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10 Years, 10 Friends, 10 Days: The Catalyst

By blogs, boys, dating, friends, guest posts, hot lead singers of bands, memories, milestones, photography, resolutions, school, what have you been doing for the last 10 years? No Comments

Photo Feb 28, 9 43 02 PM
{the photo that always made me want to be a photographer}

Post #8 is probably the most unexpected, but there was no way I could invite a bunch of friends to post on this blog without including Mikey Q. Those of you who know us would probably be super surprised to hear we’re still friends, and those of you who don’t would never understand. We don’t do very well at keeping in touch, and we haven’t seen each other in years. But the fact of the matter is that there are so many things that just are the way they are because of the many series of events that all sort of happened as a result of our ridiculous relationship between the years of 1998 and 2008 — this blog even existing probably being one of them.

Mike and his lovely wife Stephanie are expecting their third child in just a few days, and I’m so grateful he took a little time to write this for me when he’s got so much on his plate at the moment. If you Quargs ever make it back to the east coast, I’d love to meet the rest of you some day. =)

Let’s get this out of the way early… I’m the ex-boyfriend from high school and most of College. I met Lisa during a history project where we made a Lego video called “Events of 1969″. We covered the Mets winning the World Series, Woodstock, the moon landing and more. I have to admit that it was one of the most epic history projects ever, and it brought Lisa into my life. Despite the roller coaster relationship we have had over the past 15 years, we owe each other a lot.

Admittedly, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to write in a blog post about a girl I used to know so well, but have hardly spoken to in roughly seven years. My first thought was, “Why the hell does Lisa want me to write anything about her or her blog when there are many people who are surely more qualified than I am to speak about the last few years?” So I pondered…

What hit me was that we are still friends. We share a common bond from a period of life that was so fragile, so turbulent, so exciting, so frustrating, and so instrumental in who we are today that it’s not that weird for me to comment here. This was a lot of heavy stuff for a Wednesday evening. So I started typing…

Lisa asked me what my favorite blog post was. I have been so busy with my own ridiculously fast-paced life, I had really slacked off on reading it. Honestly, I lost a little interest when she started to blog heavily about fashion. The ironic part is that if it weren’t for her, I’d still be wearing green corduroys and flannel shirts. Lisa’s incredible sense of style helped me to transform my wardrobe from grungy teenager to respectable adult, and I still remember some of her rules today. She is bold and creative, and I know she has started more than a few trends with the people around her.

I figured I would go back and look for a good post that brought back happy memories. So I went to her page and did a search for “ex-boyfriend”. Some of the posts were good, but I was shocked that the 2008 resolutions post and updates showed up ELEVEN times in the results. Clearly this was a sign that I should focus on that post.

The best part is that the mention of me is a simple one. “Don’t call my ex-boyfriend.” While I cannot remember the details of why I deserved this, I am sure that I did. Thankfully, my deserved excommunication only lasted until February 18th and we were friends again by April 19th. I won’t say that this is my favorite post, but I will call it the most telling. We have both vowed not to speak to the other again, but obviously we have failed. I think we are finally at a point where we have accepted failure and realized that friendship is a much better arrangement.

Lisa and I have been unable to shake each other (despite a thousand attempts) through some of the happiest and most miserable periods of our lives. We are who we are today because of many of the lessons and experiences we have shared. Wall High, Virginia Tech, Virginia Beach, Florida, The Bahamas, New Orleans, New York City, and many other places hold memories for us. Her family is full of fantastic people who deserve the best life has to offer. They accepted me despite my flaws and I have absolute respect for them. I really look up to her parents, and I owe them for helping me through many tough times, as well. At the end of the day, we wanted different things out of life. That being said, the kind of connection we had at such critical points in our lives creates a bond that lasts forever. Lisa is an incredible woman. Her happiness means a lot to me even across the tremendous distance between us.

My favorite part of her blog is that I get to share in some of that happiness and it gives me comfort to know that her commitment to being awesome has only gotten stronger!

{April 19, 2008}

Back to School (Again)

By blogs, gen y, lj, school, skills No Comments

I registered for a few classes at TCC – Principles of Accounting I and Pre-Calculus. I know, I know — you’re thinking, why does this girl sign up for weird, boring classes like accounting and calculus and rhetoric?  I’m taking them because I have decided to apply to the MBA program at ODU (and maybe a few other places) next year. Calculus is a required course to apply, and so are Accounting I and II (at a few other places).

