Tuesday, May 4, 2021

And the Future Is...

NYC for now. Happened to be awake before 8 am so since I'm up, why not update this blog???

How did we get to NYC? Eh, a few things.

For one thing, I met a new guy. I've not made a big production of it, partially because I'm more private in things, didn't want to jinx it and I've been doing my fair share of dating post Mr. Big Stuff. There's also the inherrent nature of dating in NYC (see this post for details). I still think that post is generally applicable though undoubtedly the pandemic has changed things in NYC.

One big question that's lingered in my head is "Is NYC dead?" From my own travels and my own conversations with people, I'd say "there's still life here and even still some of that old school spirit." For those holding nasty notions about black people, I've seen black people have words with other black people who were panhandling or lowering the quality of life in NYC by harassing others. One of those incidents happened on a bus I was taking to go home. Doing bus travel (as I'm not feeling the subway right now, despite claims that it will go back to 24/7 service in a very short time and the city is re-opening in a very short time; I smell politics at work vs. "lowered virus threat"), it's been "Harlem: the same as it ever was." I've also not heard back on my community board application so I've got to at least see what happens there.

FYI, getting onto community board in NYC doesn't even completely have to do with you the applicant. I learned this after going on a group interview (two words that made me shudder immediately but it turns out this was much better than expected since this wasn't the most extroverted person dominating the entire conversation as it was when I did a group interview for a job at Abercrombie back in my college days; demanding the introverts suddenly morph into extroverts isn't cool and I'm saying that as more of an ambivert vs. a stone cold introvert with no extrovert tendencies to speak of) and being told what the next steps are. Not sure if people will actually look at the demographics I fit but I had a good laugh there answering the one "how do I identify myself" question noting my whole natural redhead thing and having to completely be self-made. Regardless, I'll get to actually tell you how the application process works, what the selection criteria is and get to bitch about politics on a whole new level that someone who's never done it has no right to.

I think there ought to be a rule in life that if you have never done the thing you're criticizing, such as worked as a police officer/been on a ride along/known any cops, you don't get to bitch about it. You don't get a mic but you get silenced and ridiculed for being an idiot trying to pose as an expert. That way, people who actually know what they're talking about will be the ones who get the mic and real change can happen. I always cheer on people speaking on topics they've lived or experienced since that actually means they're worth listening to on something. If people would only stick to topics they're actually educated on, the world would be a much better place along with them staying in their own lanes (I'm looking at you, vaccine).

But the new guy....that's something that blows Mr. Big Stuff totally away. I actually haven't felt that way about someone since I was dating my ex-husband. 4 months later and in the wasteland of NYC, I'd never believe someone who wrote on my Hinge profile "I'm going to prove you wrong" when I claimed that a guy on my level in looks, intelligence and the like didn't exist actually WOULD prove me wrong. Never one to resist a challenge like that, I instantly responded to that guy. He promptly asked me out. I told myself I would be good and not do instant sex (something that's rather common if you live and date in a major city, to the chagrin of you church ladies); I also had to see the gyno on medical stuff the next day and told him this directly in order to avoid any misperceptions or confusion (I wasn't playing any games and also figured it would be awkward to be doing such things then going into the gyno's office where they have to mess with those areas). I went to the gyno and was then out of commission for a bit. This guy asked me out again very quickly: I told him certain things are out of commission. He says "It's just your pussy that's out of commission, not you. I want to see YOU, not just your pussy." I don't feel like a lot of guys who'd just met you in NYC would vocalize such a thing though maybe more would be thinking it than my inner cynic would believe. He saw my tiny room and we hung out here. I also introduced him to my roommate's cats including the one who is super sweet and affectionate. Long story with those cats but as we get to talking, I note that we have more stuff in common. I also learn that he's as good at managing around setbacks as I am. When certain things were finally back in commission, there was definitely a natural progression towards incorporating that element into the proceedings.

