Tuesday, September 30


Mine was fine. Except that the Yankees LOST. I took a day off of work and 8 hours away from an urgent and important assignment to see them lose?!?!?! Sigh. The only redeeming moments came in the this-only-happens-to-us experiences that occur only when Cheech and I are together . . .

. . . though I had purchased four tickets, only two of us could go. We had SUCH a difficult time getting rid of the other two -- people signed on, then backed out; others signed on, then backed out; more signed on, then backed out. (I'm sorry, but WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL WITH TAKING A DAY OFF OF WORK?!) Finally, Cheech decided that he would scalp them (out of my sight, of course). So there we were, at 12:30p.m., trolling the sidewalks around Yankee Stadium, Cheech muttering "Tickets. Two tickets. I got two tickets. You need two tickets? Two tickets." After a while, it became too ridiculous -- who goes to a Division Series game without tickets, anyway? And besides, Cheech couldn't take himself seriously as a ticket-seller anymore. We gave up. On a high note, we had extra seats on which to put our stuff, and I had no beer-gutted dude elbowing me in the side every other pitch.

. . . Cheech and I had a severe craving for hot Italian sausages. I have never had this craving before, and thus have never really indulged it, but today, I just HAD to have one. Of course, the lines we stood on for our Italian sausages were the lines with the broken cash register (both of us), an extremely overweight cashier on crutches (serving Cheech's line) and another cashier who was worse at written math than myself (serving my line). I watched in salivating agony as the cashiers scribbled down our orders, looked back at the menu to ascertain the prices, stood there chewing on their pens as they attempted to add the figures in their heads, ruffled through the increasing pile of loose bills on the counter in an effort to find correct change. We panted on line, waiting for those dumb Italian sausages, for 35 minutes. Yes, I said 35 minutes. We missed the entire first inning. Sad.

. . . The Twins scored, and they scored fast. And the Yanks kept messing up, bobbling balls, letting grounders simply roooooolllllll on by. My boys just didn't try today, and Moose gave me minimal love. But more aggravating than the lack of action on the field, was the over-reaction going on behind us. Sitting directly behind Cheech and I were a father and his two teenaged daughters. The father just TALKED the entire time. Not about anything remotely interesting or truly relevant or even slightly accurate. He just chattered about everything he thought he knew about Yankee baseball. He pontificated . . . wrongly. He made negative, sarcastic and critical comments about everything the Yankees did and everything they are. I don't even know why he was there. If his voice had been deep and mellifluous, maybe, MAYBE, I could forgive him. But no. Imagine Ross Geller combined with Gilbert Gottfried combined with Bobcat Goldwaithe, with a touch of Carrot Top to ice it all off. And the daughters! Oy vey! Is it really necessary to scream, at the top of your screechy little lungs, "YOOOOOOOUUUUUU SUUUUUUUUUUCK!" every time something happens that you don't like? Ouch.

. . . It was perfect baseball weather . . . kind of. When the sun was out, it was perfect. Warm, breezy, even nominally sweat-inducing. When the cloud cover approached, it was wretched. Cold, chilly, windy, even slightly flu-inducing. Cheech and I alternated between taking catnaps with our faces tilted towards the sun, and huddled together, shivering and waiting for the wind to carry the clouds past the Stadium. Again, ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as Matsui being robbed -- ROBBED of his home run.

But, again, a good outing with Cheech. We pigged out, putting things in our mouths that we would never ingest outside the Stadium (excepting the beer, natch). We got sooooo sleepy late in the game and afterwards, we could barely talk to each other on the way back to Manhattan. Now I'm home, warm, still sleepy, still full, and totally looking forward to Game 2 . . .


I love being in the city and being able to walk everywhere and anywhere. Today, Cheech asked me if I wanted to take the subway for 10 blocks. I must have given him the oddest look -- "Are you NUTS?!" Everything your heart could desire is at your disposal on the streets of New York (and I'm not talking prostitutes or crack cocaine). This evening, Cheech and I got off at our subway stop, and I popped into Best Buy, then strolled next door to browse at Barnes&Noble, then went next door again to look around inside Staples, then made my last stop on that SAME block to buy a bottle of water for the ride home. So satisfying to my type-A soul . . .


I love October, which arrives in T-minus 4:20 hours. I flipped the page of my paintings-by-Picasso calendar early just now, and saw, to my great delight, that October's painting, the painting decorating the month of my birthday, is my favorite painting in the entire world: Don Quixote. Smile -- now it hangs on my wall AND my bulletin board.

I anticipate that this October will be interesting and strange and difficult for me, for a variety of reasons. I expect to live through much change, and to grow a good amount, and to learn much about myself. I expect it to be really, really fun and really, really painful at the same time. But . . . I love Don Quixote and I love October anyway . . .

Friday, September 26


"Enterprising little sh*t."

-- Hooch, with respect to someone we can't help but admire for his enterprising little sh*ttiness

Thursday, September 25


Now we take our time, so nonchalant,
And spend our nights so bon vivant.
We dress our days in silken robes,
The money comes, the money goes . . .
We know it's all a passing phase.

We light our lamps for atmosphere,
And hang our hopes on chandeliers.
We're going wrong, we're gaining weight,
We're sleeping long and far too late.
And so it's time to change our ways . . .
But I've loved these days.

Now as we indulge in things refined,
We hide our hearts from harder times.
A string of pearls, a foreign car,
Oh, we can only go so far
On caviar and Cabernet.

We drown our doubts in dry champagne,
And soothe our souls with fine cocaine.
I don't know why I even care.
We get so high and get nowhere.
We'll have to change our jaded ways . . .
But I've loved these days.

So before we end, and then begin
We'll drink a toast to how it's been . . .
A few more hours to be complete,
A few more nights on satin sheets,
A few more times that I can say . . .
I've loved these days.

-- Billy Joel

Wednesday, September 24


Three companions.
Cool autumn evening.
National anthem.
Bright lights.
Deafening crowd.
Hot dogs and beer.
ALDS Game 1.
At home.
Yankee Stadium.
With Moose.

After Moose kicks some Minnesota arse, I wonder if the Yankees would let me take him home with me. You know, so I could congratulate him in person.

Tuesday, September 23

I have been missing the point.
The point is not
knowing another person, or learning to love another person.
The point is simply this: how tender can we bear to be?
What good manners can we show as we welcome ourselves and others into our hearts?

-- from "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,"
by Rebecca Wells
WOW . . .

I have nothing to say today, other than if I had a set of balls like this recent law school graduate, not only would I REALLY be a man, but I'd probably have a job lined up for next year.

Thanks to Hooch for the tip.


Wait, I do have something else to say.

Today is a grey day.

Today is only Tuesday; not even hump day.

Today, "Navy: CIS" premieres and "L&O:SVU" season premieres.

Today, I am still sleepy and drained.

Today is rainy and windy.

Today, I wish I could have stayed in bed and stared at my ceiling for hours.

Today, I wish I had worn jeans and a ratty sweatshirt to work.

Today, I am trying extra-hard to be myself.

Today, I am having comfort food for lunch.

Today is a grey day.


Okay, more to say:

I am a big Yankee sloot (that's the fancy pronounciation of "slut," as adapted by Hooch and I to refer to ourselves . . . tongue-in-cheek, of course. Of course!).

Yesterday afternoon, I spent two hours with the phone and two Internet Explorer windows connected to Ticketmaster.

I bought 16 Yankees playoff tickets.

I am a big Yankee sloot.


Okay, last word:

The Democrats have a blog, and I have a new link to it in the sidebar . . . if you care.

