Monday, June 30


Parting thoughts before Uncle Sam lets me go for the evening . . .

. . . I miss M. I wish she were out of the hospital and back to strolling around with a grin on her face at NHF, accepting everyone's well-wishes. I wish she could come out for dinner with us. I wish we could kidnap her and whisk her away to the Bahamas. I wish she was at JKo's wedding so she could join us in laughing at our guys leaping and jumping at "Shook Me All Night Long." I wish it were November, so I could go over and babysit and give M some much-needed rest and a long-awaited date night with C. C'mon, Noodles! Shape up!

. . . Patria tonight was supposed to be a 6-lady affair, but it has dwindled to 3. Surprisingly, I'm not disappointed. Sometimes, a conversation split 6 ways between 6 very outspoken, funny, witty, interesting women can rapidly become overwhelming. Too many stories to tell, to hear, to laugh at, to absorb. Too much gossip to share. Too much sympathizing to be done. And the two women I shall be dining with tonight are certainly two that I want to draw closer to, to bring into my family as I have done with other gal-pals. So tonight, we chow, and dish and bond over a wee splash of sangria and I can't wait.

. . . JW told me on Saturday that I need to relax. What does that mean?! I AM relaxed!!! Can't you tell?!?!? Actually, I think at that point -- while I was vehemently protesting Michelle Branch's vocal stylings (she unnecessarily drops almost all of her phrases in an annoyingly breathy way) -- I was so cracked out on insufficient sleep and a malnutritious (not a word, I don't think) diet, that I would have pontificated loudly on any subject, from the price of Asian cabbage to the existence of institutional racism (oh my gawd, I know someone who thinks it doesn't exist anymore, and I'm related to him by marriage!!! HELP!). That was also a day after I e-screamed at him about men and women and sports trivia (see prior entry). But seriously, do I need to relax? And if I did, wouldn't I be --gasp! -- BORING and IRRELEVANT?! The horror . . .

Katharine Hepburn, 1907-2003.


Reading: Still Missing, Beth Gutcheon
Listening to: Home, Dixie Chicks

For the second time in three days, a man has attempted to test me on my knowledge (or lack thereof) of baseball and/or Yankees trivia. THIS PISSES ME OFF. God for-f*cking-bid that a woman express interest in a sport or team and not know everything there is to know about the sport or team, because then that is proof that the woman is not a true fan, right?! Why the f*ck does The Penis insist upon quizzing me to make sure that I am worthy company for a baseball game? Why can't I just enjoy myself and my many boyfriends on the New York Yankees?! So, to all the men in my life, BACK THE F*CK OFF, or else you'll make me really angry, and then I'll cry, and then you'll feel really bad and I will take advantage of your groveling to get back into my good graces. Smirk.



I just discovered that Mrs.G has been referring to me as Wonder Woman in her blog. This, of course, pleases me immensely, because you know I ran around as a child wearing red panties with aluminum foil wrapped around my wrists and a headband strapped to my forehead, insisting that my family defer to my super bullet-deflecting powers. Granted, my mother refused to buy me a star-spangled leotard, so I was basically topless the whole time, but I was five years old!

Anyway, Mrs.G would love for me to be The One for her other pal Superman, a/k/a Mr. Fab-U-Lous (according to Hooch and myself). Bless her heart for trying -- she's one of the few people I trust to intuit my true nature well enough to be looking for The One for me. There are tons of generous people out there who throw their brothers, sons, nephews, brothers-of-friends-of-their-second-cousin-from-Milwaukee at me, but Mrs.G and her ilk -- perceptive, caring, sincere, down-to-earth, lacking ulterior motives -- are few and far between . . .



So, JW and I finished watching the first season of "Dawson's Creek" on DVD. I've resigned myself to conceding that I quite enjoyed it. The characters use many big words, and there's so much angst that I never experienced as an adolescent, so I feel quite okay immersing myself in that fantasy world for a few hours a week, to see what it might have been like to have been an abnormally well-spoken and heartbreak-ridden 15-year-old girl.

Then, we watched "Sex & the City." I can never do that again -- watch "Sex & the City" with a guy, much less a guy I'm friends with. It's like watching a whole series of tampon commercials with my brother = WEIRD. I'm creeped out and embarrassed just thinking about that half-hour right now. I need to move on to another topic.

On the other hand, I ate very much watermelon and very many guacamole-flavored potato chips (they are green and actually taste like sour cream & onion). Tasty. Being friends with JW is like having another brother. No, actually, it's like being a twin, because he's older and taller than Cheech, and generally more on the same wavelength as me, due to the lesser age difference. Also, we often unintentionally dress alike (not when I'm wearing a skirt, though, thankfully). Really, only with family can you count how many times they go to the bathroom in 30 minutes. Jeez.



The painters need to be done with our house. NOW.

My mom needs to finish menopause. NOW.

I need to move out, move on, grow up. NOW.



I got scolded for being delinquent, so here it is, albeit three days late:

1. How are you planning to spend the summer? Outdoor barbecues, Yankee games, beach trips, a week in L.A., rooting for the church softball team on Sundays, being kidnapped for ice cream, expanding my library, watching it's-so-bad-it's-good television, sticking my head in a watermelon until October.

2. What was your first summer job? Being a mother's helper to my high school Russian teacher after she adopted her son. He was tiny and plump and very fun. I learned to make strawberry jam and how to set a table American-style.

3. If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go? Too many places: London, Wales, Spain, Italy, Provence, New Mexico, Vancouver, Alaska, Bar Harbor, the Vineyard, and of course, Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah.

4. What was your worst vacation ever? Wildwood, New Jersey with the family, several years ago. Don't go on family vacations to the Jersey shore when both the women in the family are PMS-ing and it's raining the whole week. Just don't do it.

5. What was your best vacation ever? My post-Bar exam trip to Red Mountain Spa and L.A. provided much-needed rest and recovery from a summer of Bar prep, the actual Bar exam, and a heartwrenching breakup. Nothing like the LOLs (or at least two of them), dry desert heat, morning hikes, healthy food, massages and body scrubs, and my sister Ha with her awesome family and her super-California-healthy neighborhood to get me back on track . . .

Thursday, June 26



My Top-10 Least Favorite Songs of All Time, in no particular order because I detest them all equally:

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) (Rupert Holmes)
I Just Can't Stop Loving You (Michael Jackson)
Bette Davis Eyes (Kim Carnes)
Tell It To My Heart (Taylor Dayne)
Do That To Me One More Time (Captain & Tenille)
The Thong Song (Sisquo)
Hungry Eyes (Eric Carmen)
Lady in Red (Chris deBurgh)
Anything by Nelly Furtado (why does she have a record deal and I don't?!)
Anything by Rod Stewart


And Hooch's Top-10 Hated Tunes of All Time:

It's My Life (Bon Jovi)
Nothing Compares To U (Sinead O'Connor)
Paradise By the Dashboard Light (Meatloaf)
Elvira (Oak Ridge Boys)
Picture (Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow)
Only Time (Enya)
Celebration (Kool & the Gang)
Mickey (Toni Basil)
Saturday Night (Bay City Rollers)


Thank you.

(And yes, we do work around here!)
(Yes, I know that's not a word.)

Every day for the last month or so, a whole gaggle of squirrels has been gathering on my front lawn, about 15 feet from my window. They are there morning, noon and night. They chatter and scamper and chew on something on the ground. They play with each other. They just sit there, or lie there, or stand there and look around. They hardly budge anymore when I open the door in the morning to leave for work, or when my car rolls into the driveway as I arrive home. They stare at me balefully when I clap my hands at them, or say hi, or yell at them to shoo. I can't imagine why they have suddenly started gathering on that one spot on our lawn. Has someone planted squirrel-marijuana there? Squirrel-nip? Are there particularly tasted bugs in residence? Do squirrels even eat bugs? Whatever it is, it is most mysterious. And hilarious -- the other day, I rolled into my driveway and was greeted by a particularly plump squirrel, loping his way across the pavement in front of my car, turning his head as if to nod a hello. He was so plump, his little squirrel belly scraped the ground as he loped. And he really did lope, because he was just too plump to do anything else. Weird. Should I be concerned about these squirrels? Are they going to get all jacked up one day and attack me as I walk to my car? Stranger things have happened . . .

I recently watched a little bug with many legs take a stroll around a large carpeted room, back and forth, using the same path often, not really going anywhere. It occurred to me that had the bug possessed normal-vision eyes and a thought process comparable to humans, it would have been really freaked out. As I sat there watching the bug, I envisioned myself being that tiny, surrounded by gigantic chairs with seemingly insurmountable legs, dodging the always-unexpected humongous footfall, crawling for a perceived eternity only to come face-to-face with a wall, a desk, a planter that I would now have to find my way around, panting and sweating and laboriously overcoming each strand of the carpet and trying not to fall into the cracks between the fibers. And so I concluded that being a bug must be truly difficult. People want to kill you, spray dangerous chemicals on you, pull off your legs, smoosh you. They chase you out of any environment you step into, or, alternatively, run shrieking from your very presence. I would expect that bugs have very high blood pressure and a strong propensity for heart attacks . . . had they any blood pressure or propensity for cardiac conditions at all.

Bloody Murder
Once in a while, we get a few criminal cases in the courthouse that are just incomprehensible. They involve horrid things like billions of dollars' worth of hard drugs, sawed-off shotguns sharing bedroom space with young children, and messy bloody retaliatory murder. The perp is almost always on the young side, at an age that I should be able to relate to . . . but of course I can't. The questions I always ask as I check out the early-20-something-year-old defendant sitting in court are "How could this happen? How can people live like this? How can you live with yourself after killing another person for nothing? What kind of society have we become where your environment can create such a person?" I know the answers that have all been researched and presumed: socio-economic factors, single-parent homes, the oppressed minority, substandard housing and education, lack of motivation and/or hope, numbed feelings and consciences, blah blah blah. But hearing these answers doesn't make me feel less like crying over the reality that stupid bloody murder happens and there's nothing I can do about it.

