Tuesday, May 31, 2005

naked surfing
over the weekend, while talking with a friend, i contemplated transferring. the thought recurred to me in the shower this morning. (I got up at 9:50 am. this is an accomplishment considering i've been getting up past noon for the last five days, and went to bed this morning as the sun was coming up.) anyways, so i got out of the shower and surfed the internet for 10 minutes, looking into transfer applications. the school i'm looking at, in nyc, started accepting applications May 1. the best part is they don't need recommendations. but they do require a $70 fee. hmm...should i?

while clothed, i'm now reading the nytimes. here's an article that may explain/excuse/justify some previous posts i have written and removed. you'll understand ... (i like the comparison of love to basic functions and cravings, like hunger and thirts, rather than responses, like excitement. love is like a necessity we're hardwired for. totally.)

May 31, 2005
Watching New Love as It Sears the Brain

New love can look for all the world like mental illness, a blend of mania, dementia and obsession that cuts people off from friends and family and prompts out-of-character behavior - compulsive phone calling, serenades, yelling from rooftops - that could almost be mistaken for psychosis.

Now for the first time, neuroscientists have produced brain scan images of this fevered activity, before it settles into the wine and roses phase of romance or the joint holiday card routines of long-term commitment.

In an analysis of the images appearing today in The Journal of Neurophysiology, researchers in New York and New Jersey argue that romantic love is a biological urge distinct from sexual arousal.

It is closer in its neural profile to drives like hunger, thirst or drug craving, the researchers assert, than to emotional states like excitement or affection. As a relationship deepens, the brain scans suggest, the neural activity associated with romantic love alters slightly, and in some cases primes areas deep in the primitive brain that are involved in long-term attachment.

The research helps explain why love produces such disparate emotions, from euphoria to anger to anxiety, and why it seems to become even more intense when it is withdrawn. In a separate, continuing experiment, the researchers are analyzing brain images from people who have been rejected by their lovers.

"When you're in the throes of this romantic love it's overwhelming, you're out of control, you're irrational, you're going to the gym at 6 a.m. every day - why? Because she's there," said Dr. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and the co-author of the analysis. "And when rejected, some people contemplate stalking, homicide, suicide. This drive for romantic love can be stronger than the will to live."

Brain imaging technology cannot read people's minds, experts caution, and a phenomenon as many sided and socially influenced as love transcends simple computer graphics, like those produced by the technique used in the study, called functional M.R.I.

Still, said Dr. Hans Breiter, director of the Motivation and Emotion Neuroscience Collaboration at Massachusetts General Hospital, "I distrust about 95 percent of the M.R.I. literature and I would give this study an 'A'; it really moves the ball in terms of understanding infatuation love."

He added: "The findings fit nicely with a large, growing body of literature describing a generalized reward and aversion system in the brain, and put this intellectual construct of love directly onto the same axis as homeostatic rewards such as food, warmth, craving for drugs."

In the study, Dr. Fisher, Dr. Lucy Brown of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx and Dr. Arthur Aron, a psychologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, led a team that analyzed about 2,500 brain images from 17 college students who were in the first weeks or months of new love. The students looked at a picture of their beloved while an M.R.I. machine scanned their brains. The researchers then compared the images with others taken while the students looked at picture of an acquaintance.

Functional M.R.I. technology detects increases or decreases of blood flow in the brain, which reflect changes in neural activity.

In the study, a computer-generated map of particularly active areas showed hot spots deep in the brain, below conscious awareness, in areas called the caudate nucleus and the ventral tegmental area, which communicate with each other as part of a circuit.

These areas are dense with cells that produce or receive a brain chemical called dopamine, which circulates actively when people desire or anticipate a reward. In studies of gamblers, cocaine users and even people playing computer games for small amounts of money, these dopamine sites become extremely active as people score or win, neuroscientists say.

Yet falling in love is among the most irrational of human behaviors, not merely a matter of satisfying a simple pleasure, or winning a reward. And the researchers found that one particular spot in the M.R.I. images, in the caudate nucleus, was especially active in people who scored highly on a questionnaire measuring passionate love.

