Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Question of Caliber

I've always been old-fashioned.

I don't like loud noises, flashing lights, or music that sets my insides vibrating. I've never been one to read modern books, watch modern films, or wear "modern" trends. While most of my soccer teammates were off in a swoon over Twighlight, I was curled up in a corner with Vanity Fair. ;) My mom's the one who, with few exceptions, tells me to call my friends, leave the dishes, crank up the volume, and "stop being so nice." ;) lol We joke that I'm Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility and she's Marianne. I remember once, certain members of my family were having a little too much fun in a restaurant. I was the one who leaned over and whispered, "Will you guys please act your age?"

So yeah. I'm a bit of a prude. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I was born in the wrong era! ;)

I think that within every generation there is a certain minority that feels left out. They see the direction the culture is taking, and they shudder to think they must accommodate (or at least live with) its style and manner of living. I like to think of myself as one of those people; the sort who flocked to Europe during the 1920's where they were dubbed the "Lost Generation."  I'm not saying I'm a brainy uppity, only that my tastes in pretty much everything are radically different.

I was thinking about this earlier as I was relistening to my Music Appreciation CD's. We studied Classical Composers several semesters ago, and I had to read a some lectures on Hyden, Mozart, and Beethoven. This was my conclusion after reading those biographies:

Evolution is a joke.

Forget carbon dating and Lucy and all the mountainloads of evidence. This world is NOT evolving for the better. It can't.

You know why?

Because Lady Gaga cannot compare with Beethoven's 6th symphony...
Justin Beiber doesn't hold a candle to Mozart's operas...
And Beyonce couldn't compose 104 symphonies if she wanted to!

*slowly exhales* That felt good! ;)

Now I know what some of you are saying. "Well, Talia, *nudge nudge* neither could you" and "that's not their genre of music!"

That's exactly my point!

Why aren't musicians composing they way they did in 1750? If we're so "advanced," shouldn't our intellectual capacity for genius be greater than it was 200+ years ago? More improved? More sophisticated? But no, we're so incredibly developed that our all-illuminating icon of entertainment is Taylor Swift! ('Cause you know, opera is too simple a past time for our brilliant minds--lol) I don't know how people can look around at our society and conclude we are a "more civilized species." We're not.

I think we've become exceptionally good at mediocrity. We've educated the masses, we now no longer have class, racial or gender divides, so everyone's swimming in the same pool with the exact same opportunities. And yet...

We're all getting nowhere together. ;)

Oh, we're very proficient technologically. Anyone these days knows how to work a computer or a cell phone. But are we truly smart? Did you know that the "accomplished" young woman of yesteryear could read, write, and speak two or three languages? And even that was bare-bones. As one Dr. of Philosophy put it, "We are the first mono-linguistic society in the history of the world."

I blushed when I heard that. Here we are making ourselves out to be so intelligent, and yet most people can't even hold a decent face to face their mother language.

My point in writing this post is not to say everything about the present day has changed for the worse. Only most things...LOL ;)

No, what I'm trying to communicate is my disappointment. Because like so many homeschooled graduates out there, I sometimes feel very alone in my values and beliefs. Just for once, I would love to have a discussion about the implications of Romantic literature on society and what distinguishes Bronte from Dickens in their writing styles. Do you ever hear two 18 year old talking politics? Religion? Ethics? No. Nobody wants to talk about meaty subjects, so we're left with the same cycle of repetition. How are you? I'm fine. What's new. Nothing much. That's nice. etc.

*hits head* AAAAHHHH!!! What are we coming to? (See, there I go again sounding like I'm eighty! ;P)

If we can't cope with ourselves individually, how is it we scratch our heads at the culture and wonder "what went wrong?" I'm not saying education is the answer to the world's problems, but I am asking: what are our standards?

What ought they to be?

Just something to think about...

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Love Never Dies

I've been a HUGE Phantom of the Opera fan since I was 10 years old. (And to anyone who thinks this is the moment to start bashing its lyrics and rather cliche story plot, beware! I will die defending my beloved Opera Ghost! :D)
So you can imagine my excitement when a friend of mine told me that the sequel (Love Never Dies)  was coming to Southern California for a one-night showing!
The play had been filmed in London last year and was released to select theaters all over the United States. It should be coming out on DVD sometime in May. Anyway, the boys and I met up with our friends to see it--but not before engaging in some serious window shopping! :)
Let's just say I have something of the prima-dona in me. ;)
Forever 21! Gotta love it! I like this new look on you, Johanna!
Sweet friends...
Great fellowship...