Wednesday, June 25

I can't figure out how or why I would be drawn to a story about Lester Maddox, the ex-Governor of Georgia and a staunch segregationist until his death today at age 87.

I think it's because I just can't understand him (or people like him) and his deep-seated convictions and beliefs. He is the exact opposite of everything my parents raised me to be, everything my church cultivated in me, everything my teachers taught me to be, everything my friends and colleagues and acquaintances encourage me to keep on being. I don't understand how he (or anyone) could believe that blacks are inferior to whites, that segregation is justified by the Christian Scriptures, that civil rights workers are bad, that the Ku Klux Klan is so great. I don't understand how this man got elected governor of an American state. It doesn't surprise me; I just don't understand it. I don't understand how and why he then hired and promoted blacks in his government. I don't yet completely understand his statement: "I think forced segregation is illegal and wrong. I think forced racial integration is illegal and wrong. I believe both of them to be unconstitutional." Still working on parsing out that one . . .

But like most things that I don't understand -- including quantum physics, the human body, black holes, the Supreme Court, reality shows, my friend C -- I am utterly fascinated . . .
LA, LA, LA . . .

(Speaking of: 29 days until L.A.!)

Yesterday, I challenged Hooch to compile a list of her Top-10 Favorite Songs of All Time, never thinking she would turn the challenge around on me. Here's her list . . .

Fragile (Sting)
What Would You Say (Dave Matthews Band)
Steppin Out (Joe Jackson)
Landslide (Stevie Nicks)
Peg (Steely Dan)
Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
1983 (John Mayer)
Who Can It Be Now (Men at Work)
Dude Looks Like A Lady (Aerosmith)
Golden Lady (Stevie Wonder)

And produced under duress and much agonizing, here's my list, in no particular order:

Landslide (Stevie Nicks)
Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson)
Brown-Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
Hammer and a Nail (Indigo Girls)
Verdi Cries (10,000 Maniacs)
Pride (In the Name of Love) (U2)
Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
Say Goodbye (Dave Matthews Band)
Live to Tell (Madonna)
Nightswimming (R.E.M.)

I reserve the right to change this list at any time, given that I have 33 back-up favorite songs of all time . . .

Reading: Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
Listening to: Waiting For My Rocket to Come, Jason Mraz

Tuesday, June 24

Always funny:

pimento loaf
The Golden Girls

The Supreme Court has been busy lately, so keep up:

In U.S. v. American Library Assn, the Justices upheld a federal law -- the Children's Internet Protection Act -- which requires public libraries to install pornography filters on all computers which provide Internet access, as a condition of continuing to receive federal subsidies and grants. They all agreed that restricting children's access to pornography didn't by itself pose a constitutional issue. Rather, the issue was the extent to which over-blocking would infringe upon the First Amendment rights of adult library users. Check out the decision.

In Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, the High Court upheld -- by a 5-4 vote -- the affirmative action policy at U. Michigan's Law School, but invalidated -- by a 6-3 vote -- the affirmative action policy used at U. Michigan's undergraduate school, in which applicants are selected according to the number of points they accrue in the application process, with black, Hispanic and American-Indian applicants automatically receiving 20 points from the get-go (fixed amounts of points are also automatically awarded for things like alumni connections). Check out the Law School and undergraduate decisions.
I have no news for you so far today, other than:

1. I had dinner at Chicama (18th and Broadway) yesterday evening. Quite delicious. I highly recommend, although my dessert was so sugary-sweet, I had the shakes all night. Doesn't anyone serve potato chips for dessert around here?

2. I have sheep bloat again this morning. I don't know what's causing it. I'm going to drink multiple cups of coffee to see if I can't . . . well, DO something about it. TMI?

Monday, June 23


M, who's already been in the hospital for a week, is being kept for another week, and has been threatened with being held hospital hostage for the next five months, until her Noodles are born.


What she and C must be feeling and struggling with, I have no idea. C says he's deflated and just wants some hope that his wife will be home soon and that she and the Noodles will be healthy, even if they're not being guarded at the hospital.

M is bored and stir-crazy. They won't let C smuggle in their pup. They won't let her stroll around (for obvious reasons), and they are just barely allowing her to take a shower. She has to rent her hospital television -- thank God for technological advancement, because their laptops, i-Pods, DVDs, BlackBerries and cell phones are coming in awfully handy these days. But really, how much Web-surfing can a girl do? Actually, I'm probably the wrong one to ask . . .

The only thing that sustains them is concern for the ultimate well-being of the Noodles, and that is as it should be. It's just that there's a lot of uncertainty right now, a lot of waiting, a lot of just-sitting-there-flipping-through-magazines, a lot of wishing for this or that or the other thing, and a lot of simply wanting to go home.

So we continue to pray for M and C and the Noodles, for Boy Noodle to stop pressing on his ma in places he shouldn't be pressing on, for fat healthy Noodle development, for warding off moroseness and dullness of spirit, for wise medical attention, and for sustained high hopes and an abundance of faith and an offering of gratitude for the gifts being nurtured right now . . .

Highlights from the Dixie Chicks, MSG, Sat. 8pm:

. . . finding our seats -- in section 403 -- way up high -- at the top of the Garden = dizzying . . .

. . . JW and I settling down with beers (and drinking it from straws) and watching JJ sip at a Coke in a cup the size of her torso = dorky . . .

. . . wondering how to control JW and JK's drooling over Michelle Branch = embarrassing . . .

. . . having to pee really badly at 8:30pm, but deciding to hold it because I knew the Chicks would be on soon = tense . . .

. . . still having to pee really badly at 8:45pm, but deciding to hold it because I knew the Chicks would be on soon = painful . . .

. . . developing a UTI at 8:55pm, but deciding to deal with it because I knew the Chicks would be on soon = numb . . .

. . . deciding to run for the bathroom at 9:00pm, getting on the line stretching down the corridor (naturally), then changing my mind and running back to my seat just in time for the Chicks to come on = typically me . . .

. . . "Goodbye, Earl," then going to pee. Finally. = refreshing . . .

. . . overhearing JK, a non-fan, occasionally state "Oh, I think I've heard this song before," then watching him bop his head most enthusiastically = hilarious . . .

Good show. Nay, GREAT show!! Those Chicks know what they're doing and they're so cool about how they do it! Makes me want to learn to fiddle, sing and walk at the same time . . .


Highlights from post-concert karaoke, Jappas 55, Sat. 11pm:

. . . 3 very strong Black Russians with Grey Goose, one fried dumpling and two pieces of teriyaki chicken = dinner . . .

. . . JJ's friend giving his all on MJ's "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" = impressive and very high-pitched . . .

. . . asking C's friend if he is gay, and being solicited in return to prove that he's not = YIKES . . .

. . . "You Gotta Fight For Your Right (to Party)" becoming the theme of the night = loud and testosterone-y . . .

. . . getting home at 4am = not in my conscious memory . . .


Highlights from a sleepy Sunday evening, NYMC, 5-10pm:

. . . five hours of the first season of "Dawson's Creek" = self-explanatorily weird . . .


And so another week begins . . .

Friday, June 20


. . . my parents, always with work to do, always running on high, warding off overwhelming stress with a simply sweet day on the links . . .

. . . my favorite super-couple, Soy&Jaime, tired and exhausted, working late hours, running around always doing things for their friends before themselves, patiently forbearing a parent's desire for grandchildren . . .

. . . my other brother JW, sick -- but not with cholera (see, again funny) -- and sleepy, taking his hardest mini-board and gearing up for that precious one week off to just rest and restore himself . . .

. . . my bolt of lightning and pure glee, JKo, fighting off exhaustion and an ill-timed cold, preparing for a new life ahead, not quite knowing what to do with her old life behind . . .

. . . my partner in crime Hooch, pukey without knowing why she's pukey, but hating it every step of the way, fighting off the achies, yet still so much her lightning-quick punny self that I can barely keep up through the giggles . . .

. . . my favorite blast from the past, road-raging JC, with so much running just beneath the surface, just needing a listening ear and a friendly outlet, and a straight and narrow path to travel . . .

. . . my newbie JL, so goofy with the confused questions, but so prepared and bravely willing to travel, preach, teach and heal . . .

. . . my one and only Cheech, always looking inwards before looking outwards, always seeking to better himself and to grow, always trying to be more of everything that is right and good . . .

. . . my beloved M&C&Noodles, hanging in there through the tedium, the drama, the bad hospital food, the emotional super-coaster, all in preparation and care for the two loves that will make them complete . . .

. . . my more-than-just-a-neighbor Mr. J., fighting the breathing tube because he can TALK, SEE, UNDERSTAND, MOVE, struggling through the excruciating headache just to show us he can . . .

. . . my dear little Y, having found his way through a tougher youth than he deserved, still struggling to do right by his family and to grow up himself . . .

. . . my rock star Wonger, persevering, changing, growing, mourning, coming to know joy . . .

. . . my West-Coast sister, striving to be the best mom, the best wife, the best friend, the best daughter, and succeeding, by faith alone, on all of those counts . . .

They are my treasures. I carry their weight on my heart willingly and happily.

Thursday, June 19


One of my favorite law school professors had a three-legged dog. Another of my favorite law school professors looked and acted like Mr. Magoo.

There was a perfectly intact hotdog bun lying smack in the very center of the road on the way home yesterday. All the drivers in front of me slowed down and maneuvered to avoid hitting the hotdog bun. I did too. I don't know why I slowed down and maneuvered my car to avoid hitting a hotdog bun. It all just seems so silly now . . .

