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!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 51: "Celebrate Good Times" by Cool and the Gang

I am having a good day, because although I still don't know what my future will hold, my friend Julie is finally coming to visit! She's boarding her plane in New York right now, and in five hours she'll be landing in Salt Lake--Huzzah! And so, in honor of this event and the fact that things might actually start to be coming together at last, I give you this eighties song (You all know it--now sing it with me!):

Yahoo! This is your celebration
Yahoo! This is your celebration

Celebrate good times,come on! (Let's celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on! (Let's celebrate)

There's a party goin' on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times, and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you

Come on now

Let's all celebrate and have a good time
We gonna celebrate and have a good time

It's time to come together
It's up to you, what's your pleasure

Everyone around the world
Come on!

Yahoo! It's a celebration

Celebrate good times, come on!
It's a celebration
Celebrate good times, come on!
Let's celebrate

We're gonna have a good time tonight
Let's celebrate, it's all right
We're gonna have a good time tonight
Let's celebrate, it's all right


We're gonna have a good time tonight (Ce-le-bra-tion)
Let's celebrate, it's all right
We're gonna have a good time tonight (Ce-le-bra-tion)
Let's celebrate, it's all right


Celebrate good times, come on! (Let's celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on!
It's a celebration!
Celebrate good times, come on! (Let's celebrate)

(ad lib)

Come on and celebrate, good times, tonight (Celebrate good times, come on!)
'Cause everything's gonna be all right
Let's celebrate (Celebrate good times, come on)
(Let's celebrate)...

I didn't even realize there was a band called "Cool and the Gang" until I looked up this song...something new you learn every day, I guess. Anyway, today is a day to celebrate! Find something that makes you happy and do it, or go out with someone who makes you happy and take a walk, sing a song or just let loose!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 50: "No Such Thing" by John Mayer

Welcome to the real world", she said to me
Take a seat
Take your life
Plot it out in black and white
Well I never lived the dreams of the prom kings
And the drama queens
I'd like to think the best of me
Is still hiding
Up my sleeve

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
That something's better
On the other side

I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
just a lie you've got to rise above

So the good boys and girls take the so called right track
Faded white hats
Grabbing credits
Maybe transfers
They read all the books but they can't find the answers
And all of our parents
They're getting older
I wonder if they've wished for anything better
While in their memories
Tiny tragedies

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side

I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you got to rise above

I am invincible (x3)
As long as I'm alive

I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above

I just can't wait til my 10 year reunion
I'm gonna bust down the double doors
And when I stand on these tables before you
You will know what all this time was for

'Nuff said... I was always one who colored outside the lines, and I like color. For those of you who have been following this blog and my journey, this is the halfway point. For those of you who haven't, this is still the halfway point...just so you're aware.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 49: "From the Antigone" by WB Yeats

This is an interesting poem...It was short, but I also thought it was an interesting direction for Yeats. You do need to know the story of Antigone, however, before you read this poem. Antigone is the story of Oedipus' daughter who wants to bury one of her brothers because Creon, her uncle won't let her bury him properly with all the Greek rites. She goes out at night to bury her brother properly and gets caught...I will let you read the rest. But Yeats' poem "Antigone" discusses the constraints of women, who in Greek times as well as during Yeats' own times, were mainly around to take care of the home and bear children. There were some women who rebelled against this way, such as Antigone, but most free thinking women were punished or ostracized; and so, though many women had opinions, they hid them away and "lived lives of quiet desperation" (Thoreau). This poem discusses Antigone's feelings about being a woman, one who is able to do nothing as she watches her family, and her world, crumble about her.

Overcome -- O bitter sweetness,
Inhabitant of the soft cheek of a girl --
The rich man and his affairs,
The fat flocks and the fields' fatness,
Mariners, rough harvesters;
Overcome Gods upon Parnassus;

Overcome the Empyrean; hurl
Heaven and Earth out of their places,
That in the Same calamity
Brother and brother, friend and friend,
Family and family,
City and city may contend,
By that great glory driven wild.

