Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Part of Your World: Week 1

One thing I suppose you all will find out about me, sooner or later, is that I am a huge Disney fan. This started before I can even remember, with a movie you all should know: The Little Mermaid. According to my parents, I was so in love with this movie, I would ask my parents to let me watch it over and over and OVER again ad nauseum. As a result, I learned the song "Part Of Your World" by heart. As they tell it, they remember me coming down the stairs of our old house many a time and singing the entire song to them, in my cute (and not terribly out of tune) two-year-old voice.

That was just the beginning of my long music history. In third grade, along with most everyone in my class, I was asked to pick out an instrument I wanted to play. I chose the flute. With this choice came private lessons and band, as well as a small discovery that, in retrospect, was an epiphany. There were times when everyone was playing together, and I could feel the music - more than the richness of the low brass, the sweetness of the woodwinds, and the pulse of the percussion. To hear all of us making music as an ensemble, working together to communicate in a universal language - that's when something clicked, and somewhere I thought, "This is it." I was moved.

Halfway through fifth grade, my dad's job took us overseas to Windsor, England, and then, halfway through sixth, to Copenhagen, Denmark. As wonderful as my experiences there were, it was hard for me to find and keep a steady private flute teacher, what with the stress of moving, settling in, switching schools, and finding friends. But these weren't musically dead years at all. In seventh grade in Denmark, two things changed me as a musician. The first was my discovery of the musical Les Misérables by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, based on the novel by Victor Hugo. I had recently become involved in the Drama Club at school, and at the request of a friend, saw a medley from Les Mis performed at their concert. I became obsessed with the haunting and inspiring music, bought the CD, and promptly memorized the entire show. The marriage of the deep, tragic story and the appropriately heartbreaking music thrilled me. At about the same time, I took a music class in school where we got to dabble in various instruments, composed little melodies, and performed songs for each other. It was because of this class, along with my newfound love of theatrical vocal music, which convinced me to start choir in 8th grade, after moving back to our house in Illinois the summer before.

It was tricky to juggle choir and band at my school, not to mention the stresses of another move. But as the year went on, I became more and more frustrated in band, and looked forward to choir more and more. I hated practicing for flute lessons, but sang my choir music all the time. By the end of the year, I decided to drop the flute and devote myself solely to choir in high school. My mom agreed, on the condition that I would take voice lessons. Little did I know then how lucky I was to study with Linda, a vocal professor at a local liberal arts college. Because of four years of her wonderful training, singing became more than just a favorite pastime – it became my passion.

Also because of my teacher, I was able to spend last summer at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, in the Advanced Choral program. Those six amazing weeks would not only reaffirm music as my focus, but expand my musical interests beyond performing to include conducting, composing and teaching.

Now I’m standing on the brink of the rest of my life, an ocean of musical possibilities crashing in waves at my feet. Getting into DePauw was such a relief, because it means that someone else believes in me, my talent and my passion, and is willing to welcome me into a community of people with the same passion as I have. And now, although I’m a lot older, I can sing Part of Your World just as I did at two years old, with a new meaning for myself and my future:

…Ready to know what the people know
Ask 'em my questions
And get some answers
I’m finally a Part of Your World. It’s good to be here.

