AWOL but back again!

I’ve been a bit AWOL when it comes to blogging. Whoops.

My break in Florida and Nashville was fabulous, but way too short. I’m back in Ellensburg and classes started back on Tuesday.

Instead of posting a long tedious entry, I’m going to recap my break with pictures!

My break officially started when Charlie and I landed in Tampa after 30 long hours of traveling. Charlie seriously earned the award for the world’s best traveler. The poor kitty traveled in that green case I’m holding, but he was calm and quiet for 90% of the trip.

I spent a lot of quality time with my darling sister, who I already miss terribly. We went christmas shopping together, ate chipotle, she taught me how to swim and did a 5k! We’re both training for the Seattle Rock n Roll marathon in June, which happens to be one of my new years resolutions.

On christmas eve, the family assembled at Village Inn for our usual christmas eve breakfast. I love this tradition! I look forward to it every year. Haha 🙂

Christmas was pretty awesome. My wonderful mother decorated our house from top to bottom, so it felt very festive. Also many games of scrabble were played while I was home. I wish I had someone to play scrabble with me here. I definitely still have an itch to play.

After christmas, on the 29th, C and I departed for new years in Nashville. I’m so glad I was able to spend time with my friends and second family. This is a picture of the balloon inflating that occurred in preparation for the party. We blew up over 200 balloons using just our lips and lungs!

New years eve was awesome as usual. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year, than with my bestest friends in the whole entire world.

Sadly, Charlie and I had to jet back to Washington on new years day. Lame.

We were greeted by lots and lots of snow. Charlie loves watching snow fall. Me on the other hand, I’m trying to overcome my fear of snow, or more specifically driving and walking on the snow. Scary! I had my first scary snow driving experience already. My brakes failed to work, causing me to run and stop sign and slide on the road a bit. Thankfully there weren’t any other cars on the road, so no harm was done.

My life has returned to grad school mode. I made tex-mex soup and corn bread the other night. My parents gave me this fancy-pants brownie tray that cuts the brownies into neat little squares. I used it to make corn bread, but I see lots of potential for other things to make. I also bought this dry erase things to do wall thingy. I’m hoping that it’ll help me keep on top of things.

So anyway… that’s the past month of my life in a nutshell. I’m trying to get back into the rhythm of blogging.

See you soon!

Adventures with Charlie…

No time to update now. Classes are done. Papers are graded. And I ran out of Ellensburg to avoid the winter storm headed my way. Currently sleeping at the LaQuinta Inn in SeaTac with Charlie.

We’re flying to FLORIDA TOMORROW!

(If we can survive the 9 hour flight… Charlie’s never flown before. Eeek.)

Goodnight!

Amazing luck.

Thursday was a pretty craptacular day, or at least it felt like that at the time. I think more than anything I was suffering from sleep exhaustion, mental exhaustion and coffee withdrawals.

Anyway, Thursday morning after my last final as I walked past my car I noticed that my right rear tire pressure looked a little low. No biggie, right? I’ll just wait till it isn’t 1 degree outside and fill it up at the gas station, while I run my other errands.

Later that morning I went out to go take care of the tire and run errands and I get into my car and turn the key and nothing.

Click. Click. Click.

I tried again. Nothing. I instantly felt like crying.

So I needed a new car battery. I called my dad, who is amazing, and he helped me figure out a course of action. I found out that while the mechanics in St. Pete said my car battery had a 24 month warranty, the Interstate dealer here said it was actually 30 months. My battery was in its 30th month. But in order for the mechanics here to honor the warranty, they would have to charge my battery for 24 hours before deciding what could be done. That posed a slight problem since I’m basically alone here and I wouldn’t have any transportation to get to the dealer and back. It would also leave me carless, which is only really annoying since I wanted to run errands and go to the gym. After debating my options, the fabulous mechanics offered to come get the battery out of my car, then bring back a new one/my old one, depending on the results the next day.

24 hours later…

I called up the mechanics to find out the verdict on my battery. Turns out the battery was bad. Hooray! They honored my warranty, despite it being in the 30th month. They sold their last interstate battery that day, but they found a new for me. Then they came out and installed the new battery, with a brand new warranty (instead of continuing where the original one left off), all for the awesome price of nothing! A new battery and installation would have cost me $135, but they did it for nothing. I tried to tip the guy, but he said I was a poor college student and I could use the money more than he could. How freakin’ nice of him? He also told me to come by the shop and they’ll fill my tires, which I did.

