Thursday, December 31, 2009

big break.

"I'm coming up with big plans for break. And for 2010. Hope you are too."

This first line was what I had written exactly ten days ago and then never finished. It has been a busy, relaxing, encouraging break so far. I've gotten to hang out at home because of some relentless snow that created about a 5-foot-drift on one side of our house, hang out with my grandparents at their house, chat with my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law, have a 5th-grade-esque sleepover at one of my oldest friend's swanky place in the largest city in SD, baked and eaten more sweets than I can even recall at this point, read a book until 4 in the morning, then started another the very next day, sipped coffee from home and even gone a few days without caffeine (I'm not sure how I did it, either,) lounged at my 'second-home' with my 'second parents' and one of my favorite girls ever, wrapped and opened lots of presents, watched an impressive amount of movies, seen some really good friends, and wished my parents a happy and safe trip as they left me at home for the next few days with just my sister.

There are many more things too, I'm sure, but the main point is: I've been sleeping, reading, watching tv and dvds, and going when I've felt like going. I think I'll head to Mitchell for the rest of the day to do a little thrift shopping and pick up some groceries because I feel like cooking for friends tonight! I think this will be a relaxing New Years Eve, and for that I am thankful.

Now I am going to catch up on emails, check my grades, finish the first half of the book I'm reading (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows) and head out. Happy New Years Eve everyone!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!



I am stuck in central America's major snowstorm with my family and lots of episodes of Sex and the City, a present from Santa. As we are stuck in thick drifts of snow and heavy winds, we are also eating lots of good food and lounging more than I have all year. Hope you all are having a wonderfully white winter day if you are in the Midwest, and an equally happy (not so white) Christmas if you are anywhere else in the world!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today, K and I are going


HOME! :)

See you in SD, friends and family. Happy Holidays and safe travels to those of you who are hitting the road!

Monday, December 21, 2009

working on the holiday spirit.

There was a Santa on my bus this morning. It's silly, because if I had been on time, which I almost always am, I would not have seen him. But, I wasn't on time. I was patiently waiting to say goodbye to one of my roommates and went into work a little later than normal and got a pleasant surprise on the bus. A little conversation between Santa and the bus driver went like this: "My sleigh broke down - I had to dump it. You know what I mean? I had to leave it under a tree somewhere...I'm not telling you where."

It's the first time I felt like it was Christmastime. I still haven't listened to any Christmas music unless someone else put it on. That just might change today. But probably not unless it's Ingrid.

Also, my body has decided to revolt. I woke up naturally at 3:35am today and could not go back to sleep until about 6:15am. I watched some Gilmore Girls, doodled, and read about 60 pages in a book. This is my public apology to my sleep-deprived self. Don't worry, you'll be nurtured this next month with lots of sleep and creativity and friendtime. (As you can see, "time" can be placed behind any word and I deem it legitimate. I blame MC Hammer.)

Off to finish some shopping and see a few friends before the trek home, which is looking like it will happen tomorrow due to a looming snowstorm. 2009 is flying by!

Friday, December 18, 2009

the wish list.

Here are a couple things that I haven't put on a list that I secretly would love for Christmas or my birthday. I've been doing a lot of the Christmas shopping for my family to help my mom out this year. She has a big test to take tomorrow (Saturday the 19th) and has been focused on studying for that. So, I've been working on being Santa. It's been fun, but it has made me continuously think of little things I would love. So, I'm putting them in a post just for fun!
this pretty key necklace.Or this one. I really do want a key necklace...I think it will be what I buy myself for my birthday in January!
An iHome. Who would have guessed I still have not bought one? I thought it was odd, considering I'm listening to music on my dying laptop quite a bit.Another pair of Toms? Yes, please. The first pair has writing all over them, and I just think the red are fun.
This beautiful long knit cowl.
Or this shorter, but still pretty pink one. I'm into chunky knits lately. I'm hoping to learn how to knit over break.this book. I have about a million books on a big list that I want. And my sister already bought me 7 used books that I found in Portland as my Christmas present. But this one is more of a gift book - something you can flip through like Postsecret, instead of something you dedicate time too. One day I'm going to have the best library.This fabulous oval ring. Or really, any big rings.
love this one.and this one.

