Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Impossible possibilities

Spurred on by Averyl, my former roommate's, post about illegal photography and how she always wanted to confess to a priest, I wanted to make a list of things that I have always wanted to do, but haven't gotten the chance yet, or those things which might seem impossible, but really are not.

I want to:
-Publish a book
-Go up in a weather balloon
-Travel to London (And yes, I mean to go and see the Sherlock Holmes Museum there and take the walking tour of Holmes's cases. You thought my adamant rant and love of Sherlock was over? Well, it's not...)
-Learn to fence
-Learn to play the violin
-Sing opera (And I mean it too!)
-Inspire others
-Get married have kids
Now, let me just say right now that this list is not all there is that I want to do....Ultimately, I want to look back on my life and say that I truly lived. And I am perfectly aware that some of these might take years or even a whole lifetime before they are done, but there's no shame in dreaming, and someday, if they really mean that much, they will be accomplished.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lost: Reward if Found

I know it's been months since I said anything, but I need to write--I need to get something out of me. I am not myself today, so if something doesn't make sense, that's ok...I just need writing space and a voice...something that will give me hope in these, my troubled times. But I feel so selfish when I concentrate on myself, so if you will forgive me, I will write to you...my audience.

How are you? Is your family well? Do you find yourself in a good place? I want to hear all about you--what you're up to, who you're with, the small things that bring you joy in life....I want to hear it all, from the insignificant to the things that make you--you. I promise I will not tell a living soul, and I will be your friend if you need one. Even if you don't, I'll still be here. I can listen, and your voice would be good for me...I would love to hear it. I miss you. I hope also that you are able to stay out of trouble--but remember, if you are in trouble, let me know and I will bail you out. Hope you are well and happy, and I hope also that as the winter days draw in, you will find joy and peace in the coming weeks, months and years. Don't worry--I'll be right here if you need anything.
Your friend,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Request

Hey everybody (and anybody who reads this...)! I have a request from you....I am now writing for the Salt Lake Examiner.com as the Folk Culture section. If you could please subscribe that would be wonderful! Here is the link:
Next what I need you to do is this:
1. Click on this link (or type it in if it decides not to work).
2. When the page is loaded up, click on a little rectangular button that says Subscribe.
3. Type in your email address to the little pop up window and click "OK" or "Subscribe" (I can't remember which one it actually is).
4. Tell everyone you know about this! The more people subscribing and looking at my page, the better!
Thanks you guys for your help and I hope all is well!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 100: Archenemy

This is a momentous occasion, my friends....I have accomplished my 100 day goal! Thank you to all of you who have been with me throughout this journey. It has been a pleasure and an honor to give my humble thoughts on one of the things I hold dear...books. This book in particular, is the last book of a trilogy called The Looking Glass Wars, putting Alice in Wonderland in a whole new light. I am not generally a fantasy-type person, but even I enjoy these books. Instead of Alice being real, Alyss, the Queen of Wonderland (who in the other books is a princess who finds her destiny) is fighting her evil Aunt Redd and her neighbor Arch, who are both trying to thwart the good in favor of evil (of course...). Also there is her bodyguard Hatter Madigan (Yes, I know...how awesome is that?!) and her love interest, Dodge Anders. So, will Imagination win the day and good triumph over evil? I sure hope so....I enjoy it that way. Anyway, my dear friends, Romans, countrymen...thank you for joining me on this most enlightening, thought-provoking journey!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 99: The Third Book of Nephi

I am writing about this book because I think it's important, and because that is what I read today. This book is about what happens to the people on the North American continent during Christ's lifetime (33 years) in Jerusalem. These people see the resurrected Christ after His Ascension and the experience with Mary in the empty tomb on Easter from the Gospel of John. When Christ tells his disciples in Jerusalem "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; but they shall come unto me, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd", these North American inhabitants, called Nephites and Lamanites, are who he means. During the last chapters of the book, Christ comes to them and teaches them the entire Sermon on the Mount, performs the sacrament and the same miracles that He performed in Jerusalem. This book, that is a part of the Book of Mormon, tells me that He knows and loves all of His children, and what He wants one people to know He wants other generations and peoples about the world to know as well. He is no respecter of persons, and He is a loving, long-suffering God who wants all of His children to return to Him.

Now, just so you are aware, for those who have been with me on this journey, and those who have recently joined it, I am one day away from my goal. Spur me on, good friends, and help me to win this objective!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 98: Crutch, the Page

This long story is one by George A. Townsend, who I had heard of but never read. It is about the social troubles and class problems that arose after the Civil War, with most possibilities represented. There are the loiterers, the Southern congressmen, the ill and suffering poor who have so much pride in their heritage that they will never yield to another way of life, regardless of the fact that they will die poor, and one Northern congressman. This story takes place in Washington D.C., while Congress is in session, and a Mr. Reybold, the Northern congressman, is trying to win the affection of Joyce, a Virginia girl who has a consistently absent father (If he exists at all), a dying brother and a prideful, abusive mother. Crutch, or Uriel (Joyce's little brother who is terminally ill) works as a page for Congress, and Joyce works as a maid and cook in her mother's boarding house. Not only does this story represent all these characters, but also uniquely shows the barriers that confronted the North and the South after the Civil War (also called "The Lost Cause" by those in the South) between people, not just social classes. I would suggest this reading to anyone who wants to know more about what happened after the Civil War and also to any historian--it certainly makes for an interesting read.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 97: The Turtle by Ogden Nash

I've had a few qualms about putting this poem up, and so I've held off for a while, but I think it's really funny. I feared that some of you might have gotten offended--Fear not, it's not really offensive, but I didn't...Anyway, enough. Here is the poem:

The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix to be so fertile.

I'm not really sure why I think this poem is so funny; maybe because of the rhythm? Or the rhyming? I don't know--but for some reason I definitely feel like Ogden Nash knew what he was doing. He wanted something very mundane to be funny...That's what he is famous for. As an author, I think that he wants us to reflect on the mundane routines of life and maybe stop and smell the roses, or observe closely that which surrounds us every day. Anyway, I hope you all have a great day and Happy Birthday, Kristi!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 96: Silence--A Fable

This is a really interesting story by Edgar Allan Poe...I thought I had at least heard of all of his stories, but I hadn't heard of or read this one...so I decided to read it. If you ever want a weird story to read, this is the one for you. Honestly, I couldn't really wrap my head around it. I don't mean to necessarily put a religious thought into this, but it is really the only way I can possibly find the meaning behind the story, if there is any.

The Demon= The Devil
The narrator= Man....at least I thought so at first. Then he began to control the elements and I thought he might be God.
The man on the rock= Christ....possibly. Until I read on and when the narrator hiding in the lilies makes everything fall silent, then the man on the rock is stricken with terror and runs away...Therefore, he might be Man.

