Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Merry Christmas!

To everyone I love, everyone who loves me, and everyone in between, have a great holiday!

Friday, December 20, 2002

Miss You. :(

"One day soon, we all will be together, if our fates allow. Until then, we'll have to muddle through, somehow."

No, we won't. We won't all be together. I don't even know if I could handle everyone from different "lives" I live and have lived converging upon me at once...

This time of year, I always find myself feeling nostalgic and wistful (As opposed to my usual cold, emotionless demeanor...for those of you who don't know me, that's sarcasm in the highest form. I cry at Hallmark commercials. I'm a marketing-type person. I know not just THAT these things are designed to manipulate you but HOW they're designed to manipulate you. I cry anyway. But, I digress.), and I end up reflecting a bit on people I miss. I miss everyone. If you're not sitting in the cubicle across from me right now, chances are that I miss you. But, some people, because of simple logistics, I am forced to miss more than others. So, in no particular order, here are a few of those.

Mom and Dad: Yeah, I miss my parents. I don't need them, per se, but I do wish I saw them more often. They're back in Southern Maryland, "The Land of Pleasant Living", and haven't gotten around to visiting me YET. But, I love and miss them just the same. It'll be nice to go home for almost a week at Christmas. I can't wait to hear Dad blasting Gordon Lightfoot while he makes pancakes.

Brandy: Ying to my yang, Bill to my Ted, G to my Spot. We've known each other since we were 5 and been "best friends" since we were about 8. How many people can boast a friendship of this magnitude? But, she does give me an excuse to get to Baltimore every now and again.

Robb: What can I say? I love the guy like a brother-in-law. And he's taught me a multitude of things, from how to make my own hashish to why I should "never" deprive myself of an orgasm.

Ben: My little baby brother, all grown up now. We were just starting to be able to talk like normal people when he up and joined the Navy. Now he's going to be in boot camp for the holidays, and in some kind of top-secret nuclear submarine training for a couple years in Charleston, SC after that. But, I am wicked proud of him!

Sarah B.: She's still in Cleveland, and has a bad habit of seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth when she's involved with someone. She's also had a bad year, with her mom sick and all. Yo, Sarah! You're in PARMA for godssakes! Resurface!

Fady: "What are you talking a-BOUT?" The only (unrelated) guy I've ever REALLY loved on a mutually platonic basis. He not only puts up with, but embraces my mercilessly teasing him about his nearly nonexistant Egyptian accent. He's working for The Man in upstate NY.

Danny and Jen: My old Lakewood roommates, who could always be counted on to accompany me to Hylander. Or Pacer's. Or Manja. Or any of scores of neighborhood restaurants and pubs we frequented.

Melissa, Amy, and Gina: My Health Comm cronies, with whom I had pretty much ALL my classes up until last semester. They're actually all still IN the greater Boston area, but last semester was so hectic, we never had a chance to even get together! Classes aren't the same without 'em.

The Cleveland Anthropology Bunch: From the Body Farm to the Newark Earthworks to the FBI Forensics Lab, we had a killer time. Even with having to rise so damn early to work those bake sales and fund our trips.

Tiffany: The ex-sister-in-law. She was (is?) a great kid.

Brian and Jason: My wonderful cousins--two guys who remember what "our family" was like before the grandparents got sick and everyone was at each other's throats. I used to get in fistfights with Brian, and we used to tie Jason to trees and leave him. Now Jason's got a child of his own. Wow.

Jumar: "That Jumar, he's a rooster!". He's actually in boot camp with my brother, strangely enough. And who would have thought such a hard-nose type of guy could be as sweet and fiercely protective of me as he is. People never fail to surprise me.

My Sister: She died YEARS ago, when I was very young; so it's not like I miss her as a person, but more that I miss the idea of having a sister. Of having someone who remembers how my parents used to be before losing her ripped their world apart. But then again, that would defeat the purpose, I suppose.

