Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year

Well everybody, it is the end of another year.  It will never again be 2011.  You will never again be the same as you were this year.  Is that scary?  Well it shouldn't be.

I'm pretty sure it was the end of the 2008 marching season when somebody told me that the group I just spent my summer with will never be the same group again.  Members come and go, the show changes, the people evolve, etc.  Everything is different.  And it's true.  Everything changes, be it to the better or to the worse.  You just don't know until it happens. 

So I would like to take a moment and wish each and every one of you a healthy and successful 2012.  Whether the world ends or not is a moot point.  Take a hold of your life and do what you want with it.  Succeed in those New Years resolutions, travel really far away on vacation, jump out of a perfectly good airplane if that's what you want!  Live your life with no regrets.

Today I finished watching the first season of the show Dead Like Me with my mom.  The show aired in 2003-04 and it was about a handful of people who had died but instead of passing on to their next destination stuck around here and became grim reapers, in charge of guiding other souls to their destinations.  The second to last episode had one of the characters, Daisy,  give quite an interesting revelation; "We are all temps."  It's as simple as that.  No matter how much we do in life, or how much we impact others, we are still only temporary.  So instead of letting the little time we do have slip by, we need to live it.  To quote my favorite poet, e.e. cummings, "Unbeing dead isn't being alive." 

So on that note I would like to wish you all well with your New Year celebrations.  Have fun, be safe, and for goodness sake don't drink and drive.  I'll see you all on the other side!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wooden Photographs

Hey everyone so I mentioned in my last post that I was making a bunch of presents for people and that I would be posting a blog especially to give you all step-by-step instructions on how to make your own.  Well here it is.  I made some picture blocks for my family members using some of their favorite pictures.  And you can just ignore the fact that the example is a picture of me.  Alright, so here is the final product to give you an idea-
So that's pretty snazzy isn't it? I think so.  So here is what you need to complete your own beautiful version of this:

Picture (black and white OR color) printed from a laser printer on regular paper
Block of wood (try for smooth and light colored, we used pine)
Gel medium
Mod Podge
Paint brush (and/or a sponge brush thing)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Photo Contest Update

Hey Everyone! 

So I had a request (from my mom) to put up a post about the photo contest outcomes.  You can find the plea for votes here- Photo Contest.  Anyways, the final tally was taken on November 30 and what do you know but I came in first!  YAY!  So that is super cool and I just wanted to thank everyone who helped me out and voted.  Here is the winning picture...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Winter Break is Upon Us

And so the semester ends.  August 30 through December 17.  It feels great to be done, let me just say.  The past couple of weeks have been uber stressful, assignments up the wazoo, tests everywhere, blah blah blah.  Add to that the activities that every good student takes part in, like the A.S.S. bake sale fundraiser and the SGB Semi-Formal (story here- A Night at Sea) and a Holiday Concert!  And then came exams.  I, luckily and happily, only had two real exams this year, Gen. Chem. II and Ecology.  I had two papers for English II and Speech, and no finals in Band or Dance.  So, hurray!  I'm not sure when I'll be getting my grades, but I can't imagine it will take too long.  Int he meantime I have the holidays to concentrate on!

I leave for home tomorrow, taking a bus, a train, a plane, and a car to get there.  But wait!  I'm not actually going home!  Oh no, I convinced my parents that they should bring me straight from the airport to the 7th Regiment audition camp.  The camp actually started tonight (Friday) at 6pm but I couldn't get there as the Ecology exam is tomorrow.  Anyways, I felt it was right to try my hardest to get to the camp tomorrow.  And apparently I caught my parents on a good day because they agreed to take me as long as I found a ride home, which I did.  So BAM!  See you tomorrow night Regiment! 

After that lovely weekend I start my internship at Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary in Norton, MA on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday up until I leave to come back here, DelVal, on January 17.  That's one full month at home for those of you keeping count.

That should keep me properly occupied.  I also have some Christmas presents that I need to work on before the big day, so that gives me next week.  That should be enough time.  I'm making some pretty sweet things.  I'll be sure to take some pics and post them after Christmas.  Maybe you guys might want to try!  We'll see how mine come out first...

So yeah.  I don't have an excessive amount of other stuff to talk about at the moment.  I'm just so excited the semester is finally over and I get to go spend some quality time at home.  So, more posts to follow soon!

