Archive for August, 2004

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Seasonal Changes I can’t believe it’ll be Septe…

30 August 2004

Seasonal Changes

I can’t believe it’ll be September in 2 days, which means that summer is coming to a close and the end of the year will be right around the corner before you know it. It’s time for seasonal changes.

I haven’t been blogging the past week since I’ve been buried with work since coming back from my holiday. When I got back to work, I only had 2 weeks to finish up the files that were assigned to me in my old unit before my new assignment started. Last Thursday and Friday, I had to pack up my old desk and move things to my new desk. It was actually pretty sad putting my books away in boxes. It almost felt like I was leaving the office, period (instead of just moving to a new desk across the hall from my old one). My old team even threw my co-worker and I a going-away pizza party to bid us good luck with our new unit. I’ll definitely miss my teammates from my old unit. Things definitely come and go:

–my good friend Bryan from law school is moving back to his home state, Minnesota. I’ve been friends with him since our first year of law school and we used to hang out a lot (especially when I still lived in Manhattan). There’s actually five of us –we’ve dubbed ourselves the “Party Posse” and we all met in law school. While we haven’t been as close as we used to be, we still hang out on a regular basis (along with the rest of the PP). He quit his job recently and is now starting a new business with his friend back home. Good luck B! At least he’ll be back and forth.

–my good friend Annie (another PP member) is also ending her job as a law clerk (in the same courthouse where I work). Judicial clerkships are only year-long positions and her last day is tomorrow. I won’t be able to eat lunch with her anymore. Boo-erns. Seeing her everyday kind of reminded us of law school, and I know working here won’t be the same without her.

At least I had an activity-packed weekend to buffer some of the changes. I was supposed to go to Los Angeles this past Thursday to see The Cure, but because of work and more pressing matters, I thought it best not to go anymore. I’m trying not to dwell on the fact that I missed them! So here’s what I did instead (accompanying pictures to be posted shortly):

–went out for drinks on Friday after-work to celebrate the end of the law clerks’ stints. We played the “I Never” Game which is always fun (not to mention racy!). I only had 3 drinks, but by the time I drove home, I had a banging headache!

–went to a birthday party Friday night (in the Lower East Side area of NYC). The thing about going to bars/lounges is that nothing happens before 11:30 pm. We got there at 10:30 pm (because the party was supposed to start at 10 pm) but no one was there. So the hubs and I walked around to buy some time. By then my headache was still going on full force and I knew that I would not be drinking anymore that night. Then we went back to the joint and people finally started to arrive. It started to get busy by midnight, but we left at 1 am because the hubs had to wake up early for golf the next day (and I still had my headache and felt nauseated by then).

–went guitar and drum set shopping Saturday afternoon with my bandmate Angela. She and I both came home empty-handed. I’m in the market for an acoustic-electric guitar, but I didn’t want to shell out more than $300 for the model that I liked. Maybe after I’ve done more research. And part of me is still hoping for a Gibson electric model. The Gibson dream may not end up happening though because most necks of the models I actually like are pretty thick. I have small hands and need a neck that’s on the smaller side, if possible. Angela came home empty-handed because she really has no place to put a drum set at the moment. Our band (still un-named at this point) is shopping around for a studio that we can rent on a monthly basis. So far, we alternate practices between this studio we rent ($40 for 2 hours) and Jesica’s (the band-leader) house (her room is pretty hooked up with a track recorder and some amps). We’d like a place to call home though. Tonight, we’re back at the studio.

–early Saturday night, we went to Annie’s place for my friend Bryan’s going-away party. It was a Party Posse reunion of sorts. We were there from 5:30 to midnight which is a pretty long time. Ate tons of food, had some drinks, and basically just hung out. We also played a mean game of Trivial Pursuit that was pretty neck and neck. Good times. Good times.

