Thursday, April 27, 2017

T-Swift Book Tag!


A few months back I was looking for a Book Tag and found this awesome Taylor Swift one on Another Blog. It's taken me awhile but I've decided to do it!

The Taylor Swift Book Tag!



1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

(Pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with)





The Raven Boys was beautifully written and intriguing. The plot was solid, the characters were great, and there were some incredible friendships. I was pretty sure I loved it. 

However, I decided to never read the series again when an awesome character who was Catholic, a boxer, and one of the most aggressive, protective people you'll ever meet, ended up being gay. It was so out of character. Especially because his "significant other" was in love with a girl for the first three books. I was so upset. Ronan wasn't. He wouldn't. It would not have happened. That twist was obviously just the Writer deciding to go with a popular trend. It makes me mad.

2. Red
(pick a book with a RED cover)


War is coming...


The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Neilson. This book is the last of three so I can't say too much about it without giving anything away. Just go read the Ascendants Trilogy! The characters are well done, the plot is good, and there are some great friendships/romances. Remember, it is Middle Grade so it could have been a little more mature/serious, but ya' know. It's still a good series though! 8-)

3. The Best Day
(pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic)

I'm not sure if this means the book itself makes you feel nostalgic, or whether it's a book that makes you feel nostalgic because it means something to you personally. 

If it's the first option then I would go with The Penderwicks In Spring, which made me feel both very nostalgic and very emotional. Wow. Poor Batty. Poor Ben. Poor Jeffrey. Poor Mr. Penderwick. Poor everyone.

All The Sads!

The other option is probably Winnie The Pooh. (The originals, obviously.) Pooh brings back good memories an a warm achy feeling in my chest. I love the stories and the characters. Even if it's a bad day Pooh can make me feel better. 


Winnie the Pooh has a nostalgia all it's own. It leaves you with the same achy feeling you get after watching Pixar's Inside Out. You rediscover your childhood and then you have to let go of it again. It's sad, but not in a bad way. And it makes you remember important things and reconnect with that childlike wonder and excitement.

4. Love Story

(pick a book with forbidden love)

I don't know if Jane Eyre is necessarily forbidden but it's all that came to mind. I don't read too much romance. Usually because it's dull.


Jane is a young governess in the 1800's who tutors a little girl, Adele, in the country. She falls in love with Adele's guardian, Mr. Rochester and he in turn falls for her. This story has a Forbidden Love angle because Jane had no social standing and worth, whereas Rochester had very high social standing and is a well-known and respected. In that time frame such a thing was strongly frowned upon in disapproval. Their relationship and potential marriage goes against custom, code, and tradition. Besides that, there is Rochester's secret...

5. I Knew You Were Trouble

(pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love)

D. Grayman, Katsura Hoshino

Tyki Mikk

"My Black and White selves - the real fun lies in having both."


Uuuungggggggg. My relationship with this character is "Tyki, Why?" and Tyki is like "TYKI EVIL."

Seriously though. Tyki is a horrible person. I should hate him. I do hate him. But I also I like him. I don't know why I like him. He does terrible things and enjoys them. And I'm just over there, "Why aren't you good? You could be good, if you just gave up your dark side."

Maybe he'll have a giant character arc. The series isn't over yet.

6. Innocent

(pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.)




My sister's are really good about not spoiling book endings. 8-) Sometimes they'll spoil TV shows or movies but with books my family is tight-lipped. The end of Oblivion (the last book of the Gatekeeper series) was spoiled through my own fault. I had a bad feeling about that stupid book, especially in regard to some of my favorite characters, so I asked my sister to please tell me what happened. And my feelings were correct. I'm not reading that book for a while. A long while.


7. Everything Has Changed

(pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development)

Extensive, hm? Extensive.

Xerxes Break from the Pandora Hearts series.*

"No matter how you suffer, you must go on living anyway."


*Yes, it's a manga. A manga I need to review.

Xerxes Break is one of those manga characters that blew me away. He was such an odd, untrustworthy person at the beginning. I didn't like him. But as I continued to read the series, Break's character arc got me good. He turned into one of my favorite characters. His development was intense, emotional, and beautifully done.

