Reflections And Thoughts....The JYS Blog

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Apparently, Andy Kim falls under the influence of a demonic presence. I'll have to watch the recent episode of "The Exorcist" since I only caught the final fifteen minutes or so. I did think that it would have been one of the kids that gets possessed - but ever since the movie, it doesn't really come as a surprise for anybody to think that way. Anybody who is either spiritually vulnerable or susceptible to negative energies / hallucinations are game to evil spirits. However, who knows if there'll be a twist or another curve as the season progresses and winds down to the finish.

I watched and reviewed "Mayhem" on my Film Forum page, a deliciously cathartic and fun satire of the state of our emotional well-being or lack thereof heheh. In all seriousness, it can pass off as a serious action / comedy as well. I'm seriously considering buying this film as well.

Monday, November 06, 2017

It's been pretty darn cold, and we were even treated to some early snowfall woohoo! It beats a downpour any day, but snow is never fun to drive on however. Our hiking season might be over due to the weather, but at least I'll try to jog once in awhile when it's clear. With Thanksgiving coming up and the Yuletide season afterwards, it's a time for food, folks and fun of course. One thing that I have not learned to control are my eating habits. I certainly still eat a lot and when I feel bloated, it's easy to feel lethargic and lazy. Thanksgiving is an excuse however heh.

The current season of "The Exorcist" has been intriguing, and certainly gettin' creepy - in particular John Cho's character Andy. Either he's hallucinating from being under the influence of a demon, or the demon is going to possess him. I hope folks had a safe and enjoyable Halloween - either partying or trick 'r treating. I probably should have dressed as Harold Lee with that shirt after eating a tray-full of White Castle burgers heh.

I'm planning on some Chopin Etudes next.

It's easy to become pessimistic or feel depressed when things do not seem to change for the better or the same old conundrum and quandaries that might continue to plague our existence. It's very difficult to remain optimistic - especially without some type of strong faith in life. Otherwise, we would fall into despair easily and give up. But we just have to keep our heads up and look at the brighter things in life. Empower and enforce the positives rather than negatives.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

I certainly don't stretch enough if at all (sitting at the computer for long stretches at a time), which is why my lower back can flare up when I bend. Fortunately, it is not a frequent occurrence. So far, they've been only happening when I reach for my shoes when I don't really bend. Then again, a lot of things I do turn out as lazy heh.

It's amazing how some can turn the other cheek when they are the victims of racism or discrimination - while most of us would fight racism with racism. It seems this only applies to Asian-American athletes recently. Jeremy Lin with his hair, and now a baseball player - as boring and un-interesting as the sport is. With so much hypocrisy even coming from other ethnic minorities / gender, I cannot take sides at all but for our own.

The punishment is not enough in my opinion, but it is what it is. Although folks are entitled to do whatever they want, perhaps they should be more discreet about it. Asian-Americans should continue to speak out against this in all industries, because folks are going to continue to think that they can get away with it or think that it's not a big deal against a 'model minority'. Sports is decaying quicker than a bad tooth, and it's catching up quick or has surpassed the mainstream film or entertainment industry in moral decay and incompetence.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I would've expected more horror films at this time of year, but unfortunately there does not seem to be enough. I always get a kick out of the holiday-themed horror films and sequels.

Saint-Saen's "The Swan"- very Nocturne-like. But the melody certainly describes or suggests fine elegance from the animal well. There are quite a few repertoire out there that I am not aware of. Liszt transcriptions are quite difficult, and certainly a chore for the hands. Two of my favorites happen to be "Danse Macabre" and "Reminiscence", and I would certainly have to devote most of the practice time to one of them.

I think the sports industry is decaying faster than a tooth muhaha (fixed games, prejudices, organizational corruption, etc). However, fighting and drama is usually entertaining and humorous nonetheless if there is a silver lining. C'mon, fight! as Rocky would say heheh.

With the year winding down, I can only look forward to another year with more determination in my goals - although it seems that progress has been only at a snail's pace if at all. I certainly need to be resolute in making decisions, and to know what I want or makes me happy without hesitation. At the same time, to be more self-less as I tend to still have habits as if I were still single. Although I still suffer from minor anxiety and some phobias, I have to admit that some of it has do with my laziness heh (a trait or habit that is common to most of us if not all).

Sunday, October 22, 2017

One of the local delicicies to eat is the loco moco. I had the gravy-licious goodness in the food court at the mall however - mind you, it was an international food court. Hawaii is a melting pot anyway so no surprise there.

Sundays - our weekly brunch consists of pancakes, eggs - bacon, fruit, (and / or scones as an added bonus). A very sound advice that anyone can receive on Sundays - "Don't do shit" muhaha.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

I'm subscribed to Jason Chu's music, but how I missed this is beyond me. Gotta love the lyrics and fly beats. Nothing beats a good home cooked meal with family and Grandma's Kitchen! This definitely went to my playlist on my phone, USB drive, etc.

Grandma's Kitchen (LUNAR NEW YEAR MUSIC VIDEO!) - From JasonChuMusic

Without Lin, what else is there to look forward to? Onward to Blizzcon '17 and the announcement of the next expansion! You know I'll be updating something about that on the WoW page.

I remember going on one of those catamarans in Hawaii over a year ago with family - snorkeling and waiting for some dolphins or whales to appear; unfortunately, none that I saw. I hope we can return there at some point, with the onset of wet weather now.

