Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Monday, December 18, 2006

the nutcracker, stupid

awesome email of the day to start off my week right: my professor writes me and announces that i have totally misinterpreted my final paper assignment--whose instructions were obvious both from class and the syllabus, he rather snarkily felt compelled to say...since just the fact that it's the week before christmas and i have to spend the next two nights writing papers wasn't quite shitty enough--and that i need to write a new paper by, oh, like wednesday. and to think, all i wanted for christmas was to be called stupid and i never thought anyone would get it for me...thank you so much dr. adams. anger, the gift that keeps on giving.

in better news, the ladies of the fam and i went to see the nutcracker yesterday. overall it was lovely, and very fun to be back in san diego watching my home ballet company. family tradition preserved. we went to a lovely restaurant called the westgate that had the best pear and gorgonzola salad i've ever had. it was called, cleverly, "the westgate salad" and when i ordered it, i said "i'd like the watergate salad." upon realizing my mistake i said "and i'd like a deposed president with that" which my family found humorous and..i think the waiter did too...hmmm.

nutcracker observations:
1. shouldn't fritz have been told that age old adage, the one that says something like "don't ever get involved with a girl who is obsessed with a NUTcracker..." i can't remember the exact wording, but it seems obvious to me...though as adams pointed out, not many things are.

2. sweet multicultural san diego: there was a black ballerino in the russian section...too bad in actual russia he would have been beaten to death by a bunch of skinheads before he could even get his pants on and done his first toetouch. that's what we've been talking about for the last 6 weeks in post-commie class: how effed up are the russians? let us count the ways...for starters, the young are more racist than the old...and in my research a full half of the survey repondents said all legal and illegal migrants should be deported back to where they came from. ahhh, someday we'll have mandatory sterilization for our racists.

3. speaking of racism, don't we really need to update the chinese section, kids? having a bunch of people with bowl haircut wigs shaking their heads side to side like "con-fyucius say..." as they dance around retardedly, only enforcing rosie o'donnell's stereotypes...couldnt we revamp that? and the sad thing is that two asian ballerinas were in that segment. someone needs to slap them upside the head, especially the chinese girl..the korean girl..well, she could just be doing it to throw some smack on the chinese people...of course there snt a KOREAN section in the nutcracker, so maybe she should just go into a corner and feel some shame about that. i mean, of course, chinese people are far more racist than americans--God knows, they probably think it's hysterical--maybe they think it throws smack on low class, uneducated tea servers...anyway, this christmas i think we should all stop throwing smack. and make the chinese section less painfully anachronistically stereotypical.

overall hong kong is still the best nutcracker, if you can get to it. well, merry christmas friends. i'm going to try and forget today ever happened and concentrate on tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


ah, is there anything so thrilling as finals time in winter? yes. yes there is. and i am not doing the many things more thrilling than finals because i am still writing my finals. i'm terrible at finals. you know, i thought that now that i knew myself better and had chosen an area of study that was really interesting that i would be excited about research and finals papers. but i'm not. i mean, they're interesting enough. but i don't have a burning desire to do them. i feel happy with what i have learned this semester and i feel that my being happy about it should be enough. i think i might have done well at Brown. Brown, however, is not in san diego--its one major flaw. frickin new england hippies.

yesterday when i was driving down the highway i saw the very longest motorcade i have ever seen, and a bunch of the cars had stuffed animals protruding from the windows. and i wondered who in the world was that important to have like half the city's cops behind them, cars filled with stuffed animals. but then corinne said she saw it last year and, actually, it is a bunch of policemen who take underprivileged kids to target on shopping sprees. so cute. speaking of adorable holiday season happiness, there was a feature on the news yesterday about two Chargers players who went to a school with the program Bikes for Kids. and at first they chose like 4 kids and gave them bikes and then... they announced that actually the whole 3rd grade got bikes. and oh how those kids freaked out. and jacques cesaire, one of our ginormous players was like "man, it choked me up, kids were crying and screaming like they'd won the sweepstakes or something." indeed. it was both heartwarming, and sort of a relief, that kids still get excited about free bikes.

