Yo Yo Yo: A Christmas List

Christmas gets rave reviews this year. Except for this migraine headache that I can't seem to kick. Well, technically it probably isn't a migraine, but a migraine gets sympathy whereas "haven't had enough caffeine today" doesn't. And lest you think Christmas is just about sympathy to a religious figure, I'd like a little bit of attention in there too. So sue me.

MY LIST.
by Lilly

Number of times I realized I am becoming my parents: Two (once when I took over the kitchen and cooked most of Christmas dinner - a la mom, and once when I picked something up and said "does this thing have a PURPOSE?" aloud to myself- a la dad)

Number of Tofurkey slices consumed: One.

Number of slices of mom's wicked apple tart consumed in the past 24 hours: Three.

Number of movies I walked out (of the tv room) on: One. It was a Woody Allen film with two strikes against it. One, I had seen it already. Two, it starred Jason Biggs ("American Pie"), which may not be something against it per se, but wasn't working for it. The fact that Christina Ricci sits around in underwear bitching about being too fat (typecast!) sealed the deal. I was in bed by 9:30.

Number of cookies I ate: Too many to count. Arguably upward of 10, if you count my consumption of cookie dough, which I did not so much for the taste but for consistency with my youth.

Number of text messages sent with photos of my cookie masterpieces attached: Five.

Cookies decorated: A zillion. We made pretty hearts and sunshines, but made it an all-inclusive "HOLIDAY" cookie set. I didn't have the skill set to do them all myself, so Susie handled the 'big jobs' (like the woman with a hejab in honor of our Muslim Peeps). I grew up in Highland Park, a Jewish suburb of Chicago. I do a mean menorah with sprinkle flames, so recognize. Next holiday I may take orders.

Lessons learned about Christmas: One. Big one though. My family has always feasted on Christmas Eve. We pride ourselves on our ability to put kabob and Persian rice aside for a night of genuine American dining. Then Christmas morning we open presents, pig out a little bit more, and kinda eventually go our own ways. Imagine our surprise when, as we were cooking, my brother breezed through the kitchen pointing out that most people actually do Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. There was a round of light debate, some shoulder shrugging, and a phonecall to a certifiable "American Christian" source to verify. We were a day early and have been for 30 years.

Presents received: Too many to count (thanks family!). From books to jewelry to a dayglo yoga mat to enough tea to last me, well, about a month. No favorites this year, I really loved them all.

Books received as Christmas Gifts: Eight.

Books read/reading: Three.
1) I FINALLY finished Special Topics in Calamity Physics last night. I have been wrestling with this book all week. I read hundreds of pages and yet there was more and more and more (the result of a huge page count and tiny print). I actually started to wonder if the last few pages were breeding because as close as I was, I never seemed to finish it. It's gorgeous writing and it was well-paced, so it wasn't like I was suffering, but it was an item on my damn ToDo list that I couldn't seem to finish.
2) I'm working my way through Nora Ephron's "Wallflower at the Orgy" essays.
3) I dove into Winner of the National Book Award (the title, not an actual award winner) this morning and haven't put it down yet.

Number of additional rsvps that came in over the last 24 hours for the PROM 1989 Party that Jessica and I are throwing: 14

Number of tee shirts I received with a hilarious photo of my brother, age 9, looking incredibly confused, screened onto it: One.

Teas had: Two.

Long walks down a hill I wondered if I'd get back up: One. (I made it)

Number of Starbucks open downtown La Jolla (the whole reason for my hike): ZERO!

Number of times I spiraled into internal debate about "If you can't count on STARBUCKS to be open on Christmas when you NEED a Latte, what can you count on?": Two. Maybe three.

Number of showers: NONE! (yet. Off I go...)

Merry Christmas!

"You know who you look like?..."



It has started again. It's open season on me. The other day I was walking through the lobby and our security guy said "um, Lilly, you know who you..." He didn't even have to finish his sentence. Thing is, I do know! Apparently it's that time of year again. I know winter has hit when I get pale again and the comments pop out. I get them everywhere, at the gas station (from a little old lady leaning out the window of her car), from people in stores, from friends of friends who I've just been introduced to.

When I was first told that I looked like Janeane Garofalo, I didn't know who she was. I hadn't really paid attention to the snarky best friend in Reality Bites (Jon has forgiven me) and there wasn't really anything else of note. I was first 'sighted' in college by a guy named Ethan who would not let the subject go. When I wouldn't sign an autograph he called me a bitch (ever caving to my fans, I signed, naturally misspelled). I saw him the next day on the street and he started yelling "Janeane! Look! I never washed it off!!!", pointing to the signature on his arm. Poor (dirty) boy.

Soon after, the movie The Truth About Cats and Dogs was released. My lookalike Janeane was cast opposite Uma Thurman as the 'ugly one'. Not even kidding. For those of you who I haven't forced to watch it (it has since become one of my favorite movies), it's about a girl who has a blind date with a hot British guy and ends up goofing things up by impulsively describing his looks (so he could identify her when they met) as her model (tall, skinny, blonde) neighbor. So begins the game of the pretty face (Uma) and the brain (Janeane), a chick flick Cyrano, basically. In the end (warning: spoilers!), the guy somehow decides that she is beautiful inside and out, blah blah blah. She was the whole package.

It's a fun movie and a brilliant exploration of the beauty standard in the US (and pretty much worldwide these days). But come on, as if gaining the freshman 15 isn't bad enough, to be told day in and day out that you looked like the not pretty one from the movie was a little ouchy.

When I graduated and moved to LA, it started to happen more (again, it was fall, again my tan was fading. There is a distinct correlation). If nothing else, at least people in LA know who's a celeb. But here was the kicker- I looked so much like her *yet* she wasn't cool enough to get me to the front of the line at Garden of Eden or the Standard (the year was 1999 ye club-going LA snobs!). Useless. I mean, if I was going to look like someone, couldn't it be Pamela Anderson or Cindy Crawford? Couldn't I at least get some freebies?

I started to resent it. She was a bitter cynical comedian-- I wasn't those things!!! Oh wait- I was in law school. I was totally those things.

But for the past few years I just haven't gotten it as much. Something is bringing out my Janeane-ness and people are noticing it once again. As time passed, I started to identify with her more. For one thing, I could spell her name right. I admired her willingness to be political in a violently apolitical society. I didn't admire her brief loss of 20 lbs and hair dying (to, you guessed it - blonde). I felt betrayed... Like she didn't want to look like me!

So for a while there was the fadeout. I was told I looked like Whoopi Goldberg (interesting but inaccurate, not only given my ethnicity, but my eyebrow - as in "I have them" - situation) and the Nanny. But apparently my Janeaneness is blossoming again. It's nice to have her back.

We Take These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Theorem #1: You will check the time/speed of the person on the machine next to you at the gym.

Proof: I do.

Theorem #2: We don't count calories of food eaten while standing.

Proof: The lifestyle of most people I know, especially those of us who have an ongoing buffet courtesy of a wide-open refrigerator door.

Theorem #3: Everyone loves to hi-5, no matter how hard you try to stop them. (And how I've tried)

Proof: Most of you.

Theorem #4: No one really read Beowolf.

Proof: The box office.

Theorem #5: You check yourself out in the mirror.

Proof: That's why you look so damn fine yo.

Theorem #6: Cyberstalking is just "social research".

Proof: It has become socially acceptable. I mean, when was the last time you sincerely called someone a 'stalker'? Exactly. Oh, the number of times my friends have made use of their firms' Lexis subscriptions. Watch out ye boys who want to date them, we know your divorce is not yet final!

Theorem #7: The whole western world except me has seen "The (damn) Notebook".

Proof: People keep pitching me things as "it's the blah blah blah version of the Notebook". Not knowing much about said film, I then picture a spiral-bound notebook, which is unhelpful to all involved. The guys I know who made Braveheart and Gladiator a hit with repeat viewings mention it in conversation. Blech. File it under 'Tuesdays with Morrie'

Theorem #8: Whoever smelt it dealt it.

Proof: It's always guys who smell it. And everyone knows girls don't poot.

The Right Stuff




Sometimes you look back on your childhood obsessions and you cringe. This past weekend, as families nationwide gathered to give thanks, I decided to give thanks for boy bands. I ordered up New Kids on the Block's Greatest Hits video collection (thank you Netflix, the gift that keeps giving).

Jessica and I sat down to watch. Immediately my mind jumped back to 1990. I was in junior high. I was wearing ridiculously ugly big puffy reversible sweaters. I had a NKOTB button roughly the size of my head (so big that it had a stand at the back, so you could set it out as a picture frame. I chose to wear it.) I was loving Jordan Knight forever (bonus points if you caught the reference). I didn't care that he had extensively long canines and a falsetto to make plastic cups shatter. That rat tail was all I needed to get by in life. (his, not mine)

The videos began, and let me tell you, they did not disappoint. These guys could actually dance. Clearly Justin Timberlake was just an NKOTB fan back in the day, because he is rocking those same moves. Perhaps their lyrics weren't the best ("we ain't gonna give anybody any slack/ if you put us down we're gonna come right back"), but hey, they were from the cushy burbs of Boston. The music was really good, easily taken from the same pile that New Edition picked from (and in fact, was), and they had great voices. Their excessive use of cavarricis and smiley-face-wearing-do-rag tee shirts was a misdemeanor really. And Donnie Wahlberg made it ok for white kids to wear Public Enemy shirts...

