Thursday, May 31, 2007


Long weekend update, y'all! In the interests of not boring my three readers, I will hit just the highlights.

Headed into the city with a coworker for some hijinks. I felt like I was cheating on brimful with her neighborhood (or perhaps I was the other woman - coming between brimful and the Mission.) We ate at La Provence, and then hit Lone Palm, and Double Dutch. And, um, the Skylark. Uh, and then Casanova. (Important note: I'm only able to do the bar crawl thing b/c I'm not much of a drinker - I rarely have more than 2.)

At Casanova, we ran into two guys that coworker knows. (Oddly enough, the second cousin of ANOTHER coworker and his sidekick.) 2nd cousin turns into coworker's wingman, and I end up chatting with Sidekick. Somehow, Sidekick ends up reading my palm. One of the first things he says is: "Um, soooo..... I don't know how to say this, but uh ..... is someone in your family white?"


I quickly set him straight (um, not that there's anything WRONG with having white peeps in the family!) He told me that my fingerprints are whorls and that that trait is strictly Caucasian - Asians do not have that. I pointed out that I'm generally not what people have in mind when they say "Asian." Just so that we don't lose sight of the ball here, he tried to insinuate that I have, um, a "honky in the woodpile." (If you're not familiar with the expression I'm paraphrasing, I'm not 'splainin' it!) And he felt that that was insulting. And he was himself Caucasian.

This convo occurred after he tried to tell me three times that he's older than me. (He's not. And I had to tell him the second and third times that, "Um, well, you weren't older than me 2 minutes ago - so I doubt you are now, either.") Oh, and shortly before I challenged him to a gun show. I was going for "Dude! Why do you keep challenging me on absolutely everything?', but it ended in an actual gun show, judged by the woman standing next to us. (He won....barely.)

In an effort to meet new people, I'm checking out some Meetup groups. On Sunday, I went on a hike with a group titled "Let's go for a hike and maybe take a break if we get tired." How perfect is that? We met up in Portola Valley and the fog was as thick as soup. We kept telling each other that it would burn off once we got going (as we squinted to try and see each other through the mist.) And, it did - the hike was beautiful, and just the right (slow-ass) pace for me. We saw a gorgeous hummingbird (ruby-throated, I think), a newt (salamander?), some banana slugs, etc. I felt a reawakening of my latent bio major. I realize that I'm pretty unfamiliar with the flora and most of the fauna of the Bay area, and I'd like to work on that.

Friday, May 25, 2007

55 Fiction Friday: Beemer edition

Friday is feeling passive-aggressive.

Her anger was choking her, rising up, a lump in her throat. Glancing down, she saw her keys gripped in her fist. She scraped the key along the side of the car, up from the back bumper, over the rear door, then the driver’s. The paint chipped and curled, while the key whined in protest.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007



CAPRICORN (December 21-January 19): The last two years have posed major
emotional challenges. The term Russian novel came up more than once. You didn't
do anything drastic like throw yourself in front of a train, did you? Hopefully
you've learned something (a thing or two about heavy-duty hormones and high
finance) because a new chapter is about to begin.

I read my horoscope as a bit of fun, but I've been finding the person who writes the column for the SF Chronicle to be oddly, oddly on point quite often. So much so, in fact, that it's become a daily habit for me to cut & paste his predictions to a friend of mine.

I really like this one -- and I hope it's accurate. I do feel like the last two years have been a period of major adjustment (i.e. post lawschool, now in the Bay area, etc. etc.) I'm ready for some smooth sailing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

drop the pilot

Weekend update, y'all!

Friday I've had some really weird sleep patterns recently: falling asleep way too early, bizarro dreams. In fact, early last week I finally put something together: I had been having the same dream over and over: that Gia suddenly showed up at the gym one morning while I was working out. The gym is about 1/2 a block from my apartment, and it's entirely possible that she did stroll by during her "adventure." This all added up to me crashing hard-core on Friday.

Saturday I hung out with TBF and her beautiful, beautiful 2 month old daughter (who I could call TBF, version 2.0, but I'll call her Cassie.) She's just at the age when she can smile, and she has started cooing. When she really gets going - with the cooing, the smiling, and - of course - the arm flapping, it's really something to see.

I've gone nerdcore and now carry a little notebook with me. I write down books that I want to read. It's very helpful on my frequent library visits. I've read so many blog posts that mention books, not to mention Daily Show clips, etc. and now I'm capturing all of that information. Mmmm... Type A happy!

