Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bonjour Tristesse

Interesting the way our things in our lives have a way of finding unusual connections. Reading another blog today, I came across this news article. Bonjour Tristesse was the only book I ever read in French. It seems even more interesting that I just learned about this when I've been have a discussion with friends about reliving high school. Wow--sitting here I am remember images from reading that book and how good it felt to be able to read it. I would love to be that fluent again.

Au revoir.

Yahoo! News - France mourns Francoise Sagan, author of 'Bonjour Tristesse'

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

What a difference a day makes

As I said yesterday, I woke up yesterday full of anxiety about the day. So much so that I almost took the day off work to avoid it.

It was a long day--work until 6, have dinner with another sorority adviser to tackle some issues, spend 3.5 hours in sorority meetings (including 1 hour dealing with members with "terminal angst"). Add a pointless errand and a quick trip to the grocery store and I didn't even get home until after 10:30. I was ready and motivated to clean my apartment, so I started by spending an hour checking my email. But once I finished that, I truly was motivated. I took a break at 2 am to set my VCR and ended up watching Food Fight. But I made a trifle for my meeting today at 3 am and hopped in the shower at 3:45. (Anyone remember the Friends episode where Rachel made the trifle?) I had a couple momentary energy lulls but I was so psyched that I kept going until I crashed into bed a few minutes after 4.

It was an amazing feeling when I finally climbed into bed and in 20 hours my mood had changed from overwhelming anxiety to contented achievement and motivation.

Monday, September 27, 2004

That word I forget to use

I did it. I said "no" today. Ok, not really "no", but I did say, "Today won't work for me, even though I feel absolutely horrible about it, so how about tomorrow?" Thank goodness it doesn't appear she's going to take me up on the offer for tomorrow.

In related news, I woke up this morning and was completely consumed by anxiety. Saying "no, but maybe tomorrow" to my co-worker took care of one source and I just gave my boss calculations he expected from me, reducing my second source. Thank goodness because I almost took a mental health day today because I couldn't face getting out of bed. Now the only thing still weighing on my mind is...

Sorority drama. I checked my email innocently last night to see how I was doing in the football pool (if Washington wins tonight, I'll tie for second--after my first place finish last week, this is good!) and discovered a couple long angsty emails and the announcement that one member is looking to resign from the sorority. Dealing with these issues will likely make tonight very long and tiring. As much I love these women, sometimes I wish they would just grow up.

Maybe tonight in my sorority meetings I can use that word again...

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Friday, September 24, 2004

Six Degrees of Superman

from The Watercooler - [TV Guide Online]

And now, it's time for Six Degrees of Superman!
Megababe Erica Durance blows into the fourth-season opener as Lois Lane, whose big-screen portrayer — and former tabloid headline — Margot Kidder, guest-stars as a doctor who helps Martha, played by Annette O'Toole, who was Lana Lang in Superman III, while TV's Lana is off romancing some guy in Paris, just like Brenda Walsh, who hooked up with Dean Cain, who played... that's right! You just know the folks at that staff meeting had too much fun, right?

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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Special kind of good

I just checked my statistics and I have just gotten my second hit from search engine results. I love that--for some reason it is much more exciting that any other kind of visit to my blog. And this one was even better. Know why? The search term this time was "things to do in Colorado Springs". The last search term--"little chinese girls". Ew. And unfortunately writing that in an entry probably just bumped me up on that list of search results. Oh well--looking at the glass as half-full, I suppose this way I delay the searcher by a few seconds before they find p*rn. (I don't want that word to be searchable on my site!)

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Our light

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson

Monday, September 20, 2004

Days of fall

I live and work figuratively (and in some cases literally) in the shadow of Pikes Peak. Some days the peak is a dark figure on the horizon, revealing little, and sometimes it literally disappears in haze or banks of clouds. Today, though, it seemed close enough to touch, with each boulder and rocky crag standing out in stark relief. I do love the crisp, clear days of fall.