This passion-related region was on the opposite side of the brain from another area that registers physical attractiveness, the researchers found, and appeared to be involved in longing, desire and the unexplainable tug that people feel toward one person, among many attractive alternative partners.

This distinction, between finding someone attractive and desiring him or her, between liking and wanting, "is all happening in an area of the mammalian brain that takes care of most basic functions, like eating, drinking, eye movements, all at an unconscious level, and I don't think anyone expected this part of the brain to be so specialized," Dr. Brown said.

The intoxication of new love mellows with time, of course, and the brain scan findings reflect some evidence of this change, Dr. Fisher said.

In an earlier functional M.R.I. study of romance, published in 2000, researchers at University College London monitored brain activity in young men and women who had been in relationships for about two years. The brain images, also taken while participants looked at photos of their beloved, showed activation in many of the same areas found in the new study - but significantly less so, in the region correlated with passionate love, she said.

In the new study, the researchers also saw individual differences in their group of smitten lovers, based on how long the participants had been in the relationships. Compared with the students who were in the first weeks of a new love, those who had been paired off for a year or more showed significantly more activity in an area of the brain linked to long-term commitment.

Last summer, scientists at Emory University in Atlanta reported that injecting a ratlike animal called a vole with a single gene turned promiscuous males into stay-at-home dads - by activating precisely the same area of the brain where researchers in the new study found increased activity over time.

"This is very suggestive of attachment processes taking place," Dr. Brown said. "You can almost imagine a time where instead of going to Match.com you could have a test to find out whether you're an attachment type or not."

One reason new love is so heart-stopping is the possibility, the ever-present fear, that the feeling may not be entirely requited, that the dream could suddenly end.

In a follow-up experiment, Dr. Fisher, Dr. Aron and Dr. Brown have carried out brain scans on 17 other young men and women who recently were dumped by their lovers. As in the new love study, the researchers compared two sets of images, one taken when the participants were looking at a photo of a friend, the other when looking at a picture of their ex.

Although they are still sorting through the images, the investigators have noticed one preliminary finding: increased activation in an area of the brain related to the region associated with passionate love. "It seems to suggest what the psychological literature, poetry and people have long noticed: that being dumped actually does heighten romantic love, a phenomenon I call frustration-attraction," Dr. Fisher said in an e-mail message.

One volunteer in the study was Suzanna Katz, 22, of New York, who suffered through a breakup with her boyfriend three years ago. Ms. Katz said she became hyperactive to distract herself after the split, but said she also had moments of almost physical withdrawal, as if weaning herself from a drug.

"It had little to do with him, but more with the fact that there was something there, inside myself, a hope, a knowledge that there's someone out there for you, and that you're capable of feeling this way, and suddenly I felt like that was being lost," she said in an interview.

And no wonder. In a series of studies, researchers have found that, among other processes, new love involves psychologically internalizing a lover, absorbing elements of the other person's opinions, hobbies, expressions, character, as well as sharing one's own. "The expansion of the self happens very rapidly, it's one of the most exhilarating experiences there is, and short of threatening our survival it is one thing that most motivates us," said Dr. Aron, of SUNY, a co-author of the study.

To lose all that, all at once, while still in love, plays havoc with the emotional, cognitive and deeper reward-driven areas of the brain. But the heightened activity in these areas inevitably settles down. And the circuits in the brain related to passion remain intact, the researchers say - intact and capable in time of flaring to life with someone new.
i spent the greater part of the weekend at my parents' house, sleeping a lot, and enjoying my parents' lavishing of love on me. it wasn't long before they replenished both my belly and my wallet. it might sound weird and pathetic that at my age, my parents still give me pocket money (and money for paying bills), but that's the way it works in my family. we know affection only through money and food. hey, i've dealt with it. you should too.

