Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Internet is Awesome 25 - Year End Extravaganza!

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It's my last post of the year! And as such, I decided to make it almost twice as long! No special reason, except that I still have a ton of videos saved that I need to use in posts. :p

Let's start off this final post with another Hollens Disney song. They are just magical together. :)

Leave it to Kurt Hugo Schneider and Kina Grannis to come up with something like this. I already loved this song, but this unique spin on it is just so good.

This next video is an utterly amazing rendition of Danny Elfman's Spiderman theme done spectacularly by Lindsey Stirling and Lang Lang. It is so incredible. It makes me nostalgic for the days when we actually had memorable themes and scores in movies.

I have a bit of a confession. I have never really liked the song Danny Boy. I've always thought it was way too schmaltzy, and even years ago when my favorite artists like Charlotte Church or Celtic Woman covered it, I just wasn't that impressed. I don't think it's a bad song, I just never cared for it. I actually cared so little for it that when Peter Hollens announced he was starting an email newsletter and giving away an exclusive track to anyone who subscribed, I was so disappointed and actually did not subscribe when I found out that it was Danny Boy. Then he released a video. I couldn't believe it. For the first time in my life, I LOVED a version of Danny Boy. How foolish I had been. I immediately went and signed up for his newsletter to get the track. :p

Pentatonix's Scott Hoying and Mitch Grasi, who have been best friends since they were little kids, have had their own YouTube channel for years now, Superfruit, on which they normally post vlogs and challenge videos, but lately they've been putting out some great stuff, including this cover of a Katy Perry song. Hopefully they keep this up! As entertaining as they can be when they aren't busy as part of Pentatonix, they are at their best when they are singing.

Recently there was a Disney movie called The Queen of Katwe released in theaters. It is about a girl from Africa who becomes a chess champion. It sounded really unique, and I wanted to go see it, but I pretty much never have time to go to the theater. However, Disney released a song from the movie on their Vevo channel, and it is amazing. I was tempted to buy the soundtrack based on this song alone. I didn't, because I like to see movies before I start buying their merchandise, but still, how great is this song!? Now I need to see this movie!

A couple months ago I discovered a British show called Yonderland. It is about a 30-something mother of two that gets sucked into a portal in her pantry to a magical land where she has to fight monsters and save the world. And also it's full of songs and puppets. It's like they made it for me. :p This song was one of the best parts of the show.

Pogo has been one of my absolute favorite electronic remix artists for years, and this video is everything I love about him.

I heart Tessa Violet.

I love it when my favorite things collide into one giant mashup of awesome! Twenty One Pilots, Kurt Hugo Schneider, and VoicePlay!

This song is literally everywhere, but thankfully everyone seems to put a new spin on it, and the Piano Guys are no exception. :)

Technically Pentatonix did this song for their new Christmas album, but I've never thought of this song as a Christmas song, so it didn't go in my Christmas post. Either way, they killed it. :)

Everything that Bad Lip Reading does is incredibly stupid. But for some reason I can't help but love it anyway. This song was one of my favorite things they have done in ages. It's so dumb, but so catchy. Also, I almost died laughing at "That log had a child!"

We'll end this with another amazing video from Lindsey Stirling. And she's themed it around Alice in Wonderland. This video is everything! :D

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Fantasia is my favorite movie. It has been one of my favorites since I was a kid, and a lot of that has to do with my grandpa. Earlier this semester I really thought about why I love the movie so much, and I turned it into one of my poems for class, which I am sharing here.
Before I was born,
My grandpa was many things.
A sailor in the Navy,
A teacher, mail carrier, father. 
By the time I came around,
He was just my grandpa.
He didn’t do much,
Except watch basketball and opera.
I wasn’t interested in either. 
One day he bought a video.
An animated film.
Something my grandparents never had.
This was the only one he’d ever buy.
Grandpa got the movie for its artistic merit,
Mainly the classical music,
I loved it for the dinosaurs. 
My grandpa didn’t do much with us,
He had heart problems,
He couldn’t play like other grandparents.
But we did watch Fantasia. 
I’m not sure how much of an impression,
It made on my brothers,
But Fantasia sure left an impression on me. 
It is the reason I love animation,
It is the reason I love classical music,
It’s probably even the reason I love dinosaurs. 
I would go so far to say,
Fantasia is one of the things,
That made me, me. 
Grandpa died earlier this year.
He’d been sick awhile,
So it wasn’t a shock.
It was still sad though. 
Last week grandma asked me,
If there was anything I wanted,
Something to remember grandpa by.
I didn’t even have to think about it.
There was just one thing that grandpa left,
That I knew I’d want. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Video Explosion

Did you have nothing to do this Christmas? Do you want to watch a bunch of internet videos? Probably not. But if you're still in the mood for Christmas entertainment after the holidays, then come back to this post, I've got you covered.

Unless your annoying family starts talking about politics again and you need to mentally escape, like, right now. We get it Uncle Frank, you're in love with Trump, and Hillary is a war criminal. I don't think little Timmy needed a lecture on Benghazi. Can we have some pie now?

