Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Greetings

consider this the virtual season's greetings card i meant to send you but never did:
happy new year from Juice and I to you and yours. may your 2005 be full of sunshine and rest. and remember to cherish each day you have and each person you care for because, as we've recently seen, it can all be swept away at any time. i hope health and happiness fill your life and home, now and always. maintain perspective, don't allow stress to get to you, and be kind to people you don't know. try to spend time with children. trust life. marvel at the universe. and smile more.


Friday, December 24, 2004

Happy Hollow Days

actually, they haven't been too hollow. things have been just peachy lately -- and like a sweet, messy peach with no pit. peaches whose juices run down your chin when you bite into them. happy, blushing peaches covered in fuzz. downside is peaches are out of season right now, so my recent cravings for one will go unanswered.

anyhow, the good news is that i picked up some temp work that will last me through the end of the year and possibly into january, courtesy of my mistress Zee. so big thanks to Zee. i've spent the past week editing textbooks for high-schoolers and have occassionally written content. it's not bad at all -- like one very complicated jigsaw puzzle. i'm moving stuff around on the pages, checking everything against everything else, focusing on the minutiae.

and the best part is that i can relax a little about finances. so i've relaxed, perhaps too much. i've spent the past week dropping dimes on everything i've been meaning to buy but couldn't afford. i've also spent it seeing various friends who've popped into town for the hollow days. it's been pleasant, but hectic. i'm suddenly very, very busy. yesterday held breakfast with (college friend) greg in west hollywood, lunch with (high school) best friend jon-david in valencia, and dinner and drinks with (high school) friends raidis and ann in silverlake. it's been nonstop driving all around. today, i'm resting and will continue to rest until tuesday, which is when work resumes.

other than that, single life is good, good, good. it hasn't been hard to get used to. i cleaned my house from wall to wall, floor to ceiling -- washed that man right out of my hair and home. it was like a ritualistic cleansing, and i was a zen zombie. i've often thought of writing a book called 'the zen of housecleaning.' i really dig being in a clean environment and the satisfaction that comes from knowing i made it clean. call me crazy. (but don't call me to come clean your house, cus that ain't gonna happen.) so with my place all nice and tidy, i've been curling up on the couch nightly, juice across my lap, warm socks on my feet, and watching DVDs on my new 27-inch Panasonic television. oh yeah, that's another great thing that happened -- i found a 27-inch TV on craigslist, called the seller who happened to live nearby. she said someone was coming to look at the TV at noon; it was 11am, so i darted over there, jewed her down to 50 bucks, and hauled the TV out just as the other buyer pulled up to the curb, giving me the dirtiest of looks. but the best part is that i sold my old TV on craiglist -- a Sharp 20-incher that's gotta be 15 years old -- for 60 bucks to some LA transplant who didn't seem to know any better. so yeah, new TV for the new clean living room and the new single life.

i also bought new JBL computer speakers for half price on amazon, and i have a new part-time gig as an SAT tutor. so yes, new stuff all around for the impending new year. and speaking of the new year, i think i'm gonna try something new for that special evening. seems like many of my homies will be out of town when 2005 arrives, and instead of going to some packed club or finding some random party, i think i might just stay at home and smooch juice at midnight. it might sound loser, but it really appeals to me.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Suddenly Single

since when: been almost a week, i guess. things fell apart last weekend during a saturday night birthday dinner at a nice restaurant. it was just the two of us at dinner thankfully, but i'm sure the waiter and some nearby patrons heard our bickering.

why: same reason that any couple breaks up, i suppose -- just not the right people for each other. it's that simple. there was no big drama. no cheating or anything inappropriate. we just found ourselves in too many petty arguments that seemed to spotlight our differences. and when we entered yet another one that night at dinner, i took it as an opportunity to do what i had been contemplating doing for weeks. luckily for both of us, he had moved into a new apartment just days earlier (another indication that our couplehood was nearing its end), so we retracted into our respective corners without much more fanfare.

him: i'm not going to badmouth him here. he doesn't deserve it, because he's truly a magnificent person. he's full of quality and goodness, and i value the past nine months with him. i think we both entered each others' lives at an important transitional time, giving each other just what we needed right when we needed it. but it wasn't something built to last, and i knew that from the get-go. he's still someone i cherish and want to always know. we're gonna do the friends thing, and i'm confident we can. we've since called a truce, unentangled all the belongings, and have exchanged many friendly emails.

how i am doing: just fine. i saw it coming this time. it was up to me this time. and given that i had anticipated this ending from the very beginning, i made sure to stay detached throughout. i was never really deeply, dumbly in love, though i was certainly smitten. there were good times, genuine laughs and smiles indeed. but it wasn't love the way i know it to be, the way i want it to be -- where you throw yourself entirely into the relationship and dissolve into the other person (at least in the beginning). it never approached that ardor, partially because of timing, but mostly because i knew in my bones that something else was up ahead for me. (and i think he'd agree that i was upfront about that from the beginning.) so considering all this, i'm not totally crushed. and it certainly doesn't resemble my last breakup, which felt like a nuclear bomb went off in my chest. it's still sad, of course. i feel like the Breakup Queen. this state is all too familiar to me. it's quiet now. the bed is cold. i get lonesome.

what i've learned: the gut doesn't lie. i can't accept a watered-down version of what i want. i won't supplant my needs just to soothe my loneliness. and despite my newfound relationship baggage, i'm still fairly secure in who i am as a person. i'm not all that dysfunctional or co-dependent. i still feel empowered and independent, certainly wiser, definitely stronger. up on the dry-erase board now: the only constant is change.

what's next: i'm going to do something completely radical, something i've never really done before -- be comfortable being alone. this will be a test for me, but i feel like i'm finally ready to embrace it. ever since i began dating some 12 years ago, i've been a serial monogamist, with episodes of sluttiness dispersed in between. there's never been too long a stretch where it was just me. well, now's the time to take the energy that (i've let) boys consume and focus it inward, channel it outward into achieving my goals. i can't allow myself to get off track. my time is now. so no new harems anytime soon. instead, get thee to a nunnery. i know it will be tough, this celibacy. i'm like a guy that way. i schwing. i'm a sucker for a pretty face, a nice smile, broad shoulders, soccer thighs. i always do a double-take when i see a tall, dark-haired man with olive skin walk by. i get distracted by soft hands and full lips. i start to crave the electricity that only touching brings. hmmmm, soccer thighs. i mean, celibacy, yeah. i'm gonna try that. try. coy is the new cool.

so, in a nutshell, i'm ok, really. this is the best thing for me. it's the start of a new year, new season, new chapter. it's growth. it's constructive. and it's welcome.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Reality Bites

my reality certainly does -- still no steady income, anxiety all around, whine, whine, whine. i'm tired of telling my own story, or even listening to myself tell it. i feel like a one-trick pony. people's eyes glaze over when i begin the woe-is-me-i'm-unemployed show. they've heard it before. even the politest ones now grit their teeth and endure. i'm trying to suck it up. i've even come to see this time off as being valuable. only problem is that this time has little value without the funds to enjoy it. if i had some cash to shop all day, get massages and pedicures, that would be something of great value, but i don't. and there i go whining again.

good news is that i found a part-time gig with a company i hope to establish a long and wonderful relationship with. so next week holds some (paid!) training for becoming one of their SAT tutors. i actually had to take the exam, and it's changed over the years. new essay writing section, no analogies, but still way easier than the GRE. should be a fun gig. i've tutored before and have always enjoyed it. nothing beats that instant gratification one gets from teaching someone something. that lightbulb goes on over their heads and it feels like a homerun. but i digress.

i actually wanted to discuss a different aspect of reality, a new addiction of mine that's somewhat disturbing. i've become fixated on reality television lately. it all started when i got bunny ears for my TV set a few months back. before that, my TV was only used for movie rentals. (cable television is not an option, and hasn't been for years.) so now i had channels 2-13 to watch in all their crappy glory. the mainstays of my television watching were 'jeopardy' and 'seinfeld' in syndication. current sitcoms and hourlong dramas didn't really do it for me. i sampled various ones and just never connected with anything, mostly because the writing sucked and i just didn't buy into the relationships these characters had with each other. moreover, i just couldn't relate to these people. too many of today's sitcoms are centered around 'quirky' families, and there's nothing particularly novel or quirky about the approach used to portray these families. it's no 'roseanne' or even 'cosby show.' friend-centered comedies like 'seinfeld' and even 'friends' (which i never found funny) work best for childless, social people of a certain age. ok, my age, my generation. how about making a 'cheers' for twentysomethings?