Note: this is NOT an invitation for right-wing hatemail.

Saturday, September 20

Today is a beautiful day.

Today is sunny, breezy, mild, soon-to-be warm.

Today is Saturday.

Today, I am going to take a long, leisurely shower and shave my legs.

Today, I am going to make bundt cakes. (I hope.)

Today, I am going to spend the afternoon in the city.

Today, I am going to have dinner and play crazy card games with friends.

Today, I am feeling not so congested and achy.

Today is a good day.

Today is a beautiful day.

Friday, September 19

AM I A MAN? . . .

I have been having a very interesting series of conversations with a good friend of mine over the past couple of days. As a result, I have come to question myself in a very strange way: am I a man?

I half-jokingly ask myself this for two reasons:
-- First, and most facetiously, I have been collecting electronic toys and accessories lately like you wouldn't believe. Granted, I've also been NAMING them, which is decidedly NOT manly, but my glee at playing with these toys is slightly . . . boyish.
-- Second, and more seriously, I don't want to commit to someone and be married. Not right now anyway. Perhaps not ever.

That would devastate my parents. As cool and progressive and 'modern' as they are (particularly compared to other Korean parents), getting their precious only daughter married off is still the number-one priority right now, especially since I'm done with the grad school thing, and well on my way with the career-development thing. It would never occur to them that I would not be married, or -- God forbid -- not WANT to be married. What normal heterosexual woman doesn't want to be married, right?

Uh, me. Or at least, me right now.

I don't know why I feel this way lately. Over the past two years, since ending my last relationship, I have wavered between varying degrees of wanting to be in love, wanting a boyfriend, wanting that ring on my finger, wanting a future shared with a husband. Some days, I've wanted it more than others. But I have never NOT wanted it, until recently. WEIRD, right?

I think I might just be reacting. (I do that well -- I should look for a job where I can just react to things.) Reacting to parents slyly asking me on occasion if I've met anyone nice, or how this guy or that guy is coming along, as if they are cornish game hens, slow-roasting in the oven. Reacting to my parents' friends who ask me if I have any "good news," as if getting a raise at work, or finding out my boob is cancer-free isn't good news enough. Reacting to all the people around me getting married, causing me to think, "is this REALLY a life that I could lead?" And, naughtily, acting and reacting to the married people around me who seem to be made uncomfortable by people like me: single folks who are truly satisfied with life, doing fun things, not tied down by anything or anyone but our own internal censors, who perhaps cause them to think either (1) "how can she possibly be fine and single?!"; or (2) "wait, being married isn't the end-all and be-all of life?!" Yup, the evil me looooooves to do that tweaking . . .

Or maybe I'm just preoccupied with pining for a cool job, so pining for a love isn't on the front burner anymore. I have other priorities right now, as well as other things that satisfy and fulfill me.

Or maybe I've just calmed down. What's the big stinkin' rush to get married, after all? I would hate to be married just because "it's time." God forbid I wake up one morning next to my husband and think "What a huuuuuuge mistake this was." No, no, a good marriage is worth waiting for, even if it drives people around me crazy.

Or maybe I'm a commitment-phobe. I don't really think I am -- I've always been a faithful and loving girlfriend, with no roving eye or straying sentiments and no fear about opening my heart to past boyfriends -- but it's not outside the realm of possibility, I suppose.

Or maybe it's seasonal. In the spring, the fever hits and everyone's . . . well, randy, for lack of a better word. In the fall, I just want to snuggle in a sweater and lay around and smell the crisp air alone. I'll have to tune back into myself in April to see if there's an identifiable cycle here.

Or maybe I'm disillusioned. If it hasn't happened for me by now, it's never going to happen for me, or something equally cynical and silly.

Or maybe I'm a man at heart. All I can think lately is "I'm not ready!!!!" and "There's NO WAY I can do this married-life thing" and "Spend the REST of my LIFE with ONE PERSON?!" and "I have to raise LIVE CHILDREN?! I can't just babysit, then give them back to their rightful owners?!" And I get these weird anxiety-esque heart palpitations at the imagined vision of me walking down the aisle and vowing my life over to someone.


That's too bad. I kind of liked being a woman. The tampons, the mood swings, the boob problems, the maintenance, the self-image issues, the glass ceiling, the expensive haircuts, etc. They all suck, but still, it's way cooler being a woman. I hope I get to be one again soon . . .

Thursday, September 18


The TOOTH in the SOUP? Check out this Associated Press news story:

Woman Says She Found Tooth in Can of Soup
Filed at 2:30 p.m. ET

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A woman who says she found a human tooth in a can of Campbell's soup has filed a lawsuit against the company. Tina Keeney, of West Jordan, had just heated up a can of chicken noodle soup and given some of it to her 13-month-old son. While she was cleaning up, she noticed the boy had a hard, white object in his hand.

``It's gross enough as it is to find something in your food anyway, but to have it be a human tooth that was in someone else's mouth is just sickening,'' Keeney said.

She called Campbell Soup Co. headquarters in Camden, New Jersey to complain. Keeney said the person she spoke to was polite, if a little skeptical, asking if the object could actually be a chicken bone.

``I said, 'I'm not a dentist, but it looks like a molar to me,' `` she said.

Campbell Soup Co. offered to cover the cost of the soup -- plus a little extra. They also wanted her to mail in the tooth. Keeney went to a lawyer instead.

Since that July afternoon last year, attorney Daniel Irvin has had the object tested by a pathologist, who confirmed it is indeed a human molar, likely from a 13-year-old mouth. The expert noted the tooth, actually half a tooth, appeared to have been cut in some kind of manufacturing process, Irvin said. Additional tests ruled out that the tooth belonged to anyone in the Keeney family, including her older daughters.

Irvin said he has spoken numerous times to officials at Campbell Soup Co. about settling the matter. They were unable to reach an agreement, and Irvin this week filed a civil lawsuit against the company in Utah's 3rd District Court. The suit asks for unspecified damages on behalf of Keeney and her son.

``Here's a woman who can't eat soup, her family can't eat soup. And to be honest with you, I haven't eaten soup since this happened,'' Irvin said. A message left for a company spokesman was not immediately returned on Thursday.

The best part is that the attorney can't eat soup anymore either.
Yet another silly quiz I can't resist taking . . . but at least I am:

The down-to-earth girl
The down-to-earth girl

Which girl stereotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

In particular, note the phrase which reads: "people can manipulate you."
LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!! Ah, the state of being a minion . . .

Wednesday, September 17


Communing with nature, taking a walk in the park, mountain-climbing, scrambling over rocks and branches, getting dirty . . . whatever you call it, I love it.

Tuesday, September 16


Do I sound like a broken record yet? I feel like an alien is inhabiting my body and my psyche. I feel not myself . . . or perhaps this is my new self? How do you tell, anyway? I mean, am I supposed to be able to tell when I'm growing, or changing or becoming a new, different, yet the same person? I feel like my mental, emotional and physical skins are being stretched, tested, tempered, but I don't know why or for what purpose. Everything makes me . . . itchy and restless. Like I'm on the cusp of something. Like something needs to happen NOW so I can get some relief. It's like sexual tension, without the sexual element. What the heck does that mean?! Eh, verbal vomit . . . I need a mental Immodium.


Mortality is a very strange concept. Lately, it has been on my mind a lot. Many people around me, or associated with me through varying degrees of separation, have been falling ill, spending lengthy amounts of time in the hospital, dying, recovering. Even my mysterious boob, which is now pain-free and for all intents and purposes cooperative and sans lump, has loomed large in this consideration of life and death.