At this stage in my life and certainly living in NYC, even in pandemic times, I figured finding a guy where that existed was about as likely as winning the lottery, getting struck by ligthning or maybe my family leaving NC and moving closer to where I live. I didn't even feel that whole thing with Mr. Big Stuff until later in the relationship and it was never on that same level of intensity. Going on dates post divorce, I didn't feel the same energy as I had with my ex and just thought "that's stuff for your teens and 20s and Single 1.0 life". If you've felt it, you know what I'm talking about. It's the difference between a mere surface "I like this person and having sex with them" and a feeling that just thinking of that person makes you all giggly, smiley and silly to where strangers wonder what the hell's wrong with you. It's wanting to be around that person a ton, even when you're sad and depressed and not feeling like dealing with the world. To you, that person isn't "the world" they're just "that person." You don't feel like you need pretension or to put on your face or be "the me I show the rest of society." It's something you feel organically, not something you can manufacture or push yourself into feeling no matter how much you want to feel that way. Ideally, as you're feeling it the other person is too. Otherwise you just feel naked in a metaphysical sense (God knows we've all felt that at one time or another; a classic example is unrequited crushes).

On literal 4/20, I get asked about becoming exclusive. I accept so here we are. No regrets or itchiness to bail at the moment. He tells me he looks forward to becoming an old couple together. I'm like "okay." That prospect didn't scare me and I'm the woman who's had to deal with stalkers and clingy guys with no love for either. Coming from him, however, just felt natural and like it could be a possibility. It didn't feel like intrusion. I think when remarks like that don't feel like intrusion, that means you've got that heady rush and more than a mere fling or sex buddy scenario going on. It feels nice to finally have a local guy I want to spend time with. My sister, upon hearing about this boyfriend, claims I won't be going to NC this summer since now I have a boyfriend. I don't really know if that's true but it definitely makes me feel like my future could indeed be here vs. feeling like there's nothing left & where the heck am I going to possibly start over at.

I also bit the bullet and hired a professional resume/cover letter writer to target entertainment law jobs specifically. As a likely result, I did score a couple good interviews (one job turned me down but the other I'm still waiting to hear about for a second interview; I need to follow up on that today). Such a job would change things dramatically if I can't get another stable, viable income stream from independent work and now that I have this boyfriend (the fabled guy my former therapist told me I should be going out with), I feel like "it's time to up your game; you can totally do this." If we're the sum of who we hang out with, then this guy blows everybody else away in that regard. As far as I'm concerned, if Mr. Big Stuff tried talking to me again I'd throw that in his face and inform him that he's got no chance. He should have thought about my value when I went to see him in December. His loss is my boyfriend's gain. Every single person I've talked to is Team New Boyfriend.

One of these days, I'll get a nickname for him but it's something that's got to come to me. Those are something else you can't manufacture or invent since mine come from using it to sum up everything you need to know about the person without excessive detail. The best is when other people use my nicknames to describe the same person. What's even more interesting is I found out recently the emergency room in NC misdiagnosed my toe injury and it's actually broken but never healed (and that's why I can't bend the lower joint in my index toe). If my toe had been broken, I might never have gone to Indiana since scheduling it before going back to NYC and not missing holidays with family was hard enough beforehand. If I'd not gone to Indiana, I wouldn't have had my heart broken and learned Mr. Big Stuff was a dead end. If I'd thought there was still possibility with Mr. Big Stuff, I wouldn't have gotten dating profiles anywhere (including Hinge). If I'd never gotten a Hinge profile, I'd have never met my new boyfriend and if I'd never met my boyfriend then he wouldn't be in my life now, wouldn't be my boyfriend and I'd not be feeling that heady rush stuff. It definitely feels like something out of "Sliding Doors" (a movie you should see if you haven't). What's even cooler is that he's seen lots of movies and TV shows I reference. He even mentioned a show that I'd also seen and claimed he was the only one who'd seen it!!! You get to do a lot more shorthand when you're in one of those heady rush situations mainly because you discover that you're on the same mental plane. Dating my ex-husband consisted of a lot of that and we were definitely a couple who disgusted people with their PDA. I'm sure my boyfriend and I would also be that couple if more social settings were happening but perhaps people in NYC are more chill about such things & there are fewer people around here though things are perking up.