it was sad leaving because i know my parents miss me and love me very much, although they're very excited for my legal education. ("when you graduate, we're going to take a giant ad out in the chinese newspaper and throw you a huge party!" oh, and have i told you how my dad said he'd buy me a mercedes? only if they make a hybrid, i say.) it was nice just to sit around the dining table and talk even if it was about business and whatever silly things they wanted me to do for them and what silly little things they had to say about their recent trip to san francisco or how my dad was tired of me holding onto his camera and he wanted it back. oh it was all so very touching and quant, in its own little twisted way.

i realized, however, how much my parents may prefer me over my brothers. i have a brother who is still working towards his BA. he originally lived in an apartment near campus. at $400 a month, it's a bargain, especially compared to the money they've had to shell out to house me in the various expensive cities i've studied in. my brother moved back home over a year ago. part of the reason was because, according to my mom, she couldn't afford paying my brother's rent. it didn't help that my brother came home every weekend to eat and generally be a sloth in front of the giant tv. but really, they couldn't afford $400? hmm...i highly doubt it. it's probably more like they didn't want to. anyways, i'm not going to dwell on it. (i think the greater reason has to do with my brother's infatuation with his car, which he totalled recently. now the fucking bastard drives a hybrid, much to my envy. if you want the low-down on my idiotic brother and his car, i'm sure if you troll through my posts from last winter, you'll find something.)

on saturday night, i stopped off in the city. it being saturday night, the club was open and my parents were working. it was only about 9pm, so nothing had really started yet; the employees were sitting down to dinner. first, it didn't take long before SOMETHING aggravated me and got my blood boiling. it reaffirmed my conviction that law school just might be the right thing for me; at the very least, not working at the club certainly is. second, it is absolutely true that the waitstaff are a bunch of conniving, manipulating, selfish, self-serving bastards. third, skinny little korean girls do nothing for my self-image, especially after a long semester of sitting on my ass, drinking beer, and eating out. sigh.

i've been procrastinating A LOT. thus, i will be up very late tonight reading materials i was told to have read by 2pm tomorrow, when i meet with professor summer research. hmm, and i should probably figure out how to do that lexis search, eh?

in other news, my parents are talking AGAIN of selling their liquor-selling establishments. Dear God, I hope these deals come through. but what this means for ME is that i might get an LCD tv out of the deal. sweeeeet.

also, i met with an old friend who was visiting from arizona. it was such a great time chatting. the general consensus is that i need to make friends outside of law school. it's true. i sicken myself sometimes with my behavior with some law school friends, one person / boy in particular. i need to let it go. pretty soon, if not already, i'm going to be crossing into i-hate-myself-how-can-i-be-so-pathetic territory. maybe i'll have a crush on one of my co-workers at my non-law school job. hmm...maybe i kind of already do.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


now i don't want to go home ... :)

Friday, May 27, 2005

tomorrow, if i can get off my lazy ass, i'm driving home to visit my parents. i'm hoping they haven't forgotten me and written me out of their will. they don't know i cut my hair. 14 inches, in february. they don't know i've put on like 100 pounds, but they'll be sure to comment as soon as i come in the door.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

cruel cruel summer. just as the writing competition ends, and i start my part-time jobs with flexible hours, the weather turns to crap. i hear it's a nor'easter. i don't care what phenomenon is the cause of all this rain and cold temperatures (i've had to turn my heat on three nights in a row now and i'm wearing flannel pj's to bed) but it blows. it's been raining hard for what seems like a week now. and i'm not talking about drizzles. i'm talking about torrential downpours of sufficient strenght to warrant the local news broadcasters to head out to their varied locations, usually along the coast in front of a sea wall, to file their live stories.



in the meantime, i've started work. no vacation for this one. and my best friend has left this city to move back to the west coast. no friends for this one...recently, i've been struck by this deep sense that the friendships i have made this year are not as good as i thought they were. i am really different from them in some big ways, and sometimes, like when i wake up in the morning after an alcohol-soaked evening, those differences are even more apparent. i feel incredibly lonely. maybe it's just the gloomy weather combined with the fact that i was in the library for five hours yesterday, working, and i could count one my hands the number of people who were there, too, including employees.

this working for a professor business may turn out to be better in theory, but we shall see.

if only the rain could stop then i could find a nice park to study in. in the sunlight. and get a tan at the same time. oh that would be fabulous. when the sun comes out. and when the earth dries after this incredible soaking.

