Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate it-if not, I hope you had a wonderful whatever-else-you-celebrate!). I know I did.
For fun, since it's been a while, let's bring back the old Ask-me-questions thing! So ask me questions in the comments below and I'll answer them!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
We’re at the Waterfalls Campground today. We had heard that it was a beautiful site, so we decided to spend a good day here. So today’s hike was a mere 4.5 kms.
We followed the creek for most of it (hiking South), until it split, one part going East and one going West. The West section comes down from a huge waterfall, which is where the camp gets its name (surprise). The campground location really is beautiful. Standing near the camp looks down over a hill, with the water fall on our left and the creek at the bottom.
Today was leisurely. We spent most of the afternoon playing in the water, washing our shirts and faces and hair. My feet feel wonderful after all the cool water. Surprisingly, the water is the perfect temperature, and not as frigid as one might imagine from a mountain stream. For drinking and cooking, we filter all our water. We have three hand pumps and to pump enough water for meals (for the 9 of us) takes about an hour. I’m getting used to the weight in my pack (about 40lbs) and really enjoying it. It’s really so far a remarkable trip.
Ah, yes. Here we are. The Green Throne Privy (That's what they're actually called in the pamphlet). Yep, these are the toilets on the trail. Don't expect privacy.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
We spent the evening enjoying the creek, and planning out the next day, an as it was our first night on the trail, figuring out exactly all the things involved when we get to camp.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
we were as prepared as we were going to be.
Our timeline looked like this-
August 13- Drive
August 14-18- Jonas Pass trail
August 19- Rest day
August 20- Day hike
August 21- Small day hike and driving home.
I'm planning on posting one post per expedition day every now and then. So hope you enjoy!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Perhaps you’ve heard about the four teen suicides in the past 3 weeks. Haven’t heard of them?
“Tyler Clementi a freshman at Rutgers University jumped to his death last week off a bridge a day after authorities say two classmates surreptitiously recorded him having sex with a man in his dorm room and broadcast it over the Internet.(quotation from http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blogpost/2010/09/suicide_of_gay_teenagers_four.html)
Seth Walsh, 13, committed suicide last week after years of being bullied. The police interviewed several of the students who teased Walsh but determined their actions did not constitute a crime, news reports say.
Asher Brown, also 13, shot himself after being harassed at his middle school in Houston. According to news reports, his parents said they had complained to the school authorities, but the bullying continued. The school reports that no complaints were made.
Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old in Indiana, hanged himself Thursday after being bullied. He never told anyone he was gay, but his classmates acknowledged that he was teased because students assumed he was.”
But this really isn’t even a gay issue. It isn’t even just a youth issue. This is an issue, because people all over the world, (although especially young people), are being told, sometimes indirectly, that whoever they are, whether they’re black, white, gay, straight, male, female, Christian, Muslim, is wrong, that they don’t matter, that they are something that can be laughed at, something that doesn’t have to be taken seriously.
Who you are is NOT WRONG. I don’t care what your “friends”, adults, Churches, classmates tell you. You are NOT a mistake, and you are exactly what God wants you to be.
People notice little things. If you think that somebody isn’t going to notice being called a retard, faggot, nigger or slut, think again. Let’s step up to the plate here, and make a change.
I honestly don’t know what I’m going to accomplish by writing this. Most of the people who are reading this probably aren’t guilty of intense bullying. But as long as we stand back, and take the attitude of “not my problem”, this problem will honestly be all of our problems.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I obviously haven't been blogging recently, because I've very busy getting back into my regular schedule of life. I'm back at weekly piano and flute lessons, but not voice lessons yet because my teacher is busy being a new father. :) But I've started something new: Musical Theatre! Twice a week, for 3 hours. On Mondays, we alternate between dance and acting for the first half, and then have choral for the second half. And then on Thursdays, we have vocal masterclasses. It's fantastic, and I'm learning loads!
And of course, I have "school work" too. I'm also taking an online writing class, so that's good.
The theatre company I'm with is doing A Midsummer Night's Dream this November, so I'm just starting to get pretty busy with that too, directing, music writing, and lots of rehearsal scheduling! It's going to be fabulous.
Also, in case you didn't know, I went on a big backpacking trip to the mountains with my Venturer company, this past August. I'm working on a big series of blog posts on that, which I will post periodically.
