Well…this is odd. I’m not sure if I should virtually wave hello or spend some time making sure none of my personal contact information is available online, so if (when?) I (inevitably? If I haven’t already with that last post) make someone mad, they can’t come find me.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, hey, I’m Angela, and I’m pretty psyched about the opportunity to blog on this site. Actually, I’m just excited to have a way to direct traffic to my writing, instead of just putting it out there and hoping someone other than my friends stumble across it. Hopefully you’ll find what I have to say at least sometimes (I make no promises about ‘all the time’) entertaining and insightful.
The posts that are in this blog so far were imported from my personal blog, which I’d kept since January of this year. I’d kept other blogs before it, but, trust me, what was in them isn’t worth noting. My mind works at a rate of approximately a million miles a minute, so there are plenty of thoughts and posts forthcoming. I hope you’ll keep visiting and enjoy them. PS–I enjoy a good conversation, so, despite what that last post might have you thinking, comments are much encouraged.
In the meantime, you can track me down on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc. etc., or, if you’re interested in a little insight about what I think, do in my spare time, and some humorous background on my relatively short 21 years of life, you can take a look at this Facebook-popularized list of “25 Things You Should Know About Me” (complete with pictures! I’m such a dweeb!)
1.) The only real reason I began keeping a blog – and why I still keep a Twitter, despite my best intentions to delete it – is because I’m fairly certain I’d go crazy and start talking to myself if I didn’t. I have so many thoughts spinning around in my head, all the time, so I need to either write them down or tell someone. The latter option isn’t really an option because I’d be incessantly calling/texting/talking to people, which I can imagine would be utterly annoying for both of the involved parties, so writing was really my only option. The fact that people read what I write (and, every so often, actually care) is just a nice bonus.
2.) Despite this incessant chatter, I’m actually quite shy. Maybe shy isn’t the best word – I just dislike small-talk. If I can strike up a conversation with you that’s not based around the weather, I’ll be talking your ear off in no time, and you won’t possibly be able to understand why I’d ever say I’m shy. But if I don’t really know you and am just exchanging pleasantries, I probably come off quiet, shy or stuck-up. It also doesn’t help that looking people who I’ve just met in the eye often makes me feel weird, so I often avoid people’s gazes without realizing it – which pretty much perpetuates the quiet, shy, stuck-up image. I swear that impression of me is the absolute opposite of what I’m really like.
3.) I also hate talking about myself. Don’t be fooled by the fact that I’m actually filling this out; I am honestly my least favorite subject. This, of course, means that interviews are a problem because they require you, in essence, brag about why you’re so wonderful. So while I may be a great interviewer, when the roles are reversed, and I’m the interviewee, it’s a struggle. If you don’t get what I mean, find a copy of Chuck Klosterman’s “Eating the Dinosaur” (and all his other books if you haven’t read them) and read the first chapter; he explains perfectly.
4.) I have been told I’m less awkward on the phone than I am in person. That’s probably true, but it also probably depends on who I’m having a conversation with, how long I’ve known them, what the relationship is, etc. People probably get that impression because they can’t see me on the other end of the line, where I’m probably using my hands to talk and talking the same way I talk in person.
5.) I love purses. Mine are usually big, bright, and from Target. I have a couple really interesting ones – one is made out of a license plate, and the other is shaped like a Chinese take-out container. And despite how big my purses are, I never seem to leave the house with just one bag.
6.) Speaking of purses, you will always find a few things in mine, besides the usual wallet and keys: my planner, a notebook, my camera, my cell phone and my iPod. You’ll also find a lint comb and lots of Chapstick (we’re talking like two or three sticks, at least). I often also have my voice recorder with me as well.
7.) I drive a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus, and I am absolutely in love with it. It’s not the sportiest car ever, and it’s not particularly special, but it’s really and truly mine, unlike the van that was just the family car I got to drive. I owe my parents money on it, but I still paid the majority of the cost, pay for the insurance and the upkeep, and it’s officially registered in my name. I registered it the day after my 21st birthday, which definitely ranks as one of the milestones in my life so far.
8.) I am a Buffalo Sabres fan, but I am also a hardcore Boston Bruins fan, thanks to my year-and-a-half internship with the team while I was in school in Boston. It was – and will always be – one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and one of my most favorite jobs with some truly incredible people. I was more upset about leaving that internship than just about anything else, except my friends, when I came back to Buffalo; my last day at the Garden was the most tearful out of all my final days in Boston.
