Friday, August 31, 2007

The ABCs and 123s of Me

A - Artistic
B - Blunt
C - Creative, Curious
D - Dancer
E - Esoteric
F - Forward
G - Geocacher
H - Honest
I - Introverted
J - Jack-of-all-trades
K - Knowledgable
L - Loyal
M - Magnanimous, Melancholic
N - Nimble
O - Organized
P - Pianist
Q - Quixotic
R - Respectful
S - Silly, Snarky
T - Thankful
U - Unique
V - Virtual (as opposed to virtuous)
W - Worrier, Wonky
X - (e)Xclamatory (crap, I cheated, hehehe)
Y - Youthful
Z - Zero tolerance

0 - times I babysat anyone other than my sister
1 - trip outside the country
2 - car accidents I've survived
3 - rides I've taken on a motorcycle
4 - instruments I've performed in concert on
5 - years I wore braces
6 - jobs I've held
7 - parade routes I've marched
8 - seasons I spent as a JAG fan
9 - guys I've kissed

Thursday, August 30, 2007

40,000 Hits: Things are Looking Up

40,000 hits and counting here at Uniquely Normal. Things have been slowing down on the stat counter since the spring, and I have to say that I'm relieved. This blog is a passion, and I adore the life-changing experiences I've had due to blogging. There is a part of me, though, that questions the usefulness and validity of what I have to say here. Thanks to everyone (the approximately 20 of you) who come back every day and read my blog, and even more thanks to those who leave me musings!

August has been crazy in just about every way. Work drama, family drama, boy drama... I need a vacation from my own life. I am not sure what I'd have done this month if it weren't for some very good friends and the most supportive family a girl can ask for.

My parents' anniversary was yesterday. They've been married 26 years. I'm sure they've wanted to end it more than once--26 years is nothing to sneeze at. Holy cow. I'm so proud of them, and I wish them the best anniversary yet.

Conveniently enough, my best friend's birthday was also yesterday. Happy Birthday, Matthew! He and I celebrated our birthdays a few nights ago (mine is coming up in a couple months), and our chat was, as always, inspiring and full of laughter. Every time I'm around him, I learn so much more about him and about myself. What an incredible fifteen years it has been...

I actually had my hair cut professionally last night. It looks fantastic, and the length is much more manageable for someone who hates any more effort than washing and drip-drying hair. Sheesh, I'm so un-girly it's sad. But the new haircut is great, and that makes me happy.

Things are looking up. I'm having fun at work, enjoying my limited freedom, excited about my blog milestone, and am feeling blessed in so many ways. Who wants to help me celebrate 40,000?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm not going to eat that...

Your kitchens scare the piss out of me. Seriously. I can't understand how some of you survive your own filth. It's not that my kitchen harbors nothing toxic--I'm sure it does--but at least I try to make things sanitized.

After working in a large kitchen for five years, I've become accustomed to cleaning practices far above the modern Domestic Engineer. I wear aprons and keep my hair tied back. I wash my hands properly ten or twenty times while I'm cooking. I keep my working areas neat and wiped off. Meat and veggies are always cut on different boards, and I don't undercook anything. Meat only has one option in my house: well done. I'll occasionally flip out a burger with a sliver of pink in the middle--but that sucker gets so hot, the bacteria have all disintegrated by the time the meat comes off the grill. I never taste from my stirring spoon, and I don't keep measuring devices in any carton or container. The list goes on from there...

People bring things into work and expect me to try them. Um... no. Even my own family has questionable habits in some of their kitchens, and I try to appear polite while secretly disposing of their toxic waste. Potlucks are a nightmare: I try to eat as many of the store-bought things as I am able. Most people want to appear like they spent some time on their potluck contribution and make things all "fancy." Let me tell ya: I'll take the most plain white bread from the store over your questionable artisan bread any day of the week. I really like bread, too!

Yes, I know that stores and restaurants aren't always safe. I've heard the horror stories and such about local eateries killing people with various toxins. I'm pretty picky when it comes to the restaurants I eat at. I know who the county and state health inspectors are--they visited me at work more than once--and I made a point to ask where not to eat around here.

It's not about being germ-phobic. It's not about being overly critical of others. I'm this way because this is how I had to be for work. I had to live by certain standards, and I carried them over into my daily life. I like to know that the food I'm eating was prepared in a way that minimized the possibility of cross-contamination and spoilage.

Don't be offended when I refuse to eat anything that came out of your kitchen. It's nothing personal. I just don't like the way you keep your kitchen.

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Synaesthesia Colors

I was so excited to find a collection of images that most accurately illustrate how I experience Synaesthsia. Caedes has a fantastic collection of digital images, both real photographs and computer-generated pictures. The fractals section is breathtaking. I've selected four of their fractals for my post today, and I'll explain what each one is and means (to me) in a second. Click on over and see what else Caedes has to offer.

The first picture is something I might see in my head if I were remembering a momentous event. I'd see each emotion and thought as a different color. The image immediately reminded me of a trip I took in high school with the band.

The second picture, the blue and green one, is what I might see in my head if I were creating. Not all creating is green or blue, but green and blue are often comforting colors. The turquoise blend might be the frustration I'm hypothetically working out.

The dark one with the orange stripe... that's a fun color. I'd definitely be experiencing something like this if I happened to be out dancing in Portland or spending some exciting quality time with a guy. I could go out of my way and tell you what orange means to me, but that would spoil all the fun of keeping orange to myself. :)

And the last picture, the fractal-esque color explosion... I can honestly say I've never had that in my head. I'm not sure what would happen to me if I did... I'd probably go crazy. I might get this if I just won the lottery or something... so many emotions, so many colors... I almost hope it never happens (the colors, not winning the lottery).

I am not always seeing colors. Sometimes, things are just grey or black. Sometimes I see fantastically vibrant hues (the good ideas glow usually), and other times, things are dim and far away. I've tried to draw the colors, but I can't get them right. Caedes has done the job for me! Please don't think that these four images represent the full depth of my unraveling mind. I simply picked four pictures I liked. :)

P.S. I'm still willing to tell people what color they are in my head. They only have to ask.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hiking the McKenzie River Waterfalls

Yesterday was an adventure! I've been wanting to take this trip for two months now, and none of my friends were willing or available to go with me previously. Knowing that I could not go alone, I caved and asked my parents to go. The good part about having my parents go: they paid for the gas and food yesterday! (THANKS!) The not-so-good part: I really wish I'd had someone there with me instead of being the 3rd wheel. But beggars can't be choosers, right?

We took off around noon for the hour-long drive to the mountains. Sahalie Falls was easy enough to find, but parking was a nightmare. I'm not sure if someone fell or got hurt or what, but seeing two ambulances in the parking lot when we arrived was surely not a good omen. The trail started off easy, leading to a few viewpoints of the 140' plunge waterfall. We wandered downstream beyond the few other hikers, beyond the noise of the falls, down to the McKenzie's cool banks. Some overlooks were high above the river (bad for my fear of heights), and some were right at the water's edge (bad because it was cold). At one point, I found myself shimmy-ing down a cliff-face, wrapping my legs in roots and branches, and shivering my way through several pictures and a couple short video clips of the river. Oh, the things I do for photographs... Down the trail, Koosah Falls, an 82' segmented waterfall, fell into a pool of blue water, bluer than sapphires. Another nearby trailhead meant more people, but as soon as we left the paved spots, we were alone again. We hiked all the way down to Carmen Reservoir before taking the same trail back to the truck. Not a hard trail, but one of the most picturesque trails I've had the pleasure to explore.

