Intentions Count for Something?

I believe the current state of my life can be summed up by the fact that I had every intention of reading Kafka's "The Trial" this afternoon and ended up watching "13 Going on 30".

The Good, The Bad and the Discounted

THE GOOD: Today I got my first galley. What is a galley, you ask? It's a bound copy of a book- an advanced ready copy. It's for THE GRILLED CHEESE MADONNA by Chris Cihlar. I opened the envelope and couldn't believe my eyes as I finally got to see a project I had watched grow from start to finish (I picked up the project starting with a random query email).

I imagine this is what a proud father feels like as he holds his newborn (the joy, the pride, no real sense of the blood, sweat and tears that bore the actual thing). Keep an eye out for it. As we were reading, we were busting up. If I didn't have free copies, I'd totally buy it, it's so damn funny. May 2006, baby!

THE BAD: I realized yesterday that there is something incredibly unfair about the holiday season as an Iranian American. You see, I don't subscribe to any particular religion, but something about the holidays in the US really get me down. I mean, deeeeee-pressed. This year I've been so depressed that I haven't even been able to partake in my usual ritual of popping in Home for the Holidays and delighting in the dysfunction of another person's family.

I feel the same pressure as everyone else to buy the 'perfect' gift for the people I love, to spend time with my family (even though we all live in the same city), and to make resolutions for a new year. Problem is, I'm not Christian or Jewish, the token holidays of the aformentioned "holiday season." Technically Persians do have a holiday, and it was tonight. Shabeh-Yalda, the longest night of the year. According to my mom, my job was to "eat lots of fruit and make a wish!" That's the type of holiday I want. And yet I feel all the solemnity of the Judeo-Christian Shopping season and all it entails. This depression is slated to last another two weeks. Right up until Dec 31st, when I have to make the aformentioned Resolutions and then sink under the weight of figuring out how I will possibly accomplish in 365 days what I haven't in the previous 28 years. The pressure, the pressure! And all this in the face of the fact that the new year that actually means something to me, Noruz, doesn't even roll around til the first day of spring in March.

I recently heard a statistic that approximately 70% of the United States is Christian. I don't know if this is true, but I wonder how much the numbers fluctuate around the holidays. The rest of us, aka. "Other", get greedy, we wanna play too, so we put up a tree, and then all hell (or depression) breaks loose. Last night my family even got around to bickering just a tad about the placement of lights and ornamentation on our Christmas tree. I am a victim of the American Marketing Complex, and it's my own damn fault.

THE DISCOUNTED: Random stroke of brilliance tonight. I think third wheels should get discounted movie tickets.


The other night I was having dinner with one of my best friends and I asked her what her New Year's resolution would be. Never in my 28 years of life on this here earth have I seen a face go so blank. She may have asked me "What do you mean?," I really don't recall at this point.

You see, it has never been an option in my mind. Just like how you did your homework growing up and you look before you cross the street and you flush the toilet after you've left a souvenir (hopefully. If not, feel free to add that to your list)... you make a resolution. It's part of the natural order of things, really. Or so I thought.

The entire month of January is built around the fact that we are each supposed to be new people at the start of the new year. A Friends episode is devoted to this 'fact' -- that we all *try*, in any case. Entire marketing campaigns (big nod to 24 Hour Fitness, for example) have even been formulated around the usual suspects (weight loss and...oh yeah, weight loss). Everyone does it. No one doesn't do it. There are nudist colonies for people who don't wear clothes. There aren't "no resolution" colonies because it, to my knowledge, just doesn't exist. EVERYONE MAKES THEM... right?

Let's get back to the table. So I'm sitting in this fabulous little Asian fusion joint in L.A. chowing down food at 10pm. While I'm sitting there counting my sins (eating out while I'm supposed to be saving money, eating food that tastes too good to be good for you and the new dress you want to fit in to, etc.), my friend shrugged with the explanation that she had actually NEVER IN HER LIFE made a New Year's resolution.

I tried baiting her with a few suggestions -- "You never thought to ... or ....?" Nothing. She didn't bite. In fact, I can't recall making eye contact after the Kung Pao arrived. (But, again, that could have been my fault. See Resolution #2, above.)

Must be nice, most of me thought. A little tiny part of me sniffed at her "Hm. Well, the rest of us are trying to become better and better people with each passing year." But the majority of me recognized that she was the fortunate one. She is who she is. She accepts that. She doesn't make promises she doesn't intend to keep; if those things -if that handy list of 'self improvements' meant something to her, she would have made those changes long long ago. It wouldn't require an expensive evening out, annoying noisemakers and a cheap glass of champagne to seal the promise to herself.

I should clarify here that, while fascinated by her behavior, I didn't convert. I mean, anthropogists go observe tribal rituals but it doesn't mean they come home with a neck coil or a communal husband. I'm still rapidly creating a list and trying to google "how many resolutions is too may resolutions?" But it's enlightening to see how the other half lives. And hey, it's one less person fighting for the treadmill.

In No Particular Order

1. I'm not okay yet, are you? A mere 24 hours later, Yahoo's headlines about Stanley "Tookie" Williams are but a cache'd link in a faraway place. Everyone is over it. I'm not. Watching the news and the minute-by-minute account of what was going on was a wake-up call to the part of me that used to be very active about prison social issues. Somewhere along the way, I tucked that interest and concern aside. Sometimes problems seem so big and I don't even know where to dig in and start helping. I have started to act as if voting from time to time for a Democrat would do the trick. But we have a legal system where it's okay to execute someone. To extinguish an existence. And that bothers me in a way I can't even put into words. In the matter of one day, I watched a simple shrug of a conclusion rise like a puff of air from that execution chamber. The conclusion: there is no redemption.

Have we lost our faith in the possibility of redemption -- or, simply put -- that people can learn and change and become better or shed an old skin? Is that what we were really putting to sleep last night? That hope? If so, that's so sad that I don't even know how to address it.

2. Tonight I went to a party with Cyrus and someone looked at me and asked "Who's older?" -- with a STRAIGHT FACE. Cyrus later explained that she is the dumbest girl at his workplace. This was consoling to me. Until someone else asked me as I was *telling her this story*. Arg. I still don't know whether to be upset or complimented by this. At 23, it was an insult to get carded and such. At 28, shouldn't I be rejoicing in the fact that I'm easily passing for 10 years younger than my own age? I'm still not sure where I stand on it.

Am I going to be one of those people who's in her 40s and then people finds out her real age, having thought she was cool like them, in her 20s, and then they freak and feel weirded out?

Which brings me to another thought -- you know the whole thing about 'you're only as old as you feel'? I have no idea how old I feel. I think it might be 18. Which is just weird. I can't seem to fit in at another number. Ack. I know most of my guy friends are happily hovering at an average of "ten... and a half." But girls?

3. Humbling Moment of the Week. Today I made what could possibly be construed as a mistake at work -- let's say I had an oversight on something that was caught by someone else. I realized through this horrific experience (a little melodrama for ya) that making a mistake is a really big thing I can't deal with. It unhinges me for all practical purposes. Does anyone know if perfectionism is genetically inherited? If so, I'd like to point fingers. Thanks!

3.5 I'm auditioning New Year's Resolutions. Anyone got good suggestions? I want to do one serious one and one silly one at least. Being all serious never works. Why do we make serious resolutions?

Wouldn't it be fun if you could make resolutions for *other* people? Hell, I'd give up some of my Xmas presents for that. I'd like to start with my neighbors across the hall, who cornered me when they were drunk after the building holiday party and yelled at me (unfortunately, this is quite literal; as we all know - cheap wine makes people hard of hearing) about how "the 30 year old and under crowd in this building needs to stop acting like it's a hotel." The volume continued to go up as they harangued me for not having attended the holiday party.

I imagine what I experienced is like the reaming teenagers get when they break curfew (never had that; see 3.0 for more details). They CORNERED me. As I was recycling, no less. So much for karma. As she's whining about how I should get involved and insists that I read the book club book and be present and accounted for at the building book club meeting, he's glaring at me. And she didn't let up. "It's so short you can read it on the TOILET, Lilly!!!!" Ah, class act. At this point, he steps forward. Military man. Hovering over my 5'1 frame (yes, I've come to terms with my height. Shut it.) and goes "Lilly. We'd really like to see you show up at some of these functions." Subtext: you have disappointed us. We love you, but we don't like you right now.

Um, I pay a hefty association fee so I don't have to interact with my neighbors - hello! Thus, I would begin my resolution superpowers with one for the aformentioned neighbors. It would simply be that in 2006, they will stop popping out of their door just as I walk by, which I find both creepy and fortuitous (for the spreading of their neighborly evangelism).

4. If you haven't gone to, you must go now. Because it's incredible. It's like a musical psychic. It knows what you'll like even more than you do. I predict that this will be one of the biggest sites of the next year. Who needs MySpace -- who needs friends at all -- when you have good music? I'm obsessed with the insight I'm gaining from this website and I think everyone worth their salt should go check it out. I am fully judging my friends based upon their reactions to it once they've examined, by the way.

5. I have initiated a hot-chocolate-before-bed ritual. Ok, that makes it sound much more scandalous than it is. I make hot chocolate in the spirit of Christmas. Given that it's been gorgeous and sunny, it may not make complete sense, but it works for me. Highly recommended. Me belly full, so off to bed I go.

Hi, My Name Is

Everyone should go to their high school reunion.

I'm back, and as you can see from my steady typing (or can assume), I'm emotionally stable. It was total sensory overload while I was in this room with 100 of my not-closest friends, but in retrospect, it's a must. Yes, that means you.

The night began great- I went and grabbed drinks with one of my best friends and we caught up and prepared for whatever lay ahead. Mostly this amounted to drilling each other on names and filling one another in on information we already had, so as not to waste Precious Reunion Time.

