26 June 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day/Quote of the Weekend

Quote of the weekend: "The clothes in style right now look like what my Barbies wore when I was a kid."  Yep, I said that while shopping with my sister and mom on Saturday.  I was a child of the 90s.  And yes, contrary to popular belief, I played with Barbies.  Okay, so maybe I just set up their house and picked out their clothes before I got too bored and played with Hotwheels or went outside to play basketball, but still.  Lots and lots of neon.  Lots of tribal print.  So in honor of  the best decade ever, here's something that's been spinning on my iTunes as of late.  A little UB40, circa 1993 (the year my life changed forever and I was no longer an only child).

I've been getting back into reggae lately too.  Not that UB40 is reggae -- unless you like a completely sanitized and watered down version.  But it just sounds like summer, and it reminds me of the music that played on the streets of Grenada.  Oh, if only...

25 June 2012

Movie Monday: To the Drive-In!

On Saturday night, my sister and I made our first ever trip to a drive-in theater! 
We drove just outside Bloomington, Indiana to the Starlite Drive-In to see the new Disney/Pixar movie, Brave.  The Fighting Scot in me was way too excited about this movie.  And I was totally stoked to see a fierce female protagonist in a kids' movie.  It was kind of a throwback to Mulan for me -- only better.  More feminist-y I think.  If I had a daughter, I totally wouldn't care if she looked up to Merida -- not that I looked up to Mulan or anything.  I still listen to "Let's Get Down To Business" when I need a little motivation (to defeat the Huns).  Anyway, the movie was good -- and it has a great soundtrack by the way, the atmosphere was awesome, and my company wasn't too bad either. 

My sister and I decided that we want to open up a drive-in in our hometown.  Ahh...maybe someday.

23 June 2012

Yep, I'm Still Blogging About Women in Sports: Kathrine Switzer

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29.
Just imagine.  
Here's to strong women like Switzer!  Here's to the trailblazers!

22 June 2012

fill in the blank friday

It's getting to the point of the summer when I'm getting pretty restless.  I just want to travel.  But it appears that my schedule of summer classes is going to keep me in the Midwest this summer.  Sad face.  So I've been living my life vicariously through Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and dreaming of my next adventure.  Hence the travel-themed blanks.

1.  My dream vacation would be       a tour through Africa.  It's the one place that I have always wanted to go.  .

2.  The best trip I've ever taken was      my trip  to Grenada with my church when I was in high school.  I know I've probably talked about it before, but it was an experience that truly changed my life.  We didn't do anything really touristy -- we hung out in the real country, with the real people -- who are so beautiful.  We ate their food.  We lived on their time -- which is so much slower than ours.  I loved the vibrant colors, the fresh fruit, the beautiful beaches, and the amazing people.  If there was ever a country where I think I could actually move to, it would definitely be Grenada! .

3.  The most important items to take on a road trip are       good music and a good friend  .

4.  The next trip I'm looking forward to is  hopefully my sister and I will drive (almost) the whole length of Route 66 next summer.  I think we'll start in Springfield, IL instead of Chicago and then drive all the way to California!  It's going to be my gift to myself for finishing my masters programs.

5.  If I had to pick one CD to listen to for a long road trip it would be     I would probably make a mixtape of some sort.  But if I had to choose an actual album today it would be Brandi Carlile's Bear Creek.   .

6.  The biggest disaster I've ever encountered while traveling  was      hmmm...whilst in Berlin my bus hit a car.  Does that count?  Or when we were in Grenada the tent we were in fell down during a thunderstorm and we had to hold it up for the rest of the evening.   .

7.  My favorite traveling memory is      when Paige and I decided to "find ourselves" on our way home from Austin, Texas.  And by "find ourselves" I mean that we literally found towns on the map that were our names.  So we made stops in Paige, Texas and Hope, Arkansas.  Be jealous.      .

Hope y'all have a great weekend!


21 June 2012

Still on My Title IX Soap Box

I'm still on my Title IX soap box.  I probably will be all week.  Do yourself a favor and click play on that video from the White House.  Hear from  Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt, WNBA player Tamika Catchings, and, of course, former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh.  They discuss the impact Title IX had on furthering equal rights for women.  

And, Nike Women has been running a pretty awesome ad campaign lately to honor pioneering women in sports.  So many of them were my role models growing up -- and I am so grateful for that.
Mia Hamm was born in 1972, the year women’s sport changed. She would grow up to score more goals than any other soccer player, man or woman. Over the years, female athletes like her have taken on sport by playing by their own rules and when necessary, breaking them. This week, we honor them.

20 June 2012

The Senator Who Changed My Life (In More Ways Than One)

Senator Birch Bayh, author of Title IX, with female athletes at Purdue University.
Today at work I watched a live feed from the White House of a speech by Senator Birch Bayh.  And it struck me that so few people know who he is.  And I'm here to tell you that you should.  Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX -- and Birch Bayh is the former U.S. Senator (D-IN) who wrote it.  So if you're a female who is playing or ever played  a sport...say thanks to Mr. Bayh.  He wrote these words that we take for granted: 

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity"

I can't imagine what my life would be like without sports.  Through playing basketball I learned about: 
Hard Work -- our high school team practices were seriously intense.  The words "Dirty Thirty," "Two Inches," and running suicides come to mind instantly.  There was some serious blood, sweat, and tears left on that court at 5 pm each day.

