Friday, September 29, 2006

Predator or Moron, Begone!

Last night, at approximately 11:00 pm, I was walking home on 8th Avenue, when I noticed that someone had fallen into step beside me. I had been feeling sad and had been focusing on covertly wiping the tears away from my eyes, instead of on my surroundings, so I'm not sure when he noticed me or for how long he had been following me.

For a few paces I ignored him, hoping that he would just go away, which is often how I deal with unwanted male attention. He didn't go away. He said "hi" or something like that, and I glanced to my left to assess him. He was a large white male in his 20s or early 30s, probably 80 lbs heavier than me, with blond spiked hair and glassy eyes. He had a series of chain links, that I think were part of his clothes, draped over his shoulders and around his upper arms. From my quick glance, I determined he was not a homeless beggar, not drunk but potentially on drugs (you can never rule that out), and not your typical (older white male) serial killer. Something about him, maybe just that he started following me, struck me as emotionally disturbed.

Continuing to walk, I replied with a brief "hello" and then fixed my eyes pointedly ahead of me. Saying nothing and being rude felt risky because encounters like these are unpredictable and I didn't want to give him an opportunity to get angry or allow him to think that I was afraid of him, which I wasn't, at least not yet. Eighth Avenue is a fairly busy street, with a fair amount of lights and shops that are open late, and I felt safe for the moment.

Keeping pace with me, he asked, "Hey, would you like to get some coffee or something with me?" I glanced at him again and said, I think with a note of disbelief in my voice - disbelief that he was trying to pick me up while following me down the street in the middle of the night, and disbelief that this interruption was happening while my cheeks were still damp with tears - "No," while shaking my head for emphasis. Not no thanks, just "no" with an inflection of you've got to be crazy if you think any woman would say yes under these circumstances.

What on earth could that guy have been thinking to start following me and then ask me to go out with him? Was I so attractive to him that he couldn't resist? Did he think I was asking for that type of attention in my jeans and shoulder-baring top? Or, did he think I was easy prey because I looked sad and like I had been crying? The last thought gives me shivers.

If he's a psychopath who wanted to do me harm, it makes sense why he was following me. If he's not a psychopath, he's an irresponsible moron, because by now there have been enough Take Back the Nights for men to know that women will likely perceive following them in the middle of the night and approaching them as threatening behavior.

As a woman, I am very aware of the risks involved with walking around the streets of New York at night, and I'm aware that those risks are greater for me because I am a woman than they are for men in general. Not that men don't get assaulted, robbed, murdered, and sometimes raped, because they do. But on average, I have a far greater chance than a man of being the victim of a rape or violent crime, and I tend to be smaller in stature than my potential attackers. That's the reality I face every time I walk home alone, which I did last night.

Fortunately, when I said "no" last night, my pursuer backed off. For a beat or two, he kept pace with me, and I thought I was going to have a problem, but then he slowed down and let me walk ahead. I didn't look back to see if he had really stopped following me. I didn't want it mistaken for interest of any kind. I just pulled out my keys and kept them firmly in hand. Did you know that when you punch someone while gripping an object, such as keys, in your fist, the force of your punch is magnified? I read that once somewhere. Keys would also be a good weapon to use for stabbing someone in the face, eyes, throat, or on the back of their hand. Brutal thoughts, yes, but necessary for survival at times.

When I made the turn down the darker, less busy street that I live on, I allowed myself a quick glance over my shoulder and the coast seemed clear. I walked on the road, away from the shadowy edge where the buildings meet the sidewalk, and I kept my ears alert for the slightest sound of movement behind me. I was so relieved once I had reached my apartment building and locked the door behind me.

This reminds me that I should probably start carrying mace or a panic whistle. Apparently, both are good for fending off bears, as well as human males. Good to know.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Reality TV Show: American Moms In Africa

Tonight, on the Travel Channel is the premier of a reality TV show, Mom's On The Road To Africa, featuring, as the title suggests, 8 moms who leave their kids for 6 weeks to live in Africa. I'm curious to see the show as one of the moms is a friend of a friend. It's particularly fascinating to watch a reality TV show when you actually know one of the participants. Part of the interest is taking a certain amount of glee in comparing your knowledge of the "real" person to their portrayal on TV.

Another reason I'm interested in the show is because of its stated premise - to challenge American moms by putting them in a totally different environment, i.e. Africa. I'm slightly annoyed at this premise because of the us-other comparison being set up between moms in Africa and moms in the United States, as if they were diametric opposites. From what I know about the show, they seem to have picked moms who would have been the most challenged by living away from the American, middle-class, comforts of home. But, that's just TV trying to be interesting, and apparently it's worked because I'm interested.

The last reason I'm interested is because of the concept of young moms leaving their babies. I'm all for the idea of moms having private time and me-time to stay healthy and happy, and such an experience could be incredibly enriching to the mom, and thus her children and family, but six weeks in Africa just seems a little....long. OMG, I'm coming dangerously close to sounding like I'm preaching about family values! It will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out.

As I said, it premiers tonight. Check it out! I have to miss it, but am trying to find someone to record it for me. (I've been informed by Wood that "taping" shows is passe, but without TIVO or a DVR what's a girl to do?). After missing America's Next Top Model last night and now this show tonight, I'm starting to think that TIVO might be a good idea.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thursday Thirteen (Photos)

First things first: Bean's having a baby!!! Read her post announcing the wonderful news here!
13 Photos From My Vacation
1) The view from atop Sulphur Mountain:

2) Banff, Alberta Canada:

3) Elk mating ground in Banff:

4) The reflection on the surface of Lake Moraine:

5) The Tea House on Lake Agnes:

6) Lake Louise and a little tree:

7) The perfect place to stay for a night or two on a romantic hiking honeymoon (Hint, Hint, Pas's fiance):

8) Buttercup hiking through the woods in Jasper:

9) Bean's Lake:

10) Our view after Buttercup saved Raj from the bears:

11) Chasing a rainbow on the way to Vancouver:

12) The other side of the rainbow:

13) The closest I got to an Orca, whale-watching off the coast of Victoria:
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

We're Having a A Baby!

WUHOO!! That is the well known response from my mom when she heard the news and a response that I will never forget. Tex and I are pregnant with our first child! We are absolutely elated with joy, way nervous, too anxious, and soooo excited! We are 3 months and 5 days into our pregnancy. The due date of our "little pumpkin" what I so kindly have nicknamed the baby is April 7th.

I have been with Tex going on 6 years now, and can remember discussing children years ago but never thought the day would actually arrive. We both cleared up early on in the relationship if one another wanted to have children, and luckily I was so kind to say yes I would be the bearer of children for sure, and he so kindly said I will contribute to the making of a child. And now even with a huge milestone in a pregnancy completed, the first trimester, it still feels like the day will not come soon enough when I can hold my precious little one. I am thrilled to be a mom and thrilled to have a husband who will be an excellent dad.

