Tuesday, May 31, 2011

oh, how he loves

It was a dark and stormy night . . . 

Saturday night, actually.  And as cliché as that sounds, it's true.

Saturday was a full day for me--amongst other things, visiting and dancing with my friend Hannah, whose mom has been in and out of the hospital with cancer lately.  I had fully written this very post the day before.  It was full of as much complaining as not I suppose--just about little things.  And driving home that rainy Saturday night, it struck me.  God is so good and I have every reason to be content.


My mom is in Florida right now.  She left last Monday and will be gone for a total of about two weeks.  Why, you ask?  A year and a half ago my mom got sick.  Really sick.  So sick that she basically didn't get out of bed for a year.  She was bedridden from constant vertigo attacks, and I won't go into the details, but it was horrible for her.  Horrible to the point where she said that if she didn't have us kids, she would rather just die and be with Jesus.  When I think back on it, that year was a blur of trying to survive.

For the past several months especially, my mom has been getting progressively better.  It's not been easy, and there's been huge amounts of prayer, but just the fact that she was able to get out of bed was a huge step.  As she healed, she was kinda thrust right into life again--home schooling my little sisters, driving places and such.  She needed a break.

{linking up to danielle's captured}

So last week, she headed to Florida to get away by herself.  Dear friends, do you have any idea how much I'd love to be in Florida right now?  I've never been before.  Yeah.  Being in Florida would make my day.  Plus, there's now extra chores and duties thrust upon me [I've never been good at doing laundry, okay?].  And both of my little sisters have had emotional breakdowns that end with "we just wish mommy were heeerre!"

But despite all I'd like to complain about, I am so.blessed.  If I think on it, it's truly a miracle that my mom can drive herself to Florida.  Especially after visiting with Hannah, who is in the position I was last year--mom sick, not knowing what the future holds, praying so hard.  I'm so grateful that my mom is actually well enough to take a much-needed trip by herself.


I know I've told you all about going to TeenPact this year, and I also mentioned my desire but decision not to go to one of TP's epic alumni events, a camp called National Convention.  Last year I went, and it was the best week of my life.  My brother went this year, and he got home Saturday.  The first thing I did was run up to him, shake my finger in his face, and say, "Did you have the best week of your life?!  Because you BETTER have had the best week of your life!"  To which he replied, "Yep."

I really wanted to be there.  Throughout the whole week, my heart was at that camp.  Sure, there were money issues, but the main reason I didn't go?  God didn't want me to.  I don't know why, but I'm at peace with it.  I'm sad that I wasn't there and I wish I could have seen all those people and I still want to be able to staff and possibly go next year.  But it's not where God had me.  So instead of complaining that I didn't go, I should focus on the fact that it's incredible to know that in my heart.

After pondering it, I thanked God.  Thanked him that I had that best-time-of-my-life experience last year.  Thanked him that my brother could have it this year.  Thanked him that, because I had it before, I could relate to my brother having it now.

{linking up to hannah's lovely photo wednesday}

In all reality, I have so many little things to be grateful for.  So many reasons to be content, if I'll only realize it.

Even if I'm working super long days from Wednesday to Sunday, I have an opportunity to make money and awesome friends to work with.
Even if my face isn't always the most attractive thing in the world, I have cover-up and people who love me anyway.
Even if I couldn't find a tank top to match that summer dress I just bought, I have enough money to buy myself a dress.
Even if I'm extremely nearsighted, I have the option of wearing my glasses and hey--I get to see bokeh all the time.
Even if it was an unbearably and oppressively humid Memorial Day, I have air conditioning, ice cream, cold water, and friends to spend it with.

Last Saturday, that wave of contentment and gratitude came suddenly, as if God was just pouring himself over me to say, "Open your eyes."

And all of a sudden I am unaware // Of these afflictions eclipsed by glory // And I realize just how beautiful you are // And how great your affections are for me

I don't want to live just for the sake of focusing on the moment and miss what really matters.  I want to step back and breathe in the bigger picture.  The picture painted in bold colors and confident brush strokes.  The picture that screams, "God loves me.  He has given me so much.  He is good.  Always, always good."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Redemption



Well, friends, I'm happy.  Miss Pickwickian is having a week-long Les Misérables event at her blog The Erratic Muse.  Yeah, you already know this is up my alley.  It all started with an essay contest, and the winners were announced on Friday.  I was so.so.so excited to see that I won second place in the contest!  Thank you so very much, Miss Pickwickian...that totally made my day.