As I was telling some friends this weekend during a miserably inappropriately-timed moment, I feel that I am . . . well, dying young, for lack of a better phrase. Now, this sentiment should not be read as a cry for help, or an indication of any dissatisfaction with my life. Quite the contrary!!! As I attempted to explain to my friends, it's more of a signal of how satisfied, indeed, I am with my life, but that I feel that I'm on borrowed time. There are people out there who are meant to live well into their 90s and live long and hopefully fruitful lives. Me, I feel as though I have to cram those 90 years into, say, 30 or 40 or so. I could be hit by a car one day; I could be felled by a swift-moving terminal illness; I could just GO. And being conscious of this every day makes me savor my days more passionately than anyone else would, not because I am afraid -- I'm not -- but because I'd hate to be closing my eyes and thinking "I was half-assed about my life."

It's why I want the cool job. It's why I want to cram my social schedule chock-full of nuts, even if it makes me sleepier than I should be. It's why I want to hang with my family in all my spare time. It's why I want to run 5Ks, go to Bruce concerts, take people to dinner, fly to London, spoil my friends and their babies, buy senseless kitchen knick-knacks for my mom. I don't have TIME to sit around and wait for things to happen. I don't have TIME to have others arrange social events for me. I don't have TIME to pine for a husband and babies of my own. I don't have TIME to maintain and babysit lazy, passionless, milquetoasty friends. I don't have TIME to passively anticipate what might happen tomorrow or next week or later on -- I just have to DO it.


On the other hand, I've never felt healthier in my life, and that brings the weight of my own mortality to the forefront as well. Running on Sunday morning with breast cancer survivors, men and women who have lost loved ones to breast cancer, men and women suffering from breast cancer . . . how fortunate am I to be healthy and illness-free? How could I have ever taken my health for granted? The freedom to run consecutive miles outside, to lift weights without pain, to eat what I want, to indulge in the occasional bout of debauchery and know that I will recover the next day, to feel the relief of a stretch, to dance the night away. These are simple freedoms that not everyone has. What makes me more deserving than anyone else? No, it's not a guilt thing. It's a take-what-you've-got-and-use-it-to-the-maximum-advantage thing.


Now you're all freaked out, but try not to be. It's not as though I sit around and think about dying all day. Please . . . I have better things to do, remember?


Monday, September 15


Is what I needed yesterday. It was easily the longest, most surreal day I've had since taking the Bar exam, where you go into the Javits Center at 7:45 in the morning -- bleary-eyed, pumped full of adrenaline, caffeine, nicotine, and probably other things -- and come out at 5:00 in the evening -- bleary-eyed, blind-sided, and wondering where the day has gone and why people walking on the street look happy, as if there is no such thing as the Bar exam.

5:30 a.m.
Wakey-wakey! This is a farce, because I never actually went to sleep at all. After our pre-5K pasta dinner (which, in hindsight, really was just an excuse to get together for dinner, for who really needs a carbo-loading for a mere 5K, right?), I got home by 11pm, washed, changed, crawled into bed, and actually managed to fall asleep despite being nervous and excited for the run. That lasted for about an hour, at which point, I got up for my first pee of the night. Back to bed -- daydreaming, dozing, more being nervous and excited. The next hour, I got up to pee again. Back to bed, etc. etc. etc. The next hour, as I got up to pee again, something surfaced from the deep recesses of my memory. I remembered seeing road closure signs for highways heading into and out of Manhattan on the day of the race. This, of course, made me slightly panic, so of course I had to get online at like 2 in the morning, and research the road closures. I finally found the information I was looking for and forwarded it out to my fellow runners, and hauled my exhausted self back to bed. Repeat as above.

When my alarm went off, I literally rolled out of bed and onto the floor, kind of like the meatball in that song. I lay there for a few seconds, wondering "What have I gotten myself into? How am I going to run on 1.5 hours of sleep? Can I have coffee or will that make me want to poo at some inappropriate time?" Big sigh and trudge to the shower. I know I'm going to be gross and sweaty in mere hours, but if I'm not having coffee, I'm taking a cold shower to wake up.

6:30 a.m.
Pick up J2. Damn them, they even had breakfast! This is when I start craving a McDonald's sausage-egg-and-cheese on an English muffin meal. YUM. Instead, I settle for DYC's drug of choice: a Strawberry Cheesecake Balance Bar. He suggested that I self-administer two Balance Bars before the race, but I just didn't have the stomach for it . . . or the patience to sit there and chew through TWO dense-yet-chalky Bars. Ick.

7:30 a.m.
See my legal career flash before my eyes. At C's spurring -- yes, SPURRING -- I sidle my car past a barrier onto closed 68th Street to get to the elusive cheap parking garage to which DYC and Banana directed us. As we gleefully celebrate my totally illegal gesture, I look up and see a police officer approaching my car. My two thoughts: "I finally decide to get my ass in gear and run the Breast Cancer 5K, and I'm going to spend the morning in jail!" and "If she gives me a ticket or arrests me, C is paying the ticket or my bail." As it is, my groveling skills come in handy, and she lets me go with a "Just get out of here, then." Big whew, and a swing into the parking garage. We're set, and I'm still a free woman.

8:40 a.m.
We start lining up to run the 2003 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. It is truly an amazing and overwhelming experience. We are surrounded by survivors, men and women wearing "In Celebration of" and "In Memory of" tags on the backs of their shirts, huge teams of coworkers and families who had joined efforts for this great cause. As the elite runners start first, DYC lifts me above his head so I can see, in front of us, the enormous sea of people, their heads bobbing up and down as they run forward as far as my eyes can see. There is no end. Hey, I might be a sucker, the slowest runner this side of the Mississippi, a novice 5K-er, but I will never be able to adequately express what it felt like to be one of the sea.

8:58 a.m.
We're off. I'm running. I'm RUNNING. I almost chuckle at myself because I can't believe it. And the best part is, I'm not tripping, I'm not flailing my arms, I'm not out of breath, and I can pace behind Banana. I'm right behind her through the first mile -- C and DYC are looooong gone -- and soon afterwards, we lose each other, but I keep running. Can you believe it? Hee, hee! I pace myself behind some other people I think I can keep up with, weaving in and out of traffic because to my surprise, I'm actually PASSING people -- will miracles never cease? -- grabbing some water here and there, and stopping to walk the first half of the third mile. I don't think I was tired, as much as I was simply bored with running. I was ready for breakfast!

38:11 minutes later
I cross the finish line, still running. In fact, I was so psyched to have actually DONE it, that I think I sprinted as fast as I could from the moment I laid eyes on the finish line. People must have thought I was insane. That was the best part. The worst part was, there was no C, DYC or Banana on the other side! I KNOW they finished before me, and I had expected that they would wait for me, but they were nowhere to be seen! However, I got over my disappointment quickly because I saw that they were giving away boxes of Smart Start cereal. Girl's got to eat, you know.

9:45 a.m.
We all finally find each other -- even now, I don't know how we didn't see each other -- and head out of the Park. I'm pooped. I'm sweaty. I'm still needing that sausage-egg-and-cheese sandwich, but . . . C, DYC and Banana head over to see M; the rest of us head home. We did it! See you there next year, when my knees have recuperated.


There wasn't quite enough time for a nap and lunch before I had to shower, change and head over to church for our 1:30 practice call. The rest of the afternoon was standard: church. But BOY, was I wiped out and starving. I dared not close my eyes during prayers for fear I'd fall asleep. I dared not sit down if given the option to stand for fear I'd never get back up. I dared not give into my coffee craving for fear it would wreak havoc on my empty stomach. So I endured until we sped out of church to make it to Joisey for the last NHF wedding of the year.


