succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, August 09, 2003

"Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are - chaff and grain together - certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away..." --- Dinah Mulock

Thanks guys.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

I wanna be a dancer for Cher when I grow up.

Yeah, so I went to the concert with Mom tonight, and it was way more fun than I expected, for a multitude of reasons.
1. Quality time with Mom is almost always cool and enjoyable
2. Live music, in my experience, rarely sucks to the point of unbearableness
3. Despite her newer stuff not really being my style, Cher can still belt out a pretty awesome tune, plus she covered plenty of the classics with lots of random video footage of her and sonny and their old shows and her old movies thrown in for good measure
4. Since this was the only thing to do in Charleston tonight, everyone was there. Young, old, families, little kids up way past their bedtime. All getting drunk and gettin' down together. It was kind of cute and sweet in a small town way. And who knew there was such a gay population in Chas?
5. Damn does that woman know how to put on a show! The dancers were AMAZING, sort of a combination of Ken-style choreography and Cirque de Soleil (including random sheets of fabric for precarious dangling from the ceiling without a safety harness). Spent much of the show fantasizing about dropping out of grad school and running off to new york to be a dancer.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

So I was talking to my friend Adam the other night and the conversation worked around to stories from various parties that the cleveland crowd and I have thrown. And Adam and I are definitely due for a serious meeting of the minds (as he says), but I thought in the meantime I would save us some time by filling him (and anyone else who cares) in on the History of the Parties.

It all began with the Masquerade Ball. Ah the Ball. I can't remember precisely who's brain child this was, but it was a doozy. Hundreds of invites were sent out, and guests were only allowed in with all three of the following: formal attire, a mask, and an official invitation. Anyone without these was turned away at the door, or politely asked to leave (if they managed to slip past who ever answered the door, like the two cops who showed up to investigate a noise complaint). The Ball was not only the beginning of our theme parties, but it was also the beginning of what some would call debauchery at our parties. On this evening it was thanks to the rose game. The rules were simple enough - two dozen roses were circulated among the guests, and if you wanted to give a rose away, you had to kiss whomever you wanted to give it to, and to accept the rose they had to return the kiss. This was also the night of many classic Megan phrases, such as "Have they tapped the second keg?" which really isn't funny unless you hear Sarah imitating my hyper-pronunciation of every syllable in a vain attempt not to slur.

Rather than attempt to put fuzzy memories in a perfectly chronological order, I'll cover the other two major Ford apt. parties before moving on to the Belmar Estates ones. So...

Next we have Pardi Gras, with its obvious thematic elements. To win cheap plastic beads one had to flash or kiss the possessor of said beads. Much merriment ensued.
Followed by Ford-a-Go-Go, replete with volunteer go-go dancers with tip jars (we didn't exactly earn back the cost of beer, but we didn't do too badly either).

Belmar Estates saw too many amazing shindigs to enumerate them all, but I'll try to hit the highlights. Our housewarming was a Pounding, a southern tradition where you ask your friends to bring you a pound of something you'll need for your new place. We received envelopes, dish soap, beer, and lentils, among other great gifts from thoughtful and creative friends. It's also just fun to throw one of these because it sounds so dirty whenever you refer to it. There was the night that Carrie and I returned from a far-too-long drive back from WV and hadn't even put our suitcases down before the phone rang three separate times to announce people en route to our house. About 6 bottles of wine later I realized I had to be at work in a few hours. I forget which party it was, but I know we spent one night playing childhood games of tv tag and red light/green light out in the yard. And the marathon, 12-hour fourth of July party. And the one where we gave everyone name tags to assign Dickens' characters. And Textual Healing. I digress a bit, since none of these really involved the sort of antics to which Adam and I were referring, but once I started down memory lane it was hard to stop...Anyway...So my 21st birthday party was themed "Dress kiss Dress, Pants kiss Pants." M & C & I got off on the psychological element of trying to pick an outfit for this party, but everyone showed up wearing pants, which only took a little of the fun out of it. This was perhaps our most successful party to date, slightly marred by the stealing of Carrie's blender and (temporary) disfigurement of her bed. The boys living above us were throwing a kegger at the time, but all their guests trickled down to our place, 'cause they heard our party was better. This was the birth of "doing the couch" where if a guest wanted to make out with a particular person on the couch, they had to kiss everyone who happened to be sitting on the couch at the time. This was followed by new year's, which was more like a two day party (geoff, helping to bag up the recycling the next morning, "[pulls out several empty bottles of champagne] Wow, we must have had a good time last night...[several more bottles] damn, this must have been some party...[several more bottles] whoa. we had a *really* good time last night). There was a brief game of spin the bottle that night, before we realized that we didn't really need games as an excuse to start kissing friends, strangers, and most everyone in between.

