Saturday, December 31, 2005

Lisboa


I say Lisbon
When I arrive from the south and cross the river
And the city opens up as if born from its name
It opens and rises in its nocturnal vastness
In its long shimmering of blue and of river
In its rugged body of hills
...
Lisbon, with its name of being and nonbeing
With its meanders of astonshment, insomnia, and shacks
And its secret theatre sparkle
Its masklike smile of intrigue and complicity
While the wide sea stretches westward
Lisbon swaying like a sailing ship
Lisbon, cruelly built next to its own absence
- Sophie de Mello Bremner

I took this photo in Lisbon (in Portugese, it`s spelled Lisboa and pronounced more like LEASH-boa, but don`t take it from me - my Portguese is somewhere between nonexistent and horrendous.)

I spent last New Year's in Lisbon. The old ladies running our pensão (i.e. pension) in the Alfama exhorted us in sign language to, apparently, wear skimpy clothing and go out and shake our booties. My Portugese is awful, but I'm not half bad at charades. Around 11 pm, we bundled up and headed down to the Praça do Comercio - Lisbon's big square on the water.

They had been building a huge stage in the square for a few days, and mounting enough lights and pyrotechnics for a Pink Floyd show. When we arrived in the square, some Portugese group was totally rocking out. Clearly, the audience knew and loved them. I was amazed by the audience: there were infants in strollers, kids running around, parents, and grandparents. We walked around, weaving between the families and young couples velcroed together (if you didn't know, Europe is the Land of PDA.)

Shortly before midnight, we headed up to the Barrio Alto, on one of Lisbon's seven hills, to a little spot we had found the night before overlooking the square. We played a little elbow hockey along the railing with other people who had had the same idea, and then watched the fireworks in amicable silence. Having been raised in D.C., I wasn't transfixed by the fireworks - but how can I complain? I was in Lisbon!

The Barrio Alto has a thriving bar scene, and we definitely took part. The area is full of narrow, hilly streets, and after midnight - they were thronging with revelers. In one bar, I saw the fado student we'd watched sing in a hole-in-the-wall two nights before. I kept running into the same couple and, after hearing me speak English, they introduced themselves. (They turned out to be an English couple working in Portugal.) We chatted with some guy from Cape Verde who had lots of questions about how Americans see Portugal. (I used to get the analagous quesiton a lot when I lived in Canada.)

Our walk "home" was punctuated by shouts of "Bom Ano!" and we replied with the same.

Bom Ano, y'all!

.........

The photo is a view of the Discoverers` Monument, which is designed to look like a sailing shop from the so-called "Age of Discovery." In the background, you can see the suspension bridge that brought us into and out of Lisbon. The little teeny looking tower next to the bird is actually "Cristo Rei" - the statute of Christ with his arms outstretched (a larger version stands in Rio de Janeiro.)

There was one "Portugese in translation" phrase that I *LOVED*. In our pensão, there was a sign that reminded us that, "Please, you must pay in the moment." When we went for Goan food, the waiter told us the vegetable curry was taking longer because it was "being made in the moment." "In the moment" - how very zen.

Friday, December 30, 2005

55 Fiction Friday: Barfly Edition

Friday, on the East Coast.

The worst part, really, was the look in the bartender’s eye: seeing that he thought you were drunk and needed a little condescension. Worst, because you could not argue the first part, so you just had to accept the second. She shredded her coaster a little as a silent protest, and considered ordering another drink.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Compendium

I started reading blogs and blogging this year. Considering that it's been less than a year, I have met a LOT of bloggers. I started this post as a sorta chronological list of the peeps I've met, but then I thought, "Dude! Boring-est!"

So now, we will have a sort of running narrative about the circumstances under which I met all of these people, followed by an executive summary (in full-on bullet points!)

My first true interaction with the blogging world came at a South Asian Journalists Assoc'n event in NYC. I was supposed to ride up from DC with SJM, A N N A, and Prashant , but alas - it was not to be. Instead, I took the sometimes-sketchy Chinatown bus. SJM was the first person I recognized, and I soon found myself spilling drinks on the Vij and Turbanhead.

Anna and I went on to be fast friends. Through her (and the Mutiny), I met the Madness and Ennis on their respective trips to DC. Anna and I, of course, introduced our guests to Tryst and Amsterdam Falafel.

At this point, law school had finally (FINALLY!) ended and I was gearing up to study for the Bar. I started reading the blogs of people taking the California Bar. In particular, GG's blog introduced me to a lot of other blogs. How I met Heather: very possibly THE funniest thing, blog-related, to happen to me ever!!

Who sat next to me during the Bar exam? That's right - Holohan. Who did I "introduce" myself to (and by "introduce" I mean I told her my blog name and not my actual name)? That's right - GG. Who did I meet in line waiting for the elevator? Chai!

My biggest blog crush, brimful, drove me to the airport when I was flying home after the Bar. We'll always have San Mateo, la brim! Back in DC, Chai, Heather, the fabulous Roonie and I got together one afternoon for Greek food.

And now, for SF: I met my most recent mutineer, Vinod, on a rather bizarre night out, and he's become a fixture in what has turned into a series of "unique" nights out. Happy Shabu Shabu? It must mean that la brim and I are meeting ads and oodles! Did I mention that in all the craziness SJM moved to SF? Well, he did - and he introduced me to my DMD (designated movie date), Roopali. A couple of crazy kids and I met Peppermint Mocha for brunch (8:30 am, bitches!) when she was in town from LA.

I met two more Bar-bloggers, Eve-marie and JM, over the fabulous bread pudding at Tartine.

And last, but certainly not least, back in the D of C for the holidays, I met W to the T. Mmmm, garlic fries washed down with Soco & lime. Poor wt actually had to deal with spirit fingers (but he responded with jazz hands, so he's my boy.)

Who's next? Bring it!

..........

Not-so-executive summary:

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Nautilus

Just to dig it all an' not to wonder
That's just fine
--Van Morrison

I've often thought my life would be a lot easier if I didn't think so much. If I could somehow NOT take every little thing and mull over it, crush it up and perform chemical analyses. Not just easier, I think that I'd be happier. But, there are things you can change and things you can't. At my core, I am a person who thinks too much. I appease myself, sometimes, by thinking that even though my lows are lower as an excessive-thinker, the highs are higher true.

Lately, I've been feeling different sort of neurosis. I feel like what I'm feeling is one degree removed from what it ought to be. For example, getting ready to check my Bar results, I did not feel anxious: I felt anxious about not feeling anxious. If this isn't the apex of thinking too much, I don't know what is. The craziest part is that while I'm thinking "shouldn't I be feeling X?", another part of me is thinking "dude, you know you're wigging, right?"

I may be trying to out-think myself. Things are really, really good right now. I've been living three months in the future for over four years, and now I can just live in this actual moment. This is the first December where I haven't had the scourge of finals. I'm happy and expectant. My anxiety over thinking I should be feeling something else is, I assume, my way of trying to suss out a problem that I feel has to be there.

And, now that I've done my experiments: tracked it through its native habitat, observed it in the wild, and examined its scat, I'm done. I can't stop being an over-thinker all together, but I can stop thinking that I should be somewhere else emotionally. I'm exactly where I need to be right now and, happily, that means I'm joyful.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Last Christmas

Two years ago, I spent Christmas in Granada (the south of Spain.) Granada is a small town. After 3 days, I was recognizing people and stray dogs. I saw our waiter from the teahouse later at a bar. Hiking up to the Alhambra, I recognized a dog that had been hanging around the Plaza Nueva at breakfast. We were staying at this great hostel where we had really hit it off with the manager. In fact, he kept the hostel open over Xmas for us. He took us out with a bunch of his friends to show us the "non-touristico" places etc.

Christmas day: Saj, Roderigo and I sat out on the hostel's front porch reading. The hostel was up in the Albaycin, the old Moorish quarter, so the porch had a phenomenal view: the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop, and then all of Granada. Each of us was wrapped in a blanket. I remember I was reading "Daughter of Fortune" (Isabel Allende.) We had prepared a spread: artichoke hearts, different cheeses, olives (to die for!), marinated mushrooms, bread, and chocolate. Roderigo provided the Cava (sort of like Spanish champagne.) We just sat out all day reading, snacking, and talking when we felt like it.

It was, in my mind, perfect. It's oddly intimate not to talk, to just pass the time with no expectations. We left the next day after awkwardly exchanging presents with Roderigo. We bought him Cava, and he bought us chocolate for the bus trip to Sevilla.

Friday, December 23, 2005

55 Fiction Friday: Cadeau edition

Twas the Friday before Xmas...

Only a seed can match the watchful expectancy of a wrapped present. A feast for the senses: its heft while being shaken, the texture of the wrapping paper, the gentle rustle of ribbon. But most of all, the potential – at this moment, it could be anything. As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Shall we dance?

Let me explain. No, take too long--let me sum up.


I have 3, maybe 4, posts in my head and they are all kind of inter-related. The essential core is formed by volunteering yesterday and the movie Mad Hot Ballroom.

Volunteering: I spent a few hours yesterday reading my favorite kid's application essays. Writing six essays is pretty challenging for a fifth-grader, and I really, really tried to temper my red pen tendencies. I taught him what I call my "law review" rule: when I used to read "scholarly" articles for LR, or when I read legal memos now, after each sentence I ask "Why?" or "So what?" He really bought into it, which thrilled me.

After really making him work, I wanted to point out what I thought he was doing well. I have insecurity about myself as a writer due to some really harsh criticism from various sources, and he's so little. When I launched into how I thought he was a good writer and not to take my suggestions as criticism, he said to me "Um, you know, the person who writes Harry Potter has to pay someone probably thousands of dollars to edit her writing, so I'm lucky I have you." Holy Splenda tm sweetness, Batman!

Mad Hot Ballroom: As some of you know, in another life (i.e. before law school), I used to swing dance twice a week or more. I have a penchant for dance movies (especially what I call the "dance as biting social commentary" movies - Dirty Dancing, Shall We Dance (NOT the version with J.Lo!), Strictly Ballroom, Footloose, Flashdance, et al.) This movie follows three different NYC public schools 5th grade classes as they take mandatory ballroom dancing classes for 10 weeks, culminating in a city-wide competition.

The scenes of kids taking classes (sometimes, hilarious) are interspersed with the kids talking about life in general and their observations on the opposite sex (even more hilarious.) In one scene, three guys are talking about how girls always "think they are the best and think they are the boss of everything." Word - I know guys in their 30s who would totally get behind that statement.

The rounds of the competition are thrilling, but hard to watch - you know that not all of the kids you've been watching can win. Some kids cry, and it's heartbreaking - how difficult it must be to be a parent and send your child out into the world, knowing that they will have their share of failure. It hit home for me because I've had niggling anxiety that the kid I'm working with won't be accepted to any of the schools to which he's applied.

By the end of the movie, you can see how the kids have grown and changed. Plus, it's entertaining to watch kids cheering hysterically over the foxtrot and the rumba. (Speaking of the rumba, check out the clip of Wilson and Elsamelys dancing in the "Clips" section. I literally clapped my hands - the kids have great connection, and they are comfortable enough to "style." Very, very cool.) This movie is a definite recommend - plus, for those heading home for the holidays, you can watch it with your parents without any, um, "uncomfortable scenes" - if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Are you ready for some football?

the Star: I was watching the Colts game.
maisnon (with a wink): Ah, the good old Baltimore Colts
the Star: uh, Indianapolis Colts
Mikey: yeah, but they used to play in Baltimore
the Star: ... so the part where I was laughing at you about not knowing anything about football? It turns out I'm the one who didn't know.
maisnon: yeah, the word is touché.

Réponses

So. The answers I had in mind to yesterday's quiz are:

(1) albeit - This word has always been funny to me so I've never actually written it into anything. Everytime I've tried, I've replaced it with "although." I've said it maybe twice, and started smirking both times. "al-BE-it" It's a ridicular little word, isn't it?

(2) supped - good on ya, Roonie and wt! I could get behind "dined", and I've probably used that word. But supped? It makes me feel all Austen-esque, corset and all.

(3) hare-brained - the joy of homonyms. I think "hare? hair?" and then I imagine someone with hair for brains, and then the Southernism "dumber than a bag of hair."

Some of the answers given were really solid:

Yummy: In The Frog King, a book I really enjoyed, one of the characters complains that the word delicious should never be used in reference to anything but food.

Purrfect: I can see your point here, but I am a cat lover - and a believer in trying to capture the onomatopoeia of words by spelling them out the way I want them said in your head.

Acerbic: Mmm, yes - this word gets a little funny if you roll it around in your mouth a few times.

And, now for the musical segment:

Kinks - I used the word "kinky" and the word "kinks" in the same post - that is weird.

Sweet - "It could be sweet" - Portishead.

Banshees - An Irish messenger of death - I'd for sure use that in a post to describe some Marina chiquitas.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Weekend of Gyllenhaal

Proof of my constancy to the family Gyllenhaal: I recently partook of Moonlight Mile, Secretary, and - just yesterday - Brokeback Mountain. All three movies are yummy, albeit in incredibly different ways.

Friday, I had a date with the ever-fantastic brimful. We supped at the new Garçon. My mini review: great decor and ambience (minus the cackling banshees at the Bar - but that's not the establishment's fault), my drink was - to put it kindly - "not so much", and the food was a little ... uneven. I'll definitely check it out again, it may just need to "settle in."

At the restaurant, I ran my latest hare-brained scheme past my dinner companion: I want to make business cards for nights on the town. I don't mean that the cards would have my contact information (perish the thought!) They would have, um, acerbic observations. For example, for the loud-ass filles at the bar: "No one is impressed with you." I truly dislike people who seem to be playing to an invisible audience.

La brim then took me to her favorite coffee joint, Ritual. I have had long-standing, healthy relationships with coffee shops, and I can see the draw here. Great lighting, plenty of seating, free wireless - it has all the elements. It did, however, produce another card: "Ironic mullet? Not ironic enough."

Saturday I spent hanging out with the Best Friend and watching movies. Mmm....purrfect. Sunday was the big meetup at the Embarcadero Center Cinema. The rest of my team: brimful, SJM, Roop, and ads. Seriously, how sweet is that? As if you weren't already jealous - B baked us holiday treats (which turned into the most awesomest movie snacks evah!) After the movie, we hit the oh-so-hot Dosa - SF's newest addition to the South Indian cuisine scene. Like Garçon, Dosa has a few kinks to work out: dishes didn't come out at the same time, a drink order was flat-out forgotten, etc. But, they make a mean dosa - so all is forgiven. The evening closed out with a visit to Ti Couz. Mmm....Nutella crepes.

Good food, great company, and the oeuvres of the family Gyllenhaal - a fabulous weekend indeed.

.........

Bonus: What three words in this post do I never use, but put in because I find them amusing?

Friday, December 16, 2005

55 Fiction Friday: Tryst edition

Friday - when I long for random hours in the coffeeshop.

As she blew across the surface of the mug, the steam from her cup of tea rose up to curl her bangs. She watched her drop her head back in laughter and then reach forward to touch his hand, a small moment, an intimacy shared. She smiled wryly. How unexpected – her brother, the pick-up artist.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

How do you say?


Update: Thanks to Anonymous commenter, and then others, I now understand the mysteries of the universe. Or, at least, why my statcounter went from 0 to 60.
Here's the cartoon that's blowin' me up with its love.

Also humorous: this blog is the first hit if you Google "mais non" (en anglais).

...........

Since 17 of the last 20 hits on my blog have been people googling "mais non", let me explicate:

Mais = but
non = no

mais non = but no [en français, évidemment]

(Not to be confused with maison - house, or maisnon - i.e., um, me.)

NB: Hello - is it me you're looking for?

CalBar released its model answers for the July '05 exam.

Reading through them, I thought I could identify one of the answers as mine. Later on, I thought another one looked like something I wrote.

Now, I get it: all the answers (or at least the ones I recognized) are written in the "proper BarBri" style - IRAC, plus the little conjunctions, etc. that were used in the BarBri sample essays. 'Here,...' etc.

It's a weird system: the vast majority of Bar-takers do BarBri, so that sort of becomes the standard. It's a rush to be average and, in the words of Natalie Merchant, give 'em what they want. Just as law school has little to nothing to do with the Bar, the Bar has nothing at all to do with the "practice of law."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Movie Review as Haiku

George Clooney with gut,
Sharp, scathing commentary
I say, "Two thumbs up!"

Matrix Revolutions

Directors, take note:
Franchise isn't everything
Just let it drop, please!

Who understands it?
(David Lynch at his weirdest)
Certainly not me

Friday, December 09, 2005

Insurance

Insurance agent: Ma'am, the only way your car insurance rate could be any lower is if you got married.
maisnon: Mom? Is that you?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bring it on home

I planned to go to Oakland for the official Cal Bar swear-in. Speeches, loads of people in suits, grip and grin, parents - the whole 9. I felt unsure about it, though, none of the other first years from our office could make it, no one else from my law school was swearing in there, no friends, no family. In short, I wouldn't know anyone there.

I didn't have to hem and haw about it too much as I had the worst seasonal allergy attack in my recent history that morning. I've always watched Claritin © ads with curiousity: what are itchy, watery eyes? No longer - now, I know them well. Along with the sneezing. My god, the sneezing. I scared the crap out of Gia. At one point, she looked at me as if she thought an alien life form was trying to free itself from my insides through the sneezing. (Truth be told, that was kind of my theory too.) After an hour of thinking "this will pass soon", I was just plain exhausted. I decided to chuck the logisitics of getting to Oakland, the suit, parking, etc. and just go to work.

At work, I remembered that notaries can swear you in - and, how convenient, my secretary is a notary! So, after spending an hour volunteering, I was sworn-in at 3:45 pm with the Star. (And, of course, we were elbowing each other in the ribs/cracking up the whole time.)

On one hand, this final (FINAL) step was very anti-climactic, but on the other, it was just perfect (for me): I was sworn in by someone I know in an environment I'm very comfortable with alongside a friend, giggling the whole time.

..........
If you live in/near SF, may I recommend Tartine? The bread pudding is divine, dah-ling!! And if you are very, very lucky and all the stars align properly - you may be blessed with company as fabulous as JM and Eve-Marie. Actually, nah - that'll never happen.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Main Hoon Na

Getting lost. Being late. Not being able to find parking.

"I'll take what makes maisnon crankypants for $500, Alex."

Saturday night's debut of the Bay area bloggers Bollywood club in Berkeley (how's that for alliteration?!) did not start out well for me - I was all of the above, no thanks to Google Maps. It's never done me wrong before, but I am seriously reconsidering my allegiance.

The ladies were very gracious about my IST-ness. Let's talk about the crew for a moment: Roop, brimful, and ads - the Bollywood recap diva (in her habitat.) My cup runneth over, truly.

On to the monthly Bollywood review (I know I promised Sholay - but that's looking like January): as one of the ladies aptly put it, Main Hoon Na is a weird splicing of The Matrix and Grease. I wonder if they added in the Pakistan/India political action thriller part (1) to make the plot even more precarious, and (2) so they could make full use of the special effects they straight up ripped from the Hong Kong scene. At one point, SRK dips backwards at the knees to avoid bullets, i.e. Neo's signature move.

Overall, the movie is good, cheesy fun. If you can't laugh at acid-washed jeans, pitiable wigs, Trapper-Keepers that coordinate with the skimpy sari of the day, and personal wind systems - what can you laugh at?? Screening it with les filles made it even better - all three had seen it before; ads has broken it down into minute detail AND listened to the director's commentary. Some lines I'm now trying to work into conversation: "double battery, single power" (which I think is a put-down), and "Avoid" (said to someone who is annoying you.)

All this and a slice of Mr. Pestatohead pizza? Good times.

Esquire

I hereby enroll myself as an attorney and counselor at law, promising faithfully to perform all legal duties and comply with the obligations prescribed by the laws of the State of California.

I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of an attorney and counselor at law to the best of my knowledge and ability.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Best Search Hit EVER

Someone reached my blog by searching how to shock people.

I'm so proud.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Boogie Down Productions

Remember how I said that going to the flamenco show was a great night out? Well, I was full of shit - Friday night was really what I needed.

I now have the formula: a great night out to me means meeting new people that I think are fun, funny, and interesting. I invited a whole mess 'o people out, a good chunk of whom I had never met. Americano is a little too financial district for me, but the digs are elegant. The bar area was insanely packed and I started to panic. I don't do well with crowds, and the combination of crowd plus looking for people I didn't know, etc. was too much. Thankfully, no one else had arrived and I staked out some turf on the covered patio.

ads was the first one on the scene. We scurried for the bar (the better to relax, my dear.) Next, we were joined by two guys who have never seen me before in their lives. I was very impressed with the first: it's not every guy who can just walk up to random Indian girls and ask if they are maisnon, while entertaining the bevy of chiquitas that he's gathered along the way. In fact, I was very impressed with the second as well: a DC swing friend had emailed me and passed along his address as a recent transplant. In fact, he moved here from the east coast on Sunday, and still managed to drive all the way up from Sunnyvale. Good on ya!

More of the usual suspects, and the game was on! Hilarious moments:

  • Impressivo Guy #1 and I were exchanging numbers. He gave me his cellphone number, and I called him so he'd have my number. At least, I thought we understood each other. He ended up calling me back....and thinking that I was some chicky from his past. All made funnier because we were speaking on cellphones not three feet apart.
  • Mr. Sunnyvale observed that whole little scene, he was even whispering "Oh no, oh no" under his breath. Good peoples. Shortly thereafter, I tipsily congratulated Impressivo on his passing the Bar by saying "Félicitations!" This is when Mr. Sunnyvale revealed that he is quebecois, from Montreal, and went to McGill, my university's rival school.
  • My favorite line of all time was repeated, and it's STILL hilarious/bizarre: "Are you Chinese? So is my sister-in-law. Her name is Gang Bang Chang, but we call her Ling-Ling - that's Chinese for Yolanda." What. does. it. mean? Just when you don't think it can get any more wrong, it gets wronger!
I had a Sally Field moment when one of the funniest people I know told me that he thought I should do stand-up: you think I'm funny, you really think I'm funny? I think I may have suggested that we do stand-up together in some sort of "Sonny and Cher" format? Wow - Campari & Orange, you are not my friend.

I loved seeing people from different groups interacting with one another, meeting oft-mentioned friends and family... and just seeing where my life can lead. There are people here, too, that make me laugh until it hurts, get worked up about random minutiae, and can dish up an extra large helping of the snark.

I left the city with a smile in my heart.

Friday, December 02, 2005

55 Fiction Friday: Write what you know edition

Friday, in front of the computer

Writer's block – really, it's distilled perfectionism. The odd blankness of mind where usually an entire clock-making factory whirs away. So deserted, in fact, that the thought "Write! Write!" is punctuated by the throb of a pulse. A quick glance out the window brings longing: the whole world out there while I face my expectant cursor.

I believe that children are the future

Oh god, now I have (bad) Whitney in my head - and I have only myself to blame.

Volunteering last night at the Boys and Girls Club was AWESOME! My life as it is right now (and, frankly, for the past few years) is fairly isolated from the young 'uns, and it's nice to spend time with some kids. They are so sweet and eager to share with you. We met with a group of kids who are gearing up to apply to private school. Most of the kids are applying to middle school.

One of the partners gave a little presentation on the process, what the kids should be thinking about and doing, and how we were going to help them. When he asked if there were any questions, one boy shyly raised his hand and with a quavery voice asked,"Um, what are the benefits to going to a private school?" I blurted out, "You're going to do well in the interview." He's what - 10? Later on, when we went around the room asking the kids what schools they were applying to, he said "I'm applying to these three. I want to increase my probability that I'm accepted to one, but I have to stay within 20 miles." I considered telling him that he is more mature than I am. Maybe I could just give him my Adult Card, or something. Really, I just wanted to slip him in my pocket and take him home with me. I think he could probably tell me the meaning of life, or at least help me figure out how to allocate my 401K.

As we all talked, whenever they could the kids tried to share something - it was like they wanted us to know who they are, and to feel closer to them. One of us was talking about asking a coach or someone else who knows you well to write a recommendation, and one kid said, 'Um, I like to play soccer." I think I'm kind of like that, but in my head.

I'm looking forward to spending the next month or so with these kids, and I eagerly anticipate their success.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Get Right with Me


Today is *picture day* here at work. Yes, that's right - the day that puts your face on the interwebs, for all and sundry to mock...I mean, size up your legal prowess with a glance. Because I'm such a rockstar, I had planned to have my hair "done" today. Go me! The salon called to say that my stylist had called in sick. Not go me! They offered to have someone else do it, but I said non, merci. I have a long history of people doing my hair and being just pleased as punch at the results, while I'm on the verge of tears. I have a lot of hair, and this seems to excite a certain percentage of the hairstyling community. I end up with what I call Lionness tm hair. Not so much.

Being a "go-getter", I took matters into my own hands - literally. I headed to the washroom with scissors in hand and trimmed my own bangs. (And took the clippings away in the napkin I had set up for the purpose - screw off, would-be voodoo practioners!) The photogs were super-nice and funny, and I ended up with pics where I did not have my copywritten (so don't copy me) Take the Damn Picture Smile ©. Success!

Today is incredibly, incredibly busy. Actually, let me just say today through about New Year's is incredibly, incredibly busy. This week's coming attractions:

  • More volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club. We are helping some of the kids with their applications to private high schools (with scholarships.) This could make such a huge impact on the students' lives - I'm really psyched about being involved.
  • Happy Hour(ish) tomorrow up in the city. (If you're in the Bay area, and you want an invite - email me.)
  • Bollywood in Berkeley with "ma girls" on Saturday
  • Koffee Klatch with BarBlawgers on Sunday
  • Swearing in to the California Bar

There have been months, and months of angst (tearful and otherwise), so I just want it noted: I'm deeply happy right now. So much of life seems to be complaining; it's nearly impolite to talk about feeling joyful. That ain't right to me - I'm happy and I know it (as the song says.)

P.S. - The pic is a "self-portrait" gone wrong from last New Year's eve in Lisbon - it sums up my current emotional state. :)