Sunday, September 25, 2011

Song Challenge, Track 12: Theme(s) From Your Favorite TV Show

Song Challenge, Track 11: Song(s) That Give You Chils

There are really so many songs that fit this category, but we'll just do a few.

"And the world will know.
And the world will learn.
And the world will wonder how we made the tables turn.
And the world will see
that we had to choose,
that the things we do today will be tomorrow's news."

"Bring Him Home"
-Les Miserables

"Air and Simple Gifts"
-John Williams
Such a beautiful piece.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I remember being late to school.
I remember my dad keeping quiet, trying to hear the radio, as he drove me to Big Valley Elementary.
I remember waiting for the usually punctual office secretary to return to her place to check me in.

I can still see all the teachers gathered in the library, huddled around the one "big-screen" TV.
It's something I can never forget.

I remember walking into my classroom and hearing my friends wonder what was going on, where the teacher was.
I remember thinking, "I know where she is..."

I still see my teacher walking in; it was clear she had been crying. I remember the classroom falling silent. I remember her coming to the front of the classroom, and explaining, in extremely simple and platonic terms, what had happened. I remember the look on her face as she told us that, in a few minutes' time, we would all sing our nation's anthem, together, doors open, every class and student in the entire school.

 I will never forget the sound of our collective Elementary-school voice singing the National Anthem, the strength of every voice layered over the others, the show of solidarity and pride no one could ever take or change.

I remember running home straight to my parents' room. I remember my mom in front of the television, holding my baby sister, watching as reporter after reporter after reporter tried to make sense of what happened; as footage of the burning towers, the smoking pentagon, the desperate souls who flung themselves out of windows to escape whatever hell they were enduring, rolled on and over again.

I was only ten, but I remember quite clearly every detail, every worry, heartbreak, clenched fist, sick stomach, horrified face. It is something I will always remember because I quite literally can never forget.

Ten years later, and how much we have changed. How much we have learned.
How much we have hurt.

I have no interest in discussing the politics of this event--those who do are showing blatant and despicable disresepct for the heartache thousands of people suffered that day and continue to suffer even now--but I will say this: whatever else about him you may say--and I say this to you whether you are a strict Republican or a hardcore Democrat, I don't really care--President Bush will forever have a place in my heart. I will forever have a strong connection and compassion for that man for what he endured on this day ten years ago.

What would you say? What could you do? How on earth would you react any differently than he does?
For right now, I don't care what followed this day in his presidency, what aspects of his time in office people choose to criticize, I will forever remember him as the president who helped our nation through this time of tragedy and fear; the president who tried to shelter a classroom of young children from the inevitable evil of the world for just a moment longer. I will forever remember and be grateful.

For all those affected more personally than others by this day ten years ago, I send my prayers and thoughts of strength, love, and support to you.
You and your loss is forever etched in our minds and hearts; we will never forget.
We honor you and your loved ones now gone, and take this day, each and every year, to remember and strengthen our will, our resolve, our promise, to go on as before, to live our lives well in honor of those we have lost.

Ten years ago today, the evil of the world attempted to show just what we, as Americans, are made of.

Unfortunately for them, they succeeded.
We are strong. We are proud and tough. We are united. We remain standing.

Though to be honest, we are not always on our feet.
Quite often we are on our knees.
But that should scare you even more.

Always Remember.
God Bless America.

Written 9/11/11

Friday, September 2, 2011

Song Challenge, Track 10: Song(s) That Mean Something

"Race You to the Top of the Morning"
-The Secret Garden
(Try your best to find the Mandy Patinkin version. SO much better. It's absolutely beautiful)

"Now, another foul dragon's appeared,
I must leave you.
He's scorching our land with his breath.
From his lair this one taunts me,
He dares me, he haunts me.
Once again, we must fight to the death!

Would to God I could stay and instead slay your dragon,
This beast who sits hunched on your back.
Would God I could wrench him away from your bed,
Or cut off or tear off his terrible head,
Could breathe out my fire on him
'Till he was dead,
Or beg him to spare you and take me instead!"

"When You're Home"
-In the Heights

"Then can I say...I couldn't keep my mind off you all day.."

-Josh Groban

"So for tonight, we pray for
what we know can be
And every day, we hope for
what we still can't see...
It's up to us to be the change
And even though the world needs so much more..
There's so much to be thankful for..."

