August 31, 2012

Classical Piece of the Week: Polonaise Brillante in D Major

Woohoo, it's Friday!!! And you know when it's Friday, there's Classical Piece of the Week! ^-^

This week, I decided to go with Polonaise Brillante No.1 in D Major, Op.4 by Henryk Wieniawski. Wieniawski was a virtuoso violinist, but he was also a composer, writing some of the most important works in the violin repertoire. Now, I'm not sure if this Polonaise is counted as a very "important" work, but I do know that this piece is mind blowingly amazing. This is like the ultimate piece to showcase all of the different skills and techniques that can be found playing the violin. Spiccato, double stops, harmonics, large interval leaps... All of this and more are displayed, while still making the music very enjoyable to listen to.

August 29, 2012

Reality TV is Brainwashing our Society!

Why do people watch reality TV shows? The question has lingered in my mind for several weeks now, yet each time I just can't get put finger on the true answer.

For years, humans' thirst for entertainment has made us strive for something even better than the last. We always want a show that will make us even more captivated than the previous one. And the producers will go to extremes to make the audience satisfied.

What is the point of reality shows though? At the end of the day, we're just invading other people's private life. We watch them fight and make-up and then fight once again. We share their laughs and joys and pain, yet, all of this through a TV. We know them, but they don't know us.

It's basically an invasion of privacy, but we don't seem to care, and neither do the reality stars. They most likely do it for the money, and the attention, and sometimes that just really sickens me. I'm not saying that they are bad people, but I just find it pathetic that they earn their money by partying and arguing all day.

August 27, 2012

Book Review: Dairy Queen

Quick synopsis from Goodreads:
When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D.J. can't help admitting, maybe he's right. When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn't so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won't even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league. When you don't talk, there's a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D.J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.

My rating: 5/5 stars!

My review:

August 25, 2012

Old-School Gymnastics (Part 2)


So, I decided to do a Part 2 because I felt like I didn't completely explain the whole history of old-school gymnastics. In fact, one of my mom's co-worker made a comment about my post that definitely made me realize that I had only explained one side of old-school gymnastics. Here's a little part that she wrote in her comment:  

"...Today in gymnastics the coaches are much more in tune with the gymnast as a whole person, so there is less eating disorders, than in the past…"

And she is completely right.

August 24, 2012

Classical Piece of the Week: Solo Piano


So, if you have read this post I wrote a while back, you know that I am literally addicted to old-school gymnastics. So, while on Youtube, I stumbled upon this video called: "The Tragedies of Gymnastics- Solo Piano (Raul Di Blasio)" and I fell in love with the music. It fit the video perfectly, and it was utterly perfect. So, if you haven't guessed yet, my classical piece for this week is Solo Piano by Raul Di Blasio. Style wise, it is more towards contemporary music, but I think it fits wonderfully in the category of Classical Music.

August 22, 2012

Book Review: How I Live Now

Quick sypnosis from Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy. As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way. 

My review: 

August 21, 2012

Plastic is Invading our Lives (and Environment)

I love drinking DanActives. You know, those mini pro-biotic yogurt drinks? So, a few days back, I discovered a little fun fact on the bottle: "More than 120 bottles of DanActives are being consumed each second around the world!" And that fun fact soon becomes into a pretty horrifying fact. 120 bottles of plastic used every second! Now, if this fact proves to be true, that'd be 10 036 800 of DanActive bottles consumed every day! To put this into perspectives, it'd be roughly equivalent to 49 127 of those water cooler jugs! Or it also means that all these bottles of DanActive could fill roughly 140 Olympic sized swimming pools each year! I know that may not sound like that much, but think about it, this is only DanActive bottles we're talking about here. Milk jugs, yogurt cups, frozen meal trays... They are also thrown in the garbage.

August 18, 2012

Appreciate that Moment

So, this week I had badminton camp from Monday to Friday. It was incredibly fun and I can't believe that it's already over. I feel like time just passed away so fast, and I haven't had time to process everything. I feel sad that I didn't have time to appreciate every moment during the camp. I know it may sound silly- after all, it is just a camp, but it's a badminton camp. It seems like when you have fun, time is no longer as slow as waiting for that school bell to ring on a Friday afternoon.

