Friday, April 24, 2009

Ending it All

The year is winding down to a close and things are either coming to a closure or falling apart in my life. This blog is ending as of today because I really see no reason to blog and I'm really too lazy to keep updating it because it' really something that I'm not interested in. I feel like I haven't fully been involved in this activity. Some of my posts are AMAZING and some pretty much less than mediocre. I just don't think that I'm cut out for writing.

Over the past year things have been so amazing! I've had so much fun and I went from this nerdy high school kid that stayed inside all the time to study to this person who actually found friends and figured out something called "fun". I've tried so many new things that I never thought possible and I think the last two weeks of this year will be sort of my "last hurrah" before I resign myself to a VERY boring summer and hellish sophomore year.

But other than that, I'm cool to wait out this summer till the next school year. A week after exams I'm going to Jamaica! I'm staying at this newly built resort (all-inclusive!) and it's gonna be so much fun. And then I'll probably need to find a job or something and then I'll be taking summer classes at IPFW. I just want to stay busy and not think about the people I'm going to be missing.

I guess it's just that I've made so many friends in college and I've never really had any in high school so parting is so much harder because I won't be able to hang out with them in the summer. Back at home I have one person I could probably hang out with and she works all the time so I'll be lonely. I wish college lasted forever because I've never been happier in my life than being here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vietnam Part Deux

Day One (Continued):
Later in the evening I went to dinner with yet another newly discovered cousin (I won't even try to spell her name,) her very handsome husband, Adrian, and their daughter Estelle. They both spoke English and French very well, and I was excited to try out my pathetic French speaking skills. I felt like a fool talking to a native French speaker, but oh well.\\

Day Two:
It's Christmas day!!!!!! 

Damn! Crossing the streets here is like playing frogger on level 999. I suck at that game too. There's a million motorcyclists who won't give a second thought about running somebody over just for the sake of expediency.

I went to Christmas mass too, and of course it was in Vietnamese, so I couldn't understand a thing. the funniest thing i saw were tourists (haha! white people!) at mass. of course, they couldn't understand anything as well, so at random intervals during mass, little by little groups would just abandon the building. There was absolutely no air conditioning in that building so I was burning up by the end of that hour-long mass.

Day Three:

So, this morning I went on a walk through a park. The first thing I saw upon entering the park was a woman and her child sleeping on a piece of soggy cardboard. Wow. I started crying because it was so sad. my dad hit me on the head to stop it. ugh.

I went dress shopping upon learning that my cousin Lan's wedding was FIVE days long and that it would be rude to wear the same formal wear everyday. Since we planned for only one day of the wedding and we were able to attend only two, i had to buy another dress. lol. it was fun.

Then, in the afternoon, we went to the airport and flew north to Hanoi. From the airport we rode an hour on bus to hanoi. Once we were there, we walked around before we looked for a hotel. It's dirty in Hanoi, even more so in Saigon, and so we had a hard time finding a clean hotel. The one we found was right next to the street with a power line within easy reach (which equals death by electrocution.) It was so noisy and I couldn't sleep. Drivers up here honk their horns all the time and probably just for the hell of it. The streets are narrow and gross and lined with dog pee. yuck. 

However, the markets were very interesting. They're all very pell-mell and have sort of a distinctive feel to them. They don't have the feel of stores you would see in America. It's very...rustic? I can't describe it but I just love this atmosphere...besides the coldness here. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vietnam Part One

Traveling There: I lay suspended in the dreaming sky. Endlessly floating among a field of blooming clouds, a lone star and the bright moon are my sole companions in this ethereal dark. Their light wreathes my skin in their holiness as I traverse the angels' footpath. On my right, the sky relinquishes a faint rust influencing the sky above it to metamorph from steely blue to a soft sapphire. Above me, the light of the rising sun and the setting moon collide in a never ending catclysmic battle with each combatant saited only when the other is devoured. The cloud-path ends and under me rolls the soft snowy peaks of the cold Siberan land. Death is made so soft by the forgiving snow. The stiff rivers of the tundras carve their icy path through the crevasses; the with billowing powder rolls along side them, carressed and urged gently by the invisible breaths of the air. The land gives way to the ice floes, their cliffs violently meeting the frozen sea.

