Sunday, November 28, 2010

How about another Thanksgiving post? ;)

Maybe there wasn't as many as I expected, but just in case, I decided to make the title the way it is now. I'm sure everyone had a lovely thanksgiving, and I can say the same about mine. There's just SOMETHING special about getting together with the family (and friends if you did) and gathering around the table to partake in a wonderful meal and laugh, drink, and talk to your loved ones. This Thanksgiving was esPECIALLY good because of the separation from the family that college causes us all to go through; that being said, it was so nice to get back to them and hug them and tell them all about my college experience.
I'm sure many of you, as college freshman, can understand where I'm coming from. :)
We spent it in Tahoe together, where it snowed a SOLID 5 feet, what a treat that was to see. I hadn't seen snow in over a year and I was filled with anticipation to go out and jump around in it. And don't tell me I'm too old for that, because I will NEVER be too old for that. Neither will you for that matter. Snow is one of life's beautiful, simple pleasures that humans of all ages can enjoy. It was especially light due to the cold, dry weather they've been having up there, so playing in it with my younger brother and his girlfriend was truly a fun time.
On Thursday night, we feasted, just as I bet 90% of the American population did. Now the degree to WHICH we feasted may differ from other families, due to our amazing cook, Nanna Chris. BUT, nevertheless, we feasted.
There was stuffed onions, classic stuffing, a sweeter stuffing, smoked turkey, baked turkey, cranberry sauce, hot rolls, garlic brussell sprouts, mashed potatoes (and gravy), and last but never least......Martinellis Sparkling Cider. YES. If only that bottle was bigger, haha. I hope you all know what I'm talking about; that bottle is just too darn small to ever get the FULL sparkling cider satisfaction I'm looking for. Oh well, we always just buy a ton of it so thank goodness for that.
Being with the family for that little of time just gives me so much more of an appreciation for them. I've missed them like crazy while I've been here in LB, and when I went back, it just didn't seem like enough time to really be with them.
Well, I'm looking forward to Winter break when I can be with them for 5, almost 6 weeks. That'll be a cherished time.
Until then. Farewell and of blogger!
Hope your thanksgiving was full and happy like mine. :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vocal Jazz Here @ The Beach

"This is just a little blog post, based upon one little night! Here at Long Beach State yeah, a jazz show done perfectly right".....oh....hello. Didn't see you there. I was just singing my thoughts out loud to the tune of "One Note Samba." :D  I went to the show at 7:55 PM, and eagerly awaited the beginning of the Vocal Jazz Show. The band came out, and there was a feeling of anticipation in the air that captured the audience. Then, Jazz & Tonic, the beginning jazz group came onto stage. However, they do NOT sing like beginners. Man, it was something else. Singing a total of 5 Jazz Charts, there were a variety of styles such as Samba, with One Note Samba; atmospherically amazing jams such as "But Beautiful" which was my favorite of the tunes...I was constantly being overcome with chills. Then, the african beat influenced Baby, which Brett Kramer played a mean cajon drum (box drum), and then a beautifully arranged 5/4 metered song, Crooked Creek, by our very own Sherrine Mostin. Speaking of her, she did a fantastic job leading Jazz and Tonic and rocked the first half of the show.
PST took the stage for the second half and they were the be all and end all of Jazz singing.
I loved it, and I encourage ALL of you to check out vocal jazz here at CSULB.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm Tired

I'm tired. The sounds around me, people yelling outside, the fan going, music playing on my roommates computer, the steps that sound from the room above mine, all these sounds don't register. They don't make their way into my head, but stay out floating around my head, being blocked by some obstructing force inside my head that comes from exhaustion. All I can think about? Dormir. En espaƱol, to sleep.
Sleep calls out to me, and taunts me, but not until I finish the blog post will I give in to her calls.
No I won't.
Gotta take care of responsibility.
Whoa. I just realized that after I typed 'gotta', the computer didn't underline it with a red squiggly, meaning it must be a word. Strange. I love that word, so I don't really have a problem, but some grammar nazis might have a fit.
Ummm, wait, where was I.
Oh yeah....sleep.
I want to partake in it.
Like a little boy who wants to leave the dinner table, but must finish his broccoli and brussell sprouts--I must finish this post before I can hit the pillow that looks OHH so comfortable right now.
Refusal skills, like the ones we learned in our elementary years to say no to drugs.
I think I might be good actually. 200 words? Have I met the status quo?
Yep, there's 227 there. I've reached the goal......barely. But that's all I need, well, moreso, all I want to do.

Classical music FTW!

Today has been a day FILLED with performances of classical music for me. Waking up at 12, I had an hour to get ready before I headed over to the CSULB music center to sit down and enjoy a free presentation of fine singing. The singer: Senior here at CSULB, Christian Burke. The event: His senior recital.
It was wonderfully executed. He sang through a wide variety of languages, including English, German, and Spanish, with the greatest of ease, making himself look almost as if he'd spoken the languages all his life. His vowels were pure, his consonants clean, and his expressions were seen; it was clear that he was WELL prepared for this event (which he should be!) Altogether he sang a total of 13 pieces, over a period of 45 min-1 hour. Probably the most fatiguing thing a singer can do, is sing pieces of the classical repertoire because it is just THAT demanding of the singer. Yet, Christian made it look simple and did it beautifully. I really enjoyed hearing him sing. Even better, at the end, he came out for an "encore" that we (the audience) chanted for. So he played an original he wrote for that occasion and I kid you not, that song was stuck in my head for the duration of the rest of the was INCREDIBLY catchy. So congratulations Christian on a wonderful recital and an enjoyable set.
Later on in the evening, it was time for more classical singing: the Bob Cole Conservatory Opera students opened their 'Opera Masterpieces' performance with select scenes from select operas. This was the performance that really put opera on the map for me, in terms of something that I could see myself getting into. The performances were.....flawlessly breathtaking. Knowing these were my peers, students of the conservatory, my colleagues, really made it that much more special to see. Seeing step into these foreign roles, both in ethnicity and familiarity was awesome. The versatility and TALENT.....just raw talent that was there in that theater on Saturday night was awe-inspiring.
I realized another thing about opera that night, and that was: it really helps to have the translations overhead so you can follow the dialogue that they're speaking. ;P
I've known one thing for a while though: sometimes, music of the classical style can be the greatest. It can take you to new places, so just sit back, and let it.

