A Letter To Myself

(To Myself eight years in the past: February 1995)

Dear Self,

If this letter reaches you when I hope it will, you will currently be failing all of your classes except Athletic Band, attending camps for the Northern Aurora Drum & Bugle Corps, IRC-ing too much, racking up too much credit card debt, and trying to get into a relationship without getting laid. Life is pretty fucked up for you right now. I know.

If I told you everything you needed to know to straighten out your life in the next few years, then I wouldn’t be here later to tell you about it. We don’t want some weird Back to the Future II paradox going on… so I’ll tell you about the little things, and advise you about the bigger ones. I wouldn’t want the major things to change, anyway… but you’ll find out why later.

First off, I know you’ve been seeing guys from the IRC [internet relay chat]. I think you’ve already found this out the hard way, but always meet guys in public. Never go to their house to watch a movie the first time you meet. And don’t feel obligated to go further than you want. Oh, yeah… and watch your roving hands. They could get you in trouble.

Matt is a dork, but he’s harmless. He’ll go away eventually. Jon isn’t worth the heartache. He’s too old for you, and no matter what it may seem like while you’re together, he’s really not your type. Don’t sweat it if nothing ends up happening between you two. Adam is a total dork, too. I don’t care if he is a bit of a local celebrity. He’s called the Virgin Freak for a reason. Don’t go to his dorm room, and don’t make out with him. It’ll just cause an IRC soap-opera, and you’ll end up being weird about each other. Better off just to be IRC buddies and leave it at that.

Bryan is a different kind of dork — he’s got more relationship experience, and he’s more “normal.” If you’re going to make out with somebody, he’s probably the one to make out with. As far as physical stuff goes, he knows what he’s doing. Even if he does make fun of your ratty old shoes. — And don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself. Tell him to buy you new shoes, and tell him you wear a size 10. See if he does anything about it.

And don’t be such a prude. Don’t be afraid to let guys touch you in your bathing-suit area. Sure, wait on sex, but don’t be afraid of physical intimacy.

On a different subject: I know it’s early in the semester, but I regret to inform you that you’re going to flunk out. No, no, not permanently, just for a semester. It’s OK… this is going to be the best thing for you so far. You know you’re getting sick of school — admit it. When you come back almost a year from now, you’ll be ready to be here. While you’re home, you might consider getting a job. Don’t wait for Gary to goad you into it.

Oh, did I mention Gary? He’s Mom’s new guy. Get used to him; he’ll be around awhile. You’ll think he’s a total dick, especially when Mom starts bringing him home while you’re living there. He’ll try to start treating you like his own kid, and trying to “raise” you or something. Don’t be all pissed off about it. You won’t want to admit it, but he’s got some valid points. For instance, your job (or lack thereof). You’re not going to find something you really like, not at age 19 with no experience. You just need something to get you some money. Save up for drumcorps next year.

Drumcorps is going to be the most kickass thing in your life for quite a while. You’ll wish you’d gotten involved in it sooner — as it is, you’ll only have three years of marching eligibility. Make ’em good ones. Talk to people. Make friends. Don’t be afraid to be a dork. Get in shape before you get there. Go check out the Rec — it’s right across the street, and it’s actually pretty cool. Go jog or something. Being in shape will help you enjoy the experience more. It’s totally intense, as you already know. And it gets better.

Off-topic: Steve P. is an asshole. He might be fun on the trips up to Saginaw, and he might like some cool music, but he’s generally an asshole. If you ever consider him to be attractive, smack yourself. You’re too desperate. Something better will come along soon, I promise.

What else…? Oh, yeah. Stop using your credit cards now. Use the job you get in the Fall to pay them off a little. You might want credit sometime in the next seven years, and it’ll suck to be without for that long.

Take pictures of everything. You never know when it’ll be gone, and you’ll want to remember, and you’ll be frightened at how much memory has passed you by. Take pictures of friends and loved ones, of places and events and buildings. Take pictures of Tom and of Memaw. Take pictures of your boyfriends (and I use the term loosely). Chronicle your life, so you won’t forget the bad parts. Or the good parts.

