31 January 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day {Kathleen Edwards}

I don't know what I would do without music at work. Yep, I'm the kid processing archival collections with earbuds in. Maybe it's anti-social, but I'm getting my masters in Library Science. Let's be serious, we're more wallflower than social butterfly. And there's just something about music that makes time pass more quickly and my productivity level go up. So what's new on the iPod this week?

Kathleen Edwards' new album "Voyageur." She's not a new artist, but this album is. I'd never heard of her, but I'm lucky to live in a city with an outstanding independent radio station. And then I read about her on NPR. Anyway, the album is incredible. Click on the links to a couple of my favorite songs:

Chameleon Comedian (my favorite)

30 January 2012

Two Movie Monday {The Artist and Midnight in Paris}

This weekend I watched two incredible movies. On Saturday morning(yes, morning) we went to see The Artist. I'll admit, I was a little skeptical about going to see a silent film. But I was completely and utterly blown away. Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo magnificently capture the beauty of the bygone era of 1920s Hollywood. It's a silent film about a silent film star on his way out. So smart. And the dog, can I talk about Uggie for a minute? What a dog! He totally steals the show! He should seriously be nominated for an Oscar. And the score is incredible -- but could you really expect anything less from a silent film?

Then Saturday night, I finally got the chance to watch Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. It's about dang time, right? Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, the always beautiful Marion Cotillard, and Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein -- does it get any better than that? There was something about this film that really resonated with me. I just understood Owen Wilson's character and his desire to go back to a different time. And Paris in the 1920s? Sign me up. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, a young (and dashing) Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Picasso. I've blogged about the Lost Generation before. And this film was perfect for the wanna-be expat inside me. It was definitely interesting to think about how know matter what time period you live in, you think of the "golden age" as being some bygone era. For Owen Wilson's character that time was the 20s and for Cotillards it was the 1890s. I don't know what my golden age would be -- I'm also a fan of the 1920s, but it would be hard to turn down living in the 1960s.

If you could live in any time period, what would you choose?

27 January 2012

fill in the blank friday

1. If my house was on fire and I could only grab 3 things I would grab my laptop, as many books as I could carry, and my campaign button collection .

2. A smell I really like is clean laundry, anything autumn-y, and apple crisp baking in the oven. Oh, and lilacs too! That might actually be my favorite. .

3. Something you might not know about me is that I hate to drive. I literally had a fear of driving until I was about 18. I'm a million times better, but I still prefer to be chauffeured .

4. Some of my favorite websites to putter about on are Pinterest. It's great for getting ideas! .

5. This weekend I will be trying to get a lot of homework done. Tons of reading for my history class/projects for library science. Hopefully going to the movies on Saturday. And super hopefully meeting up with one of my bestest Monmouth friends .

6. Nothing makes me happier than waking up in the middle of the night and realizing that I have a few more hours to sleep. I realize that's a totally lame answer, but I'm so exhausted from this week that sleep is about the only thing I can think about. .

7. A bad habit I have is well, it used to be leaving lights on. But I got over that one pretty fast when I started to pay the bills! So now, it would probably be that I am a seriously messy eater. You should see my place at the table when I'm done! .

Hope your weekend is filled with fun!


26 January 2012

This or That Thursday

Oranges or Apples? Apples -- Granny Smith to be specific.
Night or Day? Day -- there's something great about getting up and accomplishing things in the morning.
Plane or Train? Plane...I have a thing for airplanes/aviation. Although I probably travel more by train.
Ice cream or Cake? Ice cream -- definitely. I'm not a cake person.
Small town or City? To live -- small town.
NY or LA? New York -- I've never been to, nor do I plan to visit, Los Angeles.
Eyeliner or Mascara? Both (Although, I will admit that my sister just taught me how to put on eyeliner this year).
Hamburgers or Hotdogs? Hotdogs -- especially at the ball park.
Pen or Pencil? Pencil -- almost always. Unless I'm writing my grocery list on my hand.
Summer or Winter? Tough one -- I don't really like the extremes, but if I had to choose I would say summer -- I like running in the heat and getting a tan!

25 January 2012

Wednesday's Wonderings: Obama Style

If you know me at all, you probably know that I've had a love affair with the Obamas since high school. For real, you should have been there during the days of the I Heart Barack T-shirt.

So I'm pretty sure I figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Can I be Michelle Obama? I mean seriously, she is one classy First Lady. With a great fashion sense. Probably the best since Jackie Kennedy. Her dress last night at the State of the Union? And she's a real person. She eats at Five Guys and goes to Target. And how about dancing on Ellen? Her work with nutrition and eating local. Being a wife, a mother, she does it all!

