Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, 2008

It was a good year. A very good year. I learned a lot - about my faith and myself especially.
I learned that I love to act and need to write.
I learned that I fiercely love being Catholic.
I was in my very first play this year.
I read over 120 books.
I learned and mastered the Shipoopi dance, though it seemed impossible at first.
I made a lot of friends that have taught and helped me - Miss C.N.W., Froggy/Janny, Elenatintil, Lady Rose, BB - I'm looking at all of you! ;)
I kept up with this blog pretty faithfully.
I learned that I prefer sincerity to sarcasm in the long run.

I hope, after all of that, I'm a little wiser. I think I am.

Here's to 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

When I Wish I Had My Camera

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! :) I certainly did, even though I was sick.

Today I was in Barnes & Noble and my sister and I saw a step-stool in the journals section. There was a paper taped onto the stool that made me wish I had my camera with me. It read, "This stool is for stepping and those who need to step. Please do not use as a seat, table or dental instrument."

Huh? My sister and I read it out loud several times, and finally we gave up on trying to figure out what the heck it meant by "dental instrument". Does anyone know? Were they just being snarky?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Um...

I left one of my writing notebooks on the computer table.
Open.
While my dad was checking the weather forecast.
When I sat down at the computer just now I said, "Uhhhh..." I do dearly hope that no one read any of it.

Please pray for me. I'm grouchy and sick and I can't decide what to read. And I'm driving myself crazy because I want to write but I'm too sick and tired to write anything.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Hot Cocoa Mug


This is the cup from which I drink my hot cocoa, tea, or coffee, especially while reading a Father Brown story aloud to my sister. My aunt gave it to my as a Christmas gift last year - my family knows me too well. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

News That Is New, and AUSTENBOOK!




News that is new: I'm 16, my throat hurts, The Music Man is on Christmas vacation, and it's cold, cold, cold.

I found this on Ribbons of Light and it's just completely making my night.

Favorite part:

"Elizabeth Bennet and Caroline Bingley are attending the event Take a Turn about the Room." HA!

{edited to add the darn link *facepalm*}

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day

Today we had a Snow Day. As home-schoolers, we aren't really supposed to have those; but my dad stayed home from work, and Some of Us (*cough*me*cough*) slept in, and Others frittered away in the snow.

This is the snowman Desirae made. She made it on the other side of the house and transplanted it. It appears to be missing a nose in this shot... I think the dog ate it...




This is Zoe, disguised as both Ralphie ("He looks like a pink nightmare,") and Randy ("I can't put my arms dooown!") from the movie, A Christmas Story. Isn't she DARLING? We were all laughing so hard when Courtney stuffed her in this suit.



Our (currently not in use) stable in the snow. Yes, we started to paint it red and never finished...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Superior Scribbler Award

I forgot about this until now, but my "sister", Miss C.N.W. gave me this award. This girl is so great that she even edited her post to update the title of my blog after I changed it. I'm so excited that I'M GOING TO MEET HER NEXT MONTH!!! In person and not online, I mean. :P Thank you, sis!




Now I award... Gosh, this is hard. I think I'm going to award...

Erin, for her Backstage Musings blog.
And "Rose" of A Rose In Bloom
And "Owan" of Among The Gently Mad

Ok, that's not five, but if I did anymore I'd never be able to stop.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Safe

I had the following conversation at the dentist's office. We've been going there for years.

Note: All the dentists there are from the Philippines, so you must imagine everything the dentist says with an accent.

Dentist: So... you are almost 16, Delaney?
Me: Uh-huh (I had my mouth open)
Dentist: You have boyfriend?
Me: (In an "oh-dear-what-an-idea voice) Ha, no.
Dentist: (Laughing) You don't want one?
Me: No, not for quite a while yet.
Dentist: Oh, you are so good. Your parents will not have to worry. I wish all teenagers were like you.
Me: ... (I wasn't sure what to say)
Dentist: Maybe in college you will have boyfriend?
Me: Maybe.
Dentist: If you went to The Real School, you would have boyfriends. The boys would be chasing you, because you are very pretty. That is one good thing about home-school: you are safe!

Inside my head I was chuckling and thinking, "Thank you, Lord, I am SAFE!"

New Blog Title and Abundant Harvest

I've decided to give this blog a new name.

The new name is "Hat Full of Hope," because one of the things that most saddens and frustrates me is seeing people around me who have no hope. No hope for the future of the world, or their life, no hope for their children. People like this always sound depressed and cynical. I'm guilty of feeling hopeless and sarcastic, but I try to fight it, because to be without Hope is not Christian. I may be naive and sheltered, as my dad says, but at least I have hope.

Today my mom had an Abundant Harvest thingummy. What an Abundant Harvest "thingummy" is: People sign up to get a weekly crate of fruits and vegetables from local(ish) farmers, along with add-ons like raw milk, nuts, extra fruit and vegetables, etc. My mom organized it for our town, and today I went with her to the drop. It was very cold, so I sat in the car and took pictures...

Lovely scenery. Well... I think it's lovely. :)



Less than lovely scenery in reflection, and Someone's Truck:



And this is fennel. It tastes like black licorice - no kidding. I like it, though.



That's all I have to say tonight...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Favorite Moments from The Music Man

Today I did a rather fatal thing. I counted the days left until opening night of The Music Man. Forty-eight, not counting today. I feel like I've eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil - now that I know how many days left until we perform, I'll wake up every morning with a new nagging number in my head, unconsciously counting down the days and weeks.

Before it's too late, before I become so sick of this play that I feel like burning my script, I'd like to share my favorite quotes, lyrics and moments from The Music Man.

For some reason, I really really really like this play's music. I'm not exactly sure why. It's not powerful or brilliant in the way that other musicals are. At first it even drove me crazy. But now I've grown to appreciate songs I didn't like, or at least be more tolerant of them (Shipoopi).

So, here are some of my favorite lyrics:

Oh, there's nothin' halfway
About the Iowa way to treat you,
When we treat you
Which we may not do at all


-- Townspeople, "Iowa Stubborn."

I'm slightly biased in favor of the "Piano Lesson" song because as Mrs. Paroo, it's sort of "my" song.

When a woman's got a husband
And you've got none
Why should she take advice from you?
Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare
And all them other high-falutin' Greeks!


-- Mrs. Paroo, "Piano Lesson/If You Don't Mind My Saying So"

There's not a man alive
Who could hope to measure up
To that blend o' Paul Bunyan
Saint Pat and Noah Webster
You've concocted for yourself
Outta your Irish imagination
Your Iowa stubborness
And your liberry fulla books.


-- Ditto

Remember, my friends
What a handful of trumpet players
Did to the famous, fabled walls of Jericho!
Oh, billiard parlor walls come a-tumbling down!


-- Harold Hill, "Trouble Reprise/Seventy Six Trombones"

But when I try in here
To tell you, dear
I love you madly, madly
Madam Librarian,
Marian,
It's a long lost cause
I can never win
For the civilized world accepts
As unforgivable sin
Any talking out loud
With any librarian
Such as Marian...


-- Harold Hill, "Marian The Librarian"

My mother laughs every time she hears the following line - she says it reminds her of me.

And if occasionally he'd ponder
What makes Shakespeare and Beethoven great?
Him I could love till I die
Him I could love till I die...


-- Marian Paroo, "My White Knight"

What I like more than the music in the show is its fun dialogue and characters. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the script:

----

ALMA
And there I was in Madison Hospital, and nobody come to see me! Cousin Will never come... Aunt Bertha never come --

ETHEL
Your Aunt Bertha's dead.

ALMA
She wouldn't a' come anyway.

(Our Alma's are fabulous.)

----

MAYOR SHINN
Will you members of the School Board stop bickerin' in public?

(I don't know why this line always makes me laugh)

----

ALMA
Oh, professor Hill, we're all agog - simply agog!

(Ever since I listened to Les Miserables, the word "agog" has made me giggle.)

----

ZANEETA, the Mayor's daughter
Papa, please! It's Capulets like you who make blood in the marketplace.

Later in the same scene...

MAYOR SHINN, to Harold
I'll settle your hash as soon as I get these premises offa' my oldest girl.

----

(I love all of Charlie Cowell, anvil salesman's great phrases. "They are gems," as my director says. )

CHARLIE COWELL
I got the goods on him in spades. Swindlin' two-bit thimble rigger.

A few lines later

CHARLIE COWELL
Mistake my old lady's corset cover! That fella's been the raspberry seed in my wisdom tooth just long enough.

(Brilliant... absolutely brilliant. I must start using the phrase "raspberry seed in my wisdom tooth" more often.)

----

MAYOR SHINN
And always remember, fellow River Citizens, I can only remind you that I did everything in my power to prevent this dire happening from - ah - happening.

