June 2010

Oh Lady Gaga, how I love you and your ridonkulously catchy songs. She’s on my iTunes right now and I am loving it!

Well, I wouldn’t say today was super productive, but I did get two more articles read and two more pages of notes typed (the articles were each 20-30+ pages and probably the two most important articles I’ve read thus far… plus I think I might be able to contact the author from one of them, as she has done research along the lines of what I am looking for and I found her on Facebook and a college website… woot!). So I guess I was productive. Yay me πŸ™‚

Let’s see…

Yesterday after I updated this blog, I did go outside and water the plants. I had my iPod with me, so I rocked out to some Glee, which made watering plants waaaaaaaay more fun than it should have been. Yay Glee.

I fed my dogs, let them outside and then finished making dinner… got the lettuce from the porch, made guac, chopped tomatoes and then watched rice boil. Luckily while I was watching said rice reach boiling point, Robin called! We commiserated about our respective theses and traded stories from our respective places of residence. She was on her way to a get-together to say Auf Wiedersehen to one of our (German) classmates who was leaving our little college town for Chicago and other more fun places. I knew about the gathering because of Facebook and was super jealous that some of my friends from school were all going to be in one place at one time hanging out with each other. I was super envious…

We said goodbye and I finished making dinner – perfect timing b/c my dad got home from work right then. We enjoyed chicken nachos, though he could tell I was in a foul mood… probably because I was being extra ornery. I couldn’t help it!

Later my dad did a loop of the yard (I suspect to make sure I watered everything enough – I had). His phone rang and it was my mom! I talked to her briefly, but then my phone began to ring – it was Robin again! I hung up from my mom and got an earful of loud bar when I picked up my own phone πŸ™‚ Oh, school friends.

Robin said hi and then was nice enough to pass her phone around so I could talk to a couple friends and a professor from school. It’s a bit ridiculous how nice it was just to hear familiar voices on the other end of the line (well, air waves… it’s a cell phone, I guess there are no wires). And even though I couldn’t understand what one of the guys was saying (though this was par for course), the phone call made me smile and cheered me up for the rest of the evening πŸ™‚

I called my mom back and both my dad and I got to talk to her. She and my sister are having a lot of fun (though today they had a lot of car problems… and needed new tires and some other procedures done, resulting in a $1000 bill – yikes!). Later that night, my dad and I watched the Best of Dan Ackroyd SNL on Netflix… too funny. The Czech brothers and Fred Garvin: Male Prostitute make me laugh every time! Soooo good!

This morning my dad didn’t have to go into work because he had a late meeting this afternoon about an hour away. So, we watched some Wimbledon and I tried to get some thesis work done, but Moose was just not allowing that to happen. I tried to get her to bring her tennis balls to my dad so I could type in peace, but no luck. Even as I am typing this, she is circling me and dropping wet tennis balls at my feet. Ugh.

I watched Murray defeat Tsonga to advance to the semi-finals (my favorite, Federer is out, sad to say 😦 ) as I finished my lunch. I got back on my computer and started reading this ginormous article about Hegemonic Masculinity… yikes.

Since I get easily distracted, I checked my email and EW.com while I was “working” and saw that Party Down was officially cancelled – sadness! I had a feeling this was going to happen, though… the ratings were way low and there was no way the show would have been tolerable without Adam Scott. (Henry!)

Because this was obviously important news for other Party Down fans, I texted my friend Matt about the cancellation. He seemed to know this was coming too and has already found a replacement show – Louie. I don’t have cable at my house here in MN, so I could not watch it last night, but I heard great things about the show. Good for you, Louis C.K.

We talked about our levels of productiveness on our respective projects (me = thesis proposal, him = a bajillion writing projects) and started hatching plans to marry rich people so I can buy time to figure out what career path I want to take and so he can finance the projects that he wants to launch.

Tangent – Although this would solve some of my problems, I don’t think I would ever actually do something like this. And I am not judging people who do do stuff like this… to each his/her own. I just have this old-fashioned idea that you get married to the person you love and who loves you. If they have money, that’s like an added bonus. But I’m a supported of marrying for love. (I’m also a supporter of gay marriage, for the record… it’s not like the heterosexual couples have done an awesome job holding up the sanctity of marriage with our divorce rate and all the infidelity you see on the news and whatnot… plus the whole thing with some priests being pedophiles… equally not cool.) End tangent.

So yeah… I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I would like to watch films, television shows and/or Broadway shows for a living and write about them. But that’s not a job you just start with… so I have to figure out what I can do until then. Blah.

What else, what else?

