Home for the Holidays

Ah, such a dramatic title for what amounts to an 8 mile drive for me. But the holidays are more than a journey down the highway- they are a personal journey -- always. Aren't they? It's part of my ritual to watch the fabulous film Home for the Holidays, starring Holly Hunter and Lilly Downey Jr. -ahem, sorry - Robert Downey Jr. It taps in, with an all-star cast boasting Geraldine Chaplain and Anne Bancroft, no less, into the compelling mix of adoration and suffocation that fill the air at family gatherings.

Every year, the holidays are a chance to gauge how things have changed in the last 365 days. I suppose we do it, even unconsciously, this measuring of sorts. My brother has sprouted facial hair and height in mass quantities, and ducks out at intervals to go see his girlfriend. I made a lot of the Christmas presents I gave my family, helped cook dinner, and baked throughout the weekend (gag gag, hello domesticity). And so on. I try to remember what the holidays were like when we were 2, 9, and 11, but I can barely recall thanks to this crap memory of mine, mostly used up on song lyrics. I used to celebrate Christmas unfailingly. String the popcorn, make the paper chain, whatever. Now I sit back and enjoy our use of a holiday celebrating a savior our religion (not that we really have one) doesn't recognize as God's son. But boy oh boy do we loot.

I was showered with gifts I probably don't deserve. I mean, was I good kid? Let's see. I quit my job. That was fun, if slightly naughty. And this brings me to another question- we have to have been good all year, right Santa? But do we need to be good from January 1 to Christmas? Is this like taxes, on the calendar year? Because if so, as I see it, we need to raise holy hell from today (Dec 26) til Dec 31st. Maybe these are freebie days? And maybe we should work quickly. I don't know what I'd do even if I was give the free reign to misbehave. Maybe I'd send George Bush a rude email. Maybe I'd blow off some red lights. Maybe I'd get a tattoo. I regret that the rebellion gene seems to have missed me.

Anyways, back to the holidays. I suppose I expect everything to be pristine and perfect. I expect the reflection of Christmas ornaments to twinkle in our eyes as we share a meal. But this isn't how holidays go. That's not what they're for, I'm realizing. I suppose I'd always expected our family to live up to this Hallmark Holiday Special standard of "perfection". And yet that doesn't apply. Question as to whether it even exists.

I suppose I don't have the right to quote Tolstoy, given that I"m only halfway thru Anna Karenina (and that was 2 years ago, when I took a break and never picked it up again. oops). "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I'm not sure I agree in breaking it down into happy or unhappy, but I suppose that each family, during the holidays, pulls together in its own way. Holidays are a trial. And if you make it through, well then, you're a family. Can you live through a few days under the same roof, eating leftovers and putting presents together and watching horribly crap television together? Can you share one computer with internet access? Can you coordinate mealtimes for 5 stomachs on different time zones, much less taste buds?

Reality television, anyone?


I never can guess how that sentence will end. My recurring dreams led me to believe I'd marry the annoying (and creepy) friend on Mad About You. I had nightmares that I was arranged to be married to him; I wanted out, and my family was pushing me to just do it. Ah, such is the dreamlife of the Persian girl, I suppose. Then, as I grew up, I would have the very rare wedding dream. In it, I am in full bridal gear, but there isn't a groom. And in the dream, I know there's no groom. I guess it's just a "celebration of me" party.

Possessed as I may be with charm, wit, my mama's good looks, and a bad case of optimism, fade out the dream sequence and let's deal with some reality. I'm 27. Remember learning to estimate in elementary school? Yeah, that brings us to the big 3-0. I may *look* like I'm 16, but those are the biological facts, etched on these here uterine walls. I know I'm treading on genetic landmines. Someday, I have been told, I will wake up to a clammering biological alarm, and I will wonder what I've done with my life, why I'm not married, why I'm not surrounded by kids, etcetera etcetera. Yawn.


"backup plan", noun: Arrangement of convenience between friends, ensuring that, in the case of mutual singledom at a future point in time, they will marry and eschew a life of loneliness, chaos and/or disaster. Origin: film- My Best Friend's Wedding.

Here's what I see as the benefit of the Backup Plan. You know what you're getting into. How? Because you make this agreement with a friend you've known forever. There is little/no risk that you'll throw open his/her cd case in your marital love nest and be caught by the glare of John Tesh's "Sax by the Fireplace" ("Egads! Where is my suitcase?"). You know what they're like when they're drunk (they were probably drunk when you talked them into this scheme). You know their family (genetic map so no ugly surprises. And you can take a guess whether your inlaws will be assholes). You know what they're like at their worst, which is why they were your friend until now. You know the little things-- the things it takes 25 years of marriage to get down -- that they don't like to share their popcorn, they hate the taste of mint, and they sniff their drink before sipping. People complain that they marry people who end up being someone completely different than what they expected. Realize it or not, you've lived with your friend for years. You know the big stuff. No troubling surprises.

I say 'troubling' for a reason. The upside to marrying someone you're not mad crazy about is that your expectations are low. You're marrying for companionship, and you'll get it, just like you have for the past (fill in the blank) 3, 5, 10, 20 years. This is the Money-Back Guarantee of The Backup Plan. Whatever else you get out of the deal is purely bonus. The physical chemistry is on? Bingo! You start from the bottom and build up. You expect neutral and hope for the best. No one gets anything other than what they bargained for, which is: not to be 45 and single and being nagged at by their parents. Because, frankly, I don't know how many of us can take another 15-20 years of this.

Now, some people don't understand how you can have a backup plan when you're in a relationship. "Is that morally right?" they may ask. The official User's Guide to Backup Plans clearly states that your Backup should be "someone other than he or she whom you are dating". Let me pose the question back at you: Is it right that you attend movies alone til the ripe old age of 85? Is it right that you have no one to split chili fries at Robertos with at 2am on any given night? Is it right that you have no one to roll your eyes at when you need to 'express yourself'? Take a closer look at the Constitution, folks. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Good Company. It's right in there. I'm not saying whether you should or you shouldn't, but let's just say -- when you're eating healthy and exercising, you still want medical insurance, right?

I have a backup plan. If nothing else, for now it signifies to me that someone else gets just how damn exhausting this whole thing is. If you don't have one yet, rest assured. My matchmaking database is filling up. Hell, I may quit my job and do this for a living. To be alone is one thing. But loneliness? I don't believe in that martyr virtue. Drop me a line and let's get this thing going.



I recognize that using legal analogies in my romantic life is a wretched slope to even begin to graze, much less slip down, but hey, it works. When you play it safe and according to the #1 rule of trial advocacy, there is no surprise, no embarassment, and you walk away with that amazing feeling that you know it all. This isn't to say that you shouldn't employ the various strategies of Discovery (to be explored in a later blog?), but that when it comes down to trial, know your shit. Oh, and wear a cute suit.


This line is most frequently violated by first-year law students eager to use their newfound knowledge-slash-vocabulary. Case in point: three students are walking down a hallway and there is a spilled drink on the floor before them. "Tort! Tort!" they cry in gleeful chorus = not funny


Ask any of the people I didn't like in elementary school, junior high, high school or college. Because they heard from me, in long-winded emails as I sat bored to tears in my Professional Responsibility class. Backed against a shitty corner (read: the corner of a lecture hall at UCLA), I found it in my heart to forgive those who annoyed, betrayed, or bored me. I connected with them. I know the intimate details of their careers, married lives, and psychoses. Now that I'm out of school, I have another problem on my hands, but hey, ends justify the means.


My grades attest to this. Heavily. Seriously, though, did I need to spend three years in a doctorate program only to find out that there *are* no clear answers and that every situation has its own application? Um, apparently. Thanks for the tuition, Dad! I have this one covered. My degree proves it.


Pretty self-explanatory, I think.

Because Susie Told Me To

Stolen from MathisSexy:

(A) First, recommend to me:

1. a movie:
2. a book:
3. a musical artist, song, or album:

(B) I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want.


(C) Then I want you to go to your journal and copy and paste this, allowing your friends to ask you anything.

Um. Thanks.

the lilly EP

So pretend for *just a minute* that you'd actually get up and leave your boring-ass desk job (the one that has you reading these pages at this exact moment). And you got to live out your rock star dreams (Hi Gene!). If your first album had to be a cover album, what would you do? If you said "True Colors", spank yourself. Not even Phil Collins can get away with that. (And before I go on, whoever points out that I myself sang True Colors onto a PRIVATE tape for my mom, which she then used AGAINST MY KNOWLEDGE as a soundtrack for a video she shows to guests now, you can KISS MY ASS.) If you are thinking of covering "I Drove All Night", you, Celine, can go back to your thirteen "bruvers and seeesters" in Canada, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I'm talking about covers that won't make us cringe, cry, or get self-abusively violent. Everyone has different ideas of what's an okay cover, but let's use the above as a baseline.

So here's the list I have so far:

1) "Stay" by Madonna, done in a slow smoky jazz bar style. I'm debating actually asking my friends to help me do this. One of my fave songs by her (along with Pretender). I choreographed the 50's-style backup singers already. No, I'm not joking. I'm very productive in the shower.

2) "Whoever" by Lewis Taylor. I'd do it as a duet, though, with me singing to him (duh), then him singing back (longingly. Obviously there would be a video as well) about how each has done the other wrong. Oh, don't I know that road. We'd get Stevie Wonder on piano just for the hell of it (Stevie "I may be blind, but I know when I'm with a fine woman, Lilly" Wonder, as he will thereafter be called). If not that, I'd gladly do a cover of his new song "Lovelight". As the token dance song for my album. How it is that we import Simon fucking Cowell and can't import some decent British music is beyond me.

3) "Dear Mr. Man" with Prince and his horn section (he can only join me on choruses, though. I'm not trying to get outshined). That's by far my favorite song on his new album, and one of my faves of him ever. I love the song "Adore", but can't imagine covering it (would rather have him sing it to me?). I could get into Dear Mr. Man. Full live crazy brass section, though, don't forget. Oh, and Sheila E. on percussion. Just because I could.

