ilona the pest

insecurity + narcissism = awesome!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

life is awesome

(1) i started a new job last week, and i LOVE it. it's at a non-profit organization that does "impact litigation" for LGBT rights. my second day i was at the office until two in the morning writing an amicus brief to the eighth circuit, appealing a denial of asylum for a gay man from pakistan. the other lawyers were apologetic about the crazy pace, but i loved every second of it. the work i'm doing now is exciting, and compelling, and intellectually challenging, and they give me as much responsibility as i can handle. i feel like i'm finally getting the opportunity i've been longing for, to work up to my full potential, and it feels fantastic.

(2) i love being back in san francisco. even though it's not exactly balmy, the weather here is dramatically more pleasant than the frigid new york winter. and it just smells so lovely here, like trees and the ocean.

(3) it's also great being back among the friends and loved ones i left behind. it's hard moving to a new city and making friends -- at least for an awkward homebody like me. it's nice to be back where i'm comfortable and i know that i'm loved.

however, i sincerely miss my sister and our cats. and everyone else who might be reading this. :)

(4) i just started taking spanish lessons, which i have been meaning to do for years and years. i found a spanish school that's located in my office building, on the very next floor, which is ridiculously convenient. i'm proud of myself for actually following through with my plan to learn spanish. i'm going to be fluent in no time. perhaps i'll start posting translations of all my blog posts on

(5) lastly, this afternoon, i got a new car! it's a 2003 mini cooper, dark silver with a white top (my favorite color combo):

i've coveted a mini cooper forever, so i'm extremely excited that my dream car is mine at last. it's super fun to be driving again, since i haven't had a car for the past four or five years. it's particularly fun to drive a stick shift again. i find driving stick about 10 times more enjoyable and relaxing than driving an automatic (probably because i'm a control freak), so this is really my absolute dream car. i can't wait to take this baby out on a road trip. maybe this weekend!

Friday, March 14, 2008


i'm glad i chose the over-cautious route and went to a travel clinic before leaving for this trip. i just started taking the antibiotic pills. i really, really should have listened to the guidebook and only ordered beverages without ice. that lemonade was probably made with local water too. dammit.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

monkeys (and sloths)

as promised, here are some videos of monkeys we saw in the vicinity of manuel antonio national park, costa rica.

here are some white-faced capuchin monkeys at the beach:

here are some of the same type of monkeys begging for food on a boat tour of a mangrove forest (don't worry, we didn't give them any):

and here's a three-toed sloth climbing sloooowly down a tree. it's a mommy sloth, with a baby clinging to her stomach! i love it when you can see both of their heads looking all around:

that was probably the best of the wildlife-watching for this trip. as of today we're in panama for a week of snorkeling and spanish lessons.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


sorry it's been a thousand years. studying for the bar exam sucked. thank goodness it's over. i'm glad i basically never have to take a test again in my life if i don't want to.

now i'm chilling out for two weeks in costa rica and panama. my two goals are to see a lot of monkeys and improve my spanish. i'm making some headway with my spanish, but there've been no monkey sightings in the first 24 hours. i'll post pictures if i do come across any.