Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Good old Spring Grove

Fill this out about your YEARS of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be.

1. Who was your best friend?
Eh, I've always hated this question. I didn't really have a best friend in high school.

2. What sports did you play?
None, but I was the manager for basketball and volleyball. It was a way to get involved without actually having to have athletic talent.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
Silver 1983 Celica...still my favorite car.

4. It's Friday night, where were you?
Probably working.

5. Were you a party animal?

6. Were you considered a flirt?

7. Ever skip school?

8. Were you a nerd?
I was not particularly socially well-adjusted, let's just say that.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled?

10. Can you sing the fight song?
Did we even have a fight song?

11. Who was your favorite teacher?
Mr. Gault. Or Mr. Shue.

12. Favorite class?
English or Social Studies, depending on the year.

13. What was your school's full name?
Spring Grove Area Senior High School

14. School mascot?
We were the Rockets. And the Rockettes.

15. Did you go to Prom?

16. If you could go back and do it over, would you?
I think if I did, I would have a much better time of it given the shifts in my personality. But really, no.

17. What do you remember most about graduation?
There was a beach ball that got confiscated.

18. Who was your high school sweetheart?
I only dated one guy in high school, and I wouldn't call him my sweetheart. Honestly, I don't think I even liked him all that much.

19. Where were you on senior skip day?
I don't remember. I probably just stayed in bed all day.

20. Did you have a job your Senior year?
I worked at a movie theater in Hanover, following a long family tradition.

21. Where did you go most often for lunch?
We weren't allowed to leave campus, so the cafeteria.

22. Have you gained weight since then?

23. What did you do after graduation?
Went to college. Got a degree. Got a job. Hate the job. Back in college.

24. When did you graduate?

25. Who was your Senior prom date?
I went with a group of friends.

26. Are you going to your 10yr class reunion?
It was this past summer, and I missed it because I was in Ireland.

27. Who was your home room teacher?
Hmm. Freshman - Mr. Moore; Sophomore - the art teacher, whose name I can't remember--Mr. Waugh, maybe?; Junior - Mr. Gault; Senior - Mr. Black.

28. Who will repost this after you? Kristin, probably.

Harry Potter like you've never seen him before.

Good Lord. (scroll down)

The fact that I find him so hot makes me feel like a dirty old woman.

Friday, January 26, 2007


What century are we living in again?

Today's Carolyn Hax column quite frankly made me want to vomit. It is not her advice that I object to--in fact I think she answered the question correctly for once. It's the fact that the question was asked at all that makes me want to scream.

The topic is the "tradition" of asking a woman's father for permission to marry her. Don't get me wrong--I love my Dad, and I respect his opinion a great deal. But if any man is ever stupid enough to ask his permission to propose to me, my answer will be no. I have no idea what Dad would say in such a situation--my guess is that he would be fairly bewildered at being asked. I would hope he would be fairly bewildered at being asked, because both of my parents raised me to be an independent woman. And while I do seek their counsel on many occasions, in the end my life is my decision.

I don't take offense easily. People don't always have to be politically correct around me. But the fact that this does still happen does offend me, and the fact that some women like and expect this tradition makes me sad.

In closing, I will leave you with one of the most awesome exchanges on TV ever, from the very first episode of Alias:

Danny: I'm calling because I'm planning on asking Sydney to marry me and... I was hoping to get your approval.
Jack: Danny, let me ask you a question.
Danny: Sure.
Jack: How well do you know my daughter?
Danny: Um, we've been dating for two years...
Jack: Because if you feel the need to ask me about this scenario, I have a sense you don't know Sydney at all.
Danny: Sir, I love your daughter and I want to marry her. That's why I'm calling.
Jack: First of all, Danny, the truth is this is just a courtesy call. Like when you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's all right with you." What you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."
Danny: Mr. Bristow...
Jack: Sydney doesn't give a damn what my opinion is. What interests me is that you do.
Danny: It's just a custom to call the father, that's all this is...
Jack: Well, then, I'll tell you what. I may become your father-in-law, that's just fine. But I will not be used as part of a charming little anecdote you tell your friends at cocktail parties so they can see what a quaint, old-fashioned guy Danny really is. Are we clear?
Danny: Yes, sir...
Jack: Good. Then welcome to the family.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Reading Recommendation

I had a huge crush on Wil Wheaton when I was a kid. I was addicted to Star Trek, and Wesley Crusher was the character I could relate to. Sure, 98% of Star Trek fans wanted him dead, but he was my age(ish) and he was kinda cute.

Flash forward a few years. Now older and wiser, I understand why most Star Trek fans hated Wesley. He was freaking annoying, and he often served as an incredibly obvious deus ex machina. Frankly, while Star Trek was (mostly) reasonably well written, you could tell that a bunch of middle-aged men (and women) were sitting around in a room trying to write a teenage character, and failing miserably.

However, it turns out that Wil Wheaton is still pretty freaking cool. I happened upon his blog a few years ago, and I'm quite impressed. He's a great writer, and he seems to be remarkably well adjusted for someone who spent his formative years on the Starship Enterprise. And of course, he writes things like this. It's that particular post that prompted me to post this blog. It captures my thoughts on the matter pretty exactly. In fact, I find myself agreeing with him fairly often. I highly recommend reading his blog.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I hate driving in Baltimore. As much as I love the city itself, driving there stresses me out.

Take last night, for example. My directions for getting to the Ottobar were simple. Get on Howard Street. Stay on Howard Street. Park. And since Howard Street is one of the few streets in Baltimore I can find without trouble, it should be a piece of cake, right? Well, sort of.

