Saturday, May 31

Why and how do women manage to pee on the toilet seat? I could understand if you were a man, and you had less than perfect aim or the beginning stages of Parkinson's (I suppose that's not really funny). But you're a woman. SIT on the seat. Sit on a TOILET SEAT COVER on the seat. If you must pee on the seat, wipe up after yourself before you leave the stall. And if you must do The Hover and not sit on the seat (because other people's butt skin is so much grosser than your own), then at least perfect your aim at home before subjecting the rest of the world to your lack of skills. WIPE IT UP, ladies.

There was a time when I would kill no bugs -- not for any irrational reasons, like "Oh, bugs deserve to live too, blah blah blah" -- but because I was just scared of them, did not want to feel the crunch of their hard little shells when I smooshed them, and did not want any corrosive bug juice to get on me, or any of my belongings, or any part of the house with which I might possibly make contact. I'm happy to report that I have progressed rapidly since those days. Today, I tried to kill a teeny little bug and it JUMPED, almost hitting my nose. I got so mad (scared?), I actually cursed at the poor little thing and grumbled "Who the HELL do you think you ARE?" before stomping over to the tissue box, yanking out a Kleenex, stomping back to the bug and violently smashing it. I'm ever so proud of how evolved I am . . .

I don't mind silence. Obviously, I don't mind it when I'm alone, but I also don't mind it when I'm with other people -- friends or strangers. Sure, I might get a little fidgety if I know you're mad at me and you are silently fuming, but otherwise, I usually relish silence. Sometimes I just don't have anything to say. Sometimes I'm so comfortable with you that I can be quiet and know you're still there with me. Sometimes I'm lost in a daydream, enjoying the fabricated scenarios taking place in my head. Sometimes, I enjoy listening to you talk and don't feel the need to respond. Sometimes I just like the companionship of sharing time and space, and staring out the window, or gazing at the sky, or listening to music, or humming a tune to myself. Sometimes, I'm eavesdropping on the people next to us. Sometimes I really need to think about something. Sometimes I think about what you might be thinking about. Sometimes I don't think at all and just sit there like an idiot. Sometimes I'm just entertained by the conversation you all are having, and it's enough to satisfy me. I don't really resent it when you try to fill the emptiness, but try to understand that I don't feel empty. The silence envelops me and makes me cozy, especially if you are keeping me company . . .

Saw: Finding Nemo = two thumbs up, and I'll throw in all ten toes for good measure. Lots o' laughs, a bucket full o' tears. We were shrieking. Ellen Degeneres, Albert Brooks, Allison Janney, Willem Defoe, Brad Garrett, Erik Per Sullivan, Geoffrey Rush, Eric Bana, etc. + Pixar = BRILLIANT.

Friday, May 30


Here's something to make me wake up from my Federal Friday slumber: Wibsite, the self-proclaimed Dullest Blog in the World.


I can't stop laughing.
I'm laughing so hard I'm crying.

. . . I love Thursday nights. That's when I get together with some beloved friends from NHF. Back in April, a group of us decided, almost simultaneously, that we as a community needed to get together to do a variety of things: get to know one another better; keep each other accountable as believers; pray for one another, our church, our nation and our world; and generally encourage each other in all aspects of our lives -- as lawyers, teachers, students, doctors, entrepreneurs, administrators, wives, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters, etc. A few members of this usually-9-person group were already friends or friendly with each other, but I think it's just human nature to want more -- I believe we're wired to need love and give love, to share our thoughts and feelings, to vent or cry or laugh with loved ones, to take on the burdens of friends and ease their paths, and especially as Christians, to give each other a shove towards God when necessary. Certainly, our group has grown closer in friendship and we have become a strange little family, despite our busy schedules, periodic absences and other interference.

At this point -- a mere two months later -- there's nothing we won't talk about. We -- a healthily co-ed group of young men and women -- have already discussed in detail matters such as hickeys, gynecological exams, real-life Talented Mr. Ripleys, lobster sleep cycles, lawyers without licenses, crazed co-workers, biblical interpretations, good vs. evil. We have shared our financial distresses, job malaises, future goals and hopes, personal emotional wounds, family burdens, moments of shame. We have given each other hugs, Kleenex, knowing glances, swift kicks in the butt, sarcastic one-liners, good-natured teasings, mock-dirty looks. We have boosted each other's spirits, dried each other's tears, rebuked each other's bad behaviors, understandingly guffawed at each other's everyday foibles. They are truly my brothers and sisters -- not merely in the cheesy "you're my sibling in Christ" kind of way -- but in the "I know I can trust you with my life and I'd lay mine down for yours" kind of way . . .

. . . Hooch's head is still staring at me. It doesn't make me jump anymore -- I guess my brain has finally reconciled the inconsistency of Hooch not actually being here with the existence of her face lurking over the computer. It's still funny. Our judge encouraged me the other day to deface it slightly before Hooch returns. Naughty, naughty. I must begin plotting my revenge a la black magic marker . . .

. . . What should I have for lunch today? . . .

. . . The Internet is the most bizarre thing in creation. Weirder than duct tape and definitely weirder than Peeps (which explode quite magnificently in the microwave). Some examples:
1. Yesterday, I spent an obscene amount of time trolling the Web for other people's blogs. I don't know why. I'm not a stalker. I'm not weird and lonely and looking for on-line friends. But that's exactly what we all are to each other -- unknown, strange, weird, slightly-stalker-ish online friends. OMG, I became the creep that I normally make enormous efforts to avoid!!! Really, I just want to read what's going on in other people's lives (okay, I'm inordinately nosy). I appreciate good wit and humor and I like reading it, no matter who writes it. I feel glad for people who have had really great things happen in their lives, and I cry for people who have suffered pain or loss. I scoff at people who misspell words in their blogs, and wonder at people who curse profusely in their writing. Anyway, after all my Web-trolling, it occurred to me that the Internet has shrunk the universe by about 10,000 degrees. Thus, I now have non-friend "friends" all over the country. So strange. Who are you people?!
2. Today, I must spend some time tracking down Jaime's Mr. Ripley. We don't really know anything about Mr. Ripley except that he tells a lot of extravagant lies and seems harmless so far -- perhaps just a small case of schizophrenia mixed with some other mental pathology(ies). We hope. Very fascinating. Very scary -- I had a hard time falling asleep last night after hearing the entire Mr. Ripley saga. But that's what Google is for. I love Google. Mr. Ripley, you better watch out, because I'm going to find you.
3. I must also find cheap cardboard boxes and vellum-like paper for JKo (eh, wedding stuff). Why spend gas, time, toll money, energy and parking quarters rolling around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, when I can find some schmoe dealer in the middle of Nevada who will ship me everything I need for a nominal price and C.O.D.? Hey, my desk chair is comfortable, and I'd rather be here than in my car fuming at one of you sucky drivers . . .

Yes, I love the Internet, even though it skeeves me out utterly.

. . . Someone asked me the other day if I tailor my blog to my readers. The answer is a loud, emphatic "NO." I write like I write. Here, I tell you what I feel and what I think. Here, I don't care that much what you think in return because I assume if you like me or hate me enough, you'll tell me so. Here, I have an outlet that won't interrupt my chain of thought, stop me periodically to ask questions or for clarification, look at me quizzically and give me pause when I say strange and/or incomprehensible things, or tell me I'm stupid. Here, I write so that my brain doesn't explode and my heart doesn't get so heavy it falls out of my body. I am more honest on this faceless website than I am or will be face-to-face, because you can't see me blush or cry or giggle or fidget or glance away, and so I can just tell it. Here, my "yes" is my "yes" and my "no" is my "no." Here, I impose upon you my life that you don't care to ask about when you see me in person, and hope that you will know and love me better in return. Here, I can let you in on my secrets and show you exactly what I want to show you, and you can't grab more from me than I let you grab. Here, I can skewer the people who hurt me, I can praise those whom I love, I can honor those I respect, I can criticize those I disagree with, I can question the things that confuse me, I can shout for joy with abandon, and I can mull for hours and hours without end. Basically, this is all about me. Hee, hee, hee. So, no, I don't tailor this blog for you. I don't write to make you happy or rile you up or cause you to think, question, wonder. If you are happy, or riled up, or thoughtful or confused -- well, that's cool too. But I am what I am, and this is what it is. Thanks for reading . . .

. . . No, really -- what should I have for lunch today? . . .

But this week's Five make me think too hard . . .

1. What do you most want to be remembered for? Having been a woman of integrity, faith, compassion, intelligence, strength, street smarts, humor, good taste, respect, generosity, reliability, friendship, loyalty, wit and goods works of great social value.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life? "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." -- Psalm 31:24

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year? Being selected to begin the application process for an elite employment position.

4. What about the past ten years? Graduating from law school. Oy, mama.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say? Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Thursday, May 29

(I TOLD YOU . . .)

Entry #6 for the day.

Just wanted to update you all on a new link in the sidebar: I don't even know how I came across him, but check out caffeineguy. Entertaining.

2:36pm: sharp, stabbing pain is gone. Intense pressure still exists, accompanied now by the occasional pinching, pricking feeling smack in the middle of my chest. Still want to crack all the bones in my upper body to alleviate pressure. Am starting to wonder if I am going to explode. Is this angina? Heartburn? Still interesting -- it would be cool to be a test case for something. I would submit myself to investigation by my collective group of med-school friends so they can get credit for discovering some new disease, and they will become famous and rich and buy me nice things and take me to steak dinners in gratitude for me jump-starting their careers as world-reknowned doctors.

But really, it's starting to become annoying. I hope I don't pass out on the drive home this evening.

On a side note, I KNOW that I have blogged five -- count 'em, FIVE -- separate times today. I will probably do so again before I leave work. I DO have work to do. I AM doing it. It's just my poor attention span -- getting shorter by the day. These are just my "breaks." See, I'm going to go and do some more work now. Make your tax dollars worth your while.

