Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Titanic

 Of all the movies you can think of, I dare you to find one more epic than Titanic. The ship sinking into the ocean and thousands of people sinking. The betrayal. The romance. The danger. The laughter. The ultimate happy ending. It just tugs at my heartstrings.

 First, there's the sinking. It absolutely kills me. I've seen LOTR, I've seen Star Wars, I've seen Star Trek, I've seen Ben-Hur, and still, the sinking absolutely makes me horrified. Movies don't usually make me cry, but this gave me an open mouth and a broken heart. I didn't need tears. All this, on top of the heart-breaking shots of people preparing to die and my ultimate fear of the ocean, just is a horrible spectacle. The people were unprepared. They were scared. And the ultimate straw is the scene where the sailor dude shoots Tommy and Fabrizio starts screaming in anger, but still takes the bloody life jacket off his dead friend.He didn't have time to mourn. He didn't have the resources. He didn't want to die. He had to do it, throwing honor and respect for the dead aside. And when the sailor saw what he had done.....he shot himself. 

 On a happier note....let's have a big hand for Leonardo DiCaprio. SO DELICIOUS. I mean, the guy was 21 or so, and he pulled off this amazing performance. You HAVE to like Jack Dawson, or else, how can you like the story? It's a complete fairy tale....instead of money, Rose goes for the guy she really wants, even if he is penniless, following in the tradition of Fiddler on the Roof, Little Women, and Aladdin. Let's face it, Jack is an ever-lovin' hunk. And he has a sense of humor. Go, Rose!

 Possibly the most important note of all......the MUSIC. I buy instrumentals and actually listen to them. James Horner has done amazing, tear-jerking work. It's such a joy to listen to. I actually have a secret wish to vocalize Rose or Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave onstage, or sing My Heart Will Go On in front of an audience, who I hope to have in tears. Ah, you just can't say enough about the music. And the grand spectacle, the utter romance, the undisputable most unusual love story ever, the amazing adventure that is Titanic.

Sorry Avatar....
You'll never match up.

Piano ♫ ♪

 Yep, I wish I could play saxophone. And drums. And the guitar. But hey.....the piano is right there, and I'm actually rather good at it.

 I've been playing the piano for years, my first teachers being Mr. Song(wow, was that really his name?!) and Dan Egan, a.k.a Dan the Man, whose catchphrase was "SWEET!" and who taught me an 8-page song by my ear and his remembering it. I wasn't even a preteen yet, but away I went.
 That song is forgotten now, and I have a new piano teacher, Barb Krueger, who is quite agreeable and nice. So on I go learning the classics as well as showtunes (WIN) and old songs such as Night and Day, Embraceable You, and Summertime. I love those old songs, they're so simple and beautiful. Fun to play, too, and I get to swing some of them-and I'm a sucker for swinging things. It's just natural for me to learn something in a swing rhythm and then get told, "Rachel, this isn't actually supposed to be played in a swing rhythm."
And all the learning of this jolly music brings me to one thing I absolutely LOATHE about piano-recitals. The bane of my existence. They're so formal-it just screams "DORKY!" right in my ear. I mean, dude! A few parents are dressing their kids up so they can play a modified version of the Sonata in C before a bunch of smiling grandparents?! CRINGE. 

But all in all, I adore the piano. I can pull off some pretty neat stuff and I have been known to sing while playing background, with songs like Razzle Dazzle, On the Street Where You Live, If I Had Words, Beauty and the Beast, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Memory, and My Heart Will Go On. Ah, lovely. Music is food to teenagers and grownups alike, and the piano is just plain fun. I laugh out loud sometimes just because I'm so happy I'm learning such a cool song so well. 

And come on........

Everyone likes a good showtune.

Monday, August 16, 2010

On the Loch Ness Monster.

 Currently, I believe in the Loch Ness Monster. You're going to laugh, you really are. "Whoa Rachel! I knew you were a little bit crazy, but you may as well just believe in the Yeti or Santa Claus!" But really, I keep up this crazy belief. I mean, logically, it's provable. 

Here's a theory.

So God made dinosaurs. Plesiosaurs came into being. They swim in water, right? They're big and monstrous, right? So they go extinct. Years later, Some explorer/archeologist/awesome dude finds the bones. "Oh! Sweet! Here's a big creature! It looks like it lived in the water!" So they start a theory. Fast-forward to the 1600's. People have made it into legend. Fast-forward to this century. The Scots have long since made it a fairy tale, and that's how people think of it. 
Silly museum curators....
They don't realize that those bones are the Loch Ness Monster.

Someday, I should make a Loch Ness Monster Awareness Society.

Because it did exist, even if it might not now.


Thursday, August 12, 2010


  Ah, the telephone. Another staple of modern-day communication. People can't live without their cell phones, and have you noticed that in an emergency-the first thing people do is pick up that phone and call I-X-I-I?! Personally, I wish I had a cell phone. I wouldn't mind having one, calling my friends and texting people-connecting to the Internet, possibly? 