3:45 p.m.
We sped out of church so fast, we got to Joisey with time to spare. We stopped for coffee -- aahhhh, CALORIES. Then we roamed the depths of Joisey for a gas station. I can't believe we couldn't find a gas station in JOISEY. Jeez.

4:50 p.m.
Quick potty stop inside the Palisadeum, and we seated ourselves inside the ballroom, ready for the ceremony to start. Shoot, shoot, shoot the breeze. I mean, we are on Korean time here. You didn't really think they'd start promptly at 5pm, did you?!

The Ceremony
Was lovely. Awkward, but lovely nonetheless. However, any wedding is made worthwhile entertainment when you're sitting with JKA, Banana, C and DYC. With all the wide-eyed looks, the raised eyebrows, the whispered one-liners, the side nudges, the sly over-the-shoulder winks, the innocent grins, the I-must-look-at-my-lap-and-not-make-eye-contact-with-anyone-else-in-order-to-keep-my-composure moments . . . who needs a wedding? We are our own entertainment. Naughty. Where's the food?

The Cocktail Hour
It really was kind of sick, in hindsight, to have run a 5K Breast Cancer fundraiser in the morning, only to be making a beeline with Banana for the open bar at night, but it had to be done. Anything to dull the pain in my knees, and put calories in my stomach. The lines for the hot food were too long, so grains and barley became my nutrition for an hour. How sad, but tasty! Also, I deserve an Oscar for my performances at this time: holding coherent, full eye-contact, serious conversation with church deacons on the outside while buzzing loudly on the inside. I know my cheeks were rosy -- maybe they thought it was the warmth of the room . . .

The Reception
It was Korean buffet -- what more needs to be said? I didn't eat as much as I should have, but everyone else did, and it was plenty delish. The Korean dance music that started off the evening was . . . interesting. Banana and I require a shot of tequila (and other things) to get through the evening.

The rest of the night was fun, though. People we'd never thought we'd see dancing were tearing up the dance floor. Even DYC managed to keep the beat long enough to do 2 minutes of the Electric Slide, with Banana's close supervision, of course. The music got better, or inhibitions got looser -- whichever it was, it was good times. Props to J&S for a great party . . .

The Aftermath
Frankly, I fell asleep in the car on the way back to my car. Endless thanks to JKA for driving; else, imagine the disaster that might have been. Back in the church parking lot -- our carpooling staging area -- C and I chewed the fat some more before I decided enough was enough. My bladder and my pooped-out, verging-on-illness body demanded home, home, home. I suppose I washed up -- my contacts are in their case this morning, as they should be -- but really I was too tired to care. Who runs, then drinks, then dances that much in one 24-hour span, anyway? Silly me . . .

September's Debauchery
Must get ready for next month.

Saturday, September 13


It's finally happened to me. After years of hearing about it and wishing for it, I finally have it: female role models.

I am surrounded by them, and true to expectation, they totally fulfill me. Everyday, they enrich my life; they teach me something I didn't know before; they humble me and encourage me to be a better person, daughter, sister, lawyer, Christian; they unwittingly make me realize how lucky I am to be living when I'm living, where I'm living, doing what I'm doing. For me, these are great times, not because everything's happy and easy, but because finally, everywhere around me, there are women who inspire me to wake up and keep going when situations in my life are not ideal, and who smile upon me when situations in my life are rolling along like butter.

My first real career mentor, CKD . . . the first woman attorney to lead me, to push me, to scold me, to make me focus my goals, and to ask me all the time if I've achieved them yet; and the most meticulous, focused, competent, honest and devoted prosecutor I have yet to see in action. I pretty much just want to be her.

My co-clerk, Hooch . . . easily the most well-rounded woman I know, and so open with her brain, her heart and her mouth which always spews the most hilarious comments, and makes me wonder, "can the law possibly be this fun?!"

My LOL . . . five ambitious, smart and smart-ass, driven and compassionate women spread across three states and five email addresses who regale me with the best stories, offer the coziest online encouragements, and sling me the wiliest corner-of-the-eye looks when we finally get together.

My sister Ha . . . 3000 miles makes the heart grow fonder and makes me more appreciate her as a friend, sister, mother, culinary artiste and still the gassiest woman I know. Gassier even than yours truly, if you can imagine it. But who cares? She doesn't!

My church ladies . . . Soy, who shows me by example how to be devoted to family and friends; JKA, who teaches me daily how to be filled with joy and thanksgiving; Mrs.G, who inspires me with her guts, common sense, wry humor and brainpower; M, who humbles me with her patience, wisdom, selflessness and ability to spank C in mountain biking; Banana, who ties me in knots with her wit and makes me want to get in touch with my artsy-fartsy creative Martha Stewart-even-though-she-is-Satan side; Nance, who has been with me since childhood and whose renewed friendship makes me glad to be where I am and who I am.

My mom . . . who is a better mother and friend than she? Nobody.

If y'all don't have women like these in your lives, hurry up and go get 'em! It's quite nice, believe me.

Friday, September 12

SEE YOU . . .

Johnny Cash, 1932 - 2003

John Ritter, 1948 - 2003

1. Is the name you have now the same name that's on your birth certificate? If not, what's changed? Yes. First name, last name, no middle name, and that's how I like it.

2. If you could change your name (first, middle and/or last), what would it be? For a long while, until I was about 10 years old, I really wished my name was Alexandra, and that I had an English middle name. But then I realized: I am who I am, and being Alexandra or having a middle name ain't gonna change that. Yes, I realized this when I was 10. What a weird child I was. On the other hand, I would NEVER EVER EVER change my last name (apologies to my future husband). It defines my family, it defines me, it defines everything that I am and that I want my children to be.

3. Why were you named what you were? (Is there a story behind it? Who specifically was responsible for naming you?) Back in the Motherland, Mom read "Wuthering Heights" and fell in love with my name. She didn't think it was weird that the book was essentially a tragedy and that bad things happened to the female protagonist. The individual characters in my Korean name mean "intelligent/learned" and "precious jewel/pearl," and my brother and I were named in accordance with my family's traditional naming structure. Don't ask, it's complicated and goes back farther than I can imagine.

4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why? Names are so . . . individualized. For example, a girl could have a totally ugly name, but if she is one of my closest, dearest friends, I will think nothing of calling her "Bertha." It might even be charming at that point. On the other hand, I used to really like the name "Meredith" . . . until I went to school with two of the world's most wretched horrible Meredith's EVER. Now, I wonder what I was thinking. There are names that annoy me -- all the trendster names like Ashley, Brittany, Jasmine, Bailey, Marcus, etc. And I hate some of the nicknames I've been given, the most recent being "Pudding head." I don't really know where it came from, but I hope it goes away soon . . . Of course, there are also names that I absolutely love and that I hope to give to my children, but I'll never tell . . .

5. Is the analysis of your name at Kabalarians accurate? How or how isn't it? Well . . . how much do I want to concede? Here's what they tell me:

Your name of ___ makes you easy-going and refined, but detracts from your physical vitality. You desire all the finer things in life--lovely clothes, home, furniture, and environment. However, procrastination is your worst enemy, and you find yourself lacking the ambition to make your dreams a reality. People are inclined to take advantage of your sympathetic, tractable nature. You naturally attract people with problems who seek your understanding and advice. You can give good advice although it is unlikely that you would follow it yourself. You would be most successful in situations where you can use your skills in diplomacy in handling people, but where you are not under pressure or required to carry responsibility and make decisions. It is difficult for you to be individual and make your own decisions, for you lack self-confidence.

