Monday, November 29, 2010

My hair

This morning when I got up I couldn't help but feel like maybe my bed-head hair is a little too similar to my "combed", or "styled" hair.

But, it just goes to show why it's so much better to be male than female. Can you find the differences in these two pictures? You'll notice there really aren't many.

Also, here's a pizza I made on halloween. I wanted to make sure to wait for a month or so before uploading Halloween pics so that they would seem more unique and special, rather than getting lost in the flurry of other people's costumes that aren't as cool as my pizza.

Also, whoever programmed the process for arranging pictures on these blog entries must really hate the human race. Holy crap. Could it possibly be more difficult? I don't think so.

A'ight. Peace.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meeting Harry

Today was epic enough that I decided I can spare a moment and the brainpower necessary to post something for all 3 of you to read.

I met Harry Gregson-Williams today. As part of the graduate film scoring class at USC, we went to his studio in Venice and had a little chat with him and his crew.

He showed us all his cool gadgets and even let us see a clip of what he's working on right now. He played us some of his best music and even broke it down for us to hear some of the unique parts that make it up. He treated us all to pizza and let us spend an hour or so walking around the studio, chatting with him and his crew, and perusing his vast collection of scores... and trophies...

You might ask why this is such a big deal for me, even to the point that I would make a blog post about it.

Let me tell you.

The score to the film ANTZ, which came out 12 years ago, is what inspired me to become a film composer. Harry wrote that score. I told him that and he replied with several cool stories about the recording process to that film.

And many other films that are on my list of all time favorites. His work is hugely responsible for my realization that I wanted to do the exact same thing for the rest of my life. The man is basically my childhood hero, and today I got to talk to him. In friggen' person!

Today I held in my hands an enormous book that contains the entire original score to The Chronicles of Narnia. I spent a half hour reading through my favorite scenes. It was awesome to see how all the music from such a huge film as that was written.

For those of you unfamiliar with film music, it's a pretty big deal to be able to see an original score of any film, especially one so awesome as Narnia. I love that movie.

It was just an incredible experience for me. Everything that was previously just vague ideas in the back of my mind about what big film music must be like has suddenly become very clear. Awesome.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

First recording session.

Our first recording session in the Film Scoring program was yesterday.

We each got a few minutes to record our string quartets with the best musicians in the world. Never before have I seen such talented sight-readers. Every single note. Flawless.

Here's a picture my buddy took during my time at the podium. The violinist with his back to the camera is the concertmaster for John Williams' orchestra.


Saturday, September 11, 2010


I've spent more money in the last couple weeks than I have in the last 3 years combined.

Change of subject.

I thought that you, my multitudeous readers, would like to see a couple things that I've done lately. A director friend of mine, named Devin Graham, took one of my hymn arrangements and cut a video to it of people break-dancing.

He showed it to me when it was done and I thought it was actually quite amusing. It sort of works. Perhaps he has created a new genre.

Of course that didn't take much effort on my part since I didn't even know about it until it was done. But here's something, also filmed by Devin, that I wrote music to in about 1.5 hours. It was a speed-write, which explains the lack of originality or compositional quality. But it works okay, and it was fun. Plus I got to bust out some new samples that I bought but hadn't had a chance to use yet...

That's all just frosting on the cake compared to what I've been doing for school so far, which I can't show you yet, not that I'm not allowed to disclose it, but simply that I'm too lazy to upload to YouTube.

But one of these days!

Long story short: My entire life has been monopolized by USC. I no longer do anything social, outdoorsy, or interesting in any way. Well, interesting maybe... but only in terms of the finished products. The actual process of me sitting at my keyputer for 15 hours at a time is not worth writing about.

Our first recording session is this Saturday, and the musicians are professionals, including the guy who has been concertmaster for John Williams for about 30 years.

Which reminds me: We had a masterclass with Randy Newman yesterday. It's so weird.... I always thought that he was black. Even when he performed for us a couple songs, including "You've Got a Friend in Me", from Toy Story, I couldn't believe it. He's a funny guy though. I think he dropped the F-bomb maybe 20, 30 times?


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm not the youngest.

Nearly any time I meet a new person and they ask me about my family, it goes down like this:

"So how many siblings to you have?"

"I have three brothers."

"Oh neat. So where do you fall in the line up?"

"I'm the third."

"Oh okay so you're the youngest then."

"....*sigh*.... no. No, I'm not."

Sure. I could talk to them like an idiot and explain the math as though they never passed 1st grade...

