Saturday, February 26, 2011

He is at work in my life.

And there's nothing I can do about it...

And there's nothing I want to do about it....

Because He's working in my life...

And He's God.

(And I'm not, just in case you were wondering.)

And I will let Him work.

I will allow Him to use me.

It's funny, looking back on the past couple of years. It all fits. Everything.

I never realized that before.

Until now.

Odd the things that pop into one's head as they search through their church notebook in search of a past musical idea...

Soundtrack Saturday


I've decided to start a little something here called Soundtrack Saturday in which I will post a track from a soundtrack and maybe include a brief bit about it.

Sound good?


So without further ado:

If I had a theme song, this would be it. It is calm and peaceful, yet bouncy and exciting in a soothing way. It must be the blend of instruments...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

You Mean That White Stuff Is What Closed School Today?

This is what I woke up to this morning:

What a shocker! We must have had an entire inch of snow!!!

I know that anyone who lives somewhere more accustomed to snow is probably laughing hysterically at our antics here in the valley.

Believe me, I'm well aware. Laugh all you want-We got the day off.

You mean to say that this harmless white powder is what closed school?

 Indeed. That is precisely what I mean.

So we decided to head down to the middle school just outside our neighborhood to go sledding.

Hah! You should have heard her yelling!

After sledding we ate lunch and I crocheted this:

(I found the pattern here)

And this:

I was messing around last weekend and discovered that I could make a simple flower in about 10 minutes. I have a feeling I'll be making more of these in the future.

This is how I made it (so I don't forget)
Chain 2

In the first chain, do 6 sc, then turn

2sc in each sc, turn

2sc in the first sc, 1sc in the next, all the way around

1 and 1 hdc in the first sc, 1dc, 1trc, 1dc in the second, 1 hdc in the third, all the way around

Finish off.

Yep, it's that easy!

Then it began to snow again, but it didn't really stick. It was pretty though...

Big, beautiful flakes...

I'll probably have school tomorrow. Even though it's supposed to get pretty cold there's nothing left to freeze.

Oh well...

Stay tuned and stay warm!

Monday, February 21, 2011

(The Long Awaited) Soundtrack Review: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

This post has been in the works for some time now. I honestly just don't quite know what to say about it, so bear with me.

I've decided to do this one like I did TRON: Legacy. If for some reason you have a problem with that, then too bad. Deal with it.

As you may or may not know, David Arnold composed the score for this movie, not Harry Gregson-Williams, who did the first two. (Remember Mom, John Williams did not compose the score.) 

Where do I even start? In and of itself, it was amazing. Amazing? That sounds so inadequate! As much as I love Gregson-Williams' work, I must say that it was getting a bit... Uncreative. Prince Caspian just sounds like a remix of the first movie's score. It was definitely time for a change. Also, since this movie took place mostly at sea, not on land like the others, it required a Celtic, sailor-y flare that I think Arnold presented very well. What I also found interesting was the way he used Gregson-Williams' Narnia  theme. He didn't overuse it at all, as was the case in the first two movies, but I almost think he could have used it more. That sounds so weird coming from me. I often complain that composers overuse their themes. James Horner sure does! Besides, most of his themes sound the same anyway. Just compare the themes from Titanic, Braveheart and Glory to the Scottish folk song Loch Lomond and you'll see what I mean.

But I digress.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The theme. It was interesting because he decided to tweak it ever so slightly in order to keep the sailor-y feel. He decided to change one chord. You know how I think about chords so I don't need to tell you how happy it made me that Arnold took that opportunity to make the theme even cooler.

What didn't I like about the score? The songs were too short!

But EFC, they had to fit into the movie.

I know! I know! But seriously. Couldn't they just cut it to fit for crying out loud!? I wanted more! Just when I'm getting into a song, it ends! The audacity!

But there was something else about the music that I found very disappointing and it took me a while to place it. I loved the music, don't get me wrong, but I guess what I'm trying to say is it was nice, it was beautiful, it was pleasing to listen to, but it just wasn't Narnia. No other composer could ever make the music feel the same way, and Arnold is no exception. As a composer, we like to put a piece of our self into our music. Arnold couldn't put Gregson-Williams into his music, but he could put himself into it. And that's just what he did.

Now for my favorite songs:

This is Opening Titles. Though it totally isn't Narnian, I have to say, I really like how adventure-y it feels. The voices in the beginning remind me of the first track from Amazing Grace. I wonder if David Arnold always does that... What I also found neat was where he used pizzicato cello for rhythm. Over all, it sounds very watery and mystical, just how it should.

I included this one, High King and Queen of Narnia because it is one of the few tracks that uses the Narnia theme. I actually liked Arnold's take on it. He added his own twist that just made it sound a bit more ocean-y and mystical. But as much as I liked it, it just wasn't Narnia. I'm just happy he used the theme at all.

This one, Aslan Appears, also uses the theme, but there are a few chord changes that make it sound more ominous than Gregson-Williams'. I can't say I really liked it, but it definitely fit the movie.

I would put almost all of the songs, but I'll let you go listen to them on your own. If you liked the music from the other movies, then just know that it doesn't have the same feel at all. I did find that if I listen to it just for the music and I don't try to compare it to the others I enjoy it a lot more.

So there you go. Please, oh please leave a comment!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Science Class, Marshmallows, and Albino Catterpigs

Yesterday in science class, we made these little guys:

That right there is a Reebop. 

