Monday, May 20, 2013

In Which You All Become Exceedingly Jealous Of Me

First of all, Happy 'Liza Doolittle day to one and all!  If you don't know what that's supposed to mean and haven't seen My Fair Lady... perhaps you should go watch it. If you have seen the movie but are still confused... well, just go re-watch this part. I would celebrate by watching My Fair Lady again today, except for the fact that I want to save it to watch during The Event which is to happen in 50 days; that is the other occasion today marks, and it far surpasses even the day when England sings the praises of Eliza Doolittle. It is exactly 50 days until... well, before you know that, a story is required to be told.

This, my friends, is The Story of Amy and Melody. Told by... well, Amy and Melody, naturally.

It all began on a bright autumn day in 2011 when a girl by the name of Amy started blogging under the pseudonym of Miss Dashwood. Things didn't start to happen merely because this brilliant young lady had decided to start a blog of wit and humor and thought-provoking writing. Nope, that was only part of it--the real reason that Things Began to Happen was that another young lady by the name of Melody came to visit and commentate upon the blog (a kind favor in return for Amy's having recently followed HER blog, and for the charming comments she'd left there) and became the first commentator and follower on Amy's newly-created blog. And that, gentle readers, is when it began.

Because this was no ordinary acquaintanceship maintained over blog comments and courteous once-in-a-while interaction.  Indeed, it snowballed quite rapidly into an exchange of email addresses, which led to manifold emails, which led to the tentative exchange of phone numbers, which led to a (slightly) nerve-wracking phone conversation (well, only nerve-wracking during the first thirty seconds or so) which led to MORE and MORE and MORE emails and phone calls and before you could say "two are better than one," these kindred spirits had formed a fast, firm, long-lasting, super-duper, extra-special, indubitably swellissimus friendship.

And in case that doesn't give you a detailed enough idea of the manner of our friendship--as Mr. Bennet would say, "read on!"

When a person wishes to indicate they don't have a romantic interest in somebody, they say that they are "just friends." Just friends, eh?  In our (very humble) opinions, they rather underestimate friendship. Perhaps they momentarily forgot--or have never been able to find out--just how meaningful friendship can be.  Probably the latter... not many have the chance to discover a friendship that goes beyond ones usually met with (which are nice in themselves). One that is a series of continuous delights, that adds new definition to one's life in general, that never grows old, and where the bond only strengthens; where you feel as if your friend is another part of you, and without them you would feel like something was missing. They probably never got to know somebody and found their thoughts, feelings and understanding to be so in tune with each other that it was like they were always meant to go together.

But though these two young ladies knew their friendship was something incredibly special, one seemingly insurmountable, nearly overwhelming obstacle still lay between them: many, many miles.  The United States is a pretty big place (oops, we just told you we both live in the United States--our privacy is RUINED!) and, as life would have it, these kindred spirits live practically as far apart from each other as the country allows.  Yet there was only one thing to do--pray, hope and plan for a face-to-face visit . (Oh, wait, that's actually three things.) Someday. Somehow. Somewhere.

And so the cautious suggesting of the idea to their parents began. (Initial reactions? "Well, I don't know about you going to see HER... but if she wants to come visit us, she's more than welcome!") As did the saving of money.  The discussions over the phone, Skype, email and good old-fashioned letters (did we mention they did those too?).  It seemed so unrealistic at times, almost a pipe dream, and at other times it seemed something that simply MUST and would happen, come what may. If the force of sheer willpower could do it, circumstances would have no choice but to obey.

Let's cut to the chase.  After many months of speculating, praying, dreaming, wishing and calculating, it happened.  Airline tickets were purchased.  Days were marked on a calendar.  And we stand (well, sit--when we're not busy jumping up and down, of course) here today delighted, thrilled, over-the-top SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE-ing to announce that Amy is going  to visit Melody in just fifty days.  FIFTY DAYS, PEOPLES. (In case you don't want to have to do the counting, we'll just tell you that it's happening on July 9th, 2013.)

 How excited do you think we are? Okay, take that and multiply it by fifty, make it all-in-caps and throw in any number of exclamation points, and you might be coming close.

*waits a few moments for the news to fully sink in*

And that is why we are not watching My Fair Lady on this Eliza Doolittle Day. Because, you see, we will be watching it in less than two months. Together. IN REAL LIFE. (We consider it to be our musical, you know. For reasons unbeknownst to all of you and that would take too long to explain. Did we mention all the private jokes and such we have? Well, yeah, that was probably kind of a given... and don't even get us started on all the nicknames and acronyms. Your head would swim.)

As for the rest of our plans... well, let's just say we have QUITE a list. (There are a lot more period dramas to be viewed too, by the way.) Will we be able to complete everything on it? Heh, extremely doubtful. But we're as sure as certainty going to try our best. :D It's going to be the craziest eight days (EIGHT WHOOOOOOLE DAYYYYYYYYYS!!!!!!!!!) of our lives; we intend to make the most of every single second with each other.

