C'est un blague.

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  • Saturday, April 30, 2005


    That is, bona fide occupational qualification...

    On Friday, I was up on the Hill visiting some friends/colleagues to update them on a few changes in my life, most notably that I am leaving my job next month. I hadn't seen several of them in a while, and it had been even longer since they had seen me with my hair down and blown out to its full length. My hair is literally half way down my back, which is the longest it has been since I was a little kiddle (as my mother would say).

    Anyway, one of my colleagues in the office of one of the senators representing Hawai`i exclaimed at how long it had gotten and that my hair was almost long enough to do hula dance!

    I laughed and told her that the length of my hair wasn't the only thing keeping me from being able to perform the hula.

    Friday, April 29, 2005


    I wonder how long tragedies taint words? How long did it take people to disassociate "Pearl Harbor" from the shock and horror of the attack? Will the numbers 9-11 forever be imbued with desperate sadness and loss? And what about "tsunami"?

    I wrote this haiku about 7 years ago when I was working in Manhattan. I think it captures exactly what the subway commute up and down the East side is like... but because I use the word "tsunami", does that belittle the tragic loss of life and tremendous suffering last year in South Asia?

    Lex line morning ride,
    ebb and flow of human tide.
    Each stop: tsunami.

    (this was originally imposed on the Hokusai print "The Great Wave at Kanagawa" from the series "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji")

    Thursday, April 28, 2005


    I wanna be in like. It's been soooo long since I've had a crush on someone.

    But there's hope 'cuz there's someone I could maybe maybe -- we'll see -- have a crush on. It's building... kinda like when you have to sneeze. It could go away or it could build and build until the tension is so high that...


    I miss the flirting, the excitement, the anticipation, the electricity.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2005


    Thigs I collect actively:
    * masks from all over the world (mostly bought by me or a friend in-country, rather than on eBay or something)
    * campaign buttons and other political memorabilia from Asian American elected officials
    * state quarters
    * countries (see here)

    Things I collect passively:
    * postcards from around the world
    * books signed by the authors (e.g., Hillary Clinton, Joe Trippi, Helen Zia)
    * things decorated with dragonflies
    * silverware liberated from airlines (by others, of course)

    Things I have a collection of through no directed nor concerted effort of my own (just worked out that way... honest!):
    * dustbunnies
    * black shoes/boots
    * textiles from my various travels
    * swag from LexisNexis & Westlaw

    Gotta be a grown-up tomorrow

    And, by that, I mean that I have to be in a suit with makeup and my hair done, coherent, articulate and ON time for a meeting in the Capitol at 9:00. I don't do mornings, so this is rough for me. Poor me. Anyway, I try to save as much time as possible in the morning to sleep as late as possible by planning the night before what I'm going to wear. (red suit? black with pearls?) Which shoes? Heels that I can walk in... and then there's my hair.

    My hair can be a pain to "do" in the morning. If I plan to blow-dry all two feet of it, it takes time. So I'll wear it up -- I look more like a grown-up with it up anyway -- which is much easier to do when wet because the hair can be wound against itself to stay in place. That saves at least 20 minutes. Phew!

    See? This is fine-tuning the timing, just like a pit crew in long distance race. The all-important goal is, of course, allowing myself to sleep in as long as possible.

    Just thinking about it, I'm already tired. This just takes too much energy! And I plan on working at a firm this summer? This may be the deal-breaker which sends me back to the non-profit sector!

    Staying on message

    Over the past few days, I've seen a number of interviews with White House spokespeople on issues such as Social Security, the John Bolton nomination to the United Nations and gas prices -- and ya' know what? They've been incredibly consistent and on-message: Republicans good, Democrats bad.

    I know it's important to keep the issues simple so that we the American public can understand them, but this kind of political potshot free-for-all just can't be healthy for the policy debate.

    And the Democrats really stink at this game too. I don't know if utimately that's a good or bad thing.

    A step in the right direction

    This in from Virginia, the Old Dominion and capital of the Confederacy:

    "The Virginia Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the state must provide new birth certificates for children born in Virginia and adopted by gay couples in other states."

