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Saturday, December 31, 2011


It's technically Saturday, but I'm counting this as Friday's post because I haven't gone to bed yet.

Betsy, Leah, the brother, and I did pizza and games this evening.

Have you played Whoonu? People choose cards, and then you have to rank the cards by how much you like what's listed on them, and people get points based on how highly you rank their cards. 

But these kiddos obviously know me too well because they gave me chocolate cake, surprise parties, celebrity gossip, reality TV, and weddings in the same round. How do I rank those? 

Another round I had to rank road trips, pepperonis, bicycling, convertibles, the internet, and air-conditioning. HELLO!? I love all of those things.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Came across these illustrations by Graham Roumieu in the newest Real Simple.
(I've been saying that a lot lately, huh?)

They sort of reminded me of myself. Oops. 

Communication theorists like to talk about self-disclosure a lot. They talk about what causes people to self-disclose, what causes people not to self-disclose, why some people self-disclose more than others, etc. In general, self-disclosure is reciprocal. People self-disclose back and forth like they're playing ping pong. The internet changes everything, though. You can sort of self-disclose to no end, whether or not there's someone on the other side self-disclosing in response.

Sometimes when I read my own blog posts, especially old ones that I've forgotten writing, I am startled by how much I've self-disclosed. So many of my thoughts are just on the internet. For the world

(Not that many people are reading this blog, obvs. But some people are. You, for example.)

All this to say, I'm not exactly sure how much online self-disclosure is too much. If you know, clue me in. I aim to stop short of too much, but I know that sometimes I probably sprint right past it. In those instances, please know that I'm learning.

And in return for your understanding, I promise not to tell you about the time I threw up on the school bus in third grade. (It was not one of my most elegant moments.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

To Have & To Hold

At any given moment, I try to be aware of which celebrity I would choose if I had to marry a celebrity. (It's important that I always know the answer to this question because, frankly, so many celebrities are trying to marry me.)

Just kidding. (About the second sentence. The first one is totes true.)

I suppose I try to be aware of my choice because I so frequently ask my friends whom they would choose. (Also, it's sort of an outgrowth of my general love of celebrities.) I particularly like to ask my guy friends, but I have a tendency to lambast their choices. Really? You all want to marry Natalie Portman? Really?

For approximately five and a half years of my life (2003-2008), the celebrity I would have chosen was Clay Aiken. He had this cute North Carolina accent, and he was a Christian, and he was totes smart, and he could sing like an angel sent from the heavens above. Also, his hair was pretty awesome. And sometimes he wore glasses. And he was totes hilar. He was 24 when I, age 14, first felt in love with him, which posed some logistical issues, but, you know, nothing that like four years of waiting wouldn't solve.

Then Clay came out, and my world crumbled. Just kidding. It didn't crumble. Unless getting a whole lot of I-told-you-so phone calls and then having to rewrite your entire life plan counts as having your world crumble. In which case it did.

So I have not really had an excellent celebrity husband choice since 2008. I present you with a few of my favorite celebrity options:

The problem is these guys aren't actually viable options. They're either not Christians, too old, too married, too Mormon, or too dead. (#toosoon?)

I've decided recently, however, that the celebrity I would choose is Adam Young, a.k.a. the guy from Owl City.

He totes loves Jesus, his lyrics are creative and sweet, he's adorbs, and his tweets have me convinced that we're a perfect match. He could even wear that outfit to our wedding. I would be all about that. Your move, Adam Young, your move.

Which celeb would you marry?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cabin Fever

I've been feeling super cooped up today.

My cabin fever doesn't look nearly this cutesy, by the way.
This is like the Pottery Barn version of cabin fever. 

All semester I've longed for a break to lounge around and read blogs and shirk responsibility. But I'm kind of lounged out. I'm antsy now. I want to go somewhere or do something.

I haven't seen the girlies much since Secret Santa. They are all:
  • out of town for the holidays
  • entertaining relatives who are in for the holidays
  • working like the adults that they are may or may not be
  • with their husbands

SCRATCH THIS BLOG. Kristina just called! She has been entertaining relatives who are in for the holidays, but now she is going to entertain me. Human interaction is calling my name, kiddos. Talk to you tomorrow. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Paranoid Parrot

So after looking at waaay too many Paranoid Parrot pictures yesterday, I have become fairly paranoid certain that I am the Paranoid Parrot. I identify with all of these. Do you worry about any of these things, too?