An Ordinary Life

When I was young, I did all the normal kid things. I starting dancing at age three, and I started playing softball and soccer when I was five. I played with barbies and I loved to watch cartoons. But there was one thing missing.
My mom sang in the church choir for as long as I remember. I would live for Thursday when I could go to practice with her. I loved being there and hearing the music. Finally, in third grade I started taking piano lessons from a lady from my church. It was great for awhile, but eventually I wanted more. I went to a private school, so we didn't have band or orchestra, but my mom had a clarinet, and in fifth grade, after a while of me scaring the animals with my squeeks and squawks, she asked her friend's daughter to teach me. I loved it from day one!
Elementary school came to an end and my parents sat me down and told me I had three choices- I could continue with sports, dance, or music. The choice came easily, I had to go on with music.
So I enrolled in public middle school and joined band and choir for the first time in my life. Half way through the year my friend convinced me to start cello, and after the first playing test I seated first chair, ahead of people who had been playing for years, but all obviously hated it.
I did my thing for awhile, joined jazz band to play piano in 7th grade, and continued on with that and all three ensembles until I was done with middle school.
When it came time to try out for marching band, it just kind of seemed like it was already set in stone. I had been planning on it, along with my parents, so I tried out and got in.(Everyone gets in). It was probably the best choice of my life. I had a whole new group of friends before highschool even started. We bonded quickly and it was like we had always been friends. Freshman year started and I joined orchestra, chamber orchestra, jazz band, and pep band. Marching season ended and I was one of a few freshman placed into our highest band. We travelled to Florida and got to march down Main Street in a Disney World parade. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life, seeing the castle in front of you and knowing all these people are watching I you.
At the end of freshman year I was selected for pit orchestra, which meant I was now in all the ensembles I could possibly be in. I was THE band geek. But it didn't bother me. People would call me one, and I would say "Yeah, so?". I had found my passion. (Can I get a high five?).
I continued on with all my music through highschool. I went through some private teachers in the area, eventually quit taking piano, taught myself saxophone and bass, and then it was time to select a college. I knew I wanted to continue with music, there was just the question of "where?". I had three in mind-University of Evansville, Elmhurst College, and Millikin University. I visited all three and was set on Evansville. I was going there, no doubt about it. Then one day my mom asked why I never looked at DePauw University, since they sent me mail about 5 days a week. I said I didn't know and so she decided we should just go look at it and I could just use it for a practice audition if nothing else. Well, obviously, my visit changed my mind, and here I am.
I have led a pretty ordinary life. I haven't studied with any famous concertmasters or recorded with anyone from an amazing band. But all the same I am here for the same reason as everyone else. Music is my life, and I can't imagine doing anything other than continue with it.

Week 1: I don't know what to call this. PASSION!!!!

My debut as a musician was all the way back in second grade when I sang "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow", from the musical Annie, in the Madison Elementary School Talent Show. Now, to begin with I was always a performer. I was born to be in a theatre. My mother is a dancer and my father was a techie. In all honesty there was really no way to avoid my fate of being in the fine arts. However, I did choose to fish around for awhile to find my own "nook".
I really started to "study music" in fourth grade when I began to play the cello. This was also following a family trend because both my cousin and uncle played cello. I think it was shortly before this that I had my one year of piano as well. I loved cello. I did ISSMA and played all the time, using every opportunity I was given. i finally got my own instruement in seventh grade and shortly after began private lessons. Now, one of the things that needs to be said about me as a young musician was that I hated practicing. This is probably why I quit piano so quickly. Anyways, everything changed when I hit high school.
In high school I continued to play in orchestra through sophomore year. i took private lessons until the beginning of my senior year. But in high school was where I found my true passion, singing. My freshman year was probably like most people's freshman year, it was a year of experimentation. I wanted to try everything, do every activity possible. But poor little Natalie was a little too scared to do everything she wanted to. I wanted desperately to be in the musical that year, they were doing Mame, but I didn't audition. Instead, I played in the pit so I could still be part of the experience. Shortly after the musical started the choir director found out that I had wanted to audition, but didn't. He asked me to sing for him and the next thing I knew I was suddenly singing with the top choir at ISSMA. The next year I found room in my schedule to actually take the choir class. I began to work as hard as I could on my own and felt that I was making good progress on my own. My junior year I didn't have room to take any music classes at all. I played in orchestra one day a week at zero hour and worked on my own to learn music for choir during our 20 minute homeroom session. I still did ISSMA for both cello and voice. That was the first year that I went to state competition for both. My senior year I was able to take choir again and to make my life even happier I took Cadet Teaching. As a cadet teacher I was able to study with my middle school teacher and teach intermediate orchestra. My senior year was my best musical year. I was able to sing with the Saint Mary's Women's Choir and take voice lessons for 6 months to prepare for auditions for college. I was in the musical Grease and still got to play cello with the little kids at the middle school.
Music has become my life. I love it. I live for it. It is the one thing that I can see in my life making me happy forever. I enjoy being around people who love music, because there is an understanding of a common interest and passion. I am here in music school because I love music. I am not prepared. I have never had a theory class. I have never studied with a private vocal instructor for an extended period of time, but I love music. I love the feeling and the rush that I get when I am singing. I live for that feeling.