Do you see why I'm having trouble with this? It's really sort of confusing, but the only thing that does for sure make sense is that the Demon is the devil, or the servant of him. Isn't that interesting? Do you think Poe intended it to be that way (I'm not completely sure he "intended" anything, considering that half the time he was drunk or on opium.)? Anyway, like I said, if you want a strange story, this should be one to tickle your fancy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 95: A Lickpenny Lover

Another story by O. Henry, this is a great story for anyone who has worked retail ever in their lives. I have worked retail for almost four years in different stores, and it was really funny because I know girls like Maisie, the protagonist, who is a beauty but cunning beyond belief (from a third person perspective), and men like Carter (Although Carter is actually less creepy than most men who drop business cards or try to persuade you to see them...). The question now is, is Carter really wealthy and Maisie misunderstood, or was Carter trying just to get her through lying about wealth? I'm not sure... whoever is out there in this void and is reading this, if you read this story I want your thoughts on this question. It was really interesting to see retail from the perspective of someone outside--I have played both roles, so I guess I have that same perspective; but I wonder if O. Henry actually went into a store and observed people for a while to get this story. Observing mankind is one of the greatest ways for a writer to get ideas for stories or books--believe me, I know. Anyway, for anyone who has worked in a store before as a sales associate, this rings somewhat true, or maybe completely true for some of you...I hope it's fun all the same, and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 94: The Dark-Brown Dog

Stephen Crane, who wrote this story, is one of my favorite authors. He wrote another story called "The Open Boat" that I absolutely love, but I had never read this one before. Like all of his stories, it is realistic, and while they usually have some hope, something usually happens in them (generally near the end) that is unexpected, but still possible and true...If you read this story, you will know exactly what I mean. It is about a child who takes in a stray dog and who also has an abusive family...You believe the child and dog will grow up together, because the family allows the child to keep the dog, and then that something that I told you about happens. The story also tells us a lot about companionship in itself, between humans and dogs or humans to humans. Miscommunication leads often to suffering, but if the friend is true and loyal, the relationship will generally stay strong. Now, I am not saying that if you're in an abusive relationship stay in it; what I'm saying is try everything in your power to help it to work...work together to make the relationship loving and mutually beneficial. Anyway, I would suggest this to anyone who likes Stephen Crane. For anyone who doesn't know too much about him or hasn't read his work yet, try "The Open Boat" first to get an idea of how he works. It is also a really good story.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 93: In Honour of the City of London

I chose this poem by William Dunbar (who I had heard of but never officially read yet) because it has been my wish, ever since I was twelve years old, to go to London and Scotland and immerse myself in the history and literature there. This poem, I must warn you, is in Middle English--which means that spelling was not standardized and French was still partially a part of our language. Luckily for me I had taken a History of the English Language class at BYU and went backwards. We studied Modern/Shakespearean English first, then Middle English, then Old English (Try translating Beowulf from Old English to Modern English some time in your life--it's a trip!). Anyway, Middle English is about the time frame where Chaucer, Dunbar and others were first making the attempts to have English be more than the peasant language. When you read this poem, if you're a little confused please ask me...I would love to help you. The poem itself is about the greatness of London--it's knightly, chivalrous gentlemen and it's lovely, delicate ladies; the kings and queens who can not compare anywhere else in the world and the lively, prosperous merchants about the city. Though it is probably not so much this way now because of our modern technologies and society, the poem made me want to go and see it all the more!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 92: Abide with Me

This is one of my favorite hymns in our hymnbook (It is hymn 166), but I knew that it had an earlier history than just the LDS collection of hymns. The first LDS hymnbook was written and collected in 1835 or thereabouts and revised until our copy in 1985, which we still use today. Anyway, I love this hymn and now that I know the history behind it, it makes it even more moving. Henry Francis Lyte, the composer, was a minister who worked tirelessly for his parish and family. In 1844 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and when he gave his farewell sermon in 1847, that would be the last time he would see his parish congregation. That same afternoon, he wrote the first copy of the song, and then went on a trip to Italy to regain his health. While there he sent a revised copy to his wife, and a few days later he was gone. While this song has been a favorite throughout the Christian world, for me it tells us of the love of God, His mercy and need we have for God in our lives. He is my stay, my rock and my Redeemer, and He will take care of us if we keep Him with us in our hearts and in our daily lives.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 91: Salut Au Monde!

This is not a french poem, as you might think...It's actually a poem by Walt Whitman, one of my favorite poets, and everything but the title is in English. I had never read this poem before, and it surprised me that the title was in French. Did he really know French? I have no idea, but translated, the title means "Hello World!" I love the first line, "O take my hand, Walt Whitman!" It calls to me, like this great author could lead me to my own greatness. Never fear greatness; it is man's destiny to be great. The only way we can fulfill our lives is to follow that destiny, and to become what we are meant to be. Walt Whitman in this poem is our guide, using the five senses to describe everything around the world in his time-- through his imagination and broadened horizons. Though we may not know our fate, sometimes we must step in the dark, broaden our own horizons and take that leap of faith...to see what we might see. It might mean great sacrifice, we might see sorrow, but in the end we will know and understand more about our lives and ourselves. Do not let yourself be closed in by fear; allow for the time to have adventure, to live and breathe in uncertainty. It is scary (Trust me, I know...), but if we do what we know is right, we will gain victory and have our minds expanded.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 90: The Achievement of the Cat

This short story is for cat lovers everywhere. The reason why I chose this story is because I have a cat named Macpherson, and I wanted to know what Hector Munro had to say. I loved it--It was about how, through the ages, the cat has learned to adapt to the domestic life, but is not a servant or a dependent. He is a fighter. The cat will not take abuse, but fight "to the death" for it's freedom and happiness. My cat is a fatty, so I'm not sure if he would fight for his freedom--more like he would probably just roll over and give up (I know I said roll over, and that sounds more like a dog...but that's literally what he does. Maybe I should say topple over...? :) ). I know the cat is definitely a plotter--they get what they want through feigned innocence, and then when their finished or bored with you they stalk away to plan their next coup. I do feel bad for all the cats who die because somebody thought they were a witch's cat, though. Historically, especially during any sort of witch trial, innocent cats go down along with the innocent humans. And even if the humans weren't so innocent, the cats can't do anything to defend themselves--and do you honestly think a cat could do what humans do to other humans? No. That's also why they don't let black cats out of animal shelters near Halloween anymore...because crazy people will hurt them for pleasure. So don't hurt your cats; love them and cherish them for good companions.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 89: If I Can't Love Her

All right...I have had this song stuck in my head at some time every day for the last four days, so I'm wondering if it should be a part of my blog. This is one of my favorite songs ever, and again, it comes from Beauty and the Beast: The Musical. Howard Ashman wrote five new songs for Broadway in 1994 after the Disney movie score in 1991. Terrance Mann, who is awesome, was the part of the Beast. So Good! But anyway, as for me, I love this song (and I think my roommates will kill me if I sing it aloud one more time...:) ), but it kept me awake last night. That is why I am putting it here--so that I can get some sleep tonight.

And in my twisted face
There's not the slightest trace
Of anything that even hints of kindness...
And from my tortured shape
No comfort, no escape--
I see, but deep within is utter blindness.
As my dream dies
As the time flies
Love, a lost illusion...
Cold and driven
To this sad conclusion.
No beauty could move me,
No goodness improve me.
No power on earth, if I can't love her!
No passion could reach me,
No lesson could teach me,
How I could have loved her and made her love me too--
If I can't love her, then who?
Long ago I should have seen
All the things I could have been...
Careless and unthinking, I moved onward!
No pain could be deeper,
No life could be cheaper,
No point anymore, if I can't love her...
No spirit could win me,
No hope left within me,
Hope I could have loved her and that she'd set me free--
But it's not to be,
If I can't love her--
Let the world be done with me!

