Thursday, October 25, 2007

      ( 7:01 AM ) teahouse

I do some pro bono work for a local organization, and last night I cooked 2 dishes for a potluck dinner that took place in a fancy law firm in a high-rise building in midtown Manhattan.

I'd worked from home, so unlike the other lawyers who attended, I was wearing khaki pants and my Doc Martens instead of a suit. I certainly didn't look like a lawyer.

When I entered the lobby of the office building, carrying my large containers of food, I just happened to walk in at the same time as a group of delivery people from local restaurants, making the nightly dinner delivery to the hapless law firm associates who were working late.

For those of you who have worked (or currently work) in a Biglaw urban law firm, you know what I'm talking about. Every night, like clockwork, the delivery guys show up around 7 p.m. to bring food to the associates who are stuck there working late all night. They hang out in the lobby waiting for the lawyers to come down and pay them.

At any rate, I somehow got lumped with those guys, and trapped in the lobby for a few minutes.
I finally fought my way through the crowd to the reception desk, where I explained to the security guy that yes, I was in fact a lawyer there for a legal meeting, and not a Chinese food delivery girl.

He looked at my strangely and took a long time checking my i.d. before letting me through.

In the elevator on the way up, the suited lawyers on their way to other meetings in the building looked at me strangely as well.

I'm sure they were wondering how this Chinese food delivery girl got past the front desk.

Or else, wondering whether they could pay extra in the future for food delivery directly to their offices!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

      ( 11:12 AM ) teahouse
No Need to Escalate

I got into a minor collision with someone last week, as I was backing out of my spot in a parking lot. I was going about 1 mph, my little car bumped up against a guy in a big SUV (I think he was waiting for my parking spot but he was too close).

I immediately jumped out of the car and apologized (I'm a nice person, and I don't buy into what people say about not apologizing). He was calm, but his wife flipped out and yelled at me. He pointed at a spot on the side of his car, and said to his wife, "That was already there." I presume he was pointing at a dent or something, but I couldn't see what it was he was pointing at.

We exchanged phone numbers. I thought we should call the police or at least get each other's insurance information. But they jumped into their car and drove off immediately, apparently in a hurry.

A couple of days later he called and left me a voicemail saying that he wanted to talk about the damage I'd done to his big SUV (of which I had seen none at the scene of the accident, and which perplexed me because my little car had no damage at all).

I immediately called my insurance company, and they opened a claim and said they'd call him right away and get things rolling. That was on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours later, he left another voicemail for me. This time it was really nasty.

"You'd better call me back," he said. "Just so you know, I wrote down your license plate number, so I'm going to the DMV and I'm going to find you. Don't think you can avoid responsibility for this!!"

I was pretty shaken. I called my insurance company, and the very nice lady confirmed that they had, in fact, called him on Friday afternoon (less than an hour after he left his first voicemail) and left a message. The fool obviously hadn't checked his voicemail before calling me again.

She was very reassuring, and promised to call him again immediately and call back to let me know if they'd gotten in touch with him. She also said that I should not talk to him if he called again; to let her handle it.

"Make sure you tell him you did contact him on Friday!" I said. "I don't want him to think that he can get me to do what he wants by threatening."

Why are people like this? From the tone of his voice, you'd think I'd killed his mother or something. If something is my fault, of course I'm willing to pay for any damage I've done. And as an attorney and officer of the court, I would never try to avoid responsibility. There was no need for him to start threatening me.

And who wouldn't at least wait until Monday morning to follow up after leaving a voicemail on a Friday afternoon?

And how could my little Toyota, which is totally undamaged, have done any major damage to his big gas-guzzling SUV?

Sigh. I'm trying to put it all out of my mind, and let my insurance company handle it all.

But the downside of being a lawyer is that you always think of the worst-case, law school torts textbook scenarios. He could sue me for giving him or his wife whiplash. He could claim that I totaled his car and/or rendered him permanently handicapped and unable to perform his job. He could be an Eggshell Skull plaintiff and try to make me pay his psychiatrist's bills.

Yeah, sometimes it really sucks to be a lawyer. It messes up your perspective on everything!


Monday, October 22, 2007

      ( 12:02 AM ) teahouse
Dueling Kitchen Appliances

The Fiance and I spent part of our weekend in pre-Cana - the Catholic Church's proscribed pre-marital counseling for engaged couples.

It was pretty interesting and entertaining. We both got a lot out of it, and learned a lot about each other and our mutual expectations for marriage.

Our sessions were led by an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. P, who have been married for 37 years, and who have 12 children!

To me, the most interesting (and giggle-inducing) part was the Sexuality discussion.

Mrs. P stood before the class and said to us, in her prim and proper voice,

"Never forget, men and women are different.

Men are like microwave ovens - they're always ready to go on a moment's notice!"

"... But women take longer to get going..you could say they're more like slow cookers!"

This analogy got a huge laugh from all of us.

