Friday, December 30, 2005

The conundrum

Like everyone and their mother out in blogland, it seems I'm facing some kind of New Year's Eve (NYE) conundrum. Let's just say that I'm a New Year's virgin. Obviously, I've experienced the passage from old year to new (hell...30 of them), but I have never actually celebrated by going out and surrounding myself with others. Let me repeat myself just to make sure we're on the same page...n.e.v.e.r. During my formative years, I would watch the apple drop in New York on the TV from the comfort of the parental abode. My mom would flip back and forth between celebration shows, and I would fantisize about partying the night away at one of those clubs when I got older. I would wear a dress that shimmied when I shook my ass and have some tall, dark man to shimmy with. Well, I did get older and somehow just forgot to celebrate on NYE. I think all of the societal brouhaha about it needing to be some stupendous night caused me to go into hiding. I don't respond well to pressure like that. I fell into another tradition once I moved to Virginia. Watch Night service at church. This year I've decided no hiding at home, no hiding at church (not that I was hiding)! Societal pressure be damned. We're popping this NYE cherry because this girl is going out!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

This place is a prison

I just picked the dj for my wedding. Confused? No need to worry. I didn't get engaged, meet Mr. Right, go on a date, or even manage to respond to a booty call. The sad fact is that in some things I am a typical girl (much to my consternation). I see white dresses and think that that's how I'd like my wedding dress to look. I drive by a beautiful spot near water and imagine a simple barefoot ceremony. And, today, I realized what awesome mix cds Scarlet makes and decided she would make the perfect dj for the event.

I would be curious to see if any scientific studies have been done to identify the gene that causes us to even think about things like weddings in this way. I refuse to believe that I am so easy to program that your average socialization has done this to me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Laughter...the new way to healing?

Having more free time on my hands than I normally do this holiday weekend, I also took in my fair share of TV. In addition to realizing what complete crap most shows are (and the true brilliance of some), I found myself watching a bit of Comedy Central's Last Laugh on Christmas Day. I have to profess that this wasn't really of my own doing, since I'm not one of those girls who can just sit down and watch stand-up comedy. To be honest, I find many of them crass and my PC (aka political correctness) alarm clangs so loudly that my head follows suit. However, I was a guest on Christmas Day and decided I could sit through a little Comedy Central in exchange for being able to finish watching Elf. I found myself bothered at the insensitivity of the Katrina jokes and was working hard on not getting Serena when things shifted. Carlos Mencia took the stage, and I had one of those wacky moments of clarity when you begin to view the world just a little differently. Yes, comedians are a crass bunch that say things most of us would never say. I even think there are some shitty comics out there who are just mean, bitter people. However, what if some of those comedians are leading a new fight to make this a better place. Instead of hiding behind their principles or something far worse, they are out there shining a social spotlight on some of the problems in this country and trying to make it funny, so it's easier for us to swallow. Musicians have been doing it for years. Maybe now comedians are the new vehicle for rallying the people.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


How can I not blog about this?! It's like I found yet another creative mecca. Knitta is a small band (~2) of knitters who started turning all of their unfinished projects into graffiti. The Houston Press recently wrote an intriguing piece, Knitta, Please, on the weekend exploits of these two women, and I got absolutely giddy just reading it. To truly get my giddiness, you have to get my obsession with graffiti, my sporadic knitting and my penchant for random, wacky fun. These women (young mothers) do a little tagging, grab a beer and head home to the fam. Oh...and they document their work with photos!

They leave their mark with calling cards that say things like "knitta, please" and "whaddup knitta". The only message they seem to be driving home is fun and creativity, maybe the desire to encourage all of us to think outside-the-box when it comes to art. Who knew fellow Texans could be so cool?

Anyone up for a little random tagging up in NVA?

Holiday scuttlebutt

Rumor has it I had a good time last night. Let's examine the facts:
* Coffee @ Jamie's General Bean: good coffee, friendly people, talking with Scarlet about good first kisses
* Red Robin: honey mustard, water, stories
* Steven's apartment: mistletoe, boxers, Gilmore Girls, Elvis, calendars
Rumor status: True

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Seasons change; should scene changes be more frequent

I definitely don't consider myself someone who is "of the scene". Hell,
I don't even know what a scenester is and, if I could even fathom a
definition, would probably get it wrong. I am decidedly uncool and am
alright with that most of the time. That said, I did come to the
realization that I need different bar scenes depending on how social I'm

My all-time favorite bar scene is the cozy bar. This is the dark, yet
well-lit bar with comfortable couches and potentially a fireplace. The
comfortable bar is where you can easily kick back with friends for a
drink and talk the night away. One of my favorite comfortable bars in
DC used to be Ozio.

Then there's the music bar where you can go to hear the really good (or
passably good) live music. Maybe you'll meet someone, maybe you'll
socialize but you're really there for the music. I actually can't think
of any places like this in DC that I favor. There's a place in
Georgetown that isn't bad, and I supppose the Black Cat could be this
place (just haven't been there enough). 9:30 club I don't consider a

Lately, I've been trying to make a swank place called Blue Gin (a new DC
place we all love) into one of those bars where you go to meet people.
Last night I came to the conclusion last night that, for all its
coolness, it wasn't that kind of place and couldn't be made into one. I
love dancing on its tiny dance floor and like the atmosphere, but it is
a place for couples and cliques. Even if you wanted to go there in an
attempt to meet men, you'd find the men decidedly stuffy (it is
Georgetown). Budding young politicians looking for their first

I honestly don't believe you can really "meet someone" in a bar, but
sometimes it's just nice to talk to new people. Not that we're on a
quest, but I continue to keep my eyes open for a place to hang that
doesn't turn my stomach or make me feel like I'm in some covert episode
of America's Next Top Model.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Free the elves

Holidays usually bring about time for reflection, at least they usually
do for me. This year, however, I've just bopped merrily along with nary
a pause for that deep, introspective thought. Even now, I just tried to
get worked into a frenzy about some injustice but couldn't quite manage
it. My mind just bounced back to thoughts of peppermint and holiday
balls. Because of the bad weather we're having the homeless people's
place on the sidewalk has been decimated. I registered it. It saddened
me, but I didn't come close to shedding the tear I might have in the
nonholiday season. Does internal happiness sometimes work as a shot of
immunity against noticing the wrongs of the world? Am I *too* happy to
let in a little grey? Hope not.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Baby, it's fucking cold outside

As much as I love this cold weather, standing out in the cold waiting on
a bus destined to be late just about kills this Texan. You can't laugh
off the experience riding the bus gives. I've done local buses, county
buses, commuter buses and even Greyhound to Texas. No matter the bus,
day or time, you are most assuredly guaranteed to meet some interesting
characters. Today, for example, I am joined by a girl who insists on
carrying on a cell conversation at decibals even the dead can hear. To
make matters more interesting, she's spent the last 10 minutes trying to
convince, what I can only assume to be her boyfriend, to pierce his
balls. I've met convicts, loons, excons who watched over me...all these
people on the bus. On my last trip home, I befriended a group of thugs
in back. Hell, I figure if something goes down I figure I wanted those
guys on my side.

Moral of the story: I recommend that any writer looking for ideas just
hop on a bus.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The merriment continues

Someone seriously needs to slap the Christmas spirit out of me. If the
leapings on my inside were visible on the outside, I would get on more
than my fair share of nerves. Some things that have kept me joyful:
*chocolate mint candy canes
*decorating Steven's Christmas tree while listening to Christmas cds
*decorating stockings
*having the makings for "real" eggnog
*cold weather and snow on the ground
*finding Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas on dvd
*colorful holiday balls
*cookie swap
*craft projects
*knowing what to get most everyone
*Christmas lights
*kissing balls (screw mistletoe)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mistletoe, snow & hot cocoa

It's not the best picture I've taken, but it does sort of encapsulate the internal stirrings of Christmas merriment I've been feeling. I'm giddy with holiday cheer and will probably explode before it's over because I don't have time to EXPEND any of it. I've been creating a mental list of everything I need to get done before December 23rd. I need to make time to put it in writing because I know I'm going to forget things and am really worried about forgetting people. It doesn't help that I feel all this creative energy and want to make a lot of my Christmas gifts (time keeps on ticking). I'm not even going to 98% of the holiday parties/open houses that have come across my desk. Maybe if I promise to put together a December to-do (including a list of who I'm giving a gift to and what they get) list before my head hits the pillow, then I'll be more apt to do it. Until then, ponder my HOLIDAY PHOTO CONTEST. What, pray tell, do I want? I want gorgeous, tacky, understated, over-the-top photos of holiday lights! Email them to me by noon on Monday, December 19th.

