Monday, September 29, 2008

Les Mis!

This past Saturday I went down to St. George to watch Les Miserables at the Tuacahn Amphitheater. It was amazing! On the way down I had the opening notes running through my head and I was getting pretty excited. I was a little worried that I would be too critical of the singers because I have the Complete Symphonic Recording completely memorized and I know how it's all "supposed" to sound. At the beginning I kept telling myself, "it'll be different, don't expect it to sound the same..." and after the first few minutes I was able to handle the differences pretty well.

Here are some characters that I thought did an amazing job (even if they did sound different from what I was expecting):
Ryan Anderson was the Bishop of Digne. It's not a large part, but his voice is beautiful. I loved hearing him sing. I liked him much better than the guy who played Valjean and my friend and I decided that Anderson should have been Valjean's part instead. Great voice!

Jay Pierce as Javert. Another amazing voice. He sings with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra too. I loved hearing him. He was awesome! He has a fabulous bass (my favorite part to listen to!) voice.

Another very gifted singer! (I couldn't get a picture of him without the "about" stuff.) John Preator played Marius. He was also amazing. Such a beautiful voice.

I now have a picture of the lovely Melinda Lockwood Debirk who played Cosette. Her voice was beautiful. Very angelic sounding.

The rest of the cast was also great, Valjean - as already mentioned - not being my favorite, but not too terrible either. His mannerisms were kind of weird, and not what I'd expect from the part being played. Oh well.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It's such an amazing story and the music is incredible. It was a neat setting with the mountains around us, and having the army fight from the mountain. It was also really neat to be able to see the stars while Javert was singing "The Stars."

I'm waiting for them to come out with a musical movie version. If they can do Phantom, why not Les Mis?

Now, because there are some members of the Symphonic Recording that can never be topped (in my opinion), here's a shout for them:

Philip Quast as Javert. (Isn't that a great picture?! He looks very... inspector-like...) I don't think anyone will ever sing Javert's part as well as he did. This Aussie has got a fantastic voice!

Anthony Warlow as Enjolras (another Aussie). When watching it on Saturday I'd get really excited for Enjolras to burst out with lines like, "One more day before the storm!" because I knew exactly how it "should" sound. The Enjolras at Tuacahn did a good job, but he didn't have the power that Warlow has. Imagine my complete delight when I found out that Warlow also sang the part of Jekyll and Hyde in the Jekyll and Hyde songs that I have come to love. After it clicked, it made complete sense that it should be the same person because I loved both voices so much.

side note - if you ever want a treat, look up Philip Quast and Anthony Warlow singing Lily's Eyes (from Secret Garden) on youtube. It's great.

This picture is just because it's during one of the greatest songs - "One Day More."

Now after all of that, guess what I'm listening to at work today, as I type. I'll give you two guesses, but you'll only need one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yay For This!

A co-worker showed me this yesterday. I think I could watch it over and over and never get tired of it. It's amazing!

I can't figure out how to load the video itself... but hopefully the link (click on the "this" above) will work. If not, go to youtube or and type in Classical Gas Tommy Emmanuel. Then sit back and enjoy the next minute and a half!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Silence... of the phones...

For the past almost four weeks my phone has been on silent mode. It began when work started getting busy with people calling in about not being able to register. The phone at work was ringing so much that I decided I didn't want to hear more phones ringing when I was home. So I silenced it. This has been one of the best ideas I've had since I got the phone.

Sure, I'll miss calls, and sometimes I'm really slow getting back to texts, but it's become more of a convenience for me rather than making myself a "slave" to anyone who needs to get a hold of me. For a while I worried about someone calling me needing help. Then I realized that I am nobody's only friend, and if they really need help, there are other sources to go to. Is that totally selfish? It's not that I don't want to help people, it's just that the sound of a phone ringing drives me crazy. Even if it is the theme song from the Brady Bunch, or Jeopardy. Even Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts can get annoying because it's noise. I'm okay with eliminating noise from my life.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Warm Showers...

... are so much nicer than cold ones! But that's probably not a surprise to anyone reading this.

When one roommate moved out, and another moved in, it was necessary to have the name on the gas bill changed. Well, Jennifer called to cancel the gas last week, then told us that we had until Friday to get another account with a different name put on it. ...

... Saturday we woke up to cold showers. Yeah, that was fun. I went running in the morning then came back and quickly moved into the shower hoping that if I was still hot from running that the cold water wouldn't feel so cold. I learned that no matter how hot you are, after you get under cold water once, from then on, you're just cold. So, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I did the cold shower thing. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't exactly "fun" either, but it wasn't horrible. It reminded me of at least two months on my mission when I didn't have hot water. Kind of nice to reminisce.

Anyway, moral of the story - we have hot water again and it's nicer taking warm showers than it is taking cold ones.

But, again, you probably already know that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Learning to Deal... Blast it!

There's good news... and there's bad news... which do you want to hear first? They're actually very closely-related, so maybe it doesn't matter that much.

The good news is that my hip hasn't been locked for almost two weeks! Yay for that! For the last... years... my hip has hurt when I walk, and it's been worse when I run. I just figured that's how it was going to be for...ever. At the encouragement of my sister-in-law (thanks, Jen!) I finally went in to see a physical therapist. Since I thought nothing could be done, I wasn't in a rush to go in. First visit, he told me my hip had been locked (the joint just wasn't in the position it needed to be in to move smoothly) and unlocked it for me. When I left the office, for the first time in almost as long as I could remember, I walked without pain. It was incredible!

I've been going to the physical therapist about three times a week for the last month or so. Last week he told me I was unlocked and I could (finally) start running. Slowly. First 1/4 mile, then 1/2, then a full, then come back and we'd talk. I went running, then went to see him yesterday. He knew I had been entered in the St. George Marathon and I was hoping to be training for that, but "healing the hip" took priority. He wants me to add 1/4 mile to my run every other day, with a good rest during the day off.

Now for the bad news... the marathon is off. At least for me. I was really excited for this because it was to be my first marathon, and I was going to be running it with my sister and her husband (their first marathon too).

Anyway, that's what I'm trying to learn to deal with. So, definitely not "yay" for that. But, yay for me being able to run a 10k on Oct. 18 (a mud run that multiple members of my family are signed up for!) and maybe running a half-marathon in November that I should be able to train for just fine.

So, I guess it's good news that my hip is better and I'm actually being smart about this injury and trying to take care of it so it will just keep getting better.

And... I suppose that when I'm finally ready for 26.2 miles... somewhere, there will be a marathon that I can sign up for. (hey, I'm trying to be positive)