Category Archives: Music

Karen’s Music Feed 1

I said a couple (or few) months back that I wanted to start blogging about music that caught my ear. Some of it may be new music, new to me music (aka it’s been around but I’m just now hearing it), or some throwback jams. Considering how long it take for me to get around to writing an update post, I have no clue why I am even attempting to post now, but, well, here it goes anyways.

Kiiara – Feels (Hotel Garuda Remix)

This song has probably been the biggest ear catch for me recently. While this song isn’t new at all (released back in 2015), I heard it recently on a mix not too long ago and instantly fell in love. (The mix will probably be posted later in this post actually.) Kiiara has consistently provided amazing vocals and songs that are transformed even better by Hotel Garuda’s smooth touch (amongst other amazing artists). I’m sad I didn’t see Hotel Garuda live in DFW a couple weeks ago. Had I known, I would’ve jumped at the chance to hear them live.

Portugal the Man – Feel It Still (Medasin remix)

This is actually a relatively new release from Medasin from my understanding. I first heard Medasin live as an opener for Snakehips at Kingdom in Austin last year. I was impressed at his live set/music and quickly seeked his music out more online aka via SoundCloud. I haven’t been disappointed yet, and this lo-fi almost jazzy song is keeping me excited for his next release as well.

Lea Rue – Sleep / For The Weak (Lost Frequencies Remix)

I went to a free pool party with Lost Frequencies as the main DJ, but sadly had to leave before he got on stage. Nevertheless, I did check out his music before deciding to attend (and the DJ before him was a champ, playing for 4+ hours) and really enjoyed many of his songs, this one being one of them. If he’s ever got another (free!) concert in DFW (or Austin if it’s before the fall) then I’ll probably try him live once again.

Two Feet – Love Is A Bitch

This popped up on my Soundcloud feed from someone that I was following (who knows who) and I was caught. While I wouldn’t say it’s amazingly unique, it was refreshing to hear some more bluesy tunes once in awhile from my typically sea of EDM/hip-hop music (at least from Soundcloud). Even without being refreshing to the feed, it’s a great song on its own.

Porter Robinson – Divinity (Odesza Remix)

Again, definitely not a new song at all, but still worth the mention. I’m not even sure it’s new to me, but it recently caught my ear (again?) and I decided to add it to this post. Porter is an amazing artist, as is Odesza, and them two combining would be an incredible match. I wouldn’t mind a collab from them in the future. I wouldn’t mind at all.

Seven Lions – Where I Won’t Be Found (feat. NÉONHÈART)

Alright, so if you’ve known my music desires for the past year (or read my last post), you’ll know that I love Seven Lions. While I admit, I’m not a from the beginning follower nor am I absolutely familiar with all of his music, I would still follow him to any concerts within reason (aka within Texas + 5 hours from where ever I am, including some Oklahoma I guess). When I heard this song on his Middlelands set, I definitely fell in love. I spent a solid 20-30 minutes trying to find the track, later posting on a Youtube video of the set for help, only to find out it was an ID. I was incredibly happy once it released (only a couple weeks ago!), though I did then somewhat realize that I liked it in the mix more than I liked it solo. Still, great song and great artist that I am forever grateful for releasing the song I was looking forward to hearing in full and now have. :)

6LACK – Prblms (it’s different x Kivnon Remix)

Another random, but gratefully received, pop up song on my Soundcloud feed, I am always loving the chill hip-hop beats. There is so much right with this tune, I don’t have the words to really explain. I may have to start search for each of these artists and exploring their music more.

Grandtheft & Delaney Jane – Easy Go (Shaun Frank Remix)

I’m not familiar with either artists (original or remixer), but they came together for a great song. There was actually a night where I replayed this and about 80% of this posts’ songs over and over again, just feeling the amazing vibes. This is just the perfect mix of chill that makes me still wanna get up and dance. Head bobbing, commence!

I could probably find a few other songs, but these are on my immediate mind. If I had anything to say, it would be that I’m in desperate need of some new alternative/rock songs. I just haven’t really found any new bands, not that they aren’t there anymore (I highly doubt people aren’t still playing in their garage or something), but it’s just become a bit harder to find a less available. So many hip-hop, pop, or DJ artists now instead. Not that I’m complaining about that, I just miss my old rock music. So if any of you guys have some recommendations, let me know!

This concludes my first real music post (the other one, we’ll call it patient zero, or well if I’m matching the title, Karen’s Music Feed 0 or something, whatever makes you happy). Hopefully you find some of the songs to your liking, and if not I really don’t care since I like them. :D

Cheers!

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I had originally chosen the Seven Lions Middlelands set as my current jam, but sadly YouTube had to take it down due to copyright infringements… So! Here’s the set I loved the most next from Middlelands (which I’ve already listened to again twice since then).

Currently jammin’ to: Illenium at Middlelands 2017 set

Illenium is an amazing artist whom I highly recommend anyone to check out. :)

Life as Karen knows

I had a different post in the makes, but I scrapped it for this one because I wanted to change the focus. It’s been awhile since I last updated about my life (almost two months), aside from my last post focused solely on the death of my friend, so I figure its best to mention how life’s been treating me before rambling on about other things. More than likely this will be a really long post considering I have two months of stuff to write about.

Originally, I planned to head back to Arlington/Dallas mid-May and be at home for a couple months before I found a place in Dallas to live closer to school. I had already informed my work place of my last day, but due to multiple other coworkers also leaving, I was asked if I would be willing to stay longer. As I didn’t have exact reasons to be in Dallas (aside from some weekend events and trips that I had planned) and I was going to try to get a job over the summer anyways, it seemed easier to just keep the job I already had so long as enough hours were provided to make it worthwhile (and that my friend, whom I am staying with, is okay with me staying around longer). In the end, that’s exactly what they provided to me (the hours) and thus my stay in Austin (slash my friend’s place) has now extended to the end of July.

