Sunday, September 30, 2012

SKILLET!- My Day at a Music Festival

Hello, everyone! Guess where I went yesterday! If you read the title and guessed a local Christian music festival, good for you! This one features various popular Christian bands, mostly rock, as well as other activities. This year, my Youth Group was going there, and I got to go with them! I had a ton of fun, and we stayed until 11-something last night. The only real problem is that I got nasty sunburn on my face and neck, which isn't very fun. But I consider it a small price to pay for getting to see some of my favorite bands live.

The Youth Group left the church a little after 8:30. There were five of us plus my (totally awesome) Youth Group leader: me, two girls from my Youth Group, one person I invited, and a friend of one of the others in my group. We got there about a half-hour before the gates opened, so we had a bit of a wait. Once we got inside, we set up chairs and blankets in a spot right at the edge of the seating area. From here, I'll give the account according to what artist was playing at the time.

10:30- The Letter Black: We'd just finished setting up our stuff and I wasn't quite sure what the plan was, so I ended up listening to this group, even though I'd never heard of them before then. As it turned out, they are good. Really good. I definitely like them a lot now. (Unfortunately, the library doesn't have any cds by them, which is annoying.)  After they finished, my friend and I walked up to the merchandise booth and looked around, but didn't buy anything.  We also looked at the booths for the radio stations that were sponsoring the festival, and I got a shirt and a poster for free. (Free stuff rocks, doesn't it?)

11:15- Dara Maclean: Has anyone who reads this ever heard her song, "Suitcases"? (If you haven't, try to find a chance to soon. It's a good song.) That's the only song I'd heard by her before then, but I knew I liked it. I definitely liked the rest of her singing too. After she finished, my friend and I went to get in a line to get her autograph. We thought it was a long line at the time. (Ha-ha.) I had her autograph the poster I got.

12:05- For King and Country: Sadly, I missed the first half of their time onstage waiting in line to get that signature up there. I wasn't really upset, however, since I didn't even think I knew who they were until they sang two songs I'd heard on the radio. I liked the songs, but I still didn't mind missing most of their songs.

12:35- The Museum: I spent most of their time eating lunch. I had brought a PB&J sandwich from home, and someone else there brought in Costco pizza and churros to share, plus I had some Cheez-Its. Yummy. (I actually have no clue what I thought of the artist, sorry. I was more focused on food.)

I, my friend, and another person from my Youth Group left just before Decyfer Down started playing at 1:55. We walked around the booths and games, mostly just looking for something to do. Decyfer Down, as it turned out, was very loud. I could hear it just fine from the games and booths, and when we returned to our seats, the music was deafening. Next year, I think I might look into bringing earplugs, just so I can turn the volume down on the bands I'm not a fan of.

2:55- Jason Castro: This guy really needs a haircut. His hair is at least as long as mine, and that's just wrong. And while it might be forgivable if I liked his music, I'm not a fan of his singing. I sat through this, but that was more because I didn't feel like wandering around anymore. I will note that he's the only person I've ever heard play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on a ukelele. I'm not saying that was a good idea, but it was different.

4:05- KJ52: I had absolutely no idea who this person is before this concert, and other than the fact that he's a rapper, I still don't really know who he is. I spent this one away from the stage, but I still didn't miss anything. I think the later in the day it got, the louder they turned up the volume. I wasn't a fan of his style; I much prefer Lecrae. However, I will say that it was kind of funny to watch from a distance.

5:25- FIREFLIGHT!: This was the #2 reason I came to this music festival, and they not only met my expectations; they surpassed them. I think I like them even more live than I do on cd. I got down in the crowd by the stage for this one, since I like them so much, so that was fun. What made it even better was that they played three of my favorite songs: "Stand Up", "You Gave Me a Promise", and my all-time favorite, "Unbreakable"! After they finished, I went to get their autograph, but found out that they weren't signing autographs until after the speaker (who was next up) finished. Needless to say, I wasn't very happy about that, but I still came back after the speaker to get their autographs.

The speaker, Jeff Bramstedt, started talking at 6:40. I didn't hear all of his talk, since I was busy eating dinner (Papa John's pizza) and buying a shirt with the logo of the music festival on it. What I did hear was fairly interesting. He's a former Navy SEAL, and apparently he's fairly well-known. I really have no clue; once again, I'd never heard of him until now. Just as he was ending the talk, I and my friend went to get in line again to get Fireflight's autographs.

