Friday, October 28, 2005

"Reality has absolutely no place in our world."

Batgirl Serious bonus points to the person who can name the character and TV show belonging to the title quote.

The other day, Kiddo and I were talking about book character we'd want to be. I mentioned Hermione, Anne, Lyra, and Lucy (apparently I am drawn to children's books with inquisitive, sassy heroines), but then I finished Batgirl: Year One, the full story of Barbara Gordon's rise as a super-hero. We're not talking Alicia Silverstone here. Batgirl: Year One was my very first actual comic book (thanks, J.T.) and I enjoyed it immensely.

Barbara Gordon and I have a lot in common. We're both short (her dad actually says tells her that she doesn't meet the height requirement to be a detective), both red-heads, both readers, both stuck in a job that is not a life-calling, and both feel we need to do something extravagent to impress our parents. However, the difference between Barbara Gordon and me is that Barbara Gordon does something about it. She takes her complete lack of super-powers, builds on a good idea that someone else has already executed, and uses her brains and charm to kick some serious villain @$$. And she does it all with a little sass and wit (she calls Robin "Pixie Boots"- hee). She goes on later in life, I'm told, after The Joker renders her a paraplegic, to run Batman's operation (and indeed, provide help to the super-hero world in general) as the computer whiz known as Oracle. She never gives up. She never lets the world get her down. And she never lets her current situation determine what she wants to accomplish. I'd like to be a little more like Barbara Gordon.

Watch out, world. I'm going to spend today in the Speaker Ready Room making a cape out of this table skirt. Gotham City, er... Denver will never be the same.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

R.I.P. Rosa Parks

Rosa Rosa Parks died yesterday at the age of 92.

I would've liked Rosa Parks. She was sassy. She stood up for what she believed in and wouldn't let The Man get her down. Never underestimate what a small act of well-placed sass can do. It made Rosa Parks a national celebrity, and indeed, changed the United States of America.

Our generation cannot fully grasp the segregation the generation before us endured. We've read books and seen movies and heard stories, but we didn't grow up like that, and indeed, I have a hard time believing it was ever so, and especially such a short time ago. A black woman got on a city bus in my mother's lifetime, and got arrested for not giving her seat to a white woman. It's incredible.

One of my favorite West Wing quotes is from one of my favorite West Wing characters, Admiral Percy Fitzwallace. He's meeting with a group of military personnel to discuss the admission of gays in the military, and they tell him that they're not prejudiced against homosexuals, they just don't want them serving openly in the military, because their inclusion poses a threat to military discipline and cohesion. Admiral Fitzwallace says "That's what I think, too. I also think the military wasn't designed to be an instrument of social change." He then goes on to say this:

"The problem with that is that what they were saying to me 50 years ago. Blacks shouldn't serve with whites. It would disrupt the unit. You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I'm an admiral in the U.S. Navy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff... Beat that with a stick."

Rosa Parks disrupted the South. And you know what? The South got over it. The South changed. The only way to preserve our democracy is to take part in it. I think that was Churchill. Or maybe it was Jed Bartlett. But it's true.

Rest in peace, Rosa Parks. Thank you for taking part. Thank you for changing our world.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Bring it.

Sooo, J.T. is going to kick my arse for blogging about this before he did, but he's going to have to get over it because we've been making this list forever. For your reading pleasure, Grammatical Errors That Really Tick Me Off:

  • irregardless. It's not a word.
  • supposably. Also not a word.
  • the misuse of bring and take. Especially plentiful in people with Bah-ston accents. Ie: "Do you need me to bring you to the store?" Grrrrr.
  • mute point. It's moot. It's a real word. Look it up.
  • the misuse of quotation marks. Last week in Kansas City I saw a sign that said '"Concealed Weapons" Prohibited'. I also saw one that said '"Support Our Troops."' Yes, the entire phrase was in quotation marks. The hell?
  • ya'll. The purpose of the apostrophe is to replace the missing letter(s), people. The conjuction is "you all."
  • The constant misuse of I/me by educated people. "I" is not always the better choice. "I" is a subject and "me" is an object. One should not ever, ever say "she's bringing the reports to you and I." EVER.
  • it's and its... I won't even start.
  • they're/there/their... again. I have no words.

