Thursday, September 30

IT'S TIME . . .

To learn how to use the heater in my place. It didn't occur to me until last night, when I woke up in the middle of the night freezing, that merely closing the windows wasn't enough to save me from hypothermia. Unfortunately, though my heating and cooling system is not complex ... I still don't know how to use it. I turned "heat" on, but I was afraid to turn up the temperature. First, I'm too much of a cheapskate to want to pay for heat. It's kind of like parking -- that should be free, and so should warmth. Second, I'm too afraid of turning the temperature up to, say, 80 degrees, and having some fuse somewhere blow up from the shock of being used for the first time in months. Third, I hate to imagine what the vents are blowing out into my face. Ick.

I know, I know. I'm paranoid. I read too much, books and newspapers and magazines. My imagination is unreal, as are my heat-induced allergies. One of these days, when I'm bundled head to toe with just my frostbitten nose visible, I'll realize that (1) I receive a paycheck; I can afford to pay for heat; and (2) I look like an ass strolling around my place dressed in three layers and wrapped in a fleece blanket. Until then, I live in abject fear of my own heating system ...


It's also time to do the warm-weather/cold-weather clothing switcharoo. I waited ALL SUMMER LONG to do this, for I simply adore cold-weather clothing. People -- I -- look better in cold-weather clothing. Clothing companies make more flattering cold-weather clothing. Fluffy fleece, warm and cozy wools, soft corduroys, heavy and comfortable jeans, big socks, sexy boots, snuggly coats, luxurious scarves, penguin-y mittens, and the wonder of layering. All this without the garish glare of neon, Miami Vice colors! What is there not to love?

I'll tell you what there is not to love: the lack of closet space. Now, I have no standing to complain. I have two enormous French door closets to myself. I have PLENTY of closet space. It's just that the damn cold-weather clothes are so THICK. Sigh for wool pile. Where once ten cotton or silk short-sleeve shirts lay, three wool turtleneck sweaters fight for space. Where once eight pairs of assorted types of shorts smooshed together, four pairs of corduroy pants lay like unhappy sardines. Every article of clothing has a home as of tonight ... getting them in and out of place, however, is going to be a big fat chore.

(On the other hand, I've emerged from my room with a big ol' bag of clothes to give away to charity. I have to say that I'm proud of myself: if I didn't wear it, it's leaving the premises, and that's a rule I have no problem sticking to. Which leaves me with two basic lessons: (1) don't go shopping for clothes anymore; OR (2) WEAR EVERYTHING SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO GIVE IT AWAY.)



With the change in the weather, and a once-again busy schedule, at least until the end of October, I am caught once again in that purgatorious limbo known as On The Verge Of Catching A Big Cold. Is my throat sore? Maybe ... but maybe not. Do I have a fever? Maybe ... but maybe not. Can I digest food and keep it in? Maybe ... but maybe not. Am I experiencing body aches and chills? Maybe ... but maybe not. Am I nauseous? Maybe ... but maybe not. Is this allergies and not a head cold? Maybe ... but maybe not.

Zinc tablets make me taste foul things upon my tongue. Taking Nighttime Comtrex as a preventative measure seems vaguely drug-addict-y to me. (Is it 'preventative' or 'preventive'? Sigh, I'll never know.) Bundling up when it's still 68 degrees outside makes me feel utterly foolish and grandma-y. So I fight it and fight it and fight it, and eventually, when I get to Banana's wedding, I'll just kill it with alcohol. Ain't nothing in this world a Black Russian with Grey Goose can't cure ...

1. Yankees post-season tickets are on sale approximately ONE WEEK LATER than they were last year.
2. Season ticket holders got FIRST DIBS. I hate them too.
3. Post-season tickets go on sale EARLIER at the Stadium than online or by phone. STUPID.
4. You can only get tickets for ALDS Home Game One and Two in person at the Stadium; any leftovers will be put up for sale online. Online, you can get tickets for ALDS Home Game Three. But what if the Yanks SWEEP? MORE STUPID.
5. Ticket prices have gone up. ASININE.
6. And the worst part of all: you can only get two tickets at a time.

I HATE YOU, GEORGE STEINBRENNER. You put the desires of rich, spoiled, jerky, frat-boy investment banker-type season tickets holders before the needs of the rest of the fans, the REAL blood and sweat behind your God-forsaken team. And what the heck was Kevin Brown all about?! WASTE OF MONEY, and the bozo punches things and breaks his hand. DUMB. You go down to Tampa with your ugly old mock turtlenecks and throw your money and largesse around to the people there, and treat NEW YORKERS like sh*t. You contract with mediocre food service companies who hire slower-than-slow employees, and the cheese for your cheese fries is always freakin' COLD. You raise ticket prices, so that the only people who can afford to go are NOT FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD, and you're starting to price out lower Westchester too! And now you want to build a new stadium, so you can hike prices and treat the regular fans worse than you are already treating them? I HATE YOU, GEORGE STEINBRENNER.

Wednesday, September 29

WHACK IT . . .

After work, despite being weak from a lunch that decided to revisit the issue, I decided to recreate The Perfect Drive at the local golf range. Hmmmm. My lunch came back, but The Perfect Drive didn't. How interesting.