    Not there, not close -- but a step in the right direction...

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Law, blah, blawg...

    Yup, blogging in class. I bring my computer to this class for two reasons: when the prof gets on a roll, he speaks much too quickly to handwrite notes; and also because frankly, I need a distraction during class when it gets painful. I guess I'm so used to multi-tasking that the irrelevant tangents this class takes leave me wanting to be productive, even if on completely trivial and inconsequential stuff. I know I should be paying attention... I am paying for this after all. I may end up paying for it on the final, but I have to tell you: this class is excrutiating. Tortuous and tortious, too.

    This is my last class of the semester, and the sad thing is that it was such a disappointment, especially after I had looked forward to it so much. The prof really makes a tremendous difference in the worth of the class. Dry, dry stuff can be transformed, and interesting stuff may be petrified as deadly dull.

    What a note to finish this semester on. Sad, eh?

    Which got me thinking...

    When you see these names, what is your first impression -- female or male?



    I was ahead of my time

    This website is too cool.

    My mom pretty much rode the curve of her name, but my dad was behind his time. My one brother doesn't even make the curve, although an alternate spelling of his name peaked around the year he was born.

    And who knew that "Claire" or "Clair" was/is also a boy's name? Huh.


    You Are 33 Years Old


    Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.
    13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.
    20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.
    30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!
    40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

    The "ick" factor

    When it comes to inter-racial relationships, I do not experience the "ick" factor, that unquantifiable but visceral recoiling in disgust. When it comes to gay relationships, I do not experience the "ick" factor. When it comes to May-December relationships, I do not experience the "ick" factor. So perhaps, that's why I reject such discrimination -- because I don't have a deeply personal revulsion to the relationships -- and conversely, perhaps that's why some people are so dogmatic and vitriolic about their views: the "ick" factor.

    However, there is one marriage situation where I do experience the "ick" factor: consanguineous or first-cousin marriages. The research says that there is no real public health reason to prohibit marriage between first cousins in a heterogeneous society, and in fact, twenty-some states allow it. So, arguably, there is no rational basis to prohibit such marriages. However, there's still that "ick" factor... I get icky when I think of first cousin couples. And that gives me at least some insight into where those who object to gay marriage are coming from (assuming that the "ick" factor is part of the reason).

    Therefore, absent a good reason other than that gut reaction -- and even though I don't like it -- I guess I would have to agree that consanguineous marriages must be permissible to avoid the hypocrisy of my supporting gay marriage. I don't have to like it or do it, but unless I can present a rational, cohert and intellectually consistent argument why first cousins should not be permitted to marry but gay couples should, I can't object.

    But I'm still not comfortable with it... so I need to think this through a bit more.

    Monday, April 25, 2005

    Just my luck

    The cover of Time Magazine when I was born features Nixon and Rockefeller and "the race for the GOP nomination".

    Oh goodie.

    Remember, it's not about politics; it's about people

    I don't have heroes, but if I did, this guy would probably be on my short list. How he handles himself as a father, a man and an elected official in this situation is truly deserving of respect and admiration.

    As partially recounted by Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Littwin:
    After Teck spoke, Tapia moved to the microphone. He didn't want to. He said the fact that his son is gay is no one's business.

    But when the issue is on the floor and someone is calling your son an abomination, the state's business becomes your business. And in an intensely personal way.

    "Senator Teck," he would say, "I know you're proud of your sons. And I'm proud of my son. But until you have that in your family . . . don't be talking about an abomination because I don't believe that's true."

    Later, he would say why he was moved to go public.

    "This is hard. I have never talked about it before. But I wanted to let people know they should look very deeply inside of themselves and ask what if their child came up to them, unexpectedly, and told them he was gay - which is what happened to me.

    "My son was 20 years old, and I had no preconceived idea he was gay . . . I grew up in a strong Catholic background. We were told that being gay was not an acceptable way of life. After the initial shock, which was about five minutes, I told him I loved him, that he's my son and it's unconditional love.

