Monday, November 30, 2015

A Very Musical Blog Party Edit

     I went back to my last post on days Nine & Ten and wrote my 5 favorite musical facts instead : )

Check them out HERE

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. 
~Edward Sandford Martin

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Vlog #11 - November

Talking about my 25th birthday (November 23) and listing 
my 25 likes and dislikes.

Monday, November 23, 2015

History Appreciation Post

Top: Moses, Deborah, St. Francis of Assisi
Middle: Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth I, George Washington
Bottom: Suffragettes, Robert Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II
     I love history! My favorite time period would be the Edwardian Era that span from 1901 to 1920 (give or take a few years), but I love any kind of history in general. Of course, what makes history interesting to me is the people. People create history, they record it, they live by it. I have many favorite historical figures probably too many to name, but I managed to narrow down my absolute top historical people that I admire.

1.) Moses - Truly one of the greatest prophets and leaders of the Bible! Everything about him from birth to death is an incredible account of a life destined for God's greatness. My top Biblical hero.

2.) Deborah - One of the most controversial Bible figures as well as the most obedient and bravest of all of God's judges. Deborah was chosen by God to lead his people when men continued to fail. She was a judge, prophetess, wife and warrior whose life deserves more praise and less condemning. 

3.) St. Francis of Assisi - The composer of my favorite hymn ("All Creatures of Our God and King") and definitely a man who had no problem defying convention and control. St. Francis spoke of God's world with reverence and unending joy. Although I'm not Catholic, I have always greatly admired St. Francis for his true devotion to his faith, his God and his love of all life.

4.) St. Joan of Arc -  Like Deborah, Joan believed to be chosen by God to lead when men failed. Although her life is vague at most in history, there is no denying that she changed the world and that God divine grace was with her the whole way through. Over 900 years later, St Joan of Arc continues to inspire.

5.) Queen Elizabeth I - Kings and queens come and they go in and out of history, Queen Elizabeth I was a queen whose life was much more than a history lesson. She is one of the most courageous and brilliant monarchs to ever wear Edward the Confessors crown and sit in his chair. Queen Elizabeth I brought England out of darkness and into the light and continued to spread that light clear into the New World.

6.) George Washington - What kind of Virginian would I be if I didn't mention George Washington?? A general, a gentleman, devoted father, loving husband and an ardent patriot who believed in the rights of mankind as well as the decency of human living. I still believe him to be the greatest of out Founding Fathers.

7.) The Suffragettes - I don't think women today could possibly understand the true sacrifice that these wives, mothers and daughters made to create an equal place alongside men. Sacrifice, courage and honor are only a few words that could be considered understatements to the lives of these women who never backed down, gave up or surrendered.

8.) Senator Robert "Bobby" Kennedy - As a longtime Kennedy fan, I have always found the late Robert Kennedy to be a paragon of what a true American should be. Robert Kennedy was fearless and unafraid when it came to dealing with adversaries and enemies, but also possessed great generosity and truth in his own personal life and beliefs. He was a great man who still remained a good man.

9.) Queen Elizabeth II - By the time Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1953, the monarchy were simply celebrities whose lives sold newspapers. However, Queen Elizabeth's is hardly fodder for tabloids, but rather a life the has been spent in duty to her God, her country and her family. An extraordinary woman who has lived a life of pure and consistent dignity and grace.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Downton Abbey Confession #22

In 1941, Marigold Crawley Gregson will be eighteen.

I hope she joins the war effort in some way to avenge her father who was murdered by the Nazis.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Law & Order

L-R: Detective Mike Logan, Sergeant Max Greevey,
Executive A.D.A Ben Stone and Paul Robinette
     One of the longest running shows in television history, Law & Order premiered in 1990 and has had a successful and continuous run since then. Law & Order has inspired two spin-offs while continuing with the original series and has allowed England to have their own British version. Needless to say, Law & Order could be considered television treasure. The show, in its most basic form, gives an inside look of the day to day work of the law enforcement and the judicial system of the district attorneys who work directly with the police. The most intriguing aspect of the show is watching both the process of the police investigations that eventually lead up to the court cases.

