I went to a friend's party last night and got to know some new folks. But I think my favorite acquaintance was a therapist who coordinates anger management and parenting course for convicted domestic violence abusers. She was really interesting, and responded to my somewhat insistent question very well.
But the best part I like about that coversation was when she explained that she approaches the group as trying to give people who only a have a few tools in their toolbox the chance to realize that they can add to the tools and then are able to accomplish better and more beneficial things, like healthy relationships.
I really liked that until I started to think about the tools. "Don't a lot of people use tools as weapons?"
"That's why I hold off on the power saw for awhile."
I love people who know how to laugh. Therapists laugh a lot. I want to be a therapist and laugh too.
Many of you who've known me for awhile are aware of my secret ambition to have a goat farm and spend my days producing goat cheese, goat yogurt, goat's milk soap and creams, and probably a petting zoo somewhere in there. For the kids (no pun intended).
For a long time one of my favorite refrigerator staples has been Redwood Hill Goat's Milk Yogurt. The stuff's pretty much as close to ambrosia as you can get, particularly their vanilla flavor sweetened with maple syrup. I always get sad when they run out in the early spring so the mommy goats can nurse the babies. It leaves a little hole in my heart which can only be filled by the thought of baby goats nursing. Ahhhh.
Get some! It's true the texture does change with the seasons and right now it has a truly delicious creamy quality that's worth exploring with your taste buds.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend a little while ago about her long drawn-out and dramatic break-up with an ex. At the point where she was complaining that once he figured out she wasn't going to be making millions as a fancy corporate lawyer he was ready to go, the whole schema of human romance was immediately and nakedly laid out before me.
"Your stock dropped." I said.
"Yes," she agreed. "My stock dropped."
Maybe it's because I am myself hurtling into the corporate and securities world (although hardly making millions), but lately I've been looking around at my particular holdings in an effort to glean whether I should sell, buy, or simply hold out and await the prospects.
There's also shorting, and naked shorting - but I don't like men who cheat on their significant others. Or who try to manipulate the market to satisfy their greed.
For the record, I've always believed the best portfolio is a diversified one. Investing all my funds in one particular venture has proven in the past to cause catastrophic losses. I have also tried to steer away from mutual funds and institutional investors because leaving my dating choices in the hands of third parties has often led to unanticipated loss of worth.
It has lately occurred to me that someone from the past has recently risen in value. This stock has held steady for quite some time, with a sudden dip from unfortunate external circumstances. But it's proven in the past to be an excellent long term investment, provided the investor has the daring to hold out through the dips. And attempted hostile takeovers.
Cynical, cynical. But am I? Comparing the dating game with my shallow understanding of the market, I can come up with figures that would make the averages rise and fall.
Examples (based on an average in a hypothetical efficient market starting at $10/shr):
(For some real fun, calculate your own!)
Causes for stock increases:
1. Winning national martial art competitions. 2. Graduate degrees. Double if the person getting the degree can actually make money with it. 3. Chiseled jaws. Chiseled abs. The ability to use a chisel. 4. An understanding of the absurdity of every human action and a willingness to laugh at it. 5. Speaking another language. Bonus if it's spoken natively. 6. Ability to match pants with shirt. Even better if socks are not conspicuous. 7. A great love for the outdoors. And the living things in it. 8. A great love for the indoors. Particularly when I am the living thing in it. 9. Having a favorite quote that does not come from a Bond movie or the Godfather trilogy. 10. Some artistic pursuit that does not involve self-mutilation or bodily fluids.
Stock falling fast:
1. A criminal record. Double loss if it's a felony. 2. Love handles or beer gut. Or that weird facial hair around the mouth, especially when accompanied by a dirty baseball cap. 3. Having The Complete Work of the Marquis de Sade next to the bed. With knives on top. 4. Mispronouncing foreign words while making it apparent that they think they are pronouncing them correctly. 5. Having kids. With different women. 6. Starting a sentence with "When I was on Jerry Springer...." 7. Starting a sentence with "When I was on The O'Reilly factor..." 8. Starting a sentence at all if there's nothing intelligent or complimentary in it. (Exception to this is #3 under stock increases). 9. Not loving dogs. 10. Psycho ex-girlfriends. That you still talk to. Constantly.
