Thursday, 29 December 2011

The End of Christmas Break (And Winston...)

So, Christmas break has been interesting this year - and far from what I would call a break. With darting back and forth between provinces, seeing BOTH my families, trying to squeeze in a "Christmas" with my roommates, and - of course - a car accident, I've had hardly enough time to think, let alone to break.

Now, some of you may be going, "car accident? What even?"

It is a good question, and the answer is, yes, Derek and I were in a car accident this Christmas. Yes, I was driving, and yes, it was an almost identical accident to the one that happened in October 2010. For anyone who might not know, in October last year (thanksgiving weekend, even - interesting, because this time it was Christmas break: what's next? Easter?) Derek, his brother, my old roommate, and I were in a fairly major accident. Our vehicle rolled six times, and we all ended pretty beat up. The accident sucked, and my life for awhile after really sucked, but things were starting to get better, and I wasn't expecting to be in another accident for a very, very long time!

Shows what I know right?

That right there, is our car. See it? All upside down and stuff? Poor Winston... He shall never drive again.

Yes, our car's name was Winston. And yes, he was brilliant. How we loved him. He was just hitting his teen years and was trying to find himself (we think that's the reason he was always getting us lost). Dear Winston, Derek and I will miss you.

Just so you know, Derek and I are both physically fine. Derek scraped his knuckles and the top of his head and I have a huge bruise on my knee, and we're both pretty sore and stiff all over, but we're ok. And this only goes to show that when we're leaving Swan River around the holidays, I shouldn't be driving!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Interesting Box!

This is where my roommates and I store our bobby pins and hair ties - it's an old cardboard soap box. While, sure, it looks fine (I guess) it looks a bit like we just grabbed something that we should have thrown out and we threw our junk into it - which is really what happened. 

I, however, decided to do something about the-grabbed-from-the-garbage-look.

And so began my quest! I started with some old sheet music Lana (one of my roomies) and I picked up from MCC and a piece of blue mulberry paper I had lying around. Our bathroom has a sort of blue feel going for it, so I wanted to keep it semi-consistent.

Box was un-boxed (?) and traced out on the sheet music, leaving me with two strangely shaped pieces that I then had to attach to the box.

Hot glue clearly didn't work...

But, in a surprisingly short amount of time, I had completely covered the outside of the box with sheet music and reassembled it - doesn't it look nice?

Then it was on to stage two. I also wanted to make the inside of the box look nice, so our bobby pins and hair ties could have pretty paper to look at as they sat there. Here's where the mulberry paper plays its part in the great tale!

I started off by measuring the inside of the box, figuring out the dimensions: height, width, depth, length, etc. Then, I traced out a picture of what the inside liner would have to look like and put the dimensions in. I made a model on scrap sheet music and then traced it out on the mulberry. Cut that out, and went to fold it into the box... only to realize that I had gotten the dimensions wrong! How even. Trim it down, try to fit it in: it works! Awesome... until I realized that glue and mulberry paper... hate each other.

...nuff said...

So, in the end, I just put down a piece on the bottom of the box and left it at that.

But of course, the finished product was far from finished! So, I created a rolled paper flower from the mulberry paper (though I swore I'd never make any more of those after crafting my Christmas wreath... more later, perhaps?), grabbed some twine, and of course... buttons... I love buttons. :D

 Buttons... teehee...

Did I, perchance, mention that I like buttons? Oh, probably not, so I'll say it again... BUTTONS. They're just so cute! And there are so many colours, and they go with everything... See, just look at this button butterfly that I created on the box. It goes so well! And since butterflies are becoming a thing in my bathroom, it goes well... This butterfly isn't yet finished, so keep reading to see it done! I must say, there is only one bad thing about buttons: wanting two that match and not being able to find a second one.

Anyway, so after all the buttons, I managed to complete our little hair tie/bobby pin box. Isn't is cute? I think it goes perfectly with the rest of our eclectic, college student-esque house.

And of course, pictures of it in the bathroom. Note how well the blue mulberry flower goes with our Chinese fan! Awesome...

And total cost for it: $0.... ...I had everything already! Yay, DIY.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

God and Music: A Theological Thought

So, this is a paper I wrote for theology class last year and my fiance reminded me of it today. As I read through it, I realized how proud I was of it. I tried to put it on Facebook but that didn't work, and then I remembered: hey! I have a blog! This is the kind of writing that I like to do - if only all assignments were like this... So here it is...

As a child and adolescent, I took piano lessons. Although for many years, I had no interest in actually practicing or playing, eventually my attitude toward the music changed and I began to realize my appreciation for the beautiful sounds that my fingers could create when I took the time to do the work. As I have continued to grow older, my appreciation for music in general has only developed more and at this point in time I have more than ten days worth of music in my iTunes. How does one even describe music? I am reminded here of the lyrics of Abba. Although amongst music circles, Abba is generally regarded with a scoff, the words of their song “Thank You for the Music” describe music, I think, perfectly: “Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing; thanks for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty? What would life be? Without a song or a dance, what are we?” 

