Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rice Ballroom Formation Team's 1st performance!

Hello everyone!

Last night was

The Rice Ballroom Formation Team performed at the USA Dance's Red Hot Ballroom event,
and I can't tell you how much fun we all had!
Discovering the Rice Ballroom Formation Team was such a blessing for me, because when I left UNL, 
I had figured that my ballroom dancing days were over,
at least on a performance/team sort of a level.
I had thought that I had come to accept that chapter of my life being over, after having spent so much time during undergrad being a part of UNL's Ballroom Dance Company,
but seeing how ecstatic I was to find that it didn't have to be over, I was obviously not ready  =)

After a quick run through at the performance space,
the majority of the team went out for dinner together.

What makes a team so fun to be a part of is obviously the people involved,
and in that aspect, I think the Rice team is golden!
There are 16 of us total, plus our wonderful coach Angel,
and I'm so excited to spend more time with them and go social dancing together in the future.

The event was held at the Arabia Shriner Temple,
and it was a gorgeous space for a night of dancing!
and boy, I have never seen so many dancers in one space!
--again, everything is bigger in Texas..?

see what I mean?  so many dancers!!

The team had a table (actually 2) to ourselves,
mostly for our things because all of us were dancing practically the whole night!  =)

our team!

And of course, before dancing started, we had to take pictures,
so let the picture taking begin!

With Samantha and Karen

6 of 8 ladies on the team

Paatna!   David and I

All 8 ladies!  Wendy, Samantha, Yoko, Emily, Karen, myself, Michelle, Sophia

David and I; Peter and Karen; Abeer and Emily demonstrating our last pose  =)

After a couple of hours of social dancing, 
and watching some show cases,
it was our turn to show off our routine!

annd... costume change!!

Flapper Pocahontas costume   haha

and then our routine!!
I think it was the best we've ever danced it  =)
It's always nerve-racking going into a performance, especially when you've only had a couple of weeks to work on it, but it turned out so well, we all had a blast, and the audience LOVED it!
It's such a high, dancing up there, hearing the changes in the cheering from the audience as you execute certain moves...
and they cheered and went wild at all the right places   ;)

Foxtrotting to "All That Jazz" from Chicago

Then, of course, we had to have a little team photo shoot  =)

the ladies!!!

the men, with Angel   =D

lookin so sharp!  lol   oh Abeer... couldn't stop laughing

and the best Rice Ballroom Formation Team eva!   =)

If you would like to watch our performance, go here!
Thanks for reading!
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mr. Cho-Liang Lin's Studio:: 2012-2013!

Hello everyone!

I introduce you to Mr. Cho-Liang Lin's Studio at Rice this year!!

Here we are, enjoying a whole lot of Peking Duck as a studio,
and trying to smile through the food coma.. 
I mean, look at this beautiful table;
still full of amazing food after we have had at it for the whole evening...

 So from the top left, we have Philip and Zoe, the babies of the studio (undergrads)   =)
then Jennifer, Eric, Andy, me, Lijia, and MR. LIN!!

in the front row, we have Eun-Mi, Yi, Lisa, her husband Daniel, Miran, and Rieho.

so, a funny story about Rieho and I;
we actually met when we were like 13 at a music festival in Colorado!
people say that the music world is tiny all the time, but it's one of those things you never really think a lot about until you end up in the same studio as a camp mate from your childhood! =D

It's going to be such a great year, and I can't wait to get to know everyone in our studio much better over the course of this year!!

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ares and Grandpa

Hello everyone,

Remember the picture of two fish in this post?
Now that we've kept them alive for more than 2 weeks now,
I feel a little more comfortable about writing to introduce you all to the newest additions to our apartment;
Ares and Grandpa.

It all happened on one fateful night when we made a late night Walmart trip.
I don't even remember what we needed exactly,
but I do know that in the course of the trip,
we stumbled upon the fish isle.

For me, it was a new discovery because I didn't even know Walmarts carried fish!

I'm still not sure how we ended up in that isle;
perhaps we were drawn by the ridiculously loud gangsta rap music.
I have never been a fan of ridiculously loud gangsta rap music,
but late at night, when you've been browsing Walmart for hours,
it makes for a really great head bopping dance session.

