Monday, May 31, 2004 · posted at 10:46 PM
Dialogue from the game Catch Phrase:

Karen: Item of clothing that we never wear...
Me: Shorts! Jean shorts! Gaucho pants!

· posted at 3:46 PM
Periodic Table of Sloth.

I don't understand how this shirt could be sold out. That would require people getting away from Sn, Tv and Bd. This just tells me there are a lot of posers walking around!

Sunday, May 30, 2004 · posted at 2:15 PM
Len: I have this theory, all right. Everybody does three things better then anybody else, right?
          - Len, Felicity #14, Love and Marriage

Sometimes I feel like there’s a finite amount of talent in the world, and it’s distributed very, very unevenly.

It’s estimated that human beings share an estimated 99.99% of the same genetic code.

Being blood relatives should increase that percentile even more. So somewhere within my family’s DNA, there is a transposed A and G which explains my sister’s artistic genius (see short flash movie) and my inability to make clay models while playing Cranium.

The key to thwarting sibling rivalry is to admit defeat early on and attribute it to that hundredth of a percentile.

Saturday, May 29, 2004 · posted at 12:52 PM
...she's one of these really great-looking people who you hate because you know her personality will only continue to disintegrate the longer she lives and, alas, you blink once and suddenly she's ugly as hell.

Once you realize that most of the people around you are jackasses, you stop caring about whether they like you or not.

     - David, Amsden, Important Things That Don't Matter

Friday, May 28, 2004 · posted at 6:35 AM
Laundry quarters. Change is usually something so gradual that you don’t notice it for a long period of time. A good example is looking older. You see yourself in the mirror every day and don’t notice the deepening of wrinkle lines or fattening of face, but someone who hasn’t seen you since high school graduation and finds a picture of you on the web might be shocked at the discernible differences (I have yet to encounter this, I think, because I’m usually greeted with “You look exactly the same!” which isn’t exactly the ego-booster one might expect). A more subtle example is not noticing the miniscule day-to-day growth of your eyebrows until you have full-grown caterpillars on your face, listening to 93.3 in the car to appease the passengers and then realizing one day that you drove the entire way home alone voluntarily listening to 93.3, or watching NBA basketball and finding yourself cheering and able to name all the players on the Pistons along with free throw percentages for the starters.

I was rereading e-mail from a year ago. A lot has happened in the past year. Has my character remained resilient? My morals unshakable? My love for smut reality tv strong and true?

Things that are the same:
  • I still despise small talk and questions like “How are you?” and “How’s it going?” for purely pleasantry purposes.

  • There is residual reluctance to drink boba – although I think I may have had it 3 times or so in the past year (this is a 3-fold increase).

  • “I consider myself a morning person with nocturnal tendencies and a penchant for making things sound way more impressive than they are.”

  • Poor punctuation, capitalization, sloppy grammar (ending with a preposition excluded) irritates me.

  • Hate boring blogs - “ones that talk about how good the turkey sandwich for lunch was or tries to be a platform for the writer to show how original and deep his/her thoughts are.”

  • “I’ve been to 3 states.” That is depressing.

  • “I have a manic tendency; I will get really obsessed with a project for 3 days and then lose all interest in it with the possibility of picking it up in a year.” Exhibit A: only three-quarters of the walls in my room have been decorated for the past 9 months.

  • “I’m not one of those people who always feels the need to “go out” and “do something.” As far as I’m concerned, talking IS doing something.” This is self-explanatory. Perhaps my favorite quote ever comes from Daria #103, College Bored.

    Jane: Can we get on with this? I have someplace to go. [classmates look at her in disbelief] Television counts as a place.

Things that are different:
  • I used to like my job a lot more. Or my work ethic was stronger.

  • I used a lot of “haha” and while I still laugh at my own jokes in vivo, I’ve controlled myself electronically and in text.

  • “My fantasy goal in life is to write a really good coming-of-age young adult fiction novel or a bunch of children’s books (my sister would be the illustrator!)” This is still ideal, but I’ve come to the realization that perhaps I don’t have it in me.

  • “I’m really into crafty things.” In theory, but there hasn’t been much time for crafty projects (aside from my Little Red Riding Hood cape – hackneyed costume, I know). Plus I live with the Pottery Barn version of Martha Stewart, so there’s really no need to step it up.

  • I have longer hair. Finally I can invest in George Michael moisturizing shampoo and write about low-lying buns and thirsty hair!