Now the Fiance and I know what kitchen appliances we need to add to our wedding registry.



Thursday, October 18, 2007

      ( 6:49 AM ) teahouse
I Found Me a Wedding Dress


Update (10:20 p.m.) For those of you who didn't come to my site earlier today..sorry that you missed the photo of my wedding dress!!

I posted it this morning. But then I told the Fiance about it. But he said he didn't want to go to my site, see it and spoil his surprise.

So I've removed the photo. He has to wait until our wedding day to see the dress.

Sorry, guys. You no longer get to see a sexy photo of me from the back. But I'll post photos of everyone's clothes after our wedding.

Thanks for stopping by.

This weekend, I'll be hitting the Saks shoe department to find some shoes. Yes, the place that's so big, it has its own zip code!!


Monday, October 15, 2007

      ( 12:01 AM ) teahouse
We Goin' Sizzler!!

This weekend the Fiance and I drove out to the outer boroughs to run some errands.

Afterwards, we did something unheard-of in the history of THB's long-suffering car..

...We took the car to a CAR WASH!!!!!!!

Here's a photo of my car getting a luxurious soapy bath. I didn't mean to snap it right as the guy was leaning into the front seat and showing his butt.

Then we did more driving around the suburbs. We made our way to Queens Boulevard - we were looking for our favorite Asian restaurant.

But then we saw something that made me bring the car to a screeching halt - a Sizzler!!!

I confessed to the Fiance that in my whole life, I had never partaken of this uniquely American institution.

So of course we had to go there for lunch!!

Two days later, I'm still digesting that meal.



Thursday, October 11, 2007

      ( 10:45 PM ) teahouse
Financial Woes

For the past year, most of my salary has been channeled into feeding the Mortgage Monster.

It really sucks that my friends who live in the burbs enjoy lots of space and great lifestyles. Whenever they come into the City, they eat at fancy restaurants and blow money on Broadway shows and gratuitous taxi rides.

Meanwhile, I live in the middle of it all, and I have macaroni and cheese for dinner every night, rescue furniture from the dumpster and borrow videotapes from the library.

So I'm trying to refinance my mortgage, in an effort to take advantage of the increased equity in my place and get my monthly payments down.

For those of you who have never refinanced a mortgage, the requirements are strangely onerous. For me, it's already worse than applying for an original mortgage was.

Maybe it's the equivalent of getting married for a second or third time - in contrast to their attitude of eagerness for signing up first-time homebuyers, the banks really want to look closely at why you and your first mortgage are calling it quits.

Was the first mortgage too flirtatious for you? Did it spend nights out at bars hitting on other homeowners while you sat up waiting for it?

Was it really looking for only a 3, 5 or 7 year commitment while you wanted something along the line of 30 years? Did it strong-ARM you into a situation you weren't ready for the first time around?

Or were YOU the one with the commitment problems? Did you not tell it about that secret credit card balance you had? Did you buy it a ring you couldn't really afford?

At any rate, I have been filling out the forms and gathering up the documents, but somewhere between looking for the last 3 paycheck stubs from my second-most-recent previous employer and my immunization record from elementary school, I thought, Dammit..maybe this won't work.

Maybe me and my first mortgage need to give it another chance. I don't want to be a multiple mortgage floozy. I don't want to get a reputation here.

Maybe my mortgage and I need to kiss and make up, and both resolve to try harder in the future.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

      ( 12:03 AM ) teahouse
Hard Core

A few days ago, the Fiance surprised me with tickets to Carnegie Hall to see my favorite pianist playing my favorite piano concerto in a recital that was all compositions by my favorite composer.

Later this week, he will be taking me to see one of our favorite operas, and the Metropolitan Opera House. He got the tickets for my birthday last month. He even invited my best friend, so that I can spend a wonderful evening listening to great music with two of my favorite people.

We're not music dilettantes. We're all musicians; we've seen, heard and/or sung most of the operas we go to see. We've played a lot of the pieces we go to see performed. And we adhere to the following rules:

Rule Number One: We get the cheap nosebleed tickets, where we sit surrounded by other young and earnest musicians like ourselves. We stay far from the fur-clad pearl-draped rich old ladies who sit in the Parquet and Mezzanine sections, with their season tickets. Instead, we sit up high like the riffraff we are.

It's better up there, because we can see things like: how many stands of first violins the visiting orchestra brought (that indicates the conductor's foresight in determining the balance of the sound in the new hall); and how the percussionists are divided out by instrument (they're always the most fun to watch, and the guy with the triangle and the wooden block is always having a good time); and whether the orchestra tuned not only to the principal oboe but also to the soloist's instrument (sometimes they forget); and whether the string section leaders did a good job with their bowings (the Fiance and the best friend, who are both string players, often disagree with the decisions and criticize it, and/or argue with each other); and whether the conductor is being pretentious in his manner of conducting (this is often the case with the young, impetuous ones who have something to prove and conduct as if they're constantly posing for the cameras).