"Well you see I have three brothers, which gives us a grand total of four boys, since I'm not technically my own brother. If you take the three of my siblings and then add me to the mix, you still with me? We good? It makes sense on paper."

I just don't want to.

Anyway there was a nice sunset last night. Here's a picture I took from my deck.

Nice view, eh? Eh??


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sugar free!!

As part of my quarter-life crisis, I've taken a look at my health and realized that if I don't stop eating so much sugar all the time, I will most certainly die a terrible, slow death.

Not that I care about being a grown-up or anything. I just don't want friggen' diabetes. On a typical day I would eat about 4 servings of Cinnamon Toast Crunch(not exaggerating), drink about 1/3 gallon of juice, eat some cookies or something similar, and of course I go through a carton of cookies n' cream ice cream every week.

So I quit. Cold turkey.

How has it been going, you ask? Good question. Allow me to illustrate it for you.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

It's true. Quitting any addiction is tough, but I think the sugar addiction was devised and plotted since before the world was. By Lucifer himself.

Head aches... mood swings.... violent seizures.

But... I think it's worth it. Sugar is the leading cause of obesity in the United States. When you really step back and look at how healthy Americans were 100 years ago versus how we are today... it's kinda' gross.

Anyway, I'll let you know if I survive.


Monday, July 26, 2010


It boggles my mind that there are so many people my age that don't know how to swim.

I was just talking with the receptionist where I work and she said that she deliberately chooses not to learn because she's afraid of drowning.


These days I really do make a conscious effort to avoid making people feel stupid. Honestly. Having more friends is all part of my devious and sinister master-plan to conquer the universe.

So I stood there for a good solid 3 seconds waging war inside my mind about whether or not I should inform her that if she doesn't learn how to swim, her chances of drowning will dramatically increase.

In the end I gave into temptation, justified on the basis that other people make me feel dumb on at least a tri-daily basis, so it's fair.

Here's a picture I took of my feet.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Pass it on!

Someone spent who knows how many hours programming what is likely to be the most awkwardly frustrating game of tetris ever made.

All so that several millions of people can come to the site, try it out for about 5 seconds, give up, leave, pass it on to a friend or post it somewhere, and then never think of it e're again.

Here it is:

I am done.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BLAHH!! Are you BLIND???@$%*&^

Today I waved at a girl sitting on the grass as I drove by. She waved back and smiled.

My roommate pulled up to a light and stopped in the crosswalk right before a girl was about to cross. Since I was in the passenger seat with my window down, I said "Sorry about that." She replied with a very friendly, "no worries, I do it all the time!" And she walked around.

None of this happy fluffy jolly brotherly kindness changes the crippling disease that is rampant in the city of LA.

No one ever pays attention when the light turns green.

It's not that hard! The lights are not sooo long that you have time to pull out a box of parchment and a quill pen and start writing your memoirs. Seriously! Pay attention! Doesn't anyone want to get to where they're going? No wonder we have such pukishly awful traffic!

Ironically I've also noticed that most people will not honk their horns in this situation until it is way too late. The ONE time that it's actually appropriate to honk your horn, and yet everywhere I go I hear nothing but honking all over the place except for when it would actually be justified! Why??


Monday, July 5, 2010


Bryan sent me some snide demand that I make a new post the other day, simultaneously reminding me that I even have a blog, and making me not want to post anything on it.

Still, The Ginkgo Dew shall live on yet a while longer.

I moved.

Best decision I've ever made.

Fact: My new apartment has a deck that is the same size as my old apartment's living room, dining room, and kitchen combined.

Fact: For the first time in 8 years, I have my own bedroom.

Fact: I am no longer afraid to bring girls over.

Aaannnnnnddd... as an added bonus, I found my old keys whilst moving my bed. I lost them 6 months ago. That's right. I haven't been able to drive anywhere or even leave the apartment for SIX MONTHS!!

I don't think many people know how to spell "withdrawal."

That last sentence has nothing to do with this next sentence. I just got back from San Diego. A super random little excursion with 7 other people that I've never met in my life. Here's a picture of me eating kettle corn:



Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sandstone Peak

Some very brilliant man a long time ago had the idea to build 50 miles of blissfully sweet highway right along the shoreline, called the Pacific Coast Highway. It feels like you're just driving down the beach. Which is what you're doing. So that makes sense.

I went on a hiking adventure with "Michelle", as they call her, whatever that's about. Psssh.

We went to the "second highest peak in the Santa Monica mountains." Quite a prestigious location for those who live within a 10 mile radius.

For your viewing enjoyment, I made a 360 panorama of the peak, including the ground in front of me.

You can click on it to see it bigger.

