Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The American Olympics?

Can I just say how annoyed I am that Bob Costas interviewed President Bush for 5 plus minutes during prime time Olympic coverage Sunday night. I don't want to hear from the president. I want to see athletes performing. Bush is not an athlete competing, a coach, or in charge of the Olympics. Interview the Chinese Leaders why don't you. I couldn't even watch it, I had to switch to channel 7.

I make river rafting FUN!



My ward just spent the weekend in Jackson, WYO, river rafting. I went up with the first group on Thursday evening. We got to the campsite around midnight, after a lot of u-turns. It was dark. Luckily two ward members went up early and were there to show us the right spot. It had been pouring earlier in the day. We set up tents (everyone wanted to use my mallet) and finally went to sleep around 2 am.

They told us breakfast would be at 7:30 am. Ugh. I woke up around 8:15 am. I didn't hear the call for breakfast or everybody leaving my tent (there were six of us in the tent). I guess I slept pretty well. A group left shortly after breakfast to run the river. There were about 8 of us that stayed behind at the campsite (it's too cold in the morning to go river rafting). We set up more tents and then a couple of us went down to the lake to swim. I just put my feet in.

We rushed up to the loading point on the snake to make our 12:20 pm launch time. There were three rafts. One raft held ten people and the other two held eight, plus river guides, one for each raft. I was on a raft with five guys and two other girls. Our guide was a brother of a ward member (who was a guide on another boat). He's deaf. He can read lips really well and does a pretty good job of speaking. I was sitting on the back left side of the boat. On the very first semblance of a rapid, we turned sideways, dropped down a little shelf, and I fell out of the boat. Before we started our journey, we were given some instructions: go into the water feet first, and if you fall in don't let go of your paddle. I managed to mess up on both orders. I was straddled over the side of the boat with my left leg completely bent (the guy in front of me kept hitting me with his paddle every stroke). The water was very shallow where I fell in, and I slid right off the boat where my knee slammed into a rock. Our boat guide fell in right after me. I came up out of the water without my paddle and realized I had a big gash on my knee. We made it back to the boat and they pulled me in. Someone had a bandanna and they tied it tightly around my knee. It was pretty bloody. This happened maybe five minutes into the ride. For the rest of the time, I sat in the middle of the boat, trying to keep my leg straight, and trying to keep pressure on my knee. My boat was full of guys and water guns. You can imagine that it was a bumpy ride. There was a point on the ride when I didn't want to be there, but it turned out to be a good time. Nobody else fell out. The river run takes about one and a half hours.

As soon as we finished, it started raining. Luckily, there was a nurse right there at the dock who took pity on me and bandaged up my knee. She said I should go into the little town we were by to the clinic and have it looked at. There were more ward people for river rafting, but a lot of us went back to camp. We got some lunch and then Jonelle and I went to the clinic. It wasn't busy and they were able to help me right away. I got 6 stitches. Woohoo! My first experience with stitches. I also had to get a tetnus shot. As we were leaving they put up the closed sign, so we were really lucky. They told me the office person wasn't there and wouldn't be back until Tuesday, so they didn't know how much I owed. It's FREE! Tuesday we will find out how much this trip really cost.

Rain continued for most of the night and really started coming down right after we finished our evening fireside. While Jonelle and I were gone, our ward constructed a tarp covering over the eating area that was pretty ingenious. It included tree branches, a volleyball net, and my pen. We tried to keep everything dry, but the tent I was in had water seep in through the floor. That was fun. One girl that came up Friday, came with a queen size blow up mattress. She stayed in my springbar tent and nobody else was going to stay in there, so I switched tents and got to share the mattress. Score!

The next day was just beautiful and pretty chill for me since I couldn't do anything. I couldn't go rafting again, so I just hung out at the end dock. Everybody had a fabulous time. After they ran the river, we took off for home. Everyone made it home safely. Yay!

My knee hurts and I can't bend it at all, but all is well. It looks clean and I keep putting the anti-biotic cream on it. All of my ward was really helpful. I just feel dumb that I hurt myself on a no-name rapid. My stitches can come out in about 10 days. The clinic thought there probably wasn't any knee damage. It's just sore because I hit the rock pretty hard. I have to hobble around. My mom and dad asked me to clean the entire house before they get back from their trip. Do you think it will happen?

