Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 5.

Day 5: A favorite quote.

Okay, I really have about ten zillion million favorite quotes, but for the purposes of this post I'll go with one that has a been a top favorite of mine for a long time.

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." - Galadriel, The Fellowship of the Ring

Some people like to make fun of me about this (let's just say that I'm a bit lacking in the height department...), but that is NOT the reason it's one of my favorite quotes. I like it so much because I really believe that it's true...when you think about the way everything you do is going to have an impact right until the end of the world, it's absolutely amazing. And that is the way the world is changed - by the things that all the ordinary people do, and if they do enough of them they become extraordinary and so does the world. That is an incredibly inspiring thought.

* * *

Lately I've been re-exploring my love of classical music. That was about all we listened to when I was growing up, so for a while I was sick of it and took a break, but in the past few years I've been rediscovering it and realizing that so much of it is so interesting and beautiful. I'll really never understand why so many people dismiss all classical music as being "boring". Sure, some songs can be pretty mind-numbingly dull, but the same goes for some songs from every genre. I got these boxed sets of CDs of classical music from the library a couple of weeks ago (actually...they're overdue...) and I've been enjoying them a lot, especially the ballet music CD. Yes, I am one of those geeks who will be at ballet class and hear a song and go, "Oh, that's "Masks" from Romeo and Juliet! I love that song!" But Prokofiev's score for Romeo and Juliet is so beautiful...I love the first few seconds of the Introduction, and the Dance of the Knights.

I'm also one of those odd people who loves classical music and also enjoys rap now and again. Really, country is the only kind of music I cannot stand (and I actually do like a lot of Lady Antebellum's music).

To sum it up...

I <3 music!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 4.

Day 4: A favorite TV show.

I actually really don't watch TV (I don't follow any shows since we don't have a converter box thingy on the downstairs TV, and therefore the only times I watch shows are when I get them from the library, which is pretty seldom), so this is actually almost the only show I ever watch. But I love it. :D

We're waiting for Season 8 to come from the library...the last season. Nooooooo...

* * *

This is really random, but I love how, when you leave a comment on a blog, it says "Choose your indentity". It makes me feel like I'm Jason Bourne or something...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 3.

Day 3: A favorite book.

This is one of my absolute favorite books, and unfortunately it's also the only good book Philip Pullman ever wrote, IMO. The other two books in the trilogy are just junk and I've heard so many bad things about "His Dark Materials" that I don't plan to read them. But this...this book is amazing!

I loved the story, really enjoyed the writing style, found the characters likeable and believable, and the fact that a book is set in England will almost always endear it to me. So if you like books that are exciting, interesting, fast-paced, and have a certain British/steampunk-y flavor to them, I think you would like it!

I will never forgive him for ruining everyone in the subsequent books, however...

* * *

I had two cups of full-strength coffee this morning. I CANNOT HOLD MY CAFFEINE. Drinking an excess (well, for me two cups is an excess...) of coffee always has an interesting hands shake uncontrollably, I dance instead of walking even more than I usually do, I get lightheaded (so now I can't tell if I'm still having dizziness issues like yesterday!), and I find almost everything humorous in some way or another.

Do any of you frequent Target? I love that store! One of my favorite things in it is the accessory section. :D That is always the very first place my mom, sister, and I stop when we go there. Target has the most AMAZING bags, hats, and scarves. *dies* I actually splurged when we were there on Sunday and bought an awesome white linen fedora for summer.

But one of the best things at Target is the low-cut socks. Oh my goodness...I am completely addicted to buying them. They're only $1, and every single time I go there they have a ton of new patterns! The latest pair I bought are black with yellow, green, pink, coral, purple, and turquoise stripes.

Tres belle? Oui!

Right now I'm very happy...I'm finally able to actually write music! I've been writing song lyrics for years, but a melody always evaded me. Well, that has ended, at long last! I wrote a song about a week ago that had a melody basically already attached to it, I'm working on another one, and there's a third that I've been working on since last fall. I might record one of them the only thing left to do is become good at the piano so I can add an accompaniment!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 2.