Discipline  -- If you're on time, you're late.  Keep your shirt tail tucked in.  Look your coach in the eye.  Don't dribble the ball when he's talking.  Spending all day in the summer out in the driveway.  I could go on and on.

Determination -- It's the fourth quarter.  Your legs are dead.  But you can't let your man get past you.  You still have to take it up strong.  No matter how tired you are, you still need to put in those free throws.  Go all out, all the time.  Never give up.

Team Work -- I learned to be a part of something bigger than myself.  I learned how to get along with others, how to work together to accomplish a common goal, how to be there to encourage people when things didn't go their way, how to pick people up and place their burdens on my shoulders when they needed me to, and I learned to trust others to do the same for me.  But most of all, I found a family.

Respect -- First of all, for myself and for my own body.  Being an athlete demands that. Second, respect for authority -- coaches and officials.  I still remember being told to tell the referee "Thank you, sir" when he handed me the ball.  I've been told I have a problem with authority, but on the court I didn't.  I learned to  do what my coach said to the best of my ability.  Hopefully that translates to other areas of my life as well.  And lastly, respect for my teammates.  This one can be hard at times.  We were all vying for starting spots.  We were all chasing our own dreams and trying to meet our own goals.  And sometimes things got rough.  But I know that we all still respect each other...to this day.

These are life lessons that girls learn through playing sports.  These are the lessons that changed my life.  These are the lessons that gave me the confidence to succeed in school, to go to college, to graduate, to decide to attend graduate school.  To attend graduate school and work in the University Archives where I process Birch Bayh's Senatorial Papers.  So you could say that the Senator has changed my life in more ways than one.  Through working with his papers, I have fallen even more in love with politics and Congressional history.  I know with certainty that I am on the right path.  

So thanks, Senator Bayh!  I salute you and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX!

19 June 2012

Best Album Ever?

I ordered this new album from the incredible Brandi Carlile on a whim last week.  Okay, so it wasn't really a whim -- I was trying to get my Amazon order up to $25.00 so I could have free shipping.  I was super stoked that I got all my books for my American Sacred Space class next semester and a couple of fun things for less than 40 bucks -- but that's another story.

Anyway, I've been a Brandi Carlile fan for some time now.  I'm trying to find a way to go see her live. Think Lilith Fair meets Johnny Cash (P.S. Her cover of Folsom Prison Blues is out of this world). She's probably played Lilith Fair now that I think about it. She has such a unique voice and writes lyrics that truly speak to you.  I wish I could listen to her all day.  Oh wait.  I have been.  I literally had this album on repeat for 4.5 hours on my drive back to Illinois on Friday.  And then I listened to it on the drive back on Sunday.  And it's been in my car CD player ever since.  There's nothing like rolling the windows down and blasting some tunes.  

And this album might be my favorite album ever.  That's saying something.  Fleetwood Mac's Rumours is up there.  Johnny Cash's Live at Folsom Prison has probably been on the top of my list for the longest.  If I own it on vinyl, you know it's good.  I don't have any Brandi Carlile on vinyl...yet.  But if I can listen to a CD on repeat for 9 hours, that's saying something.  Take a listen to the first single "That Wasn't Me." 

12 June 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day: I Heart Billy Joel

True story.  I do.  I think I've loved "Piano Man" and "She's Always a Woman" since I was about seven.  I'm not sure what that says about me, but it's true.  And lately, I've been listening this song.  It just seems fitting for the place I am in my life.  Just read the lyrics:

Slow down, you crazy child.
You're so ambitious for a juvenile.
But then if you're so smart, tell me why are you still so afraid?
Where's the fire? What's the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out.
You got so much to do and only so many hours in a day.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.  The craziness that is graduate school has made me realize that there is so much more to this life.  We get so caught up in the next thing.  Or where we're going to be when we graduate and get our degrees.  But in the meantime, we are missing out on life.  Isn't there a Beatles or John Lennon song that says "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans"?  So true.  Sometimes I need to be reminded that there is a great big world outside of what I am doing, and that I should slow down and enjoy it.

11 June 2012

Monday...Sans Movie

No movies this weekend.  Just time spent at home (mostly in the pool...or eating 69-cent peach pies from Popeye's) with my family in Illinois.  This is the wreath my mom and I made for Mother's Day last month.  Pretty awesome, right?  Thanks for the idea, Pinterest!  And my sincerest apologies to mi madre that her gift came "Some Assembly Required."

I ate lunch at my grandparents' pretty much every day I was home.  They have a dinner bell.

 And then when I returned to Indiana this morning, I brought a little piece of Illinois back with me.  Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen's Illinois, that is.  He was a huge fan of the marigold.  So much so that his hometown of Pekin holds the Marigold Festival every fall in his honor.  Now Senator Dirksen's favorite flower has home on my porch!