We got G.I Joe: Rise of Cobra in the mail today (Netflix – woot). Too bad Joseph Gordon-Levitt is behind a mask the whole time, as I love him…

Tomorrow we might go fishing. That is still up in the air. As I was typing, my brother called to tell me he’s going to try to leave earlier tomorrow than he thought, so he might get here waaaaaay before his original ETA of 1:00 am, which would be great. I’ll still need to clean the bathroom that he and I share on the bottom floor of the house and I need to make sure there are pillows and bedding stuff in the middle room for him (I totally take after my mom…). I can’t wait to see my brother and spend the holiday weekend w/him and my dad πŸ™‚

Have a great Wednesday night!

This hard, wooden dining room chair (made by my dad, of course) is starting to hurt my back – I need to find a more comfortable spot to sit and do my thesis stuff…

So, today I got another 5 articles read and took notes on them bringing my total to 19 articles down and 9 1/2 pages of single-spaces notes… I’m sure I could have had more done by now, but perusing Facebook and watching old Tony Awards performances on youtube is just waaaaaaay to easy to do when you’re working on a laptop.

Also, one of my dogs, Moose, has been guilting me into playing catch with her. She puts her fury head on my lap and looks up at me with the saddest (and eye-booger filled) brown eyes and just digs her chin into my thigh. You would cave too if you saw her face… it’s ridiculously adorable.

How can you say no to this face?

She’s sleeping right now, so I should be working on reading more articles, but since I didn’t post yesterday, I figure I would check that off of my “to-do” list.

Yesterday I tried to take it easy… I read 4 or 5 articles and drank a lot of liquids because I was still feeling a bit dodgy from the day before. Mid-day I took a lunch break and started watching the 2008 version of Brideshead Revisited. After watching Bright Star last week, I Netflixed whatever other Ben Whishaw movies I could (which turned out to be Brideshead and some other movie called Stoned, where he plays Keith Richards). I watched some more of it today, but I’m still not even 1/2 way done. It’s all right so far – I do enjoy period films, especially those set in England or other areas of the UK. I like those accents a lot… regardless what people are saying, it sounds way more intelligent than American English.

Oh, iTunes Broadway playlist… playing “Don’t Stop Believin'” from the cast of Rock of Ages. Did you see them at the Tony Awards last year? Sooooo good (esp. Wesley Taylor at 3:20!!!!!):

Okay, confession – I am still a little bit in love with Constantine Maroulis (the lead guy). Remember him from American Idol Season 4? Every time he was on screen, I would giggle uncontrollably. And it turns out, I still do… I can’t help it. I still want to see this musical sooooo bad. I have the soundtrack and love all of the songs – and supposedly there is a movie version in the works – but I want to see this on the stage. As everything is so much better on the stage πŸ™‚

But I digress…

I started feeling better by yesterday afternoon, so my dad took me out to dinner and then we ran some errands. I got a MN library card and a stack of books – woot! When we got back to the house, we put groceries away and then I watched The Bachelorette (I watch so I can update my sister who is still on her road trip…). My dad went on Facebook and saw that my brother had updated his status to “thinking about a surprise trip to MN this weekend”. I had talked with my brother earlier, so I was aware of his plans to come up and visit this weekend (woot!), but we both weren’t going to tell Dad. If he found out on Facebook, fine, but we weren’t going to tell him. Well, he found out, and then he started to cry 😦 Ever since his accident several years ago and the passing of both his parents, he gets way more choked up than I ever remember from my childhood. These were happy tears, but I don’t like seeing my dad cry at all, so I joked, “What are you, on your period?” He laughed and shook his head at me.

See, as super lonely as I have been – missing my friends so much that I actually cried today while brushing my teeth this morning – this is why I am up in MN for the summer. Family first, right? I know my dad misses my mom a lot while she is on this trip w/my sister. He needs company – I am company.

However, this also means that I am super sad that I am hundreds of miles away from my friends. But I can’t tell that to him because I don’t want him to feel bad that I feel sad. And so I suck it up and put on a genuinely happy face when he gets home from work and we do our father/daughter stuff. But as I sit and work on my thesis stuff during the day, I have ample time to reflect on missing people and it sucks a lot. But – I’m going back to Ohio for a few days next month and will get to see some of my friends, so that will be really great πŸ™‚ I don’t know when the next time I will get to see some of those people after that, but I will appreciate the time I do get to spend with my friends!!

Anyway, my brother should be here very late Thursday night and we’re all planning to go fishing and play tennis and hang out this weekend, so that will be tons-o-fun πŸ™‚

Today I got 5 more articles read and I am in the midst of making chicken tacos for dinner. This is the first time I’m cooking for my dad, so I hope he likes it. I need to pick some lettuce from the front porch (yep, you read that right) as well as make some guacamole for myself (my dad doesn’t like avocados – he is obviously crazy). I also need to water the plants on the back deck… I will get to that when I am done w/this blog post.

I don’t think there are any plans for tonight. Maybe we’ll play some more Trivial Pursuit… I would like to win again πŸ™‚

Have a great almost middle of the week!

