Saturday, August 28, 2010

Overlooking the Easiest Solution of All

I generally find most articles on bar association sites to be laughable when advising people on my industry or creative matters. Here's an example of one I saw on the ABA's website when I was perusing the Young Lawyers Division newsletter's online only articles:

The Creative Lawyer? Who Has Time?

By Sharon Good

You don’t hear the words “creative” and “lawyer” in the same sentence very often. The restrictions and expectations of the legal profession tend to leave a lawyer with little room for creativity, especially young lawyers who are busy establishing their careers. Yet, contrary to the common perception of lawyers as professionals solely focused on their careers, many lawyers are multifaceted individuals with artistic and legal talents.

If you’re a lawyer with a creative talent or interest and you never take the time express this creative energy, you may feel like something is missing in your life. Below are suggestions for incorporating some creativity into your overly busy life. Take your pick!

Be creative in short bursts. Take a quick lunch in the park and do some sketching, take photographs, or write a poem. Carry a small sketch book, digital camera, or notebook in your briefcase to be prepared to be creative when time permits.

Start or end your day with creativity. Some people find it hard to switch from their analytic left brain to their creative right brain and back again in the middle of a day. Before work or before bedtime are good times to write, dance, paint, or practice your music.

Use those spare minutes. While waiting for your case to be called at court or while commuting, use that time creatively instead of chatting or reading a magazine. Make sure you’re fully prepared with your case, and then try to tune out what’s going on around. It may be hard to focus on writing something new at such moments, but you can edit something you’ve written, capture new ideas, do Internet research, memorize lines, or write a blog entry.

Take a class. Search the Internet to find out what creative courses your local schools offer. You can perform in community theatre, sing in a choir, or take a painting class. Schedule the class at a time when you expect work to be relatively slow, and let your director or teacher of the class know that there may be times when you have to arrive late because of work. If it’s hard to commit to a long-term project, take an improvisation class or perform at an open mic night.

Express yourself artistically on weekends. The key is to make this a priority and work other activities around it. It’s too easy to abandon your creativity when you’re tempted by social activities or a soft, cozy bed after a long workweek.

Use vacation time to pursue an artistic outlet. While on a vacation trip, take photographs. Schedule an art trip as a vacation where you spend time painting or drawing. Take a one- or two-week class where you can immerse yourself in your art. Did you know there are even adult arts camps? Check out

Take a creativity break at work when you find yourself hitting a wall. You may feel guilty, but clearing your mind will make you more productive when you get back to work. It can be refreshing to take a dance class midday and then stay later to make up the hours. If that’s not possible, close the door, turn on some music, and move around for a few minutes. Listening to music at work also might help energize you or help you focus.

Be creative in your daily home life. Many people express their creative side through day-to-day activities, such as cooking, gardening, or making handmade greeting cards.

Volunteer for pro bono opportunities dealing with the arts industry.

Get published in a legal publication or start a blog.

The two important things here are choice and discipline. With 168 hours in a week, you can spend 60 hours working and 60 hours sleeping and still have 48 hours to work with. Choose to designate at least one of those hours to feed your soul, and use discipline to make it a priority.

And do it now; don’t wait for the perfect time. John Grisham was working in a full-time law career when he wrote his first two novels. While you may not be seeking a full-time career in the arts, devoting time to your career and creative spirit will make you a more whole, fulfilled, and productive lawyer and human being.

The authors assume that they're talking to lawyers who actually like their BigLaw jobs or working in any firm for that matter. I think they're overlooking the easiest solution of them all. Which is....

Get out of the legal field ASAP & try to make a go of your creative endeavors. Or better yet, get into some branch of entertainment law if you're just not ready to make a clean break from the legal field. Life is so freakishly micro-managed in these firms that I'd feel like a prisoner if I had to work in one. Not to mention that they'll stifle your creative impulses & true opinions.

Remember when Joey Harris in My Two Dads when he's working in this advertising firm & can't stand it b/c he feels like he's selling out to the man + is having his creative vision tampered with? That episode resonated w/me after I did non-entertainment work for a short time w/the shady financial company.

Or, how about aiming higher? Some of us have more than writing talent, you know? I figure I'm partly in my industry b/c there's no sense in me trying to fight the tide (uglify myself, ditch my personality, commit adultery, etc.) to be in a world I don't belong in.

And what about the adage about a tree falling in the woods? Instead of impressing legal colleagues, impress legit entertainment industry people. Most of them know what they're talking about & know a thing or two about real talent. They'll honestly tell you if you should do more or just hang it up.

I also beg to differ about seeing many creative lawyers; I know many but that's b/c I'm choosing those contacts. I also happen to get along w/those people + share common interests. If you hadn't sought them out, I don't think you'd find them. I'd certainly not advise a producer or casting agent to go find talent in our nation's law firms if they aren't looking for people to play attorneys.

Many attorneys I know who actually have careers in this industry don't like your typical attorney stereotypes & can't get along w/people like that, whom the ABA clearly caters to. I certainly don't feel that most attorneys have respect for me or listen to what I have to say, even if I know what I'm talking about & have a better basis for my views.

I feel the writer also ignores the fact that you can't go screwing over fellow creatives like you can attorneys. If you're going to be in my industry, you'd better be nice to everyone & not carry around vibes that lead people to think you're a dick i.e. bad vibes. That elitist crap doesn't fly here & unlike in BigLaw, you'll pay a price for being a jackass to the interns or not helping your fellow creatives. Producers, agents, managers, other behind the scenes people who could help you but won't: we've got very good memories.

Nor do people in the industry for a career like hobbyists; save that for smaller scale projects w/limited exposure. Part of success here is personality; if you don't have one or it repels everyone, you simply don't belong in the creative industry.

I did do something making me very happy today, though. I got a subscription to IMDB Resume. My headshot pic that I didn't think was going to load actually loaded correctly, I was able to put in resume info & hopefully will get more visitors to this blog. I've always got something to rant about or rail against so even if I've not done it daily, you'll definitely see something sooner or later that hopefully inspires laughter + makes a point. I feel more professional having done that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stuff That Pisses Me Off

Well, actually that's pretty much what this blog is about: my railing against things that piss me off. So here's some more stories I found & wish to comment on. But first, a small digression.