When we arrived, Ronit saw a guy she'd kept in touch with and gestured to me: "You remember Lilly?". He looked at me with the blankest of all blank faces and stuck his hand out "Hi, I'm Scott". "Um, yeah, I know." I figured it was a sign. I mean, I didn't even get an "Oh, LILLY, I didn't recognize you!" Pride stepped in and it was summarily decided that I wasn't going to go chasing after people who might not have a friggin clue who I was. I would stand my ground with a drink in hand and let myself be approached. This worked well for me. Some people had mental lists of who they wanted to see. I didn't really have that (ok, just a little bit). I just stood and sipped and watched and waited. In retrospect, that behavior alone out of me - lilly g - would be enough to confuse them as to my identity.


While I had expected to spend the time checking out an aged but still hot version of Tony (my high school crush) and catching up with my old best friends, my time was not spent this way. Partly because he didn't show and partly because my time largely devoted to people from earlier in my life -- elementary or junior high. Some of us hadn't spoken for the duration of high school, truth be told, but we'd been in Brownies together or jumped and sang to Cyndi Lauper in a basement regularly and we were thus (apparently) cemented for life.

Reunion Revelation #1: You will spend the time with old old old acquaintances because they're the faces/names that have been beaten into you for years and years. We couldn't forget each other if we WANTED to. One of these people (hi Kathy!) let me know that she had found my blog mentioning her. I really hope her mom never finds out about the Justify My Love video she owned, or we're dead meat ;)

Reunion Revelation #2: Marriage has afflicted nearly everyone. Apparently the side affects are roundness and baldness.

Reunion Revelation #3: You will revert to at least one distinct high school behavior. Some people walked into the room normal and suddenly became loud and obnoxious as they'd been in Geometry or French class. I regret that my reversion was much, much more dire. As I've mentioned, my main high school crush didn't show. But I was busy flirting with another crush/friend who I hadn't seen since we graduated. He is more gorgeous than ever and is making his way as a hotelier in Costa Rica. Did I mention he's more gorgeous than ever? We had flirty banter that went like this:

Kordan Jlow (names have been changed to project the innocent, namely, me): You look good.
Me: YOU look good (smile smile. Slight drooling)
Me: So, is this it? Like 'have a nice life'? Will I ever see you again?
Kordan: I only come to the states a couple times a year.
Me: Do you ever come to San Diego (smile smile, more drooling)?
Kordan: No, but I go to LA.
Me: (dramatic pause) WHY LA?
Kordan: Because I have family there.
Me: So. Ugh. Don't go to LA. Come to San Diego!
Kordan: Come to Costa Rica.

Apparently here, dear readers, I stepped out of my skin and someone with minimal articulateness and ZERO game stepped in. She said:

Me: Nawwwwwwwwwww... if I do, you'll just be WORKING!

Does it get worse? I mean, literally ZERO game. I'd be devastated if it weren't so fucking funny. I have emailed him to say I'd like to keep in touch (trying to do damage control), but I fear I have already made a final imprint as someone extremely socially retarded. But at least he said I looked good ;)

Reunion Revelation #4: You will hug everyone. It's weird, but you will hug the jock you never really ever spoke to. You will hug people you don't like. You will hug people you actually hate. You will hug people whose names you don't recall offhand. You may debate, but 99% of the time you will hug.

Reunion Revelation #5: You will reconnect with at least one person who really means something to you. I think we all go through this - people you lost touch with for no good reason. There aren't bad feelings (although the crowd may be peppered with folks you do have bad feelings about, that's not who we're talking about), just maybe general laziness. I found two of them. Tracy and Nicole. People I had been so so close to and we'd just dropped the ball on staying involved in each other's lives. I went for a hilarious breakfast dining experience with Tracy later in the weekend and Nicole and I watched abnormal amounts of "Breaking Bonaduce" (query as to whether there are 'normal amounts' for that). This time I will not let them go.

Reunion Revelation #6: There is never enough time. I didn't have time to tell Gershman that I haven't forgotten that he's an ass of the highest order and that every time he suffers in life, he should think of me. I didn't have time to really talk to Joey and see how he was doing after all these years. I didn't have time to tell this person or that person how great they looked. Or ask him or her what they were doing with their lives. I have all of two pictures. I guess it's all supposed to tempt you to show up for the 20th? Will we never escape high school?

And, for just a moment, DEEP THOUGHTS:
I left wondering what it all would have been like if we'd all been this nice to each other 10 years ago. But I suppose that's what it's about. Realizing how much you've grown up and smiling and just moving on forward. It's okay to peek over your shoulder, but keep it moving folks.

Walking the Plank

You can run, but you can't hide.

Whassup Highland Park High School Class of 2005 reunion? Yep, for ye who think I look barely old enough to be out of high school, the truth is that I left the land of the HPHS Giants 10 years ago. Yes, I'm that old.

What would a blog be, if not a forum to vent my innermost thoughts, fears and apprehensions about facing people who knew me at my most fluid and confused? Last night I reminisced with a friend that my first official "date" involved a maroon J crew rollneck sweater, jeans, and burgundy army boots. My, how far we've come. Too bad the aformentioned date (Aaron) didn't go to my high school, or he might note my asthetic progress.

In the end, I think reunions are somewhat of the fender-bender that we can't avoid looking at alongside the highway. You don't want to, you know it's wrong, but your curiosity simply will not let you pass with blinders on. It's the definition of a 'see and be seen' event. The folks who aren't going (as a moral choice rather than a logistical one) are probably not happy where they are. They're not ready for this adult Show n Tell session. But I ask you, does it get worse than flannels and pegged jeans and crunchy hair and braces and posters in your locker (I don't care of what) and spending inordinate amounts of time and energy on a French class video? No. So as I see it, I really have nothing to lose.

I set foot on my high school grounds earlier this year when I went as a professional speaker. That was weird, but it definitely helped me ease into the process of responding affirmatively to the reunion evite. An invite that might as well have read "Come. Drink with people who you never would have split a bottle of Zima with in 1993, and sink cocktails until one of you is sober enough to admit a crush... with the other's spouse standing by! Fun for everyone!". Because you know that's what's going to happen.

(Ps- if you guessed that I'd put on hair metal tunes to inspire this entry as I write, you are so right. You are also probably my sister. What's up WARRANT?)

I'm not quite sure why I'm going. I'm definitely not going to show off arm candy (or finger adornments) of any sort. (A few drinks and I might flash a bellyring, though...) Truth is, I'm as single as I was when I sweat through Trigonometry class trying to figure out who I'd con into going to Winter Formal with me. Except the guys I got to go to date parties with me are probably all married now. But I used to wear singleness (singularity? Can we please find a good word for this?) as a scarlet letter. Now it's more of a passing phase. It's a "Yeah, I'm a free "agent" -- ha ha, wink wink.

The nerd in me found an outlet. I got the same law degree 50% of my class probably has, but I found a job I love. I wake up every morning and love where I live. I am way more athletic than I was when the gym teachers of HPHS scared me around the field or whatever. I actually run by choice, and I have a body that need not be hidden under oversized tee shirts. I may not even look much different than I did in high school, but I feel alot better than I did then. And I guess that's part of it, right? Because all these people are going to come back fat and balding and over-made-up, and they're all going to feel better. A lot of people will have traded in better looks for a healthy dose of self confidence. Me, I took care of the Eyebrow Situation. And yes, I'm ready to fly 2000 miles to show that shit off.

I guess I'm going to my reunion because I don't hate myself anymore. Teenagedom has passed. Awkwardness is gone. And I'm looking forward to meeting people through the eyes of the real me. Ok, and I am SO ready to totally judge them through those eyes too.

I wonder what happened to the assholes from my science classes. I wonder what happened to the guy who farted on my head when I was taking books out of my locker. I wonder who has stayed friends; if the friendships that rolled four girls deep (hello Mean Girls) as they strolled the hallways have dissolved. I mean, surely they have, but I wanna SEE!

Ok, before anyone else calls me out on it, there's also a matter of a boy (there is probably more than one, but I've long since shelved my yearbooks, so who knows who will pop up?). I'd be lying if I said (and God knows I don't even try to say) that I'm not curious about him. He's definitely the (gorgeous) face I'll scan for in the crowd. Unfortunately, everyone who has known me since high school will be watching me do that scan, but whatever- you live once.

I have certain associations with people and I can't wait to see where they ended up. Did the ridiculously smart math guy end up at NASA? Probably not. But for the mere price of a $270 flight, I can find out what happened to him. The nosepicker (collected in jars, as I recall) -- is he an ENT now? The pretty pom pon girls; did they stay pretty? Do they still wear nude tights with their sneakers per Pom Pon instruction? So many answers in one small evening. And an open bar. Man, they knew how to lure me.

It's one of those things where I have no idea what I'm looking for, but I'll know when I find it.

At the very least, I'm hoping to get back on the plane to CA with total closure. Closure is selling your house. Closure is going back to Chicago to visit and not stopping through Highland Park. But I want TOTAL closure. 60035 is just a number to me now; a distant memory of a starting point far in the distance. For a night I'm going to hover over that starting line and see what lessons I can glean from the experience. Then I'm going to walk away. For real this time.

And if I end up at Cloverdale Park at 1 a.m. with a six pack of Icehouse, yes, you can say you told me so.

You Are Here

Part I:
I haven't been around in awhile. I left for a bit to go on a stately tour of the Library of Congress, where one of our authors had received an esteemed literary award. It is one of the most beautiful buildings I've seen. Libraries have always been special to me. But as I walked the ornate halls, it suddenly all came together - my literary life flashed before me. All the years that everyone else (read: normal teenagers) had been playing Mallrats and/or tonsil hockey, I had been holed up at the library. The familiar reddish fro of the librarian and her denim frock, her disdain for my constant presence and my overconsumption of book check-outs came flooding into my mind.