4) "Hello it's me" by Groove Theory. In my next life, I will have Amel Larrieux' voice (apostrophe s?) Or her face. God's gotta pull through on one or the other, no?

5) My EP is taking a distinctly r&b direction at this point. Should the label heads give me a hard time and want me to reach a wider audience (they are priming me for the big time in this fantasy), I'd cover "What You Give" by Tesla. What, you didn't know I was a heavy metal hoodrat? Didn't know? Now you know. I know deep down I'd want to cover GnR (GnFnR if you're in the know), but after Sheryl Crow did it, I'm afraid to. You know, the straw that broke the camel's back and all of that...

6) Speaking of which -- a surprise entry on my album would be "My Favorite Mistake" by Sheryl Crow. I think I could actually pull it off, it's a great girl anthem, etc. She did a version with just a keyboard and it sounded better than the full-blast one. I think I'd do it that way. I'd put, oh, Elton (John) on keys.

7) "Chloe Dancer/ Crown of Thorns" by MotherLoveBone. The Singles soundtrack. Can't go wrong. I love love love that song.

8) If I woke up with the ability to do glass-shattering vocal stylings, I'd take on "Alone" by Heart. Hell, I'll do it anyways.

I already know what some of you would do, via outings we've had to karaoke bars (some more recently than others) -- or, God help me - car rides with y'all. But entertain me with your list. I mean, I still have the desk job in the meantime. I've got all the time in the world.


Why do people always ask if you want the good news first or the bad news first? More to the point, why do we always choose the bad news first? Everyone does it, the logic being that you're getting the disappointment out of the way. So you get your bad news and you sulk about it, and when the good news comes, it's never as good as what you expected (it never balances out, does it?) and usually your mind just goes straight back to the bad news. On the other hand, if we mixed things up a little bit and asked for the good news first, at least we could genuinely enjoy it. It wouldn't be poisoned by the bad news, and then when the bad news came, you'd experience that set of emotions. You'd probably worry a little bit, but if the good news is genuinely good, you could at least have the excitement about it. Thoughts?


So Thanksgiving has come and is on its way out by the time I wrap this up (okay, and grammar check myself because I'm anal like that). Today was Morality Movie Day at the G household. Well, to pick up where I left off: "In the last episode of Thanksgiving At My House, Lilly's mom decided that she wasn't going to cook for the family. The only thing she was making was a reservation..." We ended up at Hotel La Jolla, a highrise with a gorgeous view of the cove. There was no waiting around for food to be prepared. No screaming down the halls for CJ to get off his computer. No whining to my dad to put down the Newsweek and start serving himself before it got cold. Mom wasn't an exhausted slave to the oven, watching 2 days of work be devoured in 15 minutes or less or your money back. And for me, the compulsive dishwasher, there was really nothing to do but to sit back. We had a great little lunchy lunch, complete with lounge pianist, and then headed home.

Fast forward- we began our movie-watching escapades today with "Elf". I'm not sure what the moral was, and it wasn't actually that funny. I guess the moral was that Santa does exist. Or that yellowbrick tights are a no-no. But we'll save that blog for another day. After a brief break where mom taught me the secrets of her apple crisp recipe (which I will use to win people over, just you wait and see. I plan to take full credit for it...), we adjourned and returned to our places on the couches.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind came next. The basic premise for anyone who hasn't seen it (in which case you'd have to be more film-ally stunted than me, and that's hard to be), it's about a guy who goes to get his memories of his girlfriend erased. Then, mid-process, he realizes he doesn't want to erase her, that there are beautiful and important memories -- even teensy ones -- in a relationship that later went to shit, and so he begins an internal process of reinvesting her into his other irrelevant memories. The cinematography was absolutely breathtaking unfuckingbelievably gorgeous. As might be predicted, they find each other again (both with 'spotless minds') and begin to fall for one another. Inevitable? The denouement (yay! wanted to use that word. Je parle francais! woo hoo!), involves them hearing their pre-operation tapes where they vent about the other's quirks and faults. They decide that yes, they will bore each other, and yes, they will do things that annoy and hurt each other, but that, shit, that's the ride, so, shit, let's do it (my eloquent paraphrasing, of course). It was such a weird, weird movie. But its colors and oddity and imbalances and back and forth and dizzying pace were right on par with life. Or what life should be. Or what *I* think life should be.

Would I erase my relationships? Nope. I mean, I've dated some real buttfaces, but the way I see it, if you don't learn from it, then you've wasted your time, and I'm all about efficiency. Your memories and experiences make you up. I've always thought people with scars are more interesting that people with perfect faces and bodies. Wear and tear is part of the game, babe. The object is to make it through, but if you make it through without some dirt on your face and a few kicks in the ass, you haven't *really* gotten game time. It does make you realize how much of life is about perspective. When I break up with a guy, I am pretty loathe to remember the nice things they did for me (did they do ANYTHING? see, like that) or kind things they said, or any sort of gushy moments. I'm an automated Spotless Mind in that way, I suppose. But what if I thought about the nicer moments and just moved along? What if I didn't need to feel disdain for Psycho Jobless Boyfriend or Workaholic Buster or Narcissism Embodied in order to move on? What if I just locked away the gentler memories and still had the benefit of finding Prince Charming Enough? Food for thought. Not turkey, but it's something.

But, as powerful and entertaining as it was, it made me sad to watch it. I found myself wishing I had been in love -- to go back to Elf, the "I'm in love and I don't caaaaaaare who knows!" twirling around in my elf suit love -- even just once -- so I could apply the film's philosophies more closely to my life. And then, not having been in love (but rather having had "a shitty romantic life" as my mom called it yesterday, always one to call a spade a spade, thanks Mom), I became very sad about being unlucky in love.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I just mean that it made me want to go back to Vegas...


Strikes are apparently the word of the day. I read that some tollworkers out somewhere (New Jersey?) are on strike, so tolls are free. The spirit of rebellion has touched home, however, as my mom is on a culinary strike. This wouldn't normally affect me, as I live on my own. But tomorrow, as some of you may know, is THANKSGIVING. The day upon which I give thanks for her secret stuffing recipe, her mashed potatoes with a touch of milk, and her marshmallows-and-yams combo.

This year I will be giving thanks to some pizza joint. She has decided that, since Susie isn't coming home, she isn't going to cook. On one hand, I can't fault her. She doesn't want to cook for 2.5 people. When I asked her who the half was, she said Cyrus. Which is probably inaccurate attribution, given that my *dad* is the one who eats like an engineering exchange student - ramen noodles, microwaved hot dogs, can of tuna, oh my! Any way she counted it, 2.5 people wasn't worth the effort. And I'm incapable of turkey-basting at this early stage of my budding cooking career, so that's the final word.

So the bottom line is that mom isn't making us turkey this year because of Susie's absence. Let me take a moment to note for posterity that SUSIE IS A VEGETARIAN. So that's some buuuullshit right there.

I keep reminding myself that Thanksgiving is a shitty holiday that was once characterized by betrayal and the passage of diseases, so it makes me want to celebrate that much less. But for real, NO MASHED POTATOES? sigh.

I Didn't Know How Lost I Was Until I Found...

The mic in my hand. Let me recap that for you. The last thing I clearly remember, I was doing sake bombs at Sushi Deli Two. Fast forward, and I'm onstage at Lamplighter, a bar in Hillcrest with a men's bathroom. Only. I'm up there, standing next to Des, our honorable Retired Sorority President, and we're belting out "Like A Virgin" to a wall-to-wall packed audience. Not singing, BELTING. Like you do in the shower, or in your car when you're on a late-night road trip and are too scared you'll fall asleep. I think I saw some people cringe. I must have gotten lost in my thoughts about this (during the "aw, can't you hear my heartbeat... for the very first time" stanza) -- because next thing I knew, Des was screaming at me -- into her mic [ because if anyone, sorority presidents know how to use those things] to "Sing, Lilly, SING!". I did. Like it was my job. Problem being that I have a totally hoarse voice today (and that's putting it nicely) so I was the real deal -- "Like a (Prepubescent) Virgin (Boy)". Think Peter Brady.

There's something liberating about singing in front of a crowd. It was definitely a test of my starpower, and I'm glad to say that the place was still full when we stepped off. No one threw anything, anyways. Well, nothing that hit the stage. Not that in my numb state I would have felt it. I suppose it's a cost-benefit analysis you do in these situations. Listen to girly girls belt out songs, bopping and looking at each other doing the white girl dance (although neither is white)? Or leave and risk never getting to sing *your* song? We're attention whores, the lot of us karaoke bar goers, aren't we?

We were hoping for Jon to show up so we could set him up by signing him up for "She Bangs", but alas, he was a no-show. That's always how it goes.

In any case, it was a good vibe. A good start to a weekend I wasn't feeling great about. The other day someone observed that San Diego is really a locals' town. You have to know the places to go, or otherwise it doesn't look like much is going on. If you do, it's awesome. That's true. But it's really also a smart peoples' town. Because, 5 years ago, I would have been shoveling a driveway until I cried with frostbite, cursing my life and my crystallized nostrils, all for the love of getting myself over to drink cheap beer in a sleazy local bar with friends. And once there, I'd hear who was pregnant, who'd gotten fat, who was ugly. The good, the bad and the ugly of Highland Park, 60035. Per usual, the highlight would be watching an elementary school friend's mom with an uncanny resemblance to Roseanne and a denim sleeveless shirt (just painting a picture for ya, folks) picking up greasy men in the corner. My how things change.

Let my thankfulness begin right there.


I was reading a book that mentioned a Leo Buscaglia story. Backtrack: Leo Buscaglia is an author, maybe a psychologist? His name is familiar to me via my parents and PBS-type shows. He is lumped in with calm entertainment a la Garrison Keillor and Ella Jenkins, back in the Chicago days. In any case, cool name. Moving on.

So when Leo was young, his father would ask him every night (Hello, there are parents who talk to their children on a daily basis?!) "What did you learn today, Leo?". And Leo would have to tell his father something new he'd learned about. If he hadn't learned anything, he'd scurry away (paints more of a picture than 'walking', don't you think?) and read something new in the encyclopaedia and report back. He credits this interaction with his love of learning.

