Sunday, December 6, 2009


Attn: Humans.

(Are you human?)

I love the snow. All the time. I love driving in it, I love hiking in it, I love tobogganing in it, I love shovelling it, I love skiing in it. I think it is gloriously beautiful, and I don't complain about it. I mean, for a third of the year, we have beautiful, fresh, clean, intricate crystals of water falling from the sky and coating our little world in pure white. It's amazing, it's incredible!
And then when I express my joy on various social networking mediums (including face to face), people constantly say, "Oh, you wouldn't like it if you had to..." or "just wait, you won't like it after..." Gosh darnit people! Are you suggesting that my alternative is to spend four months of our year complaining about the beauty around us?
I won't take it! So complain all you like, but please do not try to tell me that I "wouldn't like it if I had to drive in it" or that I wouldn't like it if I had to shovel it. Actually, I do all of the above and I LOVE IT.

There are some things in life that we can not change, and the weather is one of those. We can either take it, appreciate it, accept it and love it, or we can complain about it. I choose the former.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book Review: Starclimber

Hi everybody! So, I haven't had a book review in a while, so here it is. I just recently read Starclimber, by Kenneth Oppel! It's the third book in his Airborn series. They are fantastic books. They follow the adventures of Matt Cruse, and his romantic interest Kate de Vries. The books are full of excitement, energy, suspense and really great characters! I don't want to give much away in the book, but it's the kind of book that you don't want to put down!

Here's a brief overview from Amazon...
"It is the beginning of summer in Paris. Matt Cruse is looking forward to spending time with Kate de Vries and piloting an aerocrane for the Celestial Tower--France's great project, which will allow the nation to be first in outer space. But Matt and Kate's idyllic time is shortlived. Matt narrowly survives an attack by fanatics who are opposed to humans reaching the heavens, while Kate is summoned back to Lionsgate City by her wealthy parents. It's time she began to think about getting married. But things look up when the Canadian government makes an exciting offer to both Matt and Kate. Canada wants to reach space first, and the Canadian Minister of Air wants Kate to join the first expedition as an expert in aerial zoology. There's a place for Matt, too--if he can pass the gruelling tests to become one of the world's first astralnauts onboard the incredible ship Starclimber. The third book in Kenneth Oppel's bestselling Airborn series vaults readers into another thrilling adventure, with all of the exciting twists and vivid imaginings that Oppel's fans have come to expect--and a little romance, too. From Paris to Lionsgate City, from the Pacificus Ocean to the depths of space, Starclimber is an exhilarating ride from an author who soars to rare heights."
(From the Amazon product review)

Anyway, Starclimber is a fantastic read, and stands on it's own (but you owe it to yourself to read the first two, Airborn and Skybreaker first. You don't want to miss them.). So that's my pick of what to read! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A quote...

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." ~Mahatma Gandhi

I came across this quote, and really liked it, as I can see the truth in it. Forgiveness takes strength because it requires seeing past, and letting go of each other's weaknesses and mistakes and loving them in spite of it. And of course, forgiveness isn't limited to other people. Forgiving yourself can be the toughest thing. But it does take strength. The great thing? We're all strong enough.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beethoven, and Wagner and me, oh my!

I just came back from a mind blowing symphony concert. Katherine Chi playing the Beethoven Emperor Concerto (Piano Concerto No. 5) and Die Meistersinger: An Orchestral Tribute (Arranged by Vlieger).

Katherine Chi played the concerto magnificently, every note just perfect. The first movement was just exquisite. Ahh. Gosh, I just love this concerto, and this being my first time hearing it live, it was pretty darn fantastic.

*A side note: Okay, between movements, if you ever attend the symphony, you've probably noticed that people tend to cough between movements. It confuses me, but I tolerate it (what can ya do, anyway?) Well tonight, the audience positively erupted with coughing. It was thunderous. I just don't get it. When I get a cough, I can't usually control when I cough, so I try to do it quietly. But it seems that for the majority of symphony goers, they can hold in their coughs and spew them forth at every possible break. Weird, imho.

Anyway, the Wagner. Oh my goodness, the Wagner. It was heavenly. I could live on it. The orchestration was so lush, and rich and delicious and beautiful that I just wanted to shout with joy. I didn't. As much as I adore the Beethoven (it's one of my favourite concertos), the Wagner was the highlight of the evening. Just glorious. The musicians were evidently loving it too, and I saw of number of them with happy grins on their faces at certain places. It was exquisitely, beautiful, satisfying, nourishing, exhilarating. My goodness, it's good stuff.