While it hasn’t been too difficult, and I greatly enjoy the extra time spent in Austin, it definitely did mess with some of the plans I initially planned to be at. Now I’m back in this every other weekend in Dallas schedule again. Some of it was just for traveling from Dallas (DFW airport) rather than actually doing things there, but some was also being in Dallas.

I’ll probably miss some things in recent events that have been happening, but I’ll try my best to be true to my blog idea aka personal tracking of my life events (for everyone else to see as well). Last time, these were the things I said I was looking forward to: Middlelands, Atlanta visit, climbing more, volleyball, trying Franklins BBQ, visiting Hamilton Pool, and seeing lots of friends. I haven’t actually been able to climb more yet (did buy shoes though), or play volleyball much, or visit Hamilton Pool, but I have seen friends, gone to Atlanta, attended Middlelands, and tried Franklins BBQ finally. I also went to Portland, checked out a remote part of Greenbelt, night time kayaked to live latino music, and had a scattering of birthday parties, small concerts, and events (like Mother’s day). So again, warning that this post will probably be pretty long, but cool if you’re bored and wanna read all about my life. Or just scroll for pictures. :)

Fun with friends in Austin

A big surprise came in the form of meeting up with an old friend from Emory that I hadn’t seen (or even talked to) in five or six years who was down in Austin for a wedding. Consequently, I got to try out some places I’d never been in Austin, like Veracruz tacos, Radio coffee and bar, JuiceLand,  swimming in Greenbelt off some random path, and the Botanical Gardens. Who knew I’d see more of Austin from someone coming to visit from Austin?

Swimming in Greenbelt was definitely the highlight. A short hike entering from some random neighborhood and we found ourselves at a lovely pool of water/stream. Wejumped off the cliff into the cool water which wasn’t too cold despite this still being late April (and the weather was maybe high 70s?). We had brought some Veracruz tacos with us to eat there and had Radio coffee while waiting for the food beforehand.

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the crew going swimming to Greenbelt!

Afterwards we ate at Tan My which had pretty good bun bo hue (well, I just tried some didn’t actually order anything), and I consequently found out one of the newfound friends was dating my current roommate’s old co-worker (that I had met before long ago). Once again somewhat proving how small the world sometimes feels.

We went to Graffiti Castle (or the Hope Outdoor Gallery as it is officially called now) as well as the Botanical Gardens afterwards. I’d always wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens (mostly to Pokemon hunt XD) but it was still… an experience I guess. Whenever i think of botanical gardens, I think flowers. I’m not sure if maybe it was still too early or what, but I feel like I had to try really hard to find some flowers (literal flowers ;)). In the end, at least I can say that I’ve gone. We did some hiking to the 360 bridge as well, but only to the overlook.

It was a fun time, filled with outdoor activities and food, which is exactly what I like. Plus I got to catch up with an old friend and meet new ones.

Lots of birthdays, some going away parties, one Mother’s Day, and many other scattering of events (Corona Electric beach party, ARMNHRM at Kingdom, etc) occurred in various fashion. I’d go into all of them more but I’m not trying to dictate my whole entire life up here (well, I kind of am, but not to that extreme).

One other Austin highlight recently was that I finally got to kayak! It was actually an evening/night time kayak event with live Latino music serenading us as well. The weather couldn’t have been any nicer, honestly. I had an amazing time on Lady Bird Lake and enjoyed some wine, beer, and finger foods (grapes & mangoes). There were also some people who got onto the band’s platform and salsa danced. It really made me want to get better at salsa dancing. Maybe someday I’ll find a partner to do that more with ;) maybe.

The Road to Middlelands

Let me start by saying these events aren’t exactly in chronological order, so while the swimming in Greenbelt happened in late April, the kayaking happened this past Friday night, and Middlelands occurred in eary May, to give you an idea. So apologies ahead of time if this somehow gets confusing in terms of timelines. Anyways.

I know it’s kind of bad to do, but I totally have no problem with talking about how amazing Middlelands was to people who didn’t go. It’s been probably the best music festivals I’ve ever attended. The music, the people, everything was near perfect and most times better than I expected. My one regret was getting drunk enough to forget to go to Big Gigantic on the first night. Who knew taking big gulps of vodka early on would keep me drunk the whole night? In the end, I missed one of the more unique artists that I really wanted to see, but regardless of missing Big Gigantic, all the shows I did catch easily make Middlelands one of the best festivals ever attended. This is not just an opinion I hold, but honestly many attendees felt this way as apparent through many blogs, posts, groups, people, etc that I’ve read and talked to after the festival. Some felt that way having gone to many festivals in the past, and some felt that way from it being their first festival. Honestly, if you didn’t know what PLUR really was before, you could’ve definitely learned about it at Middlelands. It was really that kind of feel.

Middlelands 2017 music festival

some of the Middlelands peeps I was hangin’ with that weekend :)

And the music, I could relive that whole weekend again with just that music. So many amazing artists, and some that surprised me in expectations. My favorite set, as I said earlier in this post, was Seven Lions with Illenium coming in close second. But other sets, like Bassnectar, Alice in Wonderland, and Louis the Child were also incredible. I also learned about a few new (to me) artists like Quix and Ephwurd, both of whom were amazing live as well.

middlelands stage music festival 2017

my favorite stage at Middlelands! where Illenium and Seven Lions killed it

I honestly probably could have made a whole post about Middlelands alone, but I’ll refrain. I’ll just post pictures and relive in them and the uploaded sets from then. I will say that I’m really sad it won’t be at the Texas Renaissance Festival anymore due to some locals complaining about the noise. I very much hope it will stay in Texas, but I know where ever it ends up being held, it will still be amazing. This year’s is basically legendary (in my book), and if it stays in Texas I’ll probably be back again. Sherwood, I’m looking at you!

