Monday, December 31, 2012

Exceeding Expectations

This past year has been a challenge to myself that I didn't falter from. I exceeded so many expectations that others put towards me and that I put towards myself. This past year I stopped accepting what people told me and I started proving people wrong! I hope that 2013 will be another challenge-accepted year for me and that I come out stronger by the end!

People always told me that I was too scared to stand up for myself, that I would put up with people that mistreated me all through high school because I was too afraid to lose friends. Well that changed. I said goodbye to some people I once held dear in my heart simply because I realized that they were never truly friends anyways. I discovered that I would rather be alone than be with people who didn't care.

I did what every child dreams of, and got in with the "popular" crowed at University and just as quickly, I realized how fake they were and could proudly say that I walked away from them all too.

I started acting like an adult, letting my mom know when I would be out instead of asking her if it was ok.

I found the areas in my life that I wasn't happy with and I took steps towards getting help to making changes in my life.

I had a 20 seconds of courage moment in the summer and walked up and talked to complete strangers because I thought they were cute, and I survived total embarrassment in front of them too.

I didn't let that embarrassment bring me down and I surprised myself by doing it again, more than once.

People that my old friends told me I'd never have a chance with, told me they liked me and I've made friends out of.

Guys that my friends told me I would never have the courage to talk to, I've hung out with.

Courses that I was sure I was going to fail going into them, I've passed.

I've stopped letting people walk all over me, I've been working 3 jobs and full time school, and still find the time to volunteer at church.

I spoke to the man who inspired me to become a musician and composer, Howard Shore.

I've stopped relying on people to do things with me, if I want to do them, I've gone alone. Only I am responsible for my own happiness!

I've done so much more in my life this year than anyone ever thought that I would. I survived my first car accident, paid for my own recovery, and made decisions about my life without consulting anyone. It's sad to say that at 21 I finally feel like I grew up a little this year.

So here's to 2013 and all that it holds in store for me. I will exceed my own expectations once again, and I will blow people away with how much I will achieve!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!


Sleepless Nights

I don't know what it is lately but I've been having such a hard time getting to sleep at night!

I seriously stay up all hours of the night with a million things running through my mind, books I want to read, melodies that need transcribing, scenes or stories that need to be written down, e-mails that need to be sent... The list goes on!

It's not that I'm losing any sleep though, I seem to manage 9 hours a night by simply getting up at noon!

Starting tomorrow I get to re-train myself for school! Yikes. Basically no matter what time I go to bed I need to get up by a certain time so that I will eventually get tired enough that I can start going to bed earlier again.

1 week left of holidays and then the best semester of my life begins! All composition all the time! This will be the make or break to find out of this really is what I want to do for the rest of my life! I'm so excited! It's going to be hard but it's going to be worth it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

3 Year Block

Here is a story: while I was studying for exams, my grandma called me up on the phone saying she wanted to read me a story. Not that unusual really, that's quite common with her. I really didn't care to hear it as I was seriously trying to study but I figured I would humor her and so I told her to go on. As she began reading, tears filled up in my eyes, she was reading a story I had written years ago! I didn't stop her, and I let her go to the end. It was amazing how the rawness of the story still got to me even now, especially because I wrote it myself!

My grandma told me I should publish a lot of the stories that I had written into a collection of short stories. I laughed at the idea because of course grandparents will be biased and encourage their grand kids that way.

Well I've spent the day today pouring over all the silly things I ha written over the years and I feel like there is some good stuff in there. The few pieces I put up on publishing sites came back with glowing reviews and years ago I even was published in an online magazine.

My problem is that I haven't written for the sake of me in almost 3 years. Sure, in high school I had all the time in the world and there was nothing that made me happier than to write, but once University hit, writing became more of a chore. It was homework. I got sick of writing papers and essays that I forgot what it was like to write a story that you were passionate about!

