Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free at last

Say what you want about his, or anyone else's politics, today was an historic day, and I was there to witness it. With at least 5 layers of clothes, snacks in my pockets, and 3 million of my closest friends, nothing could keep me from the National Mall.

I had the forethought to stay at Fancy's house in the city Monday night, so that I wouldn't have to get up at 3 or 4 AM. Instead, two other girls and I were up by 6:45 and out the door by 7:15. We wound around lines and random city blocks and made our way onto the Mall, around 13th St., by 8:30.

And we waited.

They replayed a concert from a previous day and then we watched as celebrities and every dignitary you could imagine arrived and took their place on the Capitol lawn and steps.

Finally, shortly after 11:30, President-elect Obama arrived, and the ceremony began. To be a citizen of a country where such a peaceful transition of power can occur, where so many people from so many different backgrounds can find common ground, and where one person can grow up to be whatever they want, even if it's something no one initially expected, is truly an awesome thing.

The prayers, the speakers, even the cordial greetings we witnessed between former and current leaders, were inspiring. President Obama gave a rousing speech, which I found myself completely agreeing with.

I hope he can accomplish everything he wants to. As he said, it won't happen immediately. Our country cannot be fixed in a day. Should, however, he fail, we can't solely blame it on him. In our country, the way our government is set up, one man cannot be the only responsible party for either the failure or success of our nation. Even if we don't like the man, we must have respect for the office.

I'm excited that I was able to be a part of this. I look forward to the possibility of change, as long as it truly is for the better.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Such great heights

What's the best Saturday afternoon activity for a self-conscious girl with trust issues who's afraid of heights?

Why, rock climbing! Of course!

It was actually really great. My random and occasional fear of heights didn't kick in until I was almost to the top of my first climb, and I mostly got over it. It didn't stop me from going up for long.

I didn't trust the rope though. So, letting go to repel down was tough. I apparently don't fall right, but I'll work on that. My first two climbs I just went up the best way I could see how, but my last two I did actually routes. Granted, they were both 5.6, which is easy in the climbing world, but I did them. You have to start somewhere. I actually did really well, just climbing my way up, with only a little direction from my friends below.

It was my fourth climb that did me in.

I was about halfway up when the handholds on my route looked entirely too far away and I wasn't sure where else my feet could go. I was pretty much stuck. The guys told me to just go for it. After a minute or two of deliberating, I did.

I missed.

I fell.

My belay caught me immediately, so I knew I was safe, but I was done with the climb. My desire to not look like a total fool got the best of me and I was fairly positive I wasn't going to get that jump that day.

The guys thought differently. They wouldn't let me down and they kept taunting me to get back on the wall and keep going. Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn't. This time, it didn't. I shot daggers with my eyes and my belay finally let me down. We were all friends again as soon as I stopped shaking.

I will tackle that route again the next time, and, by golly, there will be a next time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

That I was Thursday's Child

Thursday's have long been my least favorite day of the week. Last "school year", I stayed at work until it was time for choir rehearsal. It made more sense than going home and putzing around until it was time to leave again, particularly since home was not on the way. This did, of course, mean that I was at work from 9:30 AM until 7 PM and wouldn't get home until 10 PM. Not that this is particularly strange, as I am an incredibly busy person, but being in only or two places for that long, mostly sitting - it makes for a long day.

Then I added Thursday night wings. Appetizers are half price after 9 at a local bar and grill, so it became a tradition to go after Institute (for my friends) and choir (for me and a couple other people). I would then get home anywhere from 10:30 to 11:30 PM.

There's been talk with one of my friends to watch The Office after wings. If that happens, I won't be getting to bed (after the viewing party and getting ready for bed) until 1 AM!

Now, this isn't that rare. I'm a night person after all. It's the non-stop that gets me. Even we Type-As need some time to kick back.

But today, I started my spring semester class. So, provided everything I talked about actually happens, here's my Thursday schedule from now until May.

9:30 AM - Work
6:00 PM - Class (on the internet, in my office)
8:00 PM - Rehearsal (which actually starts at 7:30 PM)
9:45 PM - Wings
11:00 PM - The Office


Friday mornings come awfully early.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shiny and new

I finally bought an iPhone this weekend. Gosh it's shiny. I didn't know that I'd really need to be connected to the internet 24/7, but it sure is handy.