Just a small sneak-peek at some of the things we have planned...

~Have an elegant party where Amy can meet all of Melody’s friends
~Go picnicking at a park
~Talk by candlelight at night
~Jump on Melody’s trampoline
~Visit a bookstore and read titles aloud to each other in dramatic voices and poke fun at the silly Jane Austen sequels
~Poke inside fun books such as the old Sears catalogs and look at old clothes
~Each get our own journal beforehand to write in the whole time, and then at the end we switch them and each have the one the other wrote (awkwardly phrased, but you get the idea)
~Play such delightful games as Beyond Balderdash, Imaginiff, Identify That Soundtrack and Clue
~Act out favorite scenes from period dramas and books
~Go English Country Dancing (SQUEEEEEEE!)
~Go to the mall to try on clothes and window-shop and sit on a bench and crrrrrriticise people
~Camp out in the backyard
~Play The Seaside as a duet on the piano (Amy needs to start practicing that...)

And, of course, we intend to post during the visit and keep y'all updated.  Writing blog things together? Well, indubitably! That's how we met, isn't it?  Can we just say again how thrilled and excited we are????
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."
~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

(And now the narrative switches to just me, because I have to add in my rambling two cents about everything. Haha.)
I remember the lazy afternoon when I first saw the new blog of a follower named Miss Dashwood-- a pen name which made me smile. All Jane Austen names do. And then going to her blog--"Yet Another Period Drama Blog". That amused me, too. I remember reading her introductory post and thinking what a kindred spirit she sounded like--didn't use the term, though, because I wasn't sure if she knew Anne and when one doesn't know Anne the term just doesn't have quite the same effect. (She did indeed know Anne, as I soon found out--a lot better than I did. *cough*)

HAHAHA. I fear this may be true. ;)

When she signed her first email to me "Miss Dashwood/ Amy/ Cordelia Shirley/ Wondrous Being of Perfection And Majesty--whichever you prefer", I giggled, feeling slightly befuddled, but grinning brightly, and was left with a feeling of happy excitement just from that short email. This girl was somebody really special, I could tell that, and I liked her. A lot. Part of the reason for this was probably because she was so much like me. We had an amazing amount of Things In Common, more than I ever thought was possible to meet with, and it just made me feel so happy inside. And as I got to know her better... well, it only increased. Everything.

And continues! I'm talking about this as if I'm telling a story from the past--and I am, partially. Those tentative-yet-bold first few months of our friendship are over forever and I think over them with fond nostalgia (I could probably reminisce for hours)--but really, it's just about to begin. She's going to be here. We will be together in 'real life'.
I've wanted it to happen so much, and for so long... (seriously, I was already contemplating it when we'd only been emailing for three months. I couldn't HELP it.) When I think sometimes about how it's really, truly going to happen, something inside me soars and I wonder if someday it will burst.  It's like I've crossed over the rainbow and into the land where the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. ;)

50 days... about 7 weeks... a little over a month and a half... it really couldn't pass too quickly for my taste, but the fact that the numbers are consistently getting smaller... teehee. Excitement doesn't begin to cover it. And I've a feeling I don't know the half of it yet.

Am I just a tad nervous? Heh, well, yes. Sometimes. I mean, after all those however-many-thousand emails (not exaggerating), all the giggle-filled phone calls and Skypes and the bulky letters... for all the knowledge I possess about her and all she knows about me (ahem)... I can have no clue what it will be like to be together in person.

But it's awfully fun to imagine... and I KNOW it will be completely, beyond-anything wonderful.

And one thing I haven't mentioned yet... Twinnie dearest, I am not only thrilled but so very touched that you're really coming to visit me.  I know that this isn't a little thing.  I know that there are some Things to go through and to sacrifice, and it makes me so happy that you consider me to be, well, worth it. (Not to mention I'm so grateful to your parents for actually making this possible. :D) I've said all that before, but I've never actually thanked you... let me do so now.
I know we're going to have a literally awesome time. ;D

Friday, May 17, 2013

Another Elevensies Tag

So, I have done this tag before, but as I'm always looking for things to post and it looked rather fun, I figured I'd do it again. ;-)

We're supposed to list eleven random facts about ourselves, answer the eleven the person who tagged us came up with, come up with eleven of our own for the people we tag, and then tag eleven people.


Okay, so I'm very bad at coming up with random facts about myself... so I decided to let funny pictures and Pinterest help me. :D Just click on the links to learn eleven useless facts about me. (I didn't want to bother saving and then uploading them. :P) Some of them won't surprise you, but hey, it didn't say that it has to be things nobody knew yet. :P

9. This describes my cat very well.
10. I am tempted to do this far too often...
11. I want a typewriter like this. (The teacup would be nice too. Also the desk or dresser or whatever it is.)
Love typewriters...