I can't finish this question without taking time for Paul Grey too. Paul Grey from The Last Crescendo goes through an incredible arc. He comes from the lowest of the low, sunk in depression and hatred, and slowly comes back to life and... God. It's like, wow Paul. Look at all the good that is in you. You're so, heroically good. I love that about The Last Crescendo. I love that about Paul. His personal growth as a character, and his growth in regard to religion and Catholicism are both beautiful, realistic, and pure. If you're looking for a good "Christian Fiction" book, Owen Francis Dudley writes fantastic ones. They're all about a Catholic Monk named brother Anselm and the different people he meets and helps.

8. You Belong With Me

(pick your most anticipated book release)

Book Five.

I need this book so badly! I own the first four books and have been desperately waiting for a new one to come out for ages. Really. Book four came on in 2010! And here we are seven years later, Finally getting another book!

Don't be that Writer. 😩

I mean, Megan Whalen Turner is great but geeze. That's a long wait.

The Queen's Thief series is my absolute favorite fantasy series ever. I love how Turner handles character development and growth, and I LOVE her third book! Besides the great stories and individual arcs of characters and plots, Eugenides is the most epic little thief you'll ever read about so....

I NEED BOOK FIVE!

I've pre-ordered but I have fears about betrayal. Please don't betray me Megan! Don't do it!

9. Forever and Always

(pick your favorite book couple)

I don't read romances! 8-( Up there at the top is a book couple I can't give names to without revealing a spoiler, but it's from the Attolia series. Besides that one, my favorite couple is probably Ann and Paul from The Last Crescendo,

BONUS QUESTIONS! (Added by Bella)

10. Never Grow Up
(A book you read when you're feeling sad/emotional)

When I am in need of a comfort book I tend to read Howl's Moving Castle, or one of the many Chrestomanci books. There is something very heart-warming about Diana Wynne Jones' books.

11. Begin Again

A book you've read multiple times but always go back to it because it's that good.

The Queen's Thief series and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

"Steal me peace."

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."


12. Starlight
(A book you hid in bed with/fell asleep reading)

I've fallen asleep reading plenty of times in my life, but some books that stand out in my mind for this, Half Magic, Edward Eager, The Masterful Monk, Owen Francis Dudley, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, and Mariel of Redwall, Brian Jacques. I don't remember which Harry Potter book. I think it was The Prisoner of Azkaban. Of those books, Half Magic is a big one. I remember waking up and finishing it later that night. The joys of a bookworm. 😊 Things like that happened to me fairly often actually.

13. I Know Places
The number one book you would take on a long trip away from home.

The Queen's Thief, or The Hobbit.

14.) Change
(A book you've never read but want and plan to)


This series. Dragonsong, Dragonsingers, Dragondrums. It sounds good and I'm slightly appalled that I've never read it.

This was fun! I think I'll do one for my TV shows/movies next! 8-D

I tag:


And anyone else who wants to give it a whirl! No worries if you can't do the tag either. Fufufu.




*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Sunday, April 23, 2017

He Is Risen, Alleluia! Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad!



Easter Sunday has once again come and gone without me making a single peep about it. Oops. I had such good intentions about posting on Easter Sunday but I was having too much fun to do so, and I've been so tired and busy since Easter that I haven't had the chance to sit down and blog. Until now. HALLO!!!

My Easter was fantastic. I was able to go to Good Friday Services, and Easter Vigil with my family!!!! I was going to go to Holy Thursday Services too but it snowed and we couldn't get off the Hill. *Hurls angry firt at snow* I'm sad I missed the Holy Thursday Service. In the Catholic Church, there is a whole ceremony on Holy Thursday. The Priest and the Faithful sing from the Gospel the reproaches of Jesus on the Cross; My people, my people, what wrong have I done thee?" and so on. And then the altars get stripped bare as a symbol of God getting stripped and crucified. I wanted to see that! I never have. 8-( However, Good Friday was glorious too. On Good Friday the priest leads the Faithful in the Way of the Cross, which is a series of prayers and meditations used by the Catholics to "walk" through the Passion with Christ. Then the whole Passion is sung in Gregorian Chant. Typically, if the parish is big, someone from the Choir is the Narrator, the Priest is Jesus, and the woman and men of the choir take turns with different people in the story, and then join all together to be the angry crowd. The faithful can participate too. Since we didn't have as big of a parish, the Priest was both Narrator and Jesus. The notes for Jesus were so low, deep and sad. It was beautiful. It gave you that feeling of profound sacrifice, love, resignation and sacrifice that Jesus made for us. The end of the song It leaves you feeling achy and emotional, but wow is it gorgeous.








