Monday, January 30, 2012

The Whole Cooking vs. Eating Out Debate

I'm not sure this is a topic I've really discussed here. You might think "She lives in NYC & works in entertainment. Surely she's eating out ALL THE TIME." I mean, look at Sex & the City where Carrie even talks about how she can't cook in one episode. I've not seen it in ages & in no way do I have an encyclopedic knowledge of that show but I do own all the seasons on DVD & saw both of the movies with that former friend who tried ruining my sister's wedding.

Perhaps that's a reason I've not seen it recently: it's tainted for me b/c of that former friend. Another good reason is if I'm writing something with even remote similarity to something I've seen, I don't want to be unduly influenced by it while in the writing process. There's inspiration & then there's copying; I want to avoid copying.

Anyway, one important Southern stereotype that actually isn't inaccurate when you're talking about me is that I can cook. I may not be a master chef but it's sort of a cultural expectation where I grew up that if you're female you learn some cooking skills since eventually, you're going to have a husband and kids to take care of & it's irresponsible to have them live off fast food. One of those "making you more marketable as a wife" deals.

Cooking in many circles of women is like sports for men. There's different cuisines, different interests & styles but it's something many of us can actually talk about & make attempts at. Plenty of women would look down on a woman who couldn't even boil water or thinks TV dinners are good for you 7 days a week.

I actually didn't get to do full cooking until I went to law school. I do much more of it now since I'm married, have more income to buy things, a kitchen with an oven, stove, appliances, etc. & just can't eat certain things anymore because they mess up my stomach. I also like knowing what's in my food & if I cook it, I'll know.

Part of my interest in cooking came from eating something at a restaurant & feeling I could make it better (usually less greasy but also less fatty or without something the restaurant had in it that I hated). My mom also did more cooking when we were younger & we helped out on that. I even took Home Ec in middle school & tried taking this Foods & Nutrition class in high school.

However, the high school class was taught by this mega-bitch who demanded you to eat whatever was prepared even if you: had an allergy, didn't like it, had a small stomach (you didn't get to pick your portion size) or was nervous about someone's sanitation practices. This woman even checked the garbage so if you didn't want something & wanted to leave, you had to sneak the food out & throw it away elsewhere (far more than the simple taste). I ended up doing that once when we had this absolutely disgusting dessert in the class. I transferred out b/c of it though I had some entertaining classmates & got to sit with a table of older kids (including a guy who was our class clown/troublemaker).

I found out later she had cancer but I didn't (and still don't) think that made her behavior okay.

Another great thing about cooking for yourself? You never have to deal with the BS of restaurant wait times. I have to agree with this woman's sentiments. I don't consider myself to have some weird food tasting issue (I'm not a non-taster); I just don't have that kind of time in my life & lack patience for long lines.

This is not just a trendy restaurant issue; The Cheesecake Factory & other chain restaurants suffer from this as well on Saturday & Friday evenings.

Plus, my food will probably come out better anyway & be the way I want it, not how YOU want to serve it to me. I absolutely, without a doubt, despise any restaurant that dictates to me how my food is going to be. If I ask for "no onions" on my food, I expect to get it.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not some high maintenance bitch but at the same time, if I'm paying for it I'll have it my way or you can shove it up your butt. You want to serve it to me YOUR way??? Don't charge me for it! Better yet, why not pay me to be your food taster? Otherwise, don't expect me to spend money for gunk I won't eat & don't expect to have that many paying customers.

Luckily, my husband is also picky & loves my cooking so he'll generally opt for that over any restaurant's food.

Yet another reason home cooking is better? It's much cheaper. This article is a bunch of crap for many reasons:

1. Any smart person knows you shop for sales or find the best deal on something based on a quality/price calculation. Buying from the NYC Fresh Express isn't going to cut it. Try a grocery store with lots of sales & quality goods or even the farmer's market.

2. The serving sizes here are inaccurate as commenters to the story pointed out.

3. They left out the tax & tip. Are they trying to tell people to stiff servers? I'm sure that's going to go over well.

4. Let's also consider the future medical costs when you get a heart attack, diabetes or whatever bad health condition that arises from excess grease, fat, etc. Using a copycat recipe & making it at home is a lot better. Plus, you'll likely eat less at home.

5. Finally, there's those darn restaurant wait times. Some are so long that by the time you've gotten your food, you could have made it yourself & already eaten it ages ago.

At the end of the day, my food doesn't make anyone sick so we'll stick with it. I think eating out should be done in moderation like for special occasions. I couldn't handle eating restaurant food everyday & would not want to. You shouldn't want to either, unless maybe no one in your family can cook. Then I just pity you.