Day One:
Today I went out on a walk with my parents and shopped at many stores! There were really really cute stuffed animals and jewelry. I didn't buy any stuffed animals because there's cuter ones in Japan that I wanna buy. JAPAN! yes, i'll be going there next week on my way back to the USA. I'll buy lots of Hello Kitty! stuff and distribute them to all my buddies back home. lol. wait, everybody must be thinking "She has buddies?! No way!" yes. I have buddies no matter how odd I am.

Anyways, I went out wearing my four inch wedges, which was a mistake because the sidewalks are in complete disrepair and it was so hard to navigate them safely. Traffic is crazy too. I believe that everyone is breaking all the known laws of traffic here. Even the moped drivers, who are supposed to be confined to the street, drive on the sidewalks. I've seen a couple of small cars too barreling through the sidewalks! no wonder the sidewalks are so abused! anyways, back to my shoes. They made me look like a giant among the natives! I felt tall, which is something I've never felt before. It's a nice feeling and gives me a sense of superiority. but, like in Japan everyone is so skinny. I'm envious. lol. but walking on the abused sidewalks made my feet hurt, so right now I'm walking with a pronounced limp and my feet smell of blister ointment. gross. 

another thing that I like about Vietnam is that everything is Asian sized! I was estatic when the eye hole on my hotel room door was a low height and that I was able to easily look through it! ASIAN SIZED! YES! It's also nice to be part of the majority. I like making fun of the white tourists because their paleness just sticks out like white on black and they always have a confused look on their face. I feel a sense of belonging here and I am no longer conscious of stereotyping and of what others expect from me. I really love this place and being here just changed my mind where I would want to live in the future. I want to live somewhere in Asia! Majority rules! Asian power!

Yet, another thing I like about vietnam is the cheapness of everything. I can get really pretty items for less than a dollar and delicious food costs about 2-3 dollars a dish. I really do mean that the food is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! And, I can get my hair washed and styled for $2.50. I got my hair washed today and they shampooed my hair twice,massaged it, conditioned it, massaged and exfoliated my face, and blow dried and straightened my hair. I think I'll get my hair washed everyday!

Okay, this is all that I can think of writing. It's about 3:15pm here and everyone here is having their afternoon siesta. lol. I think I'll go to sleep now. tonight, I'll be meeting family and going out for a buffet dinner! i hope i don't gain too much weight here!

The only thing that I hated seeing was the poverty on the streets. There are many well-to-do people here who have three meals a day, a steady income, and a roof over their heads. However, there are many needy souls who sleep on the streets and beg for money, rattling their empty hats at tourists. I see amputees and blind victims who sell lottery tickets to make a living. I see a hungry man rummaging through trash and upon finding a crushed, half-full plastic cup of who knows what, proceeds to drink the contents thirstily. I can't stand seeing this, but I can't help them all. How can I?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Freewriting--My Stream of Consciousness

INTRODUCTION: Okay, this is a little writing technique that I use to help boost my creative writing skills every once in a while. I just close my eyes and start typing down whatever comes to my mind, not paying attention to proper punctuation, spelling, or grammar. Sometimes, the end result is quite interesting. I call this "stream of consciousness" because I'm basically writing in the style my thoughts go through my head. So here it goes!

This frail grip that i have on the meaningings of daily lives of people. destruction of everything is eminent. A black

hole that slowly crushes everything to a cingularity is slowly pulling everything. there's life and there's death.

sometimes death comes to things earlier. Everything has life and death. lifeforms, inanimate objects, words, and

relationships. Death till marriage, sporadic divorces on a whim. I wanna break that cycle. Isn't something that is born

has a string connected to what gave it life. Make that indestructable. making a connection, iit stronger till it's

impossible to break. That is my goal. Seein the death of one obeject bornof two or more individual unts...that

death or destruction of the bonds that hold them together is terrible to behold...emotionally a. idealism isn't the best

policy, but. but...we can always dream. and if we want it hard enough we can work to make it happen. the right resources

are needed and then everything will fall into place. Just a little sweat is need.


muscles rippling as they move...glide underneath taut skin, reflecting light from the flourescent above misted with

excretions of salty sweat, beading up and inching downwards pulled by gravity, finally getting so heavy that the

hydrogen bonds cannot hold it to the skin and dripping down to the black matted floor and evaporating minutes...hours

Hazy smoke steadily floating upwards diverging in their path into nonexistence--the ceiling turning slowly blacker with each passing moment. The flames burning matter with a distinct odor flicker with a warm orange, red, and yellow colour. Beautiful, but dangerous. Bodies, laying lazily on the couch watch, thoughtless...unmoved.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Late Night....In a lonely world