Sleep may just about be hitting me so I might be doing more of it in a bit. Let's see.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Just Waiting on What the Future Holds

Made it back to NYC, got a negative on that first COVID test now just awaiting results on the second one. I'll have to call that place tomorrow if they don't have my results today (though they told me 2 days and it's been 2 days since I went). Thought I'd go to CityMD again but when I got there before 11 am they were at capacity for the day (they opened at 9 am). I was like "if I have to get up to be here at 9, I'm probably going to be very pissy being up that early". Not a lie; if I have no real reason to be awake early I like to avoid doing it. Wouldn't we all??

I've been on those upscale dating apps and some other ones for a bit and getting back to NYC, I discovered far more hotties in the area, got more likes and an interesting new contact who wants to discuss me assisting on a non-profit he wants to set up. Got rid of my pic with me and Mr. Big Stuff on my vision board & know what I need to replace it with (a pic of my youngest niece for one since she actually hugged me on her own volition while I was down there though I'm not going to have the bond of Mama or Gaghee, which is literally how my mom spells the name my oldest nephew dubbed her as a "grandma" term).

After finding out that your address information and other details of your community board application don't become shown to the world, I opted to apply for community board in my area. If I got that, I'd have to stay in this area. Whether they accept me or not, I have no idea since I don't have direct involvement in THIS community but have lived in NYC for a very long time, did speak at a community board meeting in my old neighborhood in the marriage days & am probably responsible for a small segment of Queens subsequently getting FiOS after years of promises that up to that point hadn't materialized into FiOS service. Also, if you really want to affect change in government you go do stuf like this. Go to the community board meetings, speak to people, apply for it when the applications open up, call up your local reps and state your views, run for government roles & so forth. You don't burn down buildings, loot neighborhood businesses and put your neighbors out of work. You also don't turn your community into a shithole if you want anybody to give a damn about it. I was doing this sort of thing long before the rise of SJWs so I look at their tactics and say "they've perverted legitimate protest and legitimate issues." Decades of psychological study also defy the leftist manifesto and general tactics. This is also why I'm going to keep laughing when people with zero knowledge of what they speak talk about politics and civic matters.

When you've run for office, lobbyed or even spoken with anyone from your local rep's office THEN I'll listen when you speak on such topics. Otherwise, stick to acting, modeling, producing or whatever it is you do & actually know something about.

As far as politics, I'm like "dazzle me, bitches!!" Talk is cheap, action is everything. We'll see what happens. I like to think many other people have a similar take and are watching to see what Biden does here. Will he call out the leftists? Reign in BigTech? Get that stimulus out as promised? Will Cuomo revitalize NYC (he claims we need to reopen but what's he going to do about the rampant crime that's caused a literal "Escape from NYC")? Will he remove DeBlasio, who might be hated by just about everyone in NYC and a lot of people outside of NYC?

Hatred of DeBlasio and his race pandering wife (yes, you can be a minority & a race panderer just as you can be any color of the rainbow & be a shitty person) might be another point of common ground along with love of Betty White. I've never seen anyone say "I hate Betty White."

Just noticed "Youth of a Nation" by POD playing on my iTunes list. That seems fitting for the moment we're in, huh?

Realized that I don't think NC is going to be my future. For one thing, it's probably not very good for dating to find the predominant accent of an area to be one of your turnoffs. It probably also isn't good to be in a place where you need to have a car to get around & not have one of your own. Then there's not having many people involved in your niche in the area, being constrained by too many past connections you'd like to get away from & not wanting your life to feel like "Our Town" or some very boring soap opera. It's also hard to find guys down there who are childfree & won't want you to pop out their babies or adopt a mom role with their kids. I also don't want to be the only cool person in the room; there's got to be more people like you to hang around. But the question is, where do you go if NYC is dead?

I'm not sure if it is yet. I know what my personal tipping point will be but I'm sort of seeing where life will take me. Is it going to be here, some bigger city of North Carolina, northern Arkansas if I get into that incentive program, some other locale that is offered? My law license would like New York or Connecticut but I could do in-house counsel work most other places. I could even motion into the US Virgin Islands if I wanted to because of having a Connecticut law license, which I think is cool.

