Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wall.head.repeat.

Okay, so one of my many online 'hobbies' is posting on a political debate site (which is, by in large, full of very intelligent and well-spoken individuals on both sides of the coin). This board happens to be one of the few places where I've actually been able to appreciate some of the 'logic' of those on the 'other side'. I don't agree with it, but many of the more conservative posters are well-read and make good arguments that I at will at least read and contemplate.

On the board, there are specific sub-boards for things from history, party-specific discussions, to science and technology. It's a fantastic place and I love participating there. Anyway, one of those sub-boards is Race Debate. I've definitely made more posts in the Race Debate board than any other and the vast majority of those posts dealt with Affirmative Action. This is in large part because I was an Affirmative Action consultant for almost four years and know a heck of a lot about how it works...a WHOLE lot more than your average person, for sure. As such, I get quite miffed when people debate the subject with little to no knowledge other than what some talking head rattled off about it being a 'black vs. white' issue or anecdotal stories from "my brother's neighbor's dog" who lost a job to an unqualified Black male or some other such nonsense. What's even more disheartening is the sheer arrogance of said arguers who think they know more about Affirmative Action than I - someone with direct, real life experience in the field. Pisses me off to no end. I don't care if you think Affirmative Action is not a good policy/legislation...but please, at least know SOMETHING about the subject before you start forming such rigid opinions about it and them pawning your beliefs off as 'fact'. That really shouldn't be asking too much. I stay out of debates that I might feel strongly about if I don't think I'm well versed in the subject enough to constructively argue my point. I wish others would do the same.

Anyway, for the past two days, I've been embroiled in a debate with a few individuals over what Affirmative Action is and what it isn't. Apparently, my experience means jack shit while their inexperience makes them all-knowing in the subject of Affirmative Action (and all other race debate subjects, I might add). I am not one to quit once I'm involved in a debate, so I press on...continuing to cite facts as I go. They retort with ridiculous claims...here are some of the more silly ones:

"I think you don't see how it works. You've lost the forest by staring at a few trees."

"This is ridiculous! Affirmative Action is ALL about race."

"even when qualified black people get good jobs, they cannot be satisfied with them, for they did not get their jobs honestly - they got their jobs by the government threatening their employers with guns and bludgeons."

If I weren't so disgusted by the sheer ignorance in these statements, I'd be laughing my ass off.

I will continue to bang my head against the wall in the hopes that SOMEONE might learn a thing or two in the process. But damn, I wish it wasn't so painful.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Bras on the Ceiling Fan

During high school, I had a group of very close friends - there were five of us and we were the best of friends: Danielle, Erin, Leslie, Monica, and moi.

Erin was a fantastic flautist, Leslie played a mean clarinet, Danielle and Monica were both singing divas and I was a singer/percussionist. Because of the kind of school it was, we came from all over the valley to attend school. As such, we didn't get together often outside of school or school-related activities. But when we did, boy did we know how to have fun!

Now, our idea of 'fun' might have been different from the average high school girl clique's idea of fun. We didn't skip school and go shopping, we didn't stay out all night partying and drinking. We didn't give eachother makeovers. We hung our bras on the ceiling fan.

The first time the five of us had a slumber party, we did what every teenaged girl does and talked about our undergarments. Somehow this discussion evolved and before we knew it, we were decorating the room with our lingerie. Thus, the infamous 'bras on the ceiling fan' ritual was born.

Everytime we got together, the very first thing we did was throw our bras onto the ceiling fan and watch them fly around the room when we hit the 'on' switch. I think Monica's brother thought we were certifiable.

But the silliness didn't end there. We all had goofy nicknames for one another, too. Because I lived the farthest of the bunch, we only ever got together at my house once. But on that night, we watched old musicals (as all dorky high school musician-chicks do) and scanned the TV for anything exciting. Sometime during the course of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, we decided that we all needed nicknames. Erin became Dorcas (one of the characters from Seven Brides...the gorgeous, insanely skinny one played by Julie Newmar). Then we started flipping through the channels to randomly pick out nicknames for one another. The first channel was showing "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead"...I instantly became known as Sturak because Mrs. Sturak was the first character to appear post-channel flip. So I was named after a dead babysitter! Yippee! Then Danielle earned the nickname Harv (though I'm not entirely sure what we were watching that led to this nickname - some 80's teen angst movie, I think). Leslie became Frans (of SNL Hans and Frans fame). Monica became Ducky (possibly after the cute little dinosaur from The Land Before Time, possibly not).

Now all of my friends are grown up and doing their own thing. We keep in touch very irregularly, but I still consider them friends. Bras on the ceiling fan...those were the days.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Flower girl


Flower Girl

Here's my little cutie pie making the cutest flower girl ever at my sister's wedding. She did 'walk and throw' perfectly!

Moi




This is a fairly cute picture of me at my sister's wedding. This pic is cropped from a pic of 'the girls' (sister, step-sister, mom, and me) dancing.

The WOMAN test

Thought this was cute...

Dream Girl
You scored 38% Estrogen, 84% Grace, 82% Sexiness, 81% Intelligence

You have a realistic sense of your femininity so that you can still hold rational conversations about things other than hair. Plus, you're sexy and kind to everyone you meet. When you walk into a room, people are sure to look and smile. You go, girl!

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 50% on Estrogen
You scored higher than 88% on Grace
You scored higher than 55% on Sexiness
You scored higher than 83% on Intelligence

Link: The WOMAN Test written by monkeyonfire on Ok Cupid

Interviewed by Cherie

1. What is the worst date you ever had?
Well, considering that the hubby and I have been together since I was 16, I haven't had too many 'dating' opportunities. But the worst dates was every single date with jerk boyfriend before hubby. He was a shallow asshole who thought he was the most fantastic person on earth and people should just be happy to be in his presence *gag*. Anyway, he had this extremely admirable/endearing quality of attempting to solicit blow jobs from me in very creative ways (he was my first real boyfriend and I was not budging on my refusal to engage in such activities). He'd say "if I make this basket, you have to give me a blow job", to which I'd say, "um, NO". Well, this is what most of our dates consisted of, so he was pretty much the hands sown winner in this category.

2. What are some ways being a military spouse changed your life?
You mean aside from moving every couple of years and having to make and then leave friends in each new place? For starters, I've had to be more quiet about my political beliefs as a war-hating liberal. I'm still not totally used to that. The whole gung ho attitude some of these spouses has is just a bit creepy to me. Also, it's very interesting to see what goes on within the military's infrastructure. The hierarchy system is off-putting to say the least. Rank pretty much means you can do whatever you want and blame it on someone beneath you with little to no recourse whatsoever. There's also a whole lot of racial favoritism in the military. My hubby has been on the short end of that stick in just about every assignment he's had thus far and he's frankly getting tired of it. Currently, he's slated for promotion (he's been ready for months but his superior keeps holding him back for reasons still unstated), but he STILL may not be going to the promotion board because of his stupid superior. Stuperior (for short) keeps giving hubby great reviews and says he's not going to hold him back for promotion, yet every time the promotion board rolls around, there's another excuse. Frankly, hubby has had enough and has said he's going to take it to EO if this stuff keeps happening. So, I guess it's not very different from the 'real' world aside from the relocating and the silly acronyms.

3. You can be a character from a TV show for a year. Who is it and why?
Hmmmm, well practically speaking, I'd probably choose Ken Jennings so I could spend his money, but he's not really a 'character', now is he? I'd probably go with someone who has a whole lot of sex - preferably with someone(s) intelligene and hot and a good dancer. Know any shows like this? If so, please do tell. I don't watch a whole lot of TV shows with characters I'd want to switch with (switch with anyone from Lost? I think not), so feel free to use your imagination on this one. I mostly watch reality TV and real-life stuff (CourtTV investigative stuff), so there really aren't any 'characters' there. I wouldn't mind switching with some of the people on CourtTV shows though - I'd love doing some kind of investigative detective work for a living.

4. Besides our names, what other things do you think make us true "bookends"?
Our general silliness and personality, I think. I think we share a similar sense of humor and outlook on life in general. Plus, we're both fun & intelligent hot chicks. On the flip side, we compliment each other well, too. For instance, you are a special brownie freak, whereas I like my browines additive-free ;-) Wouldn't be much fun if we were fighting over the same chocolate, now would it?

5. You can only give one item of advice to Kaia. What is it?
Be yourself - always trust your instincts as they'll more than likely guide you down the 'right' (hopefully left :D) path. I've never been much of a follower and I think that's mostly because I've never been afraid to be myself. I like me.


Thanks for the fantastic questions, Mon. And from now on, I think I'll call you Linda

*snort*

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

Rules for those of you interested in further interviews...
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions of my choosing.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. If you don't have a blog, you can post your responses in my comments section.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post, following the same rules.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Free associate with me!

* My name is Karen (I was named after Karen Carpenter)
* I was originally going to be named either Heather or Holly after the Holly Hobbie dolls (apparently Holly had a cousin/friend named Heather).
* I'm 26
* I was born on October 13
* My mother's birthday is 13 days after mine - her mother's birthday is 13 days after hers
* 13 and 17 are my 'lucky numbers'
* I was born in NJ and moved to AZ when I was almost 7 - I miss the bakeries and delis but not much else
* I lived in Belgium for three years (the French-speaking Wallonie region). The first French phrase I learned was "I'm going into labor" since I was pregnant when I got there :lol:
* I have one daughter -she is almost four
* Her name is Kaia
* I'm a name fanatic and am still in the process of writing an awesomely original baby name book
* I have ADHD so I'm "working on" my book even though I haven't touched it in over a year
* I'm "working on" a lot of things
* I don't drive (I have my license but am terrified of driving)
* I got my permit when I was 15 but no one ever taught me how to drive
* I was 4'10" when I started high school and was 5'7" when I graduated
* I started reading when I was 18 months old
* I got bored with reading in high school and didn't start up again for fun until a few years ago
* I like to read non-fiction and crime thrillers
* My favorite book is [I]The Little Prince[/I] by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
* My favorite authors are Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, E.B. White, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Connelly, Farai Chideya, Steve Almond, David Sedaris, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and a bunch others I know I'm forgetting
* I play the drums (most every percussion instrument)
* I sing (soprano, but I have a good range)
* I was in an opera in high school - I played a woman who desired fame (The opera was called A Game of Chance)
* I am a dancer (tap, jazz, ballet, modern, Flamenco, African, hip hop, some swing)
* My favorite songs are Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer, Send it On (D'Angelo), A Song for You (Donny Hathaway), A Change is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke), For Real (Amel Larrieux)
* I love music - my favorite 'artists' are Stevie Wonder, D'Angelo, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Jackson 5, John Legend, Donny Hathaway, Amel Larrieux, Digable Planets, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Chopin
* I planned to go to Chapman university in California for music and/or English
* I went to the University of Arizona (didn't have Chapman money)
* I initially majored in Creative Writing, but that changed about 7 times before finally settling on Family Studies
* I met my husband in an incoming freshman orientation program
* We've been together for 10 years this July
* We've been married since 1999
* Physically speaking, I'm most attracted to a man's eyes (followed by lips and butt :D)
* My eyes are weird - they are a sort of golden color and I can shake them
* I have reddish brown hair
* I like to wear brown clothes
* My favorite colors are blue and purple and have been since I was a little girl
* I wanted to be an architect, doctor, archaeologist, and performer when I was younger
* I have too many interests/ideas to know what to do with them
* I'm intensely afraid of silence
* I'm afraid of a lot of things in real life, but scary movies don't scare me at all
* My favorite movies are Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Usual Suspects, The Dark Crystal, Whale Rider, Monsoon Wedding, and a ton of Disney animated movies
* My favorite Disney character is Mulan
* The Disney character I'm most like is Dory from Nemo (w00t) - friendly, funny, and forgetful
* I forget things five seconds after I'm told, but I remember the birthdate of everyone I've ever known
* I love birthday cake and usually eat WAY too much of it at parties
* My favorite foods are ravioli, lamb, my special pot roast, and just about anything chocolate
* I think I have a serious addiction to chocolate
* The longest I think I've ever gone without chocolate was 2.5 days
* My favorite candy bars are Reeses' PB cups, Kit Kat, Skor, Cookies N Cream Twix (which don't exist anymore)
* I'm a very picky eater
* I have a fear of mayonnaise, pickles, and most condiments (but I love BBQ sauce)
* I don't like fruit but I love fruit juices
* I don't drink alcohol (don't like the taste)
* I don't smoke and never have and never will
* I don't do drugs and never have and never will
* I pretty much never got in trouble as a kid/teen
* The worst thing I remember doing was lying about a grade (I had never gotten a C before and was devastated) and saying I never got the report card
* I got really high scores on the ASVAB test and Navy recruiters STILL call my parents' house
* I could be a MENSA member if I had any desire to spend money just to say "hey, look at me, I'm smart" (I can do that for free thankyouverymuch)
* I graduated from high school when I was sixteen
* I skipped 8th grade
* I missed the same word two years in a row in my school's spelling bee! I don't remember the word (guess I tried to block it out)
* I had some wonderful teachers and some horrible ones
* I changed schools because of a teacher once (she was evil and purposely 'lost' my work just to make me look bad)
* I have always been a total disorganized slob - I once had a teacher rearrange the classroom so that the desks were all in a circle surrounding mine - I had 'too many papers' in my desk, so she dumped out the contents of my desk in the middle of the classroom (talk about embarrassing). The desks stayed that way for a week
* I won 3rd place in a statewide writing contest for a book about best friends and their differences when I was in 3rd grade
* I have a small group of friends (mothers of multiracial children) who I met online over 4 years ago
* I've never 'met' any of them in person, but I consider them to be among my best friends
* I'm the 'baby' of the group, as I've been throughout life
* Half of us are liberal and the other half are more conservative - I don't have many real life conservative friends (outside of military folks, I really don't even know many conservatives in real life)
* I'm the most liberal of the bunch
* I have been 'liberal' ever since I had any knowledge of politics
* The issues that are most important to me are social issues: civil/human rights, education, and health care
* I'm the only one in my family who is interested in politics - my mother and sister are pretty disheartened by politics, but their beliefs are on the liberal side
* I LOVE debating - often just for the sake of arguing
* Despite my love of arguing, I'm one of the friendliest people you'll ever want to meet :D
* I make friends easily and don't think I've ever had an 'enemy' or 'nemesis'
* I'm pretty extroverted but I like my alone time, too
* I am an ENFP (Myers-Briggs personality test) and have never tested as anything else
* I pride myself on my compassion, helpfulness, consideration for others, and my silliness
* I am more nerdy than 96% of the population according to this test
* Despite my nerdiness, I have usually been considered 'cool' (guess I have a good balance)
* I like sports: basketball and boxing are my favorite sports but I like just about everything but hockey and baseball
* Despite all of my better judgment, I like reality TV
* I participate in a bulletin board especially for reality TV
* I write 'snarky' summaries of reality shows for this website
* This one is my favorite
* My favorite TV shows are Lost, Law & Order, Survivor, The Amazing Race, and just about everything that comes on CourtTV during late night (investigative stuff and real crime stories)
* If I drove, I'd love to audition for The Amazing Race with my husband
* I love to travel
* I want to go to Italy, Spain, Morocco, Senegal, Egypt, Greece, Australia, and Singapore before I die
* I've been to Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, France, & Luxembourg
* I've lived in Arizona for almost 20 years but have never been to Mexico
* I like 'dry heat'
* I am moving back to Arizona in a little over a month when my husband deploys to Iraq
* I may be the most liberal military wife on earth :thumbsup:
* I usually try to keep my mouth shut on base for fear of backlash for my 'unpopular' views
* I generally have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut
* I have been told I talk entirely too much



And that's me!

Monday, June 06, 2005

What I've been reading/watching/listening to

So, it's been entirely too long since I've posted and I don't have much to talk about at the moment, so I'll just rattle off some of the things that have picqued my interest lately...

Reading:

I just finished Michael Connelly's The Closers, which is the 11th book in the Harry Bosch detective series. I got into this series this time last year and read all 10 of the previous books in the series. The character of Harry Bosch is a fascinating one and the mysteries are almost always unexpected (I pegged the killer in the very first book pretty early on, but I don't think I figured out any of the others before I was supposed to. I'm anxious to read the Connelly book that will come out in October. It's not a Bosch novel, but the main character has close ties to Bosch (and Bosch doesn't even know him).

I'm starting Stephen King's The Drawing of Three, which is book two in the Dark Tower series. Somehow I'd managed to make it to January 2005 without ever picking up a Stephen King book (until the series was recommended to me by a friend about six months ago). I read The Gunslinger (book one) a few months ago and highly enjoyed it. King is a gifted weaver of words. His word choice is superb and I hated having to put the book down for any length of time. I really look forward to getting into this one.

Watching:

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Lost fanatic. It's like the show was written with me in mind...unanswered questions galore with new questions popping up left and right every time a piece of the puzzle is provided. My brain gets a pretty good workout every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. (well, not during the summer - have to wait until the fall for season 2) trying to decipher what the numbers signify in each episode, what these people are all really doing on the island, and what the 'key' to the island might be. I can't wait until the fall to see what happens next on the crazy island.

I also am digging some of these new summer 'fluff' reality shows. Beauty and the Geek is remarkably fun and entertaining and of course me being a dancer, I have to watch Dancing with the Stars if only to make fun of the 'dancing'.

Listening to:

Well, I love the whole 'neo-soul' genre, so naturally I gravitated toward the likes of John Legend, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite male artists of all time. His voice is absolutely gorgeous and there are some truly marvelous songs on his album. I can't get enough of his music and his voice just makes me melt. Simply beautiful.

I've been thinking a lot about songs from the late 80s and early 90s that I really enjoyed...I was never really into mainstream 'pop' (my tastes have always been for Motown, R&B, and good jazz), but some of the songs from this time period (my 'formative years, I suppose) really stuck with me. One of those songs is Two Princes by the Stone Temple Pilots. For whatever reason, I've always taken a liking to that song. It just puts me in a happy mood. Another is No Rain by Blind Melon. This song reminds me of one of my best friends from high school, Erin. Picturing that little dancing bee from the music video always makes me smile and I can't help but think abot the silly little notes that Erin and I wrote back and forth when I hear this song. Usually, the letters went something like this: "The purple penguin wears green polka dot mittens while dancing in the pouring rain". We were huge dorks. I'll have to expand on our sheer dorkitude in another post sometime (probably another month from now at the rate I'm going). It will certainly make for a good chuckle.