Don't worry, these videos are just what you need. :)

We'll start this out with Peter Hollens, because he just released a Christmas album and he made a video for like every song on it. I'm not going to post them all here, but I have plenty.

Now for the absolute kings of Christmas music, Pentatonix. They also just released a new Christmas album. This version is now one of my new favorite Christmas songs. They are amazing.

And one of my new favorite a cappella groups, Voctave.

And because there are a bunch of them, another Peter Hollens video, this time with his wife Evynne. And their far too cute son, Ashland. :)

The YouTube series "How It Should Have Ended" recently did a mashup of Home Alone and E.T. Who knew these two stories would work so well together! Also, be sure to watch till the very end of the video!

This next one has no video, but I love this new Owl City song too much not to include it.

And another Peter Hollens.

More Pentatonix, I love that they included some unconventional songs in their new album. :)

My cousin showed me this clip from the britcom Mr. Bean last night and I about died. I literally laughed myself into a coughing fit. Then we watched it like three more times, every time someone new came into the room.

The Gregory Brothers songified Home Alone! And it's amazing!

And another Peter Hollens, this time with Mike Tompkins. This is usually one of my least favorite Christmas carols, (depending on who does it) but they managed to completely redeem it for me. :)

And speaking of Mike Tompkins, he did another song at the senior center. I hope he keeps doing more of these, because I just love them so much. :)

And how about some Studio C. Warning, it's slightly gross, if you have a weak constitution, but it is so funny. :p

And one more Pentatonix. I love the twists they put on their versions of these classic songs. This one sounds almost African. I love it!

And we'll end this where we began, with Peter Hollens, singing one of my all time favorite carols. I know we've already heard this once in this post, but you can never have too much Carol of the Bells, especially when it's done so well. :)

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Poetry of Random

This semester I took a poetry class. It was, by far, my favorite class of the semester, probably my favorite class I've had in at least the last year, if not two years. Probably since my first creative writing class. I ended up writing a lot, some of which ended up being a lot more personal than I intended. But I'll save those for later. The longer, more personal ones will probably each end up in their own post some day. Today I just wanted to share some of the shorter, more ridiculous ones. These ones have no deeper purpose, I just wrote them to write them.

This first poem came from me thinking the phrase "Gargantuan Orangutan," for some reason, and wanting to use it in something. That's pretty much it.

Gargantuan Orangutan

Gargantuan Orangutan,
Oregano and Mint.
I’ve no idea what this is,
I’m making up this Blint.
I even made up that word, Blint,
Cause not much rhymes with mint.

Rotoscope and Gyroscope,
Zoetrope and Quill.
This poetry means nothing now,
And it never will.
I’ve no clue why I’m writing this,
It’s just a messed up mess.

Enunciate, Pronunciate,
Exfoliate and Krill.
I think my rhymes repeat themselves,
Because Krill rhymes with Quill.
But then again they both don’t rhyme,
With Mint, so now here’s Thyme.

Macaroon and Camaroon,
A bug’s Cocoon and Lint?
I think I’ve brought it back around,
Since I rhymed Lint with Mint.
But now I think I should be done.
This made no sense but I had fun.

This next poem came from me having written nothing the night before the poem was due, and deciding to write about that. Funnily enough, several other people wrote poems on the same topic later on in the semester. And that was just of the ones that were read aloud in class. Who knows how many were turned in without reading them aloud. It seems to have been a popular topic.

A Last Resort

Writers block, this is it.
I cannot think, not one bit.

The night before, this poem’s due,
What the heck, am I to do?

I've thought about this, all weekend,
But I've had no luck, for days on end.

I've no idea, what to write about,
Anything I could crank out.

Oh poem gods, help me please.
I'm begging you, I'm on my knees.

Suddenly, the answer’s here!
Write of writer’s block, it’s clear!

It’s a card I can only play once, that’s true,
And it’s a cheap cop out, that’s true too.

But desperate times, or so they say,
I must do what I can, to get through the day.

Well, I guess that’s it, I’ve finished now.
This poem’s done, I’m through, somehow.

This last poem was another one written the night before it was due. I could not think of anything to write because I was too busy writing a bunch of other things, one of which was my Disney Canon Countdown review of Fantasia 2000 for the Rotoscopers. So I decided to write about that. :p

Fantasia 2000

Abstract butterflies.
Chaos in flight.

Titans of the deep.
Titans of the stars.

Classical Jazz.
New York.
Rhapsody in Blue.

A soldier’s love.
Music box.
Something in F Major.

Carnival of yoyos.
Rhapsody in Pink.

Classical wizardry.
Disney magic.
The Repeated Apprentice.

Donald’s ark.
Pomp and Circumstance.

Beauty and life.
Fiery death.
Rhapsody in Green.

And that's it for now. Like I said, there are more poems, but most of them will get their own post in the future, or I'll pair a couple of thematically similar ones together. Either way, eventually you'll get to read them.