Sunday, August 14, 2022

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: “Love Quirks” by Love Quirks LLC

If you want to get insight on the NYC cynic, go see this show ASAP. Get the soundtrack and definitely listen to the songs. After all, our heroes reside in NYC.

This is a show about quite literally the “quirks” of love: the good, the bad and the ugly. Chris (Matthew Schatz) has been recently cheated on by his fiancĂ©e so their engagement is off. Ryan (Erin Lamar) is his gay pal who harbors a maybe not so secret crush that everyone except Chris has picked up on while suffering his own relationship troubles. Lili (Maggie McDowell) is the militant anti-man feminist who had her heart shattered by Ryan’s homosexuality and Stephanie (Lauren Testerman) is a woman going through a divorce and consulting with a therapist while having to deal with the unwelcome arrival of Chris. This group, who has a history but we only hear bits and pieces about it, is trying to sort out their lives in the wake of breakups and heartache against the backdrop of NYC, where the romance atheists and agnostics far outweigh the romance faithful.
Lauren Testerman, Erin Lamar, Matthew Schatz and Maggie McDowell. Photo by Mark Childers

When you step into the AMT Theater, it’s a mix of the modern and the underground. You get the air conditioning and wonderful seating as the modern while the side walls indicate the underground. The blend works very well here and I encourage those of you putting on shows to consider this venue since your audience hates sweltering in the summer (certainly if they’re Southern natives like yours truly).

The opening song alone is worth the price of admission and the music gets even better from there. A special shoutout has to go to Seth Bisen-Hersh for that. If he doesn’t have some stories relating to this show, I’d be shocked since some of these lyrics feel like things you have to have lived in order to come up with them.

Credit also must go to writer Mark Childers and director Brian Childers since this show reminded me of both “Friends” and “Reality Bites” but unlike those projects, this one had diversity in Ryan (a black gay man). In fact, Ryan kind of reminded me of one of my roommates who’s very similar but to my knowledge didn’t date any women who’d had marriage designs on him before he came out or live as roommates with them in the years following that declaration.

I also loved hearing someone else use the term “cater waiter” since the only person I’ve heard use it was the Model Flake, who told me he was tired of being a “cater waiter.” Chris reminded me of a more functional version of the Model Flake though Chris was apparently a college jock, not a male model. One scene in particular definitely reminded me of what Vickie in “Reality Bites” says to the leads who are flirting with “will they, won’t they” and bugging everyone around them with it.

I also wonder if the writers read a particular Cosmopolitan magazine article I heard about many years back concerning a particular sex position my sorority sisters spent a lot of time debating on whether it was actually possible to execute. Is “pinwheel” code for “passion propeller”??? I actually discussed this tale with the gentleman I brought with me to the show since that scene brought back the memory (my verdict was it’s not possible and if it were, the guy would be injured in a very uncomfortable way).
Lauren Testerman and Matthew Schatz. Photo by Mark Childers.

However, this show had a slide show presentation that probably should have been planned a little better with the screen set up. It was a little distracting to have a large black line in the center as this was showing background in telling the story. I also hope our actors weren’t consuming actual alcohol during this show; I’m still not certain since there was a scene where one character is opening a bottle and it looks like she’s opening a fresh bottle. I’d have hated to be them doing so many shows and rehearsals where drinking is called for since eventually someone would have gotten sick or maybe developed alcohol poisoning. I didn’t see anyone have ill effects but a true professional never lets the audience see them sweat or will seamlessly integrate whatever mishap occurs into the action so the audience is none the wiser. The use of the balcony in this show was also new and I think added to the story, perhaps even making the action a bit more inclusive for those who didn’t have front row seating. Supposedly this theater has second floor seating but I wasn’t sitting there. If anyone was, it’s nice that the staging took that into account.

