16 December 2009

Music of 2009

I'm kind of addicted to music. Especially now that I'm (currently) living by myself, I spend a lot of time listening to music. I put it on as a filler, I put it on while I'm working on something or reading, I put it on when I'm feeling happy, sad, discouraged, goofy, & any other possible emotion.

The other day I was listening to a soundtrack & noticed that I listen to one particular song on it a great deal more than any of the others. Then I was curious & started looking through all the songs on my iTunes to find out which songs I listen to the most. I reset my count at the beginning of every year, so I thought it would be fun to make a list of my most listened to songs of the year.

I couldn't really pick a place to stop, so I wound up with my top thirty. I'll list all of them at the end, but below is the top 15 without repeating any artists.

15. Falling Slowly by The Frames (listened to 64 times in 2009)

14. Viva la Vida by Coldplay (listened to 73 times in 2009)

13. Think Twice by Eve 6 (listened to 76 times in 2009)

12. That Song in my Head by Julianne Hough (listened to 80 times in 2009)

11. Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy (listened to 82 times in 2009)

10. Minor Details by Sondre Lerche AND Stop & Stare by OneRepublic (listened to 85 times in 2009)

9. We All Need Saving by Jon McLaughlin (listened to 100 times in 2009)

8. I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (listened to 103 times in 2009)

7. Bubbly by Colbie Caillat (listened to 121 times in 2009)

6. Thinking of You by Katy Perry (listened to 129 times in 2009)

5. Folding Chair by Regina Spektor (listened to 131 times in 2009)

4. When the Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw (listened to 135 times in 2009)

3. Say by John Mayer (listened to 139 times in 2009)

2. My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson (listened to 148 times in 2009)

1. I Was Made For You by She & Him (listened to 167 times in 2009)

Full 30: Falling Slowly by the Frames; Think of You by A Fine Frenzy; Clocks by Coldplay; Viva la Vida by Coldplay; Think Twice by Eve 6; Near to You by A Fine Frenzy; Two Way Monologue by Sondre Lerche; That Song in My Head by Julianne Hough; Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy; Minor Details by Sondre Lerche; Stop & Store by OneRepublic; Change is Hard by She & Him; Lucky by Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillait; We All Need Saving by Jon McLaughlin; I'm Yours by Jason Mraz; Hero by Regina Spektor; Hot N Cold by Katy Perry; This is Not a Test by She & Him; I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry; Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer; Bubbly by Colbie Caillait; Fidelity by Regina Spektor; Us by Regina Spektor; Thinking of You by Katy Perry; Folding Chair by Regina Spektor; When the Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw; Say by John Mayer; My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson; Sweet Darlin' by She & Him; I Was Made for You by She & Him

01 December 2009

Can't Get You Out of my Mind

You know how sometimes something or someone is on your mind & you can't seem to think of anything else? How you keep being reminded of that thing or person everywhere you turn?

That's me right now.

I can't get this person out of my mind. I'm reminded of him by a card I see in a store, a story line on a show I'm watching ... or, you now, him e-mailing me out of the blue. He seems to always do that when I can't get him off my mind. It's like he knows.

And then, as if all the reminders haven't been enough, I just realized that my favorite song of the moment has yet another reminder of him. Not in the usual, this song makes me think of so-and-so type of way ... but a phrase in the lyrics actually reminds me of him because it has a personal meaning to him.

It's kind of ridiculous, but what can I do about it?

So, does this happen to any of you? Just reminder after reminder after reminder?

26 November 2009

I'm thankful for...

There are so many things to be thankful for. It seems impossible to make a list of EVERYTHING for which I am grateful, but I can cover some of the bases.

I'm thankful for ...

Family. It's so easy to overlook family, but they truly are a blessing. Even if you fight with them, even if you wish you were closer to them, there's something amazing about that unconditional love. I'm so thankful for that built-in support system, especially this year.

