Subscribe to RSS feed

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 30

Day 30- 20 goals you want to accomplish.

Wow, done already?  It seems like I just started...thanks to those who followed or are just finding me.  :)  I can't believe I did it!

1) Be assertive and stick to my rates for photos
2) Get assignments/work done on time and to the clients/teachers asap
3) Get a better sleep schedule
4) Work on stronger, technical photography aspects for a better portfolio
5) Return to kendo practice.  It's been too long, and I miss it.  I won't be as good as I used to be, but I want to get to that level again
6) Keep my room CLEAN!  haha
7) To be able to look back when I'm 50 and still have the same awesome friends
8) Feel confident about myself
9) To become better at guitar and to eventually play by ear
10) Visit Japan
11) See Verbal and Taku perform (preferably together, fine seperately)
12) Be fluent in Japanese
13) Work on video skills
14) To not be afraid of putting myself out there and offering my services as much as I can
15) Be happy with life
16) Visit the rest of the 50 states (I've been to 43)
17) I would love to learn Korean
18) Become even less of a picky eater
19) Get an internship while at Brooks
20) Fall in love

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 29

Day 29- In the past month what have you learned?

That it's never too late.  I feel progress.  Maybe I'm being silly and too hopeful, but I feel it.  And I know I made a huge deal about moving on when I started this 30 day challenge, but I've come to realize I can't give up that easily.  It's going to be a long road that might lead me nowhere, but I'm willing to try.  I also realized that I am truly a romantic.  I had a brief fall of my defenses, but thankfully it didn't get crazy.  I want to believe that I can be like majority of the people I see around me, but I can't give up on the idea of love or settle for something that won't make me happy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 28

Day 28- A picture of you last year and now.  How have you changed since then?

2010:  This was me trying to do a modeling picture for He Qi Crystal Designs.  I never did send it it.  haha.  Anyways, this was back at my old apartment.  The first one I ever lived in for college education.  I was still pretty shy at this point, but I was making friends with all my session mates.  Still the person I was from Delta College.  Starting off fresh after a year of heartbreak and I had no motivation back at Delta that last semester.  It was tough realizing that my goal of becoming fluent in Japanese was being pushed farther back.  I didn't feel like I had a future in something I wanted for so long and that was hard.  I also felt like I had lost some friendships thanks to all the change I had gone through.  At the same time I met some of my best friends at Delta and was kept from going insane in April and May.  My decision to come to Brooks came in October 2009, when my parents decided that maybe going to a 4-year CSU was not in my best interest.  In 2010, Brooks allowed me to do what I love.  I achieved so many goals of learning how to use the technical things that Brooks taught us and to make great images with it.  I got my first photography jobs and got to photograph some amazing things and people.

2011:  I have changed so much within the year.  I learned a huge amount of information about photography and I know how to take better pictures now.  I've made friends much easier than I ever thought I could.  And have experienced roommate troubles as expected in every day college stories.  I went to my first raves and realize that I enjoy them way more than any club I've ever been to.  I've developed callouses from guitar playing and can finger pick.  I hope to continue on that path of becoming a better guitarist.  I confessed feelings to the guy I'm into after years of hiding them and as a result I feel a million times more confident in myself.  I keep in contact with all of my friends from home every time I go back.  I'm almost ready to hit upper division and am very excited at the prospects the future holds for me.  Here's to another year of personal growth!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 27

Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge?

I wanted to try this out so that I can prove to myself that I could stick to this for 30 days.  It gave me a small goal and also preparation for possibly doing a 365 photo a day project.  I was inspired by fellow bloggers to do a 30 day blog challenge and a fellow photographer friend to do the 365 one.  I will see if I can get on that soon, but until then I'm just going to finish up these 30 days.  :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 26

Day 26- Places you want to visit before you die

I still have never been to Japan.  It's been my dream to go ever since I was in grade school.  I am deeply rooted in my heritage and I am very proud to be fourth generation Japanese-American (yes I am full Japanese, even if I might not look like it).  I used to want to go to school in Japan and become fluent.  I was even set on being a Japanese major.  In the end I didn't but I still want to live in Japan someday.