–Sunday morning, the hubs and I drove down to Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. It’s about 1.5 hours away from home and this is the first time we’ve been down there. This is the 4th time I’ve been “down the shore” and most folks are aghast when they hear it. You see, during the summertime here in NY and NJ, people flock to the beaches for the weekend and stay in the shore houses. New Yorkers go to the Hamptons for the summer (which is great with me because traffic and parking problems are greatly alleviated) and the NJ-ites go “down the shore.” They end partying and drinking, but that’s not my scene and that is definitely not my crowd either. The hubs and I spent half the day at Pt. Pleasant just sunbathing, reading, wading in the water, and walking down the Boardwalk. I had a great time and got a bit more tanned.

–Sunday night, we also went to Queens to see my mom and dad (and score a free dinner). On the way there, we saw a slew of military choppers over the George Washington Bridge, reminding us that the Republican National Convention (RNC) has arrived. It’s great how they chose Madison Square Garden of all places (which sits atop Penn. Station –the world’s busiest station). I saw news footage of all the protests so far and it’s just crazy. About 200+ have been arrested so far. Traffic is crazy.

Home was good. The folks are good. My dad thinks my hair is too short (I cut it last Sunday and yes, it is short). I also hung out with my bros and played video games (I used to play more, but now, not so much.) We left relatively early and were home by 8:15 pm. Watched the MTV Video Music Awards the rest of the night.

Now, it’s DAY ONE of my stint at the Juvenile Unit. I have no calendar today, so I’ve spent the morning unpacking, re-arranging my desk, cleaning up, and updating my blog. I won’t have a calendar until this Thursday, so I’m spending my time preparing for a trial tomorrow, and (still) working on files from my old unit.

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What I Sometimes Think About When I Have Time on m…

23 August 2004

What I Sometimes Think About When I Have Time on my Hands

Once in a while, I have my “dark” days when I get a bit depressed and pensive and question the meaning of life. I come home from work, sit on my hubs’ lap and whine about the banality of our existence. Usually, he nods in assent and says “yeah, we live and we die; you can’t do anything about it” and then makes me feel better and cuddles with me.

No, I’m not trying to be philosophical or intellectual at all. It’s just that sometimes, I feel trapped in this cycle. We are born, we go to school, then go to work. If you’re lucky, you meet a “special someone” and spend part of your life with that someone. If not, you go on alone. You work, you take vacations, you go back to work, you get old, kids are born, your kids get old. Then you die. With God’s graces, you may even die after you’ve gotten to experience all the above.

I know life is all about the journey and the experiences you collect along the way. It’s not about achieving one set goal. Life is what you do about it. I get all that. But sometimes, I strive for a life less ordinary. I get restless. I want to do this or that. And the point is, I do. I go out and do something because I want to make my life more interesting. But sometimes, it’s not enough to squelch the voice in the back of my head demanding “More!” Or yelling, “What? This is it? This is my life?!

Then I get over it and once again take inventory of the many blessings in my life: supportive and generous parents, an overall close-knit family and in-laws; the world’s most patient, responsible, loving, funny, kind, husband to share my life with; a great set of friends who care about me; a stellar education; a job that I love (complete with fun, witty co-workers); hobbies that keep me going (e.g., reading, creative writing, kicking it with my band); and much more.

So I think, what gives? If I’m content with my life thus far, then why am I questioning it? I think questioning life is something all of us go through at one point or the other. In fact, it’s cliché. It’s a way to put your self in check, I suppose. It makes you evaluate who you are, what you’ve done so far, and what you’d like to do and still haven’t. When I question ‘the meaning of life’, I also end up evaluating some of the choices I’ve made in my life. For instance, I think about the fact that I got married at 24 years old. Sometimes, I feel that I was too young. Don’t get me wrong, this has nothing to do with my hubs and my decision in marrying him (I knew he was ‘the one’ after 3 months of dating him). This particular question is more on my sense of self: Did I even get to know myself and who I am before I decided to share my life?

Another thing I think about is that I’ve always been “the responsible daughter.” It’s exhausting sometimes to always try to live up according to familial standards. I’ve almost always done what my parents expected of me (of course, I’ve had my share of getting in trouble). Sometimes, I wonder where I would be if I decided to pursue the writing career full-force or decided to stay in Los Angeles (instead of promising my folks I’d go to school in NY). Who knows?

