March 2006

I’m STARVING. I can’t wait to have sushi tonite after I pick up Diana. So far today I had a banana for breakfast, an apple and a few handfuls of roasted salted soybeans for lunch on my drive to the gym, more soybeans after my workout on the drive back to work from the gym. I can’t get a break in the day to eat the oranges that’ve been looking at me since we’re constantly in session on day 9 of a 6-day trial, the judge is cracking the whip and yelling “Mush!” at the attorneys to make more, faster, progress. It’s high-stress in here.

Hee hee hee. “Mush.” Alaskan sled dogs are so pretty.

Okay, I’m delirious.

If someone hides the fact that he’s in a relationship from someone of the opposite sex, it makes me uncomfortable if the concealment goes beyond simply “it never came up.” I’m talking if the person had to lie about it, i.e. calling the significant other by a different title (“friend,” “roommate”) when the need to refer to him/her arises. And to make matters worse, when it comes out in the open that this person’s married, it doesn’t stop this person for long before advancing to the next step, which is engaging in a conversation (with the person of the opposite sex) that the spouse would be very offended by, hitting topics that are highly inappropriate altho they are addressed rather matter-of-factly and clinically. Should the recipient of this attention be flattered? I think it’s rather scary, personally. Because I’d like to have faith in married people, have faith in marriage, especially the ones that appear happy. At least the marriages that I see around me. I don’t care about divorce case people whose files are ruining my workday. And now the opposite sex person is stuck in a position where he/she has to keep something from the spouse, and now there’s some secret bond that exists between the married person and the opposite sex person outside of the marriage. Ugh. Isn’t it true that if they’ll do it for you, they’ll do it TO you?

I need to take my own advice sometimes. A friend is dealing with garbage people from her past polluting her present peace that she had worked so hard to achieve. She’s hoping that karma gets them in the end. And here’s what I told her, because it’s SO CLEAR when it’s about someone else:

“Another side to this is, you know if they’re messing with you, they are REALLY unhappy people who are trying to feel better by making you fall. That means they perceive your happiness and are jealous. So in the whole karmic balance, you’re ALREADY one-up on them. You spend your day doing your own thing and grinning, and they spend their day having it ruined by you simply because you exist. You got them back and didn’t even have to lift a finger or dirty your own karma to do it.

“Really, my advice is just to roll your eyes at it, laugh at it, or wave your hand impatiently in a go-away-I-don’t-have-time-for-you gesture at it. It’s really laughable and pathetic. They’re STILL hung up on you after all this time that they can’t keep themselves from trying to knock on your door? It’s YOUR door to YOUR life, you don’t have to open it and let them in. Well, you opened it to see what it was. You don’t have to let them in.

“This isn’t elementary school where people will tease you or make your life hard just because they’re trying to get points for popularity or because they ACTUALLY don’t like you for the way you look or dress or act. In adulthood, they (try to) mess with you because your existence makes them feel insignificant, and they don’t like that. That’s not YOUR fault! They are insignificant because if they were better people, they’d be significant to somebody. It’s sad, really. Maybe that’s what you should do. Shake your head at them sadly and tsk.”

I’m just posting this on my blog because I could use the reminder, as well.

I’ve somehow made myself probably busier than I have time to prepare for.

On the drive to jujitsu, college roommie Diana and I were on the cell confirming our weekend plans to meet up after her work in Southern California on Thursday evening. We’d been trying to do a spa day and/or a UCLA visit for Friday, if she could get the day off. She just got the day off. I have Friday off, too. Cesar Chavez holiday. So I’m gonna pick her up Thursday night after her deposition in Costa Mesa, we’re gonna have a huge breakfast Friday morning at a restaurant in Knott’s Berry Farm, then it’s off to our spa appointments (which we still have to make), and then a late lunch, maybe at or near UCLA! We’re gonna buy Final Four stuff. She wants an easy, relaxing day so I have no plans after that, short of taking her to the airport to catch her flight home on Saturday morning. After she leaves I will go to Mr. W’s and we’re going to see Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam, my V-day present to him.

After jujitsu, 9 of us went to a great sushi joint in Fullerton called “Chomp Rockin’ Sushi and Teppan Grill“. It’s trendy, the prices are pretty average for sushi, the restaurant is huge and beautiful, there are gargantuan salt water tanks all over the place, including in the center of the large square sushi bar, and it was playing 80s music. Diana called me when I was there and I told her I was gonna take her there. I should also take Mr. W there, as he would really love the decor and the tanks. And the unique rolls! It’s really cool that I could insist on going to sushi after class and then end up with 9 people (most of the returning students) with me at a local restaurant I never would’ve known of on my own. I love that class.