Here's something I found a while back, and thought it fit quite well with the subject talking about in this post:
I strongly advise you to listen to the whole thing, and don't TELL me you're not moved by it, no matter how silly it may seem.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tonight has been such an intense night.
Let me escort you through the madness...First, we proposed the idea to go and skate in the parking garage, because that is one of THEE most fun things I've ever participated in here at Long Beach/Wherever I've been.
Everyone agreed and we all prepared to commence in the activity: we dressed up in jeans and t-shirt, because for the most part, our suite likes to just walk around in our underwear and nothing else; yeah, we're that comfortable with each other. :O After we did that, we circled around each other, and put our fists in and put our power rings on, and conjoined in a force that was stronger than the forests of the world. Wait. No, that didn't happen. but I wish it did. :D
On a more serious note, we grabbed our boards and headed out to the parking lot to skate over to the parking structure to meet our some fun!
The convenience of the elevator is a wonderful thing now, ladies and gentleman, especially in this case where it enable ultimate satisfaction levels. All we have to do is take the elevator up to the sixth floor, take a deep breath, and then.....take off. :)
It's such a thrill, the wheels spinning faster and faster, the board becoming easier to manipulate and smoother with it's turning. However, with speed there comes a IMMENSE risk with turning around the corners.BUT THAT"S WHERE THE FUN COMES IN.

So that was my evening. Yeah. You jealous. Okay. I'm out. Night time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Fall Choir Concert on November 6, 2010

Long. Time ago. Far. Far Away. Long. Time ago. Far. Far away......oh. Excuse me. I was uh.....I was just.....singing something..... I heard a little while ago. *looks around awkwardly* What! It's catchy. :P

It was 8 PM, earlier tonight, on this perfect Saturday evening and well, I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. I wasn't able to see the whole "Gloria" by Vivaldi that the 49er Chorus performed, so I snuck in quietly- like a spy in a covert ops mission- in the middle of it and slipped into a seat in the audience. It was quite powerful and beautiful, conveying the gloriousness of God and his majesty with the latin mass, which I always enjoy hearing how different composers interpret the holy text. Beautifully done; then it was intermission.
People socialized, laughed, shared their praise with the singers, ate cookies and drank coffee, and were celebratory in the great bond that music forms between us all. The lights flashed, and that signaled back to the seats to start the second half.
The Women's Chorus kicked off the second half with an energetic, traditional Bulgarian piece entitled Ergen Dedo. This had close harmonies, and a fast tempo, which grabbed the audiences collars and pulled them to attention. :D Steven Berlanga, a talented undergraduate here at CSULB, directed them wonderfully and I enjoyed watching his sharp, yet subtle conducting style. It was really nice.
I must say though, that the performance that stole the show was the Men's Chorus. What a treat, they brought the house down and did it with a great arrangement of John William's film scores, complete with 'choralography' and 'Wookie Screams'. ;D It was amazing (I am sorely regretting not joining the Men's Choir at the beginning of the year, ughhhhh.
Now you know where the beginning of this blog post comes from though; it was that arrangement that has been stuck in my head for the last few hours. :) I will probably go to sleep singing it in my mind, and might even wake up with it.
But that's the greatness of music: it has the power to infiltrate our minds and penetrate to the deepest parts of our soul, even when it's silly. :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The library: A place of escape

I've made a wonderful discovery recently, here on the CSULB campus. The University Library is a phenomenal thing. It really has EVERYTHING you need for studying, I sometimes wonder why it's not packed everyday, especially with the number of students that attend Long Beach (somewhere around 30,000). I started coming here this past week, to squeeze in some quick studying, just reviewing my notes from my classes, assessing the lessons we went over in class. You know, just spending a half hour to an hour there, especially since a few of my classes are right down the way from it. Why wouldn't I go, yeah?Although now, I'm starting to realize it's an addiction that I will probably have to seek medical advising for, haha. ;) These past few days I've been spending 4-6 hours just reading my class novel, listening to music, taking power naps, researching things for my major (which is Music Comp.) and simply losing myself in spells of endless studying.
What I enjoy most about doing my work in the library is the fact that they have the quiet study areas, which are ESSENTIAL for me to really take in the material that I'm studying. If there are sounds or conversations going on anywhere within 10 feet of me, I can't TRULY take in and process the material that I'm studying....frustrating? Yes. Very, haha. But luckily, the library has two whole floors of noiseless, uninterrupted production. Ah, gotta love it.
There's a Starbucks, for all of you coffee slaves out there, if you just need that quick fix of caffeine or sweet Frappacino taste; you shall be consoled. ;) Strangely enough, I've started going to Starbucks more often ever since I began coming to the library. Hmmmm....connection? .....Probably.
Well, I will conclude this blog entry with saying: I hope you all will check out the library here on campus if you haven't yet. Furthermore, if you've only been here a few times, then visit some more. :)
Alright, peace out! Time to celebrate Halloween...