Monday, November 26, 2012

The BYU Terrace piano

One thing that has always perplexed me is the piano in the Terrace of the Wilkinson Center.  Well, not really the piano, but the people who play on it.  If you are not familiar with BYU, the Terrace is a big room which they use as the overflow near the Cougareat.  At lunch time, it's filled with students munching away at their Subway sandwiches, or crunching into some Taco Bell concoction.  Everyone is sitting in groups around the tables.  Everyone except that one guy sitting in the corner at the piano.   He probably looks something like this.
(I snapped this little photo today in later hours, hence the empty chairs.)
While everyone is busy socializing and eating, the piano guy will pound away at those ivory keys.  The skill level and pieces range on all degrees, but you can almost always count that it's very average. 

I don't really get annoyed with the playing.  It's not like he's trying to be obnoxious, but I just can't grasp WHY he insists on playing at that particular piano.  Out of all the pianos on campus (there is a piano in almost every classroom in every building because we have church meetings on campus) he decides to play in the Terrace while making hundreds of students listen to him "practice."  Believe me, I like attention every once in awhile, but this is not the attention I would ever seek out.

So maybe he just wants to practice.  Every once in awhile the player is actually reading music, and it does seem like he's practicing.  But not really.  Practicing requires stopping, and replaying difficult sections.  Practicing is not very entertaining to listen to, and it's pretty obvious that person is there to perform.

Well, maybe he just wants to mess around on the piano.  Because people like to "play around" in front of hundreds of students.

I have all these theories, but they just don't cut it for me.  The only one I can really consider is the guy wants to impress the ladies.  Notice how I've marked these unknown piano players as men (ha, players), because it's almost always a GUY playing the piano.  I have rarely seen a female serenading the crowd.  Well, I'm sorry men, but I'm not impressed.

I just don't get it.  I wish I knew what is going through their heads while they play.  This I will never know, but this is my guess.

"I feel like playing this song because it makes me happy.  Also I want to impress the ladies."

"I'm going to practice this song and watch the students' reactions to gauge my playing ability.  I also want to impress the ladies.

"I'm going to play on this piano because all the other hundreds of pianos are taken.  I also want a date this weekend.

"I love all this attention."

"Everyone is probably really impressed right now.  I'm probably going to get a bunch of girls' numbers."

Alas, I'll probably never know.  I'll just take creepy pictures of them and share my confusion with the internet.

Oh, and at one point in my dance dare video I pranced behind an unaware piano guy.  It's around the 40 second mark.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I used to be cool.

That title is a lie.  I was never necessarily "cool" at any time in my life, but there were many a time when I thought I was doing something cool.  Mostly in Middle School.  I thought I was pretty awesome back then. 

So sometime around 7th grade I made friends with a bunch of pretty cool girls.  We were skinny jocks that ate twice our weight, didn't care much about guys, and kind of had a sense of style.  ("In-style" at that time was wearing Abercrombie or Hollister.)
But we wore t-shirts and soccer shorts anytime outside of school.  I still do that...
Also, about half us played lacrosse together, so we often wore the same exact shirts.

Ahh the memories.  Anyway, we all sat at the same lunch table and since we had a full hour for lunch/recess (yes, we still had recess) we came up with a lot of stupid ways to entertain ourselves.  One of these activities was stealing plastic spoons from the cafeteria.  We called ourselves "The Spoon Mafia."  So much cool.  Basically, when we'd go through the lunch line, we'd grab as many plastic spoons as we could without getting caught.  At first we'd come back with about 5 spoons stuffed in our hoodies, but the numbers continued to increase as we got more courageous.  I think the record was around 20 spoons.  Actually, I have no idea how many, but it got pretty ridiculous.  We would keep a collection of all the spoons that we stole, and laugh because of our stealthy skills.
Our secret stash.
Yeah, I stole all these photos from facebook.
We also threw away a lot of lunch trays.  Apparently it was too much work to walk to the other side of the cafeteria to return our trays.  And after throwing away our trays into the trash cans, we'd steal those too, and roll them into the bathroom stalls.  For some reason it was really fun to watch the lunch ladies search for the trash cans.  Once at the end of lunch we rolled the trash can down the halls with the rush of students.  It got pretty far.  Jeez, we thought we were hilarious.

Once winter came, we spent most of our recess time in the cafeteria or on the stage.  On the sides of the stage there were ramps for wheelchair access, but we used them for other purposes.  We made a very exclusive group called the "Scooter Club" where we used the orchestra music stands as scooter-like devices to slide down the ramp.  Why we thought this was fun, I don't know.  Mostly we just thought we were funny.  Middle schoolers are typically thought of awkward, and a bunch of confused and depressed kids, but I'm pretty sure we all had way too much self-confidence.  Which is why we thought we were so cool.

Our friendship was greatly defined by our lunch time escapades, but the other half would be our birthday sleepovers.  We had a fairly large group of friends, so there were a lot of birthday parties.  And our birthday parties were always the same.  We'd have a sleepover in the birthday girl's basement, eat lots of food, give candy and gift cards as presents, and have an ice cream birthday cake.
Except this is the one time it wasn't an ice cream cake.
Then we'd be loud and obnoxious for the rest of the night.  Probably watch a movie that I wasn't allowed to watch, and then maybe pull some pranks on those who fell asleep first.  Sometimes we'd go and harass the neighbors by dressing up in costumes and go trick or treating in the middle of August.  Another time we went Christmas caroling.  But see, it was hilarious because it wasn't Christmas!  And I'm pretty sure we also pretended it was New Year's Eve and counted down from 10 at people's doors.  Except I'm not positive if that one actually happened. 

