Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Where has December gone?

Oh, right.  It went to crummy things like the stomach flu, a cold, and laryngitis right in a row.  And horrible news on CNN.  And church meetings, long work hours, and keeping house.  And fun things like baking, Friday night dates, Christmas shopping, party planning and family outings.

Now that I have a moment, I can hardly believe Christmas is next week!

I finished the absolute last of my Christmas shopping last night.  Once again, I had the hardest time figuring out what to get for my Dad.  He's a hard one to shop for (he's not very materialistic, and male-oriented gifts are just harder) and I always want to make sure I've found just the right thing.  So, last night found me clutching the steering wheel, peering through the smacking windshield wipers trying to navigate the fog and cursing the heavily trafficked DC streets. 

I hate driving at night.  Have I mentioned it before? If not, I should have.  It's one of Rachel's necessary truths: thou shalt not voluntarily drive at night.  Unless under the influence of an extreme Christmas-shopping high, I suppose.  And night driving in low-visibility fog?  The pitts.  It ages me 50 years and finds me turning off the radio, pushing up the seat and driving in the slow lane.  Oh well.

It's all worth it to have found the right thing. 

And now. Sweet bliss. I can enjoy the stress-free anticipation that come with the holiday. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

T-Bird Pride

I enjoyed high school.  Don't get me wrong...there is no amount of money you could offer me to make me go through it again, but it wasn't all that bad.  I had good friends, I liked my classes (for the most part), I was a member of the Dorchestra, the French Club, the Ski/Snowboard club and the track team.  [I may mention that I was not the star of anything in which I participated...].  I wasn't what you'd call popular, but all was well.

I went to most of the basketball and football games.  Not as a cheerleader, and usually not with a big crowd of friends.  Generally, I went to geekily hang around with the band kids and to pay more attention to cute boys in the crowd than to what was actually going on in the game.

Our high school mascot was the mythical Thunderbird.  A creature painted in orange, white and blue on the sides of our gym and other leering places around the school. 

My friends, who were on the cheer squad, liked to make up goofy cheers imitating the t-bird.  They'd chant "thunder, lightening," then kiss both biceps and growl.  To me now (and probably to you) this seems odd.  To us then it was a thing of beauty and a source of much amusement. 

But, I digress.

What I meant to say before I got distracted by memories of my younger, goofier, freckled and brace-faced self, is that I've never had a ton of high school pride.  Timpview is just not  place I spend a lot of time thinking about.

However, last week I had the occasion to bust out my old yearbook and have a few moments of t-bird pride boasting to some of my other YA lit loving friends.

Camille and I met up at the Bethesda library last Thursday to hear YA author Ally Condie speak.  Camille and I are both fans of her Matched series, so we joined what seemed like half the teenage population of Bethesda for the Q&A session and book signing.  If I had to guess, I'd say that we were the only people above 15 who weren't there as parents with their 15-year-old kids.  In a word: it was awesome.

Ally took questions for an hour.  She explained how she got the inspiration for the opening scene of the first book from a prom that she and her husband chaperoned when she taught high school English.  As she described the school and the prom, it all sounded eerily familiar. 

So, when I had her sign my book, I asked her, just out of curiosity, where she taught.  She then confirmed my suspicions that she'd taught at Timpview.

When I got home I googled around the Internet and found out that not only had she taught at my high school, she actually taught while I was there.  It was a big enough high school that I'd never met her, seen her, or even heard of her, but when I checked my year book there she was.  A younger, early-aughties haircut version of her, but her nonetheless.

Small world, isn't it?