Anyway, a fun time on the Snake River.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I was stung






Not only did I go to Journey, but I was fortunate enough to also see The Police in concert. All I have to say is that Sting is really good looking. I don't know a whole lot of Police songs, but it was an enjoyable evening.

The best part of the evening was my run in with a celebrity. See the picture. That guy is the day planner guy from "The Singles Ward." I got his autograph.

My Journey























Journey came to town. I was there, front and center. Well, I wasn't in the front, but I brought the binoculars.

I finally am ready to share my experience with everyone. Sorry it has taken so long. Journey came on July 11. I'm just a month behind.

This was just an amazing concert. Even without front man Steve Perry, they definitely rocked the amphitheater. Cheap Trick and Heart opened up the night. We were stuck in traffic, so we missed Cheap Trick. I was kind of sad (I really like Surrender), but we did have a good trying to figure out if two couples walking down the street were all girls or not (I don't think we ever really decided). Heart came on and did a decent job. It is hard, however, for women past their prime to hit the high notes. The lead singer was wearing a very flashy outfit (with lots of sparkles) and she looked sunburned. Heart does some good stuff like "These Dreams" and "Barracuda." I remember that "These Dreams" was on the radio when I first got into music and the radio. We had a good time listening to Heart.

Then Journey came out. Be still my beating heart. These are the songs they played:

Majestic
Never Walk Away [new]
Only The Young
Stone In Love
Ask The Lonely
After All These Years [new]
Separate Ways (World's Apart)
Change For The Better [new]
Send Her My Love
Lights
Open Arms (Prelude)
Open Arms
Don't Stop Believin'
Edge Of The Blade
Wildest Dream [new]
Harmonica Solo
Be Good To Yourself

Encore:
Escape
Faithfully

This is definitely not Steve Perry's Journey. Neil Schon formed the band, but when Steve came along he seemed to call all the shots. Now, Schon is definitely back in charge. I wouldn't have chosen some of the songs they did (Escape? For the encore? Who knows that song?), but it was a great time. They did 4 songs from their new album--"Never Walk Away," "After All These Years," "Change For The Better," and "Wildest Dream." Nobody knew them.

The new lead singer sounds an awful lot like Steve Perry. He is full of energy and was bounding around the stage. He likes to sing with his eyes really wide open. At concerts, bands kind of like to embellish their songs and add to them, but Arnel basically followed Steve's vocals, so it was fun to listen to him.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the pianist, Jonathan Cain, also plays the guitar. I had no idea. He did a good job. I really loved the Open Arms piano prelude that he did.

We just had an amazing night. There were seven of us. Not everyone loves Journey as much as I do, but it was great that they came to enjoy some good music. There was a group of young 20's in front of us. They were totally getting into the music. They were all dancing around. Of course, we had to join them.

It was a very successful night. I bought a Journey t-shirt. And we were all privileged to see Emily's velociraptor impression. My favorite performance would have to be Faithfully. Nothing compares to it.

Ah Journey, you did me proud.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Journey at 41

I know, I'm getting behind. But this is totally worth the wait. Now you can know all of Journey's secrets, well at least up until 2002.

VH1 Behind The Music: Journey


video

Friday, May 30, 2008

Journey at 42

How can you compare Arnel without listening to the original? I know that nothing can compare with this fantastic and amazingly well done music video, but focus on the music, people. This has the best Steve Perry "come hither" look that I know of .

Also, have you ever played air keyboards? Not that easy.


video

Journey at 43

Man, I feel like I am betraying Journey. Journey, with new lead singer Arnel Pineda, was on Ellen. Take a listen and tell me if he compares with the original. I really think it's funny that since Steve Perry quit the band, Journey has tried to find lead singers that sound like Steve Perry. They are living in the past. They need to find someone that can actually write some good music. I mean, they are doing a good job in the "Sounds Like Steve Perry" contest. However, do you know the last time new Journey was on the radio? I would say never.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Journey at 44

There are basically 3 songs that "are" Journey (4 songs in some circles). This is one of them. Back in the day of BYU and roommates we would always listen to this song while driving in the car. Of course, since it's Journey, we are singing and dancing along. One line is "Some will win, some will lose. Some were born to sing the blues." The front passenger would always point to the different passengers during that part and I would ALWAYS get the point for "Some will lose." Are they trying to tell me something?