Holly, MacDuff, and Twister: While I'm on the dead people thing, who's to say I can't miss pets I've lost over the years? There's very little I wouldn't give to see Holly's wide, tooth-baring smile.

Deek and Co.: I stopped hanging out with an entire group of people fairly recently. Deek I still keep in contact with (although HE is the one who moved out of the country...), but the rest? Nope. They weren't what they seemed. At 27, I'm a bit old for such high school antics. But, I guess I do wish things had been different. They were fun to hang out with, on a "surface" kind of level.

So, now that I have severely depressed myself, let me give myself a quick reminder that I'll see Brandy, Robb, the parents, and Brian over the holidays. I'll probably see much of the Cleveland bunch next semester, when I eventually get out there for a visit.

And the dead ones? Well hell, they're dead. Not a damn thing I can do about that.

Happy Holidays, to those I miss, those who miss me, and everyone in between.

Love at First What?

Do you believe in love at first sight? When did you "first" fall in love with the person you are/were/will be in love with?

I don't. I believe in lust, attraction, and that intangible "something special" that draws you to someone immediately, but love? Nah. It's just too complicated of an emotion to be pegged as such instantly. Personally, I think most of what people call "love at first sight" can be attributed to their current feelings for someone--looking back, it can be hard to imagine a time you didn't "love" him or her.

I once dated a guy who was a staunch believer in love at first sight. He further claimed that the reason for this belief was that he had fallen in love with me at first sight. (Hmmm...) According to him, he saw me from across the room (forgive me as this morphs into an Air Supply song....); laughing as I loaded my plate at the dorm cafeteria salad bar, clad in a "Let Pretzel Boy Play" t-shirt (remember those Rold Gold commercials with Jason Alexander?) and cut-offs. I was tall and red-haired (those are really the only 2 things that stand out about me, and BOY do they...), and oozing confidence like syrup. He said later "You were just so....alive. I couldn't take my eyes off you. I wanted to know you more than I had ever wanted ANYTHING before."
(Yeah, he gave good verbals...)

We met a few days later, when by chance a mutual acquaintance invited us both over; and he was apparently like "Oh. My. God. It's her."

Well, as much as I liked being the her in this story, I still don't buy the "love at first sight" thing.

Later, I asked him if he had set out to fall in love with me, right from the beginning. If it had been some sort of plan on his part. He replied "No, but I hoped."

I didn't like that. It was as if everything about me that made me ME was negligible. He had already caught a five-second glimpse of me, and decided that he hoped we'd fall in love. What did it matter if I was a bleeding heart liberal, a vegetarian who ate ribs when drunk enough, an ex-artist psych major who equally loved the concrete jungle and the clorophyll one? Why did he need to know my hopes, my dreams, my successes and failures? I was the tall, smiling redhead in the funny t-shirt. That was all he needed.

That's another reason I'm not a fan of the love at first sight concept. It reduces us from whole, fascinating, self-actualizing beings to a simple sum of parts. When you "fall in love" upon first glancing at someone, do you ever really see more of them? Or do you spend the entirety of your relationship trying to reconcile what you imagined them to be with that first look and who they actually are?

I think it's the latter. Call me unromantic, but I think we deserve more than to forever be a shadow of a snapshot on someone's psyche.

Big Blogging Day

I think it's going to be a Big Blogging Day. It's the last day I have to work this year, and I have an absolute LACK of desire to be productive.

Hold on, kids! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!

Thursday, December 19, 2002


1/2 hour = 30 minutes = 1800 seconds

Isn't it time to leave work YET?!?!
The Asshole Awards

Today has been a day for receiving surveys from people who injured themselves in particularly hilarious ways. Now, lest you think I'm some sort of ogre for muffling guffaws at the ways people have been hurt, I would like to inform you that I once broke my arm falling out of a hammock. So, it's kind of a laughing with them kind of thing.

Anyway, today's Asshole awards include the following:

How did the injury occur?

Trying on pants at H & M.