I wonder what I’ll think in five years about what I’ve written, the things that piqued my interests now. The idea of five years from now is incredibly daunting and I’m not sure which is more sad, being a totally changed person who grooves to country music and regularly uses phrases such as “Let’s touch base” or “I want to get squared things squared away,” or being exactly the same and watching shows on the WB, mourning the fall of Orlando Bloom, and using Yahoo! Mail as my lifeline. What a busy, busy town and scarry world.

This entry probably could have benefited from some real world comparisons. Remember those assignments back in the 4th grade where you made a timeline with your important life events (e.g. birth, starting school, learning to ride a bike) alongside important world events (e.g. Reagan getting shot, space shuttle launches, the debut of Beverly Hills, 90210)? Alas it was another egocentric day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004 · posted at 11:10 PM
Evolution of the lazy writer.When I was younger, it was my dream to write a screenplay. There were many things that seemed ideal about writing screenplays. 1) You'd be invited to movie premieres and get to hobnob with stars while maintaining distance from celebrity gossip and tabloids, 2) I grew up on movies and often thought in terms of scene changes, voice-overs, fade-ins and outs, and 3) How hard could it be to write a manuscript that, when read aloud, totaled about 120 minutes?

Then I discovered that screenplays were all dialogue. I suck at dialogue.

Dialogue is all structured talking. To excel at dialogue, you probably have to be good at talking in real life. My penchant for talking to people on similar wavelengths as me has allowed me to get away with half-formed thoughts, horrible semantics and a lack of articulation due to numerous "you know"s. The problem is, when they DO know, it never has to be explicitly said. Also my wariness of people has inhibited the ability to hone my dialogue skills. I recently found out that when I call someone's cell phone, a graphic of people pops up, to which I can only attribute to 1) irony or 2) process of elimination – all the other logos were taken.

Following the screenplay debacle, I decided my true life’s passion was to write short stories. The problem for me with writing novels was that I never had the patience to follow it through until the end. I just wanted the story to be over, for everything to be resolved. Short stories suited my equally short attention span. Another advantage of short stories was that they could be incredibly obscure. One short story can yield thousands of analyses simply because there is not enough evidence in the story to support or refute any one theme or conclusion. I learned this in my introductory fiction class in college. I wrote a story about my childhood days playing on the signature 70’s orange carpet and how when I got older, my parents replaced the worn carpet with marble tiles. Someone in my group commented on the symbolism of the flooring – how the carpet was warm and welcoming to the child, while the carpet was cold and indicative of the transition that this was no longer a child’s play space.

Really, I was just writing about carpet.

As I read more books like Party of One and Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs I decided that observational essays were really the way to go. Something like Autobiography of a Fat Bride would be ideal as she writes about her friends, family, job, etc. without constructing story arcs or plotlines. And it’s easiest to write what you know, right?

Aisha Tyler’s Swerve came out at the beginning of the year. It’s overall entertaining, humorous, insightful (and I say this with 90% honesty and 10% jealousy) despite a “what is this?” chapter (similar to Chuck Klosterman’s chapter on serial killers) on a friend’s experience with a foursome, and Tyler’s proclivity for motivational Samaritan talks about working out (it’s good for you and makes you feel good), charity (it’s a few hours of your life, but makes a world of difference) and women empowerment (be independent ladies – throw your hands up at me). Mostly when I read the book, though, I thought, “I’ve said this!” and “I can do this!” Tyler even runs off on tangents for pages (hello, “but I digress?” It’s like looking at my writing in the mirror!). Publishers Weekly writes that Tyler uses “Countless meditative, incomplete sentences, words such as ‘fergawdsakes,’ italics, witty footnotes and parenthetical commentaries.”

I’m shocked that those aren’t Banshee-patented.

Reading Swerve inspired me to believe that I, too, could publish my own low-culture manifesto or reckless observations. Then I realized that I’m currently ranting to an audience of four for free. What makes me think that a publisher, let alone a consumer, would pick up a book about my reflections of the world when I’m not a 6-foot Maxim 100 beauty, comedian, ex-Talk Soup host and recurring guest star on Friends?

Damnit. It's my turn to say damnit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004 · posted at 2:35 AM
As a new blogger, I have been struggling with the direction I want this to go. I’ve refrained from using it as a “recap the day” blog, and a “ponder the world” blog. I’ve considered turning it solely into a book/movie/tv/website review or a “my thoughts on this link” site… but I want it to have it all – rants, raves, funny quotes from more credible media sources, etc. Basically it’s going to be a website for the lazy person (hence the lack of structure, design layout, etc.). So bear with me as I do a JC Chasez and get Schizophrenic on ya (minus the bad odes to sex and girl on girl dancing).

