Saturday, November 29


A cozy dinner and coffee in the city, a leisurely drive back up to home, and the luxury of time and space.

Having my hair "styled" ... again ... by my two 6-year-old cousins. There's nothing like getting your hair "combed" and "brushed" and then "pinned up" by two young "hairstylists," and then being declared "beautiful" by said "stylists." Note my prodigious use of quotation marks.

Driving back the 1.5-hour length from my cousin's place in New Jersey with my parents and brother ... all of whom are dead asleep. So much for having a front-seat wingman. My clan loves to sleep far too much.

Watching "Bend It Like Beckham" at J2. My favorite line: "One of my creations will turn even these two mosquito bites into juicy juicy mangoes!" Hey! You talkin' to ME?!

Discovering, courtesy of my oil change/wheel alignment guy, that I've been driving around for a few weeks with only TWO lug-nuts in one of my tires. Those bastards that changed my flat tire a few weeks ago FAILED to screw in the other four. Jerks.

Playing games at Camp Capio. Note to self: never ever play any games -- board or video -- with C again unless I am as drunk as he is and can get all up in his business as loudly and as obnoxiously as he gets all up in mine. Another note to self: don't bonk MJ's little 6-week-old head against the table in the heat of the moment of Cranium. It's not his fault my team lost. Good thing he takes after his father and can sleep through anything ...

Brunch in the city with my L.O.L. and a shopping spree at Williams-Sonoma. Sheesh. I am merely preparing for my new life as the queen of my own kitchen.

Clearing out our kitchen for the start of Phase Two of home renovations, commencing today. There was lots of "What the heck is THIS and how OLD is it?!" going around.

Speed-shopping with Cheech. Man, we hate holiday shopping.

Waking up bleary and still full this morning. Where did the weekend go? And where did this double chin come from?!

Wednesday, November 26

IT'S JUST ME . . .

I have lately been informed by several parties that I am a woman of weirdness. Not like Michael Jackson is weird, but in the sense that I possess unusual hang-ups, unique quirks, unintelligible preferences. At the urging of some friends, here are some of the few qualities that make me ... me:

-- I can't eat pudding or Jello or any other mushy food item without gagging, but I strangely love creme brulee and oatmeal.

-- I am afraid to go ice skating because I am convinced that I will fall on my hands and knees, and then someone will skate right over my fingers, slicing off all ten fingertips.

-- I don't like ice cream in general, but when I DO have the occasional craving for it, it has to be melted to the point where it's almost soupy and I can slurp it up with my spoon.

-- I could have chicken fried rice every day, as long as I had hot mustard and kimchi with it.

-- I hate talking on the phone because it seems so impersonal ... but I love IM-ing and emailing because it seems MORE personal and I can express myself better.

-- I won't eat shellfish that I have to slurp from the shell: oysters, clams, mussels. ICK. GAG.

-- If I am having a dream that I am enjoying or wish to see through to its conclusion, then even if I wake up in the middle of it and go to the bathroom, I can return to bed and will myself back into the dream, right where I left off.

-- I live and work in towns that have express commuter train service into NYC ... but I prefer to drive into the city.

-- I perceive myself as being actually three or four inches taller than I am. When I see photos of myself standing with others, I am surprised that I am so much shorter than they are.

-- I can't sleep if I don't floss my teeth and stretch for about five minutes.

-- My morning ritual at home is untouchable: I need to have complete silence towards me almost until the moment I leave the house for work. I will barely say "good morning" to my parents or my grandmother as I trudge around the house getting ready. I need the silence to gather my thoughts, plan my day, organize myself, and just be ME. If someone engages me in conversation or interrupts my morning reverie, it throws off my entire day, and sometimes even puts me in a horrid mood for hours.

-- My morning ritual away from home, on vacations or retreats and the like, is equally set most of the time: I like to wake earlier than everyone else, take the first (always the more leisurely) shower during which I do my thought-gathering and day-planning, get dressed and ready in utter silence and sometimes even complete darkness while my roommates continue to slumber, then lay back down on the bed to think or read or daydream while my friends start to wake and start their own days.

-- I like my cereal near-dry and my pasta near-sauceless. In fact, I get annoyed if I'm served pasta that has a sauce that drips off the noodle.