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Weapon of Sleep Destruction

Laura-

Your blog has been determined to be a weapon of sleep destruction and as such, I order that you shut it down. Your friends, casually keeping up with your blog, may have read your entry dated August 18 of this year and the comments which accompanied it. Reading the suggestions meant for you, they may have reserved The Time-Traveler's Wife at the library--which caused me, I mean them, to stay up until after 3 am this morning sobbing and finishing the book. This might explain why when I got to work this morning, the first order of business was drugs.

-Currently bleary-eyed cube farm resident

P.S. Bridget- you are implicated in Laura's crime by suggesting the book in a public forum, but your testament to bleary-eyed mornings in the offending text suggests that you have already suffered your punishment. You're getting off easy this time.

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Sunday, September 19, 2004

My weekend

Things that have made my weekend good so far:
Enjoying a little peace and quiet, with a lot of sorority togetherness, in the mountains
Golden Oreos dunked in milk
Watching the tape I made of "I Do, But I Don't" with Dean Cain
Turning off the tape and seeing Dean's face--starring in some military tv-movie

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Update: Am I too close?

As you may have read below, I was already having a bad day when it came to how I felt about my sorority committment. Then I ended up stopping by the sorority house tonight just on a whim. When I walked in I heard one of the other advisers downstairs explaining a point to someone--she was obviously frustrated with the conclusion that I had come to with one of our regional team members but she was towing the company line, so to speak. I lingered upstairs for a few minutes before heading downstairs. As I started down the stairs, I heard her very passionately telling someone how I told the advisory team that I was going to work on releasing control and letting them do their jobs this year but I continued to send her emails to her advisees and merely copy her.

As I went down the last few steps, I heard that chapter member begin to agree with her adviser. I walked towards them, somewhat in shock, and said, "Hi." They looked up, surprised and dismayed to see me. The adviser tried to rehab the situation by telling her advisee a positive story about the way I directed a question to her today. But the damage to me was done.

You would think that I would be angry with her. I don't think that complaining about me to her advisee was appropriate--but I'm not angry with her. I'm upset because I can't fix anything if people don't let me know there is a problem. But mostly I'm hurt. I'm hurt that a chapter member would have these problems with me when all I do is give my limited time and energy to make her chapter better. And I'm hurt because my friend obviously has an issue with me that she hasn't expressed to me personally.

She called me after she left the sorority house. I did get a horrible sense of satisfaction when she told me that the chapter members present when I walked in were terrified I would be upset with them. And to some extent I understand her explanation, that she was explaining to them that the advisory team was trying to work better together and that we were trying to change things.

But there is a difference between criticizing myself and having others criticize me. I realize my faults, for the most part, and I try to be open about them. But I hate it when others criticize me or when I feel they're judging me. My self-esteem isn't in the greatest place right now to start with. And I can't work to fix something if I feel others are watching me try--I feel too exposed that I might fail.

I finally said it out loud to T tonight--I'm thinking of resigning at the end of the year.

I hope my friend forgives me for airing this here.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Am I too close?

Today is the first day that I have seriously considered giving up my position as chapter adviser for BΔ.

All along I've told myself and others that I couldn't really be friends with the chapter members, particularly the leaders that I work most closely with, because I needed to maintain that separation. I think that I've lost that separation. Twice in the past six months, three of which were summer vacation, I've felt the need to apologize for inappropriately interfering with an officer's authority in front of other chapter members. Also, three times in those same six months the chapter president has asked me not to attend an event or told me my presence wasn't needed. Each of these incidents has been tactfully or even pleasantly resolved as far as I can tell, but I think these may be an indicator that I have to give up control--learn to guide and advise versus manage--or give it up entirely.

I'm also seeing a stopping point ahead me because the class of seniors graduating this spring is the last class that can remember a time before I was an adviser and before I was ATC. The president that I'm working with now and her class of juniors was recruited during my first semester as ATC. If I can be better at guiding versus managing, I may stay on to see that first class graduate in May 2006. We'll see.

