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: I met Shayna Parekh my freshman year at Cal. We took a history class and a seminar on women in leadership together. We hung out sometimes, and she reminded me of the best aspects of my sister -- the leadership, the interest in community service, the drive, the urge to keep in touch with her Indian heritage.

Congratulations, Shayna!

: I envy Shayna her good fortune and her medal, but I also know that I don't have anything approaching a 3.96 GPA, nor such a deep and wide array of achievements, so there's no way I can say with any rationality, "boo hoo, they picked her instead of me." The problem is that she's such a nice, good person, and I wish I could dislike her or point to some ability or achievement that I have and that she wishes she had.

My parents think I'm wasting my potential. "You could be such a good" such-and-so, they say. I feel as though I don't have enough to wave in their faces. And it's even harder to satisfy their voices, the ones I've internalized.

I wish that at this point I could knowledgably say "I'll feel better after breakfast," or "once classes are over for the week," or "after I graduate," but I have no reason to believe any of that.

: Okay, Margaret Cho had a particular history and has a particular personality, and that's part of why people like her. But to me, that gag gets old fast.

I worry that I can't be a very good writer or comedian until and unless I have a terrifically messed-up personal history.

On the up side, I'm listening to the title track of Rockin' the Suburbs, which never fails to cheer me up.

: I found a student's driver's license, Cal ID card, and Blockbuster membership card on a bus yesterday. I'd rather give it to her directly than put it in the Lost and Found, so I emailed her. Funny -- with all that personal info about her, shouldn't I be able to find her local phone number? What l33t tools am I forgetting?


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