Notes on Notes

My beginnings started humble enough. I had no great desire to be a musician, and back then if you had asked me what was meant by being a musician, I probably could not have told you. My dad was the General Manager of the South Bend Symphony, so music was nothing new. Fourth grade had rolled around, this meant that the students of John Marshall elementary school could join orchestra. I do not remember being forced to join, but I believe there was an understanding that I would join orchestra. The teacher brought all the shiny new intruments and we ooed and awed at them. The teahcer played the theme from Jaws on the doulbe bass and I was hooked. This was to be my faithful stede into the world of music.
I quickly became imersed in music, but the shine was beginning to come off the apple. Needless to say music school was not looking anywhere near in my future. I was bored. The trivial bass lines made music drab and uninteresting. Keep in mind I was in fifth grade or sixth grade at the time. The solution became for me to take private lessons. This made no sense to me. Why should I do something for an hour in my house that i did not want to do for thrity minutes while getting out of class? The big reason to do orchestra was that you got out of class a few times a week.
I had a friend who played cello and we would play for our church. Now this made a lot more sense to me. The music was much more challenging due to the fact that we played a duet, we both had to pull our own weight. This was no problem for my friend, but as for me, my technique and familiarity with my instrument had become quite foreign to me. My skills were greatly below my friend's.
I asked my dad repeatedly if I could quit. The answer was a resounding no. So I did what any kid would have done, I faced the facts. In middle school and high school I became interested in theatre. I wanted to be in all the plays in high school, so I was. The summer before however I played in a summer production of The King and I. The pit was a lot more fun than I thought, but the real treat was getting to see the rehersals. I decided next year I would be in the production next year.
The next spring I was set to audition and to my surprise I got a lead. I was so nervous to audition, and now I had a lead. The rehersals started and I felt right at home. I did not even go out at night so I could go to bed and the next day would come. I was in love. Not only that, but i could sing. So much so that people who had studied for years were asking me how long I had studied to which my answer was never.
A friend of mine encouraged me to take lessons to develop my talent. I listened and the rest is history.
I was developing at a stagggering pace. I, of course, had to be told this by my teacher, because I had no way to tell, I was still very new. I went from simple musical theatre pieces to Il lacerato sprito and Madamina, il catalogo e questo. Music has been with me through the times I thought I was no good and when others thought the same thing. Music has brought me pure, unadulterated delight.

My musical history is day bomb!

My musical history is far from ordinary. I didn't see any inspirational concerts, get forced into playing, had older sibling influence. None of that. When I was in seventh grade, all my friends were in some cool punk rock band, and of course, if you were in the cool punk band, you got all the ladies. And so ii wanted to start a cool punk rock band. I told everyone in school that I played drums and how awesome I was. But the truth was, I had never held a drum stick with the intent to make music. I went home and told my parent I needed a drum set so bad, and that I really wanted to play. I took some lessons, and my teacher said I had potential. Hearing from an expert sealed the deal for my parents, and I got a used Yamaha stage custom for Christmas 99'.
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Thats the earliest picture I have of me playing drums.

in January I started my first band. We called it "Jumbox," and it was so bad. I mean, we were terrible. But we were so cool at the same time, so it didn't matter. We would spend half the "practice time" dissing other bands and taking pictures, and listening to NOFX, rancid, link 80, T.S.O.L., and all sorts of other punk bands. In eighth grade I changed schools, and the band fell apart. But it only took me a couple months to join the next one.

2001 was probably the most explosive year for music, until recently. I started my classical training in percussion, did my first recording sessions as a drummer, and took kit lessons with dashboard connfessional's, and Miami native, mike marsh. This band was called "piece of mind." don't laugh too hard. Anyway, we were so good for 12 year olds. We played at a bar every Thursday night, for a bunch of drunk old people, who might I add, LOVED US! We played Jim Hendrix, and Jefferson airplane covers, with original tunes as well. We also acted as a studio band, and recorded for who ever wanted to record with us. The best gig was when we got paid to record at criteria recording studio. Artists who recorded there include the bee-gee's, R.E.M., Jennifer Lopez, etc. It was so awesome. I remember going to the bath room and thinking "j-lo was in this bathroom!!" anyway, that band was so much fun. We went through like five bass players, but me and Jessie(guitar/singer) always remained. The band lasted 2 1/2 years, and me and Jessie are still best friends. I have like 3 recordings so come to my room if you want to hear it.