Hmmm. A little bit true, mostly untrue. Maybe I'm stepping out on a limb here, but perhaps those Kabalarians are QUACKS. Call me crazy . . .

Thursday, September 11

This is New York.


Commuters in Grand Central Terminal in New York observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m.

Wednesday, September 10


Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD


I love eating cereal dry.


I hate seasonal allergies.


Summer and winter clothing is easy to put together; fall and spring = not so easy. I don't know how to "layer" properly. And the eternal question: open-toed shoes or not?


I've been having 9/11 nightmares all week long. A-GI-TA. I'm constantly sleepy, but don't want to close my eyes and let go . . .


The extreme capacity of some people to be rude and inconsiderate blows my mind. How do they live with themselves?!


I think my next job is going to take me out of New York. PANIC BUTTON.


I have approximately 13 books on my shelf at home, waiting to be read. Poor books -- they must think I don't love them.


I've acquired two more nicknames this week. One has been in rotation since high school. The other one . . . I don't really know where it came from, but of course, I answer to it. I need more willpower. Or a scarier scowl.


I lost two more pounds. Mom is REALLY freaking out, and she's starting to freak me out, too. I haven't weighed what I weigh now since . . . high school. I'm trying to tell myself it's because I don't eat much in the summer, I've been running, I'm just stressed out . . . but I'm going for a blood test in a couple of weeks. At least to get Mom off my back.


I could devour a humongous bowl of chicken fried rice right about now. Yummy.


I have very cool friends.

Tuesday, September 9


If you can't join 'em, watch 'em: MI-5, on A&E.

Tonight's episode, a 16-year-old Islamic militant blew himself up in a London playground. Ew.
2 Years.

Should you choose to remember, read New York Magazine's 9/11 retrospective.

I have awoken with a new attitude. Screw my aching back. To hell with my wobbly left knee. Damn my weak and coddled lungs. It's a new day and I have a new strategery (with all due respect to Shrub, of course).

I am going to forego the hill today.

I have decided, in the wisdom of my own psyche, that there will be no such hill in Central Park on Sunday. And if there is, well . . . I'm just going to have to puke on it, then keep on running. So it's enough, I believe, to walk up the hill and start running on the slowly undulating flatter pavement beyond, getting myself used to nature.

I have been reminded that it's all about attitude, and that is most likely true. After all, my legs are fine -- they can keep going as long as my spirit is willing. So instead of listening to my own wheezing and panting, or concentrating on the unusual amount of spit gathering in my mouth, I will have to focus on other things: green trees just on the verge of changing colors; the tens of thousands of people running alongside me; DYC and C and Banana urging me to keep going; the pleasure of being awake and active on a beautiful Sunday morning; the small but not insignificant sense of achievement I will experience at having completed my first 5k; the small but not insignificant contribution I will be making towards finding a cure for boob cancer.

Rock on.



It's fine.

I went in for my ultrasound last Friday. After taking all the shots, the tech left the room to make sure the films printed in focus, then came back in to tell me very seriously, "You have to wait here and the doctor needs to speak with you." My life took a slow flash before my eyes. "This is it," I thought, "the moment my life will change. This is what other women go through. How strange that I'm so young. My daughters are going to have to start having mammograms at age 35. If I even live to have daughters. How strange. Am I okay? Yeah, I'm okay. I can deal with this. Right? How will my parents deal? Will my friends think I'm a pariah? Nah, what if it's nothing. What if it's something?" The human thought process is a strange, strange thing.

After waiting a tense 10 minutes for the radiologist to come in to speak to me, I learned that nothing is wrong with me. Everything is fine. Nothing showed up on the films. No cyst, no tumor, not even a muscle strain. Even the radiologist was confounded; neither of us can figure out what might have been causing the pain and why.

But I'm relieved. If it ain't there, it ain't there. I can live with the mystery.

In fact, the pain has started to lessen. No more sharp, stabbing sensations. Now, it's that dull, achy, healing feeling. I'm fine with that. In fact, I'm LOVING that.

Monday, September 8


So here I was, all running two breezy 10.5-minute miles on my treadmill at a slight incline, thinking I was hot sh*t. "Central Park ain't got nuthin' on me," I'm thinking. As long as I get up early enough on Sunday to digest a bottle of Gatorade and a banana, I should be fine for the Komen 5K Race for the Cure, right? RIGHT.

This evening, the warm sunshine and the cool breeze inspired me to take my hot sh*t self outside to hit the pavement instead of the nice, springy, welcoming board of the treadmill. I took two bites of a strawberries n' cream Balance Bar (not bad in a smooth, slimy and slightly gross way), washed it down with a mouthful of water, stretched, cued up the music on my latest gift, Herb the iPod, and walked out smiling into the evening sun. "SURELY, I can handle the out of doors," I was thinking. RIGHT.

I managed to run without stopping all the way up the big hill in front of my house, and halfway onto the flat bisecting road. But by then, I was more than ready to wimp out. Not even the thought of DYC blowing by me or the vision of C's big mouth screaming at me to keep going could make me, well, keep going. My lungs were burning, and damn it, the road was uneven!!! Who DID that?! My allergies kicked in so I was dribbling out of my nose. My latent asthma piped up so I was wheezing out of my mouth. I had an assortment of little bugs and dust mites and tree pollen stuck to my contacts so I was tearing out of my eyes. And it was COLD! Seriously -- was this really me?!

I slowed down until I could mostly compose myself and try to get over the completely self-destructive 10 minutes I had just lived through. My only solace was the thought: "MAYBE Central Park isn't this . . . HILLY." Or "MAYBE the people around me on Sunday will be running REALLY slow, and it would just be rude of me to try to run faster than them." Or "MAYBE C and DYC and Banana will run REALLY slow too and will get tired and will want to walk most of it." Yeah. MAYBE.

Anyway, after some recovery time, I was feeling better. Or I was in denial. Or I was too embarrassed at myself to accept the truth, and was willing to risk injury by running anyway. Or the damn Balance Bar finally kicked in. Whatever it was, after about 10 minutes of walking, I managed to run all the way home and limp into the garage. I came THIS CLOSE to laying my head on Mom's lap and whining. Instead, I just hocked some loogies into the toilet.

My left knee -- the most injured and tormented one -- is screaming its silent protest continuously. Every time I breathe -- even now, four hours later -- I can feel rattling in my lungs. Every time I cough, my lungs and throat ache and I can taste that nasty salty mucous. My back, though feeling stronger, KILLS. And my poor wimpy weak ankles. They're going to need years of psychotherapy to get over this evening's run and the bad, bad things I did to them.

But the worst part is, I am completely demoralized. I SUCK! When did this happen? In the not-too-distant-past words of someone I know: "I NEVER COME IN LAST!" I could potentially come in last. For a 5K walk/run!!! Oh, woe is me . . . I should just run with a bag over my head. BIG. HEAVY. SIGH.
Maybe I DO have a problem keeping time . . . it's Monday, and that means, of course, that here's my Friday Five. Deep, heavy sigh.

1. What housekeeping chore(s) do you hate doing the most? I detest cleaning the bathroom and cleaning/sweeping/mopping/Swiffering the floors. I will do ANYTHING else, but those tasks. In fact, I'd rather live with a DISGUSTING bathroom than clean it. I am such a pig.

