-ordered two video games. It's just that I put a third of my last paycheck into our Japan fund, and used the rest to try to make a dent in my credit card debt. I'm probably going at it the wrong way, though... and I know that if I'm really having such an issue with the relative emptiness of our Japan savings account, I should just suck it up and get a second job.

And I've been looking... it's just that my lack of cred glares straight back at me. And then I get angry at myself all over for not seeking guidance about returning to school sooner, so I wouldn't still be stuck in this semester-long limbo. On the other hand, I could possibly temporarily return to the torture that is retail.

Anyway... this month is a month for progress and fine-tuning. Last month, I accomplished a little. Last year, I would perceive the little I'd accomplished as accomplishing little as in little to nothing. This thought would have sent me spiraling further into the pit of despair. I believe part of the reason I would have thought so is because I am a terrible procrastinator. Being such, my "accomplishments" happen in very brief, intense bursts of time. I'm not sure I allow myself to feel a task is worthwhile unless I'm in a bit of a panic over it- unless it is something massive and looming.

I've finally begun to break away from this line of thinking... and it started with the dishes.

I HATE DOING DISHES. Yes, I have a dishwasher, but it still doesn't cover the time I take to scrub off food particles stuck to the plates that don't immediately get rinsed and stowed in the machine, nor our non-dishwasher-safe pots and pans. The problem with our dishes piling quickly has definitely increased since we moved into a place with a smaller kitchen and shallower sink. Despite the fact that Ben is usually very conscientious about helping with household chores that I detest, I mysteriously continued to be the one who got stuck doing the monumental pile of dishes.

Ben said he let them pile in the sink because he would rather take care of them all at once. I completely understand this line of thinking. When there was a single spoon and bowl in the sink, there was no work there. He hardly saw it. It's like when I'm given a month to do a ten page research paper. I don't go to the library to check out the books on the first day, because it's such a simple step. Hardly any work at all.

Of course, I would get stuck doing the dishes... because Ben's "due date" is not the same as mine, so to speak, and I don't want to nag him.

But I hate doing dishes, especially piles of them... so I changed my tack and started clearing them as soon as possible. The task is so much more bearable, and my profound hatred does not flare at the thought of doing them, as it once did. And Ben's more thoughtful about clearing them on my schedule as well.

It's such a little thing and such a big thing all at once.

So, I'm building on that. Last month, my more notable improvements were: doing the dishes before they get completely out of hand, routinely taking my medication at specific times, preparing to go to bed at a reasonable hour, following through on my weekly reading (I'm even a book ahead!), and taking a more optimistic approach towards social events and meeting other people. The last thing feels like a big one, to me. I've always had a thing about going to parties, even if they are parties thrown by people I like. I won't really go into it further except that I am proud of myself for not having to be goaded into having a good time, for once.

Also, I've only napped in the afternoon twice the entire month! Huge improvement from the almost daily 3 o'clock pass-out.

This month, in terms of long-term resolutions, I plan to:

-continue maintaining my good morning/bedtime medication preparations
-continue reading program (sort of... will explain later)
-stay up after getting up (instead of getting up at 6:30 or 7 and then falling asleep 'til 8... a resolution I failed to meet last month)
-regularly make the bed (doesn't have to be terribly neat, for now, just neater than the heap of sheets it usually is... an unofficial resolution, but something that kind of makes me happy)
-eat in 5 out of 7 nights a week, improving my meal-planning in general and increasing my cooking repertoire
-use my pedometer more and work towards 10,000 steps a day
-check my blood sugar more regularly than just in the mornings

My goals this month are to:

-participate in the RPM 2010 challenge and actually complete it!
-clear out my studio
-finish Lilu's cardboard furniture (and possibly make templates/tutorials available for the DIY/CG comms)
-decorate the music room/dining area wall ("If music be the food of love, play on...")

Unofficially, I want to give myself one uninterrupted diarist hour a day, every day, and no more. Today is excepted because this is post is particularly planning focused and I haven't gotten distracted away from it. Last month, I would start by firing up OmmWriter. It would take hours to write a post because I let myself get distracted, and at the end of it, it sometimes didn't feel like a productive post... so I'm hoping to get rid of that unproductive feeling by shortening my time and increasing my focus.

