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?


Tonight an unnamed but dear friend of mine (Hi Gene!) alerted me to a most decisive autofail. The toe sock.

This item of clothing offers a clear definition of the lines preventing entry into my big heart.

What are they? Socks that offer a cozy compartment for each individual toe.

They should have been a fad. Much as I appreciate their function of hiding away the nastiness of the human foot, their prompt and shapely silhouetting of the foot feels like betrayal of the highest order.

I regret that the subject came to pass, not via the innocuous path of mere chit chat, but due to Gene's own choice of footwear this evening.


I love baseball.

Even more so, I love my friend Hong for hooking me up with a ticket to last night's Padres stadium. For over a year now, I have been excitedly twiddling my thumbs, watching cranes swing back and forth over the distant patch of green you can see if you lean right and hang precariously over my balcony. The time had come for closer exploration, and so Jon, Gene (the Artist Currently Known as Dave's Son), Hong and I made our way down Cortez Hill to become one with America's favorite pasttime.

I got really into baseball last year during the pennant races. I am a sucker for the underdog (read: the Cubs). I went into work early in order to be home for 5pm tee-offs... um, I mean...kickoffs? I've never been super into team sports (except kickball. Why, oh why, are you not an Olympic game?), but there's something to the pace of baseball that does in fact suck me in. The amount of food involved in attending a baseball game is merely bonus, I assure you.

So, we lived the luxury life. Our suite came complete with what I like to call "my own personal assistant" - Jean - who assured me that she was there for anything we needed, ie. if we wanted to order food into the box, etc. As you may already know, I've had my manicure this week, so I simply thanked her for the offer and did what I could to slide gracefully by the seat of a woman 14 months pregnant.

We won. I am still trying to decide if that made the difference in my experience. I suppose if we'd had a closer game (8-3. Is that even a GAME?), I would have had to watch the game a little closer. But this way, I could zoom out and drink in my tax dollars. The stadium is on a prime piece of property. You really have to will yourself to stay in your seat and not wander the 1001 restaurants and bars and head up to the back deck with the view of the bay, the bridge, and Coronado island. I think they should sell seats to just sit up there.

From the ballpark, all of a sudden San Diego felt like a 'real city'. I mean, I had never seen so many people, for one thing. The population of San Diego had reached its peak point for me when I happened through Persian festivities at Mission Bay, population 5000. The energy of a crowd of that many people (1 million?) watching one game, focusing on one little baseball, was fantastic. And when the Dodgers hit a ball past the outfield fence and a minute later it plopped back onto the field, we were not just neighbors, we were family.

As we were leaving, employees had been stationed to wish you a good evening, thank you for coming to Petco Park, and to request that you drive home safely now, you hear? With a love like that, who wouldn't love this game?


This past weekend I got my nails done. Not a big deal, I know.

FOOLS! OF COURSE IT'S A BIG DEAL! In salons across the United States, statements are being made on a daily basis. As feet soak in warm water tubs, as hands rest in paraffin baths, women aren't just enjoying themselves, they are speaking out (albeit in a weird language that faintly smells of acetone). Allow me to translate. They're saying: "I'm a girl. Yoo hoo, watch me be feminine."

The weekend found me in Santa Barbara with a small group of my closest girl friends. We were there to celebrate the big send-off of our first compatriot into the domain of marriagehood. It's a world I know nothing about except that it's directly inspired her to become more interested in china patterns, thread counts and kitchen appliances, oh my! And she will get booty on the regular.

For the past year that she's been engaged, I've struggled to try to come to terms with womanhood "as it should be" for my age group, particularly those women of the Persian persuasion. By my age (the big 2-6), most Persian girls are well on their way to marital bliss. If they aren't, it's due to an educational exemption or extenuating circumstances. I have been accused of sheer laziness. But really, I'm not lazy. I just don't have a clue about this whole world. I can't even get myself dressed right in the morning, much less "find a man".

I had to fight off the desire to cover my ears and let out a Macauley Caulkin Home Alone holler when the bridal shower for this friend had rolled around and I heard my friends debating what two brands of silver trays any married woman should have. (The answers, now emblazoned in my head, are Lennox and Arthur someoneorother, FYI). To begin with, I felt betrayed. Like all of a sudden, my girlfriends had come out of the closet with the fact that they actually *don't* hate Martha Stewart. I was just standing there, mouth gaping until I found one friend (heretofore known as The Last Woman Standing) to share an eye roll with. I reacted as I do when watching an art movie. I 'got it' enough to make vague conversation about it, but then I felt free to go home and be confused in private.

I'm trying to decide whether to embrace or shun my decidedly unfeminine traits (again, using the scale somewhat offered to me by my Persian foremothers). I'm currently in limbo, and kinda on a self-imposed probation. The citations are scattered, but are many. I've caught myself wearing sweats one too many times lately. I like doing arm weights. I have never once turned on the Love Channel that I apparently pay premium cable bills for, but my tv is always set to 325- Fox Sports World. I involuntarily roll my eyes at the price tags on designer purses. I always forget to ask to see the ring.

On one hand, I pride myself on being able to have fun sans high heels and attitude. On the other hand, sometimes I watch these other girls trapse up and down the streets of San Diego (or God forbid LA, if I'm up there, which is when the guilt *really* sets in), and I wonder why I don't *care* enough to be like that. Am I lazy? Why do I find myself inherently annoyed if a conversation about clothing lasts more than the obligatory "What's the dress code for tonight?". Clothes shopping is an absolute last resort for me... placing a distant second after gyno appointments and watching paint dry.

I'm not sure how you negotiate femininity. Even if I wear a beautiful dress and heels and put a twist in my hips when I walk (hey single boys, I *can* do it, and do it well. holla back), some comment is sure to fire out of my mouth that betrays me. Or perhaps someone will walk by in a baseball shirt and a ponytail and flannel pj pants and I will just stare longingly, thus giving myself away.

I guess the question is: what percentage do you have to be 'typical' to be considered feminine? I have a uterus. WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

So, going back to my story, given the opportunity to have my nails done, I jumped at it. Hands? Oh yes. Pedicure? Oh, but of course!

I do this in spurts. Once in awhile, I realize how far off the girly scale I've landed, and I tuck my chromosomes under my arm and saunter back over with a vengeance. I mean, my name is Lilly, for God's sake. I wear skirts for a few days in a row and show some leg. I put on a sexy pink bra. I do grocery shopping with concentration and pick up whichever magazines have the most ribs showing on the cover. I lower my voice, and I resist (with all my might) the urge to snicker like an adolescent boy at sexual innuendos.

Then I realize how much I miss my cargos and myself, and I revert.

I kept the polish on my nails for exactly 54 hours this time (yes, I counted). It's almost as if the orange polish (see, I told you. Can't do anything distinctly feminine right) didn't want to stay on my fingers. It just began to chip away in its own little political statement.

Right now I have trailer trash couture in the manicure department.

Let that be a lesson to me.