Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Okay, so I know this is a kids movie, but as someone pointed out to me recently, it's part of the jobs for makers of kids movies to make them at least somewhat enjoyable for the adults as well. After all, the parents are the ones who have to take the little kids to see the movie in the first place, take them to see it ten more times if they like it, buy it for them to watch at home and then hear it as background noise for the next 5-10 years. So, as much as I apologized to my parents for the "Rock-a-doodle" phase, I must say this: The Samuel Goldwyn Company should have done better.

So, as a person who very much enjoyed the first "Madagascar" movie, I can honestly say that the sequel is far from disappointing. I would highly recommend it to any person of any age.

Everyone saw the first movie, right? Well, in this film, our favorite escaped zoo animals, who had been partying up a storm in Madagascar with the lemurs (?), try to use a penguin-built plane to get back to the Central Park zoo, but end up plane wrecked in Africa, where Alex the Lion (voiced by Ben Stiller) is reunited with his father (voiced by the late Bernie Mac). However, complications soon arise: An evil competitor lion (Alec Baldwin!!!) is trying to get Alex and his father (who is the alpha-lion) out of the picture, Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock) loses his unique identity when he finds out that all zebras in Africa are exactly the same, Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett-Smith) is in search of a mate and stumbles upon "Moto-Moto" the Hippo (Will.I.Am.) and Melman the Giraffe is secretly in love with Gloria (???).

Oh, and King Julien the Lemur (Sacha Baron-Cohen) is there too. And he rocks. He is pretty much the entire reason this movie is so amazing (and borderline inappropriate for a kids movie.)

So, sound fun? I thought so. But for those of you who remain unconvinced, allow me to repeat myself: KING JULIEN THE LEMUR!!!!!! SACHA BARON-FREAKING-COHEN!!! FLIPPING HYSTERICAL!!!!

Seriously, even though I think all of the voice actors did a fantastic job and the movie was enjoyable as a whole and the plot was entertaining and amusing and enjoyable for the whole family, I would say, if for no other reason, see it just for King Julien's scenes. They will not disappoint. I promise.

Reason number two: The Penguins. They are some of the funniest characters in the entire movie, and they are just.... awesome.

So, yes, even though it was intended for little kids I enjoyed it a lot. So parents, dno't worry. This movie will be at the very least tolerable. And non-parents... it's still a great movie. See it anyway.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We're so sorry we've been gone, we've been busy writing songs for you...

Sorry if the plural pronouns were confusing. A gold star goes to anyone who can name that band/song! (Well, a metaphorical gold star I mean. I don't have any real ones...)

Anyhoo, due to busy busy holiday plans and voyages to far-off places where not even high-speed internet could find me (a.k.a. New Jersey) I have not posted in quite a few days (and I am short exactly one interesting blurb. Yeeshk!)

So, what has happened since I last wrote...

1) Rev. Guinevere threw a fabulous holiday party for the staff of her church, including fabulous holiday food, fabulous indie-holiday music and general fabulousness aplenty. Well done, Rev. Fezziwig. Well done.

2) Mr. Baker and I accompanied Rev. Guinevere to New Jersey to spend a couple of days with Grandpa-Guinevere, Aunt Cowgirl and Cousins Cowgirl (age 13) and Cowboy (age 10). Oh, and we were also graced by the presence of Mr. Baker's brand new acoustic guitar, whom he has appropriately named FDR. Lucky us. Don't get me wrong, he is an AMAZING guitar player, but when he brings a guitar somewhere he suffers from a condition which causes the instrument to be permanently glued to his hands so that he has no choice but to play music 24/7. Tragically, there is no cure. Oh and in case you were wondering, our family does have a habit of naming inanimate objects that are near and dear to our hearts (Mr. Baker's electric guitar - Winston Churchhill; Rev. Guinevere's old Volvo - Gwyneth; My acoustic guitar - Iolanthe.)

3) I dyed my hair. Today actually. I'm quite excited about it. It used to be medium brown with artificial blonde highlights. Now it's auburn. Holy Crap!

Well, that's about it.

