February 28, 2014

Day 279

Friday at long last! Right off the bat, I have to say that I can't put down The Book of Not! If Nervous Conditions was outstanding in its character exploration and interaction, then Not is absolutely stunning in it's writing and the themes it explores! It's so good, and I am just having a ball reading it.

So, I had to be at school by 7:00 because my mom had to be at work very early. I spent that time before school actually started to finish off my English essay. I don't think I did my best on this, but whatever. Compared to what I might have written on a blue book, this is a definite improvement!

In History, we looked at the historical figure Gandhi and how the real world history differed from the film, and compared and contrasted the historical figures with their film counterparts. Really neat stuff. We also read some criticisms of Gandhi, which I thought was an odd way to end the class, but the teacher did remind us that Gandhi was far more of a good man than a flawed one. And that is it for History class until April! Whew! I can't believe how fast this year's gone by!

In English, I spent my time reading Not while everyone else took their blue book. I turned in my essay, which I still feel is underperforming for me, but whatever. We don't have English class for a month too!

Practiced the Bach Double some more in strings. I'm getting more of the runs, and definitely by Monday I'll have this down. I organized the sports equipment for track and then Aaron and I headed out to see Non-Stop with Liam Neeson. It was pretty good, considering it came out in February. It was more complicated than I expected, and I'm a big Neeson fan (except for Taken 2, which just doesn't exist), so it was nice to see him in action again.

Got home around 8:00 and read more of Not because it's amazing. I'm very tired so I'm going to bed. Goodnight, everyone!

February 27, 2014

Day 278

It feels like Friday, I'm not gonna lie. Today wasn't bad (and actually it got tremendously better when I got home), but this week now feels very long despite it being rather exciting!

In STAM, we got back our tests (which most of us failed sadly), and we went to the computer lab to play around with the concept of loans. It was a better class than most, and we were also given the go-ahead to get started on gathering our data for our projects. I'm pretty pumped about mine, because it's basically gathering data on women in movies, which ties tangentially into my thesis.

Post was interesting, but somewhat depressing because we talked about the DC Sniper Case. Really fascinating to learn about, but it's also a pretty shitty event, so that kinda set our spirits low. We talked about the evolution of the 24-hour news phenomenon and how it has mow arguably become entertainment. A truly thought-provoking debate, and one that we talked about here a little bit, but I wanted to talk about it more. Sadly, class ended before I could press the issue.

Had Advanced English third. We read two stories, one of which was about this bored Math student who excuses himself to get some fresh air and spots this turtle by the pond and it turns our the turtle can talk, and then the turtle asks for a drag. Yeah! I loved this story and how the author embraced the ridiculousness of her world that she created! It just put a huge smile on my face.

In Strings, we played through some new music which was super awesome, and then us violins stayed to run through the first movement of the Bach Double. It went about as well as one might expect from people who hadn't played it in a long time. One of us hadn't learned it at all and so she was sight-reading the damned thing! I struggled a bit, but I was glad that I had run through it on Tuesday.

Track was very windy and full of blowing dirt! Allergies just need to calm down! I kept time for sprinters this time and booked it out of there as quickly as I could because I didn't want to eat any more dirt than I had to, and made my way over to violin.

Violin lesson was super productive! I started on the Kabolevsky, which is just an awesome piece! Lots of chromatic stuff happening, and I like all the squirmy fingerlings that move you around the fingerboard in very efficient ways. It just sounds so cool and I'm so glad I'm working on it. Also worked more on Csardas, which is getting easier. My false hsrmonics are pretty well in-tune, but my bow control is all messed up. My teacher says I need more power and speed, which has always been a weak point with me.this was a fun lesson though. I'm gonna have such fun with the Kabolevsky, I can already tell!

So, I came home, and what should be waiting for me but The Book of Not, the sequel to Nervous Conditions! I've already started reading this, and already I am hooked! The writing style is much different than in the first book, and everything feels better defined and grounded. And I can already see ideas and seeds of theme establishing themselves, and I'm so happy! I'm going to continue reading this before calling it a night! Tomorrow's Friday! Yay!

February 26, 2014

Day 277

Had a very productive day today. Finished up the Gandhi film in Modern History, and I have to say I really liked it a lot. I can see why it won as many accolades as it did, and I thoroughly enjoyed both the film and the work we did alongside it. I loved the scope and the visual elements of the film, and Ben Kingsley was amazing of course. And Martin Sheen made a guest appearance in there, which made the West Wing fans super happy! Next class, we'll talk about how the movie differed from the actual life of Gandhi.

English today was very good. We talked about the end of Nervous Conditions and what we all thought of it. I'm in the process of writing a really crappy first draft of my paper for the unit. It's geting there, but some of my thoughts are not quite seeing the liht of day very well. I'm circling in on what I want to say and struggling to actually say it. It kinda sucks too, because this is pretty much what I did for the rest of the day (this was one of my free afternoon days). By 4:00 it had gotten some shape into it, and I was starting to actually sound more like myself. And that's the thing: it's like the thesis has drained all of my ability to write an academic paper. Hell, we haven't written an English paper since November, so I'm a little out of practice! Nevertheless, Nervous Conditions is still one of my favorite books, and I intend to do it justice with this paper, dammit!

I'm getting caught up on my Person of Interest of late, and it's super great! It's so nice to see them all again after the Olympics (and actually, the episode I just watched involved a faild Olympic athlete, so that's kinda cool). I'm off to bed now. Sorry for the abrupt finish. I kinda got distracted by Amazon! Goodnight, all!

February 25, 2014

Day 276

So, I found out today that Dengaremga in all her awesomeness has written a sequel to Nervous Conditions! It has the really badass title of The Book of Not, which is just so awesome, and I'm already intrigued by the title alone! I've already ordered it and it'll be here Thursday or Friday, and I'm so stoked! My teacher said that if I thought this book was good, then the next book will just make my head explode with how awesome it is. I believe it! Cannot wait to start it, and thanks to having a month off of English and History, I'll have ample time to read and it'll be so great!

I discovered all of this today even without having normal English, which I think is pretty funny. I had full free this morning because the strings teacher had sick kids at home. I spent the time reworking my Advanced English story, and I can see it's already better. It makes so much more sense, and I'm giddy at writing the ending I actually wanted in the first place but for some reason didn't write (probably because of time). Speaking of Advanced English, the stories we read in there today were hilarious! One of them was about this homeless man who died but then had a really weird conversation with God and was told to steal money to buy a bike and go to the mountains and live out his life there. The story just reveled in its ridiculousness and it was great!

Ended the day with Post on a pretty depressing note. We looked at Columbine and how messed up that was. We're studying the '90s now, and so we're in for some pretty horrible shit. Just a crapy way to end the day, though it did tie in to the development of the 24-hour news service, which is an interesting development to be sure. After this, I went to track. We went off campus (we now go to another school, one that actually has a track, every Tuesday and Thursday), and I helped time the distance runners with the distance coach. It was pretty fun all things considered. They did twelve 400s! Yeah. Even the hard core distance runners were pretty upset about their coach assigning such a grueling workout. Yet another reason I'm glad I am but the manager of the team.

