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April 7, 2007

About Me

Here we go! My name is Desi, and I live in a suburb of Minneapolis with my younger sister, Sha. I was born in December of ‘74, which makes me 32 and a Capricorn.

I work for an IT consulting firm and I love my job. It’s been a long road to get here. When I started in 2000 I was the lowest level support person (of three). Within a year of starting, the company endured a reduction in force (RIF) and I took over sole support of the Minneapolis office. Another RIF a year later and I started supporting our St. Louis office remotely. In February of 2007 I moved into a team lead role and I find it all fascinating.

The last few years have been busy. I’ve been going to school part time, working on a bachelor’s in Management Information Systems (to learn how to do what I’ve been doing for the last seven years!) and Technical Communication. It’s fun and rewarding and I love it, but it does make me tired.

My parents are Phyllis and Dale. I have and older sister, Sheila, and three younger siblings: brother Ryan, sister Sha, and brother Kevin. Sheila is married to Tim, and they have two sons, Vince (11) and Mitchel (8), who I adore. They play a lot of sports and I love to watch them. Ryan has two boys, too, Tim (13) and Trevor (9). They live in Wisconsin with their mother and I don't see them nearly often enough.

I’ve moved around a lot, mostly in the Minneapolis area. I grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, and then lived in Macon, Georgia for two years. I moved back to Minnesota in 2000, and have since lived in St Louis Park, Shoreview, and now Coon Rapids. I spend a lot of time in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and I consider it my second home.

Non-spam emails are encouraged: desi at fifteenthirty dot net.

