You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2007.

One of my favorite bloggers, K, participated in a meme where she was asked 5 questions, and then she had to come up with 5 questions for 10 people (that’s 5 individual sets). Though I was not in her original 10, K did ask me to put my money where my mouth is on one particular issue… My undying love for Bill Clinton. While my love is undying, the whole sexual attraction part tends to ebb and flow like the tides, wax and wane like the moon, switch erratically like the traffic light outside my office. So, I figured the best way to answer her question was to mention some of the key points in this affair, and rate them like a traffic light–red (no freakin’ way), yellow (proceed with caution, but probably yeah), green (gentleman, start your engine!).

October/November 1992. I was just a high school sophomore, but my parents had me involved in politics from a very young age. Though I couldn’t vote, I helped post signs for Clinton and some of my local candidates. We had to do group work in Civics class around this time, and I remember my classmate D. Miller remarking that obviously Bush was the superior candidate and that he had to support his fellow beer-named person. Unfortunately, as a high-schooler, I was terrible at snappy comebacks, or I would have pointed out that he was an idiot and that Busch the beer was spelled differently. (Maybe it’s not that snappy anyway.) I was also completely enthralled with the soon-to-be President because he was a band geek like me, and ohmigosh, wasn’t that picture of him with JFK at Boys’ Nation just about the most adorable thing ever? However, at this point, I was a ridiculously virginal 15 year old, and though I had done my 9th grade research paper on the suspicious death of Marilyn Monroe (I was a very dramatic child), it never even occurred to me that the President of the United States would (gasp!) have an extramarital affair. (And anyway, I was thinking more along the lines of wanting to be the first daughter at this point…) Verdict: Red.

October/November 1996. The second election, and the first time I was able to vote in a Presidential election. Though I was still ridiculously virginal for a 19-year-old, I was fully aware of the charisma, charm, and power the man possessed. Verdict: Yellow.

September/October 1998. As a senior in college, I became completely obsessed with El Presidente. I read every sordid news story, and even the entire Starr Report when it came out. I remarked to anyone who would listen that, if offered the chance to hook up with the Leader of the Free World, I wouldn’t tell on him. And in October, I attended a career fair at Georgetown for government and non-profit jobs. I knew that representatives from the White House Intern Program would be there, so I got myself all cuted up, and tracked down the table. It was surrounded by twiggy girls in extremely short skirts. I knew I had no chance, and left dejected. (In retrospect, I was just as twiggy and was wearing a short skirt myself… I just hadn’t learned to use my boobs to get what I wanted yet.) Verdict: GREEN!

February 2003. Clinton is scheduled to speak as a part of a lecture series at UT-Austin. I knew one of the students who was on the committee to bring him to campus. At past lectures, she had been able to get special “VIP” tickets to the event, and people with those tickets would get to meet the speaker afterward. She was going to try to get those tickets for me and a few friends. The night before the tickets were to go on sale, she let us know that the demand was so high that she couldn’t get us tickets. We’d have to stand in line at the Union and get them ourselves. They started giving out tickets at 8 a.m., so we planned to get in line at 5 a.m. We figured we’d be ridiculously early, and the tickets were general admission anyway. The Union was three blocks from my apartment. We walked one block before we reached the line. By 4 a.m., the line wrapped around the corner in front of my building. By 7 a.m., the staff of the Union had arrived and determined that there were more people standing in the freezing cold than could ever get tickets. They went ahead and started distributing them, and we got all the way to the door of the union before we were turned away. Luckily, less than 24 hours later, the university announced that they were moving the appearance to a larger venue–the Frank Erwin Center, which is the UT basketball stadium. This time, we were in line at 4 a.m., and the line was again longer than the available tickets by 7 a.m., but this time, I emerged from the Union around 7:15 with two tickets in my hot little hands. At this point, I knew he’d be amazing. I knew he’d be charismatic. I just didn’t fully grasp what that meant. Even though I had to sit in the Upper Mezzanine, he made me feel like I was the only person in the room. I sat on the edge of my seat the entire time, leaning forward–every inch was an inch closer to him. I left that night completely energized, with a plan to go to his school in Little Rock when it opened (a plan I still toy with every time I get bored with my job), and only half-joking that we should go over to his hotel (the Four Seasons) and wander the halls until we found Secret Service guys. If someone had volunteered to go with me, this whole post might be moot. Verdict: Green.

