reileen: (Default)
But this is not one of those times.

In fact, I kinda hate you right now.

From Shapely Prose, Kate Harding takes on a Japanese national law that came into effect two years ago:

Under a national law that came into effect two months ago, companies and local governments must now measure the waistlines of Japanese people between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of their annual checkups. That represents more than 56 million waistlines, or about 44 percent of the entire population.

Those exceeding government limits — 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women, which are identical to thresholds established in 2005 for Japan by the International Diabetes Federation as an easy guideline for identifying health risks — and having a weight-related ailment will be given dieting guidance if after three months they do not lose weight. If necessary, those people will be steered toward further re-education after six more months.

"Further re-education"? I'm assuming this is going to involve a lot more than being forced to stand out in the hallway holding two full buckets of water.

I know some of you might be wondering why this bothers me, because anyone who knows me knows I am one of the Skinniest Bitches That Ever Was Skinny, and that I have never had any real problems with how my body looks save for the occasional comment that perhaps I could use a little more stack on the rack.

But even though I haven't personally had body image problems, I know a lot of people - mostly females - who do, and it makes me sad because I've never considered them to be anything but beautiful, awesome people. Yes, they were bigger than me, but so what? A freakin' toothpick is bigger than I am. These girls and women I knew certainly weren't fat, either by the connotative definition of the word (that being "fat" also automatically equates to being "worthless", "ugly", "stupid", et cetera and so forth) or the denotative definition (that is, the opposite of being "thin"). I would really, really love for there to be a push back to using "fat" in its denotative sense, but this little piece of news from Japan isn't really going to be helping much. Be sure to check out the comments at that entry for more insight into how very hive-mind-ish Japanese culture really can be, from people who used to live there or who currently live there. In a place where it's considered acceptable to shame someone into conformity and where a common way of addressing a problem is to pretend that it doesn't exist, this sort of thing can only end in trouble for those who deviate even only a little from some idealized standard.

Also from Shapely Prose, there's this little piece about how childhood icons like Strawberry Shortcake have been "updated" to be more sexualized. There's a couple of comments on that entry about how everyone seems to be jumping on the anime-style bandwagon, which was personally more my beef with the more recent childhood icons than it was the sexualization of them - which I guess says a lot about what my priorities really are. Still, well worth reading through and thinking over.

the light in me will guide you home
reileen: (Default)
I was linked to Face Blind! by Bill Choissier from, which in turn was linked by Limyaael, who is herself faceblind - meaning that she has great difficulty remembering (and sometimes recognizing) faces. Faceblindness is, in and of itself, an interesting topic (as are many things in this world!), but it holds particular interest for me because one of my novel characters is faceblind.

I don't know why Ryker decided to be faceblind. (I'm talking within my headspace, not within the constraints of the story. One doesn't exactly choose to be faceblind.) It doesn't have much story significance at the moment other than the fact that it keeps things interesting. Considering that he's a mutant who can produce explosives from thin air and who gets kidnapped/forcefully recruited by a secret anti-terrorist organization who puts him to work as one of their top assassins, not being able to recognize faces is certainly going to cause more than its fair share of problems. I also don't know if he was officially diagnosed with it. I do get the sense, however, that in the orphanage Ryker grew up in, he was teased for never being able to remember or recognize the faces of people that he saw every day. The group of unrecognizable faces included that of his best friend Cade, who - despite sometimes feeling hurt that Ryker would never recognize him when they passed within six inches of each other in the hallways - became very protective of Ryker as a result of all the teasing. Cade's aware that Ryker's mind doesn't exactly work right; Ryker knows something's messed, mostly because Cade keeps on pointing it out to him, but he tends to brush it off as nothing even when it causes him major problems. Like not recognizing that it's your boss stomping up to you when you're complaining about him to your co-workers. Or, you know, not recognizing who the hell it is you're supposed to kill on a mission. Talk about the potential collateral damage. Logic would dictate that he should be switched out for someone more normal, but Ryker's a Special Little Snowflake on his side of things. He's a bit essential to this particular organization's mission, so they decide that they'd just figure out how to work with it when they're not busy trying to find a way to fix it - which I guess is why Ryker frequently works in tandem with Yunia, one of the members who originally recruited him.