So bascially, my craptacular Thursday turned into a fabulously lucky Friday.

I’ve never been so happy to hear my car start.

Also, I should have no problem getting myself to the shuttle stop on Tuesday morning, so my travel plans won’t be ruined. Yay!

fabulous finals and fabulous grad students

I’m done. Sorta. Mostly. Almost. AHHH!

My students are taking their final in the morning, which means I’m going to have 50 papers to grade, but NO MORE WRITING FOR ME!

I wish this feeling of anxiety would go away. I would feel so much better if I felt as FREE as I am. I suspect that my relief will come when grades are posted, since that is what I’m most concerned about now.

Anyway… since my papers are done, I get the pleasure of returning my library books…

So. Much. Fun.

Have I mentioned that it’s literally freezing outside? I slipped on ice this morning. Also, I discovered that the cold weather that will make your nose run, will also FREEZE the snot in your nose. SCARY. I had a slight moment of panic because I was worried that my nostrils might freeze shut. Thankfully that did not happen.

One of my classmates had us get together for a group picture in the office the other day… so I present to you, the four fabulous theatre studies graduate students!

Okay. That’s all for now…

PS – did you notice the snow falling on my blog? Isn’t it exciting!

single digits.

ONE DAY till freedom – from my own coursework.

ONE DAY till I allow myself to waste time on facebook once again.

ONE DEGREE is the temperature outside right now.

I have been to the gym THREE days in a row. Yay! Go me. 🙂

SEVEN days till actual freedom from any school or work responsibilities.

EIGHT days till I get to see my fabulous family!

EIGHT days till I can bask in the Florida sun.

Please just let me make it through the next day.

In running terms, I’ve hit THE WALL. I don’t have any motivation, mental strength or drive to finish my papers. Not good.

AHHHHHHHH!

I love myself today.

Well, I love myself most days. The reason for the blog title is because I was jamming out to that song this morning and it reminded me how much I love it. [bif naked. i love myself today. check it out.]

I started my day off with an amazing work out at the gym, which is where I posted this lovely operation beautiful post it – in the girls restroom. I love this idea and I hope that my little sticky notes end up putting a smile on someones face. I think when I go to the gym tomorrow I’ll write one and put it on the elliptical I’m using. Use it as motivation for myself, then leave it for the next person to see.

Back to my workout for a second. I’ve been reading all these food and fitness blogs and they remind me how much I miss running. I saw one blog that talked about how this girl went on a long run with her friend and they sang Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance on repeat during the run. Afterwards they were so famished they went to Panera and shoveled bagels down their mouths. It reminded me of the long runs H and I used to do, and I miss those. I also miss the sore feeling after a long run… and the much deserved nap that comes with waking up at the crack of dawn. My point is, the blogs motivated me to hit the gym first thing this morning. I started out on the elliptical, thinking that I’d stay on it for maybe 15 minutes before switching to the track. Instead my 15 minutes turned into 20, which turned into 30 and at that point I was so close to reaching 3 miles that I stayed on for 36 minutes. It was awesome. I played with the different levels to give myself a more complete workout. After that, I went to the track and for some reason my legs were in auto-pilot mode and I mostly ran, a little bit of walking, for another 10 minutes. Near my cool down, I saw a group of guys sprinting/doing intervals and the [very small] competitive streak in me kicked in. I ended up hauling ass for one lap around the track before finishing my workout. I felt so accomplished at the end. Going to the gym was a great move on my part. I’m going to go tomorrow as well, maybe do the same thing but do more of an interval workout when I go to the track.

In unrelated news, the Gators lost today. I probably shouldn’t gloat, but it makes me incredibly happy. This is the first time that I wished I was on fb so I could have seen all the status updates. It’s always funny to see what people are commenting. Only four more days and I’ll be back on fb. I’m sure that will make fb very happy, seeing as how they’ve staged a second intervention when it comes to my lack of communication with friends.

So anyway, life is good despite the looming history paper and mock thesis. I can’t wait till Wednesday at 10am.