And while I'm at it, can I play the POTUS in a game of one-on-one hoops? I could if I were Michelle Obama. But if I could meet Barack, that's what I would want to do. Forget talking politics, I want to ball. I think I could take him. Even if he is a lefty.

Or probably the most realistic of options -- can I work at the Obama Library/Museum some day? It has to be in Chicago, right? And it would open after I have enough job experience to get my foot in the door. I cannot think of a cooler job. It will definitely be on my radar in the future.

23 January 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day {Cover Me}

What's playing on my computer/iPod these days? Acoustic covers.
Right now, John Mayer's rendition of the Bruce Springsteen classic, "I'm on Fire," is at the top of the list. I could literally listen to this song (John's version as well as The Boss) all day. I'm also digging Bon Iver's "I Can't Make You Love Me" and James Vincent McMorrow's "Higher Love." Gotta love a new spin on classic songs! And I'm totally down with preserving the history of American popular music by taking us all back to a different time -- even if that time is just the 1980s/90s.

Movie Monday: Two Weeks Notice

OK, so I'm going to mix things up a bit. Mondays will now be my movie days. My favorites, what I've watched recently, etc. Brace yourselves. For someone who acts very busy with grad school/work, I somehow find a lot of time to watch movies.

This past weekend I made the journey home to IL to kick it with my family for the weekend. My mom, sister, and I have a very productive Saturday making Valentines and homemade pizza. Then to top it off, we watched one of our all-time favorite movies -- Two Weeks Notice. Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant, does it get much better than that? I'm a fan of pretty much everything Sandra Bullock does. From Miss Congeniality to The Blindside. Even The Lakehouse. And Hugh Grant? Excuse me while I wipe away the drool.

Anywho, Bullock plays a hippie lawyer who's trying to save the beloved community center in her NYC neighborhood. She lands a job working for Grant, a land developer who (initially) wants to tear down said community center. Grant is a playboy who can't do anything for himself and Bullock essentially is a glorified babysitter. She gets fed up and puts in her two weeks notice. But...of course...they fall in love. It wouldn't be a mindless romantic comedy without that.

This movie is one of my favorites because I could totally see myself lying down in front of a bulldozer (like Bullock's character does in the opening scenes) in an attempt to save a historical building. I hate it when old buildings with so much character are torn down. I literally hurt inside. On the other hand, this movie is hilarious. Nothing beats a little office humor!

20 January 2012

fill in the blank friday

1. The best day ever was when I got to skip school in the 2nd grade to go see a Chicago Bulls game for my birthday .

2. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast because it has the best food. So many choices -- scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, omelets, cereal, English muffins, grits (I could really go for some grits right now), oatmeal, juice, milk, coffee. Does it get any better than that? .

3. This weekend will be relaxing. I'm back home in the IL for a couple days. Hopefully, it will be productive as well. I have a lot of history reading to get done .

4. Never in my life have I smoked a cigarette. I can't stand the smell of smoke. Just the other day, I had to move away from smokers at the bus stop. The smell of cigars and pipes, on the other hand, is a completely completely different story. Those, I can deal with. Plus, pipes just seem so classy. Very Victorian detective. .

5. The only thing better than breakfast is breakfast in bed? .

6. I could really do with some breakfast for dinner aka brinner. Can you tell I'm hungry? Or maybe I'm just so excited that I'm going to DC over spring break and Nora, Kristen, and I will take part in our 3rd Annual Pancakes and Dr. Pepper dinner -- complete with British accents (don't ask me why. I know, we're strange). .

7. The most recent thing I bought myself was Half a gallon of milk -- for 69 cents(!!!) If you know anything about the volume of my milk consumption, you know how exciting this was to me. No, but seriously, it was a flannel shirt from Eddie Bauer -- go figure that one. .

Happy weekend!


17 January 2012

Don't You Just Hate That?

Today, it was raining cats and dogs when I left to catch a bus to the Archives. So I decided to wear my bright yellow rain boots to work. But...as much as I love the color yellow, I didn't want to wear them all day so I brought another pair of shoes in a grocery bag. Upon my arrival, I proceeded to change my shoes and put my bright yellow boots in the grocery bag. I carried that bag up to the Archives, downstairs after work, across campus to pick up my language proficiency exam and some mail from the History Department, back to the library, to dinner, and finally to class. And that's where I left them. For all I know, they are still sitting there. Or they could be in the garbage. Or they could be on someone's (size 10. yeah, yeah, my feet are disproportionately large) feet. Don't you just hate it when you do something like that? Here are some other things that I don't like.

