Thursday, September 17, 2020

NYC & Life in the Pandemic Age

Got back to NYC somewhat recently from NC and discovered that many of bottoms no longer fit. No more H&M size 2 skirts that fit the same. Most of my dress pants are now too small and even many dresses don't fit. I weight myself and now I'm 120. Granted, not fat ass territory and probably me at a normal weight (most people tend to say I'm TOO thin) but I can't help but feel like a fat ass. Yes, my diet is drastically different in NYC and there's far more walking to be had here; I even live in a 4th floor walkup and realized I could also just do stair running if I want to really get exercise. Everyone's like "you'll get to your same size again; just do some situps". I went to get a COVID test in my neighborhood then to a nearby grocery store and when I got back, I woke up the next day to leg pain. I thought "Get over it, legs. There'll be much more of that around here." I also realize a lot of people have gained weight; some even went through worse (like my landlady, who's still recovering from her hospitalization at the peak of COVID and is now trying to regain the ability to walk; she used to do a lot of the household stuff around here but now can't do such things). Coming back here feels like starting a new school since so many things are different. None of my stuff was in the kitchen fridge and freezer. My stuff was still safe and I didn't have to walk into bug fest so that was a relief. When I first walked into this room with my new luggage, I thought "this room is much smaller than I remember it." After a few hours, I got over that space difference. Yet as I've been traveling around here, it feels like there are still things that are the same. Broadway in my neighborhood is still the same. On my bus ride yesterday, the areas I passed through looked the same. The Upper East Side is reportedly still safe (a couple of friends live in that area). Not all the cute guys left NYC from my observation. I'm still not feeling the subway or being out after dark right now but at least I'm not hearing gun shots in this area or having to worry about being attacked on the streets in my neighborhood. I also get a lot more privacy here than I would in NC. Total lack of privacy there and everyone agrees that if my sister and her family had their own house, things would be a lot better for everyone concerned since there's a lack of space. It feels like that plan is getting farther and farther away for them. I was doing a lot of livestreaming but then my family leaders got bullied off the site, other family members joined new families and I'm not into paying money into this app to get means to give gifts to people who'll likely never gift me if I'm going live. I actually haven't gone live since I've gotten back to my apartment but may do my farewell address today. I also know I need to do some creative writing and more podcast episodes (and put a link to the podcast on my website!!). Then I got put in Facebook jail about a month ago and am not feeling returning since Facebook wants to openly be a fascist network as of October 1st. To me, that's "why should I bother here?" It's like they know nothing about attorneys or what they actually DO in life. Catering to or endorsing societal BS isn't in the job description, nor would any sane person want it to be. I also know the fate of attorneys in commie regimes so attorneys supporting that look incredibly stupid to me. I also had a much better time not being on Facebook other than in Messenger or elsewhere and not really posting. Plus, I've been doing more networking on LinkedIn, using a legal posting service and trying to spend time with friends and family. Still getting my unemployment and just trying to hang in there, pray and so forth. With a viable paying income, I'm not sure exactly what I'd do or where I'd go but still trying to evaulate what I'm going to do (give up my room & move my stuff to some storage unit in NC, move someplace else in NY or CT, store my stuff in NY or CT and go back to NC). I'm honestly not sure but I know what I'll find intolerable and won't go giving my mother a heart attack. I think she and my family are probably happy I came to NC instead of remaining in NYC to possibly get sick. I understand that positive cases are about 1% here at the moment. I have no issues with mask wearing and was doing that before most people were. I'm also wondering if I could get my clothes "unaltered" since most of my things had to be altered to fit my smaller size from before. Not sure about evening gowns and I know some of my formal dresses or cocktail dresses weren't altered before so I'm out of luck on those. However, clearing stuff out has actually given me more wardrobe space. I haven't decided how I feel about that yet. I also know there may be no need for me to wear dress pants or evening gowns in the near future. My mom told me not to get rid of clothes yet since I may lose that NC weight. The major factors behind that are much bigger meals, less healthy food in those meals and far less physical activity (though I tried to go to the store with family on weekends to get out of the house and get exposure to sunlight + make sure my immune system would be okay). I'm thinking I'll stay until maybe shortly before Halloween and I'm trying to figure out a costume where a face covering makes sense & that's not too scary for my niece and nephew. I have 2 major ideas and one might be more affordable though will come with something that may be hard to find storage space for later. Unless I have a physical reason to stay in NYC, I'll probably just stay in NC for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe I'll even do my birthday though I couldn't tell you what I want or if I have any plans for going someplace. I haven't even though about Christmas or Thanksgiving. I will be SOO pissed if my leather pants and my evening gowns will no longer fit or can be altered. At least those pants aren't the right style for a costume idea I have planned and if the previous tailor didn't remove material, most of those dresses could just be "unaltered" to the original sizes. Yes, we shouldn't get too attached to clothing but fortunately I didn't spend tons of money on most of my clothes and some of it is replaceable. I spoke with Mr. Big Stuff and others about the fact that my bottoms no longer fit yet my underwear still fits and asked him about a major relationship matter: would you drop someone over not looking exactly the same as they did when you married them? He said he's picky about such things, including for himself so I think his answer is "yes." I'm like "I'm not referring to being obese or overweight or being formerly active but now becoming a couch potato; I'm talking about the slowing of metabolism and aging." I'm not sure whether he realizes people usually get fatter when they age due to slowing metabolisms and that has me wary but I told him my concern is personality changes like becoming a substance abuser or get Alzheimer's; now I realize Alzheimer's isn't exactly something you can control nor is depression or mental health matters but those are personality changes and personality is a big part of someone's idenity and why you'd care about them in the first place. If he and other men get to be shallow over weight (a physical change), I certainly get to be shallow over substance abuse or mental health issues since those are mental changes. That kind of made me wonder "okay, how is the issue over weight different from the drug addict or the Alzheimer's patient?" Perhaps one thing is weight alone doesn't necessarily hurt your partner though what if the person is obese to where they can't leave their house? Or where the other one has to be a caregiver? Or where the other one now has to adopt a different diet since the other one has to eat differently? I wouldn't like impositions on me, my body or my lifestyle. It's an interesting thought, right? Because of that, I'm like "not sure I can entirely dismiss him as shallow" but I did inform him that pregnancy messes up a woman's body, especially if she has multiple kids. This might become one of those "I'm older and wiser" sort of things. I also informed him about the sedentary lifestyle of the South (a woman who was riding an Amtrak I was taking to NC summed it up best: "all they do down there is eat & sleep") and said if he wanted to live there, he might want to take that into consideration (meaning he'd better find a good workout regime and ways to be active and monitor his own diet carefully since it'll be much harder to do that there than in a place like NYC). I'm still a stick person by Southern standards & always was according to anyone who knew me in those days. NYC lends itself to far more physical activity and I feel like food here is much more rich so you don't need to eat as much of it in a sitting. You can also find cuisine for the health conscious more easily and some of it is actually pretty good since there are lots of people who've developed it and taken time to craft healthy + tasty recipies. I still have to figure out which Trader Joe's I'll go to and how I'll get some of the food. I wish I could have brought my butter chicken dinners with me but at least I got my orange juice and my veggies in my suitcase & used some of the chocolate in s'mores. Still evaulating what I'm going to do. I feel like the medical checkup blitz & seeing friends will tell me more but I am definitely feeling some comforts of home.

Friday, June 19, 2020

What a Difference a Few Months Make...

So, shortly after I did my last post I quarantined myself in case I'd possibly gotten coronavirus from all my court travels (I had a cold on March 5th). The next week, when I was feeling better, is when NYC went to hell in a handbasket. It actually happened on a Friday the 13th, a day that's usually a very good one for me. Overall, MY day was okay then since I didn't have to go grocery shopping. Later, I learned that during the week of March 9th is when a lot of attorneys were exposed to coronavirus & quite a few caught it. I gave up court assignments, even cancelled a deposition I was supposed to go to the morning I woke up with that cold. Funny thing is that on March 12th in particular, the courtroom of a judge who later died from coronavirus was completely packed. An attorney in that court had complained of the crowding and the judge had told the attorney "if you don't like it, you can leave." Isn't that interesting?

I'm glad I got my last bit of normalcy in seeing my sweetie and going to my friend's birthday party before the month changed to March. He actually warned me that "things are going to get bad in NYC." After the next week started, I restocked food I ate while doing my self-quaratine. Looking back, I feel like maybe I saved myself from getting coronavirus by sitting that week out. Other than getting meats, I was able to get a lot of things I wanted and managed to figure out what I was going to cook during this quarantine. I even got prepared to pay my rent for the next month, thinking I was going to sit this thing out in NYC.

