Archive for May, 2007

May 30, 2007

Kiss my bumper, just kiss it

I love when people kiss your ass like there’s no tomorrow when they want something from you, then pretend like it never happened when they don’t need you anymore.

Edit – May 31, 2007 8:42 PM: I realize now that the statement “kiss your ass like there’s no tomorrow” doesn’t make any sense, haha. Why would someone kiss your ass if there was no tomorrow? They wouldn’t have anything to gain. But I think you understood my point.  😉

May 30, 2007

This past Memorial Day weekend

Most of the memorial days of the past several years, I have had to work. This year, I had the day off. So I was all excited.  The times when I had to work, there were always great parties, cookouts, shows, etc. going on.  It seemed like I was missing out on the “party of the year”.  So guess what? This year when I have off, there is nothing worthwhile happening.  LAME.

But the weekend all-in-all wasn’t bad.  Friday though, I didn’t go out. I had to take my mom to the hospital. She’s doing better. She recently had shingles, and some people have excruciating pain  and unbearable itchiness weeks, months, or years afterward.  She was absolutely screaming in pain.  I felt so horrible that I couldn’t take that pain away for her.  She said the pain is the worst pain she’s ever felt – even more severe than childbirth.  She has permanent nerve damage and her eye is messed up. She also has red scars that might never completely go away. I hate illnesses so much.

Saturday, I saw Lennex at the Recher Theatre.  They are always great. But hardly anyone was there for them, which I found odd. Then I realized it was because everyone apparently decided to go out of town for the weekend, yet no one I actually knew was out of town. So where was everyone? There were a bunch of people there for the band that went on right before Lennex, a band called Ashes Remain.  You’d think they were a hardcore band by the name, but they were somewhat of a jam band with more mainstream appeal.  The Ashes Remain fans that stuck around for Lennex actually seemed pretty impressed, which was awesome considering the two different styles and the fact that they really seemed like they were just there for the band they came to see.

Sunday, my friend Adam and I went to a bunch of different bars. Hardly anyone we knew was out.  It wasn’t until we went to the Depot that we had an awesome time. I got to see some people I hadn’t hung out with in a while.  I only had two drinks – an amaretto sour (which is what I almost always order these days) and a vodka martini with some of the nicest, biggest olives I’ve ever had. I had them at the Club Charles (which is right by the Depot).  The martini really snuck up on me because I was feeling “nice” the rest of the evening!

A friend of mine, Dave, was in town and I missed him. It sucked! He was at the Rec Room after Lennex but I had already left. He lost his phone and didn’t have my number anymore. When my other friend Dave called me to tell me he was there, I called but his number had been changed. By the time I finally got a hold of him, it was Sunday night and he had to get up early the next morning to drive back to North Carolina.  He’s a soldier now, so I don’t know when I will see him again. He’s one of those awesome people that I’d talk to forever about stuff. It’s always the quality people that go away.

May 27, 2007

Lullaby versions of rock songs

This may sound weird, but there are these Rockabye Baby!  CDs I discovered by accident on iTunes that are really good! They do lullaby versions of Radiohead, Coldplay, Smashing Pumpkins,  Nine Inch Nails,  Bjork, Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, and more… and then traditional rock bands like the Beatles, U2, The Rolling Stones, etc. I haven’t heard all of it yet, but what I’ve heard so far is good. They seem to choose songs that really work. I am thinking about just buying some of these for myself to help me fall asleep at night. I like how the artwork looks like kid versions of the bands’ original artwork.

You can hear 30 second previews by going to iTunes. Type in “Rockabye Baby!” as the artist.

May 23, 2007

My life, rated.

Took this from Sarah… starlit_rain

Hahah, looks like my life sucks! I pretty much knew about where I stood. But my life is getting better!

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 5.6
Mind: 5.1
Body: 6.1
Spirit: 6.8
Friends/Family: 4.7
Love: 1.4
Finance: 5.5
Take the Rate My Life Quiz
May 23, 2007

Allergen Calendar for Northeastern U.S.

Click on the images to read them better.



Types of Allergens - Click to see full image
Taken from http://www.hycorbiomedical.com.  According to this, I should be feeling a little better next month, and a lot better in July. But I’m allergic to ragweed, so August/September is never a fun time for me allergy-wise. I don’t think I’ve ever had allergies in the Spring. And I don’t think they’ve ever been this severe any time of year. My goodness, I want this to go away!

