Yay for rum!I can't drink it, but it's great to cook with. One of the few alcoholic drinks I really wish I could have straight. ;A; But, it still has a lot of flavor after the alcohol's evaporated. Yesterday was Tu B'Av. It's like a Jewish Valentine's Day.Very minor holiday. Here's some info on it: Tu B'Av.
It's finally warming up a bit. I just realized that my gmail account was hacked.Google contacted me telling me there was some 'suspicious' activity. So, I changed my password. Should be ok now. I think Google stopped all those weird emails that I supposedly sent. Because they all came back, and the messages had weird codes all over the place. So, I guess it recognized that, and stopped it?I looked at this blog, and things seem to be ok. Except, for some reason, they wanted me to follow my own blog. Don't know what the reasoning behind that would be...Looked around to see if other bloggers were hacked. And, the ones who were emailing their posts, had their entire blog deleted. I'd seriously freak out, if that had happened!Luckily, I disabled that feature. The hackers didn't seem to get anything out on FB. Nothing weird with Youtube, either. Didn't see anything wrong with dA. Maybe my system, and the places I go to are really well protected? I don't know. A little more drama than I needed.Oh, and Mom was hacked just a week ago. Really weird.
Haven't posted in a while, because I've either been too busy, didn't get enough sleep, something I forgot about came up, etc. Crazy!On Wednesday, my mom had a mahj thing again at that cafe. I decided to go again, just to get out and see people. Worked on writing more of my Japanese and some crossword puzzles. Had their strawberry lemonade too. It was really good! *Q* Not too strong, but strong enough in the sweet/sour department.There was a sweet old lady who wanted to talk about my Israel trip. It seemed a bit awkward at times, but I know she meant well. She seemed not to know what to say at one point, and said 'I like bagels and lox, don't you?' and 'I lived in a very Jewish area.' She was a little 'off', but that's ok.And, yes, I do like bagels and lox. Just no cream cheese on mine, thanks. :P
I finally decided to start transposing my Irish and Beatles tunes.Starting with the Fox Hunter's Jig. Had to refresh my memory by reading up on it online. But, eventually, it started to come back to me.I used to be so into this sort of thing, I could change a piece in my head just by looking at it. I kind of figured this would happen, but it went from having 2 sharps into a 4 sharp piece. Yay! -.- But, at least it'll be in my key. Found a good site that let's you download a free blank music score template. So, I can write the notes in more accurately.
Yesterday, we went to Ted Brown's. One of the closest music stores. I really needed to get a new ligature. The screws are stripped, and it's starting to really bend.Those cheap metal ligatures have always been a pain. So, they suggested a slightly more expensive leather one. Which they didn't have at the time. But, it came in today, and we'll pick it up tomorrow.
It's going to be a Rovner Dark, which I looked up online, and it's one of the best out there. It's not a Vandoren (really expensive stuff), but I read that a pro liked the Rovner a lot more. Rave reviews about it all around. The cashier said that it hugs the reed and mouthpiece, instead of digging into it. And that the reed can move or vibrate more freely. Online it says it produces a fuller, darker, more centered tone. Easier to play high notes, too. Cool! Should be fun to try.
Also, found a music book that looked like it'd be good. A blues and jazz one full of songs that I know, but have never played. They sound fun. Plus, it comes with a CD that has all the background music. So, if you play with it, it'll be like you're with an actual band.With you as the soloist, of course. Sounds like that'd be great for me. I've always been interested in playing jazz. Couldn't in high school, because my director told me clarinets didn't belong in a jazz band.Hey! What about Benny Goodman?! Anyways, it's also good practice for doing more Klezmer in the future. Klezmer's basically just Jewish jazz. I'm still hoping that someday I'll make my own Klezmer band. I'm not good enough to do that yet, though.
