Thursday, December 30, 2004 · posted at 10:05 PM
We're all whores. "I'm not a whore," you say, and to that I say, if you would do this, you're a whore. You're a whore. But you're like, "pays the bills." To that I say how do whores... how do you think a hooker justifies what she does to her non-hooker friends? Pays the bills.

       - Lucas Fox, Garden State [deleted scene: The Audition]

I'm a whore. 6 months more.

Sunday, December 26, 2004 · posted at 7:11 PM
So, can the mind actually ever be free from fear? That seems to me to be - for any person who is at all serious - one of the most primary and essential questions which must be asked and which must be resolved. There are physical fears and psychological fears: the physical fears of pain and the psychological fears as memory of having had pain in the past, and the idea od the repetition of that pain in the future; also the fears of old age, death, the fears f physical insecurity, the fears of the uncertainty of tomorrow, the fears of not being able to be a great success, not being able to achieve - of not being somebody in this rather ugly world; the fears of destruction, the fears of loneliness, not being able to love or be loved, and so on; the conscious fears as well as the unconscious fears. Can the mind be free, totally, of all this?

       - Krishnamurti, The Flight of the Eagle

Thursday, December 23, 2004 · posted at 11:38 PM
I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason

Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you:

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend:

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you:

Because I knew you:

I have been changed for good

- "For Good", Wicked

Monday, December 20, 2004 · posted at 5:43 AM
Prochaskan behavior. When I was in New York, someone asked me how I was liking it, why didn't I move out here, yada yada. To which I automatically replied "no money" and "it's cold." After the words left my mouth, I realized neither reason was true at all.

Cost of living, no doubt is expensive, but I'm prepared to (1) take a job that puts my expert copying and faxing skills to use or (2) dig into my grad school/wedding fund (my family has a "be smart or marry smartly" policy, but neither is looking terribly promising for me right now).

New York winters are chilly - but I've woken up to ice on my windshields in San Diego plus I have a whole arsenal of Gap, Inc. coats to put to the test. And if worse comes to worse, there's always the ever present warmth of the NY subways. Mmmmm.

I remember Ameer talking before about the whole moving process - how you have to make the decision and then take active steps (such as squirrel away money, tell your boss, find living arrangemens, etc.) to attain it. This is the difference between a pipe dream (random "I wish" musings) and a goal.

In public health, there's a theory that behavior change occurs in stages (Transtheoretical Model).
Precontemplation is the stage at which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Many individuals in this stage are unaware or underaware of their problems.

Contemplation is the stage in which people are aware that a problem exists and are seriously thinking about overcoming it but have not yet made a commitment to take action.

Preparation is a stage that combines intention and behavioral criteria. Individuals in this stage are intending to take action in the next month and have unsuccessfully taken action in the past year.

Action is the stage in which individuals modify their behavior, experiences, or environment in order to overcome their problems. Action involves the most overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy.

Maintenance is the stage in which people work to prevent relapse and consolidate the gains attained during action. For addictive behaviors this stage extends from six months to an indeterminate period past the initial action.
According to the rubric, I'm in the preparation phase (except substitute "next month" for "next 6 months"). I've contemplated whether my life in San Diego has grown stagnant (yes). I've decided that a change of scenery is necessary (East Coast). I've started preparing for the relocation (amassing peacoats, quitting my job, blogging about my decision).

So does entering one stage automatically mean you will progress to the next? Ask me again in a year. I really can't wait to see what the city looks like when it snows.

Friday, December 17, 2004 · posted at 4:13 AM
The biggest deal there is. The great "Can I or Can't I" debate has been raging full force since visiting New York. I've started a pro and con list (to later be weighted and input into a spreadsheet or statistical program).

Things that I may not be able to deal with:
  • subway smells
  • hailing a taxi
  • living in a shoebox
  • dirty rain
  • going am to pm (a girl needs a nap sometimes!)
  • people, lots of people

Things that I absolutely love:
  • the bustling pace
  • SoHo
  • needing cute cold weather clothes
  • the food - corn, macaroni, sashimi
  • walking and having things to look at when walking

That last item is definitely a tipping point.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 · posted at 4:14 AM
Question from Trivial Pursuit:
What famous athlete served time in the Marion Federal Prison as prisoner 01832061?