2. Are there any that you like or don't mind doing? I LOVE LOVE LOVE washing dishes. Absolutely LOVE it. In fact, I don't think I'd mind even doing it for a living. There is no better feeling than warm-to-hot water running over your hands and arms, lifting caked-on baked-on muck off of dirty plates, and rinsing them clean to have them emerge sparkling and new. LOVE IT.

3. Do you have a routine throughout the week or just clean as it's needed? Clean as needed. When I was out on my own, I had to have a routine. Otherwise, I would just turn a blind eye to the mess and nothing would ever get cleaned or put back in its rightful place. Now that I'm at home and there are three other bodies contributing to the clean-up effort, I've lazed out a bit. Still, about once a month, I descend into a frenzy, and detail my room. Then I take a nap.

4. Do you have any odd cleaning/housekeeping quirks or rules? Quirks? None. Rules? No shoes in the house. Is that really a clean thing or a tradition thing? Who knows . . .

5. What was the last thing you cleaned? My desk. You still can't see most of it, but I have just enough room for my laptop, and that's all I really need.

Sunday, September 7


They did it.

It blows my mind. I can't believe it. I chuckle everytime I think about it. They actually did it. And they came back alive, with stories to tell, and BOY, what stories they are!

C, DYC and JA actually completed the 2003 Balance Bar Adventure Race, starting at 8:05am and crossing the finish line at around 3:30pm. They overdosed on Balance Bars, resulting in crack-addict-like frenetic speech and behavior, and I believe a physical tic here and there. They paced a 6.5-minute mile on a wooded trail heading uphill. "Branch!" someone yelled, and they all covered their faces. "Root!" someone yelled, and they all looked down, ready to hop over the treacherous protrusion. They walked or toddled their mountain bikes around the trials. They rowed against all the conspiring forces of nature in a deflating inflatable kayak. They submerged themselves in water, bobbing along like babies' water toys in a bath, while holding their bikes above their heads. They swung from ropes, got lost in the woods, twisted knees, crawled through obstacles, and launched themselves over 12'-high walls. And they FINISHED.

They came in dead last. The Race volunteers were breaking down the obstacles behind them as they completed each task and picking up garbage left behind by earlier teams. There were merely three bottles of water left in the cooler. But they FINISHED.

They trundled into Soy's birthday dinner like old men. Still working off of mental adrenaline, the stories were told. After a good night's sleep, I expect they'll wake up unable to even muster the energy to blink awake, and be doddering around all week, exhausted by the effort required to brush their teeth, climb into their cars, squat on the toilet, lift a fork and knife. But they FINISHED.

I'm impressed. Not because I thought they couldn't do it, but because they did. Of course, the stories convinced me that I will NOT be doing such a thing myself -- EVER -- but I am still duly impressed at my friends. Good on them . . .


Happy Birthday, Soybean.

She's been through a tough few months. My only prayer for her next year of life is that it be rejuvenating and fulfilling in ways she never imagined. Let it begin with a massage . . .


Happy Birth Day, Derek.

The latest addition to the NHF family. Boy, your mother is going to be able to lay SUCH a guilt trip on you if you ever misbehave in your teenage years! What she and dad went through to get you out here to party with the rest of us . . . welcome.

We'll take good care of you.

Saturday, September 6


Sometimes -- often, actually -- I see or experience things that make me wonder if I'm awake and actually seeing and experiencing them, or asleep and dreaming them. This weekend alone:

* I'm having lunch al fresco, outside a local Japanese restaurant on a Friday afternoon. As I nibble delicately at my salmon teriyaki bento box, I am suddenly set upon by a swarm of no less then four humongous bees. Not the fat jolly kind that won't really do you any harm, but the skinny mean kind that is willing to battle you for your California roll. Damn them. As I am swatting away with all my might, four big burly men, wearing construction-worker outifts, exit the Japanese restaurant deep in conversation. They walk by me and I overhear the topic of their mutual distress: these four burly construction-workerish men are feverishly discussing the best kind of balsamic vinegar and attempting to identify the prime use for it. In essence, they are trading recipes. I couldn't help myself. I stared. As a result, I also lost the battle for my lunch to the bees, but . . . the balsamic vinegar conversation was just too titillating . . .

* I'm strolling through Grand Central Station on my way to getting sunburned while watching the Yankees get drubbed again by the Red Sox. Damn them. As I'm crossing the main concourse at GCT, I notice to my left, a whole flock -- that's really the only way I can describe them -- of men dressed in white shirts and kilts, carrying enormous bagpipes, also strolling through GCT, just as I was. They weren't playing the bagpipes. They were just carrying them. They weren't participating in a parade, they weren't in a rush to get anywhere. They were just walking through GCT in kilts, carrying enormous bagpipes. No one else looked at them. I guess it was funny just to me. I stopped and stared, natch . . .

* Cheech and I are moving with the flow around the outer concourse at Yankee Stadium, trying to get to our seats, which were of course way towards the end of the left field line. As we swim in and out of the sea of Red Sox fans -- damn them -- I notice out of the corner of my eye, an Asian man. Now, there's just something weird about us Asians. Stick us in a room jam-packed with bodies, and we WILL find each other. We WILL make eye contact, even if we don't know each other. I don't know if it's a "hey, you look like me" thing or a "hey, the Asian community is so small, I probably know you" thing, but whatever it is, we always check each other out, just in case. So, I notice this Asian man, and then it dawns on me: I DO know him! Husband of a dear friend! Yang and Raimondo are there, so we have a joyous reunion -- we haven't seen each other in weeks -- then cruise along our merry ways, them towards the end of the right field line, and us towards the dreaded left-field foul pole. Alas, there is no pole. There is only an 11-0 spanking and a sunburn . . .

* Driving home tonight, I turn into a local street about two miles from my home. In the opposite lane, turning onto the street I was just on, is a golf cart. A GOLF CART. At 11 o'clock at night. In the street. With no headlights on. With no SEATBELTS, or anything ELSE remotely resembling a car, save for its four wheels and a steering column. What the heck? Banana and I looked at each other. "Was that a GOLF CART?" we asked each other. Why, yes. Yes, it was. What the . . .

* I have gone pale all summer long. Aside from the fact that it seemed to RAIN all summer, I realized that long gone are the days of lolling about in the outdoors. This summer, in particular, was truly busy -- work during the week, get home when the sun is weakening, spend my busy weekends indoors doing crazy weekend indoor things. Sun? What sun? But of course, it's September 6th. And of course I sat outside for four hours in the harshest heat of the day, in the section of Yankee Stadium that NEVER gets any shade or mercy, and roasted myself. Of course my chest, arm, shoulder, and face skin aged about 40 years this afternoon. Of course I'm the jackass who forgot sunscreen. Of course I go all summer as white as the driven snow, only to end up lobsterizing myself when autumn draws night. Of course I'll be only dummy peeling her way into October. Of course I'm sitting here right now, really jonesing for some aloe vera. Is this really me? Of COURSE it is . . .

Thursday, September 4


I, with friends from NHF, will be running -- yes, RUNNING -- in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run/Walk in Central Park on Sunday, 9/14.

This is momentous because:

* I will be RUNNING. As in NOT WALKING. Go on, have a good laugh. Then read on.

* We will be RUNNING for a GOOD CAUSE. No more breast cancer. Enough is enough. (And I'm talking about MALE breast cancer, too, yous guys!)

* We are RAISING FUNDS to contribute towards the effort to FIND A CURE.

Please join me.

If you'd like, you may contribute to our team's fundraising efforts.

We thank you in advance, and let this be a testament: if I can run a 5K to benefit a worthy cause, you can too.

AND we can all go for massages afterwards!!!