It was a fantastic weekend… and then I started feeling horrible around 3:00 this afternoon. What the what?

Yesterday morning my dad and I watched The Ten before we head out on our afternoon fishing adventure. If you haven’t seen The Ten and aren’t offended by a non-Biblical look at the Ten Commandments (or are just a fan of Paul Rudd and his usual posse of peers… Ken Marino, A.D. Miles, Michael Ian Black, etc…), you should check it out.

After The Ten, we went to the grocery store to pick up some chicken livers (gross). We then went to some sporting goods store called Joe’s to pick up some nightcrawlers and some sort of special catfish bait. We then drove somewhere along the Mississippi to meet up with three other guys so we all could go fishing.

Four adult men and a twenty-something girl in a small boat all trying to fish at the same time. It was comedic hijinx for sure…

I was a bit skeptical about how the fishing trip was going to turn out – I like fishing, but I’m not super awesome at it. Also, I was basically crashing a guys fishing outing. Luckily, everyone was really nice and no one treated me any different or held back during conversation. It was actually really great.

Everyone caught fish – and everyone caught multiple fish, except for me. After a few hours, I did manage to snag a smallmouth bass, but I couldn’t land it. I reeled in my line and got the fish out of the water, but then it shook itself off my hook. Sadness. But, all the guys in the boat saw it, and they all said it counted.

After several hours of fishing, the guy whose boat we were on took us all for a bit of a boat ride down part of the river to show me some of the sites along the way. Luckily the weather held out – it was supposed to storm that afternoon, but it didn’t.

It did, however, storm most of last night after we got home – blah. Thunder and lightning like crazy… not a fan. We were also watching Drag Me to Hell, which was rather disturbing. Luckily, I was conveniently distracted by a conversation with a friend, so I didn’t have to watch the scary movie.

One of the best things about CST is that Saturday Night Live is on at 10:30. It was the Taylor Lautner episode for around Christmas. As cheesetastic as those Twilight movies are, that kid was a decent SNL host. He seemed like he was game for whatever sketches they had planned and he was actually really funny. So, good for you, Lautner.

This morning my dad took me to go see The A-Team. I really liked it! It wasn’t a great film in the way that On the Waterfront is a great film, but it was highly entertaining and had a great cast. I am already a fan of Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Patrick Wilson, but Sharlto Copley was so brilliant… I need to watch District 9 and soon! The A-Team was super funny and had some great action sequences. I have never seen an episode of The A-Team, but I know that theme song. I was pumped to see the film based on the cast and the trailer… and I knew my dad would get a kick out of it, so it was a good father/daughter movie outing.

After the movie, my dad took me to some Indian restaurant. Growing up, that never would have happened – we hardly ever ate other culture’s foods, besides the occasional Chinese take-out. Once I left for college, I would eat food from other countries. I guess my parents have expanded their cuisine choices too…

My dad and I got back to the house around 3 and I started to feel weird. I scrunched up and laid down on the loveseat (instead of stretching out on the couch that is physically 3 feet away…) and fell asleep. Now, I am not one for naps, but I woke up after an hour with a dried string of drool stemming from the side of my mouth. I looked at the clock on the DVD player, repositioned myself and fell back asleep until after 5:30. Both of my dogs, who usually are fed dinner at 5:00, were looking at me and each came over to poke me with their cold, wet noses. I peeled myself off the cushions, tried to get my head to stop spinning, and got up. I fed both dogs, let them outside, then face-planted on the couch.

If you’ve ever heard the song “Man” from the musical The Full Monty, you would be aware that the songs ends with Patrick Wilson sing-shouting “Ba-da-da-da-da!”

My sister and I will shout this after something great happens or a song ends triumphantly.

When something is crappy, we say “Booooooooo!”, as in the sound that the lever makes when the guy pulls it down right before the Death Star blows up (either time – though in this video it’s 3:32-3:33).

Overall this weekend was “Ba-da-da-da-da!”, but this afternoon was definitely “Boooooooo!”.

I haven’t felt this horrible in awhile. I’m super tired, even though I just slept for a couple hours, and I feel queasyish.

In my icky state, my dad let me pick whatever I wanted to watch tonight – I chose Fletch. It was all right – not as great as all the hype, though. I do love me some Chevy Chase, but I might have been too tired and/or sick to actually enjoy the movie. Sigh.

I’m going to take it easy the rest of tonight. But, even if I still feel sick tomorrow, I’m going to do more school work. I hope to get the rest of my 70 articles read this week… not entirely sure if that’ll happen. But I’m gonna try.


(See, when I was little, my mom told me to growl at the ball while I was up to bat and I would be able to hit better… I am assuming the same works for thesis proposals as well.)

