Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Big Mouth Strikes Again

Last week at some point, I told the Star that I needed a reeeeeeally good night out. You know, the kind that leaves you thinking "wow, that was great. Really! Glad! I! Went! Out!", as opposed to a lot of nights (which leave you thinking "I could have a V8.") The Star rightfully pointed out that complaining about needing a great night out is pretty obnoxious when you've just had dinner with the complainee. Point taken!

The day of the threatened fork stabbing, the Star and I headed up into the city. I demanded that we stop at Taqueria Cancun before the show. Mmmm... Taqueria Cancun. There are some meals that you think about, even when you're not hungry. Veggie burrito at TC, you have my 'eart. The guacamole will sucker punch you with its sass. Combine with a Pacifico, and it's pure gustatory pleh-zhuh.

Stomach in check, we headed up the street to the Elbo Room. What a study in contrasts: the downstairs is pure dive bar, and the upstairs ... is actually a nice live performance space. Los Pinguos were in full effect. As some of you know, I have followed a DC-based flamenco group, Young & Rollins, for years and years now. Although I don't know much about it, I love me some flamenco guitar - plus, flamenco is always fun live. Los Pinguos are no exception -you can see how much the guys enjoy jamming together and interacting with the audience. Definitely a recommend. (My LA peeples - Los Pinguos are based down there, go see them! DC peeps - Y&R (ha ha!) often play Iota, keep an eye out.)

In summary, a GREAT night out.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Communication is key

the Star: I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make the show tonight. Work is kind of exploding.
maisnon: That's okay
the Star: Well, did you want to go...I mean, I feel bad.
maisnon: Hmmm, well I do want to go - but I won't go if you're not going. But it's not like I'll cry hot tears of disappointment if we don't go.
the Star: ... so 6.5.
maisnon: (eye rolling)
the Star: Oh, I'm sorry - would you like it in your language? 'I'm feeling okay about it, but not too certain - but generally, I'd say yes.'
maisnon: Was that so hard?
the Star: What the hell does that mean? It doesn't SAY anything!!
maisnon: It spoke to ME
the Star: ...while you were speaking I was thinking "8... minus 1 divided by 2"
maisnon: I'm going to stab you with my fork. Does THAT speak to you?

Monday, November 28, 2005

You got SERVED!

The Court cannot even begin to comprehend why this case was selected for reference. It is almost as if Plaintiff's counsel chose the opinion by throwing long range darts at the Federal Reporter (remarkably enough hitting a nonexistent volume!) And although the Court often gives great heed to dicta from courts as far flung as those of Manitoba, it finds this case unpersuasive.

--Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp. Inc,
147 F. Supp. 2d 668 (SD Tex. 1991)


My mom once said that her ideal vacation would be to get a hotel room with my immediate family where we could see the beach. I asked her if we would go to the beach, and she said no - but maybe we would "take naps." That's right - my mom's ideal vacation is one in which we take naps with an ocean view.

So, you'll understand that after three days at home I was going bonkers. On Saturday, LB2 and I headed to the movies - he saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and I saw Rent (recommend!!!) Ah, sibling affection - it's a beautiful thing. I also watched A LOT of TV, which left me with this one question: with so many channels, how can there be NOTHING on worth watching? (I did watch some kind of "Law & Order" marathon - bliss!)

I spent most of the flight yesterday flirting with the blond sitting in front of me - he's going to be such a heartbreaker in 20 years (assuming he's out of diapers by then.) One of my favorite coworkers picked me up, and I finally met his dog - the Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes! After four days away, slipping into my own bed and being lulled to sleep by Gia's purring was heaven, full stop.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

How to feel like an intellectual heavy-hitter the airline's screening of The Perfect Man (starring Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear) while the guy in the seat next to you reads Emile Zola's Germinal.

Friday, November 25, 2005

55 Fiction Friday: Breathing Lessons

Friday, home in DC.

