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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

On Sunday, Viet School had a BBQ at Garden Grove Park. It’s that one park that is next to Bolsa Grande High School. I woke up late, so I didn’t show up on time, but I arrived just in time to eat. The rest of my family was already there.

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Some of my friends were already there too. There was plenty of food. The barbecued food was pretty good; it wasn’t too hard to eat, just a little messy. At first, the dads who were there were barbecuing the food. But people started tag teaming, everyone’s gotta eat and the smoke must be hard on the senses. Even some of us started barbecuing some of our own food when there was no one else to.

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Some of my friends showed up later. But luckily there was still food for them. We all stood/sat around a lot and talked. And we ate some more of course.

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After a while, some of the guys and my little sister went to play basketball. I didn’t play but had fun taking pictures.

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After that, we all stood around and did nothing some more. My mom and little sister left early because my little sister had to go to choir rehearsal. We kept standing around doing nothing even more. It’s nice being able to relax once in a while.

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P.S. Lighting was great yesterday, so I got lots of interesting looking pictures. I always say, autumn time during late to mid afternoon has the best natural lighting of the entire year. The way the light falls on everything is just right. The color, light, contrast…

On Thanksgiving Day, the extended family came over for dinner. It was actually a rather calm Thanksgiving compared to years past I think, even with our little cousins over.

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Everyone came over to help prepare the food. The traditional Thanksgiving dinner seemed much easier to prepare because it was done rather quickly. Most of the efforts were concentrated on the Vietnamese food instead. We are Vietnamese after all.

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While we were getting the food ready, my sister logged on and everyone wanted to webcam with her. But since everyone was really busy, we all kind of took turns talking with her. So I guess in a sense the whole family was together for Thanksgiving.

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When the food was ready to eat, everyone gathered around the table really quickly to eat.

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After eating, we played some games. No karaoke-ing by the adults though. I think they just stayed down stairs and talked. We discovered one of my little cousins is very good at Guess Who? and we all had trouble beating him, even when we teamed up to try to beat him. I hadn’t played that game in a long time, and it was fun. I also played Connect 4 with my little sister. We changed the rules up a few times like connecting 5 or playing 2 at a time. And checkers.

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Another Thanksgiving over, that means it’s time to get ready for Christmas and everything in between. It’s going to be fun.

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