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.