We have had 3 doctor visits so far and to catch you all it is in a nutshell. No morning sickness for me, but my migraines are awful, worse than awful, debilitating. So far I have gained a whole 14 lbs, the doctor says I am doing great, and to proceed with whatever I am doing. On August 25th, an unexpected sickness made me go to the doc's office. I was put on IV and good painpills to calm a horrible migraine, yes a migraine put me out; I never thought a migraine could be that bad, but that was my diagnosis. The docs wanted to make sure the preg wasn't ectopic, so they ordered an ultrasound. Tex was by my side the whole time. We saw the little one and got 2 pics on the 25th, it was the coolest thing in the world, and the strangest knowing that there is a little human being growing in my belly. We didn't hear the heartbeat but it was pumping at 162. Then on September 15th, we heard the heartbeat, Tex almost cried, and all I could do was giggle and then stop breathing so I could hear the baby's heartbeat. It was racing away at 170.

So Wuhoo! We are having a baby! Tex and I will be parents , my parents will be grandparents and my sister will be an aunt and brothers will be uncles! It's weird that having a baby impacts the whole family. But I am already really excited for the little one that they have such cool relatives and an awesome Mom and Dad waiting.

(This photo is from the front page of How cute!)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lake Moraine, My Mental Oasis

I have embarked on a new era in Buttercup & Bean. I purchased my first digital camera during my vacation in Canada, and from now on I will be able to share my very own pictures on our blog. I'm so excited, and quite proud of myself for hooking all this up tonight. I know it's only a CD and a usb cord, but still, I did it!

To kick things off, I present to you a photo I took of Lake Moraine, in the Canadian Rockies located north of Banff, Canada:

Pretty fantastic, don't you think? Really, I don't deserve any of the credit. The lake is so gorgeous that it would be impossible to take a bad picture of it.

I've decided to make it my "happy place." You know, the place I can go to in my mind to zen out when I need a mental escape from Dragon Lady and all of the worries of the day. I think it would be a nice image to meditate on as well.

I could have stayed there for hours. Can you imagine waking up to a view like that each morning? I want to go back!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Return, Bravely, Sans Gas Mask

Raj and I arrived late last night at JFK after a 5 1/2 hour flight from Vancouver. By the end of the journey I was antsy to be home, if only to have my own bed and to be able to put my bags down without the need to pick them up anytime soon. From the cab window, my first view of the Midtown tunnel made my stomach tighten as I thought about work. I looked to the lights of the city, expecting to feel happiness at returning home, but instead felt a curious lack of excitement. It was strange and unexpected because usually returning to the city incites within me a feeling of exhilaration, along with the normal feelings of happiness associated with coming home.

I rolled down my window and the air of the city washed over me. In stark contrast to the clean, fresh air of the Canadian Rockies, the air in New York felt gritty and stale, and evoked images of millions of microscopic suspended carcinogenic particles. The air smelled smoky, not like cigarettes, but rather like the hot acrid smell of of burned gas or wood. Mixed in with the smokiness were hints of garbage, sewage, exhaust, pretzels, unidentifiable pollutants, and sudden flashes of perfume.

Awash in this odiferous bouquet, picturing ash particles flowing into my lungs, I suddenly realized why the health-conscious and environmentally aware Canadians and Europeans would find New York filthy, repugnant, and dangerous. The air alone is probably all of these.

By the time the cab stopped in front of our apartment, the air had begun to feel normal, and I felt a sense of relief to see our purple-curtained bedroom window. I struggled to find the keys at the bottom of my backpack and then pushed the door open, holding it with one foot so that Raj could pass through with most of our luggage. As I went to enter our apartment building, a heavily made-up woman with bright blonde hair, high platform heels, and a mini-skirt sashayed somewhat clumsily down the hall towards the door. I let her pass, and saw that she was actually one of our male neighbors decked out in drag. "Looks like we're home," I said to Raj.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thursday Thirteen (Banff/Jasper Vacation)

13 Things I've Loved About My Vacation

1) Horseback riding in Jasper National Park.
2) Discovering a hidden lake with my sister's name.
3) Hiking through the woods with Raj behind me convinced that bears were going to eat us.
4) The tea house on Lake Agnes.
5) Sleeping in and snuggling.
6) The drive from Banff to Jasper through the mountains listening to Radiohead.
7) Sampling the Canadian microbrews.
8) B&Bs, and the fact that Raj found us a beautiful one on a island outside of Vancouver.
9) Canadians, eh.
10) The woods, mountains, lakes and gorgeous natural scenery.
11) The promise of shopping and a bit of pampering in Vancouver.
12) Snacking on the best caramel kettle corn ever while hiking through Banff.
13) No Dragon Lady!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Raj and I have had a wonderful time during the last few days. In Banff, the highlights were a hike up Sulphur Mountain (thank you Wordnerd!), and a hike through Johnston Canyon with its waterfalls, gurgling creek, and crystal clear water. The sound of the river flowing over the rocks sounded so relaxing I wanted to fall asleep on the trail!

North of Banff, we went to Lake Louise and Lake Moraine. Can we say gorgeous? Both lakes were breathtakingly beautiful. Picture a serene lake of a milky turquoise blue, surrounded by a backdrop of majestic mountains, fir trees, and an endless blue sky dotted with just the right amount of puffy white clouds. It felt a little bit like a fairly land. Pictures will be forthcoming. Never fear. And the woods! Let's not forget about the woods! Hiking through the trails deep within the trees, Raj and I would periodically stop and stand perfectly still, listening to the absolute silence of the forrest. Occasionally we did that to make sure there weren't any bears or mountain lions creeping up on us, but most of the time we did it to appreciate the soft silence. Tranquility.

From Banff, we drove north through the Columbia Icefields, saw a few glaciers from afar and were surrounded by mountain vistas in all directions until we arrived in the town of Jasper, a small mountain town. Driving in to town, we saw a large deer with a huge rack of antlers. Later, while we were walking back from dinner, we saw a whole crowd of deer walking down the middle of the road. Three deer had climbed a fence and were standing in the middle of someone's front yard nibbling their tree. I was so excited, trying to get pictures (none of which came out since it was dark, except for one of a deer's behind), and Raj was focused on keeping me away from the deer so they wouldn't stampede us, that we ended up missing our b&b by a whole two blocks.

Today, we found a nifty little place to eat, the Black Sheep, ate a hearty breakfast, and also discovered that they have internet connections! Isn't it odd how it's so much easier to stay connected in Southeast Asia than it is in Canada (true for the US as well, of course)? Here, we've been cut off from the world. Our cell phones don't work, we haven't seen TV, and it's hard to find internet computers. In Southeast Asia, they're on every corner. I shouldn't say totally cut off - despite my protestations, Raj brought his blackberry. Luckily, he's only been using it to check his sports scores.

