the lawyer writer

sometimes legal                     sometimes literary                     sometimes not

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm a Happy Person, I Swear

Looking back on the previous posts, I realize that I sound like the world's grouchiest lawyer-writer. In reality, I've been in a really good mood lately, with the weather getting warmer and all sorts of other nice things happening. So, in order to lighten the mood of the blog, allow me to share with you a fun bit of graffitti I saw the other night on the bathroom walls of a bar.

I'll be right back, Estragon
Yeah, right, Godot.

Who says good writing is dead?

High and Mighty, part 2

Kudos to Camille Dodero. Sure, she wrote High and Mighty, that not-quite-accurate portrayal of High Times, which I took issue to in my last post. But she wrote back to me and defended her article. I can't publish her words, because I promised that it would be strictly off the record, but I can publish my response, which includes a mea culpa for grandstanding (which, I'm worried, is becoming my new "thing")

dear camille:

thank you for your note. I'd like to say that it's
nice to see a journalist standing behind her article
rather than the usual trend of blaming the editor for
"changing my words." I also understand how hard it is
to write a long piece so quickly

That said, my complaint isn't so much that the current
staff doesn't speak highly of the Stratton/Mailer era
(I know they don't) or that they should have. I felt
that the article, in entering the spirit of the
current High Times, took a much too favorable
viewpoint of its "return to its roots." As you state
in the article, its roots were in counterculture, not
just pot culture. I also take issue with the idea that
the magazine I was working for was more
"celebrity-driven" than the one now, which has just
featured Darryl Hannah, of all people.

I would have liked to have a more balanced approach,
maybe quote or two from Richard, John, or Annie
Nocenti (who was the primary editor I worked with, but
is rarely mentioned, given the male-focused market of
the magazine.) I felt that your classification of the
Stratton/Mailer/Nocenti magazine came directly from
disgruntled employees rather than an actual evaluation
of what it was. If you had talked to Annie or Richard,
for example, you would have learned that the primary
reason that advertising dropped was because they
refused to use ads from "fake bud" advertisers. These
people sell "fake" or "legal" pot which is not pot and
is a total ripoff, and is used by dealers to stretch
their supply. The current magazine uses ads from these
people, which is hardly faithful to their mission or
to their readers. Of course, it does help when you
make your advertising director into your

You may ask why I'm so riled up. As an attorney, I
would not write for High Times as it is now (nor was I
asked to, incidentally) because that would simply
classify me as a "stoner lawyer" (which might even get
me disbarred). I was, however, happy to write for a
magazine that DID teach people--and stoners--something
other than how to classify weed.

However, in case you think I'm too high and
mighty myself--and I can get that way--I don't always take my
own advice. For example, a call to Annie reveals that
Hunter S. Thompson didn't write for the magazine in
the 30th Anniversary issue; he was, as you say, simply
interviewed and profiled.

so, I guess what I'm saying is that I would have liked
the other side to have been addressed, if not actually
elaborated on. Now that has picked up the
article, I worry that a larger group of people are
going to accept the fact that a true High Times pot
smoker must be a stoner, rather than an activist. It
was not always the case.

Thank you for your reply back; I appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Not-So-High Times (A.K.A. "Why, alternet, why?")

Gabe sent me an article from, which I usually respect as they really do care about journalism and writing and actual news reporting. This article, entitled "High and Mighty", however, is pretty awful. It's about "new and improved" High Times, which, from what I understand, is simply about three-foot bongs and Bonghitters, the High Times softball team. (They're 15-3-1). The writer is happy to recycle the usual stale cliches ("As might be expected of a magazine whose employees work on all things marijuana, everyone looks pretty damn happy") and to steadfastly ignore the idea that pot smokers may be interested in things other than trying to grow and identify buds. (We don't expect wine lovers to start their own vineyards do we? And we don't require that they drink at least three glasses a day in order to qualify as a "wine lover.") This knee-jerk "counterculturalism" pisses me off. If you've got a love for something illegal, educate yourself, take a stand, and try to change the system and people's minds, instead of just being passive and complaining about "The Man" keeping you down.

Anyway, as many of you know, the former editors (Richard Stratton, John Mailer and Annie Nocenti) are my friends, and I wrote for the magazine under them, so I have a definite bias. But it was enough to get me riled up enough to send a letter to Why should anyone think of pot smokers any differently if they're happy to adopt the "stoner" culture? Naive as I am, I thought alternet would be above the stereotype.

This is the letter I wrote. In advance, I ask you to forgive any grandstanding; it's just my lil ole way.

Dear Editor(s)

I am writing regarding the article published on March 29, 2005 entitled "High and Mighty" by Camille Dodero

As a author and journalist, I had the privilege of writing High Times during the all-too-brief Stratton/Mailer reign. Far from being a "celebrity-driven Nation," the magazine was recapturing its real goal of actually being (rather than simply posing as) counterculture. I find many things troubling in Ms. Dodero's article, not the least of which is the insinuation that a "true" pot smoker is one with two foot bongs and vaporizers, rather than the occasional dime bag user. This reveals the elitism of the current High Times: if you don't smoke as much as we do, the same way we do, then you're not one of us.

When I wrote for High Times under Richard Stratton and John Mailer (and, incidentally, Annie Nocenti) I was very excited to write for a progressive magazine, which didn't just supply stoners with paraphernalia, but supplied people who care about pot and counterculture with the means of continuing a rebellion. Three foot bongs are nice, but what about legislation articles? What about all the other things that pot smokers think about BESIDES growing? No, they don't just stare into space, thank you. They listen to music, they write, they play video games, they think about sex. The so-called celebrity-driven High Times knew this and had columns about these subjects. It was something that ANYONE--the lifelong stoner or the occasional smoker--could read.

How, exactly, is that "slick" or "corporate?" Dodero's article never explains this. Instead, it's simply assumed that since circulation supposedly shot up in the short term, High Times had "returned to its roots." Its roots, in fact, were far different than what it's become now, a fact that is simply ignored in this article. For example, why is the magazine's early "Hunter S. Thompson" sensibility in the 1960's laudable, while the fact that Hunter S. Thompson actually wrote for the magazine during the "celebrity-driven" era is never mentioned? How exactly are Ani DiFranco and Jim Jarmusch "celebrities" while Snoop Dogg with some bud is not?

Gloriously shot pictures of buds are nice, but in the end, they're no different than any other glossy, marketed centerfold. What was once a revolutionary magazine of politics and culture--what Playboy was to the mainstream in the 60's--is now again simply another Penthouse or Hustler. In other words: Pot Porn.

Monday, March 28, 2005


For you Sex and the City fans out there, rest easy. I have been cruelly punished for the previous entry's diatribe (or was it a tirade? Discuss) against the show. As I was walking dogs in the pouring rain, I realize that I was compulsively humming that horrifying Gap "Pretty Khaki" song. You know the one, where Sarah Jessica Parker frolics gaily through a faux-street singing "I Enjoy Being a Girl" in a manner which would make even die-hard Doris Day fans vomit. I hummed and hummed and walked the dogs, who, not surprisingly, were staring at me with disgust. And it's still stuck in my head.

If there is a hell, then this is its theme song. Oh, the humanity.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The "I Hate Sex and the City" Diatribe

(above: Charlotte, Carrie, Samantha and Miranda)

We were at a pretty cool party last night--lots of liquor, lots of food--to celebrate a fellow author's book deal/move to Los Angeles. The crowd was intellectual but lively, which almost made up for the fact that party was located on the Upper West Side. At any rate, at some point, someone mentioned Sex & the City, and I almost launched into my near-patented Sex and the City Diatribe. Almost. I have better manners than to dominate the conversation like that. However, I decided to save it up for the blog, and here it is.

Thesis: I am the only woman I know who LOATHES Sex and the City.

But why? It's just a show
If only it were. I managed to ignore it as long as possible, but it became a cultural phenomenon. Unlike something soothingly airheaded like Melrose Place, Sex and the City purported to Say Something about single women's lives. It was heralded as feminist. It wasn't. It was a giant step back in feminism, and the show is both stupid and dangerous.

Why dangerous?

Because it features nothing but caricatures of women who were are supposed to take seriously. Carrie is the neurotic-normal Everygirl; Miranda is the career-minded ballbuster; Charlotte is the old-fashioned preppie princess; Samantha is the sex-crazy party girl. These, by the way, are not new caricatures; they have been seen various other shows, including Designing Women and Golden Girls (which was a far more revolutionary show: Old people with fulfilling lives! Involved in the world around them! Still having sex! Extraordinary!)

But don't you find Sex and the City funny?
Sometimes. It has sort of a crude Mad magazine type humor--lots of squeamish embarrassment and self-humiliation. (which, as I pointed out earlier, doesn't mean that it's any less self-involved). Frankly, I prefer it when it tries to be funny than when it tries to Say Something About the Modern Woman.

But it's about four thirty-something single women who are happy being single! It defies the stereotype that women have to be married at that age!
Are you kidding me? All these women do is chase after men, usually inappropriate or unavailable men. If they find a half-way decent one (Steve, Aidan, Smith) they act like neurotic harridans until any self-respecting man would throw in the towel and hit the road. They are obsessed with men, even while they claim to be happy in their (empty) lives. When do they find happiness in anything else?

What about in their friendships with each other?
I find their friendship forced and unrealistic, and very Carrie-centered. I particularly hate Carrie as I am compared to her often. She is supposed to be the "quirky, downtown girl," but everything about her screams "spoiled Upper East Side Socialite." Even her bizarre wardrobe is more high-risk couture than low-rent vintage. And she CANNOT write.