(This person plans to file a claim against the "responsible party". Hmm. Now, if you're either so in denial that you've injured yourself trying to stuff your size-12 frame into a size-6 pair of pants; or so klutzy that you've fallen over while putting your legs in; shouldn't you have the good sense to be too humiliated to MENTION it, much less point fingers of blame?)

How did the injury occur?

I was curling my bangs and burned my eye with the curling iron.

(This is a case of fate giving you a helping hand. Curled bangs went out about 15 years ago. There is no need for such dangerous activity any longer. Try a ponytail.)

How did the injury occur?

I stepped in front of a golf cart.

(How in the hell did this even happen? It's not like golf courses are filled with places in which a golf cart can sneak up on you, or like golf carts move that fast So what, you're walking along and somehow miss the 6-foot square vehicle rumbling towards you? "Hey Earl, I found my ball! I can play through! I---owie! I have been knocked over by a golf cart run amock!")

How did the injury occur?

I sat down on a stool that had been removed moments earlier.

(So...you didn't exactly sit on the stool, now did you? By the way, were you one of the original Three Stooges)?

Type of Accident: BBQ Fork in right big toe.

(I have no comment on this one. I've been rendered nearly speechless.)

I am going to hell for laughing at these people. There is no doubt. But while I'm at it, wouldn't you like to laugh at them, too? We can hang in Hades later.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002


Now that the semester is, at long last, over with a big "Oh!", I could finally get a start on my Christmas shopping. And where else would I go but the downtown Filene's Basement?

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with this Boston phenomenon, the downtown Filene's Basement is a store like no other. Racks and racks and bins and bins of fine and cruddy merchandise, marked down another 25% for every week it's been there. Oh, the pushing, the shoving, the Cole Hahn handbags for $40.

So, there I am, on a diligent search for Christmas gifts. (Of course, I did get a thing or two for myself. I felt a flutter of guilt at that, but I mean, who knows what I want for Christmas better than I?) During the time I spent at Filenes, I had my stuff stomped on (I had set it down while I was trying on a coat and someone stomped RIGHT on it!), was practically assualted over not getting "far enough" out of someone's way (for which, I assure you, she received that no-Krispy-Kreme tongue lashing meant for Sean....), and got to watch the dismay of Filene's Virgins.

Now, as I said, Filene's Basement is a store like no other. One reason I deem it as such is that its fitting rooms, rather than being the usual rows of locking stalls, consist of one giant room equipped with mirrors and hooks. Yep, you do your thing in front of the world. I'm really not bothered by this. But when people who aren't expecting it walk in...well, let's just say that hijinx can ensue.

Well, Filene's was pretty much a success story. I got some stuff I needed to get. So, the next stop was Strawberries, where I was hoping to pick up a copy of Best in Show for my mom, who is a dog show enthusiast herself (and yes, they are really that insane, but that's another story...). Lucky for me, I nabbed the last one! Hells yeah!
I hit numerous other stores, my adventures in each individual one something I won't subject you to. For instance, Aldo seems to have an obsession with Britney Spears, which did not make me want to buy their shoes. I longingly caressed a pair of over-the-knee boots, then shrugged my shoulders at the jeans I was wearing and left for the next place.

I also tried in vain to replace my favorite jeans, which were rendered non-wear-to-work-able when I slipped on a patch of ice the other night, fell, and ripped out the knee. (Hmmm. That's too humiliating to mention. Maybe I should have said "I was fighting off a pack of rapid wolves that were attacking an infant, when...") No luck.

God, shopping is exhausting. I ended up famished and queued up in line at Wendy's. How exactly this happened, I'm unsure.
Fast food is kind of an odd thing for me. I don't like it. In fact, since I was a vegetarian for so long, my first instinct is that I "can't" eat most of it. But, every now and again, I end up furtively shoving something greasy, paper-wrapped, and gross into my mouth; praying all the while that none of my Health Communication classmates happen to walk by.
It was so last night. I got the #1, NOT "biggie-sized", thank you very much. (Like it doesn't have enough calories as is? I need MORE?)
It wasn't good.
I ended up throwing half of it away, fearful that if I crammed too much of it into my mouth, I'd no longer be able to fit into the Donna Karan blazer I had just snagged for a steal at Filene's.