When I was little, my parents did that whole reverse-psychology thing with me. If I was good, I "got" to go to the library squished in the back of the housekeeper's car -- lucky me! I would beg (I wish I was kidding about this part) to go. Given the choice between the movies and library, I'd pick library in a heartbeat. "Please? Pretty please?"

But back to the Library of Congress. My eyes flew back to the ornate walls and columns, avoiding confrontation with the fact that my entire life/career/business might be built upon my childhood, which I once viewed as "unusual" or "enriched", and now clearly saw in bold hues of "NERD". We got a private tour and hob-nobbed with the staff. (Despite the chicanery, I'm apparently still a sucker for a well-stocked library.)

I hadn't accustomed myself to the high life for long before reality caught up with me. As if suddenly shaken from a beautiful dream, I found myself but two days later mid-transit on... could it be???... I was riding one of those golf cart things at the airport. Previously thought to be reserved for the handicapped or extremely mature of age, my fine twentysomething self sat up straight right behind the driver, who had insisted I ride to my gate if I wanted to make my flight. Already shamed by what would clearly appear to be my blatant laziness, I avoided eye contact as we whizzed through the hallways of Dallas International.

My eyes averted, my ears didn't deceive me. I slid down in my seat, sheepishly looking at my feet. Although my cart was being driven by a man clearly of South Indian origin (in physique and accent), he wove in and out of terrified travelers, frozen like deer in headlights by his calls as we approached. Heavy Indian accent notwithstanding, he shouted "ANDALE.... AND-A-LAYYYYYYYY! VAMOS!!!!!!! ANDALLLLEEEEEEEEEEEE!", eyes bugging out, waving furiously (but happily), leaning precariously out of his driver's seat. Santa Claus after a drinking binge. "ANDALEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!". This to the amusement of the many (genuine) Latinos who populated the airport that night.

I can't begin to capture this scene for you.

I sat fidgeting with my phone and hoping the earth might choose that moment to wreak havoc upon Texas and perhaps swallow me whole. I know that given the recent Hurricanes that might have been a selfish thought, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Terminal after terminal (have you ever BEEN to this airport? It's humongous), I remained captive to his motor frenzy. Lean left-lean right-lean left-jerk to a stop.


I was the Queen of the Freaky Parade. Can't say I never won nothin'.

Part II:
Somewhere between that death-defying experience and my recent battle with illness (ok, a cold), I had a chance to reflect upon some events in my life. As I was recounting the story of the night my best friend and I went out to the bar where she then met the man who would be her fiance, I reflected that the night had turned out quite differently for me. Ah, what different souvenirs we gather as we walk along the road of life. Mine that night were -- oh yes -- a soggy cheese sandwich and a monumental hangover.

Part III:
I've started to refer to the cute blonde guy in the building, who I've seen all of three times (over the last year, exclusively in the elevator), as "my boyfriend". Take that how you will.

Part IV:
I tried yet again (in my Sudafed intoxication, I was persuaded) to watch Seinfeld. Strike One: Kathy Griffin guest appearance. Yuck. I still can't believe she gets paid to do ANYTHING. I'd pay her to be a human cannonball into the La Brea tar pits, but that's about it. Seinfeld, upon this millionth reviewing, revealed itself to be... what's the word? Oh yeah, IRRITATING. This is my final opinion on the matter. I have put in good faith viewings because people I love and respect enjoy this show. But I can't put up the charade anymore. Tonight I have issued forth a severe judgment. It's me or him. Mention his name before me at your own peril.

I'm not kidding. If I want to watch irritating neurotic people badger on another, I'll go back to Highland Park, thank you very much. Ugh. Every time there's a scene change, I hope against hope that a new cast will come on. I don't know why I ever agree to watch it. I cave! It's like when you're already buzzed and you do shots because everyone tells you to and you just get into the swing of things- but you know from experience time and again that it's gonna suck and you're gonna be sorry you did.

I have Seinfeld hangover right now.


Frequently Asked Questions, or, When Tape Was King

It's inevitable. People come over, walk into my Persian room and enjoy the decor for a minute, then their eyes become riveted upon an antique artifact resting innocently in the corner. Housed in its protective grey create, it peers out at the world quietly, the sounds of my friends amusedly ruffling through it a cry against its victimziation. It is MY TAPE COLLECTION.

I was recently saddened to hear that one of my best friends was selling off her tapes in a garage sale. She was one of my musical holdout pals -- until 4 years ago we were still covertly making each other tape mixes for the gym and for long roadtrips. But with that casual declaration, years of fandom went out the window. People, at the very least, please eBay that shit! Garage sale = disrespect. And tapes deserve it. They've gotten such a bad rap so suddenly. I am here, Avenger of the Analog.

I don't know when cds became the thing, but it felt like it happened overnight. Suddenly people forgot the years of joy that tapes had brought them. Let's harken back to the good old days for a moment: You hurry to the music store. What will it be? The packaging options alone were nearly mindboggling. Will it be a standard clear-cover-but-black-trapezoid-back-flap tape case a la Bon Jovi "Slippery When Wet" and many of my 80s favorites (see Heart's "Bad Animals"), as shipped by BMG? Red trapezoid, a la Air Supply (my roommate had this one). Or would it be a completely clear, rectangle-flap case a la Prince "Diamonds and Pearls"? And the tape itself- would it be standard issue creme-colored bland opaqueness, or would they have taken a chance will the translucent w/brownish coloring tape? Would they go wild and do blue-on-translucent, a la Madonna's "True Blue" and the B52's "Cosmic Thing"? How would the songs be divided. Would there be a cute name for "side a" or "side b"?

Friends always ask me how I learned so much about music. While you were searching for that song- rewind, play (hopefully pressing stop first, but sometimes you were in a rush), fast forward, play, rewind -- you had time to read -- I mean REALLY read -- the liner notes. Therein you could find the actual words to Michael Jackson "Wanna Be Startin Something" and ascertain that yes, indeed, it was simply "mama se mama sa mama ku sa". You could find out whether your artiste of choice had participated in the music writing, so when people told you they sucked you could say "hey, at least she writes her own shit and plays the bongos!". You could learn who producers were for no good reason, and then years later, as you watched Behind the Music, you could raise an eyebrow at the fact that someone DIDN'T know that Nile Rogers who produced "Like a Virgin" was once in ("Le freak, c'est") Chic. Who did they thank? Did they thank God first? Did they thank their fans? What other artists got shout-outs? Who were they influenced by? Within the millions of minutely-printed words on the tape liner notes lie a complete musical education. Here the aspiring pop musician first learns that songs go AABA. What a bridge is. What an intro is, what an outro is. You could find out who that familiar voice was in the background of a beloved tune (see the Bangles chorus on Cyndi Lauper's "Change of Heart" or Michael Jackson in Rockell's "Somebody's Watchin' Me").

Cds were supposed to bring convenience to music, and they did. Music became selectively consumed. Now, I buy a cd, never bother to learn the song names, and skip through in mere moments to find the two songs I like before popping it out and putting the next one in. When Tape Was King, I sat through the tape one full time at least once. I NEVER bought a tape and forwarded to my chosen song, because, well, you didn't know where the hell to find it. So you began, you sat down in your room and shut the door and turned the volume on, and you LET IT PLAY. You listened to lyrics and read along with the liner notes, rewinding if you missed something. And you listened to the songs in the order the artist wanted you to hear them in. And you ejected it and flipped it over and listened to the other side. And after doing this for a few days or weeks, you had a good sense of the entire album. More likely than not, a song that will never be on the artist's "best of" album became your favorite. Whether it was Guns n Roses' "So Fine" (yes, I was still buying tapes) or Sinead O'Connor's "I Am Stretched On Your Grave" or Paula Abdul's "Blowin Kisses In the Wind", there were treats to be found, and through the time consuming process of being a tape listener, you would find them. When there was a particular song you wanted to find on the tape, the agonizing process of searching to find it would multiply the joy of listening to it when you finally got there.

You felt more control when a tape got messed up, too. Last week (yes, you read that right, for those of you who haven't had Lasik) my "Chicago Flight Entertainment" tape was eaten by my stereo. Bastard! I quickly began the routine that is embedded so deeply in my physical memory, using my finger to turn, turn, turn it back to safety. (The procedure went well and it's a great tape, by the way). When a CD gets scratched, it's game over, because we all know that cd scratch fixers are bullshit.

And that brings me to my next thought- tape mixes. Some people have suggested (mostly to me, these people being friends who didn't know what to do with a tape I made them) that cd mixes have the same importance as a tape mix. While I think they're sweet and thoughtful as ever, and a great opportunity to collect songs that deserve to be together (like "pointless slow jams-- slow jams from before we knew what they're for"), there's another labor of love element in making a mix tape. For one thing, you don't know when you're going to run out of time. So you just add and add and hope the time all fits. And if a song cut off, you'd go back and fix it with a good outro (a guitar solo, perhaps?). There's an element of urgency to a tape mix that I really love. And yet at the same time there is this counter-energy of patience. The patience to dub. Hi Speed dub sometimes, but not always. The time it took to make the tape was often illustrated -- literally- in a pretty cover, perhaps a collage, or at the very least a decorated songlist or note rife with inside jokes. When I got my hands on a little mic, I used to plug that in and offer commentary between songs. Oh yes, quite a bonus for my listeners out there. Basically the fun useless trivia that I bore my friends with at dinners nowadays was infused seamlessly into my mixtape artwork. And appreciated! Today, you collect some songs, let iTunes calculate if they'll fit, and press "burn". If you're nice, you draw something cute on the cd, but most people can't be troubled with that.

Tapes to me speak of a time when we could be troubled to take the time out for our music. As someone who loves loves loves her music, I'm reclaiming my tapes. One by one, I'm moving them out of the crate where they are eyed so suspiciously and welcoming them back into my room. Roxette, hey, howya been? Belinda! There you are. Tape single for "We Didn't Start the Fire"? Don't worry, you're safe with me. I'm keeping them all. The good, the bad, the ugly.