Remember, folks. If you see what looks like a beached whale on a catamaran (or something in a fetal position on a zip line) and wonder what the hell is that, do not worry. It's just David So muhaha.

Friday, October 20, 2017

I'm looking forward to watching "Mayhem" when available. They certainly don't make horror movies like they used to. Sometimes, cult classics are more creepy than today's offerings. The only decent one that really had that creepy atmosphere was "Trick 'R Treat" in '09. I should write up a review on my Film Forum page as just a throwback.

It'll take awhile for the shock to wear off, but it's good to hear that Jeremy Lin is in bright spirits (considering the emotional anguish and pain when Jeremy realized about the severity of the injury on the court - it was heart-breaking for us all). I'm glad to hear that the surgery was successful, and there is hope that he'll return healthier and better than before. This time, he really has to consider changing his playstyle - as he should not go full speed anymore. Driving and making plays is his bread and butter, and he should not completely abandon that. It's going to be another long season without Lin. However, the team has the opportunity to step up and other guys are going to have a chance to develop even further.

Immersing myself or practicing some Chopin music (in particular some Nocturnes) have been therapeutic in terms of the emotional release. There definitely are pieces that just takes you away from reality into another realm, as an escape from the everyday horrors and decadence of today's society. With that said, some Chopin pieces are next for recording and uploading. Perhaps a few more Bach Sinfonias.

Friday, October 13, 2017

I saw the trailer for "Mayhem", a new flick that Steven Yeun recently starred in. It definitely looks cool, refreshing and bad-ass. It has all the makings of being a cult favorite - combining action, perhaps some humor, and horror w/ gore galore. What more could you want heh.

I don't exactly like heights, so if I were to go on a zip line - it would not have to be too far off the ground. My legs were shaking even when we were only twenty or so feet off the ground on a round platform. The climbing / obstacle course was still an adrenaline rush, where I felt I needed to grip as hard as I could. First time wearing a harness, and it was obviously a necessary safety feature which should have put me at ease - still, it took a while or not enough to tackle everything.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

I'm about caught up with the second season of "Huang's World", and I hope there'll be another season. You gotta appreciate the humor, no-holds-barred honesty, and the culinary delights of varying cultures. The channel that it's on is quite unique, certainly a lot of the shows are not really my taste; but intriguing nonetheless.

I just heard that the new season of "FOTB" has already started. I'd like to see more stories or episodes that revolve around Eddie and the kids or Louis himself. There's just not enough of it. It detracts from the purpose if a show revolves around only one or two characters.

A candid interview with Randall Park on the deteriorating and bigoted state of the industry -

"Wise man say, he who sit on tack soon rise again" - Acting For Action w/ Sung Kang Lesson 4 (muhahaha).

Monday, October 02, 2017

I watched the second season premiere of "The Exorcist", and I'm compelled (pun intended - by the power of Christ heh) to watch the entire season. Why not, it's Halloween and there is nothing else worthwhile anyway (other than a few scripted reality shows - yep, most if not all are scripted).

You definitely get that sick feeling after hearing another tragedy of a mass shooting. It's these tragic events as well as the gradual deterioration of morality and ethics that usually makes me second guess any kind of hope or redemption for humanity. But if you stop for a moment and think that the Earth still has a over a half a billion years left, perhaps there's still plenty of time for future generations to get it right. But then again, they might never.

With that said, I do believe in the individual's right to bear arms and to protect / defend themselves. But I also believe in not making guns as accessible to anybody - there has to be stricter ways (more background checks) to ensure that guns do not fall into the wrong hands. It is the individual, not the gun itself, who is responsible for the despicable actions.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I wouldn't say that I'm at a point where I'm beginning to go through a mid-life crisis, but it feels like it. Most of us just go through the motions of the everyday routine and just settle for what is. In order to improve or get to the next level, we need to be confident and courageous about facing challenges, fears and obstacles that are usually ahead. And most importantly, we have to be decisive and know what we want and what makes us happy. I've been unsure about it for awhile. I know that classical music has been soothing and therapeutic. Music can evoke all kinds of emotions and interpretations. And that's the beauty of it - it is yours to interpret and emote.

As a fan of horror, I should check out "The Exorcist". John Cho is going to be on it next season, and it sounds like the story is going to be interesting. One thing about Asian guys in horror films. Although Cho mentioned in an article that there are none in horror if at all (albeit the entire industry as lackluster as it currently is), perhaps it could be that they are already off'ed way before the film or series is over if there ever was one.

I'd rather protest the crappy health care system. I've been unaware about the mandate, and it is my opinion (perhaps others as well) that nobody should be penalized for not having health insurance. It should be our right to decline the option. That just f'n doesn't make sense at all, but it does expose the obvious that the intention is for the gov't to steal money from us hard-working individuals. But it is what it is.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's almost Halloween season (gotta love that chill in the air) - get yer candy on, and haunted houses/attractions as well as horror movies galore. In what has been a dry summer with some wildfires, I guess the precipitation is a welcome relief in a sense. It sort of puts a halt to our hiking trips...for now. Hiking on damp trails is really not for me, but hopefully there'll still be sun here and there.

What do I prefer more - Rach's second or third Concerto. After listening to them more attentively than before, I'd say the second - hauntingly melodic and expressively remorseful or melancholy. I'm not sure how else to describe it. But the commonality is that they are both intense. I haven't seen the sheet music for it yet, but it's a certain bet that it is a difficult read.