Now for Amy's questions...

1.  Have you ever eaten caviar?  If so, what was it like?  If not, would you be willing to try it someday?
Haha, no. And no. :P

2.  When did you first learn to ride a bike?
You mean without training wheels? Probably when I was six. Apparently I used to frighten my mother and sister when I'd ride it because they thought I was "accident prone" and would fall and hurt myself. So I would ride back and forth in front of the house chanting "I'm accident prone! I'm accident prone!" 

3.  Elizabeth Gaskell or Charles Dickens? (I leave Jane Austen out of it, we all KNOW she's the best...)

Haha yes, we all know that. And anybody who doesn't is wrong. :P (And if you try to argue with me... I will just say this. Heeheehee.)
Ummm... um... well, I like them both, but I guess I'll go with Charles Dickens. If I had to live without one or the other, there is less of Elizabeth Gaskell to live without.

4.  What's your favorite long/interesting/complex word?

I hate this answer, but I don't know. Heh. Well, see, it's not that words don't delight me, but they're not usually long or complex ones, and probably not generally interesting. I just like random words that make me smile or giggle, and I don't have a particular favorite. "Skulk" was one that made me smile t'other day. Especially when put in a phrase like "skulking about". Heeheehee.
Yes, I'm a nut.

5.  Put your music playing device on shuffle and tell us the names of the first three songs that come up, no skipping.

Heh... okay. I hardly ever listen to the whole thing shuffled, though. I don't even listen to half of the stuff. :P
1~ "The Proposal" from Miss Austen Regrets
2~ "Emma Insults Miss Bates" from Emma (1996). (Ha, I never even listen to most of that soundtrack... probably I should take it off.)
3~ A random song I recorded off a movie (just from the TV) once with my MP3 player. Only it was actually for my sister. And then it didn't work to put on her computer...

6.  What's the funniest dream you ever had?

     I'm not sure... but the one I tend to tell the most was one that wasn't at all funny to me at the time. I was about three or four when I had it, but I still remember it a little. 
     So, for some reason I was sitting (by myself, of all things) in an audience at some sort of exhibition or museum or field-trip-ish-thing, where at the front of the room there was a roped-off area with a dinosaur inside. There was somebody at the front of the room telling us about it. Then suddenly some random lady in the audience took out a measuring tape (this sort) and pushed a button on it that made it whisk out and hit the dinosaur. Then after that happened, I was being pulled by some invisible force up to the front of the room and under the ropes with the dinosaur, where said dinosaur proceeded to take my foot up as if to eat it.
     So I shrieked "No, NO! DON'T eat my FOOT!"
     And then the dinosaur said in this kind of spooky voice,  "Doooon't worry, it's ooooonly a dreeeeam."
     And then I woke up. :P  Very random, that dream. It's not as if I even thought about dinosaurs very often. Hahahaha.

7.  How many plays have you seen performed live? (School plays and amateur productions totally count.)

Well, the problem is, I've been in a lot of them. But then, I usually watched the parts that weren't my age group when it was the church/homeschool plays, so if I'm including those... uhhh... ten? I think? (I'm also including a random opera. Hope it counts.) A local college was doing "The Importance of Being Earnest" last year and I really really wanted to go to it but I didn't geeet toooo... *sniffle*

8.  Mexican food, Chinese food or neither?  Why?

Chinese. Hands-down, no questions asked. And... because I like it. (I'm not sure about the super authentic kind, though, haha.) And I'm not overly fond of Mexican food. (My family insists I must not belong to them after all.)

9.  Is there a name that you consistently mispronounced for years and then finally heard someone say it out loud and felt completely mortified for saying it wrong all that time? 

Oh, I'm sure there are several. I just can't think of any right now... not a name, anyways. When I was younger I said "Phoebe" like "fobe" in my mind, but I never actually said it out loud. And then I heard it finally, with the context of its spelling, I was like... ohhhhh. :P I didn't think my way sounded like a name, but I still don't know how they get "fee-bee" out of that. ;D

Oh, you make me take that quiz, do you? Okayyyy... Cosette, apparently. Whatever. *shrugs* 

11.  What's your favorite board game?  (it doesn't have to be an actual BOARD game... technically Bananagrams isn't a board game, but you know the genre I'm talking about)
But... I have LOTS of favorites. O_O Uhh... Balderdash is what I usually say, but it depends on my mood. And the company. :) I generally like word games the most.

Beyond Balderdash is probably even more fun. :D

Okay, and here are my eleven questions.