A Night at Sea

Well as most of you probably DON'T know I am in the Floral Society here at DelVal.  I'm actually the Treasurer for the next year.  As part of Floral we are often asked to do flowers for various events on campus and this year we again participated in the SGB (Student Government Board) Semi-Formal, A Night at Sea.  So we put our heads together and ended up with three different centerpieces, each going on 7 tables, and a couple extra for the bar.  In addition we put together an anchor for the photo area.  Check it out-

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Undergetting (un)Square, Take II

I am a blog posting machine right now!  Muahahahahaha!!  Just kidding. But really, this is my third post of the night that I'm writing.  I don't think I will be posting it tonight as I have other responsibilities calling me but I figured I'd get started on this one.  I had a request today to write another blog about drum corps and I thought that was a wonderful idea.  My only issue now is what exactly should I write about?  Drum corps is a very general topic.  It is difficult to sum it up quickly besides simply saying that it's marching band on steroids.  Which I love to say.  Sometimes I switch it up and say that it's marching band on crack.  Either way the listener usually gets the picture. If any of you have some drum corps knowledge, or not, and you haven't seen it yet, you should check out this video on corps- What Is Drum Corps

Drawing inspiration from the music I am currently listening to (Radiohead) I guess I'll talk a little bit about this past season since I didn't get much of a chance to do so over the summer.  I did a post not too long ago (okay it was three months ago but whatever) entitled Undergetting (un)Square.  What I did not really do in that post was elaborate on what the title meant!  My goodness what an oversight that was.

So if you don't already know, the 7th Regiment's 2011 program was entitled un(Square) and it featured music by Dave Brubeck and Radiohead (thus the aforementioned inspiration).  The song lineup was as follows: 1) Everything In It's Right Place, 2) 15 Step combined with Take 5, 3) Creep, 4) un(Square), 5) Creep reprise.  It was an awesome lineup.  I once described the theme of the show to a drum major of another corps and he responded with "Woah, that's deep."  I'll try to explain it in a similar fashion here.  un(Square) is about breaking out of the mold.  The show begins with a square, signifying conformity (EEIRP and 15/5).  As the show continues the audience is led through an identity crisis where the main character is being scolded for being who she really is.  She is shunned and abused by her peers (Creep) but soon learns that it's okay to be different (un(Square)).  Everybody is unique in their own way and it's okay to be un(Square).  By the end of the show we are reveling in our differences (Creep reprise).

So that's not anywhere near how I described it to that drum major, but I think it will serve it's purpose.  Often times a drum corps show is taken at face value.  And sometimes that's okay.  Like in '09 when our show was Excalibur.  It was pretty easy to see the theme there, Lady of the Lake and King Arthur and the Sword Excalibur all did a pretty good job of that.  But when a corps puts on a concept show it becomes a little more difficult.  Our show this year was a concept show but I think that if people put just a little bit of thought into it that it was easy to understand.  Other concept shows involve too much thought.  They are a little too deep to understand without a bit of explanation.  I personally think the best shows are the ones that are easily understandable but still involve thought and planning and cleverness.  I LOVE clever shows. 

On that note I will turn away from the subject of show planning.  I don't want to upset too many people and honestly I'm pretty laid back about it so I don't want to get too into it.  So I really should get going now.  I will continue on with my drum corps discussions in the near future, however.  If any of you have any questions or ideas on what I should write about, just let me know!  I love suggestions!  And comments.  The more comments, the merrier!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Well it finally happened.  The day I was waiting for for over a month.  November 22.  I got to leave campus for an extended period of time!  Yay Thanksgiving!  I arrived home some time on Tuesday night and didn't depart again until Monday morning.  It was heaven.  I got to see my lovely family, ate some delicious turkey, steak, and stuffed shells, and just had a nice time relaxing.  Thanks goodness for vacations!!  Well, here are some pics from this holiday.

 Uncle Steven and little Jenna
Jenna and Auntie Caitlin!
 Happy 30th Michael!
 The men cutting the cake

All Work and All Play Make Caitlin a Very Tired Girl

So I'm completely avoiding doing work right now.  Typical college student.  Anyways, I figured I'd take this time and fill you all in on more of my semester.  My mom actually asked me the other day about my tree, Ferdinand.  She said I mentioned how handy he was and then didn't elaborate.  Well if this question has been bothering you as much as it was her then now if your chance!  Read on, my friend.

