Saturday, August 28, 2010

I won! I won!

Whoo hoo! I just won a giveaway at one of my favorite blogs, Tickled Red! It's a really cute blog and a really cute prize.. A $50 coupon to CSN Online Stores! Whoo hoo! Thank you, Red! :)

See more giveaways at Great Blog Giveaways!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My First CD!!

I'm finally recording a legit CD! Check out my website to pre-order a CD, help fund the project and listen to my music! I finally decided on the last song but noticed that the lyrics are no where to be found on the internet! Yes, I like songs that are that obscure! :) I'll post the lyrics here and continue daydreaming of the future in which I will have throngs of late-twenty year old men going all Beatle/Twilight mania for me.. Yelling my name and taking their shirts off to throw onstage..


Okay, that was inappropriate!

You're right.

No, you're totally right.

They shouldn't be yelling at a lady!


But seriously.. This CD is going to be great and I can't wait to share it with you! Stay tuned!

** After I posted this, I got an email from Thom Moore who wrote this song! He helped me with a few of the lyrics that I had mistaken (for example, he told me it was "..kind of memory", not "..can of memories"-- LOL)! What a thrill to get an email from him! Whew! Made my day! Go experience more of Thom Moore, a true legend, at his page. **

Send this Whisper (To Avalon)
Written by Thom Moore

Send this whisper to the one I love
Tell him my dreaming's not enough
Brings on back the kind of memory
That wakes my heart to misery

Time and time again I sigh
Cover up my face
Count the hours again and cry
For you and another place

Three more weeks and then its Avalon
Think of leaving, dream of sailing on
Cross the water with my bridges gone
Back to you in Avalon

Send this whisper to the one i love
Clouds that cross me high above
Don't let it wake him from his revery
If he's dreaming now of me

Time and time again I sigh
Cover up my face
Count the hours and and cry
For you and another place

Three more weeks and then its Avalon
Think of leaving, dream of sailing on
Cross the water with my bridges gone
Back to you in Avalon

Three more weeks and then its Avalon
Think of leaving, dream of sailing on
Cross the water with my bridges gone
Back to you in Avalon

Monday, August 23, 2010

Your kids' next book!

Our family friend, Ben Hatke, illustrator of the beautiful Angel in the Waters, has written and illustrated the next coolest kids' book! It's called Zita the Spacegirl! It's comic-ish but the illustrations are so compelling that I found myself going through it very slowly, getting the story from the tiny details of the drawings and drooling over effortless his art seems to be. Don't take my word for it (even though you know you want to).. Read the first chapter here! And then pre-order!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes - More Caitie Moments

Since I have little news to report other than classes start this Monday -- my birthday -- and that it's a big year for my family (my long-awaited senior year of college, my brother Tommy's continued work at Second City in Chicago, my brother Brian's freshman year playing football at Wabash College, my brother John's senior year in high school, my brother Will's freshman year in high school and Confirmation, my brother Michael's first year in middle school, my sister Annie's First Communion and my sister Caroline's first year in Kindergarten). And since I had one of my best Caitie-moments the other day, I thought I would share with you some others! You know how I love the Funny Quick Takes! Be advised, these are merely random ones I can remember. I have at least one daily. :) Enjoy!

1. On my brother Michael's 6th birthday he had a GI Joe-themed party and he sat on my lap as he opened presents. One was especially eye-catching! "What does it say?" He asked? "Ooh.." I read the package. "It says GI Joe Lee-ay-thur-neck!" My Dad starting laughing. My mom starting laughing. My brothers started howling. "What?" I asked. My dad took the toy, turned it around and said, "It's Leatherneck!" Well, maybe that's how YOU pronounce it!

2. When I was a senior in high school I called all my friends and told them about this deal that I read about in the paper in which all soon-to-be graduates could get into their favorite movie for free that Thursday night! We all were so excited to be appreciated like that and when we got to the ticket-taker we pulled out our student IDs, ready to cash in on our 12 years of education. Gotta be good for somethin', right? The usher was very confused but once I reminded him about the deal for seniors, he smiled. "Senior citizens, hon. Not seniors in school. Like, old people." Hmm! That's just age-ism!

