Freedom Fries

So I recorded Freedom Fries today. They have a new song coming out soon, and I’m VERY excited! This song is even better than their first two, so look forward to hearing some awesome stuff on the radio, people of Guam.

Speaking of which, I forgot how much fun recording is. I’ve been recording Fiyahdub (actually mixing them down now, they have 4 songs), and now with Freedom Fries, man I am having a blast. It helps that I think that my mixing skill has gone way up since the days of Matala. It makes me want to go back and remix all of the old stuff to see how good I can make it sound. Listening to all the old Matala tracks, I really am unsatisfied with the way I mixed some of them, so I would like to go back and maybe just play around.

Lunch Disaster

So today, I had two weddings: 11:00am Crystal and 1:00pm Crystal, both with Gigi. So since we had about an hour in between, we went downstairs to Magellan restaurant for buffet. It’s like only the best buffet evar!!! Plus we got tip from the wedding ($20 each!), so like yay.

We got a table, sat down, then proceeded to the buffet table. When we I got there, I’m like… oh look, the first dish is seafood. Let’s take a look at the next dish… more seafood. I walked around the whole buffet table… ALL SEAFOOD!! WTF?! Oh, for those of you that don’t know me, I don’t eat seafood. :/

Anyway, since I’m already there, I figure I might as well just try… So I get one of everything. They still have the bread I like, which is awesome. They had some seafood veggie soup, which my parents make all the time anyway so I had some of that too. Got a piece of shrimp, seafood pasta, a fillet of sea bass…

It turns out I really like sea bass. At least, the way they prepared it. It was very un-fishy and nice any crispy with a spicy sauce. The soup was even better than my parents make it too (probably all the MSG), so I found a few things that I could really like.

Anyway, turning lemons into lemonade, I managed to get full, so it turned out to be alright after all ^^ Oh, and of course, it was so much fun hanging out with Gigi as usual.

Seaside Concert

The symphony seaside concert was pretty alright. It’s the same old same old. It started with a Bell Choir, then UOG Singers, then GTB Brass Group, then UOG Jazz Band, then the Symphony. All groups did just fine, although I have to admit that the acoustics are pretty terrible. The sound amplification does an okay job, but without any monitoring, it’s almost impossible to hear what exactly is going on on stage.

I actually really hate the Ypao beach shell. It’s facing the worst way possible, because the sun is shining right into it for all of the afternoon, so it’s pretty damn hot for the whole entire concert.

Either way, each group performed just fine and I’m glad this musical weekend is over! Except I have another gig coming up on Friday for the Guam Woman’s Club and another concert for a church on Sunday, so meh. I was hoping to get some relaxation in before my PI trip, but I guess I might as well make as much money and stay as busy as I can, and my trip will be that much better.

Music Week

It’s been a very musical week. Of course, on top of my weddings and lessons, I took part with UOG Jazz Band concerts and I’ll also be playing tomorrow with the Seaside Concert at Ypao beach from 3pm-6pm. I’m still having some body aches, but overall, it’s really fun and I’m glad to be a part of it all. I can’t wait til it’s all over and I get a break! That’s what PI is for I guess :)

Also, one of my students is going to be playing for his church, and he hasn’t been the bright student of mine, but his mom has insisted on him taking lessons almost every day and he’s gotten way way way way better than any of my other students have been. This makes me want to start a daily class for people of certain levels, because it turns out, I guess meeting with my students once a week isn’t enough.

Anyway, he will be playing 4 short pieces, and he had such a hard time with it before (not to mention a bad attitude about hating all the songs I gave him), but now he loves them all and is doing really well. Hopefully this will inspire me to try to alter my teaching methods for the better and trying to recommend my other students to meet more often throughout the week.

2v2 Awesomeness with TimFox

Starcraft 2 – Played a bunch of 2v2s tonight with Tim. We played 6 games and won all of them. Yeah!