Wow. So many cool things. I'm feeling a little greedy all of a sudden. Ha! But my family is going to be getting some pretty neat Santa gifts. Not only because I have a slightly different taste and vibe than my mom (and was allowed to run free with my ideas), but also because I have been on this big kick of buying certain products (I'll share later because I know K looks at this) and so their stockings will have a little something extra from me to them. Haha! And, of course, I got myself one so my stocking will not be lagging. Oh fabulous.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It is officially finals week.

And I am done with all of my finals but one. Life is silly that way.

I happened to have professors and a schedule which made last Thursday-this Tuesday my finals week. My professors preferred to finish things the last day of class, so I have taken all of the tests and written all of the papers necessary to complete my classes. I have one final on Saturday from 4-6pm (one of the worst times ever, I believe) and then I am completely finished!

I celebrated yesterday by taking a nice long nap after work. I hadn't planned on it, actually I had planned on being really productive, but apparently my body had other plans. It essentially led me to my bed, put on a good show, and then realized it was exhausted and fell asleep for a couple of hours. Message received, body. You were tired. I didn't let you rest most of the last week. I get it. On a related note, I coerced myself into getting up on Tuesday morning of this week by promising that it would be the last night that I got four or fewer hours of sleep for the rest of the semester. It worked, which was a good thing considering I had a large paper to hand in for every single one of my classes that day.

I also actually celebrated by going out for drinks with friends last night. I honestly haven't done that at all this last semester, which is a little sad considering my 21 age status and the fact that I am a senior. I was just too busy/rarely around on the weekends. I'm going to change that for next semester, though. Just wait. It will be fun. You are all invited.

Now I haven't said anything about things in the news or music or overarching universal anything. I don't even have photos because the ones I took on my phone of stressed-out Janae at 2 am are not email-able. (My phone is having technical issues with my email lately. I've just been dealing instead of fixing it, because my multiple efforts have not helped.) But here is an interesting comic piece the Huffington Post did on Santa. There. Now we have some holiday spirit.

And Joe, I know you read this and have been patiently waiting for me to say this, so, BIG congratulations on 3 months! I hope you and Stacy are going to be in my hometown over the holiday break so we can chat a little, and Ashley and I can talk babytalk to her belly. And to you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

if only...

I could be the girl with the elephants, in the heat, wearing the dress and holding the pretty yellow umbrella.

Instead, I am the girl in the boots who trudges through snow and has been up since 5:30am with a hat, a scarf, mittens and a winter coat on to take finals and write papers. The law library is my next stop. Sigh. It really would be nice to be the girl with the elephants today.

(In case you didn't know, I really like elephants.)
photo seen here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

can't stop

listening to this:


craving chocolate.

studying. 7 days until 4 of my classes are finished. whew.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jonsi. and a flashback from Paste.

Sigur Rós's Jónsi Birgisson is working on a solo album and his first track off of it, Boy Lilikoi, is brilliant. If you are a Sigur Rós fan, you will not be disappointed. Have a listen and download it for free here. And! It is in ENGLISH. I was surprised.

Yesterday I was going through my bookmarks and came across this video. It is an acoustic song by William Fitzsimmons and, very randomly, he is playing for Paste magazine! I had to have marked this at the very least a year ago because the next bookmark I have is of a Russian composer I really enjoyed listening to last winter. Apparently I do love Paste and have enjoyed the music they recommend for awhile, I just haven't been aware of it.


Happy Monday! xoxo

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Postsecret

PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God from Frank Warren on Vimeo.

If you don't know what Postsecret is, you are in for a treat. It was started by a man named Frank Warren. He gave people post cards with a simple message: write a secret on the back of the postcard, and make it something you have never told anyone before. He started slowly getting the postcards back in his mailbox and then something interesting happened. He started getting postcards in the mail that were not the ones he handed out. People had taken his initial idea and ran with it. He eventually published multiple books containing the secrets and has done tours and exhibitions promoting the project and books. I saw him speak in October and it was really inspiring to not only hear his story, but others who shared their own secrets right there in the hall.His latest book, Confessions on Life, Death and God, was published in October of this year, and today (Sunday, December 6) $2 will be donated to HopeLine if you purchase the book through this link. (Also found on the Postsecret website here. http://postsecret.blogspot.com/)

I had gotten one of his books (Lifetime of Secrets) two years ago and when K was sick with H1N1 this year I think she read the entire thing. So, I bought the new book for her for her birthday (for those of you who know her, her birthday is in September so she had to wait for the gift, but I think it was well worth it!) I just thought I'd pass the message along in case anyone out there was doing some Christmas shopping today or thinking about getting anyone a different gift than they may usually get. It's a fabulous book of secrets and part of the money goes to a wonderful cause. (And I don't have a copy....hint hint! :D)

Hope you are having a busy, productive and wonderful weekend. xoxo

Thursday, December 3, 2009

pretty, ending with silly.