3. I dated a guy from Ireland for a couple years awhile back and when over in Belfast for a visit once, I attended mass with his whole family. At the sign of peace I couldn't reach down to his mother, so I held up a peace sign, palm side in. How was I supposed to know it's the equivalent to giving someone the middle finger? My boyfriend at the time looked up when he heard everyone around us gasp and when he saw me with my big friendly smile, basically flipping off the entire pew, he grabbed my hand and said, "That's enough!" I didn't know what was going on and whispered loudly, "It's the sign of peace!" He snorted. "Well, that's not a sign of peace here!"

4. How about the time I went to the drive-up window at the bank within the grocery store. "Can I help you?" The lady asked. "Yeah, I just want to cash this check." Silence. "Um.. Can you open the drawer thing?" I ask. "Ma'am, this is the pharmacy."

5. When I lived with two of my best friends, my roommate Michaela and I called into our landlord and left a message about a maintenance request we had for the house. I gave Mikey my phone to use and we had it on speaker, since we were both explaining the situtation. As she was wrapping up the voicemail, I went into the bathroom and two seconds later Mikey walked in. "Ah!! Mikey! I'm peeing!" I shrieked! "Oh my gosh! I'm sorry!" she laughed! "I didn't know you were peeing!" I shooed her out, "Well, why didn't you knock!?" I emerged a moment later to find a terrified look on her face. "What!?" I asked, alarmed. "Ehhh... Ehhh!! Ehhh!!" She threw the phone at me and I saw that, even though she had closed it, the call was still on speaker and our whole, "I'm peeing!" conversation was caught on voicemail. I quickly hung up, but never quite lived that one down with our landlord. LOL :)

6. The condos at which my friends and I stayed when we visited San Diego had a fenced-in pool area that could be entered and exited by key only. When coming in from the beach, my friend Jake let me into the deserted pool area and then said he would go get more beer from the room. The gate shut behind him and a few minutes later I saw the rest of my friends way up above the pool on our balcony. They called down, "We changed our minds. Just come up to the room and we'll have dinner before we swim." I answered, "Okay!" But when I got to the gate, I realized I didn't have my key. I looked up to see that everyone went inside and loud music was playing. It was a quiet condo and barely anyone passed. When they did, I put my face up to the 6ft iron fence (think: prison bars) and pleaded with them to let me out. Finally, as the last of my friends came up from the beach, I was released from my aquatic prison and laughed at for almost as long as I had been in there. Poor me!

7. My mom's favorite is when, as an 8-year old, I was on the phone with my friend's mom, checking to see if it was alright that I slept over. Trying to be polite, I asked if she was sure she could pick me up. "I don't want to be an impostor.." I said. She stifled a laugh and said, "Oh, honey, you're not imposing at all. We'll see you at 6."

Now.. go check out Jen's blog at Conversion Diary! Her recent posts on interviews with an Exorcist have been riveting!

Great Caitie Lines

I was driving with my friend the other day and we passed a small airport. I wondered aloud, "What if they want to transfer an airplane to a different airport? Do they, like, take it on the highway? I just realized I've never seen that.." He slowed the car down to study me.. "Caitie.. They FLY it there!"

Eh.. Hehehe! Whoops!

And yes, I'm serious.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cleveland's Irish Cultural Festival

In 1982 my grandfather, John O'Brien founded Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival in an effort to showcase, and thereby preserve the many traditions of his native land. Enlisting a group of incredibly dedicated volunteers, that first festival drew more than 3,000 visitors over the two days and so it began!