On the way to sushi, I was walking out with Navy Girl Vanessa. She was complaining to me about the 1-month gap she had between when her current lease expires and when she moves in with her new roommate. She planned on moving in with her dad in the interim, and her dad seems to be totally taking advantage of her, telling her not only does she have to pay rent, but she needs to pay the $150+ electricity bill he has lying around and hire people to fix his plumbing. And there were some strange rules he imposed, too. She seemed really miserable, so I offered up my spare room for the month. She was so grateful and happy, she offered to pay my utility bills for the month. (I’m not charging her rent.) I asked when the month starts. She said she needs to move out by this Friday. Eeek! That directly conflicted with my plans with the college roommie Diana. So Vanessa’s going to stay with her boyfriend this weekend (he lives 80 miles away, tho) and move in next week with me. It should be fun. If not, it’s only a month. And we can carpool to jujitsu. She’s also an insomniac, so we’re compatible that way. Basically, neither of us are gonna sleep for a month. We’ll probably be at the gym. Hee hee.

Now, I gotta figure out how to tidy up the house and finish my laundry and clear out the spare room and guest bath by Thursday. I’ve got 2 loads of laundry going right now. It’s probably gonna be a couple of all-nighters. Either that or I gotta skip jujitsu the rest of the week.

I’ve got this horrible nauseating feeling deep down between the back of my throat and my chest that seems to be pulling down into my stomach. I developed it on my drive back to work from the gym earlier, probably around 1:15p. I just took my heartrate. My normal resting heartrate is about 66, 67. It’s 103 right now. I feel sick and really, really nervous. Taking deep breaths doesn’t seem to be shaking it.

Am I having an anxiety attack?

I hope nothing’s wrong with my loved ones. That’s what it feels like. Anxiety and dread.

So yesterday, from like 4am to 10pm, the film crew for the upcoming CBS law-drama series “Shark” filmed portions of their pilot episode in and around my courtroom. The director is Spike Lee and the main star is played by James Woods. Apparently, this series is about a defense attorney (James Woods) who switched sides to become a prosecutor after a sports star he successfully got acquitted of attempted murder against the sports guy’s wife went home and then murdered his wife. I heard they turned our jury room into a jail interview room with gray wall panels and a prop door change, and they filmed outside our courtroom in the hallway, in front of the courthouse and downstairs in a hall off the main lobby area. A props woman came by to study my desk and apparently commented on the photos of Dodo I have all over my bulletin board. She told the sheriff here on security that she liked my desk, and how you can’t learn this stuff unless you see the real thing. Maybe in a future episode, they’ll show a clerk’s desk on the camera and it’d look exactly like mine. Little invasive aliens all over my PC and all.

Don’t you guys just want to watch this show now? I swear, I’m not being paid for this publicity.

I spent a few hours with my dad at my parents’ house last nite. My mom wasn’t there, she was, from what I could gather, at some political event banquet with my grandmother (her mom). My dad was watching some Chinese-English hybrid movie that was kinda like classic Chinese horror meets “The X Files.” I was totally creeped out driving home alone.

The movie reminded me of when I had to walk through UCLA alone in the dark. There’s a portion of a tree-lined walk on the edge of campus between one side of the fenced-off football practice field and the tennis courts. I’d always get the heebie jeebies walking thru there (it’s usually fairly isolated) at night cuz I’d be picturing dead people hung on the trees and dropping down, various supernatural nightmare creatures watching me and planning their moment of strike, etc. To make myself feel better, I’d remind myself of what my dad had said to me. “You’re scared of ghosts?! There’s nothing scary about ghosts! Now people, THEY’RE scary!” People are more vicious and cruel than any ghosts, but people are less intimidating in my head, so I’d feel better. I usually could keep myself from breaking into a panicked run.

2 minutes left of the second half. #2 UCLA leads #1 Memphis by (I think) 8 points. I screamed. “You’re really loud when you’re watching your school play,” Mr. W observed. “It’s the only time I’m loud watching anything on TV, so JUST LET ME BE!” I hollered. My cell phone rang. It was college roommie Diana, at the basketball game in Oakland. “It’s crazy here!” she yelled. “There are so many Bruins here! I’m gonna let you listen to this!” I put my cell phone on speaker and got the stereo effect of the stadium chaos through both the TV and the cell. “We’re 2 minutes away from the Final Four!” I yelled into the phone. “WHAT?! I can’t HEAR YOU!” she yelled back.

