December 29, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Symphony 4, 4th mvmt

A while back I attended the Tchaikovsky Festival show by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and it was a mind-blowing experience. One of the pieces they performed was his Fourth Symphony, and the whole piece kept me at the edge of my seat. All four of the movements were extremely impressive, but the movement I want to showcase today is the fourth movement.

The movement is 9 minutes of epic, grandiose, magnificent music. It's everything that's good concentrated into the sound of the bold strings, blaring brass, balanced winds and the booming percussion. (All those b's were definitely unintentional, hehe). The music always builds and intensifies from its momentum, but just when you think it's at its peak, everything just diminishes again and a new, even more powerful momentum starts to develop. And then all this energy just releases at the end, giving you one of the most EPIC endings ever.

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! (With poem!)

 From: Decently Exposed Shop

Hey guys! I just wanted to wish a very Merry Christmas, and I hope your holidays are going wonderfully! Oh and here's a little Christmas poem for you guys! I was going for kind of a "Twas the Night Before Christmas" feel to it (you know, that kind of hearty/homey voice?). And I don't usually do rhyming stuff, but I think Christmas just screams "poems that rhyme"! Anyways, hope you guys enjoy it!

(Here's an awesome playlist of the whole Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky!)

(Title of poem still undecided… if you guys got any suggestions don't hesitate on leaving a comment below!)

Stockings without a stuffer,
a tree but no manger.
Lights wrapped around the stairs,
but none out in the winter air.

What an artificial Christmas,
they deem, tone vicious.
You do not mess around,
with a celebration so renown.

December 15, 2013

Book Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)

by Libba Bray
published in 2003
a forgiving 2.5-3 stars
Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

"Because you don't notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right."

A Great and Terrible Beauty, is like what the title suggests, both great and terrible. But for me, it tilted towards terrible.

It's the Victorian Era, and the only place where Gemma Doyle wants to be is in England. Instead, Gemma's stuck under the sweltering heat of India, her dreams of going abroad quickly evaporating under the torrid sun. But one eery vision of the future later, tragedy strikes her family and Gemma is sent packing to the Spence Academy in London, under the worst possible circumstances. At Spence, Gemma's visions seem to occur more often, and Spence's gothic styled building intensifies the supernatural feel. Now, Gemma must question all she's every known. Or what she thought she had known.

I thought the book started off great. The characters had vivid, colorful personalities, and the setting felt very three-dimensional. Gemma had quite a distinct character, one that made her feel alive, vibrant. She always had a strong opinion, and her solid narration made me, the reader, feel involved in the story. 

Unfortunately, the story started to unravel as Gemma started to discover her supernatural talents. Suddenly, several new, important plot lines appeared, yet they held a weak presence throughout the book. The story started to feel drab, as the characters' emotions were never amplified; they just feel flat. And scenes containing very dramatic elements felt like smooth poetry, I mean for a supernatural book, everything just felt a little too natural

November 6, 2013

The Pride in Wrongdoing

*All names in this post have been changed in form of respect and privacy*

Today we had a double bloc of Spanish, and nearing the end of it, you can already guess that our teacher was getting frustrated from all of our little misbehaviours. And so, with Ms. Kayla's mood already in a downfall, one student decided to raise his voice above everyone else's, which resulted in some furious yelling from our teacher's part.

After 10-15 minutes, when the situation was almost forgotten and the class was chattering away, Ms. Kayla grabbed our attention and says, "I'd just like to apologize to Andy for yelling at him. I realize now that he was not the only one that was talking loudly, and singling him out was the wrong thing to do. I know that I'm not perfect and sometimes I do lose my patience, but I really try my best." Looking back it didn't make much of an impact on my classmates and I, but now that I have had a chance to think about it, I now realize just how meaningful what Ms. Kayla said.

September 20, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Vocalise

Missed the last one? Here's a link to Rêverie.

Vocalise, by Sergei Rachmaninoff

And on those days when the leaves are shifting hues, drifting away,
when the trees are left with only their stark limbs, battered with wind.

And on those days when the only rays, are seen through stretched clouds,
gray and soulless but with infinite amount of reason.

And on those days when you stare at the world,
and all you get is a woman in her coat, eyes cast down, stepping carefully.

And on those days when you put the sad records on,
a soft piano, a crying violin.

