30 July 2005

What's on now

There's nothing much on tv tonight (well, until Inuyasha at midnight). Movies are hit or miss if they're not premieres. Oxygen actually invests some in their movie repertory, but tonight they're airing Picture Perfect which I've already seen.

In 1997 a friend and I decided to go to a movie at the brand-spanking-new AMC 20 at the Tallahassee mall, though we had yet to pick a film since we were meeting up with a couple guy acquaintances of his. Buffet was a beer drinking, baseball watching, beer drinking, football watching, beer drinking kind of guy, and he suggested an appropriately guy movie that I had no interest in. None of the movies looked very good to me, as I recall, but Picture Perfect seemed the most promising.

Buffet groaned and rolled his eyes. He wanted to outflank me with testosterone, but his new friends were willing to see whatever I was seeing. As a compromise, I suggested we split up- I'd see Picture Perfect and they'd see whatever- but Buffet had a thing about seeing movies alone and wouldn't subject someone else to that, so all the boys went with me to the romantic comedy.

The film, though enjoyable, was not great, but their unexpected and unlooked for surrender made it special to me.

Chateau Trente-neuf

Last night's Monk had a scene at my beloved, though sometimes shady, bowling alley Shatto 39 on the edge of Koreatown in LA.

The last time I was there, I was so broke that I bowled in my socks.

29 July 2005

Where is my big, blonde, Swede?

Seriously, I could use one to work this knot out of my back. On the upside, I'm not thinking about my shoulder-strain-induced slow typing as much today; but then this is the solve your arm pain by hitting your foot with a hammer approach.

28 July 2005


So I'm experiencing the effects of sleep deprivation displaced by one day, and it's taking much effort to stay awake today. I should probably just go to bed even if, god forbid, it means waking up at some semblance of a reasonable hour tomorrow, but I doubt I'll let it come to that.

26 July 2005

Daiquiri lost

The amazing Japanese restaurant that we hit for special occasions in my youth burned down yesterday. It hasn't been a restaurant in 9 years, but it still makes me sad. A sizable group of my parents friends, mom, dad, my brother and I would sit on cushions on the floor, our shoes off, legs stretched under the low table trying foods I'd never heard of before. I had my first taste of a strawberry daiquiri there: it was the first alcoholic beverage to have a taste I liked.

Shuji's opened in 1969 and closed in 1998. Wasn't due to a lack of business, there was just no one else capable of running it, and the owners wanted to retire. It was special, and I'm grateful I was able to experience it.

25 July 2005

tip of the week- typing

Exhibit more sympathy for people who don't know how or can't type (at least until my shoulder strain abates ;)

Inspector No. 12, where were you?

The tag said it was my size, but the deep seam imprints on my hip joints protested it was not. If you must err, let the underwear tag claim to be a size smaller than it is, not larger.

21 July 2005

Casuistry, a word for our times

I learned this word a few days ago and am just so fond of it.

casuistry: * n. the use of clever but unsound reasoning, esp. in relation to moral questions; sophistry. * the resolving of moral problems by the application of theoretical rules to particular instances.
(source: The New Oxford American Dictionary, second edition, 2005)

Come on, use it in a sentence; you know you want to.

19 July 2005

The book doth murder sleep, the innocent sleep

The past few nights I've had trouble getting to sleep. I thought by finishing the book I might calm my night demons, but I suspect tonight will be no better. What Should I Do With My Life? is a book woven from tales of regular people seeking their own answers to the titular question: people seeking more than a day-job, people trying to find meaning and fulfillment in their lives and work.

That most of them had little clarity when they started was reassuring to me when I started reading, but as I got further into the book, my own indecisiveness weighed more heavily on me. I have no plan and haven't for a long time. I had some goals years ago, but no real strategy for achieving them and certainly no contingency plans. If I had, I might at least have developed a greater tolerance for detours.

In the book, basically no one changed their life, even if they were unhappy, until something significantly bad happened to them (an illness, injury, loss of job, getting screwed over in court, etc.). I knew it to be true, but the more I read, the more it really sank in. My situation, though flawed, is way too comfortable to be a catalyst of significant change. So now what? Do I wait for or precipitate that negative situation? No, but there are likely only stumbling baby steps to be made in the interim. I'm not entirely nowhere, but it sure feels like it.

If you're up for some soul-searching, give it a read.

