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New Year's Resolutions

Now, I know it's been far too long since I last posted. I'm really sorry about that, guys. Real life + me = not good. I had a bunch of rough spots and school got difficult again and blagggh. But I've been thinking a bunch lately, and I've decided that I'm going to make some New Year's Resolutions this year. I've never  done this before and here's to hoping that I'll actually do it.

1. Become more confident. Now, I know this is kind of intangible (that's totally a word, right?) but I think you get what I mean. I recently discovered the comedian (which for some reason I keep wanting to spell 'comedien' like in French) Noel Fielding. And I absolutely love him. And it's not just because he's dashing and charming and has a lovely sense of humor (though of course those factor in a bit!). It's because he's so confident. He just ooooooozes confidence. It's like it's no big deal for him to go up onstage wearing a pink tutu and asking another grown male "Do you love me?" or wearing a gladiator outfit and claiming to be from the future. He's just plain-out fearless. And somehow, I want to achieve that too. Mind, I won't be ever getting up on a stage and doing that sort of thing. But I just want to be confident in what I do. I don't want to doubt every move I make and live in fear of saying the wrong thing. Because I think that I come across as too meek and shy in the real world, and I really don't like that. None of my friends are like that. So somehow I'm going to work on being more confident. :)

2. Compile a plan for France. Not quite as grand as the one above, but it's something I've been meaning to do for a while now. As it stands now (but like the economy, my finances tend to be rather volatile), I'm going to France in the summer of 2013. And I need a plan for what I'm going to do there. Now, if money wasn't an issue, I'd be spending several months there, seeing every site featured in Les Miserables and stalking a few choice musical actors and what-not. But money factors more than I'd like so I need to make a plan to fit about 2 weeks time. This is a fun goal, though, because it means I have an excuse for staring at French websites for hours on end. Whoo! But I do need to get on it so I can get the neccessary tickets.

3. Get a job. This one's important. Maybe I should have made this #2. But in order to pay for France and other expenses, I need a job. And badly. But because of school it would be easier to get one in the summer. Chick-Fil-A, here I come. :) But I need to start focusing on my resume and stuff.

4. Get in shape. I'm actually considered underweight, but I have absolutely no muscle. None at all. Which caused me to get a rather awful shoulder injury. It hurts like the devil to lift anything that weighs more than a small book, and I can't extend my arms backwards in a stretch without wanting to cry. It's been a month since the injury and I'm seeing a chiropractor but it's still awful. But I figure that if I start building up muscle (safely, so I don't hurt any more), then nothing like this will happen again in the future (crossing fingers).

5. Read more fun books. I've been reading like crazy for school (and admittedly, some of the books are cool. I'm a history geek, and I found American Sphinx by Joseph Ellis to be particularly interesting. If you love Thomas Jefferson as I do, I'd take a look at this one!) but I need to read more fun books. I've been meaning to read all of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but I'm only halfway through now. I need to allot more time for this sort of thing.

6. Be a better person, overall. I feel like I have some faults that I need to get over. I need to be...happier. I feel very down all the time, and I do believe that it is in some way inherited, as my mother has thyroid disease (a symptom is feeling depressed...and it's genetic, but I've been tested and I don't have it but I need to  be tested every year to check and catch it early). But I also just don't feel excited for things like I used to. Maybe it's because I'm getting older. I don't know. But whatever it is, I need to be a better, happier person. For my own sake and for the sake of my social life. ;) Speaking of which, I may have a boyfriend. He asked me out but it's not yet been finalized.

Anyway, it feels good to commit things to paper. And I know that these are not the typical 'lose 10 pounds' resolutions, but they're just as important to me. Top on my mind is being more confident, because I feel like if I'm more confident, then I'll be a better person and be more willing to be...lively. Hmm. Does that make sense?

Well, that's it for now. I'm sorry, once again, for not posting in so long. I'll try to post more frequent in the future.

Les Mis and marching band!

So I'm a band geek. Like, a major band geek.

There's this thing called Drum Corps International, or DCI. It's a league (much like the NFL) of professional marching bands across the country.