And on those days when life is dusty and ashen,
but then the music fills you and suddenly everything is so, so alive.

August 10, 2013

A Human's Worth

"Humans' lives are not of the same worth," declared my mom, grabbing another piece of stir-fried broccoli with her wooden chopsticks.

We were sitting around the dinner table, listening to CBS News when the anchor quickly mentioned a suicide car bombing that killed 53 people in Iraq. The news seemed to have left his thought as quickly as it had came out of his mouth. The rest of the supper was a blur; only the remnants of my mom's comment swarmed in my mind.

That was several weeks ago. And yet I cannot forget that day when 53 people were killed in a bombing, and how the brief mention of it was quickly overshadowed by a news report of more value, but lesser importance. If this were to happen in a developed country like the U.S.A. or Canada, it would be on the national headlines, even international ones, for several days in a row. They would have short biographies of the injured and deceased affected by the incident, and segments where experts would analyze the event over and over.

Actually, it wasn't the way-too-brief report on the news regarding that suicide car bombing that thoroughly vexed me. It was the ignorance of social media. If you engage in social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you probably came across a few people posting a message that said "Pray for Boston", during the time following the Boston Marathon Bombing. And that was very respectful, being emotionally engaged to an event that shook the whole nation. But those people completely missed the mark. Haven't they ever looked at the world properly? Looked at Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so many other countries in the midst of turmoil? They should know that these countries experience bombings every day of great fatality. But when has someone ever posted to their Facebook page a message saying "Pray for Syria", or "Iraq Strong"? If there are people who do it, I have yet to have encounter one of them.

July 26, 2013

It's my BLOGOVERSARY! (Has it already been a year?!)

Yay, it's the one year anniversary of my blog, The Humble Watermelon! It only seems fitting that this is also my 100th post!

My Journey to this Milestone
It all started in July 2012. I had already been on Goodreads for several months now, and I wanted to go further into improving my writing. So with a mind full of ideas and a lot of spontaneous thoughts, I went on Blogger, and created The Humble Watermelon, on July 26th. Then I joined a group on Goodreads called Blogger Lift, where I met loads of awesome people who also had their own blogs. Those people helped shape my blog into the one it is today, and I don't think I would be at where I am today without them.

Throughout the year, I've done book reviews, humanity-ish posts, and a lot of Classical Pieces of the Week! I hope to write many more posts, because writing has truely taught me so many things that are very valuable to me.

Blogging Friends
Once I found my place in the blogging world, I started making friends, and great friends they were (and still are!). I've interacted with a lot of people, so if I don't mention you, just know that you are still a very awesome buddy and I appreciate it so much that you read my blog!

Delaney @ The Awkward-ness: Delaney, you are an awesome human being. You were one of my first followers and one of my first commenters. You are always full of energy and you have great positive attitude that always rubs off on me! Thanks for sticking with me for so long, maybe stay for a little while longer? XD

Annie @ Fallen For Fiction: Remember Leopard Kitty Books? Cause I sure do! Annie, you really inspired me from the beginning, with your beautiful selection of words and excellent prose. I remember reading some of your posts and thinking, "Wow, if I could only write half as good as this girl!". You've been an amazing friend, thanks for making my blogging experience so much better!

Lottie @ Book Adoration: My favourite Wordpress girl, Lottie! When we became friends on Goodreads, it was just like an instant connection (or so I think)! Reading your blog since its beginning was such a pleasure for me, it has been amazing to see you evolve into such a talented writer! Your dedication has inspired me to be better at what I do. Thank you for everything, Lottie!

I'd also like to take time to thank Thomas, for inspiring me with his incredible writing skills and the passion he puts into his work; and also Ruby, the Queen of HTML, for all the time she puts into building her amazing blog, because the quality really shows.

To all of you: Thank you. For reading 2-3 of my posts. For leaving a nice comment. It means so incredibly much to me. And although it's already been a year, I'm still that same girl who get's so excited and pumped when she refreshes her blog statistics and notices that she has one more comment then before! Here's to many more years of way-too-loud typing, book-ish conversations, and late-night blogging!