But why do you take it so seriously?
Because everyone else does. I was happy to ignore the damn thing, until every single women in the world began raving about it. Aside from the usual episode hype, there were books, articles, and essays (in places like, no less) written about the Importance of the Show to Single Women. Which is a crock. Now thirtysomething unmarried women ("spinsters," sometimes) are not even allowed to be unhappy with their situation. They have to pretend that they're having the time of their lives without men, even as they secretly obsess about them.

You must not like or know many thirtysomething single women.
I beg your pardon. I am a thirtysomething single female writer living in New York City. As much as it disgusts me, I am fucking Carrie. Myself aside, there are plenty of thirtysomething, fortysomething and fiftysomething single women out there who say they do not want men, and I admire them for it. These women read books. They partake in high culture (without needing to classify it as pretentious or mock it) and low culture (i.e. fun without money). They are involved in their community and in charities. They take an interest in the world around them, including the world outside of Manhattan. Sure, they may buy Manolo Blahniks, but they have full exciting lives that do not revolve around shopping. And, most of all, they are not lying to themselves. If they do not really want marriage, then they don't go throwing themselves into serious relationships and wondering why the guy doesn't commit. (Of course, on the show, when the poor fool does commit, eventually, he gets stomped on).

But isn't it cool to see women enjoying and talking about sex?
What's new about that? The previously mentioned Designing Women and Golden Girls were full of sex. In fact, the way those women talked about sex was natural, as opposed to Carrie and Co., who apparently want big Broadway lights over their heads saying "Hey! We're liberated! We can talk about sex!" What those other shows didn't have, that is the very core of Sex and the City, is marketing genius and product placement. Sex and the City should be named Money and the City.

The show is aspirational only because of how much money and free time these women have. When I saw Carrie bitching because she had to pay more than $700 a month on her football-field sized one-bedroom, I went into spasms of disgust and went to clean my toilet. Poor Charlotte and her gigantic $20,000 diamond ring. Poor Miranda dating a lowly bartender. (Incidentally, Steve the bartender is the only middle-class man these women will deign to date. Even Smith the waiter had to become Smith the model/indie film star before Samantha could take him seriously). These women couldn't even go to ordinary bars; it had to be fancy hotel bars and Green Apple Martinis, usually paid for. And if I had to see Carrie in one more slutty, unrealistic outfit designed by an "up and coming" fashionista, I'd have killed myself.

Unrealistic? But isn't it supposed to be fantasy?
I wish the show had made up its goddamn mind. A pure fantasy would have been acceptable. So would a realistic show about lives of single women in New York City. This damn thing tried to be both. And who wants to be--let alone date--these neurotic fruitcakes? Their shallow lives seemed sad to me. Believe me, I knew women like these--Of a Certain Age, too thin, designer clothing, Pilates bodies, a look of bitter, pinched failure in their eyes. After all, I worked in the film industry. Give me an plump, honest, unglamorous fifty-year old, librarian-hippie any day.

So obviously you've put a lot of thought into this. In fact, it sounds like you've seen a LOT of the show.
I have seen almost every episode, never by choice. As I said, I am apparently the only woman in the universe who hates this show. To me, it's like watching a car wreck of femininity. That said, I have always had female roommates and lots of female friends. I have been regularly subjected to the show since it first aired.

You sound like you really look down on anyone who watches the show.
Some of my most intelligent, most respected, most glamorous friends watch this show. They have so much more substance and are so much more interesting to me than any of the characters that I simply find their fascination with it baffling.

Don't you like anything about it?

I like some of the idea of New York being a glamorous, exciting place for single women. It is. While the acting and was generally heinous (Carrie and Samantha being the worst offenders) and the writing pandered to the lowest common denominator (teary breast-cancer bullshit anyone?) I thought Kristen Davis's (Charlotte) acting got better towards the end.

But what about Samantha--wasn't it great seeing an older woman guiltlessly pursuing sex, without emotional ties?
Firstly, I don't know many (happy) women like that. I do know a few, but they seem to be exceptions the rule. Most women like to have sex with some emotion or connection attached. Frankly, I think most men do too. That said, I would have been happy to see a Samantha character if she hadn't been such a cartoon. Apparently, a woman can't enjoy guilt-free sex without becoming some sort of leering parody of an aggressive man. (Not for nothing, but many thought Samantha was actually a gay man in disguise).

Incidentally, why are you writing this?
I'm writing this because I think that Sex and the City has become an accepted cultural phenomenon, and no one is talking about its negative effects. I feel alone in my disgust. I'm hoping there are others who agree or would like to enter the debate. Like I said, I'd have been happy to ignore the damn thing if only the Cultural Powers That Be would have let me. I am also writing this as practice for a section in the Lizzie Borden chapter in my book, The Devil Inside Her. The connection? Part of the hysteria around Lizzie Borden was our fear of thirty-something spinsters, and the fact that they are sexually repressed or sexually loose. Contrary to popular assertions, Sex and the City did nothing to change that.

Okay, you've made your point. Is there anything else?

One last thing. Why was everyone so shocked and disappointed when all four women ended up in monogamous, committed relationships at the end of the show? Who do you think this show was marketed to? Middle-class America. The same middle class America that complained that Carrie, as a (I am not making this up) role model, shouldn't be smoking. So the writers had her quit. The show sells a fake glamorous life of single women, but essentially it was just another chick-lit novel where Mr. Right (or Mr. Big) conveniently rescues the heroine from spinsterhood. Middle class America could not stand for their beloved heroines to be happily single. The ending was not a betrayal, but a complete fulfillment of what the show was about.

Are you through?
Yes. I feel much better, thank you. I'm going to go see if I can catch an episode of The Golden Girls to cleanse my palate.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Secession Cabaret

If the idea of seceeding from the Bush States of America makes you want to sing and dance, have I got the event for you. Jason Flores-Williams (writer, law student, hellraiser) is organizing the second Secession Town Hall and Cabaret event. Jason is fiery and opinionated and will get you thinking about the world around you if it kills him (or you). This upcoming event is put together by Jason, The Brooklyn Rail newspaper, and someone named Sara Valentine (aka Little Miss Bigmouth) who I know nothing about, but kudos on the name. The event includes readings, a town hall format where everyone airs opinions and questions, and some sort of cabaret. There's a DJ. Now that's how politics should be done!
Time & Date: 6 p.m. Saturday April 16
Location: Union Pool, 484 Union Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Media contact:

Now, I myself am not sure if I want to secede. I like America. I don't see why those right-wing religious meglomaniacal conservatives can't all move to Utah and secede from US. That said, I think it's important to get involved in politics now, rather than wait until the next Presidential election. We must work hard for four years to prevent, at all costs, the following phrase: "President Cheney." No. It cannot be.

The hangover is gone today, and am contemplating going out tonight. Years of being a nerdy shut-in in high school have made me nervous about staying in on any Friday night. This is even though I work from home and can go out and get plastered any night of the week, and even though I hate the tourist B&T crowds that show up on the weekends. I just worry that if I start getting comforable staying in on weekend nights then I will be forgotten by the world and Never Go Out Again. Horrifying.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Hangover Central

I was very hungover today. I am often hungover. This is not necessarily because I go out drinking every night (I don't), but because of a physical ailment. Allow me to tell you my sad story.

When I was a young, hardy lass, I could drink like a Greek sailor. Actually, I could drink with Greek sailors, as was the case one night in Tijuana. (Two Greek sailors, one Swedish-American masseuse, her nondescript friend, and a fellow freshman who played football, to be specific). All the drinks a freshman gourmand picks: cheap tequila, Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, Everclear, Kahlua and cream. I was tiny, and I could drink my weight in liquor, and don't think I didn't tell everyone (including my parents) about it.

The tolerance waned over the course of college, and stalled as I got my M.A. But then there was law school. Ah, the drinking we did. There wasn't one Irish bar that didn't know my name. Or, at least, vaguely recognized me. To this day, I think that law and liquor and inextricably linked (and the number of alcoholic lawyers may prove my point).

But then it happened. One day I couldn't get out of bed. I was really sleepy. Really, really sleepy. I couldn't wake up. I felt swollen. My lovely doctor friend Sanjay took me to the emergency room (Sanjay is an opthomologist, but for me he's a general practitioner, part-time shrink, and has been known to do a little backalley stitches removal). After the standard two-hour emergency room wait, the lovely doctors there told me the unfortunate truth--at the age of 23, I had contracted Mononucleosis (aka Glandular Fever). You know, the kissing disease that you're supposed to get when you're, um, twelve. Symptoms: sleep all day and all night, feel like crap.

Since it was, indeed, the kissing disease, I turned to "B," the man I was kissing during this period. "B.," I said in a friendly way, "have you given me mono?" B. looked shocked. "Me, no! Have YOU given ME mono?" He paused. "After all, you can get mono drinking out of a water bottle. Maybe you drank out of someone else's water bottle at Legal Aid." Well, that made me think. I was working at Legal Aid. It might actually be a germy place. I looked at him, and he looked at me winningly.

What can I say, I'm a sucker. I figured I drank out of a germy Legal Aid water bottle. Never mind that he was barely able to stay awake and his friends told me that he was running a fever. What did I know?*

Well, when you get mono at 23, your body takes a long time to recover. I tried to go back to drinking a couple weeks later, when I felt awake. I nearly passed out from the headaches, stomaches and general bodily rebellion. The doctor said I should take about six months off of drinking, which I did. (More or less. Don't judge me!) After that, I was at zero alcohol tolerance.

Now, friends and family, you know how hard I have worked to build that tolerance back up. And I like to think I have done a bang-up job. However, it has all come with a price, and that price is the Morning After Hangover Curse.

