Well, I finally got my graduate school application submitted.  I had everything ready for the last several weeks except for my “statement of purpose”.  For some reason it was the most difficult thing to write.  And I like to write, but oh man was that a hard one to get out on paper without sounding like a freakazoid.  I finally just made myself get something on paper and then would leave it for a few days, come back and tweak and add, and leave it again for a few days.  It was getting out of control for someone who prided themselves on starting a 5 page paper at 9pm the night before it was due during my senior year of undergrad.  Oh, and then still getting A’s for the most part.  And the cheese factor of my draft was getting over the top.  I had even included a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. which really had nothing to do with anything else except that I liked it and had been thinking about it a lot recently.  But that’s no reason to add it to your one document that is trying to convince someone to accept you to their program!

Finally I sent the draft to my good friend Tarin to read over.  She was a journalism major in undergrad so she is quite adept on telling you when things are bs and how to change wording so you don’t sound like you are trying so hard.  It was such a relief just to send it to someone else to read.  When I got her suggestions and corrections back it was like the statement had become a whole different thing.  Not because she made major changes, but because it had finally left just me and my head and been read by someone else.  There were still things to fix, but it is amazing how sharing it with even just one other person can make something so much clearer.

Anyway, I made the revisions and then uploaded it to the application along with my resume and was finally able to hit “submit”.  Thank the Lord.  I’ve known that the application was due by April 1st since last October and yet the darn statement of purpose has kept me from getting it finished until just 3 weeks before the deadline.  Oh well.  Now I’ve just got to wait and see.

For awhile I lived with a wonderful girl, Hilary, who had great taste in music and let me borrow her cd’s anytime I wanted.  Sadly my access to her music ended when she moved away from Bellingham.  Pandora and other people’s blogs are how I now find most of the “new” music I listen too.  If not for these two resources, I’d be stuck listening to the newest Rhianna songs (kill me now) or listening to country radio constantly.

I recently heard Cloud Cult’s You’ll Be Bright on this blog and instantly fell in love.  It has a beautiful sound and a wonderful message.  It reminds me so much of my community of friends.  We’re all well out of undergrad and have moved on to “adult” life, but I think we all still have a lot of wonder about what life is supposed to look like.  I’m definitely in this category as I plunge forward into applying for grad school (finally) and I have found nothing but support from my friends.  We all want the best for each other – a satisfying job, a loving community (family or friends), good health (something that cannot be taken for granted in our group), a life filled with laughter and love and hope and peace.  And these are the thoughts I have when listening to this song.  I hope you enjoy it too.

So much for the song of the week idea.  I am a fabulous blogger, aren’t I?

This is a song I discovered on Pandora and always love when it comes up in the rotation.  It is True Affection by The Blow (weird name, eh?).  I don’t know anything about them – will have to do a bit of research.  If only tomorrow could be a snow day so that I could squeeze it into my to do list.  :)

It is currently snowing here in lovely Bellingham.  Snow in Bellingham usually means really icy roads, stupid drivers, and a shut down of the city.  But somehow this has become the exception rather than the rule this winter.  Anytime we’ve had snow so far, school has only been delayed (if that) and everyone goes along on their merry way handling the weather like we get it everyday.  Which on the one hand, good job in growing up and not being such pansies Bellingham.  On the other hand, I would love love LOVE to have a snow day.  And tomorrow would be as good a day as any to have that happen.  It would be great to just be cozy and warm in the house, get caught up on some chores, read a bit, and maybe make a nice baked treat.  Doesn’t that sound marvelous?  Ok, maybe not quite marvelous, but still pretty darn nice.

In a more serious request/helpful outcome is that my roommate would really appreciate the snow day.  She has her second round of comprehensive exams on Thursday and Friday and would love to have a free day just to study.  So if my selfish reasons aren’t enough to convince the snow to just keep falling like crazy, then please, please let her need for studying be enough.

Please?

My New Year’s resolution for 2010 was to read 36 books in the year.  I am happy to say that I not only accomplished the goal; I managed to make it a total of 41 books!

Here is a list of the books and authors in the order that I finished them (explanation for a random work related book being finished in the middle of reading the Harry Potter series).  Oh, and I’m not linking them to anything since I’m fairly certain you are all savvy enough to google them.

