Sunday, November 16, 2008

Planets, people and problems

Perhaps you saw this new story that came out a short while back. I've always found science and astronomy very cool and so I find the discovery and photographing of these new planets rather interesting.

However, I also have a problem with it.

These planets are 130 light years away. Why should we care? Sure, its interesting, but we can't even take care of our own planet, so why the heck are we spending billions of dollars investigating other new planets hundreds of light years away that we are never going to reach? We should get our priorities right and fix our own planet before trying to find more.

Just my rant for the day...

Concert Update!

Okay, so I went to the concert today. And I saw the Britten Violin Concerto live. And it was mind-blowing awesome. Almost the best concert I have ever seen. The work itself is incredible, so amazingly beautiful and just great. But this performance was better than I ever could have expected. The soloist, Livia Sohn was so good. Every note that she played was perfect and crystal-clear. Even when she got into the very high register of the violin, the notes were pure and clean. And the cadenza! It was amazing. Her phrasing was just amazing and then she would let the notes hang in the air for a few moments. It was just exquisite. I was soo thankful that I was able to see it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Benjamin Britten Violin Concerto

Okay, I just have to post this because I am practically exploding with excitement and I had to tell SOMEONE.

I'm going to see the Britten Violin Concerto live with the orchestra tomorrow with Livia Sohn as the soloist. I'm sooo excited. It will be amazing. Its my favorite violin concerto and it is just breathtaking, IMHO.


I just had to tell you. :)

Be assured that I will be posting an update tomorrow about how it was.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day



In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What I've been listening to lately

I've recently discovered some violin concertos that I am currently infatuated with.

1. Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto.
This concerto is sooo good. Very haunting, and super beautiful. I'm actually seeing a performance of it live in a week or two. I'm super excited.

2. Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
I would learn violin just to be able to play this piece! The opening theme introduced by the violin is one of the best ever IMHO.

3. Brahms Violin Concerto
This concerto is perfection, do you hear? Listen to it today, do not delay. It is like candy to my ears.

I find it just unbelieveable how much incredible music there is out there.

Oh yeah, and if you have a piece of classical that you think I should hear, let me know! I always love hearing new music!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wow.

I was just involved in a truly epic theatre production. It was a youth production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. We did the entire play, adapted very slightly to make a 2 hr production. We had a really fabulous cast of 13 youth and 1 adult. Josh of Running With Scissors was also in it. We got really good reviews so it was very exciting. Hands down, the funnest theatre production I've ever been in. I'll post more about it later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What do YOU think?

Hello everyone,

Now, as you may have noticed, this blog has been hibernating for a rather long time. Obviously, I would like to post some more on this blog, but the truth is, I'm not always sure what to post about. So my question for you, dear readers, is...What would YOU like to read more about on this blog? Post a comment and let me know! Thanks! :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fog Machines

Okay, I have a wee bit (okay, a big bit) of an obsession with theatrical fog. You know, dry ice, fog machines etc. Well, last October, I bought a fog machine. This one, in fact. The problem was, I couldn't get my hands on any of the fog fluid that is necessary for fog. Well, because of some good friends of ours, I finally got some hands on some! And I am thrilled to say that the machine works excellently! I have uploaded a video of it in action. Any way, I am very happy with it and it will get put to very good use!



video

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cool video

I just had to post this because its just so great. This guy, Matt Harding has made a few videos with him doing a funny dance all around the world. You can read more about it here.

Here is the 2008 video. Go on, try and watch it without smiling. I dare you.


Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Photos

Took some photos of some flowers this morning. I think they turned out okay.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Shakespeare festival: PART II

A little while ago, Raine asked me what I do at the Shakespeare festival. Well, a lot of things! Often I volunteer, but sometimes I just go to watch. When I volunteer, I usually work usher or concession. For usher, I take tickets and hand out programs. When I work concession, I do tasks like making popcorn, making change, getting popcorn and licorice for people etc. Its fun. The festival runs for about a month and I wish I could go for every performance!

How NOT to rob a property.

Here are some tips on how to be a very pathetic thief.