so in my quest for entertainment, i turn to the reality show, which are plentiful on the boob. and wow, how easy are those to connect with -- regular folks, real-life drama, less predictability, the whole spectrum of human emotions on display. and the best part is that reality shows are like bite-sized pieces of entertainment where old storylines and character arcs don't amount to shit. you can tune in in the middle and not be confused. following the season isn't necessary, though yes, it can help. the only season i've really been following closely is 'america's top model,' for which justin has called me a lesbian. the makeover shows -- i can't get enough!! 'extreme makeover' i just love. and i dig the wife-swapping shows as well -- 'wife swap' and 'trading spouses.' the nanny shows aren't bad either. 'fear factor' i stay away from since it can turn my stomach a bit and i generally avoid those 'survivor'/'apprentice' type shows where contestants are eliminated each week, because of that whole needing-to-follow-the-season thing. but otherwise, i'm up for anything reality and i'm not ashamed to admit it -- though perhaps i should be?

in any case, i can safely and proudly say that despite my interest in reality shows, i've never once been tempted to join the cast of one (though the free lasik eye surgery and porcelian veneers they give people on 'extreme makeover' are very appealing). but nope, you still won't find me trying out, because despite the potential perks, it's still embarassing to be showcasing your sad and/or nasty self or misbehaved kids on national television. it's akin to being on 'the jerry springer show.' but when you're desperate for your 15 minutes of fame, i guess any which way will do. but hey, as long as it's entertaining, i'm not complaining.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

When a Door Closes, a Window Opens

that's the new line up on my dry-erase board. my mom used to tell me that when things weren't going well. i think its origin is actually biblical, something like "when G-d closes a door, He opens a window." i'm looking for that open window at every turn, but it's as though i'm in a windowless basement with locked doors, or at the top of the empire state building with one open window and no ladder down. this is because the work situation sucks right now. i've made a whopping zero dollars during the month of november and my output has been considerably higher. there were a few jobs i was certain would be offered to me, but no cigar. i've sent out about 30 resumes in the past week and have zero interviews lined up. my temp agency is dry -- "usually no work comes in during the holiday season," so that's a dead end. all my other clients have also told me to expect no new work until next year.

so here i am again in the broke boat, sad that i can't buy gifts for anyone this holiday season. although i've enjoyed the noncommital temp stuff since graduating in may, i see that it's just not workable anymore. i hate the oh-no-rent-is-due anxiety that comes at the end of each month. i'm tired of the feast or famine freelance lifestyle, and i'm very done with living like a student. with that in mind, i've begun applying to full-time permanent stuff. adulthood sucks, but i guess i should join its ranks. i hear it has its benefits, too, like health insurance and 401(k) plans. if anyone knows of any open windows in any company doing any thing, e-mail me.

in the meantime, to earn extra cash i've sold some CDs to amoeba, clothes to crossroads and even considered selling a never-before-used ovum to a barren couple. they pay big bucks for that shit, especially if you have an advanced degree and are healthy. but, sadly, the age cutoff was 27, and here i am at 28. just my luck.

in other news, did anyone see ken jennings lose in 'jeopardy' the other night? it's the end of an era. i loved that guy. he was the shizzle patizzle, walking away with $2.5 million after a 74-day winning streak. he seemed like the nicest guy on earth, too.

my thanksgiving was nice. our plans got rearranged at the last minute, so it turned into a very low-tech night with just mom and pop and a small rotisserie chicken bought at the supermarket just hours earlier. we got tipsy off of wine and found ourselves making treacly toasts that ended in happy tears. i felt the love of the season, and told them that they are always number one on my list of things i'm thankful for.

it's cold in LA in case you angelinos haven't noticed. like really cold, near freezing temperatures. i'm hoping for snow, which i haven't seen in ten years. if i'm lucky, they'll be snow on the ground in antelope valley in a few weeks, which is where my best friend will be once he flies in from new york come december 20. it's been in the teens in antelope valley.

and lastly, is still a go and will hopefully be operative (and lucrative) in a few months time. still ironing out the details of the logo and still need to write content for the website.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Count Your Blessings

that's the cliche of the day i wrote on the dry-erase board i recently hung over my desk. i saw 'motorcycle diaries' over the weekend -- the based-on-a-true-story story of che guevara and his trek through south america. he and his buddy just journey around the continent for shits and giggles. they see crazy injustice all over: homeless indigenous peoples and persecuted communists and muddied children with leprosy. and at the end of it all, che decides to become the revolutionary he became.

i did feel bad for what i saw, knowing that 50 years later not much has changed in south america, but those moments passed, the way moments do, and my sympathy amounted to nothing. i'll still go on my merry way, having to make those tough decisions about what type of new car to buy next year, while others elsewhere in places i don't have to see starve. i often forget this, probably intentionally, as i wade through the minor melodramas of my life. i wish i could be impacted enough to turn into a militant revolutionary fighting for others' causes instead of my own, just like che, but i'm not built that way, and that's the reality i must face. i'm just not that selfless.

but i don't feel guilty for what i have. in fact, watching this made me very, very thankful. it made my troubles seem teeny tiny, which is likely their actual size. and it made the good fortunes that have befallen me seem that much better. i try not to take what i have for granted, and i don't think i do. it's part of the way i was raised. i'm an immigrant, and that has made a huge impression on my mindscape.

so with this and the holiday season in mind, i began thinking of all the things i'm thankful for this thanksgiving. i began to count my blessings and saw that they weren't so different from the ones i enumerated in last year's December 1 entry. in short, i'm a lucky fucking duckie, and this knowledge will carry me through the many more trips i'll surely make to craplandia: that place -- whether real or imagined -- where everything just sucks. i've visited there many times this year, and a few key people/a dog have managed to pull me out every single time:

-- my amazing parents: they're the type of parents you'd ask santa to bring you for christmas when you were unhappy with your own. without their support, i might just live in craplandia. i can't say enough good things about them here, because there simply aren't enough letters in the alphabet and room on the Internet to do them justice.

-- my GIRLfriends: i don't understand women without women friends. i'm completely incapable of surviving without what i've affectionately termed 'my bitches.' they have been my life support system this year in a way i never imagined they could be. they have listened to my rants, wiped away my tears, smacked sense into me and have never once made me feel ridiculous for saying, thinking or doing any of the things i've said, thought or done. big BIG thank yous especially go to (in alphabetical order) demetria, kiana, raidis, sharon, zahra, zee.

-- juice: i've said it a million times before, and i'll say it once more: i love my dog.

those are the biggies of the year who really taught me the value and meaning of unconditional love. i don't mean to be redundant by again mentioning the things off last year's list, but most of those items i still count as blessings today: extended family, other friends (guys included), yoga, books, music, etc., and of course, my new boyfriend justin who showed me, among other things, the correct way to do a downward-facing dog pose and that there's good stuff to be had in the world of romantic relationships, a world i considered abandoning.

the other thing i'm truly thankful for might seem a little less obvious, but it's perhaps the most important thing of all: my self-esteem. after all, it's the one thing that's allowed me to feel worthy of embracing all these blessings, which could vanish tomorrow. and if they did, i would only have my self-esteem as a guide to know that i could and should keep going. it's my incombustible rock.

happy thanksgiving, everyone everywhere.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

San Francisco Weekend Treat

finally managed to take that SF jaunt i've been talking about taking forever, but never managed to organize. well, it happened the weekend before last; it was marvelous, as expected, spawning all these elaborate fantasies about moving back there and resuming the life i once led before it was interrupted by -- as zee would say -- the architecture of the heart. i am glad i moved back to LA when i did, however. i don't think i would have gotten my master's otherwise, nor my dog, so it had its benefits. and i would move back to SF, but not like i did in 1998 as a reckless 22-year-old with nothing to lose. i have a standard of living now and i have a furry kid, which would force me to look before i leaped. i'd need a job first, an apartment by a park, maybe even a garage for my car. who knows, i might just up and move one day or maybe never again, i've grown to be happy in LA. in the meantime, i'll settle for my annual visits to the bay, where many good friends still live. (sadly, i missed out on seeing the NegEx this time around. catch you this thanksgiving, kid.) here are other highlights:

Chinatown rocks: or maybe it's a bit more easy listening these days, as evidenced by the violin -- is that a violin? -- player.

fancy fat feline: this cat had a moustache, no joke.

ms. heady: Dee reading the NYT during breakfast in the Marina.

who you callin' granola? Dee's breakfast looked amazing.

gay mecca: if you're a straight man having a bad day, you should go to the Castro for an ego boost.

one dollah to make you hollah: Justin tries his hand at hustling on Castro Street.

sold to the highest bidder: i can afford one dollah.

purty: flowers.

ken and barbie: i mean, Randy and Melanie kindly met me for drinks in the Mission.

my bitches: Loulou with Sharon (in white), my spiritual soul sister.

group hug: Me, Justin, Sharon, Loulou and Dee with beautiful Noe Valley reflected in the background.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

And the Winner Is... I bought the domain name the other day, and things are moving right along. i'm meeting with the web designer this week and the first order of business will be a logo. this is important, as business is all about branding nowadays, and this logo will be replicated on my business cards and may be plastered elsewhere as part of an advertisement. so what should it look like? i'm trying to stay away from anything gimmicky or cartoonish. i'd prefer something more sophisticated, streamlined, minimalist. i wish i could design it myself, but my artistic abilities don't extend beyond stick figure drawings.

so...yeah, please e-mail me or leave suggestions in comments box.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Halloween 2004

what a blast this year. i attended the best costume party in the city, put on by my former employers, the dorks at CFQ, and their partners, the makeup effects house Almost Human. unfortunately, i didn't take many photos of the costumes i saw, but trust that they were spectacular. find some here. below are photos provided by zee and nick. thanks, guys.

beauty and the beast: i got mad props from many girls for my outfit. yes, you see it right -- it's a dismembered arm touching my breast. that's what happens when suckas get fresh with me. justin is dressed as...well, we never really figured it out. just some non-descript animal with one big ear.

sheer genius: Nick dressed as Tucker Carlson from CNN's Crossfire.

apparently, two men groped Zee: Zee, dressed as the character from Audition and bathed in spooky lighting, with her own set of dismembered arms.

did i mention the open bar? Raidis, as a sexy french maid, and i took advantage of the free libations, often double-fisting our drinks to avoid waiting in the crazy long line.

the hand that got around: that explains the disappearance of Justin's wallet!

the venerable head dork: my hero Dave dressed as Shaun of the Dead.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Indecision Over a Big Decision

the big news of the week is that i've decided to start my own business. it's something i've already wanted to do, and recently when i was talking to a girlfriend of mine (ms. zahra bizarra), we were listing off the things we really wanted to do in our lives. i always knew i wanted to be self-employed ultimately and then the epiphany: why not now? it was so clear and simple. i began to daydream of all the benefits: flexible hours; unlimited earning potential that will be a reflection of my effort, rather than a predictable amount i'd get no matter how i perform at work; no commute; no friggin boss; no risk of being fired for insubordination; more time with my baby juice; greater opportunity to travel on a whim; and more time to focus on my other, more important ultimate goal: writing. like real writing -- telling my own stories instead of others' stories, which i would be doing as a journalist.

the bad news is: i think i'm over journalism. i never really had that fire inside me to be a journalist, and it's not worth faking. i'm no woodstein. this might sound lame, considering i just accrued $20K worth of debt for a master's degree in the friggin field, but i think it'll help oodles in my new business endeavor, in terms of "qualifying" me to do good work and charge premium rates. and if i'm really honest with myself, i went after that advanced degree mostly out of boredom, partially out of vanity, and partially out of sibling rivalry (my sister has an MBA). also, that advanced degree somehow qualifies me to become a teacher, har har, which may be fun. so yes, no regrets.

but back to business: it will be a sort of one-stop copy shop, where i will provide copywriting, editing, proofreading and copy consultation services. it'll be geared toward all kinds of businesses and (graduate-level) students. this is stuff i know how to do, been doing forever and i'm confident in my competence. there are certainly many more details to this, which i am still hashing out. and i'm not under any delusion that it'll all be peaches and cream. i'm prepared for the hard work, crazy hours, sacrifices, financial instability, etc., that something like this brings. but i believe it will all be worth it. and i recognize that it will take some time before it really takes off, which is why i'm going to keep temping. so yes, i have realistic expectations.

the big dilemma: what the hell do i call this thing? i've been mulling this over for weeks now. a name -- that first impression -- will be so vital in attracting new business. i can't take it lightly. the problem is the world wide web, which is too vast -- all the good names for web sites have been taken. i'm left with the dregs. for obvious reasons, i prefer a .com over a .net web presence, and i want to avoid hypens. ideally, i want a sophisticated name, something that screams competence and professionalism, like The Final Draft (web site already taken). here is a list of potential names i've come up with, for which web sites are still available:

a preliminary poll of some of my most creative friends found to be the clear winner, but i'm not convinced. someone mentioned that the idea of surgery is unappealing, and what i'll be doing is more polishing than dissecting, so it's not exactly apt. but was taken. someone else mentioned that the 'golden' reference makes him think of piss, so i don't know. words have weird connotations for different people, which is why it's important to find a pleasant-sounding name that will make most people feel warm and fuzzy inside. i don't want to appeal to the lowest common denominator necessarily and i want to avoid gimmicky stuff. and i'm not sure i want to include the word 'editing' in the name as many people have suggested. it goes beyond just editing services (also available are proofing, copywriting), though 'editorial' might be a nice, all-inclusive alternative.

i don't know. i don't think i've heard the right name yet, one that covers all the bases (and is amazingly still available online). do you have it, biyatch? best email me if you do:, and leave suggestions in the comments box. thanks for playing.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Wanted: Web Designer to Overhaul

must be cheap -- a student looking to expand his portfolio might work best. must be local and willing to meet with me periodically. must be quick at getting the job done. and must be good at taking direction, for i shall retain complete creative control. send queries to, and visit the schlock that is to see your assignment.

you know craigslist now charges $25 to post a job ad? figured i'd take this route before dropping my quarter on it. someone must know someone who can do this for me. it's not that big a job, and it's something i've been meaning to do for months now. i would do it myself, but as evidenced by the existing site, i'm a crappy designer. besides, i no longer have access to dreamweaver. the only thing i'd want to leave the same is the home page, which i think is rather nifty. everything else is open to rearranging.

who can do the job? if you know, tell them to email me pronto.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Boyfriend

(i figured his serving six months' time made him deserving of a post his very own. plus, i'm sure i can use it as leverage for a nice meal sometime or getting the dishes done, saying, 'remember all those nice things i wrote about you on my blog, honey?')


i'll confess i had a hard-on for him from pretty much the get-go. i remember walking into this yoga studio in my old neighborhood, which was new to me at the time, and being instantly struck by the instructor. he was tall and handsome, with ocean blue eyes that shone out of his head like a lighthouse. a positive energy swirled all around him. he had a gravelly voice and magnificent smile. i was intruiged (but i was also in a relationship, as was he).

i kept coming back to his class weekly, loving the type of yoga he was teaching, gaining strength in my own practice, and often drooling while he folded himself up like a pretzel during the more challenging poses in class. we became friendly, sometimes flirty. we had dinner together once, struck up an acquaintanceship based mainly on yoga and on other common interests we soon discovered we shared -- eastern mysticism, self-realization, better-living-through-chemistry type things.

but the lust in my heart still burned brightly, and when we both found ourselves suddenly single, a friendly dinner led to drinks at my place. this was back in april, i think. at first, i thought little of it. i had a harem to assemble and i was thrilled to have him in it, seeing him as a sort of conquest. but then things took a life of their own. we began to talk, play scrabble, call each other daily. there was neither time nor desire for anyone else. i realized that what i long regarded as a piece of meat actually had a brain. he made me laugh, and, perhaps most importantly, he made me think. we'd have fiery debates, always finding something to dissect.

and ever so slowly, he made me feel, helping me transcend my shallow state of being and reconnecting me to what i certainly have always been: a one-man woman. six months later, this is a bonafide (and healthy) relationship. he's my boyfriend now (but probably not forever).

one would assume that the best part of dating a yoga instructor is unlimited yoga at my discretion, but it's not that cushy. while i was getting free yoga at the start of our courtship, the building in which justin lived and had his studio was bought earlier this summer and he was promptly evicted, leaving him with no place to stay and no studio to conduct class in. (luckily, he had a day job.) so he began staying with me; this was in july. and the unlimited yoga? well, he's "over it," having practiced nearly every day for eight years, teaching class five nights a week for over two years, he needs a break, he's yogaed out. it's all about dodgeball now for him, and that leaves me shit out of fucking luck for my yoga practice. so no, there are no sexy one-on-one yoga sessions, but i'm working on it.