what's awesome is walking down the hallway eating the dregs of your oatmeal and then, with the very last bite, inhaling your oatmeal and then coughing up cinnamon for like half an hour. that's what's really cool.

what kind of crack does reese's use in their peanut butter cups? grade A prime addictively delicious crack, that's what kind. genetically engineered for the julie.

i'm still trying to pinch myself over the fact that my chargers are rated number one in the whole NFL and have clinched the AFC west. it's so cool. every week i get to watch them kick some serious butt. and then..they don't blow it. this has never happened before in my whole cognizant life. except the year they went to the super bowl, of course. and that was a great year. stupid steve young andthe 49ers.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

owen the brave and the tale of the smelly cheese

Owen's birthday party was highly successful. He got lots of fun toys, and was adorably entranced by them all. he ate like 4 pieces of his special strawberry birthday cake, most of it with his icing-covered hands, shoving it in his mouth and saying "mmm" with every bite. he has pretty much mastered saying the name Pablo, his favorite backyardigan, and makes an adorably sporting attempt at saying Uniqua, the name of the other most favorite ag-ah-ih-gah character. he caught a reflection of himself wearing lauren's Owen/Two shirt and said "nemooooo!!"

I'm sitting here enjoying a blissful lunch of french bread and cheese. today i am sampling two cheeses I have never tried before, one is called porto vino and is some kind of semisoft white cheese, like a cousin to cheddar--medium sharp and soaked in red wine. i say "mmmm" and the other i shall try right now, it is called teleggio--it looks like it has similar consistency to brie, but has a beige rind and sort of beige/gray hue and... is uber smelly--has this rotten mushroom/ammonia smell, dear God I hope people don't think I smell like this when they walk in my office, is supposedly mild and slightly salty...and almost made me hurl. oh, i had to run get a diet coke just to finish the bite. okay, i love cheese, but i am fairly pedestrian about my cheese taste--weird, smelly cheese whose smell you cant get off your fingers..nooo. sort of normal cheese soaked in red wine? yes.

Yesterday I was walking to meet my lewd grandfather and my quasi grandma at a local restaurant to celebrate grandpa's birthday. As I was walking I ended up following a girl walking in the same direction as I was. I was 15 feet behind her the whole way. And I realized how much different personal space is here than in Taiwan because I felt sort of anxious to get where I was going so she would know I wasnt following her. like, just sharing the same sidewalk in a nonbusy section of the city for 3 blocks seemed too crowded. suspicious. in taiwan i always knew i would share the sidewalks with like 50 people, and if i didnt get caught behind some dawdling university students who would inevitably break my stride and force me to shuffle behind them, i felt lucky.

It turns out that my dreams of marrying LaDanian Tomlinson have been dashed. Not only is he married, but a quick overview of the google search on him reveals that he is one of those sickeningly wonderful human beings, like Thomas Hodge, who you can't even *want* to marry because if they broke up with their wives then they wouldnt be as fabulous as they are and you just don't want to do anything to mess up the ideal. what i want are single clones of these men. *sigh* He is completely adorable. he gives away turkeys for thanksgiving and has a foundation for underprivileged families and loves his wife, and was emotional about her miscarriage--carries a picture of their ultrasound baby with him. they named her, talk about how their next baby will be her younger sibling. i was like crying after 10 minutes of reading about him.

For a different reason I was crying when I read about Britney Spears. She may have gone too far in flashing her crotch to the world, she says. I don't know the man myself, but from what i read in trashy newspapers, if kevin federline is trying to get sole custody of your kids...and he might have a solid chance of getting it...this is not saying something good about the trajectory of your life. Pull a Ricky Martin or Dave Chappelle. Disappear. find yourself. make sure you find a better self than the one you currently are. the julie has spoken.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy Birthday to Owen

My nephew Owen is two years old today. We are having this little dinner party in which we will shower him with gifts emblazoned with his favorite cartoon friends, the Backyardigans, which he prounounces "ah-gah-ih-iga". However much he will enjoy this night, it will be nothing compared to the rest of us. I, personally, am afraid I might explode from witnessing so much cuteness. Lauren got him a Linus blanket. I have to prepare myself. Be calm, Julie. Since his favorite food is the strawberry, great grandma is making a strawberry cake. seriously, the kid has eaten a pound of strawberries in one sitting. he kills me. Lauren made him a Nemo shirt that says "Owen horizontally with two vertical through the w in his name." he loves nemo. i am already too excited about this.