Sunday During my craigslist blitz, I found someone who tutors in French and Spanish. How awesome is that? I've been wanting to get my French back into shape, and this sounded just about perfect. (I tried a class at L'Alliance Francaise, but that didn't give me the grammar overhaul that I wanted.) So, Sunday morning I found myself sitting at a sunny table, conversating in French. (All the while surreptiously petting the bichon frise that had so dramatically thrown himself at my feet.) And I liked it. It felt like ... weeding a neglected garden, it was hard going at first but as the minutes ticked by, I felt like I was picking up speed. At this point, I'm still very much thinking in English and translating into French, and there are various and sundry tenses that I'm pretending don't exist. BUT, things should look a lot better by the end of the summer.

In all my post-tutoring excitement, I headed to Borders to pick up a honkin' French-English dictionary. I've been very, very good about my "don't buy books" thing. But, um, while I was in line, I spotted the new Barbara Kingsolver book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. It, um, might have followed me home? Actually, I'm not going to make excuses - I love her books and have read each one that I own multiple times. Totally an investment.

Walking down the street, I saw this beautiful young teenager walking towards me. As she passed me, I realized I knew her. I called her name and we ended up having the most awkward conversation ever:

maisnon: Hey! It's good to see you! It's [maisnon].
Um, do you know who I am? Our parents know each other? We were at
your house in ... October when my parents visisted? My dad went to
Stanford with your dad?

... and the whole time she was sort of looking over my shoulder and just way awkward with me. I realized what it was: she was treating me like a friend of her parents, someone their age. I felt about 9,000 years old.

So, I went home to curl up with a cup of tea and my programs (in this case, The Proposition) and rub the rheumatism out of my bones.

Friday, May 18, 2007

55 Fiction Friday: Politico edition

Friday doesn't want to participate in the political process.

Flipping through the channels, he could feel his blood pressure rise, sense it pulsing behind his eyes. Tancredo salivating at the thought of a Jack Bauer-style torturer. “Mittney” daydreaming of doubling Guantanamo. The Democrats trying to throw their “esteemed colleagues” under the bus. He wished he could fall asleep and wake up after the election.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

bollywood swingin'

maisnon: went and saw Spiderman 3 with Hesse last night. WORST!
sapner: can't decide whether to still go or not
maisnon: don't go! it has some really, really horrendous bollywood-esque moments
sapner: really?
maisnon: which i'm even LESS okay with when they are portrayed by Tobey Maguire. There is a scene where he kinda re-enacts Saturday Night Fever or something. So he is walking the streets kind of strutting, and giving people the double gun thing at waist level
sapner: oh lord.
maisnon: and dancing ... and I was waiting for 15 male backup dancers to jump out. They’d be dressed in jumpsuits - maybe hot pink and blue or something.
sapner: any women dancing in the rain wearing chiffon?
maisnon: No - but lots of women dangling and screaming. Which could be subbed for the whole woman with hand to mouth during fight sequence thing.
sapner: I think they don't have fight sequences anymore. Like, dacoits are completely missing from bollywood now
maisnon: yeah - that's true, i'm thinking old school.
sapner: my all time favorite is when the intrepid hero takes his leave of his lady love and while speaking refers to the possibility that he might go down fighting and her hand goes to HIS mouth as if to force the words back in...
sapner: copious tears
sapner: and then hero holding her hand
sapner: and being even more macho
sapner: i cringe when i type it
sapner: i have a meeting to go to now
sapner: but will leave on that note
sapner: i may go down fighting though...

maisnon: no no.... don't say it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I had quite the harrowing weekend. I will just fast forward to the harrowingest bit: I came home around 1:30 am Saturday night (really, Sunday morning) to find the apartment freezing cold. When I had left the house at noon, the day had been gorgeous - so I left the windows open and headed out.

I ran around closing the windows, not even noticing that I hadn't been greeted at the door by my furry, feline friend. I didn't notice until I got to the sliding door to the balcony. Which was open about 6 inches. Oh shit. Oh shit, indeed.

I spent a long time standing in front of the door, looking at the yawning gap and trying to simultaneously not freak out and figure out the best course of action. Usually, I'm all about the "next steps", but the only thing I could think to do was go to bed and hope that she would come home on her own. I didn't even know how long she had been gone. I left the door ajar as it was and went to bed.

Lying there, half heartbroken, I tried to tell myself that even if she didn't come back, that maybe somehow it would be a good thing. It would be easier to get an apartment, for example. Just thinking that cued a slideshow of her cutest, sweetest moments. I've had her in my life for six years now. Then, I thought about all of the awful things that could happen: the outdoor cats I had seen not 1/2 a block away, dogs, traffic, eating something poisonous, simply not being able to find her way home.