So, here's my essay, friends.  And as a side note, many of these production photos are from the cast of the Broadway show I actually saw in April.  And that there is my program.  Proof that I was there.



Redemption

            Les Misérables.  It is Victor Hugo’s classic story with themes that cover every range of human emotion—from bitterness to bliss, from hope to despair, from hate to love, from dejectedness to triumph.  But the one theme that underlies all of these is that of redemption.



            Redemption comes to different characters in different ways throughout Les Misérables.  Fantine is redeemed through her sacrifice for her daughter.  Marius and Cosette are redeemed through their love for each other.  Enjolras is redeemed through his fight for freedom, even though he dies in the act.  What about the main character, then?  How is Jean Valjean—an ex-convict who suffers more than he ever deserves; a person who is so embittered by his life that he makes even more mistakes; a sinner who comes to the realization that he needs grace; a father to a child that is not his own; a soul who wants love, peace, and no remembrance of his past life; a passionate man who is constantly in the throes of conflict and strong emotion despite his quiet exterior—how is this man redeemed?


            There is only one way to answer the question: he is redeemed by God.


            Jean Valjean is perhaps one of the most intense characters to ever appear in classical fiction.  He can be related to on every level because of his struggles.  He is humble and hard-working, but most of all, he strives to be good.  When Valjean has served his time in the galleys for nineteen years, he comes out at war with himself and with the world.  He is hardened and bitter, and the last thing he wants to do is forgive and put his past behind him.  But when the bishop of Digne, Monseigneur Beinvenu, shows Valjean kindness by sparing him despite his theft, Valjean’s world is turned upside down.  He realizes where he is at fault and determines to become a better man.  And despite years of hardship, the fear of being hunted down and caught, and obstacles thrown in this path, Jean Valjean does just that.



            Jean Valjean soon rises to become the mayor of a town where a woman named Fantine is working.  Fantine has gone through much pain for the sake of supporting her child, Cosette, and is now dangerously ill.  In her broken innocence, she wants nothing more than good care for Cosette.  Valjean promises to look after the girl when Fantine dies.  He raises Cosette; she looks to him as a father, and Valjean looks to her as a daughter.  She is the only one that has ever loved, trusted, and stayed beside him.  Valjean learns from the bishop the meaning of virtue; he learns from Cosette the meaning of love.



            Throughout all Valjean’s attempts to redeem his life from his past, there is one man who refuses to forgive and forget Valjean’s past misdeeds.  Javert is the gendarme who has known nothing his whole life but severe justice, strict law, and relentless duty.  His sole goal in life is to be irreproachable in the eyes of the law.  In this mindset, arresting Jean Valjean is a necessity.  He tirelessly hunts the trail of Valjean for years in the hopes of bringing this criminal to court.


            Toward the novel’s end, a situation occurs where Valjean holds Javert’s life in his hands, but chooses to let him go free.  Javert is utterly shocked.  This time, his world is turned upside down.  Not long after, Javert finally catches up to Valjean and is able to perform the act that has been consuming his thoughts for years—arrest this supposedly dangerous man.  Instead, he too, almost beside himself, frees Valjean.  Afterwards, he has an intense inward battle.  He has, for the first time in his life, done something unlawful—for the sake of doing something good.  But despite the fact that he knows he cannot arrest Jean Valjean in the future, he also knows that he cannot live with himself after committing such an act.  All that Javert has lived for crumbles away before Valjean, this criminal whom Javert finds himself admiring.  Unable to find a solution, Javert jumps into the Seine River, ending his own life.



            The redemption of Valjean comes slowly.  Until he learns of Javert’s suicide, he is never truly free from the fear that his past life will catch up to him.  Even then, he still faces turmoil and trials against his old self.  He struggles with letting Cosette grow up because he is afraid to lose her love.  He struggles with telling the truth because he is afraid of his past identity.



