Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Blogger's Tsunami Challenge | Loaded Mouth


For bloggers and blog readers to donate a total of $5000 to a charity of their choice.


For bloggers to donate, then get their readers to match their pledge by offering services or goodies to them. Be fun, be bold, be creative.


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

T-4: Moving today

No real post today--I'm headed out of the office soon to pack and move stuff. With three helpers, hopefully it shouldn't take too long. I can't believe it--over three years of living there and I'll be out in less than a week.

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Friday, December 24, 2004

Holy night

It was late one Christmas Eve--I was probably eight or nine. I leaned my head against the window of our van, feeling the cold from outside against my hair. As my sister and brother dozed off, I looked up into the cold, clear darkness lit only by pinpricks of light from the stars. My parents were talking quietly in the front seat, but all I could hear were Christmas carols from the radio broken by the occasional update on Santa's location from NORAD. An evening of family togetherness, lots of food and love, and a peaceful ride home put my world at peace that night.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright... Sleep in heavenly peace.

I hope your world is at peace.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!!

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

No mistletoe required

Butterflies swirled around my stomach as I climbed the steep, dark stairs up to the projection room. Ants was a flirt with everyone, but the flirting had intensified between us in the weeks preceding this Christmas Eve shift at the theater and I knew that something was going to happen when I got upstairs to share my break with him.

Every girl's first kiss is permanently etched in her memory and mine is the same. I can't describe how the moment came about, but I can't forget how he tasted (like vanilla candy canes), how he smelled and how his lips felt pressed against mine.

I hugged the moment close to me all afternoon. When my mom arrived to take me directly to my grandmother's for oyster stew, I slipped down to the theaters to get a surreptitious kiss goodbye before floating out the doors behind her.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Mood-altering substance

I walked out of the mall last night and involuntary giggles escaped from my throat. I felt great about being (nearly) finished with my Christmas shopping, but it was large cottony flakes falling from the sky that spontaneously changed my mood.

As I scraped my car to head home, I couldn't help but dance around in the snow a little. Christmas, I'm finally ready for you.

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Teen safe-sex laws cost Texas $44 million a year - Teen safe-sex laws cost $44 million a year: "Two laws in Texas that limit teenagers' ability to confidentially obtain reproductive health care cost $44 million a year largely because of additional pregnancies, local researchers have found. The laws were passed by the Texas Legislature in 1999 but only recently enforced. One requires teens younger than 18 to obtain parental consent before receiving prescription contraceptives, and the other requires health care providers to report to law enforcement agencies the identity of patients younger than 17 who they think are sexually active."

How wrong is it that Texas passed a law that doctors must inform on their minor patients that they believe are sexually-active? How is it positive to encourage teenage girls (how do you tell that teenage boys are sexually-active?) to lie to their doctors or not see a doctor at all? One positive note not reflected in this excerpt is that any clinic that receives federal funds must abide by federal patient privacy laws, making them exempt from these ridiculous laws. Unfortunately there are Texas cities that have few or no federally-funded clinics.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Holiday traditions (Blogcess 6)

1) Do you have one tradition that means the most to you when it comes to celebrating Christmas?

Every Christmas Eve my family goes to my grandmother's to have oyster stew. The thing I love most about our Christmas Eve celebrations is that it is all about family and love--we don't open any presents and all our stresses are pushed aside for the night. Enjoying my family in the light of a big Christmas tree with some quiet carols in the background is my favorite time of the year.

2) Since I’m on a movie kick today – - do you have a favorite holiday movie?

Holiday Inn. I love the romance in the movie, the songs, the whole thing. I've tortured my friends with that movie many times over the years. But seriously, if you enjoy black and white musicals or great dancing--check this one out.

Other favorites include: The Bishop's Wife (my mom's favorite), the original Miracle on 34th Street and A Muppet Christmas Carol (I love "When Love is Gone").

3) What’s your favorite holiday song?

Wow, this is tough. On the Carpenters' Christmas Collection, I love "Little Altar Boy", "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?", "I Heard the Bells", and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" to name a few. I also love "O Holy Night" because my brother recorded a version as a member of his high school choir. I love "Happy Holidays" from Holiday Inn, but my absolute favorite is "White Christmas" (also from that movie).

4) In sticking with traditions – - do you have a favorite holiday sweet? Meaning candy, cookie, cake, pie or whatever.

Friday morning after Thanksgiving--mincemeat pie with whipped cream and a little eggnog. Oh yeah.