It's four thirty in the morning and I haven't slept since I woke up on Tuesday morning. I guess I'm gonna go for forty-eight and counting  hours without any sleep. To think of it, I've had a total of about five hours of sleep for the week? I didn't sleep Sunday night because I was up all night cramming for my calculus test on Tuesday. I definitely needed sleep in order to function for the test. After that...I've had the worst case of insomnia. I don't even feel tired in the day--which is really weird.  In addition to that I've been living on a very meager amount of food. I've had no appetite for the past four days. I had a couple of chicken wings, a sandwich, skittles,  and a hamburger to keep my stomach some company. It's not very much and I've lost a couple of pounds during the past four days. It's not healthy for me, I know, but I just can't stand the smell of certain foods right now. It's a little odd. 

WHY CAN I NOT SLEEP! This is absolutely disgusting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Are there not times when you just feel so frustrated that you feel like yelling and screaming? Well, I've been having a lot of frustrations recently. I mean usually I try not to let anything faze me but as of now I'm not feeling so confident in myself.

I lost my temper the other day. That never happens. I just started screaming at the person who offended me and started throwing things around. I never felt so angry in my entire life. I know that seems really immature to have done at the moment, but it was the only way I could vent that anger and contempt I've been feeling towards certain things.  And even if I could just complain about how I feel towards life right now, that would just probably make me angrier. It would just build and build--I need to forget this anger and let everything go. I need to deconstruct this. Destroy it. 

I feel really bad about losing my temper because I know that anger is such a useless emotion. It doesn't do anything but make other people frustrated and stressed as well. I try as much as to forgive and forget because I know very well what it's like to be the vent of a lot of frustration. That was my father--I would say he had a lot of anger management issues, and that's probably why I'm very distanced from him. After college I felt so free because he was always in such a tempramental  mood that I never realized how oppressive living under the same roof with him was.

And now that I've discovered how angry I can be, I'm a little scared. I don't want to become like my father. I mean and it's just these little things that happen to me that are starting to annoy me. Sometimes, whatever happens is my own fault and other times it's trivial things that other people do. Some things are now just starting to stick to my heart and mind that just eat away and make me so uncomfortable I just feel the need to vent. I've always wanted to be the "chill one", like my uncle. Going with the flow. Never losing my temper. Never hesitating to help out people. 

I know what it's like to be on the recieving end of a very volatile temprament and I really don't want to subject others to the same thing. Why? I believe in karma, and I know the bad things I will do will go around and kick me twice as hard. I really can attest to that.  It's just always been my philosophy to never hold a grudge against somebody or retaliate. I've always been the type to just turn the other cheek if someone slaps the side of my face (is that how it goes? I haven't read the Bible in years). I guess that I can be a pushover sometimes but no one has really ever taken advantage of that. 

Well, I just hope my newfound temper isn't here to stay.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding the Center--- Should I Go See a Doctor?

Finding the perfect balance between recreation and studying has been a continuous problem for me. I have a tendency to lose focus and get distracted by my own thoughts. So instead of focusing on my homework, I zone out for about an hour thinking about random stuff and daydreaming, so when I come back to reality, I'm always suprised by how much time passed while I was away. It's a little disconcerting considering I have a lighter schedule than most which means I should be able to devote more time to my studies. That fails and I end up having as much stress as other people because I procrastinate so much. 

Sometimes I regret taking thirteen credit hours this semester. Usually if I have a busy schedule I get more focused on getting what I need done because I'm pressed to manage my time better. However because I have a light schedule, I'm sometimes under the impression that I have more time than I really do. 

I'm not even sure why and how I waste so much time. I find myself bored a lot with nothing to do. I should be using that time to study--except I just fall asleep or stumble over random websites on my computer. Either that or I hang out with my friends. I guess it's all a matter of being lazy. Right now I'm freaking out about my MA162 test coming up on Tuesday because I just realized I have about three days to study for it and usually I like having a whole week to study.  Unfortunately I'm going have to hunker down for the next three days and never see the light of day and learn the material--or attempt to. I really don't know how to study well at all. 

