Thursday, February 28, 2013

The "Honey/Sweetie" Debate

I read this Dear Prudence chat on Monday. One of the letters is about a woman who's peeved since her husband, who hails from the South, calls longtime friends, co-workers, other men's wives & waitresses "sweetheart" or "sweetie." Too many people commenting on there apparently consider calling them such things in the workplace (outside of retail or the food service industry) tantamount to lighting dog poop on fire or shoving a thousand TPS reports in someone's face.

Looks like some people need a serious education. First off, the South. In the South, it is a term of politeness & kindness to use "sweetie," "honey," and the like. Oftentimes, it's gender neutral but sometimes it's directly applied to women. This is part of what is known as "Southern hospitality" and "being a polite Southern gentleman."

People live in many different places. Southerners move to the North and Northerners move to the South. Culture clashes are inevitable.

Second, the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry is more informal. All sorts of names fly in my business. I've heard "babe," "honey," "sweetheart," "girl," "dear," and probably more I can't think of right now. Personal space is very different; you'd better like being hugged, especially if you're a woman, or you're going to be looked at funny if you go to an industry event, mingle and then get belligerent if someone hugs you to say "hello." Usually that's with people you already met but sometimes that happens with people you're meeting for the first time. Some people are huggers; my family wasn't shy about such things so it's never been an issue with me. Nor did I read nefarious intent into such things.

Before I say what I'm going to say, let me make clear that I don't condone acting like Dabney Coleman's character in Nine to Five in such an address. There is a context issue involved here. These people DO understand tone of voice, situational context, and so forth, right?

Seeing that letter just triggered a response & here it is: lighten up!!!

Do me a serious favor; if you are the sort of person who gets into a faux feminist outrage because someone referred to you as "sweetheart" in the workplace, stay the hell out of the entertainment industry. You will spend all of your time being offended and never get anything done. In fact, you're probably going to be viewed as a PC obsessed maniac everyone has to walk on tip-toes around. Entertainment people have too much stress and too many things to do to worry about not offending some PC obsessed maniac who's going to correct everyone's language, use the word "ableist" (a term I absolutely hate & think the creator should be punished for creating), and be a real life stick in the mud with zero sense of humor just looking for something to be offended over.

The entertainment business is not for sticks in the mud who have no sense of humor. None of us want to be around that; I sure don't, anyway. Especially people who just look for things to be offended over instead of actually improving themselves.

When reading all these responses to that letter, I agreed with one person who said that if it offends you YOU need to say "Please call me [your preferred term of address]." Acting like "sweetie/honey/dear" is the equivalent of "bitch" is not going to win you points at work. Crying about it & not speaking to the offender directly sure doesn't impress me or make me have sympathy for you.

Perhaps my opinion is a function of working in my industry. It probably is. I'm much harder to offend. I've been called "dear" but that pisses my husband off more than me. If you're not referring to me by a racial slur or as "Red," (it's a pejorative term to natural redheads, thank you; "Ginger" will be fine since then I'll figure you're referencing the Gilligan's Island character & I'll take it as a compliment--I'd have been fine with that over "carrot top" & "red") we aren't going to have problems. I'm the sort of person who prefers "Paleface" to "White: Non-Hispanic." Generally, I mark "Other/Prefer Not to Respond" when asked about race.

Tone is also a concern. Offend me with your tone & you'll have to call me "Counselor" or use the "Esquire" after my last name.

We also refer to people in the South as Mr./Ms. [their first name]. This usually comes with women like Miss Jessica or Ms. Maggie. The women aren't always older or school teachers; my sorority sisters & I even referred to each other as Miss [woman's first name] sometimes.

My feelings can be summed up by the words of one commenter: this person said righteous indignation should be saved for serious issues, not trifling mess like this.

If you ask me, making a big production because your boss called you "sweetie" at work when he does that to everyone undermines the progress of women & their credibility at work. You make all women look unhinged and you make it into a far bigger issue than it should be. If it offends you, deal with the offender right away. Keep correcting the person & if they do it in a nasty tone, don't take it.

But...if there's no malice, lewdness or sanctimony behind it, you make it impossible for women to get ahead. You get us labeled as oversensitive crybabies who can't handle pressure or responsibility. I don't need the overly sensitive PC crybabies coloring other people's perceptions of me. You make life more complicated than it has to be and it can ruin the functionality of business.

Imagine a film set where one of these types is working. Would you want your film crew or your director censoring themselves over a 12+ hour day to guard the fragile sensibilities of this sort of special snowflake?

Oh, and for the people who say "You don't live in the South NOW; adapt to us!" would you mind telling that to all the foreign language speakers who refuse to learn English? I know the average NYC liberal wouldn't get that connection but maybe you shouldn't be telling Southerners to change their mannerisms if you aren't telling illegals to learn English or get out of this country. Same difference.

