Friday, December 14, 2012

O Holy Night by Cindy Chang NOW AVAILABLE for download...FREE!!!

As a personal thank you to all those who have been kind enough to give me so much encouragement this past year to not give up my dream to sing professionally, as well as, to help a cause close to my heart, this English and Korean bilingual, recorded live, simply from the heart version of O Holy Night is now available through CDBaby to download for FREE!!!  (You may also download for FREE from the sample below!) 

I really wanted my first single recording to be a thank you labor of love project. I wanted to be able to just give my first single away for free to people as a way to say THANK YOU to everyone for all their support. I wanted my first single to be available and accessible for everyone and everywhere, as much as possible, no matter where they were in the world, or no matter what their financial situation was (i.e., I didn't want even $0.99 to be an issue for anyone since for some people, you never know, even every penny may count in their lives right now); AND I wanted to DO something with my first single recording and try to make a difference somehow for something that meant a lot to me.

Many of you know I am a HUGE dog lover (all animals actually, but definitely dogs!), and Hope for Paws and The Fuzzy Pet Foundation are two organizations that I have personally been a fan of and have been a follower of for their amazing work in helping abused, neglected, homeless animals that need medical attention, a home, love, and someone who will speak up for them and give them a much needed voice. So, it was a natural choice for me to want to use my first single as a way to help these two organizations! 

I have had the honor to personally speak with Eldad Hagar from Hope for Paws and Sheila Choi from The Fuzzy Pet Foundation on the phone, and they are wonderful, down-to-earth people with extra-ordinary hearts who are willing to go out there and do what they do and help animals in need. I am in awe and humbled by what they do. I know the sad reality is that we are, unfortunately, not going to be able to save all the animals that need help, BUT it is because of knowing that, I feel the need to still do SOMETHING because EVERY little bit helps. It just has to.

Below is a video of a fairly recent rescue that these two organizations did together. (They are separate organizations and do their own rescues, but this is an example of them combining their efforts.) Now, thanks to this rescue, Apollo and Sky now have a loving, forever home!

Please consider a donation to Hope for Paws and/or The Fuzzy Pet Foundation so that they can continue to do their amazing work and help animals in need!

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT meant to pressure you to donate, and donating is NOT a requirement to receive O Holy Night for FREEO Holy Night is available as a FREE download for everyone regardless of whether you donate or not and is my simply from the heart way to say thank you for your amazing support you have kindly given me this past year! Please do not feel any pressure. I know everyone has different circumstances. Donation is completely voluntary. I just want to try to help two organizations that I believe in and a cause I personally care deeply about - helping animals that need help.

You are welcome to spread the word about this as well!

Thank you again for all your support! Hope you enjoy!

Special thanks to David Cunniff (piano and arrangement - arr. briefly includes the four-note ostinato motif from Carol of the Bells composed by Mykola Leontovych) and Dave Wheeler and Aron Hethcox (Studio 603) for all their help with this recording. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thank You My First Music Teachers

This Thanksgiving Day, I want to thank my very first music parents.

I am...

...Thankful to my parents for always having classical music playing at home or in the car. We got to listen to some of the greatest composers that ever lived and to some of the greatest pieces of music ever composed (even though I did not know who or what I was listening to at the time).

...Thankful to my parents for taking us to church and making me sing in my father's church choir. I got to see my father in his element, and not just as the strict father but also as the strict and talented choir director. He could take a group of normal, everyday people who were doctors, teachers, housewives, dry cleaning business owners, senior citizens, college students, etc., who were not trained musicians by profession but just had a love for music; and he would be able to create really beautiful music of high caliber with us.

...Thankful to my parents for making us go to all their Korean Oratorio Society of Chicago concerts that my father conducted and where my mom sang every Christmas at church over the years. I got to listen to beautiful music like the Handel’s Messiah and see my parents share their love for music with the Chicago Korean community.

I may not have been able to study or major in music and voice in school (my parents meant well. I know they just wanted me to have a better life than they did), and while I can't lie and say it wasn't heartbreaking and extremely painful not being able to and not having the support to pursue my dream to sing professionally for so long; I must say that I owe my childhood of being exposed to beautiful music to my parents. Because I grew up in a house surrounded by music and was able to listen to classical music growing up, I was able to absorb music.

So thank you my parents for being my first music teachers. That exposure to music you gave me will always be a part of me and still helps me to this day.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shout out: Shear Catastrophe Leads to Shear Talent!

