28 October 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Yes, I know, I'm a thief. But this is too fun to pass up.
1. When I was a kid I wanted to be a lifeguard on the beach (Dream big, Grebner. Dream big. Apparently I watched a little too much Baywatch) or a professional basketball player.when I grew up.

2. As an adult, my dream job would be to get paid to travel...or be the woman in National Treasure .

3. W hen I was younger I wanted to be just like the WNBA players I watched on TV .

4. The childhood Halloween costume that I remember most was when I was a box of McDonald's French Fries. Or a Watermelon. Or an M&M. Are you catching the trend of my costumes? .

5. My favorite childhood toy was Hotwheels cars all the way! Breaking those gender stereotypes .

6. The time I got into the biggest amount of trouble when I was a kid was when I got a detention sophomore year for losing my golf ball in P.E.

7. I get daily inspiration from reading the Bible in the morning and listening to music (all the time).

26 October 2011

Wednesday's Wonderings

Today in the archives I stumbled across a letter from Hugh Hefner to Birch Bayh saying that he would be glad to help out in Bayh's 1976 Presidential campaign. And one from Gregory Peck saying that he couldn't support him yet...apparently he was more of a Humphrey man. Crazy stuff, right? What I'm wondering is why Bayh would want Hefner's help in the first place. I don't think any politicians would want his endorsement today.

There were also letters to/from other actors...like Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford. Reading these made me wonder -- why don't men look like these guys anymore? Or act like them? Where are the Cary Grants, Jimmy Stewarts, and especially Paul Newmans* of today?
For example.

All of this thinking** about politicians and actors brought Saturday Night Live to mind. If I was a history teacher (which I don't think I ever will be, but I haven't exactly ruled it out), I would totally use political sketches from Saturday Night Live in my classes. Not only are they hilarious, but they tell you so much about what people were thinking at the time. How they perceived certain actions and events. How they choose to remember things. It would be awesome. I'll keep it in mind when I'm teaching about the 1990s one day.

* I love(d) Paul Newman. I even loved him in the movie, Cars...and that's just his voice. Maybe it's his ruggedness. Or his political activism. Or his salad dressing. I don't know what it is. But today's actors can't even come close.
**After 3 months of graduate school, I'm still amazed at the fact that I still maintain the capacity to think about such random things, let alone think at all.

23 October 2011

Quote of the (Yester)Day

"I'm naming my first born child Amaryllis. Boy or girl."
Quote of the day. Me (Hope E. Grebner) to my sister (Hannah E. Grebner) whilst sitting at Midwest Central High School's production of Meredith Wilson's The Music Man. Which was amazing by the way. Yet again, this small school surprised me with the caliber of their theater performances. I'm glad I left Homecoming early to catch this show. It's my all-time favorite. Hands down.

20 October 2011

One for the road...

I'm driving back to Illinois as soon as I register for my classes for next semester. What's in my car's CD player waiting for me? This guy. James Taylor. I've had his greatest hits CD since the 5th grade. What can I say, I was a strange child. "Handy Man" is my favorite of his songs. I think.

17 October 2011

Monday Myspace Flashback

I seriously hope historians of the future don't use Myspace posts as primary sources. Or high school Hope would come off as a serious whack job. Exhibit A (A post from 1 July 2007):

WIIWMAOM? Part III: My Emotional Attachment to Kevin Costner

Current mood:dorky

Tonight I will continue my series on my strange relationships with old men. This time, however, I will discuss my attachement to a certain celebrity by the name of Kevin Costner. I don't know what it is but I have a strong emotional attachment to the man. With every movie, I fall in love with him. I think we could be soulmates...if I was like 30 years older. Oh, and I why does it seem like he dies in every movie? And not just die, but drown. Okay, so I've only seen two movies where he's drowned, but still. When he dies, I cry. Not only do I cry, but I bawl hysterically like I've lost my one true love. I just don't know why, but he can come out a cornfield by my house any day!