I am a light sleeper generally, but the little yip I thought I heard at 4:15 am was infinitesimally small. A squeak, even. Hearing it, though, I thought why not check. I opened the bedroom door and there she was padding through the living room, coming up to me to weave around my ankles. She was cold, cold, cold but none the worse for her little "adventure."

I'm not sure I can say the same for myself.

Friday, May 11, 2007

55 Fiction Friday: "If you think I'm cute, you should see my auntie!" edition

Friday does not have baby fever, thankyouverymuch!

You sleep restlessly yet deeply. A hundred different thoughts and emotions pass fleetingly over your face. You fling one arm up in a “black power” salute – such militancy for a 6 week old! With your downy hair tickling my nose, I kiss the top of your head the heat from your skin warming my lips.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

it's about forgiveness

In my office, over a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream cake, a coworker and I had a rambling conversation, at times pragmatic and at times emotional. The topic: can someone overcome a major, offensive faux-pas? (Think: Don Imus.)

I started off by saying that Imus hit a variant of the "male apology."* The words "male apology" were barely out of my mouth when my (male) coworker said "Ah yes - 'I'm sorry you're upset'!" It unnerved me that he knew exactly what I was talking about without any elaboration. The variations I was thinking of were "I'm sorry I got caught" (aka "the cheater's version") or "I'm sorry this is negatively affecting me" (which fits Imus to a T.) All variations take no responsibility for the speaker's role in the situation. More than that, they express little or no interest in learning how or why the speaker's actions have resulted in this situation.

So, what am I looking for in a sincere apology? First, I'm looking for the apologizer to take responsibility for their part. I'm not saying they have to take all the blame (My mother's passive-aggressive tactic which makes me see red! "Fine, fine - it's all my fault!") Also, it's not enough to claim to take responsibility without manifesting an understanding of your role. ("I own up to my mistakes.") And, second, some basic contrition - some understanding that your words, actions, failures to act caused someone else pain, or unhappiness, or a long, cold, wait in the rain. Whatever.

It's not so hard really: take responsibility, say you're sorry and mean it.

* - It's called the "male apology" because guys use it more often. BUT, I'm not averse to using it where circumstances require.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mary J. Wanna

Or, yet again, why I love working here.

I can't have plants at home (Gia is quite the greenery eater - and there are a lot of plants that are toxic to cats. Not a good combination.) I make up for it by having quite a few in my office. A coworker was in my office checking out the ones in the window. I told her that they were rootbound and that I need to repot them.

Then, my coworker and I cracked up and kept talking about buying POTs really loudly, practically screaming into the hallway every time we said "buy some POT!!!!" And cracking up some more.

Good times, good times.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


In April, I surreptiously set myself a goal: blog every day. In May, I went public (well, blog-public) with my goal of doing 30 minutes of cardio every day. (So far, so good - by the way.) I am enjoying this incremental approach to change. Maybe oddly - it's much easier for me to do something every day than it is for me to do it three times a week.

I've started reading a lot of "personal development"/"life coaching" type blogs. Recently, I came across a post on zen habits that very much describes my new approach to incorporating good/better habits into my life.

I've taken it to heart, and I'm setting monthly goals: small things I can do every day, habits my "ideal self" would have. For example, my goal in January is to start taking a photograph a day. I really enjoy snapping shots, and I think the discipline of taking a photo a day would up my skeelz. August's goal is to start a medititation practice. I have no goal in December because that time is crazy enough - I need a month to just maintain.

I have one month "open" on the Calendar of Habits. So, I turn it over to you - what habits would you like to incorporate into your life?

Monday, May 07, 2007


Weekend update, y'all!

Friday Went for drinks with the Sweetest Boy in All the Land (waay too long, we'll call him The Sweet.) Somehow, we forgot that Cinco de Mayo was impending (this was Quatre de Mayo.) So maybe a Mexican restaurant was a bad choice. The conversation was really free-ranging, including therapy, whether or not we want to have kids (um, not with each other!), etc. etc.

Saturday Errands from hell. I did a good bit of cleaning, and tackled some errands I had been putting off for a million years. It's amazing how great crossing off the oldest items in your to-do list feels!