1. Ketchup. Seriously -- gross. Don't even bring it near me.
2. When I read the same sentence of a book or article about a million times. This happens more often than I would like to admit.
3. When I have all vowels in Scrabble/Words With Friends. This is the current state of one my my Words With Friends Games -- so frustrating!
4. Celery. It has no taste, yet its texture is so unnerving.
5. Watching people embarrass themselves. I might have the worst case of secondhand embarrassment known to man. If you're asking a stupid question, I'm that person slumping down in her chair, covering her face that is turning a deep shade of red. It even happens when I'm watching TV. For example, Steve Carrell's character, Michael Scott, on The Office might make me more uncomfortable than any real human being.

16 January 2012

Meryl Streep Monday

Okay, I'll admit it. I really didn't know that much about Margaret Thatcher when I went to see The Iron Lady yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I probably like British history more than the average person, but give me Washington, D.C. and LBJ any day. Out of habit, I generally see just about every historical bio-flick that comes out in theaters. And this movie definitely didn't disappoint. Meryl Streep gives the performance of a lifetime (and that's saying something for her since everything she does is absolutely). I love everything she does. She might be the most versatile actor of all time. I mean, who can go from Out of Africa to Mamma Mia to Julie and Julia? She completely disappears into the character in a way that I have never seen before. You completely forget that it is Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher. The only word to describe it is flawless. Her Golden Globe win last night was definitely deserved. Someone give this woman another Oscar!

I was ready to share this movie with you even before I found out the greatest part of all. Are you ready for this? Hold on to your hats. She donated her entire salary from the film to the National Women's History Museum. Can it get any better than that? I might be biased, but I don't think so. What an incredible actor and an even more incredible person. Pretty darn cool, if I don't say so myself.

13 January 2012

fill in the blank friday

1. The last thing I ate was Banana Nut Cheerios (awesome) and a cup of Dunkin' Donuts french vanilla coffee (even more awesome) .

2. The last song I listened to was "We Are Young" by Fun .

3. Using the letters in my name I can spell {Hope}... hop hoe ho he...I don't have a lot to work with .

4. If I had to dress in one color for the rest of my life I would pick wow, that's a hard one. Considering jeans are blue, I'd probably have to go with blue. And there are a lot of shades to choose from. I wish I could say yellow or red, but jeans in those colors would not be a good fashion choice .

5. If you were to look in my bag right now you'd find books, notebooks, pencils, pens, my Kindle, etc. .

6. When I finish filling in the blanks I'm going to get ready to go take a Spanish exam and do research at the Lilly Library .

7. My all time favorite song to dance to is On Just Dance 3? California Girls by Katy Perry -- I finally beat my mom's score! .

Happy weekend!


10 January 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day {Nerd Alert}

Ok, I'll admit it -- I read the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins over Christmas break. All in the name of cultural literacy. I am in library school after all, and hence, I should be knowledgeable about such things. And they were cheap to download onto my new Kindle (that's another story...I caved in on that one too). But I loved them! Seriously. I could not put them down. I'm always up for a post-apocalyptic United States story, but I was impressed. The writing style left a little to be desired, but hey, what can you expect from a book geared for 12 year olds? After reading the books, I am psyched for the first movie to come out. It's probably comparable to the way other people feel about Harry Potter, or God forbid, Twilight. To top it all off, my favorite music group, The Civil Wars, cut a new track for the soundtrack.

07 January 2012

First 2012 Fill in the Blank Friday

1. One of my favorite things to do when I have free time is read something I actually want to read .

2. When I have free time I tend to spend it doing completely mindless things. Like watching TV or movies .

3. If I had an entire day completely to myself I would wake up whenever I wanted, read for a couple of hours in bed, get up and make some pancakes for brunch, watch some horrible TV, maybe go for a run in the afternoon, take the longest, hottest shower possible, meet up with friends for dinner somewhere we could sit outside (preferably with good beer and a bluegrass band), then go home to watch a movie and fall asleep reading .

4. I would prefer to spend my free time (alone or with others...) with both. I definitely need time to myself. It doesn't bother me at all to be alone -- I usually can keep myself busy. But I love spending time with my family and friends. .

5. Most of my free time happens Fridays/Saturdays. I don't have class on Friday, so I can usually sleep in and work in some me time. .

6. The best thing about free time is that you can do whatever you want! .

7. The next time I have free time I should probably study for my Spanish language exam but instead, I'll probably lay around and watch TV/movies .