July 25, 2013

Poem: A Book's Embrace

A little poem that came in mind while reading a very good book. Hope you guys like it! :)

A Book's Embrace
Tangled hair, oversized shirt
Hardcover cradled in hands
Staring at the words, staring at the world
A new dimension, born.

of the sun, the clouds,
the crying rain.

from the depth of the black

A touch, a gasp
The soul is shaken
The breath is quivering
The heart is breathing.

A gift,
to be embraced by a book.

July 24, 2013

An Ode to the Mighty, the Humble... Watermelon.

I named my blog The Humble Watermelon, so I figured I should make at least one post on this lovely fruit. So today, I shall discuss about watermelon's history, tell you some interesting facts about it, and share three of my favourite watermelon pictures!

Ready to go on this Grand Watermelon Adventure? Yeah? Okay then, let's go!

Watermelon's Fruitful History:
Watermelon is thought to have originated in southern Africa, where you can find it growing in its wild state. There is evidence that it had been cultured in the Nile Valley, around the second millennium BC (2000-1001 B.C.). By the 10th century, watermelon had started being culture in China, and by the 13th century, Moorish invaders had introduced this fruit to Europe. Watermelon then moved on to North America, where they were grown by Native Americans in the 16th century. Today, China is the biggest watermelon producer, growing more than 69 million tonnes of watermelon in 2011!

July 22, 2013

5 Reasons Why You Should Blog!

I think this list is long overdue... So without further ado, here are 5 reasons why you should blog (or if you already do, 5 reasons why it's awesome!)...

1) It passes your time in a productive way: Yes, that sounds like something parents would totally dig, but hey, it's the truth! Blogging is quite beneficial, unlike updating your Instagram status every 30 seconds, which brings you to nowhere. (Yes, I am guilty of that)

2) It helps improve your writing skills: Now that's a big plus. When I first starting blogging, I was just an average writer with lots of things to work on. Of course, I still have loads to work on, but now I definitely think I'm a better writer. I choose better wording, and I have found a style that represents me.

July 17, 2013

The Diviners, a book review (The Diviners, #1)

by Libba Bray
published in 2012
a bone-rattling 5 / 5 stars
Goodreads / Amazon Website Trailer (super creepy)
"Naughty John, Naughty John,
does his work with his apron on.
Cuts your throat and takes your bones,
sells 'em off for a coupla stones."

Some might say that only movies can evoke the most imagery in one's mind. But after reading The Diviners, I would completely disagree. This book didn't just make me feel like I was living in the era of the storyline, it made me feel like I belonged to it.

New York City, 1926. This bustling city suddenly gets a new addition: 17 year-old Evie O'Neill. After committing much too many troubles, Evie is sent packing from her drab hometown to the streets of NYC to live with her uncle. There she discovers that her hidden supernatural powers are more needed than ever, as she finds herself caught in the midst of a murder investigation. 

To say that this book scared me would be a hell of an understatement. It left me sweating with fear, eyes with horror and mind filled with speechless terrors. Yet it kept me up t'il midnight, day after day, as I silently flipped the pages with such an anticipation that only a good book can make you feel. 

July 13, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Rêverie

Missed the last one? Here's a link to Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20.

Rêverie, by Claude Debussy

A soft glow casts upon the field's grass, 
still fresh from the early morning dew. 

Faint whistles can be heard through the trees, 
the notes weaving into a melody of harmonious birds. 

The ripples of the water are carried into the stream, 
along the smooth rocks polished with time.

The flowers sigh to the sweetness of its own aroma.
A lone cloud travels across the sky, pacing infinitely.

The day becomes alive,
and everywhere is the reflection of its beginning.                            

July 10, 2013

The Rain of Happiness

Yesterday, just as I came back from a short walk with my mom, it started raining. The gray clouds were settling in, the sun's beam growing weaker as the rain intensified. Normally, I would be relived that I had avoided by a split second from getting soaked by hard droplets of water, but this time, something changed in me. I quickly realized that though I was hurrying to close all the windows, I wanted to be outside. Wanted to feel the rain, the cold and the wind.

July 7, 2013

A New Project (on Youtube!)

Hi everybody! It's finally summer break, and I feel like I'm just as busy as I was during the school year! But it's more of a positive kind of busy, because I've been planning to start a lot of projects. My most major one has been starting a new Youtube channel. I already have one called "gdlgma", where I post videos of me playing violin, and sometimes piano and singing, but this new channel is completely different!

