THE ALL BLACKS ARE IN THE WORLD CUP FINALS!!!!!!!!!
Now that my uncontainable excitement is out of the way, I am so dead this week. Two playing assessments and three compositions due… and I’m blogging. Because I don’t know what to compose and I’m sitting here listening to a range of both jazz and non-jazz music trying to be musically inspired. I can’t find the right chords… I just. Argh. I know I could be doing some playing practise, but I feel like I need to finish at least ONE song before mid-week.
On a completely different note, something’s always kind of bothered me – the whole “Asians with Western names” issue. What I mean is, since New Zealand has a lot of immigrants, a lot of people just assume that everyone has a “real” name from their home country, and that their English name is on many levels not their “real” name as such. I know that (and know of) a lot of people who moved over here got to pick out their English names before they moved out of Asia – and that’s fair enough. But I get kind of annoyed when people and systems such as the school-roll back at all my schools used to ass-ume that Amanda isn’t really my legal first name. I actually find that kind of disrespectful. Sure, it’s a very viable thing to assume, but assumptions suck (especially incorrect ones, which are often the case), and I just don’t like the undertones of “you don’t really belong in this country/you’re an immigrant“, etc. I know I’m probably just overreacting and a LOT of people don’t mean it that way, but a LOT also do. Just in the way they go dumbstruck with “oh, reaaally” when I clear up my names with them. Social reasons aside, it is soooo frustrating to have to constantly ask people to fiddle with documents for me, because whoever had entered the data to begin with had just assumed that my Chinese name goes in front of Amanda. It’s frustrating also, because I just feel simply undermined – because I know that I always fill out forms with my names the right way around, but people just think, “Oh, she’s Asian, I had better switch her names around so they’re correct”. NO. NO!
For the record, yes I was born in Taiwan, but I was born with both a Chinese and English name (for god sakes, my sister’s “English” name is actually Norwegian, so my parents are obviously well Westernised based on that fact alone), and I’ve lived in New Zealand since I was six, so that’s almost fourteen out of the twenty years of my life! Plus, my dad’s worked for American companies in Taiwan for over twenty years and my mum’s done stints overseas before we were born, so it’s really no surprise they gave both my sister and I names in both languages when we were born. We even went down to Internal Affairs all those years ago when we first moved here and paid some unearthly sum to get a legal document that binds my names in both languages so that I will never have one of those awful mishaps my mum has when she buys a plane ticket under the wrong name and has to produce multiple IDs, haha. Amanda is my legal first name and my Chinese name is my MIDDLE name, and then obviously my surname goes on the end. I think that a huge part of the problem also lies with the Asians who don’t have their names and documents all in line. So they’ll socially be called one name, but the name on all their documents and transcripts are completely different, and it just makes the lives of lecturers and so on, much harder. For example, not to pick on them, but all the other Asians in my year at jazz school are Korean boys. None of their names paper what we call them verbally. Not their fault, but does make life annoying for me when people go “no, but what’s your real name though?” – and might I just add, in the six years I had lived in Taiwan, most of the time I was called by my childhood nickname (that everyone I know in Taiwan still refer to me as these days), rather than my Chinese name anyway, so I honestly find it really hard to even vaguely connect with this “real name” assumption.
The most ironic thing is – Amanda is even on my Taiwanese passport, and people still meddle with my name, ha. Reminds me, I reaally need to renew it.
Here’s a photo I took on the drive down to Rotorua for our trip a while ago and it’s one of my absolute favourites. It looks even more mega authentic on film than it would have on digital because it gives it like a rustic touch. And gotta thank the really shitty film I had to buy when I was out of decent film for a while:
Driving to Rotorua – taken on some crappy nondescript colour film; Nikon F3.
1. Love Me – Rubber Kiss Goodbye
Just a really chilled out cute song with a really simple but effective bass line. Oh, and I love that chink-chink guitar tone, mmm. This song totally makes me think of being a teenager.
2. I’m Not the One – The Black Keys
I am so jealous that Felisa gets to see them in a few days’ time. Especially since they bloody cancelled out on coming to the Big Day Out this year – which was most annoying because they were the main selling point for me this year, grr! Waiting on their new album. I know bluesy rock gets repetitive and they aren’t known for being poets with their lyrics, but there’s something about their smooth sounding tracks and aptly-put lyrics that makes me such a fan.
3. Fine For Now – Grizzly Bear
I am becoming the Cat Lady and I am not fine. And this song is great, but if I listen to it any longer I may lose whatever illusion of “okay” I have. They’re definitely a band that took a lot to grow on me, but once I got hooked, I listened to them for hours on end. Plus, the guitar in this is amazing. Just go listen to it.
4. Wildfire – SBTRKT
To continue on from my last post, this is also another Laneway artist for next year. The boy and I have been fairly hooked on the album over the past week and weekend. I was apprehensive at first, but heck. What is it with us and music? It’s like we do music like other couples do movies or whatever. I mean, we do movies too, but only at home. Can you believe that in the two years and three months we’ve known each other, or the almost-nine-months we’ve dated, that we’ve never stepped foot inside a cinema together?
5. Rescue Song (RAC Mix) – Mr. Little Jeans
There was a week or so several months ago when I was totally hooked on this song. I wanted to be rescued. Badly. Her real name’s Monica and her voice is looovely. And she’s cute too, so better not let the boy catch wind of that, cos she’s brunette. Oh wait, I think it’s safe. He doesn’t like her music. I am totally just being a twat, by the way.
6. I Can’t Wait – Twin Shadow
Yet another Twin Shadow song, I just couldn’t help myself – he’s still on high rotation if not repeat. This song totally reminds me of A-Ha’s “Take On Me”, but I’m not 100% sure since they don’t sound that much alike. I could totally link a more comparable song, but this one was too good to pass up – dad used to make suuuch a big deal about how it was from back when music videos were new haha. Anyway, this song just reminds me of music from decades ago that my dad would listen to.
7. Twin of Myself – Black Moth Super Rainbow
Short (and arguably crappy) but very relatable lyrics. I’m sold.
8. Anywhere Anyone – Dntel
Because sedated sounding electronic songs are very soothing.
9. On the Verge – Terence Blanchard
I am so in love with this song. It was written by Aaron Parks and my god I wish I could write like him. Been listening to his album “Invisible Cinema” on repeat whilst in bed. Amazing brain food.