Friday, December 27, 2002

When You Work It Out I'm Worse Than You

I had another flash that my faith in karma might not be misplaced. Golden Boy/Scumbag Associate blew a deadline. Blew it big. Now there are certain deadlines that a court can waive - you file a 473 motion saying mea culpa, I screwed up. The court goes tsk tsk, but since judges were once first year associates as well, the court lets it go, you file your motion/brief/legal thingy late and get told don't do it again. In fact, most deadlines are like that.

Then there are jurisdictional deadlines which the court has absolutely NO discretion to waive. Why are they called jurisdictional deadlines? Because before that date, the court has jurisdiction to hear the matter. After that date, it doesn't. If the court doesn't have jurisdiction, well, it can't hear your plea to waive the deadline, can it?

Golden Boy/Scumbag Associate comes into my office around noon-ish looking all panicked and says, "Hey Marty, I need your help to figure out if I committed malpractice." Without breaking any work product confidentiality, the bottom line is that a jurisdictional deadline passed. Had he been practicing 5 years, he probably would've realized this, but he been working as an associate for 3 months (and officially as a lawyer for 1 month). OK, that's the understanding the "but for the grace of God go I" part of me has. The "when I was a first year associate" part of me, however, says when I was an associate of 3 months, I would've caught this. Within 5 minutes, I checked the treatise that I checked as a first year associate and found the correct answer.

At the end of the day, Golden Boy/Scumbag Associate was able to figure out a colorable argument why we hadn't hit the jurisdictional deadline. However, he shouldn't have had to make any argument in the first place. Oh, and this is about a month after he told his girlfriend to stay in San Diego so he could screw his ex to celebrate passing the bar.

Yup, karma at work.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

The Girl Who Fell Through The Ice

My number one New Years' Resolution: To fall for a woman who doesn't make me feel like an asshole for liking her.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Tuning In On You

Sometimes, art reminds you that maybe, just maybe, well . . .

How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

So you must not be frightened ... if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall.

(Rainer Marie Rilke - Letters to a Young Poet, Letter 8 - Excerpt)

See Ralph Marston, Jr., that's the way to be inspirational.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

The Lights Go Out And I Can't Be Saved

I wrote an e-mail to several friends letting them know that the first attempt to re-enter BigLaw didn't work out. One friend wrote back something so deep it's obvious, which is the following:

"At some point you (and a couple of our other classmates) are going to have to examine the fact that you have not liked working at ANY law firm you have been at. If you drove a Mercedes, a Hyundai a Ford and VW and didn't like any of them, it's time to get a motorcycle."

Very true, and very astute. My response? "Actually, I'm waiting for the personal jet pack - risky, chance of self-immolation, but if it works, I'll fly."

Gotta make that choice soon.


If I could say this to a Certain Someone, I would:

"If anything I've done or anything I've said has made you feel uncomfortable, I'm sorry. I'm saying this because it frankly, it doesn't feel too good to be the only person in this office you won't say hi back to, or make eye contact with. I don't feel like much of a human being knowing that I'm the one person in this office that makes you feel uncomfortable, and, well, let's face it, you don't much like. So I'd like to start again, as if the last six months never happened. You don't have to worry about me asking you out, because I'm not interested in you. I'm just trying to get through the day without feeling like some sort of creep. So if we can start all over again, that'd be great. Otherwise, I don't know what to do."

And now that I've written it down, I know I probably won't have a chance to say it. The days will go by, and despite the fact I know I have friends who think the world of me, I'll feel less of a man. Eventually, I'll just fade away.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Where Do I Go To Fall From Grace?

Nothing like a dayquil stupor and being dinged from BigLaw to make you feel all existential and fuzzy. My coughs are salty and taste like chlorine. Certain Someone is back in all eyes averted mode, which bugs me despite the fact I know she's not the one. But it does bug me as an impoliteness. Maybe I'm just some reincarnated British fop.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

We Float


Waiting for my parents to pick me up, I steal a glance at Maria. She has a slight smile on her face. I can’t think of anything to say to her, so I lightly brush my fingers against hers, then we hold hands waiting for time to pass.

Driving north on the 5 on New Years' Day. Traffic stops halfway between Los Angeles and Sunnyvale. The sun has just set, turning the sky from pink to a deep blue. To the west, the silhouette of hills. To the east, storm clouds and farmland. From my car to the horizon, red brake lights of cars. I have Zero 7's Destiny on repeat.

Big Exit

I have a preliminary interview with Biglaw tomorrow. Whether or not it works out, I think this is the beginning of the end with SmallLaw. I think it'll be a matter of months.