----

Honorable Mention: The song that is way too much fun to make fun of.

"Till There Was You." The melody is beautiful, but the lyrics are lame.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Don't Even Want To Know What My Dreams Say About Me

I have weird dreams. Weird, weird dreams. Last night I had a weird one. I won't go into all of it, but in part of it, James Dean came to a Music Man rehearsal (anyone who regularly reads my blog will know how perfectly logical it is that I should have a dream about a celebrity visiting us). In the dream, Dean had recently lost his father and so refused to talk about East of Eden (which is mainly about a young man's relationship with his father). From what I know about James Dean as a person, the guy in my dream was very much like how he really was - not entirely pleasant.

Then I woke up and remembered that James Dean is dead, and that even if he were alive he would have been over seventy. I was sad and it put me in the mood to watch East of Eden again. The DVD is on my Christmas list... Here is a scene from the movie that I like a lot. I wouldn't say it's my favorite scene in the movie, but I do like it quite a lot.

Haha... silly Abra. "HI, CAL! Aron isn't here so I'm free to flirt shamelessly with my boyfriend's brother! Whee!" No, I'm kidding. I like Abra very much.

Long version:



Short version, for those who don't have the patience to watch all five and a half minutes!



Hmm, what else do I have to say tonight? I can't think of anything, so I'll leave this post hoping that you all don't think I'm a fangirl for having a dream about James Dean. Because I'm not. I'm a Cal Trask fangirl sometimes, that's all. ;)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gandalf the Yellow-haired

Noah, my four-year-old brother, after watching an animated movie of The Hobbit: "Could you put on my cape?"

I said, "Sure. Do you want the Superman S facing in, or out?"

Noah said, "In. 'Cause Gandalf doesn't fly."

I straightened up and grinned at my sister. "Oh!" I said, "Are you Gandalf?"

"Yep," said the little wizard in the Superman cape, "Only I'm a different kind of wizard, with a sword and shield. I'm a boy Gandalf."

Then a few minutes later, I saw him wearing a red Santa hat. It was his wizard hat, of course! "But it doesn't stay up very good," he admitted to me.

Then for part of today he was St. Michael the Archangel. With a spear, so he could "poke the devil."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baby's First Word, among other things

My baby said her first word yesterday. I'm excluding the word "Mama" as her first word because she uses it more as a wail than a word ("Mamamamamama..."). Last night my brother had a box of the ice cream treat known as Dibs, little pieces of chocolate with ice cream inside. Zoe saw my sister eating one of these and somehow identified them as ice cream (yes, we feed our one-year-old baby ice cream). "Ice?" she said to Noah, holding out her hand. Only it sounded more like "ishe." Aww.

This morning my brother had me tell him the first part of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when Lucy, Edmund and Eustace fall into the water and Caspian saves them. Fast-forward 20 minutes: I came out of my room to find two of my sisters thrashing about on the floor while Noah called out, "You don't see me yet, you have to hear a splash first." He made a splashing noise and proceeded to rescue them and bring them aboard the Dawn Treader.

Now for Katie's meme. Sorry it took me so long!

1. pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
The Once And Future King by T.H. White

2. Open to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence:


4. Post the next three sentences:
"One of these paths ended at a clod with a natural hollow underneath it. In the hollow - again with the strange appearance of aimless purpose - he found two dead ants. They were laid there tidily but yet untidily, as if a very tidy person had taken them to the place, but had forgotten the reason when he got there."

So that's random. Dead ants, woohoo. Part One of The Once And Future King (The Sword In The Stone) is very random like that.

I thought I had some other news to tell, but I guess I haven't.

Oh. Yes. I have to have Act 2 of Music Man memorized tomorrow. Eeeeeeek! Actually, it's not a big deal. I have only a handful of lines to learn in Act 2, and I know them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Love You People

I came home from an interesting Music Man rehearsal to find myself awarded on my dear Lady Rose's blog, tagged by Katie, and begged to update by the same. You dear, dear people certainly know how to make a person feel loved. So Katie, I will do your meme the next time I get on the computer, because the nearest books are all schoolbooks. :P

Lady Rose awarded me this lovely award on her blog:



Thank you! I award... ah... Elenatintil, Leigha, Serendipity, Miss C.N.W., Olivia, The Real Katie, and Alyosha.

Now, some updates: I mentioned that we had an interesting Music Man rehearsal tonight. Let me tell you about that...

Last week, our musical director told us that we would have a "special guest" tonight. "He's had a lot of experience, and you're going to like him," she promised. Tonight, before my younger sister's rehearsal, we were talking to a friend of hers. "You're in for a surprise tonight," she said. "You mean you know who the special guest person thingy is?" (That was his nickname before we knew who he was: Special Guest Person Thingy.) "Yeah, but I can't tell," said the friend. That was only mildly aggravating.

Then my sister and her friends went in, and some of my group people arrived. So we were all talking about character shoes and movies and dancing and such, when we heard the younger crowd screaming inside as the real special guest person thingy entered. So one of the girls peeked in... and saw a guy standing on the stage. "That's him? I don't recognize him," she said. I peeked. "That's what they were screaming about?" I thought, "Hmm..."

Then I started talking to people again. And another scream was heard. The girls peeking in the window jumped back with a gasp. "Oh... it's... it's..."

Then one girl said, "Oh no! I really don't like High School Musical!"

Yes. It was Corbin Bleu, from High School Musical. There was general pandemonium outside, ranging from, "Noooooo!" to "Hm... wow..." and "Really?" Then more people arrived, peeked, and shrieked and "Corbin Bleu is here!!!" was whispered constantly for the next 15 minutes.

So, yeah. He gave a talk on theatre and acting, and answered questions (among them, "Is that your real hair?" HA) which was neat. And a lot of people went up and got his autograph. And we danced the Shipoopi for him. Hahaha... yeah, that's coming along pretty well, actually. :) But... the screaming... squealing... whispering. Fans scare me.

AND THEN came the really exciting part. ;) We learned part of "Marian the Librarian"!!! I was so excited to learn that the ensemble gets to dance in that song! I was beginning to think we wouldn't. That dance is probably going to be my favorite. That, and "Trouble." :)

I got some cavities filled today. My teeth are still in pain... but the dentist said that I'll probably have "sensitivity" for the next two weeks to two months. Fun. My mouth was numb for about two hours. I had a lot of fun poking, scratching and pinching my chin to see if I would feel anything at all. I didn't. :D (Yes, I get enjoyment out of strange things.)

Have a lovely week, everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happenings

Apparently I'm hard-hearted: On Saturday after my sister's soccer game, someone came to the field with a box full of puppies marked "Free." The kids picked up the puppies, annoyed their parents to ask if they could keep them, and apparently the lady considered the dogs as "claimed." As far as I can gather from my mom and sister's versions of the tale, my mother told Courtney to put the dog she had picked up back in the box, but the lady had already put the box away and said she wasn't going to take it. So off Courtney went to my mom again - she again said no. But the lady was gone. GAH. So we were the owners of this puppy for about 20 hours. I didn't want to keep it, although my sisters did call upon me to name it (Elinor, or "Ellie."). And then of course I was accused of being "mean" because I didn't want it... Ah, well. We found a home for it with a family that I like very much. I'll call them the V's.
Mrs. V is the dramaturg for my town's Shakespeare Festival. She ... knows a lot about Shakespeare. And literature. And she does NaNoWriMo every year!
Mr. V is a musician - he leads the community band. He's played on movie soundtracks such as Ratatouille and Pirates of the Caribbean - and on the Focus on the Family Narnia productions. So they got those for free, I think. Way cool.
Little V the elder knits and acts - she and her cousins put on their own Thanksgiving Shakespeare Festival each year. This year she's playing Katerina/Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew. She and Little V the younger are in The Music Man with me, and she played the Duke in The Comedy of Errors.
Little V the younger loves piggy-back rides. We established this as a fact on July 4th, 2008. After a long, hot Comedy of Errors rehearsal, both of our families drove up to a nearish town to watch fireworks. We sat around for a few hours waiting for them, and in that time I swordfought with both Little V's, gave them piggy-back rides, spun them around, etc. Quite fun. And she looks like Georgie Henley sometimes.