My NYC roommate G and I often joked that we had a number of diseases. I don't really know why we did this -- I suppose it wouldn't be funny to anyone who actually had a life-threatening illness . . . or to anyone else -- but we did, and it was funny at the time. Our favorite diseases: dysentery, meningitis, cholera, Mad Cow, tetanus and paranoid-schizophrenia. If we still lived together, I bet we'd have added SARS to the list. Anyway, yeah. It was quite common for one of us to walk around the apartment complaining of sore neck muscles, and having the other one ask mock-frantically: "Quick! Look at the light! Are you sensitive to the light?!" God forbid one of us coughed: "Keep yer cholera away from me!" C'mon, cholera is always funny.

Where do all the lost pen caps of the world go? I must have about 12 pens in my home "office" that don't have caps; another 3 or so at work. I just don't know where they went, or why I would have sent them there.

C&M are having one of each!!! Boy and Girl. Good on them for the equitable gender distribution. I can't call them Noodles anymore -- they're real gendered beings now. My only hopes for them now are that they hang out for the full 9 months and get nice and fat; that they slide right on out like they're supposed to with everything in its rightful place; that Boy grows up to love his mommy and treat her nice and buy her flowers; and that Girl torments her dad and gives him his due. Let justice prevail.

For the last several days, I have been restless and itchy, feeling an overwhelming sense of anticipation that I am on the cusp of something big, something momentous, something potentially life-altering. I was thinking maybe it could be The One strolling into my life to sweep me off my feet. Or a dream employment position requiring my presence. Or perhaps some other once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet new people, travel to some amazing location, sing on a Broadway stage, etc. Or, maybe, sadly, pathetically, infuriatingly, I was just anticipating the speeding ticket I received this morning. My first ever. I'm no longer a traffic-infraction virgin; the seal has been broken. If I don't fight this thing, I get 6 -- that's right, SIX -- points on my license. (Don't ask how fast I was going.) So sad. I need to start anticipating better things . . .

A single male friend of one of my friends emailed me the other day, to see if I wanted to get a drink sometime. The answer will probably be no, for several reasons: (1) despite being in possession of my business card, he spelled my name wrong; (2) his grammar and punctuation were wretched . . . and that matters to me; (3) in the span of two sentences, he made FOUR spelling errors . . . and that matters to me; and (4) he managed, in those two sentences, to sound like an ass. OK, before you get all up in my KoolAid about the grammar, let me just say: if you (a) can't make the effort to pay attention to everyday details like putting a period at the end of a sentence; (b) can't make the simple connection that the name on my business card is my name and that is how I spell it; and (c) can't even try to give good email, then I don't trust that you have the attention span, depth of care, or generosity of wit and humor necessary to be with ME. Plus, I was recently informed that his mother (i) wants him, the younger of two sons, to find a woman able to take care of him in the way that he's used to being cared for at home; and (ii) does not want a daughter-in-law who is "too smart" -- she shouldn't be "better" than her husband or show him up in any way. And we wonder why so many Korean-American young men are emasculated mama's boys . . . keep them AWAY from ME, thanks!

This week's Sports Illustrated (6/23/03) has a fan-ta-bu-lous article about Rickey Henderson. Go online and find it. It's hilarious. Especially the part about him getting on first, holding up two fingers towards the opposing team's third baseman, Floyd Rayford -- thereby totally confusing Rayford -- then two stolen bases later, standing next to Rayford. AND Henderson refers to himself in third person . . . or "third party," as he would put it. Awesome article. You're a fool if you don't read it and love it.

I woke up with an intense amount of gas in my belly. I don't really know where it came from. I was feeling all healthy and fit yesterday evening after a hard workout and a lovely light dinner. This morning, I feel like a sheep suffering from bloat. No burps are coming up, no poots are coming down, and all my other functions are normal, so what the heck is this all about?! God. Someone just stick a needle in my side and let the air out . . . Baaaa.

Wednesday, June 18



Why does pee weakly trickle out at the speed of an old lady driving a 1976 Buick on a sunny Sunday afternoon when you go to the bathroom after holding it for a long time, but comes out at normal speed and with normal force when you just go because you want to go?


Why do I have so many articles of clothing in my closet and drawers, but I never have anything to wear?


Why do shoe salespeople go into the back room holding the shoe you want, and return with a different shoe, in a different color, in the completely wrong size? What is that?


Why is it that you can be enjoying your lunch sandwich, then about 3/4 of the way through it, it just makes you want to gag and puke, and you just can't eat it anymore?


Why do I have a bag/handbag fetish?


Why can't men and women communicate accurately and calmly?


Why do I develop bizarre addictions to silly television shows? Amazing Race being my new vice . . .


Why are straight men fascinated with women's breasts?


Why don't I take a spontaneous weekend trip to the Bahamas or to Puerto Rico instead of waiting for my friends to get their acts together?


Why do Southerners speak with southern accents, Bostonians speak with northeastern accents, Californians say "dude" a lot, and Midwesterners open their vowels?


Why does retail therapy help me feel better about everything?


Why don't I photograph well from my right side?


Why does a monstrous blemish always bloom prominently on my face a mere week before any kind of major social event? Right now, I have what looks like a small toffee chip on my right chin. Sigh.


Why are Calvin, my Squirt, Snoopy and those Boynton animals so much cuter than any little boy, turtle, dog, or wild animal in real life?


Why don't I go and do some work now . . .

Reading: The Dive From Clausen's Pier, by Ann Packer
Listening to: Fly, Dixie Chicks (Top songs: "Goodbye, Earl" and "Without You")

Check out the letter my poor Squirt wrote me -- I'm assuming under massive amounts of duress -- and photos of my poor Squirt, allegedly having fun with C, his turtle-napper, and C's dog, Popcorn. Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent . . .


I like hanging out w/ C. Initially, I was scared
and thought he was going to take me apart, or put me
in his blender or oven, espeically when he was humming
the Darth Vadar theme from Star Wars. But we had such
a blast today. We played w/ Popcorn, checked out his
ipod, played DDR and pinball, ate blueberry sorbet,
and of course, watched the Empire Strikes Back.

Tomorrow, we're probably going to golf at Garrison if
the weather is nice. They have a spa there but I
don't remember your AMEX number. Please send it now!

But, I wish he would get a job soon. He's obviously
got way too much time on his hands. And, the Net's
game sucked. I really don't know how M is going to
raise 3 kids.

Anyhow, don't worry about me and see you soon.


Tuesday, June 17


There's a dude on top of the Tappan Zee Bridge this morning, chatting with some rescuers and negotiators. They closed the bridge in both directions for hours, and only just opened up one Westchester-bound lane. How pissed are the drivers? How maniacal is this dude? How annoyed are the negotiators? What an ass. I have no capacity for sympathy for anyone this morning. If he's going to kill himself, he just should've done it, without making everyone else's life harder than necessary. If he's not, he shouldn't have climbed up there in the first place. Get down, you jerk.

See, I told you I was pissy. No mercy, my friends, no mercy.

My clerkship ends in exactly one year, two months, and thirteen days. What the f*ck am I going to do afterwards? I have zero passion for working in the private sector -- not only will they make my life miserable, but I'm pretty sure I will muck up something there too. I have every passion for working in the public sector, but already, one agency doesn't want me because I can't solve 29 math problems in 20 minutes on their inane little test. (See? Pissy.) And who's hiring anyway, in this economy? In boom times, I'd be a hot piece of federal-clerkship-finishing-attorney. This year, I'm chicken liver. Actually, not even. I'm the preservative they add to chicken liver that they feed to cats. Mangy cats festering in your local animal shelter. Sigh. Where's my rich sugar daddy?

Pissy, pissy, pissy.

Boys suck. I just thought I'd throw that in there because it's a nice bonus addition to my general pissiness.

So pissy.

Do you ever feel like everyone around you is changing, and you're not, for better or for worse? It's not such a bad feeling when you feel that you're changing for the better: you're growing up, you're moving onto a new job, you're in a great new relationship, you got a promotion, you're getting physically fit and healthy, etc. The feeling is a little different when others are changing for the better, and your own myopic vision prevents you from seeing your own potential for positive change too. I just need the scales to fall from my eyes . . .

Blah blah blah, pissy!

OK, now I think it's kind of funny how pissy I'm being. I'm such a baby!

But, still pissy.

AND I have my period. WATCH OUT.

Monday, June 16


I wish I was a lot of things: a mathematician; a pediatric oncologist; a world-renowned novelist; a researcher on the verge of discovering a cure for AIDS . . . or allergies; a tall British woman; an independently wealthy philanthropist able to take vacations 40 weeks out of the year.

But one thing I really wish I was is THICK-SKINNED. I am way too sensitive and insecure about stuff -- and most of the time, stupid stuff that certainly shouldn't merit more than a nanosecond of registration in my brain. My parents ask me after I return from a first date when the second date is going to be; I sometimes think they're indirectly telling me I'm getting too old to be married off. A friend doesn't return a call or an email within the day; I sometimes think s/he is mad at me. The return phone call or email is not as long as my original message; I sometimes think s/he doesn't care as much as I do (completely ignoring, of course, the simple fact that I am much more verbose in all matters than is necessary) . . . and is still mad at me. My brother tells me I'm too tempermental; I sometimes think he's telling me I'm a bad human being and a horrible sister. Someone at work would rather talk to anyone else in the room than myself about business; I sometimes think s/he dismisses me because I'm an Asian woman. Actually, that last one might be true more often than not, so never mind -- I'm not totally crazy . . .

