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More About Me: All About Abbagirl

“We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Wandering by lonely sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world foresakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet, we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever it seems.”
-Arthur O’Shaughnessy, Ode

“We have decided how sad it is for other people that they cannot appreciate our genius.” – Pauline Parker, “Heavenly Creatures”

“Reality is for people who lack imagination.” — Einstein? (on a pin I have)

Name: Sarah Anne Packard

Nickname/Alias: Abbagirl (or the Dancing Queen)

Birthdate: November 17th, 1978 (Yes, that makes me a Child of the Eighties.)

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California (Read about my travels & the places I’ve lived.)

Physical Appearance: about 5’9″, long-ish blonde hair, blue eyes, perpetually pale skin (“With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue, the only thing I ever got from you was sorrow…” – “Sorrow,” done best by David Bowie). I wear a lot of black.

Personality Type: According to the Myers-Briggs personality test, I’m an INFP, which stands for Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceptive. And according to the fun personality test at TheSpark, I’m a “Dreamer” – Submissive Introverted Abstract Feeler. So I guess we’ve established that I’m a feeling introvert. ๐Ÿ™‚

School: Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI.

Hobbies: My main hobby is singing; I’m an aspiring singer of sorts who idolizes the likes of Julie Andrews, Patti LuPone, Lea Salonga, Audra McDonald, and Judy Kuhn. (Another one of my Broadway idols is the fabulous Mandy Patinkin, who I had a chance to see in concert at the Detroit Music Hall in ’95!) I was involved in choir all 4 of my high school years, 2 in one of our select ensembles, the PCEP Madrigal Singers. I also sang in High School Regional and State Honors Choir 3 of those years, and competed at Solo & Ensemble Festival. I’m really my happiest when I’m singing, and choir helped me form some great, lasting friendships. My music also took me to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Chicago, and even Europe. I’m currently in the EMU University Choir, under Dr. Leonard Riccinto. I’d also like to learn how to play acoustic guitar sometime, so I can sing and play…

I also enjoy doing theatre; recently I’ve been in “The Secret Garden” with Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, and “The Pirates of Penzance”, “Princess Ida” and “The Gondoliers” with UMGASS. I’d really love to play these roles someday: Louise in “Gypsy,” Julie Jordan in “Carousel,” Ellen in “Miss Saigon,” Mrs. Walker in “Tommy,” the mistress in “Evita,” Grizabella in “Cats,” Maria or Liesl in “The Sound of Music,” Cosette or Eponine in “Les Miserables,” the girl (Louisa?) in “The Fantasticks,” Marian in “The Music Man,” and any role in “Hair” or “Rent” (Maureen!).

I’d also love to perform Shakespeare. And as most of my friends know, I have a warped fondness for animated (musical) films, and can imitate almost any Disney princess – including Aurora, Ariel, Belle, and Pocahontas, not to mention non-Disney princess Anastasia, at left. (I also know exactly who did all those voices, singing and speaking, and others.) I’d love to be the voice of an animated heroine someday, doing both singing and speaking. *Watch for a page on my singing princess fascination, coming soon!*

Interesting Info.: As far as personality goes, I’m generally somewhat shy and introspective. I’m definitely a “hopeful romantic…hopeful,” to quote Kathleen Turner in ‘Romancing The Stone’. I don’t usually smile a whole lot, so I think some people write me off as unapproachable…I’m a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, especially the latter! (Also coming soon: a page on all my favorite 80’s fantasy films.) I’m semi-fluent in French, adore French history, poetry (especially Rimbaud and Baudelaire), cuisine, and culture in general, and have been to France four times so far. I’m a voracious reader, passionate about languages. I don’t think I will ever have children. I don’t smoke; never have and never will, and I detest it when people smoke around me. (I say keep your cancer and emphysema to yourself!)

I was born in the Year of the Horse, and I’m also a Scorpio! I generally fit the usual Scorpio profile: intense, mysterious, passionate, obsessive, stubborn, sensitive, intuitive, sensual, and prone to jealousy and possessiveness. I’ve always been a girl of extremes, you could say, mood swings and all. I even have a Scorpio symbol pendant I like to wear around my neck.

Yes, I confess, I am very much stuck in the 80’s! It’s just a decade I can’t get enough of, as far as pop culture goes. Come on, you remember Jem, Rainbow Brite, and the Care Bears too, don’tcha? ๐Ÿ™‚ Almost everything from the 80’s, no matter how cheesy, brings back fun memories from my childhood. Sure, the 90’s aren’t that terrible, but I sure do miss the days of Jim Henson, Culture Club, Pac-Man, the “Like A Virgin” Madonna, and all those John Hughes movies…

If I were in “The Breakfast Club” I’d surely be Ally Sheedy’s character, the mysterious “basket case” girl.