P.S. By the way, if a man were to sing this for me, they would totally win major brownie points...yeah :).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 88: The Man Upstairs

This is one of the best short stories I've ever read--It's by P.G. Wodehouse, and it's great, especially if your single. I would suggest this to anyone who wants a good laugh, but especially to those who have not yet found the person they can't live without. This tells you, fortunately or unfortunately, something a little of myself. I can admit that sometimes I am a hopeless romantic, and you will see why through this story. It's about a young lady named Annette that hears a terrible knocking on the floor as she is trying to compose her music. Finally she gets so mad at the knocking that she resolves to go up and give the person a long, hard reprimand. When she knocks, she meets Alan Beverley, an artist. She prepares to reprimand him, and then is halted in her purpose by his voice and looks. He is not necessarily a smash hit, but she admits that he is attractive....She also discovers that he is easy to confide in. Their friendship begins from there. Then, as the story progresses, you find that Alan is humble, cheerful and kind. I want a man like that! I want a man who can be cheerful in spite of the hard times, who is kind and thoughtful, but who also will let me help him when he needs help, and who will not hold back his troubles from me. I don't care how rich he is or if he's homely; when we do find each other, I hope we become great friends, which then progresses, obviously, into something much more lasting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 87: A Desperate Adventure

This is a short story by Max Adeler, an author I had never heard of before. It begins with an advertisement printed thus: "Three people bent on suicide see Captain Cowgill in his office after nine o'clock in the morning." Five men and two women appear. He chooses four (3 men and 1 woman) and tells them about a dangerous venture to the North Pole by weather balloon. The Captain then tells them to meet him the day after next and they will take off. That morning, as they are about to depart, an intruder appears who insists on going with them because "He has as much reason as any of them to commit suicide." And so they depart. At first, not much happens during their journey, but then one of them suggests that they each tell the group their sad tales. They do so, and discover that had they known each other before this adventure, they could have all helped at least one person in the party...Then an important discussion ensues. I will not tell you the rest, because that would give it all away; but when you finish reading it, I want you to answer this question for me: Did Captain Cowgill intend for what ended up happening, or was it all just circumstance? Riddle me this, riddle me that...I would love to hear any thoughts on this, so please read the story (It's only a few pages long) and tell me what you think.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 86: A Bivouac of the Dead

I was first drawn to this story because of a word in the title:

Bivouac-a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire.

This happens also to be so far the shortest story I have ever read...It is only a page long; but it was long enough to give you a sort of--haunted feeling. It seems to be some sort of eulogy to the fallen Confederate dead from the Civil War. Most of the graves along the cemetery, called Grafton Hill in West Virginia, are unknown soldiers. They do not have "green graves", meaning they don't have names to their memories. Just little, lonely mounds of dirt housing a brother, a father, a friend. I will leave you now with this last haunting challenge:

"They were honest and courageous foemen, and have little in common with the political madmen who persuaded them to their doom and the literary bearers of false witness in the aftertime. They did not live through the period of honorable strife into the period of vilification--did not pass from the iron age into the brazen--from the era of the sword to that of the tongue and pen. Among them there is no member of the Southern Historical Society. Their valor was not the fury of the non-combatant; they have no voice in the thunder of the civilians and the shouting. Not by them are impaired the dignity and infinite pathos of the Lost Cause. Give them, these blameless gentlemen, their rightful part in all the pomp that fills the circuit of the summer hills."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 85: I'll Try by Jonatha Brooke

This song helps me when I'm having trouble because I always need help finding the strength to do the hard things in this life that become clear only once you step in the dark. I have always believed, but there is a difference between belief and faith. Anyway, whenever I feel like I need more strength and more faith to get through something, I listen to this song and songs like it to raise myself up. This song actually comes from Return to Neverland, the sequel to Disney's Peter Pan made some time in the nineties, maybe even the two thousands--I can't remember. My sister Liz would know. Anyway, the story is about Wendy's daughter, Jane, who is struggling to believe in Peter Pan because she is living during World War II, is trying to be grown up and thinks Peter Pan's not real. She has a fight with Wendy about not believing, and then that night gets captured by Captain Hook! It's actually a pretty cute movie, despite its being a sequel. So, anyway, here are the lyrics. I hope also that whatever you are going through or struggling with, know that you have a friend on the other side.
I'll Try
I am not a child now.
I can take care of myself.
I mustn't let them down now-
Mustn't let them see me cry.
I'm fine.
I'm fine.
I'm too tired to listen.
I'm too old to believe:
All these childish stories.
There is no such thing as faith,
And trust,
And pixie dust.
I try,
But its too hard to believe.
I try,
But I can't see what you see.
I try.
I try.
I try.
My whole world is changing,
I don't know where to turn.
I can't leave you waiting,
But I can't stay and watch the city burn;
Watch it burn.
'Cause I try,
But its so hard to believe!
I try,
But I can't see where you see.
I try.
I try.
I try and try,
To understand,
The distance in between:
The love I feel,
The things I fear,
And every single dream.
I can finally see it.
Now I have to believe:
All those precious stories.
All the world is made of faith,
And trust,
And pixie dust.
So I'll try,
'Cause I finally believe!
I'll try,
'Cause I see what you see!
I'll try.
I'll try!
I'll try!
I'll try-
To fly.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 84: Frostina

This comes from last night, after the Disney concert (Which was AWESOME! They even sang "Be Our Guest"...:) ). I was listening to the music Frostina and realizing that it was all Robert Frost poems set to music. Apparently Randall Thompson, who arranged the music to the poems is the only person allowed to do that. Isn't that cool? I took a class on Robert Frost during my junior year of college, and it was amazing. He had such a full and prolific writing career and life that it's a wonder he never just stopped and smelled the roses. But I guess that's what he was doing when he was inspired by most of his poems. Robert Frost is famous for his poems about nature and the ordinary occurrences of life. His thoughts on them are simple, and yet poignant, bringing us back to a slower, older time. One of my favorites is "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening". Some others are "Mending Wall" and " After Apple Picking"....There are so many to choose from! If you don't know too much about Robert Frost, pick up a poetry book of his and then you will see why he was one of the great transition poets--from the older to the more modern way of expressing poetry. My favorite of favorites though is "Acquainted with the Night", a poem by him during his traveling time in London.

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain --and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.



Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 83: Be Our Guest

For my blog today I wanted to do something in honor of a concert I am going to with my dear friend Alix...It's up in Deer Valley and it's all DISNEY! Whoohoo! So anyway, here is one of my favorite songs from Beauty and the Beast, which is my favorite Disney Princess movie...Be Our Guest! It always puts a smile on my face, no matter what kind of a day I'm having. I hope all is well with you all!
Ma chere Mademoiselle, it is with deepest pride
and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight.
And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a
chair as the dining room proudly presents -
your dinner!