It looks like rain, and Raj and I are going to try to get some horseback riding in this afternoon, so I gotta run. We made a deal and I've promised to do white-water rafting tomorrow. Pray for my appendages which are already atrophying in terror of the chilly temperatures.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Banff Winter Wonderland

Raj and I arrived in Banff late this afternoon after a long journey from New York. We started at 5:30 am, got into Calgary at 2 pm, stopped at an electronics store to get me a digital camera (!!!!), and then drove to Banff, a cute mountain town similar to Park City, Utah.

By far the smartest thing Raj and I have done so far on this trip was to reserve our rental car through travelocity prior to arriving in Calgary. It saved us almost half the cost! Pretty awesome.

The least smart thing Raj and I have done - so far - is to have completely got our seasons off when packing and planning this trip. We had been envisioning a late-summer, early-fall hiking, white-water rafting, and climbing trip with lots of sunshine, warm temperatures during the day, and cool nights. Yesterday, when we checked the temperature in Alberta and B.C. for the first time, we were a bit thrown off at discovering that the high was in the 40s-50s. We chose to assume that that must mean the nighttime temperature, thus allowing ourselves to continue the delusion of a warm-weather vacation.

You can imagine our surprise that all of the mountains and much of the ground around these parts is covered with snow. Yes, I said snow. The freezing, cold white stuff that necessitates the covering of human bodies with scarves, caps, gloves, boots, long-sleeved layers, long underwear, and thick down jackets - precisely all of the items that Raj and I neglected to pack in our suitcases. Thank god we both brought our fleeces - we would have frozen our butts off without them. The seven tank-tops I packed are beyond useless. Aesthetic layering is not going to cut it for the next week.

It's going to be ok though because Banff has a ton of stores, and I'm not adverse to shopping. There may be a few changes in planned activities, as I'm not that excited about the idea of white-water rafting in wet suits - can we say hell on earth? I think a suitable replacement would be a soak in the hot springs and a massage at a spa. Now that would be a vacation.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Last Minute Everything

I've been running around like a madwoman today, preparing for my vacation. Tomorrow morning, at 8 am sharp, Raj and I take off for British Columbia for 9 days. Banff, Jasper, Vancouver, hiking, river rafting, natural beauty, freezing cold temperatures, no itinerary, and no b&bs or hotels booked yet, here we come! That's what happens when you're two busy lawyers working at firms. You grudgingly get a vacation but no time to plan it.

Raj has been working like a dog, so it's up to me to do the laundry, pack, take out the trash, do the dishes, and look for hiking shoes. In addition, I have to wait around and wait for my bank to deliver a temporary ATM card because apparently a large number of card numbers - including mine - were "compromised" (i.e. stolen). On top of that, I'm going to see my two little friends, who I promised I would see before I left for vacation.

Raj and I had been planning on camping until today when we started talking about the trip and realized that (a) my backpack is packed in storage, (b) Raj has no sleeping bag, (c) most of the campgrounds might be closed since their season ends in mid-September, and (d), the deal-breaker, currently the temperature is apparently 32 degrees Fahrenheit. That's cold people. Freakin' freezing. So, we've moved on to focusing on the b&b option.

Where ever we stay, and whatever happens, I think we're going to have an awesome time. Everyone who says anything about B.C. always raves about how gorgeous and amazing it is. I can't wait to be outside! I can't wait to be among the trees and mountains!! I'm so excited!

Deadly Delight

That's it! I am never, ever, ever buying a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream again! I simply can not be trusted with it. I have no discipline and I am powerless against it.

I wasn't even emotionally eating. At least I don't think I was. I was feeling good, in a happy mood, and yet still I picked up that spoon. My right hand enabled me!! Curse you hand - you traitorous appendage!

Partly it's because I came home late. Way too late to even thinks about making a healthy dinner. Way too late to do anything except grab the closest readily available edible substance and plop down on the couch to chill out.

I came home late because I had counseling at 8 pm instead of my usual earlier time. I switched my time because of Dragon Lady and the deposition that I thought I would be covering with her today. Dragon Lady didn't tell me I wouldn't need to attend to her until yesterday morning, too late to change back my counseling time. It's fantastic that I didn't have to spend the day under those tortuous conditions, but frustrating to have a whole evening thrown off kilter for no reason. So, it's Dragon Lady's fault!

Yeah, it's Dragon Lady's fault that I came home late and didn't have time to make a healthy dinner. It's her fault that I stopped by the corner store near my house to see if they had ice cream, and it's also her fault that I went to a second store when the first one didn't have the kind I wanted. Dragon Lady is also responsible for me walking into my house, tossing my purse down, grabbing a spoon, and then sitting down on the couch in front of the tube with the pint of ice cream in one hand and the spoon in the other.

. . . Ok, maybe not. I suppose I can't blame her for absolutely everything out of whack in my life. Her claws are long and sharp but even she has her limits. Raj isn't here, so I guess I have no one to blame except for myself for this 1200-calorie slip-up.

Yep, I wrote that correctly. One itsy-bitsy, teensy-weensy pint has twelve-hundred calories!! Good lord! How do they even pack 1200 calories into such a small container? It's gotta be a conspiracy. Someone - I'm not going to name any names - is trying to wear down the women of America by disguising massive amounts of calories as harmless minty, chocolatey goodness. Who would think that something so good could be so bad?

It's a travesty of justice.

It's not like I'm surprised. It's definitely happened before. I have been known to eat an occasional pint of ice cream. It's just so damn good. It's the most delectable food item I could imagine. Whoever masterminded the tremendous combination of mint, creamy coolness and hidden chocolatey chips is a true genius. That's why it's so easy to eat an entire pint, because with each bite I'm trying to find more chips. Over and over again I go exploring in the ice cream, trying to create that most perfectly proportioned bite. It's takes a lot of trial and error to get the perfect ratio of chips to ice cream in a spoonful. And I'm a type A. I want perfection, and I won't stop until I get it.

And when I've eaten only a 1/4 of the pint, I think to myself that I have so much left. Another bite isn't going to kill me and it's not like I'm going to eat the whole thing!

And when I've eaten 1/2 of the pint, I think to myself that I haven't eaten healthy for the night, but one more bite isn't going to kill me, and it's not like I'm going to eat the whole thing!

And when I've eaten 3/4 of the pint, I think to myself that I've totally blown any pretense at eating healthy for the evening. I might as well have one more bite, because if I'm going to fall off the wagon, I might as well fall of spectacularly and thoroughly enjoy it.

And when I've eaten almost the whole pint, I think to myself that it would be stupid to put the almost-empty pint back into the freezer - the inside of which this poor little pint will never see. It would just be a waste of space, and in addition to that, Raj would notice and know that I came home and ate a whole pint of ice cream. All by myself. It's not like I wouldn't tell him . . . eventually. A day or two from now after the ice cream has left my system, after I've had a few liters of water, and when I'm back to feeling semi-firm and svelte instead of bloated and jiggly.

