Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yes, piano instructors, I learned

Sometime around the second grade, I was bribed to take piano lessons. I didn't need bribing the next year, but the 3rd required motivation. This off and on affair with the piano has continued all my life. I really like playing the piano but lessons just never interested me. Scales bored me, the songs were assigned rather than chosen, and I always had to do a recital. I'll sum up all of the recitals by saying I suck at all activities in front of people. Best lessons learned through them though. When I moved here about 6 years ago, I had to switch piano instructors. My new one had an off and on style. She had all of the enthusiasm in the world but couldn't meet for more than a couple lessons in a row. Eventually, she owed countless Starbucks cards and the lessons just stopped. I don't hold it against her at all. I didn't exactly practice diligently anyway. Being a piano prodigy just wasn't for me. Though, last year my cousin decided to teach himself how to play the violin. He plays the piano, too, but doesn't like to follow sheet music. That's where I came in, as I recall. Soon, we were a dynamic duo. We never really got that good, but my piano interest was renewed. When I went to Costa Rica, I lost it. Now, I have it again. I'm planning to learn "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for my cousin who loves that musical more than anyone I know and finish learning "Once Upon a December" from Anastasia even if it means first using a keyboard so I don't drive my family completely crazy . . . again. Oh, yeah. My cousin bounced between violins and a viola and finally sold the last one. He still practices more than I do, but we have jam sessions to Bond songs mostly. It's fun to pretend we're actually good or just enjoy piano-based songs on my own (David Lanz, George Winston, Yanni, Suzanne Ciani, and John Jarvis a few big ones in my playlist. Not that I can actually play their songs.). I wouldn't want to play the piano any other way, so I'm glad for those lessons. Let's see how long I can go before going off this time. I hope never.

In other news, I want to get through my homework already so I can finish reading Beautiful Lies. So far, so great, based on the first 2/3 of the book. Also, Miiki gets to answer my relationship status from now on. :P

Single, Crush on Laptop (mine not pictured here)

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Freaky Friday

Friday morning looked to be a normal travel day. Eat breakfast, walk Sammy, finish getting ready to go to my grandparents' house in Fortuna (another story). Unfortunately, the norm stopped when I walked Sammy. I walk a loop that goes by a lot of houses, various nature scenes, and over hills. It's only about 35 minutes and it usually goes with little trouble. There is only one thing I complain about: other dogs. Every so often, I'll notice little things about how a dog is being taken care of. I've watched a dog become aggressive because of a fence and noticed a tennis ball graveyard (Sammy's heaven). Usually, nothing actually affects me. On Friday, however, a little thing didn't end up being so little. About 15 minutes in, Sammy and I headed down a hill and a couple started yelling at their dog. I don't know why. I just remember I saw their gate open and their dogs were barking. The bigger of their two dogs had gotten out before and nothing happened. On this occasion, their bigger dog, Ringo, ran out of the "enclosed" area and chased after Sammy and I. He barred his teeth, snarled, and attacked Sammy. I thought to get my pepper spray out and run, but I couldn't move. I just screamed. Sammy got off his leash and tried to run back, but Ringo chased after him and attacked again with some resistance on Sammy's part. By that time, I had the pepper spray out (not fired) and the owners were coming down. After the dogs were guided to their respective owners, I got Sammy's leash back on and we walked away. Sammy was unphased; I was shaking and feeling guilty for not doing anything. He just had some saliva on his shoulder and a possible leg bite. I wasn't sure about the possible bite because he tended to chew on his leg. He showed no signs of pain and my aunt and cousin couldn't see any problems with him later. Basically, all is well, but I'm not walking that route anymore. I still feel horrible for not doing anything. Sammy could have gotten hurt. I am still thanking my lucky star that nothing happened and that the owners were there. I was completely useless.

In other news, I'm at my grandparents' house. The weekend has been nice so far. I saw some friends at church (I used to live here in Fortuna), I've eaten a ton of my grandma's amazing food, I went to Patrick's Point, my cousin hooked my grandparents up with wifi, and it's raining. Quite nice.