Don’t even bother asking – I didn’t get ANY school work done today.

However, I did put together a super successful cookout for a visiting National Park Superintendent, his mom and his two sons – so today was productive.

I woke up later than normal because I was having trouble sleeping last night (surprise, surprise). I fed the dogs, let them run around outside then watched the season finale of Season Two of Party Down while I ate breakfast (oh granola, how I love thee…). As mentioned several times before, Henry (Adam Scott) is my favorite character on the show and I am a big fan of his relationship with Casey (Lizzy Caplan). I thought they had some great moments with each other this episode, and (spoiler alert) it was really great to see Henry get excited about the role in Velour. If the show does run a third season, I wonder if Henry will get the role and that will be an excuse of why he’s not working at Party Down anymore… as I can’t imagine Adam Scott being able to be on Parks and Recreation *and* Party Down. Though that would be pretty awesome if he could do both shows at once…

Instead of reading articles for my thesis proposal, I spent the day doing chores – washing/drying the blankets that cover the furniture (we have dogs – things get hairy really quickly), washing dishes, making brownies, chopping vegetables, straightening the main floor of the house, vacuuming the foyer/steps/living room, etc… I managed to watch half of two separate episodes of Weeds Season Four during lunch and talk to my mom and sister as they had just finished their Alaskan cruise and were in Seattle (they are camping in Oregon tonight – like camping, camping… in a tent. That’s how we roll…)

My dad got home from work around 2, but then had to do a conference call from our living room. We finished getting the house ready and our guests arrived at 5:30.

(Cue the massive thunderstorm, complete with giant cracks of lightning… and heavy, heavy rain… and then the faint sound of what we assume was a tornado siren – though luckily no tornado!)

Now, those who know me best know that I am not a fan of children. The Superintendent had two boys – 13 and 11. They were nice kids and took a liking to Moose, so we had a good time playing catch with the dog, and the younger one described to me some sort of magic quest thing they had done in the Mall of America earlier that day.

I set out massive quantities of food and my dad grilled assorted meats. Assorted meats went over way better than the assortment of fresh vegetables that I had chopped up into fun size pieces… but now at least I will have my pick of vegetables for at least a week. Yay tomatoes and broccoli πŸ™‚

After dinner, I got the boys set up with our Wii – they played some World War II fighter pilot game while I cleared off all of the dinner food and set out an apple pie and the brownies I made earlier. I totally inherited my mom’s ability to put together a seemingly low-hassle get together – woot.

When the family left around 9, my dad and I let the dogs out then cleaned up the rest of the stuff from the gathering. We were done with all our chores and my dad finished washing all the dishes before 9:30. I’m thankful that we did everything tonight so we don’t have to wake up to a mess in the morning.

My dad and I are supposed to go fishing tomorrow – I hope the weather allows for that. Then we have plans to go see The A-Team and try out some Indian place on Sunday. Sounds like a fun weekend to me πŸ™‚ We’ll be getting Drag Me to Hell in the mail tomorrow through Netflix, so we’ll watch that at some point too. It’s supposed to be good – I hope it lives up to the hype.

I will get back to work on my school stuff on Monday. Theoretically I should be getting a lot of school work done next week. I need to stick to that plan…

Have a swell weekend

Yeah, that’s pretty much how I felt today, at least with regards to working on school stuff. Because I didn’t work on school stuff… I ran an errand for my dad, watered plants and watched a movie.

Go ahead and say it – I am a crappy graduate student. Sure, I got all of my homework and papers turned in on time and had decent grades for the entire school year. But I have little motivation to read articles for my thesis proposal, and I especially have no motivation to actually type the sucker up.

I’m sure this is just me being extra anxious about what happens next. As in, after I write and defend my thesis proposal, then I will have to write and defend my thesis. Once I’m done with my thesis, I am magically supposed to have my life figured out. And seeing how I have absolutely no idea about how my life is going to turn out, I am procrastinating with the thesis…

No need for therapy, I can decipher my own crazy, thankyouverymuch.

So, I watched a really great movie today called Bright Star (2009). And you’re thinking, “But wait, Kate, that’s a romantic drama… How can you like a romantic drama when you don’t like romantic comedies?”

Easy folks – usually stuff doesn’t work out for the main characters in romantic dramas… which I consider to be more relatable to than crappy romantic comedies.

Often times in romantic dramas, the two leads meet somehow, fall in love, and then there is some crazy huge conflict that they usually cannot overcome (class issues, death, etc…). Not to be a Debbie Downer, but this is way more gripping to me and catches my attention way more than a cheesy meet-cute, then stupid conflict involving alcohol or a he-said/she-said, then a corny reunion/wedding. Pain is real and emotional whereas forced comedic romance just tries my patience and often times annoys me. I don’t like to be annoyed when watching a movie, I’d rather be engrossed in the characters and the plot.