Things to look forward to:
1) Downtown Small Town's annual New Year's festivities tomorrow night!!!
2) Seeing South Pacific on Broadway next weekend!!!! (One of my 16th birthday presents from Rev. Guinevere)
3) Sleep that is not in a moving vehicle.
4) My friends' reactions to seeing my new hair via facebook/myspace/text messages.
6) School next week
7) Never mind. Please disregard number six

Coming soon to this blog: A Blurb!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Little Christmas

Well, this certainly has been a fabulously merry little Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, after going to the earlier Christmas Eve service (as opposed to the 11:00 one) at our Presbyterian church (where Rev. Guinevere is the minister). Then, we went to Mr. Brownlow's house to spend Christmas Eve (complete with a FABULOUS dinner of lasagna and a "Buche de Noel") and Christmas morning with him and The Musician. That morning I was pretty pleased with my assortment of gifts, including: "A Lion Among Men" by Gregory Macguire, "The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging (go figure), DVDs of "Mamma Mia!," "Flight of the Conchords," and "Mrs. Henderson Presents," a Bette Davis t-shirt, and an Edward Cullen fanclub t-shirt which reads "Bite me" on the front.

Then, Mr. Baker and I went back to Rev. Guinevere's house to spend the rest of Christmas day with her and her "BFF." More gifts! Yay! This collection included: a decent amp for my acoustic guitar/singing gigs, "The Host" by Stephanie Myer, lens cleaner (mocking me for the previously mentioned nightmare I had in fourth grade), "Tales of Beedle and the Bard" by J.K. Rowling, and DVD of "Sex and the City" (the movie).

Then, the four of us watched "The Ref" (aka, best Christmas movie ever!!!!!!) and had an amazing dinner of pasta with meatballs and a special tomato sauce recipe (from the late Grandmother-Guinevere).

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Drumroll please....

Well, the cast list for Oliver went up today, and I have to say, I was so happy that not even a disastrous square dancing class like the one I had today in gym could get me down (yes, we do square dancing in gym.) I have been cast as *drum-roll*
For those of you who don't know the show or who just don't remember some of the characters by name, Widow Corney works in the orphanage where Oliver lives. She and Mr. Bumble sing the song "Oliver!" in the opening scene.
And, there is also another interesting, hilarious and slightly creepy song we sing together, entitled "I Shall Scream" which I am posting a video of from a random production I found on YouTube:

I have to say, I think there is some very very dark symbolism in there, even though it is intended for humor...

So, yes. Even though it is a relatively brief part, I am quite excited about it. My friends all got pretty good parts too. Troy will be playing Mr. Sowerberry (aka creepy funeral home guy), KitKat is Mrs. Bedwin (aka house keeper for kind rich guy), Angela is one of the vendors in the "Who Will Buy" sequence ("Who will buy my sweet red roses, two blooms for a penny...") and Sally (who was my "main competitor" according to my voice teacher) is Nancy.

This is going to be a great show!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weekly Blurb: MAMMA MIA!

Okay, I'll just come right out and say it: This was not a great movie. Hell, I might even go so far to say it isn't even a good movie. But do you know what it is? A fun movie. For this reason, I LOVE it!

So, for those of you who don't know the plot: A young girl (Amanda Seyfried) is getting married and more than anything she wants her father to be at her wedding. After reading through her mother's (Meryl Streep) diary, she concludes that it could be one of three people (Colin Firth, Peirce Brosnan or Stellan Skarsgard). So, she does what any intelligent young girl would do: She invites all three of them with hopes that she will instantly know her father when she sees him...(wait, what?) Thus, mayhem ensues. She's wants to know who her father is, her mother is still in love with one of them, everyone sings ABBA songs and Meryl Streep's best friends (Christine Boranski and Julie Walters) start hitting on men half their age. Fun for the whole family.

So, yes. The plot is quite ridiculous. But if this were a Broadway musical it would seem much more plausible. Oh, wait a minute! It is! I have never seen the musical, but I have heard it's fabulous. Frankly, even though several of the big musical numbers are done ingeniously, I think there is a certain element of it that was really meant for a stage.

Sooo, the actors: Amanda Seyfried is quite amazing in my opinion. You may know her as the daughter from "Big Love" or Karen from "Mean Girls" (the girl who said "If you're from Africa, why are you white???") She is an amazing singer, and she doesn't try to bring serious "Big Love" acting to this movie. She knows that this won't be nominated for any Oscars or anything, so she just does exactly what this film needs: She has fun with it. (Hell, it's full of ABBA songs. Who wouldn't have fun?) Exactly the same thing can be said for Meryl Streep. She didn't try to turn a Broadway musical into a Yale-Drama-worthy "serious film." Also, I would just like to add that she is possibly one of my favorite actresses in the history of the world. AND she has an absolutely killer voice (as you will see from her performances of songs like "The Winner Takes It All" and "Super Trooper.") Now don't get me wrong, the film does have its serious moments, and both of these ladies pull them off fantastically, but they aren't trying to turn a movie-musical into something more than it is, and they aren't begging for Oscars while onscreen (*cough* Changeling *cough*)

Now...Peirce Brosnan on the other hand... God, I hope that man never decides to be in a musical ever again. His singing voice is just.... well, I'm just hoping never to hear it again. Ever. And his acting is... well, he doesn't try to be too serious with it, but I didn't get the feeling he was enjoying what he was doing. And the thing is, since it is a MUSICAL and all, it needs to have energy and fun radiating off of all the performers, so he created somewhat of a dead-space on the screen. Now, Firth and Skarsgard on the other hand were able to actually contribute to the overall feeling of the film and they were in my opinion hilarious (and they aren't horrible singers either.)