1) What email server is your favorite? (You know, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) 

2) Which place in your own country do you most long to visit?
3) Who was the last person you emailed?
4) Who was the last person you talked on the phone with?
5) What is your favorite candy, chocolate excluded? 
6) Within the next...oh, say, six months, what are you looking forward to the most? (As in, general life event)
7) Hardcover or softcover books? 
What's your favorite quote about...
8) Friendship?
9) Music?
10) Books?
11) So, you're standing in a group of three people (this includes you) where one person is a friend-ish acquaintance and the other person you don't know so well. You're not really adding that much to the conversation, but then the person you don't know so well criticizes one of your favorite books/movies/characters, etc. What do you do? Scowl and shut up, jump into defense, or other? ;)

And I tag...

(Who does not have a blog, so I hereby command her to answer my tag questions in a comment. 
Er, that is, I suggest that she do so. :D)
(I hereby command you to answer my tag questions in AND answer your own questions too. ;) )

And though some of you are already tagged, keep in mind that answering my questions and those of whoever else tagged you might give you an excuse not to come up with random ones, if you want to be tricky. ;)

P.S. If you do fill it out, I'd love it if you wouldn't mind letting me know just in case I miss the post. :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Of P&P Documentaries and S&S Musicals

I know my posting has been pretty slow lately... so here's something of a cheater post in which I basically just throw a bunch of videos at you.

Okay, well, not exactly.

First of all, I recently did a guest post on Elegance of Fashion about English Country Dancing. If you're interested please do stop over to read it! I was there informed in a comment by another blogger that there was soon to be a BBC documentary about something to do with Pride and Prejudice's Netherfield Ball, and determined to keep a lookout for it.

Well, it has appeared on YouTube, and I've had some fun the last couple of days watching it, and thought some of you might like to know about it too. :) It's really fascinating--named "Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball", what they're doing is recreating a truly Authentic Regency ball, based on the Netherfield Ball which is where a lot of important moments in P&P take place.  They show and tell lots of interesting things about food, costumes (including hair and makeup), manners and of course dancing--everything at the ball is supposed to be completely 1813. (Besides, I must suppose, the camera equipment. :P) Anyway, I can't recommend it without saying that there are some things in it I don't agree with/condone/appreciate, and now that I have said that here it is. ;)

I won't spend a long time talking about it, but if you watch it I'd be happy to discuss it with you in comments. :) I will say that I was a bit surprised they didn't have more dances than they did; I am quite sure no Regency ball would have only four or five dances, or whatever it was, and they kind of left out the fact that the couples would dance two dances at a time with each other. But all in all it was a real treat.

(Note: In case that video is eventually deleted due to privacy issues as sometimes happens, currently it's also on YouTube here and here.)

Secondly; I know I've talked over this with a couple blogging friends already, and I've noticed that when I do that after I do that I tend not to post about it. So here, I'm posting about it. In case any of you are interested in knowing more about the Jane Austen musicals... there are at least a few... the Denver Center has snatched up Sense and Sensibility: The Musical and for the last month or two it's been being performed. Not that I got to go to it or anything interesting like that, but I've been keeping tabs on their YouTube channel and there have been several clips that were fun to watch.

I'm not going to bother putting the videos here, I shall simply do linkies. Anyway, in order of when they were posted--
A Rehearsal
This is definitely not one of my favorite songs, and the clips where everyone is in costume are much more interesting. ;)

The Costumes

There was a picture of Romola Garai's Emma at one point in this and it made me squeal! ;) One of those dresses has simply gorgeous lace... I think it's Elinor's wedding dress.

A Little Clip with the Elinor and Marianne Actresses

Marianne's hair should be darker, but at least she's shorter than Elinor as the book tells us she's supposed to be. :)


If you just watch one clip, this should be the one. It shows random clips from various points which is really fun. (The song, by the way, is from the finale.) I can see that there is far too much of what I called "choreographed nonsense" for my taste, and it looks rather like "Sense and Silliness" could have been a more appropriate title, but I would still have loved to see it. Just because I love Jane Austen so much.

Clips and Random Attendees Talking

This one is fun too. And it has the tiniest clip of Edward's "I'll Believe Anything", which is one of the songs I like. I'm not very crazy about the Col. Brandon dude...

Most of "That's Not Love" with a bunch of random people in hats....

Didn't look into what event this was, I just watched it for the song. The lyrics are quite different than the one I'm used to (here), and I like the ending on the one I'm used to much better.

There are a couple other random things but those are the ones I found the most interesting. What else, what else... if you want to find out more about the actors/singers, I know they talk about it in this post (which is where I found out about this production in the first place). You can also visit the website for the musical itself here.

Well, that's about all for now. If all goes according to plan I should have some exciting news to share with you all next week... so stay tuned! ;) (Haha, it's just way too much fun being mysterious.)

Would you rather hear the story...

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