If you can't handle your own issues, don't expect the world to kowtow to you. You're an idiot if you think that's going to happen in this lifetime. Either deal with them or shut up & please leave the PC obsessiveness at home.

Personally, I like "sweetie darling" from Absolutely Fabulous. At one point, my mother was calling us "sweetie darling." I feel like it's gender neutral & the context of it was funny in the show. Edina asks her daughter when it started & Saffon says "It started because you couldn't remember my name for the first 2 years."

Friday, February 22, 2013

More Grilling of Idiots & Scumbags Along With an Interesting Hypothesis

I mean, what did you expect? Read the title of this blog.

It's "The Angry Redheaded Lawyer." It's not "Little Miss PC Smiley Face, Lifelong Member of the Shiny Happy People Club Who Never Offends Anyone Ever."

Who'd want to read that blog? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Grandma (if any of mine responded, that means someone came back from having been dead for many decades; only one would even know who I was)?

I didn't think so. The title's too long anyway but we'd all know the "lifelong member..." part was implied in there.

So, life has been getting in the way lately. At least the good news is I shouldn't be as stressed in things & my husband won't be trying to drive me out of this marriage. I warned him that I already lived through an alcoholic father & really couldn't take more strife in my home life as an adult. You can call me selfish, you can call me heartless. But unless YOU have lived through such an experience, you don't get to say shit to me or anyone else who has. A few days ago, I even said to him "You didn't grow up with an alcoholic father like I did."

Hence, this article. As far as I'm concerned, you owe shit to an abusive parent. My father certainly won't be living with me as a broken down elderly person. My major requirement for any parent expecting to bunk with me is that they have to live where I live, which I don't think either of my parents would agree to. I'm not giving up my career, dreams or sanity for these people & I know they wouldn't want me to do it either. I've even said many times that my living in NC would be asking for trouble.

Brava to Emily Yoffe for essentially telling those analogizing their happy home lives and families to fuck off when it comes to telling others how to handle relations with their parents. I'd dump a therapist telling me to do that in a second & would question the person's sanity.

It's not gratifying to forgive if you don't feel it in your heart. No one died & appointed you God, all right? Not your place to tell me or anyone else what to do in that situation when your parent wasn't abusive to you & let's see: supported your dreams, didn't make you a social outcast, didn't force you to do adult things b/c they were too much of a fuck up to be a real parent, etc.

It's for that reason that I told my husband that however he wanted to handle elder care for his parents was his affair & I would have nothing to do with those decisions. He lived it & he's got his own choices to make there. As far as I'm concerned, it's got nothing to do with me. I'm pretty sure he feels the same way with respect to my parents & elder care they'd need (or not, since most of my relatives died in their 60s; no one I know of who's related to me lived into their 90s).

Maybe I'm also colder because I never had grandparents around to have a loving relationship with. You can't miss what you never had, as they say.

The moral here is keep your damn mouth shut on things you don't know about. Throw "till death do us part" at me & I'll tell you to take my place if you're so pro-abuse. If you get in my face over financing an abusive parent? Why don't you put your money where your mouth is, hot shot?

If you aren't going to be doing that, then you don't get to speak on that subject. If you do, the person you're addressing it to has the right to punch you in said big mouth. I also guarantee you will create resentment against you b/c you came from a Ward & June Cleaver existence. Not everyone lived your little utopia, kid.

See how easy you can make those well meaning assholes feel like shit for using phrases like "He's your daddy!" and preaching about forgiveness?

Anyone see last week's episode of Bar Rescue? If you didn't, I warn you that you definitely don't want to watch it while eating. If you are massively phobic about bugs like I am, you will definitely be creeped out. Even if you aren't bug phobic, I still think you'd be creeped out.

I still want the owner of that place to die horrifically or get sent to Pound Me in the Ass prison (thanks Office Space). For one thing, this guy expected his employees to work in the environment they were in. Let me say the word "trash pit" doesn't do it justice. I would be physically unable to set foot in there since I have hardcore phobias. I would never patronize a place that had an infestation & if I happened to be someplace & saw that particular insect around, I would refuse to pay for any food I had there and immediately walk out. I would also scream & it would become a huge issue for the owner. I won't even go to places in NYC that are grade A if the restaurant inspection report says anything about sightings or evidence of infestations, rats, etc.

When Jon Taffer confronts the owner on this bug issue the owner's response is "There are bugs in Austin!" (where this bar is). I promise you this man isn't getting any from anyone. If this business looked as it did & had that kind of infestation, imagine what his house is like. This was like Psycho Boy's house except they weren't serving the general public there.