Then, still feeling energetic, we drove another half-hour to Proxy Falls. The trail wasn't nearly as nice as the first we'd hiked, but it wasn't terrible. We could hear the falls from the main highway, but because the path winds and turns and takes you seemingly no where, you get to experience the falls in every way but visually until... there it is. On the trail's left, cascading over 150' down the side of a rocky cliff-face, is the most spectacular segmented waterfall I've seen. The high viewpoint is probably 300 yards from the waterfall, separated by a chasm with no bottom (I'm convinced), and offers a natural and incredible photo opportunity. Take your polarized lenses and macro lens... you will not regret seeing Proxy Falls. Wow.

On the way out, we spotted another trail that went the other direction. Dad wandered ahead to see what he could see and returned with photographic evidence of something spectacular: another waterfall! Upper Proxy Falls is just as magnificent as Proxy Falls, but you can literally stand in the waterfall if you so desire--and I did. The falls are fed by a natural spring coming out of an aquifer. The pool below the falls appears to have no outlet as it drains through the bottom into the same aquifer. How cool is that--a natural fountain! The water flow was perfect even in late August, and I could not have asked for a better set of pictures. Take both trails at Proxy Falls!

Now, nearing fatigue and stiffness, we mustered enough for one more stop: Clear Lake. The name sounds silly until you get there. Yes, the lake is absolutely crystal clear. Even through ten or fifteen feet of water, the rocks on the bottom are plainly visible. We walked around on the docks and the shoreline, and I took four or five interesting pictures. Lots of people, lots of boats, smells of fish.

All-in-all, it was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful weekend. I'm not sore today, aside from a shoulder (my shoulders get sore from hiking--go figure). I edited over a hundred photos last night and this morning, and I even put a few of them into a movie for you. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Most Awesome Cakes Ever

My roommates and I made the most incredible cakes when we were in college. These cakes are legendary, fantastical creations, secondly only to... well... they were just too good to compare to anything else. Mind you, we are anything but professional pastry chefs. We had a hard enough time turning on the oven to the correct temperature to make the cakes. Once the creative juices started flowing (and the stomachs growling), the kitchen became a place of laughter, frosting, and hysterical sprinkle fights. Because, of course, you can't put sprinkles on a cake like normal people. You have to launch them from the shaker bottle across the kitchen. I know, without a doubt, that kitchen still has pink sprinkles in it.

The cakes were all so different. Rachel's first birthday cake, which I unfortunately cannot find a picture of for you, was probably the most unusual. We fashioned both one square cake and one round cake and stacked them. Then, after frosting the cake and filling in all the gaps (which essentially made it a cake blob), we decorated with flying sprinkles, animal cookies, licorice, and marshmallows. We had a veritable zoo on top of that cake. I must say, zoo cake is quite tasty.

The cake at the top of this post was Rachel's second birthday cake that we made the following year. We couldn't decide if we wanted to make her cake or cookies, so we made her a cookie-cake. I believe those are chocolate layers with vanilla frosting, and there are cookies between the layers of cake and around the edge of the cake. We used the left-over cake to create cookie-cutter-cut-outs as even more cookie-cake decoration. Not sure why the sprinkles are green, but it looks festive, right? While interesting, I can't say I recommend cookie-cakes.

The second cake you see has officially been dubbed, "Tony's Cake." He wanted a castle, and we wanted to make him a cake. You can see the result... devil's food cake bricks and icing mortar created what was supposed to be a turret. We then placed small plastic firemen around the cake for when we lit the candles on fire. It was a "towering inferno." (We thought we were so funny.) Tony's cake was harder to make than it appears, but I promise, with enough icing, cake will stick to anything. I hope he was as pleased with it as we were.

This last cake--*dramatic pause*--takes the cake! (couldn't resist, sorry) The girls made this one for me for my 22nd birthday. It's a four-layer cake, alternating white and chocolate layers. There is a full tub of chocolate frosting between the layers and a full tub of cream cheese frosting on the outside of the cake. Then, they applied, using various messy techniques, chocolate shavings, chocolate curls, chocolate sprinkles, and melted chocolate chips (the dark drizzly stuff). It was hold-on-to-your-expletives good. Well... it tasted AMAZING. Their cake architecture could use some improvement, however. The girls didn't really get the memo about trimming that dome part off the round cakes, so the first layer pushed the second layer up in the middle, and by the third layer things were cracking. They filled the cracks with extra frosting. The fourth layer was literally sliding down from the middle out. When Jeff went to cut the cake, he sliced it directly in half and the whole thing tipped outward like a watermelon cleaved in two. But you know what? It still tasted incredible the next morning when I single-handedly ate the last 1/5th of the cake on a dare from Emily. "I dare you to eat the rest of that for breakfast." Um... okay. :)

Those are a few examples of the sweets and treats my girls and I concocted. We always had something in the works, if not more than one thing. People constantly stopped by to help us test out a rice krispie treat invention (Fruity Pebbles are not an acceptable substitute). Not everything worked, but we had the most AWESOME cakes, for sure.



Thursday, August 23, 2007

I said RANTING!

I can't stand pleated pants. This fashion 'whoops' makes me cringe every time. Nobody, no matter how professional or of whatever size has ever looked good in pleated pants. Toothpaste For DinnerI had a pair when I was younger--somehow, they ended up "not fitting" soon after they were purchased. Please, friends, ditch the pleats. Flat-front pants are classic, slimming, and oh-so-smooth.

I'm tired of people claiming that bloggers are not writers. I do blog. I write as well. My writing ranges from stories to sonnets, but I'm most comfortable in a shorter descriptive style. No, I don't write novels (although I have), and I don't write academic essays anymore. I write now for me. I write to tell my story, to share my ideas, and to remember. I am a writer.

I'm frustrated with people using "science" to "prove" things. Science, like art, music, and philosophy, is susceptible to interpretation and manipulation. I've forever attempted to be a scientist, to question and experiment, and I often have doubts about my own results. Science cannot prove anything: it is merely the evidence by which one can draw another prediction or further questions. Very little in science is 100% true. Please stop saying that "science proves it is so."

I'm exasperated with people assuming things about me. I'm not an open book, and I don't say everything on my mind. I don't care what you think about me, but I wish you'd have all the facts before you make up your mind and judge me. While you can get a decent picture of me from my blog, I've left rather large chunks of my life off this site. Sometimes, history needs to stay history. Other things are fun to talk about. But don't assume things about me. I will go out of my way to disprove your assumptions whether they're right or wrong. And DON'T test me either. I don't play games.

I'm baffled that my younger friends don't understand how I can have "old people" as true, deep, real friends. I've shared my life and soul with people in their 80s and 90s, and likewise, they've given me advice and encouragement more than most of my 20-something friends. When I become lost or question who I am, I turn to my grandmother and her friends. That wisdom and experience is something I respect (and usually take with a tiny grain of salt). I say that I've learned from these "old people," and I truly have. I cannot and would never change this part of me.

