Archive for September, 2006

The Very Model

I love television.

I am very sorry to each and every one of my brain cells that may find itself turned off during my long stints of television viewing. Please forgive me, brain cells! But I really love television.

So, last night, on one of our plethora of TiVos (because why have just one?) [EDIT: Check out today's apropos PvP], we were watching a couple of this season’s new shows. Oddly enough, they were both on NBC – a channel I’m pretty I would have forgotten the existence of last year, if it weren’t for my addictive need for intravenous Law and Order. (I prefer the CI flavor, but I still watch SVU and the OG on occasion.)

Which two shows, you wonder? That would be Heroes and Studio 60. Forgive my fan-girl-ism, but WOW WAY COOL AWESOME YAY! How could those shows go wrong in my eyes? If I were Maria, my song about my favorite things would include super heroes and satire (in addition to the “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes”).

Anyway, I’m a little (probably unreasonably) excited about television. If they cancel one of these shows before I get to enjoy it thoroughly, I will be very, very sad.

Musical number!

September 27th, 2006 • 8:49 am • dinane • Posted in Television11 Comments »

Aniversary Special

Well, my friends, it is time to celebrate my incomplete non-failure at having a blog. I read somewhere once that the great majority of blogs fade into the ether within months, weeks, days, or even hours, of their inception. Here I am, still going strong after one wimpy little year, and I’m pretty proud of it. Here’s to another! And maybe even another after that!

So, anyway, to celebrate, I thought I’d do one of them silly little meme things. Then I thought I’d do a less silly one. Then, finally, I thought I’d just go all out and do 100 things about me (that you never wanted to know)!

So, here, without further ado…

One Hundred Things About Dinane (that you never wanted to know)

  1. I have straight brown hair.
  2. I was born with curly red hair.
  3. I wear glasses.
  4. My favorite musician is Ben Folds.
  5. I like listening to the same CD over and over and over and over and over.
  6. My feet are size 11.
  7. I drink at least 3/4 of a gallon of water a day.
  8. I love drinking Fuze.
  9. I know how to swim and I think anyone who can’t swim should learn how.
  10. I wouldn’t know how to be stylish if it weren’t for my sister.
  11. I love cop dramas.
  12. I have an addictive personality.
  13. I’m a super klutz.
  14. I’m afraid of heights.
  15. I would still one day love to ride in a hot air balloon.
  16. I wish I could teleport, or that transporters were invented.
  17. I wish I were just a little bit dumber than I am.
  18. Or maybe just a little bit smarter.
  19. I sneeze louder than anyone I know – except for my father.
  20. I don’t like red meat.
  21. I don’t particularly like poultry either, but I eat it because protein makes you go.
  22. I love fish.
  23. I especially love raw fish.
  24. I make a mean lasagna.
  25. I miss my Gramma.
  26. I love puppies.
  27. I love dogs.
  28. I love kittens.
  29. I don’t particularly like cats.
  30. My sneakers are bright white.
  31. My prom dress was sea-foam green – and I looked hot in it.
  32. I have a lot of floaters in my eyes, but they’ve always been there, so my eye doctor isn’t concerned.
  33. I’m effectively (but not legally) blind without my glasses.
  34. I have very strong finger and toe nails.
  35. I don’t paint my nails.
  36. I don’t wear make up except for performance.
  37. I don’t wear jewelery except on extremely special occasions.
  38. I can type ridiculously fast.
  39. I insist on having a split (ergonomic) keyboard.
  40. I have carpel tunnel syndrome in both wrists.
  41. I have plantars fasciitis (just like carpel tunnel except for feet) in my right foot.
  42. I love the concept of public transportation.
  43. I not a fan of the execution by the MBTA.
  44. I could eat pasta every day and not be bored of it.
  45. I love tomatoes in every form.
  46. Except for ketchup, which I think is gross.
  47. I sing constantly.
  48. I wish I were funnier than I am.
  49. I’m actually only five feet eleven and three quarter inches tall, not six feet like I tell everyone.
  50. I am a professional at rolling my eyes.
  51. I have been to 34 of the U.S. states.
  52. I have been to 6 countries, including the U.S.
  53. I can’t remember if I’ve been to Iowa or Minnesota, but I know it was only one of the two.
  54. I have been to the Wyoming State Fair.
  55. I was a girl scout.
  56. I was also a boy scout.
  57. My family always listened to the Classical radio station at dinner time.
  58. I have a minimal number of freckles.
  59. My earliest memory is of my dad teaching me where middle C is on a piano, at the age of two.
  60. I could read music before I could read English.
  61. Some of my early memories embarrass me.
  62. I grew up in a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut.
  63. I named just about all of the pets my family had.
  64. My handwriting is unreadable.
  65. I hated middle school.
  66. My only regret was not sending that audition tape to Julliard.
  67. I don’t like leather upholstery.
  68. I don’t like complete darkness.
  69. I loathe the dentist.
  70. I am petrified of needles.
  71. I wish I was rich enough to hire someone to deal with my money.
  72. I love the Red Sox, even when I hate them.
  73. I have far too many socks to fit them all in one drawer.
  74. I don’t own a single pair of red socks.
  75. I think all colors are pretty, and I don’t understand how people can have a favorite.
  76. I don’t have a favorite number either.
  77. My lucky number for use in playing roulette is 17.
  78. If it weren’t for slot machines, I’d be up lifetime at casinos.
  79. Most of the time I don’t act like a girl.
  80. Sometimes, I do act like a girl and that frightens people (including me).
  81. I have been called “Di” by many people who don’t all know each other.
  82. I decided to use that abbreviated name for my theatre “career.”
  83. Writing this blog has made me a better speller.
  84. I have always been a grammar nazi.
  85. I haven’t written an original song in over two years.
  86. There is always music playing in my head.
  87. When I was very young, I once stuck a raisin up my nose and was proud of it.
  88. I really love roller coasters.
  89. I find screaming at the top of my lungs to be cathartic.
  90. It’s very difficult for me to not sing along with the radio.
  91. I don’t like bacon, and that upsets people.
  92. I love to cook, but I hate cleaning up afterwards.
  93. I’m not very good at accepting compliments.
  94. My friends say I’m too nice for my own good, but I don’t think I’m nearly nice enough.
  95. In general I hate spending money, but I don’t think twice about eating out.
  96. I lived more than two-thirds of my life thus far in the same house.
  97. I was born after Empire but before Jedi.
  98. I went to Catholic high school.
  99. My favorite kind of cake is ice cream cake, but it has to have the crunchies.
  100. I am a prima donna and nothing you say will make me think less of my singing ability.