He apparently also had a cat to kill more things but the place reeked of cat pee since no one bothered with a litter box or letting the cat go outside.

Then you find out later this owner was making his employees work off the clock & didn't have them on any type of payroll. Husband & I were wondering why the hell anyone worked in those conditions since, as I said, I couldn't even set foot in there myself (my husband outright said this to me, in fact). That goes for any workplace. If I see bugs, you're going to hear about it loudly from me since I won't work in those conditions. I'm not spreading mess in my clean home & I've got phobias. Nope, I never worked in a restaurant & I never did janitorial work. I'm not someone who did "dirty jobs," not even as a teenager.

The guy never got on board & Taffer did the makeover for the employees. If I'd been him, I'd have left & called the board of health on this owner.

The update after the show said this owner kept up his shit & the main employees they profiled had gotten wise and were leaving.

As a business owner, people like this piss me off to no end. First off, you've gotten a business to fuck up while so many other people who'd be a trillion times better can't get financing or have money to open a bar, restaurant, whatever.

Second, no attorney could represent this guy in-house since they'd be going down for him not putting anyone on the payroll. Can you say "illegal?" Any of you in Texas want to risk your law license to represent such a filthy asshole?

Third, this guy is an obvious idiot who's got no business serving anything consumable to anyone. I don't think he's even got any business having any real position of power. He's a moron & not just that but a moron who thinks he's exempt from health codes, labor law and probably even the rules of dating. He ought to be shoveling horse crap along the highway.

Finally, if I were one of these hosts I'd have far less compassion. I'd be reminding these fuckers that they called ME and if they weren't going to take my help after I showed up then I'd be billing them for my travel & lodging costs.

We lawyers don't screw around; I guarantee some attorney doing a reality show like this to improve law practices would demand that from some obstinate prick who gave him/her trouble.

Some free advice: no self-respecting lady or gay man wants to date a guy whose business is overrun with vermin. Steve, I think his name was, seems like a guy who should be plastered all over those "don't date this guy" websites (gay & straight alike).

This story outright infuriated me. I'm calling Adam Slipakoff an elitist asshole here & now. Maybe old fart is more appropriate since he doesn't sound like someone who's been to law school in this century. Sounds like another scumbag who needs to wake up & join us in modern times.

I'll bet he's from the same cloth of law firm partner who'd tell one of these grossly underpaid employees to quit moonlighting as a waitress because "it harms the firm's reputation" while never solving the lack of pay given to the person that caused the moonlighting in the first place. Believe it or not, I was in a program in college (in Atlanta, where this firm is) where we talked to attorneys in different practice settings. The BigLaw attorney told us the story of a law firm partner who did just that.

For you old fart law firm partners & anyone else who hasn't gone to school in this century, let me clue you in on a few things:

1. College costs a shit ton of money. It's no longer a few thousand dollars to attend. Even community college & public schools cost a pretty penny. Go read up on today's tuition rates instead of assuming everything has kept pace with what you paid in the '70s and '80s.

It's even more expensive than when I went 10 years ago. College graduates are leaving with six figure loan debts. That is reality.

2. Requiring a college degree for a $10 an hour position makes you a dick. End of story. I made $12 an hour when I started in a law firm after making $10 an hour in college jobs. I also made $8 an hour working retail in Atlanta. It didn't require me to buy expensive business clothing or spend lots of time with lawyers. Let's also face it: plenty of people in our profession are assholes. You & firms like yours aren't doing anything to change hearts and minds when it comes to nasty stereotypes about lawyers.

Frankly, you can take your $10 an hour & shove it where the sun don't shine. If most of our nation's college graduates don't start becoming hustlers, pimps, hookers, drug dealers & so forth if this keeps up, I'd be shocked. People like you are driving them there.

3. Know how bad it is in the legal profession? How there's a glut of lawyers & not enough jobs for them? Why the hell are you making it worse for the college graduates & people who said "I'm not taking on five & six figure student loan debt to do a menial job,"? Are you aware of how classist you sound, Adam? I think you should be.

If I worked for you in that capacity, I would do the bare minimum & I wouldn't give a damn about you or your firm. Why would I put real priority in a job where I can't live on my own? It would be a mere transition & I promise you it's a mere transition for anyone with a brain.

This little requirement is not just classist but makes any pro bono work any of your people do for the less fortunate i.e. poor people a complete & utter joke.

I hope you get off your ass & do some pro bono assignment where you have to deal with poor people & one of them confronts you on this. I'd love to hear just what you say to him/her. All the better if it was some poor person who was completely relentless & unimpressed with politician speak.

