Tuesday, May 31, 2011

- This My Jam

Lately I've been saying "This my jam" a lot.  I used it in my last post.  So, I feel it's only necessary to tell you about the humble beginnings of this catch phrase.

When I lived in my apartment with Iris the woman whose room was above mine was fairly vocal in the morning.  In the spring when we would both keep our windows open it would allow sound to funnel down down into my apartment from hers.  So when one week she consistently got up at 7am and blasted Phil Collins - I knew it.  I felt it.  I didn't mind so much, because at least she chose a seriously epic song to start her day with.

From the Hangover - Oh Lord.

If you think Mike Tyson is into this song, he has nothing on my old upstairs neighbor.  Not only would this song be on repeat for her entire morning getting ready session, but she would always get really into the chorus and after singing it would squeal:

"OOOOOOOOoooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh this my JAM!"

Like I, and anyone else in her imaginary audience, couldn't tell.  I wasn't even mad she woke me up at that point because it was pretty hilarious.  Plus, I would like to re-state: That song is awesome.

Ever since her, a lot of things have been my "jam".  Most recently - The Minnie in Spring with all this greenness and my windows open with my curtains blowing in the breeze, rompers, and Water for Elephants.

But you know what else is my jam?  California.  So I up and went to there - just like that.  It was completely unplanned until I booked my ticket last Friday, the day I flew out.  I spent a glorious weekend doing nothing but activities that are totally my jam all while proclaiming that they were my jam.

I will tell you about them when I have slept off the effects of a red eye (not my jam) and caught up on cuddling with the Emmas (totally my jam).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

- Isn't it Ironic?

Old school Alanis Morissette is my jam.  One of my favorite songs to sing on a roadtrip is "You Oughta Know" because it's so angsty and there's no way you'll be tired after belting that one out.  But Alanis is probably most famous for teaching us the completely incorrect use of the term of irony, which I will be repeating here.
My apartment pool opened Monday.

Normally this means nothing to me.  Except, living in Minnesota teaches you not to take the weather for granted.  Ever.  Seriously I've been here almost six months (Shut your mouth - that's crazy!) and I've seen snow storms bring 14 inches in 24 hours and heard the tornado sirens twice.  But the "ironic" part is this year, that pool opened and ya'll...I want to go to there.  In a bikini.

I started buying bikinis (yeah that's plural) like a month and a half ago.  That's so far from my nature I don't even know how to explain it, except this way: When it's warm (above 50 degrees), you best take advantage.  You better be out there every day soaking up every last drop of it into as much exposed skin as possible.  Because when it snows almost every day for two weeks straight you're going to need something more than a down comforter, cute dog, and hot guy to keep you warm at night.  Unless that guy is like really hot.  I mean like he radiates heat in a way that makes summer seem tangible.

Monday was beautiful but I couldn't make it to the pool so I said "Tomorrow, it's totally going to happen tomorrow".  And it's been rainy, cloudy and 60 ever since.

I do not appreciate it when the Minnie gets all ironic.

If you know me at all, you also know that my exposure to the sun involves a thick, constantly re-applied layer of at least SPF 80, because I'm terrified of looking older than I am.  Also: cancer is scary.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

- Enraptured

Yesterday was supposed to be the Rapture.  God was going to cast his judgement and send the worthy straight on up to Heaven...and those of us left are just biding our time until he gets serious and ends the world on October 21.  Obviously, I'm still here - so God, message received.  I didn't make the cut and that's okay because I'm a big girl and I can handle rejection.

This Rapture nonsense made it kind of hard to plan my day because I just didn't know if I had time to fit some activities in.  Should I shop?  Do I want to be Raptured in the mall?  What if I was in the dressing room in the middle of a wardrobe change?  Should I work on my IFT poster?  If I'm Raptured, I won't really need a poster about sweetpotato pretreatments.  I figured if I was going to be Raptured, it should happen when I was in my most natural state - laziness + red wine.  So I stayed home and streamed the Hangout festival just in time to catch the Avett Brothers set.

