ilona the pest

insecurity + narcissism = awesome!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

ANTM writers' strike

it's been a tough week, emotionally. i've been trying figure out how i can reconcile my love for america's next top model and my respect and support for that show's writers' strike. (check it out - the reality tv writers have a whole campaign going -

but i've finally come up with an accomodation that i feel okay about: i'll continue to watch and love ANTM in private - which causes very little harm since i don't have a nielsen box or anything - but i'll refrain from discussing it publicly or encouraging other people to watch it. which is really hard, 'cause i like to write about whatever is on my mind, and ANTM occupies a big portion of my non-work thoughts these days. (omg, twins!! okay, sorry.)

please let me know if you hear anything about the strike being resolved, so i can go back to proclaiming my love for ANTM from the rooftops.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

free lunch

i got a free lunch today! i'm not working for the man, so any little perk like this is cause for celebration. it was two hours long, but it was kind of a welcome party for me and the other newbies, so i didn't even feel guilty. although i did stay a little late tonight to make up for it.

i really enjoyed the lunch conversation. i passionately love talking (and listening) to smart people. i got to show off by explaining to everyone what "the long tail" is. (when did li'l ol' socialist, technophobe me become so business- and internet-savvy?? ...oh yeah.)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

fight club: update

okay, i guess i don't know my own strength. apparently i gave her a black eye!

also i hear the bruising has gotten even darker since this picture was taken.

let this be a warning to all would-be muggers, rapists, etc.: don't mess with me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

fight club

i punched a girl in the face tonight. she asked me to -- i swear! -- so it wasn't assault, or battery, or anything else illegal. just weird.

we were standing on a sidewalk with quite a few people around, and many of them stared and looked aghast afterwards. (understandably.) i was a little embarassed, but kind of defensive too. it's like fight club! haven't they seen the movie?

it was pretty fun, punching someone in the face. i don't think i'd ever done it before. it seems like a good experience to have, for practice, just in case you ever need to punch someone for real.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

ANTM season premiere!

i just finished watching the season premiere of america's next top model ("cycle 7"). so exciting. and it was two hours long.

i made chocolate pudding (jell-o brand - but stove-top, not instant) and lay on a pile of pillows on the couch for two glorious hours, exchanging snarky comments with my sister about the contestants. it was a thoroughly hedonistic and satisfying evening.

p.s. my sister just informed me that elyse, my all-time favorite contestant, from season 1 (i mean, "cycle 1"), has a blog. i guess this is it. cool! i'm glad that i can continue to stalk her, post-reality-tv-show.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

cafe fiorello

tonight i had dinner at a restaurant on the upper west side, right across from lincoln center, called cafe fiorello. the menu informed me that theirs was "the best pizza in new york," so i had to try it.

it was pretty good, but a little too weird to be my new favorite pizza. the main problem was that the crust was the thinnest i've ever seen on a pizza. so that made the whole thing quite insubstantial as a meal (although they make the pizza extra-big to make up for it). and it also made the pizza get cold really fast, which makes the cheese get kind of unpleasantly congealed. but the crust and the sauce and the cheese were all extremely tasty.

rating: A-

Monday, September 18, 2006

12 hours

i just worked my first twelve-hour day. (well, not first ever, but first as a lawyer.) i was in the office from 9 to 9. i feel kind of proud of myself - this is what being a first-year associate is supposed to be like!

but i'm also glad that i haven't felt pressured to stay this late before now (and even this was really my own choice - i wanted to get some extra work done because i'm planning on leaving a little earlier than usual tomorrow. shh, don't tell). i don't want to get into a pattern where i feel like i have to work super-long hours all the time. i want to work hard at my job - i honestly enjoy the work, and it's kind of exciting to work hard and work long hours, like running a marathon or something - but i want to be sure to have a life, too.

life is short. i want to accomplish cool things, which takes work, but i also want to enjoy myself. i only have, what, 60 more years left? i don't want to look back and say, "now why did i spend those five years living behind a desk 16 hours a day?" i think you can be a great lawyer and still have time to play scrabble.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

ear infection

did i ever mention that my ears, which i got pierced in early june, still have NEVER HEALED? it is a source of constant aggravation (and pain). they hurt a little, especially when i'm trying to lay my head down on a pillow, and they regularly develop a small crust (from pus, i assume) over the back opening. icky and painful and annoying.

for a while i was doing the daily salt-water soak that the piercer recommended, then i got lazy and only did that maybe once every two weeks, then for the past couple of weeks i've been doing it daily again - none of it has helped. i've decided to move on to a regimen of regular treatments with rubbing alcohol and antibiotic ointment, based on some crackpot advice i found on the internet somewhere. we'll see how that goes. i'd ask a doctor, but my health insurance hasn't kicked in yet. doh!

john's pizzeria

the verdict: john's pizzeria was pretty good, but not the dream pizza that i'm searching for. it was a little too fancy and a little too tomato-sauce-heavy in some parts and no-tomato-sauce in other parts. i hate that.

thanks for all your suggestions. (and if you have more, please keep sending 'em.) i will canvass every pizza place in this city if i have to, by god.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

your advice needed: great new york pizza

any suggestions for where to find it? the only pizza i've tried so far (including a couple of the so-called original ray's) has been mediocre to awful. i've had way better "new york style" pizza in california than i've ever had here.

tonight i'm going to a place in greenwich village* called john's pizzeria that one of my co-workers recommended. it seems to be well-reviewed. i'll let you know how that goes. but please let me know if there's someplace else i should try.