I've kind of noticed a lot of things about myself for the past few years, and I really wonder if I have ADD or something. It doesn't take much for me to get distracted and sometimes I can get hyperfocused especially if I'm playing videogames or am on the computer.  When I talk, my thoughts like to jump around instead of focusing on the topic at hands, so I'm always saying wrong words completely unrelated to the topic or mixing them together. Also when reading for a class or doing a simple calculus assignment, it takes me about four or five hours when in reality it could be done in one hour. 

I mean, there are times when I can get stuff done quickly, but that's not often and only when my head is feeling completely clear. I can't explain it but sometimes  my head kind of fuzzy since there's so much going on up there and it's really distracting. I don't it normal? 


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

For EXAMS:::Adderall and Ritalin--Performance Enhancing?

I know people who take Adderall or Ritalin for ADD or ADHD, and I know people who take these medications for other things. These drugs are supposed to enhance concentration, treat depression, obesity, and narcolepsy among other things.
Has anyone heard stories about friends using Ritalin/Adderall to enhance academic performance? Solely academic performance, I'm not interested in people taking ampetamines in large quantaties to get high. There's been quite a bit of articles posted about this in the papers and different magazines.

However, I have noticed students crushing, chewing, swallowing, and snorting these prescriptions just for the energizing and concentrating effects. Why? It helps people study. All nighters? No problem, just get your hands on some Ritalin and you're good! Got a test to study for! Go ahead, take some! And ladies, looking to

Doesn't that sound like a great thing to have for college, especially when grades are so important? But then again you do need to realize, Ritalin is called "kiddie coke" because it has similar effects (though much milder) to cocaine and is quite addictive--more so when snorted.

I admit, I've tried Ritalin before. I was curious to see how it would affect me after hearing accounts of my other friends trying it and having the drug work wonders for studying. So, I bought five 10 mg pills and one 30 mg pill from a friend who had a prescription for it and ingested a dose.

As a side note: Possessing Ritalin without a prescription is illegal, as many of you may know. I haven't done this since because (1) I'm scared of getting addicted to it, and (2) I have no money. I don't care so much for the illegal-ness of it. The drug war is failing. Worry about the hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, meth, crack etc.

Anyways, after a bit I started feeling a rush of energy and then just a calmness. And hell. I could really focus on the task at hand. It really worked. I felt like I could read my text book all day to be honest and classes were so interesting and I loved math lecture for once! I didn't eat at all that day because I had no desire to eat--I could if I wanted, but I didn't feel hungry. However, afterward I was left feeling agitated and very distracted because how I am normally and how I am on Ritalin is so different that the change was a little aggravating. I liked being able to really do things without getting distracted. I actually felt like taking more to keep the other persona going. That's when I realized, "whoa, this could become a problem" so that was an end to the Ritalin. At the moment. Now that I've been introduced to ADD medication and it's helpfulness with schoolwork, the possibility of trying more is always in the back of my head. However, I really don't want to develop a dependence to any drug so for now I stay away.


Friday, March 27, 2009


Well, well, well. Here's another Asian artist trying to break into the states!

I'm not much of a fan of BoA, but I can commend a good effort in trying to crossover and trying to bring in some diversity into the American music market.

BoA (real name: Boa Kwon) has been a performer since an early age. She was discovered in Korea by SM Entertainment, a talent industry. Trained for two years, she finally debuted with ID; Peace B. I don't even know what that title is supposed to mean. Anyways, her earlier music was pretty much saccharine pop, but it's evolved to an R&B-ish influenced pop. Unfortunately, her success didn't take off too well in Korea, so she successfully crossed over into Japan, became a huge star there and then crossed back over into Korea. Recently, she has put out two singles from her English-language album BoA  called "Eat You Up" and "I Did it for Love feat. Sean Garrett". 

I'm not going to review the album entirely because I really don't care for BoA as much as I do Utada who has a better chance at making it in the market. Anyways the album BoA is completely a dance-pop album. I'm sad that there are no ballads, since BoA does have a few nice Japanese-language ones. BoA has a nasally voice that might suprise some people. It might take a while getting used to it, but it's not really bad at all. But watch this girl's music videos. Boy, she can really freaking dance well. The songs are really upbeat and very danceable, but they offer really no personality. They're kind of like all the other dance songs on the market now--almost on the verge of being Britney Spears reject songs. But hey, I like a couple songs on the album like "Touched" and "Hypnotic Dancefloor". It's worth a listen and can be found on iTunes. Anyways, but beware, BoA still has a Korean accent in her songs so some words may be a little hard to understand or a little funny sounding, but don't let that detract from the composition of the songs. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This is the One

So, I have been waiting for Utada's new album This is the One to come out for years.