The Morning After Hangover Curse is this: regardless of how much or how little I drink, I get a hangover. The symptoms can be mild: dry mouth, dehydration, mild headache, fatigue, general malaise. On bad days, like today, it's serious headache, ugly queasiness, exhaustion, extreme grumpiness and a desire to do penance.

Allow me to say that mono does affect the liver, often permanently. People complain of getting too cold or too hot in situations where, before the mono, they were fine. My point is this: I am not a big baby. This is a physiological condition.

I have learned much about preventing a hangover. Here are my Thirteen Rules of Preventing a Hangover.

1. Drink clear liquor (vodka for me--Stoly, Grey Goose or Cirac)

2. Alternate with water towards the end of the night.

3. No matter how tired you are, stay up an extra half-hour before going to bed.

4. One or two slices raisin bread, buttered.

5. Lots more water before bed, along with...

6. Pedialyte (unflavored is the least obnoxious. Drink half a bottle) Gatorade will do in a pinch, but it's not the same.

7. One Advil. Two if you're a big person.

8. Get eight or so hours sleep. Use a girly sleepmask if necessary.

9. Morning: coffee is key. Have one cup upon waking. Maybe two. Chase it with some Cheerios for the fiber. Drink some water. Then go back to sleep.

10. Upon waking the second time, put on one of those cooling blue gel-masks over your eyes. Pray for forgiveness.

11. Soon after, have one or more of the following: cheesy omelet w/ onions, jalepeno, salsa; slice of pizza with garlic; quality mac & cheese with black pepper; nachos, anything from Taco Bell.

12. Keep active as to not give into the urge to curl up in ball and moan. But not too active.

13. No hair-of-the-dog bullshit. Stay sober for the rest of the day and night. Drink water consistently.

Now you know. You too will be able to drink excessively and manage your inevitable hangovers, as I do.

(*B. disappeared soon after, and I discovered that he had had mono-like symptoms before mine had manifested. We saw each other on the street five years later, and pretended not to recognize each other. Ah, New York dating).

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Gratuitious Sex Entry.2

So, as promised, a little late, the Second Gratuitous Sex Entry.

Now, what many people do not know about me is that I have written a book tenatively entitled The Sexiest Films of All Time...And What They Can Teach You. This is, of course, in a continued effor to give my Brahmin parents something to brag about to their friends. I wrote the book more as a film book about sexy films, rather than any type of kinky sex manual, as I have a degree in film studies, but alas, not in kinky sex. The book is brutally simple in its marketing where I describe each film briefly and what's sexy about it. Also included, presumably, will be a nice stock photo image of the film in question.

I say presumably because the book, though finished, has yet to be published. I wrote the book for a brand-new publishing company that you will not have heard of. They were actually formed as a subsidiary of an investment company that decided that it would get into publishing...for the money. Leaving that aside, the publishers want the writers to get involved in every aspect of marketing and packaging of the book, and that the majority of the money was going to go towards publicity, and making the author really, really famous. This is what every writer wants to hear.

Unfortunately, since I have delivered the book to the publisher, I have not heard a peep. The last I recall was sitting in a film stock footage company for hours while we poured over the photographs and wondered which would make us a million bucks. Since I was paid a small fee for the book and am not particularly eager to be known as a dating expert (I'm more in the "Ladies, Don't Try This At Home" category) it is not a total tragedy. I do feel annoyed that it may have been a waste of my time to write a full book that may not be published.

That said, let the Gratuitous Sex Entry continue. This one is called "Hot Chicks in Arty Foreign Films." Before you complain that you hate subtitles, let me remind you that foreign films are allowed to be a hell of a lot more explicit than the American variety. And my, my look how big the pictures are!

Paz Vega in Sex & Lucia. Gotta love the title, but it is misleading. The movie is actually about Sex & Lucia, but also about Sex & Lorenzo, Sex & Elena, Sex & Carlos, Sex & Luna...well, you get the picture. Nothing is left to the imagination, but the sexiest parts are the moments between a couple who've just met. Rather than the meaningless humping that usually goes on, these two actually seem to enjoy the excitement of meeting someone new and amazing. It's romance without thousands of tiny candles lining a bathtub that improbably fits two, or some arty mysticism. The couple in question--Paz Vega being an integral part--take naked polaroids, they do stripteases, they make each other laugh, they jump into bed, they experiment. No 9 1/2 Weeks griminess here--monogamous sex can be Fun, & Rom! However, for those of you requiring 9 1/2 Weeks griminess or arty mysticism, there's both when the porn star's daughter tries to get it on with her mother's boyfriend, and when the heroine and a naked man cover each other with mud. Satisfied, you perverts?

Catherine Deneuve in Belle Du Jour. Okay, it's made in the 1960's, and it's not a movie and not even film but Cinema. It's even French. Before you fade away, allow me to describe opening sequence. Hot Severine and her hot husband Pierre are in a carriage. Pierre says "I love you" and Severine ignores him. Then Pierre calls her a slut, drags her out of the carriage kicking and screaming, gets the horseman to tie her by her wrists, and whips her a little bit. Then he lets the coachman have her. Then you realize it's Severine's fantasy. Not enough? Severine's other fantasies lead her to start working in a brothel. She becomes their number one attraction. When a strange Asian man comes in with a ticking box, the other girls are scared off. Severine takes him in. An hour later a maid sees her face down on the bed. When she looks up Severine is radiant as only a girl who's had some really dirty things done to her can be. Now that should be enough--go rent the movie.

Ana Lopez Mercado in Y Tu Mama Tambien. This is for all those people out there who have worn out the rewind button watching the dirty Matt Dillon-Denise Richards-Neve Campbell threesome in Wild Things. You know who you are. It's time for a change; let Senora Mercado show how a threesome is really done. 1) Get yourself two hot teenage Latin studs with something to prove 2) Go on a road trip in beautiful scenic Mexico heading towards a beach that may or may not exist 3) Jump both boys separately, and let them each think it was his idea, and then make sure the other knows about it. This will get them all fired and jealous of each other. You know--mucho mexicano tamale. 4) Find a shack on the beach, get drunk and start dirty dancing. 5) Retire to the aforementioned shack for some three-way play. It helps to have an absolutely perfect body that was made for bikinis. Bitch.

That's all for now. Let's see what happens to my ratings when I try and court the international vote.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Street Law Series, Redux

So Friday saw two meetings; the first with Court TV and the second with Spike TV. The Court TV one might have been a longshot. They have, afterall, a pretty established demographic. I'm not sure what that is, but I have a feeling its the same people who buy the National Enquirer even though they don't believe a word of it. Spike TV might be a little more positive. We sold it as a "you should know this stuff to be a Cool Guy on The Streets." So we handed both TV's a book to peruse and our little proposal, and off they went to consider or bring to a meeting or whatever. I still don't understand what I'm doing. (I'm sure Gabe will explain it to me eventually) Not surprisingly, the future of The Street Law Series remains uncertain.

But it was a generally mellow weekend of drunken Scrabble playing and late night noshing (why do I always get a) the nachos or b) the sundae?) Tonight, I was out for comfort food with the girls. As I was looking around the table, I thought we looked very Sex & the City, minus the crude humor and superficial glibness. Actually, we had a little crude humor too, but it still had a ladylike quality to it. I think. The girls and I are all very different (a film production coordinator who takes her dog on shoots and is working on a television pilot; an Egyptian jewelry designer who shops 5 hours a day--as part of her job; a bohemian writer who's secretly working on a major screenplay with a major director; a Conde Nast exec who plans glamorous fashion events; and, well, me)...but anyway, as different as we all are, we all had ridiculous dating stories to share. It was a mass unloading. But I liked being the company of women who have no problem demolishing a giant plate of onion rings. Shows I have good taste in friends.

Laren invited me to go to "Tuesdays@Nine" at the Naked Angels Playhouse. It sounds suspiciously like a reading, only more interesting as you can get the actors to read your work for you. That actually sounds a little fun. It's been suggested that I submit anything, but the idea of sitting down and writing fiction--fiction I care about--still makes me anxious. We'll see.

Tomorrow: The Second Gratuitous Sex Entry.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Adventures in Chick Lit

Well, I have taken my agent's advice and decided to look into writing some chick lit. For those of you who do not know about chick lit (or are men), it is not gum, but actually a genre of literature (the word is used loosely) that came about after Bridget Jones Diary. It is fast replacing the romance genre, but even though its women are modern and career-oriented, it's pretty much the same: women looking for love, well, find it. I liked BJD, but the stuff that it's spawned is pretty...hellacious. In a bad way.

I picked up a brand-new chick lit book off of the table in the bookstore. To be get your book on a table you must be selected by the bookstore, and your publisher must pay a hefty price. Any book on the table has an exponentially greater chance of selling. Obviously, they have to believe that you're going to make them lots of money. Which is my way of telling you that this book is supposed to be one of the good ones.

Anyway, I picked up the book and read it thoroughly in the space of half an hour. It was atrocious, and confirmed what I have known all along--that chick lit that sells because it is utterly formulaic and the characters are as fixed as those in medieval morality plays. (Think Everyman and Sex and the City have nothing in common? Think again). Witness the following, which is true of EVERY chick-lit book I have ever read.

The Heroine: Is pretty but does not know it. Is quirky, and has a quirky job. The definition of "quirky" varies greatly, but rest assured, she is never a nuclear scientist. She never has enough money. She has egregious taste in men.

Her Gay Male Buddy: this guy either never gets laid, or is a monogamous relationship with the love of his life by the end of the book. He is around for fashion advice, to talk the Heroine out of her bad decisions, and to convince the Heroine that she is fabulous. There is ALWAYS a Gay Male Buddy. For variety, he may be a different race than the Heroine.