1.  Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

2.  Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

3.  Flight Lessons – Patricia Gaffney

4.  Almost Heaven – Judith McNaught

5.  Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

6.  Farmer Boy – Laura Ingalls Wilder

7.  On the Banks of Plum Creek – Laura Ingalls Wilder

8.  By the Shores of Silver Lake – Laura Ingalls Wilder

9.  The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder

10.  Little Town on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder

11.  These Happy Golden Years – Laura Ingalls Wilder

12.  The First Four Years – Laura Ingalls Wilder

13.  Lady of the Mansion – George McDonald

14.  Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder

15.  A Single Shard – Linda Sue Park

16.  The Apothecary’s Daughter – Julie Klassen

17.  The Borrowers – Mary Norton

18.  Will Jesus Buy Me A Double-Wide?  (Cause I Need More Room For My Plasma TV) – Karen Spears Zacharias

19.  Married By Morning – Lisa Kleypas

20.  Love In The Afternoon – Lisa Kleypas

21.  One Day - David Nicholls

22.  A Woman’s Place – Lynn Austin

23.  Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

24.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - J.K. Rowling

25.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

26.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

27.  The Me I Want to Be – John Ortberg

28.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling

29.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

30.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling

31.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

32.  On a Highland Shore – Kathleen Givens

33.  The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

34.  Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

35.  Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

36.  Rivals for the Crown – Kathleen Givens

37.  Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay

38.  Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

39.  Goddess of the Hunt - Tessa Dare

40.  Contingency Plans – David K. Wheeler (I know him!)

41.  The Romantics – Galt Niederhoffer

And some thoughts…

*My favorites were the series – namely the Little House series, the Harry Potter series, and the Hunger Games trilogy.  I was so sad when I finished with Harry Potter just because they were so fun to read.

*My least favorites were probably One Day, Never Let Me Go, and The Romantics.  This surprised me because they are all popular enough to either have been made into a movie or are in the process of being made into one.  None of them were terrible, but there were always a few things that annoyed me throughout each of those books.

*It’s fun to read over the list and remember different things about the year because of them like where I was when reading it or who recommended or lent it to me.  Lots of connections to all sorts of places and people.

2011′s Resolution:

I decided to continue in the same thread with this year’s resolution.  I plan to try and read 36 books again, but this time at least 6 of them have to be classics I’ve never read before.  Right now I’m thinking about The Scarlet Letter, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, and something by Dickens.  These might change depending on what mood I’m in when I get to it, but there are quite a few books that I’m a bit ashamed to say I haven’t read especially since I was an English Lit major in college.  I apparently decided to start off with a bang because I began Anna Karenina last night.  817 pages and I have a feeling it won’t read as quickly as the Harry Potter series.

 

So, I did okay posting semi-regularly there for a little while.  And then dropped off the face of the planet.  What have I been up to since my last post you ask?

*I visited my good friend from high school and her family in Tennessee.  I got to meet her 10 month old baby for the first time.  And I fell in love.  Like wanted to steal her and bring her home with me.  Oh, how that baby stole my heart!

*We wrapped up football season.  Two games in the post season – not too shabby for our team.

*I saw two of my good friends down in Seattle (ok, Lynnwood) and we went to the Spaghetti Factory.  Which I love.  That browned butter mizithra pasta is to die for.

*I completed my cheerleading judging internship.

*We started basketball season.

*I turned 29.  My roommate made my favorite fondue to celebrate.  Apparently I like cheese based dishes a lot.

*Visited my grannie in the hospital.  Thought she could no longer remember mine or my uncle’s names.  Worried for about 14 hours and then got the call that she was “back”.  We still aren’t quite sure what the issue was, but I’m happy to have her healthy and remembering us again.

*I got deathly ill the day before Thanksgiving and was either on my couch or in my bed for the next 72 hours.  Worst cold ever.

*My first outing from the house was to go see Harry Potter with my roommate.  Loved it.

*Went to our staff Christmas party.  Won the best prize in the raffle.  Can’t wait for my personal boat day sometime next summer!

*Registered to take the WEST-B in January.  It is an entrance exam for grad school.  It was the first “real” step I took towards applying.

*Got our Christmas tree.  Finally figured out that it is better to get a smallish tree rather than one that will take over half of our (already small) living room.

*Did the majority of my Christmas shopping online.  Being able to ship things to Alaska (where I will be for the holidays) is wonderful.  I will still have to check a bag on the plane, but now I can at least pack clothes to wear as well.

