Category: Yay! Super Awesome! (Page 5 of 6)

I'm Full of Glee.

When I was in high school, I was a chorus hall kid. Yes, the kind that hung out during study halls in the chorus room or in the auditorium  to practice with friends just as obsessed with Josh Groban’s new CD. I sang “Hail to Thee Blithe Spirit” and recited lines from “The Music Man” and felt so full.

When I went to college and saw my first Marywood production, “Quilters”, I felt that pang of sadness that it was a show that I wasn’t part of. At that moment, for the first time in four years, I wasn’t part of the inside jokes and the rehearsals followed by sleepless nights because there was homework still to do. I missed being part of theatre so badly – badly enough that I conjured up some courage to audition for Moliere’s “The Affected Damsels.” I got in – with a lead. I nearly burst into tears when I saw my name on the call board. I was in. I was part of it. The experience of being in that production was one of the happiest and most memorable of my life. But I still remember the thrill – and drama – of high school chorus and theatre.

I remember skipping track practice to go to rehearsals where I felt like I was a part of something so much bigger than myself. I liked it. I liked trying hard to get the notes right when everyone else sounded off key. I loved the backstage antics that left me laughing till my sides hurt. Best of all, I loved the people I spent time with on those stages and in those practice rooms.

When I heard about Glee, I was a little skeptical – and worried. At first I didn’t watch because I thought it would be another “High School Musical” (ICK). Luckily, after some cajoling by Amanda, I spent an evening in the computer lab before PRSSA watching the first two episodes of “Glee”. I was in love. The song choices were great, the vocalists awesome, and best of all, the drama and the story lines preserved. The kids in “Glee” aren’t singing  to advance the story line. They’re singing because it’s what they love. It’s what I loved when I was in high school. For once, they got it right. Now, I’m a full-fledged “gleek” again – and I have to say, I missed it. :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuoEldVFV1A]

Why I Haven't Written in Awhile

Things happen. We all know this, but sometimes, we forget.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been stretched pretty thin. It was midterm season – not my favorite time of year – and I found myself clinging to what little sanity I had left by reading instead of writing. This morning, I finished Love, Again by Doris Lessing. It was interesting and I found a few themes that she also shares in Briefing for a Descent into Hell. It was a nice change. Normally, I go straight to the keyboard when I’m about to lose it, but this time I just couldn’t. I had spent several weeks just writing, writing, writing, editing, and more writing. I became taxed. I started to feel like writing was work. Things didn’t flow naturally. It was if I was a walking shade of myself.

Have you ever felt like the thing you loved most was taking over your life and causing you to feel like it was work? That’s exactly what happened last week. I had to take a step back. I had to walk away from the writing and just breathe. I realized that if I kept writing, I would end up hating it, and that’s something that I don’t want to do. I don’t want to ever come close to hating this. Sometimes, I feel like it’s the most important thing I have. My words. Voice. The chance to say something and have people be touched by it.

I don’t know if this blog touches you, or if you even like reading it. You may only check in from time to time just to see what I’m up to because you know me outside of this web address. Or maybe, and I really hope that you do, you enjoy reading my aimless rantings and self-reflections. Either way, thanks for coming – even when I wasn’t around.

Let’s hope I won’t stay too far away. :)

The Joy of "New"

In the past two weeks, I’ve spent more money than I’ve had to in years.

After my laptop battery went and I couldn’t take the slow performance anymore, I decided to upgrade to an affordable Dell with more RAM, a better processor, and a larger hard drive. The cost wasn’t anywhere near as much as my original laptop was five years ago, however, clicking the order button and seeing the drain from account didn’t leave me with the glee that most people seem to feel when they purchase something new.

Then came the trip to the outlets with my Mom, aunt, and cousin. Sure it was a great time, and yes, I got a ton of great deals, but seeing how much I spent on new clothes made me feel a little guilty.

Today it was a new pair of sneakers to replace the ones that got a hole, a jean jacket, some notebooks, and a few textbooks for the upcoming semester. At the end of the spree, I took a tally. Holy crap. That’s a lot more than I thought.

I’d like to think that I’m very good with money. I save, I pay my bills on time, and I’m conscious of everything I buy. But when it comes down to spending a whole lot of money in a short period of time, I’m filled with a sense of panic. For me, there’s something very scary about having a large sum of money and then having to spend it. But then again, there’s such a joy in having new.

New is fresh and crisp and clean. New is sexy. New makes you feel good.

But new can also make you panic over your bank statements.

My Wishlist

Thanks to Miss Stephanie for inspiring this post.

So, every now and then it’s okay to look at things that you wish you had or places you’d like to go or things you liked to do. Making a wishlist can be a great way to set some goals and to keep you motivated. After all, it’s healthy to dream! Curious about some things that I wish I had? I’ll share:

Image and Bedding Courtesy of West Elm

Image and Bedding Courtesy of West Elm

1. Bedding

We’re not talking bed-in-a-bag either. I’m tired of comforters that fall apart after just a few years. No more scratchy sheets! One day, I’m going to have soft sheets, fluffy pillows, and blankets that don’t come in a bag. Really good bedding is always worth it.

2. Adobe Creative Suite

I took some classes in basic design at MU and really enjoyed it. Now I want to build my portfolio by making mock ads/promo materials. If I save up enough, this wish on my list can become a reality after Christmas. We’ll see. Perhaps I’ll get enough time in the Comm. lab to build a nice portfolio.

3. Big Girl Camera

I’m not incredibly skilled in photography, so there’s no need for a pro-level DSLR. In a few more years, maybe I’ll upgrade to something bigger and a bit more powerful. Right now, the Canon PowerShot I have meets my needs.