Then my sister called me on March 21st, begging me to get out of NYC and come to NC. I was resistant to this idea since I'm not at my best in NC + I have a bad history with my hometown but my family made valid arguments and things weighed in favor of me going: my mother and BIL both had/still have essential jobs (my mom has 2, in fact), the courts were closed by that point so I had nothing requiring me to stay in NYC, my mom said "we'll feed you" so I didn't have to worry about food or the food costs like I would in NYC, I could go to my youngest niece's first birthday party and see 3 other kids who usually only get to see me at Christmas and Thanksgiving and were excited for me to show up and they have air conditioning, internet, large kitty cats I could cuddle with and I wouldn't be scaring my mother by staying in a room in NYC. Plus, my sister was dealing with having to homeschool 2 kids and watch a baby. I felt like I would be more useful in NC than I would be in NYC. NC also wasn't the virus epicenter and I didn't want my mother to get a stroke or have a heart attack from having to worry about me. Social life also wasn't happening for me in either place and, as I continue to remind myself, NYC isn't NYC right now. I still talk to people who are up there who've told me I don't need to rush back or that I don't want to be there right now or that it's a good thing I got out. I also felt that being in a state that respects 2nd Amendment rights and having access to firearms would also be better than staying in NYC, the land of leftist loons who think crime will be solved with hugs and cookies. Most of the rich people even fled NYC and I heard it said that everybody who had the option to leave NYC left.

To me, choosing to go to NC was very different from the situation in 2014 since this isn't me being a failure but opting to help family & engaging in basic common sense. So I boarded a nearly empty Amtrak train on March 22nd before shelter in place took effect. I did some videos of that experience. Penn Station was a ghost town. I also opted to take a Lyft to the station, wore a mask and got in the back. By the grace of God, I made it to NC, isolated as best I could for 2 weeks and never got sick. So far, all I've had in all this is allergies.

NC is not a mask wearing culture and I have a sister who can't wear them, not even for 30 minutes. I also have noticed mask fatigue setting in around here. One friend recently told me that's also happening in Manhattan. A plus is that NC is in Phase 2 while NYC just got to Phase 1 and is apparently starting Phase 2 soon but I don't know when I'm actually going to need to be back in NYC. Protests around here have also been peaceful instead of looting and violence fests like in NYC and elsewhere.

FYI, I don't do the performative bullcrap and pap gestures that are in vogue at the moment. I've noticed "Black Lives Matter" never includes the lives of black conservatives or black law enforcement officers or black people who aren't seeking special rights or black people who don't cheerlead things like community destruction and violence (say black business owners who've had their businesses destroyed or black employees who've now been forced to apply for unemployment in the face of months of backlog to get money). I also think the people jumping on this bandwagon are full of it since they should have been doing things decades beforehand and we know damn well they'll never actually DO anything. If my former business partner becomes a household name in Hollywood, then I'll take Hollywood seriously when they claim to be giving opportunities to minorities. I also thought to myself when this first started it was a communist takeover attempt and now they seem to be going full fascist. Some predict that after the elections, this will be a mere memory. I say if you think Biden is the truth and the way, you've not been paying attention since Minneapolis is ruled by DEMOCRATS as are many of the major cities. The reality of their lack of care for minorities is staggering and obvious to anybody with functioning brain cells (that leadership is the one who failed George Floyd with letting that cop stay on the force despite numerous complaints against him). Look at rich white liberals trying to push for reverse racism and lecturing about "privilege" to poor people and those who've actually got minority friends and contacts while they pander to black people and think them incapable of advocating for themselves.

As a rule, I have to block anybody who uses the term "white privilege" since that evidences not only complete disrespect to me as a natural redhead (a group STILL being trashed in today's society with no ACLU to advocate for it; do you think "redheaded stepchild" is a compliment????) but disrespect of my lived childhood and experiences which most certainly don't qualify as having "privilege." People who grew up around my neighborhood ended up getting criminal records, became drug users and made all kinds of "bad" choices (most if not all of them were white; the black people I knew from school grew up to be functional members of society and parents taking proper care of their kids -- some even ended up in roles of responsibility including a classmate who's a city councilman in my hometown). Years ago, I learned from my own experience (and had it confirmed in a sociology class) that it's really rich vs. poor. Plus, you're an idiot if you think lectures or threats motivate people to change their hearts or minds. Only real life experiences people have with one another do that. You also can't force people to talk to those outside their bubble or be friends with people they don't want to be friends with. It also doesn't help if the only things people have heard about a group are negative and then a real live member of that group proceeds to live up to all the worst stereotypes about that group. My family's been having those contacts and friends forever (and most of ours were positive so we can separate crappy people from an entire race/ethnic group) so I'll thank some rich white liberal not to lecture me on things they know zero about. That's just as bad as non-lawyers trying to tell me how to practice law.

Everybody's been equal in trying to get PPP loans or unemployment benefits. I had to wait around for that for quite sometime myself in NY (one tip: contact your local reps if you hadn't; my state senator's office was very good in that regard and I made a new contact in a very nice woman who seemed quite dedicated to making sure I'd get my money -- she called me back from home so I can't speak highly enough of my local senator's office). One lawyer I work with said he'd not been able to get PPP funding in the first round since the money was gone so quickly so I'm hoping he got into the second round.

A few other things have been going on: I had to buy summer clothes since I had none with me (why would I when it was 35 degrees when I left NYC & I packed to "stay home" not to go out and impress anyone?). I got a broadcast hosting gig on an online app called Bigo (go check it out), started my own podcast which is for now the same title as this blog (4 episodes so far & plans for at least 1 more). I also got in contact with a legal recruiter and a career coach who are trying to help me get a job in an entertainment company without me having to lie about being a BigLaw devotee or a T1 law graduate. I also happen to refuse to be some leftist toadie when I've actually had the conversations and done things these Judy Come Latelys haven't bothered with and without having to make a conscious effort like they have to (I guess it's the reality of being part of a minority with no tribe to hang out with since you definitely weren't "one of us" with white people if you grew up with red hair in my hometown in the era when Ariel first came out; gee, I'm the only person who looks like me in the room almost all the time even in NYC -- let's also look at how redheads are still stigmatized and treated in many corners in modern times). To me, things aren't worth it when you have to pretend to hold stances you don't or cater to someone else's echo chamber as I never require friends or contacts to agree with me on every single topic known to man (I just insist on factual argument and no personal attacks or expecting me to do YOUR damn homework). I fought that battle when I first joined the legal profession and so many people told me to just be me instead of some frumpy lawyer stereotype. This is no different in my mind.

I just wonder how many people will step up for decency and not equating minority status with God status. If we're doing that, well I'm more qualified for God status than most people since real redheads are a 1-2% global minority. Nobody's going to deny a marriage to 2 black people or 2 Asian people because the staff thinks you're marrying your sibling and assumes you're committing incest. If I walked in with a guy whose hair was bright like mine, I'd absolutely get that hassle since everybody assumes natural redheads are related to each other. We had a neighbor growing up who was also a redhead and people thought he was our little brother. If I don't think I've got God status for being a natural redhead, then nobody else gets to claim that status.

Equality isn't about special rights or freedom from being wrong or freedom from criticism. Equality is about an equal playing field and equal access, not handouts as of right. I say if you want reparations, make George Soros pay them. That way, everybody wins. He's got more than enough, he'd no longer get to fund dissention if he paid them and it's the least he + his ilk could do. We need more Nipsey Hustles in the world (look up what he did for his community before being killed) and prosecution for false 911 calls for black people doing normal stuff like having cookouts or walking down the street not politicians taking knees instead of actually DOING their jobs to help ALL people in their districts (notice it's Democrats who've been peddling handouts for eons instead of self-sufficiency or enough for people to save up and improve themselves in this game we call life).

Yeah, I have lots of reasons I can't relate to SJW lefist snowflakes and don't respect them at all. This blog and I am not for those types. Before all this, I was thinking an exodus from NYC would be in my future. If I don't get a full time job there or work requiring me to be there it just might happen; I've got a 5 year plan. I'm not even sure NYC will be NYC again in the near future and I came to NYC for the old school, ambitious, working your way forward, people of all types coming together in common goals NYC not the whiny snowflake NYC that looks like Mad Max + cares more about statues than improving subway service or encouraging businesses to set up shop and hire locals. I'm glad I get to talk to my sweetie on occasion, that my gay bestie and another gay friend have gotten a federal court win in the change in discrimination laws and both friends and 3 guys have been awaiting my return to NYC (which I'm still not exactly sure when that will be; I'm just making the best of my situation in the meantime and declaring it an extended vacation away from sweaty subway platforms).