After the Pittsburgh dream, I've had two more dreams about moving or being in a new job. If that isn't my subconscious telling me I need to get the fuck outta Dodge, I don't know what is. Plus, apparently Scumbag is feeling "overwhelmed" by me and is about to break. So that's more bad theater coming down the pipeline.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps

I went to high school in Pittsburgh. At this time of the year, you couldn't wear short-sleeved shirts due to the ten minus with wind chill highs. Waking up in the mornings was tough even with the central heating on. I'd walk onto the freezing bathroom floor and wait for the shower to get warm. However, that first blast of water was always too cold. The water would soon warm up and I'd be all comfy and soapy. Then someone, my dad, my mom, sis, would flush the toilet in the other bathroom and the water would boil. Then it would overcompensate and turn freezing. Cold, hot, cold, hot.

Yeah, there are yet undiscovered tribes in the Amazon who can see where this is leading.

Thursday, a Certain Someone got back from vacation and pretty much gave me the cold shoulder all day. Then in the afternoon when I was putzing around with one of the file clerks by trying to jump rope using a printer cable, she cracked up when I said, "Crap, I think I forgot how to jump rope." Then when I said, "Hey, Office Manager saw me jump rope" later, Certain Someone said in a four year old voice "Well I didn't see it." Today, I was bitching to Scumbag about Sacramento County Superior Court. Certain Someone was in Scumbag's office. Certain Someone is from Sac. When I left Scumbag's office saying I need to go kill someone in Sacramento, Certain Someone said, "Well don't kill my parents." Later, I walked passed her and said hi, she ignored me. Later later, I walked passed her and she said "Excuse me" in that four year old voice that drives me nuts and turns me on at the same time.

God do I need to leave SmallLaw, and soon.

Brief Lives

I've had two dreams that have been stuck in my head, both about as subtle as a hammer on china.

I had the most recent one on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I was back in Pittsburgh looking for a place to live. I was sick of California, so I had decided to move back to the city in which I grew up. I hadn't moved just yet. I was simply looking for a place to live with my friend helping me out. It was a cloudy day, and I was driving through leafy suburbs. I was going back to school.

On Thursday night/Friday morning, I had a miserable dream. It was New Years' Eve. I was sitting at a bar/restaurant/Trader Joe's waiting for friends to show up. A woman walked up to me, and said "Hi, you probably don't remember me. You interviewed me when you were at BigLaw." I replied, "Yeah, I thought you looked familiar." I can't remember what she looked like now. I think she kept shifting - Asian with high cheek bones to cute blonde with round cornflower blue eyes. Anyway, my friends showed up. I became really jealous because they started hitting on her and I thought she was showing interest. Then I thought to myself, "So what? I'm interested in her as well." I sat down with her on the couch, and put my arm around her. She grinned a goofy grin. I knew she was interested in me. I thought to myself, "I was right in taking the risk." We held each other for a while. Then I realized I had to pick up something. I went out to find it, but then I heard the countdown, "Ten, nine, eight . . ." I rushed back to the bar so I could have the midnight kiss, but she wasn't there anymore. I was completely heartbroken.

After midnight came and went, my buddies and I went awalkin'. I saw this line of people waiting to get into a building. It was a new business that decided to open a minute after midnight, a minute into the new year for a new technology. It was business that could replay memories. Folks were filling out a form. I had decided I hated the idea of this tech because life is meant to be lived, not to be memorized. But I wanted to remember what the New Years' Eve woman looked like. I decided to fill out one of the forms. Then I saw her at the door - she was a sales representative for the memory business. I realized it was a scam. She hit on me and left me deliberately so that I would come here. She never liked me at all. I called her on it, and she said, "So what? Stop being such a baby." Then I woke up.

Thursday, November 28, 2002


So I can sleep now, though once in a while the anger and the heartache hit so hard I have to stop and catch my breath. There's nothing I can do except imagine myself in movie, with some Groove Armada or other chill out music playing in the back as I watch the sun set over the Pacific with a rapidly deteriorating faith that I'll meet that someone who'll tell me it's OK, who'll make me smile, and who'll fuck me silly.

I've been stopping myself from going into full new age cliche mode, but I have to wonder what the fuck the deal is. So Big Fucking Liar stokes a fire that wasn't there only because he wanted to go out with Accountant Chick, and which is further stoked by Golden Boy flirting with a Certain Someone constantly despite the fact he has a girlfriend. Oh yeah, and while I'm being Mr. Good Guy by keeping it secret, it's making me all broody and dark (the goatee is back) while he looks like, well, the Golden Boy. And before that, it was meeting the one cute blonde chick who was just as into music as I am, and more importantly, who dug me, when I was still up in Silicon Valley, only to have her shack up with some no doubt scumbag of a guy by the time I move down here. Lesson to be learned here? Honestly, I must have already atoned for whatever karmic fuck up I had in a past life.