Or, you could go to a restaurant that offers a theme like Hooters or even this one in South Korea.

Now, why has this kind of restaurant not opened nationwide in America? Don't we believe in equal opportunity for exploitation? Shouldn't men have the right to use their looks for the service industry just as women have? Wouldn't gay men & straight women really like this concept? I've been saying for years this sort of thing should be more equal opportunity.

Oh, and I should point out that I'm not one of those women who'd freak out if my significant other went to Hooters or who'd get jealous of a Hooters girl. After all, most people would think I'm pretty enough to work there & I know my husband's only got eyes for me. Years ago, I applied for a job at one in my hometown when I was trying to find a job after college (ideally, it was going to supplement this job I applied for & allow me to earn money to move to NYC even quicker); I think I must have failed the intelligence & pushover requirements to work there because I spoke to the manager and I think he was irked about me using it for this supplemental purpose.

I heard later on about Hooters workers who were quite unhappy with extra hours & general management nastiness (I don't remember anything about that location but I heard about it as a general corporate practice).

Vampire Boy even went to Hooters once with friends (I wasn't there) & I'm still somewhat amused by that considering he WAS Vampire Boy (no sparkles or movie star looks, though) + conventionally pretty women did nothing for him. It would be like the biggest redneck you know going to a wine tasting.

The most significant thing he came away with? He thought the food was horrible. Since then, I've heard more people say this about the food.

My husband also isn't the Hooters type & would get pissed if you didn't have good food or were rude to me or him. Flirting in my presence would probably make me amused at best since I know that chick would have no chance in any lifetime. I'd probably also tell her she could do better; my husband's certainly had enough people shocked at my looks & the fact that I'M married to him so it would probably be true.

Anyhow, you're better off learning to cook & eating at home where it's more comfy, you don't have to deal with screaming children (unless they're yours) or lazy parents & can have it YOUR way.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Self-Segregation & Why It's a Bad Thing

I recently got some paperwork requesting me to join a women's bar association. Putting aside my general feelings about bar associations, I considered this and then as I was cleaning things out yesterday decided to pass.

To get an idea of my general views on such efforts, read this earlier post on "diversity" efforts in law firms.

I'm not a big fan of doing such professional groups. Being in a sorority or some social group for childfree people is one thing: sororities don't make it a practice to tell members to never talk to men or exclude them from their lives. Mine has never said "You can't have a male mentor!" or "You can't get any useful advice from men." The type of social group for childfree people that I would associate with would never say "All parents are bad!" or "Hate your child relatives." Sororities do plan events with fraternities & some are little sisters in frats (I wasn't). My point is a proper sorority is supposed to bolster the women involved and help them socialize with men.

These groups don't operate under the idea of self-segregation. They aren't telling you to shun anyone who doesn't fit their category. If they are, I leave.

I've read tons of stories recently on how there are few women filmmakers, executives, and how women don't get advancement as attorneys. However, I don't run around with a mindset of "I'm different" and I think it's a terrible idea to do that.

Saying "I'm different" tends to lead to thinking you're inferior or second class compared to men. If you want to be a woman who succeeds, you can't be thinking that way.

This is my first major problem with self-segregating professional groups. I have never viewed myself as "different" or less entitled to things than someone else. I don't really notice being a woman doing what I'm doing or being a redhead or even being attractive or younger than many people. I just see it as me, the person who doesn't take shit & is happy to piss off whiny idiots doing what I want to do. I've also found quite a few men who forge ahead & don't put themselves into special categories. I don't go out & ask for respect; I simply command it. I'm not called "the enforcer" for being a little wimp, you know?

My second problem is the idea that ONLY people just like me can give me career advice or mentor me. That's total crap. For one thing, if I just look for the natural redheads then the women doing stuff I probably wouldn't have any mentors. Plus, how do you know that older women are even going to help or support you? Some women are very catty & behave like they never left 7th grade. I'm not of them but I've encountered women ahead of me in the game who said they had no mentors & had to deal with catty bitch types who felt that young women should have to suck it up just like they did. I don't know this for sure but it seems men are less prone to this kind of behavior when it comes to professional women. If it's between a woman or a man for a mentor, I'd like to see what each person's career path is, their mindsets, backgrounds, etc. I'd rather pick the person who gets it & understands what I'm seeking over someone inflicting their own agenda on me or who hasn't a clue what I'm doing or what it's like to be in my shoes. Someone who will be supportive vs. a catty bitchy jerk. I can find cattiness easily enough; I'm not going to roll out a red carpet for it.

