2016 in Review/2017 ideas

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. 2016 was an incredible year. Here are some of 2016’s highlights.

  1. Wicked- fourth time, saw it with my school, interesting seeing a musical that changed me for the better with a school that changed me for the better, felt the must vulnerable this time around
  2. Newsies-newest musical of my life, mind-blowing dance, incredible songs and story
  3. Disney World- went with my school, leadership experience, experienced all four parks and went behind the scenes during two leadership classes
  4. Les Mis Party-did this over the summer and was bit of a surprise, did some Karaoke by singing some of the songs, got signed program by one of the actors who played Valjean
  5. Reading Don Quixote and finishing it over one summer
  6. Seeing my blog become successful

Followers-next year, what do you hope happens to my blog, any blogging ideas, I already have some ideas. Below are some of the ideas.

  1. Rewrite Les Mis character analysis, yes again- want to make them more like analysis instead of plot summaries
  2. Importance of doing things outside of your comfort zone
  3. Review of Little Shop or Horrors-my school is doing it
  4. Review of Rent- got a ticket for Christmas, finally coming to my hometown next year and waiting since 2012
  5. Other musical character analysis’
  6. More pieces of scripture
  7. More inspirational quotes

These are some of my ideas

Staying True to Yourself

What makes you different makes you beautiful

-Unknown

One thing I think is highly important is staying true to yourself. Everyone is different and that is what makes us special and unique. Everyone was born for a different reason and we all have different tastes, beliefs, dreams, and goals in life. We all have different personality traits and strengths and weaknesses. 

When you stay true to yourself, you are quite unique. There is nothing wrong with being different and there is no need to be “normal”. What is “normal” anyway? I don’t feel like there is a “normal” because the world will be boring if we all were exactly the same. We were born with different gifts and we need to use those to our advantage. Sometimes it can be hard to known what our God-given gifts are, but you will somehow discover them. It takes a lot of soul-searching to truly discover who you.

The Thenardier Family

In Les Misérables, you get to meet the Thenardier Family, which consists of Madame and Monsieur Thenardier, Eponine and Gavroche. The musical does not make it clear that Gavroche is a Thenardier, but you discover it in the book. The best way to understand this family is to understand Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, the parents of Eponine and Gavrcohe. However in the book, there are five Thenardier children, but in the musical you only get to discover two: Eponine and Gavroche. In the book Azelma is the second born child and daughter and there are two younger brothers who are younger than Gavroche.

Possible Spoilers:

Monsieur and Madame Thenardier are not very good parents or very nice people. They are pretty selfish, greedy, abusive, and quite cruel. This is clear in the first couple of scenes you meet them in. Cosette, Fantine’s young daughter, is lodging with the Thenardiers because it is dangerous at the time to be known that you have an illegitimate child. They basically scam Fantine out of her money and make her believe that Cosette is deathly ill, but in reality that is not true. They are especially abusive towards her and treat her like the slave.

The money that Fantine sends to the Thenardiers is used to spoil their own daughter, Eponine. Following her parent’s lead, Eponine treats Cosette cruelly. At the time, it seems like Eponine will grow up to be like her parents. During the “Master of the House” Scene, you discover that the Thenardiers are in fact pickpockets and steal absolutely anything and do anything they can to gain more money, which shows just how greedy they are. They basically kick Gavroche, their son, out of the house at such a young age and that shows that they are in fact unloving towards their children.

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While Valjean goes and rescues Cosette from the clutches of the evil Thenardiers, Eponine is stuck with them. Eponine, one of my favorite characters, is their eldest child and she is basically a product of her environment. The Thenardiers basically drag her into the criminal world and they fall into extreme poverty. Once Cosette is taken away, they start using their abuse on Eponine and she becomes unloved and neglected.

The only light in her miserable life is Marius, who she falls in love with unrequitedly. For some reason, Eponine was able to see the kindness in him even though she is in fact a Thenardier. This family becomes well known in Paris and they are basically in fact criminals. Eponine has to serve as a watchdog during her father’s schemes and she would rather not, but she decides to stay loyal to Marius instead of her parents.

Eponine does remember Cosette at one point in the show and she realizes that they have switched places. In the scene previously, she realizes that Marius loves Cosette and that Cosette loves Marius. She will stick by Marius’ side no matter what and this does in fact lead Monsieur Thenardier to disown her. After Eponine shows Marius where Cosette lives, the two lovers confess their love for each other. Well, Thenardier shows up and tries to rob the house, but Eponine intervenes and warns Valjean. Due to this, Thenardier ends up disowning his own daughter.

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Eponine is well aware that her feelings for Marius will always be unrequited, but she also knows that Marius is the only light in her miserable life. She didn’t do anything wrong, but she is a product of being a Thenardier. They raised her to be a criminal and she never once felt loved in her life. Marius is everything to her and she risks her life several times for him. She does stay so loyal to Marius that she ends up disguising herself as a boy to be with him at the barricades. This is a very risky move and Marius is well aware of how dark and sad her life is.