Forewarning: Visual overload. Not trying to hypnotize you guys or anything. (OR AM I? #paranoidparrot)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Eve Message

From me and Clay Aiken (who will always have part of my heart).


Listen to the note he holds at 2:07. LISTEN TO IT.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Here's some advice: Stay alive.

So I'm halfway through Catching Fire and getting way too excited about the Hunger Games movies. 

I'm already mentally preparing for the midnight showing. (Better keep my hair long enough for a side braid, right?)

At this point in the books, I can't figure out if I'm Team Peeta or Team Gale, but I totally love the casting choices for both boys and Katniss. (And Haymitch and Cinna and Effie and Caesar, etc.) 

1, 2, 3

I'm especially excited because the trailers make the movie look pretty true to the book and because the music is going to be awesome.  


Listen to this Taylor Swift song from the movie! (Courtesy of Keith.)
I bet they will put it in the credits. [I think this Willow Smith song would also be fitting, though not the right tone. (I can practically see a fanvid to that song with clips of Katniss in her fiery dress!)]

Have you read or listened to the books?
Do you think the movies will do them justice?

p.s. I can't remember who told me this, but apparently Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins also wrote Clarissa Explains It All. Weird, right?


when it's December 22 and you still haven't bought presents for any of your family members... 

I am not a procrastinator by nature. I don't like working in crunch time. But when it comes to picking out presents, I'm always behind schedule. I never think about finding presents until the week of Christmas (or birthdays, etc.), and I rarely feel like the things I've picked for people are any good.

Occasionally I'll find something that reminds me of a specific friend or family member, so I'll snatch it up to save for the right occasion, but I almost never find good presents when I go hunting for them.

A year or two ago, I took a love languages assessment, and, low and behold, I found that gifts are the way I'm least inclined to show and receive love. Suddenly it all made sense! This is why I need my family members to write their Christmas lists but I never want to write my own.

{my love language results}

Being aware of the various love languages has also helped me to understand how to show love to my friends better. Some need hugs, and some need help, and some just need to hang out. Do you know what your love languages are?

p.s. I did end up purchasing two gifts for family members tonight! #success

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Self-Worth in a Can

Came across these cute and telling illustrations by Mikey Burton in the January Real Simple.

They were featured in an article about debt, but I think they also serve as a commentary about advertising, marketing and the promises attached to products.

All ads appeal to needs of some sort — emotional needs or physiological needs, etc. And that's not a bad thing. Products can fulfill a lot of our needs. But they'll never provide a lasting or healthy sense of self-worth, happiness or accomplishment. 

Sometimes I get surprised looks when I tell people I'm studying advertising. [I'm studying strategic communication officially, but that takes a lot longer to explain (especially because my actual degree is in journalism). It's confusing, so sometimes I just say advertising.] People have this idea that advertisers as a whole are engaged in deception and manipulation. But I think that good advertising, like good writing, is always focused on conveying truth.

I turned on the radio yesterday during a McDonald's commercial. The narrator, waxing poetic about the merits of the Big Mac, ended with the line, "The simple joy of complete fulfillment." 

I was reminded of these illustrations. I can imagine a fourth, a paper bag with all-caps sans-serif text proclaiming its contents will provide COMPLETE FULFILLMENT. I'd like to give the writers of that McDonald's commercial the benefit of the doubt. I'd like to believe they simply mixed up the words "fullness" and "fulfillment." A Big Mac can most certainly provide complete fullness, but complete fulfillment doesn't come with special sauce and a side of fries (either way you read it).

If I ever end up working as a copywriter, I hope you never come across one of my pieces and find I've suggested a product will provide what only Jesus can. I wish I could add an asterisk to all my copy: *Everyone who drinks this water [or eats this Big Mac or wears these shoes or owns this phone] will be thirsty again.

"...but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” — John 4:13

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Secret Santa

Remember how I was going to blog every day over break? Well, I'm at Secret Santa, a.k.a. my fave day of the year. Chillin' with my grills if you known what I mean. So this is the post for today. And here are a couple of pics from the night so far for good measure.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Break To-Do List

1. See my girls.
Got to soak up all the minutes I can with these lovely ladies.
(Especially now that a third of them are off and married. #whendidwegetsoold)
Can't wait for our annual Secret Santa party tomorrow! (I'm bringing a cheetah Snuggie. Don't tell.) 

