World of Warcraft

Well, I finally got sucked in to playing WoW. Not by choice though.

It all started on Victor’s birthday party. Jhonjhon (old high school friend) came over and he’s an avid wow player, but on a different server than most of my RL friends play on. Jhon’s been bugging me to play WoW for a while, so I said, “Fine, I’ll play if you switch servers.” 15 minutes later, he showed me that he transferred his 3x Level 80 characters.

WTF!!! So yeah. now I’m playing WoW. I’ve actually been playing for weeks now, and I used to be on Evercrack back in 2001, but after quitting in 2003 and now getting back on it just now, I find that my time management skills are much better and I don’t have to play 18 hours a day. Heck, I probably just play a few hours a week.

Good thing that WoW can be fun playing in small time intervals.

Brass

I saw this commercial on TV about this guy that started a Brass band for kids in New Orleans. It got me thinking about Guam. Guam has a serious lack of brass players. GTB is great, but GTB has always lacked brass players too. So I thought, hay what if I start a brass band??

In addition to my 5 year plan, here’s where I’d like to see myself 5 years from now:

  • Day Job (9am-3pm): Web work (programming/meetings/etc)
  • M/W/F: Brass Band 4pm-6pm (after school program)
  • Saturdays: Teach a Maximum of 8 lessons
  • Sundays: Off

I think my Brass Band will be all for beginners and I’ll buy all the instruments so that parents don’t have to invest too much. I’ll invest more in lower brass because that’s what Guam is really lacking. The good people will feed into GTB once ready. I think I’m slowly working out of my private lessons phase and I want to work on a group basis soon… Hopefully I can get the funding soon to rent out a place that’llย accommodateย it.

5 Year Goal

So I was talking to Doc and Stevie B about the future of the UOG Music Department and it really got ย me thinking. I mean, I’ve always been thinking about the future, but it’s mostly been a blur for me… Like, I really can’t see exactly where I’m going to be 5 years from now. Doc says that he has about 6+ years to retire, so he jokingly (or not?) mentioned to me that I should get my DMA so I can come back in time to teach!

Little backstory… I haven’t really had an entire day off since I graduated in Spring ’08. I teach lessons every day. Sunday/Saturday are my busiest teaching days. I do weddings in the daytime M-F. Even if I don’t have weddings, I teach. If I have a full day of weddings, chances are, I have a full day of teaching after that, and to top it off, a rehearsal. The money is good and the music is fun, but seriously, I want to have at least ONE day off out of the week 5 years from now.

Fast forward to this summer. When I went to the states for Jimmy’s grad, I visited the sax professor Dr. Radnofsky at New England Conservatory about the possibility of going there for Grad school. I didn’t bring my sax which disappointed him a bit, but he was VERY understanding and let me play one of his saxes. He was also impressed that I came from Guam, which was a plus for him because he travels often to smaller places trying to popularize classical saxophone playing. Anyway, I played for him and he was fairly impressed by my flexibility and my background. He told me that if I learned two pieces on a list of ten that he gave me, I would be in.

Yet another tangent (don’t worry, I am going somewhere with this). This year, I became a part of two new web companies: DRT Web Solutions with my friends and Gecko Labs, LLC with my brother and his best friend. I have been programming websites since high school, and I haven’t stopped learning new techniques and technologies ever since. I am well versed in XHTML, PHP, MySQL, CSS, Javascript, AJAX, etc…

So here are all my career possibilities at the moment (in no particular order):

  • Running my recording studio (for those who don’t know me, I started it in 2005)
  • Running my music store/distribution/repair (same, 2005)
  • Wedding Pianist
  • Music Teacher (private lessons)
  • Grad School
  • Web Companies
  • Band Teacher (I haven’t totally pushed it aside)
  • Gigging musician

I have several scheduling categories for myself: My day-job schedule, my night/weekend schedule, and my late-night schedule. Right now:

  • Day Job: Wedding Pianist Full-time (40 weddings/mo)
  • Nights/weekends: Teaching lessons
  • Late-night: none

