Sunday, November 30, 2008

Reasons I Donate Blood

1. People really need it--when my brother was being treated for cancer, it was amazing how much better he felt after a transfusion.

2. It's irreplaceable--donating money isn't a substitute, and no one can give extra blood to make up for what I don't donate.

3. For everyone I know who can't give because of ridiculous and sometimes discriminatory rules. All of my gay male friends, women who've dated bisexual men, people who've gotten tattoos in the past year (even with sterile needles, at licensed places), anyone who's ever lived in Africa, etc.

4. You meet friendly donors and nurses. And sometimes you get pins or t-shirts or coupons or other fun things.

5. It's a chance to lie down and relax for a while. And you HAVE to eat cookies afterwards. It's an actual rule.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sports Teams I've Followed

1. NY Yankees: This got me a lot of grief when attending school in Massachusetts, but it really was more of an rebellion against my Mets-fan parents than anything against the Red Sox. Plus, how could you not love someone as hardworking as Hideki Matsui?

2. NY Liberty: Oh, the glory days with Rebecca Lobo (who kept getting injured so never really played), Sue Wicks (openly gay! and from Long Island!) and the Witherspoon/Weatherspoon duo.

3. Washington Nationals: Unlike #1, nobody hates you for being a Nationals fan. They just get this confused, pitying expression. But I think Nationals Stadium is one of the best places to see a baseball game: the Racing Presidents, a Capitol view (if you crane your neck), easy Metro access, movies and fireworks after the game, bobbleheads, veggie chili-cheese fries from Ben's chili bowl, a musical selection that inexplicably favors Hava Nagila, and soft-serv in those plastic baseball caps. With all this, who cares that they've lost approximately 80% of the games I've attended?

4. Michigan Wolverines: I don't even really know the rules of football (people have tried to explain it to me. I can keep it in my head for about 45 minutes before I forget). But when people hear that's where I go to school, they like to talk about how the team is doing. And I do like the excitement of game day, and hearing the marching band practice during the week.

5. Davidson Wildcats: My patented NCAA bracket-picking strategy of choosing winners based on whether I know people who attended a given school finally came through for me last year. And the Davidson team just seems so darn nice. I want to bake them all cookies. Davidson's success also compelled some east coast friends to venture to Michigan (it's not easy getting people to visit here--especially when it's still snowing in the midwest and the cherry blossoms are in bloom in DC). I have high hopes that they'll make it to the Final Four this year so everyone has to come back to Detroit.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Beverages I Dislike

1. Beer: seriously, once my boss took me to a brewery and I got a pint of beer--it was the only thing they sold there--and I made it through the foam and then had to stop because I was going to puke.

2. Tea: I can handle it with lots of milk--this is how I made it through having tea with the Sheriff of Nottingham (I am not making this up. There is an actual Sheriff of Nottingham, whose duties are largely ceremonial these days, and in 2001 I had tea with him while an exchange student in England) but I don't really enjoy it at all.

3. Kombucha: it's tea (see #2) but fermented. bleccccch.

4. Any sort of low-sugar juice with Splenda in it. I don't care how many people tell me they can't taste the difference. I CAN.

5. Vernor's ginger ale. People in Michigan are big fans, for some reason. I'm a big fan of ginger ale in general (including in Shirley Temples!) but this just doesn't taste the same.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Memorable Runs

1. 1996 Hershey Track and Field Youth Nationals--by some crazy twist of fate, I ended up on New York's 4x100 team--we came in fourth, but just as much fun as the meet was getting to fly to Harrisburg, take a tour of the Hershey factory (the real one, not just the ride at Hershey Park), go on all the rides, and meet kids from all over the country.

2. 2004 Rockville Twilighter 8k: My first footrace with Tess--I remember being so thrilled by the people standing on their front lawns spraying us down with garden hoses. The DC area in July is HOT.

3. Summer 2007 when Tess and I ran 5 miles along the Mall in the mid-day heat and afterwards, outside the Metro Center station, a pigeon crapped on my head. Tess gave up the last of her water to rinse out my hair. Now THAT'S a true friend.

4. 2008 Race for Hope: My dad, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, some of my aunt's friends, and six of my friends all raising money for brain tumor research. I even convinced my friends to wear shirts with ridiculous illustrations of my brother's brain. What incredible people.

5. Today's Turkey Trot in Ann Arbor--not my fastest time, not the flattest course or the best weather (my arms went numb about halfway through) but it was great to get outside and see some friends and burn some calories before dinner. And playing with an adorable dog was just icing on the cake--despite suffering the consequences now. I've NEVER had an allergic reaction to animals before, so this is very weird. Thank goodness for antihistamines, curling up on the futon, and watching the Detroit parade.

And you? Any good athletic experiences?

Happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Public Libraries I've Loved

First of all, I should say how much I love public libraries; getting a library card is one of the first things I do when I move to a new place. This isn't meant as a dig at awesome university libraries, the Library of Congress, etc. But public libraries are something special. So here's a list of places I've held library cards:

1. Emma S. Clark Memorial Library on Long Island: where it all began. Their quiet little periodicals room with the stained-glass angel, the mural of a carnival hanging in the children's section, the dictionary their staff bought me for volunteering at the summer reading program. I still have my first library card, circa 1988.

2. Northampton, Massachusetts: home not only to the typical public library-ish things, but to the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library!

3. Missoula, Montana: Despite not knowing anyone when I moved there one summer, I had a very pleasant couple months-- when I wasn't at work I did a lot of walking my landlady's dog, riding my bike (the bike was a story in itself--yellow with pink spots, cruiser handlebars, no gears, back-pedal brakes) around town, visiting the farmers' markets and cooking stuff, and--most of all--lying on various riverbanks and reading.

4. Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC (twice each): DC libraries are the only ones I've been to where you go through a metal detector on the way IN. But the selection is very good (especially if you request books online so they can be shipped to your home branch), they have great, free, ASL classes, and they provide such a community hub. Arlington libraries are a little less gritty, but serve the same role and have books in so many languages! One day, I'd really like to serve on the Board of Trustees for the DC library (Mayor Fenty, if you read this, call me!).

5. Ann Arbor District Library: They're doing a great job--serving substantial populations of immigrants, students, young children, long-time Ann Arbor residents, homeless folks, etc. Their director has the BEST southern accent. There's a vending machine section by the periodicals so you can have hot cocoa while you read magazines. They stay open til 9 most nights and have free wireless. The buildings are beautiful, and the main one is right across the street from the city's central bus station so it's easy to get there by public transit. My only complaint is that they put some copies of popular books as "zoom lends" which cost a dollar to take out--I know it's probably a great revenue stream for them, but it seems so undemocratic and I won't do it, on principle. It's not like there aren't great books in the non-zoom section to read while I wait.

I also love the new central library in Minneapolis, the Del Ray branch of the Alexandria libraries, and the fact that the Clayville, NY library let a couple get married there.

And you? What libraries do YOU love?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Things I Did Tonight Instead of Outlining my Land Disputes Paper

1. Ran 3 miles (not outside--are you crazy?--but in the IM building; my favorite treadmill was taken but it was still pretty fun)

2. Ate the rest of the chocolate-caramel apple I was given as a half-birthday present (thank you, my favorite 1L Outlaws!)

3. Convinced my roommate she needs to attend a puppet show version of America's Next Top Model Season Two in Ypsilanti next week.

4. Started this utterly ridiculous blog.

5. OK, I'm going to go outline the damn paper now.

And you? What do you do to procrastinate?