There are many, many more. Post them. And, please, America, remember high school English class. It's important, if for no other reason than so people like me won't think you're an idiot.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Let's Get it On

Sooo, I'm in Denver. I spent exactly 24 hours at "home" (ibym "home"... "my mom's house") and 12 of those I spent sleeping. I'm spending this, technically my week off, freelancing for an old client of mine. I just went downstairs and had a drink with them in the bar, and there was the most horrid band, one which we described as Earth, Wind, and Dying Ember. The only song they sang that I knew was "Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye, which was great, actually. The rest.... not so much. I left immediately to my room which has, I'm not kidding, 20' ceilings and free high-speed internet access. And a real bedspread, my litmus test for hotels. How happy am I?!?

I really enjoy flying. I know that's weird, but I love it. I even think I'd enjoy sky-diving someday (but only tandem with a pro). I love watching America below me. It looks like a map, and I have always pored over maps. I like thinking of what's going on down there, and how small my life is. When I pass over farmhouses I wonder if it's a big family all eating dinner together; when I pass over factories I think about the people on the night shift; when I pass over apartment buildings I imagine how many people are inside, eating dinner alone, and whether or not I would be friends with them if I lived on their floor.

I spoke with a woman on my Columbus-Chicago leg about Sudoku and I spoke with a man on my Chicago-Denver leg about John Berendt, and I started thinking about how much easier it is to be friendly with a man and how much easier it is to be friends with a woman. I think it has something to do with the fact that a woman is most attracted to a man who is being open and baring his soul and a man is most attracted to a woman who is being coy and mysterious. Or, as my personal mantra of relationships states- men are simple and women are complicated; men want women to be simple and are frustrated when they're not, and women want men to be complicated and are frustrated when they're not. Or broken down further, people get frustrated when others don't behave how they expect.

I'm reading an incredible book called Searching for God Knows What right now. So far what I've read is about one's relationship with God-- how one can't make Him what one wants him to be, and how what basic human instinct is to want control, not a relationship. He says that a friend told him "Reality is like a fine wine. It won't appeal to children." How you have to reach a spiritual maturity in order to have a real relationship with Him. I think that's true of earthly relationships as well.

He goes into a bit about Jesus, and how hard he would find it to identify with God if Jesus wasn't there, as a human link. Personally, I disagree. Jesus is very hard for me to identify with. I can't comprehend Him. I try; I've read; I've studied, but if I had to pick a prong of the Trinity with which I most identity, it would be the Holy Spirit. I've always felt more spiritual than religious, and it's so much easier for me to think of God in the infinite sense, than the personal one. It's a daily struggle for me, but I think I am learning.

I have another post in the works for tomorrow, but for now I am sleepy and it is 2 hours later in my world than it is in Denver, so I must get some rest.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Whatcha been doin' today?

The title of this post is the first line of the first song that came on when I plugged in my iPod. Can anyone guess?

So, I'm eating this muffin. It's from Starbuck's. As some of you know, I've spent as much of 2005 as possible boycotting Starbuck's. It was a New Year's Resolution, of sorts. (I refuse to even link it here.) Why, you ask? Because, damn the man, that's why. Freaking homogenize-the-world corporate giant that thinks it's OK to charge $4 for a crappy, that's right, I said it, CRAPPY cup of coffee. When I lived in NYC, it was so easy to get a better cup o' joe for a fourth of the price. In places like Kansas City, MO, at 6:45am on a Sunday? Not so easy. So to Starbuck's I went, because not even my support-small-business ethics will get in the way of my morning caffeine. I got my usual drink (venti soy latte, no foam) and decided that I must have a pastry, even though I am not a pastry person, because again, it's Sunday in Kansas City, and nothing else is open, and I have to work for like 6 hours before I get lunch.

