December 29, 2002
Mr. Blue Sky
Glenn, some of our fabulous friends, and I are off to Blue Knob this afternoon. I don't ski, but I can sit by a fire wearing my new sweater sipping a glass of wine. I think I can handle a few days of that.
I've had a great 2002. Well, at least personally. Politically, I've come close to giving up a few times. Professionally, I've grown a lot and have more confidence in my abilities but with a new boss coming in a few months, I may find that a change is in order. It's my personal life that matters most to me, though, and that has been amazingly good. I've grown closer to a lot of wonderful people. Glenn and I have been together for over eight years (oy vey!) and have somehow learned how to have individual interests and pursuits without growing apart. All in all, life is good.
In 2003, I'm looking forward to the following: watching Buffy kick the first evil's ass, turning 30, being in my thirties while Glenn is in his twenties for six months (and holding that wisdom over his head, of course), meeting Katherine, completing my thesis, the Matrix sequels, not screwing things up.
Black sheep of the day: tiny dancers.
December 27, 2002
No Powerball for me. Guess I have to make money the old-fashioned way...selling my ass on the streets.
I'm not one to complain about gifts. Really, I'm not. Just one thing that bothers me. Because I am a writer, everyone and her mother seems to think that a journal is the bestest gift in the world for me. It's not. I hardly ever compose in longhand anymore. In fact, the only time I ever write something with pen and paper is when a thought pops in my head and I can't get to a computer (like the note I wrote to myself about the Martha Stewart sestina).
My friend Taryn understood this. We commiserated on the wealth of blank books in our collections--books with leather covers, books with floral cloth covers, books with glossy prints on their covers, but, ultimately, all books that would most likely remain blank. She also pointed out something else that many writers seem to have in common in a wonderful column she wrote whilst in grad school. And I would happen to be the poet whose boyfriend gets irked to whom she refers. It's a bad habit. It also may explain my interest in the blogosphere.
Oh and there's also the gossip thing. And as much as I'm sick of everyone and her mother talking about J-Lo and Ben (presumably while buying Taryn and I blank books to journal in), as sick as we all are of it, I did want to share this. It's a lot of gossip, but the final piece describing Matt Damon is too funny.
Black sheep of the day: people fooled by the rocks that I've got.
December 24, 2002
When I Win the Lottery
Today's title comes from a great song by Camper van Beethoven (whose members later went on to form Cracker). It's on my mind because the Powerball has an estimated jackpot of $280 million. My sister, brother, mother, and other non-DC-living folks have all called asking me to purchase them tickets, which I'm happy to do. The guys in the convenience store in the basement of my apartment building must think I'm losing it since I've been there three times today. Of course, they're making money, so who cares, right?
My brother (same one who asked me to get him $5 worth of tickets, mind you) once called the lottery the tax on ignorance. He's right. But ignorance is bliss. And the idea of not having money be an obstacle is completely blissful. So, at the risk of jinxing my own paltry $2 venture into the valley of bliss, I present the first ten things I would do with that much cabbage.
Black sheep of the day: people who don't pull over fast enough when they hear sirens on the road. Don't be such assholes!
December 23, 2002
Out of Many, One?
Friday night, driving home from work with Glenn, I heard the most amazing story on NPR's All Things Considered. In the fallout from Trent Lott's comments wistful for days of segregation and lynching, there have been more discussion about politics than thoughtful discussions of race in our nation. This piece stands out for me as a departure. I highly recommend it.
Most poignant for me are the comments of Wilbert Glover: "I remember, as a kid, I used to look at America as the mother of us all, and I was just this kid that she didn't want." It reminded me so much of a poem by Claude McKay. Until more of us pay attention and correct the culture that allows this to happen, we are doomed to repeat the cycle.
On a less serious note, one thing all Americans can agree on is that the people behind this site have entirely too much time on their hands.
Black sheep of the day: people who don't like Xanadu.