Poor me, coming from a family of accomplished golfers (Omma kicks Appa's butt all the time, and most of his friends!) ... if I'm not veering to the right, I'm dribbling the ball in front of me like I'm playing freakin' cricket. If I remember to stick my arm to my side, I get good height, but my wrists are sore from gripping too hard. If I relax my fingers, the club nearly flies out of my hands. I am officially a menace to society. Sigh.

Stress release? Eh, not yet. But I do have some neat jigs to go along with every errant shot. Accompanied by a lovely soundtrack worthy of a weathered longshoreman, naturally.



Lost: this show might possibly be too scary for me. Polar bears on a tropical island? FREAKING ME OUT, PEOPLE! The lack of a musical soundtrack or any other extraneous background noise? FREAKING ME OUT. Korean-American actors speaking Korean on a major network without subtitles, as if this is totally normal? FREAKING ME OUT SOME MORE. (Although I had a good chuckle at the Korean male actor. His Korean, not so good. He learn phonetically, me think so. He gots to go. Ooh, I know. I'll be free as of August 2005. They should hire me. I speak Korean good.)

The Apprentice: I was torn about watching "The Apprentice" tonight, for it conflicts with "CSI." My plan was to tape one and watch the other, but a big warning box in the instruction manual for my VCR reads "NOTE: recording one channel while watching another will NOT work with a cable box or satellite." Sigh. Anyway, I still love that Rudy Giuliani has a plaque on his desk that says "I'M RESPONSIBLE." His story is that if one wants to be a leader, one must take -- and be willing to take -- responsibility for everything -- everything -- that happens under his or her watch. Ain't that the truth ... Jen C. is a bitch. Plain and simple. I mean, all those women are, and I dare say half of them are stupid to boot. You're in a competition, ladies. GROW UP and DEAL WITH IT. And I love love LOVE how much Carolyn (a/k/a "Princess Diana") hates the team of women. She's right about one thing though -- they are an embarrassment to businesswomen. At least Jen C. is gone. We need listen to her interrupting obnoxious no longer. Thank you, God!



Haven't you ever wanted to be a doctor so that you could heal a loved one who needs healing in a major and miraculous way? Haven't you ever wished interpersonal relationships could progress smoothly and satisfactorily all the time? Haven't you ever wished you could love someone with your whole heart and without envy, regret, pain or recriminations? Haven't you ever longed for the days when you felt most free, most at ease, most happy and light-hearted? Haven't you ever hoped that you might go an entire season without becoming ill? Haven't you ever wished love might find you, instead of you having to go look for it? Haven't you ever longed to give everyone you know everything they would ever want or need, from the most necessary to the most frivolous and luxurious? Haven't you ever wished you knew everything about everything? Haven't you ever wished you could read someone's mind, and then say back to them "I hear you. Me too."? Haven't you ever been devastated by unmet expectations and sudden disappointments? Haven't you ever wished some people would go away for a little bit, and others would stay forever and ever? Haven't you ever wished you were really, really good at something? Haven't you ever wished you had more time, just a little bit more time? Haven't you ever wished you could relive just one day, one week, one month, one time, over and over and over again?

Yeah. Me too.

Tuesday, September 28

DELISH . . .

My God, Mark Harmon is yummy, and damn, "NCIS" is a great show.


I KNOW YOU! . . .

I'm watching "Law & Order: SVU" and I think the young man who played the Korean son in the Prick's play "wAve" is now playing the young Chinese son who wants to make a better life for himself in New York City by taking up with some snakeheads and engaging in extortion.

Goooooo, Asian-American actors!
MY BOY . . .

Conan is taking over "The Tonight Show" in 2009!!! I am so proud of him; I feel like my own son has hit the Really Really Big Time, and I am the glowing, ecstatic mama.

I started watching Conan at the very beginning, when he was running on 6-week extensions. He was SO awkward, SO bad, SO cheesy. But ... I was strangely drawn to his freakish read hair (that continues to flop around randomly to this day because he has apparently failed to discover hair gel), bizarre contortionist face and self-deprecating stupid humor. Luckily, his hair and face have stayed the same, and the stupid humor has gotten even stupider, and I am more than happy to brace my eyelids open at 12:30 in the morning to at least catch his opening monologue ...

After all of his ups and downs with NBC, he's finally getting The Prime Late Night Time Slot. WAHOO! My boy's all grown up ... (and I don't have to stay up so late to watch him in five years) ...



It's just a nipple, people. CBS now wants to BILL Janet Jackson for their $550,000 fine, stemming from The Almighty Super Bowl Nipple Incident.

For crying out loud ... IT'S JUST A NIPPLE.

I just don't get the hubbub. On any given day, I can see decomposed decapitated human heads, people eating maggots out of bowls, graphic plastic surgery depictions, shows entitled "WifeSwap," all manner of lovers exchanging bodily fluids, all manner of weapons being shot off, car crashes, plane crashes, amputations, bleeding, dying, maiming, pole-dancing, and other forms of simulated sex. And that's just on television! Have you SEEN what's on the Internet?

One exposed nipple is the LEAST of our problems.

Besides. Justin Timberlake is the one who exposed it.



This past weekend, I made two -- count 'em, TWO -- clean and unbroken bundt cakes. As a result, my bundt cake pan is back in the family fold and I have decided I can love it again.

AND I used my Empire Red KitchenAid Artisan Mixer. I LOVE IT.