Christine Boranski=God. Seriously, if at any time you feel down or depressed with the state of the world, just go to youtube and look for Christine Boranski singing "Does Your Mother Know." It will be the most hilarious experience of your life.

Overall recommendation: It is not a good movie, but I can GUARANTEE you will enjoy watching it. So, for those of you who have seen it, tell me what you think. Those of you who haven't, go ahead and rent it. If it's a complete waste of your time and you absolutely can't stand it, all you will have lost is two hours, a couple dollars and a lifetime of not having ABBA songs stuck in your head.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Where are you Christmas Vacation?

Mr. Baker is home. Huzzah!!! (Eew, did I seriously just say "huzzah"? Well who cares. I'm happy.)

Now that he is home and I've been doing Christmas shopping and stuff (although because of traffic problems and crowded stores, I got an atrocious amount of nothing-ness done where shopping is concerned) my mind is totally in vacation mode right now. Even though...

A) I still have school for two more days (Yea, it doth suck mightily).

B) I still have homework to hand in on those two days, and because my teachers insist on treating us like "mature, capable students" (who are they kidding) we will probably have mounds of homework over the break.

C) I am still hoping and waiting and agonizing over the cast list not being out yet!!! I know it just sounds like I am whining at this point, but honestly I am in sp much suspense that I need to vent somewhere. I have tried venting to my friends but they are all like "Girl, you don't have to worry! You've had leads in the past two shows! You KNOW you're going to have one this time." But honestly, I just don't know. Plus, today at my voice lesson, my teacher asked how the audition went and I told her I felt like it went well. Then, she said this: "So, I know that Sally [one of the most talented singers/actresses in our school] is your main competitor for one of the female parts in Oliver, but other than her, who would you say is your main competition?" In my head I was like "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!? Now that I am completely freaking out here, you want me to give you a list of who is likely to get a lead? Who I'm competing with???" Honestly, I hate thinking about it like that. These people are my best friends and even though we might be considered for the same type of role(s), I try my hardest not to think of it as though I am competing with them. That just makes me seem b*tchy (pardon my language.) So I just told her that I thought a lot of the girls seemed really confident and talented and none of us have any idea how the list will turn out.

And D) I have to learn a song in about, well a day to sing at a church service tomorrow night. I love the song and I am sooo happy to be singing it, but I had to go over it with my voice teacher today and it pretty much used up my entire lesson. I really REALLY hope I can practice it again before tomorrow! You might know it. Here's the music video (My voice teacher has been trying to get me to be less Cindy-Lou Who and more Faith Hill with it):

But yes. In the big scheme of things* my mind isn't really on these things all the time. Right now I'm just thinking about the holidays and vacation and not being in school and not having homework and not being in a show for a couple of weeks. I think this vacation will be a very VERY good one.

*(By the way, this was just a little shout out to my seventh grade social studies teacher, "Mr. Washington." "In the big scheme of things" was practically his catch phrase. My friends and I used to keep tallies in our notebooks of how many times he said it in each class period. I believe the record was 13 times in one 38 minute class. I miss you Mr. Washington!)

Don't worry bloggers. Tomorrow will be my weekly blurb, so for once I won't be rambling on and on about the random thoughts that occur in my head (which probably aren't nearly as interesting to you as they are to me.)

Tomorrow's Blurb Topic: Review of the movie "MAMMA MIA!" Stay tuned!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ohh and by the way....

I just took this quiz. Can't say I'm surprised :-)

You Are Ernie

Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.

You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained

You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.

How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!

It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow, snow, snow...

At last, the students pull ahead, current score being: Students-2, Superintendent-1. There were several rumors of lots of snow, and my middle school science teacher (mentioned in a previous post) posted on his website that there was 75% chance of a snow-day, and 100% of early dismissal if there was school.

Well, as I said, he has never been wrong. Even though there wasn't a single flake outside at the time, at 6:00 a.m. every school in the area (including STHS!!!) was closed. Thus every student I know was doing a happy dance. Then, around 11 a.m. the snow started pouring down, 1-2 inches per hour until the early evening. YAYYYY!!!!!

