Sunday, February 28, 2016

Broken Strings and Shattered Dreams: Part 4

Five days later, Brigitte turned seven. She had a small party with the ballerinas. It was nothing special at all. No streamers or balloons. Antoinette gave her ten francs that Erik had demanded she was given for each birthday. Brigitte had a small cake and that was the end of her party. The cake was so small, it could fit in the palm of her hand. It was lightly glazed with no candle. Yet Brigitte was nothing short of happy and grateful. When Antoinette came up that night, she was surprised to see Brigitte twirling in front of the mirror in a beautiful soft pink dress. The dress was exquisite. It had tulle and silk, a lace neckline and long sleeves. The shoes were small little heeled shoes. The necklace was a small diamond one. With her naturally soft curled brown hair, Brigitte looked beautiful. There was a grand chocolate cake on Brigitte's nightstand. 
"Brigitte, darling, where did you get all of this? You didn't take it, did you?" Antoinette asked, worriedly. 
"No, ma'am. I came up and saw these lying on my bed. There was this note." Brigitte handed her a piece of paper. She went back to twirling about in her beautiful gown, while Antoinette read on. 

Happy birthday. Everyone needs something to wear for their debut.

An Unknown Friend

Antoinette smiled. Erik. Brigitte handed her something else. It was sheets of music. Debut? What are you doing, Erik? Antoinette wondered. She would soon find out. 

Monsieur Andre was packing up his things from the office that night, when he saw another note lying on his desk. Almost a bit afraid to touch it, he packed up the rest of his things before opening it.  

Dear Monsieur Andre, 

The time has come for you to put Brigitte on stage to perform. She is ready, with a song learned. Let her perform on Friday night as the encore. Do not let Monsieur Firmin know until it is too late to cancel. Also, I demanded that you leave Box 5 open for me. I shall be in attendance. If you don't, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur.

Your faithful servant 
Opera Ghost

Monsieur Andre did just that. When Friday came, he was more than scared. In the wings, Brigitte was straightening her dress in her own private dressing room. It was large and there were roses tied in black silk ribbons on the table. She looked at herself in the mirror and whispered out loud, "I'm scared." 
"There is nothing to be afraid of, my little Brigitte." Erik let the words flow out of his mouth as smooth as lyrics in a song. He physically slapped a hand over his mouth, realizing he had said his thoughts aloud. Oh Erik, you are such a fool! You are the famous Opera Ghost and yet you cannot contain yourself in front of a seven year old! Erik's mind hissed.
"What? Who's there? That voice, it sounds so familiar!" Brigitte looked all around. She found no one, but she blew a kiss in the air and left the room, when Antoinette knocked on the door to tell her she was going to be onstage in five minutes. Erik cautiously made his way to Box 5 and sat down in the shadows to watch his little Brigitte play. Andre looked up to Box 5 and saw no one. 
"Ah, Andre." Firmin came over. "What a marvelous night! No opera ghost in sight!" 
"Firmin, I meant to tell you, but it simply slipped my mind," Andre played it cool. "Brigitte will be performing in two minutes. It was another order from the Opera Ghost." 
"What? How could you forget?" Firmin demanded. A woman hushed them, as the curtains opened. There stood Brigitte in the outfit that Erik had made her. Her brown curls were pinned back with rose pins. The audience smiled and waited for Brigitte to start. But before she could even lift her bow, Firmin rushed onto the stage. Erik jumped out of his seat, still in the shadows. He was breathily heavily, as fire shot out of his eyes. Erik left in anger to the wings of the stage, before climbing up to the rafters. 
"Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. There has been a change in our schedule. Mademoiselle Brigitte will not be playing, tonight. The orchestra will play a song for the final encore. I am sorry for the confusion." Firmin ushered poor Brigitte offstage. People murmured and most of the women shook their head in disbelief. Behind the curtains, Brigitte stood in the embrace of Antoinette, big tears falling down her pink cheeks. He stood now and and clapped his hands for the orchestra to start.

