Tuesday, December 31, 2002

more directness
so it turns out that he's not bringing his ex-girlfriend to the party. he's bringing this girl he has been seeing since around thanksgiving, shortly after he hooked up with me that first time. if it had ended there, it would have been fine. but the fact is he hooked up with me again and i had no idea he was seeing this other person and was into her. i have been dicked over, disrespected, treated as less than human, flat out lied to, and hurt. and he knows it, though i don't think he really understands exactly what he has done. and the thing is, i feel dirty because i was unknowingly complicit as a third. i never thought i would be in that situation.

i guess in the end, this isn't all that surprising. he is going to be a lawyer one day, after all.

Monday, December 30, 2002

things i'm going to miss, in no particular order
1.) drinking coffee, reading the paper and having the breakfast specials at veselka
2.) standing at the end of my street and seeing all the lights strung from the stores
3.) walking down the street with my head flung back and my mouth wide open, looking at the tall buildings and lights
4.) mcsorley's old ale house and tommy, who always gets me a table
5.) you
6.) the subway, even though it smells and never runs right and the workers almost striked
7.) 24-hour delis, even though my waistline might be better off
8.) the nyu taekwondo team (the page is horribly out of date)
9.) my itty bitty car
9a.) driving on the right side of the road
9b.) cars with steering wheels on the left side of the car
9c.) driving
10.) being able to call friends at any moment; the time difference will be prohibitive
11.) 110V current
12.) my dsl connection
13.) mom's cooking
14.) paquito's burritos
15.) the new season of the dead zone, a television show
16.) working
17.) my apartment, or having an apartment; little miss from short hills is living in a hostel for a few weeks
18.) my cell phone
19.) being within driving distance of camp glen spey
20.) the kids i tutor for citysquash, the most kick-ass squash/enrichment program in nyc
21.) we are scientists shows
22.) eastern standard time
23.) north longitude
24.) american journalism

things i'm not going to miss, in no particular order
1.) homework and all nighters
2.) american self-righteousness
3.) george w. bush
4.) my baggage, and i mean that in the figurative sense
5.) my family...ok, just my brothers
6.) dog shit on the sidewalks
7.) the lack of view ... i'll be just blocks from the beach
8.) american accents
9.) american guinness
10.) the cost of living in nyc
11.) mice in my apartment
12.) winter
13.) paper money -- money down under is made out of plastic, no joke
14.) crowded subways
15.) pushy crowds
16.) radio stations -- why do they all suck in nyc?
17.) paying the electricity bill
18.) american journalism

my statement of purpose
it only seems logical to go to the roots of my new zealand expedition. where did this all start?, the more curious may ask. some of you may not ask because you either don't care or already know. so i guess you can skip the rest of this entry.

in may, i got the opportunity to travel to australia and new zealand during the short break between spring semester and summer session. a friend of mine who i have known since i was 14 or so, her mom, virginia, works for the girl scout council of bergen county. i actually met my friend at girl scout camp. anyhow, virginia's husband is a travel agent and two years ago, he organized a trip to china for people affiliated with the council, or people who were invited by people affiliated with the council. this year, the trip was to australia and new zealand and because my parents failed to take me to asia over the winter break, they agreed to finance my voyage down under. so off little spoiled i went with alanna and a group of senior citizens, save some who merely qualified as middle-aged.

first of all, the trip was a wonderful vacation after an incredibly stressful semester of being broken in as a journalist and reporter. maybe my mindset was conducive to me being swept away by another culture or country. but that's what happened. i found australia to be laid back like a small town but sophisticated and cosmopolitan, almost like new york. my theory is that it comes from the significance of tourism to their economy. the influx of foreigners makes people more aware of the world as compared with, say, your ho-dunk farmer from iowa. the aussies, though, were super nice and friendly and interested and interesting. and the price of a night of hard-core drinking in sydney wouldn't even buy me three drinks in new york city.

and off we went to new zealand.

for whatever reason, the people i met in new zealand were not as universally friendly as in australia, although there were a few notable exceptions. but the scenery was GORGEOUS. the fiords and mountains and oceans...it was amazing.

and then i had no more clean underwear, my suitcase was full of souvenirs, and i was ready to come home, and come home i did, to a very busy, frantic summer. the entire time, i dreamed of australia and new zealand (and m****...) and i started browsing the internet. i thought about beginning the emigration process and going to university there to become a teacher and then teach there, because teaching has always been a desire of mine, but i thought that was kind of drastic. and then i found adventure education, which offers a 18-week course that in scuba diving, kayaking, whitewater rafting and ropes. except for the scuba, i either have done or want to do all of those! (i went scuba diving on the great barrier reef and it kind of made me nauseous. doesn't bode well.) and since i never studied abroad, and this seemed a good way to figure out if i want to emigrate to new zealand (or australia), and avoid the real working world some more.

so off i'm going.

now mind you, this semester, as i've been facing the reality of actually moving to new zealand for five months, i've definitely gotten off the emigration kick. new york city is still the awesomest place in the world and i've met far more interesting and varied people here than anywhere else. (though they aren't always nicer.) and i've spent significant time and energy and effort and emotional investment in making wonderful friends in the states and it seems a shame to leave them. and since all of us emigrating over there seems sort of unlikely, i'm pretty sure i'll be coming back to the states, though nyc isn't necessarily where i'll end up.

part the second
there's more. i have been emailing with an old camp counselor of mine, someone i met when i was nine years old or so. and she's been incredibly encouraging, especially as anxiety has set in. and i wrote to her: I think most, if not all, of my adventurous spirit comes from my experiences at camp. Camp taught me to go out and learn and experience new things. It taught me to bite the bullet even when scared because it's not going to hurt that much if I fall.

i've been going to or working at this camp nearly all the way through since the summer after fourth grade; the place is really important to be me because of the place and the people i met there have been crucial in making me the person i am today, most of which i am happy with. my confidence, my adventurous spirit, my belief that i can do just about anything, my appreciation for the outdoors, my belief that there actually are good people out there (though this belief has been tested recently) and on and on.