7:30- Family Force 5: I, unfortunately, missed a little of this while I was standing in line. However, I don't think it was even a third of all the songs they did. I was fairly excited to see this, since I have a friend on the Underground (a forum I'm on) who really likes them. I think I like them too, more or less, though their songs are a little strange. They're also very, very loud.

After Family Force 5, there was a dance competition. (I, of course, didn't take part.) They played one of my favorite Lecrae songs, "God Is Enough", which was cool. After that, it was a long, long wait for the final band, this year's headliners. That band was my #1 reason for going, and it was . . .

9:30- SKILLET!!!: (insert scream of pure excitement and happiness) This was pure awesomeness. They went until 11 PM, and it was so totally worth staying up that late and getting sunburned. They sang most of my favorite songs, including "Hero", "Monster", and "Lucy". They also sang one that I'd never heard before but is definitely going on my new favorites list, "Savior". I was down in the crowd by the stage the whole time, which made it doubly awesome. The only problem was that during the first few songs, there was one girl standing by me with a rather high voice and I occasionally heard her singing over the band's singing. After a bit, however, someone told her to be a little quieter and she moved away from me, so it was fine. And the rest of the concert was, as I said, INCREDIBLE!

Skillet was the last band, so after they finished, my Youth Group headed back. And that's about it from me. The only other noteworthy thing that's happened is that I bought From the Mouth of Elijah, The Homelanders Series, and Princess of Glass. They arrived on Wednesday, and I've already read From the Mouth of Elijah and Princess of Glass. From the Mouth of Elijah was pretty good, though I liked the first in the series better.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Prison Pictures Part Two

Hello, everyone! As you may remember, last Saturday, I posted the first half of my pictures from that old abandoned prison Well, today I'm posting the rest: the pictures from the maximum security area! This area was all cellblocks and a dining hall/kitchen (which wasn't particularly interesting to me). The person in charge of the field trip was careful to warn everyone not to accidentally close the cell doors. If you did, it would be pretty hard to get you out. Anyway, on with the pictures!

This is the first cellblock we explored. For the record, the lighting was not as creepy as it (hopefully) appears in the photo. It actually wasn't very creepy at all in that particular area.

The Bible in this picture is mine; I brought it in for the express purpose of taking this kind of picture.Just wanted to clarify since it shows up in several other pictures. (And because when Daddy saw my pictures, he though I'd found it somewhere and wanted to know where.)

In one of the buildings, I saw a doorway that led to darkness. (It would be the first of many.) The only thing I could see was this sink. I thought it looked interesting, so i took a picture.

Another picture with my Bible, the first of three versions of the same shot. The white stuff is peeling paint from off the ceiling.


In one of the buildings, I noticed a clock that had fallen onto the floor. If I do anything with this one, I think I'll call it "Lost Time" or something to that effect.

The third and final set of Bible pictures. They're the same setup as the first Bible picture I posted, just a different cellblock and a different angle.

And this is a list of names I found in front of one of those cellblocks. I'm guessing they're names of the prisoners who once were kept there, though I really don't know.

Well, that's about it. Thanks for reading, and I hope you liked my pictures!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Prison Pictures Part 1

Hey'a, everyone! Guess where I spent this morning? The answer: at a photography field trip to an old abandoned prison with Daddy and several members of the photo club we go to! This prison is sometimes opened for groups to go take pictures of. It was a really interesting experience. We were taking pictures from 9 to 12, so I got a ton of photos. Because of this, I'll be posting my pictures in two parts: one tonight and the next on Monday.

The prison was divided into two sections: the minimum security area (which had dormitories instead of cells) and the maximum security area (which was more along the lines of what I was expecting). We started in the minimum security area, where we stayed until 10:30. It was all very dilapidated and broken down, which made for lots of pictures. Like this one:

This is actually an HDR of the inside of a water fountain. I thought it looked rather interesting, thus why I took the picture.

On several of the walls in the dormitories, there were areas where it looked like newspapers had been glued to the walls. Since there were puzzle pieces on top of the newspaper, Daddy thinks that the prisoners used the newspaper to attach the puzzles to the wall.

When I went to take a picture of the windows, I noticed that one of the panes had black stuff all over it. I thought it made for a more interesting picture.

These, obviously, are drawers that were in a building that seemed to be some kind of recreation-type area for the people in prison there. 