Oh, and I love myself today.

🙂

operation.beautiful.

[from ohsheglows.com]

I found this awesome blog today. The idea is to write positive messages on post-it notes, leave them in public places and make sure you take a picture.

(It reminds me of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty)

Operation Beautiful dot com

My favorite is the person who wrote inspiring messages along the running path in central park. Makes me so happy!

I wrote this and posted it in the library bathroom. I have to admit that I was a bit shy about doing it. I made sure the bathroom was empty when I did it. But I absolutely love this idea. I think if I stumbled upon an uplifting message like this randomly somewhere it would make my day. Everyone should love themselves, inside and out. So I think I’m going to become a bit more brazen and post messages elsewhere around campus.

You [whoever it is that actually reads this blog] should do it too.

If you do, please let me know! Post your pictures in the comments.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM7lMO0pjjc]

frogsicles

I learned about frogsicles today. There are frogs which actually turn into frog popsicles in the wintertime. All of their internal organs shut down, they stop breathing, they are essentially dead — except in the spring time when it warms up … poof!.. they become alive again!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIGtLKxoFeA]

How cool is that?!

The past blog-less week is due to the fact that it is currently finals week. I’ve been working like a madwoman since Friday. I cannot believe I finally made it to this point. I only have a few more things to accomplish before I can fly home to Florida. Hooray!

So what has happened since I last updated?

Warning: I’m sleep deprived, therefore this might be random and nonsensical.

I ended up having a thanksgiving dinner. The orphan grad students got together and had a pot luck dinner. It was actually quite delicious, but still not the same as thanksgiving with the family. The lack of traditional dinner will make Christmas dinner so much sweeter.

The next day I made a thanksgiving resolution. Operation Collarbones began on Black Friday. I am kicking my bad eating habits and reincorporating exercise into my daily plans. I WILL lose at least 10 lbs and I WILL run the Seattle Rock n Roll marathon in June. That gives me six months to get into marathon shape. One week into it and I’m doing okay with my food.  I’ve only been to the gym once, but I plan on going tomorrow evening.  Yay!

Saturday was a day full of FAIL. I discovered that my laundry detergent had spilled all over the backseat of my car. Then, the only Seminoles game that I’ve been able to watch on tv in Washington was the awesome [sarcasm] FSU vs. UF massacre. Ugh. Fail.

Sunday night at approximately 11:30pm, I made a stunning discovery. During my bout of severe procrastination, I decided to look up information on trimming cat claws. Apparently it is perfectly acceptable to use human nail clippers to trim a cat’s claws. After thoroughly researching the process, I sat Charlie down and did the deed. It’s like he is declawed! It is brilliant! No longer can demon child climb my curtains or sharpen his claws on my arms. I love it. Why did I do this sooner? Say, a year and a half ago?!

Thankfully I have a slight break in the ridiculous amount of work hanging over my head, so I’m taking tonight off and hopefully getting at least eight hours sleep. Ahhh. Then insanity resumes tomorrow with work on my mock thesis, history paper, peer review and entering grades. THEN FREEDOM! Beach, here I come!

Classes aren’t even finished for this quarter and I’ve already been given assignments for next quarter. I need to read several plays and chapters from books. Hooray?

Thankful.

This year marks my first thanksgiving away from my family. I always managed to get home for thanksgiving and Christmas in years past, even if it meant spending a very limited time at home. It also marks the first thanksgiving that my family has spent in North Carolina. The only other time I remember the family not celebrating thanksgiving in Florida was the year we went to Kentucky, which was about 15 years ago, so this year is a little strange all around. I’m surprisingly okay with missing thanksgiving, simply because I have so much work to do here. The trade off will be that I am able to fully enjoy my winter break, no work to worry about, no school responsibilities, my only goal is to have lots of fun and see all my friends.

This year has given me so many people and reasons to be thankful.

I am so thankful for mom, dad and Hilary. My family is incredible. They’ve been so supportive in my move to Washington and starting graduate school. I know they will always love and support me.

I am thankful for my friends, particularly, Ashley, Cari, Casey, Darla and Terri. I have some of the most creative, hilarious, talented, caring, supportive and amazing friends. I don’t know what I’d do without them. And I can’t wait to see some of them very very soon!!!