I'm delighted that I do not work in a District Attorney's office or have to appear in one for my job. I just read that they found bedbugs in both the Brooklyn & Bronx District Attorney's offices. Just like other critters creep me the hell out, bedbugs are definitely on that list. Maybe I'm fortunate in not having a day job where I could end up bringing bedbugs into my house.

So without further adieu:

This is just a smart idea, though I think it's intrusive on teachers. I know if I were a student, I wouldn't want to friend my teacher on Facebook. I think it's the equivalent of friending your boss at work. Now if you're not in the teacher's class anymore & have to worry about the teacher flunking you, go right ahead.

This bitch should NOT be getting police protection. I say that current animal cruelty laws are absurd & anyone who'd put a cat in a trash can should be hogtied, then thrown into a huge dumpster filled with rats & vermin. We have a moral code that supersedes what the laws on the books say; just because animal abusers have bought off politicians doesn't mean we should let them slide. Stuff like that makes me support vigilante tactics in certain situations.

Now you know the school's only doing this b/c the media heard about it. How many other school districts in Mississippi & around the country are still segregating school elections? Note that in this little system, they didn't allow black students to run for president. And what if you were neither black nor white? Tough shit if you're Asian, Hispanic, Native American, mixed race or some other ethic group that's not "black" or "white"?

This is why I think peers or rational managers should conduct job interviews. A lot of these are signs of nervousness & any interviewer who wants a candidate who isn't nervous should get drunken, stoned & cocky applicants until they wise up. Did you know job interviews only account for 1% of a person's actual job performance? Psychological study covered this; learned about it in college.

I'd rather have someone's who is nervous (evidence of being a human being) instead of a cocky, self-important asshole or someone too drunk or stoned to answer a simple question.

Classic infantile behavior. I'm with Disney on this one; they made reasonable accommodations & this woman isn't taking a position away from the public or wearing what was provided. She could ask for a different design of the head covering instead of filing a lawsuit. You don't get to use your religion to impede an employer's business establishment; nor are you entitled to a particular job. So either take a different position where you can dress as you wish or find another job. In short, grow up & stop hurting your fellow Muslims' chances of getting employment by making everyone think all of them act like you.

This is apparently a hot issue on the Internet. I've only see a few people speaking on it that I know personally, including a bar association I belong to. Frankly, I'm in agreement w/those who say it should be in a different location. It's downright tacky to say you want to mend fences but in the face of location opposition, dig in your heels & say "Hell, no!! It's going here whether you like it or not." Nor do I think a few 9/11 families speak for every single person who was personally affected by 9/11.

I'm also no friend of Bloomberg's considering he was going to lay off 1/3 of the public library work force (including my own spouse) without batting an eye, is against indie filmmakers by trying to institute costly filming permits to shoot on city streets & generally is no friend to people who aren't mega-millionaires. Generally, if he's supporting something, I figure it's probably going to harm me or someone I care about.

I agree w/the Republicans who say it's not racist or anti-anyone to express your free speech rights to the contrary of the media & liberals. Free speech goes both ways, people. I also hesitate to remain in one bar association that comes down on a view I disagree with on the issue though they're actually a better deal than most of them & apparently more enlightened on their views.

It's not a "live or die" issue w/me but I think a different spot in the city would be better & save the people involved the headache, agony + grief of public hatred, especially when the opposition feels it's being ignored. You know someone's going to vandalize it if it ever goes up. Consider this event:

And I'll bet this cab driver was not some terrorist supporter or sympathizer but just someone trying to earn an honest living. I've not taken many cabs but none of the cab drivers have ever done anything to deserve getting stabbed by a passenger. At least, not to cause me to do it. In fact, there are some awesome drivers who'll get you to your destination in record time (especially if you're going to an airport or train station).

Guess what? Not every Muslim is a terrorist just as not all Christians are assholes. Judge people based on they treat you, not their religion, race or other factors that don't tell you the whole story. I still wonder what made the stabber do it, though.

At least the Muslims have an excuse for not speaking out against the radical fringe; they'd be murdered. What's the excuse for Christians? They don't have that code in their faith. At least I know sane Christians.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gamers Are Going to Hate Me

I beat this really freaking hard character in the Paper Mario game for Game Cube. It's called "The Thousand Year Door" and is at the bottom of the Pit of 100 Trials, if you give a damn.

Basically, they're not lying when it's named the Pit of 100 Trials. I got to the very bottom, where you have to fight this crazy hard bone dragon that's eons old & much harder than the villain you have to fight to actually beat the game. Getting to this boss is hell b/c you can't even save without leaving the pit. It takes a good 2 hours to do this.

So after having almost no health when I got there the first time, I prepared for the second time I got there. Finally, and I mean FINALLY, I beat this dragon. It's a fight so hard that my husband said I deserved a reward for doing it. They should really give you more in the game for doing that but, nope. It's like saving people from a fire in real life & not even getting recognized as a hero. I swear, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door operates like real life: you get nickeled & dimed in the rest/recovery areas (Toad Inns), have to put up w/stupid characters & get smart ass remarks from characters in the game that you have to fight + save.

To give you a background, I don't refer to or think of myself as a "gamer." I don't think I fit one in the traditional sense since I don't play everything, I wasn't into the role playing games (if the people you knew who did it treated participation like an exclusive clique & wouldn't miss a session even if Grandma was in intensive care, you'd feel the same way) & I refuse to do online gaming of any type. I can also put the controller down & hate Game Stop with a passion.

I had an ex who was that hard core a gamer & ignored me when I visited during Christmas vacation by playing an online game w/his housemate while the housemate was in a different room in the same house. You won't get me into World of Warcraft & I hated that South Park episode about it b/c hit way too close to home.

At the same time, I'm not the bitch who tells a guy he's 5 for playing video games or forbids him from playing like I'm his mommy (yes, if you're doing that then you're a bitch). If it's not a shooter or something I'm lousy at, I'll likely watch & offer pointers. Considering I've beaten some very hard video games (including finding all the secrets for many of the Mario games & beating almost every one I've played), I'm no slouch in that area. If you want specifics, you'll have to ask.

