Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pimping our Children!!!!

Matt Lauer interviews a marketing expert after he leads a focus group with 9 - 11 year-olds. The group looks at various logos to determine what marketing campaigns the children can identify. At 4:30 in the video, Matt asks the expert about companies using peer pressure to market their goods!!!!!
This is !!!! I don't even know what this is. I just know it isn't right.

What happens when the children that are paid to promote a brand becomes arrogant? What happens when the arrogance turns into abuse?

What happens when the other children become jealous of the promoter? What happens when the jealousy turns to violence?

The Today Show drives me crazy. I like Ann Curry because she brings a kind of grace to the news and her reporting. She's not soft on her interviews, but she has enough presence to listen. Matt on the other hand just asks his questions to get through the various segments...there are times that he actually does his job, but it is the exception. This interview is a prime example. When the expert talks about the peer pressure instigated by corporations, Matt moves on to supply and demand marketing!!!

That is not a problem!!! That is not covert!!! That is not subversive!!! Infecting our schools with more material envy is wrong!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My First Haircut

So, I finally did it. I cut my son's hair. This is one of the cost-cutting measures I'm trying. Let's see how it goes with my hubby!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My first email

I gotta say that I was pretty excited to get my first email for this blog, Christopher Aruffo from We Hear and Play. He had the same reaction to the Washington Post article on ear training as I did. He told me of his newest project which is a translation of a German perfect pitch training system. I was surprised to see that this program's creator is also Japanese.

It reminded me of my time at USC for grad school. In my theory classes all of the Japanese international students threw off the curve for the listening quizzes because they all had perfect pitch. On the flip side of that, they usually had to learn how the pitches functioned, while the American trained musicians had that down.

I, on the other hand, didn't understand anything! All I could do was sing. I played violin in elementary school, but stopped because I got tired of holding the instrument up. In middle school, I played cello. I loved it because it was big enough to support my weight if I fell asleep during practice. In college, I had one year of piano and a semester of guitar. From my experience, one must learn an instrument to learn music theory outside of a boring theory course.

I can now admit that my hesitation for all of the instruments are due to my sweaty hands. I'm no longer embarrassed, but like most folks, I wish I hadn't wasted those opportunities.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Freakin Friday

To kick off Freakin Fridays, I'm gonna share Maxwell's newest video for Bad Habits.

I LOVE Maxwell. My friend Watts sent his latest album, Black Summers Night, to me and I, like and idiot, listened to it until 2 in the morning, knowing I had to get up with the kids. It's not a long album but it's a real jewel. My favorite is Playing Possum. The arrangement is so naked and raw. A close second is Cold. The rhythm supposedly based on a wind shield wiper!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Perfect Pitch at 3

So my dear m-i-l sent me this article on children learning perfect pitch:
"elusive musical gift could be at children's fingertips" I'm thinking "I'm a music teacher, I can do this."

I couldn't get paid enough to do this with other people's children.

When we sit down, Jazz and JJ attack the piano like crazy people. The Japanese music teachers obviously drug their students in the beginning to get started.

Tuesday was the 2nd day and Jazz sung One on middle C when she heard a C Major chord. I was pretty pleased that when I played the Four, she tried to sing One and was all over the place. She knew that something was different. Next Monday, we'll start the F major chord and call it Four. Because I don't have flags, I had her hold up one finger. I knew the lesson was done when she started using the middle. I gotta keep the lessons short and only do them after a nice full meal. JJ just likes to bang on the keys and claps, "Bravo!" I'm sure that because he's only 19 months old, he'll have all of the chords and pitches as fluently as his German and English by the time he is 3.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Bricks!

We ran out of bricks!!!!! We will have to get two more pallets to cover this small corner in the back and the entire front. We are going to remove this forest and leave a small square for roses. Once we do these two areas and plant the grass we're done for this year.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lucky Me

We needed a new cover for our sewer hole....3 something for the base and 2 something for the actual cover....600 EUROS!!!!! It's so great that we have Mr. S doing our garden because he treats it as if its his home. He saw the city was replacing all of the covers on our street and he asked for one. 100 euros to take one of the several sets they did today. One was just outside of our driveway, so all he had to do was roll it on to our yard.

The cover hides a 2 meter (6.5 ft) drop to the sewer line.