Monday, September 27


Columbia Bagels, West Side Market, UFM, Cannon's ... all gone.


Now I'm left with only memories of crunchy-on-the-outside-hot-and-soft-on-the-inside bagels overflowing with scallion cream cheese and a cup of faux hot chocolate at 3:30 in the morning after a night of clubbing ... discovering hummus with toasted pita chips ... the best $1.00 ice coffee in the neighborhood to go with the best $1.00 potato knish in the neighborhood ... nasty cheap buffalo wings and nasty cheap beer ...


These kids now, the new Lion cublets, they don't know how good it once was. Cleanliness, shiny lights, dry floors, chrome countertops, Gotham-fonted signs. That's so cliche and boring. Who needs an Oren's Daily Roast when you could have gotten suspect-but-sludgy coffee from Grandma's? Who needs chic-chic gourmet fat-free ice cream when you could have gotten creamy and thick and fat-filled gelato from Sedutto's? Who needs a spic-n-span Morton Williams University Supermarket when you could have taken your life into your own hands and assumed the risk of slipping on all manner of random food products and have been randomly yelled at by the manager at UFM?

Dang. They totally don't know how good it once was.

Saturday, September 25

I'M FAMOUS! . . .

No, not really. But last night, I was on stage!

We went to see Cookin', the Seoul, Korea-based off-Broadway show. I can't describe it as anything other than a cross between Stomp, Blue Man Group and a bunch of Korean cooking, complete with audience participation (thus, me strangely appearing on stage. Okay, it wasn't that strange because I nearly strangled JKA trying to get their attention so that they would select me out of the audience), massive heart-trembling drumming, and typical Korean-style slapstick comedy.

IT WAS AWESOME AND AMAZING AND SO, SO, FUNNY. (A word of advice: to enhance the funniness, try to take Jaime with you. Just listening to him laugh will make you laugh, until you become afraid that he's going to have an embolism in the process.) Try to sit in the front row if at all possible -- there's something weirdly hilarious about being sprayed with chopped vegetables and other food products. Don't wear any "dry cleaning only" clothing ...

There were lots of traditional Korean elements infused into the show: drumming, ribbon dancers, song and music. Something about the plaintive wrench in the voice of the p'ansori singer, something about the sheer abandon and physical strength and concentration in the drummers, something about the beauty of the ribbons flowing and spinning from the heads of the dancers, something about not understanding fully but realizing that these elements must date back countless generations but are now being presented in full force to a 21st-century jaded New York public ... sort of brought tears to my eyes, and I had to momentarily close my eyes so I could truly feel the beat of the things that are me ...

Sigh. I can't explain it. Nothing I say or write will accurately convey how much I laughed, how my insides echoed in time to the eardrum-buzzing drums, how my eyes widened at the intensity of the performers, how I was kind of scared when they were flinging knives around mere feet in front of me, how I regressed to my childhood when the performers started pelting the audience with small plastic balls, how I wanted to come home and chop at cabbage and carrots and onions and make them fling and fly everywhere like the actors did ... GO SEE IT.


HEHEHE . . .

A small bit o' boozing and a 7:00 a.m. call for grocery shopping and cake-baking in preparation for Banana's bridal shower ... the invitation said to wear pink, so a few of us have decided to wear pink indeed. From head to toe. In various shades. Fashion sensibility be damned. We're just doing what the invite instructed us to do. Wink, wink.

Unfortunately, our appearance today shall be memorialized for all posterity somehow, I'm sure, but ... anything to give Banana a laugh.

Thursday, September 23

TODAY . . .

A toast, to us.

Wednesday, September 22

WILY, I AM . .

I love when I think I'm all crafty and clever and creative ... and I am!



I haven't had an alcoholic drink in a long time. The combination of leaving the stressful school environment (oh my God, was it really three years ago already?!), living with my parents and wanting to take care of THEM instead of having them take care of ME, and just generally feeling foolish drinking alone now that I'm out on my own has led me to not even have a drink with dinner, or an after-work beer at home.

But tonight ... after the couple of weeks I've had, after the ear-piercing, up-and-down, tension-filled grumpy day I've had ... the red wine had to be busted out.

Cheers to me!


UNFAIR . . .

I hate realizing that not everyone in this world starts out on the same footing. Children grow up in poverty, without opportunity, with selfish and unknowing parents, with caregivers who don't give care, with adults around them who act like children, having open doors slammed in their faces at every turn.

It's just not fair. It's just not right.



The non-responder has responded. My agita is calmed.



I think I found The Perfect Gifts for the Noodles. I thought I had done pretty well for the Alien -- kids don't have simple but enjoyable toys like those anymore -- but I think I did pretty well for the Noodles too. Just think FUZZY. Hee, hee.



I couldn't make my Very Important Massage on Saturday because ... well, because of the Very Important Baseball Game. A very very small part of me is regretting it now, though. My body is one big knot. Actually, check that. My body is now comprised of a series of small to medium, very hard, very knotted knots. As knotty as knots can get. Yoga and stretching has not alleviated my pain. Mr. Potato Head hasn't helped. Argh.

You hear two days ago, the United States government, in response to the beheaders in Iraq, emphatically, categorically denying that it held any Iraqi female prisoners to be released in exchange for our kidnapped civilians.

Then you hear today, the United States government released a well-known Iraqi female prisoner it was holding.