            Javert, on the other hand, is completely unable to accept the redemption that Valjean learns to embrace.  Even though he strives for virtue, he does it out of a need to satisfy some standard that he can never reach.  He has absolutely no concept of love.  Without a strict sense of authority and perfection, his life is cold and void.  When he realizes that there is no definite way to achieve perfection, Javert is at a loss for what to do.



            This comes down to a comparison of these two equally intense characters.  Jean Valjean has made mistakes and continues to make them.  He knows he is not perfect; he knows he cannot get by on this own.  Javert, on the other hand, does not acknowledge his need for something outside of himself.  He thinks he can remain irreproachable by his own strength.  Jean Valjean, when he realizes he is wrong, learns and changes because of the bishop and Cosette.  Javert cannot comprehend anything other than what he has known his whole life, so he finds change impossible.  Jean Valjean humbles himself enough to know he needs grace.  Javert is too busy looking for fulfillment and perfection inside of himself.




            In the end, Valjean embraces God.  He understands that he will only fail on his own.  He gathers strength to carry on, but not alone.  Javert, whose only master is the law, is unable to grasp the reality of this almighty Master.  Because of this, he is desperate.  He has to take his own life.  Only with this extreme ending is the stark comparison between Jean Valjean and Javert truly significant.  If Javert does not commit suicide, the message that there is something and Someone larger than the law—outside of human institutions—is much less powerful, because redemption is unnecessary.  But redemption is indeed necessary, and Javert cannot accept that.



            This story is enduring because of the way it relates to everyone, whether despairing like Javert or clinging to God’s grace like Valjean.  Les Misérables shows the power of God’s redemption by drawing a line between these two characters who both strive for good in such different ways.  One achieves it and his life is fulfilled; the other does not and he finds his life empty.  This prevailing theme is as essential and beautiful as it is life-changing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I don't like perfect people.

Let's face it.  Most people have come across someone in their lives that just seems to have it all--good looks, good at everything, good life.  Seemingly perfect people.  They've got it all, and they've got it all together.  I've seen people like this.  And I have a lot to say about it; I'm just not sure where to start.


These perfect people frustrate me.  Really really.  I mean, I'm not completely innocent from putting on a front, but I'm pretty sure (or at least I hope) that most people who know me would laugh if anyone mentioned that I or my life was anywhere near approaching perfection.  The biggest thing is that perfect people are honestly depressing.  Because you tend to compare yourself with them, unconsciously perhaps, but compare all the same.  And then you see everything you're still lacking, everything you're still failing at, everything you don't have.  And that's just a major guilt trip, especially because it's all a lie.  The truth is that there are no perfect people.


But that perhaps is the most frustrating part of all.  Why this facade of perfection when we all know that we all know that we all have our own issues?  I mean, c'mon--we're all human.  Why can't we all just be honest with each other?


It's hard to be friends with perfect people.  Or at least to be good, deep friends.  Because perfect people can't relate to your issues, your problems, your tumultuous emotions.  I have people in my life that I wouldn't have expected to go deep with, and maybe still don't even know very well.  But we shared a common "issue"--one we were both going through--something we could relate about, be real about, and be imperfect about...together.  It's a connection.  Perfect people have no connections.  They just are, and poor them, because just being must be pretty lonely.  Even if they do have everything else all nicely in line.


I hate not being able to relate to people.  I hate looking at perfect people and wondering why.  Even if I do know it's just appearances.  It makes people, in my mind, indifferent, aloof, distant, condescending, intimidating, and just plain obnoxious.  I can talk to people who have problems, because I have problems.  I can talk to people who fail, because I fail.  I can talk to people who struggle and doubt and cry, because I do all of the same things.


That being said, here's a shout-out.  I'm not near approaching the proximity of the peripheral vision of a perfect person.  Lord knows--and trust me, there's lots more witnesses.  Moreover, I hope I don't look like I'm putting on the front of a perfect person, because to me, that's not a virtue and it's just not true.  I want to be approachable and relatable and I want to be able to approach and relate at the same time.


The funny thing is that even though I (and I'm sure many, many other people) dislike perfect people just because it's annoying to be around them, I still would like to be one of them.  Half of me still is envious of perfect people and their neat little lives, beautiful appearance, and never-ending list of things they can do and are good at.  While disliking the perfection, I desire it.