As I am a bit nearsighted, I have to wear glasses for movies, plays, driving, and anything that requires long-distance vision. The pair I usually use are Calvin Klein ones with thin gold frames; they’re not bad as glasses go, but I still don’t like wearing them much. In fact, I think the world often looks better a little out of focus. ๐Ÿ™‚ I refuse to get contacts because I don’t think my fingers should be touching my eyes and I don’t need all the hassle involved with contacts. Plus, I guess I feel like choosing contacts over glasses would kinda be denying my inner geekiness, ya know? And I have at least one glasses-wearing girl idol, Lisa Loeb; her cat’s-eye frames are so cute.

Grex is where I get my email and hang out online, although I’m not always free to chat. It’s an Ann Arbor-based public access conferencing system, and the locals are friendly; there are real-life gatherings of Grexers all the time. Here’s a slew of pictures of Grexers (myself included), maintained by my friend Jessica (whose logins include llanarth and balynce).

A few summers ago I worked as a canvasser, going door-to-door educating people about the environment (specifically toxic waste cleanup legislation), collecting contributions/memberships, etc. for PIRGIM (Public Interest Research Group In Michigan), a statewide environmental and consumer watchdog group. I also canvassed for Sierra Club. It was fun albeit somewhat exhausting, and I especially enjoyed working for a good cause. Plus the people there (at the Ann Arbor office) are all pretty cool. Someday I’d love to do environmental volunteer work with Earthwatch, especially any of the projects with dolphins.

Writings: I simply love to write…anything, really, from journals to essays to poetry, mainly poetry. I’ve always been interested in writing since I was a quiet little child, as it tends to be my easiest and most satisfying form of expression, besides singing I suppose. Here’s some of my old high school poetry. (Hopefully I’ll post some newer stuff soon…)

**Things I Love**: cats, accents, long, hot bubble baths, the color black, ancient Egyptian culture and mythology (I also like Greek, Norse and Celtic mythology), Tom’s of Maine (peppermint) toothpaste, Macintosh ‘puters, libraries and bookstores, unicorns, cheese, iced cappucino (Starbucks’ frappucinos are yummy), Cheez-Its, mermaids, the ocean, apples (Granny Smiths), long hair, witches, roses, hippies, dolphins, trains, fondue, drag queens, good magazines and ‘zines, fresh fruit smoothies, warm climates, disco, goddess lore, dancing, moonlight, scented candles, eyeliner, velvet, glitter, nail polish, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, watermelon, Broadway shows, tarot, carousels and swings, swordfighting and martial arts (I adore Hong Kong cinema!), funky boots and platform shoes, cool evil guys (and girls!), subtext and slash or alt fanfic (especially f/f stuff!), Cherry Coke, wild cherry Slurpees, Whole Foods, swimming, chocolate (Lindt, Toblerone, and Ferrero Rocher), the scent of hyacinths and carnations, good haircuts, rainbows, tiaras, temporary tattoos, Morningstar Farms “fake meat” products, Xena conventions, lipstick & lip balm, pineapple juice, Greenwich Village in NYC, Nutella, catalogs, silver jewelry and crystals, lollipops, sleeping late (and staying up late), The Body Shop, salt & vinegar potato chips, hair dye, Amazons, and all things French. (In fact, I’m hoping to make another trip to Paris as soon as possible!)

David Bowie, my favorite male “rock star”. (U2’s Bono coming in as a close second.) I’m obsessed! *grin*

I’ve been a vegetarian for about 10 years now, for ethical reasons (I’m a big believer in animal rights, and just an animal lover period) although the health benefits are nice. I’d be a vegan if I wasn’t so addicted to dairy, especially cheese. My sister Laura is a vegetarian too, as are many of my friends. I hate getting into heated debates with flesh-eaters, especially the Christian types who claim that God created animals for us to use and abuse however we see fit – some people will do anything to refute vegetarianism despite the many arguments for a meatless, humane society…These 101 Reasons Why I’m A Vegetarian make a good case for anyone with a conscience.

A really good book on vegetarianism I’d recommend to anyone is The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams, which outlines interesting connections between the oppression of animals and that of women through the ages. I’ve been contributing to PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) since middle school; they’re one of my favorite animal rights groups, but the Humane Society of the United States also rules. PETA’s motto sums up my basic beliefs: “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, or experiment on.” Oh, and go check out some of the many cool famous vegetarians! (And if you’re looking to connect with fellow non-famous vegetarians, try Veggiedate.com.)