Now I think of all the great times I've had in my life, and how I have failed to appreciate them during the moment. I always seem to appreciate it after it happens, which is too late, since the moment has already passed.

Life, and time, are tricky things. I wish I could control them, but at the end, I know that I can only do so much. All good things will always come to an end, no matter how much I try to convince myself that I can change that.

Next time you're having a good time, or if you're just simply very happy, try to remember that moment.

That moment will eventually end, but appreciating it will maybe help you yearn less for it, instead, you just might feel satisfied that you took the time to enjoy that moment.

August 17, 2012

Classical Piece of the Week: Pavane

Notice anything different? That's right, I've got a banner (or logo, or whatever you call these things) for my Classical Piece of the Week! (Hurray!)

Moving on to the piece...

This week, I have chosen "Pavane pour une infante défunte" by Maurice Ravel. A pavane was a type of dance from the Renaissance era (1500s). It was originally danced with moderately fast music, but the music has slowed down over time, as heard in this Pavane. Ravel wrote this as a piano work, but I strongly prefer his orchestrated version. The title translates into "Pavane for a Dead Infant", so of course, the mood in this piece is rather somber; yet, there are some places where the music sounds almost like a dream, like you're floating away. The lead melody is given to the horn, which I find absolutely perfect, as the horn has this very rich sound that is not overly powerful when played right.

There is no better word to describe this Pavane than beautiful. Ravel has this amazing talent to compose pieces with interesting harmonies yet making it sound just so right. Delicately crafted, Pavane pour une infante défunte is an absolutely magnificent masterpiece.

August 14, 2012

Old-School Gymnastics

I can't help but feel a little sad when I turn on the TV, surf the channel schedules, and recall that there is no more Olympics coverage. Those 17 days have passed by so fast that my brain is still processing the fact that there will be no more Summer Olympic Games for another 4 years. Just watching the Olympics has taught me so many things: I discovered new sports, learned new rules, and found new interests.

The one thing I have learned to love by watching the Olympics is women's artistic gymnastics. I was absolutely in awe with the incredible talent and skills shown during their performances. With further research on Youtube, I discovered that old-school gymnastics are even better! It's honestly just a simple matter of opinion. Modern gymnastics focus more on the difficulty of skills while old-school gymnastics bring out the more balletic and elegant side of gymnasts. I'm absolutely fascinated by their talent and ability to transform a simple apparatus into an amazing work of art. Their gracefulness was incredible and they made everything look so easy! Anyways, here is a video that I found on Youtube that I'm completely in love with right now. It's entitled "The greatest gymnasts of all time" and it is beautifully edited and produced. The music has a little bit of melancholy to it, but I love the extra vintage feeling it adds to the video. Hope you guys enjoy!

August 12, 2012

Book Review: Before I Fall

Well, now that I'm back with books from the library, I'll be posting book reviews on my blog and on my Goodreads! I'm still pretty new at writing book reviews, so if you have any suggestions on how I can improve my writing, don't hesitate on commenting below! Well, without further ado, here is my review... (hehe, it rhymes!)

Quick synopsis from Goodreads:

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

My rating: 5/5 stars!!!

My review: I can't... No... Is this for real... I mean...

Well, my emotions are kind of all over the place, so bear with me if this review is a little scattered around different subjects...

Let me start off by saying that if you haven't read "Before I Fall", you're seriously missing on some YA brilliancy. I'm literally jealous of Lauren Oliver and her ability of writing something so genius. She really gets it; highschool, teenagers, the haves and have-nots, I mean, this book is the real deal.

In the beginning, I resented Samantha. I disliked her personality, her friends, her attitude. But I shouldn't have been surprised, she was in the popular group after all. But slowly, as the (same) days went by, I started to see a new side of Sam that I totally didn't expect. She wasn't shallow as I thought after all. Yes, she wasn't a total nice girl, but at the end, I think she always did want to do the right thing, but I guess she was just too insecure or scared to make a move. Oliver made every character in the book so complex, yet simple. Their personalities were just all really genuine, and their imperfections and flaws just made them seem more real.