A day late, dollars short, and my frustration in ample supply

I feel fucking stupid right now. The one question I should've asked yesterday, I didn't. I don't know why I didn't articulate it. I didn't even jot it down with my list of questions though it was foremost in my mind. It's not that big a deal as I'm only out the cost of a box of checks, but it's frustrating. I'm angry with myself for letting my hopes of what was true deter me from getting the facts before making a commitment.

On the upside, I'm less bothered that I was called stupid at lunch. Not "You are stupid," but "You don't have to give them those haircuts, Stupid," which somehow seemed less offensive than the former though conveying the same idea. "Don't take anything personally," from The Four Agreements came to mind: good in theory, but I didn't know how to let it go. Calling me stupid was pretty childish, I thought, since I was only trying to explain why people breed labra-doodles, golden doodles, and other poodle mixes. I'm well aware that poodles don't have to have those goofy haircuts; there are lots of other reasons people mix breeds. I'd suggested some of those reasons before being called stupid, so I knew rehashing them was pointless. My aggravation percolated as the conversation moved back to the best places to live article in Money magazine. It was a topic that interested me, but I couldn't focus on it.

If I'd even jokingly called my mom stupid, she would've held back tears, said she wasn't even allowed to express an opinion, and she likely would've sulked and snapped her way through the rest of the day even if I apologized. She can give teasing, but not take it, and she doesn't recognize that fact at all. She wasn't joking when she called me stupid; she said it to demean my intellect. If she realized how rude her intonation was, she didn't cop to it. That she resents my education despite her best intentions bothers me more than the actual dig; but I know it has little to do with me, so I didn't confront her.

I also know my own inflections are often misinterpreted, something that often feels like the doom of my family: surely inflections are learned behavior, and if you grow up in an environment where the inflections are often off, it makes sense that behavior would perpetuate itself. I've gotten better at recognizing my own inflection missteps and do what I can to make it right. My own behavior and reactions are all I can control, and I'm mollified by knowing that I'm doing the best I can in this aspect of my life.

18 July 2005

tip of the week- savings account with $25 opening bonus

*Update 12/5/05: interest rate increased to 3.75%*

If you'd like to open a savings account with ING direct, you can get a $25 bonus when I refer you (I'll get $10).

ING Orange Savings is an online FDIC-insured savings bank currently paying 3.40% interest: no fees, no minimums.

So if you're sick of the pitiful interest, fees, and minimums of your bank's savings account, check it out. (You don't have to change banks as the ING savings account will link to your existing checking account.)

For more info, click here.

There's a good article in Money magazine (April 2005) called "Five Questions to ask before you bank online" if you want more reassurance.

If you're interested, leave a comment with your first and last name and the email address where you'd like to receive the referral or e-mail the info to me at: nomad_claire at yahoo dot com.

have a nice day!

17 July 2005

Missing blood

How tired am I of hearing perky, energetic women lament their lack of menstruation these last many months. Usually it's followed by some expression of concern about their health. "I'm going to see a doctor about it," they say, but then some months pass and the lamentations resume, no action having been taken. Sometimes I feel like I bleed for them all.

Shot through the heart

this is an audio post - click to play
(run time 0:11)

16 July 2005

Behind the Harry Potter lines

The release of this latest Harry Potter tome takes me back to my firsthand experience of the craze in July 2000.

The store was dead when I arrived, but there was more staff on hand than I'd ever seen at once including staff meetings. Managers and staff from the other branch had joined us for the release of Harry Potter IV: Goblet of Fire.

Since our district manager and the regional vice president were due to show up sometime during the night, we were assigned SONICing. Straight, Organized, Neat, Impeccably Clean. I.e., arrange the books symmetrically tall to short while placing hardbacks face out favoring an aesthetic over alphabetical order.

To get out of the alpha-pretty initiative, I pointed out that I still had books to put out from that week's shipment. Since I had the weekend off, the books wouldn't get touched again until Monday; thankfully, my argument was persuasive, so I spent the next couple of hours productively.

Around 8:50, I was in the back putting away some overstocks when a manager suggested I stop shelving and help with crowd control. I walked back onto the floor now swarming with over a hundred people that seemed to have materialized instantaneously.

Kids in costumes, parents milling, and everyone with questions including the staff. With the bookstore’s usual bureaucracy, the directives I'd read merely said what was supposed to happen, not where or who or how; it was chaos.