Holiday stress is so much more fun than regular stress!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Something of my own

Closing by yourself in the music department (me:last night:Barn) tends to allow time for introspection or at least a more random thought life. As I was flipping through the cds, thinking of ones I wanted to buy, I began thinking back to the music that has been in my life. Almost every group I have listened to for the past 15-17 years has been at the influence of someone in my life. I listened to Garth Brooks in high school because David loved Garth and I liked David. In my early 20s I listened to a lot of jazz and broadway because that's what Michael listened to. My gospel and R&B taste came from the current roommate. Even now, the indie-punk-whatever bands are at the influence of Scarlet and Allie. While I like all of this music (past and present), even love some of it, I started questioning whether or not I truly had taste or an opinion of my own. I got to thinking about the movie, Runaway Bride, with Julia Roberts. In it, Richard Gere calls attention to the fact that Julia doesn't even know how she likes her eggs cooked. For most of her adult life she has eaten her eggs the way her current man had been eating his. I felt like that was me with music. In my adult/young adult life, had I ever come to a band on my own?

It didn't take me long to realize that I had come about one of my favorite bands on my own. Smashing Pumpkins is all mine. I found them and loved them all on my own without anyone I knew even knowing who they were. I actually remember (seriously) shopping in Hastings Books & Music for a cd for my brother when I spied a cd by some group called the Smashing Pumpkins. Siamese Dream was the first of their cds I purchased that day. I had never heard of it nor them (San Angelo, TX...not well known for its music scene) but made the purchase like I do many of the things that I buy. They had an interesting name and an attention-grabbing cover, so it was mine. I considered giving it to my brother, but after that first listen, I knew I'd have to go out shopping again. I didn't stop at Siamese Dream and have owned many of their cds over the years. They were even my first rock concert. I watched Billy Corgan get pissed at a lame Texas crowd that kept throwing trash on the stage, lecturing the crowd and ending the show early. The point of this is that by the end of the night I felt ok about this. I do know how I like my eggs cooked, and I'll always have the Pumpkins.

Monday, November 28, 2005

An apple a day

Isn't it odd how forces sometimes coalesce around certain issues in your life, seeming to dare you to respond? Who am I to argue with fate?
I consider myself a plebian. I come from plebian stock and hope to remain in touch with my plebian roots throughout my entire life. I hope to raise children who carry a plebian mindset with them in all they do. I never want to be mistaken for an elitist or someone who isn't willing
to work for something. Why the rambling? I got sucked into a debate today on the merits of a private school education versus a public school education. For those of you who don't know me very well, let me state that education is one of my "hot button" issues (hot button issue=an
issue I care deeply about and will cause me pull out the nearest soapbox). The conversation itself was fairly innocuous because I was speaking with a like-minded individual. However, it did bring years of resentment toward the education system to the forefront of my mind.
I am continually amazed at the politicization of our education system and how it has turned into a battle of the haves versus the havenots. (I'm going to oversimplify here because I'm a lazy blogger.) Take public school versus private school for example. Generally (remember I'm generalizing here and realize there are exceptions to this), people who have the means are the only ones able to send their children to private school. Private schools have, in fact, been referred to as training grounds for the new elite and are becoming widespread enough to cause me to wonder whether our government and its people have given up on public school. If mainly those with means can send their kids to private school and the government is investing less in public school, then where does this leave public school children? Public schools, particularly in lower income school districts, get treated like second class citizens. I speak from experience on this issue, having gone to school on "the wrong side of town". My high school lacked in so many of the opportunities afforded the high school on the other side of town. I hadn't even heard of AP tests until I graduated college.
It's not just about public versus private education. It's also about the general dumbing down of our kids. Teaching to standardized tests is not teaching. Allowing any Suzy Sixpack to educate her kids at home is not teaching. Assuming your kid deserves a higher grade than they got or deserved is not helping their education. I'm not just pulling these things out of thin air. I have witnessed this myself or have seen friends who are teachers go through it.
I am so not done with post but should stop before it becomes a manifesto. Let's just say that if we can't effing teach our kids (ALL kids) then what are we coming to?

Friday, November 25, 2005

I *heart* art

I love art. Simplistic, complicated, beautiful, obtuse, paint, photography, illustration, graphic design, music, the written it all. I spent the last few hours of my evening flipping
through one of my old issues of Look-Look magazine, a publication aimed at promoting the work of young artists in a variety of mediums. The emotion and creativity displayed by those with little formal training always blows my mind. It makes me want to drink wine, put on a good cd
and create something. Some people want to bring forth life in the form of children; I want to give life to art of some kind. I have a hard time choosing a favorite artistic medium, but the flexibility of photography amazes me. I guess the point of this post (other than the rambling it has afforded me) is urge you to check out one of my favorite photographers. Go to Scarlet's online photo montage, and let your jealousy build looking at her photos. Start with her 'favorites' won't regret it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Just a dusting of emotion

I'm feeling euphoric right now. We're in the middle of the first
snowfall of the season, and even though it is just a series of flurries
I love it! It's ironic how there is a moment where something snaps
inside me, and I begin to get excited for the holiday season. I have
had Tuesday and Wednesday off this week, time that was truly mine and no
one elses. During the past two days I have become ok with Christmas
music, snapped fall pictures, baked cookies, spiked my own drink, and
knit a scarf. This afternoon, I watched my first holiday movie of the
season, and this evening sang my first Christmas carol and danced around
my living room. Since I'm never thankful enough, I thank God for my
family, friends, and the life he has given me to live.

I've got three words for the holiday season...bring it on!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fear of Dreaming

I am an inquisitive person. A friend of mine is attempting to set me up with her English professor. She piqued my curiousity by telling me we might hit it off and talking about how mysterious he was. A snapshot and a name later and I was officially intrigued. The man was hot in that geek chic way that I love. Evidently he was intelligent, well-read and had recently published his first novel. All very promising. I then did what every girl with a blog, a Google obsession and an addiction to Alias would do. I googled him. More than your average novice, I took it one step further and trolled Technorati just to ensure I didn't miss anything. Some might call it a bit obsessive, but I believe fully in being an informed citizen. While I didn't discover the secret blog I was hoping for, I did discover his "official" website and a couple of different interviews with him following the release of his book.

Did I learn anything? I learned that Matt Bondurant comes across as one cocky piece of work. Personally, I cannot stand the Dan Brown obsession and would never consider him a literary genius. However, it seems in poor taste for Bondurant to slam Brown's writing while talking about how he set out to write more of a literary novel. I, for one, am fed up with writers and their quest to produce a literary masterpiece. You either possess that kind of talent or you don't. If you have to remind us how talented you are, perhaps you value your work more than the rest of the world. Perhaps the literary novel you thought you wrote is more Clive Cussler than Alexander Dumas. Of course, Bondurant himself admits that writing is an arrogant endeavor in an interview on

I could continue on my rant, pointing out the numerous instances where Bondurant came across as arrogant. I am loathe to admit, however, that I find this cockiness somewhat appealing. Help me out here. Why do some women (myself included) have a soft spot for arrogant men?

Friday, November 18, 2005


I saw Prime earlier this week at the theater, and despite the fact I am no Meryl Streep fan, I enjoyed the movie. I am horrific at psychobabble and looking for the hidden meaning in movies (Freud's analysis of Kafka's the Metamorphosis completely threw me for a loop), but I do know that I was cheering on Uma Thurman's old ass as she hooked up with the uber-young David. It's not that I'm a cradle robber, but as I continue to get older, I do feel like everyone my age is permanently attached. The younger guys begin to look better and better...not to mention the fact that I have trouble even discerning age sometimes.

Really this just illustrates my penchant for inappropriate crushes. Not only has my eye strayed to younger men, I've eyed older bosses, married coworkers, coworkers in serious relationships, people I couldn't stand. Inappropriate crushes begin with the littlest of things. Did you ever have someone look at you in just that way? Look at you like they knew you and convince you they really did? I had what is likely my last encounter today with an inappropriate crush who did just that.

It's not just a look though. Sometimes it's just the way they laugh or the way they annoy me, the way they hug. It's that weird quirk that makes someone want worthy. Fortunately, sometimes you have to recognize an inappropriate crush for what it is, give a hug like you mean it and let them go.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Stigma of walking

Walking (propelling oneself with one's own two feet) in the suburbs is akin announcing you have leprosy or that you've always wanted a child with three arms to handle chores better. Ever since my car died, I have become familiar with buses, walking and the like. I am continually amazed at how weird people think walking is. People stare at walkers. A key piece to this is that you have to be wearing normal (i.e., nonworkout) attire. Slapping on your running shoes, sweatband, and a pair of shorts to get in a walking workout is ok, but walking to get from point A to point B is preposterous. "Don't you have a mini Hummer to use to go that one mile? Do you have so much free time on your hands you can afford to walk?" Their eyes burn these questions into my soul. Perhaps I would be less bitter about this if I weren't being forced to walk by a car that is now a very expensive piece of junk.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Weekend update

*Sigh* I feel like the last few days have passed in a blur. As the leaves finally turned and made their way to the ground, I spent much of the week in rural Virginia at a staff retreat. Forced bonding is a double-edged sword. I am thankful for the way in which the true personalities of certain people on our staff were revealed. I'm continually amazed at the audacity of people to hold on to the antics of high school and middle school and am thankful I've had the luck to outgrow some of that drama. Of course, that age manifested itself in the form of aching knees on Thursday after a night of hardcore staff dancing.