Friday, May 20, 2005

the cruel reality of writing competition
you think you're done. you think the pressure is off b/c finals are done. you think, one week to write a memo and do some cite checks and whatever? no problem. i'll make lots of social plans and plans to exercise (to get out of finals form and back into fighting form). but then all of a sudden it's thursday night and despite rumors of a midnight post office, you're pulling an all nighter, the first all year. even when you had hundreds of pages of reading, you didn't stay up all night. but for this memo, this non-compulsory assignment/competition, here you are at 4:30, brewing coffee, looking for tape to tape your eyes open, and contemplating with every other flick of the neurons, the impact on your career if you opt out of writing competition. you think about how you don't buy into crap, don't do things just b/c it's prestigious (well, not since high school anyways). yet, you trod through. you'll do it. and god allowing, you're not going to trek across town to the midnight post office; you're going to the perfectly acceptable one across the street. damnit!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

revenge of the sith

did you see it? i did. at 12:03 am. it was sooooo much better than the last two, but it's no "empire strikes back". one of my biggest complaints of the last two movies was how choppy they were. no scene lasted for more than 30 seconds. it was awful. this time, the movie was more continuous. much better. great fight scenes. and yoda kicks ass. but ok, maybe i should be clear. the bar wasn't set very high after the last two movies, and the dialogue still kinda sucks at times, and padme has turned into a pathetic spineless baby machine, but really, the movie was quite good.Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

future wine

more pictures for your procrastinating pleasure ... mmmm wine ....  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

enough of the text and the blabbing off at the fingertips. here's a picture. let it remind you of better times to come, of idyllic places where the sun comes out, where the water is warm and where, in may, the temperature gets above 55.  Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005

i'm a sucker for attention and affection.

during finals, i had an existential crisis. one night before an exam, right as i was trying to go to bed early so that my brain would be sharp the next morning, i started thinking about boys. boys and exes. boys, exes and my deep-seated issues pertaining to men. a few days later, i had a revelation. ok, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that my relationship with my father influences my relationship / perception of men. but the generalization aside, i didn't realize how that manifested itself in my life. i realized that my relationship with my father makes me pursue aloof men. my father is not very affectionate and i had to excel to get his attention. like, by getting A's or whatever. as an adult, i find that if a guy is friendly, i am not interested in him. if he's my friend and wants to be my friend and i don't have to work at a friendship, it's just a friendship. but if there's a guy who's kind and is kind of my friend but not really, that, my friends, is the type of guy i go after. (and then there's the problem of how i hone in on one guy when i have a crush, but that's a whole 'nother psychosis.)

i think there's another level to this ... for a long time i have maintained that because my family is not very close or emotionally supportive, i have replaced them with a network of friends i love dearly, even friends in LA with whom I don't talk very often. so when a person is willing to give me the time of day and seems to give me attention, i don't feel that i have to work very hard to be friends. it's the "others" that require more work ... the aloof ones ... they're the ones i want to corral into my friendship circle, into my family of sorts. and i think in a way that too is why i have crushes on aloof men.

i'm not really very sure this makes any sense written down. but it makes sense in my head. i chase aloofness and can't have crushes on the guys who are friendly with me. what am i going to do with this realization? be more aware...not let a friendly nature blind me...

this is all moot. nothing is going to change. there are a lot of other issues at work here that would prevent me from really getting involved in a relationship (e.g. my apparently deep seated fears of intimacy...). but i thought this was an interesting revelation. about me. so selfish, i know, but this is my blog, so whatcha gonna do?