All in all, a brilliant concert and one that I shall remember for a very long. Anyway, thanks for reading, and stay posted for more posts!I have a bunch coming up. It feels great to be back blogging.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


 So, a while back, Raine posted some questions in the comments. She asked:

1. If you listed your favorite Shakespeare plays in a particular order, what would it be?
Hmm... That's a really hard question. I'm going to think on it more and see if I can get it into a list... Really, really, tough.

2. "And I think you would enjoy Elijah Bossenbroek, he is a pianist/composer"
At your suggestion, I googled him and listened to some of his stuff. I liked it a lot, and very beautiful! Where did you hear about him?

3. When you listen to music do your fingers play along with the music? As if you were playing it on a piano?
All the time! And as if I was playing the flute too, no matter what position my fingers are in! But yeah, my fingers are always moving!

Post your questions in the comments below! They're fun to answer! :)

Back into a schedule

Ahh, bliss. After getting H1N1 (which really through me off my normal schedule) and then getting into the really intense period of rehearsals and performances, I finally feel like I'm back on my regular schedule of things.
My normal weekday schedule looks something like this.

0700-0800- Read in bed, eat breakfast, check email etc.
0800-1100- Practice piano
1100-1200- Practice flute
1200-1300- Lunch, email,
1300-1500- Math
1500-onwards- French, reading etc. It really depends. I have supper around 1730/1800 and then every 2nd day, I use the ellipticle for an hour, and stretch etc. And then I spend the rest of the evening unwinding, etc. And then I'm in bed at 2230.

It works really well me, and when I stray off that schedule, I tend to get grouchy and feel useless. It's a fairly loose schedule, and with lessons and other appointments, I never get 5 days just like that in a week, but it puts some form to my days and makes me a lot happier. So it's nice to get back to my happy, little schedule.

What do you do to ensure your general sanity?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Tempest!

Hey everybody,

I'm back to posting! The Tempest is over! Yay! I mean, I have mixed feelings about it. I'm sad it's all over, but it's nice to have the weight off my shoulders. How did it go, you're probably asking? It was fantastic! Okay, I'm pretty (extremely) biased, but honestly, it really went well. On the marketing side, we had everything together (dates, advertising etc.) way sooner and that was really nice. As a small little theatre company, we're constantly improving and growing and learning, and this was definitely our best production. Hands down.

*The following section is unbiased*
We had a killer company too. First off, we had Nicole, who was a stage manager/lighting/understudy and general on-top-of-everything kind of person. Honestly, five days before opening, we found out that our actor playing Gonzalo couldn't make one of the performances. So we called in Dorothy, who was playing a spirit/mariner and asked her to play Gonzalo for that performance (the Saturday matinee) and in five days, she had Gonzalo's lines solid, all the blocking learned and the acting was all there. And then because Dorothy was now Gonzalo for the matinee, we asked Nicole if she would stand in for Dorothy. At a rehearsal, we went to run through the dance in Act II with Nicole, and gosh darnit, Nicole didn't even need that runthrough, because she already had it all perfect. I was honestly in awe. I've never understudied, but from what I've heard, if you can understudy, you can do anything, because when you understudy, you're not only learning your part, you're learning somebody else's! And for the record, the matinee was practically perfect and Dorothy and Nicole were fantastic! Yay Nicole and Dorothy!
And then we had Josh, who was brilliant as the grief-stricken King Alonso. Josh, you were really great in a really dramatic role! And Calla, who played Ariel, was totally fantastic as Ariel. Lots of energy, but perfect at pulling out the dramatic moments and hope in Ariel. Everybody else was great too, but as they don't have blogs to link to, they don't get reviews. :P
*Okay, unbiased section ends*

But we heard lots of great reviews for the production and I (personally) think we really did it justice. Now, I'm all sad and I miss it.

Anyway, this is getting long, and it's getting late (for me), so I'm going to end it here. I'm going to get back to my daily posting, now that I have more time, so you will actually get a post tomorrow!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

My life

After my last post, I took all of my own advice, (which really is good advice, honest)...and promptly got sick. Very unpleasant. Without getting a swab, it's pretty tough to tell exactly what it was, but it's looking like I had H1N1. I had like, all the symptoms. Honestly, I went through the list of symptoms and I had every, single one. Almost funny. Almost. But now I don't have to get the vaccine because I have the natural immunity. Yay?


