Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love the escapism involved in it. You can be anyone you want to be. Someone completely outside of yourself. I typically lean towards tough female movie characters. I was Trinity from the Matrix a few years ago. Then, Vanessa from Austin Powers. My favorite costume is my Lara Croft Tomb Raider costume. The belt, holsters and guns are exact replicas. I tried to do Xena a couple of times but I never found a good costume. This year I decided to do something crazy. I found a little Bo Peep costume with a short skirt and petticoats. I then cut up a girly magazine and glued the pictures in my petticoats. When anyone asked who I was, I would lift up my skirt to reveal the pictures. I'm Little Bo Peepshow. Ha. Now that is something entirely different than my every day self. Much more daring and risque than I am in real life. That's what makes Halloween so great.

Somewhere along the way I started feeling responsible for my mother. When exactly does that happen? When do we make the switch from simply being a child to being an equal? Or at least, a semi-equal? She'll always be my mom but I worry about her like a parent sometimes. Even as a teenager I would worry but it has gotten worse lately since we are separated by several states. (Mom, i know you are reading this so don't get mad) She once went a whole week without calling me back. It made me absolutely frantic. Since I have a hysterical personality, I tend to imagine the worst. And this weekend, while she was traveling, she didn't return any of my messages until 24 hours later. I pictured her in some car accident along I-35. "I'm not ready to be an orphan yet" kept running through my head. She finally left a message on my cell phone. She told me she forgot her charger and had very little battery left on her phone. What, they don't have phones in Austin, Mom?!!! For someone like me who can go from zero to hysterical in thirty seconds, this is not a good thing. I worry about her even though she thinks I don't. I talked to a co-worker of mine who has two adopted daughter about my age and she says they sometimes do the same thing. Maybe it's an adopted thing. Maybe deep down we're still worried about abandonment on some level. I don't know. It's a really odd phenomenon. Do any of you experience this kind of anxiety about your parents?

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I have to give props to my friend Sara who has just been promoted to Store Manager of one of Colorado's biggest Barnes and Noble stores. She has worked really hard for this job so I wanted to congratulate her. And all at the tender age of 24.

I'm thinking of treating myself to a trip to the Anthropologie store after work. It's been a long day and I feel like doing some shopping. Even if it is just window shopping. It is still eighty degrees here. Where is fall? I'm ready for colder weather. I'm fully stocked on hot chocolate and flannel pajamas. Woo hoo!

Monday, October 20, 2003

What an interesting weekend. I started off by going to see "Kill Bill." Which I really enjoyed. The violence is extreme but not always in a realistic sort of way. And if the protagonist hadn't been female, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. But I remember watching those old kung fu films as a child and "Kill Bill" brought back a lot of memories. I look forward to part two.

Saturday I drove to Estes Park for my Junior League retreat. The weather was beautiful. It seems weird to have weather in the eighties in Colorado during October. The retreat was a lot of sitting and listening to presentations but it gave me the chance to get to know other new members better. I even won an award. My advisor nominated me as one of the best new members. That was a nice surprise. I wish I could have stayed on Sunday and gone to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike but I felt I needed to get back. There is always so much to do. It makes me feel completely overwhelmed. My house looks terrible. I have bills to pay. I need to buy groceries. I need to work on my scrapbook and sift through the piles of magazines that keep accumulating in my house. Work really gets in the way of this stuff.

Last night, I had dinner with my friends Amy and Greg. They always cook the best meals. Amy and I had to watch HBO's "Carnivale" before doing anything else. Neither of us understands it or even particularly likes it but somehow you can't stop watching it. Once that was over, we headed out to a haunted house. I give it about a 5 or 6 on a scale of ten. I think we get spoiled by Disney. Being the old fogeys that we are, we complained about the dangerous steps and ramps that you couldn't see in the dark. Haven't these people ever heard of glow-in-the-dark tape? It's almost like what makes it scary is the fact that you could trip and fall. We then proceeded to the haunted maze where we were chased by a dread-locked monster who wanted to eat our toes and a chainsaw-wielding clown. Luckily none of the things I'm most scared of were there. (cyborgs, mascots and, occasionally, mariachis) Dave Brown can tell you about my cyborg problem. I'm afraid it led me to trample him in a haunted house a few years back. Sorry again about that, Dave.