So, I was finished. I forgot to stop by Filene's on the way home and pick up a rolling duffle for my flight. Damn, I'll have to stop by again today.

So, that's my story.

You were expecting more, weren't you? Like for me to tie it all together, or make some observation about the over-commercialization of Christmas, or something?

Nope. Not gonna.

Monday, December 16, 2002

5-second Movie Reviews


It was pretty great! A no-guns, no shoot 'em up sci-fi spectacular that left my viewing companion (the irrepressible Sean) and I discussing such existensial topics as the meaning of life, life after death, love after death, the origination and final determination of consciousness, and whether or not 2 shots of George Clooney's ass is worthy of an "R" rating.

Don't See:

Star Trek: Nemesis

Chriz, Mike, and Roger didn't despise it nearly as much as Sean and I did, so check Chriz's site to see if he gives it a more interesting or in-depth review. I thought it was swill. I'd rather watch Demolition Man over and over.

(I bet Sean would like that, too....)

Saturday, December 14, 2002


Maybe next Sean will dunk my braids in the inkwell. *swoon*

While I was visting my "best friend", the infamous Brandy, in Baltimore over Thanksgiving, we had some interesting conversations. We always do. One of these kind of centered around looks and sexual attraction. Brandy observed that we were kind of fortunate that we fell into the same category: attractive enough to be described as such, but not so much so that we had ever had to worry that that was the sole reason someone was dating, screwing, hooking up with, or otherwise "involved" with us. I saw where she was going, and I agreed. But I've kind of turned the conversation around in my mind; mulled it over, so to speak; since then.

I have to say, I no longer believe it's entirely true. First of all, perhaps unbeknownst to her, Brandy is a knockout. A friggin' knockout. She's tall and naturally tan with blonde hair and green eyes...and hell, her ass ain't half-bad either. My whole life, she's been my "hot friend" (As in "Who's your 'hot friend'?"). So, who's to say that in all her years of dating, since I first aided my fellow classmates in holding down Andy Guy at recess and forcing her to kiss him, she's never dated anyone who was doing so in part just because of what a hottie she is? Call me a doubting Thomas, but hmmm.....

And in my case? Hell, I'd just put myself in the "reasonably attractive" category. I'm tall, I've got good teeth, I bathe regularly. That's about it. But even I have been "involved" with someone, knowing all the while that I was arm candy. But I guess in a way that particular situation serves to reiterate Brandy's point--remembering the situation, it wasn't that he thought I was cute, but that he thought I was cute and intelligent. (I guess he wasn't aware that they could come together in one package?) And it kind of drives the point home even more that he knew that I knew that I was just arm candy; and that I was "dating" him (we'll call it that for simplicity's sake) just for something to do. He was an attractive man with money, but neither the time nor the inclination to pursue a "real" relationship with me or anyone else. So, he had his arm candy girl for occasions that warranted one. Did he deserve more? Yes. Did he desire more? Probably. Did he actually attempt to "get" more? Nope.

I'm confusing myself even more as I go around in these circles. Every man I've been involved with has, at one point or another, practically tripped over himself to tell me how attractive he thinks I am. Very few have ever bothered to compliment me on my intelligence, sparkling wit, or grilled cheese-makin' skills. So, I hypothesize that although I may be just in the "reasonably attractive" category in general; the people who date me find me, in particular, beautiful. And likewise, I've never been "involved" with a man who I did not think was attractive (at least while I was involved with him...).

So. Is it that the attraction comes from the attractiveness, and the relationships with the people who have the sparkling wit and grilled cheese-makin' skills are the ones that perservere? Or is it that those with the sparkling wit and grilled cheese-makin' skills become more attractive to you when you allow yourself to love them?