For instance, there is Phantom Regiment, who is doing a show themed around Romeo and Juliet this year. They're using music composed by THE GREAT Mozart. :D

But one of my friends sent me this link today and I think I nearly died. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgtKRzh3o4Q (I can't embed it for some reason; sorry!)
It's the Boston Crusaders, who aren't the most popular corps ever. But they look snappy here and they're playing music FROM LES MIS. AHHHHHHHHHH. Also they play the 1812 Overture.

My life=made.

Jul. 30th, 2011

I'm back, guys! :) 

I'm very tired and a little sick feeling and my left leg doesn't feel good at all (I actually have to limp places now...yeah, I might be seeing a doctor soon...). But I had tons of fun.

I feel like sometimes I'm one of those people who wants to have validation of their person sometimes. Not sure if that came out the way I wanted it to. I go to this program thing nearly every year, but this was the first time that I felt...I don't know, homesick. Before I went I strangely broke down crying a little. It was weird. I felt that way from Sunday until Tuesday. On Tuesday, one of the supervisors told me that I was really inspiring others and teaching others right and all. And then the "homesickness" was gone.

I don't think I *need* to have praise in order to feel okay, but it definitely helps. I think that's normal, right? I mean, everyone likes to be appreciated sometimes.

Also, weird thing: one of the supervisor people looked just like Florent Mothe. Unfortuantely, he was mean and cruel and almost hit a kid. But it was weird, guys.

Anyway, I'm back!
Hey guys!

Just letting you know: I won't be in town from Sunday until next Friday. So if I don't comment/post during that time, you know why. I'm doing a summer program thing then, and I'll be in an area with no phone service, much less internet connection.

I'll be back Friday evening, though, so I'll be back to commenting/posting then! :) 

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Movie Review: Harry Potter. Duh.


So, like the rest of the world, I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 today. It was amazing. Of course.

The Trailers: The trailers were awesome, just like the feature film. There was one for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which has been floating around YouTube for the past few days. There was also one for Hugo, based on the amazing book Hugo Cabret. The best trailer, though, was for The Dark Knight Rises, the sequel to The Dark Knight. The trailer was amazing. It opened with shots from Batman Begins and the Dark Knight, with a voice-over of Liam Neeson's character talking about Batman becoming a symbol. And then the camera focuses in on...the new Batman villian: Bane. I won't say more because the trailer is fantastic and you should go look it up right now. 5/5

The Plot:
Nearly followed the book exactly! WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS. TURN BACK WHILE YOU STILL CAN.
Anyway. So the movie opens with a shot from Part 1, with Voldemort taking the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's crypt. Then, we have a shot of Snape as Headmaster of Hogwarts, standing on a battlement and looking pensive (haha). Titles. Then, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are settling in at Bill and Fleur's cottage. Harry goes to talk to Ollivander, who tells him that Voldemort is going to kill him (really, now?) and then talks to the goblin. The goblin takes the dynamic trio (with Hermione as Bellatrix) to Gringotts to break into Bellatrix's vault. Foul play is at hand, though, and the trio has to make a daring escape on THE COOLEST DRAGON EVER. There is much staring at beaches and trees and Harry starts getting visions of Voldemort; Voldemort now knows that they're hunting Horcruxes. The trio goes to Aberforth's place and we see a painting of Ariana, but we don't get to learn her story like we did in the book. :( The trio is taken by Neville back to Hogwarts, but it's not so totally awesome this time. They hunt for basilisk fangs and the diadem, and it's very close to the book, which is really nice. Harry and Draco have moments, and this is when I realized once again that Tom Felton is truly a great actor. Harry gets more visions from Voldemort and learns that Nagini is another Horcrux, so the trio goes to this little house by the sea where Voldemort is. Snape's there too, and Voldemort, who is stupid, sets Nagini on Snape. This is when I first cried. Anyway, Harry goes to Snape and it is emotional and Snape looks like Sweeney Todd got the best of him (haha) and Harry takes his memories. They go back to the castle, where they find the dead: Fred, Remus, Tonks. I cried again. Then Harry goes up to the Pensieve, and he puts Snape's memories into it. We see them much like the book painted them: Lily vs. Petunia, Lily meets Snape, Snape is sad at Hogwarts without Lily, Snape begs Dumbledore to protect Lily, Lily dies, Snape yells and sobs and cries at Dumbledore, Snape holds Lily's body, Snape protects Harry, Snape asks Dumbledore why he kept Harry alive only to have him die "at the right time". Snape's Patronous scene was beautiful. It was amazing and I cried. Again. Harry cried too. Alan Rickman better win an award for this. Then, much like the book, Harry goes down to the forest and calls up the spirits of Sirius, Lily, James, and Remus. He is killed by Voldemort and goes to "King's Cross" and meets Dumbledore. They talk, and nearly every line is the same as it was in the book. Harry is "dead" as reported by Narcissa Malfoy and Hagrid is made to carry him home. Neville kills Nagini and Harry awakens and runs away, only to be found by Lord Voldemort again. He explains that Malfoy is the true weilder of the Elder Wand. MWHAHAHAHA. He kills Lord Voldemort and...then...19 years later. No Teddy Lupin, unfortuantly. But Albus Severus is adorable and looks an awful lot like Snape. I cried again. 5/5