May 22, 2007

Women in Rock, Groupies in Rock

Wow, I was looking through my computer and going through old files.  I came across this long “editorial” or whatever you want to call it. I don’t think I’ve ever posted this, so here it is. Keep in mind that while I still feel the same way, a lot has changed in my life since I wrote this circa 2005.  I’m not in a band right now, I don’t eat ramen/Campbell’s soup (because they usually have MSG), and I’m actually sick of being poor. I’m going back to school in the fall and trying to do the “real job” thing.  Anyway, here it is:

Women in Rock, Groupies in Rock
As a female musician, I’ve always had a majority of males being my closest friends. Sure, I have hundreds of girl friends, but they’re mostly acquaintances. It’s been like that since I was in high school and it confused the hell out of my parents (how many guys are you dating? you’re not dating them? but why do you hang out so much? how can you guys be so close if you’re not “together”?)

Truth is, I can’t understand how most females look at life. I don’t hate. I just can’t RELATE.  I can’t relate to their attitudes towards certain things. This didn’t really come to light for me until I became a part of the Baltimore local music scene.

While I was focusing my entire life on music – turning down good jobs because it wouldn’t fit with the band’s schedule, living off ramen and campbell’s soup, and still driving the same 93 volvo I’ve had since I was sixteen (but loving it because the means justified the ends),  other females who swear their entire life is about music, but who mean that in a totally different way and haven’t put any sacrifice into it, makes me not understand them.

I’ve lived and breathed music my entire life. I’ve always used the saying that I’m better at expressing myself with music than with words since I learned to read music before I learned to read English. I was so young when I started out that I don’t even remember the learning process. While everyone else in school was going to the mall all the time, going to dances, or getting stoned every day, my life was totally different. I was taking piano lessons, theory lessons, group lessons. I missed very few days of school due to illness;  the majority of the school I missed was because I had some competition or judging to attend. I’ve performed more often as a classical musician than I have in any rock  band I’ve been in, and I’ve played probably around 100 shows in rock bands. There were times where it bothered me that I was missing out on the social aspect of growing up. The overwhelming majority of my friends were all people who were in our circle of pianists. And while that was the reason I gave up being in music school, I don’t regret having been in it because I knew I was focusing on something richer. Something that I loved. Something that had meaning.

So when I became a part of the Baltimore local music scene a few years ago, I slowly got more and more annoyed by things.  I got annoyed at girls who claimed that music was their life.  Music wasn’t their life!  Hanging on to the hot band of the moment and trying to date a member of the band was their goal. I’m not talking about girls whose friends are mostly guys in bands and so by default, of course they’re going to end up with guys in bands more often than not. It’s those girls whose “passion” and “focus” in life is to chase down anyone in any band and to get “close” to them for superficial reasons. Those girls who, if a non-musician were to do something to her or have a certain lifestyle, immediately break up with and call a jerk. But if it’s someone who’s a local celebrity, it’s not even an issue. It’s those girls who are obsessed with darker music, so they dress “goth”, but then when that’s not what’s big in the scene, they suddenly and overnight become an emo kid. I could never relate why a girl would focus their life on chasing down musicians when if they put even half that energy into starting their own band, they would probably fill whatever void they’re trying to fill. And then they’d be fighting off their own guys who want them! I can’t relate to these girls at allllll. I can’t understand anyone whose only “passion” in life is who they are going to get with. They don’t have any hobbies, talents, or real interests in anything of substance. It’s fine to want to be with someone. But if that’s all your life is about, there’s something missing. Besides, what do you really have to offer someone if you don’t have a good personality and traits of your own?

I know this is not all females in the music scene here, but the truth is it’s definitely the overwhelming majority. I always hear girls talk about how badly they want to be in a band. But they have no dedication to it. If they actually end up to the point of being in a band, they don’t want to put the work and complete sacrifice that goes into it. They don’t want to be a musician, they want to be recognized. There’s a difference.

It’s like what Oprah Winfrey said once in one of her shows. When she was starting out and was a local news anchor, she told her agent she wanted to be an actress. And her agent said to her No, you don’t want to be an actress. You want to be a celebrity. There’s a difference. Do you really want to live in New York as a waitress making crappy money while constantly going to auditions and getting turned down? And Oprah said she realized her agent was right and that she stopped focusing on that. Because she realized that who she is now is what her dream was all along. That was what she loved focusing her life on at that time.  But back then, there wasn’t much fame in it.

The very few female friends I’ve had, the friendship didn’t last very long. Most of them didn’t end in big fights or anything. It was more of a …. they were interested in someone in my band, or someone our band was closely connected to – like another band we played with often…. and “coincidentally” after hanging out for a while, they’d tell me that they’d been wanting to meet that guy before they’d met me. And once they got what they wanted or they moved on to the next big band in Baltimore, I’d stop hearing from them. And of course hindsight is 20/20 and now it makes me even more cautious of who I befriend.