One goal I have before I leave is passing Zelda II on NES. I just got to the 4th castle (of 6) and know how to beat the enemy but it's a matter of proper execution. It's definitely not as good a game as the first Zelda but I've figured out tactics. I also reluctantly got some Apple AirPods (they were on sale) but they are useful while I'm down here dealing with family and trying to watch broadcasts on Bigo or play SongPop 2 while my phone is charging. I just tested them out with my iPod and they have a heck of a range with where your item they're connected to is vs. where you go. I was feeling blue earlier but this needed and long overdue post has done me some good. Trying not to feel like I'm horribly lazy when I don't get all the tasks done I set out to do in a day or sleep much later than I normally would if I were working. I wanted a break when I was working so it's like "here you go; now what are you going to do?" I'm also trying to prioritize family time and not being lost in devices.

My final words: stop reading mainstream media and get the heck off Facebook. Focus on your real life connections and family. Look at the advantages you've got in this time and use them.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Uh-Oh, Love Comes to The Angry Redheaded Lawyer's World

Yes, I borrowed that from a Talking Heads song called "Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town". I'm a Talking Heads fan and mastered that category in about 5 seconds in SongPop 2. I really don't care if you call it cliche since I'm a "smart" type and their music is billed as "for smart people."

I've had a lot going on and got news that obliterated any concern or regard for my nasty divorce. Over time, I was starting to feel romantic love towards Mr. Big Stuff. A lot of the tenor of things started to change & more recently he'd invited me to travel with him and visit him in other places. My thought was "I'd travel for a guy who loves me but I don't want to go someplace to find that guy going out on dates with other women or him introducing me to some local ho he's carrying on with like I'm going to share or something." He knows my history and my feelings about such things. I may have lived in NYC long enough to be a native New Yorker but there's still that whole Christian upbringing in my core so I don't do polyamory or sharing with others or playing second fiddle. I either have to be the bottom bitch or there has to be no rank. This guy is someone it's much easier to talk with on the phone than to text with. He might be one of the few Millenials I've met who is good with the in-person interactions and offline conversations.

I was thinking "I do NOT want to fall in love with that guy if he doesn't love me" so I felt I needed to know the answer to the $64,000 question: Do you love me?

The very idea of asking that question was nerve wracking to me. I probably realized I had those deeper feelings over a year ago but I didn't really want to own them until I knew where I stood with him. He's been doing a lot of travel and had to deal with the coronavirus craziness in China though he had no illness, had never been to Wuhan or the Hubei province. The guy had to do self-quarantine for a month in 2 separate countries (2 weeks in China and 2 weeks in the US). After that, he came to visit me. I told him we could go out as much as he wanted since I'd go nuts if I'd had to be confined for that long. Currently, I have to self-quarantine because I have at minimum a cold and want to make sure it's not actually the coronavirus (there are currently 11 cases here & the second confirmed case was a lawyer who works in Midtown East who went about his merry way while having milder symptoms then got hit with it; during that time, he hung out with somebody who works at Kings Civil Court, which had to be sanitized because of this--I've not been to Kings Civil in over a month but still, if you do appearances you're often going to many of the courthouses and who knows what appearance attorneys may have had contact with that employee who then went to other courts?). It's gotten to be a big issue in NYC, a land with lots of people who are on public transit and in a smaller space. This is not good for those living in NYC.

But finally, I had the opportunity to talk to my sweetheart and asked the question. He said "yes."

I was legitimately shocked but maybe I should have known. He made me ask about exclusivity after calling me his girlfriend without notice to me at this event we went to. He also told me he's not a guy who tells you how he's feeling in words but shows you in his actions. His actions have indicated love & sweetness for quite a while in the past few visits we've had and in our interactions (we talk to one another more than we had in the past after making up from a major fight). Friends of ours have heard about the other one. He told me friends of his know who I am and I mentioned that mine also know who he is.

I hadn't thought deeply about the future but I did come to the realization that I could leave NYC and live elsewhere with him if that was something he asked. I've had over 12 years here and would like my own space sometime. My law licenses are transferable to many places and a name kept popping up in my head: John Hughes.

John Hughes is the guy who did "Home Alone", "Sixteen Candles", "Pretty in Pink", "Curly Sue" and many other films. He had a Hollywood career but he didn't live in LA. He lived in Illinois in a suburb of Chicago even during his peak. He still maintained his career despite this and didn't succumb to the leftist nonsense or change who he was.

Considering we have the Internet and so forth today, there's no reason you couldn't still have an entertainment career and an oasis from leftist loons, high taxes and rent that's too damn high. So I felt like "if I get remote gigs and have things rolling in the entertainment world, there's no reason I couldn't move to someplace where I can motion in using my law licenses and still do what I'm doing now." I wouldn't feel like a failure if I didn't live in my hometown, where I have lots of emotional baggage. A new place that lacks such baggage and associations with my family could be doable. Greater distance from crazy relatives could even be advantageous for me and Mr. Big Stuff.

Being someone who vowed she'd die in NYC, this is a huge leap for me. It's me saying "that's something I'd do for love but love wouldn't be the sole reason by a long shot." The reality is I'm not going to live in a place where criminals have more rights than me (see the new bail reform laws) and I don't want to be stuck with no property to call my own in my 60s + have to have roommates. A cheaper cost of living and being able to get my own place would definitely be selling points for me. Places where the values of common sense, personal accountability and respect for laws/other people would also be good to consider. I need to travel more first but since I did traveling in November, I felt like "I could go elsewhere and feel some peace there."

In fact, I saw Mr. Big Stuff and went to my new friend's party last week and forgot all about the start of my transient life in 2014 until days later. This is progress. It also feels good having love with Mr. Big Stuff since he doesn't make me feel suffocated or trapped or like he's just paying me lip service. It's a lot easier since both of us have loved before and it's not like either person is unequal like it was with my ex-husband, who'd loved before me while he was my first true love.

Eventually Mr. Big Stuff & I will be traveling and we both acknowledged that it will be a test of our relationship. Will we pass it? That's a good question. I have no clue.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Making Peace With Valentine's Day and Other Musings

So you may have noticed I've not done a ton of posts lately other than reviews. This time, it's not because of being repressed by the legal system and a jerky ex's legal counsel. This reason is much nicer: I've been out LIVING life. It's really hard to live life and write about it simultaneously. Writing requires reflection, which doesn't really happen when you're out living the experiences you need to reflect on.

I've been doing a lot. I got to go on a cross country road trip with a friend I made in my advanced hosting class. It was long past time for me to take hosting classes and you need a hosting reel to do hosting jobs, hence my taking 2 hosting classes. My advanced class was really tiny, a total of 4 people (including me). Nearly everybody I've met in the industry has said to me "you'd make a great host" and I've even done a paid hosting gig. I also did a hosting audition for a fashion event and was praised for my audition but didn't get to do it at the last second due to mysterious "change of plans" I wasn't told about until I showed up at the event. I also took a personality assessment recently for a job application and got ISTJ-A as my result (which is a "Logistician"); quite informative though I have done things spontaneously and will take calculated risks. Going on this road trip is one such example of me doing something spontaneous. I got invited with shorter notice and looking at my work schedule, decided "Yes, I'll go in the midst of November and forego assignments since I've never been further west than Texas. The pros of getting to know my classmate (one of those local female friends I'd wanted for years & hadn't had any luck getting until more recently), going to LA and passing through Phoenix so I could see my gay bestie and getting to broaden personal horizons) was worth my feeling antsy about getting back on time and concern about paying bills. The weird thing is it didn't knock my finances out of whack, not even a little bit.

This classmate is someone that if you looked at our lives, you'd notice major differences and major similarities all at once. She came from much more money than I did but also had an alcoholic parent, doesn't have extended family she's close with and has also been dealing with divorce. She also made her own way and definitely didn't get wads of money from her family. She's also got more access to legitimate contacts and knows where the cool kids hang out; life ended up making her fall behind in our class but she, like me, believes God puts people into your life for a reason & I feel like she might be a good counterbalance to my lawyer style rigidity. She said I'm probably good for her since I'm really assertive, organized and will do what I say I will. I have some empathy from my own divorce experience and I didn't feel she was making that offer to patronize or attach strings; in college, I learned that sometimes you should let people do nice things for you and we got to travel in a style I've never gotten to in my entire life and would only be able to dream of at present. I also never actually got a vacation after my ex threw me out and everything happened. She didn't make me feel like she was trying to be Superman or control my life. That never happens with people I don't know well (bear in mind this was our first out of town outing).

As I've said of long road trips, you'll either be bonded for life when you're done or you'll never want to see the other person ever again. Fortunately, we ended up bonded and I got invited to do international travel. She is more spontaneous, more outgoing, more experienced at travel and I think has less cynicism than I do; she wants to go back to the West Coast when her kids get to college. She'd probably call herself more of an archetypal California girl while I'm definitely an archetypal New Yorker (Southern roots notwithstanding). Kind of writes itself, doesn't it? I felt like I was Felix Unger or Larry Appleton for parts of that trip (the character who's more rigid, fearful of the unknown and so forth). Plus, she's got the looks and male attention + intelligence so there's none of that jealousy aimed at me. She also had the same complaint I have about the South and elucidated it even better than I did. I think of her like a cool sister or BFF who's more worldly in some ways but has never been patronizing about it since we're in agreement on a lot of things.

