Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Love List

I made another one of those lists of the things that I was excited and not-so-excited about a couple weeks ago on one of my desktop stickie notes. Amazing that the season has changed so quickly and that I didn’t just post this when I had the thoughts in the first place…

-storm coming (loving the clouds swirling around the mountains)
-Pixar description podcast
-leaves strewn across the street
-Mad Men season two conclusion (wow – such a GOOD show)
-new holiday catalogs for Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, and Pottery Barn
-Jenessa's college essays (did we catch COLLEGE)
-going to see Stage Door with a great group of girls and going to The Chocolate for dessert
-book club at Melissa’s
-real emails that remind me of how much I love writing and receiving letters
-Patrick Wilson (Morning Glory is not a great movie, but he is perfectly delectable. I kept waiting for him to sing…)
-remembering Brent Collette – hard to believe that he’s been gone 10 years and yet he's still teaching us (definitely could not have foretold then that his oldest son would marry one of my best friends)
-Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday
-new sweats
-Giants shirt that says World Champions
-Rachel being out of the hospital and on the mend
-catching up with Meg (miss that girl so much)
-online book club starting (pickwickreaders.blogspot.com)
-Christmas lights around my mac dashboard
-phone calls that distract from to do lists
-having red streaks in my hair
-making paper chains while watching Felicity
(not so good - sugar free jello pudding)
-reading parties and walks in the hail (yes, we voluntarily did that) with Matt
-finding a note with an Ashley Kimball comment (She asked me this summer,"Did you ever think you're not meant to fly under the radar?" Long story, but this girl has been teaching me powerful lessons since we were in high school. Miss her all the time.)
-Alanis randomly playing in a mix (isn’t it ironic how much I still LOVE her)
(krazy glue all over my fingers -boo)
-Maria visiting
-early morning sunrises over snow capped mountains
-teaching my first college class (it was a one time experience, but very cool just the same)
-looking forward to Harry Potter and the holiday break
-working on my “30 things before 30” list

Monday, November 29, 2010

Me in a Box

I am a semi-organized packrat. Opening the boxes I have hidden away in my parents’ house is always an adventure because there is no way to predict what you’ll find. While I was visiting Alamo for the holiday, I ventured into the random closets packed to the eaves with remnants of my life in search of high school t-shirts (I’m on a quest to make a t-shirt quilt. More on that later.). When I finally stumbled across the last remaining cotton CV survivors, it was rather entertaining all the other mementos of memory lane were safely tucked alongside the t-shirts...

*Versailles book bought with love for too many French Francs on my first European adventure (with Renoir bookmark safely tucked inside of the famous dancing couple)
*German Barbie, still in its box (don’t ask – still not sure why I can’t throw this away)
*Signed book that my mom gave me for Christmas years ago (don’t even really like the book, but the author signed it which makes me unable to part with it)
*Not one, but two checkerboard cake pans
*Teddy bear (one of the originals that I’ve had since infancy with a chipped black nose and red fabric heart)
*Barnaby teddy bear with very long legs from Hillary
*Giants pennant
*Clayton Valley academic letter
*CV leadership shirt
*Senior women shirt
*Wrigley Field shirt
*T-ball trophy from my one and only year on a baseball field with the 1990 Twins
*Junior prom shoes (love those shoes more than I care to admit - sparkly silver Nina heels)
*Cherished Teddy figurines (why exactly did I pay so much money for those?)
*HS graduation tassels and cords
*2nd grade cross-stitch
*Great-grandmother’s bone china teacups and saucers
*Girls Camp whistle (with five years of beads attached)
*Musical programs (Wicked, Les Miserables (4 total – one signed by the cast), Mamma Mia, Blood Brothers, Starlight Express, Phantom of the Opera (1 actual program, 1 Curran Theater version), Thoroughly Modern Mille, Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City when I saw Twelfth Night)
*Playbills (Millie 2 from back-to-back nights in NYC), Wicked (one show in SF and one in LA), Miss Saigon (SLC), Phantom of the Opera (SF), Mamma Mia (SF), Les Mis (Sacramento, SF), Sea Farer (Marin), Utah Shakespearean Festival (Cedar)
*Tigers soccer trophy 1988 (is it totally mind-blowing to anyone else that this was 22 years ago)
*Jaclyn Lane sign (never appreciated until now that my grandpa probably had to have it made since my name never shows up in stories)
*Pepsi (nickel drink worth a dime) old-fashioned sign
*Kindergarten hand print
*Soccer picture plaque from the 1993 Krazy Kickers
*Gumby patch (one of many of that I had during middle school - glad I personally helped keep Claires in business)
And a few other odds and ends (ribbons, rings, fabric scraps)

Not sure why I have all that still especially since that is just one box of many, but I loved going through it just the same. Pretty fun to find me in a box.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Taking Care of Baby Mikhael