Color me perplexed as all hell.



You dream about playing golf.


It looks like I'm about to carry on the esteemed family legacy. It's in the blood, baby!



You can make a Mr. Potato Head doll look exactly like one of the attorneys involved.



All you crave right now is a pack of Marlboro Lights, a short tumbler of Black Russian with Grey Goose, and a big fat margarita on the rocks, with salt. And that's IT.

Tuesday, September 21


CHIP AND KIM WON "THE AMAZING RACE"!!!!!!! WAHOO! Dang, they deserved it. Everywhere they went, they were in mostly good humor, they LOVED that they were there, they APPRECIATED the opportunities they had to see amazing things and do amazing things, and they LAUGHED their way through the competition. They were so chill and NOT satanic like Colin or whiny like Nicole. Dang, I'm so glad.


FORE! . . .

A lovely appointment with Omma, and one perfect long drive. I can dig it ...


I DID IT . . .

Dinner conversation with Omma, telling her about some things going on lately and some insights I've had, and she says "I think you have truly matured and grown up and have an adult perspective on things. Good job. You are ready for life now." You could not have imagined the size of my cheeky grin.



Due to my bizarre (and not totally welcome, in light of its weirdness and inexplicability) weight loss, half of the suits and pants I purchased over the years, while ten pounds (or more) heavier, no longer fit. In fact, half of that half hasn't fit properly for the last three years, since I graduated law school and started eating like a normal person and ceased drinking alcohol like it was water (or rather, a painkiller). So what to do? Does she go out and buy all new suits and pants? Does she get these 6 year+ ones tailored at high cost? Does she donate and take a tax deduction? Does she hold onto them in case she gains 15 pounds back? Please don't make me shop. I hate shopping for suits and pants ... it's worse than being stuck in a room with satanic Colin and whiny Nicole. Oh, would that J.Crew pants and shipping were free ...

Team New Hope for a Cure has broken the 50% mark in our fundraising, and we still have until October 31st to raise money for this year's Race for the Cure ... check us out and give generously!

Monday, September 20


I would make sure every American had affordable health care. I would make sure that cancer, AIDS, diabetes, MS, Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, whatever-other-disease-in-existence research was fully funded and the researchers supported 100%. I would make sure every school-age child had the opportunity to GO to school and be FED and LEARN. I would make sure that their teachers were well-educated, well-trained, not former felons, caring, loving, adventurous human beings. I would do a Habitat for Humanity project every free moment I had to achieve the goal of zero homelessness. I would give everyone who was able to work a job. I would send every high school graduate or GED achiever to college. I would send everyone who wanted to attend to graduate school. I would campaign to have everyone of working ability volunteer a portion of their time to the service of their community. I would build shelters, homes, schools, transit centers, public parks, libraries, concert halls, museums. I would send a book every two weeks to every household in the country and make sure everyone read them. I would sit down and talk with every world leader, and invite them over for a kalbi barbecue. I would not be beholden to Israel, but I would not step on Korea, or bully Britain, or invade some country just because I didn't like its leader or its major religion or because I wanted their oil. I would preserve nature and live a life of conservation. I would talk the talk and walk the walk against discrimination. I would uphold the Constitution and ensure that justice WAS for all. I would surround myself with smart people capable of and willing to tell me things I might not like to hear because it would be good for the country. I would do ... I would WANT to do ... so, so, so, SO darn much.

And I sure as hell would do everything in my power to make sure MY PEOPLE STOP GETTING BEHEADED BY TERRORIST ANIMALS.

Sunday, September 19


There's efficiency, and then there's efficiency.

They started the music on the LAST AWARD of the night -- Best Drama Series -- after 30 seconds, as per the rule. Dang. Can't get a break anywhere!



Garry Shandling gets a big fat C- in my book. Mildly funny, but I wish Ellen DeGeneres was up there. I suspect she's far smarter than Garry is, no offense. Or at least not so ... hodey-dodey.

I looked up from Bob's screen just now and saw Charla/Mirna (honestly, I never knew which one was which, and I don't care to really tell them apart, for they are equally irritating) gleefully mingling on-stage with The Stars, as confetti fell all around them. Why are they there, and I'm home in flannel pajamas blogging about what I see on television? I knew it. There IS no justice in the world.

What a boring night. No one wore a particularly ugly dress, worthy of a grimace or a guffaw. No one slipped up and cursed during his or her speech. No one unpredictable won. No naked streakers stole the show. No one even made a cruel political joke about Shrub's stupidity and the futility of the "conflict" (that's what news outlets are calling it now) in Iraq. And it even ended mostly on time.

Sigh. What are awards shows coming to these days?!
NON-EMMY . . .

Just a short non-Emmy-related comment: what is with stars who like to surprise their families with weddings? That is, you invite a bunch of people over for what they think is a dinner party, but when everyone is there, BAM! You whip out the clergyperson and exchange vows. What the heck? My parents would KILL me if I did that ...


EMMY . . .

Portia de Rossi is wearing some major BLING-BLANG.
NUH-UH . . .

Oh no you did NOT start playing the music on Meryl Streep!

I don't know how she does it, but Sarah Jessica Parker always gives the best acceptance speeches. Tonight, she acknowledged that she and the "SATC" cast never took the fans' dedication for granted, and she thanked the passersby who always wished her the best.