4. Give smart people no place to use their talents in a pro-social way & you WILL end up with anti-social behavior. That's not a threat; it's a promise from me to any of you (including you politicians who think outsourcing & giving illegals all the jobs is a peachy keen idea).

That anti-social behavior will end with you, your friends, family, loved ones and anyone close to home on the business side of the consequences. Make people who are starving & they'll be stealing to survive. Give no one a shot to do anything unless they've got money & you will be digging your own grave if you've got money. Who's going to be a target? That's right, Sherlock. It will be YOU with your six/seven figure salary who will be a victim of theft, robbery, home invasion, etc.

Educated people aren't the same as uneducated poor people. The sooner you get that & not fuck up the world for them, the happier your life will be. Remember, those people will be funding your elder care & selecting your nursing home. If I were them, I'd be making sure you got nothing & had to become a beggar on the street to have even a stick of gum that day. They probably won't bother to wipe your butt either.

You're not creating any kind of respect for you or "elders." This sort of thing is merely engendering hatred, anger, all sorts of things you'd be wise not to have the future of America feeling about you. Are people in China going to be able to rob you on the street or shoot you on sight? Cops can't be everywhere & even they could turn on you if you get out of hand. Don't underestimate educated people or anger over the current laws on student loans. Oh, and people with nothing to care about have a lot of time to be angry & will channel that anger someplace. If you think they won't, you need to get out of the utopian bubble you live in & join us in real life.

5. Finally, student loans can't be discharged in bankruptcy (public or private). Just because you could doesn't mean today's graduates can. Thank your little lobbyists at Sallie Mae & the financial industry. You can get off your butts & lobby for changes here (at least on private loans since they are "fuck you, pay me") or you can pay living wages that take these burdens into account.

The race to the bottom is only going to get your behind burned. Frankly, I'd rather not see the lawyers or financial industry people I know aren't scum paying the price because of the actions of scumbags who don't represent everyone in town. Let me assure you that the statement of Adam Slipakoff doesn't represent the viewpoint of all attorneys & definitely not all business owners of any stripe.

It also helps when you didn't come from the privileged background this Adam Slipakoff seems to have emerged from. When you've seen the value of experience over a college degree play out in real life, you tend to be less obsessed with everyone having a degree.

Now for that interesting hypothesis: I was watching Unsung last night & they were having a special on disco. Some of the people profiled said disco really ended because Middle America felt the gays, minorities & women were getting too uppity.

Now I wasn't even alive then so I really have no idea if that's true or not. I can tell you that my husband doesn't like disco but that's because he doesn't like the music; however, he likes other so-called "black" genres (honestly, I've never thought of disco as a "black" genre but I guess others do?).

A lot of people of that time said the same thing & never said a word about race or anyone getting uppity.

I could see some truth there considering we have old dinosaurs still in government in those places & based on the news stories you see, you do have to wonder how many dinosaurs still live in Middle America and try to foist discrimination on others daily. If the Republican's strategy to win the presidency in the last election was any indication, the "racists ended disco" theory has some credibility to it.

Maybe this is one more thing we can blame on old people in politics. Can we? Maybe THEY were responsible for the other reason advanced for the end of disco: parents not wanting their kids exposed to the sexy lyrics. How about "parental control," folks? Maybe actually be a damn parent instead of expecting musicians and the rest of society to raise your rugrats for you?

Did we have that problem in the '70s as well? I thought that crap didn't start until at least the '80s. Were adults trying to abdicate all parental responsibility before that time? Again, I wasn't there so I don't know though apparently the word "booty" was verboten when that song "Shake Your Booty" came out. We could snort up coke, take speed and wear hot pants out in the open but we couldn't use the word "booty" in a song?

Interesting theory about racism ending disco, don't you think? If it's something else we can blame on detestable characters in society, I'm all for it. I'm just not sure if the causal link is there.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

General Musings, Part 30

Wow, I've hit 30 now. Okay. A lot of general things have irked me lately. I also have far too many things I bookmarked & have thoughts on that need to be dealt with.

I was very happy to read this yesterday. Thank you, Amanda Marcotte for saying something I've been thinking for years but didn't put into those words.

Even in high school, I thought the dress code was extremely sexist against women & I believe I actually said this to people. Great thought on why it's so; the puritanical culture in this country has always bothered me & sorry, fuckers I'm not going to be ashamed of being who I am. You can fuck off if you expect me to dress like a Muslim woman because I have a figure. Maybe some people ought to examine just what they're teaching young women with oppressive dress codes that never punish the young men for not controlling themselves. It's not like young ladies don't have hormones. Self-respect isn't being ashamed of who you are or what you look like, okay?