Aagh.



So anyway.  I'm not one of those so-called perfect people.  And I don't particularly care for anyone else who pretends to be.  So for all you perfect people out there...go build yourselves an isolated cult somewhere in Zimbabwe.  Isolated, did you hear?  Sometimes I just get tired of dealing with perfection because I feel like I'll never get there myself.

      || "If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."  -Yogi Berra

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday

  
Heh--take that, Monday.

Garfield, I think you and I would get along.
I couldn't agree with you more.

xo,
Jenn

Friday, May 20, 2011

pirates + passed

I have two very exciting things to tell, and unfortunately not so much time to tell it, because I have my dance rehearsal later tonight and I'm really feeling the need for a nap before then.  But without further ado:

oneee
Last night, the previous cast of Little Women got together to do something we've been planning for weeks--go see the midnight premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.  It was the bomb.  We all dressed up in piratey attire, got there at about 8:30ish, and walked around the mall in our get-up.  It was awesome to have people pass us and ask, "What are you dressed up for...?"  Uhmm, Pirates 4, much???

Since most stores in the mall were closed or closing, we had a lot of time to kill, so we basically sat on the floor of the mall [telling creepy clown stories with Em and Matt] and on the floor of the movie theatre itself [smelling Lauren's shoes and wanting to fall asleep at that point].  We made sure to claim our seats, get popcorn, and situate ourselves properly so we were ready when all the previews started.  And oh my word, people, was I excited when the movie.actually.began.

Sidetrack:  for all you cynical people out there *cough*...let's just get this straight.  I love Jack Sparrow so much it's unhealthy.  <--(there should be a captain in there somewhere...)  Seriously, he makes me so ridiculously happy.  Ask Caitlin or Ben (who were both sitting next to me).  I squealed like a fangirl the whole movie, laughing and clapping and facepalming and gasping with giddy pleasure.  I wasn't even quite okay with Jack having a love interest in this movie. 

Bottom line: I can't help but be entertained by any Pirates movie because my happiness level is so high.  In all honestly, I had low expectations for the movie, so even though it wasn't the most spectacular thing in the world (on stranger tides, definitely), my expecations were met.  If that makes any sense at all.  Please oh please...aren't there any more Pirates fans out there who can relate to my blind happiness?!

To prove to you the large extent of my fandom...I have a large Jack Sparrow poster on my door, and a Jack Sparrow nightlight in the bathroom.  Oh yes.  (Excuse the horrificness of the poster photo.  I don't know what possessed me to use the flash when I took that so long ago, and I'm too lazy right now to go take a different one.)

Sooo yeah.  It was an epic evening/morning.  It was so good to see all my play peeps again [geez I love you guys], and hang out on the floor, and analyze philosophies about our attractiveness levels, and obsess over the haWt preacher dude with Caitlin, and giggle over Jack's all around awesomeness.  Why on earth can't I be as cool as him?


twooo
Of course, with a midnight premiere [which, by the way, is another check off my bucket list!], I didn't get home until after 3.  I fell into bed and had a weird dream about almost getting to fulfill another bucket list item by slapping a guy in the face...but I didn't!  I was really frustrated with myself.

ANYWAY.

Point being, I didn't have as much sleep as I'd care to.  But this morning, I got up and my dad and I drove to the BMV downtown, where I proceeded to take my driver's exam...and pass!  Hahah, I was actually rather pleasantly surprised.  Let's just say that I've improved a LOT from when I first started driving but everyone else still makes fun of me.  Or at least, my sister does.  grrrr.

Yup, so I now have my driver's license!!  Even with relatively little sleep!  ;)  I'm so happy/thankful...even though I probably won't be doing much driving on my own because I go most places with Cassie anyway.


Well, that's my exciting news for you all.  Last night was also good for me because I've been having a really crummy week, ever since last Friday.  So today, despite my tiredness, the Happy is back.  ;)

I'm off to nap.  Wish me sweet dreams of Jack.  Daaang do I love him.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

when words fail me

...I borrow others' in order to express myself.