And people wonder why my nickname in law school was "Angry."

I Had Enough Being Nice And Anxious

Updated the resume. Getting it sent out. I guess I just have to wait and be a better man in the meantime.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Would you give in just to spite them all?

And I thought it was over, but it's only worse.

Golden Boy used to work at SmallLaw as a file clerk and is back as a lawyer. At one point, he had (and he still does) have a crush on a Certain Someone. He asked her out way back when, and she said it probably wasn't a good idea. Another lawyer said that a Certain Someone revealed in a drunken moment a while back that she would've gone out with Golden Boy if he was a little bit older or she was a little bit younger. This is all old news to me. I can't say I'm not a little bit jealous, but it is what it is. I've told him I was sensitive about that, that I didn't appreciate it when he made jokes about him hittin' on that.

I thought Golden Boy was a nice enough guy. He has a girlfriend who loves him. He seemed to care genuinely what people thought about him.

I went with Golden Boy and his friends when he passed the bar. He told his girlfriend in San Diego not to come up that day to celebrate with him. Instead, he shacked up with his ex that night. How do I know? Everyone saw him leave with her. And his friends know now that he hits on a Certain Someone and that I'm interested in her too. And his friends say that's really fucked up, especially since he already has a girlfriend.

OK, so his girlfriend is dead to rights for being pissed at him if she found out. Why have I only had 10 hours of sleep in the last 72 hours? He's expecting me to keep his asshole behavior a secret, and in the meantime, he basically said he'll keep hitting on a Certain Someone even though he knows I'm sensitive about it. He doesn't see a thing wrong with what he did and how it screws me over. And I can't say anything about it or else I look like an utter scumbag as well. Sucks being the good guy.

I know that a Certain Someone and Golden Boy have been friends before, that she's ten years older than he is so it'll never happen between them. But that's not the point. I sit there and see him hitting on a Certain Someone. I see her laughing at his jokes. I see her at best ignore me, tolerate me. Here's a guy who's just been an utter scumbag who everyone else thinks the world of, who a Certain Someone is fond of. Here's me, sitting silent, brooding, can't say a thing. Secretary X asked me "What crawled up my ass and died" and said "Who do I need to punch out?" I couldn't say a thing.

So I'm taking the rest of the week off and try to get some clarity.

I know if I were rational, I'd be thinking why am I interested in a woman who thinks very little of me as a human being. That there are other women out there. That supposedly, one of these days, there will be a woman who sees me and just knows that I'm the one. But rationality not much comfort in the middle of the night, not much comfort when I come home to an apartment empty save for a cat and some beer.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Turn and Run

An excerpt from a novel that's only in my head:

"OK Josh, let me get this straight. The woman you had frightening chemistry with about a year ago and your original reason for moving to Lalaland but who ended up shacking up with some greasy music exec by the time you moved down here is giving you the 'I have mace and I know how to use it' stare by the cocktails. The woman you're currently in love is being a complete wallflower in the kitchen corner but you can't do anything about it because you're technically her boss and anyways she may or may not be in love with one of your best buds at work. The woman everyone thinks you should be in love with you find physically repulsive, which she knows because you said you'd rather gnaw your own arm off and then beat yourself with it without knowing that she was standing right behind you, is crying in the bedroom. And the woman you have the most in common with is your best friend from high school and is currently talking to the woman who everyone thinks you should be in love with. What the hell did you do? Punch a nun in the kidneys on your way here?"

Something To Cry About

OK, so there are worse things than catching up on some leisure reading on a Saturday night with a glass of Oban scotch next to you and Jeff Buckley's album Grace playing in the background. But these brief periods of respite (yeah, I know the rest of the world calls it weekends, Mr. Fancy Pants) just remind me that I really don't like my life.

I was trying to think of some profound imagery. At first I was thinking nautical -- that my work week is a grey monotonous ocean, and spending the weekend with my friends are the sparse green isles few and far between. But I'm not a sailor and my family is prone to motion sickness. And although the ocean imagery is apt in the "look all around you and all you see is the same - but instead of water it's work" sense, it doesn't convey the sense of claustrophobia that I feel. At least you can move around on the ocean.

Maybe a trapped in the closet image is more accurate, but it's also more pedestrian and fuck that noise about being all cliche. Anyway, adding to that claustrophobia is that 1) I'm still deeply, truly, madly in like with a certain someone, and 2) that certain someone has been in the same SmallLaw office for over 15 years. That latter part bugs me because I can't see myself being a lawyer for the next year much less for the next 15 years. I don't want to have fallen for a woman who mistakes complacency for stability. And yet, yet my stupid brain won't let her go. Having a weirdo double date not really a double date thing about two weeks ago doesn't help either.