And did I rise and meet the challenge of posting every day? Of course not. ;) But, whatever. It'll get done when it gets done! So, here is...

Day 2: A favorite movie.

Oh man...I could go crazy with this, too, and make up ten zillion genres and fill them all with at least two or three movies. But I won't. I'll also pick something other than Lord of the Rings, because I think that everyone knows those are my absolute favorite movies! It will never cease to amaze me that I can watch them absolutely any amount of times and I love them as much as ever. But wait...I WASN'T going to talk about LOTR. ;) However, I will talk about my second favorite movie, which has the added benefit of not being very well-known! And that would be...

I'm not even completely sure what it is about this movie that I love so much. I love the's so inspiring and not quite like any other sports movie. I love the general air of British-ness. I love the characters. I love the music (the theme is one of the best things ever, and I've also fallen in love with "Jerusalem", England's unofficial national anthem that plays at the is EPIC. And listen carefully to the second verse - the name of the movie was taken from a line of the song!). I love the cinematography. I love to run. So I guess I came up with a ton of things I love about it, but there's still something undefinable that makes it amazing and puts it right up there under LOTR in my favorite movies.

"Now there are just two of us...who can close our eyes and remember those few young men with hope in our hearts and wings on our heels." Lord Andrew Lindsay, Chariots of Fire

"I believe that God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure." Eric Liddell, Chariots of Fire

* * *

I cannot wait for summer! I went out to dinner with some friends last night and had a great time making tons of grand plans with one of them for the summer. This summer is going to be absolutely AMAZING. I almost always make big plans for the summer, but I really think that this year they'll be carried out. I can't wait! Today wasn't so great, however...all day I felt extremely dizzy, like I'd just done about ten zillion double pique turns all around a room. Then I started feeling nauseated, it got worse when I laid down, and wasn't too encouraged when my mom looked up "dizziness and nausea" on the internet and informed me that they are symptoms for heart problems, kidney problems, brain tumors, anemia, and basically nothing less serious than food poisoning. Lovely. However, these dizziness issues happened last year too and as far as I know nothing is seriously wrong, so hopefully it's still just mild anemia or something and will just go away! I'm feeling a bit better now, however.

I really need a haircut. I HATE MY HAIR!!! Well, I do at the moment, at least. Erm. Anyways! Just had to throw that out there!

My dad designed the logo for this year's dance recital and it is SWEET. I'll most definitely post a picture of the t-shirt after I get it! And speaking of dance, I don't think that dance studios should have spring break. Actually, I don't think they should have a summer break either (well, maybe for like two weeks...)! We're on spring break right now and I miss it!!! Right now I'd usually be in modern... *sigh* At least we'll be going Thursday afternoon to work on the duet my sister and I are doing for the recital! We're reprising Spanish from our Christmas show, but this time on pointe!

Oh...and I'm SO excited! I now have 60 followers! :D That's amazing! Thank you so much, Polka Dot! Plus, I now have an even number of followers, which also makes me happy. haha But don't let that discourage you from following! ;)

Friday, March 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge, Day 1

I'm actually doing another of these 30 Day Challenges on Facebook (and stuck on Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory. What on earth? I have zillions of favorite memories, and a lot of them were not preserved in a photo! I'll have to get creative...) It would seem they're the latest craze. However, I think I'm going to do this one that I learned of on Mirfain's blog, since I've been itching to post lately and couldn't think of anything to talk about. So here's a whole list of things to talk about!