9.) I graduated from Boston University a year early because, to be honest, I stopped seeing the point of classes. Journalism is about doing, and you can only go through so many assignments to “learn the technique” before you just want to get out in the real world and do that stuff for real. I wanted to write things for publication, not for grades.
10.) I do miss school a little bit. I’m not sure if I actually miss the homework and the classes, or if it’s just that now I have been forced to find a different “something” to organize my life around, instead of just organizing it around school like I’ve done for the majority of my life. I have considered taking a couple courses in video editing or graphic design because I would like to learn more, and taking a class, rather than just goofing around with Final Cut and Photoshop, seems like a decent idea.
11.) Most of my writing recently has been sports-related, but I originally wanted to (and still want to? I think?) be a music writer. For Rolling Stone, specifically. That dream is still alive, but now I know I can be happy with my career even if I don’t get a byline “on the cover of Rolling Stone.” I just need to get a byline on the cover of Sports Illustrated (kidding, sort of).
12.) I can thank my dad for the Rolling Stone dream. When I first started writing, he made me watch “Almost Famous,” and I think that’s what really solidified the writing thing. That movie, by the way, is my absolute favorite movie ever. My friends and I can quote most of it, and nothing but the “Untitled,” unedited, nearly-three-hour extended version is worth watching.
13.) If my mom hadn’t pushed me to apply to write for The Buffalo News NeXt during freshman year of high school, I’d have probably gone to college for law or something like that. I would probably have not made a very good lawyer. Actually, I don’t know what I would have majored in because up until that point, it was either law or becoming a vet, and I don’t like the idea of either of those. Sociology, perhaps?
14.) If I could bring one person back from the dead, it would be Jack Falla. He wrote a bunch of hockey books and pieces for Sports Illustrated, and when I started interning at the Bruins, all the BU-trained sportswriters raved about how great a teacher Falla was. My boss told me (jokingly, I think?) that I wasn’t allowed back unless I signed up for his class. Well, I did, and Falla passed away of a heart attack two weeks into the semester (on my birthday, nonetheless). My biggest regret is that I never got to learn more from him. If you enjoy hockey at all, you should read his work, especially Home Ice and Open Ice.
15.) My first big journalistic moment came in the summer of 2003, almost a year after I started writing for NeXt. The Goo Goo Dolls are my favorite band, and they were playing a concert that August at Darien Lake. I decided I was going to get myself an interview with them to publish in NeXt. Lo and behold, I dug up their publicist’s contact info, got in touch, and landed an interview with Robby Takac. We talked for almost an hour; I still have it taped, and I have a signed copy of the story framed in my room. That was when I proved to myself I could really do this.
16.) Another cool NeXt moment: in the tradition of the section’s “school swap” articles, a friend and fellow writer, who went to the all-guys St. Joe’s, and I shadowed each other for a day. He danced with a girl in our senior lounge, while I experienced an incredibly awkward health class – a room full of guys, me as the lone girl, and a discussion about childbirth – and it all resulted in two of the funniest, most fun days of high school I can remember. A serious thanks goes out to NeXt editor Jean Westmoore, for giving me a chance to take my crazy ideas and run with them, and for giving me some seriously awesome stories.
17.) My most embarrassing journalistic moment: I’ll be the first to tell you that, when I first started my Bruins internship, I knew very little about hockey, besides the basics of the game. One night, Andrew Ference gets in a fight with a player on the opposing team, and we decide that’s going to be my story. I’m talking to him in the locker room after the game, and I ask how the fight started. He tells me that during the previous face-off, he – get this! – ASKED the other player if they could fight. I thought he was joking, and I, or so my boss tells me, let out a rather loud, rather high-pitched, “NO WAY! SERIOUSLY?” that you could hear quite clearly around the whole locker room. I found out later, upon consultation with my boyfriend, that, indeed, it’s common knowledge that players do that to hype up the crowd. Many, many thanks to Andrew Ference for (always) being a gracious interview and not laughing at me at that moment, and to my boss, John Bishop, for not giving up on me at that point, and for making sure I will always remember the hilarity of that moment. I still have the interview taped on my computer.