Something else: when you come back to school next Spring, your roommate will be a little weird. Be ready for it. She’s cool, but she’s weird. She’s got cool friends, too.

Now, not to get you too excited, but… you’re going to meet somebody. Somebody Special. You might not know it at first, but he’s different. He’s not going to try to get you in the sack on the first date. He’s funny, and honest, and tall. He will love you to the ends of the earth. It’ll be cool. Only thing is… he can’t sing, and he doesn’t like drumcorps. 🙂

I don’t want to give you too much to think about at one time, so I think I’ll leave it at that. Just remember, when things seem totally fucked up, and all you want to do is sit in your room and eat and be miserable, and Life seems intent on fucking with you, and you think you’ll never get out of your funk… remember that things always work themselves out eventually. It sounds like so much crap, but it’s true. It’s just a matter of sticking it out and doing what needs to be done.

Things are going to look up for you. It’ll be a rough year ahead (except the kickass drumcorps part in the summer), but it’ll work out. You’ll see.

— Your Future Self

Great Weekend

This weekend was the most fun and productive one I’ve had in a while. Saturday started off with lunch (of course), followed by the Wedding Fair at the small (aka Woodland Towne Centre). There, we ate some yummy moist wedding cake, avoided the DJs, talked to photographers, and ended up choosing one. She has interesting, professional-looking work; she has a good sense of humor; and she has very competitive prices. We scheduled a meeting at her studio for the following day at 7:30pm for contract-signing and an engagement sitting.

After the Wedding Fair was an attempt at the monthly BG Flea Market, held at the fairgrounds. However, by this point it was after 3:00, and most of the vendors were closing up shop. We walked in, saw this, and opted to wait until Sunday. So, we went to Wal-Mart instead.

At Wal-Mart, we got some basic necessities, like new dress pants for me and a can of compressed air for my streaky laser printer. Then back home to chill for a couple hours before heading back out again.

That evening, we met a couple of friends up at the Red Robin in Toledo for dinner. Excellent food, great alcoholic milkshakes, biggest BBQ Chicken salad in the known universe. Weirdest mascot you’ve ever seen. It’s a giant red robin (go figure), in the new-Freddy-Falcon style, for those of you from BGSU. You know, the cartoony-looking Freddy with the creepy big eyes and huge smiling beak. Mark got a picture of Aaron with the scary robin dude. We’ll see how that turns out.

Anyway, after dinner, we still had a couple hours before we had to be at Frankie’s, our destination point for the evening. So, we hung out in Barnes & Noble. Aaron & Kris both bought William Gibson’s new novel, Pattern Recognition, and I bought a copy of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. We tried to waste a decent amount of time there, but eventually we decided to go seek out Frankie’s, where none of us had been for years (and some of us never).

Back in the heyday of the Alternative Music Scene, Frankie’s was apparently the place to be to see great bands like Goober & the Peas, the Afghan Whigs, the Smashing Pumpkins, Pure, and dozens of other groups whose flyers are posted on Frankie’s Wall of Fame. Now, though… Frankie’s has turned into a bit of a dive. Unbeknownst to us, of course, until we found the place and wandered into the cold, dim bar.

After the door-dude found us and took our seven bucks apiece, we wandered about, reading the Wall of Fame and wondering what the hell happened. As the first “band,” MC Habitat, was setting up its turntables and mics, we made a break for the outer room, where lived two pool tables (in use), six chairs, and three dirty tables. We pulled a table from against the wall, found four chairs without too many tears in their linings, and proceeded to sit and freeze our asses off.

We sat there for an hour.