I left off last time with the 7th Banquet. So, looking back at my calendar the next thing I did was help out with Trick or Treat Street on Friday the 28.  Trick or Treat Street is an event put on by the campus, Halloween Haunting committee to be exact, where clubs can volunteer their time and put up a display and hand out candy to kids.  In addition to this Halloween Haunting also puts on a haunted house and a haunted hay ride, among other little things.  This year the haunted house was cancelled due to fire code violations, and the haunted hayride never actually took place because of the snow...  Yes, snow.  For any of you living under a rock, not in the Northeast, or not in the U.S., we had quite the snowstorm on October 29.  This was extremely unusual, extremely fun, and extremely bad for Halloween Haunting.  It closed everything down for the weekend, knocking out the power in a large portion of the northeast.  Luckily we kept our power.  Anyways, Halloween Haunting was cancelled both Saturday and Sunday.  After all, it would be cruel to have kids standing out in a foot of snow for three hours in the middle of a field so they could attempt to scare passersby.

This is also where Ferdinand came into play again.  He was lucky enough to be used in the A.S.S. table which was Lion King themed.  I knew having a tree would be an awesome idea.  Anyways, here are some pics from that night...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where Has the Time Gone?

Well everybody I think this is the longest I have ever gone without a legitimate blog.  It's a little disappointing to me to be honest.  But at the same time, what was I going to write about.  I guess I just feel that the few things that I do do aren't very blog worthy.  Interesting.  But that is about to change! (Have I made that promise before?)  Anyways, the semester is finally winding down.  We have one week and then it's Thanksgiving break.  I get a whole six days at home, Yippee!!!!  Then we have two weeks of classes and then it's finals already.  Wow.  So I have 17 more days of class and 6 days of finals, of which I only have exams on 3 days.  Things are looking up!!

So what have I been doing for the past 2.5 months?  I don't even know, hahaha. My last blog post was on October 19, almost a month ago, and that wasn't even a real post, it was a pitch to get more votes for my contest pictures (which, if you haven't voted you can check it out here- Photo Contest).  The time is just flying.  The days seem to go by slowly, but the weeks are going by quickly. So let's see what I've been doing for the past month, shall we?...

Ok so on October 15 I participated at Monter Pumpkin Madness at the market on campus, manning the OxFam America at DelVal table.  We were given the duty of being the crafts table for the kids.  So we had those scratch-off paint things where there is color underneath, and we had Halloween themed masks and picture frames.  The event was actually two days but almost everything was gone by the end of the first day.  I'm not sure what they did for the second day because I wasn't there. 

I was, in fact, at Hawk Mountain with The Wildlife Society.  Hawk Mountain is a sanctuary in Kempton, PA committed to "conserve birds of prey worldwide by providing leadership in raptor conservation science and education, and by maintaining Hawk Mountain Sanctuary as a model observation, research and education facility."  It is quite the lovely place.  We hiked up the mountain, stopping at a couple of observation points along the way.  Once we reached our destination we joined the multitude of other bird watchers and kept our eyes peeled for some birds of prey.  We saw quite a few, but I didn't get any pictures of them because they weren't exactly close.  But I did get some shots of the beautiful scenery...

So that was a pretty nice weekend overall.  The next weekend was homecoming weekend.  Woot!!  October 21 began the festivities with a parade through town.  The parade was a competition between the clubs, each having their own themed float or car.  The theme this year was Bright Lights, Big City.  I participated with Animal Science Society (abbreviated A.S.S.) like I did last year.  Our city was Sydney Australia.  We decorated our float and dressed up in character and hit the road to impress the citizens of Doylestown and the judges awaiting our return.  As a part of decorating the float I, for some reason, volunteered to make a tree.  Well, after about four days worth of construction we finally had a tree.

Pretty beast if I do say so myself.  Any ways so we rode our float in our costumes...

And we had a grand ole time.  We didn't place, and therefore didn't win any money, but we still had fun... and a tree.  My roommate and I decided to keep the tree, not knowing at the time just how handy he would become.  Oh yes, we named it Ferdinand.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Photo Contest!

Hey everyone,

So I am entered into a photo contest hosted by my study abroad program. The final category is people's choice. Whoever has the most votes for their photo by November 30 will win $200. I appreciate all votes. It only takes a minute, I promise. Please vote for my first link and my second if you're interested. I personally like the first one more. Feel free to forward this on to anyone and everyone!! Also, if you are interested in seeing more of my photos I will list a couple of websites at which you can view them.

Thank you for your support,
Caitlin Kenney

Picture One-

Picture Two-

Website One-

Website Two-  (This one!)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Egg

This is just a quick post tonight.  Here's a little something I came across recently.  Just read it and think it over.

The Egg
By: Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A New Year at University

So it's September 27, about a month since I've started classes, and this is my first post.  My apologies.  I have quite the workload this year and it's really distracted me from other things, such as this.  One of my weekly assignments is to write journal entries about the reading we've done that week.  We can also do 25% of that journal on personal things.  I've basically been using that in the same way I would this.  So I'm going to give you a recap of my first month here on campus by copying and pasting those entries, with some modifications.  Pictures, for example.  Enjoy...

