Friday, February 20, 2009

The Academy Awards

I hope that Slumdog Millionaire wins every award possible. The movie is so fantastic. I loved it.

And "Jai Ho" is my new favorite running song. Not that I have been running lately; too busy studying and trying to get my 40 work hours in.

I'm cheering for WALL-E, too.

I'm not sure I'll actually get to see most of the Oscars because I will be in Maine this weekend! Chuck is conducting the Portland Symphony Orchestra so I am going to visit my parents and then we will see one of the concerts, on Sunday.

A few quick updates:

Chemistry is kicking my butt. I love biology though. Over spring break, I get to spend a day shadowing at Lenny's vet hospital!

I found a therapy dog class to bring Lenny to. He turned into a wire fox "terror" the moment we stepped in the door and he saw all of the other dogs. They weren't supposed to interact with each other and he just wanted to say hello. He went bonkers trying to sniff everyone. He knows HOW to do everything he's supposed to do, but he was too excited. He also took a dump the moment we stepped through the door. A great first impression. We'll go back a week from Monday and try again.

Chuck is busy making cheese and he has had a few successes, though most are very mild. He's been a little stressed out lately about work stuff. We had a successful Valentine's Day concert with the BSO, but it was a logistical nightmare. And his office is getting moved to a different building this weekend, among other things.

We had a fabulous trip to Florida but I don't have any pictures yet. It was great seeing Grumpy and Christel, though we were delayed by almost a full day getting there. Indiana actually had an honest to goodness snowstorm - a foot or more. IU cancelled classes for the first time in 30 years. But we made it to the airport fine. The roads were horrible (they don't understand the concept of plowing here) but Chuck drove very slowly and carefully. Our flight said it was on time, and we got through security very quickly. A few minutes after we got to the gate, they made an announcement that the de-icing truck had CRASHED and Southwest had no de-icer fluid, and all of the Southwest flights that morning were cancelled. That got extended to 4:30 p.m. We managed to get on a 5:30 flight, and luckily made it out. We had a great time once we actually got there! Sea World was really fun and it was great to spend time with my family.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Catching up on events

My first two weeks of school have been pretty hectic, but I am getting the hang of things. I had my first chemistry quiz this morning and I think my hard work studying last night paid off. Things had been a little scary for a while, so it felt good! I am behind my running schedule at the moment, but I will catch up.

I gave Chuck a book about making cheese for Christmas. Big mistake.
We have several blobs of cheese "aging" in the kitchen and fridge now, and he has been acquiring cheese-making accessories. He is also trying to purposely grow bacteria.

He also acquired a free breadmaker and has been experimenting with different bread recipes. Let's just say that some have been more successful than others. While we were out, Lenny decided to take a sampling of some of the slices:
The raisin bread

The whole wheat bread

You might not be able to see it in the picture, but there are two bites out of one of the slices and the rest is untouched. Lenny didn't eat it. And Lenny eats EVERYTHING. Make your own conclusions about the whole wheat bread.

Inauguration! I am totally jealous of my cousins who were in DC for the big day. The two ladies I share a boss with, Helena and Susie, are my Obama buddies. We took a loooong lunch break and went to Nick's to watch the inauguration. (You might remember that Nick's was the little place that Barack Obama happened to stop by during a visit to Bloomington last year.) It was just wonderful. And I loved Michelle's outfits!

A funny recent event - the madrigal dinner. Our friend Rob organized a madrigal dinner at the church where he is the music director and Chuck sang in his choir. Nice tunic and tights!

A birth announcement: congratulations to Wilbur the Snail, proud papa (or quite possibly mama) to the four baby snails in our fish tank!

Chuck has been very busy at IU lately. His conducting teacher has been ill, so he has been filling in teaching for the graduate non-major conducting course. Next week he is doing sectionals with one of the orchestras on Shostakovich 12.

And I have a new best friend - my iPod Touch. (THANK YOU THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!!!!)

I can't even begin to describe how cool it is. It's amazing. You can do anything with it. I call it my "Touchy."

