Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Top 10 Things I Will Miss About High School

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :)


- Blog #44: There comes a time in our lives where we have to say goodbye. Sometimes you go through your high school years and you tell yourself that you're ready to leave at any time. Believe me. You WILL have those thoughts on your mind. I went through four years of hell-and-back, only to realize that certain little details should be acknowledged and accounted for. My last list contained the things I won't miss at high school. However, I want to make sure that all the good times are in check. This entry may sound a bit more personal towards me, but that's because it is a bit more personal. It's time to give one last tribute to my time at Quincy High School and maybe you'll find a mutual agreement with what I have to say. Wherever you may be from, these are the things that we all may love about high school and we all may miss.

1. Student Council. Yes, it wasn't exactly meant for me. It turns out there were better individuals for the leadership role. I am, however, glad that I got to spend some wonderful experiences with my fellow classmates, both younger and older than I. Pride is a very important thing to gain from this.

2. Senior Prom (and Senior Night Out)! Man, was ours fun or what!? It was great!

3. Gossip. Admit it. Listening and talking about gossip is a guilty pleasure to many students far-and-wide. It's not fun when it's about you (when you know about it), but it's always fun to listen about everyone else's problems. You have the free will to give input on the matter. I don't like to gossip or partake in it much myself, but I am entertained when hearing about others. It's just pure entertainment.

4. Days where teachers aren't in class and you might get a free, kick-back period.

5. Broadcasting & Band (The elective courses, because those are most important)!

6. Sport-team rivalries! Quincy High PRESIDENTS V.S. North Quincy High RAIDERS!

7. Lunch Periods! A time to eat, a time to talk, and a time to watch some cat-fights!

8. Knowing exactly when school was over...all by the sound of a bell.

9. High School Graduation!

10. You guys! You know who you are! I know who you are! My Quincy Peeps!

- Done. See you later, Quincy High School...I'll be back!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Top 10 Things I Won't Miss About High School

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :) 

- Blog #43: Ah...Quincy High School. That is the school's mascot above. A hat to represent the President's pride and excellence! Was everything excellent? Of course not. Far be it for me to state that everything in high-school was enjoyable. Think about this. It seems like time really does have the upper-hand on us. Time just flies by. Occasionally, the time will come where students are ready to advance in their education and move on to bigger, better things. College, that is! As those students are more likely to look back and remember the good times in high school, I tend to remember both the good times and the times where I would want to pull my hair out. So, here we are. This is where I will recall all the bad qualities of high school! The things that always bother me and the things I shall not miss. Not everyone has had these problems, but they should be addressed.   

1. Stupid rules that don't make sense. No hats! No texting! No cell-phones! No bringing a laptop to class! No gum-chewing! Bring two passes to the library and other places! Are these seriously necessary? So long as we're not arrogant about it, some of these things should be changed.

2. Being in a dirty environment. It's not fun being inside a sh!t-box of a building, especially when it feels like it's about to implode on top of you. Graffiti, wads of gum where you least expect them, wobbly chairs, asbestos everywhere, trash, holes in the wall, bathrooms being a pigsty, etc.

3. Horrible schedules with bad teachers or a lot of walking in-between periods.


4. Being in poorly-funded school programs (*cough cough**cough cough*)

5.  Unnecessary homework assignments...duh!

6. "High-School Drama!" A pain that we can all live without!

7. Being around people who do immature things, like pulling a fire alarm four times! I'm not even joking! That's happened at my school! This involves students who are just plain stupid. Walking slow in the halls, skipping class, doing drugs, thinking you're the man with the swag or whatever, etc. Grow up!

8. Being in a school where the internet service crashes every 20 seconds.

9. Early mornings...

10. Lackluster of topics that we really should be learning in high school. Topics that we should be learning because we're actually going to need these skills in our future lifetime. Topics like CPR,  personal finance, social skills, and time management should all be mandatory.

