The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
February 11, 2008, 6:17 pm
Filed under: Friends, Music, Thoughts, Trojan Men, USC

One of the first EPs by the post-rock Texas band Explosions in the Sky. Go check them out. Purely instrumental. Driving melodies… it’s amazing. I first heard of them from the song “Remember Me As A Time Of Day” which was used as the theme song for NBC’s Friday Night Lights. Sometimes I just put this stuff on and sit in silence and think. It’s pure emotion.

“Your Hand In Mine” – Explosions in the sky

So lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I’m just grateful for where I am in life. I’m content. I think I’ve been through a lot. Lots of emotional ups and downs. Lots of disappointment and heartbreak. Lots of joy and happiness. Lots of accomplishment and excitement. It’s pretty cool cause I can look back and see the different events that have shaped me into the person I am today. Though at the time, it’s hard to see things for more than what they seem, I can be assured that later on I’ll know exactly why I needed to experience it. Such is growing up.

Update on Trojan Men… I made it into the group. Thursday night was pretty crazy. I get home from the callback audition around 10:20p. We were told that we would be notified that night whether or not we made it into the group. An hour passes and I get nothing. I’m checking my email constantly and making sure I haven’t missed any phone calls. Around 11:30p, the leader and founder of the group Evan Bregman adds me as a friend on facebook. I accept thinking, “Okay… cool?” I check out his status and it says, “Evan is really happy with the New Trojan Men.” So my energy is renewed. I’m thinking that they’ve already picked and I’ll find out soon if I’m in or not. Midnight rolls around. Nothing. Now I’m bummed. I’m starting to think that it’s pretty jacked up that I don’t even get an email to say I didn’t make it. At a quarter after, my roommate yells from the living room, “CY, YOUR FRIENDS ARE HERE.” I’m initially confused. I’m thinking it’s my friends from church, but they never stop by this late. I go to the front door and it’s the guys from the Trojan Men. I’m shocked. They pull me outside, congratulate me on getting into the group and insist on taking me out to dinner. I go. I’m in.

Since that Thursday night, they’ve thrown a welcome party for me and fellow new Trojan Man Pierre, I’ve had one rehearsal, learning three new songs, attended a performance at CalTech, and have gone out for sushi in Little Tokyo for Evan’s birthday. I feel like I’ve integrated pretty quickly. The guys are amazing and so talented and unique. I feel like I have a lot to learn, but that’s the excitement of it all. Life is for living and learning and USC has been great for that.

I’m grateful. Go and be likewise.



New Shtuff.
February 7, 2008, 11:18 pm
Filed under: Friends, Politics, Thoughts, USC, YouTube

Yeah, yeah… I know. It’s been over a month since I’ve posted. I want to say I’ve been busy and while that is partly true, I’ve just honestly been too lazy to type out a post. My bad.

Moving on…

I. Trojan Men

The Spring semester has started (bout a month ago) and my life has been pretty sweet. Tonight I had my callback audition for The Trojan Men which is a sick all male a capella group here on campus at USC. Over the fall semester and even before attending USC, I was watching their stuff on YouTube in sheer amazement of just how cool these dudes are. The audition was a lot of fun. Me and five other hopefuls spent two hours belting our hearts out. For me, it was a little surreal to even be singing with the guys I had watched and admired on YouTube. The audition pieces we were given were Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and the original “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” popularized by Frankie Valli. It was a blast.

At the end we had the opportunity to sing our solo audition piece for all the guys. Mine was “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” by Bryan Adams. Check out that link, it’s a super sweet video of Bryan Adams performing it live. Good stuff. Towards the last line of the verse, one of the guys started harmonizing with me. It was awesome.

Anyway, even if I don’t get chosen to be a part of the group, I’m glad I got the opportunity to audition and sing with the guys. And there will always be next semester. Additionally, I’m even more grateful that God’s given me such an incredibly fun talent and a passion for music and singing.

II. New Minor

A couple entries ago last semester I had written a post about being a Musical Theatre Minor and looking forward to taking a dance class. Over Christmas break I had a lot of free time to think about this and weigh my options in a balance. There are two things I really really love doing. I love singing and I also really love designing and doing graphic arts stuff. I found out towards the end of last semester that USC offers a minor in Communication Design

The core of this minor is communication design. In addition to courses in design, visual literacy and digital imaging, this minor includes optional courses in business, communication, journalism and marketing, allowing students to translate their design foundation in ways that are directly relevant to their career paths.

I decided to change to Comm Design because of my love for designing stuff… print, web… you name it. It’s a lot of fun. The reason I chose it over Musical Theatre is that I feel it has more relevance to my Major of Business Administration with an Entrepreneurship concentration. I’m thinking that I could eventually own my own business as a Web Designer or Graphic Artist for hire. I’m not sure exactly what my end picture looks like, but ideally it would be owning my own business and putting those skills to work.