They have a dog named Curly who has, as Mrs. V said, fallen in love with Ellie or Spicy as they have named her (she is a sort of spicy color :) ). So I don't feel bad at all about not wanting her. :P

I woke up this morning at six o'clock with a stuffy nose and the kind of sore throat that makes you feel like you're going to swallow your whole throat when you gulp. So I got up, nodded sleepily to my parents (dad leaves for work very early) and made myself a cup of chamomile tea. My mother made me take some Airborne (gag), which I managed somehow, between a cup of water and a box of crackers. It was a mild lemon-lime flavor - definitely not as nauseating as the orange stuff I took last year. Blech. So I drank my tea and went back to sleep for a few hours, and woke up feeling a bit better. Then at around 2 o'clock I lost my voice. I've never lost my voice before. It was very strange: I would try to say something, and finally just give up because I could barely hear myself. I was very worried, since we had a Music Man rehearsal tonight; but I drank a lot of special Throat Coat tea, and I feel a bit better now.

On Wednesday we Music Man leads had our first run-through of Act 1: with double and triple cast characters, this was interesting. It usually meant that whoever was more prepared would do one scene or another, and both the Harold Hills and Marians did their songs together for extra practice. I had a lot of fun doing a scene with one of the Harold Hills. We had blocked it, but never acted it out before, so it was fun to experiment a little. But my favorite moment was watching Marian the Librarian. Some of the cutest blocking I've ever seen, involving the Harolds lying down and folding their arms over their chest at "I could lie on your floor unnoticed, till my body had turned to carrion." I'm used to the movie, so I just about fell off my seat laughing. Next favorite was watching one of our Alma's do a small scene in the middle of Iowa Stubborn: "And there I was, in Madison Hospital, and no one come to see me!" Both of our Alma's are small 12-year-olds with POWERFUL voices. So it's a lot of fun to watch them.

I'd love to sit here and type up the whole evening (I've committed much of it to memory) but I'm being told to get off the computer now. Have a lovely week, everyone! :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dead Tired

Some things to say before I drop off to sleep in front of the keyboard:

We had a long, hard rehearsal tonight. I can't remember my Iowa Stubborn alto harmony for the life of me whenever we start singing. The sopranos have it so easy. Bleh. We worked on partner dancing tonight. My cousin Lindsay was my partner first, which was fine because we both know the dance, and we're about the same height. But then I danced with a boy who was a good deal shorter than me, so his elbow angle was obtuse where it ought to have been right. (Yes, I'm doing Geometry this year...)

During my little sister's rehearsal, I got to stand around for about 45 minutes with my town's Shakespeare Festival's "dramaturg," talking Shakespeare. AND NANOWRIMO!!! I'm not doing NaNo this year (I'd love to try it... maybe next year) but as I know so many who are participating, and follow their wordcount status eagerly, I was SO thrilled to learn that she is participating - and has for years! And she's gotten to 50k every time. Wow. Her 9 or 10-year-old daughter who played our duke in Comedy of Errors is also doing NaNo. :D

My very wonderful confirmation class teacher gave all of her students little pro-life pins. The exact replica in size and shape of an unborn baby's feet at 10 weeks after conception. The pin is titled "Precious Feet" for good reason. When I showed my four-year-old brother, he asked why I was wearing it. How can you explain "pro-life" and abortion to a four-year-old? So I just said, "To show that I love all the babies in mommies' tummies." Well, it's true.

Um... I think that's all I have to say tonight. ;)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Et Cetera

I read yesterday that Martin Luther wanted to get rid of the book of James from the Bible because of chapter 2 verses 24 and 26:

"You see that a person is justified by his works and not by faith alone... As the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead."

Obviously this doesn't jibe with his Sola Fida doctrine. *hugs the book of James tightly* But since I'm Catholic I would have had it in a bible eventually anyways. ;) I say eventually because for the first 13 years of my life I was Protestant and might never have known there was an epistle of James (not that I knew what an epistle was till last year. I guess I thought it was something similar to an apostle...)

I went to my friends' birthday party today (some of you may know Hannah and Lainey). 'Twas much fun. :) I was rather singled out by their 3-year-old brother and heard a great deal about his brother's Legos. Some of the conversation was really priceless. He told me about his father's many tools and cool garage. "Does your daddy do cool stuff?" he asked me. "My daddy plays guitar," I said, smiling. "My daddy has a cartar!" he told me excitedly. Hehehe! My brother just calls them "'tars." And my sister Courtney used to call them "kintars."

Speaking of funny children, we have all these old video tapes of me singing my little heart out when I was three years old. First it was Over The Rainbow. Dressed in a Dorothy dress, of course. I remember one time I walked into the playroom at a Christmas party and announced to the rowdy looking boys climbing on the toys that I was Dorothy Gale from Kansas. "Dorothy WHALE" they taunted. I wasn't hurt. Just a little confused and indignant. Mostly indignant. I left the room and didn't bother my head about them anymore. Silly boys.

Next it was Bye Bye Birdie. My mom was in the show when I was 3 or 4 (she was in a little group of back-up singers for Conrad Birdie), and so she had the old movie. I really liked that opening song (now I can't stand it). We have videos of me singing loudly and mournfully that there was "no more sunshine/It followed you away."

Then, around the same time, my parents had me advertise little boxes of food and such and do pretend commercials.
Me: Would you like to buy this... (Mom, prompting, "Mango tea,") Mango tea?
Dad: Well, tell me why I should.
Me: 'Cause... it's MANGO TEA! And it's very sweet, it has licorice in it.

Ah, licorice. I never considered using it as a sweetener... Then next:

Me: Would you like to buy this diet cooowke? (Said with an English accent. I don't know WHERE it came from) It's very healfy. 'Cept it has cawffeine in it. (Again, don't know where the accent came from. Too many movies, maybe?)

I guess I've always had a bit o' the stage in my soul, hm?

Oh, yes: For those of you interested in my Music Man adventures, rehearsals are coming along fine. I'm even getting the dances down. Not doing them well, I admit, but at least I sort of know what I'm supposed to be doing. ;) We blocked "Piano Lesson" on Wednesday. One of the best things about having double or triple cast characters is watching the other actors doing what you're supposed to do, and seeing how it looks. And that scene really looks so fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Desert Island

I'm very sorry I haven't been posting. I've been lazy, busy, tired, etc. ;) BookButterfly tagged me over at her blog, and it looked like a lot of fun. Katie of Shakespeare And Showtunes (a blog after my own heart) also tagged me for a Six Random Things meme, and I will get around to that one soon, I promise! Thanks, Katie and BB!

Beware: it's getting late and I'm exhausted and a little silly.

Rules:
1. List the 10 books/collected works/series that you would bring on a desert island.
2. (Optional) Say why you would bring them.
3. Link to the person who linked to you.
4. Tag 6 people to also do the meme.
5. Leave a comment to let those people know.

1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church. What if I were stranded on a desert island with an expectant mother and she was going to miscarry the baby and I forgot how to baptize it!? ;) Or what if this mother were an atheist? I would need my Catechism, because debates would be inevitable.

2. The Bible, I should think that ought to be enough said, but besides being divinely inspired and spiritually helpful and all the already-amazing stuff, it's really great literature.

3. The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton. That's fifty volumes. And if they get wet I am KILLING that ocean. Wait... never mind. Forget I said that.

4. Les Miserables. I can open it up at random and read something that I love.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia. They really shaped my imagination, and I couldn't go too long without at least knowing they were there.

6. The Lord of the Rings. I am STILL reading Fellowship of the Ring, and I would go crazy knowing I got stranded on this island before finishing it.

7. Regina Doman's books: The Shadow of the Bear, Black As Night, Waking Rose, and The Midnight Dancers. Because I love them very much.

8. The Complete Works of Shakespeare! It would be so hard for me to live without Shakespeare. And I pity that expectant mother I might be stranded with. Because whether I had the Complete Works or not, I'd be doing a lot of quoting.

9. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. I don't believe I will ever get tired of it.

10. Shadowplay by Clare Asquith, because I haven't read it yet, and I have such a beautiful copy of it.

I tag... I tag... The Real Katie, Courtney, and Lanta and Bridget of Random Profound Thoughts.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Need A Cookie

I just caught a whiff of something tantalizing and totally imaginary: a peanut butter cookie. There are no peanut butter cookies in this house, and yet I could have sworn that I smelled something like it.

I need a peanut butter cookie. :( I made some very good ones using chocolate cake mix. They stayed chewy forever. Well, you know, until I ate them all...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Irish Imagination and Iowa Stubborness

Another Music Man rehearsal. This time we learned Iowa Stubborn. Very fun!

Oh, there's nothing halfway about the Iowa way to treat you
When we treat you, which we may not do at all.


I admit I was wondering whether they would change the "And we're so by God stubborn we can stand touching noses" part. They changed Zaneeta's "Ye Gods!" to "Ye Gads!" which is understandable, but "Ye Gods!" isn't as bad in a Christian children's performance as "by God..." They did change it - to "Gosh darn stubborn." Haha. I'm wondering what they'll do about Mayor Shinn though. "If I ever catch you touching my daughter again I'll by God horsewhip you till hell won't have it!" is a line I wouldn't want my brother to say, but it takes the fun out of it if it's only "I'll gosh darn horsewhip you."