-- Korean food, I can cook without recipes -- everything is a dash of this, a dash of that, enough of this, enough of that, some of this just for fun, none of that because it smells funny, and stick my finger in it and taste it when it's almost done. Non-Korean food, I'm lost without my measuring cups and spoons and an accurate recipe telling me EXACTLY what to do EXACTLY when. But I'm easing up on that too just because it's annoying to be tied to a cookbook.

-- When I cook, my area has to be sparkling clean and neat at all times. The moment I use a utensil and finish with it, it goes in the sink; the instant I'm done prepping, all the garbage and scraps get thrown away and the counter wiped down; I do the dishes while sauce is reducing or vegetables are blanching. I am my own full kitchen staff. In other words, when the finished product comes out of the oven or is turned out onto a platter, I don't want to have to do anything else, and the kitchen damn well better be as clean as it was when I started. So when friends ask if they can help me cook something ... I almost always apologetically say NO because almost none of them are as neat and meticulous (another word for "anal," I'm informed) as I am. Sorry.

-- I looooove doing the dishes and would be soooo happy as a dishwasher in a restaurant, but will avoid doing even my own laundry as long as I possibly can.

-- I own and fully operate five calendars.

-- Though I am a typical girl in most ways, I usually do not enjoy shopping aimlessly. I figure out what I want and/or need, then BAM! Go in and get it.

-- You THINK I'm extroverted ... but I'm 100% introvert and would rather be by myself than be with you. Unless you are ... well, you know who you are. No offense to anyone else, of course. Smirk.

Tuesday, November 25

JAMMIN' . . .

John Mayer is way too talented for his own good. And he puts on a pretty kick-ass show, for one dude with a guitar ... or three. What with Hooch's man making fun of the shrieking teenage girls by yelling shrilly right along with them but sounding more like an 80-year-old woman being accosted by a mugger, Cheech using his low manly thug voice to shout "I love you, John!", and Hooch and I alternately imitating 'Beer Boy' who thought he was at a Metallica concert or 'Nadia Comenici' who thought she was delighting the crowds with her graceful hand movements and pirouettes, last night was a blast. Add to that the groovin' keyboards, the blaring horns, and the funky drums, and I'll be jammin' my way into the New Year without a care ...

And since I'm still feeling the afterglow, here are my two favorite tunes from each of his CD's, "Room For Squares" and "Heavier Things." If you are 18 years old or younger, purchase "Room for Squares." More mature audiences will appreciate "Heavier Things." Me, I still waver between the two, so here you go:

Suppose I said
I am on my best behavior
And there are times
I lose my worried mind?

Would you want me when I'm not myself?
Wait it out while I am someone else?

Suppose I said
Colors change for no good reason
And words will go
From poetry to prose

Would you want me when
I'm not myself?
Wait it out while I am someone else?

And I, in time, will come around
I always do for you

Suppose I said
You're my saving grace?

-- "Not Myself," John Mayer


We got the afternoon
You got this room for two
One thing I've left to do
Discover me
Discovering you

One mile to every inch of
Your skin like porcelain
One pair of candy lips and
Your bubblegum tongue

And if you want love
We'll make it
Swimming a deep sea
Of blankets
Take all your big plans
And break 'em
This is bound to be a while

Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder
(I'll use my hands)
Your body is a wonderland

Something 'bout the way your hair
falls in your face
I love the shape you take when crawling
towards the pillowcase
You tell me where to go and
Though I might leave to find it
I'll never let your head hit the bed
Without my hand behind it

You want love?
We'll make it
Swimming a deep sea
Of blankets
Take all your big plans
And break 'em
This is bound to be a while

Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder
(I'll use my hands)
Your body is a wonderland

Damn baby
You frustrate me
I know you're mine all mine all mine
But you look so good it hurts sometimes

Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonder
(I'll use my hands)
Your body is a wonderland
Your body is a wonderland

-- "Your Body Is a Wonderland," John Mayer


Do not waste this evening, baby I'm begging you
Your big imagination's playing its tricks on you
You think my up and leaving's something I'm gonna do
Feel my chest when I look at you...

Baby you, you've got my only heart
Yeah, you've got my only heart
Yeah, you've got my only, only, heart

So hard to be so far out living our separate lives
Your phone was really broken - I tried your number twice
And if you need confirmation, baby I understand
It's alright if you want me to tell you...

