Thursday, June 25, 2009


Do you remember your first time? your first time really listening to Michael Jackson and knowing that he was the king? The first time you wore just one white glove on purpose?

I was at Nicole's birthday party, probably third grade. I didn't have hip, musically inclined older siblings (that would be me), so I was maybe late in the game. Nicole did, however, and even though they were from Chile, her older siblings knew EVERYTHING about Michael Jackson. Sure, i'd roller skated to his music at the rink where we'd go for school roller skating parties, but I didn't know much about him. We were at the dining room table, eating cake, and someone put on Michael Jackson. Nicole ran and got her one white glove to put on, and we all started dancing. Some kids could do the moonwalk, and I was soooo jealous. Not so jealous about the crotch grabbing dancing. Nicole's older siblings had SEEN him in concert, and so regaled us with stories about how he used to be in the Jackson Five, and then broke off on his own and became the most famous. I'd had no idea, and this new knowledge about this pop star kind of blew my mind, as did the plastic surgery rumors. He was so strange, and so talented. My parents didn't let us stay up to watch the "Thriller" music video when it came out, but i remember everyone else talking about it, and even my older sister knew about that.

That was my first time really experimenting with MJ.

Then he got all weird and married Lisa Marie Presley (which was also really strange, right?). I lost track of him until one day, I was in Cambodia, riding a bus. It was a long bus ride over rough roads, so someone had the sense to throw in a video. The best possible video ever. Michael Jackson's music videos. There I was with my friend Andy, the only white kids on this bus full of Cambodians and everyone enthralled and singing along to the songs. It was truly one of those moments where we could just turn to each other and say, hey, we are all the same, aren't we? and end all wars.

That's MJ for you, building bridges (except with the whole Never never land thing), bringing people together across the globe. you will be missed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


last night, i dreamt that I was engaged to this skinny guy (no, i didn't recognize him). We were sitting on the kitchen floor of my apartment and he was pulling out all of these new cleaning supplies he had just bought, heavy duty, toxic cleaning supplies. I started crying and said "But i don't want to poison my babies!" I think the look on his face indicated that my babies and his babies would be mutually exclusive.

Yup. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I really want to use only natural cleaning products. And obviously babies too in my subconscious.

Women on front line of street protests - The National Newspaper

YOu'veprobably all seen the video by now- or heard of it at least-- of the woman shot in the chest by the militia in the Iranian protests and dying in a pool of her own blood. It is brutal, as are all images of people dying. But it as also served as a rallying cry for many of the demonstrators in Iran protesting the recent elections declaring President Ahmadinejad as the victor over Mousavi. While women in Iran do have relatively more freedom compared to women elsewehre inthe MIddle East, under the Ahmidenejad regime they still lack many fundamental rights under Iranian law-- such as a woman's testimony counting for only half as much as a man's. Can you imagine what it would be like to report a rape, which is already considered sucha secret and shameful thing, somewhere that your testimony didn't really matter? The enforcing of the dress code by the morality police is an obvious indication of the control that the government holds over society, and a constant reminder that there is a long way to go before freedom.

I don't know if the elections were rigged or what should be done about it. But, I do know that I support whoever will advance equal rights for women in Iran.

Women on front line of street protests - The National Newspaper

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Sunday, June 21, 2009


I know a lot of people are blogging about their dads today, and many of the blogs I read will probably include adorable pictures of cute kids hugging cute dads. I wish I had some pictures from when I was little with my dad (they are all in Toronto or Finland at my grandma's house), because I was a very cute little girl (red rosy cheeks, pigtails, big mischievous smile) and my dad was a very cute dad (total hipster-looking, i never realized how cool my dad really was until I moved to Brooklyn and all the cute dads look like he did in the 70s and 80s).

I brag about my dad a lot. i don't think he knows it, because I certainly don't tell him that. maybe I should tell him how proud I am of him, but that just seems like an awkward conversation. It's so much easier to tell other people how smart he is in science and what little i understand about his important, life-saving work. It is really because of him that I try to be smart too-- I joke about how i'm the dumb one in a family full of doctors, but there is part of me hoping that the apple couldn't have fallen far from the tree. I went to graduate school for myself of course, but I have to admit, part of me was really pleased to be able to show my dad that I was accepted to a great MPA school, and I know that he was proud of me too. Yeah, he does put pressure on us academically and professionally, but over the years I've come to realize it is only because he knows that 1) hard work pays off, and 2) I think he believes in our abilities to be great and smart. i think my dad really expects me to change the world; I'm not so sure about that myself, but i really hope he doesn't stop believing that. Now if only he would be as optimistic about my chances at getting hitched...