Atlanta, aka Dallas and Houston mixed together

Back in undergrad, I made some life long friends during my time in Resident Life as an RA. We decided that five years after we graduated, we would all meet up for a reunion in a city we’d never been to (at the time, it was decidedly Seattle), and each of us would bring X, Y, and Z. I think mine was bringing a husband or something, and my other friend was like a pet bird, and another was a foreign wife, or something weird and crazy. In the end, we didn’t go to a new city but back to Atlanta (though I, as previously mentioned, have now been to Seattle anyways), our old stomping grounds, and none of us brought any of the decided things (which we all forgot anyways), but we did have our reunion. Additionally, it was one of my friend’s birthdays that weekend, so we reminisced, did an escape room, watched some stand-up comedy, and checked out old and new Atlanta places.

escape room atlanta

we almost finished. Last puzzle :(

I’m so grateful for my friends, both the ones I gained at Emory and the ones before and after. It’s always tough to stay in touch when everyone lives everywhere else (Atlanta, Chicago, Japan/Boulder, etc), but I’m glad that we’ve still made attempts to stay in contact and connected to each other. I’ll be seeing them again later this year for the first one of us to get married, but we planned to once again meet in 5 years at the latest. I hope we’re able to keep our promise again. :)

The hike to Portland (or really, in)

Another city I’d never been to and another activity I’d never really done has once again been accomplished: I took a 13+ mile hike in Portland, Oregon last weekend. I was actually somewhat worried about my physical capabilities for the hike, but surprisingly handled it well. I guess I’m in better shape that I think? Or more like I can stay active for a lot longer than I give myself credit for. Either way, it was a wonderful experience. Portland is very lush and beautiful. Such amazing views and nature feels. Naturally, we also toured around some food places and caught really by chance events, like their Starlight Parade and a random Trump/”freedom of speech” white supremacy rally and consequent anti-rally/protest. It was one of the most spontaneous (aka a nice way to say unplanned, but not necessarily unpleasant) trips I’ve recently taken, but still had some great times.

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the lovely Portland hiking group being fancy :)

I’ve never been a part of a rally or a protest (at least not physically), so it was pretty interesting to see. There was an enormous crowd for the protest while the rally itself seemed much smaller. I think that’s actually pretty reflective of America as a whole, but that’s another can to be opened a different time.

portland rally protest trump white supremacy neo-nazi

some signs at the rally (but from the protesters)

The Starlight parade (which is part of their International Rose Festival, but has nothing to really do with roses?) was pretty cool too. We only caught parts of it because we had reservations at this whiskey library bar, but we did see a slew of DeLoreans parade through decked out with lights. As you can imagine, the parade is held at night time and features lots of floats with pretty lights. There was also quite a few high school marching bands, to my surprise.

delorean starlight parade portland rose

there was a bit in the parade that was just DeLoreans :)

To sum up what we did in Portland, we hiked, ate lots of food (mostly decent but to be completely honest Seattle was better, sorry), drank a variety of alcohol (we went to a bar which provided tasting shots 4 for $5, one of which you could choose a wasabi vodka), and part took in some local recreational fun. We actually ended up checking out their Japanese garden and Rose garden, both of which were cool. Seeing all those beautiful roses was actually pretty cool. If I were to go back to Portland, I’d definitely want to just go for hiking and camping. There are so many trails you can go on and so many beautiful views to be seen. Plus, the weather was really nice (when we were there).

great pyrenees dogs market saturday portland

a Great Pyrenees meet up at the market!

Check out the actual hike pictures here. For some reason, WordPress won’t properly show the pictures from Instagram on my post. And I’m too lazy to figure it out.

If you didn’t already know, Portland is for some reason famous for its strip clubs. We didn’t go to any, but had a very interesting lyft driver who kept talking about the perverse side of Portland and its strip clubs, particularly one that was vegan. So I guess Portland is lots of hiking and strip clubs. I think I’ll just stick to the hiking parts though.

Another interesting part (coming from Texas) of Portland is the people. We went to a Thai restaurant, and all the workers (cooks, dishwashers, etc) were white while the owner/some servers were Asian. It was weird and that’s how it was everywhere. It came to us not exactly as a surprise, but just so different from where we come from. It was also weird how extreme the sides of Portland people are. There are some really nice, open-minded people there, and then there are some really white supremacy extremists too. Definitely unexpected. Anyways.

Given how much I had to go through, I tried to condense and not ramble too much about everything. Usually I like to post personal thoughts and what not, but the length of this post is already pretty high up there so I’ll refrain this time. Maybe I’ll make a post later for just thoughts. Maybe. I’m surprised I didn’t talk much about the recent amazing food I’ve been having (which definitely still happened in Portland and elsewhere, just didn’t write about it.) Well, maybe I’ll just post on IG or something. ‘Til another time! :)

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When the fun crashes together

Currently jammin’ to: Want You More by Draper

I actually got introduced to Draper at SXSW. It’s surprising that he isn’t more well known, but he was definitely one of the best introductions that I got from SXSW this year. I’m excited to keep hearing great music from him. Half the time I wrote this post I was listening to his music.

I’ve had a thought to update this multiple times before now, and yet I kept telling myself “give yourself some time to think and then talk about it here.” But that time to think never really came, and thus a post wasn’t written either until now, a month plus later (and then some, because I totally started this post almost two weeks ago). It’s funny what you decide to make time for sometimes. I didn’t make enough time for me to even think through recent things occurring in my life, but I had time to catch up on all the Supernatural episodes out there (I watched a couple of seasons) and start White Collar again. Priorities? Or procrastination? Or maybe just avoiding the serious stuff because it’s “less fun” perhaps. That seems somewhat of a likely reason.