Third, having a separate, segregated group is like saying "I'm inferior so I need help to get ahead. I can't do it alone." I don't feel that way about myself. I don't need special programs to get ahead & I don't want to get something because of my sex or my hair color or anything else I can't control. There are many "minorities" who feel the same way. We just want an even playing field & a better environment for everyone, not just our particular group.

Now I do like the camaraderie, support style aspect of such groups. I'm sure people like that & find it useful. Certainly my sorority has that aspect to it.

However, if it's not a social group you never know whether it's just a support style group where you can have any viewpoints you want & simply talk to people (other women, redheads, whatever) or if you have to start taking on views you don't agree with for the sake of "group conformity."

For example, I don't think you have to stomp on men or anyone else to get ahead. Some women's groups feel differently. Some women want to discriminate against skinny women & aren't very nice to them. You don't see men cutting down more attractive men or shunning THEM. Women, on the other hand, do it all the time. Now I'm not speaking individually, I'm speaking of women as a group so don't take personal offense. If you're a woman, you know there are some catty & unpleasant ones among us.

I also think you lose valuable perspectives and insight if you're not talking to people who are different from you & have a different philosophy, mindset, experience, whatever. The world is NOT just women or just black people or just Asians or just natural redheads. You're going to have to talk to people who aren't like you sooner or later & it's better from a learning & maturity standpoint to do it sooner in my book. Plus, you get some great debates & perspectives there.

Finally, I'm a lot more than just a woman or just this or just that. I think self-segregating professional groups profoundly box you into those categories so when people think of you, they instantly think of a separate bar association or category group. I don't want anyone's first thought about me to be "She's in that women's bar association." Then, I'm just "that woman" not anything else that might be unique or significant & isn't tied to something I had no control over or is associated with some past history of oppression or affirmative action. My sorority feels different since it's not so tied up in my career or a one-dimensional place where you can't play devil's advocate. It's also more a facet of tradition & men have their fraternities so I think it balances out more.

Has anyone seen men's bar associations? I don't know of any myself. Could you imagine the outcry if those existed today? If you'd be pissed about that, ask yourself why any other group should exist. In 2012, can we not just have groups that welcome ALL people & give EVERYONE a voice? I think having to self-segregate is also a leadership failing in so-called "inclusive" groups that ought to be dealt with to eliminate this need for self-segregation. See the difference between a social group where you're just hanging out & talking to people & professional groups like bar associations doing this???

Monday, January 23, 2012

Seems It's The Entertainment Field For Me

After getting rejected for what seems to be the billionth & one legal job I tried for, I think it's time to go with the theory that the universe says "Angry Redheaded Lawyer, you belong in the entertainment industry. Stop trying to get a day job in the legal sector!"

At least the company interviewing me for the job behaved professionally, including with proper follow up. The Klausner Group deserves special recognition for this. Based on my experiences, I would certainly consider doing business with them or recommending them to others.

I've also had some networking meetings lately, including with an attorney working at a large law firm. I'll be perfectly honest: when I see a mega law firm or a prestigious law school by your name & you want to talk to little old me, I do tend to wonder if I'm going to be dealing with one of those stereotypical asshole attorneys everyone hates. It also makes me wonder what type of commonality you're possibly going to see with me. After all, I'm a massive hater of those folks & I'm quite vocal about it.

Thankfully, my faith in humanity was restored a little by these encounters with folks. The contact I met with told me outright that he hates other lawyers. I'm like "Yes!!" since as a group, I totally hate them. It's not self-hatred so much as "You assholes are dragging down the whole group & we don't even like talking to you since you're so dull, boring & empty." I'm also not the only one who doesn't see a point in networking with other attorneys; that made me feel more confident in the fact that I really don't network with attorneys who aren't in the entertainment industry (and if they are assholes, I make sure they never get squat from me). It also made me feel far less bad about not going to attorney networking events & seeing them as a waste of my time since they don't provide me with much utility. The entertainment ones are much more fun, anyway.

I also signed up for an improv class; I've been dying to do this since I went to the People's Improv Theater one evening & joined in on an improv event. My husband told me I was pretty good, people seemed to like my work & I loved being on stage for it. There's also the whole giving me something to do aspect & not feeling like I'm dragging down the curve when it's time to do my own web series. Finally found something quality that was also affordable. This isn't an easy feat in NYC.

Guess I also have to get used to stupidity by anonymous morons too chicken shit to do anything for themselves & spend all their time bringing others down. If you're going to be a detracting asshole, try posting under your real name & coming out in the open if you want anyone to take you seriously. Otherwise, you're just a fucking joke. Don't know about anyone else but I consider it my life's work to piss people off by merely existing. If you're smart, you live the same philosophy.

