For life's little obsessions

That’s Life: Week 3

Turns out getting information from admissions people (especially around exam time) takes a lot more time than I thought. I honestly hoped I’d be able to definitively say which degree program I’d be working on in the fall by the end of this week. I’ve essentially made up my mind, I’m just waiting for final confirmation that the coursework will still work with the MLS and a chance to look over the official offer. Apparently this process requires a lot of patience and a LOT of emails – something I’m not particularly good at. Any type of business email scares me, but a business email to someone whom I’ve only met twice is absolutely terrifying! Even the barest 2 paragraph email generally takes a good hour to write and send, because I have to compulsively re-read what I’ve written 15-20 times to make sure nothing could possibly cause offense or make me sound stupid. Sometimes I have someone else read it, and then I revise and read it again myself… and STILL I have to close my eyes and cross my fingers as I hit send!

Aside from the emails, I think I’m doing as well as can be expected. I think I have Senior-itis in reverse – now that I’ve decided I’m going I want to just go and GET THERE ALREADY! I’m getting more and more antsy at work, finding myself daydreaming about a color scheme for my apartment or what I want to do for my dissertation or even just who I might meet at school. I even caught myself planning MEALS one time – it’s still four months away, a little premature don’t you think, self?!

That said, I think my subconscious is more stressed out about this than I realize. I’m not sleeping particularly well, and I keep having these “I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING” nightmares just about every night. For example, a few nights ago, I found myself in an Emergency Room, left alone with a patient who was dying (rather bloodily I might add – I don’t like blood when it comes from other people!) and a bunch of nurses and doctors watching from outside the room telling me I had to save him without their help. I think I woke myself up before he actually died but I was in tears in the dream because the man would die from my lack of medical knowledge!

At least in the waking world I feel like I’m ready – Let’s get started already!

Crafty Creations: Sock holder

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a craft with you guys – probably because I started a bunch of things that are going to take me a while to finish! But, earlier this week I took a little time to make something small.

You know how the washer always eats a couple of socks and then spits them back out a few weeks later? (Maybe it doesn’t in your house, but in mine, we have a fully established sock monster living in the utility room!) Recently I was going through my clothes and sorting out things I was done with, and I realized that I hadn’t been using more than HALF my socks because I was in the habit of throwing singletons into the drawer, assuming I’d go through later and pair them up once the second one showed up (bad assumption.. I’m lazy!). So, for a while I tried leaving them out on my dressing table, but that just cluttered up an already cluttered space. Finally it hit me – I have all this yarn, and I know how to crochet bags now! DUH!

In this case, I used a fairly thin yarn with a G-hook. I made the pattern up as I went along, basing it loosely on a “farmer’s market bag” pattern from a book I got from the library. Then, instead of handles, I made a slot on one side (chain 8 and skip 8 stitches, then single over the chain on the way back) and a tab on the opposite side. I crocheted the other direction for the tab, to make it easier to put in a vertical buttonhole at the end. I sewed on a button I liked and voila! The perfect little bag to hang on the handle of my dresser and hold all those singleton socks (and to remind me to get them out every time I put away clean clothes!)

Weekly Obsession: Eureka

Anne's Weekly Obsession

Thanks to Kristilyn from A Winter Crafter for designing the banner

Image belongs to SyFy

Obsession: Eureka

Current Position: Middle of season 3

Summary: [from IMDB] The best minds in the US are tucked away in a remote town where they build futuristic inventions for the government’s benefit.

Why I like it:

  • The story: A normal guy becomes sheriff to a bunch of geniuses whose experiments go hilariously wrong – what’s not to like?! Sure just about every episode is somebody’s experiment exploding and Sheriff Carter figuring out how to clean it up, but each one is new and different, and I love it!
  • The witty banter: Let’s face it – geniuses don’t like to be told “no” Sheriff Carter and his assistant Jo Lupo are all kinds of sarcastic, trading barbs with these brilliant minds that often make me laugh out loud. Plus, the rivalry over Allison between Dr. Stark and Sheriff Carter is always putting them in tight spots together – SO FUNNY!
  • The characters: Most shows have one or two odd ducks somewhere. This show is almost ALL odd ducks. Take, for example, Taggert the big game hunter (I’m still not sure why he’s around Eureka, though it must have something to do with animals). His lack of modesty makes for some really awkward but funny moments. And then there’s Fargo. Oh Fargo. Somebody get you a girlfriend already! He may be a genius but he is so adorably socially inept! Half the time the problems are his fault and yet I find myself yelling at other characters for not keeping things out of his way – it’s like he’s this little lost puppy that I just want to protect!