"DID I NOT INSTRUCT THAT MADEMOISELLE BRIGITTE WAS TO PERFORM HER DEBUT TONIGHT? THE ORCHESTRA IS PLAYING TO BRING DOWN THE CHANDELIER!" Erik screamed, as he furiously started to saw through the last strand of the rope that held up the grand chandelier. He watched as people screamed and scurried out from under the chandelier. He didn't want to kill anyone, no, not at all. But he also wanted everyone to know that he was serious. As soon as the last strand was cut he smiled. Erik laughed maniacally as the chandelier plummeted into the audience. Everyone screamed and ran in all directions. Erik laughed even louder now. They deserved it. Andre had done all that he had asked. Erik later found out that no one was hurt or killed, but the Opera House would need quite a bit of repairing. But that Firmin! That Firmin! I will make him pay! I will make everyone pay! Erik thought.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pass the Popcorn: Mr. Peabody and Sherman

**DISCRETION: I do not own the header photo or any photos displayed on this post**

Hey everyone! Today, I want to share with you one of my favourite movies: Mr. Peabody and Sherman! This movie came out in 2014 and I think we may have got in in 2015 (or maybe not) but my sister was telling me how cute and how good it looked. And after watching it, I couldn't agree more. Mr. Peabody is...... well, he's a dog. Literally. Well, he would probably prefer me calling a "Literate Dog" (haha, watch the movie and then you'll get it). He was once a puppy unlike all the others, but different as well. No, I'm not just talking about him wearing a red bow tie and wearing glasses. He saw no logic in barking or fetching, only in reading and improving his education. And as time progressed, he saw that no boy wanted him, therefore he turned his focus and attention to his education and became one of the smartest dogs in the world. But one day, he found a baby in a box on a rainy night and went to court to adopt the boy, in which he named Sherman. Now Sherman is nine years old and Mr. Peabody has invented the latest and greatest machine: the WABAC (pronounced Way-Back). It's a time traveling machine to visit any time in history. The two rules? Don't drive (goes for Sherman) and never go to a time where you already existed. Sherman gets to go everywhere, including the Palace of Versailles and even to see George Washington.

But in the present, there's a new adventure: Going to school. Mr. Peabody drops Sherman off and give him a dog whistle to call on him if he ever needs him. Sherman proves to be a very eager learner in his history class and declares George Washington as the first president of the United States. However, when another student named Penny is called on to answer the question "what tree did George Washington cut down" she answers the "correct" answer: a cherry tree. Sherman calls "apocryphal" to her answer and it's clear that there already is bad blood between them. During lunch that same day, Penny calls him a dog because Sherman's dad is a dog. She later taunts him and tries to choke him. Sherman defends himself (and his neck) by biting her on the arm. Peabody is called the office to discuss it with the Principal when the snobbish Ms. Grunion comes in and tells him that he is in a bad position. She later proclaims that she will be visiting their house to do an inspection later. Mr. Peabody, who doesn't want to lose Sherman, plans a dinner to hopefully clear up the mess with Penny and her parents. While Peabody gradually wins Penny's parents over, Sherman is having trouble being remotely nice to Penny. She calls him a liar about George Washington and he takes her in the WABAC to meet George Washington against Peabody's orders. However, Sherman returns without her and tells Mr. Peabody that they had to make a stop in ancient Egypt. Problem? Penny refuses to come home after meeting King Tut and it's a whirlwind adventure from there!

You'll stop by Florence, Italy in the Renaissance time period, and even Rome during the Trojan War.

I like the movie a lot. First, it's SO CUTE. Ahem.

Second, it's educational. Right now, I have two little sisters who are six and eight. And they like to watch movies and shows/movies on Netflix. Lately, we've had to put a password on all devices to keep them from watching it all day. However, I get tired of them watching non-educational things like "Barbie Life in the Dream House" and things such as that. My two sisters who are more around my age agree and we all try to make them watch educational things. This movie provides family fun, adventure, history, and humor in the entire package.

I love Peabody and his witty humor. Though he's not like other dads i.e. he's a dog, he's extremely smart, he doesn't say "I love you" but instead, "I have a deep regard for you as well", he is indeed a good dad to Sherman.

Sherman is also a great, fun character. From his close relationship with Peabody, to the struggles with Penny, and his never ending incomprehension to understand Peabody's jokes and/or puns.