September 2004. The news reports that Clinton will have heart surgery. I am saddened by the news, because it makes him seem feeble and frail. His age, for once, seems to matter. And I am kinda grossed out by the thought of an old man kicking the bucket in the middle of such an act. Verdict: Red.

September 2006. My boy gets all extra-pissed at Chris Wallace on Fox News. He’s so angry! So strong! So virile! He’s back! Verdict: Green.

I have quite a few friends who have worked in DC and met Mr. President, either during his term or after. They say that you cannot imagine the force of his personality. You are completely taken in, and you feel like the only person in the room. They say they can see themselves in Monica’s situation, and would be unable to resist his charm. These girls are much less, oh, let’s call it “antsy” than I am, so if they say they’d do the deed if given the chance, I have to say that for me, the Verdict: Green.

Mr. President, if you’re out there reading this, call me. Seriously.

Advertisements

Yesterday, as I was leaving my office after 6pm for the second time in three days*, I whipped out my trusty cell phone and dialed up good ol’ J.

“It’s payday, and I’m going to The Maxx**. Gotta get new sunglasses.” I yelled into her voicemail, over the sound of my tires, screeching*** as I peeled out of my office parking lot.

Minutes later, she was calling me back. She might have been screening my calls, but I knew this was an offer she couldn’t refuse. We agreed to meet up at my apartment, and drive over together. I was glad to carpool, because gas is $2.95 a gallon right now, y’all!

I busted up into TJ Maxx like Britney into rehab—pissed off, in a bad wig, and ready to take what I wanted and get the eff out. I kind of had my mind set on a good pair of sunglasses, with a pretty reputable name. In the back of my head, let’s be honest, I was thinking Chanel. I know it’s a long shot, but the last two times I’ve been in this particular TJ Maxx they’ve had Coach bags and Bulgari wallets. It’s possible, is all I’m saying.

Well of course, there were no Chanel glasses to be found, but lots of other good brands. Because I had a little of the devil in me, and there were some well-dressed ladies in the place giving us the evil eye for dominating the sunglass racks, I started purposely mispronouncing the brand names whenever possible. (Kenneth Cole is the only one for which I haven’t been able to come up with a good mispronunciation.) This is a game I started playing when I lived in Santa Barbara. It is amazing how many people buy this act.

“I really wish they had some Chanel,” I remarked, calling it “Channel.” J looked at me like I’d lost my mind. I winked, and she caught on.

“Here’s some nice Dolce and Gabbana (Dolss and GAB-uh-nuh)!” I yelled, sticking them on my face.

“Those are nice. What do you think about these Tommy HilFINGER for me?”

“Those are nice… OH SNAPS, GIRL!!” I yelled. “Here go some Versace (vur-SAYS)!”

At this point, J was laughing so hard that she kept knocking multiple pairs of sunglasses of the rack every time she touched it. “Stop throwing sunglasses at me!” She yelled. “If you don’t like them, just put them back!”

I howled with laughter, but the lady at the jewelry counter eyed the phone. Worried that she’d call security, we decided to call it a night. In the end, J got those Tommy HilFINGERS and I settled on a pair of MAX Studio glasses. They weren’t my favorite, but they were only $10 and they’ll do. I’m still holding out hope for some Channel.

**************
*Yes, I’m bitter about this.

**This totally reminded me of “The Maxx”, favorite after-school hangout of the crew from Bayside High.

***Hahahaha. SCREECH.

So, as I’ve said before, I have had a crazy crush on one “Lil’ Piece of Freckled Perfection” since I was in grad skool. I mean, crazy, love-knows-know-bounds, if-i-had-a-slightly-less-firm-grip-on-reality-i-might-be-his-stalker kind of crush. Like, up until about 2 years ago, I wanted to own a pair of Jack Russell Terriers* and name them Major and Wojo**.