I'm quite good at racing games, puzzle games & stuff like the Mario games or RPG adventures. The reason I'm good at the racing games is b/c my father's a car fiend as well as my sister so anything relating to cars was a big part of my childhood, including playing stuff like Excitebike on NES & Super Mario Kart on Super NES. We had the Nintendo systems when I was growing up so I have more savvy at most of those systems. In fact, I still have the older systems, including my original NES.

So why am I against online gaming? Cheaters. If you can subvert a code or cheat the system, why should I waste my time? That just makes me want to find the person in real life & kill him/her in a vicious manner. I play video games to get rid of my stress, not add to it.

To reward myself, I finally got Super Mario Galaxy 2 & Super Mario Wii. I've heard good things about Super Mario Wii even from my sister, who gets impatient & quits for good if a game gets too hard. I only quit if something's just downright rigged & totally impossible. If I consider it impossible, that means the average person hasn't got a chance at beating the game. My mother once said I made beating the boss look easy in another NES game that is freaking hard called Rainbow Islands.

I don't think I could hustle this talent, though b/c I don't play for points. I play for progress. I like games that have an ending; don't really like those that don't.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One More Reason to Keep Me Out of a Law Firm--Sexual Harassment

Right now, I'm listening to an early No Doubt song called "Trapped in a Box". I remember hearing this one in my head a lot when I was on my first & last document review assignment in Newark. It really captured my feelings while I was doing it & sort of sums up why I'd never do it again. I miss No Doubt since I don't care for the Gwen Stefani solo stuff; however, I maintain that you can like some artistic piece or connect with it without becoming an irritating pain in the ass who makes the artist uncomfortable, pisses them off or alienates other listeners, viewers, etc.

People like that annoy the holy hell out of me on a serious level. I'm not about to declare anyone my god or someone who is never, ever wrong. Those people live up to the term "fan", short for fanatic and make anyone daring to call themselves one look like a stalker in the making. It's why I hate the term "fan" and refuse to call myself one when it comes to anything.

I happened to be goofing off online last night when I come across some entries from a legal scam busting blog called "But I Did Everything Right". It's a great read & while I come from a different viewpoint + function very differently from a lot of these people, they do make some good points. One of the posts I saw that caught my eye discussed rampant sexual harassment & illegal questions in job interviews.

In particular, this is sexual harassment toward women that everyone's apparently aware of & couldn't give a damn about. Since I have no concern about the legal field blackballing me (in fact, I'd wear that proudly like a badge of honor) or even defending criminals, I would definitely do something sinister to someone trying it.

Did you know that in all my years of schooling & even working for someone who sexually harassed others, not a single person has ever sexually harassed me? No one ever made a pass or did anything inappropriate to me.

You're probably thinking that in my hometown, of course no one's bothering me. My father would kill that person considering he threatened to do it when I was being teased by that kid. True enough.

But it didn't happen in college, law school or to this day, not even in my single days. I personally think that the myths about natural redheads work to my advantage sometimes; let's face it, it's better for scum like this not to be around me or mine. They'd never survive intact & bad things would happen, if not from me then definitely from others. After working someplace where it happened, I really don't have a good impression of a workplace that gives even silent approval to sexual harassment. Actually, that's an understatement. It's more like I view that workplace as equal to working in a strip club.

It also makes the whole wearing business suits and concern about pics of drunken antics on Facebook downright hilarious, even farcical.

So, thanks Angel for giving me a wonderful, valid reason to share w/the Doubting Thomases & Debbie Downers who think I should throw away once in a lifetime opportunities I've gotten in my dream field for the chance to work in some white shoe law firm. Anyone who knows me well enough would agree that it's just buying trouble.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World--I'm Not Getting It

Seriously, ever since the first time I saw the trailer for this the film didn't appeal to me. To my understanding, guy likes girl & has to fight her 7 exes to win her heart. What the holy fuck?!?!?!?

Now, I think Michael Cera should be given more diverse acting roles & an opportunity to break out of the awkward, geeky kid box (though he does play that very well). I'm also aware that the director of this film also directed Hot Fuzz, a great film starring Simon Pegg (whom if you haven't seen in Shawn of the Dead or his other stuff, you really should ASAP--I still want to see Spaced sometime).

I also will admit that I'm not the comic book reader in my house & have no interest in seeing the movie. Nor am I the film critic writer: that's a task best left to my husband.

But...there are 2 major areas of realism I have a serious problem with as a feminist that are repelling me from this film.

1. The whole idea of having to fight exes to win someone. First off, no one and I mean NO ONE gets that kind of control over my life. If I'd ever had an ex trying to interfere like that in my life after a break-up (especially if he'd dumped me), I'd knock that person across a room & either kill him or make him wish he was dead. And if I was a lesbian, you'd bet I'd do the same to any woman trying that. I don't find that kind of thing sweet, romantic or endearing in the least.

Honestly, I would be furious at someone for doing that. If someone I knew allowed an ex to do that to them, I would re-evaluate my friendship w/that person & ask why they're allowing this ex to control his/her life. Ultimately, that's what it boils down to for me: if you can't make clean breaks from people to where they at least mind their own business & don't interfere in your life once you've moved on, you have a serious problem w/not taking control of your own life. Should we also expect your parents to chaperon us on dates & micromanage every single little detail of your life?

To my knowledge, theses exes are not the fathers of any children belonging to this female lead. One ex is apparently female.

Even then, those exes don't have the right to demand you to stay celibate for the kids, tell you who to date or attempt to fight would-be suitors i.e. interfering in your private business.

2. One of the exes our lead has to fight is a male rock star.

Give me a fucking break! Can you say "unrealistic?" No actual rock star would be fighting some guy over an ex, okay? A real rock star would have his pick of groupies & sleep with as many as he could. He'd be a "love 'em & leave 'em" sort; not the type who's still hung up on some ex & fighting a new suitor. Maybe a wife or if this ex had kids w/the guy but some past fling w/none of that?!?!?! I wasn't born yesterday; don't insult me.

Can anyone tell me why my inner feminist shouldn't be offended by the premise of this movie? Don't tell me "it's based on a book" or who the people in it are; I know that already.

I make my film viewing decisions based mostly on how the plot sounds, not who's acting in or directing it (unless I personally know an actor, producer, etc. involved in the film but then it's about showing support for a colleague you like or at least don't wish harm on). Anyone can be involved in a turkey from time to time.