He does truly care about her despite how oblivious he is towards her love towards him. He does send her away from the barricades to protect her, but yet she still comes back, but that leads to unfortunate circumstances. She gets shot fatally and she dies in Marius’ arms. She would rather die in his arms than to die when it comes to the law. This is the happiest moment of her life and she is with the man she loves and Marius never leaves her side. Eponine is so brave but yet so unloved, neglected, and lonely. She is basically on her own. She is so loyal towards Marius and would rather be loyal to him than her parents. She has such a tragic life outside of Marius and due to that terrible life, her unrequited love is so painful and heartbreaking. But after she dies, Marius says “her name was Eponine, her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”. Marius knew about Eponine’s cold life and saw how unhappy she was, but also know about her fierceness, toughness, and bravery she shows.

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Gavroche is another Thenardier and is their eldest son. He was kicked out at such a young age and is basically a street urchin. He hangs out with the students of the uprising. If you think about it, the students are basically the family he has. The Thenardiers’ don’t even care about him or Eponine. He is so brave and full of such spirit and becomes this sort of mascot for the rebellion. He bravely climbs over the barricade to collect ammunition even though he dies in the attempt.

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To be a Thenardier means to steal, to rob, to manipulate, and be a pickpocket. That is basically what the Thenardiers’ are. They don’t care about their children and they didn’t even care that both Gavroche and Eponine were killed at the barricades during the uprising. There is a line during the wedding scene when they try to scam Marius that says “clear away the barricades and we’re still there”.

That shows that they didn’t care that their children are in fact dead. Their only goal in life is to survive and all they care about is money. Eponine and Gavroche are wonderful characters despite being part of the Thenardier family. Even though I have a dislike towards Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, I love them for the fact that they provide much needed comic relief and that two of the musical’s best characters happen to be their children.

Pillage

Title Musical Songs

This is a list of musical’s title or anthem songs. Typically its the most well known song in a musical.

  1. Tomorrow
  2. Do You Hear The People Sing
  3. Defying Gravity
  4. Seize The Day
  5. Some Enchanted Evening
  6. Seasons of Love
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Phantom of the Opera
  9. Sound of Music
  10. Seventy Six Trombones
  11. Corner of the Sky
  12. Tonight
  13. Mamma Mia
  14. Falling Slowly
  15. Little Shop of Horrors
  16. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
  17. The Impossible Dream

Beautiful Musical Songs

Musicals have a collection of beautiful musical songs. They tend to be either love or heartbreaking songs.There is a wonderful connection when it comes to those emotions.  For example, sometimes the song is a heartbreaking love song. This list also includes songs that are neither love or heartbreaking songs.

  1. On My Own
  2. I’m Not That Girl
  3. For Good
  4. A Little Fall of Rain
  5. I Dreamed a Dream
  6. Bring Him Home
  7. A Heart Full of Love
  8. All I Ask of You
  9. Music of the Night
  10. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
  11. Think of Me
  12. Something to Believe In
  13. A Whole New World
  14. Beauty and the Beast
  15. Can You Feel the Love Tonight
  16. Something Good
  17. Edelweiss
  18. I Should Tell You
  19. Till There Was You
  20. Somewhere
  21. One Hand, One Heart
  22. Some Enchanted Evening
  23. Younger Than Springtime
  24. This Nearly Was Mine

The Christmas Story of Luke

In those days, a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration  and was taken while Qbirinus was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went to the town of Nazareth  to Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He  went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and also who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands and cloth, and laid him in a manager, because there was no place for them in the Inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. there an angle of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to the, “Do not be afraid; for see-I bringing you good news of great joy for all the people; to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be sign for you; you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, erasing God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on peace song those whose he favors”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manager. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard, as it had been told them.

-Luke 2:1-20

This is the Christmas story according to Luke. In my opinion, this is the best version of the Christmas story told in the Bible. It brings up the story of the child being born in the stable as their as no room in the inn and it gives more detail about the child’s birth. During Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our savior and redeemer. I love how this story brings up the shepherds who visited Jesus when he was just a baby. They were terrified when the Angel of the Lord first approached them, but they did calm down after the Angle told them to not be afraid and brought up the news about the child being the Messiah. Christmas is a very festive time to remember the importance of Christ’s birth. Christ was born to help set an example of us and the importance of love and forgiveness. Last night’s Christmas Eve service was just gorgeous and what makes it special is that once the service is over, it will always be Christmas day.

Festive

Christmas Eve Beauty

All is calm, all is bright

-Silent Night

Merry Christmas Eve! The above lyrics are some the song, Silent Night. Later tonight I am going to my church’s 10:45 candlelight midnight eucharist. It is the most beautiful service that happens on Christmas eve. A trumpet and a string quartet accompanies the organ, which adds to the service’s wonderful beauty. One part of the service I really love is during “Silent Night”. All of the lights in the couch get turned off and the candles that we have are lit and we sing in the dark. That is such a wonderful moment and is my favorite moment of the entire service. This service is one of the many reasons why Christmas is my favorite holiday.

Silence

Calm