I called it "pensationnel", and it's basically me talking in front of the camera about different subjects. Think of it as "à la Vlogbrothers", but a French version and very amateur. I mainly created this channel to try and preserve and improve my French once I switch to an English school, and also because I enjoy speaking!

Creating this channel has really consumed my past week, but I will try and be more flexible, because I really want to increase my quantities of post on this blog, especially since it's the summer!

So I hope you will have a chance to check out my channel, I'd appreciate it so much! (So far I only have one video, haha!)

Click here to watch my first video! 

I'll see you all very soon!

-Grace :)

June 30, 2013

Speechless, a book review

by Hannah Harrington
published in 2012
the cover makes it... 6/ 5 stars
Goodreads Amazon Website

The thing is, despite everything going on- I don't want to change schools. It feels too much like running away. Let the jerks that vandalized my locker and my car and harassed me think they can just run me off that easy? No.

"Here's the thing. I need a book with a gorgeous cover and an interesting backdrop. It has to exude personality, and it has to be completely, blatantly honest. I need the characters to be true, real. It has to be something that I could somehow, even indirectly, relate to. Also, because I'm being really picky here, it can't be a super long, marathon read, nor should it contain only 30 pages of really deep stuff that I act like I understand but I actually don't. It has to be appealing to read. You know, you know?"

"Oh, well, just take Speechless by Hannah Harrington!"

Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret. And since she's on top of the high school social ladder, she's got a lot of secrets on her hands, all ready to be spilled. But the last secret she told almost killed a person. And now, Chelsea is a loner, an outcast. So she decides to take a vow of silence, because that way, not another person will be hurt because she couldn't shut that mouth of hers. Her reign of silence gives her time to think- of her actions in the past that lead to her situation now. But it also gives Chelsea a chance to really dig deep in her roots, and to uncover the real self that she had hidden without even knowing.

June 28, 2013

A Playlist of Memories

Today was my last day as a student at École Lacerte. This school has been my second home for over 4 years now, a stretch longer than any other school I've been to. I've made friends that really do love me for who I am, and I've connected with teachers who care immensely about my well-being. I've had my fair shares of victories, and some defeats that I can only but learn from. I've made stupid mistakes, and yet they always seem to make me a better person. 

Next school year as we head to Grade 9, the graduated class of Lacerte will be dispersed into different paths. Many will continue towards a French education, a few will change to English schools. And even if we will keep in touch a lot, we will probably never have a bond as strong as when we were all colleagues together. So I've decided to make a playlist. A playlists of songs that represents us, the 2013 class of Lacerte. I hope one day it will help us all bring back the memories that made us into a family. A foolish, stupid, loving family.

Here's the playlist :)

June 14, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20

Missed the last one? Here's a link to Polonaise from Eugene Onedin.

When you first start to devote yourself to an activity, whether it's violin or gymnastics or anything else for that matter, you naturally turn to the professionals. You watch them, listen to them, analyze them. And as you stare in awe at their pure talent, you wonder if you will ever be able to achieve that level of accomplishment. This week's piece, Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 by Pablo de Sarasate, is that accomplishment. Most pieces sound easier than they actually are. This piece sounds just as hard as it is. When played right, it can really make an audience imagine wonders. It will tear your heart apart, make it pound, and make it race with excitement.

June 2, 2013

Canadian Chess Challenge- More than Just a Tournament

Your opponent is glancing in different directions. His eyes pry away from the chessboard, looking left and right. You gulp nervously, a little bead of sweat trickling down your forehead, your brain doing a hundred different summersaults. The opponent slowly gets up, walking with calm and ease to the water fountain, with seemingly the most time in the world, as you take frantic looks at the chessboard, analyzing the next move you could make without putting you in peril. You move your last remaining pawn. Press down on the chess clock. Your opponent comes back, hastily looks at the board, and glides his Queen toward that black square. Checkmate. 

Chess, quite an intricate sport. Some people know the basics, like me, and could possibly put on a close to decent match. But even fewer people know how to really play it. Openings, middle game, endings, tactics. And when they do play, they are transported into a completely different world, where the soul of chess shines above all things else.

