Wednesday, March 30, 2011

[eight] Come Back.

This was supposed to be a thank you letter, but I changed it for my own purposes.  I wrote this last night while I was in a rather melancholy and reflective mood.  A hard mood to explain, but mostly, I just felt like Winnie the Pooh, as shall be explained in my letter/poem.  It isn't to anyone in particular...I had about five different people in mind as I wrote it, and all my thoughts about different things came out in different places...thoughts about change and friendships and such.  Tell me what you think, hmm?

-8: a letter to someone who has changed your life-


come back.

hi.
that is (or that is,) a very small hi.
a hi that says a lot more than just “hi.”
it says:
i miss you.
why has it been so long?
why do you not talk to me?
do you not want to see me?
are you trying to avoid me?
i fear that i’m not as important to you
as you are to me.
because you are.
extremely.
but i don’t want to feel that you’re slipping off
into another phase of life.
what happened to all the things we had in common?
i feel like they are gone.
i feel like i don’t know you anymore,
and what’s worse—
i’m not sure you care to know me.
but i love you.
extremely.
in massive proportions.
and i want to be with you
instead of watching you take a different path,
a path away from me.
do you tell someone else your secrets now?
do i still hold your heart?
or have you forgotten me all that easily?
am i left standing here on the road,
dust stinging my eyes as you drive away?
come back!
please come back to me!
this hurts so deeply
and i’m not even sure what or why.
all i can say is:
don’t leave me here
to pick up the shattered pieces of my heart alone.
without you.
i don’t want to lose you.
not in this way.
not now.
and yet each day it seems more and more inevitable.
and i’m stuck here,
felling like winnie the pooh—
“think think, think think”
“oh bother”—
only pooh has no piglet to give him a hug right now
and whisper:
“it’s alright.”
should i give it up?
give you up?
but i can’t,
even though i feel as if i’m no longer important,
like someone else has taken my place,
like it’s been too long
and we’ve grown too distant to start again.
there’s a teasing wind that blows,
whispering your name in my ear,
taunting me,
trying to make me believe that it is—
that you are—
a lost cause.
i dislike this.
extremely.
it makes me melancholy and contemplative,
but i don’t even know the reason.
maybe i’m wrong.
won’t you tell me i’m wrong?
that you do care and i’m a silly doubter?
that i’m important and loved too?
that’s all i want.
and maybe it’s true.
but right now,
on this confusing, dark, deep, thoughtful night,
i feel lonely.
i feel alone.
without you.
please come give me a hug
and tell me it’ll all be okay after all?
because tonight,
i doubt, i wonder,
and i just want you back here,
with me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

[six] Memories and [seven] Necessities

-6: a moment you wish you could relive-

Hmmm...this is a tough one.  There are plenty of exciting times I'd like to go back to, such as the wonderful minute I found out I'd made a part in the play I'd auditioned for.  But as I thought about it, there came to mind a memory of a moment with my sister Cassie that was nothing big or loud.  It was just sweet.

Two years ago my whole family had been vacationing at the Outer Banks, North Carolina, literally a five minutes' walk from the beach.  I love the beach--not just for the sake of it being the stereotypical beach--but I just love water and the sound and smell of it.  Even though it rained practically the whole trip, it was still awesome.  Anyway, Cassie had left something out on the beach while we were hanging out there earlier in the day, and we had to go retrieve it.  It was dark and clear, and since we were just a couple minutes away, Cassie and I decided to walk down there ourselves.

It was a gorgeous night.  Just to stand there in the darkness with the sand under my feet and to hear the waves crashing up on the beach was beautiful.  And besides that, I'm pretty sure there wasn't a cloud in sight (remarkable for the amount of rain we got during the trip) and the stars were glorious.  We were away from the lights, and it was just us, the stars, and the ocean.  Cass and I only stayed out there for a couple minutes because my parents wanted us back.  We were looking for a few constellations (and I was failing--nearsighted as I am and without my glasses) and we spotted three or so shooting stars.  It was just a lovely evening and a lovely few minutes spent with my lovely sister whom I love so very much.


-7: five things you couldn't possibly live without-

one: laughter
with my friends and family

Rather crummy picture of me, but I love it all the same :)

two: paper
notebooks, stationery, doodling paper, etc...



three: books and music
two-in-one because lots of people would say this, but it's utterly true for me



four: the ability to capture beauty
in words or with my camera--the ability to express


This next one I'm entering in Project 64's prompt for scarlet:

Cassie says I must credit her shoes :)

five: my Jesus
yeah <3

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Glorious Mis-ery

Saturday was an epic, epic day.  First off, I surprised one of my very best friends by meeting her for lunch with some other friends as a surprise for her sweet 16th birthday.  It was such fun, and afterward we all walked around to all the little antique shops downtown.  And then...and then...yes, you know what's coming....Saturday night was seeing Les Misérables on Broadway!!!

