Old whatshername.

A few of my friends are expecting (babies, for those of you living the life i dream of) and have been recently revealing their chosen names.

What's in a name? I wrote a whole college essay about mine.

I was named Lilly because my mom liked the flower and my parents didn't want to burden me with some ridiculously traditional Persian name. Or a Persian name that just sucks for an American kid, like Poopak. Yes, that's a name. And yes, I snicker when I say it. I always like to ask people what they were *almost* named. It's like a window into who they could have been. I could have been Roxana (traditional Persian name with very hip 80s twist) or Diana. Blech. I can't imagine being a Diana. She sounds like someone who would tell on you. When I was younger I hated my name. It was a name for other people's dogs and dead grandmas (I have examples for you if necessary). So I decided that my name was going to be, well, Carol. DUH. I found it convenient to name my father Peter (this was during an era when I liked to ignore the existence of my mom). Carol and Peter, together forever.

Later in life I wanted to be named (but note: did not insist on being called, just thought how it would have been nice) Renee, Stacy (you may remember her from Kids Incorporated. I pretty much wanted to be her actually. Little did I know she'd become Fergie.), Maxine, Monique, and Pierre. I managed to be the last two in French class. Take these small victories, I say.

Tonight I was im'ing with Jon, who is reading the Virgin Suicides. And it randomly reminded me that I had wanted to name my kid Lux (one of the characters), but I couldn't for the life of me remember why! Who is this Lux character? And if she was played by Kirsten Dunst in the movie adaptation then shoot me now, my kid must hate me already. I wonder if this happens to other people. Like they name their kid after something and then just can't freakin' remember why. It seems like naming your kids is a cool way to pay tribute to something you like. What a waste to give them a boring name!

Weird things I have wanted to name my kids at various points in my life:

(side note: i don't usually think about this stuff. just like i don't wedding plan, not even in my head and my daydreams. i used to find this a source of pride; i wasn't one of "those" girls. but i read that it's actually a sign of commitmentphobia. oops.)

ahem. The Name List.

1. Lux. reason unknown.
2. Evangeline. a good character in Uncle Tom's Cabin. but in retrospect i think she was a little girl who was dying. but for some reason i remember her being angelic. and the title of a great matthew sweet song.
3. Aiden. I really liked that name after reading Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy. I hereby swear that I will never name my kid after a character in a Chris O'Donnell film. Remember him? Yeah, didn't think so. Exactly.
4. Madonna. reason known but not reiterated here because i can already feel susie starting to type a comment.
5. Mateo. because, like every other persian, i like to pretend i'm really italian.
6. Maradona. because it sounded like Madonna but had an ass-kicking soccer vibe to it too.
7. Milan. after Milan Kundera, my favoritest writer in the whole wide world. but then i realized it's also a polluted industrial city the churns out Prada bags and is probably more explaining than it's worth.
8. Lilly. just kidding. kinda.

Before I could name things my mom named them for me. Like my first doll, Lilac. Why was it named Lilac? What if that's what my mom wanted to name me and my dad changed the name? (much like Susie who was supposed to be Shireen until my dad won the debate. Sorry if this is news to ya Suz.) Am I living a lie? What if my name is really Lilac G? That would super suck.

And my first teddy bear. Its name was Garp. I never knew why, but then my mom told me it was because she'd just finished reading The World According To Garp. Fine. but why implicate me with a fabulous but disturbing John Irving novel? At the age of, oh, one? To clarify she let me know that it was because she had read it to me WHILE I WAS IN THE WOMB. (Some things explain so much.)

But me, there was apparently not much to my name. No good notations in the baby names book on my parents' shelf (yes, I looked). And to tell you the truth, I'm not even sure how much she likes lilies because she has this ridiculously plush garden and not a lily to speak of! As I write this, I have no idea how I turned my no-story name into a college essay. I wish I could find that admissions essay -- I'm sure it was a magnificent piece of bullshittery. I've saved some old hard disks in the hope that I'll find it someday so I can revel in my own brilliance. Will keep ya posted.

In the meantime, continuing on the theme of moi and my name, I have decided to go narcissist for Halloween. I will be a Tiger Lilly. Roar.

ps. Jon (ahem, Jon Yang, author of the Rough Guide to Blogging) just taught me how to bold. I will no longer have to use * to emphasize words I want you to pay extraspecialattention to. This is a whole new world . I figured that one out myself! Oh, this could get ugly.

Just because I felt like blogging.

Well hey, if I wait til I have some stroke of genius or a showstopping topic, then you'd pretty much never hear from me again. I'm trying to learn to blog more regularly. Hold me to it.

I have to find better ways to use my time. This is today's proclamation. When examined closely, all I see is a pileup of wasted time. Consider:


1) I decided to save the environment and use public transportation instead of calling my trusty airport shuttle (sad fact of my traveling schedule lately that I live in SF but the SuperShuttle driver in my neighborhood sees me more than my roommate does)

TIMESUCK: I took the BART to the Oakland Airport. This involved taking the BART across the water, then jumping on a shuttle. Fair enough, but then I had to pay for the shuttle! Perfect change, $2! What, like my $3.35 wasn't enough, oh San Francisco Transit Authority? BART was going to advertise "Oakland Airport" as the stop and then freakin' leave me there? I think not. I saved something like $20 in the end, but if time is money then I'm getting paid minimum wage.

2) I am devouring Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. I bought it at the Vancouver airport this weekend to get rid of those pesky Canadian dollars and mostly because the options were slim and I just couldn't bear to pay for, much less be seen with a Nora Roberts book in hand. Not in this lifetime!