It appears that Sung Kang is going to be in another season of "Power". I'd give up most of the useless channels that I never watch just to get a sneak peek or a free preview from the subscription channel for a few days or so.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The trail to Alta mountains has been the most challenging hike so far - did not expect the distance and steepness, or I did not do enough research. A lot of the trail (in particular early on) did not really seem like a trail, but it was literally like climbing a mountain as it was. For certain, hiking sticks or poles are recommended. We made it up to one of the summits or peaks, at least what we thought was Alta. But most likely, we needed to at least hike another 1.5 miles in what was already a grueling 5 miles. The sun was already setting by then, so we stopped at that summit.

Night hiking (or hiking in the dark), proved to be difficult but certainly a new experience if anything. I must've fell a few times from tripping on a root or a stone. A flashlight beam can only cover so much. Mentally and physically, my knee joints were already sore. This is a hike to be conquered for the next time, and we have to go early enough in the day since summer is over.

I might upload a few more Sinfonias, but then it's on to the "Goldberg" Variations. And then Chopin.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

This was my first time watching the WoW Arena NA Finals, especially in its entirety. Perhaps I shouldn't do that again. I kind of felt like a couch potato, but the fact that there were some underdog teams doing well kept my interest in it. And I was rooting for them for sure. More thoughts on my WoW page soon.

I'm focusing on some J.S. Bach and Chopin pieces at the moment. As mentioned before, it's a clean slate from hereon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

I'd probably excel at games similar to WoW, but a solo player can only go so far in terms of e-sports - since competition usually revolves around teamwork / synergy. I've considered playing other worthwhile or skilled-required games such as "Defense of the Ancients", "League of Legends", "COD" (although I did finish "Doom 3" years ago. And would you consider something like "Grand Theft Auto" skilled-based or is it just something fun to play? heheh), but I just don't have time for them. I'd probably be better off playing "Street Fighter" heh, but I enjoy games that actually make you think and requires a semblance of strategy.

The WoW Arena tournament is going to culminate at Blizzcon '17. But more importantly, what is the next expansion?

If there is any consolation to the lingering haze, the sun can appear as a glowing orange disc as it it did the other day (I should've taken a picture).

Holu Category 5 Hurricane, Batman!

Monday, September 04, 2017

The lingering haze and hot temperatures are still around - hopefully not for long.

I'd have to say that McClellan Butte (uhuhuh...Butt) Trail was one of the toughest hikes - five to six miles one way, with a continued climb for the final two or so. At the top, only the courageous or those who don't mind heights can scale what they call the 'Scramble' - a jagged peak that seems to be the official summit of the climb. I was just happy to make it up. I don't think I've made it up a climb or hike without taking a rest or breather. This time, it most more like two or three breaks.

As the saying goes - if you can't do it right, don't do it at all (spare all of us a bad movie anyway). It's obvious and apparent that there is a prejudice or a dislike against Asian-American male actors, or Asian men in general. I personally don't give a rat's ass about it, as folks have a right to dislike or hate whoever they want. At this point, we just need to create quality content on our own (since there is a lack of it anyway). At the same time, continue to protest against injustices in all industries.

I don't know who Ed Skrein is, but kudos. I'm sure he stepped down because of the backlash, but hopefully there exists some sense of decency and ethics as well. Considering his background or ethnicity, I would not have expected that at all from a guy like that. From independent films to Youtube videos and the small screen, that's where it's at now. From Sung Kang's involvement in "Power" (even if for just one season), or John Cho in "The Exorcist", it's always worth a look if you have the channel to watch them.

Monday, August 28, 2017

With seeing all the pictures on twitter of ticket stubs, here's mine (congrats on the extension - it certainly would be worth watching again):

I haven't kept count of all the hikes we went on - I'm not sure how many this summer, but perhaps almost ten or so - but I guess we should. The most recent conquer was Colchuck Lake (a 3 hour drive, but the scenic route was worth it), which was a tough hike for the most part. Of course, the ritual dip into the cold mountain lake water. This seemed colder than Gem Lake (still the favorite), but we made it up late in the day.

The next pieces for uploading are some J.S. Bach and perhaps some more Rachmaninoff Preludes. A clean slate from hereon.

If I were more computer tech savvy, it would probably be easier to tell if I was receiving quality advice or getting ripped off or suckered in. I never doubt the tech's knowledge or expertise, otherwise they wouldn't be in that business. But everything is a money-generating venture - and some cut corners and end up being unscrupulous or dishonest. Fortunately, they are rare but do exist. Just have to be cautious, but at the same time, give the benefit of the doubt.

Holy horrible flooding, Batman! The recent hurricane has stalled down there, and substantial rainfall is lasting for days. I guess they know how we feel up here in the NW during the rainy season.

Friday, August 25, 2017

I just saw "Gook" which was fortunately playing in the city. I'll write up a review, but I have to say that it certainly delivered in terms of what's been said about it. It was intense, real, gritty and the acting seemed natural (for a change), and something we all can identity with. Definitely can't say the same for all the usual crap that's out there - the same type of dullness over and over. It's time to break the cycle with movies like these. A great ensemble cast, and congratulations to Justin Chon as well as everyone in it.

The cinema had nice, comfortable reclining seats. Probably compensation for the absence of stadium seating.

