Tuesday, April 19, 2011

About Me

In an attempt to engage in conversations on subjects other than law school, I ordered a "Chatpack" from Amazon last week. I have been meaning to get one since August, but I kept forgetting. AnnaGrace and I did some questions on the way down to Austin, and I thought it might be interesting to post some of my favorite questions/answers here. So, here goes!

1. If rain could fall in any scent, what scent would you want it to be? I would pick a citrus scent!

2. If you could swallow a pill that would stop anything of your choice from ever happening to you again (except keep you from getting sick), what would the pill permanently end? Saying goodbye!! It is something I have always hated...and it only gets worse as you get older!

3. If you were writing an autobiography, what would be the book's title (besides your name)? Katelyn Ridenour: A Series of Contradictions. Sometimes I feel as though I am my own oxymoron. :)

Some examples:
  • I tend to be pretty quiet and shy - until you get to know me. Then I can't shut up!
  • Some days I enjoy watching a good chick flick. On others, I get so irritated at how predictable they are! (Unless it's Pride and Prejudice!)
  • I love surprises...but I need to plan ahead and have a routine (or I get very bent out of shape!)
4. What is your favorite time of day? The early morning - I love how quiet it is!
5. If you were completely blind but could somehow see for just one hour each month, how would you most often spend that time? Seeing people. I would want to know what the people I interacted with looked like!

6. If the daytime high temperature had to be exactly the same every day of the year, what would you want the temperature to be? 75 degrees - with lots of sun!

7. Which month of the year do you think would best describe your personality? April. Spring flowers, bright colors, warmer temperatures, and almost the end of the school year!

9. If you could wake up every morning, open your bedroom blinds, and look out a huge glass window at the perfect view, what would that view be? A gorgeous mountain view - lots of blues, purples, and greens!

And now it's your turn to answer a question!!! ;)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Adventures in Austin

My current view:

And no, this is NOT courtesy of Waco, TX. AnnaGrace had a musicology conference in Austin this weekend, so I tagged along for a change of scenery. I am hoping that getting out of Waco will mix things up enough that I will get some steam back for the next two weeks. I am so worn out and I am having real trouble motivating myself to study, even though my first final is only four days away - YIKES!!!!!!!!

Currently, we are sitting on the deck at Mozart's Coffee Shop getting some work done before we head back to our respective homes (*sniff*). The weather is beautiful, and it has been lovely to watch people around us and out on the lake. Can't I just live here forever???

Here's a brief rundown of our weekend:

Friday, we drove down after I got out of class. Our first stop was Whole Foods Market for lunch. There is an awesome salad bar. After seeing some beautiful creations on blogs recently, I have been dying to make one of my own...ta-da!

We also picked up some granola to munch on this weekend - Toffee Almond Crunch. YUM!
Next it was a quick stop at Anthropologie and REI...but only to drool!

Next stop: Goodwill!!! I made sure to ask a classmate where the ritzy side of Austin is so we could check out the good stuff. Unfortunately, we struck out big-time at the first one. I thought the prices were a little high, and none of the clothes worked out. We did, however, find these winners:

Career change: we're gonna be rodeo clowns!!! ;)
We had much better luck at the next Goodwill - I scored a navy blue "June Cleaver" dress (which will make its appearance here shortly), some white linen pants, a couple CDs (Josh Groban "Noel" for 99 cents - yes please!), and a pair of khaki shorts.

After a stop at the grocery store (the BIGGEST HEB I have ever seen!!), we checked in to our hotel. I was able to book an Extended Stay room for only $28/night!!! I think I freaked everyone out though - people kept asking whether I was in a good part of town!!! No worries - we were!! The website said there were full kitchens - unfortunately, that does NOT include an oven. We felt like we were in college again, because we came in loaded with groceries only to find a mini-fridge! We managed to fit everything in, though, which some creative squishing of my half-gallon tub of ice cream. :)

On Saturday, I stayed at the hotel while AnnaGrace went to her conference. I am ashamed to admit that I watched over 8 hours of "America's Next Top Model." The hotel channels were really limited, and it was the only thing on when we got up. I managed to get a little bit of homework done, but not nearly as much as I should have, especially considering how close I am to exams. Hopefully the weekend off will recharge my batteries to get me through the craziness of the next two weeks.

Saturday afternoon held another failed attempt at a time trial. I hadn't really had much protein all day, and so I didn't feel that great. I did, however, create a mile PR - 7:30!!! Eventually I will get myself back into shape and start my next training plan...I may just need to continue taking it easy and coddle myself through the next two weeks. :(

Studying hard...

or not!

And now I am dreading the ride back to Waco, and the inevitable return to normal life. Please summer, come fast!!!! I am barely hanging on!!!