and i'm also working on my garbage baggage, the dreadful issues i've always wanted to avoid but have accrued in recent months. i'm trying to deal with them independently of him, trying not to make my problems his problems, trying not to punish him for things others have done. yet i do sometimes find myself searching for that expiration date i'm sure is stamped somewhere on his body, and i worry about cheating in a way i never had before. but it's nothing too dehabilitating, and i'm pleased with what i got. take a look...

just minutes after we shaved a mohawk into his head

he's also a terrific step-daddy for juice

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Grind

nothing hot or exciting has popped up in quite some time actually. it's been business as usual lately. had this temp thing for the past few weeks, so that's provided some stability. get into the office at 10am, leave whenever the work runs out or whenever i want to, it's so flexible. the good news is it pays great, more than any journalism job does. bad news is that it's proofreading, and after a few hours of sustained attention to 12-point times new roman black font on a white page, my ass hurts and my eyes are ready to bleed. and it's real proofreading, not even copy editing, as in checking two documents against each other to make sure they match. the job has no soul. i hate it, i hate it, i hate it.

but it pays, so i show up ruddy faced and eager each day, red pen in hand. the best thing about being a temp, though, is that you don't need to look busy or pretend to care. when there's downtime, which is often, i just grab the paper and spread it out on my desk, surf the web unashamedly, hop on the phone to socialize. and when my temporary supervisor walks in with more work, i look up, smile, drop my distractions, deliver the proofreading goods in a jiffy and then resume my downtime activities. it's so chill. but i think the assignment is nearing its end, which means maybe another week off before the agency places me somewhere new. it's not a bad scenario. i have no complaints, and no, still haven't heard from dream job yet.

for lack of that aforementioned unifying theme, i'm providing some news in short:

  • i consolidated my loans recently, locked them in at a 2.85% interest rate, which is fabulous, and i managed to make the repayments begin early next year, so that's all golden.

  • i was a bad girl and didn't fast for yom kippur like i had planned. in my defense, however, i ate very little and mostly drank coffee throughout the day. still, i kinda felt like an asshole, figuring i had enough sins to atone for this past year. i hope G-d's not too pissed with me. next year, i promise.

  • i recently went back to USC for this recruiting event, which wasn't very interesting, but i did have a warm feeling as i visited the campus for the first time since i graduated in may. it really warmed the cockles of my heart, though i'm so glad i'm no longer a student. fuck that.

  • yogaman/justin and i are still going strong (in case anyone's curious). we had a little weirdness a short while back but managed to overcome it. we were curled up in bed the other night when i realized that it's been close to six months that he and i have been dating -- SIX MONTHS! that tripped me out, more so because of the passage of time element than anything else, but shit, it's all been zooming by. it's all good, though, we're still all smoochie cutesy, poopsie whoopsie. and oh, did i mention he's been living with me since july?

  • movie recommendation of the week is 'super-size me,' which i recently rented on DVD. it's about that guy who eats nothing but mcdonald's for a month straight. in that month, he puts on about 25 pounds and almost annihilates his liver. also enjoyable was the first season of the TV show '24.'

  • got my ballot in the mail the other day. i vote in every election (ok, not often in the local ones), and i wear that silly 'i voted' sticker all day, proud of my civics contribution. voting for kerry this year. duh. found the presidential debate rather boring -- didn't hear anything i hadn't heard before elsewhere. hoping the next debate will be better.

  • i love this cold weather coming in. i'm gonna try out new recipes and aim to make homemade soup weekly this winter. please email recipes to or post in comments.

ok, time for snoozing.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Back to Being Broke as a Big Fat Ugly Joke

boo-hoo. poor me, poor me.

alright, i got the requisite whining out and over with. i am bummed, however. i spent the past five weeks working at a place i really loved with people i really liked doing something that was really interesting. i wanted it to continue, got one extension, but alas, i was a measly vacation relief temp and they are once again fully staffed, so my presence wasn't necessary or justifiable. so i was sprung out again, with no promises on when/if i would be called back.

i think i might be called back, but the when part is the problem. and herein lies my dilemma: do i try to find temp stuff to float me in the here and now while i wait for that phone call from my dream job that may never come? or do i just suck it up and start hunting for full-time, permanent employment elsewhere?

obviously, when it comes to job and financial security, the known is better than the unknown. and this very successful media outlet i was temping for -- a place i've loved and respected for years -- is notorious for keeping temps in limbo for years before offering them permanent employment. they know there's a long line at the door; they know only the strong and hungry survive. and here i am with my foot (finally) in the door -- how can i walk away? it won't happen now for me, but maybe eventually. but maybe not. is it worth the gamble?

i'm really not sure, and this quandary has been consuming me for a good month now. it might not be so bad if i could find steady temp stuff that i could just slip away from whenever dream job wanted me back, though that would leave me at their beck and call. i would basically be their bitch. that might be okay with me in the short term, but again, the unreliability of it all, the thinning savings account, the fact that the first student loan bill arrives in november. yet on the other hand, the fact that it's my dream job, a place i've always wanted to work, a best-case scenario that can't be beat, provided things work out in my favor (which they generally don't).


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

High on High School

my high school was a funny place. it was this sort of experimental magnet school, grades 4th-12th, where "gifted" kids were mixed in with average retards in the hope that the former would somehow elevate the latter. though a lofty goal, kids were kept segregated in either remedial, normal or honors classes, so the mixing stayed minimal. well over half the student body was nonwhite and bussed in from all over los angeles. it was a public school -- never a fee to attend -- but the waiting list was long and admission was awarded through a lottery system. so we had a mini melting pot of races, socioeconomic backgrounds, IQ levels and ages. it probably sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it worked out well.

i began that school in the 6th grade, attended it seven years and graduated from it three times before finally leaving. when i left i had been there longer than most of the administrators. imagine my surprise when i began UCLA in fall 1994 and found myself as the little fish in big pond when i had been just the opposite for so long. in any case, high school wasn't that traumatic. i did all the stuff one is supposed to do -- cram for exams, play hooky, smoke pot, attend prom, lose my virginity (the week before prom!), sign yearbooks, pass notes in class and so forth. normal american stuff.

my graduating class must have been around 130 kids, and we all knew each other. there was a real sense of unity among us, the Eccentrics of 1994. they say college is the time when you make your friends for life, but i'm more tight with my high-school peeps. after all, we went through all our 'growing pains' together, saw each other through the awkward 'wonder years,' went through divorces, custody battles and pep rallies together. they are my true homies and the loyalty runs deep.

so with this in mind, i had been looking forward to my 10-year reunion. we had all kept tabs on each other somewhat through the years, so it was less a curiousity of what everyone was up to now and more about getting people together in the same room. in a nutshell: It was great, really great. that school spirit was palpable, with everyone seeming genuinely pleased to see one another, hug and catch up. what's interesting is that people looked damn good. all the girls must have gone on a reunion crash diet or something, cus they were looking hot. and the boys -- thinning hair and all -- looked beefier in a good way; all the skinny stragglers had finally hit puberty.

the food tasted yummy, the wine glasses seemed to refill themselves, and the party felt right. to see photos of smiling fools you don't know (unless you're my high-school homey), click here, click here! although we did plenty of mingling, parts of the evening felt cliquish -- just like high school. during dinner, there was a black table, latino table, russian table, honors kids table and an everyone else table. i'm only bummed more people didn't turn out. and i'm bummed i didn't get to stay longer. i found out the next day that someone had rented a hotel room nearby, where i'm sure people played seven minutes in heaven.

i bailed out at about 11pm to attend the birthday party of one juanito de la plancha. (happy birthday, juancho.) but yes, overall it was a blast, and i can't wait until the next one.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Family Matters

i attended this family get-together last weekend. it was a reunion of sorts with all kinds of relatives whom i hadn't seen in years. there were maybe 35 of us sitting down to eat crummy russian food at this restaurant with crazy slow service. i slipped into a dress, high heels; i even washed my hair. and then i braced myself to face the relatives, which have been known to be quite the critical bunch. luckily, i passed this time, as they all agreed i looked nice and healthy. i encountered a compliment each time i greeted one of my aunties and great-aunties (there are mostly women in my extended family). that, of course, was nice to hear because most of the time i get "plumped up, eh? you should lose some weight" or "you'd look better if you pulled your hair back" (this time, i came with my hair already pulled back).