I myself, after sleeping until approximately 10:15 a.m. (ahhhh bliss) had pretty much the perfect Winter's Day. I chillaxed at home alone for a bit while Rev. Guinevere and her "BFF" went christmas shopping. (Even though I have much shopping to do, I was told specifically that I was not permitted to come. Hmmm...I wonder what that could possibly mean...) Then, Rev. Guinevere and I had lunch while watching "Sounds of the Season," a traditional local program that airs on TV every year, consisting of performances by STHS's musical/arts groups. I was in three of them: STHS Concert Choir, STHS Davidge Choir, and a scene from the recent dramatic production of "Steel Magnolias" (I played the role of Truvy. For those of you who know the movie, Truvy was the Dolly Parton role. Bwa-haa-haa!) I thought most of the performances were amazing, but unfortunately, the "Magnolias" scene was not very well done. The synchronization between the audio/visual tracks was off at some parts, making it seem like our mouths kept moving after we stopped talking, like in a Japanese anime cartoon.

Then, whilst we folded laundry, Rev. Guinevere and I watched my favorite Christmas movie: Love Actually. For those of you who have never scene it, I highly recommend it! It is amazing. (Although, it is rated R, for language and *clears throat* "adult content." So I might suggest that slightly younger children don't watch it just yet....)

Then, I made my way through the snow to my Dad's apartment to spend the weekend with "Mr. Brownlow" (Dad), "The Musician" (Dad's girlfriend) and "Olaf" (pet labradoodle named Olaf). We just finished decorating their new, enormous tropical Christmas tree (by that I mean the ornaments were tropical, not the actual tree. Pictures will be posted soon.)

I just loooooove snow days.

HOWEVER: There is one downside. You remember that pesky little cast list that I have been agonizing over??? Well, today was going to be the day that HDT and Mrs. Maestra went to the middle schools to let the wee little ones audition, and then the list would be posted next Monday or Tuesday (because Wednesday we will be out of school for winter break). So, now my guess is that they will do the auditions on Monday, and MAYBE (if HDT has a heart at all and doesn't want his students to kill themselves) they JUST MIGHT put the list up on Tuesday. But, if he is an extremely cruel, indecisive sadist and wants to intentionally put off rehearsals for a few more days (because ideally rehearsals would start right after the holidays since the performances are the first weekend in March), then the list will go up during/after the break.

Please, HDT. PLEASE do a kind deed and put up the list before the break so that the kids (i.e. ME) won't go crazy, and in return maybe someone will write a Dr. Seuss style book about you in which your heart grows so much it breaks the imaginary measuring device. Otherwise, your character will just be green and furry and weird and no one will like you anymore.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Concerts and Snow-Days and Shopping! Oh My!!!

Okay, so I am still in crazy suspense over the audition results that have not yet been posted!!! Mrs. Maestra has officially confirmed that the list will not be posted until next week because she and HDT (I decided to shorten his alias to just "Hot Drama Teacher") have to go do auditions at the middle schools still. I asked her "But the list will be up before the break, right?" Her response was "It should be..." If the list isn't up before the break, I just might have to shoot something. There's no way I will be able to enjoy the holidays if all I can think about is the cast list!!!

Okay. Calm down. Deep breaths. In, out. In, out...

On a lighter note, the concert that was rescheduled will be tomorrow. Yay! 

There are no rumors of bad weather coming in tomorrow night, so we should be okay. However, there was quite a bit of snow last night, resulting in an extra two hours for me to sleep in and classes that were only 27 minutes long. The score is now tied: Students-1, Superintendent-1 (this is of course in the battle of whether or not we will get the snow days/delays we deserve.) Superintendent gets a point because last week, STHS and Other Random HS were LITERALLY the only schools in session in the area. There was tons of snow on the ground, but the only reason we remained in school was because STHS and ORHS were scheduled to have a basketball game that night!!!! Grrrr....

Breathe in... Breathe out...

So, in addition to last minute concert preparations and hyperventilating in suspense over the cast list AND diabolically plotting to assassinate the superintendent (KIDDING....maybe...) I also have to accomplish many many dollars worth of christmas shopping.

It's going to be a long week...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Step, Kick, Kick, Leap, Kick, Touch...AGAIN!

Okay, so I think the audition actually went pretty well yesterday. (There was no dance portion, I just wanted to throw in a little allusion to one of the most amazing but underrated Broadway musicals in existence.)