Sure, I can take a joke, even if it's about myself. In fact, I laugh at myself often and sincerely -- you know I do lots of stupid stuff, and I have the bruises and scars and incriminating photos to prove it. I fall down. I toe the edge of propriety by scratching the bare edge of my nostril daintily (when all I really want to do is get in there and get at the itch with a jackhammer . . . or my index finger). I walk around with spinach in my teeth. I mug for the camera. I stick my finger in food . . . even other people's food. I bump bumpers when parallel parking. I inadvertently grab people in inappropriate areas of their body. I can barely catch a ball, much less throw it, much less throw it where it's supposed to go. I sing senseless tunes and dance around the room like an insane woman. I swim like a cement block . . . no, make that two cement blocks tied together with cement rope. I snort when I laugh . . . and it ain't pretty. I run slower than I breathe while deep in REM sleep, and I have to fight the urge to flail my arms. I go about my daily life with various things sticking to my shoe, my hair, the back of my pants, the front of my shirt right where the nipple would be were I shirtless. I grew up with a wretchedly easy-to-pick-on last name, and it's still generating responses from the wannabe-stand-up-comedian crowd. Heck, I grew up Asian in an all-Italian, then all-Jewish neighborhood. And I'm short. My skin has gotten as thick as it could possibly get.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't have holes in it here and there. Is it just a matter of growing up and getting over it? Is it because I grew up with a relatively easy life and therefore don't have any truly horrible experiences to compare these piddling issues with? Is it because I'm a spoiled brat? Is it because people truly are mean to me and don't like me and I just don't know it yet? Is it because my expectations are too high of my friends and family? Is it because I have a sense of self-entitlement regarding people's behavior towards me? Is it because I'm just an over-sensitive sniveling weepy little baby with snot dripping out her nose and eyes becoming red-rimmed every time I suffer a perceived insult? Oh my goodness, what if it's all of the above?! Or none of the above -- then what do I do?! Feh, who knows . . .

I just would like to be more . . . peaceful. Just peaceful, within myself. No worries, no stupidity, no over-caring about what people -- close to me or not -- think of me, no unnecessary sniveling, no feeling sorry for myself, no trying to be something special to everyone. Just peaceful ol' me. That would be so lovely . . .


My suspicions proved correct: C did turtle-nap my Squirt. Fortunately, I have photos and an incriminating letter from Squirt (written under duress, I'm sure) to prove it -- I shall be handing those over to the proper authorities and I trust that the matter will be resolved pursuant to the fullest extent of the law . . . or at least as it applies to plastic turtles from McDonald's . . .

Here's last week's Five. Sorry for my tardiness -- I was busy enjoying the traffic on the Merritt Parkway:

1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have? Write a novel. A GOOD one.

2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc., are you always honest? Yes . . . within reason.

3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn't? What happened? Oh, all the time! But my brain is such that given a couple of weeks of inattention, it will forget most things. So nothing ever "happens," and that is why I'm such a good friend. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why? The world of "The Lord of the Rings," because that is where Legolas lives. Sigh. I'm a sucker for pointy ears and a pretty face.

5. What's one talent/skill you don't have but always wanted? The ability to do math and math-related things quickly and accurately . . . or at all. No, really. That, and to play baseball like a pro. But the math is probably more useful.

Sunday, June 15


Highlights from a not-so-wild, only-slightly-drunken, gut-bustingly-funny, there's-got-to-be-something-illegal-about-this combined bachelor/bachelorette party at Foxwoods:

On the Way Up . . .
. . . learning that at least one of my male friends uses two hands at the urinal.
. . . being serenaded by JW and JC crooning boy-band songs. At the top of their lungs. In harmony. With feeling. I appeal to passing cars for help, but am ignored.
. . . acquiring a plastic Squirt (from "Finding Nemo") in a McDonald's Happy Meal. I love McDonald's. I love my Squirt (his shell lights up and his head turns around completely and he floats). But I have a bad feeling that something bad is going to happen to him once C gets his grubby paws on him.

Waiting For the Others to Arrive . . .
. . . being instructed to direct all inquiries to VIP reception. What?! We're VIPs?!?!?
. . . performing a celebratory dance upon entering our suite of rooms. HUGE! MAGNIFICENT! Mountain views! Ceiling-to-floor windows! Light-up closets! Marble bathrooms! Gilchrist & Soames toiletries! I'm such a sample-size luxury toiletry item whore.
. . . browsing the stores for gag gifts for Groom, only to find a complete gift set containing: a child's imitation Native American headdress (hoisting red, yellow and blue feathers); small leather-covered drum; one small drum stick; dull wooden tomahawk. Purrrrrfect.
. . . developing a raging headache from the lights, the bells, the vaunted ceilings, the prevalence of mullets, and teenagers smoking pot in the bathrooms.
. . . feeling better after a drink at the bar, and winning a dollar at quarter slots. I'm so lame. Garcon, another drink, please!
. . . scandalizing JW with a glimpse of my past self.

Uh-Oh, They're All Here . . .
. . . of course, one of C's first activities on the scene: stealing -- we mean, BORROWING -- a sign from the casino floor and bringing it upstairs to place in front of the door of our suite: "No persons under the age of 21 permitted beyond this point . . ."
. . . C ignoring the ubiquitous and strategically-placed hall cameras and posing for pictures with the stolen -- we mean, BORROWED -- sign.
. . . Groom strapping on the feathered headdress and attaching aforementioned drum to his belt, drumming on it and pointing the drum stick at random people and pronouncing "Winnerrrrrrrrr!"
. . . all of our guys, in unison, without prior agreement, chanting the Atlanta Braves call, waving their arms like tomahawks.
. . . all of us ladies, looking on in amazement? Disgust? Wonderment at the strange rituals of men? We will never understand.
. . . Bride pinning her tiara on her head, throwing the feather boa around her neck, and royally prancing down the hall towards the casinos, a born princess.
. . . Dr.J settling in for a smooth six-hour stint at the poker tables. He forgoes dinner. He ignores cell phone calls from his wife. He tells us he'll "meet us later." He develops a sore shoulder from holding his cards.
. . . us ladies marveling at the glazed-over old grannies with 3-inch-long-ashed cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, creating butt grooves in front of their slot machines.
. . . us ladies developing eye-glazes and creating butt grooves of our own . . . one more quarter, just one more quarter. Oh, what's another $10 when I'm already down $30, right? Okay, twist my arm, I'll push in another twenty. Feh.
. . . Groom and Bride being identifiable from across the crowded casino floor, thanks to the feathered headdress and the glittering tiara. Sadly, amidst the mullets, Japanese tourists, and leather-skinned squinting blue-hairs, Groom and Bride were . . . well, normal.
. . . watching Bride pull in the big bucks at the blackjack table, being coached by five -- count 'em, FIVE -- of our guys . . . still in her tiara and boa, her headdressed Groom faithfully at her side, drumming his little drum and shouting "Winnerrrrr!" at her.
. . . choking on the feathers coming loose off of Bride's boa.
. . . trying not to stare horrifically at the blackjack dealer who unknowingly has a feather from Bride's boa stuck to his left eyebrow.
. . . C humming the Darth Vader theme song from "Star Wars" . . . continuously . . . for the whole weekend . . . and at church this morning. I have no idea what THAT was all about. Something about him being the Dark Side and all of us needing to cross over into it.

Nighttime Shenanigans . . .
. . . C, making friends with everyone and anyone, accosting random people in the walkways, scouting other signs and objects to BORROW and bring up to our suite.
. . . us, staying far, far away from C so that if something should go horribly wrong, we are not arrested along with him.
. . . popping champagne and watching teary-eyed (ok, that was probably just me) as Groom and Bride open their gift from all of us: an $800 digital camera they've been panting after for months.
. . . seeing the expression on Bride's face as she opens the next gifts: glow-in-the-dark handcuffs and a book entitled "What Every Newlywed Couple Needs to Know About Sex on the First Night." She blushed. Groom pumped his fist in jubilation.
. . . getting gussied up to go dancing at 2:30am, only to be told the club closes at 3am. What are we, in Connecticut? I put on lipstick, for God's sake!
. . . eating bad Connecticut pizza and watching SportsCenter in an exhausted daze instead, waiting for the second wind to hit. Go, Roger Clemens!!!
. . . blindfolded Bride, on her knees, feeling the calves of all our guys in a vain attempt to identify Groom. She failed, but all the guys got their kicks.
. . . once again, blindfolded Bride, attempting to pin something on a paper model of Groom. Something was pointy, shrinks in cold water, and probably should not be life-size or else Groom (and Bride, for that matter) is in trouble . . . or so said our guys. It was a 1 1/2-inch-long paper necktie, for crying out loud. Get your minds out of the gutter.
. . . watching our guys drink warm, flat champagne and puff on nasty cigars. See above, "strange rituals of men."

Sunny Saturday . . .
. . . relaxing and chatting with the ladies in our room before being rudely interrupted by some of the guys who came in to take nasty morning photos of us.
. . . using the guys' breakfast vouchers for free meals at the breakfast buffet. Yum, sausages.
. . . more eye-glazing and butt-grooving at the slots. I think I need a 12-step program to recover from Double Diamond Deluxe.
. . . the guys finally being banished from our presence and us ladies reveling at the Spa. This was the BEST SPA EXPERIENCE I have ever had. I should just live there. All you ladies reading this right now: ask for Steve the Masseuse.
. . . falling asleep during a body wrap and dreaming that JW and JC came into the treatment room to keep me company because I was bored inside the wrap. Thankfully, there was no singing in the dream. No offense, 98-Degrees.
. . . laying out on a hot pool deck, re-familiarizing ourselves with the sun. I actually developed tan lines. Very faint ones that are probably gone already, but they were there, I promise.
. . . having Korean food at a Chinese restaurant. Very, very interesting. I think I would've rather eaten the bitter melon that Dr.J claimed tasted like Ivory soap.

