Update

May. 18th, 2008 08:05 pm
sharan: (John Wetton)
There's been a lot of stuff going on lately that I haven't posted about here, so I thought maybe it was time for an update. I just finished a serious Semester From Hell. So bad, in fact, that I have decided not to go for the masters at USC. I'm really fed up with the whole student group projects thing, and the masters is very project heavy. Besides, I've realized I probably don't even need the masters to get a game programming job. If I do anything (and I suspect I'll take some time off first) I will probably do something more on the music/audio side, since I really do want to specialize in game audio.

Things outside of class haven't been so great either. As I posted the Universal job ended, and I've had some promising leads but so far I'm still unemployed (breaking my record of being unemployed for 1 month in the middle of the dot com crash). I had an interview at a game company on Friday, and I have a phone interview for contract work tomorrow, so hopefully something will happen.

On top of everything, a couple of months ago Justin announced that he was moving out. After being roommates for over 6 years I'm understandably not too happy, and I miss him and the cats (he took 3 of them, including Kitty Cat, who had decided he was my cat and was sleeping on my bed every night (I really miss him:(). Also having my rent double just when I lost my job did not exactly help matters at all. I don't want another roommate, though, and I couldn't anyway because we cleared out the storage locker so this place is pretty full. It's going to take a while to get things straightened out even now that classes are over.

Also, Kitty's been diagnosed with a bunch of medical problems lately. He spent a week at an emergency hospital and was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. Then more recently the doctor was worried about him breathing heavily and they thought he had heart problems. They did tests and his heart was in the normal range but he had a lump in his lung. He's been on antibiotics and he seems to be breathing better, so it may just have been an infection. But his heart was still beating really fast so the doctor gave him heart medication to slow his heart down, and it seems to have done wonders, since he's more active and alert than I've seen him in years (if ever). Fortunately he's adjusted well to the other cats leaving. He seems to like having the place to himself. The other cats, on the other hand, were totally traumatized by the move.

With all this chaos and some unrelated crap going on I can't really talk about it's really starting to look like Baycon probably won't be happening. I don't even know if Justin's going and if he doesn't go I definitely can't afford it. Plus, finding a pet sitter to deal with all Kitty's medical needs at the last minute would not be easy.

Yesterday I decided to get out of the house and went to a meeting of the Greater Los Angeles Writer's Society, which was nice. They were talking about Writers of the Future and showed a DVD which featured an interview with [livejournal.com profile] edgreen86, among other people. I even got a copy of the dvd.

I did also get to go see Asia again at the Canyon Club a couple of weeks ago, which was nice. Another great show! But I also had to unfortunately miss Symphony X for financial reasons. I already had the Asia tickets at least.

So there's been a lot going on, including a lot of stuff that hasn't been fun. But I'll get through it eventually. *sigh* At least I survived another semester. And unless I decide to take a full time game job and cut back my classes I'll actually be graduating in December! At this point I'm really looking forward to this being over with.

Woohoo!

Jun. 22nd, 2007 11:39 am
sharan: (John Wetton)
I just got 3rd row center tickets for the last of 3 Asia shows I'm planning on going to (at the Cerritos Center. I already got tickets to the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills and the Cobazon show). After the amazing show last time I decided to go to as many shows as I could this time. There are also shows in San Diego and San Juan Capistrano, but those might be a little too much/too far.

Those are all at the end of August, but the end of July is looking even busier! I'm going to see Rush at the Hollywood Bowl on July 23rd, Dream Theater at the Gibson Amphitheater on July 27, and Symphony X at House of Blues Sunset Strip on July 31st. I held off on the Anaheim House of Blues Symphony X show on the 30th because I figured it might be too much, and it's just as well since now it looks like after the Dream Theater show we're heading to Las Vegas for Classic Gaming Expo and then my roommate wants to have a real vacation and go to some shows and the Grand Canyon, and we may stay there until Monday night. Oh, and then Thursday (August 2) I fly out to NY for my cousin's wedding, and I'll be there until the 11th. By that point I'll probably be ready to pass out from exhaustion;).

All these concerts will really help with Rockers Online, which I plan on working on more this summer (I did some minor changes to it already).

Wow!

May. 10th, 2007 11:35 am
sharan: (John Wetton)
Have I died and gone to heaven?;) Not only is this exactly what I've wanted since I first discovered Guitar Hero, but THEY HAVE ASIA ON IT!!!!!!! Woohoo! Heat of the Moment of course, but at least it IS Asia.

http://www.1pstart.com/guitar-hero-rock-the-80s-announced-tracks-revealed/

Oh, and Guitar Hero 2 for the XBox 360 came today from Red Octane (actually yesterday but I got it out of the manager's office this morning). That goes with the Xbox 360 Elite Amazon sent me on Tuesday:).