All of the above is, of course, subject to change at any moment. Ryker's story was my NaNoWriMo 2007 project, and I'm not very happy with how it turned out. Partly because I seem to never figure out how my stories are supposed to turn out: I have this irritating tendency in my writing to be able to set up decent scenarios, but I can never figure out how to truly follow through on them. I'm a horrible story plotter, truly. For the past three NaNoWriMos, I've gotten through by writing as much detail and random stuff as I can with the hope that something will come together at the end, only for me to be left wondering, in Week Four, whether the blue cord is supposed to go there or if that's the spot for the yellow cord, and do I cut the red cord or will that make things go kablamafoo in the worst way possible?


Listening to Evanescence's pre-Fallen stuff is both depressing and soothing at the same time. I actually prefer these songs over the ones they released on Fallen and The Open Door. It feels...purer? A couple of these songs ("Solitude", "October", "Forgive Me") have a really nice folksy, nostalgic feel to them. On the other end of the spectrum, "Even In Death" has to be one of their creepiest songs ever, even topping "Snow White Queen" from The Open Door.


An awesome quote from the awesome Sarah over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, regarding the influx of kickass female heroines that have popped up lately:

I know a lot of folks have been complaining about the ever-present flood of vampire heroes - but is anyone tired of the kickass heroine? Generally speaking, if she’s done right, I love love love her and don’t know if I’d ever get tired of heroines who could not only squeeze the hero’s ass but could also hand it to him in a fight.

To be fair, I've seen a couple of folks complain about kickass heroines being too "hardass" - that is, not emotional enough. I don't (want to) think this is so much a sexist notion as it is the effect of possibly bad writing that produces wooden characters, which is what Sarah addresses briefly in the quote. Honestly, I think that having emotions and dealing with them makes a character even more badass and kickass, because the contrast between the two sides is drawn in even starker lines than before. A character who technically kicks ass in a fight but has no emotions is just a fighting machine. And while that's fun to watch for a while, it can get very, very tiring.

On a slight tangent, I've never been a particular fan of the vampire heroes. If When I write my tongue-in-cheek vampire novel, it's going to feature a female character who gets turned by a female vampire, and the two will end up in an on-again, off-again lesbian relationship. Seriously, folks, where are all the lesbian vampiresses? Come on, now!

in our mutual shame, we hide our eyes to blind them from the truth
reileen: (general - strawberry)
From MSNBC: Born-again virgins claim to rewrite the past

Across the country, "revirginization" appears to be gaining steam. Spiritual efforts to reclaim virginity emerged back in the early 1990s and now, prompted by abstinence-only school courses taught to thousands of girls nationwide, and by religious teachers, there are reports of more and more young women like Watts attempting a sexual do-over. Other women are opting for a more radical route to reclaim their virginity: surgical replacement of the hymen, the small membrane that stretches from the walls of the vagina and that typically breaks when a woman first has intercourse — or for many other reasons, from tampon use to vigorous exercise.

In the last few years, say doctors who perform the surgery, a steady stream of patients, many motivated by the conflict between mores in this country versus their country of birth, or the country of their parents' birth, are interested. "The rate of inquiries is increasing," says Dr. Denise Baker, a Bradenton, Fla., surgeon who performs the procedure on about 100 women a year.
[emphasis mine]

Okay, look, I can get wanting to be a "spiritual virgin" again, sort of. I personally find the idea a little silly (barring instances of rape or sexual abuse), and this quote encapsulates one of the problems with the logic of "re-virginalizing":

“To some people, remakability is precisely what cheapens the thing in first place," Carpenter says. "Virginity is not special if you can be a virgin again.”

But come on now. If I physically lost my hymen, I would not want that fucker back again.