In composition tutoring, we worked on simplifying my arrangement of the song that we're to perform at the end of the year for graduation. The song is actually deceptively difficult to toggle with everyone's parts in mind, and I'm learning a fair amount of choral writing with this. It's really interesting. Came home and had some pizza. Now I'm off to bed (or Tumblr; haven't decided yet). Goodnight, everyone!

February 24, 2014

Day 275

Sorry about the typo in yesterday's post. It's Day 274. Today's 275, so sorry about that! I woke up at around 5:00 for no reason, and I liked awake there for an hour before getting up. As such, today felt extra long and tired. One of my good friends performed a song at our Morning Meeting this morning, and it was really nice. It made a lot of people feel happy; I always like Musical Mondays because they just provide a nice start to your day.

So, I finished Nervous Conditions! This book is, quite frankly, outstanding! The characters are so fully realized and there is just this human element to it that just made me want to weep, because with this book, I now know that writing character-driven books with theme being woven into the characters instead of being a third aspect is entirely possible, and Conditions pulls it off beautifully! I have never read a book quite like this one, and this is definitely going in my top 10 books now (though, that of course means bumping one down, which is always sad).

In Modern History, we watched more of Gandhi. It''s getting much better. I really like the tone of the film, and how it's use of non-violence is actually being questioned now. We finish it up next class I think and then have a writing assignment. Track was pretty uneventful. I read Nervous Conditions during it and also timed the runners.

Might post another review come next weekend, and in these next two weeks, I think the reviews will start coming more frequently thanks to me not having English or History! I don't know why I decided to write that there, but whatever. Anyway, I had AYS after Track. It was alright. My sectional teacher says that as a section we are very good, and that we need very little teaching. This is encouraging news, and with only two sectionals left, I'm curious what we're going to do for at least that last one.

Well, I'm planning to work more on my Advanced English story before heading to bed. Oh, and I found out that George RR Martin is releasing a full history of Westeros in like September or something, and this just makes me super happy!

February 23, 2014

Day 274

I had a pretty productive day today. I posted my review of "Masters and Students", which I'm actually really proud of, because I feel like I'm getting in the swing of posting a review every two weeks (watch, now it's gonna just not go anywhere and you guys'll have a drought as bad as September). Anyway, check that out if you want a review geared more towards being funny than doing serious analysis.

The cleaning out of the spare room continued today. We're emptying the second half of the bookshelves, though we didn't get nearly as far as we wanted to. Too much dust, man! It's insane! Shopping on Amazon I have found can really suck up your time like a vacuum, because I must have spent like four hours on there! Jesus! I didn't even buy anything; I just looked at stuff. And the Prime feature is so smug, like it knows it has sucked you in and there is no escape! Mwahahahahaha!

Went out to dinner and read the final third of Chapter Eight for Nervous Conditions! It's denouement is perfectly paced, and the character revelations tie in so seemlessly to the beginning of the book! It's amazing! Seriously, after my Frozen review, I am sitting down and putting my thoughts on Conditions down on paper, because this deserves a stellar review!

Well, I'm off to blog on Tumblr before heading to bed. Oh, and here's a gif of Sarah Michelle Gellar drawing two perfect circles and looking really cute and smug while doing so!

Look at that! Into every generation there is a chosen one, I guess!

Shadowcon Reviews- Masters and Students

Shadowcon Reviews: Transformers Prime season 1 episode 6: “Masters and Students”

Taking a break from huge epics this time, because I’m kinda burnt out on that sort of thing. I figured I’d take a look at a standalone episode. Like “Scrapheap” and “Convoy” after this, “Master and Students” is a typical Prime episode, and coming off of the “Darkness Rising” arc, it feels like a catch-your-breath type of episode, relying more on comedy and action instead of character focus like the five-part epic did. That doesn’t mean this is a bad episode… but let’s jump in and see how it fairs against other episodes from the show.

February 22, 2014

Day 273

I got a late start to the day because it's Saturday, and I stayed up super late last night. Worked on my Advanced English story a little more. It's going to take a lot of work to restructure the plot to what I want it to become, but I think it'll be worth it. I bought the sheet music to the Kabolevsky Violin Concerto in C! It's awesome, and I cannot wait to learn it. I also bought my own copy of Czardas. Ran some errands today before coming back home and ordered a second Dreadwing figure, because despite my best efforts, I cannot get the wing of my broken Dreadwing to glue back on to the figure. I've tried superglue, epoxy, anything and everything. Nothing works. So, I've gone ahead and ordered myself another one. Should be here Wednesday, so that'll be nice!

Went to see my school's production of 42nd Street tonight! It was great. The singing was awesome, and the tap-dancing was good, if a little off rhythm with the orchestra. Some great talents were seen, and I liked seeing my friends in the production! The only problem with it was that the performers weren't micd, so when they sang and the tap-dancing and the orchestra were all happening around them, the balance in volume was just way off. Still, it was an exciting show, and being the last production that I see as a student here, it was a pretty good way to go out.

Well, I'm pretty tired despite getting up at noon. I think I'm gonna call it a night.

February 21, 2014

Day 272

This has to be one of the longest three day weeks I have had in my life so far! My God, when the school day ended, I was just exhausted, and it's not like I did a whole lot today. I think what really made this week feel long was that yesterday was pretty cramped and Wednesday was a return to school altogether, os it was jarring. But whatever it was, this was a long week. I'm very glad it's the weekend now.

So, I started the day off with Advanced English. We listened to four stories, most of which were not very good. The people who wrote them were all friends with one another and they're pretty introverted people anyway, so they had a ton of in-jokes and random giggly bits in their stories that satisfied only themselves and very little else. I find that when I critique writing, the chiefest things I look for are character developments and interactions, which isn't surprising (I try to do this as best I can when reviewing Prime). But the second thing I find myself obsessing over in stories is thematic setup and followthrough. This surprised me actually, because I'm not very good at writing themes into my own fiction; I focus more on dialogue and character and plot, but theme doesn't really factor into my own writing. So I find it kind of interesting that I try to find theme and thematic lines in my peers' writing. I don't know. Maybe today was just a theme day or whatever.

I read the first third of Chapter Eight of Nervous Conditions. Y'know, I'm not a literary critique but damn, I so want to do an analysis on this thing! It is just so well-structured, and once again, thematic ties to the beginning are constantly revisited here in the tail end of the book, and they are done well because the themes as well as the characters' views about those themes are turned around due to their development! I just love the character dynamic in this book; the characters are so richly developed and the culture clash and comparisons so unobtrusively laid out that I find myself coming back to this book as a way to write cultural development or comparison fiction really, really well! Read this thing; it's awesome! And who knows, maybe I'll do a review on this because I really want to!