This is definitely one I’d recommend to everyone! Sure the science-y stuff goes straight over my head, but you don’t really need that to have fun!


That’s Life: Week 2

This is the boring part: the waiting. Currently I’m sitting in a Panera in a city about 4 hours away from home, waiting for my dad to show up with the car (cause he refuses to get with this century and buy a cell phone. I know.) But hey! I have internet and can write up a post!

This week’s adventure:

Actually this week there were two. Adventure number 1:

Last Friday I got a phone call from the university that my application was “highly qualified” for the degree that I’d asked for, so they wanted to know if I would like to move up – instead of doing an MA in Musicology, I’d skip directly to getting a PhD, almost fully funded for the entire time I was there. Oh and if I could manage it, they wanted a decision in THREE DAYS! *cue immediate freak out*

After several phone calls and discussions, I made it pretty clear that I hadn’t even thought about a PhD program yet, and there was no way to make a decision involving at least 2 extra years of my life in three days. They agreed to let me think about it some more, and I’ve spent the entire week trying to get into contact with those who would be able to give me more information, both on what this would mean in the short term and what it would do for my career in the long term.  I was able to meet with two separate people this weekend while I was there apartment hunting and ask lots of questions about what the program would be like etc. The main factor for me is the research – apparently the MA I was looking at has little to no research involved and continuing my research is very important to me. So, as long as we figure out a way that I can take the PhD and still do the MLS, I think I’m going to do it. EEP!

Adventure number 2 was finding housing. I had to wear big girl pants all week, calling all these apartment places and asking for showings, and it was scary. I almost wish I’d had the opportunity to apartment shop while I was doing my undergrad – I imagine it’s a little easier to apartment hunt when you’ve lived in the town where you’re looking and I would have appreciated a little experience in it before jumping in both feet first. But, after 10 showings, ranging from so teeny you could stand in the middle and touch both sides to incredibly spacious, from absolute dump on the wrong side of town to so hoity toity I couldn’t afford it, we found “the perfect” place! It’s walking distance to groceries, school and several other things, and even though it’s in the middle of a shopping area I got a unit on the back that looks out on some trees and is back off the road. I also have an upper neighbor who’ll be bringing a grand piano so I’ll be near some students in the same college at least.

Every step I get closer makes it seem more real, and yet I still can’t quite believe I’m finally getting to move out permanently. There’s so much to do!


The Confessions of Rachel and Elyen: Week 3

Read week 1 and week 2.