There you have it!

And now, as a bonus, I’ll give you…

Three Things About Dinane (that you might actually want to know… maybe… well… one of you did…)

  1. The play I am going to be in is Sabrina Fair by Samuel Taylor.
  2. I will be playing Margaret, the downstairs maid.
  3. The play will be performed November 10, 11, 12, 17, and 18; theatre is at 8, except when it’s a Sunday matinee, then it’s at 2.

And for the super bonus round, some statistics!

Three Things About d i n a n e . n e t (that I can guarantee you don’t want to know)

  1. WordPress tells me, “There are currently 192 posts and 343 comments, contained within 21 categories.”
  2. That means I have successfully posted content (of varying quality) once every 1.901 days.
  3. Since I never promised to post on weekends, I prefer to count that as one post every 1.359 days – or 3.678 posts per week.
September 21st, 2006 • 9:01 am • dinane • Posted in Blogosphere, Life, Uncategorizable6 Comments »

Crisp Winter Air

Okay, yes, I know. It’s not winter yet. It’s hardly even fall. But, see, I’m still unreasonably excited about snowboarding.

Last night, we went and picked up the giant box I ordered from R.E.I. Mike’s planning on skiing (smart boy), and will therefore need a way to carry skis to snow-covered mountains. And eventually, I will graduate out of the snowboarding classes that come with free rentals, and I will want a snowboard of my own. (And it will be green! To match my jacket! Or maybe not. Who knows. But it certainly won’t be pink!)

Anyway, so, yeah, we went and got the box. The damn thing is immense. I mean, seriously. It’s ridiculous. Paul could fit in it. And if it weren’t so frickin’ high up there, I wouldn’t put it past him to try to climb into it. (Don’t try it, Paul. Unlike my car’s trunk, it is air-tight, and I’d hate to have to dispose of a body. Plus, then, Kelly would probably kill us, and she’d go to jail, and no bride should be forced to wear black and white stripes to wed a dead man. [Too far? Woops.])

