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No Friction

A Chicago Showstopper

Boisterous. Showstopping. Chicago. A go-to musical if I ever saw one. Everything one could imagine in the 1920s– jazz, sex, drama, and homicide– incorporated into one phenomenal performance. The perfect blend of satire, music, crime, and gossip set in prohibition-era Chicago leaves audiences wanting more. No, needing more.
From the music and the dances, to the crime and the fame, Chicago presented a satirical view of the correctional system, lawyers, and media involved in trials during the 1920s– especially in cases involving women. Chicago shows a world where crooked lawyers and a public who craves violence is as frightening as criminals and their crimes. The main murderess featured in the musical, Roxie Hart, finds herself engaged in her image and becoming more obsessed with fame, and less concerned with being acquitted.
The director knew that a society where killers become stars was not far fetched. In fact, it can be found in contemporary society. People talk of criminals receiving their “five minutes of fame”, and that is what the director pulls from. In Act II, Roxie Hart’s lawyer, Billy Flynn, sings “Razzle Dazzle” which conveys this message of criminal celebrities. Its message is simple. If you want the press, or the jury, or society to believe you and rule for your innocence, you just have to “razzle dazzle” them like a high schooler’s elaborate proposal for prom.
As well as dramatizing our society’s habit to give attention to criminals, it also strays away from some of the gender stereotypes of that time. While there are features like “We Both Reached for the Gun”– a piece that shows Roxie and the press as marionette puppets being controlled by Billy Flynn, the male lead– which show us society’s view on the role of women, there are also pieces throughout the musical that contradicted the gender roles norm.
Cell Block Tango” is sung by the six merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail. The production depicts six women who have murdered men in their lives. It presents them as strong women who stood up for themselves– even if how they handled it was not ideal. They were fierce and sassy, which made it the perfect musical number to show that women in that era would not be pushed around.
On the other hand, Roxie Hart’s husband, Amus, is pushed around and deceived by Roxie. In his feature “Mr. Cellophane”, the mood completely changes. It is one of the only slow songs in the production, and shows the opposite of what men in that era were made out to be. Through lines such as “you can look right through me, walk right by me, and never know I’m there”  he was described as shy, outspoken, and compassionate to a fault.
The director captured the perfect 1920s scene through society and gender standards. The perfect blend of strong, independent women; an outspoken, pushed aside husband; and a stubborn, fame-obsessed lawyer create a must see musical. After all, who can resist “All that Jazz”?

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Pick Your Pun

Kristie and I have changed directions, somewhat back to what we were doing before. Remember when we tried to grow our own succulents? Well, we failed. So now since we have combined the project with what our Relay for Life team will be selling we have come up with another option. We bought 40-50 succulents that are being delivered next Monday, and are going to be using those as the plants attached to our puns. The pots were bought yesterday and they are super cute. At our booth at Relay, one of us will be sitting at the table with a list of puns, a hole puncher, our self-laminating sheets, and a pen. With this, we will allow the buyers to pick their own pun, which we will then write on a decorated piece of paper, laminate, and attach to their flower pot. Because we have combined our project with our Relay team, we will be giving all the money received from the sales to the American Cancer Society. We also hope to have extra succulents so we can pass more out at school.

Plants and Puns

Kristie and I have been working hard to try and pull our project through. It has been a trying process, and some of our pressed flowers have still not been turning out. We have decided to incorporate our twenty time project into our Relay for Life booth. We are planning to sell succulents and other flowers in tiny pots with our handwritten puns. In doing this, we will not only make the customers smile, but will also be able to donate the money we make to the American Cancer Society. However, we still want to press some flowers and hand them out at school or even in the mall. Kristie and I discovered these self-laminating sheets that need no heat or machine, that we plan to bind the pressed flowers in. Hopefully our project will be successful and we will be able to brighten some days with these little packages of joy. 

