Amanda, Hong Kong

I find rules freakishly comforting, not so much in the need to follow them as in their staid, passive yet obstinate, existence. I like that they are there if only to somehow delineate a set of markers in the universe. Like, someone thought this was the limit and they marked it as such. Then someone else came along and revised that position and made a new marker. Rules are constantly in flux, which is good; and they are constantly inconsistent, which is bad. Rules also can leave their acceptable position as observers and reminders, becoming tyrannical dictators and this is also problematic, especially when one, er… I, allow these despotic, rigid little rulers to take over the whole of my daily existence.

“I must do — before I can —.”

“I cannot do — unless —.”

Perfectly counterproductive in the end.


I love shoes.

I used to pride myself on the fact that I could go for nearly a month and NOT wear the same pair of shoes twice (excepting those which were purpose designated… running shoes, basketball shoes, flip-flops…) Sometimes, if I was feeling down, I would look in my closet at the shelves that the ex made for me specifically to hold my shoes. It would inevitably (inappropriately) cheer me up. I had black shoes, brown shoes, tall shoes, slightly less tall shoes, soft shoes, clunky shoes, sparkly shoes, sharp shoes, scary shoes, delicate shoes, functional shoes, trendy shoes. I had them all. Someone [Allan Sherman] once said, “If you want to fall in love with a shoe, go ahead. A shoe can’t love you back, but, on the other hand, a shoe can’t hurt you too deeply either. And there are so many nice looking shoes.” Seemed like a good philosophy to me.

And then one day I left my shoes because I had to go away and I could not take them with me. I had to choose. How does one choose a single pair of shoes? What about all the possible scenarios that could arise that would make that pair of gorgeous, supple, grape colored, spike heel, Italian boots simply indispensable? What then? Gloria Steinem said, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?” I think maybe the foot just needs a new purpose; keep the shoe [in storage], keep the foot [in action], head in a new direction.


It is noon on Monday, December 10th, 2007. I am in my pajamas looking over at my cats who have returned from their morning of mayhem and are now napping on the love-seat adjacent to the sofa on which I find myself. My furniture is not nearly as nice as that sentence makes it sound, and as the sentence wasn’t especially ornate, that says a word or two about my present surroundings. Still, it is a pleasant temperature outside, it is only slightly hazy so I can see HK island nicely from my window and I do not have a headache in spite of the wine I drank last night.

I am enjoying a breakfast of coffee and Almond Roca candies (left over from the book group potluck I hosted yesterday) and thinking that I should be doing something. (My cats never seem to share that concern.) I have been simultaneously over- and underwhelmed with work lately. It is a very busy time of the year in the best of circumstances and I have been feeling very out of sync. Because of this I am eating more Almond Roca. (more…)

I have a new appreciation for holidays after more than two years in Asia (I cannot believe it has been more than two years in Asia, but that of course is another post altogether…) and especially after nearly two years of working without the luxury of the academic calendar to which I have had a lifelong affiliation and adoration.

I have long been a fan of holidays where you get stuff… you know Christmas (though Hanukkah seems way better with eight days of presents – alas I am not Jewish, is that a huge detail?) Easter (save for the bad dresses); my birthday (WHAT?! Not a recognized holiday? NO!) Even Halloween… But I am starting to feel a bit differently about the whole situation. Not that I am no longer appreciative of getting stuff, fire away with the gifts… but now I seem to be much more drawn into the spectacle, and more often than not, the superstition. And if you want either of those in loads, come to Hong Kong. (more…)

I always wanted to be famous. Somehow it seemed like the most effective way to feel validated and significant in this big wide world. But lately, I am not so sure.


“The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules. Anyway… I’ve started to make a tape… in my head…” Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

 Mixed Tapes may be the best invention of all time. I remember spending hours on them for friends (and myself) and never getting tired of the process or the result… always trying to come up with the perfect combination, and oh! to be known as the ultimate compiler of tunes… now that was something!

But this is tricky. (more…)

Room 101. Repository of my worst nightmare.
Here you find the painfully familiar “Hey Guy.”
I realize that this is a rant of sorts… but, well, no excuses it is.

The “Hey Guy” is generally identified in the wild by the following characteristics: (more…)

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