In the end, you still gotta face what you may or may not have wanted to face though. I’m sure I’m still holding off on thinking of some things even still, and for now I’m okay with that. But I also may want to wake up just a little bit more to what’s been going on in my life too. Maybe.

FYI, like previously mentioned, I started this post then held off finishing it for almost two weeks, so there’s some disorganization because I didn’t completely scrap what I had previously written, but just decided to add in (like an addendum) the most recent things.

the new things in life, surprise surprise

Since my last post, many things have surprisingly actually happened. The best moment so far? Getting accepted into the University of Dallas’s Masters of Science Communication Disorders program! The worst moment so far? Wrecking my car. And then there’s everything in between and after. It’s been fun, y’all.

Let’s start with getting accepted, because that actually occurred the earliest of recent events since my last post, I think. For the past two years, I’ve been trying to get into a master’s program to become a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). This is something I was introduced to at the very end of my undergraduate days and it stuck with me ’til even now. I can really only provide a cheesy cliche type of reasoning as to why I want to become one, but in the end it’s the truest of statements. I’ve always enjoyed helping people when I can and listening to their problems to troubleshoot. It’s why I originally went down the psychology path (minus the fact that business just seemed so meh and I didn’t get into Goizuetta anyhow), to eventually become a therapist. Along the way, I discovered the field of linguistics and fell in love with that. My head is always thinking, and I’ve always desired to understand others better, even if unsuccessfully. And language, beautiful language, is argued as the main difference between us humans and other animals. Either way, communication is key to understanding another person, thus knowing how to communicate is incredibly important. With the desire to help others and the passion for language combined, becoming an SLP just seemed like the most ideal job. It didn’t hurt that typical starting base salary was decent and that the job market for it was still growing and in demand. And though I didn’t try to run down that path right away, eventually (aka two years ago) I did decide it was time to truly pursue it. And so I did. And there were failures, like getting rejected from UTD twice, and there were successes, like basically making a 4.0 at UT for my prerequisites and finally being accepted by 3 out of 4 of the masters programs. It took time and dedication, but it finally happened. So starting next Fall, I will be back in Dallas and moving forward in the career I’ve hoped to have.

In addition to my acceptance, other events have transpired within my life that are very much positive. I randomly attended the end of SXSW this year and got some free swag, free food/drinks, and free shows. I met up old friends (S. Chen & Y. Yip) and gained new ones, and also finally went climbing at Austin Bouldering Project. It’s been a place I’ve been “attempting” to go to for a couple of years now, so finally experiencing it (for free) is definitely a highlight. I hope to continue climbing, maybe go some more while I’m in Austin, and even when returning back to Dallas keep up with it. Now that I’ve bought shoes for it, I’m bound to go a few more times. It’d be fun to keep doing, despite the callouses it’s bound to give me.

For a couple weeks in March to April, I was house and dog sitting for a friend who was traveling. These cute little pups were my companions and kept me on a somewhat regular schedule, surprise surprise.

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Additionally, my sister (plus one) finally came to visit me in Austin! It was her first time back in Austin in over a few years, if I recall correctly. All we did was eat and pokemon hunt, but it was a great weekend. I got to try Sway out, a Thai restaurant that was highly recommended to me, along with getting $1 oysters and some Gourdoughs. Good food and pokemon hunting is always welcomed, and often a typical sight when I’m hanging with my sister as of now.

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Additionally, I finally went on somewhat of a hike in Austin! I’ve been wanting to hike more, especially since Austin has so many available trails and places to go nearby, but I just haven’t found the people to go with. While I could hike by myself, I always considered it a potential safety issue. Plus it’s just not as fun when you’re alone.

360 bridge, hiking, bridge, austin

view of 360 bridge from our hike

And somehow, I’ve found myself living it up much more frequently than I ever would have thought. Each weekend brings a different adventure, whether it’s girls night, a music concert (Bassjackers – also a new intro for me), SXSW, St. Patty’s Day Parade, or just fun times with friends, it’s been a ride. And on this ride, sadly, came a crash.

I’ve been in accidents before, of my own cause and due to others, and I will admit that I am more prone to speeding than going below or at limit when driving, but this has been the worst by far. And still, I am incredibly thankful for 1. not being hurt minus some bruises from the air bags, and 2. not hurting anyone else. Ultimately, combine a winding/curving downhill road, wet pavement/road, close to balding tires, less than 100% mental awareness, possibly a little too much speed and a car with not the best of breaks, and you get hydroplaning into multiple spin outs and curb/trees hits. The result is a ruined back bumper, the right mirror and rear light missing, some auto body damage, deployed side airbags on both sides, and a broken left rear spring/axle of a car. The good part, besides no one getting hurt, was that I had already exited for my apartment and was somehow able to drive my car to my apartment which was about a mile away. In some incredible feat, given the state of my car (can we go back to the fact that my car’s left rear was literally sitting on my tire due to the axle being broken?) and my mental mind, I managed to reverse park my car at my apartment complex. The car itself, minus the body damage, actually runs fine since the front wasn’t damaged (aside from the right mirror). Considering how much it would cost to repair an axle/spring, replace the airbags, get a new bumper/mirror/light, and everything else though, ultimately what was likely to happen is that we sell the car for someone to scrap for parts or fix up themselves. Fortunately, my cousin has lots of car connections and a friend of his bought the car as is and towed it away to be fixed up with his own car repair connections. Of course, I still needed a car to get to work, especially given how I was commuting from my friend’s house while I still dog sit, so my dad graciously drove the car my sister’s been using (which is my brother’s old car) down to me. And now, I’m back in the white Toyota car family again.

