Monday, December 8, 2008

HOLY SHIT

CHRISTIAN BALE WAS THE VOICE OF HOWL IN THE ENGLISH DUB OF HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE?

I DID NOT KNOW THIS.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fact

Math classrooms are always cold.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'll see you in December

Where should I begin?

For eight years, I've been playing in an ensemble of guzhengs. Every Saturday, my mom would drive me out, fifty miles away, to practice. There are six of us. All the other girls are far younger than me, so, when I left for college, I was the first.

My instrument and my group has been an incredibly integral part of my life. I really cannot fully put into words all the work, the literal sweat and tears, the love, the bonds, the time, the money I put into this. For eight years, we built something up. We (or at least I) passionately spilled everything out on those strings, we cemented our relationships. I'm sure we had hundreds of performances, some much, much better than others. Oh my gosh, it's overwhelming, how much we all put into this group.

So, being the first one to leave, with the others having a couple years before they are ever required to think about moving out, I figured, yes, I will be a bit left behind, and maybe they will go on, grow up without me, but I am always one of them, and I will always be able to come back to tumbling group melodies and harmonies. At least for a few more years.

Oh, I don't know what happened! As soon as I leave, it seems, from what I hear, that everything has fallen apart. Members can no longer make practice, our teacher is absent more (maybe she gave up on us, one said), and some of them say that they no longer like the guzheng, that perhaps they are clinging on to thin air every time they practice.

This breaks my heart. Here I am, trying so, so hard just to find a guzheng so I can practice, looking up Youtube videos of our songs, practically counting down the days until I can see them again, until I can go to practice again, and here I am learning, in a span of three months, that there may not be an ensemble waiting for me when I return home.

How does this happen? What am I supposed to do? I can't force them to love something, but, at the same time, there is no way I'd enjoy playing with a group who aren't even into their music. But I love them; I can never leave them. Is this a case of denial, of not appropriately moving on? At this point I'm not even thinking about having to move on. I love the guzheng, but I'm not sure how I can still continue when I'm playing alone. After all we put into it, does it really vanish so fast.

This is breaking my heart. I'm scared to go home now, I'm scared that when I put on my picks, half of my girls won't even be present, and the other half will be just waiting to go home.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Blind Fishing - Falling

And here I was again, on top of the world.

My favorite place to be.

The air up here is so cold, and the wind whips furiously against my back, threatening to push me over and into the sky. I shiver. The cold concrete and metal of the scraper's edge pushes into my thighs while the rest of my legs dangle over the edge. The juxtaposition of my small feet so large against the background of the city tops, the city floors, give me a chilling feeling of nonexistence.

Does anyone ever look up?

It seems a hopeless cause. The sky is dimming, and I can barely see a soul around. Would I be able to, even if there was one? I am so high up. Any person walking around would be no more than a speck to my eyes.

Another gust blows through me, piercing my bones despite the protective layers of outerwear I have on. My numbing hands grip the edge harder. I imagine my knuckles are white underneath the gloves. I should probably move away; doubtless my little body would be strewn about the pipes, ladders, and rafters most horrifically, without ever touching the ground, should I lose my hold.

Somehow, though, I want to let go.

The tip over seems so slight and easy. I feel insignificant enough to be carried by the wind. I've always wanted to fly, to soar over tops of buildings, to jump off cliffs only to come to a breathtakingly sudden halt just before being engulfed by the sea.

My fingers flex while I watch the empty bottom, metal webs waiting to catch me.

A slight shift of weight, that's all it takes.

After all, falling is the same as flying, only maybe with less control.

***

I don't do it. Shivering, I walk through empty, gray streets, where every step presses back firmly against my feet. I want to cry. I always knew it was impossible, of course. Flying is for hollow bones and feathered wings, for the thin film of those petals beating against strong backs. I have not slept for days, and my weary mind must have had delusions of grandeur.

The chill blows straight through me, and I feel my legs giving way.

"Well," I tell myself, breathing out a little cloud of moist air. I guess it's okay now.

It has to be okay, because now I fall.

A short distance of five feet while my knees crumple and where my feet never leave the ground.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm very upset

California Ballot Measure results. November 4, 2008 election, of course.

