Welcome to Rant and Reminiscence

So you’ve reached the capital of I-Hate-My-Life-Ville, home to the blog where I distribute my frustrations and hardships among the people who are unfortunate enough to relate to it.

Aside from the negative, though, I also dabble in the visual arts, which I will sometimes display here, and excel in the musical arts, specifically in my piano playing and composing. I enjoy listening to a variety of music from different time periods and genres, which is shown in my constantly-updated music playlist.

 

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Life

So I don’t go on WordPress a ton, that’s established.

But I decided to go on just for nostalgia’s sake, like how I do once in a while for Fantage.

And I wanted to see how many people I knew here were still active – not very many.

But I went on also to do a little update because some people are probably wondering where the people they knew on the internet were as well, so I’m satisfying that wonder. I ran into someone on Fantage I used to talk to a ton four years ago, which almost made me cry just because we knew each other so long ago and we still recognized each other (and partially because I’m emotionally unstable). Pixels combined with history, I admit, can be kind of emotional, regardless of the negativity the game may get.


Anyway, here’s what has happened:

  1. I turned 15 on September 8. I now actually feel comparatively old. My mindset now is becoming an adult and it’s really strange. Taking on responsibilities like making more of my own meals and doing homework as it will determine the availability of my future opportunities is definitely stressful.Being this age and going through a change – the type of change that starts with a p which I can never say comfortably because I’m that immature – I now know what it’s like to be depressed. The hormone imbalance really messes you up. In high school everything just gets awkward, k? A lot of people who are reading are older than me and can probably relate more deeply than me. But it’s just ugh. Girls are weird. They’re probably 100% fake. Guys are surprisingly judgmental. I’m socially awkward and sexually confused. And sometimes I feel like things can be made better if I just didn’t exist. I’m learning that depression isn’t something wrong with people themselves and that nobody chooses to be depressed. It’s just the effects of the way you view others that makes you reflect on yourself. And I put myself down a ton despite how much people have expressed they look up to me (thanks, Dallas, Janet, and anybody who’s been a supportive friend of mine.)
  2. I performed in Tokyo, as I had self-advertised a ton. I didn’t really want to write about my whole experience there because it was really quite boring, not even joking. We mostly ate and shopped and visited Mount Fuji. And being in tourist-Tokyo, of course, everything was anime-themed, everything was cute, there was lots of sensory overload, everybody was overly polite, etc. etc. It was basically a slice-of-life anime but in real life, plus a piano concert. You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cz3RLPVZY0.
  3. I’ve started writing another piece for next year, the final year I’m eligible to enter due to my age, which will be a jazz ensemble. I’m learning a ton about music and I’m really set on studying orchestration and composition in the future.
  4. I’ve started exercising. I hate being skinny and need to eat more. It’s near impossible to just start eating a ton more because I get full really quickly. So the only other way to do so is by exercising. Working out or exercising raises your body’s need for nutrition and puts it under stress that it needs more food to alleviate. And really it’s improved my life a ton; I’ve started eating more and gaining pounds. At 86-87 currently, and I was 75 last year! You should try it if you haven’t. People may think “a skinny person exercising?” and scoff, but I simply react the same way when they tell me “just eat more.”
  5. If you didn’t know, I am a follower of Christ. It’s definitely different bringing beliefs onto a blog. But there’s no harm in sharing that I faithfully accept Jesus as my savior and lord and that God will constitute my life. I can’t possibly evangelize on the internet by myself, but I urge everybody to hear out anybody who tells you about God. In one of my closest friends’ words, there is no meaning to life without a god, and that God of Christianity is the only one who is perfect. He basically made a suicide pact with himself that would go into effect if he ever lost faith.
  6. I just realized I have never cursed in my life. I once accidentally said the F-word purely because of a really bad slip, believe me. And I’ve been a little close to saying some. But I feel that the moment I even say the a-word or the s-word that I will lose myself and feel super dirty. So I never will. 😛

Thanks for reading and making my life these past few years. I may post a little bit – I’ll just do what I want to do – and check your guys’ posts if you are still alive.

Hope you all are having decent lives,

Luke

Tokyo Concert Schedule

This is Day 1 of 2’s schedule of the International Junior Original Concert at Yamaha Ginza Hall in Tokyo. I’m number 5 omg:

IJOC Schedule Jap

Probably horribly inaccurate Google translation:

IJOC Schedule Eng.png

I’ve been told that the Yamaha students from Indonesia speak English very well, and I read online that Malaysians do as well. In the second division of the concert there is also someone from the United Kingdom:

IJOC Schedule 2 Eng

For those of you who are not weeaboos don’t know, [Insert Japanese Word Here] Prefecture is like a “state” or “province” in Japan. Obviously, Tokyo is the capital, and Hokkaido is the top part of Japan (in pink in this image):

Image result for hokkaido

Day 1 of the concert, the one I’ll be performing at, is on August 22. I think it starts at 4:00 PM.