    "I wanted him to know he was choosing a difficult life, that he would be discriminated against - just the topic we were talking about today. He's Hispanic, but that pales against the discrimination when you're gay.

    "He told me, 'I'm not choosing. That's who I am.' "

    Tapia did make a choice. He embraced his son that day 10 years ago. And he embraced him again with his speech Wednesday on the Senate floor.

    Oh deer

    Went out to the 'burbs yesterday to have dinner with the family to celebrate my dad's birthday. (Happy B-day, Dad!) Dad and my stopmom live in an area that my friends in high school used to consider... shall we say ... um, er... the sticks (only in somewhat more graphic and less polite language).

    To illustrate, the previous owners of the house had sheep on the land to keep the grass short; a number of folks in the area used to (still do?) own horses; and there are no street lights. I don't think there are even lines on the sides of the main road. It was considered somewhat bucolic.

    Now, all the farms have been sold, the trees cut and houses are popping EVERYWHERE. None of the old landmarks are the same, and I even missed a turn (a few years ago) because there were houses at an intersection where there had been none previously. I am concerned that the infrastructure cannot support such a population explosion. Part of the area is a bird sanctuary, so the roads cannot be widened (which is fine by me). But formerly rustic roads can't possibly take all the commuting traffic, and I know that the municipal sewage/water system didn't used to extend out there... maybe it does now?

    But with all the suburban sprawl, I wonder what is going to happen to the animals...? In a one-mile stretch between my dad's and mom's houses, I saw eleven deer. In the daylight. In yards. Looking for food. All the construction has drastically reduced the woods, and I guess they have no place to go. I'm not making any comments on human v. animal habitats, but I can only think this rapid, rapid growth will have more consequences than displacing the deer.

    Or maybe I'm just pining for the green of my youth?

    Saturday, April 23, 2005

    Had to

    Saw this on divine angst and had to do it:

    Your Linguistic Profile:

    65% General American English

    30% Yankee

    5% Dixie

    0% Midwestern

    0% Upper Midwestern

    I'm surprised at the Dixie since I am SUCH an east coast girl, wardrobe dominated by black and all.

    This is it...!

    The last classes I (ever?) take in law school. Although there were a few classes I KNEW I wanted to take and I was constrained by the schedule (some of the classes I would have liked to have taken aren't offered in the fall), it was very difficult to fill in and finalize this registration schedule. I hope I get all my first choices, but I figure that, as a fourth year student, I have GOT to FINALLY be a priority for the school, right? If nothing else, they may just want to get me out! I have to take a few day classes, but I think I should be able to still find work that will accommodate this schedule:

    Employment Discrimination
    Family Law
    Tax Treatment of Charities
    Truth, Falsehood and the Law

    Phew, that decision done, I now have no more legitimate mechanisms for procrastinating doing my outlining... but wait! There's a pile of laundry over there! Hmmm...

    Thursday, April 21, 2005

    Fabulous news!

    CNN reports that Connecticut approves same-sex civil unions

    Wow, that is so very cool.

    And a Republican governor signed the bill.

    Wow. Wow. Wow.

    My prediction...

    The next "must have" popular color for women's purses will be lively green.

    Red is out. But that won't stop me!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    And I'm not the only one who thinks so...

    That Tom DeLay is well... read for yourself from Law Dork and Raw Law (thanks to Divine Angst for the links).

    I just don't understand how anyone can continue to defend this guy without feeling like a complete hypocrite.

    As one of his constituents said:
    "He is an embarrassment to our district," said protester Patricia Baig, a 57-year-old retired school teacher from Missouri City, Texas. "He doesn't represent his district, and it is time for him to do the honorable thing and resign."
    But then again, if we're relying on Tom DeLay to be honorable, maybe we're in for quite a wait...

    Who knew that babies blogged?

    I guess everyone is doing it!

    Okay, okay, maybe not babies... but this blog caught my eye, mainly because of the Japan reference.

