I’ve finally found some free time to write a new post. This past month has been very busy, especially with school and music.  And a lot has happened since I updated.

The first week of December was packed with concerts.  December 2nd was my first Percussion Ensemble concert.  It was a very busy day, and a very long day mostly because I only played in two pieces.  But after a semester of hard work, I had a lot of fun in Percussion Ensemble.  I’m looking forward to next semester and am curious to what we’re going to play.

perc1

perc2

We also had our annual Caribbean Christmas Concert, but I couldn’t take pictures because I was playing most of the time. I just wished more of my friends and family would have gone. That would have made me happy. And then I had the last Concert Band Concert of the year and it was fun getting to play horn again in spite of being a busy percussionist.

Then there were a few recitals that I went to and a few I didn’t.

perc3

perc4

perc5

perc6

The week after was Juries, and I felt pretty good about my performance. I think I set the record for the shortest jury every by playing a 1.5 minute jury on congas. I walked out of there feeling confident.

Then Finals Week: I only had two finals, one for Conducting and F & A. I just breezed through them, and it wasn’t overwhelming at all. No overworked stressed out feeling after finals, that makes me happier.

So right before juries, I snuck up to UCLA to spend some time with Diana. We went to Santa Monica and the 3rd Street Promenade. It was my first time on 3rd Street, and we picked a beautiful day to go. The sunset was beautiful, especially because the clouds were still lingering in the sky.

sunset

sunset

A random smiley face was spray painted on the ground, and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of it.

On the 16th. My sister returned from Japan! I got to go to welcome her home this time. LAX is not a wonderful place because of traffic and bad air, but that’s all not so important compared to my sister coming home.

So only Huy, my little sister and I went to the airport. My mom stayed home because of an ongoing headache and she didn’t want to aggravate it. But that’s ok. My little brother had a performance that day that we made it back just in the nick of time to catch.

huy

lan

We overestimated the amount of traffic we would encounter so we arrived really early and had to wait for a couple of hours. But finally, the airplane touched down, and we had to wait another hour, and then my sister showed up!

mai1

mai2

So the Friday after finals, I went to visit Diana again. She surprised me by taking me to The Getty Center. That was my first time going, and once again on another beautiful day. I was confused at first since we took the bus to get there. I had no idea it was that close to UCLA.

I was very happy with the pictures I took that day because I was finally starting to get a grasp of using the Golden Ratio instead of just following the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is really just a simplified version of the Golden Ratio. But like I was saying, this visit to The Getty Center was the first time I could actually see the Golden Ratio within some of my pictures.

diana1

diana2

diana3

The place was beautiful too, but it was too cold to completely enjoy it I felt. I’ll need to go back and take my time to appreciate the place. But we had to get moving to get some dinner, and then after that was a surprise for Diana. Miko, Derf, Angela, Gale, Steven and Frank came to wish Diana a Happy Birthday at Ice Kiss (a Korean shaved ice dessert place). She was genuinely confused and surprised. Thanks everyone for making it possible, especially the master mind: Miko.

And today, I had a short photo-shoot with Lizzy. Originally, we were going to shoot the whole family, but things got busy and pushed back because of illness and weather. But on the plus side, pictures came out well today.

lizzy1

lizzy2

And with that, my adventures before Christmas come to a close. I luckily finished most of my Christmas shopping really early on, so I can just relax now.

Happy Holidays everyone!