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.


Dancing Through
December 6, 2007, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Music, Theatre, USC

Tonight I had the opportunity to see USC’s Dance Company present “Dancing Through the Chocolate Factory.” I’ll just say it. I was amazed. It was one of those times for me when I just thought to myself, “Man, I really really wish I knew how to do that.”

When I first heard about the recital months ago, I was skeptical of watching a dance recital set to some sort of story that I was supposed to follow cohesively for 3 hours. I was definitely surprised. The concept was simple. Dancers told the story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory through all kinds of different styles of dance from jazz to ballet to hip-hop. It was really a lot of fun to watch. The song selections were well chosen too. Here are some of my favorites from the show:

One dancer seemed to particularly stick out to me and that was the part of Violet Beauregarde. You know, the gum chewer. In this version, she was a petite sassy Asian chick with a whole lot of attitude and personality. She really sold me on the character. You know how the story goes for Violet. She gets her hands on a special prototype of gum and long story short, ends up turning into a huge blueberry. Basically for the number, the dancer playing violet gets hidden in a mob of dancing Oompa Loompas and has a blue plastic poncho type costume put over her. The mob moves over to one side of the stage and steps away to reveal a very plump looking little girl. She’s standing right over some sort of blower. This got a lot of laughs from the audience.

Anyway, it was pulled off flawlessly and really made me appreciate all the more just how beautiful and expressive dance is. It can be fun and light-hearted and other times it can be a ride through the deepest of emotions.

As I sat there taking in all of the amazing imagery and performance, I couldn’t help but think of how much I would just love to do the same. Here’s where the shocker comes in. You probably don’t know this, but I’ve recently been accepted into the Thornton School of Music here at USC to minor in Musical Theatre. I’m really excited about this and can’t wait to get in on some productions here at the University. However, as a Musical Theatre minor, you have to take some movement classes. I opted to take… (drum roll) …ballet!!

I’m quite excited to take this dance class, but very nervous as well, because I’ve never had any sort of formal instruction whatsoever. I might do well, but it has the potential to be one of the most challenging things I’ve ever taken on. Either way, I’m looking forward to taking it next semester. Haha! Imagine me, doing ballet of all things. Crazy. I promise, no tutus.

Be looking for updates about that. I’ll definitely be talking about it coming up in the Spring semester.

Anyway, there’s a little update on my life. Yay.

Oh and if you didn’t get a chance to see “Dancing Through the Chocolate Factory,” you still have a chance to do so tomorrow Friday night at Bing Theater at 7pm. Don’t miss it!

[good news]
February 13, 2007, 8:25 am
Filed under: College, USC

I realize that I’ve been very depressing lately, but with good reason.

However, you always have to stop in the madness of sadness (like that one, huh?), and smell the roses for just a second.

Monday was a great day for that. I got my Winter Intercession grades:

SOC101 – Introduction to Sociology, an online class with Professor William Lund – A
MUS102 – History of Jazz, a swinging fun class with Professor Gary Gregg – A

Those two A’s mean that (you’re going to hate me) I continue to maintain a 4.0 GPA in college. This will be the transcript I’m sending into USC for Fall 2007 admission and I’m very proud of it. According to the dean of the business department, I’m a shoe-in, but we can only wait and see.

Hey, what do you know! There is happiness in life!


postscript: That last line was a joke. Of course I believe there’s happiness in life. It just seems that in the whole myriad of sadness that this week has been, I haven’t made a point of sharing the things that have been bringing me happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going around sobbing all over the place.

A New Start
January 2, 2007, 1:27 am
Filed under: Blog, College Football, USC

Hey, Friends!

It’s 2007 and the start of all things new! I figured I’d get back into the blogging scene with a fresh new makeover. I hope you all like the new template I’ve picked out and customized. I followed the same color scheme as my Mysapce. I also moved my old blog over to the new Blogger, so there is now more functionality as far as commenting and the sidebar goes. (Check out the new archiving system. It’s really cool!)

Anyway, there’s a lot to talk about that’s happened over the last two months.

…and I will start on all of that tomorrow. As I’m writing this, USC just beat Michigan 32-18 in the Rose Bowl. Fight On, Trojans!

For now, Happy New Year to all of you! Hope 2007 brings you some great surprises and a lot of fun!