Wednesday, February 20, 2013

j'aime ma famille

I'd like to say a few things about my family.  It is by no means perfect.  I'm not just saying that as a figure of speech or to make things sound nice and genuine and not braggy.  It isn't.  Not at all.  I wish I could say otherwise.  And I'm usually not the person to get all gushy about how "ahh omg my family is my liiiiife" (ahem).  But.  Recently I have come more and more and more and more to appreciate my siblings.

Like, my brother for example.  Grant is stuck in the middle of four girls.  And yeah he can be a lil stinker even at sixteen-almost-seventeen.  But that kid is a good kid.  He is talented and he is funny and he gets my sense of humor in a great way that a lot of people don't understand and when I finally take the time to sit down and talk with him and spend time with him and let him teach me ukulele and listen to him, I realize that I should do it more often.  Because I really super enjoy him and he's growing up into such a cool guy, and though I'm sometimes bad at showing it, I just really like my brother a lot.

And my little sisters.  I'm gone from the house a lot with school and my internship and social things, so a often I don't get to spend time with them.  But oh my word, they're like...people.  They're not just little children anymore.  And it's crazy and scary knowing that they look up to me as a role model.  Brooke turned twelve last Saturday and she is literally one of the nicest people I know.  She makes me food out of the blue just to show her love for me.  And Tess is going to be ten soon, and she is hilarious and has me in stitches whenever we're teasing each other, and mah lil baby got baptized last week.

And you all know all about Cassie so we can skip her.

Kidding.  Cassie will always be my best friend.  We have our rough times, but then we go out to ballets together and that makes up for it.  When I first got placed in my internship with the House of Representatives, I was a little bummed.  Because yeah, it'll be good experience, but it's definitely not my ultimate interest.  Cassie works in the House as a page, and I didn't realize until about a week or two ago how God really does work these things out amazingly.  Because interning twice a week where Cassie works lets me see her on days that I wouldn't otherwise on campus or with friends.  She moved out on me, you see, but I still see her almost if not every day, and I didn't realize how grateful I'd be for that.  Even if she sometimes has me crying in the office.  Awkward.

I really want to invest in my siblings more because I want them to be my bffs for life, and I'm so so grateful to have them as bffs even now.  Cassie and I have taken to occasionally taking the little girls out for coffee.  We play cards and get kind of loud and the little girls dance for us and we laugh a lot and Cass and I let them talk about their lives, because really they're just as busy as us, albeit in a different way.  And they're just really precious girls and I adore them.

So here are some shots from a wild night at Starbucks with my favorite girls in the world.


I love them. The end.

Friday, February 15, 2013

on love and sappiness and feeling blessed


I haven't much to say, except yesterday, Valentine's Day, that cheesy pseudo-holiday that turns half the world into ridiculously frantic saps and the other half into desperate mopes, left me feeling very blessed.  I spent the evening with Cassie and two other friends (our valentines :)).  Aubrey dear is my valentine of three years.  It's a tradition.  She wrote me a card telling me how ardently she admired and loved me, no joke.  We had amazing food and watched a silly chick flick (THAT LEFT ME FEELING SAPPY WHAT IS THIS IT WAS SUCH A DUMB MOVIE) and instagrammed everything.  Someone anonymously sent Cassie a bouquet of red roses at work yesterday. She has a secret admirer.  hehe!  She has no idea who it's from.  Makes me laugh.

At my internship, there was chocolate everywhere, and one guy was talking about how he was proposing to his girlfriend that night (and showing off the ring. hehe. hehe!).  I wore a semi-ridiculous outfit just so I could wear my pink shoes.

I got home to cupcakes cooling on the stove and the house looking unnaturally clean, as my little sister is turning twelve tomorrow and there are currently 15 little girls running around the house for her party (it's not so clean anymore).  This afternoon there were big, huge snowflakes falling and the stars have been out the past few nights.  I've been falling in love all over again with the Tarzan Broadway soundtrack (it's that time of the year so I'm justified in linking you to the love song which I have been singing nonstop for the past three days).