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my car being towed away to be forever gone but fixed for another

Lessons learned, but really

I’m not gonna lie, I somehow handled the whole crashing my car and airbags deploying a lot better than I thought I would. I don’t know the exact reasons as to why it didn’t shake me as much as it should’ve. Maybe I’ve somehow rationalized to myself that more of the situation was out of my hands to create the perfect storm than I care to claim responsibility for. Either way, the thing I ultimately felt most upset about was the financial burden it has created upon myself and my parents. As someone who has been in school and working part-time (heavy inflection on the part) for the past year, I’ve relied heavily upon my parents for financial assistance. Now that I’m continuing to a Master’s, my financial capabilities for the next two years are going to stay pretty limited still. I am well aware of many of the financial burdens my parents currently face, both from me and due to other situations in their lives, and to know I have contributed to it in this way really riddles me with guilt and shame. Does this mean I won’t ever speed again? Sadly, probably not. I know myself well enough to not be able to make that promise. Will I be more careful about my driving? I would hope so, and I think I am already being a bit more careful. One thing that definitely was reinforced was my preference to not drive. While I am never one to shy away from meeting with friends despite a far distance (hello living in Arlington and having friends in Plano), I still prefer to catch a ride.

There is, of course, some considerations for re-evaluating my life choices right now. Recently, as previously stated, I’ve been fairly active and frequently in some sort of compromised state of mind, albeit usually nothing too crazy. Mental capacities aside, the expenditures I’ve continued to collect definitely continue to burn a hole in pants that seem close to combustion. To be fair, they could (and probably should) be a lot worse given how active I’ve been, but in the end that slow fire is becoming a blaze. It might be time to be more of a homebody. I can’t say this will definitely happen, as I already considered making plans to attend Euphoria this weekend (which I did, more on that later) even though two weeks ago I had no intentions of it. I still plan to be adventurous and experience new things that inherently are risky, because I still believe in living my life to the fullest and cause I like to try new things, but maybe I’ll take it a bit slower. Maybe I’ll forsake some plans with friends so that I’m more responsible to myself and to my parents. Maybe I’ll take on another job or get a new one over the summer.

Or maybe not. I really don’t know. I want to be a better person, I want to make the right choices, but I also want to enjoy my life. I don’t want to keep feeling like a black hole of burden to my parents, who have always provided me more than I can ever hope for and now seem so much older in a scary way. I want to be able to provide them with the luxury of life’s greatest comforts and sights. I want to be able to proudly know I am independently supporting myself while servicing others who are in need. I want to make my own ice cream and eat it too (because I don’t really like cake, and it’s more fun when you do it yourself than buy it from someone else). And so the selfish side battles the responsible side, both of which win different battles and create who I am. Is it your actions that are important or your intentions? I think both: intentions only go so far, but actions made of the wrong intentions can still be just as harmful.

These thoughts these days

To no surprise, I’ve been thinking a lot like always. Or really, I should say I have had a lot of various thoughts come to mind. But actual thinking time has been a bit more minimal than it probably should. I actually wrote a couple of paragraphs on one of these thoughts already but decided to delete them and not bring them back up. It’s a debate I don’t really have interest in speculating  more about, so to bring it up in my post seems irrelevant.

I’ve recently found myself engaging in things I had previously stated were unlikely or even outright refusing to do. And yet there I was, doing what I said I wouldn’t do, and being okay with it. I don’t want to call myself a hypocrite, but ultimately it does seem quite like that in some of the situations. Granted, I’m not one to truly say never to things, but the fact that I feel like I keep eating my own words is definitely making me consider why my acceptance values or actions have changed.

Recently, I’ve found myself engaging in more casual relationships. I’ve never been against them, to be fair, but I did speculate with a friend on it not too long ago about why I’ve never had one before. The words I said then are still true, and yet still I engaged in what I said was unlikely to happen. If I were to put it in a positive light, I could say I just hadn’t found the right scenario to allow these things to occur until now.

In a separate situation, I found myself offered certain recreational drugs that I had told myself I would never try, but then found myself contemplating to try. I actually didn’t part take in said drugs, but the fact that I definitely considered it kind of shocked me. Here I was, stating with a clear mind my strong refusal to ever trying them, and then there I was, under the influence, truly considering trying them out. Again, I do know that I’ve always been open to trying things, and I was also already mentally compromised in some way, but still. It just makes me wonder how easily I might give up some of my values and choose to do the exact opposite if the right conditions are set. Scary.

I meant to talk more in-depth on my thoughts, but it seems today is not much of a contemplation sort of day for me. Instead, I’ll continue with the even more recent updates since when I first began this post. I may add in some thoughts below though.

Fun, friends, and family

As previously mentioned, I ended up going to Euphoria (first time!) a couple weekends ago. It was an absolute blast with incredibly chill vibes and amazing people and music. I wouldn’t have considered it were it not for the fact that my friend had incredibly discounted VIP 3 day camping passes due to investing in the event. Additionally, they really set it up for success. Euphoria offered free shuttle rides from UT and downtown Austin to and from the grounds with Bus to Show (BTS) which, despite mass pandemonium to get home Saturday night, is an awesome and brilliant inclusion. To me, it shows they care about our safety more than they care about their pockets or judgement. If we truly cared about saving lives, we should offer safe alternatives rather than just outright rejection or punishment. Words true to things beyond just free rides, such as to abortions, but that’s a bit too serious for this right now.

