wZandria - Keep Up With Me
Age 23 * Richmond, VA * full-time college student * part-time call center * love to read and write * skeptic * quiet * thinker * independent * VISIT MY PHOTO WEBSITE


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wWednesday, June 18, 2003


THIS IS IT! GOOD-BYE BLOGSPOT!!!!


UPDATE YOUR BOOKMARKS:


NEW WEBSITE IS HTTP://WWW.ZANDRIA.US




posted by Zandria at 8:51 PM


wTuesday, June 17, 2003


STAY TUNED

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the computer the past few days, working on my new website. I’ll post the new web address once I’m done with everything, but I’m holding off until I get the site looking the way I want it to look. I’m such a perfectionist...I just wish I knew more about building websites. I’ve learned a little bit in the past year (definitely more then I knew before I started), but BlogSpot is a pretty easy system to use so I didn’t have to try too hard before. Starting a site where I have to manipulate the codes and templates to get it looking the way I want will force me to learn more – which never hurts. My thing is that I’m pretty good at following directions if they’re presented in a good format – I was successful in transferring all the archives from BlogSpot to my new site on the first try (which is harder than it sounds, per some comments I read online before I attempted it). It should all be straightened out to my liking pretty soon, at least well enough that I won’t be embarrassed for everyone to see it. Stay tuned.



posted by Zandria at 9:17 PM


wSunday, June 15, 2003


WHY I DO WHAT I DO

When I started this website last September I was on my way to California from my home in Richmond, VA for an indefinite length of time. I was going through a rough time mentally, frustrated because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and feeling that as long as I stayed in the same place, in the same full-time job, that it wasn’t likely to get any better. I needed a break. I drove almost 3000 miles to southern California, stayed with my aunt and uncle for about three and a half months (mid-September to the end of December, 2002), and got to experience a completely new place. I really liked it out there and I still miss it, but I decided to come back to Virginia to finish college (something that’s always been really important to me). I came back refreshed and ready to get back into what I needed to do.

My original intention with starting this website was to have a place for my family and friends to visit and read about what was going on in my life while I was away, without having to email everyone individually. I’ve liked writing ever since I was little, but I didn’t realize how much I would like having a public forum like this to get my thoughts out in the open. It’s a nice feeling for someone like me (a person who doesn’t normally like to draw attention to myself) to know that people visit my site because they’re interested enough in what I say to come back on a regular basis. I started out pretty much just writing about things that happened during my drive out, places I visited once I got there, funny antidotes that I thought might make people laugh. Then I started writing about things where my personal opinions about things started coming out more.

I don’t know when personal opinions become too much – from other websites that I’ve read, some people don’t go too much into their own opinions, and some people have very strong opinions about many different topics. I don’t want to be like some sites that I’ve seen that say “Don’t come here to visit if you don’t agree with what I say – screw you.” I don’t feel that way. But I would like for people to tell me if something I say offends them (this goes out more to those people I know personally, not so much to those I’ve never met – sorry, is that offensive?). Because I care about the people that I know, and I care about what they think of me. I wouldn’t want people to think that I look down on others because of certain things that I say, because I don’t. It’s recently come to my attention that certain things I’ve said have been construed that I think the way I do things is the best way, or that I may look down on people who don’t do the same things I do, or think the same way. That could not be farther from the truth. All I want is for other people to live their lives in the way that makes them happiest – if for me that’s going to school and for another person it’s joining the circus, then that’s great. One example that was pointed out to me was a comment I made a few weeks ago about not enjoying fried foods like I used to. That point of view goes for me, and only me. I realize that many people don’t like to eat the way I do, and that’s fine. I just want to make sure people know that when I make comments like those, I’m not saying them to be offensive. Sometimes I just feel like writing and a completely random incident will pop into my head…and that will be what I end up writing about. “Hmm…nothing interesting going on in the world or in my life that I can think to write about. How about I comment on that nasty, greasy French fry that I ate today?”

