Wednesday, June 27, 2007


signpost, originally uploaded by maisnon.

Sticks and stones, the saying goes, may break my bones
But, words will never hurt me.

I'm not sure what it is - words, actions, trends, ideas - but everything feels painful right now. I feel like I'm walking around with no skin on.

I do recognize that my response is out of synch with the stimuli, and that it is building towards, or has already, reached hypersensitization.

I need a hard reset. Someone to find and firmly depress the secret hidden spot behind my ear.

But I'm not an iPod/Palm Pilot/other mechanical device, so I must find ways to recalibrate on my own. To this end, July is the month of Me.

The plan is: work, Netflix, library books, gym, and swimming pool. Rinse, lather, and repeat.

Just writing it, I feel a little more serene and I can draw my breath in a little deeper.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

lala land

Santa Monica, originally uploaded by maisnon.

Weekend update, y'all! While it's still the weekend! Wonders will never cease!

So, I went down to LA this weekend. That's right - two weekends in a row out of town.

Saturday Headed down to LA with a coworker. The flight is only an hour long, but, man, we had a great time - to the point where we hushed each other when the giggling got out of control. Unfortunately, that was the most fun part of the travel portion: it took us well over an hour to get our rental car. W.T.F.?!?!

BUT, for a mere $10 more, I got a PT Cruiser convertible. I have a hate-on for PT Cruisers in general - I think they kinda look like hearses, and - for how large they are on the outside - they are pretty small on the inside. I have no complaints with the convertible version as a rental car, however. Fun to drive, had a little kick, and um - CONVERTIBLE! (With weather that made that worthwhile ;)

Coworker and I zipped to the work site and handled the business at hand. When we were leaving, our client said "You used the side streets to get here, RIGHT?!" It was a perfectly LA moment - LA-ites talk about traffic, highways (always "the"), different strategies re: surface streets the way others talk about politics and sports. There is love, understand, and acceptance of the city and its quirks in the discussions of how to get from here to there.

I dropped coworker back at the airport, and attempted to make contact with ILSAE. I met up with her and a gaggle of peoples in Santa Monica at Roy Rogers State Beach. This photo was taken driving back along the 1 (before it turns into the 10.)

We headed back to Claremont, and I promptly fell asleep. I hadn't bargained for how much the sun takes out of you when you're driving around in a convertible. Dinner of sushi at Rumblefish, and then home for a DVD (Everything is Illuminated)

Sunday. Had a lazy brunch at BC Cafe. I managed to leave ILSAE without getting all mopey. Two things, I think, (1) I last saw her in Feb - so it's only been a few months, (2) this is my second weekend of traveling. I'm not sure why - but now, finally, I get that I can go away for a weekend, somewhere 1 or 2 hours away. I've done it two weekends in a row without taking a day off of work, and without totally draining myself of energy. I think the key is to choose someplace within a 2-3 hour flight time.

Some observations:

  • PT Cruiser people have a whole .... brotherhood of the road thing going on. I had a few people driving Cruisers honk at me and wave. Of course, the first time it happened, I thought I was witnessing some LA-style road rage.
  • People are a lot friendlier if you're driving a convertible.
  • I think I could live in LA for a year. I kind of like the idea, even. I feel the same way about NYC - I'd like to live there for some period of time to experience it, but I couldn't see myself living there with any intent to stay.

    This week is going to be C-R-A-Z-Y.

55 Fiction Friday: Better late(nt) than never edition

Friday forgot to hit publish!

He finished the anecdote on just the right note: humorous, dry, and self-deprecating. She hit him with the Princess Diana eyes, mouth involuntarily smiling against the salty rim of her margarita glass. Hmmm, witty and not full of himself – maybe this had more potential than she had thought. The unexpected is so much more interesting.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

well-qualified to represent the ABQ

A tree in an unlikely spot, originally uploaded by maisnon.

This is where the blog entry about my zany weekend in ABQ will go once I find a little more energy/time to actually do some blogging.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

tones of home

View from the GG Bridge, originally uploaded by maisnon.

Flying back from Albquerque, I kept hoping the flight attendant would say it on the intercom, or the captain. I remembered all the moments in the past, innumberable transoceanic flights full of bleary-eyed passengers, or the glorified puddle-jumpers from around the country. I always got a small thrill when it was announced "And if this is your final destination, welcome home."

Floating in above the San Mateo Bridge, no one said it, and it didn't feel quite right. Something tugged at me, and I finally wrapped my sleep-deprived head around it: I do think of the SF-area as home. I feel that small, unique spark. I'm not sure exactly when that happened, but it's here now.

I've been feeling (and have said) that my relationship with San Francisco is a bit of a bad one: I'm in love with it, but it's not always returned. It's been very difficult to connect with people (or, rather, to connect with people who stay around. The vast majority of my peeps have moved, or are moving in the nearish future.)