Finally, after one of our friends came to join us and promptly gave up and left, and a few of Kris’s friends (who are also friends of the band we were there to see) showed up and said hello, and after our tizoes and nizoes were frizoze, we decided to go check out band number two of three: The Satisfactions. This band is from BG, which gave us pause. Historically, very few bands from Bowling Green have amounted to shit. The Satisfactions were no exception. Their set started out mediocre, and only went downhill. By the end of the set, the lead singer took notice that the crowd (except their groupies) no longer gave a shit about their music, and decided to go climb on the light rig just above the stage. When he didn’t fall and crack his fool head open, or bring the lights crashing down on everyone, he climbed back down and lay on the floor in the midst of the disinterested crowd to sing the remainder of the penultimate song.

The final number of their set took the proverbial cake, though. The opening riff reminded me of a song I knew, and I tried to pin it down as they sang the first verse. I still hadn’t figured it out when Kris poked his head in between Aaron’s and mine and started singing, “I’m comin’ baaaack with my dinosaur aaaact…” Their chord structure was an exact mimic (OK, ripoff) of Matthew Sweet’s song “Dinosaur Act,” from the 1993 album Altered Beast. We sang the chorus a couple times, as the band sang the words to their own little song. Then, mercifully, they were done.

After that came the band we’d actually gone to see: The Soledad Brothers. (You know, I think eventually I’ll put all these paragraphs into my reviews section…) The Toledo-based Soledads were once a two-piece, but have added another Brother to the mix, to make one drummer, one guitarist/lead vocalist, and one guitarist/saxophonist. This is the most explosive band I have ever seen live. The genre is blues. The atmosphere is electric. The volume is loud.

Yeah… I think I’ll expound later in my reviews section. At any rate, we got out of there at around 2am. Kick-ass show. Amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. Go to their website and take a listen, though they’re much better live than in the studio, IMO.

So, Sunday morning/afternoon rolled around, and Sheryl called. She wanted to go to the Flea Market. Well, I’ll be damned… so did we. We told her we’d give her a call when we were going to head out there. We finished waking up and getting ready, then called Sheryl and left a message to meet us at said Flea Market at two o’clock. And we went to have our lunch at the China Dragon. Yummy.

When we got to the fairgrounds, Sheryl was inside waiting. She surprized the hell out of us by giving us the gift of a prepaid cell phone. Apparently, her Japanese friend Mariko was going to come visit, and Sheryl had gotten her the phone for her stay. But… Japan says that the U.S. is going to war in March, and that was going to be when Mariko’s return trip would have been. So, she opted out of the visit, leaving Sheryl with much unhappiness and a paid-for cell phone.

But once again, the BG Flea Market was unfulfilling. The only real amusement came from the generic Ken-doll look-alikes, dressed in full 80’s gay regalia, with black mesh tops and shiny shorts. We made the rounds of the building, thanked Sheryl and bid her adieu, and headed off to do our grocery shopping.

Usually, we do shopping and laundry on Sunday evening. But, since we were planning to go meet with our photographer in the evening, we’d had to rearrange our little schedule. So, off to do shopping and laundry. Fun times.

By the time we were finished with laundry, it was time to get ready for engagement photos and head off to Fostoria. We’d never been to Fostoria, so driving at night in the boonies was a lot of fun. Anyway, we got there with little incident, and found the studio no problem.

Carol Creeger reminds me of someone’s mom. She has an open and honest sense of humor about her, but is totally professional about her work. We sat down and completed the contract first, with her giving us some time to discuss while she set up the studio for our portraits. Once all the details were ironed out, she gave us the nickel tour of the studio and got us ready for our sitting. She shot digital, which was excellent; she got to see the images as she took them, and got to get our approval before keeping them. We got a feel for how she works, and she got a feel for what we like. I only had to mention my stupid double-chin once before she adjusted our posing and her lighting to make it disappear. We also learned not to make Diana say anything silly before taking the exposure, because Diana’s eyebrows go up and her mouth looks funny. 🙂

After the sitting (which was short and sweet), she showed us around her office, and we just shot the shit for a few minutes before Aaron wrote her the check for the deposit. The engagement sitting is included, and we’ll get a matted 8×10 of one photo for guest signatures. We can also order reprints — we’ll probably get some wallets for $15 a dozen, which isn’t unreasonable. Two weeks before the wedding, we need to send her the remaining balance plus our sheet of necessary shots. Overall, we came away from Carol’s studio with an overwhelming sense of relief, and the knowledge that we will have some quality photos of our wedding day.