Mr. Big Stuff and I have also been talking way more often. He's coming to visit soon after he's got no more risk of icky corona virus germs (he's over a week into the mandatory self-quarantine though he never went to Wuhan or the Hubei Province). He also spoke of a possible future road trip and he knows I'd go on one with him. That'd be another test. He'd previously told me about where he's going to be spending a lot of time in the US and says to me "It'd be good for you to get out of NY for a while."

So that's led to a lot of questions on my part, as I'm sure most women would have: Do you love me? Where am I staying (I've usually hosted him when he visited here and he hosted me when he had a place to stay while doing a job here where he got accommodations at Columbia University)? Are you paying for me? Where do I stand with you? This is a guy I dated exclusively for a time when he lived here but life took him out of NYC and when he visits, I always see him since neither of us are exclusive with anyone else (when I thought he'd gotten an exclusive girlfriend without telling me, we got into a major fight where I told him to fuck off, he was dead to me and blocked him everywhere; he is the one who made the effort to contact me + apologized to me for that fight and saying we'd never been serious when we were together & this is a guy who never apologizes for things). We have discussed resuming our old exclusivity if we ended up living in the same area. He knows where the door is if he wants to take up with some other bitch & he is the one who chose to come back.

I straight up told him I'd travel to see a guy who loves me but I'm not going to pack things, pay money/lose money to then find him going out on dates or introducing me to some local ho like I'm supposed to be okay with that. Two can play that game & if he views me as "the NYC girl" it's wasting my time to invite me elsewhere if he doesn't feel anything real or sincere or has any future with me in mind. His actions have shown seriousness on his part, even more recently. I even said he acted like a guy who loved me and he didn't say "I don't love you." He didn't say "I love you" either, though. He knows I've got lots of blocks around that phrase in a romantic context & it would devastate me to say that to somebody first and not hear it back or even hear "I don't feel that way about you." In his case, I'd really feel robbed and deceived & he knows my history around it. Asking someone who's only loved one person in her entire life who then ended up betraying her in one of the worst ways to say "I love you" first is a huge ask. This is also a man who practically forced me to ask him about exclusivity after he called me his girlfriend (without advance notice) when we went to a formal event together. He told me we weren't exclusive because I'd never asked him so I decided I'd ask him, though I prefaced it with "you know I fear rejection but I'm going to ask you anyway." Something tells me he'll force me into any admissions of love. I never even said "I love you" first with my ex & I'm not a person who likes being vulnerable. I just feel like at this point, the evidence I've seen of his behavior towards me outweighs the risk of rejection. He has told me he wasn't just killing time with me until some mythical better girl shows up. He apparently also thought I'd go off and find some other guy then forget about him.

So this brings me to Valentine's Day, a day that lived in infamy for me for many years. Getting divorced years back also didn't make Valentine's Day a holiday with great associations for me. During that year, my then husband went off with his homie (a male coworker at his job who was a custodian, the job he held in the past & was also into the comics/sci-fi/gaming stuff that I wasn't) and said "I don't have a Valentine" while I was in the apartment. I stayed in, watched the movie I typically watch to commemorate it and ate alone. I've done this single person's ritual every year I was single and when I wasn't single or got invited on a date, I was out with a guy. Last year, I was on a date with a guy I met at a single's event I went to on my birthday proper. The year before, I got some boneless wings and fries at Wing Stop, had chocolate covered strawberries I'd ordered online and watched the movie I typically watch on Valentine's Day ("No One Would Tell" with Candace Cameron Bure & Fred Savage; look it up).

Today, I haven't felt a need to do a single person's ritual. My stomach feels crappy due to girl trouble but it's not that. It's not even the blistering cold outside. It just doesn't feel necessary for me to commemorate it at this point. Not sure why. Friends had talked to me about wanting to hang out but I feel cruddy so I'd just as soon stay inside and make myself something meaty (probably some turkey meat sliders since I need to eat something with meat in it) then take a shower and watch "Unsolved Mysteries." I heard a couple stories on there about people being murdered on Valentine's Day.

At least that hasn't happened, right? Maybe I just feel loved every other day of the year and have felt that more often in recent times so I don't see a need to "treat yo self" or make a big thing of it. Mr. Big Stuff doesn't acknowledge holidays or even his own birthday so he'd probably be happy to be with someone like me who doesn't have crazy Valentine's Day asks (if you take me to a nice dinner and get me something with good chocolate, I'm happy though I won't turn down roses or nice jewelry or stuffed animals and the like; plus I like getting laid so it's not like that's the only time a guy who was with me would get to do THAT). That's not most women considering Valentine's Day is usually designed to make them feel like shit if they're single. I really felt that in NC and dealing with my family but it's much easier in a major city, especially NYC since there are lots of single people here. You can go to singles parties, hang out with friends, be far away from the pressures and obligations Valentine's Day imposes on people. You won't be the only person in the office who didn't get roses or you could just order yourself roses and it's all good. Self love is important as well so I suppose I'm reframing today as about self love & being grateful I'm not in a bad relationship, have good friends, am getting my financial house in order (even delving into the world of investment), and according to one friend "lead a glamorous life." Plus, I've got more possibilities and opportunities ahead of me on so many fronts that I'm starting to see.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: “A Cocktail Party Social Experiment” by Wil Petre at Chelsea Music Hall

The concept of “A Cocktail Party Social Experiment” is to forge real time connection with your fellow party goers. Smartphones were strictly prohibited at this event (no silent mode or airplane mode!!). However, if you are a non-drinker like me you did have the option of something non-alcoholic. In my case, I chose seltzer with lime. The seltzer was definitely fizzy, probably more fizzy than I typically get it. That put a smile on my face.

For those unfamiliar with Chelsea Music Hall, it's a venue tucked in plain sight right near the Chelsea Market and other more familiar haunts in the Meatpacking District. I was directed to the basement (which, even if you wanted to have an Internet connection to use your smartphone you likely wouldn't be getting). Being an introvert, it's probably interesting + ironic that I chose this event to review (though I'd have to correct you & explain than I'm an ambivert, which means if you talk to me I'll have a conversation with you and not be an ass unless you behave like one towards me). My ambivert self was definitely wondering at first whether this would be my scene since I came alone with no crowd & even smiling at random people tends to lead them to conclusions I'd rather they not assume (I'm out of THAT phase of my divorce & even when I was in it, I had standards). Call it a combo of the New Yorker in me and the massive crowd. I liked the jazz feel of the venue as well as the rows of lights on the ceiling and the pushed out look of that ceiling. There were also some repeat attendees at this event, which at first I found odd until we went through it.

Before the show, you have the option of putting your name in a bucket (perhaps the one I saw labeled “test subjects”?) to be drawn at random. If your name comes up, you are invited to the cocktail party. This party takes place on the stage where our host and creator of the event, Wil Petre guides the action along with various organizers in lab coats. There was also a random question asked in paper form to audience members: What is the thing you dread or are most excited about concerning the holidays? (I'm paraphrasing this). I saw people write their responses then stick them in a bucket labeled “samples” so I followed suit.

Wil & His Lovely Assistant - Photo by Karen May

So once our guests were established, (though one was a late comer; there's always one in every group) the game began. For you old school folk, they had an overhead projector to display where we were in this event and what cards were selected. The way this works is there's a host who picks someone to draw cards. Our “guest of honor” draws a large card and a small card.

Cards - Photo by Karen May

The images on the cards chosen are displayed on this overhead projector (seeing it made me think of this elementary school classmate who lived in my neighborhood & was known as the local ruffian but never bothered me; he said every time our teacher used the overhead, he'd get sleepy).

Wil & the Overhead Projector - Photo by Karen May

The host has a book that decodes what these cards mean. Based on what the cards mean, the host asks our guest of honor a question. Here are the questions that came up at this event:

1. What is your body capable of?

2. If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?

3. In what way could a stranger think you're mysterious?

4. Who is gone but not forgotten?

5. Do your relationships define who you are? Why or why not?

6. From what have you been tempted to throw up your hands & walk away?

7. For what in your life do you feel the most grateful?

8. Of what could you say you're a master of?

Deep stuff, right? The first question got a laugh and if you don't know why, you definitely don't belong at this event because you're either too young or too dim (I wouldn't bring my young kids though if the venue didn't serve alcohol, older teens might be okay). The guest of honor is also given the beverage of their heart's desire before being called to answer.