And I was already saddened by the fact that he was not going to be making an appearance in Wally Wade this fall (which I had been salivating over since, oh, last October–or really whenever it was that he was hired at Bama), because the home-and-home series with Bama is not immediate–it’s probably going to happen in 2009. (We are SO awesome at planning our schedule, I tell ya…) I had staked a lot of hope on that meeting, though now I suppose it’s all for the best…

Because today, I came to the saddest realization of all. I don’t know how I didn’t notice this before. The only way to explain it is sheer denial. (I mean seriously, look at my nickname for him. Obviously, I knew, but I didn’t know. You know?) But thanks to the kind folks over at Loser With Socks, I have been smacked in the face with the TRUTH. Major Applewhite, my little piece of freckled perfection, is a GINGER. HOLY CRAP. Yes, he is a GINGER. This is totally Karma*** for all those times I’ve made fun of Ginger kids at the mall, and especially the time I tried to surreptitiously shove one in front of a moving car at a small-town parade****. It’s payback for all the times my brother and I have poked fun at our cousin’s baby and for the time I yelled out “DON’T LET IT LOOK YOU IN THE EYES!!!” and ran away from one at the Farmer’s Market*****. This is what I get for being such an asshole.

**************************************************

*That is, until I realized that they would tear me limb-from-limb the first time I tried to sleep in past 5AM. Seriously, those dogs are kinda psycho.

**Who, by the by, I saw at the press conference for Coach P on Friday. He was wearing a blue UnderArmor-type shirt. It was HOTT.

***Yeah, I watch Carson Daly, too.

****Ok, I didn’t really do this.

*****I totally did this. Last weekend. By the way, did I mention I’m 30?

I’ve been shaken to my core by the Virginia Tech shooting, and that is something that’s very hard for me to admit. Normally, I get really annoyed by people who try to insert themselves into major tragedies. For instance, on 9/11, I was a first-year RD. I had gone through crisis training, but this was something for which none of us could have been prepared. Still, I had to remain calm to help my staff and students through something that was so incomprehensible. I didn’t cry until weeks afterward.  On the other hand, one of my colleagues locked herself in her office and bawled while watching CNN, which of course played the video of the two planes crashing into the towers on an endless loop. Nevermind the fact that we were in a helping profession and there were students who needed help and assurance and just someone to talk to. Nevermind that they were terrified 18 year olds who had been in college for less than two weeks and she was nearly 30 and had a job to do. Because I was one of her closest friends on staff, I was sent in to talk to her. I was sure, from her reaction, that she had lost someone close to her in this tragedy, and I went in ready to console her. When I found out that she didn’t, that her family and friends were safe, I felt myself harden inside. Here I was, comforting her, when I should have been helping students. We were hired to be the authority in these situations–what was her problem?

A few years later, my parents came to visit me while I was working in another housing job. My dad and I had been fighting all day because a miscommunication with my mom meant that I found myself without car insurance. That night, a young woman in my residence hall had been sexually assaulted. I briefed my parents, who had been waiting to go to dinner with me, and then gave them a number for a pizza place. My dad said to me, “I don’t understand how you can be so calm and authoritative in a situation like this and burst into tears over the whole car insurance thing.” It hit me then that I had become very good at compartmentalizing my feelings in times of crisis. I had learned to put my students and their needs first–and taking care of myself later. (This particular incident spurred me to go into counseling so that I would have an appropriate outlet for the residual effects once the crisis was over.)

So here we are, just a few days after what the media calls the “Virginia Tech Massacre,” and I have become that thing I hate. I have watched every single morsel of Oprah’s coverage and the tapes that were sent to NBC. I’ve combed all of the victims’ profiles in the New York Times for the saddest details. I randomly burst into tears in the Target yesterday afternoon. (Yet when I saw that some people on the bulletin boards saying, “This could just as easily have been me… My husband is a professor at X college in California!!!”–I still get angry because, no, it could not just as easily have been you unless you were in Blacksburg that day.)