I credit it with leaving me to some hard-hitting questions. Shit, I mean, do *I* learn something every day? I mean, something I'd be proud to tell someone else (moreover, my FATHER?). "Dad, I learned how to say 'shit' in Tagalog today." "Dad, I learned that if you eat asparagus, your pee will smell funny." Or "Dad, I learned that Plan B is basically a double-dose of birth control. Whaddaya know!". The pressure would be on. Reading this heartwarming vignette (retch, retch) makes me reflect upon what it is I *do* learn on a daily basis. I have lots of pop music knowledge (I just typed 'poop'. Coincidence? I think not). I can tell you who is married to who, who produced and album, what a song is written about. But outside of that, I don't know what I learn on a daily basis. I email my friends a lot. Maybe I should email strangers. Instead of hearing what my friends bought themselves on their various lunchbreaks or reading the "Guys' Rules" email forward for the millionth time, maybe, just maybe, I should find a penpal.

My first thought is to call back the customer service guy I dealt with at Netgear last night. The amount of time it took for him to pick up combined with his pristine Britain-o-Indian accent makes me think that, like HP, their calls are taken in India. He obviously knows things I don't, like how to wirelessly route my computer. Maybe we could be friends. I could learn science-y things. Computer science was never my forte. And then, after he had enlightened me with his techno-intellect, I could sweetly coo back to him (or write, if we decide to be penpals) about the reason why the Detroit Pistons love Anita Baker or the finer points of the state of Gwen Stefani's marriage.

Although, given how I hung up on him last night, maybe not.

What did I learn today? Hm.... (looking around). I learned that you can drive like a bat out of hell and not kill yourself because God is feeling particularly generous on that day. I learned that you can fry apples. I learned that Kinko's has become a very lazy establishment where you do your own copying (what is THAT all about?). Lemme think, lemme think. I learned that SDSU has an MBA in Sports Business Management in partnership with the Padres, the first program of its kind. I learned how to use a knife sharpener. I learned more about Steven Jay Gould's theories (not that I could recite them to you right now). I learned that fanatic Christians may be the downfall of scientific education in the United States (come on, people, I grew up in a Jewish town). Oh, and I learned that three Iranian women attempted a suicide pact after the fourth wife of their husband bought expensive shoes. (We Iranians are nothing if not dramatic.)

And I heard someone say "you don't have to like someone to learn from them". So maybe I'll start learning that much more.


I took a little break and made a trip out to the east coast. Now that I'm back, I'm finding it exceedingly difficult to get back into the groove of working. Shh, don't tell. When you're on a roll, you're not supposed to take breaks, and I broke that cardinal rule. The last time I was on a roll, though, it was an academic one, and I was nudged in the direction of law school. Yuck. We all know how that ended.

Tonight I went to dinner and a movie with a friend. Nothing on the silver preview screen had particularly caught my eye as of late, so I let her pick. In to ALFIE we went.

Big mistake.

Think big American film stars being shepherded by an Iranian film director. By the end of the film, all I needed was to beat my chest and cry and moan for the plight of Alfie. Note: If you're planning on seeing the movie, skip the next bit. Better yet, go lie down in traffic.

I should have known. You know how they say there are signs all around you, if you choose to pick up on them? Well, the first preview was a Natalie Portman flick. Not a fan. And yet I had to watch her *repeatedly* pole dance. Barf bag please, here comes my tikka masala dinner. If that wasn't a cosmic nudge, what is?

Lights down, time for the real thing. You'd think once Jude Law was on screen, I'd melt into oblivion and not even notice the plot. But I had to. It was like a horrific television movie that I couldn't turn off. Watching an interpersonal car crash, you know? Here's the story: Alfie doesn't call girls back. He has sex with them and lets it go, doesn't commit. This movie is a woman's fantasy, much like a 'fat girl fantasy', as one of my friends dubbed the book GOOD IN BED. It just doesn't happen. You want me to believe that Jude Law gets dumped? Ok, let me suspend belief and examine the film a bit more closely. Who would dump Jude Law? Oh, apparently everyone from a kimono-obsessed American woman Susan Sarandon's age (who cheats on him with a younger guy. I kept laughing til I realized it wasn't a joke) to a homely but charming single mom (who then picked up with the screenwriter of Traffic, apparently). He gets to dump the homeless manic depressive girl who just got done cooking him a candlelit dinner, but we all know that Jude is dating her in real life, so that doesn't count.

But Alfie doesn't just get dumped. Enter Hollywood flair. God really sticks it to him when he takes his best friend's ex-girlfriend to get an abortion because, OOPS, Alfie impregnated her the night he went to talk her into taking back his friend. Oh, wait, PLOT TWIST, she didn't have the abortion after all, and, no, she doesn't want his help. SHE still has a boyfriend (the guy married her, found out, and kept her anyways -- WOMAN FANTASY, I told you!)

And Alfie?.... alone again. Well, not totally. He has a moment writing poetry with his boss, played by the illustrious Gedde Watanabe (reprising his role as Long Duck Dong). He has also befriended the bolo-tie wearing geriatric Joe, who he met at his doctor's office when he stopped through for a penis biopsy.

No, I am not making this shit up.

The slutty married woman who wore summer dresses in the deep of winter also ditched him. Once upon a time, she was tucking her undies in his jacket pocket as a souvenir, and now she and her smudged, clumpy mascara are swaying booty in the 'away' direction, back to the husband who won't shag her. At that point, I knew something good had to happen. And it did.

The credits began to roll.

Literally. That was the end of the movie. No happy ending. That WAS the ending. I mean, how brutal is that to release a movie of this caliber right before the holidays? What, enough lonely people aren't killing themselves right when xmas lights are going up around town? Are they going to release the DVD during Valentine's Day weekend? I mean, really people. Call the UN, we have a crime against humanity.

I suppose in this situation the female fantasy is supposed to triumph. We're meant to be thrilled that Alfie, who has played women for the fool all along, is going to end up alone. Alfie is every guy who has ever broken our hearts. Alfie is every guy who showed up at the door empty handed, ate our food, slept in our beds, listened to our thoughts while thinking of another woman. The man who was ungrateful for the little ways you made his living space look better. Who took for granted the sparkling smiles you flashed him, and the adoration you showered him with.

Revenge should be sweet, right?

And I'm the dummy who left the theater a little bit sad for him.


Belatedly, please allow me to throw my hat into the political blogging ring. "If everyone else is doing it, why can't I?"

CNN just announced that Iowa isn't going to give a call til tomorrow. Why? Because of the "fatigue" of poll workers. You know what fatigues ME? The fact that millions upon millions of Americans turned up at the polls to make sure, lest there be *any* doubt, that President Bush knows that it's okay to lie to them, okay to wage war on a country composed of defenseless people who have done nothing to you, okay to make unilateral decisions and not offer explanation or remorse. We support you. In some cases, we will stand in line for 9 hours to make sure you know that. Thanks George. The fact that even *one* person felt confident in slipping a ballot with his name firmly bolded in into the box absolutely boggles my mind. THIS is why he smirks. Hell, I would too if I were him.

Perhaps my mind has been, as conservatives love to tout, shaped by liberal institutions. You know, the ones where they let black people and women in. Nudge nudge, wink wink, THOSE liberal institutions. The ones where you know how to knot a tie but are lost on how to chew tobacco like a REAL man. Guilty as charged. This educational path has allegedly encouraged me to look down on people from lower-class middle America who vote against gay marriage when they don't even know a single gay person, and in the process, forget that they'll probably lose their job and, oh yeah, their health care, for doing so.

What I'm left with at this hour of the night is the incomprehensible fact that the future of our country- particularly women's rights, gay rights, and the economy- lie in the hands of Ohio. This raises concerns for me. I've only been a few times, and I have nothing against it. Pretty land, nice Midwestern people. Once through Toledo to go see a Dave Matthews Band show. Then to see Hudson Falls, which had a cute Starbucks. Let us rally this evidence to suggest that they're not *that* far off the beaten path. But honestly, what else do we know about Ohio? Why Ohio when you could have big-breasted Cali or sassy New York -- states that ANY American could find on a map (remember, we're using our 'average voter' as a marker here) -- make our decisions for us? Naturally, as a Wolverine, I fear the future being held in the hands of Buckeyes. For the first time, I'm required to have unrelenting faith in the enemy. But more so, how did this happen? Ohio is The Swan of this election, and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

If I didn't love my family so much, I'd move. No question about it. Je parle francais and they like my Persian ass a hell of a lot better there...I have to admit, I did a test run in February. Expensive and rude, comme d'habitude, but the food is good and rednecks are detained at the border. Funny how today it's a *choice* whether I want to stay or go, and with the same Administration next year, they may well come up with another fun policy, perhaps "If your skin don't burn when the sun shines on it, consider yourself deeeeeeeeeeported!"

I wish I could offer something punchy and cute this evening, but I really don't have much. When I feel really down, I remind myself of the St. Louis Cardinals player named Albert Pujols. Rather than leaving it nebulous, he offers a pronunciation key on his website: "poo-holes". Pooholes. Albert Pooholes. That makes me smile. But just a little bit.


How fun you are, karma.

The other day my newlywed friends were telling me how they'd been awoken by some unpleasant sonic disturbance. Quickly assessing the matter at hand, they called the authorities that be in an attempt to shut down a Black Eyed Peas concert down the street that had gone on too darn long. I ribbed them, good-naturedly, for about, oh, two weeks about this. Haha, old people. Noise violations. Kids keep me up. La la la. I jammed as many "old married couple" jokes as I could into our conversations and meet ups, and patted myself on the back for staying so young and flexible.