December 21, 2002
The View from Here
December 20, 2002
That Sad December Feeling
The other day when I was making my rounds on the web, I saw that Jimbo's on hiatus. That's when it hit me. The holidays are coming and you can't stop it. It's not that I don't like them, because I really do. There's just this feeling that washes over me when people start leaving. In college, I was one of the few who always stuck around for breaks--mainly because I could walk to my family's house from where I went to school, so there was no need to "go home." Each day, as more friends finished their finals and went home, I felt a little more alone. I had plenty of people who I loved around me, but there was something comforting about having a core group that I saw on an almost daily basis. Having them all gone at once felt strange.
Even now, I feel that way a bit just before Christmas. I'm going to miss the routine contact with my peeps. I think that's because I've been lucky enough to find really wonderful people to share my life with. My friends rock, plain and simple.
Note: In the process of writing this, I found that Jimbo has returned with flaming goodness a la Dark Phoenix. Bully for us!
Black sheep of the day: People who take their friends for granted. Boo!
December 19, 2002
Back From the Dead
Could it be? Is it possible? Could I finally be awakening from my grad-school widowerhood? With G giving his final to his class and turning in his last research project, I just may regain my boy. Now, at least for a few weeks, he can shirk his duties as ever-studious communications boy and focus on more fruitful duties, like sleeping [in] with me. Little to say today....just happy to hopefully get some time with the bf.
I will say that, as I feared, I had one silly song in my head all day. That would be the "Tammy" song. Thanks Soblo!
I neglected one nickname in my recap yesterday.... "Scooter." This, of course, comes from Beverly Cleary's books. Thanks to Nancy and Meghan for keeping that one going. (For those who don't know, my last name is McCarthy. But not like the -ism. And Ms. Cleary has a running character named Scooter McCarthy. But he's much more of an asshole than me.)
Black sheep of the day: Joe McCarthy, for fucking it up for the rest of us.
December 18, 2002
What's in a name?
The other day, I gave my email address to someone and she was confused. "'Chrisafer?' What's that?" I explained that it was a nickname, a mummbled way to pronounce "Christopher." She looked puzzled then moved on. I don't think it's that difficult. But then my friends have been using it for years.
I've had some interesting nicknames. There's Chrisafer or its variation, "Chrisfer," which Dan and Paul use frequently (and that brings up a whole other story). My cousin once tried to get people to call me "Topher," but that never caught on. This was well before a certain skinny That 70s Show actor made it popular. A kid in my high school always used to call me "Slim." Oddly enough, that's what many homeless people in DC call me when they ask for change. My fraternity nickname was "Grover." I have no idea where that came from. One of my pledge brothers was given "Snuffalupagus," so maybe there was a Sesame Street vibe to us. There are a number of people who probably don't have a clue as to my real name and know me only as "Grover." That's okay--once I came out, my fraternity brothers and I sort of parted ways. Except for Snuff, who's been the only person who really kept in touch with me. That's mainly because he's just an awesome all-around guy.
Chrisafer is probably my favorite, though. When my friends say it, it feels like a hug. I don't know how else to put it.
Tonight I have muliple gift exchanges. With Meghan and Nancy at Tryst then with a big gang of secret santas at Paul & Erin's. Yay! Speaking of Paul, he is trying to raise some fundage for Vino. Check it out.
Black sheep of the day: Anyone who would buy me this.
December 17, 2002
Last night while watching VH1's I Love the 80s I was shocked at how sillily nostalgic I felt for a decade that was pretty rotten for me. I remembered watching scrambled porn, playing on the Atari 2600, my father's Members Only jacket. It was all the fluff that made me feel good during that time. Nothing about my parents' divorce, my inability to make friends with anyone, or the fateful day where I burned our family's house down by imitating a trick Jack Palance performed on Ripley's Believe It or Not. I guess that's what nostalgia does, washes the past down to the fuzziest of memories. Billy Collins has a terrific poem about nostalgia, fittingly entitled "Nostalgia".