100 Things

100 (Or So) Things About Me

  1. I've walked out of exactly one movie: Payback, with Mel Gibson. Could. not. sit. through. it.
  2. I met Tim Conway when I was about 12 years old. I have an autograph somewhere...
  3. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 18.
  4. I've been in two car accidents. The first happened a few months after getting my license. Even though the woman who hit me ran a red light, I was blamed for the accident. The second was when a young woman rear-ended me on the way home and then drove off. I got her plate number, so she was found, and there wasn't too much damage to my car.
  5. I don't hate anyone.
  6. I prefer white bread for sandwiches. I'm talking "Wonder" bread. I can't stand the crust on bakery white bread, either. Yes, I know white flour is bad for you. Yes, I try to limit it. But sometimes you just need bread, and the softer the better for me. The new Sara Lee whole grain white bread is brilliant!
  7. I absolutely love standing in a nice warm downpour, if it's not thundering or lightening. Thunder and lightening don't bother me, particularly, but I'm smart enough to know that standing outside in lightening is not the brightest move.
  8. My first crush ever was on Bryan Johnson in kindergarten. He was so adorable... blonde, with blue eyes.
  9. I remember crushes on girls as early as third or fourth grade, and all the way through high school. I never realized they were crushes until I came out when I was 22. I never said I was quick.
  10. When I lived in GA for two years, I really missed the snow. That surprised me a lot. I worked in the office at a cold storage warehouse, though, and a friend of mine there knew I was homesick one day, so she went in to the blast freezer and made me a snowball. It was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me.
  11. I don't like cooked vegetables very much. Occasionally, though, I'll want raw veggies such as green beans, broccoli, etc. with some ranch dip. I like salad, but my salads consist of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. French (preferably Western) and ranch dressing on the side.
  12. I worked at my first real job (a bakery where I started out frosting donuts and ended up the office manager) for so long some of the new counter workers once thought I was part of the family that owned the bakery.
  13. I almost never wear jewelry. Maybe twice a year. My ears are pierced, and they have been since I was around 12, but despite not wearing earrings in the last dozen years, they haven't closed up. In fact, I think I could still get a starter pair in there with no trouble.
  14. I LOVE going to the movies. Mostly for the popcorn, but I love going to the movies. I even love the sticky floors. It's the experience.
  15. Spring is my favorite season... I just love watching everything come back to life. Seeing everything get green, sitting by the river (or any water) and watching how it moves, the smell of rain and cut grass. Mmm!
  16. When I was little, I loved ketchup on everything I ate. My mother had to hide the bottle from me, which got her quite a few odd looks from waitresses who thought she was trying to steal it.
  17. When I was seven, I was the Jr. Queen of Bloomington, MN (sponsored by the VFW, heh). I went on to be the First Princess of the Minneapolis Aquatennial when I was eight. They've since stopped the Junior Royalty part of the festival. I'm not sure, but I think it might have something to do with the big yellow hoop dress I wore at the coronation.
  18. I have an older sister, but she didn't live with us so for psychological purposes, I was the oldest child. I fall pretty neatly into that category.
  19. My mother's family was apparently traced back to John Jacob Astor, who died on the Titanic. I've seen none of his wealth in my life. I say apparently because I have not seen proof myself, but my cousin Shannon would like me to point out that she has.
  20. My favorite spot in the world is on the banks of the Mississippi River in Montissippi Park, in Monticello, MN.
  21. I've traveled out of the US one time: to Costa Rica when I was a senior in high school. It was a wonderful week! We spent two days at a home stay, a couple days in the rain forest (we swam in the middle of the forest with monkeys swinging in trees over our heads), a couple days on the beach, a day on the Arenal Volcano, and a day in downtown San Jose.
  22. I have no tonsils.
  23. The first person I ever remember dying was my maternal grandfather. I was almost four. Shortly after that, my paternal grandmother died.
  24. I really like going on road trips.