My (Stupid) Theories. I came across David Ninomiya’s Theory page recently. I have no idea who he is other than what I could gather from the mandatory cyberstalk/investigation, but I like the concept of dedicating a page to adamant views about “why it behooves one to have a same sex homosexual population” and “why same esteem partners have longer lasting relationships.” Basically he takes observations from the world, hypothesizes about the why, and calls it a theory.

He makes grievous spelling errors such as “coencidence,” “abacadaba,” and “infinate” which, even given that he hails from Hawaii where the native language has 12 letters, is unacceptable. And I’m not bowled over by any of his theories, or how he writes about them (some people can turn a cheese sandwich into an amusing anecdote), but occasionally he has a gem of a statement:
  • “Anyway this theory took a while to develop cause unlike previous theories, I actually asked people their opinions and took it into consideration.”

  • “Also smart girls tend to know more, well, cause they're smarter.”

  • “Besides, we judge everything on looks, a house, a car, food presentation, even underwear. No one is going to see it, yet who would wear ugly underwear?”

  • “Since choosing a mate is one of the most personal and self serving decisions you'll ever make, why shouldn't you take into account every superficial desire you have? You're not impressing the ACLU or trying to be politically correct with a mate, it's your choice, base it on whatever factors you seem fit.”

  • “I have always kind of wondered what is the meaning of life, but never really gave it much thought. I mean if all these great thinkers couldn't get it, how could I?”

  • “I believe everyone has a kindrid spirit or a soulmate on Earth. The person you were meant to be with and would instantly connect. However the odds you will ever find that person on an earth with 5 billion people is rare.”

Probably the most novel theory is his Ugly Theory Observation in which he claims that people are most attractive from ages 2-8 because asymmetries haven’t been magnified yet. This may explain the sudden drop-off in my kiddie photos post 2nd grade. Either that, or the realization that plaid jumpsuits from Taiwan were not exactly all the rage in America.

So to kick off what may be a rash of anecdotal theory entries, the 30-second blog theory. People blog because they want to write for an audience, it’s the electronic era and trendy, or because they want their bicoastal friends to know exactly what they ate for lunch. But also people blog because everyone thinks they’re funny and that their thoughts are groundbreaking or deep. It’s such an easy way to feel self-important.

Grade me... look at me... evaluate and rank me!

Thursday, May 20, 2004 · posted at 10:13 PM
EW: So do you have, like, a reserved parking spot in hell?
MW: Oh, man, I own the parking garage!

- Mike Weiss, executive producer, on creating Superstar USA, a reality tv talent search for the worst singer who doesn't know it, Entertainment Weekly #765

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 · posted at 6:46 PM
Trojan Man - only 97% effective. I saw the movie Troy last night. Troy is the harbinger of the 2004 summer movie season and highly anticipated due to its star power (Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and his ears, and Peter O’Toole), titanic and Titanic budget (initially budgeted at $150 million but due to an Achilles injury, re-creation of an ancient city, and emergency relocations escalated to $200 million), and classic storyline (based on Homer’s The Iliad). Wolfgang Petersen turns a 9 year war into a 14 day battle (163 minutes running time) for which Rotten Tomatoes gives a 53%.

Top 5 Reasons to See Troy:
  1. Brad Pitt’s nude scenes.

  2. Orlando Bloom is gorgeous.

  3. Brad Pitt is hot.

  4. The movie cost $200 million – it can use as many moviegoers as possible.

  5. Everyone else is doing it, and if peer pressure isn't a valid reason, I don't know what is.

Top 5 Reasons NOT to See Troy:
  1. Brad Pitt’s nude scenes are less risqué than your average NYPD Blue episode.

  2. Helen (Diane Kruger) reminds me of Leelee Sobrieski. The idea was that she would be more stunning as the sole blonde haired, blue eyed woman in the film... but Brad’s (I’m on a first name basis with him) blonde haired, blue eyed Achilles put her to shame as his was truly a face to launch a thousand hand-held, battery operated, motorized...ummm ships.