September 5-

So after a wonderfully long weekend I have discovered something about myself.  I need more friends.  Mainly here at DelVal.  I have plenty of friends elsewhere, and that’s the real problem.  They’re elsewhere.  I need real human activity on a daily basis that involves more than the 20 words spoken between myself and my roommate.  This might end up being my loneliest semester yet.  And what can I say, it’s my own fault.  I left my friends from Plymouth State when I transferred here last year and then I went off to study abroad after only one semester.  I do not regret either of those decisions by any means, but I regret the repercussions it has had on my social life here.  

It also doesn’t help that I’m shy.  I read something today though that really got me thinking; “You’re not afraid of the people around you.  You’re just afraid of rejection.”  And isn’t that the truth?    I find it extremely hard to introduce oneself to a new group of people and feel included right from the get-go.  It takes a special kind of personality to be able to do it.  And as much as I wish I had it, I don’t.  I come close, but let’s be honest; the group has to be willing to let you in as well.  And that’s just as hard.  New people change the group dynamic.  I like feeling comfortable with my amazing group of friends rather than trying to insinuate myself into a new group.  My only problem with that now is, of course, my friends are not here.   And we return to my original dilemma.  My boyfriend told me the other day that one can only have two out of three things in college; grades, a social life, or money.  I guess this semester is just my turn to concentrate on grades and money.  I hope it works.

September 10-

Well here is my weekly rant about my personal life.  After the depressing hole that was last weekend, I fully immersed myself into this past week.  Total immersion was not hard by any means.  I seem to have a very full schedule, although it didn’t seem that way before classes started.  For example, Tuesday I started the day at 8am and didn’t finish classes until 8pm.  I had about an hour each for lunch and dinner, but that was about it.  And then, after all that chaos I had a club meeting followed by class work.  Luckily I had a nice pick me up on Thursday when I received two packages in the mail.  The first was a photo book that I made and ordered online, which I was not expecting until the end of the month, the second was a care package from my boyfriend in New Zealand.  He sent me a nice array of sweets that I can’t get here.  I was so super stoked for both packages.  They were simply the best thing that happened to me all week.

On the other end of the spectrum, the worst thing that happened all week was waiting for the Saturday shuttle for 13 minutes before Security came and told me that that shuttle doesn’t run anymore.  Thank you for that information, Mr. Security man.  I’m glad somebody told me.  I tried to take it the weekend before as well but when it didn’t show up I figured it wasn’t running because of Labor Day.  It’s so nice of the college to let us know these things, isn’t it?  As I mentioned before I have a really busy weekday schedule.  The weekend is the only time I have to get away from this campus, even if it’s only to town.  And since neither my roommate nor I have a car, we’re pretty much stuck here.  Luckily I had a thought of genius as I was walking back from the bank, not wanting to continue into town due to the risk of rain.  The train!  How simple. So my plan is to catch the train into town tomorrow.  From there I will walk to the grocery store to pick up some supplies.  After that I will walk to the market to buy milk.  Hopefully the rain will hold off.

September 26-

Well I was finally able to escape this prison they like to call a campus yesterday (Saturday).  I volunteered with The Wildlife Society to participate in National Public Lands Day.  We took a bus to Valley Forge National Historical Park for the day.  We left at 7am and arrived there around 7:45.  We were one of the first groups to arrive, which means we each got a free t-shirt from REI.  They are nice, quality shirts, too.  That was a nice way to begin the day.   
We were assigned to Catfish Island, where we were to be cleaning up plastic and such.  However, due to the rain Friday night, the water levels were too high for us to get out there safely.  Instead we tagged along with another group who were doing tree netting.  There was about a mile stretch of land where the park had planted pine trees about ten years ago after a beetle came through and decimated the trees that were there previously.  Following the planting the trees were surrounded by plastic netting to prevent deer from eating them.  Well, the netting was never taken off and the trees were starting to be smothered by it.  So it was our job to go out and take all this netting off.   They quickly armed us with gloves and shears and set us loose.  

It was pretty decent work.  Each tree developed differently, some growing taller than the netting before branching out, others not so much.  There was even one where the trunk of the tree grew around the netting. 

After about two hours of work all of the trees were de-netted, the netting was loaded into a truck with some people on top for security, and we were on our way back to base for some free food.   

Overall it was a very enjoyable day, especially since we were off campus.  Perhaps you’ve noticed the fact that I don’t like being on campus all day every day.  It gets quite boring with few friends and fewer activities.