So if you have family nights on Friday or the weekend, this would be a great family friendly movie for the entire family to watch!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

So Long, Farewell, and Good Bye

Hey everyone! Just wanted to give everyone a heads up: I will be off my blog until maybe Tuesday of next week. My family has some big things coming up this week and I have my finals for school, so it's farewell just for now. But don't worry, Broken Strings and Shattered Dreams will be continued, just not this Sunday but next.

Please bear with me and I hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Broken Strings and Shattered Dreams: Part 3

First off, let me say Happy Valentine's day to one and all! Let this day be a reminded to love everyone, because we all know in this day and age, everyone needs to be loved. These are just some lyrics that first popped into my mind (some more random than others that may not actually fit the Valentine's Day mold) while writing this small little tribute before my fan fiction.

Let us love
Like were were children
Make us feel like we're still living
In a world I know is burning to the ground
Give us time to beat the system
Make us find what we're still missing
In a world I know is burning to the ground

~ Let Us Love by Needtobreathe

I love you for sentimental reasons
I hope you do believe me
I've given you my heart 

~ I Love You (For Sentimental Reasons) written by Ivory Watson and William Best 

Wise men say only fools rush in 
But I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay? 
Would it be a sin?
If I can't help falling in love with you?
Like the river flows, surely to the sea
Darling so we'll go, some things were meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life to
Cause I can't help falling in love with you 

 ~ Can't Help Falling in Love With You version by Tyler Joseph

I don't want to set the world on fire
I just want to start a flame in your heart
~ I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire by the Inkspots

May 1885

It had been six years since Brigitte left the care of Erik. She was now six years old, her birthday coming next week. Antoinette was now nineteen and an excellent ballerina. Brigitte was a ballerina, but she never found quite a love for it. She tried singing and it was something she loved. But most of all, Brigitte loved to play the cello and the violin. She was excellent at it. It sounded like music from Heaven. But she never got the chance to play them, because the last time she did, she got into trouble. The managers Monsieur Firmin and Andre put her to work as a servant instead. She ran errands and tended to be a seamstress. Everyone bossed her around. Whether it was the managers, the stage hands, the ballerinas or even the singers. Erik, who was now nineteen, was not satisfied. Though he wished for Brigitte to never know him, he was always looking out for her. He had told Antoinette to take good care of her. Ordering her around and making her a servant was not part of the plan. So one night, he waited until Antoinette came down for her usual nightly glass of water in the kitchen. She walked in and was taking a sip of the cool water, when Erik sternly asked, "Antoinette?" The girl dropped the cup, the water and glass spilling on the floor. 
"Erik?" Antoinette hissed, as she quickly grabbed a broom. "You scared me!" She scurried to pick up all the broken glass. Erik only stood, his golden eyes burning into her gaze. He had on his usual black trousers, white button up shirt and waist coat. It was complete with his cloak and his usual mask. 
"Well you deserved that for the life you've given my little Brigitte. I told you to take care of her. That goes beyond seeing that she has somewhere warm to sleep, clothing her and feeding her. I want her to have a bright future! Not one as a servant! I order you to give her a better future. Or I will myself!" Erik snapped. With that and a swish of his new cape, he disappeared. 
The next morning Antoinette talked to the managers about making Brigitte a cellist or a violinist. Monsieur Andre thought it was a splendid idea, but Monsieur Firmin did not. So Antoinette went away discouraged. In the walls, Erik listened to the conversation. He decided that he was already not fond of Firmin. Andre, well he'd see if he would like him. Well, if Antoinette can't change Firmin's mind, maybe I can. So the next day he wrote a note to the managers. 

Dear Monsieur Firmin and Monsieur Andre,

There has been a terrible decision made that could turn this opera house to ruins. Mademoiselle Brigitte must be made a cellist or a violinist, and she must be one of them in the orchestra in the near future. Preferably by the time she is sixteen. If you do not, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur. 

Your humble servant, 
O. G. 