I could write about das New Kids for a long long time. I could tell you how I've looked them up to find out where they are now, I could tell you that i just ordered Jordan Knight's last 2 albums from Amazon, I could tell you that I've rewatched the video THRICE.

I mean, I always loved Jordan. For those of you not in the know, every girl had a favorite New Kid. Jordan had a great smile and a pompador to die for (and only the 30 year old me now realizes, the great abs). I love love loved him. Susie loved Jonathan, Jordan's socially awkward brother (who we've since decided was the hot one. But before she gloats too much let me point out that he dated Tiffany). My friend Kathy loved Donnie, the dirty one with the mullet. I may have written fan mail to Jordan (in fact, I'm relatively sure I did). The difference between this and, say, going back to your high school reunion is that they WERE as great as I remember them.

While there is so much to regret about my younger years (including but not limited to my dalliance with brightly colored flannels, pegged jeans, and army boots -- simultaneously), it was reassuring to see that, hey, I was right about New Kids. They WERE good.

But what was even more interesting as I was watching was getting some perspective on what my childhood was like relative to others'. NKOTB was my first concert, it was a BIG deal. If I concentrate I can remember exactly what I wore to school that day and how it felt counting down to go to Rosemont Horizon. Going to that show was perhaps the turning point where I was allowed to be one with music, and I was allowed to be one with my age group. (Yes, I had the one puffy reversable sweaters but more commonly my mom dressed me -- yes, dressed me -- in earthy tones, and sometimes cashmere sweaters directly from her closet. No one is as comfortable with burgundy, mustard yellow, army green, and silk blouses as I was at that age.) When mom stepped into the elevator with her pack of cigarettes and pulled the emergency stop to hide from the shrieking adolescents (true story), it was me and the Kids. Just us. I was allowed to be a shrieking teenager (sorry Susie!- she was sitting next to me). I felt a shade of normal.

At one point in the BEST OF videos, Donnie comes out in barely-there jeans. I mean, they were so shredded that it looked as if he had fastened them on his legs (before donning aformentioned Public Enemy shirt). Jessica, who was watching with me, started reminiscing about how she got bleach everywhere when she and her friend were making their own ripped, acid-washed jeans.

"I wasn't allowed to wear ripped jeans."

Silence. It was like my comment went unheard, and perhaps it did (or perhaps she was enthralled with Jordan's body rolls, which rivaled Ricky Martin's). In that one second I realized that, no matter how close I am with some people, it's hard to explain how differently I grew up. Once my friend came over with ripped jeans and went into my room and my dad heard an earful from my grandmother about how he should be ashamed of himself for not giving her the money to buy a new pair, poor thing!

Music was the one place where I escaped from a confusingly bicultural world. I couldn't wear the same stuff those girls were wearing, but I could know the lyrics just as well and I definitely had those moves down (giving me a slight edge, I might add). When I listened to NKOTB or any of the other music phases I went through, I was the same as everyone else.

Perhaps this made me a bit nostalgic for the 80s. Granted, I was too young to fully enjoy the eighties (i wasn't a teenager yet), but no on really gets nostalgic for the 90s. So the 80s it was -- I was nostalgic for what I might have missed out on. There was no way I was allowed to crimp my hair or wear tons of makeup or talk like a valley girl on the regular. My 8th birthday was a punk rock theme, so I got to dress like Cyndi Lauper for a day, but I wanted to be like that ALL the time!

So, never one to rest on my bubble skirt, Jessica and I began planning. I guess just another step in reclaiming my youth (kegstands on my 30th birthday already happened, and a return to school is underway). The circle of life really. Eighties Prom (our New Year's Eve party theme, you're invited) is underway.

And if you guessed that NKOTB videos will be playing in the background for your visual enjoyment, you were totally right.

The Parsnip Opera: A Four-Part Meditation

BIRTHDAY
The birthday came and went with a bang thanks to a surprise party thrown by my family and my roommate, all of whom (who?) knew about my last-minute depression and jitters about turning that corner into my 30s. Highlights included but are not limited to:

* doing a keg stand while held up by the other four members of my family (photographic evidence may or may not become our Christmas card...)
* being pushed into my parents' unheated pool roundabout 11pm
* switching into random sweats and tee shirt and proceeding to...
* dance to Madonna megamixes (praise the DJ who will sacrifice his artistic integrity to please his birthday girl)
* chicken fighting. not in the pool, but rather on my parents' nice persian carpet in the living room

I think it was a fun night, and just acting so crazy reminded me how much youth I have in me. The walking pneumonia that I've had since is further reminder of my youthful ignorance.

BRITNEY: MY GIFT TO ME
The girl we love to hate. On my birthday the weather was crappy and I wasn't feeling well and had no idea how I wanted to spend the day. So Jessica and I headed off to my favorite store, Best Buy. I won't even try and save myself by telling you what else I bought in that same shopping trip. I don't need to redeem myself! The truth is, after reading a few reviews, I marched right in there and bought "Blackout", the aptly-titled new LP from said songstress.

And dare I admit how GOOD this album is? It is. I know, just flip a few entries back and you'll read me making fun of her. But that's how she LOOKS. I love her crappy VMA dance performance, and have performed it religiously myself every SINGLE time it has come on within earshot.

People, her album is seriously more-than-decent. It takes appropriate digs on FedEx, backed by Pharell, no less. It also rips off Timbaland's sound, but it's done so well by Danja (whoever that is) that I don't even care - I give him props for doing it so well. And she even has a Britney-trying-to-be-Gwen-trying-to-be-Madonna-ish song "Heaven on Earth". Just like you, when I read it I dared hope it would be a cover of said Belinda tune, but it does a good job on its own. She doesn't sound like a dirty, angry goat in any of these tracks. She sings in a higher register and it is oh so danceable. It's true. I bought my first Britney album. Maybe my midlife crisis is coming early, but so is hers. And it sounds oh so good.

WHAM!: MY GIFT TO YOU
A while ago, I put a few things on my netflix queue that remained distant gems for a rainy day. Alas, what showed up in the mail this sick week of mine? The Wham! video collection. I know, take a moment with that. See what you can remember. And now let me tell you- not ONLY does George have the most amazing feathered hair, short white shorts, and one-foot spins (punctuated by a timely snap), but he has Andrew Ridgely. Sometimes they are half naked in the pool, sometimes they are half naked in a broken-down car on the side of the road. Sometimes they are in feathery snowsuits, enjoying a Last Christmas together. What I know is this: One - Wham! is an underrated talent of the 80s and, Two- we were all seriously distracted by Cyndi Lauper and Culture Club at the time to not notice that this guy was gay. At one point they don't even dress up as pilots but as air stewards. Did we need a painted neon sign folks?

WHY MEN LOVE BITCHES. AND HOW.
This book was given to me as a gag gift for my birthday, and I did you all the favor of reading it immediately. It's actually quite entertaining, and nope, 'bitches' doesn't mean what you think it does here. Suffice it to say there's some entertaining and incredibly true advice in here. I gave a friend the cliffnotes version and she's going on two dates this week (granted, this begs the question of why I can't take my own advice, as I sit here blogging, which, let's be honest, is basically emailing with yourself)

Apparently it's news to some people somewhere that men like women who have their own thing going on. Hey, if this woman makes millions selling that "secret", more power to her. It's a fun book with a little attitude. It tells you that it's great to cook for guys- and then gives you a recipe for microwave popcorn. My type of book.

PARSNIPS - MY GIFT TO EATERS
I am trying to turn the corner to become a vegetarian (I've cut out everything but seafood) and a healthier eater, and this involves me finally getting to know the extended family of the produce aisle. I wish I could tell you that this week's groceries didn't involve parsnips, rutabagas and beets, but then I'd be lying. Tonight I made "parsnip chips" and they were actually really good! They're like the healthy version of french fries. (work with me here)

And you and I, we depend upon our honest relationship, so out with it. I wish I could tell you that this is the worst my grocery has gotten -- parsnips and other bizarre root vegetables-- but recently in making a (delicious, I might add) lentil soup, I needed a can of prunes to garnish. I am a prune buyer!

I figure this is appropriate now that I am "in my 30s"... but the prune thing was last month.

FINALE:
Well, if you'll forgive me, my metabolism apparently went on strike right before I turned 30, so I'm off to workout. I'm sure you can count on more bitching about that very soon, dear reader.

Confessions of a Halloween Grinch

Uh oh, it's officially Halloweezy.

I never thought I'd be, well, the person I apparently am. I heard loud knocking on the door and realized there are actually kids in my building (Which was very unexpected. My building is overwhelmingly populated by old gay men, just another humorous turn in Lilly's Life as an Urban Single.) I ran to the cabinet and all we had were 3 lollipops of varying age. One is a Chupa Chup, possibly leftover from Jessica's stint in Europe... in June. I debated shutting off the lights, but then ran to the peephole and counted 3 people - a kid and 2 adults. Did I have enough candy for San Diego's children? Would it be weird to offer them a bag of sour cherries? Apples? IS THIS why people end up giving kids apples on Halloween?

As I drew near the door I heard more Oompa Loompa voices, so I knew there were 3, possibly 4 kids. Potentially our kids, 3 lollipops... what was I to do? I opened my door...but their backs were all to me! They were Trick or Treating across the hall from me.