The long and short of it is that I've missed three rehearsals that I should have been at, a piano lesson, a piano masterclass, a cello class (that I am supposed to accompany on piano), a flute lesson, a voice lesson and who knows what else. So I'm grumpy. Grrr. But I had a good music rehearsal today with the musicians for the Tempest. Actually, with only 3/5 of them, and then I had to play the other two parts on the piano. But it was good, and we went through all the pieces with the script and worked them in where they should go.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How to avoid getting H1N1

So wow, this H1N1 thing is getting pretty crazy everywhere. Everywhere I look, people are getting sick (even  if it's not with H1N1). So here are my tips for staying healthy. They've all been said before, but they bear repeating and they've kept me healthy so far!

1. Drink lots of water/herbal tea. Lots and lots and lots. It's good for you.

2. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. So eat more then one. And other fruits and veggies. They are also good for you. (Duh)

3. Get exercise, keep in shape. This is also important, as you need to be active in order to sustain a strong immune system. So walking, running, dancing, whatever. We have an ellipticle trainer that I hop on for an hour 3-4 times a week.

4. Wash your hands! Every time you shake hands with someone, before you eat, after you use the washroom, and at least once an hour!

5. Take Vitamin C + Echinacea. And possible ColdFX. That's what I take.

6. Cut down on/eliminate sugar. Freeze the rest of your halloween candy, until the flus have past.

7. Stay warm! Don't let your body get cold or your body will spend it's energy on warming you up, rather then fighting viruses. Put on a sweater, or run around the house.

8. And get lots of sleep!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


So, about a week ago, I had the great fortune to be able to go the Esther Honens International Piano Competition. Actually, I had great company too, as I went with my wonderful mother and my great friend Josh. Hey, speaking of Josh, why don't you hop over to his blog and remind him that he hasn't posted since March and that he should get back at that?


In short, it was just fantastic. Totally inspiring, and very exciting. It's an international competition, and the level of performance is incredible. We spent almost the entire time listening to concerts by the quarter-finalists, or master classes taught by the jurors to Alberta piano students, and heard a lot of great music. We all got kind of music-ed out. Wait, no, forget that. That's not really possible. But we did get a little exhausted from sitting in the performance hall just listening. By the end of it, my fingers were just itching to touch the keys. I couldn't wait to get home and practice. But yeah, very inspiring, and hopefully I'll be able to go to the next one (in three years from now).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Honens: Coming soon

Splish, splash, sploosh, phwoosh, blubblubblub... That's the sound of my creative juices happily flowing along. Why are they suddenly flowing along?
Because I just got back from a really great, inspiring time at the Honens Piano Competition! I'll have a post up about it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I love Rachmaninoff. And Britten.

Stephen Hough (who is a fabulous pianist/composer/writer and one who I really really think is brilliant) posted on his blog today about composers and how some of them just click for people. You can read the full article here.

He says:
"Perhaps it’s like friendship, we just like certain people and not others; we resonate with certain composers; we are touched by the cracks between their notes; their music has a ’smell’ with which seduces us, leading us willingly into submission beyond analysis or logic.  A composer we love is one where we treasure even the dross, even as we recognize that it is dross. "

I can certainly say that's true for me. For me, two of those composers would be Rachmaninoff and Britten. From the very beginning, their music just enticed me: the textures, the harmonies, the moods, just the very sound. I just like them. It really is just like friendship: you just like certain people, for reasons that you may or may not be able to pinpoint.

What composers (or musicians/artists/bands/singers) do you like? Or heck, let's not limit it to music. What artists (in the visual art sense) or actors or dancers etc. do you admire and respect and just click with? And why (if you can pinpoint it?)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So, people asked me questions! Well, two people anyway. Yay, this is fun.

So here are my answers.

Kathleen asks:
"What did you cook for breakfast this morning?"

Well, this morning, I had scrambled eggs and salsa rolled up in a tortilla. It was delectable.

Anonymous asks:
"Have you read every Shakespeare play? And which (ones) are your favourite(s)?"
and also
"How long do you usually practice your instruments?"