Dear Elyen,
I’m sorry my reply is late! I was waiting to see if something interesting would FINALLY happen, but the truth is Philly is boring without you. Nothing happens.
So, not to be snarky or anything, but you didn’t tell me anything before you left. Are you not going back to school? You’re just going to be working for your Aunt Beth? I guess it’s lucky you at least have family out there. And you never know – maybe you ended up exactly where you needed to be and you’ll meet the love of your life all the way out there in the boonies. Of course I love you no matter what happens, and you know if I could afford to help you I would.
I honestly don’t know what to tell you from here. I think Tia and Michael are finally seriously broken up. She and her new boyfriend are constantly walking around the campus holding hands and I know it’s only a matter of time until someone walks in on them in the locker rooms or they hang a sock on the door and someone will talk. Oh, and get this – he was here visiting his cousins and working as a lifeguard over the summer – that’s how they met, right? Well, anyways, he decided to stay, just because he wanted to stay with her. Tia broke up with Michael for a guy that thinks it’s serious enough that it’s worth moving across the country (he’s from Virginia) just to be near her during the year. I’d say Michael and Tia are finally officially “officially over.”
I guess the biggest news is the new kid. Everyone’s talking about him. I was apparently the first to meet him so I’ve been under fire almost constantly since. Everyone wants to know everything about him – and the worst bit? He’s not talking. So guess who gets to talk Yeah. Me.
It was middle of the day a few days after school started. I got an email from Mrs. Kindan (my advisor, remember?) asking me to visit her office. I was worried that I was in trouble and spent the entire day trying to think of what I might have done. I was coming up with zero. I’d been to all my classes and they were all ones that I needed – I wasn’t waitlisted for anything either. By the time I got there, I was extremely worried.
I walked in and the first thing I noticed was a boy that I didn’t know. He was kinda tall with shaggy dark brown hair. He stood slouching sullenly against the desk. He gave off the air of a teenage boy that always has headphones and a sweatshirt on. Instead he was wearing a nice button-down-the-front shirt, untucked from his faux-designer jeans. Mrs. Kindan was standing with her back to me as I entered, but turned when the door shut heavily behind me.
“Ah, Rachel. So glad you could join us.” I just smiled, a little wary. I’d never seen this guy before, which meant he had to be new. Our class is just too tiny for him to have been there without me noticing. Mrs. Kindan must have sensed my reticence because her phony smile slipped a little before she could stop it.
“Rachel, this is Drew Rothe. He’s just moved here from NYC. He’s a junior, like you,” she told me in that over-friendly tone she reserves for when she’s trying to be nice.
“Hi,” I said, glancing at him. There was an awkward pause. Mrs. Kindan took a deep breath.
“He’s deaf.” Oh. Suddenly my special introduction made much more sense. “He’s been trained in ASL. I know that’s not what you use with your cousing, but I’ve been told it’s close enough. I’d like you to help him transition here. Lisa” at this she gestured to a petite bottle blonde I hadn’t noticed sitting in the corner of the room, “Will be his official interpreter, but I think it will be easier on him if he has someone his own age to talk to.” I very carefully kept myself from rolling my eyes. Like he really wants me to babysit him while he’s trying to make friends. On the other hand, Lisa looked like she was about 60, and probably wouldn’t be much fun to drag around to whatever frat parties he wanted to attend (not that I would either, but Kindan doesn’t know that).
“Now, I’ll just leave you two to get acquainted.” And Mrs. Kindan left. We stood awkwardly for a few minutes, carefully avoiding looking at each other. Finally I signed an introduction.
[I’m Rachel.] He looked genuinely surprised that I knew sign.
[I guess she already told you who I am,] he signed back. I grinned.
[Yeah. Sorry about her. She doesn’t quite get it.]
[I noticed.] He almost smiled then, and I could tell that if he would actually smile, he would be much more handsome. We were still for another few minutes.
[So what made you move from the big city all the way out here?] I asked. I saw his face immediately shut down into a stiff mask.
[I’ve got to go find my classes,] he signed. He brushed past me, letting the door slam shut behind him.
“What did I say?” I wondered aloud.
That afternoon, waiting for the shuttle that would take me back to the apartment, I was bombarded by questions. Everyone seemed to know about my encounter. Half the girls were begging me to teach them basic sign, just so that they could talk to him. There were even several giggling cheerleaders that spent more time gushing over how hot he is than actually asking how to introduce themselves. I ended up ditching them without ever saying anything. Finally the bus arrived and I escaped to a seat in the back. A few minutes later Drew swung into the seat across the way.
I couldn’t help it. I watched him the whole way home. The cheerleaders were right: he was pretty hot. He sat there slouched over the entire way, watching out the window. Several times, I sat up and thought about trying to start a conversation, but I never actually did. I still didn’t know why what I said earlier offended him so much and I was almost afraid to find out. Why is moving such a touchy subject?
We both got off at the Docks (don’t ask me why they decided an apartment complex in the middle of a concrete jungle was called the Docks. I have no clue.). He walked ahead of me out to the end of the row, and then climbed all the way to the top – the penthouse. I couldn’t believe it. This kid was rich! What is he doing out here? I mean, we’re not the poorest community around, but still – he came from NYC! There are so many more opportunities there. For all I can tell, he might as well be related to the Rockefellers. He’s certainly got enough money.
I watched him unlock the door, before climbing the two flights to my own apartment. From the direction he was headed, I’d say he’s living in the Dalish room, which is odd, because no-one’s lived there in fifteen years – no-one can afford it!
Anyways, I haven’t really talked to him since that first day. I know, Mrs. Kindan wanted me to be very friendly, but he doesn’t seem to want to have friends. He keeps away from everyone – though some of this may be that he doesn’t want to speak, and despite having you around for however-many years, most of our classmates don’t sign. I just don’t know, Ellie. He’s odd.
So that’s it for news from here. Good luck with the new job, and I’ll cross my fingers that you can come home soon!