Directions to the karaoke bar? Got 'em. Facebook status updates? Got 'em. If you posted to your blog this weekend, I probably read it on my phone. Bubble wrap game? Got it. (Thanks Smash!) What's Bollywood? Why, I have YouTube! Let's look it up! What's playing on Broadway right now? Let's have a look-see! Email me at 1:30 AM? I might respond right away! Recipes! Restaurant recommendations! Scriptures and other gospel resources! White noise generator!

Seriously. I used all of those this weekend, though some of them I was just investigating their usefulness. Basically, the iPhone is awesome. I'm a fan.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

And we're dancing

Have you ever seen pictures of people kissing the ground when they return somewhere they haven't been in a long time?

That's kind of how I felt tonight as I walked into my new dance studio. I know I tried getting back into dance last year, but it was at an inconvenient location and time. I think these classes are going to stick. The studio is 7 minutes from my house, and the time is pretty decent. It better stick because I paid for the entire session tonight.

So what am I taking?

Intermediate Hip-hop and Beginning Bollywood.

It was great! The hip-hop was at exactly the right pace and skill level, and a really good workout. Bollywood was a little slow for me, even with no real previous experience (except the master class Smash and I took for fun last year), but hopefully that will get better.

I realized a couple of things though. One, my posture needs work. I was watching myself in the mirror and realized some of the moves looked a lot better when I rolled my shoulders back. I'll have to watch that. Which leads me to the other thing, I saw a lot more jiggling going on in the mirror that I'm used to. That's what not dancing 2-3 hours a day + not schlepping all over campus will do to a person. I'm working on that too. Just wish that process went faster.

Really though, I'm just THRILLED to be dancing again, even if it is just once a week. It felt really good to be moving like that again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh I believe in yesterday

Since 2008 was the first full year of The Book Guardian, I thought this meme from Chosha would be fun.

The rules for the meme: Take the first line from the first post of every month for the last year, and post them together as a kind of cross-section of what you were blogging about during the year. Remember to link to all the posts you are excerpting.

January - What an amazing trip! J'adore Paris!

Bragging about my trip to Paris. Man that was a good trip.

February - I almost posted this morning about why I'm so affected by the January blahs.

Then I remembered it was February, and February = happy times.

March - I've been singing all my life.

Oddly enough, a post about my life as a drummer.

April - I thought I'd never been to Florida before, and upon my arrival in Orlando, I remarked this to my mother.

I went to Florida, but didn't sleep in a dresser drawer. This time.

May - When I read a book, I always picture the action, the people, the settings, etc.

A discussion post that no one responded. Alas.

June - I apologize in retrospect for my recent silence and boring-ness.

Another post about yet another trip. This time to Utah. With tornadoes.

July - I feel like I'm singing constantly.

This one actually is about me singing. Sort of.

August - A little meme from Eilonwy.

Avoiding working on my term project.

September - I'm a planner.

Evidence that I am a Type A personality.

October - Nancy posted a blog that challenges the blogger (that would be me) to disclose 6 "unspectacular" quirks about yourself.

The hardest part of this post was finding a title.

November - My favorite, well, only, Australian reader, Chosha, suggested the song I will be pulling this month's blog titles from.

Hey! Chosha wins the most mentions in this post! And I post some good news.

December - I survived the trip home.

Yet another post about yet another trip. New York. And I don't like certain Christmas songs.

So that's 2008 in a nutshell. Music and travel. And a couple other things. I feel pretty good about it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I will go! I will DO!

My dad says that a goal not written is simply a wish. I also think that they should be shared with someone, so that you'll have some extrinsic motivation to complete them.

So, without further adieu, here are my goals for 2009.

  • Learn how to rock climb
  • Go to the gym 3-4 days a week
  • Read 26 non-fiction books, in alphabetical order by subject. First up - Anthropology!
  • Scripture journal every day
  • Blog weekly on my gratitude blog
  • Organize my things (What good is a desk if I can't use it, as there is too much clutter on it?)
  • Learn how to knit, and then give someone something I knitted for Christmas
  • Graduate
  • Finish the project I was hired for by the time I said I would

Happy 2009!