Detractors are clearly people unhappy in themselves who need to do the world a favor & either get some therapy or off themselves instead of spreading their bad karma around. I'll give you realism if I know about something but I'd never say "You'll never get famous" or "You'll never make it" to anyone. See the difference?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

For Those Whiny Folks Who Don't Get the Whole SOPA Blackout

Get a freaking clue!!! SOPA & PIPA are basically an attempt to chop off someone's arm to stop the bleeding from a paper cut. Craig's List, Wikipedia and other sites are participating in this blackout (including yours truly, whose website was blocked a little later today as I'm not tech savvy & had to tell my webmaster about it; I would block this one but I don't know how to do it on Blogger).

Chris Dodd, head of the MPAA, former politician and your basic 1%er (i.e. most likely a corrupt scumbag vs. the rich folk who have fully functioning brains & have actually USED the Internet regularly) is a moron who apparently is all butt hurt by the whole blackout. Maybe he also has a problem with the 1st Amendment's guarantee of free speech when it isn't for HIS friends or something putting money in HIS pocket.

I wouldn't be shocked if this was true, especially since he's a champion of Internet censorship under the guise of stopping piracy instead of adapting to modern times & changing his organization's outdated business model.

I'd also like to know where he was when This Film is Not Yet Rated was being done & what he's doing + done about the so-called MPAA reforms.

And would someone explain to me just when school kids were allowed to use Wikipedia as a credible research source for schoolwork? Back in college (about 10 years ago), we were expressly forbidden to use Wikipedia for research papers. We were told by professors that it was NOT a credible resource & we could only use scholarly resources for our work. That same speech was given when I was in high school doing a research paper in my 10th grade Honors Seminar class (a combined English/Social Studies class for those ranking higher than mere Honors classes--in 11th & 12th grade, this would be AP). If you'd used it in my time, you'd have been brought up on plagiarism & failed the work. Even writing sites I worked on are strict about plagiarism & say they will check your work to make sure it's original. If you get caught, you're gone with no second chances.

What's with all these high school kids freaking out about the lack of Wikipedia?? Maybe they should get off their butts & do proper research, then? You think lawyers get to use Wikipedia when writing briefs and presenting papers to the court? They don't!!! That's like having a doctor use Operation to perform surgery.

If I were an instructor & you used it as your source in my class, I would fail your ass & publicly shame you. Let Mommy & Daddy whine, cry & try suing me! I'd tell their lawyer directly that (s)he was a desperate moron if they would even take that case to start with. I'd also have to ask what (s)he thinks the grievance committee or a judge would say about a lawyer using Wikipedia in papers to the court or to the partners in a law firm. It also goes without saying that I'd have to call those parents deadbeats & entitlemoos (to borrow a childfree term) who should never have bred to start with. To their faces, I might add.

Please tell me education in this country has not fallen that low. If it has, we will have very few skilled professionals in the next generation.

Lastly, if you want to see what happens when a childfree person has a child, I suggest you read the book "We Need to Talk About Kevin" by Lionel Shriver. I didn't get to read it all but of what I did read, it epitomizes why you're an idiot if you think a person who doesn't want to do something as important as be a parent should do it anyway.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Friday the 13th is My Lucky Day & Why I Need a Gay Male Friend

It is, believe it or not. Traditionally, I never have major disappointments or terrible problems on Friday the 13th. I know it's considered "unlucky" and all that, but it's always been the opposite for me.

Valentine's Day, on the other hand, the day conventional society considers "happy" and great was shitty for me when I was single & old enough to be interested in dating. The story of that has been discussed in earlier posts. Today's for Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13th was actually the day I selected for my wedding: October 13th, in fact. I figured my Friday the 13th luck + the same month as Halloween, a "scary" holiday would be perfect since I'd be assured the groom would show up. I also wore black to make damn sure it went well for me. Plus, I'm not a traditionalist & never claimed to be.

I also ended up having a date with this guy I'd had a crush on, my freshman fling if you will. That was my sophomore year after he was pursuing this other girl who was friends with my friends & told us all about that date (she was pissed at him afterwards for being too cheap to do valet parking but taking her to this super expensive restaurant).

This Friday the 13th wasn't much different in the whole "things going my way" dynamic. I got 2 different things in the mail from the same hotel I'd gone to for holding at my last extra gig (that one where they lied about the amount of time extras were needed & where I chose not to be exploited when I wasn't even getting paid). One was stating I'd won their Winter Sweepstakes & the second was a birthday greeting. Both entitle me to events there that I now have to go through & see who can attend. Still waiting to hear back from the people who sent this stuff to iron out all the details.