  3. Hector and Andromache’s son Scamandrius/Astynax is a huge baby with a seemingly disproportionate head. I thought he was going to throw down his baby blanket and get up and fight at a few points in the movie. I couldn’t help but recall Seinfeld #85, The Hamptons, with the “breathtaking baby.”

  4. The special effects – “Las Vegas” camera stops, The Matrix mid-leap pauses, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sword noises – didn’t seem consistent with a Greek epic movie.

  5. Orlando Bloom’s Prince Paris. In an interview, Orly discussed how he had a big moral struggle with playing the prince. “It’s an intimidating thing, to make an audience understand what you’re doing – so they don’t completely loathe you.” At first I scoffed. Then I watched the movie. And though I have been reminded over and over that OB is simply an actor playing a character, I can’t get the image of a desperately terrified Bloom clinging to Bana’s leg out of my head and a little bit of my love for Orlando Bloom died after watching the movie.

· posted at 2:11 AM
I had such high hopes for this blog. But the more time passed, the more stagnant it got and now it’s unable to replicate the hysteria of that day. Still, these observations must be shared... even if badly.

Newport Harbor Productions, how may I help you? On Saturday I had the opportunity to see entertainment history being made – I was present for Day 3 of auditions for “The Conrad Boys.” Perhaps you haven’t heard of this film. Not everyone can be in “the know,” or as in my case, best friends with the friend of the writer/director/producer/lead actor.

Auditions took place at the TU Studios in NoHo (North Hollywood). TU Studies is located near a crazy intersection in LA (where dreams are made and subsequently crushed) in a building adjacent to Odyssey Videos, home of the largest selection in the world… the variety you take home in a black plastic bag.

And here is what that day inspired.



CAMERA PANS over the décor. Yellow and salmon paint cover the room. It is reminiscent of a Frank from Trading Spaces creation, or the backdrop of a Herff Jones photograph. Flies circle around the entrance, trapped, despite the in-window fan/ventilation unit, by the non-circulating air. ZOOM IN on the orange construction cones in the corner. This is a work in progress. CLOSE UP of the 3x3 bathroom in the corner. PAN to the open bathroom window, above the toilet and overlooking the parking lot, that is responsible for the oblivious flasher. FOCUS on the poster above the sink. Comedy of Errors.


Foray into the world of child actors.

Have 4 semi-cute kids? Get them ALL into acting!

Asian and too cheap to get an agent for your kids? Create your own headshots by taping 4x6 photographs of your vacation to Vietnam and your child’s most recent martial arts ceremony to a piece of paper and claiming it’s movie stills.

Recipe for the deprived child actor
  • Concealer stick (Maybelline, but functioning as unisex) to cover unsightly blemishes and scars

  • Cutesy name like Ginger or Bridget

  • Act 20 years older than physical age.

  • Robotic voice defining geographic locales – “Eurasia is Europe and Asia”

  • Overzealous mother who can discuss agents, auditions, and on-set schooling better than Little League Stats

  • Solemn demeanor (as though dog Skip has just died) when discussing lost Kellogg’s commercial
Those kids were way too happy about the water.

Inside the actor’s studio. Acting is a tough, tough gig. Karen and I sifted through at least 30 headshots of Hollywood hopefuls.

Karen: Wow, so many actors out there, all in things nobody has heard of.

There’s something admirable about the way these people chase after the dream. Then I think you must be a masochist to drive across three counties to audition in a small studio with yellow and salmon walls and flies clustering in the doorway. I just imagine the veteran actor pulling up to that little hole in the wall behind the monstrous adult video store... all that training, all that work, all his struggles culminating in this, an audition for a family-financed movie (cue Kelly Clarkson song, “A Moment Like This”).

I’ve seen things on resumes that no one should be subjected to, like the lead role in “My House, Christ’s Home,” guest star on “Power Rangers”, recurring voiceover in Cerritos Auto Square commercials, and Wood Carver in the Brother Bear show at the Disney Resort. What is it that motivates these people to endure such things?

Actors not only play characters... they ARE characters.

An extremely outgoing 40 something woman waltzes through the door. She asks is, “Is there a bathroom here? I refuse to leave wearing this monkey suit.” She’s wearing a business suit. Sea green. She’s also carrying a duffel bag. She places the duffel bag on the couch and begins opening it. Slowly, a human head appears. Styrofoam. A wig stand for the strands of shiny brown hair. The wig is for her landlord look, she explains. The “monkey suit” is for her audition for the role of the lawyer. She pulls what looks like a black pantyhose over her head in an attempt to tie back her natural hair. She removes the wig from the Styrofoam head, stabbing the wig pins back into the jugular. The transformation is complete and she marches back into the audition room to show the casting director “her Evelyn.”

