Tis the Season

If anyone asks me of favorite holiday of the year, I would reply “Christmas” without hesitation.  There are several reasons why I like Christmas. First of all, I get to see my parents for solid amount of time. However, I just like the unique vibe of Christmas. I like the special smell of Christmas that triggers my nostalgia. Also Christmas carols that are played everywhere on the street.  Good foods are always available during Christmas, and then you get to enjoy the new year celebration. My favorite part of the new year celebration is Fireworks for sure.  It is mesmerizing to watch bursts of fireworks in the night sky, making me think about new year resolution that I will never do.

PC: Patch.com

My Favorite Feelings

I’m in a really good mood right now, but there are honestly so many things that makes life feel so much better. So, here’s a few things that never fail to make me happy.

  1. The tiredness after being at the beach in the sun all day
  2. Driving down PCH with the windows down during sunset
  3. The lights turning off at a concert and knowing the show’s about to begin
  4. When the singer stops singing and everyone in the crowd continues belting the lyrics on the top of their lungs
  5. Listening to ocean waves before falling asleep
  6. Having the air conditioning on while sleeping, but being wrapped up in warm blankets
  7. My horse coming up to me
  8. Hugging my favorite celebrities
  9. Having dance parties alone in my room
  10. Waking up and having a good hair day
  11. Wearing a cute outfit and feeling confident in it
  12. Good conversations with friends at dinner
  13. Waking up early and having energy to take on the day
  14. Sitting outside when it’s hot, but a perfect breeze keeps you cool
  15. Hot chocolate after snowboarding all day
  16. Being spontaneous
  17. Being carefree
  18. Blasting 2000’s throwbacks and singing along to them while driving
  19. Reuniting with friends I haven’t seen in a while
  20. Dancing
  21. Singing with my friends without caring about what my voice sounds like
  22. Having motivation to clean my room
  23. Being told my writing is good
  24. Swimming in the ocean for hours
  25. Running
  26. Hanging out at the fair in the summer
  27. Finding out I did better on a test than I thought I would
  28. Jumping into a freezing pool on a hot day
  29. Listening to a song for the first time in years and still knowing all the lyrics
  30. Mastering a verse in a rap song
  31. Wearing oversized sweatshirts
  32. Going to the movies while it’s raining outside
  33. Getting invested in a new book and forgetting about everything else around me while reading it
  34. Being around a camp fire
  35. Opening gifts
  36. Giving a good gift
  37. Having a breakthrough while horseback riding
  38. Writing freely without writer’s block getting in the way
  39. Talking with my friends on the phone for hours, and though I rarely see them in person anymore, still having our friendship be stronger than ever
  40. Loving life for the way it is and currently not wanting to change anything about it

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

My Top Ten Favorite Musicals

Theater is one of my favorite things in the world. And though I have the talent of a rock, and would never participate in any musicals ever, I love watching them and over the past couple years my obsession with Broadway has grown stronger. So, I decided to compose a list of my favorite Broadway shows and movie musicals and why.

10. Dear Evan Hansen: I haven’t seen this musical yet, but I am obsessed with the soundtrack, and I really hope I get to see it one day.

9. The Lion King: There’s no reason why this musical is low on my list, because I loved it with all my heart. I was in awe during the whole production with the costume design, music, and set, and would recommend it to anyone, but it’s not a show I would go see a second time unless I went with a friend who would really want to go.

8. The Greatest Showman: This is only a musical, but there are rumors that a Broadway production of it is in the making. This was my favorite movie during all of 2017. I loved everything about this musical movie. The music, the actors, the story, all of it. So much so that I saw it three times in the theater within three weeks, and several times after that on the plane.

7. Wicked: This one should definitely be higher on my list, but I have too many musicals to mention, so this had to be right here. I’ve seen Wicked at least three times because every time it goes to my city my family has tickets. It was the first musical I’ve ever watched and it’s been one of my favorites since.