"Stille Nacht"
-Mannheim Steamroller

"Come Back to Me Again"
-Garth Brooks

"There’s a ship out on the ocean,
At the mercy of the sea.
It’s been tossed about,
Lost and broken,
Wandering aimlessly.
And God somehow you know,
That ship is me.

‘Cause there’s a lighthouse,
In a harbor,
Shining faithfully.
Pouring its light out,
Across the water.
For this sinking soul to see,
That someone out there still believes in me."

"Feed the Birds"
-Mary Poppins

"All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can't see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares."

"Look Through My Eyes"
-Phil Collins

"There will be times on this journey
When all you'll see is darkness..
But out there somewhere, daylight finds you
If you keep believing.."

"Measure of a Man"
-Clay Aiken

"Would he walk on water
Would he run through fire
Would he stand before you
When it's down to the wire
Would he give his life up
To be all he can
Is that, is that, is that how you measure a man?"

"Hold On"
-Jonas Brothers

"One single smile, a helping hand.
It's not that hard to be a friend."

Song Challenge, Track 9: Song(s) You Fall Asleep To

-Josh Groban

"Goodnight, My Angel"
-Billy Joel

"Santa Fe"

Song Challenge, Day 8: Song(s) You Can Dance To

"It Feels So Good"
-Steven Tyler
Even at 60, dude still rocks.

"The New Girl in Town"
Still funny.

"Dancing Queen"
In the title. Duh.

"You Can't Stop the Beat"
"Yesterday is gone, and it's never coming back!"

-West Side Story
Latina attitude. It'll get ya.

"Sweet Home Alabama"
-Lynard Skynard

"I Drove All Night"
-Celine Dion

Song Challenge, Track 7: Song(s) That You Know All the Words To

"We Didn't Start the Fire"
-Billy Joel
Okay, to be honest, I'd probably have to do a little review before I tested on it or anything, but I pretty much know it all.

"La Camisa Negra"
Thank you, Mrs. Ronquillo!
9th grade Spanish class project.
Oh yeah.

"Carrying the Banner"
I. Love. This. Movie.
This was, like, one of 2 movies my brother and I repeatedly rented when we were kids.
"How'd ya sleep, Jack?"
"On me back, Mush."

"Bohemian Rhapsody"
Really, who doesn't know all the words to this song?

Song Challenge, Track 6: Song(s) That Remind You of a Certain Event

-Aaron Copland
(so not the best recording I could find of this, but you can pretty much find a version of it anywhere. Do your own looking.)
Halloween Concerts.
Anyone who was there will understand.

"Crack a Bottle"
Okay, this is really kind of a despicable song, but it always reminds of the times my friends and I drove to the boys' away basketball games. Particularly the one against Minico, which was important to me for more than one reason.
We thought we were real gangsta, blasting this song with the windows down and our Burley green on.
We weren't, really.

"Con Te Partiro"
-Andrea Bocelli
My sophomore year of high school was the best public schoool orchestra experience I ever had. It was my first year of high school, and my last year with my incredible orchestra teacher who had to retire and left us in the hands of a trumpet performance major who had no interest in strings whatsoever and who made the very big mistake of making enemies with me. (Phew. Still not over it. Sorry.)
I made a lot of good friends with the seniors that year, and the reason why this song sticks so personally with me is because we played it for their Baccalaureate before they all left.

And finally:

"Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis"
-Ralph Vaughan Williams
Sinfonietta Tour 2010.
I'm still trying to finish my post that describes how amazing this trip was. It's hard to get the words down right.
When Bro T sent me the recording of this song to practice over winter break, I kinda fell for it. When I got to the first rehearsal, it won me over completely. As we travelled, playing it almost every night for 2 weeks, it got deeper and deeper under my skin. Vaughan Williams has a gift for evoking emotion. I love this piece.

Song Challenge, Track 5: Song(s) That Remind You of Somewhere

"My Girl"
-The Temptations
Somehow this Temptations CD got put in the boat's stereo system--and it never left. We would repeat this song over and over and over again while out on the water.