April 28, 2013

Saving June, a book review

by Hannah Harrington
published in 2011
a to the moon and back 4/ 5 stars
Goodreads / Amazon / Website
 "Now I'm counting up the days, counting all the ways
I never said what I meant, but it's too late 'cause
June is over and so are we
And I'm the one left, with nothing to save."

Saving June is like a hum. A steady hum that can sometimes go a little off track, but still keeps its senses anchored to the ground. And sometimes, there are rattles and sparks thrown in the way, and that hum just turns even more powerful, until it wraps around you and then suddenly you're breathing the same air it's breathing.

Saving June is about a road trip. And then some. Haley's older sister June just killed herself. Discovering her in the car, a bottle of sleeping pills in her hand, Haley cannot stop thinking of what June could have been. June, smart, sociable, a loving daughter. But June, weak in depth, concealed, revealing only partially her whole. So Haley decides to bring June's urn to California, the place where Haley thinks June wanted be set free. In comes along June's trusty side kick and best friend, Laney, and the mystical Jake Tolan, who has an apparent connection with June. Together they set off for a roadtrip of a lifetime, a roadtrip of undetermined length and spontaneous decisions. But a roadtrip for one sole purpose, and that is to save June.

April 27, 2013

100 Followers+ Update!

Hi! Long time no see! Well, I won't drag on with an introduction, so let's go straight off to the points. First of all...

YAY! I reached one hundred followers! When I updated my feed and saw 99 followers creep up to 100, a giant smile just sparked on my face! I honestly feel so thankful to have such great readers like you guys. And even more for those who take that extra couple of minutes to put a comment on my post. It honestly means SO much to me! I love all of you guys so much! (*Kissy, smoochy face*)

And also, you might have realized that I haven't been posting very regularly these past few weeks/month, and as much as I'd like to blame time, I think it's only partially the cause. The thing is, I write when I feel something. I do not like writing with a schedule, because sometimes I just can't connect with the words. And I want each and everyone one of my posts to have a meaning, a passion. So I guess you could say I'm a little spontaneous when it comes to blogging.

And I hope you bare with me and my weird schedule for the rest of your lifetime a little longer,

because I love having you


April 12, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Polonaise from Eugene Onegin

Missed the last one? Here's a link to Valse Sentimentale.

Why hello there! It's been such a long time since I have written a post, but I promise I will make it up to you, because I am here to present you an absolutely incredible work of music. It's called the Polonaise from the opera Eugene Onegin by Ptyor IIyich Tchaikovsky. And yes, I am aware that my last CPW was by Tchaikovsky too, but I seriously do not want to let go of my healthy (slightly turning compulsive) obsession with Tchaik, so Polonaise will it be.

March 31, 2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a book review

Author: Stephen Chbosky
Pages: 213
Year Published: 1999
Rating: A hearty 4/ 5 stars
Goodreads / Amazon / Trailer   
The problem was nobody was there to play Rocky, the muscular robot (I'm not quite sure what he is). After looking around at everybody, Mary Elizabeth turned to me.
"Charlie, how many times have you seeen the show?"
"Do you think you can play Rocky?"
"I'm not cut and hunky."
"It doesn't matter. Can you play him?"
                                                                            "I guess."
                                                                            "Do you guess or do you know?"
                                                                            "I guess."                                  
                                                                            "Good enough."                                                        

Charlie (sighing)

Charlie (chuckling softly)


Sometimes, it's that book that's all weird and unstructured and messy that draws you in. And this is one of them.

Charlie is a freshman. He is also very socially awkward, but very aware of what surrounds him. Or more like unaware that he is aware. He notices the little details that people leave out, and he perceives the silent emotions emitting from a person's soul.

March 29, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Valse Sentimentale

As she peers out the window, a cloud of fog swarms near her view, leaving the objects of her sight mere shadows. She turns herself around, back in the vision of her cozy room, and with her wrinkled fingers, she carefully picks out a disc from her classical collection. It has been a long time since this one has been played, she thought, as she gently blows off the dust that had settled on the disc. Valse Sentimentale by Ptyor IIyich Tchaikovsky, were the words engraved on the label. 

With great gentleness, she places the disc onto the phonograph, and positions the needle onto the former. And a few wobbly turns of the handle later, the disc starts to revive. First, with a sharp, raspy sound, until soothing strokes of a harp can be perceived through the haziness. Then, the slightly wavering, but oh so alluring melody of a violin drowns off all other sounds, and even the lighted candles in the room seem to be swaying to the beautiful valse. 