    When I lived in Japan -- oh, a few years ago -- social norms were firmly entrenched in 1950s (applying my ethnocentric American standards, that is). Looks like times they are a changing! Maybe this will help pull their birthrates up to replacement level.

    Free stuff

    So, who doesn't like free stuff every once in a while? That's one of the ways that iTunes keeps us all coming back again and again.

    But did ya' know that there are hundreds and hundreds and, really, hundreds of free songs to be downloaded from Amazon? Go to Amazon and find the music tab, either on the top navigation bar or under the search list in the box on the left. Once you're on the music page, one of the links on the navigation bar on the top should say "free downloads."

    It's mostly indie music, but you might find some stuff which appeals. Be creative in how you search -- use the artist, the song name and misspellings of each. I've found a few songs that I couldn't get off of iTunes.

    Yay, that's a happy thing!

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Things I don't know anything about

    Like the new Pope. Like his experiences during Nazi Germany and whatever participation he may or may not have had in the Hilter youth organization.

    I don't know anything about that, but Eric Muller does. And he blogs about it -- and why he thinks it's important that there be no fudging of the history. Interesting stuff. Clearly, curiosity about about the nascent pontiff is high. Reports are that several books written by him are on the Amazon bestseller list.

    The only thing I know about the Pope is that his pre-papal name -- Joseph Ratzinger -- reminds me of the actor who played Cliffy Clavin on "Cheers".

    Big surprise

    Rove: White House 'strongly' behind DeLay

    Shocking! (detect my sarcasm?)

    Where were you when?

    Today being the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, maybe it's worth pause to remember how fleeting a moment can be unless it is preserved... how fleeting a life can be unless it is remembered.

    Where were you when (you heard)...
    * The Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed?
    * President Reagan was shot?
    * The Challenger shuttle exploded?
    * The Columbia shuttle disintegrated?
    * John Lennon was shot?
    * The World Trade Center was first hit on September 11th?

    (JFK's and MLK's assassinations are not on this list because I cannot answer those questions personally)

    Why is it that it is the tragedies tend to stop time so that we remember "that moment when..."? Because they are the ones that shock the system?

    So, how about this?
    * Where were you when the Red Sox broke the curse and won the World Series?

    "Honor killing in Honolulu threatens race war"

    Now, THAT headline will get attention. Unfortunately, this story is something about which I know very little. I caught only the tail end of it on PBS -- not enough to form an opinion -- so I definitely need to read more... plus, I'd be interested in seeing how PBS told the story. They are usually really good.

    I haven't thoroughly perused the website, but I did notice that it has a Teachers' Guide for interactive learning. That's really cool.

    Sunday, April 17, 2005


    Just heard on the news that the Washington Nationals have unveiled their mascot -- an eagle in a Nationals jersey (and here's the kicker) named "Screech."

    I guess that's supposed to reference the noise an eagle makes (???) but all I can think of is that annoying character from Saved By the Bell.

    Doesn't make me want to screech but rather cringe.

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    Seeing the Nationals... or the Senators... or... ?

    Went to see the home opener of the Washington Nationals -- the first time DC has had major league baseball in more than thirty years. It was a gorgeous night and a fabulous excuse to eat junk food. The crowd was primed, and the stadium was sold out. And, bonus, the Nats won!! They lead the division for now (we'll see how long that lasts). I was really touched to see the "passing of the torch" when several of players from the Senators took the field before they brought out the Nats. I missed the first pitch by the President and wasn't a bit sorry about that. (I heard he was "boo-ed" though.)

    But what was the most thrilling part? Castilla's homerun in the sixth or his triple in the fourth? Or maybe the snappy double-play to end the third (?) inning? The history-making game as the first sell-out ever for night baseball in DC (and baseball back in town after 34 years)?

    Or maybe it was getting to shake Senator Lieberman's hand? Or sharing a conspiratorial nod with a somewhat in cognito Senator Jeffords?

    We may have gone to see the Nats, but we also saw the senators. These are the celebrities in DC, and I am definitely a beltway geek.

    Fun, fun, fun!!!