Anyway, I was truly relaxed today. Part of it was the eighty-plus temperature here in Lalaland, which made it feel like July. But like some cheapo (but less verbose) version of Proust, weather sent me in a tizzy of memories. As the sun set and the air cooled, I thought of summer nights back in Ellicott City, Maryland after a long day of riding bikes and coming home to air-conditioned goodness. I'd read a book, maybe bug my sister or watch TV in the upstairs guestroom. I thought of humid spring nights in Durham, North Carolina, having some beer on the quad while finals approached. I thought of August nights on my patio on Silicon Valley just a year ago, trying to finish up my five pages per day while finishing off my third diet coke, the can slick with condensation. All this felt more real than my current job. And I thought if I left SmallLaw, left a Certain Someone, it would be as if I was never there, and I could be back writing full time again.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Special Powers

Sometimes, I wish my life was like a sitcom so much it hurts. The gruff but good-hearted boss. The co-worker who is secretly in love with me but is dating someone else and everyone but me and her know we were meant to be with each other. The latest in hip music perfectly cued to my scenes. Snarky banter leading to something profound. Sometimes.

Falling Down

I had a very disturbing dream last night, disturbing enough that I'm only now able to remember pieces of it. I dreamt that I witnessed a woman jumping off the top floor of a high rise. I knew she jumped off because she was mentally ill. Then I found myself entering the high rise. The top floors were owned by BigLaw. BigLaw had its library on the top floor. Although it was BigLaw, the desks in the library were all surplus metal desks from the '50s. All around were stressed out lawyers with frightening intelligence pouring over 18th century texts. Most of the books were behind locked grating. I was waiting for a guard to kick me out. I went onto the balcony and looked down.

Monday, November 04, 2002


I had my first vivid dream, well, dreams in a while last night. Restless suckers they were, where you wake up absolutely exhausted. The first dream was more like a clip. I was driving down the 101, thinking nothing of it because I had driven down it so many times -- stretches of gray asphalt with slow curves. Winds were whipping across the road and then suddenly I came by a section of the highway that bordered a gray ocean where there was no ocean before. The incoming storm was so violent that the ocean had pushed up to part of the highway. The ocean was so close I could see the white caps of waves lapping up against the rails. Suddenly, I was losing control of the car and panicking that I was going to crash into the ocean.

I briefly awoke and promptly fell back asleep again.

I was in an airport waiting for a flight. Sodium lights illuminated the interior of the airport in a sunset orange while it was pitch black outside. When they were announcing departing flights, I walked over to the gate thinking I had plenty of time. Then I realized my baggage was still in the checking area. I rushed to claim my baggage and my boarding pass. I made it onto the plane, but the only seat left was one that did not have a seat in front of it. Luckily, no one had but any of their carry on luggage underneath my seat. The plane was so huge that the passenger section was double-tiered. I was on the second level, where there was a floor to ceiling window. It was if the waiting area was put onto a plane. As the plane was rising, I realized that I only had enough money to pay for a taxi when I reached Tokyo, but not enough to pay for a place to stay.

Events Occur In Real Time

"And so when he started talking to me about making partner, I felt physically ill."

Monday, October 28, 2002

Caught By The River

Recently, I've been getting the "Are you happy with the practice of law?" question frequently from partners at SmallLaw. Of course, I respond yes. And of course, I respond yes the way a five-year-old has to say yes when he's forced to wear his pink bunny slippers his Aunt Myrna got him for his birthday when Aunt Myrna, with her big mole and all, comes for a visit, pinches his cheeks, and says, "Oh, doesn't Marty look so dapper in his pink bunny slippers?" OK, so a difference is that I'm not saying yes for fear of a big whuppin' from pop if I tell Aunt Myrna, "Dapper? With pink bunny slippers? What, do you see me wearing a skirt, you mad cow?" I'm saying yes for a much better reason - that being the fear of not getting a paycheck.

Wait, I still have enough in my account that I have a net worth. Hmmmmmmm.

Sigh. So as you can probably tell, I'm feeling trapped again - you know, the feeling that there has to be something better than wake up, work, watch a bit of porn, sleep and if you didn't have a job, you could figure it all out (well, 'cept for that no job, no money thing, but I got some money, and, aw hell, yeah I hate work). Man, I need some good dreams.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Hey, Ho, Let's Go!