As the staff retreat came to an end on Friday, I stayed in the Virginia wilds (re: rural and a little far away) for a modern-day version of the slumber party. Think coed with a bartending book, board games and truth or dare. I discovered that:

*Scarlet can make a mean pizza and mixed drink.
*I don't like Tijuana Sunrises or Carusos.
*Steven is the cookie monster and wears cute pjs.
*I can't hum worth a darn.

I wrapped up the weekend with movies, a Godiva (the alcohol) ice cream float, and a rockin' free haircut.

I missed blogging.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

teenage crushes

I was looking through a box of old photos the other day in search of a picture of me as a toddler and came across several photos of an adolescent me hanging in my room. Like your average pre-teen (hell, teen) I had adorned my walls with all sorts of random memories. This includes a lion's share of ripped out pages from magazines like Tiger Beat featuring men I thought I couldn't live with out. Looking back I have come to realize that perhaps my taste in men was always skewed. My walls featured George Michael (gay); Michael J. Fox (Alex P. Keaton so played into my republican fantasies); and Elvis Presley (what other kid gets a crush on a overweight, dead rock star). There were more photos up, but these 3 were definitely my obsession. What celeb crushes did you have when you were a kid?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

thirty, flirty & thriving

I woke up this morning and had to deal with the fact that I am now a 30 y.o. woman. Truthfully, I have been celebrating the fact all week and coming to terms with this day the moment the clock started ticking on 29. I have had a fabulous weekend celebrating thanks to be surrounded by good friends.

Friday night Scarlet, Steven and I (sboos) headed into Richmond for a little food, drink and FirstFridays. Scarlet showed us around some of her old haunts, starting with cheese and pepperoni at Bottoms Up Pizza. Lack of a proper meal during the day left us a bit tipsy after one drink, so I decided to bite the bullet and kick off Project 30 Kisses for 30 Years. Steven's eyes widened as I pushed him against the wall outside and laid one on him. Poor guy...thanks for being such a good sport and being my #1. Fully satiated (from the meal, not the kiss), we headed down to Broad Street and FirstFridaysArtwalk. Fat bellydancers, twirling fire, a 3-d hut that made me feel like Alice in Wonderland going through the little door, spinning outside of Scarlet's brother's store, and tons of those kind of guys. We closed out the evening with a round of brew at Penny Lane Pub and me going round and round on which guys in the bar to make 2+ in Project 30 (none...couldn't bring myself to do it). The evening technically wasn't over because Scarlet and Steven further plied their way into my heart with birthday cake from Cakelove (mmmm) and a supply of sugar-free Red Bull. Seriously, you know your friends know you when they know the way to your heart is through chocolate and caffeine. I even enjoyed the laughs on the drive back as we all fought to stay awake (with only Scarlet and I winning) and pondered a quick jaunt to Spirits while Steven snoozed.

Not to be outdone, Saturday night was all about dancing my way into my 30s. A group of us had dinner in Adams Morgan at El Tamarindo ( favorite) where Ravena regaled us with stories of her afternoon at some sort of bondage convention and other just tried to keep it together : ) Food was good...margaritas were even better. The original goal was to attempt to find parking in Adams Morgan and hit a club or two luck. Searching for a parking space in Adams Morgan requires divine intervention that we didn't have. The best we got was a game of chicken with a screaming fire truck on those narrow residential streets. Perhaps it was divine intervention because we ended up at one of my new favorite places, Blue Gin. Some ass-shaking occured, and I did indeed dance my way into my 30s.

Thanks, guys. You rock!

Friday, November 04, 2005


It hit me this past Sunday that I was spending my last week as a 29 year old. I get these ideas in my head and decided I wanted to make each day memorable and celebrate by doing something I wouldn't normally do. It started with a bottle of wine I'd been saving before work on Sunday (hence the wine, bubbles, Smashing Pumpkins post) and culminates the weekend with what we're calling Project 30 Kisses for 30 Years. In addition to a good bottle of wine in a relaxing setting, I've tagged (graffiti) my first thing and placed a secret in a book that could have inspired the secret. Tuesday I determined I should kiss a random man and managed to snag Todd (a friend of a friend), quaintly placing lips to his soft cheek. I'm leaving out the part where I turn as red as a tomato and chicken out the first time. I'm most proud of myself for Wednesday because I was honest and straightforward with a long-time crush about my feelings for him. Even though it was a simple message on voicemail I risked getting hurt for the potential for something grand. What a way to celebrate those last days in my twenties!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The humpty dance

It's officially Hump Day on the east coast, and I'm beginning the
downhill slide to my 30th birthday. Don't get me wrong...I think 30
will be fabulous. However, it is a landmark birthday, and I plan on
celebrating and posting appropriately. Today kicks off my series of
'30' themed posts that includes the '30' photo contest and ends with
installing the new site design I've been waiting to put up. Today I
tried really hard to come up with my 30 favorite things (including
feelings, actions, etc.).
Serena's 30 Favorite Things:
1. Diet coke
2. The unconditional love of family
3. Second kisses
4. Dirty Dancing
5. Email (re: sidekick)
6. Clean sheets
7. Dancing around in my pajamas
8. The 'journey' part of a road trip
9. 74 degrees fahrenheit
10. Laughing 'til I cry
11. Digital cameras
12. Blogging
13. Words that begin with the letter 'f'
14. Alias & Friends on dvd
15. Water (rivers, oceans)
16. Chocolate & coconut
17. Smashing Pumpkins
18. Thunderstorms
19. Tulips
20. Handmaid's Tale
21. Vanilla
22. Mexican food
23. Travelling
24. Chartreuse
25. Cosmopolitans
26. Sephora
27. Johnny Depp
28. Hugs
29. Sandals
30. Paris

Friday, October 28, 2005

A break in the clouds

Some of you know I've been struggling over the past 2-3 months with
finding a book that holds my attention. This wouldn't be such a problem
if I wasn't a voracious reader. Hell, I work at a bookstore part-time
to support my habit. A reader...who can't get into reading?! The sick
part is that I still want the books; I just can't bring myself to
actually read them. Anyway, I digress. Yesterday, I found myself
already 100 pages into a book, an advance copy of "A Total Waste of
Makeup". The problem I'm having is that it's CHICK LIT! I don't read
chick lit (well...once in a blue moon)! I couldn't make it through
"Oryx & Crake" by Margaret Atwood, but I'm flying through this?! I
*love* Margaret Atwood...Booker Prize judges orgasm at her feet when she
publishes a new book. I'm tempted to make all kinds of excuses about
how this particular book is intelligent (I swear it's not dumb) or how
it resonates that the main character is about to turn 30 or how I'm so
tired and stressed with work that books that don't hurt my brain soothe
me. I could make those excuses, but I'm not going to. I'm just going
to embrace the fact that yes, I treasure a smart, witty read like
everyone else, but sometimes you've got to feed the brain a little
*I should also re-evaluate my prejudices against chick lit. Damn
publishers for lumping all these books under such a stupid label and
automatically making us hate them.*

Monday, October 24, 2005

Head bangers lite

9:30 Club, take two. I was back last night for my second concert of October, Death Cab for Cutie. All said and done, it was a good show. Unlike the Decembrists, you get the impression you don't have to attend a Death Cab concert to experience the true beauty of their music. It is nice, however, to able to experience the geeky beauty of the band a mere feet away. I developed a small crush on the bass player who pounds his bass like a pimp does his whore.