My Brotard has given me 3 Avett Brothers albums but I have listened to them minimally, at best.  I just didn't get it and an ex boyfriend really liked them so it was kind of an association I didn't want to be reminded of.  But, watching them rock out on stage it took about 4.6 seconds to fall in love with the banjo, and the way they beat rhythms on their instruments, and even though my feet weren't in the sand at the Gulf shores, I could feel the energy through my wifi and was dancing all over the place.  Just like that, I was enraptured with the Avett Brothers.  Last night, amid tornado warnings to the north of St. Louis park, heavy rain and hail (side note: San Fran and New Zealand had earthquakes, so all weather signs were pointing to the Rapture) I bought two more albums on iTunes, considered a road trip to Chicago to see a show in September and even went to sleep with their music playing.

Maybe not the kind of Judgement day most had in mind, but since a concert stage has always been the closest I've ever come to having a place of worship, I think it all worked out quite nicely.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

- Holding it Close

My dear friend Megan just started a blog and her latest post is about holding onto things.  It really resonated with me because sometimes when my life is really great, it takes me a while to write about it here.  It's like I want to be selfish about the memories I'm making and just keep them to myself, exactly the way I want to remember them.  Like this past weekend -  before I left I thought I would write about it as soon as I got back.  But then the weekend actually happened and it just went ahead and exceeded all of my expectations.  Like, just blew them out of the water.  It was so perfectly filled with loving family, amazing friends, softball, legos, hugs from my girls, howling cow ice cream, a hair cut from the best hair stylist ever, a silly bug + other smiling babies, a hole burnt in my graduation gown, blue crush shots, pickle chips, pink peonies, late night dancing, my Ph.D., crazy rainstorms and the smell of honeysuckle.

I just really can't express how much every second filled my soul.  So I'm going to do something different...and just not even try.  I'm going to hold onto it all and keep it safe in my heart and instead give you a little snippet with some pictures from Graduation Day.  A day that thoroughly caught me by surprise in the emotions it incited.  Let's just say that I am not only overwhelmed by how many people are proud of me, but I am also completely surprised at the pride that I feel in myself.  I seriously did it.  I don't know if I'll ever really believe it, but ya'll - I'm a Doctor.  For reals.  I have the paper to prove it.  Well I don't actually have it because I left it in the trunk of my parent's car, but proof can be shown if need be.  I'm actually trying to come up with a really cool framing idea for my three degrees, because the standard red mat/black frame thing just isn't my style.
The best picture of just me from the day.  I only look slightly gooberish.
With Mams and Fahtar afterwards.  It was bright and we are a bit squinty.
Poopie is as tall as I am in heels.  When did that happen?
 Two of my advisors: Dr. Truong & Dr. Simunovic.  And Dr. Laurie!
 Audrey = Amazing.  My bangs = not so amazing.
 The family, minus a brotard.
Those two really hit the nail on the head with their first born.
Katie Singer is a rockstar.

Minnesota even celebrated by bursting to life with Spring-ness and greeting me with beautiful weather upon my return.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

- Infinite Readiness

One of my all time favorite songs is This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) by the Talking Heads. The first lyric is
"Home is where I want to be, pick me up and turn me round"
And that pretty much sums up how I've felt all week.  Every day was one day closer to getting on a plane. I'm not quite sure why - I've barely been away long enough to miss it so, but for whatever reason right now I am feeling the pull to get myself eastward bound.

My house is clean.  I always like to come back to a clean house.  Clean dishes.  Freshly made bed.  Throw pillows all fluffed...except for the ones that Emma squishes between today and tomorrow.

My suitcase is packed with carefully planned outfits.  And jewelry - the tarantula bracelet is making it's debut this weekend.  And at least 2 pairs of underwear per day because one time we went camping and mom forgot to pack any for me and we had to wash my pair every day and since then I just figure you can never have too many pairs of clean undies.