wait ... why did i start writing this? it has to do with the first line ... oh yeah. so ... at one point, i thought ambiguity was banished. one drunken obnoxious phone call pretty much solved all that. but then ... recently ... lots of attention ... no electronic abyss ... and it's hard for me to continue thinking about friendship ... little thoughts of potentialities creep in ... hopes ... like i said, i'm a sucker for attention.

writing comp is in full effect. my eyes are crossing from the periods and commas and underlinings. it was nice to feel the post exam freedom for two days ... the pressure's back.
dreary spring
if this is what spring is like, give me winter back. oknowait. i was kidding. but today, it's rainy and cold and barely 50 degrees. sucks.

i've been really enjoying the freedom of post-exams. went to church yesterday. first time i've been in the new building, which is grossly inconveniently located. spent the day in cambridge with a friend trying to work on our writing competition but really we just talked the whole day. it was great. we ended up at this coffee shop near harvard square and this couple and two older men -- a dad of each, i think, -- were sitting next to us. one of the older men started talking to us and my friend and i both looked at the other man, just to sort of scan the group, you know? and we were both like, hey! wait! my friend thought it was peter jennings, but it turned out to be chuck scarborough, the channel 4 local news anchor in new york. AND I WAS SITTING NEXT TO HIM! it was so exciting.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


now this pesky optional writing competition to get on a journal/law review. oh well.

yesterday, after the exam, we went to the bar across the street with almost the entire 1L class. then we headed out to a bar that has $1 drafts. i went with a group of friends about 10 people, and then some people from another section were there and it wasn't bad. then we went to the park. that was definitely the pinnacle of the day. we brought wine and beer and someone had a frisbee and if it weren't for the broken glass everywhere, i would have been all over the barefoot thing. i felt like a bit of a hippy. the weather was so beautiful ! the frisbee was fun ! the being done with 1L thing was surreal.

oh, and i totally bit it. i was running after the frisbee, i was kind of on a hill, and there was this rock outcropping and i fell. totally bit it. i forgot about that until this morning in the shower when i was like, ugh, why am i so sore? o, yeah...

holy fuck it's feels unreal.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

the curse
this city is a little crazy about its sports. i've noticed that every night after a baseball game (in which this city's team is playing), i hear someone near my apartment shouting / chanting "oh! oh! oh!" over and over again. i thought it was some obscure fan tradition executed by some overenthusiastic fan in my neighborhood. maybe it is. but today, as i was coming home from a quick jaunt to school to print my outline and other papers, i heard a guy doing the chant. and i looked up and saw a man on a giant tricylce with the baseball team banners all over it, pedaling down the sidewalk. maybe it's just a crazy guy, after all.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

36 hours
...between me and freedom.
my head is starting to come out of my ass. i'm starting to make plans, have a social life. like, i think i'm going with a friend to watch the star wars premiere next week, midnight showing. i think i did that in college too. it makes me feel young and free just thinking about it. why am i having such a hard time finding people to watch with me? i've asked five people, four have pretty much laughed in my face b/c they think star wars is geekiness embodied, and the other had a legitimate "i can't stay up all night" reason. but it's fine. my friend who's going will be a perfect companion. it's fun hanging out with my friend.

will someone, for the love of god, tell me what the difference is between voluntary manslaughter and 2nd degree murder?!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

crim is criminal
seriously. i want to poke my eyes out. this studying is so agonizing that my heart, my insides, i can literally feel them bursting out, that my soul cannot bear it any longer and it wants to get up and do something else, despite what my corporeal being is doing. or wants to do. b/c really i'm so lazy now i can't even be bothered to walk up two flights of stairs. or take out the garbage. or do dishes. or laundry.

after finals, i'm going to give my shower a good scrub. seriously. that thing is disgusting. ironic that i go in a dirty place to get clean. heh heh. dirty place. that sounds dirty too.

o my ! i really am going crazy .

