Apr. 2nd, 2010 08:39 am
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Me)
Muse ended their last album with a symphony in 3 parts called "Exogenesis." I liked part 3 immediately, but the first 2 parts didn't really strike a chord (so to speak) until recently. Now I can't get it out of my head.

Firstly, the music is beautiful. I love the full orchestra sound mixed with the guitars and drums. I even like the falsetto vocals. The lyrics in part 1 are nearly indecipherable and I think that may be what took me so long to really get into it. I looked up the lyrics the other day and haven't been able to get it out of my head since.

Secondly, I like the idea of exogenesis. I don't believe in it (at least, not as far as life on Earth is concerned), but I think it's an interesting theory that can be a doorway to excellent stories. I've noticed similar ideas in some of their past music, most notably their video for "Sing for Absolution." The video shows the three band members suited up as astronauts and launching into space. You see an enormous bustling city around the rocket as it launches. They pass thousands of satellites and one gigantic billboard orbiting the planet as they leave the atmosphere. They go through a wormhole and end up crash landing on a brown planet who knows how far away from where they started. As the video ends, you see them standing in the ruins of London, a crumbling Big Ben in the distance.

Lastly, the story they tell is one I actually relate to well, even though I don't buy the theory behind it. It seems like more a question than a story. Are humans programmed to destroy their environment? Can we help it? Will we ever "get it right?"

annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
Oh, what a weekend I had! That was the most fun I've had in ages!

After having lunch with Justin, Dominic and I drove to Michigan to visit my old friend Jessie. Jessie's sister, Candy, drove all the way up from Kansas City so her visit would overlap with mine and we could all have some time to visit one another. There was a lot of reminiscing and talk about what we were doing now and what we'd done since we last saw each other (which was roughly 14 years ago). We took the boys to the pool. Jessie and her husband played with the boys while Candy and I sat to the side and visited. Dominic had a blast!

After the pool, we had dinner, and I got ready to go see Muse. Albert loaned me his Garmin and I got to the venue with no problems whatsoever. As I pulled into the parking lot I saw a sign that listed prices for parking. The sign said $15, but had another sign half covering it that said $10. I was relieved because I had just enough cash on me to cover a $10 parking fee. I pulled up to the cash-taker and he very politely asked me for $15. I closed my eyes, sighed, and admitted I only had $10. He said, "That's all you have?"

I said, "Yes."

I was just about to ask him how to get out and where the nearest ATM was when he said, "That's fine." I handed him a $5, 4 singles, and a Susan B. Anthony. He thought for a second, then handed me back the coin (I think he thought it was a quarter). He said, "Enjoy the show!" I thanked him and went to park.

The show was in-frickin-credible! It was hands-down the best concert I've ever seen. I found several videos from the show I was at on YouTube. Here's a video of the opening. It goes from the intro into "Uprising."

They had a good mix of songs from all of their albums and they got to most of my favorites. I was especially pleased when they played "Uprising," "Undisclosed Desires," "Hysteria," and "Knights of Cydonia." My brain nearly hemorrhaged when they did "Knights of Cydonia" as the show closer. Because that's how it should be!

I got back to Jessie's house around 11:15. They were all still awake and we got to talking again. I was shocked when Jessie said it was 2:00 AM. So I went to bed. We all slept in. We had yummy breakfast (Jessie does corned beef hash right!) and Dominic and I hit the road around 11:30.

I made it home around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. I would have made it sooner, but the Ohio State Highway Patrol told me to slow down. I'm still slightly confused about why I was pulled over. The officer said, "I pulled you over for going 72 while passing a vehicle in the left-hand lane." I was pretty sure that passing was what the left-hand lane was for, but I know better than to argue with the police. He gave me an official warning and some unofficial advice. He said, "Keep with the flow of traffic like you were doing and set your cruise, but stay in the center or right-hand lanes because we check the left-hand lane first." I've been thinking about the incident ever since and the best I can figure is they were looking for drunk drivers because of the St. Patrick's Day Holiday. I was technically speeding (7 miles over the limit) so he pulled me over to see if I'd been drinking. I can't imagine I'd have been pulled over if it had been any other weekend. Still, I'm grateful that he didn't give me a ticket. He was very nice and dang if he wasn't one of the more handsome men I've ever seen...

Despite my run-in with the law, it was still the best darn weekend I've had in ages! I will go see MUSE again if I have another opportunity and hopefully I can drag some other people along with me. I hope they don't mind that I refuse to go over 65mph.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Beginning/regeneration)
Enrollment for summer classes began today. At my current pace, it would take me 8 years to complete a History degree at KSU. I don't want to be doing this for 8 years, so I signed up for a couple summer classes.

I decided to finish up my Core Math requirements during the summer (I'm currently in Core Math I and I'll take Core Math II during the second half of this semester). Core Math III shouldn't be too bad. It runs from July 19 - August 21, 4 nights per week. I'd get out early enough to do my homework every night.

I also decided to enroll in 7 Ideas that Shook the Universe, an introductory physics course. This one has me a little nervous. It's not math-based, so that's fine. It's just that it runs from 5:30 - 9:15 pm every Monday - Thursday. That's a lot of class! Add my full-time work schedule to that and I'm not sure I'll keep my wits about me. On the plus side, it runs from May 24 - June 11. It's only 3 weeks. I can do that for 3 weeks, right? I mean, I took care of a newborn... I can do anything! I talked to a friend of mine who took the class and she really enjoyed it, so I was feeling pretty ok. Then I read the professor reviews at ratemyprofessors.com and they're really good. So now I'm kind of excited about it.

So that's 5 additional credits I'm taking this summer. And I still get a 5 week break in there! I'm beginning to think I should save my LERs for summer classes and work towards my major during Fall and Spring semesters.