I always get more out of these concerts than just the music. I'm a big crowd watcher and like to develop theories based on my observations. These past two 9:30 Club concerts have not disappointed on material. Looking out over the crowd (I was on the balcony), it was a sea of head bopping. It was so across the board that I felt like I was at some weird cult gathering. I determined that head bopping is to indie what head banging was to metal. The other observation I've been kneading around in my head is about "indie" guys. The problem is that it becomes increasingly difficult to tell whether or not they are straight. I'm sure some of you are asking why this matters, but as a single girl, I don't have time to waste being attracted to a boy who likes men. The geeky/retro/scruffy/laidback thing is hot, but things do seem a bit more ambiguous with indie guys. Another thing that makes it all the more confusing (and I'm seriously channeling my inner Texan here without meaning to) is that they all bop their heads and sing along to the music just like the girls! I don't know...I know I'm stereotyping here, but I see groups like DCFC as a group girls like, and if guys like them, they wouldn't actually show it. These guys bopping and singing like girls confused me. It's not that I'm saying I want only manly, old school men, but sometimes I want a manly, old school man...who is sensitive but doesn't bop.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Apologies and all that crap

I've been such a bad blogger this week. Usually I try to post at least once a day during the week because I like to and because it's cathartic. Unfortunately, this week has been inordinately busy with work (the perfect storm is coming together right on my desk), a work trip to New Jersey and my mini internal crisis. You know I'm exhausted when I'm in bed by midnight every night and don't bother to turn on the tv...I haven't even watched last week's Alias or Gilmore Girls! Anyway...enough apologizing.

Driving to New Jersey was a first for me. I had been through the state on the way to NYC before but had never taken a trip to Jersey for the sake of going to Jersey. The point of my trip was to accept an award for a restoration project we had worked on; however, I was able to make some interesting observations along the way.

(1) As bad as they are for the environment, I really like driving SUVs. My rental was a Chevy Trailblazer, and I had the most fun.
(2) The Village must have been filmed at the Village of Batsto because I would swear I was on the set.
(3) When Atlantic City is only 20 miles away, you are obligated to go. What a weird town, too! I had lunch at Caesar's and wandered around a bit. The casino floor was actually kind of depressing. All these little old people gazing blankly into a slot machine, pulling a handle for happiness.
(4) Caffeine is still my bitch.

*In other news, I don't want to promise too much, but I'm going to try to redesign my site this weekend.*

Monday, October 17, 2005

Am I chicken little?

I've come to realize I have an odd fixation on apocalyptic or end-of-the-world themes. I always make a point to watch those weather disaster movies, even if they're "made for TV." Twister, Dante's Peak, Volcano, Category 6: Day of Destruction, and now Day After Tomorrow...I've seen them all and more. It doesn't end with weather-related disaster, though. I've also see Armageddon, the Core, Independence Day, The Towering Inferno, Airport...those movies where people are supposed to overcome great odds to save themselves and the world. The thing I'm hesitant to admit is that a small part of my conscious mind is always pondering the possibility of something like this happening as I'm watching the movies. Rather than being afraid, it makes me want to be prepared. Usually this entails me wanting to develop a kick-butt exercise routine so I can run for my life or kick a little ass. Day After Tomorrow made me realize having realistic winter attire might be a good idea (hey...I'm from Texas). Yes, I've read the Left Behind series and tried to figure out what skills I could bring to the end times. I even harbor a quiet desire to learn how to farm in the event I need to live sustainably. If you know me at all, this post probably has you cracking up because (1) I have no food or water in my house...much less a supply for the end of the world; (2) I hate running; (3) dirt gets on my nerves; and (4) my wardrobe consists of clothes only truly suitable for 70 degree weather.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Am I destined to be a sidekick?

I went to see In Her Shoes yesterday and was surprised that enjoyed it
as much as I did. The movie, along with other recent events, got me
thinking about how, in life, someone seems always destined to be the
sidekick. In In Her Shoes, Toni Collette wasn't exactly your typical
sidekick, but in certain arenas, particularly with men, she clearly
spent a good portion of the movie playing sidekick to Cameron Diaz's
younger sister. Other, more classic, sidekick movies such as The Truth
About Cats and Dogs feature a more blatant sidekick component. In each
of these movies the sidekick eventually comes into her own. Toni
Collette does indeed marry the nice, hot guy and Janeane Garofalo really
is enough for the dog guy. Through most periods of my life I've made a
good sidekick. When does the part come, though, when I get to stop
playing the role of sidekick and become the main attraction?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sunday night I went to the 9:30 Club for the first time and had a
thoroughly enjoyable experience. Ha! I'd like to be able to say I
'rocked out', but I don't really feel like I can apply that term to the
Decembrists (too mellow for rock out). What I did find is that I like
their quirky style and definitely enjoy them better live than via cd. I
developed a small crush on the lead singer and discovered the
accordian player/pianist is really Terra.
I also got kind of attached to the opening act, Sons and Daughters. My
almost immediate attachment reaffirmed my love for rock (or at least
groups that meet my definition of rock).
Anyway, I had a swell time and wanted to chronicle the moment. No
budding rock journalist here. Once I'm on a real computer, I'll post
some pictures.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sebago Lake saved the day!

I'm back. Part of me would just like to leave it at that, but given the full weekend I had, I just can't do it. Seriously, though, how much complaining can I do when I had a view like this.

Yes, the weekend had its ups and downs, but it was truly a blessing to spend a relaxing weekend on Sebago Lake in Maine. Those of you who know me know that I am uber skeptical of the wealthy and their motivations, but I was hard pressed to complain this weekend. Migis Lodge is at the top of their game. It kind of felt like I got to play in majors after pitching for the rec league for all these years. Even a girl who works for an environmental group could get used to afternoon tea, sunset sails, a mandatory cocktail hour and 7-course dinners. The crisp fall weather sealed the deal.

There were definitely mishaps. I managed to combine a general tendency to fall with poor choice of footwear to create a record breaking number of falls (3). Fall #1 was the result of wet pine needles on an incline and treadless sandals. That only resulted in a minor scratch and minimal embarassment (only a couple of staffers were around). Fall #2 caused a huge blow to my ego. Who knew hiking would be involved in a Board meeting? Wearing the same treadless sandals I ventured down mother nature's obstacle course flanked by a 70-something Board memember giving advice about putting all the pressure on my toes and the newest Board member, the 30-something heir to the Cox Communications fortune. As I try to "put pressure on my toes" I end up sliding partially down hill and almost taking out the guy my cable checks ultimately go to. Fall #3 was bound to happen. I'm just happy I didn't actually land in the lake. I had successfully negotiated my way between various row boat-sail boat-row boat combinations and decided to take a pretty cute guy's offer of assistance out of row boat and onto the pier. Being the thoughtful person I am, I was worried about dragging this guy with me into the lake (trust me...I'm the kind of girl who falls in lakes). So, I must have done some kind of leap/dive and wound up with my shin pounding the end of the pier and me lying on the dock cracking up. Ask to see the wound : )

There was also the obligatory schmoozing and periodic realizations that I am sometimes so different from these people (staff as well as board). Again, though, how could I really complain when I got to spend time in such an amazing place.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fancy feast

I'm pretty sure not everyone appreciates my refreshing honesty (otherwise known as a unique ability to say the wrong thing at the wrong time). Don't get me wrong...I have been known to be evasive and fib just like the next person, but I have acquired a certain bluntness over the years that I attribute largely to my current flatmate. Anyway, I think the Executive V.P. at my office is one of those nonappreciating souls. Most every day for lunch she has this concoction of some kind of multigrain crackers or bread and omega-3 wild salmon. It's the salmon that sparked this post. The pink slices are cut pretty small, practically ground, and shoved in a can. Much like the cranberry sauce at my house during Thanksgiving, this salmon goes directly from can to plate while retaining its original mold. Its shape, combined with the smell, led me to comment the other day that her lunch always reminds me of cat food. This is when I was informed of the content of the can (the wild salmon). Anyway, after today I'll be sequestered with many omega-3 toting folks, a minor celebrity and others at a series of cabins in Maine. Pray I have a wireless connection and the temerity to dance the dance.

****Breaking News Bulletin: Miracles never cease. Tom DeLay is indicted.****

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I wonder how much of our lives we spend waiting for things. Right now
I'm waiting for the bus (welcome to life without a working vehicle).

I'm waiting for enough time to finish all of my creative projects. When
will I allow my schedule enough time to open up to devote more of myself
to those things that make me happy?

I'm waiting for the right moment to look for that next job opportunity,
fill out that grad school application.

I'm waiting for the right man to come along. Don't play coy...many of
you are, too. Hell, some of you are waiting for the right man to make
the right decision.

I spent 45 minutes of my life waiting to get into a restaurant on Friday
night and an hour that day waiting for my car to be towed.