No one noticed me, so, well... I slid the door back shut. I know! I'm not proud of what I did! I'm SHARING with you. This is a safe space, no? I mean, what was I supposed to do? "Hey, um, I know you're not here for me, but here's some candy because you're so f***ing loud that I heard you across the house." I mean, the kid in me DOES want to reward them for being so loud, but my building also has this weirdo procedure whereby you 'sign up' to be a house kids trick or treat to. I had not signed up, so not only was I off the hook, but really, to get involved in their Halloweezy would have been improper.

So basically I kept the lollipops and they moved on to Twila's house.

I realize this makes me a grinch. I realize this makes me all the old people I hated growing up, who dimmed their lights and, in the case of the N's who lived next door, left us saran-wrapped stacks of ten pennies (did I mention that their house is bigger than God's?). And yes, I realize that even that -- saran-wrapped dirty coinage -- would have been better than our worn-out Chupa Chups. Or nothing. And yes, Michael Jackson, I'm taking a look at the man in the mirror. I'm asking her to change her ways.

Next year.

Halloweezy

It's about that time again. Holiday season has officially begun. It goes like this: Halloweezy (today), then a week of chocolate-induced coma, then it's my birthday, then we begin planning for Thanksgiving weekend. Then it's pretty much December and who works in December? (Certainly not publishers, I have learned), and then it's Christmas and New Year's. Happy Holidays!

The past few years I haven't been that into dressing up for Halloween. The story is that a couple of years ago Anj and I did it up and dressed as a white trash couple. I was in American flag Jamz (yes, Jamz), a black tee shirt with "mullet" written in studs, a blonde mullet to go with said shirt, blue eyeshadow, bright pink lipstick, and missing teeth (black dental wax). Anj was my male counterpart, dressed in sweatpants, a wifebeater, a beer belly, a slight boner (courtesy of a toilet paper roll), missing teeth, and a black eye. It was classic. On that night I got hit on more than any other night arguably in my life. I was later told that "no girl who was actually ugly would dress like this, so people just figure you must be really hot under there." Good strategy for future years! Take THAT, slutty nurses!

That Halloween was one of the most fun I've ever had and, fearing not being able to top that, I have backed off of the holiday. This year, if I dress up, I will do the Amy Winehouse. Granted, a more curvaceous version than the original, but sugar high will probably keep people from noticing. I've been practicing her hair for months now.

Halloween is fun times. I am trying to remember today various costumes I've had. During my childhood my mom got really into Halloween and would take her artistic skills to all-new levels, in costuming worthy of an Oscar award. When I was a witch I wasn't just wearing some dinky pointed hat. I was full-on stage makeup-ed. Other years included less imaginative fare: a Native American (which only later would I realize was probably offensive, but I made a really convincing one), Kris Kross (that was in college. I was just really in the mood to put my hair in braids and wear my pants down low), and a gypsy. Typical fare.

But in what must have been her costuming coup, one year mom dressed me up as Marie Antoinette (that year, mom put a mannequin bust over me and cut out an eyehole and then put an antique chiffon dress over the mannequin so I was a 5'6 headless woman walking down the street with blood dripping down my neck).

Halloween reminds me of years of trick or treating with friends. Hearing about the shaving cream fights on Stonegate. Getting drugged one year in our Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (my friends and I ended up having a seance to connect with George Washington before our Constitution test and all ended up crying and having to be picked up early by our parents). Ah, fun times all around.

Hm, although I'm totally not in the mood to care this year, something feels like there is just tradition to uphold. I'm not one to shun tradition, certainly not when it involves chocolate...

The Joys of Old Age

Ok, so I've been quiet on the blog posting front. This lil birthday of mine (pun intended) is looming over me a bit larger than previously expected. I kept saying I'd have fun with turning 30 and that it would be cool because i don't LOOK 30, something people are likely to point out every single time I tell them my age from now on (thus providing me with a constant source of compliments). For some reason, though, I'm low-energy (not to be confused with depressed) about it. What if old age is setting in? We've already discussed my 3 grey hairs. And my metabolism is slowing down. Lately I've been going to bed REALLY early. Suspicious, no? I already forget things (right Susie?!) that aren't Madonna lyrics. I'm on a sliding slope, only this time it's not Mount Trashmore and Susie and I aren't in our cute ugly little snowsuits.

And I'm such a freakin list maker, that now there is this pressure on me to figure out what I want to accomplish in my 30s. I make lists ALL the time. Before typing this I made a list of things I need to do tomorrow. Every day I write some of the same tasks: "Work out" "water plants". I might as well write "brush teeth" "check email", but it provides a certain "je ne sais quoi mais je pense que c'est comme OCD" to my days. The good news is that I can't think of much I wanted to do in my 20s that I didn't do, so there aren't any "carry overs" from my 20s, which, as any list-maker knows, makes list-making easier. I mean, I just saw The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3d, so I think I've really done everything that could be expected of my youth.

I think there's just this seriousness setting over me -- I keep trying to swat it away, but it's there! So I've just been quiet trying to figure out how to recover my irresponsible, constantly laughing youth. It's around here somewhere. I'm not done with it yet!

In the meantime I am going to read in bed. If anyone is wondering what to get me for my birthday, feel free to bolster my geriatric lifestyle with the purchase of the clapper.

(clap off)

(and yes, Susie, I promise to post more)

Gone Fishing




Last night, after grabbing drinks with my friend and eating a bite, I figured I'd stop by home and visit my parents. I opened the door to them in the traditional layout: Mom lying on the couch to my right, Dad sitting up at a perfect 90 degree angle (yoga teachers everywhere rejoice!), eating peanuts from a jar. They were watching a Lifetime movie.

When I was done laughing I sat down with them. We chit chatted about how disgusting I thought meat was, how ridiculous it was that they would actually watch Lifetime ("Is that the girl from Night Court?"), and how great it was to see me (ok, that last bit didn't happen, but it should have!). I started to get really hungry, having concentrated more on the 'drinking' part of my evening with my friend than the 'dining' part. So I went in to the kitchen to have toast and cream cheese (homage to my Dad, it being one of his four food groups. The other three are "salad", "hot dogs!!!!" and "ramen noodles". The exclamation points are his.) I hung around just chatting with my parents and noticed that my mom had been more quiet than usual. My dad and I were discussing which of his magazines I wanted to take off his hands (you really never can get enough of Fortune), what I thought of Fast Food Nation, and what a mess was going to happen between the US and Turkey. Now, don't get me wrong, my mom can hang with the best of them in chit chat, but there was clearly something on her mind.

She circled around me, preparing tea.

Unable to contain herself anymore, she burst out "So, what happened? Last time you were talking to three or four guys! What's going on?" I smiled (because toast and cream cheese is really underrated) and told her the truth. When it rains, it pours. Right now I am experiencing. I responded. "Nothing."

"NOTHING?!"

"Nothing!"

"NOTHING???!!!"

"Nothing." (Another smile, but this time I admittedly might have just been doing it to be irritating)

"You are a...."

"a................."

"TACKLE FISHER!"

I know. I know. I had no idea what that meant either. But it was apparently the perfect word for me. She explained "You fish, you catch, you THROW THEM BACK!" This was delivered in a tone of even parts humor and dismay. Starving people don't throw away food, ya know? We didn't really get into it (well, partly because there was nothing to talk about and partly because it's more flattering to have your mom think you are the one turning men away in hordes than to tell her the simple truth that some things just fade. And some guys don't call!)

Well, at least there's a word for me now. It may not be a real word, but hey, how many people have words made up just for them? Tacklefisher. It's got a nice ring to it. And it sounds better than spinster any day.

Don't Forget to Brush!





I'd like to poll the audience.

Lately a few of my friends have dealt with situations where they were hanging out/crashing somewhere with someone they were romantically linked to, and that person offered a toothbrush. Seems sweet, right? "Oh, you have a spare!" Perfect. But, as it turned out, said lover was offering them THEIR toothbrush.

I really think this is something Gallup needs to poll Americans on, because what has blown my mind- more than the fact that this has happened ONCE to someone- is that it appears to be widespread!

It's true.

As soon as I heard about this phenomenon, I had to ask some other people. One to pad my jury, I quickly summoned my friends in the sciences. I mean, if nothing else, DOCTORS would think it was stank to do, right?

Not right.

One of the girls (who, granted, is not yet a doctor, but is working at a hospital) said that she and her boyfriend share toothbrushes so much that when she goes to visit him for a weekend she doesn't even bring her own toothbrush. Gag me with a Sonicare. Seriously people?!

What surprised me even more than this disappointing poll was the fact that my respondees seemed dismayed that I"m NOT a toothbrush sharer! Like I was the gross one! People, I am a dentist's daughter. It pains me not to brush the old pearly whites, but if it's a question of borrowing your toothbrush after you've played Pad Thai Symphony on it, it's a hell to the no. A no-brainer.

These same respondents tried to convince me (and my equally disgusted compatriots) that if you've kissed someone, it's the same thing. Um, no it isn't. Don't make me insert a toilet paper analogy here.

Here are my thoughts, in case you haven't guessed them: Sharing a toothbrush is grody. Would you share floss? No! How much cleaner are your teeth really getting? That's right, they're not! The brushee is just methodologically applying the plaque of their beloved to their own teeth. Ew. That makes me want to vomit.

It's well known that if you don't have your toothbrush then you're supposed to FINGER brush, duh! Or you rinse multiple times with Listerine. Do what you need to do, but no share-y-share-y. It's like sharing underoos, and you don't do that with your boyfriend... do you? As a wise friend pointed out this week, "let's say you're camping, like really really stuck. Just brush with bark! Wintergreen bristles! That's how they used to do it!"