Be our guest! Be our guest!
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie
And we'll provide the rest
Soup du jour
Hot hors d'oeuvres
Why, we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff
It's delicious
Don't believe me? Ask the dishes
They can sing, they can dance
After all, Miss, this is France
And a dinner here is never second best
Go on, unfold your menu
Take a glance and then you'll
Be our guest
Oui, our guest
Be our guest!
Lumiere and Chorus:
Beef ragout
Cheese souffle
Pie and pudding "en flambe"
We'll prepare and serve with flair
A culinary cabaret!
You're alone
And you're scared
But the banquet's all prepared
No one's gloomy or complaining
While the flatware's entertaining
We tell jokes! I do tricks
With my fellow candlesticks
And it's all in perfect taste
That you can bet
Come on and lift your glass
You've won your own free pass
To be out guest
If you're stressed
It's fine dining we suggest

Be our guest! Be our guest! Be our guest!
Get your worries off your chest
Let us say for your entree
We've an array; may we suggest:
Try the bread! Try the soup!
When the croutons loop de loop
It's a treat for any dinner
Don't belive me? Ask the china
Singing pork! Dancing veal!
What an entertaining meal!
How could anyone be gloomy and depressed?
We'll make you shout "encore!"
And send us out for more
So, be our guest!
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Mrs Potts:
It's a guest! It's a guest!
Sakes alive, well I'll be blessed!
Wine's been poured and thank the Lord
I've had the napkins freshly pressed
With dessert, she'll want tea
And my dear that's fine with me
While the cups do their soft-shoein'
I'll be bubbling, I'll be brewing
I'll get warm, piping hot
Heaven's sakes! Is that a spot?
Clean it up! We want the company impressed
We've got a lot to do!
Mrs Potts:
Is it one lump or two?
For you, our guest!
She's our guest!
Mrs Potts:
She's our guest!
She's our guest!
Be our guest! Be our guest! Be our guest!
Life is so unnerving
For a servant who's not serving
He's not whole without a soul to wait upon
Ah, those good old days when we were useful...
Suddenly those good old days are gone
Ten years we've been rusting
Needing so much more than dusting
Needing exercise, a chance to use our skills!
Most days we just lay around the castle
Flabby, fat and lazy
You walked in and oops-a-daisy!
Be our guest! Be our guest!
Our command is your request
It's been years since we've had anybody here
And we're obsessed
With your meal, with your ease
Yes, indeed, we aim to please
While the candlelight's still glowing
Let us help you, We'll keep going
Course by course, one by one
'Til you shout, "Enough! I'm done!"
Then we'll sing you off to sleep as you digest
Tonight you'll prop your feet up
But for now, let's eat up
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Please, be our guest!

I think this is the Broadway musical version, because there's an extra chorus...but that's all right with me. Now, for anyone who reads this in the next week or so, I want you also to share your favorite Disney movie and why with me! That would be awesome....I will go first. The reason why I like Beauty and the Beast is because Belle is a lot like me. She reads a lot (hee hee....), she wants adventure, and she sees past looks and wants to know the heart of the Beast...Luckily, he's a prince! Anyway, please share your favorites too--I would love it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 82: Casey at the Bat

Ok...The reason I absolutely must put this on my blog today is because I was looking up humorous poems and "Casey at the Bat" came up. I didn't even know this was a poem until today! I knew of this because of a Disney cartoon when I was growing up. It was part of a series called Disney Legends I think, and it had Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Casey Jones and some others, along with Casey at the Bat. There is even a sequel to this cartoon called "Casey Bats Again", where he has nine kids, all girls, that he makes into a league to play the great game of baseball. I also love baseball, so this is a really fun cartoon for me. Anyway, here is the poem:

Casey at the Bat

by Ernest L. Thayer

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that--
We'd put up even money now with Casey at the bat

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Johnnie safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped--
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said

From the benches black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted some one on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville-- mighty Casey has struck out!

I tried to put the link to the cartoon on, but it's deciding not to work...so just look up Casey at the Bat Disney Cartoon on Youtube and it will show you....it's awesome, and almost word for word! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 81: Soul Looks Back in Wonder

This book was not what I was expecting. I thought it would be a children's book along the lines of "I'll Love You Forever", but it's not. Instead, it's a book of African American poetry, with really cool illustrations as well. They are relatively short poems, but I think overall this book gives us a glimpse (at least for me) of a world that I am not a part of, and I am grateful for it. It makes me wonder how in the world my ancestors dealt with the slave trade, how they could be ok with putting their fellow man in bondage, on trial for nothing but their skin color, or even lynching. Cruelty like that makes no sense to me, especially when you read creative and beautiful work like this. Perhaps I am naive, but I believe all mankind is the same, no matter the color of their skin, the language they speak or the traditions of their fathers. What I mean by the same is we all feel the same emotions, have the same needs, work the same hard jobs...Everybody needs somebody to look at them and say, "You are worth something." We all wish to be free. And so I bring this thought to you: The next time you see someone who is very different from you, look at him or her not as a stranger, but as a brother or sister, and try to help them out if possible.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 80: The 1,000,000 Pound Bank Note

This story is a fun one by Mark Twain...At first I thought the protagonist was going to be in trouble, as in Faust, where Faust makes a deal with the devil and then loses his soul. Instead the protagonist, hungry, poor, and recently come to London after a sea storm, meets with two brothers who give him an envelope with a 1,000,000 bank note and a letter that says, "We believe you are an honest man...use this money and report your activities at the end of the month." He does not initially know about the bet, but he is telling it to his audience in hindsight, so he does know, but is leaving us to discover it as he once did. At first he is hesitant to use any of the money, but then the force of his "needs" becomes too great. He becomes famous through the money note, and he believes he has been prudent, until he meets a young lady named Portia...Anyway, it is a fun story and certainly has some good, unexpected twists right up 'til the end!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 79: Paradise Lost, Book 1

To tell the truth, I'm not sure what I want to read today, and so first I'm going to talk about Despicable Me, a movie that came out a couple of weeks ago and I've wanted to see it since I first saw the previews. I went alone, because no one else had time, and I still enjoyed it. If you love children (which I do) and villains who are really good guys and softies (which Gru is), then you will love this movie. It is the story of Gru, a villain (He has an Iron Maiden in his house to try and prove it!) who "inherits" three orphan sisters that change his life around and make him bring out his good heart that he always had. It's good for the soul....and so is good literature. So I can't really account for this indecision, but hopefully this will be something good...Oh wait, here it comes! Milton's Paradise Lost, Book One. This is basically a war in heaven between God and Satan, and how Satan, one of God's chosen children, fell and became the devil. Also following is the rise of Satan's kingdom in hell. For anyone who wants really engrossing literature about religious possibilities for a war in heaven and the creation story, this is a great one. I would definitely suggest it to anyone who is interested in World Civilization, Comparative Literature, or Religious Studies in any way, shape or form.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 78: The Lamplighter

So this morning I was thinking about how much I love children and how much I want some someday soon...They bring so much joy into my life. We have them with their parents at the bookstore that I work at all the time, and at church and when nieces and nephews come to visit friends...Babies and children everywhere! I just love it, and so I decided that today I would read a poem from The Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. I have seen several copies, and I think we even had a copy when I was young, but I don't ever remember reading it (I know, right? What's wrong with you, you've never read that!? Is probably what some of you are thinking...:) ), and so I decided to read an excerpt for my blog today. I chose the poem "The Lamplighter", and I'm glad I did. It's from the perspective of a little boy who wants to grow up and be a lamplighter. He watches the local lamplighter, Leerie, come by every night, and wants him to notice that he's watching him. The little boy says, "Now Tom would be a driver, and Maria out to sea/And my papa's a banker, as rich as he could be;/But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do/ O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you! (Stanza 2)". This passage also reminds me how much influence we have on children, for good or for evil, but especially for good. So please watch over your children, and make sure that you are setting the example for what you want your children to become.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 77: The Walking Stick of Destiny