Regarding RPM 2010 (the musical equivalent of NaNoWriMo), I'm pretty excited. I am taking a different approach towards writing music than I usually do. Instead of going at it one song at a time and magically hoping it fits, I'm doing a concept album. I'm aiming for 9 or 10 tracks, and doing it in the style of Tuesday's Folly meets Your Favorite Stranger, a la Each Caress Is An Assault (even though it's listed as TF, I kind of put it in the middle of the two), or the last couple songs I posted (my cover of Heartbeats and the original Surviving A Natural Disaster). The working album title is Cheap Science Fiction.. I'm on the fence about dropping the modifier. I guess time will tell. I'm also on the fence about including an electronic redux of Analogue, since... well, I wrote it YEARS ago. I just feel like it would go so well.

At any rate, I'm going to go through the music theory workbook Mike gave me for Christmas so many years ago and count it towards my book-a-week. (I'd briefly skimmed it once, but now I'll read it with more purpose.) I'm not going to exactly follow the single book a week timeline I started with and instead will use the workbook throughout the whole month while also reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Stranger In A Strange Land.

My fourth book this month is a reference book on the glycemic index... which is why I'm kind of forgoing the whole book-a-week thing. I imagine my music theory and GI books are things I will be returning to even after the month is over, but I will try to increase my focus on them this month.

Speaking of my weekly readings... I read Catcher in the Rye last week. I picked it up from the library the day Salinger died and read it in two days. I noticed a lot of people who blogged about Salinger's passing either loved the book or hated it. And some commented they loved it when they were a teenager but not so much when they read it again as an adult.

Personally, I hated it. The two things I read in High School that really stuck with me were The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Equus. I still enjoy both of them when I read them today. And these books share themes with Catcher in the Rye. There's what it's like to be a teenager, though sweet, naive Charlie certainly was very different than spoiled, jaded cynic Holden Caulfield, and Holden was not nearly as disturbed as Alan Strang. There's also identity and authenticity: the dynamics and dual personas of Charlie, Mary Elizabeth, and Sam in Perks, Holden's unreliability and redundantly obsessive hatred towards "the phonies" in Catcher, and Dr. Martin Dysart's internal conflict about "the monster Normal" and "fixing" the boy who blinded six horses.

But I absolutely hated Catcher. Charlie and Dysart... they were thoughtful. I liked their contemplative musings; I could relate. Charlie was painfully introverted but vibrantly hopeful. Dysart.. well, he seemed to be in a place in life where the sharp edge of his cynicism was acceptable and it somehow lent him a poignant vulnerability. Holden was a brat. Even if you could get into context past the lingo and relate to being young, uncertain, and surrounded by phonies, he lead you nowhere. He didn't even try. That was the most depressing book ever.

I think I've rambled on long enough. I guess another thing I should work on is ending my posts on a more positive note. ;P At this point, I should've been 3/4 of the way through my conference call training for work, but my call got pushed back until after 2.

Tonight, I've got to fashion our meal plans.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward (and dreading just the tiniest bit) my appointment with my diabetes counselor/nurse, then my first Robotics II class, then a fancy dinner at Fleming's courtesy of Ben's work (unless I misunderstood and was only told so I wouldn't wait up). Wednesday I've got nothing official... Thursday I have a tentative plan to meet up with Tiana C. I've rarely looked forward to an empty Wednesday with such eagerness that I have now.
yunikoneko: (Default)
I hope the weather clears up for [livejournal.com profile] oiseaurobyn and [livejournal.com profile] nebyoolae's wedding, on Saturday. When last I posted there had been tornado warnings in San Diego county... yesterday was pretty calm until the afternoon, and today the weather has been alternating between torrential and slightly less torrential. According to John's Facebook, there's been a bit of flooding at work, but obviously he and my husband have devices that allow them to keep their Facebook statuses updated, so I'm going to assume that the flooding must be contained, or at least not terrible.

Even though today's weather is pretty pajama-worthy and my car is in Chula Vista (I'd left it there so that my dad could replace the bearings) so there's no way I'm going anywhere, today, I actually got dressed. I find that things like getting dressed as if I were going someplace, making the bed in the morning, and having a relatively empty kitchen sink all have a noticeably positive impact on my mood. Although I've probably accomplished as little as I did yesterday at this time, I feel more content.