It’s hard to know where to draw the line. I don’t feel like I say things in a threatening manner or a my-way-is-the-best-way approach, at least not purposefully. I try to come across in a way that says “This is the way I feel about things, these are my thoughts on the matter, etc.” I’ve had some of my friends tell me that they don’t agree with certain things that I’ve said, and I love when that happens. Tell me why you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. I like for people to know my opinions on things, but also to take them with a grain of salt, like I do when I read other people’s websites. I can read something written by someone I’ve never met, and to me it’s interesting how people can think totally opposite from the way I do, or be comfortable talking about a subject that I wouldn’t be. And maybe that makes a difference, that I’ve never met them personally, so I don’t get offended by the things that they say – I would hope that that wouldn’t the case, but you never know.

I probably won’t be writing for a few days. I’m trying to move from this Blogger-hosted site to my own personal domain, so look for some changes pretty soon.



posted by Zandria at 12:16 AM


wFriday, June 13, 2003


IT'S JUST SO OBSCURE

Some classes are easier to study for than others...this goes without saying. But there are some that are difficult that I don't mind studying for (like history for instance, with all its dates and facts and “how does this event that happened 50 years ago impact us today?”). That’s fine – the facts are straightforward and easy to understand. You may have to do a lot of memorization, but at least you can understand what you're studying without too much difficulty. With the Ethics class I’m taking this summer, I have to memorize terms like "solipsism" and be able to explain the difference between relativism and pluralism, evolutionary ethics vs. evolved ethics, utilitarianism and deontology. Not fun. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if I found this new subject matter interesting, but the material is just really dry (the professor’s teaching style doesn’t help either). I’m not going to ask why I need to know this stuff, because I know that’s the point of taking a class that you’re not familiar with. It’s the same thing as people asking “Why do I have to take algebra/calculus/statistics? I’m never going to use this in the REAL world.” Some things you have to do just because they’re required, and get through it any way you can. After that you can either choose to forget everything, or maybe one day I’ll be watching the news or reading a book, and I’ll run across one of these terms again and actually know what the author is referring to. Who knows? I’m trying to look on the bright side. Our first exam is next week and I’ve got to remember the differences between all these obscure terms…



posted by Zandria at 12:40 PM


wTuesday, June 10, 2003


DON'T. SAY. IT.

You know, one phrase that I have never liked is when someone tells another person to "shut up." It’s very rare that I use the phrase myself, and whenever I do it’s like an automatic reaffirmation for me that I have a problem with it. I’m sure part of this feeling comes from my parent’s reaction to it when I was growing up – we were never allowed to tell anyone else to "shut up." It was always "Don’t say shut up. If anything, say ‘be quiet’." It doesn’t seem so bad when compared to other things that can be said – bad words and belittling putdowns – but it just seems like such a hateful thing to say. One thing I can’t stand hearing kids yell "shut up" to each other. And if they have the audacity to direct it towards a grownup, I just want to smack them over the head. Hard. (Another example of my mean streak when it comes to children – do what I say or else, damn it!) I heard someone at work today telling another person to "shut up", which is where this whole thing began. Even when it’s said in a joking manner, my response is always to think "Who are YOU to tell that person to shut up?" (Maybe it’s a good thing that I’m so shy – if I had balls then I might just confront somebody. Writing about it online is about as far as I’ll go.) I just get this image in my head of some domineering figure, commanding someone to "shut up" just because they can – just because they have that authority. You know, some sniveling person begging for mercy: "Please sir, please don’t hurt me. I don’t deserve this—" "SHUT UP!" the other person roars. I know, I’m probably looking into this a bit too much, as I’m apt to do.



posted by Zandria at 11:04 PM


wMonday, June 09, 2003


DID YOU KNOW...?

In the year of 1980:
*The U.S. boycotts the summer Olympics in Moscow, USSR
*Post-It Notes are introduced by 3-M
*Mt. Saint Helens erupts, killing 60 people
*About 125,000 Cubans leave Cuba for America, most are criminals hand picked by Castro's men, only a few are relatives of those in America.
*Japan passes the US as the largest automaker
*"Who shot J.R.?" is talked about heavily from the TV show Dallas. On 11/21/80, the conclusion draws more viewers than any other show in TV history up to that point.
*John Lennon is assassinated by Mark David Chapman, 12/8/80

In the month of June, 1980:
Ted Turner's Cable News Network (CNN) began broadcasting, as the first all-news service

On this exact day, 23 years ago (June 9, 1980):
This was the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.