That's cool.
She's pretty classy.

They just flew in two "normal" people to present the award for Best Reality Show, and I must speak forth:
1. The "stars" in the audience are LOVING them, which is so cool -- they just got a semi-standing ovation after their blindfolds came off.
2. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are being SO cool about being fawned over.
3. The "normal" folks are doing a GREAT job of presenting.

Speaking of that should be me ... I'm going to go and edit my Emmy speech now. I know my day is coming, so I gotta be prepared, right? ...

I need a DVD player NOW.
I am totally in the mood to watch hours upon hours of "Sex & the City" and be all single girl-y!

Mariska Hargitay is beautiful and I l-l-l-l-love her green dress.
Would that I were 5'7" tall and the daughter of Jayne Mansfield and owned that awesome dress ...



I am weepy tonight.
HUH? . . .

Why are there U.S. Olympians at the Emmys? Is it just because they were on television at one point?
TIPPLE! . . .

I do believe Ty Pennington is drunk while presenting an award. My word!

Three baseball games in a row. Wet, windy, blustery, cool, sunny, breezy, stinkin' hot and sweaty. It was sooooo good, and MOOOOOOOOOOSE totally, finally, came through. Pedro, you suck. It's official how much you suck.

I must say ... in the past few days, I have eaten more hot dogs than I have this entire year so far. The grilled ones weren't so bad: straight up crispy skin with a bite, with a thin straight line of ketchup down the middle. The boiled ones ... ugh, just the thought of one now makes my stomach heave-ho. I think I shall be taking a hiatus from the encased meat product for a bit ... that is, until I get post-season tickets.



Tonight is Emmy night ... last year's Emmy night was so memorable, I don't know how this year can top it. But stay tuned for commentary.

In fact, here's your first "I'm totally digusted" comment of the evening: Charla and Mirna from "The Amazing Race" are there as guests! What is UP with THAT? They are sooooo, soooo, sooooo annoying. Ugh. I can't believe I had to listen to their whiny, annoying, faux "I know five languages" voices again. (By the way, ladies, "air-o-plane-o" is NOT a word in ANY language.)

Onward with E! On the Red Carpet ...

Saturday, September 18


I am SO having a great quiet night at home right now: THE MISS AMERICA PAGEANT is on television and I have unrotten milk to put in my chamomile tea!

Unfortunately, I do not have the Chief of Staff next to me with whom to share a bag of potato chips and numerous scornful guffaws and "look at her HAIR"s, but myself in flannel pajamas cracking pistachios and sipping tea will have to suffice ...

Besides. I'm still thawing.

It's on. The flannel pajamas have been broken out for the 2004 Autumn/Winter season, thank you very much.

The baseball game this afternoon (yes, I've seen TWO Yankee games in a row now, and God willing, I'll be waking up tomorrow for a third) felt like Opening Day in 1996: freezing, blustery, precipitative (not a word, I don't think), wet and shivering. There's great value to sitting in Row X, the very last row in the Stadium -- aside from being very distant from the bathrooms and food, you can see everything AND the food & beer vendors still venture that far north, saving you the trouble (unfortunately, cheese fries and Italian sausages don't make the walking vendor cut). However, it's a veritable wind tunnel up there. My cheeks are chapped, my hair is mussed, and I am currently suffering the throes of a deep bone-penetrating damp freeze.

Thus, the flannel pajamas. A nice, long, for-once-free Saturday evening ahead of me. What to do first? Eat. Nap. Have a cup of tea. Have a stiff drink. Read a book. Watch a movie. Hmmm ...


Boston 3, New York 2.

What a sad, sad day in da Bronx. Thankfully, we (1) were dry, sitting in the second to last row at the top of Yankee Stadium; (2) endured only two rain delays totalling about an hour and twenty-five minutes; and had left before the Yanks tanked, although I have to say that when I heard "Enter Sandman" from outside the Stadium, I had to severely resist the urge to run back in. Instead, I slumped lower and lower in the front seat of Camp Capio's non-minivan minivan as I listened to my Mo' tank the big one.

Sniff, sniff.

Also, I felt like I was cheating on Cheech tonight. I never go to a Red Sox matchup without him. But now, with him almost halfway across the country, doing something actually worthwhile with his time and money, it's not like I could have asked him to fly back for this game, right? It just wasn't the same, though. No one with whom to eat about $60 worth of food and then get nauseous. No one with whom to subsequently vow, "we are NEVER eating Cracker Jack again, after hotdogs, Italian sausages, cheese fries, peanuts, ice cream and three beers." No one with whom to argue about how Red Sox fans still are human beings, even if they are evil and misguided and simply not intelligent. No one at whom to stare, through bleary beery eyes, and declare, "Hey, you're all beery and bleary."

Sniff, sniff.



I soooo dislike it when I send an objectively Very Important Email Message to someone in a position of authority who is able to address the issues contained in my Very Important Email Message, and then get no reply whatsoever. Not a "thanks, I got it." Not a "I got it but I have to think about it." Not even a "I got it and I think you're stupid for worrying about the issues contained therein." Nor a "I got it and it's too damn long for me to read in one sitting, so gimme some time."

Grrrrr. What the heck are you doing? Read the Very Important Email Message! Respond, damnit, respond! If I go nuts conjuring up all manner of scenarios and responses and reactions you might be having, it's all your fault.


