Category Archives: Music

Media Mayhem

I was looking at my blog page, quite blankly, knowing that I was approaching that deadline called: “I know if I don’t write soon, I’ll be among the mass of forgotten blogs.” However, my writer’s block likes to taunt me, so I found myself aimlessly scrolling through my News Feed on my Facebook page. (Which reminded me of this song.) To the right of the screen, there’s the chat bar that tells you how many people are also online. 20 people. Can you believe that at 3 am, 20 people found it beneficial to sit on Facebook? Well, I can’t pass judgement because I made it 21. But that number felt incredibly high, and I can’t help but wonder, “Why?” It made me think back to a movie I watched earlier in the evening, Crazy, Stupid, Love. In the movie, Ryan Gosling tells Emma Stone that he’s “wildly unhappy”, which has led to his mild insomnia.

What a perfect combination of words: wildly unhappy. And, while I don’t consider myself wildly unhappy, I can appreciate the value of what Gosling’s character is saying. So why am I, and 20 of my Facebook peers, up so late? I can only speak on my own behalf, and here’s where it will dawn on you, my lovely audience, that this whole spiel (including, but not limited to, TWO media references) was really just a lead-in to how I’m doing. ūüėČ Intrigued?

***

I’m stuck in a rut. I’m playing a waiting game with my mailbox, hoping one day I’ll hear back from one of the colleges I’ve applied to. Symptoms may include: restless nights, irritability, and nail-biting suspense. Drat. I don’t mean to sound negative about this down-time, because good is stemming from it.

It’s now allowed me to consider what I want to do with my future. I’d like to be able to say I have a clue, but that’d be false. Yet, the breath in my schedule is nice. The monotony of schoolwork is broken up by my after-school activities, and I’m finding a new love and appreciation for those, knowing that next year I’ll be without Masco’s Photo Club and various band programs.¬†All I’ve ever known is “Go Go Go!”, but I’m living at a slower pace now, taking in and absorbing what I can, and whole heartedly loving it. And while I don’t know what 20 others are thinking about as they browse through the catalogues of their peers’ documented lives, I know that at 3 am I’m contently pondering what little I have figured out, but confident enough to know that I’m far from “wildly unhappy.”

 

 

An Unwritten Life

“There’s no such thing as an unwritten life…just a badly written one.” -The Brothers Bloom

Here we are, at the end of the first week of my senior year in high school. So much has changed in the period of a year, and while usually the reflections come in late December or early January (the calendar definitions¬†of new beginnings), my chapter is ending and a new one beginning, here in September.¬†To be honest, I don’t know where to begin.

I feel like since last September, the benchmarks of my year have passed by in a blur of hospital beds and doctors appointments, starting with¬†a¬†horseback riding accident that put me in the¬†hospital in Jackson. Afterwards, it took¬†me a whole year to conquer a fear of horses I never knew I¬†could have, but I’m proud to say, I did it!¬†I travelled for the sixth time to Wyoming this year, and had an amazing trip, mainly because¬†I was able to stay on a horse. Despite the wildfire smoke that clouded our view of the Tetons, the views were gorgeous, the elk and bison¬†herds were impeccable…and my dancing skills are still horrendous. But I’ll be practicing my Texas Two-Step and the Wobble for next year. ūüėČ

This past year has also felt the most natural for me. I’ve done¬†more self discovery in this year than I ever have before, which makes me breathe a sigh of relief. But, the sigh of relief doesn’t mean a break in my busy schedule. I’ve been teaching music lessons, nannying, and interning for The Bioengineering Group.

***

I am a firm believer that we are characters in our own stories. We live out the stories and plans as they have been scripted for us. It’s proven that we cannot control the universe, or what the world throws our way. We can only control our actions, our reactions, and¬†our words. More importantly, we control just how we tell our story. My favorite movie is The Brothers Bloom, about two brothers who make their way in the world as conmen. As one of their marks explains, not really knowing just how true her words are,

“I decided [my story]¬†wasn’t a story about a¬†miserable girl trapped in a house that smelled like medical supplies¬† wasting her life on a dying person¬†she sometimes hated. This was a story about a girl who could find infinite beauty in anything, any little thing, and even love the person she was trapped with. And¬†I told myself this story until it became true. Now, did doing this help me escape a wasted life? Or did it blind me so I didn’t want to escape it? I don’t know, but either way I was the one telling my own story.”

Intriguing? Yes. But you’d have to watch the movie several times to truly understand the context, coupled with where I’m going with this.

I’m turning a page in my life, once again writing a new chapter. My story is filled with mistakes and imperfections, inkblots of insanity, and cliffhangers. I don’t even know what happens next. What I’m trying to say is this:

I know sometimes life throws you curveballs. But if your life is so unpredictable that it feels you can’t handle it, you can. You are more than equipped to handle what you’re presented with. Be confident and trust that the universe brings good things unto those who think positively, and ultimately trust. You follow?

***

When reflecting on the struggles I faced in my junior year, one of my friends asked me what I’d change if I could do it all over again. The classes? The medical issues? The people? And finally, it’s nice to be able to say:

I wouldn’t change a damned thing.

My One Week In Show Business

I was offered the opportunity to play in the orchestra of my high school’s version of the Broadway play Bye Bye Birdie. Switching between tenor sax and clarinet, I watched the music, lyrics, dances, and lines link together in (almost) perfect harmony. I was pretty impressed with how well the roles were cast, how quickly the music came together, and the idea that I didn’t trip over myself with excitement as I got to participate in some part of the school play. Pretty neat, huh?