Update: In two weeks, I will be in South Carolina!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! Words cannot express how desperate I am for the next two weeks to be over...

In closing, please check out this billboard that we saw on the way to Austin - SO TRUE!!

And please, voters...keep this in mind when you are voting in 2012! And start praying now for a decent Republican candidate...we need one!

Now back to LAPP flashcards! Poo on statutory construction...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen"

Howdy folks!

It is I, Miss AG Strange...hopefully, the future Dr. Strange. :) I wanted to write a brief post while this is fresh on my mind, "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen". Now, unless you either know German well or are familiar with Mahler's Fünf Rückert Lieder, the title of this blog post may have you thinking that I was hitting the wrong keys on the keyboard. Nope. Do not worry. The title is as it should be, and it is a title that I will explain shortly.

What I really want to say in this post, is something that I feel entirely inadequate to express, and that ultimately, would take me an endless amount of time and space to even begin to articulate.

I will be the first to admit that I am a thoughtful person. And no, I do not mean that I am thoughtful in that I do nice things for people. I mean "thoughtful" in that I am almost always analyzing, processing, and/or "detailing" something. I like to think. and I think a lot - in fact, my entire field (historical musicology) is centered around music, thinking, and putting those thoughts into coherent and scholarly formats. While I love thinking, sometimes it is draining. My brain starts functioning on overdrive, and as the analytical and detail-oriented person that I am, it can become overwhelming. Oftentimes, my thoughts become so overwhelming that I am left speechless. Being speechless is a phenomenon with which I am extremely uncomfortable. (I am also a "words person", which is another story for another time).

Anyway, in my thoughts becoming "burdensome" as of late, I have found myself prostrate at the feet of the Lord, more often than not. As such, my love for the song upon which the title of this post is derived, has exponentially increased. I suppose that you might appreciate it if I explained the title of this post. As life this semester has been insane and generally more "trying", I have more acutely felt the need to be "transported", if you will, into a realm far more real than this earth (the kingdom of heaven), and plunged more deeply into the fullness that is Christ. "I am lost to the world" - the translation of this post. The state to which I am referring is one of being lost to the world in having your heart set on what is not of this world--being crucified with Christ, expunged and purged of self, and wrecklessly abandoned to pursuing the kingdom of heaven - to wholeheartedly running Home. All of these things have been a prominent theme in my life lately, and my eternal Home is something for which I truly do long. I know that I was born with an old soul, but really, my "morbidity" is slightly disturbing! (yes, Katelyn, I am referring to how I sometimes freak you out) :)

Christian artist Laura Story has a song called "Blessings" which is absolutely marvelous. In it, she talks about things that remind us that this wretched and sin filled world is not our home. She says, "what if my greatest disappointments, and the achings of this life, are the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?". So, while we are "crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20), living in and only unto Him, may our heart be ever set on pilgrimage. May we reach for the things we cannot see, and pursue the things that we cannot touch. Let's be lost to the world.

Here is both the German text and the translation for this lied by Mahler. Also, allow me to just add a side note and say that I am in love with Mahler, and that I am ridiculously excited about potentially doing my thesis work on the rhetorical capacity and the semiotic possibilities of his orchestral lieder! *sigh* - be still my beating heart! <3

If you don't know the music of Mahler, contact me and I will give you a list of works with which to start. :)

Anyway...the German text is first, followed by the translation. Please read it - it is marvelous - may we be lost to the world and consumed with the Savior.

Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,
Mit der ich sonst viele Zeit verdorben,
Sie hat so lange von mir nichts vernommen,
Sie mag wohl glauben, ich sei gestorben.

Es ist mir auch gar nichts daran gelegen,
Ob sie mich für gestorben hält,
Ich kann auch gar nichts sagen dagegen,
Denn wirklich bin ich gestorben der Welt.

Ich bin gestorben dem Weltgewimmel,
Und ruh' in einem stillen Gebiet.
Ich leb' allein in mir und meinem Himmel,
In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied.

 I am lost to the world
 with which I used to waste so much time,
 It has heard nothing from me for so long
 that it may very well believe that I am dead!

 It is of no consequence to me
 Whether it thinks me dead;
 I cannot deny it,
 for I really am dead to the world.

 I am dead to the world's tumult,
 And I rest in a quiet realm!
 I live alone in my heaven,
 In my love and in my song!
Here is a link to a performance of "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" 
featuring soloist Jessye Norman, Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic.
Okay. That's all for now! Thanks for letting me take up webspace 
via the hacking of Katelyn's blog! 
Lost and running Home, :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Polos and Spinach Dip

I love playing pranks on others! In high school, it was toilet papering my Sunday School teacher's yard. In college, it was hanging tennis balls from a friend's door, or short-sheeting my roommate's bed. Unfortunately, law school is not very conducive to pulling pranks...Until today.