Sunday My friend-who-needs-a-blogname just moved here from DC!! I'm so thrilled! However, she moved to the Marina. (I wish that sentence could read "And" instead of "However.") I don't much care for that neighborhood. I told my friend that I didn't feel comfortable there, and she thought I meant personal safety. Not at all. I've described it as a little slice of LA in SF (Roonie put it better than me: Bev Hills.) I feel like people are much more interested in what you're wearing and what you look like than they are in the other parts of SF. In the Mission, by contrast, I think you could be walking a llama and people wouldn't bat an eye.

We ate at Home, and then wandered Union Street. I introduced her to Lush, but I think she was a little freaked out by it. We stopped in a bunch of boutiques that sell things you can't possibly use at prices you can't possibly afford. (As we were leaving one of them, the proprietor was wrapping a purchase for a customer and said "The ribbon is hand-tied in Paris!" The customer responded "Hand-tied! In Paris! Good to know!" I managed not to laugh until I left, and I'm pretty impressed with myself for it.)

Did I mention the weather? Well, it was hot, burning, HOTT! I don't really do hot, and frankly SF doesn't really either. It was ridiculously hot, by SF-standards and everyone was out in full effect. Along the water, there was a woman in a bikini getting some sun. (I guess, considering SF's weather, you must make hay while the sun shines.) I'm pretty whine-y when I'm hot, so we retreated to the comforts of Sephora. Ah, Sephora - I feel a little girlier every time I visit you.

Biggest news: I set myself a deadline: by Sept. 1, I'm moving to SF.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

mirror mirror

(1) My dentist (jokingly) offered to beat someone up for me;
(2) My personal trainer asked me if I've ever been to a strip club;
(3) The sweetest boy in all the land (never an unkind word about anyone) told me that he thinks we are incredibly similar.

The first two statements had some, um, context (but not enough to remove the 'stun' factor.) The last, I could blame on his mango margarita - but I don't think it's quite that. He followed up with, "Well, or you say the things I want to say."

Ah yes, THAT.

Recent events have caused me to re-examine how I come off at first impression. I've heard the word "intimidating" more often than I'd like to admit. At the same time, when I meet someone new and they end up telling me that I am HILARIOUS, I cringe on the inside. That means that in my nervousness and insecurity, I have shifted into crazed stand-up comic mode. I can be really funny, but when you're getting all "A-game" material, it's because I'm uncomfortable.

Where is the middle ground? To what extent are any of us truly ourselves when meeting people? I wish it weren't so hard.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Le Nez

During college, one day we were all in the cafeteria and a friend of mine told me that I had (and I quote) "a nice nose for an Indian." FOR AN INDIAN???? I should probably also mention that said friend was most assuredly not Indian. I was so offended, I blustered. (Ah, the anger and indignation of youth!)

But years (and years) later, after much observation, I have to admit - Katie, you TOTALLY had a point.

Friday, May 04, 2007

55 Fiction Friday: Printemps edition

Friday contemplates spring cleaning:

A cluttered house equals a cluttered mind.

Surveying the chaos, she thought, “Well, Mom got at least ONE thing right!” Did it work the OTHER way? By organizing and cleaning your space, could you tame your brain? She gathered up her cleaning supplies, determined to find out.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

More than Meets the Eye

Partner: I was just saying that there's such a difference between Federal and state court. Federal court is just .... a cut above. You walk in and you can just tell - it's professional, a little intimidating, etc.

maisnon: So, it's like Transformers v. Gobots, then?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hon. Snark T. Snarkerson

It's not good when the judge is inspired to go all free verse on you.


Keystone Media International, LLC v. David B. Hancock

BE IT REMEMBERED on the 25th day of April 2007 the Court reviewed the file in the above-styled cause, and specifically the defendant Hancock's Motion for Protection filed April 23, 2001, and after reading it a second time to make sure it was not a practical joke, the Court enters the following:

Stallions can drink water from a creek without a ripple;
The lawyers in this case must have a bottle with a nipple.

Babies learn to walk by scooting and falling;
These lawyers practice law by simply mauling

Each other and the judge, but this must end soon
(Maybe facing off with six shooters at noon?)

Surely lawyers who practice in federal court can take
A deposition with a judge's order, for goodness sake.

First, the arguments about taking the deposition at all,
And now this - establishing their experience to be small.

So, let me tell you both and be abundantly clear:
If you can't work this without me, I will be near.

There will be a hearing with pablum to eat
And a very cool cell where you can meet


IT IS ORDERED that the Motion to Dismiss is DISMISSED.

SIGNED this 25th day of April 2007

/s/Sam Sparks

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Snippet: automotive

Curling up on the sofa post-workout, I feel my muscles pop and twitch, like the engine of a car recently turned off - settling to rest.