Out with the old, in with the new? Hm. I don't think so. Not this kid.

The lengths I will go to to prove a point

Another set of twins. And I'm not talking Danny deVito and Schwartzenegger. Can I truly be the only person who noticed this?

Yes, I Moved My Furniture Again

Every so often I suddenly move my furniture around. Because I share an apartment and realize that innocent standersby (read: my roommate) need not be subjected to my insanity, I keep it to my room. For two weeks now I had my furniture in the same place, but tonight I moved it all over again.

I read somewhere that when you move your furniture around, you let energy circulate. So tonight, to the sweet sounds of Galvez' "Monsters of Rock" mix, I let the energy do its thing. But really what I did was found a way to put incredible strain on my body (I'd probably be a few inches taller if I stopped this ritual) and procrastinated. But it was fun. Somehow, I seem to believe that if I just move my bed-here-dresser-there-couch-to-the-wall, this stack of manuscripts will read itself.

But it won't. Or so I'm told. So I'm going to have to look for an intern.


1. cabana-boy good looks
2. portable cappucino machine and accompanying skills
3. good sense of humor. seinfeld bad. jon stewart good.
4. an innate understanding of the difference between "their" and "they're", particularly if English is his first language (hi Nicole!)
5. quality taste in music, as judged by me. iPods will be confiscated and searched. No one knows where I will draw the lines. This week I already offered amnesty to a guy friend with the best of Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam and Linda Ronstadt. The fact that I can spell her name might have just implicated me. I swear, her duet on "I Don't Know Much" is the ONLY one I find bearable. Promise.
6. overarching desire to do my laundry while he's here.

People who list "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "The Alchemist" as favorite reads need not apply. And trust me, they will.

Ok, I realize that as I go on, this is starting to read more like a "dream boyfriend" list than a "dream intern" list. But it's late and hell, I deserve both.

And of course I can't forget #7: Strength to move furniture.

Forward my mail to the office...

Does anyone know for sure what the definition of a workaholic is? I'm afraid I've become one. I was worried it would happen if I went to the big firm life; you know, that the only man in my life would be the kindly office janitor, that I'd fall asleep drooling on important discovery paperwork, and wake up with a Bates stamp date on my forehead.

But here I am, self-employed and living that same crazy life. Minus the hives I got when I was pre-trial at my old firm. That was just gross.

I mean, as far as this potential workaholism, I'm kinda afraid and... kinda... proud (?!?) of it. I mean, I got a LOT done this summer. But where did my summer go? I didn't TOUCH the ocean water. I complain about saline nasal drip, but really, I wouldn't have minded a bronzed back from surfing and just a *bit* of authentic drip. I live in friggin California, and I haven't been to the beach. I'm hoping to pencil it in for later this weekend, but I could always cancel on me.

Here I am, 12:50 -- A.M. -- blogging. It's what I'm doing to "unwind". I'm a loser of proportions Doogie Howser couldn't even begin to imagine (he was the root of blogging as far as I'm concerned, and Jon, I want that in your book!). Why blog when I can barely keep my eyes open? Well, truth be told, I've been sitting in front of this computer for so long that I can't be troubled with getting up and out of this chair. I've actually thought I might be able to roll myself over to the bed and then just lean over to sleep.

So where is the line? Workaholic? Devotee? Passionate entrepreneur?

I think I'm just driven right now. I want to sign off the computer at 10pm, but I decide to do "just one more thing" and end up typing away for a few more hours. I blow the whistle at 1am these days. My eyes pop open in the morning and it doesn't even feel like I slept. (Side note: they pop open and I can see across the room. Let this be my 3-months-later endorsement. I HEART LASIK!!!)

Actually, the only reason I'm posting is because I'm sick of Gerard Depardieu being the first thing people see when they open my blog.


Everyone Has a Twin

My unscientific findings this evening are highly disturbing.

Simon LeBon, meet Gerard Depardieu.

I think reading The Double is getting to me.

Stop me if you've heard this one: So a girl walks on to a plane...

“ Teach me then because, as I understand it, teaching someone who doesn’t know something is an act of charity.”
-Jose Saramago, THE DOUBLE

There’s nothing like a flight delay to bring people together, I say. Picture it: Portland International Airport, Alaska Airlines, 8pm last night. I had just put down my book with the above quote when a guy loomed over me in the aisle and gestured to his seat, apparently the window seat I’d coveted. He slid into it with minimal ceremony—I don’t recall now if an “excuse me” was heard, the majority of my attention having gone directly to his jeans, which were white, and purposefully shredded right above the knee. I shuddered and looked back down on my book. He spent some time trying to get comfortable, returning calls on his phone as I rolled my eyes and tried to read, wondering what I’d done to piss of the Airline Gods this time. After a few minutes ignoring his tossing and turning, he asked me if I knew when we’d leave. I answered and somehow we began talking about where we’d come from and where we were going. I had a bag full of work to do, and it was clearly NOT in my plans to conversationally engage with Mr. Fellow Flyer. But as my mom says “How do you make God laugh? Make a plan.”

He asked me what I do, and after a curt answer, I politely returned the curiosity. He told me he was a Marine. Now, let me say right here that I have yet to fully understand the differentiation between the various wings of the American military. I hoped my ignorance wasn’t written across my face, and that my secret fear-slash-avoidance of all things military didn’t linger on my face. While I enjoy the daily perks of freedom in the ole Red, White and Blue, I can’t generally be troubled to wonder about its costs, and who is paying them.

Our conversation rambled forth, taking on a life of its own. I knew about his father’s business, his dreams of becoming a history teacher, and his desire to speak German but travel Italy. Smile smile, nod nod, this and that. Then he said he was on his way for his third tour of duty in Iraq. THIRD tour.

Stand down, fellow Iranian readers, I’m not done yet! This boy was all of 22. I swing between describing him as a boy and then a man, because while only a man would climb into a plane and fly to Iraq to lug 60 pounds of gear and fight for his country, the reddish hair, pink face, and excited personality was that of a boy who turned out to be only slightly older than my brother.

Three tours of duty. He was dismayed. But he had made a commitment, one (I didn’t hesitate to tell him) that I can’t begin to understand – that of being willing to take death for the cause of an ideal, a concept. Say it with me now: Freedom. He had eleven months left to serve, and appeared ready to do it (despite a sprained hand and stretched foot ligaments). It was just how the cards had been dealt, and he was playing the hand.

I began learning about his various missions and what he had seen, and I was surprised at every turn. He had been to many of Saddam’s palaces, but he had also gone for a tour of Babylon, and visited many of the mosques, which he found to be incredibly beautiful. He told me about the cultural training he had received, and wanted to know how similar Iraqi traditions were (the social faux pas of showing the bottom of one’s foot, for example). Or if I thought it was weird that they were told to ask for the man of the household when they knock on an Iraqi door. I was in flight from Portland to San Diego, but vividly the mental footage from his tours of duty unfolded and spilled forth onto my tray table, at a speed so fast I could barely process. It’s unusual to have such an open dialogue with an absolute stranger, and I took the opportunity to ask him what I could be doing – what any of us should be doing – to comfort soldiers. But when they’re sitting in a tent absolutely still hoping to survive what became 140 degree heat, he assured me that there isn’t much we can do. Oh, except send magazines and news plus underwear and socks—apparently our tax dollars don’t go that far! How do they keep themselves busy, I asked. They start rumors. "Like the one my friend started about JLo having died." Sick but funny. And clearly a sign that we can send these guys some entertainment while they're camped out.

I asked him how he feels when he comes back from Iraq and watches the news; what inconsistencies he observes. He told me that it’s difficult for soldiers to watch the news and see how American media covers death after death—on both sides- without any reports of progress or the more uplifting stories. My freshly-waxed Persian eyebrow went up in a hurry, and I asked for elaboration. Brace yourselves, because this story kept me up last night: at one point, his group (Regimen? Troop?) surrounded a house and prepared to search it. Around the back, they found a shed. And within the shed… the door was opened upon a young boy, clearly a victim of Down’s Syndrome, chained to a stake in the floor. They untied him and had him Medivac’ed away for treatment.

I didn’t see that on the news, did you?

Our journey had rapidly become a two-way presentation. He innocently asked me if I’d ever traveled anywhere unusual. I thought about it—South America would have been the safe bet, but what’s the fun in that? I smirked and mentioned that I, too, had been on a jaunt to the Middle East. “Oh Lordy,” I thought, “here comes another guy whose understanding of Persian is limited to the feline and the textile.” But I dove right in, realizing that he wasn't even born yet when the Revolution-Hostage Crisis double feature took place. Soon the story of pre-Revolutionary Iran, the fine points of its culture and history, and my cultural pride became part of our exchange. I told him how Once Upon A Time, Iran was a resort oasis in the Middle East. I explained how we are often confused with Arabs, but that in actuality, he knew more Arabic than I did. The hours passed, and soon San Diego came into view.

I can comfortably put my money on the fact that I was first Iranian he’d ever met, but I was one who cared about his old camping trips with his dad, his mother’s cancer diagnosis, and whether his ride would have waited for him at the airport. I suppose it’s in these daily interactions that we make our name as people, good or bad, and in which we have the opportunity to put our best foot forward. By the time we landed, he wasn’t just some soldier with questionable fashion sense, but a three-dimensional human being who I understood in a completely different light and who will make me look at Marine uniforms (whatever they are- still haven’t figured that out yet) completely differently.