2. Catch up on blogs. 
Wedding blogs, design blogs, Mormon mommy blogs, your blogs, etc.

3. Make an excessive number of trips to the mall.
Also, eat an excessive number of giant pretzels. 

4. Pin things to Pinterest. 
Things I want cook. Ways I want to do my hair. Babies I want to eat squeeze.
Neville (always Neville). Places I want to live. Clothes I want to wear. Et cetera. (Pin with me!)

5. Design.
I have six empty frames in my Missouri bedroom, and I'd like to fill them with some prettified Bible verses or lyrics. What are your faves? Please share in the comments. 

6. Design some more. 
I want to do more of these type portraits. And I want to figure out a way to print them nicely. 

6. Update ze blog & ze portfolio.
I always get the hankering to update the layout over breaks. (And I'm still not satisfied with my thought bubble picture.) And I'm going to try to post every day. Look at me go.

7. Watch my shows.
Revenge. Pretty Little Liars. THE BACHELOR.
The most dramatic season yet. (Always the most dramatic season yet.) What are you watching lately?

8. Elliptical!
(I made it a verb.) ENDORPHINS.

9. Read. 
Maybe I will finally finish Sense and Sensibility or The Chronicles of Narnia. Maybe I'll just curl up in my bed and listen to the rest of Catching Fire. That counts as reading, right? Any other books you'd suggest for mental-break reading? I've also thought about picking up Bossypants or Mindy Kaling's new book. 

What Christmas break activities am I forgetting?
What will you be doing during break? 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Twenty-Five Percent

If grad school were a mile, I'd already be once around the track.

This thought makes me feel somewhat accomplished and somewhat sad.
I just started, didn't I?

p.s. Doesn't this look like the coolest track ever? I don't think it exists, but I wish it did.

p.p.s. Melissa recently brought it to my attention that I quantify everything. I hadn't thought about this before, but she is totally right. I make up fractions and percentages and use them to make sense of the world. I haven't run track in ages, but I still make sense of progress by comparing it to distance travelled on a rubbery red oval.

p.p.p.s. Thinking about setting a Christmas break goal to blog every day. This might be too daunting a task, but it might finally get me back into blogging on a regular basis. Thoughts?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Make way! Here he comes! Ring bells! Bang the drums!

(♪ Are you gonna love this guy! )

My brother, Jack, is flying to Missouri on Thursday to hang for a little bit and then make the drive back to Kentucky with me. This video pretty much sums up how I feel about it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Writing Woes

Over Thanksgiving break I kept getting asked how grad school compared to undergrad, and I kept saying that it was more of the same — by which I meant, the work is not more difficult than that of undergrad, but there's more of it.

I feel like all I do is write. Write write write. I design a good bit, too, but that's not nearly as mentally draining. For the most part, I research, read, research, read, write, write, write, write, write. 

And yesterday while I was walking across campus and thinking about linking verbs — because that is the type of thing that I, Kate Brannen, think about — I remembered a paper that I wrote about writing during my senior year of high school.

Here is an excerpt from the middle: 
I always feel a blockage when I begin an essay. Something hinders me from putting ideas into words. Writing an essay is hard. For instance, just then I had to pick a word. I used “hard,” for this example, but my brain was throwing so many other words at me. Painstaking. That came to mind. Grueling. That, too. Time-consuming. Exhausting. Frustrating. Oh, which do I choose? Which do I mean?
Also, that linking verb begs to be replaced. Sure, writing is hard, is painstaking, is grueling. But can I say, “Writing painstakes?” “Writing gruels?” No, I think not. And therein lies the dilemma. To write, I must grapple and battle with words until they say what I mean, and, all too often, I am unsure of what it is I mean.  
So I write and rewrite and type and delete and cut and paste and stop and cry, and after all that, I have my rough draft. My oh-so-rough draft.
I've been feeling this way a lot these days. I'm so tired of writing. Sick of it, really. My brain hurts. My eyes hurt. My soul hurts.

Just kidding. My soul doesn't hurt. I couldn't think of a third thing, but I've been trained to list in threes.

