30 April 2012

Did y'all catch Meet the Press yesterday?

I know I usually talk about movies on Monday (and I watched a couple pretty good ones, Like Crazy and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I recommend them both), but I need get something off my chest.
Watch this and try not to get angry.
First of all, let me just say that Alex Castellanos is just flat out rude.  It doesn't matter what your politics are -- have some respect, man.  His incessant interruptions of Rachel Maddow and face-making in the background on Meet the Press yesterday were ridiculous.  So the roundtable was discussing this so-called "War on Women."  I'm not a fan with the phrase they've coined, but I'll deal.  Maddow started to talk about the wage disparity between men and women.  Castellanos, as you can see, adamantly and rudely disagrees.  The problem here is that Republicans and Democrats are working with two different sets of facts.  Two different perceived realities.  This is the reason behind why so many people are fed of with Washington.  This is why people think our political system is broken.   And Castellanos is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with Washington today.

""I love how passionate you are. I wish you were as right about what you're saying as you are passionate about it. I really do."

Unbelievable.  Who says something like that on national TV?  So condescending.  The woman has a PhD for crying out loud.  That's more than he can say.  I don't know how Rachel kept it together, but more power to you, sister!  At least someone out there is taking a stand!

27 April 2012

fill in the blank friday

1.   I am currently obsessed with       ummm...Lyndon Johnson (more than usual).  Vinyl.  Vintage maps.  Watching TV instead of writing.  Ginger ale.  .

2.  Today I am    excited     because,    I survived my first year of graduate school!  All I have left is a history paper (a super boring lit review of 20th century immigration policy/legal history.  Yawnsville, I know, but it will help me with my thesis next spring). and a take-home final for my cataloging class.  And the Archives crew is celebrating the end of the semester at Nick's tonight!  .

3.  The age I am is    23     and the age I feel is    depends on the day.  Sometimes I feel like an old lady -- my knees hurt when I get up in the morning now.  I'd rather stay in on Friday night.  I get up at 6:30 am no matter what day it is.  I'm in library school...'nuff said.  And then other days I feel like a child.  Graduate school is infantilizing in a way.  Like we are prolonging becoming "real" adults or something   .

4.  My favorite place is     1. My grandparents' house.  2.  A certain table on the second floor of Hewes Library at Monmouth College.  It's right in line with the shelf that houses the beautiful green volumes of LBJ's Presidential Papers.  Next to window that faces the quad.  I miss it .

5.  Something I have been procrastinating is     working on that blasted history paper.  It's due on Wednesday.  I have time.  It's started.  I have an outline.  Yeah, just keep telling yourself that, Grebner  .

6.  The last thing I purchased was         I paid to have blood work done yesterday -- does that count?  .

7.  The thing I love most about my home is       in this sense I'm going to write about Illinois as my home.  Mainly because I miss it.  And I can't wait to be back for a few days next week.  I love the fields.  Especially soybean fields in the summer -- rolling out like a beautiful green carpet.   .

Hope your weekend is filled with loveliness!


26 April 2012

At the half-way point (well, sort of)

It's the last week of classes!  I've been reveling in the fact that every time I went to a class this week, it is for the last time!  This first year of graduate school has gone by so quickly and I have learned so much.  So on this last day of the spring semester, I want to pause and reflect on all those lessons and newfound knowledge...that might not be so academic.

Grad school is brutal.  Seriously.  It's a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I'm not exactly sure what I expected, but navigating two different masters programs is a difficult task.  But sometimes, like today, you transported back to the good old days.  I'm talking pre-school here.  Yep, today in my cataloging class we had to draw with crayons.  Graduate school at its finest!

Coffee is the best thing ever.  I honestly don't know what I would do without it.  Die maybe?

Online TV is pretty great too.  I find that I watch more TV now than I ever did.

Perfection is over-rated.  It's better just to be humble, have as much fun as possible, and enjoy life.

Butterfingers can be eaten for breakfast.  On occasion.  Like today.

I must find a husband who will let me name our child after Lyndon Johnson.  Baines, that is.  I definitely don't think this guy is at IU, but he's out there somewhere!  My graduate programs here are an inch away from being an all-girls school.

I don't know if I'll ever read a book for fun again.  My leisure reading list is a mile long.  Currently, Rachel Maddow's Drift is at the top of the list.   I think she's brilliant.  And hilarious.

