Thursday, December 17, 2009

Music List #4

Freestyle! For people who have played Amplitude, you know what kind of image pops in my head. Anyway I like the idea of making my own categories; it makes me feel like I have so much control. (Evil Laugh)

Best "I Wanna Be With You" Song
Oasis - This one of the songs where the lyrics speak for themselves: "There are many things that I would like to say to you/ But I don't know how"

Best Sleepy Time Song
Time & Great Gig in the Sky Pink Floyd - The reason I have these songs as a set is because I can't listen to Great without hearing Time because Time is 3 and Great is 4 on the album. They're so great to listen to as you're cuddling up to sleep. It's super great.

Best Hangout Song
No Diggity Blackstreet with Dr. Dre - This song has an accessible sing-a-long quality to it and makes a great chill atmosphere.

Best 70's Pop Culture Song
Bicycle Race Queen - This song talks so much about what was going on at the time; it's pretty indescribable. As a preview they do mention Star Wars, Vietnam, and Watergate.

Best Knitting Song
Season of the Witch Donovan - "You've got to pick up every stitch" You actually pick up stitches in knitting!

Talking about Drugs

If all the world's a stage, then college must be act three in a seven part play. Unlike actors, we are thrust into our lives not knowing the script and a number of things are liable to happen: some good, some bad. One of those bad dangers is an unfortunate part of life and that is drugs. Drugs are an important issue in college and it's important to know how they affect us.
Unfortunately for me, whenever I am actually social it's usually with people who aren't in a drug or party scene and if they're are, they don't make too explicit to me. Also, I live in a box called movies and T.V. and I don't leave that box too often. Because of this I don't know much about any kind of drug scene or what people are involved in anyway. I know people engage in caffeine and alcohol but I don't know if they do something more serious like prescriptions or marijuana. I'm not the person to ask, seriously and honestly.
My box is one cool place that I don't want to abandon at this moment. Even without this box, I still wouldn't know what people are getting involved in; they actually have to tell me or say out loud.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Moment that Changed Rock 'n' Roll

Sometimes there's a moment in history that something truly unique and something spectacular happens and you know it won't happen again for another few decades. In 1975 one of these moments happened when Queen, one of the most talented and greatest bands ever, released their album A Night at the Opera. That album elevated the fame of Queen to worldwide success and takes rock music a whole other level. This album features an ecclectic blend of genres, themes, and sounds including sci-fi folk songs, romantic odes to love, and probably the most famous rock opera song ever.

This album was also grand technical achievement. Guitarist Brian May wrote the song "Good Company" with a Dixieland arrangment made by his guitar; he systematically tested sounds made by his guitar in order to sound like trumpets and such. The biggest example of this technical prowess is the very famous Bohemian Rhapsody that pushed the boundaries of 1970's recording technology. The chorus effects of the song were made by two overlapping tracks of Brian May, Freddie Mercury, and Roger Taylor singing in high pitched voices and overlapping that track with the same lyrics but in much deeper voices.

This album also showcased a pantheon of great music. Love of My Life is one of Freddie Mercury's great group of longing and unrequited love songs. It's filled with so much pathos and "please come back to me" without sounding like a soap opera track or a dang country song. Another great ode of love was Roger Taylor's unique track, I'm in Love with My Car. It has his ferocity and you feel the passion he has for his car. One of my favorite songs from this is '39, the folkie sci-fi tune by May. It is a cute story of space traveling astronauts who come back to a different earth.

In conclusion, A Night at the Opera is a great musical achievement that truly stands the test of time and relevance. Also, you have to respect the album that has the official Song of the Millennium.

Non-MUSE Event #2

People have been talking so much about budget cuts and protest and make yourself heard and all that. Well one day my theater professor told the class that we should see a guerrilla theater protest the university was holding at Cesar Chavez memorial arch.
So, I went there to see what it was all about. The skit they were performing was thought provoking but honestly I felt that the people who played the the students were a little over the top. And then of course all these people started talking about all the issues caused by the budget cuts and finally the assembly did his speech about the oil tax. It was interesting to see all these people and students being so passionate and committed about this cause.
Even though I'm not one to get caught up in a cause and do everything to help it, I admired the passionate people fighting the budget cuts and I hope we win this fight.

Non-MUSE Event #1

I visit home often becauseit's not that far away and of course I love seeing my family. One of these visits coincided with Lodi, California's Grape Festival. About a week earlier, I heard on the radio that Blue Oyster Cult was going to play on the last night of the festival.


Blue Oyster Cult?! In Lodi?!?!

That's Impossible!