And, lastly today, I'm pissed that people are against same-sex marriage. Seriously, wake up! In this twisted society, it would be perfectly acceptable for me to have married a guy-friend right out of high school for no reason other than to have grants for school instead of loans and cheaper car insurance. We wouldn't have loved each other, and in all likelihood, would have divorced right after college. Talk about a "marriage of convenience!" I really did have a friend who proposed such an idea (mostly in jest). But society doesn't find it acceptable for two people who really love each other to get married simply because they're both men or both women? Gay marriage does not hurt anyone. In fact, it might bring about some of that sanctity people are talking about "preserving" in the first place. And the dumbass notion that gay parents produce gay children... I'm pretty sure (hold on, let me check science...) that all gay people have come from straight people. Think on that before you stand on the courthouse steps in protest.

Lose the pleated pants. Hug a writer. Don't promote your lame-brained idea in the name of "science." Get to know an old person. Stop the marriage war. And for everyone's sake, stop assuming things.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One New Friend, One Old Friend

After a solid month of stress and bad news day after day, I found myself smiling last night, smiling ear-to-ear for hours. So many factors contributed to my rather jolly mood, and I couldn't be more thankful that some of the weight has been lifted.

Lunch was especially fun, for once. I laughed and talked and laughed some more with a brand new friend. :) Of course, it's hard to be serious when you're giggling over the contents of Panda Express's questionable chicken products. Unacceptable food, but much appreciated conversation. Thanks!

After work, I spent a few fun hours with a bunch of new people. Social situations have always terrified me, and I feel like a bumbling fool in most groups. These people were incredibly kind. I didn't feel awkward once. I wish I could accurately express how much of an accomplishment even going to see more than one or two people is for me... and that I had fun is a wonder and blessing at the same time.

This last little bit, though, probably made my month. I was in a store right after work to grab a few things when I ran into one of my absolute best friends from high school. Paul was a part of the little social group I hung out in, a huge part of my support system, and never ceased to make me feel better. His compassion inspired me, and his talent awed me. For some reason, we simply lost touch after high school. I've only seen him one time since the day we graduated, and I've sort of always had an eye out for him after that. Seeing him, talking to him for a few short minutes, catching up a lifetime in so few words... it was exactly what I needed most today. Paul reminded me in his special way how much I'm appreciated for being me--something I haven't experienced this summer.

I've been fairly down this month, thinking that most of the things going crazy in my life right now are my own fault. Seeing Paul, knowing that he's doing well... it meant so much. And hearing from someone who knew me through some dark times and after so long apart that I'm worth something felt really, really good.

To new friends and old friends, I couldn't be more thankful right now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Julius Caesar is James Bond... or something like that

Fifteen minutes. It was only supposed to last fifteen minutes. It didn't: we kept it rolling for over an hour. Nevermind that we were six months late with the final production... we still got our A.

The assignment was simple enough: read Julius Caesar and create a skit or short movie about one act of the play. We read the play as a class, and then we broke out into groups of our own choosing. I was (as usual) left as one of the last kids in the class without a group. My few friends in that class took me in, and I couldn't possibly be more happy that they did so.

Now you have to understand these friends. They're... kinda... special. They were the over-achievers in high school, the classic Type-A "had to be the best" kids. They had 4.0 GPAs and were on every teacher's good side. When they found out we only had to do one act of the play, they started scheming and planning their skit to include the entire play. They didn't want to do Julius Caesar in the classic style either. Oh no, they had to be weird. One guy in the group was/is a huge James Bond fan, so we agreed to do Caesar in the style of a Bond movie.

That's where things got crazy.

We planned a loose script, gathered our supplies (a few odds and ends for costumes, some cheap props, and borrowed a video camera from some parents), and went for it. I believe filming began in the winter, perhaps February... and we shot after school and on weekends for several weeks, probably through March. Editing took two months or more, and revamping the script took another weekend. We turned in our movie nearly six months late if I remember correctly.

One scene, we had written Portia to smack Brutus. The girl playing Portia was really dating the guy playing Brutus, and she had the hardest time actually hitting him. She'd hit him and immediately apologize, therefore ruining the shot. We did more than twenty takes for that scene before she finally hauled off and hit him. I think the rest of us wanted to hit both of them.

My official on-screen role was to play M. Aside from my small role, I did a good deal of camera work and compiled the final script. The hardest job, though, and thankfully not mine, was probably editing the movie. We, like real filmmakers, didn't shoot the movie in order. We did scenes where we could when we could, and we even pirated some scenes from real Bond movies to enhance our own. Our editing technology was old-school to say the least: two VCRs hooked up, one looping onto the other, some of our own footage and some of the pirated stuff alternating. I'm amazed that the guys could work up real credits that scrolled across the screen digitally (or manually, I forget), and somehow, they were able to dub in music from real recording artists.

My favorite scene and story from the production was when the kid playing Bond got stuck in a bad situation. We had the scene written out beforehand, and the lines were all memorized. The Bond Girl in the scene lounged elegantly in an overstuffed chair, and Bond leaned in over her in a rather suggestive way. M appeared in the scene as a satellite connection of some sort (we had special effects!), asking, "Bond, are you ready for your next mission?" The camera angle was such that Bond appeared as if he was about to become rather intimate with the girl. He replied, "I'm sorry, sir, but I'm being 'de-briefed.'" We thought it was funny. :) BUT, unfortunately, the quiet, conservative, mild-mannered boy playing James Bond was being watched by his ultra-conservative mother while we filmed. Multiple takes. We could tell that she was not impressed with our clever ending scene. I don't think he got in trouble... much.

I don't remember much from my sophomore year of high school due to some very un-fun depression, but this image stands out as one of the most memorable things I've done in life. I loved making the movie, and I adored hearing my classmates as they watched the first showing of our movie. We did a really good job for overachieving 10th graders.

DAVID: If you have a copy of the movie, or if you can get me a copy, two words: YOU TUBE. We need it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Getting to Know You... or Me

When does one actually know someone else? At what point can one step back and say with confidence, "I really know my friends."

I've had one best friend for over fifteen years (essentially our whole lives), and I'm still learning things about him. I've known my little sister from the day she was born, and yet I learn something new about her more often than I realize. But I think I know these two people pretty well.

Can you really know someone in one conversation? Does it take a whole day? Can you learn an entire soul in a weekend? in a month? or does it take a year, two years, five or ten years...? Does it take living with a person to know them? Or can you become very good friends, see each other once a week, and claim to know the other person?

What if you only know the deep stuff and none of the superficial stuff? For example, what if you know what a person believes and how they think, but you don't know what a person likes to eat or what kind of movies they enjoy, can you say you know someone?

Do you have to share deep, dark secrets in order to be friends? Do you have to go through some sort of life-changing experience together? Do you have to like the same things, or can you be friends with someone completely unlike you?

I don't know, exactly. I have become very close to people in as little as a month. When Emily and I moved in together, we were very different. She's world-traveled, a former sorority girl... and I'm anything but either one of those. Our common love of all things chocolate, though, provided the beginning to what has become one of my closest friendships. We're not inseparable, but I consider her as close to a sister as a best friend can be.

Being an open person (and a blogger on top of that), I'm very easy to get to know up to a point. Some of my friends know that deep, dark stuff, and some of them don't. That doesn't mean they don't know me if they don't know those secrets. It just means they don't know the secrets. Likewise, I don't know every detail about my friends, but I'm comfortable being myself around any and all of them.

Maybe that's it. Maybe being comfortable with someone and allowing someone to be comfortable around you is the key.

I have no idea.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gettin' my Geek On

Some days just aren't worth make-up. Yesterday was one of those days. I was ready to go explore the world when my friend bailed on me. No explanation, nothing more than, "sorry, I'm busy today." Just as I was settling in for what would have been a really good pity-party, my phone rang. Rachel was in town and wanted to hang out. We decided to go shopping in the grand metropolis of Albany.