Reebops are made of marshmallows, toothpicks, thumbtacks, pushpins, and pipecleaners.

Yes, science class has been, er... Interesting... Of late...

 At least we didn't have to watch any more creepy animations with mind-numbing music.

And this here? Well that's also a reebop. But we thought it looked more like a white catterpillar mixed with a pig. Thus the name it was given: Albino Catterpig.

Oh, and as of yesterday, the word allele is officially pronounced "Uh-LAY-lee" (like ukulele). Courtesy of dear B'Elanna.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It Was Too Cheesy Not To Post

Howdy, partner!

This is what we did in science class today!

WARNING! Extreme cheesiness! May get stuck in your head!

Please watch... If you dare! (This is only half- It repeats.)

Don't say I didn't warn you...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Cracker Experiment

For the past few weekends, my mom has been trying out different cracker recipes. They haven't been very successful.

Until today.

Let me tell you, these were a huge success! In fact, they were so successful that we decided to share the recipe with you!

2 cups flour (We did 1 cup of all purpose and 1 cup of whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
optional 1/2 tsp. sweetener (we used stevia)
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup water

First, we mixed all of our ingredients lightly in a metal mixing bowl.

After mixing our ingredients lightly, we took the dough and flattened it through our pasta maker:

But you could always just roll it out. That works too, I'm sure.

Then we divided our dough in half and sprinkled on our toppings. On the first half we sprinkled cheddar cheese and on the second half we put Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese. Then we took a rolling pin and rolled over the dough to mash the toppings in. After that, we folded the dough in half and put it through our pasts maker once more. Next, we put on one more layer of toppings and sprinkled some salt on it. Finally, we carefully slid our dough onto a Silpat and cut it into cracker-sized pieces. If you don't have a Silpat, a non-stick or greased cookie sheet should work fine. Also, it doesn't matter if you cut all the way through. They will break apart after cooking.

We cooked the dough at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or until they were beginning to look golden in color.

I thought these crackers were especially good with hummus.

We liked this recipe because it is quick, easy, and tasty. If you try it out, tell us how you liked it.

Bon appetit!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Reminder of the Day

When you're trying to write out a brilliant song that sounds fantastic in your head but it just doesn't want to be written down, it's probably a good idea to take a break and go eat a chicken salad sandwich.

I can just hear The Director laughing as she reads this. I should know this by now, I really should.

Hopefully the rest of this project will go a bit more smoothly now that the composer has been fed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Great Wolf Lodge

As promised here is a selection from the multitude of photos I took this weekend at Great Wolf Lodge.

This was the sky on the way there. Unfortunately I only got one good picture of it.

 These are two of the girls who went with us.

This here is the lovely birthday girl!

What you see here is only a fraction of the water park. That bucket on top? The one that says Great Wolf Lodge? Every two minutes or so it dumps a ton of water on anyone and everyone below it.

I don't want to completely overwhelm you with pictures, so I'll leave you with that.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yes, I'm still awake...

Tomorrow I'm going to Great Wolf Lodge for my darling friend's birthday. I'll be there until Sunday. I expect I'll be able to take some fun photos so stay tuned!

Until then,


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Soundtrack Review: TRON: Legacy

My new favorite soundtrack is officially TRON: Legacy, composed by Daft Punk. 

It's surprisingly awesome! I honestly wasn't sure if I'd like this soundtrack due to all the use of synthetic instruments. But the movie does take place inside a video game. Now I think that if they didn't use synthetic instruments it wouldn't have fit the movie at all. It actually added a bunch of mood to the songs.

It took me too long to do a single review for each song, and seeing as it's Finals week at school, I'm going to do this review the same way I did Treasure Planet. Deal with it. Except I also included my favorite songs and a short bit stating why I love them.

All I really have to say is Wow. Incredible. I absolutely adore this soundtrack and it has inspired me perhaps more than any other soundtrack I've ever heard.

What I found really cool was the way Daft Punk used low strings to create rhythm where timpani wouldn't have worked. By doing that, they were able to create a more "virtual" sound that would have been difficult to get by using drums.

Daft Punk also used a lot of horns, and used them very well. If you know me, then you know how I go crazy over horns. I enjoyed that quite a bit, but sometimes it felt like they were using too many horns all at once. But I'm pretty sure it fit the movie.

The only thing I found disappointing about the score was that their choice of chords was very basic and predictable. When I was listening to it for the first time (ask The Director) I could be heard saying things like, "And now it'll go to a G chord... yep. Now it's going to go major." Or better yet, "Argh! Why didn't they take that opportunity to switch things up? Why on earth did they choose the basic A minor chord when they could have used a D major chord?"

But I've got to say, they still did a really nice job. It sounds awesome and it sounds professional.

And now for your musical enjoyment:

NOTE: I know it probably doesn't affect you in any way, but I just thought I should warn you that for some reason, the videos are all exactly half a step higher than the original score. This makes me very unhappy. But it shouldn't bother you. Just saying.

This is Overture. It introduces one of the main themes. I love the brilliant mixing of real and synthetic instruments and the fact that Daft punk used all the right chords on this one.

This is Outlands. This one is a great example of those rhythmic strings I mentioned earlier. I also loved the way it builds and transforms over the course of 2 and a half minutes.

So there you go. TRON: Legacy was definitely way beyond my expectations and I absolutely adore it. Thanks for reading!

And I'm sure I don't need to mention it, but please leave feedback! Most appreciated, it is!