Favorite, anyone?  I'd love to know.  :)

Feel free to use any of these as a wallpaper if you so desire.
The second one is currently set as my own desktop background.  :)
Just be sure to credit me if you share them, mmkay?

Oh, and sorry if this showed up as having been published earlier...
That was caused by a slight mistake on my part while trying to schedule the post.

much love,
Jenn

Sunday, May 15, 2011

[sixteen & seventeen] Concerning Narnia

Concerning.  Such an epic word.  Probably because it reminds me of hobbits, since there is a song in the Lord of the Rings soundtrack called "Concerning Hobbits."  (Have I ever told ya'll that I'm a LotR nerd?  I am, big time.)  But I digress.

This post does not concern LotR.  It isn't strictly concerning Narnia either, for that matter, but it pertains to it.  Fo sho.


-16: A song that makes you cry-






This song.  "Lucy" by Skillet.  Why, you ask?  Go read this story first of all.  If you consider yourself a Narnia fan in any way, shape, or form, you won't be sorry, even though it is rather long (set time aside and read it...it's worth it!).  It's a fanfic (fiction by a fan) based on both the C.S. Lewis' Chronicles and the song "Lucy," and it's from Susan's perspective after all of her siblings have died and gone to Aslan's World, and she is left unbelieving and alone, only now realizing her mistakes.  It's heart-wrenching and beautiful, and oh-oh-oh...I get chills thinking about it because it is just so amazing and perfect.  I sobbed--I mean, SOBBED--when I read it the first time (and the second time too, actually).  I don't normally sob over short stories written by some random girl on the internet, ok?  It's that good.


So anyway, that's one reason why I find this song so sad.  The other is because of the real reason "Lucy" was written.  It tells of the pain that a couple is going through after aborting their baby girl, and only realizing afterward what a horrible thing they had done.  So their counselor told them to act as if it was an actual death, with an actual funeral, and to give the aborted baby a name.  They named her Lucy.

Agghh such a wonderful song!!

-17: A song that makes you laugh-


This song.  Bahaha.  It comes from an album called Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia, with various artists.  This one is "Turkish Delight" by David Crowder Band, and it's just plain weird and amusing.  Plus a lot of fun.

What are some songs that make you laugh or cry, happy or sad?

Oh, and while I'm at it, does anyone have strong opinions about the Narnia movies vs. the books?  I'm a fan of the first movie, and I do like the next two, to a degree.  But part of me is just so disappointed that they couldn't have followed the books better.  I could go into a novel-length discussion about my thoughts concerning [;)] that, but I'll refrain.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Little Women

*after waiting patiently to see if blogger would restore my post and thus my comments as well, I have decided to take matters into my own hands and republish this since it was eaten by the internet monster.  feel free to comment again just to make me happy.*

Well, it's over.  Sunday night the cast of Little Women performed for the last time, spelling the end of a wonderful and tons-of-fun experience.  My family and several friends were there too, and it was a smooth performance, so we all felt really good about it.  But with every costume change, every scene ended, every line said, we sat backstage and whispered, "That's the last time!"  Sob.


From the very beginning, God has been watching over this experience and just blessing it.  I know I've said this before, but even getting a part and it working out schedule-wise was a miracle since it actually fit in with a million other things.  I like to say that I've been acting my whole life, just not necessarily on stage--though I've wanted to for ages.  This is like a dream-come-true/bucket-list-item-scratched-off for me.  And then God gave me some awesome people as part of the cast--we've truly become such good friends.


There's Ruthie (the redhead), our lovely Meg, whom I had met beforehand but always wanted to get to know better.  She showed up at auditions and the rest is history.  ;)  I feel like I've known her all my life.  Then Cassie, my sister, is our tomboyish Jo.  Lauren was Beth, but her real personality is the farthest thing from Beth's in the world (as you can see, she looks as if she's about to kill Cass).  She's crazy, blonde, and so much fun.  Caitlin was our Aunt March--oh my word, she's an awesome crabby old lady.  Bahaha, but seriously...she was only in one scene, but she rocked it; we all wish she was in more.