Just for your information: the 3 quintessential Journey songs are Don't Stop Believin', Open Arms, and Faithfully. Some would argue that Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) is the 4th Journey song, and I would agree, but I don't think it's as well known as the other 3.

Steve really likes the shirt he's wearing. I swear I saw videos of him wearing this at two different concerts.


video

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Journey at 45

I have to say that Steve gets a pretty good workout from these concerts. He definitely looks in mid-season form. I love the subtitles at the bottom.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Journey at 46

The video quality on this fairly stinks, but it is kind of a fun video, especially since Steve is sporting the 'stache.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Journey at 47

Love don't leave me lonely!! Yes, that is Randy Johnson. You have my permission to be impressed. I also think Steve Perry has a perm.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Journey at 48

I had never seen this before.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Journey at 49

Journey is pretty much amazing. Watch for the Steve Perry "Lip Quiver". It happens.


video

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Journey at 50

Journey is coming on July 11, 2008. I am getting super excited!


video

Friday, May 9, 2008

So bring it on, I've been bruised

Yesterday I saw Iron Man. I think Robert Downey, Jr. is a good actor. Here's a fun music video with him as the main star. It reminds me of the movie Russian Ark, because it is all done in one take. Elton John did another music video like this one starring Justin Timberlake. It appears to be done in one take, but then there is a camera angle change and you think, "Well there goes the effect they were going for."

Anyway, I like this video better because the song is better.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Skinny Tenor Or A Charming Bass

We all know that Steve Perry is the number one singer on my list. He hits notes that even I can't reach (which I think is somewhat criminal). However, let's not forget other singers who also get the job done. If Steve Perry is the top then Howard Keel is definitely the 98th floor. He has such a deep, rich voice. And, as we all know: the tenors wow the ladies, but the basses take them home.

Howard Keel and I first met in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. He is one actor (and singer) whose movies I will watch just because he is in them. I can't say that for just anybody.

Here's a fun clip showcasing Howard's amazing voice.



I don't think we can really compare Howard and Steve. They sing in different ranges, perform different genres, and appeal to different audiences. Plus one is dead. But, if we could have them square off against each other, kind of like Battle Of The 80's Has-beens, who do you think would win?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nobody Told You Where To Hide

So, this morning on the radio, I heard "Take It All Away" by Puddle Of Mud. Immediately, it whisked me back to the summer of 2002. During that time, I saw the movie The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Rings in the theaters seven times. I am not a big spender, so six of those seven times were at the dollar theater. My friends and I became very familar with the previews that showed at the dollar theater, and this one was our favorite (mostly because it had Vin Diesel and because he said "We're the best narcotics team this side of ..." I don't remember the rest).

Oh to be torn twixt love and duty!

I have been in the mood to listen to this song all day. It won an Oscar for best original song (or whatever they call it). It comes from the movie High Noon. I have seen all but the last 10 minutes of this movie, which is the big climax. I couldn't keep my eyes open.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: This Is What You've All Been Waiting For

So, here it is. My favorite soundtrack. I was given this CD for Christmas one year. It was the first soundtrack I owned on CD (to be truthful, I also received the Dances With Wolves soundtrack that same Christmas, but I opened this one first).

This soundtrack didn't win any awards, but it fits the movie perfectly. The only thing that's bothersome, is that the soundtrack is slightly different from the score in the movie. Track 6, for example, is only about 6 minutes, but in the movie, this same track is about 12 minutes. My favorites from the CD are 4, 3, and 6.

You are all probably begging me to reveal the name of the movie. It stars Daniel Day Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig, and Wes Studi. Any guesses?

It's The Last Of The Mohicans. Besides the fact that Daniel Day Lewis and Eric Schweig are both super attractive in this movie, there is beautiful scenery, and the music sweeps you away into the 18th century American colonies.

I love listening to soundtracks and telling people what is happening in the movie during each track. For instance, track 4: Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook navigate Duncan, Alice, and Cora to Fort William Henry during a heavy siege by the French. Well, it sounds better in person. Speaking of track 4, here it is.

video

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: A Late Entry Into The Mix

So, I just had to post one more favorite soundtrack before The Favorite Soundtrack. The movie Howl's Moving Castle is growing on me more and more. I liked it the first time I saw it, but I am liking it more and more. The music really fits the movie. Of course, I've only seen the American version that has been dubbed into English, but who can complain with Christian Bale and Billy Crystal doing the voices.