No, I actually haven't read them all of them. Out of the 37 plays that are expressly credited to Shakespeare, I've read 26 of them. And my favourites? Hmm. These would be my top ten in NO particular order.
  1. Much Ado About Nothing
  2. A Midsummer Night's Dream
  3. Twelfth Night
  4. Timon of Athens
  5. Othello
  6. The Tempest
  7. Titus Andronicus
  8. Hamlet
  9. Richard II
  10. Richard III
(Honourable mention: All's Well That Ends Well)
 So that's my top 10 (well, 11)

As for how long I practice my instruments: I practice piano daily for 2-3 hours and flute for about 1 hour. And then I usually don't "practice" singing per se, but I just usually sing while I go about my daily life. So I practice all day. Ha ha. :)

So, that was fun! I think we should do that more often, maybe, say, once a week. It's fun, because you suggest what I should blog about (see? It's just a plot to make you come up with my topics rather then me!)

Talk to y'all soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Questions. questions anyone?

Hey everyone,
I'd like to try something a bit different. I'd like you to ask me a question. It can be about anything: goofy, philosophical, religious, about me, musical, political, etc. And I'll do my best to answer it to the best of my abilities. It'll be fun.

So post a question in the comment section below!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday: The Golden Compass

Hey all, so my pick of the week is Alexandre Desplat's score to the recent film adaptation of The Golden Compass (Can you tell that I think Alexandre Desplat is a brilliant composer? First Benjamin Button, then this)

Anyway, the following Youtube video has some clips from the score (along with some film clips). Pay special attention to the very first clip. It's gorgeous. And listen to his instrumentation. Very mystical and mysterious. Love it!

Hey, today on the radio, they played a piece from the soundtrack of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button! I was very pleased.

Balloon boy etc

My goodness, how far are we willing to go for fame and attention? Have you been following the saga of  "Balloon Boy" Falcon Heene? Just google it and you'll find loads of hits. Obviously, I don't know the family, so it isn't really fair for me to make judgements, but it appears that this family is willing to hide their son in the garage attic and fake his danger just as a publicity stunt. Goodness me. What has our world come to?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I haven't posted for 10 days. I don't like that. I'm going to post soon. But not right now. Because I'm tired and I want to go to bed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


A man's dreams are an index to his greatness.
-Zadok Rabinwitz

I like this quote. I once went to a conference and heard a very wise man speak (actually, I'm fortunate to have had that happen to me quite a bit). One thing that he really drove into our heads was in the importance of dreaming big. Like really big. Bigger than is realistic, bigger than is practical and bigger than you ever think is going to happen. It's important to dream really, really big. Because if you don't push yourself and think big, you ain't going to accomplish anything.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Britten violin concerto

Hey y'all, sorry, I left you cutting your toenails for a while there. (If you haven't the foggiest notion what I'm talking about, see the last sentence of my last post).

Gah, recently, I've been finding myself busier and busier. I had my first rehearsal with my musicians the other day, and so it was a cool experience hearing my music live! It went quite well, the minor glitch being that I found out that one of my musicians, um, can't read music. Which makes it a bit tough. But surely we'll be able to figure something out. I also found out that I have some more pieces to write for the show, but there's just three or something, so it's no biggie. But I'd like to rework a few of the pieces. The first piece, which opens the show, just isn't strong enough. It hasn't anything to do with the musicians, they're doing fine, just musicially, it's not strong enough. So I'm going to rework that and it'll be good.

As for your music suggestion:

Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto.

Gosh, there isn't enough I can say about this concerto. It's a masterpiece. You'll likely have to listen to it at least 10 times to really grasp it (I know I did), but it's just amazing.

Here's the first part on Youtube.

Oh yeah, that's another thing. To really appreciate this concerto, I think you have to listen to it from the very beginning all the way through. It's a full journey. Really. By the end of it, I always feel different. Calm, but changed, because it really is this huge scope and you go through this whole range of emotions.  And it isn't music to vacuum too. You have to put your whole mind to it. I'm not sure what else to say about it. This concerto really touches me. Not sure if it will for you. But this piece is (honestly) on my top 5 favourites ever. It's been there for quite a while, and I'm quite sure it'll stay there.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life. Random.

I don't know what to blog about. It's troubling. And so now instead of the wonderful, thought-provoking, inspiring, genius post that I'm sure you were expecting, you just get a post about me whining about how I don't know what to post and how annoyed I am with myself that I haven't posted for the past couple of days.

