Friday, April 30


Tomorrow morning, I will join 22 of my "NHF Fights Cancer" teammates to run and/or walk in the Revlon 5k Run/Walk to Fight Cancer. I'm excited and nervous all at once: I'm not the strongest runner, so I wonder how long I'll last. I'm slightly sick, so I wonder if I'll start wheezing or coughing or get sicker. I have a bum knee and an injured hamstring, so I wonder if my right leg will last me the entire 3.2 miles without something horrific happening. I'm the team captain, so I wonder if everything will go smoothly logistically, whether everyone will meet at the right place at the right time, whether everyone will be able to find their tshirts and goody bags, and whether everyone will have enough water and have a good time.

But I'm excited because I am part of something bigger than I can fathom with my small brain. Tens of thousands of people uniting in this great city with a single purpose: to raise awareness and funds to fight women's cancers. I never thought I would ever say this, but I have known women who survived cancer, who are fighting cancer now, who died from cancer. I bet by the time we hit 30 years of age, we all will be able to say that, and that just sucks. These little 5ks are so fun, but also so important for that very reason.

Our team has raised, to date, $1,455 of our $2000 goal. That's not the whole deal and so it's slightly discouraging. If you still want to give -- race date is not a deadline for giving -- please do so by finding our team at the Revlon Run/Walk website. It doesn't matter who you credit your donation to ... just donate.

Heck, you know what? I won't worry about the money now. It's not about the money. Tomorrow, I will run as best as I can, as much as I can, for Melanie, Soy, JKA, the 2 Mrs. Kims, and my aunt in North Korea, who have been scared, who are scared, who have passed on ... and for CA, Melon-y, Abby, Sarah, who will grow up knowing that people care about them and their health and their lives, and maybe won't have to be scared of anything.

Thursday, April 29


Today, Shrub and the Veep are going to chat with the 9/11 Commission. Chat, NOT testify. In the Oval Office, NOT in the hearing chamber. And they are going to chat together, NOT separately. And they are NOT going to be under oath (sorry, Scott, but the oath to take on the Presidency does NOT equal an oath to testify truthfully in a hearing, DUH). Ew, I am so so so suspicious of the two of them ...

Hooch alerted me to this hysterical portion of yesterday's White House press briefing, conducted by Scott McClellan:

"Q: Scott, following up to what Elisabeth said, somewhat. Before Dr. Rice testified publicly, President Bush said it was important for the American public to know about the events leading up to 9/11. If that is the case, why not have the President testify publicly, even with a transcript? And why not under oath?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, the President is already under oath as the President of the United States. But let me go back to when the President signed the legislation creating this commission.

Q: He's under oath 24 hours a day? (Laughter.)"


And to top off my sentiment for today's 'chat', allow me to quote Hooch's flash of brilliance:

"You know, when you put a dick and a bush together, somebody's gonna get screwed."

The Revlon 5k Run/Walk is in two days ... I'm so excited because the first 5k I ran last fall was a great deal of fun. Saturday should be great, too, because I'm captaining my church's team and at least 22 of us will be running and walking together. But ... our team's fundraising goal is $2000, and we've only raised just over half of that. THAT'S PATHETIC!!! WHAT IS THE PROBLEM!?!?!?!?

I do not understand -- twenty people could not raise $2000?! Does this even COMPUTE in anyone's logical mind? Runners and walkers: you spend your days eating and watching TV and hanging out with people and doing things you think are important. But you committed to running and walking in this 5k, so PRIORITIZE and THINK OF THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM CANCER and are DEPENDING on your serious efforts. And potential donors: you spend your days buying food, buying cars, buying books and CDs and DVDs of movies you've already seen, going on vacations, and throwing cash away willy-nilly, taking cabs when you could walk the ten blocks. PUT YOUR MONEY TO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE.

I hate to say it, but I'm finally going to: CANCER COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. It could happen to any of us. It DOES happen to any of us. Remember my month-long boob pain, my ultrasound, waiting for the results? Remember when she felt a lump in one breast, and then in the other? Remember when she had a lump removed from her breast? Remember when she had her mastectomy? Remember when she felt a swollen lymph node? Remember when she touched her neck and found something there that didn't belong? Remember when she told you she had cancer? I remember. You don't?

If and when cancer hits home, the good Lord forbid, THERE DAMN WELL BETTER BE ENOUGH MONEY FOR RESEARCH AND TREATMENT, because if there isn't, we ALL are going to regret it.


The Redhead is gone from "American Idol." Thank you, America. You have finally done something right.


This morning, on the "Today" show, Katie Couric -- who I quite enjoy, even though she's kind of ... oh, I don't know, cheesy? -- used the word/phrase "stick with-it-ness." Uhhh ... that is not a word.


Derek Jeter is 0-32. ARGH!


C has been gushing on and on and on about this place called Paese, a little Italian place in the nabe. He also sent me an article about a new steak restaurant recently opened by a veteran waiter at Peter Luger. Which reminds me ... I am craving pasta and steak.

Wednesday, April 28


... it was my parents' wedding anniversary, so I made some steak, steamed some asparagus, prepared some salad, set out the Korean side dishes, and even -- drum roll, por favor -- made a lemon bundt cake. Yes, my friends, the bundt cake pan that was being punished is now out of the corner and back in business. I am happy to report that despite intense agita and trepidation, 98% of the bundt cake came out of the pan. A 1" x 1" section tore off and fell onto the floor, but in accordance with the 10-second rule (for dry foods; 5 seconds for wet), I picked it right back up and slapped it into place. My parents never knew. I wish I had a digital camera, so I could have photographed the 98% perfect bundt cake and the redeemed bundt cake pan (which, by the way, cost me a whopping $29, so I'm glad it's working now after its bratty little "I don't want to release the cake" phase). But I am faux-Mennonite as well as afraid of small shiny technical things with buttons on them that I have to hook up to a computer. So you'll just have to take my word for it. Or check out the extra three pounds I put on.

... my mother pronounced very loudly (after a beer or two) that "golf just brings the ENTIRE WORLD together!" This, after she learned that a friend of the family ran into another friend of the family on a Los Angeles golf course, totally randomly and unexpectedly.

... my mother pronounced very loudly (again) that "the Yankees just need to hit some HOME RUNS." Ha ha ha ha! One just has to laugh.

... I heard that one of Cheech's best friends, Mel, an amazing woman in her early 20s, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I don't know her very well; you don't know her at all. But how much further could my heart sink? How much deeper could I suck in my stomach in shock? She will probably undergo some surgery, and probably will heal, but ... pray for her. AND RUN/WALK A DAMN 5K AND/OR RAISE MONEY TO FIGHT CANCER.

For an explanation of this wretched, wretched photograph, please check out its corresponding E-bay advertisement. I promise, there is nothing dastardly about the ad ... but you MUST scroll down through the ad to read the full description of the product being sold.

