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...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A little Movie Review!

*slowly looks around him. Makes sure all the lights are on, makes sure cartoons are playing on the television, makes sure he is surrounded by happy, distracting things*
This is going to be my routine that I partake in each time I enter my dorm room now that I've seen Paranormal Activity 2.
Okay, so maybe not THAT intense, but pretty close to that! :O It was quite the thriller, let me tell you. But it had it's letdowns too! However,I'll start with the good.
First off, I went to see it with my awesome suitemates that over the course of almost 2 months, I've grown close to and have come to love; their names are Evan Dixon and Clint Springer. Evan brought his girlfriend, so that was fun, having the token date to a scary movie. Perfect, haha. :)
The theater wasn't packed to brim too, which is always nice, then  you don't have to do that unsaid awkward compromising of elbow room on the seats because it's too crowded. There was a lot of people, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't sold out which I HATE going to, sold out shows. So that was nice.
In number 2, there were more characters in the story, so that gave everyone someone to become attached to or associate with. It allowed for more dynamics to the story to, like a dog and a baby we a part of the plot now, and it doesn't get much cuter than a baby boy and a curious german shepard. Don't tell me you won't become heartbroken when a dog get's overtaken by a demon force. You wouldn't be human, sorry to break it to you. Haha, but seriously. The character expansion was really nice to draw the audience in more.
If you enjoy suspension and then sudden surprise attacks from a film, than you'll love this film. I enjoy those thoroughly, so I enjoyed the movie thoroughly in that aspect! They did really well with those, and rightfully so. It shouldn't be hard to execute a good scare with something that pops out.
The place they lacked though, was the creepiness they captured perfectly in the 1st one. With the support they received from Hollywood, from the success of the 1st one, came much more special effects. So they used those way more than they did with creative story-writing, which was a bit of a let down. Although I said I enjoyed 'jumping-out' parts, I enjoy the thrilling side of movies moreso. The parts that just make you freak the F*** out. Not jump out of your seat, but just creep you out to no end. They slacked off in that aspect, so I was disappointed. But, nevertheless, it was an entertaining movie and that's why I go to the movies, to be entertained and taken somewhere. Paranormal Activity definitely took me somewhere, somewhere where I don't want to ever go in real life, haha. ;)
Hope you've enjoyed this. :) Sleep well; I should probably be doing that right now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Super Smash Brothers

Geeeeeeeze. Just 10 minutes ago, I had to TEAR myself away from playing the game that IS the title of this blog post. It. Is. Possibly. The. Best. Game. Ever
So innovative, I love it. I can't believe it took game makers--Nintendo for that matter, one of the best in the business-- that long to come up with a game of this caliber! It all began on the largely successful Nintendo 64 platform, in April of 1999, and what a glorious time that was. Kids from around the nation would gather at friends houses to play this awesome, cross-nintendo-character fighting game. I was one of those kids!
At the mere age of 8, I was already heavily involved in my addiction: video games. And this was just the fix that I needed. Haha. I'll take you through a tour of the game.
There are two different modes of play: single player or multiplayer. I prefer multiplayer, that way everyone can join in on the fun, and it's just WAYYYY better than boring ol' single player. There are 12 players consisting of Luigi, Mario, DK, Link, Samus, Captain Falcon, Ness, Yoshi (my favorite ;) ), Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, and Jigglypuff. There's a good amount of characters so it's easy to find which one you play best as, which moves you prefer, and which hits you prefer. I like Yoshi the best because his power hits are quite strong, and his jump is one of the best in the game. Also, because he's just a cute dinosaur, I just can't help but love that little guy. So I play as him. Now, After you and your friends have argued for who's going to be who and such, it's time to select the map you'll be playing on.
Remember all those levels you once played throughout your video game career on Nintendo 64? Sector Z from Star Fox? Congo Jungle from Donkey Kong? The Castle from Legend of Zelda? Or maybe Yoshi's Story! Whichever one you please, everyone's sure to have a good time, filled with excitement and nostalgia. There are 9 maps to choose from, so take your pick!
Lastly, but most importantly: the gameplay. When the round begins, everyone starts at 0 %. As you take damage, your percent goes up. What determines the rate at which your percent goes up is the type of attack that the opponent used on you. If it's a power hit, like what I referred to with Yoshi, then the damage can range anywhere from 15% to 25%, just depends on the character. Likewise, if it's a normal hit, it might just add 6-9% on the  opponent. Still good, still good! To kill people you must hit them out to the side of the map, the bottom of the map, or out the top of the map. The higher there percentage, the more prone they are to just being SENT, no matter what the strength of the hit. They become more and more sensitive to attacks, where a guy with 145% will be sent CLEAR out of the map by even the smallest hit. Got an idea of how the gameplay is? The only idea you should be getting is that it is so legit.
Now, I'm 18. But do you think that age and adulthood has kept me from playing this game? No way. Furthermore,  Hal Laboratories and Nintendo have partnered up over the years to bring us more fantastic games from the Super Smash Series, including Super Smash Brothers Melee and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. So, I thank you Nintendo for being the first to come up with such a great game with AMAZING replay value. And I hope you've enjoyed this post and are a little more enlightened now than before you read it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What a great weekend.