Wiz Khalifa, Wiz, Euphoria, Euphoria 2017, music festival

Wiz was at Euphoria. if I didn’t seen him at Emory years back, I saw him now :)

In any case, I never did end up camping there simply because I was still dog sitting at the time, so I couldn’t, but it was definitely a great experience. One that I hope to be able to attend again. During my time there, I met new friends and even met with someone I hadn’t seen in almost a decade, I went back stage, found some new artists with great music, indulged too much in some overpriced but delicious food, and floated away in the clouds whilst dancing. It was definitely a great time without doing too much either, and I am incredibly grateful in having been able to part take in it.

This past weekend, I had a much calmer weekend compared to others. I finally went home for the first time in a month. Considering that I usually go back every other weekend, it was amazing I went 4 weekends in a row without going back. That was mostly due to the dog sitting though, but still. For this weekend, it was mostly about family. I spent some time with my sister Pokemon hunting and taking advantage of the Easter specials they were having. I played therapist to some issues at home. I unintentionally came back for my nephew’s birthday and sort of celebrated with him. I played some volleyball with friends, at one point sober and at another not so much. And I watched a bit of Netflix. I’ve learned I’m really bad at starting new things (shows, etc) frequently. I just go to what I already know I like even if I’ve already seen it a few times, despite a growing list of things I do want to watch or recommended stuff. It’s the same with manga and sometimes books. It’s not to say I won’t ever try them out, but it’s as if I have to be in the right kind of mood or situation to finally give it a shot. And it seems somewhat random when it does happen. Anyways.

birthdays, nephew, six years old, celebrations, cake

my youngest nephew turned six!

It was a nice weekend. Some packing was done as my moving date and such has been finalized. I have one or two weekends left living in Austin, this weekend being one of them. My only other one is actually Mother’s day weekend, which I didn’t realize, so this weekend may actually end up being my last weekend being in Austin. I had hoped to go to Hamilton Pool that weekend, but that may have to be done another time.

I forget to mention, but I am actually taking an online Biology course that has been going relatively well. I definitely don’t have to try too hard for it, which is a wonderful plus for me. Even though I’m not working (at my job) as much as I’d like to and technically shouldn’t have all that much to deal with, I’m still glad I don’t have to devote too much time and energy to this class to get a decent grade. Hopefully that continues for the next few weeks. It definitely is kind of annoying that the tests are always on weekends, but at least I can usually take them quickly.

Oh, and another thing that happened was me cutting my hair. I decided to cut off 19+ inches of hair. Well actually, I decided on 19 inches to sell/donate, and then my sister consequently cut off a lot more later for styling (which ended up being finished by her teacher). Long story short, I now have an asymmetrical bob of a haircut. Haven’t had this short of hair since undergrad… and changing from hair down past my waist to barely touching my shoulders is a definite difference. But I’m totally enjoying it. Anyways!

snapchat, haircut, asymmetrical haircut, filtered photos

apparently I haven’t saved many pics of myself with my haircut, so this snap will have to do

Things to look forward to besides getting a lot of new music:

-Middlelands! It’s happening pretty quickly. I’m super excited.
-visiting Hamilton Pool
-seeing old undergraduate friends (both in Atlanta and those who come to Texas)
-finally trying Franklins BBQ for the first time (already pre-ordered :D)
-seeing lots of friends
-playing volleyball more
-climbing more

How much of this will actually happen? Who knows. Right now it looks like all of it should happen, but you never know what will really happen until it does. I’ll try to give a music update at some point, but I may wait until after Middlelands, or do one for Euphoria/SXSW/etc first. In any case, this post has gone on long enough and probably has become even more disorganized. For those of y’all who stuck around to actually read all of this, I hope you found it somewhat entertaining or enlightening.

Have a great day!

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Music blog: the start of an idea

I briefly mentioned it before, but given my excess of time currently (between only one online class that has yet to start and a part-time job which hours still haven’t increased to my desired amount) I decided to go ahead and try to blog about music a bit more. This is highly susceptible to being scrapped or (really) forgotten/overlooked pretty quickly, given that I’m pretty terrible about updating my blog (though recently I have kind of improved?); but, I’m riding off the wave of great intentions and capitalizing on my current mood and going ahead with this post. I’m still toying with how I would want these blog posts to occur, so if you’re tuning in please note that organization may be lacking for awhile…

Disclaimer aka here’s the general idea of what to expect

One thing my friends have always noted, besides my tendency to keep 90s and early 2000s within my repertoire of music, is the diversity of music I tend to like. From EDM to folk, rock to country, jazz, classical, etc, my tastes are somewhat eclectic, though of course, I do have certain genres I prefer over the others. For me, it’s alternative rock and one of the many diverse forms of techno/dance/edm/chillstep (it’s too hard to exactly distinguish, so we’ll just default as edm). I say this because more than likely the music I talk about in these blog posts will probably lean towards those genres, though I am hoping to try to be as diverse as my library. What you will most likely not find me posting much about is heavy metal or intense screamo. Not that I don’t know/have stuff in those genres, but if we’re reflecting off my library, they are practically non-existent, especially if we get into the more strictly metal/screamo genres. What am I trying to say? Basically, expect to be reading/listening to a wide-ish variety of music but mostly centered around EDM and alternative rock. As I come across less and less new, good rock music nowadays, it may be heavily EDM. But again, I’m gonna try to be diverse and also kick back with something from the past as well. Additionally, sometimes the music I talk about may not even be all that new. It may just be a song I want to bring up because, heck, I like it a lot. So what exactly are these music posts going to be about? I won’t lie, there will be rants about not so good music here too, if I decide upon it. But as I like to try to be optimistic and say good things, I’ll try to keep the bashing to a minimum. Overall, this is me talking about music: good, bad, new, old, everything. Here goes nothing!