But here's a secret-phones used to make me nervous.

 Don't ask me why, I'm just weird like that. Dad wants me to call the vet's office-"Please, Dad, can't Mom do it?"I want to call a friend, so I start getting upset. I dial the number and hang up on their answering machine. Crisis over.

 But lately, phones haven't been that bad. I've had people call just to talk to me, and I have actually called other people. Usually I have a reason, but sometimes I just need to spill my guts. I go alert when I'm expecting a call and the phone rings, then get disappointed when it's not my call. I talk to people for hours on end.I have the weirdest conversations, and overall, have an amazing time. The shy, preteen me has been shrinking into a more mature teenager-one who can talk to her friends, who has chased her brother to give her the phone when HE picks it up, one who has actually called the vet's office-GASP!-to make an appointment for sweet Ary.

 Don't think my nervousness has left, it's still a little awkward. But hey.....I'd rather talk to my pals than freak at the sound of a ringtone.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Hasn't the weather been just de-light-ful?"

   Weather. One of the most used words in trite conversation. "Hasn't the weather been FRIGHTFUL lately, darling?". It's always been used as a conversation starter. But that's just the word. This Random Adventure is on the actual THING. 


 Ah, weather....many a time have you given me joy and many a time have I hated your guts. (Don't ask me how that works...) 

 I have a habit of waking up early in the morning and going outside. Occasionally there's a fog, which is sweet,  but during the school's also really cold. I can dress up in my pajamas, pull a skirt over that, slide on a hat and put on my Amazing Astounding Warm Sweater of Doom-and still, it's 6:30 in the morning, people. My nose is history.

 Snow. I used to go crazy when there was a foot of snow on the ground. Dude, that was PLAYTIME! Running around outside, building snowpeople, having snowball fights with Dad, pulling Abby and the twins in the sled. But now that I'm 15, I've noticed something about snow--it's cold. You may say, "Duh, YEAH!" but dude, I'm talking about the below freezing sensation when the snow cakes all over your legs and boots, when you have ice in your hair and your Dad SOMEHOW manages to get a snowball down your shirt. It's COLD. Oh yeah, I still play in the snow. I still run around and scream like an idiot. I still fall in the snow for no reason at all. But I'd better have some cocoa waiting for me when I go inside.

 Rain. Noun-THE DEATH OF FUN. Sure, the flowers get their water. Sure, all the little forest animals get their showers. Sure, my mom doesn't have to water the garden. But from my point of view, rain is a big fat nuisance. It makes the ground muddy, makes the sky dreary, makes the tree swing all damp-UGH-and mists depression into the air. One of its only good points is making water droplets on flowers for good photos. But of all the different kinds of weather we can have.......RAIN IS THE WORST. 

 Heat. Actually, I handle heat better than all of my family. I'm the one sitting shotgun in the van cranking up the heat while my family is begging for the a.c. I'm the one who turns up the hot water in the bathtub. I'm the one who has a history of sitting on the vents until my legs turned red. So, naturally, summer is my favorite season. And the heat is REALLY NICE. I love going outside after the icy air of the house and feeling the warm summer air envelop me. But too much is too much. There have been so many times I desperately need a fan. But not all the time.....

 Ah, weather. The wide spread of choices means everyone has favorite weather options. I know people who love thunderstorms while I'm griping about them. And there have been times, mind you, when snow has made HELP be postponed for 2 weeks straight and when our basement has leaked. There are surprise showers and heat waves (YAY!) and clouds so thick you can't see the blue of the sky. All I can say to you is....

 You'd better carry an umbrella.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Lady Gaga

 There are a lot of singers that have done crazy stuff, and wear crazy clothes, and have crazy songs. But of them all, Lady Gaga is probably the most insane. She uses blood in her shows, loads on so much makeup you wonder what it would look like if she was caught in a rainstorm.....and come on, people, she wears dresses made of MUPPETS. And yet, she's popular and people love her. And at first, she kind've looked freaky to me. It was scary, really. I decided to try and figure out this pop culture phenomenon, even though I was already not sure about her tastefulness.

SO I went on Youtube and looked up Paparazzi.At first, I was looking at it like, "What is this crap?" and watched it over and over-slowly becoming fascinated with it, and starting to learn the lyrics.


 Soon I was walking around the house singing the chorus and thinking maybe it wasn't so bad. Bring on Poker Face. Randomly singing the chorus. Am I hooked on this singer I once deemed distasteful?


Well, at least I don't listen to Ke$ha.


Monday, August 9, 2010

In celebration of random quotes.

 My family loves quotes. Books, movies, things we've made up ourselves. When Dad says something clever, our reaction is, "And where was that one from?" Sarah says, "Am I right? What do you think?" and I follow in with my awesome and totally lame accent, "I think YOU look like Captain Crunch." (High-five to the person who remembers what this is from.) I admit it, it's really fun. I don't even know how many times we do it during a day. Sarah and I have Quote Wars. I can look at Abby, start singing "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow-and she'll follow in on an arrangement I made meself. We're just awesome like that. And, in this family, there have been things we wrote ourselves. So, in celebration of random quotes...