Then hold your belly and try not to puke as you laugh.
O CANADA . . .

Sunday morning, the bulk of our cabal hauled our sleepy selves up to Canada to see the G's and their newest addition to the Melon Patch. Not much else to say, except it smelled REALLY good in the house when we walked in -- naturally, given that Mama Melon's Omma was brewing up some good old-fashioned mi-yuk-guk on the stove. Melon-y is adorable, with her little scrunchy face and granny pursed lips, all bundled up like a little caterpillar larva. We didn't stay long ... just long enough to get a shot of four of the ladies of NHF ...

... and a glamour shot of the mini-gang ...



And another photo that was discovered the other night ... we're missing one of the Gang of Six, but you get the idea ...

Tuesday, April 27


Check out this faux Whitney McNally website.

You all might remember he's the Details Magazine contributor who put together the "Gay or Asian" spoof page in the April 2004 issue.

All I can say is ... God bless the Internet.

"American Idol" tonight was atrocious. Good God. Poor, poor, poor Gloria Estefan had to sit there and listen to her greatest hits get utterly butchered. Dios mio!


I think I'm having sympathy pain. As babies around me start teething ... well, so am I. There's activity in the area of my right bottom wisdom tooth, and it ain't good. Sensitive gums ... piercing pain everytime food goes there ... itchy right ear ... swollen jaw ... WAAAAAAAH!

This is what I'm talking about. Imagine two of these mouthfuls landing on your lap with a resounding "plop" that could be heard above the roar of a sold-out ballpark. Then imagine feeling the warm wet feeling emanate from your thigh. Then imagine looking down in trepidation and seeing a smiling baby and a little pile of gummed pretzel sitting there on your leg. Yup. This is what I'm talking about.

Monday, April 26


I attended two of the three atrocities known as Yankee baseball games this past weekend. Sigh, sigh and DAMNIT! Jeter is 0 for 25. WTF?!?!?! Posada, the only run-producer for this lame-o team, was NOT in the game on Friday. WTF?!?!?! Stupid Manny keeps on whacking the big ones against us. WTF?!?!?!

Nevertheless, there was a major highlight of the weekend (aside from spending quality time with C and Cheech and my fellow agonized Yankee fans): being part of MJ's first baseball game EVAH.

Yes, my friends: C brought his 7-month-old boy twin to the game on Saturday. A perfect day by all accounts -- sunny, warm, breezy. There was no alcohol in the left-field bleachers, but that was probably for the best anyway. It gets rowdy enough back there during Yankees-Red Sox matchups. And with MJ there, we wanted things to be as peaceful as possible.

HE LOVED IT! From the moment we met up with Cheech and his pal, MJ was reaching for the Italian sausages, the cold cans of beer, other people's jerseys (apologies to the man in yellow whose back MJ kept rubbing). I do believe he even watched the game at times, when he wasn't napping or staring up at the sky. People around us adored him and he melted even the cold, cold hearts of the dastardly Boston fans sitting around us (although of course, we did not let them touch him. Ew. Boston.)

I am also proud to say that although I am waaaay past the age of buying senseless souvenirs, I came home from the game with two: two big ol' sloppy stains on my pants, one on each leg. Smart C left one of MJ's bottles in the car, and of course MJ chose SATURDAY to decide he wanted to eat every hour on the hour. After the poor dehydrated tot sucked down one bottle in record time at the bottom of the 3rd inning, C was left to rely on his wits. His wits led him to purchase an unsalted pretzel (a STALE unsalted pretzel which no adult in his or her right mind would ever put in his or her mouth), which served as MJ's pacifier for the rest of the game. When MJ decided to wave his arms about (in indignation at the crappy pitching, I'm sure), the globs and globs of gummed pretzel predictably landed on laps and feet everywhere, including my own. Ew.

Saturday, despite the shameful loss (to be followed by another shameful loss), was perfection. MJ avoided sunburn; my nose did not (although it has now faded to a perky glow, if I do say so myself); I did not get sick on hotdogs, cheese fries, Cracker Jack and beer, like I did the last time I was at a game with Cheech; MJ had no poo emergency; we were surrounded by excellent fans, including one gentleman whose favorite phrases were "hit the ball, you dopey bastard" and "nomar is wicked injured!" and "it's wicked hot out here, I need a wicked beer!"; and I got a strawberry milkshake from McDonald's on the way home.

I love my nephew MJ. I love my friends and my brother. I love sunny perfect days. And you know what? Sigh ... I even love those dopey Yankees. I hope the dopey bastards start winning some games soon. I hope I can continue to afford Yankee tickets. And I hope MJ will look back on these and other photos and appreciate that his auntie sacrificed a perfectly fine pair of pants for him.

Friday, April 23


Do I want to see photos of the coffins of American soldiers coming home from Iraq?


But I think it's good for me to see. And I think it's good for this government to allow its citizens to see. And so I will keep logging onto The Memory Hole in the hopes that I can get into the site ...

I live everyday in more than relative safety and comfort. Many of my friends and family do as well. I know that friends of friends of friends of friends, etc. are stationed overseas right now, all over the world, doing whatever on behalf of something good (I hope). But it's easy to forget that military service is a sacrifice and a privilege ... and I need a reminder, as do many of us. Looking at photos of American flag-draped coffins arriving back on American soil reminds me that people fight for my freedom and to give that freedom to others (I hope). I realize that there are people out there braver and more dedicated than I. I see that my life is more than just my house, my job, my friends, my family. I am part of a bigger picture, and there are people dying to preserve my bigger picture.

I understand that the Pentagon's no-photo/no-media-coverage policy "is simply an effort to protect the sensitivities of military families." But to argue a minor point: we're not seeing bodies. The photos reveal to us a coffin, a dead soldier in a wooden box, covered by a pristine American flag -- the symbol we Americans look to with pride (I hope) and determination. Yes, a soldier is a son or daughter or loved one, but a soldier is also ours, belonging to all of America. American troops go forth with our blessing and our prayers, representing our system and our beliefs. When they come home alive, we all celebrate. When they come home dead, we all grieve. Only the cruelest, most hard-hearted American is unmoved by a soldier's life sacrifice.

I do not understand how news organizations did not know that the photo-taking was even occurring. Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times was "not aware at all that these photos were being taken." According to John Banner of ABC's World News Tonight, "this [The Memory Hole] was the first we had known that the military was shooting these pictures." The Pentagon says it takes the photographs for an historical purpose. To which I say: all the more reason to release the photos to the public. Let those who wish to look, look. Let those who wish to turn aside, turn aside. But the Pentagon is right: there IS value to these photographs, above and beyond whatever weird reason government officials have created for themselves.