Of course, I'm speaking from the standpoint of a privileged, culturally Catholic middle-class girl in suburban Chicago. If you were in a situation where being able to physically prove you were a virgin was going to save your life, I can completely understand wanting to undergo the surgery, i.e.:

Alinsod’s typical patient may have been born and raised in the United States, but with significant family in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, the Middle East. Without evidence a new bride is a virgin, she risks being rejected, or, worse, the victim of an “honor killing.”

But something like this -

Once in awhile, Baker says, she’ll get a patient who just wants to give a present to her husband. “One patient of mine gave it to her husband as an anniversary gift," says Baker. "She was not a virgin when they got married so we re-attached her hymen to reproduce that experience.”

- seems completely ridiculous to me. If I'd already had sex prior to getting married and wanted to give my manslave a gift, I wouldn't want to recreate an uncomfortable, awkward situation for me - I'd want to give him lots of Hot, Wild Sex. (So says the aromantic asexual...)

Honestly, something's wrong with how we've been handling the concept of virginity. It's completely, totally fucked up for a million and one reasons, and I wish people would stop making such a big deal over remaining a virgin.* I can understand wanting to have some sort of way to mark the point at which one fully(?) becomes a sexual adult. But I don't see how or why that should translate into mass idolization of celibacy, either before or after the first time you have sex. This isn't like Ye Olden Tymes where remaining chaste until marriage was required so that we all would know who inherited what from whom. I don't see any real practical need anymore to place importance on remaining a virgin until marriage. That's not to say that choosing to abstain from sex until then is a bad choice, and certainly we shouldn't demonize anyone who decides to make this choice, for religious reasons or otherwise. But trumpeting the abstinence-only approach to sexuality as the only way to go, which is mostly based on an idolization of virginity, has been shown to not work (although you may want to check out some of the comments by people over at Dark Christianity with regards to some of the specific details of this particular study), and in fact may have contributed to rising teen pregnancy rates (although this article isn't very in-depth about the numbers and methodology by which they came by this information).** My point is, the idea of "re-virginalizing" as well as our common understanding of virginity in modern American times is just part of a larger problem of unhealthy attitudes towards sexuality which need to be fixed somehow.

(I will admit to struggling with my own personal hypocrisy over this issue of sex and virginity. Logically, I'm a pretty liberal person. Emotionally, I still get the visceral "omgslut!!!!11" reaction when I find out that people I know who are close to my age have had sex - a reaction which I blame on having gone to private Catholic schools for grammar school and high school. It probably also has something to do with the fact that I haven't had sex yet either. Hey, I'm workin' on it, aight?***)

I have a number of thoughts on the spazflailfest that is the concept of virginity, but I unfortunately do not have the talent to articulately verbalize them all in this entry, so instead I invite y'all to check out Hanne Blank's Virgin: The Untouched History. She explores various aspects of virginity, raising from the biological to the historical to the cultural. Or you can bug me about something in the comments. Talk to me, people!

yeah, I've been up and down your block

*Yes, I realize the possible irony in me saying this, seeing as my matron is Artemis, one of the three virgin goddesses of the Hellenic pantheon. However, the term "virgin" back then meant "a woman not beholden to any man," and did not have the sexual overtones that we modern folk attribute to our perception of the term. Regardless, I don't think that Artemis had/has much of a sex life, but it's really none of my business.
**Those crazy Freakanomists have gotten in on the whole abstinence-only sex ed thing, too. Did you know that abstinence-only sex education is like South Africa's driving test?
***Er, the "getting over my hypocrisy" stuff, not the "haven't gotten laid" yet part. Dirty jokes aside, I'm actually kind of a prude.
reileen: (art - paint jars)
You ever notice that, no matter how much you believe that something you're showing off is crap, you still feel disappointed when you don't get (m)any compliments on it?


Shiroko's gonna have to go from the "Now Three" animation, assuming I still decide to attempt to continue to animate that thing. One of the problems brought up when I showed the prototype first half of the animation as my final project in ANI240 is that no one could decipher what her role was supposed to be in the context of the story. Not that I blamed them - I've had her character concept since January or February of this year, and I still have no idea what she's doing in the animation. Which, you know, is probably a very good sign that she doesn't belong. I think that's just as well, though: the story of Now Three truly has nothing to do with her - she was simply there because she could be. But now she won't be. (Instead, she'll star in a number of original CGs and will probably become my mascot of sorts. She's just too adorable to leave hanging.)