This show is tailormade for any of us who didn’t meet our soulmate in childhood and are still with them to this day (by the way, we all hate you) so that covers a huge group: divorced people, cynical NYC dwellers, the “nice guy” who never gets out of the friendzone, the woman who can’t find a non-sleazy attractive guy to save her life or is dismissed for being too fat, a less popular ethnic minority, too old, too pretty, too interesting, too smart, whatever. Those of you who’ve been through a horrific breakup, especially if was recent, will really love this show and definitely want the soundtrack since the songs are fabulous. They have the cheeky irreverence of “Avenue Q,” a show that I hope hasn’t been ruined by the woke mob.
Lauren Testerman, Maggie McDowell, Matthew Schatz and Erin Lamar. Photo by Mark Childers

I came here with a guy that I’m still not quite sure is really interested in being exclusive with me or seeing me again after a subsequent travel excursion. I guess I’ll know in about a week when I lay down the law but for a moment there, I thought maybe there was hope after the devastation wrought on my heart by the Energizer Bunny. Maybe there still is since he said he did like the show and hasn’t seemed to attack me for being a cynical, jaded New Yorker since he grew up here himself….

In short, you could let your cynical teens see this one but don’t bring your babies and toddlers. Otherwise, if you’ve ever been dumped, felt rejected by someone you adored or you’re suffering from a broken heart you should see this show at once since you’ll instantly feel better afterwards.

Monday, July 18, 2022

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "The Winter's Tale" -- Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Presented by The Drilling Company and The Clemente

You might have thought the Surreal Adventures series was dead or even going to performances would be dead after the crazy 2+ years we’ve had.

Well, life can surprise you sometimes. The pandemic, being out of NYC for most of 2020, an intense relationship with a guy who brought back feelings I thought died with my divorce and who continues to confuse me months after discarding me, learning that I indeed am not suited to work in the average law firm, finding my dream job and trying to get my own apartment once and for all….those are their own surreal adventures.

I’d heard about shows starting again and knew I should get back out there but I suppose inertia, apartment hunting, emotional pain and general feelings of frustration and disconnection had been holding me back until I personally got an invite to see this one. This isn’t a show I had read or was familiar with despite being a Drama kid in high school and having an acting background so I had to read up on it to see if I might be able to review it properly. I could so off I went and here we are.

First off, great move on the organizers to do this at 7 pm vs. prime time sunburn hours. This super pale natural redhead who burns in 2 seconds thanks you kindly. The parking lot at The Clemente also happened to have a shady area where seating was set up and where I sat so no worries I’d burn. This one is also an actual parking lot; I would never notice it was there if I hadn’t had the street address to look for. The entrance was quite subtle but the venue itself definitely had that Lower East Side city feel if you’re looking for that.

When it got dark outside, the lights came on very gradually and I didn’t even notice the change so someone paid very good attention to this.

Second, they had comfy chairs. This might have been because I was attending on a Thursday night but I had no issues with seating and kept some distance since I’d do that under normal circumstances.

I read of this going into the modern age and I saw that in wardrobe and some of the staging. For example, this show starts with 2 characters in an arm wrestling match.
Bradford Frost (Polixines) arm wrestles with Hamilton Clancy (Lenotes) . Behind: Jaan Rothschild, (Mammilius). Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innnovation

Tell me that doesn’t still happen in real life when you get guys involved in some kind of conflict. I suppose guys I dated never really did that but I know some might have straight up gone for throwing punches if they had to or told me they’d run away in the face of conflict. The doomed prince is also shown completely consumed on his smart phone while the interactions between his parents and his father’s suspicions of the pregnant Hermione’s fidelity grow as they interact with Polixines.
L-R; Jaan Rothschild, Hamilton Clancy, Jane Bradley. Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation

Hamilton Clancy, Bradford Frost, Jane Bradley. Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation

I’m also not sure if “my wife’s a hobby horse” is a line from the original Shakespeare but if it is, it only shows that Shakespeare’s work is just as relevant in the modern age as it was in the past. We certainly still have false accusations ruining people’s lives, people getting stuck in the middle of someone else's conflicts as Camillo was, people trying in vain to convince someone to see reason and have compassion for others, class conflicts in relationships, kids being blamed for things they had nothing to do with and people sticking to their stories even when contrary information no longer supporting them is presented in their faces.
Hamilton Clancy and Jane Bradley. Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation
Jack Sochet, Bradford Frost. Photo by Jonathan Slaff
L-R: Bob Arcaro, Lisbeth Allen, Hamilton Clancy, Una Clancy. Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation

Contrary to some who say this play is “problematic” for Shakespeare’s work, I feel that maybe Shakespeare came to some heavy realizations later on in life that informed his final works (as this one is part of). I, for example, thought I had more of a goth sensibility until both my father and my ex-husband’s sister died within 1.5 months of each other and I had to go to the funerals almost back to back. I’ve also come to bigger realizations in my own life such as having far more maturity and restraint that I did when I was younger, being far less tolerant of roommate situations these days than I was in years past, not putting up with treatment from guys I’d have been okay with in the past, that sort of thing.

Perhaps Shakespeare felt at the time he wrote this that life was a balance of tragedy and comedy and that both can exist in the universe of some play. Maybe he didn’t want to deal with all sadness all the time and wanted to give the audience some hope after you’ve had everything taken and you feel contrition for your bad behavior. Just my two cents.
Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation

The costuming was definitely on point. I love the “I (heart symbol) (sheep symbol)” shirt the shepherd’s son was wearing. He and his father got the laughs along with the salesman at the festival and the pickpocket who later becomes something of a “good guy” in this tale.
Matthew Krob. Photo by Jonathan Slaff
David Marantz, Matthew Krob. Photo by Lee Wexler/Images for Innovation

Overall, definitely worth seeing even if you’re not a Shakespeare scholar though you’re probably not going to sneak some of the dialogue or context past young kids. I instantly knew what the “hobby horse” line meant so I’m pretty sure most kids will as well or you’ll be the parent being asked about it. I’d say this show is fine for your teens and maybe your tween as long as you’re the sort of parent who’s okay with questions and explaining complicated adult stuff to your kids.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

NYC Apartment Hunting -- Pandemic, My Butt!!!

Even though crime is rising in NYC, that's apparently doing nothing for rental prices or getting into an apartment. Even trying to get a roommate is a bitch in this place. I'm beyond frustrated and definitely don't remember it being this f-ing difficult even at the peak of my hard scrabble post-divorce life when I'd just gotten out of the transient life. When I was looking in 2015, it was at another point where the rental market was said to be impossible and I was in an emergency situation where I had to get the F out ASAP since my roommate was literally trying to interfere in my relationship with my then boyfriend Mr. Orgy. At this point, it's time for an upgrade and I'm fed up with one of my landlady's sons who has no respect for personal property, personal space, neglected a cat who recently died as part of it, doesn't pay a dime in rent + has a girlfriend who's been in my face over things she's got no business bothering me about or trying to make rules on. Nobody would pay any form of rent to live in these conditions and I offered to pay more rent to get the second room and them leaving but my landlady would rather accommodate these leeches than a quiet, long time tenant who even paid her rent when she wasn't in the state for most of 2020. I don't have to enable these assholes and plan to pay only for utilities and a reduced rent reflecting the loss of my quiet enjoyment of my space.

By law, I have to get a 90 day notice before I can be evicted and I'm pretty sure a court would consider the fact that I have to lock my door when these leeches get into fights and the damage to property that would lead a rational person to fear for their personal safety among the various issues that are intolerable such as eating food I paid for (which made it necesary for me to get a lockbox for the fridge in the kitchen), crowding me out of spaces that were part of my lease when I moved in, etc. My landlady's other son told me he was also looking to move because of these leeches and every single person who's aware of this situation has said it's time to move, I don't need to be there, etc.

Now, you may be asking "But WHY is it so hard to find an apartment in NYC? Aren't you having massive crime waves and lots of lefist lunacy that's led hard working people with common sense to flee to FL? Didn't a lot of people find their distant digs much better than NYC and refuse to return? And what about how dangerous the subway is and how people are getting shoved onto tracks, murdered by homeless people who are mentally ill and criminals are literally running the streets? Shouldn't there be tons of vacanies and much cheaper rent?"