Who is Utada, you might ask?

Well, she has to be one of the most famous musicians in all of Japanese music history. She was born in New York to a record producer and a well-known enka singer (Keiko Fuji). At the age of thirteen she recorded her first English R&B album, but that never came out in the United States due to label change issues. At the age of fifteen, she recorded a Japanese language album (it went ten times platinum) that turned out to be the top selling album in Japanese history. Altogether she's sold over 50 million units and counting! She also holds the number two position for most digitally sold song ("Flavor of Life") right behind Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend". In 2004, she came out with another English album called "Exodus" but that failed miserably in the states selling only about 55,000 units. But I blame Island Def Jam for not promoting her. This time around the promotion has been a thousand times better!

Betcha didn't know all that! Well, unfortunately, she's virtually unknown to the U.S. masses. But there's always an underground fanbase for her, you'd be suprised at how many Hikki fans there are around.

But I digress.

This is the One came out in the United States digitally on iTunes on March 24th and physical CDs will be coming out some time in May to allow for more promotion. Of course, I had the CD way before it came out on iTunes and way before it was released in Japan (which was in early March). Pirating. Woo hoo! But hey, I kinda have permission to download it illegally since Hikki said in an interview that she didn't mind it. LULZ. It's basically a whole 180 degree change from her Exodus album which was mad-scientist experimental. This time around it's very poppish/R&B. It's drops hints of inspirations from good old 90's music, like what you would hear from Ace of Base and TLC. Overall, I think it's a better album for mainstream play in America, but I do miss the experimental tones of Exodus. Well, don't get me wrong, there is some experimentation in This is the One but it's very subtle. Anyways for this album, Hikki teams up with Tricky and Stargate (two VERY popular producers) to create a pretty awesome tracks.

Anyways, my album review (going from the Japanese track list):

The album opens up with On and On which is an uptempo track. I love the line: "Honeys if you're gay burn it up like a gay parade". It's a fun track and great way to open the album. The beat is good and the harmonies are catchy. My only gripe is the guy screaming constantly in the background.

The next song is one of my favorites on the album even though I'm not too pleased about the synthesized violin (possibly it's an electric violin) but I think a warmer acoustic sound would have sufficed. Utada samples the song "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" by pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto for the track. Considering the original song had such a different feel, Utada does a pretty good job incorporating it into a more poppish sound.

The album transitions into "Apples and Cinnamon". This was one of the first songs produced for this album and the final product uses vocals from the demo version. This song was produced by Stargate--a duo that has created hits such as "Unfaithful" and "With You". Some of the lyrics can get a little repetitive here.

"Taking Money Back" is a laid back europop-ish track. I love how the synth and electric guitar melody goes. The beat in the back reminds me of some old school 90's R&B.

Up next is "This One (Crying Like a Child)". She manages to drop references to Freddie Mercury and Simon and Garfunkel in this song which amazes me that she manages to get THAT to work. There's a nice mixture of acoustic guitar and piano going on in the instrumentals too.

"Automatic Part II" is supposed to be a parody on her Japanese hit single "Automatic". Well, for her long time fans (such as I) it's pretty obvious, but for her newer fans, I shall explain. "Automatic" was the single the pretty much launched Hikki's career in Japan. And now the lyrics here in "Automatic Part II" quite blatantly introduce who Utada is. Well, it's something like that.

Well, "Dirty Desire" is a throwback into good 90's pop. The lyrics are quite sexual for Hikki and it suprised me at first. There's a line that's repeated throughout the song "Doing my nine to five/Thinking of six to nine" that always cracks me up. Way to go Hikki! You've grown up from your First Love Days!

Oops, did I turn you on? Catchy huh? Well, "Poppin" is a really fun track that exudes this Austin Powers type of vibe. Really, I love this song because it's a rather experimental track for this type of album. I'm sure if a video came out for this song, it would be totally awesome. There'd be lots of stillettos and slutty clothing. Har har har.

Now we come to "Come Back to Me" which is the first, and as of now, the only single released for This is the One. It starts off with an ear catching piano run, very reminiscent of some classical piece. It sound very epic, and then a cool beat starts playing. This is probably the most mainstream track out of the whole album. I'm not complaining but sometimes I wonder if this track can stand out in the American music market. It's a good track, nonetheless. The piano playing in the background has a good melody too.