So, there you have it. I’m excited for the winter, even though it’s not even fall. I’m a crappy New Englander. I should want to stare at and smell the foliage.

Hm… Actually… I do have a straight-on view of the public garden if I twist my head about 100 degrees to the left. That probably will be gorgeous. And I do love that smell. And the feeling of cool air with a warm sun. *sigh*

Okay, autumn. You can come too. But don’t linger too long. Once the leaves have fallen, you cease to be fun for anyone.

September 20th, 2006 • 8:53 am • dinane • Posted in Life, Weather2 Comments »

Bad Samaritan

Yesterday, I decided to try a different way to get to and from Malden Station than I normally use. I used some major roads instead of the neighborhoods I normally cut through. It was pretty good in the morning, and actually, I did it again this morning. But the evening commute was retarded. I’ll be going back to my back roads thank you very much.

Anyway, as I was leaving the station, my car dinged at me, annoyed and thirsty for gasoline. So, when I saw a gas station offering premium at a “mere” $2.57, I slowed and waited for an opportunity to turn left. In fact, the guy in front of me was also on the same task. And, to complicate matters, the guy going the opposite direction was trying to turn left into whatever it was that was across the street from the gas station (we’ll just assume it was a pizza shop for the sake of making it easier to talk about).

Then, the idiot arrived. Impatient at the pizza-loving guy in front of him, the idiot passed him on the right. Of course, simultaneously the pizza-loving guy waved at the gas-needing guy in front of me, encouraging him to take the opportunity to make his left. He almost made it.

*Slam!*

The idiot, who was very obviously at fault (even if it’s a no-fault state, the insurance companies still like to assign blame), and the gas-needing guy both pulled into the gas station parking lot. A feat I soon mimicked. They examined their damage while I impatiently waited for a gap in the randomly strewn cars to get to a pump.

The though of stopping to offer my eye-witness account crossed my mind. It’s something I would hope someone would do for me if I was in an accident with an idiot. But I stayed in my car. I pulled to a pump, rummaged through my purse, noticed that the station took cash only, discovered I had only $6 in cash, apologized to the station operator, and eked out back into the traffic.

I felt guilty. But I wanted to get home. I still needed gas, so I stopped at the next station, which was a few cents more per gallon, but which would accept Discover. With Haley happy, I turned back into traffic and went along home.

As you might guess, I still feel guilty.

September 19th, 2006 • 8:44 am • dinane • Posted in Life5 Comments »

Perfect

I have always been kind of an astronomy nut. Not astrology, astronomy. Though I do often read my horoscope just for fun.

The public school system in the town I grew up in had *gasp* leveling. I know, it’s so bizarre now. As if splitting the smart kids, the average kids, and the dumb kids into separate classes would make people feel bad. I think it makes them feel better, on both accounts, plus it doesn’t cause the smart kids to literally fall asleep with their eyes open.

Anyway…

There was a program called SWEPT that was for smart kids. In elementary school, once a week, we would get bussed across town to have study time with other smart kids from the other elementary schools. We did group study and research on fun things like the Oregon Trail. We made things and wrote things and played games on the computer. And no one slowed us down. It was awesome.

In middle school, they just has the program on-site. The SWEPT kids were scheduled into a common “study hall” period, where we worked in teams and separately on research projects of our own design. I don’t remember all three of mine from middle school. I know I did one on Broadway music, and the other was on Jupiter.

I couldn’t have picked a better year to study Jupiter. I don’t know how many of you care particularly much about our Solar System, but maybe you remember the fragmented comet that crashed into the surface of Jupiter. Shoemaker-Levy 9 was named after the astronomers who found it. It caused a reasonably large stir, even in mainstream media, because people realized that star-stuff can totally smack into other star-stuff – something could smack into Earth. But in this case, the broken bits of comet were heading for Jupiter.

Initially, my research centered on the moons of Jupiter, which still fascinate me. Europa could totally have life on it, and Io’s electromagnetic-ness is exciting. (Real scientists should please forgive my naive understanding of all things astronomy. It’s a fascination for me, not a life study.) But when the Shoemaker-Levy 9 news got my attention, I was totally on it.