Nine o’clock. Hungry. Dinnertime, chillin’ out time, TV time, printer-cleaning time, computer time. Which then brings us to now. Which is midnight. Bedtime.

Valentine’s Day

Today at work, I was surprized to have the receptionist give me a call and inform me that I had a delivery. Today, that could only mean one thing: for the first time in my life, I was among the ranks of those whose sweethearts bought them flowers and had them sent to their workplace. (awww…) So, I got to spend the day with a dozen red carnations on my desk, their vase tied with ribbon and anchoring a red heart-shaped foil balloon. Not bad.

Now, on to the daily rant: Macs. As in, Macintosh computers. I consider myself to have turned from an exclusively Macintosh user to a bit of a Macintosh agnostic. Not that I have doubts about the actual existence of the Mac, but that I have doubts about my previous proselyting (sp?) of the platform as The Best Computing Platform.

check out The 6400 Zone websiteThe ideal Mac user has enough money to actually purchase a new model, along with all the software he or she might need. This would require me either to be independently wealthy or to take out a loan nearly akin to my recent car loan. I’ve recently moved up from a 7600/80 to a 6500/275 (yes, it is a move upward), neither of which have a G3 processor. I’m living in 1994 here. Most of the software I own is not current, having been purchased legally from thrift stores and eBay vendors. I do have some pirated Mac software living on my 6500 (mainly Photoshop 5.5), but Office 2000 and PageMaker 6.0 and all my internet software is legal.

I didn’t use my old 7600 or my newer 6500 for several months (no, make that over a year) thanks to Sheryl coming to my rescue. My piddly 80 MHz processor (after I upgraded the motherboard!) and 28K modem weren’t cutting it, so she let me kind of rent-to-own her extra PII 333MHz with monitor. For a shade under $200 (she knocked off a little since I bought my own monitor later), I had a pretty kickass computer. At least, for what I use it for. Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to edit audio and video on my computer, and to barely think about opening an application before it’s launched and ready… but that’s just not in the scope of things right now.

My PC is more upgradeable than my Mac. I got a 16X CD-R drive for Christmas, and Aaron and I installed it, no problem. I’ve added RAM to beef this bad boy up to 90MB. (w00t!) Sheryl helped us add a NIC so we could get cable internet. I installed and partitioned a 60GB HD to make a second and third drive for storage. And, I do admit, I have hundreds if not thousands of dollars of pirated software on my machine. Oh, yeah, and mp3’s. (Hit me with your best shot, RIAA…)

My 6500 hasn’t been totally neglected, though. I installed a NIC in it, too, and would have installed a Radius Thunder video card, had the card not been too damned long to fit in my funky-ass case in amongst the cable-age. I also purchased a video switchbox and high-quality cables so I can see my Mac in 17 inches of glory.

I’m just wondering… is it just my knowledge of the MacOS that made me such a Mac person before? I can zap the PRAM, rebuild the desktop, troubleshoot the network, use dozens of keyboard shortcuts, produce almost any punctuation mark imaginable, search for a valid system disk, et cetera, et cetera. Windows? Um… run winipcfg? Release and Renew? Reboot?

Since I’ve been using Windows exclusively for some time now, I find that I like the faster mouse. I find myself looking to the bottom right for the time. I find my thumb instinctively seeking out the Control key when I’m starting a keystroke shortcut. I really like the QuickLaunch bar and the taskbar and minimizing windows and clicking quickly between apps. It’s just a different feel… but when I get back on my Mac, once I get used to the slower mouse, it’s just like old home week.

