About the Author – The Proust Questionnaire

Published 6/18/14 by:

Picture of Kaitlin

 

Vanity Fair runs a monthly post in which they ask celebrities the Proust Questionnaire. I doubt I’m ever going to be a celebrity, so in order to better inform you about me as a blogger and human, I thought I’d fill it out. I want you to know that I took twenty minutes to respond to this, so these are my gut reactions. Tread lightly…

 

What is your idea of happiness? Good company, and no alarm clock set for the next day.

What is your greatest fear? Being alone in a body of water and drowning.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? I’m not much of a historian, but I’d like to think that I would’ve been an abolitionist, so Sojourner Truth.

Which living person do you most admire? It’s a tie: Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell. They both can write and sing, and neither of them do anything they don’t want to do.

What trait do you have that you dislike the most? I am an inherently judgmental person. I judge people, homes, conversations, intellect etc. without even thinking about it.

What trait do you most dislike in others? Carelessness. How hard is it to care, just a little bit?

What is your greatest extravagance? I very rarely paint my own toenails.

What is your favorite journey? When I graduated from high school I went on a twelve day trip down the coast of California with my family. I fell in love with it.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Preparedness. There are rare occasions where authenticity lies within winging it.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? My fair skin. I blush easily (when drinking or embarrassed), and get sunburns driving in the car.

When do you lie? When I’ve half-assed something…I just pretend I didn’t know any better.

What word or phrase do you overuse? It is what it is.

What is your biggest regret? Not pursuing writing, publishing or editing.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? So far? Teaching and my family.

When and where were you happiest? This will sound odd, but middle school. I had a really good grasp on academics, and I was a fairly good athlete. I think it may have been the time that I was the most well-rounded. I also love a good school dance.

Which talent would you most like to have? I often dream about being a singer and having a tour bus filled with all my favorite people. To be able to sing, and make people happy by doing it, would be quite the talent.

What is your current state of mind? Exhausted and frazzled. My grades were due this week, and my sixth graders are being wily.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Teaching adolescents how to write with conviction.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? A piano that gets passed down through many generations of the same family.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A sea turtle.

What is your most treasured possession? I’m a big fan of things…I can’t choose just one.

What do you regard as the deepest pit of misery? The time in-between college and your first job, where you have no experience, so no one will hire you, but you need experience to be hired. It’s literally the worst thing that has ever happened to me. You feel helpless, idiotic and poor.

Where would you like to live? Some place where it’s in the 70s and breezy all the time. I think that’s maybe San Francisco?

What is your favorite occupation? Music supervisor – anyone who gets to compile soundtracks for television or film.

Who are your heroes in real life? Jim Henson, John Green, Ellen, and Malala.

What do you most dislike? Deadlines and grading.

How would you like to die? Uneventfully at a ripe old age.

What is your motto? You can’t win ’em all.

 

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Book Review: John Corey Whaley’s “Noggin”

Published 6/17/14 by:

Noggin Cover

 

 

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to come back to life? Have you ever considered what it would be like to have your fairly perfect life taken away from you at the peak of your teenage existence? Sarcastic, charming and earnest narrator Travis Coates is living an absurd and unbelievably lucky life. And it’s his second go at it.

 

When we meet Travis he’s 21-years-old chronologically speaking, but in reality, he died at the age of sixteen because of cancer, and five years later is back from the dead. No, this is not a supernatural thriller; It’s really the most unique coming of age story I’ve ever read. Travis was living a very ordinary teenage life. It got cut short, and now he gets to live an extraordinary teenage life, but with someone else’s body from the neck down.  Allow me to explain: Travis volunteered for a cutting edge (pun intended) medical trial in which his head (which was perfectly healthy and cancer-free) was extracted from his dying body, and frozen. Doctors made no promises to his family as to how soon science would catch up to Travis’ frosted skull, and so everyone was left in a hopeful limbo. Travis’ quirky, thoughtful girlfriend Cate, his (very in the closet) best friend Kyle, his mom, and his dad waited patiently for Travis to maybe return to the living, but five years is a long time, and people move on. Then, Travis woke up.

 

Imagine waking up and being an actual walking modern miracle. That’s Travis’ new existence. Now imagine what it’s like to see what your death did to the people you loved. Then try to wrap your head around (so punny) the fact that your death eventually was a catalyst for your favorite people to move on. Travis was not forgotten, but his remembering, and the way he wants things to be, are very much in the past for his friends and family. Meanwhile he feels like he’s only been asleep for about ten minutes.

“Up until that point, any time someone said my story ‘inspired’ them, I cringed and I wanted to tell them all the reasons why missing everyone’s lives and coming back and being the only one who was the same was the most terrifying thing I could ever imagine.” (Whaley, 293)

 

This is a novel that explores what second chances are, how difficult growing up can be once, and the struggles of it happening a second time without your friends. Travis’ relentlessness in refusing to let go of the past, which to him, unfortunately, still feels like the present, is both heartbreaking and frustrating. His love for Cate never wavers, but time is a beast even a modern miracle like Travis can’t tame:

“They say you can fall out of love with someone just as easily as you fall into it. But is that also the case when the person you love dies? Do you have to fall out of love with them so you can fall in love with someone else?” (Whaley, 247)

 

I was captivated by both the concept of this book, as well as the narrator. Travis has the ability to be reflective, and wise, but his teenage spirit is evoked when his opinions clash with Cate and Kyle. Herein lies the rub: being resurrected ain’t easy.