March 27, 2013

Some Stuff! (You should read it!)

Ok, so first of all, I changed up my blog's look! I think now the colors are a little more matchy, which makes the blog look (hopefully) a little less messy. I also got a new button, so if you have the sudden urge to stick it up on your blog, I don't discourage that! ;) I'd love to make a few more tweeks, but my Template Designer isn't working, so if I want to make a little change I have to start from scratch! Hopefully Google will do something about that.

Also, I've heard that Google Reader will be closing down on July 1st. Even though it doesn't affect Google Friends Connect, I've added tools like Bloglovin' so that if you only follow my blog by Reader (and not friends connect) you can now follow by other things too!

So I think that is all for now, but I've got a few posts itching to put on, so I'll see you soon!

My button!

 photo NewButton1_zpsdbfd5562.jpg

March 15, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Greensleeves (the 20th Piece!)

Side note: 20TH PIECE!! YAY!! Ok, now on to the important stuff...

I'll admit it, I didn't even think about what this week's Classical Piece would be until pretty recently. But I had just thought of one of those tunes that stays tied with my mind, and decided to go with the piece that features it. It's called Greensleeves, and it was composed during the Renaissance Era, which thus explains why the original composer remains unknown.

Technically, Greensleeves is an English Folk song, but if you've followed my CPW since the beginning, you would know that I tend to like different versions of the piece/song. There is one belief that claims that this song was composed by Henry VIII for his lover and future wife Anne Boleyn. Such beliefs are vastly improbable, but it's always great to have different perspectives. If you would like to know more about the story of this song, click here.

March 11, 2013

It's Day by Day,

A few weeks back, during a violin practice, my teacher remarked, "Tell me if I'm wrong, Grace, but are you thinking about what you are going to play next, instead of what you are playing presently?" He said that I kind of looked disconnected from the music.

He was not wrong.

I have always been quite nervous while performing on stage. It's just that I'm always afraid of forgetting something, forgetting the note I am going to play next. I then proceed to think of what I am going to play next, instead of focusing on what I am currently playing. That action then makes my mind to overthink, and quite ironically, I will usually forget the next note, which causes me to completely panic. This is particularly an issue for me, and maybe for many others, because I just can't seem to focus on my performance itself since I am too busy thinking about what is going to happen next.

And then I thought, it's kind of like this in life, right? People are so busy thinking about their futures that they don't even bother paying attention to the present. Of course, it's always good to have a loose plan of your future, and thinking about how you can make it even better, but these kind of thoughts can easily turn too serious, too over-consumming.

March 8, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Hungarian Dance No.7

Classical Piece of the Week is back! And dare I say better than ever, because you guys are in for a real treat this week. This morning I was fumbling around Youtube, trying to find a CPW. I already had a couple of pieces in mind, but once I re-listened to them, I realized I wasn't really that passionate about them. And then I happened to come across Hungarian Dance No.7 by Johannes Brahms, and I knew I had met my match.

This piece was originally composed for piano, but I find that the violin version gives out a crisp, more vibrant sound. Specifically Jascha Heiftz's version. This work of music is quite short, but I don't think it would be better any other way, because the shortness fits the mood of the music.

March 6, 2013

Why Hello Again, Blogging World

Eh yup, I'm back! Tired with prominent dark circles and droopy eyes but still here. These past few weeks have been so agitated and clamorous, but I've learned so many new things that I can't wait to share with you guys. I'll definitely try getting back to my usual commenting on other blogs stuff, and I'm thinking of changing up the design of my blog (again!). Anyways, I don't want to make this post too long, because there will be plenty of others coming along! I'll see you soon!

February 18, 2013

First Game, New Experiences, Old Passion

Wish I could relive that moment again
The electrical buzz filling the arena. The tens of thousands of fans cheering at the top of their lungs. The crisp sound of the puck hitting the face of the sticks. And of course, the Canadian winter lurking outside.

Now those are all elements that make up a great hockey game.