If reality existed here, I'd say you're absolutely right but here are the problems with finding apartments in NYC:

1) Finding a place legitimately being rented out by an owner is like finding a pearl in a bed of oysters. It seems like it was more common when I first moved here in 2007 but now you might as well try to fly from the top of one of NYC's infamous high buildings. You'd probably be more successful at taking flight by flapping your arms and not just plummeting to your death than you would be finding a legit listing where you deal directly with the owner of a place.

2) Everything is listed by brokers. Brokers by and large are all about the money and treat potential tenants as numbers. Some seem okay and some might be honest but most are all about the Benjamins vs. actually getting you a good fit into an apartment. I go to viewings and see places but if you want to apply, some won't tell you how many people are in front of you, will keep showing places even when there are multiple applicants in the pool or won't even bother to contact you and then you get notification that the place you asked about is already off the market.

Do you hear from the broker again on other listings they have??? Hell no! Some will tell you they'll contact you but in my experience, that's been a lie. If you don't have a close friend who does this or find a renter's broker (which may not even exist), you get zero respect or consideration even if you actually need out of a situation.

3. Application fees: almost every place has these. By law in NYC, you can't charge more than $20 for this (credit, criminal, background checks) and if you have a report from the last 30 days they can't charge you an application fee. I have such a report after getting rejected from a place (more on that later) but haven't had the opportunity to try this part out. I have, however encountered ads and brokers trying to charge well above this. Just this evening, I see an ad on SpareRoom for a ROOM charging a $40 application fee (supposedly "after the initial application" like somehow that's a legal loophole permitting it).

If you start seeing places and want a chance in hell of being considered against throngs of others, you have to pay a fee for each one. Imagine how quickly this fee adds up. Did I mention that this fee isn't refundable if you get rejected? You still need money for deposits, broker fees and moving expenses since you most likely don't have a truck or a van and you aren't He-Man so you're going to need help moving your stuff. When you're over 35, your friends and parents (if you even have fit men with muscles or women with lifting power) aren't going to haul all your belongings from one place to the next, often involving walking up flights of stairs. Some places I've seen have 5th and 6th floor walkups with no elevator in the building. I'm in a 4th floor walkup and that's my absolute limit; before I moved here, I never lived above the third floor anywhere.

I've even seen roommate listings demanding application fees. FREAKING ROOMMATE situations. You know, where you're not getting your own space and have to share kitchens, bathrooms and occcasional living rooms and ask permission to do things you'd be able to do easily at your own house? I've encountered some of these where roommates had open "you can't have anyone over" rules and some don't allow pets (though that's a bit more understandable if your rent is much cheaper than it would be to rent your own apartment in the area). As I explained to people like that, I could live with my mother for free and deal with that. I could also live with some guy for free and deal with that condition (and did when I had to though I didn't make that rule); at least I'd also have regular sex in that situation so I wouldn't become a pain in the ass to everyone I encountered in society.

4. Scammers abound thinking you are supposed to hand over thousands of dollars before even seeing a place or worse, to apply for a place. Never, ever pay money without seeing a place first and don't give more than $20 to anyone to apply for a place. Also, demand a broker show you their license since they are required to carry this on them at ALL times (this was told to me by a long time broker and she did show me her information). Some scammers are even pretending they are brokers and brokers have even lied about being brokers to see a place (this happened to an owner whose place I checked out but got rejected for).

5. Delusional management companies: one apparently demanded applicants to pay a full months rent via certified check just to apply to a place according to a broker I met at one property during my lunch hour (and ended up late back to work because of this on a hot day so no looking at apartments during my lunch hour unless that place is walkable from my apartment). I adamantly refused and noted that I'm not stupid nor am I hearing the word "refundable" in this context.