  25. When my sister and I were young, we shared a room, complete with bunk beds. We used to like to play this game where she'd get on the top bunk and my brother and I would lie on the bottom bunk and lift the top bunk up with our feet. One day we didn't get the top bunk put back in quite right, and when I went to sleep that night and jumped on to the top like I did every day, the top fell through and on to my sister. If she hadn't been sleeping with her face turned to the left, it would have crushed her face. Thankfully, she wasn't hurt at all - just pissed at me! She's over it now.
  26. I've been downhill skiing three times in my life, and only fallen once. Do not mistake this for skill.
  27. When I was in tenth grade my hair was down to my butt. I cut off over twelve inches and it still went pretty far past my shoulders. Now my hair is less than two inches long, and while I think about growing it out a lot, the interim would be so painful that I doubt I ever will.
  28. My brother Ryan and I are 19 months apart, and we fought a lot as kids. I was about twice as heavy as him, though, so when he wanted to fist fight I frequently just got him to the floor and sat on him until our mother got home. I was very afraid that I'd hurt him if I hit him. He didn't like it much when I sat on him for hours at a time. ;) One time, I got sick of sitting on him so I got up and made a break for my bedroom. He threw a piece of petrified wood down the hall at me and it hit my bedroom door right as I closed it. There is still a petrified-wood-shaped-hole in my bedroom door at my parents' house.
  29. I am physically unable to eat cooked (canned or frozen) green beans. They literally make me gag. I absolutely adore raw green beans, though, with ranch dip. I've recently started trying to eat fresh ones, sauteed with some balsamic vinegar.
  30. I've never broken a bone.
  31. My parents’ friend Gary gave me my first nickname, "Dizzy Desi," on the day that I was born. When I was in elementary school I was more often called, "Desi the Lezzie." The irony astounds me. No, really.
  32. I rarely use an umbrella when it's raining. I almost never use an umbrella when it isn't.
  33. I love my job, and sometimes still can't believe they pay me to do it.
  34. I had tubes in my ears. They stayed in much longer than they were supposed to.
  35. I can't sing worth a damn. That doesn't stop me from singing in the car.
  36. My right foot isn’t normal, but I’m not exactly clear on what’s wrong with it. Basically I walk on the right side of it, and it cracks all the time. All of my shoes are worn much more on the right outside edge than on the bottom.
  37. My father is one of eight children, and his father was one of twelve. My cousin Timmy used to warn me to make sure I wasn't related to someone before I dated them. I thought that was funny until my younger sister dated two guys in a row who were (unknowingly to her or us before they started dating) linked to our family. My mom and I counted once, and I think we came up with 23 first cousins, who have 35 kids between them, and those people probably have at least a dozen kids between them. I'm closer in age to most of the 35 kids than the 23 cousins.
  38. My half-sister is related to some of our cousins twice. Her mother's uncle married our father's sister, and her mother is also related to the man our paternal aunt married, so she's first and second cousins with several people. This is not in-breeding, this is what happens in a town of 200 people.
  39. I'm very easily bored. See #40.
  40. I once decided to see what would happen if I stuck a pin through my fingernail. It hurts like a bitch, that's what happens. Don't ask how old I was because I don't know. But rest assured I was quite old enough to know better.
  41. I love smart TV. West Wing, Buffy, Lost.
  42. I danced competitively from the time I was four til I was nine. I won the right to compete at Nationals in St. Louis once, but had to skip the competition because of an Aquatennial commitment. That one missed competition turned me against Aquatennial for the duration. I quit dancing when I was nine because I was in a class of twelve year olds and they didn't have much use for a nine year old.
  43. I have PCOS, which, among other things, means me periods are weird, the hair on my head is thinning, it's hard to lose weight, and I have to shave a little bit of my neck once a week or so. I have medication that helps with all of these, they're still there.
  44. One of my best friends in high school was Heidi. We kept in touch after school but started to drift apart a few years later, and only talked a couple of times a year, even though we still lived in the same area. When I came out, I avoided contacting her because I was afraid to tell her I was gay... when I finally did, she said, "Me, too!" and shocked the hell out of me. She's still one of my best friends.
  45. My friend Laura was one of my best friends for eight years before we met in person. She lives in North Carolina. It wasn't awkward when we finally met. It was like we'd seen each other every day for those eight years.