One more final to go. Let's see how badly I botch that one.

the same rain that draws you near me
reileen: (art - paint jars)
Here's how I'm going to go about making my moolah in life.

First off, I'll establish a name for myself in the art world. We'll start with commissions and the Artist Alley at Anime Central, and take it from there. I've got a few ideas that will certainly (hopefully?) be popular with the American otaku fanbase.

In the meantime, I'll be working on my writing and my music. Both of these will be initially self-published and self-recorded, and marketed through my personal website/deviantArt/LiveJournal/MySpace/whatever I can find, as well as pimped out to review sites and other such places. By this point, theoretically speaking, I'll have a sizable enough fanbase that I can make a decent profit off what I do. This, in turn, may spur a publishing company and/or a recording studio to take me under their wing and officially release my stuff, which will hopefully mean a wider audience and moar proffitz that I can then put towards various things (maintaining a decent living environment for myself, supporting my parents and buying them that house on the beach that they've always wanted, collecting as many books as I can).

Am I crazy for starting out by doing nearly everything myself? Oh, fuck yes. But the risk of failure for me is three times higher than normal, and I'll be damned if I'm putting such a fragile fate into the gigantic, groping hands of a third party. I want my life, my dreams, my desires right here where I can see it and mold it with my own painfully short fingers. And if that means doing nearly everything myself, so be it. I don't entirely know what I'm getting myself into with something like this, but I know it's something that I'm going to do or die trying. I'm excited and scared to be starting on this, and starting soon with the coming of summer break. At the very least, I hope to be making a living from my art, enough so that I can live comfortably and be able to produce my writing and music as well later.

white tiles without foundation, silent temple bells
reileen: (general - strawberry)
There's about two weeks left of this quarter - three if you count finals week. DePaul's closed for Memorial Day, so hopefully I can get my ass in gear to use that as a work day instead of blowing it off like I did today. Of course, I also have to make use of the weekend hours as well, since I'm lolariously behind on my Japanese homework...

Busy making plans for how I'm going to spend my summer, both in my room and (gasp!) outside of the house. At the top of my list is my art, since I am determined like a woman scorned (...?) to work the Artist Alley at ACEN next year and sell my shit to unsuspecting victims. In addition to finally getting around to doing some fanarts that have gone woefully neglected for months, I'll be opening up commissions for the first time, the Gods help you all. I'll also be doing original art that I can sell as prints, designing cutely simple stationery, and pretty/cute Mother's Day cards (since ACEN tends to fall the week of or the week prior to Mother's Day). Auxiliary activities include getting a banner printed that I can hang on the booth that my friend and I are planning to share (she'll be selling her own cool shit as well), figuring out good quality paper that I can print my art on, getting some business cards done, and trying to decipher how I can use Paypal.

A fairly close second is working on my Jinx cosplay, which, uh...has theoretically been in the works for the past two years. The first year was when I actually decided that I wanted to do the cosplay; the second was when I actually bought the materials. This year - the third - is when I will actually attempt to put together the costume myself. Let it be known that last time I sewed anything was back in 4th grade, and it was all by hand. I suppose that this actually shouldn't have too much priority, since I'll be working the Artist Alley, which means that I'll have little to no time to wander around and show off my sexy costume. Still, I should get something done so I don't feel so guilty about it.

I'd also like to delve back into my writing - working both on fanfics and original schnazz. But considering how much energy I'm going to be pouring into my art, I'm not sure how much left I'll have to expend on vomiting prose. Music is out of the question, for the most part: the most I'll be doing is some reading on music theory, research into the music industry and home studios, and memorizing pieces (like "Liebestraum No.3" by Liszt and "Tatakau Monotachi" by Nobuo Uematsu...among other random stuff). There's also an assload of summer reading that's screaming my name, which is the freakin' understatement of the year.