And, just because I've had this song in my head since early last week, here's Exogenesis Symphony Part III.

annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I took the first of three exams for my music class last night. It was taken on one of those Scantron sheets where you fill in the dots. The instructor handed out the question sheets and asked us not to write on them because he reuses them. I was on page 2 when I noticed someone had written the words "Golf course" in the margin. I wondered why they would do that.

During the instrument recognition part of the exam, the instructor would show us a photo of an instrument and we were supposed to match it to the correct name and identify which part of which country it comes from. On the back of the exam, next to the map of Asia, that same person had written, "Don't forget... ...golf course." That's when I realized someone was trying to psych me out. Like he was trying to stick the words "golf course" in my head and make me forget the information I had just crammed in there before the exam. I thought to myself, "Well, that's not going to work!" And then the instructor moved onto the next slide before I answered the question.


Luckily, I knew it was an erhu and that it is used in "silk and bamboo" music from Southern China.

I don't cram. I learn.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I think I had my first brush with entitlement in the college atmosphere last night during Music class. We are studying Southern Asian music, specifically India. The teacher was trying to explain the concept of raga, which has no succinct equivalent in English. He equated it to mood and to demonstrate the concept in a way that we would understand, he played major and minor chords on the piano. In Western music, we tend to equate major keys to happy music and minor keys to sad music. In the same way, a raga sets the mood in a piece of Indian classical music.

He asked if anyone had questions and a woman in the back of the class said that she was really confused about it. I can understand her confusion. It's a new concept that's difficult to explain. But she got really rude about it. "I don't understand this at all and you're up there playing the piano and saying, 'This is happy. This is sad.' It doesn't make sense. What is actually going to be on the exam?!"

She continued for several minutes and I got the feeling she was being deliberately obtuse. Teacher caught me rolling my eyes. I began to understand why he is slightly bitter about his occupation. He's got a lot of things combining to make the perfect storm. Firstly, Music as a World Phenomenon is an LER with no pre-requisites. He's trying to teach ethnomusicology to people with no real knowledge of geography or sociology (or music, for that matter). Secondly, the class satisfies the music requirement and diversity requirement (two birds, one stone). Lastly, many people consider it a dummy class that requires no effort. So when they don't "get" what he's teaching, the students get irate. So, again, I understand why she's confused, but I have major issues with how she handled her frustration.

Her attitude said, "I have no interest in learning about music from other parts of the world. Just tell me what's on the exam so I can get out of here."

On the plus side, I got him to play a clip from "This is Spinal Tap," and then we discussed the "Paul is Dead" urban legend for about 10 minutes. And that was really fun!


Oct. 28th, 2009 09:35 am
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
First things first:

Today is Dominic's fourth birthday!!! Having a baby of my own has altered the way I look at birthdays. First and foremost, I celebrate the life of my son. But there's also a tiny part of me that celebrates the accomplishment of delivering him. Four years ago today, this very hour, I was laboring to bring him into the world. It's made me appreciate my mother in a new way. On my birthday I want to talk to her and thank her. She was and continues to be an amazing mother. I feel like my own birthday is less about me and more about us.


My Music as a World Phenomenon class started last Thursday. I still can't shake the feeling that I don't belong in this class. The first two classes have focused heavily on vocabulary and cultural expectations of music. I think that I'll start feeling better about the class when we get out of things I'm already well-versed on and get into studying music from parts of the world I'm ignorant about. Yesterday the teacher was trying to get us to let go of our pre-conceived notions about music. He went to the piano and plunked out "Pomp and Circumstance" and asked us "What is this?"

Nobody answered so I quietly said, "Pomp and Circumstance." He stood up straight and said, "Well, yes, specifically it's 'Pomp and Circumstnace,' but what do we use it for?"

"Graduation," I said.

"Yes!" He turned his back to us and continued, "But it isn't 'the graduation song!' It's..." and he got more quiet when he finished the sentence, "called... 'Pomp and Circumstance.' We just happen to use it for graduation."

I feel like I took the wind out of his sails and hampered the point he was trying to make.

He's an interesting teacher, though, and he makes the 3 hour class go by fairly quickly. Though, to be honest, I'm ready to check out by 9:00 and the class goes until 9:45.

I got a survey in my KSU email yesterday. They were trying to figure out why incoming Freshman decide to enroll or not enroll in the music ensembles. I would *love* to be in some ensembles, but they don't fit my schedule. KSU's school of music isn't designed to allow non-traditional students to participate. I offered to take part in an interview and hopefully I can help them change things so that people like me can participate.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I've been posting a "Song of the Day" on Facebook. I haven't missed a day so far, but it's been close a few times. An unintended benefit of doing this has been that I examine why I like the music I like. For a long time, "Because I do," was a good enough reason for me liking anything.

Today was "Kyle Quit" by Tenacious D. I chose it because I played it in the car a few days ago and Dominic fell in love with it. This is slightly embarrassing because the song contains language that I'd prefer Dominic not ever use. Luckily for me, he thinks they're saying, "We only came to kick some mouse." Which is hilarious. Plus, he's started designating one of his trains as "the mouse" and the other toys take turns kicking it. Or he'll run up to me and say, "We have to kick that mouse, mommy!"

Last night after Dominic's bath I was trying to get his Pull-Up on him, but it wasn't going up easily because his skin was still damp. He muttered something about him being damp and he grabbed my face between his hands, looked seriously into my eyes and said, "Don't say damn. It's a bad word." I explained the difference between damn and damp, but he still insists I not say either one.

Also, I paid my KSU matriculation fee and am scheduled to do orientation on July 10.


annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)

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