That's my vice you see. I don't drink to excess (I'm pretty much tanked by 2). I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I don't have unsafe or unhealthy sex. I'm pretty much good all around, except for the job I hate, my anxiety about my future - both professionally and personally, the emotional issues I'm still sorting through related to my family (who I love very much), and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Of all those, the ice cream is clearly the biggest problem.

It is my downfall. I am defenseless and vulnerable before it's cold, icey glare.

But no more! I am taking a stand against this merciless foe. I will no longer be tricked by it's siren-like call into believing that I will be able to exercise some restraint if I purchase a pint. No matter how much my mouth salivates at the thought of this temptress touching my tongue, I will walk by the freezer case with my chin held high, refusing to eye its colorful, deceptively cheery label. From this moment onward, I will banish all thoughts of those coy little chips from my mind. I am strong and I will triumph!!

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, You will rule me No MORE!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thursday Thirteen (TV)

Buttercup and Bean's 13 Must-See TV

Buttercup's Picks:

1) Lost - I am totally head-over-heels addicted to this show. I haven't forgiven the creators for killing off Anna-Lucia and Shannon, and I'm dying to know wtf is up with Michael! Please don't kill off Sawyer and Sayid! That would be unforgivable. I'm breathless with anticipation for Season III, which premieres on Wednesday, October 4th at 9/8c.

2) Sopranos - I started watching this show on DVDs with Raj, and the opening bars of music always make me think of snuggling up on the couch with him watching episode after episode. During the time when we were broken up, I couldn't bring myself to watch it. Thank god we got back together before Season 6! If you haven't seen it, you have to start watching. It's arguably the best show on television. Only one more season to go and the show's finito!

3) America's Next Top Model - Models, drama, and Tyra. What's not to love? 2 Hour Premiere Wednesday, September 20th 8/7c.

4) Project Runway - Love it, love it, love it! I want to hate Heidi because she's so damn gorgeous, but she comes across on the show so funny, cute, smart, and warm, that I just can't. Plus, she looks amazing pregnant, and who can hate that? I also love the judges, Nina and Michael, and also Tim Gunn, and regularly crack up at the phrase "make it work." As far as the contestants, Vincent and Angela are horrendous!!! I loathe them with every cell in my body. They completely lack talent and had no business getting as far as they did. I want Michael-I'm-No-Captain-Save-A-Ho to win. He and Uli are my favorites.

5) Charmed - I've gushed about my love of Charmed before. I used to be addicted, but have become less enamored with the show since the Avatars and Billy. I love watching old episodes on TNT or off of the Season I DVD that I proudly own.

6) Sex and the City - I missed the whole SATC craze while it was happening because of Law School and lack of HBO, but caught up in the year after I graduated by watching every single episode and loving it. There's pretty much nothing better than a rainy day SATC marathon.

7) Entourage - What SATC was for girls, for boys. Although some of the boys' behavior is, how shall we say, questionable - such as stupid Eric having a threesome with his girlfriend Sloan and then wanting to have sex with Sloan's best friend more than Sloan (idiot!!) - the show is endlessly entertaining.

Bean's Picks:

8) Prison Break - I start my week off well, watching this monday nights with my hubby. The two main characters, Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, are HOT and very smart.

9) Forensic Files - I like watching the killer get caught. It is very cool how some random piece of material can lead a trail to the killer.

10) Body of Evidence - The hostess of this show is Dayle, an FBI agent and criminal profiler. If I could have any job in the world, it would be a forensic analyst or a criminal profiler. (I always have to calm Tex's mind, he gets a little nervous that I am so into these shows, but I always tell him, don't worry, I won't kill you...It's not worth it, I'd get caught by some sort of evidence!)

11) Mind of Mencia - This show is really funny. Carlos Mencia makes fun of everyone, that's why I like him.

12) House - House, the main doc on this show is hysterical. His personality and sarcasm is harsh at times, but I love it. They come up with the strangest "sicknesses" and he always figures out the most random symptom or "clue" to cure the patient.

13) South Park - This is an off and on show. Sometimes, I am in utter shock about what they say, but the majority of times I am cracking up. Cartman is my favorite, I just hope that my children are nothing like him! "Respect my authoritay!"

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Memories of September 11th, 2001

I was away the last few days taking a deposition, so did not have time to write about my memories of 9/11. Two days ago, on the 5th year anniversary, I was in a hotel room in Texas checking over my documents and depo outline as I watched CNN's coverage of the memorial ceremonies. I wanted to stay and watch and think about that day, but instead I had to go to work, which seemed wrong. Bean did an excellent post, and I wanted to add my thoughts to hers.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was in law school and had biked in to school for an early class. I had been in a rush that morning, which was not unusual, and had woken up and raced to class without turning on the TV or speaking to anyone. Sitting in the class, waiting for the professor, Catherine MacKinnon, to appear and begin lecturing, nothing seemed amiss.

MacKinnon started her lecture by saying in a monotone voice, "Two planes have hit the World Trade Center and another one has hit the Pentagon. We may be under attack, but we will go on." Then she started her lecture. My friend and I glanced quickly at each other, as if to say "what the fuck?" It didn't cross our minds that what MacKinnon had said was true, and happening in those very moments. Instead, we thought that MacKinnon was trying to make some point about gender inequality - the focus of our class - and male domination. I remember feeling uncomfortable and like her comment had been in poor taste, particularly since I think we were discussing something like Title IX that day - a subject not directly related to male domination.

It wasn't until an hour later, when MacKinnon finally concluded her lecture and a girl behind me turned on her phone and gasped, that I realized something was wrong. Seconds later, as more people turned on their phones, we all realized that what MacKinnon had said about the planes hitting the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was true.

By the time I got out into the hallway, TVs had been set up and their were crowds of shocked students gathered around staring at the two towers and the gaping holes that had been ripped into them. All three planes had crashed and air traffic control was grounding all planes. I immediately tried to call my family and anyone I knew in New York. I remember thinking that we were under attack and wondering how that was possible. Who could be attacking America? That was nuts. I couldn't find my Dad at first, and was terrified imagining that he might have been flying that day, but eventually I found him and confirmed that he, and everyone in my family was ok.

Classes were cancelled for the remainder of the day, and the school set up a large screen TV in a common room so that students and faculty could watch the coverage. I wanted to be with people, so I watched CNN for a few hours in the common room. While I was there, I saw Professor MacKinnon. She looked shocked and was sitting in silence watching the coverage. She stayed for hours. I realized that she must have been in shock that morning when she began lecture, and tried not to be angry with her for keeping us in the dark as these events were unfolding.