My counter tells me generally who is viewing my blog. For example, if you work for Nike, and you were on my site this morning, I will know that someone from has checked me out today (don't worry, I don't know exactly who you are unless you tell me). If I want, I can get more details, like how you came across my site. Recently, I've been getting lots of activity from a whole bunch of IP addresses with which I am completely, so I decided to investigate how they arrived here.

Turns out, they were all referred to my site by Google's or Yahoo's search engines. People were looking up "FannyPack" and "Camel Toe." (See: May 21, 2003 "Rude and Crude.")

Ooh, in the height of my boredom, I discovered The Friday Five. Here's last week's Five:

1. What brand of toothpaste do you use? Colgate Total.

2. What brand of toilet paper do you prefer? Charmin (but not the weird extra-thick kind).

3. What brand(s) of shoes do you wear? Nine West, J.Crew, Birks, Tevas and Nike.

4. What brand of soda do you drink? Don't drink soda if I can help it. Croton Aqueduct tap water all the way!

5. What brand of gum do you chew? Don't chew gum, ever since being traumatized by the scene in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" where Violet Beauregarde chews a piece of blueberry gum and inflates into a huge round blue ball, and they have to roll her away. NO THANKS.
12:59pm: continuously sharp, stabbing, aching pain in my chest. Feels as though the two sides of my breastbone are trying to squeeze together in the front. Tried to bend backwards to stretch, but pain is still there. Hard to breathe. Feels like if I could just pop open my chest, the pressure would be alleviated. Now has been reduced to extreme pressure and an itching desire to crack my chest like I crack my knuckles. Comfortable only if I hunch forward and breathe shallowly. Am ruling out: heart attack (no numbness in left arm); panic attack (get only about one yearly, and already had mine for this year); stress (slow day at the office, everything is smooth as butter in most areas of my life); bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, cholera, SARS (do not suffer from any of the above, I don't think); aneurysm (I'm still here). Hmmm . . . interesting.

Mike Tyson, interviewed the other day by Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren, speaking about the woman who charged him with raping her, resulting in Tyson serving jail time in 1991: "She's a lying, monstrous young lady -- I just hate her guts . . . She puts me in that state where I don't know . . . but now I really do want to rape her."

Today, one of America's true living legends turns 100 years old.
Happy Birthday, our beloved Bob Hope.

Wednesday, May 28


Another gray day. Once again, a pensive mood. As promised on April 4, 2003, I give you some more favorite-people-who-are-not-family. My list was woman-heavy last time, so I'll summon up some men I appreciate this time around . . .

7. Dr. JY: Dr. JY is married to my dearest friend, and they live too far away from me for my liking. Dr. JY is deeply intelligent and knows it, but also isn't afraid to encourage me to use my brain too. Dr. JY picks on me like I'm his sister, but his toothy grin makes it all too goofy to take seriously. Dr. JY is on the eternal hunt for my perfect husband. Dr. JY is so good to my dearest friend, I can forgive him anything. Dr. JY is very passionate about the things he believes in, but not in a vacuous way -- he actually knows what he's talking about. Dr. JY talks very loudly, and then I talk very loudly to overpower him, and then he talks even louder, until we're screaming at each other about how much we both like ja-jang-myun.

8. Dr. SC: Dr. SC is the husband of my partner-in-baseball-crime, SZH. Dr. SC doesn't talk much, but when he does, it's usually pretty interesting. Dr. SC loves the Mets, and I love tormenting him about how much better the Yankees are. I don't know Dr. SC as well as I know other people, but he's amusing, intelligent and kind enough to keep around so I can get to know him better. Dr. SC coos at his wife, and it is so funny. Dr. SC loves his work, loves teaching people to do the same work, and loves taking care of the people who need his work. Dr. SC has made my friend SZH whole.

9. JW: JW is almost a Dr. (why break the pattern now, right?). I've only been friends with JW for about 5 months, but I feel like he's been family for years. JW is sensitive without being a doormat, smart without being a know-it-all, and talented without being a show-off. JW is also clean (which is more than can be said for many men out there, you know). JW is faithful and encourages others to be the same. JW watches the same movies and television that I do, and loves them just as much. JW cares about his friends and remembers their likes & dislikes, important events and most embarrassing moments, but will almost never use any of these things against them.

10. C: C is naughtier than a father-to-be-of-twins should be. C also has a heart of gold that mostly nullifies the naughtiness. C has a sharp wit, an infinite pool of humor, a hard-working brain and a beautifully strong wife who keeps all of these elements in check when necessary. C is unafraid to speak his mind, to put himself on the line, to forgive, or to ask for forgiveness. C is generous with his time, money, energy and hospitality. C will probably be a better father than he thinks.

11. JJ: I'll throw in a woman for good measure . . . JJ has the most genuine smile and the most honest laugh. JJ looks you in the eye when you're talking to her. JJ is generous, hospitable, forgiving and compassionate, but don't you be slinging bull at her because she's not going to take it sitting down. JJ has a healthy attitude towards everything and a remarkable ability to roll with the punches. JJ is wise beyond her years, encouraging her friends, accommodating her family, and loving her husband even when he pulls his shorts up to his chest and acts like a doofus. JJ has hidden talents that I can't wait to see emerge.

Yay. I'm so pleased.

(I just got really freaked out because I forgot that Hooch's head was staring at me, so when I looked up and saw her face, I almost fell out of my chair.)

Hooch has left me for the next week and a half to go and roast on the beaches of the Bahamas with her boyfriend and liquor up. Whatever shall I do?! I might actually have to get some work done, since there's no singing, tap-dancing, gossiping and discussing-what-to-have-for-lunch-three-hours-before-actual-lunchtime to be had for the next eleven days. Sigh.

But the best part about Hooch being out of the office is that she actually did something she was threatening to do for weeks before she left: she took a photo of her face, frozen in an expression of "I'm WATCHING you!", blew it up life-size, taped it to a file folder, and braced it up against the back of her computer so that it peers over the chest-high cubicle wall AT ME. Everytime I look up from MY computer, there she is, WATCHING me. It's so hilarious. I am describing its humor value so deficiently right now. You just have to come and look at it . . .

Tuesday, May 27

100 THINGS . . .

Well, I finally managed to complete My 100 Things, so check it out and become one with my sick little brain.

It's also a perma-link in the sidebar, so refer to it often and have a good laugh.

No heckling permitted.

Monday, May 26

Today, I re-realized that these four things are always funny:

1. Hot dogs.
2. The word "nipple."
3. Acting like an animal during Charades.
4. Hickeys.

Sunday, May 25


7:50 a.m. There's really nothing like an early-morning call for an impending 3.5-hour drive. S, J and I hit the road. After stopping for coffee and bagels, of course. The weather is crappy. We discuss our devotion to the roller-coaster, and whether we will be brave enough to ride in the rain upon our arrival at Hershey Park. Unlikely. Our kookiness does not include being cold and wet.

8:30 a.m. I'm already dozing. Yes, I'm a morning person, but not when I'm comfortably ensconced in a warm little car with soothing music piping through the speakers and the light patter of rain drops drumming in the background. I struggle to stay awake, but then think to myself, "I'm not shot-gunning. I have no responsibilities here." I go to sleep and hope I don't drool.

9:30 a.m. I wake up. Really, car-sleeping is not that comfortable. Also, I'm beginning to have to pee. Poor J -- she must be bored. We are still in New Jersey. Have passed much cattle, and towns with names such as Pluckimen, Kutztown and Ft. Indiantown Gap. What a mouthful. Also listening to some very pleasant old-school Pet Shop Boys. J has a cool little iPod that holds a zillion songs, and then some. Very fun.

10:30 a.m. We're in Pennsylvania, finally. We roll into a rest area, only to discover at the last moment that it really is only a rest area. Read: pull your car over and REST. Don't eat. Don't pee. Just REST. We hit the road again.

10:35 a.m. Pay toll, head to the Pennsylvania Welcome Center. Use the facilities. Rejoice that we only have about an hour to go. Wonder at all the white people around us. I'm sorry, but after being in the metro-New York area for so long, any other non-urban center is a bit of a culture shock. Thankfully, no one is STARING at us (all Asian-American women) like they did in New Orleans.

11:30 a.m. Arrive at the Hotel Hershey. Marvel at the die-hards riding the coasters in the drippy mist. Are impressed at the imaginative road names: Chocolate Road. Hotel Road. Hersheypark Drive. "Very creative," we declare. There is even a sign: "Crosswalk." However, we miss the turn into the Hotel, because, well, there is no sign for the Hotel. Go figure.

11:40 p.m. We've checked in and met up with K and R, the rest of our party. Our room hasn't been cleaned yet, so we dump our bags in K & R's room, then all lay on the king-size bed. So typical of the Little Old Ladies: go on vacation, arrive, lay in bed all day chatting. But, no, we determine to make the most of our time in Hershey, so we head out to explore the Hotel complex and the town.

11:50 p.m. We've seen the Spa (stay tuned), the Fitness Center and the Indoor Pool. Lovely. But really, we're starving and food is ALWAYS the priority. Off we go to Hershey's Chocolate World, the tour and LUNCH.

12:06 p.m., our parking ticket's stamp says. We have two hours to spend before getting charged a parking fee. We must hurry.

12:16 p.m. THERE ARE CHILDREN EVERYWHERE. Crying children, whimpering children, laughing children, children running wild, children not caring that they're running wild into other people. Hmmm. Impending headache. I used to really enjoy children. Until I started spending time with them. (NOTE: the whole town does not smell like chocolate. While I am glad, I am still somewhat disappointed. The hype has let me down.)