I'll be watching the market for any unexpected jumps. But so far my investments seem to be holding steady if not declining in value. Perhaps I'll look for a white knight*.
("white knights," a friendly bidding firm actively sought by a target firm in order to avoid being taken over by a hostile bidding firm. White knights are particularly vulnerable to overbidding for their targets, i.e., bidding more than the aggregate market value of the target's common stock, since they are, by definition, involved in a competitive bidding contest. )
I absolutely hate Sundays. I hate them like most people hate Mondays. Sundays consist of pure dread over getting back into it. Mondays you are actually getting into it and going. Not really so bad after all. Five weeks and counting and this girl will be a free woman. No more law school!
I did want to make my own quick notes about orthorexia. I appreciate the praise, but I actually wasn't the one who wrote the article. (I'm still shocked that the line "when I cooked at the commune" didn't tip people off. I'm not sure what else I can do to convince everyone I'm not a crazy hippy.)
I realize my alleged orthorexia is a wish for perfect health (and yeah, immortality). But it's actually bigger for me. I am an incredibly indecisive and flaky person (anyone who knows anything about my love life can attest to that fact). So, deciding that certain things are unhealthy actually makes my life a lot easier. Trust me, I get overwhelmed in a bakery like a Frenchman in the wine aisle. So, instead of wanting everything, sometimes it's easier to concentrate on the things I know I can have. So, no sugar means you start enjoying well, black coffee.
Case in point. Lent is officially over so I can have dessert again - so a couple of friends and I decided to head to Sucre to celebrate with their amazing banana and nutella gelato. But as the hour approached I found myself dreading it. I realized I didn't really miss sugar or desserts and I had felt so amazing with all the residual effects it has on me eating healthily. And just the thought of all those colorful neatly ordered pastries already had me whirling in a world of indecision. Is it so wrong that I was happy the place was closed for Easter Sunday?
Hm, maybe that's sick. Or maybe it's just normal. I'm tired of worrying about it, and I think everyone else needs to stop worrying too.
People become foreigners all the time. Mostly by pure accident. It happens when you come into a new place and find yourself looking on with absolutely no attachment. Most of the time you think you know places because you remember the events there, but being in those places later you understand that the events were invisible, and you have become the same. Like when you kiss a lover goodbye at the train station, only to find later that returning to the scene over many years that event has been erased completely by the tread of many footprints. Or the exact spot where you were standing when you find out a friend is dead.
Returning, the attachment has dissipated, the emotion is gone. And the place only exists in your mind like it was at the time. The concrete location becomes as intangible and movable as the set on a film. Existing only in a Technicolor recording, including everything but permanence. And so very disposable.
This is how I feel about my days in New Orleans right now. People returning home after the hurricane almost three years ago probably knew this foreignness. It stole upon them while they looked at a lake with a city buried underneath it. And maybe they wished that part of themselves was also underwater, moving around in familiar surroundings, doing what they had always done before their world filled up with water. Because under that water there was still a remnant of reality. Well, maybe.
Maybe years later when the orthorexia fails and I become old and wrinkled out on my goat farm in Wyoming, I'll think back to my time here. Not events maybe. Maybe just news lived as events. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between what happens in a place, and what happened outside of it but was told to you in that place.
I've decided to stop trying to decide if anything's important. Because all I learn is that nothing really is. And if there really is no reality, no one can be faulted for clinging to a dream.
I finally realized how much of a difference not eating sweets makes when I stepped on the scale this morning. I haven't weighed myself in ages, but I've decided to go all out and get under 135 again. However, the reading today was 134.5. Yah! Soo...now I'll try 130? We all need goals after all. I'd like to get back to my pre-law school lithe self.