I believe popular media backs me up on this (although, given the overwhelming responses pro-sharing, we could see this change. Saatchi & Saatchi beware!) I mean, HOW many toothpaste/mouthwash commercials have you seen? The couples banter as they brush and get ready. You don't see her brush and then rinse it off and hand it to him. Not a once.

We live in a first world nation. Act like it.

People, friends, colleagues, enemies -- I have come to realize that I am in the minority who find this a disturbing trend. I have to ask that even if you DO this, you and your little partner in crime need to decide here and now not to IPO (make public) that shit. Because even if you do it, I don't want to hear about it. Not even if I ask. I don't want to hear about what goes on in your bedroom and I don't want to hear what goes on in your bathroom either.

Dear marketing folks: I am available as a spokesperson for the "One Person, One Toothbrush" campaign. Crest? Colgate? Mentadent? I'm not picky.

-- The Dentist's Daughter Has Spoken.


DEDICATION: To my roomie4eva, Az, my faithful reader who even places threatening phonecalls when I don't post frequently enough.

Said dedication is revokable upon proof of toothbrush-sharing, naturally. -L

For My Peeps Still Thinking About the VMAs

You know you are!

Let's start with a comparison Susie emailed me immediately following her viewing:





Genius really. You'd think with that to go from and how much I love Rocky Horror Picture Show (I can sing the soundtrack in foreign languages, but that's another story for another day) that I'd have watched this televised spectacle much earlier. But I'm a week behind on everything and I just watched them tonight... well, as much as I could bear.

Was it national Fire Your Stylist Day? Seriously, I'm the first to get in line and make fun of Britney, but she was just the tip of the iceberg. (big, big iceberg). What was up with Beyonce's gold garbage bag? Wearing a minidress with a similar asthetic was Jennifer Hudson. Honey, you can sing all the Oscar-worthy anthems you want to but that does NOT, I repeat, does NOT mean you can wear that mini-dress, I don't care how much you work out! When your co-presenter told you how beautiful you looked I yelled something at the screen and promptly blocked out who it was because I vaguely know that I used to like him and I hate liars.

And Alicia Keys' luminescent glow... off the middle of her nose? John Norris? Platinum blonde, rocking the Jared Leto couture? Who even knew there WAS Jared Leto couture until now?

When you can put tiny lil' Rihanna in an outfit that makes her look fat, you should not ONLY be fired, but perhaps executed. Hollywood stylists, off with your heads!

I'd comment on the music, but I thought the way they shot it left a little something to be desired. I felt like I was watching COPS footage: shaky cameras, not quite sure of what was going on, noise, suspicious activity, awaiting action that never really happens. I think my favorite part was Kanye running through his suite singing. Because you know that he was really just looking for another black person. Just one! Or maybe a lone soul who might actually *know* the lyrics to one of his songs?

I haven't watched awards shows in years. Now I remember why :) The best thing to come out of this show was a diarrhea joke by Sarah Silverman. That says something.


(Ps. I really tried to find you a picture of both John Norris and his blonde ambition and a comparitive shot of Jared Leto. The internet is devoid of them. As it should be. Now if someone could just get rid of Golden Glad Bag Beyonce, I'll be ready for the weekend)

I Hate Skinny People.

Author's note: In the past I've debated taking this article down because folks misread it in the most incredible ways. But I think the 40+ comments just means that this is an important issue to people. And while I didn't intend for it to be an "issue" post, things take on their own lives.

To be clear, it was meant to be a rant about how some days you just don't want to work out, you wish you were one of those people who leans back, grins and says "Oh, I don't work out." I love working out, I love the energy it gives me, and I love that I have a hilarious workout partner who brought up the topic, keeping me laughing.

I would never endorse hating anyone literally. (If I really hated someone, am I dumb enough to put it in the title? No.) In a world where women are put under a microscope for their every flaw, particularly in the realm of body shape, I wouldn't want to encourage further scrutiny, and I guess I touched a nerve with some skinny people out there (sorry, skinny people!). I genuinely feel for people who have major body issues, and this wasn't meant to promote them. God knows that's the last thing they need.

That said, I also feel for people who live a routine of working out, only to get up and have to do it all over again. The jokes in here are for them, something to chuckle about (although I don't encourage chuckling as a general rule) as they do that afternoon on the elliptical wishing someone would FOR THE LOVE OF GOD please change the channel from Maury at the gym.


*****

Today I emerged from my run sweaty and bitter. Jessica and I discussed (on the ironic elevator ride back down to our apartment) how we wonder what skinny people do with all their free time. Seriously. On a normal cardio day you're talking about 1 hour of workout plus shower/beautification. On a Bikram day I'm logging 1.5 hours of class plus .5 driving plus shower/beautification. That is a big chunk of my day!

So what DO skinny people do with that extra couple of hours they have in their day? Do they have higher intelligence because they read more in their free time? Do they contribute more work energy to the world? Are they at least sitting still for that 2 hours and not melting our freaking planet? I need answers!

Usually I'd turn to Jon Yang for answers, he being my favorite token skinny person, but he's writing his debut novel (yay! double yay for author plugging!) So Jon, just do me a favor and comment whenever you're procrastinating next.

Jessica made the wise suggestion (help me petition her for her own blog. She has much to contribute, I promise you.) that maybe skinny people should just have fewer hours in their day. I thought of this as a "sit in the corner and think... really THINK about what you've done!" situation. But she just thought they could have less and the universe could tack those extra hours onto my day (and perhaps yours). So my ability-to-be-productive day wouldn't be hampered by my love affair with the elliptical machine or my need for hot stinky sweat with strangers at ungodly hours of the mornings (on separate mats people, separate mats).

I know, I know. I'm not saying skinny people are healthier than the rest of us. I know, I read those articles too. What I'm saying is that many of them (and oh how I can list the exceptions) look as if they're healthy even though they don't even know what a basal metabolic rate is. I had a friend who once told me she simply "doesn't like to sweat". Seriously?! You can just decide that??? Sign me up.

In the interest of time and my desire to sleep enough before I wake up for another grueling workout, I'm going to stop myself before I dive over the precipice of discussing those who "eat everything and I just can't put on a pound!"  Don't get me started.

I think skinny people owe the rest of us normal people an apology. You're throwing off the average weight scales at my doctor's office and you're making designers pee in their pants with excitement and I hate you for it. So answer me this- what DO you do with all that freaking extra time? How are you contributing to the universe while my kin and I jog (to the tune of Eye of the Tiger, when necessary)? That's right. You have made Sylvester Stallone a necessary part of my day, and you shall suffer!

Welcome to the new order. Take a seat skinny people. And think about what you did. No talking.

Click on this image for a good laugh.



Seriously????

I have no idea how this could be. I kept clicking on the page to refresh because I thought it was a sample page to show you how to read your results. I did this about 3 times before succumbing to the fact that the Dept of Real Estate just has no standards. Whatsoever. Plus this makes me "that girl" (the girl who says they are going to fail and then doesn't). I was totally hating on my friend for passing when she said she didn't study and now I had to go and impress myself like this.

Anyone looking to sell a house? ;)

Survey Says

I'm a sucker for this stuff, I know. But it's also Mondayish here at the Procrastination Station.

1. When you want to have "you" time, what do you do?

Ug. I think I check email!!!! I go to yoga or read a few pages of whatever book I'm trying to get through.

2. Are you comfortable with answering personal questions?

Depends on who is asking.

3. Have you ever cried and didn't know why?

Um hello, I am woman, watch me sob. I got a little choked up at The Nanny Diaries yesterday! But those might have
been tears of joy because it was almost over.


4. When is the last time you were truly happy with your life?

The other day I was driving in my car and feeling pretty damn happy, so a few days ago. Generally anytime I can stop
worrying then I start to be truly happy.


5. Have you ever found someone of your same sex sexy?

Oh! Is this one of those personal questions that I'm supposed to act comfortable answering? I think I find women attractive but not sexy?

6. Do you think long distance relationships are ever really worth it?

I used to think so. I guess it depends on how commitmentphobic you are :)

7. What did you do at your lowest point in life?

Went to law school. But that might be more cause than effect.

8. What brought you back from that?

Graduation. Therapy. Got out of LA.

9. Have you ever envisioned your own wedding?

Not really. That whole "not knowing who the groom is" throws my imagination off!

10. When is the last time you personally made someone else cry?

Ooooh. I think I know the answer to this but I won't confess! She kinda deserved it (and no Susie, it wasn't you!)

11. The last time you were kissed, where were you?

At the front door of a certain someone's house.

12. Do you eat a healthy diet?

Does ice cream three times in one day this weekend count?

14. Do you believe exes can really ever be "just friends?"

Sure, but that ex has to be worth it as a friend, and in most cases the reason people break up is that they weren't!

15. Would you attend each of your ex's funerals?

Not unless wearing red was acceptable. Kidding. Oh, like the movie scene where The Other Woman stands far back from the crowd, wearing a black veil and shedding a single crocodile tear? Sure! Who are we killing?! No. Honestly, when I'm done with a guy, I literally don't want to spend another second on him. Unless as per #14 we stayed friends.

17. Would you be able to date someone who had a kid with someone else?

I think so. I love love love kids. It would depend on the situation though. No baby mama drama for the Lillymonster!

18. When is the last time you were on vacation?

A few weeks ago, Viva Las Vegas! Before that in June/July, Turkey and Greece.