I really think it's weird how in these Japanese anime movies, some characters are super-sized but they are all humans and nobody seems to mind or even notice. The Witch of the Waste is rather large. The first shot of her shows a gigantic face.

Anyway, here are some selections from the soundtrack. Oh, this movie also has one of my new favorite movie quotes. The last one (with no picture, just sound), is my favorite.






Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: Make Me Disappear

I am finding that a lot of the music I like from movies comes during the opening or closing credits, which isn't very exciting to watch. So, for this favorite soundtrack piece, I put in some video over the credits just so you could listen to this beautiful music and not be completely bored. If I had more time (or at least more time I was willing to give to this project), I would have put together a nice collage of film from the movie. As it is, I just slapped in one scene.

This music is from the movie The Illusionist. I can listen to it over and over again. I'm not a huge fan of the rest of the soundtrack. I mean, it fits with the movie and I like it in the movie, I just don't care to listen to it out of context.

video

P.S. up next is my favorite soundtrack of all time. Get excited!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: Go West Young Man!

The very first cassette tape I owned was the soundtrack for The Man From Snowy River. I remember my mom bought it for me. At that same time she bought the Beaches soundtrack for my sister Marielle. Around this time in my life, my family use to hang out with my cousins a lot. My sisters and my cousins and I liked to run around on our hands and knees like horses (kind of embarrassing, I know). I was just slightly miffed because everyone wanted to put on the Beaches tape and run around to that instead of putting on my tape (which came from an actual horse movie). Oh well.

So, this may sound a lot like the Return to Snowy River soundtrack, but it's completely different. Actually, they were both done by Bruce Rowland. He also did the music for Phar Lap, another horse movie.

There were so many good tracks from this score, it was hard to choose just one. I do have to say that Jessica's Theme, the most popular music from this movie, is not my favorite song from the movie. I just had to get that out there.


video

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: Possession

video

Today's soundtrack of amazingness comes from the movie Possession. This is the one time where I like the music without necessarily liking the movie. The movie was ok, but this piece, sung by Spanish tenor Ramon Vargas, is passionate and awe-inspiring. It's much better than the movie.

Well, to be fair, the movie starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart, Jeremy Northam, Jennifer Ehle. They all did a good job, I just think the subject matter of the movie was a little questionable.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: The Horn of Helm Hammerhand will sound one more time

The Lord Of The Rings has some very beautiful music. This is my favorite music movie moment from the triology (although the Breaking of the Fellowship is my favorite track from the shows). You can ignore the stuff at the first about being all noble and just wait for the music.

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: Bad Wolf

So, the following soundtrack was so close to being my favorite soundtrack of all time. I love all the music on this movie. Once again, Kevin Costner stars in the movie. Maybe he realizes how bad he is and hires fabulous composers to make up for it. This movie, Dances With Wolves, not only won the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it also won for Best Original Score. Impressive, I know. You might now be thinking, "But that was all the way back in 1990. Anything could have won Best Score." All I have to say to you is, "Pssh!"

The first clip is the end theme to the movie. It kind of includes everything. I don't think this video is quite up to snuff, but it was either that or look at the box cover for 8 plus minutes.




The second clip is hauntingly beautiful music. It is the wolf's theme. I love how everyone in movies has their own theme.



After watching this clip, I have no scruple in telling you I don't care for the way Kevin pulls on the reins.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: Now do we start to fight them

The perfect movie has three things: beautiful music, breath-taking scenery, and horses. Add a happy ending and I'm sold.

Part of this track--yes, it is just one track on the CD--is in a piano book I have had since I was a wee lass. It was my favorite song to play.

Just a head's up: this clip reveals the end of the movie, so if you are faint of heart (or have never seen the movie before and plan to), turn away now. Oh, this is Return to Snowy River.
video
One thing I find amusing is all the chunks of dirt that are thrown up behind the horse, especially when it goes into slow motion. Now you can say that you've seen dirt fly in slow motion.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Weeklong Tribute To Soundtracks: Monday

I have been thinking for a long, long time about my favorite movie score. It has been very hard for me to choose just one. Indeed, I don't know if I can choose one single soundtrack.