The worst part of the weekend occurred today, however, when  I discovered a lively little creature by the name of Ixodes scapularis residing on my leg.  Yeah, that's a tick. F-ing great.

Monday, August 29, 2011

August Blues

Hey everyone!

So I know it's been a while since I last blogged, and I apologize.  I've been in this mood lately that I don't really want to expend too much effort into anything that I do.  It probably has something to do with the constant go, go, go of my earlier summer.  I only bring this up because for the past couple of months, every time I try to log into blogger to post something, firefox will not let me log in.  I don't know why, It's always the same deal.  It says "Not Found Error 404"... I think it's 404.  And then it doesn't let me do anything with blogger.  Any suggestions?  Now, when this started happening I would just go and use IE and everything would be fine and whatnot.  Lately, I just haven't felt like doing that.  And thus no blogs.  From this point in time, it will stop!

I just listened to this neat little podcast by one of my favorite podcasts, WNYC's Radiolab, about choice and the rest of your life.  It was very interesting, as I find the vast majority of their podcasts to be.  I'm not really going to go into it, because I'd rather you listen to it yourself.  It's entitled "Shorts: Mischel's Marshmallows" and was broadcast on 3/9/2009.  I tend to listen to them out of order, based on the context of the show.  If you're interested in this gem of an informational source, you can check them out online at their website or you can look them up through iTunes Podcasts.  They are completely free and I highly recommend all of their shows. 

Now, my main purpose of blogging at this time is to lament over what is basically the end of my summer.  I move back in to uni tomorrow, well I guess that would be later today, 8/29.  Move-in was supposed to be yesterday, but due to hurricane Irene, the whole process was postponed a day, as were all classes.  Now, instead of heading down Saturday, staying in a hotel, moving in Sunday and seeing my parents off, we are driving down tomorrow (that's around 7 hrs without any storm-caused issues) moving me in, buying a few last minute things and then they get to drive all the way back home in order to work on Tuesday.  I feel pretty bad about it, but what can I do really?  I could get a car, which would be totally useful in this and many other situations, but sadly I'm still pretty broke after all of my NZ adventures.  That's okay though, I start working again on Wednesday, yay!

In other news, I just have to share one thing with all of you.  The joys of birthing.  Or should I say lambing?  It is currently lambing season in NZ, and through my wonderful contacts there I have been a very long distance witness to this absolutely adorable occurrence.  I won't show you any of the actual birthing images, simply because I don't have them.  But I can't keep the wee lambs to myself any longer!!

Now THAT is what I call adorable.  Soooo disappointed I'm not there in person.  There's always tomorrow! ...Or two years from now!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Undergetting (un)Square

Well folks, it's August.  August 16, to be exact.  It's been almost an entire month since my last blog.  The reason for this delay was, of course, my going on tour with the 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps.  It was a pretty typical tour, about the same as the previous four years.  We were placed in some nice schools, and some not-so-nice schools.  We had good and bad fields, showers, and weather.  Although this year we did not have any sickness.  I don't mean injuries, I mean illness.  Every year I remember there has been some prevalent illness at some point on tour, but not so this year.  Way to go!

Anyways, there are so many subjects I could discuss on the matter of tour.  To keep us all sane I will only discuss the outcome, because, let's be honest, that's all some people can understand.  In the end we placed 7th in Open Class Championships for the year with a final score of 86.150.  You can watch our finals performance here- 7th Regiment Finals 2011  We had yet another awesome year of marching music and self-improvement.  I am extremely happy that I decided to push myself and march this summer, even though I missed the majority of the season by being across the world.  On another note, the 7th regiment also had eleven individuals/ ensembles compete in the 2011 I&E competition.  I performed once again with my darling friend Victoria Smolenski.  We placed second in our category with a score of 80.0.  Another great experience for the both of us.  You can watch the video here- Caitlin & Tori I&E 2011.  You should also check out the links to the other videos of 7th participants. 

If you have any other questions about our season or drum corps in general, feel free to send me a message!

 I got to see my lovely friend Kristen while in Dayton, OH
 Yay rehearsal in PA!
 Kevin Thompson performs his I&E for the corps
 Liz Walek perform her I&E on mellophone.
The brass quintet performs (they won their category).
I pose with one of my co-captains, Erica, while awaiting full corps retreat to receive our scores at finals.
 Captains Rachel and Erica show off our lovely instructor, Dana.
 Time for the underwear run- through!
 The 7th Regiment performs in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
 Miss Daisy receives her volunteer of the year award.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat Dome = The Worst!