  46. I think Joss Whedon is brilliant and amazing.
  47. The very last play of the last softball game I played in high school was a line drive to me. Nothing noteworthy about that, except that I'd had a feeling it was going to be, and had moved three feet to the left just before the pitch. I didn't have to move to catch that ball.
  48. Hearing the Star Spangled Banner in person almost always brings me to tears.
  49. I also get teary every time my nephews have a hockey tournament where their team is announced one by one.
  50. The office where I work has a family of Peregrine falcons that nest here every year. I love to watch them soar and play out the window.
  51. My middle name is Kay.
  52. Until January of 2000 when my maternal grandmother died, the most devastating death in my life was Heath, my godparents' son. He died of a brain tumor when he was six. I still and never will understand how that can happen.
  53. In 2002 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and then undiagnosed. I'd lost nearly 40 pounds in between those two doctor visits, and I still say telling me I didn't have it was probably the worst thing they could have done. In December of 2005, I was rediagnosed. There seems to be a specific weight for me and once I cross it, my blood sugar falls in the diabetic range.
  54. My eyes are blue with white kind of starbursts in them.
  55. I like a little popcorn with my butter and salt.
  56. I walked on an active volcano. After we finished walking on it, we waited at the bottom for it to erupt. It was beautiful. It was the Arenal in Costa Rica.
  57. I adore watching my nephews play hockey, and nearly cried when I got to see Mitchel get his participation medal last year year. I didn’t get to see Vinnie get his, but I would have been teary for that, too.
  58. When I was in kindergarten, my teacher had never had another Desi before. That year, in the same half-day class, there were three of us. I'm still very close to one of them.
  59. My family has many people named Tim: Uncle "Big" Tim, Cousin "Little" Tim (Big Tim's son), Brother-in-law Tim, and Nephew Tim.
  60. My nephew Trevor and I have a lot in common. We're both insanely crazy and do very odd things. We also both have a single freckle on our right nipples.
  61. I like driving in the snow.
  62. I like some reality TV: Survivor. Amazing Race. Real World. Road Rules. All the challenges that go with those two. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Surreal Life. Work Out. I really hate other reality TV: Top Model, any of the design shows. Top Chef. None of those really got me.
  63. My little brother Kevin is biologically my cousin. He's 18 now, and has lived with my family since he was 2. He was removed from his parents' home because his father was abusive to his mother (my mother's sister). He was originally called our foster child, but after a couple years it became apparent that his mother wasn't doing what she needed to do to get him back, the state made my mother his legal guardian. He calls her mom, and has since he was about four and asked her if he could.
  64. I'm almost always tired, and almost always warm.
  65. If I ever lose all my extra weight and my breasts don't get smaller? There will be a reduction surgery.
  66. I didn't have my first kiss until I was 22 years old.
  67. I would much rather be cold than hot, which is part of why, while I occasionally miss Georgia, I prefer the weather in Minnesota. You can put more clothes on, but you can't get naked enough to be comfortable in Georgia in August. Also, there is no excuse for stepping out of your house at 8 a.m. to 85 degrees!
  68. I won an Employee Excellence award in October of 2001.
  69. I failed my first driver's test when I took it in my mother's huge van. I ELIMINATED that cone in the parallel parking part. The second time I took it in my aunt's Mercury Topaz and while I bumped the cone, I didn't knock it over. I passed. I never quite understood that, but I didn't argue.
  70. I absolutely adore the Buffy TV series. Hated the movie big time. I was very sad about the show ending, but it was time.
  71. My pinky toenails are little stubs, not like normal nails. Half of the people in my family are the same.
  72. My full first name is Desiree, but it is pronounced with a long e sound at the end instead of long a.
  73. I would love to have a baby, but I'm not sure I'll ever happen. I've accepted that.
  74. I really love lips. Smiles are very important to me.
  75. I love flying.
  76. I am incredibly happy that my little sister Sha has turned out to be a cool person. She and I are great friends these days and that's wonderful.
  77. When I came out to my friend Rachael, she sent me flowers at work with a card that said, "Desi - You know you" Love, Rachael" She told me later that was a mistake, she had meant to say, "You know I love you," but I liked it better the way it was. Even though we're not friends anymore, I still have that card on my desk at work because it reminds me that I do know me.