Photo Credit: playbillstore.com

6. Kinky Boots: To describe this musical in one word, I’d say iconic. A Broadway show about drag queens? With a powerful, positive, feel-good story and catchy as heck tunes? I stan it. Plus, Brendon Urie was a part of it over the summer, which started my obsession with the musical, but isn’t the only reason I love the production. The show’s amazing with or without him and I saw it with David Cook and he was amazing in it. I’m gonna miss this show when it closes in April. #Revival

5. Mamma Mia: Anyone who knows me knows this musical is bound to be on my list whether they decide to read this or not. This is my favorite movie. I’ve never seen the live production of it, but I’ve watched the movie at least 100 times and if I could revive any Broadway show it’d be this one (or Newsies).

4. Hamilton: Do I need to explain why Hamilton’s so high up? I’ll probably have to say why it’s not my favorite, but this musical is amazing. There’s a reason why it’s so freaking popular. It’s a rap musical and all the dialogue is done rapping, there’s no simply talking except for maybe two times in the whole production. I was lucky to see this show with my aunt last year in Los Angeles with tenth row seats and it was the most magical three hours of my life. Additionally, history is one of my favorite subjects and this musical was a modern production on a story from almost three hundred years ago with a diverse cast and an incredible soundtrack.

3. The Book of Mormon: I dedicated a whole blog post to this show last year, but it didn’t do it 100% justice for how amazing it was. This show was hilarious and I went into it skeptical that I was gonna like it, but I loved every part of it. The second it comes to California again I’m buying tickets and I’m anticipating the moment I get to go watch it again.

2. Phantom of the Opera: I get to finally see this musical during summer time and I’ve been wanting to see it more than anything since I watched the movie on Netflix last summer. As of now, it’s still the longest running Broadway musical and I still haven’t seen it, but that will change… hopefully. But, it’s still reserved this spot on my list because I am obsessed with the story, despite how high-key toxic the relationship between the Phantom and Christine is. But, that’s what makes the story so interesting and addicting to watch.

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

1. Aladdin: This show is the most underrated popular show in Broadway right now. Aladdin is my favorite Disney movie, but watching the Broadway version was the most magical three hours of my life. I remember at one point I had to close my eyes because the costume and set design were so insane with bright lights and glitter that it was blinding. I never saw so many dancers in sync and so many perfect voices in harmony together in one song. I remember when the show ended, and my aunt, sister, and I were all leaving the theatre and I was in a daze for the rest of the night. Then the next day, I wanted to return.

This was a really long list, but if you’ve made it to the end, I 100% recommend you go to any of these shows and you’ll have the best experience ever.

Things We Lost In The Fire

I never realized how easy it is to take the things you have for granted, until they disappear into the wind like ashes from a fire. I remember playing those awkward ice breakers with people you’ll never really know, and one question that always seems to show up is: “If you could only take three things from your house in a fire, what would they be?”

I never had a definite answer. Obviously there were the essentials: passport, laptop, cellphone, and valuables, but I never imagined that one day I’d actually have to make that decision. That one day, in a panicked hurry, I’d have to scurry across my dorm room worrying about what I should bring, and being filled with regret over the things I left behind.

On December 4th, 2017, a wildfire ignited its flames outside the place I’ve called my home for the past three years, and on December 5th, it had reached the beloved campus and destroyed multiple classrooms, the dorms, and everything in its wake. On December 4th, we were told to evacuate, and we were asked to grab a backpack for one night. We were told to pack anything we absolutely couldn’t live without, but we were also told not to worry about our other stuff, the fire would pass, and everything would be okay. So, I packed what I held closest to me. I packed my polaroid pictures recalling the memories from my sophomore year. I packed a single stuffed animal: a panda I was given in second grade. I packed my All Time Low pillow, my signed posters, a UCLA shirt, my favorite leggings, and two t-shirts.

Photo Credit: Foster Huntington

But still, there were so many belongings surrendered to the flames. I lost years of memories put up on a small cork board above my wall. There held all my concert tickets, plane tickets, medals, and setlists from concerts I had caught in the crowd. I had lost all my riding ribbons I had won in the last couple of years. I’ve lost tour t shirts, my guitar, articles of clothing which held little bits of my personality in each thread, and class notes I’ve worked on hours into the night just so I could have a good grade the next day. They weren’t the most expensive items in my life, but they were the ones that were tokens of moments in my life that I cherished, or the moments that defined me. They were the things lost in the fire that I regret leaving behind the most. I guess if I could go back in time and grab a few more things, I’d make sure they reached my bag first.

