Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pre-Bed Musings, Part the 47th

Pre-Bed Musings, Part the 47th

I am tired of moving. Like a planet (but not Pluto), constantly in motion, circling, always moving, never arriving.

"So in search of love and laughter I am traveling 'cross this land."

I've found laughter, I've found love in old friends, but I've also found ... resolution? Closure? Almost. Perhaps tomorrow. I was hanging onto hope more than I should have been. I realize that now. Still, to take the high road. I think I need to so destroy things that they are irrecoverable. Then I will know for sure. I was so able to be myself with him, but at the same time, I lost myself. I have learned so much. I will take this knowledge and experience and apply them somewhere better.

I promise that this is the last post about the Boy. Because after one last conversation, the Boy will be a non-issue. I know what I need to say, I just need to say it. You can smack me upside the head. I probably deserve it, but not as much as you fear.

I'm also ridiculously close to accepting the offer. In fact, earlier tonight, if it weren't a weekend, I probably would have called and accepted. I realized I was thinking about the future in packets too large. Three years, five years. The thing is, I know I have one more year here and then I will make myself stay one more. Because I can't think of myself being anywhere for three to five years. And I must remember that when I started law school, one of the challenges was to stay put for three years. Here I am at the end of year two, itching to go, to move my orbit elsewhere.* NO MORE! I have to stop running away from my life. I need to fix my life. I need to find happiness where I am. I once went to an astrologer who said that I can make a home wherever I go. I know that to be truth. So the things that make me unhappy, I think they will always make me unhappy. And if in one year I find that this is not the case, then I will up and move. It's easier as a lateral anyway.
* Err, I'm mixing my own metaphors.

So, I'm recruiting people to tell me all the positive things about Boston. I would appreciate any comments.

I will begin:

1) Its proximity to the Cape. OK, maybe cheating, but I am in love with the Cape right now.
2) Going to shows at the Paradise. Shows sell out, but with enough foreplanning, I can catch great bands in a great, intimate venue.
3) A new church I'm excited about joining and participating in and attending this year.
4) Slightly more manageable traffic.
5) Distance from my parents. Tonight, my dad asked me if I could ask the firm I worked for this summer to handle a matter for him. The ultimate UGH.
6) More reasonable work hours requirements.
7) The hottest, nicest, most awesomest group of gay men I've ever met. And there are always more to meet.
8) This so counts as its own: Last night, walking home from the bar with my male friend, this homeless man exclaimed, "Damn you have a fine woman! I wish I could get me a woman like that! You must be a great man to get that kind of woman." My friend turned around and said, "Thanks." HAHAHA! Way better than the "you're kind of pretty" pick up line.
9) OK, gimme more time and more firm tickets, and I, too, will be a baseball fan.
10) It'll be easier to incorporate more sailing into my life. There's nothing like the feel of the wind whipping through your hair on even the haziest of summer evenings.

OK, I think that's a good start. A nice round list of ten. And I think that's enough blog vomiting for one night. Bed!

More Feelings

More Feelings

I feel hate. Deep rooted hate, down in my diaphragm, but back farther, towards the spine. I don't want to hate, but perhaps it's the only way. Maybe that's why it's back towards the spine, b/c I might be judgmental, but I don't think I'm a hateful person.

I also feel pity. Like I'm walking by a half-squashed bug, with one wing and three legs completely decimated. I know the bug has no chance at survival, but I'm not going to put it out of it's misery. I think I feel pity in my temples, like a headache.

Tomorrow, I will feel joy because there is a wedding!

Friday, August 25, 2006

What's Wrong With Me?

What's Wrong With Me?

I will take this moment to lament and pity myself. Apparently, I have magical powers. As soon as you get into my life, you will end up with your ex-girlfriend. So if you ever lost that love and want her back, date me for a little while. Hell, you only have to go out to coffee with me. Cheap! I have yet to exercise this power with women, but I've never done the lesbian experimentation, and perhaps it's never too late.

I wonder if I can bottle and market this power. Like a potion. Oh, better than Teen Witch.


Thursday, August 24, 2006



Today, my one remaining fellow vacationer (everyone else is in NYC for job interviews) and I went to the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory. Here is a picture from their website:

No, it doesn't look like much. But when you approch it in your car (naturally with the windows open b/c this is the beach and all), you can smell potato chips from blocks away. And as you get even closer, the soothing, comforting smell of fried potatoes takes over. It's delish. And at the end of the self-guided tour, during which you peer through windows at real Cape Cod Potato Chip employees working for at least $9.50 / hour, you get two free mini bags of chips.

