Monday, September 18, 2006

Firsts Meme

I have discovered I love these things. Rather than email everyone and be annoying, I post them here.

{stolen from quodlibets, who claims it was (stolen from frogblog)}
1. Who was your first prom date? Billy Webster. I was a freshman, he was a junior. We dated for several months and did nothing but hold hands. It was sweet.
2. Who was your first roommate(s)? I had a single my freshman year of college, so my first roommate was of my choosing in Rome and a girl we hardly knew who I offered to room with us. She and my friend ended up dating for several years.
3. What alcoholic beverage did you drink the first time you got drunk? Beer.
4. What was your first job? I worked the register at Eckerd’s Pharmacy.
5. What was your first car? A used maroon Mitsubishi Expo. It was a piece and very ugly. I believe they only made them for two years before they stopped due to lack of interest.
6. When did you go to your first funeral? I went to my dad’s wake at 5 and have some memories of it, but I don’t think I was allowed to go to the funeral. Then, I think the next one was my grandmother in 1996.
7. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown? Moved from Schaumburg to Marietta, Georgia when I was 8. I left Marietta at 17 for college and never went back. Except to visit.
8. Who was your first grade teacher? I don’t remember.
9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? I flew to Florida to visit a friend who had moved there when I was in sixth grade – that was the first time I flew alone. I think we flew right after my dad died – my mom, brothers and I went on a cruise – but my mom gave us Dramamine so we would sleep and I don’t remember it.
10. When did you sneak out of your house for the first time, who was it with? I never really snuck out. My middle brother and I snuck out early one morning to go ice skating, but I was probably only 8 at the time, and I don’t think our parents would have cared.
11. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends with them? My first best friend was named Rhonda, I think, and we’re not still friends. My next best friend was Tiffany and we are also no longer friends, though our mothers are, so I occasionally get updates on her.
12. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents’ house? Regina Hall.
13. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? I go home to B or I call my mom. 14. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid/groomsman? My sister’s wedding, I was the maid of honor.
15. What is the first thing you do in the morning? I tinkle, brush my teeth and either walk the dog or shower, depending on whether or not he’s going to daycare that day.
16. What was the first concert you ever went to? I saw Little Feat with my aunt when I was about 15.
17. First tattoo or piercing? I got my ears pierced in third grade, I think. I got them double-pierced with my mom after my freshman year of college – she got hers done, too. I got my cartilage pierced at some point, but it never healed properly and I took it out. I got my tongue pierced my sophomore year of college while in Germany, shortly before new years, 1999. I got my first tattoo when I was 23 in Chicago.
18. First celebrity crush? Sadly, I think it was Steve Guttenberg in the Police Academy movies.
19. Age of first kiss? It was right before high school started, so I guess I was 13?
20. First crush? Hmm. My first boyfriend was in third grade, but I don’t remember having a crush on him first, he asked and I said yes. Then… Ummmm… Maybe fourth grade, it was really serious? At that point, my crush changed from week to week. The longest running crush started my freshman year of high school and lasted probably until my freshman year of college.
21. First time you did drugs? My senior year in high school, I went out with a friend and we went to someone’s house. The guy had graduated the year before and was … well, not traditionally hot, but very smart and charming… so I tried what he was offering, which just made me feel thick-headed and dumb. I had to drive home which was bad and dumb. Then, I never really did anything else, not much anyway, until we went to Amsterdam my sophomore year of college, when it became blatantly obvious that I should not ever smoke anything ever. I threw up all over that damn city. It was awful. I’ve stuck with government - approved drugs since then, like booze.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Summer Vacation, Part the Second

Possibly the Longest Post Ever…

Where we left off:
4. A drunk driver smashed into my car, doing $6400 worth of damage but thankfully only hurting himself. The car was parked and no one was in or around it.
5. School is about to start soon
6. I will be engaged soon

Poor, Sad Scion

I love my car. It is zippy, small and cute. It is the first car I have ever bought, and I’ve had it for just over a year. A friend of mine recently asked what car I would get if money were no object. Honestly, it’s this car. I know it isn’t expensive or fancy but I love it and it is me.

