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 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 just look up Casey at the Bat Disney Cartoon on Youtube and it will show'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 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!