Happy 2nd day of spring!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Trip to FIDM

Yesterday I visited the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. It was amazing. I'll start rightfully at the beginning. My aunt and I got lost because that's just how San Fran works. Streets go in directions that people pay amusement parks to go in. Not to mention the abundance of one-way streets, random breaks and askew signs. We were supposed to be in downtown SF and somehow ended up on North Beach, where Pier 39 was. To spare you the details of getting lost for over 30 minutes, my aunt went off to park and I was a half hour late. FIDM was located literally in the middle of a shopping center. There were stores in every direction, Macy's being the biggest. If I had not been blinded by the sun's reflection on the shiny FIDM sign, I would not have seen the dark, glossy glass FIDM doors. The actual building looked small until the desk guy/greeter pointed out the obvious elevator. The campus was deceptively big. There were 8 floors, only some of which I later saw. Thankfully, tardiness was not a problem. The next appointment had been pushed forward and my advisor understood how crazy San Fran was for my aunt and I. My aunt seemed more amazed than confused compared to me as she calmly walked into the lobby. Soon, we met with my adviser. She was informative, bubbly, and quick. She had definitely used her communications degree to its utmost potential. I had never seen someone pack so much necessary, interesting information in the time she was given. In the middle of the meeting, a girl named Pony (probably not spelled that way) took my aunt and I for a quick tour. Overall, I was impressed. FIDM offered everything a fashion design major could dream of plus all of the required things to really make the most of education. I was there to look into the knitting design degree. After calming down, I have realized that FIDM is perfect if I do decide to go the knitting design route, but I think I'm going to stick to my gut and go with psychology. I don't feel like I need a knitting design degree to innovate or just enjoy knitting. My aunt loved FIDM yet she understood my point of view. My sister, a high school freshman currently, will fit in perfectly in the fashion design program though. That's actually what my aunt and I kept thinking as we walked through the stylish, white, green, blue, and gray rooms and saw the costume displays. I just have to visit a couple more colleges to see where I'll fit in now. I'm happy with the college systems so far. FLC is perfect right now because I can get the general stuff out of the way, change my mind at any time, and recover from the high, middle, and elementary school years. Somehow, I think everything is going to work out. I can use my artistic skills in my hobbies and my science skills for my career, possibly. Not bad considering how indecisive and nervous I often am. Not bad at all.

Oh, yeah. I only have one regret from my visit to FIDM (and the rest of the day in San Fran); I left my camera in the car when I needed it. Oh, well. You'll just have to take my word for it that FIDM is really that incredible.

Happy Pi (3.14) Day!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bob the Apple

There are a lot of things that bug me, but I don't confront because they're very little things. Mooching is one of them. I think the polite thing to do in any situation is to offer to pay. A true moocher doesn't even bother. I've mooched before with a pathetic reason: I was too afraid to say anything at the time. It's not something that I'm proud of. Anyway, I know of a situation going on and it's making me think about moochers in this economy. There's a situation I'm familiar with, but I don't want to go into the details, so I'll tell a little story.

Bob is a little apple. He wants to be a big apple, so he stays in his spot on the tree. All of the apples are growing steadily, but he needs a little help growing, so a small group of apples tries to make an arrangement to help. They propose that he gets more water as long as they get a bit more sun time. He accepts. Time goes on and slowly, he takes back his time while still taking the water. Soon, he's not giving up any sun time at all in return for his water consumption. The other apples say, "Uh, when do we get some sun time?". Bob ignores them. The other apples don't think he heard, so they ask again. He continues to ignore the issue. They drop it. A few more days pass and Bob is getting really big and the other apples are having trouble growing. They plead, "Either we get sun time or you don't get water. We need a certain amount of both to grow. We're not getting enough.We don't want to rot!". Bob doesn't care. He finds every excuse to avoid the issue. "Well, the apples on that tree are bigger. I'm still not big enough." "I'll give you more sun time tomorrow." The excuses go on and on. The other apples are sad, but they can't do anything.

The story isn't over, so I don't know the ending. Still, Bob the apple makes me mad. My point is that serious moochers can really hurt people. I know some people have really good reasons to, but there is always a time when it has to end. If anyone sees a potential Bob the apple, I recommend checking your resources before you let them into your life. Otherwise, if you're like me, you'll get a little upset when Bob the apple decides he's in charge.

Now that I've ranted my imagination to death, I'll share something great. About a week and a half ago, our cherry tree blossomed! This is great because the tree fell last year, so I thought it was going to die. I love taking pictures of those blossoms. They're pretty and so abundant, I have plenty of subjects to practice taking pictures on. :D I can practice on the plum blossoms, too, but the unexpected is a nice surprise. Here's an unedited picture because I'm glad to see the return of the cherry blossoms:

NTGIF (Not Too Glad It's Friday),