*I observed a friend who is a newish (2 years) high school teacher.  It was good to be in a classroom and see what high schoolers are really like in that setting.  I am now excited/nervous for grad school.  Which is exactly what I was feeling before I observed his classes.  Oh, and I accidentally let it drop to my boss that I’m planning to apply for school.  Completely out of the blue.  Good planning, Cait.

*Flew to Spokane to judge a cheerleading competition.  Left Seattle at 8am and was back by 5:45pm.

*Saw Harry Potter again.  Loved it again.

*Went to a cheer coaches association meeting and got nice perfume in the white elephant exchange.  There was a $15 limit, so I’m guessing mine was a regift since the Be Delicous perfume by DKNY that I got retails for much more than that.  But I don’t mind – regifting was my gain.

*Came home and crashed.

*Woke up this morning for another round.  My eye is on the prize of the first weekend in March – cheerleading season will definitely be over by then and perhaps I can get my life back.

 

 

Ok, so I should have known that a weekly song post would be too much to handle during this super busy time of the year.  Which, really?  Ridiculous.  So while it might not be exactly a week later (in fact is it almost 2…3?), here I am with another song post.

I’m late to the party when it comes to Sara Bareilles.  I have Love Song on my iTunes and love when it comes on, but hadn’t really thought about checking her out more.  Then I started to notice that her songs were coming up more often when I’ve been listening to Pandora at work.  And I realized that I like whatever song it is every single time – even before I realize it is Sara B.  So this week’s song – mood music, if you will – is Sara’s song Uncharted.  It’s hitting close to home as I’m in the process of making all sorts of decisions for my life and it fits in with how I’ve been feeling about life this past year.  You can’t plan anything to perfection, crap happens, but on the other hand wonderful, amazing things do too.

Don’t worry peeps.  I haven’t hopped on the crazy running train (although many could argue that it isn’t crazy at all and that I should hop on it already!).  I am just trying to keep myself moving through all the stuff I have to do.  Of course I was super lazy yesterday and finished Harry Potter book 6 (on to 7 as of last night!) but I needed a day to breathe and keep myself from having a panic attack.  So many things are on my mind and on my schedule:

*Cheerleading and the million billion things that entails.

*Work and the million billion other things that entails.

*Researching and testing and applying for grad school.  Well, actually making the firm decision to go first.

*Studying up on being a cheerleading judge for competition season.

*Buying a plane ticket to visit one of my best friends and her family in Tennessee.

*Hoping to see another best friend who has just made it back to Washington state.

*Getting rid of some of my STUFF.  I’ve been better about trying not to acquire more things, but I still feel like have so so so much.  And I don’t need it all – I need to share the wealth.

*And about a million billion other little things.

I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed when I think about how much there is to do and how little time there is to do it.  But the one thing that I’ve been continually impressed with is the fact that in the past 4 weeks (since cheer practice started) I haven’t felt like I needed to have a complete and total breakdown (ok, and that is an exaggeration anyway).  For the most part I’m getting what needs to be done, done and I’m just living life along the way.

My roommate and I watched some of the MTV vma’s on Sunday night mostly because we were wanting to reminisce about when we used to love watching it as teenagers.  For the most part we felt a little disappointed and as I said in yesterday’s post – OLD.  But my one pleasant discovery of the night was watching Florence + The Machine sing The Dog Days Are Over.  I’d heard the song before, but I couldn’t tell you where.  Maybe a commercial?  I loved the choreography of her performance, her voice, and really just the whole thing.  I downloaded her album Lungs the next day.  Here is the video of her vma performance (I watched the actual music video too, but I just liked this one better).  It is a little shaky in terms of recording (obviously someone’s just filming it off of their tv), but you’ll get the idea.

Last night I had a bit of trouble falling asleep and started just thinking about random things.  And here they are:

1.  Right now the foods I am craving the most are oyster crackers, caramels, and milk.  And no, I am not pregnant.  Those are just the things I want to eat all the time.  And when I don’t have them I think about how good they would taste.  I’ve rounded out those 3 things with a little Panda Express and pizza lately.  My regular diet is just fabulous isn’t it?

2.  We checked two big things off of the cheer calendar last week.  That is always a relief and it is basically the only way I’m staying sane with cheer right now.  I can survive as long as I am seeing progress.  The next month(ish) will continue to be crazy, but I’m just going to keep plowing through.