In Post, we had our '80s test! It went pretty well. I couldn't really figure out a concise or accurate definition of Reaganomics (sorry everyone who is a historian ever). Then we talked more about the '90s and Clinton and his presidency. I edited my Advanced English story a little after class, and I'm already liking it a lot better. I have a theme in it! Yay! It was a nice way to end the day, and I came home and had some chowder and biscuits and now I'm a happy person ready for the weekend.

February 20, 2014

Day 271

Today was one of those half days where I only had Modern History and English, with the afternoon free, so that was kinda nice. English is really fun because we're analyzing the characters for Nervous Conditions, which is just getting better and better. I read the first of the next two chapters for Monday already because they're long, so I wanted to get one of them out of the way and parcel the other one out over the weekend.. I just love the dynamic between the characters!

In Modern History, we watchedGandhi, and there was a sick guest appearance by Martin Sheen! It was super funny because one of my friends texted me during that and she was like, "oh, look, it's President Bartlett!" And I was all "wow, he's so thin!" The film itself is getting off to a pretty good start. Everything it's trying to say is a little bit on the nose in how it goes about demonstrating Gandhi as being abused and made fun of, but the acting is excellent and I can see the movie picking up speed as we move along (this is going to take three class periods because it's so long).

In the afternoon, I worked on completing my rough draft of the arrangement for Modest Mouse's "Float On". I like it, though I need to double check the ranges on the choral parts, and make sure everything can be read. Also, I am apparently being considered as a candidate for Commencement Speaker! I don't know why anyone would want to listen to me, but whatever. It's a pretty big honor, and I'm flattered that people are throwing my name out there when I can think of twenty people or so who are far more qualified to speak at graduation, but it's still really fun! Also bought the deluxe edition of the Frozen soundtrack! I am so pumped for this! The score is actually really beautiful, even disregarding the songs in the movie. Christophe Beck did a great job!

Violin lesson was pretty short tonight because I had a chess meet right after. I'm working on Czardas some more, and it's super cool! That beginning part though, man... that's just a right arm exercise in hell! The piece itself is awesome and super fun to play, but I hate that opening; it's physically taxing! The chess meet was really good. I played against this person who had a real ball cutting me off and delaying my plans, and we traded some great blows before I checkmated him with a rook and bishop and king! Just a great game. Then my Mom and I ate dinner at iHop because I wanted a Belgian waffle just because!

Super glad tomorrow's Friday! I better get to bed. I have a Post test tomorrow. WIsh me luck!

February 19, 2014

Day 270

Back to school today after my long weekend! It was so nice to be back, and what made it even better was that in Post, the test got pushed back to Friday, because I guess so many people forgot about it or thought it was Friday or something and the point is that I have more time to procrastinate and worry about it, so hooray! We covered our overview of the '90s, in which we talked about Clinton, Bush, and the mindset of the '90s and of course cars, because my teacher is a big cars person.

In Advanced English today we read two great student stories, one of which had just really clear yet macabre imagery in it, and the other one was just hilarious and full of realism in terms of how teenagers think and talk (probably because it was written by a teenager), and it was a fun time. During this period, I also got my computer hooked up to the printer at school, so now I can print directly from my computer without having to go through the egregiously slow computers at school! It's so great.

Strings was third. We worked on the fourth movement of the suite we're playing, and the teacher had a hell of a time trying to get the first violins to get these fingerings down into their parts. Apparently they all forgot where their E string was... I don't know what was going on over there! It was pretty funny, though.

In STAM, we started talking about financial statistics and credit versus debit cards. It's only slightly more interesting than what we've been doing, and I once again feel so bad for the teacher, because she's clearly not wanting to do this but she's trying to inject as much interest into the class as possible, and most of us are just ignoring her. I feel like I'm stepping up my game in there, though that could be because everyone else has just quit.

It was super windy at track practice today, so we tried to go inside. We found that the gym was taken already, so we practiced outside anyway, but at least it was in a more sheltered area. I read the last chapter of my assigned reading for Nervous Conditions, and I continue to really just love this book! The character dynamics are really the engine that propels this book forward, and it works out beautifully! I also snagged a copy of The Left Hand of Darkness, which I am so looking forward to reading when I'm not doing English homework. I have two weeks coming up where I don't have English on account of defenses, so I might read it then; who knows.

Piano was more fun. We're getting more into the nitty-gritty stuff. We learned about the G7 chord! Making progress! Returned home and had a lovely conversation with a friend of mine who was sick today, so it was nice to talk to her. Did some more arranging for the graduation song, and now I'm ready for bed. Goodnight everyone.

February 18, 2014

Day 269

So, this is a much more comfortable time of night to be blogging. Sorry about yesterday; I was extremely tired and in a bit of a rush to get that one out before the time ran out, so that's why that one was so short. This one's looking to be short too, because I didn't do a whole lot today.

I woke up early and arranged a piece for graduation. It's pretty rough, but I took it to my composition tutor, and he helped me work on what I should be doing with everything, so that was nice. I'm going to bring it back to him next week to see if he has any suggestions on string parts. Also, I read more of Nervous Conditions. I'm really loving that book! The character dynamics between Tambu and Nyasha are continuing to be presented excellently, and I am loving how the two compliment one another's lifestyle while also challenging it.

My Mom came home and we went to stand in line for I kid you not forty-five solid minutes in the hot sun before finally getting to the entrance of the social security building, and then having to sit there for what must have been another fifteen... all so that we could be told that our money was transferred to the bank already and I'm just so done with this thing I'm not going to talk about it. Moving on.

I love musicnotes.com! That site has like so many great arrangements of film scores and pop songs and a whole bunch of stuff for really cheap prices! I bought a great piano reduction of "For the First Time in Forever" there, and it is just so awesome to see what the orchestra does in that song, because that's a great piece and I like having it. Well, I have school tomorrow, and piano after that. Better get to sleep. Goodnight, all!

February 17, 2014

Day 268

Okay, I have ten minutes before next day! Isn't that exciting?! Okay, so anyway, I didn't do much today. I read more of Nervous Conditions, which I am enjoying ever so much. I just love the dynamic between the two main characters, and having their situations compliment and mirror each other is great and lends itself to such intelligent storytelling!

I also bought the piano arrangement for "For the First Time in Forever"! It looks super awesome, and I can't wait to arrange it for full orchestra. AYS was tedious, because we had sectionals and I hate those, but the music is fun so that gets me through. I'm so sorry I'm rather late in blogging tonight. Time just got away from me, I guess. Well, I'm off to bed. Goodnight everyone. I have tomorrow off, but I'll be spending most of my day at social security, 'cause y'know, that's where you want to be with your day off!

February 16, 2014

Day 267

Okay, so admittedly, we only made it through three movies, but the sleepover was still super cool! We watched Elysium, and then Tangled, and finished with The Lion King. I was super sleepy after that, so I went to bed, and then I guess Aaron woke up at around four after taking a nap and headed off to bed too. Woke up, had a yummy breakfast, and headed home. It was a nice belated birthday celebration, and I really enjoyed the movie marathon!