By the way, this is the second contact I've gotten about free parties for my birthday. I'm starting to feel like either an unwitting socialite or a gangster. I wonder if these people know I'm married & to a man who hates most clubs/lounges + also doesn't drink.

See, I don't mind dancing though I'd never consider myself the world's greatest or anything close to it. I was super self-conscious about it when I was younger b/c I had classmates in middle school who'd tell me to do it on command (I didn't) but I didn't have much confidence in doing it until I went to my first frat party & most of the people there were drunk. I figured A) I'm seeing much worse dancers here & B) if anyone criticizes me, I can just say "How would you know how I dance? You were drunk!" No one bothered me about it so now I'm better about it.

Still, though I generally won't unless a sufficient amount of other people are doing it (particularly non-pros) especially if there's no drinking happening. Since getting married, I don't really get to do it much. I did get to on Friday when I went to this networking event that wasn't disclosed to me as a singles event but apparently was to the guy who asked me to dance.

Free dating tip for you guys: women like men who will dance with them. If you're good at it, even better. Getting to dance with someone who's good when you're average at best is a great thing. If you can't dance, try getting lessons.

The problem with me doing that, though is that this guy seemed to get the wrong idea. Why the fuck can't I just dance for the sake of dancing?! Why can't my being married mean that either you move along to a single girl (if that's your intent) or you just talk to me as a fucking potential friend/networking contact/basis for creative work without trying to make sexual overtures?! It's not like I can flirt (if you think I flirt with people, you've not been out in public with me; I generally do my best to give off the "I'm not here for a hook-up" vibe & have never approached a guy unless a creepier guy was bothering me--then it's a matter of survival vs. putting one's self out there). I also make it a personal mission not to go out of my way to impress others (as I have for my entire dating life & could explain why I didn't have that one true love I married out of high school). This pervasive "guy getting the wrong idea" stuff has even come up in legal networking events!

I realize there's a lack of attractive female attorneys & that few people act like me but Jesus Christ! The way I've been treated at times, you'd think I was the last female catch left on Earth.

It's not like I walk around in pasties and a thong, you know. Even if I did, I think it would be more artistic on me than sexy (I think exposed butt cheeks & nipples are inappropriate unless you're doing a theater/film/TV role that called for it; most likely, I'd not take that sort of role though I have done swimsuits on stage).

Furthermore, how about the right of a woman to dress as she wants to? Why should my having a figure & looks be a punishment? Sometimes a cigar IS just a cigar, folks!

See why I have to be an enforcer? If I weren't, I'd be in a perpetual race against some aspiring Pepe Le Pew.

We actually just got the new Pepe Le Pew cartoon set and when you watch him in action, you're like "Wow, Pepe Le Pew's a rapist & into some kinky stuff."

Consider some of his pickup lines. If you used them, I guarantee women would smack you if not worse. A couple gems:

* Introducing yourself to a woman as "[Your name], your lover."
* Saying "Everyone should have a hobby. My hobby is making love." to a woman you've just met.

Seems if I want to go dancing anywhere & especially in a club, I'm going to have get a gay male friend who A) can dance, B) will go to clubs, C) has a steady boyfriend/husband, D) is hard-core, super gay but either doesn't look it on the outside or scares straight men & ideally E) the steady boyfriend/husband hates going out as much as my husband.

Heck, it seems I need that friend for going to most things.

I think that combo would work so I could just dance for the sake of dancing & not have to worry about a partner getting the wrong idea. No one's looking for romantic prospects so no being a third wheel. If the guy looks straight to others or terrifies straight men w/his gayness, it keeps cretins from bothering me (remember, I'm straight & not even the slightest bit curious so leading on a woman isn't an option).

Barring that, maybe I should get some type of libido reduction drug I can slip into people's drinks. Light enough to keep someone conscious & able to carry on a conversation but strong enough to stop the dude from thinking I'm going to violate my marriage vows. My field DOES require networking & is it my fault that many of the people with power and influence in the professional sphere are men?

Maybe if some of you men weren't making me uncomfortable with the sexual overtures, I'd help you find someone who makes you as happy as my spouse makes me.

I don't think this was a bad guy per se but if I managed to find someone, I know there's hope for most single people. Think of the awful scumbags you know who have significant others. If they have them, why not you?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guess Who's Picking Your Nursing Home, Evil Parents?!?!?

It seems like parental relations is one of those universal areas that everyone can relate to. Even if you've never met them or you were adopted, nearly everyone's got some kind of opinion about the people who took care of them in childhood. If no one took care of you? Surely you're pissed at someone for dropping the ball there, right?