In our everyday lives, we, each and every one of us, are cultural ambassadors. I don’t claim to be—nor do I want to be – omniscient or omni-representative of All Things Iranian. Heck, I can barely speak without making someone giggle. I’m just me, and part of that is Persian, and I like sharing what I know. We often live under the presumption that the only important pro-Persian/Iranian/Iranian-American work is done large-scale, in the formal organizations, functions, fundraisers, and protests. Much of it is… but not all. There are millions of ways to make ourselves known to the world we live in, and these can trickle down to the basic – and powerful -- human currency of casual chit-chat. How we interact with others daily forces change, by encouraging new people to understand us under a broader umbrella of “Understanding Humans” or “Cool People”, moving beyond ethnic and political perimeters. And -- lest we take the focus off ourselves for a moment – in the process we might just learn a thing or two about some others.

Tray tables up, folks, it’s time for liftoff.


(Based on an article submitted to

So Are We, Like, On a Date?: A Scientific Study of the D Factor

I'm calling upon my friends everywhere to help me with this simple question. It's a short answer essay:

How do you define a date?

Some would say that the fact that I'm asking means I don't know/haven't been on one, whatever. Okay, stop stoning the single girl! I'm just WONDERING. It came up because another friend suggested that when I had hung out at the zoo last summer with a guy friend, that would be construed as a date. [I should add that this individual denied the aformentioned assertion upon further cross-examination this evening, claiming it was a joke.]

So how do you define a date? Like, what if one person thinks it's a date and the other person doesn't? I've definitely had this one. I've had to do the dive-roll out of the car for sure, to avoid any "unwanted tensions". Or, well, if there was going to be tension, you bet your sweet ass I wasn't going to stick around to enjoy it. When I've been interested in a guy and not felt that it was reciprocated (a certain field trip to watch a film for our French class comes to mind. O Unrequited Love. SIGH), I did NOT assert, verbally or mentally, to myself or publicly, that it had been a date. I feel like there's some mutuality involved.

So do you have to know at the time? Or can you look back and be like "Hmmmmm. I guess we WERE on a date!" On the flipside, can you go back after an okay date and be like "Nuh uh, I did NOT date him!" based on things besides the actual date interaction? [Case study: I had to backtrack after having a nice dinner with a guy a high school friend set me up with, who quickly revealed himself to be The Fastest Silent-But-Deadly Farter In the East. He trapped me in the Horror aisle at Blockbuster! Nice guy, decent conversation, good taste in music, detrimental genetics. I just could NOT say that I'd dated him, not even once. I Un-Dated him.]

Is there a time length? Is 45 minutes a date? If a group of 3 or more of your friends concur that it was a date but you don't, does that make it a date and just make you a super-denier? Is there a financial responsibility factor- like if someone invites and pays, have they taken you on a date? And then would your choices only be to have enjoyed the date or not so much, but either way it was a date? Because I can definitely be accused of exclaiming to a girlfriend that "Ohmygosh, dude, he PAID! That is SO a date!", which suggests that this may be subconsciously how I think. It also suggests that I'm not as eloquent as I'd like to be ;)

Do certain environments automatically mean that this event has become a date? Beaches, fancy restaurants? The Eiffel Tower? A blanket under the stars? Do other environments work against the date factor? Like if you guys go to, I dunno, CostCo or the old people's home together, would that then NOT be a date just by virtue of the lack of social precedents?

I'd like to take this moment offer an Amen to Jon's email today that "two single people hanging out does not constitute a date."

Then he posed a question back to me that I've been struggling with. His question was, Is prom really a date? Oh shit. He was basically saying it's an Auto-Date. Where DO auto-dates fit in? Is a blind date an auto date, and thus not REALLY a date, but more of a screening interview? If it's not a date... and if you strip me of my high school dances and my sorority events... the violent decrease in the number of 'dates' I've been on would be devastating if it weren't so damn funny.

So I'm putting it out there and I'd love to hear your thoughts, reflections, appropriately quoted song lyrics, etc. Formulas would be great (engineers, start your calculators).

If you're reading this and THINK we may have been on a date together, um, let me know ;)

Missed Connections

"u were on one of my favorite tv shows in the 8Es. u were hanging out with a guy named Buddy. email me if u get this!"

Tonight I was playing Galvez music by the band from last night (Robbers on High Street. Consider this a plug for their LP, "Tree City". We went to see Brendan Benson at the Casbah. Robbers opened, and quickly found two new fans -- Gene left with their t-shirt while I left with their cd. Anyways, a track came on that Eric thought would be a perfect intro show for a tv.

Before I knew it, I had blurted out "Yes! The theme song for a reality show starring Scott Baio!"

What the hell? I mean, who *thinks* like that? Much less VOCALIZES IT?

He's an interesting 80's star I've lost track of. I know where most of them are- who's in rehab and who is enjoying a D list movie career and who is on Broadway (hi Doogie!) or running religious camps (Kirk Cameron). Oh, and who just gave up holding on to the 80s and returned to life with the rest of us civilians. But Scott Baio? No idea. Not a clue.

And while we're at it (and since I used to get them confused all the time) - where's Ralph Macchio? You see, I'm gonna start taking karate (henceforth to be pronounced "kah-raah-tayyyyyyyyy!" with a hand chop to the air) and I thought I'd write him a fan letter...


Real men wear red dresses.

This and many other truths were revealed this past Saturday, when I participated in my first ever Red Dress Run.

These truths are now available for the first time ever for the low, low, price of $9.95. (It was worth a try)


Ok, so we cheated. We spent the day shopping for red dresses, which were in short supply in San Diego county on that particular day. The dresses we found were appalling and we decided against them, although they're perfect if I ever interview for a secretarial position at a company that is 1000 years old and also requires nylons with my low heels. Yuck.

From the moment we turned the corner of City College, the starting line, we feasted our eyes upon red dresses of every size, shape and color. Bodies were equally arrayed (size, shape, color- not to mention gender and age). Usually the two were appallingly mismatched. But appalling quickly became funny, in fact delightful.

We fashioned cute little tee shirts out of our oversized "Stop Bush" tee shirts (some would claim that they're "SO six years ago!", but it ain't over til it's over and all of that. A tee shirt and skirt is very conservative gear for this particular athletic event. Men in thongs (but well-accessorized in capes and nipple rings) abounded. Girls in shredded long strips red barely-there material that harken to drying rags that hang and slap your car as you come out of the car wash. We were almost lame by comparison. Prom dresses, coctail dresses, sundresses, no dresses.

I suppose one place you *don't* need to make this particular statement is at a virtual parade of men (many of them of the military persuasion) running in teensy red dresses. On reflection, next year I'll be wearing a dress. Possibly gloves. Which brings me to my next point


No kids. Free beer. Ditto jello shots. New friends. Hundreds upon hundreds of eligible men basking comfortably in their inherent masculinity (as demonstrated by wearing a red dress and parading through Petco Park in it). Funny people abound. A dancefloor. A guarantee that you will have a great time and be entertained by thousands of costumes without embarassing them or being subjected to alien space invaders or obscure Star Wars references. Oh, and none of those cat suits, my #1 Enemy Halloween Costume worn by girls on that special day. Naked girl mugs (I view this one benefit to be slightly gender-specific, but it might convince my guy friends to do this next year)

And the $ goes to charity, so despite all the fun you're having, you're this awesome philanthropist and can spend the rest of the weekend patting yourself on the back.


So after the initial fascination with the sea of boys in red dresses wore off, I noticed a sudden shift in my mindframe. My surprise and staring was quickly replaced by my old friend Judgment. "Ugh. Why would he wear that and not wax his BACK?" I remedied my shock with a swig of beer (To take the edge off -- he was REALLY hairy!) and things were back to normal. I mean "normal".


We did. Nothing like wearing a weird outfit, getting tipsy, and hobbling through the streets of your city to bring the townsfolk together.

I can say this ranked among the most fun nights I've ever had in San Diego.


Next year. Be there or be square. Red is the new black, didn't you hear?

Caught In The Act

"What I need
is a good defense
'cause I'm feeling like
a criminal.

And I need to be redeemed..."

So sue me.

Once in awhile, when I feel lazy, I treat myself to chick lit. It makes the time on the (circle one: elliptical, exercise bike, recumbent bike) go faster. Today I did a bit of cardio, and noticing myself lagging, went to the weights. Lifted for a bit. Still lagging. So I went back to my gym locker and pulled it out. Yes, a Megan Cabot book. Like I said, sue me.

I folded the cover back and headed upstairs. Such a cute beginning! (Itemization of what the main characters bought at the airport, as told by their JFK airport store receipts, thus offering both insight into their personalities and a stage for their first encounter) Anyways, I sat on the bike. And Some Guy (capitalization intended) came and sat next to me.

Well, not six minutes into my grueling manual-level-one workout, I notice that Some Guy is reading over my shoulder! He doesn't think I can notice! He thinks because he's wearing headphones (and not the telltale white earbuds of an iPod! LOO-OO-ZE-ER!) I can't see. But I can. Because no one would strain their eyes that slanted and left to read the "quick start", "personal trainer" and "heart" buttons that hard. Over and over again. I'd read a paragraph and check back. Still there. Some Guy was truly shameless.

Do you even *realize* what a faux pas this is in Lillyland? Not that I expect social manners to be a premium at the gym, but I expected better, even from Some Guy. Yeah, file it under signing off "Cheers" (hi Ameer, hey there Neema) and incessant Seinfeld references...or...usage of the phrase "same difference" or "I couldn't give a care". Ugh. ANNOYING.

But what's more annoying is that I wanted to JUSTIFY myself. I wanted to lean over and say "heh heh, just some fun reading". I wanted to somehow tell him that Nobel winner Jose Saramago's recent novel is on my bedside (the same way I am right now slipping that into conversation). But why the need to justify myself? Particularly when it's better written than so much other stuff out there. Someone once pointedly observed to me that in The Da Vinci Code, all the "important" clues were IN ITALICS. Enough said.

I mean, what could reading chick lit really "say" about me? That I'm single? That I'm fun? That I might be of the sorting-my-life-out-mid-20s-female demographic? That I like a good laugh in well-written, by-definition-sarcastic prose? What happened to not judging a book by its cover? So what if the cover is pink? DON'T JUDGE!

