Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday Good Times

I am officially an old lady. Why? I got together with Amber, Wan, tater, Lilcee, and Jen yesterday to walk. You read that right. Walk. Granted we did a couple miles, but still. We were walking on a Sunday morning. Hags!

Post-walk, we went to the Farmer's Market to grub.

We stopped briefly at Nike.

I liked tater's shirt.

We hit Barnes & Noble, too.

Amber, Wan, and Jen opted for just crepes at lunch, while tater, Lilcee, and I headed to Loteria Grill first for yummy huevos con chorizo and ended with sweet waffles and crepes for dessert. Three cheers for variety! As usual, my meal from Loteria was simple and well done, and my classic butter and sugar crepe from The French Crepe Company exceeded my admittedly low expectations.

It was cold in the shade. All look same!

Trisha came to meet us for lunch, and we celebrated Trishmas (her birthday, for those of you unfamiliar with the term) with a cupcake and a book.

After lunch, we walked back to Amber's place and played with Wan's baby for a bit. That baby is so damn cute and so incredibly un-fussy and happy.

I do believe she is the happiest baby I have ever encountered, and even I was delighted by her joyful noises. Seriously good baby. That's high praise coming from me.

One thing that possibly delighted me more? A custom-made Lilcee Original! tater talks about it here in all its glory. It's a neat little pouch for my Nike+ to attach to my non-Nike shoes.

Thank you so much, Lilcee! I love it! It even matches my shoes and is totally cuter than those sold in stores.

Hours (and several loads of laundry) later, I went to dinner with Papa Monkey at Good Time Cafe (140 W. Valley Blvd., #209, San Gabriel), which serves inexpensive Taiwanese food in a no-frills environment. The service is excellent -- very friendly and polite -- which is a rarity in places like this.

The food is satisfying but not outstanding. I would go back, but I wouldn't be dying to do so. I was impressed by the "A" rating, though, which is another rarity for places like this. I really wish the food were a smidgen better. Then this place would probably be a Monkey favorite.

Bi-ko is glutinous rice with some mushrooms and meat in it. It is slightly firmer than the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves that you often find at dim sum. The bi-ko was done quite well. The Taiwanese meat ball (rou yuan in Mandarin, ba-wan in Taiwanese) had a lovely chewy rice skin, but I was not impressed by the flavor of the meat and bamboo shoot filling. This is one of my favorite dishes, so I was very sad it wasn't up to par.

The fried tofu was dry and borderline bad. The sauteed oysters were eaten entirely by Papa Monkey, as I do not eat bivalves.

Good Time Cafe's pork gua bao had a nice sauce and the flavor of the meat was palatable, but the quantity and quality of meat was sorely lacking. Too much fat! Too little meat! I also like my gua bao with more crushed peanuts and sugar. The sauteed small bok choy was adequate and nothing special.

What was sort of special was the conversation that Papa Monkey and I had. I don't know why, but my parents always feel the need to discuss Brother Monkey's future with me instead of with Brother Monkey himself.

Papa Monkey is very concerned about Brother Monkey's career and thinks that Brother Monkey should take the LSAT again (Brother Monkey took it long ago and got an amazing score, but it has since expired) and go to law school. This makes me sad for too many reasons to enumerate.

I wouldn't wish the legal profession on anybody, let alone my dear little brother. Almost every lawyer I know is totally disenchanted, disillusioned, and disgruntled. It's a career that creates dissatisfaction. Those lawyers who aren't disappointed with their jobs are simply hanging on semi-complacently. Others are too early in their careers to have been totally beaten down.


I can probably count on one hand the lawyers I personally know who are truly happy about being lawyers.

And that is sad.

Brother Monkey is so talented in so many ways. I think the world of law would be a waste of his creativity.

Papa Monkey worries about Brother Monkey's financial stability and his capacity to sustain a family. Really heavy stuff. Papa Monkey seems to think that Brother Monkey should go into academia or eventually become a judge.