"Hotel California"
No, it's not because the song is called "Hotel California". Actually, any song of the Eagles will remind me of Southern Cali. I distinctly remember using those big orange/yellow popsicles as microphones while dancing around to "Life in the Fast Lane" with my friend, Devyn.

"Music of the Night"
-Phantom of the Opera
Rupert, ID.
I have a lot of memories about Rupert; some good, some bad, but for some reason this song always reminds me of that lovely little Hicktown. For one thing, this musical is one of the few that my dad really likes. For another, I guess the reason it reminds me of our first Idaho town is because I remember seeing the BYU Dance Ambassadors come to town, and they did a beautiful piece to this song. I was kinda hooked on it ever since.
Oh, by the way, it's got to be the Michael Crawford version, or no dice. Gerard Butler looks verrrry nice, but he sings like a Muppet.
And not in a good way.

"Whatcha Say"
-Jason DeRulo
No big story behind this one. It was just one of the songs that my roommates and I listened to, constantly, my first semester of college. Everytime I hear it, I can see myself back at the apartment on the hill, sitting at the kitchen doing my homework while my roommates gossiped and made plays for all the guys in our FHE group.

Song Challenge, Track 4: Song(s) That Remind You of Someone

I have a BUNCH of these. Music is one of the greatest "associaters"--meaning that you often have a song attached to the important people, places, and events in your life.
Here's just a few I could think of off the top of my head, and, where possible, the best description of why.

This song will always and forever remind me of my awesome roomies, Spring semester of 11.
Love you girls!

Very much so dedicated to the "best friend" I thought I had for 10 years.
How's that picket fence and fancy car, Spence? ;)
I hope you know I miss you...and I sure hope you know I'm lying :)

From one of the best movies ever.
I owe my Muppet-appreciation to my mom, the quintessential Muppet-Queen :)
No matter what, no one will ever sing this song with more talent--or gusto--as my momma

My junior and senior years of high school, my dad was one of the football coaches for our varsity team.
For the really far away games, my dad would drive separate from the bus and he'd let me go with him; long drives, rough games, lots of rants & chats, and getting home well after midnight.
We always, always, always listened to Journey (it was one of the only CDs dad had in his truck), and this song was the first up on the album.

:) You know I had to.
Spencer? Daniel? (Spaniel, as Naomi and I decided to call you) Sorry. This one's stuck with you guys forever.

To my amazing little siblings. You guys crack me up.

For one of my closest friends from high school--the one who could always make me laugh, frustrate me, give me my best 'opponent' to debate (argue) with, and the only one who really was on and by my side. This song and this singer always remind me of you.
Now hurry back from Brazil, huh?

Now a totally random one.
Summer. Fair week before 7th grade. The local radio station was hosting a booth that offered karaoke opportunities for all of the Mini-Cassia area's amusement. Here's why this song being on this list is random; my younger brother's good buddies decided to do their best Avril impersonations. And as they're blasting away--each in their own keys, mind you--who should I see but the guy I had been crushing on for a full year! (7th grade drama, gotta love it) It probably doesn't make much sense when I put it down on paper (blogpost), but for some reason, every time I hear this song, I can't help but laugh and wonder just how all those guys are doing these days.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Song Challenge, Track 3: Song(s) That Make You Sad

"And So It Goes"
-Billy Joel

-Rascal Flatts

"Tonight I Wanna Cry"
-Keith Urban

"The Green Mile"
-Thomas Newman

"If I Didn't Believe in You"
-from The Last 5 Years
(I like the album version better)

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables"
-from Les Miserables

"Some Things Are Meant to Be"
-from Little Women

"If I Can't Love Her"
-from Beauty and the Beast

"The Eternal Vow"
-Yo-Yo Ma, from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

"More Than a Memory"
-Garth Brooks

"Probably Wouldn't Be This Way"
-LeAnn Rimes

"Holdin On"
-Rascal Flatts

"Mi Mancherai"
-Josh Groban
(violinist on album is Joshua Bell, but I like this artist's interpretation of it better)

"At This Moment"
-Michael Buble

-Celine Dion

(a few others on my list that I couldn't find YouTube vids for)
(YouTube let me down. I know, right???)
"Mr. Midnight"
"Learning to Live Again"
-Garth Brooks

"When I Look At You"
-from The Scarlet Pimpernel


I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to Idaho's capital. Counting occasions and not separate...