Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On creativity

I have great respect for creative people. My attentions are wide-ranging, from the great and famous--you know, Beethoven and JK Rowling--to the people who invent the most minute, commonplace things. Toilet seat covers, for instance--those tissue paper things that they have in (some) public restrooms. I feel a wave of goodwill toward the management of an establishment when I enter a restroom and discover seat covers.

The inventor of the toilet seat cover, however, pales in my esteem next to the person who came up with this:

GENIUS. Let's take a closer look:

It plugs the hole in the lid so the drink doesn't spill in transport! So simple! And also good for my wardrobe, because I have a tendency to do this:

That's my "nice" black coat. Note the numerous spots. That spill happened sometime between November and March of last year. (Don't judge. I intended to take it to the dry cleaners after coat season was over, but I forgot. And now, I have to, you know, wear it.)

Anyway, as I strolled into the office this morning, holding my cup with its anti-spill hole plugger thingy (that's the technical term), I reflected on how nice it was not to be dripping peppermint hot chocolate all over myself. And I was thankful.

And speaking of thankful! Thanksgiving is two days away! I leave tomorrow night for Georgia (it is impossible for me to type that word with the nice drawl that it deserves), and I am excited. Though the first of the cousins has just gotten engaged, which means, as the oldest grandchild...passive aggressive "are you dating anyone?" questions all around! Luckily, I have answers prepared:

  • Several guys, actually. I can't keep track of all of them!
  • Yeah, we just moved in together last month. ...Oh, I thought you'd heard about it. My mistake!
  • Yes, her name is ____.

Thoughts on which I should go with? My coworkers are voting for the third one, just for the shock value.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Heard... (work edition)

...at work this morning from my rather irreverant boss
BC: I saw someone walking this morning that I thought was you, but then I realized that she walked like a longshoreman and she was chewing gum like a cow chewing her cud. And I thought, no, that’s not Hannah.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great Purge O'Crap of '08: An Introduction

I was sitting on my bed the other night, looking around and thinking "Dude. What is all this junk?" And thus, I am on a mission to declutter my apartment. The goal is January 1. Progress reports to follow.

Integral to this effort is a much-needed clothing purge, because the answer to "Dude. What is all this junk?" is: piles of clothes. Thus, I pledge to make a generous contribution to Goodwill in the next month or so.

Under the clothes pile in the corner of my room are two large boxes that have been there, no lie, since the day I moved in and plopped them (or, more likely, Nick or my dad plopped them) on the floor. Thirteen months ago. One of them has been moving from apartment to apartment with me--unopened--since I lived in the dorms at AU. AND ONE OF THEM IS EMPTY, save for a pair of shoes. This, friends, is what we call laziness, and it cannot--nay, must not--continue!

And so! To add to the fun (by which I mean fun for me, obviously, since you, gentle readers, are not here to help with the Great Purge O'Crap of '08) is that I shall periodically post pictures of the fun things I find. And I can do this now because I! have! a camera! It will be glorious! And also possibly rather mortifying.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photo fun!

I spent yesterday going photo-crazy on Facebook. Photo sets are up for the engagement party, the Aug/Sept reunion in DC, and miscellaneous other things. Highlights include Ed and Annie acting like four-year-olds, JKempf waving at the camera like a four-year-old, and me as an actual four-year-old.

Monday, November 17, 2008


...four weeks ago while discussing Ed and Val's engagement party
J: Can I have a ride to Pennsylvania?
Me: Sure.
J: Shotgun!
Me: [rolls eyes]
J: I'll make a mix tape!
Me: So I can expect four hours of Phish and Bob Dylan?
J: [feigning offense] No.... Also some Grateful Dead and maybe the String Cheese Incident.
Me: Ah, well then. Something to look forward to.

...at 2am on the night of the party as the bride-to-be, who has had a few cocktails, navigates the drive home
Val: [pointing right] Turn left at the stop sign.
Leah: Val, that's right.
[There's a lot of laughter from the rest of us.]
Val: [in a stage-whisper] Shhhh! I can't hear because I can't think that loud.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Heard... (GO TOPPERS! edition)

...last Friday night at the Science Hill-Dobyns Bennett football game, where I unexpectedly ran into two old friends. We composed a personal ad for our quarterback, who was on the field for the entire game.

John: That's our quarterback!
Norman: Number five!
John: He plays offense--
Norman:--he plays defense--
Me:--he likes long walks on the beach and makes a mean lasagna!
John: [pause] What's his name, though?

(I forgot to post this earlier in the week. Was too keyed up by other things, apparently.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I am the least political person in my family. My sister is a political operative. My mom, quite the activist in her day, virtually ran the McGovern campaign in her county during college and, along with my dad, door-knocked for Obama in southwest Virginia. As of 4:30 this afternoon, he was still out going door-to-door in Virginia. I’m interested—I just can’t watch CNN and MSNBC ad nauseum every day.

But four years ago, I watched a young U.S. senatorial candidate speak at the Democratic National Convention. His was a voice that stood out from the others, a voice that spoke with vision and clarity of a fresh start for our country and the world, a future beyond war and partisanship and insularity.

When that man runs for president, I will vote for him, I thought. But I never dreamed that this day would come so soon.

Over these many months, some said that race would prevent his election, that the demons of our nation’s not-so-distant past would resurface, however briefly, and that this country would not elect a black man for its highest office.

During this year’s convention, a commentator asked Luke Russert what it meant to the younger generation to see a black candidate for president. He replied, essentially, that it was much less of an issue for younger voters, who grew up without the baggage of Jim Crow and the civil rights era. Though certainly not perfect, ours is a much more colorblind generation. That statement resonated with me, though I obviously recognized and appreciated the historic significance of this unlikely candidacy.

Today was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to “go and vote” in a general election. In 2004, I voted by absentee ballot—not quite the same—for John Kerry. The difference today, though, aside from the “I VOTED” sticker that I’m still wearing, was that instead of voting against George Bush, I voted for someone.

I spent the last few weeks trying to manage expectations, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I watched the returns tonight, coloring in my map as projections were called and hardly daring to believe what I was seeing. Breaking News: Barack Obama Elected President.

I have never been prouder of my country than I am tonight. I haven’t been able to say that in a while, and it’s a pretty incredible feeling.