Of course, I’ve made the decision to apply to grad school for multiple things over the past few years, so perhaps this plan will change again. If I remember correctly, my decision to take Modern Rhetoric last year was supposed to put me on the path towards earning an M.A. in English. And if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you might recall my passionate plan to enroll in the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State.

In order to prepare for my bright future as a business expert (and to build on my already-exceptional marketing skills), I’ve been keeping up with the blogs kept by the likes of Nadira Hira (writer for Fortune), Jeremy Pepper (of POP! PR), Guy Kawasaki, and Garr Reynolds (Presentation Zen). 

Actually, I’ve been avidly reading these blogs because my friend Chris DeMay took down his website – most likely due to a lack of participation – and I found myself looking for additional reading material.

If you can’t tell, I’m trying to make my LJ more interactive by providing more relevant links in the text. Have fun clicking.

A Brief History of How I Developed My Computing Skills

By being a computer genius, games, gen y, life-changing purchases, lj, memories, myspace, really great money-making ideas, ruling at life, school, skills, technological enigmas One Comment

It occurred to me this morning that I have been fumbling around with computers for approximately 20 years now. It’s no wonder I’m such a computer genius.

Playing on the computer used to be so much more fun. For example, making banners with the first version of The Print Shop, and printing them out on that primitive, perforated printer paper with the holes on the sides! Yay for the old school Apple II series (which recently celebrated is 30th anniversary).

My first instant messaging experience
I sent a message from the family room computer to the computer in my parents’ bedroom. Then I ran in there and sent a message back to myself in the family room. Then I ran into the family room and sent a message back to the bedroom. (Notice how this used to be less of a social networking experience and more of a physical activity.)

Early gaming
I definitely learned a few things from Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? – mainly the states and capitals, the locations of various foreign countries, and the beginnings of my impeccable detective (aka “Internet stalking”) skills. I liked Carmen San Diego much, much more than The Oregon Trail. The only thing I learned from that game was how to ration money and kill off the rest of the people in my wagon in order to keep more food for myself.

Adopting e-mail
My first e-mail address was (Don’t try to e-mail me there. AOL sucks, and that address doesn’t exist anymore. The AIM name Atlantys23 still belongs to me, however, and you might catch me on there once in a blue moon.) I used AOL to keep in touch with friends from summer camp and hang out in the occasional teen chatroom (13/F/NJ u?). Those chatrooms always turned into an insult-fest. I vaguely remember typing something along the lines of “well, you have the IQ of a tube of toothpaste” to more than one stupid ass in another time zone. By this time, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? was a television show.

Keyboard brilliance
I learned to type in high school, but luckily I still got to take my standardized tests on paper with a No. 2 pencil and an answer sheet. (Do kids still take SATs with pencils anymore?) According to multiple online typing tests, I type approximately 103-108 WPM.

My computers
When I started college in 1999, I had a computer that was solely mine for the first time ever. It was a piece of crap. It would freeze, and the power button wouldn’t turn it off, and I would have to pull the plug and kick it to turn it off and start over. (This probably had something to do with all of the music I was illegally hoarding off Napster and Limewire.) I learned the value of saving my work every five minutes, along with grasping the concept of an ethernet cable, being connected to the Internet 24 hours a day, managing multiple e-mail accounts, and using the computer to communicate with people in the next room.

In 2000, at Virginia Tech, I got my second computer. That one worked a lot better. I learned how to reformat my own hard drive and operate a computer while under the influence of alcohol. I also discovered the usefulness of an FTP site and submitted my homework online, and I was the proud owner of a pirated version of Windows XP by the time I graduated college.

Internet omniscience
If you’re an avid reader of this blog, I’m sure you remember the arrival of my post-graduation laptop. All hell broke loose! I came to terms with wireless Internet, I mastered [the basic concept of] HTML code, I started up the LJ, and I I finally broke down about two years ago and created a MySpace page. I’ve found roommate after roommate on; I pay my bills online; I’ve got more than four functioning e-mail addresses; I’m on my second iPod and my fourth digital camera; I’m making money off of at least four different websites while I sit here at my desk (Associated Content, CafePress, SurveySavvy and eBay); I’m working hard on developing my new Virb profile, and my pride and joy at the moment is my 250GB external hard drive (that my awesome boyfriend gave me for Christmas). You’ll get more results Googling “VTJerseyGirl03” than you will “Lisa DeNoia,” and I even have an abbreviated version of my online alias (VTJG03) on my license plates!