I know full well that dwelling on the past is pretty fruitless. I can’t very well change anything and the only thing I can do is learn from it. While I don’t regret the choices I’ve made, I do know that I wish I had the courage to follow my heart back then. What I’ve learned from the past is that sometimes, I can be too cautious. Life is too short to stay in the lines all the time. I want to live more vicariously and take charge. It breaks the cycle.

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Seven Deadly Sins – a blog-filler idea I copied fr…

21 August 2004

Seven Deadly Sins – a blog-filler idea I copied from PinayHekmi. A lot’s happened the past week and I’ve been bogged down at work. I haven’t had the energy to write. So here’s a few “confessions” in the meantime…

ANGER

1. Who did you last get angry with?

One of my supervisors (not that I said anything out loud though). He gave me a complex motion to do knowing that I’m leaving my unit in less than 2 weeks.

2. What is your weapon of choice? Like Tin, definitely a Hatori Hanzo sword!

3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex? Yup.

4. How about of the same sex? Yup.

5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you? My ex-bf and his gf.

6. What is your pet peeve? People who are late. People who wear necklaces w/ turtlenecks. People who don’t bother to educate themselves and learn about other cultures.

7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily? I don’t generally keep grudges and can let them go easily. But if it’s someone I really trusted, a part of that trust will definitely be lost forever.

SLOTH

1. What is one thing you’re supposed to do daily that you haven’t done in a while? Cardio exercise. Floss.

2. What is the latest you’ve ever woken up? 3 pm, but that was in college. I can only sleep about 9 hours max nowadays.

3. Name a person you’ve been meaning to contact, but haven’t. My high school English teacher. We still keep in touch, albeit sporadically.

4. What is the last lame excuse you made? I like to think I have good reasons for not being able to do something I’ve previously committed to.

5. Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through (one of the long ones)? Unfortunately, yes.

6. How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock today? Zero.

GLUTTONY

1. What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice? Tall 1% Decaf Mocha (no whip or foam; either iced or hot) at Starbucks. Or a Java Chip frappucino. *drool*

2. Meat eaters: white meat or dark? Dark. I also like fatty meats! Especially baby back ribs and rib-eye steak….*drool*

3. What is the greatest amount of alcohol you’ve had in one sitting? 5 vodka shots in less than an hour. I was fine. But that was college…

4. Have you ever used a professional diet company? No

5. Do you have an issue with your weight? Yes. Not weight exactly, more like body mass index. I don’t think I’m fat (wait, yes I do!), but I am definitely flabby and would like to be more toned without working out for it. Hahaha…

6. Do you prefer sweets, salty, or spicy foods? All of the above.

7. Have you ever looked at a small housepet or child and thought, “LUNCH”? Uhm, NO.

LUST

1. How many people have you seen naked (not counting movies/family)?

If I don’t count the women I’ve seen parading naked in the gym; people I’ve seen accidentally; the figure models in art class; and the one guy who flashed me in Paris, about 4 I think. Others, I may have blocked out of my memory.

2. How many people have seen YOU naked (not counting physicians/family)? Not counting folks who may have seen me accidentally, then 4.

3. Have you ever caught yourself staring at the chest of a member of your gender of choice during a normal conversation? Yeah, sure. I can appreciate a nice rack. But I’m even more appreciative of some fine booty. =D

4. Have you “done it”? Yeah, sure.

5. What is your favorite body part on a person of your gender of choice? Arms.

6. Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute? No, but this kid in high school offered to pay me $100 to sleep with him. AS IF!!

7. Have you ever had to get tested for an STD or pregnancy? Yes for both.



GREED

1. How many credit cards do you own? 2

2. What’s your guilty pleasure store? Don’t really have one, but I usually have to restrain myself when I’m in Barnes and Noble bookstore.