Anyway, just thought I'd post a quick blog to let you know what I've been up to!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Okay, so I'm in a bit of a quandary right now. It's coming up to the end of the school year, and I need to let my piano teacher know what I'm doing next year, so I can register. As you may know, I completed the Suzuki Piano program this past February, and I am taking my Grade 9 Royal Conservatory exam in mid-June, and so it seems like a good time to re-evaluate and make some decisions. The thing is, I honestly don't know what to do for piano next year.
Here are my options:
Option 1. Get a new piano teacher, and see where that takes me. My current teacher has actually suggested this to see how a different approach will help my abilities grow.
Option 2. Stay with my current teacher. Maybe work on my Grade 10 exam or on a larger work i.e. concerto.
Option 3. Take a year off from piano lessons. Focus on preparing for post-secondary, thinking about what I want to focus on, and preparing for that. Practice piano on my own.
I'm currently leaning towards Option 3. See, the thing is, as much as I love piano, I'm not sure that I have any plans to be a concert pianist. I think that my passion lies in a mixture of music and theatre. So, I guess what I'm saying, is if I don't have specific plans to pursue a life as a pianist, what's the point in studying that at university, and if I'm not going to study that at university, then I should be spending the time on things that will prepare me for university. I don't know... Obviously, I'm never going to stop playing piano, and the skill that I currently have will be of huge value to me in the music/theatre/composing world. So yeah.
By the way, my current plan is to be a working actor with lots of musical theatre training and a composer/sound designer on the side. I love directing as well, so I guess my title would be actor/composer/director. I just have so many choices, and so many interests, it's just really hard.
Sorry, this has been rambling. Bleh.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
(you) Oh, Daniel, nice to see you here, it seems you don't post a lot here. Is this your blog? I come here more than you.
(me) Yeah, well, I'm sorry, but I'm really busy right now. It seems the menu of my life is full of all sorts of tasty exciting things, and I'm having trouble fitting them all in.
(you) Like what? What could you possibly do besides blogging?
(me) Well, all my writing time is being taken up by Script Frenzy, and I'm currently preparing for my Grade 9 RCM piano exam in June. And I'm in the middle of Kiwanis Music festival. And I'm also getting ready to go to Toronto for a National Youth Shakespeare festival. I'm trying to get rehearsals in and also work with some friends on set/costume design for the above festival. And I generally have lessons and rehearsals and meetings every day. So yeah, not much.
(you) Darn you, you always have good excuses.
(you) What page are you on in Script Frenzy anyway?
(me) Page 61. I have 39 pages to type in 4 days.
(you) What's your script about?
(me) Shhhh. It's confidential.
(you) I see. Well, I guess I'll see you more after Script Frenzy.
(me) You will. I promise.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
"Prelude is a short piece for solo piano. The theme is introduced in the opening bar, modified and developed, and then finally recapitulated near the end. It is largely inspired by the works of Scriabin and Rachmaninoff and should be taken at a moderate, very free tempo, using lots of rubato to convey the dark, mysterious feel."
Hope you enjoy it. By the way, if you can think of a more creative title for it, I would be forever grateful! Post them in the comments. :)
Monday, April 19, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
A couple more answers to questions, these ones rather music related.
Why don't you like top hit songs, but like classical music, upbringing?
The main reason is that simply, I don't think a lot of the top hit songs are very good. But I actually do listen to some "pop" music (*cough*Lady Gaga*cough*). It really depends on the music. I won't listen to it just because everybody else is listening to it. It's got to express something or make me think. But I actually do like a wide variety of music! The reason I like classical music so much is that I think there's really something to it! And judging by the fact that a lot of the good stuff has been around for hundreds of years, obviously other people think there's something to it as well! But yeah, my taste in music goes from J.S. Bach to Benjamin Britten, to Beethoven, to John Adams to the Beatles, to The Smiths, to Regina Spektor, to Loreena McKennitt to Queen to REM to Lady Gaga. I just love music! I can't say I'm super keen on rap, or heavy metal, or techno, but I'll listen to almost anything short of that. As for upbringing, my parents played a lot of classical and folk music when I was younger, so that has probably influenced my music taste, but now, I'd say I probably listen to the most varied in my household.
Do you like Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos #1 & 2?