I've officially made it into my thirties. I guess I'm using the term "made" in the same way a first time parachuter with a terrible fear of heights would say he "made" the jump from an airplane - sure he "made" the jump, but after a size thirteen boot kicked his screechy little ass out the plane screaming all the way down even after the parachute opened up, briefly jerking his body from 9.8 m/s squared acceleration to a soft as a feather fall onto terra firma. To belabour the imagery, yeah, the size thirteen boot would be that of ol' father time. Like the parachuter, I didn't have much say once I was out of the airplane, so to speak. OK, OK, fine, horse dead, stop kicking it.

Hmmmm, any changes? Well, I get full after just two pints of mass-produced "microbrewery" marzen when just five years ago I would've been chugging enough Guiness to make an army of dwarves (I don't mean the little people you un-p.c. insensitive bastards, I mean the bad ass living under mountains forging the Hammer of Big Death and whatnot mythical folk) say, "No, really, one more sip and I'll just fucking boot." My short term memory is, um, hmmmm, you know, I like vanilla a lot. What? Oh yeah, my short term memory is getting worse. I'm getting a big ol' buddha belly. I'm older than almost all the main character of the lager novels I used to identify with (yeah, I see the dangling participle, screw it, I've earned the right to use grammatical errors for effect, sonny).

I guess one thing hasn't changed, and that's I'm a right snarky bastard still.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Instant Karma

My faith in karma was restored on Friday.

I'd been really pissed that with all the crap that came out of Former Associate's middle school behavior (see 9/9/2002), Former Associate seemed to have been living the life. He had new job, new car, and what I thought was a new girlfriend. Before he left, Former Associate kept yapping about how Accountant Chick was totally into him - flirtatious glances, giggles, looks of interest when he mentioned he broke up with his girlfriend, etc. And it was clear that Former Associate was into Accountant Chick.

Being the suave guy he thought he was, Former Associate asked Accountant Chick out by e-mail on his last day at the firm. (For those of you sarcasm impaired, mucho sarcasm alert ahead.) Yeah, Former Associate was so uber-suave about his e-mail: he sent her e-mail regarding accounting issues, and then when Accountant Chick asked why he was leaving, Former Associate e-mailed "Well, why don't I tell you over some drinks?" That sharp warm feeling in your gut is probably the same type of internal organ hemorhaging I had when Former Associate practically forced me to read the e-mail. Surprisingly, Accountant Chick agreed to drinks. Plus she asked him during his farewell party if they were still on for drinks.

So, despite the Degrassi High sitch he started with me, Former Associate was going to go out with Accountant Chick even though he used a technique that would get your head stomped in with a pair of Doc Martins (and rightfully so) in most industrialized nations. You can see why my faith in karma was waning.

Then, I finally got Accountant Chick's side of the story. According to Secretary X, Accountant Chick was weirded out by the e-mails, but she didn't know how to respond and she wanted to be nice. Over the weekend, Former Associate called Accountant Chick at home and left her a message. Accountant Chick never responded.

Ahh, never underestimate the power of karma.

Saturday, September 28, 2002


On a random note (what else is there in this blog?), I saw Jennifer Connellyat Dee's Diner today. She was with her beau (if a guy in a bad navy blue striped jacket can get Jennifer Connelly, that gives me hope) and her son. She was giggling like a little school girl all through out lunch. She looks as beautiful, if not more, in real life than she does on the screen.

I could've gone up to her and told her I thought she was great in Requiem for a Dream, but she probably gets bugged enough as it is. Anyway, it would've blown my whole trying to be an average joe reading the newspaper and having a burger in a diner mood I was going for. It was rather cool to be doing a Hopper-esque sort of scene in a diner with an Oscar winner a booth away.

Last of the International Playboys

While I was doing the Marty Stark version of zen meditation today (a jaunt to the Third Street Promenade, lunch at Dee's Diner while reading the New York Times, hang out at Hennessey + Ingall's bookstore, and shop for a leather jacket), it hit me. I wish I could say what hit me was enlightment, but instead it was a realization -- I'm the last out of the Mira Hershey Hall Krewe as well as my fantasy football league to be non-coupled. I'll be the third/fifth/odd wheel in every get together.

Now, this can be the jumping point for many a digression of things that piss me off -- that folks in the office ask me why my friends don't set me up ('cuz my friends tend to think my best match is a chunky girl who wears sensible shoes, and they don't dare set me up with folks they consider normal), or that my karma is so bad it's almost cliche (moving to Pittsburgh three months after meeting my first girlfriend in Ellicott City, Maryland, the one I thought was the love of my life before law school telling me I'm just like a brother, living in Silicon Valley when meeting LA Chick then LA Chick having a boyfriend when I finally move down to Lalaland, and let's not forget the Degrassi High sitch in the office).