Well my 3 year writers block is finally over! Today I finally picked up a pencil and put it to paper and started to write again. It was only a page long and it just described one scene of something that I may never finish. But the good part is that I'm writing again. I can't ever stop writing.

I must write, in words, in music, in life. I must create and portray messages across any way that I can. Anything that is within me begging to be set free needs to leap out of me and into a page, to be shared with readers and listeners alike.

I can't stop. Ever.

Monday, December 17, 2012

True Love

I came across this image a while back on Pintrest and I feel like I have to share. I really want to get this message out because most people are falling into the traps shown in the images and aren't realizing the real truth!

Let Jesus be the one to fill you with his Love. When we empty ourselves of the love we have to give, God will pour his love back into us to keep us full, therefore we should never stop loving others and God will never stop loving us. It's such a beautiful, continuous circle! God gives us His love, to give to others. He has so much love for us that we couldn't possibly keep it all to ourselves, we have no choice but to burst at the seams with His love and let it cover everyone around us! Such a wonderful gift!

Take Two - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Hey guys, so in my last post I said that I would see about going to see a different version of The Hobbit in theaters to try and compare it and get a second opinion on the film.

Like many of my friends know, I've been a Middle-Earth buff since I was in the 6th grade and taught myself elvish. So for me, I really didn't want to walk out of the theater not liking these films.

Well, I now saw the 2D version at the higher frame rate and I'm here to say, my original problems with the visuals had nothing to do with the higher frame rate! It was because of the 3D! You have no idea how happy I was to be able to say that! I was honestly scared that the film had been made really crappy and blurry, and I was concerned to be honest. The fact that it was all alright outside of 3D just tells me that perhaps it's the 3D element that is a little off.

With that being said, most of us take these movies home and we don't watch them in 3D (although I'm sure there are exceptions) so for the most part, this little mishap to me is overlook-able and therefore I have re-judged what I thought of the film.

While many things are out of order from the books, or were embellished using other Tolkien material, it is creating a good story, although perhaps confusing to people who were expecting it to be just like the book (shame on you - they didn't do that for Lord of the Rings, why would they do it for The Hobbit!!)

Needless to say, if you find some things in the movie that you have no memory of in the Hobbit, believe me when I say it's not all made up. There has been references to other Tolkien references including The Simirillion, and the Appendixes of The Lord of the Rings, which most people tend to not read (there's a lot in there - read them!!)

Honestly, much like I had to do for Lord of the Rings when it came out, you have to take it apart from the story because there are some creative liberties, but all in all it's a good film.

I wouldn't mind seeing it a third or fourth time, and I know for certain I will be buying the film when it comes out!

I think a lot of people were expecting this film to be just like The Lord of the Rings, but the books weren't made to be the same and nor are the movies. For some people I think it might take some time to get used to the films, but I promise by the time the third part comes out, everyone will have fallen in love with the first and second parts!

I promise to do a bigger review later but because it's still new in theaters I'm trying to be nice to my friends and not to give them any spoilers! You're welcome goofs!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

That's right, I've just come home from watching the midnight screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It was at the higher frame rate and in 3D.

This review will not have any spoilers so long as you've seen the original trailer for the film.

Alright, so down to business. So for the last number of months some friends of mine have come to me with questions, mostly about the way the Hobbit will be set up. Knowing my passion for all things middle earth, I did my best to explain what I could such as what the higher frame rate would mean in the context of the movie and such.

However a number of questions and opinions that were asked of me, I replied that I simply did not know. I didn't want to go into watching these films with a yay or nay attitude and I certainly did not want to pre-judge it before seeing it. However, now that I have seen it, it's fair to say I'm ready to make a few calls.

The first thing I would like to point out, is that this movie is not The Lord of the Rings. Yes, it's the same author, they're part of the same franchise, and the films have many reprising roles, but try are not, nor have they ever been the same.

Tolkien himself wrote the two stories to be completely different, to target a different generation with the plots, and even changed the style of writing altogether from one book to the next. So keeping that in mind, the movies are also not the same.