Maybe the government doesn't want to remind us that people are dying in this war, in any war. Of course ... death sucks. To Christians and non-Christians, militants and apathetic citizens, die-hard patriots and doubting conspiracy theorists -- death just sucks. But so what if we are reminded of how many soldiers are dying in this war, in any war? We should be reminded that war is ugly and that it kills people. Perhaps there is glory in fighting and winning ... but there is greater glory in achieving peace and living a harmonious coexistence. If those coffins teach me and my neighbors and our children that we should do everything possible to avoid military conflict, to avoid war, to avoid killing people and being killed ... then bring on the photographs. Remind me every day that our soldiers are dying. Remind me every day that war is an ugly business that should be avoided at all costs. Remind me every day that peace is something to strive for, above and beyond victory and revenge. Remind me every day.

Wednesday, April 21


Tuesday, April 20


I am a Beef Wellington virgin no more. After dinner in NYC, I have had the full hunk-o'-beef-inside-buttery-puff-pastry experience. Never mind that I thought the layer of mushroom around the filet mignon was ground beef. The chef would have keeled over dead in horror had he heard me ... but I was quickly and laughingly corrected. And enjoyed it anyway. Please. Beef and puff pastry. It's just a good thing.


Despite my affinity for beef, however, I believe pork is my preferred meat. As I informed a shocked Hooch this afternoon, pork is just juicier.


The Yankees are finally scoring some runs and winning a game ... fine, so it's against the Chicago White Sox, but who cares? A win is a win is a win. Although I missed most of the game, and they are now only in the 7th inning due to a rain delay, apparently all of the Yanks have scored runs. Does that mean A-Rod has also scored a run? Will miracles never cease?!


Question du jour (and I won a lunch based on a bet that I would not ask the Judge this question, but of course I did with little hesitation because I just have no shame): Hooch and I were wondering -- why, in history and classic (or not so classic) horror films, do zombies (undead, the living dead, whatever you like to call them -- is there even a difference?) walk forward with their arms totally outstretched? Is there a purpose for this? We have received a few replies: "ask someone else;" "from a medical perspective, it's rigor mortis, which is why zombies cannot bend their arms OR legs;" "dead people are reduced to their basest instincts, which include (and this is NOT NOT NOT my quote) titty-grabbing" (and this does NOT explain heterosexual female zombie behavior). Anyone else? (By the way, Hooch and I spent well over half an hour discussing this issue. Your tax dollars hard at work, yes.) (Also, I have just used many, many parentheticals. Apologies, but they are ever so convenient.)


Some important anniversaries rolling around right about now, if you feel so inclined to look upon them with some care. Celebrate the day Jackie Robinson integrated major league baseball (April 19, 1947). Consider the Brown v. Board of Education decisions (May 17, 1954). Remember Oklahoma City (April 19, 1995) and Columbine (April 20, 1999). We recall these dates and events for different reasons, with varied emotions, perhaps with no emotion at all. But we are who we are, and these are why.


I love walking in the city on cool summer (or summer-ish) evenings. It's just great. Last night, I watched an episode of "Sex and the City" from Season 5 -- the one where Carrie determines that though she is single and quite possibly wanting to be with someone really badly, being single in New York City is great. She determines that NYC is her boyfriend, the best boyfriend ever. And when someone later in the episode talks smack about the "dirty, loud, smelly" big city, Carrie walks away from him, thinking "don't be talking sh*t about my boyfriend." Damn straight.

Monday, April 19

SPLAT . . .

She's finally here!

Melonette -- as her proud papa has dubbed her -- arrived at 10:30a.m. today and promptly pooed.
That's my kind of girl!

I also heard her scream over the phone.
I pity the fool that pisses HER off.

Congratulations to #5 and the G's ...

Saturday, April 17


You just are not a liberated Korean woman until you go to a Korean spa/sauna, shuck all your clothes and inhibitions and spend a day with a whole bunch of naked women of all ages and sizes.

Yes, my friends, that is how I spent my Saturday morning. Sigh. (The sad part was, I thought the whole entire time: "If I just had my laptop here, I could blog about this live!")

My mother has never been to a spa and has never received a massage. This, I consider to be a travesty. So when she heard of a Korean spa/sauna that had opened up in Joisey and expressed interest in going, I jumped at the chance to accompany her. Who am I to pass up a free massage? Little I knew ...

First of all, there's something about fresh-off-the-bi-haeng-gee (airplane) Koreans living in Joisey ... they speak a different kind of Korean than we suburban New York Koreans (Flushing Koreans also have a life and dialect of their own). Even Omma had a hard time communicating with the lady at the front desk. How much is a massage? Where do we go? Do we pay now or later? Where are we? The speed and bizarre lilt of the receptionist's voice and dialect was getting to me ... I was getting tense. Just show me where the masseuse awaits me.

We entered the women's locker room, and there it was: BAM! Naked women everywhere. And I'm not just talking "oh hi, I'm naked because I'm changing my clothes." I'm talking about full-on, "I'm 67 years old and saggy," "all I need is a towel on my head," "let me just stand here and do some calisthenics," "I'm having a conversation with three friends as if I'm fully dressed and sitting in Starbucks" naked. I must confess, my eyes bulged. What the ...

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm no prude. OK, I'm slightly prudish, but among my friends, I consider myself to be the most "free" with my body. Dad left the house? I'm walking around naked because it's just easier that way. There's a long line for the dressing rooms? Let's share one. Don't talk to me from the other side of the door -- come in to the bathroom. I'm only peeing, for crying out loud! When I'm with my girlfriends, I'm with my girlfriends, and I just can't bring myself to be shy in front of them about things like boobs and a vagina. We all have them; it's no novelty to me, know what I mean?

But this ... it was almost too much. I almost fled to our car, unable to decide whether to laugh or cry. Finally, I sucked it up and dropped my towel. There. Now I was naked, just like the 60 or so other naked women strolling about around me. Omma and I entered the main tub rooms: a whole series of showers and a steam room lined the side walls, a body scrub (not at all like the wussy American spa body scrubs, no!) section lay along the back wall, and three hot tubs, each filled with a different formula or herb stood along the front wall. I got in, partly because I had no idea what else to do. My alternative was to stand there and look at naked women, most of whom were over the age of fifty. No, I think I'll get in the hot tub, lay my head back and close my eyes, thank you.

Ten minutes passed before I had to head upstairs for my massage. Readers, let's call this MY BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER. Alright, not ever, but pretty damn close. Greeted by a young diminutive Korean woman, I internally scoffed "how could this little wisp of a thing give me the quality of deep tissue massage I am accustomed to and enjoy?" Five minutes later, my massage snobbery came back to bite me in the ass. HARD.