  78. My birthday is December 28.
  79. I type about 80 words per minute; I think most of my typos happen because my fingers move faster than my brian.
  80. If I had to pick one thing I like about the way I look, it'd be my eyes. I like them.
  81. I think that Sela Ward, Jane Seymour, and Sharon Osbourne are sexy as hell. And not "for their age."
  82. I played Scrabble online for years. None of my family will play with me anymore because they believe I cheat by using what they call "Scrabble words" like qat, xi, and yoni.
  83. I believe in the five-second rule. At my house, at least.
  84. I also believe in Santa Clause.
  85. I absolutely adored my birds, and I miss them a lot.
  86. I was in a pontoon that nearly flipped once. Yes, a pontoon! We had too many people on the boat (I was only 14 or so, so don’t blame me) and not nearly enough people were wearing life jackets. The right-front fin on the right pontoon had broken off partway and drove the front of the boat straight in to the water. Everyone ran for the back. Then everyone calmed down and spread out and we (slowly) made it to our destination. It was scary as hell, and I was near the front when it happened. I remember feeling like I did when the camera shows the shark coming out of the water in JAWS.
  87. I pick up accents really easily. I never heard one on me when I lived in GA, but my family teased me for it when I visited. I also pick up words. Though I resisted, I did call pop soda after a while, and occasionally reckoned. I swore if I ever said I was fixin' to do anything, though, it would be time to go home. My boss swore I was going to end up with a split personality and say I was "fixin' to get some pop". I never fixed to do anything. ;)
  88. I love the smell of rain, and also of fresh-cut grass.
  89. I have Osgood Schlatter in my left knee. As such, I was under doctor’s orders to not run in gym class since 4th grade. In high school he let me run about half way around the track and that was it. I generally ran the stopwatch when everyone else was running the mile.
  90. When I was part of the Aquatennial Junior Royalty, I had to give speeches and attend parades and coronations every weekend. I never had any problem speaking in front of an auditorium of adults at age seven. Speaking in front of groups unnerves me now, but I usually do just fine, especially if I can be funny.
  91. Despite growing up and coming out in Minneapolis area, as of this writing I still know fewer than 15 gay people in the state.
  92. Dimples may very well be my downfall one day. I'm a complete sucker for them.
  93. When I came out to my mother, I had no idea how she’d take it. I honestly thought she knew, at least on some level. I was still living at home then, so I made arrangements to have an elsewhere to go if necessary, called her in to my sister’s room (where Sha was waiting for moral support) and spit it out. She covered her mouth, ran up stairs crying and threw up. I was devastated. I left for work not knowing if it’d be okay for me to go home that night, and before I even got to work my mom had called me to tell me that she loved me. She’s come a long way and is now (and has been for a while) totally cool with me being gay. I’m very impressed with her.
  94. I love the Harry Potter books, and my favorites in order are: 3 - 5 - 4 - 6 - 1 - 2. I really didn’t like the second book, though the movie was okay.
  95. I adore accents of all kinds. They’re a big weakness of mine. Ditto dimples. We're talking serious weak knees.
  96. I can use chop sticks fairly proficiently. When the first thing you do with fried rice is use the sticks to pick out all the peas and carrots, you get a lot of practice.
  97. I got my first grey hair when I was twelve, and my cousin Shannon pulled it for me. Now my hair is fairly salt-and-pepper on the sides, but I sometimes color it these days and it's generally just a lighter shade of brown than my natural color.
  98. I really, really don't like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It's freaky and icky and Gene Wilder is evil in it. *shudder* I am still afraid to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, despite really wanting to see Johnny Depp in it.
  99. I watched Airforce One so many times that the tape nearly wore out - then I finally remembered to pick up the DVD.
  100. I worked in a cold storage warehouse (big freezer) in Georgia and our main customer was a neacby chicken plant. We froze the chicken, and then processed their exports to 20 different countries in Europe and Asia. As such, I have the unfortunate knowledge that there are Grade A, and Grade B chicken feet. China was the only place that ever imported either kind.

