Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Last night was good fun, with my friend Youming and his wife Alice, their roommate Ken (great name! Ha ha!), and especially Josephine and her sister Alice all coming out and having a memorable evening of late night Chinese food in Flushing.
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
TOKYO (Reuters) - Is it a phone call, a text message or simply time to make love?
new mobile phone available through Japan's NTT DoCoMo can ring to let
would-be mothers know when they reach the most fertile part of their
monthly reproductive cycles.
By tapping in data on menstruation
dates, the user can program the phone to alert her three days before
ovulation and again on the day. The company warns that the calculations
are based on average cycles.
Wow.... all I can say is.... wow.
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Friday, October 20, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Nabi just passed away some 35 minutes ago. It was witnessed by myself, my sister, and my father. Our house is a river of tears right now. He fought his best all the way to the last (even slashed up my face while I was trying to move him to a more comfortable spot). I don't know if Chabi is aware yet that his brother is no longer with us.
I keep staring at his little corpse, somehow expecting it would somehow come back to life, even for just a little moment. It is, of course, an impossibility. I saw his death throes, his last defiance of death, even as he was choking in blood and spittle. I saw his eyes stare at me, eyes wide, until his soul left him and his eyes dilated to all black.
I know now why cats try to slink away and die in private. We... I robbed him of that, afraid of letting go, wanting to seem him bounce back just one more time. But it wasn't meant to be.
I can't sleep, not yet. My mother doesn't know yet, and she is in Malaysia right now. Nabi was most closest to her, and she to Nabi. She will find out in a matter of hours. In some ways, she probably already knows, via psychic connection or something....
I will miss Nabi, the orange cat. He kept us all company through several years. He was very shy, but when he came to know you, he was the loveliest and neediest cat of all. In his last hours, I played some flute for him. He practically grew up in Pittsburgh, listening to flutes played by my friend Lida, and later on, myself. He enjoyed listening to the flute, sometimes snoozing in the studio while my students played on.
He's lying there on the small leather couch-chair. We haven't figured what to do with the body yet. He's looking at me, his eyes refusing to close, even as my sister and I tried to gently guide them closed. Feisty and defiant to the end. I resist the urge to call his name just one more time, hoping for the flick of the tail that was his acknowledgement, because I know it will no longer come.
Rest In Peace, Nabi. May your next life be prosperous in whatever form it may take.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Sometimes the years pass quickly, sometimes they pass painfully slowly.
Each year, a group begins raw, a hodge-podge of collective experience/ inexperience, skill/non-skill, enlightened/unenlightened, some new and some older. As each year passed, those groups came together for a common goal of learning the language of music, and having a successful concert... Sometimes the journey was easy, sometimes it was very hard, but the journey was always made, and for the most part, successful.
When I think about the concerts that are done by everybody, I'm always reminded that most (as in the audience) see only the final finished product. It's exciting, and inspiring, to see young musicians do their very best. The young members of the audience may even join our programs based on the wonderful performance they've seen.
Occasionally, some get discouraged, because when the season starts, it's that raw, sometimes unpleasant sound, of an orchestra that's put together anew. Rebirthing pains, if you will. Some even want to leave based on the first rehearsals... They failed to understand and take into account that what they saw before was a finished product. They weren't there when the blood, sweat, and tears were expended in each and every single rehearsal in a long season.
That's okay. The ones that do stay become better musicians.... forever transformed and strengthened and tempered by the rigors of working with many to play as one with a common goal.
It looks like it'll be a good year....
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
I think I got it cancelled... but if I didn't, and I see a charge on my card, THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
QQ is one of the cutest dogs I've ever met... very adorable. He is very loving of humans, as you can see.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
This is some of the quotes of his that in the American Museum of Natural History...
"A man's usefullness depends on living up to his ideals insofar as he can.
It is hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
All daring and courage, all iron endurance and misfortune, make for a finer nobler type of manhood.
Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die, and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life."
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Installed Finale 2006d on it, works like a charm. :) At some point I'll try working with some of the GarageBand software and stuff.
PCs are still king of games, but Mac OSX... is excellent.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Uninstalled G-Desktop, and suddenlty everything works perfect again. Heh.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
These are some fairly recent pictures... as you can definately see, Nabi has made a nearly full and miraculous recovery! He's subject to daily fluid injections and some pills and tonic, but other than that, he's becoming as peppy as a kitten!
Chabi, of course, is a very cute, but obese cat. No danger of that cat starving for now. :)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Sorry about the hiatus, just had a lot of stuff going on. But this is a selection from this year's JSE group. They really came through like troopers!
As far as my training goes, it had been going nicely, until the entire morning Muay Thai class caught a ringworm skin infection... I only had a tiny spot, because it was caught and treated early, but some of the other guys were not so lucky. I think it was either from one of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu players who also cross trains in Muay Thai, or it might even have come from one of the seminar attendees from last month's Ajarn Chai Sirusute seminar. As it is, I had to stop training for a week, and may or may not be cleared tonight to do stick drills. No hand to hand sparring for me, probably, just to be on the safe side.
