All posts by JT

I enjoy acting and playing the piano. I am a big reader, moviegoer, gamer, etc. My favorite book is Oliver Twist. My favorite video game series is, hands-down, "The Legend of Zelda." I have squandered countless hours of my life taking in the graphics of "Ocarina of Time" and "The Wind Waker."

Summer Break: A Treasured Waste of Time, Or Is It?

The title for this post may seem a bit bold, as many do enjoy their summer vacations and take great pride in them. Let me assure you that I am no exception, even though my usual summer day consists largely of spending several hours reading and even more watching the telly. (Please excuse my brief use of a foreign vernacular as I have been watching a lot of British television recently). Regardless, I try to do what I enjoy during this limited time of leisure; don’t we all? This year, it is largely the same case, but I have changes in mind.

Yesterday, I was reading a poem that Richard X. Thripp had authored and posted to his blog. I do not want it to frequently appear as if most of my motivations are the indirect result of actions and choices made by my cousin, but as no one is entirely independent in how he or she form ideas, and as it supports my point in this case, I will again concede to receiving some inspiration that resulted from reading this poem of his. What I gleamed was the thought that perhaps I could be utilizing my free time in much more productive, exercising and yet, satisfying way.

I thought that instead of re-watching the BBC’s Sherlock, as well as the entire original Indiana Jones film trilogy, I might be able to shift my priorities to any number of productive goals. For example, I could work towards a fitness goal, I could try to master a few more piano pieces that have piqued my interest, (a work in progress), or I could simply focus on attempting to reawaken my writing desire. I do enjoy the feeling that comes with getting a good idea and figuratively “penning” it, an old time expression that regretfully fades dramatically in its past ability to elicit interest when in the face of the modern world’s technology. And as Jack London, author of The Call of the Wild (1903) once famously stated, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Yes, the possibilities are many, and the time is limited. The purpose of this post is not for me to imitate your boring Science teacher who encourages you on the last day of school to achieve some seemingly tedious and time-consuming educational goals for yourself over the summer. Rather, my intention is to try and motivate you to make a personal decision to spend your time wisely. And while you may be surprised at how much joy you can find in voluntarily subjecting yourself to a learning experience, simple goals unrelated to your academic pursuits can ultimately be just as satisfying and helpful to you in the coming school year.

To elaborate, I say that by striving to meet what may even seem to you as a interesting but miniscule or irrelevant goal over the summer, you are setting yourself up for a positive emotional outcome. Assuming that you effectivly meet your goal without procrastinating, you will strengthen your work ethic and this may positively affect your study habits in the coming school term. If you choose to simply “relax” away the free time that you have, as was previously my resolve, you will likely find it very hard to adjust when you resume your work, as you will be moving immediately from a schedule in which you had no priorities into one that will require you to have many.

In summary, you are faced with a decision in regard to your summer break: you can abide by set goals of your choice, which can only have a positive effect on your education and your outlook on life, or you can risk a potential slump in your good study habits by not evaluating the time you have and how you should use it; putting yourself in quite a difficult rut to bounce back from, as I know from past experience. However you weigh your options, remember some of your larger, future goals. Once you see that life is a figurative road-map, you will realize that smaller decisions along the way become easier to make when you know where you’re going; when you plan for the future.

“Nocturne of Shadow / Bolero of Fire” – “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (Piano Cover) (1st Take)

This is my first Zelda cover and first overall. This is an interesting mash-up that I had fun with. I developed the left hand for both songs separately and noticed I was using virtually the same chord progression. I thought of blending the two, and this is the final result. I may continue to work on it and upload a “second take.”

For now, I hope you enjoy 🙂

You can download the MP3 here for free.

Piano Covers (2014-)

At this point, I feel I should make known my intention to start sharing a few of my piano covers. I play mostly by ear, so I will not be offering sheets, however, I will provide links for MP3 recordings when I am able.

I teach myself how to play various songs and jingles on the piano as a hobby. A recent example is my interest in learning certain sections of the soundtrack for “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” This “legendary” game was a hallmark of my early childhood. I have even found myself subconsciously humming random Ocarina tunes in the shower on occasion…

Enough of that. I intend to make a special category on this site for any of my future piano-related uploads, entitled, “Piano Covers.” I’ll bet you didn’t see that coming, huh?

In regards to the video player that I will use for these and most, if not all of my future video uploads, I plan to embed them from YouTube. The reason for this is my (biased) preference for the YouTube player’s interface, as well as its popularity and reputation. Like with every plan of action, there are cons to taking this particular measure, such as the well-known annoying ad system.

A certain level of tolerance is necessary and expected from all internet users.  And so I trust that my decision in this matter will likely be well received by most. Thank you.

In recognition of actor, Mickey Rooney…

mickey-rooney

Hollywood has lost one of its greatest contributors. Mickey Rooney passed away at the age of 93 on April 6. I had known of the news soon after. A unique thing about Mickey was that he was one of the last surviving silent film era stars. In addition, Mickey carried all of his screen appeal from early childhood into his late teens and beyond, which was an uncommon and admirable feat for a child actor in that time period, and even today.

Rooney’s career took off in 1927 at the age of 6 when he was cast as a smooth-talking midget in the silent feature film, “Orchids and Ermine.” Mickey’s mother was fully aware of her son’s obvious acting talent. It wasn’t long before she was preparing him to audition for his first breakout role, that of Mickey McGuire, a street-wise lower class kid who was leader of the “Scorpions” club. Mickey went on to play this role until 1934.