Oh yeah! Rachmaninov's piano concertos are some of my favourite piano concertos! He actually wrote four of them (as well as a another work for piano and orchestra, his Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini). Out of the four concertos, his 2nd and his 3rd are the most well known. The Third concerto has a reputation for being one of the most difficult in the repertoire, as it takes a huge amount of technical skill, expressive power and lots of endurance to make it through the 50 minutes of intense playing. The Second concerto is probably the most played, because it's incredibly beautiful, and very popular. I have a real preference for the First Concerto, which in my opinion is very under appreciated (although I think it's very rapidly gaining popularity). The second movement of the 1st is just exquisite, and has this amazing dialogue between the flute and the piano. Just amazing. And then everybody forgets about the Fourth concerto, which just saddens me, because I think it's a great piece and needs your love too. But it always gets forgotten in preference for the 2nd and 3rd concertos.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Um, that's honestly such a hard question. I've got a couple. The Pianist would definitely be up there, just an incredible movie about survival, that really made me think about how fortunate I am and taught me a lot of lessons about gratitude. Moulin Rouge! is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen, and all about L-O-V-E (lol). And of course, because I'm a fanatic about the musical RENT, the movie of the same name is one of my favourites too, and the core message is all about really living and living as if it's your last day alive. So those would be three of my favourite movies. But I have others, and I don't have only one.
If you had a billion dollars and hot chicks what would you do?
If you had a million dollars what would you spend it on?
If I had a billion dollars, I'd build a beautiful little theater, and then rent it out to small theatre companies. And I'd obviously give a lot of money away. I'll pass on the hot chicks. :)
Why do you like answering questions?
a) It's fun!
b) It makes me think about things I might not have before.
c) and it makes my blog more "interactive". Lol.
If you had a superpower what would it be?
I'd like to be able to fly invisibly.
If you could change ONE thing about people (in general) what would you change?
I wish people were more open-minded. We've made so many mistakes in the past by not being willing to revaluate our opinions. We'd be a lot better off if we would listen honestly to other people without prejudice.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Alice in Wonderland is the movie this year that I've been most anticipating. It came out on March 5, and for the first time for me, I actually saw it in theatres the day it came opened. I had been excitedly watching each trailer, and each clip as soon as they came out, and as Tim Burton is one of my favourite filmmakers, I was getting pretty excited! It has a crazy awesome cast too- Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, and Johnny Depp to name a few. The film also stars Mia Wasikowska as Alice.
Overall, I loved it. Tim Burton's style of directing is so interesting. It's very artistic, stylized, quirky, and dark. Alice in Wonderland didn't disappoint. The acting especially is brilliant. Helena Bonham Carter was probably my favourite character, as the Red Queen. Johnny Depp's performance of the Mad Hatter is amazing, quirky, layered and subtle. Every cast member is strong, and all the supporting roles are interesting and memorable.
The biggest flaw, in my opinion is the script. Instead of following the story of the Louis Carroll's original Alice in Wonderland, Burton decided to make a sequel, set thirteen years after Alice's original trip to Wonderland. Its a great idea that could have been interesting and innovative, but unfortunately, I didn't find the plot or the script to be anything special. Without Tim Burton's directing, it could have easily been another predictable Disney movie. Personally, I don't think it's a masterpiece, but it's sure pretty good, and definitely worth seeing!
So, tonight is the dress rehearsal of Henry V, we have our first preview night tomorrow night, and by Sunday night, it will all be over!
Overall, it’s been good and good experience for me (ooh, something to put on my resume!). But it’s been exhausting and quite a big time commitment. I have to say that I haven’t felt full energy for a while now, especially with a big lack of sleep from Scout camp this past weekend which I don’t thing I’ve fully recovered from. It feels like the show is finally all coming together now, and despite tech rehearsals being slow and boring for the actors, it is pretty exciting to have lights, sound and set. But we’ll see how the dress rehearsal goes tonight.
I was talking to one of my friends, Zach, who is also in the show about this strange drug that is theatre. I mean, I always get soo stressed about it, and say “I can’t wait till this is all over”, and you get so sleep-deprived and sanity-deprived, and you think it will never end and then when it does, you know what you do? You do it all over again! I seem to have this annoying habit of taking on more that I should really be able to handle, but then when I’m finally done all my projects, I just get bored and take on more. Why, Daniel, why? But yeah, it’ll be nice to have Henry V be all over, and then I can have some free time.
Oh wait, actually I’m just getting started on another Shakespeare project. But that’s a story for another blog post….
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I wanted to record it and post it because I think the music is just remarkable. It''s Scriabin's Prelude no. 9 from his Opus 11. I haven't been practising this piece long, so I hope you can get a sense of the music from my mediocre playing and video quality. What I love about this piece is that it's so rich, musically. It's only one page long, but he packs so many notes, and thick harmonies into it. Each prelude is like a perfectly formed package. And they're so intelligently composed! I mean each one has a beginning, middle and end, and every note is important. They're just brilliant! So I hope you enjoy this quick little video. Oh and by the way, if you want to hear this prelude played by a master- Here is a video of of the great Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz playing it.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I haven't posted for a while, so I expect that this post will be quite a long one. I apologize.