I did have a giggle today when a friend tried to pointedly send me this article. Ok, I totally obsess about what I eat - but I do it because it makes me feel healthy, energetic, and happy to just not let certain things go into my body. And I try not to judge people when they eat candy bars or drink diet soda. Or at least disguise my judgment. Unlike me, people probably have better things to do than read 20 nutrition books in a year.
I would also like to point out that I haven't always been like this, and my body didn't quite like it -- so in effect, instead of searching for the fountain of youth, I am actually making up for lost time. Or maybe just all those nutella and blue cheese sandwiches I've always been fond of.
Yeah, I admit that "eating normally" is kind of gross and so would most people if they read ingredient labels. So sue me for eating an apple. Just get ready to shoot your kids up with some insulin. I used to be all about public health insurance until I realized all the free-riding involved. Now I've decided they need health insurance for orthorexics like me. :)
Many of the most unbalanced people I have ever met are those who have devoted themselves to healthy eating. In fact, I believe some of them have actually contracted a novel eating disorder for which I have coined the name "orthorexia nervosa." The term uses "ortho," meaning straight, correct, and true, to modify "anorexia nervosa." Orthorexia nervosa refers to a pathological fixation on eating proper food.
Orthorexia begins, innocently enough, as a desire to overcome chronic illness or to improve general health. But because it requires considerable willpower to adopt a diet that differs radically from the food habits of childhood and the surrounding culture, few accomplish the change gracefully. Most must resort to an iron self-discipline bolstered by a hefty dose of superiority over those who eat junk food. Over time, what to eat, how much, and the consequences of dietary indiscretion come to occupy a greater and greater proportion of the orthorexic's day.
The act of eating pure food begins to carry pseudospiritual connotations. As orthorexia progresses, a day filled with sprouts, umeboshi plums, and amaranth biscuits comes to feel as holy as one spent serving the poor and homeless. When an orthorexic slips up (which may involve anything from devouring a single raisin to consuming a gallon of Haagen Dazs ice cream and a large pizza), he experiences a fall from grace and must perform numerous acts of penitence. These usually involve ever-stricter diets and fasts.
This "kitchen spirituality" eventually reaches a point where the sufferer spends most of his time planning, purchasing, and eating meals. The orthorexic's inner life becomes dominated by efforts to resist temptation, self-condemnation for lapses, self-praise for success at complying with the chosen regime, and feelings of superiority over others less pure in their dietary habits.
This transference of all of life's value into the act of eating makes orthorexia a true disorder. In this essential characteristic, orthorexia bears many similarities to the two well-known eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Where the bulimic and anorexic focus on the quantity of food, the orthorexic fixates on its quality. All three give food an excessive place in the scheme of life. As often happens, my sensitivity to the problem of orthorexia comes through personal experience. I myself passed through a phase of extreme dietary purity.
When I wasn't cooking at the commune, I managed the organic farm. This gave me constant access to fresh, high-quality produce. I became such a snob that I disdained any vegetable that had been plucked from the ground for more than 15 minutes. I was a total vegetarian, chewed each mouthful of food 50 times, always ate in a quiet place (which meant alone), and left my stomach partially empty at the end of each meal.
After a year or so of this self-imposed regime, I felt clear-headed, strong, and self-righteous. I regarded the wretched, debauched souls about me downing their chocolate chip cookies and french fries as mere animals reduced to satisfying gustatory lusts. But I wasn't complacent in my virtue. Feeling an obligation to enlighten my weaker brethren, I continually lectured friends and family on the evils of refined, processed food and the dangers of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
I pursued wellness through healthy eating for years, but gradually I began to sense that something was going wrong. The poetry of my life was disappearing. My ability to carry on normal conversations was hindered by intrusive thoughts of food. The need to obtain meals free of meat, fat, and artificial chemicals had put nearly all social forms of eating beyond my reach. I was lonely and obsessed.