My PC crapped out / crashed beginning of the week, and I've been without it for a days. WoW withdrawal symptoms? muhaha. I think it's good to be away from the game for awhile anyway. The BSOD is something that all PC owners dread. Unfortunately, I did not heed the symptoms when I needed to (trying to install freeware with all the malware addons that were hidden). Eventually, I made the decision to replace the drive as well as a new OS. Computer repairs can be costly and expensive, but I had no choice.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

There is certainly a different dynamic to playing solo pieces as opposed to playing pieces for a duet, trio, quartet, four-hands, two-pianos ....and/or large-scale Concerto. I remember doing some duets but that's about it, but otherwise no experience. I am certain that I could adapt no doubt.

A must-see film:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I've enjoyed reading film interviews from Justin Chon, John Cho and Steven Yeun so far. They have been honest, and tell it like it is. Diversity and proper representation. That's what it should about. Some are racist because they are, and incapable of change. They are not worth it. But it is worth it to continue to educate folks properly about the truths and myths of race.

I hope Asian-American figures across all industries can continue to create, share and empower each other to spread/instill positivity and confidence.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I know the difficulty in playing by ear as well as transcribing pieces, but playing pieces while playing chess as well? That is what I call multi-tasking. I believe the Video Game Pianist is going to eventually reach his goal for his professional-recording project.

I can't really imagine a skinny Francis ragin', but I guess you can call him Psycho Kid #2 now muhaha.

Go check out "Columbus" and "Gook". Here is Justin Chon's recent interview on his tweet:

We do not need to fight hate with hate (although it is fine to be proud of one's ethnicity or race / or I personally don't give a shit anymore if you dislike somebody because of their ethnicity or not), we just need to continue to support and empower each other with our talents and abilities. That, and continuing to raise awareness. When there are still subtle or apparent forms of discrimination and prejudice in society, it's very laughable to take folks like that seriously.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I recently found out that there is going to be a total solar eclipse on the 21st. Although we are not in the totality corridor, we are near it at least. If it's a sunny day and weather permitting, we should be able to see a partial eclipse or close to totality. I re-uploaded my Celestial Gallery Web page (link on home page), so I'll probably start to look out for interesting pics now and then. I've considered purchasing an affordable but portable telescope for viewing. This has been of interest to me as well - including hiking, gaming and classical piano.

The trifecta of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven never gets tiring to learn or play. In a growing repertoire, there is certainly more to learn and conquer. I would add Schubert as well, but what I can call that? The quad-fecta of composers heheh.

What else is there to look forward to than the eventual announcement of WoW's next expansion? Don't know much about it, but the region of Kul'Tiras might be in it.

There's nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in cold, icy water at this lake (Gem Lake). In particular, after a tough hike in hot weather when one can get dehydrated quickly:

Sunday, August 06, 2017

So I spent most of yesterday watching the WoW Arena Cup Tournament. It can get tiring quickly when a match is drawn out into deep dampening, but sometimes it is necessary since it might be the only strategy for certain comps. It was a marathon of matches, all the way until the Final match (which I stopped at that point). Usually, I'll quit watching after a few hours but I lasted until then. It reminds me of how important the ability to multi-class is, as a good player would not only excel at his mains but also with his alts. Just like flippin' through channels (not "'flippin' fantastic" heh), I'd log off and log back in whenever those inane and useless ads run. I'd just browse around with another window open. But then again, I surmise that other twitch chatters would be busy 'teasing' the announcers muhaha.

I think E-Sports has and is becoming a thing - moreso than the lack of intrigue and increasing corruption / bigotry of everyday sports in general (I suppose that applies to other industries as well). Well, I didn't know Freddie Wong was "Mr. Guitar Hero". Check out "Video Game High School" and the new show about Video gaming - PP (forget what it was called)

Friday, August 04, 2017

It's been a scorcher so far (above 90 degree temperatures with haze), and I reckon this is one of the very hot spells that occurs at least once a summer or so it seems. And the lingering haze I hear is from the wildfires from Canada. Either it's been extremely dry up there, or somebody forgot about the "only you can prevent forest fires" line. I hope it ends soon, until then. Make do to get some relief, either taking a dip in a cold river, mountain lake, or the ocean. Or even cold showers every day.

At this juncture, I'm not sure how quick or soon I'll get to the next recordings. One thing is for sure, I don't have time to memorize a lot of the pieces although I probably could if I did devote to just that. Nonetheless, there might be a few change in plans of the next repertoire of pieces that'll be uploaded. I'll have to eventually try practicing at night sometime, although I usually practice during the day every now and then.

Being able to play a repertoire of J.S. Bach can certainly help in learning and conquering other complicated pieces from other composers. The pieces can be certainly left-hand intensive, and requires a lot of finger dexterity. They are beautiful pieces in their own right, as well as nice finger exercises. Some are going to say, start or begin with Hanon or Czerny. Perhaps, but I think it's never too early to learn Bach.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I think it was a no-brainer between either spending the day watching the live WoW Arena Cup Tournament, or going on a hike. It was most likely the longest hike to date (about 12-14 miles or so round trip), and fortunately it wasn't steep but gradual. These kind of hikes are rewarding although it can be tiring. A bit by bit, we can challenge ourselves with more arduous and difficult hikes. For now, the steep ones are just that.

