Thursday, January 15, 2009


My anxiety and procrastination has finally given way to EXCITEMENT and a furry of activity. After a few errands (man I could spend all day in REI) this morning and a final farewell to my peeps at the bagel deli (sigh), I am now back at my moms house running around doing laundry and packing. Big picture concept tasks like "take or don't take" and "clean or not clean" are allowing me to progress throughout the process without completely imploding with overwhelmingness. Because really, it doesn't matter. It really doesn't. As long as I have what I need (which I already have) and it gets there, I'll be good. And my deadline is 6 pm. That way I can spend the evening out to dinner with my mom and sisters and cuddling up with maria to watch Grey's. My final tv show!? I dont know. But everything feels like "the last time you'll ever do this!"...even though I'm trying not to be dramatic. Anyways. I'm beginning to babble. So I will close by saying that I have felt so very loved these past few days as last minute 'goodluck and we love you' wishes have come in from friends. To each one of you who took the time to touch base, I loved each minute of our freaking out or crying or utter shocked silence. All of your love has made this all the more real for me and I truly appreciate it. That said, don't miss me too much :) I will be back in 7 months. And during that time you can find me HERE at my new blog called Claire in South Africa. Happy stalking.


Claire Catherine


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So I am completely parlyzed with procrastination. Completely. Knowing myself, I always get things done, so I'm not worried that things wont get done. But the magnitude of what I have to do and where I am going and for how long... is so beyond the grasp of my mind, it's like it doesnt even exist. As if it's not actually happening. But if that holds off the 'I want to puke' anxiety untill at least the night before, then I'm down with that. So that's the latest. I'm imobile. Sitting at the computer chatting with my ladies on gchat, eating the chocolate cluster version of honey bunches of oats (oh my!), ignoring my messy room and unpacked suitcase, and gearing up for a day-o-sarahdavidson that is commencing at 1pm. It's going to be an extravaganza. So wish me luck, give me a call if we've been playing phone tag, and check back tomorrow for a formal farewell and tranfer to my new blog.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

You Hear it Here First, Edition XIV - Quasi Finale

As I prepare for my trip, I have had the awesome task of compiling all the music I want to take with me. And it's crucial for traveling, nawmsayin!? So, I present you the LAST Edition of my music review blog for the coming 7 months as I take off into a new world of international volunteering. Weeeeee.

1. I happened upon a song called "made" by a fellow named Jamie Scott (from a random soundtrack that I forgot I even had) on my itunes, and that spurred a flurry of googling. I found the song on youtube, but then his other stuff (if it's the same guy) has a slightly different sound. I'm perplexed, but I like both. So of course I won't deprive you. The firt song is below, and is from the beloved cheesy dance movie Step Up. It's a little bit Justin Timberlake, which I'm always game for. And the second group of stuff, is apparently his new material which he performs with "Jamie Scott and The Town". It is splendid bluesy, alternative/indie, acoustic stuff. A little bit Paul Simon. And he's British. Yup. The second song featured below is called "when will I see your face again" but I also reccomend "ebony eyes" (I wish i could have found the video for this one!) and "sarah stain".

2. There are only a few songs that remind me of what my living room sounded like as a child. The chords of a couple guitars and a couple voices, often times heard through the floorboards as I listened with my ear to the wood floor of my childhood room. They wouldn't plug the guitars into the amps, becuase the "girls" were supposed to be sleeping, but I never was. This song by the "Long Winters" called Cinnamon is that memory in a single song. A little bit Neil Young, a little bit Eric Clapton and a little something else mixed in. I could only find live version (which almost makes it more real to me), but check out their myspace for a album version. They're a Seattle Band!

3. So most of my online time lately (not alot) has been in these pants. The most comfortable pants known to womankind. Ok, so that fact was not important, but I had to share. Speaking of comfortable and cozy, a lovely singer named Leona Naess has an awesome song called "Swing Gently". It's beautiful. I just want to wrap that voice all around my body. And apparently the people over at ABC love it too, cause they've used it in two of their shows lately. Close your eyes for this one. And then go listen to her self-made videos for "Heavy Like Sunday". and "Leave your boyfriends behind".

4. So a little bit of silly-girl-punk-pop is good for everyone's soul. It's a guilty pleasure of mine lately and this song is the perfect recipe. It's got a ridiculous string-section-riff and two hot girls. LOVE IT. If I drove, I would have this on repeat for a girls night out. Hoolllaaaah. It's called Untouched and its by the Veronica's (who I've heard of before but never really looked into). Also, the beat reminds me of some really famous song from the 80s but I can't put my finger on it.