Best Answer:
Jean Valjean!

Stagnation breeds discontent... and an overinflated sense of self. Some people travel in large social circles that encourage frequent influxes of new personalities and faces. Some people remain within small confines where the population is perfectly suited for the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium (no emigration or immigration).

As an asocial being, my natural instinct is clearly the latter. The main disadvantage of this lifestyle is you get comfortable and maintain a certain level of expectation for yourself and the people around you. Your standards are set by a few scant points on a plotted graph with little comparison to real world measurements. You might think you're a big fish when really you're just a small fry to Blackfoot, Idaho's large potato chip.

And so this past weekend in New York was a great lesson to the tune of you don't know jack!

Question posed by Amit : What does Jennifer Garner's Starbucks order of a pumpkin spice latte mean about her?
My answer: ummm...
I know this... Us Weekly arrives in my mailbox every week... Ben Affleck and Jen Garner were photographed outside a Starbucks, coffee cups in hand... I have abso-f***ing-lutely no clue.
Real answer: She's capricious and whimsical.
Did I just get schooled in random celebrity gossip by someone who concurrently has law school finals to study for?

And the humility doesn't stop there.

Enter game night, battle of the sexes style.

First, an introductory game of Scene It, the new DVD movie game that uses real movie footage for its trivia questions. Not a huge fan. Some of the questions are too random (who has seen Fletch?) or too lame (convert this alternative title: The Entire 27 Feet). I think it's such a dice-rolling game in that you roll, move and then answer a question. So regardless of whether you answered correctly or not, you have advanced. If no one ever answered a single question right... you'd still get to the final winning question. I also pretty much sucked at it. Where were you Karen?

Then onto Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition. The girls started out decently. We had 3-4 wedges before the guys garnered their first one. Then despite Vegas style rolls from George, we stayed at 3-4 wedges while the guys collected all theirs and entered the winner's circle.

The category of sports puts most girls to an incredible disadvantage. Asking about Jose Lima's stats is equivalent to asking a non-metro man what company makes Juicy Tubes. Tip for answering sports questions: if in doubt, say none, all, Chicago Bulls or Michael Jordan. Seriously.

So it was there, in a city of 8 million, that I grew to realize that being picked first for teams of two amounts to nothing and perhaps I'm missing out in my self-contained bubble, if even only because it's no fun to steal your own Squabble words.

Monday, December 13, 2004 · posted at 9:11 PM
In the cold December rain.

I almost bought galoshes today when I was shopping. Galoshes for an San Diegan is not exactly the most practical purchase, but I almost rationalized the buy with the notion that in less than a year, I will be living in a place where galoshes will be a necessity rather than novelty (I've convinced myself that I'll be residing on the East Coast by Fall 2005). How happy it'd make me to look in the closet and see an article of clothing that signifies that I will soon be moving on (though perhaps not up).

So why the hesitation and clamp down on the purse strings? My indecisiveness? Doubt over the transnational relocation? The gnawing thought that perhaps my dream won't be realized?

None of the above - they were just really ugly.

· posted at 1:14 AM
Flying the not-so-friendly skies. Traveling Delta always seems to be hit or miss. There's either a smooth flight or vertigo-inducing one. They show a good movie (Elf) or they show a bad movie (Without a Paddle). It's empty enough for all the passengers to have their own row or you're squished up against an overweight 40 year old.

On the way to NY, I had the luxury of three seats (with retractable armrests), three blankets and three pillows all to myself. It was heaven, or at least the makings for a good 4 hour nap.

On the way home, the flight was 60% filled and luckily anachronic and I had seats next to each other (thanks George!). The aisle between initially served as a great buffer to the preservation of personal space... however three mid-conversation near-decapitations later, it seemed wise to perhaps change up the seating arrangements.