Gaah, so before I get ahead of myself--I went with my sister Cassie, and two friends, Ashley and Emily.  The four of us went to the Broadway musical Wicked when it was here last year, and we're planning on making it a tradition.  Plus, it helps that Ashley and Emily are two more Les-Mis-lovers [book and music!], so I'm not alone in my obsessing.  Har har.  Annnywaayy, Cass and I headed over to Ash and Em's house where we looked up youtube videos of (can you guess?) Les Mis songs, ate pizza, and talked about how excited we were.  Then we got all dressed up and ready to go to the theatre downtown.  Eepers!



Upon getting there, we all about exploded from excitement, as is proven by several crazy videos taken outside and inside the theatre.  Sidetrack:  I love "my" theatre.  It's gorgeous.  For the city itself being nothing very special or beautiful in and of itself, its theatre is absolutely lovely, and I adore it.  It's one of my favorite places in the world, and I so wish I could explore every part of it.

Cassie and I had to separate from Ashley and Emily since our seats weren't together.  Of course, we had the nosebleed seats because I'm far from rich (ha.) but honestly, there's not a bad seat in the theatre, and we brought binoculars so that we could see faces close-up.  The tickets for Les Mis sold out here so quickly that Cass and I didn't even get seats together, but we were one right in front of the other, and on the outside of the row, which was nice.  I was behind, so I kept reaching forward and squeezing Cassie's shoulder when I was excited.  ;)

Another sidetrack: I had teased Cassie before the show that since I wouldn't have her hand to squeeze when I was excited, I was going to sit next to a good-looking guy and do the same to him.  Cassie's response: "Yeah, but all the cute guys come with cute girls."  So, we got to our seats in the theatre, and soon afterwards, the usher came up to my row showed a couple people to their seats right next to me...aaand there was a good-looking guy [if I do say so myself] who came with his grandparents [cue "awwww"ing] and he sat down next to me!  Cassie gave me an "ooh la la!" look, and we both started laughing.  Of course, when his grandma came to get her seat, they ended up switching.  Bah.  But it was funny all the same.

SO.  The lights went down.  The music started.  I squeezed Cassie's shoulder, held my breath, and felt like the intermission came within 5 minutes.  And I was, as expected, in love.  Oh, to be able to sing like that.  I know practically the whole musical word for word, so after hearing the music and watching the concerts, I wasn't quite sure what to expect by way of the actual play.  But the sets were awesome--nothing over-the-top extravagant, but just perfect.  And then having all the acting going into the singing was so cool, because I had only ever heard/seen it sung...not the actually moving around the stage while it was all going on.  It was so amazing.

Cassie and I found Ash and Em at intermission, gushed over its amazingness, and then flew back to our seats when the lights went down--just in time.  =/  If the first act was 5 minutes, then the second act was only 2...it just whirled by in splendor and I couldn't believe I'd been there for 3 hours.  And in the second act--I cried.  Yeah yeah, with my glasses on (I'm super nearsighted), binoculars up to my eyes, and make-up running.  I shan't ruin the story/bore people by telling you what parts I cried at, but every death was so sad, dramatic, and powerful.  I cried at parts I wasn't expecting to because I figured I'd already heard the song, but then seeing it acted out was so beautiful.  I cried out of happiness because I love Jean Valjean so much.  I cried because I kept thinking back to the brilliance of the words in the book.  I cried because it was the most amazing thing ever and it really touches on the misery and yet the hope in human existence.

Afterward, Cassie, Ashley, Emily, and I were one big puddle of crying and laughing and happiness and sadness that it was over.  After the performance, the girl who played Eponine (who 1. is gorgeous and 2. has a gorgeous voice--proof that life isn't fair) was out in the lobby, and we got to talk to her.

I loved our cast.  Maybe you're thinking "who cares?" [and I have gotten that reaction on some of my Les Mis posts...but that's ok...I'm writing to make myself happy too, because if I'm not happy with what I'm writing, I may as well not be writing at all], but this is our cast in all their amazingness...at least the main characters.  Seriously, Jean Valjean was great, but I couldn't find a decent picture of him...plus he had grey hair most of the play.  Okay, goodness knows I'm anything but racist, but when Cass and I looked up our cast, we thought our Jean Valjean was going to be black, and that was disappointing.  He just...isn't a black character to me, and as Ashley pointed out, the slave trade hadn't even been abolished yet.  But, we got the understudy or whatever, so he ended up being white.  And I feel kinda weird saying it, but I'm ever so glad.  Though our Eponine was black, and that didn't bother me a bit.  Our Marius was (*cough*adorable*cough*) the best I've ever heard in his role.  And Javert was EPIC.  There are no other words--of all the incredible people that I loved in our performance, he was the one that just fit his character so perfectly.  And for those of you who don't know who Enjolras is (because you haven't read the book and his name is not said in the musical), he's the leader of the student revolutionaries.