This also really infuriated me, in the second instance of banning on hair color. This family had better sue. I'm sure they can find some natural redhead like me who's an attorney to take that case, shove their pictures of themselves at that age in the face of the principal and school administrators & ask them if they are bigoted toward natural redheads. I know I would. I read this & immediately claimed it was discrimination against redheads.

Think about this: you have a kid transfer in whose hair is quite bright. My own natural hair color is much brighter than this picture. Is a kid with my shade required to do a strip search for this principal to see if the curtain matches the drapes? Does the principal get to override a parent's order that the kid can't dye his/her hair? My mother told me & my sister (whose hair was brighter than mine when she was in school) we could not dye our hair until we were 18. Does Principal Bigot get to override parental authority here?

I also read a comment in the Yahoo link where someone claimed their workplace said their naturally red hair was too bright & told them to dye it a "natural" color.

You know what would happen if I were your employee & you told me that? I would tell you to go fuck yourself & that you obviously got dumped by a natural redhead or felt inadequate compared to them. I would also tell you not to take your shit out on me & that it's not my fault you're not as cool or sexy as everyone thinks natural redheads are (at least, naturally redhaired women). Or that you are sexually inadequate & your naturally redhaired girlfriend dumped you.

Neither of those are MY problem & you're not going to make them my problem, capise? I will take your ass to court in a heartbeat and see if I can't get a discrimination lawsuit going if you try it.

What next? Telling a dark black person they have to bleach their skin to be more light-skinned? Telling an Asian person to get cosmetic surgery for their eyes? We wouldn't let that stand in society so why should I be required to dye my hair? By the way, if I did dye my hair I'd never get my precise natural color again as any hairstylist would affirm so it's not a zero consequence act.

Anyone tries that with my niece, I'll be kicking ass & taking names. She's my mini-me, after all.

I also read this story and thought "More discrimination to natural redheads." I hope these people alerted the local Scottish groups & they got in their faces. I certainly would & had you tried this with me or mine in high school, I'd have made that happen. I'd have contacted every single Scottish association and found the legal defense leagues they dealt with to take the case & raise holy Hell.

Seriously, I'd be shocked if any high school ever asked me to speak there. No high school administrator would want me anywhere near their kids since I don't believe in being some docile little sheep & will tell you truth instead of garbage like the grand majority of them espouse.

After the "idiot school administrators" series, let's turn our attention to the "idiot politicians" series.

Here's a duh consideration. You can't legislate morality & no party or candidate is God. To try is a lesson in futility & stupidity. Plus, I think you should have to live by the same restrictions you place on everyone else if you want to get all high handed & tell others what to do. It doesn't work to ban abortion if YOUR kid gets to have one or YOUR wife can get one regardless of the reason. It just makes you an asshole who deserves to hang by his private parts in the public square & worse.

This also ticks me off & epitomizes why anyone in favor of surrendering their guns to the government is an idiot. You should be outraged. Remember that whole "First they came for the gays, but I didn't speak up since I wasn't gay. Then they came for the pageant queens, but I didn't speak up since I wasn't a pageant queen," and so on and so on. Pretty soon, not speaking up means you have no rights at all & don't think "they" won't come for yours sooner or later.

Then, there's this if you think trusting authority is such a hunky dory idea.

I most certainly agree with this, by the way. More people might actually bother with voting & caring if politicians didn't get to grow roots and become the living equivalent of fungus or black mold. Do we really need senile people in office? Attorneys don't get to keep their licenses if they can't do the job, even if they've got the best team in town.

And this is just disgusting. Apparently, Christine Quinn just wants everyone in NYC to get sick and for sanitation grades to be worthless. I know Bloomberg does since he's pretty much evil incarnate.

Oh, and if you haven't already heard USPS will soon stop Saturday service. Not a big thing to me since I don't think my post office even delivers mail to us on Saturday half the time. If you believe this, though, there is one bright spot to that choice.

This is a total disincentive to help anyone with anything. If you're going to be nasty to someone who returns something you lost, well you deserve not to get it back at all. You also deserve to die from choking on your own vomit but if you don't get what you lost back, I'll consider that a partial win. Anyone else? Kudos to the owners of the hardware store for rewarding this guy's generosity even though the guy who lost his money didn't.

This and that recent story I saw about how the BBC is censoring a famous episode of Fawlty Towers really annoys me. The censorship cheerleaders should be beaten upside the head & taken away from any positions of power since they are clearly too stupid to have authority over anything. Better yet, let's also take their pets away even if they are imaginary. A living creature doesn't deserve the tyranny of their rule.

Finally, I read this recently along with this story on why businesses shouldn't be total pricks to job applicants. Would someone pass these memos on to the business people who act like that?