- Done. Yes, I'm aware these things might exist in college. I'm well prepared for it!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Top 10 Most Overused Internet Phrases

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :) 

- Blog #42: Don't get me wrong. Those 10 words, shown in the chart above, are bad (and creepy). Though, if you really think about it, there are so many other problems with social media. This is aside from the urban-language barrier and the other typing anomalies that exist. When it comes to the internet, you'll be darned if you don't come across a certain line of redundancy. I've been stuck at home for a few days, because I've been feeling down in the dumps. Try vomiting in the toilet, for reasons I have yet to figure out. It left me some time to explore the well-known parallels of viral communications and to seek out some of the abnormalities. These are the some of the most common phrases in social media through a computer screen. These are the phrases that make you go haywire, every time you are forced to gaze upon this common lack of creativity. Now, these are phrases. Not slang terms. Thank you for listening! Enjoy!

1. (insert song lyric here) - "My life be like Ooh Ahh!" No, dear. "Your life be like Ohh Noo..." In my very first blog, which was written about two years ago, I had already ranted on the usage of song lyrics for facebook statuses, or anything else of the sort. I don't want to talk about it too much here, but...really? I thought the point of facebook statuses was to express what's on YOUR mind. Taking a lyric from a song, written by somebody else, and then using it to express yourself is just plain stealing. That's if you ask me. I, personally, like to come up with something interesting on my own. No cliff-notes.

2. "TEXT MEEE!" - What if we don't want to text you? Why don't you text somebody? Huh?

3. "(so-and-so) is sooooo bored..." - Well, do something productive! SOMETHING! Get off your ass, make something useful out of yourself, and DO SOMETHING! Making a blog is something. Practicing an instrument is something. Going outside to practice some basketball (or something) is something. Preparing for college is something! No. Sitting on the couch, watching your life go by, doing drugs, isn't doing something. Not properly, anyway. C'mon!

4. WhEn YOuR TyPiN' liK Dis aNd U fell sOOO cuuul! - Ugh...

5. "Seriously.", "Seriously?", "Seriously!" - Yeah...seriously. 

6. "Bitches these days..." - (sighs) You're just joining the statistics, aren't you?

7. "Don't feel good... :(" - Really? Get some rest. You also might want to see a doctor to get a check-up, either for a cause of illness or a reality check. WHY ARE YOU ONLINE, TELLING EVERYBODY YOU'RE SICK!?

8. "My b/f (g/f) is the bestest! Love you, babe! <3" - Uhhh...ok. I'm not so sure why you felt the need to write that, don't really need to boast. Oh, and "bestest" isn't a word. Besides, I've seen these kind of statuses enough to know well-enough that relationships like these usually don't last that long. Give it time.

9. "Wow, just wow..." - No, just no. What are you trying to say? Come out and say it!

10. "That's awkward..." - No. You're awkward. You're also boring. Since you seemingly can't hold up your end of the conversation, I'm just going to end it here.

- VENT TIME!: I always hate when I feel like I've put something wonderful on my facebook status, and it STILL can't get more likes than your average Joe's status, that which has no meaning. It reminds me of a famous Family Guy line from Stewie. "The fat man makes a pun, and everyone wets themselves. I give you gold, and I get squat." Why is this? Is it because of my looks? Am I not funny? Is what I'm saying wrong? I'm really not trying too hard to grab attention from the peeps, but I'm just wondering. It doesn't make sense. Why won't you appreciate what I've used my heart and soul on? Do I just not compare to someone who's lived their lives the wrong way? Doing this blog has made me reflect on some of these questions. Tell me what YOU think! Have you ever had this same experience? Make your voice known! Leave a comment!