4. Cottage

Okay, so this is something that isn’t exactly attainable at the moment, but I’d really love to live in a cottage. It’s cute, economical, and so much better than a McMansion in a development somewhere. I’d like one that had lavender and lilacs growing outside…and internet access.

5. Kitty Condo

This is really for Annie’s benefit, seeing if I get the house of my dreams, she should be able to as well.

6. Fresh Flowers

Every now and then, I indulge in a nice bouquet of fresh flowers. It brightens up the house and makes the room feel cheery. It’s a simple pleasure, but one that’s worthwhile.

7. Something from Etsy

Not sure what yet – I fall in love with another item on here every day. Etsy is one of my favorite places to shop and it’s a great place to find unique gifts. I try to do most of my Christmas shopping there.

8. Trip to Ireland

Being an Irish girl by heritage, it would be nice to see where my ancestors came from. Not to mention, the cliffs, the castles, and the green, green, green.

9. Trip to Paris

Ah, Paris. The city of love. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The Eiffel Tower. The Moulin Rouge. Montmarte. Versailles. All things I want to see before I get old and feeble.

10. Financial Security

I’m 21 and a student. I don’t expect to be rich. It would be nice for the loans to go away and for me to feel better about money. It’ll come with time. Let’s just hope I get a good job when I graduate :-)

Meet Annie

Poconos and Annie 235

Poconos and Annie 237

Name: Annie

Age: About 8 weeks…we think.

Favorite food: Kitten Chow

Favorite place to hide: In or behind the litter box.

Hobby: Being awesome and not letting her parents sleep.

Favorite type of music: Classical and showtunes, though country went over well.

Favorite toy: So far, a mouse.

Favorite place to sleep: On top of Mom’s head.

You Can't…

…always get what you want.

You can’t always get what you want.

You can’t always get what you want.

But if you try sometimes, you just might find,

You get what you need.

Brent and I got a kitten. I’m picking her up later this afternoon and I’m really excited about becoming a kitty mother. I’ll post pictures with a short biographical piece later.

Oh, and maybe I’ll write something meaningful :-)

15 Remarkable Things You Can Do Tomorrow

It’s about 11:00 PM and I’ve decided that I’ve spent enough time procrastinating on writing apost.

Here are 15 things that you can do, should do, and will do today, tomorrow, or whenever.

1. Smile at someone as you hold the door for them.

2. Take the time to news article, book, magazine, or blog. Just read anything.

3. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass. Breathe.

4. Make yourself go for that run you’ve been putting off. You deserve it. It may not feel good to start, but it’ll feel wonderful once you’ve finished.

5. Teach yourself a new song.

6. If you have a Twitter account, spend an entire day engaging in conversation. Soon you’ll be hooked and can become part of the community.

7. Send a quick note to an old friend. Maintain your contacts.

8. Try eating healthy for the whole day. Notice how you feel.

9. Close your eyes and clear your head in the shower. Use that last minute or two before the hot water runs out to meditate.

10. Take out the trash. Both literally and metaphorically.

11. Volunteer. Anywhere.

12. Sign up for a contest. Who knows? Maybe you’ll win.

13. Tell someone how much you love them.

14. Look down at your shoes. Be thankful you have them to begin with.

15. Before you go to sleep, flip the pillow over so that your cheek gets the cold side.

Another Favorite…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gHvATmUsSg]

Delights Across the Sea…

If you haven’t seen my Twitter stream yet, you may not know that one of my new favorite things to do is watch Britain’s Got Talent clips on YouTube. Yes, I’ve got a hankering to see talent across the pond perform (sometimes well, sometimes not so well) in a competition for a top prize of 100,000 pounds and spot in the Royal Variety Show – in front of her majesty, The Queen. While this season has been quite wild, there were a few moments that stick out as my favorite; moments I want to share with you now.

Here’s the first:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kkTh4p6r-k]

Check back tomorrow for another performance that I loved :-)

A Remarkable Story of an "Unremarkable" Man

Have you often thought about what it would be like to die? How about to be somewhere beyond death with the capability to scribble down a memoir of your life? In Epitaph for A Small Winner, author Machado De Assis does just that as he introduces Braz Cubas, a man who has just died, and his stories of life, love, death, and whatever comes after it. gettysburg-campus-024

Winner is designed to be a satirical portrayal of the dynamics of life and death. Assis executes this wonderfully by introducing the rambling, yet always entertaining Cubas, a well-to-do citizen of Rio de Janeiro. Cubas tries his hand at politics, journalism and romance throughout his life, yet does not actually reflect on any of his actions until after he has passed on. While at first glance Cubas may seem like a shallow and unremarkable character, he reflects upon each portion of his life with both skepticism and a sense of amusement that shows his depth and dimension. One cannot help but enjoy his rantings, diagrams, and unstructured arguments of how life has played out for him. Not to mention, the realistic writing style makes one feel like they are communicating with the world beyond over a cup of coffee and a good book.

The language can get tricky at times, especially with the infusion of Spanish and Portuguese words throughout the book. Luckily the translator of my copy gave a short translation guide at the beginning of the text. The writing is fun, masterful, and can even seem like a stream of consciousness at points. I will caution readers: this story has some very low points.

Doodling and diagrams also dot the pages, lending even more personality to the story, an approach that I greatly enjoyed. Too often, great texts are made mediocre by the lack of understanding and relatability. Despite the fact that this book was penned over 100 years ago, Winner stands as a good read even in contemporary contexts.

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