We also did some extra audition preparation, and I tested my Irish accent for Mrs. Paroo on my cousin and sister.

Snobby moment of the day: In the car, my mother put on some alphabet music for my brother. It was very loud. I was trying to listen to my classical music.

"Can you please turn that down?" I asked, "I can't hear my Shostakovitch."
"Well, la di da," my mom teased.
But even better and more important than Shostakovitch was Brahm's Hungarian Dance... and George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue! Ah, I do love that song.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Awarded

My dear friend (and Fairy Tale Forum "auntie"), Lady Rose presented me with this award.



Thanks so much, auntie! :D

Now, for who I want to give this award to... that's hard. I want to award it to everyone who visits my blog, really. Every comment you leave here really makes my day. Q is my very most faithful commenter, and I don't return the favor on her blog half enough! Grace's comments are always very long and full of life and joy - it's infectious, really. ;) Alyosha's comments nearly always make me snigger, and make me see things in a more Phlegmatic-Melancholy light that's good for me when my brain is like it is now (drowning in hot cocoa). And I always love hearing from my dear sister (ok, adopted online sister, but we really are sisters in Christ!) Miss C.N.W. and my adopted "Mother," Elenatintil.

But I think who I'd really like to give this award to is Courtney, a girl I met through the blogging world, by idly looking through the profiles of Bloggers who listed Bella in their favorite movies. As soon as I saw the banner at the top of Courtney's blog that said, "As for my and my blog, they will serve the Lord" I kept reading. She's a kindred spirit and when she leaves a comment on my blog, it brightens my day. Not only does she comment on what I've written, but she usually asks further questions and I always feel she's interested in my thoughts. Thanks, Courtney!

And many thanks to the rest of you "super commenters!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

He's a Music Man!

Last night my sisters and I went to our first rehearsal for The Music Man! It's an all-kids cast (grades K-12) with 29 leads/soloists, all (or nearly all) double-cast. Since it's a workshop thing, the auditions haven't happened yet. "Audition Preparation Night" is tomorrow, and the first auditions are on Sept. 24th. My sisters and I - and my mother - are all excited about this. For my sisters, it's their first play, and for me it's my first musical and my first experience with choreographed dancing. That's going to be the hardest part, but it will be good for me.

In other news, I'm going to change the name of my blog to something else. Something longer, something nicer, something more "me." Probably something from Shakespeare, or literature. I'm open to suggestions! On a side note, I discovered that "Voices" is the title of a Catholic women's magazine! :)

School is going mostly well. I dislike Geometry, but we get along alright most days. My history book is great, English is challenging, and Biology is easy and sometimes interesting, but it just doesn't interest me personally.

I finally finished Henry IV and The Hidden Treasure of Glaston - I liked them, but it felt like I was reading them forever! ;) Now I'm working on Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton, and I'm reading Father Brown stories aloud to my sister. We both love them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Scholarly Chatter

Today was my first day of 10th grade. And technically my last day of 9th, since I finally got everything uploaded today. I didn't actually start working until after lunch because I was so busy with cleaning out last year's binder, finding and labeling new binder tabs, and smelling my books. And opening them to hear the spines crack - what a lovely sound. All my books are so fresh and new that I even have fond feelings for my Geometry and Biology textbooks. I'm really excited about my history course. I'm using the book Christ the King, Lord of History, which I like very much so far. I'm planning to find at least one historical fiction book to go with each time period/country I study - so any suggestions would be very helpful (with time periods ranging from 2000 B.C. to about World War II, mostly set in Europe or the Middle East). :) My Religion course looks HARD. English looks very challenging, and I'm excited about that, but I'd be more excited if I were going to be studying another Shakespeare play this year. Well, next year I shall hopefully take Seton's Shakespeare elective. :)

Latin is... meh. Some days I love it, some days I hate it.

This looks like it's going to be a tough year - pray for me, please. That's one of the things I love most about Seton. They encourage starting the school-day off with prayer, prayer before each subject, prayer if you get stuck. This prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas was in the introduction to my Religion course, and I love it:



Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.

Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.

Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory, and
the ability to grasp things
correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent
of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.

Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.

I ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Onto My Blogroll and Into the Wild

I'm super excited about Elenatintil's latest film project, and the update blog for the movie can finally officially go on my blogroll.

The Shadow of the Bear: The Movie

I'm really really excited about it. I try to control myself a little bit on the internet, but I'm very really very really excited. ;)

I bought Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst (to say nothing of Manalive by G.K. Chesterton - a hearty "huzzah!") today, and I really liked it. I hope to write a review of it sometime this coming week, but I shall make no promises.

I just had a sort of realization about the play King Lear, which I have been discussing with Alyosha. I'll just write what I said to her:

"I think in the scene just before [Lear and Cordelia are] taken away [to prison] is the only time when God's name is used as God, and not gods and goddesses, which are called upon, spoken to, talk about, and prayed to many times throughout the play."

I could be wrong, but it seems an interesting fact, since Lear is saying to his daughter that they will "live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too," in prison, and then says, "And take upon’s the mystery of things, as if we were God’s spies" In other parts of the play that would be worded, "the spies of the gods." It might merely have to do with syllables and lines or something like that, but it's still interesting.

Speaking of Shakespeare: For my performance as "the person who comes out at the end to report that 'that guy' is coming," I am famous! There was a kid at one of our home-schooling group's Park Day (in another town) who was discussing "the Shakespeare festival." "Oh, where?" I asked. "[Town Name]" "I was in that!" And then he said, yeah, I was the person who comes out at the end, et cetera. "Did you also see You Can't Take It With You?" I asked, beginning to recognize him. "Yeah, I sat right next to you." Oh, yeah. He had this absolutely adorable little sister, and during an intermission she came up to him to ask him to open a bag of chips, and I asked if she was his sister. Life's funny. I saw their family three times on that weekend they were in town (You Can't Take It With You, my church, and Comedy of Errors) and never expected to see them again. Yes, life's funny and I'm "famous!" ;)

I think this is all I have to say. No, wait! My sister and brother have their first soccer games tomorrow! That's kind of exciting, because I actually want to see them. My sisters because she's really great. You should see her when she gets the opposing teams' legs all tangled up. And my brother's because he's four and none of the kids know the rules of soccer or have had any practice. How adorable. :D

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A New Post

Ok, news in my life:

King Lear is my new favorite Shakespeare play. Did you know that at one point in the stage there are four dead bodies onstage all at once? Um... not that dead bodies are my reason for loving the play... hehe.

I'm reading Henry IV, Part One. Falstaff is funny and annoying.

My sister said I'm probably going to marry a beast. As in THE Beast. "I mean, you've got the books and everything, and there'll be this guy who wants to marry you but you'll freak him out with how much you read, and then you'll meet this Beast, and he'll like to read so you'll just ... marry him. And turn him into a human." She makes me laugh.

This is pretty hilarious:

The Man Who Speaks in Anagrams from Monty Python's Flying Circus. Read it here

My favorite part is "The Mating of the Wersh."

Oh, wait, and "Twelfth Thing"!

And...

'Be ot or bot ne ot, tath is the nestquoi.'

OH MY WORD!

P.S. When we went to see an Old Time Radio Show thing, they did some Monty Python, and among the scripts they read were the following:

The Arguement
Dennis Moore (They spelled lupines wrong, I think! *sigh*)
The Pet Shop

Crazy, eh?

I thought I would have something interesting to say here, but apparently not. So the title of this post sums it up very well, I think.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Correction

Lady Rose's answer to question number 21 on the questionaire I did a few days ago made me reconsider my own answer:

What do you do most often when you are bored? I put read, but I really don't, because when I'm bored, it's because I can't settle down to anything, not even to a book. So what I do is wander around the house and read Shakespeare - Shakespeare is really good for my boredom.

A "real" post - or at least something more than the random short things I've been writing lately will come soon. About interesting things. "What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be the terrors of the earth." - King Lear.

Friday, August 29, 2008

"Your very first tragedy!"

There's a part in Wicked where Galinda is practically hyperventilating over the fact that Elphaba just attended, "her verrrryyy fiiirrrst partyyyyy.... ever!" to which Elphaba replies, "Do funerals count?" I felt the same way today when a friend on the board of directors of my town's little Mountain Shakespeare Festival was telling us about last night's meeting. This group has only been in existence for a few years, and it's done only comedies so far. So when Holly told us they were thinking of doing King Lear next year, I felt like both of those lines smashed together. Ha ha. :D

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Amusing Algebra

Courtesy of Teaching Textbooks: Algebra 1:

"Dryer #1 ate a few socks, but only a few, and dryer #2, the semi-selfish one, had the nerve to eat 4 more socks than #1. However, it was the last dryer - dryer #3 - that was the virtual sock-eating monster. In its short but turbulent life, it actually consumed 7 more socks than #2 did. If all three dryers ate a total of 51 socks, how many did dryer #1 eat?"