“Breathe in…and exhale slowly”, she said, elbow poised over the knot in his trapezius. He breathed in noisly, and let it out sharply. “No, exhale SLOWLY, so I can work into the knot and apply pressure.” He drew his second breath in tantalizingly slowly, and exhaled quickly. As usual, he just couldn’t let her in.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The view from here

Every year, my 12th grade English teacher had the seniors write an essay entitled "The View from Here." The students were meant to take stock, reflect on where they are in life, and the path ahead of them.

This is a season of reflection. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's are all about internal audits. Personally, I've come to a natural point of contemplation because the colossal project I began over four years ago just ended. I look back on who I was before law school and even I can tell that my hindsight is rose-colored - I couldn't possibly have been that well-rounded, had so much energy, etc. Law school made me very one-dimensional. I jettisoned so many interests and activities along the way, whispering that I'd be back for them later.

Well, later is (finally) now. I'm looking into all kinds of classes, watching a million movies, starting to channel my inner cruise director by planning social activities, and researching trips I'd like to take. I've started volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club near work, and I'm looking to committ to a pro bono project. I miss being a (hyper)active person, so I'm trying to get back on track there as well. But, things are different now: I really weigh each possible addition. Be it a person, or an activity - I really consider how it fits into my life. I realise I don't have endless resources, and that if I'm not careful, I end up feeling like I've been spread very, very thin. I'm even reading a book on productivity.

I feel so hopeful and expectant right now. I didn't expect that. I'm interested in my work, and excited about the road ahead. This feeling, this is what I'm most thankful for.

I remember what inspired my "View from Here" essay when I was a senior, so I will close with a few lines from it.

… I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life

-- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I've had a LOT of hits from people looking for info on BarBri, studying for the Bar, etc. etc. I've decided to put it all together for you. Here are all of my posts on the Bar study process (in chronological order.) I warn you now, they aren't really substantive, but more of a reflection of where I was mentally/emotionally in the process. Touchy/feely enough for you? ;)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Shoes of Celebration

Today, I wear the shoes of celebration.

Like so much of my Bar experience, the post-results period has not gone as I planned. I thought that, come what may, I would be out on the town celebrating and/or anesthetizing. Not so. Post-results, I headed into the city to meet up with ma chere brim for a little soiree. What did I drink all night? That's right - water. I'm such a wild one.

The water consumption was probably a good thing, since our little group had to fend off the advances (and I do mean advances of a would-be Casanova.) Both la brim and I spotted him early on, and knew he'd be trouble.

I like FOBs, some of my best friends are FOBs - but there is nothing like a desperado brown on the loose. This guy tried to dance with/on every woman in our group, until out of desperation we all formed pretend pairs. Brimful offered to share a male friend with me, to which I said "F that - you're my girlfriend." As always, my timing was impeccable and I managed to catch a lull in the otherwise raging 80s dance music. So there - now you can be jealous, I had the indomitable brimful as my (fake) girlfriend, if only for an evening. Even after my pronouncement, the desperado grabbed at me ... TWICE. I don't do the grabbing. Ick.

When he headed towards the last woman standing in our group, she started dancing with a male friend. Desperado actually stamped his foot in annoyance - like a kid who's been caught out at "monkey in the middle" again. Dude - not a good look, just letting you know.

I spent most of Saturday lazing around the house, watching movies (new on the list of favorite movies: Girlfight. Troubled teen trains to be a boxer. The best part: her love interest is named Adrian.) I went to Berkeley (or as one sign posted on campus said, Berekeley) for the Beyond Borders event. I met up with the fabulous ads and proceeded to plaster the campus with directional signs as our part of the volunteer effort. (We may have been distracted by some Crepes-a-Go-Go as well.)

The show was interesting, if a little long (over four hours!! Thanggod for the interval.) As usual, I enjoyed the dance performances the most. There were some moments of true, unintended hilarity - but that's because I'm a snarktastic bitch.

Sunday, more lazing around. I suddenly decided I just had to see Walk the Line. This is how much of a rockstar my designated movie date is: when I called her, she had just driven back from LA - six hours - but she was still down for a movie! Rock on with your bad self, Roop!