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that upon returning home, I wrote a little Mini-View on Tangled! I love that movie a lot! Also, my Mom and I began are ridiculous project of moving all the books out of the spare room so that we can take out the shelving in there so we can pain it. It's going crazy because our hallway is now lined with piles and piles of books! Most are my Dad's, lots of science and history books, some really interesting women's studies history books, and a few fiction books sprinkled within. Just a huge project to be taking on, and we're doing this now in the hopes that in three months when my grandparents come and stay with us to see me graduate, the spare room will be painted and all the books will be back on their shelves! That's a tight deadline because we are super lazy people, see.

Read Chapter Four of Nervous Conditions, and I'm really loving this book now! The main character is very compelling, and I love how alien she feels in her environment. Practiced violin a little bit today, and also worked a little bit on my thesis... and by that I mean I just read through it again, because I feel like I should work on it, but I also don't want to work on it because my readers are reading it, and I need fresh eyes to read this thing. It's a weird experience!

Went out to dinner per Sunday usual, and am now just running around Tumblr. Found this hilarious audio post linked here! Listen with headphones if your parents are around; you'll burst out laughing! I really want to watch Frozen again, so I might do that, or watch the audio commentary on Tangled... I don't know! I'm still kinda on a Disney high. Goodnight everyone!

Shadowcon Mini-Views- Tangled

One of the things that really disappointed me in late '90s to mid-2000s Disney films was that they weren't musicals. Except for The Emperor's New Groove, which I grew up with and which I liked a lot, none of the films after The Lion King really grasped that sense of an animated Broadway musical; they were all just movies with songs in them which is not the same thing at all. Everything was by the numbers now and the films seemed to be checking off boxes instead of telling thoughtful and character-driven stories. With Tangled, we saw a return to classic Disney: a late '80s and early '90s era fairy tale spin with beautiful animation and some awesome songs to boot! As good as the Disney Renaissance Era? Not even close, but the film's grasp on what made the Renaissance Era great is strong and launching that type of care and storytelling into the 21st Century was such a boon for Disney at the time, and continues to be so with films like Frozen, which I absolutely loved.

Speaking of which, I saw Tangled only after I had seen Frozen for the first time. I wanted to go back and watch it because I had heard that it was as good as Frozen, and that this was a clear sign that Disney was finally getting back to its roots. Well, I will say that Tangled is good, but I don't think it is as good as Frozen for two reasons. First, as much as all the songs in Tangled were awesome, it skittered on the edge of being a movie with songs in it. About the only points in the movie where I saw this as a musical were with the "I've Got a Dream" song and "I See the Light", which is one of the most beautifully animated sequences Disney has ever done. Aside from that, Tangled's score is really tailored to a more classic rock feeling, which is great, but this is not a musical.

Characters are alive and just bursting with personality! Rapunzel is cheery and there was never a point where she is onscreen in which I did not have a huge smile on my face! Flynn Rider is a pretty good companion, and his loose and scruffy attitude reminded me a lot of Mal from Firefly, someone who is not always a great guy, but who is at heart a kind and well-meaning person. The romance between the two is a little hard to swallow, but I did buy it at the end. "I See the Light" did a great job of cementing what these two mean to one another and how they have affected each others lives while on this journey. The side characters are toned down from previous Disney films. Oftentimes, especially in the late '90s/early 2000s, the side characters would get ridiculously obnoxious. One need only look at Hercules to see how ridiculous the side characters got. Hell, in that film, the side characters got their own side kicks! Anyway, Tangled plays it smart and has two, both of whom are animals and don't speak. This makes their interactions with everyone very comical and lets their actions speak for them, something that I found to be a boon to the film because this meant that we didn't have constant BS spewing from their mouths just to get cheap laughs.

The animation for this film is warm and colorful and just makes you invested in the world that the movie is set in. It's very bright and gives the film a visual energy along with a narrative flow. Rapunzel's hair is well-animated, though hardly realistic in movement; it's more of a sheet of blond than it is various strands of hair, though to be fair, after animated Merida's hair, I can't imagine anyone wanting to go through that on an industrial scale for Rapunzel. This is probably why everyone in Frozen had simple braided hair; the animators were like "yeah, fuck this shit! I just wanted to be an animator, not a follicle scientist!" I do like that Disney has a distinct style with their CGI works like they do with their hand-drawn animated stuff; it gives a cohesion to Disney that other studios lack. All of the animation here is alive and is a welcome sight from the normal muted tones of action films that I normally see, and the setting feels less cramped than it did for Frozen, probably because here you have different set pieces whereas in Frozen you have like three, all of which are covered in snow. Tangled feels open and inviting, and I love it!

Tangled is good. It's damn good. But I don't think it quite reaches to the heights of Frozen and doesn't hold a candle to classic Disney films like Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin. Still, as a first entry into what could very well be a new Disney Renaissance, this is a strong start out the gate, and with Frozen picking up most of the shortcomings that Tangled had and building on what this movie brought to the table, Disney is finally getting back on its feet! See Tangled! It's very good!

February 15, 2014

Day 266

The beginning of my four-day weekend began at about noon, because I'm a lazy person. Practiced some violin, watched some Prime, and ran some errands.

Met up with Aaron and his family at the Melting Pot restaurant and had some amazing food! I loved the cheese fondue I and of course the chocolate fondue for dessert! Went with Aaron back yo his house and we began our movie marathon. Started with Elysium and Aaron fell asleep midway through. Might call it a nigh soon; I'm pretty tired too.

Fun day all around! Kind of a shame that both of us are so sleepy. Aaron being tired makes sense because he had a swim meet, but I don't know why I'm so sleepy! Guess we'll see how the marathon turns out and whether we fall asleep!

February 14, 2014

Day 265

Happy Valentine's Day.

Finally Friday! I took this ridiculous STAM test this morning that just completely messed up my mood for like half the day! Seriously, I don't know what is up with the quizzes versus the tests in this class, but it's ridiculous, because I do very well on the quizzes and then when the test comes I'm like "oh, shit! I don't know what's going on!" Like, who does that?! Why does that happen?! And I talked to some friends of mine who are in that class and they all feel the same way: this test in particular was really freaking hard for everyone! We better do test corrections; this is just impossible!

So, to cheer me up, I had Post next, and we watched '80s music videos! That's always fun. I also got two roses. One from a friend of mine who is hilarious, and one from an anonymous person! That's exciting. I'm super curious as to who the person is, because I want to thank them and I'm really happy about this. The class was fun too because my junior history teacher came in and started dancing because she knew all the moves to the videos and it was so great! To top it all off, after class Aaron found this post that my Mom posted on Facebook, and it was this giant rant about FAFSA and the CSS Profile and how stupid they are, and it was just so funny! (I'd post a link to it, but I don't have Facebook, so I can't get to it; sorry.) That was pretty funny to read. My favorite line was "Why don't we just get our financial information from the NSA or Target?" Hahahahahaha! That's hilarious!!!