Lodi's in the middle of nowhere. How and why would they be here?

But they were. Luckily I was able to make it to their show. It was the first time I saw a band play live. As they started their I was entertained but then I felt bad because I didn't know the songs they were playing except for the song that goes "I'm burnin' I'm burnin' I'm burnin' for you' and Don't Fear the Reaper. It was a great show that I saw with my dad and even though there were quite a few "buzzed" people and woman with a visible catheter and trachea device, it was an experience I won't forget.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MUSE Workshop #3

After a whole semester of of talking about MUSE and saying MUSE an insubordinate amount of times, I was ready go into my last MUSE workshop: Stress Management.
At the beginning of the session, The group did an activity that showed what sort of things students worried about and the techniques we use to alleviate that stress. Obviously, we have more stress than our current methods can relieve. The presenter gave us a handout with the symptoms of the mental, emotional, and physical types of stress and other information. The second half of the presentation was devoted to learning breathing exercises to reduce stress.
Overall, this was an informative, well made presntation but unfortunately I started falling asleep at the beginning of the breathing exercise (tiredness is a symptom of stress!). If there more of these workshops at the closing weeks of the semester, I highly recommend it.

MUSE Workshop #2

One of the big academic issues I continue to struggle with (starting in high school) is time management especially with homework. This lack of ability is till affecting now and I worry that my grades are suffering because of it. So, when I saw that there was a MUSE workshop specifically on time management skills, I became very excited.
Unfortunately, as the workshop continued I became a little disappointed. The workshop didn't offer much besides the study tip #2 I already came up with. Then the presenter went on to say that when you plan out your schedule work on the most important/difficult project first. It was mostly advice I had already known.
Even though I was very excited to attend this workshop, I was saddened by the unremarkable suggestions. I'm sure these techniques would help others but I felt I needed something that had more immediate effects.

MUSE Workshop #1

When looking at the list of MUSE workshops this semester, I looked for the ones I felt I needed or would help me the most. After skimming through the list, I found a workshop almost made for me: The ABC's of Self-Esteem.
The first point of the workshop was to truly define and identify what self esteem is and where to get. Self-esteem is a stable sense of self-worth. Most people think sources of self esteem are things like physical attractivenes and academic competency. The problem with these sources is that they are based on what others think and not your actual accomplishments/contributions. A few ways to increase your self-esteem is to not compare yourself to others as much as possible, respect yourself (don't say things to yourself that you wouldn't say to others), and focus on the effort you made.
Overall, I enjoyed this workshop and truly learned new skills. After this, I felt that I had gained new tools to improve my seemingly low self-esteem. I highly recommend this and I hope that this will be available next fall semester for others who may need this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tips for Success #3

It's been only two study tips I have posted so far but I'm already feeling tapped out of ideas. As long you make solutions to issues you encounter in your everyday study, I'm pretty sure ideas will flow easier; I just put that into practice and now I can offer some advice. Yay!

Almost every student studies the material taught to them in class to prepare for quizzes, tests, midterms, and such. However, trying to study isn't very effective when all your notes are jumbled and "unmarked" (In this post it means that your notes don't have a title or some heading so, you don't know to what lecture or chapter it pertains). Geez, What do you do?

Something I learned in my senior year of high school that truly alleviates this problem (I use this in my Humanities class) is to organize your class notes by units. By doing that , you look back at the material thematically rather by looking at your notes section then your handouts and then your past quizzes. Honestly, I never thought about organizing my work like this until in my AP Environmental Science class everyone had to walk around and look at other students binders and see who had the most effective and best organization. This girl had her organized by units and my teacher even said that that was how she organized her work in college. So, I hope this is as helpful to anyone as it is to me and that this becomes a practice that anyone can use to succeed in any school level.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Music List #3

Ooh, songs I hate. this would be easier if I actually listened to songs I don't like. Luckily, I only have to list five. The threshold of hate emerges after number three and I must thank my little sister for helping me compile this list.

5. Mrs. Officer Lil' Wayne - Right now I can only vaguely remember this song but the "weeoo-weeoo-weeoo" thing gets annoying after a while.

4. Halo Beyonce - I've never really liked Beyonce Knowles and when she was in Destiny's Child I only liked two or three of their songs. Only recently my discontent towards Beyonce started to grow with this song and "All the Single Ladies". The "Halo, Halo, Halo. Halooow"sounds more like "Hey yo, Hey yo". Irritating.

Hot and Cold Katy Perry - Man, this song is annoying. It sort of makes me want to shout out "Who the fuck cares? I don't care. Shut up!" What's really sad is that I know most of the chorus.