So that's exactly what we did, Amulet and I.
I'm not sure if I'm disappointed, or extremely thankful, that there are no pictures of that impromptu head bopping, hands waving, hip-hop-wannabe dance session to blaring gangsta rap music between a red head and an asian girl in the Walmart fish isle...
probably the latter...?   haha

So the decision to bring home these new additions to our apartment was made
as we stood there, breathless from laughing so hard at our attempts at being gangsta.
Best time to make decisions, no?  =)

It was actually a pretty quick decision when it came to picking which fish was with whom.
I was immediately drawn to this blue fish who was going nuts in his tank,
flaring up at everyone and every fish he could see.
What a feisty one!  =D

Amulet was drawn to this red fish who was as calm as a cucumber.
We would put them next to each other, and my fish would go nuts trying to fight the red fish,
and the red fish would be so chill about everything!

the picture below pretty much sums up their personalities.
Hence they were named;
Ares and Grandpa.
Ares.                                                                        Grandpa.

After we brought them home,
I had a mini panic attack because I had never had fish, and all of the warnings and instructions online seemed so dramatic!

don't do this, or your fish will die.
do this, or your fish will die.
if you do even a little bit of this, your fish will die.
if it's too hot, your fish will die.
if it's too cold, your fish will die.
don't feed him too much, or your fish will die.
feed him too little, and your fish will die.

why are they so fragile?   D=

Amulet, on the other hand, was super chill about it.
no panics there.
we were drawn to our fish for a reason?  lol

I'm happy to say, however, that we have both kept our little water beings alive and well for the past 2 weeks or so without too much problem!
and they seem pretty happy to be in their new homes.  =)

I had never expected to become so attached to fish!
I had always thought of them as very boring,
but they actually have so much personality,
and they do interact with you!
No, they are not going to fetch tennis balls (actually, my dog doesn't do this either..)
or snuggle with you, or ask you to pet them,
but I've quite enjoyed seeing Ares zip around his bowl and puffing up whenever he sees me.  =)
what a handful, that one!

Happy Wednesday, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My First Real Texas Style BBQ

Hello everyone!

Yesterday, I got to experience my first Texas style BBQ!
BBQ isn't really a part of the culture in Seattle,
so when I got invited to Rick and Berk's house for a BBQ, 
I had no idea what to expect.

Now I know.
If you are invited to a Texas style BBQ, my friends, this is what you may find;

30 pounds of pork (incredibly delicious!),
a yard full of people chilling, each with a bottle of beer in his/her hand,
a mini game of ultimate frisbee,
a whole lot of cornbread (3 different types, no less),
blaring music,
some watermelon if you have people like me and Amulet coming to the party and bringing fruit along with them  lol,
did I mention meat?
and a whole lot of chilled out socializing!

so many grills!  and 1 of 3 different types of cornbread.  Also, frisbee in action.

Meat that's been cooking since 7 am.
so. good.

more grills and beer

This skillet over the grill with bacon boiling in its grease really captures the essence of the party lol

this picture = epic.  it's all in the details, people. lol

Thanks Rick and Berk for such an epic evening!  =)
Couldn't have asked for a better first Texas style BBQ experience!
Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tokyo String Quartet Day! It exists!

Hello everyone!

it also has to be one of the oldest string quartets, 
(they've been together for 43 years!) 
and we got to see them perform last night at Rice!

At Stude Hall at Shepherd School of Music.

Becca, Christiano, and I obviously uber excited for this performance! 

It was an extra special night because after 43 years of being together, 
this will be their last season as a quartet, and our last chance to hear them live in Houston.
I think it was a very bitter-sweet night for many people there, 
as Tokyo String Quartet has played a major part in the development of Houston's arts scene 
for a very long time.

 There they are!!!  Finally!  =D

Their program consisted of
Haydn String Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3,
Bartok String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114
Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2.

A fitting program for their farewell concert, really.
None of these quartets are very chipper,
though the Haydn had its humorous moments, 
and even the Bartok had its twisted and dark humorous moments...
But wow..  that Bartok String Quartet.
It was my first time hearing it, and man...  
just thinking back to that piece weighs down my heart.
The word 'mesto' which means sad, gloomy, dejected, and mournful 
is used to describe each movement.
The first 3 movements have other adjectives following the word 'mesto', 
but the last movement is just 'mesto'.

that truly was the last movement.

After the performance of this quartet, I remember Christiano and I looking at each other and saying,
"I'm really depressed now..."

As they were about to start the 3rd and last piece on the program,
a spokesperson for the Mayor of Houston came out onto the stage,
and read Mayor's proclamation designating September 20th, 2012 as 
the Tokyo String Quartet Day!