We did a little shopping before getting hungry. Having a bit of a craving for spanish rice, we dined at Los Dos Amigos (one of my favorite places to eat). Nothing says "girl talk" like chips and salsa, crazy-huge Diet Cokes, and an empty restaurant. Good times. :)

On a whim, we stopped at one last store to kill some time and see what we could see. I ended up walking out of the store with the geekiest purchase on Earth. I still can't believe I actually bought it, although I feel quite justified in the purchase (after making simple logic my friend again). I bought the PC version of Halo 2.

It runs with Vista. It's made to work with Vista. It's supposed to work with Vista... guess what: it actually works. I had to reconfigure my screen resolution, my processor, my sound card (again), and my update three drivers, but it does work. The graphics are incredible! The only problem now? I suck at video games.

No, seriously, I suck at playing video games. My hand-eye coordination ought to be fifty times better considering I've played the piano for twenty years. I dance! And yet... well, let's just say I died in the level with no bad guys. Yeah. I'm that good.

My afternoon was spent installing the game and learning to operate the controls. Nothing exciting, just a huge geek fest drooling over the graphics and shooting flying things. My sister and I watched a movie in the evening, a funny teen comedy that turned out to be much better than I was expecting.

Nothing says "a day not worth make-up" like sitting at home playing computer games. It wasn't a bad day, but it certainly wasn't what I was hoping for...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Church: to go or not to go?

When I sink my teeth into something, it's difficult for me to let go. I bit into the "anti-church" bagel early in life, and I've been quite content there since then. However, there has always been this part of me curious about church. What draws people to them? What do people find in these odd buildings that they can't find outside?

I guess I still don't know what church is all about, and I can't tell if my sense of curiosity will overpower my trepidation. I don't know many of those churchy songs. I stumble at finding my place in a Bible. I'm also worried about how people will look at me--they always shut me out when I attempt going to church.

That's still my biggest hurdle: churches are buildings full of clique-y church-goers. I don't want to be looked at like I'm a "beginner" at having faith--I'm definitely not. I can't tolerate how un-Christian church people can be in their own churches. The building is not the problem. I've learned that, no, I won't burst into flames when I walk in the door (a friend actually convinced me I would, LOL!). The Christians are the problem.

I see this trend in my church-going friends as well. They won't admit it, but it's there. If I hinted that I was curious about going to church, they'd either ignore the hint entirely or change the subject to other churches. My two exceptions are Matthew and Rachel. Matthew finally understands that he has to push and pull gently with me. He's the only one I openly discuss religion with, because he never makes me feel bad about asking questions. Rachel dragged me to her Youth Group once or twice until I started going on my own through the last year of high school. While her tactic was less kind, it was probably most effective. You'd think the rest of my religion-fiend friends would be jumping at my eagerness to learn, but... nope.

Perhaps I'm ready to give it another go. Or, perhaps like all the other times, nothing will come of nothing. I don't know. What say you?

Random Questions IV

A slightly more mature meme for the adults out there:

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
Car insurance

2. Where's the best place to eat a romantic dinner?
Romantic dinner? I've never had one of those. I know a few great spots and no experience. At the moment, I'm leaning toward the middle of a warmly lit ballroom... dinner, plus plenty of room to dance.

3. Last time you puked from drinking?
Never. Drinking is overrated.

4. Have you ever gotten drunk and danced on a bar?
No need to get me drunk to get me dancing, LOL!

5. Name of your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Dundas. She was mean.

6. What are you doing right now?
Blogging, of course.

7. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I've always wanted to be a writer. For a while, a doctor, a lawyer, a meteorologist, and a teacher. I always fall back to writing.

8. How many colleges did you attend?
One.

9. Why did you get the shirt that your wearing right now?
It was on sale for $4 in the men's section at Mervyn's. And it's bright pink.

10. Gas prices?
I have no choice.

11. If you could move anywhere and take someone with you where would you go?
My own apartment or house. Anywhere but here. That's all I want.

12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
"Hmm, no alarm means no work!"

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night?
"There is no way in Hell I'm getting up before 8am."

14. Favorite style of underwear?
You know, the fabric kind. As opposed to the grassy kind or the leather kind. Duh. Hehe, low-rise bikinis.

15. Favorite style of underwear for the opposite sex?
boxer-briefs

16. What errand/chore do you despise?
doing the dishes

17. If you didn't have to work, would you volunteer?
I'd work, I'd volunteer, I'd start and finish projects...

18. Get up early or sleep in?
depends on the day. depends on what I'm doing. depends on how tired I am. I like mornings. I also like sleeping.

19. Breakfast this morning?
I had waffles just like every other morning.

20. Favorite NON sexual thing to do at night with a girl/guy?
Talk, play games, watch movies, night hiking... just about anything during the day only at night.

21. A secret that you wouldn't mind everyone knowing?
Look, they're called "secrets" for a reason. If I wanted you to know, then it wouldn't be a secret, okay?

22. When did you first start feeling old?
The first time someone called me "ma'am" and meant it.

23. Favorite 80's movie?
Dirty Dancing or Top Gun, depending on my mood

24. Your favorite lunch meat?
turkey or ultra-thinly-sliced ham

25. What do you get every time you go into Costco/Sam's Club? what's sam's club?
Waffles!

26. Beach or Lake?
The only difference is that one has sharks and the other has mosquitoes. Just depends whether I want to be eaten in big bites or little ones.

27. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual that was invented by people who died at 20?
Haha, no. I'm a romantic, holding out for that perfect marriage.

28. Who do you stalk on MySpace?
Nobody. MySpace sucks.

30. Favorite movie you wouldn't want anyone to find out about?
American Outlaws or The Peacemaker

31. What's your drink?
Martinelli's & Stolichnaya or strawberry daquiris (vodka, not rum)

32. Who from high school would you like to run into?
Ian (I miss you more than words, and I am still praying for you.)

33. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?
CDs only. At the moment, Eddie Izzard's Glorius

34. What is a rumor that someone has spread about you?
Rumors about me? Well, I think there's one going around about my lack of interest in men... people can think whatever they want about me. I know who I am.

35. Futurama or the Simpsons?
ZIM! oh, um, Simpsons.

36. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?
I should have listened to my mother about him. Live and learn, right?

37. Do you like the person who sits directly across from you at work?
Yup, I like all of my coworkers.

38. If you could get away with it, who would you kill?
I wouldn't kill anyone. But I wish the end of life didn't have to be so hard for some... perhaps it is not the wish to kill but the desire to end suffering that would motivate me more.

39. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?
I think John Cusack would be fun for a dinner... Scott Grimes or Jake Gyllenhaal too. Or Alton Brown, if he'll cook for me.

41. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended use?
define "intended use..."

42. Ever felt like running over a pedestrian?
more than once

Friday, August 17, 2007

"Compare People" I think NOT

Several of my friends have asked me to join the "Compare People" application on Facebook. In case anyone was wondering, NO, I will not join and compare my friends.

In fact, I make a point to not compare my friends if I can help it. How fair would it be if I were to say, "Friend A is nicer, but Friend B is prettier"? Under different circumstances, we all change. We become better or worse than we are. Who am I to judge someone and say they're one thing now when they very well could be something different tomorrow?