    And, oh, there was the Tim Russert sighting.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    The cool kids

    Oooh, I'm jealous... I wanna be part of this "in-crowd".

    Sports Illustrated survey on homosexuality and sports

    This just in? The survey results are interesting. Even more interesting that SI would do such a survey.

    Question #24:
    It is a sin to engage in homosexual behavior
    agree: 44%
    disagree: 48%

    Question #36:
    It is a sin to engage in homosexual behavior
    agree: 44%
    disagree: 46%

    I guess the 12 questions separating these identical (or am I missing something?) questions pushed that 2% to abstention while the 44% are stalwarts.

    Hmm... I'd like to know more about the methodology and sampling...

    Liberal guilt

    I just filed my tax return. I'm getting money back. A substantial amount. On the one hand, I think taxes should be higher to pay for more government services. I even yelled at a friend that his refund was too big (and I think he found it to be a turn-on that I felt so strongly that his taxes are too low)... On the other hand, I'm also happy to be getting a chunk of change back. I need the cash.

    If I weren't able to rationalize this refund by the fact that I'm a student, I would really feel guilty.


    How the heck did this happen?

    You know how some things just sneak up on you? Well this is one of those things that should NOT have snuck up on me but somehow it did. I just figured out that I only need 9 credits to graduate... GRADUATE.

    Holy cow. How did this happen? It's not like I haven't known that I am in my third year... it's just that I never knew how many credits it takes to finish. I guess it always seemed so very far off. But it's not.

    But, but, but... There are still so many classes that I wanna take. Don't get me wrong: I don't want to spend more time or money in law school. I am ready to be done (in terms of my energy level and finances), but mentally I'm not there yet.

    Me? A newbie lawyer? Who-da' thunk it?

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    This made me laugh

    Blogthings sez:

    You May Be a Bit Histrionic ...

    Dramatic and over the top, you crave attention.
    And you'll do anything it takes to get noticed.
    You love to be seductive, even when it's inappropriate.

    If you're ignored, you're easily hurt ... and act out even more!


    Friday, April 08, 2005

    Things I have too many of...

    Voila! I'm actually admitting it!

    I have too many:
    red purses/bags
    black shoes
    piles of paper lying around my apartment
    clothes that no longer fit
    things that I'm holding onto to sell on eBay
    dust bunnies
    plastic containers from take-out Chinese
    plastic bags which I plan to recycle
    law school books, notes, other assorted crap from my classes
    plastic cutlery that I refuse to throw out because they're reusable
    hot pink jackets

    Things I need more of:
    (and, oh yeah, cash)

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    Cherry blossoms!

    Ah... they're so beautiful!
    Ah-choo... they make me sneeze!

    PHOTO: Lindsay G. McCullough - washingtonpost.com

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Black tie = spending green

    I have a black tie event tomorrow. I am not all that excited about it. I guess I'm jaded. I usually go to at least four such dinners a year, and unlike my male co-workers, unfortunately I cannot continue to wear the same thing over and over.

    Sounds like gender discrimination that women can't appear in the same dress each time while men just pull out their tuxes, eh?

    But, ya' see, I've tried. I've tried wearing the same thing over and over. I bought this cute -- and here's the operative part -- REALLY CHEAP long dress a few years ago. It cost me something like $35, and I wore it to this same dinner last year, another annual dinner in May and a convention gala. I have now spent more money to get it dry cleaned than to purchase it, and I've definitely gotten my mileage out of it. Not only is it comfy and elegant enough to be appropriate for these shindigs (and let's not forget cheap), but it was also a style that suited my figure and my self-image. For all these reasons, it is a great dress.

    However, since I can't wear that dress again to this dinner, I had to buy something else for tomorrow night. I have several long, elegant black skirts, so I thought I'd just get a nice blouse or jacket to wear with one of them. I have several black tops that would have been just fine, but I wanted to wear a bit o' color -- well, because I like wearing color.