This is where I would like to be 5 years from now

  • Day Job: Web programmer Full-time
  • Day Job: Emergency Wedding Pianist (~5 to ~20 weddings/mo depending on season)
  • Saturday: Teaching Lessons (a total of 8)
  • Late-night: Gig one or two nights a week
  • Sunday: DAY OFF

My web career is picking up quickly, so this doesn’t seem too far off to achieve 5 years from now. If I’m nowhere near this goal in 3 years, though, I am really going to consider going to Grad school to get my DMA in Music (sax) and being a full time Sax teacher/university professor while being a part-time web programmer.

Exercise

I’ve been busy so I haven’t had too much time to exercise. At least I’m staying in the “Normal” BMI area, even though I been pigging out sometimes.

When I work out, here’s what I try to do now:

  • Warm up with some Yoga (Half-moon, Sun Salutation, Tree, nothing too difficult)
  • Push-ups (10 reps) x2
  • Jackknife Challenge (100 reps)
  • Free Run (20 minute)

Since I haven’t really updated in a while… I beat the trainer doing the Jackknife Challenge and could do 100reps pretty consistently. After I stopped working out every day though, I can only do about 60 reps now before giving up. Kind of sad. I need to work back up to it. It’s my back and neck that’s mostly giving me trouble.

My new hobby during free run is to set “checkpoints” for myself every minute. I got 4 stars in the 10 minute free run by running .250 miles per minute. That means .125 miles every 30 seconds, finishing at 2.5 miles in the end. I started by doing .2 miles per minute, then doing .21 miles per minute, then .22 miles per minute, then .23 miles per minute, etc. This makes it a lot more bearable to keep the TV on the free run, instead of running without any smaller goals in mind.

After getting comfortable with the 10 minute free run, I’m doing the 20 minute free run, but only doing .2 miles per minute. I can’t last 20 minutes doing .25 miles per minute, but I imagine that’s what it’ll take to get 4 stars, because so far, I’ve only gotten 3 stars. It’s a great workout and I plan to 4-star it one of these days.

On the sad side, I have never recreated my 20-rep push-up/side-plank moment. I guess that was a one-time deal. On the bright side, I am very comfortable doing the free run.

That’s all for now. I’ll update once I’ve crossed another milestone.

Back to Work

This month I’m back up to my number in weddings (about 40). I also have just about all my students back, and a few new ones too.

I always get a little stressed out when I get new students because it’s always something new and different. ย Every time I’ve had a new student, there’s always been a new challenge… tonguing problems, tone problems, air control problems… Sometimes I don’t have all the answers to all the problems, but I try my best to make them try different things. ย This has worked most of the time, but I guess in the end, if the student is a natural (and I have maybe one or two), they’ll be able to feel it themselves.

Anyway, I guess I got what I asked for. I acquired a bit of debt over my summer vacation, especially from going off-island twice. I’ve been asking to get busy again so I can roll in the dough to pay off my debt from the vacation, and on top of that, I still have to work on paying my student loans and car. When will it ever end! (nevarrr)

Sick, but Productive

We’re finally almost done with the Senator’s site. After that, we have to get the Guam Veterans site up, which shouldn’t take too long as long as everyone participates to make it happen. DRT’s next project is Guam Arts Calendar, which hopefully will go up within the next couple weeks.

I’ve been sick so I haven’t really worked out these past couple days. I’ve been taking my body tests every day, though. Today, I lost 2.2 pounds from yesterday, which is weird, because I pigged out at Pochon Chicken last night (which by the way was FREAKING GOOD!!!!! A++++ WILL BUY AGAIN). Maybe I should eat more to lose more weight :D

I feel a lot better now that I don’t have so many weddings to do. Hopefully, web business will pick up before it gets busy with weddings again. I’m perfectly happy playing piano for weddings, but I keep hearing that numbers keep going down and down and there’s no telling how long the wedding business is going to last before one of the big shots take over everything. Well, at least I have plenty to fall back on.