I was going to be at scout camp this weekend, but we cancelled it because practically everyone was sick. I wasn't though. I'm determined not to get sick. It's just not an option for me at this point. So I've been taking echinacea, Vitamin C and Cold FX, washing my hands obsessively (oh look, Daniel's doing something obsessively, gee, what a surprise), and drinking lots and lots of tea. I always drink lots of tea, but recently I've been drinking at least 5 cups a day and at least that much water. So far, it's been working. I've felt a couple symptoms, but I've fought them off.

In other news, I have my first voice lesson of the year tomorrow! I'm veryveryvery excited to be back at voice lessons. Huzzah!

Aaaannnd in other news....

Well, there isn't any other news. Sorry. I'm sure I'll have some for tomorrow. So just go and drink some tea, or cut your toenails. Or something.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

I donated blood!

Yay! So, a few days ago, I turned 17, which is the youngest age that you are eligible to donate blood! So this morning, I went to the blood donor clinic and donated! It was pretty neat, and actually quite fun. They prick your finger with these funky awesome high-tech poking devices first, that make these awesome clean, quick, painless cuts and then they take a drop of your blood and test it for iron by dropping it in this blue liquid. If it sinks, then your iron is good, if not, you can't give. After a couple failed poking tries, we finally got it to work and my iron was good, so I could give blood. Yay! It took me about 7 minutes for my body to pump out 500mls of blood, and I felt fine through the whole thing. And in 56 days, I can donate again. Huzzah.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Music Monday! (among other things!)

Hi everyone,

So, every week, on Monday, I'm going to post something about music! Who knows what it will be? It might be a Youtube video, or a music review or anything else pertaining to music. Today, it's a mixture of things.

Firstly, I have a new favourite soundtrack. I've been listening to a lot of soundtracks recently, and one that's really caught my ear is the score for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, composed by Alexandre Desplat. Oh. My. Gosh. It's breathtaking. Honestly. It's just gorgeous. He really captures the mood of the film, using a full orchestra, often highlighted by piano solos. Listen to it yourself. Personally, it's one of the most beautiful things I've heard in a long time. Definitely in my top favourite movie soundtracks. Gosh, it's gorgeous.

Secondly, in my other news, I've picked up an (unpaid) gig as a piano accompanist! So I'm excited about that. I'm accompanying a group of about 10 young cellists in a group cello class. I think their ages range from about the 7-9 yo age range. It's pretty cool. I admit that I was rather nervous at the prospect, as three days before the first rehearsal, they gave me 3 (!) books of music to learn (!). Yes, in three days. Thankfully, it was mostly easy, and I was able to sightread (read as: fake) my way through it. And we only did I think, five pieces tonight. But it'll be good, and I think it will really let me gain experience as an accompanist, and chamber musician.

That's all for today!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Film Fridays! - The Aviator

Hey everyone, I'm starting a new "section". Every week, on Friday, I'll post a movie review! I'm also starting a new section on Mondays too. See if you can guess what it is.

So this week, I'm going to post a review of Martin Scorsese's 2004 film "The Aviator", starring Leonardo DiCaprio. You can read the IMDB page here. You can also read the Screenit parental review here.

Firstly, DiCaprio's performance as Howard Hughes is nothing short of brilliant. He shows many levels of emotions, and his performance is subtle and nuanced. We see his character start strong, but eventually fold under incredible pressure, but eventually return to (almost) his former glory, but...changed.

The plot moves along quickly, and all the performances are great. It's a fantastic film and it has the emotional content that I look for in a film. Highly recommended, and I'd give it a 9/10.

But don't take my word for it! Watch it yourself! But read a parental review first to make sure that it's something you want to see! I take no responsibility for any scarring, maiming, nightmares, murder, thievery, fire, abduction, spontaneous combustion, mental illness, cancer, explosion, or any other harm that may come to you as a result of watching this film. Be warned.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