I also find it interesting that we can be at a "too many years at the same job" situation. I guess the exception is if it's your company or you own a share in it. There's a life lesson: don't be loyal to anyone other than yourself since you're just going to be shit on sooner or later. Maybe not literally but plenty of people will do it figuratively. Frankly, I'm not going to spend my resources trying to work with anyone who demands absolutely fealty to the company above all else including my self-respect and my family. No one else should either.

If everyone refused, companies would have to adjust their requirements & expectations for staff or go under. I'd be happy to see some places go down like a lead balloon. They deserve it & should be moved out for competent, well run companies where the staff aren't treated like slaves. If you work at some company & don't get why someone who's got zero ownership interest or executive level work gives a damn like you do, you need a clue and fast. You're also an idiot if you're working off the clock, defending illegality and selling yourself out for some employer. No one is worth that & you'll get tossed under the bus in about 5 seconds if the police come knocking.

Friday, February 8, 2013

My First Subcommittee Chair Event & A Fun Way to Get Dates for the Dateless

So after some wrangling, I've gotten my first event as Subcommittee Chair on the calendar at NYCLA. It's going to be on March 4th at 7 p.m. & if you register, you too can attend. However, I should warn you that we currently have over 100 people registered for it. Thank the awesome draw of Jagger Kaye, Monroe Mann & my awesome team of speakers.

Jagger is a guy who is the antithesis of the average speaker at any bar association so when he ran with this idea & offered to get me speakers + moderate, I had to take him up on it. My goal in having a leadership role in a bar association is to do something different & make the place accessible along with relevant to our population. Since my realm is creatives & this is something that has actually happened in the course of my work (people have asked me to be their managers even though I own a film company & feel me doing that would lead to inevitable conflict of interest issues in duties to client vs. duties to my company), I felt it was time we had a forum on this issue.

Maybe I would have been more tepid in my quest to do something different but since Jagger put it out there, I thought "Not only can I start my tenure in style & build a name, I can open the doors to getting more fresh and different events in there." I demanded my participants to be themselves. I'm always myself when I go to any of the bar associations so I feel like it's more of "Accept me, accept my peers/friends/contacts."

Plus, I have some very well respected people for this that my legal colleagues wouldn't necessarily have been able to get. If anyone knows what an agent or a manager does, it's an actual working agent & an actual working manager. I've seen too many events with lawyers where no one went to the source & that's always bothered me. Who's going to be better at talking about the actor client than Jagger, who is also a working actor? I also ended up getting a great resource to talk about the producer client who is an actual working producer (along with a well respected casting director).

I'm also starting with my friends/allies & picked them specifically since they deserve to have this audience. Lawyers tend to be a hot commodity in the entertainment field & the lawyers trying to work in this industry often have a hard time finding the creatives. I also think lawyers aren't the only people who can teach a lawyer something. I've learned plenty, especially about the entertainment industry, from people who weren't lawyers but actually are producers, actors, agents, etc.

For me, it's important to go right to the source if you want to know something. Sadly, that's not how I've seen many parts of the legal community working. If I have anything to say about it, that is going to change.

For instance, I don't recommend resources for entertainment law when the people involved care more about the lawyers' law school GPA & whether they were on law review than if they have any real experience in the field and can talk to the creatives in a way they respect. I like my creative contacts way too much to do that to them.

Hopefully, I'll bring in the lawyers who hate bar associations & wouldn't bother with them but see my events and like them. My speakers certainly won't be boring & I know they care about this. That's another gripe I've had with events: you can tell the difference between someone who really cares about being there & someone who's just phoning it in. If you're passionate about something & great at expressing it, you'll make people care even if they don't know what you're talking about or could care less about your subject.

I saw this happen once in a college class when an economics professor was speaking on an economic concept. I didn't know anything about it & economics is definitely not a topic most people consider interesting (I definitely don't though I understand it in general terms). However, this guy was very passionate about it. The way he spoke made me care about what he was saying. He was also a very well regarded & liked professor.

So we'll see how this goes. I think it will truly be epic & if I get my way, it will be a game changer for everyone. Also, hope people will listen to me when I do more events & trust my choices for speakers. I actually created the event title since I'm trying to show the informality of this business, my speakers & me as an event planner. Professional doesn't have to = stuffy or boring. We can have fun as well. I'm not sure there's anyone who embodies that more than Jagger in terms of a moderator.

On another note, I saw this outside the subway station when I was going to a karaoke place in Brooklyn last month:

A few comments to be noted:

1. My husband says "The library is not for dating!" Nope, it isn't. Don't you dare try that nasty mating stuff in there! He's busted people for that & apparently told the mostly teenagers who do this that if he can't do it there, then they can't either.