Then the New Guy moved in upstairs. Right upstairs. Not upstairs, one apartment over. Upstairs, matching floorplan. The past few weeks have led me to wonder, ponder, philosophize about what raging parties he is POSSIBLY throwing in the kitchen. And why he just moved here but has more friends than I do (when up at night, consider counting voices). Things I know: New Guy has wood floors. New Guy has speakers placed on these wood floors. New Guy likes to have his friends over, so they can drink and hang over the balcony SCREAMING at some guy passing by that he is going to "fuuuuuuuck you UP!" and then have his friends pretend to hold him back from coming down to street level and starting a brawl in these gentrified parts of San Diego. Oh brother. New Guy likes his trendy hip-hop. He's a night owl. He spent yesterday polishing the wood floors with some heavy machinery. And right now he is, well, moving furniture. Lately this is New Guy's preferred nocturnal activity. This is odd because he's also watching the Dodgers game. With friends.

I've thought about sending The Note. I've only had to send one Note in this building so far, and it was to apologize for my dog's barking. The time may have come to send another Note, this time to Mr. New Guy.

Draft of Note to New Guy:

Dear New Guy,

You made me do it. You made me complain. I said I would've enjoyed a loud and free Black Eyed Peas concert on a weekend night, but the truth is that I do not. I do *not* enjoy hip hop lite emanating from your balcony into my open windows. There, I said it.

While we're at it, I do *not* enjoy your cheesy girlfriends giggling at 1 am about how manly you are, and holding you back from brawls, either (I don't know much, but I know from last week's balcony escapades that you are white and that you've never *really* had your ass kicked or you wouldn't talk like that). I've wondered if you're good looking, but I'm going to put my money on it that you're actually just young and well-off and that has compensated. Because I'm nearly sure that your balcony female chorus is blonde and largely busted. Just a hunch. I know you're new to the neighborhood, because you didn't realize we live in the gay part of town and that the only thing that gets blasted in these parts is KYXY. I'll bet you're the one I read about in our building "Memo" who throws lit cigarettes off your balcony so they land on the 4th floor patio to the point that one rolled into apartment, onto the carpet, burning a hole until some toddler picked up her prize and walks into her house with it. And I'm going to laugh when you get your 'citation' from the 'Committee', the amorphous totalitarian regime that runs our living space. Because I hate them, but I hate you more.

All this said and done, I doubt I'll have the nerve to put this on your door. But frankly, I feel a hell of a lot better.



Some people play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Lately, I seem to be playing Six Degrees of Milan Kundera. His philosophical musings have found their way into my every day. Of course, having the ridiculous long-term memory that I do, I'm restricted to pondering Immortality, my favorite novel of his to date, but also the one I reread last week. In it, he mentions that each of our lives has an inescapable theme. (I can't quote because I unbelievably lent my copy to someone. Someone I don't even know except that he makes the best damn coffee around, and for that, we trust him. And hope he's at the coffee shop next week.)

So, to recap: Each of our lives has a theme. We can go round and round, but we are merely circling in the eventuality of that theme. Through its iterations, shades, manipulations, morphings, and scalings. But it's always there. Mr. Kundera, if you're reading this, sorry for the bastard paraphrasing of your beautiful work. Oh, and... do you have a girlfriend?

Now. Let us tie Immortality to yet another fanciful piece of art. Before Sunset, the recent film starring Ethan "one tooth forward, one tooth back" Hawke. Am I bitter that on his book tour he never answered questions about his book? Yes. Are you bitter that I went to his book tour? Yes. Do you believe that I actually *read* his first book? Suspend the disbelief and let's get on with it.

In Before Sunset, it seems a point might be that our lives never escape the memory of one person who has affected us or connected with us. In the first volume (aptly titled Before Sunrise), his French girl had cankles, a brown plaid flannel tied around her waist, and an English vocabulary including but not limited to "groundskeeper" and "ferris wheel". But I'm not here to judge his taste, and neither are you. The point is that, in Before Sunset, her cankles are covered. No, that is not the point. Just a witty observation on my part.

The theme for Jessie (Jamie? Johnnie? Jeffrey? not sure. I was pretty focused on The Tooth) is Celine. No matter how his life has marched forward, a part of him has remained attached to her. He says that on his wedding day he was thinking about her (it is unclear if this was before or after he 'thought he saw her'. We find out it *was* her, nudge nudge, wink wink. They must have borrowed the Serendipity screenwriters for that bit.)

My question is -- can your theme BE a person? Or is the person a human manifestation of (part of?) your theme? Particularly in the case of a one-night stand (however partially cerebral), I have a hard time accepting that possibility. If it is possible for your theme to be a person, then is there a quality/quantity requirement? Does it have to be the person you were involved with for the longest? Or the person you had a first experience with? Does it even have to be someone you dated?

I just seem to have a hard time absorbing this concept that one person, particularly someone you know so little, can affect you (or Jamie/Jessie/Jeffie) so profoundly. Perhaps it was the mystery of it, the Love Jones, defined as "the possibility of a thing" that continued to connect him to her for all those years. (My male counsel always remind me that 'men want what they can't have' and I'm led to wonder if by standing him up at a Viennese train station, Celine did the right thing.)

The argument that he was one half of a shotgun marriage doesn't help his case (in the District Court of Lilly) any. And if we accept that your theme can be a person, what the cosmic mathematical likelihood that you're theirs as well? I simply felt her connection to him was not as strong. Even if she was his theme, I was not as ready to accept (despite her haunting guitar waltz - don't ask) that he was hers.

Maybe I still don't understand love. And that's okay. Maybe this was evident when I kept pointing out the extras' exaggerated hand and foot movements and the overt usage (and resusage) of Americans in French scenes to divert myself from the love story unfolding before me (gaaaaaaag).

Maybe a focus on the absurd is my theme.

I just hope it isn't "cankles".


Love is in the air.

People ask me why I don't watch tv. Apparently, you need a reason for not watching tv. I'm still trying to think up one. One short answer would be that I find it absolutely agonizing that when I turn it on, I get sucked in. I look up and 2 hours are gone, and all I know is how 'Driven' Anna Nicole Smith is, how she's bisexual, and how many of her toothless and unbearably nonjudgmental family have tattoos of her (ranging from the ankle- her cousin, to full back-- her aunt and uncle).

NOT that this information isn't important. It is. I just haven't figured out why yet.

Further aggravating circumstances include the fact that, after watching tv, I will recall these tidbits of info, but I can't remember all 21 of the Amendments. Hell, I can't even remember if there are only 21 of them. So, by distancing myself from tv, I distance myself from these culturetrashbrainmagnets. Plus, I feel more productive. Some might ask why I don't watch National Geographic or the news. To them I say: hm. Never thought about that.

But this evening I learned much more about the world than I ever expected to from The Surreal Life, boasting a cast including Dave Coulier (of Alanis "You Oughta Know" fame, perhaps better known as wingman to the Olsen Twins) and Charo. Now, observations:

1) People can look at Charo and not laugh. Apparently exactly 5 people can do this.

2) Flava Flav is not just a Public Enemy, but a little teddybear. He makes good grilled cheese, can rock a viking hat at all hours of the day, and can make a little girl who plays an accordian feel like a rock star. Don't judge a book by its gold teeth.

3) It is possible for your Best Days to have been when you had a rat tail. See in re: The People vs. Jordan Knight. I LOVED this guy. I used to fight with Kathy and Anna for who would get which NKOTB. I was thrilled to go home having been paired up with him. [My sister, the Artiste Currently Known as Boygirlparty, defiantly wanted his brother Jon. The quiet, clinically depressed one who refused to get a nosejob.]

Point being that, despite this late=80s adoration of mine (which may have included fan letters and daydreams, but certainly included my mom growing a rat tail on my then 2 year old brother), by the end of the episode, I found Flava Flav the more attractive between them. When Jordan mentioned that he had a girlfriend, I did not gasp, but rather raised an eyebrow. (Not that this affects my wanting to see him play SD this week. Hong, you in?)

4) There is someone weirder than Sylvester Stallone. Apparently, it's the woman who was once married to him. Bridget Nielsen pouring over Flava Flav in a fiery volcano of European love (if you don't believe me, wait for the rerun of her climbing into his bed while he's snoring away). She finds Mexicans "very European" and she pushed an unsuspecting Greg Brady into a pool while he was holding a mic. Blondes have all the fun.

So, in the end, why WOULD I turn my back to the tv and read the classics of world literature when I can watch people who were SECOND CHOICE cast members after Tammy Faye Baker, Real World "Remind me again what I did that made me so famous?" Trishelle, and Rob "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle? I can clearly see the error of my ways.

I hereby surrender myself to my remote. Well, just until I find out what happens on their road trip next week...


10. He invented the swagger.

9. He does the aforementioned swagger in spike heels.

8. And colorful suits. Did I mention that? He swaggers in his platform leather spike heels and suits in brilliant colors. Did you know "red in the back, white in the front" is a suit option? Neither did I. Ruffles optional.

7. No matter what the suit (bias cut to complement his fine figure, of course), his guitar will match.

6. He can scream out "Ain't nobody funk-ay like me!" and no one laughs.

5. He plays guitar like it's an extension of his body. And bass. And piano. And drums. And he sings falsetto like a choir boy who just got kicked in the hoo hoo.

4. He made a song about the Pope a dance hit.

3. He practically owns the color purple.

2. He makes you think twice about being a Jehovah's Witness. As in, actually consider it.

1. We came home from his concert and actually debated whether he is required to wipe his own ass. The vote was no.

WHAT IS 5,800 IN E.S.L?

This morning I made the mistake of listening to KPBS while I was running. The discussion centered on the end of the legislative season (much like duckhunting season). Apparently, bills such as the infamous "foie gras" bill are being bandied about by our finest minds. The animal people say it's overfeeding geese. The one farm that aspires to make foie gras in California says it's a living. Lilly says this discussion at 8:30 a.m. is absolutely nauseating.

The conversation then moved on to the bill that would offer illegal immigrants the opportunity to get a drivers license. It's not looking good, because the Pubes, I mean, Republicans, want markings to differentiate the licenses. San Diegans were simply confused. Caller #1, "I mean, yeah, they, uh, they uh need them to drive." Caller #2, "Well, then can they vote? Cause would they still be illegal?". Caller #3, "Is Kate home?" Another man called in and was convinced that they come and "steal jobs." Right, and I could just HEAR him plucking the tomatoes off the vine as he spoke. The consensus seemed to be that armbands would work best.