How did I find out about this fantabulous place? During lunch yesterday. From the back of my bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips. Which comes with a handy map.

We also saw a cranberry bog. When I get home and get the cable to my camera, I will post pictures.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yeay Wireless!

Yeay Wireless!

I'm sitting at the picnic table in the backyard of the cottage we've rented at the Cape. We've spent a full day at the beach, where it was sunny and warm but not hot. I feel content, my skin feels warm, it's nearing dinner time, the sun is low, there's a cool breeze. I think I smell meat grilling somewhere in the distance. Voices from inside are wafting out through open windows, and people are happy.

I am ridiculously chill.

I forgot how much I loved the beach. But I'm not so good at sitting still. We were at the beach for about four or five hours today and I was so fidgety and distracted. I couldn't read for more than 10 pages at a time. Still, the beach is great. It's not great, though, when something in the dark water nips at your toes!

Monday, August 21, 2006

And I'm Off ... Again!

And I'm Off ... Again!

I'm leaving for the Cape this morning!! Then Friday I'm off to NJ for a wedding and then some camping. I'm sure I'll find some time to post somewhere along the way! :)

Sunday, August 20, 2006


More Babies!!!!

Congrats to P & M, creating their little family o' love in Michigan! Not that they read this. But still. So ... that makes A & M, J & A, P & M, B & Y. Next up: K & L and A & B. And I hear L & J are expecting, too. Yikes!

Rainy Sunday Morning Musings

Rainy Sunday Morning Musings

I've been realizing lately that relationships take a lot of work. I think with the Boy I kind of just let myself be myself, wanted him to accept me for who I was, but didn't try very hard to make the relationship worthwhile for him. Sure, I accepted him for him, but I could have put in more effort, more thought, given more. Not that I should have lost myself, either.

Now, this does not mean I necessarily was the one who broke it, but this is a good lesson to learn, I think, for future reference. I put effort into school, into work, into friendships, I could have put more into that relationship. It's good to know.

I'm off to church. The church I favor in Boston actually is located in Cambridge. But they're opening up a second site on this side of the river. Yeay! Today is the first service.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

black belt

Black Belt Test - Success!

What did the test entail? This test that was 5 1/2 years in the making?

One hundred punches, twice. Except I messed up once, so I actually did 298 punches. I breezed through the first hundred, and then after the next 20, I realized that they were making me more tired than I expected, so I slowed it down.

Then 100 pushups (hoping against hope he wasn't going to make me do those), but I could only do 50. So I got up, did a bunch of kicks, then did 20 more pushups, then more kicks, then 15 more pushups, then more kicks, then the last 15. I was told that at the last 15, a look of despair washed over my face. I think that's because I lost count and thought I only had five left.

Anyhoo, I survived the pushups, then had to do continuous kicking up and down the room. Thankfully it was only for 2.5 lengths.

Then I had to do ALL my forms, from tae guk 1 to tae guk 8, and koryo.

Then I had to spar one person for about 2 minutes.

Then, sake!

This is a picture of the belt my friend had embroidered for me. Yeay! My name is embroidered on the other end of the belt, hidden. Cuz I like to be anon like that.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Holy Crackers

Holy Crackers

Thanks to mighty girl.

Eve of BLack Belt Test

On the Eve of my Black Belt Test

Tomorrow, I am going to suffer, rather, I am going to persevere, rather ... Tomorrow, I am taking my black belt test. This is a big deal for me. Yes, it's true that my Master offered to give me the belt without question. But I asked for the test. And I think it's going to be a whammy of a test. No, the sparring won't be that hard b/c I've had my ass beat several times. I can always take another beating. No, the one step sparring and self defense stuff won't be that hard because I think my Master is going to go kind of easy on me. I pray I won't have to do 100 push ups because that will certainly kick my ass. But still, I could get through it. What's going to be hard for me is to not pee myself in front of all the people who say they are going to show up. People I don't know very well, even. We'll see who actually shows.