Comedian Richard Pryor was rushed to the hospital after suffering third-degree burns over most of his upper body. Pryor was nearly killed in an explosion while he was freebasing cocaine. Pryor was seen, ablaze, running down the street from his house before he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. He was hospitalized for more than two months following the incident.

I was born at exactly 12 noon.

These people share my birthday:
Natalie Portman
Michael J. Fox
Johnny Depp



posted by Zandria at 12:05 PM


wSunday, June 08, 2003


I WISH

I wish that I could be giddy. Not silly-stupid-airhead-giggly, and not all the time – there’s a time for laughter and there’s a time to be serious. It would be nice to throw my head back and laugh with abandon because something strikes me as funny. I do laugh. I suppose I just don’t always find the same things as humorous as other people do. I look at other people laughing sometimes and I think it would be nice to join in, but it’s hard for me to let myself go like that. That’s one thing I would change about my personality if I could. I think I have a tendency to look at things with some level of skepticism. Which can be good – I like being analytical – but it’s possible to take yourself too seriously.

I wish I knew how to "let it go." Not in the sense that I dwell on things – just the opposite – I tend to put things out of my mind pretty quickly that I don’t want to think about. I say "let it go" in the sense that I have perfectionist tendencies. I do well in school because it’s what I want to do, but it’s also because I feel like I have to. This is good in that it keeps me focused, but even when I do well I don’t stay satisfied for long. Once I finish a semester and get my grades, I’m content for the length of time it takes me to start new classes. Then it starts all over and I’m back at Square One. I feel like I have to keep proving myself.

I wish that I could eat something that for me is "out of the norm" without feeling guilty. I know that an occasional slice of cake won’t hurt me, but it’s impossible for me to eat something like that and not think about it. Most of the time it’s easier just to avoid it.

I wish that I were more spontaneous. I’m not comfortable with my life in the sense that I want to stay where I am and do the same things for the rest of my days (just the opposite!), but I have issues with taking those first proactive steps. I admire people who get up and do something, go somewhere, change their lives just because it feels right. Not in a spur-of-the-moment or unresponsible kind of way – even spontaneous decisions can be well thought-out and well-planned.

That’s a lot of "I wish"es. They don’t constantly dominate my thoughts, even though some of them may seem big. It’s just the way I am, and part of my personality, so I’m used to living with them. And these thoughts of mine tend to surface more often at "meaningful" times: New Years’ Eve for instance (that time of year for mass resolutions and personal introspection) – and when I’m about to add a year to my age. I’ve changed so much in the past few years that I think it’s entirely possible I’ll be different in just a few years more. Life is nothing if it doesn’t include changes.



posted by Zandria at 10:17 PM


wFriday, June 06, 2003


THERE IS A TIME AND A PLACE...AND THIS IS NEITHER THE TIME, NOR THE PLACE

Not to bring up a rude topic of conversation, but this should really go without saying. If you have to go to the bathroom and do a…(ahem)…number two – WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO IT IN A PUBLIC BATHROOM? I know, yes, I understand…we’ve all (or at least most of us) done it at some time or other. There just seems to be a higher-than-normal percentage of people who work in my department that really need to do their “business” elsewhere. They think they’re being smart – they’ll go into the very last stall in the very back of the bathroom. And when other people walk in (myself, for instance) they will be very, very quiet and pretend that they’re really not there (you’re so SNEAKY!!). Well lady, if you’re so smart you’d know that other people can see your feet underneath the stall door.

I can just imagine the thoughts that run through their heads: “Darn it! I thought I could go quickly enough before someone else came in. I should have realized that there are a lot of people on this floor and the bathroom doesn’t normally stay empty for very long. I guess I should have been smart enough to go to the bathroom at the other end of the floor – the one that doesn’t get quite as much traffic as this one. Now I’ll have to sit here and be very, very quiet and maybe the person who has just come in won’t notice me. Once she leaves I can get out of here and go back to what I’m supposed to be doing.”