Folks, if you live in Houston, Tokyo String Quartet Day exists in your calendar!
Mark it, it's September 20th.  =)

What a wonderful way to mark the special relationship between the quartet and their friends in Houston!
It was definitely a heart-warming moment for everyone.

After the concert, of course there was a huge reception, 
and the members of the quartet positioned themselves at a desk for probably almost an hour for visitations and autograph-ing.
I'm not usually the one to get autographs, mostly because I lose them promptly thereafter,
but seeing as this was the very last chance to get their signatures all together,
Christiano and I braved the looong lines and got to meet them.
and here they are!  
All of them as a quartet, for the last time in Houston...

Such wonderful people and musicians!  =)
If you have a chance to see them live for the last time, I would highly encourage you to do so!
They are really wonderful, and well, you won't ever get the chance again!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brahms and Houston Symphony

Hello everyone,

Last weekend, Christiano and I had the pleasure of attending 
one of Houston Symphony's Brahms concerts!  
They are doing a whole cycle of Brahms, and I believe it was their 2nd concert of the cycle..?
(So much Brahms in my life right now...)
The program consisted of the 
Variations on a Theme of Haydn,
Violin and Cello Double Concerto,
and the 4th Symphony.

One of the first concerts I ever watched included Sarah Chang and Yo-Yo Ma playing the double concerto,
 and as you can imagine, ever since then, that concerto has always held a special place in my heart.
so I couldn't have asked for a better program for my first Houston Symphony experience!!

Christiano and I.  so excited for the night!!
even though parking was so. difficult to find  haha

frolicking before the concert

Student Rush tickets = 3rd row?  

That's our Orchestral Repertoire professor at Rice!! Mr. Halen, the Concertmaster!

After the wonderful performance by Frank Huang (Violin) and Brinton Smith (Cello),
we had our dinner during the intermission.
Which, we found all laid out for us on this cute little coffee table!

It was really good, and we quite enjoyed our dinner,
but we found that there just wasn't enough time to fully enjoy the meal during the intermission time..
We ended up being the last people out in the lobby still eating,
and since we felt like they were waiting for us to start,
we just gulped down our food and took random seats in the middle of the hall.

It turns out, it sounds much better a little further back!
And there we enjoyed the Brahms Symphony #4   =)

They have so many awesome concerts coming up,
and I can't wait to attend as many of them as I can!
If you are around the Houston area, I would highly recommend spending a night at Jones Hall
with the Houston Symphony.
It makes for a really wonderful evening!  =)
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Foulger Institute Concert Video!

Hello everyone!

I was recently informed that all of the student and faculty performance concerts from Foulger International Music Festival are now on Youtube!
And of course, the Mary Foulger Institute concert is up as well!
Since I know some of you have tried and unfortunately failed to stream it live during the summer, 
I thought I'd share it here  =)

For some reason, Blogger won't let me find it through its 'upload video' app, 
but here is the link to the video.
The first piece is the Brahms Piano Quartet #3 in c minor played by
Anton Miller-Violin, Bryan Tyler-Viola, Allison Eldredge-Cello, and Jeremy Jordan-Piano.
The second piece is the Brahms Piano Quartet #2 in A Major played by
Kurt Mundstedt-Violin, Matthew Sinno-Viola, Keith Williams-Cello, and Max Levinson-Piano.
The last piece is the Brahms Piano Quartet #1 in g minor played by
Janny Joo-Violin, Hsin-Yun Huang, Viola, Allison Eldredge-Cello, and Alex Beyer-Piano.

It brought back such fond memories, and I ended up watching the whole thing tonight
instead of studying for my music history exam.. oops!  haha
I hope you enjoy it!  =D

Oh, also, when I looked up the video, instead of giving me the video I wanted, it actually lead me to this little news clip from the New Jersey Arts News!
I had never seen this news clip being aired, and had quite forgotten about this interview, but here it is!
Thank you New Jersey Arts News for coming to our dress rehearsal!
(but really, did you have to pick that moment of my 'just about to speak' face as the cover shot..? haha)

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Grandma's Birthday!

Happy 80th Birthday to the most wonderful grandma I could have ever wished for!
I have been so blessed with amazing women in my life,
and both of my grandmas definitely take the top spots among these women. =)

To celebrate, a crazy Joo family reunion is happening right now!!  
My parents flew to Korea to attend a couple of days ago.
oh, how I wish I could be there as well!

