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.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In my absolute-ly ideal world....


You Heard it Here First, Edition XIII

So, I have been ignoring my blog lately, mainly because of work and christmas shopping and SA visa errands, but also because I've been compiling this ridiculously long music list. It's very random, like always, and some of the song have been single handedly getting me through my 55 hour work week. But being dubbed the queen of the deli and taking home the thickest tip envelope doesn't hurt either. Enjoy.

1. Ok, if you liked the soundtrack to the Into The Wild film, done so well by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam last year, you will really enjoy this group, called Great Lake Swimmers, because I'm suprised they weren't featured along with those haunting songs. But it definitely does have its own style, banjo mixed with simple acoustic guitar and perfectly warm vocals combine to make some really awesome tunes. And everyone needs a little steel guitar every once in awhile, even if you proclaim to hate country. And they're Canadian, so they're inherently cute with how they spell and pronounce things. My favorite currently is Your Rocky Spine (below!), but I also recommend "Changing Colours" and "Backstage with the Modern Dancers".

2. Ani DiFranco. An obsession I gained through roomate-osmosis from my like minded music friend Caitlin in college (and im sure ive ranted about Ani before). Her storytelling gets better better as I hear more and more of her stuff, and her songs pop up on my ipod and continually (and pleasantly) suprise me. Other than my continual favorites of "Fixing her Hair" and "Shy" and "Gravel", the song "School Night" is probably the most moving at this point in my life. We've all felt connected to someone in our lives that was incredibly bad for us, opposite from us, and not worth our time. But sometimes, you can't help it, and weirdly that pain reminds us that that connection is there, and not going away anytime soon. Here it is!

3. Ever since Lauren got me to listen to some of his stuff, I've tried my hardest to keep up on Ben Folds (of ben folds five). I will never forget the conversation we had where she gushed about the concert of his that she just saw on the U of I campus. Full of glee. He has recently paired up with Regina Spektor, to do a quirky catchy little song called "You don't know me." It's very fun and smart. (and I'm nt one of those really annoying people that says "thats so smart" about a movie or "youre looking smart today". For some reason I feel like thats a particularly snobby statement, but anyways, it was really fitting, so I mean it!)

4. So I contemplated doing an entire music blog of silly girl pop songs, cause they're everywhere right now, dontcha think? And to be perfectly honest, they're freaking fun. Songs like "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga and "Hot n Cold" by Katy Perry and "So What" by Pink, and "If I were a boy" by Beyonce. And Rihanna is just bringin it home right now, nawmsayin? So because I can't make up my mind (duh, when can I?), I give you a song that maybe you don't already know, but along the same lines as the ones above. I hope it gets stuck in your head! Neener! And let's just be clear about this one, I was turned on to her music by Lauren, and mad props to her for finding it and playing it in her car for me about a month back. How come we're so ahead of the times? Must be the wheaties, and holynames, and our general bad ass-ness. Anyways, here's a French pop artist called Yelle, and her song (among many awesome diddies) is called "Ce Jeu" (although my other favorite is "Les Femmes" ).

5. Ok, my dad once told me that "any song that goes into it's chorus within the first 30 seconds" is ridiculous. Pop songs often do. For catchyness sake. And if there isn't much in the verses and interludes to entertain and inspire the listener. And I believe him. Because he's my dad, and also a really excellent musician. But anyways, that doesn't mean that I don't love my fair share (or more) or rock-pop songs. So I bring you my new favorite (although it barely makes the cut with 33 seconds of song before the chorus). I saw it in a movie, can't remember which one, and now it's all over the radio. It's called "I'm not over" and it's by Carolina Liar.