While on hiatus, I've been sharpening up my piano skills! Mostly, concentrating on score-reading exercises out of the Morris & Ferguson book. I can now read alto and tenor clefs on sight combined with treble and bass clefs above or below them. It's tricky, but actually a fun exercise.
Famous repeated words, I know but... "will write more soon".
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I'm exhausted today because I went to one of the days of the 2-day Ajarn Chai Sirusute Muay Thai seminar. Let me say that while he's not a young man, he still moves like one, and is an incredibly effective, if somewhat brutal, teacher. It's like he's Guro Dan Inosanto's dark-half, the one who will say direct stuff, and is not afraid to tell it like he thinks it is. If he feels that you kick and punch like a diseased old woman, he'll tell you so. He certainly made a rather cruel example of one of the seminar attendees, somebody who was obviously more a wrestler than a striker, and was clearly out of his element. In the end, Ajarn Chai complimented him for making the effort and undergoing such stress. I learned a lot about proper muay thai form and technique, and I wish my schedule allowed me to go to both days instead of just one. Like any old man, he tends to get a bit sidetracked into telling random storys, though he does eventually wander back on point. The stories he tells offer great insight into history, technique, and personalities in Muay Thai.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
Nabi, our beloved orange cat, has steadily been losing a lot of weight and energy. When we took him to the vet, it's been determined his kidneys were having difficulty functioning. Blood tests are still being done, so it might reveal more. The vet has given us some subcutaneous fluid injections that we are to do daily... in essence, it's like giving a cat dialysis.
Upon arriving back at our house after a 3 night stay at the vet's, Nabi has very little energy, and very laboured breathing. We're hoping he will pull through, but it's very touch-and-go. His time on our mortal plane might very widely, measuring in days, months, or years.
I have no religion. I cannot pray. I only have hope and tears. But those of you that do, that've been keeping watch on the blogs, please keep Nabi in your thoughts and prayers.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
This is very tragic. I briefly met one of the crash victims, Roger Samels, two years ago when he sang with my friend Ulises Solano in a small opera production called "Antigone" here in NYC. Even though I met him only for one or two days, I remember him having a beautiful deep singing voice and a humorous personality. My deepest condolences go out to all the families of the victims of this tragedy.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Friday, April 07, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
I've been playing a bit more piano lately... it's something I haven't done in a long time. The original impetus of it was to better accompany some of my younger flute students so that they get a better sense of rhythm and harmony from the accompaniment.
It's turned into something more.
Mostly, it's a revisitation to my musical roots, to my first instrument. I've been playing some stuff from my very old piano books, now yellowing and fraying at the edges. Memories ebb and flow as oddly familiar tunes emanate from the 25 year old piano in my studio. Yet I'm seeing and hearing the old books in a new light, things I couldn't possibly have perceived when I was very young. It's amazing how fun it is when you can actually read music.
It's a new source of relaxation... it's an option, and it's how it always was meant to be for me.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Things have been going well for me. I have my health, I have the health of my family and friends, I have my music, and I have my martial arts. What more can a man ask for? Well, a beautiful woman, but that will probably still take a while.
I've been substitute teaching for a flute faculty member who is on sabbatical for the rest of this year, as well as taking on new students, so I've been having greatly expanded teaching duties at COS. The flute studio at COS still needs a lot of work, but I have one or two students I teach there that are finally breaking through and starting to make some very real progress. It hasn't been easy for any of the students, since my style and standards of teaching are so drastically different from that of my predecessor. But I absolutely believe that my approach is the right one, because it's 100% No Bullshit flute playing. Pure technique, with minimal dogma and based purely on ergonomics, physics,science. No gimmicks, no crap. I totally believe that if one follows my assigned progression with diligent practice, they can be competent in 1 year, great in 3 years, and incredible in 5. I'm actually starting to run out of room to put students in my schedule, so I'm going to start to become far more picky in who I'll accept and maintain in my studio, both privately and via COS.
I've lost touch with most of the old gang at the kung fu academy I used to go to. Basically it's just occasional chats with the Master's daughter on MSN, occasional contact with this nice Japanese couple, a few training sessions with another ex-student that decided to follow me to PMAA, and not so infrequent drinking sessions with my friend Ray who went with me to China on a kung fu training vacation. I do miss the training there sometimes, even occasionally pulling out a half-forgotten form now and then. But what I've lost there has been replaced by a far more fulfilling and organized experience at the current academy I train in.
It's been nearly one year since I joined PMAA. Overall, it's been a wonderful time so far. I've learned far more about real combat there in that short amount of time than all of my time spent doing kung fu. That's not to say the kung fu training was completely useless - quite the opposite actually, since it allowed me to have preexisting discipline, flexibility, and fitness to function well in the classes. Remembering pad drills and stick combinations is almost a cinch compared to remembering all those fancy forms. But what separates this school from the other are a couple of things: a central location, proper equipment and safety gear, pressure-tested techniques and concepts, variety of curriculum, and a truly dedicated head instructor and assistant instructors, who are there nearly every day, giving and teaching their all.
