the lawyer writer

sometimes legal                     sometimes literary                     sometimes not

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Blue Hair, Dogs, and the New York Times

A gentle brag today--The Street Law Handbook was featured in the New York Times Book Review section in an essay by Jonathan Miles, entitled "Misbehavin'." You can read the essay here. A small mention, but still exciting, and many thanks to Mr. Miles for including me in his essay on behaving badly. May it inspire others.

As promised, here are instructions on How To Dye Your Hair Blue.

1. First, decide if you want streaks (recommended) or you want to do the whole head. Streaks is a way of slowly entering the realm of blue hair. If you decide you want streaks, you must buy a highlighting cap, and that yanking thing to pull the hair out. Beauty supply stores or Ricky's will have this.

2. Put on the cap and pull the hairs out through the holes. Then lighten the color of your hair (if you have dark hair) and apply a hair lightening kit such as Manic Panic's. Just follow the instructions.

3. Rinse that junk off your hair and apply color. I like Manic Panic's Midnight Blue, but Street Lights Electric Blue is good too.

4. Your blue hair will lighten the more you wash it. Color must be put back in every two to three weeks. Prepare yourself and roommate for occassional blueness in the bath tub.

5. Frustratingly, your blue hair will shine brightly in the sunshine and at job interviews, but show not at all at night in cool clubs or funky bars.

I include this section because if you have an overwhelming urge to dye your hair blue, then corporate law may not be for you. Trust me, it's one of the signs.

Moving on, as promised, The Odd Job. If you are any kind of writer, whether you have a law degree or not, chances are, you have one or many Odd Jobs that don't involve writing. Some bartend. Others temp as clerks or secretaries. I walk dogs. I enjoy this very much, which seems to baffle people, as they imagine that the law degree has made me unable to do any kind of manual labor. (I tend not to tell my clients I have a law degree, as they will probably wonder how bad a lawyer has to be in order to be reduced to a dog-walker). The truth is, the money is negligable, but it's fresh air, a break from writing, and I love the dogs. I started, in fact, when I realized my beloved family dog Jupiter was not long for this world, and walking dogs became a form of therapy. I imagine I'd probably do it even if I wrote a bestseller, as I do it for the dogs and me rather than the dogs' owners. This, again, baffles people. Apparently, dog walking is the lowest form of employment. I disagree. Sitting in a windowless room for 10, 11 hours a day, marking and copying incomprehensible documents with others who refuse to admit that they weren't trained for this either--that seems a bit more demeaning as you are essentially doing secretarial work, but you have to hide this fact from all those people who look up--way up--to your law degree.

This, in a nutshell, is Why I No Longer Practice Law Even After That Very Expensive Degree. A couple other reasons: I don't like waking up early at the same time every morning. And I don't like working in windowless offices for set periods of time. And I don't like people setting my hours. This is all incredibly presumptious, I know, as it is open defiance to The American Way of Business. The price for rejecting The American Way of Business is that you are usually struggling for money.

Of course, it took three years of law school, a bar exam, and two years on Wall Street for me to figure out these peculiar little likes and dislikes. Oh, for a short cut!

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