1:10 p.m. Done with lunch, during which we were frightened out of our wits by a life-sized Reeses Pieces chocolate cup: big head, big eyes, totally does not belong in nature. After recovering, we haul our satiated selves to the Chocolate World Virtual Tour. Now, I thought we were going to be given little plastic hairnets and paper booties and led through the actual factory where we could see little Hershey people at work mass-producing the 33 million Kisses that Hershey puts out DAILY. But no. They put us in these haunted-house shells (seats 6 comfortably) that are motored through the virtual process of chocolate production. Yes, this means many cheesy voiceovers, papier-mache farmhouses, velvet-covered "cows" and shameless product placement. In the middle, one is inundated with the overpowering aroma of pure chocolate -- gag reflex kicks in with a vengeance. All I can think is "how embarrassing would it be if I were the first person EVER to get sick on this 3 mph ride through a virtual tour of the Hershey factory." Resist urge to puke. They also take our photos at the end of the ride -- available for purchase, naturally. At least we get a free chocolate bar at the end, AND they dump us right out into the gift shop.

1:20 p.m. THE GIFT SHOP. Very large. Very crowded. Very loud. Very scary, what with all the weird little stuffed chocolate bars they sell. Chocolate bars should not have eyes, legs, mouths and arms (with big white 3-fingered hands attached). Again, unnatural. I am attacked on all sides by: adult men and women carrying baskets (note the plural) full of candy bars (you know, because you can't buy them anywhere else); strollers the size of small Cadillacs (which are being used to hold the baskets of candy, NOT the actual babies); very cheery Hershey employees (hey, I'm from New York -- I'm suspicious if you're nice to me); children who have had TOO MUCH SUGAR. I lose my compatriots several times and wonder if I should ask a cheery employee to page them for me -- no use. No one would ever hear the announcement. I find S and wonder aloud to her about American human behavior -- how easily we are swayed by seemingly cheaper prices, how much candy we consume, why people would ever buy a Christmas ornament that says "Have a Hershey Christmas, 2002," and how strange it is that we need to purchase souvenirs every where we go. I buy a Hershey shot glass.

2:03 p.m. We escape Chocolate World with minimal bruising and only 28% hearing loss. A few of us vow never to have children. All of us decide that the five of us should be the ones to determine who may and may not have children. I privately mull the prevalence of the mullet among Chocolate World visitors. However, no time to dwell on that -- we have to get our car out of the lot in 3 minutes.

2:14 p.m. Another classic Little Old Ladies occurrence: we're at an outlet mall. Yes, we KNOW it's the middle of Pennsylvania, and we KNOW we're here on vacation. It doesn't matter. It's like the mothership has called us home. At least we are here with a purpose: to purchase swimsuits for J and K. Neither of them purchase one, but S -- who bought one Friday night when she came to stay with me -- buys another one. She collects swimsuits like most people collect spare change.

3:20 p.m. Back at the Hotel, our room is ready for check-in. We discover that we have been provided with only one set of bath amenities. Totally unacceptable. S and I stalk the hallways for the housekeeping cart to see if we can stea -- no, obtain a few more. The housekeeper we find speaks nominal English, so we help ourselves to her cart, with her smiling at us agreeably. Then we call Housekeeping Headquarters, and request a few more. We love luxury hotels.

3:35 p.m. Little Old Ladies moment: the television has been turned on. This usually rings a death knell for the rest of whatever plans have been made. You could drop us in the middle of an awesome once-in-a-lifetime African safari, but if a television (especially one with VH1 and free HBO) is activated, the wild animals will be forgotten. S and I, with soaring ambitions to work out in the Fitness Center and hang out in the pool jacuzzi, lay on the bed with J and K (R is sick, sleeping) and settle in to watch "Spiderman."

4:05 p.m. It's the do-or-die instant: either S and I get our ambitiously athletic-garbed butts out of bed and head downstairs, or we fall asleep to Tobey Maguire saving the day. Reluctantly and sleepily, we leave the room. J and K promise to meet us in the pool room. I give them about a 6% chance of staying awake until dinnertime.

4:55 p.m. S and I are exercised and feeling great. The Fitness Center is lovely, and overlooks the impeccably landscaped grounds behind the Hotel. I could absolutely live here for a week and not be bored. We explore the locker room and shower rooms, then sink into the pool jacuzzi. It's much like Chocolate World: screaming children everywhere. S's hopes of swimming laps is dashed. Ain't no way she's getting into water that is God-knows-how-many-parts kiddie urine. We lounge instead in the hot tub, commiserate a little bit about whether we are susceptible to over-heating, listen in as a father berates his 7-year-old son about not crying in front of little girls (see 2:03 p.m.: this man would not have passed our committee's test for procreatability), fall victim as his 12-year-old daughter inappropriately jumps into the hot tub, and loudly agree with him when he scolds her by saying "that is why they don't allow children in hot tubs." He doesn't bat an eye. (See 5/22/03, "You Vex Me When You Are Clueless.")

6:15 p.m. S and I have just taken advantage of the gym's showers. I usually never shower anywhere other than my house or some other certifiably clean bathroom. But Hershey property just has this inexplicable lure. I want to use all their products, wash with all their water, dry off with all their fluffy towels, etc. It's just fabulous. Much better than my own bathroom, actually. Unfortunately, we have forgotten a clean change of clothes, so we rush commando back to our rooms. The feeling is only slightly liberating. I don't know why men enjoy it so much.

6:45 p.m. We have once again all fallen victim to the television. This time, VH1's series on the 80s keeps our rapt and devoted attention. Remember Bobby Brown and "Every Little Step I Take"? Soleil Moon Frye? Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker? Peter Cetera and Amy Grant's "Next Time I Fall"? Good times . . .

7:05 p.m. We are put on a waiting list -- allegedly an hour long -- for dinner at a casual cafe that informed us that reservations were not taken, and indeed, unnecessary. So, we head to the nearby lounge for cocktails and appetizers. Predictably, we fill up on those, so dinner is actually a nominal event, but for the loud children at the next table. Will we never be free of them? But joy of joys -- we get carded for ordering wine.

9:30 p.m. R hauls his still-sick self to bed, whilst the rest of us ladies sit in the lobby lounge and chit-chat. You know, boy talk. 'Nuff said.

11:10 p.m. Back in our room, we debate the worthiness and merits of ordering the pay-per-view movie "Drumline." $9.99 for a bad teenie-bopper movie about battling marching bands? We are SO tempted, but we surf the television channels just in case we're missing some good free programming, and come across . . . CH! And old classmate from our days at hallowed Columbia is cheerily chattering back at us as a weekend anchorwoman for the WHP-TV 11 o'clock news. So weird. So surreal. It's all S's fault -- anywhere in the world she goes, she sees or meets someone she knows from her past. A personality on television, in the middle of the fields of Pennsylvania, informing us of the local Harrisburg news, is clearly not exempt from the full S experience.

11:30 p.m. We can't believe we just watched 20 minutes of local Harrisburg, PA news. And they broadcasted a bit about Giuliani's wedding to Judith Nathan (Judy, what were you wearing?!). Weird.

12:38 a.m. We're actually kind of elderly, so we go to sleep.

8:35 a.m. J has gone to her spa treatments, so S and I loll in bed and talk about how strange it must be to be pregnant.

8:44 a.m. Housekeeping knocks on our door to see if the room is ready to be cleaned. WHAT?! Do you know what TIME it is?!

9:08 a.m. I head to my spa treatments. I am SO EXCITED. I know I always feel like this, but I really need a massage. Also, I am anticipating some very impressive locker and shower facilities, and I am not disappointed. It's so stupid, but I can't wait to take a shower at the Spa.

9:45 a.m. I'm chowing on complimentary coffee and muffins when Zoi comes in to get me for my "Hershey Rainshower." Little I know that I'm about to enter the worst nightmare of my life. While wearing a bathing suit, I am to step into a little stall, where they will spray many, many jets of water at me. There is also a huge showerhead above me, raining down big fat droplets onto my head. This is all lovely and probably would have been quite relaxing had I not possessed an irrational fear of deep water and drowning. See, the water jets are not positioned for one standing only 5'2" tall. My head technically should have risen above the highest set of jets. Instead, I am getting water pulsed INTO MY EARS and NOSTRILS. I am inundated. I am being drowned alive and am conscious the entire time. Jeez. Instead of reveling in the comfort of the hard water jets, I must concentrate on breathing through my mouth so as not to die. Lovely.

10:05 a.m. Really, thank God for heated and DRY massage tables. Cocoa lotion me up, baby, because now I REALLY need a massage.

11:00 a.m. I fell asleep and had to be awakened by Matt, my therapist. How embarrassing. I hope I didn't snore, although I probably did because I was so congested from nearly drowning.

11:40 a.m. Once again having used the lovely shower facilities and fluffy towels, I stroll commando (when am I going to learn?!) back to the main Hotel. I don't know why putting underwear on isn't a priority, but I take a turn around the Hotel gift shop and chat with the front desk before heading upstairs to our room. Am I a man?

12:35 p.m. Check out. I'm faint from hunger. Still slightly traumatized by my near-death experience. Am thankful that I am a human and not a fish. I would be a very bad fish.

2:30 p.m. Lunch was lovely, and I had my first 1.5 mini-pieces of chocolate of the entire trip. I'm sated. J, S and I are on the road again, heading back towards urbanity. But first, a detour to see JHK -- SKK's 2-day-old son -- the newest addition to the L.O.L. family. We listen to television soundtracks and theme songs stored on J's iPod. It's slightly dismaying AND damn impressive to realize exactly how much television I watched as a child, and recognize our uncanny ability to remember unimportant things like which theme song belongs to which television show. Surely our brain cells can be put to better use, but why?