Day 1: A favorite song.
Day 2: A favorite movie.
Day 3: A favorite book.
Day 4: A favorite television program.
Day 5: A favorite quote.
Day 6: A moment you wish you could relive.
Day 7: Five things you couldn't possibly live without.
Day 8: A photo of something you ate today.
Day 9: A photo you took.
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago.
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently.
Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding(or was played).
Day 13: A guilty pleasure.
Day 14: A vacation you would like to take.
Day 15: Something you've always wanted to do.
Day 16: A song that makes you cry.
Day 17: An art piece.
Day 18: A time when you felt passionate and alive.
Day 19: A talent of yours.
Day 20: A hobby of yours.
Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
Day 22: A website.
Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.
Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love.
Day 25: A recipe.
Day 26: A childhood memory.
Day 27: A physical feature you love.
Day 28: A scar you have and it's story.
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days.
Day 30: A motto or philosophy.

So, without any further delay I shall commence with Day 1: A favorite song!

Thank goodness they just said "A" favorite song...

*goes to YouTube and browses through the nearly 300 songs on her "favorites" list*

You know what, just for the heck of it I am going to do this my way and post favorite songs from several different genres. And where there's one favorite song, there are bound to be about 10 more that could just as easily vie for the place of "favorite", just so you know!

Favorite Classical Piece: Pavane, Op. 50 (Faure)
Song That I Refer to As My General Favorite: Don't Stop Believin' (Journey)
Favorite Piece of Choral Music: Evening Hymn (Gardiner)
Favorite Song from a Musical: Work Song (Les Miserables) (it's the epic opening song), One Day More (Les Mis) (the signature Les Mis song, IMO), I Dreamed a Dream (Les Mis) (one of my favorites of the solos, and one of my favorite songs to sing), On My Own (Les Mis) (my other favorite solo...I think just about anyone could relate to it at some point in their life)
Hmmm, I'm seeing a pattern of Les Mis songs here. I wonder why? haha Okay, here's a few from some other musicals...
Seasons of Love (Rent), Overture (Phantom of the Opera) (AH THE MEMORIES!!!), and I would post Home (Phantom), but all of the recordings of it on YouTube are absolutely terrible, IMO. Well, if you'd like to hear me singing it, click here, but I've sung it better (I should re-record it sometime...)
Favorite Weird Song: Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush) Actually, there are so many that could go in this category...I love weird music!) Okay, here's another :) : Steppe (Rene Aubry)
Favorite Song That's Almost Classical But Not Quite: La Grande Cascade (Rene Aubry)

All right, I could probably keep doing this all day long, but I'll stop. ;) There's a small collection of my favorites!

Monday, March 7, 2011


I was doing schoolwork up in my room this morning and getting distracted by looking around at the walls. I realized that I really, really like my room, so I decided to try taking some pictures of it and slightly editing them with the aid of Picnik, even though I'm certainly far from being a brilliant photographer (actually, truth be told, pretty far from even being a decent one).

So here's what I came up with.

My desk.

The ceiling.

George the Cyclops Catepillar, Martha the Normal Catepillar (their namesakes are the snakes belonging to Hermes in The Sea of Monsters :D), Figbash the Owl, and Noel the Penguin.

A collagey paper from Michael's, my lovely calendar...I LOVE Japanese artwork...and a beautiful card that my sister made for my birthday a few years ago.

Note the beautiful dancers cutouts hanging from the ceiling, also made by my awesome sister. :D

Just a few of my favorite guys. haha

My dresser.

My picture of Julie Kent, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theater, that she autographed for me when I met her a few years ago, and one of the roses my voice teacher gave me after POTO.


So now I'm thinking about applying for another job in addition to the one I already have. I really hate applying for jobs, mostly because figuring out schedules is always such a huge hassle. *headdesk* However, I kinda need the money, so we shall see.

And I never know what to say when they ask how much I want to be paid. O.o

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There was a man named Jean Valjean...

We just finished watching the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert on PBS. It. was. AMAZING. My dad had told us there was going to be a special about Les Mis on tonight and I was expecting the usual hour-long documentary. But when we turned it on and I saw the stage and heard the first notes of "Look Down", I started literally dancing with was going to be the entire show! I've been wanting to see it again since we saw it when I was 11. So yes, it was amazing!!! The concert format was a bit odd (for the most part, they were all singing to the audience in front of microphones instead of to one another), but even though it was different it actually worked quite well, and everyone was wonderful. I was actually quite impressed by Nick Jonas's performance...I cannot stand the Jonas Brothers' music, but I thought he did a fantastic job as Marius (I really think he should just stick with Broadway!). Perhaps he sounded a bit young and undeveloped, but I actually thought it was nice that Cosette and Marius both seemed about the age they were supposed to be.

