Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ideas and Execution

Music is the thing I do.  Or, more accurately, music is the thing I want to do.

I read this quote some time ago that I'll paraphrase that went something along the lines of  "The only thing holding you back from what you want to do is the bullshit you tell yourself."  And this is where I've been stuck recently.

The things I tell myself include "I'm too tired to stay up and _____" "I'm too busy for _____/I don't have enough time to work on that" or I simply start too many projects and begin too many ideas to execute anything properly.  Most importantly, it's hard.  Creating something that you, your cruelest critic, won't hate is hard and that's just the way it is.

I hold myself up thinking that I hate a certain lyric because it's corny or overused, or that this chord progression reminds me too much of an olafur arnalds or max richter piece that may have influenced me a little too much.  But it is so much more important to keep moving rather than judge and critique.  I have dozens of short recording of ideas to flesh out later, as well as many pages of 4 or 8 measures of different ideas, but it takes so much more effort to grow these things to full pieces.

When you're tired all the time, it seems like such a daunting task to just start chipping away at all these possible songs and begin work on execution, but I'm trying to make this year better.

I want this year to be the year I write more, transcribe more, record more, and start playing shows.  Here's to hoping.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Fifth of July?

In celebration of Independence Day this year, Cullen and I had plans to go to the Marin County Fair, watch fireworks, eat deep fried foods, maybe go on some rides, and have an all around picturesque time. 

However, when the late afternoon began to roll around, we realize we might have done a bit too much to fit in a trip to the fair for a few hours.  After all, we started the day with a fundraising pancake breakfast for Marin Fire Fighters, a local parade with all sorts of adorable home/community made floats and attractions, and then driving out to a beautiful but crowded beach to actually go swimming in the ocean and playing with the waves for a while might be the maximum amount of awesome to be crammed into a single day.


So we decided to go to the fair on the 5th.  We had the same experience, same good food, same music, same rides, same fireworks show at the end of the day, but with what I'm assuming was MUCH smaller crowds.

The Fireworks show was especially great because last year, due to some lack of communication and a few interesting factors, we had a really shitty fourth of july (basically stranded somewhere with no restaurants open and far away from any fireworks shows).  

And that being the case, I wasn't really able to take many photos of fireworks.  So this year was extra exciting and I took a whole bunch of pictures, as you can see.

The day was so nice, even if the evening ended up getting really cold (and in such stark contrast with the hot temps earlier, that no one had a coat).

We had some delicious totally unhealthy foods, and I had some of the best oysters I've had in my life. 
Oh, have I mentioned that I REALLY FREAKING LOVE OYSTERS?!  Cullen thinks they're gross, so I don't get them very often, but yeahhhh.

All in all, both the 4th and the 5th were pretty wonderful.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Black/Rasp-berry Buttermilk Pie

 A few days ago, I saw a recipe on tumblr (complete with some pretty attractive photos) of a Raspberry Swirl Buttermilk Pie.  I, being the Pacific Northwesterner I am, have never set foot in any southern states and so had never even heard of such a thing, but I sure am glad I did.

 From what I could tell, buttermilk pie is almost an easier, lighter cheesecake, based on the taste and the texture.  It's a custard pie, so the main ingredients are eggs, buttermilk, butter, and sugar (butter and buttermilk sounds pretty southern to me...)

 I got to incorporate a trick I heard while watching so much cooking channel/food network: that custard pies and cheesecakes really get the best creamy texture when all the ingredients start at room temperature, so they can cook evenly and slowly.  So I threw the eggs in some hot water while gathering and starting the rest of the ingredients.

And the result was totally delicious!  Sweet creamy, though slightly tangy base, mixed with the berries to provide another tart/sweet dichotomy.  Basically, it was awesome.  I whipped up some cream to smother reasonably dollop on top, and there you have it.  Effing delicious.

I know that this isn't the best plating photo in the world, but hey, when you finish making an awesome dessert, it's kind of hard to cut it out and serve it and then take even more time before eating it.  I guess the reasonable thing to do would have be to photograph the second piece.  But oh well.

For the full recipe, see here.

I made a few changes, like adding another tablespoon of flour to the mix, as well as 4 tbsp of melted butter and a quarter cup of heavy cream, and it turned out just fine.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Revenir, Sans Excuses

Hi there.
I know it's been a few months, and there were a few reasons why.  But one of the bigger ones was trying to think about how I would explain such an absence on here and just dreading it.  So I'm just going to jump back in.

Currently I've been editing a ton of photos from our recent vacation to the bay area.  Cullen and I are getting so tired of Seattle and we seriously needed to get away for a bit.  So we carpooled with some friends and we all stayed at his parents' house.

The trip was filled with lots of restaurants we made plans to visit, fun days in tiny towns, lots of time on the beach, hot hot weather, and some relaxing time at the house watching giants games with snacks and no worries.

It was wonderful.

We dreaded coming back to seattle so much and are now thinking about the trajectories of our shared lives.

He's got undergrad to finish, I've got grad school to enroll in and complete (preferably abroad), but after we're finished with those responsibilities, we've been thinking about living in california for a long while.  After school's done, we're thinking that may become our happy reality (even though I never saw myself as someone who would live in california; it just seems so different from where I grew up).

We'll be out of seattle soon and hopefully living in somewhere beautiful and filled with nature and happy.

And can you blame us?

I'm excited to get back into writing here. more to come soon!
For those that are still here, thanks for sticking around even though there was no reason to.

Friday, April 19, 2013

I Made a Thing!

You guys, look!  I made a thing!  It moves!

This is my 2nd gif ever, so I'm still figuring out how to do any of it, but I'd like to do more in the future.  The pictures are from when Cullen and I had our camping trip on Whidbey Island.

Ok that's all I've got for now, have a great weekend!

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