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know....

But Brandy, the one thing I can state, with a good degree of certainty; is that people with your level of the intelligence, sparkling wit, and all-around greatness just don't tend to attract the kind of scum-buckets who only want pretty pictures for their wallets. They'd be far too intimidated.

So, I guess she was right, in that sense. Let me turn it over for another few weeks and I'll have an entirely different take on it.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Quirks. Oddities. Freakin' FREAKS.

In all the years I've lived "on my own", I've never had normal roommates. I swear. They all have some kind of oddness, whether it be just a simple, lovable quirk, or a pull-out-your-hair-crazy quality.

First, there was Danny. He was a gay sometimes drag queen who was a RIOT to live with. God, we had fun. His oddity? Well, he was kind of a compulsive liar. And strange lies, too; the kind that are either pointless or obviously lies. For instance, he once told me he was going to Pennsylvania Dutch Country when he was really going to visit his friend in Reston (VA). And when he up and joined the Air Force (he later 'cracked' and was sent home in disgrace...), he told me he was moving to Chicago to go to hair design school.
Danny and I kind of lost touch after that. I miss him.

Next, there was Sarah, my roommate in college and still one of my close friends. Sarah's oddities were more quirks than anything else. Like the way she'd never eat her own food, but gobble up your entire carton of Ben & Jerry's using your spoon, as if that somehow rendered the calories unprocessable. She also would wash the dishes in the bathtub. That was kind of gross. Oh, and have sex with her boyfriend while I was in the room. This may seem like normal college activity, but I should point out that said boyfriend had a single room (practically unheard of in sardine-like collegiate living!) two doors down.
So, that was Sarah. She's still in Cleveland. I miss her, too.

Next, I moved off-campus and lived with my friend Jen. Her boyfriend Danny (a "different" Danny...) moved in, unofficially; almost immediately; and officially, a few months later. Jen and Danny were another two with mostly harmless quirks. Danny had a thing for devouring anything not nailed to the floor, including items in "to-go" boxes, which are traditionally "off-limits" to hungry roommates. Jen never cleaned. Anything. Ever. Dishes would pile up for weeks as we engaged in a silent battle of wills, one that I nearly always lost. I just couldn't stand all the damn dishes piling up! It was icky! Jen also couldn't stand to be alone, so she'd follow me around in puppy-dog fashion. Oh, and whenever she couldn't or didn't feel like paying the rent, a quick phone call to Daddy solved everything. Her parents paid for her car, her insurance, her rent half the time....I guess I'm mostly just envious of that. Geez, do you know how much beer money I would have had in those days if I hadn't had to pay rent and car insurance?
But, I digress. Like all my Cleveland friends, I don't talk to them as much these days (simply because I'm so busy), but I miss them, too.

When I moved to Boston, I moved in with virtual strangers I had met and "spoke" (so to speak) with online, Jess and Ewen. Both were fellow Emerson grad students, and we got along famously. I expected tons of fun with them when I moved here, much as I had always experienced with roommates before. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. Jess and I got along instantly, but Ewen was...very strange. I believe he takes the cake as the most bizarre roommate to date. God, the list on him could go on and on and on....I'll spare you all the details, and just supply a few notations. Firstly, it took very little time for us to discern that Ewen had taken up permanent residence in 'the closet'. C'mon, straight men just don't own picnic baskets. Or subscribe to Martha Stewart Living. Yet, he persisted in trying to date women. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, ladies and gents. He went home every weekend, and spent most days skulking in his room with his iMac. Very strange for someone who had seemed so personable on the phone and via email. He took a bunch of DVD's home one weekend and then accused us of stealing them and selling them on eBay. He never talked to us, and after awhile we stopped making an effort and simply felt relieved when he wasn't around.
When Ewen finally left, we breathed heavy sighs of relief. Then we walked around the house and gazed at the empty walls (he hadn't wanted us to hang any of our stuff), where he had, in grinchlike fashion, removed each and every nail that had once supported a picture.
I don't see Ewen anymore. Jess does sometimes, and I guess he sprints away like a frightened deer every time.