I love how this book is so hard to predict. Every new page always brought something I never would have expected, and I loved the anticipation I felt at every turn of the page. I couldn't take my eyes off this book!

I find the whole idea behind this book absolutely brilliant. This book could've easily turned into a flop, but instead it blew away my expectations. Right pace, right characters, right plot. Everything just felt right and in place.

"Before I Fall" made me feel a flurry of emotions. It overwhelmed me with its melancholy and sadness. Yet, I feel satisfied with this book. I could not have asked more of it. Sam's story will take you into a tumultuous ride filled with pain, grief, love and realization that life is so much precious than you think.

August 10, 2012

Classical Piece of the Week: La donna e mobile

So, I was going choose a pavane by Ravel, but I changed my mind, because that piece is kind of sad and right now I'm super happy!!! The reason: I finished my music history exam!!! I feel so free now, and I will finally be able to go to the library (after one month of no library, can you believe it?)! ...Ok, I've got to stop going off the subject.

Well, I decided to change it up this week, and choose an aria, which is basically a song from an opera. Now, I'm not a super big opera fan, but I absolutely love "La donna e mobile". It's just got this incredible power to it that makes it utterly spectacular. So, this song is from the opera Rigoletto, which is composed by Giuseppe Verdi, and the librettist (person who writes the lyrics) was Francesco Maria Piave. Rigoletto tells the story of Rigoletto (of course), a hunchbacked court jester to the Duke of Mantua. Rigoletto has this super gorgeous daughter, Gilda, that is only allowed to go to the church. Gilda then tells Rigoletto that she has fallen in love with a young man she met at the church (who is in fact the Duke of Mantua). At night, a bunch of courtiers come to their house to abduct Gilda, as they believe that Gilda is Rigoletto's mistress. Rigoletto then learns that his daughter is in love with the Duke of Mantua, and he's very concerned as the Duke is known to be a womanizer and very disloyal. So, he makes Gilda dress up as a man to leave the court, and he hires Sparafucile, an assassin, to kill the Duke. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, coming from a composer like Verdi, you can almost predict that something's gonna go wrong. At night, in a tavern, Sparafucile's sister, Maddalena, falls in love with the Duke, and begs Sparafucile to spare his life. Sparafucile agrees, but says that if their is a volunteer victim that comes out, that person will be killed. Gilda hears the whole conversation from outside, and sacrifices herself. When Rigoletto opens up the bag in which the victim lays in, he discovers in horror that it is his own daughter, dying in his arms.

Yah, a pretty gruesome opera, but that's what things were like back then, the more tragic, the better. "La donna e mobile" is sung by the Duke, as he lays on the infidelity and fickle nature of women (which is quite ironic, coming from a person like him). It's in strophic form, which basically means the same music is repeated throughout the piece. It is honestly a pretty fabulous piece, and the ending is absolutely off the charts! Gotta also give credit to the singer though, Luciano Pavarotti was an amazing singer. Anyways, hope you guys enjoy this song! I know opera stuff might not be a lot of people's favorite thing to listen to, but give this one a try, it's just brilliant!

August 9, 2012

An Award! (Yay!)

Well, whataya know, I got an award! I feel quite grand right now, even though most of the bloggers I know have already gotten this award.  :3

Introducing... The Versatile Blogger Award! 

A big thanks to Becca from College Life for nominating me for this award!

There are a few rules that you have to follow to accept the nomination:
  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
  2. Let the nominated bloggers know that they have been nominated for this award.
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  4. Thank the blogger who has nominated you.
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post. 
A few random facts about me:
1. I can speak in French and Mandarin (aw shucks, that's two!)
2. I play the violin
3. I love COSTCO!!! (Favorite store ever!)
4. I live in Canada (eh?)
5. I eat when I'm bored (well, let's just say I also eat when I'm not bored)
6. Reading is my passion
7. I consider myself as an amateur hockey spectactor

My nominations:
3. Fall Into Fiction
4. My Paranormal Book Review
5. The Perks of Being a Bookworm
6. Pika Pages

Yes, I know, I only have 6 nominations. But I went through all the blogs I'm following, and these are the only one that I think are fit to be nominated for this award and that have not been nominated for this award yet.