I also got rejected from an apartment where rent was far below the metric for affordability in NYC (your yearly salary > 40x the rent) because I didn't have a guarantor (or as I call it, a rich daddy since this means someone who makes more money and has better credit than you).

Now keep in mind I have a very high credit score well over what it's recommended you have to get into a place and just got on full time in my current job where I'm being paid a lot more than I was in the past and finally in the atmosphere of what my skills are worth (which is also more than what a lot of people who aren't members of the 1%, STEM employees or work in finance are earning). I even got a peek at my own rental report and my score was over 800 out of 1,000 on my candidacy of rentability. Nobody should be asking me for a rich daddy to co-sign for me in this scenario, especially when I don't even have a father at this point. I definitely am pissed by this and still feel these are a bunch of idiot classist assholes.

If I had a rich daddy, why would I be trying to rent a place for $1,800 a month uptown when I could just buy a place directly or live with the rich daddy? Like were you born stupid or did you work at it your whole life (to borrow a line from a song I heard in the John Waters movie "A Dirty Shame" that apparently was called "The Asshole Song")??

6. The general attitude of management companies is akin to that of government employees: from what I've seen, you're not allowed to have objections to the price, apartment layout or any issues the company should account for. Nope, you should be thrilled to pay obscene rental prices to live across from the projects (or crime havens), have your closet for your clothes in the hallway, live in a 6th floor walkup with no elevator, have a micro kitchen, or deal with having no space whatsoever for your stuff. Having standards?!?!? How dare you!!!!!!! I've never seen anybody seem to take these realities into account when setting rent prices. Apparently landlords were desperate when NYC was burning and it was deserted but now?? They view it as business as usual and say "Fuck you for not settling. You'll take it and you'll happily accept my extortion." Well, not directly but they ought to; I'd probably have more respect for someone who openly said that vs. lying about it.

I guess I've gotten older and more jaded about the idea of living in Manhattan but I've seen this attitude permeate in neighborhoods nobody would call toney or upscale. I've not even wasted my time looking in some areas since I'm not interested in wasting my entire paycheck on rent. I'm deliberately looking at places below the 40x metric and trying to avoid situations where I'm going to be slammmed with crazy rent increases like so many were post-pandemic after getting some good deal in 2020 or early 2021. I'm also avoiding areas I know are unsafe since I also consider that a dealbreaker unlike some of these delusional housing pushers.

7. Moving companies are known for extortion and ripping people off in NYC. You have to really search to find a good one so that's a whole other ordeal. They always charge extra to move from or into walkups and I've definitely read some nigthmare stories. Oh, and they also charge extra if you're moving at the beginning of a month. I bet they also charge more for weekend moves yet some of us work and don't have PTO or want to take PTO for that. I don't even have as much but I know that's yet another expense I have to deal with.

8. Finally, delusional roommate situations. Do you really expect grown people to never see their significant others? Or worse, that you get to live with YOUR signficant other but expect someone else to pay rent to NEVER have overnight guests (I have seen this in ads)? That's inequality and absurd right there. I refer to it as sex policing and demanding me to live in a convent.

I think a "no guests longer than a week" policy solves the issue of unwanted live in SOs. Not dominating common spaces, not using other people's stuff or eating their food and not leaving your mess in places is fair but policing my body and what I do with it in my own space I pay rent for, demanding me to maintain Danny Tanner cleanliness standards and spend my weekends being Cinderella is not acceptable, especially at this stage of my life. To me, that's why I DON'T want to live with roommates. Somebody like that is too high maintenance and seems to be a wannabe church mom as well as no fun whatsoever.

There's a fine line between having orgies and having dates or your significant other come over where you are respectful of space + volume. Why do I have to ask permission to have guys over in a space I pay for? I didn't deal with this shit in college and I adamantly will not pay rent to be living with some Mom wannnabe. I also don't police anyone else's love life. They can screw anybody's brains out they want in their own room as long as I'm not having to see it or be kept awake with it. You also can't get the sex smell that easily in a room; it takes real effort for that. It seems like women in particular are harpy bitches about someone having sex. I'm definitely not one of those. I did speak to one man who had that condition and I gave him this response exactly but most men I've encountered don't make a thing of it, I guess because they wouldn't want to live under those conditions themselves.