Right now, a lot of my recordings have been done with the purpose of getting used to the camera (audience surrogate I guess) as well as sharing / getting back into to the flow of things. I would have to replace or re-do some of them as well, in addition to finding/learning new pieces.

Every now and then, I enjoy taking pictures of celestial objects; including our everyday moon in its phases. Unfortunately, the phone camera seems to reduce the size of the object (the opposite of a car mirror heh). Zooming in blurries it. I reckon phone cameras are not meant for that, or I was doing something wrong. But the crescent moon was at perigee or close orbit to the Earth when the tides were high:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We 'defied' and conquered Defiance Peak! muhaha. We went on the hike about a week ago or so, and it was one of more arduous and difficult hikes - not for the inexperienced or novice hikers. It ranks up there with Mailbox Peak and Pilchuk as the favorites so far. The lake on the way up was clear and clean, and had a sandy bottom in some areas. We found a nice spot, and I had take a dip. Pictures below.

I can get all giddy or excited when it comes to food festivals and carnival rides. I guess I'm a 'kid at heart' in a way. I can't usually stomache rides that drop from a specific height (such as steep roller coasters and such), since I dislike heights to begin with. But it isn't as severe as a phobia however. Once in awhile, I don't mind going to these things and hopefully there'll be more of them.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I watched "Wish Upon" yesterday to check it out, and I enjoyed it. I'll have to post my thoughts on the film forums web page at some point.

If I see any more pictures of the soft serve from "Drips & Swirls", I myself might have to go down there and get one. If you have the time to fly or drive, it certainly might be worth it. It's cool to hear that there are some already doing so.

Music is indeed the window to the soul. Having a rewarding and fulfilling practice does wonders. I felt like a man possessed the other day, while playing ten or so Beethoven Sonatas. I can't imagine coming close to attempting all of them, as the intensity of some can be tiring. However, the influential power of music is what keeps us going.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Good luck to Daniel Dae Kim and his endeavors! In an industry where Asian-American actors are still under-represented and even under-paid, they should speak out. I'll still remember him in the "Voyager" episode "Blink Of An Eye". And of course, the hyung in "K-Town Cowboys" heh.

Steven Yeun seems to be an easy-going guy, but he's certainly opinionated and passionate in a recent interview he gave about the state of Asian-Americans as well as his career. I agree, he should find a role that he feels that defines him. But sometimes, you have to branch out and explore different genres to find it. Below is the article:

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Some FTP's are reliable, some are not. Sometimes, it's not as apparent if it's a connection / server problem or the FTP software itself. But the greyed out or empty remote server panel should've been a clue.

Happy belated 4th! You can't enjoy the 4th, folks and fun muhaha. And of course, the fourth 'f' - fireworks. I'll usually enjoy eating a good barbeque....moreso than the company of 'folks' it seems heh. But it's important to enjoy the time off and vacationing before getting back in the groove of things of work and whatnot.

I believe anyone with a semblance of musical knowledge can teach. But it takes certain qualities to stand out - knowledge, creativity, and compassion / flexibility. Discipline is productive to some degree, but it certainly doesn't help if you don't provide emotional support or guidance properly. I used to have advanced theory knowledge, but I forgot most of it. Still, a lot of theory or musical knowledge is innate or natural. I would consider purchasing Lang Lang's teaching books as tools. And certainly some blank ledgers to write out scales, notes, etc.

I need to schedule a tuning, and I'll be set with the recording some new pieces.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

This weekend apparently is a scorcher - the first really hot days of the summer. Get some relief somewhere, or take a dip in a cold river or ocean. I usually try to somewhere at least once.

I forgot that I had some Amazon store credit, and I ended up purchasing some computer gaming peripherals and a digital camera tripod. Credit left unused is usually a waste anyway. I'll probably have to replace the camcorder for future recordings or if I want better quality uploading, but for now it still works.

Sung Kang has joined the show "Power", which I thought about checking out. Unfortunately, is it worth subscribing to the channel if it's only for one season? Also, I'll have to eventually cut back or cancel some cable channels anyway since the budget is getting tighter as a result of a pay cut. Also, a new season of "Huang's World" has apparently started.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

We'll probably have to wait til next month for sunnier and drier weather. But, I reckon there'll still be snow on some of the more difficult or worthwhile hikes. Although I prefer cooler rather than hot temperatures, it's been an unusual month so far. Despite not hiking as often as we liked to, we can still get a good workout...via video game dancing. The operative word is video games heh. Ya know, the 'Dance Dance Revolution' type games. I certainly can't keep up with some of the more difficult, fast levels (guys or kids with them fast feet - talk about 'happy feet' heh). But we're getting there. The beauty of music is that it's eternal. If you are not familiar with a piece or a song, you can eventually acclimate to the rhythm of it.

I'll have a few pieces memorized, and I'll list them on the Classical Piano Blog page soon. That'll be the next step, memorizing more pieces for the uploads. Of course, that won't be case all the time since I just do this part-time nor have the time to. It's all a learning experience, and certainly I'm picking up more pointers or helpful tips via watching other performances and lessons (in addition to my own). In fact, all musicians or instrumentalists come to a point (if they develop or improve that is) where they can even give advice to each other as well.

Speaking of tips, I can pick up a few as well watching WoW Arena Tournaments - already adding to my potent arsenal.