Today’s feature: Chocolates and Roses by The Green

And here we are, first attempt and already I’m bringing it back. Granted, this song was only recently introduced to me as I heard it while at a hookah lounge a few weeks ago, but its actual release was back in 2013. Additionally, I’m already deviating from what I just said in that this is not EDM, not rock, but rather more jazz/reggae. Still, definitely worth the listen if you’re into that jazzy lounge music, or just looking for a new love song.

Another note I thought I’d mention is that I decided to go with Soundcloud to play this song. While there’s definitely youtube videos available of this song, I still prefer Soundcloud if it’s available. I know I have bashed on Soundcloud in the past (because it’s still true that it has taken a negative turn for corporate greed, nyah!), but I can still appreciate what is still offers (which is mostly podcasts of EDM music). If you do want more/new EDM music, then soundcloud definitely still has that to offer. It just may not provide the full tracks to more popular/radio hits/certain artists. Well, not for free anyways.

I suppose I’m realizing now that I don’t have all too much to say in regards to the featured song, and I really intended this to be some sort of listing of songs that have captured my attention recently (whether old or new) aka lots of songs listed, so onwards I go with other songs for you to try!

Kaskade – Let It Out (feat. Haley)

I actually debated this being the “featured” song, not that it really matters since they’re both getting mentioned anyways, but this song definitely captivated me the moment I first heard it through. Kaskade has been a player in the dance scene for some time now (I remember my first time seeing him live was back in ’09 at the first ever EDC festival in Dallas) and while he definitely sticks more to the mellow, chill tones compared to some other EDM artists out there, this one is even more so unique. It’s a wonderful ballad and it really gives the feels (before and) after the first chorus. Even in a slow ballad, he’s still hitting those drops like nobody’s business.

Sticking with those smooth melodies and heavenly voices, here’s another track to get in on if you haven’t already:

Alina Baraz & Galimatias – Unfold

I’ll be honest, I pretty much like the whole album Urban Flora by Alina Baraz and Galimatias, and the rest of the songs basically sound similar to this song, so check the whole album out. “Can I” was the other song consideration I had to represent Alina Baraz and this album as a whole. While the lyrics themselves are clearly sexually suggestive, and yeah, maybe this is baby making music, who cares? Her voice is amazing and the beats are super smooth. I think I’m seeing a pattern in the music chosen for this blog post… Whoops heh.

Here’s another older song that I feel like I’m getting a second chance with:

Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids

And here, rather than use Frank Ocean’s upload, I had to use Def Jam’s to get the full song length. Thank you soundcloud… ANYWAYS. I remember when Channel Orange first came out, or at least when a few of my friends were talking about it. I tried to get on board, but either I 1) didn’t hear this song back then and chose the wrong first few songs that I wasn’t a fan of, or 2) didn’t appreciate the album/song until now when I like this type of music more. I feel like the former is more likely, but I won’t deny the possibility of the latter. Either way, Frank Ocean has definitely become considered one of the kind of newer great rap artists out there. I recall having a brief conversation with some friends about this and he was definitely on our list. So in earnest appreciation of the song now and the memory of that conversation, I included this song to the list. The next song, however, deviates a little from all the recent ones:

Marina and the Diamonds – Lies (Zeds Dead Remix)

While I haven’t actually heard the original version of this song, I do enjoy Zeds Dead’s remix of it. This was introduced to me through another friend (the best way to share music!) recently. It is, however, actually somewhat of an older song it seems (apparently it’s been on soundcloud for 4 years?). I’m learning things as I write this post! I think the newest of these songs is probably Kaskade’s, who only recently dropped that song in the past month or so. (So it’s super fresh!)

In an effort to bring forth newer music and yet still hit that soft spot for those old tunes, here’s a surprise:

Yellowcard – The Hurt Is Gone

And while there actually (surprisingly) is a version of this song on Soundcloud, it was the full length which offers a slightly longer than appreciated intro… So I went with the Youtube version. While it only shares a few similarities to the infamous “Ocean Avenue” or “Way Away” or “Empty Apartment”, I still find this ever new, ever Yellowcard song a reminiscence of the music I grew up listening to. If you still have an alternative rock bone in your body, I hope this song tickles it.

Unexpected disappointments: Linkin Park and The Chainsmokers

I write this because it literally happened today. I decided to finally listen to LP’s new song “Heavy” featuring Kiiara. As a long-time fan of LP,  this newest song really shocked me and made me full of disappointment. While I can say that I am definitely a Hybrid Theory lover, I’ve also always loved various songs from their albums that came after: “Burning It Down,” “Numb,” “Shadow of the Day,” to name a few. This last album, The Hunting Party, was not my cup of tea, but I could see where their inspiration drew from. It still sounded much like them, with just a little too much screaming and a little too heavy. And yet, this last song… As I said on my Facebook post, it really felt like some sort of attempt to make a pop radio hit. Chester’s singing (or whatever) feels off the entire time, and Kiiara overall carries the song. And the rest doesn’t even sound like LP exists. Are they following the money? Are they just trying for something new? Pressure from the label? I really have no idea, but whatever it is, I hope they are just sticking true to themselves. If they’re doing that, and this is what is coming out, then like I said in my post, artists change. I can’t say I won’t be disappointed if this is really the route they want to take, but at least I can try to accept it and just bury myself in their older albums. In any case, LP you’ll always have my heart, but maybe it’s time to walk away and just keep the memories. At least in their last concert that I went to they played a lot of oldies that the whole crowd loved (more).

As for The Chainsmokers, I’d like to just blame it on the formula. I remember when I first heard of them. My friend had introduced me to them, they were still fairly unknown with only a few podcasts available. Most of their music were remixes with only a couple of original mixes (which weren’t all that great, to be honest). I heard Tove-Lo’s “Habits (Stay High)” song first as a remix by them and loved it. It came to me as a surprise when I began to hear the original on the radio much later. I still listen to The Wanted’s “We Own the Night” remixed by The Chainsmokers on a frequent basis, and I will forever love their remix of “Medicine” by Daughter. Both previously mentioned songs are still on my currently jamming list and have been played by me more than enough times.