We hopped in the car and talked and sang all the way home.  We then proceeded to get very little sleep because we stayed up uber late to watch the movie version of Les Mis with Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean and Geoffrey Rush as Javert.  Just so you know, I am one to get verrryyy upset if movies mess up books.  But this movie, even though they couldn't have everything, and even though some things were changed, I really liked it.  Geoffrey Rush was the most awesome Javert ever--so stoic, but he acted with his intense eyes.  And of course I love Liam Neeson.  :)  Em and I kept singing lines of the musical during the corresponding parts in the movie.

Ah ahh!  Altogether, it was a glorious, glorious evening that shall never be forgotten.  At first I thought, "I've finished the book (my life's purpose for the past month), and now the musical is over (my life's anticipation for the past month).  What do I have to live for?  My life is over!"  Buuut that is thankfully not the case, as I have been reminded.  ;P  I am so sad it's actually over though, and the wonderful memories of it shall last a long time.  Oh how I love Les Misérables!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

da story: part two

I saw a friend Saturday and she told me that she was being held in too much suspense and that I needed to post the second half of my story.  The first half is here, and honestly, you don't want to read the second half without reading the first.  Even though I kinda [but only kinda] like the second part better, the first sets it up . . . and . . . yeah.  Just, go read it first if you haven't, k?

Random note: I was never sure how I wanted this second half to go; I only knew where I wanted to end up, but the road there was still a mystery to me.  So I just started writing, seeing if I would get there eventually, planning on taking the most direct route.  Oh no, "she" said, stamping her foot with something between a frown and a grin.  Right now I am having a flash-back, and you will tell everyone about it.  So what was I to do?  Sure, I wasn't planning on taking a detour, but in the end, I do believe "she" was right and I'm glad she spoke up to tell me about herself.  Thus, I wrote in what I was told, and a flash-back was born.

~~~

It was early morning when it happened.  She had been in a hurry—even in his absence life kept her busy.  And in a way, that was good, because it helped her to forget.  Not to forget him, for those words “remember me” would forever haunt her soul—but forget to think.  To wonder, to doubt, to worry, to cry, to ache.  She had gone away early, barely paying mind to that beautiful tick, tick, tick that surrounded and created her sole existence.  There were things to accomplish, as there always were.  There were things that took her mind off her sadness so that she didn’t have to carry it with her always.
The post office was nearly deserted when she went in to pick up her mail.  She was handed just one piece of paper.  One telegram.  One piece of slightly yellowed paper, but to her, it could have weighed as much as a train.  She clamped her fingers around it—her icy fingers that this one piece of paper now scorched.  She clutched it, turned slowly—mechanically—and walked out.
She stumbled home without once looking at the telegram.  She had seen the stamp on the outside; that was enough.  She was blind to the world around her.  Her jaw was set in agitated emotion and her eyes burned with tears that would not come.  She would not accept this.  She refused.  Her mind wandered; even she knew not where.  And still she staggered on, toward the house, her room, his desk, and that little device that alone could bring her comfort.

The summer before he left had been a happy one.  They had been together, after all.  They had celebrated life in their own quiet but nonetheless rejoicing way.  They had worked and they had loved.
Dusk fell upon the world like a dark velvet sheet.  She slipped through the screen door, barefoot, and sat next to him on the swing.  Her tea steamed in magical swirls around her face and he put his arm around her shoulder.  She watched him as he stared out into the growing twilight.  She knew that he was dreaming, planning, scheming.  That he was thinking about their future—together.
He turned suddenly and smiled at her, winking in that way that only he could.  She laid her head on his shoulder and they both watched the world fall asleep.  It was enough to be silent, as long as they were silent together.
That was the last truly happy time she could remember.  The next morning came that dreaded piece of paper that called him away, that tore him from her side.  A piece of paper changed their lives.

And so it was again.  A single sheet of paper gripped her once secure little world and shook it to pieces.  Yes, yes.  She remembered those days, the times she had laughed and been light and free.  Why was that so vague now?  She trembled and shook her head.  She refused to let this be.  She refused to let this thought prevail.
She faltered as she walked up the stairs to her room to find that little machine that gave her a lasting memory of him.  She pushed open the door; it squeaked on its hinges as it gave way.  Sitting slowly on the bed, she groped on the desk for the watch, gripping it as tightly with her fingers as with her heartstrings.  Hesitant, she held it up to her ear.
She knew it then.
There was no noise.  There was no familiar tick, tick, tick.  There was no sound to fill up the emptiness of the room.  The emptiness of her soul.  There was nothing but silence.  Everlasting, permanent silence.  The watch had died.
She took it from her ear and gazed blankly from the watch to the telegram.  That evil messenger with its tidy stamp and seal.  The tears began to flow, but they were stifled with pain.  Nothing was tidy about this.  Everything was a terrible mistake, a bad dream, a horrendous mess.  That watch had been the only thing to console her.  Now it was gone.
And so was he.