Family and others have told me to focus on getting my own place vs. roommate situations. My sister even told me I didn't have a good track record with them and should be getting my own place. I feel like at this point, I should unless I found a really good situation with people who aren't fuckups or sex policers. It always seems like the normal people don't have space here. Who wants to bet the sex policers are also "woke" and claim to be tolerant? Yes, I think I've always been the type who wants to live alone and now I should actually do that since I am responsible, have a means to do that now and need minimal stress in my life.

What's shocking is I'd expect sex policiers to be closer to my mom's age or from conservative religions but many of them are in their 20s and don't declare some fundamentalist religious affiliation. It seems we have Puritans dominating the new generation and finding people who aren't this way is a battle.

I just want to find a place that meets my parameters (which are far from unreasonable even by NYC standards) and be left alone while I'm paying rent. I believe one pays rent to be left alone and you don't need to be up in a roommate's business when you don't know them. I've not been friends with roommates since I was in law school and never lived with a bestie.

Friends familiar with the absurdity of renting here have sympathized, made neighborhood suggestions and said I needed my own place. They've also confirmed this process being nonsense and one pointed out that apparently I'm doing this in a crowded market and a busy season. But when hasn't housing demand been high and crowded here? Am I supposed to just rot in this situation, enabling these leeches or settle for garbage? I feel like if you don't keep standards for yourself, you'll just make yourself miserable and unhappy.

I'd like to have some advocates who give a shit about ME and actually SHOW this vs. paying me lip service. I need a broker friend or someone who'll advocate for me with a decision maker on this front even though you'd think any sane buidling owner would want a tenant like me, particularly at this stage of my life. Why should I be forced to beg for an apartment when I have that score of over 800 out of 1,000? What gives here? I have long term tennancy situations where nobody would trash me as a renter. I've known landlords who had some nightmare stories about tenants and I have never done the things they told me about those tenants doing.

Is it just a society that punishes people for being responsible, law abiding and not beingn trust fund brats? At least I can't be evicted for a while and nobody's going to sex police me here (I'd refuse to pay a dime past utilites in that scenario) but this is mental sanity stuff right here. I don't think my mental sanity needs to be tested after all the shit I've had to deal with already. Why hasn't the balance moved to people like Hunter Biden or DeBlasio or other truly despicable types? Just saying. At least I'm more than happy and capable of knocking people down from their self-created pedestals and don't worship anyone.

For those in NYC, I leave you with this question: Do you think it's harder to get housing or get a man you have a future with in NYC? It feels like both are impossible at this point.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Some Leaders and Change Makers Aren't Chosen but Summoned

If you are a person governed by personal integrity and the type who feels you should BE the change instead of complaining about why things don't change, then you can definitely relate to this sentiment. As I'm going through my life I definitely have found that to be more and more true.

Sometimes, the choice to speak out or do something is not even really a choice. You're minding your own business, content to go about life and do you thing when all of a sudden there's bullshit confronting you. Maybe it's a rude salesperson. Maybe it's a boss being emotionally abusive. Maybe it's some rando who nearly killed you in traffic. Maybe you're getting slammed by bureaucracy because you don't come from money but people assume you do. Either way, you've been thrust into some time of intolerable conflict where your choices are "sit back and take it" or "give 'em hell." Not sure how common it is or how many people identify as this but I like to think that many people in America are of the "give 'em hell" mindset. We claim to revere and respect the "give 'em hell" types. In fact, I think it's an unofficial requirement that you be a "give 'em hell" type if you're going to be a lawyer.

