Monthly Archives: July 2006

Pet Peeve

Nine days before the wedding, I am not sleeping well at night, so I’m often up at 4 or 5 or 6 a.m. reading or thinking or surfing the net, and this morning while reading an e-mail I was reminded of one of my pet peeves. It’s when you have an e-mail correspondence with someone and neither of you deletes the previous conversation (like G-mail, only I rarely use my G-mail account) and then, at some point, that person CCs someone else on a response, so your entire conversation is forwarded to some other person without you having any control over it. It can even happen after just one e-mail. I may write you an e-mail and, when you respond, you CC the response to someone else. That drives me NUTS. What right is it of yours to forward my e-mail to someone else? It feels like such a violation of privacy, even though no one has ever forwarded anything personal or incriminating, I guess the potential for that happening is what bothers me. And just the principle of it. It’s one of my PET PEEVES.


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Games to Save the World?

In addition to playing sports (rock climbing and body boarding), Martin and I also love to play games. Once a week we try to play Settlers (of Catan) or Puerto Rico or our new favorite, Caylus, at the Pub on Solano, my second home. Martin also loves video games and my friend Whitney turned us on to a new video game called Guitar Hero. It’s one of those reality video games where your joystick is a toy guitar and you play the notes that come up on the screen to songs like Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll” or Boston’s “More Than a Feeling.” It’s so fun and addictive. We went to a party at Whitney’s house last month and spent the whole night playing this thing. With two guitars you can compete against each other. The only downside is the game is only made for PS2 and we have an XBox, so if we want the game we also have to buy a PS2.

I discovered another great game tonight on the New York Times website. It’s called Peacemaker. The way it works is you play either the Israeli Prime Minister or the Palestinian president and your goal is to negotiate peace. One player said he learned more about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis from playing this game than he has from reading the newspaper for ten years. I believe it. Games are a great way to learn. And this game couldn’t be more timely with the Israelis and Hesbollah blowing each other up right now. The UN also has a game called Food Force, which teaches about the difficulties of dispensing food to war zones. MTV has a game called Darfur is Dying in which players try to escape the Janjaweed while looking for water, and a Serbian youth movement has created A Force More Powerful, a game that teaches principles of nonviolent strategy. And the best part? Food Force and Darfur is Dying are free. I’m downloading Food Force right now. A Force More Powerful is just $20 (but runs on PCs only) and Peacemaker will be free when it’s ready for general distribution.


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A Day at the Beach

I LOVE the beach and I miss the beach and this hot weather has made me want to do nothing but go to the beach. I think it’s funny how people from the Midwest and East Coast assume if you live in California you go to the beach every day. I think the last time I went to the beach was when my nieces came out to visit last summer, and when we got to Stinson it was cold and foggy and empty. We got out, looked around, then got back in the car and went out to lunch. Other than that, Martin and I went to Costa Rica three years ago for a surf vacation, but I don’t think I’ve been to the beach since. So last Sunday we drove down to Stinson and after about 20 minutes of me complaining that we’d driven all that way and it was cold and foggy once again, the marine layer burned off and the sky became blue and the sun was hot and we lay there until we were sweaty and risking sunburn, then ran through the hot sand to brave the cold water. Another misconception is that you can throw on a bikini and go surfing or swimming in the waves in California. Maybe in LA ot San Diego – MAYBE. But up here you need a 4/3 wetsuit to survive longer than an hour. I was so desperate to swim, though, that I followed Martin into the waves. He jumped right in. I walked slowly, letting first my feet, then my calves, then my thighs and midsection get completely numb before I submerged up to my neck then dived all the way under. Usually a wave gets me before I get brave enough to go all the way in. But once I’m in, I’m fine. We body surfed long enough for me to decide that we were going to buy body boards THIS WEEK. I LOVE body boarding, but I’m not very good at body surfing (without a board). I won’t say I’ve given up on real surfing completely, but it’s such a commitment and when you live in the East Bay, such a pain to lug your board all the way to Santa Cruz or Pacifica or Bolinas only to find that there are no waves, or they’re closing out, or blown out, or whatever. The best time to surf in CA is in the fall. In the summer, when I really want to surf, there are no waves. The good surfers all like to surf in the winter, when the waves are big. That’s also when it’s cold and rainy and the last thing I want to do is surf. Surfing just isn’t all that convenient in Northern California. So for now I’m sticking to body boarding, and we’re going to Berkeley Board Sports tomorrow to buy boards.


