Monday, August 25, 2008

Current Leighton

Today I officially started law school. Last night, at a new student mixer, I met a younger version of myself. We grew up in the same hometown, went to the same college, graduated with the same major, moved to New York following graduation to work for a period of 18 to 24 months, and we now live two floors apart in the same building AND have exactly the same class schedule. We will call her Past Leighton to differentiate her from Current Leighton (that's me) and Future Leighton, who I have yet to meet. As an aside, I believe I may have scared Past Leighton last night by telling her that the only reason we haven't killed each other is that I am two years older than her. (There can only be one Leighton in each time period, so if we were the same age we would have to fight to the death. It would get nasty; Current Leighton has no formal fighting training and would probably panic like a wounded wolverine, harming herself, opponents and bystanders alike.)

When I got home from meeting Past Leighton, I tried to compile a list of advice for her, e.g., places to avoid, things not to say, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies to skip, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies not to miss. I came up with one thing: poop chicken. (For those of you who would like to read the full story, it is entitled "Oh Sh*t" and was posted on June 4, 2006. Read it now because I am about to ruin the ending.) I realized that I wouldn't warn Past Leighton not to smell the poop chicken, I would encourage her to get more witnesses to corroborate her (our) story! I think that for a story like poop chicken to be truly believable, Past Leighton and I are going to need eight to ten qualified witnesses. I don't want to put too much pressure her, but she really needs to come through.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Piece of Cake

Problem: wedding cake

Every bride-to-be says these words: "Groom-to-be and I tasted our wedding cake last week and it is the best cake we've ever had." When I was a child and thought like a child, I took the happy couple at their word. Now that I am an adult, I realize that wedding cake is actually the worst cake in the world. While the bride and groom taste freshly baked mini cakes, wedding cake is actually baked days before the wedding, and it is made in bulk. Anyone who has ever tried to turn spaghetti for four into spaghetti for forty knows that a multiplied recipe never tastes as good as the original, even when the math is done correctly.

Solution: Leighton's shawarma cake

Since the best cake in the world is obviously Pillsbury's Moist Supreme Funfetti cake with Betty Crocker's Rainbow Chip frosting, but since it would look sloppy to have a table at the reception covered in homemade cakes, I have decided that the ideal way to serve this to a large crowd would be in the style of the shawarma: bake twenty Funfetti cakes, pile them on a vertical spit, ice the tower of cakes, and then hire someone with a machete to shave off slices.

When this takes off, I would like you to remember where you first read about it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


My sister just purchased two Furbies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furby) to alleviate the pain caused by the death of her oversized cell phone (http://100visionsandrevisions.blogspot.com/2007/10/motelona.html). I don't know why she is replacing human relationships with machines, but I feel there is nothing I can say that will make her believe that her phone and her Furbies won't come to life one day and truly love her. I blame Hollywood. They have used films and TV shows to push an agenda that machines and humans can carry on healthy relationships. It's no accident that Alan Thicke was cast as the father in "Still Not Quite Human." The producers knew that his boyish charm would subtly influence the American public into thinking that machines can be trusted. It's tragic to admit how this myth has affected my own family.

I'm getting off topic. My point is that my sister has purchased two talkative little Furbies. They speak Furbish, a language with obvious Mandarin origins. My new exposure to Furbish has gotten me thinking. I have been studying Mandarin for a year and a half, and I know roughly 600 of the 3,000 words that I will need to achieve proficiency. I have been studying Furbish for one day, and I know 10 of the 36 words that I will need to achieve totally mastery. I have run the numbers, and it just makes more sense for me to learn Furbish. Are the same career opportunities going to present themselves if I speak Furbish instead of Mandarin? Realistically, no. But I don't need twenty great job offers after law school, just one. I need one interviewer at a law firm that focuses on international law to look at my resume and say, "Hey, we are interested in opening up an office in the Democratic Republic of Furbieland, and we need someone fluent in Furbish to head it up." And there we go. I really foresee great things.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

White House of Hotties

We have new neighbors. I have not introduced myself yet because they have ugly cars and because I miss the family who moved away. I sigh as I recollect. They were a southern Indian family: all doctors, all hot. Their beauty provoked us to song, and since they lived in a white house, the beginning of every song began with "White house of hotties, want to touch your bodies..." A rare glimpse of Raman watering the lawn or Suddha getting the mail launched us into long professions of devotion, replete with hand motions (we would make claws with our hands and pretend that we had the privilege of pinching them, any of them...)