6. So, mainly because of the boys I work with, I am exposed to lots of music I wouldn't normally listen to or know about. Read that as: there are lots of conversations where I don't know what's going on or what killer/epic band/song/guitarsolo they're talking about. Anyways, we can agree on one thing, and that's the Beatles. Especially the "breakfast with the beatles" special that 102.5 does on sunday mornings. It truly gets me through the "hump day" of my week. And of course I'm sure people are thinking "um, you're only 45 years too late, Claire". But really, I'm beginning to realize (more and more each sunday) just how brilliant they are/were. This song "You've got to hide my love away" has always resonated with me. It sounds as if it could have been written two weeks ago. Timeless. And those baby faces in the video, so cute.

7. Ingrid Michaelson and Joshua Radin (who both have new albums) did a song together, called "Sky". And let me just say "what is WITH his voice?". Why is so wraspy and beautiful. Really? Does it just come out that way? Does he have to try? Fascinating. Anyways. They are both exquisite singers and their duet is beautiful.

8. Kings of Leon. Sex on Fire. When the song comes on at work, I immediately rush over the soup corner and pretend to be doing something really important like stocking 'to-go' soup containters/lids. The lyrics alone can totally distract me. That and the boys' have a sneaky way of coming back from their lunch breaks smelling collectively of smoke and cologne. That in combination with a song by The Kings of Leon can totally twitterpate me. But, since I've already featured Sex on Fire in a past edition, I'll have to share another one of their great songs with you. It's called "Use Somebody".

9. I would be liar liar pants on fire if I didn't confess to loving the new Britney Spears stuff. The current whining around the house is how muucccchhhhh Maria wants Britney tickets for her birthday in April. It's all "Mom, you have NO IDEA!". And despite not being here to experience that craziness come April 16th, I still will obsess over the songs with her. Not a problem. I'm kind of over Womanizer, but I'm liking Circus currently. It's purely what I expect from Britney, yet also something I can make fun of. Or maybe that's the same thing. Regardless I would totally dance all up in your biznass in the club to this one.

10. Shake it the ground. A shamlessly fun hip-hop dance track that I found on youtube the other day. IT'S SO MUCH FUN. Thats all there is to it. I wish I could bring all the boys to the yard like these girls.

11. Tracy Chapman has a new album. Say what!? I know. So one of her new song, which I immediately looked up once I heard, is called "Sing for You". Her brilliance continues.

12. This one just builds and builds and builds. Totally intense. And sweet and melancholy. All the things I love. The End here in Seattle recommended it and I usually take their word for things like this. It's called "Sometime After Midnight" and it's by Airborne Toxic Event. A little bit Killers, a little bit Matchbox 20, and a little bit something else.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Its Almost Here

You know that feeling whe you have a date? or its christmas morning and you're six years old? or you just finished finals week in college? and all you want to do is smile real big and giggle and jump around and have a drink and scream and pee your pants and cover your face with your hands because it's all just a little bit too much to HANDLE!? yeah THAT'S HOW I'M FEELING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE


i bought my tickets


HEY, hey, hey HEY! (think the pickle song in little rascals)

They are purchased. I fly from Seattle to New York, New York to Dakar, Senegal (unfortunately it's just for gas, I don't even get to get out of the plane and see all the cool airport people and signs in different languages), and then from Dakar to CAPETOWN. I arrive at 4:30 pm and then I'll probably just wait around for Sue to come in at 10 and then we'll do our darndest to get to bed so we can shake the sure to be RIDICULOUS jetlag. SOUTH AFRICA HERE I COME.

(giggle giggle dance dance)


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I once made out with a Neil Patrick Harris look alike.....

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

sometimes, people are just so freaking awesome :) way to go funny or die :)


Monday, December 1, 2008

Roller Coaster : Me

It is up and down these days, maybe its PMS, I really hope it is, but its a freaking trip. In the morning I'm super excited and optimistic about South Africa and then later that day I feel as if every lead is a dud and that I just want to tear up and run to the bathroom. I'm feeling constantly discouraged by all the dead ends and details and schedules and ahhhh. I just want an extra week to figure this all out, a week without work or phone calls or stupid customers or unavailable boys who live in central washington but kiss like its their job, or pesky sisters or doubting family members. Where I can just buckle down and feel good about what I've accomplished. And I am aware that this is undoubtedly my fault, because I am the queen of procrastination (and princess of my neighboring colony lazy-town) but some things, I just don't have control over. And isn't that the thing we mortals hate the most? Not being able to control every last detail? Well I'm finally joining that club, and I'm really hoping that it doesn't last long. Cause the fucking holidays are coming up and I just can't handle being any more of an emotional wreck than they will already make me become. I just can't help it that "Carol of the Bells" makes me cry, I just can't!