There's deep tissue massage, and then there's just straight up pain. The latter is inflicted by "massaging" someone with JUST YOUR THUMBS. Wtf?! The masseuse climbed all over me and the massage table, nearly cutting off my airpipe everytime she pressed hard on my body, driving my throat into the table. She used her thumbs for everything, and seemed not to know the philosophy of gradual pressure. It was all pain, all the time. I tried my best to breathe through my nose and relax -- my tense muscles were making the massage more and more painful. She even dug her thumbs into the top of my head to relieve ... I don't know what. I just couldn't stop worrying that she was going to reverse the fusion of my skull bones and create another soft spot. Finally, I flinched. The masseuse told me my muscles were tense. NO KIDDING. THAT'S BECAUSE YOU ARE SLOWLY KILLING ME!!!! After informing her several times, to no avail, to lighten up, I just succumbed to the slow death, figuring I can just go for another massage elsewhere to reverse the tension cause by this one.

Sadly, that wasn't the worst part of the massage. Truly, the greatest agony stemmed from the fact that the masseuse was a talker.
"Are you a student?" No.
"Are you married?" No.
"Are you from New Jersey?" No.
"Is this your first time here?" Yes.
"Is this your first massage?" No, but certainly my least pleasant.
"Do you need a massage because you are injured somewhere?" No, but I will.
"Did you come alone?" No.
"The back of your head is very large." Thank you. I think.
"Do you exercise regularly?" Yes.
"Have you been in the tubs already?" Yes.
"Your hands are so small and dainty." Thank you. I think.
And on and on and on. I couldn't decide what hurt more: my ears or my body.

When my sixty minutes were up, I fled like the wind and sought refuge once more in the hot bath tubs. By now, I was feeling free and walking proudly naked as well. And this is when it dawned on me: this place was pretty awesome, despite the sadistic thumb-y masseuse. Where else and how often will you find a bunch of women, teenagers to little old grandmothers, being free to be naked in front of each other? No one cared about saggy boobs, boobs that weren't big enough, boobs that were too big. No one cared about cellulite, muscle tone, lack of muscle tone. No one cared about the woman who came in with only one arm, or the woman with the cleft palate, or the woman with burn scars on her back, or the woman with one breast. No one cared about long hair, short hair, designer clothing, fancy perfume, expensive jewelry, chic makeup. All they cared about was hanging out, chatting with each other, relaxing, indulging, spending a day away from the outside. All I cared about was erasing the memory of the massage.

It was pretty cool, this realization. At the end of our morning there, I even found myself dreading putting my clothes back on. A bra and panties, a shirt, pants, shoes ... they all seemed so constricting and oppressive after several hours of just being ME. I'll be back ... probably again with my mom. I think the whole "let's be naked" thing might be a hard sell for most of my girlfriends. But just imagine ... freedom!

Friday, April 16

BEH! . . .

Taking care of twins is easy. (Famous last words.)

Last night, I "officially" babysat for the Noodles, so Camp Capio and some visiting friends could go out for steak dinner (cue: growling stomach here). They left as I was feeding some nasty looking barley cereal to a grunting MJ and a completely disinterested CA, who promptly removed a spoonful from her mouth and started playing with the mess with both hands. I came thiiiiiis close to tasting it, but I just couldn't bring myself to. MJ has this new thing where he strains forward, emits a prolonged grunt without breathing (so that his face and neck turn completely red), and waggles his tense little fingers at some unknown, unreachable goal. I can't decide if I need to give him CPR or laugh at him ... but I digress.

As is customary, and as I have seen M&C do, I wiped the Noodles all clean (it's amazing how barley cereal can get all over a baby's face), then sat them down for supplemental bottles of formula. CA, the formerly picky eater, has now taken to guzzling down an entire bottle all by herself ... in about 4 minutes. It's frightening, really. MJ strains and waggles his fingers, then snaps his head around to look at you, the feeder, which causes a zillion droplets of formula to spray in a wide arc, striking not only the kitchen table and the floor, but you, your sweater, your jeans, and your right sock. Ew. Then he grins and resumes his meal. Evil, evil child.

I played with them on their scary, multi-colored play-mats (doesn't anyone make baby toys in muted earth tones?!), rubbed their itchy gums, tickled their full bellies (thank you, MJ, for puking on the play-mat and not on me, for once), sang them some children's hymns (should I be ashamed that I only remember the first verse to "Jesus Loves Me"?), changed their diapers, changed CA's diaper again after discovering a massive and mushy poo (her coo of relief at being cleaned was worth it), put a sleepy MJ down to sleep, fed piggy CA some more, then put her down to sleep.

9:00pm. Freedom. "The Apprentice." One would THINK. But no, try screaming baby, natch.

Poor CA. For some reason, that girl just could not bear to lie down and sleep. I fed her some more (she sucked down almost another entire bottle, struggling to stay awake the whole time) and rocked her in the darkened nursery. She nodded off, startled awake, nodded off, startled awake. The moment I started to move her away from my body, she started screaming like the hounds of death were upon her. She only felt soothed when I held her close to me, rubbing her back, and whispering sweet nothings above her droopy head. The one funny moment in this agonizing saga: MJ waking up because of all the racket, peering over the top of his crib rail at his screaming sister, blinking a couple of times, then dropping his head back onto his mattress, rolling over and promptly falling into a loudly-snoring deep sleep. Ahhh, men!

In hindsight, methinks CA just wasn't all that tired, for Camp Capio, et al. soon returned home (in time for the second half of "The Apprentice" -- damn that evil wench Omorusa!!! How does she have a book deal and I don't?!?!?!) and she stayed up, playing with her mommy for the next hour. Or maybe she just needed some boob milk. Sorry, but my store's closed for now ...

Anyway, I realized that twins -- BEH! Easy as pie! It's just a matter of making sure one of them is securely inside a crazy-colored Exer-Saucer chewing on a building block when you go off to change or bed down the other one. Positioning them accurately to do the double-bottle-feed is also key. Additionally, if you're going to let them do their backwards faux crawl, just move everything out of the way -- they don't move that fast yet, but they get royally mad if a chair gets in their way. And really, how do you tell a six-month-old to just maneuver around it? You don't. You move the furniture. Finally, if you suspect a doody in their pants, do not -- I repeat, DO NOT -- pat them on the butt or carry them with your arm under their butt. It just mushes everything around ... and that's gross.

Wednesday, April 14


In the grand tradition of Margaret Cho and others, I have begun my personal list of what I love. I think it's technically supposed to be one massive list, but knowing me, my loves will evolve and grow and multiply as time passes ... so the list grows along with it ...

Enjoy. You might find yourself on it one day.

I could not bear to watch Shrub's press conference last night. Even if I liked his policies and political philosophies, the mere fact of his whiny, near-Elmer Fudd voice would have driven me to turn off the television. I can't listen to anything Shrub has to say because his voice is like nails scritching and scratching down a blackboard ... for miles. However, I forbore to read the transcripts of his speech and the ensuing (pre-written) question and answer period. And bearing in mind my clear and admitted bias against having Shrub as my Commander in Chief, here are my humble thoughts ...

... the second sentence out of his mouth is "This has been tough weeks in that country." OUCH. English teachers across the country, unite!