I also want to visit places like Italy, Australia, South Korea, England (again), South Africa, Paris, Prague, and a multitude of other places.  I've traveled majority of the United States (43 out of the 50) but I want to go out and see the world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 25

Day 25- What would you find in your bag?

Oh the "inside the bag" blogger picture.  It seems like a common theme with all the beauty bloggers that have to do it at least once.  I'm not as glamorous as a lot of the other bloggers out there so my bag is pretty simple.  Today was English class day so I have my purple notebook for the daily free writing session.  I have my wallet, checkbook and random change thrown about my purse.  I have random batteries just in case I forget some for photo equipment, my pair of sunglasses, and my iPhone headphones.  I have lip stick and lipgloss that I don't use on a daily basis and a small sample vial of Victoria's Secret Noir Love Me scent.  My friend works at Victoria's Secret and he gave me the sample since he said he wouldn't use it.  I also usually have my EOS lip balm, but since I constantly change purses, it's probably in one of the others. I typically change my purses every other day so i keep a minimal amount of things in my purse at a time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 24

Day 24- Share a story about your past that you are ashamed of.

When I was younger, we moved homes and I started at a new school.  The whole time I was there I had a hard time fitting in.  I never really felt accepted and tried very hard to be friends with a group of girls.  In that process of just wanting to fit in, I didn't stand up for a friend when the others picked on her.  I felt so badly, but I just wanted to have friends.  Looking at myself then, I see that I should have stood up for the other girl.  The funny thing is that the girl that they picked on is one of my best friends now.  I'm glad that she forgave my cowardice.  I am glad I was able to redeem myself and I'm happy to call her one of my best friends.  But I still feel ashamed that the old me was such a sad person who would do anything to feel like I had friends.  I am glad that I am not the same person as I was then.  Self-confidence does wonderful things for you.  :)

only a few more days left!  Thanks for sticking with me for so long.  :)

Day 25- What would you find in your bag?
Day 26- Places you want to visit before you die
Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge?
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now.  How have you changed since then?
Day 29- In the past month what have you learned?
Day 30- A picture of you today and 20 goals you want to accomplish

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 23

Day 23- What is something you crave?

Time with friends.  It's always tough when everyone is so busy with growing up.  I've noticed that the older I get, the harder it is to get a big bunch together.  I try and visit all of my friends when I go back home and keep in contact with the ones I can't see.  My friends are a huge support system and I don't know what I would do without them.  :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 22

Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else?

I am a Japanese American girl from northern California who is studying to be a photographer.  I have friends in many places.  I took Japanese and practice kendo.  There's a lot of things that add up together to make my life what it is.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 21

Day 21- Share a picture from your day

I got to see Pogo live in SF.  IT WAS AMAZING.  He mixed new songs and had movies such as Casablanca, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars and a lot of other Disney ones.  I loved the live and was so happy to be at the front of the stage.  The picture is INCREDIBLY noisy, due to the fact that the only thing lighting his face was the laptop and soundboard.  They kept the lights low the entire show since half of Pogo's show is all about the video.  :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 20

Day 20- If you had three wishes, what would they be?

1) To be immune to diabetes.  haha, I think it might run in my family.  XD

2) To have clear skin 24/7.  I've been plagued with it since I was in 5th grade.  It's left scars and is always active.

3) I would wish to be a successful, editorial-type celebrity photographer in Japan.  I would love to photograph the movie stars and musicians that I love so much.

I will be in San Francisco for the weekend, so Day 20 might not be posted until Sunday, but I will definitely be keeping the picture from tomorrow.  :D  Hope this doesn't count as missing a day!  lol

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 19

Day 19- Nicknames you have; how and why you have them.

My first nickname was Pucca.  I had a group of friends in high school that were in band together and we wanted cute names for ourselves.  I used to wear puka shell necklaces a lot my freshman year, so they named me Puka.  Then I stopped wearing them, so I asked to change the spelling to Pucca like the little asian character that was floating around the internet.  The name is still with me today.