Her Best Friend: Her Best Friend has the perfect marriage, to Best Friend's Husband. Every attempt is made on the part of the author to convince you that Best Friend's Husband is not boring. But he is. Best Friend is played by a supporting actress and encourages the Heroine's crazy schemes and tries to build up her self-esteem. If Best Friend is not married, she is fat, but funny and may be even more "quirky" than Heroine.

The Boss: The Boss does not appreciate the Heroine, unless he is doubling as the Gay Male Buddy, in which case he is her best friend. Even if the Heroine and Boss get along, she will change jobs at least once during the course of her book. Any episode taking place at work will be played purely for laughs, rather than for actual achievement. In many cases, the Heroine will just generally be incompentant.

On occasion, as in BJD, The Boss may also be---

Mr. Wrong: Mr. Wrong is an amalgamation of all things that make up a bad boy. At the start of the novel, Heroine adores Mr. Wrong, even though he does not call, he will not commmit and may be married. He may be emotionally needy, but he is Bad for the Heroine. He may already have broken up with Heroine, in which case, he will come crawling back to her halfway through the novel. Everybody except for Heroine immediately realizes that Mr. Wrong is a scumbag. Despite his flaws, he is, however Good in Bed.

Mr. Right: Mr. Right is always handsome, intelligent and charming. He gets along with Gay Male Buddy, Best Friend and Best Friend's husband. However, Heroine is unable to see this for herself. She will ignore Mr. Right for most of the book, even though he secretly has a crush on her. If they do get together before the book's end, she will leave him temporarily and regret it immediately. This will devastate him and he may turn to--

The Other Woman: The Other Woman is usually played by a young Catherine Deneuve. She is sophisticated, successful, elegant and utterly beautiful. She will have that je ne sais quoi that Heroine longs for. Heroine will think that Mr. Right is involved with The Other Woman. Usually, this is a mistake on her part. However, if Mr. Right is actually involved with The Other Woman, he will leave her for Heroine at the end of the book.

The Gratuitous Fuck: If there is a gratuituous fuck for Heroine, it will be some charming playboy type who, in the real world, she would fall for, but mysteriously, in the pages of chick lit, she manages to merely have pleasurable sex with him. The Gratuitous Fuck will wine and dine her, but his chief accomplishment will be giving her mind-bending orgasms. In some cases Mr. Wrong may double as the Gratuitous Fuck, but in most cases, GF is there as a rebound guy. Therefore, when Mr. Right comes along, she will be able to recognize exactly how special the orgasms she's having with Mr. Right are. Of course, it goes without saying that while GF will find Heroine attractive (and will apparently be the first man to really see her Inner Supermodel), GF will never fall for Heroine. He will simply fade away to work his magic on other unappreciated women.

None of this would be possible without:

The Gimmick:
All chick-lit must have a Gimmick. This gimmick will spur the heroine into a Transformation. The Gimmick may be a how-to book that Heroine discovers, or an elegant older woman who gives her advice, or cooking lessons (recipes included at the end of each chapter), an exotic location, a new job that Heroine spends no time at (fashion is particularly popular), a shopping fetish, or something similarly, well, gimmicky. The Gimmick is what inspires the title of the book. In many cases, the Gimmick will actually reveal to Heroine that she doesn't need anyone but herself. As she realizes this, Mr. Right magically appears so Heroine does not have to test the theory.

In short, chick-lit is dangerous. It is formulaic. It is, fundamentally, relationship porn. Give me a good, honest dirty essay anyday.

(That said, if I can find a way to write it without simultaneously gagging as I type, chick lit, here I come).

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Regular Job

I do not have a "real" or "regular"job. Instead, I have several schemes to bring in money. I do not want a regular job. This does not mean I am lazy. On the contrary, I work very hard to avoid a regular job.

The last time I had a regular job was over two years ago. I worked as an assistant to a literary agent, known as Agent. Now, if you could look into Agent's soul, you would see a fat, cigar-chomping, narcissistic chauvinist who chased secretaries around sofas got a Porsche for his mid-life crisis and did shady deals. But the dawn of the new millenium brough forth a new breed of man: the Faux-vinist. The Faux-vinist knows what trouble sexual harassment suits can be. His ex-wife has taught him that women can be easily offended. The Faux-vinist is just sensitive enough so that his true mercenary nature is not revealed. The Agent was a prime example of a Faux-vinist. He was a one-man agency, though Secondary Agent had a desk in the office.

Now, I did not want to be a literary agent's assistant. I wanted to be a literary agent. But while everyone outside of publishing was saying "you should have no trouble being an agent, you're a lawyer," everyone in publishing was saying "you have no practical experience, you'll have to pay your dues." It is very hard to get hired as an assistant when you clearly want to pay your dues as quickly as possible, thereby necessitating the need for a new assistant. Plus it was a tough market, so I took what I could get.

I got Agent. There were many bad signs. Agent's Former Assistant was leaving, and he seemed worried that I would mess up her system. Former Assistant spent a week training me in the office, which was a disaster. There were unread manuscripts in piles taller than me. There were four giant boxes of papers that needed to be filed. There was no greeting area and there was a maze of supplies behind the assistant's desk to the typewriter. The office was in disarray because Agent had just moved into it, to take advantage of the real estate deals in post 9-11 downtown. He loved to point out his office's perfect view of the giant hole where the World Trade Center had been six months ago.

Agent himself had no interest in training or talking to me while Former Assistant was around. The week when she left was like a shock of cold water to the face. I couldn't believe what I had gotten myself into. Not only did I deal with the agency work, I had to do things like pay his ConEd bills and get a cellphone for his month-long Greek vacation and get coffee when he got the yen. I applaud all the personal assistants out there. I just didn't have it in me.

What was most troubling was the hairs sticking up in the back of my neck. Something was off about this guy. The man couldn't say "thank you" but was able to find a way to complain about every person in his life to me. He seemed not to even know I was in the room unless he needed to share something about himself. I learned about his girlfriend, his ex-wife, his tae-kwon-doe classes, his daughter, his conniving editors and greedy authors. It was creeping me out.

The authors loved me. The editors loved me. But Agent finally called me into the office to tell me that he was troubled that I didn't seem very "friendly" to him. This was about the time that I discovered an old email from Former Assistant asking Former-Former Assistant about some incident when Agent had complimented her a little too enthusiastically, and the situation had gotten uncomfortable. I later discovered that Former-Former Assistant had trouble getting away from Agent, and that he repeatedly called and bought her expensive presents to woo her back. (Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he wanted to just woo her back to work).

I started to feel skittish around him, and I think he sensed it. He got ruder, and complained more, and started to find fault with everything I did. His tasks for me got more menial. I was getting a lot of coffee. The one thing that really bugged him was that I was making friends and hanging out with assistant editors in the publishing industry, most of whom were a lot closer to my age than his.

The end came one very rainy day. I'd gotten out of the habit of going to lunch and usually ate a sandwich at my desk. Agent was out with Famous Author, so I left Intern in charge. (That we even had interns was my doing. What I couldn't get him to change was the dial-up internet connection which would only allow one of us to be online at a time. He was way too cheap for DSL). When I came back a few minutes later, Intern had a message for me. "Agent called and was mad because you went to lunch and he wanted you to get Famous Author a cab." I called Agent back and he grudgingly said he didn't know I'd be back so soon and to call a car for Famous Author. I did so. When I hung up the phone, Intern said "He was kind of a jerk to me." I replied, naturally, "He is a jerk. I can't wait until I'm out of this job."

On Monday morning, Agent called me into his office. Apparently Secondary Agent had been in his office when Intern and I had been talking. Despite the fact that Secondary Agent and I were supposedly friends, Secondary Agent notified Agent of my outburst. Agent said I had a bad attitude, and I had no business talking to editors about ideas, and that I had "refused to make this job my own." Most upsetting to him was the idea that I might actually be looking for another job or interviewing. (I wasn't. Yet) He gave me two weeks. I packed my back and left the following morning.

I did volunteer to help the New Assistant via telephone, when Agent got one. New Assistant and I got along fine. Since my departure, New Assistant has been replaced by Newer Assistant and then by Current Assistant. I think. I was rewarded for my help by Agent's decision to contest my getting unemployment. Because you can get unemployement if you're fired, but not if you're fired for misconduct, Agent accused me of trying to do deals with his editors behind his back. He even went through my email and found what he thought to be an incriminating email to an Assistant Editor. Assistant Editor and I rolled our eyes and laughed. More importantly, Unemployment Compensation Investigator and I rolled our eyes and laughed. (I got the unemployment after about four months of paperwork and interviews).

This was it for me in terms of 9-to-5. I went through the motions to look for a more permanent position, but I couldn't bring myself to take anything. In the meantime, I started writing. Eventually, I started getting paid for it. By the time I dyed my hair blue, it was too late to go back.

Now, I have my own agent. My agent is a nice man. That was important to me. If your agent is an asshole then people will think you're an asshole. More importantly, if he's an asshole to others, he'll be one to you. To further my goal of Not Getting A Real Job, my agent has suggested that I write either a) a true crime book, or a) an Indian chick-lit novel. I think I am much more suited for true crime; I think he's pulling for chick-lit. But anything that keeps me off the streets and out of the office is fine by me.

In conclusion, allow me to quote William Burroughs, in a letter he wrote to Allen Ginsburg: "A regular job drains one's very lifeblood. It's supposed to. They want everything you've got."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Literary Smut and Street Psychics had the good sense to name its new weekly award for quality literary smut "The Henry Miller Award." This I approve of, and I like to think I played a hand in it as I once wrote an article for about Henry Miller. Of course, when you turn in a piece of literary criticism to, it always has to be dirtied up. "Put in more quotes," said my editor. You know the kind he meant. Thank God it's a pay site, because otherwise my parents might find it. I mean, I felt good about the writing, but after nerve got done with it, it felt kind of--well, cheap and sleazy. Like nerve, basically.