It began about about a month ago. I came back from school, and once I took off all my winter stuff weighing me down, my mom greeted me by telling me to call my dad immediately. Turns out that his work had offered him two Winnipeg Jets tickets, and that I could pick the date we would be attending. Naturally, I went for Sunday, February 17th. The Jets would be playing the Boston Bruins, my favorite team. And so it was a done deal. I would be going with my dad, and my little brother would be going the next time my dad got tickets.

February 1, 2013

Some things here and there

Ok, well the title says it all. But... I will make it less confusing, and put it in point (technically number) form :)

(And cause I feel so today, I will put them in different colours, WHEE!)

1. Happy February! Although I am sad to see January go, since it passed in such a blur... I really do try to live in the moment, but with this coming up and that catching up soon, I feel like my life is on flashforward, which kind of leads to my second point/event/announcement... (Gah I need a specific word for this...)

2. I cannot say for sure that I'll be taking a reluctant break from blogging, but with a lot of music events coming up soon, and the ever-so nagging pile of homework and projects, I just can't keep up with my blogging schedule. Which is 2-3 posts a week. So that being said, I will try my best to get in at least 1-2 post this month, which is saying a lot (...I think).

3. So if you guys have ever realized, Friday is usually the day of the week I post my Classical Piece of the Week. But this week I want to change it up a little, and introduce to you guys a singer that I have been absolutely hooked on these past couple of weeks. Her name, Coeur de Pirate. Her voice, soft, and sweetly mellow. Her songs, simply spectacular. And she's Canadian-French! I compiled up a playlist of some of my favorite songs from her, here's the link. I hope you'll give her songs a try!

4. And finally, this is kind of off subject, but I'd like to thank you guys. For reading my post up till the end, for leaving a comment here and there. Even after half a year of blogging, I still get excited when I refresh my feed and discover that I've gotten a new comment. It just means so much to me! So thank you for being here, and for maybe sticking around for a little more :)

January 28, 2013

Book Review: The Book Thief

Author: Markus Zusak

Pages: 550

Year Published: 2006

 Rating: The world...

"The notes were born on her breath, and they died at her lips."

By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up and closed down. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

I finished this book with my back propped against a pillow, my legs resting on my bed. I finished this book with a sweater draped over my chest, and my hair in a ponytail. I finished this book to the cracklings of the heating, the whistling of the wind. I finished this book surrounded by darkness but bathed in light. I finished this book and did not know what to do next.

I didn't even cry. I didn't, but I could feel the tears inside of me, stuck yet traveling across my body, slowly and with morose. And I don't know, maybe I'm exaggerating my emotions, but I'm not. This book, this modest book with freshly worn edges and a few wrinkled pages has taught me so much. It has taught me, shown me, softened me and strengthened me.

January 25, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Nocturne Op.9 No.2

Sometimes, a piano and an open soul is all you need to express all the emotions a human can feel. Nocturne Op. 9 No.2 by Frédéric Chopin is a lovely piece that really does bring that essence to reality.

It may sound like an easy piece to play, but this Nocturne requires a balance in technique, but also in the spirit within yourself. You really do have to feel at peace, or something like that, to truly bring out the beautiful music that resides within this piece.

January 21, 2013

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Author: Laini Taylor

Pages: 417

Year Published: 2011

My rating: An undeniable 5/5 stars!

Quick synopsis from Goodreads:
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

Sometimes, you forget what a good book can do to you. Pounding heart, wide eyes, shortened breath. Daughter of Smoke and Bone revived that feeling in me.

From the turn of the first page, I was sucked into a mysterious world, boldly crafted by Laini Taylor. This is the kind of book in which you have no idea what to expect. The synopsis gave away nothing, which was perfect, because you actually had the freedom to roam around in your own thoughts, your own imagination, and think about all the different possibilities this story could take in. And the writing. Rich, velvety, deep. Yet not overly excessive. Taylor is an amazing storyteller that isn't afraid to show originality.

January 18, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Jupiter

Well, I seem to have been going on an orchestral music roll (...two pieces...), and there are no signs of stopping, because, I present you another orchestral piece: Jupiter, from The Planets, by Gustav Holst.

This piece reminds me of a fantasy land, filled with odd creatures, a sweet air with a tad bit of mysteriousness lurking beneath it, and for some reason, lots of old-school soldiers. I absolutely love the strings' bee-like buzzing tone, and the brass' powerful dominance. It really does sound like Jupiter. Grandiose, ambitious and quite dignified.

