Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Heart Throb

Evening! In the midst of ignoring pop culture and its oddities, I dropped into Minneapolis and was greeted by this billboard.

I've been wanting to post about it for quite some time, but I'll keep it short and sweet. Honestly, with certain kinds of art (the classic kind, Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, Impressionistic, etc.), you can't go wrong; there's almost always something to please.

Take the Doryphoros (hint, picture...), for example: There are only four of these dudes in the world. FOUR. We have where are the others? Italy!

Here's my point. Go to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Minneapolis owns great works - stupendous art - and I will enlighten you on one point; you can't go wrong with this art throb because he's not going over the deep end.

...and...I hope you understand the satirical nature of these matters?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Music for Your Monday

Hello all!

Shift pick-ups and
tired school school-doing
prevent my hand
from writing (wooing)

You to my blogging page.

Well then. With that said, here's a little Relient K for your Monday. 

(Apologies for Spanish subtitles...this was the best quality vid. I found.)
This piece is a ditty on how, when the band gained a new drummer in 2007, they received quite a bit of criticism. In response, they sang about it. How droll. Anywho, they stated that "So here it is; it's just me/a different drummer but the same old thing."

It takes some getting used to, but the point is to not let the changes (or criticism of the latter) that whirl around us reconstruct our worldview, opinions, and beliefs.

"...for the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."

If you think of it, He is always looking for special ways to encourage us! We just have to praise Him for it.

Enjoy your Monday, friends; I'm off to work and studying.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Music for Your Monday

Good afternoon!
Here's a favorite Grieg piece of mine with a rediculous little animation.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Broadway's Phantom of the Opera in Minneapolis


Apologies for the little lotte of lateness. Or big lotte. Last Saturday, my sister, a friend, and I made the most of the our free weekend before classes set in (have to make it sound like a snowstorm, you know) to go on an adventure.

Our night on the town began with...

Despite remarks about our nice chinchillas (fur coats), we found our reserved booth and ordered a delightful spread consisting of "wee burgers", a crudite platter (with absolutely heavenly hummus), the staple of fish and chips, and the best stuffed mushrooms I have ever (laid tongue on) consumed. This makes me sound like an eating beast, but what of it? When delectable mushrooms are found, their place of origin deserves to be made known, if only so others may partake of the said mushroom glory.


And now, for the part I've been working/waiting to tell you about: The obsessed, the sad, the psychotic, mesmerizing "angel of music", OG, Phantom of the Opera.

The Phantom Graces Minneapolis

We were squished. With tickets literally screaming LIMITED LEGROOM in all caps, we quietly viewed our playbills and waited in well, serious anticipation. It was our first official BROADWAY musical, and what a musical to open with. 

I will assume those reading are familiar with the one and only intriguing OG and skip the summary and instead write of the experience. The original Andrew Lloyd Webber production starring his (then) wife Sarah Brightman as Christine Daae was the first of all Phantom productions, and I tried not to compare. (If you want to read my extensive thoughts on the Phantom, check out my first post, The Phantom or Raoul? Eros, Or...)

Phantom at the Orpheum felt right. It was indeed grand with the Neo-classic/baroque architecture and dimmed lights.  The scrim (screens with a pattern/image that can be seen when lit from behind) screen had a cob-web like effect that readied us for the opening scene of the auction while a second chandelier, the chandelier, hung close but oh-so-unattainable. Thus was the beginning, an auction of the music box twinkling out the Masquerade theme that reminds us of melancholy. 

Costumes for The Phantom were not over indulgent, per se, but fitting. The Phantom was dressed excellently, and as for hair and makeup, his head was utterly terrifying when Christine pulled the mask from his face. My favorite were the capes worn by Raoul and the Phantom, as well as the hilarious yet colorful barbaric vestments worn by the "opera singers" acting in Hannibal. Good job at humorously stereotyping ye olde opera, Broadway.

Some of the of the most interesting aspects were the sets. I noticed a massive theme, throughout the evening, that of strict round-about, that is, almost a mind boggling continuum; an air of something inescapable. When the Phantom brings Christine down to his (lair...) level, the couple disappeared behind the massive, main half-cylinder set piece, and reappeared atop it. While it turned to the left. Essentially, Christine and the Phantom kept walking, but seemingly went nowhere. Upon reaching the end (a drop off...), the set continued to turn, steps appeared, jutting out from the side of the set, and Christine and the Phantom descended deeper and deeper to an illusion. 

Concerning the voices, I do believe that Christine's voice could be slightly more seasoned. I feel some voices are akin to cheese...they become better with age.  However, although Michael Crawford is the booming and fearsome Phantom, Hugh Panaro did a stunning recreation of the famed OG, for which I give him full credit. 

I look at The Phantom much differently now that I have actually seen the production. Passion overrode common sense of a teacher who couldn't understand the hasty whims of young love in such "twitterpated" state. Phantom of the Opera is an exciting French novel by Gaston Leroux, a breathtaking feast for our ears, and an adventure for our eyes.

All pieces of art have messages, and though I admire the art in all its endearing wonder, I say: Watch out for the lies. Both Raoul and the Phantom vied for Christine's affection, and guess what? Phantom LIED to Christine and made her believe he was the "angel of music" sent from her father to teach her to sing. One suggestion: Next time you want someone to fall in love with you, don't lie to them. He or she will end up in your rival's arms.

I absolutely adored the evening, and we came back with memories that will remain for years to come. I couldn't help thinking how easily we fall into believing other things can teach us to sing.  We are only meant to sing one song, the praises of our Heavenly Father, and since He is the only one able to instruct us in this, we must go to Him and none other.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

As always, thanks for reading!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Of Seven Blessings


Here's some food for thought. 