  1. Try right after a rain, when the ground is soft, so that you'll leave lots of obvious footprints.
  2. As you jump over the fence, talk in loud voices, and bang on the side of the house so that the owners will hear and yell at you.
  3. Go on the property at around 11:00 pm when most people are still awake, so they can stop you.
  4. Put your cell phone somewhere that it can fall out, so that the owners of the house can find it and call the numbers in your address book.
Yep, this is really happened. Last night, we heard loud voices and scraping and Kathleen saw some feet running past her window. And they left their cell phone for us. How nice.

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I thought this was interesting and quite accurate too.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yea!

I have to say that this has got to be one of my favorite times of year. For those of you who know me, you probably know that I am obsessed with Shakespeare, and where I live, we have a month-long Shakespeare festival, which I always volunteer at. This year, they are doing Richard III (one of my top five Shakespeare plays) and As You Like It. The festival just started and I've been there almost every night. Ahh, life is good.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thoughts on Corigliano's Pied Piper Fantasy

I have recently been listening a lot to Pied Piper Fantasy, a flute concerto by John Corigliano. It was commissioned in 1978 by Sir James Galway and premiered by him in 1980. What really surprised me about this piece is how wonderfully theatrical it is. John Corigliano wrote a very detailed write up about it on the Schirmer web site. The article can be found HERE. I think that if you listen to a recording of it and follow along with the "synopsis", I think you'll be surprised at how wonderfully the story is told and how vividly the images are portrayed. Check it out!

Monday, June 9, 2008

How to be selective about what you read, and why.

I have recently been rather busy, and I've been feeling like I haven't been having enough to really read the books that I really want to read. In the precious time that I do have to read, I want to read great stuff, soI've made some criteria, for selecting material.
I'll start with why. I've heard that the brain retains everything you hear, read, experience etc. and it affects us unconsciously. I'm going to try and find a link to an article, but until then...
If we retain every thing, then thats great for all the great stuff, but what about the bad media? We are retaining all that too! Thats not so great! So I've decided to be more selective about what I read and make sure I'm not retaining any junk!

So heres the criteria that I'm going to push a book through.

  1. Reputation. Do I know any one thats read it? Did they have favorable reviews? Even they didn't like it, I'll still ask if it was well written and if they think its well written.
  2. Did they learn anything? If they didn't learn anything, I will definitely reconsider if its worth reading.
  3. Relevancy. Is it relevant to where I am in life right now, what I'm interested in at the moment or whats happening in the world? If not, it may have to wait.
I'll likely keep refining this, but its just a basic idea. And this isn't set in stone. Just because it doesn't mean I won't read it. I'm just trying to be more selective, so that I'm only reading the best.

-Dan

Coming soon!

Alas, my blog fadeth into the graveyard of dying blogs. But it shall not be...

Coming soon: How to be selective about what you read, and why.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What have I been up to?

*sigh* I haven't posted for a very, very long time. I still exist, so never you fear. I have been doing a lot of piano practice as I am playing in 3 competitions at Kiwanis in less then two weeks. I am playing
  1. Dr Gradus ad Parnassum by Claude Debussy in an Impressionism class.
  2. Impromptu no.3 by Franz Schubert in a Romantic class.
  3. Piano Sonata k330 (three movements) by W.A. Mozart in a Sonata class.
I also auditioned and got accepted for a Shakespearean acting company, so I was at rehearsals for that during spring break and will be attending various functions at the Teens @ The Turn Festival, because that is one of the places that we're performing at. We're also going to perform at some schools too.

What else...hmmm. I've been reading lots of Shakespeare (I've always had a passion for Shakespeare). I finished Othello a few days ago and now I'm reading Richard III (and loving it!) Recently me and some of my other self-proclaimed Shakespeare nerds sat and watched Hamlet for 11 hours. Yes, you read that right. 11 hours. We watched Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (one of my favorites), then Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet again with commentary and then Laurence Oliver's Hamlet. Yeah, go ahead, say it. Nerdy. But fun.