Then I also met this guy in NC and had a very weird experience since he never actually tried making a move on me, had invited me to stay in a room at his house aside from any romantic interest then he bails on taking me out for my birthday though I'd stayed over at his house and he never even sat next to me when I sat down at his home. I'm like "what the hell?!?!" That would never happen in NYC, even with the most gentleman of gentleman. I'm divorced, caught up on my missed years of adventure and while I'm not a whore, I'm also not a teenager. He was also a NC native while I've had better conversation with 2 other guys who moved there but aren't from there. One even wants to visit me up here and I said there'd be some video chatting before I even considered that. We didn't even go on a date while I was down there so I kind of insist on that. He told me he didn't have the Southern accent so that's points for me.

I'll still be writing this blog and trying to figure out if I can do more surreal adventures I can post but I definitely will be looking more towards my podcast so when I get that official link with the new name, I'll have to post that so you can hear it. Might have to start fielding off more crazies after that as well but fielding off crazies has been part of my life for a good while so that'd be a whole "what's new?" kind of thing.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Looking Back on 2020 & Thinking About the Future

Doing this on someone else's laptop is a total pain. Hoping my own laptop will be back in commission sooner rather than later. I went to see Mr. Big Stuff in Indiana at HIS invitation back in December and discovered my screen was cracked when I got there. Perhaps that was a portend of the other events that happened in that time.

The day I arrived, things were good and he was well aware that I was staying for 2 weeks. The next day, he brings up three ways when I'd told him before I didn't want to feel like that was a condition to me being in his life, felt he was asking me to degrade myself for him & wouldn't be comfortable with that since I couldn't tell him I wouldn't rip some woman's hair out if I saw her with him in that way. As time goes on, he tells me he's stressed out with his Masters in AI program, has all these grand plans to travel, is eager to take the coronoavirus vaccine and that trip to FL we were supposed to take as a test of our future if the pandemic hadn't happened?? He was planning to invite "friends" he fucked and planned to fuck women in front of me like I was going to be cool with that.?

Yeah, I pointed out that he violated the basic rules of relationships and our 5 year history by lying to me about his "not being built for monogamy", growing up Mormon (he'd told me he was Catholic when we met and he claimed he converted in college when I met him & I pointed out that Catholics aren't on board with the sharing shit), his stance on me not sleeping with other guys when we were exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend, his claim to love me even as we were doing intimate things (I'd also told him not to even invite me to travel if he was going to introduce me to some local ho or be going out on dates while I was present) and generally deceiving me about his "lifestyle" knowing I was going through a painful divorce when we met + decided to return to my life in 2017 after I'd told him to fuck off, that he was dead to me and blocked him from everything. He even violated the rules of his own lifestyle since you're not supposed to force people to be okay with sharing and sister wife shit & you certainly aren't supposed to keep that from someone for 5 years, make special effort to follow and see them and act like somebody matters like he did to me.

Looking back maybe a week afterwards, I thought that maybe he'd been trolling me since he's got a history of doing that but realized that it doesn't matter since that's his loss, I could get a far better guy than him and immediately reactivated one dating app I was on as well as got accounts on a few other ones. I even got approved for 2 upscale dating apps (both of which are against sugar daddy seekers) and have had guys contact me on them. One reason for that is to prove to myself that he's indeed wrong when he claims that all guys who live in NYC and have Type A personalities are anti-monogamy and demand you to degrade yourself for them by sharing them with other bitches if you ever hope to have anything with them. I feel like that statement is wrong and not all guys with money are wannabe Caligulas.

Before I took that trip, I thought about the worst case scenario and decided I'd rather be free from any illusions of a future with that guy or feeling any love towards him & at a minimum, I could say I'd visited a state I'd not been to before. I actually told him I took back any claim to love him if he didn't love me. He claimed to "care a lot" about me but I find that illogical since he wanted me to do that sharing shit; he can hire a prostitute for that, not waste my time and expect me to become some bisexual ho to please him. I view asking someone to share when they're able and willing to satisfy you + you have no real commitment to them like marriage or kids to be the opposite of caring for them.