I'd like to take this opportunity to pontificate on what taekwondo means to me. I started it in January 2001 as a way to get in shape and lose some weight in anticipation of the two weddings I was going to be a bridesmaid in over the summer of 2001. When I got to grad school in September 2001, I just wanted to continue training and learning forms and learning kicks -- largely because I had dated my instructor in Baltimore and ... it was a way of holding on. I had no desire to fight. I hated fighting. Little did I know that my Master would wrangle me into the ring and not ony get me to fight, but to actually enjoy it. (Winning really helps.) Being a part of the team brought me all over the eastern seaboard to various tournaments - university sponsored and otherwise. To Detroit, to Puerto Rico. I even took my taekwondo to New Zealand. I've beaten people a lot less experienced. I've gotten my ass handed to me by national champion black belts. I've been physically brutalized by scrappy fighters who would win a bar brawl, hands down, but couldn't win in the ring. I've lost a toenail. I think my shins are permanently bruised and dented.

But next to education, I have never stuck with anything for this long. I'm the queen of reaching a plateau and quitting. When things get too hard, I stop. I usually lack the dedication to overcome the plateau. But that has not been the case with taekwondo. Even though I will never get my flying side kick down, and I have too much hip and not enough core strength to get a really good double or triple kick, I think I've crossed over many plateaus in my taekwondo career. It really fulfills me somehow. It's something I'm good at, and it's nice to discover one's natural talents. But it's also taught me a lot of discipline and respect for other people, not just my seniors, but people in general. It's given me confidence in scary situations -- be it in facing general stage fright fears or stepping into the ring against a six-foot tall muscle bound amazonian. And in striving to be better at taekwondo, I think it's also helped me not to give up on other things so quickly.

Part of me wishes that three years ago, I just dedicated myself to taekwondo to see how far I could go. I had really, really lofty dreams, once. I suppose it's never too late, but for now, I'm content treating taekwondo as a hobby and pursuing my legal career. I think.

Thursday, August 17, 2006



Round 2 selections of the on campus interviewing has come in and I got ZIP ZERO ZILCH. It's weird. I mean, some of the firms are only interviewing two or three 3Ls, and there are probably people with better GPAs than I. So I shouldn't take it personally. And I don't. I think it's more about letting go of my pipe dreams of working in New York City. Giving up dreams can be a bit hard, I think.

In other news, I've spent the week training my ass off for my black belt test tomorrow. Tuesday night, there was a lot of sparring. Here is what I'm carrying around as a result:

It's right at belt level, so when I wear a belt to hold my pants up, it hurts to walk. (Oh, and yes, those are stretch marks. I'm not ashamed.) I'm also quite sore. Arms, legs, abs. I can't wait for it to be over. But then they say when you're a black belt, you're only a beginner.



Well, I got the offer from the firm. I actually heard last week but it wasn't really a big deal b/c I was expecting it. But I find the results of this survey interesting.

First, I just got back from Chicago and loved it. But ... it's surrounded by cornfields and Republicans. And it's like a super fat city and I put fitness as one of my important traits for a city.

Second, for the same as above, I question whether Atlanta should be on this list. Fat, fat, fat. I also said I wanted public transportation. Umm, yeah, all the pavement in Atlanta creates a unique weather system over the city. Hot-lanta!

Third, Boston is not on this list. I've already decided, however, that I'd rather stay at the firm I worked at this summer than work at a firm in New Jersey that pays a third less because not only is the money better in Boston, but the department I want to work in is one of the top in the city. Even if New Jersey is a toxic wasteland armpit of America...

American Cities That Best Fit You::
70% Chicago
65% Philadelphia
55% Atlanta
55% Honolulu
55% New York City

Wednesday, August 16, 2006



Oy, my posts for the last few days have been utterly depressing. But I'm doing much, much better. I don't know why. Maybe it was all the kicking and punching of other human beings that happened last night. Maybe it's the Boy being out of the country, which just so completely removes him from my life for about a week that I can focus on ... well, my life. Maybe it's the need to focus on my black belt test on Friday. Maybe it's realizing that I'm a paranoid freak and life is not as bad as I think. Maybe it's just mind over matter. Maybe ... who knows what it is. I just feel better.