You, you've got my only heart
Yeah, you've got my only heart
Yeah, you've got my only, only, heart

And you love like your hand's on the horn, baby
I adore you but, there's a hole in the cup that should hold my love
(hold my love)
If you let me leave
I swear, I never will

Remember now you...
You've got my only heart
Yeah, you've got my only heart
Yeah, you've got my only
Only heart

-- "Only Heart," John Mayer


Still is the light of your room
When you're not inside
And all of your things tell the sweetest story line
Tears on these sheets
And your footprints are down the hall
Tell me what I did
I can't find where the moment went wrong at all

You can be mad in the morning
I'll take back what I said
Just don't leave me alone here
It's cold baby
Come back to bed
Come back to bed
Come back to bed
Come back to bed

What will this fix
You know you're not a quick forgive
And I won't sleep through this
I survive on the breath
You are finished with

You can be mad in the morning
I'll take back what I said
Just don't leave me alone here
It's cold baby
Come back to bed
Come back to bed
Come back to bed
Come on come back to bed
Come back to bed...

You can be mad in the morning
Or the afternoon instead
But don't leave me
98.6 degrees of separation
From you baby
Come back to bed
Come back to bed
Come back to bed

Don't hold your love over my head
Don't hold your love over my head
Don't hold your love over my head
Don't hold your love one more time around baby
Come on come back to bed

-- "Come Back to Bed," John Mayer


Check out some glamour shots from our "mountain biking" extravaganza. Note my particularly shiny and blinding Adidas logo. YIKES.

This is us at a tiny local apple orchard, operated as a hobby by the owner, who has a "real" job. Tasty donuts, tasty apples, tasty cider, real nice family and A PLACE TO SIT AND REST OUR BURNING THIGHS. We're not really smiling in this photo as much as we are gritting our teeth at the knowledge that we'll be on the road for another two hours. Actually C is truly smiling, but more in an evil grin kind of way, thinking "I'm going to make them bike for another two hours!"

Our homage to the exact spot where C thought JJ was kneeling and praying when they went biking a couple of years ago ... but upon closer inspection discovered that JJ was vomiting from the exertion. (That's why you WALK your bike up the mountain, JJ!) Note Soy's proud "yes, that was my husband" grin.

In C's driveway -- not even my house, but as I told ML, it felt like home sweet home! Could we possibly be more exhausted? No. But it was SO FUN!!!! (I would like to add, for the record, that the helmet is WAY too big for my head -- you can just tell, looking at it. So there!)

Monday, November 24


I went mountain biking this weekend with C, Soy, ML and JC.

Well, let's not totally bend the truth. This weekend, I biked on the road on a mountain bike TO the mountain trial, WALKED the mountain bike through the mountain trail, then biked on the road RETURNING FROM the mountain trail. (Insert sheepish grin right here.) Here are some things I discovered in the process (and it's always all about the process):

1. It's true that once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget. I hadn't been on a bicycle of any sort in about twenty years, and once I got over the fact that my feet weren't on the ground, I was fine.

2. My head IS too big for a woman's helmet. Sigh.

3. There is no feeling as freeing as zipping down the downhill part of a hilly road, the breeze whizzing by your ears, with no brakes, no one in front, no one behind.

4. There is no feeling as exhilarating as pedaling methodically and steadily up an incline, feeling the burn, then triumphantly taking a break once you make it to the top of the hill, realizing that you can endure more than you think.

5. There is no feeling as frightening as being launched off the bike in the woods, catapulting into a big pile of leaves, landing on your hands and now-scraped-up knees, flipping over like an amateur gymnast, banging your (fortunately) helmeted head against a rock or log (couldn't tell which) and ending up on your back with your eyes closed and little birds fluttering in circles around your skull.

6. There is no feeling as purely funny as subsequently popping your eyes open, seeing Soy rush towards you with a look of sheer panic on her face, jumping frantically to your feet and hopping up and down on each leg to make sure nothing's broken, frenetically whispering to each other "don't laugh, no one else saw, no one else saw, shhhh!", then laughing hysterically as you shake your head clear and wait for Soy to pick all the leaves out of your hair and clothes.

7. There is no feeling as burning as the sensation in your arms resulting from pushing your bike up leafy muddy and skinny trails, then pulling your bike back as you descend down the same leafy muddy and skinny trails.

8. There is no feeling as stinging as a thousand little thorns whipping into your legs and arms. The chorus heard throughout the mountain trails as each of us progressed through it, single-file: "Ow. ... Ow. ... Ow. ... Ow. ... SHIT!"

9. There is no feeling as soggy as the weight in your feet resulting from wading through a foot of freezing-cold creek water. Note: squeezing out your socks doesn't really help.

