Support the Irish Arts

As I was writing this blog post, the Gilmore Girls episode currently playing on my iPad, season 3 episode 7, referenced Riverdance. That is the best possible sign that today is a great day to support the Irish arts! Former Riverdance dancer Kincaid Stringer & his mother Shannon Kincaid, a painter, have teamed up for a great cause. They’re selling seven of Shannon’s paintings through Indiegogo for a COVID-19 relief fund; all proceeds will support Irish actors, artists, backstage workers & crews, clubs, concerts, cultural & event spaces, dancers, dance schools, festivals, musicians, performers, singers, theaters, & writers. I grew up dancing & singing so the arts are very important to me. Riverdance is the reason I asked my mom to sign me up for dance classes at the age of four so the Irish arts are also very important to me. Let’s not forget my Irish ancestors! 🇮🇪 The arts have done a lot for us in quarantine so it’s only right that we give back. You can choose to only donate money or receive a painting or two or seven in exchange for your donation. If it’s not already obvious, I’m buying “The Dancer.” Can’t wait to have a gorgeous Irish dancing queen above my bed! 👑 Please consider setting aside $25, or more, to support a great cause & get a piece of Ireland for your home. 💚🤍🧡

*NOTE: The Indiegogo campaign ends on September 17th, & the paintings will ship in November. Because of COVID-19, please consider that shipping could be delayed.

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Irish people’s love of dancing has been well documented throughout their written history. In fact, one of the earliest references to dancing details a visit between the Mayor of Waterford and Mayor of Baltimore in 1413. The modern Irish dancing of today is no longer merely a processional combination of singing and dancing as an act of celebrating, but a sport that produces athletes that are physically strong, as well as creative and artistic. What was once a tradition specific to Ireland (as well as England, Scotland, and some parts of America) caught like wildfire in 1994 with the debut of Riverdance. The theatrical show consisting mainly of traditional Irish music and dance took the world by storm and has been a global phenomenon ever since. Now, twenty-five years later, the Irish dancing community consists of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people around the world today. Teachers from around the world have committed themselves to spreading their love and passion for Ireland’s traditional form of expression. Regardless of how far a dancer progresses competitively or professionally, being an Irish dancer is something that is inextricably bound to their identity forevermore. In this piece entitled “The Dancer,” you feel the excitement, the confidence, and the artistry that comes from expressing a centuries-old tradition that has touched the hearts of many.  – Kincaid & Shannon

Ireland and Scotland combined have a rich culture within the performing arts, which has resulted in a thriving gig scene. Musicians are constantly pushing the boundaries in order to create new and fresh work that is often steeped in tradition. Many are staunch believers that musical traditions must be preserved as they always have been – the “play it like my father used to” kind of sentimentality. Yet, every generation brings a new wave of talent that feels that this attitude discourages progress and evolution. This debate between tradition and innovation is a tale as old as time. Still, many feel it is possible to honour your origins while also exploring and adapting to the future; they are not mutually exclusive. Irish music legend, Míchéal Ó Súilleabháinn, believed that traditions are never frozen, but rather are fluid. He believed that the idea of authenticity originating from a pure source located in antiquity was bogus! This painting is for the new wave of artists and musicians who are creating some of the most incredible new-age folk / Trad music in the world. Project Smok, Beoga, Talisk, Ímar and the like are leading the way for the future of Irish music. – Kincaid & Shannon

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  – George Bernard Shaw

Ériu is the goddess of sovereignty and the mythological mother of Ireland. She is often interpreted as the modern-day personification of Ireland. Along with her two sisters, Banba and Fódhla, Ériu was a part of a triumvirate of goddesses. Before their final defeat, each goddess requested that the island be named for her. This was granted to all of them, but Ériu became the chief name in use. The old Irish name Ériu evolved into Éire in modern Irish and depending on the case is spelled Éireann or Éirinn. This is how we finally arrived with the English name for the country, Erin. The painting has been imbued with symbols to depict all that Ériu embodied within pre-Christian Irish culture. Ériu represents the sacred feminine, as illustrated in the column capitals, or the decorative element at the top of a column, that represent the three phases of a woman’s life cycle – the maid, mother and crone. The stars behind her and the lunala around her neck evoke her role as a lunar goddess. Her hair bleeds into the trees, depicting her connection to the earth and its bounty. She holds this bounty in her hand as a glass of mead, which was served at the feast of Goibhniu, and offered immortality to those that drank it. Around her head is a ring of knot work encasing the land, which is topped by the stone of divisions from the hill of Uisneach, the symbolic and sacred centre of the island in Irish mythology. Ériu’s bones are said to have been laid to rest on this hill and serves as a gateway between the Underworld and the world above. – Kincaid & Shannon