I didn't get lost. I'll give it that much. But I had forgotten (or more likely, blocked it out to preserve my sanity) that cars share Howard Street with the lightrail. I hate sharing the street with the fucking lightrail. On the one hand, I'm sure that the city's transportation department has all of the lights correctly timed and that it's perfectly safe. On the other hand, this is the same transportation department that's had a sign that says "Stairs to Charlers St." at the Charles Center Metro station for the past ten years, so maybe I'm right to be apprehensive.

Whatever. I made it to the Ottobar on time, the show was great, and I made it home with a minimum of difficulty--though I should note that Howard Street also becomes one way halfway down, which made my exit a bit more difficult, but I survived. Give me DC driving any day.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Things I have encountered this week that I would like to share. (Part II)

MI-5, aka Spooks
I love Netflix. It lets me get addicted to awesome shows that I never would have seen, and I don't have to pay for cable. This show popped up as a recommendation at some point, and I added it on a whim. Now I'm addicted. Matthew McFayden is hot. And so is his accent. And you have to love a show where you know from the very beginning that anyone can die or otherwise be removed. The last five minutes of the second episode of the first season was like a punch in the gut.

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Read this book. No, seriously. I don't care if the last young adult book you read was a Baby-Sitters Club book. Read this book, and marvel at the blunt honesty. See also, Tangerine, by Edward Bloor.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

107 in 2007

I started this ritual in 2004--rather than making New Year's resolutions, I make a list of things to do in the coming year. That way, it's less of an ongoing thing and more something I can stretch out over the full year. In 2004, it was 104 things. In 2005, 105. And so on.

This year, I mentioned my list at a New Year's Eve party, and many people expressed interest in it; therefore I decided to post it here. I don't really intend to keep a running tally of completed items on my blog; I do this in my paper journal, but I may post a round-up at the end of the year.

That is, if we haven't all moved on to the next big thing. I mean, really. MySpace is so 2006. (Kidding.)

Personal Development
1. Make a sincere effort to introduce more calm into my life
2. Find a church I like; attend as needed
3. Personal
4. See my work in print under my own name, either in hard copy or online
5. Personal
6. Write a first draft of a novel, no matter how much it sucks
7. Take public transportation as often as possible
8. Write a letter to someone
9. Sew something

10. Find an apartment I truly like
11. Cook one new thing each week; record in the cooking blog I set up and have hardly used
12. Cook one good thing from each cookbook, or throw it away
13. Make sushi
14. Give the FlyLady method a serious effort for at least one month
15. Do not leave dishes sitting in the sink overnight
16. Have a completely clean house on the 1st of every month
17. Personal
18. Have a completely clean car on the 1st of every month
19. Get my car washed every other month
20. Buy my produce at a farmers' market as often as possible
21. Buy local whenever possible
22. Plant an herb garden
23. Go antiquing
24. Make Christmas cookies
25. Put up and decorate a Christmas tree

26. Find a new job or make peace with the one I've got
27. Get organized at work and stay that way
28. Re-join WIN
29. Go to bed by 11 p.m. on work nights
30. Be on time to work every day
31. Take six classes and get As in at least four
32. Have all class assignments done two days before the due date
33. Do all reading for every class

34. Try a new restaurant (January)
35. Try a new restaurant (February)
36. Try a new restaurant (March)
37. Try a new restaurant (April)
38. Try a new restaurant (May)
39. Try a new restaurant (June)
40. Try a new restaurant (July)
41. Try a new restaurant (August)
42. Try a new restaurant (September)
43. Try a new restaurant (October)
44. Try a new restaurant (November)
45. Try a new restaurant (December)
46. Get my Netflix queue below 200
47. Go to a play
48. Go to an event at the Kennedy Center
49. Attend a formal gala
50. Go to an art museum
51. Attend a classical music concert
52. Join the Young Benefactors of the Smithsonian
53. Take a duck tour

54. Pay off all of my credit cards
55. Stick to a strict budget
56. Record all money spent
57. Roll my Fidelity plan over into the new IRA
58. Have my taxes done by March 1
59. Deposit my tax refund directly into my IRA
60. Have $400 in my vacation fund by the end of the year
61. Withdraw money for the week on Mondays; do not use debit card
62. Personal
63. Continue to make regular payments on my student loans despite the deferral
64. Personal
65. Personal
66. Do not use my credit cards at all, except for automatic payments that must be paid off every month
67. Make three charitable donations this year
68. Personal
69. Personal

70. Read four short stories per week.
71. Read a book on the beach
72. Read the entire Bible
73. January/February Classic: Pride and Prejudice
74. March/April Classic: Vanity Fair
75. May/June Classic: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
76. July/August Classic: Dubliners
77. September/October Classic: Frankenstein
78. November/December Classic: Don Quixote
79. Read the ALA's 2007 Notable Books
80. Read all of the Persephone books I own
81. Buy four more Persephone books

82. Get dental insurance
83. Handle my most pressing dental issues
84. Take my lunch at least 4 days a week
85. Limit eating out to once per week
86. Go to the gym at least once a week
87. Kayak three times this summer
88. Buy a bike
89. Personal
90. Wear a size 8
91. Ski at least once
92. Play tennis three times

Personal Care
93. Learn how to apply makeup
94. Wear a bikini
95. Personal
96. Find "my" perfume
97. Develop a skincare regimen that I stick to religiously
98. Get a haircut at least every three months
99. Get professionally fitted for a bra
100. Personal
101. Get a massage
102. Get a facial

103. Go away for the weekend by myself
104. Spend a weekend at the beach
105. Visit two states I've never been to before
106. Go camping
107. Visit Rochester twice