UMAMI ME . . .

Droolie. I know you're reading this. I never address my readers head-on, but I'M IN!


IVAN-A . . .

I am truly addicted to "The Apprentice." And I am truly appalled at the behavior and silliness of some of the people on the show. These are the leaders of the future? Ay caramba.

But speak of the devil, Ivan spared the Yankee game ... and now I hear his residue pitter-pattering outside my window. This humid, sticky, gotta-take-another-shower-before-I-go-to-sleep rain is so icky. I can't wait until the weather gets a bit cool and it rains a nice cool, refreshing, throw-on-a-fleece-and-cuddle rain ...

The roads better not be flooded tomorrow. I have a Very Important Massage scheduled.

Tuesday, September 14


Stunning realization du jour: with the exception of Korean food, every dish can be made better with the addition of fresh ground black pepper, baby peas and crushed red pepper flakes.

Originally uploaded by chaesq.
Not a speck of humidity ... perfect conditions for a touch of exercise ... did you sleep in and miss this view?

Originally uploaded by chaesq.
A mere eleven humble footsoldiers among tens of thousands pounding the pavement against breast cancer ... what do you fight for?

Originally uploaded by chaesq.
A beautiful sunny, breezy morning ... the buzz of dedication, commitment and care ... the community of believers ... and how did you spend your Sunday morning?

Monday, September 13

I'M A BIG WUSS . . .

I worked late tonight. Rather, I should say that I worked "late" tonight. And I'm tired! WHINE.

Actually, my 11-hour day was strangely invigorating. When I was a legal assistant at a big white-shoe law firm, it was BAD BAD BAD if you left the office before 8:00pm. (Actually, I think that was because everyone wanted to take advantage of billable dinner and town car transportation home, which only kicked in if you worked until at least 8:00pm.) We kept sleeping bags, changes of clothes, and bags of toiletries at the office, and hoped to God that someone would say "thank you" to us to make it all worthwhile. Come to think of it, it was worthwhile because my year there paid for my first year of law school in its entirety. When I was a paralegal in the D.A.'s office, we were strictly on a 9-to-5 schedule. At 4:55pm every afternoon, we lined up at the clock to punch our cards out exactly at 5:00pm. It became a sport, to see who could punch out closest to 5:00pm, down to the second. In fact, you had to apply to our supervisor to work later than normal; you wouldn't get paid for it otherwise. When I interned after my first year of law school, I was again strictly 9-to-5, which was totally fine by me since the job wasn't all that interesting. When I was at the U.S. Attorney's Office before I graduated law school, I was fortunate enough to be immediately be placed on a trial team. I routinely worked until midnight and on weekends and loved every single moment of it, except for the week that security told us to be extra careful because of suspicious crank phone calls that members of the trial team were receiving.

But those weren't "real" jobs, where I had "real" responsibility. There were always tons of people around to check my work, my research, my multitudinous copying jobs. The things I did made no difference in people's lives, and impacted hardly at all upon the reputation of my bosses or supervisors. Today, however ... Hooch and I held people's very lives in the balance. Granted, we are totally sick of this case and are of the determination that it should have disappeared eons ago. Alas, it remains before us, and has given us cause for much agitation, laughter, crows' feet from squinting at the computer's WestLaw pages, and guffaws of disbelief at the issues that have arisen in the past week. And even so, it was fun. I came THIIIIIIS close to dropping the ball in a major way several times, and each time, Hooch rescued me with her Grand Law Brain. And each time we came back in from the proceedings, we dropped our jaws at each other and rolled our eyes, for truly, that was all that was needed to express how we felt. And we flipped through books and thought up lyrical ways to say something really harsh and made up fake law that WE think should exist.

And then, when we stepped outside to our cars, it was dark. Wow.

I'm so tired now. I am such a wuss. She works an extra three hours and the poor thing is TIRED. But it's all good ... now, Hooch and I know all sorts of things about all sorts of things, and one day, we will compile our wisdom into one handy-dandy volume for all of you. And we will sell nary a copy, but sit smugly in our chairs and giggle at our apparent wit, as we reminisce upon days like today, when we heard the words "take a leak" come forth from El Jefe's mouth, and we fell over in shock.

Sunday, September 12


Sometimes, you just have to let go and turn away for a bit.

In order to be built back up. In order to recover the first love. In order to not lose faith. In order to not lose friends. In order to get a fresh perspective. In order to endure deprivation. In order to long for it. In order to keep focus. In order to prevent destruction. In order to not be debilitated by anger and discouragement. In order to smile a genuine smile. In order to know what you're missing. In order to miss it in the first place. In order to stave off bitterness. In order to have time. In order to talk with friends and reconnect. In order to deny the image. In order to prevent hypocrisy. In order to grow up. In order to try something new. In order to step out of the increasingly large rut. In order to listen. In order to sit with someone. In order to rest your body. In order to be driven by your heart, not a misguided sense of duty. In order to be a servant. In order to step away from badness when it won't step away from you. In order to keep your mouth shut. In order to speak truth.

It's just time to, is all.

Friday, September 10


Today, let us act humanely toward one another. Let us always act humanely toward one another.

And as we consider human sacrifices, a martyr's sacrifice, a fanatic's sacrifice, a soldier's sacrifice, let us also consider the perfect sacrifice ...