The next big thing for Rooney came along in 1937, when he was cast as Andy Hardy, a character that became so popular, one film turned into 15 by 1946. There was also an attempted revival film in 1958 which ultimately failed to serve its purpose.

In 1944, Rooney enlisted in the United States Army. He served 21 months until the end of World War II. During and after this time, he would entertain his fellow troops in America and Europe.

A now infamous chapter for Rooney took place in 1961 when he played the role I.Y. Yunioshi in the film adaption of Truman Capote’s famous novella, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” While the character was generally well received at the time, it has recently received controversy as a perceived racist stereotype of Asian people. Rooney shared his own thoughts on the controversy in 2008 at the age of 87:

“Blake Edwards…wanted me to do it because he was a comedy director. They hired me to do this overboard, and we had fun doing it….Never in all the more than 40 years after we made it – not one complaint. Every place I’ve gone in the world people say, ‘God, you were so funny.’ Asians and Chinese come up to me and say, ‘Mickey you were out of this world.'” Rooney also stated that if he had known people would be so offended, “I wouldn’t have done it.”

At this point in time, little could tarnish the name and career of a respected Hollywood actor, which Rooney had grown to become.

One of his more recent contributions to television was the reprisal of his role in the 1979 film, “The Black Stallion” in the 1990-1993 TV show, “The Adventures of the Black Stallion.” The program quickly became a favorite among teens and young adults.

Rooney’s final works include playing Gus, a security guard in the 2006 film, “Night at the Museum,” as well as a brief, but satisfying cameo appearance in the 2011 feature film revival of “The Muppets.”

All and all, Rooney had an impressive onscreen career that lasted 87 years in total, an accomplishment that few can boast, but of course, he never did.

So goes a major face of early Hollywood, and perhaps with it, an era.

Update: April 2014

Well…

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have been heavily preoccupied with the business of life. I don’t seem to have the brightest memory, either. The following is a good example:

My younger sister asked for my assistance with a video game, yesterday. “The Wind Waker” is a Zelda title which I was very familiar with. I would consider it a guilty pleasure in my early childhood, given that I would sometimes enjoy its simplicity more than the supreme, but far more complex “Ocarina of Time.” With my countless hours of experience in the former game, you would suppose that I could offer some advantageous advice. The advice that I actually gave was something along the lines of a blank stare, followed by the words, “Look it up online,” which inevitably and embarrassingly slipped from my mouth in little time.

At least I can rule out senility, as I am in the prime of my life and am still able to impress my family with my “vast knowledge” when we are watching “Jeopardy!.”

But let me convey something other than the scope of my memory and focus on what is more important: the purpose of my (this) blog, as it stands today. Brace yourself… To be honest, I haven’t quite decided yet. This should come as no surprise to any long time readers, as it is a decision I have obviously mulled over for roughly half a decade. It’s a realization like this that can make you feel old, even when you’ve barely reached adulthood! But if you don’t learn to be decisive early on, it will become a chronic and detrimental facet of your adult life, and a decidedly (pun intended) unattractive one at that. And yet, it is entirely avoidable. I am fortunate to have had a very hospitable upbringing that I am constantly grateful for, even when my actions seem to show otherwise. In this regard, none of us are perfect, and certainly not myself in particular.

While nothing is set in stone, I have plenty of ideas for what to do with this outlet. You may have noticed that the headline of this blog has changed as a symbol of some of my newer interests (note the featured quote/tagline under the heading.) I have deleted some of my older pages devoted to gaming which were outdated, not to mention the dead URL links they harbored. In addition, I regrettably have lost the majority of my previous interest in photography. Should you be reading, cousin Richard, please note my earlier remark that “nothing is set in stone.” Interests change, and behaviors follow suit. It should be evident at this point that I have had much time to think about the purpose of my life and what control I have over it; what it means to me.

I will say that, as always, my intellectual cousin has been a considerable influence on my life. I will always value his opinion, and will continue to learn from him. I read his posts regularly. (Incidentally, you can, too at: http://thripp.com/). I’ve noticed that as of recently, he has been devoting much of his writing to the philosophy of life, explaining his standpoint on certain common human morals and values. I intend to do somewhat of the same, as human behavior has always interested me, psychology being my favorite subject. Perhaps this runs in the family to a certain degree. Regardless, it has always been a focal point in my daydreams and reflections.

With these things in mind, I will make no promises in connection with future postings, as I cannot be taken at my word. I may decide to write about a particular event or experience and then change my plan of action. Or like has been the case for several years, I may simply give myself time to meditate on what is really important, serving my God, Jehovah, and engaging in other activities that bring happiness and satisfaction in my life, such as my love of music in all its forms.

It is with a positive, determined, and almost merry feeling that I conclude this post in the hopes of making interesting future ones.

Banned from Google AdSense!

If you are not aware, recently my cousin (Richard Thripp) was banned from Google AdSense for an unknown reason. The email he was sent is unbelievable, since no reason is given why he was banned! As far as we know he was simply “in violation of our terms of use”. We have reason to believe Google has been cheating innocent bloggers, as Google refuses to pay the $570 he earned last month from Google ads. Richard Thripp will soon be visiting CA, where he plans to personally take this matter to the Google Headquarters. Justice will Prevail! Visit: http://richardxthripp.com to learn more. Soon a website will be made, protesting Google’s actions. If you feel you have been cheated in a way by Google, please support us by sharing your thoughts on the above website! Down with Google! Or as we call them: Great Oodles of Gargantuan Lies & Evil!