10. There is no feeling as warming as hearing C encourage you to not slow down even if you're walking your bike through the woods, to not give up on the last few yards of the last incline, to try to make it up SOME part of his stupidly steep driveway: "EAT THE PAIN."

11. There is no feeling as proud as waking up the next morning and realizing: "I'm not sore. I can move without pain. I am in better shape than I thought I was. I am stronger than I thought I was. I am less fearful than I thought I was. WOW -- look how tight my leg and arm muscles are! COOL!"



I still miss the summer a lot -- it was just so fun and free; the most fun and free summer I've had since before law school. This past summer, I did whatever I wanted, with whomever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and it was such a blast. I'm not soooo pessimistic as to think that I'll never have such a great time again, but on grey days like today, nostalgia -- even for something mere months past -- kicks in with a vengeance, and I wish I could've had just a few more weeks of summer, or a few more weeks of fall, or no winter at all.

Friendships change, too. This is a reality, and always has been for me. Friends I thought I'd never let go of in high school are now long gone, and I can't even track them anymore. Fortunately, I'm still in touch with some of my closest friends from college, but others have drifted away, perhaps because I was never truly close to them to begin with. Law school friends have become mere colleagues, or friends with whom I rehash the good old psycho days of law school, but with whom I create no new memories. And even now, my current friendships -- particularly those with people at NHF -- are constantly evolving and changing, and hopefully growing and becoming stronger, more meaningful, ever-lasting.

Especially with my NHF family -- and it truly IS a family, as most church-related friendships have the greater potential to be -- I hope and long for a constant kind of friendship. I have been through so much with some of the folks at NHF: C, JKA, Soy, et al. and I can't imagine life without them now OR in the future. I know it's incumbent upon me to not give up on these relationships, when times get stressful and busy, or when events or outside forces impact on our lives, or when things don't go the way I want them to. I have to keep my eye on the big picture, not get freaked out by the change itself, but look forward to the positive results of the changes ...



I'm going to see John Mayer at the Garden tonight. I have been so intensely studying his second album for the past week, I completely forgot about his first. Hooch and I must have a review on the way down to the city this evening ...

AND, I'm going to Florida for three days with my Little Old Ladies in the middle of December. I need to get away and be with my ladies for a little bit ...


SCROOGE? . . .

I am not into this holiday season AT ALL. I know I have much to be thankful for this year, but I'm not in the mood to be surrounded by six small frenetic little children and crying babies at the dinner table on Thursday. Thinking about purchasing Christmas gifts, or organizing holiday get-togethers is making me panic and want to scream, or alteratively, crawl into bed and take a nap. And I am not not NOT looking forward to New Year's Eve, with no honey to smooch (though I think it's mostly overrated anyway) and just another year of ups and downs to expect.


Saturday, November 22

HEE, HEE . . .

I would normally just post this to She Reads, but it's amusing, insightful and true enough to share with the general public who doesn't care what I read:

The idea of having a cup of coffee is usually better than the coffee.

-- "Common Nonsense Addressed to the Reading Public,"
by Andy Rooney

Errrr, a mere day late, but here it is:

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.
- re-master the baking of the uncracked, undemolished, totally intact, totally (moist) bundt cake
- find and start processing the purchase of my new home away from home
- read all the stinkin' books that are languishing on my book shelf: "My Dearest Friend;" "Common Nonsense;" "School Girls;" "The Motley Fool's Guide to Investing;" "Liar's Poker;" "The Autograph Man;" "Nine Innings;" "The Life of Elizabeth I;" "The Adams-Jefferson Letters;" et al.
- find inner peace
- start to be a better friend to my friends

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.
- KSC, my junior prom date (I am sooo cheesy but it's actually C's fault for bringing up this topic!)
- CO, my childhood "best friend" and fellow attorney
- DR, my high school "best friend" and I don't know what he's doing now
- EMS, my college partner in crime, and now mother of two
- RSL, my fellow high school lazy sh*t -- we did a lot of nothing together, but it was SO FUN!

