Yosakoi!

Last week, I teased an article about the annual Yosakoi festival, so here it is. Since yosakoi is primarily a Japanese event, I’ll begin by explaining what it is. The short version is that the Yosakoi festival is a traditional Japanese dance festival. It’s the first festival I attended after arriving in Japan 3 years…

Concert Season

We’re less than 3 months out from our annual concert. While that may seem like plenty of time, in reality it’s much less time than you would think. As a band, we get one practice a week, with an additional practice the last Sunday of the month. That’s effectively 14 practices remaining. We’re almost to…

I’m Back

As I feared, my internet connection in Manila was suspect at best. It would be fine for a few hours and then suddenly drop me for no reason. Sometimes I could reconnect immediately and other times I had to wait an hour or more. Add to this the fact that I came down with a…

Vacation

I am going to be out of the country for the first time since arriving in Japan nearly three years ago starting this Saturday. I’d like to say that I’ll post pictures while I’m away so that you’ll get your weekly update, but I honestly don’t know what my internet situation is going to be…

Progress

Last week, I told you that I had taken up harmonica as a second instrument. It’s a pretty steep departure from the trombone, which I’ve played essentially since I was in the sixth grade. Being as different as it is, I expected there to be some growing pains. Techniques that I would struggle to learn,…

Pushing Musical Boundaries

I have played trombone since I was in the sixth grade. I took a ~20 year hiatus after my first stint in college, but even during that time I always considered myself to be a trombone player. It’s just part of who I am. Something that really defines me, and it’s really been the only…

Wednesday Grab Bag

I’ve got a couple of topics that I want to touch on this week, so even if the first one doesn’t particularly interest you, I hope you’ll stay with me for the rest. The topics are completely unrelated to one another, but rather than try to turn either one into a full-blown article, I’m just…

Musical Experimentation 

I have eclectic taste in music. There’s just no other way to describe it. I’m pretty sure it comes from being raised in a family where pursuit of musical endeavors was encouraged. I’ve said here before, but I was still in my early elementary years when I was taking violin lessons. I played a variety…

Saying Goodbye

This is the time of year when JET participants (those of us who teach English as part of the JET Program) begin to head back home and their new replacements arrive. Some of those leaving have only been here for one year, others for as many as five. Some have decided that they need to…

Solera Bottle

I was sitting around here just watching random videos on Youtube because I had nothing better to do and no real ideas for a good post for the blog today. Basically doing a bit of good, old-fashioned procrastinating. I had recently come across a Scottish blogger by the name of Ralfy who does whisky reviews…

Man Without A Party

I’ve voted in every presidential election since I turned 18. I registered to vote as soon as I could because I always believed it was my duty as a citizen to vote. Like most people, my views on politics and the best course for our country have changed over the years. I firmly believe that…

In Defense of Discrimination

In today’s culture, the word discrimination is thrown about with reckless abandon. It seems that the word is being treated a bit unfairly, though. People act as though discrimination is a thoroughly negative concept and should be avoided at all costs. Is this really the case, though? Should discrimination in all its forms be forever…