~~~

And there you have it, my friends.  Feedback [sweet, constructive feedback] is encouraged . . . in fact, I'd rather love it.  Gahh, why is my story so depressing?  It makes even me sad.  ;P

::the inspiration::

P.S. -- the post about seeing Les Mis [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] will be coming soon, never fear.

Friday, March 18, 2011

ohmydearsweetgoodness.

Dear friends, today is a good, good day.  First of all, this was the last day of a week of tests, and I am more than happy to put that behind me.  Long live spring break!  Also, I am now back on facebook after taking a month off.  Petty of me really, but I was beginning to feel cut off from the world.  =P  Why was I taking a month off facebook?  To finish reading my book--namely, Les Mis--by the time I saw the musical.  I figured out about a month ago that in order to finish it on time, I'd have to read about 33 pages a day.  Obviously, that didn't always happen, but I found it easy to read 100 pages on some days when I was in an intense part.  And guess what?

I finished the book!!!!!  <--you have no idea how happy and sad this makes me.  Happy, because it was wonderful, and I've reached my goal, and now I can see the musical without ruining it for myself; and sad, because now...it's over.  Such an amazing book there never was.  GAHH I could go on forever, but I'll refrain.  I think a new life goal of mine is to learn enough French to be able to read it in the original language.  ;)  Anyway, I finished it with three days, eighteen hours, and fifty-one minutes to spare--or in other words, at 1:09 Wednesday morning.  And everyone...

I'm seeing Les Misérables on Broadway tomorrow!

*hyperventilates rapidly* [actually, 1. that's really repetitive because the very definition of hyperventilating is to breathe rapidly so that's like saying "breathes rapidly rapidly" and 2. I've discovered that hyperventilating actually makes me more nervous/excited/jumpy....but you get the point.]

I just know I'm going to get to the theatre and have to pinch myself.  I'm going to pass out from sheer happiness and anticipation.  I've always loved going to musicals, but I don't think I've ever been as crazy excited for one as I am now.  And it's all due to the book...that amazing piece of writing that I now adore.

Monday night I had an emotional break down reading the book.  It had made me tear up before, but this time I cried like a baby.  And it wasn't over anything in particular...just, love for the main character, Jean Valjean, and compassion and admiration and my heart just going out to him.  I always liked Jean Valjean, but it hasn't been until these past few weeks that I actually fell in love with him (not in a weird way...since he's like...between 40 and 80 during the book's timespan).  He's just so good and doesn't get much credit for it.  Tuesday morning I started talking to my mom about the part in the book I had cried over, and started crying all over again, my mom with me, and my two little sisters looking at us like we were crazy.  But then--oh gosh.  Tuesday night...or super early Wednesday morning rather, I sat on the floor, bent over my beloved book, and sobbed over the full last 20 or so pages.  It wasn't only sad; it was actually happy crying too.  But it was--ahh!  SO GOOD.

Now.  Take all the incredible-ness of this story and add music to it, and my life is made.  Okay.  Okay okay okay.  I don't care if you don't listen to this, but if you do, then I can have the consolation of pouring a little dose of awesome into your life.  This is one of the best songs in the whole musical.  And though I'll refrain from telling you everything that's going on in it, believe me, if you know, it's just that much better.  All I'll say by way of explanation is that there's going to be a revolution and they're all deciding what paths to take.  Powerful and gorgeous.  I wish I could sing like this.  The only bad part of this video is Nick Jonas.  Bleehhh.  I mean, he's good for a Jonas brother, but not for Les Mis.



I must now emphasize that my band instructor is the bomb.  He's a total Les Mis fan...seen the musical several times, and we rarely talk about anything else anymore.  He would always go on and on and ooonn about it before I finished the book, and even while I tried to shut him up about his favorite songs, it was a blast.  He let me borrow his Les Mis soundtrack too.  'Tis grand.

I love books.  I love music.  Les Mis is both.  What can I say?  How can I resist?

 -this is actually my Les Mis book-

-unfortunately, I don't have the Les Mis sheet music...*SNAP*  I just realized I DO!  k, but this isn't it.  wanna guess what this is though?-

And...just because...I had to, okay?  All three of these people have amazing voices, and are amazing actors besides.

Alfie as Jean Valjean.  Why?  Well, besides the fact that he has an epic voice and some intense facial expressions when acting out his part, he also has [and really truly, I'm not tryin' to be creepy here] one of the most adorable smiles ever, and an awesome accent.
Ramin as Enjolras.  Why?  Uhmm, if you're asking this question then you obviously didn't watch the video above.  He puts such passion into his role, and his voice--ahhh!  Can anyone deny the extreeeeme talent?
Robert as Gavroche.  Why?  I'm guessing this kid is about 11, and he's the cutest thing in the world.  He sings, and he acts the perfect poor but happy-go-lucky rascal.  Plus, this was one of my favorite characters from the book, so I automatically love him.