I failed to mention in Tuesday's post that on Monday, Ben brought home an M-Audio ProKeys88 weighted stage keyboard. Last week, I registered for this year's RPM Challenge (the musical equivalent of NaNoWriMo), and Sunday night I had a really intense dream about purchasing a keyboard. Don't ask how a dream about buying something can be so intense... let's just liken it to the feeling one gets from being in a bidding war on eBay. At any rate, when I woke from said dream I was so profoundly disappointed at my Utter Lack of Keyboard that I felt ready to buy a cheap substitute (as long as it was touch sensitive and had a midi output). I've never had formal training besides the rather crap lessons I had as a kid in a group setting at The Organ Exchage, but I like messing around and I think I sound pretty decent when I've practiced. And until I moved in with Ben, I'd always had ready access to a keyboard.

So, when Ben prevented me from impulse buying one I saw on sale (that still fit my qualifications!!), I was moody as a teenager for at least two hours afterward. I was really not prepared for him to come home with a keyboard, let alone a weighted keyboard. Technically, it's on loan from Michelle and David until we've decided whether or not to make an offer for it, but at the time it was as good as Ben bringing home a Shiba Inu puppy. After having it for a couple of days, however, I've wound up straddling the fence when it comes to the tactile aspect of it. Reviewers have complained about the heaviness of the keys and the inability to do a satisfactory rapid arpeggio, and I do notice they don't quite have the same action as real piano keys... but at the same time, it feels pretty comfortable to me and I doubt I will ever be able to do a satisfactory rapid arpeggio, nor will I ever need to... not in front of people. A moderate one, maybe, but not rapid. And if I ever wanted to write one... well, that's what the piano roll in GarageBand is for.

Anyway... I love Ben so much. For one thing, I probably wouldn't have tolerated my brooding nearly as well as he did, had I been in his shoes. For another... he gave himself a fat lip bringing in the keyboard, but was absolutely unselfish about it and completely patient and sweet. There was no smack of "Look what I did for you!" to it at all, no secret motive.

I am so lucky to have him. He's already literally saved my life once... twice if you include the month-long flu that made me feel like I was on the brink of death, three times if you include the time that I didn't feel like I was on the brink of death but was experiencing mild kidney failure and so he pressed to have me hospitalized. Still every day he seems to exist just to take care of me and make me happy... okay, okay, and play video games. But still, he makes me happy.
yunikoneko: (virgo)


Karakasa no hone wa
Bara bara
Kamya yaburete mo
Take ni sotaru
En ja mo
Mis're nasaru na
Nambo watashi ga
Yaburete mo
Us'te shon shon

The ribs of the umbrella
Have fallen apart;
The paper is also torn,
But with bamboo
Tied together.
Do not throw it away.
Though I
Also am torn,
Don't desert me.
yunikoneko: (me)
Last night, Katie, Bob, Ben, and I went to the Imogen Heap concert at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater. I am no longer equipped to handle standing for 5 hours "for entertainment." Man, I used to be able to stand for as long and dance in heels. I dunno whether this comes from being older, or just out of shape, or because I think I had a drop in blood sugar during the concert causing me to sway a bit. It's the sign of a diabetic not to be able to tell if lower back pain stems from lack of arch support or possible kidney failure. :P

Anyway, lesson learned: any time I procure tickets for a concert that is at a venue that potentially does not have typical stadium or theatre seating (i.e. HoB), I'm going for balcony seats.

For a pro, Imogen's show was kind of "in shambles" (her words, not mine). It started late and she kept apologizing and excusing her inability to remember lyrics by proffering the fact that it was the first night of the tour.

Not to mention that one half of the older lesbian couple that was making out near the front fainted flat on her face right near our group in the middle of the show. That was awkward, worrisome, annoying and kind of funny in a mean way all at the same time. Immi was blissfully oblivious because she misunderstood the guy who was calling out for security and started telling a story and dancing excitedly across the stage. Katie freaked out "like a frightened hamster" and ran (or squeezed her way, rather) to the back of the venue. I myself was torn between wanting to help (since I could have easily been the fainting one if my blood sugar had gotten low enough) and wanting to poke her with my foot (because she and her partner were so obnoxious earlier). It also irritated me that, after the woman regained consciousness, that she was insisting that she was fine and wanted to stay. Um, hello? You fell. FLAT ON YOUR FACE. Fortunately, security escorted her out, presumably to where she could be seen to by a nurse.