    My criteria: comfy, attractive and relatively cheap. So I tried on all of these tops and found one I liked. Amazingly enough, it also made me look like I had a waistline (definitely an optical illusion). So I bought it. It fit the bill for fit, color and comfort, and it wasn't too expensive (although, since I'm such a bargain hound, I paid more for this relatively cheap top than I did for the designer skirt that I may wear with it).

    So what's my problem?

    I realized that this top -- elegant though it is -- is the kind of blouse that an "older woman" would wear. Some might say "sophisticated" but I think the style is something that women who are in their 40s or 50s or older tend to love, not someone youthful like me (keeping in mind that I look 10 years younger than I am). But of course, I AM that age, despite the any self-delusions to the contrary, and I guess, well I am just having a hard time pushing my self-image from a young-looking 30-something to... my age. Certainly, I don't have an issue with my age per se (despite the prodding from my grandmother to get married), but because I lead a single life without responsibilities to anyone but myself, my self image has not gotten any older even though I have. So I sorta kinda need to reconcile my image with my age.

    This is why I'll probably be getting rid of all my short skirts. A while ago, I realized that they just don't suit me anymore (clue #1). One of those makeover shows advises "no miniskirts after 35"... and while I generally don't buy into fashion rules so much, I am starting to realize that I have to present an image in accordance with my age, at least in the workplace (and this event is work-related).


    The top will look nice, but it and I are definitely out of the realm of "cute" (even though I never liked that word anyway).

    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    The good, the bad and the ugly

    So, my earlier experience in "open mouth, insert foot" today taught me a coupla' things:

    Good: other people are reading my blog
    Bad: what I write is generally not interesting enough for comments
    Ugly: unless I offend someone

    Tonight, dinner will either consist of crow or the egg left over on my face!

    News from the weird

    Gawd, this is probably most people's worst nightmare. I hope, at least, that he was stuck on the way to and not from the delivery.

    Physician, heal thyself

    ... or blogger, shut up!

    LOL. Joke is on me. I failed to notice that Rox Populi listed her co-conpirators on her site... which included the aforesaid "blogger who takes himself too seriously".

    I'm the one who was punk'd...! Hmmm, I had better talk less and pay more attention.

    Just notches up even further my respect for the crew. Well done!

    A bit o' history

    How often do you get to participate in something really historic... ya' know, the kind of event whose tickets/program or whatever you can sell on eBay down the line? Inaugurations, premieres...

    I get to participate in something historic next week, and I'm actually kinda excited about. It's the first time ever for the Washington Nationals to play a regular season game at home.

    Go Nats!

    Sometimes bloggers take themselves too seriously

    Michelle Malkin, well-known right wingnut, has a blog from which she spews bile. No, I'm not going to link it. I have no desire to be that closely associated with her. However, someone posted a very clever -- and realistically believable for both design and content -- parody of her site.

    Unfortunately for another blogger, who failed to remember that the internet is pretty much a free for all for all who want 15 seconds of attention or wickedly funny satirists, he thought he had garnered the spotlight -- a reference from the poisonous Ms. Malkin. Never mind the URL with the "april_fools" file location or that the site says "Michelle Maklin". Oops.

    Deviously genius. And just in case you weren't paying attention... the clues were there.


    Blogs gone mainstream...

    I guess it's all over for the anti-establishment bloggers... dreams of cool and cutting edge, thumbing noses at the print media and all that.

    When the local bar association starts writing about you, then you are officially mainstream.

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    I think I watch too much TV

    Top ten TV shows... okay, just TV shows with the numbers 1-10 in them:

    1. One Day at a Time
    2. My Two Dads; Two and a Half Men; Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place;Two of a Kind
    3. Three's Company
    5. Party of Five
    6. Six Million Dollar Man; Six Feet Under
    7. 7th Heaven; The Magnificent Seven
    8. Eight is Enough; Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
    9. Deep Space 9; 9 to 5
    10. Hang 10

    Not to mention... Beverly Hills 90210; 60 Minutes; 21 Jump Street; Adam 12; 24; 700 Club; 20/20... Can't think of a #4.

    So much for serious law school-esque intellectual pursuits (ain't no such thing in this blogspace!).

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