I realized that 1) I'm the one who left since he would have been a-okay with me going along and told me I didn't have to leave immediately when he claimed he didn't know I'd planned for 2 weeks (staying 1 week turned out to be a blessing since 2 weeks would have been unbearable), 2) I kept my dignity intact and that's a good thing & 3) that whole thing is over. When he moved away from NYC, he wasn't really an ex since we didn't have a formal breakup but this was a breakup and an end. There's closure.

He was also nicer to me about it than my ex-husband ever was. His last words to me were "best of luck to you" and he claimed he wouldn't be bashing me to his friends and contacts for being for monogamy and seeing jealousy as a part of human nature vs. a character flaw as he claimed it was. I told him he's also in the minority for wanting to do communal living, a life I'd never be suited for (facts: most communes failed and open relationships don't last long term). My last words were "ciao" since I didn't feel charitable enough to wish him well though I didn't feel like wishing him to Hell either.

I still hope karma gets him and he lives to regret what he did since I didn't make it easy for him in the least & won't since that's not the kind of woman I am. Had he done that before any emotional investment happened, say when he met me 5 years ago we could have walked away with no harm, no foul. Maybe then he could have been friends with me.

Friends and family have no love for him. I don't even have to wish bad on him since they're wishing more than enough bad on him for this & he claimed he wouldn't be doing that to me (it's not in his interest to try it anyway). His claim for apologizing to me in 2017 when he really had no reason for it was "I missed you." Well, this time I don't think he'd get a second chance since "fool me once, shame on you" but "fool me twice, shame on me." He claimed to have forgotten many things he'd said to me before and I don't want a guy with such a bad memory.

Not to mention he didn't get the symbolism of "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do" by Hall & Oates playing as he was driving me to the airport from his house. I also found the weather symbolic since it was raining and awful outside that morning but as we were on the interstate, the dark clouds were clearing away to make way for a bright sky. Actually, I took that as an omen and took pics of it to remind myself of things being dark now but that brighter days were ahead for me. I can't deal with a guy who doesn't get symbolism; that's as bad to me as a guy telling me I "use big words."

Mr. Big Stuff also has plenty of flaws and I remind myself of those in order to avoid them in the next guy. He may be cute but he's not the only good looking guy in this world and I went on those dating apps to remind myself of that fact. He's not even the only good looking guy who'd give me the time of day & his being gone so much makes things far more easier. I also am happy that I found out in this way rather than in FL where I might have been stuck surrounded by bitches and with no escape hatch to be found. That would have been even more traumatic for me. It also occurs to me that apparently he thinks he's Christian Grey without the BDSM stuff. Certainly his voice sounds like what you'd expect the devil at your shoulder to sound like though I won't deny that it's sexy.

So the knowledge that I did the right thing for myself is one positive from the pandemic. As my sister said, maybe the virus will make his dick fall off. I laughed at that and felt like that would be a true lesson; sterility wouldn't hurt either since he claimed to want kids but would never be selfless enough for them since he didn't even celebrate his own birthday, much less any holidays despite us spending a Thanksgiving together that he claimed he enjoyed. As I said, I want karma to fix him for that and it will eventually since we're all accountable for the harm we inflict on others.

Another positive of the pandemic is plexiglass shields in places, curbside pickups for things including clothing, not having to see people you don't even like (so great for those who didn't do extended family events or hated going to them in the first place), spending more time with nieces and nephews than I have for any part of their lives, resolving some conflicts from my past and perhaps the ultimate time to reevalute things (in my case, seeing my hometown from a new perspective and resolving some old conflicts with family). It's still not as hard for me emotionally as my divorce was, this breakup or the pandemic taking my main income source away. My mother assures me that I'll be fine since I'm "a Phoenix". Part of me is still like "how the hell DO you still maintain a sense of reality while keeping the positive vibes you need to have if you want to manifest the things you need/want to have a good existence?" Perhaps that's the struggle of all practical types who run their own businesses.