One very poignant reason for stepping back popped up today. I emailed one of the other advisers about a sorority issue and reminded her of a fun Saturday we spent doing nothing last fall. It was a great day. She wrote back and said she would love to do that again--she missed her friend. She's right--I haven't been much of a friend to most people I would consider friends this summer and fall. I've been delinquent about returning phone calls, and I haven't been the one sending any emails. I have completely scheduled my month of September without leaving time to see friends locally or catch up with friends who aren't local.

And I'm so tired. After thinking about it for a couple weeks, I marked two days off this month for me time. They both had tentative plans with organizations that I care about, but I hadn't yet committed to them so I took them off my calendar and put an all day event on to remind myself that day is time for myself. Ideally I will begin to mark one day off per week like that. Or maybe my schedule will calm itself naturally. One could hope.

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Seen on the road

Alcohol and calculus don't mix.
Don't let friends drink and derive.

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Monday, September 13, 2004

Seen

In my office parking lot...

God was my co-pilot but we crashed in the mountains and I ate him.

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In case Scott can't remember the karaoke... Posted by Hello

I didn't miss it this year


Speaking of seven deadly sins, Sunday was Scott's birthday. Happy birthday Scott! Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Seven Deadly Sins

You know who you are...

"It has been noted that the characters in Gilligan's Island represent the Seven Deadly Sins. See for yourself:

Gilligan ~ Sloth
The Skipper ~ Anger
Mr. Howell ~ Greed
Mrs. Howell ~ Gluttony
Ginger ~ Lust
The Professor ~ Pride
Mary Ann ~ Envy"

Call from a tent

T called me on Friday night.

One year ago he and I had chatted the night before he biked the MS150. He and Lex (short for lesbian ex-girlfriend) had broken up less earlier that month and I was being his best friend--just as I had been since Lex had moved to Ohio for the summer. I discovered he'd never camped out and I think even offered to help him gain those experiences. We laughed about what a true survival test for Boy Scouts in urban Chicago would be. He called me the next night as well--even though he had to try for hours to get signal in that rural area with so many bikers on cell phones. I still have the message he left me on my voicemail.

So he called me the night before the MS150 again this year--telling me it would be his first night sleeping in a tent. I commented that I'll bet it would more fun with company (me! me!) and he said he'd just been thinking the same thing. We talked some more and then he had to get some sleep before the ride on Saturday and I had to pack for my weekend in northern Colorado.

It is calls like that which make me feel like I'm his girlfriend.

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Friday, September 10, 2004

So I talked to him last night...

I hadn't talked to this particular tall boy, we'll call him 'T', since around the last time I blogged about him. Avoiding him was unintentional--I didn't return one of his phone calls and chose not to pick it up when he called my cell phone when I was in Denver with my parents a couple weeks ago. Ok, maybe it wasn't completely unintentional--I may have been practicing my separation coping mechanism.

Anyway, he called me last night, leaving one message on my machine at home and one message on my cell phone. He must've believed I was avoiding his phone calls because apparently he called my cell phone three times in a row--thinking it was my home phone and I would tire of the phone ringing and pick it up. I was at three consecutive meetings however and had my phone shut off, so I didn't receive any of these calls. When I got home, I called him back. Why? Let's examine the reasons:
-Judging by the excessive number of phone calls he made last night, he was about to get very angry or very sulky. He is not pleasant to deal with in either of those moods. (Have I mentioned he's moody?)
-I did feel slightly bad for not returning his phone calls.
-I thought there might be an important reason he was so persistent last night.
-We're friends, right? No reason we can't talk.

So we were on the phone for like a hour last night. A short conversation for us compared to our glory days. There wasn't a lot to say. We compared notes over the last couple weeks, I tried not to bore him with too many sorority-based monologues, and there was a little flirty banter during our better moments. But at one point, to make conversation, I was forced to ask about his pets. If that isn't the bottom of the conversation bucket, I don't know what is. I will admit there were moments during the conversation when I remembered why I spent 4+ hours a week on the phone with him.

