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Most Normal Girl

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


One of my most favorite blogs to read (besides my own, of course) is Dooce. I love Heather's writing and I have come to regard her as an inspiration for the writer within me to let loose. Today's entry was a birthday blog celebration - which was nice and funny and all that... But what really got me was the people who wrote a response.

The topic was regret. And boy... was it something. Dooce said that she wished she had worn more sunscreen. (Good one.) At first I thought, oh I'll add some funny quip about farting in public or something stupid like that, but the more I read the more serious it got. Sure, there are some anecdotal responses, but there are some very poignant ones too. Here's a sampling of what is already up:

* I wish that I had not worked quite so hard in college and allowed myself to have a little bit of fun. If only I'd known the words "cum laude" would be so small on my diploma, and that the only person who would care was me. That could have saved me so much sleep.
* I regret screwing over most of the people that I have screwed over; I regret bitching until my mom agreed not to chaperone our high school trip to Germany - I robbed her of a fantastic opportunity; I regret not spending more time with my dad before he died. He loved me so much & didn't know how to show it. I loved him, too, and didn't realize just how much I would miss him after he was gone.
* I wish I'd stood up for myself more.
* I wish I had never picked up that first cigarette.
* I wish I had never used a credit card, run up all that debt, and started a 401K at 21.
* I'd have found my real voice as a much younger woman and used it to take a stand for myself instead of living to please others.
* I would have given myself a break sometimes. I'm never going to be perfect.
* I would have kept my daughter.
* I wish I had known I would get cancer at 24--I wouldn't have worked so hard in college.
* I wouldn't have gotten married so young (21). Maybe then it wouldn't have taken until my 30s to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life.

It's amazing to me how similar all the entries started to become. We all seem to have been suffering from insecurity, debt, missed opportunity, wreckless choices, not enough "good times," and failed relationships. Maybe some of us still do.

When I sit and think about the regrets I have in my own life, there are few that I can't begin to change. I need to take better care of my health. I need to say I LOVE YOU more often to friends and family. I need to not worry about my debt so much. I need to work less and take more breaks. I need to not take myself so seriously. ...AND I CAN.

So, for now, I won't share any of my regrets. Instead, I'll just say that I hope to have few more.

But, please, if you have some regret that you want to get off your chest - the rest of us would love to hear them...
Posted by Jessie_b :: 1:20 PM :: 0 comments

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cupid Shot Me - And Now I've Got An Infection

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you out there who care! ...Or, as some like to say: Happy VD everyone!... Good times, good times.

Blair and I 'celebrated' V-Day last Friday night in Pasadena (the 102nd time we were in Pasadena last week). So, since we celebrated early, we decided not to do anything else.

Well, ME being ME, I was desperately hoping for flowers and was racking my brain over what to give to him. Because I just HAD to do something, right?

I decided to make a card (which turned out pretty good for an amateur card-maker) and to make a glorious dinner (which turned out pretty good for an amateur chef) complete with candles. And since I had already been taken out to an expensive and romantic dinner, I decided that flowers were lame and overrated. But...

He brought me flowers. Roses. Red ones. 12 of them. They are beautiful. And I adore them.

I know that Valentine's Day is a traditional Hallmark Holiday - a terrible excuse for the flower, card, chocolate, jewelry, sex-toy, and over-stuffed teddy bear industries to make a whopping profit off the public. However, I still like the sentiment. For me, the best part about my Valentine's Day was not in the food, nor the flowers. Instead it was realized last night when I was driving home from work.

As I was sitting in my regular traffic, flipping through the radio stations, I stopped on a familiar song - Tom Petty's "Free Falling." I listened for a minute and when the chorus came up, I belted out the first thing that came to mind. Unfortunately, it's BLAIR'S rendition of the chorus whereby he has changed the words to "Free Balling." So there I was: sitting in my car, singing "Free Balling" at the top of my lungs. I don't even have balls to free; but I was singing about it. It was in that moment that I realized I've been infected with love. I've been infected with lame jokes, lame words to songs, and all sorts of random crap that goes along with being in love with another person. I know all the little things and every day is a new discovery of more. Yep, that little, fat, naked baby has shot me with an arrow and now I'm infected.

It's true: I'm in it. I've got the disease. I'M IN LOVE. And now VD has got me.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 9:50 AM :: 1 comments

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Monday, February 12, 2007


Photo by Tony Rinaldo

Hooray for progress in America. Today marks a milestone. Harvard announced yesterday that Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust will be their 28th President. To see the full story, visit: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/02.15/99-president.html

Not only is this exciting news for a recent alum, but I am thrilled that our oldest American institution of higher learning is reflecting a change in the nation. The last one hundred years (give or take a generation or two) have been an extraordinary time for women in America. Specifically, the rise of women in the professional workplace has continued to increase exponentially over the past 30 years.

Women now have a stake in the White House; the number of women in fields such as medicine, science, politics, and education, are greater than ever; women’s earnings in the workplace continue to rise (although some of us would contend “not enough!”); more women are attending college and earning advanced degrees than ever before (women outnumber men, in most liberal arts colleges and universities); well-respected women are in the forefront of our media - Oprah and Katie Couric have become household names. Slowly, the glass ceiling is beginning to shatter and new opportunities for leadership are emerging.

We women have had much to celebrate – and the celebration continues with the designation of Dr. Faust. Not only is this a symbolic new hire for women, but one for the University as a whole. Since its founding in 1636, Harvard has been part of the “old boys club” of sorts. It has been stereotyped as an institution for rich, white, boys (which, in all fairness, it was for a few hundred years). Recently, however, the University has made a number of changes and initiatives to promote a culture of diversity. Perhaps this new appointment of a female President may be politically motivated, but it cannot be argued that it is symbolic. Many of you remember the trouble that Larry Summers (former Harvard President) got himself into by suggesting that women in science did not have the same “smarts” as men. (That’s another topic of conversation that I could get into – and at length – but have purposefully averted.) As one of the leading institutions for science and research, Harvard University has put a woman at the helm.

The Higher Education community now has a number of female presidents guiding the paths toward progress. I have no doubt that Dr. Faust’s leadership and ability will be under a microscope during her tenure as President. It is my hope, however, that it will not become a gender issue – but rather, an opportunity to discuss different types of leadership and collaboration.

This is a great, great day; and I say, HOORAY!

Posted by Jessie_b :: 8:54 AM :: 0 comments

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Friday, February 09, 2007

I Wish I (hiccup) Had An Interesting (hiccup) Story To Tell (hiccup)

I wish I had an interesting story to tell from the past few days. But I don't. Instead, I have the hiccups and they are driving me nuts.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 4:51 PM :: 1 comments

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