Monday, February 23, 2009

A Spring in your Step and a Song in Your Heart!

“The Hills are Alive with the Sound of …” “I’ll be your Candle on the Water...” “Let me give you the low-down, I’m K-RA-ZY for you…” “There's a somebody I'm longing to see, I hope that he Turns out to be, Someone who'll watch over me.” “To love another person is to see the face of God.”

If you recognize these words, lyrics; then you have probably heard and seen at least one musical in your life. I have heard many and been part of a few too. I grew up in a house full of music. My mother was always part of the church choir and recruited me at about the age of eight (when I could sing soprano). My father couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, at least as far as singing goes. But he did learn the accordion when he was younger, so he wanted to make sure that his children received some kind of musical training as well. My younger brother and I took piano lessons for many years and in school he took up violin and I learned the Trombone. I even played some in college (got a scholarship for it too). Music has always been there in my life.

As I was driving to work this morning my iPod decided to take me on a trip down memory lane by the song choices it made while on “random”. First was “Someone to watch over me”. There are a couple versions of this song on my iPod, this time it was the version by Sting from a George Gershwin compilation album. This is a song that I have known for a long time. When I was in eighth grade I was in the Jazz band at my Junior High, Mr. Stone was the director. We played this song for one of our concerts. I remember it because it was a song that featured an alto sax as the main melody and the rest of the ensemble to support and add fullness to the song. I thought it was great to see how my one part of 3rd Trombone joined with the other parts played by the other instruments to create such a beautiful song. Later when I was nineteen, a freshmen in college I had the opportunity to be part of a musical theatre performing group “Showtime Company”. I was part of the technical crew and we had the chance to tour the Northeast United States. We went to New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, many other places, including New York City (I jaywalked across Times Square! - that’s another story). We had some free time and some of us went to Broadway shows. I went to two shows during our time there. “Crazy for You” was one that I attended. “Someone to Watch Over Me” was a song that was performed in that production (at a pretty pivotal plot point I should add). Good memories.

The other musical I attended was “Les Misérables”. By the time I was in NYC Les Mis had been on Broadway for a few years. My mother attended a performance by a traveling Les Mis company in Boise earlier that same year and she loved the music and bought the soundtrack. She knew I would enjoy it, so she encouraged me to listen to it, so I checked it out of the Ricks College library. She was right (as she usually was). When I was serving as missionary for the LDS church my Mother would send me letters with lyrics from Les Mis written on the envelopes. It was her way of encouraging me and showing that she loved me even though I was far from my family. The next song that my iPod played was “On My Own” from “Les Misérables”. It’s a wonderfully sad song that is so beautiful. Who hasn’t liked someone who had no idea that you felt that way (c’mon junior high crushes…).

The third song was from another musical that I have the soundtrack for on my iPod. This soundtrack and the music from the other two movies in this trilogy were added to iTunes so that I could put the songs on the kids’ iPod shuffles. The music is pretty good and I can’t help but like it. The song was “Just Wanna Be With You” from "High School Musical 3". Tammy took the older kids to see this when it came out last fall. That is when I added the soundtrack. So I had been listening to the songs, but had no idea how they worked within the story. I saw the movie this past weekend when my brother got an advanced copy from his work. Then the songs meant something to me because I knew where the songs fit into the plot and what they did to move the story along. It was fun watching this movie with the kids and seeing them react to the music, get excited and sing along as the story progressed. I treasure the times when we can sit together as a family and enjoy times like this. The kids are growing up and the time will come when they will be too busy to sit down with Mom and Dad and watch a movie, or it won’t be ‘cool’.

Every year when “The Sound of Music” is on TV, we are usually all together at my Father’s house (as we are most Sunday nights) and we watch and talk and have great time. My Dad has loved that musical for as long as I can remember, I guess that’s why I like it too. Who doesn’t like to see nuns sabotage the Nazi’s car?