Or, if you really want to get the full effect, print it out on a 10-foot long stretch of paper and wrap it around your head! Awesome!!!

For extra points, see if you can find the dudes that were smoking weed.

Anyway, the whole hike was worth it just for the drive there. 26 miles of blissfully open, sunny beach. And clean air. It was gorgeous, though I've come to discover that anything without buildings and people in it is very beautiful when you live in LA.

Here are some of Michelle's thoroughly dramatic shots that she took as we were driving there. As you can see, a very beautiful drive indeed.

Also, Michelle thought it was very important that I take a picture of this rock. So here it is.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


It took me three hours to do my taxes yesterday. When did things ever become so complicated?

I mean really. Life would be so much better if everyone just paid a percentage of their income. The form would have like three lines, and it would look like this:

1. Yo, How much money you got? ______
2. Multiply that times .2
3. Dat's what you owe, foo. Pay up or move to Mexico.

Done and done. How hard is that?

Anywho, for some reason last night I had a weird urge to draw a picture of a robot, so I did. There's a slight possibility that it has something to do with the fact that my roommates were watching I-Robot.

Drawing is weird. It's either very therapeutic or incredibly frustrating, and it usually all depends on the first few lines. You mess those up and it's over. And by "over", I mean "your face shrivels up into a black hole."


Friday, April 2, 2010

Frisbee is dangerous.

I really like playing Ultimate Frisbee. It's like basketball for white people.

Yesterday, however, I had a bit of a mishap due to my lack of cleats and excess of slippery shoes.

I don't remember all the details but I'm pretty sure it went a lot like this:

Like I said, the details are all a bit fuzzy, but I remember a very loud, distinct "pop" which was confirmed by everyone around me as I crumbled in pain to the ground.

I've never broken a bone before. This didn't change that. I'm actually fine. But that "pop", which was heard by people at the other end of the field, was a little disturbing.

Anyway, I walked home afterwards, about a mile, which kinda sucked but I still did it so I must be okay, right? Right? Guys? Am I right?

I can't really walk today, of course, but I think it'll be fine in a day or two.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Follow your dreams!

Every now and then I'll stumble across some inspirational quotes, which are always fun to read but I don't understand why they always seem to have a common theme that is more or less the same:
"Everyone will tell you that you can't do it. But you can blah blah blah."
Lies. I've never met anyone that told me I can't succeed. In fact people almost always tend to grossly overestimate my abilities and convince me that I'm the most talented freak on the planet and that I cannot possibly fail no matter what.

I can't imagine any parent or spouse or whatever that would consciously be all up in your face like
"What's that, sweetheart? You want to be an astronaut? Well give up because YOU SUCK!! Time for dinner."
I imagine that if I ever did meet such a person, they would look a lot like this:

But you should never judge someone by their looks. And yes I did just draw that with my mouse. It's hard! Sheesh.

In fact it seems as though there's a strange correlation between the amount of marketable skills involved in your goals and dreams and the amount of encouragement you get from people telling you to pursue said dreams.

I've made a chart to help illustrate the point:

Anywho, as it turns out, I got accepted into the graduate film scoring program at USC, which is arguably the best film program in the world. A lot of work. A lot of money. I'll let you know if I become famous.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mexican kids

I don't think there's anything that makes me feel like a bigger loser than when I'm chatting with someone online, and I'm giving it 100% of my attention when it's obvious that they might be giving it like 13% at most.

I'll respond immediately to them and then literally sit there and stare at the chat box for like 4 minutes waiting for them to respond. Finally they'll type something minimal and obligatory and then I'll be like
"Oh good I'm so glad you wrote back!! Ha ha! I had my doubts but I knew you cared!!"
After about 30 minutes of this I'll realize that chatting was always intended to be a low-commitment form of communication and should be done alongside other tasks. Then I'm good. Until the next day when it starts all over again. I forget everything at night and start with a clean slate each day.

I was showing some peeps a few pics of the ol' mish tonight and I thought I would make your day by showing you why Mexican kids are awesome. If you don't like these pictures then you are a cold-hearted old hag and should be destroyed. Enjoy!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another piece of my childhood ruined.

You wanna' know what I miss?

I miss this jingle used in Big Red commercials in the late 80's:

It's a wonderful song, full of happiness. And awesomeness. Which was very rare for that particular time period.

I mean, really, most of what that decade produced was only useful as part of an emergency purging method for those who call Poison Control after drinking ammonia.

So, given the context, this song deserves extra fame and glory.