Friends. For those who are the family I've chosen, the family I've made over the years. There are some friends who, in my heart, are included in the above statement. They are amazing & to have that unconditional love from people who don't have to be in your life? What more could you ask for? I'm so blessed to have close friends. And I'm so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life, including those who I might not be particularly close to, but are great company. Even those who aren't "close" friends are a fantastic support system.

A roof over my head. There's nothing like a stressful & rushed apartment search to make you appreciate having a place to stay - and a place to call home. Shelter is such a necessity, but so is that feeling of having a place to turn to when you need it. To have a place where your soul can be sheltered.

Libraries. Books. for. free. 'nuff said!

Although I'm still without a job, I'm thankful for the opportunities which exist around me for work. I'm grateful that I can - ultimately, eventually - chose a career which will not only fuel me financially, but also emotionally & spiritually. There are so many people who don't have that option. There are people in other countries who don't have the luxury of picking careers, or have many careers to pick from. There are women in other countries or cultures who either aren't allowed to work or are still forced into very gendered careers. And even in the US & other developed nations, there are people who because of the hand they're dealt in life, don't have the advantages that I have had for a number of reasons. I have to recognize that class, status, & power are huge forces & I have it pretty good. (How could I hold a degree in sociology & not make that recognition?)

Given that I've been having a very frustrating time with my job search & now trying to find a roommate for my apartment, it's nice to take a time out & think about all the positive things in my life. I truly am thankful & now that I've named some of the things that make me grateful, maybe I'll be able to more easily reflect on them when the need arises.

So, what are you thankful for this year?

08 November 2009

What a day

Today has been such a blog-worthy day.

Let me start off by saying that for a while now I've been wanting to get back into church. I was brought up Catholic. Both my mom's family & my dad's family are Catholic. My dad was very religious & I went to Catholic school when I lived near Boston (the first 10 years of my life). I even have a great aunt who's a nun.

However, Catholicism really isn't for me. I was content to be brought up in the Catholic church, to say prayers every morning at school before the Pledge of Allegiance. When we moved & I had to attend CCD, I went willingly. I wanted to learn more, I wanted to make my Confirmation. Not just because my family expected me to make it, but because I was fairly religious & was excited to make the commitment myself, to be Catholic.

Somewhere down the road, sometime after making my Confirmation in 10th grade, things changed. Or maybe it's just that things caught up with me. I was well educated in the Catholic religion: the beliefs, the traditions. Some things just didn't make sense to me. The biggest gripe I had was about the Catholic church & homosexuals. I was always a good student in religious classes, but then I started to fall out of the good graces of teachers because I began to question things. I wasn't satisfied with the answers I was given. I was disheartened.

So, I stopped going to church. I didn't like being one of those holiday church-goers, but I agreed to go along with my family (who are holiday church-goers, not regular church-goers). The exceptions for me have been Ash Wednesday & annual memorial services for my dad.

Although I haven't considered myself religious for quite a while, I've recently become more spiritual. With that increase in spirituality, I wanted an outlet. I decided that when I moved, I would go "church shopping" & see what happened. I found a non-denominational church just down the street from me & decided to give it a go.

Last night (er, at 2:30am) I went to bed, resolved to go to church in the morning. I was nervous, because the only time I've ever gone to church by myself has been to get ashes. Forget about a completely different church! By. myself.

I had the strangest dream. No, nightmare. It really was bizarre. All I really remember now are the ridiculous parts, like getting cold called on to read a part in a play about Mary & Jesus. The script was on these huge ass lobster bibs. I don't even eat lobster, so I don't know where that came from at all. The gist of it was that the whole experience was really embarrassing, stressful, & not at all fulfilling. I woke up wondering if I should still go to church.

I also woke up late, with half an hour to get ready & get out the door. I decided to go any way, despite the nightmare & all the nerves. The service was wonderful & I can't really explain the feeling I had. Things just felt right.

My nerves weren't unjustified though. When I got to the church, I was pegged as new immediately. Someone came up & introduced herself to me, telling me to sign the guest book & sit wherever I would like. When I sat down, waiting for the service to start, someone else came up to me & introduced herself. I felt very welcome, but also very awkward. I'm not a huge fan of small talk. The church has a coffee hour after service, something I didn't intend to touch with a ten foot pole. I was raised Catholic, we don't do that.