2. Tattoo Jordin Sparks -
These next two songs require a bit of context: my high school's day started at 7:20 in the morning. Even though for three and a half years I lived virtually across the street from school I still had to wake up at 5:40 in the morning to take a shower. So my radio alarm was set to the only station it could get. Up until my senior year it was okay. Sure there was some resentment because it woke you up every morning but that's bearable. Then they started playing some shitty-ass music ON HEAVY ROTATION!!!!
This song has no poetry! "You're on my heart just like a tattoo" is so ridiculously terrible. I can't say much else.

1. Pocketful of Sunshine Natasha Bedingfield - This song along with Tattoo were played like two to three times on a five day week! This song tries so hard to be optimistic or hopefeul or some shit like that but it completely sucks! I get so much bad memories of being woken up so early in the morning and listening to that crap. I hate it.

Just thinking about these songs fills me with anger but, luckily instead of shooting myself, I know I can pop in some Queen, Interpol, Janis, Scissor Sisters and thank God I hate these songs.

Tips for Success #2

With the workload that studying gives you, it's important to prioritize and organize your tasks for the day.
That's why, you can make an Action Plan for the Day. In it, you chunk your homework activities with the time you want to start them. Allow for some flexibility in your schedule in case something comes like lunch or a shower.

Here's a sample of my Action Plan:
11:20 - Make list of visuals for journal
Catch up on responses
1:00 - Computer Time read pdf from email
5:00 - Read ch. 12 Read Norton book

This kind of organization turned out to be more effective than I thought and I actually followed my Plan better than my previous attempts at organizing my day. Before I forget, the big key to this is to write it down refer to it many times during the day.

Talking about Sex

The average human goes through many stages, rites of passage, and milestones in their lives. Many of these stages are unique to each culture and society but perhaps the most universally challenging is the transitioning from adolescence into adulthood. In our society, the milestone associated with this transition is college and like all new ventures college can be difficult to navigate.

I honestly do not think I'm in any position to give advice on this subject because I myself do not have any experience in this area. I have never been on any kind of date before so, I don't know of any kind of code of conduct any kind of sexual pressure is completely beyond me. However, I wouldn't search any one on the Internet before I went out on date with them.

The only advice I have is what I have come up with on my own: thoroughly think about the kind of decisions you make. It is important to know that you know if you are completely comfortable with whatever you plan to do and that there can not be a shadow of a doubt. Also, make sure your partner is ready to make the commitments you plan to take. If not, be understanding and find other things you can do to connect as people and partners.

In conclusion, even though I have absolutely no kind of romantic experience, think about your limits, wants, needs, and communicate it effectively to your partner. The most successful romance is a partnership where both parties understand each other and are on the same page about the important things.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Music List #2

When I saw this assignment, I was extremely excited. I felt that I would have the most awesome field day with this. Anyway, I tried to have a pretty equal distribution of sex and drug songs but I realized that I don't have as much drug songs as I thought. This is still a great opportunity to show case some great music. And, again there are other great songs about this subject matter.

5. Gold Dust Woman Fleetwood Mac - On the Classic Albums Series, Stevie Nicks mentioned that this song is about cocaine and how someone else would be dealing with the issues she was going through during the making of the Rumours album. This is a great example of an abstract, sort of weird song that taps into your subconscious very successfully.

4. White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane - Some of my friends really enjoy this song and honestly, I find this song to be meditative and a way to channel some of those inner feelings. It's a brilliantly well-written allegory of LSD as Alice in Wonderland.

3. Shimmy Shimmy Ya Ol' Dirty Bastard - Like I mentioned before, I'm a sucker for great piano. Also, it has one of the best lines sung in the most unique way: "Oh baby I like raw/ Yeah baby I like it raw/ Ooh baby I like raw/ Yeah baby I like it raw"

2. Narc Interpol - My little brother described this as the perfect song. I have to agree that it is part of that upper echelon but whether he knows this or not, Narc is pure sex. I didn't realize this until maybe a year ago (It definitely mentions sex but I never had the impression of complete sexuality/sensuality before). From the opening guitar riff to the first line and right until the end, this song is just heartbreakingly perfect.

1. Sex and Candy Marcy Playground - This song is also perfection in its seductive music. I heard this song in store, I think, and it was so distantly familiar, like a memory from my childhood many years ago. I found out what this song was from VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the Nineties, so the correlation makes sense even though I don't concretely remember seeing the music video when I was six or seven. Anyway, it is, like, the best sex song ever!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google Yourself

For this assignment, I was instructed to search myself and reflect/discuss the results.