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Harry Potter!!!!

E! Online News - FIRST LOOK: The News in Brief: "MUGGLE ALERT! Author J.K. Rowling announcing that the sixth book in her celebrated Harry Potter fantasy series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, will hit book stores on July 16, 2005 in the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa."


Monday, December 20, 2004

Unintentional symbolism

The post below, from today's Watercooler - [TV Guide Online], reminded me of my high school days. When I was a junior in high school, my best friend was the editor of the editorial section of our school paper. As her best friend, I made it a point to contribute every month. My contribution that December was a tome about the symbolism of the ball dropping, rather than rising, into the new year. How I wish there were online archives for our newspaper so you could appreciate my budding genius!

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
I just want to point out that long before critics painted The Incredibles as an argument for Ayn Rand's Objectivism (egalitarian society tries to keep the superior superheroes down in the swamp of mediocrity, thus stifling their individual potential), I wrote a paper calling Rudolph a refutation of Francis Galton's eugenics, which holds that we should promote the pairing of the superior among us and prevent the "imperfect" from breeding, thus improving the race.

Think about it. Poor Rudolph's red nose is revealed after Donner tries to cover it up and what does Santa say? "Donner, how could you?" Like, oh, sure — I should just help the reindeer genetic-superiority crowd persecute my own son, you old bastard.

I know — I get carried away. Got an "E" on that paper, too. (My egalitarian high school eliminated the "F" so no one would feel like a failure, even though an "E" wasn't a passing grade and it was just pushing the bullet in by hand rather than shooting you.) Seems I was supposed to write a paper on Animal Farm instead of watching TV."

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas wish

I'm a coward.

I attended my sorority alumnae holiday party tonight. One of the older women brought her son. He looked to be about my age--also tall, good-looking, nice and he showed he has a sense of humor. As the festivities started to wrap up, I decided we needed to exchange numbers. So I hung out in foyer as he was getting ready to go. I got a business card out of my purse to exchange contact information. Then I went and talked to him while he waited for his mom to say her goodbyes. At one point he even asked where I worked.

Did I give him my business card? No.

Did I say, "We should get together sometime."? No.

I know that I could get a hold of him through his mom. But am I likely to call him there? No.

Could someone get me a spine for Christmas?

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Friday, December 17, 2004


The origin of the abbreviation "Xmas" for Christmas from Dappled Things:

The 'X' in question is not, in fact, the usual Latin letter, but rather the Greek letter 'chi.' This is the same chi that you see in church joined to a 'P' -- which is, of course, not a 'P,' but rather the Greek letter 'rho.' The chi, usually together with the rho, is an ancient monogram for Christ, inasmuch as these are the two letters that begin the word Christ -- Messiah -- in Greek. You find it in digs from Christian antiquity, you see it used in mediaeval religious manuscripts, and you find it in the modern 'Xmas.'

I learn something new everyday.

T-16: First time for everything

After more than three years in my apartment, my bedroom is so familiar that every morning I know just what I'll see before I open my eyes. I know exactly how to snuggle down into my bed and I know exactly how much light shines in my eyes from the parking lot outside when my lights go out.

Last night I shut off the lamp next to my bed, but the room wasn't dark. Huh? I had left the light in my closet on for the first time in years. It makes me wonder what other things about my apartment I'm going to see or experience for the first time in the coming weeks.

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

T-17: Big girl bed

Talking to my friend BLB while I was shopping for furniture for my apartment.

A: So I don’t know what kind of bed to get. I’m thinking about a queen because I want something I can have for a while.
BLB: Boys like big beds.

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Fun with units

To amuse the masses while I prepare a real entry:

Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton
1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope
Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond
Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Sterling
Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon
1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz
Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower
Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line
453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
1 million-million microphones = 1 megaphone
2 million bicycles = 2 megacycles
365.25 days = 1 unicycle
2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds
52 cards = 1 decacards
1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 Fig Newton
1000 milliliters of wet socks = 1 literhosen
1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
10 rations = 1 decoration
100 rations = 1 C-ration
2 monograms = 1 diagram
2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 IV League
8 nickels = 2 paradigms

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Arriving late to work this morning, I found a parking spot right across from the front door. But I hesitated as I got out of my car--do I go in the front door so I have to walk past my boss's office or do I go the long way and walk in the back door? I decided to walk in the front door because I would feel stupid walking further just to avoid my boss. But silently I was thinking, "Please don't be in your office, please don't be in your office..." Approaching his doorway, it was dark and the blinds were closed. His away message--in at 9.