19. Do you make your bed every day?

So sad, so true.

20. Are you too shy to tell people when you're developing feelings for them?

Oh yeah. And beyond my being shy (which I AM!), I apparently hide it really really well even when I adore someone.

21. Do you use the Internet or television more?

The internet. But not enough to call it the Net. That's just annoying. Our cable has been out for 2 months and I"m waiting for the cable guy just now if that tells you my relationship with tv.

22. Have you ever worn black nail polish?

This weekend actually. I rode the Vamp train back in '95, people.

23. How much older than you is the oldest person you've kissed?

I think 5 years.

24. How much younger is the youngest?

Haha. I think 3 years?

25. Which celebrity have you been compared to most?

That would be Janeane Garofalo.

26. Do you have romantic feelings for anyone, and if so, do they know?

Yes and yes.

27. What are your plans for your future?

With 30 looming I have a lot of figuring out to do, don't I. Did my dad write this survey???

28. Do you want to be in a relationship right now?

Do I?

29. If you could pack up and leave your life now to move away, would you?

No, I tried that. I love my family and friends and my SD pace of life right now. Never say never though.

30. Have you ever done any acting on stage?

I was in the choir for Guys and Dolls in 7th grade. I hope to never wear a bonnet again.

31. Do you like being in pictures?

If they document a night of troublemaking, yes. If they involve the DMV or gym membership, no.

32. Do you cry easily?

Not at all. It's a complaint actually. I've literally tried to make myself cry and ended up cracking up.

33. Have you ever been more attracted to a significant other's sibling than them?

No. This beats the "do you like broccoli" questions though!

34. What is the last fun, free activity you did?

Walked around this gorgeous neighborhood by the beach with Jessica yesterday.

35. Do you enjoy romance?

If a guy can bring humor into romance and blend them, he's got my attention. So yeah, romance with a twist.

36. Do you tend to fall for people easily?

I crush easily. I rarely fall.

37. Have you spent more time in your life single, or in a relationship?

SuperSingleGirl! (she gets tangled in her cape)

38. What person in your family are you the most like?

My mom for sure.

39. Are you quick to start a fight?

No. I am a conflict avoider (except where family is concerned!)

40. Have you ever put anything other than cheese in your grilled cheese?

French people put ham and eggs in my grilled cheese. But I love them anyway.

42. Do your parents really know YOU?

They know 85% of me. Drunk lilly and dating lilly are relative mysteries to them.

43. Have you ever felt invincible?

Sometimes on the dancefloor :)

44. How many cars have you owned?

Three.

45. Do you get along well with your siblings?

Yeah. They crack me up. As of a week ago we even have a song...

46. Would you rather be cheated with or on?

Cheated on. I don't deal well with guilt.

47. Do you feel like you've got some growing up to do?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I think I'm more grown up than I should be.

48. Do you like to dress up?

I'm Persian. But of course. But not all the time. If I could live in my bellbottom jeans I totally would.

50. Do you own a little black dress?

I have like 3 of them, never worn. That Cosmo stuff is so not me!

51. Where's the last place you slept?

What was his name again?.... Kidding. My own bed, although said sleep was interrupted by a migraine and then (thank you California...) an earthquake!

52. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

I really want to and kinda repeat it like a mantra. It's not easy to believe until later, when you can look back.

53. What's bugging you right now?

Call me. I'll tell you about it. :)

C U L8R.




Ok people, we need to deal with something and we need to deal with it now. I've said it before and I'll say it again: technology will be the downfall of modern dating.

I know, it seems so convenient. Text someone, ask them out, Myspace them and drop them a line. But as much as technology has hurried our ability to contact (and dare I say, stalk) one another, I think it's a swift kick to the ass of the daters of the world.

Granted, I can only imagine what it would have been like to date in an era where people did their romantic business/appointment setting either in person or on the phone. But I imagine it had to be better than this.

How many friends can I watch annoyedly (yes, that's a word now) looking down at their fancy schmancy cell phones in dismay? If I got a ruble for every time I saw that look of disappointment, I'd be a rich woman. So then that begs the question- did he get your message? Did he get your text? Did he get the email? Were his filtered out by the evil internet gods that clear the screen after I've written my wittiest correspondence? How many times have I heard a friend say "I don't know- I texted him but I never heard from him after that..."

After great thought I can assure you that technodating problems arise in a few key categories. Beware ye modern dater! I caution you regarding the following:

TEXT MESSAGE:

PRO: Quick, easy way to reach people. Ability to impersonate Prince on the regular 4U can do it 2. You can write them when you feel like sending and they can answer at leisure. See also: mass texting. I have heard of guys texting a group of women, and whoever answered first would get his company for the night (O lucky girls!). It's a good way to give/get status updates ("which bar are U at?") and to keep the communication going without a significant time investment quotient.

CON: Once you have crossed the line into text messaging as a main form of communication, it's hard to go back. Why talk on the phone if you can just text your thoughts and get back to what you're doing? People assume that if there's something to be said it can be said via text. This quickly supplants any other communication, so basically you're on an email relationship before you know it. But not even that good because you're limited to 100 characters or whatever it is.

PRO: Ability to avoid people. Ok, so maybe at this point you're moving out of the dating of said person -- the denouement if you will, then this is a great way to do your own thing and let them down easily. Unless you're a guy I went on a lunch date with who proceeded to text me (I kid you not) that he "was sorry about what happened between us" (which, dear reader, was a turkey sandwich and a whole side order of bored out of my effing mind) and that he knew he "had issues". Now, personally, that's not stuff I'd want in writing of any form. But texting it? So sad for him!

CON: Word texting. You know, where you just hit the keys and a suggestion of words comes up. Gotta be careful with this one. For example, my friend was joking with a guy she had just met about weddings, a topic he had brought up. She meant to write "big wedding" and wrote 'bed wedding". And never heard from him again.

PRO: You can ease INTO communication with someone you're interested in without directly calling them. A flirt here and a flirt there and there is the possibility of growing into full-fledged (gasp!) phone conversation or, hey, a date. On that note, though, I'm still in the balance about being asked out on dates via text. Something about it feels weird to me but I have been assured that I'm just slow on the times.

CON: Lost text messages. Can I get a "whoop whoop" from people who are fellow Sprint customers? Awaiting a response, you wait and wait. But they never got yours in the first place. Annoying. All that self-doubting for nothing.


EMAIL:

PRO: You can express yourself via the written word. You're not limited in characters. You can email away at work and look like you're being productive. You can crack witty jokes ad nauseum. Impress her with your written stylings.

CON: Email filters. Some of us have an email address that involves "persianlilly", and some of us end up in the spam filter along with "PersianKitty" and some other slightly suggestive monikers.

PRO: You can put yourself out there without really putting yourself out there. For some reason people find it easy to say things on email that they would never in a million years say in person. Shyness just evaporates behind the electronic curtain. Granted, this is a double-edged sword in that you run the risk of presenting your 'representative', a guy (or girl) who is just way wittier or more interesting than you are in person. Because, granted, you did have two days to write an email that comes off as a breezy communique. This is the correspondence equivalent of the "just got out of bed" look that women spend 2 hours before their bathroom mirror cultivating.

CON: Tone. My scientific evidence notes many problems with this angle of emailage. While some people express themselves better via email, a lot of people write emails that just don't convey the tone they meant. So emails come across with a bitchy/assholish tone when they're not meant to be that way. "Yeah, I hate fat girls" just doesn't have the same ring it does in person, when you can run damage control and explain your sarcasm and or say it in some way that would not be construed as an insult against self-conscious women in general.

For me and mine, a group of notably sarcastic folks, this tone situation presents a problem of the highest degree. We spend all day writing and many of our jobs involve perfecting the ability to communicate exactly what it is we're thinking -- and assume everyone else can do this too. We will then proceed to read the worst possible interpretative tone into the notes we receive, and make ourselves miserable in doing so.

Bonus round of CON: people who are generally well spoken will send off an email rife with grammatical mistakes revealing that they never quite got the difference between its and it's or their and there. Survival of the fittest will take hold.

MYSPACE:

PRO: Cyberstalking! Yay! You can see what people are up to, and generally monitor their whereabouts. That girlfriend he said it was over with? Why has he checked his page every day in the past three days yet not changed his status to single? Eau de bad liar! That sort of thing. Likewise you can see photos of their lifestyle and apply autofails as needed ("are those... TEVAS?"). You can have a great personality, but if you're posting pics of your abs in the bathroom mirror, Lilly don't want none of that.

CON: Ability to know that someone has read your email and not responded. Were they just busy? Did they accidentally click and not read it? Was your joke about your feet just not as funny as you thought it was? Are you being rejected passively? It's a downward spiral, people.

PRO: Swapping flirty comments with friends to elicit jealousy in the object of your affection. I know of many people doing this (unfortunately I am not among them. My friends tend to make fun of me on Myspace more than anything else.)

CON: Ability to check that someone has been on myspace and yet not HOW DARE HE called you like he was supposed to. Also, ability to preruse your beloved's site and see that a bikini-clad slut has commented about his whereabouts the previous night. You can fall prey to other people's machinations (such as the revenge tactics of the jealous Bikini Clad Slut). If he has time to change his 'mood' on myspace, he has time to call you back... right?

PRO: Fan mail. Your day can be brightened by the fact that at least SDLover ("being married doesn't mean you're happy..." -- directly quoted from an email I got this week) wants to get together with you.