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.
- speak Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Italian fluently
- (gulp!) snowboard
- go on peacemaking missions ... and be successful
- shoot a gun
- ballroom dance

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).
- send my parents on a world-wide golf getaway extravaganza
- put Cheech through medical school
- buy lots of books, spa services and Ruths' Chris steak dinners
- buy a home and not worry about the stinkin' mortgage payments
- feed children, build homes, find cures for HIV/AIDS and breast cancer, supply New York City public schools, empower the Asian-American community

5. List five things you do that help you relax.
- drive
- run and yoga
- read
- spend time with those I love most, whether at home, at someone else's home, on IM, in a car, wherever
- and of course, SLEEP

Thursday, November 20


I can't remember the last time I woke up, came to work, logged into my computer and pulled up the New York Times webpage without expecting another headline screaming at me about how many bombs went off in Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Southeast Asia; how many scores of people were killed and hundreds wounded; how we should be on alert both at home and at American outposts around the world for anti-American sentiment and attacks; how Osama has made another video excoriating Westerners and Saddam has shaved his head and is hiding out in Tikrit.

I didn't think I was this susceptible -- surely, I am strong enough to avoid the emotional manipulation of the media -- but I suspect the stress is getting to me more than I am willing to admit. I mean, what kind of life is it when you wake up expecting death and destruction and turmoil to greet you in the morning? What kind of world do we live in where these headlines, once so shocking and horrifying and grief-inducing, are now simply run-of-the-mill? What kind of people have we, have I, become where we are no longer moved by war and tragedy, but are simply resigned to the way the world seems to be? And if I think it's so bad for me, so stressful for me, so sleep-depriving for me ... well, then how must it be for those people who aren't comfortably ensconced in a wealthy Western super-power, safe (for now) from bombs and sniper attacks and land mines and rebel insurgents? Trying to answer these questions makes my head ache and my brain move faster than the 120 m.p.h. it normally goes.

Once upon a time, I was told that it was futile to pray for world peace, that the uproar that exists in the world is punishment for the world's sins and is evidence of God's anger. Hearing that broke my pre-teen heart, and for almost two decades now, I've wondered if that was true. But come to think of it now, I'm not convinced. God promised a long, long time ago that He would never again destroy the world or His creation living in it. And sure, He gets angry and becomes disappointed when we don't do His will, and especially when we fail to love one another. But He is not a petty God of "well, you didn't do what I wanted you to do, so here's a swift kick in the butt ... or a bullet in the head ... or a bomb on your neighborhood." No, no. These headlines, these deaths, these hatreds that run rampant through our lives ... it's all us, and we have no one else to blame. We've really got to wise up, shape up, stop killing each other ... because you know it's bad when I read every word of the Michael Jackson arrest story just so I don't have to read about something else.



With the holidays rolling around once more, people's consciences start to tickle and charitable hearts start to warm. Y'all should be giving your money away year-round anyway (remember, you can't take it with you when you kick it), but in case you feel particularly moved this holiday season, I offer you this public service announcement. Do with it what you will ... and if you are even half as fortunate and blessed as I am, then I hope you'll do a lot. in association with the Better Business Bureau, this site provides evaluations of hundreds of charities, and can help you pick a worthy organization to give to.

New York Magazine Charity Guide: for those of you in the metro-New York area, New York Magazine offers a list of local charities and organizations where you can give time and/or money to help out your community.

And my personal favorites:

American Red Cross: self-explanatory.

Asian Professional Extension, Inc.: provides low-income Asian-American youth in NYC with mentors, educational programs and activities. Cheech and Wonger are involved, so give, give, give!

City Harvest: "rescues" leftover or excess food from restaurants and the like and delivers the goods to food pantries, soup kitchens, etc. in an effort to fight hunger in New York City.

Habitat for Humanity: provides homes for the poor. And you get to wield power-tools!

Henry Street Settlement: provides social service benefits to largely Asian and Hispanic communities on the Lower East Side.

Make-a-Wish Foundation: grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center: this place cared for one of my classmates before he died, and saved one of my friends so that she lived. Give, give, give!

Seeds of Peace: teaches teenagers, mostly from the Middle East region, conflict-resolution and leadership skills, in the hopes of creating a generation of peacemakers.

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation: the stats speak for themselves. Give, give give!

U.N. Children's Fund: health, education, equality and protection provisions for children all over the world.

Monday, November 17


Running on the treadmill at my house without my contact lenses in is a weird experience. I can hear the news on the television, but I can't truly see it. The worst part of this is that I can hear the CBS2 weatherman be annoying, but I can't see him be annoying -- it drives me crazy. But tonight, since I couldn't focus my complete attention on the boob tube (or the boob ON the tube), I let my mind wander, and I thought about ...

... Arnold Schwarzenegger is now officially the governor of California. What a hoot! ...