We don’t have a garage spot, so I park on the street. Sunday evening, I parked on Grand Avenue, not far from my front door, when I park very frequently. Monday morning, I was leaving to take Hank to daycare. I started walking down the sidewalk and I saw a car blocking the sidewalk. It was one of those moments where your brain just doesn’t quite register what it is seeing. It was like this:

After a couple steps, I stopped. “That’s my car.” I started walking forward again, confused. I stopped again. “ “ that’s what I thought. Nothing. What? I called B, who was still upstairs. “Someone hit my car. It’s up on the sidewalk” I started crying. He said he was on his way. I sat down on the stoop of the building next door and just started bawling. My brain just couldn’t quite figure out what I was supposed to do. It was awful. I sort of forgot about Hank, who was also confused. Thankfully, he is a very mellow dog and, when something is wrong, he just stays quiet and sticks by your side. He's really wonderful.

There were pieces of car all over the sidewalk. There was antifreeze all over the street. Naturally, I assumed it was all from my car.

When your car is in an accident and the police are called and you aren’t there, they leave an accident report on your windshield. I know this because, about two years ago, a garbage truck hit the back of my old Subaru and ripped the bumper off.

So, I started to look at the accident report. There were four cars involved in this accident, but only mine and another one were listed. Turns out, only two cars fit on one report so I had one page of a two page report. I called my insurance company and a tow truck showed up – he had already towed the other two cars involved. I’d show more pictures, but I don’t know how to fuzz out the license plate and that makes me nervous.

To make a long story slightly shorter, I got the full accident report and discovered that some guy, driving someone else’s car with no license and no insurance had sideswiped the car behind me, hit me and shoved my car up onto the sidewalk and into the car in front of me. The body shot says it is going to cost about $6400 and take 80 labor hours to fix. It has been three weeks and my car is still in the shop. Thankfully, my insurance company is covering it. Unfortunately, I have a $1000 deductible and I’m working part time because I’m in school. So that sort of sucks. But the car is being fixed and eventually I’ll have it back. In the meantime, I’m taking the bus to work and grocery shopping with B. It is frustrating, but it could have been worse.

Back to School

School has started back up. I’m taking a class about teaching writing to second language writers – basically non-native English speakers. I’m a little nervous because I have no teaching experience and this will sort of give me a sense of whether or not I’ll like teaching. I also think it will be pretty challenging.

I was supposed to take two classes, but the only ones available were one in Milton and one in 18th Century and Restoration Drama. Not great. Plus, working three days a week severely cuts into my paycheck, no matter how long I work on those days. This class will not be offered again until 2008. Since the majority of community college students are ESL students, and since I will most likely be teaching community college or high school, I figure I should take it.

Engagement Pending

The other night, B (for “boyfriend” I can’t figure out how to refer to him here. He doesn’t know I have a blog [I just haven’t felt like telling him.] so it doesn’t seem fair to name him) told me that the ring I've been planning on using - the engagement ring my dad gave my mom - can only hold what it holds now - .5 carat, oval shaped stone. He was telling me this because he wasn't sure if I still wanted to use that, since .5 carat is kind of small and you know how I like the bling. Seriously, though, I had thought you could put anything in there. In my head, it was slightly bigger, maybe .75 to 1 carat and princess cut. I'm not crazy about ovals. He said they have a jacket that fits well and looks good that we could use as a wedding band, which would bling it up. He already ordered the stone, but wanted to make sure it's what I wanted before he has it put in. He said that I could have something bigger if that's what I want. So, on Saturday we went to look at it.

I was torn. I've never even thought about what kind of engagement ring I might want because I always thought I already had my engagement ring. It is small, but it has a lot of sentimental value. I was leaning towards just getting it sized for my right hand with a ruby (what was in it – my birthstone) and then getting something else for my engagement ring. But that makes me a little sad, because I thought I'd have this great sentimental ring. But I don't want to spend the rest of my life wishing I had made a different choice. It's tough. In any case, he had already ordered the diamond, which means that he is 100% sure he's proposing and fairly soon.

So we went to look at the diamond he’d already bought. It was beautiful. Shiny and Sparkly and all the wonderful things that diamonds can be, only way more so than I’d ever expected. I was enthralled. I tried on other stuff, just for to be sure. However, the salesgirl? Not so helpful. I wanted to check out other solitaires with stones in them for size comparisons. I like white gold, she brought me yellow. The diamond B bought was pretty high quality – she brought me cubic zirconium. All the other settings they had seemed like a lot of … stuff. I mean, they seemed really big and I have little hands. PLUS the settings they have in jewelry stores don’t have stones in them, which makes them look weird. So, I was overwhelmed and the one I had was so pretty and sparkly. So, I said I wanted it. Yay! They said it would be ready Monday. Yay! I asked them to put the ruby that was in my ring into a basic pendant for a necklace.