Damn, Ryan Higa also writing books? He'll soon be a famous author just as he is a famous Youtuber. Holy 'Rest in peace', Batman!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ryan Higa has a knack for creating music videos....or parodies muhaha. It can be interpreted as a nice country duet, or a country parody (perhaps that song "Skyrockets in Flight"...afternoon delight. It kinda reminded of it, in the form of a parody I guess). In the tradition of the Pokemon and the Kpop parody, his most recent: "Millennial Love".

Well, I'm glad to hear that filming for "Code 8" is underway. It's been over a year since the indiegogo project began, but I'm sure everyone was busy during that time. And it's going to be quite a wait before it's released.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Now this is what I'm talking about. Clear skies as well as warm temperatures is the characteristic of summer, and it appears to be finally here. Unfortunately, winter seemed to linger into spring a bit too long. The hiking so far has been interesting. The first hike was at Poo Poo Point (nice name), where you can watch paragliders literally float or fly around. If you're not into heights, I probably wouldn't recommend it. We were planning to scale Tolmie Peak next, but snow covered the trails and most of the unpaved road leading to it. Still, we managed to 'snow hike' for the eight or nine miles to the lake and back; which was a good workout but pretty tough on the shoes and feet. Ten or fifteen degrees colder, and we would've surely gotten frostbite. I've never drove through a more brutally pot-hole ridden road than that. Ten miles per hour, and you're still bouncing pretty hard. I probably would've had the road condemned if it were up to me.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for..."Drips & Swirls"? I'd certainly would hit the spot up frequently as their soft-serve looks delicious if I lived near there. Summer is certainly the season for delicious, cold treats. So anyone in the K-Town area, hit it up.

It seems that there is always going to be some kind of trend or fad in a product. I just heard of the so-called newest sensation the Fidget Spinner. I was like, what the hell is that? 'Spinnas Got Spinnas' fo' sho' muhaha.

I'm surely looking forward to more hikes, but it seems that quite a few of them are snow-packed still from the cold winter. Below are two pictures: the frozen lake near Tolmie and a 'double rainbow' at Wallace Falls:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

I live in an area where it seems that postal mail gets either lost or stolen once in awhile. It's happened to me several times already, which is why it would be better to electronically pay all my bills from now on (some companies charge online fees for that - no thanks - or don't even use alternate methods of payments such as cc). I've been renting my piano for the most part, but I might have to look for an alternate retailer who can accept auto-pay via cc. Purchasing one is an option now as long as it is affordable and within my budget. A new or upgrade for the car is also necessary soon.

The weather hasn't been cooperating recently, but it's getting sunnier and warmer. Consistently? Eventually, hopefully heh. I think the plans to hike or camp have been delayed or post-poned indefinitely.

The LAPFF (LA Asian Pacific Film Festival) concluded recently, and there seems to be a few worthwhile films to watch. Unfortunately, a lot of them won't be available on VOD or itunes (but who knows). The highlight of it was the "Better Luck Tomorrow" reunion, and the anticipated film "Gook" about the race riots that will come out in theaters (as well as watching "Columbus"). I heard about the Arthur Chu documentary, who seemed like a smart guy who got a lot of publicity but was a victim of racism because of it.

Hearing the podcast of the K-Town crew is a breathe of fresh air - keeping it real and telling it like it is. They (or part of them) were on a show about races in America hosted by Charles Barkley (my god, does that guy ever lose weight? muhaha). And he seemed or acted as if our plight was news to him and everyone else. Well, it's not. The important thing is to continue to let our voices be heard and to spread awareness. At the same time, create new and unique material from our perspective. I was talking about this the other night, but the industry continues to do the same crap (nothing unqiue or new) over and over at the expense of Asian-Americans. Insecurities and pettiness at its finest (even jealousies at other's successes). I highly recommend going the independent or kickstarter / indiegogo route to watch interesting films.

It's unfortunate about "Dr. Ken", but a lot of us are grateful to ABC network for giving it a chance. The cast was hilarious. I don't know what to make of "Deception", a new program Justin Chon is going to be in. Does he have a major role? Hopefully, we'll find out more about it.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I'm not one who can readily figure out notes or beats from first-time listening to a piece. Playing or transcribing it on an instrument such as the piano is not easy, but doable with experience and knowledge. But music is really eternal and internal, and it's just the matter of understanding the music with the heart as well as the mind. There is a certain kind of emotional maturity necessary to play a piece well.

It would've been cool to attend the "Better Luck Tomorrow" 15th anniversary screening, but I watched it again on the same night to coincide. The download that I have could definitely use an HD treatment. More notables: "...didn't care if he was suspended from school. It just gave him another reason to beat the crap out of Verj" heh.

Speaking of anniversaries, I'm sure there are upcoming documentaries and films on the 25th anniversary of the tragic event. But often, I'm also sure none of these would give a fair perspective (or no perspective at all) from the Asian-side where the K-Town community was affected greatly. Perhaps there was that A&E doc where at least an 'OG' Ajushi was interviewed as well as a beauty salon lady. As of now, the only film I plan to watch regarding this subject matter is Justin Chon's "Gook", which is a film that has a different perspective for a change. And a compelling story to boot.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I heard about the passenger being dragged and beaten for refusing to give up his airline seat, as this news is becoming more widespread in social media. In a sense, I'm not surprised anymore in this day and age of a deteriorating and morally decadent society. Quite barbaric and uncivil/unprofessional, something out of a mafia flick. How can someone beat up and force out somebody for a simple refusal? (an Asian doctor with a reasonable excuse to boot). But even if they had to enforce it, there should have been alternatives and more civil ways to handle this. I'd file a lawsuit so far up their asses that not even a frequent flyer can save them.