5. The bible of music, ahem Rolling Stone, has put together a best of 2008 article and I have been scouring that lately for inspiration. Not to mention comfirmation of my already good taste. A punk rock band from Nashville called "Be Your Own Pet", this group has caught my ear for its energy and awesome blonde lead singer. They sound and look like people I would want to be friends with. And of course by that I mean "party with". Cause I'm just that hardcore :) The featured song, my personal favorite, is called "The Kelly Affair" and it totally rocks! Also check out "Becky" for a warped but funny narrative on junior high girlfriend drama, hehe.

6. Lady Gaga. Dance music queen. And just a touch scary, as Lauren and I have decided. A little too many references to cocaine in interviews. And that weave girrrrrl! Jesus. But obviously she's got pipes. And here is a pretty awesome acoustic/live version of her song "Pokerface".

7. To switch gears, I have also been looking into some quality hip hop to add to my repertoire. Asher Roth, a totally adorable white rapper from Pennsylvania, is unfortunately on the inevitable path to be compared to Eminem. But he's actually pretty good and his songs, featured a lot lately on mtv2 and rap-city, make me smile. His song "I love College" is nod to fun times and he does a rockin remix of "a millie". But my personal favorite is a more mature piano-supported tune called "The Lounge" and "The Reading" (below).

8. Speaking of Pennsylvania Hip Hop, I found this really freaking AWESOME remix team called "Girl Talk" that takes oldies but goodies and remixes them with newer songs. Think a little bit Moby, a little bit house DJ, and a little bit 80s dance beats. Shout out to the choo choo song that everyone remembers..... in "Here's the Thing" and..... Janet in "give me a beat". But here's "Set it off" with some remixes of recent stuff.

9. The Cold War Kids. I really didn't like them at first, but I think it was because they appeared on an ill fated relationship wooing mix tape. But recently I've rediscovered them and apparently so has The End radio station here in seattle. They are the perfect song to blast when we're closing the deli behind closed doors. Indie Alternative and Punk all at the same time, their song "Something s not right with me" is a perfect song to end on. Because really, we all wonder that exact chorus sentence of "Something is just not right with me, I'm trying not to let it show." Enjoy!

Ok, I would totally go on, but it's starting to overwhelm me and I'm getting all anxious. Because I could go on for another 4 hours with this post and not give you all the reccomendations I want to. So I'm going to list a few bands that I urge you strongly to youtube (do it!) and I will bow out gracefully without overdoing it.

Band - Song
Bright Eyes - Hot Knives
Van Morrison - Gloria
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - the sking of my yellow country
Katie Herzig - I Hurt Too
Hellogoodbye - Two Weeks in Hawaii
The Killers - Sweet Talk
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
All American Rejects - Gives You Hell
Jem - Amazing
Lenka - Trouble is a Friend
Erykah Badu - Kiss my neck
The Stars - Calendar Girls
Bush - Come Down
Mika - Lollipop
Brett Denne - Make You Crazy


Your faithful music obsessor


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Marathon ReCap

So I'm just BURSTING with energy since....well since a hilarious phone call with lauren and basically since work, because really, those boys really cheer me up. Especially when one comes back from lunch having shaved off his beard and making himself look like a 15 year old boy. The entertainment is endless. But I digress. So, I have been absent from this blog in a substantial way due to my incessant working and my preperations for Africa. AFRICA PEOPLE. I'm freaking out. Anyways, my visa application is on its way, despite another minor complication, and I leave in 8 days and a wake up. Or so they say. So, here are a few highlights from my christmas and new year festivities. Get ready, get some tea and a blanket and a comfy chair, it's a long one.

Christmas Storm 2008, totally shockingly beautiful and eventually annoying

My walk to work....

Snow days for the punkin...

Fancy Wine, watching steve jager fall on his butt, and the most amazing faces ever = priceless

Christmas with the Family, We are ridiculous.

And by that of course I mean patheticly bad singers. But the singing, which is forced down our already full post-dinner throats, is a little bit more endurable than the previous tradition of making the youngest scared-shitless grandchild read the nativity story outloud to 24 really tall relatives. We've moved on from that one. So there was lots of bad singing, a considerable amount of oohing and awwing over the choice to upgrade to the larger "Whitman's Sampler" of candy for the annual pass around, and awesome gifts and gadgets that we couldn't stop terrorizing eachother with throughout the day. A video camera is either the coolest thing or the worst thing. I love being behind it.

My coolest cousin with his ipod-speaker-chair

My goofy/awesome great uncle amongst the chaos

Christmas with the Ladies, We are marvelous.

We had a classy afternoon of High Tea at the Sorrento Hotel and did our annual christmas present swapping. I got some lovely things for my trip, we eventually helped Lauren find the handbag of her dreams, pushed Kathleen into the world of sweater dresses (with a belt!), and continued to enable Maris' obsession with domestification. It ended with drinks, duh.