Blog Vomit

Blog Vomit

I've been thinking a lot lately. Too much idle time. Too much life. I think I need school to start. Left alone with my thoughts and my wireless internet, you and my blog are subject to my mental excrement. Why do I even post, you may ask? Because I've been blogging for four years (yes, it's true) and it's become a habit. A release. Stop now if you just want to know me forever as the functioning alcoholic law student that I am.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What is the meaning of life? Some say it is to love. I say it is to suffer. When things are going well, I think life is too easy. But when the shit hits the fan, and when you are slogging through it up to your neck, that's when you really live. We think, we feel, we rationalize. We're not really utilizing our abilities until we're challenged. Kind of like an athlete -- if you're a marathoner, running down the street isn't going to challenge you, isn't going to fulfill you in any way.

What's the point of life? To survive the struggles and come out the other side a better person, a more knowledgeable person, ready for the next struggle. Because between the good times, there are always struggles.

What is friendship? I say it is to support each other and buoy each other up in life, in the struggles. So I think we should relate to each other while trying to inflict as little pain and hurt as possible. It's so hard, though, because we'll always mess up, and we'll always disappoint each other and be disappointed in each other. (And then there are those people who are so messed up, they intentionally inflict pain. Yikes.) Thus, it's important to communicate, to ask for what you need, because we can't read each other's minds. (And thank God for that, cuz lemme tell ya, I got some crazies in my head...) I think, too, that it's important to forgive, knowing that we all fuck up. And as people come and go in life, I think the most we can hope for is that we've left a positive impact on each other, supported each other, forgiven each other. And, perhaps, loved each other to the best of our abilities.

What is love? To love is, in part, to let someone into your life so deeply that you're vulnerable to them. Who, with a turn of a phrase or a small mistruth or a giant wallop of a lie or a broken promise or a minor disappointment, can make you suffer. But because to live is to suffer, I think we must love. There's also the related logic that the more you risk, the more you reap. So to risk suffering and vulnerability brings greater love.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh man, I'm done. I won't subject you to any more of this cheese.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Quickie

A Quickie

There's a lot on my mind. Very little of it good. I think I'm in a bad place. I think I tried too soon, too hard, too fast.

The thing about truth is that there is only one. When you say X happened, then X is all that you have to confront and contend with. When you don't get truth, you get an infinite number of possibilities. A girl could die trying to contend with an infinite number of possibilities.

For instance, if you say, last night, I had dinner with my ex-girlfriend. OK. Then I can accustom myself to the fact that you had dinner with your ex-girlfriend, trust that nothing happened, control the instinct to be jealous and move on. If you say, last night, I was busy, then there are an infinite number of things my brain can imagine. Maybe you had dinner with your ex-girlfriend and for dessert you had your ex-girlfriend. Maybe you stayed in and watched porn all night. Maybe you bowled with midgets. Maybe you ... do you get my point?

And when that one big whammy of a lie gets discovered, it's all over. Trust is gone.

I've been thinking a lot about honesty and truth. And how difficult it is to find in people. I like to think I'm an honest person. I'll tell you how I feel, what I'm thinking, what I ate, what I fear, how many times I pooped today. (Incidentally, I'm averaging three times a day. Weird.) I probably have two real secrets in my life. Everything else is fair game. If you'll listen, I will tell.

Is it possible that I take honesty too far to the other extreme? Because maybe too honest = too crazy. And if it comes too soon, then you can scare someone off. And with some people, being too honest (e.g. I pooped three times yesterday) is just too much honesty for them to handle. I don't know.

I do know one thing. This weekend in Chicago, I realized that the only way things are going to get better is if I trust in God. I've been neglecting my relationship with God just a wee bit. Sure, underneath everything, I believe. But I don't live like I believe. And I need to start doing that. There were a 1001 things wrong with the situations I've been in lately. No wonder they were so un-soul-satisfying and I came out the other side wanting to cry. I feel great pain and sadness and longing and I can't look backwards to soothe those feelings. I miss feeling hopeful. I miss thinking and living like God has got my back and the peace and serenity that living with that belief can bring. I've lost myself, and I need to find myself again. And, for the cheesy ending, that's the truth.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Potential Triad of Crappy Things to Happen In One Day

A Potential Triad of Crappy Things to Happen In One Day. And Stuff.

1.) A pigeon pooping on your head.¹
2.) Someone walking in on you in the bathroom stall.²
3.) Catching the bouquet at a wedding.³

One of these things didn't happen to me yesterday.