How much of days do we spend waiting? I have to wonder if all of that
waiting is necessary or if some of things we wait on are just an excuse
to avoid living life. For me, I would have to say yes on both
accounts. Some things are so worth waiting for, while others simply
stand as an excuse for fear.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Antiquated dress codes

Antiquated dress codes irk me. At this moment in time I am specifically referring to pantyhose. I was participating in a conversation the earlier in the week at the Barn about dress codes, and one of the managers (female) mentioned that the store manager asked why she wasn't wearing pantyhose. Said manager had a reply ready since she had researched the employee handbook and had seen that they weren't required. She won. This, however, raised a much larger issue with me. Namely, why the hell do some places of employment still require their female employees to wear pantyhose? If a woman chooses to wear pantyhose, that is her perogative. I can, however, think of no reasons for requiring them that aren't sexist. Help me out here...why should pantyhose be required as part of a dress code?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Stigma of being poor

Sunday's Washington Post Outlook section featured an opinion piece by friend and local writer, K.E. Semmel. Hey, Chairman Dean, Don't Write Me Off is one man's plea to the Democratic Party to a take to the retro and return to its working class roots. It is one of the many sirens being sounded across this country calling for a focus on poverty. As many of you who have been reading this blog for awhile know, there is a piece of my soul that will always belong to the poor. Like Semmel, I come from a strictly working class family. Raised by my mom and both grandparents in rural Texas, I was educated on the poor side town at one of those schools that got "left behind" and was the first in my family to graduate from college. My father left us when we were young, and my mother struggled to support her family by working at the local publishing plant. Each year I appreciate my roots more and more, and as the months and years roll by, I continue to ask myself if I'm doing the right thing with my life. I believe I'm giving back to the community, but am I giving back in the most meaningful way? I want to help people, those in need. Semmel's article is one in a series of things that keep pushing this to the forefront of my thought life. I am reminded of what I'm not doing by the homeless I see (Stench of the city, Where do you find God?, The unsinkable human spirit?) daily in the streets. Groups like Sojourners keep testing my faith and calling me to fight for what is right. I sit in church on Sunday and listen to a sermon on the poor and the stigma surrounding them. I hear/read/see all of these things and ask myself whether I am doing enough. I ask myself if this is the sign I have been waiting for.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Nosy heifer or information junkie

I like to know things about people. This isn't because I'm a gossip
hound. I just like to have all available information in front of me.
Evaluating a piece of evidence with only half of the story isn't
necessarily going to paint an accurate picture. When it comes to
friends and family, I want to know because I want that closeness, that
bond. I want to know because I care.

That said, it doesn't rule out the occasional snoopy behavior toward
random individuals I don't even know. I love to listen to other
people's conversations on the train or the bus, for example. Right now,
I am on the metro checking out an email a girl is typing on her
blackberry. I can see the reflection in the window. As you all know, I
like to fancy myself a spy at times, but really I just like to watch
life. This you could call nosy.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Shake that ass

Last night I had a dance floor epiphany (yeah...epiphany. I said it.
There's no word that sounds as good.) It became all too clear how
neatly most people fell into dance categories. First, you've got your
dance queens. These men and women can tear up the floor and love to
show off. Most of the time they have the moves to justify the space
they take up. Next you have the many perpetrators of the white girl
shuffle. I worry about falling into this category but know I sometimes
do (inner dance diva, please show yourself). Anyway, you know the white
girl's the minimum of movement with little to no rhythm,
all while trying to appear sexy. No abandon or joy...that stuff that is
what dance is all about to me. Finally, there is the male version of
the shuffle. I like to call it the "I can't believe she got me on the
dance floor but thank god I had that extra beer" dance. Very stiff.
Very funny.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I went dancing Friday night and
had a smashing good time. I don't care if I can't dance because I sure
love to do it. I also had one of the best cosmos I've ever had.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Reader's Advantage...the invite

Actually, this is just a mere fraction of the badass invite I put together. Anyway, come on down and join us next Wednesday for our world premiere.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Fuck Bush!

Bush urged Americans to curb .... He also warned Gulf Coast residents, including those searching for water and food, not to break into businesses or commit other crimes during the crisis.
"There ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this," Bush said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"If people need water and food, we're going to do everything we can to get them water and food," Bush added. "It's very important for the citizens in all affected areas to take personal responsibility and assume a kind of a civic sense of responsibility so that the situation doesn't get out of hand, so people don't exploit the vulnerable."
--"A City of Despair and Lawlessness", Washington Post
If my family or the family of someone I love doesn't have food or water and have been waiting days for assistance, you can bet your ass I'm going to do my best to get it for them. I wouldn't exploit the vulnerable, but I sure as hell would make my way to that abandoned corner store and grab some effing food for my family. If the federal government can't (or won't) react swiftly enough in times of crisis, it is my personal responsibility to do what I can to ensure their health and survival.

Where does compassion go?

Where does compassion go when it's obviously not present? I got really frustrated with someone last night because of the hardass view they were taking on the hurricane devastation along the Gulf Coast. She chose to buy into all the media hype and focus on the looters. What I want to know is why isn't anyone covering the people having to loot for food or more clothing (shoes because theirs are ruined)? Why is she and quite a few others choosing to focus her hatred for the human race on the few individuals who are going to do their best to fuck things up for themselves and those around them, even in the worst situations? I don't get it. Sure people piss me the eff off, but I just can't ditch the compassion and empathy I'm filled with. I can't let myself get that hard. When people are in need, you grieve for them then get up off your ass and do something about it.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The unsinkable human spirit?

I've walked by them for at least three weeks now. They have staked claim to a serious piece of sidewalk across the street from McPherson Square Park, directly under two looming trees. In the beginning, they would dismantle their "home" each morning, but as they acquired more odds and ends (and even people), the ability to pack it up and transport it became impossible. They are now a fixture on this plot of sidewalk. Each day I discover something new about them through the spying I do. I am intrigued, and each day they haunt my mind for longer periods of time. Last week I discovered the books among their possessions, a couple cracked open and resting on the sidewalk. There is no Janet Evanovich or Da Vinci Code among their collection, only weightier tombs and serious works. They also smell nice (the people, not the books). Homeless people don't usually come with a pleasant aroma, but these folks do (the woman at least). I've also noticed she takes care to change clothes periodically and keeps her hair and appearance neat. Also not common among the homeless. In the past few days, I've noticed the woman talking to passersby. The snippets I catch sound important, full of purpose. What I really want to do is talk to hear their story. I feel like I'd probably be the one enriched. I'll keep on walking...keep on staring until one day it will be too late.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dodging stray sprinklers

Tonight I had to dodge who knows how many random sprinklers on my walk
home. As luck would have it I got a little wet. Life is full of stray
sprinklers, and lately I've been dodging more than my fair share. At
times I've tried to think of ways of getting back at the sprinklers, but
it's really a no win situation. You just have to suck it up, get a
little wet, and hope someone makes a move to remedy the situation. The
sprinklers in my life are being reconfigured, so hopefully they bring
greenery without being wet blankets to passers by. I guess this means,
if I hold out hope, things will eventually get better.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Social disfunction is not for me

I'm a shy person. I know it doesn't seem like it given I air my
business all over the Internet, but I hate meeting new people, am prone
to panic attacks in crowds, and sweat profusely when nervous. However,
I don't think I'm as bad as some of the people I have seen on the metro
and at the Barn. These are the people who shuffle when they walk, won't
meet anyone's eye, and look like their training to be the next big
serial kiler. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I feel like how they look
like they feel (I see these same people every day), but every now and
then I can fake it pretty well. I can act like comfortable. I just
don't want it to ever get so bad that society and I feel like we
coexist. These people help keep me in check.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The re-education of Serena music re-education that is. Evidently, sometime within the past 7-10 years, I've fallen out of touch with the music scene. Now the only songs I know the words to are the one that debuted in the '90s (or older). I'm becoming officially retro...ha! To be honest, I had a falling out with music sometime during the late '80s, early '90s. I remember getting my first "boom box" for my birthday in 4th grade and my first cd player (6-disk cd changer) for Christmas 9th grade. I remember a few years between 4-7th grades where I'd listen to the radio (KIXY-FM) every morning as I got ready for school and loved hearing Manic Monday by the Bangles on Monday mornings. For a span of like 2 months, I would win the morning radio contest 2-3 times a week, so much that they had to change the rules to where the same person could only win once a week. My fast fingers scored me numerous free tapes (yes, I'm old).

Anyway, somewhere along the way music got phased out of my life. We reached near total obliteration once I moved to the DC-area. My cds/cd player was stolen. I stopped listening to the radio. I was never home. I could come up with numerous excuses, but truthfully, I have no idea why I kicked it to the curb. All of that is moot now because is music is making a gradual reappearance in my life...thanks to numerous mixed cds made by friends (got tired of me asking 'who's that' all the time), a car with a cd player, the need to block out bloody conversation at work, and just a general interest in having a soundtrack to accompany my current life ( am I ever going to have an "our song" again if I don't listen to music?). Anyway, big hug and thanks to all who are helping in my re-education.