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr's, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Words and Music by Stuart Townend
GO. NOW. . . .

I just returned from Middletown, NY, where I stepped into the bowels of Webb-Horton Presbyterian Church to see a production of Marsha Norman's "'Night, Mother." Starring Dana Lockhart and Johanna Tacadena. Directed by my very own Hooch. Words cannot describe how riveting, gripping, hilarious, moving, wrenching the play is, or how talented the actresses are, or how precise and fantastic the direction is.

If you're in the area tomorrow, Saturday, go see it. Otherwise, go see it on Broadway in November, starring Edie Falco and Brenda Blethyn.

But you really should go see it in Middletown tomorrow.

Thursday, September 9

TRA LA LA . . .

My favorite opera, "The Magic Flute," is back at the Met this season, with Julie Taymor doing the set! Wahoo! Ticketmaster, here I come ...


GUFFAW . . .

Hooch and I are in constant stitches over the latest trial in our courtroom. Oh. My. Gawd. If you only knew ...


WHIP! . . .

Our team is only at 35% of our fundraising goal!

UNITE! . . .

Calling all conspiracy theorists ... check out Margaret's ruminations about 9/11 and the Pentagon.

I confess. I got sucked in by the flash animation.

Wednesday, September 8

Not my number one season, but who am I to argue with Quizilla?

I particularly enjoy the horrific anime artistry (shoot me if I ever pose in that position for anything) and the typically bad grammar and spelling usually found on Asian stationery objects, such as glamour lunchboxes and pencil cases. You know, the type that read "I look in ice ... thought of you ... the windes blowed" or "Like petals on breeze ... I eat molasses taffy ... chew with smilings." UGH.

You're a Spring. You usually are very close-knit
with your friends and value everyone freidnship
you have. You're a real people person and
everyone loves how friendly you are. You're
good with encouraging people but usually don't
like to be the center of attention. You are a
social butterfly and probably are in several
circles of friends but it's just because you're
well liked and you make people comfortable.
You're both fun and wise but you are very
realistic about life.

What season are you? (pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

Team New Hope For a Cure.

Or visit Komen Greater NYC Race for the Cure to see how else you can help find a cure for breast cancer, fund research, assist those in need.

What does it say about your campaign if all you can say at this point is THREATEN your own citizens with what will happen if you don't win?

From the New York Times: Stepping up the battle over national security, Vice President Dick Cheney warned on Tuesday that the country would be at risk of a terror attack if it made "the wrong choice" in November, and President Bush accused Senator John Kerry of adopting the antiwar language of his Democratic primary rival Howard Dean.


And don't be stupid either -- we're always at risk of a terror attack. It doesn't matter who's in office. They hate ALL of us, and we best never forget it.

Tuesday, September 7


30 + 30 = 60 went off with nary a hitch. Dinner went so smoothly, we didn't even see the bill! Jackson & Wheeler is a great place for drinks, appetizers, dessert and coffee, and they apparently have a pretty hopping night life, complete with live music ("hopping" by suburban standards, that is). The owners, Len and Mike, are simply superb human beings -- the type whose smiles are never wiped off their faces, whose tone of voice never changes, who remain at your beck and call, and who make you want to come back and have a wine at the bar while chatting with them for hours.

The food, however, is eh. Our supper dishes ran the gamut from inedibly salty to stultifyingly bland. That was too bad, actually. I wanted Soy and Dr.L to have an amazing culinary experience in my sleepy town. Oh well. We'll come back for drinks and dessert some day ... and to say "hey" to Len and Mike ...



Kami and Karli are OFF "The Amazing Race."
Thank the Lord.



My bed is here! I don't have to sleep on a box spring and mattress resting on the floor like some pathetic post-college neophyte anymore! A real bed in a real house with a real me in it.

Perhaps, as Soy suggests, I shall sleep better from now on. Perhaps ...

Strangely, as I lay on it for the first time this evening, I felt an odd nostalgia for the "simpler" days, when I could sleep on the floor. Having this complete, dark hardwood bed frame makes me feel like I have to be grown-up, like I have to be responsible, like I have to ... I don't know. Like I just HAVE to.

It also doesn't help that I have to hop to get up on it.

Monday, September 6

An interesting concept ... Just because one serves does not make one a servant.

No kidding.

Sunday, September 5


I revealed to my pastor today that Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" is one of my favorite songs EVAH. He practically cracked a rib laughing. And then we reminisced about the Christian heavy metal group Stryper, and the yellow-and-black bumblebee outfits they wore. Dang. What was THAT all about?!


I went running at one of the Rockefeller properties along the Hudson this morning with C and the Camp Capio Crazy Canine, Popcorn, a/k/a Popstar, a/k/a Attack Dog, a/k/a Poppety Pop Pop Pop, a/k/a She Will Eat Your Dog Even If Your Dog Is A German Shepherd. Halfway along the trail, Popperoni stopped in her tracks, heaved her body and PUKED. At first, I was shocked. I mean, this poor little Jack Russell terrier was all tensed up, puking her brains out, and I thought she was going to die. (She was fine after puking; she kept trotting along as if nothing had happened. Me, I would have needed an extra layer of clothing, a mug of hot water, my bed and my mommy if I puked that hard.) But after the shock wore off, the only thing I could think was: "Her puke looked like melted s'mores."