So our note writer might want to pick another place for dating instead of the library. Many of those people are perpetually on the layoff list, have no social skills or aspirations to move onward & really hate their lives since they work for tyrannical assholes who make proclamations on high about when to close in the event of bad weather but keep their butts inside their warm mansions while demanding the "peasants" to risk their lives to get home in blizzard conditions.

Don't make things worse for your library staff. You try "dating" there at your own risk; don't say I didn't warn you if you get beaned with a heavy book, splashed with a hose, smacked upside the head, have your ear ripped off or live some other painful consequence.

2. Obviously a man wrote this. Or a lesbian who's got no game at all. I'd think a lesbian would be more clever in date spots, prose & so forth. I'd also think a lesbian would include a picture of herself or a link to her website so the potential date could see her picture first. Plus, I don't think a lesbian would say "one nite stands only" on her flyer.

3. This seems like an awesome thing to do to someone you know who refuses to put in any effort to get a date but bitches about how (s)he doesn't have a significant other or even a friend with benefits. If that fake online dating profile or Craig's List personal ad doesn't work, I'm sure this could do the trick. You just want to watch out for those random homeless people & crazy folks that live in your neighborhood. They're a dime a dozen in NYC.

4. This is not someone with an education. I'm not trying to be elitist here, just honest. Do any of you educated women read this & think "Gee, this guy sounds awesome! Let me drop my drawers for him right now."? I could see some high school guy with this, maybe even a guy in college but if it's a 40 year old? You'd conclude he failed at life. Even a 30 year old doing this has probably failed at life in some way. Educated women I know of would want to go to an art museum, at least eat at Chili's or some nice sit down restaurant where you'd tip the wait staff, maybe even a bar for karaoke or cocktails. You certainly won't get the vegetarian and vegan crowd by going to the fast food places.

When I saw this, I not only laughed but suggested my husband do this for those socially awkward misfits he knows who complain about not having a woman but refuse to go anyplace where I or other women will be present. I may be attractive but I pointed out that they shouldn't be fearing me since I'm married & my husband's their friend. Plus, my husband has threatened bodily harm against guys he knows for even thinking about having an impure thought about me.

If any of you choose to contact this guy & go out with him, tell me how it goes. You have to wonder about someone who creates such a flyer. I mean, did the person do it himself or did someone else do it b/c they were sick & tired of some socially awkward or undesirable friend complaining or being a third wheel in their lives? Do it safely, though. Bring your friend who works as a bar bouncer (assuming you've got one).

Another thought: if this guy is a sexual predator, he's the most inept one I've ever seen. A really effective sexual predator would tell you about his villa in some warm, island location, how much money he's got & how he's going to shower you in diamonds and furs. He'd also have to mention his occupation & basically make sure to read some issues of Cosmopolitan to figure out just how to attract the maximum number of attractive women. I'm sure he'd also be making sure to be wonderful in bed so he could create some powerful cult where he controlled everyone with sex.

Say, wouldn't that be an interesting way to run a cult? You'd better be like that mega-perv I went to school with & have a ton of Viagra if you're getting on in years but I'm sure eventually we'll hear about some cult run by a guy who controlled people with sex. A tactic like this would also be a novel way to pick up recruits, don't you think?

Now, I'm going to sit in my apartment, watch the snow fall, stay warm & amuse myself in varied attempts to avoid the onset of cabin fever.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Adventures of the Macabre Faire Film Festival

The day before my birthday, a Saturday during my husband's vacation from work, we opted to go to the second annual Macabre Faire Film Festival. I'd heard about it through some new networking contacts & a friend of mine had a film screening there. Never having been there, trying to encourage my husband to start networking (I was told there would be some great contacts in attendance)& with the prospect of comic book vendors being present, I asked my husband about going. Off we went.

The festival was in an area of Long Island where you'd better be very familiar with parking rules and the street directions. It's a bit like New Jersey since there are some one way streets and bizarre laws on parking (apparently, in Rockville Centre you can't back into parking spaces). I was scared parking would be way too tight & we'd never get a space once we took our planned meal break to Moe's Southwest Grill (a long awaited planned destination we didn't really get around to actually following through on until we saw the Undercover Boss episode from the night before where the CEO of Moe's goes undercover).

Mercifully, parking was just fine on Saturday. We got to the venue, had no problem with the hotel staffers (in some places, you find people who aren't friendly to the convention attendees or workers), got our bearings & started talking to folk.

We weren't in costume but there were a few people there who were. The Freddy Kruger was quite authentic; he took a shine to me, I think. I even referenced to this in my interview (yep, I got interviewed as mentioned a couple entries back; see it if you haven't).