10 things about me that you may not have known

  1. I like people, but often distance myself from them for various reasons.
  2. I believe in equal rights and equal treatment for everyone, whether they’re male or female, black or white, gay or straight, Christian or Muslim, American or Canadian etc.
  3. I don’t like loud noises, or loud voices or crowds of people for that matter. 
  4. I drink copious amounts of water. I mean a lot of water. Obsessively. Yeah, I love me my water.
  5. I love being barefoot. I like it more than wearing shoes. In the summer, I almost never wear shoes.
  6. I like class. You know, not really formal things, but I love wearing a nice shirt and tie, and doing something classy, like playing a music recital or going to the theatre or the symphony.
  7. I don’t swear. It doesn’t offend me per say, but I’d rather not stoop that low. I can be classier and more creative with my language than that. 
  8. I enjoy cleaning my room. Yes, you really did read that right. I find cleaning my room very therapeutic. I put on some music, and just...clean. It’s relaxing.
  9. I read Shakespeare. And lots of old books. For fun.
  10. And I get called weird. Quite a lot. And I’m proud of that. Because I don’t want to be called normal.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why I don't (really) believe in peace on Earth

Okay, I'm not trying to sound like a pessimest or anything, but I honestly don't believe in world peace. I just don't think it's going to happen. Whenever I hear somebody say "I wish/pray/hope for world peace," I think they're just fooling themselves. Seriously, in our huge world, there is always going to be somebody who wants to get a head of the game by cheating, lying, killing and being generally bad. And there will always be people to join that person. I just don't think a peaceful world is realistic.

But I think that peace with your self is realistic. I've said it once, I'll say it again. You are the only person you can change and come to peace with. And by doing that, you may be able to influence others to do the same. And maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to increase the amount of happy, loving, people.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Hey everyone, I wanted to post today about gossip. Not that it's been especially on my mind recently, but because I wanted to highlight a brilliant passage from one of my favourite plays, Doubt, a parable, by John Patrick Shanley.
Here it is:
A woman was gossiping with a friend about a man she hardly knew – I know none of you have ever done this – that night she had a dream. A great hand appeared over her and pointed down at her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O’Rourke, and she told him the whole thing.
‘Is gossiping a sin?’ she asked the old man. ‘Was that the hand of God Almighty pointing a finger at me? Should I be asking your absolution? Father, tell me, have I done something wrong?’
‘Yes!’ Father O’Rourke answered her. ‘Yes, you ignorant, badly broughtup female! You have borne false witness against your neighbor, you have played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed!’
So the woman said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness.
‘Not so fast!’ says O’Rourke. ‘I want you to go home, take a pillow up on your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me!’
So the woman went home, took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to the roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed.
‘Did you gut the pillow with the knife?’ he says.
‘Yes, Father.’
‘And what was the result?’
‘Feathers,’ she said.
‘Feathers?’ he repeated.
‘Feathers everywhere, Father!’
‘Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out on the wind!’
‘Well,’ she said, ‘it can’t be done. I don’t know where they went. The wind took them all over.’
‘And that,’ said Father O’Rourke, ‘is gossip!’

I think that's a perfect allegory for gossip and it's a good reminder for me. I don't think I'm particularly horrible for gossipping, but I would certainly be lying if I said that I don't gossip or haven't gossipped. But it's something that I try to keep in the front of my mind, so I don't fall into it. I like that image of the idea that once out words are out of our mouthes, who knows where they are going to go? Scary, but also something that can be used for good. But if we speak and think with love all the time, that's something that we can be happy about having spread in the wind.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Finished the score for The Tempest!

Hey everyone, I just wanted to share with you that I finished writing a score of incidental music for Shakespeare's play, The Tempest. It will be performed live accompanying Celsius Youth Theatre's production of The Tempest, this November. It took me almost all summer to write, but I am very happy with the outcome. It's the longest thing I've written (10.5 minutes), and I actually like it, which is saying quite a lot, seeing as I am quite the perfectionist when it comes to my music. Anyway, I just thought that I'd let you know! Maybe I'll find a way to post some of it here or something.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School, and my musical lack of happiness

Hey everybody,

Well, "school" has started for me! Kind of. Being a homeschooler, who's to say when school really begins? But for me, since some of my weekly lessons have begun, and I'm back to practicing piano and flute for hours, and doing math etc, I think it's started for me. I have to admit, I'm pretty happy to be back at it!

Right now, I'm still writing music for my youth theatre's production of The Tempest. It's coming along pretty well (I've written 8.5 minutes!), but I'm finding that I have trouble writing really happy music. Maybe it's because I like really dark music and stuff in minor keys. That's all good when I'm writing whatever I want, but in this show, there's a couple of spots where it's actually gotta to be joyful. It's funny, because if you know me at all, you'll know that I'm a very happy person. I'm not a dark souled, troubled, sad person. Quite the contrary! But when it comes to music, I just like...dark music. So I'm trying to listen to happy, joyful tonal music, as opposed to my regular music (Sweeney Todd, Wicked, RENT, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev...)