Advanced English was fun. We read two students' stories! One of them was really good. It had thematic followthrough and was just really well-written. It engaged your brain and just made you think about all the imagery that the story conveyed, and it was awesome. The other one was pretty good too. I love that my class is so talented!

Finished off the day with strings. We switched things up and had fellow classmates conduct while our teacher sat in for them while they did so, and it was super fun! One of the people just kinda went along with what we were doing to the point where she literally just waved her arms in circles, and at the end got so far off the beat that she actually ended up doing her down beats backwards as up beats (the piece was conducted in 2), and it was so great! Another student faired better; he actually kept the beat, but conducted backwards from the outset, so we had to stop and correct him. It was pretty funny.

Found out today that Ellen Page came out while giving this great emotional speech! See it here! I just think the world needs more people like her, because she's awesome! And she played Kitty Pride in the X-Men movie that didn't happen except for her parts, and was in Inception, which is just default awesome!

Came home and watched Olympus Has Fallen on Netflix, because why the hell not? It's a crap movie, but like Star Trek: Into Darkness, it's well-done crap. Unlike Into Darkness, Fallen recognizes itself for what it is, and it doesn't try to hide behind marketing and previous installments. The two films do have another thing in common: the first third of both films is just really well done (for different reasons, obviously). The White House attack scene is really ridiculous, but it does drive home the massacre's emotional punch to the nation.

So, I have four days off, and nothing school related to do over the course of my short vacation save for reading Nervous Conditions, which should be fine. I'm not sure what to review next. I do want to return to Season One of Prime, but I don't know which episode to do! Suggestions welcome in the comments below.

February 13, 2014

Day 264

The History test was a snap! I'm actually feeling very good about this week in general, because I'm getting all this stuff done and then this weekend is a four-day weekend for my school, and it's a nice reward. I had a vry good English calss today! We talked about Nervous Conditions and the opening sentence and then we took a feedback survey on what we thought does and doesn't work in the class in general. I really liked this, because it enabled me to articulate my praise and problems of the class in a more coherent way.

I have a STAM test tomorrow. I'm kinda nervous about it, but I think it'll go well. Did some studying in between classes, and I think I've got all the concepts down. Not that much to learn really. I studied some during track too. We had no coaches again (I'm getting really tired of that), and I timed the runners. These people are so fast!

Violin was good. I'm working on Czardas as my next piece along with the Kabalevsky violin concerto!I'm super stoked about these two pieces, and since I don't need to audition for anything, I can in the words of my teacher "just be a senior" and take my time with these pieces. I can't believe that seven years ago, I was in Suzuki Book Four and slogging through those awful Vivaldi concertos! Good God, that was hell!

Okay, I have a feeling this post is going to be really short. I don't have much more to add than this. I'm glad tomorrow's Friday! I plan to get a bunch of reviews done (haha; we'll see if anything comes of this spark)!

February 12, 2014

Day 263

Had a pretty fun day today.Track is becoming more enjoyable, probably because today there was a coach there and I brought stuff to do, and it was a relatively short workout for the runners. I studied for my Hisory test which I'm taking tomorrow. Pretty nervous for it, though I don't know why; it's open book and open note, so I really don't have much to worry about (though this could mean the questions are super specific because we have our notes).

In Post, we discussed the war on drugs in the '80s, and then watched an episode of The Cosby Show, which I actually really enjoyed. It has that hint of modern intelligent humor while still keeping things '50s olds school, y'know? I'm hoping that when we get to '90s TV, our teacher will show the opening credits to Buffy, if only to please myself and the four other Buffy fans in the room!

Advanced English was pretty funny today. We read more student stories, and our teacher read them to us. He did these really funny voices and combined with one of the writers injecting her own commentary and brainstorming into her story at times, it made for a very comedic hour! I just love that we're reading each others' stories and getting constructive feedback. It's certainly more entertaining than staring at a screen in the dark like we did for our play unit. This feels less confined, and because there's a story in prose, we have to pay attention and follow along, which  is good.

In STAM, we prepped a little for our test on Friday. I have all my work turned in in that class for right now, and I'm hoping to keep that up. I'd like to think I'm a good student when it comes to this class, but really this class is the class where I put the least amount of energy in. It was apparent to me that the teacher was losing interest in the class as well, as she seemed very uncaring about what she was teaching... because I think she was starting to realize that very few of us care about what's going on. This made me sad, because I do love ot learn, and it's just so insulting when students don't pay attention to the teacher and certainly insulting when they are visibly and verbally uncaring about the cals, which happens very often in STAM. I'm just very sorry for the teacher, and I'm making a concerted effort to pay attention and absorb the information she's trying to teach us.

I had Piano Class tonight. We talked a little bit about the very beginnings of music theory. This is where I'm really starting to pay attention, as my knowledge and understanding of music theory is very limited, and I tend to operate very much on instinct when composing, so this will be a good introductory course for that and along with my comp tutoring on Tuesdays', I think I will build a solid foundation for further study should I choose to take that up.

Well, after returning home from that, my Mom tried to wrestle with her computer to update the Mac software so that her taxes software could run properly... but then it turned out that what had been stopping her for the last three hours was the step of dragging the icon of her tax software into the applications folder! Yeah, needless to say, I just burst out laughing! Always willing to end the day on a laughing note, I'm headed off to bed now. Goodnight!

February 11, 2014

Day 262

I feel like a great weight has been lifted off of my shoulders! All this work, all this analysis, all tis thinking and over thinking and struggling and toils and cobbled together ideas and expanding on half-baked theories that turned into actual ideas and learning so much about culture and gender studies and Buffy and all of this, and basically after all of this... what I'm trying to say, is my thesis has been turned in, and I am all happy and smiles!

Yes! It finally happened! Hard to believe a year ago, I was bouncing ideas around in my head and I jokingly suggested to my Mom and that I write an essay on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and she latched on to that idea and said for me to roll with that! So, I did, and here I am with a thirty two page rough draft turned in and it's honestly just so refreshing to not have have to worry about such a huge project for a good two weeks!

Turned a copy in to my outside reader too. He was very pleased, and said that he looked forward to reading it, and given that he's a sixth grade teacher, and knowing the kind of work I crapped out during my sixth grade year, I'm sure he'll be so pleased to get away from those five page essays the writers of whom think are so smart but are actually really, really dumb! Or maybe the sixth grade writing level has progressed since I was in there, I don't know.

Other than this, I didn't have a whole lot going on today. Track practice was a little more eventful than yesterday since none of the coaches showed up, so we kinda had to do our own thing. I say we; really, it was the track team that had to do their own thing. I just watched and carried equipment around. I preordered the Frozen DVD with my free 30 day trial of AmazonPrime, which is nice, and I had a very intellectualy stimulating conversation with my composition tutor about teaching in schools and opinions and structures of arguments and such. Really fun afternoon, actually!