It's hard work done by very hard-working people, people with apparently a pretty good history and high sense of morality. Very exciting things are going to be happening at the school soon. It's being relocated and expanding from its current tiny 1100 square feet corner location to an entire 4500 square foot building. Ten years of dedicated teaching and proper school management by Sifu/Guro Nick Sacoulas have resulted in a just reward. The students are all super psyched about the move... if anything, it means more sparring partners to play with (and more room to do it in)! :)
Just a brief plug.... On March 19th, starting at 4pm at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center, COS will be having its annual Concerto Extravaganza concert. Yours truly will be assisting Sara Aomori, a young promising flutist, in playing the Cimarosa Double Flute concerto. For more info about location and tickets, go to www.childrensorch.org
Getting sleepy now. Will write/post more stuff soon.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
"If you don't know something, you should say you simply don't know. That's why you cannot answer my question. Now, the question is, do you want to know? There is no shame in not knowing something, but there is ultimate shame in not having the curiosity to find the answers."
A good teacher may not even know everything at once in his subject matter, but if the teacher has the curiosity to find out, and is able to impart that curiosity to the students as well as point them towards good sources to find the answers on their own, then there is nothing in this universe than cannot become known and understood.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
"Mastering basics is a lifelong activity, not just repetition of the same movements done in the same way over time. You learn the outer pattern first, but then you work on trying to understand and perform the principles and methods within. Sometimes you only understand these after years of training and watching your masters. Some teachers too will first teach one level, then another and another. The secret to improving your basics is to be attentive to yourself and your movement. You can be shown something, but only you can monitor your progress. You thus become your own teacher as you incorporate what you have learned. At some point what your have learned become so ingrained into your muscular memory and reflexive action that it becomes instinctive. You can then move your focus to new goals. "
This is true, whether you're doing martial arts, or music. It is true for almost anything in life. Read the article, it's interesting.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Why? Because I did this to get a $1.25 Gatorade (debit service sponsored by Yahoo! inc.). Now all the sudden I have unauthorized debit authorizations for $1, $1, $10, and now $40! That's the potential for a $52 bottle of Gatorade as things stand right now!
So, naturally, I'm disputing this. I've also blocked my card (it's in tiny tiny pieces shredded in the trash) and waiting for UPS to ship my new one from the bank.
Grrrr, this sort of dishonest stuff pisses me off! This stuff I bet never happens in Amsterdam, where you could do the same thing even with a cell phone to vend drinkables.
I've decided to quit training Kungfu. Temporarily? Maybe. But this feels permanent. It's something I've considered before, but recent events and contemplation have pushed my mind, body, and soul into the new direction.
I still have a lot of thinking to do, a lot of careful pondering. The decision I made changes a lot of things with me. Changes in time management. Changes in long term planning. Changes in life goals. Changes in personal relationships. Changes financially.
"You could always go back.", some would say.
But I can't. Not when I no longer am capable of performing the feats demanded there to the best of my ability. Not when I no longer believe in the system. Not when I no longer have absolute confidence in the founder, something I lost several months ago.
So... why is it still feels so difficult a decision?
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Adventurous.......................Slept with everyone
Contagious Smile..................Does a lot of pills
Emotionally Secure......................On medication
Friendship first..........................Former slut
New-Age................Body hair in the wrong places
Outgoing........................Loud and Embarrassing
Large frame................................Hugely Fat
Wants Soul mate...............................Stalker
DICTIONARY OF WOMEN'S ENGLISH:
1. Yes = No
2. No = Yes
3. Maybe = No
4. We need = I want..
5. I am sorry = you'll be sorry
6. We need to talk = You're in trouble
7. Sure, go ahead = You better not
8. Do what you want = You ! will pay for this later
9. I am not upset = Of course I am upset, you moron!
10. You're certainly attentive tonight = Is sex all you ever think about?
DICTIONARY OF MEN'S ENGLISH:
1. I am hungry = I am hungry
2. I am sleepy = I am sleepy
3. I am tired = I am tired
4. Nice dress = Nice cleavage!
5. I love you = Let's have sex now
6. I am bored = Do you want to have sex?
7. May I have this dance? = I'd like to have sex with you
8. Can I call you sometime? = I'd like to have sex with you
9. Do you want to go to a movie? = I'd like to have sex with you
10. Can I take you out to dinner? = I'd like to have sex with you
11. I don't think those shoes go with that outfit = I'm gay
Monday, January 09, 2006
Still training. Today during class I passed by some guy and/or area that literally smelled like dog shit. Dammit, I wish people would observe basic hygiene sometimes. Ugh.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Just give me some Single Malt Scotch and a friendly body to lean on , and I'll be happy.
Oh... and some fucking knee surgery too. :)
Thanks for reading. ;)