At first, they had mentioned 800 bills. Then the Outspoken Angry Hick from Claremont called. "Wayyyllll... I'm a conservertive Republican, and I'm just wondering how the Governur's gonna read all of em. I mean I couldn't..." No doubt, fine chap, no *doubt* you would be hard pressed to read 800 words strung in a line, much less 800 pieces of legislative wordplay. The radio host quickly clarified that it was actually *5800* bills this season. Open season on the Austrian Wonder. And so my mind quickly jogged down the tangent of what a pain in the ass that has to be when you're E.S.L.

Don't worry, Arnie had the last laugh. I nearly fell off the treadmill laughing about it.


Hi. That was a sheepish "hi", for those who couldn't read into it. I have been gone, and my readers have been nudging. Shout outs for caring. To the both of you. Whassup, thanks for coming.

The summer has flown by, and I realized that, post-Vegas, I really didn't write any more. I suppose too many thoughts were whirling around my little head, and I just never managed to pin them down. Like a toddler with a tantrum, off they ran, screaming, these little reflections of mine. I realize that summer is about to pass, and I believe it would be worthwhile for me to itemize the many things I've learned. For posterity. Let this be a gift to my children and yours.

1. Field Testing.

I have been field testing the concept that you can be lucky in love or in gambling. As it turns out, after I wrote (you may recall that I packed my best lipstick), I was lucky in love. Not so lucky in gambling. However, as soon as I returned to San Diego, that glow of Las Vegas Flirtation and Playful Romance faded, bringing with it the sweat of a long drive through the merciless desert. I never heard from him again, which is fine. I console myself with thinking he's ESL and couldn't find the right words to express his love for me, and so threw his hands up in the air (this, all before getting deported, of course).

I am happy to say that Lillystein has affirmed the theory of Romantic Relativity. If your romantic life is pretty much nil, your winnings at the tables will increase tremendously. I quickly jumped to action. I have been to Vegas again in the past month, infiltrated the boys' poker night, forayed into the casino-ic jungles of Connecticut, and played my luck at the Del Mar Racetrack. I made more money this summer gambling than I did at my job (like that's hard). The dealers didn't fear commitment; they saw the hand through. The horses didn't look at other women. The casinos bought my drinks and didn't expect me to put out. I could really live like this.

2. Kindred Spirits.

So, at the peak of believing that there just aren't any other people like me living in San Diego, I put an add on craigslist for a book club. Could there *be* people in San Diego who would read the book instead of seeing the movie? I had to find out. Before I knew it, I had about 30 responses. I look forward to embracing my dorkiness. I always thought that book clubs were for old ladies ('bridge clubs' comes next in the dictionary, I know). Next week I'll know if I'm right or not.

3. Busted Wrist.

I hurt my wrist. I quickly convinced myself that I strained it trying to jump onto my surfboard. You know, that one time I extracted myself from work and actually got to go surfing.

What, like I'm gonna plead Carpel Tunnel? As IF. I wear my Ace bandage proudly. It's just a matter of time before some fine surfer admires my athletic prowess and steals me away from this cyberworld. Just you wait.

4. Sisterhood.

I went to visit my sister. Whatever yourself. It doesn't SOUND interesting, but it is. We officially have never had a period exceeding 24 hours when we didn't fight. I stayed with her for about five (yes, FIVE) days and had the best time. I was relaxed. We sailed. We gambled. We frolicked in the waves (ok, for 5 minutes) of Rhode Island. I cut the buttons she then pressed in her buttonmaker, a familial production line as charming as it sounds. She fed me Kworn, which I've since become addicted to. We sang B-52s hits in the car (is this getting ugly?)

I realized for the first time that that glimmer of hope my mom once had when she'd shove us together after a fight and make us "make nice" had come true. My sister being one of my best friends, no ifs ands or buts, has been one of the most rewarding things about this summer. When they gave me a seat in the exit row, I should've known that It Was Meant To Be.

Now I want her to read this and send me presents. Hiiiiiiii susie!

5. Shaving.

My dad has been on my little brother's case about shaving for about, oh, 10 years. And he's 17. Just kidding. We saw his face unshadowed for the first time in a few years. Woo hoo. Of course, it was back by lunchtime, but still. Momentous G Family Occasion, duly noted.

6. Surfing.

I like surfing. Actually, what I like is saying I surf, when in reality, my schedule (and my willingness to climb down the Cliffs of Death in Del Mar) has allowed me to go only a handful of times this year. But that feeling of lying out on the water, no cell phone, no paperwork, nothing on my mind but my tan and not dropping into someone else's wave, is unbeatable. So much of the world is water, and yet I spend so little time in it. (Insert low blow about showering. Then feel free to appreciate my deep thought.)

In any case, I'm just glad that I got over my Jaws thing (I wouldn't stick a toe in recreational water for years. Susie screaming "SHARK!" when I had already launched myself off the highdive at the pool never helped...)

7. Revisiting the Past.

Also aptly titled Revisiting My Tape Drawer. This summer I attended concerts organized in the effort to reconnect with my faraway youth. First was Madonna (and yes, it was everything I expected and more.). Most recently, I forayed over to Humphrey's (does 'foray' imply skipping or some sort of swishy entrance? In that case, I just kinda 'went'). Cyndi Lauper. "Y" before "I". Girls just wanna have a night with their childhood memories. Perhaps you will be shocked to hear that she outdid my StarStudio version of that same song? She nailed the entire show. I stand by the fact that she is completely underrated. But aren't we all? Next up is The Purple One. Can't wait for that. My assless chaps are pressed and ready to go.

8. URgr8. Keep smilin'!

This has also been (as if it wasn't exciting enough?) the Summer of Reconnection. Old friends have been popping out of the woodwork. Sometimes I prod them (out of hiding?) a little bit, with engaging random, inspired emails sent during my frequent bouts of procrastination. It's amazing to see how someone you may not have ever had more than a social connection to just GETS you as you are now. Or maybe I just get myself more now? Maybe I'm good at making it seem like I get myself, so people feel they get me also. It's weird.

Ok. Confession. So maybe some of the reconnections happened because I have become a Weekend Minute Superstar, but still. Friends are never a bad thing. Although Ross really does bug.

With that, I leave my list at number 8. Usually I'd go up through my lucky number (13), but I need my rest since tomorrow is my LUCKY DAY. Friday the 13th. The day I got my first ghettoblaster. Sa-weet. While you guys are out dodging black cats or ladders or whatever, I'll be expecting some really good shit to happen to me. Details to follow.


Recently someone told me that you can either be lucky in gambling or lucky in love.

Needless to say, I booked a trip to Vegas.

The time has come to cash in on a dented heart and nights spent, well, entertaining you. I am about to pack up a little bag of Lilly Couture (read: cargo pants and shoes that enable standing comfortably for 3 hour shifts at the craps table). You see, this weekend, Cupid and I are gonna square up.

I haven't been to Vegas since December, when my oh-so-pious Muslim family made the trip over to Sin City to spend some quality time and celebrate the birth of Christ. A family that shames itself at blackjack together sticks together. Ok, or my Dad and I stick together while my mom asks us to pretend we don't know her.

So, thanks to the influential individual mentioned in the first line (who was so important that I actually forget who it was), I realized that this could be the birth of a movement. There is money to be made here. No one said I was making a roundtrip visit. Whenever YOU next find yourself cruising the strip (no, not cruising for a stripper. Hi guys), you will find me pushing a little vendor cart outside O'Sheas. "Teeeee shirts for sale!" Getluckyinlv.com. Lucky in love. Lucky in Las Vegas. Either way, I'm making bank. But don't look for me when the $5 tables are on. (cue "Hey big spendeeeeeeeeer")

I KNEW I didn't get the law degree for nothin'. Civil organization, here I go. The Movement: If I'm single when the next Black Friday, ahem, Valentine's Day weekend comes around, I have a plan. I will become the official tour organizer for Lucky In Something Tours. Singles only, 48 hours in Vegas. Make it or break it, but you can't leave until you've been lucky in one thing or the other. It's like Survivor, but with "all-nite" buffets.

As for my maiden voyage as CEO of the Tours, I have already purchased two pair of "lucky Vegas shoes". Trust me, they're an investment. The tunes for the car are ready to go. I resisted packing Eye of the Tiger for the trip. Ok, that was a lie. Come on, a girl needs an anthem!

But I can't totally lie. Last night I picked up some lucky lipstick too.

Just in case.


When you're still up at 2:30 a.m, you might as well throw a blog in the fire, no?

Hm. That line might be reason enough to put the computer down and walk away.

I think I was more productive today (read: post rolling out of bed at 9 a.m.) than I've been in the last month. My back has curved to the form of the dining room chair I brought in to sit on. My mouth tastes of thrice-reheated French Vanilla coffee. The dirty pot from my break spent on a foray into experimental cooking (or any cooking at all) glares at me through the wall and into the room where I now sit. But I'm wild and crazy, and the crud of tonight's Bombay Fire creation (thank you Calcutta Heat seasoning) will just have to await cleansing until I'm up and at 'em tomorrow.

Not that I can fathom that once I'm in a bed I will ever rise again, but let's pretend.

I made the mistake of reading the news before going to bed. For this reason, I know that my dreams will now feature Ashley (who is quickly becoming "the angelic and compassionate Troll sister". Um, I mean Olsen Twin). They might have a cameo by Babbs, given that I misread CNN's headline about "Jury deadlocks in videotaped trial" to read "Jury dreadlocks". And then there's the woman who stole a law firm's identity. I don't know how you do that; I'm assuming that if I reread the story when I'm un-delirious-efized, I might get it. But maybe not even then.

Today's confession: at the gym, I found myself captivated by Dr. Phil's words of wisdom. He's a meanie, but he packs a punch. It made my workout go by faster, and now I'm concerned that it might enter into the elite ranks, joining CHARMED as "Things I'd Never Watch Unless I Was A Handcuffed Prisoner Placed Before It or If I Am At The Gym-- In Which Case I Will Start to Like It Against My Will."