The festival committee met soon after the crowds dispersed to evaluate and develop the event for the following summer. Their continual dedication has since produced one of the premier Irish festivals in the United States. The exponential growth of the festival stands as testament to this. In 1985 the event expanded to three days. In 1991, it finally outgrew the small wooded venue used during its first 9 years, and so relocated to The Berea Fairgrounds, where annual attendance figures now number almost 50,000.

Proceeds from the festival go to multiple charities, including: The Holy Family Cancer Home, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, The West Side Catholic Center, and The Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Okay, all that sounds great but here's the insider story! The Top 10 Things I love about our Irish Festival:

10. I usually come up the week before to help my grandmother get ready. She's very particular in the way she likes to prepare and get out of the house and she needs a little sidekick. :) I love spending this time with her and it's my favorite time of year!

9. Having said that, sometimes she sends me to the grocery store three times in one day and I need a break. So my uncle will call and say that they need some wire and I go buy a bunch of beer and bring it out to them. I also like to get them lunch and set it up for all the guys. They work so hard and it's nice to be able to take care of them while they're out at the grounds.

8. My grandfather runs the festival, sure. But my Uncle Phil is the one who is really the arms and legs of the operation. He is a fireman and owns his own tenting business. He takes the whole week off and goes out to the grounds. He sets up every tent and works on the layout of the whole place. The great thing about Uncle Phil is that he works so hard, gets so down and dirty and keeps a smile on his face (and a beer in his hand) all weekend!

7. My Aunt Trish (not pictured) and her three friends run the Volunteer tent. This is where everyone checks in and is the social hub of the festival. Mary (in the black) is like another aunt to me and one of my favorite people on earth. Kathy (in the blue) always brings us gifts for the festival like flasks and coozies. And Peggy.. Oh, Peggy. She's in the pink and we just have the best time; laugh our butts off! I think I might need to write a post centered totally on Caitie and Peggy stories.. Stay tuned!

6. Every year, a couple weeks before the festival, my grandmother and my aunts, cousins and friends get together and make the scones for the coffee house at the festival; all by hand and according to Nana's recipe. It's a special part of the festival and people ask for them specifically.

5. I live in Indiana. The Irish culture is about as prevalent as people who have all their own teeth. It's so nice to be surrounded by the music, drink, food, dance and, of course, the shopping of my heritage! :) We have a couple buildings of vendors, most of whom return every year! Every year I get a ring and by the next festival have lost it. I love the shoppin'.

4. I love when new friends come to the fest. They get to experience a great weekend and it's nice to have their help! We always have so much fun and it's great to share such a special part of my family.

3. Many friends of my grandparents, who have been volunteering since day one, are still helping at the festival! Mrs. Singer, Mrs. Nelligan, Mrs. Duffy, Mr. Lacky.. They all come every year and are a testament to the true friendship of my grandparents. I love seeing them!

2. Getting to spend the weekend with some of the best Irish singers and musicians in the world is an unbelievable experience. I have been able to sing with the people who wrote the songs we all know. I've been able to get pointers from the musicians who are revered for their incredible talent. It's such a blessing and I love every musical minute of it!

1. Our family all comes together for this. Each person takes a part of the fest and works hard to pull their weight. We take pride in the event and it means so much to us, especially as grandchildren as we have grown in our love for our heritage because of our grandparents. It's a blessing to be able to spend so much time with all my aunts and uncles and cousins.. I am so proud of Cleveland's Irish Cultural Festival! :)

7 Quick Takes - Let's Catch Up Sometime!

Hello, my dears! Okay, it's been a few (cough, cough, ton, cough) days and we have LOTS to catch up on! I'll give you the highlights of my family's Irish festival and my days since.. How will I fit it all in? Who knows! Here goes!

