30 November 2011

Wednesday's Wonderings

Why am I homesick now? You're in graduate school, Grebner. Buck up. That's what I keep telling myself. But seriously, ever since I got back to IU after Thanksgiving break, I have seriously been pining for home. Worse than ever. Worse than I was during my semester in Washington, D.C. Quite possibly worse than my first semester of undergrad. Maybe it's because I just spent nine wonderfully lazy days at home. Maybe it's because I got to spend time with old friends. Here's what I do know -- 14 days until Christmas break!

How had I never seen this website before? My Daguerreotype Boyfriend. Do yourself a favor and click that link. I often think I was born in the wrong time period...and now I know that I was! But in perusing the not so eligible bachelors last night, I am left wondering why all the ones that I found attractive were convicts, criminals, or cowboys (minus young Hemingway, of course). Hmmm... I must have a thing for 19th century bad boys.

What ever happened to Amelia Earhart? No seriously. Where did she go? I mean, I have my theories. 1. She didn't want to be found and lived happily ever after on a deserted island with Fred Noonan. Clearly her marriage wasn't a happy one. 2. She landed the plane on the water (which she was trained to do) before realizing that that particular patch of the Pacific was shark infested and she was attacked. 3. It was a government conspiracy. Come on Navy, you forgot to charge your radio equipment? I don't think so.

28 November 2011

Music Monday

What's playing in the apartment on this cold and rainy Monday, you ask? (You probably didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway).

A Very She & Him Christmas, that's what! I'm not usually a big fan of Christmas music, but I absolutely adore this duo. Their sound is so unique. They came out with a Christmas album earlier this year and my sister and I have been listening to it since Thanksgiving. This cover of the Beach Boys is my favorite.

25 November 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday: Thanksgiving Style

1. Waking up at the break of dawn to go shopping is my idea of torture. I'm not a big fan of shopping (at any time of day). And I hate large crowds of people. Scratch that. I loathe large crowds. Agoraphobia might be my only rational fear...besides being deathly afraid of fire (I'm also afraid of being convicted of a crime I didn't commit and I'm slowly overcoming a fear of gas stations...completely irrational/ridiculous) .

2. If I were to go shopping today I would be on the hunt for hmmm...I honestly can't think of anything. My parents need a new DVD player, so maybe that. I'm serious, this thing has to be one of the very first ever made. I'm talking prototype .

3. The best thing I ate yesterday was Mashed potatoes (my all-time fave). No, stuffing. No, pumpkin pie. No, mashed potatoes. No, pumpkin pie. I love Thanksgiving food! .

4. Something I've been learning lately is that I don't have to be such a perfectionist all the time. In fact, I'm learning that I can't be perfect...the hard way. And that it's okay to let friendships go when they've run their course .

5. I cannot start my day without cereal (without milk) and a cup of coffee. And some time to myself .

6. My nighttime attire consists of Usually? Basketball shorts and a t-shirt. Seriously, never waste your money buying me pajamas. If it's really cold then I'll wear pajama pants...but never, ever socks. Yuck.

7. I am looking forward to finishing up the semester, hopefully making a trip to Chicago to spend some time with one of my dearest friends (fingers crossed for that Blackhawks game!), and coming home for Christmas break.

18 November 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. A nervous habit I have is biting my nails or playing with my hair .

2. Something that makes me sad is that people tear down historical buildings. Like the Times Building in Pekin, Illinois. Check it out. Word on the street is that it's going to be a parking lot now. Sad, just sad .

3. Today I am thankful for not hitting the deer that crossed my path last night. It was definitely a close call and he was probably the largest buck I have ever seen. And for finishing my draft of my syllabus. And for going home this afternoon. I can't wait to see my family and friends..

4. My favorite room in my house is my bedroom (in my apartment) and our library (at my parents' house).

5. I can't stand poor grammar and people who drive under the speed limit .

6. If I had an extra $100 to spend on whatever I wanted today I would more than likely buy a couple sweaters. Gotta keep those cardigans fresh. Especially now that I'm in library school -- it's like our uniform or something.