So with these rambling words, I retire to my bed, fearful of the fact that it's only... Tuesday.

You're my Number One Best Friend.

I'm not sure when we outgrow this. The friend thing. I have at least one friend over the age of 30 who manages to keep his friends in line by suggesting ways they might please him and elevate themselves in his mind. At first it seemed absurd. However, when I found myself somewhat interested in his requirements (apple computer: yes, smiths fan: yes, republican: no), I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry myself back to junior high.

What I'm trying to figure out at this point is which is more appropriate. Childhood and adolescence lend themselves to uncensored communication with others, friend or foe. Few are the tweens who can separate themselves from someone they don't like and be quiet about why they did so. Thus cliques and whatnot. But as adults, all of a sudden this need to smooth things over comes along. If I hate your girlfriend, I will still hang out with her and make friendly overtures, because that is "the thing to do". And others will nod approvingly (ok, or raise an eyebrow if they heard what I had to say about her the night before). But for the most part, we put a premium on masking distaste or dissent about others. It's un-pc to not like people for a reason other than their being a mass murderer or, well, Republican.

When my friend asks me if her friend can come out with us, I cannot say no. Because without a reason (as listed above), it would be Unjustified. Or Immature. Or worse... Bitchy. You can't dislike someone just because. You can't dislike them based on the fact that you just simply don't affirmatively *like* them. But sometimes I think it would be easier that way. The grey area is too much for me to handle. Why should I spend dinner, or better yet, my full weekend, with someone I don't care for. Is that not a slower death than being with someone you despise? At least there's some fire there!

Come to think of it, I wasn't that blatant when I was younger, either. Except once. I told my mom I didn't like Elaina Schmolens (*not the subject's actual name. But it rhymes, for all you super-sleuths out there.) She asked me why. I didn't have a good enough reason. She was pretty and she was popular and she didn't hate me. In youthful society, you would think that'd be all she wrote, and we'd rush off hand in hand to buy a BFF necklace. But my mom thought I was being weird. And so mom kept nurturing this friendship. Elaina kept coming to my birthdays, grinning and gleaming and being tall (which was a cruel thing to do to my tiny self).

Then one day I went to her house. We were hanging out. The details are unremarkable. Something led her to tell me about the lax babysitter her parents had landed, who microwaved cookies for them. Woo hoo, livin' on the edge in the 'burbs. As we were touring the house and she was showing me the exact site where the babysitter then let them eat ON THE COUCH (you don't say!) she committed the inexplicable. Fully knowing I was *terrified* of dogs, she suddenly sicked her dog on me to "be funny." (She could have just armpit farted for all the tastefulness or wit in that joke.)

Then she called him away. Haha, oh, funny Dana. I mean, um, "Elaina".

Ok, so my point is that I think when we get a feeling about not liking something or someone, you should stick to it, because it will bite you in the ass (and if they have a dog, this could be prophetic and oh so literal). I realize that my little proclamation could throw our society into chaos. No more fake smiles? I'm not insisting that we take the gloves off, so to speak. But really, life is too short to hang out with people you don't care for. Unless "they" are me. Then do me a favor and pretend.


Yesterday, when I arrived back into San Diego, I found myself standing in front of the baggage carousel. I stood for a good half hour watching Carousel #1 rotate. It whirred and spun, mimicking me just standing there. Reunited families gathered their horrendously ugly tan floral luggage, their camping gear, their boogie boards and each other and headed out. The belt kept turning, eventually spitting out a lone piece of luggage that swirled and swirled, me its sole audience (but appreciative, as I was really too jetlagged to do much else). I was fascinated and stood for awhile watching it (medium upright roller -- black) tour the belt purposefully. The pace stayed the same, but I began to lose hope that it would find a hand to haul it off.

Eventually I realized that my bags were probably shelved somewhere, as I'd been bumped from the previous night's flight, and let my pensive moment by Lindburgh Airport Pond go.

Tonight I have this one thought that keeps going through my head. Each time it disappears around the corner, I convince myself that it will come back differently. That I'll see it in a light that won't be as nauseating and frustrating and breathtaking and.. revealing... as the one I now see it in. Watching the black suitcase go around, I somehow convinced myself that it might return in the blue and red form I was seeking. Freshly practiced, I'm doing that now. I'm squinting into the past and trying to play a game of revisionist history with myself. For some reason, I can't help trying to give this person and this situation a chance at reappearing in shades that don't clash so much with the hues of truth I credited them with.

No one wants to be played for a fool. And no one wants to play the fool so well.


It's been said before, but let me say it again. Friendster is a big fat popularity contest. I am not bitter, however. For once, I am winning, with 48 first-degree friends and no less than 95,758 charming individuals in my friendship network. Numbers like those could afford me a seat in a cyber congress or something. Yay for hunting down summer camp friends. I've kinda become a Friendster snob, too. When people write me random "wanna be my friendster?" emails, I first throw my head back and laugh. Kinda cackle. First of all, no one talks like that except NEW kids. Secondly, um, NO! Hahahah. Cackle cackle. Then I give my screen a weird look and delete. Which is not the way to increase my numbers, I now realize.

But more to the point, I have begun to view people who don't have testimonials as 'shady'. I see them as shadowy figures of a conspicuous and shameful nature rather than what they are, which is probably "people with more of a life than me and mine." I see a profile with no testimonials, and I must wonder. Does this person *literally* have no friends? Are the friends unable to muster up one or two flattering comments to sandwich in between juvenile and irrelevant inside jokes? Are the friends sending me a secret message directly meant for me saying "This person is no good. Run, don't walk, in the other direction"?

I don't view the fact that I actually think about this stuff to be a good sign at all.

But you have to occupy your mind. I'm trying not to think about the upcoming trip I have. I leave for Chicago at 6:30 tomorrow morning. Well my flight is then. I will be up stumbling in the dark at a beautiful round 4:30. I will then spend 6 days working intensely, networking with the literary elite. I have packed my glasses in the hopes of finagling my way into a few VIP parties (Janeane Garofalo is a speaker). My professional endeavours will be interspersed with socializing with my high school friends and some cousins.

Going back to Chicago is always a bit tough for me. It doesn't help that two of my best friends recently moved within a 2 block radius of my ex (and no, they are not roommates, let alone friends. This is the sick hand of fate at work.) Blah. Will I be walking down the street and be forced to confront what I masterfully avoided for three years? I mean, why have closure when I've had such wonderful fodder for girl bonding armchair analysis sessions?

And there's the whole 'hometown' thing. I've beat that subject to death, but it will be weird to go back to the town where I have no home. My brother and sister do it from time to time; jump back onto memory lane. But what need have I to go to the streets where I once walked with pegged jeans and army boots, oversized rainbow-colored flannel shirts, and a backpack full of teen angst? None, I tell you. Unless TC is in town. That would change things.

I like to think I'm not related to the girl i was when I lived in Chicago. At the end of the Madonna show last week, lights blazed that read "Reinvent Yourself". In a way, I think I did that the minute I walked out of graduation. I didn't look back once. Granted, I haven't become a megamogul sexpot like SOME people whose name rhymes with Fadonna, but I feel like I've moved lightyears past where I was. Which I think is the general notion of reinventing yourself. Improve yourself. Cut the shit out that you just don't dig. If the number 60035 makes you queasy, spend your Orbitz dollars elsewhere.

I love the city, but I don't love who I was or what I went through when I was there. Rather than dwell on it, I've left it behind. Maybe this time I'll just be a visitor. I hear the Sears Tower is nice.


For one of the first times in my life, I can't seem to find the song to fit my mood or what I've just been through. I realize that people usually describe "been through" to describe great personal tragedy, years of fighting for civil rights, or maybe childbirth. So prepare yourselves, because what I have is not close to that magnitude; conveniently, it's much more juicy. Settle in. Let's talk.

I'd like to start by blaming everything on Jon (lesson number one - always blame someone else. Don't say I never taught ya nothin.) He came through my door with a copy of Reality Bites this afternoon. I hadn't seen it in years. Some would think that, featuring my lookalike Janeane Garofalo, I would pour over it (and by that, myself?); not so. It was released when I was a lass of 16 and *maybe* indulging in my first kiss (ah, how a renegade high school house party will release the wild child in a girl). I had no concept then of anything beyond crushing. My devotion was, if ever, encoded in the shaky writing of simply friendly yearbook messages (Tony come back!). If I was really feeling like going on a limb, I would use high school GPS to 'position' myself by the lockers allowing for optimum sighting chances. When Reality Bites greeted American moviegoers, I certainly didn't understand the concept of boy-girl emotions (indeed, at that point in time, I probably called them such) and relationships and their complexities.

And so the soundtrack was more memorable to me than the film.

We sped through the movie. I tried to quickly memorize the series of brilliant quips, mostly failing, and rather gaping while indulging the gallons of coffee that allow me to now sit uncomfortably alert at this weird hour. After it finished and I watched the credits go by in a haze, I suppose I had a spirit of "why not" in me. I mean, as unfeasible as their future was, I rooted for Lanie and Troy. They had convinced the closet romantic in me that there is something to gain by laying emotions on the line from time to time. I put my coffee cup in the sink and had to wonder if perhaps what I'm looking for is as simple as someone to share a cup of coffee and good conversation with. I'm usually pretty good about telling people where I stand if it just has to do with me ("It's rainy out. I'm in a crappy mood.") But revelation of emotions that deal with someone *else*? What a concept. Intriguing and important.

As I watched the movie this afternoon, I wondered how sincere it was. I mean, could people REALLY look at each other and say "I love you." without knowing beforehand where the other person stood? Fantastic concept (golf claps).

In the movie, they could say those lines b/c Ethan could look with conviction into her eyes and spill his guts knowing that her next line was set. IT WAS ON THE TELEPROMPTOR. Whether it was this scene or the next one, he would get the girl. Revealing himself just moved along to the inevitable conclusion.