Short of instituting a class action suit for broken hearts against Sprint and/or Rupert Murdoch, we need to bring some human interaction back into this stuff people. I know that face to face (or ear to phone) communication is stressful for our generation, it being so foreign and all, but I hear they did it back in the stone ages and it worked for them. I mean, we're here, aren't we?

If At First You Don't Succeed, You Were Probably Me This Morning.

Note to self: next time I take an exam, I should probably study for it.

A week back a friend called me and said that spur of the moment her colleague had walked in to take the Real Estate Salesperson exam. You who know me know that I will regularly pour over Dream Homes magazine and/or attend open houses for property I have no interest in buying, just because that's the type of weirdo I am. SO. He had taken the exam which encouraged her to sign up and take it which encouraged me (see the mob mentality?) to finally do it. I had said forever that I wanted to take it "just to have" (sound like my Bar exam, anyone?). So I signed up.

I wasn't going to study (if you're a lawyer you don't need courses, law school waives you out) but last week I put in an earnest few hours reviewing the material. And guess what? Last night, halfway through the evening, I picked up my study guide and looked at the cover. As if for the first time. And guess what I realized? I had been studying for the Real Estate APPRAISAL exam. Which on the one hand explained why it was so effing hard, but on the other hand, well, that just sucked. (Especially because at Starbucks I had held my ground studying while a deranged and possibly homeless man made repeated advances on me, writing things in the air to me. Yes, seriously.)

Then I realized that last night, the night before my test, was the eclipse that has been in the news for the last month. So Jessica and I set our alarms and got up to see it. It was beautiful. I hope I don't go blind from looking. That would suck. I probably should have found out if that was a concern, but when you're waking up at 2:45 to look at the sky, you aren't really thinking like that.

Anyway, the test sucked. From the moment they gave us the papers I felt like I was in elementary school ("fill in the circles completely, making a dark mark") Even the hard stuff I had studied, the archaic land description crap, wasn't on there. I couldn't even wing it with my below-average Property Law grade! It was just plain hard. So, doing a quick cost-benefit analysis, I cut my losses. I finished circling them circles and got my stuff and by 9:30 am I was headed straight for a celebratory bagel. As Jessica says, you miss 100% of the chances you don't take. Maybe next time I will aim for 'chances' that involve a later wake up call and a minimized nerd quotient.

How Much Vegas is Too Much Vegas?




You. Yeah, you. The person who actually CONSIDERED answering this question. BOOOOOO! You can NEVER get too much Vegas!

Sometimes a girl just needs to go where everybody knows her name. There is no feeling on earth like riding out the 15, heading off to Tropicana Blvd, and dropping your stuff in your home away from home. Granted, this time my "home" was Excalibur. Before you rag on me, please know that said trip was planned the night before, so it was about all we could find. Secondly, please know that I've gone so far as to stay at Circus Circus on a spur of the moment trip to Vegas. I have needs.

So we jump on the highway and drive out. We check into our hotel- "To the castle!" - and walk to our room. Jessica puts the key in and the door swings open--- oops. Clothes strewn everywhere, people in there, we shut the door.

Let's try that again. Wrong room. So we get into ours. I lead the pack. With a quick "it smells like a crime scene!" we had reached our nest in the City of Sin. I won't go into how there was blood on the bedspread or the cracked frame hanging lopsided on the wall. Oops, I did.



WHY I LOVE VEGAS: AN ABBREVIATED LIST

Cocktail waitress uniforms. While we were playing blackjack our waitress never came around, despite the addicition I had to their amazing bloody marys. Then I realized that if *I* were dressed like a court jester maybe I'd hide in the back too.

Gambling. In Vegas everyone is a winner. Even when you drink your losses in free drinks, you win!

Buffets. I became frenemies with the $3-all-you-can-drink-Mimosas. Aw yeah. Try that on for size.

Dancing dancing dancing and none of that "1:30, last call!" bullshit. Jessica had been talking about Brody Jenner while we were watching one or another (they all blur together for me) of the crappy OC-related-reality shows. We debated his hotness (she was pro, I was con). Of course, life being what it is, we ended up at his birthday party at PURE that night. By the way, she's right. Although after 3 shots of 151 I would have thought a pole was cute.

No clocks. anywhere. That's my style. The only clocks in Casa Lilly are on built-in electrical appliances. Clocks make me nervous. I don't need to know that I've spent 3 hours losing at the tables. The empty cups will remind me!

Peoplewatching. Seriously, where else will you see a girl with GUCCI tattood across the back of her neck? (Oh yeah, PB.)



I knew you wouldn't believe me!

**
I can't say enough about Vegas. And the sickest thing is that it brings me to happy memories of my CHILDHOOD! I know, most people remember Disneyland or their Grandmother's house. I remember the sweet freedom of being left in the room to jump on the bed and discover free adult channels. I remember prank calling. I remember being allowed to eat anything we wanted because we were at a buffet. I remember learning to shoot pool in the playroom of our hotel. I am probably the only person who sees "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada" and gets warm fuzzies.



Everytime I go, I only love it more. I came back down $100, 3 pairs of shoes and a cute purse. Any way you cut it, it's the usual: Vegas-1, Lilly-0.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

A Shout-Out From My Eyebrows



Just for you folks who didn't believe my eyebrow mishap. Exhibit A, attached.

I will update you on my recent impromptu trip to Vegas as soon as the 151 clears out of my system.
-The Management.

Hell is Other People

That's what my sister told me when I shared my latest adventure with her. I won't get into the specifics, but suffice it to say that today at lunch a lady told me she was sure the book The Scarlet Letter must resonate with middle eastern women, what with arranged marriage and adultery and all.

I know.

I have since quickly excused myself from the table and am here to blog for my public (all 3 of you). Susie had posted a funny questionnaire, so the Procrastination Station presents LILLY: THE QUESTIONNAIRE.

1. How old will you be in 3 years?
32 flavas of lilly

2. Do you think you'll be married by then?
hm. fun to think about. probably. i'm not into the long engagement thing. meet me in vegas.

3. What do you look forward to most in the next 2 months?
am i a dork if i say getting back into yoga/getting back into shape/time off of crazy writers conferences? it's true!

see also: hot fall nights, a possible Stevie B concert (my second this summer), seeing 2 of my close friends get married to each other, cracking the recipe for the best Sangria

4. Who was the last person you talked to?
my sister Snoozer aka Susie who confirmed that she will name her firstborn Hester.

5. what do you think about the person that took this survey before you?
Suz is pretty freakin awesome. And hilarious.

6. Who was the last person to text you?
A film guy I met at this conference last year who ditched the conference this year. Bitter texting from me ensued.

7. Who was the last person you hugged?
No idea! I think one of my agent friends I hadn't seen in a year.

8. What were you doing at midnight last night?
As per last night's post, I was drinking copious amounts of water to offset my tasting of local Portland wines while checking my work email (before you make fun of me, please know that my inbox included a pitch email from the guy who sang "girl you know it's true" for Milli Vanilli).

9. Parents separated/divorced/married?
Married.

10. Last time you saw your dad?
On Monday night. He served me ice cream. Must visit more.

11. What happened at 11:00 a.m. today?
I looked at my conference schedule and realized i had a 2.5 hour break coming up. Therefore at 11am I was washed with a sense of relief and visions of chocolate.

12. How many states do you want to visit?
I guess all of them, just to say I did. Although I could skip the rest and just keep going to Vegas/Nevada. That's ok too.

14. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?
On other people? Shoes, because there is no reason for me to see your feet if I'm not your podiatrist. Ick. On me? Shoes because they're cute and fun and they deserve to work their mileage.

15. Are you a social person?
Social I suppose

17. Favorite ice cream?
Chocolate. Chocolate with chocolate in it is even better. Honorable mention to cookies and cream.

18. What is your favorite dessert?
Peanut Butter Creme Brulee from Extraordinary Desserts in SD. I still think about it. Otherwise strawberries.

19. Whats your favorite song right now?
Umbrella ella ella eh eh eh. Or "Call on Me" by Eric Prydz, because who doesn't love a Steve Winwood dance remix?!

20. What kind of jelly do you like on your peanut butter sandwich?
Apparently Susie and I share genetic taste for seedless raspberry. I would like to share with our audience here that Susie ate only pb&j for years of her early life. Fun fact.

21. Do you like coffee?
I love the smell but I'm off the taste now.

22. How many glasses of water a day do you drink on average?
A lot.

23. What do you drink in the morning?
Whiskey on the rocks. Kidding. Green tea.

24. Would you rather kiss someone with or without a lip ring?
Hm, not having much to go from, I'm going to say without.

25. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
I lie curled in a ball, left side of the bed. Unless I"m sleeping diagonal. Case in point: the beds at this Sheraton rock. I cover the whole thing, sleeping starfish style.

26. Do you know how to play poker?
I rock at video poker but have alternating luck in person. I can play if I pay attention, but that's a big "if". (see "Social")

28. Any plans for this week?
Soooo much work. That SHOULD be all I do, but it won't be. I'll be going out, partying on school nights. Traveling. Reuniting w/ old friends. Sweating off my writers conference, etc. I am the overscheduled child.

29. Do you eat out or at home more often?
Does ordering out count as eating at home? It should.

34. Have you ever been in an ambulance?
Hm. No. Should I be jealous?

35. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool?
Ocean if it's warm. Pool if it's late at night.

36. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat?
Window. Better curl-up-ability and privacy to drool w/abandon.

37. Do you know how to drive a stick shift?
Let's go with no.

38. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
books. books. books. health implements (running shoes, outfits, etc.) that make me feel as if I've worked out just by buying them. Cute shoes.

39. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7?.
I wear jewelry 24/7, but never the same.

40. Do you speak any other language?
french, spanish, persian, a touch of Italian and a touch of Turkish. I pride myself on being able to say "I can't speak XXX" in said languages.

41. Can you roll your tongue?
absorrrrrrrrutely.

42. Who is the funniest person you know?
All 4 members of my immediate family. And wanda sykes. I don't know her, but I should.

43. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
No. Glad to know the person who wrote this survey clearly does though.

44. Are you in a relationship?
No. Although there was a fade-out about 5 years ago, so maybe that's still on?

45. Do you still have clothes from when you were little?
Nope. I lost my "I love my dentist, she's my mommy" shirt and remain embittered that Susie has hers.

46. What is the color of your bedroom wall?
beigy. (technical artistic term)

47. Do you shut off the water when you brush your teeth?
sometimes although last night i forgot to, thanks for rubbing it in.

48. Are you crushing on someone right now?
Mayyyyybe...

49. Do you have any tattoos, or piercings?
yup. various ear piercings and a belly ring from a particularly rebellious day when I was theoretically too old for said jewelry. tonight after the writers conference i'm getting my last name tattood on my butt.

Sittin' Up In My Room

I have come to the realization that I"m just not going to have really important things to say every time I want to post to my blog. Quite liberating really. I'm in Portland for a writers conference and I have visions of getting work done in my room when all I really want to do is flop back on this cushy hotel bed.

So the sorry, sorry realization of the week is that I ain't as young as I used to be.

Then: Drink frat-party-provided lemon drops of dubious quality
Now: Drink two glasses of wine before beginning to alternate water/wine/water/wine

Then: Able to stay up late and party til sunrise
Now: Able to stay up til about midnight, at which point I begin to think about the workout and/or productivity I might miss in the morning if I"m not careful.

Then: Three beers made a guy good looking
Now: Beer? Hello! Carbs!

Then: Come home and call high school friends going to college in other states
Now: Come home tipsy and check work email


That last one worries me most if we're going to be honest here. That's just sad. The thing is, I know I"m not the only one who does it because my friend just drunk emailed me from her work email too.

So today an author pitched me a book and in the conversation he asked me something interesting (or interesting after a few glasses of wine, just go with it). He asked me what my simple pleasures are. Before you get all smartass on me, please recognize that this time last year I was fending off the "date rape poetry" author, so this was a delightful move in the right direction for a writers conference!

In no order of preference, here are some of mine:

1) pouring myself a cup of hot tea or the smell of freshly brewed coffee. it's weird, even when i don't want to drink coffee, that smell just invigorates me. That walk from the stove to my desk or the couch is what I'm after, more than the drink.
2) a bubble bath on a weeknight or a lazy saturday. mmm. saturday night with bubbles and magazines
3) back in the day but one of my favorites -- curling up with Pele on the floor, just listening to silence and being glad I had such a coolio dog (rest in peace, little guy)
4) driving by WindnSea on my way to my parents' house, just because i love that view so much
5) sifting through my tape crate and seeing my life fly by
6) gossiping (sp?) with my parents after a persian dinner party
7) putting the top down on my car
8) looking at the shelves in a bookstore

I'm not really sure where the line is between "simple" pleasures and complicated pleasures. But those are a few of my favorite things (oh, supress your eye roll, dear reader!)

So yeah, it's like the last few weeks of summer. I'm gonna become a pleasureseeker. Stay tuned and feel free to let me crib from your notes.

Mirror, Mirror

I'm a Persian girl. We middle eastern girls love us some hair-removal conversation. It's true. Afternoons have passed with a delightful repartee of online chat with my girlfriends regarding the best pricing for laser this or the best tip for waxing that. It comes with the cultural territory. My story isn't graphic, just sad. Sit down, for I seek comfort.

You see, yesterday I had eyebrows. In fact, I arguably had too much eyebrow, so I sought the care of a certified professional whom I had visited once before for said service. I entered her lair of muzak and dim lighting. We were chit-chatting and gossipping (clearly I have been too busy doing it to learn how to conjugate it properly), and before i knew it, I felt pain in a new part of my eyebrow. It just felt wrong. Bad touching.

I probably don't have to tell you that I emerged with part of my eyebrow missing. I wish I could tell you it was the top, extraneous bit, or the between-eyebrows bit, but what was missing was the MIDDLE of my eyebrow. There is a hole in my eyebrow. You know the expression "to raise your eyebrow"? That's the part that's missing! And then the end of it is there, like an afterthought.

I took pencil to it for a temporary touch-up and now live in fear of wiping my brow (I'm at a writers conference, sweating is only a natural reaction, having been followed to my room and/or the bathroom before by overzealous talent). Sheesh.

Fortunately I have resources. Tomorrow I will start a discussion thread re: eyebrow transplants, but I won't be happy about it.

Everyone's a Winner in the Game of Life.





Ok, not everyone is a winner in the game of life, but I am! I am officially $25 richer, thank you Sir Blingalot. (click on the image to zoom in- that's right, Lilly G!) What to do -- do I splurge on the perfume I want from Sephora, go with the standby Borders Gift certificate (never can go wrong with that), or dine out? So many options! It's an embarassment of riches really.

I never win anything. Seriously. I realized some of this was in my hands, so one of my new years resolutions was to enter more contests. And here we are.

It's true- I make a 'serious' list of new year's resolutions (be nice/feed the poor/be more active) that I try to honor. But then I also make the "REAL" ones- enter more contests, drink more wine, go on vacation more. Those are clearly the ones I'm better at sticking to. Publishers Clearing House won't even know what hit 'em.

Moths: The Saturday Thoughts of Lillymonster.




Ok, so if butterflies are what you have when you have happy tingles in your stomach, what is it when you have that pit feeling? Let's call it moths. You know when you have that for no good reason? So annoying. I mean, I can think of reasons, but it sucks because it's so beautiful out and it should be against the law to feel like this on a beautiful SoCal day! Write your congressmen, people!

Possible sources for aformentioned icky sentiment:

1) The fact that it's gorgeous out and I'm inside working. Everyone in the greater county of San Diego is at the Gay Pride festival today. I'm tucked away in a cafe, far from the sounds of Erasure's comeback tour.

2) The fact that I'm back from vacation and the real world has reapproached me.

3) The fact that I drank a cup of coffee this morning that I didn't want but ordered out of age-old habit at Big Kitchen (often misidentified as "Big Momma's". There is no scientific reason for this misnomer, but apparently I"m not the only one to occasionally slip).

4) The fact that I didn't sleep very much. Being a newshound, I dreamt about plane crashes. Repeatedly.

5) PMS. I used to think this was made up, minus the cramps thing. But the going-crazy-super-sensitive-Kodak-commercials-damn-that-Butterfly-kisses-song-thing is apparently also true.

6) My friend texted me last week that she was in line for pizza behind my not-very-nice ex. I forget about him until someone brings him up. Blah. He doesn't deserve good Chicago pizza!

7) The fact that last night a guy struck up unsolicited conversation with me to the tune of "you have beautiful skin... no really... like a young asian boy." I wish I could say he was joking. Mr. Internet Sex Offender clarified in case I wasn't sure "like a 9 year old from Thailand or something." Ew. I wish I could say this crap happens to all women, but further investigation shows that it's really just me. I'm alone. Me and the freaks.

8) My gray hairs are multiplying. I have like THREE now! At the rate I'm stressing I fear I'll have stripes a la Lily Munster by the time I turn 30.

9) Which is not far away.

Reasons to be happy:

1) I am not friends with the tall blond drunk girl who was running through Envy last night yelling "We're gonna drop it like it's HOT y'all! We're gonna DROP it like it's HOT!"

2) There was no glass in my breakfast. (I'm just saying.)

3) I don't have any terminal diseases (that I know of).

4) It is a beautiful day out.

5) The fact that the last time I saw Mr. Ex Boyfriend he was wearing a gladiator costume. Not on Halloween, either. ("Poetic Justice, table for one?")

6) Punny is in town. And she's very funny not to mention an incredible partner in crime when it comes to sake bombs.

7) Jessica put a magnet on the fridge that says "everything will be fine in the end. If it's not fine, it's not the end." Being who I am, I had bought a magnet for her at the same time. But that one says "It's better to have loved and lost than to live with the psycho for the rest of your life." Ok, that really did just make me smile.

I'm back.

Rejoice accordingly.

Apparently I have 88% of the world left to conquer:













I am battling what I fear might be a strain of Turkish Throat Death aka strep. Sucks. Me, not be able to talk? I'm sure Jessica enjoyed my relative silence in the car driving back from L.A. I've heard that some people only appreciate enthusiastic George Michael-harmonizing to a point.

Good to be home.

Read. Laugh. Love.




When was the last time you read a book that affected you in any way? Arguably my latest read, a Nick Hornby novel, fits the bill, if only because it keeps me on the cardio machines while I find out what happens to my wacky heroes.