*****

Sunday: Practice from 1pm-9pm. The scene changes were slow, our playing was mediocre. And by our, I mean my own. But by the end of practice, the first act started to take its shape. A free dinner of pizza, gifted to the pit orchestra from the cast, made for a nice surprise, and helped the rest of the rehearsal fly by.

Monday: Practice from 3pm-9pm.¬†Rehearsal didn’t start until 5pm. Upon¬†the discovery that the free pizza was a one time deal (around 4pm),¬†I drove home to make myself a sandwich. We ran part two of the show, and began running it from the top once more.

Tuesday: Martial arts right in the middle of rehearsal (and a desperate need to catch up on homework) took me home after school, and I didn’t make rehearsal Tuesday night. Woe is the teen who can’t manage her schedule to perfect balance.

Wednesday: Practice from 3pm-9pm. The anticipation was tangible for the coming night. Running the show front to back, the scene changes ran without a hitch, and the leads were spot on. Everything looked promising for the coming nights.

Thursday: Opening night, 7pm sharp! All went well, as far as I could tell from my seat. That is, until I spent intermission emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet in the bathroom backstage. I battled nausea and a fever for all of Act Two. Blind-sided by the flu, I pulled through! Fortunately, so did the important people of the show, putting on a great performance!

Friday: The flu put me in bed/on couch for the entire day, making the show a non-option, unfortunately.

Saturday: The final night of the show. As I coped with the final symptoms of the illness, the final night went extremely well. Moreover, the Pats won over the Broncos (which we watched in our greenroom back stage, during intermission.)

****

All in all, a positive experience! Well done to everyone who partook! My conclusions? Putting together a musical, much like any other event that’s sure to be under close supervision of the public eye, takes time. The more dedication, the more reward. The more time, the greater benefit. I don’t care what your personal interests are, or you favorite past times– because that’s a universal truth.

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb…

Is anyone else in the¬†North Shore area diggin’ this weather?¬†¬†Welcome home spring! Typically I dread the muggy overcast March days, but after a seemingly long slushy winter, I’m beginning to wrap my head around the arrival of warmth.

I know it’s been a few months since I last posted, and trust me, I haven’t forgotten about those of you who are dedicated to checking up on my blog every day. I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth, but I have fallen into the excitement that is high school.

If you read my post ¬†A First Time for Everything, you know how excited I was to start high school back in September. And although I can’t say I share the same thrill that my alarm feels at 6am¬†every¬†morning, I can say that there’s never a dull moment in high school.

So let’s see what’s new… I am working at my martial arts academy as a Junior Instructor as of February…so exciting! I gave a¬†testimony about my experiences in martial arts, with shaky knees but conviction in the words I wrote. I’m still in band, and somewhat of an assistant in the Jazz Band. I’m also in my third year of Clarinet Choir for NYSO (North Shore Youth Symphony Orchestra), which is a select group of clarinetists from the area. I’m learning how to conduct, and I’ll actually be conducting a piece titled “Spring” (how appropriate) in an upcoming concert. I joined Photo Club, and the mentoring program, which allows high schoolers to be advisors to middle schoolers. All in all, I’m a busy girl, and that doesn’t even include balancing friends, family, and a relationship.

But I’m not one to complain. In Sifu’s words: “Even in the worst of days, nobody can take my happiness away.”

I feel like this school year has flown by. Typically this would be reason enough to celebrate, but the reality of the situation is starting to sink in. There will be a day when my best friends won’t be a five-minute car ride and a text message away. There will be a time when my year won’t be regulated by my school hours and vacations.¬†The truth is, that time is sooner than later. Even scarier: I spent my whole life wishing I was older, looking forward to the stage of my life that I’m in right now. And now I have to savor it, and make the most of it in the next 3 1/2 years, because in the blink of an eye it will be gone.

That’s why my best friend and I have created a list of 50 Things To Do Before We Graduate. Our idea was modeled after an MTV show called¬†The Buried Life. On the show, four guys try to do 100 of the most impossible things before they die. For each task they accomplish, they try to help a stranger cross something off their own list. While nothing on our list includes playing basketball with Obama, or dancing with Ellen Degeneres, our tasks are equally important to us, or just plain fun. We are determined to make the most of these years.

In short, I’m constantly learning, observing, and taking baby steps into the world of adulthood. I’m adapting, facing my fears, and coming to new realizations. And¬†that’s¬†what’s new with me.

“Da Boss”

In my house, Bruce Springsteen is spoken of as if he’s God. Dad will¬†play his CDs while hanging around the house, and had seen four of his concerts before Sunday night. Now he’s seen 5 Bruce concerts, and for me, Rachel, and Kim, it was a first.

I can’t really say I knew what to expect, but when we got there, the energy at the Comcast Center was so high it could lift you up. There were people ranging from age 6 to 60, including Bruce himself. Dad said his music appeals to all generations, and now I see what he means.

When Springsteen came on stage, half an hour late, yet not a minute too soon, everyone erupted with shouts and applause for The Boss. The first three songs were performed nonstop, one after another, and I quickly got the idea that if you didn’t get on the music train, it would leave you behind.

The concert was amazing; 3 hours 15 ¬†minutes of nonstop music, back and forth between Bruce songs and other popular songs. Some we had heard before, some we hadn’t, but it was exciting and fun for all of us.

Still hyped up from the crazy rock concert experience, Rachel and I wore our Bruce t-shirts on Monday. And I think I made a few new friends. Both the waitress at lunch and man at the grocery store struck up a conversation with us about their favorite E Street Band song, concert, memories, etc… It was really cool to see how…universal… some music is.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band