3.  I am not happy with Directv.  We’ve had it for 4 years and have had issues with it for at least half that time.  There is now a tree that has grown enough to block the satellite feed and it is messing up the channels we can get and whether it will even be a clear picture.  Which yes, I know, “wah wah, my first world problems are soooo terrible!”.  The issue at this point is that I just hate confrontation and phone calls so I’m not looking forward to canceling Directv and trying to set something up with Comcast.  Why do I not have a personal assistant to do crap like this for me?  Oh right, because I’m not famous or a high powered CEO.  In fact I am an administrative assistant myself.  Thankfully I haven’t yet had to call and cancel my boss’ cable provider.

4.  Speaking of work, it has been CRAZY busy.  I work on the piles of tasks all day and feel like I leave with piles that are the same size at the end of the day.  We’re also getting to the point that everyone is so stressed that they can’t even remember what work has already been done so then they do it over again.  We are wasting time people!  And at this point I just don’t see an end in sight.

5.  I think I might start posting a “Song of the Week”.  Obviously I enjoy sharing the random songs I hear and like and it might be a way for me to just get on here more often and get the thoughts flowing otherwise.  I already have a song for this week picked out, but it will have to wait for its own post.  Gotta spread the wealth here people.

6.  I’ve been reading Harry Potter and I’m pretty much obsessed.  I didn’t read them while they were coming out and in fact thought they were kind of dumb and childish (sorry to my 2 college roommates who were obsessed with them at the time – I’ve been proven wrong).  But since then I’ve seen all the movies and for some reason last spring my current roommate (who was the 3rd college roommate but who also didn’t read them then) and I started to get all crazy about the movies and watched them all on ABCfamily.  I even went to Blockbuster late one night because our dvr hadn’t recorded one properly (damn you Directv) and we were sooo sad not to be able to watch it.  Anyway, I decided to read them and started at the very end of July.  And I am now more than half way through book 5.  And all I want to do is read it all the time.  I don’t want to have to work or coach or make food or clean my room.  I just want to read Harry Potter.  Where is my rich husband who would make it so that I could just sit at home (or even better – by a pool or on a beach while on a tropical vacation) and read?  I have a feeling he is off somewhere with that personal assistant of mine.  Now if I could just track them down.

7.  My mom thinks I might have Lyme disease.  That is the conversation we had on the phone yesterday.  She has some basis for believing this because many of the symptoms are things I have been dealing with.  Except for oh, the TICK BITE AND RASH you are supposed to have.  But I did google it and I could see there might be a slight possibility that this is what is wrong with me.  The symptoms do add up and the first site I read did say that sometimes you don’t notice the bite and that the rash might be so insubstantial that you don’t think anything of it.  Which great.  Now I’ve got stinkin’ Lyme disease.  Thanks Mom.

8.  Sometimes I think the world is going to blow up because of all the ways technology has just exploded (no pun intended) in the last 10 or so years.  I’ve been out of high school for just over 11 years now and the way I live my life and use technology now is so vastly different then it was back then.  Which duh, it is for pretty much anyone.  But it blows my mind that I didn’t have an email address until about the middle of my senior year (I can distinctly remember getting it too – a boy named Josh helped me while we were in our “Applied Graphics” class).  And now with the cell phones and texting and facbeook and blogging and tweeting and skyping and everything!  Which yes, I know this is not a new topic at all, but the thing that set my mind off about it recently was when I was watching the VMA’s on Sunday night and they kept reporting which celebrity was the most popular tweet conversation (is that what you call it?) at that moment.  First of all, who cares?  And second, why are we wasting our time tweeting about random celebrities while we are probably all at home watching it by ourselves?  Where is the face to face interaction?  I just can’t imagine what will be coming next with the rate everything has happened in the last decade.

9.  If you can’t tell from that last entry – I am getting old.  You know, 28.  Which is apparently when you start feeling old.  And when you are a teenager or college student you think that this could NEVER happen to you.  You will always be hip and with it (well at least as hip and with it as you are as a teenager or college student which as we all know varies quite a bit).  But there comes a day or a week or a time period where you realize that things have changed and you either haven’t changed with it or you’ve changed too much to appreciate the world changing.  And suddenly the hipness is no longer there.

10.  Does anyone want to call Directv and Comcast for me?

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