I wondered this morning if anyone reads this blog, so the question to you, out there in the great void, is "Does anyone read this blog?" If so, then I hope you have been enjoying this...I also have a timely case of the flu that I am recovering from (Worry not, I am no longer contagious...), so if I sound a little strange or my comments are disconnected, you will know why. Anyway, back to the literature. So this story, "The Walking Stick of Destiny", is a short story written by Lewis Carroll that is super interesting. There is a Baron who wants to kill a Signor Blowski, and tries two different ways, one of which is throwing Signor out the window--Because of destiny, Blowski survives! The rest of the story after Blowski's fall I will leave for you to find out, but I'll warn you it's one of those cliff hangers. I think anyone who enjoys having the audience left to wonder will certainly like this, and I enjoyed it very much. Hope that all is well with you, my friends, and may you be spared from any midsummer illness.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 76: Robartes and the Dancer

Something really interesting about this poem...I've read a lot of Yeats in my literature classes, but I've never seen him predict his own death before (or at least attempt it). He lived to be an old man and was an author and dramatist that was famous in his own time. Anyway, in this poem it's a love poem, a political poem, a eulogy....a lot of things that usually do not go together. Wait, is he complimenting himself? Read these lines and tell me what you think they say, "No, no, not said, but cried it out--'You have come again, and surely after twenty years it was time to come.' " Apparently Yeats is supposed to have said this "before he died"....but what does it mean? What is supposed to happen after twenty years? And who is Robartes? Yeats name was William Butler, not Robert....Anyway, if you have any thoughts about this, I would love to hear them! Kudos and chocolate chips...:)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 75: Greensleeves

Ok....I love this song because it is surrounded by folklore, and I love learning all the stories that are a part of stuff like this. Some say that "Greensleeves" is actually Anne Boelyn, and that Henry VIII wrote it for her while she was his wife...too bad it didn't save her from getting her head chopped off :S. Some also say that this is just a ballad of unrequited love, the kind where the man sings as she stands at the balcony listening, like Cyrano de Bourgerac whispering poetry to Christian while Roxanne thinks its Christian all the while (French tragedy....isn't it depressing?). No one knows who really wrote the lyrics, though. It also is the tune to the Christmas song "What Child Is This?", although the lyrics in the Christmas carol are attributed to William Chatterton Dix, who after a near-death experience wrote the lyrics and it was set to the English tune. There are also several different sets of lyrics to "What Child is This?", though for now I am just going to give you the "original" lyrics to Greensleeves.

Alas, my love, you do me wrong,
To cast me off discourteously.
For I have loved you well and long,
Delighting in your company.

Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my lady greensleeves.

Your vows you've broken, like my heart,
Oh, why did you so enrapture me?
Now I remain in a world apart
But my heart remains in captivity.


I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave,
I have both wagered life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.


If you intend thus to disdain,
It does the more enrapture me,
And even so, I still remain
A lover in captivity.


My men were clothed all in green,
And they did ever wait on thee;
All this was gallant to be seen,
And yet thou wouldst not love me.


Thou couldst desire no earthly thing,
but still thou hadst it readily.
Thy music still to play and sing;
And yet thou wouldst not love me.


Well, I will pray to God on high,
that thou my constancy mayst see,
And that yet once before I die,
Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me.


Ah, Greensleeves, now farewell, adieu,
To God I pray to prosper thee,
For I am still thy lover true,
Come once again and love me.


By the way, we are now officially three quarters of the way through our journey....Thank you to those of you who have joined me for this journey, and for those who have brought this to light for others (I also just realized that there are two extra verses to Greensleeves that I have never seen or heard before....Nice.)!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 74: Ghost of a Chance by O. Henry

This is a funny story by O. Henry, and I was surprised...generally he writes more macabre themes and characters. This is a ghost story, but not a scary one like the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series by Alvin Schwartz (The illustrations in that series, by the way, are most of the reason why they are scary...but the stories themselves are frightening enough...Like a story called "The Bride" in the second book. I had nightmares for years!). Anyway, this story is one where an older woman who wants to enter society has a "ghost" in her house. A guest comes to stay there, and that guest says that she did see a ghost, but that it was nothing but a poor bricklayer! Mortified, the hostess begs a Ms. Bellmore to stay at her house, a woman who has never believed in or been afraid of spirits. Ms. Bellmore does see a ghost, but....:) Anyway, I would definitely suggest this story to anyone who needs something to smile about. It is a good one, and for those who have never read O. Henry, this is a good one to start with.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 73: I'll Be Seeing You

I really like this song, and it's been in my head today for some reason...maybe because I haven't found the person that this is talking about yet (and I also have a ton of friend's weddings happening this summer). I've heard two different versions of this song--one by Billie Holiday and the other by Judy Collins. I like the Billie Holiday version better, because the Judy Collins one is much to slow in my opinion. Anyway, this old jazz love song will hopefully bring out the hopeless (or hopeful) romantic in you, whether you are married or not.

I'll be seeing you
In all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces
All day through.

In that small cafe;
The park across the way;
The children's carousel;
The chestnut trees;
The wishin' well.

I'll be seeing you
In every lovely summer's day;
In every thing that's light and gay.
I'll always think of you that way.

I'll find you
In the morning sun
And when the night is new.
I'll be looking at the moon,
But I'll be seeing you.

I'll be seeing you
In every lovely summer's day;
In every thing that's light and gay.
I'll always think of you that way.

I'll find you
In the morning sun
And when the night is new.
I'll be looking at the moon,
But I'll be seeing you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 72: Miss Nelson is Missing!

I found this book some time ago at Chapters, the bookstore I work at in Orem, and it's been years since I read it, so I decided to. I finally understood a major plot point in the story, after years of not getting it when I was young. Miss Nelson is...You'll just have to read it for yourself. I do my best not to give away major plot points. This reminds me to tell you something for today: Even children's books, short stories, poems...however short the literature is, if it is written well, it can mean something even years later. That's why we believe so much in the printed word--and yes, even the Internet is full of the printed word. We rely on it because it is a record of our lives, what is important in our societies, social, cultural and political issues addressed by us as individuals through a medium that is stable and I don't think it will ever truly die. Though we are entering an almost purely electronic age, there will always be a need for "books" in some way, shape or form. We process our information through blank pages filled with words, even like I am doing now. For anyone who's reading this, you must agree that we will always have the printed word, regardless of what form it comes in.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 71: How Firm a Foundation

So we sang this song in church today, and it has always been one of my favorites. It's hymn number eighty-five in the LDS hymnbook, but I know it's definitely older than that. It's known certainly in the American Christian world, because I've heard it sung in places other than just our church meetings. I looked up the history and found out some really interesting facts:
-The composer is unknown, though the song has been attributed to John Rippon.
-It is written in the tradition of Southern folk hymns, but by the time of the Civil War, it was a favorite of the North and the South.
- Two U.S. presidents wanted the song sung at their funerals.
I also love this song because of the seventh verse, which of course we never sing...we usually sing only the first three.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I can not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 70: Daughters of Albion: Visions

This poem is really interesting, because of the people and places mentioned there. I had read William Blake's work before, but the poem mentioned America, and I got confused because America (The U.S.) wasn't a country until 1776. Although Blake was alive when it was still a very young country, it didn't make sense because they were using much older, closer to a Greek legend. I also thought Albion might be Avalon, the mystical land of King Aurthur's ancestors, where he is eventually buried. And so I decided to look it up, and discovered that Albion is the oldest name out there for the British Isles, England more specifically. I also found out that the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland is Alba. When I saw that fact, I looked into Napoleon Bonaparte's exile to see if that was the island where he was exiled to before he tried to take over France again. But then I discovered that that island is actually called Elba, an island out to sea near Tuscany, Italy. What I want you to get from this today is...look how much we can learn from literature! All of this discovery because of one word, and a person curious enough to find out what it all meant to connect one poem together. Don't you just love it?! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 69: Can't Fight This Feeling by Speedwagon Reo

I can't fight this feeling any longer.
And yet I'm still afraid to let it show.
What started out as friendship,
Has grown stronger.
I only wish I had the strength to let it show.