Rule Number Two: We never dress up. It's not the prom, guys. In New York, only tourists, people on first dates and people over age 60 dress up for the opera or to see a concert. The Fiance has one nice tux; he's not about to waste it on a trip to the Met. It's like being a rock star; the more shabbily you're dressed, the more serious everyone assumes you are about the music!

Rule Number Three: No fancy dinners. We take the money we saved on the tickets, and we eat either: street food picked up on the way to the concert; or blow it on a diner afterwards. And I always get a milkshake. The whole experience wouldn't be quite right without one.

So that's the closest I can come to explaining what an exhilirating experience going to see live musical performances has always been for me. It's seeped into my blood, my psyche. There are very few things in this world that give me more pleasure.

Maybe I'll see you sometime in the cheap seats!


Monday, October 08, 2007

      ( 7:01 AM ) teahouse
Dashed Dreams

Thanks for the good wishes, everyone.

The ultrasound went ok. The technician was really unprofessional. Halfway through my exam, as she was rubbing the little camera all over my stomach, another technician walked in, and they started shooting the breeze!

They were going on and on.

"Can you believe what he said? And I told him he'd better not do that ... and hey, do you want to get breakfast after this? Isn't it crazy that they're making us clock in earlier now? Are you still getting overtime? Are you going to wear green or blue scrubs tomorrow?"

The whole time, I was lying there with my shirt hiked up and my pants pulled down, being poked and prodded. But the technician wasn't looking at me or talking to me, not even to give me instructions. It was pretty annoying.

Anyway, I complained on the suggestion card they gave me afterwards. So maybe I'll be able to spare someone else that annoying experience.

So I've been clearing space in my apartment for the Fiance to move his things in when we get married. Yesterday I walked into the sharp edge of a cardboard box. It left an ugly scar on my leg.

You can see it here. The scar is shiny because I slathered it with antibiotic ointment.

Well, there goes my potential career as a leg model.


Friday, October 05, 2007

      ( 12:08 AM ) teahouse
Shake Things Up a Bit

I have to get up early tomorrow morning, because I'm going to the doctor to get an ultrasound of my digestive tract.

Yeah, I've been having lots of tummy pain lately. I think it's just my diet, and it's probably stress related. But my internist is sending me to get that part of my body checked out, to rule out anything serious.

From what I've heard, the experience will be just like going to get an ultrasound when you're pregnant.

I've been thinking it might be funny when I'm lying there, with jelly smeared all over my stomach, and the technician is moving the camera around on that part of my body, if I suddenly point at the tv monitor and yell, "Hey, there it is! I see the baby!"

You know, just to mess with him or her.

Ok, maybe I have a twisted sense of humor.

I'll let you know how it goes.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

      ( 6:55 AM ) teahouse
It's all a Blur

My life has been kind of a blur lately.

Every day it's been the same routine of getting up early, commuting to work, eating lunch, doing a lot of stuff at work, commuting home and going to sleep.

Yesterday I found myself sitting at my desk at work, and I swear..I had no idea how I'd gotten there.

Could my daily routine really be that uneventful?

Is my life really that meaningless?

Do I badly need a vacation?

P.S: In response to everyone's kind inquiries, yes my fish died. It was very tragic and a long and drawn-out death. My family wishes to be alone at this time to mourn. Funeral arrangements are being made.


Monday, October 01, 2007

      ( 9:51 PM ) teahouse

My weekend was uneventful. I spent it nursing my ailing fish back to health (still alive), cleaning my apartment and mourning the horrendous and spectacular demise of the New York Mets in their quest for baseball success.

I went to a party on Saturday night. It was hosted by friends of friends of the Fiance.

We didn't know anyone there, but we were stuck there because it was outside of NYC and I was the designated driver (yeah, I'm a sucker).

The people were obnoxious, they talked too much and drank too much, and the bar smelled of beer.

In short, I was bored. I'd never been so bored going out to drinks with people.

How bored was I?

I was so bored, I read every single framed Sports Illustrated cover on the walls. And I actually tried to decipher the signatures on the various photos of the owners with celebrities.

I was so bored, I left the bar and took a walk to a nearby McDonald's to see if anything else more exciting was going on.

I was so bored, I sat and scribbled on a napkin some potential names for my future children.

I was so bored, I went to the ladies room and then stayed in there for an extra half hour standing in front of the mirror and squeezing out blackheads.

I was so bored, I dialed my cell phone voicemail just for the hell of it and listened to my saved messages.

I was so bored, instead of ordering ice water, I ordered a cup of ice and sat there watching it melt until I had a cup of ice water.

Thankfully, by the end of the night, I was driving home a car full of passed out people, and could finally listen to the radio. I got to pick the station, too, since everyone else was unconscious.

It was a nice end to a long evening.


THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

Currently Reading
The Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie

Currently Listening To
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante

Currently Watching
Poirot: The Clocks

E-mail teahouseblossom

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