*i know, i'm supposed to call it "the village."** i just don't feel like we're close enough to be on a last-name basis yet.

**you might notice that i have not adopted a consistent style for ordering punctuation marks and quotation marks at the end of a sentence. i know that the conventionally correct style is to put the punctuation mark inside the quotation marks. but i really hate that rule. i think it's inaccurate, since if you're putting something in quotes, you usually mean "this is precisely what it's called" - and if you include an extraneous punctuation mark, well, then it's no longer a perfect reflection of whatever you're quoting. sometimes i bow to convention, fearful that others will judge me, assuming that i just don't know the basic rules of punctuation. sometimes i rebel.

Monday, September 11, 2006

lawyers all look alike

i hardly know anyone's name at work. lots of people keep stopping by my office, real friendly-like, to say hi and ask me how things are going - but they almost never introduce themselves, simply assuming that i of course remember them from my whirlwind tour of the office on my first day, during which i was introduced to maybe 40 people in 20 minutes.

so i just pretend i know who they are. but it's stressful 'cause i'm never quite sure if i'm talking to an equal or to someone who is evaluating my every move with the power to decide my fate.

i wish we had a policy that everyone has to wear name tags. :(

Sunday, September 10, 2006

perfect skin

my skin is so freaking clear lately. it's awesome. i've had medium-bad skin ever since, oh, age 12 or whatever, which has been getting gradually clearer over time but not radically so. for the past maybe 5 years or so it's been pretty much at a plateau of one or two noticeable zits at a time (just shifting around my face in location). but ever since the minute i graduated law school, i've had a streak of steadily blemish-free skin that has mostly lasted the entire four months since.

(actually, it was maybe at 90% perfect for most of the summer, then after i got my facial a few weeks ago and started using my new $25 exfoliating face wash, it jumped up to like 95% perfection. thank you skinceuticals!)

theories as to the genesis of the overall improvement: decreased stress? switching to the round-the-clock birth control pill? i don't know, but i'm loving it. this girl at work said something in passing about how i have perfect skin, and that just made my week. i was like, "" but maybe it's true. :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

rookie baseball

last night i went to a brooklyn cyclones baseball game (well, games, really - a double-header). they're in the rookie league, or something like that, which is apparently the lowest of the low in the minor leagues. but the stadium was adorable and new and clean, and the fans were very enthusiastic and friendly. we won the first game and got absolutely creamed in the second. (sorry, i just prefer using the empathetic "we". it feels more supportive.)

me and my companions spent a lot of the game hanging out with two of the team's mascots, some kind of birds (seagulls, maybe?) named sandy and pee-wee.

pee-wee is the one in front with the propeller beanie. he was totally flirting with me. i'm not kidding. he threw me a t-shirt (when they were doing one of many many t-shirt tossing promotional game things). then later he came back around and was all, "did you get the t-shirt i threw you?" and then he was like, "call me." well, they don't speak, but he mimed it. i'm telling you, he was into me. it was very entertaining. but then i had to practically sneak out of the stadium at the end to avoid any awkward scenes like if he actually tried to ask for my phone number or something. these are the perils of avian romance.

settling in

it's been a busy week. my job is interesting and challenging and i like my co-workers. it's fun to feel useful - i feel much more motivated when working than i ever did in law school. but i'm sure that, y'know, the grass is always greener, and i'll be missing all that free time and learning before too long.

my internet connection at home has been down all week, but i just fixed it tonight, which makes me absurdly happy. now i can finally get back to playing on-line scrabble, and posting here, and IM'ing, etc. my new fancy phone has email, but it's not the same. i didn't realize just how addicted i am to constant internet access during my waking hours. the world sure changes fast.

i've had a packed social schedule this week. apparently i know a lot more people in NY than i realized. i have more friends here than in SF. :) all week i've been busy and tired, which is fun. but tonight i'm staying in, which is also a nice change.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

the big move

i'm here. new york. it feels surreal, like all the big changes i've experienced recently - finishing law school, finishing the bar - and i don't think i'll really believe it's true for weeks.

i got in a few hours ago. so far i've walked around the block to get quizno's for dinner, finished reading a charming memoir (Foreign Babes in Beijing), bought a bottle of water and the Sunday New York Times at the "bodega" across the street - aren't I practically a local already? - and took a nap, falling asleep to the soothing sounds of traffic outside.

i'm officially an east coaster again, after nine years getting used to life as a californian. it's an odd sensation, feeling somewhat at home and somewhat a foreigner. when i first moved to california, i was certain i'd end up back on the east coast, preferably sooner rather than later. but with each passing year california seemed more charming and comfortable, until i eventually felt much more at home in the bay area than when i was visiting my family and friends back here.

i feel like i fit in there. do i fit in here? i guess that's the beauty of new york - there are so many different kinds of people that everyone fits in here, somewhere.

Friday, September 01, 2006

another first

this evening i somehow managed to lock myself out of the apartment, so i ended up going to see a movie by myself. i've actually never done that before. is that weird? i suspect that a lot of people may share my phobia of being seen alone in usually-social public spaces. anyway i feel that i made a major breakthrough tonight, so i'm feeling a little proud & liberated.

the movie was "invincible," the marky mark movie about the 30-year-old guy who tries out for the philadelphia eagles. rated PG. (disney!)

i actually have a genuine fondness for inspiring sports movies. it was the perfect movie for my mood and for seeing alone. not so funny or interesting that i mourned not having someone to whisper commentary to throughout the movie (i am a incorrigible movie-talker), but just the right mix of exciting (he can't make the team...yes he will! he won't...oh yes he will!) and touching.