Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year in Pictures



I celebrated The Director's birthday and helped write a poem for her card.




I attended my first church retreat.
(gotta love the shirt...)




I experimented with forces perspective.




 I was introduced to new relatives.




I completed middle school.
(Those glasses say 2010)




I learned that objects like to get in the way of my pictures.



 (the tree)


 (the hand)


(the sign)


I went kayaking alone.




I (may have) helped start a fire made of paper and used fireworks in the middle of the street.





I visited the Oregon Caves.




I climbed Redwoods.






I crocheted my first hat.




And of course I started this here blog!


Happy New Year, all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This:

Explanation: This knife is magnetic. That black thing on my kitty's collar is a magnet. My cat likes to jump up onto our kitchen counter. Today, his magnet got stuck to the knife and he dragged it all the way up to my room, where I removed it for him. But not before taking a picture of it!




 Plus this:


Equals this:




Yep, that's life around here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Esca Fan Club: An Interview With Esca

(I've color-coded the dialogue. This color is me, This is Esca, and This is the audience.)


"Where is he? Has anyone seen Esca?"
  
"Here I am. Sorry I'm late. I had to help Marcus down those stairs. His injured leg is acting up again, you see."

"Welcome, Esca. Please take a seat. Our audience has a few questions for you."

"Esca, how long have you been a slave?"

"It has been two years since my village was overtaken by Roman soldiers. I was one of the few survivors."

"I'm so sorry, Esca. That must be a painful memory."

"Who were you before you were captured?"

"I was the son of Cunoval, of the tribe of Brigantes. I was the bearer of the blue war-shield."

"I have a question for you as well. Why did you spare the wolf cub during the hunt?"

"I spared him because in my tribe, wolves were taken as cubs and brought up with the rest of our dogs. They are very useful. Also, I realized that the wolf and I have similar stories; we both lost our parents and our futures looked bleak until we were rescued."

"It looks like we have time for just one more question, folks."

(Mysterious guest walks hobbles in and plants himself in front of Esca. he clears his throat and asks a question. Esca stares down at the little green man umm, thing.)

"Judge me by my size, do you?"

"Uhh... Well I... Umm..."

"Strong he is. Good Jedi would he make."

"Well, you see... I, umm..."

"Okay... Well, we're out of time. Thank you for your questions. Please feel free to join us next time"  



If you could ask Esca anything, what would it be? Comment and I'll use them next time. Silly ones are always appreciated:)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hooray, Esca!

It Wasn't My Idea To...

...Start an Esca Fan Club!!!


In case you're wondering, Esca is a character in the book I'm reading, The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. So far, he is my favorite character.


For those of you who haven't read the book, Esca becomes Marcus's (the main character) slave after Marcus spares his life during a fighting event. The two of them have a special bond.



Esca is awesome.



So awesome, in fact, that I have decided to start an Esca fan club (thanks a lot Director for giving me the idea).


If you love Esca as much as I do, be vocal. You're not alone.


And if you don't know him, I suggest you read The Eagle of the Ninth. It's great. And I hope the movie is too.

Soundtrack Review: Treasure Planet

Okay... I've never tried to write a review before, but I'll try.


First of all, with me, the music makes the movie. A movie with uninteresting music is uninteresting to me.

Likewise, a movie with good music, even if the movie itself isn't all that well made, is a good movie.

That's why I love Treasure Planet.

And. I. Mean. Love!


The soundtrack was composed by James Newton Howard in 2002. I really hadn't heard a whole lot of his music until I heard this, and now he is one of my top favorite composers along with Hans Zimmer, James Horner and John Powell. What a coincidence; The first music I heard from each of these composers had a Celtic flare. Hmm...

Among his many accomplishments are Dinosaur, Peter Pan (the 2003 one), The Waterhorse, and The Great Debaters (which I hope to review as well). He worked with Hans Zimmer on the Batman movies. Each has its own feel that is unique to the movie, but I've noticed many similarities between them. For example, Howard uses drums in his own special way (that I just love!) and he often uses the same patterns in his music.

