hypnosis2For some strange reason, I feel more compelled to post to this blog during this week before finals than I did during the course of the semester. Maybe it’s the guilt of not writing that’s catching up to me, or just general avoidance of my casebooks, class notes/outlines and commercial outlines, but here I am.

It could also be the fact that my Undergrad Neighbor, a student at a local university, decided to invite his noisy friends over to his place, which I share a wall with. Dudes, I haven’t met any of you, but you all sound like complete turds.

Yup, I heard one of you trying to sound smart and worldly by talking about Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” while puffing on your cigarette. But, seriously, fool, anyone who’s taken a community college art history course can regurgitate art speak that sounds vaguely brainy and deep. Next thing you know, you’ll be talking about chiaroscuro, melting clocks and how Gauguin made you confront your own mortality. Turd.

Yeah. Finals make me feisty and grumpy. Folks who wear sunglasses indoors, you’re next on my list.

I know I could study at the library, especially now that it has extended hours for finals. But I study best when I’m at home where I have a hot pot of free coffee nearby.

Thankfully, I can drown out the noise with music from imeem and white noise from simplynoise.com. Just in case the partying undergrads get unbearable, however, I looked up my city’s noise ordinance:

“It shall be unlawful to conduct or allow to be conducted any party where there is loud and unreasonable noise between the hours of 10:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M., if such noise is sufficiently loud and unreasonable in volume level, duration and character to maliciously and willfully disturb the comfort, health, peace, safety or repose of reasonable persons of ordinary sensibilities. Continuation of an activity prohibited by this section after notification by a peace officer that the activity is disturbing the peace, shall be prima facie evidence of malicious and willful intent.”

I’m not sure if the group next door is large enough to be considered a party, but looking up the ordinance made me feel better. It also led me to this little gem about hypnosis buried in the municipal code:

“No person shall carry on, or practice, exhibit or teach the business or the art or practice of hypnosis, nor teach self-hypnosis to any person undergoing a course of treatment or program of self-improvement except … Nothing in this section shall prohibit a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the California Penal Code, from utilizing hypnosis in the fulfillment of his or her duties as a peace officer.”

Maybe the police can come over and hypnotize Undergrad Neighbor’s friends into not being turds anymore. Oooh, and maybe they can use this video:

If you have noisy neighbors, here’s what someone suggests you do.

Photo: launceston_lad / Flickr

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jacksonblytheIt’s been a sad week for the music world.

By now, all of you have heard of Michael Jackson’s passing. And by now, you’ve heard the media weigh in on his impact on the world of music and his status as an icon, for which he’s been grouped with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.

He broke the color barrier on MTV. He reinvigorated the ailing music business of the ’80s. He fused motown grooves with popular music.

And who can forget that moonwalk? In the words of MJ himself: Ow! (*grabs crotch suggestively*)

Rather than dwell on what was lost, I’ve really appreciated the music critics and music stations that celebrate what was gained during Jackson’s career that spanned most of his half century here on this earth.

In fact, Jackson has been so influential, that many of his songs have found their way onto the show choir stage, which the Blawgirl performed on once upon a time. Here are a couple of her favorites that she’s found on the Interwebz:

Earth Song

It’s Got to Be Me/Scream

Renegade/ Smooth Criminal/Bad


I’ll Be There

Photo: vpasson / Flickr

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dontstopbelievingSince it was released in 1981, Journey’s power ballad “Don’t Stop Believing” hasn’t stopped making its way into the hearts and minds of believers the world around, karaoke bars and pop culture.

The song, with its opening piano riff that’s sure to draw gasps of recognition whenever its played (“Hey, that’s Journey!” see Family Guy video below), has appeared on shows like The Sopranos and in movies like The Wedding Singer.

The most recent television incarnation is in the new Fox show Glee, a show about a ragtag group of high schoolers in show choir. (Deep dark secret No. 2: The Blawgirl did show choir all four years of high school.)

After watching the pilot for the show and reminiscing about my own high school show choir in all its sequined glory, I decided to compile a list of my favorite videos that feature the memorable song.

Four chords, millions of songs!

If you learn the chord progression for “Don’t Stop Believing” you too can be a songwriter and make a bajillion songwriter dollars. Just kidding. It takes a lot more than four chords to write an enduring song. Or does it?

Because I’m Asian …

I had to include a karaoke version. So, here ya go.

Don’t stop your screaming

A parody from the College Humor.

Family Guy does Journey

Sing it Cleveland! Giggity!

PS22 Chorus living just to find emotion

I just love how these kids sing with such feeling.

Obama voters believe!

This is a video taken from the streets after Pres. Obama’s election in November. The optimism and the joy in this vid makes me smile.

Rock of Ages rocks the Tonys

The cast of the musical Rock of Ages performs during the 2009 Tony Awards.

Sing it with glee!

And here’s the scene from Glee that gave me gooselumps and had me missing sequins, pancake makeup, hairspray and painful character shoes.

Photo: photographer10 / Flickr

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There are very few YouTube videos that I rewatch. Whenever I need to be inspired, there’s the spine-tingling performance of Nessun Dorma by Paul Potts of Britain’s Got Talent fame. And, when I need some cheering up, there’s always “Laughing Baby”, where (surprise!) a baby laughs hysterically as his father tears up pieces of paper. Thanks to YouTube director Kutiman (also known as Ophir Kutiel, a musican based out of Tel Aviv) I’ve got several more videos to add to my list.

Kutiel, whom I discovered through blog BoingBoing, artfully remixes a hodge podge of videos from vocalists, instrumentalists, and other artists into what can only be called works of audio art. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but Kutiman’s blend of seemingly unrelated bits and pieces into a single cohesive song seems representative of the power of YouTube (and technology in general) to connect people who have never met, to bridge the gap between languages and cultures to make something new and beautiful. You decide. The video up top is titled “Just a Lady”, one of my favorites from Kutiman’s collection.

The videos aren’t just beautiful, however. Washington Post “Faster Forward” blogger Rob Pegararo states that they bring up some interesting copyright issues. Read his blog here. On a kinda sorta related note, BoingBoing also recently wrote about some economists’ call to abolish copyrights and patents.

Read more about Kutiel and his interview with NPR’s Michelle Block here.

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