We started a Podcast!

Today is a big day! It’s my thirty-dos birthday (I’m not turning thirty-two….I’m turning thirty-dos….), it’s my friend Amber’s rehearsal dinner (she and Steve are getting married tomorrow and I’m once again regaining the beloved title of ‘bridesmaid’), and my super -de-duper co-worker, Katie, and I are releasing our baby that we have been working on for a year now….a podcast called Listen Up!

When we first started working together last year, we were sitting in Katie’s office (as we frequently do!) and talking about our favorite subject….getting people to appreciate Classical music. I think it was Katie who mentioned the idea for the podcast and I told her about the class that I taught at two colleges in Hawaii. The class as a whole was a survey of western classical music, from the Medieval period to the turn of the century. But the first five weeks was an introduction to music’s basic building blocks, like melody and rhythm and harmony. Why not make a podcast that explains the building blocks of music?

We teamed up with the radio station at University of New Haven, which is run by former radio talk host and now NPR reporter Bruce Barber (who is an AMAZING human being). He put us together with a sophomore named Nelson who wants to produce things on the radio for a career! So we get a podcast that helps people learn about music, Nelson gets hands-on experience in his future career, and the radio station gets great exposure! It’s literally a triple-win!

I was pretty adamant about NOT using solely classical music in the examples, and Katie was right on the same page as me. I’m always struck by how many people think they know nothing about classical music….building blocks are building blocks, no matter the music’s genre classification. Rock music has melodies, just like jazz, and just like classical. I love telling people “YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT CLASSICAL MUSIC THAN YOU THINK!!” So the whole goal of the podcast is to re-introduce you to music’s building blocks, but using music that you listen to everyday, with a smattering of classical thrown in.

We released the first episode, focusing on melody, as well as a short introduction to the series today. Going forward, we will release a new episode every other Thursday.

Take a listen! Let me know what you think!:

Click HERE to listen!!


Other notable firsts:

* I had never ordered shoes from Overstock.com before…..I like the way they look!!! Let’s see how long they last on my feet!

* I had never ordered jeggings. Listen, I’m of the firm belief that one shouldn’t wear spandex above the age of 4. But I’m willing to give these a try. Loft had a deal for no shipping costs and 50% off everything. They’re arriving. Watch for the headline: “Woman takes out clown by using jeggings as slingshot”…..

* I had never had the chance to use my new purse holder!!! Jenn gave me this one after I saw her amazing one. It fits right inside my purse!!!! Bestest thing ever!!!


* I Had never heard Chuck Loring speak about board responsibilities before. This man makes a living off of consulting and building the relationship between staff and board. A genius!! I also enjoyed his use of transparent duties (teehee):


* I have never lived without this man:


Ben was my father’s oldest friend – they met when Dad was 5. 64 years of an amazing friendship that never got old. I will miss him very much.


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I read the whole Harry Potter series! (Uhhh, and went to St. Thomas)

Whoops! So I know that I was going to post once a month, buuuuut then I saw something shiny. SOWWIES!

Anywho, there’s a lot to catch up on!

I’m not sure why I never read Harry Potter as the books came out. Most of my friends read them, or at least watched the movies. At Laurel this year, we remembered how when “Order of the Phoenix” came out, it was the quietest year of camp…everyone was reading!

Well, it was at Laurel when one of my campers handed me the first book during a rest hour. I was doing bunk checks when I noticed one of the girls reading “Jurassic Park.” I asked her if the book was good so far, and she replied that she had read it before. She had brought that book and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” with the thought of re-reading one of them during camp. I told her that I had never read any of the Harry Potter books, and she gave me the face that EVERYONE else has given me over the years when I tell them that I haven’t read the books. And she said, “You HAVE to read them.”

I love my campers, and I try and do anything I can for them. She said it so emphatically that I said I’d give it a try and tell her all about it.

I brought the book back to my tent and within five pages was SUCKED in to the world of Harry Potter!

I Finished that first book by the next morning and had to wait another week before getting my next fix! Luckily, I have an amazing co-worker named Katie whose husband was willing to share his original texts with me, one book at a time! It was like my personal Harry Potter library!!

My my favorite book was the sixth, “The Half Blood Prince.” I love back stories and knowing why people are the way they are. And that’s all that this book was! I also liked the third and the seventh. I did NOT like the fourth, “Goblet of Fire,” although I certainly realize the importance of it in the series.

I’m very sad that the series is over and that I don’t get to hang out with my new friends anymore, but I suppose that I can always watch the movies when I really need another fix.

The Pottermore website was just started, so that should help me out! It sorted me into Ravenclaw, which is pretty obvious, but it also sorted me into their new American version of Hogwarts…this one also has houses, but are based on mind, body, spirit, etc. I was sorted into the Thunderbird house, which represents the soul. I think it makes me sound braver than I really am.

Other notable firsts:

* I’ve never lived in Clinton before! Quite possibly my favorite apartment I’ve ever lived in!!! Huge back and front yards, humongous windows, a garage, and a DINING ROOM! I feel like  such an adult🙂


* I had never taken the StrengthsFinder test before. My top 5 strengths are (in order): intellection, learning, connecting, context, and positivity. I don’t think that I had ever realized the connecting strength before, but now I’m seeing it every where I turn! Also, there are cool little videos that describe your strengths. Here’s one on my top strength, intellection:


* I had never been to St. Thomas before! One of Dante’s best friends growing up is named James, who also now works at Old Saybrook Middle School (best internship everrrr). His now-wife, Erin, grew up going to St. Thomas multiple times a year…her dad had fallen in love with the island a while ago and bought a condo so that they could go down whenever they wanted. I Had never been to any of the Virgin Islands before, but now I know how beautiful they are!!!🙂

We were very excited to get off the plane:


And Erin and James looked like models:


* I had never learnd so much about the Marvel universe before…I have now watched Jessica Jones and am a few episodes in to the second season of Daredevil. Electra just showed up and I don’t know what that means!

* I had never had a banh mi sandwich before. Delicious! (Faux meat, of course!

* I had never learned the set dance Three Sea Captains before! I love the version that I learned!

* I had never been on stage with the NHSO before. I got to go on stage with a blow up shark when we played “Jaws” during our John Williams concert in June. So much fun!!

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I sat in the Taft seat!

Ladies and gentleman, meet President Taft. As you can see, the man was a giant force of life.


As such, when he came to hear Yale music department performances, the man needed a seat to fit his giant force-of-life behind! They built a chair specifically for this purpose, and it is lovingly known as the “Taft seat.” For the New Haven Symphony, we reserve it for special guests – people who sponsor a concert, have been a wonderful partner, or sometimes randomly one of our parents gets it.

I finally got a chance to check it out before our last concert this past Thursday. As far as the extremely uncomfortable ancient seats found in Woolsey Hall, I’d say that if you slapped a seat cushion on this seat, you’d probably have yourself the most comfortable seat in the house!

If any of you want to sit in this seat by donating some $$$ to the NHSO, you just let me know!!

Other notable firsts:
* I had never commuted to work for an entire week by train. Dante and I are moving in together sometime this summer and wanted to see what it would be like to live together in New London since he’s got a pretty sweet pad. I liked the commute, but no so much when the commute started…I had to be out of bed by 5:45am. For those of you who know me well, this was not an easy feat!

* I had never eaten at Krust in Middletown! Delicious! And I got to hang out with Amber and Steve AND her parents! Her mom had run 20 miles that morning. Whut.

* I had never eaten at a Yard House outside of Honolulu! When we visited Mike and Kristen in New Jersey, we ended up at one and I was STOKED!!

* I had never heard Peter and the Wolf live before! The perks of my job🙂

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I started dancing with the Mulkerin School of Irish Dance!


Listen, I know in my last post that I said that I’d be back soon. I unintentionally lied…can you ever forgive me??!  I had so many things that I had to work out that I was completely overwhelmed. I’ve recently realized how much I miss the fun that comes from doing something new and the paths that all those new things open up for you. So I’m ready to recommit myself to this blog again….albeit on a monthly basis now. And I think a leap day is a great way to post on the last day of the month!! So let’s get to it!

I danced with the Gray school of Irish Dance for about three months when I first moved back from Hawaii. It was LOVELY, but I ended up running out of both money and time when I was in my Education program. Fast forward a few years, and suddenly I have the evening time and cash to start up one of my favorite pastimes again!!

I found the Mulkerin School because they have an adult class, which is really important to me. The friendships that I made in Hawaii through our branch of An Daire were AMAAAAZING. we celebrated birthdays and fun times together all year, not just St. Pats (which was pretty vibrant in Honolulu!!)


It also happens that my boss’s daughter also dances at the same school, and she had wonderful things to say.

I started my first class at the beginning of February and loved it. I was the fifth Caitlin in the class, all spelled the same way, and the ladies that I’m dancing with are hilarious. We learn both steps and ceili dancing. Their school steps are a bit more traditional than the ones that I learned in Hono, but it’s all good and you won’t hear any complaints from me!

I don’t think my arch has suffered toooo much, but I’m looking forward to getting it back into shape!


Other notable firsts:

  • I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My job is amazing. All of it.
  • I’ve never lived in Branford! I moved into a house share in December so that I could be closer to New Haven. I can’t beat the commute time!
  • I’ve never eaten so much New Haven food. I can’t even.
  • I’ve never had dental insurance before! (CRAPSKIES, I should probably start using it….)
  • I had never stayed in Storrs, CT after watching a UCONN basketball game!
  • I had never felt so old after getting cut in line by 19-year olds trying to get into a UCONN bar. I was so mad at them!!!! Grandma wanted to SIT!!!!!



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Dear Readers (aka friends….),

I’m going to take a bit of a break from here for a little while. Just have to figure a few things out.

I’ll be back soon!!!!

Thanks for all of your support🙂

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I dubbed over a Star Trek movie trailer!

My original plans for this week’s post fell through thanks to WinterWeather2015 part 94324532 dumping another few inches of lovely snow on us yesterday.  Hopefully that plan will happen sometime in the coming weeks.

So I asked Dante to help me brainstorm good ideas for the blog and he came up with this one, which immediately made me yell YAS YAS YASSSSS!!!!

I figured it would be funnier to dub over a clip that I had never seen before and had no clue what was happening in it. At first, I picked a fight scene in the Batman movie with Bain, but then I made the mistake of watching it so I had to rethink that idea.

I then remembered how I know absolutely nothing about Star Trek, and wondered what it would be like to dub over a trailer for it. THIS, friends, was the perfect choice. Prepare to be amazed over my absolute zero knowledge (besides knowing the name Spock) of all things Star Trek (also, apologies to Jennifer Morrison for confusing her with Kirsten Dunst):

We had to reverse the image because of copyright concerns (although it is kinda cool to see things backwards!!)

Other notable firsts:

* I had never been to Three Rivers before. I had another informational interview with a woman who worked there about more careers to look into at the college level. I was introduced to her by her sister who works at Conn College and was the first informational interview that I went on back in December. This sister was the 60-year old version of myself. It was pretty wild to see what I could be like in 30 years!!!

* I had never seen a video that Dante posted of me on my birthday on instagram talking about one of the books that I was currently reading. I laughed really hard!!!

* I had never forgotten to put my e-brake on and then gotten out of the car. Whoops. Luckily, a snow bank stopped it after 3 inches of rolling. That would have REALLY sucked if the snow wasn’t there!

* I had never heard of the blog 1000 Awesome Things before. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a TED talk by Neil Pasricha. The talk was included in a list of talks having to do with what to do with your life upon graduation (listen, I’ve had so many graduations that you’d think I’d know the answer to this now….). His life sounded so similar to mine, so I checked out his site and then wrote him an e-mail to thank him for the talk and letting him know how nice it is to see you’re not alone in your views on the world. He was super nice and replied back and even stopped by this blog. Sometimes life is just awesome.

* I had never helped a friend out with student loan information before. It felt good to give her all of the info that I’ve accrued over the past few months. All the tears were worth it to help someone else out!!

* I had never done hot yoga before. I did Bykram yoga when I was in Hawaii, which is a specific set of moves done at a specific temperature. But hot yoga is just any style of yoga done in a hot temperature. It was my first time practicing yoga in like 4 years, and I might have come close to falling over about 5 times, and may or may not have kicked my instructor while attempting a tripod, but it was pretty fun!!

* I had never been hired to write for a website before!! I landed a small contractor-writing job that will help bring in a few extra $$. I also now get to use all of my masters degrees. Exciting, no?! Check out my first article!


* I had never taught Dante how to make sushi before! We made it for our snowed-in Valentine’s Day dinner extravaganza🙂


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I used a snow blower!

Yes, I have lived in New England for my entire life (except for four years spent in Hawaii).

No, I had never used a snow blower until last week.

How was this possible?!! Continue reading

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