About ten minutes before the service was over, two older ladies who were sitting behind me got up to prepare the snacks. One of them tapped me on the shoulder & said, "make sure you join us for coffee after." Well, shoot. I guess there was no way of getting out of it at that point. I should point out that it's a small congregation, so it was evident that I was a new person. That & it spread like wildfire that there was someone new.

I went to coffee hour, very apprehensive. I met basically the whole congregation & it was so overwhelming. Everyone was very nice, but it was so overwhelming. I kept thinking I could finally get away, but someone else would come up & start talking to me. And then when I finally felt like I really could get away, the woman I was talking to told me not to go anywhere because Pastor Katie wanted to meet me. The pastor. Again, very nice woman, but I was overwhelmed.

I'm planning on going back next week, but hoping that I can slip out of coffee hour or at least just make a brief appearance as opposed to being held for an hour after service. I spent two hours at church today. Have I mentioned I was brought up Catholic? AKA get in & get out.

Warning: rapid topic change

Tonight I got together for dinner with the friends I stayed with for three weeks. M & E came to pick me up & I gave them a tour of the apartment. It only makes sense that they were the first to see it. And they love it. That makes me very happy. I love my apartment & I love that other people love my apartment. There are still lots of unpacked boxes, but it's homey & I guess more put together than expected for only a week in the apartment.

Back at their place, the kids were playing & I sat in the kitchen talking with M & M2, while M2 made dinner. We caught up, even though it had only been a week since I had left after staying with them for almost a month. We joked about the huge difference between living with a family of four with a dog & a cat, as opposed to living in an apartment all by myself. I told them about my experience going to church & with coffee hour. The church they go to also has coffee hour, so they understood what I was talking about. They also told me about their experiences in church this morning.

They go to a Methodist church which is made up in part by immigrants from Ghana. This morning they held their annual harvest, which basically is where they shake down members for money. It's done in almost an auction style & they've described in detail the stark difference between the Ghanian members, for whom this is tradition, & the other members who are quite uncomfortable with the public giving. The stories involved a lot of re-enacting of dancing, along with some castanet playing. I can't even BEGIN to describe how entertaining this all was.

The rest of the night was filled with ridiculousness that can't quite be put into words unless you've hung out with this family. Things that may have been involved: fake piercings; spanking (which did not involve the kids); someone laughing so hard they practically choked ... & really without warrant; (falsely) implied behavior involving magic mushrooms. Really, just your average night.

Oh & I FINALLY got to talk about Mad Men! If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I've become obsessed with this show. I got the first season from the library & once I got into it, I kept trying to find people who watch it so I could talk about it. It's a show which really does need to be discussed. I generally feel that way about all shows I watch, but this one in particular. Probably because of the time/culture differences which make it so interesting. M & M2 are the ones who got me into the show, after talking about it constantly while I was staying with them. I jumped on the chance to talk about it & it was delicious. Although there was the tease, "Just wait until you get to season two!" Evil. Just evil! I should have it by Wednesday though.

Then I came home & realized that tomorrow is trash day & I didn't have an city bags. (City trash bags, seriously? Thanks for charging me $8 for FIVE trash bags, "City".) I made the minute long trek to CVS hoping they carried trash bags, only to be hit on my the high school aged cashier. Story of my life, I don't know what it is with me & cashiers. And then, since Friendly's is right there, I decided a hot fudge sundae was necessary. Sundae Sunday, any one?

And now I'm craving pizza so bad that it's practically all I can think of. It's 10:30pm & there's no way I'm ordering pizza right now, so ... I don't know. I'll probably have to give in to it tomorrow, when it won't be quite as satisfying, but still completely necessary. You know how it goes.


With (not magic) mushrooms. And eggplant. And onion. And green peppers.

Now I'm literally drooling. Thinking about pizza. I might have to check & see if my favorite place is still open. Damn it.