The last track has a bossa nova/Spanish feel to it. It's called "Me Muero" whic is Spanish for "I'm dying". It sound rather depressing, but the melody sounds upbeat and the lyrics are rather humorous. It's a great song to end the album and one of my favorites because I can totally see myself chilling out to this song often.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


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From the annoyingly catchy commercial jingles I hear coming from my television to the thunderous and powerful crescendos and cadenzas of Beethoven's symphonies, music permeates my everyday life. Music, as defined by the Encarta Online Dictionary is: The art of arranging or making sounds, usually those of musical instruments or voices, in groups and patterns that create a pleasing or stimulating effect. How can such a broad and diverse art be categorized in such a manner? This mechanical and objective definition cannot do much justice to this great, organic and complex art. Music is essential in our daily lives whose being is part of our language and is something in which we are immersed.

Something magical happens when I carefully place my practiced fingers onto the ivory keys of my baby grand piano, or place the spindly and fragile bow onto the surface of the surface of the Evah Pirazzi strings of my French-made violin (a note is played). This note is not just sound, but part of a harmony, the beginning of an arpeggio or a chord leading to the melody of the concerto. The sound that is heard is not just harmonic vibration of a string creating forced resonance within the wooden body of the instrument which amplifies the pitch created, but a connotative word imbued with both the composer's and the artist's soul. It is a live being.

The wondrous ways a single note may be played! A single note may sound sensuous, happy, angry, sad, and all the emotions in between. Like human words, a sentence of notes define a certain emotion and message. It feels like my soul spills out from my fingers as I create these sentences which embrace my attention and demand more soul-sacrifice for their hungry exploit. Their goal is to reach unwary ears and trap them into my world of emotions. The barely audible patter of my fingers running up the fingerboard of my violin express the genius of Mendelssohn's only violin concerto and tells a story of vivid landscapes—and the essence of Western classical music.

Playing the piano, my hands fly across the keyboard as I piece together Chopin's Revolutionary Etude. The passion and anger that Chopin felt after the failure of the November Revolution is written into the notes of his bold statement. I am the medium through which hundred-year-old emotions come alive once more. I feel the sadness, the passion, and the anger and I let it flow through my fingers. No, after having the privilege of reproducing these bold statements, I cannot say that music is a mere sequence of notes and rhythms. Not just classical music alone holds these powerful messages but so do all genres. From sugar-pop to the heavy bass beats of rap, all music expresses universal ideas and emotions.

Music is not only mere percussive instrumental or vocal sounds, but it is also present in our language. While music may create words, words may create melodies. When I was younger, my family returned to Maryland every Christmas break for a family gather. In this noisy environment, I would close my eyes and listen to the rapid exchange of Vietnamese traveling throughout Ba Ngoai and Ong Ngoai's small home. Drowning the distinct separation of words, I would listen to the rise and fall of the pitches and through the melody, I can understand a statement's general meaning (even though I am not very fluent in the language). The lilt of Vietnamese is comforting and every sentence creates a melody that is pleasing to my ear. Like instrumental music, not all language-melodies are pleasing to the ear. Personally, I find German too harsh and spitting and that English is quite bland and rough unless it is softened by an accent (preferably British). Similar to modern composers sampling tunes from older music, accents add color to a language by blending two distinct melodies together to create a variation of the originals. From the pitches and tone languages use, an emotion may deviate. A simple sentence, “She's beautiful!” may express surprise, admiration, sarcasm, and a multitude of other emotions. Words, like a single note imply a plethora of emotion and meanings.

Language and instrumental music offer only a microscopic view of specific regions of music's entire domain. Music resides within the very clockwork of nature itself. We hear animals grunting, chirping, squeaking. And beating out their melodies because they do not have a definite language like humans. They use their melodies to communicate dominance, locations of food, and other essential survival information. Communication to survive is their use of music. The sound of rain beating upon the windowsill to explosions of a molten erupting volcano constitute Mother Nature's personal song which brings peace or destruction to her subjects lives. The seasons, day and nigh, and the solar system move in a fixed rhythm. Some rhythms may die only to be replaced by a new one which only contributes to the never ending score that God has written. The movement of each individual component of the universe, from microscopic atoms to massive stars move sometimes in harmony and other times in cacophony like the harmonies and counter-melodies of a symphony.