After reflection, I could see the merit. This bearing of the heartwaves should be done with calculated timing, I decided. I rewound the movie and sent Jon on his way.

And then a funny thing happened.

This evening, as if mocking me, my phone rang and it was a guy I'd been playing phone tag with for literally months. Someone from my tucked-away past. I'm talking five years of long-time-no-see. Someone who once had my heart more than he realized; or I did, for that matter. And someone I coincidentally hope isn't the internet dork I am :) Um, if he is, um, hi?

Tonight I watched thoughts that had been trapped in my head and heart escape me and travel down the line to the faraway place where he is (the faraway place where I left my correct grammar, apparently). Thoughts that had percolated (and often festered) in me bubbled to the surface and marched out of my mouth one by one. Sometimes they were greeted by silence; other times understanding or reflection. While it is crucial to be honest with yourself, I wonder if we (Ok, I) remember to put equal value on being honest with other people? And not the "well, you didn't ask!" variety, either. Maybe the two types of honesty go hand in hand.

So, does Reality Bite?

I think Troy would say it does. But he also lives at The Winter of Our Discontent, so really, you can't expect more.

Reality is personal. If something isn't working for you; if it feels like reality does really bite, maybe there's something to it. Reality bites, but when it bites, it bites you in the ass. Hard. And usually for a good reason.


It's a work in progress. I've been trying to think of what represents me, and I fear it is the bizarre fine points of my quirky existence. I'd love to paint broad strokes of passions and life goals, but then I'd have sorted out the meaning of (my) life. Can't do that without a few shots of tequila, so alas, water bottle in hand, I offer you:

1) I shake the milk before I pour. Always have.

2) I count people's toes (Visually. I do not touch. That's another item). If you average 5 digits per foot, you're not off the hook. I need to assure myself that the MODE, if you will, is 5 per foot. This quirk can be directly traced back to "Jenny" at Tamarak day camp's little bro, who visited us in bare feet, thus exposing me to a six-toed pudgy baby foot.

3) I hated the name Lilly until college. As a child, I renamed myself "Carol" and my dad was "Peter". In true childlike fashion, my mother did not exist.

4) I speak four languages. I will keep learning new ones until someone understands me.

5) I hate... *hate*... Seinfeld. I watched the finale along with the rest of the tv-infected world to be assured that it was truly over.

6) I danced before I could walk.

7) I have a brother and a sister. For some reason, in conversation I tend to admit to the existence of one, but not the other. So let's just throw that in here.

8) I have never been in love. That question on email surveys is way up there on the DancingonmynervesMeter (tm). Due to the fact that I am 26 and have never been in love, I field the question of whether I'm a lesbian from time to time. I am not, although historical factors might have predicted otherwise. (see #11)

9) I was in a sorority. I'm not as ashamed of it as my general public would expect me to be. If someday pictures of me doing a kegstand appear on the net, or better yet -- dressed in all white holding hands (or candles) swaying and singing about One Heart, One Way, you heard it here first.

10) I always wanted a treehouse. Never got one.

11) My parents never bought us Ken. We always had Barbie (or Marbie, etc.) So my sister and I shaved one's head, christened her "Sandy Duncan", and she was the lesbian in the group. Avant garde childplay, I realize now.

12) I'm convinced I'll die by gunshot or shark attack. I have a haunting fear of both...figures that I'd move to California ;)

13) Thirteen is my favorite number. On the 13th of March I got my first ghettoblaster (yes, back when we called them by that lovely name), which was probably the biggest day of my life. Ok, or maybe my brother's birth. But I'm leaning towards the stereo.

14) I'm a little bit scared of old people. An old lady slapped me once when I gave her a Valentine I had made (I was lured into this type of crisp suburban good-doing by my Brownie troop); my romance with the Cocoon generation was summarily ended.

15) I always feel the need to justify my actions. While I aspire to live a life lead by my heart, I tend towards living with my head. This is proof that GGG is my dad, not Fred the Mailman, as my mom used to tell me.

16) I usually find it easier to communicate via writing. Except right now. Let us laminate now.


What do you do when you have the opportunity of a lifetime? Something you've always wanted to do is offered to you... how do you carry yourself?

The honorable Gene (son of Dave) took me on a field trip to the recording studio on Tuesday. There was a "Do Not Disturb: In Session" plastic cracked sign on the door slot, but I was special. I got to disturb. When the door to the vault of my innermost daydreams swung open, my wide eyes began to focus. Herein lie the buttons and knobs that make the air I breathe. I fell back onto a beat up desk chair behind the board, trying to capture in mental photographs the plant delicately placed between two speakers, the deliberate romantic lighting, and the fake Persian carpets all at once. When the sound engineer offered me a cup of coffee, I nearly wept.

So, faced with this dream come true, this culmination of years of Star Studio at Six Flags, what did I do?

Well, first I belted out an off the cuff song about Hong's romantic prowess in an Argentinian accent. If there had been large windows, I would have thrown them open and clenched my fists over a crowd of gathered Peronistas. If there had been a bull, someone would have tossed me a cape. If I had *only* had a flamenco skirt, we would have been in business. It was horrific and hilarious at the same time (or so I am told).

Having retouched my "musical roots" (oh so deserving of quotation marks), yesterday, under his tutilage, I bought an Ibanez AF75.

Rock me Amadeus.

You always hear these jokes about fools who get 3 wishes and waste them. Well, those were 2 of mine. There's a little pressure on what I'll do with the third one, but I think I'm hoping for ice cream trees.


I'd like to send special shout outs to Reverand Hongy and Reverand Jon Yang. Per their ordainments this evening (ah, the powers of the internet), they are each empowered to set up their own Churches. Right, as if guys need that ;)

This popularity contest is sure to outshine any middle America student council election. Fun for the whole family. While Reverand Yang is resting his weary head, Reverand Pan has made his first campaign promise. He tried to ply me with "cookies in between services." I upped the ante and we're looking at Sushi Deli 2 outings for Church members and prospective conversions.

Will his campaign promises hold the test of time? Tune in: same blog time, same blog station.

I wonder if God can roll His eyes.


I really try to be good and not get addicted to too many things. Some slipped through the cracks. I can't help myself when it comes to caffeine, boys with mischevious eyes, Madonna, ocean views, and singing in the car. In no particular order. There's one more, though, one I keep lurking right below the surface, so you'd have to be in a bookstore with me or randomly walking down a touristy boardwalk to know about it... fortunetellers.

I'd like to begin by exonerating myself under the broad umbrella that I am a Scorpio. I am therefore programmed (by the cosmos, duh) to be really into this stuff. Proof positive: any bookstore is inevitably out of Scorpio volumes. But yes, as for the evidence against me, I stipulate to the following: I'm the person who stays an extra 10 seconds at the front of the line at a cafe to read the paper's horoscope, hastily taped to a coffee mug. I bring my friends in droves to experience my mom's coffee cup readings. (She does it lightheartedly. I don't.) I know the 'good' astrology sites to procrastinate on. I have more than once covertly found out a guy's birthday, and maybe once or twice noted an eclipse in my business planner.

So a few weeks ago mom and I were wandering through Balboa Park when, lo and behold, there was a woman with bleached blonde hair, a green velvet top and colorful skirts, body adorned in 2042902409 rings and bracelets, a tiara, and WINGS. I mean, does that last accessory not call for a pause in our trek? We walked up to see what was going on. She had a little collapsable table and was doing readings for 'donation only'. Palm reading, handwriting analysis, tarot card, dice, Tibetan spirits, Aztec something or other, *everything*. It was fortunetelling Disneyland. And in a recession, I mean, this woman must really love her craft to expect nothing for her psychic pains. Fast forward to the fact that she was creepily accurate (you know it's accurate when they say things that bother you. The ass-kissers are never any good.) So today mom has her over for a tea party with some friends, and I'm going to drop through.

I'm not sure what she's going to say that would be much different than 2 weeks ago, but I think it's part of the human condition to hope that things will change that quickly. Suddenly, the dead-end job will disappear (actually, astrologyzone.com predicted that back in February and it did...). Or the Next Big Thing is right around the corner (if it's a guy, all the better). You will reconcile with a long-lost friend. Someone is thinking of you. Success will be yours if you make a call on Wednesday. Yes, this type of stuff actually cheers me up.

There are definitely the crazy stories in my family of what people around the world predicted (yes, this fascination has followed my mom's family and me across continents and generations), but it's mostly just fun. I think life gets too serious, and fortunetelling gives you a minute to step off of whatever track you're on.

When and if I feel I can cough up the money (ok, and pride) for one of these services, it's inevitably during a most stressful period in my life. (Like when I jumped into the $3 palmreader's booth in Santa Monica on a walk in between finals. She looked at my palm and told me I was "a snob." If she hadn't been gripping my hand, rest assured she would have had a close up of my finger. But I digress...) The whole world of the paranormal is so far off the logical spectrum on which I live and breathe; it's my guilty pleasure.

So we'll see what happens this afternoon. In any case, it beats the hell out of doing work.

And now, if you will excuse me, a lady with wings awaits me...


To be up at 6:54 is to stumble out of bed, narrowly missing the metal corner you always hit your foot on. After a moment pondering how your socks came off in the middle of the night, you head directly to the pantry for some 'wake up' food, and to ponder exactly how big your little heart is that you'd do this all for charity.

Today's the Race for Literacy 8K. Down the 163 I will go, woo hoo foot patrol. Mom is my trusty companion for this event, so we'll be walking rather than running it. I'd like to say that walking 5 miles is something I could 'do in my sleep', but alas, it appears to require garments other than my sleepwear of comfy short shorts and a sweatshirt. I mean, San Diego just doesn't deserve that ;) So off I go to change and pinch myself til both eyes are open (trying to cut down on coffee. Not sure that this will work. Details to follow in the coming weeks)

Question of the day (I have at least an hour in the steaming hot sun to ponder it, if you folks don't help me out): When do you turn off the backburner? For those of you who think I'm speaking literally- I love you- if you come over and cook for me, I will do the dishes always and forever.