The muffin. THE MUFFIN, folks. It's a pumpkin-cream cheese muffin. It's fan-freaking-tasticly awesome. It also has 470 calories and 24g of fat. A MUFFIN! I've eaten entire meals that have fewer calories than this muffin (and probably, more fiber and vitamin-y goodness, but that's another story). This muffin has 60mg of cholesterol and 420mg of sodium. I can't believe I'm still eating it even as I'm typing. Ohmigah. Who wants to place bets on how long it will take me to be hungry again? I'm putting money on 10am.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Happy Birthday Tonya!

I want to take a moment and say happy 31st to my brunette Tonya, who I only met less than 2 years ago, but has become one of my favorite people on the planet. Thanks, T, for being so awesome, fun, generous, and understanding, and I hope 31 is the best year ever! Tangled webs!!

You guys remember last time I was NYC for my birthday, and I blogged about Tonya's roommate's cat, Pico? All 24lbs of Pico opened my bedroom door this morning and jumped on my bed. I thought it was Armageddon. I threw her (actually, scooted her) into the hall and she glared at me as though she could destroy me with her eyes. She probably can. I'm scared to leave the room now. Anyway, in case you didn't believe me:


So, you all know how I feel about quizzes, and also how I feel about procrastinating, and especially how I like to use quizzes for procrastinating. I got this one from a friend of a friend, Krysten, and hope it will keep me in my bed and away from work and laundry for a least an hour. *sigh*

Piercings: 6: 3 in left earlobe, 1 in right earlobe, 1 in right ear cartilage, 1 in navel
tattoos: 1, ladybug, back right hip.
height: 5'2"
shoe size: 6
hair color: reddish, but I'm thinking of going darker for the winter
length: short
siblings: 1 brother, 3 step-sisters, 1 step-brother ("We are... an American family.")