Our Marmee was played by Kassandra, who insists that she's not old enough to be our mother.  Ben was John Brooke.  He's convinced that I have an evil little mind, but it's okay--after a number of pranks (like what we did to his car above), he's given me cream sodas, so I'm good with it.  And Joe was our Laurie--and a total nutcase.  He's weird and very amusing.  Our backstage girls--aka lifesavers--were Emily (with me below) and Leah, and of course I love our directors Mindy and Michele.  :)


All in all, our cast had a blast together.  Sunday, after meeting and greeting people as they exited the theatre, after changing and putting away costumes, after sorting through props, after clearing away chairs and trash, after signing each other's production posters, we all went and partied at Taco Bell.  Yuummmm.  And as we said goodbye, there were a gazillion hugs and plans to see each other soon.


*sigh*  Man, I'm going to miss seeing those people each week.


In all reality, it's good that it's over.  It frees up my schedule now--and we've been rehearsing consistently since January (and even a little before that).  But even though there's a part of me that knows it's time to be done, I'm still sad.  The whole experience was just wonderful.  God had his hand in it; that's all I can say.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

[thirteen, fourteen, fifteen] Ahem

Yeah.

*ahem*

...As in, I've fallen behind in this blog challenge and have actually gotten rather tired of it, but I've started...soooo I'll be a good girl and finish.  It will be miscellaneous, due to the fact that I'm catching up and because my mind is elsewhere listening to Love Never Dies.

Sidetrack:  Any Phantom of the Opera phans out there heard of Love Never Dies???  Oh my word, it's the dumbest idea EVER.  Andrew Lloyd Webber took it into his genius, idiotic brain to write a musical sequel to Phantom.  Gaahh.  If you knew the synopsis, you'd be mad too.  It changes the characters of the REAL story and leaves you with basically no respect whatsoever for any of them.  I mean, none of them.  It's pathetic.  So, why am I listening to it, you ask?  Because...well...the original Phantom in Love Never Dies (which is the NOW Phantom also, since it just came out in the West End last year) is none other than Ramin Karimloo.  I got hooked after hearing him sing in the 25th anniversary concert of Les Mis...he has the most amazing, powerful, passionate voice you've ever heard.

So, that being said...I very much dislike the whole idea of Love Never Dies.  Very, very, very much.  But there are one or two songs that are full of Webber's brilliance.  Like this one (with Ramin!).  But there's only a few, honestly.  It's so lame compared to the one and only real Phantom.  My little sisters came in laughing at them; some of them are that bad.

PALEEZE this song sounds like it was created by Disney!!

Moving swiftly on...

-13: a guilty pleasure-

Heheh, do I have to feel guilty??  Okay, so I'll say two things.  But I'm not feelin' too guilty about 'em.  ;)
a) swing dancing always makes me happy.
b) chocolate really does make all things better.



-14: a vacation you would like to take-

Basically anywhere in Europe would make me happy.  Yes, I'd love to go to Australia/New Zealand too, but Europe has so much beauty and history and...and...romance.  And as for where in Europe...France is a big one, since I'm learning the language and am just in love with the whole idea.  And visiting Italy, Greece, and Ireland is defintely on the list.  And though I rather put this in a different category in my mind, I do so want to go to England someday.

OH MY GOODNESS sweet intense part in this music!!!!!

There is a faint, slight, small possibility that maaaybe I'll have the chance to go to France next year.  My mommy and sister went to France when Cassie was 13.  The only reason it was a possibility is because my mom's friend Lori (who studied French with my mom in college) is now a professor and headed up the student exchange program in France four years ago.  Thus, she had room for two people, and my mom and Cass had a free place to stay.  They went for about three weeks.  Well, Lori got the exchange program job again, and she'll be there during the summer of 2012.  Aaand (eepers wouldn't it be uh-MAZ-ing?!) if it works out, money-and-schedule-and-a-dozen-other-things-wise, it just may be my turn to go!  I'm praying about it, because that would totally make my year, if not my life.

-15: a person you admire-

Hum ho, I have many people I look up to/am inspired by.  I shall tell you of non-living people, because they are easier for me to wrap my head around.  :P
a) C.S. Lewis--seriously peeps, this man was brilliant and has been for a long time number one on my inspiration list.  not to mention he's a quote machine.
b) Victor Hugo--I thought no one could match Lewis's quotey-ness, but Hugo gets close.  not to mention he wrote just about the most epic piece of literature of all time.
c) Eric Liddell--this dude had a serious conviction for God.  not to mention there's an awesome movie of him that I love, Chariots of Fire.