I’m under a lot of pressure because I’m the only one representing the United States – there haven’t been two winners in the same year from the U.S. for several decades – but I’m super excited for many reasons:

  • I’m going to Japan for goodness sake how is that not exciting
  • Missing school and not having to take P.E. because that class kills me
  • Japanese toilets
  • Japanese food
  • Shopping for lots of weab merchandise
  • I have a legit reason to learn Japanese
  • I get to act American around Japanese people which apparently is extremely weird
  • We are planning on riding the Shinkansen (bullet train)
  • Japanese scenery and temples
  • Performing my piece, because that’s what I’m gonna be there for, of course

But I’m not really looking forward to:

  • Motion sickness on the plane
  • Being on the plane for 13 hours
  • Running into a bunch of disgusting Japanese food – I heard from my English teacher, who went to Japan recently, that a lot of their boxed food is a jumbled mix of slimy gross stuff that looks like a bunch of nuts and dairies were slapped together and mass manufactured
  • Motion sickness after the plane: my motion sickness is so bad I feel the effects of being in an elevator for like 10 minutes afterward, so 13 hours in a plane will leave me dizzy for at least a month, no joke
  • Not knowing ho w to communicate with 99% of the people in Japan
  • Not knowing how to read 99% of the things in Japan
  • The summer climate – it’s super hot and humid and there are mosquitoes and cicadas everywhere

Wish me luck in preparation and in final performance!

“well thanks”

I was looking for dress shoes on Amazon to wear to my piano concert in California next Sunday and

I hate Amazon reviews.

whatwhat

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018G56UG8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A2N6ONO2034LE6&psc=1

The shoes are really nice but my mom was like “ew no” and recommended these old vintage ones with patterned holes in them.

like no bye

I’ll be linking to the video they make for the National Junior Original Concert. The concert is on the 16th so it will probably be uploaded sometime that week.

Meanwhile I’m still working on that piano quartet and rehearsing for the NJOC and IJOC.

– Luka Puka

Writing Music is Hard

There’s this piano quartet composition competition for all ages (they’ve gotten as young as 17 and as old as 65; I’m ’bout to stretch that) that I’m entering in late November. A piano quartet is an ensemble work for violin, viola, cello, and piano.

I’m in the process of composing a three-movement work called “The EARTH Suite,” which is imagery of our planet, nature, the Moon, etc. in music form. Right now I’m about halfway through the first movement, “Crystal Skies,” but I have ideas for the second and third.

suite = a series of usually three or four short pieces/movements usually played in succession; a famous example is “Suite Bergamasque” by Claude Debussy, whose third out of fourth movement is Clair de Lune, his most famous piano piece.

movement = a piece that is a part of a larger work comprised of multiple pieces i.e. one of the pieces in a suite

Some pics that don’t have copyright on them because I’m not rich, so please don’t distribute/copy LOL:

Finale Quartet Progress 3.png

Finale Quartet Progress

Finale Quartet Progress 2.png

Anyway, that’s about the limit I can show you. I’m not allowed to release any audio recording of it until the conclusion of the competition, as the quartet that’s planning on selecting and playing the winning piece wants to be the first to perform and publish it. It’s a great opportunity for musicians like me to compose with some motivation and possibly have it recognized, as this competition is only for people whose compositions have not been professionally recorded or performed.

Yes, the score looks complicated because there are four instruments. Each instrument sounds really simple by its own and they naturally come together nicely when played back. This is what I’ve been doing 25% of this summer. I’d say 50% practicing piano and the other 25% video gaming/eating. 😛

Anyway, I’m going to be posting short (like 30- to 60-second) videos on Instagram @x.luka_puka.x and hopefully a full-length piece on YouTube soon. Hopefully you guys can bear with an iPhone 4’s video quality. In the meantime I hope everybody’s having a fun and/or productive summer! I’m halfway through and I want to cry, but at the same time I want high school to give me something to do…

Awkward

Have you ever seen someone you’ve long lost since your childhood who you used to be friends with when you were 6 but you just saw them again at a party/gathering/reunion 8 years later and thought, “Dang, puberty hit”?

Me when I attended one of my friends’ high school graduation party on Sunday.

I barely recognized this dude named Mark but he didn’t even remember me. We used to go camping in Sedona when we were little. He didn’t even know my name rip

But I remembered him as this innocent kid named Mark a long time ago, and now he looked… really good. He had a variation of the fboi haircut but worked it like a bowss and wore an edgy jean jacket. Later, the girl who was graduating complimented him on his fashion sense. Oh and did I say, “Dang, puberty hit”? That’s why I could barely recognize him. He didn’t even look Viet anymore. He looked like a Mexican child model.

Anyway low-key salty but refreshed that I met this guy after so many years. XD

He went with his friend named Kenny, who I also remembered from our early childhood, but even he didn’t remember me. Is it that I have a superior memory or am I just not a memorable person??? 😦

(btw self-advertisement my Instagram is x.luka_puka.x pls follow for short piano vids; already have one excerpt on there huehue)

~ Luka Puka