I also have to figure out how to create a business brand that's authentic to my personal and who I am since I'm not some boring ass lawyer & can't do that. That feels like something I need to have my own laptop for though it is something I fully intend to do. Revising my resumes today, even my per diem legal resume, made me feel more accomplished and like a boss babe than I was feeling. I've discovered in the dating world that income isn't nearly as relevant as what you're doing in your life & the struggles you overcame to get there. One guy today told me being the first person in my immediate family to go to college and the first in my entire family to go to any law school is an accomplishment that I should be proud of. I've been looking back at how I thought and my mindset in those days.

The main thing I remember is that I simply said I was going to do certain things. I was going to go to law school. I was going to live in NYC. I was going to get out of my hometown. There was never a thought of "what if you don't do that?" That just wasn't in my psyche. I don't even think "what if you don't find a better guy than Mr. Big Stuff" exists in my psyche since I just adamantly believe that such guys do exist. When or how I find them is a whole other story but I do believe they're out there. I didn't know exactly what law school I was going to attend but I did get to do it & here I am still licensed in that state.

Perhaps too many people have been trying to talk me out of my career stuff and there's just too much boring crap out there in my field for me to see a way to do my own methods. I probably need to pinpoint someone specialized in this world who gets that I am who I am and can offer a plan that works for ME, not any old entertainment attorney or even any old lawyer. That plan isn't something that's materialized in my brain like so many other plans did. Then I need to find the devotees who've got money for my services.

I have some fans, even some who liked my podcast I started doing and will continue to do. It's the same name as this blog and if you want to do listener support, be my guest but I'll not beg people for things or expect them to carry me. I'll change the name at some point but I need that to come to me as well.

One other big thing that surprised me this year was winning a Yelpie award that was based on a vote by the Yelp community. I've got a trophy and a gift basket of goodies waiting for me once I get back to NYC so that'll be fun; I also had no idea I was that popular or my reviews had such an impact on the community for me to get 2nd runner up in the Veteran Impact Award. I've also got a fashion shoot to do and a guy in Connecticut who wants to meet me in person so that makes me smile some. A dreaded milestone birthday is also on the horizon but I guess I can lay claim to not remotely looking that age, still attracting younger guys (though I decided I'm over guys under 30 since they're too unreliable and I'm not looking to be anybody's sugar mommy even if I had the means for it) and getting to spend it with family. I even lost weight since the pandemic weight gain though it remains to be seen if I can fit into my old bottoms again or not. My great black jeans fit me better now but perhaps I should have brought other bottoms to see how they do.

I'm also thinking I'll apply for community board since if I got that, I'd certainly have a reason to stay in NYC. I also may have the option of getting into Connecticut or even traveling with one of my buddies I've traveled with before (who reminded me that when things seem the worst with you, there's always somebody who's got more troubles to deal with & money can't shield you from life's troubles). With community board, at least there's learning how that process works and seeing that from firsthand knowledge. Plus if you actually want to do something productive to help your community and the world that's far more effective than torching public buildings, assaulting cops and vandalizing people's homes.

My life is still a big question mark and that's frustrating but everybody kind of has that going on at the moment. I'm also trying to remember that old lesson from 2014: life is the ocean. Life IS change.

Now I'm just seeing where my direction is going and I know of the things I want and things I won't tolerate at all. Who's wondering where the tipping point is for society, individuals and the like??

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Why Lawyers and BigTech Don't Mix

I'm sure we're all familiar with Facebook and Twitter engaging in leftist cheerleading and censorship of opposing views under the guise of "anti-harassment and bullying policies". Yet these are supposed to be platforms for ADULTS, right? Aren't children directly banned from them? And you're looking for civility on the INTERNET?!?!?! Like, what world did these people drop in from?

I actually got out of Facebook jail and for some reason, pedandic crybabies haven't tried getting me banned again but I haven't really done Twitter so much since it's not my medium. I'm a woman of words, not of cutesy brainlessness.