In other news, Corinne and I think we should start our own news service. We were discussing the sad case of the family that got trapped in the snow in oregon and the dad who died trying to go get them help. It's very sad. Tragic. But the news is like "warning! warning! here's what to do to survive in your car, everyone, have this much gas, and a survival kit, and la la la." i'm sorry. but sometimes shit just happens. and it's sad, but it doesnt bespeak a trend. it makes everyone start to fear extremely unlikely things. the fact that we now have the power to broadcast it to the world minute-by-excruciating-minute doesn't mean it has become more frequent. corinne and i would have a news service that would say "this is a very sad thing that happened, but it's actually in line with the number of people who get stuck in the snow each year and die, and it's good to be prepared, but don't freak out. no, people in san diego do not need to carry snow survival kits."

so you guys, i'm selling those lingerie and shoe bags we got in Vietnam on ebay. If you know anyone who might want them, please make them check it out. i have tons of them to sell. lots of different patterns. am thinking of donating the proceeds to something..like freeing child sex slaves or something or to that bhutanese guy who is starting teh Bible school. unless no one wants them and it would be too much effort. in which case, guess what you are all getting for the next five birthdays, christmases, weddings, etc...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

i'm a magnet

I am a magnet for middle aged loser Arab men. This is a well known fact. proved yet again by: So... I'm walking out of the cafe, and a few paces behind me is another patron from said cafe. and i am initially glad because it is late and there was a very scary mentally ill man in there a few minutes before--conspiracy theorist, shouting lewd things to the deep-inhale laughing loan agent. i feel safer with a patron walking behind me, why? because we learned in class the other day that mutual connections, even as tenuous as being in the same coffee shop create links--as in "protect me from that mentally deranged lunatic!!" links. he jogs to catch up with me. so we chat about the cafe, about their 2-for-1 muffins after 4pm, about how he is from Egypt, he seems to be around 50 and he has been in america for 30 years and he is really american through and through.(poor thing, he blurted it out as if i might have snapped my fingers and gathered a lynch mob) and i say "oooh, i'd love to visit egypt" (sort of a lie, besides pyramids, i hear it sort of blows) and he says "you must be older to visit egypt, you youngsters go over and only see pyramids and hookah." i laugh--though flattered that he thought i was the age to be a contiki-esque traveler--"party! let's make out in front of the mummy and play quarters, woooo!!!"

and then i make my mistake, i say "oh, i should also wait to get a husband, i hear it can be dangerous..." well, then he says "oh, you are single?" and immediately i am like "no, i have a boyfriend" and he said "boyfriend is nothing" and i said "well, i'm very flattered, but we are planning on getting married, we just arent officially engaged." "oh," he says, "to get your phone number is my plan all along...you have a beautful smile." I laugh "well, i'm very flattered, but yes, we are getting engaged any day now." it was nice to meet me anyway, he says. how nice. you know, people probably think i am paranoid because i almost always have rings on my left ring finger. it's not like i'm beating away sheikhs here, people. oh no. let us count: i got one marriage proposal from abdul--around age 50 as well-- on route 9, who worked graveyard at the texaco and gave me three days to consider whether or not to marry him as he held my diet coke hostage. we have toothless chicken wrap man from the night market in taiwan who offered to make me his second wife....and a share in the ali baba chicken stand...tempting...and then there is mohammed, who lives in a building that is basically a cheap hostel for foreign exchange students, but which relies on a few cheap year-round residents for steady income, and who talks up the two-for-one muffin special at It's a Grind, well, that is actually a good deal, but the fact that he thought I was like 22 and yet still persisted in trying to get my phone number isn't so much. now...call me discriminating, and downright picky, but which one of these wonders should tempt me so much in the first 5 minutes that i would abandon my general desire to marry someone within two decades of my own age? a person who, say, has a day job, a full set of teeth, or some hair--on his head? am i being unreasonable, here? i don't think so. again, persnickety me, but i think it's a warning sign when someone mentions marriage within the first 5 minutes of meeting me, when it pertains to marrying said me. and when it seems that they actually have confidence that this little ploy might work. do i look that sad? i need to lose some weight. if i am going to get hit on by creeps, i'd at least like to have the prospect of getting taken somewhere better than Fidel's Deli down the street if i am ever too tired to refuse the necessary five times. i want to graduate to rejecting slick creepy guys--maybe in their thirties or forties rather than fifties. with sportscars to mask their inadequacy. is that too much to ask?