It doesn't make sense that my remedy for being sick of writing is to write about it. It's like writing and I are in an abusive relationship. Writing totally beats me up, but I always go back to it because ... I just love it. I love it recklessly and irrationally in a way that makes my coexistent hate for it all the greater. I think there's an Eminem feat. Rihanna song about it.

Maybe I love writing for the same reasons that I love/d running, though to a lesser extent. I love it despite the fact that it's hard and because of the fact that it's hard.

And I suppose I write all this to say sorry that I've been totes neglecting the blog this semester. I miss it terribly. I've been busy writing far more scholarly things lately. I almost said "far more boring," but that's not exactly true. Much of what I've written has been interesting to me. But it's definitely painstaking in a way that blog-writing is not. It actually kind of gruels most days.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Old Kentucky Home

I'm headed home tomorrow, and I'm not sure I've ever felt this excited about anything before.

I miss my family terribly, and I miss all my girlies, and I miss Asbury, and I miss Kentucky. I miss the rolling green and the fences and the sunsets and the way the fall smells there.

(Google image-search "Kentucky horse farms," and you will see what I see on the way to the mall or to Asbury or to almost anywhere outside my subdivision. Does that not look like the most beautiful place on the planet? Kentucky is just like a little piece of heaven.)

When I was about to move to Missouri, I thought of Thanksgiving break as the week I just had to make it to. Everything will be okay, Kate, if you can just make it to Thanksgiving break. You will get to go home again. I had wanted so desperately to go to Mizzou, and I was so excited to get in, but my heart felt like it was ripping apart when it actually came time to say goodbye to everyone, pack up and move across the country on my own.

Thanksgiving break has continued to feel like the week I had to make it to, but in a different way than I had expected. I've been overwhelmed with schoolwork, and I've known the week off would be a bit of a respite from that. But I had anticipated a semester of loneliness. I had anticipated a shaky start in a new city and a struggle to find my place. I had thought before I arrived that Thanksgiving break would be a respite from friendlessness.

Turns out that friendlessness is just about the furthest thing from what I've experienced in Missouri. I have felt so enveloped by people in this city, and I just have so many people to love here already. That sounds like such a sorry understatement. It's more like the people I've met here are people whom my heart has somehow known all along. I got here, and it just clicked.

I think this is largely the result of meeting people who share my faith. Jesus provides the perfect common ground for us to start from. I'm so aware that all the people I love here are people he's known about all along. When I moved here, he knew about them. When I applied, he knew about them. When I was first visiting Mizzou last summer, he knew about them. Every person I love here is just another gift from him and another reminder that I am where I'm supposed to be.

So I'm happy to go home tomorrow and see so many people whom I love so dearly. But I'm also happy that I have friends here to say goodbye to. I think it's fitting that this break is for Thanksgiving because I am oh-so-thankful for both the people I'll be leaving behind and the people I'll be heading home to.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Words of Wisdom from Kim Kardashian

Almost choked on my chicken when I heard this little tidbit of insight from Kim K's post-divorce GMA interview on Hulu during my lunch/study break.

Why isn't anyone taking her to task for this stupid statement?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Confessions of a Preacher's Daughter

So Melissa and I went to go see Footloose last Friday, and I totally loved it.

This may come as a surprise to those of you who know of my exquisite taste in film. (Other favorites include A Walk to Remember and The Princess Diaries.)

Seriously, though, there are few things I enjoy more than a feel-good movie about high schoolers who are played by adults.


Ren, the main character, was totes adorbs and a sweetheart. And I identified with Julianne Hough's character, Ariel, because we both 1) are preachers' daughters 2) have crushes on Ren and 3) are super rebellious and can dance really well. 

Just kidding about number three. Julianne Hough is a terrible dancer.

Just kidding about identifying with Ariel at all. She was kind of a tramp, and I never really figured out why Ren liked her. It was probably that whole preacher's-daughter appeal. Except for the fact that, as far as I can tell, that's not a real thing.

You know how there are activist groups concerned with the media portrayal of various people groups? Why isn't there one for preachers' kids?

I should totally do my grad thesis on the media portrayal of preachers' kids. It would be so journalistic of me. My research would probably involve watching lots of 7th Heaven. And my conclusion would be like, Hey, Dusty Springfield, not all preachers' kids can reach you and/or teach you things. Hey, Nicholas Sparks, not all preachers' kids inadvertently win the hearts of their schools' bad boys. Hey, whoever wrote 7th Heaven, not all preachers' kids have a million siblings.