There is much more to an Irish pub than just having a drink. In Ireland, pubs are central to the way of life. Similar to a church, they represent a pillar of Irish social life and community. A place where pints, comfort food, live music, and sport can be always be found; somewhere you can meet friends, neighbors, or even complete strangers, in an inviting atmosphere. It’s for these reasons that recreations of Irish pubs can be found in any city around the world. O’Connor’s was opened as a pub in Galway in 1942 by Thomas O’Connor, and is currently operated by third generation O’Connors. Every inch of it decorated in eclectic memorabilia, the pub has become famous for its hospitality and world-class live music. So much so that Ed Sheeran used it as the location of his music video “Galway Girl” in 2017 featuring actress Saoirse Ronan, furthering the pub’s world-wide recognition. – Kincaid & Shannon

Ireland has a rich tradition of various festivals taking place throughout each year. The Rose of Tralee was first held in 1959 and has since been held every August in Tralee, County Kerry, to select a young woman to be crowned the Rose. Cities all over the world host their own selection balls to determine who will represent them in Ireland. The festival bills itself as a celebration of the “aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility, and Irish heritage” of modern young women. Bursting with music and dancing, this festival celebrates the very best of Irish culture and the future of Irish relations worldwide. The winner and their family become a part of a global network, showcasing how Irish culture is thriving amongst the Irish Diaspora. They say, “Once a Rose, always a Rose.” – Kincaid & Shannon

A session is a casual gathering of musicians playing traditional Irish music, usually taking place in a pub, but has also been known to take place on street corners or even in someone’s kitchen. Irish “trad” music has garnered a deep appreciation, not just in Ireland, but also around the world. It’s important to note that a session is more than just a casual jam between musicians – the focus is on the instrumental tunes found within the Irish tradition – reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas, slip jigs, and the like. Whether it be in a pub or someone’s home, sessions are times of brilliant music and ever-flowing drink that have a certain habit of continuing late into the night, if not into the wee hours of the morning! – Kincaid & Shannon

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

These are just two quotes from one of the biggest literary personalities in Ireland’s history, Oscar Wilde. A literary treasure, Wilde was a hugely popular playwright and poet in the late 1800s. Besides well-known works such as The Picture of Dorian Gray and Lady Windermere’s Fan, his biting wit and flamboyant style gained him notoriety as well. As a people, the Irish are known for their good sense of humour, which has bolstered them during periods of great hardship throughout history. Wilde embodied this intrinsically Irish trait to the very end. Even as he faced death, he was cracking jokes and reportedly said, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.” A collection of art in support of Irish culture would be incomplete without paying homage to Oscar Wilde. – Kincaid & Shannon

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHAx8IE3PTk&feature=youtu.be

➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ ➡️   S U P P O R T   T H E   C A M P A I G N   H E R E   ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️ ⬅️

Disney+ Marathon Day 7 | November 18

8:30am – Rise & shine! 🌞

9:30am – Breakfast + Hanging out in my brother’s room 🍳

2:40pm – Blogging + Now You See It 💻 

4:15pm – Bath + Now You See It 🛀 

The “final battle” between Danny & Max is unbelievably cheesy, leaning towards the bad side of the line. But, I still have a special place in my heart for this movie because the concept is cool, & I’ve been in love with Johnny Pacar since Junior High. 🎩

6pm – Blogging + The Princess and the Frog 💻 

I didn’t like this movie the 1st time around, but I’m giving it a 2nd chance because everyone else seems to like it. I really want to like it! 🐸

👁 Spotted: Two easter eggs! Right before the title appears, you can see a woman cleaning the Magic Carpet from Aladdin on her balcony. There is a float in the Mardi Gras parade near the end of the movie that resembles King Triton from The Little Mermaid. Why those two films?? All three have the same co-directors: John Musker & Ron Clements. 🎥🍿