Please don't tell me I'd like the special effects; maybe they are good. However, cool special effects (among other things) don't make up for a bad plot/premise; it's like building a mansion using toothpicks & chewing gum. If your foundation sucks, it affects the whole house.

If you've found out something that redeems this premise, let me know. Otherwise, I demand to see a film about a man who allows his 7 exes to interfere in his life to the point that would-be suitors have to fight them. We wouldn't praise that guy, would we?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

General Musings Part 6

I swear, I seem to rack up links by the truck load. So, now time for more general musings.

So, lawyers you think the medical profession is so great??? Yeah, right.

This makes me nervous for my sister since she's studying to be a nurse. She'd definitely be able to do it since she is much better at socializing than I am. Except I & plenty of family members would be furious if someone attacked her or if some hospital administrator expected her to put up with this kind of thing. If her fiance is anything like my spouse when it comes to messing w/his woman, watch out!

Life lesson: No matter what job or career you have there's always a downside. Even if you love doing something, there will always be something unpleasant to do or just a task you hate doing but intellectually, you know you have to complete it if you want to progress.

There are even downsides in the entertainment field: overzealous gatecrashers/wannabes, temperamental actors, indecisive investors, eccentric directors, etc. Not that I'm calling out anyone in particular, talking about my personal experiences or even complaining, I'm just saying those things are the nature of the business. Should you choose to work in entertainment, you're going to encounter at least some of this sooner or later. Similar unpleasant tasks, personality types, etc. exist everywhere so the only way to avoid it is to become a shut-in.

On to unrealistic expectations. Where do you find those? More often than not, Craig's List!!

Attorney (Temporary) (Nassau)
Date: 2010-08-13, 11:18AM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Small firm needs temporary assistance. Mostly litigation. This is a full-time, temporary position for a week to two weeks. There is a possibility of the part-time position becoming full-time, so attorneys available to accept a full-time associate position are preferred. This is a position that is probably most suited to an attorney with 2 to 5 years of quality comercial/business litigation experience, but others will be considered. The compensation range is $15 to $25 per hour, depending on experience.

* Location: Nassau
* Compensation: $15 to $25 per hour.
* Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
* Please, no phone calls about this job!
* Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 1896512307

This is why attorneys are pissed off about the job market. Document review positions, where you did nothing but sit on your butt looking at a computer screen for hours on end looking for privileged documentation, was paying $35 an hour back when I had that one horrid assignment in 2008. If the assignments weren't located in filthy sweatshops managed by Hitler wannabes, it wouldn't have been a bad gig. Apparently plenty of lawyers racked up hours on these assignments to take months off & could still pay their basic bills (including student loans). The average yearly take home was something in the neighborhood of $50-60K a year, sometimes more depending on how many hours you worked or how many assignments you got.

But consider that part-time in lawyer world is usually full-time everywhere else (40 hours per week). Consider that if you calculate $25 an hour, 40 hours a week for a year, after taking out 25% for taxes you get about $36K a year. $15 an hour on the same formula is less than $22K a year.

AND these people want 2-5 years of experience?!?!?!?! Should they also be Harvard grads who can make their assholes sing & juggle watermelon while cooking a 6 course meal from scratch and putting highlights in a dog's hair? I've been reading John Waters' books lately & I haven't seen Pink Flamingos, but that's where the singing asshole reference comes from.

When I read this, I immediately thought of Susan Smith. This just disgusts me on so many levels, it's not funny. I really hope the comments saying the women in prison would handle this scum are true. I may not want to have kids of my own but that doesn't mean I think they should be suffocated, placed in a car to sink in a river & then have their mother lie to the authorities about what happened. See why it reminded me of the Susan Smith case? It was a particularly huge story in my hometown in NC; after all, SC is hitting pretty close to home. I have nieces & nephews as well as close friends who are parents; even if their kids got on their nerves from time to time, I don't see any of them doing what this woman did.

And you still want to stick w/the notion that God gives you babies?

Just one more reason for me to avoid grocery stores in the city. This doesn't shock me in the least since it's always the poor being taken advantage of. Who's shocked that most of the violations happened in the poorest neighborhoods of the Bronx? How do you propose to correct it? That's the better question.

Well, people I won't be openly nasty to if I meet them. It also proves that I'd probably not be good at being a long-term assistant since I'd eventually want to move myself upward & I must put out some type of energy that says I'll never be happy being someone's permanent assistant since people always want to put me in higher level roles than I might initially ask about.

At least these people know that it's not smart to be nasty to assistants since they can screw your life up. They could write tell-alls, mess in your finances, steal, who knows what else. I think I would definitely take notes on how I saw an assistant being treated since it's the same as watching how your date treats the wait staff in a restaurant. That kind of thing reflects on people's impressions of you & it would not go unnoticed by me considering we all start somewhere.

Life lesson: Smart business people & prospective clients are watching everything you do. If you treat lower level workers like crap, I'm going to see it & likely refuse to deal with you since you've proven to be an asshole. I'll think you're trying to get one over on me, which is so not cool. I'd also make sure anyone I was advising or working with saw the same things & heard my thoughts on that. No one I know likes being duped or dealing w/someone who acts like that.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who Says an Attorney Can't Be Creative???

Very shortly, those of you in the NYC area (or who actually venture there from NJ, CT or someplace else) will get to see my acting & singing talents on a more regular basis. I was asked to be an actor in a new sketch comedy group being formed by the producer of "The Gloria Glitter Show" (yes, where I'll also be creating a recurring character).

Now, I hadn't though about being an actor in the group + as a general rule, I don't ask for acting roles or to subject you to my singing or writing. I don't use my being someone's legal counsel, organizing their work or doing other behind the scenes stuff to inject myself into the creative side of the industry. I'm not Lucy Ricardo or some gatecrashing wannabe & think asking for such things would make me one. A lot of people I've met don't like being used for their career & getting hassled about such things. There are also factions of attorneys who use representing entertainment clients for just those purposes.