Well, if all of this is a crime, then damnit, I'm a criminal.

Oh, and by the way...

I hate when people sign their emails "Cheers". No, wait -- I *loathe* it.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,
The Management


This weekend I went to a friend's wedding. Beautiful bride, beautiful setting, beautiful extensive buffet.

Observation #1: I think weddings are growing on me.

Much as the times may change, tradition doesn't. I was corralled with my single female compadres for the Bouquet Toss. You know, when the now-married girl throws her wilting bouquet at pandering single girls. Has there ever been a more demeaning tradition? Subtext: "Haha, I'm married and you're not."

Observation #2: Weddings are genocide of the single female species, who are terminated through public humiliation (see "bridesmaid dresses", "bouquet toss", and "dancing with Uncle Roy")

Well, I wasn't feeling it. So I took a few steps back. The girls had formed a U-shape. All I needed was Sylvie's wedding video to document my participation in this lineup for the zillionth time. So I kept inching back. I joked that I was "playing outfield", which of course received blank looks from the women all around me. But hey, I knew I was being funny. A few paces back, I bumped into the dj booth, so I was stuck. And there I stood.

So she launched it and...

flying in a perfect arc through the crisp valley air...

it went straight for the dj's head (bent thoughtfully over his turntable)....



I consider it public service on my part. Lillys-Against-Flora-Battered-Musicians. I was just saving a life, really. I didn't even have to do anything. I just stuck my open hand up to spare him the contact.

If I'd known he was going to play the Macarena so soon thereafter, I might not have made the effort.

Oh well, hindsight is 20/20 (I just typed "hindsight is 50/50" -- it's that sometimes too). And if pigs should fly, hell should freeze over and/or Bush should get a conscience and I get married next, you heard it here first.

"I Betcha Wonder How I Knew..."

How shaky the foundations of our towers of musical wisdom can be. I was listening to a Marvin Gaye collection on the drive back from LA tonight and realized that my introduction to him-- and possibly (ugh, barf) my appetizer for a lifetime of devotion to soul music -- was via the California Raisins.

That is just so weird.

And it reminds me of a time my brother told me that he loved the new Puff Daddy song on the Godzilla soundtrack (once upon a time, there was a Puff Daddy who was then a P Diddy. He'll probably become a symbol next- don't say I didn't call it). Anyways, I got SO mad because the hook of the song was Led Zeppelin, and it disturbed me to think that because of the way we constantly recast/recapitulat/remix music, he wouldn't know where the true credit lies.

But he isn't alone on that. I think we've all fallen victim to covers and remixes. I thought "Make Me Wanna Holla" was a hook original to Brand New Heavies. My cousin nearly nailed me to the wall with a glare upon that comment. I thought "Fever" was Madonna's. I thought White Christmas was New Kids On The Block's. Just kidding on that one.

But really, THE CALIFORNIA RAISINS? (groan) That said, what an amazing marketing campaign.

If I Were A Rich Girl

Tonight, rather than work out or catch up on work or phonecalls, I felt the need to reorganize cds. Is there a way to feel richer? Hello Mozart, hello Bebel Gilberto, hiya Wham! Great to see you again. Danny Wilson, man who sang that incredible song "Mary" (as rediscovered in "Something About Mary") -- I don't have *that* album, but a subsequent failure. Hi Danny. You're safe with me. Hi, Complete Madonna Collection. And hi U2 collection (just in case people accuse me of being a sap with Madonna). Cds by my friends and my siblings. And even my own brief appearance at the mic of Dave's Son. Oh! And look, being undecided, I have both Duran Duran "greatest hits" and "decade". Subtle differences, but requirements for the 80s fan.

Right now I'm listening to the soundtrack from Grand Theft Auto. They put out like 5 cds of the music from the video games. I'm listening to the "emotion" channel, so I nod my cap to Mr.Mister (Mister Mister?). This blog began after Toto's "Africa" had finished, but that deserves mention as well. There are songs playing that I can't even name, nor recognize the artist, and yet sing along naturally -- songs that must have played while I was in a carseat in the back of my mom's car on the way to nearly drown myself at the YMCA.

Have your fancy schmancy cars, your bags of Louis V. in brown-on-brown. Any day I feel poor, all it takes is a little journey through my music and I'm a rich girl (yes, I have that too). Plus, the memories it triggers are priceless. Memory after memory. Happy, sad, distant, recent, funny, awkward, nostalgic -- pick your poison. Kinda like flipping through old pictures, except you don't comment on how fat you were.

Honesty is the best policy.

Stop me if I've told you this blog before:

A short while back, a series of events led me to make this proclamation: "I hope my husband has a good health plan." Anyone who knows me -- or hell, anyone who has talked to me for more than two minutes -- knows that I don't begin sentences with "When I'm married" or "When I have a husband" or "at my wedding" and so on. (It's just not a frame of reference for me ever since Kirk Cameron gave his heart to Chelsea Noble. My heart will go on, etc etc.) But the comment came tumbling out of my mouth and I couldn't even take it back, because I'm Honest Lil and, well, I meant it!

Unfortunately, things got taken to another level when tonight I admitted to a friend (unprovoked AND via email- paper trail. Double whammy.) that if there were a website listing guys' health plans instead of their stupid favorite movies and hobbies, I'd probably drop the cash and sign up. Cupid, here I come.

To my defense, given Eric "The Great Galvini"s recent escapades with his HMO, I just think I'm evolving within my lifetime to survive this cruel, cruel world. Some girls want diamonds, some want a vacation home in Spain and an unlimited shopping budget. I mean, I'm not *fighting* the villa dream or anything, but some days all I want is low co-pays and immediate appointments, maybe a discount on prescriptions. Could it be that the Persian social wisdom that nudges us girlies to date doctors has the right idea after all?

Whatever, I'm just being honest.

Never Say Never

When I was little, the worst day of any school year was the President's Stupid Fitness Test. Capitalization intended, because that's exactly how I felt about it -- and still do, actually. I'll probably write my kids a sick note and sit on the couch and eat chocolate and let them watch movies with lots of "fuck this, fuck that", just to prove a point that day. All it did was make me feel shitty, because not only was I the last one, but I got less than zero sympathy for the fact that I had really bad asthma. I probably ran like a 56 minute mile. But at least I'd do it. And then my gym teacher would fail me and shun me. Maybe spank me. I don't know, I just know I was always *repelled* by the concept of moving faster than a brisk walk.

Somewhere along the way, however, I started to kinda overcome the asthma. It was a mental thing, I'm convinced. But it's brought me far --I bring this up to say that I'm forcing myself into being a runner. It's just happening. I don't even recognize myself anymore. We've had alot of talks about this lately - how we know we're getting older because our interests and priorities have changed. We've gone from "Hey -- bring over the Aftershock and let's do some shots before we hit up that party" to "Hey- will you call me at 7 to be sure I woke up for our long (read: 7 miles or so) run?" We have shunned clubs and bars and smokiness and flirting with random strangers in honor of solitude while fishing on a lake in the middle of the outskirts of nowhere. And so on and so forth.

The coolest thing about running, besides the fact that I could never do it before and in so doing relive a part of everyone else's happy childhood, is the fact that it totally wears me out. I have this chronic problem of just thinking too much. Some of that has to do with launching the company. Now that I'm the captain of my own ship, blah blah blah, I'm more driven than ever. Like I needed more motivation or something. Anyways, I'll watch tv -- say Sex and the City (ahem, I meant The Golden Girls) -- but actually my mind will be making a list of what authors I need to call or who I need to connect with in NY before they break for lunch. But running has brought this amazing calm into my life. Because I'm so friggin worn out by the time I'm done that I'm just happy to be alive. I don't really stress out. I take my time, eat a little something, and just usually sleep. When you're that tired, you don't worry about bills or what to do tomorrow or what was left undone. During the run sometimes you'll think about what's been bothering you, but for the most part, you just need to remind yourself to breathe, and that's enough work to focus on.

Secondary benefits to running include a sense of community. Strangers are friendly to each other in San Diego, but there's this runner comeraderie -- the little nod as you pass -- that you're in on. People who are walking look at you like you're a godess because you're running and they're "just walking". I remember when "just walking" was still a big deal. They respect you as a member of the I Take My Fitness Seriously community. Today, I was jogging towards two walkers, and the woman grabbed her husband and pulled him out of the way. I'd like to tell you it was because I move at such a rate that she worried for his safety given my oncoming speed, but it was just a gesture of respect. But hell, who doesn't like a little respect now and then.

Plus I got new coolmax(tm) socks that miraculously avoid stinky feet syndrome. Yay! Christmas present for CJ (no, he's not a runner. That's not the point.)

So yeah, basically I recommend running as the antidote to everything that has ever irked you. It's my present to myself. You take a look around and enjoy views because you're not zipping by in your car. You sweat out everything in your day. And then you think about the President's Stupid Fitness Test and sweat that out too. No phone, so you don't answer to anyone except yourself (I am loathe to carry ANYTHING more than my own damn body weight).

And then you get home and... just *crash*. I'm not even hungry when I'm done, which we all know is a miracle. The end. Cut scene. Nighty-night. It's a drug. And you do it over and over and over again, pushing yourself farther and higher, well, until your knees give out. Or at least I will :)

Thank You For Being a Friend...

Tonight, my sister, her boyfriend and I happened to catch two different shows back to back.

Sex and the City has met its throwback match: The Golden Girls.

I mean, really, what were the chances that we'd catch both in the same night? Ok, high. But still.

I hazard a guess that maybe Sex and the City is just a Golden Girls RIPOFF! I mean, look at the formula:

Four friends: the sexy one, the straightforward sarcastic one, the unexpectedly wise one, and the prude.
Golden Girls: Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia, Rose
Sex in the City: Samantha, Miranda, Carrie, Charlotte

Group of random girlfriends battling the issues particular to their age demographic.