This is my kind of problem. It's weird and random and easy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Questionaire

I found this on Courtney's blog and decided to fill it out.

1. Time: 3:30

2. Name: Delaney

3. Nicknames: Fauny, Faunsy, Faunius - but only by internet friends

4. What is the most recent movie you've seen in the theater: Kit: An American Girl. Yes, I know it's for younger girls, but it's set in the 30's!

5. Eye color: Blue.

6. Place of birth: California... in the San Fernando Valley.

7. Favorite NEW foods: What the heck is a "new" food? Food is food, it's been around since the beginning of time. It played an important role in the first sin! How can any food be "new?" I mean, I know there weren't cheeseburgers when Thomas Aquinas was alive, but how new is "new?"

8. Ever been to Africa: No.

9. Been in a car accident?: Ah... no, not that I recall.

10. Croutons or bacon bits: Croutons

11. Favorite day of the week: Wednesday, I think. One of the days for the Glorious Mysteries in the Rosary. And I like the name of it. (I know a girl named Wednesday)

12. Favorite restaurants: Marie Calendar's. They have the most delicious potato-cheese soup.

13. Favorite Flower: Oh, my. I like simple wildflowers, and daisies, and all kinds of roses. Oh, yes. Lupine! ("Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, riding through the night/Soon every lupine in the land will be in his might hand/He steals them from the rich/And gives them to the poor/Mr. Moore" Here)

14. Favorite sport to watch: Soccer... my sister plays it.

15. Favorite drink? Um... water. Coffee. Hot cocoa. Many kinds of tea. Apple juice and grape juice and pineapple-orange-banana juice, or orange-strawberry-banana juice, or orange-pineapple-mango juice.

16. Favorite ice cream: Chocolate chip, mint chip, strawberry, cookie dough, mocha almond fudge

17. Disney or Warner Brothers: I have no idea...

18. Favorite fast food restaurant: In 'N' Out

19. What color is your bedroom carpet: Dark green, with some blueishness in it.

20. Which store would you choose to Max out your credit card this week? I don't have a credit card, but I guess I'd say Barnes & Noble or Borders.

21. What do you do most often when you are bored? Read.

22. Bedtime: ... Lately? Uh.... hehe... 12:30. Or thereabouts. That's all going to change quite soon!

23. Favorite TV shows: The Andy Griffith Show and Monk and some Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie, and Bewitched. Sometimes.

24. Person you are going to have dinner with: My family or maybe Hugh & Dickon (which means that if we don't have a sit-down-together meal, I'll read The Hidden Treasure of Glaston while I eat)

25. Favorite Car: I know very little about cars.

26. What are you listening to right now: audio Clips from Monty Python. So weird...

27. What is your favorite color: Greens.

28. How many pets do you have: I don't remember... I think we're down to one dog and one rat. Yeah, that sounds right.

29. What are you doing this weekend? Cleaning, schoolwork, church, reading, and going to town for a little shopping, maybe.

30. Favorite book: Currently? Les Miserables.

31. What is your middle name: Joyce

32. Who is your favorite author(s): C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Jane Austen, Regina Doman, Dorothy Sayers, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Shannon Hale, Megan Whalen Turner, and I don't know who else.

33. Favorite music to listen to (artists, style, etc.): Relient K, Nichole Nordeman, Alli Rogers, Waterdeep, Katie Herzig, Andy Gullahorn, most classical music... I'd like to say all, but it's not as if I've heard ALL of it, so... Showtunes, lots of showtunes: Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables, Wicked, The King and I, Annie, Oliver!, Bye Bye Byrdie, The Sound of Music, The Phantom of the Opera, (I don't own all of these soundtracks, but these are the musicals my family and I sing music from around the house)

Farewell

My book review blog "Books and Windows" is going to a better place. Well... erm... if you call cyberspace a better place. I'm going to put some of the reviews from there onto this blog over the next few days, and steal Elenatintil's (very good) idea and link to each review on my sidebar.

So if you ever read and liked one of my reviews on B&W, please tell me if there's any special review you'd like saved on here.

And a review of The Midnight Dancers is coming soon. It's practically finished, the only thing that keeps me from publishing it is the fear that it doesn't do the book justice. ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Palamino - A Rant (Sort of )



First off, let me say that I really have no business reading The Palamino by Katy Pistole. It's a Christian-preteen-horse-story. Christian novels = haven't read too many, but if all of them are as "mushy" (for lack of a better word; I don't mean as in romance) as this one, I'm not too interested. Preteen = Well... I'm not one. Horse-stories = Been there, done that. Not really my thing anymore.

However, I did read the book when I was 12 or 13. Devoured it, really. Then my mum found the second book at the local thrift store: I read about 10 of the 19 chapters aloud to my sister before my throat went hoarse and I agreed to let her finish it on her own. We liked that one, too. Then I reread it when I was 14 and it seemed a little flatter. But it wasn't until my 11-year-old sister read it that I realized something:

It's silly.
In a fun way that I don't mind too much, but nevertheless, it's preteen fiction that's a little over-the-top sometimes.

I was walking by my sister's bedroom, and asked her how she liked the book so far. "It's pretty good," said she, marking her place, "But there sure are a lot of tears running down peoples' faces, aren't there?" I laughed, "Yeah, I guess there are." "It's like, 'Tears ran down Jenny's cheeks, tears ran down Jenny's mother's cheeks, tears ran down Jenny's father's cheeks, tears ran down Kathy's cheeks.' I'm drowning here!" I giggled and told my other sister, who also giggled.

My little sister read the second book and pointed out even more of those very active tears.

I tried to read the third book, but at fifteen... well... you know. I just couldn't bring myself to get past the first page. Maybe someday, to prove that I'm not ashamed to read Christian horse-stories. Because there's nothing really WRONG with the books: they're just... as I said, a little over-the-top.

Camera Happy

Our home altar:



Baby Zoe, trying to wave and hold onto a cookie at the same time:



My shadow, tiptoeing away from me!



There it is, on the rock:



Our five-headed lamp that we found in the Goodwill. When I first saw my mom carrying it over, I said, "It's a Hydra-lamp!" It's not exactly, but that's what I call it.



Our Wicked program, signed by Michael Drolet (Boq), Derrick Williams (Fiyero), Erin Mackey (Glinda), Briana Yacavone (Nessarose), Jo Anne Worley (Madame Morrible) and David De Vries (Dr. Dillamond).



Piano music my sister and I enjoy playing:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chesterton Academy

Oh my word!

Chesterton Academy in Minnesota

Check out their curriculum! This high school has got "DREAM SCHOOL" written all over it. The Math, Science, and Language page doesn't interest me too much, but look at that Humanities and the Arts page! AAAAAHHHHH! The Man Who Was Thursday!!! Les Miserables!!! Apologetics, philosophy, Shakespeare, acting, art, music, playwriting,, I want to go there for 11th or 12th grade. ;)

The only problem is that we don't exactly have $5500 dollars to spare.

Oh yeah, one of the best things about this school? They have no gym classes planned.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wicked!

Yes, we saw it! No, we didn't forget our tickets at home, or lose ourselves in the terrifying city of Hollywood, or arrive too late to see the whole show. Our experience went something like this...

We drove the long drive to the San Fernando Valley to have lunch with my grandparents to celebrate my sister's eighth grade graduation. ("Yeah... isn't it lame?" quoth my sister, regarding her "graduation") Then we drove to my father's parents' house to leave him, Noah, and the baby. We visited for a while. I made sure everyone was clear on the "Watch Zoe like a hawk" thing. ;) Not that I don't trust them or anything.

From their house, my mom and sisters and I practically flew to Hollywood - there was NO traffic! And Hollywood is a huge, scary, dirty city, but it's got a lot of character.

So... we were standing around waiting for the doors of the theater to open, and people were lining up, milling about, checking to see if they had their tickets, et cetera, and my mother (who had made us dress up a little bit) said, "Well, I'm sorry. I guess people don't dress up to go to the theater anymore." Desirae groaned. She hates wearing skirts. But then inside, mum said, "See? Now that we're inside aren't you glad you dressed up?" Because it was really really gorgeous in there. And then, when you get into the actual theater, well... wow. I mean, it looks like part of a set. "It's so art deco," my mother remarked several times.

As always, it seemed like we were waiting in our seats forever. I began to pity my sister because she was sitting right next to my other sister and her best friend - they're 11 and 12. And you know... at that age, girls are sort of giggly.