I initially dodged face painting in favor of wizard hat making, but once I saw the supplies we had I had no more idea than the kids what we were expected to do with 8x11 pieces of construction paper in terms of making a hat. Dante and I set up some tables, covered them with paper, spread stuff out, and basically left each other hanging as we took turns wandering off until Dante decided it was a wizard hat design contest.

The company big-wigs arrived with the tv crew and added to the mayhem. The roar of conversation drowned out the store music and intercom as more people arrived.

Around ten, I ended up face painting to relieve Brandi so she could judge costumes. I'd never done it before, but once I realized that the expectations were low, and the kids and adults thought I was good, I had fun with it. Lightning bolts, leopards, cats, baseballs, rainbows, hearts, stars: I painted them all.

And then I was back in the fray.

My mistake was going back to customer service. We'd been taking reserves for the book up to the day before, but during the night the regional v.p. told people we'd keep taking reserves. We only had about 50 books beyond the existing list, so I started counting as we added names. Holding 'The List' was simply a bad idea. For 45 minutes, a steady stream of people asked me to add their names or to verify that they were already on The List. They asked about the procedure of getting books. (There wasn't one yet.) People started forming lines without provocation. One guy stood in front of customer service for a couple of hours saying he was just going to follow The List.

I got away and left The List behind to help some poor suckers who'd come in for regular shopping. They were very understanding as I stood in the aisles with a pronounced inability to concentrate.

Rockstar, our shipping and receiving clerk, wasn't working but stopped by to witness the mayhem. He commented that I looked stressed out and asked if I'd had a break yet; I hadn't. By then it was after 11 PM, I was losing my voice, and I was totally dehydrated. He kindly bought me a drink from the cafe and set it in the back room for me.

Finally a plan emerged (albeit a bad one) for distributing the books. Two separate lines: the reserved folk at customer service (that guy was smart to follow The List) and the nonreserved at the front. Of course knowing we were going to be short copies, it was ill-advised to have both lines going simultaneously, but that was the directive of the regional v.p., and what she says, you do.

I hung to the back and started putting away all the magazines and books on the floor and benches. The store was a disaster, and the last thing I wanted to do was spend forever cleaning after everyone had gone.

After a while they ran out of copies for both lines; I was glad I didn't have to deal with the people who'd reserved books in advance and hadn't gotten them. Once most of the patrons had departed, a calm swept over the store. Our district manager bought us all drinks from the cafe, so I scored a second Snapple Rain, but that was little compensation for the fact that none of us had gotten dinner breaks.

After the refreshment, I finished cleaning up the magazine section by myself as the rest of the crew hoped and waited for the DM to leave. She didn't. She wasn't going to leave until she had all the numbers for the other stores in her district.

Regaining some motivation, Dante and I then picked up the most dreaded part of the store: the kids' section, while Brandi vacuumed obstinate piles of sparkles from the hat design area and everywhere else they were tracked. Our lurking patrons left, we locked the doors, and I clocked out at twenty to two.

At least I didn't have to be back in the morning like some other folks. Two days off in a row was going to be a real treat.

15 July 2005

Question mark, jerk

Ever since they tore up a nearby road in preparation for repaving, my dad's become an over-zealous navigator; even on undisturbed roads, he veers to miss manhole covers that he's never bothered to miss before. This results in an innards sloshing that's more disturbing than hitting the small depression would have been.

He also drives the sedan as if it has no turning radius, pulling right before a big arc to the left to park, what I've recently dubbed the Question Mark Jerk. I commented on it today, but my cadence was off, so it sounded like I was calling him a jerk as he turned the engine off.

"Not you, the action. A Question-Mark-Jerk... for how you pull in to park." I was waving my arms in a violent imitation of turning the steering wheel that was actually a desperate attempt to rewind the last few moments. In restored good humor, we walked to the faux 50s diner; instead of a question mark, he joked, it was more of "a circle jerk."

Knowing this came from a man who refers to violence on television as pornographic, I glanced back at him fairly certain he had no idea what it meant while vaguely wondering if it had some other meaning, and said, "Um, no," authoritatively, but without explanation.

14 July 2005

Sing along

Today's not discernibly different from yesterday for me except that it's ten degrees hotter, it's more humid, and I find myself singing. No good news, no occasion, just singing and the pleasure that comes from a day I find a little more range, and a little more control without trying for it.