I'll start with what I liked about the score. I really liked the way he captured the characters' feelings by altering the various themes used throughout the movie. For example, in one of the tracks where the main characters Jim and Silver aren't "getting along", Howard used their theme but put it in a minor key. I also thought it was neat when just the first few notes of their theme were used when they met. I think I was the only one who caught that, though.

Another thing I found neat was Howard's ability to use orchestral instruments, a Celtic style, and electric guitar in the same score. It was by far one of the coolest sounds I'd ever heard.

Finally, he didn't overuse the themes too much like James Horner tends to do. Howard used them only where they really wanted to be, and he altered them ever so slightly each time (with the exception of just 2 tracks, but it needed to be repeated there in order to get the right emotion). Sometimes he'd change the key it was in, sometimes the instruments used.


What I didn't like? I really don't have much to say here except that it isn't the greatest for listening through headphones because Howard used a lot of dynamics. But that isn't a problem, because without dynamics it would be boring. Sometimes, though, I think he went overboard with his crescendos.


If you like exciting Celtic, sailor-sounding music, this is a great soundtrack and is worth every penny.

Funny. I'm listening to the iTunes samples of Peter Pan and am noticing that it sounds almost just like Treasure Planet! Actually, for a moment there, I was convinced that I was still listening to Treasure Planet and was confused when I couldn't figure out what song it was. I'll have to add this to my wish list. I love it!



(This is entirely my own opinion, and I know plenty of people who may completely disagree with me.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Under the Tree This Year

Here are a few of the wonderful objects I received for Christmas this year:


This here is a picture key-chain. My mom found it and it stores up to 60 photos.


I finally got a hard drive so i don't have to worry about losing all of my photos again like I did two summers ago. I've been worried about that since.



Ooh! Shiny!




From The Director's grandparents I got this:




But what is it, EFC?

I'll show you.



It's a hairbrush! (Because, you know, I can never have too many, especially when they turn out like this...)


Finally, The Director's sweet sister gave me this:


It's a notepad! Isn't that cute?


Oh, and I just have to show you all what I got for The Director's family...


Drumroll...







Any guesses?








Yes, folks. Star Wars cookie cutters. Needless to say, they are quite excited to make cookies.



Friday, December 24, 2010

(Random Song Title) My First Blog Award and Tag!!! Yippee!

I'm not really sure how to go about this... So here.

The Director chose me as one of her 5 brilliant bloggers.






Hmm... Not so sure what I think about the whole little part of it, but thanks nonetheless!

The rules, for those of you unfamiliar (you're not alone), are as follows:

List five things you like about blogging, and award it to five other brilliant bloggers!

Sounds simple enough, right? Except for the fact that I don't even know 5 other bloggers.

This is a problem.

so I'm going to cheat a little, teeny bit and just give it back to The Director.

Actually, we joked earlier today about just handing it back and forth for a while... 


So my 5 things:

1. Having a place to record things that happen
2. Communicating with y'all
3. Showing off my remarkable photography skills...
4. Reading comments
5. Messing with my style!


Now for the tag part.

The rules for this one are:

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle. (I'll be using iTunes)

2. For each question, press the skip/next button to get your answer.

3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.

4. Tag other people.

5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.






Questions (I'll be exchanging a couple)


If someone says "Are you okay?" you say...
On and On, by Tenth Avenue North. Sooo... Is that a yes or a no?

What would best describe your personality?
 Fiona in the Fog from The Secret of Roan Inish… I see.

How would you describe yourself?
Sea of Faces by Kutless

What do you like in a guy/girl?
My Best Girl by Mark Isham, Eight Below. Hee hee! That’s actually kinda funny!

How do you feel today?
The Soup is Served, The Tale of Desperaux

What is your life's purpose?
Hi! Ho! The Rattlin’ Bog, ORS

What's Your Motto?
The Story of Your Life by Matthew West

What do your friends think of you?
What Sweeter Music by John Rutter

What do your parents think of you? 
Support Your Servand, Early Music of Scotland

What do you think about very often?
A Choral Fanfare, John Rutter. Oh, so true!