And again, I know this is not the majority of females. And this is not me dissing music fans in general. I know that there would be no scene if it weren’t for the fans. But it’s those who I don’t really consider real fans. For example, I’m a fan of great visual artwork. I have very little talent in it myself, so when I see someone else’s work it fascinates me and I love it. And certain artworks can help me zone out or help me deal with someone that’s going on in my own life. But I’m not going to befriend all the artists just so I can date them. Does that make any sense?

But one day, I really started to think about it. Because the few other females that I can relate to have all said to me that they’ve had the same issues that I have. So I know it’s not me. And I started to wonder why things were the way the were.

Then I thought about the whole “women in rock” thing. Yes, there are a ton of women in rock music. It’s just that most aren’t mainstream. If you don’t spit out superficial crap like Avril Lavigne or Gwen Stefani (who really aren’t “rock” stars in my book), unfortunately there’s not a big audience for you in America. But, while there’s a ton of amazingly talented women in music, it’s still mostly males in this industry.

It’s definitely a change for me. When I was in music school, there were hardly any males. As a matter of fact, if a new guy came into the school, us girls were almost amazed. Since most of us were friends with each other more than people in school, the 2% of guys there were the only guys we knew.  But then when I got into my rebellious teenage years and was in a few crappy high school bands that don’t last, it was the other way around.

And I realized that a big reason there are more men in ROCK music, is because of people’s attitudes, especially parents. I had a stage mother. VERY involved in every aspect of school and piano. She is an amazingly talented classical musician, but she grew up in an extremely poor, rural part of South Korea, so there weren’t many opportunities for her. Her big dream for me was to become this famous concert pianist and play Carnegie Hall some day. In fact, it was her pushing me too hard that made me want to quit. Sure I wanted it, but she wanted it more than I did.

So you’d think that when I started playing out in bands, then playing solo, then playing back out in a band again – and doing well, that she’d be so happy, right? Happy that I’d once again focused my entire life on creating music. WRONG. She was so angry! Why was I doing music that wasn’t “real” music? Why was I in a field that is so unstable and there is no guarantee of becoming “successful”? Why would I be so stupid to take such a huge risk when before I was headed down the path to going to like a prestigious college for music and then through that I could become a professional concert musician. Why would I give up such a stable and sure shot for something that’s soooo not?

Because success to me isn’t defied in money or label status or anything like that. Success to me is being happy with what you’re doing. Knowing that you’re touching others. And being able to be proud of what your music is and what it’s about. Being able to express yourself. Even though I’d only been in a band that was “only” successful in the mid-atlantic region, to me I was accomplishing everything I had wanted and was happy as hell. We got to perform constantly to different crowds in different areas. We had a loyal fanbase. And truly the greatest thing was hearing personally from others that they could relate to us. Or that I inspired them to start taking piano lessons. Or girls telling me I inspired them to start a rock band of their own.

Sure, money is GREAT. It would certainly solve a lot of my problems. But I’d rather be poor and doing what I love than making a ton of money but hating my life. My friend Dan from a Freudian Slip put it best when he said: “I’d rather be poor and love what I’m doing. Practicing with my band, recording an album, and performing for people. There’s people that work their whole lives to make a ton of money just so they can get that two weeks of vacation. For what? To go to Bermuda and hang out with old people? I’m living a vacation everyday of my life”.

But parents are a lot less anxious about a male going out and living an unstable life and doing “crazy” things than with a girl. Parents are much more protective of their daughters. You can take the same parents who have a son who’s sacrificing his life for whatever dream and while they might not have had that in mind for him, they’re supportive. The same parents have a daughter who tells them she wants a guitar for her birthday. They think it’s some kind of phase and then, like two years later when they finally decide to buy her the guitar because she’s still interested in it, they think that’s the end of it. But then when she starts hanging out with other musicians and jamming out, they get concerned. They want to know more about these people she’s hanging out with. Then if she actually joins a band and spends all her time on that, they start to put their foot down. What about college? What about becoming a doctor? It’s like they’d rather have their teenage daughter out at the mall hanging out with boys, eating Dairy Queen, and trying on the latest M-A-C Makeup products than be a musician. Oh no, that would be the death of her!

I was kicked out of the house when I was a teenager one night out of nowhere, mainly because my mother was sick and tired of the whole band thing. And while I was extremely upset, I felt free. I was like now that I’ve been put in this crappy situation, I’m going to make the best of it. And since I can do whatever I want, I have the freedom to focus on my music. AND I DID. I think in hindsight that getting kicked out was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because it made me realize it was the only thing I had. I was doing the music thing and going to school at the same time, but since that wasn’t a possibility anymore, I just focused everything on just the music. And I wasn’t under my parents strict supervision so if I wasn’t kicked out, I wouldn’t have networked and found the people who became my peers and who became my band mates.