However, I've gotten opportunities to do things because creative people I work with asked me to audition for roles or to read at auditions. That's how I've gotten things: simple hard work & no preferential treatment. I think we should all operate that way. Talent & personality should come first; even if you've got some huge investor, that doesn't mean you walk in like you deserve something. Don't give me a job just because I'm doing your legal work or help you on behind the scenes stuff: give me a creative role or project because you think I'm capable of doing it. If I'm not, don't let me ruin things.

I also may be doing another writing gig for a blog that sums up who I am & perhaps creates a category for me where none actually existed. We'll see how that goes but it will mean you'll get more of my prose. I'm also happy someone else thinks highly of my writing abilities.

So who says you can't work in the industry because you're an attorney? Maybe it's because I have a creative background, sheer curiosity when I tell people about singing or acting someplace or even the fact that I'm more of a creative than a typical attorney but I have managed to get opportunities where others probably wouldn't.

I also make sure to tell attorneys who really want to work in entertainment not to work as entertainment lawyers in the hope of exploiting creative work. It's scummy & I'd hate one doing it to me. Hell, I'd really do a number on such folk since I despise most lawyers & that world as a whole; everyone I know would hear about it & hopefully blackball those people as well as tell their colleagues so they can be spared that nonsense.

I even have to finally get my headshots/resumes professionally printed since now there's a demand for them & they don't come out right at home. I'd meant to for ages but I didn't have the money. Side income has made it possible; I need to do more article writing soon but I've been doing so much stuff lately.

I'm also trying to come up w/game plans to contact people, move ahead on the ventures, write on my other big project, etc.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Some Roots of My Classism

If you are from a higher class background and scratch your head at the whole poor experience or why people don't just pay their bills, let me tell you about an interesting scenario that gives you a lot of detail into someone: bill collector calls.

Bill collectors will call your house & use every dirty trick they can under the law to get money from you. They might as well get big guys with pipes and baseball bats the way you can get harassed. Some of them will call people who aren't even named debtors just to bother them. I don't know why, especially if your address is different from theirs. Harassment tactic? Getting family members to harass you to pay a bill you can't pay?

Growing up in a household where you had to screen phone calls, I'm not a judgmental prick when it comes to someone getting collection calls. Here are some cues to where someone falls on the socioeconomic ladder:

* You ask someone why they don't just pay their bills or write a check to a creditor.
* You give out information to creditors calling your home.
* You give out honest information to creditors such as phone numbers, social security numbers, etc.

then you have never been poor. You think all people owing money to someone are deadbeats and you're liable to get murdered by those who are honestly trying to pay bills but have asshole creditors who won't compromise or budge an inch. This type of thing provokes rage from my family members & from me.

The people who have had to deal with this know how scummy bill collectors are & don't help them. They also don't walk around with sanctimonious attitudes or make naive and stupid statements such as suggesting you negotiate with bill collectors or "pay your bills."

Do you really think anyone enjoys screening their phone calls or dealing with bill collectors? If you think there's any choice involved, you're a special type of scumbag & deserve to become poorer than anyone you dare to trash.

So I think where you fall on this issue is a good indicator of the type of person you are and where you came from. For my part, I think people who didn't have life handed to them on a silver platter are more resourceful, smarter and more prepared for the real world than those who did. I relate better to those people & figured that anyone I'd really be serious about would have to be someone who'd had to deal with bill collectors calling or understand real life as I knew it. My feeling was that no rich guy would ever be able to understand me and therefore, could never fully accept me for who I am.

One thing I'm thrilled about is that many people in my life believe in me and think that things will work out for me in a meaningful way. Some of these were people I didn't even think believed in me.

I'm glad people in my life root for me. We all need that. To me, if you're not rooting for me, then you're against me. Being against me means I don't give a damn about you. It means I know you'll be eating your words since many people doubted or discounted me on other things & when I proved them wrong, they had to eat their words. Making people eat their words is fun.

What I despise is haters in your own family. I feel like my husband suffered a disadvantage since I don't see most of his family believing in him or nurturing his dreams like mine did & still do. Count yourself lucky if your family stands by you, especially if you're pursuing a career in entertainment. He says they do but I beg to differ. None of them are buying our movies, going to our events or seem to consider me pursuing this as a serious career like everyone else does. Making money should not be the criterion to calling yourself an entertainment professional; otherwise, most of us couldn't claim that title.

I'm glad my close family & friends don't view me as some wannabe, that they take me & our work seriously. They'd be at our events & see me sing in a second if they lived near here. I don't have room for haters in my life, not anywhere. I feel like people are either with me or against me. I'm glad my husband & so many other people are with me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

And if you're not with me, don't expect me to have any kindness or mercy toward you. Don't ask for favors and don't try being a friend b/c I'll just see right through you. Not understanding the creative mindset is a huge roadblock to relating to me or anyone else who is a true creative.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


So my husband & I have been watching To Catch a Predator on MSNBC. I really hope they're actually bringing that show back since I support anyone engaging in the hunt for criminals (of course, if I had my way I'd just allow Chris Hansen, law enforcement, whoever to shoot them on sight but if you keep up w/this blog, you already know how I feel about child molesters).

As an aside, a life rule: Avoid any man who calls himself Pepe. One of the predators on the show was named Pepe as well as an illegal I know of who beat his own child + the mother of 2 of his kids. Any Pepes who aren't scumbags: go redeem your tarnished name. Ideally, take out these scumbags. Please???

So one of the smoking guns used to blast people on To Catch a Predator is the guy carrying condoms to the house used for the investigations. The men will say that they always carry condoms. all you men just carry condoms in case you see some nice looking thing walking down the street & just go have sex right there. I know all my exes did this. Yeah, you just can't get through the day without using at least 3-4 condoms right? Sex addicts don't count; I'm talking about the average guy just living from day to day.

I think if this actually happened, there'd be far fewer late night trips to the drug store for condoms.

Oh, and if I happen to know you & you do this, please don't tell me. I don't want to hear about it. I also don't need to hear or see more stories about sexual encounters in public places in NYC; the stuff I've seen & heard would creep you out.

That being said, why do we never hear about anyone stocking condoms in a bomb shelter or for the end of the world stockpile of supplies? Might one want to fornicate safely after the end of the world calamity hits? After all, you never know what diseases someone might have, you might not have a spouse around & let's face it: people who aren't getting laid are generally very unpleasant to deal with.