... if I relish sharing inside jokes with a good friend, does that make me exclusive and snotty and possessive, or just a good friend to a good friend with whom I have inside jokes too numerous to count? What a dilemma ...

... John Muhammad was found guilty of capital murder, among other things, for one of the Washington, D.C. sniper shootings. What a weirdo ...

... I've only been good friends with C for about six months, and C and M's Noodles are now over a month old. What a short long time it has been ...

... after over a year of searching and praying and agonizing and longing, NHF might finally get a pastor, yet people are lukewarm about it. What a time to be lukewarm ...

... Jose Padilla has been held for over a year on no charges and without being allowed to see a lawyer. What a constitutional farce ...

... condo-buying is now back on track, I think, and there are some really nice properties out there for my picking. What a strange position in which I find myself, as potential home-owner ...

... does thinking about a friend a lot and wanting to often spend time with this friend make one "obsessive," or just someone who enjoys the good company of a person who provides relaxation, laughter and disjointed but scintillating conversation? What a stupid question ...

... more American soldiers died today in Iraq. What a preventable tragedy (uh, BRING THEM HOME, Shrubby!) ...

... I have to go mountain-biking this Saturday, unless it rains really hard, so of course, I am hoping it rains really hard, so I can crash Camp Capio and watch movies and stare at sleeping babies who make funny noises instead. What a wuss I am ...

... a major assignment -- the bane of my existence, the absence of which will make NOT my heart grow fonder towards it -- is due on Wednesday -- would it be super-lame to turn it in at 4pm instead of having it on my boss's desk at 9am? What a typical government employee I am ...

... if everyone thinks that I would be right for Man A, and that Man A would be right for me, is that fate, or just people being wishful and me feeling like I'm living in a fishbowl? What a potentially VERY funny scenario in the making ...

... can I eat pasta every day for lunch if I run in the evenings? Because I sure do love pasta, and I really could eat it every day for lunch. What heaven that would be ...

... can I eat steak with extra butter once a week for life at my local Ruths' Chris if I run in the evenings? Because I sure do love Ruths' Chris steak, and I really could eat it once a week for life. What poverty I would fall into ...

Friday, November 14


Here's yer Friday Five:

1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space. Comfortable.

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer. Wise. Gentle.

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime. Quiet. Imaginative. Informative.

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day. Hilarious. Interesting. Steady. Sleepy.

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life. Challenging. Witty. Faithful. Full. Satisfying.

Thursday, November 13


It's that time of year again. Time to bone up on your presidential candidates.

We all know about The Shrub. So read up on your Democratic options, such as they are. Carol Moseley Braun, John Kerry, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Lieberman, Wesley Clark, Dick Gephardt, and even Al Sharpton ... they're all there to your left.

Hours and hours of unadulterated entertainment. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 11


Thank you, veterans.


As of July 2004, Yale Law School will have a new Korean-American dean. Check him out.

Friday, November 7


The Undetected Sacredness of Circumstances

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . . —Romans 8:28

The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you can’t understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you. Never put yourself in front of your circumstances and say, "I’m going to be my own providence here; I will watch this closely, or protect myself from that." All your circumstances are in the hand of God, and therefore you don’t ever have to think they are unnatural or unique. Your part in intercessory prayer is not to agonize over how to intercede, but to use the everyday circumstances and people God puts around you by His providence to bring them before His throne, and to allow the Spirit in you the opportunity to intercede for them. In this way God is going to touch the whole world with His saints.

Am I making the Holy Spirit’s work difficult by being vague and unsure, or by trying to do His work for Him? I must do the human side of intercession—utilizing the circumstances in which I find myself and the people who surround me. I must keep my conscious life as a sacred place for the Holy Spirit. Then as I lift different ones to God through prayer, the Holy Spirit intercedes for them.

Your intercessions can never be mine, and my intercessions can never be yours, ". . . but the Spirit Himself makes intercession" in each of our lives ( Romans 8:26 ). And without that intercession, the lives of others would be left in poverty and in ruin.

Thursday, November 6


Soooooo ... if I don't really have to worry about purchasing a home until March or so ... can I go on vacation in December?

I'd love to take my L.O.L.'s with me, but things aren't panning out ... in the alternative, it might be nice -- REALLY nice -- to get away by myself and be quiet and force myself to be with myself for a few days.



This always happens! I get excited about something and the plans get derailed ...

Home-owning plans are going to be delayed about 5-6 months. Family stuff, parents' business stuff, mom's medical stuff, et al. coming our way and I was JUST told about it.