As if all of this weren't enough to juggle, I'm hoping to have a summer job lined up at the mall somewhere and I'll be taking classes (Intro to Cognitive Science and Digital Sound Editing) during the second half of summer vacation, from July 23 to August 24 or something.

And, thanks to the machinations of [ profile] mugging_hipster, this is supposed to be the "best summer ever" because I'll actually be going out with friends and living it up. It's surreal, it's absurd, it's wonderful.

But now, it's beddy-bye. Tomorrow I'm going to drop off some job applications at the mall, pick up one or two more, and then see if I can't get myself to work on school stuff for the rest of the day.

who can say where the road goes, where the day flows? only time
reileen: (Default)
When I was really little, like maybe around 3-5 years old, I distinctly remember reading through the child care books and magazines that were lying around my house numerous times.*

Contrast this with the fact that all throughout my life, I have had no real desire to be a mother.**

papa, oh papa tonight/papa, oh I'll be all right

*This was in addition to the children's books and medical reference books that lined the shelves of my family's one-story apartment space on 3701 W. 79th St.
**In a similar vein, I also don't think I ever asked my parents where babies came from. Either I found out on my own through my reading (very likely), or I simply never thought to ask because after all, who'd ever want to have those little monsters? [/tongue-in-cheek]
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Tonight I went to see the musical goddess Vienna Teng perform at Schuba's Tavern. It was my second time seeing her live, but the magick of watching her at the piano keyboard was no less worse for the passage of time, and in fact seemed ten times better than I remembered seeing her. The "strings ladies" Marika Hughes and Dina Maccabee were there, along with newcomer Alex Wong on percussion. I think the addition of Alex Wong really lent an amazing rock-ish flavor to Vienna's songs that was really, really refreshing and completely made of awesomesauce.

But as I was standing in the back watching the performance, there was a phantom taste stinging at the inside of my mouth. A taste of longing to be where Vienna was, rocking out my original songs on that Yamaha keyboard, sharing funny stories with the audience that's hanging onto your every word, every note like it was a rope thrown to you as you're drowning in the middle of a roiling ocean. I wanted to be where she was so badly that I wanted to cry.

I want to do what Vienna does. No, not just that - I want to do more than that, because I can. Or I think I can.

I want to be that touring musician with a great band to perform with. But I also want to be that artist who exhibits at odd little galleries and Artist Alleys. And I also want to be that best-selling author who signs copies of her novels at Borders and gets asked to do panels at conventions or things like that.

These are such silly little things to whine over, I know. Greater dreamers than I have wasted away into obscurity, their hard work little more than dusty invisible footnotes. But it's been a shitty quarter for me in a million and one ways, and while seeing Vienna* was something that didn't disappoint, it ended up reminding me of my beloved, impossible pies in the sky that seem even more out of reach now.

'cause you're everywhere to me

*I was also glad that Vienna liked the gift that I brought for her. Originally I was going to get her socks, as per the inside joke on the forums, but I thought she might be sick of them, so I got her this instead. I also got her a bracelet depicting various shots of buildings in Chicago on each segment, which she put on after she dug it out of the plastic bag (and which I assume she probably also took off for the second performance that night...which I couldn't go to because I was under 21, dammit).
reileen: (music - proofread score)
I've decided to work on a song. It is tentatively called "Mirror (Ixchel's Song)". It is shitty as fuck at the moment, but I hope to complete it or some version of it eventually. Because, though I barely knew this girl, I feel as though she deserves some sort of tribute.

For so long, my art and my writing have let me escape to worlds that could never be. Now, it's my songs that bring me back to the world that is - the world I so often leave behind.

Rest in peace, Ixchel Martinez.

my mother trembles with the sobs whose absence seems absurd
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
When you're writing your first draft of something, you don't have your muse yet. Instead, you're simultaneously waiting and looking for her* in this...well, let's say wilderness, although in retrospect a labyrinth would work just as well. Or even the streets of Tokyo. Anyway, so you're waiting for and looking for your silly little muse, alternating between sitting on your ass and peeking under every stone and pumpkin for a sign of this elusive, capricious creature.