Emma's stuff is packed so she can go stay with Uncle Matt and Aunt Emily.  And be "frrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiieeeeeeeennnnnnnndddddsssss" with Tito and Wheezy.  She won't even miss me.

My iPod is loaded up with fresh new music - I'm currently digging Fleet Foxes and Michael Franti, and I'm still obsessed with Florence + the Machine and the Black Keys, and I'm trying out some Ween and Spoon passed on to me from Aaronus.  I have an iTunes credit but can't decide which Cake album to buy.  I also just decided to rip Fleetwood Mac Rumours and add that to the playlist too because I am ALL about some Secondhand News these days.

I checked in for my flight.  I'm a little nervous about getting to the airport on time.  Because I can only leave work so early and then I have to drop off Emma and then go to parking lot and ride the shuttle and the security line was kind of long last time and it's a big airport so it's a long walk to certain terminals and I board at 6:30.  The last time I went to the airport there was still snow on the ground and I was nervous about leaving Jeepy outside in the cold for so long.  That was at the end of March and I kid you not - there are still piles of snow that haven't melted yet - and it was 86 yesterday.

The weather will probably suck the whole time I'm home, but absolutely nothing is going to rain on my parade. This weekend is going to be EPIC - filled with family and friends and celebrations.  I'm so excited I haven't even gotten tired yet because in less than 24 hours I will have been picked up and turned around and I'll be home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

- Bling Bling Baby

When I first saw this...
I resisted the serious urge to bust out my wallet.  I wore it around the store for almost 10 minutes but eventually put it back because even though I kind of have a major thing for peacocks, who really needs a peacock bracelet?

I said the same thing about this turtle ring.
She tugged at my heart strings a bit more - reminding me of all the pet turtles we had growing up: Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Howard Huge, little Madeline...but no.  I put her back.

This guy really got me.  I was dead set on taking him home.
But no.  I left the store without any sparkly animals.  Because I couldn't choose just one and I didn't think I needed all three.  This was last Friday.  Every day since then I have thought about these pieces of jewelry.  I've planned outfits around them.  I've convinced myself that I need them.  

So I went back to the store today and bought them.  All of them.

Plus this.
Because I think sparkly tarantulas have just enough whimsy to be incredibly hot around my wrist.

I also found some bling in non-animal form that I felt I couldn't live without.
Apparently sparkle can be a slippery slope.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

- Mamsie's Day

Today I called Mams and we chatted about work, life, my brotards, and how she forgot she was growing garlic and ended up growing it without even trying.  It was a simple conversation, some may even think mundane, but it was one of the highlights of my weekend.  While I called her because it was her day, I also called her because a I need to hear her voice more often now that I'm far away so I can reconnect with all that's really important in this world.

A lot of times these little chats make me feel better, but today it made me miss her so much I felt like I might explode from feeling one feeling so intensely.  Last year I was home.  I packed up Jeepy with Emma and we drove 2 hours down the road so that we could spend time with Mamsie and I didn't realize at the time that it might be the last year for a while that it would be so easy.
Photos from the Front Porch: taken by Mamsie.

This year it takes a 3 hour plane ride both ways and one day of vacation and the excuse that graduation is the weekend after Mother's Day.  And while I'm excited about donning my cap and gown, after today I'm most excited for hugs and moochie from my Mom. 
Love you Mams!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

- Cinco de Mayo

A year ago today I ended a relationship.  I've mentioned that before.  It may sound like a sad moment to reflect upon, but in the last year I've really come to appreciate that relationship and all of its ups and downs that lasted a total of three and a half years.