My 'nieces' and 'nephews' are turning one year old already. That's nuts!


I don't know if it's going to get exceedingly warm again before it truly gets cold, but tonight, there is a nip in the air, and I sit here with all the windows in the house open, but wearing a loose, long-sleeve NHF shirt and long grey yoga pants. In a few minutes, I'll grab that fleecy blanket over there and throw it around me as I watch some television. In a few weeks, I'll bust out the winter clothes, air them out, start packing the tanktops and shorts and summery skirts away. I'll put on the fleece jacket and zip it up, up, all the way up. In another few weeks, I'll lay a layer of my heavy Korean faux-mink blanket under my flowery duvet, and at night, I'll get under it so far you won't even see the strands of my hair. Man, I love autumn ...


Three days ago, I acquired a lucky bamboo plant (which, as it turns out, is not of the bamboo family at all. I feel more than a little bit misled.) Today, I notice that the leaves are wrinkling and the ends are drying. This, despite the fact that I have done everything the instructions told me to do: the black rocks are in the vase, the water is just barely covering the rocks, the roots of the "bamboo" stalks are not choked. What the heck?!


The Susan G. Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure 5k Run/Walk is quickly approaching. If you know my full name, support me and my team on!!!


One thing about HyperW that I really respect: as hyper and goofy as he is and seems, he is also the most possessing of integrity and earnestness of the men I know at NHF. After weeks of my ineffective announcements at NHF about the Komen 5k, he came to my house and happened to read the Race program cover to cover. The program detailed the Komen Foundation, its work, its grantees, and the purpose of the Race. HyperW then went home and, armed with his new and more accurate knowledge about this fundraising event, returned to me the next morning with a check for $100 saying "I now know what you are doing and I know that I want to support you with everything I've got." Who can argue with a man who seeks to satisfy his curiosity, does his research, thinks and prays carefully, then displays generosity that is too few and far between in our everyday lives? I can't.


I'm so, so sleepy, but I'm afraid to go to bed in case I can't sleep again. What could be wrong with me? Cheech is safe and sound and loving it in Phoenix. Omma and Appa and Gran are healthy. Work is a bit busier than normal, but the projects are nothing I can't handle, and the dramas are nothing I can't enjoy to the fullest. My bills are paid, my finances are healthy. I have much love in my life. I want nothing and need even less. The only thing I can think ... I'm a dweller. Things that make me angry, injustices in the world, people suffering senselessly, the guy that cut me off on the highway, a friend who tweaked me the wrong way with a careless word, selfish and self-absorbed people, unfairness ... I think about these things all the time. Days, weeks, months after the fact, I could potentially still be thinking about it. I recreate the scene, I interject the phrases I should have said, I imagine what I would have said if I could have. And so I lie awake. Maybe that's it. Maybe I could just change my personality so I can sleep better .

Thursday, September 2


That's the pounding of my aching head as I ponder the ways of the world.

Why do people lie? Why do people live in an alterna-verse and then impose their madness upon others? Why do people blame others for being selfish then act so selfishly themselves? Why do people think only their lives are busy, only their jobs are consuming, only their hours of sleep are precious? Why do people procrastinate and then freak out as a deadline approaches, and make others suffer stress with them? Why do people talk the talk and never ever walk the walk? Why do people think the world revolves around them? Why do people fail to sacrifice their own comfort and money and time and energy for others, even though they say they do? Why do people sit around and expect others to do things for them all the time? Why do people settle for "being the way they are" and never seek to make themselves better? Why do people always think that someone else will be around to make the arrangements or pick up the slack or get something done that might not otherwise get done? Why do people complain about not having something, then when they have it, don't take advantage of it? Why do people not appreciate a beautiful sunny weekend of leisure? Why do people assume the worst of other people? Why do people go around pointing out the downfalls of others, but fail to see the huge curtain of downfallenness that shrouds themselves? Why do people act holier than thou? Why do people think that what is on the outside of another represents what is on the inside? Why do people not like to see someone else be good at something that they think they are good at? Why do people not take good care of their resources? Why do people think everything is "me, me, me"? Why do people speak so shrilly? Why do people overreact and behave as drama kings and queens for no reason? Why do people fail to see the rational, logical, calm way to deal with circumstances? Why do people fail to grow up and see the world as bigger than themselves? Why do people see the hypocrisy in others and fail to see it in themselves? Why do people like to preach a lot, but don't like to take preached advice directed at them? Why do people know about actual ways to make their lives, their bodies, their minds better, but don't do anything about it? Why do people not want to pay for things? Why do people martyr themselves to look good in front of others, but then go home exhausted and unsatisfied? Why do people not do what they say they are going to do? Why do people not take advantage of their good health, the great outdoors, relaxed company with loved ones? Why do people act rudely? Why do people fail to serve for the sake of serving? Why do people take on a task and then perform it without joy? Why do people spend the majority of their lives in jobs they don't like and then come home grumpy and take out their unhappiness on their loved ones? Why do people stop learning? Why do people become so insecure that they become loud and obnoxious performers who need applause to feel validated? Why do people not associate with those with whom they disagree, simply because they disagree? Why do people not give generously of themselves and their resources to worthy causes, but fritter their resources on unnecessary things? Why do people talk big, walk small?

Thud, thud, thud.