But have you ever noticed that whistleblowers are never protected by society's decisionmakers or many of the "woke" activists? Where's the fund for them? Don't tell me "just create a GoFundMe or a GiveSendGo campaign." Not everybody's story goes viral or has that kind of support from the world at large. Where's any concern for one's survival in the meantime from any camp? Don't you get that lots of people get blacklisted by employers if they speak up against anyone, even the Harvey Weinstein figures? Where are the employers who fight this bullshit? Why don't any say "I'd be proud to hire that person since they have principles?" Do entire industries just cover for assholes, in contradiction of their supposed claims to value all people or care about the populace at large? I suppose stuff like this makes me look skeptically at the whiners who bitch at people for protecting their own self-interest. Will those woke scolds feed the children of the "good" cops who speak out against corruption? Will they be supporting the fired creatives who report some well known sexual predator? It doesn't look like they do.

In the legal world, lawyers are requried to report ethics violations and can't be blind soldiers just following orders at their jobs. There's a specific rule that says this. But what do legal employers do when someone makes a report against some other employer who's straight up got no business trying to solicit clients or supervising anyone? What if it's an employer who's a sexual predator or hits people in the workplace? I've been given the impression that legal employers have no respect for whistleblowing and outright discourage it by punishing the people who do it with blacklisting in spite of the reality that attorneys are commanded to report ethical violations in their profession. Who thinks the people who'd blacklist some whistleblower is guilty of things that they deserve exposure for or are feckless wimps who'd never report anything since it would be harmful to their personal comfort in some way?

If you're acting against your personal comfort, clearly you're governed by something else & have far more integrity than losers who will blacklist others for taking a stand. I feel like those people would just let some rapist continue harming people, a child molester continue harming kids, a wife beater keep beating his wife, thieves continue to steal, you get the idea. To me, staying silent when shit happens in front of your face is enabling that bad behavior and you might as well be participating in it yourself. Those who are "give 'em hell" types find this intolerable. Their feeling is "I have to do what's right" and it doesn't matter what personal comfort is lost or how much money you pay them to drop a claim or what threats you make to them. It's just "this is what I must do." It's a moral imperative, God's will, however you interpret it.

In my own speaking out and stepping up experiences, I was thrust into some intolerable situation that was unfair to me in some way. Whether it was threat to my academic record, being denied a job I was perfectly capable of doing, an abusive work environment, witnessing racism being practiced on my friends, or seeing loved ones being treated terribly in a job, I didn't choose to inject myself into situations. I was facing negative impact or the threat of negative impact and simply decided it was time to fight against it. In the case of friends being subjected to racism, that was something I was asked to watch then be involved in but I didn't like seeing my friends being treated badly as that affected my life (when you care about your friends, you don't want people abusing them and making them unhappy). This is something I did as early as middle school. It's funny that people actually had positive words for me after I took action even though I was far from Ms. Popular. I've also never regreted taking these actions and I guess this is how I became a lawyer though I'm not a litigator.

When you've been called to take action, you get it. I also keep seeing anti-mandate protesters taking action and I'm like "they're doing the Lord's work." So is the widow of that officer who just got killed. I love that she called out the feckless Bragg in her eulogy, this creampuff DA who thinks criminals should get to freely roam the streets and harm others. I bet he'd feel differently if HIS loved one or HE were a victim of some of his beloved criminals. Same goes for all the politicans who enable that shit. It's time the criminals actually targeted those people. That's what I'd do if I were a criminal.

I suppose, though, that's because I'm also rebellious and big on giving people some "fuck you" alongside something I'm doing. Why individual armed security people or staff members haven't poisoned these people or simply gotten out of the way when guns were aimed at these losers is a mystery to me. My personal integrity would command me to make these people suffer the consequenses of their stupidity. I can't be that rare a breed but perhaps I am. Someone who did that stuff would be a personal hero to me. I understand that officer's widow got a standing ovation when she called Bragg out and is sure to become a personal hero to many in NYC and beyond who are fed up with creampuff DAs and lying politicians.

One thing for sure is that I have tons of real life influence for my creative pursuits. Apparently, we're getting a blizzard so I'll get to sit pretty at home.