Pray I will and sing I must,
And yet I weep -- Oedipus' child
Descends into the loveless dust.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 48: Lady Windermere's Fan

This is a play by Oscar Wilde that I had never read before, and it is also on the darker, more macabre side of his work. The other works I have read are The Importance of Being Ernest and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I thought that Lady Windermere's Fan would fall into the comedic set, but I was wrong. Not that I didn't like it (It would be a great play to act out and be a part of)--it was just a reminder that though Oscar Wilde is better known for his comedies, he is just as good in other genres and themes. Wilde's work is social commentary on the "Age of Decadence" (1900-1930) in England, also known as the Edwardian Era. Social decorum and manners "come before morals", as Lady Erlynne addresses in this play, and often Oscar Wilde addresses also the deceit behind the masks of social status and gossip. Even now we live in a time where convenience often meets with avarice and crime, when behind the curtain much more happens than the world is made aware. And so we must do all we can to combat these dark clouds of immorality, greed and other social troubles--there are more deadly sins than seven. We must fight with virtue, humility, love and sacrifice, and do what we can to make this world a better place.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 47: "Jack's Lament" written by Danny Elfman

Today has been a struggle...I thought I had a reason to celebrate today, because my friend Julie Eccles was supposed to fly in today to see me for the week. She missed her flight (there was a miscommunication on dates), and so she won't be able to come until Monday...:( Also, trying to figure out my future was a struggle. It's just been a tough day; usually I can do something to get over it (That has happened several times with this blog literature, which helps...), but today I haven't been able to. So to express my feelings, I have chosen for my blog literature "Jack's Lament" written by Danny Elfman for The Nightmare Before Christmas. I like the movie and I always enjoyed the idea that Danny Elfman, the composer, sang the voice of Jack, the main character. Anyway, hopefully tomorrow will be better.

There are few who'd deny, at what I do I am the best
For my talents are renowned far and wide
When it comes to surprises in the moonlit night
I excel without ever even trying
With the slightest little effort of my ghostlike charms
I have seen grown men give out a shriek
With the wave of my hand, and a well-placed moan
I have swept the very bravest off their feet

Yet year after year, it's the same old cheer
And I grow so weary of the sound of screams
And I, Jack, the Pumpkin King
Have grown so tired of the same old thing

Oh, somewhere deep inside of these bones
An emptiness began to grow
There's something out there, far from my home
A longing that I've never known

I'm a master of fright, and a demon of light
And I'll scare you right out of your pants
To a guy in Kentucky, I'm Mister Unlucky
And I'm known throughout England and France
And since I am dead, I can take off my head
To recite Shakespearean quotations
No animal nor man can scream like I can
With the fury of my recitations

But who here would ever understand
That the Pumpkin King with the skeleton grin
Would tire of his crown, if they only understood
He'd give it all up if he only could

Oh, there's an empty place in my bones
That calls out for something unknown
The fame and praise come year after year
Does nothing for these empty tears

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 46: Tu N'en Reviendras Pas, Charlie Brown

Does it sound foreign and yet somehow familiar? That' because it is....Charlie Brown, the famous Peanuts protagonist created by Charles Shultz along with the whole gang, has now been translated into French! The book is my dad's...He gave it to me to use so that I could keep up on my French skills. I took French for six years, and I would say now to you who know a foreign language, this is a good way to keep up on them. Asterix and Obelix is another way, if you are taking French specifically. But if you are taking foreign languages, definitely use comics or short stories to keep up on it--and you'll get some laughs anyway! The book, literally translated, means "You'll Never Remember Charlie Brown", but the original American comics are a book called "You'll Flip, Charlie Brown", if you ever want to read them in English. It was a fun read, but it was also refreshing because I felt like I was still learning.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 45: The Jabberwocky