This is really long!! You obviously don't have to listen to this whole thing I wanted to just post a sample but I couldn't find anything shorter. Feel free to stop it whenever. 8-)

As for Easter. Wow. It was amazing. I was able to buy a new Easter outfit for the first time in ages! It was this beautiful white lace skirt with a warm blue shirt and a fancy white shawl with little blue flowers embroidered all over it. I looked so fancy! 8-) I was thrilled about it, especially thrilled because I was able to go to Easter Vigil in it. (I'll talk about that in a second.) It was like tempting fate for me to buy a completely white dress. I told Jack that this skirt was the whitest thing I owned. She told me I should wear it for Mass and take it off immediately. Yeah, she knows what a klutz I am. Fufufu!! Me in white could be a disaster. But somehow I managed to get through all of Easter Vigil without a disaster, and all Easter Sunday too. Go me!

Easter Vigil was glorious, as always. There was the lighting and blessing of the new fire. The Lighting of the Christ Candle. The Procession into a dark Church with the Candle, signifying Christ, "The Light of the World." As the Candle is Taken in the Priest sings out "Lumen Christi!" and the Faithful sings back, "Deo Gratias!" We do that three or four times as we enter the chapel and go back to our pews. Then the Altar boys light their candles from the Christ Candle, and passed the light on to the Faithful. And the Faithful passes it between each other, so the light of Christ washed through the chapel. It signified how Christ touches each of us, and how each of us touch others. Then we sang the Antiphons and several other prayers, all in Latin and Chant. Shortly after the Altar boys came out and redress the Altar, a symbol of the Risen Christ. Then there was the Mass, all sung. The Altar is blessed with Incense, the Christ Candle was blessed, and Holy Water was Sprinkled on the Faithful. Then comes my favorite part of the Vigil. The Gloria is said, and THE BELLS RING!!! Okay, so during the Lent The Gloria, our prayer of praise and happiness, is omitted from the Mass, symbolizing that God is going through His last days and this is a time of grief. The Last week before Easter, the bells which usually ring during various parts of the Mass, especially during the Gloria, disappear as well. They're replaced with wooden clappers. It is all sad and silent. No bells at all. So let me tell you, when those bells ring out at midnight in joyous proclamation that it was now Easter Sunday and the time of mourning is over, there is nothing quite like it in the world. You smell the incense, you see a lit Altar, dressed in glory, you hear the ringing .... it's incredible. There is this intense feeling of joy. Christ is Risen. CHRIST IS RISEN!





"He is not here. He has Risen as He said."


It was a beautiful night. What made it all the better, was some friends of the family came for Easter Vigil too, for the first time ever! 8-D It was thrilling!!!

Easter Day was just as wonderful. We spent the morning relaxing, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, reading and writing, with random spurts of talk about the beauty of Easter Sunday and interesting theological standpoints about redemption and salvation. Later, we got together with our friends and had a lovely dinner with much shouting and mayhem, and a good deal of delicious dessert, made by yours truly. 8-) Ice-cream-Reese's Pie is yummy you guys!!! 😍

All in all, it was a good day. I hope all of you had as good of an Easter as I did. Of course, in the Catholic Church we are still Celebrating: this is our Easter-tide and it lasts Forty-Nine Days, until Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Ghost appeared to the Apostles. Let's all have a good Easter-tide, and with brave hearts, follow Christ well this year! Be brave ye' followers of Christ. Be brave and look towards your Resurrection!!! I pray for all of you; please pray for my family and me too. 8-D

GOD BLESS AND HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!


Bella



Sunday, April 9, 2017

My Hands are High, My Feet are Low, and This is How I Pop-See-Ko!




Two days ago it was warm enough outside to hang around in the sun without a sweater. A couple times last week I even wanted to take off my shoes. 

Now there's snow on the rooftops and frosted trees on the street.

Snow No.

Snow YES.