But as you might long to meet your biological parents or had to fend for yourself, there's still people who had objectively "good" parents who are miserable.

Take the case of the parent who's too strict. This is the world my sister & I grew up in. My mother, as you should have already read, was MEGA strict. She's also a religious conservative despite other things she has said & done in life. I still haven't asked about that whole sheltering a pedophile thing but man, I've got more ammo to use on her now.

You may recall my mentioning her attitude on children born outside of a marriage (she's so against it that she told me & my sister that the first one of us to have a child that wasn't out of wedlock would get the doll my grandmother had as a girl). You may also remember me talking about my sister being pregnant.

Despite my disagreements with her and having a very different mindset (maybe I'm the Terminator of my family because my mother & sister refuse to debate on issues or stand up for themselves on most things), I do actually speak to her & would care if she lived or died. Seems my mother has been going on her little judgmental digs lately. I don't really get it from her since I think I long since established that I'd cut people off for it but apparently, she felt it was okay to diminish her own grandkids by telling my sister that this baby would be the first she'd have that wasn't out of wedlock & saying it in a judgmental tone.

She's also apparently called my sister a breeder b/c this would be her third kid, claiming this was her fourth pregnancy. Never mind the fact that she lost the second one, her oldest probably wouldn't be alive today if she'd had him in wedlock and that the laws are such that it was more beneficial for her to stay single instead of getting married and impoverishing herself while her intended was not employed.

I also learned that my uncle apparently made such cracks about her kids' origins in front of them. That is totally uncool in my book. Kids remember shit like that. I still remember a long deceased aunt telling me and my sister that she loved us less than our male cousins. That happened over 20 years ago.

My sister apparently asked my mom how our grandmother would be if she were alive today (she died when I was 5 of cancer & I don't have any memories of her being a bitch to me). My mother apparently said that she would have more to say than she would.

Wow!! Way to make me be happy that my grandmother died before she could ever disapprove of us! Way to make me happy she's not around to vote some sexist ticket for the presidency! I wonder how happy she was with her daughter marrying an abusive alcoholic who disrespected her and made her grandkids feel like crap. Under that logic, she'd be calling me a slut and probably evil or a corrupted victim (which would piss me off as I was angry w/my father thinking of us as mindless robots when I was about 10 & felt he was an idiot for not getting that we had minds of our own & could see how he treated our mother, which we didn't approve of).

I also think grandparents tend to dote more on their grandkids & give them more latitude than they would their kids. My husband actually had a great relationship with his grandparents and they were actually the people who cared and supported him on things he wanted to do in life.

I've not heard my mother speak this way in front of me.

Maybe you'd say "That's because you're 'The Angry Redheaded Lawyer'/'The Avenger'."


Maybe it's also because I've said in no uncertain terms that for instance, being nasty to my non-religious husband or making him feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in any way means you don't get to be in my life.

Maybe it's relevant to my being the highest educated person & not wanting to piss off the only attorney/film executive you're going to have meaningful access to.

I'd grant you all of this. I also stood up for myself a lot in college, even pointing out where my mother wanted to get uppity over my doing the very things she said to do. I'm also the person who told her she wasn't a supportive or comforting parent so she shouldn't be shocked at being the last to know about my sister's first pregnancy.

I was also the one who told my father that he should be glad my sister had a husband who stood up for her when he decided to get in her face & her first husband got in his face. I could see her current husband do the same thing & I would hope that he would as a man. My father ended up agreeing with me after being mad at my sister's first husband.

Let's consider something for a moment: who do you think will be dealing with elder care for these people when they're too old to be self-sufficient? I live hundreds of miles away, work in an industry that doesn't travel so well & have a husband who absolutely wouldn't live in the South. My sister lives a few minutes away.

Give up? My sister. Might be in my mother's best interest not to be a jerk to my sister, don't you think? I might end up making more money but I'm not going to be a physical presence or doing those in-person visits at the same level as my sister.

And people wonder why I'm of the school that family is what you make, not who you're born to along with why being "family" doesn't automatically mean much to me unless you're a sorority sister or part of the One Way family i.e. a member of a family I chose for myself?

My husband, in fact, has joked that he will be sticking his parents in the world's worst nursing home. He may actually do it based on some serious things going on in his past & his mother's behavior in particular. I already told him that I have no say on it because that's his choice. He most likely feels the same about mine. Neither of us was there for childhood with the other's parents so if the one who lived it feels their parents need to suffer for being an ass, then it's not the place of someone who came into the fold as a grownup and much later in life to make those decisions.

Karmic justice. I wonder how many people do this. Ever think that maybe some older people were real jerks to their relatives & that's why they don't visit them at the home? Could be a viable explanation but I can't see that many elderly people being unrepentant scumbags. Then again, it may very well be a case of being on the outside looking in.