and there is a song, perfect for acoustic guitar and campfires, that a counselor from the camp wrote (her name was lefty and the year was 1976, i think). it's called "on the loose" and i want to share the lyrics here with you as part of this entry because it perfectly embodies the yearning in me for travel, adventure, and friendship.

on the loose
have you ever seen the sunrise
turn the sky completely red?
have you slept beneath the moon and stars
a pine bough for your head?
do you sit and talk with friends
though not a word is ever said?
then you’re just like me and you’ve been on the loose

on the loose to climb a mountain
on the loose where I am free
on the loose to live my life
the way I think my life should be
for I’ve only got a moment
and the whole world yet to see
I’ll be looking for tomorrow on the loose

there’s a trail that I’ll be hiking
just to see where it might go
many places yet to visit
many people yet to know
so in following my dreams
I will live and I will grow
on a trail that’s waiting out there on the loose

so in search of love and laughter
I am traveling cross this land
never sure of where I’m going
for I haven’t any plans
so in time when you are ready
come and join me take my hand
and together we’ll share life out on the loose

Sunday, December 29, 2002

out of the murky waters
there comes a time, i think we all experience once in a while, when we wake up and realize we have been walking around, living life in a fog. getting confused about things, not making rational, healthy and sane decisions as we once were. i had that moment tonight. i have realized that for the last four months i have been living in a fog, a fog of drinking and boys and i have no idea what else. i lost all sense of what was important and valuable to me, of what was truth and what was not. i made decisions not based on universal truth and goodness but on irrationality and emotion and, sometimes, lust. while i feel as if i have wasted the last four months of my life, i know that in an instant i can change all that and strive to be back where i was. it doesn't take much; just a realization and a word.

in less oblique terms, i mean God. i have been living a very sinful and decadent semester, riding high on my own laurels and trusting in earthly things. whereas i know the truth and the truth is light and good and unconditional love of a kind that we rarely show each other. where i once considered God and Godly things in my rationale, they have been lost as of late. and boys and friends got in the way, mostly boys. this realization doesn't make the boy factor less painful, but it does make it bearable and hopeful. because the straight truth is this: a guy i kind of liked, at least i thought i liked and pursued pretty seriously, may be coming to a new year's eve party -- he's flying in from pittsburgh -- that a mutual friend of ours is throwing. i think this boy is coming with his ex-girlfriend. i think, and my friends concur, that this is bad form. i think it's completely disrespectful of me and my feelings, but mostly of me as a human being he has been fooling around with. who at one point i thought was into me, was giving all the signals that led me and my friends who witnessed it to believe this. yes it's true that i'm leaving the country for five months, that i came on kind of strong and his puny 22-year-old self can't handle me. that i may have been kind of intense. but irregardless, inherently and objectively speaking, bringing his ex-girlfriend to a party i rsvp'ed for two weeks before he did, via evite, when he originally wasn't even going to go is just BAD FORM. BAD FORM DUDE.

tomorrow i will call him and tell him, instead of just through an oblique email. because only good comes out of honest communication, in the end. and i will ask him if my hunch is accurate. and if it is, i will tell him that this is hurtful to me, that i will do my best to be a good person, better than he is obviously capable of being, but no guarantees because this is hurtful and we will all be drinking as it is a new year's celebration. while i would have loved to take the low road and bump him and harass him and tell her everything, i won't, because i have seen the light again and the light is Good.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

last night i tagged along with a friend who was going out with a bunch of pals from high school. they were partying to send off one of the gang who was a marine and is shipping out to iraq tomorrow. just met the guy but bought him a drink. because he's protecting our country. sure, i may not agree with bush and his policy and his warmongering. but the guy was just some skinny kid from westchester who is going to bust his ass out there. and the least i could do was buy him a drink.

really lets me put things in perspective, too. who cares about dopey 22 year old guys who don't know what they're doing with chicks and who are pretty bad in bed. who cares about my anxiety over going to new zealand. really. perspective, folks.

I NEED TO PACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is much too much packing that needs to go on. Pack up my NYC apartment; pack up my house in NJ for my parents are moving AGAIN for the 2nd time in 8 months or something; pack bags to go to New Zealand. And I tell you, the coordination of this is very difficult.

On an unrelated note, I hate people who stand right outside the front door of my apartment building and smoke because I only live on the third floor. I hate the smell of filtered cigarettes -- filtered as in through a wall. Blech.

Happy New Year, everyone! Perhaps I will turn into a pumpkin at midnight and all this will go away.

Friday, December 27, 2002

cloned baby?
The Raelians claim they have cloned a baby that has been brought to term and been born, as reported in this ny times article.

Religious Sect Says It Will Announce the First Cloned Baby

A religious sect that contends that space travelers created the human race by cloning themselves said yesterday that it would announce today that the first cloned human baby had been born.

A representative of the group, the Raƫlians, said the announcement would be made at a news conference in Florida by Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, who directs a Bahamian company formed to clone humans and is scientific director of the sect. Dr. Boisselier's spokeswoman, Nadine Gary, would give out little information but said the baby had been born by Caesarean section and was a clone of the woman who gave birth to her. Neither mother nor child will be at the news conference "for medical reasons," Ms. Gary said.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

it's real
looking at my visa, i realize it's real. i'm doing it. wow.

Monday, December 23, 2002

I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

she says, as she wipes the nervous sweat off her brow.
with compliments, they said, on the note included inside.
for-fucking-finally. i'm such a slacker.
i guess i'm going. no backing out...here we go...geronimoooooooooooooooooooo!!!

am i nuts?
from my best friend in response to the above question:

You are totally nuts...but not at all in a bad way. Here's my impression: you're the most intense, passionate person I know...and that's awesome...that's a huge part of what makes you who you are. Because of that, when you like someone, you REALLY like them. (The reverse is also true...think V. H.) You move way faster than they do, and you throw yourself into a relationship with a whole lot more intensity than they do. It's almost like you're speaking different languages, or different dialects, at least. So what happens is that they're moving all slow and just hanging around to see how things play out, but you tend to put gobs and gobs of meaning into everything they do (or don't do). The answer: you need someone just as passionate as you. None of this is bad, it's just the way it is.