Oh Well. Such are the Spring times in Tahoe. Fufu! It looks pretty anyway. This was my view as I went up to get my nieces from school so they could stay the weekend. More on that in a mo. 

I'm poor. Why am I poor? Well A.) my job isn't the best, and B.) I am a full on Anime freak and I can't get enough of it. My shopping spree last week went something like this: Me on the Computer. Me on Amazon. Me on Barnes & Noble Website. Me seeing a manga/anime that I love. Me.... I'll just take that. It's really bad. I bought Three Manga last week, two anime soundtracks, and added an anime series to my basket so I could buy it when I got my next pay check. 

Bella, No.

Bella, YES.

Bella YEEEEEEEEES.

I'm not even ashamed. I needed Manga comfort. Grimm betrayed me. N/dalind is a retarded ship that should never have been give sails let alone wind to blow it, and that's all I'll say about the matter. 

I also barely slept last night on account of my nieces being very talkative and having a weird dream about flying a Rose-Truck in London. With an alien that had huge eyes and no mouth, filling up the screen of the ship and repeatably telling me to scoot over. (Courtesy of Sammi Toink.)

It was a weird dream.

My little nieces are up for the weekend and I spent a couple minutes trying to take terrible selfies: As seen here. I want to post more pictures on my blog but I take bad pictures! 8-( Sorry, faithful followers. I did try.



Someone Photo-bombed my left hand picture. Sisters. *sigh*

It's been fun seeing Chloe and Sammi again. We spent most of today singing "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes - WHAT ARE THOSE???" and "Pop-see-Ko."

This is Pop-See-Ko



You're welcome. Now that will be stuck in your head the rest of the day. Like a child I participate in this nonsense. Tonight at teatime we even got Mahri and Gavin doing it! And Kat, and Treskie, and Amy.... it was great mayhem.

Then I sent Tiny a chat (cause she's visiting my sister Gina and her family) and I was like HEY TINY.

Tiny participated like a child too.

This is going to be a thing. Maybe I'll teach all the Day-Care kids to do it to.

HEY KIDS!

HEY WHAT??

ARE YOU READY? 


FOR WHAT??

TO POP!

POP WHAT?

POP SE KO!!!!!!!!

Fufufu! Drive everyone I work with crazy.

I'm working on a longer blog post, and since I'm about to pass out I'll leave you now. 

HAPPY PALM SUNDAY!




*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Friday, March 31, 2017

It's Spring!


Stoop and feel it, stop and hear it - Spring!"


Spring has finally arrived! The giant eight-foot berms have melted down to mere inches, and grass is finally peeking out from the earth. The world feels vibrant. It makes me want to adventure. So yesterday I took my backpack, my notebooks, and my books and took a walk down to the meadow in town.

Oh my gosh! The meadow was so, so alive! It was flooded with water. All the paths were streams, and little brooks ran through the grass all bubbly and happy. I could hear birds everywhere, and wind catching itself up in the sound of running water and the smell of fresh, budding air. It was like I stepped into a fantasy world. It was so freaking beautiful guys. I navigated through the water, hopping and zigzagging through dry land like a squirrel, and found a lovely tree stump on dry land, just feet away from a gently flowing stream. I perched myself on the stump, pulled out my notebook. I scribbled down ideas, I listened to the water, smelled the wind, and watched the birds. It was such a lovely time. It helped me wind down from my crazy month and just relax. I was too busy enjoying myself to take many pictures, so I think I have like, four. And a video.

Look at how pretty the Meadow looked! It's like, half glacier, half marsh.



It was a path once.....


(See the water on the left? 8-D )


Water. Water everywhere.

The further you walk out the less snow there is. It looks like winter still, but I swear there is grass out there!


Lalala, my selfies suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.


It was so fun you guys. I got to rest and have some quiet time just for me. It was good to be outside. Nature helps your mind readjust and think, If God handles all this, He can definitely handle me. It helped me feel more calm, happy, and at peace. I even got some writing/plotting done, which hasn't happened in a while since I've been so busy. I think it was wonderful of God to give us such a soothing thing as nature. Our world could have been dull, but God made it interesting and beautiful. And man, it helps to be out in that beauty - and to realize you're a part of it.