The next day, when Monsieur Andre went into his and Monsieur Firmin's office, he spotted a note on his desk. He opened it and read it thoroughly. When Monsieur Firmin came in, he showed him the note. 
"What on earth? We cannot put Brigitte in lessons! She is a servant girl! She is not even pretty!" Monsieur Firmin snapped, throwing his hands up. 
"Why not? I say we give her a change, Firmin. What could we possibly lose? I've been telling you to give her a chance. And look: the message says "If you do not, a disaster beyond your imagination will occur". We can't risk that. Let us give her chance." Andre persisted. 
"No. I refuse to listen to this O. G.." Firmin snapped. With Erik listening in the walls, he was dissatisfied. So when the orchestra was practicing in the afternoon, he went up to where the backdrops were and cut the ropes. The backdrop fell to the ground with a huge thump. The orchestra screamed and ran from their instruments. Erik let out a maniacal laugh, as it bounced off of every wall. It was loud and creepy sounding. Firmin and Andre came to the scene. 
"I tell you, put the girl in lessons!" Andre told Firmin. Firmin, now a bit shaken, nodded. Brigitte was sent for, where Andre and Firmin were waiting. 
"Ah, Brigitte. We would like to give you lessons on the violin or the cello. Whichever you pick." Andre smiled. Brigitte smiled and asked, "Do you mean it?" Andre happily nodded. When she turned away, he shot a smug look to Firmin. Brigitte picked up the violin and started to play. It was the oddest most beautiful tune. It was sad and heartbreaking, even haunting, if you must call it, but in the same way, it was sweet. Erik froze in shock. That was the tune that he used to lull his little Brigitte to sleep. The tune that he used to make Brigitte stop crying. It brought him to tears. He had to remove his white mask from his face to wipe the sad tears that ran down his deformed cheek. How he missed Brigitte! There was never a spare moment that went by that Erik didn't think about her. Brigitte played, with tears flowing down her pink cheeks. The ballerinas, stage hands, orchestra and the chorus singers gathered around her. When she finished, everyone applauded. 
"Brigitte, where did you learn that?" "You were amazing!" "Oh, Brigitte we never knew!" Were a few of the endless questions that the ballerinas asked, who gathered around her. Even Antoinette was shocked. 
"She……She…..She is a prodigy!" Firmin spat out in amazement. Antoinette went over and knelt in front of Brigitte and wiped the tears off her face. 
"Brigitte, my dear where did you learn that?" Antoinette asked, her voice strained. She did a good job of hiding it, after all, Brigitte was only six years old.  

"I-I don't know. I remember it. I remember it so clearly." Brigitte admitted. "I don't know where it's from." Erik leaned against the wall to support himself. She remembered! She was only six months old! He figured that she was at least five months old when he found her. He started to cry again. He didn't understand why. He went off to his house. Curse my tears! Curse the feelings I feel inside! A monster should not weep. A monster does not deserve to weep! Erik chided himself. Shaking his head, Erik had to do something before Brigitte's seventh birthday. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Five Things I Hate About High School

Hello stars! I was debating on doing a fandom post or a ranting post and I decided to do a ranting one because I felt like it. Or maybe I've been watching too much Blimey Cow on Youtube. I don't know.

But anyways, if you've been with me for a while, you'll know that I've been homeschooled since the 4th grade. However, right before the start of my freshman year, I decided to go back for reasons that I won't get into today (I mean, then it won't be a rant, right?). Overall, high school's pretty okay. But today, I want to share the top five things I hate about high school:

1. The Students
Ah, my favourite one that I'll probably rant about the most. I do not like 95% of the kids at my school. I won't sugar coat it or lie. I have my group of gals I hang around and I have my awesome band kids (lunch with them is never a boring time (especially when there's Trivia Crack game or political or music debate going on)) and even my crew (Elite Techies), and a few (JUST A FEW) selected choir kids I hang around and that's about it. I know a lot of people, but a lot of them are just acquaintances that I've had one class with. That and (haha :') ) I'm Asian and I know of maybe three or four other Asians in the school, so who could forget me? But then there are all the other kids. The guys...... Well, their either athletes, cocky, unintelligent lazy bums, so nerd smart that you can't have a real conversation with them, or just downright boring. Not to mention there are barely any decent-looking (Even REMOTELY decent looking) guys around here. Like, have you heard of a comb? Or deodorant? Or even a SHOWER? Not many of them have. 