I admit it – I’m ruthless. Go home and do your business…other people have to use this space too. If I’m not in a rush I will be slow on purpose, just to make that other person wait and seethe (yeah I know, I can be mean if I really want to). I’ll wash my hands veeeerrrrryyyyy slooooowwwwlllyyyy…then fix my hair…adjust my clothes in the mirror. They’re definitely guilty if they sit in that stall the entire time, not making a sound, not moving a muscle. I have no sympathy for sneaky bathroom users.



posted by Zandria at 2:21 PM


wTuesday, June 03, 2003


I KNOW THIS IS COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL, BUT...

There’s a coat closet beside the front door of the house that I live in with my sister. I probably couldn’t explain any possible reason for this, but every single time that I open that closet door the thought crosses my mind that someone could be hiding in there, ready to jump out. Nobody has ever jumped out of that closet before, at least not when I’ve been in the room. We’ve never had anyone break into our home, so it can’t rationally be a fear of an intruder. And it is only that one closet. No problems opening my bedroom closet, or walking into an empty room in the dark. But it doesn’t matter whether I’m walking into the house by myself or if someone else is in the room with me…when I open that door and nothing jumps out at me (for the umpteenth time of course), my eyes still scan the hanging coats to make sure there isn’t anyone hiding behind them.

I’m not scared of heights. I love to fly. I don’t care for spiders (they can run awfully fast) but I can kill one by myself if the need arises, instead of having to scream and yell for someone else to do it. Even snakes are okay, as long as I don’t meet a poisonous one while out in the boonies. Some friends of mine in Ohio used to own snakes, and when I went out there to visit a few years ago I had no problem picking one up and letting it wrap itself around me. I don’t care for the sensation of falling or for very fast speeds (which is probably why I’ve never liked roller coasters), but I know there are other people out there who are like that as well. Adversely, I also avoid slow-moving boats, but that comes from my tendency towards motion sickness. My point (do I have one? do I need one?): Most "fears" are rational, or at least have some kind of reasoning behind them. Not this one. If anyone ever jumped out at me from that coat closet I would never be the same again.



posted by Zandria at 11:30 PM


wMonday, June 02, 2003


COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN...

We think we have it bad. Or to rephrase that, to personalize it rather than using the general "we" – sometimes I think I have it bad. I’ll complain about something that bothers me. "That gets on my nerves." "Please stop doing that." Someone pulled out in front of my car a few months back and I was inconvenienced with having to deal with insurance companies and rental cars. At least I have a car. I have a reliable car that’s just over three years old and almost paid off. Woe is me.

I don’t always like having to go to work. What a surprise. There are probably very few of us who really love how they make a living. For those of you who have found their niche…that is awesome. Stay there forever and flourish. Then I go to my mom’s house and she tells me about her day. My mom likes what she does (credit counseling), but there is no possible way for anyone but Superman to keep up with the amount of work that comes into her office and all the things that she and her office-mate are expected to do. I have things I’m responsible for at work, but I can honestly say it’s never been to the point where I have felt overwhelmed or that I couldn’t control the situation. I do what I’m expected to do, work the hours I’m scheduled, and then I go home. My sister is happy – she’s generally upbeat – but today at her job she took almost 120 calls. One hundred and twenty different people got their questions answered or complaints heard or service switched or payment made by one person. It has been a very, very, very long time since I took that many calls at my job. In fact, it has probably happened less times that I could count on one hand since I started working there almost five years ago.

It’s hard to always look on the bright side of a situation. I know that just as well as anyone. I comfort myself a little bit in that I recognize this flaw and recently I’ve been consciously trying to think about the good things I have when I come across all the awful things that I hear about every day. (No, it doesn't always work. I have a tendency to think things through too much.) The inspiration for this post comes mainly from an online article I read today that said over 1000 people in India have died in the past three weeks because of HEATSTROKE. Reading that article reminded me of the post that I wrote here a few months ago about my Woodstock ’99 experience. "It was the hottest I have ever been. There wasn’t any relief from the heat." Yes, it was damn hot. No, we literally were not able to find relief from the heat while in that situation. But you know what? We were in New York state, in the United States of America. I had the option of walking my happy a** to the nearest town, if not driving, and opening the door of the nearest air-conditioned building. I was never in any danger of losing my life. You have to love putting things in perspective.



posted by Zandria at 11:40 PM


wThursday, May 29, 2003


IT COULD JUST BE ME, BUT...