So basically to sum it up, I think that the reason that a lot of females are not in bands, has a lot to do with not getting the support they deserve. Not all girls, of course, some really just don’t care about the music and just care about people’s status. But I think usually you can tell the ones who really know about music, but just don’t know how to play it.

But I also think that’s why, in my opinion, the percentage of women in rock that are so passionate and talented is higher than  the percentage of men.  If you have to fight off everyone getting in your way more than men, if you have to fight not just society’s view of you but your loved ones as well, it means you reaaalllly, truly want it badly. And because you had to work ten times harder than the guy next to you, not only to get to where you are, but to prove that you’re an above average musician and that you deserve to be doing this, you’re usually going to be damn good at it.

May 20, 2007

I finally have the internet again!

I haven’t had the internet on my own computer for a year. I’ve been using friend’s computers, my work computer, and library computers. But today, Comcast came. And I got lucky –  I actually got a tech who was great. He was kind and he hooked up the wires in the house the right way without me even having to explain what I wanted. (The main computer is far away from a cable jack).  I’ve had major problems with Comcast in the past, so I was happy. I didn’t even mind that he was 15 mins past the window of 12:30-4:30 they gave me since he was actually competent. The only reason I even have Comcast is because Verizon DSL doesn’t have service in the area I’m in just yet.

I’m living in Mount Washington now. I still have crap to clean up at my old apartment but I’m not staying at the Essex apartment anymore.

I go walking a lot for exercise and to help de-stress. I’ve taken hour long walks without problems.  So I didn’t think a few days ago that taking a walk in this neighborhood would be a big deal. Boy, was I wrong. Where I live now is full of hills and so for the next couple days afterwards, all these muscles I don’t think I’ve ever felt before were aching. There were muscles in my butt cheeks, my calves, and other parts of my legs that hurt. But I guess that’s a good thing because I’m getting better exercise now!

May 18, 2007

Earbuds don’t fit!

Am I the only one that has this problem?

No earbuds I have ever tried on even come close to fitting.  Everyone I tell has never heard of this.  Are my ears really that small? It’s just kind of annoying because nowadays, the electronics that come with headphones/earphones now come with earbuds, which are useless to me.

I’d just like to know if I am the only one because yahoo/google searches I’ve done on this have come up with virtually nothing on this. (Just the same person posting over and over on different websites how a certain brand didn’t fit his ears, but other brands did. Remember, no brands I’ve tried so far fit).

May 17, 2007

Probably the best billboard I have ever seen

Natty Boh Guy + Utz Girl = Love!

I love this billboard! I saw it for the first time on April 29th when I was walking from XS (awesome sushi restaurant) to Club Charles (nice bar with a trapeze). 

From those not from Baltimore or the surrounding areas, here’s an explanation: The guy on his knees is “Mr. Boh” a.k.a. “The Natty Boh guy” (Natty Boh = shortened name for National Bohemian). You see just the head on the cans/bottles of National Bohemian beer and merchandise.  The girl eating the bag of chips is the Utz girl. Utz is a snack food company and Utz products are really popular in Baltimore, especially ones with Old Bay seasoning (something else you’ve probably never heard of if you’re not from the area). 

Natty Boh was originally brewed in Baltimore and even though Utz is from Hanover, PA, it’s popular here. Also, both the Natty Boh guy sign and the Utz girl sign are big red signs you can see from miles away when you are driving in or near Baltimore city. They are often used as landmarks when people are lost while driving. 

Yes, that’s right people from Baltimore who have never lived anywhere else: Not everyone has heard of Natty Boh, Utz, Old Bay, (and while I’m discussing this) Tastykake (from Philly), or Dominos Sugar. When I first moved to Baltimore, I thought the Natty Boh guy was the Pringles guy haha. I had seen Utz once in the grocery store before moving here. It was in the “Generic Section” of the commissary in Ohio when I lived there. They were selling big bags for about 39 cents. I’d never seen it again until coming to Baltiomore. (Yes, the aisle was actually labeled the generic aisle. How dare they? Haha).  Utz is only available in a 400 mile radius from Hanover.
The other brands of food, I’d never seen, heard of, or eaten before moving to Baltimore. Other parts of the country have brands that Baltimore hasn’t heard about.  Some Baltimoreans get really surprised when I mention this.  

May 15, 2007

Baltimore is number 15th city for rude drivers

Speaking of rude and polite drivers, there’s an Associated Press article that just came out today that rates the cities with the rudest drivers. It’s based on a survey, so who really knows the accuracy of the results, but it’s interesting to know.

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