If not for her A-list star story, I would have dismissed her altogether. It’s amazing what a good story will do for one’s disposition.

Fun Fact about Benicio del Toro. He is horrible at auditions and to the dismay of his directors, likes to give his characters quirks. "Traffic," his Oscar-winning performance, was him just being himself.

There is a formula to being an actor.

In fact, I think I can run statistical analyses on all the resumes I read. Most significant is that you must have the following:
  • Theatre work in A Midsummer’s Night Dream

  • Experience with the LA improvisational group Groundlings

  • Ability to drive a manual transmission

  • Firearm skills including but not limited to sharpshooting, 9mm, rifles, revolvers

Paris isn’t the only one.

As seen from the Power Rangers gig, as an actor you must take what you can get – student films, cereal commercials, anything to increase your experience in front of the camera. The goods news is that there are so many movies, productions, etc. that it’s a pure quantity game, not quality. Unfortunately, sometimes the title can give away exactly what section of the video store your film resides in – namely the curtained-off, you must be 18 or older, not available at your neighborhood Hollywood Video section. Here’s a list of film credits that may actually be skin flicks:
  • Sex, Chocolate and Zombie Republicans

  • Hollywood Fantasies

  • Kisses and Carom (should I feel stupid for not knowing what a "carom" is?)

  • Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

  • Tweekerville

  • Banana Moon

  • Screw That

  • She Stoops to Conquer

  • Blow-Pop

  • Bangin’ Josh’s Wife

See me twirl. On regular resumes, you spend hours thinking of ways to glorify your “Additional Skills” at the bottom. “Answering phones” becomes “Excellent interpersonal communication” and “Filing” becomes “Advanced knowledge and adherence of Dewey Decimal Classification System.” The joy of acting resumes is that for the “Special Skills” section you can pretty much list any and every hobby you have ever had. Here is a partial list of the most amusing “skills” these actors had:
  • bowling
  • double jointed
  • fire spinning
  • rave dancing
  • disco dancing
  • obon dancing
  • magic (the game or the activity, I don’t know)
  • spinning
  • trampoline
  • jump rope
  • pole vault
  • weight training
  • darts
  • croquet
  • helicopter jumping
  • teleprompter
  • CPR certified
  • certified limo driver
  • bongos
  • congos
  • didgeridoo (the horn made infamous by Survivor)
  • mime
  • puppeteer
  • pas de deux work
  • clown mask work
  • rapping
  • beat boxing
  • clicking tongue
  • wiggle eyebrows
  • welding
  • Zoolander face
  • balloon sculpting
  • identical twin (the better looking half)

And since I’m on a list-craze right now… here are the final observations from my Hollywood escapade.

There is a wide variety of people who frequent adult video stores, must of them exhibiting auto-fail traits:
  • Ponytails
  • Multiple men in a convertible
  • Scrawny guy in wifebeater
  • Pick-up trucks blasting hard rock
  • Denim shirt, tucked in
  • Purple shirt (possibly Lakers) with shorts (short pants) and brown hiking boots.
  • Cross-hatch sandals
  • Mandals

Shooting starts at the end of June. To be continued...

Sunday, May 16, 2004 · posted at 10:54 PM
Syd Hoff, the creator of classics like Danny the Dinosaur, passed away this weekend. While his were not the first books I read (my mom credits that honor to Berenstain Bears), I fondly remember sitting under the dining table (my reading haven) and feeling so excited that Sammy got to go to school and hoping that one day a seal would wander into my classroom too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 · posted at 8:58 PM
Warning: The following blog is extremely me, me, me (even more so than usual... think egocentric communication during the preoperational period). Proceed only if you have the capacity and tolerance.

Whatever the hell you want. Bow down. I have accomplished a feat seldom known to man. I have learned how to swim (read: float and flounder in the water) at the ripe age of 23. For those of you who attended Gene’s concert last week, this is a repetition of a fact that Gene already proclaimed in a much more entertaining manner.

“You just learned how to swim?” you ask in a shocked voice? Yes, prior to last week, I was the grown ass woman in the 3 feet deep end of the pool donned in a bright life jacket and clinging to an inflatable raft like a girl on her boyfriend’s arm at Hooters. I held fast to the notion that you could indeed drown in 5 inches of water. Women and children first? Even if not for the rule, I would be making a George beeline for the lifeboats on a sinking ship.