Someday, you're going to find someone who loves you a lot. Probably not as much as I love you ( ;) ), but still a lot. :)


Sunday, December 22, 2002

i dreamt last night that i had a huge party, even bigger than my going away party. and famous people were there, like britney spears, who i was friendly with even tho' i don't care for her. when her music came on, we all danced and yelled and had joy and mirth. but when a justin timberlake song came on, everyone booed and said, change it! and justin was over there, i could see him through the people swirling around me, and he looked hurt and dismayed and sad. kind of odd. b/c i'd much rather get on justin timberlake's good side than britney's, if i had to choose.
i had a realization today while talking with a friend that i want to share with you. this is kind of emotional, but please indulge me. eh, you already are if you are visiting this site.

the last day or two i've been doing a lot better in terms of having my emotions under control, a little more rational (not for long), just closing the new york chapter, ready to start the new zealand chapter, perhaps to reopen the new york chapter a few months from now. before then, however, i was clinging to my new york chapter with everything, not realizing that people don't necessarily think like i. so while i was trying fiercely to have everyone i know be everywhere at every moment, i didn't see how other people could not be like that. i'm not being greedy or selfish or clingy or anything. well, maybe a little clingy. but i feel like my time is so short i just want everyone there all the time. can you understand that? does this make any sense?

Ethiopia has one of the world's largest populations infected with H.I.V. and AIDS. The number of AIDS orphans in Ethiopia is estimated at a million, most of whom end up living on the streets.

''This is the most devastating pandemic to sweep the earth for many centuries,'' says Dr. Mark Rosenberg, executive director of the Atlanta-based Task Force for Child Survival and Development. He compares the moral imperative to stop the epidemic in Africa, Asia and South America to the era of the Holocaust and imagines that future generations will ask, ''What did you do to help?''

from the nytimes magazine article: What Will Become of Africa's AIDS Orphans?
hip and cultured
went to see baz luhrmann's production of la boheme tonight.
1.) opera makes me sleepy but cultured.
2.) i have never seen a broadway show so soon after it's opening. it opened on dec. 8. my friend and i got our tickets a few days ago.
i liked it. i think opera sort of grows on you but it wasn't so bad.

in other news, i played squash today for the first time! ha! i wasn't that bad, all things considered, but i did have to play in my socks because i didn't have "white soled shoes" and i totally bit it. ha! i think i hit my head on the ground too. haven't fallen like that in ages. since i started taekwondo...hmm, i sense a theme here. it was fun. i love those kids.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

memo to you:
new york city (EST) is at Greenwich Mean Time - 5 hours
new zealand is at GMT + 13 hours

in other words, new zealand is six hours earlier, but the next day. e.g. if it's noon on monday in new york, it's six a.m. in new zealand, but on tuesday. get it? got it? good.

Friday, December 20, 2002

thankfully we're strangers
i am such a head case. i am surprised i have any friends because did i tell you that i am such a head case?! i have intense feelings and then for a moment i don't have them so then i doubt my feelings. i feel guilty about having feelings, about having bad feelings, as if i should make them stop. with a switch. i have feelings that incapacitate me. the worst part about it is i am having all those feelings right now.

he is so near. just 40 blocks south, 5 blocks west. so near, so far. he is done. i want to hug him and congratulate him. i fear he tires of me. it doesn't even matter because i'm going away. but for that reason i want every moment possible. but he says that is not possible because there are others tonight who are more important. and i understand that. but it sucks. so i'm at work and i can't write but that's what they pay me to do so what am i doing at work?

and last night i went out with the Oher, the one i have been interested in from the first moment near the water cooler in august. i'm not sure he is even into girls. but even with alcohol and four months of growing desire, i couldn't because he is the Oher which means there is a not-Oher who i am more devoted to in some sick, i'm about to leave the country for five months and we barely know each other and you're rejecting me even though i don't think you want to, kind of way.

i'm such a head case.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

an email never sent
I have had a lot of thoughts going through my head, and a lot of different emotions. It's not so much that I'm suppressing them, I think now, but that I'm experiencing a lot of them, and don't know how to digest them and deal with them. I doubt and wonder a lot. A LOT. And I often try to rationalize and explain away things, but that doesn't always work, because I'm still left with feelings. I think too much. Sometimes I need to see not just the safety net before I jump off a cliff, but also the backup net, the emergency crew, and all my friends and loved ones standing there, gazing up at me, hoping and expecting the best for me.
not to be confused with C.S. Lewis' Four Loves
there are different ways we feel affirmed, i have been told, and you are probably aware of. some feel loved when they are served, when people do little or big favors for them. some are loved through gifts, big or small. i feel loved when i am touched. so when you consider physical intimacy in the context of romance, i'm doubly screwed.

i will never, ever be the type of person who can just say, eh, it's just physical, it's just fun. this doesn't mean anything, tomorrow i'll kick him out and never see him again. yes, i have done it, in situations i know are totally safe (i.e. off the continental 48). but when i try to do it with someone i may potentially be interested in, it totally screws me up. yet i always seem to do it when i'm about to leave. i don't know if i'm just trying to recreate a safe situation where i can't fall in love, or where it won't get serious, or what. all i know is i hurt inside. there's this dull ache. it's familiar to me. i've had it before. and i hate it. why can't i just embrace it? because i hate it.
twice in two days now i have shed tears over leaving. i have to confess it's not just about leaving america, but it's related to people. i always do this to myself. i think i like being miserable. at least my actions seem to indicate that as truth.

get smart or something. arts & letters daily has been revived, has been for some time now. check it out.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

finally, again
mailed off my passport to the n.z. embassy in washington, dc, for my visa, again. i hope i got it right this time. take good care of it, usps.