Maybe I’ve just reached a happy medium, finally. I own both platforms, and I have no intention of eliminating one of them. I like them both. I’m not platform-monogamous, but I don’t feel like I’m cheating. 🙂

P.S. – Oh, yeah… and my laser printer only works with my Mac.

Hot or Not?

What the fuck has society come to when a moderately degrading but humorous website has become a TV game show? Twenty-somethings parading themselves up a runway to have three judges decide whether they’re hot or not? (Criteria are face, body, and overall sex appeal, in case you were wondering.) This is not healthy for society, I’m sure.

It’s bad enough that we have to deal with supermodels in ads and on television, and either consciously or subconsciously compare ourselves to them. Do we have to see the 2% of the population that almost look like them, too? And do we have to keep judging people on their looks? Weren’t we told in 4th grade that it’s what’s on the inside that counts?

Apparently our teachers were full of shit. But that’s no surprize.

The Sky Is Falling…

Be sure to visit your local hardware store soon, because supplies of duct tape and plastic sheeting are going fast! After all, you don’t want to be the only one in the country without an Disaster Supply Kit.

Because you know that Al Qaeda’s first target will be [insert your hometown here], U.S.A.

Call me a cynic. Call me a typical apathetic Gen-Xer. I just don’t think that the biological weaponry, whatever it may be, will end up here in Bowling Green, Ohio. If the assailants are dumb enough to release some sort of something-or-other that will propagate all the way here from wherever they dump it, something tells me that a.) duct tape on the windows won’t help, and b.) it’ll get them eventually, too.

I just refuse to get sucked into a panic before the situation warrants.

And now for something completely different… I’m very proud of myself. Last week, I received my shipment from fixyourownprinter.com, including a new pickup roller and installation video CD-ROM. In only, oh, an hour and a half, I managed to disassemble my LaserWriter II NT, change the pickup roller, clean the registration roller, install some new felt pads in the electronics of the printer, and reassemble it… in working order. 🙂 My printer will now be happy and will print pretty wedding announcements.

General crap

I don’t update this thing enough. There are people out there who update their blogs / journals / diaries / what-have-you on a daily basis. Me, I’m probably one of the people who pisses off my friends during their daily blog-checks. (If you have a page linked from mine: yes, I do check your page every day to see if there’s something new.)

So… what’s up in my life. Yesterday our temp was sick with the flu and called off work. We’d gotten so used to having three people to do the work of, oh, two-and-a-half, that being one person short on a Monday really threw us for a loop. Loni and I parceled out A’s work betwixt the two of us, and somehow managed to get through the morning. I opted to skip lunch (bad idea) and worked straight into the afternoon. Loni had to leave at 6:00pm to go to a church function (as usual on Mondays), which then left me and my supervisor to run the systems. Keep in mind that my supe doesn’t really know how to run the Citation systems very well. So, by 9:00 at night, I was still processing work, along with my supervisor and the upper-middle-aged woman who was previously banned from running the systems due to her immense number of fuck-ups and bizarro computer errors.

Let’s hear it for twelve-hour days.
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In contrast, today was nice. I got to come in at 10am, and leave at 4:00pm. Super-light workload, pleasant day, sunshine streaming through the blinds. Got home in time to spend some time with Aaron before he went to work, which is always neat.

As far as wedding crap goes: I’m almost dressed. I have my dress, crinoline (aka poofy hoop skirt), veil, and corset. I still need shoes, and some sort of headpiece. I had decided I didn’t want a headpiece, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my hair if I don’t have one. I’d also thought of having my hair down, but I think it looks a little funky underneath the veil, so ix-nay on that. My Mom will have a cow, but it can’t be avoided.

Aaron and I also went shopping for accessories and color swatches this past weekend. My burgundy color has somehow morphed into a pretty cinnamon, which is OK by me. We found some ribbon for the centerpieces first.