So after the guest of honor answers the question, that individual picks another “guest of honor” who goes through the same process. The person who invited me to this event actually was one of the guests of honor and I learned something about her that it turns out might become relevant to my professional endeavors. The story she told was definitely one that connected with the audience.

However, the answers to these questions went in all kinds of directions. From humor to sadness to social justice matters and insight you might not necessarily pick up just walking along in your day to day life. One guy who was picked said that he was an introvert and shy about such matters but had put his name into the bucket thinking he'd not get picked and due to peer pressure from friends.

This game actually reminded me of Cards Against Humanity (which I didn't get in the divorce & I debated on picking up a year ago when I saw a starter pack on sale at Target). If you've not played that, you should if you're old enough; it's not a game for the easily offended or the younger set.

Knowing the history of how Cards Against Humanity came to be (my ex actually got some of the online exclusive packs), I wondered if this has been mass marketed. The host told us that they're working on this. I could definitely see this being a game lawyers could enjoy, the intellectuals that we are.

However, since you can't play at home yet you do get the option to see this show in person and gain insight on your fellow audience members along with their life experiences. It would be interesting to see how this might play out in areas outside of Chelsea, Manhattan. What about the Midwest or the South or some area where there is less variation on national origin, life experience and the like? I still think even in those atmospheres you'd gain some insight and perspective that you didn't previously have. These are the kinds of events and games where you get to know someone and certainly in a more meaningful way than you do on the Internet or through Facebook/Instagram/other social media networks people are using. I also like that this isn't a game where you have to be an expert in something to have any fun or gain any value from it. When people were more short with their answers or had less to say, fellow guests would probe further and follow up on what they said so if you were more quiet you'd definitely not get lost in the blur of extroverts and loudness that typically happen.

If you're tired of the lack of human connection, you really need to check out this show. Perhaps you can help make this game happen so the masses can be amused and informed, another Cards Against Humanity if you will.

The Cocktail Party Experiment in Progress - Photo by Karen May

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "Singin' in the ER!" by Ruby Lynn Reyner at Theater for the New City

First off, please don't bring your young kids to this. Seriously, DO NOT BRING YOUR KIDS!!!!! Unless maybe you're comfortable discussing sexually charged topics or you'd like to explain to your young one just how Herve got up there, don't bring minor children. This show is not for small kids or your puritanical family members (like my mother, though she surprises me sometimes). It IS, however, for those with a punk sensibility and a wicked sense of humor as this show is chocked full of that along with cleverness. I came with a friend of mine who's also a blogger & likes theater. Make sure you go check out her blog.

Our story follows the goings on at St. Vickies, the hospital where maybe you'll be in tiptop shape again in no time. But do you REALLY want to be? After all, Dr. Shlong (Levi Wise) is the man with the healing hands and the bedroom eyes. Amanda Reckonwith (Ruby Lynn Reyner, who's also the director and writer of this tale) would certainly agree as a former Broadway star who's had her fair share of men and good times. She comes to St. Vickies with a few aliments, including a serious pain in her lady areas. With some dedicated medical attention, Dr. Shlong finds none other than Herve Villechaize of “Fantasy Island” fame. Even Amanda doesn't know how he got there but he's conflicted between his freedom and the comfort of Amanda's warm nether regions.

L-R: Mila Levine, Robin Brenner,Xan Aspero, Levi Wise. Behind: musician Mary E. Rodriguez

Ruby Lynn Reyner as Amanda Reckonwith

Amanda Reckonwith gives birth. L-R: Levi Wise, Ruby Lynn Reyner, Xan Aspero

Nurse Dynel (Robin Brenner) was absolutely awesome as she says the things you figure most nurses want to say in real life but know they can't. She is not a woman who is kind to the patients, especially Scabby (Richard Craven) the junkie who seems to have taken up de facto residence at the hospital and Amanda who she claims is only there to see Dr. Shlong for her own extracurricular purposes. Like in real life, it's Nurse Dynel who's really running the show as she informs Dr. Shlong that she'll have to inform his wife about his dalliances if he doesn't play ball.

Robin Brenner, Richard Craven

Levi Wise, Robin Brenner

There's also Jennifer Berkowitz (Joyce Miller), the dedicated social worker who decides to turn over a new leaf after meeting with Scabby (or “Skuh-bee” as she calls him) and Dr. Doomskya (Laura Pruden) who had the coolest costuming with IV tubes in her hair as pins. Don't dare call Dr. Doomskya “Mrs. Kevorkian” even if that's literally her function at the hospital. Nurse Dynel will also let you know that “die” and “crazy” are also forbidden terms at St. Vickies. There's also some additional craziness but let's leave a few surprises, shall we?

Richard Craven, Joyce Miller

Laura Pruden

The d├ęcor for this show was awesome. I loved the blood splattered on the wall & the IV in Dr. Doomskya's hair. The nurse narrator (Sara Cook) was great with exposition and seemed a great contrast to the commanding presence of Nurse Dynel. She seemed like the nurse you'd hope to get if you were at St. Vickies. You also must hear the songs in person, especially “Biggest Balls” and the title song “Singin' in the ER.”

Sara Cook. Behind: musician Mary E. Rodriguez

I went into this as someone who's spent some time in hospitals, more recently when my father was unconscious then unplugged from life support and to visit a friend undergoing treatment for gastrointestinal matters. They aren't the most fun places and I've heard great tales of the gallows humor permeating in the medical profession. Since humor is the best way to cope with tragedy in my book, this show was certainly intriguing to me. It actually went to an entirely new level of humor I didn't quite expect. My friend, who I'd learned that evening had worked in a hospital before, also got a kick out of this show. It definitely fits into that old school NYC sensibility so if you've been missing that, go see this one ASAP.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Jury Duty: Why People Hate Doing It & How We Can Fix It

Recently, I was called to jury duty. I ended up getting it postponed since I had things to do in the next 3 days. For those of you outside the US, the US has mandatory jury service for citizens and you generally get called for it at random. You only have to do it something like every 6 years but if you're called, you must go & nobody is exempt from it.

It seems a very desirable county in my city has a dark side: if you're called to jury duty you're told to allot at least 3 days of your life to do it at the whopping rate of $40 a day for a full 8 hour day. This is lower than both the state and federal minimum wage. There also seems to be no concern for economic hardship if you are self-employed & missing higher paying assignments means you could be in danger of not being able to pay your rent, utility bills, car payments, other necessary bills that not paying will cause your life to suffer in a very negative way (like being homeless, not having electricity or Internet access, not having a car in a locale where there's no viable public transit which means you'll eventually lose your job because you can't get there or do it, especially with no Internet, no telephone to call anyone or be reached at, no food, etc.).

When I did jury duty in a different county, I only had to be there for one day. It was a lot of waiting around, they called me for a case, excused me then I got to go home. No, in this "desirable" county there's a ballot system where if you are rejected for one case, you have to give your ballot back and they may draw your number AGAIN with seemingly no end in sight. I opted for an adjournment since I had planned assignments and didn't care to lose $500+ in not doing those assignments. I figure with prior planning, I can just clear my schedule and let people know I'm free the day before if things don't take as long as the clerks involved with jury duty tell you they will. The clerk where I was said "If you can't commit the whole day to the next 3 days, you should leave right now and get a postponement." I opted for a time where I might get fewer assignments & hopefully will face less stress.

One big thing about jury duty is you'd better bring something to do. Ideally you'll want something not involving electricity or technology like books or writing material. I'd thought of doing writing while I was in jury duty as well as doing legal CLEs; hey, if you have time to kill you may as well do legal CLEs (which I have never found exciting or interesting; maybe it's because most of the programs I've done had nothing to do with entertainment law & few speakers have an engaging, passionate style that makes you stand up and take notice). From my own conversations with lawyers, many aren't enthused with the whole CLE thing and view it more as taking medicine than learning useful things about their particular practice area. Saving the outlines and materials is always a good thing so you have those resources for later if the subject matter comes up but most lawyers are so freaking busy they don't have time to watch and pay full attention to this stuff. The CLE provider probably also factors in here since some offer more interesting courses than others. One lawyer I've heard about bills himself as a "comedian of law" & that just builds up expectations of fun in my mind. I want to see if this guy lives up to the hype sometime. Another thing about CLE courses is that many are pricey. But it's a requirement and if you HAVE to be someplace anyway, that's making productive use of your time. I've also watched some courses while taking Amtrak to see my family (a train ride lasting at least 10 hours, usually longer when there are delays). This aspect you can plan for.

I guess if you're also inclined, you could use jury duty as a pickup scene & get to know hot prospective jurors who also want to leave & can think of better things they could be doing. Why not, right? That's better than harassing women on Facebook or LinkedIn under the guise of business networking. There were some hotties when I went; maybe there will be more next time & some will have the balls to approach me. I always like to see about prospective networking as well so if that can happen, what the hey? Another productive use of time.