I also though of something else one might want in their shelter; good, mind altering drugs. At least that would make life after the end of the world more interesting & might calm some folks down, huh? I'm not a survivalist so none of this applies to me but you would think one would consider stockpiling condoms & pot. Perhaps some ingredients for & someone who can make LSD as well.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

General Musings, Part 5 & How to Spot a Scam Artist

Here we go again. Got all these stories & now it's time to share some thoughts:

Call me a prick or whatever you want but I do happen to be in support of this. It's this kind of thing that has been making the US a safe haven for illegals & having seen my family's former neighbors pop out baby after baby that they then allow to roam freely in busy streets without a care in the world or Social Services coming after them, I'm all for cutting that kind of nonsense. I don't blame Social Services since they've overworked, underpaid & have enough to deal with but I think curbing that whole thing might help everyone's caseloads.

If you disagree, talk to me about it when you see the mother of these children doing zero child rearing or even speaking English. The men will at least parent if you tell them their children are messing in your yard or standing in the middle of the street waiting to be a human speed bump. I really don't have regard or sympathy for women who do this. That also ties into my rant against breeders, who come in all nationalities, religions, economic classes, etc. & are equally hated by me.

As a lawyer & somewhat liberal minded person, you can guess what side I take on this. Videotaping the police should absolutely not be a crime. Guess how many regimes in history violated basic civil rights; a lot. If you ask me, this is a check against police corruption that we sorely need in society as a while.

I can think of worse, don't worry. But, let's get serious: you'd better MENTION weekend work unless it's standard practice in the job. You'll not get ME to do it unless it's for my own business or some enterprise where I will receive ample compensation & recognition for doing so. That's sorely lacking in your typical job.

I did my weekend time & paid my dues there, thank you. Now, I'm a married woman with a Master's level degree & deserve to have quality time with my spouse. I simply avoid jobs demanding me to do that since I am a freelancer & get the luxury to create my own schedule.

Some truly bad questions:

1. What's your policy on personal hygiene? (I'm not kidding; my husband could tell you stories about this.)
2. Are you solvent? Financially, that is.
3. May I bring my dog/cat/snake/other household pet to work? (and you aren't handicapped)
4. When will the soul sucking begin?
5. Would you like to go out with me? (That would creep me out.)
6. When will your company join us in the modern age?

What's the use of life if you can't laugh once in a while? It would also make me lash out even more at the corporate world, where personality isn't allowed, if I didn't do stuff like this.

I can relate to this one since I also found college & law school textbooks to be too damn high. I'm surprised the law school scam bloggers haven't talked about that yet. My own law school once openly told us they weren't e-mailing us the ISBNs for the books as they had in prior semesters b/c "the bookstore won't let us & wants to make money."

Well, I want my own gold mine. We want lots of things in life but that doesn't mean we'll get them. I just walked to the bookstore myself, found my books, wrote down the ISBNs, then went home & looked them up online. Unless you store yours in the back & make employees fetch them for students, I guess you're out of luck aren't you, evil campus bookstore??? Saved 1/2 the money buying from non-bookstore sources.

Ed Koch, you rock!!! Good luck to New York Uprising. Stuff like this makes me hopeful for the American spirit & people getting together to say "Enough is enough!" I didn't even live in NYC when he was Mayor but anyone who gets things done & doesn't crumble in the face of controversy to the PC crowd is someone I admire.

All I can say is "Cut the shit!!" Where have you dinosaurs been living since the rise of You Tube, the Internet, cable television, etc.? Is this 1988? I find it ridiculous that they even have a cable show entitled "Dance Your A** Off"; what the hell??? Why can we not spell the word "Ass"; it is in the Bible, after all. Furthermore, since when do the Christians govern this nation??? One religion does not have the right to dictate what everyone else does, especially when others don't follow that religion. You don't see the Amish or the Mormons doing this stuff. Take a lesson from them.

You know you're just going to end up like Terry Rakolta & give the show even better ratings + press. People will speak out against the Parents Television Council and deem them out of touch with modern society's mores. Furthermore, some of you people need to be looking at yourselves & what you are teaching your kids instead of blaming popular culture, television shows and the media in general for your children's spiritual corruption. Let me tell you right now, we have a little thing called a TV remote & I bet your children have seen more Internet porn in 2 months than I've seen in my entire life.

There's a practice called abstinence; it's not just for sex. Grown ups do live in this country & when you infringe on my rights to watch a program or those of my fellow creatives to express themselves, that's when you're asking for trouble.

Finally, some tips on spotting a scam artist:

I saw this Craig's List ad for a job. In case they actually pull this one, here's what it says.

Executive Business Assistant for Modeling Agency (New York)
Date: 2010-08-06, 10:52PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Good Evening Everyone-
An up and coming modeling agency is looking for an Executive Business Assistant for the New York City area.
The company is presently looking to work with eye candy models, so if you have experience there then please include related experience in your response email.
The people selected for this particular position would be responsible for building a team of personnel for the following core management positions in the New York City area: (a) Director of Operations, (b) Director of Marketing, (c) Director of Model Development and (d) Business Assistant
The duties of each of the listed personnel will be discussed with the individuals who surpass the initial screening for the Executive Business Assistant Position
The Executive Business Assistant would also be responsible for finding 10 strong modeling candidates to upstart the market in the New York City area
What the agency is looking for:
(a) A Female who is at least 28 years of age
(b) Someone who is aggressive, detail oriented, organized, and not easily persuaded/influenced (AGAIN THIS POSITION IS NOT DESIGNED FOR WEAK INDIVIDUALS)
(c) Someone with a positive attitude and can share various ideas to move the New York market as well as other markets forward
(d) Must be able to communicate effectively
(e) Must be able to make herself accessible
If you are interested in this position, then please forward your resume and/or bio, 2-3 photos, statement of why you would be the best fit for this position, contact email and contact phone number. Someone affiliated with the agency will be in touch with all candidates who possess the strongest capabilities within 24-72 hours

* Location: New York
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: will be discussed with individuals who surpass initial screening process

PostingID: 1885186759

Freaking demanding of total strangers, eh? I sent in information & corresponded w/a lovely person who completely agreed with my basic points. Apparently, the guy was a clone of the scammer at the fake BMG Network referenced much earlier in this blog.