It's enough to drive me to pack up my stuff in my car and just drive out into the desert.

Look, I know love comes when you're not looking for it. So if I were to take a pragmatic view of things, I need to stop looking. I need to take a break from myself. The question is how.

I guess I need to distract myself, figure out the things that make me chill, which means I need to get back to writing things that don't end with a signature page that reads "Marty Stark, Attorneys for [Insert Cheap Ass Client Here]," which means I need to start chilling out at the crib listening to music while reading some good lit and maybe some architecture books so my mind doesn't rot.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Dusk You & Me

I was watching the season premiere of West Wing, and it hit me: I miss writing. I miss everything that I did to make myself a better writer: reading novels to immerse myself in language and character, watching TV and movies to get an ear for dialogue and to get a sense of pace, listening to music to get a feel for mood. I miss creating something new rather than analyzing something old.

Night falls earlier and earlier this time of year.

Same As It Ever Was

OK, the whole Degrassi High sitch has been resolved. About two weeks ago, I had to get Secretary X to talk to a Certain Someone, and let her know that Marty Stark is not going to ask her out and that he had nothing to do with this. I'd rather have done this myself, but a Certain Someone was still all freaked out around me. Supposedly, a Certain Someone had no clue, but whatever, I know fuck off body language when I see it. So why haven't been doing the blog thing lately if things have calmed down? I'm just tired. Oh, plus I got the X-Box this weekend.

I haven't been getting much sleep lately, so the serotonin levels are way down (and low serotonin levels a cranky lawyer makes). Plus I've been drinking 3 cups of coffee and 3 diet cokes a day, so there goes the dopamine levels. My brain is a mixed up chemical cocktail. And yeah, I still have a crush on a Certain Someone. Even worse, my muse has fled again.

I know, I gotta try to be more positive. At least Arsenal is number one in the Premier League whereas Man. U. is still stuck below fifth, and Juventus is number two in the Serie A.

Monday, September 09, 2002


So Associate Who Is Now Gone, Formerly Associate About To Leave? He's a big stinkin' liar. I talked to Secretary X because things are getting weird with a Certain Someone, and she told me Associate asked her if a Certain Someone was interested in me (not the other way around). Also, a Certain Someone brought it up with Secretary X because she thought Associate was trying to set me and her up earlier. So, a Certain Someone wasn't showing interest.

The more I think about it, the more pissed I get for a multitude of reasons. Yeah, I know Associate meant well, but he did such an inept job at trying to get us set up. This is not high school behavior, it truly is middle school behavior. Plus, in addition to messing with my heart and all that jazz, this is in a small office situation. We're talking about potential sexual harrassment issues if things got totally sideways. What the fuck was Associate thinking?

So now I have to have a talk with a Certain Someone to clear the air and deal with the whole dashed hope thing.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Up, Down, Turn Around, Please Don't Let Me Hit The Ground

Conversation that took place after I left work last Friday:

Associate About To Leave: "Hey Secretary X, has there ever been any interoffice dating here?"
Secretary X: "Why do you ask? Is Marty interested in a Certain Someone?"


And although Associate About To Leave swears up and down that Certain Someone is just shy, I realized today why I have doubts. Back in law school, I fell for someone who didn't reciprocate (good thing she didn't -- she's more twigged out than a schizo on a crank bender). When she found out I was interested, things got weird as they say. She wouldn't make eye contact. Her body language was absolutely rigid. She could barely put together two words around me. And this is the same exact behavior Certain Someone has when she's around me.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Girl Afraid

On a lighter note, we've definitely hit middle school dance type awkwardness at work. On Friday when the office was having lunch, she never looked at me once -- well, at least not when I was looking at her. An associate claims, though, that when I wasn't looking at her, she was looking at me.

Les Nuits

In the last month, three of my good friends have found out they're pregnant and one of my good friends found out he has the big C. These events speak for themselves.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Why Does My Sorrow Make Me Feel So Glad

I just don't see it -- really. She always avoids eye contact when I'm around. She's very stand-offish. In my experience, what this means is "Fuck off. You creep me out, freak show." My gut reaction about these things has been 100% bang on. But all my pals keep telling me that she's just shy. I wish my life wasn't straight from an episode of Degrassi High.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Falling Down

There are unconfirmed reports that someone in my office acts differently when she's around me and has started dressing better. Frankly, I don't see it, but an unidentified source says she's just shy. Then there was a first hand account of "The Long Gaze Incident" forty-eight hours ago, only to be replaced the next day by the "Hours of the Cold Shoulder." Several pundits advise "don't eat where you shit," while others advise a more flexible but careful strategy.