Anyway, I'm glad they named it "The Henry Miller Award" rather than the "The Anais Nin Award." I like both Miller and Nin for being intimate and confessional without losing sight that they are essentially speaking to an audience whose attention they still have to earn. (Not many writers do that anymore. It seems like as long as you're being self-deprecating, you have complete license to keep the camera lens trained in close-up focus on your own face. Trust me, it's no less egotistical). Both Miller and Nin were always aware of the reader. Miller, in his stories, made up a "Miller persona" who, despite the same name, had different traits and experiences than he did. And Nin was so careful about her readership that she edited her own diary for print. Sure, it's still self-involved, but I respect her for it; she was trying to make it more interesting to read.

Back to the point. I like Nin, but her sex scenes always made me feel some Eastern European existentialist film director was shooting the whole thing as an arty underground film. Everybody's bored, the action is removed. They're stories, like fairy tales. Miller is more direct. He likes a good fuck. But even then, the physicality and brutishness of the experience don't detract from the inherent spirituality of sex.

I don't think the nominees for The Henry Miller Award are that good, incidentally. But maybe I'm picky. I happen to like dirty books--some without literary quality, some with--more than dirty movies. (Probably because the people are a lot more attractive in your head than onscreen. And you don't have to worry about some feminist anti-porn argument because nobody is being exploited. Except in your head). The last really good, really literary sex scene I read in a contemporary novel was in Ian McEwan's Atonement (starts on page 127, best part of the book). I'll let you know if I find a better one. I haven't looked very hard lately.

On a completely unrelated topic, I've been getting stopped by quite a few psychics recently, just as I'm walking by them on the street. I don't know what it is. They always tell me that there's something in my face, and I should call for an appointment immediately. One actually told me I had a very unusual aura. I told her it was the blue hair. The one who stopped me today seemed very serious and believable. She said "A man named James is going to be very important to you." I'm almost sure that it was James, but there's a slight chance it may have been Jason, because she had an accent. This gave her a cool gypsy-fortune-teller vibe, but also made her a little hard to understand. Anyway, I said "great, can you give me his number?" But no dice. "He will find his way to you in his own way," she said. Then she handed me a card and told me to come by and she would light some special candles for me.

What I think--and I've clearly given this some thought--is that she didn't say James or Jason, but Jameson's. That is, not "a man named James/Jason is going to be very important to you," but "a drink named Jameson's is going to be very important to you." That my future is linked to a drink makes perfect sense. Hey, James is a nice name, but I've always trusted (wisely) men who drink a) Jamesons or b) Guinness. (Oooooh. Spooky that she knew that). Unfortunately for my theory, she would also need to be in the habit of referring to quality whiskey as "He." This, alas, may not be likely.

So, anyway, I have a little collection of psychic cards, and it's very tempting to go find James or the reason for my unusual aura or what exactly is in my face that I don't know about. But I think we all know that the only time I'll ever do this is late at night, when I'm with a girlfriend and we're blind stinking drunk. We'll pay somebody $20 apiece to tell my friend that she's creative, and tell me that a dark-haired man will fall for me. Which, as we know, is what they tell everyone who shows up drunk at midnight waving money. I will take her seriously and swear that I'll come back in the morning so she can cleanse my aura and find the right crystal to hang around my neck. In the morning, however, I'll just wonder why the hell I do these things.

But the answer is obvious: to write about them later. Duh.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

On Couplehood, Part II

A brief entry, today, which I'm sure you all are thankful for. But I discovered this essay on Myrna Loy which says everything I was trying to say in my entry "On Couplehood"--only much, much better. And I'm not just saying that because the essay ends with a little ode to the charms of my beloved Angelina. Anyway, if you haven't seen a Thin Man movie or read Dashiell Hammett, start now. Is it any wonder that real-life marriages look boring after screwball comedies like these?

(Full disclosure: Myrna was better at film marriages than real ones; she was married four times and admitted that her on-screen marriage to William Powell was probably most successful. But I refuse to lose hope :)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Hurt Me, Baby

I did wake up with the now-ubitquitous Saturday Stoly Headache (never drink on an empty stomach), but the standard hangover cure of pizza & pedialyte & advil (before going to sleep) and coffee & cheerios (the morning of) seems to have significantly taken taken the edge off of what could have been a much worse day. I'm at my cousin Siva's dogsitting his very cute mutt Ellie and raiding his library. Siva is one of the few people I could actually use the word "library" with. He and his wife Melissa have no less than nine bookshelves in his living room. That, plus a huge comfortable bed, perfect internet connection, friendly dog and great location (downtown, in Greenwich Village) make his apartment like my own little getaway. It's as close as I get to a vacation these days. People can't find me and I feel very professorial. Instead of roaming around town I'm sunk in this armchair getting drunk and reading Introduction to Chaos Theory.

Last night was uber-New York, in that huge pretentious performance art/drunken pizza scarfing kind of way. We started the night at Temple Bar, which I dug because it had this cool, red-velvet speakeasy vibe, complete with icy bottles of champagne in buckets by the door. I could have hung at there a lot longer, but J.Buffalo had a friend who was in the show at Fez. It turns out that Fez was actually cooler than it even looked, because what I thought was just a Moroccan bar at the back of a cafe actually had a whole club thing happening downstairs. So it's Fez the club, rather than Fez the bar, that's closing, which is okay because I never knew about it anyway.

Well, Jonathan Ames and Co. have been hanging around doing shows at Fez for ages, but tonight was the last night. The show had its moments, but the whole thiing had this masochistic beat me-degrade me theme to it. I know, I know, writing can be cathartic, but so many writers just plain get off on confessing their most ridiculously embarassing moments. And only some really pull it of--make it something entertaining as well as cathartic. Anyway, that seemed to be the theme of the night. And to be frank--and as a feminist I hate saying crap like this--the men were a lot better at it than the women. The men were non-linear and kooky, while the women just did comedy routines of increasingly humiliating revelations.

The evening started with Jonathan Ames in boxer shorts, dancing and gyrating wildly and doing a reverse striptease that got ended up with him fully clothed in a suit. That, I could dig. I've always liked Jonathan Ames--I used to read his articles in the New York Press--and he kind of gets away with that confessional thing by really being rather odd. The next two acts were Alien Comic, rambling about New Age theory and using ridiculous props he kept on an apron, and Zero Boy, who didn't even speak. He just made sounds that somehow merged into a coherent critique of the Bush administration. Those acts, I dug too. But then the chicks arrived. There was one girl in some shiny Sex-and-the-City outfit who went on forever about having her 29th (shocker!) birthday on an airplane and about her difficulties buying buying condoms, and another who played the accordian in big "I'm so nerdy I'm cool" glasses. There was even a girl who looked like that Liv Tyler elf in Lord of the Rings, complete with ears and bizzare pink gown. She spoke in a faux-squeak and kept referring to the chihuahua in the bag as "the Reverend." I didn't know how much more faux-freakishness I could take, and everybody just looked bemused when I argued that it was probably way past that chihuahua's bedtime. J. Buffalo even tried to convince me it was having fun, but I know I saw it yawn at least twice. But just when I thought the masochism couldn't get any worse. it was time for Amy Sohn.

Look, I know she takes a lot of grief, and that's hard for any writer, but she's really asking for it sometimes. Yesterday's spiel--and I admit I was drunk, but I couldn't make this up--involved her plan to chide her boyfriend's self-involvement by cutting out pictures of his head from a magazine and pasting them to her nipples, and then going on a date with this guy. This--and I may get the exact phrasing wrong--was somehow "gently poke fun at his increasing obsession with himself" that was making her feel inadequate. Sadly, the situation deteriorated even more because he talked about himself the whole time and didn't even notice her heaving bosom. I wasn't sure how this all ended--the nachos arrived at this point--but I really don't think I can take any more knowledge of Amy Sohn's sex life. I don't ask for it, and I don't deserve to be accosted with it at every available opportunity. If she's so into self-flagellation, that's fine by me, but I really wish people would stop paying her for it.

The highlight of last night's masochism was David Leslie, a man who just likes to cut the crap and have people from the audience punch him in the stomach. It reminded me of the freak shows at Lollapalooza concerts in high school, when I used to work the hot dog stands (of all things) for free admission. And I have to admit, he does it with such good manners that you really felt for him when a huge guy from the audience strapped on the boxing glove and knocked him back a good two feet. Maybe it's the film noir girl in me, but I can appreciate a guy who knows how to take a solid punch to the gut.

But that was all we could take at the Fez. We headed out for the late-night slice, discussed what everyone discussing when they're wasted late at night (sex and politics) and broke a couple of Street Law Handbook rules along the way. When I left J.Buffalo and accomplice David, they were contemplating sneaking into some East Village pool/billiards place that clearly had people inside even though the doors were locked. Although I thought about it; "Street Law Handbook Author Charged with Assault and Trespass" would admittedly be great publicity for the book. But even I wasn't that drunk.

The evening does make me question my now-low performance art tolerance. It really never works for me. Neither does stand-up comedy. The risk of seeing someone who makes you cringe or groan is just way too high. But I suppose it's hardest when some of these people are your friends. (Believe me, I understand the pressure of performance--I flirted with acting in college, only to see the frozen expressions of my friends after my performance as "Goody Crazy Woman" in a full-length version of The Crucible. That's when I realized I'd better stick to writing). But you're their friend, and you're going to tell them that they were great, and you even try to find stuff that you liked about it. I've been lucky, I've tended to like most of the output from my artistic/literary/musical friends. I think if I like the person, then I tend to like them as an artist/whatever, and vice versa. Maybe it's just a question of sharing sensibilities.