The Music: was by Alexandre Desplat. And it was rather good. I was disappointed that there were so many scenes sans music, but, hey, when there was music, I liked it. 4/5

The Cast:
Alan Rickman. 'Nuff said. 5/5

Overall:
I loved it. A perfect end to a perfect series of movies. Admittedly, I wasn't as into it as I would have been five or six years ago, but it was still great. 19/20

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Writer's Block: Happy birthday, savvy?

Which film starring birthday boy Johnny Depp is your favorite, and why?

Wow, I am super late to posting an answer to this, but I really couldn't resist...it's Johnny Depp, after all. :)

So. Which one is my favorite. Hmmm...

I'm going to divide this into sections, because that's how his movie-making life has seemed to have passed so far.

Old Johnny (just starting out): Edward Scissorhands. Because young!Johnny can do no wrong. ;)
Mid-Johnny (90's - early 2000's, before the Burton attack): Secret Window. Because scary!Johnny is very scary indeed. And the movie itself was great. Or maybe Once Upon a Time in Mexico...argh I can't chose. This is my favorite Johnny phase.  
Now Johnny: Alice in Wonderland, honestly. It was nice to see him just having fun, you know? :)

AHHHH JOHNNY DEPP. I love him. And Mate Kamaras. And Florent Mothe. And Mikelangelo Loconte, when he's not being an egotistical sparkly vampire that lives forever and...wait. Maybe he's actually Peter Pan. WOW.

so, uh, in summary: I love me some Johnny Depp. And Mikelangelo Loconte is Peter Pan.

France Update

See those two hot guys in my icon, there? Well, I'll be going to their current country of residence soon, for the first time ever.

That's right. I will be going to France summer after next. :) For like a week and a half (or maybe longer).

I know I said I might get to go next summer, but that kind of fell through due to lots and lots of concerns with security of this particular tour company and financial things.

So I'm going solo instead, in 2013. No tour company. I get to decide where I go and when I go to things. It's going to be amazing.

I figure that Mozart l'Opera Rock won't be playing any more by then, but maybe (hopefully), Adam et Eve: La Seconde Chance will be, so I'll at least see Solal and Nuno Resende before I die. :)

I want to see as many Les Mis places as possible...and all the typical tourist-y things, like the Louvre and Versailles. I may not be able to go back for a long time, so I want to make this time count, you know?

So I'm asking for ideas. Any of you that have ever been to France (or England...I may be able to swing by there as well),  what are some suggestions? 

AHHHH I CAN'T WAIT. :) 

X-Men: First Class Review

Hello everyone. I know that I've been away for ages, and I'm really sorry about that. Things got randomly complicated and...well, you know how it goes.

I made some time this afternoon to go see X-Men: First Class, a movie that I've anticipated for a while now. I love the X-Men movies, comics, everything. A lot of people would be surprised, but Hugh Jackman is NOT the only reason why I like the films (though I do admit he certainly doesn't hurt!)

BEWARE HERE THERE BE SPOILERS.