At 3:00 we all met in Mrs. Maestra's room to fill out forms and meet the full production team. This includes Maestra, HBMLDT, a fellow classmate of mine who is going to be assistant to the director, and a local professional opera singer ("Mercedes") who is going to be "co-director."

So HBMLDT told us all about how amazing the show is going to be and the design concept and how we were going to audition. Then, Mrs. Maestra taught the group one of the best ensemble songs from the show that repeats/reprises at least 5 times: Consider yourself. We sang through it a few times all together, and then divided into groups of five and sang the excerpt for Mercedes and HBMLDT. That was easy and fun.

Then, the lead auditions. The assistant director had us each sign a list to determine the order in which we would be going (most people were very eager to be the last on the list.) After that, my friends and I paced anxiously around the hallway outside HBMLDT's room, waiting for our names to be called. We went over our songs and monologues with each other, giving advice and encouraging words and wishes of broken legs.

My three closest friends were among the group of people auditioning. I couldn't help but be slightly amused/amazed by the audition material they had picked. "Troy" (my closest guy friend, who is amazingly talented and outgoing and with whom I have performed many times) was singing the song Falling Slowly," from the movie "Once" (that's one of our signature songs that we sing at local events in Downtown Small Town). He was doing a monologue from the play "Tribute" about a young boy recounting a slightly traumatizing event involving his father. Troy was very nervous at first, but he came out of his audition feeling pretty confident.

"Angela" (one of my two closest girl BFFs, so named for having a similar hair color to a character from "My So-Called Life") sang the song "Go the Distance" (which, if you were born in the 1990's in the United States, you should recognize from the Disney Cartoon "Hercules"). She also performed the hilarious monologue from "My Fair Lady" in which Eliza Dolittle explains her suspicions about whether her aunt truly did "die of influenza" or whether they "done the old woman in." Listening to Angela practice that monologue was possibly one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed. She was completely freaked out before the audition, and when she came out, her feeling about her performance was, and I quote: "I did really good with the song. You know, like I was all... dramatic and...acting with it and stuff? But I completely effed up the monologue."

My third BFF who was auditioning (KitKat) had some amazing audition material. She sang the song "It's All the Same" from the musical "Man of LaMancha" and she did a great monologue from "Gypsy" in the final confrontation between Louise and her mother. She felt better about the monologue than the song, but I personally believe that both were fabulous.

Then, it was my turn. I walked onto the stage in HBMLDT's room, and there he was, sitting in the make-shift audience with Mrs. Maestra (his classroom is one of the lecture halls, so there are elevated levels on which were some desks, tables and chairs, facing downward towards the stage.) I greeted them both enthusiastically, seeing as I see them both on a regular basis and I know them well. (Plus, if there is one thing I know about auditions, it is this: No matter how scared shitless you are, channel all of your terror into enthusiasm and expression and NEVER show your insecurity on stage.) I asked them if they wanted me to do the monologue or song first and they said I could pick. So, after a two second preparation pause, I launched into my song:

"My story is much too sad to be told
For practically everything leaves me totally cold.
The only exception I know is the case
When I'm out on a quiet spree, fighting vainly the old ennui
Then I suddenly turn and see
Your fabulous face."

I felt confident about how I sang. (Though I might have belted a couple of notes higher than my belting range would normally allow me to. But hey, adrenaline does marvelous things.)
Mrs. Maestra nodded encouragingly afterward, but said nothing, and HBMLDT just sat expressionless at the table, taking notes on my audition sheet, as usual. That's his style when holding auditions: Don't react or show emotion in any way, positive or negative. (Although on rare occasion, a monologue with some humor in it, when performed well, can get him to crack a smile, maybe even a short laugh.)
Then, since I got no further words or comments from either or them, I took another brief pause and then went into my monologue, from the play "The Midnight Caller":

"I'm sorry Ralph, I'm sorry. I guess I'm nervous tonight, like everybody else, because of my 'midnight caller.' I think I'd just better give up the ghost and move away. It would certainly make things easier for Harvey, to do whatever he has to do. And my mother, and his mother, and me. Harvey can't go, or wouldn't if he could. And what do I do? How can I stop a gentleman whose had too much to drink from coming to my yard at night and calling my name? Ask him? I have. beg him? I have... Oh it all began so long ago that I don't remember the beginning, and so how can I possibly know the end? And I don't know who to blame. My mother? For wanting to keep me and my sisters locked up with her forever? How can I blame her? We're all she had. My father died when we were just babies. we were literally all she had... Of course I don't regret anything about it. You understand? I don't regret it at all. He was lonely, and I was lonely. He needed me very much at the time and I needed him. Of all the people in the world that you would suspect of being lonely, Harvey Weems was the last. And yet, for all his good looks and hi money, he was the loneliest person alive."