Attempt #1. The window seat guy in Jon's row. He looked like an SDSU Samahan member who would be sympathetic to the cause. However when given the opportunity to switch into my lovely aisle seat, he steadfastedly declined claiming an unwavering love for the window seat.

Attempt #2. The window seat girl in my row. The Texan knitter in pigtails. She refused to move but graciously offered that we could fit three to a row.

What's the Ann Landers etiquette on this? Is the window seat that much of a coveted prize? I wanted to say, "You know if one of the engines fall off the plane... it's hitting you first!" but I don't think that would have made a convincing argument.

Perhaps for a motion sick individual, being in the window seat allows them to find their bearings by using visual landmarks such as the horizon. But this was an evening flight (dark outside) and I think they even pulled the shades!

Maybe each enjoyed having a cold metal wall to lean against during naptime? Maybe they liked having to wait for everyone else to exit the plane before being able to grab their luggage? Maybe they liked having to displace others each time they needed to get to the loo? Who knows.

I know in the movie theaters I can get testy at people asking me to move because I specially picked a seat that's not obstructed by a partial view or covered by a sticky floor. Maybe that's how these people felt about their window seats. That sitting in the aisle with the roving elbow-banging beverage cart was a fate worse than any karma incurred for a missed good deed.

In the end, the college kid ended up squished against the window once we piled into his row and the Texan knitter ended up with the platinum blonde head of a brazen New Yorker edging into her lap.

Bet that empty aisle seat looked real good then.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004 · posted at 7:22 PM
That's why I couldn't be happier
No, I couldn't be happier
Though it is, I admit
The tiniest bit
Unlike I anticipated

But I couldn't be happier
Simply couldn't be happier
Well - not "simply":
'Cause getting your dreams
It's strange, but it seems
A little - well - complicated

There's a kind of a sort of : cost
There's a couple of things get: lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn't know you crossed
Until you've crossed

And if that joy, that thrill
Doesn't thrill you like you think it will
Still -
With this perfect finale
The cheers and ballyhoo
Wouldn't be happier?

So I couldn't be happier
Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true
Well, isn't it?

- Glinda, "Thank Goodness," Wicked

Tuesday, December 07, 2004 · posted at 2:41 AM
Novels, in the proper sense of the word, are not written to vanish in a month or a year. That most of them do, today, that they are written and published as if they were magazines, to fade as rapidly, is one of the sorriest aspects of today’s literature.

        - Ayn Rand

My daily calendar "The Bad Girl's Rage-A-Day" (as it pertains to me, the bad girl part is obviously a joke) often gives fun little historical factoids, ideas for "Things to do with pantyliners" and "Things to do with your ex-boyfriend's picture," and mini-tributes to famous bad girls (such as "Lucy, for always lifting the football at the last second). It also lists weekend projects like room redecorating, speed dating, and making your own VIP parking pass. Suggested weekend project: Exact Roommate Revenge.

Fortunately, I've been "roommate horror story" free for 11 months and counting (although I will never stop sharing past roommate horror stories), so this list is kind of useless.

One of the suggestions is: Use a razor blade to cut out the last 10 pages of the novel he/she is reading.

Would this really be so horrific? This could easily be viewed as a favor. The worst part of novels, especially the junk food I read, is the ending. Not necessarily because "Oh it's so good I never want it to end" but more like "All of that buildup for a 10 page wrap-up?" Novels can be unsatisfying like that. Sure you’re happy that the protagonist has resolved all issues, solved the crime, hooked up with the love interest, etc., but mostly you already expect that and want to know “what else.” What happens once Bridget gets Mark Darcy*?

In television, the reason series finales are so unsatisfying is because they try too hard to tie up all loose ends. A few are even victim of deus ex machina. I can’t even recall most series finales because they weren’t good. The good series finales are the finales for those shows who thought/hoped/prayed/promised their first born child that their show would be returning next season.

Who cares if there are loose ends as long as those loose ends are the dangling strands of a diamond necklace?