5:30 p.m. JHK has a lot of hair and froggy legs. LBK, his older brother by 1 1/2 years, is oblivious to the fact that he has a little brother. LBK is also learning the meaning of the few words he says; when asked for a hug and kiss, he vehemently shouts "NO WAAAAAAY!" and laughs diabolically. I would ignore him, but he has such an adorably square head. Also, he is unlike the children at Hershey Chocolate World, thus is still lovable.

8:15 p.m. I arrive home. J and S come in to use the potty. My brother's weekend-long fest is still going on. I doubt he and his friends have been sober at all since Saturday afternoon. In fact, Saturday night/Sunday morning, a neighbor called the police and two officers came to our home. Lovely. But now I'm home and I shall rule with an iron fist. Hershey seems so long ago.

I highly recommend Hershey, PA. Some tips:
1. Do not go if you do not enjoy children.
2. Plan ahead to swim either at 5 o'clock in the morning or 11 o'clock at night. Any other time, you will have your head kicked in by a flailing 5-year-old.
3. Wear body armor and earplugs when entering Chocolate World.
4. Nautica, at the outlet mall, has great swimsuit sales.
5. Everyone is really nice. Leave your New Yorkiness at home.
6. Be prepared to accept free chocolate wherever you go. There's even a bowl of Kisses for you to delve into as you exit the gym.
7. Do not make an appointment for the Hershey Rainshower if you are under 5'3" or fear death by drowning.

See you there next time . . .

Friday, May 23


I love these words:


Thanks for tolerating my nerdiness.

Well, I'm off to the wonderful world of Hershey, PA for the weekend. How ironic, given my less-than-love for chocolate. They tell me the whole town smells like chocolate, so I might spend the entire weekend gagging, but I relish the opportunity to indulge myself in luxurious spa treatments, spend quality time with the Little Old Ladies, and check out a new addition to the L.O.L. family.

Don't follow me there. You stay home and be good.
See yous soon, my loyal lovelies . . .

Psalm 139

1 O LORD , you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD , and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

There are very few singers/bands/musicians/vocalists who can move me to tears and shivers, no matter what they sing: Luther Vandross . . . Whitney Houston . . . Stevie Nicks . . . Billy Joel . . . Dave Matthews . . . Heart . . . Alanis Morissette (don't laugh) . . . Lauryn Hill . . . Marvin Gaye . . . Ella Fitzgerald.

Now I have a new addition to the slowly growing list: CHRISTOPHER RUBEN STUDDARD.

Yes, I'm talking about your new American Idol, Ruuuuuuuu-ben. Don't you snort and scoff in disbelief until you've seen his sheepish grin, observed his genteel Southern charm, watched him pour his heart and soul into each performance, and heard his thick, velvety voice drip over you like warm molasses. He lights a fire in my belly and puts a stupid smile on my face every time. I might just have to succumb to the national frenzy, become a voracious consumer easily influenced by American trends, and pick up his album when it drops . . .

Continuing on the topic of entertainment . . . this morning, Z100's Z-Morning Zoo chatted with Seth Green -- he of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer", the "Scream" movies, and "The Italian Job" (opening May 30th) fame.

I love Seth Green. He is one of the few actors/actresses to whom I am loyal enough that I will watch (or seriously consider watching) anything they appear in.

He joins the ranks of: Julia Roberts . . . John Cusack . . . Edward Norton . . . Ben Stiller . . . Samuel L. Jackson . . . Steve Martin . . . Jeremy Northam . . . Colin Firth . . . Parker Posey . . . Vince Vaughn . . . Nicole Kidman . . . Susan Sarandon . . . Kevin Spacey.

The best part of Seth Green's interview this morning: he had low, sleepy morning voice. Yummy.

Thursday, May 22

YOU VEX ME . . .

. . . when you act like you know me better than you do. Knowing my name does not make you my best friend. Having the same career as I do does not make you a member of my club. Being of the same ethnic background as me does not give you deep insight into my psyche. Having known me as a child does not make you an expert on my development into an adult -- in fact, that makes you less likely to know me well now.

. . . when you are clueless. Don't stand up in a theater space if you're seated in the front row. Don't talk on your cell phone in enclosed spaces, unless you're trying to coordinate where to meet your dying loved one in the hospital. Don't stay seated on the subway when a pregnant woman, elderly person, parent carrying children and shopping bags, handicapped person gets on after you. Don't stand on the left side of the escalator. Don't walk slow on the sidewalk in Manhattan. Don't leave your shopping cart in the middle of an empty parking space next to your car.

. . . when you drive like an idiot. Stay in your lane. Use your blinker. Don't swerve in front of me, and then laugh because you think it's funny that I freaked out. Don't toss your garbage out the window on the highway. Don't dance so hard to the radio that your car veers around on the road. Pay attention to your blinker -- if you're not turning, turn if off. Get your muffler fixed. Don't speed so much, unless you have a death wish.

. . . when you are tactless. Don't ask people how old they are and how much they weigh. Don't make jokes about people who are not like you . . . in public. Don't talk in class (or the courtroom) unless you're called on to do so. Don't disrespect your elders for no reason. Don't be exclusive and picky amongst your friends. Don't lie to your friends and family just to save your own ass. Don't be lazy about paying attention to who is around you and how they are feeling.

. . . when you try too hard. You can't woo with smooth words -- they'll only laugh at you. You can't win every argument -- they'll only hate talking to you. You can't be the best at everything -- they'll only think you don't have time for them. You can't be everyone's friend -- they'll only think you're frivolous. You can't always be the center of attention -- they'll only get bored with you. You can't attract with just makeup -- they'll only wonder what happened to your personality. You can't know what everyone's thinking -- they'll only think you're being passive-aggressive.

. . . when you are rude to strangers. Always remember: the bus driver can ignore your bell-pull; the waitress can spit in your food; the court clerk can temporarily misplace your important document; the secretary can schedule your appointment for 7:45 a.m.; the store cashier can forget to give you the discount; the nurse can make you wait to see the doctor; the cab-driver can take the long way home; the undercover officer can arrest you; your law school classmate can be the judge you appear before in 20 years. Just suck it up and smile -- you know life ain't that bad.

. . . when you are close-minded. Why are you telling me Christianity is wrong? Why are you telling me abortion should be illegal? Why are you telling me Democrats are stupid? Why are you telling me women shouldn't be in combat? Why are you telling me I'm too young to do the things I want to do? Why are you telling me who to marry? Why are you telling me I don't have the strength and stamina to be in elite law enforcement? Why are you telling me America should police the world? Why are you telling me that black and white high school students should have separate proms? Why are you telling me I shouldn't have gay friends? Why are you telling me God doesn't exist? Why are you telling me you're so liberal and accepting?

Wednesday, May 21


Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you
—Matthew 6:33

When we look at these words of Jesus, we immediately find them to be the most revolutionary that human ears have ever heard. ". . . seek first the kingdom of God . . . ." Even the most spiritually-minded of us argue the exact opposite, saying, "But I must live; I must make a certain amount of money; I must be clothed; I must be fed." The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God but how we are going to take care of ourselves to live. Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the primary concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life.

". . . do not worry about your life . . ." ( Matthew 6:25 ). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely unreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed—no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that. In essence, Jesus was saying, "Don’t make food and drink the controlling factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God." Some people are careless about what they eat and drink, and they suffer for it; they are careless about what they wear, having no business looking the way they do; they are careless with their earthly matters, and God holds them responsible. Jesus is saying that the greatest concern of life is to place our relationship with God first, and everything else second.

-- Oswald Chambers

Serious: Tomorrow, Annika Sorenstam plays with the boys. She will become the first woman in 58 years --since Babe Didrikson Zaharias, in 1945 -- to play in a PGA tournament. The Bank of America Colonial is an invitational tournament, and this year, they invited Sorenstam to take one of the 12 sponsor exemptions. Vijay Singh, the most outspoken opponent to having Sorenstam play in the Colonial, has said that if he was partnered with her, he wouldn't play, and that "I don't want to have a woman beat me." Well, that probably won't happen, because Singh won't be playing in the Colonial -- he's tired from playing four straight tournaments and says "I need a break." (Singh also said the PGA is "a man's tour" -- apparently, he doesn't know that the PGA has no gender rules.) Nick Price said that Sorenstam's participation in the Colonial "reeks of publicity" but admires her courage anyway. The two rookies who got picked to partner with Sorenstam during the first two rounds, Dean Wilson and Aaron Barber, are excited to play with her and wish her the best. When asked if he was afraid Sorenstam would beat him, Barber replied that "they make her sound like she is an inferior player. I think her skills are very good, and they stack up really good on this golf course." When asked if he felt pressure to beat Sorenstam, Wilson replied, "If she plays well and I play bad, anybody can beat me when I play bad." As for Sorenstam, she says she just came to the Colonial to test herself and "didn't think everybody else wanted to test me at the same time." My Two Cents: Golfers use bad grammar. Singh is a pissy-pants. Sorenstam should've known her appearance at Colonial would cause the frenzy it has -- it's the American way to make mountains out of gender, racial, sexual, religious molehills, and the golf arena is no different. She will probably also get her ass kicked, because despite her impressive record so far and her genius at the sport, she is a woman and most likely doesn't have the strength that her male counterparts do. When you can't get the ball on the green, well . . . And finally, I don't think it takes "courage" to play at Colonial -- it takes an invitation. Ugh, it's just GOLF.