I'm So Dizzy My Head Is Spinning

Spin a top on a table, and after a while it will settle in one area. Shake the table, the top will wobble in a random, unpredictable path. Maybe the path will take it off the table. Maybe not. You won't know until the top stabilizes into its new area.

My table has been shaken.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Blame It On The Rain

How To Drink All Night And Not End Up Puking All Over The Craps Table:
1. Drink a shot of JD and/or a beer, or your alcoholic beverage (pronounced bev ar AJ 'cuz it sounds snooty) of choice.
2. Immediately afterward, drink water, or even better, those dandy flavored-water chock full of vitamins nature never intended water to have.
3. Repeat step one.
4. Repeat step two.
5. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
And voila! You're buzzed with no worries of hurling the contents of that $15 buffet over the hot leggy blonde in the skimpy black number over by the blackjack table! (Well, you would have no worries of hurling the contents of that $15 buffet over the hot leggy blonde in the skimpy black number over by the blackjack table if you were to actually talk to her, you chickenbutt.)

How To Ensure That You'll Be Heading To The Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafe Urinals Every 10 Minutes:
1. Drink a shot of JD and/or a beer, or your alcoholic beverage (pronounced bev ar AJ 'cuz it sounds snooty) of choice.
2. Immediately afterward, drink water, or even better, those dandy flavored-water chock full of vitamins nature never intended water to have.
3. Repeat step one.
4. Repeat step two.
5. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
And voila! You'll be in the john so much you start naming the urinals!

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Ticking Away The Moments That Make Up A Dull Day

Yeah, you know this demurrer to six causes of action, half of which to which you don't know the law? It should take you only eight hours to draft.

Right. It should take me only eight hours if I had over twenty years of legal experience plus I wanted to do a crap ass job of it, including typos, mistakes of law and bad logic.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I've Gone And Messed It Up, Messed It Up, Messed It Up Yet Again . . .

"Aw, it just wasn't meant to be, Marty." Now I know folks say shit like this to be nice, but they don't think of what is implied from such a statement, or what logically follows from the implications. What do I mean? Well, "meant to be" implies the existence of destiny, and had my destiny meant to include [insert hootchie mamma's name here], I'd be with her. The fact that I'm not means my destiny is not with [insert name of chick I really got along with] and nothing I did would have changed that. OK, so far, so what. Well, obviously this destiny isn't known to me or the well-intentioned person who uttered the phrase. Now, there are poor sods out there who have lived, are living, or will live lives of loneliness and desolation, and it is possible that I might be one of those. If destiny does exist, if I was "meant to be" one of these poor sods, then nothing I do will keep me from a destiny of being seventy, eating government cheese in my boxers, with cats, lots and lots of cats.

So, don't take it the wrong way if I tell anyone who tells me "it just wasn't meant to be" to cram it with nuts and cranberries.

P.S. - No, this wasn't spurred by a disastrous date. Just feeling rather ornery tonight. And TV Chick is no longer a member of which is making a part of me going, "Thanks a lot you flakey bitch," another part of me going, "Great, she found a boyfriend and was leading me along," and another part of me, well, another part of me isn't effected but wants some sleep (3 days of sleep to be exact) and vodka.

Burn Baby Burn Redux

Hey there buckaroo! You have a steady job that's paying you decent money! You have friends! You have a nice record collection! So cheer up, sport!

AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAGH! (Um, that's supposed to be Aagh in surround sound).

Deep Distant and Pure

Soooooo, let me get this straight. You don't just hate your job, but your whole profession. You're miserable. The only way you get through the day is to squash all feelings of boredom and anger deep deep down. You spend maybe an hour every three days doing what you really love. You have enough in the bank to live at least eighteen months comfortably without having to life a finger. OK, so why are you still a lawyer?

Good fucking question.

Friday, August 02, 2002

New Year's Prayer

Oh, the wonders of the human mind.

There's a part of me that knows, deep down inside, knowledge as certain as the sun rising tomorrow, that knows that I did something bad in a past life. I hurt someone. I received love I didn't deserve. I shunned what was given. All that I felt today, all that I'll get with tomorrow, everything is an atonement for something I have done and have forgotten. Happiness is not to be expected.

There's also a part of me that knows, deep down inside, knowledge as certain as waking to the first breath of the morning, that knows there is only this life. There is no second chance. There was no forgotten past. All you get is now. You can go at anytime. Every opportunity must be seized. Seconds not spent on pursuing happiness are seconds wasted.

Two mutually exclusive ideas both deeply held. Ain't that a bitch.

