Monday, December 22, 2008

Card

The declining number of Christmas cards in my mailbox is definitely a sign of my increasing anti-social tendencies, but I look forward to them all the same. I know all of you are probably expecting me to now rant and rave about how annoying those little newsletters people enclose summarizing their year are. Au contraire mon frere. I actually like reading those little ditties. I know, pretty strange but I never said I was predictable.

My one regret is that every year I intend to make my own little newsletter. But I suck at the Christmas thing. I don't even have any Christmas cards, except the ones people sent me this year - but they wrote inside of them so I can't use those. The white-out might look suspicious. There's not enough of them anyway for all of the people who really need to know all the fun times I've had in the past year.

So, in lieu of wasting trees and petroleum, I thought I'd write my own personal newsletter here for all 10 of my friends and unhappy anonymous readers.

Here goes:

Greetings! And Happy Holidays!

I've actually stopped believing in God this year, and it's been great! But this doesn't mean I can't send you lots of holiday cheer because I've definitely downed quite a bit of it before writing this newsletter. Ha ha ha! Or should I say "ho! ho! ho!"?

It's been a long time since we've seen each other/met/slept together, so I wanted to give you an update on my life in 2008!

Well, I graduated law school. So, that's done. And I passed the Louisiana bar. And I got dengue hemorrhagic fever and almost died in a dirty clinic on the coast of Vietnam. I know, I know. I don't mean to brag. I did get really skinny, and that was awesome! Uh-oh, bragging again!

I'm finally making a salary folks, and it equals about 1/4 of the debt I currently owe Citibank for student loans. In a strange coincidence, my credit rating is the same number as the number of times I consider suicide each day. Life is full of wonders.

I'm happy to tell you about my significant other! Or rather others! They were only in my life briefly, but boy, did we have great and abbreviated relationships! There was the serial killer with the white velvet couch, a couple of douchebag lawyers who couldn't talk over dinner, and a professional tenderheart. And let's not forget the manipulative ex-boyfriend who likes it better when you're his emotional affair and then freaks out when you suggest you might still have feelings for him. And who can't fucking spell. I will always treasure the moments spent with these special men, even to the point of spitting if I am forced to say their names.

Now, I know you're all wondering "well, when is Erin going to take that big step into motherhood?"

I'm so happy you asked.

I'm not quite ready for motherhood. You see, I like to take all of those cute baby photos you post on facebook and send to me, and paste little Hitler mustaches on them. Then I replay what the Nuremberg trials would have been like if he'd been there. Oh, don't worry. I don't make ALL of your children into Hitler. Some of them get to be Stalin, Pol Pot, George Bush, the person who invented fake tan, etc. I like to mix it up, kinda like Barbie's dreamhouse where all the magic happens. What fun me and your children have!

I would have some kids of my own, but I'm scared other people won't share my playfulness. I guess for now the dogs will do, and I'd have an easier time eating them if there is ever a famine.

Well, it's probably time to wrap this up. I can't wait to see you/meet you/sleep with you again!

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Erin

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Longing

You know those movies. The one where the spirited single girl starts off being perfectly happy with her life, her career, her ridiculously unrealistically sized apartment in a major city, and the fact that she looks polished 24/7. Obviously, I am not that girl.

My life could use some improvement. My career could use some improvement from me (as in me not being a retard). I have yet to feel perfectly comfortable in a suit, although I will note with satisfaction I have - except for the occasionaly grate - mastered heels.

I am sitting in my sassy single girl living room celebrating the fact that plunking $300 on an air purifier has finally managed to scare away the three year dog reek in my non-central air/heat apartment. Which is a nice size, but certainly not a palace. I am sitting here, among furniture from my parents and Target, listening to a "Pure Moods" CD I bought circa 1997. Which is currently playing the track from "The Exorcist." Somehow that once made sense.

I am also very ungroomed. In fact I went to dinner this evening with my father and someone asked me pointedly if it was windy out. I also had spinach stuck in my teeth, but I didn't discover that until I got home and began to floss. I am not lounging around in satin PJs. I am currently experimenting to see how long the hairs on my legs can grow.

But let's put all that aside and pretend that I am a Doris Day. At this point my Rock Hudson enters. We hate each other at first, circling like dueling sharks trying to get in the best bite, and the sexual tension is so palpable that all the much less good looking supporting characters drop their pants and start doing it right there.

Okay, I've circled a few times in the last year, and have definitely gotten my bites in. I've had my victories, and I've had my defeats, my highs and my heartbreaks, passionate nights, and some nights so awkward that part of me kept looking for the camera crew of Punk'd to leap out from behind the headboard.

But I have no happily ever after. At the time the credits roll in, I'm somewhat befuddled, replaying, marveling, trying to learn, and thinking ... well, who the hell has a happy ending anyway? I mean, it's great to have someone to love you, have sex with you regularly, and accompany you to fundraising events to assure everyone at your workplace you're not a dysfunctional spinster.

But even in happy ever after land, eventually someone has to die. Or they fall in love with someone else (usually blonde), and you have the misfortune of seeing photos of that. Or maybe they just vanish into their own minds, and you glance at them one day and realize that you never really knew them at all.

It's partly my fault. Men are a game to me, and I like racking up points, and some men are worth more than others. I definitely don't always win, but I know, being a woman, the odds of seduction are usually on my side. And of course, there's the thrill of the cockblock, even if it involves objects being hurtled at you.

It's probably sick, but it's pretty damn funny at the same time. I'd like to change it, but then I don't. So maybe the happily ever after - if it does exist - wouldn't suit me and my freewheelin' bachelorette lifestyle anyway.

Holy fuck. I'm not Doris Day. I'm Rock Hudson.

So, I guess I'm now in the market for a sassy girl wearing satin pajamas in a large Manhattan apartment.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Abortion

Yeah, I probably shouldn't go here, but a recent article caught my eye during today's internet wonderings.

The subject was basically how a new study had come out saying there was NO link between abortion and depression. Which was then contradicted by studies that said they were. Then those that weren't. And so on, ad nauseum, each side citing ridiculously convoluted and biased scientific research for their own view.

Answer: Both sides are wrong.

Yes, abortion can be depressing. For some people (like those girls you see in the pro-life commercials). Others skip happily to the abortion clinic. Still others (who we will not name) would happily run a clinic in her own dining room if she had the equipment and the skills. And Indiana has started letting people purchase abortion "gift certificates" for disadvantaged folk who need one. Which is disturbing on more levels than abortion, but whatever.

But really, trying to use "depression" as a measuring point for whether or not any choice is the right one simply makes no fucking sense. Then having a child could be depressing (a lot of people having abortions think so). Or getting married. Or having worn that particular dress to your high school prom. None of these seem to be under attack.

Stop citing these stupid studies as scientific research, and let's just get back to the abortion debate for what it really is: a classic moral debate overridden with the undertones of just how much probing and control the government should have over our private lives and choices. There's nothing scientific about that.

Besides, just who are these "subjects"? I'm sure people who sign up to be interviewed are ones selected by the studies, or are feeling cathartic, or need attention (or potentially money) or want to push the fact they don't give a damn - either because they really don't or are in denial. There's no way to "objectify" an emotion like depression or trace its causes to one event. I'm not down-playing any trauma or second-guessing that goes into an abortion decision, but I don't think that is the pivotal "low point" for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE WOMEN. Sheesh. Isn't that kind of implying we are only allowed to experience tragedy once we have to choose between being a mother or not? There are other things to weep about, you know. Even women who don't want babies aren't that horribly shallow or heartless.

If someone came up to me with a clipboard post-abortion and asked me how I felt after a procedure that involved me having to weed through harsh layers of judgment in a mind-numbing cost-benefit analysis probably weighed in solitude and said "so, how do you feel about that?" a baby/cells would not be the only person/thing to die/be flushed out that day.*

*The author maintains her purely pro-choice views. Meaning you're welcome to be pro-life. But if you don't want an abortion, just don't have one. It's easy. You're already doing it without even trying. How's that for choice?

Accent

I pride myself, perhaps excessively so, on my French. Years of practice lets me go through conversations at the speed of light and is often advantageous in situations where I need to discuss things I'd prefer that other people not understand. It also makes me look cool.

Or so I think.

One of my favorite British sitcoms is set in World War II occupied France, where the Resistance has been saddled with a British Intelligence officer who suffers from the delusion that his French is excellent.

Maybe this is what I REALLY sound like:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blackout

I was on facebook today and noticed a few "friends" (or whatever) had joined this group "facebook blackout." Apparently the goal of the group is not to log-in to facebook for an entire day in protest of the new facebook format. "Maybe you should listen to US for a change" is the group's motto.