But since I can't,
here's to wishing her a wonderful 80th birthday!
and many, many more to come  =D

I love you grandma!


Grad Life in Snapshots

Life lately...

1. Our Half Price Books visit. Amulet was faced with a difficult decision,, you have to be looking at this calendar for a whole year after all!// 2. Amulet's impromptu midnight car washing (it was definitely a "wait,, are you serious?" moment for me.  lol) // 3. Grad life comes with stress; must take care of our skin! and act like aliens.// 4. wishing we had a record player at home...

5.  My new car!! still nameless..//  6. The first 'I go here' sticker of my life.//  7. Ares and Grandpa. (Blog post to come soon.)//  8. Study table with brownies.//  9-10.  Christiano and I studying and being distracted by the awesome Ciacconna recording!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bach Ciaccona with... Choir!!

Hello everyone,
As violinists, one of the most difficult, yet incredibly rewarding, pieces to work on would have to be 
the Ciaccona from Bach's 2nd Partita for Solo Violin.

My friend Christiano just introduced me to this incredible recording of the Ciacconna with a choir,
(we got distracted from studying for Renaissance Music History...)
and I just HAD to share!

This project began with professor Helga Thoene's theory that this Ciaccona was written with hidden messages composed of different snippets of Lutheran hymns, 
and that this message was an epitaph for his wife who suddenly passed away while he was away on a trip.
While some critiques are skeptical about the theory, 
the recording project that developed from it is incredible...

I hope you enjoy this recording of the Ciaccona!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Experimental Kitchen

Hello everyone!
I never spent that much time in the kitchen growing up,
and Amulet really hasn't either,
so when we got together to be roomies,
our kitchen was bound to be a place of...  (most likely disastrous) experimental adventures...
Thus it was named, the "Experimental Kitchen"

Though it has truly been a bit of a disastrous journey thus far--
sliced fingers on both of our parts, burns, spillages (many, many of these), etc--
it has also been a productive one! 
and we've been eating so well!

Homemade tomato soup--piping hot liquid + blender + Janny = burns and spillages..// French Toast--Amulet's Saturday morning creation// Homemade tortilla chips, queso, and whole bunch of Korean food--obviously Janny's creation (though it was more of an 'open the packages' kind than an authentic 'creation')// Crispy Black Bean Fritters in the making!--a staple at our apartment.  So healthy and so good!.

A Feast with our friend Yvonne!
tomato soup, grilled cheese, fritters, and Yvonne's awesome potato salad!
we were all so. incredibly. full. afterwards.
A wonderful evening of yummy food and great company  =)

When it's just the two of us, we start by acting like we are going to be eating at the dining table 
(like the top photo), 
but that usually never happens as we slowly migrate over to the couch to watch
either Grey's Anatomy or Tudors...

Yay food!!  haha

Recently, we've also gotten into baking.
So here is our first baking creation, the Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread.

 and also our first Nutella Muffins  =) 
We resisted buying Nutella for so long... but we should've known we couldn't resist forever...

 the finished product!!

 So...  if you are around the Rice area,
please stop by the Blueberries Apt and take some of these baked goods!!
For our girly figures' sake!  ;)
Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Grow little plant, grow!

Hello everyone!

I think it's really wonderful having other living things at home living among the human beings.
(other than any of the rodent family, or any of the insect types...)
Since we can't have little puppies at our apartment, 
we decided to look for living things of the plant variety.
I would have opted for a bamboo plant,
(they are the hardiest, I heard, and I am not the best at keeping things alive..)
but Amulet had this packet called the 'Matchstick Garden' of wildflowers.

and it even comes with pretty simple looking instructions!

So we decided to invest in a little pot, and stuck two of the matchsticks in there.

and we watered it.
and we waited.
and we checked on it every day.
sometimes twice a day.
and waited some more...

but it didn't change one bit!
I mean, I think we waited for like... 2 weeks!!
ok, maybe it was only a week... I'm not sure, but it was a LONG time!
I don't know how farmers do it every year,,, waiting for these plants...

 And then, one day, I ran into the kitchen at Amulet's "OMG Janny, come look!!"
to find...

Isn't it so cute?!?!
it's so little!!!

We're not sure if it's actually a wildflower or if it's just a weed that got carried in from outside,
and we are desperately hoping that it is one of the wildflower seeds.
However, if it is a weed, it has got to be the most beloved weed in this whole entire universe.
We love it so!  =D

Happy Friday!