Sunday, March 30, 2008

San Francisco Trip

Dear Bloggy,
This was possibly one of the most interesting trips I've ever been on, but regardless it was still awesome.
I went with the Mountain View High School Chorale and Chamber Orchestra and together we played a Mass with a six-person harp quartet.

But don't let me jump the gun.
It started on Wednesday with waking up at five to go to the airport at the crack of dawn where from there we got off the plane and immediatly went to the Golden Gate Bridge. I walked to about the point where it was stone (as you could see on the picture in the distance) because we spent most of the time simply trying to find a place to eat food (which we discovered that it would be better just to hunt one of the fat pigeons or starlings that were waddling around). But the bridge was cool.
Then we went to Golden Gate Park where there was the major outdoor theater (as you see to the right with Mike resting) and these weird trees that had no leaves and looked like they were about to move and punch somebody in the face. And the group I went with for a while just wandered around taking pictures and I grew impatient because I wanted to see the museam, the Japanese Tea Garden, and eat at the cafe (low blood sugar). Me and some of the guys had similar feelings about food and ditched the girls for some chow. The funny thing about San Francisco is it's fetish with organic food and it's fear of mercury poisoning. Go figure.
That night I found that San Francisco has a Eco-News channel and English speaking Chinese News, and that was cool.
And I took in every minute of the San Francisco Symphony like candy. It was kind of nerdy of me, but I took notes of what they were doing and what I wasn't on the violin and what I could do better. I'm proud to say that I'm one of the few who didn't fall asleep during the performance. I almost dozed off during the very soothing Mozart song though, but I snapped back to it and watched people doze off for a while. It's pretty funny.

Thursday we got up and drove to George Lucas's private mountain where he had his own private neighborhood of those who worked for him with a private George Lucas school for their children where they all owned ranches with their own horses, cattle, bulls, and turkeys. Where we went to record our music in George Lucas's own Skywalker Recording Studio where I had some of George Lucas's private decaf Orange Spice tea and slept on one of George Lucas's private couches. The tea was kind of gross, I should've got decaf green. I would show you a picture of this swanky place, but they said no cameras or cellphones because it was all top secret and private. Sorry.
We had a good time that night hanging out in the hall...

Friday we had boring clinician day. I got really sick of them saying, "Orchestra, you're really good. But we don't want to hear from you and we want to shut up even though you're playing dynamics." Ok, maybe they said it nicer than that. Well, I got a lot of good rounds of Speed and Egyptian Ratscrew with my fellow Orcdorks.

That night we went to Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy where there was crazy stunts, dancing, and bizarre contortionists. The crazy twists and unnatural body turns made my stomach churn and some of it was borderline bad content. But I really enjoyed it artistically and I loved their costumes and their set and how they got creative with animal costumes. It was pretty funny too. I certainly won't forget it. What is probably funnier is that all of my fellow students around me kept saying "Wow." and "Oh my gosh, I don't think I could ever do that!"
Saturday we spent the day down in the bay where we explored all the crazy tourist shops. I yet long to see China Town, Japanese Tea Gardens, and all the Chinese art and culture museams that exist there, but that's ok. It would take a long time to explore all of San Francisco. I enjoyed observing the people. They send very laid back and California vibes. It was said to be a Hippie capital. Anyway, the part that made me content with the whole trip was the boat cruise because they gave his headsets and gave us an education about the many monuments and islands of San Francisco. I wanted some educational value with the whole trip. There was also street performers and many hobos begging for money. There was all walks of life on the streets of San Fran and I liked it that way. It made it fun to watch people. So I really enjoyed Saturday.

And then we took the plane home. And I was glad to be home too. It always feels good to go back home no matter how awesome a trip is.

The experience was interesting because for a while I got really annoyed at the fact that Choir people were really really hyper and chatty and sung all the time. And some of the songs would give me a headache. It was funny and annoying at the same time that Choir tried so hard to control their mouths after each time they finished a song. But I learned some valuable lessons from them.
I realized that orcdorks might come off as quiet and snobby. So I learned not to judge them because they were probably annoyed by our aloofness. I learned that the majority actually wasn't singing obnoxiously all the time and that they were some of the sweetest and nicest people I've ever met. I was reminded that judgments, opinions, and stereotypes are formed by the few people who destroy the goodness of the rest of the group. And that you seriously can't say somebody is this way and obnoxious by what organization they're in. And I learned that sometimes singing along was just too fun.
By the end there was no way I could hate these loveable sweet people. They just have a very social group compared to ours (we need to be quiet to get things done) and their way of rehearsing has much more interaction than orchestra. Well, a different kind of interaction.

I also learned a deeper appreciation and love for my own "kind" and am glad to have such a great opportunity to be with such amazing people who are so sweet and cool and just overall awesome. I'm so glad I decided to pick up Chamber this year.

Tha-tha-that's all folks! Back to normal life.
Love, Hillso


  1. Hey Hillso- sounds like you had a lot of fun! I laughed out loud for at least a minute (no joke) at the reference to killing a pigeon. I had the EXACT same experience on my San Fran choir tour in high school! I'm glad you loved it! We'll have to read The Joy Luck Club this summer and go take a Joy Luck Club tour in China town possibly this summer- it would be as Miles says- Hawsome!

  2. Oh yeah...that would be sooo Hawsome!