Friday, December 31, 2010

a few of my favorite things: the musical

Listening to: Only the Young by Brandon Flowers
Lyric Obsession: "Redemption keep my covers clean/tonight..."

It is common knowledge among my friends and family that I have an alter-ego, White Chocolate, who likes to drop beats. Also, beatz. (Is it drop beats or bust beats?) (I must consult Biz on this.) I sometimes get inspired to break into spontaneous rap, is what I'm saying. My niece, Erin, also has this
*makes air quotes* talent. She calls her rap-self, "Lil' Cocoa." White Chocolate and Lil' Cocoa! You see how clever we are?

One of my more infamous Christmas raps starts like this: "I'm gonna rap about Voldemort and Wal-de-Mart and things of the world that ain't right!/ Gonna rap about barbecued franks, Bill Gates, and Tom Hanks, pay-per-view and satellite!" (Note: bbq'd franks were hot dogs dipped in bbq sauce served in my elementary school cafeteria. No one named Frank was bbq'd during the making of this rap.)

If you've studied poetic form, you will probably deduce from the above example the following: the only real goal my rap-self seems to have is to rhyme words - words that have no real connection beyond the fact that they rhyme.

Lucky for you, I am not going to rap today. I need a special blend of caffeine and Twizzlers churning through my system for that kind of performance. But I do have a song to share.

I am, as you probably know, quite a fan of musicals. I like old movie musicals (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is my favorite - followed very closely by Disney's Family Band). I have a very long list of Disney songs on my iPod. (Fact: nothing gives you street-cred faster than rolling up beside somebody blasting Kanye from their speakers while you blast ... Sebastian the Crab.) (Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there!)

I have the soundtrack from Anastasia mostly memorized (why is that still not on Broadway?!). And I love theater. I truly, totally
adore theater. During college, I was able to take a Shakespeare class in London. During my Shakespeare stint, I mostly ate Kit-Kats and drank water so I could spend the rest of my money on theater tickets. I liked the big, swingy productions. I liked the low-budget productions that happened in seedy warehouses. I loved the spontaneous Shakespeare plays in the park. I remember watching a play in an open air theater in Regent's Park during a rainstorm. I realize London is a near-constant rainstorm but that day was especially insane. I didn't take a jacket. I didn't take an umbrella. Thus, I felt like I was sitting in a car wash. But the actors never stopped acting. So I never stopped watching. It's one of my most favorite memories of the whole trip. One of my flatmates said, "Aren't you sick of seeing plays?!" Never. It must be a sickness or something. I was only sad that I couldn't squeeze a few more in.

My city has a swanky theater and a team of incredible actors. I try to take in a play here whenever I can. And I try to take in a few big swingy numbers that come within driving distance when I can (and when I can afford them ...). Because I take in lots of musicals, I sometimes delight/alienate my family by making my life into a musical. By which I mean: I sing exactly what I happen to be doing. (Example: I'm brushing my teeth now! It's very exciting! Good-bye tartar build-up! Hello, extra-whitening!) And I have discovered that I can apply my same non-sensical rhyme scheme to these more classical musical numbers. And so, today, I present you with one such number to the tune of the beloved Christmas classic: My Favorite Things! (Although I'm not really sure why that's considered a Christmas song ...)

Two reminders: 1.) Not all of these events/things happened in 2010. I just liked them all this year. And 2.) Remember: sometimes I have to be ... creative to make the rhyme scheme work for me.

My Favorite Things: The 2010 Edition

*This is the part where the piano music begins its happy ker-plunkery*

*And now she sings!*

Boys who write love songs
And warm furball snuggles,

Thanksgiving dinner
with my favorite muggles!

Violets and novels and old banjo strings
These are a few of my favorite things!

and chocolate chip cookies
yellow umbrellas:

And this plastic wookie:

Wild winter sunsets:

And butterfly wings:

These are a few of my favorite things!

*full symphony kicks in!*
Jenny Jones blogging
And June Carter dancing:

And bookish romancing

Harry + Jenny! 
Katniss + PEETA!

Red lipstick:

green apples,
and the way these folks sing:

These are a few of my favorite things!

Warm cups of coffee:

Old books with swirled writing:

Melanie and Sarah
Cause they make suck-days more exciting!

Colors like black and tiffany-blue
Banana Bread French Toast
And readers (that's you!)

and emails that go

These are a few of my favorite things!

*the music fades to the simple ker-plunkery of the piano again*

*our leading lady walks to the edge of the stage and stares up, into the far-far-away, as though she is wishing on a star*

Two thousand eleven,
I see you there waiting.
Time keeps on pulling
but I'm hesitating.
I wish I could know what this new year will bring.
Uncertainty is certainly my least favorite thing.

But some dreams, they keep calling
(though I say I'm not ready).
My heart feels so dizzy
(but God holds me steady).

Am I brave?
Am I foolish?
Won't know till I try.
Most likely I'll faceplant.
But maybe I'll fly!

CHORUS: This is the part where she takes to the sky!