Spring might be my favorite time of year. Everything is blooming and coming back to life. The air smells fresh, crisp and exciting. The wind rushes about in a great hurry, bringing all the scents and feels of Spring along with it. The trees are vibrant. Even if they aren't actually blooming yet, you can see this glow in the branches. They are brimming with life. All the little animals start coming back, the birds come home from the south - everything is so new and exciting! And right in the middle of all this new life and growth, we get our reminder of the the greatest Resurrection, the most powerful renewal of the dead. Easter Sunday, The Day Jesus Rose again from the Dead, vibrant with Glorious Life. With His new life He gave the whole world it's Spiritual Spring. He brought to life all that was dead in the world of men. With His Resurrection He poured grace into the world and made our Souls anew. He saved us from our Spiritual Graves of sin and desolation and, like well-tended seeds bursting through the earth, He showed us the sun. It is no accident that God chose this time of new life to give humanity their New, Glorious lives. It is no accident that Easter falls in the season of new hope, new chances, and new growth. God wants us to remember that, like the young buds, we have only just begun. Every year we grow anew. Every year we are given a Spring to start again. I think that's beautiful.

I love Spring.


With that said, what are your plans for this Spring season? What are your plans for Easter? I'd like to hear all about it!





*swings around cape and leaps off stage*





Bella

Monday, March 20, 2017

In which I want to post but I have no idea what to post about.


Yo people of the internet!

Guess what today was!

Well yes, it was the first day of Spring. It was also the day Catholics celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, Foster Father of Jesus Christ. (His feast day was yesterday but because he's such a big Saint, if it falls on a Sunday the Church gives it it's own day of celebration.) This means we got to have a little relief from the Lenten penitence. For me and my sisters this involved the skipping of a meal so we could partake of tea-cakes and coffee at eight thirty at night.

We DeLallo's sure get crazy with our feasting. Lol. We all worked late so that was about as much as we could manage.

I've no idea what to post about guys. I am sooooo tired. I was on a energy high last night and didn't get to sleep 'till some creeping hour after midnight. I got a little writing done though, and that was excellent! Life goals and all that. I had so many goals this year. *siiiiiiigh* My goals are not working out. Granted, it's only March but as far as 2017 goes I've gotten off to a rough start, creative-wise. It's especially annoying when I actually try to be creative and my creative juices won't flow. I think some of it has to do with how sick I've been these past few months, and not sleeping well. No rest means no creativity. Unless it's 3:00 AM. Then your mind wakes up sure and steady!



I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but do you ever get super excited about a certain story and you can see the whole finished product in your head like a beautiful masterpiece, but when you start work on it you think that maybe you can't actually write this beautiful story?

That is what's been happening to me. 8-P

JUST GET IT DONE BELLA.

What I want to do is take a long walk with my notebook. I want to sit in nature until my mind remembers to what creative is. Maybe I'll do that this weekend. It's been too long since I've climbed a tree. Now that Spring is here I'm feeling much more friendly toward the wilderness. I'm more of an outdoor person in the warm months than in the cold. Call me whimpy if you want. There isn't a lot to do in the snow. Once Spring sets in I'm like "YAAAAAAS. TREES! ROOFS! LIGHT! SUN! LIFE!"

I want to go swimming, but it's not quite that warm out yet. Sadly. 8-( I think swimming would help my back. It's been acting up lately.

With that random bit of information out of the way, here is a Japanese* song I've been obsessed with these past few months. I'm trying to learn it for singing class. Unfortunately the only copy you can find on Youtube that isn't pitched is the one performed live. The guy who sings it is a bit weird so feel free to ignore him. Don't judge until you read the lyrics. They're sad. 8-(

*Yes I said Japanese. It's was one of the opening songs in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and I love it.



READ LYRICS HERE:

 My favorite line is in the fifth verse: 

You, who gave me a new start by your consolations,   and the hateful and cowardly me.
It’s about time… Fumbling, my troubles spill down my tired cheeks

There is something beautifully sad about that line. It reminds me of a person who has tried his/her absolute hardest and had it all backfire on them. It also reminds me of that feeling you get when you've succeeded but at a heavy price. Like Frodo at the top of Mount Doom, knowing the Ring is destroyed but he will never be the same. It make me more determined then ever to write good characters who face intense moral dilemma's and painful sacrifices, but they still do what's right. However scared and weak they feel, they do the better thing. The noble, hard thing. Being a good person doesn't make your decisions any easier. Usually it makes them harder. I want readers like me to have more characters to relate to. Not just morally grey people who sometimes do the right thing, but actually good people sticking to their values, however hard. Contrary to popular belief, Good doesn't mean Flat. It's much harder to be Good than Grey.