So, Bright Star. Directed by Jane Campion, the second woman ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director (for The Piano). This film was beautiful on so many levels. Besides looking gorgeous (I friggin’ love period pieces), I admired that there was hardly any music (except for when the brother played the violin and the group of men were singing). Usually when there is no music in a movie, it causes the film to drag, but not in Bright Star. The script was great, the characters were captivating and the plot moved along quite well. I mainly wanted to see the movie because I am a fan of Campion and I love Paul Schneider. However, I came away from the movie admiring Abbie Cornish and thinking that Ben Whishaw (who I had never heard of before) was brilliant as John Keats.

I was familiar with some of Keats’s poetry, but admit that often I do not understand poetry as a whole when I am reading it. Though when someone is reading a poem out loud, it has a greater impact on me – and I can feel it, or at least let the words travel through my ears, into my brain and then dig around until they find some sort of memory or form some sort of audio/visual map to guide me to its meaning. I am not knocking my own reading skills (I am well read, thank you), but hearing someone put some feeling and inflection behind the words gives me an extra nudge in understanding and connecting to the poem. So I appreciated the parts in the movies where poetry was discussed or recited, as it benefited my enjoyment of the film and helped me grasp the intended meaning of the poems. This is definitely a movie that I hope to have in my collection soon – it will complement my Becoming Jane and Pride & Prejudice DVDs quite nicely.

Speaking of Becoming Jane, I must end this post so I may watch part of it before I go to bed. The entire time I was watching Bright Star, I was thinking how much James McAvoy would have been perfect for Keats. But, I will settle for him as Tom Lefroy – swoon (1:09) .

Good night

So, I ended up turning off Modern Family before it was over because it was Part 1 of the 2 Hawaii episodes and those were just on a few weeks ago… geez ABC. I started an episode of Weeds Season Four but stopped that after a few minutes too. I realized I didn’t want to watch anything anymore… I wanted to do what any normal person would do:

Play Wii Sports while dancing and singing really loud to a mix of my favorite Broadway songs, of course.

I popped in a CD and turned on the Wii. I had to steal some batteries from the TV remote for the Wiimote, but all was well. As I played Home Run Derby and did some Wii Golf and Bowling practice, I was belting my heart out, much to the chagrin of my two dogs I am sure.

One of the first songs that was up was my current favorite song from The Addams Family Musical – “Crazier Than You”. I love Wesley Taylor and Krysta Rodriguez by themselves, but put them together and you get musical magic πŸ™‚

I would love to have Krysta’s voice, if only for a day, as it is epic in the same fashion as Sara Ramierz, Lea Michele or Idina Menzel.

Krysta has a solo in The Addams Family called “Pulled,” which is also awesome:

The girl can sing.

Know who else can sing? Sutton Foster! L-O-V-E her on the Little Women soundtrack, especially on the song “Astonishing.” Jo March is one of my favorite literary characters of all time – and I’m sure, subconsciously, one of my influences to be a writer – and this song is that character to a friggin’ T. Here’s a short scene from the end of the first Act of the musical… enjoy! (SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn’t read Little Women or saw any version of the movie… major plot point revealed in the video)

Sooooo good, right? I liken it, impact-wise, to “Defying Gravity” at the end of the first Act of Wicked. Cue goosebumps up and down my arms πŸ™‚

Oh, Little Women… (ready for a tangent?)

So, as I mentioned earlier, Jo March is one of my favorite literary characters of all time. “Christopher Columbus!” (More spoiler alerts for people who don’t know the story – read it already!) She’s not some swoony girl – she’s an independent young lady who befriends the boy next door but instead of falling in love with him, wants to establish herself as a writer. She’s got three sisters who she loves very much, and they’ve all got their flaws (especially Amy, who I will get to shortly). I like how Jo is stubborn and says she doesn’t want to get married to Laurie, or anyone for that matter, but ends up with the German professor guy and still is independent and gets to be a writer.

And while there is a small part of me that wishes Jo would have ended up with Laurie in the end, it’s kinda awesome that she doesn’t, because that would be expected. However, I do not like that Laurie ends up with Amy! What the heck, Louisa May Alcott?! Going off of the 1994 version of the film (which is my go-to source for Little Women these days as I have yet to actually own the book… though I have read it two or three times), Laurie never seemed to love Amy the way he loved Jo. It seems that Laurie married Amy because she was the only March sister left and he wanted into that family come hell or high water. And Amy is so ridiculous (and always had a bit of a crush on Laurie), that she totally married him! That plot point makes me mad every time I watch the movie because I like Laurie (until he becomes a bit of jerk) and I loathe Amy – especially when she does all those heinous things to Jo (like throw her manuscript in the fire and fall into the ice while Jo and Laurie are skating together). I probably especially hate Amy because she is played by Kirsten Dunst (*shudder*), but Amy is still way dislikable anyway.