Girls, that's whole new ball game. You have your little preppy girls, social-outcasts, gothic kids, stereotypical punk kids, queen bees and her "peanut gallery", and all those girls. And if you haven't been in high school, then you probably don't realise how mean girls can be. Like, they're worse than guys, which is why most of the people I hang around are guys (less drama, less crying, less relationship problems, gives me an excuse to have a big appetite, and so on). And the gossip spreads like a wildfire. You hear it from here, there, and anywhere. Girls also drive me nuts by the way that they dress. This is what I call the "Stereotypical White Girl Outfit"
1. Yoga pants/leggings (It's bad when you see the outline of their undergarments, but it's even worse when you know they're not wearing anything underneath)
2. Big and bulky sweatshirts
3. Mix-matched socks
4. Open toed sandals
5. Hair up in a messy bun
6. Those wide head band things that go around your entire head
This outfit is most often then complete with a Starbucks drink. But what drives me even more nuts is the fact that these girls look like they just rolled out of bed, but they still have time to paint their entire face. Like, it doesn't take much effort to dress nicely. I dress pretty classy going to school, or so I've been told. It's gotten to the point that I've had some of my friends tell me that they just want be to dress up as a "Typical white girl" for one day or Halloween (in which I'm like no). To all you girls, high school or not, have some class, and stop dressing like you just rolled out of bed.
Also, if you don't know by now, girls are definitely mean girls. I try to stay away from most of them, but believe you me, plenty of them have crossed me and they haven't dared to do it again. I have learned over time not to take any disrespectful stuff from girls and I stand my ground, which is probably why I have a lot of people who don't like me.  

Seniors: Welllllll, they're the upper classmen. They think they're all that (which some of them actually are) and stuff. They get irritated with freshman and pretty much blame everything that goes wrong on the freshman. Choir rehearsal and everyone's talking? Blame the freshman and then They keep talking. You don't know your lines for plays and musicals and you continually miss your cues and you still criticise the freshmen who mess up a few words and misses cue by a mere second. Believe me, people, I've seen it all. But don't be fooled by all of them. Some of them can be really nice (that and it's easier when you look and act like a senior) to you even though you're a freshman.

Freshman: Agh. I. Don't. Like. Freshman. Didn't like my class, didn't (and still don't) like the class that came in this year. Every year it gets worse and worse and worse. It seems like they get even more immature as the years progress on, and we need to fix this. I'm in health this trimester and we had to play wallyball with the freshmen in these gigantic courts with super high ceilings and walls (hence the name WALLyball) and they were 1. Screaming 2. Laughing 3. Being so ultra-competitive (like this is PE I, not an actually Word Championship Tournament, quit being so hard on the poor ball) One of the juniors in my health class actually walked out because she was so fed up with it. I was about to walk out when they dismissed us to the locker rooms. So if you have younger siblings who are about to go into high school, tell them to put on their big boy/girl pants, leave the junior-high antics at the junior high and grow up. Please.

2. The Standardized Testing
Ugh. Standardized testing sucks. Literally. Me and my friend of the same name (there are three other girls with my name in choir, including her) were stuck in the cafeteria for three entire hours taking some InView test which fried my brain. Then a week later I had to take the PSAT's. And I took the ACT's last year. Like, stop testing us to death please? A test, or even your GPA or grades (I'm obsessed with mine, but moving on) doesn't define how smart you truly are. Remember that every time they lay a test down on your desk. It just looks better on a college application. 

3. The Substitute Teachers
WHERE DO THEY FIND THESE PEOPLE? Subs are the worst. Honestly. First of all, half the time they try to be all strict and "mean", but half the time the kids don't even listen. Second, most of them don't even know what they're doing. Like a sub, in my opinion, should have some kind of idea about what they're talking about. Half the time I have subs, they're either the first, or reading a book, on their phone, or not even caring or paying attention. Like, someone please find some better subs. For all of our sakes. 