Humans of Denmark

What has been troubling me lately? I always worry for my sister. She is caught in a fairy tale, and I know there is no way it will end well for her. I feel terrible arguing with her time and time again. I just wish she would see that I only want to protect her; that I am not trying to be hypocritical in any way. Our soon-to-be king? What is she thinking? She cannot expect him to give her all his love. After all, his first priority is his land and it always will be. Even if his love is true, which I doubt it is, he will never be able to marry my sister. He must marry rich. And this fling with her could ruin her reputation for the rest of her life. She will be scorned. Inevitably heartbroken. I just want to protect her from this day of reckoning.

See Me

But you don’t care.

Do me a favor, okay?

You need to worry about yourself, not me.

Because that’s  what normal people do.

That’s the way society works.

It’s what I’ve learned works for me.

You don’t believe me?

You can. You choose not to.

Because you’d rather tell the truth.

So you say.

You know you don’t have to stay, right?

I’ll be okay.

Shakespeare Sonnet 71

Sonnet 71 is about death and mourning. The speaker tells the audience not to mourn for his/her death past the sound of the “surly sullen bell”– the funeral bell that announces to the world that the speaker has passed on. In addition, the speaker tells the reader to forget about him/her. They should not think often of the speaker and should instead let the audience’s love for the speaker die alongside of him/her in as to keep them safe. The speaker is worried that the world will use his/her death to “mock” the audience after “they look into [the audience’s] moan”.

The video was helpful to me because I am a visual learner. It was beneficial to see and hear both the tone and the mood the actor portrayed. Also, it was easier to understand the impact of some of the words chosen by Shakespeare and the impact it has in everyday life.

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vildest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it, for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay,
  Lest the wise world should look into your moan
  And mock you with me after I am gone.

Cupids, Cigarettes, and Dying Young

I can see red and white lace dresses peeking out under their coats, and one of them is wearing a tiara.

We all bust it out at the same time and then start giggling like maniacs.

The devil makes an impatient gesture with the roses she’s still carrying, and the angel—Marian, I guess—quickly rejoins the other Cupids.

It’s not that I’m not totally happy—I am—but it’s almost like sometimes I have to keep running over and over in my head.

We dump our yogurt cups right there, on top of the frozen black leaves and trampled cigarette packs.

When my grandmother was still alive we would visit her, and even though I was no more than six, I remember thinking: I hope I die young.

Book: Before I Fall 1/25/17

For my reading choice I chose Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I chose to read this book because both my cousin and friend had been encouraging me to read it for years. I am glad I decided to read this book because it is very intriguing and has many repayable, and just as many unrelatable, moments.

It starts out on Valentine’s Day, or as they call Cupid’s Day, and the main character, Sam, wakes up and puts on her outfit to leave for school. Her friend Lindsay picked her up for school and as they continued on their path for school picked up Elody and Ally. They all wore matching outfits for the special occasion, and eagerly wait in class for their roses–to show everyone in school who the most popular girls were.

Long story short, the friends all go to a party at Kent’s house, Sam’s old best friend who she believes is in love with her. At the end of the night they all want to go home, so Lindsay drives everyone out of the giant driveway and back through the woods. Driving crazy and smoking, Lindsay drops her cigarette, looks away to put it out, and crashes the car.

Next thing we know, Sam wakes up in her own bed to find that it is Valentine’s Day once again.

Update #2: Punny Plants

Our 20 time project is coming along great! Besides our succulents failing to grow, we have made significant progress on our “punny plants”. I personally have started pressing both flowers and leaves for our project. Kristie and I were debating on whether we should put the pressed flowers in tape, a kind of laminate paper, or if we should mount them on colored paper. We decided that we would make an assortment and if we ended up disliking the way one looked, we would stop making them and stick to the other designs. We also came up with some more puns:

PLANT your ROOTS and keep on GROWING

Be my FROND? PEAS?

You seem like a FUNGI

LEAF your life to the fullest

Give ’em PUMPKIN to talk about

Be PEASful

Where’s your excitMINT?

You can always turn over a new LEAF

I’ve BEAN thinking of you

LETTUCE TURNIP the BEET

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