     Many of the shows storylines are taken from real life crimes, investigations and court cases and sometimes the good side wins and sometimes the good sides lose. When it premiered in the 1990, Law & Order dealt with the heady issues that other shows steered away from such as AIDs, abortion, drugs, racial discrimination, homosexuality, rape and molestation. 

Right: The Order - Sergeant Max Greevey and Detective Mike Logan
Left: The Law - A.D.A. Executive Ben Stone and Paul Robinette
     The show always starts off with the investigation of some kind of crime (it's not always murder) in New York City. Through interrogation, solving and no small amount of trial and error Detective Mike Logan and whoever his partner is at the time (there are three different sergeants in the first three seasons) have to acquire instinct, skill and understanding to locate and catch the criminals and eventually hand them over the district attorney's office to prosecuted by the state.

     When in the office, Ben Stone, a hard-ass by the book attorney and his partner, genius, but reserved Paul Robinette determine the criminal's fate and the victim's justice. The life of an attorney is wearing and exhausting and there are times, where even Ben's strong moral code of ethics is challenged. While there is right and wrong within the court system, there is hardly any black and white in many of these cases. 

     I never realized how closely the law enforcement and court systems worked together and most of the time, these cases have all four men (as well as their superiors) working together. Unlike most shows that have side stories involving the personal lives of the lead characters, Law & Order sticks solely to the cases and the off the clock lives of the leads are only pieced together by conversations throughout the seasons.

     A brilliant blend of cop show and court drama, I understand why Law & Order has never left the air, because it deals with the realities of life. The good, the bad and the ugly are all brought to the table to be dealt out with as much justice and equality as can be found. While a great deal of the program does deal with the horrific reality of city life, it also brings to light the incredible and tireless work of law enforcement and the court system that is needed if we want to live as free people. 

One final note...

      Ok....I'll be honest, I originally started watching the show because of Mike Logan. 

     A handsome, but hot headed detective who is following in the footsteps of his father, Mike gives a great amount of lightheartedness to the show with his witty personality. A brave cop and, above all, a good man, Mike was an immediate favorite because his personality was so opposite the the dark drama of the program. And yes, his looks play an integral part to my favoritism, but every crime show needs their obligatory badass heartthrob (like Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds) and Mike Logan brings to the show a certain degree of coming of age in his profession and carrying on the legacy that his own father started.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bombing in Paris

Paris Attacks Kill More Than 100, Police Say; French Seal Border

The Paris area reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that President Fran├žois Hollandecalled an unprecedented terrorist attack on France. He closed the borders and mobilized the military in a national emergency.

French television and news services quoted the police as saying at least 100 people had been killed at a concert hall alone, and dozens more in apparently coordinated attacks outside the country’s main sports stadium and at least five other popular locations in the city.

Witnesses on French television said the scene at the rock concert was a massacre.

The casualties eclipsed the deaths and mayhem that roiled Paris in the Charlie Hebdo massacre and related assaults around the French capital by Islamic militant extremists less than a year ago.

An explosion near the sports stadium, which French news services said may have been a suicide bombing, came as Germany and France were playing a soccer match, forcing a hasty evacuation of Mr. Hollande. As the scope of the assaults quickly became clear, he convened an emergency cabinet meeting and announced that France was closing its borders.

“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region,” he said in a nationally televised address. “There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.”

Mr. Hollande said that on his orders the government had “mobilized all the forces we can muster to neutralize the threats and secure all of the areas.”

President Obama in Washington came to the White House Briefing room to express solidarity and offer aid and condolences. “Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians,” he said. “This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Twitter erupted with celebratory messages by members and sympathizers of the Islamic State, the extremist group based in Syria and Iraq that is under assault by major powers including the United States, France and Russia.

The main shooting appeared to have broken out at a popular music venue, The Bataclan, where the American band Eagles of Death Metal was among those playing, and French news services said as many as 100 hostages may have been taken there. Some accounts said grenades had been lobbed as well.