Who are you?

Sending Christmas wishes via mass text is a fast, cheap, easy, modern (albeit kind of lazy) way to tell a bunch of people all at once that you care.

Invariably, however, you find out that a couple of your friends haven't saved your number and at least one has changed their number and didn't tell you.

In rare circumstances, the random person you accidentally texted now wants to be text friends with you.

This is one such story.

This person and I discovered that we really didn't know each other and, I think, move on with our lives.

Until three hours later, when at 12:21 AM I get this text:

Random person: Hey whats up

two minutes later

Random person: Text back!?!?

Me: Not much. I thought we decided we don't know each other.

RP: Yeah so we could still be friends even he we both don't know each other

Me: (convinced this some naive teenage kid) I don't even know your name or how old you are.

RP: My name is kelsie. How old are you?

Me: 24.

RP: Yeah right send me a picture of you?!?

Me: (even more convinced) How old are you?

RP: Sixteen

Me: Yeah, I don't think we should be friends. Sorry.


I decided that was strange. And then I went to sleep.

For about 5 minutes.

RP: Send me a picture of you

*sends a random picture from June*

RP: Wow

Wow what? Wow I don't look my age? Wow I do? Wow I'm hot? Who knows? I decided I didn't care and I went back to sleep, figuring I'd never hear from this girl again.

I thought wrong. Three days later.

RP: Hey whats up

Me: Just getting home (failing to mention that home is 2000 miles away from wherever she thinks I am). I thought we decided we couldn't be friends.

RP: Why

Me: (Is she daft?) Because I'm 24 and your 16 and it isn't appropriate. (Do your parents know you're texting some random stranger?)

RP: I'm not 16 ok

Me: (Feeling dramatic, tired, and completely annoyed.) Then you lied to me and I can't trust you. I can't be friends with people I don't trust.

RP: Just shut up and let me go.

Me: (Nice. A Ting Tings reference. At least she has good taste in music.) STOP TEXTING ME.


I'm too nice sometimes. I probably shouldn't have indulged her to begin with.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I don't want to be

Today is my first day back to work in a week and a half. A Friday that feels like a Monday. It's really a strange feeling. I didn't sleep well last night, and that may have been in anticipation. When I did sleep, I had dreams reminiscient of yesterday's Bones marathon.

I really do love my job, but working today was not my first choice.

So, in protest, I'm wearing these (when I'm safely at my desk where no one will see).

Jealous? You should be.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Everyone is home for Christmas

For the first time since my Christmas trip home in 2006, I didn't really schedule any of my time in Utah. Unfortunately, I only saw a few extended family members and a couple of friends, so I'll just have to make another trip at some point.

It was also the first time since 2004 that all of the kids were home for Christmas together. Either my brother was on his mission, or I was off visiting my grandparents on theirs. We're still all unattached, at least by marital status, so Christmas morning was just the five of us.

I really enjoyed relaxing, reading, playing a LOT of games, meeting some new friends, snowshoeing, watching movies, going to the temple, eating, playing with my dog, and laughing. There was a lot of laughing.

I get along with my family really well and I can really be myself around them. I haven't laughed as hard as I did this last week, as often as I did, in I don't know how long.

I feel recharged. To able to relax and just be with the people I love most was absolutely divine.


Earlier this year, I discussed cities I'd spent at least one night in during 2006 and 2007. I also discussed where I thought I'd stay this year. Let's see how my list held up.

2008 (Projected)

Where I Live Now, VA
Ft. Bragg, NC (maybe)
Orlando, FL
Corolla, NC
New York City, NY (maybe)
Orem, UT

2008 (Actual)

Lingfield, UK (since I didn't come home until late January 1)
Where I Live Now, VA
Morris Plains, NJ (on three different occasions)
Waynesboro, VA
Orlando, FL
Rockville, MD
Corolla, NC
Orem, UT (two different trips)
Logan, UT
Fayetteville, NC
Washington, DC
Queens-Astoria, NY

There was a lot more travel than I expected! Hopefully 2009 will be as exciting! I've thought up trips to Idaho, Egypt, and India, so those might happen. Nothing is set in stone yet, so stay tuned!