What a lucky morning!


Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Here are the things I noticed at the five star, five diamond holiday party I attended last night:

Mmmm... shrimp cocktail.

Ice scuptures are cool. Hahaha.

Pastries are good. Little pastries are better. Chocolate shells filled with dark and rich chocolate ganache and topped with a small piece of fruit are best.

Where was the wine?

I need to go out more. Obviously men look better when they're wearing shirts and ties, but there were still some very nice-looking men there.

Old people are so cute when they stay on the dance floor for the modern, uptempo music. They're even cuter when they're slow dancing.

"Dancing queen, young and sweet..."

The macarena is not extinct. It has devolved into a holiday mix, sampling at least two Christmas carols and "Auld Lang Syne". Where are the good taste police when you need them?

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Angie as a resident of a gingerbread village. Posted by Hello


A nod to my Phantomsized friends... apparently there will be a new song in the Phantom movie. It is called "Learn to Be Lonely" and is nominated for a Golden Globe.

I can't wait to see the movie!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Good and bad

The bad news: if you search for embarassing moments on Google, I'm the seventh result. Oh yeah, I made the top ten.

The good news: I'm above Hilary Duff.

Always a bridesmaid

I saw the cutest special on TLC last night called "Always A Bridesmaid". It followed a few women who were bridesmaids in weddings in September and October of this year, interspersed with statements from women wearing bridesmaid dresses discussing their experiences as bridesmaids.

A few points I particularly enjoyed:
1. Anecdote:

I picked up my dress that morning and when I went to put it on, it wouldn't fasten, so we held it together with safety pins. That night after I gave the toast, I raised my glass and heard, "Pop, pop, pop," all the way down the back of the dress and the front of my dress fell all the way open.

Oops. Note to self: this is why when getting alterations done on the dress sooner is better than later.

2. Rule: single bridesmaids get dibs on single groomsmen and male guests. Score!

Thank you to the past and future brides I am "maiding" for--thank you for asking me to share this special day with you, for allowing me to help you in any way I can, and for not asking me to wear hideous blue taffeta creations or anything with a large bow on the back!

These are friendships that will last.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

If Heaven

If Heaven were an hour, it might be the hour I spent playing cards with my family last night.

Sitting at our dining room table, covered in a holiday green tablecloth and runner, using cards that featured Norman Rockwell's Santa on the back, I laughed so hard I cried. My parents don't get to spend many evenings with all three of their children, especially such picture perfect nights of family togetherness. Last night was a very special holiday gift.

(Inspired by this song.)

Friday, December 10, 2004

Memories of old loss

PJ called me on Wednesday night. When I saw his name on the caller ID, I inexplicably glanced at my desk calendar. First day of Chanukah.

After PJ broke up with me five years ago, we briefly got back together. We spent one evening together and he came to me soon after, telling me he couldn't be with me during the high holidays. He had "to figure things out." I knew then we would never be together again. He asked for my forgiveness during that same conversation per Jewish custom for the high holidays.

I know that there was no religious significance to when he chose to call me this week, but in my head I can't help but picture the two of us in my suitemate's room late on a fall afternoon, the afternoon I lost him for good.

Looking for teacakes?

When you search on Google for "'location: colorado' girl", my entry about "Eat Me" teacakes is the fourth result. So I'd just like to take this opportunity to say hi to the Marine(s) looking for girls in Colorado. Hi!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Screensaver tackles spam websites

BBC NEWS Technology Screensaver tackles spam websites: Screensaver tackles spam websites

In unrelated news, Monty Python's Spamalot (a musical) will be opening soon in New York. Is this is a sign of a coming apocalypse?


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

T-26: Neighbors

There are disadvantages to being a girl living by yourself, besides the obvious I mean. There is no one to fasten that bracelet for you, zip up your dress, or give you their opinion of your outfit (when requested).

It was the night of my first company holiday party. Everything was taking longer than I expected and I still had to drive almost an hour to get to the resort where the party was located. I hopped into my dress, hair and makeup done, and wiggled as I inched the zipper up my back. I had forgotten that this particular dress had about ten little pearl buttons that closed the top six inches of the dress. After trying for a few minutes while working hard not to panic, I realized my only option was to approach my unknown neighbors.

Venturing out into the cold night, I knocked on the door across from mine in the breezeway. I crossed my fingers--hoping it would be the woman who lived here who would open the door. I'd seen her sometimes, bringing in groceries or calling her kids in from skateboarding. I stood there shivering and waited until I decided no one was coming to the door.

