Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nice Surprise!

I got a wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday.

It appears that my uncle Bob is cleaning out some closets in his home and came across an invitation to my Christening. He was nice enough to send it to me so I can have a memento of the day I became Catholic. I was very touched and happy to receive it.

I was baptized on Sunday, October 24, 1982, which happens to be Bob's birthday! I was baptized at 1:45 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church. There was also apparently a party afterward at my parents' house.

I told my dad about the invitation that night and he said, "I didn't know we sent out invitations." And that's, I suppose, why it's in my mom's handwriting.

So, thanks, Bob, for thinking of me! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Letters to my celebrity loves

I wrote many letters in my past.

I was an avid pen pal with friends all over the world. I pretended to write in Spanish to one girl, which consisted of me putting the words from my Spanish/American dictionary on paper exactly as they appeared in the dictionary. Who needs cases and conjugations anyway? I wrote excitedly to a young woman in Germany when I was in the 4th grade, only to have been paired up with an 18 year old. She handed me off to her little brother. I found another pen pal on a whitewater rafting trip I took in the 5th grade, and I still remember his address.

But I had almost forgotten about other letters I had sent. This article reminded me about the fine art of a certain kind of letter:

The celebrity crush letter.

I delivered many of these letters into my mailbox. Written in my snazzy 10-color pen I wrote letters of passion and love --- or just what was going on in school and on my soccer team.

I didn't douse them in perfume. I didn't send underwear. I might have used some stickers, and I probably included my phone number (which, in retrospect, was probably a bad idea).

To whom did these letters go?

Well, first and foremost in my heart was Rider Strong. Affable, smart aleck, girl-crazy Shawn Hunter from "Boy Meets World" stole my heart at a tender age. He was a little alternative; he had great hair. And how cool is the name Rider, anyway? I had posters of him on my wall; I TGIF-ed "Boy Meets World" every Friday. I was hopelessly devoted to this young star. And while I haven't seen any of his recent work, I was intrigued to see that he was filming a movie called Penthouse. On further inspection, it appears that it's not that Penthouse (phew!). I will have you know that in college, a book came across my newspaper desk that had the foreward written by Mr. Strong. I tried desperately to convince the author to hook me up with an interview, but, alas, it was not meant to be.

I also wrote a letter to Vincent Laruso, cake-eater Adam Banks from The Mighty Ducks. Mr. Banks was the most talented player on the Ducks, and his athletic prowess took me (and many of my friends) straight to crush-ville. Even though we associated the term cake-eater with a rival high school, we were able to see past this problem and still crush on the cutest (and richest, mind you, we weren't stupid) member of the team. I staunchly defended the merits of Mr. Laruso against anyone crazy enough to like Charlie more than Adam, and in doing so created a mindset to where I always shunned poor Josh Jackson in a later embodiment as Pacey Witter (apparently no one else agreed with me, including Katie Holmes as Joey Potter, that heart-breaking witch). I will tell you that this problem has been remedied, and when I watched the entire six seasons of "Dawson's Creek" last summer, I was able to see past the Mighty Ducks competition and truly see the merits to Mr. Jackson.

I know that I had several other celebrity crushes, but I can't recall if I ever sent actual letters. I believed I was destined to marry Mark-Paul Gosselaar, or, well, Zack Morris (and the picture of him on that site with the long hair truly disturbs me). I also was a huge fan of Devon Sawa's work in the last five minutes of Casper, and I will still watch that last five minutes just to remember the truly magical feeling of being in 7th grade and thinking he was so desperately cute. Jonathan Taylor Thomas was the property of my friend Kristen, who had over 300 pictures of him hanging around her room AND she actually got to MEET him (he placed his autograph on a poster of himself, signing right on his likeness' inner thigh. We thought that was so scandalous).

(On a side note -- I apparently liked floppy hair.)

My letter writing was hampered by several things. It was hard to find the addresses of stars. I often wrote letters I never sent. And, after all, everyone told me that the stars would never write back.

Except one did.

One day I opened my mailbox and received a postcard autographed by Rider Strong himself! I was so excited! I was that much closer to meeting him!

I know now that the autograph on the postcard had been placed on there through a method of copying, meaning that Rider did not sign all those postcards himself. Even so, I thought it was very nice for him (or his people) to send out postcards to what had to be many adoring fans, whereas Mr. Laruso didn't think it was nearly as important to encourage his fan base (and you won't see Mr. Laruso in Penthouse (the movie), now will you?).

I've heard that celebrity crushes are important for little girls because a celebrity is not a "real" person so they cannot reject the little girl. This allows the kid to learn how to have a crush without fear of rejection, as they prepare to enter the real world of, well, lots of rejection (or maybe that was just me). If so, this postcard was incredibly important to my adolescent development. Obviously.

So thank you Rider Strong, from my apartment to your Penthouse, for helping me to become a socially well-adjusted youngster. For not rejecting me (as some cake-eaters did) by dismissing my 10-color pen letter with a flick of your long hair and a roll of your beautiful eyes.

And don't you think I don't still have that postcard. I totally still have it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


We didn't have to go to the ER this year!

Each summer we've had some sort of incident at camp that required a trip to the ER -- a concussion, a sprained ankle, that sort of thing (there was a scalping one summer, but I, thankfully, was not working with them yet). This year, nobody.

We did have a drunk guy throw a baseball at us while we were at the Lexington Legends minor league baseball game, but it didn't hit any of the kids.

All in all, camp went pretty well.

Now I'm back to the grind. I've been typing furiously the last two days, which is why I haven't posted, but tomorrow I will bring you some pictures from the 4th, very late but oh well.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Three weddings, one baby, and a week at home later, I am now in Lexington at camp!

I am working with the Robinson Scholars Program for my fifth summer. This program is for first generation college students from Eastern Kentucky. One student from each of the counties is picked during the eighth grade and the program works with them all the way through high school. At the end of high school, the students are granted a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky. I am working with the rising juniors and seniors at a week-long summer program intended to sharpen skills in argumentative and creative writing. I am not doing any teaching, however; I am an RA.

And speaking of work, I have to be up around 7:30 a.m. tomorrow because I have day duty! :) More later.