This poem, written by Lewis Carroll for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is a poem I memorized a long time ago in sixth grade...I was just thinking about it today, wondering if it has any real meaning. We know that some of the characters have meanings, such as the Mad Hatter is actually a social problem given in character form (He stood for those of the working class who made hats--they went mad because there was arsenic in either the machinery or some part that had to do with hat making), the Dodo is a manifestation of Carroll himself, because Dodo was a nickname given to him for his stutter, when he could not say his real name, Dodgson. So, like these characters, does Jabberwocky have real meaning--or is it something totally ridiculous (Historians also say he was very much on drugs when he wrote this--why am I not surprised?)? Food for thought...Anyway, here is the poem:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Think about it....And get back to me on what you think!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 44: The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

I swear this will be the last Sherlock book I blog about, because I have now read them all! The entire series...and let me tell you, it has been a journey indeed. This is also the last book that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote for Sherlock and Watson, writing at the beginning of the turn of the century, and approaching issues that would be a part of our times for decades after they were addressed by Doyle. In this book, I believe there is one case given in a third person perspective, not by Watson, and there are also two cases that are written by Sherlock himself, and other than two in Sherlock's Memoirs, these are the only ones chronicled by Holmes alone. The rest, of course, are chronicled by Watson. This book is set for its times just as it should be, but it also makes this book different from the Victorian times which prevailed in the earlier Sherlock novels and short story sets. The turn of the century was a time of change, and Arthur Conan Doyle changed with his times. Anyway, this is my favorite passage from the book, in a story called "The Three Garridebs" (Watson begins the narration in this passage):

In an instant [Evans] had whisked out a revolver from his breast and had fired two shots. I felt a sudden hot sear as if a red-hot iron had been pressed to my thigh. There was a crash as Holmes's pistol came down on the man's head. I had a vision of him sprawling on the floor with blood running down his face while Holmes rummaged him for weapons. Then my friend's wiry arms were round me and he was leading me to a chair.
"You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!"
It was worth a wound--It was worth many wounds--to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service had culminated in that moment of revelation.
"It's nothing, Holmes. It's a mere scratch."
He had ripped up my trousers with his pocket knife. "You are right," he cried, with an immense sigh of relief. "It is quite superficial." His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face. "By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive."

Anyway, I just have to say I love these books! If you ever have a question about Sherlock or any of the stories, let me know and I will be glad to answer it for you and discuss it with you! Also, I realized last night, at about one in the morning, that the newest movie Sherlock Holmes (with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law) actually alludes in some way to all of the short story books (A Study in Scarlet, Return, Memoirs, His Last Bow and Case-Book). It also alludes, through Watson's fiancee Mary, to The Sign of the Four. Guy Ritchie did his research!!! Huzzah!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 43: The Gospel of John

When studied deeply, this becomes all the more important, not only because it gives us the example of how we should live, but also what we should do to make the world a better place and to bless the lives of the people all around us. This gospel is the life of Jesus Christ from the perspective of one of his apostles, so rather than give us a "background history", if you will, he gives us an intimate look into the life of the Master, our master exemplar. It spans from the time that Jesus calls John the Beloved (who also, incidentally, was his cousin), to Christ's resurrection on Easter morning. I took a class in the four gospels, and I got a lot out of all of the books...They all, however, tell the same story--who Christ is, His teachings, and how we can become more like him. I have only recently finished reading this gospel again, and I found that I was drawn to the last week of the Savior's life...The triumphal entry, the passover meal, Gethsemane, the betrayal, the trial/cross, and his resurrection, most particularly the passover through Gethsemane and the resurrection. I'm not sure why, except that it gave me hope...There's a lot going on of late, some things I have yet to figure out about my life, but I know that because of that suffering in Gethsemane and the resurrection, everything will be all right somehow, even if I don't understand it all. God does listen, and He will answer.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 42: Highland Cathedral

Highland Cathedral is a Scottish bagpipe song that is played often for special occasions, even in church. Today is the Scottish Festival at Thanksgiving Point, which I will be missing because I need to work. The Scottish Festival is where you eat Scottish food, there are Scottish games (the caber toss-throwing a giant telephone pole, for example), tartan booths, which tell you about your Scottish ancestry, and vendors all over the place, which make it a lot of fun. Anyway, I hope you can now see the connection. I first knew this song as a bagpipe song only (My dad and sister Liz play in a bagpipe band--The Salt Lake Scots), until last year at the Kirkin' o' the Tartan (a special Presbyterian service for the blessing of the Scottish clans) when the choir started singing. It was really cool! If you haven't guessed already, I really enjoy my own Scottish heritage, and even if your not Scottish, they'll be your friends anyway! So here is the lyrics to "Highland Cathedral" (Look it up on Youtube or something like that if you're curious to know what it sounds like...)