(The cartoon above is courtesy of the amazing Dilbert!)


As far as politics go, I’m quite liberal (pro-choice too), and a registered Democrat voter. And yes, I’m also a feminist, committed to political, economic and social equality for women. My feminist sheroes include Gloria Steinem (who I met in ’96!), bell hooks, and Susie Bright (who I am determined to meet someday). Be sure to check out my page of groovy Women’s Links! Another area of activism I’m passionate about is gay/lesbian/bi/trans rights, especially since I myself am bisexual and proud. (I even marched in the Millennium March on Washington last year, which was quite a thrill!) Go read about it at my Queer Links page!

Right now I’m majoring in women’s studies and minoring in psychology, but my academic interests also include film, sociology, political science, and literature. As for specific career ideas, I really don’t know. Right now I’m not exactly focusing on any profession(s), especially since I have so many varied skills, talents and interests. I just know that I’m destined for a creative, artistic, humanities-sort of lifestyle; math and science are not my forte (computers, on the other hand…), although I’m certainly not lacking in logic and reasoning. I could see myself doing some kind of professional writing. I’ll probably go to grad school, if I can afford it.

Someday I want to learn: some form(s) of martial arts, the guitar, fencing, scuba diving, and belly dancing (Bellydancing twins Veena and Neena have good videos). I’d also like to get into yoga again.

I consider myself to be a succulent wild woman.

I love to dance, and I love 80’s music, so you can sometimes find me at The Nectarine, an Ann Arbor dance club, on Saturday nights at their Retro 80’s night [Update: they’ve now changed this to “modern dance and techno” night…grrrr!]. (I’m a night person, by the way; like the Phantom of the Opera, I “turn my face away from the garish light of day”.) And although I don’t know how to swing dance, I love listening to swing and watching other people do it well.

Here are some little-known facts about me!
I answered a 500-question survey!

(Yeah, that’s me…I am She-Ra, Princess of Power!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Most recent CD purchases (or gifts): the 35th Anniversary 2-CD “The Sound of Music” soundtrack, Ricky Martin’s ‘Sound Loaded’, The Corrs’ ‘In Blue’ (which I won in a Sephora contest!), the “Charlie’s Angels” (movie) soundtrack, Dream’s “He Loves U Not” (CD single), Bitch and Animal’s ‘What’s That Smell?’, Janet Jackson’s ‘Design of a Decade’, and Shawn Colvin’s ‘Whole New You’.

Here’s a yummy pic of Trent Reznor for your enjoyment…

Favorite Beatle: George Harrison, definitely. The man is so soulful, and plays a mean sitar to boot. They say we gravitate towards the Beatle that we are most like, so I guess it makes sense that I’d pick “the quiet one”. John Lennon is also a hero of mine, Paul McCartney (and Linda) too. Ringo, well, he’s okay.

Favorite song of all time: “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.

Favorite ABBA song: “Fernando”.

Favorite stand-up comedian(s): Janeane Garofalo, Margaret Cho (who I’ve seen live!), Ellen DeGeneres, Suzanne Westenhoefer (who I’ve also seen), Dana Carvey, Eddie Izzard, Jerry Seinfeld (who I’ve also seen)

Favorite Restaurant: My Ann Arbor eatery of choice would be Seva, an excellent vegetarian place on Liberty. Cosmic Garden in Ypsi is great too. I also love Italian food with a passion; pasta is practically all I eat! Fettucine Alfredo is a long-time personal favorite of mine. For fast food, I pick Subway, as tis healthy and offers veggie options. I also like to hang out in local coffee shops, like Caribou Coffee, Espresso Royale, Amer’s and Starbucks, where I of course do the pretentious thing and read a book or write a bit.

Favorite ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food (yum!) and sometimes Cookie Dough. Lately I’ve gotten into Starbucks ice cream as well, it’s surprisingly good; I like Dulce de Leche.

Favorite figure skater: Kristi Yamaguchi! I like Michelle Kwan and Lu Chen a lot too. I’m still peeved that dippy Tara Lipinski stole Michelle’s Olympic gold!

Favorite computer: why, the Macintosh, of course! ๐Ÿ™‚ I currently use a Power Mac 7200/75. Think Different!

Favorite computer games: Might & Magic: World of Xeen (which I’m still working on!), Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra, Tomb Raider (I love Lara Croft! Check out The Croft Times! I even have a Lara action figure now), Sword of Sodan (I play the Amazon-esque warrior woman, of course), Jeopardy, Shufflepuck Cafe, the old LucasArts games (the Monkey Island & Indiana Jones games especially), and Pathways Into Darkness. Fave board game? Clue, of course. I always play Miss Scarlet. I also love a good game of Trivial Pursuit.