So, how to spot a scammer? I've noticed a few things:

1. Job ads asking for pictures when the job isn't for an acting, modeling or some creative project. Personal or Executive Assistant to the CEO does NOT count.

If they're asking for pics, chances are the person's seeking a future sexual harassment victim. It actually happened to someone I know. They're also setting themselves up for a serious employment discrimination lawsuit with evidence right there for the world to see.

2. The business owner is evasive. The scammer I dealt with wouldn't even give financial information to potential investors, despite the fact that it's par for the course in this business.

3. The business owner might as well be a 7th grade girl since (s)he talks behind people's backs. I loathe that shit with a passion & it corrodes a business when you don't have honest communication. This kind of drama is juvenile + a waste of time.

4. The business owner never gets back to you on things. The scammer was the worst person in the company I worked in. Everyone else was on the ball, ready to go but that guy always dragged his feet. I loathe this as well.

5. The business owner doesn't want to work with a lawyer or is scared of one. The one concerning this ad apparently claimed to have one but I think that's BS since no attorney I know would have someone post an ad that so obviously violates labor laws. Nor would any sane business person turn down the opportunity to even speak to an attorney, especially in the entertainment game. Remember, attorneys actually get respect in this business. Even if they have one, any sane person would still talk to other lawyers since you never know who might be a resource in the future.

This probably doesn't cover everything (one obvious thing is never giving money on the condition of a job or reimbursement if you've not dealt with the person in the past) but when I see things like this, it's a huge red flag screaming "Lying crook. Get away!"

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Singing Debut

It went well. I came in there, did my songs. Unfortunately, the act was cut a little short due to time but my spy tells me I did very well & people responded to me. It's that feeling that makes you a performer; when being on stage is something that gives you a high. I've felt that since high school, honestly. Even though I wasn't even close to well-liked, I always got acknowledgment for my creative abilities. Let me give you an idea of what I mean:

When I was a senior in high school, I sang in my school's talent show. Most of the performers came in with R&B influenced songs & acts (hey, my high school had a very significant black population & a good chunk of those people were my friends). I, being the non-conformist I am, choose to sing a song by The Cranberries. I spent my youth hating the fact that I was different & had a perpetual spotlight on me b/c of my hair but by the time I got to high school, I'd learned to embrace my differences & keep following my own drummer.

So what happened afterward? I got asked to sing in the weirdest places & at the oddest times. When I was getting someone out of class as a guidance office page, a whole class asked me to sing. When I was working at JcPenney one day, a group of girls walk by singing the song I sang in that show.

The most unusual was when I was going to Pizza Hut with my mother. One of the employees recognizes me as "that girl from the talent show" and asks me to sing. I started singing & my mother's dumbfounded. She can't believe I'm standing here singing in the Pizza Hut for this person.

I say "Mom, if they hated my singing they wouldn't ask 'Will you sing?" They'd say 'Never sing again.'" And they did indeed ask me for that out of my having talent & not to make me look bad. It was a victory considering I was extremely paranoid about people's intentions in those days. I had good reason; most of the kids I had to spend time with were gossipy, manipulative assholes. Guess that's why I refuse to work in the typical law firm job as an associate, huh?

Now, time to watch Rocko's Modern Life for as long as I'm able to stay awake.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sociopaths or Just Like You & Me??

I was watching that new A&E show Aftermath yesterday. The episode was about none other than Bernie Goetz. If you don't know who he is, this Wikipedia link will get you up to speed.

Now, after watching this show I heard about this today.

Apparently, this driver shot up his workplace after being asked to resign for stealing beer. Here's the twist, though. According to people close to this guy, he shot people who were being racist against him & apparently "had complained of racial harassment and said he found a picture of a noose and a racial epithet written on a bathroom wall". But as we all know, there's one side to a story, the other side & the truth is somewhere in between.

My thoughts: I'm 100% in favor of not letting anyone push you around regardless of their race, gender, age, etc. I don't support racism & I don't support targeting people who did nothing to you or your loved ones (spouses, children, siblings, parents, etc.).

When someone bullies another person, uses racial harassment or tries to do something wrong, then I 100% agree w/the comment Bernie Goetz made yesterday on that program about those people injuring themselves. He said that he didn't feel anything for the people he shot since they'd been trying to hurt him & he simply fought back.

Now while I think it's downright stupid to assume that race, gender, whatever is a factor in who's going to harm you (no one is "safe"), I do agree w/that basic point. It's karma coming to bite you in the ass.

I think that people who say shooting bullies & people trying to hurt or harm you in some way is never justified are the people who have never been bullied, robbed or threatened. It's especially patronizing to make remarks like that when you're talking about someone who's been bullied over long periods of time. That's eventually going to make a victim snap; look at what happened to John Wayne Bobbit after he went around abusing his wife. God knows if I didn't have goals or a decent future ahead of me, I'd certainly consider doing the same things. I'd certainly fight back if someone messed with me.

Perhaps some of them are bullies themselves; I really wouldn't shed tears for someone who got what was coming to him/her but might feel bad for any kids these people had since they wouldn't really be able to reform the person or tell them not to bully others. Not to mention the quality of parenting they'd be forced to deal with.

I have to wonder how many people in society would do just what Bernie Goetz did if they were in that situation. Or how many would shoot up supervisors and co-workers at a job if they were being tossed out like garbage or getting harassed or somehow being oppressed or abused in the workplace? I'm not talking about the CT story now but of cases where these things did happen. If you think it doesn't, then I'd like to know if you're offering apartments for rent in that perfect bubble you live in.

Bernie Goetz also has a pet squirrel so he kind of reminds me of my husband, who'd like a pet squirrel but has a large cat who would be displeased & probably eat it. I tell you, I'd vote for that guy over some fat cat like Bloomberg in a second. If he's not from a rich family or catering to some scummy PAC or lobbyist, even better. Believer of common sense? Then what can I do to help?

One nagging question that still kills me: Do you ever notice that every single news story on these shootings is about someone who's considered a "loner"? Someone who's not getting along with the majority of society & generally marches to his/her own drummer. Why are there never stories about murderers who have lots of friends & are considered part of the Shiny Happy People Club??? Well, except for Ted Bundy.