And then, when you find her, BAM! You're chasing her through the jagged mountain passes and impossibly thick thickets of trees and the poison-infested swampholes and maybe even the crazy famine-stricken cannibalistic settlements of your story. You're swearing up a typhoon and stumbling like you've never stumbled before, but no matter what, you know that you have to keep going, because if you lose her the Gods only know when you'll find her next. And the scenes that you spazflail wildly through in your attempt to catch your muse are the scenes that make up the first draft of whatever you're writing. And that draft is done when you finally catch your muse, sweating ten Niagara Falls and gasping for O2 and realizing that you might've pissed your panties back there. That, my friend, is the time when you make your muse do your bidding: you make her clean you up, and then you make her lead you back through the scenes you've passed - but slowly and surely this time, like a tour, having her point out the things you might've missed in your haste and desperation.

one way or another, I'm gonna find ya

*Female pronoun used for ease of whatever.
reileen: (music - proofread score)
It appears that music muse is, once again, drifting away from me, most likely attracted to more promising and polished prospects than I to satisfy her wanton needs. She was, however, nice enough to leave me with most of the melody for the opening riff of Vienna Teng's "Momentum," along with a couple of possible chords that, if arranged in the right order, will fit together as neatly as a jigsaw puzzle.

I said once in a comment to another friend of mine that anyone who wanted to court me would have to contend with three other constant suitors: art, writing, and music. I neglected to mention that these suitors are more fickle than rainbow stains upon oil puddles.

my body lies, but still I wander
reileen: (Default)
Today is the kind of winter day when the air is completely still and the snow is fresh like cotton candy on the ground and the mercury floats above twenty degrees Fahrenheit, so when you walk outside, it's practically warm.

Still. Everything is just so still.

Just something to remind myself of the hidden beauty in the world.

Now how about that ANI220 assignment? Eh? Eh?

half a week before the winter, the chill bites before it comes
reileen: (music - proofread score)
Every time I head down to the music practice rooms, I tend to discover something new. The magnitude and awesomeness of the newness of said something varies greatly (composing a cute new riff vs. finding out that you got stuck with a piano where the E, A, and G keys located an octave above middle C are pretty much broken), but it's new nonetheless.

This time, I've discovered that having considerable experience in one area while working on a new one is both a blessing and a bane.

The blessing: You have the advantage of looking back on your progress in your area of expertise - let's use the example of art for me - and knowing that you do progress in something if you just keep working at it. Eight years ago, I couldn't draw a male to save my life. Now, I can draw an old man with bulging muscles and have it look like, you know, an old man with bulging muscles. Sure, I still have eons to go before I can draw him consistently well and in a number of poses, but the fact is, I didn't have that ability eight years ago. Or hell, in a relatively more recent space of time, I had no idea how to use the Pen tool in Photoshop about three years ago. Now I can use that thing like a pro - or at least I can handle it well enough that I don't have to think so much about what I'm doing with it. And tracing the evolution of my drawing style is fascinating, to see where it's been. I've always drawn in the anime/manga style, but when I first started out, the influence of the Sailor Moon anime on my art was so blatantly obvious that it couldn't have been more blatantly obvious than if you'd posted a big marquee on the paper saying "I USED SAILOR MOON PICTURES AS REFERENCE FOR THIS DRAWING." (I may post a couple of old sketches to prove this point.) About two years later, my style shifted slightly towards Toshihiro Ono's Pokemon manga adaptation, particularly in the eyes and in his relatively more realistic style. After that, I think it's hard to tell, so we can probably safely assume that I was starting to come into my own style at that point. But it took approximately two phases where my art exhibited obvious influences before I began to be myself. Ironically enough, I still feel like my style is generic anime/manga, ten-yen-a-dozen. But I can't pin down any particular artist that my style resembles, so that's why I feel like I also can say that I have my own style. It's just surreal to look over your old work and think to yourself, "I drew that just a year and a half ago? That's...dude, I can totally do better now." And it's things like that that let you dream that after a year or two working at what you're not so good at - in my case, music and voice - you'll already be so much further than you are now. And to be honest, I do actually feel that way in general about my music.