Looking back on the past year, I have struggled.  I've questioned my merits as an historian/archivist/librarian.  I've wondered if I'm doing the right thing.  I've cried.  I've laughed until I cried.  I've made incredible friends that I couldn't live without.  I've read more books and wrote more papers than ever before.  I've worked some with fascinating Congressional papers.  And now I can say that I made it through my first year (once I get that final paper turned in next week, of course!).  One more year to go!

24 April 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day: Sounds Like Spring to Me

I think I've been listening to this song non-stop for the past two days.  There's just something about the beat that sounds like spring to me.  Something happy and free.  In my head I'm picturing someone riding their bike across a college campus filled with flowering trees (Although this person is definitely not me because I would surely kill myself if I tried to bike around IU). Students are lounging in the grass between classes.  People are wearing shorts and sandals -- or in my case, no shoes at all.  Enough daydreaming, Grebner.  It's back to work for me so I can be enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of spring by the end of next week!

23 April 2012

No Movies, But I Think I Have a Problem...

I am seriously addicted to The Mentalist.  As if I need another crime show to watch.  Part of me is also a little worried that I'm so drawn to crime. What does this say about me? First, it was the Boxcar Children -- they solved crimes, right?  Then it was Nancy Drew.  Harriet the Spy.  Sherlock Holmes.  Bones.  Castle.  Now The Mentalist.  I'm still holding out on Law & Order -- although I'm sure I'll give in eventually.  I finished up the first season this weekend and started on the second.  I've found that I watch way more TV in grad school than I ever did as an undergrad or in high school.  And it's funny because I don't have cable -- or any channels at all.  

And I'm also slightly obsessed with Simon Baker right now.  There's nothing better than an Australian surfer in a three piece suit drinking tea.   I'm not gonna lie, I have a picture of him from a magazine on my closet door.  Yes, I think I might be thirteen again.

Hopefully, I can cut back on my addiction (but let's be serious, I'm not talking cold turkey here) and get some work done this week!  Just three more days of class and then it's final paper time!

20 April 2012

fill in the blank friday

1.  Today is a great day because,   I can stay home all day and get some reading done.  In fact, I may just read in bed all day.  20th century immigration policy is such a page turner!   .

2.   Tomorrow I will    be driving to Tuscola, Illinois to hang out in Amish country with my family for the day.   .

3.  My favorite time of day is     the morning       because     I love when the sun comes up and birds start chirping.  Everything seems clean and new.  And I get to have coffee and cereal.  We all know that I'm generally a fan of breakfast  .

4. Sometimes you just have to    .throw caution to the wind and do what you want to do for awhile.  Forget the to-do list for an hour or so.  Go get coffee with a friend in the afternoon instead of doing reading.  Take a break from studying to go get ice cream.  P.S.  The peach softserve from Jiffy Treet totally made my night last night.

5. A song that I just can't get enough of lately is   " "That Moon Song" by Gregory Alan Isakov.  Actually, anything by Isakov is great.  Hauntingly beautiful folk music.  Check it out if you're into that kind of thing.  I know I'm definitely going to pick up his album the next time I have any cash!

6. My favorite accessory is    my watch -- I'm not sure what this says about me and my obsession with time, but it's true.  It's white and pretty awesome.  It also looks expensive from far away, but in reality it was like 15 bucks at Charming Charlie.  .

6. My favorite thing about this week was    turning in my last assignment for my Collection Development and Management class.  I'm officially done with that one!  Or being done with my cataloging presentation on biases in the Library of Congress Subject Headings -- are you asleep yet?  In short, my favorite thing about this week was knowing that I'm almost done with my first year of grad school! .

Hope you have a lovely weekend!


19 April 2012

Thursday = Nerd Day: Peanuts Style

Oh Charlie Brown! More like an endless string of 15-20 page papers.
It's that time of the semester!  2 papers and a final and I'm done with my first year of graduate school!  Time flies when you're having -- wait -- time flies when your brain is in a constant state of mush.  Brutal.

18 April 2012

The End of an Era in Women's Basketball

Today, legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt stepped down after 38 seasons and 8 championships with the University of Tennessee Lady Vols.  Not to mention her record-breaking (for the men's and women's game) 1,098 wins.  Her decision to step down comes after her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's.  Technically, she is still staying on with the program as a "Coach Emeritus" and will mentor players as much as she's able.