Friday, December 01, 2006

dec 1 night update

i'm in a cute coffee shop near my work. when you are outside you can hear people outside the Mexican consulate protesting human rights violations in oaxaca, mexico. inside you can hear this real estate loan officer with the geekiest laugh in world history. it's the loud, deep inhale laugh. it's killing me. she's this very nice looking put-together woman in a sweater set. and then that laugh.

my bulgarian coworker told me that americans are more naive than any other group of people on earth. and she loves that about americans. people in other parts of the world, for instance, would never ever just go and help people they don't even know--this was upon me announcing my ultimate grand plan of working with a development group. she's like, "americans are generous and helpful and they believe other people are like them. and they are wrong. no one else is like that." i was like, "uhhh, we arent all like that" and she looked at me and said "duh, yeah, i know, but some of you *are*." i feel that if i brought up doctors without borders-- french!, she would be like "that's one." she was quite insistent. she says i cant see these things about my own culture because i am not separate from it. indeed.

a tall couple just came in looking like they are on their first date. two men came in and ordered triple espresso. i believe their night is just beginning.

i'm sorry, but those pants that hit people mid calf make women look like dorky pirates. gauchos? is that what they are? like gaucho marx--the kind of silent comedic pirates. they are unflattering on all. they are basically the modern version of the kulats(i have no idea how to spell this) my grandmother was so fond of wearing...and when people insist on wearing boots with them...that is the height of pirate fashion crime. i don't care how beautiful you are, you look like you should be wearing an eye patch and offering the daily specials at long john silver's. j-lo looked like a pirate when she started the trend, and now thousands of women have fallen into the trap. it's terribly sad. physically sad. ahoy matey. ahoy.

December 1st!

so apparently looking at people's faces for an hour in the morning can help you have a great day, and staying up too late at night can make you have a crappy depressed day the next day. as a night person, this is not the kind of scientific discovery i like. apparently our bodies were designed to wake up super early and adore the faces around us before we go to work or whatnot. and when the sun sets, no more faces, time for sleep. i realized this most accutely when i was in the Indian village of Mainajuli sans electricity. the natural way of things. Everyone had to be home by the time the sun went down. we could use flashlights, but not for very long. so we would sleep at like 930. see, i always feel better when i get good sleep and get up early...but i have the most interesting thoughts at night. i kind of wonder, if i get up and am up with everyone else the whole day, will i become less creative? also, my inability to tear myself away from people and not give them all my attention means that the more daylight awake hours, less time for processing life.

ohhh, indeed a good case can be made for the potential horror that is van wilder: the Rise of Taj. But at least it has a mildly amusing name. Not that i would go see it unless someone paid me at least 200 dollars. i was supposed to go see the Nativity Story last night, and then my nephew got sick and my sister bailed and i couldnt find anyone else to see it on such short notice. my local friends seem to have sprouted babies. so i ended up chilling at corinne's house with sick baby in tow, and watching the office. and last night's was a classically great one. one in which they find out one of the new staff had been in prison before, and when he describes prison life to all his coworkers they all think it sounds better than working at dunder mifflin. the guy had been in for insider trading and one of the guys says "i had him explain what he went to prison for 3 times because...it sounds exactly like the work i do here every day." hysterical. that show kills me.

ipod thoughts: Fatboy Slim has a joy about his music that not many dance/electronica DJs offer.
Whoever has the next wedding, we need to use the song Somebody by Depeche Mode, i'm not a huge depeche mode fan--you know, i'm not russian--but that song is just lovely.

i am kicking some serious work ass today. hear my barbaric yawp!