The inability to swim never really got in the way of my day to day life before. I had few surfer friends, most of whom had already deemed me a lost cause, and I pretty much avoided anything that would require me to wear a bathing suit anyway.

I’m actually not sure what inspired the sudden surge in motivation. Maybe I grew tired of being one of those girls who laid out by the pool with the sole purpose of turning their pasty white into a golden brown. Perhaps it was the upcoming cruise and the prospect of “pool games” that hastened my education. It could possibly be the fact that I just read “Life of Pi” (in which a boy is adrift in the ocean for months with a Bengal tiger) and came to the sad realization that, if inexplicably in that situation, the tiger would be #2 on the list of things endangering life.

So thanks to Vi, my water acclimation coach, and May, my swim instructor, I no longer fear water... just what’s in the water (namely waste products, harsh chemicals, and the occasional pink body shedding hairs of all sorts).

Now that I have conquered (this may be too strong a word) one of those pesky “I should learn how to do that” tasks, I feel elated, enabled, and other “e” words. I’m the King of the World! But seriously, I feel like I want to bust out my “26 things I want to do in my life” list I wrote in Mrs. Meadows’ ninth grade English class, in which I had previously only accomplished one goal – to learn how to do a crossover on rollerblades.

Metrosexual Paul said that I had acquired a skill that would open up the world and that he was envious that I got to feel that excitement. I think he’s right on the two counts. Aside from now being able to participate in water sports and activities, I’m now able to hypothetically explore two-thirds more of the world (which will help in meeting #6 on my list – to travel).

Children accomplish huge feats easily in short periods of time. Speaking, reading, writing, riding a bike... What is that saying? A child’s brain is a sponge until the age 12? (That would explain the progressive decline seen in my GPA.) I’m increasingly learning how hard it is to teach an old dog tricks. I’m getting to be the age where even memorizing a phone number is cause for celebration. Sadly, I can’t remember the last time I learned something meaningful as an adult a 23 year-old. Possibly the last great landmark event was getting my driver’s license (which, for some people, was an affair to tackle as a 23 year-old).

Maybe I should continue to ride my “learning is grand” wave and attempt to grasp some of those trademark Asian-American skills I should have learned as a spry youngster, such as chess, piano, kung fu, karaoke, math, and chopsticks.

Hello San Diego. I think I’ll like it here.

· posted at 6:45 PM
"Please tell me that sound was a rip in the space-time continuum."
      - Eric [on tearing Donna's wedding dress], "That 70's Show"

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 · posted at 7:57 PM
On my search through our Measures drawer for the Beck Hopelessness Scale (I wonder if this Harcourt is related to the publishing empire), I happened across a typo on the file folder for the Beck Depression Inventory; it read Beck Depressing Inventory. Then I looked at the measure, which asks if you endorse statements such as "As I look back on my life, all I can see is a lot of failures," "I am dissatisfied or bored with everything," and "I have lost most of my interest in other people."

Maybe it wasn't a typo after all.

Monday, May 10, 2004 · posted at 3:42 AM
In your dorm you meet many nice people. Some are smarter than you. And some, you notice, are dumber than you. You will continue, unfortunately, to view the world in exactly these terms for the rest of your life.

      - Lorrie Moore, "How to Be a Writer," Self-Help

Friday, May 07, 2004 · posted at 8:00 PM
Aqua creatures. It’s amazing how kids have no concept of personal space, namely other people’s personal space. I was in the pool today, sitting on the steps and this little girl (she was probably 4 or 5, based on her articulate statement “Mom I need to go to the toilet”) doggy-paddled right up to me, opened her mouth and sprayed. There was probably 15 feet of space for her to choose from, and I was hugging the handrail in order to avoid a Titanic crash, yet she bee-lined toward me, practically sat in my lap and then spat.

There were two young boys hoping to start SuperSoaker War #428 in the pool when their mothers admonished that “We don’t play with the toys when there’s a grownup in the water.” I heard one of the boys saying, in a British accent that didn’t make him any more endearing, “Maybe she won’t stay that long.” Well with that kind of welcome, the pool spit and name-calling ( “grown-up”), definitely not. Really, if they wanted to clear the waters, they only needed to unleash the toddler in his floaties and Little Swimmers, which they did about 3 minutes later. There is only so much that chlorine can kill.