Then Sunday came, as it often does after Saturday, and we saw some friends who were recently engaged. Her ring was one carat, as were most of the rings of the women in my office. I started to think “my ring will be half that size… with no side stones… nothing else. People are going to think it’s dinky.” It isn’t that I was looking at my ring solely through the eyes of other people, I mean, if I really loved it I don’t think that I’d care. But I felt like I would always be explaining that it was my mom’s setting and it has great sentimental value and … I didn’t want people to think that B was cheap. I didn’t want to feel like I had to explain. I felt greedy and ungrateful.

Once our friends left, I went to fold some laundry, trying to figure out how to tell B that the ring he’d already paid for, that would be ready the next day, wasn’t what I wanted. I started crying. He started laughing at me. He was glad I wanted something else and said he was going to try to talk me out of it anyway. I knew I liked him for a reason.

So, now I have a new necklace and I’ll probably get something else to go in my mom’s ring and we’re starting over looking for a new ring. I have no idea how or when he’ll propose but he has said that one we have the ring, I won’t be getting it right away. It’s funny, but I have been so nervous and sort of anxious wondering when he will propose but, now that I know that he will soon, I’m not anxious at all. It’s cheesy and you’ll have to just excuse me, but I just feel so happy. I’m looking forward to getting married and starting our life together – even though we’ve already lived together for a while, I feel like this is the real start of things.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Music Meme

I stole this meme from Quodlibets. I should be working, but I don't wanna.

1. Favorite Beatles song: Rubber Soul is my favorite album, and my favorite song varies, usually though it's "I'm Looking Through You"
2. Favorite Rolling Stones song: I know I'm supposed to pick Beatles or Stones, but I love them both. Currently, "Dead Flowers" is my favorite Stones song because I'm learning to play it on the guitar.
3. Favorite Doors song: I was into the Doors in high school, but not so much any more. Probably "Spanish Caravan"
4. Favorite Bob Dylan song: I dig Bob, but I dig him the most when other people cover him, so it depends. "Tangled up in Blue" is probably my favorite because I like it when Bob does it himself (though you can barely understand him these days) and it has been covered well.
5. Favorite Led Zeppelin song: "Immigrant Song" It would be my intro if I were a major-league baseball player.
6. Favorite TV Theme Song: Charmed used "How Soon is Now" but I like The Smiths version better. Gilmore Girls uses "Where You Lead" by Carole King, which I love.
7. Favorite Prince Song: Darling Nikki from Purple Rain. I love Prince when he's dirty. I'm so sad he found religion.
8. Favorite Madonna Song: This is tough. For her early stuff, I would say "La Isla Bonita" but I also loved Bedtime Stories and some of her recent stuff is really good. I'm not a huge Madonna fan, so it's hard to pick a favorite.
9. Favorite Michael Jackson song: Does the Jackson 5 count? "Rockin' Robin" is awesome. Post-Jackson 5 I would say "Rock With You"
10. Favorite Queen Song: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is what pops into my head first, but I also LOVE "I Want to Break Free."
11. Favorite 'N Sync Song: Honestly, I don't know that I can name a song other than "Bye Bye Bye" But I'm sure out on the dance floor there's something of theirs that would be fun.
12. Favorite Al Green Song: "Let's Stay Together" is the only one I know.
13. Favorite Bruce Springsteen song: "Hungry Heart" again, because I know how to play it on the guitar. It was our recital song at the end of my guitar class. I dig the boss, but I'm not a huge fan. I like his cover of Woody Guthrie's "The Car Song"
14. Favorite Cure song: "Pictures of You" In England, they call Robert Smith "Fat Bob" hee. That's mean.
15. Favorite song that most of your friends haven't heard: That's tough because a lot of my friends are really into music and know more than me. Only one is a big Tori Amos fan though and I love "Flying Dutchman"
16. Favorite Beastie Boys song: I'm going to have to keep Mano's answer for this one: "Sabotage" but only because it's the only song I can stand to leave on for more than say, 30 seconds.
17. Favorite Clash song: I love pretty much all of London Calling. Probably "Train in Vain" and "Death or Glory" are my favorites, though.
18. Favorite Beach Boys song: All of Pet Sounds is amazing but "God Only Knows" usually makes me want to cry, it is so beautiful.
19. Favorite Cyndi Lauper song: You know, I've heard that she has done some really amazing stuff since her heyday and that she's awesome, but "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is all I really know. Sorry, Cyndi.
20. Favorite song from a movie: This is just unfair. Movie soundtracks can be so good - Almost Famous has a really great soundtrack, as does Empire Records. I would have to say that my favorite song from a movie is "Rebel Rebel" by Seu Jorge. He sings a bunch of David Bowie Songs in Portuguese, it's awesome.
21. Favorite Jeff Buckley song: I really like all of Grace, but I love his cover of "Hallelujah"
22. Favorite Johnny Cash song: "Folsom Prison Blues" So good.
23. Favorite song from an 80's one hit wonder: "Come on Eileen" is the only thing that I can think of, though I know that there has to be something I like more. I don't really like that song all that much.
24. Favorite Pink Floyd song: "Money" & "Time" are both awesome
25. Last song you heard: My car is dead, so I haven't been listening to much music lately, as I've chosen to read on the bus instead of listen to my iPod. I know there was music on at the bowling alley last night but I can't remember... I know we listened to "Money" by Pink Floyd on the way home.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Summer Vacation, Part the First