I love my little sisters' friends.  I'm off soon to go tubing late at night.  There are times in my life when I am just overwhelmed with the people in my life that make me feel so loved.  And let me leave you with the following thought:


xo, Jenn

Thursday, February 7, 2013

a long overdue review of the great Les Mis


I began writing a review of Les Misérables a couple days after seeing it for the first time, and let me tell you that it started out much differently than I hope this is going to be. I've seen it again since, and it was even better than the first time because I was able to look for and appreciate more little things rather than trying to take in the enormity of the big picture. And big it was--wow, such a huge undertaking. I do not envy the filmmakers who decided to take on this massive project. They had a lot of people counting on them.

the bishop had caused the dawn of virtue on his horizon; cosette evoked the dawn of love
So let me begin.  First off, I know if you follow me on tumblr or twitter, you probably see Les Mis fandom things pretty often.  A lot of people know I love Les Mis. I kind of...talk about it a lot. ahem. But, I think perhaps fewer people know how much LesMisismylife. Like, in a slightly pathetic way that I'm nonetheless rather unapologetic about.  Needless to say, the making of this film terrified me in an exciting way. I forced myself to have high hopes.

will you permit it?
After seeing the movie on Christmas night, I was shoved into this state of almost shallow feeling.  I was compelled to say that I liked it, because it was my beloved Les Mis, but I couldn't tell if I loved it, or even if there was a part of me that hated it.  The part that I could feel the most was others' reactions to it--I wanted, more than anything, so badly, for everyone to love this story that I felt and feel is so incredibly beautiful and life-changing.  And I think everything that hurt about this film hurt a lot more for that reason.  Because as much as I wanted to pick apart every detail about the quality of singing and differences from the stage show, it was still, to me, Les Mis.  And there were so many things in that movie that I'm convinced were thrown in there just for the fandom--obscure West End actors, special moments from the book that hadn't made it into the show--all in all almost unbearably thrilling.

and then, do you know, monsieur marius, I believe I was a little in love with you

But for others, who did not know this story by heart, it pained me that Marius and Cosette had only one day together.  It pained me that Grantaire didn't get his solo in "Drink With Me."  It pained me that Russell Crowe didn't come close to doing justice to one of the most epic literary antagonists of all time.  It pained me that this and that and the other thing were left out or changed, because it scared me that this was the only Les Mis many people will ever know, and everything must be perfect for this cherished, almost hoarded story to be brought to the public so vulnerably.

remember that name: fantine. fall on your knees whenever you pronounce it
A little time went on and I began to have a different perspective.  Yes, I will forever hear Philip Quast's voice for Javert, and there are individual lines that I miss (yes. lines. I know this thing by heart.), and not everything was accurate, and it all whirled by so quickly.  But Les Mis is open to the public.  All of a sudden I saw the swell of admiration for this beautiful story, over the internet or with every friend that texted me saying they finally understood.  There's a Les Mis movie, guys. How crazy amazing is that?


the power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in
I think Bethany put it best in her post (which, by the way, probably speaks more accurately what I feel than all of my ramblings):


The story is sure to be talked about, discussed, seen, appreciated, and yes, under-appreciated too. But the important thing is it's getting shared and spoken and screamed and played out in front of people's eyes and in people's souls.

Yeah, it's going to be under-appreciated as well, and that really does kill me a little inside, because as epic and brilliant as the film was, it is better onstage (go see it if you ever have a chance) and of course, as the original novel.  It couldn't do justice to everything, no, but you know what's funny?  The movie has been much more widely acclaimed by the general public than by critics--just as the stage show was when it opened 28 years ago, and just as the 1862 novel was before that.  And that's strangely fitting for a story like Les Misérables, that it is most popular with the people, just as it has been for years.


a charming young man, who was capable of being terrible
And in other news, the movie has been nominated for eight Academy Awards and if Anne Hathaway doesn't win that Oscar I don't know what I'll do.  And if you never saw it, you should check out Vogue's shoot of the cast (by Annie Leibovitz, some of whose work I've seen in person and who I happen to really, really like).  And thank goodness for Colm Wilkinson, and Hadley Fraser. And Aaron Tveit and George Blagden (E/R forever), and--never mind I'm not going to name the rest of the amis because it would take too long, but seriously they were wonderful in a heart-wrenching way.  And little Gavroche, oh you make me cry (but let's be real, all of the barricade boys do).  And do you realize I was quoting pieces of the book to you in the photo captions?!  So good.  I could go on.  Les Misérables, you will never stop being close to my heart.

Did you see the film?  Were you acquainted with the story at all beforehand?  Thoughts/opinions?  Please oh please, do tell.  I love a good chat about Les Mis.