But let's see: Why would you want me to be on your jury when my presence is NOT being compensated by my employer (as I'm self-employed) & I'm worrying about the loss of income from being there? What type of objectivity or any sense of fairness are you going to get from a juror who resents the state stealing their income by forcing them to work for below city, state and federal minimum wage? Attorneys used to be exempt from jury duty by virtue of being attorneys. This apparently is no longer the case yet attorneys make significantly more money, know how trials work and could easily sway non-attorneys on that jury to agree with them if they have some bias against the accused or the prosecution. I was hoping maybe me knowing a lot of attorneys in my city could get me kicked out since you can't be on the jury of a lawyer you know personally (the other side would assume you're going to side with your friend's client or if it's an enemy, your enemy will presume you're going to nail their client). Solo practitioners are being taken away from clients & not getting compensated by anybody else so why shouldn't they be exempt? Same for appearance attorneys like yours truly. Entire practices could crumble from such requirements. Isn't that screwing over other people who might have cases going to jury trials?

Honestly, though I think you'd get fewer people objecting if they were paid at least minimum wage for the city, state or country. If someone isn't being compensated by an employer, they would not have to worry they'd lose their home or ability to work due to jury service. Minimum wage at least would make people feel less resentful about serving & you wouldn't have people doing what Pauly Shore's character did in "Jury Duty" (see that movie if you haven't; I was so happy one of my Facebook friends actually knew that movie when I mentioned it since it's somewhat obscure and many people don't get my obscure references). Money for lunch would also be nice. Weirdly, I'm not even sure what's in the area of the courthouse where I have to serve. I know it for the county I served in before.

I've heard some great lines to use to get out of jury duty as well that I could consider but for now, these are my ideas for why people don't like doing it and how we could fix that.

Monday, September 2, 2019

A Basic Lesson in Entertainment Networking with a "Gorgeous" Entertainment Attorney (Or Really, Any Professional)

If you haven't faced this problem as a woman, consider yourself damn lucky or extremely ugly.

What problem am I speaking of? Business networking or attempting to meet people in your industry. This little problem is worse if you're A) society's definition of "smoking hot" and/or B) work in an industry known for its casual, laid back atmosphere such as entertainment.

The entertainment field is one of those places where you either fit in like a glove or you're a square peg in a round hole. One hazard of entertainment, as many of us are certainly aware, is being hit on. Typically this is men hitting on women, particularly attractive women. It's very common for actresses and models but it can also happen if you work in other jobs like as a producer, an assistant and even if you're an entertainment attorney. Women probably do it as well but that's a topic for the straight men and the lesbians to weigh in on; the straight rolls off me like a stench so women don't hit on me.

Now when you're an entertainment attorney & experience this, it's just completely fucked up. I mean, the word "lawyer" inspires shock and terror and respect among many an entertainment professional. They figure the lawyer is going to mess them up in some fashion or destroy their enemies in some epic manner to where they'll think they've been castrated, suffered a massive blow to the head, had an orgasm that blew their brain right out of their head, SOMETHING scary, epic, intense, life changing and usually terrible. Smart people don't fuck around with lawyers or people who have them. Many still tell me that lawyers are a figure that inspire respect, awe and the like among creatives though many distrust and dislike them by the nature of that job. I think many also feel lawyers are cold, don't understand the art/craft part of the industry and will walk right past some shivering, starving family on the street without a wit of concern for their welfare.

When you're an actress/model or work in some other job where being pretty is required, this is simply an occupational hazard. Most people who do those jobs encounter plenty of this in their real lives as well no matter what they wear, how neatly their hair is brushed, even if they've gotten enough sleep the night before. I've gone out in my worst and STILL gotten hit on by guys. I remember this even happening when I was a teenager though my mother was super strict and glared at guys who checked me out, I couldn't buy a date in high school (I've since learned my male peers were likely too intimated by my looks and my brain, a hazard I still live to this day) & it's almost never the guys I WANT approaching me.

But while you expect this generally if you're an actress or model, you don't expect this to come up in places like the classroom or on job searching sites like LinkedIn. You don't expect it in the context of business networking events or when you're responding to friend requests from people who work in the same industry as you or when you're at work in your career.

Ever hear of the saying "Don't shit where you eat?" This means, don't have beyond platonic relationships with people who work in your industry. Do you want to be known as the actress who only got a role in a film because you were fucking the director? Do you want to be the model who's only walking in the show because you slept with the photographer or producer? How about the attorney who only got the client because you were dating him?

The mere appearance of having gotten something because of a personal relationship is bad enough. The inevitable gossip and breakup aftermath are even worse.

So, for the men here's why you DON'T hit on women in a business context or if you work in the same industry as her:

1. Nobody of worth wants to be known as a casting couch ho. People don't think kindly of casting couch hoes. They are a scourge on the industry, diminish those with actual talent & prevent anyone from honestly getting ahead since everyone receives the message "you won't get anywhere here no matter how good you are at your job if you don't fuck me." I & others of like mind see this and think "what's the fucking point of dealing with you since you're an obstruction to my progress?"

2. Have you been asleep for the Harvey Weinstein scandal? Or other sexual harassment scandals? If some woman isn't interested or loses interest, she can easily accuse you of trying to use your industry power to fuck with her career or imply that you said a breakup or rejection would result in her not getting roles or even getting blacklisted.

3. Do you like having your sex life and proclivities being public knowledge & a topic of gossip? I don't. Most women tend to get bashed in those sessions and viewed as whores. It doesn't lead to women being respected or valued for their brain cells or their abilities outside of a sexual context.

4. Do you stay friends with all your exes? Or are all of your exes dead to you, like mine are? I don't want to see, hear about or know my exes. I prefer to think they're dead or in some other universe far away from me. Dating in your industry means if you break up, you'll probably have to see that person again or deal with them in a business context.

Can you be professional in that instance? Most people can't. I would rather not put myself in that situation in the first place. I don't care to get fucked over by an angry ex or see someone who refuses to leave me alone to live my life without them.

5. In the case of an attorney, you're implying that woman has to sleep with clients to get their business since she's otherwise too inept to get or keep clients with her personality or her brain or her legal skills. In other words, you're calling her stupid & incompetent. Attorneys REALLY don't like being called stupid or treated as though they are stupid.

Perhaps you're also insulting actresses and models here by implying that they're not good enough on their own merits to get ahead and have to fuck you to get work. Some may do it but I think anyone of worth or talent would refuse to play that game.

Here's another free piece of advice: stop bitching at women who call you out when you've sent a flirtatious message just like every other cretin who's not approached them in a professional manner.

I've had a few guys get pissy at me when I told them straight up that if they have a romantic intention towards me, I'm not interested or that they can go to my Facebook fan page if they want to just see the pretty pictures. Just this evening, I had one send me a friend request who I'd wondered if he also worked in the industry being Facebook friends with numerous friends I know who work in the business.

His first message to me is telling me how he thinks my pics are "cute, sassy & yes sexy!" then inviting me to check out his profile, saying we might have things in common & inviting me to "chat sometime."

Seeing as this is someone I see no information on and know nothing about, I state that if he's only sent me this friend request to proposition me romantically that doesn't work for me and I'd wanted to know if he worked in my industry as I see all our mutual contacts are from that field. I also mention that I've got a fan page specifically for people just seeking pretty pics instead of reading my views on various issues (I don't fit inside a neat little box and lots of people get pissy at things I have to say on topics they may not agree with me on).

I figure I'll get a normal, sane response giving me answers and determining if this is some leftist lunatic who's going to try censoring me on my own page (since I believe in taking preemptive measures to avoid hassles whenever you can). Instead I get a snarky response like I'm supposed to know who he is (I don't & still don't; this is not some guy with a household name and even if he were, that wouldn't impress me since I'm not some ho who drops her drawers without talking to a guy and seeing if I at least like his personality).

I respond stating the role of an entertainment attorney isn't to kiss your ass, suck your dick or stroke your ego & the lunacy of expecting not only an entertainment attorney but a natural redhead to do that. I concluded with "How about NOT insulting my intelligence? Thanks."

When a guy gets defensive and snarky in response to a message like the one I wrote, I conclude he's nothing but a cretin with no pure intention in speaking to me. I don't think "Oh, I'm such an awful person" since I'm polite & professional while saying IF your intention is romantic, I'm not interested. Plenty of people who did have romantic intentions didn't act like toddlers when I wrote such a message and replied in a respectful manner. Plenty of guys respect my right to have preferences that don't include them as well as my right not to want to be seen as some casting couch ho.

Guys, if you think some woman is attractive don't make that your lead in conversation. Attractive women in particular will be on guard for that and they'll think you're just another cretin wasting their time. We have online dating apps and Instagram for romantic overtures so go there if you want to do that. Just remember that if you work in the same field and could be in a supervisory or decision making role over someone or could be their client, you're probably not getting considered & will offend the person in question.