My middle name, Chiemi, is used to my Japanese class friends from Delta and started with my friend from Tokay.  I gave him a Japanese nickname that was similar to his real name and he would call me Chiemi.  This is also morphed into Emi-chan or Chi-chan depending on who is talking to me.  :)  I used to hate my first name, since it was so common, so most of my friends call me by my Japanese name (plus it's easier for Asians to pronounce Chiemi then it is to pronounce Lauren)

My last nickname comes from one of my best friends here in Santa Barbara.  Kiana used to give nicknames to everyone she met and of course, me being her roommate, I was no exception.  For some reason she called me Babycakes.  And it has stuck.  Don't know why she picked the name, but it's just my name.  haha.  At one point, her boyfriend knew me for a year as only Babycakes so he had no clue what my real name was.  XD  I found a clothing brand called Babycakes and Kiana is determined to by any future boyfriend I have a pair of Babycakes underwear.  lol.  She even advertised for me on Facebook once because she was so excited to buy a pair.  hahaha

Those are my few nicknames.  Specific groups of people call me certain names, but majority of my friends just call me Lauren.  :)  Either way, I will answer to any of these!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 18

Day 18- Plans/Dreams/Goals you have

  • I want to be a successful editorial-type photographer (people in general, advertising/portraits/anything)
  • I want to be able to get all my school loans paid quickly
  • I want to play guitar proficiently 
  • I want to speak Japanese fluently
  • I want to stay friends with all of the great ones I have now
  • I want to be me through it all

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 17

Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why.

I would love to switch places with Yoon.  She is Verbal's husband, but that's a small detail.  I would love to see how it is to be such an influential person in the fashion industry.  Yoon has this look and attitude that is something I would love to exude.  It would be so cool to run Ambush Designs for a day and just be awesome traveling and working as her.  She is definitely a role model for me.  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 16

Day 16- Something you could live without

I want to live without soda.  For some reason I like drinking it.  I know it's just extra calories and not good for you, but my self control about it is very very low.  I might be able to cut it for awhile, but I never succeed at cutting it out completely.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 15

Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle and list the first 15 songs that come up (I have 6681 songs total so the songs might get crazy... XD)

I'm heading back to Santa Barbara today for another session.  Disneyland with my sister tomorrow for a last minute visit!  :D

1) Sea of love- Fly to the Sky
2) Blood Red Summer- Coheed & Cambria
3) チャンピオーネ (Champione)- Orange Range

4) Defying Gravity- Idina Menzel & Kristen Chenoweth
5) Pass me the Sugar- Olivia
6) We're So Far Away- Mae
7) Where Are You Now?- Michelle Branch
8) come again- m-flo
9) Under the Sun- Do as Infinity
10) Go Away- 2NE1
11) Passion ~opening version~ - Utada Hikaru
12) Armory- Daft Punk
13) Maroon Cartoon- Alan Silverstri
14) Peace N' Rock N' Roll- Cherry Filter
15) 修羅の花(Shura no Hana; Flower of Carnage)- 芽衣子(Kaji Mieko) this is the theme song for Lady Snowblood or more commonly known as the scene where Lucy Liu gets sliced in Kill Bill Vol. 1

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 14

Day 14- A picture of something you ate & 10 confessions
So I was a bit slow on getting the picture up!  I kept forgetting to take pictures of my food because it was so delicious.  hahahaha.

1) I am okay with a messy room until someone visits, then I wish I didn't let it go so much.  haha
2) I've always wanted a pet dog.
3) I watch Spongebob whenever I go back home for break week.
4) I dowload singles for their album art.
5) I am slowly being turned into an Arashi fan.  But I'm more interested in their acting skills, and the songs that accompany their dramas/movies.  (more specifically, Nino's work.  <3 :D)
6) I am mostly attracted to Asians.
7) I want to go to Japan and be a celebrity photographer.  NOT a paparazzi, a celebrity photographer for things like editorial portraits and magazines.
8) I am constantly trying to find out what kind of music suites my singing voice best.  So far the closest that I've come to is He is We's sound.
9) I want to play more and more guitar songs.  Kina Grannis, He is We, Jeremy Messersmith..I want to play all of their songs.
10) I can't write music and I'm always jealous/admiring of people who can.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 13

Day 13- Write a letter to someone telling them something you could never tell.
Hmm this one seems really personal.  But I guess since it's unnamed it will be okay.  I've been pondering who to write to since I read the challenge those 7 months ago...but I guess I will finally make a decision.  Here it goes...