Overall, Love Never Dies is significantly different from the original. Much darker, more intense--musically and romantically. The story takes place on Coney Island ten years after Raoul and Christine have fled the Phantom's lair. In that time, a lot has changed. The Phantom, Meg, and Madame Giry have moved to America, Raoul has become a bit of a drunk, and Christine's child, Gustave, is a singularly talented boy with a super-human angelic voice. Hmmm, I wonder who his father could be... :)

I was really impressed by this play's set design and costuming. SO beautiful! Below is a video of my favorite song. Doesn't it just give you chills? I had them running up and down my spine the entire evening! *sighs* I wish I could sing like Christine... :)

Thanks guys for a great time of fun and laughter!
Rock on Andrew Lloyd Webber! :)

What a great way to conclude my 100th post!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Napkin Roses

Last night the cutest couple came into my work for a date.  They looked pretty young, probably in late high school or early college, but I couldn't help watching them throughout the evening. You know that expression of absolute, googly-eyed stupidity? Well, suffice it to say that these two wore it well.

As I was bussing their table later that night, I found this lying next to the girl's seat.
Yes, I know it's a napkin rose. Don't know how she could have forgotten it, but isn't that so sweet?
 (Hint to any guys out there, girls love this kind of stuff!)
And just so you don't forget what I look like...
I took it home with me because I just had to get a picture with it.
 Kinda clashes with the sword in the background though. ;)

That's what you get when you're a die-hard romantic with brothers!

*sighs* And now I better stop and go work out like I promised myself I would before I sat down to write this post. ;)

Sweet dreams!

Monday, March 5, 2012

God Only Knows...

For those of you who don't know (and I'm guessing this would be most of you), I have very vivid dreams.
No, I am not prophetic. I was just going to say that whether I'm dreaming about military sabotage or trying to avoid being trampled by a giant cookie, my dreams are very real. And very clear. Like a movie. In fact, I hate waking up because real life is so much more boring than what goes on in my subconscious gray matter. ;)

Anyway, all that to say that several days ago, I had a delicious dream about--smoothies. ;) One smoothie in particular. In fact, the smoothie that my dad used to buy for me every time we'd go to the grocery store. A little background: When I was a wee tyke, shopping with my dad meant one of three things: a cookie from the bakery, a strawberry/banana/kiwi smoothie drink from the refrigerated juice section, or a blue banana sticker on my nose! lol

Well, tonight my brain chose to dream about the drink. And boy, did I dream about it. I could taste it on my tongue, feel that liquid yumminess running over my lips and down my throat...oh, it was just Heaven.

And then I woke up.
And I was legitimately sad.
Because I'm broke.
And I feel the subtle-yet-ever-painful sting whenever I fork over $3.75 for a Starbucks mocha frap.
And put simply, I simply can't afford the tastes of my tastebuds. ;(

So yeah. I was disappointed when I swung my legs out of bed and stared at myself blankly in the bathroom mirror for five minutes. And I was sinking into despair by the time I splashed cold water on my face and greeted the world through the lenses of contacts. And I just prayed as my stomach gurgled, "Dear, Lord. I know it's silly. But I would really like a Naked smoothie right now." (That's the name of the company! And yes, I did pray that prayer! :P)

Fast-forward a couple of hours, my mom called me at work to ask if I could stop by the grocery store on my way home. "Sure," I told her. There was a pause. Then she smiled through the phone and I could just hear the patronization dripping from her voice as she said the words: "Oh, and feel free to grab a smoothie while you're at it."

I nearly dropped the cell phone for joy! Me? A smoothie? My dreamt-of, cried-over little craving? And I had just prayed that morning? And hadn't told anyone about it? And she didn't mention anything about Starbucks (which is inside the store)? Was I dreaming? It seemed plausible.

Needless to say, things got even better. Which is unusual because things rarely get better, they only get worse, which is disheartening to say the least, but I guess it coincides with the second law of Thermodynamics which says that all things are in a constant state of decay....

But I digress. Just when I thought things couldn't get any better, they did!

The small bottle of juice was $3.79.
The BIG bottle of juice was $4.79. And it was triple the size! *claps and squeals*

So I bought the big bottle (cuz hey, it was mom's treat!) and if I hadn't, she would have killed me for passing up such a great deal...

And as I watched that plastic pink bottle roll down the conveyor belt, I honestly had a moment of separation anxiety. But it was only for a moment, because the lady soon entrusted it back into my tender care. And as I cradled it with both hands, looking more like a child than a child possibly can look, I managed a big smile and whispered under my breath, "Thank you, God!"

Don't be afraid to hope for the little things. God hears. And He knows, better than we do sometimes, what can rock our world.

Let that encourage you as you begin your week!
Blessings and Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Princess Mia

Mia's new therapy has a system of rewards that allows her to get a new toy from the dollar store every time she earns enough tokens. Today was the first time she filled her jar all the way to the top, so my mom brought her to do a little shopping. She came home with a pink guitar.
And we have not heard the end of her jam session for SIX, long, monotone hours. *pulls out hair*
This evening at dinner, Mia raised her glass and told everyone to toast her for doing a good job in school. "Goo jo Mia!" she cried proudly. "Thank you Mommy! Yesee please speech! Yesee please doctors! I like school! Thank you Mommy!" We nearly split a gut laughing. ;)
Here's a video my dad took after dinner...while she was still playing her guitar! Fyi, Mocha is the name of our cat. ;)

Hope you enjoy!