Well, I'm super happy to have turned in my thesis. I guess I'll have to figure out what to work on for the next two weeks or so! It feels like Wednesday, I don't know why... Well, goodnight, everyone! Tomorrow should be fun because I get to read more student stories in Advanced English! Woot!

February 10, 2014

Day 261

Had a pretty fun start to the week. Advanced English was cool, because I and a good friend of mine shared our stories to the class. Mine was very long, and it didn't turn out super great, but the other story was excellent! I have a lot of work to do on my story, but thankfully I went first, so I have ample time to edit.

I worked a whole bunch on my thesis today! It's now 29 pages in length not counting the works cited or consulted, and I'm pretty happy with it. It's a little jumbled in some spots, but I think with a little tweeking, it'll turn out great! Super happy with this. Had a work day in Post to work on it, and I have another work day tomorrow in English to clean it up and polish it as best I can before turning it in!

Track began today! I am the manager of the team, and I don't really know what I'm doing out there besides just being on call for whatever comes up. I should bring stuff to read tomorrow. It was very cold today, and I literally did nothing but stand around the entire time. The coach seems pretty nice, all things considered. Tomorrow should be better, since I'll brings something to read or work on during practice and just be on call for whenever I'm needed.

In AYS we practiced our new music! It's pretty fun. All American west stuff and it's great because it's all jazzy! Woot! I love it. The various read throughs went okay, and then at the end of tonight we got to throw pies in our conductor's face! Boy, was that fun to watch! Only certain people got to do it (those who raised over $200 dollars for a fundraiser), but it was just hilarious to watch!

Well, that's it! I'm off to bed (Tumblr)! Goodnight, all.

February 9, 2014

Day 260

Had a day of errands today. Went to the comic book store and picked me up some Superior Spider-Man, Dark Cybertron, and an Iron Man! My Mom also got the first issue of the Serenity comic that Zack Whedon is doing, and it looks pretty good. We both lamented that the comics just aren't the same as the tv show and it's just kinda sad!

Went to Staples to get my new AYS music copied and enlarged. Also got some superglue and some boxes. I love that when I got home, I had to taps all my music together to make the booklet music so that I didn't have a bunch of loose paper flying around. So I did this in the most egregious way possible and just slapped a bunch of tape onto all the pages to create this precarious taps spine on all of my music and it's really funny!

Watched some Olympics and then got to work really beafing out my thesis! Got a couple more great ideas into the paper and I now have 28 whole pages! Not bad. It's a little messy, so hopefully I'll be able to clean it up before turning it in.

Tomorrow I have my first day as track manager. Should be interesting! I am unsure of what to review next. I do want to take a look at the Season Two finale, but having just come off a pretty big arc, I kinda want to take a break and just do a bottle show. I don't know. If you guys have suggestions, leave a comment.

February 8, 2014

Day 259

So, I don't know what's up with me lately, but I'm super tired! I woke up at 12:00 PM, so I don't know why I'm tired, but I am. Finished up my review of "Out of the Past", which is like one of the longer reviews I've written. I don't know how it came out to be so long, but whatever. I worked on my thesis, read a little bit more of Nervous Conditions, and found this masterpost on tumblr that had all the Disney movies for free on the Internet. I'm still going to buy Frozen on DVD because of the bts stuff and the audio commentary and because it's, y'know, legal, but this is a nice resource if I'm ever in a bad mood and just need to watch a Disney movie right then and there.

I reorganized all of my Transformers collection! That was a chore, but now the Prime collection has more room to breath, and the Classics and Movie collections look awesome all condensed into a small space. Makes them look more fulsome!

Watched some of the figure skating and the snowboarding Olympics because that stuff looks super cool, and now I'm headed to bed. Sorry for the short post, but I'm just really tired! I'll hopefully feel better tomorrow. Goodnight everyone.

Shadowcon Reviews- Out of the Past

I have been waiting so long to use this image!

Shadowcon Reviews: Transformers Prime season 2 episode 17: “Out of the Past”

“Out of the Past” closes out our look at the T-Arc and its follow-up episodes and it does so very nicely. This episode is actually based loosely on the Transformers Prime prequel comic, and it should be noted that I have not read that comic, so I have no idea how faithful it is to its source material barring looking it up on the TFWiki, which is a little vague on how the episode handles the material its given. Because of the way this is told, given that it’s an adaptation of another story and its place in Season Two as a kind of respite before delving back into the thick of the show, the story feels more tight and focused than some of its company in mid-Season Two, focusing on characters and meaningful imagery, instead of plot. If “Hurt” was to show us how Miko and Wheeljack take Bulkhead’s injuries to heart, “Out of the Past” attempts to show how Arcee, the most developed Autobot out of the cast during this time, takes it and relates it to her numerous dead partners. I think this is a logical move, and given that we haven’t had an Arcee-focused episode since… well, since “Partners” actually, which was all the way back in Season One, this is a nice reminder that this character is still thriving despite not being the central character for a long time.

February 7, 2014

Day 258

It's finally Friday! Man, this week was so long, I feel! Just crazy. Everything was all switched around from where it normally fit into my schedule, and it just made me super tired. I'm really tuckered out right now. I tried to work on my review of "Out of the Past" today, but I just wasn't feeling it. Anyway, it was a good day today; got a ton of work done on my thesis, so that's great!

We got a new book finally in English! It's called Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga, and so far it's pretty good. Very etherial, though that could be that I was half-asleep while reading it in class... not because of the book, but just because I was super tired today for whatever reason. I like the book, granted I'm only 19 pages in, but I like how it's written. We also were told that we're going to be having a thesis work day on Tuesday, which is also when our first drafts of that are due, so I guess the idea is that we'll have time to spruce it up during the English period come Tuesday, which'll be nice. I'm super glad we're starting a new book! I was totally done with The Plague from when we started talking about the Holocaust to the end of the unit. It was just so depressing and plodding. This looks to be far more upbeat or at least more fast-paced because we've done all of the heavy reading and lecturing to understand existentialism. This unit should be a welcome change to the slow and down unit for The Plague.

History was a thesis work period! I added a whole page to my paper! I'm pretty excited about that, because I managed to cram an idea into the paper that I thought I'd not be able to do, so that was pretty fun. Also had an awesome conversation with a friend of mine ranging from music to the new focus on her thesis (yes, she's changed her angle on her topic this late in the game; people do that, but I'm still surprised and impressed that she's chosen to do that now). Listened to some Beyoncè, found I'm totally not a fan at all, and then left.

The violin concert tonight went very well. I had only two hiccups, and they were really having more to do with the piano fumbling a little bit, and then I accidentally turned sixteenth notes into triplets because I was weird like that. Otherwise, it went over smoothly. I moved a whole lot during this piece, because when I count something slow, I tend to move a lot while doing it to keep my place, and I did that here. My Mom said it was a good effect; says it added energy to the performance. Very happy with how this went down!