During that, I actually did happen to see HBMLDT look up with interest a few times. Then, afterwards, the both said simple, vague things along the lines of "Nice" and "Thank You" and then I thanked them both and walked off stage and out of the room.

As soon as I was in the hallway, my friends crowded around me with questions and encouragements and hugs and congratulations. This was the custom for auditions. Not a single person in the group of auditioners was feeling jealous or vengeful or anything like that. Some people think that auditions are full of people who are hoping that others will screw up in order to create an advantage for themselves, but not us. Or, at least, if anyone did feel that way, they wouldn't show it. Not during auditions, when everyone is stressed and anxious enough already. Theater/music/drama kids are often stereotyped as being vicious and competitive and "diva-ish" but with us that is really not true. We are all very close friends and we just love singing and acting and we look at the musicals as an opportunity to do what we love with our closest friends.

However, once the cast list is up and rehearsals start, all bets are off.

So, now that the audition is over, now comes the hardest part: the waiting. We have to wait slightly longer than usual this year, since Mrs. Maestra and HBMLDT are going to the middle schools, so the cast list won't be up until next Monday or Tuesday, right before winter break. So we all have an entire week to sit anxiously and impatiently in the torturous agony of wanting to know who's in and who's out, who's in the chorus and who's a lead, who to congratulate and who to console, who is going to be ecstatic when they come back from the break and who is going to be miserable.

God, I love show business.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Xmas Meme (Christmas Threes)

What are your three favorite Christmas movies?
          • Love Actually
  • The Ref
  • While You Were Sleeping

What are your three favorite Christmas songs and who sings them?

  • "Star of Wonder" by The Roches
  • "This Christmas" by The Burns Sisters
  • "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Diane Reeves and Lou Rawls
What are your three favorite Christmas foods?
  • Cookies/Hot chocolate
  • Chinese Food (an old tradition in our family. If you've seen "A Christmas Story" you understand)
  • French Toast
What are three Christmas Secrets?
  • A few months before Christmas when I was in fourth grade, I got glasses for the first time. Then, on Christmas Eve, I had a nightmare that all I got for Christmas was lens cleaner.
  • Due in part to my parents not wanting to tell us the truth just yet (and movies like "The Santa Clause"), my brother and I believed in Santa until about fifth or sixth grade (not exaggerating.)
  • I don't care how bad and old and cheesy it is: I still love the movie "White Christmas."

Weekly Review Time: Twilight ***SPOILER ALERT!!!***

Okay, so in order to keep peoples interest and not just spend all of my posts rambling about the ongoings of my life, I have decided to actually do a little weekly thingy about some movie/show/music/something-or-other in the world outside my strange little brain. This week's topic: Twilight.

If you have looked at my profile than you know that I like Twilight (please don't throw things at me yet...) HOWEVER!!! I am NOT absolutely and completely obsessed with it to a point where I think that the characters are real people and send creepy stalker notes to Robert Pattinson. I think that stuff is a waste of time. The only place that will get my is in weekly therapy with a restraining order.

I just happen to think that the books are really good, the movie was fun, the soundtrack is PHENOMINAL and yes. Edward is quite gorgeous. That is all.

However, for all of you out there who do like/love the entire Twilight franchise, then here are some of my basic feelings on certain debates concerning...well...Twilight.

Book vs. Movie?
I loved them both. I was glad that the movie was faithful to the book plot-wise, and I thought every actor was amazing. It was one of those situations where the actors looked and acted exactly as I pictured they would when I was reading it (which I love!). Rev. Guinevere pointed out to me that the movie was not inside Bella's head as much as the book. And I have to say, I think that is a very good thing. Bella's head gets kind of tedious after a few paragraphs.

Breaking Dawn: Good or Bad?
Good. Not great, but good. I definitely liked Eclipse better (Eclipse was my favorite in the series). I enjoyed reading it, but my only criticisms are:
A) Renesmee. Are you freaking kidding me? Of all of the cool vampire names you could possibly come up with, you go with Renesmee? Eeew.
B) Stephanie Myer kind of jumped the shark. It seemed like she was breaking a lot of the "rules" she created for this little "vampire universe" that were established in the other books, and things got a little out of control. And then to have all of that crazy build up and then an ending that does not include an epic vampire war was kind of anti-climactic (I wasn't hoping for a big violent scene. Just a slightly more extravagant one.)
C) Lots of random little details that I won't go into right now. Aside from these things, I did actually like the book.