Sometimes, I try very hard to remember my childhood. I'm amazed at how little I do. There are flashes--bits and pieces that come through--but I don't know that I have any sustained memories of things. Maybe it's all been repressed. Or maybe it was just so utterly boring that I've written over it with useful things like the lyrics to Yaz's "Only You."
Black sheep of the day: Martha Quinn, you always stole the spotlight from Nina Blackwood, you bitch! And then you had the gall to marry a crippled Bobby Brady.
December 16, 2002
Someone hand me a sander, stat!
take the which one of the trading spaces cast are you? quiz!
I guess this will do. Anything's better than Frank!
The City that Doesn't Chic
Life is good. Glenn had a wonderful birthday weekend and is supergeek happy with his new iPod. Now he can carry our entire music collection with him as he works out. I prefer to just sing along with the voices in my head.
Things have settled down at work, and I'm just looking forward to coasting into winter break (ahh, the joys of working in higher ed).
Glenn tells me they may be opening an H&M in DC soon. Work your magic Mayor Williams, cause if there's ever a city that needed a makeover it's our beloved burgh. As much as I do love DC, I really wish that there were more of a variety of people here. There is so much uniformity at times, it can be maddening. There are some glimmers of hope, though, and I'm nothing if not an optimist. An optimist soaked in sarcasm with a
I guess it's the nature of the beast, and the current occupants at 1600 Penn don't help much. It could be worse. It could be NoVa.
Black sheep of the day: the makers of Sci-Fi's "epic miniseries event" Steven Spielberg Presents: Taken for not giving enough payout in the last episode. I wasted 20 hours of my life for this? I really was taken, wasn't I?
December 15, 2002
Last night was another fun-filled party, a house-warming/holiday thingy at Nancy and Emily's.
Overall a wonderful night with a very cool crowd. Met some interesting new people. Enjoyed mulled wine and homemade hummus. Mmmm....hummus. In addition to the wine, we mulled [over] some guests' sexual orientations. Always fun. Got to see some people from my old office--my sympathies to them all. Dan spilled a variety of materials ranging from red wine to potting soil. We almost got a look at the "whacker." Apparently, Emily and Nancy have a gentleman who comes to the fence outside of their building with a flashlight to put on shows. We assume that it was he who stood in the shadows with a flashlight in hand, but the crowd must have scared him off. Stage fright can be crippling.
Tonight is dinner with Glenn's parents, and then I'll be in serious need of some me time. Even though I am shy for the most part, I can be rather outgoing in certain situations. After all, I was voted the "sunniest" boy in my senior class. [This category used to be known as "friendliest," but apparently some people mistook what it meant to be the "friendliest girl" in the senior class.] This has been a very social weekend, so I'm looking forward to a few quiet days at work to recharge my social batteries.
Black sheep of the day: restaurants that don't take reservations. That's just mean.
December 14, 2002
A good time was had by all...
Last night was Glenn's surprise birthday dinner at the Dupont Italian Kitchen (aka DIK) followed by drinks at Cobalt. Glenn is almost impossible to plan any sort of surprise for since he is so curious and headstrong. Thanks to all who helped pull this off and make Glenn so happy--including Cindy (dubbed "the ORGANIZER" by evite), Brian for setting things up at the restaurant, Dan for lying about having tickets to Star Trek for later, Tony for introducing us to apple martinis, Grant for stopping Glenn from paying for his drinks all night, Sharmon for coming even though she hurt her back, Nancy for keeping her party tonight from Glenn so we could trick him, Jimbo for his fun and charm (and blog-iquete lessons), Ethan for coming even though he's in major tooth pain, and Paul & Erin for meeting us at Cobalt after having to go to Paul's fancy-schmancy office holiday party when they probably would have preferred to go home and relax. Wow, you guys are the best. This morning Glenn said that the party "revitalized him," which is always a good thing.