On the Way Down . . .
. . . missing my Squirt, who was horribly turtle-napped. Having wretched visions of a ransom note with attached photos of a head- and flipper-less plastic turtle being sent to my house. Turns out, my suspicions were not that far off: C had nabbed him. I won't believe his promises to return Squirt until I have him safe in my arms again. Squirt, that is, not C.
. . . being serenaded again by JW and JC rapping along with MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. At the top of their lungs. Not quite in harmony, but you get the idea. I tried to jump out the car window, but it was raining, so . . .

It was a lovely weekend, and I learned a great many things:
1. One shouldn't really listen to the lyrics of most Top-40 songs from the 80s, 90s and today.
2. The staff at Foxwoods is quite fabulous . . . and willing to forgive quite a lot.
3. If you wear a bathing suit in front of guy friends who have never seen you in a bathing suit before, half of them won't look you in the eye . . . or will only look you in the eye.
4. Mrs.J and I are sick of the domination of the penis.
5. I love love love nice hotel rooms and will gladly do a celebratory dance each time I step into one.
6. People smoke a lot of pot in bathroom stalls, making a subsequent user's visit very interesting.
7. One's contact lens could dry out from staring at the slot machines and almost pop out, but one wouldn't care because one would be convinced that one will hit it big at any moment, and then one would have enough money to get the Lasik surgery done and never have to worry about contact lenses again. All hypothetically speaking, naturally.
8. Men love buffets.
9. I love free drinks on the casino floor.
10. I love my friends. They make even mullets, evil cane-tapping grannies, bad pizza, butchered Korean cuisine, a bad day at the slots and Vanilla Ice infinitely tolerable.

Thursday, June 12


There are so many wretched headlines in the news that I read with a sense of detached relief: detached because the news has nothing really to do with me, relief because the unhappy news does not concern me or my loved ones.

This evening, I learned that a very close friend of the family -- so close that he is family and a man that my own unsentimental father readily calls his "best friend" -- had become a headline himself, injuring himself grievously in an accidental gun discharge yesterday night at his home.

No one knows exactly how and/or why the gun discharged; we just know it wasn't supposed to, that it wasn't a homicide attempt, and it wasn't a suicide attempt. It was just a dumb, dumb accident.

The bullet lodged somewhere in the back of his head -- we're still unclear as to whether or not it hit bone, or actually made its way into the brain. What we do know is that thankfully, the bullet was in a position where it was safe enough for doctors to go in and get it. The damn bullet is out now, our friend is recovering in neuro-ICU, and there is no swelling of the brain -- no bleeding, no nothing. Although he's under incredibly heavy post-operative sedation, doctors say he is completely responsive, able to speak but for the breathing tube being in the way, able to move his limbs heavily when instructed to, and suffering no nerve damage and no foreseeable other side effects, aside from a predictably raging headache.

In the morning, he goes in for a "clean-up" operation. He'll be watched for infection and for sneaky and nefarious after-effects. Then he begins to heal.

His family, my family, and our friends have made the excruciatingly slow emotional climb, today and this evening, from the depths of surreal hopelessness and impossibility to the ledge of firm faith and tenuous smiles. Too many questions plagued all of us: how could this happen? Why did this happen? What is going to happen? But all these questions can be safely put aside, for we know it is He who carries him, He who for whatever reason chose not to claim one of his own yesterday night, and He who will alleviate the raging headache.

See, it's not so much "but for the grace of God . . . " but "BY THE GRACE OF GOD . . ."


David Brinkley, 1920-2003.

Gregory Peck, 1916-2003.

Eras are ending, people, so sit up and pay attention . . .

I'm not bored anymore.
Nor am I hungry, thanks to Wok-1's chicken and eggplant in garlic sauce.
And I have much better things to do, but I thought I'd pontificate for a while upon the eternal question: can men and women be friends?

I stand by my answer: YES.

But this is not an easy stance to hold onto, for it has very seldom been true in my own life, particularly with ex-boyfriends (the non-stalkers, that is). The end result of most --but not all -- of my co-ed friendships has been either: (1) man develops crush on me and the feeling is not reciprocated, or (2) I develop crush on man and the feeling is not reciprocated; in both cases, the tension and the awkwardness overwhelms one or both parties and the friendship falls apart. This is really a shame because I've known a truly unbelievable number of fantastic men and boys in my life, and it would have been so lovely to have continued to be their friend, through thick and thin . . . but I digress.

Side-tracked: there is one group of men with whom the above pattern never has taken hold for me: husbands or boyfriends of my girlfriends. I just don't go there. I don't understand single women who are drawn to other women's men. That's just not right and I don't do that. Besides, if a girlfriend is close enough to me for me to care, her significant other simply becomes an extension of her; just another family member to add to my ever-expanding family tree. And I'm not a big fan of incest . . .

Back to the topic at hand: I wish I was more talented at maintaining my co-ed friendships and feeding them in the same way that I feed my friendships with my girlfriends. I think I'm too afraid of the aforementioned tension and awkwardness. How can I tout myself as being a mature adult when I can't even deal with silly feelings like that for the sake of a friendship, right?

But then: maybe it's the depth of the friendship in the first place that I should pay attention to. Is it really worth my time and energy to work on a friendship that is surface-only? I would love to have male friends to whom I am as connected and attuned as I am to my close girlfriends -- friends whom I can call up at random times just to see what's going on, friends whom I can ask to dinner or coffee without it turning into a "date," friends whom I can count on to be available for idle hanging out and chatting, friends whom I can pal around with and lean on and wrestle without the whole world thinking there's something inappropriate going on, friends whose advice I seek and value, friends who will chatter with me about movie stars and mull with me about the geopolitical impact of SARS, friends who make me feel protected in a different way but with the same quality as my girlfriends, friends whom I can protect without coming across as a nagging significant other . . . But if I'm not going to have that appreciative level of friendship with a man, then is he worth pursuing as a friend to begin with? How hard and how long must I work at a friendship before determining whether it's worth it or not? Is that just a cold, harsh way to approach friendship in any case? And what about The Unrequited Love Syndrome: I pursue a friendship with the purest of platonic intentions, and he turns it into "Oh, she's asking me to dinner; she must like me and want my hot body." Sigh. What to do . . .

And then: there's the added burden of everyone else. Everyone has something to say about everything. I think one of the main reasons men and women find it so difficult to be friends with each other is because everyone else tells them it can't be done. You and a man are hanging out four evenings a week together? You must be lusting after each other. You and he have a favorite coffee shop, restaurant, book store, movie, whatever? You must be dating. You're single and he's single and you're still spending time together? Well, then it must be meant to be. No, no, no!!! Forget hormones, pheremones, whatever-mones. Sometimes, a girl just wants a trusted, beloved guy friend or -- gasp! -- friends (plural) -- to enrich her life as another branch on the family tree . . .

All that being said, I still believe it's possible. I guess the secret lies in my own willingness and ability to be a little bit more honest, a little bit more sensitive, a little bit more dedicated, a little bit more tenacious, a little bit more of lots of other qualities that I'm still working on developing in myself . . .
I'm bored.
I'm hungry.
For lack of anything better to do, I refer you to Sight Gags.
Have fun.
42 DAYS TILL L.A. . . .

I have realized that Friendster is exhausting. It is not turning out to be the cool voyeuristic experience I expected it to be. The first couple of days, I was a continuous fit of giggles. Now, I am stressed out.

I have been feeling an idiotic compulsion to accumulate "friends." This is the epitome of ridiculous because I KNOW who my friends are! I KNOW that I don't have many "close" friends, and I am very selective with who becomes a "close" friend, and I like it that way. At last count, I have exactly five Friendster "friends" -- fortunately, they are all near and dear to me in real life, so I feel okay about having "accumulated" them . . . but I have no idea who their friends are! Frankly, I don't know that I actually care that much . . .

And then there's the random messaging. Just last night, I received an email from a friend's friend, familiarly joking with me about our mutual friend. No, no, no! Don't DO that! I don't KNOW you. Don't EMAIL me. Don't JOKE with me as if I'm your new best buddy. That is so . . . CREEPY!

See, it's one thing if you read someone's blog, and leave them a little note letting them know you appreciated (or didn't -- whatever the case may be) their entry for the day. It's an entirely different thing to just start emailing some random person out in the universe because you think you might have something in common. There needs to be a foundation, however flimsy. Otherwise, you're just a freak. Or maybe I'm just trying to justify my own blog-lurking tendencies (sorry, CaffeineGuy) . . .

On a totally different note: it's hot. I dislike hotness. I loathe summer. Actually, maybe it's just the humidity that accompanies summer that I loathe, but being an East-Coaster, the humidity is unavoidable; thus, I loathe summer. It has only really been hot for the past two days, but already my summer malaise is setting in. My appetite has been reduced to a miniscule mockery of what it once was: I only want to eat watermelon or cold Korean noodles. Every other food makes me morose. I can't sleep, even though I've resorted to sleeping almost fully naked (shh, don't tell anyone . . . I'm blushing as I write this). Unfortunately, my parents don't believe in sleeping with the air-conditioning on all night, and opening the windows when it's a stagnant and damp 68-degrees outside doesn't do much to prevent me from wilting. So, I toss and turn in my bed, breathe shallowly, try panting through my mouth to see if I cool off like dogs do, count backwards from 100 before realizing that the energy produced by thinking is probably making me warmer, then slowly slide off my bed to lie spreadeagle on the floor in the hope that it will be 1 or 2 degrees cooler down there. Pathetic, I know. I can't wait until October.

Wednesday, June 11


I have waited my whole life for this:

"TRANSFORMATION: The Transformers, already stars of comic books, TV series and an animated feature, shape-shifting into live-action stars of an upcoming movie, currently in preproduction, the Hollywood Reporter says. " -- E! Online.

Being sung between Hooch and I: "Feliz Navidad" and "Winter Wonderland."