oh god they're trying to kill me. the renovations next door are almost done but they're waxing the new wood floors and the fumes are seeping into my apartment and are slowly killing off my brain cells. and after all the drinking i've been doing, i don't really have many to spare, oh my.
an emotional fit
my party was just downright amazing. i had so much fun, and i think a lot of other people did too. although it did turn into a big makeout fest for a lot of different people, including my 18-year-old cousin. on the one hand, leaving for new zealand is making me really emotional. on the other, i think i'm shutting down some feelings, not really letting them happen, lest it get too out of control. like it did for a moment last night. i had a fit. i cried and cried and cried. yes, a specific incidence started it, but i cried and cried and cried like i haven't cried in a long time. but that is what i get for the decisions i make. i seriously complicated my life, very recently. and i should have accepted it. but it's amazing the way something that would otherwise be shameful is redeemed by a little fondness, a little "like". i hate games. i wish people would just be honest. i wish we could all just sit down and say, hey, this is TRUTH. but i know for me, insecurity makes me reluctant to extend myself. i need someone to stand there with open arms before i will step out and say, yes, i like you. but again, there's the befuddlement so do i really want to step out? urgh.
i couldn't figure out why there were large green stains on my sheets, the sheets i slept on saturday night. i just realized tonight they were from me! yes, everyone wrote on me with a green sharpie and the oils in my skin made the marker kind of run and be unpermanent. and they ended up rubbing off onto my white sheets. tee hee.

in more important news, i spoke with a representative from the n.z. embassy in our nation's capital and as long as i get all the paperwork in the overnight mail by wednesday, all should be good. so i can go after all. although right now i'm having a bit of an emotional fit over going. but i can't not go, not because of the adventure and life experiences and money paid i'd be missing out on. but because...i don't know...

this is getting far too emotional for this blog. bye.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

hey thanks everyone for coming to my party. i'm so glad you came to party with me and celebrate and just be with me. i was kind of frazzled, so i didn't get to pay enough attention to any one person that i would have liked but i will hold all who attended in a fond, warm place in my heart. and i'll invite you to my return party! i like to party.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

i didn't get my visa. i fucked it up. need a couple more documents. but it's kind of getting down to the wire. have to call one of the officers on monday.

Friday, December 13, 2002

my party is tomorrow. it is at the red cafe on 35th street in manhattan. there is an open bar from 10pm to 2am. i know a lot of people aren't reading this, so i will say this: my parents are paying. $30 a head. so anyone who walks through the door my parents have to fork over $30 for. if i had known that, i certainly would have invited fewer people, but my dad is into it. and so is my mom. they want to give their daughter something in return for the prestige of being able to say they have a daughter with a master's degree. ok, it's a bit more than that because they do love me and am proud of me but fundamentally in that asian way there's the prestige thing.

i'm not saying this to whine or brag. i just want to take another moment and thank my parents. they will never read this, but you guys will know just how generous they are. because how do you think i'm getting to new zealand? it ain't by flapping my arms really hard. five months of living -- including a month total of traveling before and after my course -- will all be funded by my direct genetic predecessors. so thanks. very much.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

a moment
i'd just like to take this time and space to say, also, that i realize there is a greater world out there. the post reports today that the u.s. suspects iraq gave al qaeda vx agent. maybe, maybe not, but you gotta wonder if the bush administration isn't just digging for reasons to wage war. and so yes, there is a greater, somewhat sad world out there with all sorts of crazy shit and here i am being all self-absorbed. i'm not going to turn this into a blog about war or politics or anything, but with things the way they are, i have to take pause.

thanks for the reassurances; i know it'll be great. i know i'll have a great time. the experiences will be good for me and they'll just be durn fun. i will grow from this. i will make great memories. yet it is difficult leaving. i will miss my friends, old and new. and i think it's also missing being around to make more memories with those friends. i will go to my corner of the world, and my friends will stay here and earth will continue to rotate and we will all go on doing our things. i just wish i could be a part of the things that will go on here. hell, i wish i could be somewhere where a phone call could involve me in those things. oh wah. i'll quit playing the pity card now, because some of you are taking eight hour exams and don't have jobs and i'm bemoaning having to go to new fucking zealand. yeah, okay, i see it now. but i'm still emotional and i love my friends, near and far, old and new, close and acquaintance-like. we will be together again.

a haze
i feel as if i have been walking around in a drunken stupor for the last month or so. i have finished graduate school and for some reason have been trying to drink everyone else under the table. and i've been going out A LOT lately. i'm tired, my insides feel funny, i haven't worked out regularly in ages, and my head won't stop spinning. and this weekend is my going away party. hmm.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

intentional bitchiness

i went to burger king for lunch because i really want a simpsons watch. my $10 scooby doo watch finally broke last week. so even though i ate too many french fries yesterday, i was going to eat more crap for a watch. well, after i had paid and she was getting my food, the counter girl went to get my watch and they were all out. and she's like, do you want your money back? well duh of course but i want all of it back. i don't want the food. ok ok, she says. i tell her again because she's still getting my food and she's like ok ok. finally she's about to give me my $2 something and i'm like, no, i want to cancel the order. then she starts calling me something in russian or whatever slavic language, she says something that sounds like cheapskate. but the manager had to come over and give me my money, asked for my receipt but i didn't get one, etc etc.

well then i went across the street to the japanese market for a slightly healthier lunch. shit, man, they were so much nicer over there. although they did try to speak japanese to me. why is it that every asian person thinks i'm of their people? interesting.
i'm having very conflicted emotions. maybe it's the alcohol i have in me, which is thankfully significantly less than i had last week after i finished my first paper and then ended up puking on the curb of my street. heh. but i'm definitely emotional. i am going to miss new york city, no matter how much fun i have in new zealand. i am going to miss the good times, the familiarity, the accent. i am going to miss the comfort of graduate school and the beauty of city life. i will miss my family a bit, my friends a lot. i am feeling very sentimental. i may have taken my last class EVER, as my friend terry ever so kindly pointed out.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

i have a draft!!! and ten hours still before i have to turn in the last article of my graduate career! and this is relevant to this blog because if i didn't successfully complete my graduate degree, i think i wouldn't be going to new zealand. you know how it is.

it's almost party time! come play with me! if you don't know the details, email me.

mailed off my passport to the n.z. embassy in washington, dc, for my visa. take good care of it, usps.