Bri absolutely hates polo shirts - most especially on guys. So, what better way to prank her then by enlisting a dozen or so classmates to all wear polos on the same day?? :) The plan worked beautifully...she was oblivious to the trend during Criminal Procedure, but as she slowly figured out that it was a planned conspiracy, her reaction was fantastic.

Now I just have to watch my own back. :)

After school, I headed to the gym for 5 miles on the treadmill. It has been very difficult for me to get back into running after taking time off from the Bearathon. I haven't felt so great, so I have been trying to take it easy and allow my body to heal...but after three weeks, I'm getting tired of making excuses, and ready to do a time trial in preparation for my next goal. I read in "Running Times" this morning that long runs are the way to go when you're feeling burnt out, so I figured I would give it a try. I was really slow today (12 minute miles), but overall I felt good. My goal is to run four days or so this week, and then do a time trial this weekend while I'm in Austin with AnnaGrace. Hopefully having a running buddy will get me moving!

Dinner tonight consisted of spinach dip, a wedge of "Laughing Cow" cheese, pita chips, carrots, and a protein shake. Oh, the joy of being a graduate student!! I am SO excited about going home in three weeks - I need time to regroup and not have to worry about cooking!! :) Next year, I will be better about planning meals...winging it just isn't working out so well.

In other news, I have become a completely nerdy blogger. I find myself dreaming about my next post, or arranging the food on my plate in a visually-appealing way for a picture. :) This is becoming an obsession...

And now, back to outlining and prepping for exams (*SIGH*)...

Sunday, April 10, 2011


One of the most common questions I get is, "Do you see your sister a lot?" I'm always ashamed to admit that we only see each other once or twice a month. The law school is so far removed from the rest of campus, and we each have our own groups of friends, which means that several weeks can go by without us planning anything.

This weekend both of us were free, so yesterday afternoon I went kayaking with Jocelyn and a couple of her friends. Baylor has its own marina, which is the bomb-diggity. We spent about an hour on the water, and it was so wonderful. The weather was perfect, and I got to put a little more work into my tan. ;)

After kayaking, Jocelyn came over here for a sleepover. We watched "Father of the Bride" - such a GREAT movie!!! I love the soundtrack - though not so much the music used during the wedding scene (Canon in D is so unoriginal). :) I am quite thankful for the fact that I don't think my dad will be so crazy when I'm planning my wedding (though if he's figured out how to cry on command by then, we could be in trouble!). I think everyone's actually more concerned about how crazy I'm going to be! :) 

This morning we got up and made chocolate chip scones for breakfast. In fact, they were the impetus for the whole weekend. :) I still have a little left of mine - for some reason, I couldn't quite finish it. I think the richness might have been a little much for my poor stomach so early in the morning.

Jocelyn rescued me from my "Heathen ways" and took me to the college service at her church this morning. I went to the regular service a couple weeks ago, but was not a fan. I really enjoyed the service this morning, though. Maybe it's because I was in a much better mood, I didn't have to go by myself, and I hadn't been to church in two weeks - but I'll take it! It was a nice end to church-hopping in Waco. Guess what?!?! Today was the last Sunday I'll be in Waco until August!!!! WOO HOO!!!! Next weekend I'm off to Austin, and the weekend after that I'll be in Dallas for Easter. AND THEN HOME TO SOUTH CAROLINA!!!! I am anxiously watching my countdown clock and waiting for summer to arrive!

Don't we look stylish???

I just finished up my lunch - homemade Mac 'n Cheese. Now I need to go put away the couch bed before Bri gets here to study! Have a lovely Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Original title "Tuesday=Loss" New title: TUESDAY = WIN!

HELLO WORLD! Yes, I hacked in and changed the title of this blog post, because in talking to Katelyn, I know for a fact that she had a fantabulous day - she also cheered me up immensely during my "funk" this afternoon. So, in my opinion, Katelyn's day was a win! :) Thank you for reading this hacked paragraph. Now, please enjoy the rest of this post - the part that Katelyn actually wrote.

- AnnaGrace

P.S. I am adding an addendum to this post in an attempt to discern what font is being used - as apparently, according to Katelyn, it is different than the font that follows in the subsequent paragraphs. :) Thank you for your attention. And now, for your regularly scheduled blog post.

Homework? Yeah, didn’t happen today. Spring fever has hit – HARD. I’ve just counted today as a loss, and will work hard tomorrow.

The weather was beautiful today, so when I arrived home I fixed lunch and headed outside to get some sun. I’ve been trying to get a little time out in the sun each day in preparation for a wedding I have coming up. Okay, okay…the wedding is still 2 months away. But I don’t tan well, and I’m going to need every minute of those two months to get beyond the pasty white that my skin is at the moment. And no fears, I’m not pulling 2 hour stints in the sun – I’m just going for a gentle sun-kissed look, not to look like a tomato. : )

I was thankful that none of my neighbors walked past. I felt kind of silly sitting out right next to the sidewalk - but I don't have a yard!