... he says, "We're not an imperial power, as nations such as Japan and Germany can attest." I don't know what this means.

... he calls Donald Rumsfeld "Secretary of State." D'oh!

... he says of the United States' own history: "we had a little trouble in our country achieving freedom." YOU THINK?! And by the way ... have we really achieved freedom in this country? Go ask your neighbor.

... he uses the words "suiciders" and "maimer." I think even PEK would have a hard time using those in Scrabble to cheat.

... more fodder for English teachers: "revenues of the oil stream is pretty darn significant" and "There's mass graves" and "we've been on a war ever since" and "I've spoke to..."

... words of wisdom (I'm being facetious, if you can't tell): "And they were happy -- they're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either."

... can someone translate this for me: "Angry that Al Qaeda had, at the time thought Al Qaeda, found out shortly thereafter it was Al Qaeda, had unleashed this attack."

... and this one too: "There was kind of departments that at times didn't communicate because of law in the F.B.I.'s case."

... and here's a question he didn't even pretend to answer: "One of the biggest criticisms of you is that ... you never admit a mistake. And do you believe that there were any errors in judgment that you made related to any of those topics I brought up?"

... some nice wavering: "I don't think anybody can, maybe people can argue that."

... and now, some unsolicited editorial from me. Shrub says, regarding the August 6, 2001 bulletin: "It was also an indication ... that bin Laden might want to hijack an airplane, but as you said, not to fly into a building but perhaps to release a person in jail. In other words, serving as blackmail." I say: "RIGHT. A crazy fanatical wacko like Osama bin Laden is going to train and fund allllll those little minions in flying aircraft in the United States just so he can hijack one for the purpose of blackmailing this administration into releasing some person or persons that he might deign to care about. RIIIIIIGHT. OBL doesn't want to KILL anyone, he just wants to make a political POINT. He cares SO MUCH about his little minions that he just wants them released from prison. NO, YOU IDIOT. HE WANTS TO KILL AMERICANS AND THAT IS WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO AND DID WITH THOSE AIRPLANES, YOU JERK!"

... more unsolicited commentary, in response to Shrub's statement "... had I had any inkling whatsoever that the people were going to fly airplanes into buildings we would have moved heaven and earth to save the country": YOU DID HAVE AN INKLING. What could you have done with it? I don't know -- maybe nothing. But the point is YOU DID HAVE AN INKLING. Don't pretend you didn't.

... another question Shrub can't or won't and did not answer: "Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you be prepared to give them one?"

... my "wtf"moment came at this: "Some of the debate really centers around the fact that people don't believe Iraq can be free, that if you're Muslim or perhaps BROWN-SKINNED, you can't be self-governing and free." WTF?!?!?! First of all, I personally have not seen that many "brown-skinned" Muslims. Second of all ... what the heck kind of context is that? I can only imagine that it's one of Shrub's own bizarre fabrications and how he views people who are not white. WTF?!?!?!

... true confessions: in response to the question "After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say? And what lessons have you learned from it?" he states "Hmmmm. I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it ... you just put me under the spot here and maybe I'm not quick, as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with that one." FIRST of all, it's "put me ON the spot." SECONDLY, I know most of the questions are pre-written and submitted prior to the press conference so that Shrub can prepare his lies -- I mean, answers. But at least PRETEND like there's something creative and new going on in that tiny pea-sized brain of yours and give us SOMETHING. And THIRDLY, you have to "come up" with an answer, like you have to MAKE ONE UP? Disgusting. Sheesh. Note to self: never let the Supreme Court pick a President again.

... still confused: "you're talking about one aspect of possible."

... totally hypocritical: "We have an obligation to lead the fight on AIDS, on Africa." FIRST of all, you cut funding for the domestic and international fights AGAINST A.I.D.S.. SECONDLY, could you please clarify ... are you now leading a fight on Africa too?

... his most honest answer came towards the end of the press conference, in response to "if you feel in any way that you've failed as a communicator": "Gosh, I don't know." Brilliant, Shrub, just brilliant.

... the only part of the press conference that settled my disgusted soul was "It's [making America secure and the world free] a conviction that's deep in my soul." I share that conviction, and I'm glad Shrub has it. But still ... go back to Crawford in November, would you?

And that's all she wrote.

Whom the Lord loves He chastens . . ." ( Hebrews 12:6 ). How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us to the point where we can have fellowship with Him, only to hear us moan and groan, saying, "Oh Lord, just let me be like other people!" Jesus is asking us to get beside Him and take one end of the yoke, so that we can pull together. That’s why Jesus says to us, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light" ( Matthew 11:30 ). Are you closely identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God when you feel the pressure of His hand upon you.

". . . to those who have no might He increases strength" ( Isaiah 40:29 ). God comes and takes us out of our emotionalism, and then our complaining turns into a hymn of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and to learn from Him.

". . . the joy of the Lord is your strength" ( Nehemiah 8:10 ). Where do the saints get their joy? If we did not know some Christians well, we might think from just observing them that they have no burdens at all to bear. But we must lift the veil from our eyes. The fact that the peace, light, and joy of God is in them is proof that a burden is there as well. The burden that God places on us squeezes the grapes in our lives and produces the wine, but most of us see only the wine and not the burden. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God living within the human spirit; it creates an inner invincibility.

If your life is producing only a whine, instead of the wine, then ruthlessly kick it out. It is definitely a crime for a Christian to be weak in God’s strength.

-- "My Utmost For His Highest," by Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, April 13

TOWARDS MAY 17 . . .

An interesting little snippet about one of the last men alive who argued the Brown v. Board of Education cases fifty years ago ...


D'OH . . .

From today's New York Times ...

Draft reports by the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks portray Attorney General John Ashcroft as largely uninterested in counterterrorism issues before Sept. 11 despite intelligence warnings that summer that Al Qaeda was planning a large, perhaps catastrophic, terrorist attack, panel officials and others with access to the reports have said.

They said the draft reports, which are expected to be completed and made public during two days of hearings by the commission this week, show that F.B.I. officials were alarmed throughout 2001 by what they perceived as Mr. Ashcroft's lack of interest in terrorism issues and his decision in August 2001 to reject the bureau's request for a large expansion of its counterterrorism programs.

The draft reports, they said, quote the F.B.I.'s former counterterrorism chief, Dale Watson, as saying he "fell off my chair" when he learned that Mr. Ashcroft had failed to list combating terrorism as one of the department's priorities in a March 2001 department-wide memo.


Commission officials said that Mr. Ashcroft might also be asked about why he stopped flying commercially on government business in the summer of 2001 — the department has said the move was requested by the F.B.I. in response to threats to Mr. Ashcroft's safety unrelated to Al Qaeda — and his extensive use thereafter of a luxurious F.B.I. jet, a $40 million Gulfstream 5. The plane had been purchased for use in special investigations and for the transport of terrorists and other dangerous suspects.