And, that concludes my acceptance speech for the Versatile Blogger Award! Hope everyone has a nice day (or night)! :D

August 8, 2012

Human Laziness (Is this the Faith of Humanity?)

Every time I think of human laziness, I think of the movie Wall-E. Those who have watched that movie know what I'm saying. For those who don't know: Humans are forced to live in a spaceship because the Earth is too polluted. In the spaceship, the humans' mode of transportation is not walking, instead they're in these mobile chairs with screens to chat with people and stuff. Here's a clip to show you what I'm talking about.

Humans have become more and more lazy over time, yet a lot of people don't seem to realize it because sometimes the signs are very subtle. Remote controls, frozen meals, lamps that turn off with the sound of a clap; all of these things are factors in why humans are so lazy. Now I know what you're thinking: these items are just making our life easier, and that doesn't mean that we're lazy. Yes, I know what you mean, but think about it, humans are constantly finding new ways of making life easier, and if these things are only step 1, what will be step 2, 3 or 4?

August 7, 2012

Google Doodle!

So if you guys have google as a homepage or you search up stuff on google, you know that they've been having these awesome new doodles everyday now since it's the Olympics. There's been one of a javelin thrower, synchronized swimmers, an archer, a diver, and a few more. But today's doodle is not only a drawing, but an interactive one! Just press the play button, and to make your little dude start running, press the left and right arrow repetitively without stopping, and press the space when there's a hurdle, so that he can jump! It's really, really awesome, so you should really check it out!

(And honestly, it's a great finger work-out! ;)

Click here to start playing!

August 6, 2012

Heart-breaking loss for the Canadian Women's Soccer Team

Well, the title says it all. Canada vs. United-States. Semifinal game in soccer at the Olympics. Canada, coming as the heavy under-dogs, but still a threat based on their last few games.

The Internet: My Best Friend and Worst Enemy

Do you ever find yourself searching up a word on an online dictionary and ending up watching a video of cute kittens on YouTube? If you answered no, then you are a very lucky person! These kind of things always happen to me. Once I sit onto the chair facing my computer and open up Firefox, I am sucked away into the Internet world. And once I get in, it's hard for me to get out. I don't know, I feel like there's this magnet or something that is always attracting my hand to the mouse or keyboard, forcing me to stay on the Internet. Sometimes, I wish that the Internet wasn't invented, but of course, without the Internet, life would be incredibly different. I mean, I can't even imagine my life without Wikipedia!

The Internet is such a valuable part in my everyday life, yet an excuse to waste my time. I wish I had the will-power to spend less time on the computer, and more time on something else, which is ironic, because here I am, typing away another post on my blog! Anyways, what I'm trying to say here is that spending so much time on the Internet ain't gonna do anybody (including me!) any good. So right now, I will finish this post and get my bum of this chair and go practice my violin!


Ugh, this is very, very hard.


Ok, bye! (For sure!)

August 5, 2012

Japanese Food and what it has Taught me

I have always loved Japanese food, but I had never actually gone to a real Japanese restaurant. Usually I just eat an occasional roll of suhi at the mall or a homemade "novice" one by my mom. That's the thing, when most of the people think of Japanese food, their brains automatically directs them to images of sushi and wasabi. And I won't deny it, that's what I thought too. So it was quite a nice experience yesterday, going to this humble, little Japanese restaurant. Of course, I had sushi, but there so much other stuff that I had, like miso soup (not my favorite, but I'm glad I gave it a try), tempura shrimp (so, so good), dried, baked, cooked fishes (amazingly delicious), and hehe, rice. There was also sushi with raw fish in it, something that I have avoided to try in fear of the rawness. But I tried it this time, and it was fantastic! Japanese food is just so exquisite and beautifully crafted. You can see that they put a lot of work in their food. Delicate, elegant, and absolutely flawless.

Ok, I'm hungry just looking at this delicious yumminess!

It's amazing how much one can discover when trying something new. Quite frankly, don't be afraid of trying something you are scared of! I know it sounds kind of tacky and cliche, but there's a reason it's cliche. I was scared of trying raw fish before, maybe because I was scared of raw meat or contacting some kind of disease. Yes, it's possible to contact a disease, that is, if it's not properly cleaned or if the fish is infected. But now I have full confidence in those sushi chefs, because they know what they're doing.

