Infatuated with the Arts

Indeed, I am infatuated with the arts. I like that little sentence. It's amusing.

I mean, seriously. When I first kind of figured out the whole idea of "The Arts:" that includes a lot. Drama, writing, music, photography, drawing, painting. Then I realized that just about summed up everything I like about life.

Honestly, I don't understand how people live without art. How can they not? I mean, it's difficult for me to remember a time before I could read music. I am forever grateful for my mom putting me into a kids' music program at a young age. I love music. This year I joined two bands, one on the flute one on the keyboard. You can probably figure out what different kinds of bands those are. Before this year when I joined garage band, I really had no experience with breaking songs into chords and playing them your way. I am really glad I have learned. (Also, joining g-band, I met my first real crush. <3...)

Being in band made me want to learn guitar. Because it seems to me that EVERYONE who is musical can play guitar. I wanted to play guitar. My brother plays it, he has an electric, and he's quite good. So I sat down with it one day, thinking, "Oh, I should get the hang of this pretty soon. I can already read music, after all." Hoo boy. Was I ever WRONG.

I should have thought back to when I first began playing the flute: it took me a long time to just learn the ambuture (the way you hold your lips when you blow, it affects the sound) took me forever. So, lesson learned: guitar takes time. Also I'm not a regular practicer, so it's taking a long time.

My friend Brooke, also in band, plays guitar. She's also an amazing, beautiful singer and is going to be famous before she's twenty. She doesn't read music, but she writes songs. Fabulous songs, actually. She told me it took her a while to figure it out but once she learned, guitar comes easily. Which is comforting, I guess, except for the fact that Brooke is a fricking musical prodigy, and she probably has the dedication to practice for hours.

Anyways, I was practicing guitar tonight and just got lazy and printed out a page of frequently used chords in rock music and decided to try and learn them. THAT'S ALL I NEED TO KNOW.

And in case you guys are musical, the chords are: C, D, D7, E, Em, E7, F, G, A, Am, and A7, but I think that B and Bm are noteworthy as well. (haha, no pun intended.)

Another artistic endeavor I have been experimenting with lately is photography. Several times I have just walked around town, snapping pictures, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It kind of made me think about some stuff, because I take quite a few extracurriculars in the winter. Skating and dance are over, so my schedule is relatively clear except for softball, but still.

People are always saying that life is too short. Does that mean life is too short not to TRY everything, and get all those experiences in? What I mean is, should we try everything that comes our way? I tried badminton and basketball and didn't stick with either. Or is life too short not to waste time doing something we truly enjoy? Volleyball is definitely my favorite sport. At volleyball practice, I don't notice until afterwards if I'm tired or hurting. I just want to keep going. But in dance...I sometimes enjoy it, sometimes don't. Should I stay in it and get the experience? Or just stick with the things I really enjoy?

That was just the result of some late-night scribbles on a pad of paper. I was just thinking about that kind of stuff. Do you have any truly deep passions, and then some things you just stick with because?


World Transitions

Have you ever felt like there are multiple dimensions in your life? You know, almost like multiple personalities? Have you ever watched the Criminal Minds episode where the janitor has MP disorder and can unknowingly switch between his regular self: shy, reclusive, quiet: and his opposite self, Amanda, a nasty, violent, murderous villain? That's what I feel like sometimes, only not in my personality but in my life. It's like different worlds, from when you're mingling with friends to when you're walking on a beach. The first is a louder, looser atmosphere, but with the faint underlying tension of the fact that you're under scrutiny. The latter can be entirely relaxed, solitary, at peace with the world.

For me, the other place I visited today was the farm where we board our horses. Out there, fluorescent lights feel far away. It's hard to think of makeup and homework, skirts and cell phones and such, when you're out there. The farm is in the middle of nowhere, basically. It's a good twenty minutes from town. There are cows, and horses, and sheltie dogs, and the family who lives there. And that's it.

When we're out riding, it's kind of hilly, but not like a mountain. The scrubby, dirt-and-grass patches form sort of rolling hills. That makes it sound like poetic oceans of velvet green, when in reality it's peppered with rocks and ruts and inset with sloughs. But when you're on a hill, atop a living creature, with wind blowing your hair around and barely any civilization nearby, it feels like you're a step closer to nature.

I'm learning so much from my horses. Unless you've ridden often, you might not fully comprehend how much personality they have. That sounds strange, but it's true. I had kind of thought that, deep down, horses are horses no matter who rides them. And that is SO NOT TRUE. It depends on the rider almost more than the horse!