From the ashes

I don’t know what got in to me last night, but I got it in my head that I needed to redesign my site and I stayed up until 4 a.m. doing it.

Don’t think that didn’t mean I woke up at my normal 7 a.m. to go to the bathroom. And of course I still woke up again at 9 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. I swear I could go to sleep at 6 and still have to get up at 7 to pee!

I’m doing a spectacular job of procrastinating, avoiding my microeconomics textbook. All morning I’ve been tweaking the site template and I think I’m finally done messing with it. I also made a nice breakfast and cleaned the kitchen. Now I’m settling in to watch a couple of episodes of Dark Angel, and then I’m going to take a much-needed nap.

It’s been a tough week, but I’m trying to stay distracted. Later I do need to crack that book, and I should probably make a run to Target. I definitely need to get my hair cut soon! I’ve let it go because I was toying with the idea of growing it out, but that’s never going to work unless I buy a wig for the interim, because damn. My hair does whatever it wants.

Tomorrow I think I’m going to Easter dinner at my aunt Avis’ house, and more studying. I only have two weeks left of this econ class and I’ve slacked off most of the semester. At least I’m doing well in the editing class.

Have a good weekend!

April 27, 2007

This is a GOOD DAY!

I present to you the following evidence:

  • I’m still waiting on my editing class grade, but my microeconomics one came in this morning and was a B-. I was hoping and praying for a C-, so this would be better.
  • I have the day off because I’m packing. Well, mostly. I’m checking emails and available by cell and had a few hours worth of stuff to do.
  • I’m packing because I’m going to North Carolina this evening.
  • I’m going to North Carolina this evening to see my very good friend Laura! She’s visited me several times in the last few years, but though we’ve been friends almost twelve years, I’ve never been down there. We’re going horseback riding, getting her daughter ready and sent off to her first prom, and hanging out with some of her friends. I. can. not. wait.

Yesterday was a good day, too!

  • I got a lot done at work.
  • I got to see my cousin Angie.
  • I had a good talk with Katie.
  • I went to dinner at Pi with M, Melanie and Eric, and Wendy joined us later just in time to kick my ass at pool. Twice. Pi was PACKED because of Dining for Life, which was awesome.

And now, I have a conference call to attend and then I finish packing and get ready to head to the airport.

Oh, and also... my friend Desiree asked me to help her son with his Flat Stanley project. My sister and I spent the day being a tourist in Minneapolis, then took him to a Twins game. You can see pictures of Flat Stanley's adventure here. I may make a separate post later talking about the process, but we'll see!

April 30, 2007

Such an awesome weekend.

It’s been a long day. My alarm went off at 4 and I was dressed by 4:07. I got to the airport in plenty of time to find that the terror alert was at the orange level. Apparently, it was orange on Friday as well, but the Minneapolis airport did not find it necessary to tell me!

After two gate/plane changes, I got in to Durham an hour or so late. Laura picked me up but we were both exhausted so I just checked into my hotel and said goodnight. Early the next morning, we hit Waffle House for breakfast. Ironically, we had to change tables twice before we could order! Apparently I was not destined to be able to sit still for that 24 hour period.

Waffle House Casa de Waffle picante sauce

It was not my best Waffle House meal, but it was good company! And it brought back good memories. I miss the Waffle House. Though, I was excited about how fast the order came out until I realized they achieved that by not cooking my eggs remotely long enough.

After breakfast we had a couple of hours of drama while we tried to locate Laura’s daughter, and once we found her, it was time to get her ready for prom. Her son Jason wowed me with his card tricks while Laura and her sister did Jess’ hair and makeup and pinned her into her dress. Then it was off to take pictures, where I was designated the person who had to say where the best shots would be. My sister is the photographer, not I! But we got some great shots.

After we finished the prom stuff, Laura and I picked up her friend Lainie and we headed to a seafood place where we had, among other things, THE BEST calamari evar. It’s kind of unnatural how much I’ve thought of it since then. That wasn’t even my dinner… I ordered prime rib and a side of crab legs, but the waitress thought I wanted a whole order of crab legs. Who orders an 8 ounce prime rib and two pounds of crab legs for one dinner? Fortunately, Lainie helped me eat them. It was tough work, but we muddled through.

Sunday was the horsie and driving day. From the hotel to where Cowboy (Laura's horse) lives to make sure he was out, then to Lainie’s to pick her up and go see the baby horse (where we got the bad news that she probably wouldn’t make it), then back to Lainie’s to get the horse trailer, back to where Cowboy lives to get him, back to Lainie’s to get the horses ready for the ride*.

After the ride, we took Cowboy home and headed to Laura’s parents’ house for dinner. It was loud and rowdy and lots of fun. Her parents were adorable and her daddy called me “Sug.”

It was an awesome trip and I can’t wait to go back!

*I did well on the ride! I rode Lainie's horse Peanut. Up on the first try, and though I was nervous to start (I’d forgotten how damned far up you are on a horse!) I got comfortable quickly and didn’t whine or squeal, even when she took off in a short trot. I hope it’s not another 20 years before I ride again!

Cowboy and me
Peanut and me
Pretty pretty peanut
Cowboy's closeup

There are a few more North Carolina pics here.

About April 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Fifteenthirty - here we go. in April 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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