Well, I'm really tired now, so I'm going to hit the hay early here tonight. Tomorrow there will be much reading and writing! Should be great. Might see The Lego Movie too. I still can't believe how it is just bathing in critical success. Got a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes! Like, really?! I have to check this out now just to see what's making everyone swoon!

February 6, 2014

Day 257

Had a two-hour delay today! That was great, but I guess my brain didn't get out of bed with the rest of my body, because I got dressed and headed out the door... with two different shoes on my feet! I'm serious! And I didn't even notice until a friend pointed it out. One of my teachers noticed too, but he said he wasn't going to say anything because he thought that I had done this on purpose! Nope! Sorry, I have zero fashion sense when it comes to footwear and customizability. Just mixed up my shoes, which is odd, because these were sneakers, so you'd think that while tying them, I'd have noticed. Again, no. Happens to the best of us, I suppose, but that was the running gag today, and everyone laughed, and I laughed because I realized just how stupid I must have looked and it was pretty funny.

Well, because of the two-hour delay, I did not have Advanced English, which means that I now have time to spruce up my ending, namely by writing another one that actually makes sense! Also, I really only had two classes today, STAM and Post, so it was a relaxing day for me. In Post, we finished up Red Dawn, which my God is so bad but hilariously so!I just love how they try to inject emotion into the vacuous no-characters that are presented on screen and how they just fail miserably!

I used the spare time I had in the day to work on my thesis. There's this really interesting essay I read about Buffy and how she controls anger, and then my Mom made the point that she controls anger because it would be "unladylike" to let your anger out! Really interesting insight into Buffy's character,that while she may be progressive, she is only so to a point that would be comfortable to her character. Then, the essay talked about Faith and how she relishes anger, and I really want to include this in my thesis, because I think this is such a cool analysis on an integral part of both characters!

Mom picked me up from school early (with the other shoe to one of the pairs so that my feet could be matching and happy) and we went to my violin lesson. It was mostly prep for the concert tomorrow. I think I've got it down, just a little nervous about where to come in. Hard to count triplets and duples at the same time for me. After this, we went of to the chess meet. I lost, but I really liked how my opponent played. He restricted my movement and manipulated my pieces so that they could no longer work together; I've never really played a game like this before. I'm sure it's common in higher chess tournaments and stuff, but for me, this was a new experience.

I might post a review this weekend. I really want to put up more content on the site, and today's other post was something that I really liked doing, so who knows. Maybe there'll be more stuff coming out!

Stuff That I Like- 2/6/14

So, Lindsey Stirling's new video is out finally! For whatever reason, Yahoo got a hold of it before Lindsey's been able to put it up on YouTube, so the video is only available on Yahoo for now.

**** Update: Her video is now on YouTube, and it's super cool! Check it out below!

I really love this video, and it really makes the weakest piece on the Lindsey Stirling album, "Stars Align", really pop visually! Also, this is a new version of the piece, shorter and less screechy. The effects for this are lavish and eye-popping, and you can totally tell that the FX people had a field day with this! Lindsey's dancing is toned down, and she is joined by backup dancers. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I really liked Lindsey doing her own thing alone, but the backup dancer don't do anything inherently bad; they just don't add anything substantial either. I love the space motif going on, and the piece has a good pace and energy to it that for some reason works better here than it did on the album (again, I think this new version is better than the album version). Really cool, and I'm so glad that Lindsey's back making videos!

But that's not all I've discovered in the wondrous world of music on the Internet! I stumbled across this really awesome violin/viola/piano Frozen Medley, combining several songs from the film into this really great mashup of lovely strings and keys!

Just a lovely medley, and I really love that they combined the two version of "For the First Time in Forever" into one portion of the piece. Really cool project, and I love it!

That's it. Just some fun music I thought I'd share! I should do more of these; I like doing this type of casual stuff that isn't part of my Project 365 thing.

February 5, 2014

Day 256

Sometimes I hate writing. Don't get me wrong, I think writing's great, and I enjoy it for the most part. But then there are the times where you're stuck and you just don't know what to do, and so you push yourself past that point and churn out something God awful just to be done with the first draft of whatever it is you happen to be writing. Well, that's what happened finally with my Advanced English story, which got of to a pretty good start, then really picked up in the middle in terms of the enjoyment I got out of writing it, and then plummeted so steeply that it felt like I was writing a completely different story altogether. The ending of this thing is crap, but I'm hoping that peer editing will allow me to fix it.

Speaking of shitty first drafts (Anne Lamott's words, not mine), I took my English Blue Book test today! I'm so happy to be done with The Plague unit along with the Leopold unit. I feel like this is an apt metaphor for school: like, you start off, and you really enjoy it, and then it gets super depressing, but you still find it kinda fascinating, and then it ends and you're just like "thank God that's over!" That's how I feel about these units in general. My essay was really wandering, pandering, and connected together just enough to where I think it'll work. Not my best work by far, but I find that I'm becoming more comfortable writing in the moment than I a used to be. Writing by hand too takes a lot out of me. I was one of the last ones to finish, and I think I did an okay job.

In History, we discussed the final reading of the book and had a terrible quiz on it. I feel like I'm not reading carefully enough, because these quizzes are deceptively difficult. There just these simple questions that force you to think so hard about these minor details! I hate it. Anyway, after that, we talked about our upcoming thesis defenses. We were also told that now would be a good time to start thinking about how we would structure our Colloquium presentations in May! That just put me on edge, because now I'm stressed about getting all of my ideas into my thesis and into a twenty minute presentation! Argh! I hate stress!!!

It began snowing at around lunch time and continued to do so well into the afternoon. When my Mom came to pick me up,the snow was sticking to the ground. To make the evening even more interesting, our car had a flat tire, so we had to call Triple A and have them come put a new one on. My Mom scheduled an appointment with the tire people tomorrow. Also, two-hour delay tomorrow! That's so great, though it also means my rush to finish my Advanced English story was for naught, beause we're missing that clss! Oh well. Gives me a chance to revise it and maybe think about it a little more.

February 4, 2014

Day 255

I don't know if it was just me, but it felt like Wednesday all day today. Maybe it was because I didn't have AYS yesterday and had composition tutoring instead, but today just felt weird. Had to get up half an hour earlier than normal so as to be at school by 7:30. The strings performance this morning for the Mexican exchange students went pretty well. We had a little bit of a hiccup in the middle, but otherwise it was quite good. We were all really tired while playing it, but we managed to stay together for the most part. And the Mexican Exchange students loved it, so that was nice too.

Began classes with Post in which we watched the 1984 Red Dawn, a movie so bad it's good! My friend jokingly said that I should write a review of this, and I laughed in despair because if I were to take on this project, I'd probably literally die half way through. I had to leave half way through today's section of it for a pretty significant amount of time just to keep from falling asleep! The teacher sympathized, though, so it was okay.

In Advanced English we worked on our stories. I'm still at an impasse and am not sure what to do. I've kinda written myself into a corner, and I don't know how to resolve it. I guess I could restructure some stuff so that it could resolve easier. I want there to be this big secret and stuff, but I don't know how to implement that. I'm sure it'll be fine. I need to crank out something by Thursday anyway, so whatever.