Our horses, Bo and Yoshi, are really excellent horses. Bo is a lazy old 17-year-old who has pretty much seen it all. Yoshi's been handled by kids. So they're both really good...but although Bo is usually pretty nonchalant about...everything, Yoshi is like a toddler. He is meek if he has to be (aka: if the rider is experienced) and then he is careful and quiet. He runs to the sound of his name, and follows people around in his pen. But once you slip on his halter and lead, he does NOT want to do what he's told.

He's still a good horse, though. We just need to teach him a few lessons.




We have a substitute for health today, and the computer stuff isn 't working out somehow. He informed us, with regret, that we would have to do homework/play games for the rest of the period. DARN.

This weekend was dance festival. That means that for three days, it was a hairspray scented whirlwind of jittery nerves, stretching, Taco in a Bag and lipstick stained Pepsi cans. Bright lights and makeup melting onto faces, fake eyelashes and bobby pins.

I don't know why I like it so much, but I do.

Our recital is next weekend. The differences between festival and recital are simple: the annual Dance Festival is a competition. Other dance studios come, there are adjudicators and sessions and the electric, sparkling air of competitive feelings. But here, at least, the dancers aren't all the uptight, skinny b*tches other people may suspect. Lots of dancers from other towns are friends. I caught up with two friends I played ball with last year. It was really different, seeing Brianna and Shaelyn with slicked ponytails and lipstick other than ball uniforms.

Anyways, recital has two opposite charges. Only our town attends, and it only takes one night. Most people in the audience: families and friends, mainly: are relaxed and enjoying the show. However, since the dances are close together, that means that the dancers have that much less time to get ready. It's not so bad for me-- I only have three dances on stage this year. But some of my fanatical dancer friends may change their hair and costumes ten times! But since the atmosphere is generally much looser, if you have a curly ponytail while everyone else has a straight one, it doesn't matter much. Recital also gets videotaped, and everyone usually buys a copy to keep.

This year, I volunteered for the duty of the Power Point we put up. On a screen in the corner of the gym, we project the current dance with the dancers involved in it and any awards they have won. I don't mind typing and hoped I could spice it up a little.

In the end, I decided to use photography for two different things: some generic pictures in the background of the power point, and then the personalized pictures in a slide show to show during intermission, etc.

For the background pictures, I took stuff like a close up of pointe shoes, bobby pins scattered across a counter, heated hair appliances lined up, a carnation reflected in a mirror. I also decided to put my "Be Yourself" picture in, the one of my ballet group's leg warmers. I like that picture.

This weekend, I busied myself by essentially capturing every thing that went on in the dressing room. Since we host this, we get the largest room in the school--the library. I have people stretching, laughing, doing hair, practicing, or just hanging out. I probably took over 350 pictures over the course of a few days. People were about to put a restraining order on me and my relentless camera.

I had to delete lots, of course: many were blurry or didn't turn out. But I got some really, really cool pictures. Since this is a school computer, I dont' have them on here right now, but I will post them later.

The recital is next Sunday. I really don't have that much time!

I've already typed out all the groups for the Power Point, it's just a matter of putting them in order on the slides. That won't take long, and my friends are helping me anyways. It'll be fine.

I have approved 78 pictures for my slide show so far. Some I have edited, some I haven't. I also need to find some soundtrack to go behind it. These are the ones I've considered so far:

  1. All About Soul Remix by Billy Joel
  2. Dancing Queen by ABBA
  3. Just Dance by Lady Gaga
  4. Dancing Days by Led Zeppelin

The last one was my friend Kristy's suggestion. She's a die-hard Zeppelin fan.

I don't have enough pictures for four songs, I don't think, so I was thinking of maybe trimming the songs to get like a minute of each. That way you could get, like, the essence of the song without the whole thing. Plus, everyone's heard Dancing Queen. Many times.

I'm really excited about the slideshow. A couple of dance moms have suggested that I sell it on a DVD or something. That might be a good idea. I still have to make sure I've included everyone in it, though. I tried to get lots of shots of the younger kids this weekend, as well as the older kids. I still have the practices this week to get a few more pictures.

I really enjoy photography. I'm excited about how it will turn out.

I'm trying to prioritize my activities now. I've really been a lame blogger lately. I think I'm losing my status in Blogger World. I need to get back in the loop! Especially now that I'm finding I'm enjoying photography more and more. I need to get in on more of those blogs!

Hopefully back in the blogger life,

jckandy xoxo