It all started with a Phantom…

For anyone who knows me, it is no secret that I love musicals. I can’t help it. There’s something about the way music interacts with stories that I just can’t get enough of. I remember the exact musical that started it, too.

The Phantom of the Opera.

The funny thing is, I didn’t fall in love with Phantom because of my experience seeing it. No, I fell in love because of what I heard. See, when I was really young, my dad took my mom to Toronto for their anniversary to see the production. They came back with the soundtrack. For weeks and months after that, I would listen to that soundtrack during the hour-long drive to gymnastics practice three to four days a week. I sang like I was an opera singer (or tried to) and memorized all the words. I loved the fact that I could create the storyline in my mind and picture the scenes, simply by hearing the music and piecing together the lyrics from different songs. There was kind of a pact between my dad and I that, when I was old enough, we would go see Phantom of the Opera on stage.

Phantom of the Opera was the first Broadway musical I ever saw. Today, my favorite is Wicked, but there's something in me that just lights up when I hear the notes of any song from Phantom.

Finally, when I was in the eighth grade, I got to go see it when it was on tour in Detroit. I remember we were in the very back row, right in front of the air conditioner so I was freezing. It didn’t matter, though. I was enthralled with the voices and the story. If I wasn’t hooked on musical theater before then, I was now. Could there be any more perfect world than that of a musical? Wouldn’t life be more wonderful if people just burst into song to show their feelings? I thought it would and continue to believe that to this day.

Since that night at the Fox Theater in Detroit, I’ve found a love for many more musicals. Rent, Wicked, The Lion King, Hairspray, Chicago – some of them I’ve seen, while others I’ve just become familiar with through song, much as I did with Phantom. No matter which show it is, though, it never fails that I am taken into that world, where everything can be explained in a song.

Are you a fellow musical theater fan? Is there one show that started it all for you? I’d love to hear about it!

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Is agvocacy pointless?

I was a little dismayed just now when, while skimming a post on Facebook, I saw someone post this:

Someone convince me allĀ [our] discussion about food and farms is making a difference!

Now, as someone who has spent a lot of time having discussions about food production and farming, I got really disappointed that a comment like this could be coming from one of our own. Do we really think sharing our stories and talking to people about where their food comes from is a waste of time? Are we really so jaded by bad experiences that we think it isn’t worth it?

I sure hope not.

No matter what I hope for, though, I want to hear from others. Are you a non-farmer who thinks differently about agriculture because of something you learned from talking to a farmer? Are you a farmer who is more optimistic about our future because of an experience you had with someone who doesn’t farm, but wanted to learn more about where their food came from? Please help me feel a little better about all the hard work we do to “agvocate” – because I refuse to believe that it isn’t making a difference.

Prescription for homesickness – Get out!

Seeing as how my last post was rather sad, I figured it’s about time to refresh it with some happier thoughts!

A group of girl's from my office at Emily's (aka Little Red Riding Hood's) Halloween party!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve put a lot more effort into getting myself out of my apartment to do all sorts of things – whether it’s by myself or with others. I’ve taken a couple trips to the Mall of America and Ikea, and went and chopped all my hair off! I met a girl at my last North Central NAMA meeting and we went to the St. Croix Vineyards one weekend. I ventured to a coworker’s Halloween party, had dinner with another coworker and her sister, and stayed after work for drinks and Happy Hour snacks with people. That’s a lot, compared to what I was doing!

I’ve come to realize just how important it is for me to get out and do things, no matter what it is. Spending time outside of the office and outside of the apartment is important for me keeping my sanity up and my homesickness down. I will admit, though, I’m super excited to head home in 16 days!!