A witness quoted by BFM television said he heard rounds of automatic rifle fire and someone shouting “Allahu akbar!” at The Bataclan.

Another witness who escaped the concert hall told BFM: “When they started shooting we just saw flashes. People got down on the ground right away.”

The police were ordering bystanders in the that area to get off the streets, French television reported.

French news media reported that Kalashnikov rifles had been involved in the shootings — a favored weapon of militants who have attacked targets in France — and that many rounds had been fired.
Police sirens sounded throughout central Paris on Friday night.

Unlike the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January, terrorism experts said the targets of the Friday attacks had no apparent rationale. Instead, assailants appeared to strike at random in hip neighborhoods on a Friday night when many people would be starting to enjoy the weekend.

“It’s a Friday night and there’s a lot of people out, a lot of tourists out,” said a senior European counterterrorism official. “If you want maximum exposure you do it like this, in the dark when it’s scarier and more difficult for police to act.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Little Things #4

 1.) I don't drink: Never have, never will and I don't think I'm missing out at all.

 2.) Finding a new tv series: YES!!!

 3.) I'm a 90's kid: And proud of it!

 4.) I love donuts: One of my many sugar weaknesses...

 5.) I love Starbucks: A hot chocolate and chocolate croissant or pecan tart and I'm in heaven : )

 6.) I'm really grateful for my family: While there might be some people that argue that fact, I truly do love my family.

Monday, November 2, 2015

AVMBP - Days Nine & Ten

Day Nine: Favorite book-to-screen adaptions

Day Ten: Free Day

     I just decided to combine these last two days together, because all the musicals I love, I have never read the books before!! And as for a free day, I'll give my 5 favorite musical facts.

1.) Sarah Brightman as Christine Daae
Steve Barton as Raoul and Sarah Brightman as Christine
in the original 1986 production of "The Phantom of The Opera"
      When Andrew Lloyd Webber was writing the musical "The Phantom of The Opera" he used his wife (at the time), Sarah Brightman as the inspiration for Christine Daae. Sarah was eventually given the role and unexpectedly set the standard for every Christine Daae in regards to her hair. In the book, Christine had long blonde hair, but Sarah had her trademark curly brown hair and kept it that way for the role and ever since the premiere 1986 performance, Christine Daae has always had long curly brown hair.

2.) Brothers
L-R: Michael Gruber as Munkustrap, John Partridge as Rum Tum Tugger
and Jacob Brent as Mistoffelees in "CATS" (1998)
      In "CATS" three of the main male characters are all brothers. Munkustrap the storyteller is the oldest, Rum Tum Tugger, the rebel is the middle and Mistoffelees, the magician is the youngest. After finding out this fact, I watched the 1998 movie production and suddenly the relationship dynamics between all three throughout the story made sense!

3.) Bridal Inspiration

     The 1954 musical film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was the inspiration for the 1968 television show Here Come the Brides, starring Bobby Sherman, Robert Brown and David Soul. The show starts shortly after the end of the Civil War and three brothers who are former lumberjacks make their way to male dominated New Bedford, Massachusetts to start a new logging company. To keep the the company running, Jason makes a deal with the the shady sawmill owner to get 100 marriageable women to New Bedford and stay there for a full year. The show only ran for 2 seasons, but from what I've heard, it's hysterical! My sister own both seasons and I'll start watching the show soon.

4.) 15 min. of Fame

     Andrew Lloyd Webber's first hit production, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was originally only 15 min. long. "Joseph" is one of Webbers most beloved shows because of its retelling of a favorite Bible story that remains accurate and respectful while livening it up with well written songs, enjoyable humor and incredible dance numbers. Webber was also genius in the way he used various styles of music in the show, from western to Rock and Roll. 

5.) My Fair Lady...or Queen

     Julie Andrews was the first Cinderella in Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical production of "Cinderella." Prior to putting on the glass slippers, she was playing Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady." Both Rodgers and Hammerstein were impressed with her portrayal of Eliza and were anxious to have her as their first Cinderella. Julie was 22 years old when she played in the televised musical and was a resounding success with all audiences.

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