If you feel like saying a prayer for me that I don't pass out from excitement before I actually get to see the show, that'd be great.  ;]  And don't worry, you'll be sure to hear more of this after I see it.  I'm pretty sure that after Saturday night, my life will be over and I'll have nothing more to live for.  Have you ever finished a book or something and felt like that?  *sigh*  It's happened to me often, but it actually hadn't for awhile.

Until now.  *claps in giddy anticipation*  And in the words of one of the musical's most epic songs (which you'd recognize if you listened to the video above...hehe):

One more dawn,
One more day,
One day more!

Monday, March 14, 2011

[four] I Love Lucy and [five] Quotes


I'm late...again.  Studying is my excuse, but I'm now done with my finals, thank goodness!  I'm doing two of these today, because the next time it's scheduled for Friday, and I know I'll have something much more exciting to talk about then.  ;)

-4: a favorite television program-


I love Lucy.  Hands down.  I don't watch a lot of television, mostly because now-a-days TV shows are crummy and just plain dumb.  But I love the humor of this show...I've seen a good deal of the episodes if not most, and they always make me laugh.  Yay for black and white television!

-5: a favorite quote-

Ahh, there are way too many.  Here's just a few...I have lots of others.

come spring!!  flowers!  ;P


"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?" ~Jane Austen

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."  ~C.S. Lewis, aka Mr. Quote Machine
I'm a quote collector.  Any favorites out there?  I'd love to add them to mine.  :)

ps--sorry if the fonts and formatting are weird in this post...blogger wasn't agreeing with me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Writing and Watches

Well well well.

I hesitate to do this, but I'm going to anyway.  I said awhile ago that I was working on a short story.  It's done now.  It's not at all long--less than three pages--but it has to be that way.  I don't explain much in it--I just show--because that is also how it has to be.  This story just...came to me and begged to be put on paper, and it wouldn't let me refuse.

Mind you, I don't normally write like this.  At all.  This is new and different and rather strange to me.  But it's what the story required.  It's divided into two parts, and I debated whether or not to post both at once, but for now you're just getting the first section.  The second is the best in my opinion, but stick with me.  ;)

Before we get on with it, I think this photo fits with the nostalgic mood of my story...ish.  My lovely sister dragged me outside for a photo shoot last week, and this is one of the results.  I'm entering it in Danielle's photo challenge "peaceful."


Without further ado, here you are.

~~~

She gripped it tightly and pressed it against her ear, just like she did every morning.  It was the sound she woke up to, and the one that put her to sleep.  She sat there for a moment, doing nothing but listening to the dull tick, tick, tick of that extraordinary object.  That thing that was so small, yet everything to her now.  The thing that at the same time gave her so much comfort and so much pain.
It had been several months now.  How many?  She didn’t like to keep track, but she knew it had been close to eight.  Eight whole months since that dreadful day.  But she remembered it like it was yesterday.

She stood outside, trying to be strong.  Nevertheless, several rebellious tears ran down her cheeks.  She handed him the bag that she had packed with care the night before.  Inside was a handwritten note for him to find whenever he next opened it.  When he was halfway across the world.
He took the bag and her hand.  There was no need for words.  She walked behind him to the road and the car that would take him away from her.  He turned around and gave her a quick kiss, pressed something into her hand, whispered, “Remember me,” and crawled into the automobile. It pulled away from her, but as it rounded a corner, he forced a courageous smile and blew her a kiss.
Then he was gone.
That kiss, that smile, might be the last of him she would ever see.  Suddenly remembering, she glanced down into her hand to see what he had so urgently placed there.  It was his watch.  His old watch with a worn leather band that he never, ever took off.  She had never seen him separated from it. It had known him longer than she had.  And now, he had given it to her with the simple two words, “Remember me.”  She looked at the ground at her feet, at the road down which he had disappeared, at the small device in her fingers.  She placed it by her ear and heard the familiar tick, tick, tick.
She stared blankly into the distance and the tears streamed down her cheeks.

That day was far behind her, but it was branded in her memory as no other day was.  She kept the watch on his desk by the bed.  Every morning she opened her eyes and listened for its steady rhythm, matching her heartbeat to its tempo.  She listened closely, because it was the only thing that still let her hear him from so many miles away.
At first she wore the watch herself.  It comforted her to have that last piece of him near her always.  But soon she saw it wearing thinner, and she began to be afraid that sometime it would slip off without her noticing and be gone forever.  So she placed it on his desk at the bedside and consoled herself by listening to it every night, the last sound that filled her being as she dropped off to sleep.
She had always hated newspapers, and during the first few months of his absence, she had avoided them even more.  But gradually she became drawn to them, and not only because he had loved them. It was because she had to know.  Knowing the worst was better than being suspended in eternal uncertainty.  The only news she ever read of anymore was death.  Death of the guilty and innocent, young and old, rich and poor, deserving and undeserving, man and woman, friend and family.  But not him.  Not yet.  Each week she scanned the page she dreaded.  As she turned to it, there arose in her stomach and throat a burning ache that did not cease until her eyes had rapidly scanned the page and reassured her heart.
Letters came few and far between.  She was lucky if one came in the course of a month.  She kept this collection of half a dozen letters as if they were sacred.  They were to her.  They were kept in a little bundle tied with a string in his desk—the desk on which the watch always sat.  She read them from time to time, often enough that she could quote them all by heart.