The first time we broke up it was his decision. I can't even remember what we were upset about but he just up and left town.  This was glaringly obvious since we lived together at the time.  I heard nothing from him until he returned - which happened to be the night before my Master's defense.  Coincidentally, this was also the same weekend that Jaclyn and Matt got engaged - and it's such a weird feeling to feel so incredibly happy for two of your best friends, and yet so devastatingly sad for yourself.  I don't know that I will ever forgive him for his ridiculous lack of respect and atrocious timing.  But then again, he was never very good at making me feel like I was a priority in his life.  I should have been done with him.  If this happened to me today, I would be - no questions asked.  But back then I thought I needed him.  I still thought he was so right for me it would be wrong of us not to be together.  So I allowed, and even welcomed, us getting back together for the first of too many times to count. 

Every other time we broke up after that was my doing. When it was finally over I couldn't believe how much time I wasted in a relationship that stalled in the same place for 2.5 years.  I resented that he dragged me along for so long when it was clear he never wanted to move forward.  And I felt like an idiot for letting him do that to me, even after I recognized what was happening. 

But now, I realize that it took every single break up for me to become the person that I am. In a way I needed him to fight against me all those times to make me eventually figure out that I didn't care what he thought about who I was or who I was going to be. Because I loved the person I was becoming. I love the person I am.  When I was ready to admit that, I was ready to say goodbye to him.

I've kind of been wondering about him recently...don't get me wrong, I like him firmly rooted in my past and don't want to change that. But, I always figured that shortly after me he would meet the girl he would marry - someone who wasn't anything like me in that she believes in his God, and is more mild mannered and blonde...someone who finally made him realize what he wanted.

Because that's what he showed me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

- Baby Bed

Sunday I found myself in the magical world of Ikea and I decided to take care of a pesky little problem called: "sleeping on an air mattress for two months".

I hate to call it a problem, because honestly, I slept the best EVER on that air mattress.  But, that air mattress wasn't wide enough to line up with the bed frame and it was too tall and it was an air mattress so it was always supposed to be temporary.

The new mattress arrived last night (it was way cheaper than the first one which allowed for delivery fundage) and I have to admit I was a little sad to "pull the plug" on air mattress, but I was also eager to sleep like a grown up.  So far it sleeps great but the one thing bothering me...is how tiny it looks.  It's lower than my old bed, it's lower than the last mattress because there's no pillowtop and it's definitely lower than the air mattress.  I just can't help but feel like Goldilocks who felt right at home in Baby Bear's bed.
Old vs. New mattress.  They kind of look the same in these pictures.

Since it's really only a few inches lower than the first mattress I think I'm mainly affected by how much lower it is than the air mattress.  I mean that thing was high, especially since I put it up on the bed frame.  And, it was my bed for 2 months, so I kind of got used to sleeping at that altitude.
That thing was ridiculously tall.

Regardless of how low the new mattress is in comparison, it also bothers me that it doesn't come up to the bottom of the headboard which I hung based on the measurements of the old mattress.  Rather than lowering the headboard (because that takes work and would require putting more holes in the wall) I think I will just be purchasing a memory foam topper.

Then this bed will be just right.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

- Jetsetting

My favorite section of the Sunday paper is the Travel section.  Every week there's the typical European/South American/exotic location, but then there's also usually a feature on something closer to "home".

This week I discovered the ultimate road trip.  From the Twin cities (obvi), through South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands, and then all over Montana.  I knew that Montana was big for paleontology (I mean that's where they're digging at the beginning of Jurassic Park), but I had no idea that there was a Montana Dinosaur Trail.  And now it's a personal goal to see it, because I am totally a dork and at this point in my life I'm just embracing it.  I don't think I can swing it this summer, so it's tentatively on the calender for next year - but the goal is to pick a route that goes all the way up to Glacier National Park and so I can see that - complete with a helicopter ride, because I've heard that is something you should not miss out on.

Big Sky Country is now firmly rooted at the top of my list, with Ireland, New Zealand/Australia, and Grenada.

PS - Minneapolis/St. Paul should be at the top of your list or you are dead to me.