I mean, if I thought my emergency candy wasn't going to keep me upright, I would have gone against my sense of hygiene and asked someone to help me to the ladies' room, where there was a fully stocked candy bar.

Yes. There was a fully stocked candy bar in the rest room. I came out of it in a huff and met Bob and Ben in the lobby.

"Can you believe it? There is a candy bar in the bathroom!" I exclaimed incredulously.

"Yeah, isn't it awesome?" Bob replied.

"No, it's disgusting!"

Ben laughed. "I love how you two have completely polar reactions to it."

"Dude, I do not want to buy nuts anywhere near where I sh*t," I said.

To which Ben replied, "Well, I don't have that problem because my nuts are always near where I sh*t."

The show itself was alright, though. I have to say, Imogen is not exactly what I'd call photogenic, but she's very cute in real life. Ben commented that she has a way of talking like Vilmarie (that is, a stream of consciousness type banter with flying tangents and almost only to herself), which is true, not to say that it isn't also endearing.

I bet she could have tacked on at least three more songs and been done on time if she wasn't so loquacious, but she still mostly delivered. I really attended for the showy part of the show. That is, I don't care to listen to much of her recorded stuff, it was seeing her work her magic live that did it for me. Most of the other concerts I've been to have been because I really like the music, but with her it was more because I like the act.

Yeah, the songs are pleasing to the ear, but with her I feel like the magic is mostly in the making. It's like art, like a Happening, birth. I mean, the songs are already written, but the execution is so dynamic, almost organic and very alive and new. She really gets a kick out of doing it, like an alchemist, like a mad scientist.

We still skipped out before the last song and encore, though, because it was already almost midnight and while I was turning into a pumpkin, Katie, Bob, and Ben had work in the morning.

Speaking of work, I should be getting ready for that. After today, I still have a busy week ahead. Yay, weekend of wedding showers!
yunikoneko: (woot cookies)
Friday night I went over to Casa Menorca for musicking with Mike and Robyn. I wish I'd learned how to sight-read when I was younger.. I'm so bad at remembering lyrics. Anyway, a little later Josh came over and we tested out PYC's Six More Weeks of Winter on Rock Band. It's pretty cool seeing a song you helped come into being play in a major video game. Plus being able to play the different parts gives me a greater appreciation for all the arranging that Mike did on the final album track. It's still pretty much my favorite track from the album, even though I think my favorite song over-all is Tug of War. If I were to go back to a place where I felt I thought we could record it again with feeling, without getting sick of it, I would prefer to do it "unplugged." I think I'd like to try it with Robyn, now that she has an acoustic bass.

Anyway, I left pretty early because Ben, Justin, and I had TVs to purchase at the Sony Employee Tent Sale the next day. We got there 45 minutes early and the tent sale itself was running late but still didn't get to buy the *exact* big screens we were hoping for. Justin wound up coming away with an open box 52" Z-series... the last of the available ones. Still a very sweet set, especially at half the MSRP. We got a 46" XBR. I was a little sad not to get the 52" XBR but only because I know this means 4 or 5 years from now, Ben and I will be up at the buttcrack of dawn waiting on another door buster.

Sunday, we visited my parents and sold them Ben's old PS3 after watching WALL-E on Blu Ray on their enormous 61" projection screen. Yes, their TV is gargantuan, but I could still appreciate the picture quality on our new Bravia. It's definitely sharper. Afterward we went and picked up the newer slim PS3.

Tonight is the Imogen Heap concert in LA... according to her Twitter she's giving it a shot despite her voice sounding "like gravel." If she happens to cancel by the time we get to Katie and Bob's, I figure we could still hit the Chik-Fil-A and have a pleasant evening. I'm looking forward to seeing Immi, but I'd rather she be healthy for the rest of her tour. And not... you know, communicate her illness.

That's all for now, folks.
yunikoneko: (Default)
Real post pending. In the meantime, have a meme.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 15 people you like and include me. Tag or don't tag as you see fit. Don't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost as "my life according to (band name)".