*music SWELLS!*

So here's to....
the falling and flying
and loving and hating
the self-doubt the victory
the debating the waiting
the wondering
the wonder this new year will bring ...

Love makes me believe I can do anything!

And I'm loved and I'm loving
And love is most certainly,
most wonderfully,
most truly,
my very most favorite thing!


Happy New Year, friends :) Thanks for making me so smiley all year long.

P.S. - As I was trying to find the right angle to take the picture of the butterfly, I kept mumbling, "Open your wings so I can take a picture ..." And Biscuit kept her nose pushed against the door, wagging her tail as if to say:

"Open the door so I can eat the butterfly ..." She's helpful like that.


  1. Anastasia? One of the best movies ever, I LOVE the music...'I never should have let them dance'. sigh. PB wants to be a screenwriter and make that a live action film someday. That on broadway, whoa.
    This was a very fun idea, I quite enjoyed it. When you say banana bread french toast do mean the stuff from german town cafe in Nashville? It's to die for. One of my favorite things of the year was discovering your blog! Have a super mondo awesome new year.

  2. So many of your favorite things of this year are my favorite things! The Hunger Games series (I love Peeta!), the new HP movie, The Swell Season, tiffany blue, and just about everything else. I loved your song!! And I love theater so much. I used to do it in high school, but college hasn't given me much time for it. Anyway, great blog! I loved it!

  3. LF, I'm so stinking glad you discovered the blog this year! I love seeing your comments pop up :) I ate banana bread french toast at a restaurant in chattanooga called FoodWorks and it was pure amazingness. I've never tried the one at gt cafe, but now I must. I don't know who came up with that idea ... but they deserve townships named in their honor. Happy New Year to you too!

    Abbie, so fun that you did theater! I did some theater in high school too (although our theater department wasn't a big deal compared to most schools - still fun though!). I was totally team peeta too, and I'm glad things ended well for those two. I thought the third book was pretty wild though. Like a very weird dream. Did you like it? The very first book in that series was my favorite, but I'm happy with the way she took it. Thanks for dropping in! :)

  4. Natalie, you rock. :) "My Favorite Things" is one of my favorite songs, too (though I guess that's obvious from the name of my blog :). Though I'm also not sure why it's considered a Christmas song, except for the mention of snowflakes and brown paper packages tied up with string.

    I loved your song! :) And I also love musicals ("Singin' in the Rain" is my favorite, though SBFSB is also amazing). I wish my life was a musical. Because then I would be able to carry a tune and people wouldn't stare when I broke out in song as I often feel like doing (but don't because I can't sing)! I have been listening to my iPod on shuffle a lot lately, and the amount of Disney songs is almost embarrassing. :)

    Thank you much for always being so funny and inspiring and for always introducing us to great books, music, etc. I hope you have a lovely new year!


  5. I'm kinda in love with the Gale-Peeta picture. :)

  6. Excellent work, Natalie! I have to note that I am a big fan of Seven Brides for 7 Brothers (although it's been a long time since I watched it), Singin' in the Rain, and Moulin Rouge (contemporary musical!). I love going to see plays and musicals whenever I can. Here's to all the theater that 2011 holds!

  7. Happy New Year, Natalie! Loved this post as I too adore musicals. Anastasia was on Broadway? Well it should be at any rate...gosh I love that movie. :) I am gonna go w/ Kristin and Singin' In the Rain as my fav...but after that things get REALLY hard to rank. So many good ones. :)

  8. I loved this blog post! I could just hear the melody swirling around in my head and I loved it :) I'm also loving listening to JK Rowling's speech! Thanks for sharing.

    I'm also a fan of musicals, but I don't watch too many. I think my favorite has to be Singin' in the Rain!

    Happy New Year!

  9. A Few of My Favorite Things is a very catchy tune and always seems to get stuck in my head for days at a time. But I absolutely love your rendition of the song, especially the part about this new year. So much has happened in 2010 that I am more than ready to leave behind. I'm not sure what 2011 will bring but I do know that no matter what happens I won't be alone. I hope that I will learn to welcome new changes in 2011. Thanks for your post, it was great as always!

  10. I was drawn to this post by the title. I ADORE musicals. I even have a blog solely dedicated to Broadway! This was so creative! I might write one myself!

  11. PS have you been watching Top Chef season 8?? it's so fun to see old faces! did you ever see the top chef just desserts? me and mom just finished that season, and while top chef is much better, it was so fun!

    PSS that picture of Biscuit and the butterfly is the cutest thing ever!

  12. I love your favorite things! You made me smile on the first day of 2011. Be ready to make a rap duet about our 29AGAIN party next weekend!

  13. Natalie! I just finished reading Paperdoll yesterday and I've learned so much. Your writing is so beautiful and flow-y. Thank you! ;D

  14. Have you heard? There's a rumor in St. Petersburg...

  15. Want to create our own version of Moulin Rouge? You're already short, pale, and cute; plus you cough a lot.

    We know all the songs. I could be Christian. If you have John Leguizamo's number, I'll call him.