Dear Person,
It is always so difficult talking to you about the past.  We have never brought it up since then.  I think we both realized that what's the point in talking it out?  But I finally have to admit to myself and to you all the things that I have thought about.  When we first started dating, it was the first time I really knew someone on my own without the influence of others.  We had one class together and we hit it off really well.  Maybe you were flirting with me the whole time, but at the age I was, I barely knew how to tell if someone was into me.  I wasn't used to the feeling.  It was great getting to know you and I introduced you to a whole new world of music.  I remember when I started having feelings for you.  And then suddenly, someone from my past came into my life again and wanted to date me.  I was confused and could tell you were disappointed when you found out.  I myself didn't really know what I wanted.  And then he abruptly ended it.  For no real reason...but I was relieved.  I thought that you might not want to approach me after that, but you did.  We realized that we both liked each other a lot.  We started dating and I completely changed.  You gave me confidence in myself and for once I had a real boyfriend.  Sure we only talked on the phone and went out on a couple dates, but it was more real than anything I had ever had.  And yes, you are my first love.  You might not think so because it was such a short relationship, but I really fell hard for you.  Now here comes the hard part.  The part where I have to admit to myself and to you why I ended it.

Back then I felt I had really good friends.  I was particularly close with one of my friends and valued her opinion.  Towards the end of the short relationship she made it sound like she didn't like our relationship.  Looking back on it now, I think she was manipulating me even then.  She probably knew how much I valued her opinion, and used that to her advantage to mess with my head and heart.  I can look back on it now and realize what was happening.  But, no more excuses.  I questioned myself and wondered if it was possible for me to be that happy.  I was scared.  I ended our relationship.  I broke your heart (maybe it was not as extreme as I'm making it out to be).  You wanted me back, but I was too scared to let you back in when you still wanted me.  I regretted my decision for awhile.  I knew it wasn't possible for us anymore but I always wondered what kind of person I would have turned out to be had I stayed with you for longer.  

I didn't see you for awhile.  Then we met up again.  And we went back to being how we were when we first met.  It's wonderful to be such a good friend of yours, even though I did a terrible and stupid thing.  But it seriously was a growing experience.  It gave me the knowledge to never let someone's opinion of your happiness get in the way.  I'm so glad that you can call me a friend, and I want you to know that I'm truly sorry for back then.  I know it probably doesn't mean much, but know that scared and confused, 16 year old me really did love our relationship.  I don't regret dating you and I am so glad to have you in my life as we are now.  Thank you for teaching me about what love could be and giving me a magical first love experience.  I might not be your first love, but I'm okay with that.  I'm so glad you can call me your friend and I hope to be a part of your life for a very long time to come.  Thank you for always being there for me.  :)  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 12

Day 12- A picture of your room, don't cheat by cleaning it! Share a secret.

This is my room back in Lodi.  I've been sleeping in it for a few days so it's a bit messy.  XD  Let's see...a secret?  Hmm.  I am drawing a blank..

I guess I sometimes worry that I won't be able to make it as a photographer.  Competition is tough and finding something that makes people come back to you will be tough, but I'm going to give it my all and be the best that I can be.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 11

Day 11- A picture of something you dislike

I hate bananas. I can't stand them. Don't like the texture, taste, or anything about them. I've never been able to eat them, and probably never will.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 10

Day 10- A story about a past relationship

This is one of the ones that I am not quite sure what to talk about.  I can say that there have been 5 important relationships in my life.  They each had lessons that taught me about how I view love and how it has made me the way that I am about relationships.  The first love, the first "oh I'm in college now, things will be different from high school,"the first long-term, the first "dump you for a friend" guy, and the finding out about myself lesson.  So which one should I talk about?

Hmm.  Well when I started college, I briefly dated someone.  We really hadn't talked much before we started dating.  We just hung out a few times and then randomly we decided to start dating.  I thought, "oh I'm in college now, things will be different than high school."  Turns out, it wasn't.  It was pretty much like a high school relationship plus the fact that I could drive.  hahaha.  It was as awkward relationship and we just didn't have the chemistry.  It was very short lived, and it made me realize that just because I was in college now, didn't meant that people automatically just change and mature.  It was a reality check that freshman me needed and it taught me that growing up meant changing how I viewed realtionships.  And I did change.  I had a good relationship following that one and have learned even more about myself since.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 9

Day 09- Something/someone you're proud of

So this might come off as incredibly cheesy, but here it goes...