 The Trailers:  Honestly, not the best trailers that I've ever seen. There was one for Green Lantern, and I'm getting tired of that movie already. And I haven't even seen it yet. Then there was one for Mr. Popper's Penguins, which looks kind of cute. There was one as well for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I'm not too interested in, but then again, I haven't read the novels. 2/5.  

The Plot:
Wow, this was one convuluted film in terms of plot. It was actually a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. We start with young Erik Lensherr (Magneto) at the concentration camps, which is stock footage from one of the earlier X-Men films (maybe the first? For the life of me I can't recall!). He bends a gate and this guy named Sebastien Schmidt/Shaw (his name changes later in the film) is very interested in his magnetic abilities. He forces Erik to make a choice: move a coin across the table or he will shoot his mother. But Erik, who just learned of his powers that day, is unable to move the coin, and Shaw shoots his mother. Then, we learn that Erik has quite a temper (but who wouldn't, given the circumstances?!) and he causes a medical room, full of blades and sharp instruments, to become chaos and he kills two guards. Meanwhile, in a far more peaceful setting, the young Charles Xavier wakes up in his parents' British estate to find that his mother is in the kitchen, an action very unusual of her. He calls her on it, and we learn that Mrs. Xavier was in fact...the young Mystique (Raven Darkholme). Charles says that she never has to be alone anymore, and she becomes his sister. A BUNCH OF YEARS LATER. Charles writes his thesis on genetic mutations, and a CIA agent named Moira (!!!) is interested. Meanwhile, Erik hunts down Nazis while the coolest music ever plays (Track 5 on the soundtrack). The two eventually meet up: Charles, Moira, and Raven (in a "normal" form) are helping the government track down Shaw, but Erik gets there first and soon falls into the water. Charles saves him from himself and the group goes to work for this new guy who the movie didn't name and I don't remember. They meet Hank McCoy (Beast, but not blue yet) and he builds the prototype of Cerebro; Charles uses it to hunt down mutants for recruitment, and we see several mutants, including a cameo of Wolverine, who tells Charles and Erik to "Go f*** yourselves" in a very hilarious scene which made my entire theatre applaud. :) The new crew (Havok, Wasp/Angel, Beast, Mystique, Darwin, Banshee) train to fight Shaw's group (Shaw, Riptide, Azazel, Emma Frost). Erik has issues and Charles helps him remember the good side of things. Then, Shaw's group attacks and Wasp/Angel goes with them and Darwin dies. The rest go to Shaw's hideout and Erik goes in alone. He finds his new, characteristic helmet and kills Shaw with a coin to the brain (really graphic, actually, for a PG-13); he then builds his "own" team and breaks away from Charles. But not before Moira shoots at Erik to get him to stop, Erik deflects the bullets, and one hits Charles in the spinal cord by accident. You guessed it, that's how Charles looses movement in his legs and ends up in the wheelchair. The film ends with Charles starting the school, wiping Moira's memory, and Erik (in true Magneto form), Mystique, and others starting their campaign. Oh, and the many foreign languages in this movie made me sooo happy; they had French (which I understood 95% of sans subtitles), German (which I actually understood a great deal of without the subtitles), Spanish (hopeless), and Russian (yeah...no). 5/5


The Music
: I'm actually listening to the music right now, it's so good. It's by Henry Jackman, who worked under Hans Zimmer (my favorite film composer) for The Dark Knight, among others. This training is evident in his score for this film. Each of the tracks is different, yet each character has his/her own theme. The Magneto theme is particularly, appropriately, jarring. Favorite tracks include "Frankenstein's Monster" (also one of the best scenes in the film - Erik finds two Nazis in Argentina) and "X-Men" (closing track). 5/5

The Cast: Really, really nice. James McAvoy (The Conspirator, Atonement, Wanted) plays Charles exceptionally well. We really see the pain and determination in him. Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds, Jane Eyre) plays a very jarring and very real Erik. Other greats include Nicholas Hoult as Hank/Beast, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and Kevin Bacon as a very believable Sebastien Shaw (does he actually speak German and Russian in real life, I wonder?) 5/5

Overall: Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. :) I left with my heart pounding and my mind racing. One of my old teachers used to talk of "asthetic experiences", those moments when you see/hear something and feel like flying. Definitely felt that way here. 17/20

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Hey guys! I'm alive after all. :) 

Anyway, I just saw Thor today in theatres, so here's a lovely review for all of you.  SPOILER WARNING.