Thursday, May 06, 2004 · posted at 5:27 PM
Canonical. I had plans to blog at work. I wrote lead-ins and thematical notes on a hot pink post-it even! Then my officemate brought in her baby, which proceeded to coo, crawl about my feet, and make weird smells in the office. There is something about having a baby nearby that just drops your IQ 40 points until you are babbling incoherently while making weird facial gestures. There is no tugging on the old ovaries, but I'm a sucker for a pudgy baby with tan lines from her fat rolls - as long as I don't have to go anywhere near a soiled diaper.

The best laid plans... please don't shun me.

· posted at 2:45 AM
A blogger was featured on the front cover of a local newspaper last week. Out of 1) sheer spite and 2) tremendous fear, I am not disclosing her name or her link because the 3 readers who frequent this site have already seen the cover, heard my diatribe and agree with me, if not vocalize it even more!

The main problem that I have is that... she’s not that interesting! There are times when she strikes a chord with potential... but then she just stops. She introduces an interesting topic and then chooses not to expand upon it. It just ends. Period. As a blogger, I know this can happen - it often happens to me. But that’s why I’m an insignificant blog, shrouded among other blogs in the web waters (btw: I’m starting a movement to ban all metaphors of the internet as a highway or as an ocean to surf... tomorrow) and not one that’s highlighted on the cover of the weekly paper. She talks about how the old women at her office are catty and how their “water cooler” conversations are so petty. Yet she never writes a direct quote or gives an example. And she’ll have what I call “cheese sandwich” entries where she talks about what she did today, who she spent it with. Maybe this is where we clash. She (correctly?) thinks of a blog as a web diary used for recapping her days and thoughts whereas I (perhaps incorrectly) think of a blog as the lazy person’s website, one’s own internet magazine full of both entertaining stories and editorials. I don’t go to people’s blogs to see how they’re doing, what they’ve been up to, if their company has discovered a way to make their own prescription medication bottles at a lower price – these are things that should be covered in the first 5 minutes of a “hey, how are you doing, what have you been up to” conversation to be forgotten 1 minute later until the next encounter.

I’m also not fond of the way she splashes her picture across her site. Maybe it’s this notion that the greatest artists are the tortured souls who are uncomfortable in their skin and thus express themselves through words, pictures, and melodies. And she’s moderately good-looking... she’s not supposed to have grand thoughts and a personality... that’s how people like me are supposed to make up for lack of Angelina Jolie lips and Pamela Anderson breasts! (The exception to this rule is technicolor who is amazingly mature, talented and beautiful.)

Oh and the use of “hee hee,” “tee hee,” and other such sayings is a blog auto-fail for me. There is just no excuse for this, especially if you are a parent or, you know, over the age of 15.

The spiteful part of me says she was showcased due to her tourist-friendly entries. I think I read one entry that was dedicated to describing warm San Diego weather and another that talked about driving down palm-tree lined streets. “I went to Free Tuesday at the Park. The Reuben Fleet Museum was amazing!” Blogs are the next generation of product placement. “Went to Sushi Itto the other night, but it doesn’t compare to Sushi Deli 2 in terms of quality service and expense.”

Maybe she is simply being recognized for the frequency of her blogging. Some people seem to reward quantity... not that I'm bitter.

Perhaps my raging jealousy prevents me from truly enjoying and appreciating her words. Perhaps that her blog design bears some similarity to mine (except that her site meter must boast numbers in the thousands) riles me up so. And perhaps I can console myself by remembering that it was the free weekly reader, a “newspaper” notorious for plastic surgery and penile enhancement ads and classifieds-replying “weirdos” (according to my psychology resources at SDSU).

“But what they fail to realize, is that my opinion does not have to be their truth.” Adhere to your words Barby... and please don’t hurt me.

San Diego Bloggers maintains a list of bloggers in the greater San Diego area. They boast “being a complete list of bloggers in and around San Diego County.” I would mock more, except I happened to see a familiar site on there. Perhaps my reluctance to join such sites will ultimately be the demise of my “Get a book contract because a book editor/agent read my site and was impressed by my wit and high humiliation tolerance” pipe dream. Oh well, maybe miss lillyphenia lillunia will be willing to “discover” me. Anyway, research of these sites begin tomorrow with a $10 wage that majority of entries will have “I went to Martini Ranch on Friday and got trashed” and similar entries. Prove me wrong.