The intertwined nature and music is an ancient idea. Thousands of years ago, the Chinese developed the Chinese musical scale and system that incorporated this philosophy. The Chinese mathematically derived their scale from a note, and each varying degree is associated with a cardinal point, the elements, the seasons, the planets, the months, of the year, colors, material,s numbers, parts of the body, animals, smells , and so forth. Also each source of sound, or instrument type is connected with eight elements of nature: metal, stone, silk, bamboo, calabash (gourd), terra cotta (earth), skin, and wood. From the earth comes music and from music comes the expression of creation and existence of all things. The harmonious intertwining in this eternal dance is the philosophy of music and nature.

Listen to the rustling of branches of those overgrown backyard evergreen trees. Listen to someone speaking without attempting to make sense of every word. Listen to the melodies of Mozart, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Broadway musicals, and (with a gigantic dosage of guts, stamina, Tylenol, and an extra helping of Vicodin,) Britney Spears. There is always a melody, a rhythm, a message, a sentence, a word, and an emotion written within each beat played. Music is not something that can be separated and eliminated from existence because it is so vast and extensive, its roots extending far into reality. It is not just a series of rhythmic pitches, rather it is emotion and the driving spirit of the universe.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pondering a Thoreau Quote

"However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change."

Sometimes, I live a day without life, without vigor. I can get depress and fail to focus on school work, my friends, and the rest of reality. I spend those days daydreaming of things I desire, like becoming a perky socialite who can always find something to say without embarrassing herself. I always get weak-kneed and flustered when talking to strange people or in front of class. I sometimes wish I was a stronger person with superpowers that can fix all my troubles. But I persevere through reality as is.

While I'm sure that there are plenty of people leading blessed and happy lives, there are always the rough spots. During those frustrating times, people might think negatively about themselves. Looking at it in Buddhist fashion, frustration and unhappiness is caused by want and lack of a certain precious element that would surely make our lives so much easier. Thoreau dismisses the need to have, "Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage." I'm guessing he's trying to say that we should take what we already have and nurture it, learn from it, and then make the best from the situation. After all, our hardships and flaws will add more flavor to the whole messy and random soup of our lives. Still, there are those that look for that instant gratification instead of working to create and waiting for that flavorful stock to finish. Using artificial and quick ways to attain that happiness may just hold a less tasty and unfulfilling experience than a fully rounded life.

We often seek to reinvent ourselves so that our peers may see us differently or to perfect our own deformities. I often wish that I looked different. Sometimes, I wish I weren't Asian so that I would blend in with the rest of sometimes-discriminating-mostly-Caucasian America. Maybe if I do, life would be different for me. Would I have more friends? Or could I snag dates more easily? This desire to change myself, intended for my happiness, causes me anguish. It makes me magnify my faults and deformities and anguish in the wee hours on school days as I pick through the scant and unfashionable hanging rags in my closet. 

"Do not trouble yourself much to get new things whether clothes or friends."

I guess I should be happy with myself as is. I keep forgetting that I'm taking for granted my blessings and focus more on trivial matters--the material instead of the intellectual and spiritual parts of life.

Is my situation just regular people angst? Maybe this is the case. I strongly believe in Thoreau's final three sentences, "tThings do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do want society." There is hope in the words "we change." I will change, and the people around me will change. Our views of culture, people, and political issues will change over time as new ingredients are added each day.  Someday, I know I'll start that step to adulhood and find a place where I'll fit. Just time is needed. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Well, currently I've been in a relationship for oooohhh, about three weeks. I met this guy briefly a couple of months ago on my way to Harrison after a failed attempt to convince some people who were high off their asses to go sledding with me and the rest of the sober gang. He was with a group of people who were friends with one of my other friends and for one reason or another there was a frenzy of exchanging of phone numbers.

A couple of weeks after that, after a lot of crap went down with my friends at Harrison (I no longer am on speaking terms with them,) I saw this guy again and we started chatting a little. Fifteen minutes later, he texts me and wants to study for the exam with me. Who knew people could bond over the abomination of all school subjects? And about a week and a half later we started dating. Funny huh? Getting into a relationship with a guy I barely knew. I'm more used to dating guy friends whom I've known for months or years. Maybe this is a better way because I don't speak to my ex boyfriends anymore, which is really sad since our friendship was ruined after the breakups.