The world will just open around you when you discover something new or gain more knowledge, even if it's only from trying a new kind of food. Go out there, and have fun exploring the cultures around you! They're right at your fingertips, and the only thing seperating them from you is yourself!

August 4, 2012

Technical Difficulties (Updated!)

Update: YES!!!! I finally got it!! I think I was just using the wrong code or something. So I switched to another website with different instructions and I got it! You can see this website here. Of course, I'm pretty sure the other websites should work as well, but they didn't work for me. Yay, I can finally relax and not stare at my un-working button!!!

Old post: So I've been having some troubles with that new button of mine. It's seriously driving me nuts!!! Hopefully I'll be able to fix it soon, but for now, if my button looks kind of funny or it doesn't work, it's 'cause I haven't fixed it yet (obviously). Well, I'm crossing my fingers and my toes right now for that darn button thing to work!!!

I've got a Blog Button!

Notice anything different? That's right, I've got a button now!!! I'm not very technology savy, so I definitely got some help. I'd like to thank Kayla at Ramblings of a Book Junkie for giving me tips and recommending this website on how to make a button! I think the watermelon background is from twitter, so all rights are to them and all that other legal stuff. I really like this button, and I'd love to hear your opinion, so just post a comment below!

August 3, 2012


Hi everyone! As you can see, I've made some changes to the template and design of my blog! I really liked the one before, but it looked kind of messy and unorganized. I think this one looks much less confusing. So, do you guys prefer this one or did you like the one before more? Post a comment below, I love hearing your opinions!

Classical Piece of the Week: Hungarian Rhapsody No.2

For my 2nd Classical Piece of the Week, I wanted to choose something more strong and dramatic then my first. So, without hesitation, I knew Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 would be the perfect match. This piece is composed by Franz Liszt, a brilliant composer and a virtuoso on the piano. He also invented the symphonic poem, which is such a coincidence, because my first Classical Piece of the Week is a symphonic poem, hehe.

Hungarian Rhapsody is a solo piano work, but there is also an orchestral version. It demands a lot of exceptional skills in the piano, and it's really fun to listen to. It starts of very dramatic, with strong chords. Then it goes into a more calm and soft mood, with returns of the beginning melody. After, the music is very playful, almost a little quirky. And the ending is absolutely genius, very creative; it's really something you probably won't expect. The first time I heard this piece, I found it a little weird, but it slowly grew on me, and now it's definitely one of my favorite pieces. Below is a piano version and orchestral version of the work. I personally prefer the orchestral version a little more, because I find it much more epic. I hope you enjoy listening to this fantastic music! (And for fun, check out this link and this one, it's cartoon version performances. They're really, really hilarious!)

                                                                                          -Piano Version-

-Orchestral Version-

August 1, 2012

What Happened to the Music Industry?

The music industry, ever changing, always going into different directions. And right now, I think it's going into the wrong direction. It seems like the features of this industry are no longer amazing voices and greatly written songs; it's more like auto-tunning and wild personalities. Songs filled with talks of partying, profanity, and drugs.

Let us observe the song "Young, Wild & Free" by Wiz Khalifa ft. Snoop Dogg. Here are the starting lyrics:

So what we get drunk
So what we smoke weed
We're just having fun
We don't care who sees
So what we go out
That's how it's supposed to be
Living young and wild and free

Is this the future of music? Well, if it is, then it's messed up. This is just basically promoting and encouraging bad and reckless behavior. You don't have to smoke weed and get drunk to have fun, my friends.

And then there's the auto-tunning. It frustrates me so much that good singers flush their talent down the drain with auto-tunning. Stop the madness! I'd rather hear a singer's real voice than their auto-tunned voices.

But amidst all of this cruddy music, there are still real singers who have amazing songs and can create hits without the auto-tunned and vulgar language crapolla. Adele, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson... The list goes on.

At the end of the day, this subject is really out of my hands, as it is everybody's own right to choose what they wanted to listen to. I just wish that the music industry will realize what's real talent, and use it in the best way.


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