As for the new neighbors, I know that you can't always judge a book by its cover, but most of the time you can, and I don't like them. I don't want to pinch them. However, we have had a change of heart with a family that lives across the street. The dad used to run on a treadmill in their garage, and we could hear the whirring of machinery followed by frequent spurts of yelling. That is how he came to have the nickname "Treadmill of Evil." After a few months of using the nickname (ex. "Treadmill of Evil trimmed his palm trees," and "I saw Treadmill of Evil at the hardware store,") we had a family discussion and decided that Treadmill of Evil's nickname was too harsh. It was painting every impression of him in a diabolical light. So, he became Treadmill of Hope. Somehow, by changing a nickname he knew nothing about, he began to act differently. We heard less yelling and noticed that he was spending more time with his four-year-old doppleganger. The point of this heartwarming story of love and redemption is that I may come to really like my new neighbors.

I would like to clarify that I did not like the White House of Hotties because they were Indian. I liked them because they were hot. And wealthy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Best Look in the World

Twice this week, I have wondered if I am wearing pants. It's not a question of whether I am wearing pants, shorts, or even a skirt, but whether my entire lower half is nude. The question itself does not concern me; it can only mean that I have purchased very comfortable clothing and undergarments if I can entirely forget that they are there. What concerns me is that, instead of looking down to see if I am wearing clothing, I try to figure it out by thinking about my legs and whether or not I can feel material on top of them. I would have thought that my sense of sight would be the default here, the line between two points, but apparently I trust and/or prefer my sense of touch.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not Your Average Tuesday

Since I am not currently employed, I will admit that I sometimes wake up in the double digits. It's not often, but often enough for me to be defensive about it. So yes, it happens a lot. Not that it's any of your business. This morning I awoke at six with a headache. Since I have been battling a head cold and suspected the headache may be due to sinus pressure, I tried to alleviate the discomfort by getting back into bed with a heating pad and a cold compress. After half an hour, my headache was worse and I felt nauseous. I gave up on my useless drug-free methods and returned to my tried and true: two Excedrin Migraine. I hesitate to take my trusty pills because of the substantial dose of caffeine they put into my system. I like caffeine but am not used to large amounts of it, and I am always curious to see how I will react.

I took the pills at six thirty. By nine thirty, I had responded to all emails in my inbox, talked to my dad in China, fed the dogs and the cats, played with the dogs, taken 1.5* walks, faxed some notes to a pianist, and vacuumed, dusted, and mopped the entire downstairs. At that point, I predicted a one o'clock meltdown, when I would pick a fight with my mom and then take a nap. I actually picked the fight around eleven fifteen, apologized around two, and got back in bed at three thirty.

*The first walk was cut short when, after four minutes of walking, I had to walk back to my front yard, throw up, and then start the walk over again. I suppose I could have thrown up in my neighbor's front yard, but Art the elderly pet-sitter was driving by and we just recently struck up a relationship. I thought it was a bit early in the relationship for that much reality.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Attenzione le narcisiste!

I will put this mildly- I come from a competitive family. My parents' marriage was an unlikely match: the union of two first-born children. Both of my parents are the oldest of three children. Neither of my parent's parents had siblings. What do you get when two first-borns, the children of four only-children, have children of their own? My sister (the oldest), me, my brother (the oldest boy), and a family where four out of five members are oldest children and five out of five members want to be in charge. People expect that I would not be competitive, a sort of middle child peacemaker, inserted to prevent competitive family meltdowns. It's a nice idea, but apparently there was too much power-hungry DNA in the gene pool to split between two children without killing them, and it was divided up between the three of us.

Since we never got into competitive sports, the competition has been channeled into other activities: Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit, push-ups, pull-ups, cooking, dancing, friends, driving, IQ, EQ, SQ (social quotient), SpQ (spiritual quotient), airtime, grandparent affections, pet affections, pet names…(list continued below.) It is not uncommon for a casual lunch conversation to include the words, "No, you are wrong." In fact, it happened again on Sunday. Board games are rarely played because they get so out of hand (I haven’t played Monopoly with my dad in 12 years), and although it is early May, the category for our annual Christmas quiz has already been chosen. Past categories have included the neighborhoods of Manhattan, English history from the 1100’s to the present, and landmarks within a three mile radius of our house. This year, the quiz will be on the location of all of the countries of the world. I'll admit I am nervous. My sister has already memorized maps of Eastern Europe and Africa, my brother has already memorized Southeast Asia, and I have unwisely spent my time seeing if Text Twist will let me hit a score of one million (I still do not have an answer, thanks a lot “ocular.”)

Family competition only occurs inside the home or the car. Outside, in this "real world" that I hear so much about, we huddle, strengthen and swarm so that we can take down the competition. It's easy to feel unified when we all look nearly identical, but it also helps to occasionally wear matching outfits.

We are not ruthless, we just need to win the way we need oxygen, food and Cable.

general coolness
skin care
room cleanliness
celebrity sightings
in-law accolades
college rankings
Classical music
nail care
food shopping speed
music lyrics