Sometimes Japanese lyrics are deep and they help me write. I need to draw inspiration from wherever I can get it. I don't even care if it's weird. This song is beautiful. 

Ooooh. Now I have an idea about a song review. Or analogy. Or talk? Something like that. A "Lyrics in relation to the writing/inspiration" thing. That's sounds interesting.

On that note, I'm off. It's almost eleven here and I have to get to bed.





*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I have come back ... TO LIFE!


OH HEEEEEEY!

Literally the last three weeks: Life: - You want to blog? You want to write? You want to be creative? HAHA! TOO BAD! YOU'RE TOO BUSY CHASING YOURSELF TO DO ANY OF THAT!!!!


For real though.

I wanted to be a better blogger this year but these few months have been a whirlwind of craziness and I am not holding up on that effort too well. It's like the fates are against me or something. I just can't catch an easy week! Lol. The start of this year has been rocky to say the least. To say the most....


*thrashes like a slimy squid in a hot soda pop*


Yep. This has been my 2017 thus far.


2017. 2017. 2017.

I had such hopes for you. How could you betray my tiny trust?


But hey! I'm blogging now.


Despicable Me


I was supposed to be doing a Musical Link-Up but do to lovely life craziness I totally missed the whole thing. This is a little sad for me, but I am sure I'll have other chances to vent about my musicals. For now; Life Update!


1.) I am almost done with both my Piano class and my Acting class. Piano has been fun, but it's more of a crash course than anything else because we had so many snow days we had to play catch up. Even so, the teacher is great and the class has been interesting. I'd like to take it again, when I'm not so sick.


The acting class has been much more fun than I thought it would be. I hadn't done much Improv before so it was fun to get my feet wet in something I was unfamiliar with. With Improv you get to play a lot more. I can definitely see the appeal of creating characters from scratch and having almost boundless options with your character, your scene, and your whole story. It's great fun. I like scripts a little better, but Improv has it's perks. I can see myself taking it again.


2.) My clarinet was finally found at my brother's house and brought back to me. This is super exciting for me. I am totally out of shape with mouth position and playing for any length of time, but wow! It's great to have my instrument back! I plan to start playing around with melodies again, try to give some of my musical numbers more than just acapella. That should be interesting! Actually, that's why I'm taking piano. I plan to keep practicing even after my class is over. Piano helps with musicals so much! 8-) Also, Base Cleff is trippy guys. Trippy. All those low notes and high notes look the same!


As an aside I don't like being a beginner. I want to immediately know all the things and make beautiful music without doing the months of practice. Is that too much to ask? I'm impatient, guys!





3.) I officially had the worst Fat Tuesday in Fat Tuesday history. LOL. For real. My family (and myself) were so busy running around meeting each other leaving that we didn't have much time to celebrate. But we did get nice ice-cream so that was great.


4.) I got headbands from Treskie and I look freaking adorable in headbands. Just sayin'.


5.) I finished the series Pandora Hearts last month. It was absolutely brilliant. The best story I've read in a long, long time. The character development was excellent, the story was superb, the plot was layered and complex (if that's a strong enough word...) and the whole emotional pay off was excellent. I loved it. I loved it so freaking much.



Xerxes Break


YAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!


I might do a blog post about Fantasy Manga/Anime in the future. Why? Because there are lots of suffering bookworms out there who can't find anything original when it comes to the fantasy genre, (and books in general) but I've found a number of good manga/anime that have captured my attention. Manga can be really beautiful. It's true. The ones I've read have been so good* that I might even see if some Japanese fantasy books are good too.


*I know there are bad ones too. Of course there are. There are good and bad manga, good and bad anime, good and bad books. That how the world goes.