The bane: Unfortunately, when I think about my art skills now, I also realize that it took me at least eight years to get to my current level. Eight years? Jesus Christ on rye with mayonnaise and tomatoes, I don't have eight fucking years! Well, okay, I do. I'm fairly young, after all. But when I think about where I'm going to be in eight years, it just seems like such a long time to get to where the basics come easily to me, to where the technicalities aren't so technical anymore and it's all about the creation of art. I don't want to have to worry about the bolts; I just want the beauty to come out. And, for my music, the point at which I can stop worrying about the basics and start focusing on just expressing myself is such a long way from now. At least I've got around eleven years total of piano experience behind me, nine of which were spent with weekly lessons. but even then, it feels like I have to re-learn so much, because I think my music education was so unorthodox that I missed out on the basics and now I'm paying for it. There's also the nagging sense that even if I do something now that I think is the best thing ever, I know that in the future it's just going to be another piece of crap in my repertoire. The Gods know that I've got quite a collection of artwork that, at the time I completed it, I thought was the coolest thing to ever grace the earth. Now I just look at all of these drawings and wonder how I ever thought that was decent.


I'm still trying to figure out the nuances of my voice. I've been told by a few online friends who've known me for a while before hearing my voice for the first time that I have somewhat of a low voice for a girl. Or, at least, it was lower than what they expected of me. Just because I look and act like an anime character doesn't mean I have the voice of one, durr. And upon listening to a couple thousand playbacks of my voice on my shitty recording software, I can kinda see where they're coming from, and it...surprises me, actually. The way I'm trying to hit notes's not what I expected of myself. It seems that way whenever I'm trying to sing my original songs, anyway. But if I warm up enough, I can imitate the delicate sound of Vienna Teng's voice on the higher notes in her "Lullabye For a Stormy Night" song. On the other hand, if I'm singing a Vanessa Carlton song, I tend not to use my head voice so much and end up leaning towards "belting" out the higher notes, or most of the notes in general. This is when I start realizing that I'm trying too hard to imitate one style or the other, and I have to mentally bitchsmack myself and say, no, bad Reileen, you have to sing things your way. But I'm not sure what "my" way is supposed to be. I don't even know what the right way is, and I'm not sure which sounds better for my voice, or which fits my voice better. From what I've googled on this subject (yes, I am a geek and did google things like "how to sing high notes," stfu), it seems like the two ways (head voice vs."belting") are legitimate ways to go about things, although "belting" out high notes is a rather popular choice among pop singers, and beginners tend to think that it's the "right" way to sing higher notes. I guess it's a matter of experimentation, then? Some people, like Evanescence's Amy Lee, have a range liekwhoah and can really sing. Then there's people like Vienna Teng, who can also really sing, but it's in such a completely different manner. Yet to me, they both sound amazing. I'm currently convinced that Vienna's gracefully subtle style is the best for me (and no, it's not just because I love her to death), but there are times where I think things sound best if I'm kind of screaming them out, if that makes sense. I probably should just take singing lessons, but I don't have the time, I don't have the will to spend the money when I can spend it on things like books and books, and I don't have the guts to try something so seemingly out of my league.

I'm so ambivalent about my voice. I don't hate it or anything (yet). But sometimes I wonder if it's a voice ever worth listening to someday. Even on my good days, I just lay my head on the piano and angst to myself: "Will anyone ever like listening to me sing my shit?" Because if I don't like it, what are the chances that someone else will?


Now to work on that Impressionist still life that's due in ART106 today. I had to go to the 7-11 of the first floor of my dorm to buy an apple and two somewhat sorry-looking limes so I could have something vaguely interesting for this project. My still life's too fruitylicious for ya, babe!

but all I can hope for is a pale watercolor dream


reileen: (Default)
Reileen van Kaile

April 2010



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