Friday, May 20, 2011

Wisdom Teeth: Take two

Minor surgery on Friday afternoon means a movie marathon weekend for me!
So far, I've done The Tourist (Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie) which was an excellent movie, even though I found the first bit slow, and Pearl Harbour. 
In eighth grade, my homeroom teacher showed us an extract of that movie, and I've had it in the back of my mind since. Today, I padded down and watched the three hours straight, crying like a baby for the last 30 minute stretch. I have a bad habit of relating characters to people I know, so anything with a Titanic-esque ending turns into a tear fest for me. 
It really is down to the end now, I have 4 weekends left to spend here, I can't believe it! It feels like this must be my 10th post, but alas, we're into the sixties now. By the time monday rolls around, I will only have one month left on the Mediterranean.
I have pledged to take 10 photos a day, plus enough video to do a montage. 
If anyone has any ideas for things I have to do before I fly home, just drop a comment!
It is very likely in depth movie reviews are to follow, since I have an abundance of time (and ibuprofen) on my hands, so without further ado, à bientot!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Can't Sleep

I was at the beach the other day, and an old man came by with his metal detector, and started asking me questions like where I was from. He had a big smile, and turned his head as he asked "as tu peur de me parler?" Are you afraid to speak to me?
I said no.
He laughed, ran his metal detector over my toes, and sent off the alarm, saying I was made of gold. He yanked a grubby handful of coins from his pocket, shuffled them with a callused finger and passed me one: a Franc from 1973. I thanked him, he waved it off, and off he went.
I sat for a few minutes, thought about trying to turn it into a necklace, tried to think of a event from 73, contemplated curling up into a ball and rolling into the water and letting the tides take me away, and ended up on my feet chasing him along the shore.
Sir laughed, maybe he knew I had a question, and asked what I was doing here. The same old answer: studying. Same old reply: where? 
I never break the Girl Guide code, never tell a stranger where you go to school. So I always say music. 
He asks if I'm married. I laugh, and tell him that I'm not yet 17, and he says that he would have given me at least 18, and so I'm left wondering what the world looks like through eyes that make me old, are old themselves, and who are narrowing on the world while he rattles off what he's made off of selling his treasures.
Cutting to the point, I ask him what life is. 
He works every weekday, and every other day he combs the beach to help pay his 5 children's bills. He tells me to get married, keep my music and have a family, that's all that matters. Give your children a good life.
It's been on my mind since last week. I'm scrambling to remember his face, how can you lose someone who has marked you in a matter of days? In my mind, I find him again, and ask him what to do if I have to choose between the two, because I don't know if I can sing and give my family a good life too...
Food for thought: live for love, or for passion; a personalized mundane or a game of all-or-nothing by someone elses rules?
Do I have to run the pebbled beach calling "Sir, come back, I have another question"?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mardi Quelconque

It's tuesday! What does that mean? Two very light bags;
- towel, one piece suit, the usual pool stuff + googles and wet cap
In France, swimming is a mandatory part of their gym class. I can do the crawl, but the "brass", which I had fondly nicknamed the froggy stroke, is pathetic! I'm sure that from an aerial perspective I look like a drowning inchworm!
- very, very uncharacteristically light school bag. We have two hours of straight physics afterwards. The class has finally settled down, and our teacher seems to breathe easier. I was actually surprised when the bell rang today, because it went by so quickly! I'm definitely more chemistry than physics, but hey, turns out studying electric currents isn't half bad either! I had a dip today, and realized I missed Bio class, which ended up making me smile... It means so much when you have teachers who really care about you, and love what they do.
In other news, my flight home is booked!
I leave in a little over a month for Athens with dad. Between now and then, I have my first lyrical performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and The Prayer in duo with my Dalila, and a saxophone concert/evaluation type thing! It's going to be a busy one, because second trimester is wrapping up in the next three weeks. I'm not stressed for the Conseil de Classe this time though, which is really, really pleasant.
Keeping Ayako and her home country close to heart, let's keep hoping for the best for Japan. Today was a rough one, they were hit at 6 O'clock their time by a scale 7 on the Richter. Nuclear disasters are rated on scales of 1 through 7, Tchernobyl being a 7; today, Fukushima has been rated a 6.
For anyone who was struggling to find current updates, I found this link.
It is so hard to read these things, but people need to know, we need to learn our lesson.
I'll leave you to read.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This week I am grateful for...