In the summer, it will be 4 years since I graduated high school.  My friends either went to a four year university straight away or went to Delta and made decisions from there.  I am so proud of where everyone is at in their lives today.  One of my friends just came back from auditioning all over the US for music school grad programs.  One of my friends has an awesome job lined up for her when she finishes in June.  One of my friends passed the CBEST test so he can now teach for minimum wages.  Each friend is at a good place in their lives (even if some might be wary of the future) and have had so many good things happen in the process.  Many of my Delta friends have moved on to better schools and made greater goals for themselves.  My friend has a a beautiful son and her own little loving family.  All of my friends are at such great places in their lives and I am extremely happy for everyone and the places they are at in their lives.  I am happy to be a part of their lives and I hope that we will continue being friends for the long haul.  :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 8

I'm posting this early in the morning since my Saturday will be busy with a photo workshop, packing and traveling home.  :)

Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why

March is around the corner.  Another session is starting soon.  This is definitely a good time to get some short term goals going.

1) I want to go to kendo at least once a week (probably Thursdays after my class in Ventura)
2) This session I will work on practicing Photoshop at least an hour a day
3) I will try and keep my room clean for this session
4) I want to shoot for myself so I can be ready for the Portfolio class in May
5) I don't want to buy too much since I don't have a steady pay coming in
6) I want to meet more people for modeling and networking

This session won't be as busy as LS was, so I am looking to focus more on myself and professional betterment.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 7

Day 07- A picture of something/someone who has had the biggest impact on you

EDIT: okay, so I guess I'm just all talk.  XD  I feel progress and I just can't let go.  My mind won't let it go, and I just can't.  I still learned from this class and the people in it.  I will not forget what I learned, but I'm not able to let go just yet.  It's too important to me still.  :)

Well...this one is a challenge.  I could do my first love...I could do my first heartbreak (different from my first love person)...I could do the story of a boyfriend punk who dumped me for one of my friends after introducing them...I could do my ex-best friend story....there are so many things in my life that have taught me so much about people and myself that I have a lot of people to thank where I am today.  I know that sounds incredibly and ridiculously cheesy, but it's true.  And thinking about it..they probably could all tie together.  XD  At the same time, I do have amazing friends and family who helped to get me to the spot I'm at today.  So I think I will talk about the most recent growth in my life and the biggest change I have come across so far.
This is a picture of my psychology class from this past session.  There was a field trip we all went on where we sat around a campfire on the beach and just talked.  We were supposed to talk about the things we wouldn't be able to talk about in a classroom.  I took my guitar with me and told them the story of a boy I was into for a year.  I told them that I had confessed to him over the summer, but still was not getting any sort of response.  I used to say "as long as I know that he cares I could be happy."  I used to think that I would be able to live with things the way they are.  I told them that I wanted to send him a recording of a song I had learned for Valentine's day and ask him if he had any sort of thoughts of an "us" or if he just wanted me to leave him alone.  I played/sang the song, and I was so nervous that my voice was shaky and I could barely form the chords.  At the end, everyone thought it was cute and one person said, "it was perfectly imperfect."  Everyone supported me and thought what I did was a very brave thing.  I had some input from them and a lot of "well, it sounds like the guy just isn't good enough for you."  A lot of people that knew the story had told me similar things.  Things like, "if you have told him and obviously have so much to give, then him not taking it is dumb on his part."  I posted a video to all on Valentine's Day and got a very positive response.  But I did not get any kind of response from him.  Not even a "good job with the video!"  or "I can tell you practiced hard!" Another final straw was when he refused to talk about even his theory on love.  To me it was the sign that he is definitely not ready.  This, and an amazing week previously gave me a COMPLETELY different outlook on my feelings and how I valued myself.  I realize that I do have a lot of love to give, and someone who can't think about relationships now is just not ready for me.  I finally had to become honest with myself and realize that I am worth so much more than I give myself credit for.  There are people out there who want to put the effort in with me.  And I have to realize that my time will come.  