Also, there’s a new test server which is so fun to play on. I did my placement matches then placed silver. Then I played two more games and lost both hahah. I guess all the high level players want to see what it’s all about so I played some pro people. Pretty crazy. All in all, had a very fun time.

Recording and Mixing

So I’ve been recording this band: Fiyahdub. They came here because of Junior, and I was kind of hesitant at first because I have my hands tied with way too many things right now. After mixing them for the past month or so though, I’ve found a whole new love for the craft. I even brought out all my old mixing equipment (3 mackie control surfaces, hr824 speakers, mmmm).

I’m recording Freedom Fries next week too. I want to go back and remix a lot of old songs that I recorded in the past because my mixing skills have gotten way better over the past year or two recording on and off. :) Fiyahdub’s songs are really great too. When they’re released, you should definitely check it out. I’m pretty sure you might here a song or two on the radio.

GSL Season 3

I’ve been watching live Starcraft 2 tournaments in Korea. A lot. I guess the problem is right now that I can’t play too much right now, so I just end up watching. Even more of a problem though: whereas I would only play a game or two a day, now I have to watch like, 10 matches a day. It’s crazy. It’s way more exciting watch other players duke it out though to see who gets to be the best.

For example, yesterday, one of the biggest Starcraft 1 legends, JulyZerg, was beaten in the round of 16, which was very sad because he had been performing so well. On a more positive note, though, a foreigner, LiquidJinro, made it into the round of 8. This is huge because a foreigner has never made it this far into a Korean tournament. Very exciting indeed…

I’ve only watched the finals of GSL1 and GSL2, but I’ve been keeping pu with this season’s GSL ever since the RO64, so it’s really exciting to see players go down and occasional exciting matches that I would have missed otherwise. Very very exciting stuff. This makes me want to get a HTPC for my TV so I can watch these matches on the big screen… hehe :D

Cinderella

I actually miss Cinderella. It was a pretty well done show with a lot of talented actors and singers. It also made me discover the Disney Teleplay that I didn’t know about with Brandy and Whitney Houston etc etc. I’ve been watching it a lot and I really like the music. Of course, the music will be stuck in my head for the next month or so, hearing it so many times throughout the week, as is normal for any other production I am a part of.

Pinched Nerve

So it turns out I have a pinched nerve. At least it’s not carpal tunnel, I guess. So I read that Yoga *may* help relieve a pinched nerve, so I started Wii Fit’ing again along with doing my normal arm stretching exercises. I’ve been keeping up with that for the past couple days, and things seem to be getting better, so I’m really gonna cross my fingers on this one.

I got referred to see a neurologist. It’s gonna cost me $300 to get a consultation! Not to mention I might have to do a testing (x rays and such). I was thinking about seeing a Chiropractor in the meantime because I’m starting to feel some pains spread toward my neck.. eh :/

Week Recap

Hell week is finally over! Last week I had to rehearse for Cinderella Mon/Tue/Wed night. Thurs/Fri/Sat night were shows. On top of that, I had morning matinee shows on Thurs/Fri, and I had a pretty busy wedding & lesson schedule. So glad that’s finally over.

I went to Von’s Chicken last night for the first time. People were saying it’s better than Pochon. I was quite the skeptic, but let me tell you, it’s pretty damn close. The only problem I had was that the chicken wasn’t spicy, but it was definitely more tasty and more juicy. Pochon is pretty dry. Either way, great experience.

So Alan’s leaving tomorrow to go back to the states. He’ll be back before Christmas, though, and he will be moving here for a couple years :D I think that will be pretty fun. He’s having a baby with Marissa pretty soon, so it will be pretty fun to see how things change around here.

Alan bought me a couple early Christmas presents: Just Dance 2 and Rock Band 3 with the keyboard :D It’s pretty fun, but almost impossible to keep track of all the different colors. I’d do way better with actual written notation, but maybe I’ll take some time to mess around with it to see if I can sight read.