One of the best parts came at the very, very end, after you'd suffered through about 20 minutes of the lady who, in my dad's words, had certainly had her coffee that morning, excitedly exclaiming, "Did you know that it took Victor Hugo 16 years to write Les Mis? Well, it doesn't need to take you 16 years to call and pledge your money! Call now!" and "One more day...well, it doesn't have to take you one more day! Call now!" until you want to throw something at the TV screen. *cough* Anyways. The original cast was there! The four original Jean Valjeans sang "Bring Him Home" as a quartet, joined at the end by tonight's Valjean, and then everyone sang "One More Day". That was amazing. I can only imagine the emotions that were flooding everyone, to be back on stage singing this incredible music from this incredible musical 25 years later. One of the best parts was when Michael Ball (the original Marius) sang, "My place is here...I stand with you!", and this huge smile lit up his face as he gestured expansively to the stage and the cast. That was just completely awesome!

So...I'm on a Les Mis high right now. :) That is my favorite musical! Someday, somewhere, I will perform in it.

On a slightly different note, I've been reading some of my favorite books lately! My mom bought four Agatha Christie novels from the library booksale last week, and I hadn't read any of them. I love her books! They're almost pure suspense, her descriptions of people are brilliant, some parts are absolutely hilarious, and in the end, even if it seemed that the crime was going to have some mediocre resolution, there is always some fascinating, often heart-rending story behind it. That's one thing that sets Dame Christie's books apart from other mystery novels...she always deeply explores the underlying reasons that murders are committed, and they are many and interesting.

And then my other favorites...I have discovered that I LOVE the Percy Jackson books! I saw the movie a few months ago and greatly enjoyed it, and then I read the first book and enjoyed it even more! I just finished book two last night, and I'm so glad there are four more! I really love the way Greek mythology is adapted to modern times, it's so much fun to figure out what mythological people or creatures they're running into (especially since I love Greek mythology), and the books are well-written, very well paced, and often completely hilarious! I must admit it...if something or someone makes me laugh, I'm bound to love it. haha

"Rats are delicious." The Sea of Monsters

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A paean to the arts.

paean -noun: any song of praise, joy, or triumph

I haven't been posting on here much lately. For a while I was just too busy with POTO, but now I have way more time than I know what to do with and just nothing to say. (Except for: I MISS PHANTOM!!! It's been nearly two weeks since it ended, but there is still a hole in my life. *sigh*) So many things have been changing lately, mostly my plans for the future. Being a part of Phantom of the Opera really made up my mind on something that has always been floating in the back of my psyche. I decided that the performing arts is really something I want to be a part of for the long term. I haven't decided yet on the specifics, but it will be something related to music and dance and the theater! The more I think about it, I realize that the performing arts have really always been a part of me. When I was very young - about five - I sang constantly and fearlessly and would give concerts for my family. When I was a little bit older - around nine or ten - my sister and I would spend hours rehearsing interpretive dances to music such as Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" and then give performances for our parents. A few years later, my friends and I staged several plays together. During high school, I've spent countless hours in class, rehearsal, and onstage in ballets. And throughout the years, I've never stopped singing. Seeing performances inspired me from an early age as well. When I was about six years old, my family was at a high school for a craft show, and my dad and I decided to take a walk around the hallways. In our wanderings, we came across a rehearsal of "The Miracle Worker" in the auditorium and watched for a while from the back. I can remember thinking, "Wow. That looks amazing. I am going to do that someday!" And of course there was that wonderful, magical two hours in the February of 2005 when a wide-eyed 11-year-old saw "Les Miserables", was awestruck to the point of completely losing her voice, and wrote in her journal that night, "I think I have found my calling." I've never forgotten that night, and I've never lost what it inspired. My love for the performing arts has waxed and waned over the years, but lately it's been growing stronger and stronger. There are so many things that I love about it.