4. The School Nurses
Where do we find these people even? Half the time they seem like they don't know what they're talking about or they're just plain mean. And it was actually the same way in elementary school as well. They truly can't even do anything for us. They can let us lay down, get an ice bag, take medication (with signed parent slips) and give up saltine crackers for Lord-only-knows what kind of issues. It'd actually be scary to see them in action if a student passed out or got a concussion. Like, what would they do for them??

5. The Food
I don't know why I put this as the fifth one. I guess truly they're not exactly in any sort of order. I just put the top five things in mind. First off, I'd like to thank Michelle Obama for cutting down our food and giving us (public schools) the worst food imaginable. Not kidding, I think people on death row in prison get a better "last day living" meal (Yes, they do that) than we do any day of the week. And honestly, it's ridiculous. I ate school lunch my freshman year of high school and now I pack my lunch. There are some days (like days where I'm in the gym for health where I have to carry my drawstring bag on me (so that's my backpack+my drawstring+my coat) and I don't feel like carrying my lunch tote so I eat the school's food. Everything is fat free, reduced fat, diet, no calorie everything. That's not exactly bad, and I'm not the skinniest person, but it's ridiculous what they're doing and I'll tell you why: Every time someone gets lunch, they are required to get a fruit or vegetable with their meal. And if there are pasta days we can't have chips. BUT the thing is, everyone grabs the fruit or vegetable and guess where it goes? IN THE TRASH. That's so much money down the drain. I see it every day! You can't force a kid to eat healthy, you really can't. And the whole 'no chip' thing for the pasta? You can just go up to the snack line and buy a bag of chips there! And if people really want regular soda, they'll just bring it from home! There's no common sense, because money is going down in the landfills for every single piece of fruit/vegetable that every kid doesn't eat. Imagine what we could actually do with all the money spent on trying to force us to eat healthy......

So there you have it! The top five things I hate about high school. Now, there are good things about high school like the socialising part and the after-school clubs, and so on. And did I mention that our school's marching band is amazing?!? Ahem, because it is. A lot of school's put their spotlight on their sports or their theatre program. We put ours on our music (choir, band, orchestra, but mostly band) and I really like that. I am a musical person and it's really great to see the appreciation of it shown at our school. That and we have good school spirit (well I don't, but anyways).

I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you can learn from it and/or teach some of your others peers and all that jazz!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Broken Strings and Shattered Dreams: Part 2

March 1879

Above the cellars that were under the opera house, a young ballerina named Antoinette was tossing and turning one night. She kept hearing the wind and strange sounds. Sounds that sounded like a baby crying. For an hour, this torture continued, before Antoinette gave up trying to sleep. She pulled on her slippers and her pink shawl and grabbed a candle. 
"It better not be who I think it is." Antoinette sighed. She headed down to the kitchen and felt for the invisible door that she knew her friend went through. She had watched him and knew where the entrance was. If she had not known, she would have never even known that were was an outline in the wall. Stepping into the darkness, Antoinette was suddenly glad she had brought a candle. Before long, she was upon his home. When she spotted him she was in a state of shock. He was pacing around with a pink bundle in his arms. He was cooing at her, his cloak swishing every time he made a sharp turn. He bounced her a little and whispered, "Sh, it's alright, Brigitte, Erik's here." He then set the baby girl in a cradle near the fire and started to play his violin, ever so softly. 
"Erik, what are you doing? I can hear the baby crying from up in the ballet dormitory!" Antoinette walked over. Erik scoffed, as Brigitte slowly quieted. Soon enough Brigitte stopped crying. A happy look was on her face. Erik smiled in triumph. Every time that she cried, he would play that exact tune and she would immediately quiet down. He had to have played it at least five times a day for the first three months that he had her. It had slimmed down to three now, four on a bad day. He put down his violin and picked up the baby and the bottle that was halfway filled with milk. He stuck it into Brigitte's mouth, as the baby drank, hungrily. 
"Who is this and why do you have a baby in your home?" Antoinette demanded. 
"This is Brigitte and I rescued her from dying on the streets, thank you very much." Erik scowled, as he held the precious bundle in his bony thin arms. She could tell that he seemed embarrassed. A cold hearted thirteen year old caring for a young baby girl; it made entirely no sense at all. "I can't keep her here much longer if you can hear her from above. They'll discover that I'm here. You have to take her for me. Raise her. I could never be a good Papa, anyways. She's better off having a loving mother than a devilish demon as a Papa." Erik gently thrust Brigitte into Antoinette's arms. He went to sit back in his huge chair. 
"What am I suppose to tell everyone?" Antoinette demanded, bouncing Brigitte ever so slightly. Erik sat with his back towards her gazing into the bright cheery fire and replied, "Tell them you found her on the streets and give them some excuse to let her stay. She could be a prima ballerina or a prima donna when she's older for all we know. Tell some kind of believable lie. I can't keep her any longer." Antoinette noticed the hint of sadness and heartbreak in his voice. 
"How long have you had her?" Antoinette asked, seeing the beautifully wood carved cradle. It had fine etches and details. It was obviously made by Erik. He had always had a talent for music, painting and working with his hands. 
"About six months." Erik mumbled. 
"You're thirteen and you've been taking care of a baby for six months?" Antoinette was impressed. "All right. Fine. I'll take her. But, remember Erik, you are now in my debt." She watched Erik nod. He stood and quickly opened several drawers and pulled out a velvet red bag. He stuffed several things inside, and gave it to Antoinette. 
"There is one hundred-sixty francs in this bag. Give her ten francs on each of her birthdays. Tell her that her birthday is September 7th. And for you troubles, Antoinette, here is one hundred francs. Take good care of her." Erik handed Antoinette her money. 
"Why September 7th?" Antoinette asked, curiously. 

