Oh hi ukelele

uke

Image: unknown artist, via Sidetracked

My mom gave me a ukelele for Christmas because I was complaining about missing my violin. I can’t play the violin when I’m at school because the sound carries through our little thin-walled house, and I don’t want to drive my housemates crazy. The uke has a softer sound and the notes die faster, so I can strum away in my basement room without worrying about anyone hearing.

A lot of my favorite songs lend themselves to the ukelele. I think that’s because I love happy, sunny music. Right now I’m trying to teach myself “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train using YouTube videos. It’s a song that is tied up with good memories for me. I first heard it when I was on exchange in France in high school and now whenever I hear it I feel carefree. I remember walking the streets of Dijon at night, arm-linked with new friends. Or drinking hot chocolate and crunching croissants during illicit escapes from boarding school.

Anyway… where was I going with this? Oh yeah. So, as I mentioned, I’m teaching myself with YouTube videos. And I just love the people who make these videos. They’re super mellow, as though they’ve been sitting on the beach all day and they’re sun-soaked but happy. They say things like “So this is how I hold the uke, but just do whatever feels good. You know, everyone has their own way to hold it and that’s great.”

Coming off years of strict violin teachers, this is good to hear. My relationship with music has been up and down, filled with stress as well as pride, and I’m ready for a fresh drama-free start. I just want to play for joy.

Colour of my year

Does anyone else love the Pantone Color of the Year idea as much as I do?

I have to admit that I’m a huge colour geek. It’s a holdover from the days when I used to paint a lot. Back in the day my idea of a great Saturday afternoon was to go to an art supply store and drool over Alazarin Crimson and Sap Green.

This year’s Pantone colour is Emerald Green, and I’m not crazy about it. It’s a good rich colour, but it doesn’t go with my skin tone. Part of the reason I’m not too enthusiastic about Emerald Green is that it’s really a fall/winter colour, with shades of Christmas, and I’m all about spring right now.

So I’m proposing a different Colour of the Year (note the Canadian spelling). It’s Sky Blue.

Why sky blue?

– Unlike Emerald Green, it looks amazing with any skin tone and hair colour

– You won’t look like a Wizard of Oz extra

– It will make you feel like you have wings

– It made me smile as I was putting this post together… good associations with summer days at the beach etc.

– It is beautiful!

Club 4.0

My brother and I have a 4.0 Pact this semester. He claims that it will be easier for me to get perfect grades than for him, but I’m not sure.

Bro’s Stats:

  • Studying at a top university
  • Pre-law
  • Working on 2 political campaigns (different levels of government)
  • Part-time job at his university
  • Real life job hunt
  • Girlfriend and social life
  • Senioritis

My stats:

  • Studying at a less intense university, but with a tough courseload: Biochem,  third-year Community Ecology, Stats II, Molecular Bio & Genetics, Evolution.
  • Pre-med
  • Working on a refugee mythbusting campaign; starting an Amnesty International chapter; hopefully volunteering in ER at hospital; writing for campus paper; Running Club.
  • Sophomore slump

I think we shake out about equal. Pity our parents, because they’re going to hear a lot of griping for the next four months.