Ability is not an issue. Brother Monkey could basically do anything he wants. He is that smart and that capable. The real question is whether Brother Monkey has any interest at all in pursuing these paths.

Frankly, it makes me incredibly depressed to imagine my joke-writing brother reduced (yes, reduced!) to just another (yes, just another!) serious intellectual.

Mr. Monkey's cousin asked me three years ago whether she should go to law school. I gave her an emphatic HELL NO. Even after listening to me carefully explain all the reasons that the legal field is a Black Hole of Misery, she still went to law school, and now she is fretting about job placement and this and that.

[cue "Hate to Say I Told You So" by The Hives]

I simply want Brother Monkey to be happy and not have to do something boring like I do.

But maybe being boring is a part of achieving stability.

And maybe stability is a part of growing up.


  1. nice recap on the morning stroll blanche. ;)

    i thought your bro was getting steady work? our friend (also trying the whole writing thing) just submitted applications for business school b/c of the whole stability thing. he wants to stay within entertainment though... maybe through the wave of "new media" coming in. could that be another option for your brother.

  2. very nice recap of sunday morning! :). yay for huevos con chorizo/la mexicana.

    nice/sad/meh (subject matter-wise) convo with your dad, but i'm glad you were able to see both sides and be there to talk to him.

  3. i wish i could have made it on sunday. so cute!

    ugh i just had a hard conversation with my mama last night about finding fulfilling work. it's hard being creative and carving your own path.

    i truly don't think stability has to be boring or creativity has to mean instability. that being said, i still feel pretty lost so what do i know.

  4. I can't even imagine the horror of being in law school if you don't really want to be there. Your brother is smart enough to be successful doing what he loves. The same could be said for another Monkey (wink, wink)! Part of growing up is also paving your own way.

  5. monkey! I love your short recapas on weekend events and the humorous flair you put on everything but this post stuck out to me because it is exactly what my baby (I still call her my baby) sister is going through. She started out going to school to be a vet and now as she progresses through school she is realizing she would love to be an art history major more. My parents are so upset that she even mentions this (she's been sort of working them down). While I see both sides like you do, I don't know what advice to give my sister. Stability or loving your job??
    Thanks for the insight and just know that there are more in your brother's situation.

    P.S. My first year of college I told my political science teacher that I wanted to be a lawyer. She asked if I like to be in relationships and I said yes. She said that if I enter law school, kiss goodbye to all the relationships I have because I would be a slave to long studying hours and internships. I am a psychology major with an emphasis in I/O psychology.

  6. The beginning of this post made me happy, but by the end, well, you know... :)

    Lovely to see you on Sunday! I had a wonderful time, as always!

    And, perhaps it's too early in my career to say, but I like practicing law. I mean, hey, there are days, but I wouldn't change anything if I had to do it all over. Well, at least not yet. :)

  7. Hags.


    I think your brother can be successful even in the entertainment industry. They are always going to need writers, don't you think?

  8. actually, i thought we decided that you were more dorothy than blanche ;)

    i'm cracking up - i KNEW you caught me making out with my kid! i love that you gave her the eye blockers, even from far away. and see, i told you she likes you! she told me so all the way home.

    i think your brother does just fine as he is - at least from what you tell us, he's a happy camper and not particularly hurting for dough.

  9. I don't know how you law-types do it, honestly. I don't know how I've managed to hang onto my legal office job for a year and a half now. It kills my spirit. I couldn't imagine going to law school; I suppose it would take a major amount of passion to do that and love being a lawyer.

    I agree with what Diabolina said. Stability doesn't equal boring, and creativity doesn't equal instability. I think American society sees it that way because we are so work-oriented and overly capitalistic.

    This is a subject I think about quite often, being as I'm a creative person and stuck in a beige office of law all day.

  10. Stability is overrated. Your brother is young and dating someone who understands and appreciates his creativity. There are plenty of years ahead to worry about raising a family if he decides his professional life isn't cutting it anymore. If he's happy with what he's doing then he's already ahead of most of us.


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