Monday, December 09, 2002

hello, world!
any C programmers out there?

anyhow, hello dear friends and random strangers! there are exactly 30 days until i leave for new zealand for my 5 month adventure. thank you for stopping in to visit and being interested.

a status update:

*housing -- check
*visa -- err...
*plane ticket -- check; i'm flying united, so it's out of my hands now. hope $1.5 billion is enough.
*program fees -- check
*polypropylene top -- check
*blog -- CHECK!
*anxiety attacks -- check

Saturday, December 07, 2002

gotta get
i wish i owned bitter chick music

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

from other blog

other blog:
i remember better what new york looks like without the twin towers than with, even though i grew up not too far away. knowing they were always there, i guess i just sort of assumed that every time i looked they would be there and i would never really have to remember where they were. i can't even remember if i can see them from my neighborhood. i had lived here for only a few weeks before it happened. the only thing i remember is that looking down from astor place, i could see a large cloud of dust. on that day, there was an eerie silence as people milled about, either heading somewhere or talking with others on the street. and then as evening settled in on that first day, the sun was setting and reflecting off the cloud with the most beautiful hues of red, orange and pink. beauty reflecting off of devastation. i can't believe it has been a year already.
more bush

the current bush administration has reinstated a policy that allows cash bonuses for political appointees, a practice that was ended by clinton after the bush sr. administration made some questionable last minute payoffs, i mean bonuses, at the end of the term. the chief of staff andrew card was the one who made the change earlier this year but was never publicly disclosed.


see the nytimes article here.

Monday, December 02, 2002

public service

there's a somewhat rogue scientist out there who thinks that our consumption of omega-6 in lieu of omega-3 fatty acids may be cause for the increased incidence of depression. our brains our like a stick of butter, he said in the 24 august 2002 issue of new scientist. we evolved from diets high in omega-3, found in fatty fish, walnuts, flax seed and olive oil. but our western diets are filled with the hydrogenated omega-6 fats found in soy, corn, palm and cottonseed oils commonly used in fried and processed foods. so stop eating donuts and prozac. eat fish and olive oil!

new scientist can be something of a rogue magazine in terms of the fringish science it covers. but this is common sense. omega-3's are good for you. go eat some.

in other news, i've been updating a lot b/c i find myself two days before the first of my two major deadlines for the end of the semester and i'm well ahead of schedule. i've got a legitimate draft! whoo! go me finding my study swerve right before i finish...

Sunday, December 01, 2002


sometimes my stories get picked up by msnbc, which seems to have a deal with space.com. apparently, so does yahoo news. here is one of the stories i wrote that yahoo has converted! yeay me!
millburn, nj

an hour in a starbucks on the corner of main and millburn. the modestly quaint thanksgiving parade strolls on by outside and the warm interior of the coffeehouse is a bastion of suburban domestic goodness and saccharine sweet dreams. i thought i was going to hurl. but then i wondered why i have such a strong revulsion to the idyllic 2.5 kids life? is it a response to my own screwed up childhood? maybe i'm just not ready. and i'll never be ready. i don't think i want that. especially not the millburn version.

after nearly one point five years of journalism school, i have found
justification for my suspicions, that magazine writing is getting formulaic. (an article in the columbia journalism review called "the curse of tom wolfe".) why go on? the same could be asked of the article, which borders on obscenely long. i'm working through it.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

dreamy boy

last night i dreamt about this boy who a friend of mine likes. and last weekend i thought he was flirting with me. or at the very least, i had ample, perfect opportunity to flirt with him. neither of us know him very well. and i was there temporarily, a visitor among enemies. she is a friend among those enemies. and he's just hot. so i kind of flirted but restrained myself, easily passing for friendly. but last night i dreamt about him, that we were holding hands and totally on the verge of kissing. and then i turned my head, in my dream and in real life, to look at him but then i woke up and saw nothing but the blackness of my radiator and daylight filtering through my window. sigh.

Friday, November 29, 2002

oh so that's why

i just read that research indicates that kids who sleep with nightlights are more prone to nearsightedness. well no wonder. i was and still am afraid of the dark. night lights are my friends. so does this mean, though, that people who live/grow up in cities, where nightlights happen passively, are more likely to be nearsighted? hmm.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

i told my mom i wanted to move to australia or new zealand. she replies, in typical fashion, that i should just go vacation there for a month instead of moving there because it's so far away and she'll miss me. (all together now: aww!) and i said, well, i'd want to do it for like six months and she sort of raised her eyebrows. shortly afterwards, in a moment of weakness and completely unrelated to my previous statement (i swear), i said i wanted to marry someone from new zealand. she then immediately said, oh, well if you're going to go look for a husband then you can go for six months. and she essentially offered to set me up. note: this is not what i was saying i wanted or asking for; the two ideas were unrelated.

oh the ways of the old-world asian parents. i'm nothing to them but a degree-earning, baby-popping machine.
confession of the day
i've been a registered girl scout since i was in 4th grade, minus two years when my parents prohibited me from going to girl scout summer camp, thus negating the need to register as a girl scout. that means i've been a scout for about 13 years. oy.

i love my girl scout camp. i love it so much i gave up my summer chance to get a real high-powered internship in the media capital of the world (uhh, that's new york city for you uninitiated folk) to work for free at the gsusa and take off a month for camp. one of the greatest things to come out of my camp is the song "on the loose" written by a counselor, lefty, in the 60s or 70s. it's now gotten all over the world. do a google search for the first line of the song, on the loose to climb a mountain, and see.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

paradigm shift
the movie "the siege" (1998) has taken on a whole new meaning. which might be why the usa network is showing it. they certainly wouldn't have shown it in at least the first few months after 9/11 because emotions are too raw. but maybe now that we are a bit removed, we can watch the movie and assess a lot of things. eerie.
geek confessions
it's wesley crusher day on tnn so all the star trek: tng episodes feature wesley in a significant way. ever wonder what he's up to now? well, me neither, but check him out here.

Saturday, June 01, 2002

more random oceania facts
some things i don't think i've mentioned:
the money down under is made of plastic. really.
they have half-flush toilets for "light loads". heh.
sydney has the highest per capita number of mcdonald's in the world. according to one of our tour guides.
they have this thing called mccafe which is run by mcdonald's but serves coffee and espresso and desserts. hmm.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

friends in town
friends in town, time to eat at all the classy establishments in town. katz's deli for lunch today. feel gorged. there was something enlightening i wanted to say today but the light has been turned off. bye bye.