For lunch, I had a sandwich and a big plate of fries. The key to enjoying fries is to have a ton of ketchup on the plate. For dessert, I had a childhood candy – an Airhead!! Westlaw had a table today, and they were giving them out. I was super excited, because I haven’t had one in ages!!!

After lunch, I piddled around, took a nap, and talked to both AnnaGrace and my mother. Then, MaryLou arrived home and it was time for dinner. She found a recipe for a pizza pasta dish in a magazine, so we decided to try it out tonight. It was AMAZING!! I am including the recipe here for your benefit. The recipe originally appeared in “Simple and Delicious.” We tweaked the recipe a little bit, omitting sausage, olives, and mushrooms.

Pizza Pasta Dinner
Serves: 6

2 cups uncooked spiral pasta (we used shells)
½ pound ground beef (we used ground turkey)
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced pepperoni
1 can diced tomatoes, undined
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, green pepper, and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the pepperoni, tomatoes, and spaghetti sauce; cook and stir for 5 minutes.
Drain pasta; stir into meat mixture. Heat through. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand until cheese is melted.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m off to see if I can at least get a little bit of work done before heading to bed!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cookie Dough for Breakfast

First off, I have a confession to make.

I skipped church this morning. On purpose.

Last Sunday while sitting in yet another church, I realized that I only had two Sundays left in Waco until August.


Finding a church has been by far the most difficult aspect of my move, and I'm still not quite sure what I want to do. When I find a church where I like the sermons, I don't like the music, and vice versa. I loathe church-hopping, and after 9 months of bouncing around, I'm sick of it.

This morning, I just couldn't drag myself to another church, and I just plain didn't feel like going at all. 
So, I just didn't go. 
Instead, I decided to look up an online sermon from my church back home. The sermon that I picked was entitled, "Exploitation, Envy, and Ego," and was exactly what God has been teaching in my own quiet time over the past couple days. Coincidence? I think not.

The other odd thing I did this week was eat cookie dough for breakfast. Well, not straight cookie dough. It was in oatmeal! Although there was a time in my life when I swore I would never eat oatmeal again, I think I have become addicted. Since I've started following blogs, I have found so many different ways to cook oatmeal. Here are just a few:

1) Apple Oatmeal (this one is my own - I guess I should put the recipe up!)

Can you see the chunk of cookie dough? YUM!

Actually, all of these are from Oh She Glows. :)

One of the most interesting ways to make oatmeal is "overnight." This is a great way to continue eating oatmeal even after the weather gets hot (as it already has in TX!). I base my food choices on the temperature outside - if it's cold, soup, oatmeal, and hot chocolate are on my list of top cravings. If, on the other hand, it's hot outside, smoothies, salads, and ice cream are on the menu.

To make overnight oats, you combine your ingredients in a bowl, and put it in the fridge. In the morning - Voila! Oatmeal in a jiffy. I eat it cold, though I'm sure you could heat it up if you wanted.

 In other news, our brief is done!!!! Now, the waiting period for the grade begins...I didn't realize how stressed I was about the paper until after we turned it in. I was never worried about getting it in on time, but the mere fact that it's worth 50% of the class grade is enough to make anyone stress out about every little detail.
Yesterday I did lots of cleaning. I powered through the piles of papers on my desk, the heap of clothes on my floor, and three loads of laundry. Ahh...it feels so good to be surrounded by clean once again!

I also finished checking off my Bearathon training plan - another successful training/race goal checked off!

I haven't picked a new training plan quite yet. I have done lots of biking over the past two weeks, but have been taking it easy to give my body a chance to recover. My next goal is to run a fast 5K over the summer. I'm hoping to do a time trial next weekend and then start a training plan the following Monday.

 I also may have a new hobby - gardening! I have been wanting to get some flowers to hang on our porch. However, I have a very minimalist view towards gardening. I want something that flowers, is evergreen, and comes back every year. Unfortunately, that's basically impossible to find (high maintenance much?). :) So, instead I went with herbs - pretty and useful! Right now I have lemon thyme (anyone have any good recipes in which I could use this??) and mint (for Peppermint Patty Green Monsters!)

Photography thanks to MaryLou. :)

Last night was Waffle Night in "The Promised Land." (Our friend's nickname for our condo.) :) 
Lindy made waffles, Bri brought strawberries and made homemade whipped cream, and MaryLou and I provided the orange juice and bacon. It was scrumptious! We also had a great time chatting and watching Lindy's "Corn Trilogy."

Well, that's all for now...I'm off to make an iced coffee and start on some work!