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Today and yesterday I took a rest after eight straight days of working out. I have been climbing twice a week (2+ hours), running 3.5 miles twice a week and doing Astanga yoga twice a week. But yesterday the pulled muscle in my leg was making me limp and my shoulder was sore from climbing so I decided to take a break. I am a firm believer in rest, especially from exercise. I don’t think it’s healthy to work out every single day. It does feel good to get back into yoga, though. It’s something I’ve been doing on and off since 1994 when I enrolled in a month-long Astanga teacher’s training course in India. After about a year of doing the first (and half of the second) series four to five times a week, I got bored. Then three and a half years ago I started climbing and because I find it a lot more fun than yoga, I’ve dedicated most of my exercise time to that. But since I’m out of school now and have a tight wedding dress to fit into in two weeks, I’ve been taking the time to do both, and it feels like such a luxury to spend that many hours a week exercising!

My stopwatch method is effective – sometimes. This past week I didn’t write AT ALL (I don’t count blogging as writing, although I haven’t done much of that lately either). I spent all of my writing time doing wedding planning and editing. Oh well. Maybe next week will be more productive.

In other news, while writing my book proposal (which is completed and ready to send to agents) I had my first doubts about whether anyone will want to buy my book. I’m not famous and never was. I wasn’t a drug addict or an orphan; I was never suicidal, and I never had an eating disorder. WHO will want to buy my book? I was just an ordinary “not-so-supermodel” who has the inside scoop on what it’s really like to work as an international fashion model. But will anyone care? I really don’t know. I just have to keep at it and see. Ugh. My first doubts. Really. Btw, I love this months’ Vogue cover with Linda Evangelista on the cover. When I was modeling, Linda Evangelista was on EVERY cover. I did shows with her and Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell and now they’re all 40 or nearing it and talking about their Botox treatments.

Wedding Stuff
It feels like an entire wedding season! First I had a fabulous bridal shower hosted by Alina, Anna (Martin’s mom) an Aditi replete with games and balloons and champagne and fabulous gifts. The theme was “Around the Clock” and each guest was supposed to bring a present that fit a particular time of day. And guess what? It turns out that thongs can be worn ANY time of day! And alcohol can be drunk any time of day, too! We’ve been getting gifts in the mail nearly every day, my friend Meeta took me to high tea at the Fairmont for my shower gift on Thursday (we had a delectable time!), and this Friday Whitney is organizing a bachelorette party. I feel honored that people are going to this much trouble. Thank you everyone!

As for wedding planning – we have our wedding license; my dress finally fits; I finally have shoes; the table and name cards are done. All I have left is to make the guest book and help Martin (who is busy at work while I’m blogging) finish writing the ceremony. I think that’s it! And with two weeks to spare!


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Another Trick of the Trade

I bought a stopwatch on Wednesday. It was Meeta or Laura who suggested it at my shower the weekend before last. The idea is to turn it on when you’re writing and turn it off when you’re not (including when you check e-mail, go to the bathroom, get up to make tea, etc.) in order to record how many hours you’re REALLY writing – not blogging, reading blogs, surfing the Net, etc. – each week. (Right now mine is turned off.) My goal is to write minimum 10 hours/week. I bought the stopwatch Wednesday afternoon and am at 5 hours right now, but I can’t tell you how often I turn it off and how much more writing I would get done if I could be more disciplined. Still, it’s a great idea and I thank Meeta or Laura for suggesting it!


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