Current and former F.B.I. officials have told the commission that they were infuriated by Mr. Ashcroft's use of the jet and that it was seen as emblematic of his detachment from the needs of investigators.



"American Idol 3" is NOT, I repeat, NOT going to be televised tonight because Shrub is (allegedly) 'answering America's questions' about the war in Iraq. (First question that comes to mind: "why are you still in office?" followed immediately by "how did you convince the United States Supreme Court to let you be President of the United States?" No, I'm not bitter.)

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! Does it make me a bad citizen because I'd rather watch "AI-3" than a dorky-looking talking head? Does it make me a vacuous idiot because I'm annoyed about the fact that Shrub's stupid press conference throws off my entire week's television-viewing schedule? Seriously -- think about it: they are taping the performances tonight; airing the hour-long show tomorrow night; then televising the kick-off (of Redheaded John, I desperately hope) on Thursday night; which conflicts with the 2-hour finale of "The Apprentice."

Sigh. What to do?!

Monday, April 12

DEAR GOD . . .

Dear God,

You're great. You created the earth and everything in it. You also gave us Aretha Franklin and her soulful gospel heart. You gave us Gladys Knight and her groundbreaking groove. You gave us Celine Dion and her (strangely) universal appeal and range. You gave us Whitney Houston and her temporarily powerhouse voice, before all that whack crack came along. You gave us Janis Joplin and her ability to strike a chord within the populace. You gave us Diana Ross and her lasting power. You gave us Madonna and her entertainment cunning. You gave us TLC and Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson and Dolly Parton and Heart and Fiona Apple and Alanis Morrissette and so many others who have touched different people at different times for different reasons, with different talents.

But if after I die, in Your infinite wisdom, you should ever see fit to give me a second life in this world, would You also grant me Missy Elliott's wit and creativity, Beyonce Knowles's booty-shakin' moves and Alicia Keys's vocal chords? Because that would just be really neat.



Ladies First was an absolute blast, even though I felt bad for poor Jay-Z; he had to wait over three hours to come out and rap his 20-second bit in "Crazy in Love." JWu says Jay-Z is not pity-worthy, but ... well, I'd be bummed if I were Jay-Z.

Missy just puts a smile on my face and I don't care how many times she curses; that woman is the complete package because you just know that she's SMART too. Beyonce puts on a great show, and anyone who can dance AND sing like that (no, not you, Britney) gets my immediate respect. But by far, without competition, the incomparable star of the night was Alicia Keys. She sings, she dances, she keeps all her clothes on, she plays piano like nobody's business, all while holding your heart in her hands. And thank you, she played my favorite tune of hers to date ...

Some people live for the fortune
Some people live just for the fame
Some people live for the power yeah
Some people live just to play the game
Some people think that the physical things define what's within
And I've been there before
But that life's a bore
So full of the superficial

Some people want it all
But I don't want nothing at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you

Some people search for a fountain
That promises forever young
Some people need three dozen roses
And that's the only way to prove you love them

Hand me the world on a silver platter
And what good would it be?
With no one to share, with no one who truly cares for me

Some people want it all
But I don't want nothing at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you, you, you

If I ain't got you with me baby
Nothing in this whole wide world don't mean a thing
If I ain't got you with me baby

-- "If I Ain't Got You,"
by Alicia Keys
DOI . . .

President Shrubbery says that "now may be a time to revamp and reform our intelligence services."


Saturday, April 10


Tonight, I glimpsed what life on a commune must be like ... sort of. After a super-long praise team practice that lasted nearly the entire day and sapped almost all of our human strength, half of the team came over to my place for dinner. This was sort of a special event for me: I don't have people over that often, not because I don't love to entertain or welcome my beloveds into my domain, but because my home is farther than J2 or Camp Capio, less accessible, a little further into the "countryside," the neighborhood a tad hairier to navigate. Many days and nights, I have felt guilty always crashing someone else's space, knowing that at my parents' home, my friends and I would have access to a humongous yard, plenty of parking, spacious seating, numerous bathrooms, and feet upon feet of kitchen counter space. But that guilt was always outweighed by the guilt of making people haul themselves all the way up here, only to have to find their winding ways back to the highway in the dark, all the while muttering, "she lives so freakin' far away from civilization!" (Now, I personally don't think we're so in the boondocks, but that comment has been thrown my way on occasion, clearly often enough to give me a complex about it ...)

Today was different. Thank you, Daylight Savings Time, for when practice ended, it was still bright and sunny and warm outside ... and of course, our one collective, unanimous thought as we packed up our sound equipment inside NHF was: "BAR-BE-CUE." Camp Capio was closed for the evening, J2 had no outdoor facilities ... so I dared to do the previously unthinkable: "Hey guys, I have a grill and I think it might still be functioning. Wanna come over?"

One trip to Sam's Club for enormous steaks, a quick rush home to clean up and throw together some vegetable side-dishes, and a cheesy movie rental later, some of my dearest friends were scurrying around my kitchen and outdoor deck, scrubbing the grill's grille, chopping vegetables, seasoning meat, washing dishes, setting the table, making themselves at home. A task for everyone, everyone for a task. For about twelve dollars a person, we had salad with two dressings, sauteed string beans, grilled vegetables, grilled pineapples, medium-rare steak with assorted sauces (or just melted butter for the purists), leftover white Korean rice and of course, kimchi. A vegetable for everyone, and even JKA had a vegetable or two. We felt slightly decadent hanging our heads over over-sized plates, but so abundantly blessed. And for a few hours, I experienced communal living, as I sat at my kitchen table taking a breather, watching Jaime clean our steak juice off the grill's grille, J2 set up for their dessert extravaganzas, Soybean wash dishes, and JWu and J_Lee wipe up and put away everything in their respective paths.

It was more refined -- and certainly neater -- than college, less hedonistic than a true hippie commune. When it comes down to it, we're really just a bunch of capable, self-sufficient dorks who operate surprisingly well on spontaneity; after all, JKA baked us cookies (after hefting her own KitchenAid mixer to my house) and we watched "Sister Act 2" on a twenty-year-old barely-still-color television, just so we could sing along at the musical parts. (That movie is so bad, it's good ... but I had forgotten exactly HOW bad it really is.) And of course, I thought of those who weren't with us for the ultimate in brainless relaxation ... Camp Capio, M/N/DL, Familius Melonus, JC, the Banana .... But as I sat reveling in happiness and sated protein bliss, I had the fleeting thought: is this not why and how we live: to live amongst each other and to share our selves with each other, to break bread together, to laugh and sing together, to praise each other's raspberry sippers and fresh-baked cookies, to honestly appreciate hospitality and help and good company?

And the best part of all: the leftover A-1 Steak Sauce stays at my house, for the NEXT barbecue.