~ 1 ~
I brought my dog, Duffy, to Cleveland. If I'm perfectly honest with you, I wanted him to experience the festival. Yeah. Like he was going to look around, turn to me and say, "You're right! This is awesome! I'm so glad you brought me!" (Sigh) He was miserable. I ended up sending him home with my aunt since we were staying at the hotel after this lady chewed me out for not noticing that he'd jumped out of my golf cart. Truth be told, when she ran up to me with Duffy in her arms, I opened my mouth to say, "Hey! I have a dog just like that! Duffy! Where are you? Come look at this --" She screamed at me, called me a dumbass for not noticing and said that she should report me. I just rolled my eyes and took my dog, but before she walked away she said, "Oh! And by the way, he's limping!" She left before I could tell her that it's just how he walks. Seriously, if my dog had opposable thumbs, he'd have jazz hands and that he walks like it's been choreographed. Anyway, needless to say, it was a dumb idea to bring him and next time Duffy will stay home. LOL!

~ 2 ~
One thing I've learned at the festival is that the hotel after-party staff is pretty strict about it NOT being a BYOB event. Of course, that doesn't stop little 'ol me! :) Heck no! On Friday I carried around a bag filled with Tequila and Margarita mix and we made our own drinks in the bathroom! On Sunday night I filled that bag with ice and had cold Bud Light with me at all times. Always thinkin', this one. Always thinkin'. :) Might I add, I stay just this side of tipsy and never get sloppy. I stayed up until 7:30am with these tricks -- twice. :) You're dealin' with a pro!

~ 3 ~
We've always had pretty good weather for the festival weekend, but it's bound to rain a little in thirty years! :) Unfortunately, "a little" wouldn't describe the rain that we had..We had torrential downpour, wind so wild that it tore tents down and flooding so bad that we were wading through small ponds. If the crowds weren't scared away by the storms, they surely stayed home when they heard it would be 90* out! It was not a pleasant weekend, weather wise and we didn't pull in nearly the crowds that we usually do! Ah, well. There's always next year! :)

~ 4 ~
On the ride home, I drove three of my brothers and one of their friends. THE ENTIRE RIDE BACK we played this game where you think of a celebrity's name and the next person has to think of another famous person whose first name starts with the first letter of the last person's last name. Example: Brad Pitt. Pamela Anderson. Alfred Hitchcock. Helen Mirren. Molly Ringwald. Ricky Gervais. Gillian Welch. See how it goes? Imagine that for over 5 hours! Yes, there are that many celebrities! LOL

~ 5 ~
I was honored to be included in the Guinness Book with the world's worst ear infection when I got back! I had never had one before and this was the mother of them all! I was put on three (THREE!) antibiotics, a pain killer (hello, lova!) and ear drops, and I will never dismiss ear pain again. I'm still having trouble hearing perfectly out of it. When I was in the emergency room, the nurse asked, "So what brings you here?" I had already explained it 30 times and it was all right there on the chart in front of her, so I went thru the whole thing again (this time with a bit of an attitude). "Sorry.." she said. "I asked you 'what ear?'" Oops..

~ 6 ~
When I recovered from the festival and the ear infection, I cleaned the house and finally got to the bottom of my suitcase. ) Surprisingly, I found a pair of men's underwear!! Holy Moses! My first thoughts? "Oh my! Looks like I had an even more fun weekend than I thought!" But then I remembered I had done laundry for my grandparents before the fest. (Sigh) Found your missing drawers, Papa.

~ 7 ~
I came back from the festival ready to pursue a dream that I never even really allowed myself to believe possible! While I was there I got to sing with some of my favorite artists of all time over that weekend (both on and off stage) and was encouraged to take my music seriously. It was even hard to return to the daily grind of my life after being able to share music with such great people! I have decided to take their advice and am about to record a little CD! I'll keep you posted! Please pray for me! I'm very excited but not used to putting myself out there so much! iTunes -- here I come! :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I'll be right back!

Please excuse my absence! I have been suffering from the achiest of each infections and unable to stay upright for very long. I will be back! But in the meantime, take a listen to this guy! Don Stiffe played at our Irish festival last weekend and Marianne Knight did too. Got to sing and spend time with both of them. Lovely people! Anyway, enjoy a listen. I know I can't. :)