So, that's a little update into my life. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Obama's message to students

Y'all should read US President Barack Obama's address to students about education. You can read it HERE or watch it on below. (his address starts 2:30)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

An experiment...that is neat.

So I was doing a bit of recording today, and I was playing with different effects on my software. I improvised some flute and recorded it, and then put the "echo" on. And it sounds really cool! So I uploaded it to my youtube. Here it is. Bear in mind, that like I said, I just did it off the fly, so it doesn't "go" anywhere, and my intonation is pretty blah (to my ears), but I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

To give or not to give PART II

If you remember, a little while ago, I blogged about an experience I had with a homeless guy who asked me for money very persistently. It wasn’t a bad experience, just a thought provoking one. You can read my original post HERE.

And I asked for your feedback! You wonderful readers commented with really thoughtful, great answers, and I wanted to follow up with another post responding to your responses. Thanks for the great, great feedback everyone! Here's some highlights from your comments:

Dorothy said:
“I don't generally give to them, though I do give to homeless shelters regularly.
Sometimes I feel bad, but I think usually it's feeding an addiction. I know a few people that have tried giving food or bus tickets and have gotten sworn at by the panhandler.
This isn't to say it's always the case, but it seems to happen a fair bit."

Anonymous said...
“I usually don't carry money on me, so I can honestly say that I cannot give them any money. If I do carry money, I just carry the amount that I will need to use that day (which helps me not to make impulse purchases) and I keep it in my pocket or another out of the way place, and I say I don't have any change to spare.”

Logan said...
“Also having the money right there would be a hard thing to not give the money, Personally I most likely give out the 5 dollars, but then pray to God that he would do the correct thing with the money, and then next time (if I went busking) when I would go to the market occasionally empty the money into your pocket or something along those lines so it’s not in plain view.”

Josh said...
“Honestly, I don't think that we should decide what they do with the money, if giving them money is going to help them feed themselves then I think it is worth every penny, if they use it for something that isn't going to help them it was their choice. But there is always a chance that it will really help them.
Giving to shelters is always a really good idea, but sometimes I think it's best to give directly to the person in need.”

Dorothy brings up a good point when she says that she gives to homeless shelters regularly. I have to admit that I don't and it is something that I certainly should do. Giving to shelters is definitely a good way to give and be able to know that your money really is going where you want it to go. This would also allow me to say, when asked, "sorry, I give my money to such-and-such-a-shelter". And then I wouldn't have to feel guilty about not helping the homeless.

But I think Josh is also right when he says "“Honestly, I don't think that we should decide what they do with the money." But, but, but...Oh gosh darnit, it's a tough call.

So I have a plan.

Here's the plan.
  1. I have decided to give 10% of all my busking money to a shelter of some sort that directly helps people in need.
  2. When asked, I can realize know I am under no obligation to give money, but if I feel called to, I will give them some money. I'll just see, and judge from the situation. I'll certainly give money if I feel I should.
  3. As Logan suggests, I'll also empty my case every once and a while, to avoid obviously having made a bunch of money and denying them a loonie.
So that's the plan! And I'm stickin' to it. I'm planning to go busking tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it goes.

I'll also be back on facebook for the first time in two weeks tomorrow, so I'll post my feelings about my facebook-less weeks then!

Jasper part 4/4- Geradine Lakes

This is the final post in a four part series about my hiking/camping trip to Jasper. You can read part one here, part two here, and part three here.

So, on our last day of hiking, we went up on the Geraldine Lakes trail. I've done a little bit of hiking on it before, and it's just gorgeous.

A view of the first lake.
 And a view from higher up.
We stopped for lunch by the base of a beautiful waterfall.

My feet were starting to get sore (thank you plantars fasciitis), so I stuck my feet in the ice cold mountain creek. 

I loved watching all the fish in the lakes. Just ask anybody who was there or anyone who has travelled with me. I'm pretty obsessed with fish-watching. 
Look below: It's a fish!
Another shot of the waterfall from further away.

 Kind of a wacky shot of a the lake, from a different angle. I happened to catch a dragonfly in the photo, which adds a certain element of quirky character to the photo.