Well, I'm listening to you. Thanks for reminding me a good percentage of the population making up facebook consists of total retards. Sort of like those people who want to stop capitalism for one day by not buying anything, without acknowledging the fact that capitalism actually allows them to make that choice. And that many of the hemp clothes they are wearing also comes from child labor.

Your use of facebook is a privilege, not a right. Your tax money does not support facebook. You do not pay a damn thing for facebook, except perhaps the price of dignity when someone posts an embarrassing picture of you. Yes, the spam is annoying. Yes, the ads are annoying. Yes, the applications are annoying. But why people cling to protesting something as stupid as what facebook looks like now (I've actually forgotten the old one except remembering that it made the pages long and very busy) completely escapes me. If people put effort into protesting something reasonable, we might actually get something done.

I would also like to note that the group's founder is French. I'm sorry that French people do idiotic things like go on strike for the fact that a cheese has not been properly labelled with the indication that a cow might've looked cross while it was being milked, or the fact they have to get an education (god forbid!), or that criminals get caught by police and take to (gasp!) jail. I'm sure blockading university doors, riots that light cars on fire and kill people, and waking me up at 4am with marches are all very useful. But, really. This is starting to border on the absurd.

Happily I am somewhat vindicated by the 3,448,000 people who chose not to accept the invitation. Add me to the list. I plan on hanging out on facebook all friggin' day long.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wince

Work is kind of slow lately, so I've been spending a lot of time search for things to mock to make my life that much brighter. It was only today that I stumbled onto New Orlean’s Craigslist’s “Men seeking women” ads. I don’t why this previously escaped me since I have been spending hours at my desk huddled in a fit of laughter. What a cornucopia!

For your viewing enjoyment I include some of my favorites along with comments.

1. northern guy looking for a southern girl - 42 built and broad minded guy from up north living and working down here i.s.o. a southern girl with beauty, brains and morals oh yea if ya smoke or like getting drunk look else where cuz it'll never work and leave a pic or get no response ( i wanna know who i'm talking to )

**Um, someone needs to tell this dude that love is about giving as well as receiving. And that at 42 you can’t really expect a southern girl with beauty, brains, and morals. After all, southern women gave up on northern men with these qualities around age 18.

2. Won’t Last Long
I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THE FAKE REPLIES AND THEN THIER'S THE ONES WITHOUT A PIC...SO IF THERE IS ANY REAL PEOPLE OUT THERE U KNOW WHAT TO DO...I PROBABLY WONT KEEP THIS ON HERE VERY LONG BECAUSE OF THAT

**So he’s threatening to withdraw his photo? Probably not an effective wooing strategy. Or maybe so, considering the photo.

3. Looking For My Blonde Obscene Viking Queen - m4w (nola)single white guy 126pounds tan w/ smooth physique 5'5,dark hair seeks long curly haired blondie barbarian,nordic accent a big plus.Unleashing magical forces under the cold grey sky a possibility.

*Obviously a joke. But then again a Christmas Viking chased me down to flirt in front of the Hotel Monteleone this morning. So maybe not.

4. Re: Mr. T Monroe (All Over, Obviously!)I didn't know this "gentleman's" name, but I do recognize the email address. He's responded to my ads on numerous occasions. What's funny is I believe it is ALWAYS the same "form letter." He must send that out to everyone he emails. Of course, there are quite a few guys that respond EVERY time I post. So, I know some of them are probably responding to EVERY ad posted that might possibly have a "pussy" attached to it. Pretty pathetic! Luckily, the guy you speak of is NOT my "type."
**I’m not sure what this one is about, but this poster’s parents did not give him/her enough attention. Or teach him/her to post in the appropriate category.

5. Poem for you
Sitting here so alone…
The miles continue to torture me.
Time does nothing but lengthen and stretch out endlessly.
I am missing you something fierce,
And I can't make the pain go away.

To not think of you makes me go mad,
But too many daydreams of your body next to mine
Makes me crazier still.
And I can't calm my heart down.
All it wants is you.

**There’s about eight more similar stanzas. But this is enough for me want to drop an email begging them not to write any more poetry. Ever.

6. AB Fetish for Dominant Woman - 22 (Metairie/Kenner)About Me: 22y/o Student who is seeking a dominant woman for an ab fetish along with others. My stats if it matters are 5'9", 130lbs, Brown/Brown.

I am seeking a Dominant woman who has experience with dominating and humiliating men, having AB Play experience is not necessary nor is looks or shape. Chemistry and Compatibility matter most.

**Most 22-year-olds don’t even know their way away a bedroom properly, but this guy apparently does. In fact, he knows the way while wearing diapers. Impressive.

7. Still Looking - 40 (NewOrleans)
BASIC INFORMATION
1. Name

2. Age
3. Height
4. Weight
5. Eye color
6. Measurements
7. Natural hair color
8. Current hair color

CONTACT INFORMATION

9. Home phone---
10. Cell Phone---
11. Email

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

12. Are you a virgin? Y N
13. If no, how many past sexual partners have you had?
14. Have you ever had a sex change? Y N
15. Do you smoke? Y N
16. Do you use any illegal substances? Y N
17. Do you have kids? Y N
18. If yes, how many?
19. Do you workout? Y N
20. Do you currently have a source of income? Y N
21. If yes, what is it?
22. Do you live on your own? Y N
23. If no, whom do you currently reside with?
24. What kind of car do you drive?
25. Furthest level of education: High School; Some College; Associates Degree;
26. Do you have a history of mental illness? Y N
27. Favorite sport & team...
28. Have you ever cheated on a girlfriend? Y N
29. Do you cook? Y N
30. Do you have any siblings? Y N
31. What is your religion?
32. What is your political persuasion?
33. How many piercing (not including ears) do you have?
34. How many tattoos do you have?
35. What is your current favorite movie of all time?
36. List your three favorite genres of music in order of most favorite to least favorite:

REASONS I SHOULD PICK YOU

37. What is your idea of a perfect date in three sentences or less?
38. Explain why I should pick you as my boyfriend in one sentence:
39. List any special skills that you may have that are relevant to this position:
40. What do you want out of a relationship, specifically one with me?

RELATIONSHIP BACKGROUND
List the details of your past three relationships starting with the most recent.

Start Date:
End Date:
Were you in love? Y N
Sexually active? Y N
Reason for breakup:

Start Date:
End Date:
Were you in love? Y N
Sexually active? Y N
Reason for breakup:

Start Date:
End Date:
Were you in love? Y N
Sexually active? Y N
Reason for breakup:

CERTIFICATION
I hereby certify that the information given by me in this application is true to my knowledge and I give you the authorization to verify it using any means you deem appropriate. I understand that by filling out this form and submitting it for review does not guarantee that I will be chosen.

Date

Applicant Signature

YOU WILL GET A PICTURE OF ME ONCE I RECIEVE A PICTURE OF YOU...NO PICTURE NO RESPONCE!

**I think the title to this particular posting is pretty self-explanatory.

8. Dinner is on me tonite
If you are up for a Thursday nite date with a complete stranger, shoot me an email and let's chat. The worst that can happen is that we end up having a good time and a fun evening.

*Um, that’s not really the worst case scenario.

9. creepy man fan club (somewhere)
few join up ladies contact me and i will tell you what it cost to join and the rules i wanna do tshirt "creepy man fan club" i will charge small fee for my time and effort thanks

*There’s a tee-shirt idea for you, Jen.

10.male seeking stoner/gamer girl - 19 (New orleans,LA)
I am a fun guy seeking a fun girl who loves to get stoned or game on xbox 360 I am really fun and nice so if you want meet up and chill hit me up

*This man will make a fine father … once he gets out of rehab.

I feel like I should end this entry on a less cruel note. There seemed to be a lot of nice down-to-earth guys on there too. I was almost tempted to drop a line to one or two.
Then I remembered that Ted Bundy seemed normal. And that people who don’t post their pictures are probably not physically attractive.

Military

Say what you will, but muscly men in uniform striding in unison and handling their muskets with their brawny hands is damned sexy.

Which is why all of you will probably be glued to your screens for this one. And will like the soundtrack.

Resolution



In Prague, there is a bar that has a legendary 80s/90s night every weekend which we frequented so much we would be there when the roll of widescreen videos cut off at closing time and would come back when it picked right back up. Seriously, Nothing Compared (2 U). Pints of beer were 75 cents, the dance floor was huge, and strangers asked you to slowdance in a non-sleazy way. And EVERYONE knew the words to Winds of Change.

Lucerna Music Club was the site of many of my cartharses.

Like Bjorn, the Norwegian weapons dealer I briefly dated until the fateful night that his cell phone rang while he was in the bathroom at our favorite restaurant and I made the excellent decision of answering it. So I could talk to his wife. She seemed very nice. She thought I was his secretary. She told me I had excellent English.