Monday, May 09, 2005

3, 1
done, done, done and not done.
three days and one grueling exam left between me and freedom.
today's exam was kinda brutal too.
he pretty much just jammed everything in, everything we've covered. i think his theory on how to distinguish between As and Bs is the first person to the finish line gets the best grade. seriously. it wasn't that challenging or tricky. it was just unrelenting.

it's going to pretty damn hard to care between now and friday. but i just have to STAY THE COURSE.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Dear God,
What's wrong with this picture?
Today's date: May 7, 2005.
Today's high temp: 46.

Friday, May 06, 2005

mood: insecure
feeling disconnected from the world. feeling very alone. feeling insecure and questioning reality and perception and sincerity. i don't even know anymore. what is real what is not? what is honest and truth and sincere and what is not?

i think it's the pressure of finals. not so much that they're so pressuring or i'm freaking out about failing, but just the continuous, endless, droning on of the pressure of needing to study, of not being able to do anything with liberty. tried to go with some friends and out-of-town guests to dinner tonight and had to wait an hour to get a table. an hour later, the waiter said there was no chance we were going to get a seat. the entire time, i didn't really talk. just distracted by the thought of exams. the thought of losing ANOTHER hour with waiting. which was stupid b/c it was a good time to chat. it didn't help that my blood sugar was low and waiting even longer to eat made me super grumpy.

not feeling like myself. usually feel carefree. but not right now. feeling very lonely.

can't even think of words. all i can think of is law. everything in my brain is law. i try recalling proper nouns and the only ones that come to mind are the names of supreme court justices, cases, and the erie doctrine.

one more week. in 7 days from RIGHT NOW, i will be drunk. drunk and with drunk and pantless friends.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

bloop bloop bloop
my season passes on tivo:

gilmore girls
jack & bobby
the daily show
24 (i've never been able to get into the show b/c i always do something else when i'm watching tv; it's amazing how much better tv can be when you pay full attention)
star trek: tng
everyday italian
good eats
desperate housewives
law & order: svu
the dead zone
veronica mars

ok. off to have dinner with my best friend who is opting out of law school and moving back to LA and leaving me here with nothing but the snow and the undergrads. bah!
done and done, but not done and not done
2 down, 2 to go.
thank god con law is over. that one was mental torture. physical torture, too, b/c our casebook had 1200 pages. and then i was carrying around a hornbook and a commercial outline because sometimes those supreme court justices are just too hard to unpack.
ugh. just now, i had one of those "why didn't i write about that on the exam" moments. ok, i'm letting it go. b/c it's over and there's nothing i can do about it.

in better news ... when i got home last night from my afternoon of galavanting and not studying (i.e. shopping), i had a great email in my inbox.


it's part-time, but it's exactly what i want to do. with a loose enough of a schedule so that i can still get to the gym regularly. because man, i'm fat and soft and round and rolly all over and something needs to be done about that this summer.

so yeay!

i'm also looking for another part time job b/c as it is, i'm not sure i'm going to be making enough money to keep up with my drinking this summer. but it feels sooooo good to have SOMETHING. yeay!

onto the erie doctrine ...

Monday, May 02, 2005

finals are fucking with me. they are reaching into the depths of my brain and fucking shit up.

two nights ago, i dreamed vividly about getting a job. and then in my dream, i went to my friends and told them all. it was all so real and realistic.

last night, i dreamed a very vivid sex dream about an ex. i mean, textbook, start to finish.

i think three nights ago i had a sex dream about someone from school, from my section. which would have been my 2nd section-mate sex dream. but i can't figure out who it was.

when i had a crush on someone last semeter, i dreamed about him all the time. not so much this time. hmm ...

ok, equal protection.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

sunday evening
the sun is finally coming out. the weather is perfect for a stroll or a get together over some coffee, something social and interactive and maybe outdoors since it's been raining torrentially all weekend. alas, here i am, sitting next to my window, knee deep in abortion regulation. i am feeling overwhelmed by the volume of STUFF i still have left to go over before my exam on tuesday. i'm trying not to freak out, but i have to say, i'm kind of freaking out!

oh i'll feel soooo good when exams are over. that first drink afterwards ... mmm ...