Just like my life so far, I'm barely a blip on the screen. (that's going to change in a few years though.)

For an employer or anyone who knows me, you would find that I come up twice on the Internet. In one link I'm on the Honor Roll at Tokay High School during my sophomore year 2006-2007 and that upon graduating (class of 2009) I am an honor thespian in the International Thespian Society at my school's chapter. I find it funny that the search assist in both AT&T Yahoo and Google stopped after I typed in "l-o" to finish off my last name.

For me, the real big success is that there aren't any embarrassing or inappropriate pictures of me on the Internet which is a big problem for the young ladies. Whoo-hoo. Google turned up 596 pictures although none of them are me and they ask you if you mean gabriella ******. That's not me; there is only one, damn L in my name. I also extremely hate to think that there are other Gabriela/Gabriella's out there, even the two l one is too much for me to handle. If you haven't noticed, I'm super possessive. Anyway, AT&T Yahoo turned up no pictures for me but that's okay.

All in all, I'm not too surprised by the results even though I forget that I'm mentioned by my high school twice for business like matters. It's really good that I'm not in any compromising images or situations on the Internet although I haven't made much of an impression either.

Music Memories #1

If I think about the music I listened to throughout my Life, I guess you could say that I went through many changes and phases like any other human being. When I start to think about the music, I start to remember the times of the day and the nostalgia that comes with it.
My earliest memories are of me at around age 3-5 back in 1994 and '95. I used to listen to two CD's of Queen (one of the best bands that have ever existed): Classic Queen and Queen-Greatest Hits and of course the ever perfect Thriller album. During that time I mostly listened to tracks 1-3 on both CDs, "The Miracle", and "These are the Days of Our Lives". I also loved a song in Spanish; I don't remember the title but I do know that Alejandra Guzman sings it. My mom used to play a lot of Air Supply and ABBA in Spanish so that is definitely a part of my early childhood memories.
I am required to mention, as any other child of the nineties, that around six years old I was absolutely a huge, Huge, HUGE, fan of the Spice Girls and then during the late nineties there was the first album of Britney Spears and Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" and The Backstreet Boys. After the pop explosion passed, I went back to my classic rock roots, expanded my Queen repertoire, and after 2004 virtually shunned all contemporary music of recent years.

But, really could you blame me?

Gangsta Rap and modern R&B are not my thing naturally, "rock" releases nowadays is 97% of the time terrible and much better versions exist in classic rock, and the quality overall is just simply lame. Also, for probably my whole life, I've never been one to like sanitized, family-friendly, just-for-kids, bubble gum pop music. For Britney Spears' first CD I was but a child of seven who never heard anything quite like that opening piano of "...Baby One More Time".

So for a good chunk of time I totally loved eighties music and I still do but not nearly with as much fervor as me at around thirteen. So, I stuck to my established favorites but also embracing other music by my brother's influence (like most of my life up to the last three years)
such as the band Interpol and, by own design, Scissor Sisters. Only recently I started embracing my decade of the nineties and all the memories of young childhood days. I also want to be more open to music now but only if they're actually good. So, my music tastes have been pretty stable but have grown over the years and like the communist states of the 1990's, I'm ready to open up just a little bit after years blocking anything that didn't conform to my ideals. Yay.

Tips for Success #1

Tips for Success is a segment of study pointers for success in college.
Ooh, that's interesting. (Seriously)
One thing that has helped so far in my readings is to write notes while I'm reading. What I do is read the assigned passage and when I come across an important/interesting point I write it down or any other analysis or thought I had about the passage. The most helpful part of this study habit is that when I write while reading I retain more of information presented to me and that's always a plus.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Music List #1

Normally, I hate being asked what my favorite songs or my favorite movies are because I have so many favorites and I often leave out other great songs or movies. However, I mustered the strength to pick out only ten of my favorite songs. Even though this is difficult for me, I managed to choose some of my most favorite and special songs. In other words, these are not the top ten but they are part of that upper echelon.

10. Edge of Seventeen Stevie Nicks - This is one of my newest songs and I started listening to it a couple of weeks before I turned eighteen. It has one of the best guitar riffs I have heard and I really like the imagery of the lyrics.

9. Pioneer to the Falls Interpol - I generally like songs with lyrics that I connect with and Pioneer to the Falls is a great example with lyrics like, "I know you try/ You try straight into my heart/ You fly straight into my heart"

8. Piece of My Heart Janis Joplin - I love Janis's raspy, genuine, soulful singing. This a great classic but I have to mention Me and Bobby McGee which is an equal testament to Janis's talent and it's also my dad's favorite song. We both love listening to her while driving and it has awesome, awesome guitar.