but nope, nothing but the good stuff this time around. ALTHOUGH, there was something qualitatively wrong in all the compliments. they were usually couched in the terms "you look so much better than the last time i saw you," which really made me wonder what kind of monster i looked like before. it must have been maybe 2-3 years ago that i saw them last, and that means maybe 10-15 pounds ago, but 10-15 pounds isn't 50 pounds. i was disturbed, especially when my 'high society' auntie asked me whether i had had plastic surgery. it was if, "damn, girl. you probably had to pay someone to lop the fat off your ass and brighten up your face, because you ain't no natural beauty."

and then there was the old standby: "When are you going to get married?" and this time around, it was confounded by the compliments, i.e.: "What's going on with you? You look so nice, why can't you find a man to marry you?" then the aunties would list off the various FOBs they knew (FOB= fresh of the boat, as in recent immigrant in search of a greencard). after a few glasses of wine, i felt brazen enough to respond to the "when you gonna get married" question with "never" (Nee-kug-da in Russian). to this, i would usually hear "but you HAVE to," though some oddball aunties did pull me aside and say "you know what? that's good, honey, you live for yourself. i wish i did."


in other news, my current temp gig that i've been so in love with has been extended another two weeks, which means money (yay!) and getting up at 4:30am to get to work by 6am (boo!). it's been great, though. i feel super challenged by and engaged in my work; the early start actually makes the days zoom by, leaving me with plenty of daylight once i get done at 3pm; the pay's not bad; the people are nice; and i'm working for a brand and cause i believe in. so, in short, i'll never get a perm job there, because good stuff like that just doesn't happen to me. i'll take the crumbs, though.

otherwise, i've been a movie-going mama lately. seen so much in the theaters in the past few months: spidey 2, bourne supremacy, collateral, what the bleep do we know? and napoleon dynamite. only ones i'd truly recommend are 'napoleon dynamite' and 'bourne supremacy.' rest were subpar.

tonight should be very interesting, as i have my 10-year high-school reunion to attend.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

My Furry Baby

i adore my dog -- like crazy, apeshit adore her. she's the sweetest thing in the world, everyone says so, and i know i'm being totally objective when i say she's also the cutest dog on the planet. so here's a little ode to my precious juice, who turned two years old this past june.

"look at me! how can you resist my face? now give me your burrito."

"i'll keep staring until you do."

"ah, fuck it, i give up. now i'll just take a little nap by your feet and hope some of that food falls from your plate and into my mouth."

"when all else fails, i'll just go give my mommy a kiss. i loves me my mommy."

Sunday, August 01, 2004

It's Official

i'm overeducated, unemployed, in debt, disillusioned and directionless. where does one go from here?

i know i'm not alone. it seems a good percentage of my generation is also 'lost,' struggling with the quarter life crisis that seems to plague so many of us. we refuse to turn into our parents, live a life of stable mediocrity, but once we enter the dreaded real world and realize that, yes, the gold rush tech boom days that turned twentysomethings into millionaires overnight are really over (and we missed the boat) and that, yes, we'll need to stay stuck in creatively stifling day jobs for years to come because that's how rent gets paid, we get all kinds of depressed. we go on prozac. we lie awake wondering why the fuck we aren't already rich and famous when someone as talentless as jennifer love hewitt is. we sit around with our like-minded peers discussing how much smarter we are than our bosses and how menial our work tasks are. and when we finally, frighteningly realize that we are destined to be cogs in an immutable system, we have a meltdown, move back in with our parents and spend our days lounging around in our pajamas, eating cereal and watching MTV -- anything to take us back to a carefree youth we didn't value enough when it was around.

sound like anyone you know? i'll confess i possessed some elements of this crisis mentality after i finished my bachelor's and initially joined corporate America. i feared i would never find true happiness by assuming my new role (as cog) in my new environment. i figured i'd have to train myself to expect so little from the big world i once expected so much from. Reality Check 101 -- why was that class never offered in college?

this time around, it's very different. there are no pie-in-the-sky, stars-in-the-eyes dreams of being able to change the world with just the love in your heart, good will toward all. it's sad that some of that lofty idealism of youth is gone, but that shit just ain't realistic. the upbeat flipside to this is that while i've learned to expect less from the world, i've come to expect more from myself. there's no false sense of entitlement, no belief in 'meant to be' anymore. steady baby steps sometimes take you farther than long strides followed by inactivity.

that's what i hope, at least. i'm taking my first baby step tomorrow by starting temporary work at a place i wouldn't mind working permanently. (given that i must be there at 6am, i got up at an ungodly hour today, a sunday, to practice for my big 4:30am wakeup tomorrow.) i'm so ready to start working again. ready to be productive, to earn money, to feel good about myself and my place as a cog, to fill my days up with stimulating activity instead of wasting them away at home, where i've been for the past month, sitting around bored, deep in thought over self-absorbed matters that don't really matter much. yes, work will hit the spot right about now, and i won't turn up my nose to the menial tasks or be afraid to work hard or stay late. i'll expect nothing, but give it my all and maybe, just maybe, it'll lead me to the next step.

and if doesn't, there's always my parents' house, cereal and MTV.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Broke As a Bad Joke

seriously, though, if Bill Gates is reading this, can you please send me some money? i mean, you probably won't miss it at all given that you're a kazillionaire. and we're not talking THAT much, maybe 10K or 20K, which i can stretch out until i become gainfully employed. is that so unreasonable?

july has been a total wash workwise. no inputting of funds, only output. i've been trying to keep all expenditures at a minimum -- which is challenging, given my party lifestyle. the dorks in culver city i usually work with once a month suddenly had no july budget for me, so there went my greatest chunk of monthly cash. i would often supplement that with the odd copy-editing job found on craigslist, but nope, none of those seem to be working out either. so i've just been dipping into my pathetic little savings account, promising myself that i'll replenish it once the work starts flowing again.

but it makes me nervous. i hate being broke. i pinch pennies, complain about money, eyeball the price of everything. i feel like a punk. i'm not usually a tightwad, despite being jewish. so i've been busy trying to sell my useless shit on craigslist for a bit of extra cash. i sold the never-used doghouse that i was sure juice would love. she was terrified of the thing, never once stepped into it, even after i threw her blanket and countless biscuits into it. and i have someone buying up all the unopened alcohol that was left over from my bday party. i've also lined up an odd job teaching some lady QuarkXpress for a few hours. might have a few other odd jobs lined up for july, as i've gone on a few interviews.

but otherwise, nada, zip, zilch on the dough front. damn, i miss those monthly stipend checks USC used to send me. i would get $1,600 a month just for being a great student -- which, i was, kids: 3.75 GPA upon graduation. isn't there some kind of lifetime scholarship someone can win just for being a great human being? not that i would necessarily qualify, but still.

the good news is that august should hold nothing but work, work, work. i've got a temporary office job lined up for the first three weeks of the month, which is fabulous except for the hours: a ghastly 6am-3pm. and on some afternoons, i'll likely have to skedaddle to culver city to work with aforementioned dorks, who've said they'll need me again next month. ah, nothing like a 12-hour workday to remind you you're alive.

but in the meantime, i've had plenty of idle time to waste. my big purchase for july was an external hard-drive (80 gigs, baby!) for this here iBook, which was becoming ridiculously slow -- like, dial-up slow. so i shifted some stuff around and have been working on importing my 300 CDs into iTunes, which i will hook up to some phat speakers once i get the money to buy them. i've also been spending mornings at runyon canyon park, doing free yoga and going on hikes. afternoons usually hold a long, lazy shower; some homemade grub and coffee; and then lying down with a good book, often in the hammock justin (aka yogaman) kindly bought me for my birthday. evenings generally hold QT with justin on the cheap -- home-cooked dinners, a DVD rental and/or game of scrabble or rummikub. nighttime consists of...well, you can imagine...and then a relaxing sleep. all to be repeated at 9 am when my alarm goes off.

ok, so life's not so bad after all.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

My 28th Birthday Party

choose your booze: the bar was fully stocked and provided many alcoholic leftovers.