The plot-driven book or film is often too driven by, well, plot. The formulaic introduction + rising details + climax + resolution = conclusion can sometimes suppress the more important themes and ideas the author is presenting. Instead of trying to fit the square peg in the circular hole, writers could just increase the quality of that square peg.

Or I need to pick better books to read.

Saturday, December 04, 2004 · posted at 2:08 AM
Batmobile lost a wheel

Courtesy of my ever-benevolent roommate, I got to attend Star 100.7's Jingle Ball 2004 featuring a "star-studded" line-up. Star 100.7 is the "just this side of mellow" easy listening radio station for San Diego, playing the likes of Switchfoot, Avril Lavine, Lenny Kravitz, Norah Jones, U2 - your basic mix of top 40 with music Mom would like, too. This mega event was held at Cox Arena at SDSU (a venue so impressive that I pondered getting tickets to an Aztec game) and we had 11th row seats.

Jamie Cullum
The on-the-verge-crooner of "These Are the Days" is a gifted singer, songwriter and pianist. Unfortunately his pre-ring Smeagol looks (see Smeagol, Jamie) may prevent superstardom in the beauty-obsessed States (his album twentysomething was the fastest selling album in the UK).

Alanis Morissette
Remember the songs from this angry 90's icon? Well so does she! Alanis played her popular hits from days of yore including Ironic, Thank You, Hands Clean and others I can't remember the name of, but was able to sing along to. I wonder how it feels to perform but be limited to your old hits. What if you've changed or evolved or are just tired of incorrectly defining irony? I suppose that's when you just hold the mic to the audience and let them do all the work. She was a great performer, but I could think was, "She went down on Dave Coulier in a theater!"

John Mayer
My first John Mayer live performance! He is every bit as good in person as he is in the studio… and on talk shows… and on the dvd… and in my dreams. We were close enough to see the weird facial contortions when he sang - it was like he was orgasming with every note! He played some cool bluesy stuff and of course, the crowd favorite – Your Body is a Wonderland.

William Hung
The boy has seriously overstayed his 15 minutes. As in, I've put his suitcase by the door and it's collected dust. Who decided to have him follow John Mayer and open for Sarah McLachlan? Did they purposely sandwich him between the best performers to make him look that much worse? Or did they think that the crowd would protest less if satiated by John Mayer and the knowledge that Sarah was up next? He sang She Bangs, but it somehow wasn't as fun without Karen's cousin crashing into the green screen behind him…

Sarah McLachlan
By far the best performer of the night. She's amazing. My love for her is fully renewed. The whole crowd was hushed (minus the drunk guy next to us) the moment she came on stage and started to sing. Twenty minutes was far too short a set for such a breath-taking singer. She only sang 4 songs, but one of them was Ice Cream (also known as original music played during scene with Ben and Felicity on the rooftop watching Charlie Chaplin).

Chris Isaak
He had one hit (Wicked Game, as though I had to tell you), yet a 40 minute set. In what dimension is that fair? Plus his set doubled as an army recruitment commercial. I admire that he was able to bring more holiday cheer to the arena than William Hung's rendition of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," but to force people to look at that suit for 40 minutes straight? That's just torture. I've seen felt stockings that have better embroidery than that!

Duran Duran
Loved them in the 80's and 90's and admire their attempt at a comeback. Unfortunately I can't say anything about their performance because I didn't get that far. Chris Isaak scared us away. I couldn't take it. At least we beat the parking rush.

Other Notes
  • There were some empty seats next to us, but I chose not to move because I knew there was a puddle of beer on the floor. How did I know? My keen sense of smell? My spider-sense for spills? How about because I saw/heard/possibly felt the slightly inebriated woman spill the beer when she leaned over to introduce herself?

  • These compilation concerts always yield such an interesting crowd. You get 40 year olds screaming to Alanis that she "ROCKS!!!" and then you get blond sorority chicks all but flashing the stage.

  • Work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching must have been one eager audience member's mantra. There's something admirable about the way people put themselves out there and are just so uninhibited with their dance moves (thanks to the three wise men Johnny, Jim and Jack), but at the same time, there's something embarrassing about watching an Elaine in full force.

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