Princess Leia and Han Solo…gotta love ’em…

Favorite “Star Wars” movie: I differ from most S.W. fans in that my personal favorite of the trilogy would probably have to be “Return of the Jedi”…I know, “The Empire Strikes Back” comes very, very close if not equal – after all, it has Yoda, great romantic scenes between Han and Leia, even Luke getting his hand zapped off, thus ending on a uniquely dark note. Believe me, I love “Empire” as much as anyone, but, well, I have a special fondness for “Jedi”…

After all, it was the only one of the trilogy I remember seeing on the big screen when it *first* came out, as a kid. And, it has that great brother-sister bond happening between Luke and Leia (complete with the beautiful “Luke and Leia” musical theme), Leia wearing that droolworthy metal bikini that I covet, all that gross Jabba the Hutt stuff, great battles and of course the tremendous final showdown between Luke, the Emperor, and yes, Darth Vader. The final scenes between Luke and his father are truly powerful and especially touching when Luke removes the mask and such…nothing in “Empire” comes quite as close as that for me, I think. The ending is excellent and gives satisfying closure to the trilogy.

And, I admit – I’m crazy about the Ewoks. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ok, go ahead, bash me now, but I can’t help it, they’re just so darn cute! Sure, they’re cheesy…sure they’re an excuse for marketing stuffed plush toys…I still get a kick out of watching them bring down all the Storm Troopers. I know, I’m weird…pretty much everyone I know (guys especially) loathes the Ewoks, but I love ’em. In fact, as a kid I remembered the spinoff Ewok movies and such even more than the actual trilogy. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I’d have to say “Jedi” is my favorite of the three, just narrowly beating out “Empire”.

Mailing Lists and Such: I used to be a member (from the day it began!) of Lady Amethyst’s Labyrinth mailing list, where you’d find me sharing my opinions, anecdotes, advice, reactions, etc. on a daily basis, but I’ve unsubscribed for now; it was getting too high-traffic for me. The lists I’m on at the moment include the excellent Kate Winslet Hotline list created by my friend Jesse, the original “Heavenly Creatures” list, the Jennifer Connelly list, the Contemptuous Sardonic Felicity Watchers Society list, the Guinevere Turner list, the Peter Gabriel list my friend Jess started, the Michelle Yeoh list, the Paul Mercurio list, the DCdroolers list (for Danielle Cormack fans), the Hudson Leick list, and Chakram, the first and best Xena mailing list. So, quite a big chunk of my email tends to be list mail, which is usually okay by me.

And, I’m one of the officers (High Priestess of Bowie Worship, to be exact) of All The Madwomen, an excellent little Bowie fan group founded by my friend (and fellow ex-Labyrinth listie) Catharine – check it out, and please do consider joining our ranks! I’m also a registered Bowie fan at Teenage Wildlife. Haven’t joined BowieNet yet, though…too expensive!

How To Contact Me: I can be e-mailed at my Grex account (see the mailbox icon below?), or you can frequently find me, as “abbagirl” of course, at The Palace, in the Xena chatrooms (xena.srt.net). It’s so much fun! I used to be an IRC addict eons ago, but I’m so over that. I don’t have ICQ or AIM, but I do have Yahoo Messenger now.

So, why don’t I have a guestbook, you ask?

Something To Think About: I get a very large of email pretty much every day, especially since I’m on several high-traffic mailing lists, not to mention the tons of mail I receive regarding my site (especially about Kate Winslet and Labyrinth, since those pages seem to get the most hits these days). And, I’m a very busy girl in real life – yes, I have a life outside of the Internet, ya know. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I’m afraid I can’t guarantee a response to your email, even if it’s actually wonderfully thought-out/written and catches my interest (although I do make a special effort to reply to these sorts of emails, as opposed to those of the “You’re really cute, will you be my girlfriend?” variety). However, I usually read everything I receive, you needn’t worry that your mail has simply disappeared into a black hole. Therefore, please *do not* re-send an email or send repeated emails asking whether I’ve gotten your mail and why haven’t I responded; this is fairly annoying. If I’m gonna respond, I will, okay? If I don’t for whatever reason, I’m sorry (or maybe I’m not, depending what your email was about…). Life goes on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, I want to stress again that my email account here at Grex (cyberspace.org) CANNOT receive attached files with mail, so please don’t attach anything! I won’t get it, and it will only succeed in temporarily screwing up my emailbox. However, if there is some file you would really like me to see or whatever, you can always place it somewhere on the net where I can download it and let me know.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)