"I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas . . ."

Marshmallow fluff
Blue hi-liter
Orange chocolate
Smooth peanut butter
Mitsubishi automobiles
Large Post-It notes
Fruit punch
Shag carpeting
Plump hot dogs
Refined silk
Evian bottled water
Donald Duck
Sugar cubes
Soup spoons

My beloved Wonger has got me hooked -- and I do mean, HOOKED -- on this new phenomenon called Friendster. Its purported purpose is to make people network and make friends with their friends' friends -- people who are allegedly more trustworthy and reliable than strangers. I don't know that it's fair to call it a dating service -- Lord knows the thought of Internet dating creeps me out completely, even though Wonger says it shouldn't. As for me, I just enjoy the bizarre voyeuristic nature of Friendster. I get to read profiles of all my friends' friends -- people I know, and people I don't. I get to be enlightened by realizing what their interests are. I get to wonder why some men feel the need to present themselves as drug-popping, alcoholic, foul-mouthed hip-hopsters. I get to sigh at people who make up completely fake profiles, as if to impress others with their dull wit and lame humor. And of course, I get to browse and browse and browse and waste time...

Come on board:

Tuesday, June 10


44 days until I'm in sunny L.A. . . . I will eat as many In-n-Out burgers as I possibly can . . . I will smother my 1-year-old "niece" with smoochies . . . I will stroll in Descanso Gardens with my best friend and her little girl . . . I will freak out at the wild freeway drivers . . . I will eat at sidewalk cafes and marvel at the obvious health of all the passersby . . . I will relish my first JetBlue experience and surf all the DirecTV channels . . .

Monday, June 9


For those of you who can't read books unless there are pictures involved, here's a limited sampling. You figure out who's who:

Commentary: I'm the Korean one.

Commentary: take a bunch of normal guys, line them up, tell them to look manly for the photo, and this is what you get. Do you see why I can't stop giggling?

Over bowls of pasta on a Saturday night, JW put the following question to the table: do you use the toilet while speaking on the phone with someone? The resounding consensus: it depends on who "someone" is.

Now, I personally don't care if you are doing #1 or #2 while you're talking on the phone with me. Most times, I don't even care if I can hear you. Don't forget, I come from a family where almost all doors are open at almost all times because we don't wanna miss nuthin'. Plus, we're all so ADHD that sometimes, the only way to have a coherent conversation with each other is to catch someone while they're on the can. Anyway. TMI.

But for everyone else in the world, we determined that they fit into one of a few distinct phone-toilet categories:

1. No Warning, With Flush: applies to non-squeamish family members only. C'mon. Your parents changed your diapers, wiped your snotty nose, and held your head while you puked. Your siblings have probably seen you in worse condition, and then you had to implore them not to tell your parents. Enough said.

2. Warning, With Flush: applies to non-squeamish long-term significant others, and close friends with sharp senses of humor. If you gotta go, you just go. You interrupt briefly with "I'm taking you with me." The other party knows better than to gasp in shock, "Are you PEEING while talking to me on the PHONE?!" When you're done, you flush as normal. Your phone partner will comment wryly, "That was LOVELY. You feeling better now?" There will be mutual chuckling before regular conversation resumes.

3. No Warning, No Flush: applies to squeamish family members, long- or short-term significant others, and humorless close friends (although I doubt the closeness of any friend I can't pee in front of). You do your thing. You hope they don't hear you. If they do hear you, your squeamish mother will scold you for disrespecting her on the phone, your short-term love will leave you for being crude, your long-term love will remind you what s/he told you before about peeing on the phone, and your friends will wonder what they did to deserve this. But whatever happens, don't forget to flush later, after you've hung up. Otherwise, grossness ensues.

4. Options Offered: applies to generic friends. This is the old standby: "I gotta go -- you wanna come with, or you wanna hold, or you want me to call you back?" I mean really, at this point, they're imagining you on the toilet anyway so they might as well say "take me with you," but there's always going to be that one friend who just can't handle the intimacy, so you have to call him or her back. Whatever. Take your time. Wash your hands thoroughly. Use some hand lotion. Clean your room. Make a sandwich. Then get back on the phone.

5. Hold It and Squeeze: applies to job interviews, your pastor, your boss, the person from the phone company who put you on hold. Sorry, there's just no getting around it. Best of luck to you . . .

And a small caveat to all of the above categories:
6. Public Restroom Restriction: DO NOT talk on the cell phone while squatting on the can in a public restroom. Your gabbing in the stall next door is ruining my concentration or relaxation, whatever the case may be. The echo off the linoleum walls is excruciatingly loud. The other people in the restroom don't care about your new shade of lipstick or the mean thing that Bobby said to you the other night at your second cousin's wedding in New Jersey. Please, I beg you, just don't do it.

In conclusion, I think our dinner conversation topics are very bizarre. Thank you.

Sunday, June 8


1. The Bridal Shower: it rained all day. The lovely outdoor backyard barbecue never happened. Nonetheless, 28 women commiserated snugly inside my home about JKo and her upcoming nuptials. Plenty o' food, plenty o' drink, plenty o' sexy lingerie, plenty o' blushing young women. COME ON, LADIES -- get over it! What do you think you'll be wearing on your honeymoon?! And don't you dare say "t-shirt and boxers" or I'm going to have to hold a class on proper married-woman nightwear . . . even though I'm not married. Eh, bygones. Besides, even if you're not married, you should be pampering yourself with nice underthings nonetheless, IMHO . . .

2. The Injury: Neosporin saved the day, as always. I wish they made it in edible form, as I've stated not a few times before. I bet if we could eat Neosporin, many of the world's ills would disappear. My finger has returned to its natural shape, there is no more oozing blood and pus, I have feeling again in the fingertip, and only the occasional absent-minded slam against a wall makes me wince in pain. God bless Neosporin . . .

3. Among Friends: after dinner this evening in Tarrytown, five of us stood out on the sidewalk on S. Broadway and talked at length about . . . eczema. Ointment that smells like old people. 100% cotton mittens that nourish dry skin. Over-the-counter antihistamines. Claritin-D. Water-filled blisters and how to properly pop them. Panic buttons for intubated premature babies in respiratory distress. But no, we really are just in our 20s . . .

4. Monday, Monday: Hooch returns!!!! I fully expect that she'll be tan and blissed out, and utterly ecstatic that her trial settled, so she can revel in her blissed-out state for at least another four days before I am tempted to shake her back into reality. But at least I won't have to talk to a photo of her head anymore. That was getting kind of weird, even for me . . .

5. Pressing Thoughts: we take the newlyweds-to-be to Foxwoods this weekend for their joint bachelor/bachelorette extravaganza. This should be interesting for a variety of reasons, including the facts that: (1) none of us really gamble all that much . . . or all that well; (2) some of us just learned that when gambling or pulling slots, we get free drinks, and we are very excited about this; (3) none of us really drink all that much . . . or all that well; and (4) all of us are used to going to bed at an average hour of about 10:30p.m.. Interesting, indeed . . .

6. Random Contemplation: I wonder why I am not all of myself with all people at all times. I have distinct personas for distinct arenas of my life, and while there is some nominal overlapping of personality traits, I am definitely perceived as being a certain type of person by each social faction. Sometimes, I feel somewhat guilty, constrained and/or frustrated that I can't be a true Christian at work, a real hardass lawyer at church, a grownup among my LOLs, a level-headed serious young woman at home. In general, my church world doesn't know that I am deeply emotional and thoughtful, that I read a lot, that I am updated on current events, and that I'm more than a frivolous one-liner here and there. In general, my work world doesn't know that I am devotedly involved in church-related activities, that I consider myself more culturally Korean than American, that I'd rather spend time at home with my family than go out and party. In general, my LOLs don't know that it's weirder for some of them not to ask weird questions and do offbeat things than it is for me to ask and do those things, that I am responsible and grounded and mature, that I don't feel the need to do something with them all the time -- just being with them and eating chips is enough. In general, my family doesn't know that I'm really intelligent, that I'm emotionally stable, that I want to honor them in everything I say and do. Is it my responsibility to reveal my whole inner self to people, or is it their responsibility to look past what I offer them, should they care enough to? I haven't yet figured out if it's more work to keep my personalities divided, or to let them all meld together, come what may. On the other hand, I don't think everyone in all my worlds is ready for me to be all of me, all at once. So, the game goes on . . .

Friday, June 6


My brother calls me while I'm engrossed in the movie, "Wit." Typical conversation ensues:

Bro: How're the parents?
Me: Good, good.
Bro: How's the grandma?
Me: Cool, cool.
Bro: Whatchyou doin'?
Me: Watching a movie.
Bro: Which one?
Me: It's called "Wit" and it's about an English professor who comes down with a very virulent form of cancer, and it's the story of her illness.
Bro: Oh, no. Is this one of your English countryside Jane Austen 16th-century handsome men on horses and ladies in hoop skirts movies?
Me: No. But the lead actress is British.
Bro: Jeez. Figures.

What?! What's the problem?!
Incidentally, I spent the last 45 minutes of "Wit" bawling, weeping, gasping for breath and weeping some more. I was almost more dramatic than the movie itself. Of course, my mom comes downstairs while the credits are rolling -- and I'm just staring at the screen, weeping -- sees me staring weepily at the screen, shakes her head, and walks back upstairs.
What? Is it me?!



If you go about your day having premonitions that bad things will happen to you, are you actually having accurate premonitions about bad things happening to you, or are bad things going to happen to you because you expect them to?

From the moment I woke up today, I have been expecting serious injury. So I drove ultra-cautiously to work, walked slowly around chambers so as not to bump into the objects I normally bump into, ordered a cold meal for lunch so as not to burn myself, did mostly computer research so as not to suffer paper cuts (or manila folder cuts, as the case often is), and drove ultra-cautiously back home. In preparation for tomorrow's bridal shower, I held all dishes with both hands, made sure not to hyper-extend my arms while vacuuming, implemented my knife skills slowly, and even held my breath while cleaning the bathrooms so as not to inhale toxic fumes.