movie you rented: the last disk of the 4th season of Sex & the City
movie you bought: Gilmore Girls, season 4
song you listened to: Are You Sure, Willie Nelson, Crazy: The Demo Sessions
song that was stuck in your head: Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Bob Dylan
CD you listened to: I can't honestly remember the last time I listened to a CD. Last playlist I listened to was Jamie's Top 300.
Person you've called: "Tonya, wake up, it's 7am! I'm here!!"
Person that's called you: Evan Schmevan
TV show you've watched: Alias
person you were thinking of: probably myself
you have a bf or gf: sometimes
you have a crush on someone: sometimes
you wish you could live somewhere else: I wish I could live anywhere else
you think about suicide: ummm, not as a hobby?
you believe in on-line dating: yes
others find you attractive: some people do
you want more piercings: yes... but I think I'm done.
you drink: water, coffee, soy milk, vodka. (not all together)
you do drugs: No.
you smoke: No, but damn, I miss it.
you like cleaning: the kitchen
you like roller coasters: yes
you write in cursive or print: print, all lowercase
you carry a donor card: yes
using someone: Against
suicide: Against
killing people: Against
teenage smoking: don't ever start, 'cause it's soooo hard to quit
driving drunk: Against
food: potato chips, olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, sushi, hamburgers, steak, falafel, green beans, mmmm, OK. I really like food.
song: this week, Shed a Little Light, James Taylor
thing to do: eat with friends, or watch TV (man, I'm lame!)
thing to talk about: eating, cooking, religion, books, movies, TV shows, life
sport: to watch? basketball. to play? golf.
drinks: water, coffee, soy milk, vodka (not all together)
clothes: Gap jeans and quirky t-shirts
movies: yowza... tough one. See my profile for a list.
holiday: Thanksgiving
new nerdy saying: "I know, RIGHT?" Ugh. Whoever taught me that should be punched in the earhole.
ever cried over a guy/girl: today? Not yet.
ever lied to someone: yes
ever been in a fist fight: no
ever been arrested: no
of times I have had my heart broken? um... truly? Four.
of hearts I have broken? probably... 2
of people I would classify as true, could trust with my life type friends? At least 8-10.
of people I consider my enemies? damn you Lord Voldemort!!! *shakes fist at sky*
of times my name has appeared in the newspaper? a handful (I grew up in a small town)
of scars on my body? Yes
of things in my past that I regret: I tend to subscibe to the "no regrets" theory- every mistake I made makes up who I am today, and I happen to like her. But yes, if I had to do it all over again, there are definitely some choices I would not make again.
funny: I absolutely do.
friendly: mostly
loveable: depends
pessimistic: sometimes
optimistic: the other times
caring: only to some people
sweet: again, to some people
dorky: you have no idea how extensive the dorkiness really is.
Spell your first name backwards: Eimaj
The story behind your user name: "phaino" means "I shine" or "I cause (something) to shine" in Greek.
Where do you live? currently I'm a roving gypsy.
4 words that sum you up: oh man. Um, deeply passionate and emotionally wreckless
Wallet: zebra striped with red leather trim
Hairbrush: don't have one
Toothbrush: I think it's Oral B, has a big fat handle, pink and white
Jewelry worn daily: 5 earrings (two silver hoops, 3 diamond studs- a set that belonged to my grandmother and a solitaire that came out of my mom's wedding ring when she was married to my dad), a ONE campaign bracelet, a silver wire band (high school graduation present from my dad), a silver link bracelet (Christmas present from an ex), a silver/purple bead bracelet (just-because present from Scotti-san), and a watch. The necklace varies- usually my Tiffany heart or my JAMIE nameplate- both gifts from the girls.
Pillow cover: incredibly expensive hand-stitched/beaded from Anthropologie
Blanket: same as above, duvet over a down comforter
Sunglasses: about 6 different pair of $4 street sunglasses from NYC
Shoes: tons. these days mostly sporting Chuck Taylors or cowboy boots. I miss all my kicka$$ heels but they don't currently support my gypsy lifestyle
Handbag: Old Navy
Favorite shirt: I have to pick just one? ummmm... one of my favorites says "University of Wishful Thinking."
Hair: short, curly, crazy
Make up: mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss
In my mouth: ummm, seems like a really personal question to me. OK, fine. I just had some cereal.
In my head: you really really don't want to know
Wishing: I could figure out what the heck I want to do with my life. Oh, and that I had a cup of coffee.
Talking to: Mrs. Bill Chanandler
Eating: just had some cereal.
Person you wish you could see right now: Patrick Dempsey
Is next to you: all my suitcases, my computer bag, my phone, a book, lip balm, Aquafina bottle, empty cereal bowl. The view outside the window changes, but that's about it, folks.
Something you're looking forward to in this up coming month: I'm really not.
Something that you are deathly afraid of? clowns
Do you like candles: If they smell like lavendar
Do you like incense: No, ick
Do you believe in love: yes
Do you believe in soul mates: as a matter of fact I do. But I don't believe that you have just one.
Do you believe in love at first sight: no
Do you believe in forgiveness: absolutely
What do you want done with your body when you die: why on earth would I care?
Who is your worst enemy? tequila
If you could have any animal for a pet: Yorkie
What is the latest you've ever stayed up: all night
Ever been to England? No
Can you eat with chopsticks: yes
What are some of your favorite pig out foods? Potato chips

Monday, October 03, 2005

Top 5 Things I Learned in Downtown Columbus, OH

Back by popular demand. Drum roll, please.

5. It's incredibly difficult to explain to people who speak a maximum of 10 everyday phrases in English what the word CARPET means, especially if said people are standing on concrete.

4. Stumbling upon a restaurant whose evening special of $1 hamburgers makes any day a hell of a lot better.

3. Stumbling upon a $100 bill in your wallet that you didn't know you had makes any day a hell of a lot better than $1 hamburger night.

2. Apparently, German manners dictate that it's perfectly acceptable to take the pen out of the hand of a person who is currently writing with it. You don't even have to hand the pen back when you're done. Just lay it on the table and walk away.

1. It's entirely possible to give yourself a black eye with a malfunctioning toilet paper dispenser in the ladies' room. It is, however, a lot harder to explain the incident.