End rant.

So, with Iron Man Buddy by my side and snoring dogs at my feet and beside my bed, I will call it quits for the night and pick back up with my Jump the Shark book, which is about all the shows, bands and celebrities who have, in fact, jumped the shark. Too bad the book is from 2002, as many more things have jumped the shark by now… like American Idol. But that epic monologue is for another day…

Have a great evening!

Wednesdays usually suck, but I’m watching the Intervention episode of How I Met Your Mother, so maybe today isn’t so bad after all…

After a horrible night’s sleep, the dogs (and a text from my dad, a half day after I texted him…) woke me up at 7:15ish. Come on!

I took care of the dogs and then watched the last couple episodes of Weeds Season Three. I then sat down to my computer to read articles for my thesis proposal. After a few minutes, I was thinking about pizza instead of thesis stuff. I kid you not, as soon as I googled the pizza place near my house, Robin texted me about how she was bored with her thesis stuff too and how she wanted to eat a whole pizza. Obviously brilliant minds think alike. I did some thesis reading and then went to the pizza place and got my pizza (and a salad – because it’s important to eat vegetables, yo!). I’m surprised it cooked all right as I had a lot of trouble working our oven… every time I tried to set the time, it would shut off the temperature. What the what?

(BTW – just saw a commercial for Inception… I can’t wait to see that!)

With the afternoon came rain storms and more thesis proposal reading… about three hours of each. While some of the articles were super interesting, several were not and I really couldn’t take it anymore. So, I did what I thought anyone would do – get the mail from the mailbox and pop in the latest Netflix Blu-ray…

Some back story on today’s Netflix viewing – Leap Year (2010).

Now, I usually will not just sit down and watch a romantic comedy. I have a problem with that genre, as most rom-coms are uber predictable and are often times beyond cheesy. Plus, hugely fabricated love stories are usually not my thing. However, I decided I could use some fluff. Plus, I like Amy Adams, Adam Scott and Matthew Goode, so I figured, “What the heck?”.

Wildly predictable? Yes. A bit too cutesy? Uh huh.

Perhaps I am just not cut out for this kind of schmaltzy movie. I knew I never really fit into the stereotypical “girl” category (I’m not obsessing about any future wedding, I don’t like dresses, I could probably win a burping contest, etc…), but I have a huge problem with damsel in distress movies where the female character has no other purpose but to find (or keep) love. And you are probably thinking, “But Kate, isn’t that the whole point of a romantic comedy?” Maybe… but I just can’t wrap my mind around that because I was raised in a house that stressed gender equality. I know that a woman should not be defined by the man (or woman, if she was so inclined, or lack thereof of a significant other) in her life. And while most movies, regardless of genre, are love stories of some kind, I am often very put off by the rom-com because it makes me think that my morals and standards for myself are irrelevant.

But I digress…

I finished the movie and then did some chores and whatnot. I turned on the TV and found that How I Met Your Mother was on – the Intervention episode! One of the better episodes of Season Four, for sure πŸ™‚ So many great quotes… so little time!

I put So You Think You Can Dance on now, but I’m really just killing time until Modern Family is on πŸ™‚ One of the best new shows of the year, for sure. Ty Burrell is beyond hilarious on that show. Plus, how great are Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson?! And those two little boys who play Manny and Luke? Buh-rilliant.

Tomorrow I will get more articles read, more notes taken, and I have to grocery shop as I am in charge of planning a small dinner party for Friday night.

I can’t wait for the weekend… my dad is taking me to a movie, and I want to go see The A-Team!! Bring on the explosions (and Bradley Cooper and Patrick Wilson… woot!)!

Have a great rest of the week πŸ™‚

While I was trying to get to sleep last night, I realized I didn’t do a blog post. And though that broke my daily update, I am letting myself off the hook for that one… there was a death in the family. A blog post isn’t so important anymore, is it? Nope.

Yesterday morning I decided I was going to get out of the house, so I drove on the highway (!) to get to a nearby movie theater to see Toy Story 3. Now, I hate driving, I really hate highway driving, and I extremely hate driving in places that I am unfamiliar with… so it was a kinda big deal (in my opinion) that I was venturing out of the house like that. I also hadn’t been to a movie in about a month – and for someone who tries to go once a week, I needed to see a movie in theaters or I was going to get the shakes.

So I highway drove to the movie theater, paid my $7.25 (for a matinee, Regal Cinemas, really???), got some Sour Patch Kids and nestled down into my seat. As I was at the theater way early, I kept busy texting w/a friend. Said friend asked about my highway driving and I admitted to being a pansy about it, though I have a decent learning curve. I also confessed that I needed to man up and drive to more places just to be around people.