So this semester I’m currently taking an Intro to Design class which is a load of fun. It’s a nice break between a full day of lectures and discussions. I’m taking two business courses, accounting and organizational behavior and an international relations class. The design class is A LOT of work. It’s 6 hours a week with a lot of homework doing projects, but it’s definitely worth it as I feel like I’m really learning practical things that I’m going to be putting to work.

So look out for some design stuff on here I’ll be posting as the semester rolls a long. Should be fun.

III. Changes

I’m a recent legal adult. I just turned 21 last Tuesday. Not too eventful. My roommates had champagne waiting for me when I got home at 1am on Tuesday. I popped the cork over the balcony and it cleared the swimming pool and the fence. It was pretty cool. Other than that, the rest of the day was filled with class and being sick. I came down with some strain of the flu last week. I’m just getting over it now, actually. On Wednesday night, my friends from church took me out to Applebee’s for some food and the obligatory birthday drink. I had something called a “Mochatini”… which was essentially a martini with some chocolate and coffee in it.

How was my first legal drink? It was cool. Maybe a little overrated. The funny thing is the guy didn’t even card me… Bummer. Actually, this past Sunday I was doing grocery shopping and I was sooo tempted to purchase a 6-pack of beer just to have the satisfaction of getting carded. I didn’t because I’m a noob to all this and didn’t want to buy something I wouldn’t like.

So aside from the fun stuff of having alcohol and achieving status as a legal young adult, being 21 has brought me to the realization that life is changing. No longer am I the teenage worship leader at Desert Christian High School, planning parties and get togethers for my friends, driving to Ventura beach in a minivan singing “Say It Aint So” by Weezer at the top of my lungs. I’m a different person now. I have different ideals, different goals in life, a different outlook, and different friends. The only two people I talk to on some sort of regular basis is a recent graduate of this school and her boyfriend who lives 20 minutes away from L.A.

Times have definitely changed. I’ve always said that I’m glad to be done with High School and would never go back, but I’m not sure how true that is now. I miss having regular times with a set group of friends who I could call on a moment’s notice and we’d be hanging out at my house, watching a movie or throwing pillows at each other breaking my mom’s teapots. Those were good days. Since then, drama has risen up between my friends. We can’t all come together or else it’s too awkward. All of them talk behind each other’s backs anyway. Saying how they don’t like the other person or the other person’s too emotional, etc, etc. I’ve been turned off to try to reconcile anything between any of them because nothing would come of it. So I’ve since moved on. I realize that things will never be like high school again.

I heard it said many times when I was a teenager that the friends you have for life will be those you meet in college. I see now that it’s incredibly true. I’ve been blessed to meet so many amazing people in the short time I’ve been at USC. I’m eager to see what the next two years bring as well. I’ll most likely be an Resident Adviser next year, building even more relationships. It’s all very exciting. I wish I could keep the ties from high school, but it’s proving difficult. Everyone is too busy or doesn’t find it worth the energy or time. I guess that’s fine with me. Times are changing and I accept that.

Well, there’s my rant and thoughts for the night. Oh, one other thing that’s changed since high school… I’m now a registered Democrat and yes, I voted for Barack Obama. I find that since being at USC, I’ve definitely become liberal in a lot of my thinking and in my expectations of government and what it should be doing to help its citizens. I hope that Barack is on the ticket come fall, but if not… I hope that a Democrat at least is. All the republican nominees are more of the same… This country needs change. Our economy is slipping, China is rising as the new world power, and our involvement in the Middle East is a joke of a mess.

Anyway, I don’t want to get too into politics as my views are only my own and I don’t expect anyone else to hold the same.

Alrighty… I’m spent. Hope this is good enough to tide you guys over to the next post… which should be coming soon. I always do my posts in spurts. Good for a month, off for a month… etc. Time will tell.

Go love each other.


An Observation
December 29, 2007, 6:45 am
Filed under: College, Friends, Thoughts

Hope everyone had a Happenin’ Happy Holidays.

So right now I’m at the Orlando International Airport in the lounge of the Hyatt that’s connected to the airport. As I walked through the airport and even as I sit here now writing this, looking around I see that everyone (seriously, everyone) is white. Not that that means anything… white people are wonderful. Haha!

Interestingly, going through high school, all of my best friends were white. Even growing up, my next door neighbors, my friends from church… all Caucasian. Now in college, I have friends and acquaintances of a whole slew of races – Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, African American, Kenyan, German… the list goes on.

…hmm… and the reason I’m here in Orlando is to hang out with some of my really good HOBY friends, who coincidently enough, are all white as well. Haha.

Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

“Once you go white, you don’t go back… aight?” – I think this is from Undercover Brother… Not sure, but I’ve heard it somewhere in a movie. 😛

Happy New Year.

Shopping For Engagement.
December 18, 2007, 12:18 am
Filed under: Friends, Thoughts

I had a fun little chat with my friend Emily tonight. I just found out from her boyfriend, now fiance, that they got engaged this past Saturday. This recent development brings a sad realization: My two best guy friends from High School are now both engaged and I’ve never even been in a serious relationship.