Florida was the "it" place for the 80s. Miami Vice backs this concept up. Now? NYC. Maybe the Olympic Committee didn't agree, but the creators of Sex and the City did.

I'm sure somewhere in the internetosphere, a site must be dedicated already to this brilliant (if I may say so myself) observation. Let me know? If you do, I'll sing the St. Olaf Fight Song... (Go, St. Olaf, go go go! St. Olaf, Go! Go go go go go go go go go....)

But this all brings me to the Holy Grail of TV Knowledge. If you know, you are my hero: So like, really, what's the deal on this whole Bea Arthur gender thing?

Bonus if you know of anyone who has covered the theme song.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Can't Touch This

Remember when "can't touch this" simply indicated an average looking guy moving laterally in ridiculous glittery gold genie pants? Yeah, times were so simple back then.

I'm starting to learn how people operate in their relationships. Ownership, possession, restriction. The more you're willing to reset your boundaries, the more you love someone. The more someone likes you, the more they will reset their boundaries. These seem to be the theorems that hold our romantic universes together. And they're my bastardized paraphrasings of what we talked about at dinner.

I operate on weird laws. Like everyone else I know got gravity, but I got weirdo moon shoes and a helmet. I operate distinctly on a "no possession but also no forgiveness" rule. I trust and at least I don't lose sleep til something happens. I can't imagine trawling through someone else's belongings or scrutinizing just how they talked to their girl friend or asking for a roster of their female coworkers just to forbid them one by one from socializing. Then again, I can't imagine dating! ;) My ultimate declaration (as I stuffed one more piece of Hot Hot Spider Roll in my mouth.) was that we live in a culture of possession. And I think that's extending to our personal lives and it's weird. Some say that I'm just an idealist (a euphemism in polite circles for "wrong"). That it's normal to want to be possessive of the person you're dating. I don't get like that. This could be the guys I date just not inspiring that response. But maybe I missed a step -- like I missed that day of girlie conduct class or something. As Jon has pointed out, I tend to give the guys I date more than enough rope. And we know what happens when you do that...

At another point of our conversation, someone (hi James!) was offering an analogy. In this car analogy, I was... a station wagon.

So depressing.

Diary of a Domestic Godess

My friend just finished her 2 year job and is taking a few days off, staying with me. This morning I decided to treat us to a cooked breakfast -- pancakes, eggs, cafe au laits. etc. Anyways, she then made this remark:

"You make Persian moms proud. You cook too much food, you won't let anyone touch the dishes, and you do it all in a cute little black dress."

That said, the hangover was completely my own touch ;)

But then it got me thinking... I'm cooking *alot* more these days. I knit. I read Martha Stewart and Bon Appetit magazines with interest. I may have clipped recipes, but I'm not admitting anything. I just revamped my patio garden.

I think I'm nesting or something.

Unless that requires being pregnant. In which case I've just tapped into my domestic godess superpowers, and will now unleash them upon the world.

I'm Bad, I'm Bad, You Know It: A Meditation on the State of All Things Michael Jackson

Today I saw a breach in our justice system that I just can't get over.

I know that at approximately 2:15 Pacific time this afternoon, bloggers must have been going nuts. The Jackson child molestation verdict was in: NOT GUILTY. Slam goes the gavel. Well, not really, but we've all watched enough of The Practice to know how it goes. And the nation parted in two -- the believers (who might be seen outside the courtroom with white arm bands) and the disbelievers, who rolled their eyes and changed the channel.

And then there was me. Mouth agape. Criminal behavior had gone unpunished. He wasn't even CHARGED for his biggest offense? And what is that, you might ask?

I want to talk about his last album.

You see, part of me believes that maybe Michael started up this whole stink himself. I mean, no one could *voluntarily* want to spend time with the snide Martin Bashir, could they? Even weirdo Michael? I mean, he could hang out with Liz Taylor or his monkey or just chill and be one with himself in the oxygen tent. No one deserves Martin Bashir, and Michael knows this. Secondly, while he acts like a child, Michael is 46 years old. He knows better- or the people around him do -than to tell a schmoozy journalist that he climbs in bed with children. There is NO WAY that happened accidentally.

So I put my law degree to work. I sat down and I thought long and hard about it. And when the commercial break was over, I know what had happened.

The molestation trial was a stinkbomb. It had to be big. It had to be bad. It had to be newsworthy. Because it had to outstink the Invincible album.

Now I know you're sitting there wondering what I'm talking about. That's exactly the point. The man who put out zillions of Jackson 5 singles, not to mention Thriller, then Bad, then Dangerous made a boo-boo. It came in the form of the Invincible album, the most redeeming quality of said album being a Print Shop-meets-Andy Warhol cover -- collect all five colors. Did you really expect me to be distracted by that, Michael? Mikey had released "Blood on the Dancefloor", a remix album you blinked and missed -- but it was remixes so it doesn't "count" against him.

The "gem" on Invincible, aka. the semi-decent track, was "Rock My World". The fun of that one came more from the beat and the Chris Tucker appearance making fun of Michael ("shamon! SHAMON!") than anything else. In the video, Michael clearly plays second fiddle to Tucker, who I love, but let's be real - his career high point was Rush Hour. Tucker's partner in crime was Jackie Chan, now it's Michael. Not good, MJ, not good. Jackson videos used to feature Naomi Campbell and Michael Jordan. His songs used to co-star Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Now his own sister couldn't even touch the mic.

Rumor has it that MJ asked producer Rodney Jerkins to write him a ton of songs, then only picked a few for the album. Rumor also has it that the leftovers went to Justin Timberlake's debut album. And we all know how that fairy tale went, don't we? I believe I was quoted as saying that "Justin Timberlake has out-Michael Jacksoned Michael Jackson", a statement I stand by.

I've been listening to the album over and over, and I'm distressed. INVINCIBLE sounds like a Jackson impersonator's demo on a Casio keyboard. A decent impersonator, but one who's learned all the tricks - the Michael "ah" and the Michael falsetto, with none of the personal style that had us all glued to our tvs for every award show over the span of 10 years. If it wasn't Michael, I would have arm-wrestled the Tower Records cashier for my money back.

(Side note: I know a girl whose mom's friend sewed MJ's glove. Take a minute with that fun fact.)

"Rock My World", the only salvageable track, was soon remixed with the Justin Timberlake song "Rock Your Body", never to be heard au naturel again. The first three tracks are blameless, but there isn't much to distinguish them from one another. I like them because I wanted so badly to like them. "Butterflies" was covered by someone (Floetry?) and turned out better. 2000 Watts was covered by Tyrese. Not sure how much better he could make it, but hell, he looks good, so who cares? We're left with Michael trying to convince us that he's "Invincible" "Unbreakable" a "Heartbreaker" and "Threatened". He "needs his privacy -- yeah yeah". I liked that one better when it was called "Scream". He even makes a last-ditch effort to offer his perennial children's anthem ("The Lost Children"), which is a rehash of "Heal the World", complete with children's chorus. Who knew when the news said he has a studio at home that they just meant he mics his bed? :)

I'm the last person to hope Michael calls it quits. I've got nothing but love for what he used to be. And I think he should take his time to make the right steps in the right direction. Basically, I just hope he'll stop rushing into things -- including but not limited to the recording studio. Being a Michael Jackson fan is a pain in the arse these days. I don't want to have to defend the allegedly detachable nose. I don't want to have to defend the sleepovers. And I sure as hell shouldn't be defending a Grammy winner's musical abilities. Sheesh, Mike, where can I get *my* cut of your defense fund?!

So there, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is the real crime. Unpunished, but not forgotten.

Smooth criminal? I don't think so.

With this blog, I thee wed.

I just got done writing the most pathetic email of, well, let's go with -- the week. I emailed to beg them to please let me know if I'd already gotten a particular friend her wedding gift (the wedding was a month and half ago). In retrospect, I realize that my email was long-winded. I imagine there is a really nice guy sitting in India and reading's emails and wondering what the hell I'm on about.

I'm attending weddings at a rate that would make Elizabeth Taylor's head spin. Add in the subsets of engagement parties, showers, and bachelorette parties, and you'll see where the little free time work leaves me goes. But when I had to write this pleading email begging to help me keep track and basically GET A GRIP, I realized something had to change.

I need to marry myself.

Yes, marry myself! It's what Kevin Nadal did. You may have seen him -- on The View, or the Today Show, or maybe sitting across from me in Koreatown in NYC last week, indulging in Korean barbeque and friendly banter. Prompted by a plotline in Sex in the City (which I don't watch, and always causes me to recheck my typing, because I don't know if it's Sex in the City or Sex AND the City - a fact which I did not, of course, tell Kevin), he made a decision. He was always going to other people's celebratory events and Kevin decided it was time to do his own celebrating. So -- he married himself. The fact that he is a performance artist and psychologist only makes this more delightful.

Fast forward: registry, tuxedo, tons of attention, tons of presents.

What I'd like to focus on is the "tons of presents" part. Kevin felt that, after all the gift-giving he had done, he deserved the same. He did it all - bridesmaids, vows, partying like it's 1999. He registered for tons of prezzies, even (as reported by, although I'm sure he'd tell me if I asked, because we're like be-fri's now) a sno-cone machine.

But this isn't about Kevin. This is about me.

I think the time has come for me to do the same. Celebrate myself? Whatev. I think there are enough people in the world celebrating themselves and being celebrated (People magazine makes a living based on this simple fact). Dressing up? Let's see: The last time I wore a strapless long creme gown, I pulled the top layer over my head, formed what appeared to be a chador from it, and insisted that my friend draw me a moustache and unibrown so I could march around my house and explore what I would have looked like if my parents had never emigrated. I think I lost "dress up" privileges somewhere there. Vera Wang won't come near me.

But gifts? I need those! You see, regifting is really a lost art form...