What. The fuck, California. I thought we were different, tolerant enough. If the State Constitution is anything like the Constitution of the United States of America, then this sort of right-denying, religiously-based amendment doesn't belong in there.

I thought I wasn't going to post anymore about the election, because I'm far from a politico, and I'm not confident enough in my law-knowledge to write about this and not worry if somehow I'm misunderstanding certain histories or nuances. But this one was a no-brainer for me. Early on, I thought it'd never pass, then I was surprised to find out that it was so hotly contested, and now I'm floored that it passed. I guess I need to get to know you better, California.

This is ridiculous.

At least that stupid Prop 10 didn't pass. That's my bit of consolation. And Prop 4. I'm glad that didn't pass either.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History

That was fast, was my first thought as I came back from dinner and checked up on the election online. I remember 2004, when every minute was tense and confusing, when I sat in front of the television for so long, heart beating as every state's electoral votes were slowly added.

And this year, that's that.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday evening

I don't belong to any religion, organized or not. I cannot say that I am an atheist, because I like to, and, to an extent, do believe that there is something beyond the mere chemistry of life, and that we have something equivalent to souls. That when we do good things, it saves up like coins in a piggy bank. That there is something after death. Call me weak, but if I ever truly believed that nothing at all limited our actions, and that we just disappeared completely after our deaths, I might be so shocked and scared that I really wouldn't be able to live at all.

All the same, I cannot say that I really believe in God, or anything like that. Not in the way that I trust any deity completely, or that I worship, or that I follow creeds and scriptures.

Still. It must be nice, I think, to have that everlasting comfort that there is something to help you along your way, to catch you when you fall. It must be very nice to be able to say, with the utmost confidence, that your loved ones are in a better place after their passing from this world. And I'd like to say to them to my friend, as words of comfort, that she will always be there looking over her--but I'd feel like a hypocrite, because I'm not really sure if it's true. I can almost imagine how purposeful your life must be, with a definite goal and set guidelines.

This isn't the sort of thing that keeps me awake at night, but I do give it thought from time to time. Yes, a deep spiritual connection seems very appealing, as does the special connection a religious person feels with other religious persons--and with their object of worship (this sounds disrespectful?), but I'm not sure I want to belong to a religion. I certainly don't want to inadvertently end up suffocating under the weight of centuries of oppressive rules and bigotry that do end up with so many religions (what am I doing, talking about "religions" as if they were tangible objects--like cars--that I can research the specs of and then select?).

Do I want to "find religion"? At the moment, no, I don't think I do. I'd like to take aspects of it. I must admit, there are many doctrines that I disagree with, and could never, ever agree with. And there are so many interpretations--with so many variations that are fundamentally believed as true--how can anyone think this transcends man? Literal readings (here I'm thinking of the Bible) are cumbersome and also clash against what we modern people find "right" and socially acceptable. Isn't this the sort of thing that's supposed to stay constant?

And where does it put me, sitting at the edge, fickly brushing my feet through the surface of the waters, not firm at all in any position, always gingerly respectful of anything even remotely close to religion at the fear of offending... anyone?

And I'm just saying--by itself and not trying to imply anything at all--it really must be nice, to have something to truly believe in from the deepest reaches of your soul. Just for this, I do admire you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I want to believe we're only partway through

One of the first CDs I ever bought was the first soundtrack to the anime FLCL. I had never watched FLCL before, and to this day I (regretfully) have only seen one-sixth of the show. That is, one episode. I had heard that a super amazing band, the pillows, did most of the music, which made what apparently was a super amazing anime, even more super amazing.

So when I received the disk, I dutifully admired the cover art and started listening to it. I remember really enjoying track 8, Rever's Edge, which wasn't even by the pillows. (It's by Mitsumune Shinkichi.) Track 13 was Hybrid Rainbow. I was actually really put off by the song. Why is he screaming like that? Does he think he's cool? Why can't he sing normally? I thought. Sacrilege, I know. Today I am a little embarrassed to tell this, but it's how I thought back then. I was a high and mighty preteen; rap, for instance, was only "words said very fast."