I've always loved Halloween but it will definitely be different this year. My former partner in crime has gone through a big lifestyle change and seems to no longer want to do any of the things she previously enjoyed. It makes me wonder if our friendship will survive. We became friends based on certain things. What happens when those things don't exist anymore? It worries me. Things are definitely changing around here and I'm getting left behind.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

My friend Greg J. complained that I don't have a link to his website. Really, Greg, no one reads my website anyway. (you can tell by the lack of comments) But, just to appease him, the link to Greg and Andy website on the side of the screen. They are full of Greg and Andy's cartoons for the over 21 crowd. When Greg posts his cartoon "Lockjaw," look for my character. Like I'm not already enough of a cartoon in real life, I also have to be one in Greg and Andy's cartoon strip.
I had the wonderful experience of hearing Michael Moore speak at the University of Denver last night. Me and 7000 of my closest liberal friends. He didn't use a canned speech. He just sort of talked about whatever crossed his mind. When he was talking about Fox News Channel, he borrowed someone's cell phone from the audience and tried to call Sean Hannity. His secretary refused to put Michael through because she didn't know who he was. All of the Denver news stations and the Denver Post boycotted Michael's appearance. He used the cell phone to call the KUSA assignment desk and ask why the station wasn't covering the appearance. He made the guy really mad. Michael ended up talking for two hours. It was really great. His new book, "Dude, Where's My Country?" will debut at #1 on the NYTimes Bestseller List this weekend. His new movie, "Fahrenheit 9-11" will come out next fall. Mike issued the call to all of us to get active and involved in our political system. I have decided to start looking into how to become a precinct delegate. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Sometimes people look at me and Bill and ask how the two of us ever managed to meet much less get into a relationship. Well, children, make yourselves comfortable. Here's the story.

New Year's Eve, 2002

My friend Anna and I decided to go to the Denvermix.com New Year's Eve party at the historic Parkside Mansion. Just the two of us. And 248 other people. You would think that over 200 people would feel like a lot. It didn't. It felt like we were surrounded by couples. You know that song "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne. That almost perfectly describes my evening. I think of that night every time I hear that song.

Anna is good at small talk so she was managing to talk to a few men but I felt a little out of place. It started snowing outside so I sat on a couch and watched the snow. Finally, at 11:55pm, Anna had had enough. She told me to stay there and emerged a few minutes later with this guy in tow. She said to me, "here...this is the guy we're gonna kiss at midnight." Well, I wanted no part of that but the guy didn't seem to realize that and stuck himself to my face right after Anna at midnight. Five minutes later, the guy (named Jack) said, "Hey, meet my roommate Bill." Since the cab Anna and I had arranged for didn't show, Bill ran many blocks to get his Land Rover and drive us home. At Anna's apartment, he said, "I'll call you tomorrow." In my drunken stupor, I laughed in his face and thought, "Yeah, right." Well, he called the next day. And the next. And the next. And before I knew it, he had worked his way into my life. It was like he had always been there. And even though our politics and interests are highly polarized, I can't imagine him not being there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I have added a link to "Drinking with..." It's a clever cyberspot by my good friend Maya's older brother David Blend. David is a very clever, witty and charming gentleman. (unlike his friends...just kidding, Dave) He has written for several well-known periodicals which I will not name here but if you need to know some tips on picking up women in bars, Dave is your man. "Drinking with...." offers advice on how to drink with famous people. Check it out.

I finally broke down and went back to my old place of employment....the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I was employed back in 1999 to deinstall the Hall of Ancient Peoples and put all of the artifacts into permanent storage. The powers that be decided that archaeology wasn't a big enough draw in the museum. They converted the entire area into a multi-million dollar space science exhibit. Something flashy to draw in the crowds. I got to see the early prototypes and it looked really cool. But of course, those were in the salad days when the designers were encouraged to go wild with their imagination. When I went to the museum a few days ago, I got to see the culmination of all that work. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! I thought it would be like the museum's other blockbuster, Prehistoric Journey. Space Odyssey has no clear narrative. It is confusing trying to figure out if different areas have a real purpose or teaching point. It seems to be more of a random series of hands-on activities that mean nothing to kids unless an adult guides them through it. The environment is great but I doubt anyone is learning anything. And because they didn't raise enough money, the exhibit is only half the size it was intended to be. My beloved Hall of Ancient Peoples is now an empty atrium with a few couches in it.

I went upstairs to look at a fabulous art exhibit of scientific illustrators. I was the only one in the exhibit. A few kids on a field trip wandered in with a parent. I heard one boy say in confusion, "What are you supposed to do in here?" He was looking for flashy hands-on activities. He couldn't figure out what to do in an exhibit where you just LOOKED at things. The group left because the boys said it was boring and "just for nerds." This is what we are teaching our kids. That you HAVE to be entertained to learn. How depressing is that? It sure depressed me. And I hate that stupid pointless space science exhibit. What a waste.

Monday, October 13, 2003

So, I went to this legislative advocacy training session at the Children's Hospital this past Friday. I was attending through the Junior League. It was such a great experience. We got to listen to this fantastic speaker on advocacy named Nancy Amidei. We learned all about grassroots organizing and lobbying. I learned so much and got really fired up. Here I am, a voting politically active citizen, and I know so little about the whole legislative process. And I never contact my representatives and senators about issues that are important to me. I will now, though. The whole thing really made me think of my grandfather who worked in the Texas State House of Representatives. I wonder who lobbied him and what decisions he had to make. It's so interesting and I'm so proud he was a part of that. Maybe that's where I get my interest in politics. If we really want to be true Americans and exercise our rights, we need to get involved and not wait around for things to change. I joined the Children's Hospital advocacy network and look forward to making my voice heard.

You will never believe what I went to see last night. I went with my friend Amy H. to see "Puppetry of the Penis." It was hilarious! Once you get over the shock value, you pretty much forget they are naked. Yeah, right. It was basically two naked men twisting their genitals into origami. Completely non-sexual. Except that the young Australian guy was really hot. They did things like "The Hamburger" and "The Snail." My favorite was the "Slow-Emerging Mollusc." (is that how you spell that?) Anyway, we had a really good time. I alternated between laughing hysterically and covering my eyes. C'mon, guys, that has to hurt! If you want a good laugh and you're not uptight, go see this show if it comes to your town.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

I finally figured out how to edit my links! Woo hoo! Sorry, I'm not very good at this web stuff. I put a link to my wonderfully creative friend Ellen's blog and a link to one of my favorite websites: Story People. I subscribe to Story People's story of the day. They are always so wonderful and whimsical. I now keep a folder in my e-mail for my favorites. Check out the site!
Sorry my blog yesterday was so gloomy. I suppose I had to get it out of my system. I guess I went to the reunion with certain expectations and I was disappointed. I just wanted things to be different and they weren't. But that's okay. Maybe it would be a bigger deal if I lived in Dallas where I would be more likely to run into those people.

Today I am focusing on the beautiful fall weather. It's 80 degrees outside and the leaves have changed. They are beautiful! We had a clear sky and full moon last night. I thought about dancing by the light of that moon...just like the owl and the pussycat.

I'm going to a Junior League event tonight to kick off event planning for our Intrigue: The Fire and ISES Gala event in November. It will be my very first gala event. I'm looking at it as a costume party. Only my costume will be a cocktail dress. I'm thinking of wearing my bridesmaid dress from Maya's wedding. I think Junior League is good for me. It offers me lots of good training experiences and the chance to participate in voluntary efforts that really make a difference. Tomorrow, I will be going to a training session on legislative advocacy. I think Junior League will teach me a lot. I hope to take some classes on leadership skills throughout the coming year. There is something about being a part of this group and learning valuable skills that really makes me feel empowered. I can use all of that I can get.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was my 10 year high school reunion and it was nothing like Romy and Michele's. The first night I went to the Welcome Back cocktail hour at the Park Cities Hilton. The room was small and crowded with tables. The turnout was better than expected so people were shoulder to shoulder trying to talk and fight their way to the bar. The women all looked pretty much the same. The men were unrecognizable. A little heavier. A little less hair. A little more mature. I guess the most surprising thing was how little everyone's personality had changed. I tried to mingle and talk but I felt awkward and pushed to the outskirts of the room. I've never been good at small talk so I just didn't know what to say to people. I realized that they didn't know me in high school and didn't know me now. No one was particular curious about me. It was like I still didn't exist.
People were friendly enough but it was just awkward. I ended up leaving because it was just too crowded.

Saturday I headed back to school for a picnic/tour of the school. Only the front part of the school was familiar. I got lost. It is so much bigger. The old girls' gym is now a hugh cafeteria. Most of the lights were turned off and no one was really giving a tour. It was more like wandering around by yourself. The group at the picnic was basically families with babies. Two of my classmates walked by pushing strollers. They were very nice. The babies weren't more than a few months old and already the girls were back to their tiny trim figures. I felt awkward again. Overweight. Husbandless. Childless. I had to leave.

The big event was at Eddie Deen's Ranch, a tourist version of Texas. It was like having your reunion in a barn with cowboys pouring your drinks. The turnout wasn't great. More awkwardness. I just didn't feel right. I felt like an outcast again. No one was rude. Everyone was nice and polite but there was no real depth of feeling because no one knew me or missed me or was curious about me. I mostly filled people in about Brad and Maya and Jennifer.

I didn't fit in in high school and I still don't. I think Brad would have had a great time because he has changed so much. People would have been curious about him. They would have loved talking to him and finding out what he is doing. And he is great at conversation. Maya would have had fun because she is so fun and outgoing and pretty. People were also curious about her. She would have loved catching up with people and hanging out and drinking. Jennifer would have had fun because she always fit in. She is pretty and outgoing and really at ease with people. Everyone would have been happy to see her again.

I think having to face everyone with no armor....no friends, no weight loss, no fabulous career, no boyfriend....was really difficult. Maybe if I hadn't had to do it alone I would have had a better time. Maybe if the people i had most wanted to see had shown up, I would have had a better time. But I just still feel out of place among all those people. I doubt I'll ever be comfortable in that environment. I'm just not an outgoing person. Some things never change. And some people never change. Maybe I just wanted those people to see something in me that they didn't ten years ago. The things that my close friends see in me. I'd like for others to see that. But sometimes it's hard to get it out there in the open. But as long as the people I care about can see those things, I think I'll be all right.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

My 10 year reunion is this weekend. I have this secret desire that it will be just like Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. But since Brad won't be joining me (and he's my Romy), I kind of doubt it. None of my friends are going so I will have to face the music alone. I thought about getting a haircut, a facial, liposuction etc. but then I figured, what am I trying to prove? Who cares anymore? The fact is I have a master's degree I don't use, a less-than-glamorous job and I'm still unmarried without children. How impressive is that? But, I do have a fabulous house. I live in Denver. I have good friends and family. I'm a member of a church, the Junior League and the Hash House Harriers. That's saying something, isn't it? I guess I won't know until I get to the reunion. There will be three events. I'll try to make all of them. Just in case. My friend Ellen recently had her reunion. You can read about it at her Sugar in the Raw blogspot. It seems like hers went better than expected. Maybe I'll take a tip from her and wear fancy underwear.

"She knew perfectly well, with her heart's blood as well as with her mind, that loving people was the most important of all things. Yet she knew too that she was deeply discontented and she sometimes suffered fierce feral moods of confused yearning during which it seemed to her that her whole life was a masquerade and that she was piously acting the part of a kindly affectionate serviceable woman who was just not herself."