I tell myself that I can't hold out forever.
I said there is no reason for my fear.
Cause I feel so secure when we're together.
You give my life direction,
You make everything so clear.

And even as I wander,
I'm keeping you in sight.
You're a candle in the window,
On a cold, dark winter's night.
And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might.

And I can't fight this feeling anymore.
I've forgotten what I started fighting for.
It's time to bring this ship into the shore,
And throw away the oars, forever.
Cause I can't fight this feeling anymore.
I've forgotten what I started fighting for.
And if I have to crawl upon the floor,
Come crushing through your door,
Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore.

My life has been such a whirlwind since I saw you.
I've been running round in circles in my mind.
And it always seems that I'm following you, girl,
Cause you take me to the places,
That I'd known I'd never find.

And even as I wander,
I'm keeping you in sight.
You're a candle in the window,
On a cold, dark winter's night.
And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might.

And I can't fight this feeling anymore.
I've forgotten what I started fighting for.
It's time to bring this ship into the shore,
And throw away the oars, forever.
Cause I can't fight this feeling anymore.
I've forgotten what I started fighting for.
And if I have to crawl upon the floor,
Come crushing through your door,
Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore

I heard this song in the car today and at first I couldn't place where I had heard this...Then I remembered it's with Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey singing it in Horton Hears a Who! Then I started realizing how much I love that movie, because I think it's hilarious! I've had scenes from the movie in my head ever since and I love it. I should buy it--or ask for it for my birthday....hmmm...:)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 68: A Letter and a Paragraph

I read this story because I thought it looked interesting, and found that I feel the way the protagonist describes as he sits (or imagines he sits) in the happiness of a marriage with a new child, by a fire surrounded by the objects of success. He reflects on those first hard years in the beginning of his life as a journalist, the first day ingrained in his mind where he met his friend Will, to whom he writes the epistle. I feel like that; on the brink of opportunity--young, inexperienced, and praying that someone will believe in my work ethic and creativity enough to take me on. I continue to look, to contact, to send my work out, trying to keep believing in the dream of being published and being an editor someday. I don't think the dream will ever die in me, though it has tried. Some days are particularly difficult, when everything you try and do blows up in your face and fate is against you. But then you have an idea, one last meager hope, that slowly grows into something larger, something doable, something that gives you another reason to try, even if it's only once more. To those who give me this hope, I thank you. To those who do not know me yet, I want you to try me out--I will do my best for you, wherever I am, whoever you might be. This you must know, and you must know it now. If I am not good enough or not what you want, we can't know that until we try. And so I challenge you--take me on, and I promise you will have the hardest worker and the most willing editor there ever was.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 67: "Kiss the Girl" from Disney's The Little Mermaid

I don't know why this has been in my head for a long while today, but it has. Maybe it's trying to tell me something....I don't have a boyfriend, though. Maybe because I was thinking of Ariel from Shakespeare's The Tempest, and then transferred to this song...:) I don't know, but I do like The Little Mermaid and The Tempest. I also love Disney movies in general...Beauty and the Beast and The Princess and the Frog are some of my favorites. Anyway, here are the lyrics, and I hope you have a good day!
Kiss the Girl
There you see her
Sitting there across the way
She don't got a lot to say
But there's something about her
And you don't know why
But you're dying to try
You wanna kiss the girl

Yes, you want her
Look at her, you know you do
Possible she wants you too
There is one way to ask her
It don't take a word
Not a single word
Go on and kiss the girl

Sha la la la la la
My oh my
Look like the boy too shy
Ain't gonna kiss the girl
Sha la la la la la
Ain't that sad?
Ain't it a shame?
Too bad, he gonna miss the girl

Now's your moment
Floating in a blue lagoon
Boy you better do it soon
No time will be better
She don't say a word
And she won't say a word
Until you kiss the girl

Sha la la la la la
Don't be scared
You got the mood prepared
Go on and kiss the girl
Sha la la la la la
Don't stop now
Don't try to hide it how
You want to kiss the girl
Sha la la la la la
Float along
And listen to the song
The song say kiss the girl
Sha la la la la
The music play
Do what the music say
You got to kiss the girl
You've got to kiss the girl
You wanna kiss the girl
You've gotta kiss the girl
Go on and kiss the girl

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 66: Toba the Tura from Razia's Shadow

Razia's Shadow, a pop culture musical that I heard about from my brother, is where this song comes from. From the half that I heard (I fell asleep listening to it on the way home from California this afternoon...but it wasn't the music's fault, I'll have you know.), it is really awesome. The director is the head singer of Forgive Durden, with all of the characters being the head singers of major popular bands like Panic at the Disco....Cool, no? You also need to read the lyrics as you listen...it will make a lot more sense that way. I hadn't heard about it until today, and I really like it so far. I thought of it as the War in Heaven from a pop culture standpoint...I'm not sure if I'm right, but there you go. Anyway, enjoy!

[Toba the Tura]
So you're Ahrima, collusive dreamer.
I watched the lamps fall, you pushed them over.
They say you're gifted, well I just see a scared kid.
They must have flipped it, your skills are latent.
O, you snuffed the glow. Replaced it with coals.
Threw away the throne. O, you snuffed the glow.
Replaced it with coals. Burnt down my home.
You had a life of privilege, hope and love.
But now that's all gone. Maybe the design's flawed.
So that's why I'm here, to preserve the remainder
Of what chance we have left at an existence.
O, the desolate dirt. The raw, scorched earth.
It's a trophy of your worth. O, the desolate dirt.
The raw, scorched earth. It's a scar of my hurt.
Your cold, wicked soul boasts a foul scent.

No, a stench.

[Toba the Tura]
The formidable taste of pure contempt.
Every dark corner will soon see the light.

O, so bright.

[Toba the Tura]
The beaming flood will pour right through the binds.
My words will tear through the air,
Pierce through the despair,
To find your arrogant, throbbing ears.
If it's too much to bear, or to hear,
Or take, I'll be frank,
Let my inflection be crystal clear.
This mess that you've made, it's a six-foot grave.
It's a home for your lonesome bones that remain.
We'll disappear, but you'll stay here to rot
As The King of The Dark and Forgot.

What have I done? Please make me your son.
What have I become? Destroyed all I love.

[Toba the Tura]
O, what have you done?
Disobedient son, you've broken the trust of your father's love.

The arid, fallow earth would be Ahrima's new hearth.
He would remain while he watched his family strain,
And the girl that he loved, vacate to a new place,
To state over on fresh terrain.
And from his desolate throne he watched them compose
A mountainous wall of stone, to separate themselves from him.
A massive, jagged barricade to lock themselves in.
Theirs would be the Light, his would be the Dark.
For a century these halves would wait.
One world, set apart.