Wednesday, September 3

Update on the Boob

Thanks to all my supportive friends, sending emails with subject headings such as "How is Your Boob?" and "How Goes The Breast Situation?" Let's hope the government censors are asleep at the wheel . . .

After a week of Motrinizing, the pain is the same: same sharp, stabbing pain that courses through my upper body whenever I inadvertently hit myself in the chest; same chronic dull ache that persists when my boob is not being bothered.

So, Doc is sending me for an ultrasound. My Friday afternoon will be spent with some cold goopy gel, an impersonal technician ("Don't worry, she's female," they tell me -- as if I CARE at this point), a radiological print-out that I won't be able to understand, and insurance paperwork to try to force my provider to pay for the whole darn thing.

Now I'm getting a little . . . weirded out. It's one thing to feel a little pang and think "Oh, I suffered a minor muscle tear." It's one thing to have your doctor say she feels nothing too unusual and that you probably shouldn't worry. It's one thing to think that the dull persistent ache is a sign of healing. It's a completely different thing to be going in for an ultrasound, the "next step," Doc says. I can't help the thoughts from creeping in . . . "What if they find something? What if they find something bad? What do I do then? What is the next next step?" Oy.

I should know better than to be surprised, but I am. I'm reading the October issue of Marie Claire, a magazine that I deem to be slightly more credible than most other women's magazines because of its front-and-center devotion to women's issues: health, family, money, work, women around the world, etc. In this latest issue, one of the lead articles focuses on domestic violence and violence against women, and the opening spread is enough to make my heart plummet:

S, 25, kidnapped and killed by her ex.
D, 38, throat slit and heart removed by her ex.
S, 18, strangled and stuffed in her ex's septic tank.
M, 26, shot and killed by her ex in front of her 5-year-old daughter.
K, 20, killed by her boyfriend of 5 years.
E, 22, shot in the back by her ex-fiance.
L, 25, shot in the head by her ex.
C, 17, frozen to death after her boyfriend crashed his car and fled the scene.
C, 20, strangled to death by her ex.
S, 28, stabbed and killed by her ex.
J, 22, and infant daughter, shot to death by her ex.
M, 19, beaten to death by her boyfriend.
S, 29, shot in her car by a man she'd dated casually.
C, 28, knifed to death by her ex.
S, 32, plunged from 4th-floor window while fighting with her boyfriend.
L, 15 -- FIFTEEN -- murdered by her ex while sleeping in her parents' house.

If you haven't had enough, here are more facts:
* One in three women will be physically abused in her lifetime.
* Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten.
* In 2000, 10 times the number of women were killed by a man they knew, than were killed by strangers.
* Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to American women.
* One in five high school girls reports being abused by a partner.
* Almost 25% of domestic homicides are witnessed by the victims' children.


A list, compiled by the Associated Press and printed in today's New York Times, detailing the differences between me/us and those born in the 80s. Yes, I said the EIGHTIES.


Cultural References for 18 - Year - Olds
Filed at 10:06 a.m. ET

The Beloit College "Mindset List" for the Class of 2007

Most students entering college this fall were born in 1985. To them:

1. Ricky Nelson, Richard Burton, Samantha Smith, Laura Ashley, Orson Welles, Karen Ann Quinlan, Benigno Aquino, and the U.S. Football League have always been dead.

2. They are not familiar with the source of that "Giant Sucking Sound."

3. Iraq has always been a problem.

4. "Ctrl Alt Del" is as basic as "ABC."

5. Paul Newman has always made salad dressing.

6. Pete Rose has always been a gambler.

7. Bert and Ernie are old enough to be their parents.

8. An automatic is a weapon, not a transmission.

9. Russian leaders have always looked like leaders everyplace else.

10. The snail darter has never been endangered.

11. There has always been a screening test for AIDS.

12. Gas has always been unleaded.

13. They never heard Howard Cosell call a game on ABC.

14. The United States has always had a poet laureate.

15. Garrison Keillor has always been live on public radio, and Lawrence Welk has always been dead on public television.

16. Their families drove SUVs without "being fuelish."

17. There has always been some association between fried eggs and your brain.

18. They would never leave their calling card on someone's desk.

19. They have never been able to find the "return" key.

20. Computers have always fit in their backpacks.

21. Datsuns have never been made.

22. They have never gotten excited over a telegram, a long distance call or a fax.

23. The Osmonds are just talk show hosts.

24. College athletes (those still enrolled as undergraduates) have always been a part of the NBA and NFL draft.

25. They have always "grazed" for food.

26. Three-point shots from "downtown" have always been a part of basketball.

27. Test tube babies are now having their own babies.

28. Stores have always had scanners at the checkout.

29. The Army has always driven Humvees.

30. Adam and PC Junior computers had vanished from the market before this generation went online.

31. The Statue of Liberty has always had a gleaming torch.

32. They have always had a PIN number.

33. Banana Republic has always been a store, not a puppet government in Latin America.

34. Car detailing has always been available.

35. Directory assistance has never been free.

36. The Jaycees have always welcomed women as members.

37. There has always been Lean Cuisine.

38. They have always been able to fly Virgin Atlantic.

39. There have never been dress codes in restaurants.

40. Doctors have always had to deal with "reasonable and customary fees" and patients have always had controls placed on the number of days they could stay in a hospital.

41. They have always been able to make photocopies at home.

42. Michael Eisner has always been in charge of Disney.

43. They have always been able to make phone calls from planes.

44. Yuppies are almost as old as hippies.

45. Rupert Murdoch has always been an American citizen.

46. Strawberry Fields has always been in New York.

47. Rock 'n' roll has always been a force for social good.

48. Killer bees have always been swarming in the United States.

49. They have never seen a first lady in a fur coat.

50. Don Imus has always been offending someone in his national audience.

In all fairness it should be understood that students entering college this fall do have a few items on their own lists that will separate them from many of their mentors:

1. For many of them today, it's all about the "bling, bling."

2. They know who the "Heroes in a half shell" are.

3. Peeps are not a candy, they are your friends.

4. They have been "dissing" and "burning" things all their lives.

5. They can expect to get a ticket for "ricing out their wheels."

6. They knew how to pop a Popple and trade a Pog.

7. They can still sing the rap chorus to the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and the theme song from "Duck Tales."

Tuesday, September 2


Last Friday, JW, C, Mrs.G and I went to Ruth's Chris for STEAK. We gorged on serious meat products, accompanied by a nice heaping plate of carbed-up side dishes. Scrumptious. Basically, I had wanted to treat these three particular lovelies because they have been excellent friends to me throughout the last several months, each in their own special way, and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate that than over STEAK. We love STEAK. I love STEAK. I woke up the next morning craving . . . STEAK.

This afternoon, in the midst of me persistently rubbing my eyes to stay awake while poring over booooooring ERISA matters, one of the CSO's buzzed in and asked if I was around. First thought, of course, was: "What did I do now? I swear it wasn't me." But then, behind the CSO, strolled a delivery man, holding a petite bouquet of the prettiest flowers, from the best florist in town. For ME?! "Thanks for the steaks, for everything!" my "carnivorous friends" declared. Oh, my goodness. Am I weeping yet?

In all my 27 years, I've never received a flower delivery. Sure, family members produced gigantic bouquets after my high school musical performances, college boyfriends lay single roses at my dorm room door on my birthday and underclass cast members gifted me with daisies after law school shows that I assistant-directed. But I've never had the light aroma of fresh blooms waft past me in the office before. It's quite nice.

You wish you had friends like mine.

So now, I have another excuse for . . . STEAK. Hey guys, thanks for the flowers. I owe you one.