PS -- It's my mom's birthday! Happy 51st, Mom!

27 October 2009

Things that are ephemeral

I somehow see what's beautiful in things that are ephemeral
I'm my only friend, am I
& love is just a piece of time
in the world, in the world
& I couldn't help but fall in love again
no, I couldn't help but fall in love again
I Thought I Saw Your Face Today -- She & Him

After my mom's house sold, it was a mad dash to find an apartment for me. We started off looking for apartments where someone was already renting & looking for a roommate. That didn't work out. We changed our game plan & started looking for an apartment where I would later be the one looking for a roommate.

Finally we found a place that suited me & my needs. We signed the lease, put down first & last month's rent. The next day the landlord (who had yet to sign the lease) pulled it. His daughters felt he was not in good enough health to be renting it out. And then the mad dash began again, but intensified. My family was moving in five days.

I lucked out & landed in the right place at the right time. I got a fantastic apartment in a fantastic location. I'm moving in on Sunday & I'm so excited.

While that mad dash was still going on, one of my friends -- one of my professors from college -- offered to let me stay with her & her family while I got on my feet. I took her up on the offer, which was necessary even though I found an apartment. I needed a place to stay for three weeks.

I've known this family for two years. I took my first class with "M" in my sophomore year. A month later, I was participating in a charity walk with her, her husband "M2", & their kids "E" & "B". Since then, I've spent a good amount of time outside of school with them. "M2" is also a professor from the school I went to, although I didn't take a class with him until my last semester.

Maybe because I've babysat, housesat, & been over their house socially before, I immediately felt at home when I arrived for my stay while I was in transit. Having been here before definitely helped in knowing where most things are, knowing the lay of the land. However, I think the feeling at home part is due to the people. "M" & "M2" gave me such a warm welcome, as did the kids who hadn't grasped how long I would be here. I've been included in family dinners & other activities, such as going to a movie at "E"s school & going to "boo" two families -- a Halloween activity in this neighborhood.

Three weeks seemed like a long time before I got here. I worried about it being too much for them to handle, too much of a burden. Now, my three weeks are almost up & even though I'm looking forward to moving into my apartment (which, by the way, is only a 10-minute walk away from their house), I also find myself wishing that I was staying here longer. It's so wonderful to be staying with friends, to feel like part of their family, to be living with little kids, and to be living with a sweet dog who follows me around.

I'm truly blessed to have them, as well as all my other friends & my family, in my life. It was a very trying time before I got to this stage & the support I have means the world to me. Staying here has been the best stress relief I could ask for.

20 October 2009

In the past week ...

I moved in with friends until the beginning of November.

I have a new best friend, Shady the dog.

I have a new enemy, Woody the cat.

I've become part of a new family & immediately felt at home.

I'm taking in the dynamic of a family: the good, the bad, & the ugly.

Despite the bad & the ugly, it's a confirmation that I do want kids.

I was subjected to playing "Cash Cab", without the kids in the car.

I realized I have my first apartment! (Move in on 1 November.)

I got really excited.

Things changed. For the better.

Absentminded ramblings ...

01 October 2009


I just wrote a ranting post about how swimingly things are going right now. And then deleted it.

It didn't make me feel better.

Let's just say I am not in a good mood. I'm not in a good mood & I'm a ticking time bomb. So if I'm not very present in any way - on Twitter, via text, via e-mail, or whatever the mode is - it's not you. It's me.

I don't want to snap at anyone. I don't want to go on a rant about anything. I know you don't have to read it if I do, but I bet you will. Because you guys are great.

I don't know how long this will last. I'm hoping that it's just because everyone is stressed with everything relating to the move(s). Maybe it's just today, maybe it'll be until my family moves, maybe it'll be until I'm moved in to an apartment. I'm not sure.

I just wanted to give a head's up. If I'm not around as much or if I'm "off", it's not you. It's me. And that's not just a line.

And instead of saying "sorry" or anything like that, if you're going to comment ... tell me what your favorite primetime show is.

Mine is Bones, which is on FOX right now (8pm EST).