"That is the day I found her. Go now. Don't ever tell her about me." Erik gently pushed Antoinette towards the way back to civilization. Antoinette left Erik's home with Brigitte gurgling happily in her arms. 

Let me know what you think will happen in the comments and stay turned for Sunday's for the weekly updates!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reasons Why You Should Watch "You Can't Take It With You"

So, if you've been on this long journey with more for more than a year, you just might know that my high school does a fall play and a spring musical. This year, the play was Anne of Green Gables and this spring (well it got switched to the last week of February) Mary Poppins will be our musical. Unfortunately, it looks as if I won't be able to work it this year. But last year we did Footloose for our musical. But 2014's fall play was by far the best. And to be honest, there are times where I wonder if just because it was my first show that I worked, is the reason I think it's the best ;).

You Can't Take it With You follows the story of Alice Sycamore. It's set in New York City in the year of 1936. Now, imagine this: You're Alice Sycamore. You're a relatively normal girl, who has an office job and a life outside the house. But now, you have your family......

  • Martin Vanderhof is your grandpa. It's his house where you all live. He's never paid a dime of income tax and was at one point set to be a rich man, but left his job. He loves his pet snakes and likes to go to commencements, circuses and other eccentric things.
  • Penny Sycamore is your mother. She loves to write plays and paint (though she's terrible at both of them).
  • Paul Sycamore is your father. He is an tinkerer who makes fireworks in the basement. 
  • Mr. De Pinna is your father's assistant. He once delivered ice to the house eight years ago and never left. He also doubles as Penny's painting model.
  • Essie Carmichael is your dear sister who has taken ballet lessons and studied it for eight years. And she's determined to become a professional ballerina, though she is terrible at it. She also likes to make her own candy and makes her husband Ed sell it around the neighborhood.
  • Ed Carmichael is your brother-in-law. He plays the xylophone and is a printer (though he's not good at that either). He also sells Essie's candies. He'll print anything that sounds remotely catchy and also prints out dinner menus for the family each and every night.
  • Rheba is the house maid/cook for the Sycamores. They treat her extremely kind. She dates Donald, who is a sort of handyman for the Sycamores.
This is your house. Everyone listed lives under the same roof. They are all a bit (meaning a lot) eccentric. They do what they love, despite them not being "good" at it. While you (Alice), are a level-headed normal person with a job and a life outside of the house. You love your family, but are often embarrassed by them. Now, here are some of the house guests:
  • Boris Kolenkhov is Essie's Russian ballet teacher, who is very outspoken on Russian politics. Though he knows that Essie will never be a professional ballerina, and even knowing that she is not even good, he continues to teach her because she likes it so much.
  • Tony Kirby is your love interest and eventually becomes your fiancĂ©. He loves you and your family despite their eccentrics. His family is rich and prim and proper, and that's where all the troubles begin.