And then Verizon somehow got their filthy rotten hands on it and ruined everything for me:

Honestly. Why must there be such terrible people alive in the world today? Crawl back into your holes and stop ruining my childhood, you shameful little ogres.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hey, sup ya'll?

I'm just waiting for the day when someone writing the "terms of agreement" for something decides to sneak in a little line that says "You will give me your first-born child. And his first born too."

And then he'll start receiving all sorts of babies in the mail and he'll be like, "Ooookay. Crap."

No one ever reads those. I tried to read one once, and I'm convinced that they purposefully try to make them as long and wordy and ultimately meaningless as they possibly can. Seriously. Why don't they make a summary or something?

There should be a sub-section stating "since we know you won't read any of this before clicking the 'agree' button, at least be informed that we now own your soul."

Speaking of summaries, I am not going to write one about what's been happening in my life since the last time I posted. Nor shall I apologize for not posting lately because I'm not sorry! Bwa ha ha. Eat that for breakfast!!

On a side note, not that there's really a center note here, it's a beautiful day in LA. As was yesterday, and the day before, and tomorrow, and the day after. We need a snow storm.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I only listen to Horrorcore Rap

There are way too many genres of music out there nowadays. It is literally impossible to keep up with.

And I hate when people make up their own genre of music and then treat you like you're some uncultured pigme for not knowing what it is. Like today I read a listing on the Film Music Network of someone looking for some "Rocktonica."

I don't understand why someone would put up an ad looking for music, and expect to get what they want when they only describe it using words that they invented themselves. I mean, that one's not even on the Wikipedia list of music genres, which has literally thousands of made-up words that are completely useless.

Some of these "genres" of music are so ridiculously specific that they can only possibly describe one single song. You change one of the chords and it's no longer "Glitch" or "Gnawa" or "Goa Trance," but is now known as "Glam Punk." Conveniently those were all in the G section. I didn't feel like doing any real research here.

But you just change one instrument and it has crossed the void from some stupid sub-section of Country to some sub-section of Pop. And what is "pop"? No one really knows.

all brings me to one of my least favorite questions of all time.
"So what kind of music do you like?"
I really don't like that question. I like music that was written brilliantly and produced marvelously, that entertains me and makes me think. I don't care what "genre" it is. But I hate trying to explain that to people who were just looking for a one-word answer.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


So I went and applied to work for the 2010 census, since I'm very much in need of a job and they pay well, even if only for a very short while.

They made me take a written test of 28 multiple choice questions involving basic math and organizational skills, like alphabetizing. In order to pass this test, you have to get 10 questions right. Ten.

Unfortunately, the census doesn't even start until the end of March. Thank you for not mentioning that to me until after I wasted half a day coming and taking your dumb test.

I'm actually surprised at how hard it is for me to get a job here. Like, any job at all. Seriously, right now I'm open to pretty much anything, and no one wants to hire me because I'm always either under-qualified or over-qualified. There is like, nothing for which I'm just qualified.

And it's not like I'm some loser-schmoe face, either. I'm very secure in my constant stream of failures. I just blame it on the recession.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doo bee doooo

I think it's funny how people react to rain here in LA.

This week has been "the biggest rain storm since 1972." And by that, they mean that this whole week has been a combination of light rain and light drizzle.

Run for the hills! Make peace with your God!!

In other news, I'm now back to normal. For those unaware of what's been ailing me, three main things:

  1. Car broke down
  2. Sound card overheated and died
  3. Lost my keys

My friend hooked me up with a great Honda mechanic who replaced my clutch, flywheel, and left axel, in two hours, total labor time. He works very quickly. He charged me $150 for labor, and the parts were $300.

I was very please about that, since the same job would have cost me triple that much at a shop.

With my car working, I went and got a new sound card, and made copies of my roommate's keys, and my car's spare key, which I have decided NOT to hide inside my car from now on.

So basically I'm back to exactly how I was a couple weeks ago, only with a lot less money, and a much tighter clutch.

On a side note, it is very difficult to get out of bed when it's raining.


Friday, January 15, 2010

I found my car's spare key inside my car.

Why are we still driving cars? It seems like we should be past that.

By now, I would have expected us to all have our own personal flying ships that run on happiness.

And I've heard tons of rumors throughout my life that certain people have invented vehicles that actually run on just water, but the evil sinister oil companies paid them to destroy their blueprints.


Sure, some people in this world are pretty bad. But do the CEO's of oil companies have some pact with the Devil? Do they sit in their scarcely lit offices, stroking their pet poodles, smoking gigantor cigars, laughing maniacally as they plot to destroy civilization?