It was last week that I realized that I had completely changed.  I am slowly letting go.  My heart and mind are clear.  Finally, after a year, I can focus completely on me.  And maybe someday if he changes his mind maybe something will happen.  But for now, I am just focusing on me and becoming the best photographer I can be.  So I want to thank my psychology class and my teacher for helping nudge me in the right direction of being positive about myself.  I didn't realize that by not getting the recognition of my feelings or efforts it was making my self-confidence lower more and more.  When you try and put your feelings and hard work, and someone just ignores all of it, you start to feel like, "what am I doing wrong that someone can't like me?"  It doesn't have to be just a love interest.  It can be friendship too.  

I have no hard feelings towards him.  I want that much to remain clear.  It's more like a self-realization with myself that there's no use in trying to share those kinds of feelings with someone who doesn't want them.  My happiness right now is that I came to such a huge realization.  I am incredibly happy for this session and all the people and events that helped me to come to this ending.  Thank you all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 6

Day 06- A hobby you have

I'm a lomographer.  It all started when I was awarded a 120N Holga from my photography teacher in high school.  I had won a class contest for "best photo series" and in the prize pack was the Holga.  My teacher said to just mess around with it and see what happens.  I actually didn't try the camera out until much later, but the 2nd lomography camera I purchased was in college.  I had just finished my first paying photographing job and I wanted to reward myself with a camera I had been debating on buying for some time.  It was an Oktomat, a multilens camera that shoots 8 frames on a single shot of film.  I had been debating on this camera for awhile because a lot of people were saying that the camera didn't work well.  But then I finally decided, that's what lomography is about.  It's about each camera's unique feel and function.  Each camera has different light leaks, lenses, imperfections and all that.  I ended up with a great camera that takes great pictures.  :)  For my 3rd camera I asked for a Diana F+ for Christmas.  It came with a nice little flash, but I also asked for a ringflash and an instant back that would take polaroid type pictures.  The splitzer was also thrown in so that I could make composite-type pictures using the Diana.  These cameras use film, both 35mm and 120mm types.  I love experimenting with lomography cameras and all the cool things they can do.  I keep trying a bunch of films and using different equipment to get different results every time.  I will continue to do lomography, and hopefully obtain even more cameras (like the Spinner 360˚!) and get better and better and using lomography to show my vision.  :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 5

Day 05- A picture of a place you've been to

I made it in time!  One of my best friends and I had our Roo-Re Wednesday (roomie reunion) celebration and we hung out from the end of class (2:30) till just now.  Roo-Re Wednesday usually includes food and catching up since we aren't going to be living together until June.  After a lovely afternoon/night with her and her boyfriend over a plate of homemade Pastaschute (aka Pasta Kiana) and Roo-Re celebration cake we wrapped up our last reunion of the session.  ANYWAYS, on with the blogging.  :D

When I was going into my senior year of high school (summer '06) I went to England on an exchange trip. It was with Rotary so it was a little more business-like than most people would have probably liked, but I had an amazing host family and I had so much fun with the other exchange students.  This picture is from the London Eye and I had to do my classically fob pose since I thought I was cool back in the day.  =P  I have so many good memories from the trip.  Meeting my host family, hitting up English grocery stores (so awesome!), traveling through London, and getting lost/left behind in Greenwich Village.  XD  It was a great trip and I can't wait to travel more in the coming years.  :D

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 4

Day 04- List 15 songs that represent your life's soundtrack

Hmm, well I don't know if these would necessarily make up a soundtrack to my life...well maybe I'll pick some of the most influential songs or ones that I can never get tired of.

1. m-flo's The Love Bug
This song changed my life.  I was a middle school who had just started getting into anime.  BoA was a favorite of mine from some of the songs I had listened to so I was always looking for stuff by her (back when I had to download mp3 links with that took forever!).  I went to San Francisco's Kinokuniya and was looking through their little music kiosk where they used to have the latest PV's from Japanese artists.  In there I found a PV titled The Love Bug m-flo ♥ BoA.  I watched it and instantly fell in love.  I raced over to the bookcases filled with CD's and bought the single as soon as I found it.  m-flo has been my favorite group since then, and Verbal is my all time favorite rapper.  They introduced me to a multitude of Japanese artists and really kick started my love for Asian  music in general.  Thinking about it now, majority of the artists that I follow have been introduced to me through m-fo.  This song is one of the first songs that I learned to sing in Japanese without ever having taken a class.  And my junior year of high school, I found someone who was willing to sing this duet with me.  :)  But before that I used to do all the parts by myself....and people found it pretty entertaining that I could rap in Japanese.  XD  m-flo has changed my life and I continue to follow their music, even if they aren't making music together anymore.