Edward vs. Jacob?
Jacob. I'm sorry all you die-hard Edward fans, but to me it seemed like Jacob was just a better person. When Edward left (which really pissed me off by the way) Jacob was the only one who could make her happy again. And I know Edward was trying to protect her (or whatever) but he should have known that she would completely fall apart without him. Sorry Edward, but you can't break someone's heart and tell them you don't love them and then be surprised when you come back to find that they believed you. That's just crappy behavior right there. Plus, did anyone else notice that Edward never talks about how he feels about Bella AS A PERSON?
He only talks about how addictive her scent is and how "she is his own special brand of heroin." Jacob actually has something in common with her and they are realistically compatible. That's just what I think.
(Plus I find something more appealing about someone who is warm all the time that someone who is cold all the time. I'm just saying...)

Favorite Cullen Boy?
Emmett. Don't ask me why. Just... yeah. Emmett.

Okay. So there it is. An average, typical teenage girl talking about her opinion of Twilight.

I would love to hear your opinions about it as well, but please. If you are going to say anything nasty, don't bother, because I will just delete your comment without reading it. But if you have any contructive criticisms or opinions they are welcome.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Just in case you were wondering...

...Mr. Baker is the most amazing actor ever.

I saw him as Snug the Joiner/Mustardseed in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Big City University and the production was amazing. (Although the picture to the left is of him preparing for a chorus role in "The Pirates of Penzance" a few years ago.) Even though Snug/Mustardseed may not be the biggest of parts he was hilarious, intense and he stole quite a few scenes. And every other actor/actress was just as fantastic. (And just as a side note, I might add that every other male actor in the show was extremely attractive. There. I just had to let out a bit of my typical-teenage-girl side.)

Just thought I would let you know that. He rocks.

And now, off do homework and prepare for Monday's audition...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter wonderland... or what would have been one...

It is 8:27 A.M.
All of the Small Town Area is covered in ice and snow (which is still falling).
Every other school near the Small Town Area is closed for a snow day (including the Small Town Catholic High School that is a block away from us).
As for STHS? One hour delay....

This is what you get when your superintendent is from one of the snowiest cities in the North East. ("You call this a snow day? When I was your age we had to walk 10 miles in the snow with runny noses and worn out shoes just to listen to the radio to see if we would have a snow day! This is NOTHING")

Blech. Je ne suis pas contente.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It turns out my diabolical plan did work after all! We were released from school at 11:00 today due to upcoming weather problems (and thus the concert was canceled).

So, I am actually a little sad about the concert, but we will be doing it next week instead. I actually have quite a busy little schedule coming up. Tomorrow night, Rev. Guinevere and I are driving to "The City" to see my older brother ("Mr. Baker") performing in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (as Snug the Joiner, aka The Lion in Pyramus and Thisbe). Mr. Baker is in his third year at Big City University studying acting. The alias I have given him was the name of one of his first big parts he played in high school, Robert Baker in the musical "Wonderful Town." It was either that, Javert (too dark) or Nachum (not extravagant enough). He pretty much rocks.

Then, on Monday, I audition for "Oliver" at STHS!!! AAAAA! I'm quite a bit nervous. I'm not sure how it is done at other high schools, but the tradition for us is you do two auditions: A choral audition and a lead audition. First all of the auditionees meet with Mrs. Maestra (who will be the music director) and she teaches them an excerpt from one of the choral numbers in the show. Then they are divided into small groups and each group performs the section of the piece for Mrs. Maestra and H.B.M.L.D.T. (Hot Bald Muscular Latino Drama Teacher). After those auditions, then just the people who want to be considered for leads will do a solo audition for them consisting of a brief solo and a monologue. Then Tuesday will be the callbacks for the leads (if necessary).

However, this year things will be a bit different. Since for the show they will be needing several short actors/singers and possibly some boys whose voices haven't changed yet, Maestra and HBMLDT will be taking the auditions to the Small Town Middle Schools to recruit some of the younger students (that was actually how I first performed with the STHS players. When I was in seventh grade they did Les Miserables and they invited Middle Schoolers to audition so I was in the chorus. I did the same in eighth grade when they did "Footloose" and then when I was finally a freshman I was Fraulein Schneider in "Cabaret.") Then after that we will have 1-3 weeks to be in torturous suspense before they post the cast list.

So, I do plan on doing both the lead and choral auditions on Monday. Now I just need to prep my audition solo ("I get a kick out of you" from "Anything Goes") and monologue (a few paragraphs from the play "The Midnight Caller.") I hope to possibly get one of the leads, but considering how few parts there are for girls, I know it is likely that it won't happen (although that was what I thought last year and that worked out better than I expected.) Still I have been in the chorus for these shows before and it is tons of fun.