So, it has been a while since I posted. Lots of stuff has happened, and I wanted to do a comprehensive post which meant I wanted to wait until I had time to write something good and eloquent and I don't ever have time for that. I have given up and am now going to attempt to post an update without regard to readability. I only have two regular readers anyways, and I don't think ya'll will mind.

Several things have happened in the past month.

1. I read lots of books
2. I went to Atlanta and met my nephew
3. I went to see the Dixie Chicks at the United Center
4. A drunk driver smashed into my car, doing $6400 worth of damage but thankfully only hurting himself. The car was parked and no one was in or around it.
5. School is about to start soon
6. I will be engaged soon

Summer Reading

I finished Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. Everyone I know who likes her says this is their favorite of her works. I think I liked Faking It better, but maybe only because I read it first and so I knew for sure who the characters would end up with.
I also read:
Lady Anne's Dangerous Man by Jeane Westin. I was disappointed. The dialogue seemed stilted and it wasn't as hot as I was hoping it would be.
Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman. This was good and entertaining, and I was planning on quoting him in my review of the Dixie Chicks. However, much like coco puffs, I felt like it was lacking something. I enjoyed reading it but didn't get anything out of it. Not that I think all books have to be educational. Certainly many of the romances I read aren't but I was left feeling like I sort of wasted my time. Maybe because it is a collection of essays that are only loosely tied together by pop culture. Maybe this is why I don't read more non-fiction.
High Five by Janet Evonovich. I really enjoy Stephanie Plum and her novels. I love that you don't have to read them in order. I read this one on the plane on the way home and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Perfect vacation reading.
Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. My mom, for reasons I may never understand, got this book for my grandma and then read it herself. I was aware of the general weirdness of Augusten's story, but my mother was not. She found the book disturbing and disgusting "just nasty," in her words. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope the forthcoming movie does it justice.
Mohawk by Richard Russo. I'm only halfway through this, so technically I haven't finished it yet. Russo is fast becoming my favorite contemporary American author. He's excellent. I highly recommend the hilarious Straight Man and the bittersweet Empire Falls (recently made into a surprisingly good and faithful two-part movie for HBO). Mohawk is excellent.

Hello, Baby!

My sister gave birth on May 17, 2006 to a beautiful baby boy. Six hours after he was born, he underwent surgery to correct a hole in his intestines. On July 6, 2006, he was released (early) from the hospital because he healed so quickly. I finally made it down to Atlanta to meet him in early August. He is the cutest, sweetest thing ever. I'm sure everyone says that about babies, but it's true. When I met him, he had a tiny white polo shirt on with little madras pants. He's a stylish little man. I could go into all the details but babies are babies and I don't want to bore anyone. I can't wait to see him again and sort of wish that I lived closer to the rest of my family. He's always going to like his uncle a little bit more than his aunt just because the uncle will be around more. Not that I'm jealous or competitive or anything. I just want him to like me best.

(to be continued)