06 June 2012

How Do You Milk An Almond, Anyway? (And Other Random Things On My Mind)

No Seriously.  How do you milk an almond?  The almighty Wikipedia tells me that you just put ground almonds in a blender with some water.  And that the stuff has been around since the Middle Ages.  Interesante.  My summer of forced lactose intolerance has me on a quest to find the most dairy-like, but lactose-free milk products.  I love milk.  Like seriously love it.  Like lactose-induced coma love it.  Like my family used to have a gallon for the family and a gallon just for me love it.  Like I drink it even when I get in from a run love it.  So telling me I can't have milk?  It's up there on the lists of the most horrible things that could happen to me.  I couldn't stomach the soy milk, but the almond milk has done the trick!

Are my arms seriously sore from...lifting archival boxes? Seriously?  Toughen up, Grebner!  Maybe it's time to hit the weights again -- but in my defense some of those boxes are crazy heavy. And I've spent the last  three days at work shifting files and boxes in the Legislative series of Birch Bayh's Senate papers. However, I do feel like I've come a long way from the 13-year-old who asked for a weight bench for her birthday.  Or the freshman in college who spent every morning in the weight room before class.  Now I'm just an out of shape librarian!

Speaking of librarians...why did I think reading 3 books at once was a good idea?  I guess I just got a little over-excited at my ability to read for fun.  Maybe that should be "for fun."  A biography of the founder of the Girl Scouts, a history of the U.S. Senate, and an exploration of the unmooring of American military power.  Those aren't exactly your typical poolside reads.  I'm about a third of the way in to all three of them.  Hopefully this weekend I'll find some motivation!

Can I get one of these jerseys?  Stat.  Maybe they are a little Where's Waldo-esque, but they are still seriously sharp.  They caught my eye when they came out online a month or so ago, but now that I've seen them on the pitch I decided must have one!  #20 Wambach,  I think.  Although #15 Megan Rapinoe has some sick moves.  And she used to play for Chicago.  It's time to start gearing up for the Summer Olympics (aka my favorite of every four years)!  USA!

What am I going to do this weekend? After work and a trip to the doc tomorrow, I'm heading back to Illinois for the weekend.  But have absolutely zero plans.  Maybe I'll head out to the Tremont Turkey Festival.  Or to a Peoria Chiefs baseball game downtown.  I do know that there is going to some serious pool time in my future!

05 June 2012

Tuesday Tune-Day: Hymns

Have you ever wondered about the first time you heard music?  Where were you?  What song was it?  Maybe I'm weird, but I do.  I can't imagine what my life would be like without it.  I learned to read music before I could read words. Or maybe it was at the same time.  Anyway, it is such a part of my life that I don't even remember learning how.  I probably heard music for the first time in church.  I think I was practically born in the church nursery at Pekin Bible Church.  So today, as I ponder my relationship with music and rejoice in my relationship with my risen Savior, it seems fitting to share this song with you.  It is one of my favorite hymns and it never ceases to comfort me.  Little known fact -- it is also the first (and only) trombone solo that I ever played during the offertory at church.  The melody is beautiful and the words are true.  And this version by Alison Krauss is hauntingly beautiful. 

04 June 2012

Movie Monday: Diamond Jubilee Style

So all this talk about the Queen's Diamond Jubilee got me in the mood to watch this film.  That and my sister is at Oxford right now.  Probably taking part in some kind of Jubilee activity as I write this.  She said the church bells were ringing for four hours yesterday.  I can't even imagine what it's like to be there right now!  I find all the pomp and circumstance and tradition fascinating.  We just don't really have anything that compares in the U.S.  Presidential Inaugurations?  I know how excited I was for Obama's back in '09.  Tears streaming down my face as I witnessed history.  But a Royal Wedding?  A Diamond Jubilee?  It's way cooler.  And this movie was fantastic.  I mean, come on, Fred Astaire dances on the ceiling.  Does it get any better than that?  The film tells the story of a brother and sister dance duo who head across the pond to perform at the festivities surrounding Liz's wedding.  Just what I needed on a lazy Sunday afternoon!

01 June 2012

fill in the blank friday

1.   The last movie I saw was       One For The Money.  Yeah, yeah -- cheesy I know.  But it actually wasn't too bad.  I haven't read the books, but you know I'm down for a crime movie gone romantic comedy.  .

2.  I want to    go on a road trip.  To somewhere new.  I'm thinking Colorado, Utah, New Mexico -ish.  .

3.  Surprises are     fun -- most of the time.  Unless you know they are coming (which I guess doesn't really make them a surprise), because you end up just waiting around for them.

4.  The best accessory is   shoes.  And I might be allergic to mine.  Awesome.  Or a watch. .

5.  My favorite warm drink is     any of Starbucks seasonal drinks, i.e. pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha .

6.  My favorite cold drink is       sweet tea  .

7.  Currently loving       swimming, renewing my love with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Mumford & Sons cover of "England" by The National Give it a listen!

Happy weekend!

Hope Elizabeth