And I guess my emotional response is so great–and so uncontrollable–because I worked in college residence halls for six years. Because there was always some creepy resident that no one liked or wanted to talk to. Because i didn’t make a greater effort to connect with those students. Because I would tell my RAs to call the police rather than put themselves in danger, but praised them when they responded well (and by that I mean, quickly, unemotionally, and without complaint) in tough situations. Because the thought of losing one of my RAs is so unspeakably awful, I can’t even let it bubble up to the top of my brain without having tears spring to my eyes as well. Because I want to call every single one of my former RAs and say, “Don’t die on me. Don’t you ever die on me!”

If I had been the Resident Director in West AJ, I know that I would have stood tall, taken charge, gotten my students to safety, consoled students and staff. I wouldn’t have cried in front of anyone. But after it was all over–after the TV trucks left, after the police tape was removed, after the rest of the world has moved on and expects you to do the same–what then? The sense of loss is so great, it emanates from that place in western Virginia. It is so great, that staff can’t shoulder it alone. So I’ll keep shedding tears for them because I know–it could just as easily have been me.

So, as I’m pretty sure I’ve said before (and multiple times, at that), I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my alma mater for oh, ten years now.  This weekend was not only my 30th birthday, but also Duke Reunion Weekend, in which the class 1997 (among others) descended on the campus to party like it’s 1999 (or in this case, more like 1995).  I have to say, of all the Duke graduating classes I have known, 1997 has got to be my favorite.  I even attended their 5-year reunion (and not my own, two years later).  Considering the fact that I developed Senioritis along with this crew, my undergraduate experience understandably went downhill after they graduated.  So this weekend, I got a little reminder of why I love Duke.

Friday afternoon resulted in a call from my friend E, berating me for missing the sorority dinner on Saturday night.  (The Parental Units feat. Bubba were in town for my birthday, and I couldn’t pass up all the free stuff that was sure to ensue.)  “But you’re in my club!” she said.  “Wha?” I so intelligently responded.  “The club of people who have dated guys who went on to marry one of our sisters!  And who are also attending the dinner!”  “Oh yeah, and let me tell you, I am so sad that I will not get to sit across from J and A* at the dinner.”  “But when I signed up for this, in my head, you were in my club, and I was not alone!”  Well, at least she had a boyfriend tagalong–I did not have such a luxury.  At any rate, we decided that, if nothing else, we would get some drinks Saturday night after the ‘rents left town.

So, when Saturday night rolled around, I was excited to meet them at the James Joyce downtown.  I grabbed a beer and we sat outside on the patio while we waited for various other sorors to arrive.  Some were at a fancy gala on campus, but E had attended the one for her 5th year reunion, and it had been, in the words of Eric Cartman, hella lame.  The ultimate plan was for everyone to meet up at Honey’s, a local establishment that hosted many a late night of studying and/or sobering up.  (Oh yes, it is just as classy a joint as you can imagine.)  Apparently, I was the person who instigated this plan by mentioning it to city hostess extraordinaire, C.  And boy, am I glad I mentioned it off-hand, because that was good times.

C and I arrived just ahead of the rest of the crew, which was rolling about 12 deep.  The waitresses looked a little exasperated when we mentioned that number, but set us up at a nice long table that made the whole event seem like an elegant banquet, except for the sticky tables and pervasive scent of grease and cigarette smoke that is the hallmark of this esteemed establishment.  (But seriously, Honey’s rocks hard core.)  By the time everyone got there and got in place, I was seated across from E, near J and A, and next to D, the most brilliant person to ever become best known for puking.  We all laughed so hard about the good times we had in college (except for maybe J and A, who didn’t know me very well in the early days of my college career, and that was mostly what we discussed).  Most of the conversation revolved around the ill-fated trip to Orlando my freshman year (including the Boot and Hollar episode) and the Purple Jenga party.  Ooooh, the Purple Jenga party.  So not a good idea.  In essence, we mixed up a bunch of PJ and wrote crazy stuff on the bottom of Jenga pieces.  (Every time you pulled out a piece, you had to do what was on it:  Cornholio and chug, paddywagon**, and hold your left neighbor’s crotch were some of the favorite punishments.  If the tower fell, you had to finish your drink.)  Then we invited a whole bunch of people over, and the best part was, school was out so there were no po-po to bust up the fun.  Highlights of the party included Mezcal (mmm, alcoholic bbq sauce), E trying to convert everyone to Catholicism, me getting handcuffed to someone named “Love Socks”, and E telling D that he took up 90% of her brain.  (This was because we had just heard some statistic that you only use 10% of your brain.  She was trying to say he resided in the part of her brain that she never used, but came off sounding like she was completely obsessed with him.)

After that side of the table calmed down, I was able to talk to some of my other sisters, S, M, and C, who I have missed so much.  Sometime around 1am, the group serenaded me for my birthday, and the random other patrons clapped for me.  It was a nice night, and broke up way too quickly, at about 1:30.  Sigh.

Sunday remained awesome, despite the rain, because I got to go with J, my fake SSSE***, to the Women’s Basketball Banquet.  I was a little hesitant to attend after Coach G left, but I wanted to support the girls and let them know we’d stand behind them in the future.  From that event came one of my favorite quotes:  “We wish her many wins at Texas, but never against Duke!” which is what President Brodhead said in his farewell speech.  There was also a video from Coach G, who was in Italy coaching the US Women’s Team.  It was very apparent that they had to stop the camera several times and edit her speech in pieces because she kept crying.  Which made me feel a little better, but also caused me to lean over th J and say, “I know from experience–if you’re crying that hard about leaving a job, you’re making a big mistake.”****

So, yeah, all in all, a good weekend, and it left me with lots of warm fuzzies about my alma mater.  Let’s see how long it takes to squander them…

*I love J and A, but still.  It’s awkward.

**Everyone else playing the game lines up with their feet shoulder-width apart.  The person who drew the Paddywagon piece must crawl through everyone’s legs as all the people standing reach over and smack the crawling person on the ass.  If you’re really mean, you try to catch the crawler between your legs so that you can smack them for longer.

***Same Sex Spousal Equivalent–pretty appropriate considering the event.

****Hello, this is the whole reason I was throwing crap in a suitcase minutes before leaving Santa Barbara.  I couldn’t be alone in my apartment for more than 10 minutes without sobbing uncontrollably.

OOH!  OOH!!  OOH!!!  I just remembered one of the most hilarious parts of the night.  So, J and A had just finished telling us that they were in the process of adopting a baby from China.  The following conversation ensued:
E:  So, you’re going to have a cute little Chinese baby?
A:  (totally deadpan)  No, actually, it will be Black.
Me:  (in my head)  Really?  (mind racing, trying to remember if there would be any reason for a plethora of Black babies in China)
E:  all squeaky-likeREALLY??
A:  NOOOOOOO.
Everyone else:  (hysterical laughter)

But it’s the first time I’ve posted since Ash Wednesday.  Lent is over, and even though I didn’t intend to give up blogging with the rest of the internet, it just turned out that way.  Seriously, I have about 3 posts planned, and some half-written, but I just haven’t been able to finish anything and get it up here.  Life’s been crazy that way…

Here are some funny things to keep you entertained in the meantime.

1.  Roll Tide.  Or not.

2.  Because everyone loves it when toddlers cuss and drink beer…  Now, with Will Ferrell goodness!

3.  Guess who turned 30 and got a MySpace page…  YIKES.  I’m still completely terrified of THE MYSPACE, but when I found out that one of my not-at-all techno-saavy friends had a MySpace page, I realized I was being ridiculous.  So here goes.  If you’re on there, please add me as a friend, so I have more than TOM…  Sigh…  (I’m listed as CandyButtons…)