At one point I called him "sweetie" in that sarcastic/condescending tone familiar to many of you. He told me not to do that because it made him think of an old diner waitress addressing him. (Insert eye roll here.) Then at one point I told him something he said was sexy. Patented long pause that he ended with, "Like a friend." At which point I said, "I was kidding," in a very exasperated tone. I was only half-kidding.

Something came up about our past non-relationships and I said he'd had plenty of chances. He disagreed with me and I started to argue, when he interrupted me to explain he thought I'd meant he'd had plenty of chances to have s*x with me. Where does this stuff come from? He modified the statement to say that the thing about our past non-relationships was that we aren't on the same page about when we've had relationships in the past. That might be the most accurate statement of the evening.

Basically, I'm still frustrated because I want to be more than friends but I'm not willing to tell him that straight out because he'll reject me. And if I'm forced to just be his friend, our relationship is going to continue to be different than it has over the past year--no more long conversations every other day, taking his phone calls when it is inconvenient for me, or flirting and agreeing with him non-stop. He can deal.

P.S. The fact that I didn't pick up a call from him when I was in Denver with my parents clued my mom into the fact that the decision to just be friends wasn't as mutual as I was pretending it was. Although when she found out we were just going to be friends, she freely told me that they didn't think he was good for me and they were relieved that we wouldn't be dating. Apparently when he had dinner with my parents he minimized the activities that I do which fulfill me (GS, sorority, etc.) and didn't impress them otherwise. Interesting.

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Table for one

My brother is currently acting in his first professional role. He is a gangster in Guys and Dolls at the Union Colony Dinner Theater. I'm going to see his show on Saturday night. I just called to make the reservation--for one.

One is the loneliest number...

Update: My brother is the best. Today he emailed me and offered to skip serving on Saturday night so I wouldn't have to sit by myself. He also inquired about other people who might be able to come with me. I told him that I would be okay by myself if he wants to serve--he gets paid more if he serves than if he just acts, plus he gets tips. And he's definitely a poor college student. So we'll see--I might have company before the show and during intermission.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

New Harry Potter clues

TEEN HOLLYWOOD.COM - Hang out with the stars!: "Visitors to [J.K. Rowling's] website have to play a darts game and crack a code in order to read two lines from the sixth book Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince - which will prelude the final book in the series.
The first revealed line reads, 'He looked rather like an old lion.'
The second lines reads, 'There were streaks of grey in his mane of tawny hair and his bushy eyebrows; he had keen yellowish eyes behind a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles and a certain rangy, loping grace even though he walked with a slight limp.'
The book's title refers to a 'half blood' which is a character like Potter's pal Hermione who has a non-wizard for a parent.
It is not known who is being described or from which section of the novel the extract was taken."

Calendar crunch

Here's how to play our game:
1. Open your calendar. C'mon, I know your daytimer or Outlook icon is right there. Ready? Ok.
2. Count how many days are free of commitments outside of work between now and the end of the month.
3. Compare scores with your friends.

My score: 2. Feel free to post your score in my comments.

Think my calendar is a little full? It is a little bit too full for my taste this month. But here's the follow-up question--what do other people do with their time? Everyone at work marvels at my "extra-curricular" schedule. But I don't have a husband, dog or yard, so if I go home, I will watch TV, play on the internet and talk on the phone. I don't want that to be my life every night, so I volunteer with organizations I believe in and schedule my evenings accordingly. Is that unusual?

SWF seeks reassurance that her overscheduled life is normal, even positive, and potential boyfriends who are willing to see her when her schedule permits.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My 3 day weekend by the numbers

45: minutes left work early to drive to Denver on Friday afternoon
4: envelopes decorated to hold memories for my uncle's party
30: memories shared with uncle
1: business card received from uncle's mortgage broker to further encourage me to buy property
18: pictures taken on new digital camera
2: Nora Roberts "Key" books finished by Sunday night
10: hours slept on Saturday morning
3: hours spent in Mom's bed with Mom and sister on Saturday afternoon
12: of Mom's rings worn by me and sister in her attempt to look like a pimp
4: of us saw Paparazzi on Saturday night
7:30 am: time I left Denver on Sunday morning in Mom's minivan
8:45 am: time I left Colorado Springs on Sunday morning
3: hours I spent in CU sorority house
1.5: hours I spent napping after afternoon in Boulder
20: minutes late to Sunday night sorority meeting (because of above napping)
9: hours I spent sleeping on Monday morning
4: hours I spent watching movies on Monday afternoon
3: hours I spent at sorority house on Monday night
3: advisers at Monday night sorority meeting
6: approximate number of phone calls I missed or ignored over weekend
2: approximate number of phone calls I picked up over weekend
1: hour I will spend driving up to Denver tonight to return minivan after borrowing it on Sunday