— No, wait. First came Aaron’s discovery at the Dollar Tree in the small last week. He saw a shelf of nifty little vase-glasses, about 8 inches tall (or maybe six, I’m not positive) with a wine-glass stem and a curvy shape. He pointed to them and said, “Those would make good centerpieces.”

[light streaming from sky, angels singing in chorus, herald trumpets sounding]

I bought ten of them: one each for nine tables, plus one extra for when I break one.

So, this past weekend, Aaron and I got eight yards of ribbon from Ben Franklin, and three square yards of matching cloth and some pinking shears from Wal-Mart. We also discovered that Wal-Mart has a wedding supplies aisle in the crafts section of the store. I could buy my throw-away garter (in white or light blue), bits and pieces for my headpiece, even a veil. (Doh!)

Anyway, next on the wedding-crap list is a.) book a photographer, and b.) let my bridesmaids know WTF’s going on with dresses. Oh, yeah, didn’t tell you about that, did I? I’ve decided to let my bridesmaids pick out their own individual dresses. I’m sending them fabric swatches and guidelines: ankle-length dress, rounded neckline (scoop, tank, ballet, whatever). Tan hose, black flats. The end. I haven’t broken the news to Amy yet (she’s my maid of honor, for anyone who’s been out to lunch this whole time), but she should be happy, considering that she’s been politely reminding me that I’ve been slacking off in my bridal duties. I figure, with the extremes in size and shape that I have with my ladeez, doing things this way will make things cheaper and easier for them, plus they’ll be able to choose their own cut and style.

Um… I think I’ve updated sufficiently now. Yeah.

Heroes

No, no, not David Bowie.

I have weird trains of thought. I hadn’t done my daily blog checks for a few days, so I headed first to Sheryl’s site, then to Beth’s, where I got impersonally schooled for not updating more often. (::ouch::) Anyway, I read about her weight-loss frustrations, which turned my thoughts to my own weight-loss kick. (After, of course, wondering why Beth would think she needs to lose weight.)

To help bolster my weight-loss motivation, I put a big scowling picture of Henry Rollins on my desktop. He’s looking directly at me, silently chanting his seven-word solution to losing weight: "Eat less. Eat better. Move your body." This has become my mantra since seeing Henry’s spoken word gig in Columbus on Saturday.

This thought led me to the conclusion: Henry Rollins is my fitness hero.

I’ve ruminated on the hero/role-model concept ever since my pre-teen years in Sunday School, when they told us to find a role model and emulate him or her. It occured to me even then that I couldn’t find anyone who was quite where I wanted to be, who was quite who I wanted to be. Since that point, I’ve denounced the idea of an overall personal role-model as absurd. If I try to be Person X… then who am I? And how does my attempt to be Person X belittle him or her — especially if I’m successful? Her uniqueness factor is kicked down a notch. As is my own.

On the other hand… if I could find someone who personifies each aspect of myself, and emulate that aspect of them, our uniqueness as individuals remains intact. Plus, I’m not forced to cheapen myself on other aspects of my being that Person X might not have, or have as strongly as I do.

Some of my other heroes are a little personal, so I won’t blab them here. Some of my personal heroes change from year to year. Some are famous (like Hank). Some of them are people you know.

I challenge you to identify your own personal heroes. Be truthful. It might be strange on some levels, but you might be surprized at who you actually emulate.

Finally, An Ohayocon Post!

The first of a series of posts about this most interesting of experiences. I don’t have my own pictures developed yet, but I do have some I downloaded online. Here we have the joy of CosPlay: dressing up like your favorite fictional character. Left = weirdo in costume, Right = who they’re supposed to look like:

 
Jareth, the Goblin King (played by David Bowie) in the 1986 film Labyrinth

 
Lain, from the anime series Serial Experiments Lain

 
Vash the Stampede from the anime series Trigun

 
Cloud from the Playstation game Final Fantasy VII

 
Seres Victoria from the anime series Hellsing

 
Pepsiman, Japanese mascot for Pepsi-Cola

Past Imperfect

You know that introspective New Year’s entry I promised? Well, here it is, a little late. Now, where to start…?