[To be frank – it is super lonely here in MN. Yes, I get to see my dad most evenings and I will see him more on the weekends, but I miss being around people in my age bracket. I miss my friends. A lot. And though I have tried to hard sell to see if anyone would come visit me, that’s likely not going to happen. Plane tickets are expensive, MN is way to far from Ohio, and it’s unreasonable to expect people to just up and come 1/3 of the way across the country to save me from loneliness. My dogs and dad are great company, but I miss my friends – dogs and my dad just are not an equal substitute.]

Families with small children began to filter into the theater and ended up sitting near me, which made little sense as the ginormous theater was pretty much empty.

I opted to see Toy Story 3 in 2D. I have vowed not to see anything in 3D ever again… it’s a waste of money, the effects usually aren’t all that great, and I hate wearing those glasses. Toy Story 3 in 2D was just fine. In fact, it was friggin’ great. I loved the first two films, and this was a perfect fit for the (now) trilogy. And I don’t usually cry at movies (I sobbed at Million Dollar Baby and shed some tears at In America and In Her Shoes), but I was beyond teared up by the end of Toy Story 3. I won’t spoil any plot lines for you, but the scene when they all held hands and then the scene with Andy and Bonnie really hit home. I was already missing my friends, but then to see the love and selflessness was almost too much for me to take right then. I spent the credits wiping tears away from my eyes and trying to collect myself before the lights came up. (Side note – we totally had that Animal Lovin’ Ken doll when we were little! Along with his friend Animal Lovin’ Nikki… woot)

When I got out of the movie, I saw that I had two missed calls and two voicemails from my dad. I hadn’t told him I was going to a movie, so I assumed he was wondering why he couldn’t get a hold of me. Before I drove home (I don’t talk on the phone while I drive – duh), I called my dad and he prefaced the conversation with “I have some bad news…”, which is parent code for “someone [person or pet] is in the hospital or died”. He told me that my great-grandmother had passed away earlier that morning. I managed to make it through the rest of the conversation, drive home, let the dogs outside, leave a message on my grandparents and my friend’s phones before I completely lost it leaving a message on my BFFs phone. Cue tears and my blindly searching for a box of tissues. I just wanted to talk to someone… and that just wasn’t happening. So, I texted my friend who I was texting with earlier and all said friend had to say was “Awww I’m really sorry”. I know he meant it, but this girl needed more comforting than that.

So, I choked down a sandwich and laid face down on the couch and just watched television the rest of the afternoon instead of working on thesis stuff. I was sad and in no mood to read about hegemony.

I perked up a bit later when I was doing the dishes/dancing around the kitchen to an excellent mix of pop music (Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Britney, etc…). My grandparents called and I talked to them for awhile, which was nice. We talked about my great-grandmother… she was 94 (I think).

My great-grandmother was an amazing lady. I have nothing but good memories of her. Visiting her and my great-grandfather up in Maine and New Jersey, and then later visiting her in Florida after my great-grandfather died. She was always making food, trying to get us to eat, playing cards with us or telling stories. My sister and I would stay with her in New Jersey before driving into NYC for a weekend. She was probably the nicest person I will ever meet in my entire life and I am thankful and grateful that I got to know her for these past 26 years πŸ™‚ I will miss her dearly, but have so many fond memories to keep myself smiling for years to come.

When my dad got home from work last night he gave me a big hug and took me out to BW3s for dinner. On the way there my mom and sister called from Alaska… I could tell my mom was really sad (this was her grandmother who just passed). I won’t get to hear from my mom again until the end of the week, which sucks, but that’s just how it is. She and my sister are doing well, which made me happy.

After dinner, my dad took me to Half Price Books where I got 2 books (an APA manual for my thesis, a book about shows that jumped the shark, and 2 DVDs – A Mighty Wind</em> and Bend it Like Beckham – woot). When we got home, my friend Robin called and that made me feel much better πŸ™‚ My dad and I then watched a really crappy movie (Shadowboxer) and called it quits for the night.

Today I was going to get a lot of work done on my thesis proposal since I didn’t do anything for the past few days… I found a bunch for articles, and started an annotated bibliography (I think I took notes on three or four articles). I will totally do a lot more work tomorrow, but I just didn’t have it in me today.

I spent a lot of time watering the plants because I keep getting lectured that all the plants need to still be alive when my mom gets back. I also watched several episodes of Weeds Season Three. I also watched Paper Heart (2009), the mockumentary about love… and I loved it! It made me so happy and sad at the same time, even though I was already aware of what was real and what was fiction in the movie. So, after watching the movie… I kinda poked around online and found an online dating site for the area where I’m living. And I might have signed up… That probably was not the most rational thing to do, especially after all the unintended drama the last few months of school… but whatever. Surely there must be some great guy for me around here somewhere, right?