Place your hand on mine.
Untie your mind.
We'll just disengage.
Float away.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 65: Vois Sur Ton Chemin

Vois Sur Ton Chemin
Vois sur ton chemin
Gamins oubliés égarés
Donne leur la main
Pour les mener
Vers d'autres lendemains

Sens au coeur de la nuit
L'onde d'espoir
Ardeur de la vie
Sentier de gloire

Bonheurs enfantins
Trop vite oubliés effacés
Une lumière dorée brille sans fin
Tout au bout du chemin

Sens au coeur de la nuit
L'onde d'espoir
Ardeur de la vie
Sentier de la gloire

This is a song from Les Choiristes, a French movie that is amazing. The song has been in my head today (Maybe to remind me to give the movie back that I borrowed from my friend Alyssa...:) ), and I really enjoy the music and the movie. It's about a prefect (teacher) who comes to a school for troubled boys, and changes their lives, and his own, through music. It's epic! Everyone should see it, and they have English subtitles for people who don't know French...Do it, I dare you! It's really awesome, and I wouldn't want anyone to miss it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 64: My Country 'Tis of Thee/God Save the King

I don't know if you guys knew this or not, but while we were in church, when we were supposed to be singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee", my dad started singing "God Save the Queen"....I had no idea they were the same song until that moment! Interesting that we stole that from England, considering that the United States doesn't have monarchs, but Presidents....We've never had a song like "God save the President"...perhaps that will change someday. And I mean that in a respectful way, not as one of those people who make wisecracks about President Obama and disrespect his office. He's doing his best with what he has to deal with, which is quite a bit, and that's all I'm going to say about that. I never like getting into political arguments, and I will not do so here. Anyway, back to the song...I also realized that we rarely pay attention to any of the last verses, because we're used to singing the first ones, especially in patriotic songs. So, to change that, at least for today, I am going to give you all of the lyrics starting with "God Save the King" and then "My Country 'Tis of Thee" to show you how the song has progressed.

God Save the Queen
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!

O lord God arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall!
Confound their knavish tricks,
Confuse their politics,
On you our hopes we fix,
God save the Queen!

Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world ov'er

From every latent foe,
From the assasins blow,
God save the Queen!
O'er her thine arm extend,
For Britain's sake defend,
Our mother, prince, and friend,
God save the Queen!

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign!
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen!

My Country 'Tis of Thee
My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.
My  country, sweet land of liberty

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father's God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 63: The Declaration of Independence

"When in the course of human events" are probably the most famous words to American citizens everywhere, and tomorrow we will once again celebrate our nation and our lives of freedom. But have we gone past these words....perhaps to "Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness"...but that is only the first paragraph. The rest of the Declaration of Independence is all the grievances we had against England, how the king had neglected our needs as well as our rights, and how we, in that case, needed to separate from our motherland. We did so, and with our own shed blood in Lexington and "a shot heard around the world", America began its journey to become a nation. How much we owe to our forefathers who sacrificed their occupations and their lives for a dream, the hope of a free and unobstructed nation. We enjoy our conveniences and our rights because of them, and we should, with reverence for them and for God, commemorate this wonderful life which we are able to enjoy. Think about that as we finish out this week of patriotism, reverence and hope for a bright and better future.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 62: "God Bless America"

God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.

This song is written by Irving Berlin, a music composer who lived to be one hundred years old and wrote such famous songs as "White Christmas", "Always", and "Blue Skies". This man is the bomb! He also wrote several patriotic and army songs. It's all good, and he is the poster boy for our music...Truly American--Bam!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 61: The U.S. Constitution

You might think I am the worst U.S. citizen in the country after I confess a secret: I have never read the U.S. Constitution all the way through. I have seen it in Washington D.C., and I have seen National Treasure where they steal it...but I have never read it fully. And so to redeem myself, I am doing so today. I discovered that there is a lot more behind this than just a document telling us our rights, but it also lays out our system of government. I have always had some reverence for it, but I, unfortunately, have not paid as much attention to it as I should. It reminded me that I should be a more informed citizen and person in general before making decisions, and also how much agency we have in living in the United States. I would suggest this to anyone who wants to understand democracy and law. I would also suggest going to see it in D.C.--it's awe-inspiring. Though every country has its troubles, the U.S. as well as anyone else, I am grateful that we have the Constitution to look to for guidance. God Bless America!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 60: "Homeward Bound"

This is a song about the American Dream, and how, in spite of the adventure and mystery of the unknown, our hearts will lead us home again, wherever that is. I feel like this is a good song for those of us who feel the need for change and jumping into the inevitable. Here is the song...I hope it inspires and gives hope.

In the quiet misty morning,
when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stopped its singing
and the sky is clear and red...

When the summer ceases gleaming
and the corn is past its prime,
When adventure's lost its meaning
I'll be homeward bound in time.

Bind me not to the pasture,
chain me not to the plow,
set me free to find my calling
and I'll return to you somehow.

If you find it's me you're missing, if you're hoping I'll return,
To your thought I'll soon be list'ning; in the road I'll stop and turn.
Then the wind will set me racing as my journey nears its end,
And the path I'll be retracing when I'm homeward bound again.

Bind me not to the pasture. Chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling and I'll return to you somehow!

In the quiet misty morning when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing, I'll be homeward bound again.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 59: "Paul Revere's Ride"

I'm probably going to do patriotic works all this week, just so you're aware...This one is a very long, but cool poem. My dad has recited this once in a while to us as kids, and I remember distinctly having to memorize it some time in school (I think it was fifth grade, with Mrs. Stout....Confession: We kind of cheated I think--We got a huge group of us together and did only one verse each, which is probably why I can't remember most of it.). Anyway, this poem is about Paul Revere, the legendary Revolutionary War patriot who warned the colonists that "The British are coming! The British are coming! One if by land, two if by sea...." written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I hope to do something cool enough to be written about someday...:)

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,---
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
>From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,---
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 58: "Amazing Grace" by John Newton

I heard an amazing arrangement of this song last night as a presentation for the Freedom Festival going on this week. What the narrator said was true. He said, "John Newton did not know that this song would and has inspired the English speaking world for centuries..." And it's true. When I saw Amazing Grace, the movie about William Wilberforce with my roommates, we sang the song for days. I also plan to read the book someday soon--maybe even as part of the 100...we'll see :). Anyway, I haven't been able to get this song out of my head, and, most people don't know this, but here's a little patriotic trivia...The song has 6 verses, with a repeat often of the first verse at the end. It was written during Wilberforce's campaign to end slavery in England by John Newton, a man who was once a slave ship captain who found religion and became an Anglican priest. I hope that this inspires and gives hope to everyone out there this week as we remember our freedoms and the sacrifices given to make us and keep us free.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 57: Faith

Matthew 9:28-29:
28. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came unto him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
29. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Hebrews 10:36-37:
36. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him.

3 Nephi 11:5-6:
5. And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
6. And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard...