I could only suggest that we as an ethnic group or anybody with rights as a passenger continue to support and empower each other. The only thing that is important to me is letting ourselves be heard. Public awareness can be an effective tool, and we should focus on what is actually relevant and worthwhile.

Wise words from DavidSoComedy:

Sunday, April 02, 2017

With the current seasons of "Dr.Ken" and "FOTB" ending, I'm already looking forward to next season. If the previous ones are any indication, every season just gets better. But this year, I have to give a slight nod to "Dr.Ken"; if not for the eccentric guest cameos or going over serious subject matters. However, I am not an advocate for guest cameos to begin with. I think just coming up with hilarious material is enough.

Hooray! "Fiction & Other Realities" is going to become a reality. I already have a few kickstarter or independent films to watch on my must-see list, and this is one of them. They just have to be available either on a VOD platform or digital download.

My next video recordings certainly won't be for awhile, but I've already started practicing them. They might be some Rach Preludes or other, with more thoughts on my Classical Repertoire page.

Is KevJumba back for good (or the Youtuber formerly known as KevJumba muhaha)?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I'm looking forward to warmer and clearer weather ahead, as it has been quite wet recently. All the puddles on paths / trails as well as flood alerts on the phone was a testament to that. I'm definitely looking forward to some more strenuous, new hikes as well as camping at some point.

I've enjoyed preparing as much as eating brunch on Sundays. You can't have a brunch without the usual - pancakes, eggs and bacon (scones as an extra bonus).

It's been awhile since maestro Lang Lang has updated his Facebook or provided us with some helpful tips or insight on the piano. I heard he was sick. Despite a busy schedule as far as his concert touring and other collaborations is concerned, get well soon! Concert maestro Lang Lang and the Video Game Pianist are two of my favorites as far as piano prowess is concerned. VGP excels at transcription as classically-trained, and maestro Lang Lang is just world famous for his seemingly infinite repertoire. What can't he play or perform? As A-Huang can create music out of any sound, VGP can transcribe video game music just like that.

Instagram Post Of The Month (from davidsocomedy): It must be Tobias Park, Jr.! muhaha. He's lookin' like he's ready to get some machine-gun style... heheheh.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

I felt the need to support/contribute to Bobby Choy's (aka Big Phony) "Fiction & Other Realities", a film based somewhat on his life as a singer/song-writer and the question of self-identity. But the essence of it all is the passion and commonality for music. Take away the superficiality and the repetitive tediousness of what is pop culture today, you get a genuine talent in Big Phony; whose soothing and down-to-earth lyrics are a breathe of fresh air. Reminds me of Goh Nakamura in a way, and there are others such as D-Choi, etc. If I enjoyed Goh's films of "Daylight Savings" and "Surrogate Valentine", I'm sure I'll enjoy "Fiction & Other Realites". As a classical pianist who only found the passion for it again, I can identify somewhat with all the struggles and self-questioning.

There are almost no Asian-Americans showcased out there (except on Youtube and other platforms), and Justin Chon mentioned this somewhat to the effective of: "We need to create..". A lot of it certainly has to do with discrimination and prejudice, but most of it just has to do with making ourselves visible. In that regards, how much confidence do we have to go out there and not be afraid to display our abilities and creative prowess? Biases and prejudices be damned, we just have to continue to do our thing.

I mulled for quite awhile of creating and uploading a web page in support of Asian-American artists across all industries. For sure, some web pages on this site that has not been updated in awhile can be removed.

A lot of hidden gems can be found as a Kickstarter project. Go out there, and find them.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

It's not often that I can remember or memorize a piece quickly, but it also depends on how natural the music can flow and how relaxed I can be. Sometimes, I might have to study the sheet music for awhile but in other instances, not as much. Repetition and practicing definitely helps. For sure, the music is always there inside. Just needs to be let out.

Aside from a bit more refining, I'm more or less ready to record and upload the new piece or two. I'm not going to schedule it, just when I find the time.

It might be a far-stretch to hope for more diversity in films and in any industry this year and beyond. But at least in the independent scene, there is some progress.

As usual, here is a quotable from a nostalgic film. RIP. "Expess elevator to hell, going down!" - Aliens '86

Monday, February 06, 2017

It was a snow day! I can recollect the exuberance when school was cancelled heh. Although it snowed before, it's been awhile since there was any significant accumulation. Since I moved out here four years ago, I suppose I missed it in a way (except driving through it). It would've been nice had the storm hit during Christmas week. The large, fluffy flakes falling was quite a sight. And surprisingly it sustained for awhile. I wouldn't have minded had it snowed all day, but most of the precipitation occurred overnight unfortunately. In what has been a particularly cold winter for this region, who knows if it'll snow again.

Speaking of colds, I'm going through one right now. I've been relatively sick-free the past few winters in terms of colds. But fortunately, it isn't as serious as coughing up a lung.