I'm not saying I don't judge people. I do, and I'm trying to overcome that habit daily. But having something ready and waiting, some tool that allows us to point at someone and say (anonymously or not), "that person is X, Y, or Z" is trouble waiting to happen. How do you think the guy who gets named "biggest geek" or the girl who isn't picked as "most sexy" will feel? What would you do if you were named "most likely to walk a street corner" or "least likely to succeed"?

If someone compares me to my friends, I can only hope that they're either mocking or trying to make me mad. I know that other people's opinions of me aren't supposed to matter, but Facebook is a network of my friends! Their opinions do matter to me. If they said that my girlfriends are prettier or that I'm the biggest geek, they might be right. They don't have to go out of their way to say that publicly though.

The Compare People application is a recipe for broken friendships. If I have the guts to stand up and say NO, I won't compare people, then you should do the same. Be bigger than a website. Be bigger than judging people over silly things. Move past high school and grow up.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

No Dates for Me... Yet

What defines a date? We could look to the dictionary or to Wikipedia, and yet, we'd probably be missing a portion of those times people consider "dates."

I don't know if I've ever truly been on a real "date." If a date is defined as a pre-determined event in which two people share a common experience (traditionally a meal and a couple hours of entertainment), I don't think I've ever been on a real date. I mean, I've gone out with guys, but they weren't "official dates." I've spent evenings dancing, evenings smiling ear-to-ear with amazing guys... but no true dates. In most cases, I'd spend time informally with the guys, hanging out watching movies or TV or having dinner or lunch before we decided to become exclusive. Once, I had known the guy for about a year when we just decided that, yeah, we were going to make a go of things.

Why is this? Why have I managed to land a few great boyfriends and not yet have gone on a date? Is there something wrong with me? Have I just found a string of guys that don't appreciate me and don't ask me out? Or am I simply not noticing when guys are hitting on me? What gives?

When do you decide that you want to date someone? Does going on one date constitute a "dating" relationship? Does it take five or ten dates before you are "officially dating"? Does it take a Facebook status change (we call that "FO"), or does it take a "Defining the Relationship" (DTR) talk?

Don't take this the wrong way... I'm not sad or angry or anything other than questioning this recent thought. I don't understand it, so I can't feel anything about it. I love spending time with friends, and I'm comfortable not dating a guy.

It's just weird, you know? I'm 23... apparently attractive (see two posts down), and available. Why no dates yet?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yay for Lunch Buddies!

I was on a dance high and an emotional low last night on the drive home. Dancing is a ton of fun, and being around people with energy and enthusiasm for the sport makes me happy. Even though I adore the people I dance with, I don't always walk away feeling better. As I was leaving Corvallis, I dodged off onto a backroad and called Jeff. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I'm not supposed to talk and drive... but I was on backroads the whole time, in daylight, at safe speeds. And I needed to talk to Jeff. I told him the whole story of my life this month. He didn't have to say much to make me feel better--the fact that he was willing to listen made me smile. However he manages to squeeze that perfect Jeff hug through the phone, I'll never know, but I felt it. Thanks, Jeff.

I awoke this morning in an odd mood. I was neither excited nor discouraged. I just was. And later, I realized that's all I have been for weeks. I've been existing only in the moment. That was a frightening realization, because I've always wanted to be able to do that instead of pushing for the next best thing. I was especially excited to realize the "character building" this stress is having so soon! I'm enjoying living in the moment, not having solid plans. At the same time, I do wish for stability. Do you know what that mood is?

Things just kept getting more and more weird after I got to work. I started my day off with one project to do. I worked and worked at making it last until something else came along. Just before lunch, I received a mysterious phone call from a friend asking me to lunch. I ended up running across campus to meet him. We spied another friend, then another! Earlier this week, I was bemoaning my complete lack of lunch buddies. Today, I had THREE. YAAAAAY!

After my totally awesome lunch with cool people (they are!), I went back to a swamped desk and too much to work on. I sorta felt like I was in the Twilight Zone, though, because I had Jingle Bells stuck in my head, weird people in my office, and a project that wouldn't end. Then, I got six papercuts in an hour's time. And I walked into my own desk. Yup, Twilight Zone.

My sister and I acquired Microsoft Office 2007 recently, and I took an hour tonight to install it. One might think that, because Office 2007 and Vista work hand-in-hand, it would install without a problem. HAHAHAHAHA! No. Four reboots, numerous error messages, some computer smacking, and a near-crash. I was not pleased. Finally, though, finally it all worked together. I have, for the first time on this computer, the ability to open Word and Excel files. I can print my calendars!

After all that, I think I messed up my back dancing last night.

Random Acts of... People Hitting on Me?

I'm not really sure what happened. First, we were talking. Then... we were talking about my boobs. Or maybe it was boobs in general and he happened to be staring at mine. I don't particularly enjoy having The Girls stared at. But he wasn't creeping me out, so I didn't say anything. In a few short minutes, he hit on me three times. And, as always, I was completely oblivious. The only reason I know he was hitting on me was because he told me he was hitting on me. Awww, how romantic... *gags* The other guy that hit on me last night was a bit more subtle. He used compliments and kindness to woo me. At least that time the gentle nudges did not go unnoticed.

Both guys remarked how attractive they find me. Now before you think I'm bragging or fishing for compliments, forget it. While I have self-confidence and like who I am, I still don't find myself attractive. I never have. I mean... well... here, let me give you a few hints:

I'm female, right? I should be interested in horses and shoes and make-up and wearing pastel, frilly things. I'm... not really that type. Horses bore me, but horsepower, now that I dig. I don't have a shoe fetish (I'm too practical), and shopping is a nightmare for me. I'd rather surf and drool at Newegg or ThinkGeek. Life as a geek is not easy, especially as a girl. I'm taller than a lot of guys, sometimes smarter, and I don't put out. I can name on one hand the number of guys I know who find a girl with those qualifications "date-able."

So forgive me when I find it astounding that two guys hit on me last night. TWO! Of course they have the be two of the guys I don't think I'd ever date... both having girlfriends at the moment. I give up!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Secret Hiding Place

They're Not Coming For Me

I love the rain. :) This weekend's cool rain showers remind me that not all of summer is gloomy and sunny and boring. As the rains come each autumn, my friends come back to town and I'm not alone anymore.

But this year, this autumn, nobody is coming back. None of my friends are coming back to OSU in the fall to finish school or start more schooling. The finality of college is cutting deeper each year. It's weird, too, because I graduated over a year ago. I should already understand this finality. Since I moved home right after graduating and spent three months looking for work, I had the summer essentially off. I started working at OSU in September, and a handful of friends started their senior years at the same time. This year... nobody is coming back.

The rain is a comfort right now, a grey blanket of comfort that tells me I'm okay. But I'm not okay. I miss my friends. I miss Rachel and Emily and Jeff. I miss having a lunch buddy and hallway picnics. I miss hugs and laughter and being around people that truly care about me (and aren't my parents).

My dance friends are incredible, but they're... dance friends. I don't hang out with them unless we're dancing. Sometimes dance friends become good friends, but I haven't had this happen too much. Being friends, to me, is a greater commitment and adventure than occasional dance events.

Matthew went off and got engaged (congratulations, Matthew!), so even my best friend has changed. I don't want to interrupt his life now with my little things. Of course I know I could rely on him any time, but I'm not his number one girl anymore.

Yes, I know, life changes and we have to change with it, but that doesn't keep life from feeling icky, does it?

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Reason to Blog

I remember how it started (due to one of the best classes I took in college), and I know how it makes me feel. But I'm not certain I understand why I blog.