Sad and Let-Down: UPN aired the very last episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer yesterday evening. Angel came back and tried to bust another move on Buffy; she effectively shut him down and he went back to L.A. to film the next season of Angel. Buffy killed Caleb by slicing him in half, starting at the balls and swinging up (ouch). Dawn realized what a tongue-stud could do to enhance a lesbian relationship. Spike and Buffy shared a moment. Xander made an inappropriate one-eye joke. Spike was HOT, as always. Andrew was HILARIOUS, as always. Anya died. The others made their getaway in a school bus. All the Slayerettes around the world became full-blown Slayers, including a little girl playing Little League -- that was weird. Sunnydale is gone, sunken into a huge crater formerly known as The Hellmouth (but don't dismay -- there is another one in Cleveland). My Two Cents: I wish I was Buffy when she and Spike were sharing a moment. Eliza Dushku overacts everything and it's annoying. I just can't see her as the nice little girl from "Bring It On" anymore. I want Andrew (the character, not the actor) to come and live with me and entertain me non-stop. All that laughing would tighten my abs, too. I hope Spike comes back as his sexy, naughty, sarcastic self when he appears on Angel. But otherwise, the series finale SUCKED.

Rude and Crude: FannyPack, a girl-group from Brooklyn, has hit the big time with a song entitled "Cameltoe." In daily rotation on Z100's Z-Morning Zoo (among other stations), the song describes and denounces the Camel Toe, the unfortunate phenomenon of the frontal wedgie suffered by women who wear too-tight pants. The unfortunately-catchy chorus:
Mm-hmm, that's right
Uh-oh, oh no!
Fix yourself, girl
You got a cameltoe!

My Two Cents: This song grosses me out, but like any other gross thing, I can't help but sing along, laugh out loud, and generally enjoy it. I know what they're talking about (not from personal experience, I hope), and I just think it's so bizarre they wrote a song about it. I suppose it's not unlike "Baby Got Back." Thank you, Sir Mix-A-Lot, for that gem. I personally most enjoy the admonition "Fix yourself, girl."

Slightly Grumpy: There is one person in my life who regularly gives me agita. He is a boy. Actually, he is almost 30 years old, but is nonetheless boy-like. Boy likes to hear himself talk. Boy thinks he is God's gift to the world and all things in it. Boy has been brought up to think that he is da bomb. Boy is pompous and arrogant, grating, annoying, harsh, socially inept, a know-it-all who is often wrong, sour, talks too much, pessimistic, and generally unpleasant to be around in all ways. Boy thinks he can be my best friend because of some small commonalities in our background. Boy is flippant towards people and insensitive to their feelings. Boy claims not to be snobbish, but says there are people in our group of friends who are not worthy of being friends with him. Boy asks you questions, not to hear what you have to say, but to argue with you. After arguing with you and causing you to become very agitated, Boy backs off and says "Oh, I don't really believe everything I just said; I just wanted to see what YOU would say." Boy is a waste of time. And despite all this, Boy manages to be hyper-sensitive about not being included in events, being included in events, people liking him, people not liking him, people paying attention to him and heeding his words, and his own self-image. Unfortunately, Boy is also dating a friend of mine, so I can't really avoid seeing his sour self on a regular basis. I would really like Boy to become a man, like every other over-25-year-old man I enjoy being friends with, so that I don't have to be Super-Bitch everytime he comes near. Being Super-Bitch is exhausting and I resent Boy exhausting me.

Tuesday, May 20

I hate to admit it, but I'm actually kind of bored with myself.

One of my cases is on trial this week, and it's progressing -- gasp! -- smoothly. I've drafted the jury instructions and the verdict form, and they look to be -- gasp! -- acceptable on the first try. I gasp not because my work is normally sub-par -- most of the time, I manage to be nominally competent. It's just nice when things chug along at an acceptably stable pace.

Reading: Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times, by Helen Thomas

Listening to: Elaborate Lives, the universal sappy love song, from the AIDA soundtrack, currently on repeat on my car stereo . . .

We all lead such elaborate lives
Wild ambitions in our sights
How an affair of the heart survives
Days apart and hurried nights

Seems quite unbelievable to me
I don't want to live like that
Seems quite unbelievable to me
I don't want to love like that
I just want our time to be
Slower and gentler

We all live in extravagant times
Playing games we can't all win
Unintended emotional crimes
Take some out, take others in

Too many choices tear us apart
I don't want to live like that
Too many choices tear us apart
I don't want to love like that
I just want to keep your heart
May this confession be the start

I know you'll give me courage
To face what I must face
With all these complications
In another time and place

We all lead such elaborate lives
We don't know whose words are true
An affair of the heart survives
All the pain the world can do

I'm so tired of all we're going through
I don't want to live like that
I'm so tired of all we're going through
I don't want to love like that
I just want to be with you
Now and forever
Okay, I know I just need to focus and do my work, but BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ends tonight and I'm just so distraught, I can't function. I just know I'll be weeping in front of the television set tonight. Oh, woe.

The ankle bruise has settled. It has now taken the shape of a ring around my ankle, consistent with some sort of bondage activity. Makes me look like I'm into S&M. Now, I'm all for whatever kinds of consensual hanky-panky, but NO TWINE, please.
Today is Busta Rhymes's 31st birthday.
Because I knew you'd want to know.

Monday, May 19


I have a few battle scars on my body of which I am bizarrely proud, acquired over the course of my relatively short life. In no particular order, for I love them all equally, the are:

1. The Moped Burn: Senior year in college. Cozumel, Mexico. 2-person moped to tool around the island. My friend LL, the moped driver, revs our engine too hard on loose gravel. Moped slips, my feet fall off the footrest, my calf makes contact with the exhaust pipe. The HOT exhaust pipe. The BURNING HOT exhaust pipe. Gross ugly blister the size of a silver dollar bubbles up. Lasts about a week and a half before I get up the nerve to pop it . . . or rather, ask a friend to pop it. More grossness ensues. Fortunately, no gangrene sets in and no amputation required (the stuff of my wildest nightmares, AND I was watching too much "ER" at the time). Update: faint scar lingers, no hair grows there, sometimes I have no feeling in that silver dollar area. Very interesting. Very exciting. Very traumatic. Very proud that I was even ON the moped. Plus, I looked real cute in the pink helmet.

2. The Appendectomy Scar: Spring, 1989. New York. After a summer bout of mild appendicitis and a lifetime of chronic and mysterious stomach pains, we decide it just needs to get out. 7:00 am, I go under while engaged in a riveting conversation about my favorite kind of kimchi with my surgical team (I also ask them to make sure they cut the right side -- the right side). A few hours later, I wake up craving a cheeseburger; a family friend (also serving as my anesthesiologist) greets me and tells me that no, I can't have a cheeseburger. I fall back asleep against my will -- damn, that stuff is powerful. I wake again in the afternoon, still wanting that cheeseburger and really wanting to go home. They want to keep me for two more days, but I am such a brat, they give me a cheeseburger for dinner, then release my whiny ass the next morning, with extreme cautions against exerting myself or causing the stitches to pop out. Little they know how lazy I can be. Can't bathe for a week -- how disgusting. Update: strange but true fact is that the scar is barely visible now, but it becomes inflamed when I menstruate. What an image -- you're glad I shared.

3. The Scissor to the Knee: Summer after the appendectomy. Living room, watching baseball with my dad, clipping coupons but not paying attention to the coupons . . . or the scissors, apparently. Put my hand down on the floor to watch an important pitch -- unfortunately, my hand holds the scissors blade-side up. Lower my legs Indian-style, and right knee impales itself on the scissor blade. "Don't bleed on the rug!" my dad yells. I'm fascinated at the scissors sticking out of my knee joint, and wonder if I hit anything important in there. Extract the scissors, start bleeding all over the freshly-clipped coupons ($2.65 in savings down the tube), finally start to feel pain, scream for my mom. Update: very cute and tiny scar. I never used those scissors again.

4. The Scissor to the Elbow: Truthfully, I don't know how this happened. I think I was gesticulating wildly, telling some story to my mom -- while holding a pair of sharp scissors, of course -- and just stabbed myself. Update: another very cute and tiny scar. No aversion to any particular scissors, since I can't even remember which ones I used. However, I often wonder why my mom didn't stop me from gesticulating wildly while holding a pair of sharp scissors . . .

5. The Leaded Kneecap: 4th grade, towards the end of the year. Hot as hell, and bored in the back of the classroom. To keep myself from falling asleep, I try to see if I can drop newly-sharpened pencils onto my knees and balance them. I don't even KNOW why I thought this was possible . . . or remotely fun. Right knee, the pencil bounces right off. Left knee, the pencil sticks. Ouch. I stare at myself in disbelief, and hope no one notices the #2 pencil sticking out of my leg. I remove the pencil and see the lead remaining behind. I decide to give it a week to dissolve and distribute itself through my bloodstream. A week later, it's still there. Update: 19 years later, it's still there, in its original form. I don't think I have lead poisoning, but if I do, that would explain a whole lot . . .

6. The Stubborn Vein: Pre-appendectomy blood-drawing. Nurse's office. Incompetent nurse. She sticks me twice in my right arm, but my veins refuse to show themselves. She still manages to draw blood from somewhere but complains that it's the wrong color. She sticks me twice in my left arm -- still no vein. More vials of blood drawn, still the "wrong color." Now she's mad at me -- apparently, it's MY fault SHE can't draw blood. I am now faint; she says there are no cookies or juice for me because she wasn't expecting me to be so "stubborn." Excuse me, NURSE FROM HELL. Finally, she hits a vein in my left arm. She draws another vial of blood. Am I white like a vampire yet? My arm starts to hurt, then turn cold, then turn numb and tingly. The nurse says it's all in my head. Finally, she's done. She pops the needle out, gives me another dirty look, tells me to stay put for a few minutes, then leaves, slamming the door behind her. Uh, can I at least have a Band-Aid, please? Update: there is a nice little dot of a scar underneath the surface of my skin, on my vein. I hope it doesn't dislodge itself, travel through my bloodstream, clog an artery and cause an aneurysm, because then, my survivors would just have to sue someone. It's the American way. Nurse, consider yourself on notice.