Still, this is where I want to be. When the parking shuttle arrived back at the lot, the driver put in park, and grinned over his shoulder at all of us, "Welcome HOME!"

Friday, June 15, 2007

wide, open spaces

There's a scene in When Harry Met Sally* where Sally is describing the break-up of her last relationship. She talks about how spontaneous and free they thought their life was, how they could fly off to Rome on a whim. And how one day she came home and said, "The thing is, Joe, we never do fly off to Rome on a moment's notice."

wt has been in Albquerque for nearly a year now. His time is so close to being over that he is keeping a ticker as his away message. And I've been threatening to visit him the whole time. I spoke to him Tuesday and, out of the blue, he said "come this weekend." I opened up my Outlook calendar, looked at the expanse, unmarred yellow space and hit travelocity.

It's not exactly Rome, but I'm off to ABQ soon, soon, soon. And I'm so excited. I forgot what a ridiculous rush of energy I get whenever I travel ANYWHERE. My odd travel rituals: packing list, food in the freezer, gas in the car. Man, there's just something about putting a few items in a bag, zipping it up and heading out the door.

I obviously need to get the hell out of Dodge more often.

* Oddly, this is the second When Harry Met Sally-themed post that I have written recently. Let's all take a moment to be glad I didn't post the other one. It put the "bit" in "bitter"!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

afternoon delight

I knew just what I looked like: sneaking up the backstairs into the office, wet hair escaping its bun, a flush to my cheeks. I even got the raised eyebrow and smirk from the secretary I encountered on my way back to my office.

If only! But, in all honesty, my afternoon hijinks were a pretty close second. I had a swimming lesson at my local neighborhood pool. My pool is INCREDIBLE! It's recently been re-done, and is gorgeous and clean. When I slipped into it, and dunked my head under, I came up thinking, "whoah - salty!" And then I realized - no chlorine smell!!!! Yup, the pool is salt water. No chlorine. I spent an hour in a pool without getting red eyes, feeling like my skin was going to flake off, etc. etc. And it makes you more buoyant (i.e. it makes it easier to swim.)

I bitch about my schedule sometimes (and I will bitch in the future, I'm sure), but I got an hour in the sun on a day when it finally, finally feels like summer. It's a good day.

Monday, June 11, 2007

truth hurts

Ah, Overheard in the Office!

Coworker #1 (holding company's new tech use policy): It says we're not supposed to blog on company time.

Coworker #2: Whatever. It's not like we follow any of their other policies, like doing work and shit.

la lune est libre

beach, originally uploaded by maisnon.

Weekend update, y'all (and in a timely fashion!)

Cocktail party at a partner's house in the city. Much wine = mucho hijinks. As always, I will try to hit the "highlights":

(1) The partner's parents happened to be in town (from the east coast.) There's something wonderful about talking to someone's 83 year-old father and seeing his expressions peek out from his father's face. Also, highly hilarious - when his mom said to me (and another woman), "Okay, girls - let's get serious. Are there any single men at this firm?" As if that wasn't enough, his dad shushed his wife and said, "You don't want to date someone at work!"

(2) One of my (male) coworkers made me arm-wrestle him. This is the second time within a month that I have been called on "feats of strength." I'm not sure what this means, but I am a little weirded out. (And, yes - I did win. Technically.)

I think the key to getting going on the weekends, for me, is leaving the house. I used to go to an 8:30 am Saturday morning yoga class, and that was really great - I came back to the apartment feeling all virtuous and shit. And, after a little basking, I'd start to run through my errands.

This weekend, I forced mysel to get "up and at'em" - I hit Target by 9 am. I made the smallest of dents in my never-ending "to do" list. One of these was to buy a new card reader - so finally, finally - new pics are up on flickr!!! These include my trip down to LA, and my tourtastic tour of SF, as well as a pic I'm really proud of - my collection.

Meetup day! I drove out to Half Moon Bay to meet people I don't know for brunch at Cetrella. Afterwards, we headed to the beach. I have a giant (queen-sized at least) fleece blanket that I keep in the trunk of my car. It loves going to the beach. We played some beach volleyball, and I was surprised how fun it was (although none of us were any good - Karch and Sinjin, you don't have anything to worry about! Yeah. Choosing those two names is a dead giveaway as to when I used to follow beach volleyball)

I hit the cherry stand on my way home, and spent the ride blasting tunes off of my iPod and spitting cherry pits out the window.

The weekend closed off with going to see Paris, Je t'aime at the theater near my house with Hesse. The movie was by turns beautiful, grating, bizarre and touching. It really is a love letter to Paris, but moreso to humanity..

Sunday, June 10, 2007


When you're in an experience, it acts like a bolt of fabric thrown up in the air. The center spins as it gives off yard after yard of cloth. You focus on the action, and the sound.