I finally see the Doctor tomorrow for my arm problem. I hope it’s nothing too serious. I waited really long to get this checked, so I hope it didn’t escalate. Will post an update about that ^^

Power Outage and Cinderella

So last night, the power went out during the final dress rehearsal so there was no final dress rehearsal. That was kind of interesting since the previous rehearsal was still pretty choppy and we hadn’t even played the final bows music.

This morning was the first show though, and most people were calling it the actual last dress rehearsal. It actually went a lot better than expected. The fact that there were a bunch of kids there watching really helped the energy (except for the parts where they were bored and kept squeaking their theater chairs).

So, at least now, I just have to wait for 9 more shows to go, as it is every time there’s a GATE theater show. K go!

Starcraft II

So I haven’t really blogged much lately so I’m just catching up. I was playing SC2 heavily in the beta and now I’m playing quite a bit since release. I was playing Random on my account (coufu@coufu.com), but I had bought Rhea a copy too. I wanted to choose a main race, so I chose zerg and started playing on Rhea’s account (she’s named Squishy, aww!). I’ve been doing pretty well with Zerg (1700~ diamond), but sometimes I go back to Coufu just for fun with the other races and still manage to maintain a decent rating (1200~ diamond).

You can check out the standings of Guam’s players over here:

http://sc2ranks.com/c/520/gu-starcraft

GATE Theatre presents Cinerella

So check out Cinderella. It’s going on this weekend and next weekend (Thu-Fri-Sat) starting at 7:30pm. Not sure how much tickets are, but I’ve been in dress rehearsals the past couple days, and things are going pretty well! You should definitely check it out and support local arts!

I’m playing Oboe, so if you show up, say hi to me. I’ll be in the pit :)

One of those days…

So it’s one of those days you don’t really feel like doing anything.  I finally have a light wedding schedule this month after a few months of being crazy. My jury duty term is finally over. There are so many things I could be doing right now:

  • Laddering Starcraft II
  • Working on my “secret web project”
  • Working out (something I haven’t done in a long long time!)
  • Recording YouTube vid.

But there are a few things bogging me down. I woke up today at noon. I been trying to get up since like 9am or 10am but kept snoozing because I had a massive headache. The other thing is, I have this stupid shooting tingling sensation going down my right arm. I haven’t had time to get it checked by a doctor because of my really busy wedding schedule last month, but I finally get to see the doctor next week and I hope they can help me!!

I have so many things to do. I finally have a day off from weddings today so I can do other things, but I just wanna be lazy today. Haha well, who knows what I’ll end up doing… meh.

Gaming Nostalgia

I just bought Final Fantasy VII on PSN yesterday (I know, I know it’ s been out for a long time). LOTS of nostalgia for me… the gameplay, the music, the graphics, everything.

The graphics, though… leave a lot to be desired. I don’t remember the graphics being this pixelated! It could just be the fact that I’m playing it on an HDTV (which I imagine lots of people are if they bought this off PSN). I think older games look better on the CRT screens though, because the edges don’t look as sharp.

Anyway, it’s still an awesome game. It’s hard to believe how far games have come. I mean, I played through FF8 just late last year and the graphics for that wasn’t even as bad. Ah well, I don’t mean to be a graphics whore though, because all the newer games (or at least 95% of them) concentrate so much on graphics that the gameplay sucks so much.

So yay. Time to beat this mutha!

P.S. Sorry Tim. I’ll get to Xenogears eventually ;D

Practicing Sax!

I’m going to start practicing sax again.

Ever since we played Spain in Jazz Band at the Mardi Gras earlier this month, my surge of thirst for getting better at improvising has never been stronger. I totally busted out a hot solo, but my solos can be REALLY unfocused sometimes. So I’m breaking out this book again: Patterns for Jazz.

The iPhone is a great practicing tool too. I downloaded the Tempo app (metronome) and I use the built in Clock timer to time myself 30 minutes per practice session. I learned that practicing in surges of 3-4 hours only really leads to quick burn out. I’m going to pace myself.