And THEN...

The first notes of the musical.

And the dragon above the stage started moving. Those first notes of Wicked always excite me, every time I put the soundtrack on.

But as much as I'd like to go through the whole show scene by scene, song by song, I can't. So I'll just sum it up: It was excellent. Very well done, well performed, and I really enjoyed seeing it with my mom. Now for the finer details, with some nitpicking:

Costumes: My absotively-posolutely FAVORITE part of the show! ... possibly. ;) The Ozzian's costumes were sort of like... Les Miserables meets colorful-fantasy-world (sort of), perfect for this darker depiction of Oz. Glinda's dresses were rather astonishing: glittering all over, full skirts. Even when she was a schoolgirl at Shiz, her dresses were lovely. Elphaba's "Wicked Witch" dress was so subtly magnificent.

Singing and Acting: Erin Mackey, who played Glinda, was my favorite, acting-wise. She had a good voice as well. Although Kristin Chenoweth, Broadway's original Glinda, has a much better and more experienced voice, her performance seems kind of flat after Erin Mackey's totally insane, immature energy. See the video below. Teal Wicks, Elphaba, was pretty great - I loved how you could see all her energy, even when she was just walking across the stage. At first it was a more suppressed energy, but it became more and more apparent throughout the play. Everyone did really well, actually, and I don't really have any complaints... (Sorry, Aly. ;) ) The Dresser from Beauty and the Beast played Madame Morrible. Haha!
The show was REALLY fun, no matter how... skewed, the story is. They threw in some nods at lines from the movie ("What's in the punch?" "Lemons and melons and pears" "Oh my!" (Nessarose and Boq) and an ironic "There's no place like home" from Elphaba). A fan of the book will start rambling at intermission about all the changes, and have a nitpickers' field day when the show is over (I shared quite a few of my complaints with my family, I didn't pick the story completely apart) but a fan of the movie will come out tickled pink. And I consider myself a fan both of the book(s) and the movie (well... I was a fan of it when I was four years old...)


This is Erin Mackey performing Popular.



I'm not even going to try to find a video of Defying Gravity for you. YouTube videos simply do not do it justice. Neither does the song on the soundtrack, come to think of it.

It's added a whole new chunk of quotes to my and my sister's supply, and we didn't get home until 2 that night (which is pretty funny, since the show ended at 9 something... Honestly, how did that happen? I guess we watched the Olympics at my grandparents' house for longer than I thought...)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Love Ya, Tomorrow

Went to Mass tonight. I usually lose track of what Father O'Neill is talking about in the homily because of his thick Irish accent (which I love, nonetheless) but today he was talking about the third commandment, "Remember the Lord's Day and keep it holy," and mostly I didn't even need to shake myself into paying attention. It was all very interesting. Driving home we listened to Catholic radio and heard a priest (I'm afraid I've forgotten his name) talking about how at some conference or something, some liberal theologian was preaching heresies and how this priest was sitting near one woman in the audience who was, as the priest on the radio said, "past the age of caring." The theologian said he didn't believe in angels, said they were only a "literary device." The woman muttered, "I wish one of those literary devices would come down and kick his butt." Haha! It reminded me of the guardian angel posters in my religion class - they are TOUGH angels, with their swords and shields. Makes me feel proud to have those guys on my team. :D Then, the theologian sat down and the woman said, "So you don't believe in hell, huh?" And he said no, he didn't. The woman replied, "Well, you'll believe in it when ya get there." Hehe, oh, dear... :D

I've been reading Sherlock Holmes lately. I KNEW I wouldn't regret buying that Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume II book! Especially since it was only six dollars... I like the characters, the stories, the writing, and everything about it more with each story. Today I read one of them aloud to my sister, which we both enjoyed. And luckily she doesn't mind if my tongue gets all tangled when I'm trying to read those long sentences.

Last week I read Arsenic and Old Lace, the play. I think I like the movie better, though I KNOW I'd like Arsenic better onstage. Some quotes:

Abby Brewster: I do hope they don't make us use that imitation flour again. I mean with this war trouble. It may not be very charitable of me, but I've almost come to the conclusion that this Mr. Hitler isn't a Christian.


Teddy: (running up the stairs) CHARGE! Charge the blockhouse!
Reverend Harper: The blockhouse?
Abby Brewster: The stairs are always San Juan hill.
Harper: Have you ever tried to persuade him that he wasn't Teddy Roosevelt?
Abby Brewster: Oh no!
Martha Brewster: He's so happy being Teddy Roosevelt.
Abby: Once, a long time ago - remember, Martha? We thought if he would be George Washington it might be a change for him...
Martha: But he stayed under his bed for days and just wouldn't be anybody.


Mortimer: Aunt Martha, men don't just jump in window seats and die.
Abby: No, he died first.
Mortimer: Well, how?
Abby: Oh, Mortimer, don't be so inquisitive! The gentleman died because he drank some wine with poison in it.
Mortimer: How did the poison GET in the wine?
Martha: Well, we put it in wine because it's less noticeable - when it's in tea it has a distinct odor.
Mortimer: You put it in the wine?
Abby: Yes! And I put Mr. Hoskins in the window seat because Dr. Harper was coming.
Mortimer: So you knew what you'd done and you didn't want Dr. Harper to see the body!
Abby: Well, not at tea - that wouldn't have been very nice!

Tomorrow we're going to see Wicked. My sisters and I keep randomly squealing and saying, "Tomorrow!" Which, of course, started me on the song.

Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love ya, tomorrow
You're always a day away

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Just Talked To A COMPUTER

It was a call from my baby sister's health plan thingummy. "Is this the child's parent or guardian?" I was silent... "I'm sorry," the computer said, "I'm just a computer. Did you say "yes?"

"No," I said firmly.
"Is there anyone available to take this call?"
"No," I said again, wishing there were.
"Would you be willing to take a message?"
Long silence. I didn't really want to, and this was a computer talking, so I could have said no if I wanted to. "Y-ees," I said rather uncertainly. And took the message.

But it was very weird.

Speaking of phone calls, we've been getting a lot of wrong number calls lately...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Excerpt of... Something, and Other Insignificant Somethings

This is part of something I wrote one day when I was bored, without any idea of a plot, or answers to any of the questions. I just know one thing: these two characters do NOT fall in love, just in case you're wondering, and just in case you think that's where it's headed. It's not. ;)

The girl weighed the pendant in the palm of her hand, “It’s a good imitation,” she began.
“Imitation? Of what?”
“I’d say it’s worth about $50 dollars,” the girl continued, as if the shopkeeper hadn’t interrupted. “If you’ll take that much for it, I’ll buy it.” She looked at him questioningly, yet confidently.
“I’m really confused,” the shopkeeper whined after a pause. “What the heck is going on? What’s this an imitation of, and how do you know whether it’s a good imitation or not? Why do you want it?”
The girl gave him a look that didn’t seem to mean anything, but it also seemed to mean everything he didn’t know about. It didn’t answer any of his questions. It only created more questions, although he wasn't sure what they were and why he wanted the answers.
“What’s your name?” he asked quietly, but inwardly he felt irritated. Why do I even care? She’s just some weirdo-girl that dropped into this shop like a… he searched for a simile, but couldn’t think of anything befitting of the strange girl in ripped jeans and sneakers who could tell a “good imitation” from an elusive original that he hadn’t known existed till now. Just get her out of here, he commanded himself sternly. She is going to get me in so much trouble. He knew this with amazing certainty. He wasn’t sure how, but he knew that she was trouble. “Trouble.” It would be written all over the necklace where she had left her fingerprints, and it would be written in her footprints when she walked out of the store. She had said, “After today you’ll never see me again,” but the shopkeeper had a terrifying feeling that she was wrong.


It's dramatic and freaky and confusing, I know. But for some reason, I like this cowardly shopkeeper with a bad attitude, and this weird girl in ripped jeans. I like them enough to find out more about their story. Someday. Maybe.

As for the other insignificant somethings, I bought the Complete Sherlock Holmes Vol. II for only $6 at Barnes & Noble on Saturday. I was rather pleased.

And apparently my blog's readability level is Junior High:

blog readability test



I'm not sure how I feel about that. I know it doesn't mean that the people who read my blog have junior-high-school minds - it just means that junior-high-school-minds could read my blog and not be left scratching their heads in confusion. Well, some confusion, perhaps (my fault, not theirs) but not utter confusion. ;)

And my Books And Windows blog is a high school reading level. Hrm... must be because of the "A Word A Day" posts I've done.