Well people, here we are.  It is currently 4:00pm on Friday July 22 and it is 103 degrees outside in the shade.  That's about 40 Celsius for you non-Americans.  Let me just say, this is crazy!!  Summer temps should not reach over 85F in my opinion.  Too hot otherwise.  Well, I don't have a lot of time to write this so let's make it quick!

I leave for three weeks in about half an hour.  Today until 7/30 will be spent in CT.  From there we (7th Regiment) will be departing for our summer tour.  It should, hopefully,be good times.  I'll let you know how it goes in three weeks!

In the meantime, the real news I have is that of the birth of my niece!  Yay.  Her name is Jennifer Marie and she was born on Tuesday (7/19), exactly one day after her brother.  She is a total cutie.  I'll leave you with a few pictures...

Friday, July 8, 2011

7th, Sun, and Sand- The Proper Way To Start A Summer

Hello there, Everybody!!

I would like to apologize for the lack of blogging lately!  Although it's only been a little over a week, it feels like it's been much longer.  As some of you know and others do not know, I returned home from NZ quite safely last week.  I was home for a total of two days before I was gone again, this time with my lovely family at The 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps.  I re-joined with the corps after 5 months of being away.  Let's just say that I knew about 50 counts (i.e. 20 seconds) of the over nine minute show.  I had a lot of learning to do.

I rejoined 7th on Thursday June 30.  It took me exactly 4 days to have the show learned.  Granted I did not have it as learned as I usually would at this time (for example I don't know my entire dot book like I usually do), but I know the work and I can march the drill.  That's pretty freaking good if I do say so myself.  I even managed to perform in both of the weekend shows- the first in Lynn, MA where we scored 63.900 and the second in Bristol, RI where we scored a 64.500. 

The main thing I want to say about this 5-day experience (we also did 3 parades on July 4th) is that I am so super proud of my corps for all of the hard work they put into the weekend and the entire season so far.  This show is amazing!  I also want to commend myself (I can do that since it's my blog) for learning an entire drum corps show in 4 days.  It wasn't easy, but it was my goal and I am quite proud to have achieved it.  Now my next goal is to have it learned like I would in a regular season.  Hopefully that won't take too long either.

After finally returning home for a decent period of time (3.5 days) I will say that I am happy to be home.  I do wish that home was a little closer to NZ than 9000 miles, say 0 miles, but it'll do for now (laugh mom, it's a joke).  It's still hard to believe that I won't be rejoining all my sweet as new friends in the fall for another primo year at Massey, but alas it is not to be.  I will instead have to concentrate on the important things, and the things that only matter for those crazy enough to consider it (aka drum corps). 

Also in the near future I will have a beautiful niece to concentrate on.  Hopefully she'll be here any day.  I'd like to be home on the day, but at the same time, my sister-in-law is already 2cm dialated and I don't want to prolong the pain.  Speaking of nieces and nephews, here is a lovely little video of my nephew that I took today at the beach.  He appears to be a little upset at how sandy his feet are...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Travel Haze

Well, it’s June 26 (again) and I am currently sitting in LAX waiting for my final flight home.  Some of you may not know, but there is a Chilean volcano in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain that has created an ash cloud over the Pacific.  This volcano began erupting over a week ago.  Since it was unsure what this ash could do to airplanes, most flights in Australia and New Zealand were cancelled, particularly international ones.  However, the cloud passed by and everything shortly returned to normal.  Not for long, however, as the volcano continued to erupt and spew more ash into the atmosphere.  

For my trip home I was scheduled to fly Air New Zealand from Palmy to Auckland on the morning of June 25.  That went without a hitch.  The next leg of the journey, Auckland to LA, was through Qantas.  Well, Qantas decided that they weren’t flying on the 25 due to the ash cloud.  Everyone else was flying, so what’s up, Qantas?!   Anyways, Kristen, my travel partner, and I were not able to depart New Zealand on the 25th.  Let’s just say that we were more upset at having to leave Palmy and being stuck in Auckland than being stuck in the country.  We happened to have a very emotional departure from Palmy and we just wanted to finish our journey.  But no.  At least Qantas was kind enough to offer complimentary accommodation and meals while we were stuck in Auckland.  