Okay. So then I read somewhere (probably Project-J) that Hybrid Rainbow is a great song because Yamanaka Sawao, the lead singer, sings his heart out. I listened to it again in a new light, and I was impressed. It really is beautiful. Emotion, to me, can define beauty in a song. And you can hear Sawao's voice, tense and strained and filled with substance.

The point is, the second time I listened to that song, my world opened up some more. I became more open to different types of music. It must be beautiful and important to someone, right? Maybe I can understand it, too. People like to be defined by the music they listen to. Why else would they be so proud to show off their indie bands, their massive collection on their computer, pay so much to attend concerts? If I can also enjoy their music, then I think I get acquainted with an intimate part of them.

Hybrid Rainbow really is an amazing song, the melody and lyrics and all. I find myself coming back to it over and over again. My favorite part is the part that speaks most loudly to me: I want to believe that here is only partway through.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I will never buy songs from iTunes again

I'll still take the free ones, but I just decided that enough is enough, and I am not putting anymore m4ps into my hard drive again.

Because I deeply dislike Apple and iTunes, and m4ps in general. I used to be so good. I bought every single one of my songs, if I could find it on iTunes. I must've paid hundreds of dollars for them, all the while being an anomaly--because who in my age group really buys their songs, anyway?

But, no. Not anymore.

1. The m4p format. I have an iPod now (it was a gift), but I used to have a Zen. You can't put m4ps into anything but an iPod. To get my songs into my Zen, I burnt them onto a CD and then reripped all the songs as mp3s. Man, I can't believe I did all that.
2. The authorization. Only five machines? I paid $0.99 for this song. There is the technicality people mention that I didn't actually "buy" the song, since I am limited as to what I can do with it. This is true.
3. Authorization. There are times when my computer just unauthorizes itself, and when I try putting in my email and password, they tell me that, sorry, our server is down. Try again later. Let me listen to the music THAT I BOUGHT, assholes.
4. Authorization. What is the point of sharing my library on the local network when other people can't even listen to my music?

It's not even amazing quality or anything. It's expensive and stupid. From now on, I'm getting all my songs through a better source--I'm going to find a better legal source for individual songs (like mp3fiesta or whatever; my choices are far from limited), and I'm going to buy more CDs, and I'm going to pirate them. Yeah. That's what I said.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, shit

I just got my ass kicked in Calculus discussion.

It's my earliest class at 8:10 am, so I woke up at 7:00, got dressed, grabbed my backpack and a granola bar, and headed off to find the classroom. I got there early, so I sat on some steps nearby while I waited, falling half asleep and simultaneously enjoying the morning air before the day got ridiculously hot.

So at 7:56, I walk into the classroom, hoping for and expecting clarification on the previous two lectures, which I mostly understood but wanted reinforcement for because the professor was--how do say it--he sucked, basically. I dug through my bag for a while, looking for my favorite pencil and eraser, which weren't there. In fact, I had neither pencils nor erasers.

And BAM I get hit with a diagnostic test.

Never saw it coming.

I walked back to my dorms dejected and still reeling, wondering if it was really okay to integrate separate parts of a function when they were being added together, and if the TA would laugh at me when he saw that I couldn't even differentiate tangent.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mood: Irritable

Fucking college.

I didn't take AP English, with all the analyzing and historical background-learning and techniques just to tell you the name of the stupid lawyer on page one. Applied Intermediate Composition? Please. This is 9th grade: what is a symbol? You and your stupid college-level education, your stupid "this isn't high school anymore" spiel. Bleh.

And you know what else bothers me here? There is a communal bathroom in the hall. One of the biggest pet peeves of mine (I decided this after a week of listening to it while I was trying to mind my own business) is when people use WAY TOO MUCH PAPER TOWEL. They just push the damn lever so fast and so many times, until the stream of paper coming out of the dispenser is nearly touching the ground. YOU DON'T NEED THAT MUCH. It's irresponsible and wasteful. This is why the paper towels run out all the time, idiot.

....Okay, yeah, angry rants aren't quite as eloquently written as non-angry ones.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I ate ramen for breakfast today

Well. Here I am, my first full day at college.
I am so tired, I'm not sure what I should say about it. I thought I'd have a lot to say--how I feel, how it is, what I hope for and what I fear--but right now I'm probably still soaking it all in.