in sophomore year I started two bands. "terry and the tourettes," and 'our last days as children." The first one was a blues band. We had mild success. Our biggest accomplishment as playing in the legendary "Tobacco Road" venue in downtown Miami. Are only song recorded an be heard here.
We broke up because Terry was a jerk.

my next band was "OLDAC." this band definitely got the most attention. We started playing in fall 2003. We actually met while I was recording with terry, so as soon as that door closed another opened. We had over three different recording sessions, and had planned on recording in New York, but our budget wasn't big enough. We played as far away as north Carolina, were in national indie music news papers, have been played on Miami radio, and were on an Oregon based radio/internet show. We were influenced by the likes of cursive, Owen, the agency, bright eyes, jimmy eat world, etc. Earlier this year, I left the band, because, here I am, writing about them, in college, a million miles away. All the recording they have are still me playing drums. That's Dennis fuller drum ideas, not the new guy. Just know that. But I do love this band and we till talk and hang out. They're looking to tour up north, so maybe they'll come to Indiana? Anyway, that's "our last days as children," by far, my most successful band endeavor. This is their current myspace page with music.
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Our first show =0
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promo pictures =/

And for my last independent band, "Highway." Highway was the most craziest hardcore band ever. With myself on drums, Joey, a University of Miami medical student on guitar, Mike who is a nurse on vocals, Romy, whose got everything you can possibly get pierced pierced, on bass, and the ever awkward peter Allen on guitar 2. This band was semi serious. we palyed a good amount of shows last year, but that was that. They still practice in Miami, but with they're songs constantly changing, and never staying solid, I doubt they'll ever play another show. Our recordings can be heard at myspace.com/highway.
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Peter and Romy of the old Highway.

I also attended cannon music camp in north Carolina for two consecutive summers. This was probably the best thing I have done to improve myself as a drummer, and as a person. I learned so much about my instrument, and it also prepared me for college, staying in a dorm for a month. Definite recommendation to any younger musicians looking to improve their skill in a focused environment.
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That is the 2005 Percussion Ensemble at Cannn Music Camp.

In case you're wondering, there is more to my musical life, but I won't go into detail about it. I did a lot of musical theater, for the Miami Children's theater Compny, and I played in the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. Two season ago we went to Carneagie hall, with some other orchestra from Hawaii. We played Bartok, Stravinsky, Wagner, and Bernstein.

To wrap it up, I just wanted to say that, those guys that I first started playing music with in seventh grade, no longer play music. I see them every now and then, at a party, wasted or something. And I think that its sad that the people that I was so fond of, and influenced me to play, no longer do. Like the inspirational speaker said on Friday night, "show me your friends, and I'll show you your future." I guess it is somewhat true. Because, as far as I know, Jessie and myself are the only ones pursuing music as a profession, and life style. We're all here for the same reason, because we love music. And sometimes you have look at your past and see the road you've taken to know where you want to go, or, in my case, where you don't want to end up.

Sort of happened, then ended, then started up again

Well, it all happened on a dark and stormy night when I was about five years old. Actually, I don't truly remember what kind of day it was, or what day it was for that matter, but I was actually five. I saw Itzhak Perlman play a solo with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and after that concert I was hooked. I asked my mom, "mother, dearest, will you buy me my very own violin? It would make me ever so happy." And she bowed down to my unbelievable power as a five year old and said "of course, honey. Whatever makes you happy." Actually I'm pretty sure it didn't happen that way, but it was because of Perlman that I started playing the violin. I got my first 1/4 violin two weeks after that and began taking lessons at DePaul University (funny how I ended up at a school for music with only ONE letter difference, huh?) and kept going. My mom was a very musical person back in the day. She played clarinet starting when she lived in Japan, then Arizona, then California, then Oklahoma, then Texas, then so on and so forth until she moved to Chicago. That's when science took over, blah. But anyway, she didn't really have to force me to play or anything. I loved the sound. But when we moved from Chicago to the *shudder* suburbs, I had to stop playing since there weren't any good teachers around (I was seven by then). This is the part of the title that said "then ended" and I bet all of you are anxious to hear how I got started up again, but the slavedriver says I can't and should just skip to who I is as a (yes, I know I used "is." That's the point) musician. I am a somewhat shrewd musician. As picky about a note as a gardener is about what flowers and such are in their garden. I would just as quickly say "that A is a bit flat" over and over again as a gardener would say "those aren't gladiolas, those are gardenias! dammit, get it right!" It was in middle school that I began playing again. There was a little program at my school called select strings, and only a few people could get in there. I made up my mind *with passion* that I was going to get in there. I practiced and got in. Woohoo. Then shortly after that, upon my 8th grade graduation, I recieved the director's award: the highest award any middle school musician can earn. Boom. Then high school. This is where the real magic happened. It started with the Youth Symphony of DuPage, then that led to Interlochen for two summers, then two years with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, which, if any of you know, is the #3 youth symphony in America. This was what firmly made up my mind of what I wanted to do with my life, and retained my pickiness thusly. So, after all my preparation with that wonderful orchestra, I ended up here at DePauw (that's not to say that I'm regretful for not going to Oberlin or Northwestern, mind you) and I retain my critical musical ways, making sure that A isn't flat, or making sure that the articulation is just so.