This article says that over 20 million students will attend a prom this year, with the average 17-year-old spending $638. Yes, for one person. I went to a small high school where you didn’t necessarily have to have the "right look" – sure, we made a big deal out of it just like you would anywhere else, but I was probably lucky in that people spent money if they wanted to, but there were also a lot of people who just did their own thing. I bought a dress and shoes, I had the shoes dyed to match the dress, but those are the only things I spent money on. A friend did my hair and makeup. No fancy limo (I’ve still never been in one).

I can understand kids wanting to spend money in order to make the prom "a night to remember," it’s just the amount spent on this pursuit that I find kind of crazy. I won’t refute that a prom isn’t a memorable experience, but I had just as much fun in my non-designer dress then I would have if I spent tons of money. If I take the time to think back, I can still remember pretty much everything that happened the day of my senior prom – including the rendezvous to Wal-Mart made by myself, my date, and the two other couples that we went to dinner with - between the time we finished dinner and before we actually went to the location where the prom was being held. Don’t ask me why we did this. One of those random things that teenagers do, I suppose. I was a senior and about to graduate but I was still only a month or two shy of my 17th birthday. We didn’t buy anything at Wal-Mart, we just thought it would be fun to walk around in public in our prom finery. Tee-hee, giggle-giggle...

Pictures. Dinner. Dancing. The pink carnation wrist corsage. Permission to go to Charlottesville afterward (about an hour from where we lived at the time) with my date, my best friend Christina, and her boyfriend (nicknamed "Bones") who had an apartment there. Ordering pizza. Walking the streets there late at night, just because we wanted to. Listening to Bones’ long-haired hippie roommate play the guitar like nobody’s business. Sleeping on the living room floor. The next day we all woke up and went ice-skating (the first and last time I’ve ever done so). Those are the things I remember.



posted by Zandria at 11:55 AM


wWednesday, May 28, 2003


YUM YUM...

I came across an article recently, entitled "Tobacco In Your Tiramsu?" It's about how restaurants in New York are getting creative by adding nicotine-enhanced food (and drinks) to their menus. This is (of course) in response to the recent smoking ban, in order to hopefully drum up some extra business. From what I've heard, the body doesn't have a response to tobacco in food/drink like it does when inhaled as smoke...so what's the point? Feel like trying something new? Go for it. I'm not a smoker but I'd try it just out of curiosity.



posted by Zandria at 11:27 PM


wMonday, May 26, 2003


NOTES TO SELF

DON’T get so caught up while at your friend’s party with looking in the fridge for the cake that you forget about the plate of pickle slices on the floor. Yes, the ones you just happened to sit right beside your knee. You may forget about them, move your knee over, and succeed in squishing 2-3 of those slices (not to mention having to clean the pickle seeds and juice off your jeans).

DO take advantage of the empty house on Saturday to get things done that you’ve been putting off. This includes washing your car in the backyard, doing a load of clothes, cleaning a sinkful of dishes, scrubbing the bathroom, wiping off the front of the kitchen cabinets, and dusting the front of the television and computer screens, among others. It’s so much easier to get on a roll and take care of everything at one time.

DON’T get involved in the Scrabble game with your Dad and younger brother when they spend the night on Sunday. Scrabble is a good thing – but not when it takes over two hours for them to play a single game. You end up playing anyway when (to help said game go faster) you volunteer to help younger brother make longer words.