After a few days, I’m already on the 20’s of the exercises. I only got right before the 100’s before I graduated from UOG, so let’s see if I can eventually finish the book. Here’s hoping…

New Chapter in Life

Not mine. Someone else’s.

My best friend on Guam, Victor, has left for boot camp. That actually affects my life directly. It hasn’t been so bad though, because after he had his baby about a year ago, I haven’t seem too much of him anyway.  Every time someone leaves the island though, like last time it was Rommel, it makes me wonder what I’m still doing here.

Guam really isn’t a bad place to live. I have great connections here and am making a good amount being self employed. I don’t know though… What brings people back to Guam are their friends and family, and all I have left here pretty much is Rhea and Rich. Jhonjhon is actually my last best friend on the island, but between WoW and work, I barely see him at all (once, twice a year maybe?).

Anyway, Victor leaving feels like a new chapter in my life too, but he’s been gone, and life goes on for me. Good luck Vic! I wish you all the best, because that’s what you deserve. Just wish you didn’t have to go so far to get it :/

Recent Highlights

I haven’t blogged much, but here’s a quick recap of the past month:

  • Solved 4x4x4 cube
  • Hackintosh’d my M1530
  • Finished lots of website work
  • Finished Freedom Fries original recording “Get Out”. They submitted it to Power 98. Listen!

Uh, that’s all for now, I guess. thanks!

Recording and the Music Industry

So I’ve been had a few recording gigs in the past few months. I recorded Freedom Fries’ new single (you’ll hear it on the radio soon!), and Pia Mia Perez, a 12 year old amazing singer!

Recording is something I love doing and it was the first business I planned on running after graduating from college. Unfortunately, after finishing Matala’s CD and also watching some other recording studio companies on Guam come and go, it simply seems that Guam isn’t a place where someone can run a recording studio full-time.

If Guam wants to see its music industry flourish, it needs to have some infrastructure. I remember being in Japan and ALL the performing bands in the bars and clubs having professionally made CDs. It was amazing. My friend, Tim, was telling me how it was required for bands in the city to finish a CD before performing. It makes perfect sense. Not only will you have something to sell at all your gigs, but it will help increase visibility and popularity and it will also show that you mean business.

Anyway, recording is very rewarding for me because I spent so many sleepless nights and countless hours learning tips and tricks from many books and many blogs and trying my best to perfect the craft.  I am not sure of my ability until I get these recording gigs once in a while where my clients will be very happy with my work, and it makes me with Guam had the economy to support a full-time recording studio.

Until then, I’m still here doing small jobs if you need me :)

iPhone vs Windows Mobile

I just got an iPhone, contrary to me resisting Apple products. My whole professional life, I’ve been relying on Windows Mobile and Microsoft Outlook to keep my life organized, and it has been simple. Windows Mobile and Microsoft Outlook. Period.  So how does the iPhone measure up with keeping my life organized?

When I got the iPhone, the first thing I did was connect it to my computer and sync it with iTunes. To my liking, I found out that the iPhone plays rather nicely with Microsoft Outlook. It synced my contacts and calendar no problem. HOWEVER, the iPhone does NOT come with a Todo app. I was very disappointed.

Luckily, I found a TODO app on the App store, but it was $9.99! The hell… I tried the trial version and it helped me get organized a lot better than the simple todo list in Windows Mobile, so I thought, hey, that’s pretty worth it. I bought it.After I did, I set up sync and was so happy only to find out that it DOES NOT synchronize via cable, but WiFi.

Uh, when I had my WM6+Outlook connected to my computer, it was sync, WAM BAM, k unplug, and you’re all set. This whole App+WiFi sync added another layer of complexity to my syncing process.

I figure I’ve been wanting to ween myself into using more online apps (like Google), so I moved all my e-mail from POP3 to Gmail, and calendars and contacts to Google Apps. Unfortuantely, I needed to get a different app for everything.