So I noticed LinkedIn, the vanilla version of everyone, started getting more political. Not sure why LinkedIn decided it wanted to be a Facebook clone by allowing photos, videos and other unrelated work stuff including political pages. The problem, however, is it decided to become China in regulations and endorse leftists. For simply making comments and pointing out lack of credibility in certain expressed opinions from users who either were fake, didn't even get a vote on the topic (think foreigners discussing American elections) or people who engaged in blatant hypocrisy, "Ross" claimed that apparently LinkedIn decided to ban me with zero warning, notice or specifics on exactly what words were considered "wrong" to them. LinkedIn is even more so supposed to be a platform for ADULTS and for that matter PROFESSIONALS. Presumably, professionals have actual jobs or businesses and aren't cheering on rioters, corruption and the like.

I thought about this e-mail I got from Ross after doing an appeal (I made it a policy to appeal anytime they tried censoring some comment I wrote though they never sent you a copy of the comment or spelled out WHY they were censoring your statements) & decided that LinkedIn is not essential to my life. I made some good contacts in my pandemic vacation and kept information from those people since they contacted me directly. I'll be informing more of them about the situation soon enough. I also know of other platforms that haven't been corrupted and signed up on those. I also thought to myself "I'll just do more blogging and podcast episodes so I can speak freely." I could even try that on my own website since it's got a blog feature as well. I know of others who've created accounts elsewhere, decided to say "fuck BigTech", that sort of thing. It's also been said that the more known you are, the less reachable you need to be. There are lots of celebrities who either got off social media or didn't opt to be on there in the first place. If it's good enough for them and many others who've decided not to stand for the Chinese law these platforms want to follow, why shouldn't I do the same?

For the numbskulls out there, lawyers are NOT supposed to be onboard with societal BS. It's the job of lawyers to point out oppression, rights being ignored, speak for the voiceless & call out the corruption where it exists regardless of what popular opinion dicates is good or bad. Lawyers are not supposed to be a wing of the censorship police or sit back while the brown shirts oppress others. If you follow history and the rise of communism, then you know that the lawyers were killed just as the intellectuals were since commies HATE independent thinkers. Law is all about critical thinking, especially law school. Oh, and we actually know what the laws say, what the Constitution means and so forth. Leftists in the legal profession are as ironic as rich people supporting communism. Stupid is probably also an accurate term since both will be targeted and offed in those same movements. It's like the ringleaders never read "Animal Farm" or actually studied the rise of communism. I've done both, even reading "Animal Farm" on my own while doing a document review assignment. The parallel to communism is obvious to anyone with basic reading comprehension. My liberal arts college required us to take a class called "Human Nature & the Social Order" where we defintely weren't taught about communism being a great thing. What I got from any class on the subject was "communism is a nice idea on paper but fails in the real world since you're never going to change human nature." Any real lawyer doesn't let anybody bully them into silence and trying to bully me is straight up laughable. I've survied things that most of these brats would have been destroyed by. I seriously wonder why any of these overgrown toddlers are getting media coverage and why these platforms should get to maintain Section 230 protection when they want to be editors instead of publishers. Many class actions are on the rise so the results will be quite interesting. I hope they get slammed as they deserve to be.

Now I'm just waiting to see how the election and so forth plays out. Made plans to see my sweetie for a couple weeks to determine if we've got a future together, hanging out with family, not trying to get overweight though apparently I "look healthier" now and am actually within a normal weight for my height. It took 6 years & a pandemic to get back to my pre-divorce weight. Also looking at the bright sides though my family never did big family holiday gatherings (my sister is probably thrilled about not having to deal with in-laws she's not keen on). I have a great Halloween costume that's even COVID friendly along with fun mask ideas if I ever have to design my own. I also am hoping I get my absentee ballot in time after thinking I wouldn't get to vote at all; as of today it STILL says "reviewing application" with a date of a few days ago. I asked them to send it straight to where I'm staying now and I have to get it postmarked by November 3rd. Hoping that goes off without a hitch but who knows. Otherwise, just more day to day stuff and hoping my income actually matches my training and background sooner rather than later. Now I'll have to do some quality niece time. Who wouldn't want to spend time with her? She's a little cutie.

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.