Update: I am so confused. I didn’t love it the 1st time around because jazz music & New Orleans culture aren’t really my thing. This time around, none of those things bothered me in the slightest. I must’ve not been in the mood before because I’m definitely part of the fan club now. I even teared up during THAT scene! 💚

8pm – Blogging + That’s So Raven 💻 

S1E1 – Mother Dearest

Still know EVERY SINGLE LYRIC in the theme song. Classic! 🎵

S1E2 – Test of Friendship

I grew up with ICONIC trios on Disney Channel: Chelsea, Eddie, & Raven. Gordo, Lizzie, & Miranda. Huey, Dewey, & Louie. Joe, Kevin, & Nick. Kim, Ron, & Rufus. Lilly, Miley, & Oliver. Just to name a few! 🎉

S1E3 – Party Animal

At the end of the episode when the snake is in bed with Mr. & Mrs. Baxter, you can see Rondell Sheridan starting to smile. I love when actors break! 😆

S1E4 – Wake Up Victor

S1E5 – A Fish Called Raven

👁 Spotted: Spencer Redford from Pixel Perfect as an annoying school reporter

🎵 BOYZ! WE ARE THE BOYZ IN MOTION! WE GIVE YOU OUR DEVOTION! 🎶

S1E6 – Smell of Victory

Final thoughts for the day: Since I got a late start, 2 movies & 6 episodes is pretty darn good. Especially when you throw in the time I devoted to emptying my DVR to make room for HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIES. 🎄 Since today is day 7, let’s wrap up week 1 of my 30-day Disney+ marathon. The streaming service itself is still experiencing a few bugs. The controls are not always responsive on my iPad; sometime I have to shut down the app & restart it because the blue circle won’t stop spinning; & random things will happen every now & again like my watchlist having every movie & show appear twice. All that being said, I’ve been able to use the app every day for one week. My week 1 totals are 12 movies & 56 episodes. Can’t wait to dive into week 2. See you tomorrow! 👋

I will leave you with this sneak peek at the NEW Lizzie McGuire show:

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Somebody wake me.. #lizziemcguire

A post shared by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff) on

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5B5d33D9ew/

. . . Lizzie McGuire in Lisa Frank . . .

A A A A A A A A A A H H H H H H H H H H ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

D I S N E Y +   M A R A T H O N   D A Y   S E V E N   A R T 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Three Generations

Vivianita Grace, Mona Lisa, & Lauren Michele

Happy Mother’s Day! First of all, how cute are we?!? Grandma Vivian in her purple sweater, my mama with picture-perfect makeup, and me with big blue eyes. A trio of 90s beauties! My grandma and mom’s relationship the last years of her life is something I will never forget. She lived with us for a period of time, and even when she wasn’t there, we were over at her house every Thursday. The one thing I will forever remember as though it were yesterday is the joy. I was constantly walking into a room and finding the two of them doubled over from laughter. It is overwhelmingly emotional thinking of how blessed I am to have seen that. They walked through a lot of hardship to get to that point, but for most of my early childhood I was privileged to have both a grandma and a mom who loved Jesus. Even though she’s gone now, I know my grandma is in Heaven, healthier than ever. I hope that in some way she knows that my mom & I have carried on the legacy of joy, always laughing. This special day is for moms & grandmas, but I want to give a special *internet hug* to all the people who are celebrating without their mothers today. ♥️

“Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”  

– Proverbs 31: 25-30

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Farewell Rio

🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊

With sadness, I bid farewell to the 2016 Olympics.  I have been filled with pride and joy watching my teams compete these past two weeks.  Yes, I said teams.  Of course USA is my number one, but I also support the countries that make up my heritage.  After all, they are underdogs compared to team USA.  No harm done!  Let’s take a look at the medal count:

🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆🏆 🏆🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

• Team USA 🇺🇸 | 121 Medals | 46 G – 37 S – 38 B

• Team Great Britain 🇬🇧 | 67 Medals | 27 G – 23 S – 17 B

• Team Spain 🇪🇸 | 17 Medals | 7 G – 4 S – 6 B

• Team Israel 🇮🇱 | 2 Medals | 2 B

• Team Ireland 🇮🇪 | 2 Medals | 2 S

🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆🏆 🏆🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆

What were your favorite moments in Rio?? I have so many I could mention, but I will try to narrow it down.  I felt like a proud mother watching Michael Phelps have one last successful Olympic games after the rough few years he’s had (maybe he’ll be back!).  The USA women’s gymnastics team kicked butt and made me feel more patriotic than I have ever felt in my entire life.  Shout-out to Michael Phelps (5G, 1S), Katie Ledecky (4G, 1S), and Simone Biles (4G, 1B)!!  According to Google, they are the top medalists for 2016.  Team USA made me proud all around, but it felt good to dominate artistic gymnastics and swimming.  After a rough start, I am so proud of Spain for getting the bronze in men’s basketball.  Also, a silver in women’s basketball.  Top 3 in the world.  Not too shabby!!  I watched Marc Lopez & Rafael Nadal win gold in men’s doubles.  I’m pretty sure I grew gray hair during that match.  The stress was real, but Lopez earned his first medal, and Rafa now has a gold medal in singles and doubles.  I watched Team GB get the gold in women’s field hockey.  It was a stressful but thrilling game.  Well done ladies!  I did not have the pleasure of watching Ireland at all, but I am nonetheless proud.  Last but certainly not least, I want to express my admiration for Team Israel.  My heart breaks knowing that the Israeli athletes continue to be treated like trash.  However, they held their heads high, maintained composure, and walked away with two medals.

Farewell Olympics!  See you in Tokyo!! 🇯🇵

🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊 🎾 🚴 ⚽ 🏀 🏇 🏉 🚣 ⛳ 🏊

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– Lauren Michele <3

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National Nurses Week 2015

National Nurses Week 2015 (Source: http://respiratory-care-sleep-medicine.advanceweb.com/SharedResources/Graphics/advanceweb/NW/NursesWeek2011/NationalNursesWeekBanner.jpg)

Today, May 6th, marks the beginning of National Nurses Week. In honor of this special week, I interviewed my mom Lisa Stewart.

Q: How long were you a nurse?

A: 15 years.

Q: Were any of your relatives nurses?

A: Yes. My mother was a nurse practitioner. That’s all I know. Just my mother.

Q: Why did you become a nurse?

A: I love working with people. And I love helping people.

Q: What specialties do you have experience in?

A: I worked on the Oncology unit, which is cancer. I’ve worked in the cardiology unit, which is with the heart. I’ve worked in [a] rehab hospital. And I was in intensive care, and I also had private patients.

Q: What is your favorite specialty?

A: Intensive care or emergency.

Q: Why?

A: It was just exciting.

Q: After leaving the medical field, has your experience been useful?

A: In a lot of occasions yes.

Q: If you could go back, would you change your major?

A: No. I think… No I wouldn’t change my major in nursing at all. I loved what I did. I think nursing has changed, however, since I’ve stopped nursing.

I speak from personal experience when I say nurses make a difference in people’s lives. My mom’s knowledge and experience not only improved my health growing up but also educated and prepared me for adulthood. I have watched my mom go in and out of nurse mode without hesitation in order to help both people that she knows and strangers. I may be a bit bias, but I think she is pretty special. I love you mom! <3

One more thing. I’d like to take some time to promote a TV show that me and my mom have been LOVING: “Call the Midwife.” The series focuses on midwifery and nursing in a poor section of London during the 1950s. If nursing is of particular interest to you, you should watch this show. It is fascinating and entertaining. Here is a link with more information: http://www.pbs.org/call-the-midwife/about/

“To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; that is to be a nurse.” – Rawsi Williams

– Lauren Michele :)

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Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Growing Up Is Hard To Do (Source: https://nescbwi.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/childrensmuseumlogo.jpg)