At the moment, I am sitting in Second Cup drinking an Italian Soda. It's an absolutely beautiful day outside so I decided to walk over to Second Cup (it took me sixteen minutes). The sun is shining, there isn't a cloud in the sky and it's about +3 (which means that I can wear a spring/summer/fall jacket instead of a parka!). It's wonderful to take a break from everything and just enjoy the beautiful day.
My long hiatus from blogging can be blamed on many things. Mainly, I've been quite busy with Henry V I've had rehearsals almost everyday, and to be honest, I'm now cramming to get my lines into my head. Did I mention that my parts got changed? Instead of playing Alice (the maid to the Katherine), I am now playing Katherine, the princess of France. The guy playing Katherine had to drop out because of a family wedding in the middle of our performance run. So I took on that part along with the other two little parts I've got (Messenger and Grandpre).
We're 10 days away from preview night, and so the atmosphere at rehearsals has changed. Everybody is a lot more alert, focused and quickly hurrying to learn lines. The fight choreography is really coming together, but frighteningly, it seems that my choreography is kind of getting abandoned. We haven't ran it since learning the choreography. Eep! And the girl who is my "fight partner" is currently sick. So I've had to fight with a fake opponent. I know it'll all come together though. The whole thought of acting in a real theatre with real lights and a real technician and a green room and tech rehearsals and everything is still so exciting to me!
My graduation recital is all over and it went swimmingly! It actually went better than I could possibly have imagined! The piano that I was able to play on was this incredible Steinway. If you're not an musician, you might think this sounds crazy, but there are some instruments that you just connect with. It's crazy and sounds weird but honestly, when you touch the right instrument, it's just amazing. It feels completely natural and almost feels like you don't have to do much, like the instrument can feel what you want and respond. It's pretty crazy and I was fortunate enough make a connection like that with this piano. So it was a pretty amazing experience and I felt right at home playing. Thanks for all the support everyone and thanks to those of you who were able to come out!
I should probably write about something other than the arts so people think that I actually do something other than music and theatre. Ha! I actually finally finished that math textbook I was working through (Saxon Algebra 1/2). Ah, finally. It felt good to get it over with and now I can move on. And I got a good mark on the final exam too!
To change subject completely, I was reading The Screwtape Letters (by C.S. Lewis) this morning and I found a quote that I thought was really interesting. (It's in Letter XXI if you're curious to look it up).
"Men are not angered by mere misfortune but by misfortune conceived as injury. And the sense of injury depends on the feeling that legitimate claim has been denied."
I thought this was a really interesting quote because I can really see the truth in it. We get angry about things because we think we have the right to something "better". We have this idea of what we think we should get out of life and get angry when we don't get exactly what we think we need. Maybe if we took a step back and appreciated what we were given, we would be happier. Hmmm.
Anyway, I think I'll wrap this post up now, so thanks for reading! By the way, I'm still planning on posting Part 3 of my last post. It will just be delayed, as I haven't written it yet. Lol.
Friday, February 12, 2010
This blog post will be in three parts.
PART 1: Henry V
A local University-College is doing a production of Henry V, and they had semi-open auditions. So, I auditioned, got a call back and got a role! Actually, three roles to be precise. Our director decided to do some unconventional casting, and so she cast all the women in the cast as the English, and all the men as the French. So I'm Alice (maid/lady-in-waiting to Katharine, the French princess), a messenger to the Grandpre, and the Grandpre himself. It should be fun. It's great to just have somebody else plan everything and tell me what to do and when to show up. I don't have to plan a thing! Yay. Thankfully, it's not devouring too much of my time or energy, because I have something else on my plate that is devouring my time and energy. This brings me to:
PART II: Piano Recital
In other news, as I mentioned briefly here, I am performing my Suzuki Piano Gradution Recital on February 13, which is like, tomorrow. When you complete all 7 volumes of the Suzuki Piano repertoire, you perform a solo recital, which is what I'm doing. Actually, I'm not exactly doing it the conventional way, as I'm only playing one piece of music from the Suzuki repertoire. Ha. But I do have a full hours worth of music memorized to play. So, I've been practising madly 3 hours a day. Btw, if you're interested, here is the program I'm playing.