Later, alone at my apartment, I watched CNN late into the night, and then all day the next day. I couldn't move or think about anything else. I don't think I showered and I didn't eat much of anything. I remember the confusion, the images of the dust, and watching as the numbers of estimated dead went from zero, to 40,000, to several thousand. Gradually, we learned about individuals who had been on the planes, who had been in the buildings, and who had been sent in to rescue them but not yet made it out. I saw the video of the planes hitting the towers over and over again, and could not look away. I couldn't believe it.

I don't remember if I cried during those first few days. But, I do remember a couple weeks later, when I went in to talk to my Dean about grades and instead ended up sobbing and hyperventilating, talking in broken fragments about the people who had been used as weapons,and how I couldn't understand it. A small part of me felt embarrassed about my emotional reaction because unlike many people that I knew, I was not from New York, I had not been in New York when it happened, and I - thankfully - had not lost anyone that day. I felt like I did not have a right to be so upset, but at the same time I found the attacks devastating.

I couldn't handle the fact that they had used human beings on planes as weapons against other human beings. It was too horrific to comprehend. I kept thinking, "what if that had been my brother, my dad, my mom, my sister?" on the planes or in the buildings. I was overwhelmed thinking about the tragedy and the injustice of the loss of each of those lives. And when I think about it today, I still am.

A month later, I had to decide where I wanted to look for jobs, and though I had been torn between D.C., Seattle, Boston, and New York prior to September 11th, I decided to look for jobs only in New York after the attacks. Part of that feeling was as Tracy described it, a feeling of belonging to New York (a feeling shared, perhaps, by many people who grow up in Connecticut like me and refer to New York as "the City") and wanting to be there to be part of the healing process. There was also stubborness, pride, and yes, a little patriotism. Those terrorists were trying to scare us, and I was going to be one of those people who didn't let them scare me.

* * *
Five years later, I am now a part of this city, and the blank space in the sky where the towers used to stand is a constant reminder of the tragedy of that day. I grew up with those towers and remember one time, in particular, when I was driving with my Dad and he pointed them out to my brothers and I from a distance. I think we were leaving the city after seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

It's also a reminder of the tragedies that happened in the months and years after the attacks. How the Bush administration went haywire and decided to become the administration that was going to bring "democracy" to the Middle East, come hell, high water, torture, or war. How America went from having much of the world's sympathy behind us, to becoming one of the most (if not the most) hated and feared nations.

I'm more scared now than I ever was before September 11th, and not because Al Qaeda is apparently everywhere, not because Osama is still putting out video tapes, and not because I have to walk past armed police, soldiers, and German shepherds every day on my subway commute to work. I'm scared because since September 11th, our government has given all the people who hate the United States, even more reason to hate us. And it doesn't look like they're planning on stopping any time soon.

Killing the leaders of Al Qaeda, going to war on every country in the Middle East, along with North Korea, and stopping people from bringing any form of liquid or gel onto planes is not going to make Americans safer. What's going to make Americans safer is joining with the rest of the world, uniting with them as equals, and building a basis of common understanding.

It makes me sad. The tragic loss of all those lives, and how far we are from ensuring that such a senseless loss of life does not happen again - on American soil, or anywhere else.

Monday, September 11, 2006


I have alot of feelings and thoughts associated with September 11th, 2001. Some still pose thoughts of confusion in my head, some still feel stronger than steel, and others make me feel like jello. I am sure many of you have thoughts as well, but for today I think it shouldn't be about whose to blame or who should have predicted what was to happen on this fateful day, it should be a day to remember everyone who lost their life.

Although I did not lose anyone personally in this tragedy...I still feel compassion for those who did lose their lives, lost loved ones. I myself would like to see the victims of 9-11 avenged, but more so that they are showed the respect that they deserve. I knew I would probably go off topic a little in my 9-11 tribute, but I will just go with it now.

I know we all have our own thoughts about politics, President Bush, the War, etc...Of course...and we are fortunate that we are allowed to have our own thoughts, it's freedom of speech. Today, I saw a photo that disturbed me. A woman prostesting, with signs saying Arrest Bush and the other one stating something about Bringing Peace. Now it's not what the signs said, but she was protesting this on the site of the World Trade Center. Now I know you all may not agree with me, especially Buttercup...we have different views on many things, but Freedom of Speech is one thing, to me,this lady was taking advantage of her freedom and disrespecting all of those who lost their lives. 2 NYC cops were taking her away, and a part of me felt bad for those cops to even have to waste their time on some petty lady doing such a thing. Another part of me felt anger that someone would do such a thing on the WTC where such a tragedy happened. Then there was a part of me that wanted this lady to be put in a country where she was stripped of her rights and freedom, maybe then would she have some insight into what happened on that day. Perhaps she would learn some respect for those who lost their lives, and perhaps for those who continue to fight so she can stand up and protest with no fear of being punished, hung or beaten.

Again, I know many do not have the same beliefs as myself on the event nor about this occurence, but isn't it great that we all have a right to have an opinion. I am wearing red today, as well I am driving with my lights on in rememberence of 9-11 and everyone who lost their lives. I am Proud to Be an American. And with that said, here are the lyrics of a song I heard when in Las Vegas. We, (my mom, brother, and my husband) heard it in front of the Belagio with the fountains blasting to the music, it was moving to say the least. It means alot to me and you all can take what you want from it, perhaps you have heard as well:

Lee Greenwood’s God Bless The USA

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom
and they can't take that away.

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee,
Across the plains of Texas
from sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston
and New York to L.A.,
There's pride in every American heart
and it's time we stand and say:

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Red Headed Sluts Are A No-No

Oh, lord. Remember when I said that everytime I drink lately I end up thinking that I should cut out all alcohol, except for wine? Apparently, I need to do a better job of reminding myself of that in the moment.

Otherwise, I might just end up having a beer, two gin-and-tonics and a red-headed-slut, a drink I haven't had since the night almost three years ago when Raj and I first got together (but that's a story for another time). I could also just possibly end up staying out until five o'clock in the morning on a day that I have to work, wake up dehydrated at 10:30 am with a raging headache from the combination of lack of sleep and improper hydration, and have to limp into work cursing the sunlight stabbing me in the eyes.

I'm not saying that would definitely happen. I'm just saying it's a possibility.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why I Hate Working For Dragon Lady

My brother, Frey, is in town, so last night after I finally got out of work at 10:30 pm I hung out with him and Raj. I had two beers while watching some sports movie on HBO ("Remember the Titans"), which is the most alcohol I've had in a while, and woke up with a headache this morning. Everytime I drink lately, I end up thinking I should cut out all alcohol except for wine. I'm such a lightweight, and I'm so past the time when hangovers didn't bother me. Now I jealously guard all of my non-work time. It's just a waste of a day lying in bed with a headache when I could be out and about in the sunshine.

Speaking of wasting the day, today I had brunch with Frey and then headed in to the office to prep for depositions that will take place next week. For the next several hours, I will be combing through my emails to make sure that I have dealt with every request Dragon Lady fired off to me during the last 4 days. Fun, fun, fun.