That’s Life: Week 1

My life is about to go crazy. For those of you who don’t know (which, if you’ve met me online at all, is NONE of you) I’m going back to school in the fall after 2 years off to contemplate life, the universe and everything (okay, maybe just MY part of those things). In that time, I’ve built a presence online as best I can, made some incredible friends, and kind of dropped out of the IRL social scene. Reintegrating into “real” society is going to be a major process for me, and that’s something I’d like to have a record of somewhere. And so, “That’s Life” was born – a weekly feature for me to share with you the trials and tribulations of becoming a Music Librarian.

The story so far:

Where does one start if one wants to be a Music Librarian? With research, of course! I decided (after a lot of wishy-washy back and forth) I wanted to pursue this in November 2011, and immediately began to research what schools would allow such a thing. The Music Librarian’s Association website was incredibly helpful – they list all schools that offer anything remotely resembling a Music Librarianship course, along with each school’s requirements and a little explanation on what those requirements mean. It was a LIFESAVER. I could easily find which schools allowed my kind of program and which encouraged it – there is a difference! I quickly narrowed it down to a few top schools, a fairly easy process since there are only 3 in the US that support a fully combined program.

I also made a point of interviewing the head librarian at our University’s music collection. It just so happens that she was once placement officer for the national Music Librarian’s Association and talking to her was a big help! She told me that I’d probably lose almost 50% of my job choices if I only got a Masters of Library Science (MLS) with a music specialization – the way to go was clearly an MLS with a Masters in Music History (MA), and most of the deadlines for those were about a week after I made my decision (EEP!) or had already passed. I tried to apply to the MLS degrees anyway, figuring I could just add a second Masters once I got there. And you know what I got? A whole bunch of rejection. It just didn’t work. The one or two places I did get in I couldn’t afford to go, and the music Masters programs were so competitive I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get in later.

And so, I deferred (Graduate Student applicants: YOU CAN DO THAT! It is not a binary choice of “Accept” or “Decline”!). I spent a year working on my application. I got all of my materials ready as early as possible, and I sent all of them in as close to on-time as I could. There were some bugs, and I honestly think I was rejected at one school because of a computer glitch (my writing sample didn’t upload right, it didn’t tell me, and there was no way to fix it. Really?). But the main thing is that this is a huge “hurry up and wait” game. Nothing happens fast.

The short version? I got into the school I wanted, and I am headed off to begin my career in the fall! I can’t wait to share the experience with you!

Come back next Friday for further adventures in becoming a Librarian!

Weekly Obsession: Melissa & Joey

Anne's Weekly Obsession

Thanks to Kristilyn from A Winter Crafter for designing the banner

Image belongs to ABC Family

Obsession: Melissa & Joey

Current Position: All caught up!

Summary: [from IMDB] After a family scandal leaves Mel, a local politician, alone with her niece, Lennox, and nephew, Ryder, she hires a man named Joe to become the family’s male nanny, or “manny”.

Why I like it:

I’ll admit, when somebody first recommended this to me, I was a little skeptical. I mean, it sounded cute and all, but kinda lame too.

Instead, I was incredibly surprised to find a hilarious sitcom that definitely isn’t just for the kids. Mel and Joe are constantly sniping back and forth at each other over the stupidest things, and each episode had at least one line that was laugh out loud funny (and I don’t tend to be a noisy watcher).

And then, of course, there’s the inherent tension between Mel and Joe. It’s pretty obvious from the beginning that Mel and Joe want each other, but they spend so much time denying that half the lines are funny because of the things they’re not saying.

It also helps that it’s set only half an hour from me. Of course, it’s nothing like what it really is, but it’s still cool to see something close to home. I think it’s interesting that Ohio has become code for “normal” in the media anymore – that should be a discussion topic one day!