Monday, May 27, 2002

toot toot
am back from detroit. missed fleet week. bummer. tonight i sleep alone in my own bed, something i've done only once in the last three weeks that i've spent in hotels with roommates. no phone calls for roomies at 3 am, no having to deal with other people. yeay!

detroit was ok. i don't care for it as a city but i've returned as umm, well, umm, yeah...{sheepisly} a national champion.

ok thank you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

okay, i want to take back something i said the last time. i've been reading up a bit on maori culture and they did have some problems with health so maybe i shouldn't be so hard on white european achievements. modern medicine is a pretty significant accomplishment. but cutting a swathe across the earth is not.

Saturday, May 18, 2002

musings on the auckland museum
this morning we went as a group to the auckland museum. i'm finding that the things that attract me in museums is the exhibits on nature and on indigenous cultures. i couldn't give a rip about the armory exhibit or the old teapots of the english settlers that came to new zealand. there is something about white european culture that is such a turn off for me. there's nothing amazing about a lot of it because they just cut a swathe across this earth and managed to destroy so much in so little time. meanwhile, indigenous people such as the aborigines, maori and native americans have been living peacefully with the earth for ages. maybe they didn't invent cars, but what are cars going to bring us in the end when we destroy our planet?

there was also an exhibit by john pilger, an australian correspondent for the daily mirror. the photographs were from places including east timor, bangladesh, nicaragua, and indonesia. they were of people that were poor and often ignored by mass media (particularly by the american media, i think); some were from places that suffered much misery and death and destruction and oppression. they were incredibly moving and juxtaposed with the maori art in the museum and new zealand's troubled past with the native people...well, sometimes it just seems like this whole world sucks. it's sometimes so easy to get caught up in the bad stuff that goes on because there's so much of it. part of me wants to join the peace corps, and part of me just wants to put on blinders and pursue my career so at the very least i can surround MYSELF with happiness and friends and comfort and success. but what will all that mean in the end?
places better than auckland
saturday night, 1 a.m. just checked out the nightlife here in auckland, new zealand. well, if it's 1 a.m. and i'm in an internet cafe, that's gotta say something.

a few of us headed down to the american express viaduct pavilion for the america's cup (you know, the boat race). we went to a few bars. one of them, danny doolans, was an irish pub with a live band that was playing old american music from 30 years ago. there was something ironic or just deeply deeply wrong about that. people were obnoxious. they were stepping on us, pushing us around (of course we pushed back), spilling drinks on us and never an 'excuse me' or 'sorry'. man, people in new york city are nicer than that. and then this really fat obnoxious ugly stupid girl made some comment, after we said to her to quit falling on us, about how it was her country and her bar or whatever. umm, excuse me, but if tourists didn't come to new zealand, her fat ass would need to resort to prostitution to get enough money to feed her ugly face.

this lashing out is unfortunate. for the most part, i've been really chill here. the people are amazingly nice. i guess in rotorua last night they were sort of obnoxious too, but it wasn't EVERYBODY. and once when i said 'excuse me' as i was trying to get through, this woman very nicely turned to me and said, oh, please go, you're the first person to say 'excuse me'. sigh. what is it about cities that makes people obnoxious?

so let me give you my unsubstantiated and limited assessment of auckland nightlife: they're trying to be like new york and failing horribly. there are more people in nyc than in the entire country of new zealand by a factor of 2 or so. everyone was dressed in black and wearing these heels and tank tops and tube tops and assorted variety of slutty shirts. the men were all pimped out thinking they were all that. oh please. maybe that's the pinnacle of the social life here in auckland, but it was downright pathetic. they were all dancing to american pop/hip hop music.

but i don't want to come across sounding like i hate the entire country. on the contrary, i've really enjoyed my stay here and have met some really cool people.
* mitch in queenstown (see my post yesterday re: falling in love...sigh. before i go around spreading nasty rumors to the zero people who are reading this, he was an incredible gentleman and turned me down for drinks because of a 'friend' who wouldn't 'appreciate' him showing me around.)
* chris and his cohorts at the novotel in rotorua through whom i met aidan, a very neat guy i wish i could have talked to longer had i not been asleep on my feet (incidentally, the novotel also hosted this maori [the new zealand indigenous people] hangi [which is a way of cooking food] and performance -- it was amazing and i'm one who is incredibly sceptical when it comes to indigenous peoples putting on shows for ignorant tourists)
* there were the cool and accomodating and laid back folks at the tandem skydiving in rotorua too (see post yesterday re: jumping out of plane), particularly brendan who took it COMPLETELY in stride when i had to sit on his lap in the itty bitty plane as we climbed up to 12000 feet -- and i'm not a little girl!
* the people at the waitomo gloworm caves at which we stopped on our drive from rotorua to auckland today.

and that's not even including the neat people i met all over australia. and when you consider the fact that i'm traveling with a large band of loud, somewhat obnoxious, sometimes dim americans, it's all amazing to me.

my observation is that the closer the social scene gets to be like what i'm used to seeing (and avoiding) in the states, the more obnoxious people become. and it's not the alcohol. it seems to me that it has more to do with trying to present this facade of coolness and hipness and being all cosmopolitan. and i ask this: what is it to be cosmopolitan? is it dressing all in black and bumping and grinding and wearing glitter and hair gel and ck one cologne? i doubt it.

i don't know what point i'm trying to make with this meandering post. i've had an incredible trip to these here countries and am absolutely set on coming back. i've never felt so laid back and calm and nice in my life (oh wait, there was that time i got that massage in colorado...). i'm already trying to figure out ways to get here, perhaps interning at a nz or aussie publication. (i've read a few newspapers here and they could use a little help.) but certainly i feel that life in the small towns that are INCREDIBLY dependent on tourism for all of their economies, are my favorite places so far.

but i've run out of underwear, my suitcase is full of souvenirs and laundry, and summer classes are starting. it's time to head back.