As for me & my husband, we intend to have the money for good care later on or be dead first. Not being self-sufficient is, for us, a form of death. I'd rather not be alive if I had no quality of life; husband agrees. Hence, no life support for us.

God, see how stressful it can be to work in this industry? I now have to think about which relationships I'm kicking out of my life due to toxicity. I'll take being alone over being abused; liberation is better than companionship at any cost. There are a great many people in the world and I know you can find some gems if you look hard enough.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How a Life Turns Around & Some Mini-Rants

When we last left The Angry Redheaded Lawyer, she was in a serious funk over perceived stagnation in her career. I'm not the sort of person who does well at waiting on things; I never have. This is probably why I took a wheeled suitcase to do grocery shopping when I didn't have a license/car & no one would give me a ride. The wheeled suitcase was so I wouldn't have the situation I had another time when I tried carrying a ton of groceries home & had shoulder pain for 2 days.

To kill my boredom & do more constructive things, I signed up with an acting coach and decided to see about taking some acting classes at an affordable price & good schedule not just for the sake of beefing up my performance resume but also to save my life (mentally speaking). I love performing, almost never get to do it and felt a class would at a minimum give me something to do as well as a forum.

As I was preparing to just seek out classes & chill out for a bit (with my husband telling me he continues to support my endeavors & my being happy in my own life), I get an out of the blue e-mail about a job I'd long since given up on. At least my interviewer for it did bother to tell me straight out that (presumably) I had no chance since I wasn't getting a follow up interview. Unlike many potential employers I encountered, I appreciated at least getting an honest answer where I've had many who never bothered responding to such follow ups. Though a part of me was like "Well, why not just tell me directly I suck?"

I figured that this rejection was just further confirmation that I needed to keep myself in the entertainment industry since people there actually (gasp!) respect me & listen to what I have to say. I'm telling you, if you feel persecuted as a lawyer you should work in entertainment since people will kiss up to lawyers in this business & be nice to you. Plus, I believe in giving back what you get from people & if someone's not causing trouble with you or harming you in some fashion, there's no reason to start conflicts. If I'm nasty to someone, there's a good reason for it.

Just as I resign myself to pursuing acting classes & chilling while waiting on film company stuff to happen, I get an out of the blue follow up on that job I thought I'd been long rejected for. Got an in-person interview for it tomorrow. I feel like if I'm going to do legal recruiting work, that's the best & probably only setting for me to do it in. It seems like the setting where I'm most likely to succeed and where my personality could be an asset vs. something I have to cover up like a pimple on the forehead.

Then, I get contacted by someone who wants to talk with me over my expertise in this industry. If you're a lawyer w/some experience (especially if your career is unusual), I think it's critical to talk to the up & comers + provide guidance when they ask. I like getting it myself & have found very few people doing what I'm doing. Not to mention helping the profession as a whole & all that good stuff. So that boosted my self-esteem some. I always try to think of things I'd have liked to hear when I was in that situation & mention facts I had to discover on my own, with very little guidance (especially from attorneys).

I don't view up & comers as competition since eventually they're going to be doing what I'm doing (no one lives forever) and I think it's better for all involved for them to have some support so they can do their best + generally be more competent for the client base. Plus, the entertainment field is so based on the personal that you have to forge your own way here. You have to find your own cheerleaders, your own fans/army/angels/whatever you call those supporters who trust you & believe in you.

Not to mention that if you care about what you're doing, you should be doing your part to raise the curve for everyone in it. I don't want poorly trained or mentored attorneys my age tainting the field & making me look bad by association.

So, we'll see where this interview goes. I hope I'll continue to be treated as a professional & not a number or groveling peon. At least if I'm not, I can just conclude it wouldn't be a fit and be on my way.

If things go bad on this, though I'm probably not going to pursue "traditional" legal stuff. Recently, I had family members dare to suggest I go pursue BigLaw work. I'm like, "Thanks so much for your concern about MY life or MY feelings on the whole thing." How about suggesting I apply to the local strip club while we're at it, if my making a ton of money is all you care about?!

Aside from this new development to expand my resume & general career portfolio, there are some rants that need to be made.

First off, I'm disgusted with the amount of musicians on my subway train who lately have some woman parade around with a baby strapped to her chest while carrying a hat or whatever to collect money in. This REALLY pisses me off as the auntie of a toddler whose now pregnant mother would never be doing that even though she probably needs the money much more than some of these folks. If my sister isn't going around in public panhandling with her pregnancy & her child strapped to her + managing in life, I have zero sympathy for anyone else doing it. Have they not heard of WIC?