I left a note scribbled on a napkin that said "Your wife called." I went home and decided whether I wanted to cry. Instead, I called some friends and we went to Lucerna where we plugged Bjorn's name into every hate-fueled song that showed up on the enormous video screen.

The above was my favorite. Take out "Bjorn", substitute "Josh."

And we're done.

Apropos

The only boy who ever broke my heart recently wrote me a letter in which he misspelled the word "apologize". He spelled it a-p-p-o-l-o-g-i-s-e. Even in Canada, his native land, that's probably not correct.

He also spelled "emotions" as "emoitions."

Of course, those were the only two (English*) words he managed to mangle. He did get "melancholic" right.

Even Nabakov's crazy boy never had it so good.

All the little words ... all the little signs and symbols. The universe is definitely communicating with me. I especially like it when it lets me know that my fly is down.

*I will not comment on the misspellings in the French sentences he wrote, because apparently people get really upset when I do that.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Arrogance

I got an anonymous message today from a guy/girl from (of course) Canada about how arrogant, shallow, and insensitive my blog is.

Um, yeah. That's kind of the point. Do you think I don't recognize that worrying that your local winesmith thinks you're getting cheap should not be TRULY at the top of my worries? Or that getting run over by a 400-pound woman in a wheelchair compares to watching a country explode into civil war and not being able to eat anything for days? Don't they get that I'm kidding? And that I make very serious efforts to watch films that portray all that suffering, while occasionally pausing to turn my heater up higher or to get something out of the fridge. I'm, like, aware. And stuff. I even use pages of the Economist to plug rat holes.

Let me sqare with you, my non-fans.

My goal is to make this blog a sandtrap, a time suck, a minute you can never recover. That's why every once in awhile I write open sensitive entries. To lure you into thinking I am human so I can then lambast you with teratomas, and discussions about dead bodies. Because I'm allowed to do both. This is my blog. If you don't like it, nothing but your excellent taste is forcing you to read it.

I would also like to note for the record I have said nothing insulting about Canadians in this entry. And that took a lot out of me. I may not be turning the correct cheek, but I'm turning one of them. But let's just think about this happy lesson.

Q: Why did God make your part of Canada so very very cold?

A: He hates you.

Q: Why did God make New Orleans warm with bars open any hour of the day or night?

A: He loves me. And my blog.

Thank you for your kind consideration and have a nice day.

Keep reading!

E.

Iran

I'm kind of digging you right now.

Now start doing that with all violence against women crimes.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adorable

Congratulations to my ex Danko who as of last week became a proud father. Here's a five year old video of him teaching his 4 year old nephew how to read in Kosice, Slovakia. What a good father you'll make. Hubicky a na zdravi!

video

Amazing


Animals are the only thing I find divine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rain

I have my very own special tradition during long cold soggy days in New Orleans. I ignore all phone calls and the fact there's an exterior world and lock myself in my apartment where I eat the contents of my fridge, and pretend that I don't ever need to do the dishes. Then my dogs and I give each other doleful looks across the room while I sit and ponder what to do besides eat. Usually this entails looking at a clock and thinking that 4:30pm might be a bit too early to call it a night.

I spent today working through about 8 hours of obligatory films: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Doctor Zhivago, The English Patient. I am really a shell of my former self. In the latter, when he comes back to get his lover's body from the cave all I can think about it how bad that must smell and he's lying right next to it. Gross. But then again, it was the desert, so maybe she was just drying out. Still, she looked a little too pliable when he was carrying here to the plane.

See, here's why I don't want to get involved romantically. In the end, someone has to deal with a body. Or worse, they get pregnant - but I guess that still counts.

It needs to stop raining.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Guns

I recently decided that I want a semi-auto. I'm leaning toward a Glock 19 or a Beretta Vertec. They seem nice and business-like and are made for small dainty hands like mine. I am pshawing all weapons that are pink.

I'm not sure of why I have this sudden obsession except the fact that I recently found out there's a great shooting place nearby, and I figure that might be a nice way to release some aggression so I can stop writing angry blog entries about unreasonable pet peeves. (Another one: people in front of you in line at your favorite gelato place who want a sample of every flavor.)

Also, a friend got car-jacked recently. I really doubt that if I got car-jacked I'd have the foresight or time to reach into the glove compartment and engage the car jacker in a duel. But I'd like to think that might be a possibility. New Orleans would probably give me a medal.

My father's gift on the day I moved back into my former apartment* was this frigging enormous shot gun which was about 3/4 of my height and had a recoil that could knock me over unless I braced myself against a wall. It also had a hammer that took my upper arm to draw back and the added bonus of once the hammer was drawn, you had to shoot it. Between that and the fact I was wary of keeping it loaded, the only way that thing was ever going to offer me any protection was if I hit someone with it. An unlikely scenario.

The shotgun started taking up too much space, and so I gave it back this summer. But I also went shooting with one of my dad's friends, and realized just how much I like semi-autos.

The problem is legitimately securing a weapon is really a pain in the ass. And ridiculously expensive. The models I'm considering run from $450-800. Then you have a $250 fee for a concealed license in Louisiana. Plus you have to sit through a NINE HOUR LONG SATURDAY CLASS. I'm starting to understand the illegal weapons trade now. So much easier to run around with a stolen registered gun then enter the twisted world of Louisiana bureaucracy. But, oh well - I like being legit with my deadly weapons.

I realized that I could at least save the notary fee on my application since I work with a thousand notaries, including myself (I still stroke that seal in disbelief). Then I realized that maybe I don't want to share the fact I will be carrying a concealed weapon with my colleagues lest they start equating me with Charlton Heston.** Actually, I work with a lot of men, so this might be a good thing. Maybe I should get my NRA magazines delivered to work.

A partner was telling me how gun sales have soared since everyone is terrified Obama's going to take their weapons away. Um, from my recollection, I don't think that was exactly his stance, but whatever. Anyway, he told me the prices are really good now.

I wonder if they have any Black Friday gun sales. Maybe I should start dropping a few hints to my loved ones.

*My former apartment was on a street in New Orleans with the highest homicide rate - it got so bad that real estate agents started adding a "South" to the name of my street in listings, even though the street ran east-west. Just had another murder there last week. A gun got gunned down while walking his dog two blocks from my old place. Nice.

**Or the Virginia Tech killer.

Black Friday

I am not a shopper. That's actually not true, my fingers do a great deal of shopping on my dilapidated 6 year old laptop (yes, the screen fell off last week, but I just can't let it go yet). I really don't understand why people head to the stores when lovely and unique good are just lurking on the net waiting to be discovered.

Plus, I'm gifted with friends with impeccable taste. Who also have friends with impeccable taste. Which how I stumbled across these, which will be making the rounds as Christmas gifts this year.

In other news I got so drunk on red wine last night, I threw up in my friends toilet and then passed out on her couch. I then threw up again on a neighbor's lawn while walking the dogs this morning. I'm 30 years old. I think I'll be on the wagon for awhile.

My friend took the bottles I bought and put them aside for just us. Instead, we had the rather decent $6.99 Ravenswood Zinfandel. I'm glad it was decent because I will never drink Zinfandel again. It can now joined the ranks of its shunned sister Merlot.

I'm also in kind of a weird position this second. My neighbor's bedroom is on the other side of my living room wall. My neighbor recently put her headboard against the wall we share. So, if she decides to be affectionate with her boyfriend, it's pretty obvious.

It's weird because I'm definitely not pervy enough to listen, but if I turn on the TV or music, then it's obvious I was hearing it before. I wonder if I still have some earplugs around.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wine

Like I didn't have enough critical shit going on in my life right now, I'm pretty sure the salesman at my local wine shop thinks I'm going cheap by putting a strict limit on my $20-30 price range for the two bottles I picked up for a friend's Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. I did want to pay more, I really did. But most of my student loans have kicked in which has made me reassess my expenses. Not to the point of packing my lunch everyday, but at least to the point of reconsidering whether I really need that weekly massage.

(Answer: yes. Therefore I will forego expensive gym membership. Besides, the firm is starting free lunchtime yoga lessons next week. This may be my only real chance to shine. Strike that, the other day I won a cooler during an associate training by knowing what a "bellwether" is. Once again, random knowledge...).

Anyway, back to the wine thing. So, I've started to make more of an effort to buy stuff from local specialty shops. Which is funny because Magazine Street pretty much has a specialty shop for everything from stained glass to butt hair. I probably don't need to point out that this decision wasn't probably the most fiscally conservative. So, really, my $20-30 price range was totally justified, considering I could've gone down the road to Whole Foods or Rouse's and paid 5 bucks less.

