Because of the lack of vlogs for this week, I’ve decided to make it up to you guys by doubling the size of this week’s Deja Vuesday!
Let’s kick things off with a look back two years ago, in 2007, when I was house-sitting for my folks:
I Was Made To Hit In Japan!!1
Evenin’, it’s the Andy-San again relaxin’ at my parents’ home
Everyone should be here around 7 in the morning tomorrow so yeah, I want to hear about what they did in Florida this past week. From what I could make out from my conversations with my mom and bro, they stayed in the condo that we were in when we went to Disneyworld (well, not the same exact condo, but in the same condo area, whatever you wanna call it), went to Daytona Beach, and visited the Orlando Guitar Center.
I was jealous of my family going to Florida for the week without me, but it was also nice to get out of my cousin’s stressful house for awhile. This also led to me moving back home shortly after they came back from Florida. I didn’t move out again until June of 2009 when I moved to Bowling Green. Unfortunately, that only lasted a couple of months when I was forced out of my apartment in late August and moved back in with my parents yet again. Because of the move, I had once again become jobless and I’ve been looking for work ever since. Fun-fun…
This week’s been fun, despite not doing anything with my friends since they have a play that they’re involved it (Ben’s in it and Eric’s filming it), but hey, they have their own lives and I can’t be selfish with their time. I mostly stayed at the house when I wasn’t working and went out occasionally, usually to Wal-Mart or the gas station or something like that. It was fun to get away from the noise of where I live. Although I’m grateful to my cousin for letting me stay at his house free of charge, I’m getting the urge to go elsewhere. It could be due to living with other people, the berserk dog (she loves me, but she’s very annoying), or just that sense of “it’s time to move out on your own” that’s compelling me to move out.
However, I cannot do that just yet. If my parents agree to cosign loans to pay off my debt to UU and loans to get me into UU, then I can finish college and fulfill one of my life’s dreams: to visit and teach English in Japan. Although I probably won’t teach for an especially long time, it will help me learn Japanese culture and in turn, learn more about myself. It may seem like an unlucrative dream, but as with all matters of the heart, it just feels like the right thing to do. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I feel like I’ve come a long way since I graduated high school in 2004 (going on 4 years!!!!). I feel that I’ve substantially grown as a person, and I’ve learned from the mistakes of my parents and my own mistakes. I realize that if I continue to sit idly by and not apply myself to anything, then I’ll end up like my aunt and dad; eternally stuck in a prison of self-doubt without the key of self-discipline to open the door of opportunity and escape. The lesson became painfully clear when I was suspended both times from UU, and after picking up the pieces of myself, I vowed to hang in there if I would ever be able to go back no matter how rough things got. Also, I know what is expected of me and I plan on living up to those expectations. Of course, this will all amount to nothing if I’m not given the chance to go back to UU and prove myself. In seeking the wisdom of people who’ve been in a situation similar to mine, I’ve learned that I shouldn’t worry about failure because it’s a natural part of learning. Think of it this way: if you had given up trying to walk because you’d been falling on your butt everytime, then you’d be carted around in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. No offense to those who really can’t walk, but I’m positive that even they will sympathize when I say that it would be pathetic for someone who’s perfectly capable of walking to just give up because he fell on his butt a couple times. So if you think you haven’t a shred of self-discipline, just stand up and walk.
Wow, I really went off on a tangent there, didn’t I? Oh, I forgot to mention in that big, scary paragraph that if I can go back to UU that I want to minor in English. When the top English professor on campus recommends this, it’s a sure sign to follow through. Like I said before, my plans after I graduate college is to teach English in Japan. After that, well, it’s for me to discover for myself. Whether it’s in music, computers, teaching, or something completely different, I’m sure I’ll find myself when I live in Japan.
Yeah, my parents aren’t gonna cosign shit for me anymore. I know now that if I want to go to college and then Japan, I have to do it all by myself. This is why I’m going to look into taking online courses after I turn 24 and then transferring to another college that has a study-abroad program that will let me study in Japan. If I have to be in a certain year to study abroad, and some colleges require that students interested in studying abroad must be in their junior or senior year, then I’ll continue to take classes online until I’m at that level. I’ll also take advantage of any Japanese courses that are available.
Although I said that it would be unlikely that I’ll be moving to Michigan, I’m starting to warm up to the idea since my cousin and her boyfriend are beginning to find job opportunities in the area. Also, the apartment that we’ll be living in is owned by his grandparents so we’ll have some flexibility when dealing with the landlords.