I’m pretty sure this was my first exposure to that “Internet” thingy. I used the color printer at school to slowly (very slowly) print out pictures of Jupiter and the comet. Pictures from Hubble adorned my research notebook and the walls of my bedroom. I, with the help of books by actual astronomers, guessed at what was beneath the visible layers of Jupiter’s atmosphere. My final project was to design a probe that could be sent into Jupiter’s atmosphere for further study. I built it out of a box that previously held cookies, and a huge amount of tin foil. It was really neat.

That summer, when the collision actually happened, I paid attention to every news source, watched every minute of coverage on PBS, and was thoroughly distracted from any other normal summer activities by it. It was really awesome to see my (I mean, the astronomers I decided to agree with) theories proven correct when the comet blew holes in the outer layers. And even cooler when NASA announced that they were planning to send a probe to Jupiter to check out the atmosphere. (Has that happened yet? I don’t know. I should look that up!)

So, now you know the back story of why I care about star-sciencey-things.

Today, when I was doing my morning perusal of boston.com, I came across this article [Note: You may need to sign up for a free subscription to read this article]. No, it’s not about Jupiter, but it is about planets. Well, technically dwarf planets. I’m super excited to find that the astronomers responsible for naming Eris have a sense of humor and of tradition. I like it.

I was going to say something about how the number of female planets has gone up by one, but I just realized… no it hasn’t. There are now 2 female planets, 6 male planets, 1 female dwarf planet, and 2 male dwarf planets. But that’s cool. Our solar system has better odds than WPI!

September 15th, 2006 • 8:47 am • dinane • Posted in Life, Science5 Comments »

Oh, For the Love of…

As I think you probably know, I am a software engineer. I work at a very small company in Boston. The software we write is exclusively for Windows. Therefore, I spend an awful lot of time looking at MSDN. In fact, right now I have no less than eight Firefox tabs open to MSDN articles. Probably most of them were useless, but at least one of them likely helped me finish whatever task I was last working on.

MSDN has this concept of page rating. It’s an awesome theory. Everyone who reads the page ranks it from 1 to 9, and maybe (maybe) if there are enough low ratings, Microsoft will address the page and maybe even update it. Of course, in reality, no one ever ranks the pages seriously, and Microsoft never actually attends to them. Generally, a page has only been ranked one or two times, and more often that seems right, I’m given the opportunity to “be the first” to rank a page.

I kind of buy into the craziness, even though I know it’s pointless. Occasionally, I will rank a page highly if it gave me some actually useful information. But more often, I rank a page that is completely wrong with a 1 and hope they’ll attend to it. Truly, most of the time I happily go through my day examining tens of articles each day without ranking a single one.

Anyway, yesterday I was stuck a little bit, and I needed MSDN’s bountiful knowledge to bail me out. My searching proved somewhat fruitful, and then there was a lovely link. The link seemed like it was heading exactly for what I was looking for. I opened the link in a new tab, and clicked on over. Then, I saw this. Go ahead, go look at it.

Tell me that isn’t hilarious. I dare you!

September 12th, 2006 • 8:39 am • dinane • Posted in Uncategorizable2 Comments »

World War II

I have not been sleeping properly lately. I really hope it isn’t the season already affecting my mood. Of course, if that is it, all I really have to do is spend more time in the sun during the day. And conveniently enough, from my desk I can be in a park in under two minutes. Plus, windows. How did I ever live without windows?

But anyway, I can’t sleep lately. Can’t fall asleep. Can’t stay asleep. I hate it. Mike hates it.

One of my awake-at-four-A-M moments was caused by a potassium deficiency. That is, I had a massive cramp in my left calf. I ate three bananas the next day, and made banana bread the day after that. I will not be woken by something I can control! No, sir!

My lack of being able to sleep is rather a concern though. I mean, sleep is important. And I’m barely a recovered insomniac.

In high school, I went nearly two years with less than 8 hours of sleep. Per week. And usually less than that. I know that I must have been getting some sleep because I didn’t have to be hospitalized. But I definitely laid awake in bed more than I slept.

Sometimes, I’d read a book to try to drift off. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even go to bed, I’d just stay up because it was pointless. Sometimes, I’d just lie there. Eyes jammed shut, sometimes held shut with a pillow, wondering if I could will myself to sleep.

My dad always turned his nose at the idea of counting sheep. He was convinced that the best way to fall asleep was to imagine you’re at a baseball game counting balls and strikes. Or something like that. I’m sure I tried that. I’m sure it didn’t work.