I should specify that this was the final installment of a three part series entitled, "What Is It With Me And Old Men?" Apparently I was a real geriatric magnet back in the day. This is seriously embarrassing and I can't believe I'm sharing it with the world for a second time. But yet, the main argument of this 2007 post still rings true. Four years later, I still have an emotional attachment to Kevin Costner.

P.S. Can I just say how awesome it was that Myspace used to ask us what our current mood was? And is dorky really a mood? I'd say it's more akin to a lifestyle...for me at least.

16 October 2011

Sunday {Paper Writing} Soundtrack

More music from the crazy music lady...

I also have a somewhat odd (but awesome) love for Fleetwood Mac. I recently acquired Rumours on vinyl. It's only their best album ever and so it deserves to be heard in its original glory. And "Never Going Back Again" is probably my favorite song off the album. But anyway, I've been listening to this album all day. It's kept me going (along with entirely too much coffee) through some pretty intense paper writing.

What music keeps you going?

14 October 2011

Motown and Microhistories

Those who know me know that I always have music playing. In the kitchen. In my bedroom. In the shower. In the car. On my iPod at work. In the SLIS Information Commons doing homework in the afternoons. Right now my current obsession is Motown. Maybe I'm just a sucker for anything from the 1960s, but I seriously love it. My sister and I used to clean my grandma's house while we listened to Diana Ross and the Supremes. Maybe that's where it came from. I'm the hunt for some vinyl -- Sam Cooke or The Ronettes, especially. If you want to make me one very happy camper, you know what to send my way! The Ronettes station on Pandora is the current playlist to my life. It's perfect for getting ready in the morning, fixing supper, or even writing the papers that seem to consume my life this weekend.

I am currently in the process of writing a paper on a specific genre (to use a word with a musical connotation) of history. I chose to write about microhistory because I wanted to read books that were actually enjoyable. So basically, I'm asking three questions: 1) What is microhistory? 2) Do microhistories about people achieve the same results as microhistories about particular events? and 3) Can a microhistory be written about an event that is well-known (and known to be transformative)?

Now that I've sufficiently bored y'all to tears let me tell you about the article and books I'm using. Jill Lepore's JAH article, "Historians Who Love Too Much" is a wonderful tongue-in-cheek look at the differences between microhistory and biography. I'm using it as the framework for my definition of microhistory. To think, she got started thinking about the topic while holding a lock of Noah Webster's hair in the Special Collections library at Amherst College.

The first book is a microhistory of a family. Tiya Miles' book Ties That Bind is the story of an Afro-Cherokee family in the nineteenth century. Through the story of Shoe Boots and his wife (who was also his slave), readers receive more Cherokee history than they have probably ever experienced. They also get to see just how complex race relations truly were in the United States. I'll admit, I didn't know that American Indians even owned slaves.

To look at a microhistory of a particular event, I chose something a little closer to home in James Green's Death in the Haymarket. Like the title implies, it tells the story of the Haymarket Riot in Chicago. In a sense, though, this book is like a biography of the Second City. At the same time, it truly opened my eyes to labor history in a way that other books could not.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I'll be locked in my apartment writing till Monday morning!

Delicious {Indiana} Autumn

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot.
You said it, sister!
Early this morning I hopped in the car (cup of coffee in hand) to meet my grandparents in Mansfield at the Covered Bridge Festival. It was definitely a beautiful drive. Indiana beats Illinois hands down when it comes to autumn.
I loved the covered bridges.
And the pumpkins. Especially the silver and white ones.
And no scenic drive experience would be complete without kettle corn.

12 October 2011

Things I'm Digging Right Now

1. Ben & Jerry's Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream. Dear gentlemen, if I could fly to Vermont right now I would kiss you. Both of you.

2. HTML. Nerd alert! I'm taking a basic computer course as part of my MLS degree. Today I made my own website. It was really really basic, but it's still fun! It's kind of like learning a new language.

3. Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Or any Oktoberfest beer in general. I bought a case for a what I'm sure will be a lovely fall dinner party my friends and I are throwing tomorrow night. And of course, we had to sample it tonight to make sure it was butternut squash mac 'n cheese worthy.

4. Labor History. Wow, I never thought I'd say that one. Never in a million years. But I'm reading James Green's Death in the Haymarket right now. Okay, so maybe it's more microhistory than anything, but still. I'm completely enthralled in 1886 Chicago and the inner workings of the labor movement.

5. This awesome 1990s playlist from 8tracks. I'm telling you -- 1990s historian. It's going to happen one day and I'm going to be right in the thick of it. Like totally.

11 October 2011

Who's going to see Madeleine Albright?

That's right. This kid. Many thanks to IU's Twitter account for helping me discover that tickets were just made available yesterday. After work I sprinted over to the Auditorium to pick up as many as they would let me have -- which was 4 by the way -- so my friends and I could hear her lecture in November. I find her so fascinating. Born in the Czech Republic. Wellesley grad. A Ph.D. from Columbia. First female Secretary of State. Highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. And...wait for it...she once made a cameo appearance on Gilmore Girls. Rory had a dream that Madeleine Albright was her mother. Strong work. It. is. awesome. Watch it for yourself.

09 October 2011

Cream & Crimson or Oskee Wow Wow at The Rock?

I had a wardrobe dilemma yesterday. Would I be loyal to the home team or the team from my home? I grew up an Illinois fan. Loyal to The Chief. I know the Three in One better than Indiana, Our Indiana. In the end, I wore a gray U of I shirt. I sat on the Illinois side, but I cheered for both teams. I think I need to find a shirt that's half IU, half U of I.

08 October 2011

I love the 90s.

Maybe one day I'll be able to call myself a 1990s historian. Until then...
They're baaack! Gotta love the Halloween Chicken McNuggets. They bring back so many memories of Happy Meals.
Lately, my History Department friends and I have started to watch the awesomely bad 90's WB show, Felicity. So basically, Felicity is this over-achiever who's been set to be pre-med at Stanford her entire life, but on her graduation day she talks to this guy she has a crush on and decides to follow him to school in New York. Ridiculous, I know. But literally anything that could happen in college happens in this show. I won't tell you how many episodes we watched yesterday -- including this one that we attempted to watch outside.

05 October 2011

A la Rory Gilmore

When I was in high school I watched the show, Gilmore Girls. A lot. If you haven't seen it, were you living under a rock during the 2000s? It has some of the best screenwriting on TV. But anyway...the main character, Rory Gilmore, goes to college at Yale. Once there, she goes in search of her perfect study tree. She finally finds one that she likes only to find that someone is sitting at her tree the next day. I'm pretty sure that she paid him twenty bucks to move to a different tree.

I found my study tree. I don't go to Yale, but Indiana University is seriously one of the most beautiful college campuses I have ever seen. Especially now that the leaves are changing. My spot is by the Showalter Fountain. The tree is shady and beautiful and perfect to lean against. I should probably know what kind of tree it is, but I don't. But studying outside is wonderful. So please, please don't sit under my tree. I don't have 20 bucks to pay you off.

04 October 2011

Missing the Mouth...

I'm missing Monmouth College today.

I miss my short walk to Wallace Hall.
I miss classes in the Mary Crow Room.
I miss stopping in the Student Affairs Office.
I miss sitting in the same chair in the library everyday.
I miss Einstein Bros. coffee.
I miss knowing (almost) everyone's name.
I miss professors whose doors are always open.
I miss playing barefoot soccer on Wallace lawn.
I miss hiding in the Archives (I guess I still do that, but it's not the same).
I miss being able to eat in the cafeteria -- I can't believe I just said that.
I miss being an RA.
And most of all...I miss the people.

02 October 2011

autumn = love.

Pumpkin Delights signal the official arrival of autumn. Forget the changing leaves and cooler temperatures, it's all about the pumpkin!
Another autumn activity. My first Big 10 football game. Of course, I would take a picture of the marching band instead of the actual football game.