~~~

Hmm.  So.  You'll have to forgive the fact that this part doesn't have much of a conclusion...it really flows better into the second half, but you'll have to wait for that one.

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Is it sweet or dreadful?  Well, maybe don't tell me if it's the latter.  ;)  But I'd love to hear what you think.

Ya'll, I can't wait for spring break.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

[three] Revenge is Mine!

Dearie me.  And I was complaining about having to pick a song and movie.  And now books?!?!  Pa-leeze.

-3: a favorite book-

Know that I have thought long and hard about this.  Hard, hard, hard...very hard to decide.  I love books.  Books are my escape, my freedom, my joy, my other world, my alternate reality to dive into when I'm sick of this one.  Problem: books can take me so many places.  And how can I decide which of these radically different but equally wonderful places is my favorite?

So, when it comes down to it, I love tons of stories, tons of characters, tons of plots with problems and climaxes and conclusions all in their own special way.  I would like to honorably mention A Tale of Two Cities, Northanger Abbey, To Kill a Mockingbird, Les Misérables [almost...I've got less than 400 pages left!], Lord of the Rings, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and more that I can't think of at the moment. But while I thought about it, I realized that I do have one very special book that I rather consider "mine" because I'm convinced that no one can love it nearly as much as me.  And that, my friends, would be...

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, père.

*sigh*

There's no possible way for me to do justice to this book, but I shall attempt to put it in a nutshell so that all you people out there with pathetic-till-now lives will realize what you're missing out on, go get your hands on a copy of this amazing novel, and devour it like I have.  Twice.

~~~

All of young Edmond Dantes' dreams are about to come true.  He is to marry the love of his life, Mercédès, and he is being promoted by his friend Monsieur Morrel to be a captain of his own ship.  He also has a few enemies, however.  Fernand Mondego is jealous of Dantes' marriage to Mercédès, and Danglars is jealous that Dantes should become a captain at so young an age.  The two plot to have Dantes framed as a Bonapartist and arrested just before his wedding.  Villefort, the prosecutor, easily sees that Dantes is innocent, but the scheme Dantes is accused of being a part of involves Villefort's own father, so he has Dantes thrown in prison anyway.  Dantes is taken to the infamous Château D'If.


the château d'if
yeah, it's a real place.
doesn't look to shabby to me.
but how'd you like the prospect of living the rest of your life there?


After a long and complicated set of events that last over a period of fourteen years and which I shall refrain from revealing to you, Dantes is able to escape Château D'If with plans of revenge for those who did wrong to him.  He makes his way to the island of Monte Cristo, where a fellow prisoner had told him there was a massive hidden treasure.

Nine years later, Dantes emerges into Parisian society disguised as the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo.  No one who had known him before recognizes this stern and magnificant person who seems to know so much more than anyone has told him.  One by one, Dantes--or rather, the Count--searches out his former acquaintances, helping those who helped him and wrecking ruthless revenge on those who made him suffer for so long.  He returns to these people to find new betrayals, new intrigues, and new people involved and connected.  Mercédès, Fernand, Danglars, Villefort, Morrel--all these and their families are caught up in the Count's masterfully thought-out design to pay back to each what is his or her due.  The Count, turned bitter and heartless because of the pain that he had undergone, is nonetheless softened and tries to help Valentine (the daughter of Villefort) and Maximilian (the son of Morrel) end their love story happily, thus reliving the happiness that was denied him so long ago.

~~~

So yeah.  It's intense.  And there's no way I'm gonna tell you the actual plot, because trust me, all that up there was only scratching the surface.  This book is so well thought out; everything ties in and has its place; each connection and detail is important even if subtle; the depth of every character is breathtaking and real; the intricacies are mind-blowing; the plot is brilliant.  It's one of those stories that's composed of a ton of loose strings that seem to have nothing to do with each other, but by the end, they all come together and tie a neat and perfect little [or big...] bow.  Purdy dang awesome.

One more quick thing: please oh please oh please do not be like "oh, sounds cool--let's watch the movie."  NO NO NOOOO.  Any and every movie completely murders this story.  I saw a movie based on The Count of Monte Cristo, and while it was a good movie in and of itself, it was a royal failure in regards to the novel.  I was in agony even while watching it.  No film can adequately capture the detail and intensity of the book.

So, even if you get nothing else out of this post, remember this: read this book.  I doubt you'll regret it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

[two] Random Gushings

Every five days, I say, and with good intentions to do it.  But alas, I was not counting on events that would take away my time from this blog challenge.  However, I had a good excuse for not doing this yesterday.  You wanna know why?