Strings was third. The teacher let us out early because we played early this morning, so that was good. We worked on our weird spanish suite. It's getting better, and the rhythm is definitely getting more intuitive. We still have intonation problems and don't really have an idea who has the melody, due in part because our teacher doesn't even have a score because our local music shop sucks (not Robertsons, the other one). So, she let us out early because she's nice (and she had a puppy to take care of).

Fourth block was STAM. We worked a little bit on our surveys, and I narrowed down what I'm actually doing. I'm now looking at lead roles for women in the science-fiction/fantasy genre and how many of those films are written, directed, or produced by women. It should be an interesting survey! After that, we tok a quiz, and I completed some missing homework. I had a quick rehearsal with my piano accompanist for Friday's violin concert, and it went well. I am a little hesitant on my entrances, and I don't think it's as smooth as I would like it to be, but overall, it sounds pretty good.

Came home and worked a little bit more on my story, studied for my English blue book test tomorrow, and am now heading to bed. Goodnight, all. Tomorrow will actually be Wednesday, which'll be fun I hope.

February 3, 2014

Day 254

Had a pretty good day today! I'm very glad I didn't have AYS tonight, and it was nice to have the night off for once. History began the day, and we talked about Leopold's Ghost before being given time to read the final two chapters of the book. I'm pretty glad we're finishing it now; it's been a very depressing journey, and coupled with The Plague, yeah, this is a very low month emotionally for us Seniors!

Strings came next. We practiced our piece for tomorrow's Morning Meeting performance for the Mexican Exchange students, whose flight came in today finally! That must have sucked to be stuck because of delays for days, and to make things worse, the poor people don't even know where their luggage is because the airline has it all in transit because they got delayed after having a layover! Yeah, it's a pretty crappy situation! Anyway, the students themselves are here, and we'll be playing for them tomorrow, so that should be fun.

English was third block. We talked about a reading of The Plague that I don't particularly agree with, and this led to some friction between myself and the teacher, though having talked to other students today, the teacher seemed like she was having kind of a shit day, because she lashed out verbally at both me and another student who were just presenting different readings of the book. Still makes me sad that I offended her in some way, but I guess differing opinions can do that to you!

No AYS tonight, but my composition tutoring was moved to tonight because the tutor has a concert he's going to tomorrow, and I have a violin rehearsal for a concert Friday, so I have that going on tomorrow too. It's funny that even with my Monday off, the week still manages to pile on all this music stuff after school! Not complaining, just noticing the funny. Comp tutoring was pretty fun tonight. We did some piano stuff before jumping into analyzing my first string quartet, which was neat. I like that I'm doing all this stuff with the music but I don't really know how it works yet. Intuition is my guide in writing music, but I must have a good sense of what works, because my tutor is all like "whoa, Luke! You did the fifth of the fifth and then you got back to your root by going to the subdominant of the sixth of..." and I'm just over here like "yeah, I just did what sounded good"!

Came home and with my night off I watched some Torchwood and a little bit of Buffy because thesis stuff is awesome! Now eating cookies and mapping out my review of "Out of the Past", because nothing says like night off like doing work! It's a labor of love, I assure you.

February 2, 2014

Day 253

Yeah! It looks awesome!

So, today was a pretty cool day! The concert was... well, really it was just okay. We didn't do as well as we could have, I think, and the energy was really low in the room. I think everything was super slow because everyone was really tired and just wanted to go home to watch the Superbowl, which I think is kinda sad. I mean, we're here to perform music, we might as well throw ourselves into it. The concert was okay, but it could have been so much more! One of my friends was not happy about it at al, calling it the worst AYS concert ever. That's a bit harsh,though considering that we haven't had a worse concert than this one, I guess she's technically right. But that doesn't mean this one was bad. It was just very very weak.

Came home and watched the Superbowl! I'm glad the Seahawks won. Unpopular opinion? Maybe. Probably. I'm really not a sports guy; I'm in it for the commercials! Had some pretty hilarious ones this year. I loved the Doritos one with the time machine! "It's the future!" So great. And the Age of Extinction trailer looks so badass! I fall asleep in the middle of the game every year. Something about being sprawled out on the couch does that to a guy. I woke up in time for the final quarter, and also for the AMazing Spider-Man 2 TV spot, which looks awesome!

Went out for a late dinner, and now my stomach hurts. That sucks. Looking forward to a week with no rehearsal, although we somehow managed to still have something going on after school every night save Friday! I don't know what's up with that! Goodnight, everyone. Hope you had a fun Superbowl Sunday!

February 1, 2014

Day 252

So, I don't know how many of you read yesterday's post, but I mentioned that I did not like AYS, and while that is true, I said some stuff in there that was insulting to the organization and to the people in it, including myself, and while I love to wisecrack and be sarcastic, there is definitely a clear line between being mean but funny and being just rude and immaturely brazen with one's comments and opinions. So, I'm sorry I said those things; I've since edited them out, and have changed the ending to the post, and hopefully, I can be little bit more aware of what I'm saying in relation to what I'm trying to convey. Words are powerful after all.

So, with that out of the way, it seems only fitting that today begin with AYS! We had a full three-hour rehearsal beginning at 9:00 AM... on a Saturday! Yeah, I don't know about the rest of you, but I like to not have to get up before 9:00, so getting up at 7:30 in order to be there by 8:30 (because that was our call time for setting up, unpacking, getting settled, warmed up, etc) is just really unappealing to me. So, I get there, and for the first hour or so, I'm pretty pissed. We rehearse a lot of sticky spots that are not in great shape, and so it's like the definition of tedium. However, as the rehearsal drags on, I finally wake up and get more into it, and by the end when we're running through the program, I'm like "hell yeah! We are so good!" So yeah, it was actually a pretty positive experience!

After this, my Mom and I got some lunch and went home. I got some homework done (not nearly enough though) and watched some Buffy episodes just for kicks. Then, it was back out for more AYS playing, this time at the mall because nothing says symphonic orchestra like a place that is as close to hell as possible without being Disneyland! Yeah, I hate the mall, but man, did we sound really kick-ass! We played Huapango and, in order to get the chorus in, Oh Come All Ye Faithful... I have no idea why we chose that song of all songs to play, but oh well. Huapango sounded really awesome and invigorating! The crowd went wild after this, and I wish we had ended with it, because it ended with such a bang, and the crowd was all into it. The choir was good for the second one, but because it was the mall, everything was very echoey, so it was hard to hear them over us. Oh well.

So, that was a fun ordeal despite my initial dread. I am glad that this is the final time I'm doing this since I'm a Senior, but the experience itself was not bad. We had an awesome dinner at this italian restaurant and for dessert, we had bread pudding! Yum! Well, better call it a night and get some sleep. Lots of homework tomorrow and a concert, and yes then the Superbowl!