7. The last person I hung out with was Ayelet...reading syllabi for our workshop and eating ice cream. Exciting night. .

16 November 2011

Wednesday's Wonderings

This isn't really a wondering, but I have developed an even greater appreciation for college professors. I am currently working on a syllabus for my 19th Century U.S. History Colloquium. And it is seriously giving me fits. Creating syllabi is hard work! I think it's something that we take for granted as students, but boy, do I appreciate it now! My imaginary class is "Biography and the Nineteenth Century United States." (If you have a snappy title, let me know!) This semester I read Jill Lepore's article, "Historians Who Love to Much," which basically asks if biographers get too close to their subjects. I am intrigued by the fact that biography seems to be considered "less academic" than other approaches to history. So in my course, my imaginary class will have to grapple with questions like, "What can we learn from studying the life of an individual?" and "What role does an individual have in history?"

Should I go on a caffeine detox over Thanksgiving break? I leave for break on Friday and then I think I'm going to try not to drink anything caffeinated for a week. Or at least significantly cut back on my consumption. I've been feeling pretty jittery lately so I think I need to catch up on sleep and detox over Thanksgiving break. Only decaf coffee for me (I can't believe I just said that)!

Will the movie J. Edgar be any good? Or should I go see The Muppets instead? While I'm home, I'm planning to go see the movie J. Edgar. I'm generally suspicious of bio-flicks, but I'm extra suspicious of this one. I don't know if it's because Leo DiCaprio is playing Hoover, or what. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm in graduate school and being here ruins your ability to just sit back and enjoy a film. Instead, I'll be constantly analyzing its inaccuracies and bias. Maybe I should go see The Muppets instead. You can't really go wrong. Our pep band used to play the theme song. And I loved Muppet Babies growing up. And now the song is stuck in my head...

Why do we say "an" historian? I mean, we don't say "an human," do we? It's not like "hour" or "honor" -- we all clearly pronounce the H. At least I've never heard anyone say 'istorian. Are we trying to sound more intellectual? Because I just think it makes the English language sound weird and like we don't know how to follow our own rules.

11 November 2011

fill in the blank friday

1. My favorite new blog of the moment is re-nest.com...it isn't new, but I love it.

2. Something I am thankful for is the men and women who have served in the armed forces (since it is Veterans Day, after all) and for my wonderful family and friends, of course .

3. Something that made me laugh this week was a conversation about the sexiness of one Ernest Hemingway .

4. An item that is currently on my wish list is a Kindle. I can't believe it. I've been resisting, but now I'm finally giving in to the pressure. If it will help me save money on textbooks, I'm all for it! .

5. I am excited about our Saturday outlet mall shopping trip. And only having a week of class until Thanksgiving break! Thanksgiving is seriously my favorite holiday.

6. If I were a color I would be gray. And I don't mean it in a depressing way. There really isn't black and white when it comes to me. I've been told that I'm hard to figure out .

7. My favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is by grabbing coffee and chatting with a friend or curling up in a blanket with a good book or going for a run in the cool air .

09 November 2011

Wednesday's Wonderings

Just a few things I've been thinking about this week:

Why is everything pumpkin flavored so delicious? I think I like it all. Coffee, pancakes, cookies, pie, the works. On my drive back to Indiana on Sunday afternoon, I stopped for a pumpkin spice cappuccino instead of stopping for dinner. That's how bad my addiction really is. That and I'm thinking of stocking up on pumpkin spice coffee like it's the apocalypse.

Along those same lines...can I just get an IV drip of caffeine for the next 1.5 years of my life? My caffeine consumption has increased exponentially since starting graduate school. If I don't have at least two cups of coffee and two Diet Cokes during a day, things might get ugly. I'm an addict...I'll admit it. Caffeine is a serious drug...

Here's something I've been thinking about since Saturday afternoon when I saw the stage adaptation of Mary Poppins at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago. At the end of the show, Mary and her magic umbrella fly out into the crowd at the end of the show. She just kept going up and up...until...she was gone! Where did Mary Poppins go when she flew into the crowd on Saturday? Yeah, yeah, I know -- she's magic.