I was thinking about why I hate work, and I've concluded it's almost entirely because I work for Dragon Lady. I came to this realization after complaining to Frey last night that I've been working around the clock for the last four days. He looked at me as if he was missing something and said, "So? That's not bad." To put his response in context, I should mention that he is an investment banker, regularly works until midnight each night, and works almost every weekend. His hours are far longer than mine, and he rarely gets a break.

Thinking about his comment, I realized it's not the hours that I necessarily hate. Of course I don't like having to cancel plans or missing sleep, but I don't mind working hard or long sometimes or when it's important. On Wednesday, when I worked 17 hours and didn't get home until almost 3 am, I actually felt good because I knew I had done a good job, felt productive, and like I was doing something useful. However, as I explained, all of those good feelings evaporated in the face of Dragon Lady's lack of appreciation and nasty attitude.

There are global things that I dislike about my firm, and law firm culture in general, and there are things that I want to pursue in my life that I can't pursue from within a law firm, but none of those things cause me to loath my daily existence. One factor, and one factor alone single-handedly turns almost every work day to shit, and that factor is Dragon Lady.

Here are some of the reasons why I hate working for D.L.:

1) She sees almost every issue, at least initially, as an enormous problem. Even if the issue will have no negative impact whatsoever on our client, case, or firm, she goes ape-shit about everything.
2) She often treats me, and everyone else, as if they are totally incompetent, and like every single thing they have done is wrong, wrong, wrong.
3) She generally sees the bad in things, and hardly ever shows any appreciation for the work that others have done for her. No matter how hard you work, nothing is ever good enough.
4) She's often rude. In her presence, she rarely looks at you except to glare at you with bug eyes when she's accusing you of doing something wrong. She mutters "fuck," breathes really heavily, and radiates tension.
5) I get incredibly stressed out whenever I'm working for her, mainly because I'm always waiting for the next crisis to pop up.
6) I believe she intentionally acts nasty to create a culture of fear around her. I know she behaves the way she does intentionally, because I've seen her radically change her behavior when dealing with other partner or clients. With them she chuckles awkwardly and speaks in a softer tone - kind of like a dog showing respect to the leader of its pack.
7) She's fake. I hate people who pretend to be something they are not. I have no respect for them, and that's what she does when she's around people at her level or higher.
8) She talks behind associates' backs. I have personally heard her say things like "So-and-so is driving me fucking crazy" while insinuating that they are doing a substandard job. I have also heard that she complains to other associates about the allegedly poor work product she gets from other associates.
9) She makes it almost impossible to ask questions because her response is usually to treat the questioner like they are a moron. For example, I have to ask some questions at a deposition and as this is the first deposition of this kind that I have participated in, I do not know exactly what questions I should ask and whether I should introduce documents. I am working with Dragon Lady on this deposition so was forced to ask her these questions. She has not yet responded and I know that the very fact that I asked her questions is going to make her feel as if I am incompetent and can not do anything. This doesn't bother me because I know I am competent, and I also needed to cover my ass by asking her for direction. If she chooses not to give me direction, and I fuck up, it's her fault. People who ask questions and are not afraid to admit that they do not know everything are smart and willing to learn. The people who don't ask questions are the morons, and I would think everybody knows this.

It's hard to combat all of that, even with a shield and a sword. I'll leave it at that for the time being, as I have to get back to my work. I'm pissed that I have to work and can't hang out with Frey. It's so rare that I get to see my family, and now when Frey's in town I have to work for her. It would not be half as bad if (a) it was for a worthy cause or (b) if it was for a worthy person.

The one positive thing about working on Saturday, as opposed to the weekday, is that D.L. is not in the office, so the stress level is down considerably in comparison to yesterday. Until the emails start, which I know they are bound to do any minute now...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Moment of Clarity Inspired By The Dragon

Observation to self: When you are feeling bad about not being uber-productive at work and when you start thinking that Dragon Lady might not be so bad any more, stop whatever you are doing, get out a pad of paper and write 100 times:

Do Not Be Lulled Into A False Sense of Security; This Place Is a Toxic Cesspool

Then take a moment and ask yourself what happens when your are super productive, work as hard as you possibly can, do everything that is asked of you and more at work, and forego sleep, exercise, and time with everyone you care about in your life for Dragon Lady? What do you get for all of your efforts? Silently repeat to yourself: NOTHING! My only reward is getting treated like CRAP.

During the last two days, I have been working around the clock for Dragon Lady. She has thrown me the occasional bone by saying "thanks" every now and then, and she even said that one of the charts I had created was "perfect." Things were going so pleasantly, that I hardly minded being chained to my desk. I was actually feeling productive and good about all the work that I was doing.

All of those positive feelings came to a screeching halt yesterday when I entered Dragon Lady's office with additional documents that she had requested. Keep in mind that I was only following orders. I was not bringing her the documents for my health. Apparently, none of my previous work had generated any good will. Instead of thanking me, she starting muttering and cursing under her breath, criticizing me because she was going to have to insert 5 documents into the binder I had previously given her, telling me that everything should have been done perfectly the first time.

She's right. It should have been done perfectly the first time, and if we had perfect paras, perhaps it would have been. As it happened, binders were prepared that had errors in them, and I had to scramble to fix everything for Dragon Lady. It wasn't a picnic for me either, but of course that is of no consequence to her. And, within 24 hours of the errors coming to light, everything was perfect. That should count for something, but in her world, it doesn't.

The encounter reminded me how much I hate working here, and how much I hate working for people like D.L. Life really does not have to be this stressful. The world will not crumble if one binder - which was corrected in 24 hours - was not perfect. Did I yell at the para who gave that binder to me in that condition? No. I pointed out the errors for his future reference, thanked him for his efforts, and then worked with him to correct the errors. That's how normal human beings function in this world.

If you give people positive reinforcement and treat them fairly, they will try their best for you, and that's the most that you can ask. If, on the other hand, you treat people like D.L. does - like they are worthless pieces of crap - and only tell them everything that is wrong with what they have done and nothing that is right, people will want to tell you to go fuck yourself.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Thursday Thirteen (Albums)

13 Kick-Ass Albums

1) Nevermind (1989), Nirvana - Back in high school, when indie-rock meant rock and not new-agey men whining in high-pitched tones to depressive chords, I remember sitting in my A.P. biology class listening to "Teen Spirit" feeling a mixture of building excitement and awe.

2) Pretty Hate Machine (1989), Nine Inch Nails - My first year of college was dominated by this album. I listened to it constantly, and through it tapped into some of my darker more interesting depths. Listening to it now, it makes me think of sex. The kind of naughty sex that makes you feel deliciously powerless and possessed, like you can't stop your legs from melting into the floor.