D&C 121: 7:
7. And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee, if thou be cast into the deep: if the billowing surge conspire against thee: if fierce winds become thine enemy: if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way: and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son/daughter, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 56: A Broken Looking-Glass

I was interested in this story by the title initially...I had never read anything by Henry Harland before. Wow, is all I have to say. At first I thought it was about a wasted life, an old man who felt that he had failed, that his life was worthless. It was that, but then it took a twist and turned into something more haunting--a love story. Not the creepy, Poe-like haunting love stories...It was something macabre, but also sad, and real. Unlike Poe's stories of death and obsession, this one had possibilities of truth. A man loves a woman who does not love him, and then she falls ill and dies--in this, he feels that he has failed the most, for he feels that if she had married him she would not have died. How connected humans are to each other, how strong is love but also how so very fragile. Man is made to know his emotions to be able to think, but what is love but at first a deep emotion that drives us to feel deeply, so deep that we live as in a dream at first. And then we come back to reality...the life that we have always lived, but with another by our side. How sad and yet so real was this story, because we have all been there; we have all had the clouds of uncertainty and grief hang over us, even if we were caught unawares. Do not let your love die, in the sense that we must have love burn bright in our hearts for our fellow men; trust in God and be believing, and you will make something of yourself for the better, whether married or not.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 55: "The Gypsy" and "Forgiveness" from Jane Eyre : The Musical

I saw Jane Eyre: The Musical, last night...and it was amazing. Our Rochester and Jane were of course amazing, and I think that our Jane Eyre was better than the girl on the CD. I enjoyed it so much, and Julie, the friend that has been staying with me this week, and I found a flyer in the HFAC. On a spontaneous journey, we went with our friend Muriel all the way to Salt Lake to the Rose Wagner Theatre and saw it...Let me tell you, it was definitely worth fourteen dollars. I'm so glad we did it--It was one of the best spontaneous decisions i have ever made. Anyway, here are my two favorite songs from the musical. The first one is when an old gypsy woman (who is actually Rochester) "enters" Thornfield and reads the fortunes of all the young ladies in the house, including Jane's. It is so great when he reveals himself, and the falsetto is so hard to do...I just can't get over it!

I see a flame in the palm of your hand
Oh sister
You're peevish and puny and spoiled and bland
Oh sister
You have no principles
You have no taste
Your education was truly a waste
Don't be upset, girls, this has to be faced
Sweet sisters
I see a man in your future, my dear
But his claims of wealth and title I fear
You marry the scoundrel, and soon after that
You bear him a child and then you get fat
Lucky for you he leaves both of you flat
Dear lady
I see a journey you're planning to take
Oh sister
Believe me, my child, it's a fatal mistake
Oh sister
The road holds great danger
You'd better stay here
There's someone you long to be close to, my dear
He's not so far out of reach as you fear
Dear sister

And who might he be, mother?

I'm getting tired of this masquerade
Oh sister
Do you forgive me for this odd charade
Dear sister...

The next one is "Forgiveness" when Helen Burns is teaching Jane to forgive her terrible aunt and all those who have mistreated her. I find so much hope in this song, and it is also musically beautiful.

You mustn't be revengeful
You have to be strong
To offer good for evil
Return right for wrong
We must not hold a grudge
And we must learn to endure
Then as God is your judge
At least your heart will be pure
Is the mightiest sword
Forgiveness of those you hate
Will be your highest reward
When they bruise you with words
When they make you feel small
When it's hardest to bear
You must do nothing at all
Is the simplest vow
Of all their crimes
Is your deliverance now
Bless those souls
Who would curse your name
When the last bell tolls
You'll be free of blame
You can continue to grieve
But know the Gospel is true
You must forgive those who lie
And bless them that curse you
Is the mightiest sword
Forgiveness of those you hate
Will be your highest reward
The time will come when we will leave this world,
and then the injustice and the pain and the sin will fall away from us,
and only the spark of the spirit will remain - returning to God who created it
You must never lose faith
You must never lose heart
God will restore your trust
And I know you're afraid
I'm as scared as you are
But willing to be brave
Brave enough for love

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 54: Chanson Spirituelle by Margurite of Navarre

This is an interesting poem, because while it tells you about the illness of a king, the author further addresses the interests of the state and further tells of Navarrian life through the "untold" parts of the poem. For example, something that is implied is that she is a woman of wealth and station, for the lay people, the working classes in that great divide between rich and poor, could not read and probably could not write either. It also follows that she holds to the beliefs of that time that if the king was ill, so was the kingdom. Also the title, literally translated, means "Spiritual Song", but this is not a set of lyrics--it's a poem, and also in French. I also thought the subtitle was interesting "Thinking by the Seine during the king's illness"...That she had time to think at all is something to ponder on.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 53: "Smile" by Charlie Chaplin

Ok, I realize that this week has been a week full of lyrics, but I can't mention the blog today without also mentioning that my friend Julie and I sang in the HFAC (the music and arts hub at BYU) today, and while we were there in the practice rooms she sang this song and I accompanied. It's one of my favorites anyway, and although it might sound sad, I am not. I actually find it very soothing.

Smile tho' your heart is aching,
Smile even though it's breaking,
When there are clouds in the sky-
You'll get by...
If you smile through your fear and sorrow,
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you...
Light up your face with gladness,
Hide ev'ry trace of sadness--
Altho' a tear may be ever so near...
That's the time you must keep on trying,
Smile- What's the use of crying...
You'll find that life is still worthwhile,
If you just smile.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 52: "Innocent" by Our Lady Peace

I'm not sure why I am choosing this for my blog today, or why it's been in my head for the last little while...It's also kind of an interesting song, because emotionally you can take it either way--either hopeful or depressing. I'm choosing the hopeful side for today, so know (for those of you who have been with me throughout my journey) that I am well, except for a small bout of the flu that I hope will pass quickly. Oh, and an author by the name of Diane Thomas (She has some really good work, look her up and look at her website--she recently wrote a book called "The Year the Music Changed") gave me some advice. She said tell everyone you know that you want to be an editor, because you never know who might be out there who can help you. And so I shout to all those out there who are listening-- I WANT TO BE AN EDITOR! I would love to be an editor for a book publishing company...That would be so amazing. So I say to all of my friends, neighbors and new friends that I hope to meet someday, if you have anything you need edited, send it to me, give me a deadline and I will do my best to make it better. Keep your ears perked and eyes peeled, and if you hear or see anything. Thanks guys!

Anyway, here are the lyrics:


Oh, Johnny wishes he was famous
Spends his time alone
In the basement
With Lennon and Cobain
A guitar and a stereo
While he wishes he
Could escape this
It all seems so contagious
Not to be yourself and faceless
In a song that has no soul

I remember feeling low
I remember losing hope
I remember all the feelings
And the day they stopped
We are,
We are all innocent, we are all innocent
We are, we are, we are
We are all innocent, we are all innocent
We are, we are

Oh, Tina’s losing faith in what she knows
Hates her music
Hates all of her clothes
Thinks of surgery
And a new nose
Every calorie is a war
While she wishes she
Was a dancer
And that she'd never
Heard of cancer
She wishes God would give her
Some answers
And make her feel beautiful


One day
You'll have to let it go,
One day
You'll stand up on your own, you'll stand up on your own
Remember losing hope,
Remember feeling low,
Remember all the feelings and the day they stopped

We are,
We are all innocent, we are all innocent
We are, we are, we are,
We are all innocent, we are all innocent
We are, we are

We are,
We are all innocent
(One day, you'll have to let it go, you'll have to let it go)
We are all innocent
We are, we are, we are,
We are all innocent, we are all innocent
We are, we are

We are,
We are all innocent
(One day, you'll stand up on your own, stand up on your own)
We are all innocent
We are, we are, we are,
We are all innocent, we are all innocent
We are, we are

We are... we are all innocent...

So go out and do something that might seem crazy and intense...if you feel like you should do it, do it! You never know what might happen!