There are things about my current relationship that bothers me. I really don't know what his priorities are and I don't mind all the oddities about him and the things he does. But he's sort of "hot and cold". For a couple days he'll want to spend a lot of time with me, and others he'll just be a little curt when talking to me. I understand what influences him to act this way, but it's a little disconcerting sometimes. I guess that's what I have to deal with. I just wish I had a little more insight into his priorities or something so it would be easier for me.

Then there's those silences. It's a comfortable silence for me, but sometimes I wonder if I should start talking about something. I feel kind of stupid for not being able to think of something to say. I've never really been the talkative type of person. So, I wonder how it feels for him. ~


Thursday, March 5, 2009


Dear God, I envy the people who live for physics because I sure don't.

I've been studying for the PHYS172 exam that I took about an hour ago and I still think that I failed. Seriously I've realized that I don't understand a thing. Well, maybe a little bit but it's nothing to be proud of. I feel a little depressed about it and I don't know if there's a light bulb that will click "on!" and I'll start being able to understand the content a little more easily.

It's hard for me to keep up with such a fast learning pace. In high school, I took Honors Physics and that was a breeze because my classes were small so I could actually ask questions in lecture. PHYS172 recitation does not help me at all because the only I do there is work on problems the teacher assistants give my group. And still, it's hard for me to think up of a way to work out the problems. For example, take the energy principle. I know what it is, but it takes me a while to figure out which formulas for kinetic energy and potential energy I need to plug in and whether or not a system has kinetic energy or potential energy on either side of the problem (Efinal=Einitial [+W in some cases]).

Right now I am totally brain-dead and am lazy as hell. I still need to finish my MA172 homework. I'm so behind in MA162. I haven't paid attention to what has been going on in that class ever since the topic of series came up. So this weekend I'll need to start reading through the chapters.

Well, I confess. I haven't been studying as much as I should have. I studied for the PHYS172 exam, but only superficially. I don't have the concentration to sit down and pick through all the little details in the text. However, I have found that reading the textbook is a really great sleep aid for me. But aside from that, I've gotten no real benefit from reading the text. Also, I've been making bad choices that have kept me from studying. I should have studied all week this week, but what did I do? I spent practically 48 hours straight on Monday and Tuesday with my friends chilling out, smoking hookah, and...other stuff. And then I should have gotten my usual eight hours of sleep but my boyfriend kept texting me and was practically begging me to help him with his English homework which lasted to about 4:30 A.M.. The things I do...

I really think I should make a list of priorities and start keeping an hour by hour schedule of what I'm going to do through the day. If I don't learn time-management skills soon then I'm going to be screwed for the 2009-2010 school year because it will contain some of the most difficult curriculum for my major (biomedical engineering and assuming that I can get in) aside from the dreaded senior design project. Or I could just change my major, but that would be an epic failure (for me at least).

Friday, February 27, 2009


Well, the drug war in America is just fine and dandy. The government is doing a terrible job with this. Rolling meth labs, high school addicts, and whatnot. I understand trying to get rid of hard drugs such as cocaine, meth, heroin, crack, and such. But what about marijuana, green, ganja, or whatever people like to call it?

How many people have died from marijuana? Seriously, I'm not sure it's as bad as television advertisements make it out to be. Pot is used in some states to treat cancer patients, depression, glaucoma, etc. So it can't be THAT harmful. And I don't think people always turn into the stereotypical potheads either. There's always something called MODERATION. 

Marijuana is the number one most used illegal drug in the United States--it's a billion dollar industry. Well, even though it is illegal some states have passed laws making it legal to smoke for medical purposes. I think some government person in California has actually drawn up a bill for the total legalization of weed in the state and is hoping to get it passed within the next two years. Also, there's a state somewhere northeast that recently passed a bill to decriminalize it.

So, I guess we're making strides to legalize pot in the States.

Believe it or not there's a marijuana advocacy group at Purdue called NORML. Apparently, they've sent out a petition which currently has about 1300 out of a required 1500 signatures to try to pass a policy where if students get caught with pot, the punishment would be the same if they got caught with alcohol. Currently, Purdue has a zero tolerance policy for pot since it's illegal. But with alcohol, a student gets three strikes.

I know people who have gotten caught and kicked out of the dorms because of smoking and I think it's really stupid. I mean, yeah, they shouldn't have been doing it in the first place, but they weren't bad people who really deserved that. I think it was a little unfair. 

But hey, we'll see what happens in the next few years. The movement is growing stronger.