I don't have much to say in the way of soapboxy politics or religious beliefs. I am not here to tell you what to think or how to act. I'm not out to save the world one blog post at a time. I try not to make people angry or fired up with my posts, and while I'm not afraid of discourse, I don't particularly care to argue (especially over blog posts). I'm certainly not an expert on anything, so I write about what I know best: myself. Sounds selfish, right? Of course. But if I wanted to write a blog about you, I'd probably try to sound good or something.

Writing has always been a passion of mine. I started with poems and short stories in grade school, several times winning contests and prizes. My writing has been featured in newspapers (though, I assure you, it was nothing spectacular). I'm a fantastic speller, and words are something I find easy to work with. English is truly more mathematical than artistic at its core, although many of you will disagree with that statement. The way a sentence fits together, the way words connect and make sense, it is much like an algebra problem.

Blogging, though, this new media, allows me to open up that "memory warehouse" or "mind-cave of wonders" to you without fear that you'll make a funny face at me. I tell stories (all true), share ideas, ask questions, and sometimes crack puns that no one gets. Blogging, and writing in general, helps me to put the many colors and shapes I see in my head down to remember later.

Sometimes people actually comment and agree with the things I say. That feels awesome! Sometimes people think I'm crazy. I'm okay with that. :) I've had people tell me I'm completely wrong for thinking or saying something on my blog. I've had people come back to read ten times in one day, and I've had people purposely drive my stats up just to be mean.

It's an odd thing, blogging. My friends ask me, "Why would you want to do that?" Well, why not? You write your words down in journals or diaries or on post-its or in your head. I write my thoughts down, my (at times) very personal thoughts, in a place where someone else can read them and muse back at me. Yes, it does take courage. I run the risk of someone being cruel to my writing with every word I post. Yes, it takes a time commitment. I usually spend about ten hours each week working on posts and my blog. Yes, it can be frustrating, exhausting, and thrilling.

Why do I blog? To communicate ideas, to make people think a tiny bit about whatever's rattling around in my brain, to make people laugh, to show people pictures of things I find interesting... I write to share a piece of who I am.

Which is astounding in itself: I'm not very good at sharing. :P

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's not a purse, gosh darnit!

I don't carry a purse. Get that through your stubborn, thick skulls, people. It cannot possibly be considered a purse. It does not contain money. My bag does not contain lipstick. And it sure as hell does not contain other purse-y things. It does, however, function as a hiking pack, a camera and accessory bag, an overnight bag, and a plethora of other bag-like uses. I carry it to work, to dances, and on walks. I do not take my bag in stores or while shopping.

I don't carry a purse. I have a Timbuk2 small messenger bag made of black ballistic nylon over a waterproof liner. It is not small and made of leather, and it doesn't look like a purse. With two straps of nylon webbing, it doesn't even wear like a purse: it might possibly be considered a satchel.

It's not a purse. It's an all-purpose bag that I happen to carry with me frequently. It holds items I do not need but would like to keep with me (lunch, camera, dance shoes, DVDs, etc.). If you call it a purse, I'll likely lose it. I have a knack for losing purses, even when they're not mine.

It's not a purse, gosh darnit!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'll show YOU some camping...

It's not camping when you're less than ten miles from home, have a kitchen sink at hand, and sleep in a climate controlled trailer. It's especially not camping when you drive those ten miles home in the morning to take a shower and water the plants. But my parents are "camping" this weekend. The only reason I'm allowing them to call it "camping" is because they let me play with fire last night. One marshmallow suffered a fiery and brutal s'more-ing on top of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

My family isn't really an outdoorsy family. Both of my parents grew up on farms, so they're both comfortable outside, but aside from the occasional weekend in a tent growing up or short afternoon hikes in public forests, I can't say as though I've done much outdoorsy stuff with my family. When I was very little, we used to get together with the extended family somewhere along the Alsea River and go crawdadding once a year. By the time I was ten, my family had taken to resorts and condominium vacations. I've only been camping twice since high school, a fact which both saddens and relieves me. It's weird. My friends are all outdoorsy people (except Emily, but I've heard she's going camping sometime soon, too). Rachel works in forests, and a few friends are outside all day long. I know a ton about camping and wilderness survival... I just... haven't gone camping.

It's time for me to get moving. My parents have requested that I join them this evening while they're "camping" so close to home. Part of me would rather stay here in this quiet house, kicking back and truly "getting away from it all" instead of going out in the thick of it. The other part really wants to sleep out under the Perseid showers tonight, making a wish on each shooting star.

I already know what I'll wish for.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Real Sick Day

I called in sick today. I guess that makes this my first official paid sick day. Whether it's the stress in my life or girly crap (The Plague, I swear), or something viral, I have no idea. I attributed yesterday's odd mood and shakiness to a bowl of sugary cereal, although surely cereal could not have affected me twelve hours later. Then, for lunch, I consumed what can only be described as the worst microwave pizza crap on earth. I'm kind of a pizza snob to begin with, but I thought I'd give it a try. Never again. I wasn't in the mood to eat again the rest of the day, although around midnight last night, I was probably hurting more from lack of food than from the cereal and pizza still.

Oh, and I've been drinking a can of pop every morning with my breakfast for about three years. This week, I didn't do that two days. I still had pop later in the day at work, and I'm rather impressed that I haven't had one bit of a withdrawal headache. Perhaps I'm actually weaning myself off the killer deliciousness.

Let it be known that I have a vicious gag reflex. One of the reasons I gave up pop with breakfast was to see if the carbonation was adversely affecting the reflex. Alas, pop seems to make no difference. Every morning this week began with dry heaves, teary eyes, and a sore, empty stomach. I have gagged while talking and even while breathing through my nose. I've tried sitting, standing, and lying down. I have done some reflexology stuff the orthodontist taught me, and that hasn't done anything to help. My only solution has been chewing insane amounts of gum to keep my mouth occupied. The gagging begins as soon as the gum is out of my mouth, though. I'm very hopeful that things will get better on their own as soon as possible.

Another thing I've always had a problem with is relaxing. I'm very bad at simply relaxing. My mind is always going, often on two or three things, and at least some part of me is tense or sore. Last night, though, with the proper application of some massage oil and a mind registering little else than static, I was relaaaaaaaaxed. I felt really good afterward, and as crappy as I felt when I woke up this morning, I didn't hurt and wasn't tense anywhere. And the slight, lingering, happy smell of the massage oil brought a smile to my cheeks.

I finally stopped shaking sometime this afternoon, and I haven't gagged in an hour, so I guess I ought to call it a day. Yeah. It's a day.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Commiserating with the Best of Friends

My best friend called me last night, and I couldn't have been in a more "I wish a friend would call me" mood. Sure, I could have called him myself, but he's recently engaged, and I don't want to bother him. We've been best friends since we were 8 or 9 years old. He knows me entirely too well, and likewise, I am allowed to give him crap over things that other people dare not mention.

We've often been in the same boat at different parts of our lives. Last night, he called to say he's probably losing his job. No two people could be more there for each other as we are right now. He knows what I'm going through, and I know how he feels. Misery loved Company for an hour solid last night, some awesome commiserating and tons of laughter.