18.) My top three concert moments, in no particular order, and with the understanding that the third moment changes pretty much daily and depending on my mood: The Goo Goo Dolls, 2004 Fourth of July outdoor concert – I was second row and stood in ankle-deep water for eight-plus hours, but it was totally worth it, because you can see me and my friends on the DVD.
Garth Brooks, September 1998 – one of my very first concerts, and still one of my favorites. The tickets were a birthday gift from a friend, and they were a total surprise because the last I’d heard was that her friend who went to get them had gotten out of line at the box office (this was when you still had to actually stand in line to get tickets!) and didn’t get them. We were on the side of the stage, second-to-last row in the whole arena, but it was incredible, amazing, and all those other words. I pray he does just one more tour, because I would go see him again in a heartbeat.
Any of the Klear shows I went to in high school – Back when Club Infinity was not just a place to host “teen night,” Klear still had their original line-up, and I was fully convinced they were going to be the next big thing out of Buffalo. They played a few of the best club shows I’ve been to, and they really knew how to involve an audience. I don’t know if anything will ever seem as good as that.
19.) For my 19th birthday, two of my best friends at school and I took the Greyhound bus to New York City for the day. We did EVERYTHING – Times Square, the Met, Central Park – and kept running into totally random things along the way – a German Parade outside the Met, and Italian Festival in Little Italy, a farmers’ market. We also had the most amazing dessert I have ever tasted at Max Brenner’s.
20.) Unlike a lot of people, I really don’t have a favorite food, favorite color, favorite number, etc. I think it’s because I can be very indecisive. I also just don’t really think about those things all that much.
21.) I do, however, have a favorite season – fall. I love the weather, the clothes, the “fall” smell in the air, leaves, pumpkins, etc. I’m always grateful after winter to have spring, and I still get giddy when I see the first snow, but fall just makes me happy. It sort of reminds me of being younger and in high school, and I’m extremely happy that I get to spend fall in Buffalo for the first time in three years.
22.) I also have a favorite holiday – New Year’s Eve. I know, it’s a totally random one, but it’s because we had some really awesome celebrations when I was a kid. First, we had the New Year’s tradition of fondue – we’re talking cheese, oil AND chocolate; my family did it up right – and my sister always ate all the maraschino cherries. Then, for a few years, we rented out an ice rink at the Pepsi Center and invited, oh, about 100 of our closest friends. We began that night at a different family’s house for dinner with everyone, then ended it ringing in midnight at our house with everyone after skating. For the past few years, I’ve been everywhere from Ellicottville to downtown watching the ball drop – this year, I’ll be in Boston for the Winter Classic – but I’m always with friends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
23.) Two of my stupidest, strangest injuries have also occurred on New Year’s Eve. In fourth or fifth grade, I chipped a tooth on a friend’s head. It’s a long story and involves demonstrations so you can understand how something so weird could happen. Then, in sixth or seventh grade, I jumped from one of the last steps into our basement and smacked my head into the low ceiling I conveniently forgot was there. And, clearly, I was stone sober for both of these incidents. I’m just a huge klutz.
24.) I am a horrible flier. I absolutely hate take-off and landing, and any turbulence whatsoever sends me into a panic attack. I got a little better about it during college, when I was flying home for breaks and visits, but when I recently went back, I spent most of the flight with a death grip on the armrests, forcing myself to breathe normally. I also almost cried. I don’t care if statistics show you’re more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash – I still don’t feel safe.
25.) That childhood stuffed animal/blanket everyone has? Mine is a dinosaur that I found in my grandparents’ basement. I lost my darling Sara (a triceratops, if you must know) in a store, and Dino (aren’t I creative with the names?) became my replacement. His stuffing is hard as a rock, and he was already pretty beat up when I found him – my grandpa is a pack-rat, like me, so Dino was probably a garage sale purchase – but he came home with us and has stayed with me ever since. For Christmas one year, my dad had a drawing done of Dino; it’s still hanging right above my bed. Dino came to college with me and made friends with my freshman year roommate’s Baby Pink Bear (no, I’m not kidding) and a new addition to my bed, a Build-a-Bear bunny from my boyfriend (I think they might secretly dislike each other and be competing for my affection; again, I’m not kidding). When I spent the night in a study lounge because of an oil spill in the basement of my dorm last year, I went back for a pillow and blanket – and had to grab Dino and Little Dave (the bunny) as well. Dino now watches over my room from a chair in the corner, but he will never, no matter how old I get, be one of those stuffed animals I box up in the basement.