I suppose this is good -- more time to save more money. Sure, the interest rates will probably skyrocket between now and then, and I'll probably end up moving in the middle of some weird spring snowstorm (thanks in advance and I promise hot pizza to all the NHF guys!) but at least I'll have more money to blow on the downpayment.

But I SURE was looking forward to getting out on my own again. There's something not quite so charming about being a 28-year old attorney and sleeping in the same bed that cradled my 7th-grade brace-faced self. AND, I want to maximize -- if I'm only guaranteed at my current job until August 2005, I want to maximize my time on my own as much as possible! Dig?


I have to see two movies coming out this fall/winter: "Gothika" and "Love, Actually." "Gothika" I have to see because it will gratuitously freak me out and make me tiptoe around my house at night in case a spooky intruder spots me. Also, Robert Downey, Jr. costars in the film, and despite his pathetic drug abuse history, I adore him. "Love, Actually" must be viewed because it is chock-full of British actors and English accents. Pass the scones and ring me on the telly, I'm swooning already!


I still feel lonely. I don't really know what to do about it. I mean, there are things I can do about it, but I don't necessarily want to or feel equipped to implement those steps right now. Actually, I think it's more an expression of my innate resistance to change occurring around me. Most, if not all, of my friends are now married; half of these folks are expanding their families, which is great for cuddling and play purposes, but not so great for boosting-the-ego purposes. So, in that context, I feel a bit ... left or lagging behind. I am often reminded of all that I am, all that I have, and that my friends love me. I know all of this, and I am not ungrateful. But as always, the negative is easier to focus on than the positive, especially when I'm the odd man out, sitting with all my coupled friends around the table ...

And now "Friends" is psychic. Snippet of conversation from the first five minutes of the opening:

Phoebe: "So now, you can have my black book with the names of all the guys I've gone out with."
Rachel: "Oh, no, that's ok. Why don't you give it to one of your other single girl friends?"
Phoebe: "I would, but you're the last one!"

SIGH. I feel you, Rach.


Shrub signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban into law the other day. What an absolute jackass he is, for so many reasons. But what I found most -- dare I say -- amusing about the hubbub surrounding the law was the reaction of the medical community. Aside from keeping the health of the mothers as their primary concern, the most loudly heard expression from that community was this: the law is not written in medical terminology; "partial-birth abortion" is NOT a medical term. So there are now doctors and medical service providers all over the country who remain confused as to the parameters of the law, what they may and may not do. Thus, they vow to continue to uphold their oath and work on maintaining the mother's health. Isn't that just terrible, Shrubby? Doesn't it just make you NOT able to sleep at night? Good.


Love is very weird.


I am love love loving NPR lately. Please tune in and please give generously. You don't have to be Joan B. Kroc about it.


My investing plans must be put on hold. I need cash. I am buying my own home. This is madness. I have to say ... my excitement at the prospect of being out on my own is slowly but surely being tempered by the realization that (1) I am going to have to really read all the fine print; (2) I am going to have to qualify for a mortgage loan; (3) I am going to have to apply for said mortgage loan; (4) I am going to have to negotiate with the owner; (5) I am going to have to hire an attorney ... stinkin' lawyers ...; (6) I am going to spend the next Lord-knows-how-many years of my life paying for the damn place. (But of course, I am still excited, and am scouting around for the best values in furniture!) Thank goodness for Hooch, who recently went through this melee herself, and C, who loves to give gratuitous (but wise) advice, as well as bad decorating tips.


One thing that makes me sad about having to hoard cash for the next few months is that I can't indulge my family, my friends and their babies. I had wanted to start a small tradition of taking random friends out for steaks ... that will have to wait, I think. I had wanted to send Omma and Gran to L.A. to see my aunt and uncle, but maybe it's better they wait till the smoke clears anyway. I had wanted to start spoiling all the little babies in my life -- the Noodles, the Alien, the Melon, Snoozy's Boys, Abby and Froggy, my sassy cousins -- but I think they'll all just have to settle for sweet smoochies from me this year instead. I had wanted to buy my favorite books for my friends, but perhaps I'll just recommend they visit their local library instead (and give generously!). I had wanted to take a sun-filled mini-vacation in December, but I'll have to stay tense and pale-white until I see the sun again next year. So, I promise you all, once I'm in, once I'm settled, once I'm up and going, you will all come over and I will make you a tasty dinner. Complete with bundt cakes and soft toys for the anklebiters.