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves is a bestseller that has people like me shaking to their very core (fearful of the wrath of a stickler) and questioning the placement of every comma, apostrophe, and mad dash.

Sunday, May 02, 2004 · posted at 11:52 PM
The next generation of Ortho Tri-cyclen. My job can be excellent birth control. Yes, the kids can be adorable. Yes, I have gotten sticky hugs and loved it. Yes, they say the darnedest thing like, “My mom will be back in eleventy-seventy years” when they answer the pone. Yes, they pick flowers and bring them back “for you.” Yes, they have cute websites posting pictures of their hamsters. Yes, I have in my possession many refrigerator pictures, including a crude pencil drawing of me THIS big because I’m “23 and big.” But at the same time there are many, many moments that just reinforce the idea of, “Kids? I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for kids. But definitely that time is not now.”

Sometimes it’s the fact that I have needed to get down on my hands and knees to crawl under a table to retrieve a child. Sometimes it’s the fact that I feel such relief after a day of kids with ADHD that I don’t have to interact with them for another two weeks (the length of the necessary recuperation period). Sometimes it’s the fact that they won’t take “no” for an answer and think that “one toy” from the treasure chest actually means “all seven rubber frogs.” Sometimes this reaffirmation even comes from my own office, as I listen to stories about bodily fluids or hear things during a diaper change such as, “How did it get all the way up there?” (btw: the peepee teepee is such an ingenious idea! Although I think the Asian in me would just use Dixie paper cups… or steal a bunch of the little ketchup cups from McDonald’s – you know, the ones you take for Jell-O shots.)

Currently the aspect that is threatening to scare my eggs right back into their ovaries is the idea of having “the talk.” There are many different uses for the phrase, “the talk.” There’s the “Where is this relationship going? What are we? Define us” relationship talk. Then there’s the “It’s not me, it’s you” talk. And of course the “‘What is this [joint]. Where did you learn to do this?’ ‘You… I learned it from you!’” talk. I’m not talking about any of these. I mean the birds and the bees talk, the pistil and the stamen talk, the (dramatic music… dum dum dum) sex talk.

Recently, I had the privilege of looking up reputable puberty books to recommend to our patients who are starting to experience strange odors and “funny feelings.” A quick search yielded the following results: What’s Going on Down There?, It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, It’s So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families, and Don’t Sweat It! Everybody’s Answers to Questions You Don’t Want to Ask. They even have a build your own reproductive system book called The Body Book which for some reason, I always think of as a pop-up book and very, very bad idea.

I cannot imagine myself buying one of the above books and exploring its contents with a child – or another human being for that matter. I don’t know that I ever got a sex talk from my parents. I received many “Don’t share the bed until you get married” admonitions from my mom as well as playful (I think) slaps for using the words “condom” and “sleep together,” but I think the closest thing to a sex talk was the “Let me show you how to count the days” ovulation calendar demonstration. *Shudder* My sister and I always wonder about how we came to be because my dad never wanted to have kids... but my mom was a self-proclaimed expert on the rhythm method... but that’s a whole other “exploring my traumatic childhood” story.

I cringe when I think of other people’s experiences with the talk, like your grandmother telling you not to just jump into bed with any boy because your body is precious and you need to respect it, or having to give the talk to your “computer and video games kind of guy” brother.

I have a very avoidant personality style according to anecdotal evidence and the Thomas-Klinmann Conflict Mode Instrument. And all those books on say right in the title that NO ONE wants to talk about these issues. I’d likely just strategically sandwich them between the latest Harry Potters, stick them inside a comic book, or, as my parents did, leave them on the bookshelf for an unsuspecting 6th grader to find, open and see underlined words like “copulate” while looking for books on muskrats for a school report. *Shudder* Apparently I can also just pop in a Friends DVD (see study from Pediatrics) to explain sex ed.

Is this the right way? Or the best way? I can almost assuredly say no. And the prevention of some confused adolescent who doesn’t know his Tab A from Slot B because Mom never wanted to have the talk is just one more reason to keep the oven empty.
Does anyone know where the phrase “birds and the bees” came from? One explanation from Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins says:

BIRDS AND BEES - In past times, when schools touched on such matters at all - which was seldom - sex was usually handled in classes with titles such as Hygiene or Health. The facts of reproduction of the species were presented by analogy - telling how birds do it and how bees do it and trusting that the youngsters would get the message by indirection.

· posted at 7:42 PM
I want a cat.

And then I want to paint it.

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