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by my friend, Josh at Running With Scissors.
So here what I do.
Pick up a book of at least 123 pages.
Open the book to page 123.
Find the fifth sentence.
Then post the next three sentences.
Finally, tag five people to do the same.

Okay, mine is from The Complete Works of Shakespeare and page 123 coincidently happens to be Richard III, which I am reading right now.

GLOUCESTER

Alas, why would you heap these cares on me?

I am unfit for state and majesty;
I do beseech you, take it not amiss;
I cannot nor I will not yield to you.

BUCKINGHAM
If you refuse it,--as, in love and zeal,
Loath to depose the child, Your brother's son;
As well we know your tenderness of heart
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,
Which we have noted in you to your kin,
And egally indeed to all estates,--
Yet whether you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in the throne,
To the disgrace and downfall of your house:
And in this resolution here we leave you.--
Come, citizens: 'zounds! I'll entreat no more.
GLOUCESTER
O, do not swear, my lord of Buckingham.



Now I will tag,
Kathleen of Liber Fides Veritas
Arlene of aRt De Me
Stephanie of Going Forth In Faith

Bother, I don't have anyone else to tag. *sigh*

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I've been tagged!

Well, I've been tagged by my friend, Josh...

And that means I get to tell you some random facts about me and then tag somebody else!
So here are the rules:


1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. I'm a performer at heart. I love to be on stage, whether I am playing the piano, acting, speaking or Irish dancing (which I am not taking at the moment)
  2. My favorite writer is William Shakespeare.
  3. I was born in Vancouver, BC.
  4. I love frogs. I have been known to roll up my pants and wade into a swamp in bare feet. (seriously)
  5. I have fractured 1 arm and 1 rib (not at the same time!)
  6. People often comment on the "strangeness" of my eyes. (They're not really strange, they just have a yellow ring around the pupil).
  7. My room is the cleanest that its been for years (w00t!)
At the moment, I don't have anybody else to tag as all the other bloggers that I know have been tagged already, but I'll let you know if I tag somebody. :)
You gotta read this post by Raine. Its excellent and perfectly sums up my opinions too. Don't you love reading an article that so brilliantly shows you that you aren't alone in your opinions?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Asher Lev




I recently read some really great books. My name is Asher Lev and The gift of Asher Lev, both by Chaim Potok. They tell the story of a Hasidic jewish boy who has an amazing gift for art. The art that he creates, is not appreciated at all by his family and friends. Read them. They're great. Along with a lot of other things that I learned, I really gained an appreciation for painting and I've started doing some of my own, which I have discovered that I really enjoy.

Skype

I can't resist geeky things. Software, gadgetry, I love it all.

Skype is one of those things. I don't need it of course, in fact, I really have no use for it, but its soo cool! Its completely free and you can make free "phone calls" to other Skype users anywhere that there is an internet connection. All you need is speakers, a microphone and the free Skype download. Its pretty cool. You can use it for conference calls and everything. Its cool. And completely free.

(p.s. if you do download it, add me as a contact. I think all of you regular readers know my real name and email.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Brr...It's cold out there!

I live in Canada. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always cold here and we do not all live in igloos. However, right now where I live, we have lots of snow. Its -46 celsius with the wind chill. It's really pretty though!







This is where our sidewalk should be...


...but, it's not there!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Comments

Sorry everybody, I hardly ever answer your comments. I am going to try to answer your comments a lot more.

Century Rolls by John Adams

I recently have started listening to a really interesting piece of music. Its called Century Rolls. It is a piano concerto by John Adams. John Aams was commissioned by Emanuel Ax for to write a new piano concerto for Emanuel Ax to play with the Cleveland Orchestra. I have to admit though, I just don't understand the piece. The more I listen to it, the more I understand it and appreciate it, but its just hard to understand. I suggest that you listen to it, and listen to it, and listen to it some more. I think you'll like it. I do. Some things to listen for-Especially listen to the rhythms and the way that the different instruments work together to make a rich musical tapestry. Its brilliant. Also listen to the colour and the vibrance of the piece. Its really neat.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Crazy dog

Here are some crazy photos of my funny dog. I laughed so hard about some of these. My sister thought I was crazy.