6.) My Mom and some of my sisters have gone off on a nice long vacation at my brother-in-law's house. Mom is going to help with Laura's new baby, and since she only lives a couple hours from my other sister Gina, they're all just going to hang out their for some weeks. I'm happy they get to have a vacation - they haven't had a proper one in ages - but it was sad for me to stay behind. This is why I hates jobs. 8-(


7.) In the past three to six months anime/manga have hit me with so many emotions I'm slightly ashamed. Though not ashamed enough to stop. ANIME! MANGA! GOOD STORIES! AAAAAAAAAH! I will say that when Hunter x Hunter makes you want to cry you know things are getting crazy. What was that season five arc? WHAT WAS IT?



My relationship with Anime.

8.) I want to go hiking in the snow. Then I don't. Then I do. Someone should force me to go with them. *Squints at Jim* Why am I hesitant? 'Cause I know myself, that's why. A hike in the snow sounds like an adventure, but knowing me.....






Maybe I'll try out reality when I'm well. I'll have to get proper snow boots and a coat. I should also bring hot cocoas.

See??? NOW I WANNA GO AGAIN.


8.) I want to hang the Catholic Flag outside my house. Just cause.


Look how pretty it is! How cool would it be to have that flying outside your window? It would make you feel like you had your King's banner hanging above your Knightly headquarters. And let's face it. That's basically what it is!


9.) I'm going to make something DELICIOUS for desert this Sunday, because why the heck not? It's Sunday. I freaking can.


10.) I want to buy a nice dress for Easter this year. Wish me luck with that!


I am all out of things to say. I'm going to try and go back to posting regularly! I want my blog to be centered around light and happiness so I'm trying to figure out exactly how to do that. Maybe I should just do more "happy thoughts" posts. Maybe I'll even make a Happy Thoughts Day. (Every Saturday???)


I don't know. If you have feedback I'd be glad to hear it.


Peace out y'all!




Bai Bai!



*swings around cape and leaps off stage*



Bella

Friday, February 17, 2017

10 Favourite Musicals Link-Up!


Christine Eyre over at Overflowing Mind and Pen is doing a Favorite Musicals Link Up on her blog, and invited me to join. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. It's a musical Link Up! I can't say no to that.

Anyone can participate in this. It runs until February 28th. The Rules can be found on Christine's blog, HERE.

She had a cool little Button, but for some reason it won't show up on my blog. 8-(

Here are my top ten favorite Musicals:

1.) The Phantom of the Opera
2.) A Tale of Two Cities
3.) Ghost
4.) The Secret Garden
5.) Finding Neverland
6.) Jekyll and Hyde
7.) Newsies
8.) Jane Eyre
9.) Les Miserables
10.) Mary Poppins

 You can post about as many or as few as you'd like to per day.  Which is awesome! By this point I'm sure all of you know exactly why I love TPOTO and ATOTC so much. I've posted about both of them enough times to relay how I feel about these beautiful musicals.  So today I'm going to post about TPOTO and Ghost. If you want you can skip my thoughts on Phantom and jump down to Ghost. It made make it more fun for you.

Reasons I like The Phantom of the Opera.

This is easy. I grew up on The Phantom of the Opera. I don't remember when it wasn't a part of my life. I think by  the time I was four years old I was already familiar with the music, and by the time I was eight I was singing along with most of the main songs. It was a big part of my life. The musical that played when a big sister did my hair in the morning. The songs that blared out in the car when we drove down to Barnes and Nobles. The songs we sang together when we did dishes or chores. Yeah. It was everywhere, and I got attached to it fast. The older I got the more I loved the music, the composition, and the characters. It was obviously worth the fame it had.

He welcomes you to his Opera House, and requests that you continue to keep Box 5 empty for his use.

The Phantom of The Opera is still my favorite musical. In the past few years I've become even more in love with it. One of my favourite elements of Phantom is the love story between Christine and Raoul. There are plenty of arguments made against this beautiful pairing, some being that Christine should be with the Phantom, (ew) others being that Raoul didn't deserve her, or vise versa (what?) and some being that they barely knew each other so they couldn't be in love.

That last point is silly. Yes, when the musical first opens Christine hasn't seen Raoul in years. They were best friends in childhood but it's been a long time since either of them have spent time together. There's obviously still a spark between them right off the bat, but it would be a bad call to say they still knew each other after so much time had passed.