January 15, 2013

The Best is Yet to Come

A few days back, I was trying to build a 3D cell model out of Lego. That turned out to be a failure, which totally crushed my dreams of building a cell out of Lego. But that's not exactly the point of this post.

So I had this plan, and that plan required a lot of 4x2 gray bricks. And so, I started looking for those specific bricks out of the huge pile of Lego that lay in front of me. After a few minutes, I thought I had picked out all of them, and set off to work. Of course, I misjudged my plan, and it turned out that I didn't have enough gray bricks. So out of hopelessness, I took another look at the pile of Lego to see if I might of had neglected a couple of gray bricks. And it turns out that I had. So I went back to work with a fresh new pile of gray bricks, but after a while, I was out again. I took another quick glance at the pile of Lego to see if I might've missed out on some gray bricks (like last time), and hey, who knew that I had! And so, this pattern repeated during my whole process of trying to build a cell out of Lego.

January 7, 2013

Book Review: How to Save a Life

Author: Sara Zarr

Pages: 341

Year Published: 2011

Quote: "Sometimes the road home is the hardest to find"

Quick synopsis from Goodreads:
Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends—everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one. Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted—to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too? As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy—or as difficult—as it seems.

Before I read the last 50 pages or so of this book, I thought I had already set my mind on my thoughts for it. And trust me, they were good thoughts. But then, all the storyline slowly unraveled down into a sort of unnatural ending. So now I am torn. I do not know whether or not I should still love this book. The things a bad ending can do...

I have read all of Sara Zarr's book. Story of a Girl, Once was Lost, Sweethearts. None of them appealed to me, yet when I laid my eyes on How to Save a Life at the library, I knew I just had to read it. And so began a journey with a book that I had low hopes for, but remained open hearted to. And wow, after a few dozens pages, I thought I had found my book. The story, the characters, the details... They just fit so right, so at ease.

January 4, 2013

Classical Piece of the Week: Dance of the Knights

You can also listen to this piece (and all my other CPOTW) on this Youtube playlist.

Wow, it has been quite a long time since my last Classical Piece of the Week, eh? Anyways, just yesterday, I got this giant and epic Shakespeare book over at the ever-so-awesome Costco. It contains all the plays and some poems and sonnets. I will not lie, I am very bad at reading anything old school, but I really do want to learn some knowledge on Shakespeare, so I will try my best to understand the words.

So in the theme of Shakespeare, this week I choose Dance of Knights from the ballet Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev as my Classical Piece of the Week. It is an orchestral piece that really is quite something.

January 3, 2013

More than a Cruise

What I love about cruises is that they have awesome food 24/7, a great selection of activities, people from all around the world and a fantastic vibe. Sure, I've only been on one cruise in my life, but I'm certain that many other cruises have all the great stuff I listed above.

Yet it's also more than that. When you're on a cruise, you have the freedom to roam around everywhere, you can get ice cream whenever you want, and if you feel like dancing, you can just head on over to the DJ's place and have a blast! It's like an endless amount of possibilities to have fun.

January 1, 2013

New Year, New Design!

Hello my fellow friends! If you happened to check my blog these past several days, you might have noticed that I have not posted anything since Christmas. The reason being is simply that I didn't really feel like it. I was in North Carolina and I guess I just wanted to enjoy my trip to the fullest. Anyways, you should be expecting a new post in the next few days!

Well, in other news...

Happy New Year! Wishing you guys a prosperous year full of laughs, love, new discoveries, hard work, and fun! Also, in the theme of New Year, I decided to revamp my blog's design! I changed my Template from Simple to Travel, and I replaced my three columns to two columns. And the colour theme has slightly changed too! Right now, I haven't exactly completely settled on this design, so I might make a few tweaks along the road. Don't hesitate on leaving a quick comment below to tell me what you think about my new design!

And, here's a little small news...

I have decided to break through another social barrier, and I got myself an Instagram! Honestly, it feels exactly like when I first started my blog. I check it constantly, and every time I get a new like or follower, I squeal of joy, lol. So if you guys have an Instagram, just let me know in the comments below, I'd be more glad to follow! And if anyone's interested, mine's @violingrace.

Looks like that concludes this post! I'll see you guys soon!


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