The movie kicked much ass, and is even better if you enjoy Johnny Cash's music. Today, in homage, I am the Woman in Black (with Shoes of Celebration.)

Friday, November 18, 2005


July 2005 California Bar Examination
Application Number: 123
Registration Number: 123456789


The name above appears on the pass list for the July 2005 California Bar Examination.

And I'll have you know that I was cutting and pasting the above for your benefit while my best friend was urging me to call my parents.

55 Fiction Friday: hiatus

Sorry, kids. I've made numerous attempts to '55 Fiction'-it today, and none have really come to fruition. Some of the ideas I played around with:

  • a woman cutting her hand while drinking a glass of wine
  • a person making dinner for themselves and drinking a glass of wine
  • drinking a glass of wine

Do we sense a theme here? I'm planning to leave work right, soon, quick and go in search of.... a glass of wine.

Maybe I should solicit 55 Fiction ideas from y'all - it would be like '55 Fiction: on request', or '55 Fiction: throwdown!' ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Not just a river in Egypt

One of the associates came by to say that she was taking us first years out for lunch tomorrow. She said that it was a tradition to get us drunk. How sweet, if a bit odd, I thought. I guess tomorow is a Friday.

Yeah, tomorrow is the day Bar results come out. The fact that it totally slipped my mind shows you where I am mentally. I am either:

(a) so calm, that I just naturally didn't remember the significance; or
(b) so freaked that I have somehow blocked it out; or
(c) my usual variation on "freakshow"; or
(d) all of the above


Results come out at 6 pm.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

PSA: South Asian Quake Relief event on Saturday

"Disaster knows no borders ... neither should humanity"

Oct 8th – A devastating earthquake strikes South Asia leaving at least 90,000 dead, and 3-4 million homeless.TODAY - One month after the earthquake, many survivors in remote areas are still in need of immediate relief and rehabilitation. A brutal Himalayan winter is approaching, a massive second wave of death is expected if help – shelter, supplies, medicine – doesn't reach survivors soon.

YOU can make a difference! Please attend!

A Benefit for the Survivors of the South Asian Earthquake

Saturday, November 19th, 7PM
Wheeler Auditorium
University of California Berkeley
Buy Tickets

100% of the proceeds go towards grassroots earthquake relief efforts in Pakistan and India - specifically,Edhi Foundation (Pakistan), Sungi Development Foundation (Pakistan), & Association for India's Development's Jammu and Kashmir Fund (India).

For further information, please email


  • Farah Shaikh - Kathak Dance)
  • Chhandam -Chitresh Das Dance Company
  • Shalja Patel - Spoken Word
  • Arshad Syed - Santoor
  • Shabi Farooq - Tabla
  • Rita Sahai- Hindustani Vocal
  • Vivek Anand & Ferhan Qureshi - Tabla
  • Kamal Hyder & Nasir Syed - Sitar Duet
  • Ferhan Qureshi -Tabla
  • Domestic Crusaders - Pakistani American Theatre


maisnon: These are my new shoes. I have toe cleavage in them
fellow first year: Cleavage. We talked about that at my meeting this morning.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Some off-handed quips stick with you. A few weeks ago, brimful and I were on our second date. I was loving the lounge, but, being the misanthrope that I often am, complaining that I wanted all the people to leave so that I could chill there with maybe....20 friends. Brimful suggested having my birthday there in Jan., and I suddenly realized I don't have twenty friends in the vicinity.

I found myself counting on my fingers ... and not getting past the ring finger on the first hand. I started adding in work friends, and their SOs/partners, and I realized I was stretching. One of the things I miss most from DC is having a deep and varied pool of friends. Gym friends, coffee buddies, happy hour invitees, former coworkers, designated movie dates, people who used to date my friends, swing kids, etc. etc.

I'm developing my pool slowly here, and that's exactly as it should be. Finding people you vibe with takes a long time. I've started referring to The Star as Number 2 (or as I prefer 0002) in my own version of the employee number game. I'm not going to make it to twenty in time for my 31st (unless I import some from the east coast), but that's okay - maybe something more like a dinner party. :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

55 Fiction Friday: Fibonacci edition

Ah, Friday.

All I ever needed to know, I learned from 6th grade math. Algebra: (positive view) switching perspective yields new answers; (negative view) the more things change, the more they stay the same. Fractions: situations pull you in different directions, each part must perform to the fullest. Prime factorization: distilling life down to its essential elements.

The universe has a sense of humor

...and it's a dark one.

Watching an episode of Six Feet Under (Season 1) on DVD last night. David is quizzing Nate for his upcoming Funeral Director's exam. Nate responds with, "C'mon David, it's not like it's the California Bar."

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I am born again.

Last night, I headed up to the city for a dinner date with ma chere brim at La Provence. We were quickly ushered to a two-top near the windows by the proprieter. I can be a little weird (shock of shocks!) about having my back to an open room, so I asked B if I could sit on the banquette against the wall.

The jovial owner said that they only allowed birthday girls to sit on the inside. B and I responded, just as jokingly, that we were willing to pretend it was our birthday. And that's where the joke grew legs, hopped up on the table, and did the can-can. The couple two tables down from us must have heard some part of the exchange, because they wished me a happy birthday as they left. Our waitress wished me a happy birthday, and brought me dessert with a lit candle in it. (I didn't feel that special: B's beef stew came festooned with a smoldering oregano tree.)

The food was phenomenal, the service very French (i.e. they left us the hell alone.) In the era of "forhereortogo," it's nice to have the time to chat, savor, and digest. The music was tongue-in-cheek ironic: the theme from Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, "Ne me quitte pas" - Nina Simone (I love me some Nina Simone), and one of my current favorites "J'ai deux amours" - Madeleine Peyroux. Loved the soundtrack, but I don't want to hear it three times in a row! The waitress sent me off with even more birthday wishes.

B and I decided that, since everyone seemed in the mood for it, that yesterday was a birthday for me. Maybe my rebirth as a San Franciscan (??) I've always wanted to have a non-winter birthday, and fall is my favorite season, so this works well.

I plan to celebrate it every year.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Resolution 2.0

BE IT SO RESOLVED that maisnon, after careful research, consideration, and thought, agrees to watch ONE (1) movie, film, or motion picture produced, directed and/or distributed by the Indian film industry, informally known as "Bollywood", per month.
maisnon agrees to post her thoughts, reactions, and analysis of said movie on her online web log ("blog"), also on a monthly basis.
Y'all rock the rock rock: my Netflix queue now contains 200 movies, including your recommendations on the Bollywood front. I think my Bollywood pic for Dec. has to be Sholay - a resounding crowd favorite.

Why I love where I work

Conversation this morning in the kitchen:

maisnon: So I saw Jarhead last night
coworker #1: Is that that war movie?
maisnon: More importantly, the one with Jake Gyllenhaal in it
coworker #2: Oh, you mean my boyfriend
maisnon: Bitch, please - the boy is mine!

My review of Jarhead: Please sir, can I have another?

Monday, November 07, 2005


I've always thought of myself as a romantic. You know the saying "scratch the surface of a cynic, and you'll find a romantic"? That's me - or so I had always thought, until I watched this movie. I nearly turned the whole damn thing off after our "hero" whispers something about how the lamp that the heroine had kept burning for 10 (ten!!) years...he too had burned in that lamp. First of all, it doesn't make any damn sense (might be the translation, to be fair), and second...bitch, please!

I finally got the hang of watching a 3 hour Hindi movie - watch it in fast forward! I soon found that if I watched it at 1.5 to 2X, it was all good. Enough time to read the subtitles, and no more being annoyed by the "dramatic pauses."

But I decided that my "romantic side" may truly have died/never existed when my response to the movie was this: SUCK IT UP! [spoiler alert - if you care] When your childhood (and I do mean childhood - since you've been gone for 10 years) sweetheart ends up marrying someone else because you are a gutless wonder, get on with your damn life! Do not turn to drink (with an emphasis on whine) - it's such a freakin' cliche. In short, Devdas - you're a sniveling little shit.


Saturday, November 05, 2005


So. As you may remember, one of my goals post-Bar was to see more movies. Movies ("film" if you're pretentious) have always been important to me. Like so much else, I think in part I crave them because I was not allowed to watch movies when I was young.

Shortly after starting my new job, I signed up for Netflix. Getting movies in the mail is my idea of heaven. After 3 relatively dry years, it has been like water falling on parched earth. In the last 2 weeks, I have seen 10 movies.

In order, I have seen:

Hopefully, I will watch Devdas before the weekend is out.

I will tell you about a small disappointment. My friend Betsy briefly dated an utterly useless guy (we called him Mark, but his name was actually Scott - or the other way around?) Anyway, one of the few things he was useful for is this little story: Betsy parallel parked the car, and asked Mark/Scott if she was in the spot. He replied "Well, we can walk to the curb from here."

Genius!! Unfortunately, that little wry moment has been undercut for me because, as it turns out, that is a line from Annie Hall. Sigh. It's still witty and all, but somehow less so when it is Woody Allen instead of Mark/Scott.

My Netflix queue currently has 148 titles in it. But what it's really yearning for? Your recommendations. I'm not giving you homework, but I'd love to hear a few (or more!) of your favorite movies.

Friday, November 04, 2005

55 Fiction Friday: november

Friday, again.

It doesn’t count if you cry in the shower. With all that water, no one can really tell. It’s the perfect time: you can release all of the frustrations, and petty disappointments before you start your day. What counts is if you can leave it behind, watch it all swirl down the drain and disappear.


Update: Just saw this in PostSecret.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005's cold in here!

Question: how many times can I work the above cheer into conversation?

Answer: more times that you'd believe (and my Halloween dreamteam will back me up on that.) HOWEVER, I'm still having trouble getting people behind "Let's do this, Clovers!" Embarking on a night out, getting ready for a team meeting at work - it suits all occasions!

P.S. - The relative frigidity of the ambient temperature indicates a strong probability of the presence and proximity of Clovers (occasionally, misidentified as Toros) in the immediate environment.


In a continuing series about my relationship with my mother:

My father is the social butterfly, while my mom would be much happier holed up at home watching basketball games and drinking tea. She once described her ideal vacation as getting a hotel room on the beach with the whole family, but to be clear - we would not actually visit the beach. When questioned as to what we would do, my mom suggested that we would all take naps.

I spoke with her this weekend and she kvetched about having to go to an engagement party the next day. I asked her who it was for, and she said "You know - that loud woman?" I responded, "Mrs. Venugopal*?" Now, to be clear - that was the only identifier she gave me. In addition, I've had lunch with Mrs. V once.

I don't know how she's done it, but this is yet another example of how my mother has trained me. I always seem to know what she's talking about, even when given incredibly vague and ambiguous clues. Another example: my mom knows I'm a big movie fan, so she wanted to tell me about a few movies she had seen.

maisnon's mom: You know that one, where he's a lawyer and his client did it ...
maisnon: "Primal Fear"
maisnon's mom: Yes, that was very good. I saw that other one. White lawyer, his client is black...
maisnon: "A Time to Kill, " it was based on a John Grisham novel
maisnon's mom: Very suspenseful.


I think if you've known someone for decades, you start to be able to fill in the mental ellipses. I always want to know a person's stories - their personal constellation of events, people, and experiences. It is my primary way of relating to people. I learn so much from that story about the embarassing thing you did in 7th grade: the way in which it is told, where you pause, what you emphasize, your choice in words and pacing, how you've grafted it into your mental map.

That's how I think of memory, and to some extent, life itself: the most bad-assed linked list ever.

* Names have been changed to protect the loud/innocent. Oh - the party was for her eldest child.