Interesting tidbit from last night--Tony heard a rumor from someone who is involved with DC Vote. As citizens of our nation's capital we have no voting representation in congress (even though more people live in DC than Wyoming). So the rumor is that DC residents qualify for refugee status with the EU. This could be our ticket out of here. Amsterdam, London, Dublin, it could be fabulous.
Black sheep of the day: Trent Lott. Deny all you want, the record speaks for itself.
December 13, 2002
Don't mess with the bull...
Further proof that protesting against the fascism of fundamentalist Christians needn't be boring.
Black sheep of the day: people who "lump" birthday and Christmas presents together for those born in December, like Glenn. [Unless said gift is really, really fabu.]
He's Just Glenny from the Block
Today is a very special day. Today is my amazing, wonderful, adorable, big-hearted, supercool boyfriend's birthday. Happy birthday, baby! Glenn is not only extremely cute, he's also intelligent and sweet (almost too sweet for a boy like me). I consider myself lucky to have conned him into sticking with me for the past eight and a half years.
A rough approximation of Glenn in the morning.
December 12, 2002
Congress shall make no law...
Lately I've been thinking about free speech. I guess it was sparked by the Supreme Court considering Virginia's law banning cross burning and a recent (poorly written) news story about an Ohio kid who got in trouble with the FBI and Secret Service for wearing a t-shirt. Both issues are thorny--where does one's right to say what is on her mind end and others' right to feel safe begin?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a free speech activist. After watching an episode of Family Ties where Jennifer gets in trouble for writing a book report on Huckleberry Finn, I wanted to form a group to fight those who try to suppress the free flow of ideas. I even came up with a name--Students Against the Banning of Literature in Education (SABLE). Alas, I never followed through with those plans, mainly because no one else seemed to care at my high school. Possibly because they didn't read much anyway.
Props to Tina Yothers for inspiring me to act, though.
So this Ohio kid was stupid for putting cross-hairs on the president's forehead. Granted. We shouldn't make threats towards the president, no matter how much we think he is a fraudulent, bellicose, hypocritical simpleton. I still feel that the principal overreacted here. Rather than turn this into a "teachable moment" and have a discussion about the responsibilities that come with free speech, he gets the feds involved. And then says he's doubleplusproud of the two kids who turned in their classmate. They must be part of the Junior TIPS program.
Black sheep of the day: John Ashcroft
Thanks to Jimbo for mentioning little-old-newbie me in his blog. I think he'd look good in this.
Seen last night in the elevator of my building: "Moving Sale: Lots of Fourniture." Those interested in purchasing an "armore" or a "futton" may want to stop by.
December 11, 2002
Poor Old Michael Finnegan
"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."
-T. S. Eliot, "Four Quartets"
This being my first day "blogging," I've spent far too much time toying with this set-up. Now I realize that I have to treat it as a work in progress and not expect it to be perfect after only a few minutes. I guess I can be impatient. Hopefully I will customize this puppy to be more my style.
Anyway, I hope to have fun with this. The main fear I had when I first considered doing this was that I'm rather shy. It's not exactly my nature to blab on and on about myself except to close friends (that would be the I in my INFP). Then I realized that there are a lot of things I care about and would like to talk about--especially if I can be funny about them (you'll have to be the judge of that, though). I'm also excited at having the opportunity to look back at myself in the future. In his memoir, A Different Person, the late poet James Merrill wrote about the changes he went through spending time abroad in his early-mid twenties. I'd like to keep track of who I am now so that the different person I become can appreciate life more. Looking back over the last ten years of my life, I'm amazed at how much I've changed. Almost ten years ago today I was just initiated into my fraternity, was close to failing out of school, and didn't know if I'd ever really fall in love. Thankfully, that's no longer the case.
Black sheep of the day: people who don't think about the difference between "reply" and "reply all."
Will I really do this? That's a good question, but as I like to write, have "Fun with Photoshop™", and in general goof off with the web, I might as well try. We'll see.