One scene in Footloose particularly amused me because it was exactly like a scene in A Walk to Remember. Basically Ren/Landon wants to go out with Ariel/Jamie, so he goes to the dad's sanctuary one evening and stops him practice-preaching to ask for permission to go out with his daughter. And the preacher-dad totally doesn't want to say yes but says yes anyway because he is all moved by Ren/Landon's forwardness and knows that saying yes is the Christian thing to do. 

I don't know why Ren and Landon figured they would find the preacher-dads in the sanctuary after hours, and I don't know why they were right. I've never found my dad chilling in the sanctuary at nighttime, giving sermons when there's no one there. (Take note, rebellious high school boys.)

Ridiculous portrayal of the preacher's fam aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and could not get enough of the soundtrack. Can we talk about this cover of "Holding Out for a Hero" for a second? Because I've basically had it on repeat since I left the movie theater.  

I've always loved this song — and by always, I mean since Frou Frou covered it in 2004 — but this version is by far the best I've heard. I feel like the author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough (which I borrowed from Taylor over SBXI but didn't finish because it was depressing but which Melissa did finish and always references) would probably have a few words for whoever penned this song.

Namely that it's unreasonable to expect a man to be not only a hero but also strong and fast and fresh from the fight and sure and soon and larger than life. (Obligatory Backstreet Boys reference.)

And that author would probably be right. Because those expectations are pretty unreasonable. But I'm keeping the song on repeat anyway because how am I supposed to weed through all those rebellious high school boys pining for my preacher's-daughter heart unless I keep my standards really high? Answer me that, Lori Gotlieb.

Except for the fact that, as we established earlier, that whole preacher's-daughter appeal may or may not actually exist. So — for good measure/your listening pleasure — I've also included my second favorite Footloose soundtrack song, one which Lori Gotlieb would probably fully approve of. 

p.s. Totes just did some Googling and found out that somebody already did a grad thesis on stereotypes of preachers' kids. Not even kidding. This is how she ends her introduction:
"For some time, perhaps even as long as there have been preacher’s kids; there has been a stereotype that is imbedded within our society. This stereotype, simply stated, is that the children of ministers are considered hellions and are believed to be capable of any form of bad or deviant behavior. There is also the belief that even though the children are thought to be deviant, they are also ideally supposed to be perfect."
p.p.s. She should have made "preacher's" plural possessive instead of singular possessive in her first sentence. And her first semicolon should be a comma. And she used the nonstandard spelling of "embed."
p.p.p.s. In case you guys didn't know, I am a hellion capable of bad and deviant behavior. Also, perfect.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Glamour & Grammar & the Duchess of Cambridge

Welcome to the second edition of Glamour & Grammar, the blog series in which I address grammatical failures in pop culture.

Allow me to begin with the thought process I went through before writing this post:
Is it okay to correct the grammar of royalty?
Yes, just not to any royal faces.
Is it okay if the grammatical errors in question were made in a letter to a young cancer patient?
No, probably not.

But if it were okay, then I'd point out that Kate Middleton's been having some comma trouble lately.

I would let you know that the comma trouble surfaced in a note Kate wrote to a little boy whom she met in a children's cancer unit. I might even post the note on my blog and turn the problem areas purple.

Dear Fabian, 

I very much enjoyed meeting you at The Royal Marsden hospital last month. Despite the enormously demanding course of treatment you are undergoing, I was so touched by your strength of character, and delighted to hear the news that one of your big sisters will be able to donate bone marrow to you later this year.

I will keep my fingers crossed that your health goes from strength to strength over the months ahead. This must be a troubling time for you, your parents and your sisters, but I know I left The Royal Marsden assured by how incredibly talented, kind and clever the team at the hospital are. Combined with your belief and positive energy, you couldn't be in better hands.

Keep up the good work with the blog and in the meantime I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.


I would explain that "and" provides sufficient separation for "touched" and "delighted" in the first highlighted sentence. The comma between those words is unnecessary.

I would also explain that a comma is needed in the second highlighted sentence. A measly "and" isn't strong enough to carry an independent clause on each side. Like any coordinating conjunction, "and" needs a sidekick comma if it hopes to balance a compound sentence.

