Posts Tagged ‘karaoke’

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Lauren: Quick updates

July 23, 2011

Tuesday, July 12 – For my communications class, we discussed the role of newspaper, and how it must be looked at analogically in order to find greater meaning.  It was very interesting, as always!  Our professor is absolutely amazing, and probably one of the best I have ever had!Sorry for the wait!  It’s been a very busy week and a half!  Here’s a quick summary before I get to the good stuff!

Monday, July 11 – We needed a day of rest from our busy weekend in Florence.  My roommate, Janel, made a fabulous chicken dinner and we stayed in for some roomie bonding!  We also watched the movie, “Letters to Juliet” which made me very excited to go to Verona!

That night, we went to an amazing spaghetteria.  I had pasta with smoked cheese, bacon, olive oil, and onions.  It was DELICIOUS.  After dinner, we (once again) went to karaoke, got ridiculous, and rocked the place!!  As always, it was awesome!  Several song highlights include Independent Woman (Destiny’s Child), Jitterbug (Wham), and My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion). 

Thursday, July 14 – Our communications professor took us to see an ancient “Domus” (aka Roman house) that was found beneath a palace in the center of Rome.  They believe it once belonged to a senator.  The house itself was discovered merely six years ago, while renovating the palace cellars.  Since then, the area has continuously been in a process of excavation.  The floor there was completely glass, so we were able to see under into the ruins at all times.  At first, it was a little scary, but ultimately I got used to it.  They did a really great job on the tour of incorporating sound and projections, which made the space come to life.  I think that my dad would appreciate the design elements they used, and I would love to take him here if we ever get the chance.

After this class, we had our Art History final.  Don’t worry, I rocked it. 

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Connie: You can’t bottle voices

July 3, 2011

In this blog I’ve typically stuck to a mostly matter-of-fact tone of voice while recording my experiences. As my time in Japan draws to a close, however, perhaps these posts will be colored with a little more emotion. This isn’t a bad thing, of course. I’m just typically a private person in that sense.

Several weeks ago I don’t think I would have written this post, because I was doing everything I could to try and forget that my time is running out. There are still so many things I want to do, but I have only recently to come to terms with the fact that I might not be able to get them accomplished this time around. Maybe it was getting one of my biggest dreams out of the way, or maybe you just have to cope after a while. Who’s to say?

Lately, however, I’ve started to realize that there are things about home that might be nice to have back. I can be stimulated by a class, I can be free from the restraints of うち・そと, I can go swimming in a nice clean lake, or I can go for a late night car cruise with my close friend.

Of course there are plenty of things here I’ll miss, but today one stood out to me.

My friend and I have a weekly ritual of karaoke. On our way there today a young Japanese man waved at us from across the street. It was the vocalist I mentioned previously from the jazz circle. Ever since running into him I can’t get the memory of him singing The Days of Wine and Roses at my first session out of my head. I can remember the sound almost perfectly, yet at the same time it’s not satisfying. There’s something missing. While I also have two recordings of two separate performances of his, they aren’t quite enough. I listen to them and all I want is more, or maybe I just want to hear him sing that one song one more time.

But mostly what I feel is that once I go back, I’ll never be able to hear him again. It’s frustrating to me how fleeting something like a beautiful singing voice is. Once he closes his mouth, the sound is gone. Even if you remember it, it’s never in its full glory. You can’t bottle voices. Recordings get old in a way live performances don’t – there’s always something slightly different when you’re doing it live.

There are plenty of things I’ll miss, but perhaps something as small as this guy’s voice will be one of the biggest things.

That’s the shame of it. There are so many nice people I’ve met who I would like to talk to more, but since we never got to know each other on that level, we’ll lose contact quickly.

I’ll never know where that kid’s voice will take him.

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Connie: It’s begining to feel nothing like Christmas

December 22, 2010

Welcome to late December in Japan, where it doesn’t snow for more than 5 minutes and there is a 40 foot strip of Christmas lights on campus. That’s about it. You can go to bars and see Christmas trees tucked into the corner, and you can hear obnoxious MIDI renditions of Christmas music playing at the supermarket, but nothing more.

Christmas in Japan is a commercial holiday. It’s a lot like Valentine’s day actually—it’s a couples holiday. When it hit December, suddenly all the Japanese people who would normally show no affection for one another are holding hands. Apparently a joke in Japan is that the song “Jingle Bells” is actually “Single Bells”. Let me say, it’s quite strange to have a snow-less and couple-filled Christmas. There are Christmas things all over and yet, at the same time, they’re not Christmas-y at all.

After all, it’s not Christmas if you can’t see A Christmas Story on TV!

On Christmas Eve all of the exchange students are going to a party that includes going to an izakaya followed by karaoke. This is definitely one of the strangest Christmases I’ve ever had. A lot of people are opting out of the karaoke because it doesn’t feel right. But the way I figure it is what else am I going to do? “While in Rome” is the phrase. So while in Japan, sing karaoke?

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