We were extremely lucky in that we were re-booked within two hours for a next day flight to LA via Papeete, Tahiti.  We had brief discussions with people who had been dealing with Qantas for over a week, trying to depart NZ.  Our new schedule was to leave the country around 2pm on the 26th, arrive in Tahiti around 9pm on the 26th (international date line and all) leave again around 11pm on the 25th, and finally arrive in the U.S. around 11am on the 26th.  Luckily we made it, even with dear Kristen, the problem child of our trip.  So we arrived in LA this morning after two days of travel and disruption.  We were quite surprised at the speed at which we were able to make it through customs which involved two security points and luggage retrieval.  I would say it only took about 30 mins.  Awesome!  We then meandered our way out of the international terminal and over to terminal 4 for our domestic flights home.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Dad, The Scary Teddy Bear

Soooo tomorrow is Father's Day.  Happy Father's Day!!  I am again shouting out to one of my parental units for the assigned parental unit holiday.  However, this blog will sadly not be quite as in depth and emotional (sorry dad).  I love my dad.  There's not too much else to say about it.  It's pretty simple actually.  Let's face it, I'm a daddy's girl.

I've been told by a couple of friends that upon meeting my dad, Mr. Michael P. Kenney, they thought he was kinda scary.  My response to this?  "WHAAAAAAAAAAT?"  In my opinion there's nothing farther from the truth.  He can be scary when he gets really mad, but the chances of that are pretty few and far between.  Kind of like me.  I like to think that I'm intimidating when I get really angry.  Luckily it doesn't happen too often.  Back to dad... So yeah, I don't view him as scary.  I mean, look at him-

I Blabber, You Read

Well people we're down to 6 days.  Six days until I'm home again.  There are definitely some mixed emotions going on here.  1- "Yay! I can see my family and friends!"  2- "NO!  I won't see my New Zealand friends for a long time I'm sure... and my American friends!  Why do we all live so far apart?!"  That fact is actually quite amusing.  I have a group of friends here, many of whom you have already seen, from the States (and Canada).  The funny thing about it it that none of us live anywhere near each other.  I will post you a map...

Kristen- Texas                                                               Travis- Texas
Tony- Louisiana                                                              Tifah- Ohio
Nora- Maryland                                                               Kaleb- South Dakota
Stephanie- Alberta, Canada/ New Zealand                     Myself- Pennsylvania

See what I mean?  A large circle around the Eastern side of the country.  The only odd one out is Steph, all the way over in western Canada.  These people have become some of my closest new friends in the past couple of years and now we're all going our separate ways.  We won't be 10 minutes across campus from each other, or upstairs or neighbors or across the hall or a couple flats down.  Nope, we'll be hours away.  It's going to be strange.  One thing is for sure though, I will not let these friendships fade.  Well, I'll try not to anyways.

Moving on from the sad, however...  Upon reaching home I will once again be able to see my adoring family, yay!  In addition to my blood family I will also get to see my drum corps family upon my return exactly one day after arriving home.  My parents are not that excited about that but really, it's been five months.  I think they can deal with another week before total re-immersion in the glory that is me (cough cough).

As it is I am leaving tomorrow (Sunday) to visit Nic's family's bach on the South Island until Wednesday.  That's a beach house by the way.  It's not exactly beach weather but whatever.  You only live once right?  Might as well make it awesome!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pavlova: A National Dish at it's Finest

As per request, this here blog is about the lovely group dinner we had... two weeks ago?!  Holy moly time is flying.  Anyways, this request was put through by Nic, my lovely boyfriend.  I'm not really sure what he wants me to say about it.  How delicious the food was, how awesome the hot tub was, how fun it was to get everyone together?  Because it was all that.  I guess I'll just give a little run down and let the pictures do the talking...

So, Nic lives about 20 minutes away from Palmerston North in the tiny town of Ashhurst.  He lives on a small sheep farm with his parents and brothers (when they're home).  So our first obvious stop, for carload one anyways, was the pasture so we could say hello to the sheep.  There were three main sheep we were looking for, Chop, Scarface, and Pippa.  Chop is a lamb from this past season who was raised in the house and is thus not afraid of people and is utterly amusing.  He wasn't hard to find.  As soon as he saw people coming he was at the fence baa-ing his little heart out. It was love at first sight for Kristen...

Our next conquests were Scarface and Pippa.  Scarface is a really old sheep and Pippa is a ewe who was raised inside a couple years ago and is only slightly skittish.  Here's Scarface-

Interestingly enough, he lost his eye after he got his name. From there we moved back inside where it was time to prep dinner.  We beasted some potatoes and kumara (a sort of sweet potato) while Nic prepped the lamb (sorry no pictures).  Just after we finished that task the second carload made it in.  It was the whole crew now, all nine of us.  Of course plenty of goofing around and talking ensued, along with some wine drinking and plenty of snack munching.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

There's Platinum in These Hills!