The song asks in the second verse where music began, and while I know that the answer to that question is that it began with God, I have to wonder why he created music. What did he hope to show the world through it? How does music reflect God’s relationship with the world? Being instructed to listen to classical music, jazz, and one other genre, I picked some Bach (perhaps my favorite classical composer), Louis Armstrong (one of the world’s most well-known jazz artists), and JJ Heller (a young folk artist who has only come into the music scene a few years ago). 

As said, I took piano lessons for many years, and the more I enjoyed them, the more I enjoyed playing Bach. His music is rather difficult; in fact, my teacher said that people rarely choose to play his music, which is perhaps why I enjoyed it so much. Bach fills his music with fast scale-oriented notes, and there are many, many notes. His music possesses a grandeur that can take my breath away. When I am listening to a beautiful concerto or suite, I want to close my eyes and lose myself in the beauty that I hear. There is structure, but the structure only adds to the majesty of the music. At the moment Bach’s “Suite For Orchestra No. 3, In D Major” is playing, and if I were a bird, I would be soaring. It is captivating as the many instruments play together in perfect unison. These things I also see in God; when God reveals himself to the world - to those who have eyes to see him - his grandeur, his majesty is revealed in the mountains, stretching to meet the heavens or in the stars as they dot the inky, black night! In such a setting, I simply want to lose myself, captivated by God’s greatness, but is his interaction with human’s structured? Seeing God as a great composer, commanding the world to move in a certain way, to play his song a certain way does not seem to reflect what I know of him. It seems to lack the freedom; classical music - though absolutely beautiful - fits inside a box, and God definitely does not fit inside a box!

Although classical music reflects God’s magnificence and awe-inspiring beauty, and while God’s interaction with the world is perhaps quite detailed, I found that I did not see classical music as the best representation of God’s relationship with the world. Moving to jazz, to Louis Armstrong, I found a whole new world. In a place of improvisation, of seven-step chords instead of octaves, of a bit of rebellion and a bit of something unusual, my feet began to tap and my body began to move along with the music almost instinctively. Saxophone solos and deep, lusty voices singing danced through my ears into my mind, stimulating my senses in a whole new way. In my thoughts, I pictured God along with the music, watching the world not from above, but dipping into our planet, into our existence to dance, to move with his world. I saw joy on his face as he swung us along in a great dance toward his Kingdom. In a way, I pictured him as an artist, painting a picture with everything that happened in the world, filling his brush with colors that seemingly clashed separately, only to fit together perfectly, spontaneously sweeping great strokes of color across the canvas that is the world. There is an intimacy in jazz, that I recognize in God; an intimacy that speaks of how close he is to us, but at the same time, is my image of God as a spontaneous, all-over-the-place painter correct? Is there maybe too much insanity in jazz for it to reflect God perfectly?

Feeling dissatisfied with jazz as perfectly describing God’s relationship with the world, I move to JJ Heller, to the relaxed, acoustic folk. The music has a simplicity to it; instead of being filled with grandeur or spontaneity, this folk uses simple chords and fewer notes than either jazz or classical music. Even the lyrics are simple, but the simplicity brings with it peace. It is straightforward and good. Instead of feeling my body moving along to the music or my soul being swept away, my entire being is at peace while listening to this music. As my thoughts turn to God, trying to picture him interacting with the world like this acoustic folk, I can picture him walking beside the world or simply sitting with us. He has a stillness to him, the ability to calm storms and calm hearts. He brings joy with his peace and puts us at ease. However, at the same time, where is God’s majesty in this? Or his intense passion?

Looking at all three genres of music, I realize something important: all three reflect God’s interaction with the world and none of the three reflect God’s interaction with the world. God is so beyond anything human, therefore any human creation cannot present God perfectly. In the case of these three genres, there is something in all of them that depicts an aspect of God, but not one of them shows the whole picture. Together, they are able to create a better idea of who God is and how he interacts with us, but even then, it is not complete...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

So, not related to drama at all, but...

Yes, yes. I know this blog is supposed to be about all my lamenting and reminiscing when it comes to theatrical shows being finished (still sad face about Moses, by the way) but honestly. That's not all of my life! So today, I am going to blog about something so lame but so awesome.


(you should be able to tell already that I'm pumped about this)

So, this morning I put on my scarf and it looked... Like this:

And I was like, how lame is that? I've worn scarves like this my entire life - of wearing scarves. And, you see, right now I have this complete fascination/obsession/addiction (maybe this is a bad thing...) with infinity scarves! I mean, just think about them. They're so clean, so pretty, so forever (hence the name).

So what do you think I did? I made it into an infinity scarf!

(also, I was listening to Corinne Bailey Rae at the time... yes, sweet R&B jazz music... makes everything in life, like, 12 million times better!)

So, I took my lame (note the abundance of the word lame in this post...) normal scarf and turned it into an awesome infinity scarf by simply tying all the tassels together with reef knots - which, by the way, are one of the best ways to tie knots. They looks so much nicer than regular square knots and they are easier to untie.

Fifteen minutes later - all of them are tied! Huzzah!

And I have a wonderful infinity scarf that even shows off the necklace that I was wanting to wear today! What a great thing. Yay for today!