3. If you had $1 million, what would you do with it? I don’t think $1M is enough but here goes:

-pay off mortgage

-pay off my credit cards debts, and of the hubs & immediate family

-give some $$ to mom and dad; open up CD for 2 lil bro’s

-put in down payment for a nice loft in NYC (b/c $1M isn’t enough for a brownstone)

-pay all other outstanding bills of myself and immediate family

-invest

-travel

4. Would you rather be rich or famous? Rich –you can always try to be famous when you are rich.

5. Would you accept a boring job if it meant you would make megabucks? Only if I was in desperate need of money (say, my kid was in trouble or something). Otherwise, I wouldn’t quit my job. Unless of course, it’s a job that won’t require me to work long hours and let me read books all day long.

6. Have you ever stolen anything? Yes.

7. How many MP3s are on your hard drive? 438 for now. Just deleted some.



PRIDE

1. What’s one thing you have done that you’re most proud of? I don’t know. I still feel unaccomplished for the most part. I guess graduating from an Ivy League school is something I’m proud of (though I know getting in was sheer luck). Oh wait…passing the NY and NJ Bar exams in one shot is something I’m proud of (again, I know it’s also through sheer luck).

2. What’s one thing you have done that your parents are most proud of? I think the same as above.

3. What’s one thing you would like to accomplish in your life? Publishing a critically-acclaimed novel.

4. Do you get annoyed by coming in second place? Not that much; I’ve never been the competitive type. But I do get annoyed when I don’t win arcade games and the lottery.

5. Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill? I don’t recall entering any contests, period.

6. Have you ever cheated on something to get a higher score? Yes.

7. What did you do today that you’re proud of? Doing research on a complex motion and finding out that a defendant is wrong and knowing that his ass is staying in jail until 2045. Muhahahaha *evil laughter*



ENVY

1. What item of your friends would you most want to have for your own? My friend’s boyfriend’s 4-story loft-like apartment in Tribeca. *sigh*

2. If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be? I don’t know. I’d like to take pieces of certain people, customize it to my personality and create SUPER-KAT! Muhahahhah *more evil laughter*

3. Have you ever been cheated on? Not that I know of.

4. Have you ever wished you had a physical feature different from your own? Hell yeah. I wish I was taller, more toned, with the arms of Jennifer Aniston, the abs of Jessica Alba, and the guitar skills of Jimi Hendrix & Slash (although “guitar skills” isn’t really a physical feature, per se.)

5. What inborn trait do you see in others that you wish you had for yourself? Confidence and an inborn talent for public-speaking.

6. Finally, what is your favorite deadly sin? Favorite deadly sin?! Aren’t sins meant to be avoided? But I guess gluttony would be it –I LOVE to eat.

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Mis vacaciones a Portugal y España I came back …

18 August 2004

Mis vacaciones a Portugal y España

I came back from my holiday this past Sunday; I stepped foot inside my house at 11:30 pm. It feels wonderful to be home after a long vacation.

My trip was muy interesante for various reasons. Here’s a recap:

Day 1

-We were scheduled to leave at 9 pm from JFK to London Heathrow, then connect to Lisbon. -We were told that there was a huge storm in London and all flights were delayed. Our flight would leave at 11:30 pm that night (which would cause us to miss our connecting flight in Lisbon). British Airways (BA) put us on Iberia Air which flies to Madrid and then connects us to Lisbon.

-We got on the flight to Madrid alright, but missed the connecting flight to Lisbon due to some paperwork errors (or so we were told).

Day 2

-We finally got to Lisbon at about 4 pm. Our luggage, unfortunately, did not.

-So that night, we went shopping for clothes at their mall and bought some undies from the Portuguese version of Target.

-We met the rest of our tour group and our tour director.

-We had dinner at a great seafood restaurant and saw a bit of Lisbon. Then we slept.

Streets of Lisbon


Day 3

-Wake-up call @ 6:15 am. We were to trek from Lisbon to Madrid via our tour bus. It is an 8-hour drive more or less. Saw a lot of beautiful old castles along the way. I love castles and all things medieval-y and mythology-related.