The title says it all

Friday, August 25, 2006

MacGamut - Final Count

Ok, here's who I have for the MacGamut thing. Thank you for helping me make this work.


I'm ordering it tonight. I'll edit this post later with what each of you owe me.


Forced into music - Tommy

I know as much as some of us might not want to admit it, we were all forced into starting off, whether it was taking suzuki violin, private lessons, or just starting off through the school - not many kids wanted to be the "band geek". I grew up in a very non-musical family. My father was the jock/prep in highschool/college, and my mom was the farm girl. They both were very regretful that they never learned music, and forced piano lessons on all three of their son's (I'm one of them). I always hated practicing, and would always argue with my mom about it. All I wanted to do was go ouside and play with Scott and Kyle, cuz it was such a great day out. My mom kept me going though - a half hour a day before i could do anything else. Eventually, I got into fifth grade and had to choose a band instrument. I chose to play the bass line on the keyboard, because I didnt want to pick up another instrument, that would just mean i would have to practice more. I was a pretty decent piano play for that age, and when my parents saw the first school concert it sickened them that I was wasting years of practice playing a bass line with one hand on a keyboard. One day, when I was 12, I came home and there was an upright bass in the middle of the floor. My mom said that it was my new band instrument. This thing was so big, and it looked so cool! who wouldnt want to play it? I started going through books and got a private teacher eventually. My mom finally allowed me to buy an electric bass, which in her mind was the devil's instrument. I started getting into a few rock bands and that, but still not giving up the upright. I finally gave up piano sophomore year of high school. I took a few years of symphony, and then junior year joined a college jazz band instead. I have been in 6 or 7 different jazz groups and have played gigs anywhere from farmer joe's market to riverboats and business meetings on Mich. Ave. I have been to All-State both for Orchestra and Jazz. I have won the Illinois State Fair Talent Competitiion and the "Best Teen Performer in Springfield" this past year. I played tuba in my high school marching band, play accoustic guitar and sing for church services now and then. I am now very grateful that I was forced into music because I would have never dont it on my own. I am a bum.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

alone and musical

Okay, you have to know that I'm the only musical one in my family. Seriously. My acting debut came in 2nd grade with a class play at Thanksgiving about some kids and a magical scarecrow; I was the scarecrow. But those ended witht the progression to 3rd grade, so I started singing for my school's "church" choir. Okay it wasn't a choir; we had liturgical music class, and people had to volunteer to sing at Mass. That was as far as my singing career went for a few years. I learned the extreme basics of music in music class and actively sang in that and loved the class. I picked up handbell choir in 5th grade and really started to learn how to read music through that. Finally the music department started an actual choir and I did that in 6th grade. Thank the lord my mom found auditions for the St. Louis Symphony Children's Choir and talked me into trying out. I made it directly to the second level, Chorale. Pretty good for someone who never took singing seriously.I dropped chorus at school and dedicated my time to SLSCC. Alright that's enough for now (I don't want to bore you..) so stay tuned for more on my life as a musician!

Week 1: An Unstable Musical Life

Around 13 years ago, I became interested in music. I had no heroes, no music idols; I just wanted to play. I asked Santa Claus for a piano. Apparently Santa Claus did not have the money for a piano but did have the money for a very cheap violin. This did not phase me. I held the scroll under my chin and smiled at my mom and dad and said, "Look! Santa brought me a violin!" This was where it all began.