Book Grade: A-

 

 

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Wedding Season Wish List #2

Published 5/31/14 by:

Wedding Season Wish List #2

 

Wedding Season Wish List #2 

Michael kors shoes
$125 – choicestore.co.uk – These sandals are worth the investment because they’re so versatile. You can dress them up with this gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer dress, or wear them with your favorite khaki capris!

Kate Spade clutch
lordandtaylor.com – Who doesn’t need a lemon wicker clutch? (Says the former country club kid haha!)

MARC BY MARC JACOBS stud earrings
nordstrom.com – Adorable earrings, I think the white would really accentuate the lace on the middle of the dress.

Juko gold cosmetic
beauty.com – I love headbands, but I know that I’m not in the majority. If you’re wearing a dress as busy as this one, there’s no need for a necklace, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t embellish your hair a bit!

Essie nail polish
Any shade of pink would look great with this dress, but I chose this traditional pink because I thought it best matched the dress.
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The Ultimate Role…If I Were An Actress

Published 5/28/14 by:

 

Dream Role Photos

 

I recently watched a YouTube video in which the absurdly beautiful cast of MTV’s Teen Wolf was asked what character past or present would be their dream role. The answers ranged from Rachel Green in “FRIENDS” to Neo in “The Matrix”. As someone who has been an avid film and television enthusiast since first falling for The Muppets at the ripe age of three, I’ve been thinking about my choices for days. Here’s the rub, though: I’m not an actress. I’m making my choices purely based on things like cast chemistry, the writing of the show, and how fun it would be to play that character. I did not approach the creation of this list with any type of thespian knowledge or prowess. That being said, I think I made some really educated decisions. I’d also love to hear what inspired choices all of you would make! Let me know in the comments!

 

1. Carla Tortelli from “Cheers” –  Carla is the perfect example of a Bostonian waitress; She’s quick-witted, snarky, and can talk sports with the best of ’em. She doesn’t put up with any bull, because if that’s what she wanted, she could just stay home with her thousand kids. I envy her one-liners, and the cast of characters that Cheers pulled together in that bar where everybody knows your name.

 

2. Penny Lane from “Almost Famous” – I don’t think a cooler girl has ever been written in a film or television show. Not only does she embody rock and roll, but she loves it in a charming and enveloping way. I don’t think I realized what a rock and roll lifestyle was, until I encountered Penny. Her credo “it’s all happening” makes every moment seem thrilling. I’d love to play someone so adored, complex, and free-spirited. In terms of cast: who wouldn’t want to hang out with Russell and William all day? And maybe squeeze in a moment or two with Lester Bangs? Sigh.

 

3. Kate Austen from “LOST” – This was a really hard decision because I only wanted one totally hardcore chick on the list, and my alternative choice was Sidney Bristow from “Alias”. Ultimately I went with Kate because she’s a rebel with a cause, and I dig that about her. Kate is the polar opposite of who I am, and I think it would be so incredible to play a girl who’s so adventurous, agile and intuitive. Additionally, I wouldn’t balk at the opportunity to kiss Jack and Sawyer. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

 

4. Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years” – There can only be one girl next door on this list, so Joey Potter didn’t make the cut. Winnie is smart, approachable and has great headbands. Her family suffers the loss of a brother to the Vietnam War, and she seamlessly transitions from awkward pre-teen to lanky, beautiful teenager throughout the show. She’s an every-girl, but with the benefit of an awesome era to grow up in. This might be my dream role. Also, it would be really fun to “TV date” the same boy from ages 11 to 18, because not many folks get that experience.

 

 

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Tunes of the Week Edition No. 4

Published 5/14/14 by:

I love May for a lot of reasons. One reason is it means there’s about a month of teaching left for me. Another reason is that it’s bright enough to wear sunglasses when I leave my house at 6:45am. I can’t really explain how my disposition changes when wearing sunglasses en route to school, but my whole demeanor changes, and I just want to pump jams non-stop. Other than when the leaves change, it’s the only other time of year that I actually enjoy my commute. Here’s what I’ve been playing to start my day right.

 

Mikky Ekko’s Kids – This song was played in the season 3A finale of Teen Wolf. Yes, I’m endorsing Teen Wolf…look for a post on that later. This song is upbeat, and reminds me of Foster the People a tiny bit. This may only be applicable to me and my weird musical associations, but when I listen to this, it feels like a warm breeze no matter what the actual weather is.

 

 

 

The Lighthouse and the Whaler’s Pioneers – One of my most trustworthy musical advisors recommended this song to me after a co-worker saw this band open for Matt Pond PA. It definitely has a Vampire Weekend vibe, and makes me want to have a BBQ really badly.

 

 

 

 

Kurt Vile’s Wakin on A Pretty Day – I discovered this song last fall when I saw one of my favorite coming of age movies of the 2000s,
“The Spectacular Now”. This song is versatile in that I like to cook to it, drive to it, write to it, and grade to it. Also, it’s lengthiness lends itself to pretty lovely daydreaming. I’m so upset that I can’t see him perform with Jenny Lewis this summer. *Sighs audibly*

 

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