Wednesday, February 21, 2007


It always happens in the winter. There's a guy in my office, who is a great lawyer, a great guy, and whom I like and respect, but who basically spends October through March coughing up a lung. He's got asthma and is susceptible to bronchial-type maladies, so he comes into work and coughs and hacks for 6 months. I feel for the guy, because he can't help it, but every year, my immune system is able to fend off the germs for 4 months and then cries "uncle." This year, "uncle" happened this past Sunday, while I was skiing in North Carolina. I had a slight irritation in the top of my windpipe, then developed the racking cough, then the fever, then the sinus issues. Jason drove home Monday afternoon with the heat blasting, sweating his ass off, while I huddled under coats shivering. This was supposed to be my last week at work, but I couldn't go in yesterday or today. I spend my time coughing, shivering, sweating, sniffling and sleeping. Thanks, [office dude].

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I'm 37 today. 37. That sounds very old to me, though I don't feel particularly old. I can't say that I feel the same as when I was 18 or 25, but I don't feel much different than when I was, say, 30. Anyway, as my mother said, getting older is better than the alternative, so I guess I can't complain.

It's already been a lovely day. My mother called me from Hong Kong to maintain our birthday tradition of her telling me the story of the day I was born. I've gotten calls and emails from family and friends. I got to tell a lawyer I'm litigating against that she's full of shit and that I'm going to get her case thrown out of court. Good times, good times.

Today is also the birthday of my friend David and my friend Kristin (the one who committed suicide). A group of my buddies is running a half-marathon in Kristin's honor and to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. If you want to do something nice for our birthdays, click here and donate to the cause.

Friday, February 09, 2007

That old familiar feeling

When I was growing up, my parents were in the U.S. Foreign Service, so we moved every few years. By the time I graduated from high school (in India), I had lived in 5 different countries and gone to 8 different schools.

Among the diplomatic kids, there were kids who hated the moving around and tended to be very jingoistic and anti-anything-not-American (including the country they were in), and those who embraced the changes, learned how to be adaptable, and took advantage of the outrageous life experiences they were able to enjoy. My brothers and I definitely fell in the latter category.* While it was hard to leave friends and start over someplace new every few years, I loved seeing the world and appreciated what a gift my lifestyle was. In any event, adapting to a new place usually wasn't hard. Embassy schools are filled with people that move around all the time, too, so they know what it's like to be the new kid. The schools also tend to be quite small, so anyone new is immediately interesting. I learned quickly that if I made an effort to get to know people, it was easy to make friends and feel at home. (Ironically, the hardest transition I ever made was coming into a big American high school in northern Virginia when I was in 10th grade.)

Before every big move, I would experience sadness at leaving what was familiar -- including good friends -- but also excitement over what the new place would be like. There is something exhiliarating about being able to go someplace entirely new, with a fresh slate, and create a life.

When I came to Atlanta, I started to feel an itch to move after 4 or 5 years. It was very strange to me to not have a new place to look forward to. I didn't like it. But eventually, I settled down and became used to being in one place.

When the house went under contract, I was freaked out about moving. Everything seemed so overwhelming and scary. But now I'm starting to feel that excitement that I used to get when I was a kid. I'm going to miss my friends terribly, but I've got a pleasant flutter in my belly at the prospect of meeting new people and learning my way around a new community. Maybe I'll teach an adjunct class in education law at the University of Hawaii law school. Maybe I'll become a really good surfer. Maybe I'll finally get my SCUBA license. Maybe I'll have a baby and miraculously teach him/her to speak without a Hawaiian accent (*fingers crossed*). There are so many possibilities, and instead of feeling weighted down by the uncertainty, I'm feeling liberated.

* I have a theory that we, and the other kids in the "adaptable" category, were able to function as well as we did because our families were so stable and we had such solid relationships with our parents. The kids that hated their parents and had fucked-up family lives tended to be the ones that didn't like being overseas. The kids that had great relationships with their parents and siblings tended to take the constant change in stride, learn how to make new friends quickly, and have fun. I recognize that there is nothing particularly revolutionary or insightful about this theory, but I do think it's valid.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Three weeks and counting...

The closing is 3 weeks from today.  Jason is a busy bee making repairs requested by the buyer.  We've arranged a not-yard sale to get rid of our stuff, and will give the rest to charity.  The only thing we're taking is my car, rugs, art, some table linens, and one piece of furniture that was made for me as a gift.  Everything else we're buying out there.  I've scoped out the stores in Hawaii near out house and already know where the Home Depot, Office Depot, Sam's Club and Pier One are.  We've got Macy's and Williams Sonoma credit up the wazoo, so we can stock the kitchen when we get there.  Very, very exciting!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Big exhale

At the beginning of the Bikram yoga series of poses, you do deep breathing exercises in which you inhale as much air as you possibly can and then empty your lungs as much as you possibly can. For the past day and a half, waiting for our deal to solidify, I've felt like I was a quarter of the way through the move, like I had partially inhaled but couldn't get enough air into my lungs and couldn't exhale. It's been very tense and difficult. But about 20 minutes ago, I finally heard from the real estate agent that the terms of the deal were finally agreed to, so all we have to do is finish the repairs that we said we would do, and then close on February 27. I can exhale now. It's really happening.