And now, a temporary addition to the collection:

7. The Twine Rope Burn and Bruise: I spent all of yesterday outdoors at the annual NHF picnic. Hadn't intended on joining in the games at all (what with the tractor beam and all), but I got bullied into it and my Monica Geller-esque rabid competitive nature reared its ugly head. My team lost, not for lack of lots of trash-talking, but we had the best time. I also ran a three-legged race. It's in the Korean blood -- if you're Korean and you're at a picnic, you run a three-legged race. They tied us with TWINE. (We're a low-budget church.) It was PAINFUL. I didn't feel the pain at the time because I was too busy laughing and thanking God that my tractor beam seemed to be deactivated for the day. Update: mildly impressive twine burn on my right ankle, coupled with a very tender subcutaneous bruise the approximate size of an adult fist. Also, the tractor beam was only idle for the early part of the afternoon -- the system malfunction righted itself at the precise moment I chose to observe the volleyball game. As it should be . . .

Saturday, May 17

Just some ponderous thoughts:

Sometimes, I'm amazed at my own stupidity, and my utterly useless ability to create and live in meticulously constructed and perfected alternate universes.

Sometimes, truths sucker-punch me in the face so hard I feel it in my gut and I can't breathe or cry or protest or speak -- unfortunately, I can still scornfully laugh at myself. I lose even the minimal energy required to drag myself to bed, and I can't look at myself in the mirror for the gaping wound staring back at me.

Sometimes, I become so weary and exhausted that I can't sleep, and I lie awake wondering how I got myself into this situation in the first place.

See, I don't always use humor as a defense. Sometimes, I'm defenseless.

Friday, May 16

Heard this morning on a Snapple commercial:
"Your stomach's so flat, it reminds me of Kansas."

Thursday, May 15


Remember this??: "Alright, stop, collaborate and listen."

My friend JKo just emailed me regarding preparations for the NHF picnic on Sunday: "JW and I are going to go to Sam's Club sometime on Saturday to buy meat and buns... wanna come?" Hmmm. As enticing as the invitation sounds . . .

I spent the day in NYC yesterday and I loved it. I miss the years I lived there (Upper West Side, baby!). I miss walking the streets with businesspeople, high school students, baby strollers, bums, little old ladies and their walkers, Upper East Side princesses, club kids, street vendors, college students, neighborhood beat cops, actors, innocent transplants, tourists. I miss the constant hum of just-loud-enough-noise; the cheap-n'-tasty Indian, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Cuban, Mexican, Korean, American fare on every street corner; the ease of walking everywhere you want to go or the speed of the subway when you feel like sitting down; the $10 clothing store; the neighborhood grocery with the flowers displayed out front. I miss the leisurely suburban feel of the residential neighborhoods; the hip-hop 'tude of the college towns; the manic importance of midtown; the plain insanity of Times Square; the too-cool-for-me vibe of downtown; the heavy steadiness of the City Hall and Federal Plaza blocks. HOWEVER, there is just that one thing that I don't miss: how the city air makes my boogers dirty.

According to the NY Daily News, yesterday in New Jersey (damn New Jersey), "about 200 New Jersey off-duty cops and firefighters, most of them white, heckled the widow of a slain Dominican musician at the arraignment of the four cops charged in her husband's death" by shouting "USA!" and "Go Home!" I'm just curious about a few things: (1) what does patriotism have anything to do with four police officers beating someone to death; (2) if one is a legal resident or citizen of the United States, where exactly is she supposed to "go home" to; (3) is it ever okay to heckle a widow; (4) it would be so much easier if we would all just go back to wherever "home" is supposed to be -- the white police officers can "go home" to Ireland, England, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France (oh wait, we hate France this year), or whatever other country produces white people, I can "go home" to Korea, someone else can "go home" to Puerto Rico or Spain or Ecuador. Hooch will have to leave an arm here, though, because she's part Native American. Then we can all quit heckling each other.

Wednesday, May 14


They can't keep their eyes off each other. My parents communicate with glances. They can speak encyclopedic volumes to each other in a twitch of an eye (usually the right one, because when he's tired, Appa's left eye sort of sticks closed). When Appa gets too rowdy in front of the dinner guests, Omma quirks an eyebrow -- all of a sudden, the other people in the room get to tell their funny stories as well. When Omma speaks a little too critically, Appa flashes his eyes at her sideways -- all of a sudden, Omma is the most accommodating and kind woman on the face of the earth: "Of COURSE your son deserves to go to Harvard -- kids with 2.9 GPAs get in ALL the time." When my brother or I tell a completely inappropriately hilarious story over dinner and they don't want to encourage our rudeness, they just silently bulge their eyes at each other, knowing that they'll laugh about it under the covers later anyway.

They share a brain. Yeah, my parents argue and disagree as much as any other couple -- probably more, because they're both highly intelligent and incredibly stubborn. But when it comes to family matters, there's always only one cerebral unit. Neither questions a decision -- there's always later to talk about it privately, and persuade each other that the decision is right or wrong. Neither contradicts a scolding or a punishment -- a bad deed is a bad deed, and no one gets off easy just because one parent is in a generous mood. Back when it was relevant, curfew was never changed except by the curfew-setter -- even if it was 10pm one night, and miraculously, 2am the next night (thanks for that one, Omma). I don't know if they discussed all possible household issues before they got married, and created solutions for all of them, or what. Maybe they just read the same child-rearing manuals. All I know is, as a feisty high school junior protesting a laughable and impossible curfew, it's intimidatingly amazing to be presented with such a uni-brained front. On the other hand, there's something bizarrely safe and secure about how united, exactly, my parents are.

They just don't shut up. Last year, my parents and their friends caravanned to Pennsylvania for a weekend trip, each couple in their own car. When they arrived at their destination 2.5 hours later, one couple asked my parents in near horror, "What were you TALKING about the whole way here?!" "Why?" my parents responded. The other couple, following my parents' car, had watched my parents chatter at each other for the entire 2.5-hour car ride, and couldn't imagine what Omma and Appa -- married for 30 years -- still had left to discuss when left by themselves. My parents don't know either -- they just talk. They talk about us kids, their work, church, their friends, our friends, their golf swings and putting stances, new purchases, new projects, home renovations, who they want me to marry, who they hope my brother doesn't marry, the Yankees, the Motherland, so-and-so's new baby, the crabgrass in the backyard, dance steps they have to learn, their allergies, the price of bananas, whatever. They spend the whole day together at work, then come home and talk some more over dinner. When I go to the bathroom at night before bed, I can hear them through the door -- still talking. When they get started, you can't get a word in edgewise, but that's okay -- my parents are pretty entertaining, and are also an excellent source of harmless gossip.

They think they're still in their 20s. There once was a time when I would call my parents to come and get me if I had been drinking at a friend's place and didn't think I should drive myself home. Well, HOW TIMES CHANGE. Now, we take the occasional family outing to Baden-Baden in New Jersey, a Korean version of the German alehouse, where my parents order me a Sprite, throw down some draft beer themselves, then crawl into the back seat of the car and order me to drive them home. No, it's not gross, like the car commercial. And there's certainly no "Joe Millionaire"-esque "slurping" going on!! (Perish the thought.) They just sit back there, holding hands, talking again (more loudly this time), then fall gently asleep. Sure, the Palisades Parkway at night can be a lonely drive with no one to talk to, but I'd rather be their chauffeur than their referee.

They can't keep their hands off each other. Not that I (or you) need the visual, but there's definitely no question where my brother and I came from. Omma can't walk by Appa without getting a butt slap. Appa can't watch TV without Omma draping herself against him, using his shoulder as her personal headrest -- if he shifts, Omma holds her head suspended until he has settled again, then repositions herself accordingly. When Omma dresses up and looks especially ravishing, Appa grabs her and polkas her around the house until we're all rolling on the floor in laughter. They go downstairs and practice their ballroom dancing for hours. When you bust open their bedroom door on sleepy Sunday mornings, there's only one lumpy mass in the middle of the mattress, and of course one has to jump on it and demand breakfast, please.

They protect each other. Any new car we acquire always goes to Omma -- Appa wants her to be driving only the best, the safest and the newest. Omma never sleeps or naps when passengering a car Appa is driving -- she doesn't want him to doze off or be bored with no one to talk to. Appa never takes the lead when we drive two cars to go somewhere -- he wants to be behind Omma to make sure she's okay and to be there if something should happen to her. Omma wrestles Appa on golf outings to slather sunscreen on his face -- he hates "lotion-y" things but she hates skin cancer more. Appa always sleeps closest to the door, at home or away -- he wants to be between Omma and whatever unwelcome element might be coming through the doorway. (Sunday morning bust-ins do not count as "unwelcome elements.") Some of it's primal ("me man, you woman"), some of it's habit, all of it is very cute and necessary.

They heal each other. A few months ago, Omma underwent a minor outpatient surgical procedure. After waking from the general anesthesia, she rested in the hospital for a few hours before I brought her home. That night, her body went into some sort of shock -- we think from the last of the anesthesia wearing off -- and Omma got the most unimaginable, scariest shakes ever. I'm talking full-body, teeth-chattering, bile-raising, cold blue-lipped, hot feverish foreheaded, eyes-rolling-back, incoherent "Exorcist" shakes. I thought she was going to have a seizure, or an aneurysm or die -- I had never seen such a thing before. I had no idea how to help -- all I could do was kneel outside the bedroom door, weeping and praying for God to save her. But Appa just crawled into bed with Omma, wrapped his whole body around hers and held her, whispering "Shh, shh, I know, I know . . ." Twenty minutes later, Omma was sound asleep. I know it wasn't Appa's magical powers that did the trick, but God knows what's what, and He knows that Appa is the best medicine for Omma.

Thirty-eight years of being together, and counting . . .

Tuesday, May 13


Well, this is one way to get what you want, I suppose . . .