This afternoon's song stylings:
"Not enough time" - INXS
"Pick yer nose" - Ani DiFranco
"Midgets with guns" - Pain
"Chains of love" - Erasure
"Alphabet street" - The Accidentals

13 July 2005


There's something very satisfying about the thwack a golf ball makes when you hit it squarely. The driving range has been open for a couple months, but today was the first time this summer I'd been out to hit some balls. It was a really nice day for it: overcast, humid, but only 71 degrees. There were a few people driving over on the side that's open, so I had the row of roofed booths to myself. After about ten strokes, I thought wow, I haven't hit any into the cage, and immediately feared I'd jinxed myself. When I was in high school, a few misdirected swings always resulted in that embarrassing ricochet which made me cover my head and cower until the ball dribbled away onto the grass. Maybe luck was with me because no one was watching.

No, I'll give myself more credit than that; I was paying attention to form and generally keeping my eye on the ball. I was hitting about 100 yards for the first half of the bucket: for distance, nothing impressive, my consistency was the noteworthy thing. Nearly every stroke started straight and then curved right about two-thirds out veering the same amount each time.

In a recent episode of Queer Eye (I swear I just caught a few minutes of it), Kyan was telling a guy to line up with the ball between his feet. That's how I'd always done it growing up, but some other show or something got me to start lining up the ball with my left foot last year. Today I reverted to between the legs, but it didn't feel significantly better, so after about 20 balls, I switched back to the left foot line up and started hitting 125 yards.

What's awesome is that it's not all about how hard you hit the ball. A drive executed with attention, though it might appear to be a slow motion swing, can yield the same distance as a fast swing. It's great meditation: for each swing, I have to do my best to be in that moment without distraction if I want to hear that thwack. Now if I can just figure out what I'm doing to end up with a curve ball...

12 July 2005

I miss Michael Hutchence

How bizarre is it to replace a band member lost to suicide by way of American Idol style tv? I suppose no more so than having an official memorial website.

Although INXS is looking for a new singer, guitarist Tim Farriss says the band isn't "in any way, shape or form trying to replace Michael Hutchence."

"What we really want is somebody who brings their own personality along and someone completely different," Farriss told AP Radio in a recent interview.

I caught a piece of Rock Star: INXS tonight and saw some impressive performances by men and women. The band deserves to move on, to fill MH's slot: I can understand that even if the method of choice seems somewhat disrespectful. I'm just glad I got to see them in concert when they were at their height in the late eighties. Michael Hutchence was something to behold.

Audioblog #6

this is an audio post - click to play
(run time 0:35)

What do you want from me?!

Sometimes I feel like yelling: What do you want from me? when friends I haven't spoken to in a while ask what I've been up to, waiting for some list of accomplishments or significant life changes that were supposed to occur in the interim. The answer is simple because the question is really: What do I want from myself? To make better use of my potential, to take steps that will improve my life, make me happier, and lead to fulfillment. To evolve into a better version of myself.

Deuparth gwaith ei ddechrau.

It's a Welsh proverb that comes to mind: "Beginning is two-thirds of the work." For now, there's nothing specific I care enough about to get started. Clarity exists in things I do not want to do; imagining a career to pursue and stick with for 30, 10, even 5 years is a complete muddle. While trying to make The Right Choice, I've become paralyzed with indecision.

It's like this for many people though I'm finding in my reading of late, and that coupled with the idea that things will get easier once I begin, makes me feel better.

11 July 2005


For most of my life, I abhorred clothes containing any percentage of wool: they were itchy and required no consideration. Three years ago that changed.

I was at a shoe store, one where someone actually brought me shoes and laced them up for me. She insisted I try the shoes with a pair of socks from their display. I wasn't trying to go commando; I had my own socks on, so I scoffed at her wool sock offering. Eventually she convinced me to try them on to see for myself that they weren't itchy, and to ensure a proper fit with the shoes. The socks were expensive, so I just bought the shoes that day, but I soon returned for the socks after a few miserable blistery days: the wool socks provided wicking action necessary for a blister-free fit. I have ever since been a fan of SmartWool socks.