I think this qualifies as an emergency. My sister thinks I like country music. Shit. That's like if someone accused me of liking Danielle Steele books or how Julia Stiles dances. As in, you could be ruining my rep. So let me take a moment to clarify. I don't HATE country music anymore. I'm embracing white people and cowboy hats. It's sociological research, really. I'm trying to get inside the mind of Red America -- but through their ears. Or something like that. It's totally, um, subversive.

I'm over country music. I don't even want to talk about it anymore. What I want to talk about is the phoenix rising from the flames that is Mariah Carey. I have been totally CAPTIVATED by her new single. The video is less impressive, highlights being her dancing around in only a long shirt and then running away with some guy (implied to be her stood-up groom's son) and driving away with him in a convertible with the train flowing and dragging behind them. Somewhere Vera Wang is crying.

Back to the song. Which is SPECTACULAR. I think it's been a little while since pop has had a songstress (this goes on the list of words I hate but use anyways like "schlep" -- subcategory: Yiddish words Muslim girls probably have no place using and ginormous, which I found out yesterday is the #1 most used non-dictionary word, thank you Ameer).

The song is "We Belong Together" and slides off the cheesily titled "The Emancipation of Mimi". And the remix featuring Styles P is only more infectious.

ON ALBUM TITLE: I feel her. I mean, I've watched Cribs. I would probably need to be emancipated -- or just escorted back to safety -- if I had walk-in closets larger than multiple-family homes (she loves her white tanks). To be fair, she did need to be emancipated from Tommy Motola. She had to be emancipated from short shorts (although her video suggests that she's mid-process). She had to be emancipated from black tank dresses and Whitney Houston duets.

ON THE SONG ITSELF: It's very sad. The last song that bothered me this much was "Hands" by Jewel, which, much to my dismay, gets me teary. But more than that, it's an infectious song and has the hallmark of what made her a star. The singer that pumped out "Vision of Love" and "Vanishing" is back. Her Rainbow album boasted hip hop friends and a voice that stunk of too many smoky rooms and late nights and too little chamomile tea. In my defense, I didn't buy it. The break point on that decision was a song dissing Derek Jeter. I don't like him, but I didn't like her flat singing even more. And so I moved on. I suspect this may be reason for her nervous breakdown, but sources haven't confirmed.

ON THE 'ARTISTE': I've been wondering all afternoon how someone who comes across as so super-ditzy (I'm being very polite about this -- see In re Cribs Visits Mariah Carey) can be such an incredible artist. I've heard that she insists on being heavily involved in the arrangement of her vocals. And it's pure genius. So how??? I console myself by thinking everyone gets different talents. She got the voice of an angel, but she can't dance for shit. (It's fun to notice how they try to work around this very obvious fact in her videos.)

ON ME: I don't care if the rest of the album sucks - this song is GOOD. She works in hooks from some r&b classics and it's so simple with just a beat and sparse piano chords. In an age of pop songs being hypersuperoverorchestrated, I love it. Enough to write about it. Or maybe I'm just taking attention away from my detractor and her "country-loving" allegations. Which, must I remind you?, are false. Slander! Libel! Someone call a lawyer!

So, for all you Mariah-haters out there, I regret to say that I'm giving up my post as club president. Unless I find out "We Belong Together" means she's trying to get Derek Jeter back. In which case I will resume my post, effective immediately.

Hire Me, Britney

The other night my friend and I were, wouldyabelieveit, rambling on about nothing. This nothing quickly came to conversation about Britney Spears. My friend's query to the universe (ok, or me) was "What if Britney did a country album? Can you imagine ---" and she *wanted* to continue her sentence with something like '--just imagine how horrific that would be?" But I cut her off.

Pure genius.

I'm not one to beat on someone when they're down. Ok, I am, but only if it's funny. I don't even think Britney's "sitch" is funny. Getting pregeroni by a guy you lifted off a pregnant woman -- a guy who calls to mind Vanilla Ice's better days? Hm. A step down from Justin, I'd have to say. I've started to suspect that she's on Glamour's "Don't" list payroll. One magazine tried to tell readers that she'd cut her own clothes as a fashion statement. But I could see the truth. Someone played her "Hit Me Baby" one time too many and she'd shredded her own clothing with her fake nails. Somewhere in between flying in a jet full of Coffee Bean (thanks US Magazine for that crucial info). Once so cute and sweet- on par with Mickey and Minnie and the rest of the Disney gang, she's taken a turn to the dark side. She kissed Madonna, which would be a step up, but Sandra Bernhard beat you to it. You danced with a snake, but -- oops!-- LaToya Jackson beat you to that. And you got half-nekked and sweaty in your videos- but Xtina beat you to that. Before taking your man away on tour. It's been a rough ride is all I'm saying.

But as my friend spoke those words, something made total sense. THIS COULD BE HER SALVATION. I think the country world will take her back. If I were here manager, my business plan for her would involve a return to Christianity ("let's just snip this little red string around your wrist, shall we?"), big big curlers, and perhaps a twangy cover of "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong", with a b-side of the national anthem (of course).

Hell, she's got so much going for her -- the fashion sense. She's got the excruciating accent. The political "sensibilities" of a girl who's never left the farm. The main problem lies in the fact that country singers-- much as they make me cringe (or used to) -- have good voices. She'd have to work on that one. But she could pack a stadium in Louisiana any day.

And so much drama to sing about, no less.


Oh, SH*T, so that's what you look like!!!

Welcome to my week.

Last week, at the gentle (repetitive) nudging of my dad, I went to see what this whole Lasik thing was about. I had exactly 2 friends I could name who had had it. One did it at the end of high school and has since had halo vision. The other raved about it. So, 50/50 in my cup, I went over to the office, eager dad in tow.

One might stop the story right here and ask why my dad doesn't do Lasik himself. To answer all one of you (hi mom!), he thinks men look distinguished with glasses. The implication was that women do not. After 4 days of wearing my old pair of glasses at the doctor's request, I was more than ready to cast them aside. Yuck. They look so cute on people, but not on me. Instead of my usual "You're 27? But you look 16!", I had started to look like a 16 year old prodigy (read: nerd), which is just weird. And to others, I must have appeared a 16 year old prodigy with an attitude problem. I was ready to get me some eyeballs.

The point is (and I'm leaving out a whole 1.5 hours of boring eye testing) that they told me I'm a great candidate. I felt like I had done something worthy. Like gotten good grades and been accepted somewhere. But really they were just telling me that I'm (WAS!) so damn blind that they'd take pity on me and beam lasers into my face until they could f*** me up enough to fix me. Ta da. I didn't even really understand how they would do it, but it sounded cool, and hey, it worked for half of my friends. So, never one to dawdle, I asked them when they could give me new eyeballs. They said "tomorrow".

Someone noted that I am really spontaneous when it comes to things like this. He said it as a compliment, but when I tell you that my "spontenaity" landed me a hot date for surgery on my eyes (the only two that God gave me, I should note) on Friday the 13th, perhaps you won't agree. But Friday the 13th has always been my lucky day. Now, I will proceed to give you snippets, ie. "Best of Lilly in Surgery":

Scene 1: (Lilly has just been given Xanax for the first time)
Nurse: Ok, Lilly. I just have one question for you.
Lilly: Sure.
Nurse: When is your birthday?
Lilly: ----
Lilly: ----
Lilly: um....
Nurse (smiling): Perfect. You can lie down now.

Scene 2:
Doctor: We're going to put drops in your eyes to numb you.
(2 seconds later, dragging what appears to be a green felt marker over my eyeball)
Doctor: Can you feel this?

Scene 3:
Doctor: Now, don't mind the burning smell.

It was just RAD. Seriously. It was my own science fiction movie. It was like Total Recall, except instead of sticking things up my nose, they were sticking them in my eye. And thanks to Xanax, I did NOT care. They could have taken out my eyeballs and sold them on eBay and I would have smiled in my bliss. Beautiful. At some point it did hit me that it was somewhat weird to entrust your visual safety to a complete stranger just because he charges you a lot of money and appears to have gone to Harvard. But I thought this as my vision was closing out and the laser got closer and...

All of 8 minutes later, he (no, he's a god at this point. Let's go with He) told me to sit up and read the clock across the room. So I did. Just like that. Snap. Vision like a hawk.

The prescription they sent me home with pretty much amounted to "rest your eyes. um. see you in a month and half". I had to finally blog about this, so I guess I'm a bad patient, staring at this screen, dear reader. But I needed to share the magic of science with you. First there was Dolly the Sheep. Then there were Lilly's New Eyeballs. Do miracles ever cease?

People keep asking me how the world is different. Well, I can see your ugly face, for one. Everything is just in FOCUS. I don't know how else to explain it. I mean, when you have messed up eyes, you just wear your contacts 25 hours a day and trudge along and assume you see what you need to get by. But then I got home and I was like "Oh, so THIS is what the view from my window is like." I used to stand on my balcony and point visitors in the general direction of Petco Park and just say "so there's the Park". Now I can tell you the colors of the cars parked on the lot in front of it. A parking lot I notably didn't even know existed until Saturday afternoon. I can see the pretty buildings in Mission Valley. I can see a few cars ahead of me when I'm driving down the highway -- with my newly improved LillyNightVision. Getting up and seeing what my room looks like first thing in the morning. This is living. I guess mostly I see views I couldn't see before. But it's just about knowing you can trust your eyes. That they're showing you everything. Forget 20/20. I got me some 20/15, biyatch.

This week I will be doing a study on the effect of Lasik on beer goggles. Naturally.

So, you see, this week, while my friends are nanu-nanu-ing each other and getting all hot and bothered about the new installment in the Star Wars series (before you ask, yes, grown adults apparently lose sleep over this. I can introduce you, but I think you need to know some sort of handshake.) But me? I'm over it. I've been lasered and tasered and I *am* the Battlestar Galactica.

Or something like that.