He gave me some unsolicited advice on my love life, a few facts about guys I neither wanted nor needed to know. For a quiet, conservative guy, he sure doesn't have a filter on his dirty little mind. It was rather unusual for us to open up about our personal lives... for all the years we've been able to talk about anything and everything, we didn't talk much about those adult things. I very much appreciate his candor and humor, and I don't care what we're talking about as long as we're talking more often. :)

I could have died laughing when he started suggesting ways for me to "hook" a boyfriend. As well as he may know me, he certainly does not understand my approach to men. Among his list of "things to do to get attention:"
--get him a little tipsy, then kiss him before he kisses you
--watch a scary movie with him and jump in his lap
--watch a chick flick with him, and when things get sappy, look at him expectantly
--open the door wearing only a towel
The list went on from there... and as you can see, perhaps subtlety isn't his strongest suit. Each thing kept getting more and more ridiculous, and we ended up with the giggles. Yes, giggles. :)

I missed a brand new episode of Mythbusters so that I could talk to him longer. I skipped out on plans I'd made for my late evening so that I could keep him on the phone. My "friend" numbers aren't high... very few people earn that title from me. But he's the best of the four or five best friends. He's been there longer and through more, and he's the most honest and blunt of any of them. He inspired me to be a better musician. And he gets me. He knew from the first word out of my mouth that things weren't going well in my life. I'm sad that he lives so far away. :(

If ever there was a prayer answered, last night one of mine surely was. I didn't know what I needed most. Ten minutes later, I knew exactly what I needed, and he was being all goofy on the phone. Thanks, Matthew, for being my friend these many years.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I have no idea what to call this post.

I can't help but feel slightly bitter every time I see an apartment complex right now. I could be one of those people hauling their belongings out of one house and into another, sweating as they lift something heavy up stairs or groaning as they unpack one more box.

For nearly five years, I've wanted to be out on my own. It has been all-consuming at times, a driving force behind most decisions and almost any expense. I put off having a social life at times in the hope that I'd be able to have friends over and cook for them in my very own kitchen someday. 'Someday' keeps getting pushed back.

Last night, while dancing, people kept asking me how I was doing. People rarely ask me that, and I typically answer with, "fine," "good," or "okay" just to appease them. Not many people get a true response from me, because I know most people ask, "How are you?" as a greeting rather than a question. But last night, I mustered a hesitant, "okay." I'm a bad liar. If they pushed a bit, I'd tell them a bit about my crazy life. Otherwise, I tried to keep quiet. Drama sucks, and hearing about someone else's drama isn't usually fun. Funny, sometimes, but not fun.

I'm finally starting to feel things, finally able to put some of my most recent emotions into words. I haven't posted everything going in my life. Unfortunately, not everything is blog-worthy. Some things must only exist in reality. My friends are amazing people, and I do confide in a few of them, but I sort of feel like I don't have anyone to talk to now that I'm able to express things. I mean... I don't necessarily want to talk to anyone, but I'm told that "talking things out" helps. Then again, I don't want to drag anyone down. Suggestions?

On my drive to work this morning, somewhere in that twenty-odd miles of bleary-eyed road rage, I had a vivid image come to mind, a clear view of where I am in my life. The image was partly in color, partly in black and white. I could see myself lying along a low brick wall that stretched for miles. I was lying on my side, my left hand holding a small, white, plastic spoon, and I was chipping away at the mortar between the bricks. Scraping and digging at the wall. The spoon wasn't dull, and it didn't break or lose its edge no matter how hard I pushed. Then again, the mortar didn't give much either. The battle raged on, chip-chip-chipping. Far down the wall, almost to the horizon, there was another person working at the wall in the same way, but I could clearly see how much farther into the wall they'd dug. Likewise, at the other end, light poured through the holes between the bricks where the person was digging.

The wall wasn't the part that bothered me the most. The spoon was kind of weird, but I guess that's how things are sometimes, all sporky or something. But the fact that I was using my left hand freaked me out a bit. I'm not exactly left-handed. I think I might have been dreaming while driving. For the record, I don't recommend that.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bubble Trouble

Is there a nice way to tell someone to back off? I don't mean "go away!" but more of a "you're in my space and I'd appreciate it if you moved out of that bubble."

I wouldn't feel bad about telling someone to step away if it was a first incident. I wouldn't mind it if I liked him and was interested in him the same way I think he's interested in me. But I think I've been misleading him, and that makes me feel very bad. He's a great guy, and I respect him very much. I also adore dancing with him. But when I'm not dancing with him, I don't really want him touching me, holding my hand, or otherwise trying to be close to me.

Which is pretty weird by itself. I like hanging out with guys, and I love being held. Not many guys get the privilege to be so close to me, and I'd like to think there's a good screening process.

He was so smooth, so under the radar that he really startled me when he made a move. The move was neither subtle nor grabby, but it freaked me out. He's starting to get a little clingy, and that is even more concerning. He's asked me out for dinner several times, and I've steadily declined every offer, and now he's pushing for lunch dates. At least being picky about food can work in my favor occasionally. ("Sorry, I don't eat food...") Even more scary: he has a girlfriend! I would never cheat on a significant other, and I won't help anyone else do it either. Loyalty is probably the most important thing for me.

So yeah, this guy... I do think he's nice, but he's scaring me. Scaring me in the "I don't want to walk to my car alone" kind of way. At least I know I have friends who are willing to do that.

I don't want to be mean. I don't want to have to tell him that I have absolutely no desire to date him or even have dinner with him. But I'll do it if I must. Perhaps the distant looks and short answers to his questions will clue him in. Perhaps my dance card might suddenly fill up (figure of speech, although I do think an old-fashioned themed dance with dance cards is a fun and cheap idea).

I'm just hoping I don't have to add "dealing with some weird guy" to my list of bad things that have happened this month.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Random Questions III

1) Are you an Aunt/Uncle?
No, not to the best of my knowledge... and I'd like to keep it that way for a few more years.

2) Can you do a cartwheel?
I used to turn them all the time! But now... I don't know. I don't like being upside-down.

3) What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
Ratatouille

4) Do you eat vegetables regularly?
I try to... raw, mostly, in salad. Doesn't always happen though. Sad.

5) If you were going to get a body piercing, where would you get it?
I have my ears pierced... isn't that enough? Hmm, probably another in an ear or something.

6) Do you ever hang out with someone of the opposite sex?
Yes.

7) Are you a jealous person?
Rarely. The grass is always greener, right? I've got some pretty green grass.

8) Do you believe in life on other planets?
Of course. Somewhere, somewhere in all that expanse of star stuff, there must be life.

9) How many times have you been to Canada?
Once, as far as I can remember.

10) Have you ever had a reptile as a pet?
I have not.

11) What is your favorite fruit?
Apples or watermelon.

12) What is the ringtone on your phone right now?
Vibrate.

13) Who was your last missed call on your cell phone?
Dad called me while I was in the ER a few nights ago and I couldn't answer. I got it, but I had to reject the call.

14) Where are you most ticklish?
Um, depends, but just above my knees (if you hit the exact right spots), or my flanks and lower belly.

15) How many hours a week do you normally work?
40.

16) Who’s your best friend?
Matthew. I miss you, dude.

17) Do you have any deep dark secrets?
One or two...

18) When was the last time you were sick?
Feeling icky? This morning. I had a cold about six months ago... and I haven't been more sick than that in about five years.

19) How many siblings do you have?
One.

20) Did you ever try running away from home when you were younger?
No. Where would I have gone?

21) What makes you the happiest?
Writing, spending time with family and friends, pianos, finding a Geocache, taking pictures.