2. Pogo- Upular
I had heard Pogo's previous mix of Alice in Wonderland back when I was in high school.  It was a forgotten memory until I came across Upular!  I love how Pogo mixes movies.  And not just any movies!  He remixes all of my favorites from my childhood.  Even down to the exact version of The Secret Garden that I loved.  The fact that he just picks out clips that he likes from movies and then can make entire songs from all of it.  I think it's really a fantastic ability.  Disney might hold him back at times, but his fans will definitely keep him going.  I am so excited to see him live in San Francisco March 11th and I hope I will get a chance to meet him and tell him how influential he is to me as an artist.  

3. And Run- He is We
I saw He is We open up for Yellowcard at their comback concert in November 2010.  They were this cute 5 piece band with a classical pop/songwriter sound.  They're from Seattle and currently touring the US with the Scene Aesthetic.  This specific song is extremely catchy and has such good meaning.  It's a great song about changing your life for yourself and making the best of it.  One of my favorite verses is:

Filling my head with words to encourage me
Gotta get my act on straight so I can truly believe
That what I'm waiting for, is really worth the wait
Stop bringing myself down
I gotta know what makes me great
I'm going to open my mind to all these
New found exciting possibilities
They're style sounds like something that I grew up listening to, so they feel a bit nostalgic.  I can't wait to follow them more and continue hearing them climb up the music scene.

4. Basshunter- GPS
Before 2008, I really hated techno.  I never understood how people could listen to something that sounded the same for more than 6 minutes.  I didn't get it and just pushed it away.  Then my boyfriend at the time was really into techno.  Basshunter was one of his favorites and he had me listen to it.  I thought it was pretty cool and I loved the bounciness and energy that his songs had.  They did sound similar, but it made me realize that techno can be cool.  I love Basshunter's voice in his original work, and his American stuff is all about love, but still so energetic.  Thanks to my ex, I was introduced into the world of techno and the variety it could provide.  From there it really kept me open minded about listening to it which leads me to my next selection....

5. Tiësto- Escape Me
In Feb. 2010, I had a new roommate move in with me at my apartment for Brooks.  Kiana is always so fun and cheery.  And she was always singing.  She was usually singing a little set list of songs and there was one in particular she was always singing/listening too.  Finally, when we got more comfortable around each other, I asked her to share her music knowledge with me and I finally discovered the name of the song.  It was Tiësto's Escape Me.  I guess I can say that Tiësto and Kiana were the people who finally got me into techno for good.  I even went to a rave for Halloween last year!  I understand techno now and I such a bigger appreciation for it.  There's a stigma that techno is created by talentless people.  I've heard people say they think that DJ's just mix other people's music and can't create their own.  I highly disagree after being introduced to so many different and talented musicians.  So thanks to Kiana and Tiësto for cementing my love for electronic music.  

6. Kina Grannis- Valentine
I first discovered Kina Grannis by a friend sending me a youtube video of her offical Valentine video.  I instantly fell in love.  The lyrics were so simple and beautiful and I thought the she was just a happy and cheery person.  Soon after her album went on sale and I immediately downloaded a copy.  Her songs are some of my most top played songs on my iTunes and I know all of the lyrics by heart.  Her music is so simple, but it packs a lot of punch.  I've seen her live 3 times now and she's just as akwardly adorable as she is in her youtube videos.  This Valentines day I perfected finger picking and singing this song.  I've been working on it since November, so it was a lot of work, but so worth it.  Kina definitely inspired me to start playing guitar again and I will continue to support her music as she reaches for greater heights.  