It also makes me wonder whether everyone thinks I and/or my husband will go on a shooting rampage since we're not exactly in the Shiny Happy People Club & we have friends who'd fit the descriptions of some of these people. Even WE fit a lot of these descriptions: quiet, keeping to yourself, not letting others push you around, being thought of as strange/weird. Part of that helps me to be heard when I've got something to say.

Apparently one sign of being a sociopath is having more affection for animals than people. Well, if that's true I & many others that I know fit that category. At least animals are consistent; they don't pretend to like you or play mind games. Looking at the collective & not individual people, I definitely relate better to cats than people as a whole. Why wouldn't I? My track record with cats on the whole is far better than my track record with people.

I wouldn't say I'd never go on a shooting spree or have no sociopathic tendencies at all (after all, I'm not a licensed psychologist) but I think far more of us are capable of it than society wants you to think. This is why smart people don't go around starting problems & being bullies to others. You do that stuff at your own peril. I might not get you but that doesn't mean someone (or even something) else won't. Life can mess you up in ways that people only wish they could.

One last thought: is it just me or is "oppositional defiance disorder" just fancy speak for being a brat? I heard of this particular diagnosis on an episode of Forensic Files last night concerning a teenager & maybe I'm clueless on how exactly one would get this diagnosis but that's what this sounds like to me. Couldn't every teenager on Earth claim to have this to get away with everything??? I'll save that rant for later.

Monday, August 2, 2010

When Did Being Mature = Being Boring?

There's this commercial for a cheese cracker that features cheese being immature before being ready to be used in their product. Cute idea but I have just one little gripe here:

When did maturity = boredom?

Seriously, does being a capable & responsible person mean I'm supposed to be sitting around boring the hell out of you??? Does it make one immature to play the occasional practical joke on someone or say something particularly cutting? If that's the case, pretty much everyone around me is immature (including me).

However, I would define immaturity as being irresponsible with your money, not paying child support or being a proper parent to your kids, and generally acting like a 5 year old when life doesn't turn out like you want it to.

I think someone who can laugh at themselves, play occasional harmless jokes on others & be a good smart ass is a person with spirit. A kid at heart, if you will. My mom's a good example of a kid at heart: she'd go trick or treating with us on Halloween as kids & will still go out with her grandsons. Part of it may be a safety thing but she'll actually dress up in costume, unlike most parents. I feel like my husband was deprived in a way because his parents weren't like that. My dad's also like this, though he did different things with us like taking us to the park or the swimming pool.

One thing I've observed is that the minute you start fitting society's definition of a "grown up", that's when your soul dies. You become "the Man" & I don't mean that in a good way. I mean you become a drudge that lacks any imagination, creativity or right brain skills that are just as important as any left brain skill. Thankfully, my sister is also a kid at heart so my nephews won't be forced to deal with a parent who's too busy being old to relate to them in a meaningful way.

I'm never going to be the sort discussing my 401K with people who aren't in the financial industry or giving me advice on that sort of thing. Yeah, I use big words & might talk about legal stuff but I speak about practical matters instead of using crazy legal jargon that confuses me.

But this maturity = boring thing just bothers me on many levels. Does this mean everyone working in the industry are just overgrown adolescents?? Some people, maybe but everyone??? Give me a break. If having a personality & thinking about more than boring adult stuff makes me immature, then I'll embrace that with a smile on my face. I'm sure plenty of others would do the same.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

General Musings, Part 4

Just realized more links on here that I was going to comment on. A lot of them refer back to rants/posts I've already done so please use the keywords to find them.

This is why you make sure to sign releases & have your legal documentation in order (ideally, you get an entertainment lawyer). You never know if you're going to become famous & even if you don't, it's still a headache to get sued even if the person suing you is a big fat liar. I don't know the details of this one but little surprises me these days & I'm just waiting for the money hungry types to come out of the woodwork in the future once my ventures gain more prominence.

Here's another interesting story.

Personally, Elton John makes a good point. Most of the entertainment industry would shut down in this country if gay people refused to work due to their lack of rights in particular states in this country. My personal views aside, I wish some of these people exercised as much effort in protecting the rights of citizens in this country who are dealing with much worse.

Finally, this ridiculous article.

You want to check out in the fastest way of all? Go to Stop & Shop where they have the cool scanners that keep you from dealing with all that nonsense. Demand your grocery store to follow suit, especially if you're a stockholder. I know in the Northeast there's all that union noise but why isn't this commonplace in the South?

Also, I don't abide by any company keeping workers that refuse to do their jobs or can't do them even after lots of training. You can't do much if the CEO's doing that but I have to wonder why any CEO would deliberately behave in a manner that causes his/her business to suffer such as continuing to pay good money to some flunkie who can't do their job. With all the unemployed people around, you could find someone who's twice as skilled as such a flunkie & who'll work for 1/2 the pay.

Perhaps I don't care & I'm heartless but I do believe in a thing called personal responsibility & work ethic. If you want to be a smart ass to people, then work as a collections agent. Become a lawyer & then do what I'm doing; no one expects me to be nice & it's bad for a lawyer to let people walk all over him/her. These stores would save on paying labor & could keep the people who are good at the jobs for checking IDs + doing the stuff you can't do on the scanners. Corporations are already hated by the public & I don't see Wal-Mart being overly concerned w/their image problems, so I really don't get why they don't just go full steam ahead on this.

As for sympathy to the people who are getting attitude w/me b/c of their paycheck? Not my fault you hate your job. Take that complaint up w/the main office instead of being nasty to customers. I did my retail stint & I'd never have done that. I also complain on people for stuff like that since I have this history & indeed could do the job better than some of the types I've had to deal with.

Oh, and I have even less sympathy for people who complain about situations & NEVER do anything to make it better for themselves like finding a job they'd like or getting an education to get their dream job.

My view is if you can't do something better than whoever you're complaining about, you need to shut up. If you can, then speak up. I won't trash someone's drawing skills or his/her cartwheel but I will complain about bad singing, customer service skills, public speaking, film plots, anything I have enough knowledge & skill in to have a valid gripe.

Doing otherwise would make me look stupid & have no credibility.