Over 50 Texas Democrats Remain on the Lam
Filed at 2:10 p.m. ET

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Three Democrats returned to the Capitol on Tuesday, but more than 50 remained on the lam in Oklahoma, frustrating Republican efforts to push through a plan to redraw the state's congressional districts.

The rebellious Democrats were holed up at a hotel in Ardmore, Okla. They sneaked out of Austin on Sunday after spending several days discussing ways to derail a GOP plan to redraw the districts that seeks to increase the number of Republican seats.

With 58 Democrats gone on Monday, the 150-member House was unable to muster the two-thirds quorum needed to conduct business. House Speaker Tom Craddick called the House to order Tuesday morning but even with the return of three Democrats, there still were enough missing to block any House business.

The three returning Democrats were welcomed back into the House chamber with hugs and supportive words from their Republican colleagues. One Democrat, Rep. Helen Giddings, fought back tears as she stated her desire to stop the redistricting plan.

The defiant Democrats in Oklahoma said they would stay away until Republicans agreed to drop the redistricting plan.

``It's totally up to Craddick, and he has been so advised,'' one of the Democrats told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. ``If he'll get redistricting off the calendar, we'll be right there bright and early.''

Craddick said he was not interested in negotiating.

Republicans constructed signs and gimmicks ridiculing their colleagues. They plastered the Democrats' faces on milk cartons, and state Republican chair Susan Weddington, borrowing from the ``most wanted Iraqi'' cards, announced she had playing cards featuring the missing legislators.

House rules allow state troopers to arrest lawmakers and bring them back to the Capitol. On Monday, Craddick had ordered troopers to find the missing lawmakers, arrest them and bring them back to Austin. Several agents arrived at the Democrats' hotel in Ardmore on Monday night but they did not have jurisdiction outside of Texas and did not have a warrant issued by Oklahoma authorities.

Instead, the troopers asked the legislators to board their aircraft and return home, but the lawmakers refused.

The capped months of tension between Democrats and the newly-in-control Republicans.

``They're legislative terrorists and their leaving today is a weapon of mass obstruction, blocking hundreds of pieces of legislation,'' Republican Rep. Dan Branch said Monday.

The Democrats said they were taking a stand for fair treatment of the minority party. They said U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, had pushed the Texas House to take up the issue of congressional redistricting instead of more pressing matters, such as the state budget.

``There are some issues that are important to us, important to all Texans,'' Rep. Pete Gallego said.

The state already has a court-drawn redistricting map, but Republicans say it doesn't match state voting trends and want to redo the plan. Their proposal could add five to seven GOP House seats to the 15 already in Republican hands. The state has 32 members in the U.S. House.

Redistricting had been scheduled on the House calendar for Monday. The deadline for preliminarily votes on House bills is Thursday or they risk dying for the session, which ends June 2.

The Texas House cannot convene without at least 100 of the 150 members present. The body has 88 Republicans and 62 Democrats. Four Democrats had stayed behind and the whereabouts of four others were not known.

The missing Democratic lawmakers spent Monday in a hotel conference room, where large sheets of paper taped to the walls were used as makeshift chalkboards and long tables were filled with laptop computers, stacks of papers and notebooks.

They said they discussed school financing, homeowners insurance and other issues.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry lambasted the Democrats for deserting the Legislature, saying ``we might as well shut this building down and let it become a museum because the work of the people is through.''

The Republicans and the few Democrats who were left milled around. Some left the chamber and were elsewhere in the Capitol. They weren't be required to stay on the House floor Tuesday as they had all day Monday.

Craddick said Perry assured him he would call a special session after the regular session if it's needed.

The walkout came 24 years to the month since a group of 12 Texas state senators defied then-Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby by refusing to show up at the Capitol.

Some of the ``Killer Bees,'' as the 12 Democrats came to be known, hid out in a west Austin garage apartment while troopers, Texas Rangers and legislative sergeants-at-arms unsuccessfully combed the state for them.
Other soon-to-be hits from Quantum of Evidence's self-titled debut album:

"So Ordered"
"Petition Granted"
"Summary Judgment"
"String Cite"
"Morning Calendar"
"Open Cases"

Bonus Track: "No More Extensions"

I need to go shop for a dress to wear to the Grammy awards . . .

Monday, May 12

My favorite legal phrase: QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE.

If I were to headline a rock band, that would be my band's name: QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE.

Our first single would be entitled: "MOTION DENIED."

It's so deep.
From PSALM 37 . . .

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD ;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret-it leads only to evil.
9 For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

Sunday, May 11


Drs. K & L got married on Saturday, both friends to whom I hope to draw closer, despite the impending 3000-mile distance. What a glorious day: sunny, breezy, slightly humid but in a good way. And of course, what is a major social event without a little deconstruction and analysis and inane commentary . . .

8:30am: I blink awake and call a local hair salon, a place I've never been. I have been called into duty by Bride, and I'm looking forward to at least a few moments of glory on the dance floor later in the evening, so I want my hair invisible to my own eyes. In other words, push it back, take it up, twirl it around -- whatever it takes, I don't want to see it, I don't want to eat it and I don't want it sticking to my neck. Thank the heavens, the first salon on my list will take me . . . in an hour. Damn, I have to get up. Speed through morning yoga, shower, hit the road. The Drs.' wedding day has begun.

10:00am: My scalp is prodded by a petite Filipino woman who tells me "your hair is so short and fine, what AM I going to do with it?!" I don't know -- that's why I'm here, right?

10:10am: I love getting my hair washed. I wish it were possible to have someone wash my hair for me every morning, with the little scalp massage thrown in, of course. Ahhhh... oh! Water in my ear. Gross.

10:15am: I'm scolded again for having short and fine hair.

11:00am: There is a TEAM of stylists working on my short and fine hair, including someone known as "Miss Lucy," a purported "genius with hair like yours." Well, "Miss Lucy" must indeed have the magic fingers, because my hair is now staying where it's supposed to, thanks to her, some bobby pins, gel, hair spray and WAX. They put WAX in my hair. Eww.

11:30am: I escape the stylists' clutches, and if I do say so myself, the end result is kind of nice. Classy but cute and simple -- no one wants to be the one with a fancier hairstyle than Bride, right? Sadly, my hair is so hard and crunchy, I wonder if my tractor beam has been disabled. But no -- I hit myself in the head with my car door. Good to know everything's still working the way it's supposed to . . .

12:09pm: I scarf down a cheeseburger and put my dress on at the same time. Note to self: cheeseburgers don't mesh well with wanting to feel sleek and sexy -- cheese-induced gas is bad news. Plus I have to brush the pickle taste out of my mouth.

12:44pm: Hair -- check. Makeup -- check. Dress -- check. Shoes -- check. Purse, money, lipstick, tissues, cell phone -- check. My wedding duty supplies -- check. I sit primly on my couch and wait for my ride, The Wedding Coordinator. My feet hurt already.

12:49pm: The Wedding Coordinator arrives and promptly tells me that I clean up nice. It's kind of like when my dad sees me dressed up and says "You own DRESSES?!" Thank you, though.

2:00pm: On the dot, we arrive as scheduled at the church in New Jersey. It's so pretty. The florists are working in their rightful place. The guestbook table (my station) is set up and tableclothed. No one else is there. Wedding Coordinator and I are bored. We drink our water. She eats her bagel. We admire the florists. We adjust, readjust, adjust again the tablecloth. We appreciate the weather. We talk about her baby. We get hungry. We talk about how awesome the cocktail hour-and-a-half is going to be. We hope they have pigs-in-a-blanket. I hope they have lots of liquor.

3:00pm: No new appearances. We have a sinking feeling that the pastor's original plan to get rolling at 3:55pm is just not going to happen. Wishful thinking, anyway . . .

3:50pm: The parents of the groom and bride stroll in. They've seen the wedding party. Wedding party is still taking photos. 3:55pm is definitely NOT going to happen. Heck, there aren't even any GUESTS yet. Wedding Coordinator and I give each other a knowing look: "Yup, we're on Korean time."

4:10pm: Groom and his posse stroll in. The bridal party has apparently also arrived, minus the bridesmaids -- two of them just had babies and they're BREAST-FEEDING them. And you KNOW those babies don't eat fast. Note to self: when I get married, disqualify all friends who are breastfeeding babies.

4:20pm: Herding a bunch of over-50-year-old Korean and Chinese couples is a lot like trying to direct the flow of deaf-blind cows who also lost their sense of smell. It just doesn't happen. See, not only am I manning the guestbook, but I'm also in charge of The Money Box. Usually, there are two Money Boxes -- one for Groom's guests, one for Bride's guests. Saturday, there was only one. People didn't believe me when I said there was only one. People did not want to give their fat envelopes of cash to me. People did not want to sign the guestbook in the allotted spaces. Then there was the one gentleman who didn't think a woman should be manning The Money Box. OKAY, then. People also don't like to be told to go inside and sit down. People would much rather hang out RIGHT BY THE GUESTBOOK TABLE and chatter at each other. So, here's a big shout-out to all our under-50-year-old friends who finally came along and showed them how it was supposed to be done (and discreetly shoved them out of the way).

4:40pm: 40 minutes late but who cares? Bride is gorgeous, everyone's happy, all the guests are seated, and now I'm chained to The Money Box. I can't go to the bathroom, I can't enter the sanctuary to watch the ceremony, I can't do anything that will take me away from guarding The Money Box. So what do I do? I pick up The Money Box, sneak into the sanctuary, sit in the back with The Money Box on my lap, weep a little when the new couple hugs their respective sets of parents, then crawl back outside with The Money Box intact. Tens of thousands of dollars are still safe, thanks to me. =)

5:25pm: What a cheery receiving line! Unfortunately, one of the straps on Bride's dress broke and she needs a shawl to cover herself up. I give her mine. Hmmm . . . never noticed how cold it was in the church before . . . still got The Money Box, and am desperately searching for a trusted family member to pawn it off on. I can't handle the responsibility -- it's starting to give me a headache. Or that could be a result of my intense craving for cocktail hour-and-a-half food.