But seriously. When was the last time you read a book that made you think you were ahead of Oprah's curve? A book that took you on a 'journey'? Tonight I went to see Elizabeth Gilbert speak about her memoir "Eat Pray Love". I should probably begin by saying that I'm generally not the memoir-y type. The memoirs I have liked have been about people who are so funny that I forget I'm reading about them and not me. Or, like Running With Scissors (which, for the record, I liked less round 2), a memoir that tells me "hey, my life is more f*ed up than yours could ever be. find solace in this." When I've represented memoirs (THE NON-RUNNER'S MARATHON GUIDE and THIRTY TO WIFE), even those have had this underdog angle where the protagonist fights the odds until the bitter, bitter end (couch potato-to-marathoner and bachelor-to-husband transitions, respectively).

To be honest, the reason I picked up this book was that I was at Costco, my dog had just died, and I needed to buy something. I tend to buy books the way a junkie buys drugs. If I'm having a great day, I buy. If I'm having a bad day, I head down to my local seedy corner (bookstore) and buy from my dealer (literary fiction if I"m having a particularly rough spot). Some people like crack, some people like pages. That's not the point here.

So I bought the book largely because it has a really purty cover (exhibit A, attached). Eyecatching. I didn't know much about it. In fact, much of me thought I'd buy it and leave it lying around just to know I owned it in case I ever needed to, well, own it. Like I said, I don't do memoirs. Everyone knows I love Madonna, but I can't even bear to get through a whole book about HER. As I tell my clients, readers love to read about themselves. But I was feeling particularly, I dunno, pretty-cover-ish, so I took it on a trip with me.

I read it pretty much in one shot. I found myself trying to end conversations quickly so I could get back to the scene I was reading. This worked with my mom as she and I flew away for the weekend but didn't work with a guy on my flight back (but he got my phone number, so it all comes out in the wash). I won't get too NY Times book reviewy on you (mostly because, well, I don't get paid to blog) but the book made me laugh and cry. Usually at the same time. Happy-cry, not Terms of Endearment cry.

Who ever thought reading about someone else's life would change mine? Usually I read about how messed up someone's life is (thank you US Magazine, with a shout out to Paris Hilton!) and become more grateful about my status quo. Now I got to read about someone's life and decide mine was fine but I could make it better. The cliffnotes version is that she has a bitter divorce and decides to spend a year traveling the world 4 mo in Italy to eat, 4 mo in India to pray on an ashram and 4 mo in Bali trying to find pleasure, to find a balance.

The point is the there's more to life than this, "this" being whatever it is you're obsessing about this week. And aren't we all obsessing about something?

Thing is, I had gotten really caught up in my life in the past few weeks. (start the string section) In little things that seemed so big. Ok, well, to be fair, some of them were big. But they weren't worth having a breakdown over and that crap quarterlife crisisy feeling that follows me around most of the time is an accessory, not a body part.

Point is, I went to her book signing and as I listened to her talk I thought, well, finally, someone with a message. Everything I love about this book and why it is important to me came flooding back. I guess part of me knows that I"ll get self-centered and obsessive and whatever other un-Buddha-y traits I've got up my sleeve now and then, but I'm feeling pretty high on life and I'm amazed at how one person can light the candle like that for everyone else. (did I just plagiarize a scene from Rent? i think i did)

Wishing you all books you love so much that you have to blog about them. Nitey night good readers of the world!

Things That Make You Go "Ha!"

1. Reading a book called "Are Men Necessary?" 360 pages (of nails-on-chalkboard irritating alliteration) later, I found out the question was rhetorical.

2. My brother told my friend and I that he went sailing the other day and ended up near a penguin reserve by Sea World. I'm not sure how this works, me being, well, over the age of 7 and all. He said that Sea World lets the penguins roam when they're not doing shows. Our minds immediately went to the scene. Penguins chilling in their own little utopia, then the boss calls. "Hey, Moe, we're on in 5. Get over here!"

3. My brother (same brother. he lives an adventurous life) asked me, completely straight-faced, if I've ever worn a diaper. As an adult. Apparently when you're 20 you'll really try anything once.

4. A Frenchman propositioned me. I think. (I wouldn't know. I don't generally get propositioned.) He asked me (in complete seriousness, I regret to inform you) if I wanted to be friends with benefits. Perhaps funnier is the fact that rather than freak out I pointed out that "um, don't you have to be friends first?" I blame it on his accent.

5. An email from one of my reporter (read: grammar-gifted) friends. It said: "Sounds like you’ve got a whirlwind of things going. I am impressed you’re dating like a maniac. Last time I talked to you you had discovered you were dating, like, a maniac. That’s a difference of only two commas, but a much more encouraging situation!"

It's the little things, people.

I'm Really 49, or, "I'm Just Saying!"

Picture this, Sicily, 1945:

Tonight I got home from work and I was starvation station. I wanted to eat something wholesome given that I had had a run-in with some sort of Green Tea Matcha White Chocolate bar in the afternoon (I was blindsided by its colorful appearance.) This dinner quickly revealed itself -- it involved a salad of fresh greens, sliced beets, jicama (do you even know what that is? I bet you don't unless you're Susie, who introduced me to it), and homemade vinaigrette. Then I wanted mac and cheese. You know how it is, sometimes you just need some of that good stuff. So I made some. California caveat: it was whole wheat with organic cheddar. And I mixed in broccoli. VOLUNTARILY.

I poured myself a glass of carefully selected wine and sat at what resembled an actual place setting (only vaguely recalling my usual stance, slackjawed, the frigid breeze of the open refridgerator dusting over me, spoon/spork in hand, eyeing an almost-finished tub of pepper hummus but actually unsure of what to attack next).

You see, I am not 29, I am apparently 49.

But wait, it gets better. I dined (party of one) to the sweet sounds of NPR's classical evening tunes while reading my latest book club selection. Move over Bridget Jones, I am working my way through NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd's Are Men Necessary?

If you'll excuse me, it's time to take my dentures out.

Dreamgirls: A Review in Verse

O Dreamgirls, how I wanted to see thy movie.
Every moment a new exclamation.
"There is Beyonce with a wig!"
"There is Eddie Murphy with a wig!"
"There is Jamie Foxx with a baaaad wig!"

I wonder if this is really
just the
documentary
of
Destiny's Child.

But it is not.

I liked this movie better
when it was called
Ray.

This is the Evening of Our Discontent.





I just got back from watching LOST at a friend's house. Now, I'm honored to have been invited into the time-honored ritual of gathering around the tv to watch a show. I think the last time I "made plans" to watch tv with people was with my family, watching the Miss America pageant in 1988. For years I've heard of people gathering -- to watch Friends, to watch Sex in the City, to watch the first two seasons of LOST. Finally I like a show enough that I wanted to be part of the action (and the people I was watching with are very funny, so I figured it was well worth the 5 minute drive).

The evening began with the end of American Idol. Perhaps nothing makes me happier than the end credits of American Idol. Someone got voted off the island, someone else will get a record contract they only maybe kinda deserve. Before I know it they will be playing Viejas casino and the cycle will begin again.

Then we watched America's Top Model. Or, as my sister likes to call it, America's Next Tyra. Tonight's episode was Punk'd meets ATM because there is NO WAY it was serious. They took the girls into the woods and had them hang out with Aborigines. They put these 5'11 90 lb American girls next to these 4'8 200 lb confused and dirty looking Aborigine girls (Susie: "they're the winners of Australia's Next Top Model") and then asked them to dance around like butterflies. I shit you not. This was *before* the models were asked to each perform an interpretive dance about their lives. Which is good, because, I mean, I like my models to have skills, don't you?

Curtain time (or tree time, as the case may be). Three of them danced about modeling (a dance which I expected to mime opening the fridge, sighing, and closing it again) while rambling incoherently and one 'danced' about childhood abuse. And the sad thing is that the show is so competitive that while I loved her for not doing the predictable thing, a dark dark (and very wise to reality tv) part of me wondered if she'd fabricated the abuse story to win (for the record, everyone in the room agreed with me).

Only one girl refused to genuinely participate (ie. she did her face paint, but not with gusto), but it wasn't even abstention on the basis of cultural humiliation. It was the black girl and you *know* she could have brought home the crown if she'd just shaken the booty! That's like if they had an eating contest. I'm the Persian girl, we would just WIN that shit. She stood there just talking. No dancing. At all. And in front of the Seventeen editor, no less! Her life fell apart in front of my eyes, slow motion. I mean, NO one messes with the Seventeen editor. And if you don't know it already, guess who didn't get a rose at the end of the night?

Finally LOST came on. The show we've all been waiting for. A show that I've never actually seen broadcast at its normal hour. It is official, I have arrived! I have caught up with popular culture! All I'm going to say here, lest there be someone who is reading my blog instead of watching tv like a good kid, is that the episode harkened to the dead-mother-in-the-chair scene from Psycho. Only it wasn't as good. Yikes. Fortunately I was in a room full of people who agreed. My enjoyment of the show might also be correlated to the weak Sawyer ratio, but that's ok, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

And my disappointment about tonight's LOST only tells me that I am WAY too invested in this show. I'm like an alkie who has woken up with bottles all around me. What-the-huh? I can't believe I care that the episode was sucky. A year ago I had to stop myself from canceling my cable bill and now I"m paying extra for digital recording. Go figure. I'd like to say that I went tonight for the company, but let's be honest, Dorito buffet aside -- if they had been watching West Wing or whatever else gathers the folks around the boob tube, I would have stayed home! And I am not just a LOST junkie. I am apparently also just a leeeeetle bit of a hypocrite because even though I laughed at the 'scary' scene... I did kinda ask Susie and Michael to walk me to my car.