There is a land far from this distant shore
Where heather grows and Highland eagles soar
There is a land that will live ever more
Deep in my heart, my Bonnie Scotland

Though I serve so far away
I still see your streams, cities and dreams
I can't wait until the day
When I'll come home once more

And so Lord keep me from the harm of war
Through all its dangers and the battle's roar
Keep me safe until I'm home once more
Home to my own in Bonnie Scotland


Land of our fathers, we will always be

Faithful and loyal to our own country.

In times of danger, we will set you free.

Lead you to glory and to victory.


Hail, Caledonia, to our ancient prayer.

In this Highland Cathedral, let our standards, bear.

Joining, together, with one dream to share.

God bless the people of this land so fair.


Gone is the past, let us start anew.

Let this hope of peace, always remain.

Spirit of Scotia, be strong and true.

Then your children will smile again, again, again, again.


Rise, Caledonia, let your voices ring

In this Highland Cathedral of our God and King.

Whom, joy and liberty, to all, will bring.

Come; let your heart, with love and courage, sing.


Lonely the exile, o'er distant seas,

The home of their birth, gone from their eyes.

Bring back their souls o'er the ocean breeze

To the land where their fathers lie.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 41: Hamlet's Soliloquy

I figured that Hamlet would show up eventually somewhere in my reading...It's my favorite Shakespeare play (though I have come to appreciate others as well--Nancy Christiansen's Shakespeare class at BYU changed my entire view of his work and his times). I've done five papers on it and performed it twice--once being the king's ghost and gravedigger, and once playing Hamlet himself (and though I never performed this specific soliloquy, I memorized it as well in my performing as an actor for eight years). This is a great play, and though it has been done over again and again with performances throughout the world, each interpretation brings something different. The questions that Hamlet forces us to ask are still as prevalent today as they were in the 1590's. What is true madness? What is King Hamlet's ghost's real purpose--to warn or to deceive? Why does Hamlet wait so long to act, thereby forging the way to his death? Is Ophelia really crazy, or does she kill herself on purpose? All these questions and more hang in the balance as we search and interpret this tragedy of intrigue, madness and death. If we look deeply, each line, not just whole speeches, tell us something of ourselves, man's nature and fear of the unknown. This soliloquy, known as the "To Be or Not To Be" soliloquy, is the most famous of Shakespeare's work--but do we really understand it? Are meant to understand it? I will let you decide.

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 40: Bird Brain Teasers

I don't know too much about birds, so I thought I would give this a shot...I actually learned quite a bit. There were games and stuff, but I paid most attention to the facts, poems and quotes in the book. For example, I learned that emus are good swimmers, kiwis are the only bird without wings and emperor penguins can hold their breath in the arctic waters for eighteen minutes. Who knew? Also, there were quotes and stories from Emily Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, Claude Monet and several others about the importance of birds in our lives and in true art. I'd believe it....I've seen lots of nature scenes and writings that include birds, but I never thought of it. They also had a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favorite books that I read recently (at the end of February). I would definitely suggest To Kill a Mockingbird to ANYONE....I love it, and if you don't like it, at least then you would have an informed opinion. I would also suggest this bird book to anyone who's a bird lover...This would be fun book to keep in your purse or bag if you're waiting for a bus or have time on your hands and you're bored.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 39: Testing the Ice