So anyway, I went from this:

  • Connect phone to pc, sync finished

To this:

  • Calendar: CalenGoo App
    • PROS
      • auto-sync with Google Calendar on load flawlessly
      • Works flawlessly
    • CONS
      • Does not use iPhone’s native calendar app
    • Price: $6.99
  • Contacts: Sync in a Blink App
    • PROS
      • sync with Google Contacts
      • Uses iPhone’s native contacts app
    • CONS
      • Buggy. Sync not always exact
      • You have to manually sync by opening the program.
    • Price: $4.99
  • Todo: Todo App
    • PROS
      • Great app. Keeps you organized
      • Notifications are great
      • Better than any TODO method I have ever used
      • Syncs automatically upon opening.
    • CONS
      • Syncs via WIFI: INCONVENIENT
      • Syncs with Remember the Milk ($25/yr subscription required): EXPENSIVE WTF
    • Price: $9.99

So now I have three separate apps that sync differently with several different services. The iPhone sure is fun to use, and getting organized isn’t bad to begin with, but if you need to be really organized, you better be ready to fork out extra money to do so.

Am I doing it wrong? Is there an all-in-one solution? I found an App called Pocket Informant, but it was rather expensive and I had already bought all these other apps. Also, I looked at some screenshots and wasn’t too crazy about the interface.

Sunday Night Concert

Hey everyone! I’m going to be doing another one of those Sunday Night Concerts for World Bridal. It’s $5 admission and only 30 minutes at the Nikko Hotel in the Crystal Chapel. It’ll be a set of all Classical pieces, so if you’re looking for something different, come over and check it out!

IT’S ALIIIIIIVE!!!

The Dell XPS m1210 is a BEAUTIFUL machine. I think it’s the best laptop there is. It’s not too big, not too small, and has tons of processing power and of course, it looks and feels great.

Unfortunately, about a year ago, one of my friends (AHEM!!) put the laptop on a surface where it couldn’t ventilate and it overheated and couldn’t be turned on anymore.  After doing some research, I found out that the m1210 has a defect where it is VERY prone to GPU overheating!! … So i guess that didn’t help.

To make matters worse, the GPU is integrated on the motherboard, so to fix this thing would require an entire motherboard replacement. Screw that. I sold out most of the parts immediately: the motherboard, the keyboard, the ram, etc. Everything but the casing and screen, because I couldn’t sell them.

And thank God for that. Just a month ago, I had some money saved, so I did some research and found out that I could get this sucker back up and running if I spent about $300. I was thinking… That’s about the price of a netbook, and instead of getting a dinky little thing, I can get my awesomest laptop back!

So I bought a motherboard ($175), CPU ($75), 2gb ram ($40), keyboard ($15), and battery ($30). I was really scared though, because the motherboard came from China, so sometimes you never know what to expect.

I received everything and guess what? It didn’t work!! Man was I pissed. I spent hours trying to figure out what was wrong, but I figure either one of two things: I screwed up, or one of the parts was dysfunctional.  I only assumed it was the motherboard, so I furiously contacted the eBay seller and asked him WTF and wanted a replacement. After he agreed, I was taking apart my laptop once again to take out the motherboard to get it ready to send.

But, before I did that, I wanted to run a little experiment of my own. After doing some research, I found out that Rhea’s laptop (Dell Inspiron 6400) uses the same components as my m1210, so I asked her (very nicely) if I could take apart her baby. She reluctantly agreed, so I took out the CPU and RAM and everything and popped them into my m1210.

It worked!! I couldn’t believe it. After doing some troubleshooting, I concluded it was the CPU that wasn’t working. Good thing I make sure all these eBay sellers have a “working guaranteed” clause in their auctions because I got a refund, and after more buying and waiting, I put this sucker together and it works again!

It’s good to have you back :)

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