One of the biggest things people have approached me with lately have been the amount of CGI that was used in The Hobbit. The fact that the orcs were CGI, and just the fact that a lot of it was computer generated seemed to have some friends concerned. I do not want to spoil anything, but I would like to point out that it is not all CGI. Even the orcs, there were some real actors involved. But yes, there was quite the increased use of CGI, and it did show, but I don't think it takes away from the story. It's merely just there.

Friends have also asked me if I think the higher frame rate would hurt or help the film. Again, because this is the first film in history to use this frame rate I had nothing to compare it to and therefore chose to reserve judgement. I will be honest, the first five minutes it did throw me off a little bit simply because that's something that no one is really used to. The picture is much clearer, and cleaner. I know it's hard to believe but it's not a joke. I find there were moments in the film that I found the frame rate a little distracting and again, I'm not sure if it's because of the quality of the movie or simply the fact that it's such a new concept that it was drawing my focus.

People also questioned how they would switch from the actor used in LotR as Bilbo, to the one used in the Hobbit. Once again, I'm not here to give anything away. They did not simply switch the actors, they tied it all in rather nicely and I was impressed with how it was done.

Now to move onto the geekier side of the films and to the real good bits, let's talk about the music!

When the original trailer came out last year, I jumped on the song "Misty Mountains" that the dwarves sang in the trailer. I became enthralled by it. As a school project I actually did an arrangement of the piece. Lets just say I became glued to this piece, I let it sink into me and take root and I loved every bit of it. Turns out my musical hero, Howard Shore, thought the same thing!

Ladies and gentlemen, just like the theme of the fellowship in LotR, "Misty Mountains" I'd the theme of the dwarf company in the Hobbit! I'm thrilled! Hearing that piece intertwine throughout the film on a wide range of brass instruments adds to the magestic nature of the plot! It was glorious and it made me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Such a great choice!

There is of course the return of some very beloved themes from LotR and any themes that were assigned to a race or location have made a return in those similar context. There is also the addition of some beautiful and quirky new themes to accompany the new places, people, and races that are bein introduced to us on screen for the first time.

I do plan on seeing this film again in theaters, and hopefully soon while it is fresh in my mind. I would like to see it in a lower frame rate and without the 3D just to contrast and compare quality and see if it adds or takes anything away. When I do this, I hope to write a follow up review that compares the technical side in just a little more detail.

If you have any questions that you want me to try and answer just let me know!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When It Rains, It Pours!

It's such a true statement, "when it rains, it pours." I'm not quite sure what the original context was supposed to be when people started saying it, but for me, today, it's certainly not a good thing.

Today it felt like it one bad thing happened, a million bad things happened!

I suffer from chronic migraines, and I'm on a preventative medication that takes down their frequency and severity, so no more 3-5 migraines a week!

Well today was the first time one had hit in a week and a half (my longest migraine free streak in months!) and it hit me while I was in town. It started as a headache during mass tonight and so after mass I took some Tylenol. I then went to my faith study, and it became a migraine. It was brutal!

I should probably mention that I do not have a car with a working heater (which means no heat, no defrost, nothing). So before I could leave I had to scrape ice off the outside, AND inside of my car windows. My windshield then wanted to keep fogging up and the only way o stop it is to roll down the window and put the fans on full blast (remember its only blowing cold air) I then had to keep a scraper on the passenger seat to keep taking the ice buildup off the inside of the windshield just to get home.

Also, another fun fact. I have this uncommon condition where I break into welts where the cold hits me. It's actually an allergy to cold temperatures much like people who are allergic to the sun. So, in order to keep warm, I had a blanket over me and rapped around my legs to keep me warm. My feet however, still froze.

So when I get home, I'm frozen to pieces and want to hop under my electric blanket, but I have a migraine and want an ice pack on my head, except I'm too cold.

Rough night. My day was good but this night just kinda ruined it all. I will get some sleep tonight, and tomorrow when I'm hopefully migraine free, (and trapped at home because I refuse to take my car anywhere now) I will blog about the good things!