Yesterday morning in sunday school (which I NOT want to go to) we talked
about boundaries. Specifically, the importance of setting boundaries in
many areas of our, family, relationships, etc. At the
outset of the lesson, Angelisa (the teacher) relayed a story to us about
a very frazzled woman with many commitments and very little time for
herself. The point of the story was that this woman needs to set
boundaries in her life.

The boundary discussion really hit home because I began to think about
whether I set reasonable boundaries and if I stuck to them. In general
(especially at work), I have a hard time setting boundaries. I
definitely try to set value-based boundaries, which I try to live by
(example of conflicting values between me and Barnes & Noble from
saturday...for another post). I do think it's hard to draw that line
and not let a boundary become a wall.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Reader's Advantage...a promo

I had more fun tonight than I've had in a long time. Laughing and being
creative are two of my favorite things. Stir in Steven, Scarlet, and a
video camera and you get the latest film noir spy flick. Intrigue,
drama, and a plot to destroy the nation's capital feature prominently in
the latest from Hummingbird Productions. Wait'll you see these two
stars in action. I laughed until I snorted, almost peed when gelling
Steven's hair, and could not stop laughing in my only scene with
Scarlet. We even had a wrap party for the cast. I've decided that
making "movies" is much more fun than making documentaries. While
definitely a low budget production, we are proud enough to think you'll
enjoy. Reader's Advantage will premiere on this site and on limited
release dvd within the next two weeks.*

*Please forgive the dorkiness, but I had too much fun to tone it down.

Friday, August 19, 2005

A little bit of psychotic

Why do we all have a little bit of crazy in us? I started thinking
about this last night and was hard-pressed to come up with anyone I knew
in which I hadn't seen moments of crazy flicker in their eyes. I am
probably not talking the medical definition of crazy, so don't start
thinking I live next door to a mental institution. I'm talking about
those moments where that mental toughness we've built up tears ever so
slightly. A desperate gleam may be seen in our eyes, a silent tear for
no reason at all. I'm referring to moments like I had last Friday when
I felt the world was against me and my grip on me slipping. It's those
near panic attacks, the bouts of depression that seemingly appear out of
nowhere, the desire to jump when crossing a bridge. I've seen all of
these and more in people I know. But why? Personally, I think it's all
normal. Even an organ as strong as the mind needs a break every now and
then. All I know is that I'm glad I don't live in an earlier time when
even complaining of headaches too often would get you tossed in the
loony bin.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Gettin' wiggy with it

I think I mentioned earlier this week that my friend Scarlet and I
purchased wigs over the weekend and had a fabulous time parading about
in them. Since then I have carted my wig (longer, bedroom-messy black
hair with chunky bangs) a couple of different places and can't help but
write about the liberating effects of playing dress-up. When I put on
the wig, I felt a little bolder, a little saucier (at least with
strangers). It was interesting to see the skepticism and confusion
coming across people who know me. I could see a lack of comprehension
lingering behind their eyes and pasted on smiles of the few women I know
who spotted me. That is...until they slipped on the wig for
themselves. These skeptics suddenly found themselves posing and vamping
it up for the camera like any Betty Page wannabe.

It was the wig! Playing dress-up, whether it's slipping on a wig or
that ball gown you only get to wear on occassion, allows us the
creativity to express ourselves in a different way. Maybe it's the
feeling that we can hide from that insecure part of ourselves that may
keep us from taking that leap.

So my advice? Get wiggy with it every once in awhile. Slip on that
thing or hang out with that friend that allows you to comfortably
explore other aspects of your personality.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It's all about me

I started this last night but fell asleep before I could finish it. I'm not big on surveys, but that's about all I feel up to right now. I stole this from Amanda over at Orchestrated Happenstance.

10 years ago today (19): First year in college and spending all of my time with Jason. By now I was feeling all of the ramifications of being in love and skipping class. Shortly after this, we will break up, leaving me heartbroken and vowing never to give my heart away again. Ten years later, and I'm all grown up. I'm healed enough to let someone else take a go at it but haven't found the right person to do it.

5 years ago today (24): I had already been in DC for a couple of years and well on my way to a career in PR. Unfortunately, this is also around the time I began to get burned out with the for-profit world and feeling like I had to sell my soul and values for $$. I had already secured a leave of absence andwas probably getting ready to leave for Nashville and the Gore campaign.

1 year ago today (28): I was probably reveling in the purchase of my new car and working my tail off at two jobs to pay for it. Daydreaming of summer and an upcoming work trip to Taiwan.

Yesterday: American Rivers in the morning and a closing shift at the Barn. I used the evening to play around with my new digital camcorder and get some tips from HOW magazine.

Tomorrow: A full day at AR and something relaxing at night. I had originally planned to go to bible study, but I would really like to shoot some video.

5 snacks I enjoy:
1) fries with honey mustard from friday's
2) chocolate twizzlers
3) any chocolate
4) chips and salsa
5) baby carrots

5 bands that I know the lyrics to most of their songs: This is so not a fair question. Let's just say these are bands whose lyrics I know better than any other bands out there.
1) Smashing Pumpkins
2) Dave Matthews Band (old stuff)
3) Bon Jovi (don't laugh)
4) Red Hot Chili Peppers
5) Beastie Boys

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:
1) $50,000,000 to start a foundation
2) $10,000,000 to my family
3) $15,000,000 specifically to my brother
4) buy a house
5) pay off my bills

5 locations I would like to run away to:
1) South Africa
2) Paris
3) Missoula
4) San Francisco
5) Mexico

5 bad habits I have: Not sharing...some are obvious : )

Ok...I have to stop this survey because it is way too long.

Monday, August 15, 2005

L is for the way you look at me

Thought I'd post some pictures from our lovely trip to DC.

Steven was inspired to do a little tagging...

He got better as the evening progressed (not).

Steven's a little worn out from all of his creative work...

...and is trying to figure out how to read Scarlet's mind.

Evidently he was successful!

(just because I like it)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

30 things you should know or have by 30

I love lists. Last night I was thumbing through the latest issue of
Glamour, when I came across a list of "30 Things You Should Have or Know
by 30".* An scintillating prospect for a list-lover just shy of her
30th birthday. Anyway, one of the "should knows" on the list was
whether or not I want to have kids...something I don't actually know,
know the answer to. The majority of the time I actually feel like kids
aren't something I'm meant to have. I am not wired with that chip that
makes me yearn for children that I birthed. I also know that I'm such a
worry wart that I don't want something else to add to my list of
lifelong worries (a younger brother is enough...he can attest to the
fact that I've mothered him for all of his life). That said, there are
small moments where I entertain the possibility...I get a little inner
tug at the sight of a baby or the thought of raising a child. So...I
suppose the long and short of it is that this is something I'm still not
sure of the answer to, but I do know that kids aren't in my future I
will be just fine.

*Ok...I didn't actually just 'come across' the list. A friend mentioned
the list, so I went out and purchased it specifically for that reason.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Where do you find God?

I was thumbing through a copy of Freesurf Magazine and came across an article entitled 'Closer to God'. A thoughtful article on the spirituality of surfing and the large number of surfers who believe in God, be it Christian or some other religion. Like the author, I found it intriguing that a counter culture that typically exists well outside the constructs of traditional society embraces religion so readily. I kept reading and of course reached that big 'duh' moment. Surfers witness God's power every time they paddle out. Surfer Bobby Schultz phrased it well when he said, "God's an amazing and creative artist. When you see perfect waves, sunsets, and super-sic scenery, it makes you wonder if God is out there. He is." Reading the article reminded me that I have met God in some pretty non-traditional places. I've found him both on a whitewater paddling trip and in the bathroom stall at work when I just needed a break from a rough day. And on a 4th of July hike when that turquoise bug flitted along the path in front of me and when a pregnant homeless girl looked me in the eye and thanked me by name. I've found him when that cop didn't pull me over for having expired tags and in the right kind of kiss with the right kind of person.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

All's fair, or is it?

I am emotionally tired. One friend, in particular, has been occupying a
lot of my emotional thought life, and I'm nearly at the end of my rope.
Yes, I have seen this coming and have been fighting it like a pack of
rabid dogs but really felt the negative effects tonight when I found myself start to get exasperated at even the thought of another friend in a bad
mood. That's really uncalled for on my part. I can't let my concern
for one friend corner the market on my ability to be there for other
friends or even myself. My friend tonight happened to be okay, but what
if she wasn't?
Having said all of this, I do realize that this could be the wacked out
desire to 'fix' people (previous post) rearing its head in the form of
(1) becoming too emotionally vested in other people's problems and (2)
thinking that would want my help or concern even if something was
wrong. You have to cut me some slack though, since I only recently
discovered my "problem" through Internet self-diagnosis. Either
way...something is going to eventually give and right now I'm just
trying to hold it all together.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I wanna dance with somebody...