Friday, May 17, 2002

greetings from rotorua, new zealand. i jumped out of a plane today with a very nice, cute man strapped to my back. i think i've found a new hobby. for about $2500 to $3500 NZ (half that to get the figure in USD) one can get certified to become a skydiver at tandem skydiving in rotorua. i think i've found what i'm going to do after graduation.

i'm staying at the novotel in this here fair city that smells like rotten eggs (something to do with the volcanic activity in the area releasing sulfur gas). i just partied for the last few hours at this seedy place with half of the staff of the hotel that is aged 20-25. good times.

there's something about the way the men here say my name that just makes me melt and fall in love. in the last two days, i've fallen in love and had my heart broken. but that's a story for another time.

Friday, May 10, 2002

playing eco-tourist
greetings from cairns (pronounced "cans" by the locals), australia, kids. we took the ocean spirit catamaran out to the great barrier reef today and went snorkeling and scuba diving. i have gotten motion sickness on swings, bicycles, cars, trucks, buses, trains, aeroplanes...and now swimming. at the end of our thirty minute amazing dive, i thought i was going to lose my continental australian breakfast. but the reef (the largest living organism) is just amazing. fish of all different colors and shapes and sizes and clams -- HUGE ones -- and sea slugs and conch and turtles and ... wow. it's like swimming in the baltimore aquarium. tourism is an interesting though. cairns depends on it for 70 percent or something of its economy. and the catamaran tour operators (ocean spirit) were very careful to take precautions to be as eco-friendly as possible. yet, people still stood on the reef when they weren't supposed to. it's a tough one. we want people to enjoy nature so they can go out and help the cause, right? but then if too many people enjoy something, it can be detrimental. alas.

anyway, this is just the start of the trip. there are more great things to come. i think tomorrow we are going up to a rainforest. drop me an email if you want. (helloooo out there?) i hope to check my email with some regularity. bye.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

bye bye
ok. i know i've been really out of this. but it's hard when one is very very busy and when it doesn't even seem like anyone reads this. (only because i haven't told anyone about it but whatever.) if you do read this, hey, let me know. but after 5/20. i fear my mailbox will fill up because .... I LEAVE FOR AUSTRALIA in 5 hours! russell crowe here i come baby.

one of the first links i posted was for steve burns' website. he was the host of blue's clues for six years and has now moved on to bigger and better things (including hanging out at astor place, waiting for a friend, last weekend, i think!). he actually moved on over a year ago but nick jr. just aired last week the episodes of steve leaving for college and his brother joe moving in to take care of blue. i am taking this as a good time to get off my blue's clues obsession. what the heck. i don't even have children as an excuse. from what i hear of the masses, there's a general consensus that thus far, joe is not as impressive as steve, but let's give the guy a chance. he has 30 episodes in the can; it seems like he's going to be around for a while.

so on that note, i bid adieu for two weeks or so. i doubt i'll have time to update when i get back since as soon as i get back i head off to detroit to kick the asses of girls from around the country. i hope. as long as my jet lag doesn't get the best of me. and all the beer that i'm destined to consume down under. WHOO!!!!

Friday, May 03, 2002

who's counting?
i leave for australia in a few days. 4 continents down, 3 to go.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

the last all nighter of the semester. let us all rejoice!

mindbending interactive digital art.

Monday, April 29, 2002

old age: discount auto insurance and hsn
it's official. i'm old. i just got my new auto insurance policy and they've discounted me for being 25. alas. what have i to live for now?

last night, i bought something of home shopping network. it was a ring, it wasn't very expensive and it's the end of the semester and i have all this money (something to do with retroactive pay since we've just unionized at school) and i thought i'd splurge on a ring. it was very funny. home shopping network. ooh boy.
shut up hap
i don't really care what people think about me. if i'm myself and people, say, are turned off by my straightforwardness and loudness (i like to call it exuberance) i'm okay with that. it's me and i don't care what you think.

what gets my goat and makes me insecure, though, is being misunderstood. i hate it when i'm trying to be nice or am just sort of dazed and maybe not totally with it and i come across as self-centered or mean or whatever. because that's not really the way i am, i don't think. sometimes i am but when i mean it i'm okay with that. i just hate being misunderstood or misinterpreted.

i'm not controlling. i just know what i want. ;)

Friday, April 26, 2002

i hear vancouver is nice
do you know what scares me? i read on a tucked away page of the new york times today that the house (republicans) wants to vote to officially, fully, as a body, AS MY ELECTED OFFICIALS, resolve to show "solidarity" with israel and condemn arafat. ARE THEY KIDDING ME? who are these IDIOTS?!

one of the thoughts that crossed my mind after i read this was that such an act by my government is putting my life in danger. taking such a vote, to me, is tantamount to calling out all the al qaeda cells in this country to suicide bomb all over the place. i'm not saying that we should bend our wills to the acts of terrorists, BUT WHAT THE F***?! these are the same morons as the "critics" who thought colin powell shouldn't visit arafat.

i'm moving to canada. i'm going to be a canadian.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

paint fumes
"they" (the mysterious people who sometimes appear outside my window to do work) are painting the fire escape. i'm getting high on the paint fumes and i've been talking to myself a lot more. like, i'm having full-on conversations and confessions and everything as if all that comes out of my mouth is news to me. i think even right now as i type, what is being written on the screen is news to my head. like the independent thinking-organ in my hands is communicating with my eyes.

maybe i should go outside.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

oy vey
when it stops raining, here i will go: new york botanical garden. i hear it's nice.

so can we discuss crushes? there's something about spring that makes me crush on boys. i once made up a joke when i was a kid:

what did the boulder say to the boy when she fell on him?
i've got a crush on you.

i used to think that was so funny and witty of me.
but back to crushes. i'm finding that i'm opting into one, whereas when i was younger they used to sneak up on me and take over my emotions. this is healthier but weirder and makes me want to chalk it up to old age.