And I am bringing it on our TRIP TO FLORIDA next week! We are all (parents, Annie and John) going down to celebrate my grandfather's 92nd birthday. Happy Birthday Grumpy!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A great day in history!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New year, new beginnings

My friend Jen tagged me to do a list of 25 random facts about myself, but I think I am instead going to do 25 highlights of 2008! Here they are, in approximately chronological order:

1. Barack Obama won Iowa
2008 was definitely the Year of Obama for me. I spent much of my time devoted to making buttons for the campaign and talking to people who noticed my button in the supermarket. Usually I would not want to be involved in politics, but for him, it was different. The campaign sort of consumed my life and I forgot everybody's birthday. I'm sorry!!!

2. Go Buckeyes!
We had fun watching the BCS National Championship game in January, despite the results. Our Buckeye friends came over (Amanda and Renee).

3. Night in Old Vienna
Chuck's parents, June and George, came out to visit us for the Bloomington Symphony's "Night in Old Vienna" event. It was great to see them!

4. Obama came to Bloomington
My friend Susie and I got to sit behind the stage at an Obama event in Columbus, Indiana, and I got my copy of "Dreams from my Father" autographed. But Barack also returned for a huge rally in Bloomington. We had great seats thanks to my friend Pam.

5. Chuck conducted the ISO
My parents came out to see Chuck conduct for the very first time - and it was a great concert!

6. I ran a half-marathon
I ran 13.1 miles, in a row, all at once! This is one of my biggest personal achievements, ever. I still can't believe I did it. And I'm signed up with Team Russell to run it again this year!

7.  The Indiana primary  
Hoosiers' votes were actually RELEVANT!  And we almost pulled out a last-minute victory - we only lost by a few thousand votes. I got to be at the Monroe County courthouse while they counted ballots, which was very exciting. It was a great night.

8. Chuck went to Spain
He competed in a conducting competition there and got time to sight-see in Barcelona.

9. My sister got married
Annie and John got married in Rhode Island. The wedding was beautiful, and the trip involved many of the highlights of the year, including:

10. Russell Family Olympics
I have sadly neglected putting these pictures up on the blog. The event of the year! I promise to put some up sometime. We all went up to the lake house after Annie's wedding to spend a very fun week competing.

11. Hiking in New Hampshire
Chuck, Lenny, Dad and I took the opportunity to tackle a mountain, something we certainly don't have here in south-central Indiana.

12. Fox terrier meet-up!
We got to meet some of Lenny's "friends" from online dog networking. :) We went to the Boston Arboretum and met Agatha and Archie and their people, as well as two other furry buddies, Toffee and Riley.

13. Niagara Falls!
On our way home from the wedding trip, we drove through Buffalo and saw Niagara Falls. Lenny was absolutely terrified because of the sound the rushing water made. I think he thought it was a giant bathtub.

14. The Niskode-Dossett wedding!
Aaron and Amanda got married in a beautiful ceremony. We got to see Jen and Alex and had a wonderful time.

15. We finally moved!
Hallelujah. Enough said.

16. St. Louis trip
Chuck and I celebrated our fifth anniversary by going for a long weekend in St. Louis. This picture is us holed up in the ridiculously compact egg that brought us to the top of the Arch.

17. Columbus mini marathon
I did it again, this time with Chuck and Jen. We ran a half-marathon in Columbus, Ohio. This time, I both ran and walked, and managed to beat my slow all-running time from the previous race by TWELVE minutes. Also on the Columbus trip...

18. Buckeye football game
Jen hooked us up with football tickets in the Horseshoe for the first Buckeye game of the year. It was fantastic.

19. Colts football game
My friend Gaye brought me to see the Colts play in the new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. It was a nail-biter and they lost at the very end, but it was very fun.

20. Cowboy concert
Our 2008-09 BSO season kicked off with a fun family concert in the mall, featuring "cowboy" music. We had two very successful concerts after that one, as well.

21. Russell Thanksgiving
We had a great time in Connecticut visiting with all of the Russells.

22. President-Elect Barack Obama!
Did I mention I worked really hard for Obama? :) November 4th was an amazing night.  I felt so proud to be a part of the campaign and to even have played the tiniest role in being a part of history! (Our friend Renee with the man himself!)

23. My surprise birthday dinner
Chuck somehow found LOBSTER in the middle of Indiana to surprise me for my birthday. Our friends Gaye and Rob came over for dinner to celebrate. Chuck also baked me a cake reading "Happy Birtday Kelley!" Yes, happy birtday to me.