So there you are. Most likely I'll come back with more in-depth info, but right now I'm going to slowly attempt to catch up on my internet life (which had been put on hold for an incredible three days--I know).

Later days. =)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Feeling Better

After sixth grade, I didn't think I'd ever be so happy to gain weight again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

SKY 2 HIGH

I am so giddy.
You see, I just found out that avex finally released a second Air Gear original soundtrack: Who Wants More Groovy Trick!!?? Although, since apparently it was released back in February, I am way late on the bandwagon. But who cares?? I bought the first soundtrack in all its legal, imported glory, mostly looking forward to the Chain remixes, which marked the most dramatic moments in the show. There was none of that on the CD, as I so disappointedly found out. (It's still a very good disk.) In fact, the only Chain-related song on the first OST was the tv-size version.

So, anyway, I did a search on Google today for "Back-on Chain instrumental" and found a Back-on fan forum which linked to a site where I could download the entire album at 320 kbps. YES.

I mean, I did feel a little bad that I just got a whole album without paying, but come on, I am one of the few people who actually purchases their songs at all, and I bought the first OST already. And I might buy the second one anyway. I just... really needed to listen to these songs. Like, now.

And they didn't disappoint at all. It's on repeat at the moment.

AIR GEAR BGM FOR THE WIN.
(Thank you Skankfunk. Your remixes are genius.)

...

Man, this just made my day.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

At that speed, even tears will dry

I haven't cried this much in a week since--I've never cried this much in a week.

Since I am very, very sick, and have been so for the last three weeks, I have an excuse. I'm very vulnerable. It's a subject of curiosity, though; my doctor said that all my miserable symptoms could have been caused by stress, but I feel no stress. When this stupid illness started, in fact, I was feeling quite carefree and joyful, with no school to worry about and the Olympic Games to watch every night.

But maybe it's some sort of hidden stress. Maybe it's all these problems I never talk about. (Uh. They will not be talked about here. For now.)

The first time I cried was because my eyes felt hot, then it was because it made me feel better, then it was because I felt helpless.

Today I got a going-away card from two of my classmates at music practice, and oh my God, I bawled. People just don't go out of their way to tell me--much of anything, really, least of all how much they loved and appreciated me. They appreciated me. They must have put "I love you" in there at least seven times. And (I know this is a little morbid) I thought, they are people who, if I died, would not only attend my funeral but cry there, for me.

Yeah. I'm appreciated.
This really means a lot to me.

I know it's cheesy, but maybe I should tell more people I appreciate them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Here we go again

Today I read through my journal on Gaia. I had started it so I would have an obscure place to--you know--gush about anime, rant about my parents, divulge thoughts about my crushes. So I read through them again, thinking that I'd probably be very embarrassed, like when I go back to my old works of fiction (I shudder, here). I wasn't embarrassed. In fact, I was pretty entertained. I go through webcomics like a rabid dog? Did I write that?

I've stumble through other people's blogs before, and yes, I've read through them. Complete strangers had just given me a glimpse into their lives and their minds. It was like reading a story--a sardonic story about mundane events, really, but when you put them together you get, I dunno, an image. Some food for thought. I wished I could do that.

But wait. Looks like I can, afterall!

I told this to my brother Calvin. I said, "I think I want to make a blog."
He said, "Oh, okay. Why don't you just tell the world you're a douchebag?"

Oh. I'm joining the world--excuse me--the blogosphere of "I'm currently listening to" and "Hillary looks a bit fat" and "today I found out that the bowl ramen I eat everyday supplied me with 112% of my daily intake of sodium". Your standard layman blog is pretty egotistical, yeah. I'm pretty egotistical. I want to have someone read my blog and maybe my life can entertain them for a few seconds. Maybe I can dole out food for thought. An audacious hope (wait; that kind of sounds like Obama's book), sure. A little.

Anyway. A couple years ago I had a diary equivalent thing of a blog, right here on blogspot. Back before blogs were popular. Or maybe it was eblogger. Hm. I saw someone's Livejournal, and I wanted one too, but back then you had to be referred, so I wandered to... a blog site similar to this one. That blog is since looooong gone. So here I am again. I'm back.

Here goes nothing.
Really.