And yet after “Selfie”, and a slew of other radio hits (“Don’t Let Me Down” and “Let You Go,” for example), I kind of stopped paying attention to their newest stuff. I only recently realized “Closer” was one of their songs, and their newest hit, “Paris”, I only recently (last week) tried to check out. It was right after listening to “Closer” that I tried “Paris” and sadly I stopped the song before the chorus even finished it’s first go. It kind of just… sounded the exact same as “Closer.” I know songs in an album tend to sound similar, I mean Urban Flora songs definitely all sound very similar, but at the same time I can feel distinction between the songs, thus why I like some more than others. For “Closer” and “Paris”…. I don’t know, maybe because I was listening to a lot of new music at that moment, I just wasn’t really captivated by either. When I say I blame it on the formula, I mean the radio formula. The hits, the money makers, the ones the general audience are all going to go gaga over and spend loads of money because it’s exactly what everyone is so hyped up about. Easily digestible music to be appreciated by the general audience. Today’s music is a mix of varying genres (hiphop, rap, pop, etc) set to a slightly edm/techno beat. That’s how I mostly feel. It’s popular media trying to regurgitate EDM music into something more people can appreciate and like. And The Chainsmokers are at the top of the list in the right formula to create that kind of music.

I’m not saying I don’t like their music. I do. But I’m just a little sad and a little disappointed in their lack of variety now. Even their collaboration with Coldplay, “Something Just Like Us,” has some distinction from their other stuff, but is still missing that wow factor to be a great new song by them. Maybe I’m just being too critical, but I hope in between all the shows and the fame and fortune, they keep trying to make good music, and not just the same stuff with different lyrics.

Here’s to hoping for good music to come: Daughter – Medicine (The Chainsmokers Remix)

When will my next post (about music) be? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but I am trying to be more consistent about my posting, so while my next post might be not music related (though will always still include at least one song), keep looking out for a new one if you found this entertaining. :)

a really impressive title goes here

I wanted to write another blog post to update like I said I would, but I found that I wasn’t sure what to write about at this current time. So please bear with me as I try to come up with something witty, or whatever. =)

Normally I add in a currently jammin’ to song from Soundcloud, but as Soundcloud has started to try to increase profit margin rather than stick true to their original ideology, it’s become more difficult sometimes to get the song I want on there. I still chose one this time, but it may be time to change to another site to stream music on here… Sigh.

Currently jammin’ to:

This jam is a bit long since it’s a long mix rather than an individual song, but definitely worth it. Additionally, I recently saw Ekali live at The Kingdom in Austin a couple weekends ago. The openers were so-so, but when Ekali took the stage it definitely was pretty awesome. I will say that the lights were a bit blinding for such a small space. I literally felt blind at times and had to step back further from the stage at times in order to reorient myself because of how blinding the laser lights were at times. I think some of it was due to the size of the room though, being so small allowed for so much reflection. At least it wasn’t stuffy and hot. So glad I got to check out Ekali.

Summer finale

Summer is coming to a close, surprisingly fast. I can’t believe it’s already August. I have so much I need to get together, start to do. I feel like I’m so behind. And yet there’s so much that I’ve also already done. It’s crazy. It’s also amazing to realize that I only have one more semester left of my current classes before I enter (hopefully) into my Master’s program. As I write this, I think “shouldn’t I be working on my statement instead?” considering that I have to have one by September 15th for UT Dallas… umm, yeah whoops.

And what a summer it has been. Lots of ups, lots of downs. Not quite what I imagined it would be, and still not where I want it to be, but hopefully with some luck, some talks, and some work it will get to where I want it. I will say this much, I have learned and experienced a lot this summer. This year overall, really. I am looking forward to continuing to learn more and experience many wonderful things. It feels fitting to reflect on some of the new things I’ve gotten to experience, but I think I’d rather just focus on the recent things that have occurred since I last posted.

My final summer class is winding down, ending next week! Eek, that is incredibly soon. I have no idea where the time went in this class. Least to say I did not enjoy it as much as my previous class, but I am glad for the grades I’ve been getting (somehow keeping my 4.0 GPA) and I greatly appreciate having taken this class with a friend. It definitely made the whole experience more bearable and easier.

Recently, I returned back from attending a wedding in California for my boyfriend’s cousin. It involved my boyfriend’s whole immediate family, so needless to say it was not like our Mexico trip together, but we still had fun and he finally got to visit Disneyland for the first time, something his father promised him a long time ago when he was still young. The wedding itself was also something wonderful as well. Even though I hardly knew the couple and was only there politely as one of the distant cousin’s girlfriend, I still really took the experience to heart. I think I was just feeling quite emotional that day, but I had lots of feelings listening to the ceremony/speeches and watching the whole thing. I think love is a wonderful thing. Something to cherish greatly, and something to hold onto as best as possible when you can. I know it’s also hard work, to create happiness all the time and always feel grateful for everything you have. We take for granted so much all the time, I feel. And just the same, love is easily taken for granted. Whether it comes from our parents, from our friends, or our significant other, it’s easy to lose sight of how significant it is to have someone love you. Watching the wedding, it really made me consider my own personal values and personal goals for the future. I am definitely not ready to be married, but perhaps because of age or whatever it is, I know I’m looking forward to settling. Kids, however, that’s a completely different situation, one I am absolutely not ready to even consider. ANYWAYS!

Normally I would write a whole bunch more, but honestly I am realizing how much work I have to get done and I also lack much to say right now. So with that in mind, I end this very short post and update. I’ll try to give this more thought later. :D

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