But actually, I would have loved to pick up 2 $60 bottles for my friend and me to enjoy amongst our loved acquaintances whilst gobbling what is sure to be an excellent example of her gourmet cooking. The petty problem is that I don't really like some of her friends that are coming to dinner. And call me a bitch, but the thought of people who do things like throw up on people or leave used condoms on their friend's couches guzzling down wine that I paid for with my hard-earned cash...well, I'll just be uncharitable. Much to the sales guy's disappointment.

Maybe we can put them at the children's table. Then break out the nice bottle.

In other news, I am still unable to gain weight and am now sure that I do indeed have a parasite. Oh well, let him hang in there through the holidays. One less thing to worry about.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Postscript

I forgot to mention that we will be having a keg party reception. And hopefully mud wrestling.

Mawwaige (part II)

I was lying in bed the other night trying to hypnotize myself into sleep with my ceiling fan, and found that one of my inner voices was actually congratulating me on the accomplishment of not getting married.

The congratulations were a bit overdone. I've done very little toward that accomplishment unless you count my unusual talents of demanding too much, alienation, and generally being illogical in les affaires d'amour. I don't even if they're talents so much as reflexes, but anyway...

I was thinking about something I read about how some women reaching my now ripe age of 30 without tying the knot will occasionally throw parties in which they "marry themselves."

I think that's really gay, both figuratively and literally. I don't plan on doing something that lame.

I would be a liar though if I said that I never went in for the whole big wedding shindig, with me on the cover of bride magazine, being showered with flowers and adoration from the hundreds upon hundreds of friends and family all piled into the castle to celebrate. Also, I would be on a white horse with birds carrying my train and the ringbearer would be a sultan on a floating cloud. And of course, my prince would be just that right degree of sexy, sexual and sensitive that doesn't lean toward repressed homosexuality. And as our lips met on the alter, it made an eternal seal that would bind us beyond even death itself.

Yeah, that was me.

The years passed. I see no point in spending more than $500 on a dress I will only wear once. I know that the girls on the cover of Bride magazine are airbrushed and covered with an inch of makeup. The number of my wedding guests has dwindled. I have developed stage fright. I have developed commitment issues. I don't like when people throw things at me, even if it qualifies as a gentle toss. I've been afraid of riding horses ever since one decided to throw me into a fence. I met a prince once who fit all of the qualifications, except that he was also a liar. And now I know when you die you just die. So sometimes you brush your teeth before getting back into bed in the morning just to try and make the perfection last. Not that it really existed anyway.

If I were to get married today, here's how it would go. I would take my man to a judge acquaintance's house in the middle of the night under cover of darkness. I would wear a simple white dress under a long black coat. I would have my sister give me away and take photos. I would never change my name. I would be the same, except I'd smile once in awhile. I would never base my facebook status around what my husband is or is not doing. I would be me. He would be him. And if we can't be happy, we'll let go.

Or we could always have affairs. That works too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dot/Line



I had another surprise in the mail today. It wasn't unpleasant, what was unpleasant was how much I had to remember that I once had a heart.

My neighbor decided it was time for my birthday present. Her favorite childhood book, captured in cartoon above.

Monday, November 17, 2008

News

Another surprise came today. Although not quite so welcome.



The sad part is, I'm pretty sure I know this guy. We nod at each other as I walk my dogs. Usually in the vicinity of the elementary school.

I don't feel really well.

Art






About a year and a half ago, and over a bottle of wine enjoying the peace of finally making friends with my crazy neighbor, I impulsively hired her to do a painting. She delivered it this evening. It's about eight feet long and 30 pounds with the frame.

And I'm in love with it.

I think it might also be tax deductible.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Break-up

I got dumped. I guess this is something a normal girl would get kind of upset about, particularly if it came about in the retarded fashion that it did. But I'm really not. My one regret is that I never got to drop the bomb about not knowing what I whispered to the guy in my post-bar success drunken state.* Now it would just be vindictive, and this bitch is not that unclassy. Well, it did make my facebook status, but that's just the norm these days.

Anyway, here's how it happened. One morning, while I was desperately trying to keep his 150 pound Irish wolfhound from deflowering me with his snout or his cats from clawing my eyes out, he suggested that we get some ice cream. We talked about ice cream a lot, since we didn't really have the same taste in literature.**

Anyway, as he lives in the Quarter, I suggested he come uptown to Sucre(this has the accent, but I don't know how to do that), which probably has the best gelato going. At that point he told me he didn't like that idea because Sucre is not a word.

"Yes, it is," I said. "It's a French word. It means sweet."

"My sister says it's not a word."

"Maybe your sister doesn't know French."

"She has a PhD in French."

"Well, maybe she got it online."

I could tell he was somewhat irritated by my levity in questioning the knowledge of the eldest of his hallowed siblings, but it blew over.

So, a few days later, he dropped me an email asking me for ice cream. Which ensued this nasty little exchange:

Me: They have banana and nutella ice cream at Sucre. If that's a word.

Him: The mistake was that my brother thought it was an accent greve. He asked my sister. She said, "no such word."

Me: Your brother is an idiot. At least now I know your sister is not. Also, it's an accent grave, not greve.

Him: No. He is very smart. He just misread the sign in passing.

Me: If I read a sign that look wrong, I'd double check before impugning a local business.

Him: If I knew someone whose best friends are his siblings, I'd think twice before impugning their character.

At that point I apologized for being so combative, then he lectured me on my manners. At which point I retracted my apology and told him he was being a little oversensitive. He then told me he didn't think we should see each other anymore, and I said "fine."

Lame. Hilarious, but lame.

Oh well, at least I don't feel bad about my little Maine fling now. Oh, who am I kidding? I never felt bad about that anyway.

*I am starting to think that I asked him to read me some poetry.

**I am also remembering that when he did read me some poetry, I told him it sucked.

Sometimes things are just not meant to be.

At Sucre, they also have coconut basil sorbet, and it knocks your socks off.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Playa

I've realized recently the source of all my troubles with the bar passee (besides the fact that he was a Classics major, which makes him simultaneously witty and pedantic). It's that we are both looking at this situation very differently. He is looking at it as the beginning of something beautiful, while I regard it as a chance to perfect my witty-flirting-by-text skills. For the next victim.

An example of this cross-purpose is the fact that it recently became apparent that he is placing a whole lot of emphasis on whatever it was I whispered in his ear the night we met. As stated before, I thought it was along the line of satisfying munchies with unhealthy food in the Quarter, but come to think of it, I would probably never be so uncouth. And besides, he wouldn't remember it if it were something so practical.

I'm sure it was something poetic. In fact, I know it was something poetic. And meaningful. I mean, not really meaningful since I really didn't mean it, but with a meaningful air all the same. I'm sure I took a couple of minutes to figure out just the right phrasing and intonation and exactly how closely I would lean into his ear for the desired effect. I know this because, sadly, I'm really good at that. 'Cause I'm a playa, yo.

Unfortunately, I don't know what it is that I said.

This has become a problem of mammoth proportions. We are both litigators, and extremely talented in calling people's bullshit. I should just give it up instead of involving myself in potentially disastruous conversations like the following:

Him: I was just thinking about what you whispered in my ear that night.

Me. Oh. Yeah.

Him: I thought that was really amazing. Where did you come up with that?

Me: Well, I mean, I thought about it you know. Before I whispered it your ear, I thought, you know, that'd be a good thing to say to that guy. And then I said it.

Him: Well, it was precisely what I've always wanted to hear whispered in my ear.

Me: Oh well, I knew that. That's why I whispered that phrase.

Him: You know what part of it I liked best?

Me: (perking up) Yes??

Him: The fact you used alliteration.

Me: Oh. Were there like any other parts? Like particular words or something?

Him: Oh, I like all the words. You should know. You remember what you said, right?

Me: Of course I remember.

I'm so fucked. Or maybe not. This could be a highly efficient way of ending this if things get too serious.

Dat's right, hos. Playa's back.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Passion

I am emotionally exhausted. Really. No sleep can seem to catch me up to the normalcy of what was once my optimistic and romantic self. I've had this sort of insomnia for years. Once in awhile I review my recent cynical musings with a sense of self-reproach. Where on earth did I go? I. Miss. Me.

It's not work. I like work. I like the people at work, I like what I do at work, and I love the fact that I have work, period. I'm lucky.

I think last night it hit me when I was having my second date with the bar passee, and he wanted to be earnest. I know the importance of being earnest (har har), but it's a quality I am largely lacking right now. Or rather, if I am earnest, it's about not wanting to be earnest at all. Or maybe not ever. Of all the things that have ever gotten me in trouble, being earnest is probably at the top of the list.

It's such a shame. I really liked this guy. I liked his wit, his choice in wine, his sense of humor, his love for his eccentrically named animals. I liked the way he was also amused by being caught kissing by my mother. I liked the fact I can tell him ridiculous things about myself, and he knew not to take me too seriously.

But my fatal flaw was never taking him too seriously, when seriously he wanted to be taken. My problem is that I can't take anything seriously right now. The world has grown from a state of somewhat disheveled to downright chaotic, and my only reaction to it is to laugh and laugh hard. I can't stop laughing. I laugh at funerals a lot. I run out like I am sobbing, shut myself in a toilet stall and laugh hysterically into a roll of toilet paper. I try hard to justify this behavior by telling myself that whoever is dead would've wanted me to be on that linoleum floor laughing. But then I think, "well, they can't want anything now because they're dead." And so I laugh some more.

It's tragic. He wanted to talk seriously. I stalled by being a smartass. I didn't understand how we went from fun quips to philosophy, social commentary, and his occassional contempt for people who go to mass because they miss the whole point of worshipping things outside a church's walls. I was okay with the philosophy and social commentary because neither of these are exactly shining areas for me anyway. But, sometimes I go to mass because even though I've stopped believing in God, I do believe in sharing a feeling of hope with other people. And I like incense.

However, I don't like when people start telling other people how to believe. You know, it's an ugly beauty, but in this country you have the right to be racist, sexist, a bigot, or follow any religion you choose, indoor or out. You don't have to be respected because of your positions, but if you're not breaking the law because of them, who the hell cares? I'm so tired of people preaching to me about politics and how stupid the little man is. What people don't realize is that this type of preaching is never going to change people's minds. And that trying to force people to think your way sounds a hell of a lot like mind control.

And so I ranted. I don't know where it came from. It had been a long day and the bleu cheese in our tray was somewhat disappointing.

Perhaps I was kind of an asshole. Perhaps he was oversensitive. But I hurt him because I misunderstood him. And then I got angry at him for being hurt by that, and angry that I was in the position of a petulant child who was saying she was sorry when she wasn’t. Because I wasn’t even sure of what I had done. At that point I said I was tired and left. I didn’t wait for him. It was cold outside, and my car was parked far away.

I went home and cried in my bathtub at the way any relationship’s doom is so inevitable.

This morning he sent me a long passage from a French philosopher summing up what it was he wanted to say. And I saw that we had actually agreed.

I hit reply and wrote “Thanks for that.”

I’m still not sure if those words were gratitude or sarcasm.

Maybe now I never will.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Class

Those of you who have the pleasure of knowing me live and in person are perfectly aware that a more elegant dame has never strutted across this earthly stage. But lately even I have amazed myself at how I have managed to exceed even my own apex of savoir-faire.

Let me elaborate.

The day that I got my bar results, I partook of a few beverages with some friends in a little bar off of Bourbon Street. I was perfectly fine until the few mysteriously climbed into the double digits. At that point, while my friend propped herself against my shoulder to keep me on the barstool that seemed intent on avoiding my ass, I pulled the life story out of a plaintiff’s attorney wearing a muscle shirt whilst smoking all of his cigarettes. I was flying very very high. In fact, so high I took the leap of going over and whispering something very sexy in a fellow bar-passee’s ear. At least I hope it was sexy. It probably was just a drunken mumble along the lines of “want to buy me a suspicious-looking hot-dog?” But he was all for whatever it was I said. We walked outside, gazing at the sky and holding hands, swept away by the romance of the moment.

I then toppled into a lamp post.

I stayed drunk for two days. The following morning--or rather afternoon--I decided my dogs might have to go to the bathroom since I had been passed out for awhile. Without thinking, I let them out into the yard. While I banged around my kitchen looking for something to ingest that might sober me up, it occurred to me that it had become mysteriously quiet. Knowing what had probably happened, my suspicions were confirmed when I looked outside to see that once again the water man had left the fucking gate open and Magda was on the loose. At that point, I began walking around the vicinity of my house in my pajamas, swearing and calling for my dog at the top of my lungs. After ten minutes of this, I began to despair of seeing my dog ever again. In fact, I despaired so much I decided to go back to bed.

Of course, that was the minute the phone rang. Someone had found Magda wondering around on Magazine St. Probably looking for a mother that did not have to crawl up the stairs to her apartment. I ran into the bathroom and threw on whatever happened to be lying next to my tub. A quick glance in the mirror confirmed that I did indeed have mascara circles, but it all paled in comparison to the plight of my dog, homeless, lost amongst strangers. I hurried down the street.

On the way, I passed the large Korean family who lives around the corner as they were washing their car. As I made it to the corner and prepared to cross, they all began yelling at me and slapping their bottoms. My perplexed look made them yell even more loudly. I reached behind to pat my bottom in case this were some sort of greeting and realized my back pocket was unbuttoned. Why this seemed to be cause for so much concern escaped me, but to humor them I buttoned it, and waved and smiled my gratitude. But they kept doing it. I knew that the other side was probably unbuttoned as well, but I didn’t give a damn about placating people who were so obviously uptight about other people’s wardrobe malfunctions. I made a mental note to never take my dry-cleaning to them again and crossed the street.

A blonde middle-aged couple held Magda lovingly on the opposite corner. As I gushed my thanks exuberantly, they smiled and told me what a good dog she is. And then, in tandem, the both looked at my ass. And kept looking.

“Jesus Christ,” I thought. “These people just hung on to my dog for a few minutes, and now they want to be rewarded with a view of my derriere. Geesh.” I cut the conversation off with enough politeness to make it clear that I would never be interested in a future threesome and began to make my way back home.

And then I felt it. A slight tickle perched on the lowest bit of my left hip. I slung my hand around and grasped something. I took a close look at it.

It was my sexiest, laciest, make-a-man-swoon-just-by-talking-about-them red satin thong panties.

I was a little disturbed. My face was wrinkled in consternation, still staring at this strange little lamprey as I walked down the street. And it was at that point I walked past the three cops lounging against window that had been boarded up since Katrina.

“So, glad you found your dog,” one of them said. And then they all turned their buzzcuts to the tantalizing object in my hand. I nodded, scuttling away like a newly-shaved dog. And fell over a crack in the sidewalk, skinning my knee. Of course, they came to help me up. Of course, they had to find a way to do this without touching my left hand or the scourge in it. It took a little while.

I made it home, locked the door, popped an Ambien and went to bed.

Flash forward to yesterday morning. Despite my problems with equilibrium, the bar-passee and I had a nice breakfast in the quarter before I went to spend some time with my Mom, who is here once again supporting Harrah’s. It turns out he was getting his hair cut at a place right next to her hotel, so I gave him a ride over on my way to her room.

As we were breaking away from a very cute little “I’ll miss you, but not that much because we’re not really in a relationship or anything since this girl is a weirdo” kiss, a strange look came over his face.

“That’s weird,” he said. “There was this woman who just came running toward you, and then turned around and ran away.”

“Where?”

“Over there.”

I turn and look, and there, trying desperately to hide herself behind a column in a navy jogging suit, white socks and Birkenstocks, puffing madly away on a Virginia Slim, is my mom.

Class is obviously genetic.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vigilante

I did my part to preserve the goodwill and ethics of the Louisiana State Bar Association today when I told off a guy who tried to sneak in front of me and another girl after taking a look at the ridiculously long registration line. I managed to do it without yelling or coming up with better things to say afterwards. Victory for me.

I just said "So, you're just going to walk right in front of us?" And he slunk away like a five-year-old. That's right babycakes.

Of all my people pet peeves (suck-ups, backstabbers, people who stop dead right in front of you for no apparant reason and then act like you're the asshole when you run into them, and overzealous rich kids from the northeast who always try to make you feel like shit just because your new age mommy and daddy didn't foot the bill for your law school education and so you can't work at pro bono associations founded by the older versions of the same people who try to make you feel like shit),* the one I simply cannot tolerate is line-cutting. This was really an issue for me in France, and could often result in me coming home in fits of rage that only a nutella and bleu cheese sandwich could quell.

It's the whole "I'm just going to put aside any semblence of courtesy because I have no concept of anyone's needs besides my own" idea and I can't help but notice that people who do this tend to be jerks in the larger scheme as well. And we have enough jerks who are lawyers. I wish more people were brave enough to nip that shit in the bud instead of just nod approvingly wjen I do. Maybe then 400-pound people wouldn't try to run me over with wheelchairs.

Today was a crappy day all around anyway. Nothing I could put my finger on, but... Insomnia's hit again, even though I was told Ambien CR would be "better." Um, no - and it's actually $110 more expensive and I'm on a high deductible plan so...I get to the pharmacy and they tell me I have to wait until my doctor authorizes it with the insurance because they need to know why he prescribed it. Perhaps they have been reading this blog a little too closely. To sleep, you idiots!

But just little things, and not even tinged with hilarity like the other night when one of those enormous wine pyramid displays spontaneously toppled over as we all goggled at it, and then had the pleasure of hearing the guy on the intercom say "Can someone bring a mop? Or, like, a lot of mops?".