Monday, April 22, 2002

good morning sunshine. where art thou?

it's monday and it's rainy out. a great april day. if you're feeling a bit under the weather and would like to anonymously vent your frustrations on your coworkers or friends or complete strangers, click here. chances are, if you know me, i've sent you one. e-voodoo. that's great. so go at it kids.
again with the not-too-much-like-a-diary feel: click me! astronomy picture of the day. you too can come to appreciate the infinite wonder and beauty and amazement that is the cosmos. the space program *is* worth funding. astronauts are heros, not monkeys, no matter what some people say.

one day, i think we may find god in a telescope. or have we already? (that sounds really deep but i'm really tired. hee hee.)
coffee. the problem with coffee sometimes is that you drink it when you are already tired and it takes some time to process, gastronomically speaking. and then you're done with your work sooner than you think but it's still there coursing through your veins.

but man it's great s***.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

lest this become too much like my diary rather than a blog, check this out. it's moby's web page. yeah, the musician. he has his own version of a blog (moby updates). he's inherently more interesting than i based solely on the fact that he's famous. but on even ground, i bet i'd give him a run for his more limited wealth.
moving on
i returned to the home that was my home for 8 years and then a second home for 7 years more. my parents have moved out and gone to townhouse hell. (at least it's a nice place to jog, except for the patches of missing sidewalk -- dangerous in the dark.) in my old home, where i lived longer than any other place on this planet earth, the carpet upstairs was torn out. it was like that when we moved in. it was very much a full-circle type of experience.

moving probably wouldn't be such a big deal if i wasn't having such a hard time with birthdays. there's just this sense that life is careening out of control. the relative comfort and ease of youth (ignoring the blaring miseries of teenagedom) are giving way to responsibility and electricity bills. love, marriage and kids are reasonable things now. meanwhile, i just want to play with my legos.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

poor liver, no regret
what a week. i haven't been this drunk so many times in a week since senior week in college. oy. my liver needs a break.

the middle of long island is a scary place. not quite country, not quite nyc suburb, as a friend put it. scary scary. should i regret that night? i don't think so; i should try not to have regrets. i should just learn from my experience and move on. regret is wallowing in the past and not learning from it and doing better.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

twenty five here i am
i do not remember walking the last block to my apartment or getting into my pajamas last night. what a nice night.

i was getting on the bus to go to work earlier today and the bus driver didn't have the brake on completely. as i'm stepping up, the bus starts to roll forward. i didn't really register it -- I wasn't sure if I was still drunk or if the bus was actually moving. but it was the bus.

Monday, April 15, 2002

one redemption: birthday gifts in the mail make me happy. it's nice to be thought of. (dangling participle. bad me.)
i know i'm a scary girl. i know sometimes i intentionally intimidate people. i'm a bad person.

but what am i to do about my upstairs neighbors? they clunk around up there like they're holding a bowling tournament at all hours of the night and i think they have a loft bed and when they have sex it's rather disturbing. how do i go up there and tell them to shut the heck up! they drop things ALL the time and they're big things and it makes my apartment shake. they make my blood pressure boil.

and at my age (TWENTY-FIVE) i can't risk the damage to my heart.

click here for one of my favorite places in the city. i wish they had job openings in the media department. i don't even know if they have a media department; i just wish they could hire me!

Sunday, April 14, 2002

bye bye youth
my last thirty minutes of being twenty-four. i never thought i'd have a hard time aging, but i am. this is tough. urgh. help.

maybe i'll go rent a car. the last milestone before depends and dentures. urgh.
irony or just a drawer full of spoons when you need a fork?
i was walking in the city today along e. houston and there's a community garden there...named after some woman whose last name is christy or something like that. something christy garden.

looking to my right, there was this serene garden with people sitting around and talking and enjoying the warm weather on chairs and benches. the flowers were blooming, the greenery was very green. i thought i could have been in a rural place.

to my left was houston street, a major thoroughfare downtown and there was bumper-to-bumper traffic and this huge truck rumbled down that was so loud and dirty.

this city is so funny. it amazes me that people can enjoy the greenery and nature of the garden alongside the dirty cars. maybe it's adaptation to city life and taking what you can get, but when i get my nature, i like it all natural.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

kick ass
one of my hobbies is taekwondo. i got into it basically to get into shape, but since moving to nyc i've started to fight competitively, in the style you would see in the olympics. at first it really freaked me out because i wasn't very good and i have really bad stage fright and i've traditionally been into team sports. but now, 7 months later, i'm really into it!

sparring is so gritty. you really get to go all out and kick and punch your opponents. it's real and it's visceral, if that's the appropriate use of the word. dedicating time to the sport has made me really disciplined and has had a significant impact (in the negative direction) on my social life because going out for drinks before going to practice is just a plain stupid idea. but to me it's way more real than the social/dating scene here. matching my handbag to my shoes, or my lipstick to my nail polish seems so durn silly after knowing that silly ol' me, the yellow belt can go out there and beat brown belts. so maybe i don't make a lot of money and live in a great apartment and have FABULOUS shoes. but i bet i could beat the s*** out of any prissy girl in any bar. so hmph.

i'm not bitter. really. you should try taekwondo and maybe you'll understand.
i hate when i pass out from shear exhaustion in the evening and wake up at like 11pm never to sleep again.

i'm going to be 25 in two days. i'm not dealing very well with this. urgh.

Friday, April 12, 2002

hello out there!
i've got to give props to another brooklynite who's an aspiring musician. not that i'm either. and not that he knows i exist. (i.e. he's not my personal friend.)

check it out. his name is steve.
he used to be on blue's clues. he's not dead.
even if you're not interested in him, perhaps you are interested in squirrels.
wish we all were...
it's almost bedtime. i'm very excited.

it may come as a surprise to my friends, but i have these friends. maybe they don't know they're all my friends. but they have a band. they are cool. they live in brooklyn and sometimes they say they're from brooklyn but they met in los angeles so sometimes they say they're from los angeles but they didn't even meet in los angeles. they met 45 miles east of the city in the "inland empire" at the claremont colleges. and after they were from their mommies, i know that one of them was from texas so they're not even from the inland empire. www.wearescientists.com

Thursday, April 11, 2002

the original
i'm still trying to figure this out. but heck. blogs are cool. blogs are hip. i'm trying to be cool and hip but not so much in that cool and hip way. but maybe i'm just looking for a place to share my thoughts and *believe* that other people are reading them.