I began taking lessons the summer following that Christmas. By the time I had reached the third grade, the orchestra teacher at my elementary school had found that I was more advanced than several in her class. Even though students were not allowed in the elementary orchestra until the fourth grade, I became an exception. The teacher, however, lacked many, if not all, teaching skills. We played "Twinkle, Twinkle" until I graduated. If it had not been for my private lessons, I would not have progressed at all.

Upon entering junior high school I had no desire to play the violin. The less than adequate teacher I had had previously made me believe that the violin was not for me. Fortunately my parents pushed me along and assured me that orchestra would be different in junior high. To my great surprise, it was. There were more students and the teacher was an actual orchestra teacher. He knew what he was doing and for the first time in my orchestra career, I heard what an orchestra was supposed to sound like. The different sections had different parts; there were harmonies and melodies. It was only a junior high orchestra but it was beautiful.

As I progressed further in my playing, I realized that our Floyd Central Symphony Orchestra was not as great as I had always seen. Many of the students did not try their best and as I progressed, they stayed behind, making the music sound out of tune and displeasing. I did not sign up for orchestra at the beginning of eighth, ninth, or tenth grade but my teacher had gone to my parents on all three occassions and convinced them that I needed to stay in orchestra because I had a "natural talent." So I stayed.

When I was in the tenth grade, I knew our orchestra was not at the level I would have prefered so I looked into community orchestras. I found one for my county, the Floyd County Youth Symphony. I joined and was temporarily satisfied. My second year proved to be much less sastisfying. They had joined the younger orchestra with the older orchestra due to a drop in participants. The younger children only brought the orchestra down. Within two weeks I dropped the orchestra. I found instead a larger and more advanced community orchestra, the Louisville Youth Orchestra's Symphony Orchestra. It was what I had been looking for all along. It was made up of an older crowd and the musicians were only there because they wanted to be. Since they wanted to be there, they tried their best and as a result, the orchestra sounded amazing.

In the summer before my senior year in high school, I began to teach violin lessons privately for spending money. After several months with my students, I began to see improvement. It was not small and minimally noticeable improvement either; it was enormous and obvious. I was amazed at my own teaching abilities. I began to feel this great pride after each of my students' lessons. By Christmas of that year, I knew what I wanted to do for a living. I was going to be a teacher.

Now I am here at DePauw's School of Music. I'm here not only to improve upon my own violin performance abilities, but to learn how to teach others as well. Here I will learn to pass on my knowlege of music to younger generations.


MacGamut - me too!

Becca... count me in! - Renee


Hey kids,

So... this MacGamut thing for Musicianship... the website here has details about a deal for purchase, but I need at least four other people to make it work. Leave a comment if you're interested, and we'll work out money later.

On the MacGamut website: click on the "order online!" link to see the details.




The list I have is:
  • Me
  • Renee
  • Alex
  • Nat
  • Dennis
  • Melissa
  • Emily

Anyone else? I need to know by Friday at 4pm, then I'm ordering it.



Reviews to read

Read these reviews to discuss tomorrow. Note that the middle two can only be accessed at DePauw.

Alex Ross, "Mostly Mozart"
Don Shirley, "A historical trek down the street of dreams"
Robert Hilburn, "Eminem's soundtrack owns the moment"

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


If by cool stuff, you mean colors and such, I have it too!:)

i did it right!

so this works!!

yay it works

Hi all. See ya tomorrow, I guess.



Testing ... I have cool stuff!


If you are using Safari as your browser, you don't get the cool tools as easy buttons. Firefox and Explorer don't have any problems. If you are committed to Safari, tags can be used. Tags are words inside angle brackets "<>" that go before the word or words you want to affect. These tags must be closed by placing the same word in angle brackets after the affected word or words, but this time the tag word is preceded by a slash: "/".

Italics: i and /i
Underline: u and /u
Bold: b and /b
Strikethrough: strike and /strike
Red: span style="color: rbg(255, 0, 0);" and /span
Green: span style="color: rbg(0,255,0);" and /span
Blue: span style="color: rbg(0,0,255);" and /span
(other colors by combining red (first number anything from 0 to 255) green (second number) and blue (third number))
Hyperlink: a href="url address" and /a

Here is a list of many tags and how they are used.

check 12

Testing....I'm with Nat, where's my cool stuff. Italics!!! BOLD!!!

Test Post

Just checking to see if this works. Why don't I have all the fun accessories? I can't change the font color or add a link?

The First Post

This is a link to my blog.