They're things that I normally would see the humor in. Like how Louisiana drivers have a love-hate relationship with turn signals, and how the secretaries I get stuck with in the elevator on my way to the ivory tower are so good at catty gossip. Or they way my umbrella won't fit in the narrow alleyway between my house and the next, and my shirt never seems to stay tucked in, or how it rains when I need to look polished and together and how annoyed I get at how brusque a co-worker can be and then how she realizes it and tries to be nice which makes me feel bad for being annoyed at her brusqueness. And how "Sophie's Choice" is not a good idea for a film to watch when you've read the book and already know how it's going to end but make yourself do it out of sense of feeling the need to see Meryl Streep speak Polish (and German).

But I'm tired, and just don't much feel like it. Maybe tomorrow morning.

*That was a long list. But I ran into about a gazillion examples of each today, so the material's fresh.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Laugh

I love it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Birthday

It's my darling Magdalena's fourth birthday today, which unfortunately I won't have time to celebrate until this weekend. But rest assured, the ridiculously overpriced doggy baked goods will be popping out.

And at least my vet remembered.

In the meantime, regardless of the economic crisis, I have realized that I can finally afford to buy cheese that I really want. Can anyone get enough St. Agur? I think not.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Awake

It's 5:30 am and this girl is wide awake. I only have this experience on Monday mornings, preferring most of the time to work late rather than heed my alarm. For some reason on Mondays I snap to in a state of alertness around 4:15am and then lay there while all the little nagging doubts, fears, regrets, hurts, humiliations, and occasionally erotic fantasies creep in. It's really bewildering, and more reason to worship at the altar of Ambien.

I've been having bizarre interactions with strangers lately. I feel like my own quirkiness and nebulous sense of limits has resulted in drawing even quirkier and more nebulous persona toward me like meteors. And like meteors, not so welcome. It's like the problem I have with crazy people. They adore me. They find me in a crowd of hundreds and tell me all about their lives. Or repeat it, because they found me the week before in another crowd of hundreds.

I once was having a romantic weekend with someone in a rinky-dink New Hampshire town. We were thrilled because his car had broken down on a Sunday, and the local bed-and-breakfast guy (who was heading out on vacation) just handed us the keys to his place. We spent the evening walking around, experiencing New England small town life.

About halfway up Main Street, we spotted the local crazy wondering around with one of those fake light sabers you get from Walmart on Halloween. He had apparently just discovered that Darth Vader was his father because he was creating a massively pitched duet with the air reflective of every battle between good and evil. I tensed up immediately and crossed the street.

My companion thought that my reaction was a simple distaste for those whose brains aren't really functioning in our dimension. But I assured him that it wasn't the case. Rather, I shared with him the inestimable attraction the insane in the membrane peeps seem to have to me. His reaction? "Surely you're exaggerating."

Surely, indeed. As we sat out on the porch of our little abode, Crazy Guy started to make his way down our street, seemingly oblivious of our presence. I felt a smirk start to slide across my lovah's face. But then, as if by cue, the satanic soliloquy stopped dead and he turned deliberately around and crossed the street aimed dead at me.

But I knew the routine. I smiled cheerfully and said "Hey, how's it going?" And he smiled back. And began to tell us about the Titanic. Not the stupid James Cameron Titanic, but real facts, figures, names, dates, navigational locations. The light saber relaxed by his side. He introduced himself at the end and shook our hands. Then he walked back across the street to the exact place he had stopped, did an about face and proceeded down the street swinging the light saber and screaming at some imaginary demon.

Still, for the most part, these little escapades have never erupted into anything dangerous. Or at least nothing I couldn't quell by agreeing that the little green man is there. My main concern is that a friend who had jsut finished a rotation in the psych ward told me that the real crazies could always tell if someone was faking it, and would go out of their way to reject them. Of course, the reverse being that they welcome those of their kith with the openest of arms. Like me. The mentally insane girl.

But my brief brushes with weirdos this weekend consisted of people who didn't at first appear as if they had taken a mini-weekend from Bedlam.

One was the cashier at our local Petco, who besides making me feel guilty for buying dog food full of fillers (every once in awhile I let my dogs have the Cap'n Crunch instead of the Wheaties), then told me about how hard corn is on the digestive system. Of course, he could have just said that, but instead he decided to put it into context. Like the percentage of corn in his poop following a crawfish boil. Yum. At least I knew how to smile and nod. Thank you crazy people.

The other was a 400-pound woman in an electric scooter wheelchir who tried to run me and another person down when, after waiting patiently for several minutes, I decided to make the mistake of asking nicely if she would allow me access to the granola bins that she seemed intent on sampling. Oh, she was stirring for a fight and I was about ready to give it to her. Until I realized that yelling at someone in a wheelchair would probably not go down well in Whole Foods. They wouldn't believe it if I told them the truth. I had to just settle with the comforting thought that I am skinny. And can walk.

Okay, I'm crazy. But at least I'm not stupid. Stupidhead!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dictator

I am being pressured into learning how to dictate. No, not dictating instructions and rules for what people are supposed to do for me - I'm already good at that. I'm talking about the good old-fashioned pacing your office, speaking into a little black box so someone later can type it up and then I can go back and look at it to realize just how retarded I sound doing that.

I fully understand that dictating, particularly in the context of persuasive writing, is much less time-consuming overall and will be helpful when things really start picking up. But I fear my recorded voice, in fact my voice in general. I can't very well explain that I spent a lot of time actually retyping dicta in cases because it meant avoiding my slightly nasally (and if the device is running, slightly panicked) voice being heard by someone else saying something ridiculous like "insert citation three" or "sign off with the usual regards." Besides, I really know nothing about how to do it. For some reason, I'd probably just start sounding like a telegraph operator.

My secretary, who they probably assigned to me because she's monstrously talented and patient, has now begun a covert operation to force me to dictate. I can't figure out if she's trying to be helpful or if she's just madly bored. (I share her with a partner who spends all day sending a colleague and I editorials about Sarah Palin, and putting associates in the awkward position of having to add him as a friend on facebook.)

Anyway, her method has so far included the following:

Hovering around my office door asking me how many words I type a minute and then reminding me that she types more.

Looking at my highlighted passages and shaking her head at the fact I insist on typing them.

Acting like I am swamped under a mountain of work (so far not really the case) and stay late every single night (I usually stay late because I've spent all day goofing off with the other procrastinating young associates).

Placing my dictaphone in very conspicuous spots when I am at lunch. Like on my keyboard, on top of my drafts, and at one point hooked into my coffee mug handle.

Prelabelling dictation tapes with things she knows I'm working on.

And, my favorite:

Commenting that she's noticed that staring at a computer all day can give someone wrinkles.

Two weeks and she's already picked up on my vanity. This woman is good.

I'm going to give it a whirl this week. Maybe I'll start dictating my blog.

That's a horrible thought.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quibble

I have a minor and obnoxious quibble about my fringe benefits. Namely, parking. My parking is free, but my employer picks where I park since the waiting list to actually park in the building is about a hundred years long. My name will have been added along with all the other dead partners by then.

Anyway, the quibble is not about having to walk a couple of blocks. (Why is it people freak about that? I don't think 50 extra meters is such a big deal - unless I've decided to finally bring a plant for my office. Then it might get irritating.)

My views are that if you have legs, use 'em. God knows enough people don't. That is, use their legs, not don't have legs. Actually if anyone doesn't have legs that would be enough people. But, not the issue.

The issue is, in fact, that I was not informed that my parking is valet. And this valet parking has become the bane of my existence. Ok, maybe not that troubling. The proper comparison would probably be that the valet parking is the butt-itch of my existence. Irritating, awkward, and with no ready cure.

Pushing aside all the horror stories from my colleagues who have had their cars repeatedly creamed (although in parking garages like bomb shelters), my worry is not about my car getting wrecked. In fact, except for the annoyance of having to put my money where my mouth is and actually take the streetcar, I could probably get their insurance to pay for the nice job I did TWICE denting and scraping the passenger side. In a parking garage. There are probably specialized mechanics. Who get their business from my colleague's valets. Everyone wins (except the insurance and who cares about them anyway?).

No, my valets seem pretty trustworthy, and always know I'm the dressed up chick who drives the Black Hyundai. ('Cause I roll like dat.) The problem, they tell me, is that sometimes they forgets where they actually put my car.

I am running 15 minutes late for an important meeting. The sweat is standing out on my lip like a fascist dictator's moustache. I am wondering once again why all these anti-perspirants engage in false advertising. And yet we are still standing there while he thinks about it. Thinks. Not actually goes to look around, but thinks.

This is slightly troubling. As is the fact that when my car is found it always has the windows rolled down and the keys in the ignition. I'm told the latter is actually a good thing since it airs the car out and saves the hassle of finding the keys when I'm in a hurry. It also adds to the list of potential insurance claims.

Once again, sooo typical of the things endemic to New Orleans. (Luckily so is being late. Despite the memory holdup, I was the first one at the meeting.)

A colleague gave me this article that shows just how damaging the Big Easy easiness can be. My favorite quote, from the Evidence Room clerk:

In New Orleans, clerk Spears sees little need for computerized bar coding that might help make order in the attic where he dumps evidence from old cases.

"The system is almost foolproof," he said. "I've got a photographic mind, see. I know from memory where almost everything is."


This girl = not particularly impressed.

Also, they use sticky traps. Oh, the mousity.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Quotable

Pretty much my favorite quote from any hurricane story this year:

Ronnie Sharp, 65, and his terrier-mix Princess, had to be rescued from his trailer in Orange County when water reached his knees. "I was getting too many snakes in the house, otherwise I would have stayed," Sharp said. He said he lost everything in the flood but his medicine and some cigarettes.

That's awesome.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Conspiracy

It is quite frustrating to play the part of a modern day Cassandra, sounding the alarm while everyone looks at you like some melodramatic idiot instead of someone who's pounded a lot of history books and has figured out really early on the true motivations behind most people's shades.

One of the fundamental truths I've gleaned is that it's all a goddamned conspiracy.

Hear me out. I could care less about the Kennedy assassination, the Marilyn Monroe murders and whatever happened to those aliens in Roswell (perhaps there were some at the RNC?). I care about the real stuff.

So, when I have to continuously hear about the crazy liberal blogger's attacks on Palin which set her up perfectly for a vindictive (yet totally useless) diatribe guaranteed to stir up a crowd who was already stirred up anyway, I have only this observation to make.

Those were crazy Republican bloggers.

Thank you America. You'll receive my bill in 30 days.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Poverty

I had a good (and hot, but sadly now married) friend from undergrad who had the habit of romping off to random countries and sending me exotic presents in the mail accompanied with long letters written on rapidly torn-off and often beer-stained pieces of paper. He had spidery handwriting. I never knew such a thing really existed until I would get his letters.

Despite our longstanding friendship, prolific exchanges, and the exciting receipt of a ceramic yak from Central Asia, he still occasionally made statements in his letters that mystified me. (And it's probably rather revealing of my true feelings for him that I still remember these lines years later. Why is he married?)

In consecutive order:

From Cuba in 1999: "It's so sad to me that this place is not more communist. It just seems like everyone is out for themselves."

From Nepal in 2001: "I'm so tired of poor people always hassling me. Buy, buy, buy. It's like all they want is my money. It takes away from the scenery."

From Guatamala in 2003: "I'm just so sick of all these dirty people."

So then my wonderfully sensitive friend decided to go to business school and become a broker. And got married. But I might've mentioned that last bit before.

Why this change? What happened to change my darling blonde save-the-world angel into a ruthless capitalist maverick with so much disdain for the very people he had hopped airplanes across the world to see and support?

Answer: Poverty can be fucking annoying. Especially for people who actually have money.

Should I elaborate on this statement? Do I have to?

Luckily I have no money, so the poverty situation in Southeast Asia was only "mildly" as opposed to "fucking" annoying. "Mildly" because I really didn't have much of an issue buying cheap bracelets from cute little children for the price of a cup of coffee (Sally Struthers comes to mind).

But after awhile the constant solicitation does get a little old. Especially if you're like me and have a hard time saying "no" with the type of finality needed to put your followers off the scent. Result: lots of little children hanging out by your beach cot trying to get you to buy a pedicure (the thought of those dirty tools makes me wince), a necklace, or in the worst scenario a bikini line threading.

And then, the mud, the dust, the flies, the sad stares and the shacks. The gasoline poured into plastic bottles and watered down because it's all the people who cruise the pitted and unpaved highway can afford. A tugging awareness that I'm never going to get it. A nagging reproach that this is no new age poverty chosen for devotion but a strange and unfair fate that is swallowed. With bitterness or sweetness, it's impossible to discern. But fully incomprehensible and that's the hard part.

I finally understand my friend's frustrated lines. I also understand now when he talked about how much having diarrhea for 20 straight days sucks.

But I guess the poverty epiphany is more profound.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hurricane

I am recovering in North Carolina from dengue hemorrhagic fever (more on that later) and catching snippets of the Gustav coverage, noting with some dread that the storm surge seems to be heading right for my apartment. Darn it.

The funny thing is after this trip I feel so incredibly at peace with everything (they're just things after all). I find I now have a strange new motive for watching the hyped hurricane coverage.

That is, having a pool on which on-site newsman will be the first to be knocked down by flying debris. I'm placing bets on ol' Anderson.

I'll feel bad if that really happens. But the grim amusement helps one cope.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Adventure

So, I'm leaving tomorrow for my post-bar trip through ye olde Indochina - Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. New Orleans was just not hot and corrupt enough for me.

This is the first adventure I've taken by myself in a long time besides a quick jaunt to London over New Year's to see some friends. But it doesn't count unless you're really going it alone, as in knowing no one. I like this. It gives you a reason to wear electric blue halter top sundresses with flip flops, and never wear a watch so you can see if people understand you when you attempt to ask them what time it is in their own language.** Not that you understand the answer, mind you. I'm sure people have said "fuck off flip-flop girl" a few times to me. But I smile and say thanks.

Just representin' America.

I'm excited.

**It's actually more fun to ask for a light -- I wish I hadn't started caring about my lungs.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Schmar

So, here is how my final day of the Louisiana bar exam went. I was awakened at 3am by an urgent throbbing of my bladder which portended a totally unexpected and badly timed UTI. For a brief moment, I actually considered going to the ER. Brief moment because this little ditty pretty much sums up my ER experiences in the past. Except for that time one of my ovaries exploded. But that was in South Korea which has a much better healthcare system.

After laying there awake all night between fruitless trips to the toilet and popping all the cranberry pills in my cabinet, I started thinking about how retarded this whole urination thing is. Maybe we should just sweat more. I live in New Orleans and sweat a lot. Therefore, I do not need a urethra that doubles me over in pain the night before the last day of the biggest test of my life. And all day. As if losing sleep wasn't enough. At least I can blame my bladder for missing any constitutional issues.

My time is far too valuable to waste urinating. It's not like I can do something at the same time. Reading is out. Even flashcarding is out. Just not enough real commitment to the task at hand. Peeing is a chore, and for someone who drinks a lot of fluids in a crowded place with one toilet, a geniune inconvenience. And of course, the lines for the ladies is always too long anyway.

I think peeing being a chore is more the case for women than men. Men that I have seen urinating in my life (images clogging up valuable memory space) seem to lend almost a jovial aspect to their pissing duty. Several I know have a particular fondness for balconies. Women however squat like we are gathering grubs and occasionally manage to leak on ourselves. And forget peeing over balconies since we'd likely fall off in the process. One more gender inequality.

Plus there's the extra time wasted to scrub your hands (twice) and open the door with your sleeve or a paper towel because you just saw someone who didn't wash their hands touch the same handle and you don't want cooties. Actually, I noticed people not washing their hands a lot during the bar. Honestly. It makes me look at people differently when I know they don't wash their hands, just like it makes me look at them differently when I know they're those silly peeps who cover the toilet seat with paper and then leave it on there. I've memorized their faces so in the future I will know to go wash my hands after shaking theirs.

It's too bad I'm not privy to this same info on the male side.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Useful

I provided a much-needed service to a stranger in Columbus, Ohio today who performed a google search entitled "is doug kershaw dead" and thereupon stumbled unto my blog where I provided the ready answer. Nope, he's not and to prove it I have a picture of him performing live in really tight pants.

People should really start paying me.

Bar

This video (yet another Little Britain find) sums up exactly how this bitch is going to conquer that mean nasty bar.

And one day to go. Warning to all my friends who keep prematurely congratulating me - I ain't done 'til Friday!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Little Britain

For those of you who haven't yet seen this show you need to get on it. It repeats and builds and you find yourself madly in love with every deplorable character.

Like Anne, who reminds me a little of myself while studying for the bar.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pontificate

So, the highlight of my day has been making a journalist's blog.

I seem to hold this great attraction for people wanting to know my political opinions. I find this slightly funny because my political views are all over the map, and I'm totally unreasonable about them. But I'm happy to offer them as long as they don't devolve into fruitless discussions (see below). Maybe I don't like to be contradicted, or maybe I just don't see the point sometimes. We are all going to do what we are all going to do anyway. That's being human.

This political solicitation happened rather vividly back in 2004 when I was back in North Carolina. A friend and I went to the Concord, NC Young Democratics meeting. There were about sixteen of us. And we were the only ones that really qualified as "young."