-Halfway through the drive, I started to feel sick. As in throwing-up sick and feverish and chilly. Made good uses of all our “comfort stops” along the way.

-Got to Madrid, headed straight for the bathroom and then to bed.

-Pulled myself together to go to dinner and a night-time tour. Could not eat nor enjoy the sightseeing.

-Threw up for most of the night. Was also still feverish and chilly. Took some Tylenol.

-My mom and dad went to the Madrid airport to try to find out luggage. They were successful and came home at 2 am with luggage in hand. Yay! I could actually change my pants!

Madrid’s Central Post Office at night

The hubs and I (with Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the background)

Day 4-5

-Felt mostly better in the morning but still wary of eating food. Explored Madrid and some amazing cathedrals. Also went to ‘The Valley of the Fallen’, a cathedral built underneath a huge cross.

-Checked out the Museo del Prado. Fabulous! I love museums. I wanted to check out the modern art museum to look at Picasso’s Guernica as well. Unfortunately, it was closed.

-Drove to Toledo and walked through the town. It is quaint and picturesque with lots of tiny, winding streets.

-Then drove to Granada and saw the Alhambra Palace. Absolutely gorgeous!

-Went to a gypsy show in a cave in Granada’s old Jewish quarter and Muslim quarter.

The Valley of the Fallen

Pictures of the Alhambra Palace

Dancing Gypsy Girl

Views of Toledo





Day 6

-Left Granada. Drove to Tangiers, Morocco.

-Along the way, we stopped by the town of Marbella. Kick-ass! It was like the Hamptons of Spain –meaning lots of beautiful, rich people with yachts, Aston Martins, money, etc. The sea was beautiful and blue and the weather was warm and breezy. Wished we stayed there longer.

-Along the way to the ferry to Morocco, I realized that I only had a 1-entry visa to Spain (Spain is part of the Schengen Treaty which covers about 15 countries of the European Union). If I left Spain, I could not get back in. Why I didn’t think about this before is beyond me. People were like “but you’re a lawyer!” Hey, I did inquire about it before and the Spanish consulate saw my itinerary. I guess I had a momentary lapse of judgment. Oh well. I didn’t want to be stuck in Morocco, so I didn’t go. I totally missed out.

-Instead, the hubs and I hopped a bus to Seville, the next stop on our tour. Again, saw a bunch of old castles along the way.

A view of Marbella



Day 7-9


-Sevilla is another gorgeous city with a lots of old buildings that were incorporated into the more modern aspects of the city.

-The hubs and I got to spend some QT with each other. We spent most of our time lounging at the rooftop pool which overlooked the city. Great view. I think I got a pretty good tan.

-Shopped for souvenirs.

-Ate a lot of tapas and drank my new favorite drink: tinta de verano (stain of summer –literally translated). It’s basically red wine with seltzer. It is so refreshing!

-The rest of the tour caught up to us and we went sight-seeing. Went to Plaza de Espana; Maria Luisa Park, and Plaza Nuevo.

-Watched a flamenco show with some amazing dancers.

Day 10

-Drove from Seville back to Lisbon. Saw more castles –this time, they were built by the Knights Templar!

-Arrived in Lisbon relatively early. Toured the towns of Cascais (pronounced CASH-Kaish), Estoril, and Sintra. Cascais and Estoril are both seaside towns and they were amazing. I can’t believe how blue the ocean is over there. We cruised by some great old buildings and the hot residential areas over there. Sintra is a cute, little town where a lot of European royalty reside (or so we were told).

-I’m digging the Portuguese language. Our bus driver’s name is Joao (pronounced ZHOO-ow; rhymes with “Jew-wow”). I also got to practice my Spanish. After all, yo estudie el Espanol por seis anos.

-The hubs got sick during the ride back to Lisbon. He was the one who was bed-ridden this time.

-Went to the “docas” or docks of Lisbon; docas is a hot-spot that is by a marina and filled with restaurants and bars. Had a good time, of course.