¹And shirt, and skirt.
²If you're going to knock, then wait for an answer before yanking the door open.
³Yes, I am that girl.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A few thoughts and observations from the weekend / wedding:

* I heart weddings!! They are such joyful celebrations of love and relationships and of God bringing two people together. And even though marriage isn't easy, from what I hear, and no normal people actually expect them to be, there's also something joyful about the challenges that a married couple will face. It's an adventure two people choose to take together, and the rewards are so great. Joyous!

* If you're going to flirt with a girl, and then find another girl to flirt with, it is not becoming to then call girl 1 at 4 in the morning under the premise of making sure she got home safely an hour ago whereas really you blew it with girl 2 and are desperately grasping at a hookup straw. Still, this is slightly less gauche than flirting with a girl for hours and then dropping the "I'm engaged bomb."

* Chicago is a fantabulous city. I went to Pilsen yesterday - the Mexican neighborhood - and walked around their cultural fair. It was small and modest. But it was really cool. I ate a paleta. Thankfully my friend was there because without him, I would have walked away with a coconut paleta when I hate coconut and I was asking for something in red.

* People who live in LA are funny. A few weeks ago, my friend from LA was surprised when I walked 8 blocks to meet her. Yesterday, my friend from LA looked at a map and was surprised to find that three blocks was only a five minute walk. Before he moved, he told me, he lived two blocks from work. It took him 20 minutes to walk those two blocks.

OK, that's enough verbal vomiting on this blog for one day.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

New Jersey and Death (Not Related)

New Jersey and Death (Not Related)

First, here I am in Chicago and I'm freaked out of my gourd. Have you ever read Devil in the White City? It's about the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. During the Fair, this guy started killing single women who came to Chicago seeking excitement and glitz and glamour. He got so sophisticated as to construct a house of death - hidden passageways, secret doors, and a ventilation system to release noxious gases. He would rent rooms to female boarders / guests. And KILL them.

Well, here I am at this hotel which was built to house guests for the World's Fair. And it's totally creepy. It is dark and slightly run down, the halls are narrow, the celiings are high. There's an opulence to the lobby that totally evokes a different era. And all i can do is think about the house of death from that book.

I tried to go and work out in the hotel gym. I scoped it out decided that eating cookies, reading, and watching movies (not all at the same time) would be better for my health.

Second, the results of a quiz:

You Are 74% New Jersey!

You are definitely Jersey. Well done, my friend. You are most likely from this great state, and you fit right in. Odds are, you love being Jersey!

How New Jersey Are You?

I really wish I scored higher. :) I'm proud to be from NJ. But proud enough to work there? Uncertain.

Adventures in Air Travel

Adventures in Air Travel

So, I'm sitting at the airport, minding my own business, listening to my iPod when I hear my name being called over the loudspeaker. The last time my name was called over the loudspeaker at the airport, I was asleep and the plane was waiting for me to board so it could take off. I took inventory of myself, made sure I wasn't asleep, and made my way over to the gate. Turns out, some international summer exchange kids wanted to sit together and I traded in my center seat for one by a window ... right in the middle of a gaggle of Orthodox Jewish girls. They were almost all teenagers and were gossipy and giggly and talkative, as teenaged girls are wont to be. So I put on my headphones, dig deep into my New Yorker magazine, and lean back ... and I realize the seat is broken. If I lean on it hard enough, the seat reclines. So I try not to lean too far back, and resume listening and digging. When the plane takes off, however, the G-forces suddenly push me back into my seat, my seat reclines, of course, and I'm rather startled and I exclaim, "Jesus!" The girl sitting next to me looks at me and I pretend nothing happened. Heh.

I manage to fall asleep. I wake up several times to the girl sitting next to me shouting back two rows to her friend. In between shouting, she's chewing her gum like it's her job. And since she's a teenager, it pretty much is her job. I try to fall asleep again, and this time I wake up and she's leaning towards me, shouting back at her friend through the gap between our seats. I try and ignore it, but even my iPod at ear-damaging volume levels can't drown her out.

That girl, she had great Jersey girl potential. Except, I think she was from Chicago.

I'm staying with friends in Evanston tonight. They just bought a house and will soon start work as first-year associates. They have a lovely home. And a happy life. Yeay for friends with happy lives!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006



I keep having really annoying dreams. They make my sleep time not very enjoyable. So I woke up today and looked at baby pictures of my friend's week-old baby. Then I decided to look at singles ads on craigslist (that's more of a non sequitr than you think) and decided that people are boring and not interesting and I'm going back into my cave of singleness. My cave where no one can hurt me and I can live my life on my own terms, with little to no regard for other people. Where no one can sway me from my path, distract me, make me think I want things I never wanted. Make me feel weak and unhappy.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Chicago. I'm going to relax and have fun and be happy. Or something.