When Ewen moved out, we selected Barbara as our next roomie. She seemed young and excitable, but very sweet and genuine. ("Seemed" being the key word...) We all moved from JP to Brookline, and Barbara was nice enough to front the cash for the new place till Jess and I got our student loan money in. I mean, it's hard to come up with 2 grand on a grad student's shoestring budget! Anyway, I think that's where "it" started. After the move, she became increasingly odd. First, it was just thoughtless annoyances--like the fact that she left the place for a week before we moved and packed nothing, leaving it all to us; and then spent the entirety of moving day making sandwiches or lounging and complaining of how tired she was (she hadn't moved anything). Then, it gradually began to escalate, until it reached its current state of full-blown crazed paranoia. Whenever either one of us sees her, she interrogates us about something of hers she's certain we've eaten or taken; especially if her boyfriend is within earshot and she can play the martyr.
B: "Amanda, have you been dipping into my dip?"
A: "Er...No, I haven't even been here to eat in weeks...say, is that the same dip from when we first moved here 3 months ago? Don't you think it's gone bad by now?"
B: "Well, it's still mine."
The kicker is that she hoardes things in her room like she's some kind of Mormon preparing for the Rapture (is it Mormons that prepare for the Rapture?) or something. Boxes of tea, containers of cookies, jars of peanut butter. And giant packages of toilet paper. No, I'm not kidding. She has refused to buy toilet paper for the entire 4 months we've lived there. But she keeps a 12-pack of double-roll Charmin under her bed. Under her bed. Seriously.
The sad thing about the Barbara situation is that we were pretty close, pre-insanity. Now? Jesus. I'm afraid to be near her, lest I catch Psycho.

So, those are my stories. I just want a normal living situation. Is that really so much to ask?

Monday, December 09, 2002

Lesson for Today

Ahh, learning. Ain't it fun?

Today's lesson is: you cannot add visible page numbers to a document after converting it to a pdf without creating a little text box on each page and inserting text in this manner.

I spent some time this morning doing just that for my group's 100-page marketing proposal planbook. Not to mention that I had to re-format all the bulleted (bulletted? ahh, who cares?) text last night before going to bed.

Ahh well, it's done now. And off to Kopy Kop to be bound oh-so-professionally.

And the fact that the page numbers are all slightly different sizes and in slightly different places? Hell, I'd say it gives our proposal "character", "personality", "a sense of gritty realism", even. All in all, I think I did the group a favor!

Hmmm. How long before they notice, do ya think?

Friday, December 06, 2002

It's Official

I am slowly becoming part of the evil conglomerate that is "the man".

Why, you ask? Well, because I have agreed to toss aside the plebian robes of a "temp" and accept a permanent job offer with Blue Cross.


So, on one hand, I'm going to be inherently evil. But on the other, I get such things as "benefits", which apparently includes 3 weeks of paid vacation. Hoo-yeah!

Currently, I'm in negotiations with them trying to get more money. Not because I really deserve it, just because I'm greedy and wanted to see if I could. If I don't succeed, it won't bother me too much. Hell, they're already offering to pay me a ridiculous sum of money for a job that mostly consists of stuffing and unstuffing envelopes. And before you ask, no, this isn't my ultimate career goal! But they presented it to me as "We KNOW this isn't what you want to do. But stay here, let us pay you more and give you benefits, we'll give you a very flexible schedule, and you can finish up your Master's degree." So, what kind of moron would say no?

So, that' s what' s new with me. Now, if only Massachusetts could get its damn budget under control, maybe the state could afford me. Till then, I guess I'm stuck weasel-ing.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002


Ahh, the blur that is December when you're a grad student....I'm not sure I remember a time when I didn't spend my entire day hunched over the computer monitor, snarling like an animal at passers-by.

Jane, stop this crazy thing!