This post is less about wanting the 'somebody' and more about wanting to
dance! I want to twirl and groove and bump...take the rhythm and
release it. I know, for those of you who know me, that this creates a
ridiculous image. But, it seems to me that if you want something bad
enough and feel it living inside you, then there's bound to be some
rhythm there somewhere. (We're not talking professional dancing
here...just a little fun.) Anyway, the moral of this post (or at least
the point) is that I'm going to sign up for some of the dance classes at
Joy of Motion. Gotta live...gotta seize life and all that crap.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

5 things you (probably) didn't know about me

Thinking about PostSecret and having no better ideas put me in the mood for a list...

1. I took ballet for 5 years and quit right before I was to move to toe shoes.
2. I cry at commercials, especially during the holidays.
3. I always manage to check out a guy's package. I can't help eyes just naturally drift there.
4. My mom has cirrhosis but never drank. I drink to make up for her getting it just because.
5. I fear being left behind.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Snuppy freaks me out

Just when I was all excited to write about happy subjects like dancing, I turn to the Washington Post on my lunch break only to be visually affronted by a picture of the first ever cloned dog, Snuppy. Evidently, researchers at the Seoul National University in South Korea accomplished this feat. According to the Post, one of the first groups to congratulate the team was a company in California known as Genetic Savings & Clone. I'm not making this shit it yourself.

This bothers me on so many different levels.

1) Cloned mammals (and potentially babies, if we continue on this path) are not the same. They don't have the same personalities or disposition as the thing being cloned.
2) If people are allowed to replace a beloved pet (and, again, potentially a child), won't this forever disturb the grieving process?
3) What are the implications for procreation? Can cloned animals give birth? Will they be able to in the future?
4) How advanced is this if they still have to use living dogs to extract DNA from, harvest eggs, and eventually carry these freakazoids to term?
5) I think this takes the term "playing God" to a whole new level. I know people have argued about the advancements this can lead to in treating certain diseases and the potential to be able to grow organs, but these organs are going to be attached to human beings. All you have to do is turn on the TV or go see the latest movie to see Hollywood framing the debate for us. Let's face it, what we once called sci-fi is now our reality, so who is to say what we shriek at now onscreen won't happen?
6) Any group of people who name animals things like 'Snuppy' or businesses 'Genetic Savings & Clone' shouldn't be allowed to operate heavy machinery.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Hustle & Flow

Really enjoyed this movie. Being the sap that I am, I was crying
everytime D Jay rapped and Shuga sang. Others may get annoyed at the
movie and the plethora of pimps and hos. I loved the music, the
message, and above all the dream.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The schizophrenic jukebox in my head

As usual I'm sitting in front of the computer this morning thinking about what on earth to blog about. I don't know why other people blog/lj, but it gives me a chance to give all that crap floating around in my head a home. If I write it down or "say" it publicly, then it is less likely to continue plaguing me throughout the day, keeping me from that thing called work. This morning all I can think about is LOVE. I have a friend who I believe is falling in love...hell, she may already be at the bottom trying to catch her breath. Seeing her go through this makes me feel like I'm on one of those scary rides at the amusement park. I'm all excited about the possibilities for her. Let's face an amazing (albeit fucked up) feeling, that thing called love. At the same time, I've got that fear of all the things that could go terribly wrong. It's that point on the ride where you think you really might die. In a friendship, it's not wanting to see her hurt. Finally, I'm feeling a bit melancholy and reminiscent. I'm not sure you actually get this feeling on a scary ride (maybe after it's over), but whatever. I got to thinking about my past love (because let's face it...there's only been one real one) and how great it was. Remembering how young we were and how much we learned his mind turned me on as much as anything else he did...the look he gave me the last time we parted...the scars I left on him, so he won't ever forget me...the internal scars he left on me so I won't ever forget him.

Anyway, friend, if you're reading this I leave you with one piece of advice.

Buy the ticket, take the ride. It's worth it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Holy crap and other revelations

I discovered today, via the Internet (, that I have a problem. I am a chronic "fixer", which is evidently symptomatic of someone with control issues. Just great. I know self-diagnosis on the net is sketchy, but many of these hit all too close to home. I've pasted things below that I feel are relevant to me. I have to tell you...this left me doubting myself and certain situations I've gotten myself in.

The need to fix is...
  • Compulsively driven behavior to rescue or help another person, place, or thing to be the way you believe it "should be.''
  • Seeing another person, place, or thing as "in need'' and the automatic response pattern to this message.
  • Inability to maintain emotional detachment from a person, place, or thing that is hurting or in trouble. You proceed to fix them even if this means that they are hindered from personal growth and accepting personal responsibility for their own actions.
  • Drive to feel "needed'' or "wanted'' which leads you to become overly involved and overresponsible in your relationships with persons, places, and things.
  • Result of a pattern of getting approval and recognition from others for "helping'' in the past with the belief that this is the only way you can have meaning in life.
Negative effects of the need to fix...
  • Run the risk of developing a series of relationships with people, places, or things who become overly dependent on you.
  • Will be unable to remain emotionally detached when you run across a person, place, or thing which appears "helpless.''
  • Will never take care of your own needs because you will have successfully avoided focusing on self by diverting your focus to fixing others.
  • Become guilt ridden if people, places, or things which you are trying "to fix'' don't get "fixed'' and instead get worse.
  • Will increase in your low self-esteem as you lose yourself in "fixing'' others.
Irrational thinking behind "fixing"...
  • When you have the resources materially, emotionally, intellectually, and energy-wise, you should always be ready to share these with others less fortunate than you whom you perceive to be in need of help and assistance.
  • You should never stand by and not get involved when you see someone hurting and in need.
  • You are rewarded in so many ways for the sacrifices you make to help others and it is a straight path to heaven if you give to others without any hesitation.
  • You must die to self if you are to gain eternal reward. To be focused only on solving your own problems is so selfish. Therefore, you are sure to gain a higher eternal reward if you dedicate your life to helping others no matter what are the physical or emotional costs to yourself.
  • What will others think of you if you don't offer help to someone who is obviously in need?
This is just the tip of the iceberg evidently. To read more of the symptoms, "fixes" for fixing you, etc. go to the website above.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Anonymous topics

I just can't manage a serious topic today. It's really not for lack of
trying or lack of ideas, but today I have too many nonserious topics on
the brain. So...just to keep you guessing I'm going to post a top 10 of
my random favorites (no particular order).
1. chocolate twizzlers
2. diy
3. How
4. lime green
5. summer breezes
6. secret smiles
7. the letter 'p'
8. blogging
9. diet coke
10. tattoos

Saturday, July 23, 2005

All things girly

I picked up the latest issue of Bust last night and finally had an
opportunity to take a peek inside its glossy covers. I *heart* Bust.
Reading it always makes me happy to be a girl. It wreaks of new wave
feminism that eclipses anything our fore-mothers could have imagined
(ha! I know I just lost half of you by just dropping the f-word.) It's
funny because this post was originally going to be about how I love
d.i.y., but can I instead tell you why I love the new feminism that's
been brewing over the last few years and why I'm not afraid of the
*I love that feminism these days embraces Sydney Bristow and America's Next Top Model.
*I love that feminism believes that men and women, while not the same, are equal.
*I love that the new feminism embraces and makes no apologies for women who choose to be strippers, stay-at-home moms, sluts, want no children of their own, or enjoy baking a Martha Stewart tart.
*I love that the new feminism wears make-up and isn't afraid to buy a vibrator.
*I love that the new feminism can be just as activist as our predecessors...just with new issues.
It's not everything, but it's enough.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Muggle born

Alright...I'm seriously geeking out over Harry Potter. With everyone
all abuzz and the store getting decorated, I've jumped on the Harry
Potter high. Plus, I'm seriously excited to read book 6! My true
geekiness showed today when I made a 'muggle' stencil so that I paint a
shirt for tonight. Another confession...I'm thinking of buying a
Camelpack to wear my sf red bull all night.
Any predictions about book 6? I've got a few theories but have been
following any of the blogosphere gossip, so I don't know what the
popular theories are.

Graffiti: art or crime?

I love graffiti. I love it in the way I love tattoos. Its colors. Its
placement. Its voice. Its randomness. Reading Jonathan Lethem made me
love it more. He made me want to be a graffiti artist.

The stars must have aligned or something because it's a series of odd
coincidences that have me blogging about this. Yesterday I stumbled
across a site called Graffiti Archaeology, and the flame was lit again.
Then I noticed the cover story of the style section of today's Post was
on the arrest of the infamous DC graffiti artist, Borf. I'd seen Borf's
work...who could miss the giant tag over the Roosevelt Bridge? I was
never a Borf tracker (though I've found myself inspired to seek out DC's
graffiti marvels for a shoot), but I found myself saddened by his
arrest. Don't get me wrong, I understand the sanctity of private
property, but most of the stuff graffiti artists tag is abandoned, ugly,
what I would call public, etc. Is it fear that drives people to despise
graffiti? Do they associate it with gangs? Fear a 'the wrong element'
is hanging around her neighborhood? Fear the message delivered?