Friday, April 9


1. What do you do for a living? I work for Uncle Sam, trying to live up to my boss's standards, trying not to go overboard with adjective-laden witticisms in my legal writing, trying to corral and keep wayward attorneys in check, trying to be ethical without being a doormat, trying to learn enough and more so that I don't end up like the bozos Hooch and I make fun of behind their pin-striped backs.

2. What do you like most about your job? My boss, Hooch, the hours, the variety of law I get to play with, my commute, and the fact that we have security guards that know everything about our cars and our comings and goings. It's creepy but cool.

3. What do you like least about your job? Err... am I really allowed to say? Well, aside from the fits of unnecessary hysteria I have to witness, the thing I truly like least is experiencing the occasional moment where I come across something I really don't know. I hate not knowing. I hate doing hours and hours of research and reading and re-reading and still not knowing. Then I hate when I travel down miles' worth of tangents only to realize I need never have traversed those roads at all.

4. When you have a bad day at work it's usually because _____... Again, aside from bearing witness to the occasional hissy fit, I usually get pissy when I'm made to stress about a silly case with silly attorneys and silly issues and silly motion papers. (Not that I'm thinking of anyone in particular, of course.) And on top of that, my sinuses are swollen, my throat hurts, I didn't get enough sleep, and I twisted my right knee again. THAT is a bad day.

5. What other career(s) are you interested in? FBI agent specializing in Missing Persons or Asian gangs; public education reformer; full-time essayist for a newspaper or magazine which allows me to write whatever the heck I want; chef; event planner; Asian-American grass-roots-social-and-political-activist.

Wednesday, April 7


Even while watching "American Idol 3," I am able to have some non-vacuous thoughts ... and my first non-vacuous thought of the evening flows as follows: why do we want to nullify our country's history?

I was just reading an article in the New York Times about comments made by United States Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He was speaking at a fundraiser for the Historical Society of Frederick County, and mentioned that Roger Brooke Taney, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice from 1836 to 1864 had an "admirable" career. Chief Justice Rehnquist's comments made the news, not only because he is the Chief Justice, but because Taney was the author of the Dred Scott decision, the man who said -- on behalf of a seven-member majority -- that freed slaves (and their descendants) did not qualify as American citizens and had no right to bring suit in federal court.

The fact that this is news, and the fact that Rehnquist was duly described as being known for his conservative views, got me thinking ... there are people out there, myself included, who shudder at the Dred Scott decision. We also shudder at our past as a slave-owning nation, as a country that segregated black and white citizens, as a people that abide by separate-but-equal laws, as a government that corralled its citizens of Japanese descent into internment camps. People offended by this past demand apologies, ask that history books be written and rewritten, and continue to (rightfully, in my humble opinion) protest strong and lingering vestiges of injustice. But ... even as I recognize that many events in my country's past are distasteful and antithetical to everything I believe in, mustn't I also acknowledge that this is our history, and that it cannot -- should not -- be changed?

The America we know now, for all its goods and evils, did not materialize out of thin air. We comprise a young country, but our history does not lack its fair share of drama, significance, upheaval, leadership, retardation and most importantly, growth. Where we started, as a mere compilation of colonies ... where we went, through Civil War and Reconstruction and Jim Crow and immigration and World Wars and civil rights and feminism ... where we are now ... this is who we are, this is what America is. To try to change it, to pretend it never happened, to overlook it, to futilely apologize for it, even to brush it aside as "the past," does an injustice to this country and the people and events that shaped it.

We continue to shape the United States and lead it down the twisting, turning path it is supposed to travel. Just as individuals turn to their geneaology and genetic make-up for answers and guidance as to their personalities, traits and behaviors, America would do well to look to her past, with pride even. As in any lifetime, America has had moments of shame, even downright evil. But to be totally cliche for a moment, haven't these moments built character, made the country stronger? Thus, is there not something to be proud of in the fact that wretched things like slavery and internment and hosing of citizens in the streets and restricting voting rights were finally seen for the evil they are? We learned our lesson, and continue to do so daily, thanks to the events in our history. Why erase it? Why ignore it? Why deplore it?

Just a thought ...



It is a travesty that Redheaded John is still a contestant on "American Idol 3." I'm sorry -- I know he's slightly nerdy (some might [erroneously] think charmingly so), I know he's only sixteen years old, I know he has a somewhat unique sound, I know he's still 'discovering himself' and in the awkward stages of life. Heck, his voice is still changing, for all I know.

But I'm sorry, he's got to go.



I purchased a new super-sized package of all-cotton Q-tips the other day. I just opened them, and to my chagrin, I discovered that the Q-tips have plastic stems!!! I find plastic-stemmed Q-tips to be highly irritating. There's too much give when you're cleaning out your ears (I know there is no medical reason to, but I do so anyway), and when your hands are wet or recently lotioned, the stem becomes slippery and highly dangerous. Call me weird, call me a traditionalist, call me empty-headed for even thinking about these things semi-seriously ... but it bugs me that I have to go through 500 bendy plastic-stemmed Q-tips before I can go back to the store and purchase the correct ones.

Post-nasal drip.
Hacking cough.
Itchy eyes.
Dry mouth.
Swollen ducts.
Clogged voice.
Thudding, cloudy head.
Breathing with my mouth open.
Red, raw nostrils.
Runny nose.
Popping eardrums.
Trashcans filled with used Kleenex.

It's allergy season again.
I'm so sexy right now, it's unbelievable.

Tuesday, April 6


Just back from a Korean food extravaganza at J2 ... watching JKA entertain reminds me of something Omma always says: when you're first married (in your 20s or early 30s), you think you are wonder-woman (or at least should be), and want to cook everything and anything for everyone and anyone; when you're in your 30s, you start to assent when people volunteer to bring more than just beverages and dessert; when you're in your 40s, a second wind hits and you entertain again, not minding that you also have to feed all of your friends' growing children; when you're in your 50s, you meet at a restaurant for gatherings; when you're in your 60s, you go live with your grown children and eat at their dinner parties. JKA still has that newly-married stamina, and her friends benefit grandly from it!

But now I'm too full to sleep, so with two snaps in a circle for TinyCricket, here's my famous-person-sightings or sightings-to-be:

... violinist Isaac Stern and his wife arrived at a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner just as I was leaving. I don't remember if I shook his hand, but I do remember thinking "what an adorable little man!"

... when "Mirror Has Two Faces" was filming at in NYC, I stood in a gaggle of fans watching Pierce Brosnan and Barbra Streisand prepare an outdoor scene. I jumped up and down and waved my hands when I thought Mr. Brosnan was looking our way; he jumped up and down and waved his hands in clear mockery of me.

... at the same time, I was walking down the street and realized Jeff Bridges was next to me.

... driving in town, I was cut off by Senator Hillary Clinton's motorcade. How rude.

... in elementary school, Levar Burton of "Reading Rainbow" came to perform a few songs at a school assembly.