'it's my party': and i'll get as drunk as i want to.

the dynamic duo: Zee and Nick

lip service: Raidis puckers up porno style.

yogaman unveiled: Me with my (ahem) new boyfriend Justin.

dig my yard! Saba, Chris, Raidis, Justin.

ex's can get along: Juancho with his soon-to-be ex-wife Kiana.

the girl at the end of the alphabet: Zee and her beautiful bedroom eyes.

the furry chaperone: Juice had a good time, too.

hey, ladies: Chris is single.

whereas... Justin is not (and neither am I).

she calls me 'chinadoll': thanks for the wine glasses, Alsy.

my fellow M.A.s in journalism: Melissa (aka Gonzo) and Grace.

dig my living room! we move the ruckus indoors.

few are funnier: than Stevie (pictured with me) after a few cocktails.

fedoras and coronas: Nick parties in style.

burnt by the sun: Kiana's been incredibly tan lately.

my cream dream: ain't he cute?

the coolest gift ever: thanks to Garron for the Aztec thingy here.

Friday, July 02, 2004

When Worlds Collide

ok, thought of a story to share with y'all, one that i wasn't going to put up here initially, but what the hell? it's kind of amusing in a pathetic way.

i ran into the ex the other day at a starbucks in hollywood. yogaman and i were just hanging out, getting some midday coffee. he walks out to find a table outdoors where we can sit, sip and smoke. i'm just a few paces behind him, and i then i freeze, instantly recognizing pablo's meaty neck and bald spot. i look to his right and see his new girlfriend -- this crazy chick who lived in our old building. her dog is there, too, a huge mastiff named bella. he's with his new family and i look like hell -- wearing sweats, hair pulled back, no makeup. i stop to catch my breath. i had imagined this moment countless times before, played out various scenarios of maybe me mad-dogging her, perhaps smacking him with some biting and pithy statement.

and here it is, the golden opportunity laid before me, and all i can do is panic. it was a serious panic, as if i were in the midst of a terrorist attack. this crazy dread washes over me, making me want to both throw up and pass out. fight or flight. i feel my hand shake and grip my coffee tighter. why am i reacting so strongly? i'm at a loss, at a complete standstill just two feet away from the door, watching yogaman unknowingly get situated at the table directly in front of where my ex-boyfriend is sitting with his new girlfriend and her fucking dog.

i make my move. i dart out the door and grab yogaman's hand, pulling him onto the sidewalk and away from the starbucks. "we have to go. we can't stay," i must have said in rapidfire about three or four times while trying not to hyperventilate. i turn my head and lock eyes with pablo. he offers up an awkward smile and takes a drag off his cigarette. i don't look at her, but give her dog a once over.

the whole exchange must have lasted five seconds, but it played out in slow motion. five minutes later, yogaman and i are sitting at a coffee shop down the street. i explain what happened, probably very poorly, and then i get very, very quiet. he stares at me intently, tries to tell a story, change the subject, but i'm consumed by it for a good half hour. finally, he asks, "you still hung up on your ex?"

truthfully, i'm not hung up on him, i'm hung up on it -- the betrayal, the wasted time, the feeling that i spent four years with a stranger, deluding myself. i want out and over it, i really do. i don't want to be that girl with issues. those were the kinds of girls i would ridicule for being less self-possessed, but here i am with my very own set of hang-ups. they'll dissipate with time, won't they? i can't have them roaming around so freely in my brain, weighing me down, causing me to second-guess myself. i must purge them. i WILL purge them, damnit. i simply have no other choice.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

(No Subject)

ack, i've been so miserable at blogging lately, but intend to kick it into high gear -- which i've said before and never delivered, but no, really. problem is that i just don't have much to say. i don't want to fill this space with mundane details of my lame-O existence or deposit random ramblings that have (what i hope to be) undertones of profundity. that's a great word, huh? PRO-FUN-DI-TY. sounds like it could be a carnvial ride or something. Puffy should have changed his name to P. Fundity.

anyhow, i'd rather use this space for stories -- good ones, mine and yours -- but given that i'm super short on cash and have been nesting with yogaman lately, i haven't been out and about getting into trouble like i used to. there is a photo essay on my birthday party from last weekend forthcoming. and hopefully there'll be good news from the job front to share.

but for now, it's time for my midday cup of coffee and then a shower.

Sunday, June 20, 2004


sunday morning, coffee cup and cigarette in hand -- ahh, the great american laxative. i'm very awake, very motivated today to do the domestic and mundane chores i need to take care of before dad's day dinner tonight. i'm wearing the T-shirt yogaman left at my place the other night; it smells like him. i've been all kinds of girlie lately.

and all's better since the last post. thanks for the lengthy commentaries to those who indulged my self-indulgence. moved on from it, into the great beyond that lies ahead of any setback. nowadays, i'm trying to steady my focus on the job hunt, as i need a major injection of mulah right about now. (if anyone wants to send me money, feel free.) i have some leads, but my jewish superstitions prevent me from discussing them too openly.

i'm also gearing up for my big birthday party this weekend -- should be a ball -- and monday kicks off my birthday week. that's right, i give myself an entire week to celebrate my life, so i'll be in a good mood for a while. i also have the entire week off from freelance work, which leaves me plenty of time to again do virtually nothing until july, when the dorks in culver city will call me in for more copy-editing. july should also hold a weekend getaway to SF and maybe that trip to new york, if i can squeeze it in somewhere.

shit, this post has been kinda boring, sorry guys.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Ex-Games

met the ex last night for what was supposed to be our first drinks date as friends. i suggested the idea, figuring it was time, that the four months apart provided enough distance and perspective to have an honest conversation. and as i'm steadfast about not making enemies out of ex's, i wanted to merge us onto the friendship superhighway. so we met up at the bar, exchanged CDs and began our chat, which was incredibly cordial, pleasant, with him telling me about his big trip to asia, me talking about graduation, yadda, yadda. it wasn't all that awkward and the conversation flowed. and in those first 10 minutes, i remembered everything i loved about him; i even thought of giving him a kiss (but didn't).

then something happened. alcohol happened. the honest coversation happened, and then quickly descended into an exercise in cruelty. it started with the best intentions, with us discussing when and why the cracks began to form (when i started school and had no time for him, which only worsened when he started school the following year), how we felt about being single again (both loving it, better at 30 than at 20), where we were in the getting-over-it process (healing, both far along and strong).

and then... i don't know. it got darker as we got drunker, and all the healthy honesty turned into an opportunity to shine a spotlight on all the things we couldn't stand about one another. it was brutal. he turned into a mean drunk, a belligerent ass, and i matched him insult for insult. and wow, what great insight it produced: his mother never liked me; he felt trapped and bored and wanted to end it a year earlier; i never felt the sex was satisfying and thought of cheating on him way before he cheated on me; he thought my writing was cliche; he didn't regret his own cheating and doesn't feel guilty over it; i thought his stories were boring; he thought i nagged him too much.

and trust me, it got MUCH nastier, but those details are not for public consumption. there were some low fucking blows, and i found myself frequently slamming my hand down on the bar table, which startled him, but it was the only thing i could do to keep from slamming it against his face. so i just kept staring at that handsome face of his, looking deep into his hazel eyes, trying to see behind them in hopes of recognizing that man i once fell so hard for. but i couldn't find him. all the tenderness that ever existed between us seemed to vanish, go up in the cigarette smoke we were producing. (ouch, was that a cliche?)

and i hated myself, too -- pissed that i sank into that mode of hurtful one-upmanship. we never said a single nice thing about each other. it was sadistic on both our parts, sitting there from 9pm until the bar closed at 2am, just playing this ping pong game of cruelty, talking about how wonderful our new (sex) lives are. saying all those things better left unsaid not because you'll regret them later, but because they're all true and carry the most punch.

we then spilled onto the street, by now fully wasted, and began a playful tussle. he pushed me, i punched him in the stomach, he put his hands around my throat and gave a squeeze, i just stared him dead in the eye. nothing really gets out of hand; it wasn't a violent exchange, but the intent was clear. we hated each other at that moment.

i come home, throw up and pass out. this morning, i wake up with the biggest hangover, my body dehydrated, my belly full of anger. i cuddled with juice for a bit, easily the best thing that came out of that four-year relationship. she's all i have, all i need.

i've been a mess all day, canceling my plans and just staying in, processing. it's set me back some. i IMed with pablo this morning, and we both apologized for our vitriolic behavior last night, coughing it up to the alcohol. we agreed not to speak or see one another for a long while.