TIMESUCK: Confession -- I was just holding the book up most of the flight while surreptitiously reading some trash magazine over the shoulder of the passenger to my left. (It was about the Madonna adoption. It couldn't be helped. It offered a timeline of comparison between her adoption and Brangelina's, using Guy Ritchie and Brad Pitt's friendship as the nexus. Yes, I just said Brangelina. Get over it. Anyway, it was a must-read.)

3) I hadn't seen my family in nearly a month.

TIMESUCK: After dinner I retreated to the tv (we don't have one in SF, so I figured I'd indulge) and watched the following --
Gilmore Girls (but I was also too lazy to walk across the room and get a phone to call someone more in the know for an update, thus rendering half the episode just confusing as I tried to pick up the pieces of my life in Stars Hollow) Recap of the senate races on some news show (yawn!) that my dad promised would be funny. Not only was it not funny, but there was a human interest segment about a double-amputee soldier. Laughs all around! My dad and I couldn't even look at each other when it was done. I think we would have cried. The only funny thing was (and this was honestly funny) that the wife made some smartass comment and the husband/amputee turns to her and says "you're lucky I don't have feet or I'd kick you."

I topped my television binge with a Janet Jackson interview in which she revealed zero items that I didn't already know. Zero! How am I supposed to increase my bank of useless pop knowledge if they've started recycling facts? I KNEW she was married to the guy from DeBarge (think "to the beat of the rhy-thm of the night, dance until til the morning liiiiiight." now try to get it out of your head.) I mean tell me something I don't know, like a diet secret, Janet! Double yawn.

4) I owed some people an email.

TIMESUCK: I recapped a particularly hilarious (read: disturbing, but if you don't laugh you'll cry kinda thing) date for my single girlfriends round the way. I spent more time on that email than I did on my law school admissions essay. Granted, it was a classic date and deserved such attention-slash-painstaking detail. But it now occurs to me that, in exerting so much effort to perfectly chronicle the evening as it occurred, I pretty much relived the experience = extra time suckage (date time suckage times two. Or is it squared?)

So there you have it. In conclusion, I need to make better choices... or I just need better time management skills.


Today an author came up to me at the end of my talk this afternoon, face beaming (as only those of aspiring writers can). She asked me where my office was based, and when I said San Diego, she nodded.

"I knew it! You seem so L.A."

She meant this as a compliment. I think.


You're So Vain. I Bet You Think This Blog is About You.

Today! My first nomination! I didn't wait for anyone to vote him in; I knew they'd agree as soon as I cast my vote. He's in, and it's official.

Once upon a time, a friend told me about yet another guy who had recently broken her heart. I listened and supported and nodded and rolled my eyes at all the right places, but then it came to me just what the problem was. She was attracted to a very particular type of guy, and it's the type of guy that was the problem

She is drawn to Guys Who Are Victims of Their Own Good Looks.

We all know the type. That guy who has been told just one more time that they are cute. Whose mommies adore them just a little too much. Who don't even fake that they don't know how cute they are. Who don't even notice that I used a double negative right there because they were so busy reflecting on their own beauty. She would constantly date them -- she'd date guys who were former models, or current models, or actors. And it's not that every model/actor/performer is beautiful, but she'd find them. Or she could find the guy who worked at a restaurant in a very low-key job but had that aura. And what was the aura? Say it with me now...

I myself have never been attracted to the pretty boys. A guy who takes longer to get ready than me will be rightfully ridiculed. I like modesty in a guy. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like a cute guy as much as the next girl, but vanity is a no-no with me, especially when that vanity has a darker side. These are guys who use their beauty to seduce women, usually multiples at a time, but after a brief period of success with this, women are onto them. We usually proceed to mock and ridicule them. We know they're hot and we will speak of it, but they have also tainted themselves through their greedy sluttery.

Today I finally came to terms with the fact that I may have dated a candidate. There, I said it. I too have dated a Guy Who's A Victim of His Own Good Looks. A guy who thought his good looks would make up for some shady behavior, but oh no, I'm onto you! Remember: I'm not just a member, I'm the club president.

I'm pretty excited about this. I feel like now when I accuse my friends of dating guys in this sub-species I will have more authority, more street cred if you will. This appears to be reason to rejoice (or feels like it at 1:40 a.m.) Now that I have a PERSONAL investment in the Hall of Fame, I'm taking my role seriously, monitoring for membership and trying to raise public awareness of this social disease. Feel free to help me compile additional qualifications for nomination. I think my favorite clue is that they believe their prettiness makes them have game. "But all they have is pretty." (rubber bracelets with this key phrase are on the way and will retail for $3 each, to be applied to consolatory drinks for Women Who Are Victims Of Guys Who Are Victims Of Their Own Good Looks...)

On another note, one of my friends recently suggested something that might border on brilliant (and were this the academic battlefield I wish discussions of dating etiquette would be b/c I think we could use some scholars, she would be invited to lecture on her revolutionary theory). She suggests that girls should date guys "just above the threshhold of acceptable attractiveness" for us. Like figure out what's a notch above "nope, couldn't kiss him" and stick with that. Not hot. Not really cute. But just there. Just enough to be happy you're with him, but not enough to cause anyone trouble. I mean, think about it!

I haven't quite figured out what the voting procedure will be for The Guys Who Are Victims of Their Own Good Looks, but I'm thinking it involves a complimentary chest or eyebrow wax. Gentlemen, get your mirrors.