5:49pm: The Money Box is safely stowed away. The gifts are in a car trunk (ever hear of online registry, anyone?). I need to sit down, or in the alternative, have a drink. Wedding Coordinator and I head out to the reception. By the way, all you Jersey drivers need to RETAKE DRIVER'S ED. Except for Soy and J, of course. No offense intended.

6:10pm: All is right in the world again -- I have a glass of wine in my hand. I suck it down like water -- hey, I was thirsty -- and go back for seconds.

7:30pm: Cocktail Hour-and-a-Half is amazing. Three of the four walls of the room are taken up by a variety of buffet foods, hot and cold and fishy. The other wall holds the open bar. We all conclude that an hour-and-a-half is the perfect amount of time in which to eat and drink everything the room has to offer. We figure we probably don't even need to eat the dinner.

8:00pm: We seat for dinner. My table is next to the band. We are very far from the bar. Not that that has ever hindered us before. It would appear that we all have built-in sonar to help us track and locate the nearest source of alcoholic nourishment. How scary.

8:57pm: My new best friend, The Flower Girl, decides to tie my shawl around me a la straitjacket. I decide to ignore the message. She tells me she's going to name her Barbie doll after me. I don't quite know what to make of this, so I send her back to her mother.

9:40pm: Tequila is yucky. Someone wants to lick salt off my shoulder. NO THANKS. Keep your tongue to yourself.

10:00pm: Thankfully, the newly-marrieds look relaxed and fed. Groom needs to learn how to dance, though. Some of the guys try to teach him. Doesn't work. Groom goes back to the step-together, step-together. That'll suffice for now.

10:37pm: How sad and yet so predictable -- all the over-50-years-old folks have eaten and left, leaving us young 'uns to our own devices. Whatever will we do? Oh wait, is that an open bar I see?

11:15pm: The men have been doing their own nasty little shots all night, so we women decide to band together with Bride and get our own alcoholic groove on. We were not really interested in what the men were doing, yet when we ladies sidle up to the bar, all of a sudden, we're the latest spectacle of the year. All the cameras come out, and suddenly, there is a fan club of men wanting to take photos of us doing our (fruity) Kamikaze shots. Really. Is it that interesting?

11:34pm: The men want to do a final co-ed shot. Oh, alright -- twist my arm.

12:00am: Our collective ages and all the liquid nourishment we've consumed is catching up with us. We sprawl around the empty tables, taking the last photos with each other, propping our feet up on empty chairs, hooting and hollering at Bride and Groom, even though they're just standing, talking with their family. The band says "We're just gonna take a 5-minute break." Then they start packing up their gear. How confusing.

12:19am: Wedding Coordinator, her husband and I are lost in the bowels of New Jersey. This time, we can't blame it on sucky Jersey drivers. Rats.

1:09am: I'm home. I kick off my shoes and my spine readjusts to being aligned again. I marvel at the fact that my mascara didn't smudge and I have nothing stuck in my teeth. Good job, I tell myself. I take the pins out of my hair. My hair retains its shape. I wash my hair and hope to God all the wax gets out. I find another pin in the tub.

Last thoughts while drifting off to sleep: I hope there's not a random pin hidden in my hair that will poke my skull and make me bleed out onto my pillow . . . I could really go for a hot dog right about now . . . hats off to Bride and Groom for a lovely wedding and an excellent party . . .

(Disclaimer: for all that everyone's big blustery talk was worth, everyone was mostly sober, we all got home safe, and no one was too icky to trade their contact lenses for glasses today at church. We just like to THINK we're big bad drinkers. Frankly, an Irish 4-year-old could kick our butts, but don't tell the men that. They'd get so annoyed, they would spit up their Seabreezes. )

Thursday, May 8


These words, from Oswald Chambers's "My Utmost For His Highest," are especially relevant to me lately:

Perseverance means more than endurance— more than simply holding on until the end. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in a while the saint says, "I can’t take any more." Yet God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly. Entrust yourself to God’s hands. Is there something in your life for which you need perseverance right now? Maintain your intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through the perseverance of faith. Proclaim as Job did, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" ( Job 13:15 ).

Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him. Disaster occurs in your life when you lack the mental composure that comes from establishing yourself on the eternal truth that God is holy love. Faith is the supreme effort of your life—throwing yourself with abandon and total confidence upon God.

God ventured His all in Jesus Christ to save us, and now He wants us to venture our all with total abandoned confidence in Him. There are areas in our lives where that faith has not worked in us as yet—places still untouched by the life of God. There were none of those places in Jesus Christ’s life, and there are to be none in ours. Jesus prayed, "This is eternal life, that they may know You . . ." ( John 17:3 ). The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we will take this view, life will become one great romance—a glorious opportunity of seeing wonderful things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.

Can we talk about FOX for a moment? Now, I love FOX. FOX brought me "The Simpsons," "Malcolm in the Middle," "American Idol" (I love you, Simon!), 10 glorious seasons of "Beverly Hills, 90120" (and I am NOT ashamed to admit that I will be taping Sunday's 90210 Reunion show, also on FOX), 9 mostly excellent seasons of "The X-Files," and heck, even the train-wrecks known as "Joe Millionaire" and "Married By America" (both of which I watched faithfully, natch). But everyone has her limits, and I just have to draw the line somewhere. FOX Broadcasting Company, you totally lost me on "The 1st Annual Miss Dog Beauty Pageant," airing tonight. Talent competition? Evening gown portion? No, I just can't do it.


Re: "The West Wing": Oh, ye of little faith. All you nay-sayers, fair-weather friends, right-wing crazies, jealous-of-Aaron-Sorkin wannabes, "The West Wing" is BACK. If you saw last night's episode, "Commencement," you know exactly what I'm talking about. Sure, "Buffy" has the witty teen-speak; "Friends" has the universal likability; "CSI" has the gory blood n' guts; "Mr. Personality" has Monica Lewinsky (ick). But do all these shows -- and any others, for that matter -- offer you the most exciting 10 minutes of your television-viewing life? Do they provide that pulsing techno-beat soundtrack, hitting persistently on a minor key, leaving you slightly annoyed, vaguely scared, increasingly tense? Do they show you normally unflappable men and women -- military officers, Secret Service agents, the White House Chief of Staff -- losing their composure in such tiny, agonizing increments that all you want to do is scream and cry out at the television screen, forgetting momentarily that they can't hear you? Do they give you black-lit flashes of what might have happened, what might be happening, what horror no one can prevent? Do they show you Leo, the Chief of Staff, the old man, the recovering alcoholic, the slow and steady and steadfast Leo, hearing bad news like a swift punch to the gut, panicking in his slow and steady and steadfast way, walking to deliver bad news to his friend and boss, walking fast, skipping, tripping over his own feet, jogging, eluding younger, healthier agents, running, out of breath, frantic to get to the President to deliver news that will break him?

I didn't think so.

Wednesday, May 7


I can't believe Buffy, the Vampire Slayer is ending.

(What, you thought this was a serious post?)

Go ahead and laugh, all you non-believers. But Joss Whedon is genius, and there ain't no denying it. The actors -- well, they won't be winning any Oscars anytime soon, but they manage the snappy lines, the over-the-top tongue-in-cheek humor and witty repartee well enough. There's really no show like it on television, and there probably won't ever be. Even the spinoff, Angel, is too dark and morose to truly honor the spirit of Buffy. (Besides, there's no Spike on Angel . . . yet.)

Oh, whatever will I DO on Tuesday nights?
Spike, I hardly knew ye . . .

Tuesday, May 6


No, I'm talking about inside my head.
Things that are screwing with my brain and its mysterious workings:

- missing work on a Monday, and upon my return to the office, thinking that Tuesday is Monday, Wednesday is Tuesday, Thursday is Wednesday, etc. This could set my internal calendar back a few months at least.

- the side effects of Nighttime Comtrex: I think I'm immune to the "nighttime" part of it now. I was up all night, sweating through my blankets, vaguely hallucinating about something, creeping to the bathroom because I really had to go, then peeing hardly a drop. Too much information, I know, but since I'm sharing, note also the cotton-mouth and woolly-head in the morning. Ick.

- incessant chattering inside the office (not from my beloved Hooch, natch), distracting me from all productive forms of work and reading. Due to the side effects of Nighttime Comtrex and woolly-headedness, my usual powers of Drowning Out Shrill Extraneous Noise have been diminished. I hope to have it back in full strength tomorrow.

- a disturbing dream in which: I was a nanny's assistant whose sole job was to feed my two charges cough medicine EVERY NIGHT from a dropper; I was put on trial with a group of co-conspirators for a crime I did not commit; I watched as the trial judge's law clerk gave statements to the media about how disgusted she was with us defendants; I was acquitted but was being chased by police officers anyway; I was wearing a school backpack and had to swim across a small pool to get to school; I was annoyed because I had swum to school without wearing shoes, so now I had to swim all the way back, run home, get my shoes (brown penny-loafers, apparently), put them on, jump back in the pool, and swim back to school. And I was late for first period, and my hair was messed up.

Hopefully, the fog will lift in time for some less woolly moments this week:
- Wednesday night's "West Wing": Zoey gets kidnapped!!! Dum, dum, DUM.
- Thursday night with my surrogate family.
- Friday's rehearsal for Dr. SMK.
- Saturday's Wedding of the Month. Fog better be gone by then because there's no telling what Comtrex and some liquid nourishment will do to me . . .

Gideon's Trumpet, Anthony Lewis

Listening to:
American Life, Madonna

Third to last episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer