Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Taxi ride to hell

brimful's recent misadventure in a cab reminded me of my worst cab ride EVER (and this is saying something: I was once in a cab in Quebec City when the cabbie pulled on to the shoulder of the highway and threw it into reverse for about a 1/2 mile because he'd missed the exit.)

I was in Toronto for a college friend's wedding and stayed in a lovely B&B in Cabbagetown. (If you're ever in the YYZ, I recommend Banting House.) Unfortunately for me, World Youth Day was also in town. World Youth Day is a bit of a misnomer - apparently, it's really when ginormous groups of Catholic kids and 'utes' descend on a city. And then the Pope comes, and everyone is happy. Except those of us who are trying to get to the airport at the same time as the teeming hordes that showed up for World Youth Day.

The proprietors of my B&B suggested hiring a car, and made all the arrangements. When the car arrived, I knew I was screwed - the driver was Pakistani. Because it was a hired car, he knew my first name and felt the need to use it. A lot. As in, "You're very quiet today, [maisnon]" Um, what?! That's something you can say when you actually know someone.

The highlight, though, was this:

Cabbie from Hell: So. What is the meaning of [first name]?
maisnon: (internally: WTF, anyone from the subcontinent knows what it means!)
maisnon: (out loud) It means light
CFH: That's RIGHT!
maisnon (internally: Dude, did you just QUIZ me on the meaning of my own name??)
CFH: So.....are you A LIGHT for anyone??????
maisnon (internally: seethe seethe seethe. I can't believe I'm dealing with cheesy pick-up lines AND I'm paying for the privilege!)

Prior to this incident, I never lied about my marital status. After this incident, I'll admit - I've lied when it seemed the less painful thing to do.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Weekend Update

Cosmopolitan Friday:

Roopali and I headed into the city to attend a "corporate appreciation" night at the SFMOMA. Membership has its privileges, but apparently they don't include food! The lobby had been turned into a party space, with conversation areas, a few bars, and standing-height tables. Once we realized the whole museum was open, we skipped that scene and took to the stairs. Imagine wandering around, checking out the art, occasionally running into coworkers ... all with a dance club beat soundtrack. It was amazing, and a little surreal.

The art I saw was by turns thought-provoking, beautiful, disturbing, and magical. I walked inside a giant kaleidoscope, saw some Frida Kahlo's wedding painting, and pondered a tryptich of giant white canvases.

Harem Saturday:

This was the weekend of Roop, apparently. We headed into the city for dinner to meet up with Roopali's friend, the Cowboy, and some of his friends at Medjool. All together, we were a table of 5 chiquitas and one very secure guy. The decor was nouveau-Maghreb. As everyone promised, the food was a-mah-zing! We shared all kinds of Middle Eastern/Southern-European tapas. There is such an intimacy in sharing food. The conversation was free-wheeling, and needless to say - the Cowboy was the envy of quite a few other diners. Towards the end of our late dinner, Medjool was becoming more club than restaurant (read: the music was very fun, but VERY loud), so we adjourned to Levende Lounge. (I had my birthday party here last week - that post coming soon, promise.)

I've been to Levende three times and had a very different experience every time. This time, the bar was practically empty - as a misanthrope, that was just fine with me. When even the pina colada makes you close one eye, you know that the bartender is a heavy pour. I will say - that is one thing that I have found every time I've been there.

Left at Albquerque Sunday:

In celebration of Chinese New Year, back into the city went I. After many, many wrong turns, I finally found the Muslim parking garage and rendez-voused with SJM. We headed to the Inner Richmond for some dim sum and window shopping. We were in and out of a lot of tiny Chinese "everything" shops. I think I could be obsessed with plates - there were just so many, and in such a variety of colors and designs. I managed to resist by chanting "but I don't really need them." Okay, that didn't work. I ended up promising myself that I'd get them next time. A capacity for self-delusion is a beautiful thing.

I headed home happy, if tired. Kung hei fat choi, y'all

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Thanks, Heather.

Four jobs I have had:

  • All-arounder at The International Centre. I loved this job - I knew every international student on campus!
  • Temp in Judicial chambers, Fairfax County Circuit Court. This is where my interest in "the law" began. I temped here during the summer before my last year of college. I remember thinking, "too bad you have to go to law school to be an attorney - I will never do another degree!"
  • My stint in retail: I worked in a Minnesota Fabrics store (now known as Hancock Fabrics . )
  • software engineer/application developer/etc. etc. - translation: code monkey. This is the illustrious career I had before the harebrained scheme (i.e. to go to law school.)

Four movies I could watch over and over:

Four places I've lived:

Four TV shows I love to watch: (keeping in mind that I don't have a TV)

Four places I've been on vacation:

Four of my favorite foods:

  • sushi
  • Massamun curry
  • soup (comfort food for me)
  • breakfast, generally. I feel like I'm getting away with something when I have breakfast for dinner.

Four places I'd rather be right now:

  • Venice. I've seen quite a few movies that take place and/or have scenes in Venice. Now, I feel a hankerin'.
  • Hawaii. I've never been! Now that I live on the west coast, I think it's much more likely that I'll go.
  • Costa Rica. I had hoped and planned to go to language school in CR, and I will make it happen! I didn't buy Lonely Planet: Costa Rica for nothing!
  • Malaysia. I miss the fam.

Four sites I visit daily:

Four Bloggers I am tagging:

Monday, January 23, 2006

the Mogwai

Based on Saturday night's festivities (more to come), Roop and I just coined a new term.

Gremlin (noun or verb) - that tendency of friends, usually male, to pull abrupt personality shifts from charming/witty/humorous to "not so much" after consuming 3 or more alcoholic drinks.


Dude, after the tequila shot, he pure gremlined and was hitting on every woman in the bar.

He's usually so upbeat and fun to talk to, but he turns into a gremlin and becomes a total conspiracy theorist if he hits the sauce.

Friday, January 20, 2006

55 Fiction Friday: Shopaholic edition

Friday, and I need (retail) therapy.

She flipped through the clothing rack idly. Hmmm, not her style [flip flip] looked cheap {flip flip] too low-rise equals too much information [flip flip] Dear god, pegged pants! [flip flip] Gauchos? Like THAT was a good fashion trend?! [flip flip] Ooh, these were nice…and in her price range. And look, "extra-cranky" – just her size!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

House of Yes

I was intrigued by a review of The Year of Yes , by Maria Dahvana Headley (hat tip to Marginal Revolution):

When Idaho-born Headley, a 20-year-old NYU drama student, laments, "I felt like
I'd dated and then hated every man in Manhattan," she thinks perhaps she's too
critical. So she "decided that I would say yes to every man who asked me out on
a date." It sounds disastrous, even scary, though she chose to exclude the
drunk, the drugged, the violent, and cheating husbands.1

Not to worry, I have no intention of implementing the same strategy in my (non)dating life. I'm more interested in the idea of challenging the definitions I have of "this is what I like/want." I'm still the number one draft pick when it comes to being spontaneous, but I don't think that I have worked outside of my comfort zone as much as I used to. Part of the post-college years is definitely figuring out what you like and setting up rules, but now - I want to challenge them and try things that I say I hate.

I've come up with various ideas to implement this new strategery:

  • Go to a steakhouse. I haven't had beef in .... 17 years. I don't think I can actually eat a steak (it might kill me.) But maybe I can have a little piece of someone else's.
  • Buy a TV. I haven't owned my own, um, ever. My friends jokingly refer to me as a Luddite, and that's at least partially true.
  • Pick a random upcoming concert in a genre I wouldn't usually consider, listen to the artist's music beforehand and go.
  • Hang out in the Marina on a Sunday (soooooo not who I consider my peeps.)
  • Choose a random sport and start taking lessons or playing. (Bowling? Hawaiian outrigger canoe?)

I'm just thinking out blog here, but the basic idea is for me to say 'Yes' more often to things I think that I don't enjoy. Actually, perhaps it is broader than that - maybe it is more like becoming more open to new and (as a friend would say) "different different" experiences.

1Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yo, Alexander - I feel you, dawg.

I have to say, yesterday was pretty much the suck. My secretary didn't remember that it was my birthday, which is a problem because she is in charge of the cake and (more importantly) the email that says, "It is so-and-so's bday, join us for cake." While I'm all about cake (cake!!), the point is that the email alerts everyone you work with to back off a little. No cake, no email means the peeps are not on notice.

At one point during the day, I was in a meeting in my office, being purposefully late for another meeting (this was my last opportunity this week to talk to the person in my office), and keeping an eye on the phone because I hadn't found time to call an attorney in Kansas. When I got out of the second meeting, it was 7 pm. Nice.

The ever-sweet brimful had sent out an eVite update to the peeps doin' it up with me on Saturday with some changes, and noting that it was my birthday. After the email, I received voicemail from two of my closest friends who really should have known better.

I've written and rewritten this part, and I think I have it down to two things: (1) because I'm laid-back about most things, I sometimes feel that people take me for granted and/or I don't end up getting what I want, (2) do not bullshit me.

Example for point (1): I ended a friendship with a woman who refused to eat "ethnic" food. She said that it affected her stomach, and I was sympathetic at first, but I really can't stand having "American" food all the time. If you can eat a burger and fries with impunity, you can find something on a Thai, Indian, Mexican, etc. menu that you can eat without ill effects. Her insistence became emblematic of narrow-mindedness, and the idea that her wishes were more important than mine.

On point (2), I really don't care if a friend forgets my birthday, but don't insult my intelligence by telling me that you "didn't have a chance to catch me at work." If that's actually what happened, you would have just emailed me - like everyone else. Sending me a voicemail after b's announcement is rather telling. This is the second time that this friend has ventured into bullshit, so I'm not feeling very generous.

I feel bad for feeling bad. No one (I know) died. It's not as bad as my 16th birthday (Persian Gulf War, anyone?) It could have been much, much worse - but feeling guilty about feeling bad still feels bad.

Amiga saved me from crying into my Tom Yam: we met at one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Palo Alto. You know how much I love the Thai. Then, the night just got sweeter - brimful and Roopali met me at the Cheesecake Factory for the Cheesecake. A great end to a bad day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

You say it's your birthday

Well, actually, I didn't - I got outted on my very own blog my some supersweeties.

Work is all about warp speed right now. Coupled with my month-long birthday celebrations, I haven't been posting much. Motions, sushi, and the Arc Trainer take preference right now (and in that order.) I've been adventuring and a flurry of posts is building up. Watch this space ;)

Friday, January 13, 2006

55 Fiction Friday: Purple crush edition

Friday the 13th.

She stared at the telephone – her tormenter - practically willing it to talk. She looked at the number scrawled on a matchbook again, as if the digits weren't burned into her brain. Finally, hands thrumming with nerves, she dialed. One ring. Heart racing. Two rings. Palms sweating. Three rings. "Hi, I'm not in right now…

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Recently, I've received shoutouts from some fabulous sources: badmash, curly mcdimple, and wt. Wowzahs. Thanks, y'all - I'm flattered. (And flattery will get you...well, pretty damn far if it at least sounds genuine - to be honest.)

Now I feel like I need to improve "the product", so I'm trying to clean up/revamp the blog a little bit. Did you notice the new Blogroll? Did you notice the Frappr map? Did you notice that I'm trying to remember to respond to comments posted?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Yellow is a mystical experience that we all embody

Ever since I wrote my blow-by-blow post of all of the bloggers I've met in the last year, I've wondered how much my blog reflects me. That may seem like a "who's buried in Grant's tomb" type question - what I mean is that some people develop a blog persona quite different from who they are in real life.

My friend Jeff once gave me a compliment that I really had to chew on: I am always exactly who I am. Because I am that way, and relentlessly so, I didn't really understand it at the time (particularly funny since I was in my mid-to-late twenties at the time.) Now I see it more sharply: people claim interests they don't actually have, dress to suit someone else's idea of fashion, espouse viewpoints they haven't considered, are silent when they'd really rather rail.

Honestly, I don't know how to be different. If you asked me to change one little thing about myself for a week, or even a day, I'd probably fail. I think there is something to be said for being able to dissemble, at least a little bit. (Sidenote: maybe this is why I enjoy Halloween - it's the only time I can get fully behind acting like someone else.) I can't play poker because I telegraph everything that I think on my face. Because I want to be a litigator, I've learned how to stoneface (a little), but still - you always know where you stand with me.

What I'd like to know from those who have met me or know me: am I like my blog? Is my blog like me?

P.S. - the post title comes from absolutely primo graffiti. My other options were "Angelama a.ka. Crackhoe #1 = Love" or "Lydia's 21, bitches."


I can't make this shit up.

the Star: So...I know she likes Sid Vicious
maisnon: Ah, the Sex Pistols.
the Star: Uh, no....he's the lead singer of Bon Jovi!
maisnon: WHAT?! Jon Bon Jovi is the lead singer of Bon Jovi
the Star: No!
maisnon: Uh, yes - Sex Pistols were a punk band, and...
the Star: NO! You're wrong. They're heavy metal!
maisnon: This from a guy who thought Sid Vicious was the lead singer of Bon Jovi?!?
the Star: Wait, name a Sex Pistols song.
maisnon: "God Save the Queen"
the Star: I don't know it
maisnon: It was in "Lost in Translation", when they are at the karoake place *
the Star: Are you sure he's not the guy with the tongue?
maisnon: While I'm sure Sid Vicious, in fact, had a tongue, the guy you're thinking of is Gene Simmons, of Kiss.

* Seriously, is it possible for me to have a conversation with someone and not make a movie reference?!

Friday, January 06, 2006

55 Fiction Friday: Om edition

Friday FRIDAY Friday!

Breathing as a conscious activity: the energy and concentration required to draw air in, hold it briefly, and then carefully push it back out. It was loud and raspy; she was conscious of her chest and abdomen filling with air. She wondered how she'd ever breathed before without thinking.

"Namaste. See you next week."

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I have such a fear of singing. I'd say it approaches phobic levels. I'm not even entirely sure why it is this bad. In part, I'd like to thank my mother. (I program your buttons the better to push them later in life, my dear.) The fifth grade episode: we were doing a musical in school, and I was excited about trying out for a part. My ever-supportive mom told me, "It won't work, they don't like our type of voices." It took me a long, long time to figure out what she was talking about. Also, break me a fucking give! Like if you're desi, you come out warbling carnatically. To quote Tupac, I ain't mad at her...but, seriously - where is the logic?

She hasn't stopped either. Recently, I told her that I downloaded Lata Mangeshkar's Thoda Resham Lagta Hai. When I told her I would burn her a copy, she said she wasn't sure she was familiar with the song. I offered to sing it for her (both of us knew I was NOT serious), and she replied "NO NEED! NO NEED!" Oooh - dissed, by my own MOM! I really need to stop sharing this story with my friends because now "no need, no need" is the favored IM to me.


Defense Counsel

To Every.Male.Friend.I've.Ever.Had:

I understand the tendency towards playing the Devil's Advocate. However, be assured that the Devil is more than adequately represented - his counsel bench is veritably overflowing. Furthermore, I am entirely capable of fleshing out counterargument myself. In the interest of continued friendship, in the future, please consider dropping this line of reasoning.



Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Where was I? Ah yes, continuing my adventures during my week back in D.C. I tried to stick to California time while I was at home (translation: getting up late, and staying up super late.) I could tell that my dad wanted to say something about my late mornings, but what can you really tell your vacationing 30 year-old daughter?

On Thursday, I headed into the city to Straits of Malaya, to have dinner with Sapna. I'm crazy about Malaysian food, I think it is the best in the world - and why wouldn't it be? It's a melange of Chinese, Indian, and Malay-style (i.e. kinda like Indonesian/Thai) cooking. So, so many Malaysian/Singaporean restaurants have the word "Straits" in their name. The food was authentic and made me happy. I would have been happier still if they served roti channai. Finally, we headed to Silver Diner near our (former) law school where I partook in - what else - bread pudding.

Friday, I headed to the Morgue (i.e. Adams Morgan) with Anna for 'our usual' - Tryst, Amsterdam Falafel. One of my favorite moments occured even before the frites: an SUV driver tried to get me to make his life easier by repeatedly insisting that I park on a giant bank of slippery leaves. Not so much, thanks - and I didn't need the hand gestures and angry words. Happy New Year to you too, buddy.

After dropping Anna home, I headed over to my old neck of the woods to see a friend and my goddog. Yes, that's right - when this friend adopted a dog, she called and asked me if I would be willing to be its godmother. This is the same friend who closed our phone conversation setting up this date with "oh yeah, um, I'll be sending out an email, but I wanted you to know - Mike and I are getting married." Yup, that gave me pause. After plenty of treats and petting, friend and I headed to an old haunt: Thai Shirlington. Even though I was in my old stomping grounds, I never went by my old place. I think that I am at peace with the fact that I sold it, and I don't live there anymore, etc. - but I don't really feel like testing to see what it would feel like to see someone else coming out the front door, or checking my old mailbox.

For New Year's Eve, I went to another friend's cozy new condo in Mt. Pleasant. Her parents flew in from St. Louis to check that 'ish out. So, it was a bunch of old friends and a set of very cool desi parents. (Would my dad ever talk about how when he first came to this country, they just passed the bottle of scotch around, no cups? I mean, what is there? Yeah, not bloody likely.)

My last day in town, I went to 4 Sisters with los parentals and LB #1. I'd say that is my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the U.S. (I have a favorite in Canada.) The airport was hell, and the flight wasn't much better. There's no way to make this interesting, so I just won't get into it.

Let's just say - I'm glad to be back.

You say you want a revolution

So. I've flipped and flopped on the topic of posting resolutions. I definitely have ideas as to what I want to work on and do this year. In part, my reticence stems from a recent realization: I used to keep a journal, and my blog is not a good substitute for that. I thought that because I write a post every few days (on par with my journaling) that I was filling that niche. But, that's not really accurate - there are things - particularly, emotions and more personal matters - that I don't address on my blog. Sometimes they involve people that I know read the blog. Sometimes I'm just weirded out by the idea of hashing things out in front of the Internets.

Thus, some of my resolutions will be recorded here, and some will not. My first resolution is to start keeping an actual "KEEP OUT"-style journal again. Next, I'd like to get back to taking photos - I may buy a smaller camera so I am better about taking it around with me. If I get truly crazy with the Cheez Whiz, I'll take a digital photography class. (Although that's half the fun of digital - i.e. the learning curve that comes from instant feedback on "what happens when I do this?")

Number 3: Throughout my 3L year, I wanted to help organize a bone marrow drive targeted at signing up more minorities, and in particular South Asians. I've approached SJM about working on this with me, and I've found a couple of organizations that should be helpful. (SAMAR and AADP.)

I think those are the resolutions that I feel like writing about. I have some more ideas floating around - I haven't actually taken pen to paper to make a list, there's still kind of percolating. I've considered focusing on one resolution a month, or keeping a working list of 5 (and adding a new one if I feel I've completed one on the List 'O Five.) Me thinking too much about resolutions? Quel shocker! I'll probably, as always, just talk about them when they come up.