What is this commercial? I happened to see it the other day and I'm appalled. Is our society moving backwards? Because this advertisement is a huge step in the wrong direction. Unbelievable.

And finally...what do I want for Christmas? My mom asked me this afternoon, and I have literally no idea. I really can't think of a single thing. This is, in part, probably because I usually ask for books for Christmas and the absolute last thing I want to do right now is read anymore books. I tried to read a book for fun last month and it just wasn't happening. It's like I have forgotten how. Now I'm searching the web in hopes of starting that list!

08 November 2011

No Hot Water, No Best Friend

I don't want this to turn into a rant. But it very well may do just that. Just a warning.

I came home to an apartment without hot water. In our bathroom at least. It's a long story. No big deal, I thought, I used to take ice baths for basketball all the time. Wrong. An ice shower is worse. I'm literally surprised snow wasn't coming out of the faucet. With blue lips, I had to make a pot of coffee to aid in the recovery process.

Then I sit down to my computer to read an email that says someone doesn't want to be friends with me anymore. I didn't really know that was something friends did...break up with you. In my experience friendships just kind of fade away gradually. I've never had one that has ended so abruptly. And the sad thing is, it's really only ended on one side. Because I will always be there for this person. No matter what. But, I guess some friendships run their course. Some people come into our lives for a season. I really wish this wasn't the case...

Here's to a better Tuesday!

06 November 2011

Sunday {Paper Writing} Soundtrack

This week I read Charles Postel's Bancroft Prize-winning book, The Populist Vision. So today when it came time to start writing my paper, John Mellencamp's Rain on the Scarecrow, a song he wrote for Farm Aid back in the 1980s, is on repeat. Reading Postel's book this week, I felt a special connection to the Populists. To a certain extent, I can understand what they were going through. I received a rural public school education. We didn't have the classes that most schools do, but we got by. And I'm proud of what I've accomplished with that education as my base. I've played in the irrigation that sprayed across the road like it was a sprinkler. I love the smell of corn in the field on a hot summer day. I've seen farmland sold off and zoned commercial.

I first came into contact with Populism in American History with Mrs. Green during my junior year of high school. It was all William Jennings Bryan and his Cross of Gold back then. As an undergraduate I got a little more of the picture. Then as I studied Lyndon Johnson (I miss researching him, by the way) I learned that his father and grandfather were Populists. So now after reading Postel's book, so much more makes sense. I love it when I can make connections like this.

04 November 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. My favorite thing about this week was/is so many things, including but not limited to: bagels, kugel, and Felicity night in lieu of our cancelled history class, Burger Wednesday and Madeleine Albright, and coming home.

2. Colder weather makes me excited. I love wearing jackets and scarves. And I would rather be cold than hot any day.

3. Three things that make me terribly happy as of late are my wonderful IU friends, being in Illinois for the weekend,and the fact that Thanksgiving is only three weeks away (it's my favorite holiday!).

4. If I could only wear one kind of shoe for the rest of my life, I'd choose I would rather not wear any. But if I had to choose, either my TOMS or Sperrys.

5. My personality type is INFJ. I definitely need my alone time. And call me irrational, but I put way more stock in feeling than I do in thinking. I also can't stand a mess, being disorganized, or sleeping in.

6. I have a serious problem resisting coffee or ice cream or men with scruffy beards/wearing suits.

7. My favorite color to wear is yellow. Or orange. Or red. Or brown. I'm definitely an autumn.

02 November 2011

Wednesday's Wonderings

Why do I keep having dreams about teaching high school history? My Billy Joel, "We Didn't Start the Fire" assignment would be pretty awesome though. In undergrad, I started out as a secondary education major. That lasted all of two semesters. I thought I was too hardcore. I thought I'd go to law school instead. Obviously I didn't do that. Now here I am, getting a masters in history and another in library science. And what am I doing in my free time? Googling Teach for America, that's what.

Can Madeleine Albright please be my grandmother? Okay, so I have two wonderful grandmother's already, but I would totally take her too. I heard her speak on campus this evening and I was in awe of her for the entire hour. Only six rows separated me from the first female Secretary of State. She was surprising candid. And surprisingly funny. She is a strong woman who has a great life story to tell.