Starting Anew - Anybody doing, or trying to do a lot of this lately? I have, especially by cleaning my room (erm, and attempting to keep it clean) and beginning new classes, but  most of all, being mindful of the word more and more each day. So often I am caught up in myself and how I could be doing artsy and impressive acts, when in reality, I'm just trying to make me feel better. Cleaning my room I found a little origami box, a leftover from a Father-Daughter Tea our church held last April, and inside? 2 Corinthians 5:17

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away, behold, all tyhings have become new."

Little Moments - I met a high-schooler at work, and, as believers, we have the greatest connection. We see the world differently and know it, and it has been a blessing to pray for and with her. She has a heart for serving the Lord, which sometimes puts me in my place. When I worked with her last, I sat with her while she waited for her parents, and we were able to share prayer requests and even read Psalm 139, reminding us to not only not think of the things of this world, but to think of God and His precious thoughts.

Driving - I admit, I do see it as a privilege, despite the wary faces of my family. I slipped into a small pothole yesterday, to the chagrin of la corps de familie, but all is well, and we continue traversing the roads of mid-wintered Midwestern Minnesota.

Alfred Hitchcock - Now how in the world is THAT a blessing? Well. Last night....we watched VERTIGO, and it disturbed more more than any film I spent time on (well, next to the trailer of  the deplorable, don't waste-your-time Clockwork Orange). Of all the sci-fi, WWII, action, and murder mystery/movies, this was intense. Seriously, it wasn't graphic at all; I just take the mind part more seriously. (Wonder what The Birds will be like...) Going to sleep was interesting; thank goodness for Bach Fugues and praising God for the normal life I have with my amazing family, because sometimes, weirdness makes me even more grateful for them.

Borrowing, Lending - It's always lovely to help others when they need it; do someone's dishes one day, split logs another, make food, help with homework. I love when siblings share. Nothing specific, just share.
"And do not forget to do good and to share with others,
 for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Hebrews 13:16 

FIRE - Please do not think of me as a pyro. You see, we have this hearty wood stove in our kitchen, and if cold, people are always found in 'the cove', or the little nook with chairs and bookshelves and other cozy things. Good for fellowship, see? And devotions before bed; one can't go wrong there.

Air - When snow melts, it possesses this peculiar scent. I call it the anticipation of Spring. It probably has something to do with the chemically strict melting point of water, but it's exciting. (But you're crazy, E, thinking of spring in Minnesota mid-January!) Hmph. As far as I know, Spring marches in when it does, so I can study away while it readies itself.

I hope you all have a lovely week. Stay in the Word!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Of Seven Blessings

Mpls: photo
Happy New Year!

The New Year - Celebrations. <<in the cold>> A clean slate. Looking back on memories made while facing those quite near. We people become easily entranced by all things new; bright; beautiful. Too often, however, we forget the rest; the creatures great and small, the things wise and wonderful, and the fact that our Lord God made them all. At the beginning of this New Year, I pray that I (and others) may be considerate to creatures great and small, but more importantly, heed the wise and wonderful. My Heavenly Father is Wonderful, a Counselor, and though I have much to learn, I will not fail if I heed His wisdom.

True Friends - When starting PSEO two years ago, I knew no girls. It was pretty exhausting (enough said). But, in the most unlikely of places, Latin class, I met a friend that I will always and ever hold dear to my heart. I'll call her Mae. She went off to college for Catholic Studies and Theology, and over break, we were able to have a little get-together with her and her twin sisters. It was refreshing, to say the least, to be around friends we truly knew. I think that's what love really is, too, knowing that deep down, God's given you a bond that even time can't break.

Food - So...I kinda have a thing for it...
Thursday I made a lovely quiche (threw it together, actually), topped it with cheese, and served it with a side of pepper and sea-salt ginger-maple sweet potatoes. o-so-sweet. And then we had pineapple. Whenever combinations like that work, I'm pretty excited. Isn't God amazing to create flavors that compliment one another so exquisitely?? Whoever thought pepper could transect with maple syrup and still taste, well, not only edible, but out-of-this-world? 

Complete Honesty - God commands us to know truth. If we know truth, we have no stigmatism, per se, because everything is clear. This fact plays out in life. Everywhere. Commitments, work schedules, favors, little things.  I had a discussion with my Dad about this. How, we could look at "telling the truth" or "being honest" as a duty of a christian. However, an adored wordsmith once said that love is higher than duty, and if we all stop to think about it, we're honest and truthful not just because it's a duty we're called to, but because we loved because HE first loved us. So when I speak the the truth, though it may hurt, I speak in love.

Sleep - Never thought I'd say it, but I have been officially taught the value of sleep. It's like sleep rose, took form, and verbalized a drowsy, inducing,"in yo face, Elleanna!" Or something like that, because yes, sleep is a gift.

Cleaning - Organization helps people boost their confidence as well as the "I'm-on-top-of-it" feeling. Which is pretty great, if I do say so myself. Cleaning is a blessing in that it's a beauty in a home/domesticated/OCD/perfectionist sense, and afterwards, I can actually find my music theory and photog shoot books...

Plans - Phantom of the Opera and Kieran's Irish Pub this weekend!!! (I'll get you a little Minneapolis culture post/Phantom review Monday.) Working the past month of weekends made me create plans extravaganza, and no one is stopping these girls from their winter break splurge to see the Phantom, including checking up on our beloved Grand Avenue in St. Paul in evening gowns. Look who's coming to dinner.

Stay warm! Minnesota is "frigid," and the weather will say no more.