Tuesday, April 24, 2007

cheer, cheer for liberty high

Every once in a while I will do a check-up on MySpace and look for alumni from my previous schools to see who's new, and who's going to throw me for a loop when I find out that they've now got 3 kids and are on their second marriage. It's, seriously, a lot of fun. Especially looking at alumni from my high school, considering that I haven't seen most of these people in 8 years (holy crap).

It's weird, though, the way that things will come back to me after years and years of not thinking about them at all. Having someone as a science lab partner, having lunch every day with the same two girls for like a whole year, but then not even keeping touch later, heck- I can't even remember a lot of last names anymore. But a lot of creepy high school feelings come back to me quickly in my nosy little search. I even begin to worry what other people might think of me if/when they spot me on that alumni list. Do I look better than I did in high school? (I REALLY hope so.) Do I seem as happy and satisfied as I feel? How many people actually remember me? I can't believe that there is still a part of me that really wants to feel accepted and liked by my high school peers, almost a decade later. Maybe I would have had a chance to escape those feelings for good, if it weren't for this crazy phenomenon called MySpace.

But it is pretty amusing to see what people are up to these days. Some people haven't changed at all- the guy who was obsessed with school spirit way back then is, well, still obsessed with school spirit. A couple of the super popular girls are living up the single life in big cities, some with drink in hand. But some have surprised me. Some people who I thought just pretended to be nice to everyone in high school so that everyone would like them- it turns out that they're actually, genuinely nice, as far as I can tell. But some of the people that I thought would be a huge success haven't really done much of anything and don't seem to have changed much at all. I can say that it looks like several of the girls from my class have had boob jobs. Congrats to them on that, I guess. Nevetheless, it still amazes me that all of these people have had almost 8 years of experience beyond the day when we graduated and looked forward. Many of my classmates are married and have several kids now, or they've got these great jobs, or they're at least older. And maybe fatter. No matter what they've done, they're an 8-years-later version of how I knew them, and it's just plain weird to me. It's weird to me to think how much I've changed, too.

One thing that I hope to remember and to pass on to my children: your high school girlfriend/boyfriend/crush is not necessarily the ultimate model of love in your life. I don't know how many times I've found old crushes and thought "what in the world was I thinking??" I can't count how many times my mom has reminded me that I thought I could never love anyone except my 7th grade crush. What's funny is that he's probably the closest of all of them to Mike. But still- who I've become today could never, ever have worked well with any of those guys that I was head over heels for, and I'm so glad that I didn't have the chance to make any crazy decisions at a way-too-young age.

In the last year or so, the subject of high school reunions has come up in a couple of conversations. I really don't know if I'd want to go to my reunion. High school wasn't horrible or anything, but experiencing those weird insecure feelings all over again makes me feel kind of silly and awkward. For some reason I still can't convince myself that the people I went to high school with aren't 10 times better than me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

mr. rock tells it like it is

A friend recently wrote about the whole Don Imus scandal, and mentioned the double standard that comes when rappers are allowed to say incredibly derogatory things about women. It reminded me of this great piece from Chris Rock, and I just had to post it. Warning: it is of course incredibly crude, but considering the content, I think it's justified.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Every now and then (or maybe a little more frequently than every now and then) I glance at Craig's List to see what kinds of apartments are available for rent in the New York City area. I have found some places that I would love to go and look at, but unfortunately it is too early to really be pursuing something, especially when most of the places advertised now will be available by May 1st.

However, I have learned a few things about searching for housing in this way, things that I had forgotten since the last time I looked for a place to live in NYC:

1. Writing a headline in all caps is about as appealing as listening to a used car salesman scream about his Cadillacs for sale. Water view sounds much nicer than WATER VIEW, I promise. Indoor voices on Craig's List, please.

2. "Cozy" can sometimes be a euphemism for "make sure you don't make any sudden movements, else you're liable to smack your head into a wall or swing your arm around and break a lamp". I learned this one from Mike. And considering that I managed to break a lamp cover with my arm the other night in our very spacious living room, I don't think cozy is the best idea for us.

3. Grammar is important when describing a place. Consider the following:

If you are interested in these living quarters Please leave:

# you can be reached {PLEASE LEAVE}
# Of occupants Salary

A comma would have been really helpful in that first sentence, and after the second "PLEASE LEAVE", I began to wonder if the one posting this was trying to send subliminal messages to the voices in their head.

4. Some people are willing to rent out the one and only bedroom they have and sleep on the couch, they are so hard-pressed for money. I actually didn't forget this piece of advice, and I doubt I'll ever forget the conversation I had with a woman: "this apartment has a really nice bedroom, plenty of space and everything. I sleep in the living room." "Did you say you sleep in the living room?" "YES. It's not a problem, okay? You'd barely even notice me." I feel like my life is richer, having that conversation to reflect on.

I have to say that I am ecstatic to not be apartment-hunting on my own this time. Or moving. Last time I borrowed a friend's 16-passenger van, loaded all my crap into it, and drove it from Princeton to Crestwood, then from Crestwood to Brooklyn. I honked at a guy who cut me off during that trip, and for a split second I was pretty sure he was going to get out of his car and have a word with me. Talk about having your life flash before your eyes. But this time around, at least I'll have the deacon to protect me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

times they are a-changing

On March 31st, just before Holy Week, Mike was ordained a Deacon. This last week has pretty much been a blur. Holy Week is always an intense time, but when your husband is also making his way through his first week of clergy service, and you spend more time in church than you do anywhere else...phew, I'm still exhausted.

But what a beautiful time it has been. The ordination service made a lot of people in Casper (and a lot of Mike's family) overwhelmingly happy and proud and excited about where Mike is headed. When the deacon vestments were pulled over Mike's head, I was a trembling mess of tears and joy. I know it's hard for many to understand, especially if they are not religious, and even if they are and their church has deacons, because the Orthodox Church just has a whole other approach to the deaconate. But I'm not going to get into that here.

Of course this is all fairly new to me also, having been Orthodox for only 5 years. I feel a little strange holding the hand of a man in a collar, and I blame it on these Western notions that are still stuck in my head about celibate clergy. I don't know why they're still stuck in my head. I was never Catholic, and I've spent plenty of time around married priests and deacons. Maybe I'm worried that people will think I'm involved in some sort of scandal when I have my arm around the waist of a man who surely must have taken a vow of celibacy. It's a little funny to me to think about the kind of reaction we might get when we're out together.

Anyway....life is changing quickly, and I'm trying to keep up. Deacon Michael just sent in his official acceptance of an offer to the PhD program at Fordham University. Which is in the Bronx. In New York City. Which means we're moving back. In only a few months. And I will again be living in New York. Near Broadway. And Chipotles as far as the eye can see. And yellow taxis. And people yelling. And lots of culture and things to do. And humidity. Oh, sweet humidity. It has not sunk in completely that we will be back there, but I do get butterflies in my stomach just to think about it.

One huge blessing is that we are headed to a place that is teeming with the kinds of jobs that I am looking for. I've decided to pursue development research and writing, and hopefully take it into a freelance situation where I can work from home and decide my own schedule. Then maybe, just maybe, someday we can have some babies, and I won't have to leave them in daycare all day, but we'll still be able to afford crazy extravagant things like diapers and food and clothing. It's almost too much to hope for.