Christmas with the Taylors 2008, We love cabin adventures

For the second year running, the Taylors and the Jesses rent a cabin near Plain, Washington. But we aint not plain folk. We have a grand ole time, usually eat too much, tease eachother, borrow eachother's socks, snowboard down the driveway, and relax. Here are some photo highlights. (If I had the time I would upload the videos of the "sit on your but and slide the hill on the snowboard" competition but this is too much of a marathon post to begin with).

Dinner in Leavenworth

The crazy bunch


My Africa travel partner/mentor and the crazy lake of ice that everyone obsessed over

New Years Eve 2009 - The White Girls

So Lauren and I ventured to a tried and true classy joint called "The Chapel" on capitol hill and long story short, we were the only white people there. It was very interesting. It was a Bollywood themed party, hosted by "I heard shiva" the Indian mafia of Seattle. We ended up having loads of fun and drinking lots of yummy drinks. But I'm pretty sure we had just as much fun in our kick ass UPGRADE of a hotel room. Here are some highlights.


my amazing bed, I did not want to leave

OUTFIT, let's be real....

this says it all

Portland Ladies Reunion - Housemates

My lovely roomates from college, minus a few, reunited for some fun here in Sea-town over the new years, as a quasi goodbye to me (shhhh I don't want to talk about it) and just cause they couldn't handle not having our bums around anymore to slap. We had a sleepover, ate too much chocolate, discussed BMs, and shopped.

Anne and Me

Silly Picture

Actual Quote : "we havent had a boob comparison party in a long time guys!"

*Check back tomorrow for a new music blog, some awesomely inappropriate yet wise comments from my baby sister, and the reveal of my new blog for South Africa.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Low Point

I'm at a low point. A very anxious and scared and pissed afternoon. It sucks. And it's not about just one thing, it's many things, many people and I hate it. I know it will go away and tomorrow I'll be fine, but right now it sucks. I'm scared about south africa. I'm sad to leave people. I'm annoyed with inconsiderate people. I'm feeling lonely and dispensable. And I can shake all these things off most of the time. But when I know I have just 12 days untill I leave, I have this urgent need to get this all taken care of now. Now. It's as if I have to have every loose end of everything tied up before I go. I don't want to go into this adventure with any baggage or regrets or missed opportunities. I don't know what to do. So I'm going to watch a stupid netflix movie online and play with some of my christmas gadgets and in general just give this bad mood the other cheek. Might as well get it over with. Baaaaaah.

Snap me out of it?


Monday, December 29, 2008

Planning, Freaking, Packing

So my nervous tummy has officially moved into the captain's chair of my life as the true countdown to South Africa begins. And it's not that I'm not excited and happy and totally and completely exihilirated, but when the unknown is still lurking, stress and nerves seem to take themselves out on my stomach. So I've accepted it's place in my day to day life. Acknnowledement is the first step right?

Anyways, so I'm beginning a mental packing list (yes, I know, I'm so on top of things) and realizing that I need tshirts. Decent tshirts that can get dirty, with things like baby spit up and sand and the diet coke in the airport and the day to day grit of working. And things I have now, actualy clothes that are pretty yet not that durable, are just not going to cut it. My mother and I have planned a massive trip to target in the near future and I can't WAIT for her to throw in the 'just in case you need them' bag of socks. Bless her heart. So my packing has begun, kind of, and the next exciting thing, planning.

Sue Taylor - (family friend, doctor, surrogate-mom, and general bad ass lady) and I are beginning to put together a rough plan. We fly in on sunday, we are spending sunday evening to tuesday in Capetown. I'm going to spend a day going to classes at Nelson Mandela University with a couple students that she and her family are helping to put through school. I'm going to tour the prison where he was kept and other Capetown-y things (not to mention give ourselves a day or two to get over jet lag). We are then going to move on to Port Elizabeth, where her project is, to meet with folks and work. She will be in meetings most of the rest of the week and our time there will be planned/hosted by her people. I will be helping in the classrooms and clinic at Saphire Elementary. I am going to be soaking it all in. She said to be prepared to be "in awe". Here is a little idea of the project that she, her husband, and the University of Washington educators are involved in there.

We are then going to head to Durban on saturday or sunday and then a short flight to Richard's Bay (the town nearest my town that has an airport) on that coming monday. I arrive at my program on monday, January 25th. That feels like a good day.

And just for shits and giggles, and since it has been dubbed my/our song by two lovely boys at work, here is a littly diddy to make you smile.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Put your balls into it!

So, I know this has been the third non substantial youtube clip posting in a row! But it's the weekend (aka I'm working alot) and my dad has shotty internet and the snow is making any sort of exciting happenings a challenge. Aside from the most amazing glass of wine of my life with maris jean jager on friday, some james bond and cookie making at the johnstons, and a lovely nap I have schedule for 22.4 mintues from now, I'm not doing anything lately. Just waiting. For christmas, and friends, and new years, and then finally AFRICA. So here's a little corny christmas cheer from Jason Mraz to speed the process along.