Firefox keeps crashing on me. It's really annoying.

The New York Job Fair is a bust. Which is good because I'm not really sure I want it. I don't know what I want. I just want this feeling to go away.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I finished work on Friday! Ten weeks over! Things kind of went out with a bang. After ten weeks of relative quietness, there was a wee bit of drama and gossip. And a partner got mad at me. But we had a lot of fun.

Saturday I went and dyed my hair.

I was kind of nervous, but I really like it. I was aiming more for fire engine red, but this is pretty good and probably a lot more practical because I may have interviews in a few weeks and I don't want to come in looking like a nut. My stylist told me that this color will get coppery as it fades, and I'll be spending a week at the beach and what not, so I'm optimistic that it will fade to a fairly normal color when interview time arrives.

There have been great advances in hair color technology. There was no need to bleach my hair. He just put the color right in. It saved a lot of time.

I also like the way my head is not one uniform color. It looks like he put in highlights but he didn't. One color. All over.

The downside of this is that the color clashes with orange, the color I have added into my wardrobe with increasing frequency. And used to decorate my home ...

- - -

I'm off to my parents' house soon. There will be time with old friends, then time in Chicago with more old friends and weddings and more old friends, then back to my parents' house to cram for my black belt test because that is on Aug. 18. Then off to the Cape, then camp, then Montreal then school. And then the last year of law school. Wow.

Will write more when my head is not throbbing from staying up until 6am. I wish the story was much more exciting, but it's not. I ended up talking to some people about serious shit and the night just wouldn't end.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Will Never Be So Desperate -

- as to use this dating site.

I have a pretty firm rule against dating lawyers. Although I can't really control my emotions, so it's not really a rule so much as it's just happened this way. I haven't had a crush on anyone related to law since my first year of law school. Well, there is that guy at work, but that's going nowhere, half by choice and half not. But it's all for the best -


Thursday, August 03, 2006

"Men Act Like Dogs"

Headline: Men Act Like Dogs

I'm sorry! I couldn't resist! This is a real headline, more or less, over at LiveScience*. Here's the story:

Men Act Like Dogs to Determine Dominance

By Ker Than
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 31 July 2006
09:11 am ET

A male dog will whine and beg in deference to a stronger dog, but will lower its voice into a guttural growl if it thinks it has a fighting chance.

Men unconsciously do a similar thing, scientists say.

A new study finds that the lower the pitch of a man's voice, the more physically dominant other men think he is. And men lower their voice pitch when addressing a man they believe to be less dominant than themselves, but raise it when speaking to someone they think is more dominant.

The findings, detailed in the July issue of the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, could help explain why vocal pitch in men and women are so different.

Big and low

Vocal pitch, determined by the main frequencies in a voice, is about half as high in men as in women. This difference has traditionally been explained as a product of sexual selection, in which women favored men with lower-pitched voices.

One reason women might prefer men who speak in low voices is that vocal pitch is partly related to physical size. Taller men tend to have lower voices because they have longer vocal tracts and vocal folds, the main determinants of pitch.

Vocal anatomy is also thought to signal a man's level of testosterone, a hormone linked to physical aggressiveness and prowess.

Studies have shown that women favor men with low, masculine voices during periods in their menstrual cycle when they're likely to get pregnant, and also that they prefer men with lower voices for short-term sexual flings.

How the study was done

In the new study, 111 male university students took part in what they thought was a competition against another guy for a date with an attractive female student. The participants were asked to rate social and physical dominance of themselves and a competitor.

All the male participants faced the same competitor, whose voice was recorded but who was not actually present during the experiment.

To get a baseline reading of their voices, participants were first asked to read a passage aloud. They then had to respond to the competitor after listening to him give reasons why he thought other men respected or admired him.

Men who rated themselves as more physically dominant than the competitor used a lower vocal pitch when responding to him, whereas men who rated themselves as less physically dominant tended to raise it.