Polonaise Opus 26, No. 1 in C# Minor
W. A. Mozart
Piano Sonata in Bb Major, K. 281
Prelude in C# Minor, Opus 3, No. 2
J. S. Bach
Partita No. 1 in Bb
I. J. Paderewski
Minuet in G, Opus 14, No. 1
Suite de Danzas Criollas
Part III will come in another part, as I must go eat breakfast and get to practising.
Friday, January 22, 2010
It is with great regret that I am announcing COMMENT MODERATION. Due to a large amount of icky spammers posting spam comments on my blog, I've decided to add a word verification box when you post a comment, and I will also be "moderating" comments. So when you submit one, it won't show up until I've reviewed it. Sorry about this. :( It's just that I'm getting tired of fake users posting links to stupid spammy websites. But don't let this stop you from posting comments! If it's really a problem, let me know, and maybe I'll revert it to it's former glory.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Which brings me to another thought. I think I've said this before, but as I was staring at all the blood on my finger, I was thinking about how much I love the colour of my blood. Is that weird? Maybe it is. But it's such a beautiful, rich, bright red! I love it.
Hmm, what else? This has been kind of a rambling little post. Hey, actually, what do you think about this kind of post? Do you like the random little posts about my cool (read: weird) life, or do you like the more formalized posts?
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
A random note- I apologize for the lame titles of these posts. I can write posts, but I can never name them. It's almost comical.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Your Scores (Out of 30 questions)
10 Words of Affirmation 8 Quality Time 0 Receiving Gifts 5 Acts of Service 7 Physical Touch
Interpreting and Using Your Profile Score
The highest score indicates your primary love language (the highest score is 12). It’s not uncommon to have two high scores, although one language does have a slight edge for most people. That just means two languages are important to you.The lower scores indicate those languages you seldom use to communicate love and which probably don’t affect you very much on an emotional level.
So as you can see, my primary love language is Words of Affirmation, followed closely by Quality Time and Physical Touch. And check out my score for Receiving Gifts. Ha. Now these scores obviously don't mean that you don't use that language at all, it's just not your primary love language.
You can read more about the languages here.
Anyway, I strongly encourage that you check it out, take the "test" and encourage your family/friends to take it too.
Oh, and if you're comfortable, post your results in the comments below! I'm interested in knowing. (But no pressure)
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Liber is a Latin word that means free. It originates from the name for tree bark which was used in ancient times for writing on. Those who were free (and not slaves) were usually fortunate enough to be able to read and write, and so the "educated", or free folk were called liber.
I feel so fortunate to be truly free, both in mind and body, and so I put that in the title as a reminder to myself of what a blessing it is to be a free person.
The other part of the title is simply what this blog is about: musings. It's a place for me to write my thoughts, and my musings for other people to read. They might be just a couple thoughts, or they might be some formalized paragraphs, but they are always musings from a free, young guy (that's me).
I think the reason for this is that although people get really excited about the idea of starting over, they simply aren't willing to change their behaviour, or they don't realise that they have to.
Our culture is so in love with the idea that "this year is going to be different". As if the change between December 31, 2009 and January 1, 2010 makes a difference at all! We should be making goals and "resolutions" the moment we think of them, rather than waiting for the New Year to change us.
In my opinion, the way to change behaviour is a day by day thing. Instead of focusing on this year, (which is a pretty long stretch), we should focus instead on this week, or today. It's much more practical and much more achievable.
By all means, set yearly goals, but then don't just expect that you're going to achieve them unless you plan and work towards them on a day by day (or week by week) basis.
Anyway, all that said, here are my goals for 2010.
- Increase the quality of this blog. I'd like to improve my writing, and delve "deeper" into topics of interest. Maybe this year, I'll do some writing about politics, religion, faith, etc.
- Continue exercising regularly. In 2009, I got into a habit of using our Elliptical for an hour every second day at an increasing difficulty, and so I'm keeping that up.
- Begin writing a musical. I'm planning to write the script+lyrics/libretto during Script Frenzy in April, and then work on composing the music during the summer. I'm theoretically working on plot outlines now (actually, I do have ideas). I'm excited.
In 2010, other milestones that will come up for me is that I'm doing my final Suzuki Piano recital (a solo recital!) on February 13. I'm majorly excited for that!
Also, on September 22, I turn 18, which means that in Canada, I will no longer be a minor and I will have all the legal rights, which include drinking (not applicable), smoking (not applicable), and voting (YES!!). Crazy. This year, people!!
Happy New Year!
Friday, January 1, 2010
*sigh* I'm not there yet.