The Battle is Won!

Hey there! I am so freaking relieved to be done and I plan on getting back into the swing of things here on ze blog. I’m so excited to have free time again and can’t wait to do lots of sleeping, reading for pleasure (see this), and getting ready for all the graduation festivities ahead (aka shopping and drinking)! Ahhhhh!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported me these last few months be it reading drafts or seeing showings, listening to my venting, or getting Starbucks with me at 11 o’clock at night… I wouldn’t have been able to make it through all this craziness without my awesome friends, my endlessly patient boyfriend, and unwavering family. You guys are everything! Thank you!

And special shoutout to my mom for being a champion and coming all the way out to hang out with me/do shots with me/comfort me while I cry into a bowl of dry frosted flakes. You’re the best! I love you, Mama!

Please indulge me one last time with a photo recap of my weekend (I promise I will stop talking about my theses after this…probably):

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Production shots by my beautiful friend and amazing lighting designer, Pen Luo. First and last photo by the lovely Delia Bloom.

More to come soon!

Enjoy Your Weekend!

This weekend is finally here! I haven’t been this excited for a weekend to be over since… well never. Come Monday I will be done with my theses and ready for sleep, champagne, and all things graduation (maybe not exactly in that order). My mom is flying out to see my show this weekend so I’m excited to start to unwind with some shopping and mother-daughter margaritas at our favorite tapas place. Freedom is so close I can taste it! Oh wait, no… that’s tequila…

In celebration of the good times and good weather ahead, here’s a spring playlist ready for summer ales and salmon shorts. Enjoy!

Enneagram of Personality

So I was out to lunch with a few friends of mine this past weekend and between talking about movies and catching up, they kept talking in this little code.

“She is such a 4 with a 3 wing.” “Really? But she has such strong 2 qualities to me!”

These two friends live together so maybe it was some sort of roommate language. But after enough of this they revealed that they have become enamored with this way of categorizing types of personalities called the Enneagram of Personality. It is a system that categorizes people into 9 types and then lays out how they interact with each other. But it’s a little more sophisticated because you can lean towards other personalities and each type has “stress” and “security” numbers, which are personalities that we take on when we are particularly comfortable or overwhelmed.

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Now I really like personality quizzes, but Ryan and Jo are not the sort of people to buy into that sort of thing. They both delight in the complexities of humanity and hate being boxed into certain types themselves, so what makes this system so compelling to them is that it is really tool for understanding people’s tendencies. Then when someone acts in a way that is mysterious to them, they can think about it from a perspective other than their own.

Jo made an interesting point, though, that personality tendencies are often affected by society’s construction of gender. So a male 3 may act in a different way than a female 3 because of the societal norms of men versus women, which may have a greater or lesser affect on the whole system. Fascinating to think about, right? Where do we really get our own personality traits? How much of it is really us?

Check out the types of personalities here. And if you’re in a relationship, you can also look up combinations of types. Hehe enjoy!

Thesis Week!

Hey there!

So I will probably be pretty quiet this week; I have two theses due on Monday so it is majorly crunch time for me. I am currently in tech for my theater thesis (a solo site-specific piece about solitude and ritual) and have the final draft of my English thesis (examining girls with eating disorders in YA literature) to get bound by the weekend. I actually can’t believe this week has finally arrived. So close!!!

For reference, I believe I am in the “all the work while crying” portion:

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Looking forward to posting regularly again very soon!

Have a Great Weekend!

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The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend, so I’m planning on taking some nice long runs and Pinkberry breaks! If I had some free time, I would definitely be checking out the Art of the Brick exhibition at The Franklin Institute, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Theatre Exile (with a professor of mine playing Martha), and gloriously drinking a cold pint in the grass…

Here’s a wrap up of the week, if you’re interested:

Highlight: US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor came to Bryn Mawr today to receive the 2015 Katherine Hepburn Medal given out annually by the college. The award honors women who are trailblazers and embody intelligence, drive, and independence; Justice Sotomayor is an obvious choice. It was amazing to hear her speak about her life as a law student, judge, and Latina woman; she spoke of judging yourself by your own standards, speaking your opinions passionately and respectfully, and letting your stubbornness get the best of you if it means accomplishing things no one thought possible. It was such an opportunity to see not only her talk, but also the excitement and admiration of my fellow students. (Oh and watching the CIA scurry around campus all day was pretty entertaining too…) Her book, My Beloved World, is now on the reading list.