Wednesday, November 5


. . . is slowly but surely being formed.

Come to join Derek, Bruiser and C/A is the newest member of our family, sure to be as wily and brutish a ball player as his dad: Jonathan, making his slightly unexpected appearance yesterday afternoon.

Congratulations to MP & CS, and welcome Jonathan!

Training camp will begin once The Little Melon arrives in April . . .
IS IT JUST ME? . . .

Isn't it strange how you can be completely and almost constantly surrounded by people -- family and friends who love you, acquaintances sufficient to fill four or five address books, hustle and bustle at work, traffic congestion on the roads, an always full email inbox or two -- and still feel totally and utterly alone in the world?

Tuesday, November 4


My friends and I are so weird.
All we talk about are spas and steak dinners.

If you don't believe me, check out the comments from "Good News For Yankee Fans."


1. Donnie Baseball is back as our hitting coach!!! God bless George Steinbrenner, for once.

2. I'm signed on to stay at my job through August 2005!!! God bless job security.

Monday, November 3

YAHOO! . . .

How irrationally happy was I to read this tidbit on E! Online:

BACK TO THE PRAIRIE: ABC working on a Little House on the Prairie mini-series based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder book and not the TV series. The six-part series is tentatively scheduled for the 2004-2005 season.

I need to start investing my money wisely. I mean really investing. Yes, yes, I have the standard IRA that everyone else has, and it has been performing about as well as Renee Fleming singing the National Anthem on broadcast television during the World Series. But that's not the S&P 500's fault, per se, so I can't be bitter. (Renee is a whole different story, though ...)

I have many friends in the finance industry. I have many friends who know things about finance and the finance industry. I have a few friends who actively maintain their own personal finance and appear to do it with a semblance of stability and knowledge. But -- no offense -- not one of them can explain personal finance, and what I need to do to have it, to me in any fashion that I can understand. (They use scary big words like "expense ratio," "diversify," and "risk allocation." The horror!)

That is largely my fault. Hearing about and seeing numbers, much less hearing about how I must manipulate them, promptly puts me to sleep, much like stories about golf outings. I took Federal Tax in law school, like every other schmuck. I read the Wall Street Journal just to keep abreast of what might or might not be going on in the economic world (but truthfully, I just read the little news snapshots on the front cover, then flip through the paper to find the articles that have more words than numbers in them). I purse my lips and sigh appropriately when I get my monthly IRA statements. I log onto The Motley Fool and browse the message boards and the day's tips. But none of this means I have any idea what I'm doing or what my eyes are seeing, and it certainly is no gauge of my alertness when performing these activities.

How terribly sad for me.

So I spent a large part of the day with my trusty friends at Vanguard, believing that enough Web browsing, enough squinting at the screen, enough reading the same paragraph over and over, enough playing with the Investment Calculator, enough reading the Greek that describes the various funds, enough exposure to this financial mumbo-jumbo might break through my thick words-only skull and make some sort of useful impact. And lo and behold! It did ... I think. (The hardest part, frankly, was answering the Investor Questionnaire questions honestly! It was like being on Emode!!!)

Apparently, I can afford to -- and would like to -- throw some money into long-term, medium-to-high risk bond funds (oh my God, is that the right terminology?!). There are two that have been narrowed down for me by the good folks at Vanguard ... such a clever little Questionnaire, really.

So now, as I brace myself for the good-natured advice my financially savvy friends are going to sling at me, the ultimate question really is: WHO HAS $6000 THEY WANT TO GIVE ME SO I CAN INVEST IN THESE TWO FUNDS?


Saturday, November 1

A NEW YEAR . . .

The non-surprise surprise party was a blast, enhanced by a dancing Cha-Cha Santa (that actually does the Cha-Cha), many taunting mini-bundt cakes, a container of dreaded pudding, Absolut Vanilla, mounds and mounds of beloved pasta and carbs, much Yankee paraphernelia, a blue pig, an unexpected guest appearance by Cheech (hmmm, my friends are much wilier than I had previously thought!), big-head contests and well-behaved roosters.

From the bottom of my heart, an overwhelming outpouring of love and thanks to J2, Soy, Jaime, JC, JK, JS, C&M, N&M, Cheech, DYC, Banana and Dr.&Mrs.G (who have recently joined me in the traffic infraction ticket club -- congratulations!).

It's going to be a good year.