But of course, the best laid plans always go awry. Which is why I sit here now, at almost midnight, typing with only nine usable fingers, the middle finger of my left hand having suffered grievously in a gruesome encounter with a door and its jamb at approximately 11:00 p.m.. One more hour and I would've been in bed and safe from harm. Damn. I bet there are still pieces of flesh imbedded in the wood, but looking at the door in question right now makes me weak in the knees. In fact, I think I hate that door from now on.

So after succumbing to the overwhelming urge to cry some more, I Neosporin-ed my fingertip like mad (Neosporin, of course, being the wonder drug to top all wonder drugs, aside from Nighttime Comtrex). Let it breathe for an hour. Brush my teeth, floss and wash my face with one hand -- what an experience. Neosporin-ed it again. Mommy (she becomes mommy when I am injured, okay?!) wrapped it in gauze and stuck it shut with tape to keep it safe and warm during the night. Clucked at me for slamming a door on myself. I know, I know . . .

I expect that by tomorrow, the torn skin will be ready to cut off, the swelling will have subsided, the tingling will have gone away, the pus will stop oozing, the blood will have clotted, and I will have yet another lovely battle scar to show off. If not, I might have to cry some more. I wonder if it's broken? Oh God, I can't deal with the prospect. I'm taking my aged and scarred self to bed now . . .

I'm torn. This whole ImClone fiasco has got me all aflutter.

First of all, there's the issue of my love-hate relationship with Martha. Her "E! True Hollywood Story" says it all -- she's a hardass, perma-bee-yatch CEO of a hugely successful company, with a weird voice, who had a strained relationship with her daughter because she was working all the time (and was generally a bee-yatch), and abandoned her ex-husband when he was suffering from brain cancer or whatever horrible illness it was. On the other hand, I have adopted several of her recipes as my own, gobble down her Martha Stewart Living Magazine every month like a crazy woman, and generally aspire to be her in all culinary and decorational ways. Without being a bee-yatch, naturally.

Caveat: not all of her recipes are reliable. One has to wonder if she tries them out before she releases them to the public, or if she really does steal them from other people (see: "E! True Hollywood Story") and passes them off as her own, without the requisite testing. Her baked goods are sufficient, but her regular foods are actually downright icky. Or maybe it's just because of my own requirement that I eat kimchi with everything . . .

In any event, despite her Good Things and Desserts of the Month and antique green glass collections, I am very, very angry at Martha. How could she not have known the SEC rules, or the possibility that SEC rules against what she did (and I am convinced she did it) existed? How could she have bargained everything she is and has and is known for (I'm talking professionally, not her bee-yatchiness), for a few extra bucks? Hell-OOOO -- you're a gazillionaire. If you still need a few more tens of thousands of dollars to make yourself feel better, you have ISSUES. How could she have lied to the government (and the latent prosecutor in me is convinced she did)? Doesn't she know they'll always find out and git her? How could she have screwed up so badly that her stock value drops like a ton of bricks, leaving her stockholders in the lurch? Bad, bad Martha.

And you know what else? I don't even really have that big of a problem with the government making an example of people like Martha -- famous, celebrity-like, inordinately wealthy people who assume and act like they're above the law. Please, by all means, make an example of Martha. I mean, who else are we going to make examples of?! No, show them ALL that it is naughty to steal, lie, obstruct justice, cheat, and be a bee-yatch, and that if you insist on doing these things, you will be punished accordingly. And please, if she's convicted, send her to jail for the appropriate length of time. Inject some equity into the system, and restore a little bit of faith in the administration of the criminal judicial process. No special treatment. No 300-count Egyptian cotton sheets. No color-coordinated electronic ankle bracelet. No probation just because you're a famous rich white lady, okay? Put on the jumpsuit and suck it up, because you did a bad, bad thing.

But then wouldn't you know it, they figure out that ImClone's cancer drug really does work. Go, figure . . .


1. How many times have you truly been in love? Once.

2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most? He was well-rounded emotionally and intellectually.

3. What qualities should a significant other have? Be adventurous, curious, tactful, sensitive, intelligent, laid-back, conscientious, self-aware, self-deprecating, humorous, witty, always seeking to grow and be better and know more, committed, trustworthy, and clean.

4. Have you ever broken someone's heart? Yes, and got stalked for it too. That'll teach me . . .

5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be? It's hard but rewarding work to share love with someone, so don't get lazy.

I hate pulling the second-to-last Kleenex out of the box and having the truly last Kleenex come out with it. It makes the Kleenex box look so lonely and bereft and empty. It is in fact empty. I wish I could at least put the box to good use instead of carelessly throwing it out as if I don't love it as much as I love the Kleenexes it holds. And then what the heck am I supposed to do with the last Kleenex, since it no longer has a home?!

Thursday, June 5


I don't write a lot about my work as a federal judicial law clerk. Believe me, it's not for lack of excellent stories.

In the past two years, I think I've seen it all, and if I haven't, then my remaining year is sure to show it to me. But it's just the nature of the game. Any other attorney is under certain restrictions regarding what she can and cannot reveal about her work, her clients, and her cases. Law clerks, being representatives of the judges for whom they work, are under even more restrictions, including those based on loyalty to the boss and service to the public. Given that my judge is pretty much the best, most upstanding and honorable, fairest and most conscientious, kindest and most compassionate, smartest and wittiest judge around, my loyalty to him is unwavering. Given that I have decided to devote the rest of my adult life in service to the public in one way or another, my loyalty to it is firm. So, unfortunately, I can't say anything substantive about what I do.

But that's not to say that there's nothing to tell. TRUST ME.

When I'm old and gray and not mentally capable of caring about being disbarred, I'll write a tell-all. I'm sure all 10 advance copies will sell like hotcakes.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, according to E! Online = "Bennifer."

Yeah sure, family, church, friends all contributed to my development as a human being, but pop culture -- from the moment I got sucked into it with a vengeance -- has also always been there for me. Some formative tunes:

1. "Red, Red Wine" (UB40): Elementary school. A song about alcoholism. I was totally scandalized and intrigued. Taped it on my little pink radio and played it to myself to try to figure out what they were saying. Had to explain the song to my mother when she caught me listening to the song over and over and over. She was horrified.

2. "True Blue" (Madonna): Elementary/Middle school. My friends and I choreographed ourselves to it and rated each other. After a while, it became very difficult to come up with original moves. Moreover, did not understand the phrase "true blue." Maybe I'm too literal. Also, mother was horrified by Madonna.

3. "Love is a Battlefield" (Pat Benatar): Elementary/Middle school. Pat Benatar was and still is the undisputed hot mama. Loved the tough-gal leather and the bad-ass attitude. Didn't fully understand why love was a battlefield, though, and felt bad that Pat was suffering in the video.

4. "Land of Confusion" (Genesis): Elementary/Middle school. Scared witless by the video, with the ugly Reagan puppets. But, like any good horrific scene, I couldn't look away. Also enjoyed the social commentary that I did not fully comprehend. Not a really catchy tune though, what with the minor key, the syncopation and the ugly Reagan puppets. Ah, the budding Democrat in me . . .

5. "Never Say Goodbye" (Bon Jovi): Middle school. What heterosexual girl has not swooned to this song, hoping that the crush of her dreams would croon it to her? Yes, well, it was our 8th-grade anthem. We all hugged the wall during the middle school dance and sang it to ourselves. How pathetic.

6. "Papa Don't Preach" (Madonna): Middle school. Now I was scandalized. Attempted to use song as important discussion point with my parents. They were still horrified by Madonna and unwilling to discuss teen pregnancy with me. Wept at the end of the video when her father hugs her.

7. "Man in the Mirror" (M. Jackson): Middle school. First heard on radio, late at night after returning from watching one of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies. Thought the song would distract me from being scared, but it provided me with an image of a man in a mirror instead. Did not sleep that night. Thankfully, it later become a really well-rendered a cappella tune, compelling me to enjoy the song, its message, and yes, even Michael Jackson.

8. "Don't Dream It's Over" (Crowded House): Middle School. See "Never Say Goodbye." Also, I won the single at a friend's Bat Mitzvah. In LP format. Wow.

9. "Rhythm Nation" (J. Jackson): High school. I am becoming socially conscious, and so am able to appreciate the lyrics. Besides, what is there to not love about Janet? Also, LOVED the dance moves in the video and spent hours emulating them, until I realized that it just wasn't cool for me to be doing that by myself, in sweats, in my parents' basement.

10. "With or Without You" (U2): High school. Again scared witless by the stark, bare video, and the imagery evoked by implied stalking, waiting on a bed of nails, thorns twisting in the side, tied hands, bruised body, giving yourself away. Only recently have I come to acknowledge and enjoy this tune as a love song. I think.

11. "More Than Words" (Extreme): High school. We were all scandalized by the title of the album, "Pornograffiti." Wow. More importantly, this was my audition song for my high school a cappella group. It went over very well. I sang it with feeling. And most importantly, I inscribed the complete lyrics into my best friend's yearbook his senior year, in order to convey to him my (totally platonic) feelings of love and friendship most honestly.

12. "Eternal Flame" (The Bangles): High school. I know this song is totally 80s, but it was only significant for me in high school. One of those cheesy romantic anthem kind of things. My friend B and I wore out our cassette singles. Then we bought the CDs, back when they were still, like, $30 apiece. But then we didn't have CD players, so we had to wait until our birthdays for those. What a fiasco. The song lives on in our hearts.