All of which makes me eagerly anticipate the opening of J.Buffalo's second play Crazy Eyes here in New York. (It's already premiered in Greece; see details here.). In addition to writing screenplays and acting and god-knows-what-else, J.Buffalo is the ex-editor of High Times. After starting out as a revolutionary mag, High Times was a dumb stoner/pot supplier advertisement rag for years. The magazine flirted with substance and a return back to being a cool activist underground magazine last year, with articles from Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, and Jim Jarmusch, among others Unfortunately, the magazine had made more money from advertisers as a dumb stoner/pot supplier advertisement rag, at least initially. Accounting didn't have the patience to wait, and they wanted their magazine done the old way. And that's when everyone quit. There's a big hole in the market now, folks, because that one year of High Times had some of the sharpest writing and most interesting political commentary around. And people were really starting to get into it.

Anyway, back to Crazy Eyes. I'm excited because this really cool indie actress is thinking about it. (I don't want to jinx anything). When I asked J.Buffalo if he had to be so freakishly accomplished already, he said that some people felt that he was behind. Now I suppose knowing that your dad became a literary icon at 25 can put a lot of pressure on you, but I'm pretty damn envious of people like J.Buffalo or my friend Laren or all those other people who discover they're writers early in life. I mean, I was always writing, but I didn't know that I was going to be Just A Writer, until about two years ago, and that writing is pretty much all I'm fit for. (Which is fine by me. We--the royal we--can work in the law or television or dogwalking or hula dancing when necessary, but even with all the shit that goes with it, we couldn't ask for a better profession than just plain writing).

We are, however, tired and drunk, as seen by the usage of the "royal we." Chaos theory awaits. As for J.Buffalo, we are going to continue saying J.Buffalo, even though everyone else calls him John. If we had a name like Buffalo, that's all we would want to be called. This may also be because we envy people who have a middle name, since we do not (why, mom, why?). Maybe we shall now be known as N.Peacock....N. Kitten? Andrew, Ollie, what did we decide? Enter comments below.

"Here's to alcohol. The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems"--Homer Simpson.

Friday, March 11, 2005

What Goes Around....

So, having just trashed the glitterati, I find myself going to a glitterati event. Namely, Jonathan Ames' party at Fez, which, sadly, is shutting its doors. Fez is one of those cool New York bars because it is very difficult to find. It is actually located in the back of a very ordinary, modern-looking cafe, and if you don't know what you're looking for, you'll definitely miss it. Inside, Fez is sort of what you'd imagine the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland saw after a few puffs of the hookah: dark, uber-Moroccan, with lots of tapestries and decadent puffy sofas.

Anyway, handsome J.Buffalo has talked me into going to this, which advertises thusly: "Doors open at 8, Event starts at 9." I'm not sure what the Event entails, but it seems to be some kind of variety show involving the every single memeber of New York neo-glitterati, plus some kind of puppet act. What I'm most worried about is the fact that Amy Sohn will be there, which is just retribution for having trashed her so badly in my previous posts. I hope she hasn't heard about it.

I am sorry to see the Fez go, but can I really sit through a list of acts by no less than 16 groups/people? I don't know if I can be quiet for that long--especially if I've been drinking...

But I'm sure we'll find out.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Authors I Have Known

If you haven't noticed, the grouchiness of my posts is directly in proportion to the crappiness of the weather. This is because I'm doubly hot-blooded--I'm South Indian, and I grew up in California. I therefore do badly in the cold.

Now that the weather is nicer, I will stop grousing about law-life, and turn to my companion subject, The Authors I Have Known.

I do not know many authors. There are clubs for us to hang out, but you always have to be careful or David Eggers will spike your drink. (that is a joke. I have never met David Eggers.) Anyway, if you're not doing the whole McSweeney's / Believer/glitterati thing, it's hard to meet other authors. And frankly, I've always been suspicious of the glitterati. I mean, I love the idea of the Algonquin table, but while Dorothy Parker and Co. were getting loaded and exchanging quips, James Thurber was at home writing. And I have no idea what I'd say to the likes of Bret Easton Ellis or Jay McInerney, unless it's "Gee, the movie was so much better than your books." As Mama told me, if you can't say something nice, stay home and watch the Simpsons.

That said, I did want to meet other authors--which, as you might guess from my repetitious terminology, is different than meeting other writers. I know plenty of writers and have a lot of respect for them. But I wanted to exchange war stories with others who had gone through the Publishing Experience. The Publishing Experience makes you a little less of a writer and a little more of a publicity hound. I was spending more time daydreaming of sitting next to Jon Stewart than penning my next great novel.

So this is what I did: I went to the Inspiration section of my bookshelf, and looked up some authors who, though successful, could probably not do much to help the sales of The Street Law Handbook. They did, however, look like fun people to have a drink with. I sent a copy of my book to three authors, all of whom responded with alarming friendliness. They--and their work--are described below

Laren Stover (The Bombshell Manual of Style, The Bohemian Manifesto). Not enough can be said about this lovely, elegant lady. She left me an enthusiastic and warm message of thanks on my machine and, after some email correspondence and juggling of schedules, we managed to finally meet at her birthday party. A description of the party is under the entry "Music Television and Bohemian Rhapsody." Together, these two books of her seem to describe me completely--a person who can't be bothered to wear high heels, yet makes a significant number of business calls from the bubble bath; someone who aspires to be a maverick artist and yet feels faint leaving the house without eyeliner. These are my go-to books on slow days, and Laren is increasingly becoming my go-to person for creative ideas.

Daniel Handler (A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Basic Eight). You may not have heard of Daniel Handler, but you have heard of his alternate personality, the literary, mysterious, slightly gothic Lemony Snicket. If you are an adult who loves literature overtly and The Addams Family covertly, you cannot do better than The Series of Unfortunate Events--even if you have to go to the children's section to find the books. A careful review reveals a host of literary puns and pop culture innuendo, and the books are a homage to the great landmarks of children's literature--orphans, spooky houses, conniving adults, curious inventions that save the day in the nick of time, a sense of Victorian foreboding. Lemony does not need my publicity efforts--he seems to be doing fine--but I really want adults as well as children reading his books. His adult fiction is pretty strong, dark stuff--and maybe it says something about my dark side that I love it. His next book is entitled "How to Dress for Every Occasion" by The Pope and he has promised to send me a copy. I wait with bated breath.

Matt Maranian (Pad: The Guide to Ultra Living, Pad Parties: The Guide to Ultra-Entertaining) I have yet to either a) decorate or b) throw a party, without referring to one of these guides. Matt understands my lust for trash, my love of 1960's James Bond movies, the grooviness of tiki statutes, 50's lounge & cocktail music, The Rat Pack, Shag, and the true beauty of the retro-bachelor pad. He is responsible for the velvet Elvis in my bathroom, and for my leopard print pillows on my faux-fur loveseat. I longingly look through his party recipes--including adventurous appetizersd, cocktails served with skewers of fruit & vegetables, and his ability to use Sterno to set anything on fire. I know, at heart, that I am too lazy, that I will not make the Pink Chihuahua punch in a light-up punch bowl. For atmosphere I will just rely on red lightbulbs and incense and sending the Destructagons (i.e. cats) into the hallway. But the Pad books make me dream of a really swinging...well, Pad. Matt was charming and chatty in his email back to me, and I long to visit his Vermont vintage store in Vermont. Live in style: buy his books.

In conclusion? Authors are nice people. They don't always get enough recognition. They toil alone and like to know that someone is really Getting Their Work. I will be writing to more of them soon.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Lawyers I Have Known--Part 2

Look, it's snowing, I can't go out, so I have nothing to do but type. Okay?

We were discussing why I have no lawyer friends. This is not strictly true. For example, there's the fun bunch at the legal publishing that I work at. They're cool. There's also a friend of a friend of a friend. But from my actual legal experience? Nada.

Now, all this is not to say that I did not have legal friends during my five years of law. I did. They just came from odd places and they no longer seem to be around. For example:

A_____: was one of my officemates during my summer. He was married, but that didn’t keep him from propositioning me. I think he had a thing for Indian girls since he got together with S____, who kept hanging around our office. Perhaps because I didn't fall for him, A______ was happy to tell everyone that, because I always got to work late, I did not do any work on the summer. I did always get to work late, and I worked on six separate cases of the summer. A is for Asshole.

M______: also an summer officemate, spent most of his time in the office screaming at real estate agents—directly behind me. He found a Union Square one-bedroom for $2900 a month.

AM_____: lived with me over the summer, and I thought we got along fine. However, when it came time to start at the firm, she discovered a whole new set of lawyer friends. I would have felt bad, but I was starting to hate anyone associated with the law firm anyway.

Ch_____: we summered together and ended up in the Firm together, and he was the only one who seemed to have some interest in a life--and a party--outside the firm environment. Ch____ now lives in San Francisco and we have not spoken for some time—perhaps because of the situation with C______ (see below).

Pa_____: this is a weird one. When I met Pa_____ during my summer at the firm, she was a gregarious, bohemian, thirty-something redheaded associate who wanted to party with us summer associates. When I came back as a first-year associate, she had straightened and blonded her hair, lost a ton of weight through Pilates, gotten contact lenses, and utterly lost her sense of humor. In short, she turned into one of those Sex-And-The-City broads. I don't know if she was stressed about not making partner or stressed about being 34 and unmarried, but suddenly we had nothing to talk about.

An______: went to Greece and Israel with me before we started at the firm. Gifted with a beautiful voice, she was, bizarrely, excited about being a corporate lawyer. Neurotically so. For example, she wanted to get a henna tattoo of the Greek word for “law” on her ankle. Enough said.

D____: my officemate while I was at the firm. I though she was sunny, chatty and very friendly. Then I discovered that she was actually Satan. Okay, that's a little harsh, but what I mean is that she told me if my phone rang when I was out, turned my computer on for me if she got to work before I did, and left Post-It notes about my cases on my computer. Also, from the first second I walked in until I left, she would just not shut up. Ever. About anything. Which is brutal when you are a) not a morning person and b) going to a job you hate and c) haven't had your daily cup of coffee yet. What I did not realize is that D_____ was very sharp, and very competitive. She chattered on the phone and shopped online all day, and only started her work at night. Therefore, when review time came around, she was commended for staying until midnight, while I didn't fare as well, even when I skipped lunches to get the hell out of there at six.

Cr____: he was a fellow first-year who needed a place to stay "for a few weeks." I am skeptical about living with boys, but after being badgered, I reluctantly agreed. The day he moved in, he told me that I needed to get a cleaning lady and a new toothbrush. Whether or not this may have been true--I am no toothbrush expert--I thought this was a bad start to our living together. So, incidentally, was the six-foot long turtle tank that he moved in for his temporary stay. (It smelled). We endured each other until he started dating one of my friends, and for some reason they both stopped talking to me. After that, female roommates only.

C_____: she did not actually work at my law firm, but I knew her through Ch____ (they went to school together). C_____ loved her work and her firm. Despite that, we were very, very good friends for a number of years, during which she had an affair with a married lawyer at her firm. This did not bother me. What bothered me was that after the affair ended, she decided that she wanted to date my ex, J____. J_____ (not a lawyer) had been very hard for me to get over, but we were friends and had a rule about not dating each other’s friends. Now J_____, who never met a girl he wouldn’t nail, was all for bedding C_____. I asked them both to cease and desist. They declined. I have not spoken to either since.

R_____: an Aussie lawyer who I still love, lives in London with her Aussie boyfriend and works for a British firm. Non-American lawyers are a much cooler bunch, as they are willing to do the lawyer job, but not willing to live the lawyer life.

You may inquire about my love life. While I did date some law students, most of my love affairs were, from the very beginning of law school, strictly extra-legal. Certainly there wasn’t a lawyer at the firm I wanted to date. There was, however, P______. P______ was a very good-looking, somewhat young tech support guy at the firm. He had two interests: techno music and computers, neither of which I knew much about. But he was cute. And, for a brief while, I actually looked forward to going to work.

But not for long. After all, nobody is THAT cute.

Why Don't I Have Any Lawyer Friends?

In the spirit of getting this blog back on track with an actual theme, rather than the mental naval fluff I usually concentrate on, I have posed the above head-scratcher: Why, after three years of law school and two years in a law firm, don't I have any lawyer friends? Let's ponder.


Well, the first year was the equivalent of that lovely Pogues song "Drink and Fight," only it was actually "Drink and Study" (which is less popular as it's hard to rhyme). I hung around my fellow law students almost continuously, drinking in cheap-o Hell's Kitchen bars, along with unemployed construction workers, old men waiting for the OTB (Off-Track Betting) places to open up, and the ubiquitious band of sailors when Fleet Week came around. We drank drank drank and then studied studied studied, and I think we clung together because no one else could possibly understand the pressure of having your mind re-molded to the legal way of thinking at the age of 23. Seriously, it changes you. But I'm not sure how much we actually knew--let alone liked--each other.

Because, after first year, it seemed like we all scattered. And why shouldn't we? Our friendship was mostly based on the mutual misery of first-year studying. Now that we were second-years, all we cared about was getting the job. Most people went to classes only intermittently, and took part-time jobs in firms and legal agencies. (We were forbidden to work more than 20 hours a week during our first year). We were thrown into the mix with third years, and while this should have enlivened our social life--well, it didn't.

The summer after graduation was the Summer of the Bar. I cannot discuss the Summer of the Bar Exam because it might trigger flashbacks to a time where I felt that my brain was being flayed--very slowly. There may have been people around; I don't remember. I was already not looking forward to my law firm job, but it seemed to be following me everywhere. (I went to Greece and Israel to escape, only to meet more New York lawyers-to-be also trying to escape. Go figure).


Since so much of the law firm lends itself to mutual misery, you would think that we would also be eager to bond together in miserable solidarity. This did not happen. I only have experience with one law firm, so I am in no position to judge whether my experience was unusual or not. But while I was struggling with my own boredom and frustration with the work and workload, I realized that I wasn't connecting much with my fellow lawyers. I will set forth a number of characteristics of some of the lawyers that I felt I had nothing in common with: married, lived in the suburbs, Republican, Libertarian, obsessed with work, too gossipy, too preppie/whitebread, culturally illiterate, likely to backstab, obsessed with work (yes I KNOW I said that twice). What I didn't realize was that the firm--most firms--are EXTREMELY competitive, and that I was being watched not just by my bosses, but by fellow associates hoping for plum assignments and a leg up towards partnership.

Still.....I am a friendly, open-minded, chatty gal. I don't remember being particularly isolated. Who, then, did I spend my time with? And why are they not around anymore?

The logical and stereotypical answer is, of course, that lawyers are just plain dull. They rely on their gold card for entertainment--namely going to hotel bars to drink complicated martinis and show off their gold cards to tourists. Even those with actual interests have no time for them. I went months without seeing a movie, finishing a book, going on vacation. My only connection to the outside world was whatever I heard in the firm hallways and the (thank God) Internet. I certainly didn't write anything.

What was worse was the physical deterioration. I gained about fifteen pounds. I got pasty from eating crap for lunch. I barely went to the gym. I was smoking again and sleeping badly because of the stress. Fellow associates were getting paunchy and losing their hair (if they were men) or getting anorexic and looking generally listless (if they were women). We hid it all under expensive designer suits, but boy, were we a dull bunch. And, judging by what the partners looked like, it didn't look like it was going to get much better over the years.

Now, I do expect a slew of hate mail for this post, as many lawyers do not see themselves that way. This is perfectly reasonable to me. But my guess is, unless you have BigFirm in your blood, the majority of the associates at top (sweatshop) firms in big (pressure-cooker) cities fit this description. Personality takes a backseat as your bank account grows. You say you will give it up in a year or two, but what's that old Chicago song? "Hard Habit to Break."

Next entry: The law student/law firm friends I did have, and where have they gone?

Feminist Apologia

We here at the lawyer writer feel bad. We feel bad for whoring ourselves out and plastering pictures of half-naked dimwits (except you, oh, angelina) on our blog just to get attention. It makes us feel like....Fox. Or People. However, it does seem to attract some attention, so we will make this promise to you: Approximately once a week, there will be a Gratuituous Celebrity Sex Entry (usually with Lesbian Overtones, but we make no promises). However, we will keep the date of the Entry to ourselves, forcing you all to read the good nutritious content we otherwise supply.

(For those of you wondering who "we" are--it's a toss-up between being a "Royal We" when we feel grandiose, and just referring to the multiple personalities wrestling in my head. Okay, mud-wrestling. You dirty people).

Monday, March 07, 2005

Things I Should Have Done With My Law Degree

According to the National Directory of Legal Employers, these are some of the "alternative careers" that fellow ex-lawyers are currently involved in:

Actuarial Consulting
Admissions Recruiting
Adoption Agency
Board of Tax Appeals
Career Services
Child Support Enforcement
City Planning Department
Congressional Staff
Consumer Advocate
Dean of Students
Defense Logistics Agency
Election Board
Employee Benefits
Environmental Consulting
Federal Reserve Bank
Financial Analyst
Freedom Forum
Health Policy Analyst
Human Resources
Immigrant Rights
Inmate Services
Legal Action Center
Minority Affairs Specialist
Nature Conservancy
Police-Barrio Relations
Pre-Trial Services
Press Secretary
Public Works Department
Real Estate Development
Refugee Resettlement
School District Administration
Sports Management
Tax Foreclosures
Tribal Attorney

Now, I know that I would make a great Press Secretary or Congressional Staff Member--I just love to talk politics. But I don't like positions that require too much political collaboration, so Board of Tax Advisors and City Planning Department and Election Board are not the places for me. I suppose, if I had seen this list when I was contemplating law, I would have set my sights on Human Resources. The title implies something humane and resourceful, which are, I think, admirable qualities for anyone.

Of course, there's always the Dean of Students. I think I would be good at that. I think the kids would go for me.

Gratuitous Celebrity Sex Entry with Lesbian Overtones

All the really successful blogs seem to mostly cover the sex life of celebrities. In order to boost circulation, I have decided to follow in the footsteps of The Gawker and try a Gratuitious Celebrity Sex Entry, in hopes of puffing up my readership. I include pictures and Suggestive Ambiguously Sexual Language. Disclaimer: Please be aware, that this is simply a scientific experiment.

My ex and I were arguing the essential question of our time: who would you be more embarassed to have had sex with: Paris Hilton, Jenna Jameson or Pamela Anderson? The ex, ridiculously, said Paris Hilton was no problem, he'd be happy to (bleep) her. This prompted a round of emails to the heterosexual men in my life, most of whom agreed with me that Paris Hilton was definitely the most embarassing.