Even when I became aware that my scrabbling in the dirt after raw vegetables and wild plants had become an obsession, I found it terribly difficult to free myself. I had been seduced by righteous eating.
The problem of my life's meaning had been transferred inexorably to food, and I could not reclaim it.
So, a friend sent me this recently which is supposedly (but not verifiably) what Mother Teresa had on her wall in the orphanage in Calcutta. Who cares whether or not it's true, it's certainly beautiful.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
If good people are the people I had to deal with today, I have now made the decision to turn my back and be wicked. Wickedly compassionate, wickedly outspoken, wickedly graceful, wickedly bitchy, just lovely wicked all around. Because sometimes a girl just has to be wicked in order to keep from going insane by becoming convinced she has now landed in the middle of a Kafka novel. If I wrote a book about this whole stupid thing, it would be pure wickedness. And disappointment that no matter how much I was hoping this clinic would be rewarding, when people decide they don't like you it absolutely does not matter how hard you try. You're just wicked.
Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others." ~Oscar Wilde
I think curiously attractive fits me as well as Wicked. And despite it all reminds me that as of today I am wickedly leaving behind any sense of obligation to people who aren't curiously attractive enough to be wicked.
One of my colleagues pointed out that clinic people always have issues with big firm people because they label us as cold and capitalist, and they're pissed that people are actually happy working for the big man, making money, and still finding their jobs rewarding. I don't know if I think that's true - but I have noticed everyone has only started freaking out once they found out I am working at my firm (which my clinic director has had no problem telling me in the past she despises).
I also know for two months my co-counsel kept mispronouncing my client's name despite me trying to correct him before conference calls. And he told me he can handle all the calls because he "knows how to talk to black people." Let's just hope it's not with contempt. And they think I'm really awful. Hm. Perhaps I should leave him a phonetic guide now that I'm no longer on the case. Or maybe not.
I may not always be kind and considerate. At times, particularly when people are being unfair to me or others, I am imperious and defensive. I think being a litigator requires these skills anyway. But I'm honest, I'm noble, I'm true, and I will forever be passionately wicked.
Evil cackle. Six weeks to go and then I'm free! Life looks good again.
That Branch Up Your Ass - It Isn't Attractive (Nov 5, 2007) by Korin Mumford
I recently had the misfortune of being exposed to another one of those puke-inducing sentimentality emails - you know, the kind that go on and on about how a Twue Fwiend (tm) will do X, Y, and Z for you, and aren't you glad you said you loved your mother today? This one, however, was a pathetic attempt to salve the egos of a certain type of girl and at the same time reinforce the idea that she's incomplete on her own and must just wait for the man to come along, while continuing to create the ideal of women as prizes for men to compete over.
"Tree of Life"
Girls are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. The boys don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.
Vomit-inducing crap. So I turned around and sent it back to the sender, along with a list of questions.
So, are you assuming you're one of the apples at the top of the tree or at the bottom?
If you're assuming you're one of the ones at the top...why? What makes you that special?
What criteria does it take for a woman to be considered one of the "rotten apples from the ground"?
Why don't you think you fit that description?
What, exactly, is this email supposed to do?
Okay, so it's a sad try at soothing the bruised egos of girls who can't get a boyfriend, right?
Have you ever wondered WHY those girls can't get a boyfriend?
Have you ever wondered why they're all so desperate to get one, anyway?
What's wrong with being happy with yourself as a whole, individual, independent person?
Why must you base your sense of self-worth on whether or not you have boys after you? You see, if you had your own inherent sense of self-worth and self-esteem, you wouldn't start to wonder "what's wrong with me?" when you're single.
Furthermore, if you're so desperate to be part of an "us" instead of just being an "I", why the hell are you sitting at the top of your tree with a branch up your ass, waiting?
Oddly enough, I haven't heard from her since. I wonder why that is ...
As if I needed one more reason to hate the Kennedys ...
I've been watching the documentary "Taking on the Kennedys" about Kevin Vigilante's run against Patrick Kennedy for Rhode Island Congressman. I really wish Vigilante had won because Patrick, like the rest of his corrupt drunkard sexually assaulting lobotomizing family, is total crap. Of course he had a few extensive operations, but I think his appearance of being mentally handicapped is purely genetic.
I also wish Vigilante had won because he tried to play so fair. ("She asked me if I had ever used marijuana. I said yes. What was I going to do, lie?") Yeah, Hillary.
My ex recently told me that when we met he was intimidated because I was so Hillary Clinton-esque. This probably explains why our break-up was inevitable.
Why not Teresa Heinz Kerry - cultured, multilingual? Or Angelina Jolie - hot, UN Ambassador? Ok, I may be neither of the above, but I also don't have a butch blonde haircut and a philandering husband. And no matter how many times it behooves me to do it, I play fair.
I really like my job - it makes me happy and hopeful that maybe law is actually going to be fun as opposed to the neverending stress of law school where you have to balance an amazing amount of other random and arbitrary activities which serve as either total timesucks or the obstacles on a steeplechase. (To add to that steeplechase analogy - there are a LOT of very crippled horses running it, including myself).
But at my job, I know everyone - the place has sort of self-selected for compatible personalities and we all know how to work hard. Maybe I should clean up my office once in awhile because it's kind of messy.
One unexpected source of bliss has been me challenging myself to doing yoga 30 times in 30 days. I started with the Beginning Yoga, but that got too easy too fast (I've done it a lot before back in my thinny days where I'm trying to return). So I got this DVD Kundalini Yoga for Beginners and Beyond by Ana and Ravi.
At first I thought it was retarded or maybe training for porn. It has this mystical cum electronica beat and the guy narrates over with this super new agey commentary which borders on giggle fest. The best part is watch the girl "dance" at the beginning - she's adorably awkward. Even this white girl can dance better that that. The beginner's workout (I'm not quite ready for the Tibetan rites yet) consists of all these weird back and forth thrusting breathing repitive motions which can get a bit monotonous after doing it for oh say 3 mins. The first time I did it I thought it was completely worthless. But I've recently returned to it consistently these days as an alternative to the other stuff and let me tell you - this really gets the tension out and makes me feel very calm - which is saying something these days.
Recommended! And a side-note it mysteriously has curbed my nicotine cravings. Yah!
A business my father spent twenty years of his life building into a multi-million dollar company literally went up in flames yesterday.
My father has recently moved on - largely because like me, he doesn't like having people tell him what to do when he can do it better. And we share the same disdain for indolent and useless rich families siphoning profits of the backs of the people who make them. Mercedes or workers' retirement plans? I'm starting to wonder if this might be arson. German cars raid corporate funds. Luckily, an investigation is underway - so we'll see.
It even made the Houston Chronicle. And the New York Times. Such strange advertisements.
But still, such an eerie feeling to see a place I've known since a girl of 7 exploding on the evening news and taking with it 2 firefighters. Everytime I go home there seems to be figurative conflagrations all around. I suppose for once I should be grateful that one is occasionally literal.
Best as witty friends whose friendship has a pure and undeniable scarlet thread of pure sexual tension under the rippled surface of perplexed emotions that will never fully be resolved. Which gives you something to look forward to without all the added pressure of becoming something that you will never look forward to again.
Resolved second - Canadians
I still love them.
Resolved third - Bullying supervising attorneys at my clinic
Resolved fourth - People who still think it's okay to have their cell phones on vibrate during the MPRE
I hope the bar weeds you out. And if not, I hope you are my opposing counsel.
Let's get one thing straight ladies and gentlemen. This girl really really likes having time to herself. (To clarify - we are not speaking of the euphemism for masturbation here. I don't plan on blogging about masturbation and I'm sorry if you are disappointed by that fact. Perv!)
What I'm talking about is some good old-fashioned time alone to fancy, folly, and flitter away the hours enjoying only the demands of one's own company.