13. "Shadows of the Night" (Pat Benatar): High school. My a cappella group's crowning moment of glory at the winter concert, after an up-and-down semester filled with personal traumas and dramas, intense competition with the co-ed group, and constant shifting of parts and harmonies to get it just right. This was the epitome of a group of talented women working together and producing sweet, sweet music. If I do say so myself.

14. "Verdi Cries" (10,000 Maniacs): High school. My senior year solo with my a cappella group. I was terrified. I didn't even know the song when we first began rehearsing it. Of course, it came together. Of course, people were astonished that I could sing, having been only background vocals for the entire year. Of course, I had to be wearing an ugly dress while singing it. Of course, I felt too shy to take a bow afterwards. But I will always love the song. It's MY song.

15. "Linger" (The Cranberries): College. This song is only notable for how much I hated it, and hate it still.

16. "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" (Notorious B.I.G.): Post-college. A bunch of white and Asian upper-middle-class, elite-university graduates come together to be paralegals at the Manhattan D.A.'s Office. We go to 25-cent buffalo wings and 50-cent Budweiser once a week at Down the Hatch, on 4th Street. We pull this song up on the jukebox and pretend we can groove to it. For an entire year. It was pathetically awesome.

17. "Bye, Bye, Bye" (N*Sync): Post-college. You might ask about a 20-something's fascination with N*Sync. Hey, I was loud and proud about it then, and I am proud about it now. And the dance moves were ever so fun to imitate, even in the halls of the distinguished Manhattan D.A.'s Office . . .

18. "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen): Law school. Still carrying baggage about this song (the co-ed group in high school -- our arch-enemy -- had sung a ravishing version of it), I was part of the cast that transformed it into a spoof of our daily law school lives, for the 2000 Legal Follies. The lyrics were zinging, the dance steps were prancing, we could barely get through it for laughing so hard, and the audience gave us a standing ovation. High school, be gone!

19. "What's Going On" (to benefit 9/11 Fund and AIDS Charities): 2001. September 11th. Enough said.

20. "Lose Yourself" (Eminem): 2002. I think Eminem is a jerk. I think he shouldn't be making as much money as he is. I think he curses too much. I think it's sad that he hates his mother. I think that everytime this song comes on the radio, I will pump it up, sing along, bounce around in my car, and envision myself a rapper. Humans are so strange sometimes. And I suppose if you clean it up a bit, the message is pretty nice. Did I just say NICE?

21: "Your Body is a Wonderland" (J. Mayer): 2002. See cheesy romantic anthem. But please, who isn't going to melt at "I'll never let your head hit the bed without my hand behind it"?!?! I would choose this as my wedding song, waaaaaaay down the path into the future, but my guests might be scandalized. The ones who understand English, anyway.

22. "Crazy in Love" (B. Knowles w/Jay-Z): 2003. I'm ambivalent about both Beyonce and Jay-Z, although I admire B. for her ability to be herself in her anorexic industry, and J. for his catchy rap/hip-hop tunes (he also hooks up with Missy quite spectacularly in "Back in the Day"). But the girl can sing, and this tune is as catchy as they come. It is my "Lose Yourself" for Spring, 2003. Check it out . . .

Wednesday, June 4


You are Trinity-
You are Trinity, from "The Matrix."
Strong, beautiful- you epitomize the ultimate

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Old habits die hard.

I speed home from my Tuesday Bible study (we're doing Revelations -- talk about brain overload . . .), to find a message waiting for me on my machine: "Do you know what's on NBC right now? Where ARE you? Why aren't you WATCHING? Turn on NBC right now and WATCH, you." Trusty SZH. Six years later, she's still committed.

I look at the clock. 10:40 p.m. I can still catch twenty quality minutes of the Miss Universe Pageant -- the most important minutes, in fact. I grab my phone, dial SZH, pick up the remote and settle in. Senseless conversation ensues:

SZH: Where did you watch from?
ME: The last interview questions.
SZH: What's up with Miss Serbia-Montenegro? SHE DIDN'T ANSWER THE QUESTION.
SZH: I mean, we KNOW you're not fire or water. We KNOW you're a human being.
ME: Right? But you still have to choose one -- fire or water. That's the question. And another thing -- if you're going to have an interpreter interpret the question for you, DON'T ANSWER IN ENGLISH. USE THE INTERPRETER.
SZH: Miss Japan is weird.
ME: Yeah. Did you see her opening ball gown? Not so much a ball gown as much as a bikini with a skirt.
SZH: Yeah, totally gross.
ME: And she took off her shawl!
SZH: Also, the Japanese interpreter -
ME: I KNOW! Not so good.
SZH: Yeah. She sucked.
SZH: She screwed up the last interview round, too.
ME: That sucks.
ME: What was up with the typical Japanese woman giggle?
SZH: Yeah, totally predictable. Weird.
SZH: Miss South Africa is just as bad. She's got to go.
ME: Oh yeah?
SZH: Yeah.
ME: One thing I've noticed that is different from six years ago when we first started doing this -- their hair has collectively gotten much -
ME: Yup. Definitely smaller.
SZH: The hairspray industry must be suffering.
ME: Yeah. That sucks.
SZH: So who's your pick?
ME: I'm gonna go with Miss Venezuela. They always win. Venezuela is like a Miss Universe production factory. They know what they're doing.
SZH: True. They ARE the only country to win, like, three years in a row or something.
ME: Three years? Jeez.
SZH: I know.
SZH: I'd say either Venezuela or Dominican Republic.
ME: Oh yeah? Dominican Republic did well?
SZH: Oh yes. She did MUCH better overall. I was just telling SC [her husband] --
SZH: Wait, wait --
SZH: Only for a little bit! Anyway, I was just telling SC that Miss Dominican Republic is only EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD. And then SC says to me "well, you can never trust the ages in the Dominican Republic."
ME: Ah yes, Danny Almonte.
SZH: Yup, Danny Almonte.
[The countdown begins.]
SZH: Please, PLEASE let Serbia be last. She didn't answer the question!
ME: AND she's wearing hay on her dress. If you can't walk in it and it looks like it came from a farm, you shouldn't be wearing it.
[Miss Japan goes down.]
SZH: Yeah, she was weird. But PLEASE let Serbia go next.
ME: Indeed.
[Miss Serbia goes down.]
[Miss South Africa goes down; Misses Venezuela and Dominican Republic remain.]
SZH: We totally called it.
ME: You know, Dominican Republic does look kind of young, now that you mention it. She's a little gawky.
SZH: Maybe.
ME: I hope it's Venezuela. That dress is stunning.
SZH: Well, Venezuela looks pretty, but she talks ugly.
ME: Ew. Like man-voice?
SZH: No, just ugly voice.
ME: Ew.
[Miss Venezuela goes down; Miss Dominican Republic wins.]
[Random man runs onto the stage and kisses the new Miss Universe.]
ME: Who was that little man?
SZH: Was she just ACCOSTED on the stage?
ME: I think that little man just accosted her!
SZH, to SC: Did you see that little man accosting Miss Universe? He just got escorted off the stage!
ME: I can't believe that little man just ran up on the stage and accosted her!
SZH: Freak.
[Silence, watching Miss Universe wave to the crowd.]
ME: Is her nose too small for her face?
ME: See, young girls should not have facial surgery, because they're still growing and this girl's nose is going to end up being too small for her face.
SZH: What are you TALKING about?
ME: Look at her face! Look at her nose! It's weird! It's too small! Ick!
ME: This is not as emotional as I thought it would be. Dominican Republic is not crying at all.
SZH: Hey, did you hear about Sammy Sosa's corked bat?
SZH: Yeah, go watch SportsCenter -- it's probably the lead story.
ME: Okay. I gotta watch SportsCenter. Bye.

The best twenty minutes I've spent all week.

Had a traumatic dream last night, in which I:

1. Had to dredge my flooded basement and clean it in order to host a bridal shower.
2. Had to hold the bridal shower in the backyard instead, and share space with my brother's drunken barbecue and his drug-addled friends.
3. Had to threaten my brother's friends with calling the police and civilian arrest if they didn't stop using Ecstasy and smoking up next to my pregnant guests.
4. Had to prevent my brother from harassing Mike Mussina, who was practicing his pitching, also in my backyard (I WISH!).
5. Was back in law school and had just broken up with a faceless love.
6. Was so upset that I felt the need to physically hurt someone.
7. Accordingly entered the law school food court near midnight, approached the lady at the McDonald's booth, ordered small french fries, then stabbed her in the heart with a sharpened straw, thereby killing her.
8. Escaped without being noticed, went outside and sat on the stoop of the law school building, eating my french fries and pondering what to do next.
9. Eluded detection by the police, aided by the fact that no one had witnessed the murder.
10. Went into hiding for a day, fearful that the guys working at the donut booth across from McDonald's would recognize me if I ventured back to the law school.
11. Went back to the law school anyway, returned to the scene of the crime, ordered two large sodas, gazed at the blood still staining the floor in the food court, and scurried by the donut booth in case the guys there looked up and thought I looked familiar.
12. Strolled through the law student crowd laying flowers by McDonald's, and observed everyone's saddened faces, but felt no grief myself.
13. Met a friend who asked me why I was holding two large sodas.
14. Threw one of the sodas away, still full, and lied to my friend about why I had thrown it out -- "tasted funky," I said.
15. Went home and sat in front of my mirror, looked at myself and asked myself why I had killed the McDonald's lady -- I couldn't think of a reason.
16. Weighed my options: either I could turn myself in, pretend to be remorseful and hope the authorities were lenient to me, or not turn myself in and live with the fact that I was a murderer.
17. Wondered, days later, why no one had caught onto my trail yet, and started to become paranoid, thinking I was being secretly observed by the police, who had had me in their sights all along.

Then, thankfully, I awoke. To a gray, rainy day. Again. Bleh.