My oh my.  How the time is speeding by.  It’s June!!  It’s just surreal to me.  What do you mean I’ve been here for four months?  What kind of joke is that?  *sigh*  As you can probably tell I’m just a little frazzled by the complete lack of time I have left here.  22 days.  The past 31 have gone by in the blink of an eye!  And I can tell you already that this next month is going to do the same. 
Tomorrow is the last day of classes here at Massey Palmerston North.  Next week is a full week dedicated to studying and the two weeks following belong to exams.  You know what that means?  I have exactly three days within the next three weeks that I have plans.  June 14, June 16, and June 18.  The last two on which I have two exams a piece.  This free time would be absolutely awesome except for my complete and utter lack of money.  That’s alright though; it just means spontaneous activities are more plausible now.  Oh!  And I need to pack.  I guess I’ll devote my last two days here to that.
To steer away from that depressing (at least to me) topic, I will tell you about my most recent weekend.  On Saturday May 28 I went with a portion of MUAC (Massey University Alpine Club) and did a tramp into the nearby wilderness.  If you can call it wilderness…  Anyways, we walked the Sledge Track, about 20 minutes from campus. 
I don’t have a whole lot to say about the whole trip.  I can tell you there were around 700 stairs one way (yes I counted), it was super muddy, and it took us around 6 hours to complete the circuit.  The first stopping point of the trek was at a river.  There were some really nice boulders there, which I decided to climb.  I was doing well until I slipped and bashed my knee on the top of it.  That would have lasting effects throughout the day.  I had a nice view of the river, though.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seconds, Please!

We now come to part two of our blogs on food.  This part will analyze the differences in New Zealand store cuisine versus American store cuisine.  One of the first encounters with New Zealand food came while we were in Auckland.  Each room of two in the hotel was given a bag with some food in it.  Basically it was milk, bread, peanut butter, jam, cereal, and biscuits (aka cookies).  I'm currently lacking two of these items, otherwise I'd put up a picture.  So the first three items were pretty typical.  The cereal was made by Kellogg's and it was nutri-grain.  Quite tasty.  The biscuits on the other hand... oh my god.  They're called TimTams and they are one of the best store bought cookies, I mean biscuits, I have ever eaten.

I don't know what it is about these things but they are absolutely delicious. I've tried a couple types and my favorite is still the original.  I was introduced a few weeks ago to the 'TimTam Slam,' in which you bit off a small portion of opposite corners, dip one end into a drink (milk, coffee, and hot chocolate being the primary choices) and drink.  If you choose a hot drink option, the chocolate on the inside will melt and you just suck it up.  I will say it again, so good.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cuisine by Design

So recently I had a blog explosion.  One or two posts a day for a week.  A lot, I know.  I was just so excited to share two of the best weeks I've ever experienced with all of you.  And now I don't really have anything to post.  Quite a shame.

As of right now, I am super busy with school work.  And my busy social life isn't helping any.  Due to this lack of time, I have a lack of subjects to blog about.  However, there is a subject that will apply to everyone that even my school and social lives can't get rid of.  And that topic is, of course, food.
Who doesn't like food?  (Rhetorical question by the way).  I know I've mentioned food in this blog before, but I don't think I've gone into too much detail.  That is about to change.  The rest of this blog is dedicated to some of the foods I have discovered/ been introduced to in New Zealand, be they good or bad.  That way I can make you drool and also, if you ever come to New Zealand, you'll know what's up.  We will start with some general observations...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Piece of My Heart

I would like to dedicate today's post to a very special lady in my life, Sassafrass, my cat.  ...Just kidding.  I'm dedicating to day's post to my mom, Karleen Kenney, for obvious reasons.  I hope your excited mom, because here comes your shout out.
Many of you know my wonderful mother and I hope you would agree with me that she is a marvelous lady. If you don't happen to know her, just trust me. 

Crêpes and Rugby, My Favorite

4/30/11     Kaikoura -> Picton -> Wellington -> Palmy
This morning began relatively late for the Kiwi bus, 9:00.  We hit a little snag, however, when Andy (the driver) told us that the alternator was broken and the battery was dead, thus the bus wouldn't start.  Luckily the mechanic was super fast in showing up and helping us out.  We were on our way by 9:17.
Due to our late start each of our stops was only about 5-10 minutes.  We did get to stop and see some seals.  Honestly, if you don't like baby seals there is something seriously wrong with you.  They're just so adorable and awkward.  Anyways, our only other stop was a toilet break.  Everything else was straight on to Picton to ensure we made the ferry to Wellington.