22) Where do you want to be right now?
Hiking out to some waterfalls in the Cascades with a friend, but all my friends are busy this weekend or "don't feel like driving anywhere."

23) Have you ever finished a Rubik’s Cube?
Bah, no. No patience. Only held one once, too.

24) When was the last time you rode a bike?
Probably a year ago, but only because I'm not strong enough to get it down from the garage ceiling by myself. So it hangs there. It's a great bike, though, and I do enjoy riding.

25) Do you have any vacation plans for this summer?
I don't get vacation yet, and I don't have anyone to go with me, so no.

26) Where were you 1 hour ago?
Out on the couch.

27) Who will be your next kiss?
I have no idea, but I hope it's special. I could use one of those...

28) What is in your desk drawer?
Um, desk drawer stuff? and a ridiculous pile of origami paper.

29) Three words to explain why you last threw up:
severe gag reflex

30) What is the equation for the Pythagorean theorem?
not only do I know it, but I can explain why it is the way it is. Thanks to MTH390!

31) Do you believe the guy should pay on the first date?
No. The first date is more like an interview anyway, so split it. By the third date though, he should offer... I only let a guy pay for me if (a) he asked me out, (b) it's after the first date, and (c) I have the ability to pay for myself (if I can't pay for me, I would never expect him to do so).

32) Do you think Barbie is a negative role model for young girls?
No, I believe all little girls should aspire to be a foot-tall plastic doll that can't bend its legs. My kids are getting rag dolls, probably home-made, and cardboard boxes with markers and crayons. And board and card games!

33) What kind of car does your father & mother drive:
Dad drives a truck, Mom has a car. They're new-ish, in excellent working condition, and are cleaner than when they came off the assembly line. And they're white. Because my family has OCD.

34) Do you like Scrabble?
Sure. Word games aren't fun to play though, because I'm not usually challenged.

35) Where did you attend high school?
I attended "The Best High School in Oregon." No, seriously, that was the principal's motto. He'd say it all the time, and we laughed at him. It wasn't a bad school, but it certainly wasn't the best. Oh, um, L(U)HS.

36) Favorite scientist?
Adam and Jaime on Mythbusters. Because they blow stuff up.

37) Do you like mornings?
Yup, love them.

38) Last television program you watched:
Boneyards on the History Channel

39) If you'd been born in the opposite sex, what would your name be?
Griffin Jacob. Yes, my mother was born in the 60's, and yes, I'm thankful I popped out female!

40) Does your family own any boats:
My parents, no. My extended family, yes.

41) Something you can’t live without:
Water, or so I'm told.

42) Can you whistle?
Yup, in and out.

43) What swear word do you use the most?
Damn.

44) Do you have air conditioning in your room?
Yes, I have the freezing cold air blasting right out of the floor. *shiver*

45) What do you do when a vending machine steals your money?
Call the number and get my money back.

46) How often do you read books?
Often, although not often enough sometimes. I usually have one in the works.

47) What did you have for dinner last night?
Soup. Not good soup.

48) Describe the computer you are currently using:
Dell Dimension E521 running Vista on an AMD 64 x2 processor (2.60 GHz), 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7300, and some sound card that sometimes works with my speakers. I call it, "my headache that thinks for itself."

49) How long does it take you to get ready to go out?
Ten minutes or less. Seriously. That's if I'm trying to look good.

50) Will you donate your organs after you pass?
Depends on what kills me, but I'd like to help if I can.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Time to Grin and Bear it

All I want to write today is about how scared I am and the tears that won't come. But listening to someone moan about life isn't fun to read. Life is tossing me around lately something awful. A few things, though, have made me smile.

I knew a guy, once, a frat boy through-and-through. We were very different, not friends, but not disrespectful. Talking online one night, he was trying to convince me to be a bigger person in a bad situation. I know, weird, right? A frat boy with good sense? They exist. He commented something like (and I forget his exact words, forgive me), "Even in the face of really big piles of shit, you are always smiling and finding ways to make other people smile." I guffawed at him, or however you can do that over IM... we didn't speak much after that.

He didn't have to say it. We weren't friends. I don't even remember why he was talking to me about everything. He was, though, and he was right. Even on bad days, really bad days like I had this week, it's hard to keep a smile off my face.

My boss's boss asked me how I was holding up, just a casual question as we passed each other in the hallway. I smiled at him. I told him his news wasn't the worst of the week, and his jaw dropped. I was still smiling as I walked away.

Grandma and I had a great time in the Emergency Room last night... she's an incredibly impatient woman. Think you don't have any patience? Grandma doesn't have time to sign papers at the hospital--and we had to wait on X-rays and blood tests. To keep her sharp mind off of our wait, I made her play a game with me. My sister and I played it on long road trips growing up. "I'm thinking of a fruit/vegetable." I told her that I was thinking of a vegetable, and she worked and worked to figured it out. Then, getting the hang of things, she thought of one for me to guess. LOL, you know how hard it is to guess an olive? Sheesh! The nurses were laughing with us, and they'd occasionally pop a head in the curtained area, "Is it bigger than a bread box?" or "Does it grow out of the ground?" As unfortunate as it was to be there, we both had big grins on our faces at times.

This week sucked. In my distracted evening Thursday, I finally got over not being able to play the piano in front of someone. I didn't have any music with me... my memory only holds about five songs. I was nervous, and the keyboard was unfamiliar. I didn't play well. But I felt better after I played, better because I actually played in front of someone else, and better because those black and white keys unlock parts of me.

I cope with humor. Friends might call it morbid or dry or snarky at times... sarcastic, sure, and quick too. Here's to smiling when things get ugly.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

To the spider living in my rear-view mirror:

Mr. Spider, I need to evict you. Your webs are fantastically beautiful on the cold, dewey mornings, but they're also in my way. Your industriousness in recreating that splendor is admirable. You seem to have a web up and ready in under an hour, and I think you must be spirited or something, because I've never seen you recreate these awesome webs you so love. In addition to the webs, you have a bad habit of leaving me insect carcasses down the side of my car door. Would you mind disposing of your waste elsewhere, like over pavement? I don't know how you continue to thrive in such a harsh environment... I drive fast sometimes, yet you hang on. I've tried to blast your tiny arachnid butt out of the rear-view mirror with high-pressured water streams, and I've even tried to coax you out with a screwdriver. What will it take, Mr. Spider, to set you free of my car?

I hate to see it come to this, but it's time for you to go. This morning, we reached the last straw. I opened my car door to find a web inside. If you'd stayed outside, we might have had some happy middle-ground, but you crossed the line. If you're not gone by 6pm tonight, many-legged creature, I'm sending the Raid police in after you. Be gone!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

One Step Closer to Independence

I found a place to live: a beautiful, amazing, wonderful place to call my very own. Now, I'm waiting on my application being accepted. Unfortunately, the complex is among the most expensive in Corvallis, and I'll just barely be able to afford it. But... just barely is still affording. :) I won't know for a couple days, hopefully sooner, but the waiting is torture. Pray for me, please hope I get the apartment (and a raise at work!).

I have to apologize to my friends for being a pain to talk to lately. I'm tired, and looking for a place to live has been incredibly stressful. I know I've snapped at a few people, and I am sorry if I've been a bit terse. Yes, I have drama and I'm going through some major changes, but that shouldn't cause me to be a selfish ass to anyone. If I've been nice to you lately, consider yourself very lucky... and thanks and apologies for everyone for not turning away from me.

And I'm sorry I don't have something exciting for you tonight... I lack inspiration.