But for today, I will be at home with Rev. Guinevere, sorting out Christmas decorations, baking things, and possibly watching a fun Christmas movie.

I love the holidays...

Ah, well...

It is about 7:38 A.M., my friends that take me to school every morning will be here in about 10 minutes and every time I have checked the online weather sources it has listed no closings/delays for STHS... (and I was so sure the sock thing would have worked...)

However, Rev. Guinevere (a.k.a my mother) has said she would be very surprised if the concert was not canceled. And she thinks there is still a chance of early dismissal! (which would be perfect because all of my least favorite classes are in the afternoon) *crosses fingers*

I'll try not to get my hopes too high up though.

Oh and by the way, stay tuned for the next few days. Soon my high school is holding auditions for their annual musical (this year it's "Oliver") and yours truly is most certainly going to audition! I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let it snow, Let it snow.... Please, Dear God, Let it snow...

Okay, so being a teenager and in high school and whatnot, I can't help but feel a strange compulsion this time of year: To hope and pray and do every single strange superstitious voodoo-esque ritual I can think of to try to make it snow and get out of school. (My particular favorite was that taught to me my my 7th grade history teacher: to wear a clean white sock on your left hand the night before you want it to snow. It always suspiciously seemed to work...) Yes, I know, you don't have to tell me, I know how pathetic it is. But  I can't help it. One day to relax? One day to spend time outside school not doing homework? One day to sleep past 6:00am? Hell yes! I'll take everyone of those I can get!

I even remember a specific teacher I had for science in middle school. He was my earth science teacher, so he did a lot of experiments with weather watching equipment and such things. So, because he had the proper resources, he started this little tradition. Whenever there was a rumor of bad weather coming up, he would pull out his gear the day before, jot down the statistics and throughout the school day he would put running reports on his chalkboard of the chances of a snow day the next day. Sometimes it would just hover around "35%" most of the day, but somedays, by the final dismissal bell he would have "99%" written in big colorful letters in the corner of the board. And the amazing part is, in all of his years of teaching (I would estimate about 16 years) he has only been wrong ONCE (cue the eerie Twilight Zone Music). In fact, in the three years I was in middle school he never inaccurately predicted a snow day.

Ahh memories.

So, why is this relevant, you ask? Well, I'll tell you...

8:15 A.M. Wednesday December 10th
I am sitting in the auditorium of Small Town High School, the day before the big choral concert at which all of the vocal music groups perform (all of which I sing in). Since first period is when the STHS Women's Chorale rehearses, we ran through a couple of our songs and then listened to the usual daily announcements from Mrs. Maestra. Today, in her list of announcements, she makes sure that we all know the snow-day policy: "If we have no school tomorrow due to weather problems, the concert will be postponed until next Thursday." Now, as far as snow-days go, the teachers generally don't talk about them too much, so when they are preparing their worst case scenarios you know it's serious.

So... Do I still wish for a snow-day so I can have one night of not staying up until 11:00 P.M. doing AP English homework? Of course. But do I want the concert to be next week, when everyone's schedules are more hectic? Of course not.

We have an amazing program scheduled. Including this gorgeous Enya piece, to be performed by Women's Chrale (accompanied by some student percussionists and a student flautist):

However, the STHS Concert Choir is scheduled to perform another piece, which, although it is just as gorgeous, just so happens to be in German, and guess how many people have it memorized? (I'll give you a hint: it's less than 3...)

So, do I want the weather Gods to give us an extra week to rehearse, or not?

For now, I'll make sure I have my white socks ready to go...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's.... a blog?

Why, my goodness! What has happened? Something new, strange and exciting is afoot! What could it possibly mean?

Probably that I have decided to create a blog...

Hello blogosphere! (Did I spell that right?) I am Moi. As the title and description says quite clearly, I am a teenage drama student. I love anything and everything that is related to music, theater and/or musical theater (I hyperbolize you not....Hmmm I wonder if that's a real word...) And so, because I believe that theater/music people are some of the most interesting people in existance, I have created a small space in the online universe where I (being one such person) can simply type down anything interesting that either A) happens to me, B) happens to someone I know, C) occurs in the music/theater realm of interest, D) I have a strong opinion on, or E) All/None of the above.

So... here we go! Feel free to expect a posting about something exciting within the next few days!

(By the way, apologies for that large paragraph. I tend to be very "wordy" and ramble a lot, which is why I think a blog is perfect for me. So, wait a minute, why did I apologize? I take it back. You'll have to get used to it.)