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Things people remember

My uncle turns 50 next week and we're having a surprise party for him. My mom came up with an interesting idea--she asked our immediate family to write letters for him, each detailing a memory we had about him or something we love about him. The things I wrote about? The skunk costume he wore to my first birthday party which caused me to scream hysterically until he changed out of it; a conversation we had about dating when I was 13; his advice to me a couple years ago about how to buy a house; and his sense of humor about my aunt's crazy alternative life.

My aunt on the other side went on a religious retreat recently and I received a similar request from her sponsor--could we write a letter telling her why we loved her? I was stumped--not because I don't love her but because I didn't know why. I seized upon inspiration at the last minute. I wrote about my aunt's love of photography and how she expresses her love for us my sharing those pictures with us and how much that means to me.

A few months after I graduated from college, I returned to St. Louis to go on the second part of a religious retreat with the Catholic Student Center. During the first retreat to demonstrate love, the retreatants had been inundated with letters from people who loved them--family, friends and perfect strangers who loved us simply because we were opening ourselves up on this retreat. (Very similar to my aunt's experience I would imagine.) Those letters were amazing to me--something I still keep and pull out when I need to feel those emotions. But that part of the second retreat was different. The organizers asked someone we were close to who was part of the community to name one thing they loved about us. My former roommate Wendy mentioned a pillow that I keep on my bed--one side embroidered with "Ashes of Bad Boyfriends" and the other with "Ashes of Problem Professors." Wendy told about how that pillow was representative of how I was always there when she needed someone to talk to--about bad boyfriends, problem professors, or anything in between.

It's interesting the things people remember.

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Stopped at a red light

Look at the girl in the car next to me. Why is she crying? Her face is tensed up as the tears slowly leak out and her breath comes in big gasps. She knows she isn't guilty of anything--how could a thirteen-year-old know? Especially when it is the opposite of any experience she's had or anything she's been exposed to. And she knows she's done her best to make up for it--to be the best friend she can. She's educated now--trying make better lives for kids by spreading positive programming and being a role model of sorts. Maybe she's just letting it out--she's been anxious about lots of things recently and just needed to let off a little steam. In fact she looks better already. Good thing too, the light is about to change.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

My channel is not clear

My dislike for Clear Channel Communications began years ago when I read this series of articles on salon.com. I hated the idea that we were losing local voices, and that our musical playlists were being determined by who would pay the most. When I moved to Colorado Springs, I specifically chose my primary radio station because it was not a Clear Channel station. I'm not going to claim to be perfect--I just bought concert tickets that may well have supported Clear Channel--but I try to use my resources (money and time) to support businesses and causes that I agree with or believe in.

I got a call last week from Arbitron--the people who figure out radio station ratings. They're sending me a journal and I get to help them determine the ratings! I'm so excited! I haven't gotten my packet yet, so I don't know the rules, but I've started practicing skipping the three programmed stations on my car radio that are Clear Channel-owned. I'm not sure if this is dishonest--slightly modifying my listening habits to make my survey have the results that I want--but it is all the statement I can make in this particular case.

If you want another perspective on this, see below:

shaken, not stirred: "Will Clear Channel miss J's $45 dollars, my $45 dollars? 'No, he said, 'But the club around the corner is going to appreciate the $45 bucks I spent there at the bar with my friends listening to an unknown local band.' I agreed.
...
So in the end the choice is ours. We can't fight everything on our own, but we can easily choose to not support what we don't believe in. "

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