A creative Youtuber such as A-Huang deserves 1M subs. From a guy who can create music with any kind of sounds, I'm sure he'll get there.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Some Youtube tidbits for this Sunday's blog:

It would certainly be interesting to re-shape the Earth into a donut (in that case, I'll eat it muhaha) or an upside-down pyramid and watching all the lemmings or peons trickle off into the vacuum of space.

So exactly what does it take for a Youtuber to get to the top? Apparently, taking off your clothes. Hard work and talent sometimes isn't enough or is irrelevant. "Look at me! Look at me I know I'm fa..." muhaha.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I don't usually make concrete resolutions, but I do wonder whether I can keep the ones I do make if at all. I suppose they are just thoughts and goals to keep in mind, from trivial ones such as eating habits to meaningful and more serious ones. One thing is for sure though, there has to be at least effort made.

Music is a part of my life as well as my identity. And I'll always try to find time to practice, find new repertoire, and record. However, I have to prioritize other things in my life unfortunately. As a result, the video uploads or recordings are going to be fewer this year. I'll get a chance to practice or play sparingly but when I do, I'll make the most of it. My practice regimen always includes various pieces from different composers before working on a piece that I plan to record. From the Polonaise-Fantasie to the Wanderer Fantasy, that might be a subject for a blog on my classical repertoire page entitled, epic pieces.

I'm not really a fan of cross-genre collaborations, but when Classical collides with Heavy Metal - now that's interesting or eclectic. Enter Sandman? Enter Lang Lang heh. The Maestro cometh.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The goals and resolutions have to be more substantial and meaningful for me this year, because I'm certainly not getting any younger. But there are still habits that are never easy to get out of (such as overeating for an example), but I think it's important to at least put in the effort to change. With the quick passage of time and any person's life ending at a moment's notice, the cliched saying of 'live life to its fullest' or 'don't take life for granted' is more than just a cliche or hackneyed expression. The simplest expressions ring the most truth. This year, I have and should know what my priorities are for sure in terms of what to do.

Aside from certain priorities, I have an idea of what the new recording is going to be but not sure when. More thoughts on my Classical Repertoire web page coming soon.

There are quite a few Youtubers who produce and create music on their own, and for sure they have more talent (some of them I am subscribed to, and I'm sure there are more out there). Certainly a breathe of fresh air from the everyday conundrum of the ordinary and the mediocre.

I'm glad to see that "Dr. Ken" has taken on a more serious and heartful element to its program in integrating with its comedy. But it never loses its main element of the type of humor that its known for. At times, some episodes of "Fresh Off The Boat" are funnier but there are other instances when "Dr. Ken" is. I wonder if Jae is going to be a part-time playa heh. Perhaps I should have dropped out of college to pursue the individual goal of returning to classical music again. For sure, the degree that I received was a waste.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

I had a good trip, and hopefully there can be more this year. Some of the goals this year is to get out, and travel more. Or do things I'm usually wouldn't be comfortable with. Anyway, I had a good time with everyone and for sure ate well heh. It was quite cold over there and although I prefer cold than to hot, there is only so much cold or the extremes a person can take.

I wonder if Justin Chon is going to frequent "Dr. Ken" episodes, as I was glad to see his character introduced although quite surprised. I guess DK has his work cut out for him heheh. Anyway, between "FOTB" and "Dr. Ken", it's been a battle each week as one episode turns out more hilarious than the other. And vice versa.

I might put up a review of "Rogue One", which I ended up watching. Although I'm more of a "Star Trek" fan, "Rogue One" certainly had that nostalgic feel to it.

Monday, January 02, 2017

It was probably one of the most memorable holidays in quite awhile, eating delicious foods and having family come together for it. And now it's over with a new year ahead of us. Hopefully a better one than the previous.

It's never been this cold before, or at least it hasn't been this cold since I've been out here. It's nice to find some sort of a Winter Wonderland in some areas, as it snowed a few inches awhile ago; which is rare for a state known mostly for rain.

"The Twilight Zone" marathon never gets tiring as long as it's aired for several days of nearly all episodes. It's become a tradition for viewers and fans alike, at least catching parts of it.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

With another year beginning, I prefer to just look ahead to the future as opposed to dwelling on the past. But reflecting about it can certainly give some insights on what could be done better or improved upon. Every year has its difficulties as well as happy moments and / or accomplishments, but it's not easy to judge if an year went entirely well sometimes. For me, it's been a 'one step forward, two steps back' cycle that's been a problem. I guess that's a resolution I need to make; to work on just taking one or two steps forward only, with the operative word 'forward'. I have an aversion or dislike for traveling, but if I have to go on a business trip, it's something I'll have to eventually get used to. Otherwise, there's no other way to get to a far destination. Or even take the initiative to go on any on our own.

For sure, I lost some weight for sure after starting to regularly hike and jog over the summer. I believe that's been an accomplishment, and we can keep that up. As far as eating is concerned, that's something I have to continue to control. I can only pray to continue to strengthen my convictions, and actually act upon them without regressing.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else has been going on since it hasn't really been a noteworthy year; other than some Youtubers having a nice year, the 50th anniversary of 'Star Trek', watching "FOTB" and "Dr. Ken" religiously? heh. Personally, I'm waiting for the new season of no-holds-barred Eddie Huang series, "Huang's World".

I still anticipate in continuing to kick ass in WoW, and learning new classical repertoire to upload, play and/or even perform. I'm not going to share on other aspects of my personal life, but I can only pray that this year can be more consistently better in terms taking forward steps only.