Oh my gosh. What a weekend this has been. I'll walk you through it, so you don't get lost among the GREATNESS of it all.
It started on Friday evening, where I began packing to leave for the Far Western District Convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society. My ride was supposed to pick me up at 5:15...he wasn't there 'till 6:30. :O Just shows how traffic can REALLY throw a plan off kilter. But it wasn't a big deal, for he DID come, better late than never, and then we were off to good ol' Bako. We stopped at an In and Out before the "grapevine" to nourish ourselves with some high class cuisine, also known as double doubles and shakes. Perfect. Now, chorus contest, which we were going up to compete in, wasn't until Saturday, but we wanted to see our hometown chorus rehearse on Friday night so that was our reason for leaving that evening. We got there around 10:50, just in time to see Voices in Harmony rehearse at 11 at The Hotel Marriot, which was headquarters for the convention. 
They really sounded much better since that last time I sang with them in San Jose, but it wasn't much of a surprise for they were under the direction of Dr. Greg Lyne. He works wonders. At the end of their rehearsal, I bummed a stay in a room with one of my friends, because I was basically homeless in Bakersfield. He was happy to have me though, so I was happy to be there. In the morning, I woke up, got registered, and jumped risers for Masters of Harmony's 10:00 warm-up and rehearsal.
The rehearsal was mainly focused on developing the perfect sound we had at Wednesday's rehearsal, at running the set through and making sure the choreo and facial expression was enhancing the performance. It went well. The excitement was building up inside me.
As we neared our performance, all the guys who'd performed with Masters in the past kept asking me, "You excited?" or, "You ready to begin your first performance as a Master?" or, "How you doing, ready  to sing your heart out?" Every single one I answered yes to. The chorus began getting dressed in their tuxes, and soon enough, we were walking to the stage. What a feeling that was, surrounded by all these great guys who'd done this all over the USA with the Masters of Harmony...and I was brand new, walking among them. Talk about a rush, I felt as much nervousness as I did excitement. 
Then just like that, it was over. When the guys said it goes by in an instant, I believed them! However, I didn't know it was going to be that fast. We got up there, sang our two songs the best we could,  received the uproarious applause (goosebumps from the amazing emotion I was feeling overcame my body), then we walked off stage. I knew we had it in the bag, the stage was ours and I think the audience knew it too. 
It's times like those that I live to sing for, those times that you can feel the chord ringing throughout your body and the contribution of everyone's voice in the chorus going forth to create this powerful wall of sound. It was so great. 
The Masters of Harmony won the convention and at the end of the awards show, the whole audience joined MoH and the Westminster chorus, an international champion chorus from Westminster, in singing "Keep the Whole World Singing." And that's what we aim to do. What a great weekend it's been.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The beach is such an amazing place. In fact, I might just go there right now. Oh alright, I'll finish this blog post first, if I HAVVVE to. Really though, I can't think of even a FEW places that are better than the beach, especially the beaches down here in Southern California. I mean, the beaches in Northern California are nice, but sometimes, the overcast weather and ice cold temperatures in the water aren't always ideal for the perfect day for fun in the sun! So excluding beaches in Northern California, the beach is probably one of THEE best places to ever be.
First, you have the weather. It's beyond wonderful; where else can you find that perfect balance between sunshine and cooling breeze. Hmmmm, I've thought hard and long about this and can't think of many other places. The way the sun kisses your skin and gives you the perfect amount without being too much (that is if you take proper precautionary steps with sunscreen *flashes a cheesy, info-mercial like thumbs up*) is awesome. Then to round out the weather to create the perfect atmosphere, the cool ocean breeze whooshes by and gives you that break from the heat and extra breath of fresh air.
If that wasn't enough to get you yearning for the beach, let's move on to the sand itself. I recently realized, while playing beach volleyball with some great new friends from CSULB, that the sand at the beach is an unbeLIEVABLE treasure in itself. To sit there and have this malleable floor beneath you and to let it seep through your toes is such an amazing and captivating feeling. Try it. Go out, and just sit in the sand and really feel how nice it is on your feet and hands and you'll soon know that what I speak of is true!! :)
Go to the beach, we live in Long Beach for God's sake!!! It has the word BEACH in the name. I hope you've enjoyed this post.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Sometimes these college days can be extremely routinely. They can become monotonous and boring. Sure, there's different foods to eat in the dining halls and whatnot, the class lectures might be interesting and I might sit with different people here and there to mix up the socializing and to meet new people. But for the most part, each day is scheduled down to the minute and it gets a little lame at times. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I get up half-unwillingly, half-willingly to go to my Harmony 1 class at 8 AM. But it's a music class, so it's not too bad, that's what makes it half-willingly because I enjoy music.....if I didn't, why would I be majoring in it. There's then a 15 minute break in between that class and Musicianship 1, during which I usually will lay out in the morning sun or sit in the shade at a grated lunch table and put my head down. Ahhhh and the day is just beginning. With the commencement of musicianship comes singing pitches back and counting out rhythms correctly. It's pretty much an ear training class, and I enjoy it a good amount. After that, I make my way back to my dorm room to exchange books and folders in a forty minute break in between Musicianship and Philosophy, as well as to grab my portable lifeline........AKA macbook pro. ;) I take off with my roommate Ross to Philosophy to hear a wild lesson on philosophy given to us by the one and only Dr.Klein. Like I said, the classes are usually pretty cool, but it's the spaces in between which is what sometimes is tiring and filled with sameness. The rest of the day usually follows that same class-awkward time in between where you can't really get much done-class-more awkward timing.
Or maybe I'm just being really whiny. :/