Chances are, I know someone who's been in a comparable or worse situation & they're not here breaking the law by panhandling to others or trying to whine about their social condition while doing nothing to change it or taking personal accountability.

I don't like to see beggars asking me for money considering I have negative net worth. They don't have non-dischargeable student loans to contend with. Talk to me about needing money when you have student loans.

The moral here is that no matter how bad you think you have it, there's ALWAYS someone who's got it worse than you. We can play "Whose life is worse?" until the end of time & that basic fact will not change.

Second, take a look at this. The comments are mostly "Oh, she looks like a skank & that's unacceptable. She's being marked for like." and all this other crap.

Okay, as someone who actually works in the entertainment industry, knows people in modeling & the like I think I'm a bit more qualified to speak on the issue of entertainment standards than some of these two bit 1950s holdovers who claim these pics are appropriate for porno. I personally had no issue with the first one. It strikes me as something you'd see as an ad for the old 90210 series. I think the second one is more risque & I just don't favor that so much. I wouldn't consider it porn material or appropriate for an escort ad (too tame) but maybe something between mainstream stuff & porn. This coming from the woman married to the man who thinks Maxim is the magazine equivalent of a female tease (all talk of sex & no action).

Now I wouldn't personally do these poses & at 18, I wouldn't have submitted such photos of myself to my school yearbook but that's because I was a more modest person, had a strict mother & I think it would be hard for me to look trashy since I'm more of an artist + have a general demeanor/personality/attributes that counteracts any "whore" image that might result. I also don't think I'd be posting such pictures on LinkedIn unless maybe you're trying to get modeling jobs but this is tame compared to what I've seen. You'd expect ass cheeks or nipples to be showing with all the fuss made over this; I think THAT'S trashy.

This particular conflict should be decided by the students & ONLY the students. Not some old fart administrators stuck in the 1950s or bitter old women who hate this chick for having the looks they never had. Mores have greatly changed in our modern age & I think the school deserves to leave it up to the students when they refuse to spring for senior photographs & expect the students to spend their own money to come up with their own pictures. We had senior photographs taken by the school; none of this "Come up with it yourself" stuff. Hence, this situation never came up.

For those saying "You have to follow the school's dress code" for pictures consider that most yearbooks do have out of school candid shots. I even remember some shots of students at the beach being in our yearbooks (I don't recall exactly what people were wearing but 2 piece suits are generally the norm for women at the beach). No one got molested or had a heart attack. Can we also not just do some cropping? We didn't get full body shots in our senior pictures & we had about 150 people in my graduating class. Just make it a headshot or three quarter.

Let's also talk about the cheerleader uniforms & the like. Some of those outfits are downright scandalous & I even noticed this as a high school student (coincidentally, many of the cheerleaders got away with dress code violations often though some of them were actually nice to me & I had to dress more conservatively then so I didn't go raise Hell about it).

If employers wish to use high school yearbook pictures against folk, maybe they should also refuse to hire anyone who was a high school cheerleader, dancer, majorette, etc. There's a need not to have long attire for it but some of the shortness is for nothing but male titillation, plain and simple. We're not stupid, school admins!!! We know you're dressing kids up like that so you can get attendance at the games. How many ugly cheerleaders & dance folk have YOU seen on the fields?

At my high school talent show senior year, we had a fashion show for part of it and it did involve swimsuits (one piece but still, bathing suits; even our harpy Assistant Principal didn't object to it while intervening on people's raunchier dance acts). I was in the evening gown part. I also had to wear a bathing suit onstage for a play I was in along with my classmate who was in the same scene. I got to wear shorts & a coverup since I was the geeky, pale character & it was part of the performance (that part was very true to life for me at that time) but my friend didn't. Should we have never taken pictures of these shows? Should they have been banned, you Victorian Era cheerleaders??

Does the idea of such a hiring ban sound stupid to you? It should. I've handled HR tasks & it sounds very stupid to me, even defying law firm associate hiring logic.

It's as stupid as banning contraceptives or abortion, thinking it will stop people from having sex. Are you that dumb?! Has society degraded so much in brain power that some kind of mass cleansing is in order? It goes without saying in politics but I wonder about this in terms of the general citizenry in America. Even the more hardcore religious types I know realize you can't force morality onto others & it's a bad thing to have more unwanted kids in the world.

Please, for the love of God will some safes fall from the sky & give idiots like this a good thump on the noggin? A little animated justice would be great, especially for the morons who think they can put toothpaste back into the tube of repression & leave women barefoot and pregnant while they bind their feet and squeeze into their corsets.