7. Monkey Majik- Sotsugyou, Soshite Mirai e (Graduation, and then to the future)
I became a fan of Monkey Majik after their duet with m-flo for Picture Perfect.  This song came out in 2007, the same year I graduated so I feel like this is my graduation song.  :)  It reminds me of the good times I had with friends back then and that I am still close with a lot of good high school friends.  It's not one of their more popular songs, but it's still a favorite and always brings a smile to my face.  One of my favorite verses is:
We could stay close say no goodbyes
Keeping our ties and never unwind
Maybe tomorrow we can go out for a ride
We’re driving for miles there’s always smile
Your very first kiss remember those days
‘Cause in my heart i know you’re close to me

8. Time (We Plants are Happy Plants remix)- Hans Zimmer
Inception was one of those movies that really made me wish I had tried going into cinematography.  I love visually stunning movies like this and the dream sequences were very intricate visually.  This is one of my favorite movies and I heard this mix last month.  I loved this theme in the movie, especially when it's used at the ending, and hearing a remix of it actually work was really cool.  

9. Gifts & Curses- Yellowcard
You can start the hating now, I don't care.  Yellowcard was my favorite band back when SSX 3 came out (2003) because their track Way Away was in the soundtrack.  I immediately went to the store and picked up a copy of Ocean Avenue and fell in love with their sound.  I love that they use violin and Ryan Key is still one of my all time favorite vocalists.  People hate them, people judge me, but I love them too much to care.  I was so lucky and went to their comeback concert back in November 2010.  It was everything I ever dreamed of.  I even got the signatures of each member and I was able to tell Ryan Key that he is one of my favorite singers ever.  They're comeback album is about to come out in March and they already have 2 singles out.  This particular song by them was on the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack (a super legit soundtrack) but it's definitely one of my Yellowcard favorites.  Forgive me for only finding a cheesy fan-video to share but at least the music is there.  In the latest single, "For You and Your Denial" it opens up with Sean Mackin's violin.  When I first heard it I thought to myself, "Yellowcard is back."

10. Nothing Better- The Postal Service
This is one of my favorite duets.  Maybe because it's bittersweet?  It's a sad song, but the vocals are really nice.  It's just fun to sing, especially if you have someone sing with you.

11. Bristlecone- Trace Bundy
This is the first song on Trace Bundy's Adapt album, and it was the very first one I heard.  Before this I had no idea that people could make such amazing music on guitar without having to sing.  It amazed me that people have this much talent at playing guitar and made me appreciate a whole different style of playing.  

12. Resistance- Muse

I saw Muse back in September 2010 because a friend couldn't go to the LA Staples Center show so he gave me his tickets.  It was my first big venue and it was life changing.  Every song they played I knew and seeing these masters of showmanship at work was fantastic.  This live was so intense and so very very awesome.  Resistance is a track from their latest album and I absolutely love this song.  Matt Bellamy's voice is so wonderful and seeing this song live made me love this even more.  Muse produces amazing music and maybe someday I will get to see them live again.  

13. Truth- Chiddy Bang
I don't remember how I found them.  All I know is that I immediately loved them.  Yes they rap, yet it sounds so different than the usual hip-hop/rap scene.  I'm still fairly new to them, but I can't wait to hear more from them.  

14. Journey- Morgan Komure
I feel like I keep on promoting my friend's music, but I really do feel like people enjoy it.  But this was one of my favorite songs off his little demo tape and since he's made a youtube account and re-recorded it I still love the song.  What's even more impressive is that it was the first song he wrote.  I wish him luck with his future songwriting and promoting.  

15. Improper Dancing- Electric Six 
For those who don't know Electric Six, usually 2 of the introduction videos that you might know of theirs are Gay Bar and Danger! High Voltage!.  They're music is upbeat and something you can't sit still too.  I love the singer's unique voice and their song content is usually fun dance songs or ones about sex.  hahaha.  But seriously.  No one else can make subjects like this as great as Electric Six.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 3

Day 03
A habit you wish you didn't have.

I wish I didn't bite my nails.  I have tried everything to stop.  I blame the original Parent Trap movie for influencing me to start.  No seriously, that is why I started.  =\  I try and paint them to keep me from biting them, which usually works until they all start to snag and then I'm back to biting them.  And when you paint your nails while they are incredibly short, I think it looks terrible so I always have a hard time starting up on growing them again.  I always say I'll stop, but it never really happens for more than a month.