See, what keeps me awake is my brain. It churns and churns. It lists things. It remembers unpleasant things. It. Just. Won’t. Shut. Up.

Very annoying, let me assure you.

You’re wondering how I ever got over it. Maybe not, but I’ll tell you anyway. The best cure for insomnia, or partial insomnia anyway, is mononucleosis. That’s right, kids. Mono. The “kissing disease.” That plague that barrels through every freshman dorm floor at some point during the year.

I was the first one to get it. The floor-wide suspicion was that my boyfriend at the time… rather, ex-boyfriend…had just dumped me…it was nasty… but whatever, he’s not worth it… was “typhoid —

Would you know that I can’t remember his name? That is SO AWESOME. Don’t anyone remind me. I don’t care.

Oh crap.

Stupid brain just remembered. Never mind.

<|<|

— ex-boyfriend was “Typhoid Jeff.” Probably not. I had a good portion of the floor mad at him with me at the time, so he was a convenient scape-goat. In actuality, it was likely spread by the completely disgusting bathroom situation on our floor. (Later that year, we got the janitor fired – the showers were that wretched.)

Anyway, I got it first, and I was definitely in the running for having it longest. Maybe Anne. She was sick for a good long time too.

But there’s something about mono that will knock you out. Big time. I slept more in the three months I had mono than I had in the previous three years. Or at least it seemed that way. My day planner (if I had had one, which I didn’t) would have looked like this:

12 AM Still sleeping
1 AM
2 AM
3 AM
4 AM
5 AM
6 AM
7 AM Get ready for the day
8 AM Class
9 AM
10 AM Try to do homework, fall asleep at desk
11 AM
12 PM Lunch with the herd from Riley 3 (my floor was really close and ate nearly every meal together)
1 PM Class
2 PM Homework
3 PM Scheduled nap
4 PM
5 PM Dinner with the herd
6 PM Various rehearsal activities and/or homework
7 PM
8 PM
9 PM Desperately try to hang out with floor mates, but be too tired – bed time
10 PM
11 PM

Sometimes I long for that kind of sleep routine.

Sometimes I’m glad it’s over.

Right now, though, I would just be happy with 6 continuous hours.

My hands are locked up tight in fists
My mind is racing, filled with lists
of things to do and things I’ve done
Another sleepless night’s begun

Lids down, I count sheep
I count heartbeats
The only thing that counts is
that I won’t sleep
I countdown, I look around

Who needs sleep?
well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
since the Second World War
–”Who Needs Sleep?” by Bare Naked Ladies

September 11th, 2006 • 8:42 am • dinane • Posted in Life6 Comments »

Singing is Good For the Soul

The music minister at church emailed me earlier this week asking me to please come to choir practice this week. Now, here’s the thing. I live 45-50 minutes away from church now. On weekends. On a weeknight, during rush hour, it can be anywhere from 70 to 120 minutes. When I told him I was moving, I said I wasn’t going to be able to make it to Thursday rehearsals any more. But he asked so nicely that I decided to go.

I am definitely glad I did.

I saw some of my church friends that I haven’t seen in months. Church kind of shuts down in the summer. Not actually, but no one goes every week during the summer – including me. So we were kind of all glad to see each other. It was nice.

But it’s the singing that really does it for me. There’s something about singing that brings up my inner being. It connects the real me with the world. And singing about God… that just cements it for me. It’s awesome.

I felt really good when I left rehearsal last night. Rejuvenated, even.

I think this will be a good fall-winter. The play, church, a job I don’t hate, a garage to protect Haley from the snow (half the time), and snowboarding.

Yes… snowboarding. That old thing. Mike has wisely decided to go back to skis, but I don’t give up so easily. I will conquer the J-bar, and then the chair lift, and then… you know… stopping. Actually, maybe I should conquer stopping on a snowboard first.

Anyway, I have word that Dave and my sister both want to try to learn, so I won’t be falling down the bunny trails all on my own. In fact, Dave and my sister should both get involved in buying the necessary snow gear. A thing could be made of it. I totally know what people need now. First, and foremost, a helmet. And wrist guards. Who cares if you get cold, but there will be no more hospital visits!

So, yeah, I see good things ahead.

This was an odd post.

Who cares.

September 8th, 2006 • 8:19 am • dinane • Posted in Music, Religion, Sports2 Comments »
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