Today I stopped by EMS to see if they had a low-cut SmartWool that would make me look like less of a dork when wearing my black lug-sole Skechers with shorts. Though I'm still far from high fashion, at least I found some socks that will barely stick out of my shoes.

tip of the week- The Closer

Check out The Closer on TNT if you're looking for a drama with new eps through summer. (Mondays at 9 PM and re-aired midnight and Tuesdays at 11 PM)

09 July 2005

Enter deluge

The sky darkened. I thought to myself, "The sky's getting dark." There was a hush, and then a whoosh as the first densely packed drops fell past my window, a single horizontal layer: above, rain; below, dryness rapidly retreating.

07 July 2005


Blink: the Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell posits that snap judgments are often just as good and in many situations better than long deliberated decisions. His argument compels me to rethink my desire to understand myself and my environment predominantly via introspection.

My good friend Splice claims to have excellent gaydar: she is simply confident that she's right in her assessments even without any subsequent verification. That she is insightful, I have no doubt; but not until reading this book have I really considered that she could be as accurate as she thinks she is. Maybe she's thin-slicing the moment like the tennis expert who can always tell when someone is about to double-fault. Consciously I don't like to categorize people: it's an aversion to labeling by assumption because it increases the likelihood that I'll be wrong at some point. That aversion could well be enough to derail my gaydar (assuming such a thing even exists).

When Splice and I got together recently, we discussed a mutual friend's beau. Splice was dismayed they were still together; having met him once, she branded him a loser though I think she phrased it more diplomatically. I'm not one for settling, but there are circumstances in play which could make it a convenient relationship for now, but then I haven't met him. Splice cited her good judgment when it comes to people while I commented on how little I trust my first impressions. Maybe without overanalyzing, by accepting her judgments as true, she has more reliable access to her subconscious impressions than I do.

The book claims it's possible to make better snap judgments, and I'm intrigued enough to read some of his source materials. I should point out that as much as he praises snap judgments, he's careful to point out the egregious errors which can occur when the subconscious makes the wrong conclusions. I would've liked to have seen some discussion of right and left brain behavior; the book skims past the fact that the two sides of the brain can have conflicting preferences which could account for changes in opinion once you try to verbalize something as much as anything else.

04 July 2005

something I love

Shirts that have spare buttons sewn onto the front flap. I'm feeling vocabulary deficient at the moment. Is it a flap? I think that strip where the buttons go has some other name. I also want to call the shirt a button-down shirt, but my mom corrects me every time saying that means a shirt with a button-down collar. Oxford, perhaps, but the dictionary just mentions the shoe style for that.

Unfortunately the only shirts I lose buttons on are the ones without spares.

something I hate:
People who repeatedly say, "I'm terrible at remembering birthdays," after I've just remembered theirs because it's tantamount to saying, "Don't expect me to remember yours because I'm not even going to try." Am I good with numbers? Yes. Is that why I remember lots of people's birthdays? No, not really. I remember because I think it's important to: the oh so elusive talent I employ which helps me do this? Writing them down. When I get a new datebook, I transfer all the birthdays into it which serves as a mini study session each year. After a couple years, I just remember them. Sometimes I learn the wrong date, and it takes a few years to correct it, so no, no special math skills involved. Choose to remember and your chances of succeeding will go up dramatically. Until then, lay off telling me I'm not important enough to you for you to make an effort.

tip of the week- fuel price finder

AAA offers a gas price finder at their site available to anyone, member or not. Go here and input the address or zipcode for the area of your search to get a map and listing of prices at different gas stations in that area. The page includes the average cost for filling a 15 gallon tank as well as a fuel cost calculator to help you determine how much you should budget for fuel on a roadtrip.

Happy 4th!

02 July 2005

Midnight confessions

About a week ago I decided it was time to be less freaked out by snakes. In addition to the reptile houses at zoos and snakes in aquariums in pet stores, I can't stand seeing them in movies or on tv and wouldn't even want to touch a photograph of one.

When I think of snakes, several images come to mind: a black snake about an inch in diameter and a couple feet long that my cousin was supposed to stun with his bb-gun and then throw over the fence so it would continue killing mice. Instead, he cut the snake into three pieces that continued to writhe independently on a stair I had to cross if I wanted to keep up with the boys. I did step over it, and those 3 writhing pieces are burned in my memory.

During possibly the same visit, my dad, brother, uncle, two cousins, and I all went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark . At 7 going on 8, the snake-filled big screen was more than I could stand to watch (otherwise I loved the movie).