7. Lady Stardust David Bowie - I'm a sucker for beautiful, well-written piano. This is such a great part of the Ziggy Stardust album in that takes a little break from other high energy songs in the album and expresses emotions of melancholy and nostalgia. Because it's from a concept album, I have interpreted, in my own way, the story's narrative and meaning which sort of plays out like a movie.

6. Song Seven Interpol - This song is a big reason why I got my ipod. This song wasn't in a CD and I loved it so much that I had to have it with me instead of it being available only in my computer. The music of the song is so enchanting that it doesn't sound like you're listening to guitars or drums in a rock group but something much more expressive and atmospheric.

5. Crystal Ship The Doors - This is my favorite Doors song and I love listening to it and contemplating love. It has beautiful piano and such poetic lyrics that it really makes you feel what Jim Morrison must have been feeling when he sang this song.

4. Don't Look Back in Anger Oasis - I love Wonderwall, also by Oasis, but I put this one here because it's somewhat more energetic and it's definitely my "wish" song. It has many circumstances that I would like to happen in my own life.

3. Sex and Candy Marcy Playground - What else do I have to say? The music has a great deep feeling to it and its simplicity makes the song so much more enjoyable. "Yeah, there she was/ like disco lemonade/ I smell sex and candy here"

2. The Other Side Scissor Sisters - The Other Side truly expresses my own self when it comes to love and relationships and the type of romantic partner I am. Also, this is the most played song in my ipod with the most recent count tallying it up to a record 226 times in three years. "If don't ever leave a thing behind/ I'll still leave here without me/ If it takes another life, I'll wait for you/ On the other side/ Everything good that comes to me belongs you"

1. Bohemian Rhapsody Queen - I have to give props to what my dad calls our family anthem. I grew up on this song and have been listening to it since I was five. So, what else can I say about this masterpiece in music that hasn't been said before?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Starting Out in a New Class

On August 24, I started off on a new part in life. One of my new classes this semester is my San Jose State MUSE class: Sex, Drugs, and Rock n' Roll.

I'm really excited: I chose this class because I'm really into rock music, mostly the seventies, I think, as well as some eighties and more recently the nineties. I've always been into modern rock music history like VH1's programming before they turned to crappy "reality" shows. Oh... nostalgia. I also have a really weird interest in drug history as well; I recorded VH1's The Drug Years and have seen it a numerous, gratuitous amount of times. The History channel also has the series Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way which is totally top rate and they have an awesome lady narrator with a nice husky voice. And, then of course, (I can't ignore the sex part) It's always interesting to know more about the groupie culture and sex icons; the latter of which I do not know much about.

So, as promised, I will post much more often on my blog but for now it will be exclusively for my MUSE class. I think it's pretty cool how I have to post assignments and I really am looking forward to having a great time in this class and learn things that I didn't know before.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Geez, What a Disgrace

I have been super terrible about blogging, It's like my diary experience, I can't write as often as I would Like too. I hate when I see blogs that haven't updated in months but I'm just as terrible if not worse.

Well, I graduated Tokay High School class of 2009 on May 29 and it was a proud day and the fact that I graduated is bit of a miracle.

Also, I have been officially admitted as a freshman to San Jose State University. It is awesome because I already went there for freshman orientation and spent five days there for the ASPIRE program for disadvantage freshman which is cool considering the fact that I am poor and neither of my parents have a college degree. Right now, at this moment, I feel happy to be going although it took a while to get to this mental stae and i might lose this feeling in the morning.

For a long, long, long, long, long, time I felt terrible about going to San Jose because all I could tink about was who will take care of my little brother and sister even though they're in middle school. I think it's going to be okay but the biggest thing in my life is my family because they're all I have and they're the only family I have in the United States. The big thing that got me psyched to go is ComedySportz San Jose...

It has been my dream to be a part of ComedySportz at San Jose for a year and a half now. Now that I'm eighteen I can enroll in the adult level workshops and start on my way to becoming part of the team. I can't wait to meet the people there and closer to the few that I know. I also have a better shot shot at making it because I am female and a minority. Whoo-hoo, Go me! Haha, I kid, I kid. Anyway, I hope I can make it hee-hee.

So, now I have a nice new Facebook so there's more of Gabster on the super internet highway world and I 'm a theater major at SJSU and I'll get a business minor although I am not entirely sure yet. I also promise to post tons more regularly because it's a disgrace how long I take to make a new post.