This is a book about Jackie Robinson, the baseball player who ended segregation in the American past time. I learned some interesting things about him--he couldn't swim, he worked through thirteen seasons of taunting and jeering (or cheering) before he retired ten years later, and was a very courageous man. It actually tells two stories; it tells about how Mr. Robinson got into the major leagues with the Dodgers, and also tells about a specific experience where he walks across the ice, in spite of the fact that he can't swim, to make sure it is safe for his kids to ice skate on. It's a really interesting book, and was written by his daughter, which I think makes it even cooler. Sometimes I read these historical biographies and I think to myself, "I want to change the world like that." After reading this book was one of those times. It's short and sweet, but poignant. It makes you want to inspire, to dive in to what might be a hardship, and to change the world for the better...not for the fame or fortune, but just to know that the world is a better place because you did something.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 38: "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles

I wanted to put this on today because I was listening to it on my I-pod and I always felt like it described me and what I want to do with my life...But hopefully my work is better than a story about a dirty man, his clinging wife and a son who works for the daily mail, and also hopefully it won't be a thousand pages long :). I want to be a writer, but I also know how hard it can be to get a publisher to see you....Don't give up--and revise, revise, revise! There is hope, and no matter how long it takes you, make sure you finish your work. So now that you know how important writing is to me, I give you the lyrics to "Paperback Writer"...Ironic and somewhat with sarcastic feelings, because it really is the truth.

Paper back writer (paperback writer)
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

It's the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn't understand.
The son (The Sun) is working for the Daily Mail,
It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

Paperback writer - paperback writer
Paperback writer - paperback writer

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 37: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

This is a poem by Dylan Thomas, and I've always liked it, but I don't know why I'm putting this on the blog today. Perhaps the line that is most poignant to me is "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Hopefully it will help someone--Again, I'm not sure why I feel like I should do this, but I am generally one to follow impressions, regardless of how small. If there is someone who stands with a loved one in that void between waiting and death, or who is mourning for someone who has recently been lost, my deepest feelings go out to you. I hope that you will be able to find peace and comfort in the knowledge that there is a friend here in me, and if you need to talk, or think of anything that I might do for you, please let me be of service.


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 36: The Sign of the Four

Yet another Sherlock novel, I came by this through Powell's Bookstore in Portland, Oregon while I was there scoping out Portland State University for the possibility of graduate school....And guess what? Because of Powell's, I now have....Drum roll Please....The entire collection of Sherlock Holmes! While to some of you this might not seem important, when you've been searching for a series for almost a year and most of the books have turned into eccentricities you don't find just anywhere, this is an accomplishment indeed. I was also finding all of the books one by one, which means it goes slowly. As for the book itself, this is a good one...It is where Watson meets his future wife, and Sherlock again and again aids the innocent and accomplishes "the impossible", deducted and explained as he sees fit to those who deserve his confidence :). When the dark clouds of mystery hang over a dastardly murder, and even Sherlock and Watson are at their strained wits' end...The rest is for you to find out. Read it, and enter a world so intricate that no matter which novel or short story set you're reading, you will find yourself engrossed. Cheers, and may the best detective win!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 35: Song for Duke

I heard this song by Judy Collins, and I couldn't pass it up. It's a tribute to Duke Ellington, a jazz musician who lived for music....It's an amazing song, and I'm pretty sure that I had heard it before, but not from her. It's in Collins' twelfth album, Judith. I had never heard Judy Collins, and her voice is amazing...we listened to three albums on the way to and from Portland today. So here is the lyrics to the song "Song for Duke":

I didn't even know the man
I didn't know the man himself
Even though his music filled my life
As it has so many others

I knew that he had died that week
After fighting death a year or more
But I had had a rule before
That funerals were a waste of flowers

But something said I had to go
To be a witness to his gift of love
A man who never once gave up on life
Until death took him in his tracks

The people stood around the church
Ten thousand people there they say, or more
Black and white, rich and poor
Together they were there to say farewell

In New York City it had rained that day
The streets were silver and the sky was grey
But in the church the music soared and sang
And seemed to fill the air with shining sun

The man was a hero
He played the music of our souls
He knew that we all have in us
A place where beauty always grows

Outside in the streets again
The people wandered through the falling rain
They waved their hands and dried their tears
And turned to go about their lives again