Day 11: The travel back home. Stopped by London Heathrow and scored a new book: Shopaholic and Sister! Got back to NYC with no hitches. Overall, my trip was hectic yet fabulous. Despite some snafus (such as the missing luggage, missed trip to Morocco, and getting ill), I had an amazing time. I think I’ll do another trip like this. Great value and you get an overall view of the country. One thing I gotta say is that everyone in Spain smokes –and they smoke everywhere nonstop.

More pics later. Gymnastics is on!

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Au Revoir! Tonight, I’m leaving for Europe! As …

5 August 2004

Au Revoir!

Tonight, I’m leaving for Europe! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m going on an 11-day tour of Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. I’ve never been to any of these places and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m going with the hubs and my family (mom, pops, and 2 younger brothers), so there’s 6 of us altogether. I have a whole list of things to do before I go. I haven’t even packed yet! Our flight doesn’t leave until 9 pm so I figure I have loads of time. Some stuff to do:

  • Load up more songs on my iPod because I still haven’t gotten around to ripping up my CDs. So I’m trying to load at least 12 albums before I go.
  • I have to wash the dishes, tidy up the kitchen, clean the bathrooms, tidy up the living room, & clean my desk.
  • Take a shower.
  • Visit my old boss (I worked for a judge) and have lunch with him.
  • Pack.
  • Mail the bill payments.

I’ll be on a blogging hiatus until I get back. Can’t wait to leave! And another good thing is that I decided to go to Los Angeles after all. It’ll be an experience and I know I’d kick myself if I didn’t go. I may have money issues, but experiences are priceless.

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? My "dilemma" is t…

4 August 2004

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

My “dilemma” is this: I want to see The Cure again! I’m thinking of watching them in Los Angeles on August 27th. I’m picking that particular date because it’s a Friday, and I have friends I can crash with over there (plus, I’ll be missing all their shows between now and August 15 because I’ll be in Europe).

I just thought of watching them again right now on a whim. Yes, I sound a bit obsessive, but I figure, when else would I be able to just go and watch them? I’m not getting any younger (and when I was younger, I could only afford the “nosebleed” seats). And the next time they’ll be on tour, I’ll probably be a mom already with more responsibilities. The only thing hindering me from just flying out to L.A. is of course, MONEY. Let’s see, concert tickets would be about $200 (off E-bay, because the good ones are already taken), plus $300 for airfare, plus $50 (give or take) for car rental, plus about $100 for food/drinks/miscellaneous. So that’s an estimate of $550. That’s $550 I don’t necessarily have. Would it be worth it? I’ve actually spent more than that on a single purse (yes, I too was tempted by the lures of Prada and Gucci). This is my last chance to see them this year (unless of course, they announce new dates in the East Coast).

Do I sound like an obsessive madman? I am really torn at this point (not so much that I’m losing sleep, but still…it’s a decision). I have to make a decision before I leave on Thursday.

Should I stay or should I go?

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Ode to ‘First Loves’ A friend and I were chatti…

2 August 2004

Ode to ‘First Loves’

A friend and I were chatting about our other friend’s upcoming wedding. They are getting married in June 2005 and they have been together for over 9 years. They started dating in high school, then throughout college, then throughout their respective years in law school (she graduated) and med school (he’s still finishing up). They have been together for longer than most Hollywood marriages/non-Hollywood. They are each other’s first love.

How many of us out there are still with their first love? First love usually comes at a young age, and most don’t withstand obstacles such as ‘long-distance’ or ‘growing up.’ That’s why it’s called ‘first love’ –because it’s usually an experience you go through at some point, but it also doesn’t always last. I read somewhere though, that there is a percentage of people who do end up “going back” to their first loves. And that a lot of people out there do think about their first loves and wonder how they are doing, etc. I just find it very interesting (and sweet!) when I meet people who have been together for ages. It makes me evaluate my own experiences with love and relationships. Point is though, life is an accumulation of your different life/love experiences. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. And sometimes, things just happen for a reason.

So for all those folks out there who are still with their first love, kudos to you! And for all those folks who are with someone special right now, kudos to you too!