But one thing I absolutely had to get when I saw the vendor room was a creepy stuffed animal. These are now in my parcel of stuffed animals:

I noticed the bear right away & even said "I've got to get that!" Then, when my husband was going to the car or in the bathroom or something and I was looking at that bear I saw the bunny & knew I had to get it.

When my husband saw the bunny, he said "The bunny will keep the other stuffed animals in line."

Like many females, I like stuffed animals. However, I don't like any old stuffed animals. I like unique, interesting stuffed animals. I like animals that you don't expect to see. While some people can't have enough teddy bears & bunnies, I like reindeer (which weren't a common sight when I was growing up), jellyfish, anything you can think of that you almost never see as a stuffed animal or a plush of a character I like.

I have a giant flying Paragoomba from the Mario series my husband got me, a stuffed black Yoshi (because I'm not going to get a green one like everyone else & we all know Black Yoshi kicks the most ass), even a stuffed Oswald from "Epic Mickey" (since Oswald hasn't gotten love in the Disney merchandizing scheme). I even have a Minnie Mouse I got from Disney World proper where she looks like a goth cheerleader & a swear bear (those bears who have buttons you push where you hear crude things)!

I will also do voices for stuffed animals if I'm feeling like it. I went to a comic book store with my husband once. We'd recently cleared out his stuffed animals & he had this red bull plush. I notice a black & white spotted cow on the shelf & decide to have it say crude things about mating with the red bull he has at home. Apparently, I annoyed my husband enough with that that he decides to buy it. I told him he didn't have to since I was just having fun & amusing myself. He wouldn't hear of it & now it sits in my stuffed animal collection.

Awesome vendor who sold me the animals. I got a good deal on them since I couldn't choose between them & I was told they are custom made. The bunny actually looks like the evil side of a stuffed rabbit I got one Easter that's totally adorable. I wish I could find their name but I haven't had luck right now since I think my husband threw out our program schedule & vendor list.

However, my cat is definitely more adorable than any stuffed animal & is just as vicious. You should see what he does to our socks! The husband says that his bitchy ex, who collected Beanie Babies (I own some but never collected them since I only got the ones that appealed to me instead of chasing down all the ones from foreign lands & paying a fortune for them like she did; or rather, she had my husband bankroll those purchases), would yell at the cat for playing with those Beanie Babies. Apparently, he told her the cat was being a cat & you don't leave your stuffed animals near the cat. I don't & I wouldn't yell at him for playing with them. I'd have to yell at myself for leaving stuffed animals or anything I cared about in his reach. He's also too adorable to stay mad at for very long, at least to me. My husband & others say our cat is evil but loves me since he recognizes his own kind (not sure if he means the redhead or lawyer part since he tried to bite both my redhaired sister & mother when they came to visit; I think it was my dad who said the cat tried to bite everyone except me).

Since we were there for the day, we also watched a few short films. The features were conflicting with other films we wanted to see & we only had the one day since the next day was my birthday. I heard different things about the other projects from my friend & others I spoke to later who'd seen them. We were unfortunately in the room where a lot of technical issues were happening. I learned later they got worse after we left to watch films upstairs & talk to people.

One thing you should know about horror films, at least the ones we saw: there was a LOT of vomit. My friend's film The Nowhere Room was a welcome relief from the onscreen vomit we saw most of the day. It was also deeper than the other films we saw so if you had the chance to see it, then you got a real treat. However, there was one film we saw that was available for purchase & my husband bought it called No Clowning Around. My husband will eventually write on it so I'm not going to go into details here but it's definitely unique, creepy & has a puppet in it.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. I did look at the other vendor booths but couldn't afford much. There was even one that had chain mail stuff. I'm shocked my husband didn't ask them about the price of a chain mail bikini since he's said he wanted to get me one; he said he researched it, though, and that they're too expensive.

My husband even told me he had fun. I definitely found it better for networking since the people there were polite & approachable. I didn't feel that at Comic Con in October; Comic Con, for me, was just about buying stuff. My husband swears he will not attend on the Sunday this year since that's the same day as our anniversary. I'll believe it when I see it, though since most of his friends go on that day with their hard-earned money since they can't afford to go the other days b/c of work or crazy crowds.

Now to watch Anger Management. If you've not seen it, you should. It's the only sitcom I've seen that didn't go with the same old sitcom tropes. The writers really deserve credit for showing a functional friends with benefits relationship where the woman hasn't developed warm, fuzzy feelings for the man. I also like that Kate is a childfree woman instead of some baby hungry, man crazed maniac like nearly every other sitcom character (and you wonder why my husband calls them "shitcoms"). You have to give Charlie Sheen credit for this show; I certainly don't condone everything he's done but I do have to respect him for conceiving a show that violates the typical sitcom tropes. I don't want much in the way of new shows but this is one of the few we like.