Dad-"This girl hits."

Mom-"Kill me now!"

"Oh, help me."


Sarah-"I don't care." (Usually said to me after I criticize her....sigh.)

Me-"This is WAY more fun than it should be."

"I know I know!"

Abby-"You idiot boy!"

So there you are. My family does have quotes they say over and over.....but mostly, we use quotes from movies, musicals, books, and the like. Ever wondered why I can learn all my lines in a week?

I practice daily with remembering quotes.

"Parting is such sweet sorrow......."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I blame the family.

Technically, I can't really blame them, because I cinsider myself the odd bird out. But my family has had some nerdy influence on me.
Daddy(The Psychologist) teaches Social Psych at NKU. Sure, he has a Phd. Sure, people love to hear him pray because he's so good at it. 
But underneath that, you have a guy who enjoys Star Trek-The Original Series and a box of mint-chocolate cookies. He finds psychological aspects in Calvin and Hobbes, and can't get enough of my ludicrous "model turns".  This is the man who has us sit in a sleeping bag and sail across the kitchen floor. Love you Daddy... :)
Sarah (The Writer) is basically a copy of The Psychologist in female form. She reads his textbooks, takes school test and excels, and is an avid Trekkie. She and I disagree on almost everything.  But when we agree, it's beautiful.
I'd say I'm actually closest to Abby(The Artist) of all my siblings. She and I agree that jean skirts rock, vintage Barbie commercials are entertaining, and Michael Buble has quite the cute countenance. We have an extensive list of private and stupid jokes. Sure, she's a Twihard. But let's overlook that.
Ah, Double Trouble. What can I say!? They annoy me so much, and then they love me to death. They can be really cute, or really frustrating. But it's so heart-warming when they show me they love me.
I've saved Mom(Beloved Mother) for last, because I'm pretty much straight from her side of the family. We both laugh at gross jokes, love the musical 1776, and agree that cilantro is a good thing. I have Gram's eyes, Great-Grandma's lips, and my mom's sarcasm. Love you Mumsy!
So then there's me. Ambitious, dreamer, talented, giggly, book lover, crazy person, actress, singer, pianist.

I'm not really sure why I got stuck with this family.....

But I'm glad God gave me that gift.


Ah, summer! My favorite season for so many reasons-
1:I deal with heat better than cold.
2:I love having school schedules cut in half.
3:I love being able to stay up all night every night.
4:I love the breezy, ambitious feeling about summer. After all, I'm quite the breezy, ambitious person myself :)
5:My Daddy(The Psychologist) Gets to stay home :)
Oh, the list could go on. But there are some things I hate about summer.

1:I'm separated from my HELP friends for ages.
2:We travel too much.
3:Too many bugs....
4:I hate chlorine in my hair.
5:I go out of my ever-lovin' MIND with boredom.
6:And how in blue blazes shall I get my drama fix, anyway?!

I'll admit. I have a schedule in summer. Not a strict one mind you, but summer, for me, goes something like this-
I wake up. I go outside, swing, listen to my iPod.
I come back inside.
I get on the computer.
I get off the computer. I go back outside to swing and listen to my iPod.
I go back inside and eat something I pulled out of the fridge and watch T. V.
I go into my room and lie in my bed all comfy and tired from going to bed late.
I get up.
I go online. I get offline. 
I go outside to swing and listen to my iPod. I come back inside. I eat something.
I watch T. V. I go back outside to (you guessed it)swing and listen to my iPod.
I come back inside. 
I get online. I stay online till I go to bed.

This is why I'm waiting for the first day of school.

iPod, anyone?

No really, it's SCARY weird.

I'm pretty sure I scare people.
Nope, I'm SURE I scare people.
I'm weird. That's all there is to it. And yet, somehow, people still want to hang out with me. Ah well. Maybe they haven't realized just how weird I am.
For example:
Just tonight, I walked upstairs and the smell engulfed me.
Broccoli. ROASTED broccoli.
The Writer(Sarah) looked up. "Yeah, there's broccoli in the kitchen."
"Can I have it!?"
"You'd better ask Mom, she might want it."
I charged down the hall like a rabid wolf.
"MOM! Is there broccoli?"
Beloved Mother(Mom) looked up. "Yes.."
"Can I HAVE IT?"
"I suppose."
OFF TO THE KITCHEN. I took so much of that broccoli-to be honest, why would someone put that few spears of broccoli in a container and save it, when they could just eat it?! I went into the living room and walked up to The Writer.
"I has broccoli. See?"
I ate it. All of it. I love broccoli. SO MUCH. And THAT, darling reader, is part of the reason I scare people. It started at an early age-I make no joke, my parents used to have to feed me cookies-THEN I could have more broccoli.
Vegetables are a beautiful thing.
I'm pretty sure I scare people.