Let's go for steak.

Another night of bad, bad sleep. I had three separate nightmares.

One, I can't remember, which is more disturbing to me than the ones I can recall in the morning. Fear of the unknown and all that.

The second revolved around recent upheavals at work -- not so much of a nightmare as one of those everything-is-grey-and-quiet-and-you-never-know-what's-around-the-corner-but-you-know-it-ain't-good dreams. Leaves me with a burdened heart and a crick in my neck.

The third is kind of funny in hindsight. Context: some gentlemen at NHF are planning to run a mini-triathalon-ish Adventure Race on Sunday; there is some drama about whether or not they are actually going to attend. It's been the main topic of conversation for a couple of weeks now, and it must have taken up residence in one of the brain cells in my subconscious. Last night, I dreamt that I was a team-member for a triathalon-ish Adventure Race, but the Race was messed up!!! There was no mountain biking or kayaking, thank goodness, but the running portion had to be done on surfaces similar to the people-movers found in airports. One lane moved quickly, the other lane was for walkers, but they were stuck right next to each other, so if you stepped accidentally on a lane different from the one on which you were running or walking, you'd be propelled forwards or backwards and made to fall on your face or rear. Stressful.

And then, we had to stop running/walking in order to perform certain tasks with our team -- put a puzzle together, climb a set of stairs, jump over some obstacles, etc. Of course, I end up on the team with four guys who can't stand each other and spend the entire time sniping at each other like little girls. I think I ran some stairs in order to avoid them. I don't recall the rest -- I think I forced myself to wake up so I wouldn't have to complete the Adventure Race.

Regardless, I woke with a severe headache and the realization that I had probably been clenching my jaw all night. Even now, chewing on my dry Honey-Nut Cheerios, I can feel my gums pulse and become more inflamed. My neck aches. And my boob still hurts! Goopy ultrasound, here I come . . .

Eh, at least it's autumnal and I can break out the warm and cuddly clothing . . .



As exhausted as I am some nights, I just can't sleep. So I converse with my friends. For as long as I can remember, I've had the best, funniest, most feeling-est, most honest, saddest, most hilarious conversations with friends at night. Usually late at night, and usually when I and/or my friend are truly tired. This works particularly well with friends who stay up as late as I do, or with friends in different time zones.

Of course, the morning after is one big blur, but what's a body to do?



I love it when it rains, in general. I really love it when it rains and it's kind of cool -- not humid and oppressive, and not totally freezing either. I love it when it rains really hard and I can stare out the window at the sheets of water falling from the sky -- from where does it all come? I love it when I'm inside, snuggled up in an oversized sweater and stretchy yoga pants, listening to the pounding of big fat raindrops plopping on my roof. I love driving in the car and being mesmerized by the swish of the windshield wipers. I love sitting in a dark room, no lights on, gazing at the gray outdoors and realizing that there are different shades of gray.

But I would love it even more if I were back in college and I could cut class and lie in bed all morning, staring out my window and being thankful that I'm warm and dry, and being glad that the world around me is being washed clean.

Monday, September 1


I haven't been this debauched since . . . law school? Not even this year's rash of weddings has brought out the monster in me that has lain latent since . . . law school? I haven't nicotined myself up this much since . . . law school? (What the hell is it about law school that creates such animals?! Eh, don't answer that . . .)

Yesterday evening after church, C and I headed out to the swamps of Joisey for Bruce -- his last night in Joisey (maybe the last concert of his tour? I don't know, I'm not a huge fan. I don't follow his every breath like some people do.) C's friend C (oh, this could get confusing) and C's friend C's friend K joined us, and we drifted into the parking lot of Giants Stadium for a small tail-gate fest.

I've never tail-gated before. Not at football games, not at concerts. It was the coolest thing! Some folks went all out -- tables, awnings, chairs, grills, coolers packed with side dishes and beer. Others went minimalist -- buckets of KFC and cans of soda and beer. Still others upgraded -- wooden salad bowls with matching salad tongs, bottles of wine with real wine glasses, silver utensils. Us, we had delicious sandwiches, chips, fruit, beer and some liquor. Scrumptious!! Everyone just hanging out with their trunks open, Bruce blasting in the background, kids running around, people eating and just feeling generous (thank you Cigarette Lady and Advil Man) and ready to have a good time -- I can only describe it as groovy. Or as groovy as the swamps of Joisey get.

(Side note: I forgot to turn my tractor beam off. I went on high alert when the car across from ours produced children playing with the little velcro balls and a football. I kept a wary eye on the football -- the corners tend to do more damage than a regular rounded ball -- and watched as it bounced a perilously close 3 feet away from our portable picnic table. But then, mid-sandwich-bite, one of the velcro tennis balls landed 3 inches from my face, in our bag of grapes. Sheesh! Close call!)

I'm not a huge fan of Bruce. I mean, we all know "Born in the U.S.A.," "Dancing in the Dark," "The Rising," etc. but I certainly don't keep up with his songs or albums. And maybe the beer helped, but still -- it was really fun to be surrounded by people who were obviously die-hard groupies. People who knew ALL the lyrics to ALL his songs, people who would get up and dance or sway to even the slow ones, people who would be willing to go absolutely hoarse chanting "Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuce" at the top of their lungs. And I have to respect a guy who can put on a good show for three straight hours and keep even a non-fan like me on my feet for most of the night.


C asked his friend C to drive back to home base in Fort Lee . . . the friend C is worse at driving manual than I am. I don't feel so bad anymore. After being cursed out by some not-so-generous Joiseyans, they switched and I hopped back in the front seat with the butt-warmer. I LOVE that butt-warmer.


Afterwards, we traipsed around Fort Lee, trying to find a Korean place that was open so we could eat. For some reason, I was STARVING -- maybe it was the nicotine revving my metabolism. Ha, ha, ha. We ended up in Manhattan's K-town, slurping sul-long-tang at 2 in the morning. BLEH. I thought I was ready for Round Two, but as soon as I got back in the car, I faded. We dropped C and K back off in Joisey and headed home.

"Entertain me!" C insisted, in an effort to stay awake. I don't even remember what we chatted about. Something about never falling asleep in front of C because then he will do bad things to you. I consider myself warned.


There's nothing grosser than looking at the clock at 3:40 in the morning and thinking "I'm still awake. I'm dirty, I'm only just sobering up, I have nasty stale cigarette breath, my hair has been wind-blown beyond recognition, and I just ate a full meal. I don't have the energy to brush my teeth or wash my face. I might just fall into bed as is. Disgusting." It was totally gross.

But I managed to clean myself up and get into bed just fine, not waking up until 11:30 this morning. Ahhh, debauchery. I feel like a lady of leisure who badly needs to take a shower and feed herself. I feel only marginally better knowing that C got home safe and is on his way to M (who might come home soon!!!!) and that friends are waiting for me to join them for tax-free shopping (hey, don't laugh -- it's raining and we're lazy) . . . if they only knew . . . well, now they will . . .

So hats off to C, C's friend C, and K, and of course Bruce and the lovely waiters at Kam-Mi-Ok, for a lovely evening/night/morning. We'll have to do this again sometime, with some ground rules:
1. No more cigarettes. There's a reason I stopped. I'm remembering that reason every time I swallow, open my mouth, or cough right now. EW.
2. No more cheap beer. Or at least, more water. Or more sul-long-tang.
3. No more letting C's friend C drive manual when I'm in the car. I don't like going backwards when I'm not supposed to.
4. More sleep. I could crawl back into bed and drift off for another nine hours . . . but tax-free shopping beckons. Even I have standards!