Good morning Vietnam!!!  Sorry.  I saw an opportunity, and I went for it.  I know this a VERY early post, but I felt the need to write so here I am.  I recently had a sleepover with my best friend Gabby.  Words cannot even begin to describe how much fun we had being silly and reminiscing.  It felt like the good ol’ days homeschooling and playing together every day, a time when we had the freedom to dress up and imagine ourselves as anything we wanted to be.  So many lives were lived between middle school and high school; the experiences felt so real, and we learned something from each character.  I cannot speak for all children of this current generation, but I do not see as much dress-up and make-believe as I used to.  What a shame!  I’m sure Gabby would agree that letting our imaginations run wild made our childhood unforgettable in the best possible way.  The memories are countless, and we as adults are much more creative and thoughtful.  However, there is a downside to all of this.  Because my childhood was so great, growing up is proving to be a painful process.  I’m not having trouble maturing and taking on responsibility, but it is hard to move on.  College classes and jobs have taken over, and there is less time for hanging out and having fun.  I know there is no solution because adulthood cannot be stalled; it is a natural part of life.  The only thing I can do is treasure and enjoy each moment of nostalgia that comes along.  I believe there is a happy medium between carefree child and responsible adult; all it takes is wisdom, knowing the appropriate time for each role.  For instance, right now is an appropriate time for some ’90s cartoons.  “Rocket Power!!”

“Childhood lasts all through all through life.”  – Gaston Bachelard

Good night/morning readers. Stay young at heart!

– Lauren Michele :)

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The Big Bad June Bug Attack of 2015

The Big Bad June Bug Attack of 2015 (Source: http://images.tbd.com/communities/2010-0923-bedbug-freelance_606.jpg)

Before I tell my terrifying tale, I want you to see a real June bug. Prepare yourself!!

June Bug (Source: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/garden/JuneBeetle.jpg)

I was listening to Pandora and typing a blog post, and my mom was sleeping.  Suddenly she shrieked and covered herself completely with blankets.  “Do you hear that?!!  Where is that buzzing coming from?!!”  She scared me half to death!  “What buzzing?  I don’t hear anything!”  She jumped out of bed and turned on the light.  I immediately saw a large bug flying through the air and threw myself off the bed screaming.  She ran inside the bathroom and shut the door, leaving me to fend for myself.  I got back onto the bed, grabbed a pillow, and continued to scream anytime the bug came near me.  I should add that I crawled back and forth across the bed numerous times.  Unexpected cardio.  Eventually my mom emerged from the bathroom with her weapon of choice raised in the air: a plunger.  “Where is it??!”  Thankfully it had landed, and she easily captured it underneath the plunger.  On closer inspection, we identified the attacker as a june bug A.K.A. THE DEVIL!!!  After a few seconds of waiting and panicking, my mom did the next logical thing: attempt to plunge the bug to death.  It actually worked!  She smashed it with a flip flop for good measure, but the plunger was the real hero of the hour.  The bug was flushed, appropriate considering how he died, and order was restored.  Almost.  Me and my mom were able to go to sleep, but there was definitely some paranoia.  I think this goes without saying, but I HATE bugs!!  Hopefully tonight is less eventful.  Have a great day readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

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Cinderella Part II – Have Courage and Be Kind

Cinderella 2015(Source: http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141119151633/disney/images/b/b4/Cinderella_2015_1.jpg)

Good evening and welcome to the 2nd and final part of my Cinderella series. Part I was posted on my art blog yesterday. If you did not read it, I suggest you read it now.  After all, what is part II without part I?? Here is the link: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/cinderella-part-i-a-little-magic/

Part I was all about the beautiful costuming created by designer Sandy Powell.  Tonight’s post focuses on the main motto of the movie: “Have courage and be kind.”  Ella’s mother expressed these words before [SPOILER] her death.  Ella took the phrase to heart and recited it in order to endure harsh treatment from her stepmother and stepsisters.  Despite being treated like a servant rather than a relative, she was gracious.  However, when her happiness was on the line, she had the courage to speak up.  What an example!  In negative situations, it is always a better choice to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek.  But, never let your kindness be mistaken for meekness.  The unfortunate truth is that there are people who will attempt to take advantage of compassion.  Kindness should always stem from genuine desire, not obligation or fear.  Have the courage to speak up if you feel uncomfortable and/or threatened.

I hope you have enjoyed this two-part Cinderella series.  If you have not already seen the movie, I highly recommend you do so.