I was trying to find some good Japanese grammar sites, because that seems to be what I have the most trouble with.After searching for a long time, I ended up at JGram. It's pretty amazing! Signed up for their grammar-a-day emails. They also have some good studying tools, quizzes, and site listings.
By the way, today's grammar point was: 有る or ある or aru. (Normally not written as the kanji.) This one gets confusing sometimes, but I figured it out the hard way a while ago. Man, if I found it then...But, this also gives me a deeper understanding. It means: is, to be, or to exist for inanimate objects. 居る or いる or iru (again usually just written with the hiragana) is for animate objects. Like people, animals, etc. (Or as they say 'things with hearts'.) I didn't realize that there was such a 'distinction' between the 2. Sometimes ある changes its meaning with different particles. I think that also confused me. I love the examples and extra notes. They also give you different verb forms. They list related grammar entries, too. And shows comments from others, which looks like I can learn even more from those.
Found another cool site while searching through Youkoso's online dictionary links. (Youkoso's the main site behind JGram.) It's called nchiku. It's also a great site for studying it. It's a bilingual site, so people who want to learn English, also use the site. (A Japanese version though.) If you don't know what a word is in hiragana, you can draw the kanji form, and it will search for the word in the dictionary. Just like if you had typed it in. They also have vocab tests, memorization tests, excerpts from famous English short stories translated into Japanese, a theme section, and more. The theme section has words and pics grouped by various themes, like animals, plants, furniture, etc. A lot of the words have audio, so you can hear it too. This site's quite amazing!Also, on Youkoso, there's excerpts from lessons from their textbook. A ton of studying/info for me to go through. Yay!
Watched a Japanese movie, from 2004, called Swing Girls. It was hilarious! It's about these bored high school girls, who are taking summer classes. Seeing that the brass band left to play for their baseball team without their lunches, the students beg their math teacher if they can deliver them. They end up missing the stop and start to walk back to it. After walking a while, the train comes back, and in the efforts to get off the tracks they drop the lunches into the ditch. Once the meals were delivered, the band gets sick from food poisoning. In order to ditch class, the girls agree to step in for them while they're sick. Most of them had never touched an instrument. They eventually grow very attached to them. They cried when they had to return them. Eventually, a few of the girls find some used instruments, but they're falling a part. So, they decide to go to a junkyard to fix them. I liked how it was mostly just about the music. Oh, and there was one boy in the group as well. He even tried to write in English 'and one boy' after Swing Girls. I feel sorry for him, since he started the whole thing. Kind of felt like he was left out. The really cool thing about this movie was the actors really were playing the instruments. Most had never played before, and had about a 5 month crash course on them. Even their final performance, which was pretty cool, was them actually playing. Not something added to it. One of the girls in the movie, said she kisses her trumpet good night and in the morning. That actress has kept it up. Really cool, that you can tell they enjoyed playing. One of the main actresses, that I really like on some dramas, was in this is as well. She seems to be drawn to music-themed movies and dramas. This was her first movie/drama. She won an award for her character. The movie as a whole won 7 awards at the 2005 Japanese Academy Awards.
Started another drama called A Million Stars Falling From the Sky. It's pretty good so far. It starts off with a young female student killing herself by jumping off a balcony. Later, the police discover that she was stabbed and the room arranged to look like it was suicide. Things were put back exactly as they were before. Meanwhile, the head detective goes to a birthday party for a rich friend with his sister on a fancy yacht. Miwa, the birthday girl, bumps into the chef, Ryo. He woos her, and they end up getting close. She realizes later that he just wanted her money, and that it was just a game. But, they still end up together at the end of the episode. He's starting to become a suspicious character. I think he was that student's boyfriend, and he killed her. But, I guess I'll find out. Reading some of the summaries, it sounds like people start 'mysteriously' dying around him, too. So, it'd be kind of sad if it wasn't him.
This is the end of Swing Girls. But, you can back track it on Youtube, to watch the whole thing. I don't think seeing the ending takes away from this movie: