Monday, February 19, 2007

My First Meme

and likely my last. i’m a sucker for peer pressure and seeing that i have no new news to report and that other members of my BloglomerateTM have completed this meme on their blogs, i figured i’d be a sport and play along. so here goes the posting of Five Things You Might Not Know About Me. (note to Wade: tag.)

  1. in high school, my house was make-out headquarters for my group of friends. my parents regularly spent long weekends in Las Vegas tending to the rental property they owned there, leaving me alone to tend to myself. sometimes, just hours after their departure, friends and wine coolers would fill the house for such exciting games as Truth or Dare and Seven Minutes in Heaven, which sometimes led to private make-out sessions in my older sister’s vacated bedroom, which sometimes led to lost virginities, rumors at school the following week and home pregnancy tests the following month.

    it was great, yet risky fun. one sunday, my parents returned home early to find the garden hose going full blast in the jacuzzi, which had nearly emptied the night before when six of my friends jumped in for a skinny dip. i felt my nerves race when they appeared suddenly at the door, my hand tightly fisted to conceal the cigarette butts and condom wrapper i had gathered from the floor a moment earlier. yet with a few excuses, i managed to escape discovery, ensuring that my house remained an epicenter of hot teenage sex, including my own when i was 17 -- with my older boyfriend, in the jacuzzi, done in two minutes. note to self for next life: avoid sex in water, especially for your first time. it doesn’t provide added lubrication like you think.

  2. sadly, i’ve never been a big dreamer when i sleep. i’m sure i dream and just don’t remember, but even when i do remember my dreams they’re mostly lame nightmares where i’m being chased by a bear through a forest. but most nights, i get nothing. just a dark, uneventful stretch of time where my fantasy life should be. weak.

  3. at 20, i found myself hanging out with all these theater types in california’s Inland Empire, where i lived for one very hot summer. that was the summer i also began smoking cigarettes since, you know, theater kids smoke to look cool and i’m bad with the peer pressure. so one thing led to another, and before i knew it, i was starring in a play at the local theater -- Christopher Durang’s Baby With the Bathwater.

    since it was a no-budget local theater troupe kind of performance, i played three different characters (all supporting roles), as did my fellow “actors.” the play’s opening scene had me singing “hush little baby” a capella. it was my first and last time performing on a stage in front of strangers, and i was very awful -- as a singer and an actress. i was all shaky voice and bad affectation, flubbing lines and missing cues. it was your basic bad local theater performance and while i’m grateful for the experience, etc., etc., i’d never do it again.

  4. i don’t eat chocolate. it makes my skin break out in all its adolescent glory so i avoid it. people sometimes get weird when they hear this, like it’s some crime to not enjoy chocolate. the truth is that i like chocolate, but i don’t love it, and i certainly don’t like it enough to endure a face full of pimples. call me crazy. and call me a liar because there is one brand of chocolate i will eat because it’s of such remarkable quality that it doesn’t cause breakouts. it’s a Belgian brand called Neuhaus that i sampled while on my european adventure a few summers back. thankfully, its availability is limited in the U.S., otherwise i might be eating these fattening, expensive, decadent and truly extraordinary chocolates too often. but yeah, in between bites of Neuhaus, i don’t eat chocolate.

  5. in grade school i bullied a girl who rode my bus. she was a few years younger, and her older sister, who was in my grade, initiated the wild bullying sessions each afternoon on the ride home, calling younger sister “porky” repeatedly. this seemed an odd fit since “porky” wasn’t exactly a porker; she was of average build. still, older sister went ahead with the “porky” commentary and i joined in because, as noted above, i’m a sucker for peer pressure.

    eventually, older sister transferred to a new school, leaving “porky” and me riding the bus together. at that point, terrorizing “porky” had become habit so i continued with it. i think it killed her self-esteem. her mother even appeared at the bus stop one day to chastise me, but i still didn’t stop. i kept going with the name-calling until “porky” transferred to a new school, presumably because of my ridicule though i can never be sure.

    the following year, i got a bully of my own. we were seated near each other in homeroom, meaning that each new day of the 8th grade began with her torturing me. she was scrawny, and in retrospect i could have kicked her ass, but she was popular and blessed with magnificent skin. i, however, had some intense adolescent acne going on so logically she called me “pizza face.” i hated her and began doing her math homework each morning to minimize the ridicule.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dorking Out

whooooo! new colors for the new year! ok, i’m a little late at the update as it’s february already, and i’m super overdue for a blog redesign, having kept the same template since this blog’s inception in 2003, but hopefully this color switcheroo will mark the start a new yearly trend. (does it look ok? not too bright nor dull?)

what inspired the change? glad you asked! let me tell you about this nifty class i took on web development, courtesy of Learning Tree International (and my employer’s dime). i spent last week in glorious Costa Mesa, shacked up in the (shit hole) Days Inn for four nights, with days spent at the nearby Radisson Hotel where i learned all about what it takes to build a web site from the ground up.

and holy shit, it’s complicated — like really, really complicated. i spent the week lost in a fog of acronyms and applications, hearing such terms as PHP, Perl, JSP, applet, ASP, SQL, XML and CSS. and to think i took the class to learn basic HTML, which we did only on the first day. i thought being a copy editor would up my aptitude for learning this stuff, as i’m already ridiculously detail-oriented, but this kicked my ass. apparently, it’s not as easy to spot errors in code as it is in copy.

i’m trying to learn it, though it is a new and foreign language. one time in class, it took me ten minutes to realize the instructor had switched topics to database management and SQL, which he kept pronouncing as “sequel,” causing me to scour course notes in search of the prequel to his sequel until the phonetics of it finally dawned on me. but i wasn’t entirely without my successes. i did learn much useful HTML, including:

  • how to create buttons:

  • how to make text bigger and smaller

  • how to create checkboxes: <-- Check me!

  • how to color text

  • how to create text fields:

  • how to create radio buttons: Love it! Hate it!

  • howtocreatetables

  • how to create horizontal rules:

check me out! it’s like that day i learned how to use the advanced formatting features in Word. so invigorating. in any case, i definitely intend to continue learning HTML and CSS through additional classes, books and programs. i got a long way to go before i’m fully dorked out and can truly develop a web site from the ground up, but the class has made for a lovely start.