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I’ve been stewing on my thesis for so long it’s leaked into my other writing… Check out my new article on I AM THAT GIRL.com inspired by my long journey into young adult literature.

Science happened this week! SpaceX did a launch of the Falcon Rocket this week, which was both a success and failure. Check out the video of the launch and (not so graceful) landing here.

Loving all the color happening on campus right now: the cherry blossoms are finally here! I am celebrating with new nail color (Essie “in the cab-ana” blue), my favorite summer beer, and copious amounts of spring-inspired instagrams!

Senior Dinner was this week where the college caters a swanky meal for seniors and we eat and chat with the college president about the most urgent needs of Bryn Mawr. So obviously, my friends and I demanded there be an on-campus bar. Examples given were: The Pav, Grad Center Bar, and Punch’s Alley (Wellesley strikes again!). Alas, talk about price and lawyers left us high and dry (literally). I guess it’ll be up to me to enshrine the Brady Undergraduate Bar…

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Follow more of my musings on twitter: @MaddieBrady

A Little Quote… Thich Nhat Hanh

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“Think for a moment about the space around you. It is filled with signals broadcast by radio and television stations. If you turn on a radio or a TV set, they will manifest in the form of images and sounds. Just because something is not visibly manifest, you cannot say that is it nonexistent, just so much nothing. In April at Plum Village, you do not see sunflowers. The hills are not covered with their blossoms, but you cannot say that there are no sunflowers. The sunflowers are hidden in the earth; they are just lacking one of the conditions for their manifestation, sunshine. It is false to say that the sunflowers do not exist.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh from his book You Are Here

[Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorite writers. He emphasizes peace and presence in a busy world and offers ways to get the most joy out of every day. My favorites by him are Peace is Every Step and The Art of Power.]

Six Wednesday Covers

There’s something undeniable about a great cover of a song. For me, it’s amazing how an artist can reshape something completely out of their genre and transform it with their own unique sound. Here are a collection of covers that are pretty down-tempo and all have a sort of hazy vibe to them. Hope you like:

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What Is Love – Jaymes Young (Haddaway Cover)

Yup, the song that has been inspiring bros to fist pump in dirty basements for the last two decades has gotten an extreme makeover from one of my favorite artists. I listened to this album for months before realizing this was a cover of that awful song played at middle school dances. Props to you, Jaymes Young, you talented man.

No Type – ASTR (Rae Sremmurd Cover)

Although the original song is already a stroke of genius (I’m kidding…mostly), ASTR makes it into total cruising music. It’s a got a real girl gang feel to it and is on my “poker night” playlist if you’re into that sort of thing.

Hold On We’re Going Home – Vancouver Sleep Clinic & GXNXVS (Drake Cover)

Out of the 8 million covers of this song, this is probably my favorite. I honestly love the original as well, but the haunting vocals of Vancouver Sleep Clinic gives this radio-dominating song a back-room sort of feel.

Afterlife – Sir Sly (Arcade Fire Cover)

I didn’t even recognize this song at first because it is so different from the original. With pulsing synth and a deep bass, this cover transforms the jumpy Arcade Fire song into a smooth down-tempo dream. Sir Sly also has a great cover of Marvin’s Room by Drake if you want to check that out, as well.

Toxic – Melanie Martinez (Britney Spears Cover)

No favorites list of mine would be complete without some Britney… I’ve never seen The Voice, but when a friend showed me this acoustic cover from the show, I was hooked. Martinez keeps the song sexy, but in a ‘making eyes from across the hipster bar’ sort of way.

You’re the One That I Want – Angus & Julia Stone (Grease Cover)

Never did I think I would like this song for any other reason than drunk karaoke, but this gorgeous cover completely changed my mind. It somehow turns this sort of annoying musical finale into a delicate serenade. It’s so simple and beautiful I actually put it in the love scene of a show I directed.

What am I missing? Any other great covers that you’re into? I’m always hoping to get new music suggestions :))

My Summer Reading List

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Every summer I am so ambitious when it comes to reading. I have visions of spending hours on the porch sipping lemonade and zipping through all the books that I’ve been meaning to read all year. But then of course life happens and my pile of unread books continues to grow.

Will this be the summer? Will I finally conquer the boxes of books I’ve been cherishing (hoarding) for years? Okay, maybe not… But here are my top summer picks in case some time does free up:

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez – I can’t tell you how many people have recommended this book to me. It seems like no matter where I go (parents’ dinner party, sports bar, college dining hall) someone is telling me how amazing this book is. It has been glaring at me for over a year now and I am determined to get past the first ten pages. If I read one book this summer, this will be it.

2. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – There aren’t many books that I read voraciously, but when I read Half of a Yellow Sun for an english class I became engrossed. I’m really looking forward to to diving into more of Adichie’s incredible literary voice and lushly complex characters this summer. (And maybe I’ll convince her to speak at Bryn Mawr, and not Wellesley, for graduation ;))

3. The Appointment by Herta Müller – I started this novel last summer, actually, in a writing class I took at NYU Florence. I left most of my books behind when I flew home, but this one I just couldn’t part with. I remember being fascinated by the simplicity of the premise, but the complexity of the narrative. Ready to pick this one back up again.

4. The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway (AKA Bethany Schneider, BMC prof extraordinaire) – So I may have only bought this last year because I knew I was taking her class and it doesn’t hurt to get in good with teach, right? But actually she’s amazing and I have never had my mind blown quite like her 300-level english classes. I was too busy reading for said classes (*cough* Moby Dick *cough*) that I never got to read her book, so it is going on the list!

5. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien – This one takes the cake for being on my “To-Read” list the longest: my brother read this when he was in high school (so I was in middle school) and I decided I wanted to read it. So after a decade of picking it up and putting it down, I am taking the plunge and rounding out my list with O’Brien’s biting war novel.

What are you guys reading right now? Or planning on reading? I’m dying to take a big trip to Barnes and Noble when I get home so let me know what I should keep my eyes peeled for!

Happy Weekend!

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I will be staying in this weekend in an attempt to polish off my English thesis (ambitious, I know…). But if you’re in the Philadelphia area, there are a bunch of really cool events going on this weekend! Life in Color, Sufjan Stevens, and Sakura Sunday and the Cherry Blossom 5K race are all this weekend! Please go have fun for me while I chug Starbucks and drown in young adult literature…

Here’s a wrap up of my week, if you’re into it:

Highlight: Went to an incredible talk by Bryn Mawr alum, Genevieve Bell, about the anthropology of robots (so cool!). She discussed the history of human fascination with robots and gave insight into the ways we project our anxieties about other humans onto our robot counterparts. Her talk was fascinating, funny, and I have not be able to stop gushing about it. I aspire to one day be as freaking smart as this woman. She mentioned this book and now it’s at the top of my list.

Did a little shopping this week: new sneakers and a sweet romper (fits like a dream). Now if only it was warm enough to wear it…

In anticipation of a quiet weekend, I’ve put together a chill playlist on the Soundcloud. Perfect for brunch preparation, rainy afternoon coffee, or a party with some really hipster friends.

Do you use night cream? Am I way too young to be thinking about this? Is it never too early? Haha I have no idea! I’ve started using this because Neutrogena is my go-to, but I’m so open to suggestions.

Confession time… I’ve become addicted to Kim Kardashian Hollywood! Judge me all you want, but who doesn’t want to live in a world where airfare is $15 and you earn fans by throwing drinks on people? This pretty much sums it up.

My best friend of many years, Megan McCormick, recently did a TEDx talk at Denison University all about self-care as a form of revolution. Give her talk a watch and show yourself some love this weekend!

Here’s to hoping for more beautiful weather!

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So, You Agree? “No, Totally!”

Are you ever talking to someone and they say something you agree with and to express this agreement you say something like “Oh, no, yeah!” I do this all the time! And I’ve noticed it, but never thought too deeply about what I really meant by it.

So when this article from the New Yorker, What Part of “No Totally” Don’t You Understand?, recently popped up on my Facebook I had to get some answers.

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It turns out I am not alone in this linguistic slippage – it is becoming a far reaching phenomenon mostly used in speech. Celebrities use it, older and younger generations use it, there’s even an entire podcast titled “No, totally!”.

Schulz trudges through the history of the word “no”, which apparently is a lengthy and slippery one. And she knocks around a few theories as to how it came to be used as an affirmative. Maybe it’s a throwback to the way the word “nay” used to function in English? Or maybe it’s a way of showing surprise or genuine interest? Maybe it’s just a way of transitioning in conversation in the way comedians do (“No, but seriously.”)?

My theory (now that I’ve thought about) is that it is a way of affirming someone’s explanation of something and letting them know they don’t need to continue explaining. Sort of a condensed version of “No, don’t go on. Yes, I understand.”

Fascinating, right?

Check out the full article if you’re interested and, in the meantime, I’m going to be really self-conscious of whenever I say it now…