DO smile when Dad and brother fall asleep on the couch beside you. Dad can still fall asleep faster than anyone else you know – he freely admits his propensity to pass out in front of the TV at the drop of a hat. The funniest part of his falling asleep is that, when he wakes up from time to time, he tries to make it seem like he was never asleep at all. He accomplishes this farce by immediately starting to HUM when he wakes up (don’t ask me why – it’s not like we’re fooled), but when the humming stops it’s usually because his eyes have closed once again.



posted by Zandria at 2:23 PM


wFriday, May 23, 2003


UNAPPEALING OPTIONS

Going to class shouldn’t be a hazardous undertaking. I’m taking a summer class at a community college that has two different campuses, one of them in downtown Richmond. I usually try to avoid this particular campus because the parking situation is horrendous, but it’s the only place I could take the Ethics class that I need.

Option #1 is to park directly across the street from the building, in an “Honor” parking lot where the spaces are numbered and you have to put the money in a centrally located box for the privilege of parking there. I say “privilege” sarcastically because most of the lot is a combination of gravel and dirt…and last night it was raining…so basically they wanted a fee of $3.50 for the privilege of allowing me to park in their sea of mud. Even with these factors I would have paid the money in order to be so close to the building, but alas, the only money I had in my purse was a $20 bill and a few coins. No way was I putting THAT in the box just to make sure that my vehicle didn’t get towed, and I wasn’t going to park without paying anything either – how fun would it be to get out of class at 10pm and not have a ride home?

Which leads us to the ominous Option #2. There are three free parking lots, the nearest one located about a quarter mile or so away from the campus, and the farthest about ¾ of a mile away. Luckily (if you can call it that) I got a space in the first free lot since it’s the summer session and of course not as many people there, but the walk is treacherous. It’s worse than normal right now because there’s road construction going on, so instead of being able to stay on one side of the road with a sidewalk (that’s now blocked-off and inaccessible), you have to WAIT YOUR TURN TO CROSS A ROAD THAT HAPPENS TO BE AN ENTRANCE RAMP TO THE INTERSTATE. Yes, that’s right. Last night during rush hour I had to wait for a long enough break between cars to make a mad dash across the interstate entrance. Then I walk on a sidewalk across an interstate overpass; the sidewalk ends and I continue walking down a grassy area (also muddy), until I finally reach my destination. The problem is slightly different at 10pm – there are hardly any cars but the area is not sufficiently lit so I’m walking in fear of my safety. The class only goes for another nine weeks though, so hopefully I’ll be better prepared the rest of the time and bring my money so I can park in their overpriced hell-hole.



posted by Zandria at 1:09 PM


wThursday, May 22, 2003


CAT-FIGHT!!!

Yeah, I know – you read the title and thought this post was going to be about some chicks having a violent, physical disagreement…am I right? Sorry to disappoint you. I’m talking about LITERAL cats this time (as in “me-ow”). My sister (the one that I live with) has a cat, which she acquired last year during a period of time that I was living out of state. I generally put up with this arrangement pretty well, even though I don’t particularly care for cats. I keep my bedroom door closed most of the time because I don’t like the cat in my room, but she’ll get in sometimes by pushing the door open if it’s not shut all the way. I don’t pet the cat and usually only touch her if I’m picking her up to deposit her OUT of my room, but I’ll feed her if I see it hasn’t been done (but that’s the extent of my generosity). I decided during a moment of temporary insanity a few years ago that I wanted a cat, and a girl that I worked with at the time was trying to get rid of one. I wised up after a few days, but of course by that time it was too late and I was already the proud owner of, yes, a CAT. That arrangement lasted maybe a month or two before I ended up giving him away to someone else. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t hate cats. If other people like them then that’s fine, I can co-exist with them without too many problems…I just wouldn’t have one personally if it was up to me.

So why is there a cat-fight going at the moment? My sister’s boyfriend has a cat as well, and he’ll be out of town until Monday so we’re watching his feline until he gets back. This might not be such a big deal if Elissa’s cat and his cat got along, but both of them live in households where they’re the only animal around. So all I’ve been hearing this morning since I got back from class (just finished the spring semester and I started the summer session this week) is “Rrrroooowwww….” and “Hiiiiiissssssss” and that part-moan/part-growling sound in the back of the throat that only a cat can do so well. They haven’t actually physically attacked each other yet that I can tell, but seeing as how I try to stay out of close proximity if at all possible, I might not know even if they HAD.



posted by Zandria at 12:18 PM