So that's it! The end of this "series" of posts. I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip. It was a really great trip. I hiked over 30 kilometers and gained over 1600 meters of elevation. And best of all, I had time to think, reflect and appreciate our world. 
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This is too cool. This guy made a bunch of videos and merged them and voila! a one man instrumental of Billie Jean, which, incidentally is my favorite Michael Jackson song. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jasper part 3/4- Mt. Edith Cavell

So, that night, the Venturers arrived (all except one, who came the next day). The next morning, we set off to Mt. Edith Cavell, a merry group of seven.

Our plan was to hike up the main trail, up to the top of the "Cavell Meadows" which offer great views of Mt. Edith Cavell (we weren't actually climbing the mountain). Here's a look at the Angel Glacier, which is the "icon" for Mt. Edith Cavell.

A couple of the boys.

The view from the first viewpoint.

My dad has this little plush penguin that he takes hiking and uses for scale photos. Here's a loverly photo. of Monsignor Penguin (not real name)
And after a steep climb, we're at the top of the meadows!
At the bottom of the glacier, there's this pond/lake with all these ice chunks that fall off the glacier.
And that's all for today! Hope you enjoyed! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jasper part 2/4- Athabasca

So, on the second day, my dad and I decided to hike up to a little cliff that he calls "Little Athabasca". He calls it that because it has a great view of the wonderful Mt. Athabasca.

The photo below is a picture of my finger pointing to the cliff that we hiked up. I'm standing beside our car in the Columbia Icefields parking lot, and we hiked the rest of the way.
Here is close up of the cliff.
My dad hiking up. What you see in the photo is average terrain, and no, there wasn't really a path.
The wonderful Mt. Athabasca

There were some climbers coming down from Athabasca. Inspiring! I took some photos of them through my binoculars.

This is the stuff we were climbing up for the last part till the very top.
And without further ado- the view from the top.

A cool rock I found with a hole in it. No, I didn't take it home (it's a National Park)

Gotta love snow patches in summer.
I love the plant life that survives in the mountains way up high. Don't you sometimes feel like you're all alone in the wilderness?

The pictures just don't do it justice. It was just incredible. I'll probably post more photos from this hike, as it was so good. I think it was the best hike I've ever done.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Jasper part 1/4- Wilcox Pass

Hey everyone,

So, as you probably know, I got back from six days of camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains (Jasper area). I went for a three day camp with my Venturer company, and my dad and I went three days early to do some extra hiking.

Below are some photos.

The first day, we hiked about 12 kms (with about 400 meters of elevation gain) in Wilcox Pass.

There was a herd of 11 bighorn sheep in the pass

 And down below, we visited Horseshoe Lake which is one of my favourite little lakes in the Rockies. It's very beautiful ( and really deep and full of fish!). Actually it's deep enough that people like to go to a little cliff ledge and jump in, just for kicks. We saw a whole bus load of people in swim suits going to jump into the water. It was pretty funny.

More to come tomorrow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm home! No, really, I am. I'll post something good tomorrow. Good night.

This was a lame post.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'll be back tomorrow. Do you miss me?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New flute!

I have some pretty exciting news!
What could possibly be in this case?

Ooh, I know!

It's a brand new Miyazawa...


And it's mine!

Ain't it pretty?

You get a mini lesson about flutes now. This is the end part of the flute. It's called the "foot". See the three circular keys? This is a B Foot. My old flute only had two keys on the foot and so it was a C Foot. With the extra key, you get an extra note! Flute music never really goes below the B, so with this flute, I can play pretty much all the flute music written! (Theoretically, of course, I'm not technically capable yet. :P)

This flute is also an open hole flute. That means that the flutes have a hole in the middle of them, as shown by the photo below. Open hole flutes are quite a bit tougher to play, but give a lot more room for different tone colours, pitch control etc.

Now, I've never played open-hole before, so until I get used to it, I use plugs that basically make the flute just like a closed-hole model. The plugs are just like little silicone blobs that you push into the keys.

More photos...

Sterling silver lip plate!

So that's my new flute! I absolutely love everything about it. I love the tone, and and the action of the keys, just everything about it! I tried out a lot of different flutes, and this one really "clicked" for me. We have a good relationship. :)
So, I hope you enjoyed this, and learned a thing or two about flutes!