Looking at the other two unfamiliar doors in my breezeway, I decided to try the door next to mine. Thankfully this time the door opened and it was the lady of the house who answered. She introduced herself and happily zipped up my dress. I have never seen her again but I always mentally thank her for being kind to a stranger.

Now that I will have a roommate, this isn't something I'll need to worry about happening again. But should I ever need anything in my new home, I've already met the neighbors. One is a kindly grandmother who lavishes her overweight dachshunds with attention and the other is an older couple, the man happy to help any neighbor out. Nice to know I'll have some familiar faces to approach the next time I need to rely on the kindness of neighbors.

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Monday, December 06, 2004

T-27: Moving in

We started to move my stuff in when I took possession at the beginning of September. I’d been working for a couple of weeks when my family helped me move my college stuff into this apartment. It seemed so empty but we slowly filled it with furniture.

After that initial weekend of moving, I still didn’t have a bed or a few other essentials. So I was paying rent on my new apartment, visiting it after work everyday, and staying with my parents every night.

It became a joke at work: “Have you stayed in your apartment yet?”

What I remember most about that time is how the late afternoon fall sun streamed through the blinds, giving everything a golden look, while I unpacked boxes, covered shelves, and washed dishes.

Soon enough I had all the essentials, including my first “big girl” bed, and I spent that first night here. I don’t remember that first night, but I do remember those sunny afternoons as I adjusted to the idea of living by myself.

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Friday, December 03, 2004

New! Once-Upon-A-Time Contest!!

Re-Engineered Fairy Tales

Fairy tales, legends, and nursery rhymes are popular reading and part of our heritage. But how would some well known stories be different if engineers --who design, build, and manufacture just about everything --were involved? Image if...The three little pigs had known something about structures and materials ...Cinderella worked in a “smart” house with the latest technology and automation...Hansel and Gretel had the global positioning system for their walk in the woods...Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother had a home security system, or...if the Pat-a-Cake Baker had a bread machine.

So...once upon a time there was this engineer......

Send in your re-engineered fairy tale by January 1, 2005. We’d like to start publishing them online in January, with the “Best of the Best” grand prize winner debuting during Engineers Week in February.


Contest rules:

1. No rules --just write!

2. Submit by January 1, 2005:

by email to
regular mail (on disk or hard copy) to Engineers Week Headquarters, 1420 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
or fax, 703-836-4875
3. No stories will be published without permission, so include your name, address, and speedy contact information (email or phone).

4. Contest is open to everyone.


T-30: Countdown to moving

My family, seven strong, arrived to see me graduate from college. I was recovering from an incredibly nasty illness that had floored me right after finals ended and kept me in bed for much of the “Senior Week” preceding graduation. When my family arrived to collect me and four years of my stuff for my cross-country move, I had exactly one box packed.

I hate packing and moving.

But that is exactly what I must squeeze in around Christmas shopping, holiday festivities, and celebrations with family and friends because I’m moving out at the end of the month. I am sad to leave this comfortable home but excited to take a step forward.

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Thursday, December 02, 2004

Mad money

If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you spend it on? You have to spend it on yourself and cannot invest the money; you have to spend it in a year.

In approximate order of priority:
  • buy a house & pay to have other people move my stuff
  • buy a new car
  • buy a piano
  • get a personal chef to cook my meals during the week
  • hire a cleaning service
  • significantly improve my wardrobe size and quality

At this point I start to run out of ideas on how to spend the money on myself. Notice that so far none of things have drastically changed by life, my job or my volunteer activities. I wish I thought this meant that I was so content with my life that I would not change any of it. But I think what it shows is that I'm so focused on the mundane details of day-to-day life that I don't even fantasize about changing them.

If I assume that I would take a year off work to spend this $20 million, I guess I would travel. Where?
  • to see friends in Chicago, St. Louis, and California--just to start
  • I would follow Abraham Lincoln's life and tour some Civil War sites
  • I used to want to live in Europe--maybe I'd try that for a while
  • fly friends and family to join me in exotic locales
  • spend some time in the Rockies
  • buy a private jet so I could do all of this on my own schedule

Sadly I seem to have lost touch with my passions because none of those get me really excited. The idea of spending $20 million without any restrictions makes me more happy:
  • pay for my sister and brother's college
  • have my parents' kitchen and storage/laundry rooms remodeled
  • endow scholarships

Still looking for my passion...

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