but it's ok, all this bloodletting. i think it'll get me closer to the next level, where i can really let it all go. (new mantra lately has been 'detach and be free.') perhaps it was too soon to meet and try to be friends, but i thought we were ready. four months out, i really do feel strong and solid. there's no longing or desire to have him or the relationship back, hasn't been for a while. i understand the whys and hows of our split, and am very much enjoying the new life i've carved out for myself. i don't doubt all this.

yet i still need some closure. i guess it'll come with time, even though my rational mind wants it now. last night did much to diminish the sentimental love i still carried in my heart for him, but it shouldn't have happened that way. i don't want to replace that love with anger. my heart has hardened enough. i want to love without fear and live without baggage. a healthy life.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Hooray for June

i loves me my birthday month, and if you're local and we're tight, expect an invitation to my birthday party, scheduled for the last weekend of this month. i will be 28 and, oddly, this fact doesn't bother me much. i had my oh-my-god-i'm-getting-old freakout when i turned 24 and realized that i wasn't the new kid on the block anymore and that MTV slang now escaped me. that also marked my final year in the coveted 18-24 demographic, with the realization that i would now be grouped with people in their -- gasp! -- thirties in my new box: 25-34. well, it hasn't been so bad after all. things only seem to improve with age, largely because you quit sweating the small stuff and learn to trust life and yourself to take care of what's important. at least that's how it's been for me. i can only hope that my 30th birthday will come and go just as seamlessly (though i have a feeling it will make me panic a bit).

anyhow, not all that much is new. spent the week copyediting. partied some, have had trouble sleeping these past few weeks. the bad news is that juice has been sick all weekend. not sure what she ate, but i came home from work on friday to discover a ruined armchair and the realization that i would have to spend the evening in mopping every square inch of my hardwood floors. twas a nasty sight and she's still not fully recovered.

on saturday, i attended the wedding of my best friend's little sister. strange to see her all grown up and getting married, when i can still remember torturing her in grade school, a fact she constantly reminds me of, saying that i used to throw food at her in the school cafeteria. funny thing is that i caught the bouquet at her wedding, something that's never happened to me before at any wedding. but when i looked up, the flowers were racing right toward me like a bullet and just seemed to land in my hand.

saturday was also the birthday of three very special people who deserve shout-outs. so best of birthday wishes go to mr. david williams, the bestest boss in the world, a dude i like more with each passing day and year that we know each other (how 'bout that raise now, dave?); ms. sharon mor, my estranged israeli soul sister who's living a fabulous life in SF while i miss her terribly back here in LA; and ms. ann dela cruz, an old friend from high school who's still a friend indeed.

Monday, May 31, 2004

Fun with Firearms

i have this great photo essay already prepared with shots from my graduation and from the little soiree i had at my house last week with the annenbergirlies, but for some reason, each time i try to post, only broken links show up. i already sent blogger peeps a note wondering what the hell was going on, as i've posted photos up here before without incident numerous times. i'm still awaiting a response.

but in the meantime, i figured i would throw something up here because i promised myself i would blog 2-3x/wk. ha. so, what's been going on? well, still mostly nothing. been copy editing with my favorite dorks in culver city all last week and that will continue into this and next week.

the most interesting thing about that is that my bossman and the art director took me to the firing range on sunday to shoot some GUNS. wow, what a trip. i had never shot a gun before. it's really a singular experience that's hard to describe; it's like a bomb going off in your hand. when i fired for the first time, i had to stop and step back, thinking there was no way i could continue with it. but once i got over the initial discomfort of being around armed people in an enclosed space, i went to town and did pretty well hitting my paper target. i shot about six different handguns -- four different bullet types: .22, .38, .357 and .45 -- and learned their various parts and how to load each weapon. by the end i had broken a bunch of nails and was covered in lead and gun powder, but i was also kinda high. i felt the testosterone coursing through my veins; felt pretty damn butch.

and why am i playing with firearms, you ask? well, i've been giving some thought to getting a weapon for home defense. poor, helpless single girl like myself living in a one-story guesthouse with no bars on the windows needs some sense of security, however false. i've awoken in a panic numerous nights when i've heard a heavy-pawed animal making its way to my doorstep. it's sounded just like human footsteps on grass and it's freaked me out. i'm not sure i'm gonna actually get one. my (limited) money would probably be better spent on an iPod. i'm conflicted with it all. i mean, i'm a friggin democrat. so it's still under consideration. if anyone has valuable feedback, drop me a line or comment.

otherwise, life has been lovely. still feeling good post-grad, done a bit more yardwork and have either seen or spoken to people i've been meaning to catch up with for quite some time. i anticipate that the coming few weeks will hold more of the same, which is fine by me.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Afloat in Something

the week's end finds me well, still all smiles and levity, though i have gravitated back down to earth some following last week's apex. did virtually nothing all week. saw some people, partied like a rock star, and otherwise meandered through my days with no real sense of purpose. monday means business, though, as i have freelance work lined up for next week, which means money and that i need to keep my wits about me. after this much-needed week of rest, i'm looking forward to being productive again. i have milked this nothingness for all i could, so getting serious again feels welcome right about now. well, maybe i could use another week of this (maybe a month?), but with rent day fast approaching, i have no choice but to exit fantasyland.

and speaking of exits, we have another harem update to provide. just as expected, O. is out, and that's very unfortunate. simply put, he found someone else he liked more and far be it for me to stop his pursuit of her. we had a good run, though, and enjoyed many pleasant evenings together. he will be missed, but could boomerang back into the picture again at a later date. it was all good, no hard feelings or intense sense of loss surrounding the situation. and i'm sure we'll continue knowing each other in some capacity. but for the time being, i can certainly understand the need to move on in search of other horizons. so i bid goodbye to ori -- who i know is reading this -- and offer my most sincere best wishes going forward. mwa.

and then there was one: yogaman. so terribly el-lay to be seeing my yoga instructor, but that's what it is, how it goes. so far, so good. it's mellow, pleasant and hey, i get discounted yoga now. i think i'm going to float here for a little bit, take maybe a few weeks off from the dating to regroup and better focus my energies on other parts of my life. and truthfully, it can be a little overwhelming at times, this juggling. these past few weeks of overlap between O. and yogaman did present some challenges. it's not that i have any immediate intention of rejoining the monogamous, i just need to find my rhythm, get in a groove where things are simpler. it'll happen.

in the meantime, i did have a date this past monday, and there's potential there, and i have another date planned for the weekend, but i'd rather just place these on the back burner, file them under 'save for later.' even though i have all the time in the world lately, managing all this is like a job that demands more time than i'd like to give it. but all things considered, it's definitely been worth it, and i have not a single regret.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Sank Into Nothingness

i did nothing this past weekend and it felt fantabulous -- so good that it gave me the power to create new words. and when i say nothing, i mean it. i didn't even get into my car once over the weekend, had little contact with the outside world, save a few phone calls, didn't go out in the evenings or do anything else that would really be considered productive. ok, i cleaned out my desk from two years' school shit, so that was kind of productive, but that's it, i swear.

most other moments were spent either sleeping or sitting on my ass cruising the internet. (i need new websites to patronize if anyone has suggestions, i'm bored with my lot.) i cooked every meal at home. i also watched the entire second season of 'the office' on DVD (hilarious) while smoking bowls and drinking wine, juice on my lap. that's the other big thing i've been doing: spending QT with the juice via long walks through the neighborhood or trips to the dog park. but other than that -- nothing. no papers to write, deadlines to meet or crap to read for class.

so after my big weekend of nothing, i'm slowly transitioning back into the somethings. yesterday saw my landlord and i spending the day in my backyard, trimming the hedge and pruning the overgrown tree. i'm going to try my hand at gardening. i must say it's very zen pulling weeds out, and i'm planning on spending considerable time out there making pretty flowers grow. i'm also going to clean my house from floor to ceiling this week and fill up my social calendar with either dates or visits with old friends whom i've not seen in some time. oh yeah, i guess i should start the job hunt, too. nah, maybe next week.