- Done.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Top 10 Most Recognizable Classical Works

This list is in no particular order and was NOT stolen from another individual. Copyright Infringement will not be tolerated and all property goes to Steven Chung....AH SCREW IT! I don't what you want. :) 

- Blog #41: This is one of those topics where you wouldn't realize when something is good, until it's gone. Classical music is slowly fading away from the likes of many youths, what with this new sensation of hip-hop/rap music that's been spreading the nation on a 24/7 scale. Aging from the 11th century, and even lasting in our present day culture, classical music is largely distinct from any other genre of music in existence. It laid a foundation for every other style with it's introduction to the Grand Staff. Highly underrated, more or less disregarded. Classical music was what really brought art through note-taking and pitch-making. While the form of it isn't always that enjoyable to many musicians, there are certain pieces that stick out in the mind. A lot of us don't really know why they do. They Let's say you're listening to a classical song on the TV/radio/etc and you say: "Hey, I love this song! Uh...I don't know the name of it, though..." Isn't that always the case? Well, isn't it? You may think you know music, but you don't unless you can discover and learn about the roots of origin. For the purpose of this blog, I'm reliving some of classical composer's finest moments. These are the pieces that, whether we know the title/composer of them or not, are beloved by music fans everywhere. These are the ones that, upon listening, makes you recognize that song in an instant. WARNING: You may need to turn the volume up for these videos, as they may be on the soft side!    

1. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor - Here's Johann Sebastian Bach's most "supposed" famous musical composition for the organ. I say "supposed" to emphasize the fact that there have been theories that Bach didn't even compose this piece. "Toccata" means "touch" in Italian, which indicates how delicately the fingers should be to perform on a keyboard instrument. The "Fugue" part of the piece is a compilation of the same tune repeated over and over again in different voices and different key signatures. Eventually, it returns to the original key that it began in, and it will end in a major or minor key. In this particular video link (seen below), the Fugue starts at around 2:46. I plan on being a music major in college. Don't worry if you're having trouble understanding some of this! The main focus here is the reason as to why this song is so noticeable. What is that focus? The first eight measures of the piece. Maybe even the first three notes. You hear them, then a light bulb blinks on. "I've heard this on The Phantom of the Opera and Fantasia!" I'm sure that this piece wasn't exactly written for the purpose of it being in a majority of horror movies. Horror movies, along with the occasional movies that are named Rollerball.  

2. Bridal Chorus - Of course! Ladies, this one's for you! If you've ever attended a wedding ceremony, then you've definitely heard this song before. If you haven't been to a wedding yet, then you're bound to hear this song eventually. If you don't plan on getting married, well...that's about that. This song most often gets referred to as "Here Comes the Bride" or "The Wedding March", but Richard Wagner intended this piece to be played during the bride's entrance at the wedding. There are lyrics to this song, but you almost never hear them at the ceremonies. The chorus is usually replaced by an organ or another group of classical musicians. Why is that? I don't really know. This piece originated from a love-story opera, called Lohengrin. The opera does not end happily, however. I won't summarize the entire opera here. Look it up.

3. Overture to William Tell (Finale) - Warner Brothers' Looney Tunes made many classical pieces popular to the young television viewers. Not only Looney Tunes, but a large variety of other cartoons use this song. There's even a good number of advertizements that use this piece. It's a beautiful arrangement. The movement that's most recalled is the finale of this piece. You can't help but picture a large fleet of galloping horses during this section. Horses...or The Lone Ranger. This entire overture, which was written by Gioachino Rossini, lasts about 12 minutes and gives you the vision of life in the Swiss Alps, which is the setting of the Guillaume Tell (in English: William Tell) opera. There are four parts to the overture and each part transitions into the next one without any gaps in between. So, it's not like most other symphony performances.  

4. Ride of the Valkyries - Another piece that was mainly made famous by the likes of Looney Tunes, Apocalypse Now, and the WWE. It's also the second piece on my list that was composed by Richard Wagner. It was made for the opera, which was called Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). It's an opera that's composed of four different cycles of operas. This is interesting, because a cycle is often in a shape much like a ring. Along with the "Bridal Chorus" piece, the second movement of Der Ring des Nibelungen is Richard Wagner's best-known work. The second movement is called Walkürenritt/Ritt der Walküren, or as we like to call it, the Ride of the Valkyries. The Valkyries are minor female deities. The Valkyries' purpose was to choose the most heroic of those who had died in battle and to carry them off to Valhalla, where they became lone warriors. This was necessary because the Valkyrie leader, Odin, needed warriors to fight at his side for the preordained battle at the end of the world, Ragnarök. Just imagine a large army of flying horses and warriors. If it's easier, just picture Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny through a parody of operatic movements. 