I'm pretty sure they could find another use for oil. Come on. It's flammable.

And I love to hear people who know nothing about the industry summarize why gas prices are so high, as though they're the world's leading authority on the matter.

"Well, it's because the oil companies are greedy. Thieves."

Really? I doubt it. More likely, it costs a lot of money to find some random well of oil, somewhere on Earth, and ship out a million barrels per day.

Anyway, I'm not convinced that the scandal is real, considering that if you invented a working car that runs on water, you'd make a lot more money than whatever they'd pay you to destroy it.

Still though, it seems odd that after more than a hundred years, we're still driving cars that run on gas, and they still get pretty bad mileage.

Also, why does my Honda Civic from 1991 still get better mileage than almost every new car being made today? Are we not advancing?

Actually right now it gets a whopping ZERO miles per gallon, but that will hopefully change tomorrow. And then I can leave my 1-mile-radius prison.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Uplifting Entry of Happiness

Not that anybody cares, but lately I have been uninspired to make any blog entries, notwithstanding the fact that I have WAY too much free time on my hands.

You see, I tune pianos for a "living". I can't go tune a piano without a functioning car. My car needs fixing, which will cost most of the money that I have.

I have a friend, however, who wants to fix it for me for much less, though his schedule is very busy so I'm waiting to hear back from him. In the meantime, I can't go anywhere outside of my walking distance.

So I should use this time to write music and finish my upcoming "Hymninalism" album, right?

Wrong. I can't do that either because my mixer decided to die, the very same day my car did, making it impossible for me to write any music unless I want to click it in, note by note, with my mouse, which is also on the verge of death, actually.

So I have reached a bit of a standstill, hence the lack of blog entries. Basically, I'm just trying to find a way to keep myself busy, which has proven to be remarkably difficult.

Cleaning, going to the temple, applying for jobs that are near my apartment, and playing my piano. That's about it. I haven't been this completely useless since before I learned to walk.


Saturday, January 9, 2010


Yesterday my car broke down in the middle of a fairly busy 6-lane road, and so I had to push it across a couple of lanes to the shoulder.

Which isn't really that big of a deal. But what kind of surprised me is how rude some people can be here. I was standing half-in, half-out of my car trying to push it and steer it at the same time, and people were actually cutting me off. Seriously!

I had to literally slam on the brakes to keep from hitting people as they pulled right in front of me, notwithstanding that I was very clearly trying to get my car out of the road. Jerk-faces.

Luckily there was a guy in a van that had the good sense to stop for a few seconds and let me get out of the road. I almost got hit like 7 times. I couldn't believe it.

The sadly ironic thing is that I was legitimately going to use yesterday to tune up my car and take car of any maintenance problems. And then it dies.


Monday, January 4, 2010


I like to hang out with medical students and ask them all sorts of random questions about the body. It makes me feel like I'm getting a doctorate degree without all the studying.

Speaking of which, it turns out that you can in fact have your bellybutton removed.

Which reminds me of this video that Bryan was very excited to show everyone when we were home over Christmas.

Which reminds me that there are only 355 days left until next Christmas! Wooo hoooo.

Speaking of days, it was 80 degrees outside yesterday. Craaazy.

Speaking of crazy, one of my friends had a little dinner party last night that involved "hot pots", which is some sort of Asian dinner where you have lots of raw items that you put in a pot of boiling water in front of you, with your chopsticks and then pull it out and eat it with rice and other substances. It was supremely delicious. And there was shrimp! I love shrimp.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Neeewwwww Year.

I imagine that blog sites such as this one get a surge of activity at the start of the new year. Especially with this wretched recession going on there must be a lot of very determined writers out there thinking that they'll be blogging full-time by next December.

I don't really make New Year's resolutions. Occasionally I'll make a resolution and it just happens to be on the first day of the year, but since the start of a new year is, really, completely irrelevant, when you think about it, I make resolutions whenever I feel like it.

And today I don't feel like it.

In fact most of my life-altering paradigm-shifting decisions happen towards the beginning of the summer. But that was when I was in Utah and the seasons would actually change. The snow would dry up and I would resolve to start running again. Woo hoo.

Here, it's summertime all @#%&$# year. So you'll never know when I might ambush you with a list of all the amazing poop I'm gonna change. Sleep in fear.

In the meantime, I thought that all you millions of readers would like to see some thoroughly exciting pictures of my Christmas vacation up in Washington with my entire immediate family. Which is actually almost the same size as my entire extended family.

Cookie Decorating

The Woodland Park Zoo

The Seattle Waterfront