Oh and I’ve also been productive because of PIANO! I made it a point to accompany all my students this semester. I’m doing it for myself as well as for them. I’m also kinda doing it as a favor for Stevie B too, because I feel sorry for him that he always has to learn at least 10 different accompaniments every semester. Plus, I really want to get back into practice and I want to get better at sight reading, so yeah. This semester, I’m going to be learning Faure’s Fantaisie for Flute, Vocalise for Flute, Vocalise for Alto Sax, Poulenc Sonata for Flute (1st mvt), and Weber Concertino op26 for Clarinet transcribed for Alto Sax, which is pretty much the same.

I have my work cut out for me. BRING IT ON!

Actually Refreshed

I think I finally got around to sleeping at 3am last night, and I woke up today actually refreshed, even though I’m still sick.

I worked out a couple things today. I finished the B.J.F. Cruz website design and followed up with that. I also worked out a schedule with the flute student I was talking about in the last blog entry, so hopefully things will work out. I picked a couple pieces I hope he’ll like: Romance (Brun) and Fantaisie (Faure). They’re both pieces that I’ve worked with another flute student and the latter is a very popular piece for the Flute.

I have Symphony rehearsal tonight but I’m really not feeling up for it. I think I’m going to just go though because it’ll get me some fresh air instead of sitting behind my fortress of monitors all day like I usually do. Ciao!

Insomnia

I can’t sleep. I’m not entirely sure why, but there were tons of things going on in my head while I was trying to sleep. I’m actually really anxious for the first time after I graduated. Here are some of the top reasons I think:

  • I have a new flute student through UOG. I’m not sure if I’m qualified to teach him because he’s a really good flute player, but I think I’m just going to have fun because I know of a few pieces he and I can play together.
  • I’ve been working with DRT Web Solutions to try to get the Senator B.J.F. Cruz website up for months. We’re almost finished but there’s still a lot to do. I can’t believe I’m losing sleep over this.
  • One of my Clarinet students is trying to join the Guam Symphony. He’s only a Freshman, and he’s only been playing the clarinet for a few years, but for some reason, it would bring me great joy to see him get in. He’s auditioning tomorrow and he’s competing for the spot with a few others, so I wish him the best.
  • After my two off-island trips this summer, I am in DEBT! I really need to get my CC paid off, and quickly… stupid finances charges. It’s my first real summer as a working person, so I forgot that I have very little income during the summer as a teacher… combine that fact with my vacation spending and bleh.
  • I want to accompany my students this semester at UOG because I want to get better at Piano and this will give me the opportunity. Between juggling my 4 jobs, symphony and UOG rehearsals, I hope I can find time to practice.
  • I’m scheduling a DVD recital of my students to be recorded by the end of October. I’m hoping to do these 4 times a year, but they are so time consuming to mix down and compile. This doesn’t help at all considering my busy schedule, but I need to give my students a venue to perform.

So, that’s my venting. Maybe I’ll be able to sleep now. Hmm, actually maybe I’m not able to sleep because of that tea I drank at 8pm to soothe my sore throat.ย  Oh well, time to try again.

WTF GPA?!?!

Okay, I just received a bill in the mail saying that my power meter has been malfunctioning, causing whoever was reading my meter to be wrong… so they send me a bill with the adjustment of… $950!! WTF ?? Is it my fault that whoever has been reading my meter didn’t check this in time?

Apparently, Guam Law allows them to back-bill their customers 4-months behind if anything like this happens. Anyone got any tips on what to do about this? This really pissed me off… Not only do I not have the money to pay them, but it feels like I just got robbed @#%#$%

Mushroom Swiss Angus Burger at Mickey D’s

I have a really weak spot for the Mushroom Swiss Burgers (note the capitalization). Ever since I tried my very first one at Wendy’s back in middle school or high school, it has always been on the top of my to-order list. Unfortunately, the Wendy’s one is only offered on limited-time basises (basees?). The one at Burger King sucks too, because the meat is so small and everything looks so compressed and dry. The flavor isn’t there either.