my cousin Faithe who had her fourth birthday this week. She'll be going to school soon, but I'm still stuck at smiling she was able to come into this world.
my parents who have made my brothers and I so much more aware of the world, and as such, grateful for Ayako, the Japanese pharmacist who stayed with us for part of the summer. I will be very grateful when she replies and tells me that she in unharmed by the disasters from yesterday.
all the other exchange students we've had with us; Harry, who I hope to see this summer; Juliana, who I hope to see very, very soon; Mathieu, who I spent Toussaint with and who's family is lovely;
especially grateful for Paulina who is as sweet as she is beautiful and taking excellent care of my girl, who's family has made me know I'll be so much more than okay this trip; and for Park who makes me laugh with his Facebook wars, and who I can't wait to meet.
I am hugely grateful for a clean biopsy result for my auntie Michelle, and for her birthday (29 once again, says my uncle).
my wonderful friends here and the love I share with they and their families.
the verses "I have been to the queen Charlotte Islands" and "Come see, come see what I have to show you. The world is not dark, only your intent, take the darken clouds and release them from your sight."
the little moments that make me love being here and remember being home.
the faith my teachers have in me, and the dates for my first big stage solos.
the remarkable ability to overcome and to start again at the most unexpected times, I am grateful for forgiveness.
all the acceptance letters my friends are getting, and knowing that they'll find their way.
my host brother.
my best friend being loved, and loving, and knowing that every once in a while, the stereotypes of the world are wrong.
my time left here, which will be too short.
my summer at home; with family BBQs; thousands of prom pictures; my 17th birthday and Greta's 16th; the clouds on my ceiling; my grandparents and aunts/uncles/cousins that I'll see again soon; Tantallon which I know my heart; U2; Redstar and it's members; the atlantic ocean; my run route; my sheet music collection and piano; most of all, my brothers. I miss them, but I guess that's just proof that I love them.
my music, which I had best go get at!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back to School Once Again

The problem with having so many vacations is that there are way too many first mondays back.
In all fairness, today was not a bad day; we started theatre in french, learned about the 1st movement of a symphony and then struggled through an hour of math before heading off to sing Crucifixus (last rehearsal before our show on Wednesday!). Fast forward to the afternoon at the conservatory, and I'm in a lovely mood, since I just met an Indian poet with relatives in my hometown!
March 30th will be my "audition" with Dalila. We'll be singing The Promise (Andrea Boccelli and Celine Dion, need I say that it had to be adapted?) and another Italian duet on top of a solo each before a panel of Judges and however many people we can scramble up to fill the massive auditorium. I'll be singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
This week, Carnavale wraps up. I'll try to put up a few pictures as soon as possible!
Meanwhile, I've found out that I should hear back from Pearsons definitively by May. Ooh lah! That's gonna be a bit of a wait, now isn't it? Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue. Patience is...
Well, whatever is it, I am falling asleep. Midnight again already?
Sweet dreams!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Italia:Top 10 (in no particular order)