5. O Fortuna - This may be one of the most continuously used classical pieces of all time. Even today, many trailers for many movies are never complete without the addition of a 13th century medieval poem. A poem that, obviously, written into song by the German composer Carl Orff. The piece opens up with a slower pace of thundering drums and a choir that drops quickly into a whisper. This builds up so that the song transits into a steady crescendo of drums, plus some short strings and horn notes peaking on one last long powerful note. Ending abruptly. The word "dramatic" is an understatement for this. The poem was part of a much larger collection of words, known as the Carmina Burana. Carmina Burana's transformation of O Fortuna remains to be one of the most popular pieces of music ever written for pop culture of the 20th century.   

6. Für Elise - (A.K.A. Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (WoO 59 and Bia 515) for solo piano) One of Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular compositions for the piano. It wasn't until 40 years after Beethoven's death that this piece was ever published. The original manuscript of the Für Elise was dated all the way back from April 27th, 1810. This manuscript was lost. There have been ongoing arguments that Beethoven was not the one who structured this piece into the form we know today. This seems to be a constant point of discussion where there is no one solution to the issue. Another issue was that nobody had ever discovered who this "Elise" was, that whom which Beethoven had named the piece after. It seems as if many classical pieces were made famous by cartoons, as this was featured in one of Charlie Brown's shows. A solo pianist will often choose this piece to play, due to it's familiarity.    

7. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Allegro) - You can't have a classical "Top 10" list without one of the most renowned composers in the classical era! Having composed over 600 works, it's not a wonder that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart became so popular amongst musicians of the world. This was intended to be performed by a small chamber ensemble of string instruments. It was composed at a time where Mozart was working on a second act for his opera. Mozart, apparently, had written this piece on commission for someone who needed some jaunty music for a ball. The serenade has a light feel to it. It's widely performed and recorded by many orchestras and chamber groups across the globe. There are four movements to this piece. The first movement is the most well-known of the bunch. It is the Allegro. Allegro means fast or lively. However, the term is not always to par with the laws of music. Some artists tend to use the word more loosely-based on the emotion, not on the specific tempo markings.     

8. Hallelujah Chorus - It was written by Händel Messiah and that's about all I can say. You've heard the song and all of it's holiness before to understand the idea that the chorus is deeply in gratitude for Our Lord and Savior. 

9. 1812 Overture - Ah...a song that just screams: "FIREWORKS AND THE FOURTH OF JULY!" Written by Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. This piece was to commemorate Russian defense of Moscow against Napoleon's advancement at the "Battle of Borodino" in 1812. The overture is climatic for it's imagery of cannon-fire volleys and ringing chimes. Actually, no. It's not just imagery. There are 16 cannon shots written into the piece. Can you believe it? There's no specific arrangement for this piece, so long as it contains a brass band, woodwinds, percussion, and strings.   

10. Any song composed by John Williams - I don't believe I'm going over the top with this entrant. It's very likely that I've never heard a bad classical composition from John Williams. He is one of the best film scorers in history, if not THE best. He's scored so many songs for big name movies, such as: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Saving Private Ryan, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Dracula, Superman, Jaws, and so many more! John Williams even wrote the themes for certain events, like the Olympic Games and the NBC Nightly News. Six long decades and he's still making music. Williams has been awarded five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, seven BAFTA Awards, and 21 Grammy Awards. He's basically done it all! Together with the great composer, Alfred Newman, Williams is the second most nominated person under Walt Disney. Around the world, John Williams has conducted with some of the greatest groups of musicians, from the New York Philharmonic to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Since I'm only including one video for each entrant, I've decided that it didn't matter which one I included. This is because...John Williams is the man. Any piece is a good piece when it comes to John Williams. I suppose I will just put my personal favorite song by John Williams on here. It's good to end the list with a more modern-day approach to classical music.

- Done. Proud to be a musician!