HOWEVER. Between the time that Raoul proposes to Christine at the end of Act One, and the Phantom taking control of the opera house and presenting an opera in Act Two, six months pass. The two characters have plenty of time to date, to catch up, to learn each other all over again. And it's pretty obvious at the beginning of Act Two that they are happily engaged and very in love. So, the argument that they don't know each other is invalid. I'm just saying. Throughout Act Two they are together as often as possible and fiercely protective of one another. Especially Raoul. He's like, You hurt Christine, I'll smash your face. It's precious how much they care for each other.




Anywhere you go let me go to.


Of course the other brilliant element of this story is the Phantom himself. His character is beautifully written, layered, and tragic. He's creepy and insane, he doesn't seem to grasp right from wrong, and he is obsessive with what he wants. Yet there is a sadness in him that is hard not to empathize with. He had a rotten life. He was driven to insanity because of his deformity, because the world hated him, because he was a genius with absolutely no outlet. That's sad. He's sad. your heart bleeds for the poor fellow. It doesn't excuse how disturbing and cruel he can be, but it does add some depth and tragedy to his character. That's one of the reason I don't like it when an actor plays the Phantom too angry or harsh. There needs to be that underlying element of tragedy or the ending isn't as powerful. You need to see his vulnerability early on. I really love how Michael Crawford breathed that trait into his performance. Dave Willets also did an excellent drop balancing the insanity and cruelty with vulnerability, and from the bits I've seen of him John Cudia did a good job with it too. I like the Phantom to be creepy, crazy, and obviously the villain, but also have that gentle unexpected side that can love. That side is his redemption and it needs to be seen throughout the story.

The Phantom of the Opera is such a unique story, full of love, sacrifice, and redemption. It's timeless, it's interesting, it's full of gorgeous music that brings you right back to the Opera House in 1881. The vocals are incredible, the characters are well written, and the whole story is worth listening to.

Ghost.

Ghost is a new musical that I've only recently discovered. The music is a lot more modern than I usually like in a musical, but Ghost pulls it off. I listened to the OBC in September and fell in love with the story on the spot.

*Spoiler* I'd never seen the movie Ghost and I didn't know anything about it either, so I had no idea what to expect. I was upset and horrified when Sam was killed. I cried right along with Molly when she lost him. I was just as shocked as Sam when I found out who betrayed him. I was so freaking into this story! It was the first musical I'd found in a while that actually made me cry. *End spoiler*

If there's anything more I can do, I'll do it and find my way back to you.


I don't know how closely the musical followed the movie, but the story was rock solid, emotional, and stirring. The characters were great, well-written, and strong. As usual I liked the Original Cast best. The newer casts are a bit much for my taste. The original's balanced power with a soft undertone and that is really important in a musical like this. Caissie Levy did an excellent job in the role of Molly Jensen. She embraced the loud and vibrant music without becoming too brassy or obnoxious. She would belt in moments of intense anger or regret where it was obviously meant to be so, but she always brought her voice back to a gentler, softer tone. She never went over-board with her belting or her vocal power, and she balanced the anger with deep sadness and pain so that it never overwhelmed the character. I loved her portrayal of Molly. Richard Fleeshman did just as well in the role of Sam, bringing power and the modern sound to his role, but keeping a more vulnerable tone whenever possible. He got loud and sharp but he never stayed that way for long. That's why I like the Original Cast best. I don't usually like musical with modern music because it's too loud, brassy, and annoying. The vocalists sound like they're trying to out-belt each other, the tones are overwhelming and heavy... it's just too much noise and not enough technique or beauty. The Original Cast of Ghost were very aware of their power and made sure not to overdo it. They made the volume and capacity work. The newer casts aren't always so careful. Most Mollys' sound like they were Elphaba in their first life. I think a lot of them were. 8-P It's like Girl. Stop yelling.

But yeah, this musical is really emotional, beautiful, and powerful. I would definitely recommend it. I believe there is a scene near the beginning between Sam and Molly, but besides that it's pretty clean too. It's an excellent story with incredible lyrics and solid music. It's wonderful.


Oh, my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch.


Here ends my first official day of the Musical Link-Up. 8-) This was fun! Hope to see you all again soon!




*Swings around cape and leaps off stage*





Bella


Pile of good things

Pile of good things