Well, my youngest dog just came over and put her head in my lap which means she requires my full attention and wants her belly rubbed. And I could totally use a cold drink and another few episodes of Weeds

Have a great evening πŸ™‚

Yeah, no more progress on any thesis-related stuff, but I got to spend the whole day with my dad πŸ™‚

He got me a fishing license, I got him a fishing pole – surely there will be some father/daughter fishing soon.

We watched Wet Hot American Summer… I thought he would like it since he liked Role Models so much. I was waaaaay wrong. He did agree to play Trivial Pursuit again… I earned my sixth pie piece (Blue – People and Places) whereas he only had 3 – woot! Oh trivia… how I love thee.

Tomorrow should be more productive. Maybe not in school work, per se, but I might attempt to go see Toy Story 3 or at least drive somewhere (anywhere). I have Tuesday-Thursday to focus on school work, so I’m not going to sweat it tomorrow. So there, school work.

I hope you had a great Father’s Day weekend!

(P.S. We heard from my mom and sister… they are safe in Alaska and got to go on a whale watch today! I am so jealous that they got to see Humpback whales! I did get to pet 11 week old black labrador puppies, so that was fun… but whale watching is soooooo cool! I’m just glad my mom and sister are having fun!)

It’s Saturday, which means weekend, which means I don’t have to work on school work, right?

That’s how I played it, at least…

As I was up later than usual last night, I slept it this morning until 8:00… which my body still thinks is 9:00. And I rarely sleep in that late, so kudos to me (?).

I rolled out of bed, fed the dogs and let them outside to run around and such. Cold pizza, strawberries and a bottle of iced tea made for an excellent way to start off the morning while watching two and a half episodes of Weeds Season Two. The plot lines are becoming more and more familiar, as I have previously watched some of Season Two and Three (and Four?) with my sister… I ended up skipping a couple episodes later today, and will likely get to Season Three on Monday. Moving right along… (footloose and fancy free!)

Instead of working on thesis stuff, I spent an hour listening to music on youtube and reading song lyrics from some database. See, last night I heard from a couple of my grad school friends and one of the conversations veered heavily toward music groups from Minnesota. As I only listen to Top 40, oldies and show tunes, I was unaware of most of the bands mentioned and promised said peer I would listen to the music at some point this weekend. So, I listened to an entire album and change from The Replacements… and I dug their sound for the most part. I found some of their songs to be more aurally pleasing than others. Same goes for lyrics – some of the songs were amazing, while others didn’t really do it for me. My favorite song so far was the first one I listened to – Alex Chilton. Though this song was not on the Let it Be (1984) album, this was the first song (well, video) that came up on youtube when I typed in the band’s name.

Listening to the music, while not super productive, at least made me feel connected to my friend who is so far away. I find myself reading or watching things that I associate with different friends from school – as if that small action will somehow bridge the distance gap from Minnesota to Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts, or whatever other states my peers are in.


My dad came home from work early today, so I sat outside on a lawn chair and read a magazine while he mowed our jungle of a lawn. I watered the plants in the front yard and on the porch, but I’m fairly sure I didn’t do it right – I think I under-watered everything… whoops. Both of my parents are amazing gardeners, but I did not inherit any of their talents.

My dad and I got James Cameron’s Ferngully, I mean Avatar, in the mail, so we watched that during/after dinner. My dad wasn’t super impressed with it – he liked the visuals, but commented on the weak plot throughout the entirety of the film. He likened it to Jurassic Park and a basic Cowboys and Indians movie. However, when I IMDBed the bad guy, we found out that he played Ike Clanton in Tombstone (one of our favorite movies to watch together). Crazy times.

To break up the long movie, my dad watered all the plants in the backyard and on the deck while I fed the fish in our pond and played with the dogs on the deck. After finishing Avatar, I asked my dad if we could play Trivial Pursuit. He usually would say no, but since he loves me a lot, he agreed πŸ™‚ He was leading, then I was, then he was, and then ultimately, I was the champion. I won on a History question while he still needed to get an Arts and Entertainment pie piece… he didn’t really stand a chance because he does not know as much about popular culture as me. Oh well – he knows way more important stuff about more important stuff than I do. But I am good at trivia… too bad that doesn’t count for more πŸ™‚

Well, tomorrow is Father’s Day. He’s taking me to get my fishing license and out to one of his favorite restaurants and stores. I’m trying to convince him to let me buy him the special hunting/outdoors socks he needs. We’ll see if that happens…

He thinks that he’s only getting the Father’s Day card that my mom got him. Little does he know that I drove to the store today and picked out a card for him. Father’s Day cards on a whole are super lame, but I found one with a halfway decent fart joke on it that I know he will get a kick out of.

I hope you and yours have a Happy Father’s Day tomorrow!!

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