Friday, May 14, 2004

I've Done Gone and Gradumacated

yippee!!!!!!! today was the big day, big big big. the culmination of two years' hard work. all the blood, sweat and tears that have stained my mouse pad over the stress that was graduate school finally paid off, and i feel fabulous. light as a feather, free as a bird, happy as a clam and every other positive-spun cliche you can think of. i could barely sleep last night in anticipation of today, and when that alarm went off i popped out of bed alert, electric, excited. the day moved pretty quickly, and parts of it felt surreal. i went to lunch after the ceremony with my parents and aunt, and could barely focus on what was being said. i just kept looking up at the cloudless sky; i felt like it was mine today. just kept looking up and over to the horizon, wanted to see what's behind it. that's where i'm headed.

i know by monday the best stuff will likely have waned and the realization that i'm just unemployed and 20K in the hole will start to sink in. and i know that ultimately this fancy degree means nothing. it's up to me to make my life work and i don't need a degree to do it. all i need is to steady my drive and work toward a goal. it's been crystallizing. these past few weeks have made miracles happen. all the tumult of the first half of the year suddenly seems justified. it's molded me, bringing me to this point where i'm on my own, in total control and incredibly lucid. i get it now. and the second half will be mine to mold. and the one thing i'll never do again is doubt my instincts, for they are my compass.

in other news, today marks my one-year anniversary as a blogger with and this here is my 100th post. funny, a year ago today i was preparing for my big summer in europe, my grand internship with voice of america in london. oddly, i wouldn't want to go back there and switch places with today. having graduated feels better, less uncertain in some strange way.

and thank you, kind friends and strangers who've been sticking it out, reading this shit for the past year, laughing at me, with me as i embarass myself time and again in this public space. i promise to offer you more entertainment at my expense -- with all this new time on my hands, i'm sure to while some of it away here. and yes, with all this new time, if you find yourself in need of a copyeditor, a drinking buddy, an activities partner, whatever, just drop me a line. i'll be happy to oblige. and now if you'll excuse me, i'm going to have a beer while reveling in the fact that i have NOTHING to do.


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Static Electricity

...electricity that consists of isolated motionless charges (as those produced by friction)

everything is weird again, but in the best possible way. graduation is on friday and now, on tuesday, i'm all stir crazy. turned in the LAST two college papers of my life. feeling pretty damn good, smiles are finding their way onto my face again. i've got mumbo jumbo inside, too many competing forces at play. it's a scattered energy that's bouncing me all around my house with no real purpose or focus. i do, then stop, then ponder, then start again and finish, then move on. everything looks fresh. it's like i can feel the earth spinning and myself spin with it. i've gotten dizzy a few times. it's a bloodless upheaval within, a velvet revolution. i'm walking around electric, looking everyone in the eye; i can sense the inherent energy in even the smallest things around me and somehow connect. i'm tapped into the ground even though my head is in the clouds. i feel alive, alert, enchanted by the world again. in short, i'm feeling fucking fantastic as graduation approaches. it's a euphoria that borders on the delusional. joy is driving me crazy for a change. it's making me want to run up and hug strangers. i feel like i'm on ecstacy.

so yes, things are good. better than good. lots of possibility and opportunity on the horizon. oases up ahead. the job search: blah blah. i imagine it'll take about a month or six weeks to get there. in the interim, i'm going to enjoy each day off while i send out those resumes. and i'm trying to plan a weekend jaunt to san francisco soon. if anyone (Zee?) wants to drive up with me, do let me know.

harem update: i know this is the real reason anyone bothers with this thing anymore. haven't been on too many dates in recent times, and the guys responding to my profile lately seem like losers. i'm going to be proactive again real soon. O., my one steady in rotation, is still in rotation, but that might be winding down soon, or maybe it's just reaching its natural baseline, it's hard to say at this point. there's been no great calamities with it, it's just a matter responding to the curve balls life throws at you. i hope to maintain it, but we'll see how it turns out. and we may have another contender to throw into the fire, but it's also too soon to tell. it would be great if it worked out. he not from the personals; he's actually someone from real life whom i've had my eye on for quite some time. we've begun to hang out in recent weeks. he has many great attributes, including a killer body sculpted by eight years of yoga. yum.

i'm doing quite well managing all this, better than i thought i would. it's so easy for me to detach from people and situations. it's almost scary and kind of sad. it's not a matter of consciously playing the hide-your-heart game; now it's just reflex for me. i give nothing away, show no vulnerability. maybe the metamorphosis is complete -- have i become a man? i'm (thankfully) not doing all the girlie things i once did, like waiting around for phone calls or having elaborate daydreams about the guy. i'm not swooning, and i'm virtually impossible to impress. i'm just going with the flow, moving forward with zero expectations, taking everything for face value. and that feels great as well -- liberating to be this footloose and fancy-free. nothing is so hot and heavy anymore. so much better to be light and airy. the lightness of being isn't that unbearable.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Light, Tunnel, Action

so close now, just nine days shy of graduation. still have two papers to finish by this weekend, and a bunch of finals to grade for my TAship. still feeling a little funky, but less so than before. it's funny -- after i wrote that big 'aaaaaagh' entry, i went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. hope this reprieve is lengthy. it's been coming in waves; my moods can last for weeks. maybe it's my cancerous nature or maybe it's my subpar reaction to circumstance. but for the present, i'm floatin, and rather contently.

had the funniest of dates last saturday. this guy (S.) has been pestering me for about a month to meet him, always at the most inopportune times. he would just send random IMs at all hours saying 'let's meet right now.' he never wanted to plan a date, it would have to be spontaneous. so i followed my impulse, as i often do, and met him in the middle of the day. what a character he was. not sure if it was the 100-degree heat or midday bloody marys, but i found him quite amusing. he was full of nervous energy, which often wrecks my vibe, but i felt quite relaxed. he insisted that we whisper our conversation because he's always paranoid that someone else will be listening in because he always listens in on other people's conversations. so we had to scoot in and talk quietly as he rubbed his thigh against mine while asking the most inappropriate questions, telling the most bizarre stories and constantly fidgeting around. he had a weird thing with pheromones and spent considerable time trying to sniff me. i was just laughing. he was super strange, but in a nonthreatening, wholly entertaining kind of way. i ducked out after about an hour and he's been pestering me for another meeting since. not sure that i'll have another impulse for it, but i may just do it again for another cheap laugh.

in other news, i made my contribution to a safer society by getting an HIV test -- negative. now that i've re-entered the risky, slutty world of (internet) dating, i figure it's only right to be conscientious of these things. even though i didn't really have cause for alarm, that waiting for the results, man, so grueling. anyone's who has lasted through it knows what i mean. your head can create all kinds of unlikely scenarios for infection. i felt queasy until the nurse lady put that paper in my hand -- negative -- and then i felt exhilirated. wanted to staple that paper onto my forehead.

i used to think that that was the worst part of being single, the not really knowing where your partners have been, but after being cheated on, i'm not sure of that anymore. the worst part of it all, for me, has had more to do with the little things: the struggle to open a jar, carrying a 40-pound bag of dog food in from the car, killing spiders perched in high places -- stuff like that. the other stuff i've come to enjoy: walking into an empty house where all my shit's my way, sleeping spread-eagle in the center of the bed (well, juice usually thwarts that plan), and, of course, being accountable to only myself.

and yes, for those wondering, i now have full custody of the juice. ex and i were doing joint custody initially, poor doggy of divorce, but now she's all mine, the way she should be. kids are usually better off staying with the mother; plus, she always loved me more. ha!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Germ's 30th B-day Bash in Santa Barbara

time for another photo essay, this one commemorating the 30th birthday celebration of Mr. Jeremy (aka "germ"), easily one of my most favorite people on the planet. good times were had by all. thanks go to Zee and Nick for driving my ass up to and then down from Santa Barbara last saturday and for providing great car-ride conversation.

the future's so bright: as much as i hated working for PR Newswire San Francisco, it did endow me with the two lovelies you see flanking me here. Germ was my boss and the one who hired me in 1999; Zee was my coworker across the pod. nights of drunken shoptalk were commonplace among us three.

the woman to the man: as much as i adore my jewish soul brother, he is a taken man, and here he is with his lovely wife heather, who deserves a medal with dealing with his royal moodiness. she's pretty rockin on her own, too.

was it cold out?: we all wondered why jeremy's cake had nipples.

hot, hot, zee(na)t: Ms. Zeenat Burns is a hottie, by the way.

slurp: she's so hot i couldn't keep my lips off her.

slurpier: nor jeremy apparently.

posers: Zee's man, Nick, and I throw down our whitebread gang signs.

happy homeboy: jeremy finds happiness at 30, giving hope to the rest of us.