Anyway, I got interviewed, said a lot of very harsh things about George W., and my parents got harassed about it for weeks. At least the local newspaper seems to have a wide readership. It also confirmed my status as a total outcast of the community which was coming anyway since I was not married, knocked up and working in a shift job by age 25.

I'm actually not an attention seeker who craves this publicity, and I don't understand people who are (nor trust them or their motives). I'm uncomfortable in front of crowds. I only made it as a teacher because I would imagine everyone naked, but then stopped being able to do that when my students were kids. I get nervous. I can't breathe. I can write the speeches but I can't deliver them. I forget my sentences midway through. I fake it a lot (which is really obvious if you read my quote in said blog).

I'm so much more comfortable in the written word. So much less information to process, no body language to read, no eye contact to measure, no hands fidgeting or gesticulating between anger and supplication, no mistrust to prove. I get to stay at home and produce, I get to live through typing.

God, I want to write so badly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pleasure part II

Getting my Visa for Vietnam back in three days. Somehow it's so neat having a visa that says "Socialist Republic" on it.

I'm going to fill up this new overly-patriotic passports with stamps of many colors. Can't wait.

Pleasure

Two things give me true pleasure these days.

The first is reading "The Iliad" out loud to my dog as she lays on my chest in bed.

The second are these blueberry muffins:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking sode
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 egg whites
1 ripe banana mashed
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (or any other berry)

Sift baking soda and flour together. Separately whisk all wet ingredients together until frothy. Add blueberries to wet mixture then pour into dry and stir until just combined. Spoon into a muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Fruitless

Lately, I've had a couple of people try to drag me into fruitless and silly political debates, and it's no accident that they happen to be boys who are really not getting the picture that I am not interested in them. And so, it doesn't really end well because they take it as some sort of personal rebuff. This makes things a little awkward (although in the case of one of them I wish it would make it awkward enough for him to leave me the hell alone.)

Let me define fruitless and silly. Fruitless and silly is when two people of very strong opposing convictions regarding a particular political issue decide to debate. This does not work. The reason it does not work is if people feel as strongly about their political convictions as I do, they are not going to budge. And even if the other person starts making a little sense they probably won't budge out of principle. That is why you will never convince me that the death penalty for raping a minor is cruel and unusual just as I will never convince you that the death penalty for that crime is not cruel and unusual enough. Let's just agree to disagree. This is America, right?

The problem is that debate has turned into wrestling matches, and it really happens a lot with men. For example, someone asked me how I felt about illegal aliens. My simple answer is that there should be stricter regulation and it's unfair to punish people who went through the process correctly by putting them behind people who've been sneaking around unregistered for years. I have a lot of other issues about illegal immigration like human trafficking, lowering workplace standards and causing a lot of people to lose their jobs, bringing in new waves of syphilis and getting better health care than many US citizens as well as the rise in violent crime in immigrant neighborhoods and the number of families unregistered Mexicans tend to knock out on the North Carolina highways as they drive around intoxicated without a license. Putting tighter controls on knowing who the hell is in our country just might help with that. But that's my opinion - as correct as it may be.

Now, at this point in a true debate the opposite argument with its support would be presented. But no, instead this guy says "I'm absolutely shocked at what a Victorian Colonial attitude that is. You just don't understand what it's like to live in dire poverty and have to come to a country where no one wants you."

You then offered to drive me home in your Alfa Romeo.

Idiot.

Interesting

So, in addition to my blog continuing to be the harbinger for Mother Theresa fans, my entry entitled "Serial Killers" with Ted Bundy's mugshot has also recently risen in international acclaim.

Seriously, this was not the way I wanted to be "discovered."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Joy and Sorrow



Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

--Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Popular

So, I've noticed that my readership seems to have quadrupled lately. I was feeling pretty good about this. I mean, blogging is my therapy but it should be group therapy, because the more people out there sympathizing by finding your blog readable - nay, by finding your blog pure genuis - makes one feel alot better about oneself.

Not only that, my new readers hailed from exotic places like Denmark, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom.

Finally out of curiousity I decided to check on what page they came in on which lured them into partaking of my wit and charm.

And learned all of them had performed an image search of "Mother Theresa" and ended up on my entry with her portrait and inspirational poem. And that was really all they looked at. Apparantly lately there have been a rash of people who need to know what Mother Theresa looked like and my blog seemed to be a good source.

This was slightly devastating. My blog is not about revering saints or posting inspirational poems. You will note the distinct lack of cartoon bunnies, kitten pictures, background floating hearts or a synthesizer version of "The Rose." I would like to say to all of you peeps, you really missed out on my twisted observations and dark humor.

Too bad they won't read the last sentence. Probably too busy recycling my Mother Theresa entry in a forward to their co-workers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hair

Since beginning to study for the bar, I have literally been able to see and hear the gray hairs sprout on my head. Yes, despite my regular intake of fish oil and vitamin B complex, the silvers are sliding in.

What's interesting is how during this whole study process my hearing has become so acute that I can actually hear the particular noise they make. It's a flat "plink" like the D flat at the furthest right of the keyboard which is followed by a cacophany of sopranic sharps that would put Stravinsky to shame. And all on my head while I sit peacefully drowned in minutiae and wondering if my regurgitation skills will hold up.

*Plink!*

Another one.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

NOMA



A friend and I went to the New Orleans Museum of Art today to catch George Rodrigue's show. For those not in the local know, Rodgrigue's trademark is painting tons of things with his blue dog Tiffany in them. In fact, Tiffany figures more prominently in all his work than his own sons, one of whom graduated a year ahead of me at Tulane.

Anyway, the place was packed because he was signing autographs, there was a jazz band, and free red beans and rice. To take a break from the crowds, we snuck upstairs to the more quiet exhibits involving dogs (but not blue ones), crucifixion, and beautiful paintings of our dear hometown. In one of the rooms, I let out an enormous sneeze and the whole room turned in tandem to say "bless you."

"That was a really good one," a woman standing next to me added.

Ah, New Orleans. A place where no matter how inconspicuous you try to be, people never forget that you're there.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Law



I'm trying desperately not to turn this blog into a place where I talk about boring ol' law all day long since studying for the bar takes up enough of my time. I try to treat this blog as a way of forcing me to notice things, even if they aren't the most magical things, and then commiting them to type so maybe about 5-6 other people can enjoy them too.

But I feel some of the recent Louisiana law I've learned would qualify for that enjoyment and reminds me of why I like this state.

From my "torts" course outline:

"There is limited liability/immunity for injuries incurred as a result of actions of:

1) Krewes for Mardi Gras parades and festivities and other parades and festivals;

2) St. Patrick's Day or ethnic parades"

So, too bad for any tourists who gleefully head south in search of a personal injury case that involves being conked on the head with a cabbage or a bag of beads. Of course, on the flip side, too bad for anyone here who gets beaned as a result of a malevolent float-rider. And there are a few.

This provision gives me another reason to stay on the sidewalk with a riding helmet on during parade time. I think you should too.

My not-yet-legal advice.

Oh, the policy issues!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Children

As my "wait to get sleepy because god knows it takes forever" bed distraction, I've been reading Barbera Kingsolver's "High Tide in Tucson." It's an amalgam of observations that range from manic-depressive hermit crabs, to Stephen King playing rhythm guitar to the embarrassment of having to wear hand-me-downs in high school. I'm actually really liking it, more so than her fiction.

I'm also liking it because I've had to face the unfortunate fact that I'm not very good with plots so it's reassuring that there is a genre of "creative non-fiction" out there, even if people rarely read it. Kind of like this blog, in fact.

Anyway. One of her essays is about how it should take a community to raise a child, and we in America now like to act like children are simply the problems of parents and teachers, and shouldn't be allowed to inconvenience everyone else. The example she cites is when a woman in a window seat wouldn't give up her seat so Kingsolver's daughter would be able to sit next to her. She reasoned that with nurturing as fragmented as this, is it any wonder our kids grow up to be such nightmares these days?

Ok, a couple of words on that. First of all, while it is nice to wax poetic about communities (and yes, I agree that it certainly helped me that I had a very kid-friendly neighborhood growing up) this waxation ignores one very important fact. Communities lighten the load on a parent, they do not relieve the parent of all responsibility. Your child's actions ultimately come down to you. (Unless you live in Louisiana and can judicially emancipate your child in order to avoid vicarious liability.)

Moreover, communities are voluntary - you don't get to draft an unwilling air traveler into your community because of some warm and rewarding experience you had while writing your novel living in the Canary Islands. As a lover of window seats myself, I don't understand why I'd have to give mine up just because you had no foresight in making your reservations. The only way I'd give up my seat was if your child was behind me kicking the back of my chair. Then I would happily exchange and kick the back of his. That's for trying to force me into your community.

Third, American communities have a lot of sexual offenders.