Some of you may have already heard by now about the worst haircut experience I have ever had at a salon, so I will apologize in advance if this post is somewhat of a repeat. Now, I will admit that I don't go to the salon all that often compared to the average person since I tend to go about only a couple of times a year. I know, not very healthy for my hair. I need to do better in that area, but I admit it is hard for me to allow myself to get regular trims since I am pretty frugal. Hey, I used to even cut my own hair! :)

But I just wanted to share this experience with you guys to show you how sometimes you may have to go through a not so good experience to lead you to a better one; and I also wanted to share this story because it is important for me to say thank you and acknowledge people, businesses, or even products whenever they make a difference in my day!

So here's my shout out for today:

A couple of weeks ago, I got the worst haircut I have ever gotten at a salon that I can remember. In the past, even if I didn't get the best haircut, I would usually just say "oh well" & I would just work with it until my hair grew back. But for the first time ever, this was something I really could not work with at all; and it was the first time that I was so desperate to find another stylist so immediately after a haircut to try to fix that haircut somehow asap. (I couldn't get myself to tell the guy who cut my hair how unhappy I was because he seemed really sweet & he was really proud of the haircut he gave me, so I didn't want to hurt his feelings & tell him how horrible it really was so I just said thank you & tipped him 20% instead of a normal 15% because I felt so sorry for him.)

But you know you got a bad haircut when even your husband who is not picky about haircuts looks at you and his face is saying, "!?#@&?!"!

I desperately did a search on the internet for the best hair stylists in the area. I came across some very nice customer reviews for a salon called Shear Talent. I called and thankfully, they were able to fit me in that day!

Jennifer, the saving stylist who was nice enough to fit me in at Shear Talent, described my hair exactly right. The first thing she said when she saw my hair after I took out the hairband I was using to try to cover my horrible haircut was, "OMG! He gave her China bangs!"

Yup, that was it! I was trying to figure out what the horrible haircut he gave me reminded me of & it was exactly that  - CHINA BANGS!!! But it wasn't just that he gave me China bangs but that he gave me the most horrible, dreadful, choppy, butchered, unblended China bangs (keep in mind, I have NEVER had China bangs in my life, and I NEVER said I wanted to have China bangs. NONE of the pictures I showed him of the style/cut I wanted before he started cutting had China bangs. Plus, I have naturally wavy hair, so call me crazy, but I don't think China bangs work very well with naturally wavy hair. Besides, I know I told the poor guy...I'm KOREAN!!! :) yes, I can joke about it now even though it wasn't too funny at the time & still isn't whenever I look at my hair in the mirror. sniff sniff :))

While I knew there was nothing that even awesome Jennifer could do about the horribly, hopeless China bangs, awesome Jennifer in all her awesomeness was still somehow able to cut my hair in a way that made the worst haircut into something I could work with enough until my hair grows out.

Obviously, I can't wait until my hair grows out, but it is nice to know I won't feel like crying as much every time I look in the mirror while I am waiting for my hair to grow out!

I wish I knew about Shear Talent before, but at least I'm glad I know about them now. And I'll just take this whole experience as a blessing since it eventually led me to Shear Talent and the great group of girls that work there! (Besides, I know there are a lot of other things worse to go through in life than a horrible haircut so I just try to keep things in perspective.)

I would be happy to go to Shear Talent again! Thank you Shear Talent & thank you Jennifer C., the owner/stylist, for making a nervous, new customer feel extremely welcome and at ease, & thank you Jennifer E., the awesome stylist who recut my hair, for being so nice fitting me in on such short notice and for helping me feel better than I did when I came in!

So, a shout out to Shear Talent because that is exactly what they are! Thank you Ladies at Shear Talent! Hope to see you again sometime!

Shear Talent is located at 1155 Commerce Suite H, Las Cruces, NM 88011 (575) 532-5555.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What IS that?!!

A couple of weeks ago, I saw what I thought looked like THE BIGGEST & strangest looking spider I had ever seen, but it didn't look like any of the spiders I had seen before back in the midwest & with all the strange new creatures I am finding out here, I wasn't exactly sure if what I saw was actually some kind of spider or some other kind of new creature. But it looked really weird. It was so strange looking that I found myself talking to it & asking it, "What the heck are you?" It never answered.

But it walked like a spider, had legs that looked like a spider's legs & I swear it had THE LONGEST legs I had ever seen on a spider - at least on the ones I've seen in Chicago anyway. The legs on this were REALLY long & thick. They looked like thick, long black wires & the body was HUGE!!! It wasn't fuzzy so I didn't think it was a tarantula.

I found out today that what I saw was a black widow. I had never seen a black widow in real life before - only in pictures. And I never knew a black widow could be THAT HUGE!!! I could swear the body was as big as my fist (I may have small hands, but I have never seen a spider with a body as big as my fist before!)

I never thought I would ever say this, but ....I really miss the small, boring spiders in Chicago! 

Yup, I now have a new appreciation for the small Chicago spiders! :) 

Another new discovery in a new place.