You can ask NICELY, PROFESSIONALLY and POLITELY in the context of Instagram or an online dating app since people expect that to be your purpose on those sites & generally don't do business networking there but you need to actually talk to that woman as a human being with functioning brain cells and see if you like her conversation before you spring that on her. A lawyer asking me out on one of those sites is different from one asking me out during a work assignment or on LinkedIn. One lawyer simply handed me his business card with his number written down on it, which I thought was a classy & acceptable way of making that intent known without putting me on the spot at work (he also wasn't my adversary on a case).

I never experienced this shit in my academic career as a student in college or law school & I probably would have felt even less flattered in those situations. Clearly some guys who work in entertainment will never make competent law professors. My father would have killed some professors who tried that, I'm quite certain.

I feel like we should not have to have to vocalize this lesson. Why isn't the #metoo movement addressing it but instead demonizing ALL men & making them not want to mentor or hire women? I don't think all men are evil and I'm no delicate flower but some seem not to think about the perspective of the woman reading this stuff or what her perception of the author is. Are they fucking stupid? Over sexed? Suffering from delusions of hotness? What's the deal?

And for fucks sake, if you're going to approach a woman at least live in the same fucking STATE!!! If you don't live in the same geographic area as me or regularly come to my region (at least weekly), then you are wasting my time. I already have a long distance sort of boyfriend & he's probably much better looking than you are, not to mention he was there in the hard times so I know he can be trusted while I don't know shit about you.

I also don't waste my time on men who make my ex-husband look like Brad Pitt in terms of looks or money so know your audience before you send such messages!! Models are not going out with dudes who don't even rank on the average scale in looks unless they've got tons of money they'll be spending on them. If you hate that reality, I suggest you go fix yourself in looks or in job prospects or attitude. Don't come bitching to me or anyone outside of a qualified therapist about your unrealistic expectations. You're not entitled to anyone, period. Women have free will & the right to make their own decisions on such matters; if you have a problem with that, move to a foreign country where women are second class citizens and go date women who live there. Women in the US aren't putting up with that shit.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Hello, Time Wasting Prick

I think this is how I'm going to start messages guys send me on any kind of platform or how I greet guys who've made it clear they've got interest in me since it seems to be such a fragile thing. Double for guys who I wouldn't normally consider who've made that effort to approach me. There's a reason for this:

Last week, I get a message from a guy on Instagram. I don't do dating apps these days and don't really spend time trying to do the guy pursuit since I'm out of that phase, would rather focus on my career stuff and really need to be getting back to writing about my experiences and using those to create art. Also, like many people, I find dating way too stressful with too much time wasting and game playing. I've been through a divorce, lost a parent and lived as a transient. You don't treat someone who's lived that stuff like they're some naive idiot who's lived nothing.

I thought maybe this was some guy I had a date with eons back who faded away and then showed up again. That happens to me a lot, from guys I met in Phase 1 to guys I met later on when I still bothered with dating apps. Some have managed to linger around an obscene amount of time. They're not actual exes since we never really dated.

I only have one guy I truly chose exclusivity with since my ex-husband (Mr. Big Stuff) and he's not in NYC at the moment; if he did something awful, he'd actually become an ex since that connection is far more meaningful to me & if he lived here again, I'd be fine with resuming our old relationship. It's unfinished business.

This guy, however, was someone I met in a work context. He lauds how smart I am and how he likes my writing style. Okay...

So he asks me about getting coffee and talking. I'm like "okay, but I insist on exchanging cell numbers since I've had dates fall apart because I couldn't get to the messaging platform from lack of Internet connection." We do this, he asks me complex questions that I answer with proper clarity & length. He makes a whole big thing about wanting to hang out with me & so forth. We make plans for Monday.

Monday afternoon comes & I get a text from him saying he's going to see about working things out with his ex, who's just contacted him. He tells me "I want to be friends" and "thanks for understanding" without a word from me. Oh, and ditches me on these plans after I've made arrangements to get my laundry picked up the next evening so I'd be free that night. I told him of this and said beforehand that if he bailed, I'd be irate (you would be too if you were running out of clean undies).

I promptly get my pickup changed for that evening, inform him of the fact that I'm from the "exes are dead to me" school, tell him precisely what my ex-husband did and why it's more likely I'd get a sex change than ever be friends with that jerk and that my friends take me out, don't ditch me, including one who has a jealous girlfriend & works in the same field we do and would never let their girlfriends dictate who they talk to or spend time with. I'm envisioning a conversation and see no reason this guy can't do that if he's indeed as interested as he claims to be. I also say "see why my sort of boyfriend (Mr. Big Stuff) is up here and everyone else is down there?" after telling him just why that guy became my first exclusive boyfriend by choice and how he made amends to me after doing me wrong, me calling him out, blocking him and saying "fuck you." Most men wouldn't bother talking to that woman again or apologizing to her (especially someone you know never apologizes for anything) so I felt like he must actually care about me if he went to all that trouble & didn't get scared after I told him off.

24 hours later as jerk from Instagram hasn't responded to my points, I leave a voicemail telling him to do me a favor and pretend he doesn't know me if he sees me in a work context then block him from all sources. I notice that he unfollowed me on Instagram before I made this call and figured I'd block him.

That friend with the jealous girlfriend told me he thinks this guy actually has a girlfriend and made shit up because he got caught or got remorse.

This comes after a guy I'd been talking to for ages flakes on me for a basic lunch plan while we're both in the same area. I blocked him from everything as well since this was strike two and though he may not have malice, he doesn't have my best interests at heart and I feel that's a boundary I need to set or he'll never learn. People learn how to treat you based on the boundaries you set. If you just complain and take no action, people learn that your words are meaningless.

Go nuclear or go home, right?

So I'm thinking to myself "How do I prevent this shit in the future, aside from telling guys I hate liars (as I did specifically tell this one)?" Telling any guy who might be remotely suitable that I'll assume he's a time wasting prick until he proves otherwise could be effective. The kind of guy I'd consider would find my greeting a challenge or hysterical. I don't like guys with no sense of humor and I hate guys who are bigger wimps than me. Beta males are so not my interest.

This guy also made the mistake of telling me how I felt and what he was in my life. Nope!!! You don't tell ME who you are to me or how I feel. Ever. I told him this as well and that only I get to decide if you're my friend and how I feel about something.

I was not understanding since A) I don't do being ditched, B) I don't do bullshit platitudes like "we'll be friends" with no opportunity to discuss it (contrary to any "friend" behavior) and C) I'm not some ordinary woman who's dumb as a post. You'll respect my intelligence and be straight with me. If you're just wasting my time, I'll have more respect for you if you just admit it.

If you're not interested, you're better off just telling me since I might still think you're a loser but I won't think you're also a disrespectful asshole (or "a rat" or "a super rat" if you wish to use Holy Golightly speak if you've seen "Breakfast at Tiffany's"; I just watched that movie again today). At one time, my life was a cross between "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Midnight Cowboy". If you're a straight guy, I can forgive you not seeing "Breakfast at Tiffany's" but you'd better be seeing "Midnight Cowboy" if you haven't already; it's a classic though it's extremely depressing.

Women who've been through the things I have deserve respect for our intelligence & not a furthering of our cynicism and trust issues. You want to bitch about why some woman doesn't instantly trust you or take your word on things? Maybe you should look at your own behavior and ask yourself how you'd like it if someone did that to YOU. What if I insulted your intelligence and lied to you about wanting to be your friend? I don't give out platitudes and make claims I have no intention of living up to. When you're all talk & no action, I can't trust you; if you prove that your talk actually means something, then I'll listen to you but when you haven't proven it?!?!? Please!!

I'm the woman who told particular dudes she was using them for sex during Phase 1 when she was indeed doing that. It didn't feel right to me to not say something about that. The odd thing was men would usually be okay with it, even saying "can we do it again?" It was weird since I'd be pissed at some guy doing that to me. My goals and focus are different these days. I never led anybody on and if someone didn't feel content just being my friend, I didn't give them false hope. This wasn't every guy since there are some I would have gone out with in my normal life.

Another major issue that comes up with respect to me (and those of you who aren't super attractive + super smart should take note): I "intimidate" guys because of being a model AND having 2 law licenses among the other things I've done or plan to do in life. You can get rejected for being "too good" since lots of guys are insecure. If you're doing something "great" or "interesting" in life, you very well can end up being alone since no guy has the balls to step to you or stick with you. Mr. Big Stuff might be the only guy I've dealt with who didn't try making me feel like shit for having things or resent me for it; he's got no reason to feel threatened by me or like he's some inferior around me.