What does 2 + 2 equal?

Breton Medley, Celtic Harpestry. Apparently iTunes can’t do math either… Or else none of us can!

What do you think of your best friend?
For Good from Wicked. That’s so true. The lyrics describe it perfectly!

What is your life story?

The Story of Your Life by Matthew West- Well golly! I should say so!

What do you want to be when you grow up?
The Wizard and I, also from Wicked. I can’t say I really agree with that one.

What do you think when you see the person you like?

The Death of Timmons by John Barry, from Dances with Wolves

What will you do at your wedding?
Brian Boru’s Set, Belfast Harp Orchestra. I wish! (better start practicing)

What will they play at your funeral?
With My Life from Pendragon. Interesting!

What is your hobby/interest?
Battling Kings by VeggieTales. Umm, no. Leave that to The Director.

What is your biggest fear?
Nine Miles East by Craicmore. Let me go check a map… Nope. FALSE DOCTRINE!!!!

What is your biggest secret?

Only Grace by Matthew West

What do you want right now?

Two Worlds Reprise, Phil Collins and Mark Mancina

What do you think of your friends?
This is Home, Switchfoot

What's the worst thing that could happen?
Landing of the French by Mark Streitenfeld… Okay them.

What is the one thing you regret?

Returning the Crown by Mark Streitenfeld (no, my computer isn’t just a bad shuffler. iTunes was accidentally closed out, and I had to re-open it.)

What makes you laugh?
Star of Munster/Gravel Walk, Craicmore. It’s very lively!

What makes you cry?
Silver Comforts Jim, James Newton Howard, from Treasure Planet. Now I need comforting! I’ll have to do a music review on Treasure Planet one of these days.

What scares you the most?

Greensleeves. Actually, I’m just tired of it.

Does anyone like you?
Adonai, Hillsong. Does He ever!

If you could go back in time, what would you change?

Nez Pierce Camp/Over the Rapids by Sam Cardon. Well, I could try…

What hurts right now?

I am a Man of Constant Sorrow, O Brother, Where Art Thou? That would hurt.

What would you want to say to the person who tagged you?
Get Back Up, TobyMac

What will you name this post?

The Water Buffalo Song, Veggie Tales!!!

What Will You Do After Publishing This Post?
Fall in Line, Seven Places. Really? Only if there’s food!

What Did You Have For Breakfast This Morning?

Scorponok, Steve Jablonsky, Transformers. Yum, yum!

Why Is The Sky Blue?
Where, Lisbeth Scott, From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. No, I’m not that clueless (even if it seems like it sometimes)

What Best Describes The Condition of Your Bedroom?
Train to Boston, J.N. Howard, from The Great Debaters. Progress is being made.



So who do I tag? Anyone who wants to be! No, I won't make you do it again if you don't want to, but if you do, please leave a comment telling us!


If you do, please add these questions:


What do you want/ did you get for Christmas (depending on when this is done)?

What is one of your New Year resolutions?


Have fun, and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Christmas Hat

I'm listening to The Fish right now... Finally, I didn't come in right at commercials!

So anyway, I finally got around to delivering this lovely hat:


To its rightful owner.


It took me about 3 days, on and off, to complete it over Thanksgiving weekend.
Yes, Thanksgiving weekend. And I just delivered it yesterday.








(I may or may not have tried it on a few times...)



I think it looks better on its owner anyway.






That's all, folks! Keep warm!

Smallish Cat Plays With Yarn

Now, I realize that it's been a while. Don't worry. I'm okay. I've just been very busy.
 

This is our neighbor's kitty. He likes to come over to play.

First, the vicious fuzzball attacked an innocent ball of blue yarn!






Then he started biting and pulling at it.


 Next he rolled around quite a bit and got all wrapped up.


After that, he began kicking it.








 He thought about leaving, but the yarn was just so tempting...


... And he continued to roll around and cute.






The mess he left behind... It's a good thing he's so cute!




Here's a video (hopefully... I've never tried this before) of him playing for your amusement. Excuse the radio in the background.

video