But none of us will be the same
If we hear the things his music says
That loving is the gift of life
And making music was his way of love

The man was a hero
He played the music of our souls
He knew that we all have in us
A place where beauty always grows

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 34: "May it Be" from The Fellowship of the Ring

To tell the truth, I've done a lot of reading and editing lately of others' work, and I didn't read enough of one book today to constitute a whole one (I did Chronicles of Myriad--which was AWESOME! But I counted that for yesterday--) and the other book is sent to me in sections by my friend Julie. I love editing, but that's what you do in the time that is given to you. Anyway, in the hours that I haven't had Internet (which is probably around three or four), I have been watching my favorite scenes of Lord of the Rings, and I can't get over it! These are SO good. Everyone should watch them, even if they aren't fantasy can still learn and take so much from them. Great music, great cast--just so good. There's nothing left to be said. And so I give you the lyrics to one of my favorite songs in the trilogy: "May It Be" by Enya.

May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you .
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true.
You walk a lonely road,
Oh, how far you are from home!

Mornie utúlië (darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way--
Mornie alantië (darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now.

May it be the shadows call
Will fly away;
May it be you journey on
To light the day.
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun!

Mornie utúlië (darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way--
Mornie alantië (darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now....

A promise lives within you now.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 33: The Chronicles of Myriad

This is another piece I am editing, a book for my friend Nick Adams. I have to tell you, this is the real deal chums...this is epic. And I don't mean that silly, mocking type of epic like Nacho Libre or Napoleon, no, I mean this for real. I don't read too much fantasy, with a few exceptions, for one reason: They usually have loopholes, and it is a lot for my head to wrap around; but Nick knows what he's doing, and I mean it. I don't just say that to anybody. I hope this book gets published, and if it does, you've got to pick it up. Publishers would be stupid not to take this book on....I'm not saying that to make anyone's ego bigger, it's just the truth. This is one of the easiest pieces I've ever had to edit, and do you know why? Because the writing is good, and it has SOUL. Aside from some grammatical stuff and a few larger notes, this is really a good book. I'm going to pray that this gets published, and Nick, it's been a privilege.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 32: 2,001 Things to Do Before You Die

I like these lists a lot--this book also had some inspiring quotes as well...I discovered that I had done 104 of them. Some of them were really crazy, ones that I would never do, but some are definitely possible. Some fun ones that I had already done were playing Hamlet,stroll the Champs Elysees, sing in a barbershop quartet, watch a building get demolished (the Fletcher Building at BYU), and master the art of letter writing....I felt confident that I was, and am, living my life. Sometimes I get stuck in the grindstone, you know, but everyone does. I actually wrote a list of 100 things I wanted to do (well, I got up to 67 or something) and I have done some more since I have been here in Washington State, like seeing Puget Sound...Anyway, I am glad I read this book because I can find new things to try and do, and also if I ever go back and read it again, hopefully I will discover that I am continuing to live!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 31: Hieronymus Bosch: Between Heaven and Hell

I found this in my Aunt's bookshelf, and it intrigued me. It brought me back to my freshman year in college and AP Euro in high school when I looked at the triptych paintings of Bosch. This book explains the history and influences behind the art, and although they are still somewhat strange to me, I feel enlightened. Now I understand most of the strange figures and the hidden symbolism behind each set of Bosch's most famous works, and also the type of social influences he was living under in his day. I also discovered his entire family were painters, though he was the one who showed the most talent. He was famous in his lifetime, but lived in an obscure village in the Netherlands, which is why he was rediscovered only in the nineteenth century. If you enjoy medieval art and history, then this is a book that would be useful for you, especially in a presentation or essay of some kind. The book is by Chris Will by, the title here mentioned. I hope it will come to use to someone someday, because it was so interesting and different in the ways of presenting history. You should also see the paintings, or copies of them--they are certainly some intriguing works. They mainly concentrated on the triptychs "The Garden of Earthly Delights", "The Temptation of Saint Anthony" and "The Last Judgement" by Bosch.