Pick your artist:
Freezepop

Are you male or female?:
Science Genius Girl

How do you feel:
Emotions & Photons

Describe where you currently live:
Lazy

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
Outer Space

Your favorite form of transportation:
Thought Balloon

Your best friend is:
Ninja of Love

You and your best friends are:
Super Sprøde

What's the weather like:
Summer Boy

Favorite time of day:
Tonight

If your life was a TV show, it would be called:
Harebrained Scheme

What is life to you:
Vacation

Your biggest fear:
Tender Lies

What is the best advice you have to give:
Less Talk, More Rokk

Thought for the day:
Do You Like Boys?

How I would like to die:
Robotron 2000

My soul's present condition:
I Am Not Your Gameboy

Most faithful companion:
Jem

My motto:
Pop Music Is Not A Crime
yunikoneko: (weapons of choice)
From Dollcraft


I've been cycling through working on a couple of smaller (well 10"x10") paintings since slightly before I was hospitalized last August... though, I'd use the term "working" very lightly. I'd come and sit for about an hour, dabbing in highlights and shadows every now and again, but not really getting any closer to being done. That, among other things, was a source of depression for me, so I finally put all the paints away and pulled out the scrap cloth and sewing kit.

I'd started making doodles of this girl the night before last, even though the idea of making a doll again has been simmering in my mind for a while. I don't know why I let it sit so long... I worked on her for five straight hours last night and spent two and a half this morning assembling her outfit. It seems like too long, now that I actually stop to think about it, but it's nothing compared to the time I feel I've wasted on those stagnating paintings. :\

I'm mostly happy with how she turned out... mostly, but I want to start on another one immediately. Alas I have work this afternoon and then Ben and I are having dinner at his parents' house. I guess it'll have to wait 'til tomorrow.

Anyway.. I went to bed at one and got up at seven, which is unusual for me, at least since I graduated college and stopped hanging out at odd hours with [livejournal.com profile] nebyoolae. I'm so sleepy but I feel satisfied with myself having made my little dolly.

Speaking of [livejournal.com profile] nebyoolae, this weekend he sent me the arrangement for a song we worked on once upon a time. I remember us performing it at one open-mic night and deciding, by audience reaction, that it's probably the sort of song that would be a b-side, and if we were ever rockstar famous, it might be the one everyone would anxiously anticipate for the encore. Heh. I will have to practice getting the verses right so I can lay down that track, as well.

/yawn
yunikoneko: (kalanchoe tomentosa)
Ben and I saw this band a long time ago at the Hot Java Cafe.



Sometimes I miss open-mic night. Anyway. If I had unlimited funds, I would hire them for our wedding. We're probably going to go with our own music and Rock Band.

Sooooo.

Nov. 26th, 2008 09:39 am
yunikoneko: (original sin)
Late last night, just as I was about to re-roll my Shaman, I heard a little *pop* and my AC adapter quit working.

I got an appointment for 11a at the UTC Apple store for them to take a look at it, since the next available appointment at North County was Friday morning. Lame. I'm not entirely sure I needed an appointment... I was hoping to walk in, wave the broken adapter in somebody's face, and get a replacement, since I got Kahlan less than two months ago.

Anyway, maybe I'll see Isaac (host for Lestat's open mic, day job: Apple Store Associate... or whatever). I can't believe I haven't played live for over a year now. I miss it, a little... but then, I don't miss the nervousness and apprehension and the self-applied pressure to create for an audience. Somehow, I wound up far past the point where said pressure was a good impetus. And also I lost the misery I was channeling.

I don't regret it at all. I'm still experimenting and writing music, just less often. It's not painfully all-consuming. It's kind of hard to define what I feel about not singing the old songs with the same passion. Sometimes I listen to the old recordings and think I only imagined I did, but sometimes I can really hear it. I wonder about Colin Meloy and James Russell Mercer. I wonder about David Byrne, and other people's stories.

I want to record the song I wrote while I was transitioning out of writing from pain and wanted to write another person's story. It was still a metaphor for mine, but it was a different style of writing and it captured... something else. Self-realization, maybe.

I didn't mean to go on as much as I did about it... I'm on my way out, now.. I hope the Realtor received the letter of income verification from my boss. I want to start packing, NOW.

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