So, there you have it – how to become a computer genius in 20 years.

Anyway, back to work (and Internet browsing, and solitaire, and MySpace, and Facebook, and Virb, and Google, and e-mail, and Vision, and…you get the point).

Oh, and at some point during this 20-year technological revolution, Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? became a board game?

Hokie Hope Day (Continued)

By employment, hokies, school No Comments

We sat outside at lunch, and it was surreal watching everyone walk by in orange and maroon. I keep wanting to say thank you to random people on the street for wearing my school’s colors today. A guy even walked by Granby Bistro – where Candice, Tyra and I were eating – and yelled, “Let’s go Hokies!”

We took a picture at work of everyone in their VT colors to send in with our donation to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund.

Ut Prosim

By breaking news, hokies, memories, school 3 Comments
I felt sick to my stomach most of the day yesterday as the details of yesterday’s shootings unfolded. I couldn’t stop thinking, Why? Why would anyone do this? Why would anyone do this at my school? Why would anyone do this at the greatest school in the whole entire world?
Last night, as I finally watched the cell phone clip that captured the sound of 27 gunshots from outside Norris Hall, I had a brief flashback to a sunny, warm, October afternoon just a few years ago. I was walking arm-in-arm with a cadet – my boyfriend at the time – after an English class, down that very sidewalk, smiling, laughing, kicking around fallen leaves on the ground, discussing Kurt Vonnegut, my later-to-be favorite author. We were sophomores. I cried.
I cannot believe that this “massacre”, as Wikipedia has dubbed it, occurred at my school. At my school. A massacre? I am sure I speak for every alumnus when I say that although many of us are not directly acquainted with the victims of yesterday’s shootings, we are still deeply saddened and horrified at what took place yesterday morning on the campus we used to call home. We’re here, in our offices and our homes and our graduate schools across the nation and all over the world, and we are thinking of you.
We’re out here. We are saddened and devastated, but we’re not wearing black. We’re wearing orange and maroon. We’re wearing our class rings. We’re driving around with our Hokie license plates and showing up to work in our VT polo shirts.
We’re re-connecting through phone calls and e-mails and text messages and bulletin boards and coming together to mourn this tragic loss. And we will unite, as we have before, and do whatever we can to support our fellow Hokies during this critical time.
We’re out here and we’re not going to let the news media tear apart the integrity and reputation of our school and its actions and decisions. I have every faith that the Virginia Tech administration and police department did everything possible in response to this unimaginable crime. Such an event has been unprecedented in our society.
Think of the possibilities. Had the campus been closed, would that really have changed anything? Students and staff would have been roaming the sidewalks, the Drillfield. There would have been no windows to climb out of, no desks to hide behind, no doors to barricade. Do not judge the university for its response, judge the media for not responding accordingly. This is not the time to find the perfect picture, to capture the ultimate expression of devastation on a student’s face. This is not the time to bombard Charles Steger and Wendell Flinchum with accusatory questions. In the words of a friend, “We need to devote everything we have to teaching morals and values to every kid who’s sitting in a classroom somewhere right now.  It seems like almost everything in the world today acts as either a temptation or a distraction, taking our attention away from what we should be doing.”
What we should be doing is paying more attention. Parents should be paying more attention to their children, students should be paying more attention to their peers, adults should be paying more attention to their co-workers and their neighbors, teachers should be paying more attention to their students. We should all be paying a little more attention to each other.
Some say we should implement stronger gun control laws; some say we need even more security at schools these days; some say we should have more detailed procedures for dealing with situations like these, and perhaps we will. But in the meantime, perhaps we should all just be a little nicer to each other.
And perhaps we should say thank you. Thank you to the professors like Beth Waggenspack and Emily Stallings in the Department of Communication who pulled a visiting high school art club from West Virginia into Shanks Hall and secured them in a basement until the danger had ended, and of course to those like Liviu Librescu, the 76-year-old professor who lost his life stalling the gunman while his students escaped from the window. Thank you to Dr. Rachel Holloway who got the word out to us communication alumni about some of the positive responses on campus yesterday and gave us a glimpse of optimism just before bedtime last night.
Thank you to President Steger and Police Chief Flinchum, who have put their personal emotions aside to bear the burden of keeping the rest of us informed as details are released.
And finally, thank you to the students and staff of Virginia Tech. Thank you for showing your support for our amazing university yesterday and this afternoon and for sticking by each other during this tragic time. Go Hokies.