While mourning this fire, my family constantly tried reassuring me that everything was replaceable, but then they’d ask me what I missed most, and what I missed most wasn’t what was replaceable. However, despite the hard process, I come to realize that those small items I’ve lost are still there, but in the form of memories that will stay in my head forever, for the rest of my life. Someday, after all the debris descends into the ground, and the years pass, I will have new tokens from new memories to hang up above my bed, and the tragedies from this fire will soon become a distant memory, only serving reminders through the objects I saved from it.

Pasta

One of my all time favorite foods is pasta. I realize that it’s not very exciting, or gourmet. But it’s just so good, and there’s so many different things you can do with it.

Ravioli, one of my favorites, is best with a tomato sauce. Tortellini is best with Alfredo sauce. Gnocchi goes perfectly with either. And then there is every other kind of pasta that you just can’t go wrong with.

Living in the dorms, pretty much all I eat on weekends is pasta. We don’t have to check in at the cafeteria, so I like to make my own food instead. One of my go-to’s is the Annie’s Mac and Cheese. It’s a lot healthier than the Kraft stuff, and it’s way better. I also like to make just regular penne or rigatoni with vodka or tomato sauce.

When I’m home though, my dad gets a little bit more creative. When he has plenty of time before dinner, he’ll make his own tomato sauce starting from scratch. He boils the tomatoes, then cuts them up and adds them into a pan with garlic, onion and basil. He then generously pours it over bow-tie pasta. It is so good.

A lot of my friends say pasta is all I eat. While they’re exaggerating a little, they’re not far off base. It’s easy to make, delicious, filling and there are so many different variations possible. Pasta is definitely one of my favorite foods.

Samantha Who?

What does the movie, the Anchorman (featuring Will Ferrell and Steve Carell), and NBC’s show, Up All Night (starring Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph), have in common?

Christina Applegate!

And she is making her way up my favorites list again with the tv show, Samantha Who?

I started watching this show just recently and I fell in love with it.

The story begins in a hospital. Samantha Newly, Christina Applegate’s character, has just woken up from an 8-day coma after being hit by a car. She suffers retrograde amnesia meaning she cannot recall memories from a certain time period before the accident. In the few episodes that I have watched, Samantha is on a backwards journey trying to find out who she was and changing herself for the better.

I absolutely love it.

Here’s a starter video that will give you a good summary of what it’s about:

And here is a scene from the Anchorman-a bit random but something funny!

The Last Blog

This is my last blog of the year-the last blog as a junior.

So should I write about?

Well, I can write about almost anything. About how my friends are leaving in a eight days, or how maybe I found out that I became president. I could write about how I will be going to Chicago this summer for a medicine forum. Or I could talk about unicorns and how much I ABHOR butterflies. Ick.


But, I feel like my last blog should be more substantial than my usual potpourri. My final blog should be more.

This blog (my last blog) is a tribute to a very special person. A teacher to be more specific.

I have had him teach me in a subject every single year that I have been here at Ojai Valley School Upper Campus.

The greatest thing about this man is that he knows when and how to push me to my greatest potential. I don’t think I have learned more about my own limits than I have when I was learning from this teacher.

He has an interesting way of teaching. History, which is the subject he teaches, happens to be the subject I hate the most. But, when I learned it from him, it was my favorite subject. It was because of his humorous way of teaching that engaged all of his students and made everybody love taking his class. But this teacher is not just jokes but he knows when to be serious and knows motivate his students to do their best.

Mr. Alvarez, you are not only my favorite teacher, but you are my coach and one of the people I look up to. You are great and I am happy that I was fortunate enough to take your classes every year. Thank you for being such an excellent teacher and for motivating me to always do my best. I can’t wait for journalism next year, during my senior year. Haha hopefully, you will be able to put up with my major college stress and senioritis.