I was at a ball!  :)

And just for the record, I also had a Cinderella-blue dress.  It was a blast...this was my sixth dance and it is always one of the highlights of the year.  This time, we had eleven girls over at my house (including my sister and I) to get ready all day.  We all helped with each others' hair and took tons of pictures, and then went to the ball, danced the night away, and then came back here to sleep over.  Twas grand.  And this was actually one of the best spring balls I've been to.  I generally like the Christmas balls better, just because they're smaller and friendlier and there's a better ratio of guys to girls (though the guys are always outnumbered =P).  Usually I end up dancing with other girls a ton and am a "guy" a ton.  I wasn't a "guy" during a dance once this spring, and I got asked to dance a lot more then I ever have.  So it was all in all a glorious weekend.


photo credits to my mommy
LET NO ONE SAY THAT THEY HAVE AWESOMER FRIENDS THAN ME...CUZ IT JUST AIN'T TRUE =]

After saying all that, I'm going to gush a bit.  THE WHOLE 25TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT OF LES MIS IS PLAYING ON TELEVISION TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Actually, it's playing right now.  I watched up to the point that I'm at in the book, but I refuse to watch past that.  Still.  It is sososo incredible.  *dies of happiness*

Now, as for the blog challenge.  Here we go again.

-2: a favorite movie-

Ha.  Hahaha.  You've got to be kidding me.  There is no way.  Okay, here goes nothing.

Newsies.  When this movie came out about 20 years ago, it was a huge flop.  I can't understand for the life of me why.  I adore it.  It's a musical, and it stars a super young Christian Bale as Jack, a newspaper boy in New York who is fighting just to get enough to eat every day, along with his friends.  But when the newspaper tycoons raise prices making it even harder for newsies, Jack decides to lead a strike.  It's full of good, ol' time fun and feel-goodiness, with awesome music to match.  What more could you ask for?


Lord of the Rings.  Need I say more?  I think not.  If you haven't watched this epic trilogy, I feel desperately sorry for you.  I'm not even going to include a picture because...I wouldn't be able to pick less than 10.  ;)

Pirates of the Caribbean.  The first one, that is.  For no particular reason at all, I adore this movie.  It makes me laugh like no other movie can.  I love Jack so much it's unhealthy.  I have a HUGE awesome poster of him hanging on my door.  <grin>


Jane Austen-style films.  That's right, bring on your Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion.  And how about things like Cranford and Wives and Daughters too?  I've probably seen anything and everything that fits into this category and time period.

The Princess Bride.  Ohhh, I love this movie.  It can be super corny but it holds a special place in my heart.  It's the perfectest mix of romance and adventure, with masked strangers, awesome sword duels, hilarious sidekicks, danger and revenge, secret hideaways, battles of wits, damsels in distress, more duels, and a happily ever after.  Yeah, it's pretty sweet.


I know there's more.  I know I'm going to publish this and then think of a movie directly afterwards and facepalm.  Ohh well.  You get the gist of it.  Depend upon it, I have plenty more favorites.  Any favorite movies from anyone else out there?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Celebrating Spring

PhotobucketOh spring, please oh please come soon.  You have taunted me with a glimpse of your sunny skies, breezy weather, and warm air.  Come and stay, hmm?  I will love you forever if you do.

I'm linking up, and perhaps you shall learn a bit more about me, eh?  Enjoy.  :]




 





How would people describe your personality? (If they could only use ONE word.) Are they right?
Weird?  Sure.  Witty?  I flatter myself, yes.  Engaging?  If by that you mean talkative, yeah.  Stubborn?  Probably deserve that one.  Passionate?  Mmhmmm, that too.

What celebrity/celebrities would create a “Star-Struck” feeling if you saw them in real life?
Well now.  Probably Liam Neeson...and if he spoke, I'd be gone.  His voice...gahh, I love it.  Idina Menzel (she starred in the original cast of the Broadway Wicked...such a beautiful singing voice), and also Alfie Boe (my newest "old guy crush"...haha, not really, because he's not that old, but he starred in the the 25th anniversary concert of Les Mis...tremendous voice).  Whoa, I have a thing with voices going here.  Also, probably Mike Donehey from the band Tenth Avenue North (voice? *ahem*), and Gwyneth Paltrow.  And though I cringe to say it, because I may recieve some teasing, but I'm a Johnny Depp fan.  He's Jack Sparrow, guys!  I can't help it!  And then, Audrey Hepburn.  Love her.

Who is your favorite blogger? Why?
Ohh, unfair question.  I like many for different reasons.  I'll give some credit to my sister, who is my favorite blogger by far (best friend, no?), with her blog Bonjour Bright Eyes.  I designed it...go check it out!  And I've had fun obsessing over Les Mis with Larkin at Libri lately.  <insert large grin>

What is your comfort food/drink?
As C.S. Lewis said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."  I love raspberry tea.  And though it's the typical girl answer, chocolate does make bad days at least a little better.