Cinderella Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20DF6U1HcGQ

“Have courage and be kind.  Where there is kindness, there is goodness and where there is goodness, there is magic.” – Ella’s mother, “Cinderella”

– Lauren Michele :)

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Love Out Loud

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

I am going to try very hard to get these words out without becoming overly emotional and rambling.  I apologize for the serious note of this post, but my heart is telling me to write.  Because of the picture, you already have a basic idea of what I am going to discuss.  I have watched quite a few Holocaust-related movies but am not sure why because it is very hard for me to do so.  I suppose that as a Jew I feel a strange sort of loyalty, a loyalty that urges me to watch and empathize to the best of my ability.  I did not experience a concentration camp nor did my Sephardic ancestors.  However, Jews are brothers and sisters no matter the category one belongs to (Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, or Sephardic); after all, we all descend from the same bloodline.  I cannot speak for other Jews, but I can speak for myself.  When another heart hurts, I hurt, no matter how far back in history that hurt occurred.  I have been emotionally disturbed by Holocaust movies in the past, but this film wrenched my heart to the point of illness.  As soon as the credits started to roll, I ran away from my computer and wept alone in another room.  My head throbbed, and my stomach was in knots.  I do not pretend to have felt pain anywhere near that of the Jews in concentration camps, but I did indeed feel pain.  Pain and anger.  I could not speak, only weep.  One word kept coming to mind over and over and over again: Why.  Why?  Why??  Why??!  Why!!!

– If you have not seen “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”, I suggest you stop reading now. –

There is one specific element in this movie that grabbed my attention.  It is subtle but very much significant.  When Bruno is mistakenly taken with a group of Jews to the gas chamber, the Nazi soldiers do not question his presence.  Yes he is disguised, and yes he is surrounded by numerous other Jews, but take all that away.  Cut off Bruno’s hair.  Take away from Shmuel the dirty appearance and malnutrition.  Line them up side by side in matching “striped pajamas.”  They are two young boys, same age and same height.  Shmuel could be German.  Bruno could be Jewish.  Both could be one or the other.  It is unclear whether Bruno was visible to the soldiers, but he looked just like everybody else therefore he received the same treatment and tragic death.  He was one of them, a German, and yet the soldiers could not tell the difference.  What does that tell you about prejudice?  Hatred will show you what you want to see, not what is actually there.

If you think your contribution to the fight against prejudice as one person is too small, think again.  Love goes a long way no matter the number of contributors.  I will end with some lyrics from a song called “Let It Be Love” by Family Force 5.  I encourage you to read the words, click the following link to hear the entire song, and take time to reflect.

“Stronger than every fear
Comfort for all the tears
It’s where the war is won
And it has overcome
Louder than the loudest shout
Deeper than the deepest doubt
We’ll watch the walls fall down…

Let it be a heart wide open
Bigger than the words we’ve spoken
Let it be a heart for the broken
If we’re gonna light, light, light the way to You
Let it be love…
It’s love that lights the way”

“Let It Be Love” by Family Force 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTZHl5cNLJE

Please don’t pick and choose who to love.  Love everyone!

– Lauren Michele :)

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I Wish More Than Anything

Be Careful What You Wish For (Source: http://www.pagetopremiere.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/150147_769040466485782_1640208112065058341_n.png)

I know I resolved to be more consistent with my blogging this year.  I have not fulfilled that resolution yet, but I am working on it.  I have many subjects to write on so stick with me and stay tuned.  Tonight I cannot help but write about “Into the Woods” because it is my current OBSESSION.  I used all caps; this is serious!!  I saw the movie two weeks ago with some friends, and we had a great time.  Well, I did; I  can’t speak for them.  The movie was beautiful, funny, and dramatic.  The casting was spot-on, the visuals mesmerizing, and the music addictive.  I wanted to sing along the entire time, and I didn’t even know the words.  Naturally, I purchased the soundtrack, and it is all I have been listening to this week.  One of my favorite moments in the movie was Prince Charming and Rapunzel’s Prince splashing around in water singing about love-related agony.  The scene was pretty much a girl’s dream come true.  That song has been on repeat!!  I highly recommend both the soundtrack and the movie if you are a fan of musicals.  However, I caution you that this movie is not meant for  young children despite the Disney label.  Scenes such as the wolf enticing Red Riding Hood and Prince Charming kissing the baker’s wife could be scary and confusing respectively.

Until next time, dream dreams & make wishes readers!

-Lauren Michele :)

P.S.  I wish more than anything that “Into the Woods” be available on DVD right now.

“Agony! Beyond power of speech, When the one thing you want is the only thing out of your reach.”

– “Agony”, Into the Woods

 

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