Anyways, I am going to regress to my earlier years and fill out one of those silly myspace surveys, partly because it will make me laugh (and hence brighten my mood and deter me from opening a very enticing bottle of wine upstairs) but also because I know I have not been all there with people lately. Bad at calling back and not getting the jokes at work and fighting with maria. So here we go! Judge all you want :)

1. Do you like chinese food? yessss, and come to think of it, I haven't had any of the really bad but really yummy sticky fake sauce kind in a long long time

2. How big is your bed? a twin, it does the job

3. Is your room clean? not even close

4. Laptop or Desktop computer? laptop, but maybe if I had a desktop I couldn't break it

5. Favorite comedian? Lily Tomlin, she's so badass, and that guy with the glass of scotch

6. Do you smoke? nothing, only hookah in college, gosh I feel old

7. Does anyone like you? probably not

9. Sleep with or without clothes on? a tshirt, and i'm good to go

11. Who sleeps with you every night? my stuffed racoon named ricky

12. Do long distance relationships work? I wouldn't know

13. How many times have you been pulled over by the police? never

14. Pancakes or French Toast? french toast for reals

15. Do you like coffee? um, its like crack

16. How do you like your eggs? my coworker makes a bomb omelette for me

17. Do you believe in astrology? its fun to think about

18. Last person you talked to on the phone? alex johnston, my oldest friend, and it felt totally magical, love that kid

19. Last person on your missed call list? caitlin, my big sister

20. What was the last text message you received? "I know" from jillian, we were exchanging hilarities about the ridiculousness of "the hills"

21. McDonalds or Burger King? neither

22. Number of pillows? two, one for structure in the back (leaning against the wall almost stuck between the bed and the wall) and a soft but kind of firm (preferably some sort of down, but not the kind that melts if you lean on it) one for my head. I'm specific.

23. Last thing you ate? turkey and cucumbers on half a wheat bagel at work

24. Last thing you bought? 3 minutes on a printer/online at kinkos

25. What are you hearing right now? some "shiny toy guns" song

26. Pick a lyric? ride the racecar, we're the girls of le disko

27. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich? rasberry

28. Can you play pool? nope, but i love to try

29. Do you know how to swim? oh for sure, i love it

30. Favorite ice cream? pralines and cream, absolutely the best thing on earth

31. Do you like maps? i love them, and that one song about them by jason mraz.

32. Tell me a random fact: it is impossible to lick your elbow

34. Ever attend a theme party? what college party wasn't?

35. Ever do a keg stand? nope

36. Craziest place you've slept after a night of drinking? hammock

37. What is your favorite season? spring/summer

39. Pick a movie quote: "did you HEAR that!?" from makes me smile every time..

41. What is your favorite hangout? currently, the bagel deli makes me feel at home, i love it there

44. Last time you laughed at something stupid? the hills. enough said.

45. What time did you wake up this morning? 8:30, it was glorious

46. Wake up next to anyone? oh please

47. Best thing about winter? CHRISTMAS, bitches!

48. Name a couple of favorite colors: all shades of blue, currently = navy

49. How old are you? 23 (and according to alex, 23 is practically 25 and 25 is old) and my reaction: "I KNOW!". Feeling very old.

50. What month is your birthday in? June. It always rains.

51. Do you think pirates are cool or overrated? overrated.

52. Favorite Dave Matthews Band song (if you have one?) "so right"

53. What are you doing this weekend? working, sleeping. that is all.