AGHH this song is pathetically messing up the characters!!!

*ahem*

Thursday, May 5, 2011

bah humbug

no watermark.  no take.

right now
despite the fact that the sun is finally shining,
despite the fact that i'm looking forward to the weekend,
despite the fact that nothing in particular is different,
i just want to say...

bah humbug.

stupid french grammar.
stupid relatives.
stupid near-sightedness.
stupid feeling behind in everything and knowing that i actually am.

honestly
right now
i want to just go die in a hole.

that or take an extended vacation to ireland
with a fairy godmother taking care of my homework.

gaahh.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

if

I did this as a poetry reading for a speech today.  I would say something about it, but it pretty much speaks for itself.  It's basically my favorite poem of all time...for now.  ;)  Read it.  You won't be sorry.  Promise.


"If"
by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

oh, the theatre!

Friday was the first performance of Little Women, the play I've been rehearsing ever since November.  It's been a lot of fun and a lot of work, and these past two weeks we've been having our dress rehearsals and have been focusing on getting down the details.  After and okay-ish rehearsal Tuesday, Thursday we all kinda went, "Hey, we got this!"  And then Friday came.  Honestly people, I love acting.  My personality type is "performer" for a reason.  But, gosh sakes...Friday came and suddenly it hit me that "Dude, you're gonna be in a play tonight."

If you know anything about the story, I play Amy, the little prim-and-proper brat.  ;]  It's SO much fun to play, trust me.  My sister Cassie is Jo, the main character and tomboy.  We ran through lines on the drive there (while freaking out that we were going to be late because of rush hour traffic), and when we got to our wee little theatre we checked props and costumes and such and hyperventilated and ate cookies until it was time to get into costume.  And then, the play began.

And seemingly just as suddenly, it was over.  But it was awesome.

I don't think we had ever done it as smoothly ever before.  It was so much easier and so much more fun to act it out with an audience.  Honestly, at intermission, we were all looking around saying, "Whoa, this is great!"  After the play, me and my fellow thespians headed outside so people could see us as they came out.  Two of my very dear friends came to our opening night, and a couple people brought me flowers, and then of course complete strangers came up to congratulate us all, and it was just happifying.  :)))

Afterwards the cast went to Dairy Queen to hang out, which was an absolute blast.  Honestly, I love all these people.  They're so amazing.  God really blessed us all in that area...we've become such good friends.  Cassie and I spent the night at Ruthie's house (she plays Meg), and the next day headed to our little theatre to perform again.  I'll admit, curling my hair massively a second time wasn't nearly as fun.  ;P

For our second performance, my family was there.  It was also a dinner theatre, so we had to get there extra early (and ate pizza--oh yes!).  After hanging out for a good while downstairs, we headed up again, got in our costumes, prayed, and the play began.  It too went really well, though there were a few mix-ups that we covered up okay--we just freak out inside, that's all.  =)

The audience last night was fantastic--they were really into it--laughed, cried, and reacted in all the ways they should to make acting it out totally worth it.  A little girl came up to all of us afterward and wanted our signatures on the program...it was so sweet.  And then we all hung out afterwards again.

Anywho, we have another performance tonight.  We'll have three next weekend too.  I was dreading curling my hair again, but I think I've finally got the hang of it (as in, it only takes me about an hour now...=p).  I'm excited...once again.  Oh, how I love this.  I had wanted to be in a play of some sort for ages, and honestly, you have no idea how obviously God had his hand in all this.  Just getting a part and working out my schedule so I could do it and having the people in it that are in it...it's been amazing.

While we're at it, I have two photos I'd like to enter in a photo contest...and they just happen to be of Ruthie (Meg) and Lauren (Beth)...aren't they gorgeous??  We are seriously one cute group of March sisters.




I love these girls.  :)  And I've been having soo much fun this weekend.

***EDIT***

Hehe, so I just had to say...tonight's performance was great.  Better than yesterday, I thought.  And also, I am going to be sooo happy not to curl my hair and smother it with hairspray tomorrow.  :]