Anyway, by the end of this week, you will know my favorite score. Until then, we will pay tribute to great moments in movie music making.

Here is my favorite soundtrack movie moment of all time. I guess I should explain what I mean. This is not my favorite movie or my favorite soundtrack, but I just love the way the music and cinematography fit together at the end of this music track.

video

Who knew Kevin Costner would be associated with any "favorite"? This theme, made famous by Brian Adams, is very amazing. I guess I'm an easy target for music associated with heroes and legends. I love how good triumphs over evil.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Take That, Bainbridge Scholars!

Awwww, cute little bunny trying to commit suicide.

So, I know I promised movies and music, but can I talk about myself? Just for a little bit. Right now I am on campus (the University of Utah campus), and I am wearing my BYU sweatshirt. MUH-WA-HA-HA! I feel like such a rebel. Nobody's even said anything. Where's their school pride?

So, I am still deliberating over what my favorite film score is. I'll give it a little more time and then we'll discuss. That means that all of you can still comment on what your favorite movie soundtrack is.

Cool points go to the first person who can name the movie for the quote in the title.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Very Close Talking

I am a big fan of the TV show Psych. For those of you who are not familiar with this television gem, listen in. The new season starts July 18, 10/9 Central on USA. You can go to www.usanetwork.com/series/psych to see the wonder that is Psych. The best part is, you can watch full episodes (if you can put up with Bertoli's or Hidden Valley Ranch).

I've gotten mom hooked on this show. Dad doesn't see it's inner beauty. My favorite character in the show is Shawn. He's the main guy. I like him because he's way attractive, very witty, and terribly mysterious. Mom likes Shawn's dad. Mom and I both agree that the best episode we have seen thus far has been "And Down The Stretch Comes...Murder."

I don't know if I should pull out all the stops, but there is a scene from that show that I just love. It doesn't give anything away, but if you feel like you need to see every episode in order or else the show has been tainted for you, then maybe you should avert your eyes (just get excited for season 2 episode 9, it has Kevin Sorbo!). Actually, on second thought (or maybe third), it does give stuff away.



You may now return from the edge of your seats.

I stole from a church

I think it's crazy how a song can reel you in with a catchy beat. I think, in reference to White Town's Your Woman, it's called a hook.

Actually, upon doing some research into the matter, I found this:
A hook is a musical idea, riff, passage or phrase, that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and "catch the ear of the listener."
A hook has been defined as a "part of a song, sometimes the title or key lyric line, that keeps recurring." Alternatively, the term has been defined as "the foundation of commercial songwriting, particularly hit-single writing", which varies in length from the repetition of "one note or a series of notes...[to] a lyric phrase, full lines, or an entire verse." "Ideally [it] should contain one or more of the following: (a) a driving, danceable rhythm; (b) a melody that stays in people's minds; (c) a lyric that furthers the dramatic action, or defines a person or place."
--Wikipedia
The first time I ever heard the term hook was when a DJ was commenting on how catchy Your Woman was. I never knew this was a industry-wide idea. According to Wanderlust.com, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison is the number one "Song with a Great Hook."

I just found this song that is terribly addictive. At least for me.

Scott's Sinful Solo

That's the name of the track on the Strictly Ballroom CD where Scott dances in the studio after hours. It sounds so sinful.

video

Speaking of soundtracks, what is the best soundtrack ever? To simplify things, we'll ask for the best original film score. Immediately, people start thinking of John Williams. Star Wars, and even Indiana Jones, are impressive musical feats. But they don't necessarily whip me into a verbal frenzy. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dealing in half-truths.

So, I don't like South Park (it's crude), but I think this is funny. Don't worry, it's PG.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The touch, the feel of Cotton; the fabric of our lives.

If only everything were as comfortable as cotton. Since this is my very first entry on my new blog, I should make it extra special. I make no promises. I will tell you right now, however, that music and movies play a pivotal part of my life, so I will talk about them almost incessantly. But I will try to make it exciting. For instance, I will now provide you with one of the greatest, nay, not one of, but the greatest singer of all time (in my opinion).

video