The truly crowning jewel in our list of parties is S-Lo's 21st birthday. Sarah developed this uncanny knack of issuing orders that were actually carried out. "Take off your shirt! It's my birthday! I said take of your shirt!" "Kiss her!" "Make out with him!" This party was ridiculous in the best way. I saw people crowd surf in her living room and the cops even showed up and hung out for a bit! All the windows steamed up from the amount of dancing, sweaty, half-naked bodies inside.

I suppose this entry has rambled a bit, and is perhaps more random than previous ones...I think I was going to make some point here about open-mindedness and the importance of good communication and perhaps some other things, but I think I'm just going to stop here.

So I had a really lovely political discussion with Steve last night (somone please place that boy in a government position with a little power; he's damn near brilliant and actually seems to care about this country, two things I find our current administration to sorely lack). Anyway, hopefully he'll post a nice summary of his various discussions with Sudiptya and I over on his LJ. Meanwhile, I just wanted to "talk" through an idea about voting. Because much as I hate to admit it, Mark's sticker "Voting doesn't work" seems to be more and more accurate to me these days. So there's the classic struggle between simply trying to get as many people as possible to vote (truly representative government) versus desiring informed voters. So what if in the year or two preceding an election one or two giant polling companies (say, Gallup and some other of your choice) determine the issues that are most important to the general public. Pick a number, the top 5, 10, 20 items, whatever. Then each candidate can create a brief summary of his or her position on these issues. Obviously vastly oversimplified, since so many of these issues can't be reduced to a binary response of yay or nay, but a decent starting point. Say that for the primaries each candidate is only allowed a page and a half, then once the field is narrowed, they can expand to 2 or 3 pages. When people go to vote, they are handed the summary sheets, and asked to sign the bottom of the last sheet stating that they have read all the information. One doesn't get a ballot until returning the signed sheets. Sure, it makes voting just a tad more time consuming, and it would be trivial to sign the sheets without reading them, but let's hope that at least some portion of the people cared enough to show up to vote, so they'll care enough to spend 5 more minutes brushing up on the candidates. Obviously, this information will be biased since it's created by the candidates themselves, but it will all be biased in a similar way. Also, I can't imagine that everyone would be able to agree on some sort of "independent party" to collect the info. So I realize there are plenty of wholes to poke in this idea, but is it, as my boss likes to say, highly imperfect yet useful? Or does it create more problems than it solves?

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Hurrah! Another mediocre evening turns into a most excellent night. Met up with Amy, Kelly, Donna, and Melissa and headed to Uno's. Ran into some folks from high school who I haven't seen in a long time and with whom for some reason it wasn't really fun/we lacked the desire to play the catch-up game. They had been there a while before we arrived, so they were already a bit drunk/hyper/loud. Basically, it just wasn't really my scene for a while, but it was ok. Eventually parties split up a bit and we ended with six smooshed into Toph's landrover (Toph, Matt, Amy, Kelly, Ryan, me). Headed to Toph and Ryan's, smoked a bit, argued about "The dingo ate my baby!" vs. "Maybe a dingo ate your baby" and the sources of each which led to an internet search which somehow led to a highly amusing round of googlewhacking. Finally a bit in the hot tub, though it really was a tad too warm this evening. All in all, a most enjoyable time. And now that I have gotten home late/early enough to bring in the morning paper, I think I shall get some sleep.