... having lunch outside while working in the city, I looked up mid-chew to see Russell Wong strolling by. He looked awful, not at all like the seductive watermelon-chomping hottie in "The Joy Luck Club."

... I almost walked into NYS Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder (ok, technically she is not a celebrity, but she has appeared all over the newspapers and in People Magazine, so I consider her famous enough) while walking and talking, and as a result, was almost bodily accosted by her bodyguard. He was very large.

... I gave directions to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau (again, see NYS Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder) as he was strolling the halls looking for our bureau pizza party years ago. He also is quite a small man.

... I think I walked past Robert Downey, Jr. on the streets of NYC the year before I left for law school.

... leaving Fenway Park after a Red Sox-Yankees game, I spotted press outside the Yankees' locker room, and Paul O'Neill standing in the hall talking to reporters. I yelled through the railings: "I LOVE YOU PAUL." He didn't look up, but raised his hand in acknowledgement. Insert swoon here.

... at Yankees Spring Training 2002: received an autograph from Hot Randy Choate, and ogled Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Lee Mazzili, Joe Torre, Don Zimmer, Mel Stottlemyre, and assorted other beloved ones.

... I saw Joey Fatone in "Rent." In the middle of his big song n' dance number, he incorporated famed dance moves from N*Sync's "Bye Bye Bye." The crowd -- and I -- went wild.

... I have seen in concert: John Mayer, Billy Joel, R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen, the cast of Z100's 1997 Jingle Ball (including Lisa Loeb, Savage Garden, Aerosmith, The Backstreet Boys, Sixpence None the Richer).

... I will soon see in concert: Missy Elliott, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Madonna.

Hmmm. That was fun. And now I'm tired, so my full belly is just going to have to deal with being horizontal ...

(Incidentally, I quite enjoy Bob Herbert...)

Bob Herbert
You are Bob Herbert! You're not the most sparkling
writer, but one of the most solid and selfless
on the Op-Ed staff. You focus on New York
politics, the poor, race issues, and civil
liberties. You like to quote others, and rarely
place yourself in your columns. You keep it
real. Seriously.

Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, April 2


After a toned-down winter season, during which my weight stayed the same as it was since July 2003, I have ramped up my weekly work-out routine and started to get back on the intensity track. The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, tank-tops and shorts season is nigh, and the Revlon 5k and Balance Bar Adventure Sprints are fast approaching. No more three-toed tree sloth action for me!

But the most bizarre thing is happening: though I have re-upped up my running and strength-training, I have GAINED weight. Three pounds, to be precise, in the last three weeks. (This, of course, is an average, taking into account my perfectly regular and active days, two days of constipation, a few days of being sidelined due to severe knee pain, and the grand opening of Minado Restaurant, a Japanese seafood/sushi buffet.) Now, I know that muscle is three times heavier than fat. I know that I'm at the lower end of the weight range for my height. I know that my larger pants are still too big for me and my smaller pants still fit me perfectly. I know that my dresses and skirts hang on me the way they are supposed to. I know that my shoes still fit, my gloves still fit, the armpits of my coat do not pinch, and my rings do not clamp into my fingers. I know that I can do more repetitions of weight-lifting exercises and last longer on the treadmill at greater inclines. I know that I can stretch longer and more and still be comfortable. I know that I eat the same amount as I ever did, but more healthfully. I know that I go to the bathroom regularly and get mostly good sleep.

But still the stupid, stupid question pops into my mind: am I fat?

First of all, the fact that I'm asking myself this question offends even ME. All around me, I see people who actually are struggling with their weight (and thus their health), and I offend myself as well as insult them by pretending I have a weight problem. Aren't I rational? Don't I have eyes? Can't I look in the mirror? What the heck kind of question am I asking myself, "am I fat"? Sheesh!

Secondly, why is being fat or not fat even an issue? (Who am I supposed to compare myself to anyway?) I mean, of course one should always aim for optimal health. Lower your cholesterol, maintain low blood pressure, strengthen your heart, nourish your bones and muscles, develop good posture, learn to breathe correctly, get enough sleep and exercise, eat healthily, visit your healthcare providers. But "fat" in this society is a visual thing. And THAT is not an issue, or at least should not be. My intellect knows this. My vanity doesn't.

I was raised in an upper-middle class home. I have everything I need. I went to a great college and a good law school. I passed the Bar on the first try. I have an amazing job. I have the best family and friends. I have a supportive and nourishing church. I have my faith. I have a good paycheck, a roof over my head, the resources with which to buy clothes, shoes, makeup, books, computers, whatever I want. I have my brain and my heart, which usually try to be productive and do some good in this world. So why does my heart sink just because I see some more pounds on the scale? Do they really mean that much to me? And where do I get that weird arbitrary number that I'm supposed to live up (or down) to?

Every woman I know -- every woman I know -- is plagued by this question -- am I fat -- whether or not they are, medically. Every woman I know -- every woman I know -- is successful in her own right, ambitious, smart, creative, intelligent, caring and loving, and so chock-ful of good and wisdom. But she struggles anyway; I struggle anyway.

On the one hand, a little vanity could go a long way: I wake up feeling a little bloated and bleh, so I make myself hop on the treadmill to defuse the bloating and to jumpstart those crazy endorphins. But on the other hand, why the obsession? Why do we intelligent and capable women ignore the bare fact that exercise and good nutrition makes us HEALTHIER, mentally, physically and emotionally, and pore over the virtually meaningless numbers spewed forth by the scales instead?

Silly, silly us. Silly, silly me.
EEP! . . .

Mistrial declared in the Tyco case!

And we get back on and go around and around and around again ...

I have been reading this article about the Pledge of Allegiance case currently before the United States Supreme Court, trying to understand it (and also get through it without having my mind wander to what to have for lunch, given that I neglected to brown-bag it today). What dost thou think?

You can call them that, if you'd like, but you can't deny that there are some classy guys, including team captain Derek Jeter, on the New York Yankees. His thoughts on their recent "road trip" to Japan (from the New York Daily News) ...

"You get a chance to market the sport, but more importantly, we got a chance to see Matsu's culture," said Jeter, using his own shortening of Hideki Matsui's name. "He's thrust into ours, so now you get to see what it's like for him.

"You have more respect for the situation he's put in. One thing we take for granted is communication. He has to deal with that every day and now we saw what it's like."


"I'd like the chance to come back when we're not playing to get to see stuff," Jeter added. "It'd have to be in the offseason, to get a chance to be on your own schedule. I'd like to come with nothing going on.

"It's something special," Jeter said. "Not every team gets the opportunity to do this. You should cherish it, because not a lot of teams do it."

Thursday, April 1


Also floating around the 'Net waves ...

This is a short poem made up entirely of actual quotations from George W. Bush. These have been arranged, only for aesthetic purposes, by Washington Post writer Richard Thompson.


I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.

I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope,

Where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!

Make the pie higher!