Lots of guys who also shouldn't feel that way apparently haven't owned themselves; the guy I blocked who has issues is a former model & I mean did this for professional pay. He told me he was intimidated around me & I'm like "You're intimidated by little old me?! I was considered ugly in high school & couldn't buy a date; I was this quiet smart kid. A guy chose to leave me." Granted, my ex-husband was not a real prize in the end but that's neither here nor there. I couldn't believe it. He flakes on me for lunch claiming he's not up to "a date." Meanwhile, I'm viewing this as a casual outing with a friend. I don't wear lawyer clothes for dates.

This guy also hadn't proven himself worthwhile for my consideration in that regard based on his flakiness & not having his life shit together. I felt maybe he could be my friend and might eventually get that shit worked out so I could reconsider but ditching me is not what a friend does, especially on a hot day where I put paper towels in my clothes to do my court assignments and handle my tasks for the day.

You can also fall into a weird little space where you're considered great at all this stuff but you're not into guys who think they can buy you and treat you like a piece of property so you're on your own to make your way in life with nobody unless you settle & run into the same "you're intimidating" problem. I don't do open relationships and I actually rejected a guy who tried offering me that proposition. I wasn't flattered, I was insulted; I wondered if this guy had mistaken me for a prostitute. Go ahead and do you but don't expect me to be content with being inferior or sharing with other bitches (yeah, I'm quite straight in case you can't tell). Don't expect me to hang around for it either.

Somebody like me would be some millionaire playboy's nightmare since I can't be bought and won't do disrespect. It feels like some days "God forbid you have self-respect or independent thoughts in your head. God forbid you don't ugly yourself up or dim your light for someone else. God forbid you know your value & own it." This is the message I get from modern dating & guys who don't show me otherwise.

I feel like we should cut out the pretenses and nonsense. Make things as simple as possible. I'm not going to beg you for your approval & I'm not approaching you in real life. If you're the one approaching me, I certainly shouldn't have to degrade myself or beg you for your approval. I just don't live or die based on such things. To my mind, if I survived life without the guy I loved for years I certainly won't be devastated by some Johnny Come Lately rejecting me for not being a doormat. Why do some of these guys think I will be? That's insulting my intelligence & my emotional strength. This is where my being divorced comes in. It should be code for "been there, done that, don't treat me like some clueless nymph since I'll see right through your bullshit."

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: Consinee Group NY Gala & Fashion Show "Stitched in Time"

Through being on a random e-mail list I have no clue how I got onto (the China-US Women's Foundation; my only connection to China has been through Mr. Big Stuff, my sort of boyfriend who actually turned down an opportunity to become a male model, being there--he's mentioned in earlier posts in this blog) then sending an RSVP for an event that struck my interest, I ended up getting another opportunity to review a fashion show. I literally sent my RSVP for a Monday and this event was on a Wednesday. Shortly thereafter, I was given an opportunity to write this review.

So off I went to Cipriani at the Wall Street location.

For those of you who've never been to Cipirani, I have to insist you go to at least one event there if you want to call yourself upscale or cultured. From the outside, Cipriani Wall Street looks like a regular ordinary building on Wall Street. When you walk inside, it's a very different experience. I would describe going in as a magical experience. You are literally transformed into a space with high columns, architecture and far from the venues I've set foot in for previous fashion shows either as a guest or a model.

Having been to Cipriani for one other event in my life (as the guest of another attorney with political office and presidency in a local organization), I was prepared for the grandness of this space. Dress appropriately if you're going to be here; this isn't a jeans and sneakers style place.

As this was a fashion show/gala event, I saw people wearing all kinds of great fashionable outfits and made sure to live up to that myself while also staying comfortable for hot weather and the impending rain storm predicted for later in the evening. I wore a dress I've owned since the 90s that I recently got altered to fit me properly (I may be one of the only people who got older and is now thinner than she was in high school; my alternations projects involve getting clothes taken in so they fit me properly). It was also fingertip length and a bright, shiny red while I did my hair in a side ponytail to manage icky sweat effects from hair on my shoulders/back. Unlike many places in NYC, Cipriani has air conditioning. I actually got cold at times and needed to grab my coverup from my purse!! The cocktail period before the show had some good food, including the type of black caviar that I like as part of an appetizer.

Needless to say if you're going to do a fashion show & it's in your budget, book Cipriani. This is even more true if you want good food and for your guests to have a first class experience.

The stage setup for the show definitely built anticipation. It was a series of steps coming from nearly the top of the ceiling to the floor. I wondered if the models were going to be walking from the very top of this step creation and thought "that's daring."

When I saw the models walk out, I noticed they definitely looked like the runway types you typically see though I was pleased to see a woman who appears to be a real redhead among the ranks. If you've been to a lot of fashion shows, you know that real redheads on the runway are few and far between. I've usually been the only redhead in shows I did; you definitely stand out and it's not a look I think is appreciated or regarded all that much based on shows I've seen and castings I participated in. In fact, I find calls of "promoting diversity" hollow & contradictory when no one who looks like me is represented while everybody else IS represented (and they were though I had to go with the best pictures & didn't get the best shots of every single model I saw). Doesn't she look great?

Consinee Group is a company based in China. They specialize in cashmere creations and have a deep commitment to being green in their manufacturing process and in the creation of their material. They also have an international presence, engage in philanthropic efforts to help the herders who provide the animals who create the material to make the cashmere along with the children of those herders and are dedicated to environmental causes. In fact, they even have a corporate song!!

Designed by Steven Oo, these pics represent only some of the fashions featured in this show. The fashions covered a variety of colors, designs and looks. None of the models stopped to pose during the walk and I have no idea if they did photographs with the photographers before or after the show but I captured these while sitting in the press section. I hope they did get some good pictures, as models seek these out for their portfolios and I got nothing but a professional vibe when I saw this show. I only noticed one gap during the walk and wasn't sure if this was a pause for a second segment or if this was the end of the show; the models were very good about maintaining proper distance and not bunching up on each other. Despite having to traverse some stairs for this walk (none at the very tippy top of the stage but some that were more standard than you'd think of for an average stage), no one fell or looked like they were going to trip. Managing that, especially in heels, is much harder than it looks.

The show's theme was "Stitched in Time." If the theme is meant to indicate that the fashions shown are timeless, then the theme was extremely descriptive since I would consider that a true statement. I would further describe what I saw as unique twists on preppy and business attire (two areas you wouldn't typically think of as being known for having a stylish, modern aesthetic) and looks that were both sexy and tasteful.

As you'll see, there's a look here for everyone and this doesn't even cover the full spectrum of looks represented in this show. Much of the attire consisted of items you could absolutely wear on the street and look great in without looking completely out of place or having it be too impractical to wear in real life. Would you ever associate the white outfit above with the word "cashmere"? I also noticed some shoe changes during the show, which I imagine was not an easy feat to pull off but the models made it happen.

Now I'd probably never get away with wearing it to court but I'm very partial to the striped suit above & feel if I had a suit like that I would definitely look like a kick ass entertainment attorney. It reflects a sense of style (which you almost never see in business attire among female attorneys; there's a stereotype that we are "unstylish").

This dress was my absolute favorite garment of the show. I'm glad I got a good shot of it. Since we know redheads rock green and I rock forest green without a doubt, you can kind of see why I'd consider this outfit a top pick for myself. I actually went to the website to see if they sell the garments directly.

The final walk did not consist of the models clapping but this was the most professional and put together fashion show I've seen. If there was backstage craziness and last minute issues (which anyone in fashion knows are inevitable no matter what type of fashion show you're doing), no one brought it to the stage or made it the audience's problem.

After the show was a dinner that was quite filling and led to me possibly making a new friendship with a fellow blogger who's also reviewing this show for her blog, Tablespoons & Teaspoons (I tried to find a link but no such luck). I also met a young woman reviewing this show for Honeysuckle magazine. She told me that was going to be her first review and I tried to provide my own insight as someone who'd done reviews and modeling before.

The show director Christina Neault, executive producers Claire Lin & Yuhan Liu, project managers Channie Chang (also Consinee's Director of Sales & Marketing), Mary Xu, Sherry Xue and the Consinee Group Chairman + CEO Boris Xue (among the many individuals involved in this event) showcased a company representing the best of China & should be very proud of their work. Mr. Xue said this was the second show Consinee has done in NYC at Cipriani and a third show is already being planned for July 2020.

I also received a gift bag which included a seamless cashmere garment from Consinee. Mine was a mock turtleneck and trying it on, it might be the most comfortable and warm top I've ever worn that could also be worn if I want to look sexy without freezing too death. I can't wait to try it out when fall/winter hit.

Based on this actual experience with the brand, I would love to see if they have a store with garments or could make some of the looks I saw in the show (though budget and closet space might limit me somewhat, they may not be issues for some of you).

Here's to the next fashion show from Consinee in 2020.