Later - minutes, hours, days, weeks, sometimes even years - later, you examine it all more carefully: the arm sweeps over the fabric, smoothing it against the table. You bend in closely to see the detail - the themes and threads of conversation carried throughout. Your eye is naturally drawn to details: the small flaws that went unremarked when it all whipped by you, as well as the small embellishments: a particuarly sweet or unexpected gesture.

Sometimes, driving home, I wonder when I'll see the pattern - when I'll understand how this particular piece fits into my life, how it has been affected by things before, and how it inexorably affects what comes after.

Friday, June 08, 2007

55 Fiction Friday: Repub edition

Friday gets some press. (Repost)

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.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

take california

Weekend (well ... Sunday) update, y'all!

I launched a veritable tour-de-force of ... tourism on SF on Sunday. Ah, poor visitors to the area, little do they know that I will use them and abuse them to check out the sights. I picked up my co-pilot, med skool, and we headed up to the Inner Richmond to wander Clement Street and partake of dim sum. Although, I've only been there a handful of times, I really enjoy the neighborhood: the juxtoposition of little Chinese eateries with bars like the Bitter End and Rockit Lounge.

Next, we headed over the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped at the vista point on the other side (along with the majority of the Indian population in the tri-state area) to take pictures. We really had to "batten down the hatches," my hair was whipped into a Gordian knot. But, hey, I got some cool snaps.

We booted around Rt. 1 in Marin, stopping to take pictures, buy cherries from the surliest roadside stand ever, etc. etc. At some point, I evangelized about Amalia Rodrigues being the perfect accompaniment to this drive, so we listened to some fado. Since we hit Marin comparatively late on a Sunday, the traffic was going against us and there weren't as many bicyclists on the road. While eating the cherries, I complained that I'm a lousy spitter and my companion offered to give me a few pointers. I found it charming, and reminiscent of when I was seven and my mother taught me how to blow bubbles with chewing gum. Conclusion: I'm a worse spitter if I think about it too much.

After a few mis-turns (really, more like miscommunication - I thought we were headed to one site, and he thought we were trying to get to another), we parked at Stinson Beach. Beaches in northern California are blustery affairs: more windbreaker and sunglasses than swimsuit. The gigantic fleece blanket in the trunk was, as med skool put it, "clutch." Sprawled out on the sand, we both fell asleep to the sound of the waves coming in. I woke up because the waves suddenly increased in size, changing the rhythm. Also, I was very lightly asleep due to the conditions: out in the open, in public, etc. The nap was refreshing, although for the rest of the day, I kept finding sand in my hair.

Heading back into the city, I couldn't decide where to go: Mission (which I'd prefer) or North Beach (more tourist-y). I managed to get us kind of turned around in Russian Hill, and we finally picked a street to try and reach North Beach. At one point, I saw one of SF's unique "HILL" signs .... and then I noticed tourists snapping pics of the hill. Med skool astutely surmised that we were about to do the twisty part of Lombard - yet another tourist attraction - and, completely unplanned! I was really thrilled to just stumble upon it.

I found the parking garage in North Beach which has fortunes painted behind each car. (I think ours was "You are welcome at any gathering.") We walked around Columbus Street, and ended up having dinner at Michaelangelo's. Thanks to SFist, I knew to check out the new gelato place (HUUGE recommend!) We finished our gelato admiring the window display at City Lights, and ended the evening browing the bookstore.

Hopefully, if I can get my card reader to work(!!!), I will add pics to this post!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

(stevie) wonder

One of my all-time favorite songs (and one that always puts me in a good mood) is Stevie Wonder's birthday song for Martin Luther King. And, somewhat ridiculously, I started humming it to myself when I started writing this post.

Why the Stevie Wonder? Why the new (although very similar) template? That's right - it's been another year! Two years and counting, bitches! (The actual date was on the 30th - but, um, close enough for government work.)

I wanted to write this overarching and meta post about what blogging has meant to me, and the role it plays in my life, but instead I'll focus on some of the challenges. This year I have really questioned why I blog, and - although I haven't come to a definitive answer - I have satisfied myself that it is something that I want to continue doing. Blogging provides me with a community, and oddly continuity that I don't always feel I have in my day-t0-day life. I am close to people whose blogs I started reading when I was studying for the Bar. I talk to some of them online nearly every day. In addition, I have at least one friend from every stage of life that reads the blog (and comments!) (Shoutout to peppermint patty, ILSAE, and sapner!!)

I feel like there are many occasions to take stock of where you are in life, and set goals/aspirations for the future: birthdays, New Year's Eve, even every morning - if that's how you see things. My blogging goal is to put more there there. One of the downsides to having people you know read your blog is hesitating about talking about some of the things that are going on. (Of course, some people write so beautifully when they are elliptical and oblique - that's something I aspire to.) I joke about having three readers, but that's not entirely true (I may be up to FIVE now!) But that's another pressure - who is reading? There have been little ripples of drama, and some people have taken their blogs private. That's something I'd like to avoid.

And so, to another year!