This woman made the women's game what it is.  Without Coach Summitt, I probably wouldn't have played basketball. In a way, I feel like Pat Summitt was every girl's coach. I grew up dreaming of playing for the Lady Vols.  I would pretend I was on her team as I shot around on the driveway every day of the summer.  I hung on every word she said in an interview.  She was tough on her players and I admired that.  Without ever meeting her, she made me a better basketball player.  I remember visiting Knoxville when I was in high school. The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame too.  There was something about the energy there, and being in the same place as so many of the greats of women's basketball.

The women's game changed today.  And I kind of wish I had that gaudy orange Lady Vols t-shirt here at IU with me right now so I could put it on and ball it up in the parking lot -- pretending Coach Summitt was watching -- just like the good old days.

For more on Coach Summitt check out this Washington Post article.

17 April 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day: Scots Style

What else would I be listening to on Monmouth College's Founders Day?  I definitely missed hearing the bagpipes at 6 am this morning! Who am I kidding?  I miss hearing the bagpipes everyday! Scots Day is probably the best day of the year at Monmouth College -- and so today as I sat through a day of work and an evening of class, I was a little more Monmouth-sick than usual.  Although here's one thing I didn't miss about Scots Eve/Scots Day:  being the RA on duty in Founders Village!  

16 April 2012

Another No Movie Monday

This weekend was a busy one.  Well...not really.  I usually have Fridays off, but I had to go into the Archives to make up some hours I missed at the beginning of the week.  There's nothing better than spending your Friday sorting legislative mail to the Senate Finance Committee.  Or not.  But anyway, Fridays are usually my homework day, so needless to say, I had a lot to catch up on Saturday and Sunday.  I have two papers/projects due this week, plus a presentation.  Yikes!  It really is that time of the semester.  So what was my study break this weekend you ask?  

This guy right here.  Simon Baker.  He's the star of the TV series The Mentalist.  My sister and grandma got me hooked on it over the Easter weekend.  I'll admit, it didn't take much to get me hooked...I mean look at the guy.  And it's a crime procedural.  I was pretty much sold.  In the show, he's a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation (which I am sure is not a real thing, but maybe it is).  In his past, he pretended to be a psychic.  In reality, I think he is probably just really good at deduction.  He's kind of like a quirky, contemporary, U.S. version of Sherlock Holmes (although Simon Baker is actually Australian).  After much searching -- yep, I'm putting those library skills to good use -- I found the series online.  And the rest is history!

So...after typing all this out I just realized that I actually went to the movies this weekend.  Like to the actual theater!  Wow, I think I need a vacation.  But I saw Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.  Great movie -- you can't really go wrong with Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. Seriously check it out if you get the chance!

13 April 2012

fill in the blank friday.

1.  Today is a good day because   I'm making up some hours that I missed in the Archives and making some hard earned cash!   .

2.   The best thing I did all week was    ummm...staying in IL for an extra half a day on Monday.  Definitely.   .

3.  The current weather is     sunny       and it makes me feel     happy  .

4. The best thing about spring is    the colors.  I've been getting into green lately.  And the flowers!  The lilacs were blooming while I was at home.  And there's just something in the air in spring .

5. A fashion trend that I'm dying to try out for spring is   Like I said, I'm into the color green this year.

6. A person who made me smile this week was   my coworkers in the Archives yesterday.  I don't think I've ever had so much fun at work.  We were definitely having a party!   .

7.  The most delicious thing I ate all week was   don't judge me, but I went through the drive thru for a chicken biscuit this morning.  I had to drop off a friend to catch the shuttle at 6 am, so I thought I would reward myself for waking up during the 5 am hour!   .

Hope you have a lovely weekend!


05 April 2012

Thursday = Nerd Day

Yep, so true.  I owe my grasp of grammar to Mrs. Wagoner.  3rd-5th grade would not have been the same without her.  Every one has a teacher who helps to mold them into the person they are today.  She is one of those people.  Not only would she not even acknowledge your presence if you asked a question  containing a grammatical error, but she taught us to be good writers.  Having her for English for three years during primary school gave me the confidence I needed to succeed as I grew older.  I knew I was a  strong writer and I have carried that with me ever since.  And she taught me some mad typing skills too.  I don't know how many times I typed "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog."  I still remember it, so probably a lot.  Her class is proof that advanced placement/gifted programs at the elementary level truly do make an impact on students.  Without her, I wouldn't be winning debates by default...and so many other things.