What a way to celebrate finals being over (as of Tuesday)!
sharan: (John Wetton)
O.K. This was such big news (if you happen to be a fan of the original Asia like I am, anyway) I had to post it somewhere:

http://www.originalasia.com/

The tour news might affect my plans to head out to the Northeast this summer and follow them around on tour for a week, but the studio news is huge! I can't wait for that one!
sharan: (Default)
I just posted this review on Rockers Online and decided to repost it here:

Tonight I went to see Asia, the original lineup, playing at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. This show was a dream come true for me. I've been a huge Asia/John Wetton fan since the first time I heard "Only Time Will Tell" back in 1982 and it blew me away. I saw them live once in 1983 at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium back in NY (with Chris De Burgh opening for them). But then John Wetton, who is my favorite singer, left and Geoff Downes continued the band with John Payne, whose singing I never really liked and who I never really thought fit the band's sound (I apologize to those of you who actually like him). I honestly tried to get into the new band, but other than maybe Aqua and the Archiva cds I just couldn't get into them at all, and I finally gave up after Arena and stopped buying them entirely. There was still John Wetton's great solo career, and I was lucky enough to see him live several times over the past few years, but I always dreamed of the original lineup of Asia getting back together. This year, for the 25th anniversary of the band, it finally happened!

I had been hoping to make the Long Beach show on Wednesday, but homework got in the way (Damn you, Maya!). But I already had my tickets for this show and wouldn't miss it for everything! So a friend ([livejournal.com profile] chythar) and I headed up there early, and got there shortly before the doors opened, only to find an already long line waiting to get in. The Canyon Club is a dinner theater, and we had the reserved dinner tickets, so we got to sit and have an overpriced dinner before the show, but it gave us decent seats where we could actually sit and enjoy the show. I'd heard a few days earlier that the show was close to being a sellout, and after seeing how many people were there in the standing room behind us I suspect it probably did sell out. It was a huge crowd, far more than I'd seen at any of the John Wetton solo shows I'd been to.

The band came on stage, and it took some of the beginning of the first song for them to get warmed up, but they quickly hit their stride and, once they did....WOW! They were incredible! The playing was so tight you'd think they actually had been playing together for the full 25 years! The band played for about an hour, then took a 15 minute break and came back for another set. They started with songs from the Asia CD, and said they'd be playing the full album, plus songs from previous bands. The first of those they played was Yes' "Roundabout", and I'd seen Yes with Dream Theater at the Gibson Amphitheater on a recent tour and Asia totally blew Yes away (then again Dream Theater totally blew them away that night too. Maybe it was just an off-night but Yes did not put on a great show). They also played songs from Emerson, Lake and Palmer ("Fanfare for the Common Man"), King Crimson ("In the Court of the Crimson King"), and one big surprise, The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" - not just Geoff Downes doing it as a keyboard solo like he's done in the past, but the full band did the entire song, with John Wetton singing through a megaphone at the beginning. Geoff even got all dressed up in a silver jacket and sunglasses like it was a Buggles video.

After the first set I was wondering if they were going to play anything from Alpha or Astra, but they started the 2nd set with acoustic versions of "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and "Don't Cry" from Alpha. They never did play anything from Astra, but I guess that's because Steve Howe wasn't in the band at the time. They had the expected keyboard and guitar solos, and Carl Palmer did an amazing drum solo during "The Heat Goes On". After they left the stage for the second time, they came back for an encore with another surprise, the B-side to the "Heat of the Moment" single, "Ride Easy". After that they finished the show with "Heat of the Moment" itself. I had actually spent some time earlier in the day figuring that one out on guitar for a Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar class I'm taking, and I was pleased to see that I seemed to have gotten it pretty much right!

The response from the audience was great from the very beginning. Every single song got a standing ovation from those of us seated in the dining area. The band seemed to be really enjoying the response. John Wetton looked especially happy, and had a big grin on his face after seeing the response to the first song, and made comments on the great reception they got. It was good to see the band enjoying themselves so much, and I only hope that with such a strong response at the shows they'll decide to continue with this lineup in the future!

After the show Carl Palmer and Geoff Downes were there to sign merchandise (the line for that was out the door). Unfortunately John Wetton wasn't there, but someone behind me said they heard he had a cold. But I at least got 2 of their autographs, and got to tell them what an incredible show it was and that I hope there will be many more to come! All in all, it was an amazing show, and definitely one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

BTW, I got some not too great pictures with my cell phone like the ones above, so I'll be adding more pictures to the Asia page.

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