I recently interviewed a magazine editor who told me that sometimes you just need to let the photograph tell the story. Writers don't always like to do this, but that is what I am going to do today. Enjoy a little visual stimulation, friends.
And just a few with words. (Hey, I'm a writer!)
Ha! :) Happy Thursday everyone!

images: weheartit.com, http://wasting.tumblr.com/

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Paste.

I picked up this magazine Tuesday night just as I was walking past the frozen treats aisle of Rainbow, on my way to pay for my groceries. I was praying for an itzakadoozie, or a box of itzakadoozies if I am being honest. In case you've never had the pleasure of eating one, they are absolutely delicious and look like this:K mentioned them at a gas station on our way back up to the city on Sunday and I have been craving one ever since. They didn't have any, but that is not the point of this post.

Back to Paste magazine: I have developed this crazy habit of looking at the magazines before I leave any store because of a magazine writing class I am taking. We have to pitch story ideas to different magazines for every assignment, and include samples from the magazine we are pitching to. In other words, I couldn't just buy one mag a month and be set. I had to explore all sorts of new publications, which was actually really fun. I have never bought Paste before, but the heading that said "An Exclusive Interview with Sufjan Stevens" caught my eye. He is a brilliant singer/songwriter and I had recently had a conversation with one of my friends about how we hadn't heard anything from him for awhile. If you know anything about Sufjan Stevens, then you most likely know his album "Illinoise." It is brilliant. It was released in 2005, but I didn't really know about it until 2006 and listened to it over and over and over again my first semester of college. Casimir Pulaski Day tugs at the heartstrings and is one of my favorites off the album.

Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens

The point is, the feature on Sufjan Stevens is truly brilliant. I don't know if it's the fact that I had gotten back a feature story that same day and didn't do as well as I had hoped, or the fact that I have been reading multiple magazine articles each week and just hadn't seen one so clever and succinctly written, but whatever it was, the article was inspiring. After I got out of my magazine writing class yesterday, a few of the other people in the class and I were walking together and were all a little disappointed with our grades. (Randomly, the three of us had all been given the exact same grade...and I was walking with the smart boy.) I had worked really hard at that feature and was proud of it when I handed it in and dreaded re-writing a final draft. Now, and perhaps for the first time this semester, I am really inspired to come up with something much better than I already have. It's liberating. Thank you, Paste magazine.

This particular issue is also fabulous because of its "Best of the Decade" feature - the top albums, movies, books, TV shows and games of the last 10 years are all in here. Go ahead and take a look at the online version here if you are interested. It's wonderful and I am highly recommending it. Hence the fan letter-esque blog post.

Well I feel as if I am going on and on, but this is one thing I have discovered lately that has truly made me feel inspired to write better, that has pointed me in the direction of wonderful new music, that has made me want to seek out more books and that has such rich writing that I can only aspire to be good enough to be published in it someday. And was all in one magazine! Itzakadoozies don't have anything on Paste.

(If you were wondering, Sufjan has been working on something entirely different at The Brooklyn Academy of Music. He created a performance called the BQE (for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) and you can listen to a track off of the album here.)

EDIT: FOR TANYA (and all other lovers of the canceled TV show Arrested Development), AD was the #1 TV show of the decade according to Paste (and a separate Paste readers poll.) Please feel free to love this magazine even more now. (I do.)

Facebook and Tweeting before "kiss the bride"


You know you want to see this.
Found here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Everything's amazing and nobody's happy.

Happy December!

If you have 4 minutes to spare, click here and watch this great video on how our world has advanced so much and yet we still feel it owes us.

Seriously, it's funny and poignant. Watch it here!