I love telling stories. That's why I also love writing, but writing is such a solitary pursuit. I could never stop writing, but when you tell a story through the performing arts, you're using your whole body to tell it directly to the audience. It has the potential to be so...powerful.

I love music. That's actually way too calm of a statement to accurately describe how I feel about it. Music is incredible. Nothing else holds such sway over the emotions, can so deeply inspire one to thoughts of beauty or thoughts of despair, can so subtly but effectively build one up or tear one down. And to feel like you are a part of beautiful music, to feel one with it, is one of the best feelings in the world.

One of the ways I feel this is through singing. All my life, I've been singing, and slowly but surely, my voice is becoming stronger and better. In the past few months it's actually become mine...not this voice that will sometimes do what I want it to but more often sounds pathetically weak, but a reliable instrument that I hope holds promise. I try! Here is an example of what I've achieved so far.

The other way I feel it most strongly is through dance. When you dance, you become the music becomes a part of you and you become a part of it. And with this comes such a feeling of being alive.

That's another thing I love about the performing arts. Whether I'm dancing, or singing, or doing anything on stage, or just messing around the piano, I feel alive. It's such a hard thing to describe...that quickening of the pulse, that rush of adrenaline, that feeling that this is what you are meant to do, that electric current that connects you to the audience.

Ah, the audience! Audiences are seriously one of my favorite parts of performing. The knowledge that you are bringing joy to people, making them laugh and cry and thrill and feel, that you have given them a wonderful memory that will remain with them, that you have brought beauty into our torn and troubled world, makes me feel so happy and grateful and blessed. There is almost nothing in this world that makes me happier than hearing how much someone enjoyed a performance I was a part of.

And while we're on the topic of people, I absolutely love theater and music people. They are some of the nicest, most creative, most talented, most interesting, most alive people you are ever going to meet. And most of them love giving hugs! :)

I really think that musicians and dancers and actors and all other performers have a unique calling - to bring beauty and truth to the world. Beauty can be found in so many places and ways. Truth speaks directly to our souls. "This world is so full of ugliness, but all of you have brough so much joy and beauty to so many people in the past few days," the cast of POTO was told by a very wise man. It remembered me so much of a quote I've loved for years, ever since I read it in the book White Stallion of Lipizza by Marguerite Henry when I was about eight years old. Colonel Podhajsky was speaking of the Lippazaners and the Spanish Court Riding School, but his words could apply every bit as well to anyone who has dedicated their life to any of the arts. "Our Reitschule is a tiny candle in the big world. Our duty, our privilege is to keep it burning. Surely, if we can send out one beam of splendor, of glory, of elegance into this torn and troubled world...that would be worth a man's lifetime, no?" ♥

So yes. I believe that it is in the arts that my future lies. I'm not yet sure of the specifics, but I'm sure it will all be revealed in due time! In the past year, so many people have told me "Oh, you must stay in the arts!" after seeing me in various shows, and to them I would like to say thank you so, SO much. You've given me hope that I do indeed have a chance! :) However, this is of course means that my college plans have changed. Christendom is an absolutely wonderful place and I wish with all my heart that I had several lives to live so I could use one to fully immerse myself there, but as things stand now it probably does not lie in my future. I'm just not going to say anything definite about college at this point though, because at this point nothing is definite, and in any event I won't be going anywhere this coming fall. What will be happening in my life this coming fall still hasn't been decided absolutely for certain (I'd say I'm about 97% sure of what I'll be doing), but I want to wait a while before I reveal what exactly that is. :) And FYI: I changed up the sidebar a bit. All of the pictures now lead somewhere. :) EDIT: Whoohoo, this is so much fun! I'll definitely be adding more pictures...keep your eyes open...