Why these women? I posed the question because they have all released/been viewed in porno tapes. And having seen these porno tapes, I rank them in the following Order of Embarassment from a woman's point of view (from most to least)

1) Paris Hilton: This woman is a stick figure, and judging from the tape, is more interested about being taped than enjoying sex. She answers her cell phone in the middle of it for God's sake. (I would also be embarassed because she seems to have the intelligence of a stick figure, but I'm not entirely convinced that men think about these things--when it comes to sex, anyway.

2) Jenna Jameson: I'm sure most of her orgasms are as fake as her boobs, but she would have, um, skills. I think there's a prestige factor involved as well, since she is such a figure of fantasy. Personally, I'd be worried about the number of people she's had sex with, but it's still better than admitting that Paris Hilton turns you on.

3) Pamela Anderson: Of the three, she alone seems to be enjoying herself on the tape--perhaps because, unlike the other three, the tape does really seem to have been for private enjoyment. Of course, I guess Tommy should get some credit to. And I like that she's a PETA member. (yes, that reduces the embarassment for me)

So, Ex, I think you are very much in the minority. The truth is, most men claim to be mortified at the thought of sleeping with any of the above, as I would be, but I wonder if I believe them. And my tastes, should they ever run towards the Feminine Mystique, is much more towards the dark-haired, dangerous, trouble making types. (I no longer go for Bad Boys, but if I went for girls, I would go for Bad Girls). If your imagination cannot fill in the blanks, may I suggest the following: Shane on the L-Word, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and, of course, the Queen of Dangerous Sexuality, Ms. Angelina Jolie. (Keep your pale blond-fake tan girl-Barbie girls. I would want a girl who can teach me a thing or two).

Now, if this doesn't boost my readership, I will abandon all sexual subtext and continue discussing the fascinating world of law.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

On Couplehood

As my fanatical reader base (is it three people? four?)knows, I talk about all sorts of things on this blog, but not much about my lovelife. This is for the basic reason of good manners--I think that there are many things a man in my life would appreciate, but airing dirty laundry on the blog clothesline would probably not be one of them. I am a pretty personal writer, but I am miles away from being a Henry Miller or Anais Nin--let alone an Amy Sohn and Candace Bushnell.

Still, last night we were at a very cool bar called the Music Box and ruminating, as you do, on the strangeness of love, relationships and couplehood. There has been much to say about all this by people far more experienced (as writers. What did you think I meant, you dirty people?) than myself. But even at my ripe old age, I still have questions.

For example, why are couples always the first to leave a party or a bar? Not the "just dating couples" but the "committed relationship couples." It's hard enough to get them out of the house, but when they leave at 10:30, one can only hope that they're going home to try page 43 of their well-worn copy of The Kama Sutra. That, however, is rare. Most of the time they're going home because they have to get up early in the morning to jointly buy a shower curtain from Bed Bath and Beyond. This, to me, is depressing.

Married people seem to sink into their own little sinkhole of a relationship. It's hard to get them out separately--unless for a "boy's night" (football, pub, 3 calls to wife as to ETA of return home) or "girl's night" (wine, gossip, contemplations of having a baby). There is the instant feeling of being a "third wheel" once the couple gets serious--even if you've known them both forever. Suddenly, as a friend, your importance and influence lessens. This feels weird, to say the least, but you get used to it as more of your friends start pairing off.

Of course, there are exceptions--my friends Ali and Griff, for example, who, though married, party harder than any single people I know. But they are British, and I think the Europeans are more practical about couplehood. It's less...isolationist, more about going to the cafe together. The problem is, as much as I rail against the Incredible Disappearing Committed Couple, the stereotype exists because it works. When you're that into someone, the world is supposed to disappear, and you're supposed to get googly-eyed and leave lunch notes in each other's briefcase and things like that.

I'm all for passionate couplehood, but the idea of my world shrinking down to one person is just bloody scary. Most of my boyfriends have been social types like me--our early dates were quiet dinners, then meeting friends in bars until we felt, um...eager to retire, let's say. But can a truly committed, to-be-engaged/shacked-up/married couple carry on like that? Or eventually, does the gravitational pull of the relationship black hole suck you in, until you can't quite remember a night when you drank too much, stayed out too late, and passed out on the cab ride home? Am I the only one who things that those nights should not be left on the shelf once you find Mr. or Mrs. Right? Or is it fundamentally impossible to be madly in love and still want to party? To start a family without moving to the suburbs and joining the PTA? Maybe this is yet another sign that while I look for love, marriage might not be around the corner. Because I don't dream of a husband who brings home the bacon; I dream of a partner in crime, a Ricky to my Lucy.

Hmmm. This, probably, is why I don't write about relationships: I have more questions than answers, and not much pithy wisdom to share. Like most people, I guess, except that doesn't stop some writers from trying. (Seriously, if anyone knows how to get Amy Sohn stop writing, please let me know). (I post the link purely for scientific investigation)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Music Television and Bohemian Rhapsody

So yesterday Gabe and I met with VH1, only to be told that the Street Law Series was perhaps too edgy and/or controversial for VH1's conservative advertisers. This in itself was not a surprise. I backpedaled and promised to dumb it down as much as possible--at one point we were taking about The Fab Life of John Gotti--but sadly, no such luck. We were too street for VH1. So, the search for a home to the Street Law Series continues. Therefore, be warned. If you are a development producer, we have your email and we are on our way. You can run but you cannot hide. We have a proposal, and we are not afraid to use it.

Interestingly, the end of the day was as different as you could get from the start of the day. The evening was spent at a birthday party at my friend Laren's place, and enough cannot be said about the apartment. I know I have a pretty quirky sense of interior decorating--not everyone owns a phrenology head or collects wooden skulls or has a black velvet Elvis in the bathroom. But Laren and Paul's place was like a visual encyclopedia of quirkiness. Candelabras. Stuffed birds. Cut crystals. Little statues of deities. Half-drained jars of rare perfumes. Nothing, nothing was ordinary. There was no token Pottery Barn sofas, no trendy minimalist furniture, no kitschy retro-knockoffs. No television in sight, but there was a enormous Victrola. There was nothing that was purely utilitarian or carelessly placed. In every room I found myself marveling at the innumerable little things that were bought not because they were fashionable or because they'd been featured in some magazine, but because they were either genuinely beautiful, or genuinely appreciated. This tiny, once-ordinary Greenwich village apartment was like some dream antique shop, the kind filled with so many treasures it takes years to go through inventory, the kind where nothing gets sold because everything has sentimental value.

Well, the two main things blocking my path the same lovely retro-brothel environment are 1) Rocco, and 2)Ozzy. In my house, everything from the non-working vintage camera to the potted plants are taped down to the shelves, in a usually vain effort to save them from becoming cat-related casualties. (I do not have one picture frame that isn't made of broken glass and the stuffed peacock I dream of may, alas, never become a reality). The thing about being in such a beautiful place is that the conversation takes on a new tone. People don't talk at you, they ask questions-questions out of real curiosity, other than "what do you do?" And when you do ask, the answer is always hyphenated: actor-documentary filmmaker, painter-musician-writer, journalist-editor-would-be-entrepreuner. Nobody is making any deals, and if emails are exchanged it's probably for a drink that doesn't involve networking. All I did was admire the thrift store-gilt and the Diptyque candles and the mountains of books...and drink champagne and eat grapes and talk to fascinating people--creative people with real ideas who, breaking the stereotype, were resolutely unpretentious.

I guess it sounds very old-fashioned, but that was what I once daydreamed that New York nightlife would be like. Instead, I spend so much time in dim, neon-lined bars shouting over some J.Lo dancetrack about Why, No I Don't Miss Practicing Law, Why Do You Ask. Of course, don't get me wrong--I like me a club and I like me an evening spent in MotorCity doing kamikaze shots, just like any other upstanding young lady. But sometimes a girl needs the nostalgic, Belle Epoque literary-salon vibe too. It inspires creativity.

Now, if I could just figure out my ethical stance on getting that stuffed peacock...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

This Snow Is Killing My Social Life

Er, I think the title is self-explanatory. I've had more people cancel on me than I care to think about, and what was worse is that I was perfectly content to sit at home reading a book or watching, god help me, The L-Word. I think I have a crush on Shane, but who doesn't? She moves like Mick Jagger, without the geriatric grossness.

So I was all wrong about the Oscars, which is a lesson to all of you out there thinking about canceling your subscription to Entertainment Weekly. Who knew that Martin Scorcese would become the Academy's Susan Lucci? For the whole fashion rundown, go to bunnyshop, who does it much better than I could. I agree with most of her critique, except I hated Hillary Swank's dress. Actually, from the little I saw (I couldn't deal with the possibility of glimpsing Star Jones), I thought most of the fashion was pretty dull. But I'm sure the Oscar Edition of People, Star and US magazines will tell me different.

Okay, so I'm rambling about the Oscars, but what else is there to do in this damn white wasteland? It's either that or ponder the bizarre fact that it's already time for my LAW SCHOOL reunion. Now while the law school dean was nice enough to send me a letter when Street Law was published, I don't think I'm exactly the shining example of a Fordham Law graduate. Just ask my folks, they'd be happy to discuss it.

The chances of me going to this reunion are pretty slim, but not all reunions are bad. I happened to be in town for my high school reunion, which was fun, except I didn't know anyone there (it was a big school) and I suddenly realized that a high percentage of my graduating class was, well, hillbilly-ish. But I did have the pleasure of finding out that the girl who tormented me unrelentingly in junior high (and was nominated "Most Attractive" in high school, mysteriously) ended up as a stripper shortly after graduation. (And not one of those emancipated-feminist-strippers either) Hey, maybe it's not ladylike to rub my hands in glee, but believe me, she had it coming. I got no love for the bullies, unless they're thoroughly repentant and reformed and work actively against quelling future bullying.