Back in High School, I was a perfectionist and a procrastinator all rolled into one. My fear of making mistakes really didn’t help things. Being high-strung and stiffly formal too much of the time definitely added to the geek factor. Even after failing Government my Senior year, and having to take “real” summer school for the first time in my life, this still didn’t teach me one of the many lessons that I needed to learn:

Sometimes you have to deal with the less pleasant things before you get to the good things.

I still didn’t learn the lesson during my seven (count ’em, seven) years of undergrad. I regularly failed to attend classes — and hence, regularly failed classes. Of course, I went to the “cool” classes, and of course I did well in them. Web design, multimedia, photography, human sexuality, recording technology, sociology, all stellar grades. Math, accounting, drafting, management, all the “boring” classes… not so much. I took College Algebra three or four times, and Trig twice, just because I hated the classes and didn’t go. If BGSU had the same policy then that they do now, I would have been paying back all the financial aid money I’d gotten for the classes I failed. I’d either have learned that valuable lesson, or I’d have given up on school for lack of funds.

Only now can I begin to learn and appreciate the value of this tidbit of knowledge. Now, when I’m working in an industry completely unrelated to the one I’d intended to pursue. Now, when I’m watching more recent grads going through the same post-graduation denial I went through. Now, when credit checks on me reveal the fact that I worked for a temp agency for eight or nine months, and have only held my current job for three.

I would like to go out and find my dream job. I haven’t given up on this. I refuse to be a bank flunky until I retire or am laid off. But… now is the time for stability. Now is the time to deal with a less-than-desirable job, so I can build credit and experience and general work-force skills. I have to deal with this less pleasant thing before I can go off and seek out the good.

When the right opportunity arises, I will be ready.

Blogs and personal webpages — windows to the soul?

A few months ago, the World showed me how small it is after all, and inserted a former RCC coworker into my current employment at Sky Bank. Not someone I had ever hung out with, but someone I had always thought it would be fun to know. Did I say anything about this? Ever? Of course not. This is me we’re talking about here.

One day we were discussing our currently-unused degrees — mine in Visual Communications, hers in Computer Art — and she mentioned that she had a web page. I mentioned mine, too, and gave the URL (since it’s easy enough to remember… at least until I get married). She quietly avoided mentioning hers.

So I went on Google and I found it. Stalking? Hardly. Simple curiosity.

Honestly… I had expected more of the site. The work is cool, the text-based adventure intriguing, but I’m more of an interface person myself. At any rate, I opted not to mention anything at work about me seeking out her website, as that could be construed a number of ways. Not the least of which would be moderately creepy.

Yesterday and today at work, the people who provide and service our Citation document processing systems came up from Florida to install a new system. In the process of bullshitting with Rick and Randy from TMR, Rick gave my coworker and I his personal URL, and invited us to check it out. My coworker then mentioned that she had a website and had recently started a LiveJournal. She said she had her own server space, but liked being able to update from anywhere and not have to worry about coding. (I like not having to code, too, but that’s why I use Dreamweaver.) Of course, she didn’t mention her username or anything.

So I went on LiveJournal and I found it. Stalking? Hardly. Simple curiosity.

After reading my coworker’s personal comments, written specifically for her friends and fellow MUSHers, I discovered something about blogs. They can be quite audience-specific, and quite personal. Of course, I knew this from reading strangers’ blogs (see right), but it’s different when the subject in question isn’t a complete stranger. I can see why she didn’t want mere coworkers reading her comments. Not that her journal is lewd or vulgar or anything like that; it’s just personal. I almost feel like I’ve violated her privacy on some level by seeking this out. But, on the other hand, one has to be prepared for anyone to read anything posted online in a publicly-accessible website. I feel I also have a new perspective about her.

I wonder… were she to read my website, would she have a new perspective on me?