This is a pretty long post. Sorry about that, but it’s in my blood. I am a talker. So when I hear a song on the iPod, it’s always more than just a song. It’s experiences and memories; life. You have them too.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Troy and Gabriella

Have you seen High School Musical? Have you heard of it? If you have kids aged from 2-16 you might have heard for it.

Anyway, there are three movies that make up the High School Musical series. The protagonists in these films are Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez. They have a complicated relationship. Troy is the jock, basketball star and Gabriella is the intelligent, shy girl. Throughout the trilogy they have many ups and downs and many times they paired in duets that help them work through their situation. When I have watched High School Musical 1, 2, & 3; I see Troy and Gabriella as Chris and Tammy.

I could see us singing those songs. I think it would have been fun to know Tammy in High School and the couple we are now; then. I love Tammy and I always want her to be happy and if I could spend every minute of every day with her, which would be perfection (just like gum-right Tammy). I love when I get to talk to her on the phone or IM when I am at work. I look forward to it. Whenever I hear those songs with Troy and Gabriella like “Start of Something New”, “What I’ve Been Looking For”, “Breaking Free”, “You are the Music in Me”, “Everyday”, “Right Here, Right Now”, “Can I Have This Dance”, or “Just Wanna Be With You”; I think of Tammy. When I recently saw High School Musical 3 with Tammy and the kids. Troy summed up my feelings this way, "Most of all, I choose the person that inspires my heart". Tammy you inspire MY heart!

Chris and Tammy ARE Troy and Gabriella.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Future...

Have you ever wondered what the future will be like? I don't mean in a year or two or even ten years from now. What about 500 years into the future? What will life be like? Will Earth still be inhabitable? Will the human race have ventured out other worlds? I was recently introduced to something that addresses those questions. Firefly.

Firefly is a television show created by Jos Whedon (Buffy, Angel). I was never really a fan of those shows and was not sure that I would like Firefly. I gave it a chance and really liked it. The show only lasted 14 episodes and only 11 were aired initially. The show aired on fox as was scheduled on Thursday nights opposite "Friends". So there was not much of a chance there. It is a Sci-fi Western motif that follows the lives of a Firefly-class transport ship and her crew.

Gina Torres plays Zoe and she also played Anna Espinosa in Alias so I thought that I should give it a chance.

After 14 episodes there are still questions that remain. So luckily the creators also made movie that answers many of those questions. Serenity.

Serenity is the name of the ship used in Firefly. I was glad that I watched the series and then the movie. But the movie stands well on it's own.

You can watch the entire series on Hulu. Here is a taste. Give it a try. You'll like it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Milestone.... right?

This is a milestone, post number 302! The 300th post was the post on Gabe's birthday, but I didn't want to take away from that. So Happy 302nd Post to ME! It is hard to believe that I have been keeping this up since May 2005, before Reece was even born. Thanks to the dozens of visitors that I have had over these past (almost) four years. You have stuck with me through fence building, Maná, Alias, and a Disneyland Vacation.

Here is a wordle of some of my content over the years. Here's to 300 more posts!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Flight of the Conchords... Thanks DG

Isn't interesting how you can get introduced to new things. For example, a new music group. A friend can suggest a group they think you might like and then you borrow the CD. Then BAM! You're a fan.

You go to the music store and look for the CDs or you go to iTunes or download some other way (never!) and get the songs. Back in the day I would borrow the tape and take it home and put it into my double cassette player and make my own copy. Until the copy became so wore out that I needed to buy a new one.

In the modern world that we live in you can get introduced to all kinds of media not just music. So a friend of mine introduced me to a little show called "Flight of the Conchords".

It is funny. It is the kind of dry and quirky comedy that I love. The show is on HBO, since I don't have that channel and there have been no free previews lately I have been viewing DVDs when I get the chance.
So if you get a chance to watch an episode or two take it. Then you can see what the 4th most popular folk parody duo in New Zealand sound like.

Updates Galore...

You can read some great updates on our family at info on Baptisms, Christmas lights and other high flying activities.