I thought back to the last time “Final Four” meant anything to me. It was just 3 months ago, at Christmas with Mr. W in Vegas. We were hanging out at his brother’s house playing “Cranium.” The teams were split girls vs. boys, and Mr. W’s brother’s wife, brother’s daughter, and I were playing against Mr. W, his brother, and the bro’s daughter’s boyfriend. The card we drew for our next question had the clue “college sporting event,” and we had to unscramble a word. “They’re not gonna get this,” Mr. W said confidently as he handed us the card and flipped the hourglass timer. We stared at it. College sporting event? Like football? The letters weren’t right. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I heard myself scream, “FINAL FOUR!” The boys’ jaws dropped. Uh-huh. And the reason I knew the answer was because of the first time “Final Four” meant anything to me.

1995. I was a college freshman at UCLA. Bruins Basketball was doing very well, and we just got a ton of merchandise into the Student Store commemorating Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and then Final Four. I considered buying some of this merchandise, but thought I’d wait to see how far we go cuz then, the Asian thrift gene reasoned, I could buy the previous elimination category stuff at a discount. I was doing laundry in my freshman year apartment when we won NCAA Championships in 1995. I had been watching the game on and off between doing laundry, and I somehow missed the final few seconds. I was carrying my load from the laundry room back to the apartment, walking across the outdoor quad in the middle of the apartment complex, when all around me, cheers and screams broke out and echoed all the way to the top level and out of the complex. The next day, I went to the Student Union and purchased my navy blue 1995 NCAA Champions cap. But that year was the last time the Bruins made it to the Final Four.

Until now. The final score was 50-45, UCLA. I was sweating and cheering in my chair at Mr. W’s house watching the TV set explode with Bruin excitement, and I had my UCLA roommate and other UCLA alumni and friends screaming and chanting “FI-NAL FOUR! FI-NAL FOUR!” through my cell phone, still on speaker, resting on the armrest. I said to Mr. W with my eyes gleaming I’m sure, “I’m so glad I went to a major university!”

I am SO fighting the urge to yell across the courtroom at our 14 jurors, “So did any of you guys see the UCLA game last nite?” I can’t seem to stop talking about it with random people who come through the courtroom. The judge and all the attorneys in our trial are at a sidebar conference in the judge’s chambers right now, with the door closed. I’ll keep fighting it a bit longer.

I can’t believe Diana’s gonna be at Saturday’s game! I so don’t expect her to have a voice on Sunday.

It’s been 10 YEARS, Bruins, 10 YEARS. I’m gonna drive up to UCLA to buy Final 4 (and hopefully championship) gear if they make it this weekend against #1 Memphis. My 1995 NCAA Championship cap is feeling lonely!

“I see you’re gloating in your school’s victory,” my judge said just now, walking into the courtroom.

Of course I’m wearing a navy suit with a gold top inside today. Just when you think the Texas win was gonna be “the” big finish of NCAA, UCLA does something even more amazing! Truthfully, I’d lost hope when UCLA could not close the 10+ point gap against Gonzaga (coming in with a 20-game victory streak) throughout the basketball game. It occurred to me that the voice mail greeting I had put on my cell phone before the game, something to the effect of “Hi, this is Cindy. If you’re a UCLA fan, please leave a message and I will call you back. If you’re not cheering for UCLA, don’t even bother leaving a message because I won’t call you back until NCAA is over”, would be retarded when we lost and I’d have to change it right after the game before people started calling me to harass me about the loss. But the first time UCLA took the lead was with less than 30 seconds left in the game, and they kept it through some unlikely moves. CrAzY! Like they say, it’s not about how you start the game, it’s how you finish it that counts.

I also really liked the fact that when Gonzaga’s star player Adam Morrison collapsed in tears on the court floor, it was a UCLA player Arron Afflalo who walked over and helped him up from the floor and made sure he was okay. The two of them almost got into a fight at one point on the floor with the fouls and elbow-throwing, and then when it came down to the end, the victor chose to help instead of rubbing the victory in. At a post-game interview, Adam Morrison (known for not just being a phenomenal player, but also for his trash-talking on the courts) said humbly that “that’s just a sign of great people and great players. It’s more than basketball.”

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