04 April 2012

Girl Can Ball

I don't care what you say.  Baylor's Brittney Griner can flat out ball.  The 6'8" junior has had to endure a lot.  Just Google her name -- you'll see what I mean.  People say she's a man.  They say she's a lesbian.  Let me go on the record and say that this makes me so angry!  She didn't choose to be 6'8".  She didn't choose her body.  The girl probably can't even find clothes that fit her.  She defies traditional beauty and what it means to be feminine.  She has taken this criticism (and maybe even hate) with grace and a quiet confidence.  The girl has sick post moves.  It takes a triple team to stop her -- and even that doesn't work most of the time.  She's a game changer whether she's scoring points or not.  Just her presence on the court affects the opposing team's game plan.
And tonight, she lived up to all the media hype.  26 points.  13 rebounds.  And finally a national championship for the Baylor Lady Bears.  Their motto all season was "Unfinished Business."  It's finished now, Brittney. First team in NCAA history to go 40-0.  Keep dunking like a girl!

03 April 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day: Back to My Country Roots

The weather is getting warmer.  Less than a month left of the spring semester.  I can almost taste summer.  And for me, that means one thing...it's time to turn up the country music.  There's just something about summer that takes me back to my roots.  I was raised on country.  I spent my high school days driving past cornfields with the windows down and 97.3 turned way up on my way home from basketball or band.  I don't listen to country that often anymore, but when the weather gets warm I definitely go through a phase.  And this song pretty much sums it up.  I can't wait for some barefoot blue jean nights!

02 April 2012

Movie Monday: Confessions of a Political Junkie

Allow me to offer my sincerest apologies to those of you who expected a post about The Hunger Games movie.  While I did go see it in the theater this week with a great group of friends (and truly enjoyed it), The Ides of March will be the subject for the next paragraph or so.  I didn't get around to watching it on 15 March, so the last day of the month had to do.  I was enthralled with this movie.  And not just with Ryan Gosling and George Clooney.  Based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon, The Ides of March is everything political junkies like me love:  genius strategy, lust for power, the effects of hubris, backstabbing, scandal.  It's like a chess match -- and the winner gets the presidency.  It gives a great insight into the darker, behind the scenes life of politics.  

If you're like me and have campaign buttons on your fridge or you follow Hillary Clinton on Twitter or you check 5 different news sites multiple times a day to keep up with what's going on in Washington...this is the movie for you.

01 April 2012

Weekend Update: Pint-Sized Historians and My First Sunburn of the Season

I've discovered that southern Indiana is actually a beautiful, beautiful place.

When I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder rumbling off in the distance somewhere in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, I had no idea that I get my first sunburn of the year.  I woke up early.  6:30 am.  On a Sunday.  And I did it to watch a soccer match.  Online.  Am I crazy?  Probably.  But nothing could keep me away from watching the U.S. Women's National Team take on Japan.  The U.S. didn't play very well, but they eked out a 1-1 draw.  One day, I swear I'll have cable so I can watch games on TV.  And hopefully, one day (and hopefully that day will be in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London), the USWNT will beat Japan.

How on earth did I wake up at 6 am every day this weekend?!  Yesterday I judged the Southern Regional National History Day Competition in Nashville, Indiana.  I evaluated exhibits from middle school students.  It was a great experience to ask them questions and see how they are able to use primary sources and complete some pretty impressive research projects on the Manhattan Project, Florence Nightingale, the history of fast food, and the Stolen Generation of Australia to name a few.

But back this whole sunburn thing.  This morning it rained.  And it rained.  And it rained some more.  So I stayed in bed and pulled the covers over my head and enjoyed the cool 50-degree morning.  I drank a cup of coffee and listened to the rain through my open window.  This morning I realized that the sound of rain on a roof or running out of a downspout might be one of my favorite sounds. Then I remembered that I was supposed to go on a hike this afternoon with a friend (and her dog!).  Luckily, it cleared up just in time.  And boy did it!  By 3:30 it was 80+ degrees with not a cloud in the sky.  So we took Clear Creek Trail for a two hour hike.  It was definitely a great study break.

After a productive weekend, it's time to kick back and watch the NCAA Women's Final Four!