In other news, I’ve been practicing scales and sometimes modes this week and I’m doing pretty good if I do say so myself. I’ve also been debating on what amp half-stack to buy when I get the money to do so. I could buy a Marshall MG100HDFX full stack for around $850. Even though the half-stack, which goes for around $599, is Musician’s Friend’s best selling amp period, it’s a solid-state amp which is a big strike against it. The Peavey Valveking half-stack goes for the price of $899 (I couldn’t find it as a full-stack). It’s an all-tube amp, which means that it’ll have a much better and louder sound (usually). The only drawbacks I could see are the lack of a full-stack option (which could be remedied by buying another Valveking cabinet) and the channel switch is sold separatly (I think the Marshall’s the same way, but I dunno). As with any amp, I won’t know for certain if I should buy it until I try it out for myself.
Well, I should get ready for bed. Good-night everyone!
Man, I haven’t touched a guitar in a couple of weeks and it feels awful! With the majority of my time devoted to looking for a job and to blogging and vlogging, I had to cut back on my guitar playing. I really need to practice so I don’t become rusty! Since I’ll only be able to use the internet from McDonald’s, I’ll focus on my guitar playing in the meantime. Who knows, maybe you guys will get a new Riff Idea courtesy of Chrome Sparks? Keep your eyes peeled!
A Note From Dad Before The Concert
This blog entry take me back to 2008, just one year ago, when I discovered a note that my dad had written to me before I went to my very first concert:
Editor’s Note: this entry was originally written on Halloween of 2008.
My brother was rummaging through our late dad’s briefcase earlier today. He found an old letter that Dad wrote to me. According to the date, which I have provided, it was written before my first concert with Paul McCartney when I was just seven years old.
As I read it, on Halloween no less, I had a strange feeling that he read my mind from beyond the grave. All my worries and “What if?” questions that have been racing through my head since he passed in 2004 seemed to vanish.
There have been times in my life when I wondered if Dad really wanted me to create music. He didn’t teach me guitar because, according to Mom, he didn’t have the patience. He was a little leery when I asked him if I should buy a Legend of Zelda ocarina or a Game Boy Advance. I went with the GBA, but sometimes I wish I had an ocarina, no matter how annoying it would sometimes sound. Although this letter doesn’t let me see much of Dad the guitar player, it gives me a good look at Dad the musician. I now feel certain that relearning how to play guitar (I started out when I was seven, but didn’t pick it up again until I was nineteen) was something that Dad would wholeheartedly approve of.
In copying this letter, I decided to type everything as it was, bad and strange grammar included. So here it is, a note from Dad:
Before The Concert: A Note From Dad
I’m very excited for you, also that you are going to see Paul McCartney. How ever if I could not go together as a family, and enjoy his beautiful music together, I find myself saying something that, well it’s just hard to say, but the memories of the evening in which your mother (with Jon inside of her) and I saw him several years ago. Well let’s just say they were, at least to me, very private and very special and they were memories I shall never forget…In this way my son please try to understand that without you guys (your mother included) even Paul McCartney is really no big deal to me. “BUT” the best wishes and also may you truely enjoy your very first concert a much as possiable OK…Great choice by the way, concert wise I mean picking the “BEST” to see first time out, “GREAT CHOICE”…I hope Mommy makes it a very very special evening for you that you will never forget. Enjoy music “always,” my beautiful child, because if you are ever wondering, “What did, or do I have in common with “MY FATHER”? Well one thing for sure is “MUSIC”…I love you, and will always love you Andy…Don’t ever think any other way. Maybe you could do what has been working and helping to bridge the many miles which for now separate us, sing a song, or songs, or listen to various tapes & CD’s, and I think you will find how small the world’s problems really are, and you may also find HOPE, LOVE, PEACE and most of all “LOVE” I did and still to this day love to play or just listen to music…However I find many groups and many songs very hard to listen to, they bring back memories of times long ago and so far away. I really enjoy songs of hope of things that could be, or just possibilities type songs. I really love those beautiful “LOVE SONGS” they mean the most to me. So enjoy the concert, I wish I could be there with you guys to see Paul McCartney but things being as they are I can’t, and I’m truley “sorry” about that! Above all always have “fun” while you are listening to his music, I will be right beside in spirit O.K.!!! Love you Dad!
Wow! Just wow!
Reading only a little bit of this entry literally brings a tear to my eye! It makes me feel like I had done the right thing in pursuing my journey into creating music, in addition to rediscovering the joys in playing guitar. There’s really not much that I can comment on or add to this post just because I think that it’s perfect the way it is, which is why I chose it for this week’s Deja Vuesday. Besides being one of my all-time favorite posts to read, it has also been one of you guys’ favorites too, judging from the post’s ratings. Thank-you!
I hope that you’ve enjoyed a look back into my blogging past, and that you will join me as we move ever closer to the bright and shiny future!
P.S: Just a quick reminder, as I had said in the beginning of this post, I won’t be posting videos this week and I’m unsure about this week’s Twitter Thursday Throwdown as well. Don’t worry, as I plan on going all-out next week with two WARs and two Japanese videos! I’m going to be working on them offline throughout this week. Stay tuned!!