Now, recently, McDonalds just came out with their Angus line of Burgers. I didn’t really care at first because I’ve been dieting and eating right, but lo and behold, there is a MUSHROOM SWISS VERSION of it!!! I still try to hold back because I really don’t want to off my “stay away from fast food” regimen, but I eventually cave in after asking Rich how it is.

I just ordered one and gawd, it’s like the best thing ever. The mushroom flavor is very husky and the beef taste isn’t as Angusy as some people say it to be. My only complaint is the same as Rich’s: not enough cheese. Otherwise, A+++++++ WILL BUY AGAIN!

In the works!

I’m on a programming high. I started programming today at around noon and I’m still going and it’s already 10pm. What I mostly worked on today is a barebones script… kind of like one you would find on Drupal, except I have to program everything by myself.

I should really start to learn how to use these other CMS’s one of these days to save myself a lot of time because so much time is wasted programming things over and over again. I actually created a library of functions several thousand lines long to help me with my programming. Maybe I’ll post up some of my libraries on here to see if anyone cares about them.

Anyway, in addition to the barebones, I’ve started working on a Guam Arts Calendar site. I’m hoping it will help raise awareness of the Fine Arts on Guam and most of all make it so that people can schedule their events without having to worry about overlapping.

That’s all for now!

Push-ups??

So I’ve been a little lazy on the Wii Fit for the past couple days because my body’s been sore. Been keeping up with my Body Test though and my weight has been climbing up very slowly these past couple days.

The thing that bothers me the most… I can’t do the 20 rep pushup anymore. I do about 12 then I’m out. I continue up to 18 while pushing-up on my knees, and then I do last the 2 regularly. I thought taking a break would help but noo..

Anyway, I haven’t had a good full-hour workout since I started programming a lot. ย Must lose weight… My goal is 120.

Trip Around The Island

So I went around the island with Rhea, Andrew, Rodrigo, and Austin. It was pretty fun and I didn’t go around in a really long time. We stopped about 3 places for sight seeing.

It’s a shame to see so little upkeep of Guam’s sites. Even Saipan’s sites are more beautiful to see than our insect-ridden, graffitied, piss-smelling sites. Anyway, that’s what little Island Pride I have in me coming out, but seriously, wtf.

Anyway it was fun mostly cuz I didn’t have to drive :D Andrew drove the whole time. Scared the crap out of us for the most part because he tends to swerve off his lane once in a while. But I came back in one piece. Yayz.

Okay nothing new to report. Bai.

Guam College Books

Just finished Guam College Books site (thanks team DRT wuwu)! I’m still making a lot of changes but overall it’s functional and it’s been so much fun getting this thing off the ground. Here’s the URL:

http://www.guamcollegebooks.com

I also finished up the DRT website… at least a placeholder. You can check it out here:

http://www.drtguam.com

I’m going to play around with WordPress a lot more. It seems to be a really CMS. Plus I’m using it to create Senator B.J. Cruz’s website so I need all the help I can get to get this thing to work lulz :P

Working Out

So I bought Wii Fit on June 30, 2009 and have been using it pretty much every day except when I went to Japan on July 18. So far I’ve lost about 5 pounds (bringing my BMI down to a Normal 24.85 from Overweight 25.2) and I feel really good.

I’ve also increased my Reps in a lot of the STR exercises and I feel my body getting a lot stronger. Just a couple days ago, I completed my very first 20 rep push-up/side-plank. My form was probably pretty bad. I plan to bring my reps down on most of the exercises to start working on my form.

Here’s my workout order now:

– Body Test
– Yoga: Half moon, Tree, Sun Salutation, Dance
– Aerobics: Island Lap
– Str Exercises: Single-leg Extension (20), Push-up (20), Jackknife (30), Lunges (15), Plank (30)
– Aerobics: Island Lap

I can do a 90sec Plank but my form really sucks. I can’t do a 20 rep push-up anymore, so after about 14 or 15, I drop my knees. Anyway, I’m gonna post as I lose more weight. Wii Fit yay!

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