I don’t know what the deal is. I think my standards are just really high. Maybe unrealistically high. I feel that when I get attracted to a girl, I find something about them or some sort of habit that really just puts me off. I don’t think that they’re annoying or stupid, I think I feel that it would bug me in a relationship. I don’t know.

Anyway, I told Emily that I believe the right girl will come along when I’m ready. I guess that’s a good way of putting it. Emily’s a great friend and she knows how to cheer me up…

me: I need to get back to studying

Emily: oh okay

me: haha, my roommate just said, “You need to go engagement shopping”

Emily: haha

me: he’s kinda rich and just buys everything

Emily: no need my friend

me: so it’s really funny in the context

Emily: that is funny

me: but yeah, I try not to be all self-pity and whatever. She’ll come along when I’m ready. That’s how I look at it

Emily: you shouldn’t. You’re only 20 years old. There’s no time limit on these things especially for you fertile men

me: please dont ever call me a fertile man again

Emily: haha. I will tell mallory about that one tomorrow

me: I mean, it’s true. But from you, it’s awkward. haha

Emily: sorry; no reference to your reproductive abilities ever again

me: Great, I appreciate that

Emily: go study

me: haha, alright buddy I’ll talk to you soon

Back to Life, Back to Reality
November 26, 2007, 4:56 am
Filed under: Family, Friends, Photography

Thanksgiving weekend was great. I was so happy to get out of the city and spend time in the good ol’ Antelope Valley. I didn’t do a whole lot over the weekend, except see some old friends and sleep in a lot.

One thing that I did that I had a blast doing was setting up a little mini photo shoot with my sister Amber on Saturday. We spent an hour shopping at a thrift store for some interesting clothing and then made our way out to the desert behind my neighborhood for a little photo fun. Here are some of the shots from that. Granted, I did a lot of post-editing, because it suits my sister’s style. Check it.

You can see more on my Flickr.

Tonight, I helped decorate the front of the house for Christmas. It took a while, but it looks good. I think so, anyway. Here’s a picture.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Well that’s all I have time for now. Time to decorate my stocking… then a quick bite to eat… then back to Los Angeles… *sigh* Christmas Break can’t come soon enough.



[my bad]
February 21, 2007, 7:13 am
Filed under: Blog, Friends, Music, Thoughts

Okay, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to do the whole posting my title in brackets thing. Probably til the end of the month…

With business aside, let’s get down to the heart of the matter. Over the last several days, I’ve realized that I’ve done what I kinda vowed not to do: Let the events that have happened to my friend affect me and my relationship with God and with other people.

Since last week, I’ve fallen flat on my face into sin, hurting God and other people. I’ve kinda withdrawn myself emotionally, putting up a barrier between me and my friends. I’ve lost some of the joy and zeal that I normally have. I’ve let tiredness become an excuse for most things.

Lately, I’ve been hearing people say, “Hindsight is 20/20” and it’s very true. I see the mistakes I’ve made this past week, and I’m going to work hard to spot when I start doing them and quit it right then and there.

Thus, If I have hung out with you over the last week and I haven’t been myself or I don’t seem to be giving myself fully to the company, I am deeply sorry and apologize. It’s not in my nature to be withdrawn or constantly ‘tired’. I hate that junk. So for that, I ask forgiveness.

I’m ready to go back to being filled with energy and joy. I like that a lot better than this sad and depressing state I’ve been in the last two weeks or so.

With that being said, I was watching the news tonight after American Idol on FOX and there was a segment on this Cal State Fullerton senior who has been living out of his truck for almost the last two years. My friend Emily was telling me about people she knows at USC who live out of their cars during the semester while taking care of all their hygienic needs at the university’s gym. Anyway, the guy keeps a blog and it’s a pretty interesting read. Already in the first half an hour of the segment getting air on FOX, he’s received almost twenty comments on his blog entry for today. Check out his musings on what it’s like to live in your car at Tomorrow he’s doing an interview for national television. He also was contacted by some of the press in France. Crazy.

Alrighty, not much else to say I suppose. I saw Wicked on Sunday night at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood with my mom. It was my gift to her for Christmas. I must say, it was absolutely outstanding. The vocal performances were right on and I was just blown away by the set design. Good show.

That’s it for me tonight, I’m trying to keep the posts a little cohesive. I have more to write about, but I’ll save it for tomorrow. Tonight was fun. More on that later.


February 16, 2007, 7:40 am
Filed under: Friends

I drop by his place tonight. He’s in his room so I hang with his roommates for a bit watching V for Vendetta. He comes out, says hi to me, gives me a hug, and grabs a drink of water. As he retreats back into his room, he waves at me and says,

“Cy, I’m saying goodbye for now. I probably won’t be seeing you for a while.”

I get up and give him another hug.

Well, he’s moving. Most likely at the end of the month. I’ll be sad for a little bit, but the joy from knowing he’s taking care of himself and getting better overwhelms any sorrow I can feel. I see this as a new chapter in his life and my own. A chance to end one story and begin another. I wish the best for him and hope he keeps his smile.

Sometimes clichés are great: If you love something, you’ll let it go.

I love you, man. Take care of yourself. Get better.