Friday, June 19, 2020

What a Difference a Few Months Make...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 7, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 14, 2020

Making Peace With Valentine's Day and Other Musings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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