The Trailers: They seemed to go on for forever! First there was an X-Men First Class one, which made me VERY happy. :) I'm a huge X-Men fan, actually. Then there was one for Captain America. Ehhh. I'm not so sure on this one. The big one (joking here) was Cowboys and Aliens. Didn't it used to be called Cowboys VS. Aliens? Anyway, it was weird but Daniel Craig looked good. 3/5

The Plot:
So, beware of the spoilers. We begin with Nathalie Portman (Jane) driving with her buddy and Stellan Skarsgard (Erik) in the deserts of New Mexico. Suddenly, a tornado starts and a man - Thor - falls from the sky. Then, we get his backstory. He is the son of Odin, king of the gods. His brother, Loki (my favorite...), is really envious of the attention Odin gives to Thor, for Thor is Odin's eldest son and heir. Thor gets it in his head to confront the gods' enemies - the Frost Giants - and heads to their planet, after passing the gatekeeper (played very well by Idris Elba). The plan fails and Thor is exiled to Earth. Odin falls ill and goes into some sort of coma and Loki gets to be king. Meanwhile, Thor discovers that his magic thunder-hammer thing fell to Earth too. He gets Jane to take him to it, but he can't pull it from the stone it's in (KING ARTHUR AHHH!) so he gets depressed. He also gets arrested, because the stone is now owned by the government, this thing called SHIELD (I'm not big on Marvel in general, but I understand that SHIELD is pretty important). Jane and Erik get him out, but not before Loki visits him in jail to update him on the fact that Loki has won the throne and IS IMPORTANT NOW. HAH. Jane and Thor fall in love (duh). Then, this wacked-out Iron Man style thing attacks, and it's all because Loki wants Thor dead. Thor, though, gets the hammer and saves the day. But not before Jane freaks out on him all Evey/V like V for Vendetta. Seriously, it was very deja vu. She was leaning over him, thinking he was dead, and going "Thor? Thor?!". Anyway. Thor saves the day with a little help from his god-friends. He leaves Jane, promising to return with a kiss. He goes back to his god-home and has an epic battle with Loki over Odin's not-so-dead-body. Thor wins (duh) but he wants to let Loki live. Loki, however, recently learned that he is in fact not the son of Odin as he once thought; he is the son of Laffi (sp?), king of the Frost Giants. So Loki lets himself fall to his death in order to save the city. What a martyr. Thor then realizes that the way back to Earth and Jane is wrecked, so he can't go home. However, we learn after the credits (STAY AFTER THE CREDITS. IT"S PRETTY COOL) from Samuel L. Jackson (MORPHEUS!) that there's this power cube thingy. And it's pretty cool, and everyone wants it. Erik goes "Uh-huh". And then, WE SEE LOKI WHO IS NOT IN FACT DEAD. I died. :) One of the more convuluted plots I've seen recently (Loki is apparently a quadruple-crosser) but it was quite good. 5/5

The Music:
So I forgot to look up who composed the music before going to the movie. I spent the whole movie thinking it was Hans Zimmer; it sounded very much like his style. Turns out it was Patrick Doyle...who did Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Eragon. Hmph. It was better than Doyle's usual, so I was happy. 5/5

The Cast:
Thor is hot, guys. Wow. Nathalie Portman's character could have been played by a lesser actress, it was so unimportant. LOKI WAS FANTASTIC. Some guy named Tom Hiddleton (whom I've never heard of) plays him. Anthony Hopkins (yeah...) plays Odin. Overall, fairly alright, but it could have been better with some more well-known supporting actors. 4/5

Overall:
Pretty nice for a Saturday movie. Not the best film I've ever seen, but certainly not the worst. I suggest it if you've read the comics (which I had not, but it was still good for me), if you like Marvel movies (yep)... 17/20

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That silver lining


Hey guys.

So, I know the last post was kind of a doozy. And I'm still not over it.

But, I have some happier news. Like way happier.

I MIGHT BE GOING TO FRANCE NEXT YEAR.

YEAH.

I'm like THIS EXCITED right now.

AHHHHHH.

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