I mean the 'boy backburner' (or girl backburner). Is there an expiration date on this act of narcissism?

9 TO 5 MY ASS.

Something very sneaky happened along the way. I am overworked and underpaid but self-employed. Not sure where to direct my frustration, short of mumbling to myself.

So much on my mind. My brain feels like this frail necklace chain I once had that got all tangled up. My mom says you have to tackle life's problems (or whatever's on your plate) as you would that chain- loosen it up little by little instead of trying to attack it at once from all angles. I got really irritated, incidentally pulled the knot tighter, and tossed it back in a box in no man's closet.


I am in deep shit, as I 'seem' to have lost a cap for one of my dad's wheels. I thought while he was out of town I'd give my little bro my wheels and just keep Dad's in case of errands, etc. (or the need to leisurely cruise around in a car that appears as if I have a lofty income -- or any at all).

Dad is on the other end of the planet right now. Like if you could draw a line THROUGH earth, you might find him. Probably in a kabob restaurant with his family, laughing at stories he hasn't heard because 13 years has passed and the least they can do is have tales to regale him with. He is equally liable to be in a mosque sneaking pictures, oh tricky tourist! I kinda wish he asked me to go with, but he didn't. Still licking that wound. I'm not sure that I actually want to go back right now, but it would have been nice to see it from his point of view - film a mental documentary as I wandered around with him, peeking out from under my scarf that wouldn't make me pass out because it's only spring. Instead of battling waves of heat-induced nausea, I might actually have enjoyed myself. I miss him, so it's going to be a long three weeks.

Other thoughts in no particular order:

The plants on my balcony aren't doing a good job of staying alive. I hold this against them. I am a woman, therefore a nurturer, so GROW you BASTARDS! Even my friggin plants challenge my femininity.

I keep telling people I'll watch Braveheart with them. But I don't want to. And every time it comes up in conversation with a new person, I feign the same motivation and interest. I am living a lie.

No one seems to have the answer as to why in baseball there is a manager instead of a coach. This is starting to annoy me.

I need to get (another) job. Like "lottery winner". Or "heiress to the Heinz empire".

As much as I whined about being a little worn out around the wedding and all the frenetic activity that surrounded it, I think I'm suffering some variation on letdown. I tried to convince Gene to do a Gregorian chant interpretation of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" at his next show. If that's not a sign of depression, what is? ;)


It's gotten to the point where I dread talking to my most beloved friends. Particularly with the girls, there is NO way to pass the 4 minute mark without a question being shot directly at my ego about who I'm dating or if I'm not, an explanation (short essay) of why not. It's become a sickening mental game of "Boiling Point". Today: Janet. Boiling point... 12 minutes. She spared me, which only tells me one thing... she's single too.

I have been with couples nonstop for the past few weeks. So it only seems natural to wonder why one of these things is not like the others. The short-list roster: My friend from law school and her husband. My pan-continental partner in crime and her fiance. My Vegas satellite and her husband. My bar study buddy and *her* now-husband. Another law school girlfriend and her new fiance. I'm only stopping the count because I might launch into an anxiety attack. And if that's not enough salt in the wound, honk honk, beep beep, up pulls a rental Mercury Sable with my sis and the love of her life.

Yes, love even looks good in an old man mobile.

I swear, I did not get the memo. I have NO idea how people do this. I was a huge old-school Disney fan (Snow White- black hair, white skin? Hello. That's ME!), so Jon's (www.hyperwest.net/anachronic) recent examination of this clear-cut direct-market brainwashing of L---- (that's me, too) was enlightening. Are my standards just a convoluted bipidy-boppity-boo?

The idea of being paired up with someone has always made me a little nervous. When I wore my gray velvet dress and do-si-doe'd with Brian B. in third grade... sweat. When I had to seventh-grade slow-dance with Chad and yet keep good posture in my tie-died Skort...panic. When I had to fake marry Josh G. for our Family Matters class in high school, we lived 'parallel lives' and our love fern quickly died in my locker. My most durable relationship to date with a man has been with George Michael; and yes, it is entirely possible that this fact alone prompted his coming out of the closet.

There are not many things that scare me, but alongside sharks, snakes, and six-toed human beings is the idea of putting my heart on the line like that.


I'm definitely my father's child, because my thoughts and emotions have been wrapped in real estate this weekend.

My brother showed me a brochure today. Actually, he didn't show it to me. I threw open his bedroom door uninvited, and began interrogating him and picking up random things on his floor, including a real estate brochure. It took me a second to figure out what was going on. "Is thi ---" I couldn't even fully ask the question, so he told me. "Yup, the house." He had recently returned from a jaunt over to Chicago and had taken it upon himself to go investigate what was happening with our old house. The guy who bought it from my family paid the price of the land, renovated the whole house (I'm talking GUTTED IT) and put it back on the market. For three times the price (again, as a G, I am embittered). I was looking at the pictures and it was like this whole sector of my childhood was totally inverted. I mean, this is the ONLY HOUSE I grew up in. Every memory I have was there. It's one thing to renovate the house, but to put the front door where the back door was? Put the back door where the front door was... you changed my ADDRESS, man! Give me my house back!

There were only about 7 pictures to torment myself with. The office above the garage that I spent some of my most precious time in, sifting through shelves of amazing books and making mix tapes for plane rides (complete with spoken interludes) for my friends... it's gone. The garage where I stored my bikes and badminton rackets (don't ask) and rollerblades is now one with the office, one big high-ceilinged living room. Who wants to 'live' in the room where I stealthily parked my mom's car complete with Steve Prince's frozen barf splattered across the side on a cold winter's night?

Cyrus said my room survived, but didn't make it clear as to whether the walk-in closet connecting my room to Susie's did as well. I really didn't prod him as much as I should have for answers. Will the new inhabitants be able to launch surprise attacks via the connecting closet -- throwing open the doors (which had no locks) and beating the holy hell out of their siblings? And if not, I ask you, what kind of childhood can they be expected to have, *really*? Have they changed the windows, or can some frustrated teenager still prop her Thighmaster on the windowsill and use it to catapult random shit into the backyard? Are the tape marks still there from where I lined my closet with shirtless photos of Bret Michaels, Slash and Axl, Sebastian Bach, and the Robinson Brothers in a mudbath? (Yes. Together. This never struck me as strange until I typed these words.)

The kitchen is remodeled, too. I looked at the picture and can't even envision where I hid out when Ella's (our old babysitter) boyfriend's wife (Oooooops) came over, rang the doorbell, and knocked her one. The room where I'd watch our young neighbor make her way across the backyard with her red wagon in tow. The place where, as in any good Persian family, social life centered. Where we'd congregate after returning from (or throwing) a mehmooni (party) and rehash the entire night and the psychology (or psychosis) of each and every attendee. The kitchen where I got my first college acceptance (Indiana U) and where I had my last cup of coffee with [and ever saw] my friend Sam.

I've always been glad that we moved out of Highland Park. That's never been a question. For all my blogistic dramaticism, I *hated* living in that town, and was only too happy to flee the walls of that house. When I moved to California, I really cut the cord. I realized that you need to put the past behind you and move forward and be open to opportunities and they will find you (hello ocean view, sunny winters of 70 degrees, and Life with Pele). But today was a quick trip in a rickety time machine, and it definitely threw me for a loop.

Glad I got that out.

But as long as we're living in the now... I returned to my apartment in the afternoon and just absorbed where my life is centered now. Pulling back all the blinds, I had a new appreciation for my distant view of the bay. Water has always calmed me. People think it's my newcomer reaction to being by the ocean, but I find it tranquilizing in all forms. It could be the ocean. Or a lake. Or a lilypond or a fountain. (The toilet is pushing it). Then the thought set in that they're going to build in front of my view. A thirty story building, no less. I suppose I'm being "glass-is-half-empty" today. Which is fine. It happens. I suppose that instead of bitching about the past and worrying about the future I should get on making some new memories in the homes I now occupy (minds OUT of the gutter on the count of three...)

Hm. Bright note, bright note... This weekend I saw a good friend of mine who just got married. She is a living testament to the fact that people who question whether love even exists can find not only that love does exist, but subsequently fall deeply in it. She broke her gaze from her hubby (who is awesome and certainly has the Lilly stamp of approval) only to do sake bombs and tell me that there's someone out there for everyone.

Happy note.


Names. This has been the theme of the week.

Yesterday, while taking a scenic detour along the harbor with Hong and Jon, I somehow felt compelled to let them in on yet another 'special' episode of my childhood. I told them about how I hated the name Lilly because it was the name of everyone's dead grandma when I was little (true). And how I adapted quickly to a self-proclaimed pseudonym of Carol, and dubbed my father Peter (Electra complex what?) Indeed, these were the appelations I used when I placed a social phonecall to 911 in a feast of 4 year old boredom when my parents left me with a Polish sitter and went to the movies. But I digress...

Tonight I capitulated and watched a huge dose of tv. I can't help it. I'm hooked on The Apprentice in a big, bad way. So first I sat through some old Friends episodes, and in one Phoebe changed her name to Princess Consuela Bananahammock. Apparently I'm not the only person to have had name reservations in my life. Until tonight, I thought it was me and then Susie's college friend, whose liberal parents allowed him to pick his own name at a young age. Hello Beanbag Amerika. My train of thought was diverted by the discomfort of discussing the derivation of bananahammock (speedos) with my mom, and we broke for a commercial.

But names came up **again** this evening when during The Apprentice (sigh) the love of my greedy heart referred to his little pool of asskissers...um...I mean applicants. He was talking about the standards for an employee of The Donald. Yes, he referred to *himself* as "The Donald." Take that.

I wouldn't mind ruling the world from my boardroom, but I'd take the close second of just being called The Lilly. As I build up my little literary empire, name recognition counts for something. I mean, people are literary, but does identifying me need to be a spelling bee? Isn't The Lilly more fitting than 10 letters and 2 silent h's anyways? ("G-H, like 'ghetto'")

So it has been decided.

Parting thoughts: I am on PickthePersian.com. Exactly how many of my 15 minutes of fame just got sucked there?