I see graffiti as art. Yes, some may just be someone's initials or some
curse words, but look at the slope of the line, the color chosen. Look time you might be seeing my tag.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Faking it

I was never good at faking it. I didn't grow up in a household where I had to pretend to be happy or pretend to like something. My mom isn't a natural smiler and wasn't good at faking it even if she tried. If I'm not happy you're going to know it. I won't put on a happy face, and you may even hear me growl or curse. This is why I'm always thrown when I find out friends I thought were generally happy (within reason...we all have our moments)...aren't. What if we had a 'National Don't Fake It' Day? Would friendships be ruined? Would someone's adequate sex get better? Would chaos ensue?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stench of the city

During the summertime the smells that make up a city are more distinct,
pungent. Walking past McPherson Square on my way to the metro I was hit
by a wall of b.o. and trash. The smells of the homeless that call the
park home are more ripe when it's warm. While people feel free to walk
past the city's homeless easier in the summer because the harsh cold is
gone, they can't escape the smell of humanity. I breathed it in because
I didn't want to harden myself and pretend they are invisible. And, as
the musky smell of unwashed bodies washed over me, I again felt guilty
for not doing enough and for having too much.

**I contributed to the city's stench myself yesterday. I tried out the
'organic' Tom's of Maine deodorant. I wouldn't if I were you...I
smelled musky for most of the afternoon.

Age: simply a number or sign of the times

How relevant is age? A series of recent events has me wondering if, in
fact, it does have some bearing on one's actions.

It's almost 2am, and I should be in bed now. Instead, I'm laying here
worrying about those close to me. I was going to write a diatribe on
age (see first sentence above) to get back at someone who angered me. I
can't though. I see so much anger and pain in the world, and tonight I
can't contribute to that and possibly make someone else feel bad,
especially if they don't necessarily have the life experiences to have
brought them past that. Instead I'm just going to post some names here
of people who need special thoughts right now (no particular order).
I'm not going to air their business and tell you why (though that would
be more interesting). If you pray, then pray for them. If you don't,
then send them good vibes and karma across the airwaves. (If this is
too cheesy for you, then eff off.)

Rev. Bennett

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Where do dreams go to die?

Riding the metro this morning I found myself standing by this young girl. I'm not sure why, but she reminded me of a younger (think 11 y.o.) version of a lot of us. Standing, while she sat, I noticed her pink polkadot headband bent over a novel, devouring it. When she tired of the novel, she reached for her notebook and began sketching. You could obviously see that the notebook was full of such ideas. I saw in her the hopes and dreams we once had, that some of us still have. It wasn't anything she did or said, but I was reminded of a time when it was still ok to dream. I was left wondering what happens when the innocence fades away and cynicism colors our dreams. My mind kind of flittered around this morning on the train because I then started thinking about all the dreams that died in London yesterday and then how the dream seems to have died for this country a long time ago. We no longer dream...we fear.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The exfoliation of nonnatural places

I'm at the beach (Ocean City, MD). While I would love to say something
moving, the sun has drained me of the prophetic and instead left me
again with the desire to be a beach bum.
We got Allie in the water yesterday. She's not a swimmer and was a
little hesitant of the ocean. She nearly drowned me and most surely
beached me with her death-like grip on my arm. As the waves crashed
into us, we both managed to suck a little pollution first hand. Perhaps
the most hilarious moment was getting ready to shower back at the hotel
and realizing just how intimate I got with the sand. Some places just
aren't meant to be exfoliated.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Manboobs are hot!

Last night proved fun and very fruitful for pictures. Steven was in DC for the day and met me after work from some impromptu fun. After regaling me with stories of how hot it was outside and how he sweat so much his underwear were a bit soggy (thanks for sharing this in my office). With a story like that, how could I not want to walk down to the Mall and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival? A few highlights from our evening follow.

The Folklife Festival was fun. Steven stumbled on shroom heaven.

The arts & crafts area was, by far, the rockingest area. We got to make paper and create a Forest Service bookmark. Since we were only able to make one, we're going to make Allie and Scarlet compete for it. Stay tuned for more details on this 3-part competition.

The arts & crafts area offered more than simply hands-on fun. There was also a little bit of a peep show for the more wicked ; ) I'm sorry to say that Steven and I share the same sick "eye" for a good shot.
...and a R-rated concert by a Forest Service employee from North Dakota. Btw, did you know that flies can draw blood? Bastards.

The laughing didn't stop when we headed to Jaleo for tapas. Never having had tapas it was decided that adventure was in order. Our favorite (chicken and ham fritters)...

...and least favorite but most humorous (quail).

Perhaps that was a little boring but really funny if you were there. Anyway, stopped by the downtown Barn to create a little havoc.

And games at ESPN. We paddled a raging river, entered a skateboarding competition, tried water skiing, and got our asses kicked by BMX dirt bikes ("Oh, my knee." "It would be funny if we were sore tomorrow."). Oh yeah, Steven beat me at air hockey and virtual tennis. In fact, he pretty much kicked ass at virtual tennis until he was taken down at his 3rd cup by a frenchie.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Just wait til you see the photos we'll get in Philly!

Ha! I finally remembered to bring the digital camera and can post pics from the tattoo roadtrip. We LOVED this giant skate outside of Bealeton, VA.

Monday, June 27, 2005

With only the fan to keep me company

I'm lying in a pitch black room in a cabin on a lake in New Hampshire.
There is no air conditioning, and it would be effing hot on this 2nd
floor if (1) I hadn't just taken a cold shower and (2) I weren't
directly at the foot of a fan.
I'll have to post pics of this's beautiful. The vision was
briefly marred by a hairy, shirtless man in my party (albeit a nice
man). Vision was helped by a very cute man I've worked with for awhile
and only just now met. No cowboy-like sparks though : )

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I did it!

I successfully got the tattoo yesterday and am so happy with it! And I
didn't die from the pain : ) In fact, it was only mildly

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hair...a feminist issue or issue of femininity?

I feel really shallow for blogging about hair, but it has been on my
mind since all of mine got chopped off. {Definition: short hair: 1.
can't be tucked behind ears. 2. Neck exposed. 3. Typically considered
boyish or mannish.} Let me state that I have an aversion to short
hair. This aversion applies only to me and not the millions of women
who can look cute sporting a pixie cut a la Meg Ryan and my mom. I
don't like or never wanted short hair on my head. This is why I've had
such a drastic reaction to my latest cut. Of course, me being me, I had
to search for a deeper meaning as to why I am so bothered. What I found
is that I view my hair as an extension of my femininity. Long hair
doesn't make me a woman, but it helped me express just how much of a
woman I was inside. I know this sounds effed up, especially since I was
prone to acts of laziness with my hair. But, no matter how much I
ignored it, it was always there to hide and protect me. My immediate
reaction to the new cut was that (1) I'd have to wear more makeup and
wear it every day and (2) I now had nothing to hide behind. I felt like
some of my femininity had disappeared.
Where does this leave me? Getting a grip on the fact that it's just
hair and that now I have a reason to learn to work a funky new cut.
Maybe I'll learn to do messy. Maybe short hair is femininity, too.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Woman on the run

I cannot believe that I haven't blogged since Wednesday. It's not that
I've lacked anything to say or am bored with blogging (quite the
contrary). I've just been running around like mad and have the majority
of that time out of town and in the car. Blogging while driving is fun
but dangerous, so I try to avoid it.
You probably don't care what I've been up to, but since my mind is a
little fried, that's what you are going to hear about...
*I spent the day in Richmond for more negotiations on a potential dam
*Another day of general working my ass off.
*Marathon hair appointment resulting in cool color and a cut that makes
me want to cry. I've never had it this short and am pissed she didn't
follow the picture. I think she gets mad because my hair takes so long
to do.
*A night of drinking and avoiding getting felt up in Fredericksburg.
Fun times in general, but we were missing a couple of people. Allie and
I grabbed a motel room (yay Motel 6) to sleep off the alcohol and were
picked up for breakfast the next morning. After playing in the newly
freed Rappahannock River, I stopped by the tattoo place for my
consultation and to make an appointment. I officially get my tattoo
next Friday and am scared shitless. I put down a deposit, though, so I
feel like there is no going back. Please, please don't let it hurt.
*Another out of town trip today...I spent the day in Chambersburg, PA
and Harrisburg, PA.
I'm tired...gonna run...will pick regular blogging back up tomorrow.