The costs of faking

Like whining in dogs, a man's raising of pitch to a physically dominant man is probably an unconscious way of showing deference, said study leader David Puts of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Men could fake it and lower their pitch to appear more dominant than they really are, but if someone calls their bluff in a real-world situation, the consequences could be severe.

"If you advertise dominance and can't back it up, the attacks may be worse than if you had avoided the fight to begin with," Puts told LiveScience.

An experiment with sparrows done in the 1980's provides a case in point. Male sparrows have black patches on their chests that advertise their status to other males. The more dominant and older a male sparrow is, the bigger and darker his patch is. Researchers painted dark patches on the chests of male sparrows that weren't very dominant before. The ruse worked for a while, but eventually the posers were challenged to fight.

"When they were, it was pretty bad for them because they couldn't back up the dominance that they had been claiming," Puts said.

Experiments in which wimpy female wasps were painted to mimic dominant wasps showed similar results: phonies got harassed more often and for longer periods when they got into fights.

Puts and his team think lower vocal pitch signals physical dominance more than it does social dominance, which in modern humans is typically achieved through skillful leadership and persuasion, not strength.

"Social dominance has to do with things like intelligence and social skills, which aren't necessarily related to body size or testosterone," Puts explained. "Ancestrally, if pitch was related to dominance, it was first related to physical dominance before anything else."

* In case you don't know what LiveScience is, it's the all-science news website launched by my former employer,

# If you're interested in LiveScience, you might also like ScienceLine, an all-science news website launched by the currents students and faculty of my former graduate program.



I think I almost burned down my apartment this morning. For a few days now, I've left my curling iron plugged in but turned off and sitting on top of some stuff I leave in the bathroom, like makeup and such. This morning, I threw my pajamas on top of it and got in the shower. The morning routine continued, I dried my hair, threw the hairdryer back on top of the pile, and then realized the status of my curling iron. I rifled through the things, grabbed the curling iron and burned my finger. Yikes! I'm not sure when exactly the thing turned on, but it was on for long enough to melt some of my makeup and a plastic case. Oh, and did I mention my finger? What if I had left the house? My pajamas could have caught on fire! Yikes! And did I mention my finger? Ouch! And what about yesterday, when I'm sure the thing was also plugged in!?

So grateful to be alive today. And yesterday.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

That Was Short-Lived ...

That Was Short Lived

Let's face it. This is me. How long can I go without talking about my personal life and the slightest nuances of my stupid little thoughts? Apparently, one post.

This "recovery" business is one step forward two steps back. Nah, more like two steps forward, one step back.

Today, something clicked. I think I'm over the hump and on the downhill towards recovery and not slogging my way uphill, risking sliding backwards. Into hell.

I'm drunk and just came home from a somewhat awkward date where he would not stop talking about cute girls and then made me talk about the Boy. Argh! Seriously? Who goes on a pseudo-date or date or whatever it was and talks about cute girls in his life that he tries to flirt with?!?! I've been on that ride before and it made me sick and I had to get off.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Retail Therapy

Retail Therapy

I'm finding that my blog is getting to me. I aspire to be more insightful, more funny, less serious, less self-involved. More like this blog and this blog and in a sick I kind of wish I had your life way, this blog.

I begin with this post on shopping.

I bought the most extraordinary mascara the other day. I have a hard time with mascara b/c usually it just runs right off my face and makes me look like a clown whereas I aspired to make my eyes look Angelina-like. OK, I'm Asian, maybe I was aiming for Lucy Liu. This mascara is great, though! I can actually see my teeny lashes.

A few weeks ago, when I was in NYC (the first ill-fated voyage), I went to a flea market with friends the morning after. I was hauling around my luggage, it was hot, and I was near tears pretty much the whole time. Until I got angry. Oh, I'm off topic. Anyway, we were at this flea market and there was this great jewelry maker and I bought a skull and crossbones necklace from her. The picture above is not even close to what I actually purchased, but I haven't gotten around to taking a picture of my actual necklace. You can find the woman online here.

Then two weekends ago when I jetted (or drove) down to NYC for a night, we shopped in the E. Village. Oh, my old 'hood! So much has changed! And one of the things that has been added is a this very cute bead shop that sells completed jewelry in addition to supplies, like beads and clasps. You can find the website here. But your best bet is to actually go to the shop.

That is all for now. Must go meet co-workers for breakfast. Breakfast! In the last week, they are trying to pile on the 10 pounds I have more less avoided putting on this summer.