24. Christmas with the Latshaws
We got to see our seven nieces and nephews and all of the Latshaws during a wonderful trip in December to Ohio. This is the big birthday "card" the kiddies made for "Ant Kelly" wishing me a "grate birthday." :) The trip was a great way to end the year.

25. Mid-life crisis; it came a little early!
(Lenny's buddy Toffee in the picture)
So at some point early this fall, (and after an orchestra audition experience that was both positive and negative, for varying reasons), I had a personal crisis. I decided that I was really tired of what I was doing in my life, basically treading water, and that I could be doing something much better, while still playing as much flute as I am now with my current "day job." It was definitely a process and took a lot of self-evaluation, frustration, and even some self-forgiveness. It's not a decision I'd been pondering for months or years; it kind of hit me by surprise. The frustration of the audition led to a major "paradigm shift" (right, Dad? :) ) and I started thinking about making a positive difference in the world. (Maybe inspired by Barack Obama!) I also want to do something every day that I love, that is nurturing and fulfilling, definitely that is more lucrative, and that makes a difference in some way. And for me, it's not teaching flute lessons, or organizing meetings for the Dean. I want to be a veterinarian!

So after fretting over my decision for a week or two, and deciding to go for it, I woke up the next morning feeling completely at peace with myself. No frustration, just peace. That afternoon I told Chuck my idea and for some reason, this came as no shock to him. He pointed out that my normal evening activity was watching Animal Planet Emergency Vets (I heart "Dr. Fitz"!), and that I love dogs more than just about anything. And he told me that he supported me 100%. (Thanks honey!)

This leads me to the start of the new year, 2009.

Today was my first day of school. I am taking freshman biology and chemistry. It's going to take me about two years to complete all of the pre-requisites to even APPLY for vet school, since the Plant Bio and Astronomy courses I took as an undergrad don't do me any good. Luckily, since I work for IU, I get several free credit hours every semester, and in-state tuition for anything beyond that. So suddenly, being stuck here in Bloomington doesn't seem so bad for me! I'm happy to hang out and learn for a while. I also started volunteering as a dog-walker for the animal shelter, and I'm going to observe a vet one day during spring break. (She's a nice lady who plays in the BSO and is a doctor at Lenny's hospital.)

I did feel like a big dork going into class full of people ten years younger than me. But I am very excited about my new adventure.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas tree!

Yesterday I finally got the apartment cleaned and finished all of the laundry. So then I tackled the Christmas tree.

Last year, we didn't have room in our tiny apartment, so I set up the Christmas tree at work.

Chuck wasn't home because he had two gigs, so Lenny was my only helper. He tried to eat the branches, of course.

We listened to the traditional Muppets/John Denver Christmas CD. Chuck can't stand the sound of Miss Piggy's voice so it probably was best that he wasn't home. :)

I did not bother with ornaments this year. It's just our basic tree.

We stuck all of Lenny's toys under the tree since he doesn't have a toybox at the moment.

And here's his stocking.

Chuck and I are spending Christmas with his family in Ohio and we are really looking forward to it.

Look at all of the Christmas cards we've gotten! Actually, no joke, 90% of them were for Lenny. He's way more popular than we are. It's kind of sad. :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Thanksgiving pictures

Happy Birthday Mom!

Just don't go too crazy with that senior discount. ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The weekend

We are still recovering from the big celebration last Tuesday. Here's to making history!

On Saturday, we did a "Meet the Instruments" session at Wonderlab, the local children's science museum. We got a write-up in the student newspaper (I was misquoted) and no one touched my flute. I was happy.

Then that evening, we went bowling!

The animal shelter sponsored a fun bowling event for all of the volunteers. I went to my volunteer orientation session a few weeks ago, but I haven't been scheduled for dog-walking yet! I think there was just a little email mix-up. We went bowling anyway. :) And for the record, Chuck and I both are far superior bowlers to Barack Obama. I bowled a 73; Barack bowled a 37 before the Pennsylvania primary!

I also seemed to have a lot more free time this weekend, since I didn't have buttons to make or political websites to check obsessively. I still can't believe it's over. It's also strange to not WEAR a button anymore. Really nice people used to stop me all the time to tell me that they liked my button and were really excited about Obama. All kinds of people - men, women, black, white, young, old - random strangers who I would probably never have any reason to speak with otherwise. I will miss that friendliness. But maybe having Obama in the White House will unite Americans and make us all a little more open to each other, under his leadership and inspiration!