Then we graduated middle school.  They told us to dress up for the last day when we got our little diplomas.  Well, I wasn't about to look nice for a stupid assembly.

So I wore this pioneer dress.  It was only five sizes too small.

Once we hit high school, our little group wasn't as tight knit as it once was, but that's just how things go.  It was fun while it lasted, and most of us stayed fairly close.
But we still went to Homecoming together our freshman year.  Look, we can look presentable!

So did you know that I was on the curling team in high school?  We were undefeated.  We also never played a single game, but that's a minor detail.  We posted fliers all over the school for an informational meeting to join the curling team.  Except the date had already passed.  We also had awesome t-shirts that said "Sweep Away the Competition" on the backs.  We fooled a lot of people even though we had no idea how to curl.  I admit, I still think that was pretty funny.  Some people are so gullible.

Like I already mentioned, I was never exactly popular.  I guess a decent amount of people knew of me, but I'm pretty sure it was because I'm an Asian Mormon.  Neither are very common in Ohio.  Anyway, I never hosted any parties, because I was unsure of the turnout.  That is, until my 17th birthday when I had a dance party in my basement.  This was just the time before hipsters became an actual thing, so we were basically a bunch of pre-hipsters.  We'd dress up in crazy clothing and dance strangely.  It may look like I was high, but I wasn't being sexually inappropriate! So yeah, I had a dance party and it was awesome.  Mainly because people showed up, and I didn't look like a loser. 
All the pictures were blurry because it was so humid and sweaty. 
Look at all the shoes!  I'm popular!
So that one night I got a taste of what it would be like to be popular.  But not really, because you don't need to know the person who's hosting the dance party.  You just show up.

And that's all I remember from my middle/high school times.  It's surprising how much I've already forgotten.  Probably because the rest of my memories involved sitting in a classroom surrounded by teenagers.  I still can't believe I want to be a teacher.

Monday, November 5, 2012


So the Presidential Election is tomorrow, and I can't wait for this whole thing to be over.  Basically, I feel like this little girl.
This blog post isn't to promote Barack Obama, or Mitt Romney, and I don't plan to do any bashing.  So don't run away.  I'm not going to pretend that I know much about politics, because I don't.  And even if I did, my two-cents wouldn't hold much merit.  I'm just a college students who grew up in OHIO. 

So I should be excited shouldn't I?  My vote actually means something, since Ohio is a swing state with 18 substantial electoral votes.  My vote could decide the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Sure, that's exciting and all, but mostly I'm just frustrated.  SO MUCH FRUSTRATION. 

First off, in order to register to vote when you live out of state, you have to send the application through the mail. But seriously, what decade are we in?? I strongly suggest an online application.  And because of this, I have a confession to make.  I will not be voting tomorrow because once I planned to register to vote, I realized it wouldn't make it from Utah to Ohio in time.  Yes, I won't be voting because I'm I was too lazy to register earlier, but can you blame me?  I'm from a generation that doesn't plan ahead for things like snail mail.

I was annoyed that registering was so inconvenient, but I was also relieved.  I had no idea who I'd vote for anyway.  Considering my conservative upbringing, my fairly conservative faith, and the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, you can probably guess who I'd vote for.  And because of that, I was all the more cautious.  I don't want to vote for someone based off personal reasons, I want my decision based off the actual politics.

So the obvious solution to my ignorance is to become informed and do some research on the candidates.  EXCEPT I DON'T TRUST ANYONE.  As a college student, we're taught repeatedly to check our sources and to make sure they're peer reviewed and legitimate.  These sources don't include most of the media, so Fox, CNN, Facebook, and Youtube really don't meet my criteria.  If I want to learn the straight up facts, I should go to the original or primary resources, but I'm way too dumb for that stuff.  I am no scholar when it comes to politics and statistics, so I need it dumbed down.   Which is what the news and other media sources are for.  But they're all biased, and all my facebook friends are biased so who do I trust?  Basically it's a Catch-22.  To get the unadulterated truth, I have to read the primary sources which make absolutely no sense to me.  To understand what I'm reading, I have to find simplified yet biased sources that aren't really informing me at all.   I'M SO CONFUSED.

Speaking of Facebook, I hate it.  But I'm addicted, so I can't break away.  I don't necessarily get mad when people post political comments or links on Facebook, because that's what social media is for.  But it starts to take its toll.  I don't pick sides to be annoyed with--I honestly get just as mad with the Democrats as the Republicans.  I often feel like a lot of the Republicans simply sound ignorant, and the Democrats angsty.  And most of the stuff is negative about the other party's candidate.  Which gets old real fast.  And mostly it's just a hate fest, and it makes me depressed that our country can be so divided.  Ok, I'll spare you this cliche rant, but really.  Why is there so much hate.  Hate starts to blur the facts with opinions, and then this whole voting thing is kind of worthless.

I probably sound more like an idiot than a weary citizen, but these are my complaints nonetheless.  And I promise I'll vote the next time.    Hopefully by then I'll be more informed.  And hopefully so will the rest of America.