And speaking of words, my sister and I spent a few hours last night on FreeRice. Marvelous website. I started keeping track of all the best words, and filled up two pages, front and back, and half of another one. Some of the words I came across that I liked best (these are the meanings given by FreeRice. The actual dictionary definitions are most likely better):

lachrymal: tearful (Yes, I do like those moody words like "morose" and "animosity" and "melancholy" etc.)
embrangle: confuse
waggery: jesting (sounds Shakespearean. There were actually several words we came across that caused me to spout off a Comedy of Errors quote. "Abject" and "upbraid" were among them. ["Thou sayest his meals were sauced with thy upbraidings..."])
munificent: generous (you can just TELL that this word means generous. Seriously.)
ineluctable: unavoidable (This is a totally unfamiliar word, but it's cool...)
dolor: grief (I only knew this because my grandparents live on a "Dolorosa" street, which means "way of sorrows," I believe)
pertinacious: Stubborn
shellback: worldly sailor (Whoah! I love this one!)
blithesome: cheery (happy word)
spindrift: sea spray

At one point Desirae and I had gotten several words right only because of The Roman Mysteries, and the Latin names and phrases in those books. And there was one word that we knew the meaning of because of Arsenic and Old Lace or the Andy Griffith Show. And some ("transubstantiate" and "genuflect") because we're Catholic. It's sort of ...homeschoolery.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Of Guitars

Guitars here are a part of the family. My dad and his family have a huge guitar collection: all kinds of guitars, from rare to cheap, from very old to somewhat old (the collection has stopped growing now), electric and acoustic. "The Collection" as my dad calls it, was also a pretty good moneymaker, and apparently rather popular in Hollywood. I don't know how many movies "our" guitars have appeared in, but I know for sure that a few of them are in The Color Purple.

Most of the guitars in The Collection are in my grandpa's garage, but we have a few at our house, and a few others. So let me introduce you to the guitars in our home:

First, here is my own left-handed guitar, an Ibanez:



I love it because it's mine to play, and name, and tune and bang up and carry around with me. It doesn't have a name yet, though. Needless to say, this guitar is NOT in the Collection. ;)

This is my dad's Alvarez, signed inside by the maker, Kazuo Yairi.



This is the Martin. This small kind of guitar is known as a "parlor guitar." It's very old - over 130 years - and in these pictures, it looks every day of its age! It's got cracks in the body, and broken strings, but four years ago it was in better shape, and was the guitar I started learning on. Clasical guitars can be restrung left-handed or right-handed because the bridge is level.



This guitar, "the Taylor" is another one that's not in the collection, but it has a kind of fun story. My dad was told about some drawing that his work, or a business associated with his, was having. The prizes were two Taylor acoustic/electric guitars (if you hook them up to an amp they magically sound like electric guitars). My dad entered, and won. He never told us he had entered, so we were pretty surprised when he came home carrying an unfamiliar, cloth guitar case.





This is "the Musser". It hasn't been played in a while, because it's got a buzz in a few of the strings, but I really really love this guitar. It's got such a beautiful color:



It looks so plain at first, until you see the decoration around the sound-hole (mother-of-pearl, perhaps, or mock-mother-of-pearl):



And then this... this is the Gibson. The Gibson "Southern Jumbo."



Out of all the guitars we have in our home, this is my favorite. I love the dark, rich colors, and the full, beautiful sound it makes, even with its old strings. I love how it looks like it was my dad's favorite, too. It's all beat up around the pickguard from hard playing:



I grew up around these guitars, and I'm only now learning to appreciate each one. So don't worry if you look at these pictures and think, "Mmm... pretty... but what's the big deal?" There is no big deal. I just like guitars. My dad likes them. His brother, when he was alive, liked them (he did most of the collecting and business). I guess it runs in the family.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some Little Things

I'm still recovering from the suddenness of arriving for a performance of The Comedy of Errors at one in the afternoon on a Saturday, and then not realizing until after the curtain call that ... there wouldn't be another the next day or the next weekend. Of course, it all wasn't officially over until the cast party, and even now... I just miss it. I feel like I won't ever get over that. But I may get to be in The Music Man with my cousins and Hannah this fall, and the woman who played Adriana in Comedy wants to start a Shakespearean acting class for children, and there's most likely going to be some musical theatre involved, so I feel consoled.

I attended the last show of You Can't Take It With You on Sunday. Despite some obvious fumbling (well, obvious to me at any rate: I had already seen the show twice before) it was a fantastic show, and the cast received a standing ovation. I was so proud of them all. And sad that I'd never get to see them as those characters again. Ooh, it was sad indeed.

But I really am quite WELL! and to quote Kolenkov from "Can't," "Life is chasing inside of me like a ... squirrel!" I'm happy. Some things that are making me happy:

1. The audio book of The Goose Girl. *SPOILERS* Ani's voice is good. Selia's is good. Geric's is sort of... too... um... I can't think of a word. But he doesn't sound right - he doesn't sound earnest and boyish and sweet, while still sounding strong and noble. He just sounds mostly strong and noble. I'm not crazy about the narrator's voice - the words seem more beautiful when I'm reading them in my head, with my own voice. I just finished listening to the scene where Ani is talking to Falada's head. It was beautiful on paper, and beautiful in audio. However, I did have it imagined so clearly in my mind that it fell a little short. I imagined it all more desperate. When Ani said Falada's name in her mind, the sound of it echoed through my mind for pages afterward when I first read it. I never imagined any line of diologue in any book as clearly as I did that. It was an imaginary cry to an imaginary character, heart-broken, echoing in an imaginary cold, and I heard it and felt it so clearly it still makes me shiver. But even so, in the audio book, that scene was amazing. *END SPOILERS*

2. Guitar: I never realized how good I had become at playing guitar until I tried to learn to play with my right hand. I'm a leftie, playing on a left-handed guitar, but since my dad plays and collects guitars, there is certainly no shortage of normal guitars. So I picked up my dad's acoustic-electric Taylor that he won in some drawing that he randomly entered (although I'd rather play his Gibson Southern Jumbo - but alas, it's out of tune and rather collectible) and decided to learn to play the "right" way. Ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch, painful! My fingers have felt like they're on fire, and all the frustration of my first months as a student of guitaritry (new word!) are coming back. I'm recalling how hard it was - is! - to make each string make a sound in a chord like D minor, which is now so simple for me, almost like a habit (on a left-handed guitar, that is). So that's making me happy. The thought that I can pick up my guitar and play a few chords quickly and cleanly, do a few hammer-ons, slides, and play the beginning of a George Gershwin song - that makes me very happy.

3. Arsenic And Old Lace. I watched the movie twice this past week, once with my sister and once with my father, and I put the play on hold at the library (I'm looking forward to seeing how different it is from the movie). It's SO fun! And quotable. And morbid, and hilarious. When the play arrives from the library, I shall write up a blogpost full of funny quotes from it.

4. The Shakespeare Authorship Controversy. My dad and I stayed up late a few nights ago talking about it. Someday I'll post about it on The Shakespeare Journal, and where my father and I stand, but first I have to do a lot more research. That's just the way I am, you know.

5. The trailer for Harry Potter 6. Time flies. Seems like just yesterday we were at 4, and I was on the way to the theater thinking that I hoped to goodness that they would play a trailer for The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe. They did, as we were walking up to the top seats. I practically had to be dragged up the stairs. I was a silly little Narnia-fangurl back then. Very silly. Hopefully I've matured in my love for the series and following of the movies and their production. (Says the girl who burst into tears at the end of Prince Caspian) But yes, about that trailer: I like it. There's nothing about it that I like in particular (well... Young Tom Riddle is pretty awesome), but I'm just so glad it's HERE.

And I guess that's about all I wanted to say. Except for this:

Noah: Mommy, I'm Plumpy. (Referring to a character in the game of Candyland)
Mom: Okay. I'm Queen Frostine. (Referring to another character in the game)
Noah: ... No. You're Plumpy's mommy.
Mom: I am? Why can't I be someone more -
Noah: (Interrupting) You're Plumpy's mommy.

Poor Plumpy's mommy. ;)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fond Remembrances of April Foolery

I was just thinking today of the very funny conversation I had with a few girls from a forum I frequent and help moderate. It was on April 1st. These two girls will be given new names for this blogpost, though they might come upon this and reveal their identity, because really I don't think they'd mind if I told you who they were...are... but the conversation is just a tad bit embarrassing for three book-loving, good-spelling young ladies such as we. ;)

I started it by writing in my signature, an April Fool's Joke: "Fownder of the Almost-Illiterate Teens Club!! Join 2day!!!1!1"

Girl #1: *snickers* Ooh! can i like, join ur club??!


Me: yah, im tryng to recrooit (sp????) more members.