I’m thankful for Charlie, even if he’s the worlds biggest pain in the ass. He keeps me company here in Washington and cuddles with me as I do my massive amounts of reading.

I’m thankful that I no longer work at the bank. I’m thankful that I had the chance to work at AS theatre, where I met so many talented people and made awesome friends. I’m thankful that I’m in graduate school and my life is moving in a forward direction. I’m thankful for a wonderful, warm and clean apartment. I’m thankful that I can go home in a few weeks. I’m thankful for a few days break from school. I’m thankful for clean laundry. I’m thankful for corn souffle and green bean casserole. I’m thankful for apple cider and chai lattes. I’m thankful for silk underwear, scarves, northface jackets and ugg boots. I’m thankful for new adventures.

I’m thankful for my life.

I’m thankful for the opportunities given to me.

And I’m thankful for everything that has yet to come.

Happy Thanksgiving.

phase two.

Warning: This post is basically for my own future use.

I’ve started to think about PhD programs and what I’m looking for in them. Next summer I want to narrow down my school options and see about making visits to the schools. Then in the fall, I’ll be applying to schools. So, as I’ve been in grad school for a couple months, I started to think about what I want in my next school. I love the CWU masters program. I think it’s the perfect place for me to be right now and will give me great experience for my CV, ie. I’ll have teaching experience, including upper division classes, dramaturgical experience and will have served on a service committee. All of which are essential for making my CV look stellar. That being said, CWU lacks a lot of things that at this point in time, I believe I want in a PhD program.I want to write these things down now, so I can compare what my needs are when I get closer to making real decisions about graduate schools.

First and foremost, the ultimate deciding factor for a PhD program will be the scholars at the institution. I have to go where there are scholars in my field of interest. Secondly, funding is incredibly important. I’ll want to make sure there are possible fellowships or assistantships available to me. Because, hello grad school is expensive!

But after that, here are some things that are also important to me:

I’m basing my ideas off of FSU’s program, simply because it’s the only other grad school environment that I’ve seen in action and sort of been a part of.

I want a larger program.

FSU has a MFA programs in lighting, directing, costume design, acting, playwriting, scenic design and theatre management, along with a MA and PhD in theatre studies. What does all that mean to me? Lots of other graduate students! I don’t have a lot of time for a social life, but if there were other theatre graduate students around I’d have a better opportunity to meet people my own age and with my own interests. I also know that the graduate students at FSU were really close and had a tight-knit social scene. I want that.

I also want a larger program because it will mean a more professional theatre environment. CWU’s program is so small and the faculty and staff is very limited, they (the faculty) design and direct the shows, not the students. I felt like FSU’s seasons had more variety, funding and creative resources. The theatre also runs like a professional theatre. The theatre management students are house managers, marketers, in charge of ushers, run the box office, etc. The graduate students are directors and designs. The theatre studies students serve as dramaturgs. Also, the shows run for two weeks with matinée performances. In comparison, CWU’s performances are very informal. Not a bad thing, just different and maybe not what I want in the long run. Plus, FSU has a thriving student theatre community, allowing for more theatre and opportunities to get involved.

I want a program where I can develop my production experience, most likely through dramaturgy, but perhaps directing.

I want to be able to teach, especially upper level classes. I think now that I have (am getting) teaching experience, I will be completely comfortable teaching my own upper level classes when the time comes. I feared that if I went to a bigger program for my MA, that I’d be thrown into the experience without any assistance. I’m getting all the training and experience I need here at CWU, I’ll be able to survive in a bigger program now.

Tallahassee also allows for community theatre experience. I know that the options are limited, but Ellensburg has zero outside theatre opportunities, unless you count the high school. So I’d like the option to do something in the community, whether or not I end up taking advantage of that opportunity.

I need a school that has a well staffed, well stocked, current library. That is the biggest issue with CWU. I have access to other libraries in the area, but it takes weeks to get books from there and CWU’s theatre section is ancient. I believe FSU is categorized as a research one university, meaning they have an extensive collection of library resources.

All this being said, it still comes down to funding and scholars. I am looking at FSU again, but only as one possible option. University of Texas at Austin is also high on my list. After that, I’m just not sure. I need to focus my own interests before I select schools.