The best part of my MPA experience is the people I have had a chance to meet. Michael Gray and his wife Rachel are two of those people. Their beautiful baby boy, Mikhael, has just been diagnosed with leukemia. Michael graduated from the program this past April and still has yet to find a job. Mikhael has already begun chemotherapy and will be in the hospital for a month at a time with only a week at home in-between treatment rounds. They don't have insurance, and they are desperately trying to make ends meet. If you are able, please donate to their their pledgie account (where you can also read more about what is happening for the Gray family) to help cover Mikhael's medical costs. Happy Thanksgiving. Love you all!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

snowflakes and a procrastinating grad student

it's trying to snow outside and i just want to watch the wind swirl the leaves. i'm trying to write a paper. i have a feeling the snow storm will be more successful than i am since i keep doing anything but write my paper. the goal was to have a solid draft by 3:10pm (yes i was that specific). the draft needs to be six pages long. i'm on page two. whether i finish the draft by my goal time or not, the paper will be done by 8am tomorrow, and then i will be on my way to tahoe for thanksgiving. the question is how insane the next 18 hours will be. oddly enough, i determine my own sanity (or lack thereof). maybe that walk in the wind and hail wasn't such a good idea last night....oh well, catch ya on the flipside. ps. 705 pages (if you don't count the textbooks i was never planning on reading anyway) left to read before november 30th. grad school truly is a delight.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Great House

Great HouseGreat House by Nicole Krauss
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I can sum up my experience with this book in two words: unrealistic expectations. I loved Krauss' "The History of Love" and fully expected to be enchanted again. Throw in that I expected a novel (not four short stories strung together), and you have an unfulfilling reading experience. Does Krauss still have a gift for setting haunting scenes and forcing the reader to look at issues and feelings we're afraid of? Absolutely, but it's not enough. The overall effect is sad and disturbing - no character is really lovable. They're too broken or too bizarre. The desk (yes, an inanimate object) that links all the characters is perhaps the best piece of the story because it carries so much weight, so much mysterious power....

Maybe if I had expected the short story style, this may have been a three-star book, but I sadly think you should skip and read something else...

Personal Destinies

Personal Destinies: A Philosophy of Ethical IndividualismPersonal Destinies: A Philosophy of Ethical Individualism by David L. Norton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There are brilliant one-liners in this book buried beneath antiquated vocabulary and dense philosophical text. Those one-liners could alter your view on the world, but it's so hard to find them. So, I wouldn't recommend this unless you are feeling exceptionally academic.

If you want more details, you can read my paper on the book...once I write it. Better get started since it's due Monday......


Mindset: The New Psychology of SuccessMindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I should have reviewed Carol Dweck’s “Mindset” when I first finished it. I didn’t because I could not sum up my reaction. Simply said, this book is a life-changer. It focuses in the difference between a growth mindset (exactly as it sounds – someone who believes they can grow and progress) and a fixed mindset (someone who believes talent/intelligence/etc cannot be developed, but rather believes that everyone only has certain level of skill or potential that can be achieved). Dweck takes you through how those mindsets are developed and how they affect our lives. This book is a must-read both individuals, for spouses, for parents, for teachers, etc, etc. Yes, Dweck gets long-winded (PhD’s tend to do that), but the concepts are exceptionally worthwhile.

So despite the inarticulate review, pick it up. I’ll be rereading it once I graduate and have a little more time on my hands. And if you ever want to talk about it, I am happy to oblige!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Online Book Club

I LOVE reading. I LOVE talking about reading. All of which obviously means that I LOVE book clubs. I think it's high time we start an online book club. So many of my favorite reader friends are strewn across the country, so why not create a focused forum for discussion. The idea is that we would read one book a month that we as a group would select and then discuss it via a blog. If you would like to join us in this reading adventure, please post a comment with your email (or if you'd rather, you can email me directly) so I can make sure to include you. The goal is to have a book chosen for December in the next couple weeks. Can't wait to start! Happy reading--
{ps. these are not my bookshelves, but I wish they were - it's a photo from a home decorating blog called colourlovers.com - isn't it amazing!}

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Countdown

As many of you know, I LOVE counting down to things. I make paper chains like a second grader to count down to the end of the school year, my sister visiting, or upcoming trips. The countdowns on my computer dashboard include--

Maria Visiting!!: 5 days, 3 hours
Harry Potter 7!!!: 12 days, 7 hours
Disneyland!!: 41 days, 4 hours
Graduation!!!: 166 days, 22 hours

Now it's time to add a new countdown - Jaime Ford, the author of "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet", announced on his blog recently that his book is being turned into a movie! I know a lot of you read this book this past year after we talked about it - you loved it just like I did and so now we have something great to look forward to. It's still in development so there is no definite release date, but I'll keep you posted. Can't wait!!

Monday, November 1, 2010


What can I say that does justice to how exciting Orange October has been?! I went to Game One of the World Series - nearly cried through the whole first hour I was there. Tonight the Giants won not only the pennant, but the WORLD SERIES. Dream come true.
[ps. This is the 200th post of my blog. I cannot think of a more fitting topic.]