Girl #1: *feels the need to use some large and intelligent-sounding words to make up for the ghastly chatspeak she used above, but of course cannot think of anything decent*


Me: Grandiloquent
Xenophobia (fear or hatred of strangers...)
Meshugga (Yiddish/Hebrew or something. Means crazy or stupid. Love that word.)
Brodingnagian (Of gigantic size. WHOA!)
Tinctumutation (change of colour)


Girl #2: Ooooooh, can i like join the club, [Girl #1] and delany?? it souns lyk my kinda thing totally!!!


Girl #2: of corse!!! And I'm sure that [Girl #3] will want to join too. its her type of club for shore.

(Man...I'm really not good at this grammar-killing stuff...)


Me: OMG, now we have like, 3 mmbers totul!

*cringes*


Girl #3: o i like wanna b in yr club like let me joyn i wanna like so so bad. [Here she posted numerous smiley faces and emoticons] omg like boks r so last year like i think mk-up is like so kewl

(This is fun!)


Girl #2: You are a natural!


Girl #1: Ack! Don't insult her!

did u here about Zac Ephron being cast as Youstance (sp???) So awesem, i loved hsm.

*is tired already, and wonders how genuine chatspeakers manage it*


We all got pretty tired of it at that point. It really is sort of exhausting, and we did need those words like "brobdingnagian" and "tinctumutation" to feel that not all of our brain cells had died. ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Roman Mysteries

Long have I awaited the arrival of the Roman Mysteries tv series to DVD! And finally... here is season one, in my very own house!

My sister and I expected that we would be cracking jokes all the way through, but I liked 'most everything about it more than I expected I would.

This post is the fulfillment of a promise to Rebekah and Alyosha, who knew that we had pre-ordered the DVD, and requested such a report. It will be organized by "scroll" (as in the first two-part episode, and the next, and so on) and then by character. I was going to rewatch all of the episodes and take notes, but that would have taken too long, and I just didn't "feel like it" today.

The Secrets of Vesuvius I was never very nervous about this one, because I knew it combined the first two books in the series, The Thieves of Ostia and The Secrets of Vesuvius, which are perhaps my least favorite books in the series. The first moments of the series were odd, to say the least, involving Flavia Gemina running for her life from someone she's never seen before, and Jonathan ben Mordecai saving her with his slingshot. The filming there was wiggly and confusing, but it had calmed down by the time Flavia and Jonathan were having their first conversation. That was where my sister and I were first pleasantly surprise, when Jonathan said, "You must be Flavia. I hear your mother all the time, 'Flavia, slow down! Flavia, stop that!'"

The adaptation on this one was only so-so, very rushed (my, my, those children certainly do have many adventures!), but the episode itself was pretty good. Mount Vesuvius pretty much looked like a painting, though.

The Pirates of Pompeii Not much to say about this, except that I loved (er... loved to hate) Pulchra and disliked Felix and most traces of Flavia's disturbing fancy for Felix were gone, thankfully.

The Assassins of Rome Susannah's Other Jonathan subplot was also done away with, but Rizpah and her kitten were in this! More about Rizpah below...

The Dolphins of Laurentum Adaption-wise, this one is the best. It's quite close to the book (even though Aristo isn't in it).

The Enemies of Jupiter It was pretty good, as I recall. The story in this one was probably the farthest from the book of all the episodes in season one. *SPOILERS* Instead of giving his mother a drink to make her appear dead, Susannah is poisoned by Berenice. And then - horror of horrors! - Jonathan goes home. *wail* No! I'm sorry, but I simply adore that cliff-hanger in the book. Gone. Gone, alas.

The series has a happy ending at Miriam's wedding. Captain Geminus informs Flavia that it's time she think about getting married (in the TV show, she's 13 instead of 11), and although Flavia is rather distressed about it, her father loves her, Jonathan is funny, and one shouldn't have a frown at a wedding. Flavia catches Miriam's bouquet and frantically tosses it to Nubia. Haha.

Now, onto the interesting part: Characters!

Flavia Gemina: Francesca Isherwood did a very good job as Flavia. She's bossy and cute. She's not nearly as annoying as Flavia is in the book.

Jonathan ben Mordecai: I just love his curls! ;) He was very funny in his own way, but just not the Jonathan I love in the books, though a lot of his funny lines made it into the show ("Wait, how do you know what camel dung tastes - no, don't answer that")

Nubia: Rather perfect and peaceful but still very human, and a very great lover of animals. Rebekah Brookes-Murrell's Nubia was very close to the book-Nubia.

Lupus: In a word, perfect. I am a firm Harry Stott fan. I wonder if it's harder or easier to play a character who doesn't talk? At any rate, Harry did a wonderful job. He got Lupus's fire and energy just right.

Dr. Mordecai: Excellent! He looked exactly how I imagined him and acted very well. I have no complaints.

Pliny: Ditto! He was fabulous.

Pliny the Younger: Oh, Mark Wells (older Edmund in LWW) was the perfect choice for Pliny's nephew! He's awkward and nerdy and lovable. In The Secrets of Vesuvius when Flavia bursts into their home to tell Admiral Pliny about the volcano, Pliny's first reaction is to shout, "Assassins!"

Rizpah: She was ok... She didn't look at all like the description in the book, but I suppose that would be have been very difficult. But at least she was THERE, is what I say.

Miriam: Very good.

Gaius/Captain Geminus: Very good.

Let us just assume that everyone else is very good unless I mention their names.

Felix: I didn't care for him much... his eyes were Felix-eyes. But his hair... Hmm.

The rest, all jumbled together: Pulchra was marvelous, but she and Flavia look rather alike. Titus was just fine, Berenice was great, Susannah looked better in the picture on Caroline Lawrence's site, Venalicius was great (and Dolphins of Laurentum was GREAT, and did I mention that Lupus was fabulous?)

Ok... that's most of my thoughts about it. Anything else that you'd like to ask me, Aly, I'll be happy to answer. ;)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I'm Weak - And Back Early

I couldn't stay away 10 whole days. *shrug* Oh, well. I did stay away from blogging for eight days, so now to make up for it, you're getting a double update. Maybe even a triple. I FINALLY wrote something on The Shakespeare Journal - I'm sorry it took so long! My thoughts were all jumbled and it took a long time to get them all typed down - sort of like closing a suitcase with too many clothes inside of it. Anyhow, the post is on Miranda from The Tempest. Not scholarly or terribly interesting, but so what? ;)

When the play begins, she’s lived on an island with only her father and their hideous slave, Caliban since she was three years old. This naturally makes her relationship with her father very different from the relationship many girls have with their father. She confides in him openly, though she is rather a reserved girl, as a rule. Prospero is Miranda’s world, until Ferdinand comes along, much like Cosette and Valjean in Les Miserables. But unlike Cosette, Miranda still has room in her heart to love her father as before, while Cosette pretty nearly forgot Valjean. (Selfish girl. Grr.)


And I also hope to do a post on Books and Windows. Maybe. I'm not promising anything. *sigh*

The Roman Mysteries series one arrived in the mail! EEK! :D I'll do a post on that, as I promised to Alyosha and Rebekah. :)

I'm re-reading The Man Who Was Thursday. The other day I was overcome by an urge to read Gabriel Syme's speech to the anarchists out loud. It's rather over-the-top, because he's only pretending to be an anarchist himself, but it was fun to read out loud.

I went to see You Can't Take It With You, put on by the Shakespeare Festival I'm doing Comedy of Errors with. Twice, actually. It's such a hilarious play! I was so proud. I kept thinking, "This is my town. Some of these people are people I know." It was so great.

Speaking of The Comedy of Errors, our out-of-town director stopped coming to all our shows, so the director of Can't, Peter, (he runs the Shakespeare Festival) has taken over CoE. It's going to be so much funnier now. I also get to be in another scene, jeering at Egeon, the condemned Syracusian with some other townsfolk. Fun. :P We have a performance tonight. I'm excited - really, really excited. You would think I was the director.

In other theatrical news, we're going to see Wicked in August. Unless something happens that prevents us.

Well... that's all for now, I guess.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

When I picked up Rebecca I was expecting a suspenseful mystery novel, from all the things I had read about it. It's not exactly a mystery novel, but it is suspenseful. I really liked it.

There were three things that struck me the most about the book:

1) The main character - her name is never given. I could relate to her very well, as her imagination and mine tend to work in similar patterns. I'm still astounded that a writer can get away with telling a story from the perspective of a believable character without giving away their first name.

2) The writing. It's so FULL and delicious and rich, from descriptions of the gardens at Manderley to an account of afternoon tea.

3) The story. It seemed rather dreary after the marriage of the main character and Mr. de Winter, but now I realize that I should have seen that twist coming.

A lovely, melancholy book, worthy of all the good things I ever heard about it.