I think school did this to me. I like about 1.7% of the people at my school. For the rest, I'm pretty indifferent unless I have the fleeting thought that they are loud, obnoxious, and could do with eating a little humble pie and/or being exposed to hazardous chemicals.
Most of the time, though, I don't care because the majority of law students are encapsulated in a world of pure self-grandeur which unfortunately has been largely vindicated by the world, and promises to only get freakier as time goes on. Which is a funny thing to observe. I become an unwilling eavesdropper on many inane conversations such as:
1. Talk about baseball by boys who look like they could never pick up a baseball bat themselves or stop me if I tried to beat them to death with one;
2. Talk about how steep the curve is, which shows that it isn't steep enough because there are still people out there lame enough to believe that grading in law school isn't pretty much arbitrary;
3. Talk about how hard you are not working, which doesn't quite veil the fact you are actually working hard at making your hard work look effortless so everyone can assume you are a genius when you know very well that you are not;
4. Talk about how hard you ARE working - which just makes you tiresome (sadly, guilty);
5. Talk about American Idol or Top Model (unless made with irony or including the statement "I don't watch that crap.");
6. Talk about the random celebrity you met in a major city whose temporary ride on shallow fame might have rubbed off on you for the five seconds it took you to relate that pointless anecdote;
7. Talk about hair (also guilty, but working on it);
8. Talk about where you were on September 11th (for many in my class, that would be "in diapers");
9. Talk about your exotic vacation plans that goes beyond the fact that you will thankfully be very far away from me.
Some would call this anti-social. I call it Confucianism : as in, I only give a shit about you if I like you. Otherwise, I'd appreciate it if you lowered your voice because I don't care, I don't think you're important, and I do my best to stay out of your way. So please return the favor. Especially you, white yuppy guy on a cell phone at Mona's Cafe where I am trying to study Securities Regulations.
My one guaranteed zen moment of walking my dogs every day is my time to refocus and start trying to like people and not blog these crazy unforgiving things. And that is not possible if I am accompanied by a drunk neighbor who chatters aimlessly on, steals flowers from people's yards, and slows me down because she is in heels.
Also, if you keep trying to friend me on facebook and I keep ignoring you, you might want to get the point and stop trying. I have not let you into my club - and the membership is currently full.
All day I have incessant chatter. Sometimes, all I want is infinite silence.
Maybe the key to calm is simply always wearing earplugs. Or moving to a galaxy far far away.
So, my temporary lapse into insanity has...um, relapsed. Therefore, for everybody's entertainment I think it is time to write the entry on those strange dating moments where a certain ambiguity arises. That ambiguity being:
Is this guy a fantastic whimsical whirl of romance - or is he just a serial killer?
It's an easy trap to fall into I think. There's something charming about someone who has an extremely neat apartment and an affinity for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that extends to their sketchbook. And actually gives you the sketchbook to look at.
Yes, there's something strangely attractive about people who have chalkboards in their kitchen labelled "Things to Acquire" with pieces of furniture, various produce items, and good books on it. And a complete drum set with Book 5 of the "Teach Yourself to Drum" series open on the music stand. And about six guitars.
Yeah, I need to get over this nonsense, and consider myself rescued from a narrow tango with potential homicide. And stop trying to come up with witty retorts to his texts. I need my wit for real things, after all.
On another note, I finally bucked it up and tried to get what is so great about Gray's Anatomy - unsuccessfully. I think a really great episode is where they all get into a mass accident, have to operate on each other and make very bad mistakes resulting in long, slow and miserable deaths. Oh yeah, and they're mute - so instead of all the angst we can just enjoy the soundtrack.
Crunching conundrums, blasting boredom, eliciting criticism, languishing while laughing, blaming poetry (and/or the lack of) for all of my choices, leaving it to the stars or the people better equipped to handle it, cackling at catastrophe and saying sayanora to sourpusses and sore losers