3) Mental Jewelry (1991), Live - I've seen Live four times, more times than I've seen any other band. In 1994, I went to Woodstock '94 (the one before the one where all the girls were pressured to show their boobs) with my brother Frey and two guy friends. We slept in a tent, got covered in mud, crowd-surfed, and saw Greenday, NIN, Metallica, Live and many other artists perform. It was unbelievably awesome.

4) Live Through This (1994), Hole - What can I say? I'm drawn to angry rock, particularly to women who kick ass, which Courtney Love does on this album. It speaks to something deep inside of me that gets happy when it hears kindred voices screaming into the void. My second year of college, I wrote countless journal entries while listening to "Violet" on repeat. That song rocked my world.

5) Garbage (1995), Garbage - Strong, sexy, playful and sultry. In the midst of the feminist consciousness-raising I went through when I discovered Women's Studies in college, I became drawn to bands like Garbage, Elastica, Belly, Breeders, L7, Bikini Kill, and of course, the greatest of them all, Ani Difranco. To me, Garbage's "Stupid Girl" was a social commentary on non-feminist women as stupid slaves to the patriarchy.

6) Elastica (1995), Elastica - In addition to creating an awesome punk-rock album, Elastic wrote one of the greatest songs of female sexual empowerment, "Stutter." "Don't feed me a line boy, I can hear that voice you use upon the phone. And there's no need to be coy, that is something you can do upon your own. Well, it isn't a problem. Nothing we can't solve, so just relax. Am I on the wrong train love? And will I have to tie you to the tracks?"

7) Dilate, (1996) Ani Difranco - My love affair with all things Ani began with the 1991 album Not So Soft. With Dilate, and songs like "Untouchable Face," "Napoleon," and "Superhero," my love turned to intense obsession that lasted through the rest of my 20s. She is fierce, feminist, incredibly talented, intelligent, funny, and socially aware. I could easily tell the story of the last ten years of my life through her songs, because they've been such an integral part of my experience.

8) Universal Mother (1994), Sinead O'Connor - I came across this album in my first year out of college, and so it always reminds me of the time I lived in my small, cave-like, eggplant-purple painted room in D.C. while I was taking "time off," bar-tending, and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. If you haven't listened to "Red Football," you have to. Right now.
I'm not no red football
To be kicked around the garden
No no
I'm a red christmas - tree ball
And I'm fragile
I'm not no animal
Though I am to you
I'm not no crocodile
Like the one in Dublin Zoo
Who lived in a cage
The length and breadth of his body
When a window which people would look through
And throw coins on his back to taunt him 'though he couldn't move
Even if he wanted to
I'm not no animal in the zoo
I'm not no whipping boy for you
You may not treat me like you do
I'm not no animal in the zoo
My skin is not a football for you
My head is not a football for you
My body's not a football for you
My womb is not a football for you
I'm not no animal in the zoo
This animal will jump up and eat you
I'm not no animal in the zoo
And I've every intention
Of leaping up and getting you
la la la la la la la....

9) From the Choirgirl Hotel (1998), Tori Amos - I listened to this album during two of the happiest, most carefree years of my life, the two years I "took off" between college and Law School. I took art classes and lived right next door to one of my best friends. I was broke and working hard, but I had a blast, and I felt engaged with the world, and myself, and inspired.

10) Flaming Red (1998), Patty Griffin - Patty Griffin has a haunting voice that brings depth and beauty to her songs. I will forever associate this album with studying for Law School finals, and all of the delirious fun I had with my friend Wood making outlines buried in the library.

11) Hybrid Theory (2000) - I don't know what it is about Linkin Park that I love, but love them I do. And songs like "In the End" and "Numb," roaring with internal torment, pain, and angry desperation, are perfect to work out to. Meteora (2003) is even better than Hybrid Theory.

12) Hot Fuss (2004), The Killers - High energy and infectious, the whole album is great. Be wary though if you choose to do "Mr. Brightside" for Karaoke - it takes a lot of stamina.

13) Give Up (2003), Postal Service - While not kicking-ass in a traditional, high-intensity way, it made my list because of one song, "This Place is a Prison." I've probably played it while at work a few hundred times, because frankly, this place is.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I Used To Be A Superhero

I'm trying a new tack today. It's a desperate attempt to become at least semi-productive at work. I've been so bad these past few weeks. Instead of doing work, I've been completely unmotivated and have spent much of my time repeatedly checking my blog, other blogs, or - the worst of the bunch, and what I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I spend most of my procrastination time on - the celebrity blogs. Focused on who has cellulite, who's dating who, and who looks pathetic these days, my brain has been turning into mush.

I thought about this when I went back to Michigan this past weekend and visited my law school. Walking around the campus I felt both happiness and sadness. I was so happy in law school. I loved what I was learning, and felt inspired and challenged. I had close friends there who I saw almost every day and we were all an intricate part of each other's lives. Back then, the future held so much promise. I had not yet decided whether I would go to a firm or clerk, or whether I would work for an organization. It was nerve-racking and I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, so in part it was stressful, but the future was open and it looked full of fascinating possibilities.

Three years later, after a clerkship and almost two years at my god-forsaken firm, the possibilities have been less than fascinating and I have been driven - not unwillingly - into turning into a wasted hunk of humanity who's main daily activity consists of filling up my grey matter with pointless details about actors and actresses whom I don't know, don't care about, and for whom I have little respect. At least in Britain, they obsess about the figureheads of their county (and Posh and Becks). Here, it's all about Paris Hilton's crotch. Sure, it's entertaining and fun, and it's a welcome break from the reality of my daily firm existence, but I'm very aware that it's also completely meaningless (except with respect to watching gender norms evolve through pop culture; that's intriguing).

A while back, Gypsy wrote about feeling that she was mediocre. She just changed sites, so I could not locate the exact post, but trust me on this. Gypsy is a wonderful writer, she's created a beautiful way of expressing her self through her blog, and she writes about a past and present that show her to be, among other things, vivacious, intelligent, warm, and sassy. In the blogsphere, as I'm sure in reality, Gypsy is far from mediocre.

However, I know how she feels because every time I take a close look at myself, I am overwhelmed with a sense of my own mediocrity and a sense of wasted potential. It's not just about working at a firm, but that's a big part of what wears me down. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to do something with my life. I wanted to contribute to the world in some way, and I wanted to make the world a bit more just. Also for as long as I can remember, I've felt like I could do it, like I was special, talented, and driven and that I could make a meaningful contribution.

It's hard to square those dreams for myself with going into work each day and facing the expectation that I should fill my time with assignments that are completely devoid of the meaning I hoped to have in my life. Faced with the alternatives between dully meaningless assignments and entertaining meaningless celebrity gossip, I suppose it makes sense why I've chosen the latter to get me through the days. But I wish I wasn't like that. I wish I had more discipline.

What it comes down to is that I have to make changes in my life in order to create the life that I want for myself. I've started the changing process, but there are so many necessary changes I've yet to implement. And I'm not sure I'll truly be able to make the positive changes I need to until I get out of this job. I only have 120 days left until I give my two weeks notice. But that seems so far away today! That's at least 120 more days of being and feeling mediocre. Ugh.