Another way in which he has influenced my life, even moreso than the academic, is the spiritual. It's not quite as easy to brag about what a good example he has been to me, not because he hasn't been one, but because I don't think that he thinks he has been. He's not that guy who teaches Sunday School and spouts off obscure quotes from church leaders long since dead. His testimony and spiritual strength has always been more of the simple action kind. He simply lives it, without fanfare and with commitment. I think that it has been hard fought and not without struggles, but he keeps at it. He isn't perfect, but I don't need a perfect father, I need someone who understands what it is like to question things, to feel insecure and sad, to feel alone, and to still keep working at it day by day hoping to be a little better each day because it is worth it. Sure, it's sometimes annoying to always be asked "so, do you have a job yet? How's the dating going?" but it's just because he cares about me, and i know i can always go to him when i am struggling. He's played the role of "parent", both mom and dad over the years, and i am so grateful for that.

It's been said that girls marry men like their fathers. Judging from my dating line-up, i've been trying pretty hard to not make that the case. But, today as i sat in church, looking around at all of these cute little families with proud and handsome husbands and fathers, i knew very clearly what I wanted. I wanted someone who honors the priesthood and loves God. Someone who loves and supports me as his partner. Someone who adores his kids. Someone who loves telling really lame jokes. In other words, someone just like my dad.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Missed connections

Have you ever read the Craigslist missed connections? Some are lame, some are funny, and some are freakin' soliloquies written to someones long lost love. Pure poetry, i tell you. I love the little moments described in the missed connections...

"This morning on the E train...

Hi again

Thanks for the seat on a crowded subway

Better than walking thru a monsoon

If you were just being friendly - have a great day

If I read your eyes accurately at all, say hello"

and another

"I’m looking for the young woman that went out with her parents to eat at Spumoni Gardens on Saturday June 6, with her parents.
You’re adorable..
Your parents must have been visiting from somewhere out West from the style of clothes they were wearing..
We made eye contact a few times when you were leaving..
Get back to me maybe we can meet under less awkward circumstances… "

and one more

"we sat across from each other on the F train... I had a backwords cap and big headphones. You chowed down a bagel for a bit. I wanted to say something clever but didn't. Dang."

Those moments with strangers, that connection on the train, is it worth finding? Or is it better to leave it as a heart palpitating few moments and a pleasant alternate future of what-might-have-been-if-only-we'd-met?

A few weeks ago i very nearly posted a missed connections because of a conversation and sparkly eyes on a train. Luckily, he found me on facebook. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Boston and baby adenture!

This is Catherine, Meghan's baby girl.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I feel safe in this city. I feel fairly safe and comfortable on the subways and walking in my neighborhood, i'm aware of my surroundings and hold my bag to make sure no one can grab it. But this morning something happened that made me feel uncomfortable.

I ride trains all the time, crowded ones. People are pushed up against each other and we all deal with it without making eye contact and trying to be touch in the least offensive ways. but on occasion, people press against me and it is uncomfortable. i usually shift however I can, and assume that we are all just crammed into the tight space together. One time a guy was standing behind me, and when i got off the crowded train, a guy grabbed me, flashed his badge, and asked if the guy had been bothering me. I was in shock and running late, so I said no and ran off. But I thought about that experience a lot. Unlike most train rides, i could still feel his body against mine, way too close for comfort, and while i hadn't felt any grabbing or poking or anything, it had made me feel uncomfortable, and I wondered if maybe I should've said something to the officer... I then forgot about it.

That was weeks ago. This morning, again on the 4 train to Grand Central, a crowd piled into the train and a guy stood directly behind me. I felt him pressed against my back and butt, and was reminded again about the incident a few weeks ago. But really, it was a crowded train, he wasn't "touching" me... I shifted over to the other side of the pole, but avoided his gaze, which I suddenly found myself to be very shy in meeting. On the way out, i glanced at him, and made eye contact. Uncomfortable. And then, as we disembarked from the train, i saw him grabbed by another guy as handcuffs were slid from the a pocket, and another guy pulled me aside and flashed his badge. "Ma'am, i saw that man touching you. Are you okay? can you tell me what happened?" This time, though on my way to a meeting, i stayed and talked to the officer. Plain clothes, no indication that he's a cop, and i actually asked for his id when he asked me for my statement. Though I knew the guy in the plaid shirt had been pressed against me, and I had felt uncomfortable, did i really think he did it on purpose? i didn't want him in trouble for being on a crowded train. But as I hesitated and said to the officer, well, he was touching me, but I'm not sure it was on purpose, there was a crowd... the officer told me that there was no one pushing the guy and he had space. And he had seen me shift away and look uncomfortable. This is what guys do on the subway unfortunately, and they catch men rubbing up against women almost every day, it gets them off and no one has to know. And women feel uncomfortable but can't really do anything about it because they just aren't sure...

I made a statement. Part of me thinks, what if it was just an accident? But another part is so grateful for the cops on that train for noticing and doing something. I felt uncomfortable and sort of violated, and I'm glad that the cops provided a safe space to say something. I always think I am brave enough to say something, to shame someone who is acting inappropriately, but on more occasions than i'd like to remember, i second guess the intentions of people and keep quiet, instead finding myself ashamed.

So thank you NYC subway cops this morning. I hope the plaid shirt guy learned a valuable lesson today.

And friends, don't be afraid to speak up when you feel something is amiss. Trust your senses. better safe than sorry. I'm working on that.