Be brave – tell us something very random and weird about yourself.
Random and weird, random and weird...so many options.  I shall tell you this:  When I was little--probably about 5--I told my mom I wanted to get married when I was 17 and have a thousand babies.  Heh, can I say that my plans have changed since then?

Do you have a strong desire to do something you’ve never done? What is it?
Yes indeed, lots of things.  Travel the world is a big one.  I'd love to write a book someday, and I'd like to fly a plane.  ;)

Movies: Action, Drama, Romantic Comedy, Documentary, Comedy? What are your favorite genres?
Oh, I like a bit of everything.  I like chick flicks, but I can only take so much of them if they're cheesey.  Musicals make me super happy, and if I'm in the mood for them, comedies too.  Action and drama and oldies get added in there as well...it all depends on what I feel like.

Books: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Biographies, True Stories, Self-Help, Devotional/Study? What are your favorite types of reading material?
Without hesitation: classics.  ALL THE WAY.  Once you read enough classics, you get ruined for anything else.  (I speak from personal experience.  =P)  I love things like Alexandre Dumas, J.R.R. Tolkien, Victor Hugo, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, C.S. Lewis, Harper Lee...just to name a few.  And if it's not classic...I'd say fantasy and historical fiction are usually up my alley.

Music: Funk, Rock, Country, Jazz, Classical, Film Score, Blues, Classic Rock, Crooner, Alternative, Heavy Metal, Techno? What are your favorite types?
I like contemporary Christian music mostly, and then I love listening to film scores and classical music.  Aaaand scores from musicals are the bomb.

If you inherited a million dollars, what is the first thing you would do with your money?
Selfishly, or being a good person and giving it all to people who need it a lot more than me?  Besides donating to organizations that try to stop abortion and human trafficking, I'd get a whole new wardrobe and an awesomesauce camera and lenses, travel anywhere and everywhere, and buy myself a villa on the Mediterranean.  :)  And then pay for college if there was anything left after that.

Name one weakness of yours (confession is good for the soul).
Paper.  I love paper waayyy too much.  I have a gazillion and one notebooks, and even more stationery sets, and I could keep buying more and more.  It makes me so happy.  I still have random collections of paper from when I was really little.

If you could live anywhere at all (and take all your loved ones with you), where would you go?
Oooh, this is so hard.  I would probably go somewhere in Europe, and I imagine it'd end up being France.  As much as I want to travel so many other places, Europe has so much history to it.  And plus, France is right in the middle of it all, so I'd do lots of weekend trips (to Ireland, and Italy!).  And I love the language...so romantic.

Strange Talent? Can you juggle basketballs, put your legs behind your head or perform some other strange feat?
Uhhmmm...I can roll my knuckles...which is really hard to explain if you can't see it.  But people think it's the weirdest thing.

What’s something you consider yourself to be good at? (Don’t worry, it’s not bragging, it’s acknowledging a God given gift).
Weeell, piano for one--I'm not incredible at it, but loving it counts toward anything, then I'm pretty good.  And I think my photography is improving.  And, I'm good at befriending people.  So I'm told.  And one thing I won't deny that I'm especially good at is laughing.

What is one of your favorite things to catch a whiff of?
Weird as it may sound, smoke.  Like the wispy curly pretty smoke after you've blown out a candle.  I love that smell.

When you leave a social gathering, do you wish: You would have talked more or you would have talked less?
I generally wish I would have said less, and listened more.  I love to talk, but sometimes I facepalm and tell myself, "shut up!"

If money wasn’t a factor, what stores would you shop in?
Ehh, so I'm not the greatest shopper in the world.  I'd probably just keep visiting my same old places, but actually buy more.

What is your greatest fear or strange phobia?
Dr. Seuss, no lie.  Clever rhymes, scaaaarry pictures.  And old ladies who are either knitting (thanks to A Tale of Two Cities) or in rocking chairs (thanks to a creepy book that I read when I was really little where this old magical lady would randomly show up places out of no where...in her rocking chair. *shudder*).  I get the creeps thinking about it.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Huuhhh?  You have to give me more life to live, and then ask me that!  I was pretty proud (read: ecstatic) about making a part in the play I'm acting in.

What are your favorite animals?
I'm not the big animal type.  But I like cats...and not just house cats, okay?  Tigers are cool.

Are you a hopeless romantic?
Depends on your definition.  In real life, it differs.  In alternate realities (boooooks!), yes, yes, and yes.

What movie or book character can you most relate to?
Oh my.  I've been told I'm like Emma from Austen's novel.  Strange as it may seem, I feel as if I can relate to Sam from Lord of the Rings.  xP  And I think a lot like the character Daniel from The Bronze Bow sometimes.



I shall end with this lovely picture of springyness.  I took it last year...and even though it's not quite in focus, I still love it.  It shows new life bursting forth.  :)