1) I will start with the smallest of things, since I think the highlight of the trip was realizing that places are only places, and it's the minute joys one draws from life that brings out the light in us. Where we are has very little to do with our happiness; I loved going for a walk in a park on the last night with Juliette and making a daisy crown.
2) Between being a theatre geek and loving history, the explanation of the stage of the Colosseum was brilliant, our tour guide Ziggy was hilarious too.
3) We had a lot of great restaurant experiences, but this one was a favourite: the entrées came so fast we didn't have time to finish our serving before they were dolloping the next gourmandise on our plates! Plus, the live entertainment asked me to dance :)
4) A day of mask hunting and getting lost through the streets of Venice was probably what I will keep most vivid memories of.
5) We did two very different photo shoots: one at night in torrential downpour in Florence (best part of the evening was running in a cobbled side street and landing flat on my caboose in a puddle!) and a very silly set in Juliette and Sophias hotel room back in Nice. Both of those are going to supply me with smiles for many years to come.
6) Pompei was mind blowing. I had never realized it was a full city! Yet another hilarious tour guide showed us the theatres (I was very impressed!), the take away restaurants, beautiful Egyptian influences and lead us on a lovely little stroll through the main brothel, the last bringing an afternoon of snickers. The most moving part for me, was standing in the main square where the temple to their god stood, and knowing that people would have watched Vesuvius erupt behind said temple, what fury, what terror... The museum with the famous plaster cast of people and animals was just off to the right.
7) Dinner and more live entertainment! Only this time, we were in the palace where Napoleons sister lived, in a Medici style palace in Venice. They don't look like much from the outside except massive, but inside is all marble, silks, gold plating and velvet: a real marvel. The entertainment was interactive and period, so we all had a lot of fun!
8) Flip side, a very grave hour was spent at the Commonwealth cemetery. One elderly couple chose this tour specifically to go find the gravestone of his 17 year old brother, and since he had a hard time walking, I walked him to it: he had studied his plot map so much that he walked almost straight for it. When I was taking the picture of them there, he told me that it was the first picture, because before he had only imagined it, and that this was his first visit ever. There's not really much I can say about that day, but it makes my heart writhe when I think about all the unrest there still is today.
9) Karaoke! Nothing like starting off with Celine Dion! There was almost no english repertoire, but the men ended up finishing off the night with I Did It My Way, which I thought was rather splendid :) It recalled earlier on the trip; leading an out of tune Don't Stop Believing to the bus, accompanied solely by my very bad air guitar.
10) To be honest one of the trip highlights was Marco. During the quarter day long bus rides between major destinations, I did on occasion have the desire to bonk him on the head with mis microphone to cease the trivia, I admit. But I am going to carry a great memory of his mafia rants, the way he spiked his lessons with the word 'love' if he thought people were dozing since it made us all laugh, and Irish accent.  However, I found it rather exceptional that after trying to find me prom dress shops along the way on shopping days, to no avail, that he not only remembered, but cared enough to add me on Facebook at the end of the trip: and to make sure I sent him a picture of the dress at prom.
We are keeping in touch with a few friends, and though I've discovered that I'm not really a bus tour person, this is definitely going in the golden memory box :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Quick Hello Before Another Month Flies By

I am once again, back in Nice!
Mom, Juliette and her mom Sophia and I spend 10 days on a whirl wind tour of Italy; two days in Rome, two days in Venice with a stop over in Verona, followed by two days in Florence and finishing up with two days in Sorento before heading back to Roma to fly home.
Rome was stunning, I was rather entertained that they had stopped trying to build a metro because they kept stumbling on ancient ruins, and that the place where Cesear was stabbed has been transformed into a cat haven. The colosseum was, well, colossal, and it was only when the "stage" was explained to us that it clicked for me that this is where the Gladiators were. For whatever reason, I hadn't put them together in my mind!
Our stop over in Verona was quite literally to get off the bus, stroke Juliettes breast- hang on, I'll explain that before that gets more uncomfortable. See, a local got so sick of tourists coming and searching for Juliette's Balcony (Shakespear of course) that he decided to build one. A statue was erected of her, and for whatever reason, they say it's good luck to stroke her breast. My Juliette's humor ended in a theoretical impersonation of said builder-of-balcony man; "hey guys! Look what we can make the tourists do! *gwafgwafgwaf*"
(Very) Slowly but surely, we made our way up the length of Italy and before settling in to our modern hotel, took a serenaded gondola ride! What a contrast between the ancient canal city, a foreshadowing of a current day Atlantis should the Moses plan fail, and the area of my hotel! After a tour of the Murano factory, we spent the day on a quest for the prefect masks, which I hope to use this week at the end of the Carnavale in Nice :)
Florence was not at all the same as the last time I went, we saw David and aside from that, took a disastrous day trip to Pisa, and attended a very pricy sales pitch at a 'vera pelle' shop.
Sorento started with another tourism distaster of the beautiful Amalfi Coast... In a full fledged storm. The next day was brilliant though, the day was twiddled away, wandering the streets and munching on the best pizza of the trip.
Being prone to anything with more than two wheel sickness, another never ending bus ride back to Rome certainly didn't cut my trip highlight list, but making a bright pink miniature daisy chain was up there... Okay, maybe it wasn't quite incredible enough for that ;)
Perhaps a top 10 and pictures are in order?
Sleep comes first though, so sweet dreams!