When I was in the fourth grade, a rare time of popularity in my life, I sat in the back and talked to a friend while an animal demo was going on. There was a large bird, a falcon or possibly an eagle, that was brought in. The next time I stopped talking to my friend and looked forward, there was a boa constrictor in front of me; I fell over backwards in my chair. We were supposed to touch it to see that it wasn't slimy; I think I managed to do it, but it didn't make snakes seem any less creepy to me. The skinniest, shortest, slithering things in the grass still made me break personal speed records every time.

Several years later I saw The Witches of Eastwick in which the protagonists are faced with their deepest fears. As I recall, it was Cher who gets covered in snakes. I hated the image, but what was worse is that it planted this idea that it was possible I might be faced with this someday. I know it's not rational, but it's there. My fear became a secret to guard. After years of my obsessive avoidance of snakes, I've realized the avoidance is just feeding the phobia. I should at least be able to endure all those snake-apaloozathon promos the SciFi channel is so fond of without being distressed. On an encouraging note, after Cher's character had endured her snake submersion for a while, the devil moved on to something else, and she was ultimately fine.

This desire to dial back my fear probably spawned last night's dream. It started in Europe, in London or France, though I encountered no monuments of significance. "Well, that's done then," I thought to myself, meaning I'd finally traveled to Europe so I could check that off my life's list of things to accomplish. Then I was in a classroom learning to deal with a cobra. Apparently they were less likely to bite you if you gave them a lemon wedge to suck on. A classmate from high school was there, and she got the cobra to chomp down on her lemon wedge while I watched nearby. The old, stocky instructor encouraged me to go next; though I was reluctant, I held out the wedge under her supervision. The cobra chomped down hard into my forearm. She told me to hold its jaws closed for reasons relating to my health, but I was too shocked to comply, and the snake let go. The instructor got the cobra back into its cage, a small room of plexiglass which she entered stooped over slightly. Picking up the snake, she held it's head so its fangs poured venom into a test tube. Somehow this venom was now my cure, but in an instant she lost control of the cobra and was dead on the floor in the cage. My high school friend was gone as happens with dream characters, so I was on my own to get help. For various reasons, no phones in her house worked, and minutes precious to my survival ticked by. Considering that timely aid was essential and I was having no luck obtaining it, I was remarkably calm.

I woke up feeling pain in my arm where the cobra had bitten. It wasn't the first time a real pain had manifested in a dream in some incongruous manner, and I found that reassuring. In the dream, I wasn't that concerned by the cobra, particularly after it'd bitten me. The worst had happened, and I did what I could. Feels like a promising start.

If I make progress here, who knows- maybe I'll be able to desensitize myself to job interviews and apartment applications.

01 July 2005

Think it, and it shall be so

Usually I avoid going to the two closest grocery stores so I can avoid running into people I haven't seen in ten years and the awkward "What have you been doing? What are you up to now?" conversations that ensue, but it was on the way home so we stopped. It was after 4 on the Friday preceding July 4th weekend, so there were lots of cars and business was picking up.

We split up to expedite the process. On my way to the milk, I cut down a random aisle and then backtracked a few steps to grab a box of mini Charleston Chews. After I snagged a quart of 2% milk, I looked for the whipped cream. Milk, regular cream, flavored cream, butter, yogurt, cheese, meat. I walked back again and still didn't see it. On the next wall was a small section of pudding before the freezers. Still no whipped cream. It's always been by the milk in my experience with grocery stores across the country, but not here. I walked back and forth again, and then up to the pudding section. There was an overflowing cart in front of it, and there was the whipped cream, in the well below the railing. I damned whoever chose to put it there and lifted out a can of Reddi-whip.

With all the people walking around, I figured my chances of running into someone I knew were high. No sooner had I thought it, then I looked up and saw a familiar face: a friend's little sister now grown-up. As our eyes met, she said, "hey" with recognition, and I replied in kind. We were both on the move in opposite directions, so it was a fleeting pleasant interaction. Amazingly, her name popped into my head readily; sometimes I have distinct recollections of people from high school but can't come up with their names. I saw several people who could've been in school a few years behind me, but stopped thinking about it, so I wouldn't draw them out. If one did approach, I suppose I could say, "You look great. I didn't recognize you," hoping they wouldn't assume I thought they looked bad before. The worst case would be not to recognize someone from my own class since there were only 51 of us. It's probably best to fess up right away, but I'm not sure I can pull it off with the grace to make it seem acceptable; rather, in my desire to not look like a fool, I'll likely end up looking more of one.