Friday, December 7, 2012

The Problems of Social Interaction Within The Catholic Church

I know it might surprise some of you that I have something bad to say about the Catholic Church, but I do. It's not even the teachings of the church that bother me! I love my God and I agree with the church. I am on fire for Jesus and nothing can stop me. My problem is with the people in it.

It seems like the different organizations within the church have made cliques with each other over the years. The problem is that I'm in my 20s and so these cliques were already created and there is apparently no room for me.

The only time someone even comes up to me and says "hey, how are you?" it's immediately followed with "do you think you could do (blank)?" Seriously?! Do people only care about what others can do for their benefit and not for the actual person anymore?!

It seems like every time I've reached out to people they're either too busy or they say "yeah, we need to hang out. I'll let you know about that this week" and two months later you're the one contacting them!

I'm in the way. People often wonder why I want to move away. It's honestly because I don't have a place here. I'm tired of having secular friends who poke fun at me and make my life difficult. I'm sick of having to stay strong.

I'm finally starting to find peace in my personal life with God and all I want is to have friends that I can share that with. Friends who understand the best part of my life. Yet somehow whenever I try to get involved with someone it seems I'm always turned down and shunned away. I'm getting sick of being hurt.

I'm not girly enough to be kept in the loop with the ladies. They don't seem to want to accept me and I feel that they're emotionally trying to push me away.

The guys I feel like I have to tiptoe around because I don't want them to mistake kindness and my desperation for friendship, to come across as anything more. They can probably tell because they stay away from me.

My family wonders why I don't hang out with people from NET but they've become such a tight knot group that they don't seem to let others into their circle. I get it, they share a powerful experience. Yet, I'm still an outcast.

People from church wonder why I haven't hooked up with CCO, but to be honest I've been trying for 3 years. It's almost impossible. Unless you know the people on CCO, you'll never find them on campus because they're just sitting amongst the general student body and there is no way to tell them apart.

I've never done retreats because I was always the kid who was left on the sidelines by myself and no one would bother with. If I forced myself to join in with a group, I felt like a nuisance, or a burden. I never felt welcome.

I'm so busy trying to take care of me, that I don't even have time to really think about a guy in my life. All I want right now is Christian fellowship. I want real friends. I want friends who understand.

Apparently that is too much to ask.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Inner Child

Since I've been in high school I've always had this thing with not showing my emotions. Appearing emotional both good and bad lets your enemies know if they are getting to you or not. Easy solution not to get picked on, don't show emotion. What I didn't realize was how that attitude was actually sabotaging my happiness.

I've always tried to be the tough cookie, putting up with everything and shrugging off the bad and not getting my hopes up with the good. I was floating through life just fine. Until I realized that I was kidding myself.

If I want people to have relationships with me, as friends, family, or potential boyfriends, I need them to see who I am as a person. That of course means opening up to them. An entirely brand-new concept in the past few years!

I always thought that pushing back my emotions started with the bullying in high school, but when I went to my therapy sessions over the last few months, I've discovered that it started long before that!

It took weeks of figuring out but my first instance of holding back my emotions goes back to when I was 4 years old and in Jr. Kindergarden.

How sad is that! Kids that young cry about everything and anything, and no one ever thinks anything of it! It's something that they do. I look at my 5 year old cousin and I think, it would be perfectly okay for him to cry, and he's a boy! So why did I not think it was okay of I cried when I was that age?

When I think back to how that little girl, couldn't even let out her emotions at 4 years old it kills me inside. It rips my heart to pieces and I want to cry! I want to mourn for that little girl who didn't feel safe enough to cry when she should have!

That's what I'm trying to undo. I'm trying to let people in; let people see the real me; allow people to see my emotions! A very wise guy once told me "all emotions are valid simply because you feel them." i always try to remember those words as I move forward on this journey of mine.

Who knows what I will discover about myself next!