Sidenote: I really wanted to say a "prevenient comma." Thank you, Christian theology class.
p.s. I'm not Arminian.
p.p.s. I'm not Armenian either.
p.p.p.s. Christian theo was my favorite class in college. I wish I could take it again. #thingsineverthoughtiwouldsay

I might close my argument by reposting the sentences with correct punctuation:
"I was so touched by your strength of character and delighted to hear the news...."
"Keep up the good work with the blog, and in the meantime I will keep...."

At this point I would probably feel like a horrible person for critiquing a letter to a cancer patient.
I might even decide to give Kate points back for being a classy lady.

There is, of course, the possibility that someone other than Kate Middleton penned typed this letter. If England is anything like America, someone other than Kate Middleton probably typed this letter. 

I have a letter of my own for that person:
Dear That Person,
Clearly you are in need of a public relations practitioner who handles punctuation aptly. Look no further. I have a degree in public relations and 15% of a degree in journalism, and I know how to place a comma. You can reach/hire me via the contact link at the top of this blog.
Grammatically yours, 
Kate, Duchess of Commas

Monday, October 24, 2011

YouTube Gold

Four friends from my brother hall made this music video in the basement of an Asbury dorm a couple of years ago. It enjoyed a brief stint online before one of them robbed the internet of its goodness by taking it down.

This week, however, it reemerged on YouTube, so I'm posting it in hopes that it will somehow be catapulted to viral video fame.

Featuring LandonAbe, Holland and [linkless] Bill

p.s. The best part is the octave change right around 2:20. Whole new octave of awesome.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things I've been meaning to blog about.

1. I hate it when TV/movie characters kiss right after they have woken up. Worst time to kiss ever. Some of you are probably like, "Kate, how do you know?" And that is a pretty good question. But, in my opinion, the fact that there's a famous musical called Kiss Me, Kate entitles me to be the kissing police. And I say: Go brush your teeth.

The above screencap was taken from the most recent episode of The Lying Game, which I attempted to watch — at Gwen's urging — in the J-Lib today. I don't normally watch television shows in the library, but I had just finished a test and wanted to reward myself. I cut my show-watching short, HOWEVER, when that kiss started to happen. I was like, "Gwen, I cannot watch people kiss in the library." Twenty minutes later when Gwen was still trying to get me to watch the show, totes adorbs undergrad boy sitting next to her said, "I don't think anyone would be embarrassed if you watched people kissing in the library." ! ! !

p.s. I make no apologies about my love of a select few ABC Family dramas.

2. Mizzou invented homecoming. Did y'all know that? It's on Wikipedia and everything. I became a Mizzou student just in time to experience their centennial homecoming celebration, which I consider pretty good timing on my part.

Here I am pre-homecoming parade with Gwen, Melissa, Mollie, Whitney and Jessica. 
Yes, you should read their blogs, and, yes, journalism school is weaning me off the Oxford comma.

3. Speaking of Missouri friends, I have them. I haven't posted many pics of them on here, but we do fun things like Wednesday lunches and Thursday small group and apple-picking and shopping and Orange-Leafing and birthday partying and House Dec-seeing. Oh, and lots of grad school workload commiserating. (Do you like how I started that sentence with regular nouns and then switched to all gerunds? My brain. It is dead. It is throwing parallel structure to the wayside.) These friends are what I am most grateful for about my new life.

4. Speaking of Missouri friends, I have no guy friends. That is a slight exaggeration. I have approximately 1.8 guy friends in Missouri, and that number results from the fact that I know approximately four guys in Missouri but know them, on average, only about 45% as much as you need to know a guy before you can call him a friend. I've always been that girl who hates hanging out with guys, but I'm really beginning to miss male company. I especially missed it a week and a half ago when I needed new brake pads and had no idea what to do. I especially especially missed it a couple of weeks before that when I broke the mini-blinds in my shower and had no idea how to fix them.