Ok, I need to get a grip. Today, I have to deal with Dragon Lady. Not fun, as you all know. I'm off to blow-dry my hair and face the day. I will do everything humanly possible to be productive today. It will keep the Dragon at bay, and it should make me feel at least marginally purposeful. That should be a nice change. I've got to do this hoof by hoof, as a wise man once said.

* * *
Correction: I erroneously suggested that Gypsy had referred to herself as "mediocre" when in fact the word she used was "mundane." Sorry Gypsy!! I didn't mean to let my own feelings of mediocrity spill over onto you! Despite the differences in our words of choice, our sentiments are quite similar. Gypsy's link to her post, Abby Normal, can be found in her comment to this post.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Suri Pic

Look at that: She does exist. She also, despite all speculation to the contrary, looks like both Katie and Tom. Imagine that. I thought for sure that she'd be the spitting image of Katie and an unidentified male genetic donor. But no, it looks like Tommy-boy, crazy as he is these days, might just actually have done the deed. Thanks to Katie Couric for breaking this all-important story on her evening news debut. More pics at Popsugar and Celebrity Baby Blog.

After posting pictures of Shiloh, I felt it was only fair to give a nod to Suri. Plus, I like both of their names. Lately, I've been interested in baby names. Not for me! And that's all I'm saying on the subject. I don't want to give Raj a needless heart attack.


D-Town Visit

Raj and I got back home late last night, after arriving in Newark Airport tired and happy, paying $28 for train tickets, and taking the tram to the platform only to find that the next train was not going to arrive for another hour and 20 minutes. Bloody hell! Raj said he was willing to wait for the train. I said that there was no way in holy hell that I was going to wait, and that I was never, ever going to fly into Newark Airport again - over my dead body. So, we decided to cab it. Thankfully, we were later spared our hard-earned $60 because we happened upon a shuttle bus going into the City. Hurrah!

It was so great to walk into our apartment and to sleep in our bed last night. The accomodations at Raj's parents house were lovely. However, him in the basement and me two floors up in his old bedroom is not my ideal situtation. It's very difficult to snuggle with someone under those circumstances.

Despite the lack of snuggling, I had a wonderful weekend with Raj at his parents' house. They were warm, hospitable, friendly, interested in getting to know me better, and right from the beginning they made me feel welcome. I could not have asked for them to treat me any better than they did, because it would have been impossible for them to do so.

One of the highlights of the weekend was when I, in a personal moment of truth, forwent my fork and ate my rice and curry with my fingers as is the Indian custom. At first I was trying to be neat, so was awkwardly using only three of my fingers. Raj's father put a quick stop to that when he informed me that I needed to learn how to use my fingers correctly and showed me how to use all five fingers. I told him I was trying my best and we all laughed. It was nice to have my non-Indian-ness treated so openly, and like it was ok, and I was happy that his father felt comfortable enough with me that he wanted to help me. Instead of seeing me as a hopeless white girl, Raj's father saw me as someone who could learn, and more importantly as someone who wanted to learn. That's all I can ask.

Another hightlight was getting the chance to spend some time with my friends!! Raj and I spent a few hours with my close friend Wood, her husband Dutch, and their baby Juniper on Friday afternoon, and then another hour and a 1/2 on Saturday evening. They had no furniture in their home, as they are in the process of moving from San Fran to Detroit, so we sprawled across their hardwood floors and had some beers. It was pretty much perfect. Driving away from their house on Saturday night, I missed them already. Luckily, we have a wedding in Detroit in October, so we'll be able to visit with them again soon.

We did not go to our favorite breakfast place, and I was deprived the chance to taste my favorite raisin toast, so that's also on the agenda for our next visit to Michigan.

I have many other updates, all of which are good except for one relating to laser hair removal and my ongoing saga with the repercussions of my somewhat hasty decision to rid my bikini area of unwanted hair. Be afraid, be very afraid. It has to do with something suspiciously resembling a boil - grotesque, I know - and the calamitous effects of bombing one's body with antibiotics. Suffice it to say for now that the delicate balance between my flora and fauna has been thrown into a state of chaos. Where at one time, just a few short weeks ago, the bacteria and yeast in my body lived togeter in symbiotic harmony, they are now embroiled in a bitter war to the death, and my body is paying the price. Antibiotics are like nuclear weapons, they should be avoided at all cost.

Unfortunately, work is calling - sigh - and I'll have to wait for a later post to fill in the details of that saga. It's nice to be back.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Her Hips Didn't Lie

I'm headed to Michigan for the weekend to spend some time with Raj's family and see a few of our friends. I'm a little nervous, but who isn't when it comes to their significant other's family?

One of the highlights of the weekend will be that I get to see WOOD tomorrow!! I can't wait to see her, Dutch and Juniper. It' s been way too long since I saw them last. Raj and I are planning to spend the afternoon with them and check out their new - furnitureless - digs. I'm so, excited!

I just finished packing while watching the MTV awards. As if I would miss this pinnacle of pop culture! Puh-lease. Shakira freaking rocks. Watching her I swore to myself for like the 100th time that I am going to sign up for belly dancing lessons, come hell or high water. Beyonce also rocked. I don't understand all these people bitching on the celebrity sites about her new album and criticizing her song, "Ring the Alarm." I think it's pretty cool, although I don't like the Basic Instinct references. I like Beyonce angry - who can look that gorgeous and angry at the same time? - and fiery, and the part in the song where she quiets down and gets sad is really beautiful. If you've been cheated on - or not - girls, listen to that song. Beyonce knows how to channel some fierceness.

Jessica Simpson looked and sounded ridiculous. She flubbed her lines, then made Homer Simpson "duh" sounds and said, "That was typical Jessica." No one laughed. I don't know whether to feel sorry for or... I'm not sure what the alternative would be.

I couldn't help but notice that Christina and Justin are still kicking ass just like they did in 2000, unlike one of their compatriots, Brit-Brit. It's no secret that Britney has flushed much of her life, looks, and good sense down the toilet during the last two years being with K-Fed. I wonder if she could ever come back to what she was? She dominated at the VMAs several years in a row, but these year, obviously, no Brit-Brit, except to present an award from some dressing room not in New York. If she gets her shit together, I'll root for her. She'll for sure be the underdog by that time.

LOVED the treadmill performance. I had seen it on u-tube, but seeing it live was even more impressive. They definitely get points for originality, not throwing gratuitous shots of half naked women in their video, and for their minimal props. I like 'em.

Ok, I'm off to bed. Raj is still at work, billing a gazillion hours. He's been working very hard lately. Hopefully he comes home soon and can pack. Waking up at 6 tomorrow is not going to be pretty.

And then flying with NO lotions or lipgloss! Can we say super annoying?