A cot on which a locker-type thing had fallen. 

On one of the cots, there was this little milk carton. I think it was empty, though I'm not entirely sure. I don't think I want to know how long it was there, but I like the picture I got of it.

This is a window with some kind of brownish-black stuff all over it. Is it just me, or do the two white spots remind you of eyes?

I found this in the last minimum security building we went in. I'm not sure where the pipes go, but I thought it might make for a good picture. Then I turned the picture black and white.


This was written on the wall in the same building as I found the pipes in. I took a picture simply because the message seemed rather odd. Not at all what you'd expect to find in a prison.

Well, that's all for tonight. Remember to check back Monday for my pictures from the maximum security area. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Long-Awaited Update

Hello! Yes, I know quite well that it's been two months since I last posted anything other than pictures or a book review. (Bad Sarah!) I apologize for the wait, and thank you very much for your patience. I'm hoping to stop this trend, but knowing me, I won't have much success. Anyway, some of what I've been up to:
  • I got a new bow! It's a recurve bow like I used at the archery class I went to back in May. I'm very excited, though I haven't gotten to shoot as much as I'd have liked. I'm actually doing fairly well with it; much better than I did with my old bow.And it's almost as tall as me, which is pretty awesome. We also got a real target (as opposed to just a cardboard box), since it's a higher power bow than my old one. (A cardboard box worked fine before, but with this bow, the arrows would just go right through.)
  • Remember how last time I posted, I mentioned that I was doing Camp NaNoWriMo? Well, on July 25th, I hit my goal of 50,000 words! It then took me another month, until August 31st, to finish the entire novel. It ended up being my longest ever novel, over 75,00 words! (That's three of those black 100 page composition books, in case you were wonder.) Now I'm slowly working on editing it. At my current rate, I'll be working on it well into December, since I'll have to stop for NaNoWriMo in November.
  • I GOT TO WATCH THE LORD OF THE RINGS!!!!!!!!!! (And I beg your apologies for my departure from proper grammar. That's just how excited I was.) Not only that, but I was able to watch the Extended Editions, which pretty much doubled the epicness. My opinion of it? Incredible. Amazing. Epic. Awesome. Without a doubt the best movies ever. I didn't even really mind most of the changes. The only change that bothered me was a certain character whose name starts with an F, who acted much more nobly in the book. That I'm pretty upset about.
  • I also watched Brave this summer, which was fun. It was the first time I'd gone to the movies since Prince Caspian came out, so that was pretty cool. (We usually just wait for new movies to come out on DVD and then either buy them or get them out from the library, which I'm fine with, but my friend and I wanted to go to the movies.) The movie itself was fairly good; definitely not your average princess story.
  • School has started, and it's going fairly well so far. Most of my subjects are about the same as ever. History is fairly interesting again this year; apparently the higher grade you are, the more interesting history gets. Unfortunately, I'm back to Algebra instead of Geometry, which I'm not too happy about, but it hasn't been too bad thus far. My least favorite subject is once more science. I'm doing biology this year, which I'm not too excited about. I'm hoping that it'll get a little easier in future, or at least that there'll be fewer definitions for me to memorize. (There's 25 in the first chapter. 25. I mean, I mostly know the majority of them, since quite a few of them seem like different names for pretty much the same thing, but that's still a lot.) 
  • AWANA has also started; we had our first night yesterday. I'm an official T'n'T leader this year, one of two working with the 4th grade group. We have a small club this year; in fact, the boys T'n'T club outnumbers us! (That never happens. Never. Or, not until now.) I don't mind the smaller club, however. It's much calmer than it has been in previous years.
  • Last Saturday (the 15th) was our church's Fall Fest and 5k. I went, of course, since my mom and sister were helping with a game and Daddy was going to take pictures. I ended up helping with another game, pumpkin bowling (bowling using plastic pumpkins and balls), half the time and spent the other half the time helping with my mom's game. The game she was running was quite interesting; the person who organized the games had gotten it from a show called Minute To Win It. In the game, you have a cup (or multiple cups) and you bounce pencils off their erasers to try to get them in the cup(s). It's challenging, but doable. I plan to try it again sometime at home. 
Well, that's about it. Thanks again for your patience; I'll do my best to update again sometime soon! Namarie*!
*Namarie means "farewell" in Elvish. No, I don't speak it, at least not very well. I just have a few words and phrases memorized.