"You Can't Take It With You" covers the story of Alice Sycamore getting engaged to a rich man named Tony Kirby. When Tony tells Alice that he wants his parents to meet her family, Alice is panicked. Eventually, they set up a date and Alice her the family get ready for the special night- only to find out that Tony shows up with his parents a day early. The family quickly does what they can to make the night as pleasant as possible. It doesn't..... Government agents show up, after finding Ed's little pamphlets in Essie's candy boxes that read "Dynamite the White House" and "God is the State; The State is God" and other controversial things. They later go down to the basement and nab De Pinna, who has left his lit pipe downstairs. They also find a load of gunpowder and believe, from Ed's pamphlets that they plan to blow up the White House. An actress named Gay Wellington whom Penny had brought to the house to read her play (and had gotten drunk and passed out from seeing Grandpa's snakes) is brought down from upstairs singing drunkly. The scene ends with De Pinna's pipe setting off all the fireworks in the basement and getting all of the family (including Tony and his parents) in jail. Alice ends up breaking off her engagement to Tony. 

The next day, Alice is packing to leave and never return, when Tony comes to persuade her otherwise. Mr. Kirby then comes to pick up Tony. He and Grandpa start arguing about the importance of life. Mr. Kirby believes that you need a job to make money and be successful and all that jazz, while Grandpa believes that life should be able doing what you love. Tony and his father then start to argue about their way of life and the Sycamore's. Then the truth comes out: Tony purposely brought his parents on the wrong night to show his parents the true Sycamore's. He thought that Alice going through all the trouble of planning a party that would set a fake image of them was ridiculous. Tony wanted his parents to accept the Sycamore's as they were. 

In the end, Mr. Kirby succumbs and agrees with Grandpa. He joins the Sycamore's, Kolenkhov, and the Grand Duchess Olga Katrina, to a meal.

Now that you pretty much know the synopsis, I can share my reasons with you.

First off, I love the family. The entire family with all their wacky ways and little quirks. I have four sisters, and my mom and my dad. With seven people in the house, it often gets as interesting as what plays out in the Sycamore home. Every one of us in my family, also have our little wacky ways and quirks. I think that families often aren't what they seem. And while some may be different than others, you never see what goes on when you're not there. The most proper families may not actually be when company is not around.

Second, I love Grandpa's outlook on life. Though I may side just a bit with Mr. Kirby (like getting a job and being able to support myself), I can completely see Grandpa's view. Life shouldn't just be about worrying able living paycheck to paycheck, or always trying to reach the top rung of the ladder. As the saying goes, "All work no play makes Jack a dull boy". I agree with that. There are so many people who pass away with one regret, "I wish I hadn't worked so much, and spent more time with my family/ doing what I love". I look at life as a ride. There are the fast parts and the parts where you feel so dizzy from spinning. Seldom are there some slow parts where you just get to take it all in. We need to learn to take our time on our ride.

Third, this play........ It speaks a lot of truth, even just through the title. You can't take your money with you when you go, or your possessions, or any of your worldly things. What you can take are the memories, and all the happy times. I think that we need to remember that. While we want to live the good life here on earth, we need to remember that this life is temporary.

Fourth, I love Alice, because she just reminds us all that we need common sense *laughs uncontrollably here*. (The play is a comedy, so it's also good for comic relief) Admittedly, she is a bit of a pessimist, but then again, so am I, so I guess I relate to her a little.

Fifth, I love the time period this is set in.

Sixth, I love the relationship that Alice has with her family. She truly loves them dearly and does embrace their little eccentric ways, even with the fallout at the end of the play. I mean, they're her family. She can't help but love them.

All in all, this is actually a great family play. If there is a local theatre putting it on near you, I would gladly encourage you and your family to go and see it. We look at these new movies and even at new Broadway shows and see how different they are compared to the ones way back when. This is an older play about family and life in general and I'll bet a lot of people (especially the older generation) miss the more family quality in shows and movies nowadays. Let this awesome play take you back to the good ole days.