Wow, it's been so long since I've last blogged. The last time I posted something was in the summer on my birthday. That was back on June 10th. Well, so much has happened since then, where do I begin? But to be honest, ever since the Snowden revelations, I didn't much feel a need to blog and divulge my personal life so openly online. I don't know, I'd rather not have the NSA document what I've been up to in my life, since they're spying on everyone around the world. If you're not aware of the NSA spying, then you're probably a hermit or Buddhist monk living in Tibet. By now, everyone who's got a computer should've stumbled upon a story here or there, there's been tons of reports in various different media outlets. Just Google NSA spying or Prism and the results will be plenty. Anyway, so what have I been up to?
Well, since Snowden, I've been making memes and posting them on FB. Some are funny, some are critical of the US, and some are just plain dumb news stories that make you kinda shake your head. I was making quite a few everyday when the news broke about the NSA but since then, not so much anymore. I guess I've lost interest over time, but my memes album has almost 300 images and all varying issues. You can view the album here: https://www.facebook.com/ToanQuyTran/media_set?set=a.10152907997065230.1073741828.657360229&type=3 ... Here's the latest meme I made:
And this one was when news broke of the crack video:
The whole story is pretty ridiculous. It was the talk of the town the other day. But you know, I told my sis and bro-in-law about it, and my bro-in-law basically said it's just political gossip for me. Which is kinda true, but I told him, "You gotta hold politicians to a higher standard, since they were elected to serve the public." But they don't really care much about politics anyway. I think I'm the only person in my family and extended family who likes to discuss politics. Most Viets don't care much for politics or let alone even vote during elections, I find. I think my dad who lives in the States voted for Obama but that's about it. Not even my lil bro who lives in the States with him voted in the 2012 election. I speak to my lil bro in FB sometimes and he's mentioned to me that he was kinda let down by all that talk about "Hope & Change" that were Obama's talking points in 2008. Well, there's not much hope and Obama has just been a continuation of Bush policies. If you want to debate me about Obama, I'm more than happy to oblige. But surprisingly enough, I was recently unfriended by a couple of dudes who disagreed with me and I guess they didn't approve of some of my Obama memes. But oh well, who needs them anyway.
So, what else have I been up to? At the beginning of September, I was enrolled into another adult education class, I'm just 1 credit shy of getting my OSSD. However, the class that I enrolled in was such utter BS! So it's supposed to be a grade 11 IT/Business course. Sounds interesting right? Wrong! I went to only 2 classes and was like, "Hell no, what am I doing here." The teacher was kinda interesting though. She was this Jamaican lady, but honestly, she had so many stories to tell that she kept digressing from the course material. When she finally told us what we were actually going to be doing, I literally shook my head and was like WTF. So the course consisted of typing skills throughout. Ok, I type 45 words per minute ever since grade 10 back in the 90's. No biggie. Then she told us that we would be mostly studying how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. And that's when I decided not to go back. Not only do I already know how to use those 3 programs but the MS Office that we were going to be learning on in the class computers was Office 2007. I thought that's really redundant and I have Office 2013 on my laptop. What's the point of me learning how to use the 2007 version. In 2013, everything is changed and some of the options and commands are in different places. So I didn't go back to class after the 2nd class I attended. Plus, I got called back into work to do the political surveys again and there was no way that I would do an 8 hour afternoon/evening shift, come home late, and wake up early to make a 10 o'clock class. But there's not much more I can say about my job, it's part-time, minimum wage, and really easy work. That is all.
On another life decision I had to make in September was a bit of a sad one. After weeks of debating my choice and thinking about it, I decided to take a break from my choir. However, I only notified the director of my decision on the weekend prior to first rehearsal. He was a little disappointed and asked me why I decided not to come back. Since I was off work for the whole summer, I was really broke at the time and told him that part of the reason was the cost of the membership fee. But it's not just the membership fee that I was thinking of. There was also the cost of the retreat that was going to happen immediately after the first rehearsal as well as travelling costs from Mississauga to Toronto every week. Then there's the tour at the end of the season. I had a load of fun with the choir during last June's tour but I ended up spending a lot of money that weekend, and ended up owing my sister more money than I already owe as I had to borrow money from her to be able to go on tour. So not being able to afford this next season was one of my big concerns. The other one is the travelling itself. It takes 2 hours each way to travel from Mississauga to Toronto and back. So, I would be in transit a total of 4 hours each Tuesday. Rehearsal finishes at 8 and I would only get in my front door by 10 pm. Unfortunately, I didn't want make that time commitment. If I had a car and was able to drive, it would make it easier to get to and from rehearsal but I don't even have a license and only own an old bicycle. Public transit is the only option in Mississauga, and sometimes, I would bike the rest of the way once I reach Islington station. I just didn't want to make the trek every week any more. It is a really long trek. I do miss singing though. It was really fun for those 3 seasons I was part of the choir. I'll still go to the concerts when they come up and I still help them out in anyway I can as a kind of satellite member. I'm not completely done with Univox Choir. Who knows, maybe I'll get the itch to sing again once the weather turns nice again.
On another note, I got a message in the middle of September from my buddy from the choir who also happens to DJ. He mentioned to me that Univox wanted to hold a fundraising DJ night in Oct. Cool. However, they wanted to hold the fundraiser in the same place as we did it in the summer of 2012. I raised my concerns about that and suggested that there may be a better venue. After some back and forth and getting a hold of the owner of Tota Lounge on Queen, they changed the venue. And it was good that my friend informed me a month before the 19th. I was able to get some practice in on his Serato system. The party was off the hook. I barely play out anymore and playing that night was a lot of fun. Although, there were some technical difficulties during my set. At one point, one of the tracks started skipping and my buddy had to troubleshoot the issue in the middle of my set. Then part way through my set, the booth light went off, either the bulb got loose or they completely shut it. We had a lamp under the laptop but that too was low on battery and went out. So I was spinning in complete darkness. Surprise, Halloween came early for me, it was really scary playing in complete darkness. We recorded my set but I had such a tough time beatmatching that night that I wasn't too thrilled with it. Also, we didn't have the proper slip mats so the time-code records were slipping too much. Every time I tried to just nudge it, it would skip several beats. It was one of the toughest sets I've played. Luckily, I didn't trainwreck at all, except near the end when the beats weren't completely matched. Everyone had a lot of fun and said I did a great set. At the time, I wasn't happy with my set, but after listening to the recording, it wasn't that bad of a set. No one noticed that the phrasing was a bit off as I had to constantly re-cue. The beats were matched for most of the entire set, however, since I was DJing in the dark, I wasn't too aware of my levels. So in the recording, one channel is lower than the other. Suffice to say, I didn't want to post that set. Instead, I made a small mix using some of the tunes that I played during that night. Here it is in it's entirety and you can stream it right from here:
I had loads of fun that night and hope they do another fundraiser soon.
Anyway, that's all from me for now.