5. There's a window in my shower. Yeah, the one I shower in. And the blinds in said shower broke. And by broke, I mean snapped in two at the top and fell out completely. Not having a father or brother or other male friend to call for help with my blinds, I resorted to covering the window with various household goods. First I made a barrier of shampoo and conditioner bottles on the windowsill. That lasted for two weeks or so. Then I replaced the bottles with two giant strips of aluminum foil, which I taped to the tile around the glass. That lasted for two days or so. Then my roommate Scotch-taped the blinds apparatus and put it back up like a champ. I guess I didn't need a man after all, just a roommate and some Scotch tape. (Never ever let that become my mantra.)

6. I've started saying "y'all" more since I moved here. I think this is part of the reason why Mizzou is probably switching to the SEC. They can't handle all my southern-ness. 

7. This picture is the background on my computer. It has been such a comforting reminder to me lately when I've been stressed about schoolwork.

8. My grad school workload is leaving my life in disarray. Exhibit A: Monday's cereal bowl sitting on my desk. Exhibit B: My clean clothes still in the laundry basket two weeks after I washed them. Exhibit C: The tape on those mini-blinds I told you about. I realize this is not a very blogger-y statement to make. Bloggers say things like, "Look at my wonderful crafts. Look at my hipster husband. Look at my vintage dresses. My life is so pulled together." My life does not feel pulled together these days. I do not make crafts for my hipster husband whilst wearing vintage dresses. But I do dry my hair on a fairly regular basis, so that's something.

9. Spotify is my new best friend. Lately I've been listening to lots of George Winston, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Blake Stratton. Weird combo, I know. When I'm stressed about homework, I all about some Bethany Dillon, Jimmy Needham, Robbie Seay Band and Jenny & Tyler. Are y'all on Spotify yet? It is seriously my favorite new internet thing since Twitter. Who Whom are you listening to?

Go listen to this on Spotify ASAP.

10. I went running the other day. It was the seven-year anniversary of my stopping running due to injury. Seven years. I can't believe it. I wanted to blog that day. I wanted to provide a little two-years-later update since my last major post on the topic. But I found myself swamped with schoolwork and unable to carve out the time. I did carve out the time, however, to go for a little mini-run, and it was wonderful. I wanted to test my legs and see how they'd hold up. They held up well, and I was even comfortably sore in a nice muscle-y, non-injury way for a couple of days afterward. I have made so so so so much progress in the last year. Maybe more progress in the last year than in the six years that preceded it. I will try to get that all out in blog form soon.

View from my mini-run. Not even kidding. Approximately two minutes from campus.

11. It was sunny last week, but it has been gloomy this week. It is putting me in a funk. Don't let my oh-so-pale skin fool you — I need sunshine to function!

12. This sentence was in one of my class readings this week. Do not attempt to read it. It will hurt your brain. I just wanted you to see how long and ridiculous it is. 201 words. Not cool, author. Not cool.

13. My mom and sister are coming tomorrow. And by tomorrow, I mean today! Woohoo! I'm so excited.
Insert joke about how they are matching here. 

14. On that note, it is my bedtime.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good.

Remember that time sweet Lindsay paid me a surprise visit all the way back in 2009? Well, she paid me a surprise visit again this weekend!

Okay, okay, I'd known about it for two weeks, so it wasn't exactly a surprise, but it felt like one because I never expected any of my friends to come all the way from Kentucky to visit me. Just me. Being the quality-timer that I am, I've rarely felt so loved.

Here are a few iPhone pics from our Missouri adventures!

Right after we were reunited & right as we began our roadtrip to St. Louis

Hit up Chick-fil-A on our way to STL. Duh. 

The Gateway Arch (Seeing it was on Lindsay's bucket list.)

Lindsay was bummed after we just missed getting tickets to go up in the arch. 
Almost as bummed as that lady in that famous picture from the Great Depression. 
(It was on display in the Museum of Westward Expansion, which we settled for.)

Here I am imitating my ancestors.
(As you've probably figured out from my long, dark hair, I am like 1/128th American Indian. I am basing that fact and that fraction on the presence of a really old photo of an Indian in one of our family photo books. As you've probably figured out from my white, white skin, I am like 127/128th not American Indian.)

Maybe taking pics outside the arch will make people think we went in.

Lindsay hung with new friend Gwen while I T.A.-ed yesterday! Worlds collided.
But soon after that, I had to drop Lindsay off at the airport. Sad face. Definitely shed a tear or two. 

I can't wait to see her again (and all my Kentucky kiddos) next month during Thanksgiving break!
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