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Sunshine (Groove Armada Sunset Mix)

For the past several weeks, I'd been feeling dark. Yeah, I can hear y'all say, "D'uh, you're one negative dude, jackass." And sure, I'm not exactly Johnny Sunshine. But when I say dark, I mean, well, let's put it this way. If you were to film a scene for how dark I felt, it would be at night in the room of some flophouse hotel. The only lighting comes from the flickering red neon of dive bars three stories down, illuminating the peeling paint off a ceiling covered with mold. Black sheets of rain pour down onto broken concrete and ramshackle slums. I'd be sitting at the window, just a silhouette, drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels and waiting to die.

A large part of this came from a feeling of hopelessness and fatigue, a belief that I'd be coming home to an empty apartment no matter what I do. The whole sitch is an exercise in futility. Something has blocked me from every woman I've truly clicked with--she lives over three hundred miles away, she has a boyfriend, she thinks of me just like a brother, she's a lesbian, she's only fourteen. And a significant part of this has come from my dissatisfaction with my career--miserable at SmallLaw, miserable at BigLaw. No matter how much I told myself that there are others out there in a worse situation, I still felt dark.

Then two nights ago, I had a dream. I was in college chilling out in the commons room of my dorm. I wanted to watch the season premiere of HBO's "Six Feet Under" since I'd never seen it before. I was sitting on the floor and resting my back against the seat of the couch. For some reason, Allyson Hannigan who plays Willow on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Amber Benson who played Tara, Willow's lesbian lover who got killed off, were sitting on the couch. They weren't in character. They were just sitting on the couch as Allyson and Amber. I looked up at Amber, who I'd never really noticed on "Buffy," and she was smiling at me. I smiled back. Then she reached down and held my hand. Allyson smiled and left Amber and I alone. We sat like that for a while. When we stood up, we kept holding hands and smiling.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I didn't feel dark anymore. Sure, I still hate the law and complain about my job. But I didn't feel the anger and melancholy about my love life. I have to admit it's creeping back in, but I'm doing my best to remember that feeling of release I had yesterday morning.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Weather Storm

For the first half of the year, the one song I knew would pick me up at any time was Zero 7's "Destiny". If I played it on the stereo once, I would be hitting the repeat button again and again. Sia's vocals are smoother than smooth. The lyrics are relaxing, a little bit sad but full of hope without being maudlin or saccharine. It was on repeat even before the whole L.A. Chick thing. And there was something about listening to the song while driving along the 5 from NoCal to SoCal that was so right.

Now, seven months later, the song that picks me up is Ash's "Burn Baby Burn". If I play it one the stereo once, I'll be hitting the repeat button again and again. The vocals are nothing to write home about, but the lyrics are so bang on and the guitars are so driven. It wakes me the fuck up and suddenly I feel things are in perspective (what kind I don't know).

There's a fundamental shift going on right now, and I'm not sure I like it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Destructive Love Is All I Am

As of today, I've been at SmallLaw a month. Wheeeee! For a guy who's making some pocket cash and leaving work at the latest by 7 p.m., I should be content. I should be like a leeeeeetle giddy girl going "tra la la, tra la la" while skipping through the fields. But yet, I feel like grabbing fate, putting it in a headlock, and giving it noogies while screaming "How you like me now, be-yotch! How you like me now!"

So, um, no, I'm not content.

I think a reason for my discontent is that this month has gone by rather quickly. So? Well, soon, it'll be two months, three, a year that has gone by, and if the rest of my time is spent doing the type of stuff I did in the past month, then boy is like gonna suck when I grow up. You know those flies you see in amber? Well, I feel like one of those primordial flies that have landed on some tree sap to rest and to feed, and then realizing that, my, this tree sap is rather sticky. Next thing you know, I'm being sold as a knick knack at the cheaper metropolitan natural science museums.

In a twisted way, this is making me think of getting back into BigLaw as soon as possible. I'm miserable now. I might as well be better fucking paid for it.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Burn Baby Burn

So I bought this album by Ash, an Irish guitar pop group, after seeing one of their videos on MTV2's 120 Minutes (it had cheerleaders, huh huh, plus it had a great pop hook, something I hadn't heard since Foo Fighters "Learn to Fly," or Veruca Salt's "Seether" but without the annoying high-pitched voices). Then I looked at the lyrics to the song that got me hooked--wow, a catchy driven tune about being stuck in a dead-end relationship.

After my fifth time listening to it, I realized that the lyrics described my feelings toward the legal profession to a tee. Yes, even the "golden hair and pale blue eyes" bit (see, that part symbolizes the promises of the law--big money, big prestige--that excite most young lawyers, much like golden hair and blue eyes describe attributes that excite most men, but like the attractiveness of a woman gets less important as time moves on, especially when you realize she's a psycho, the promises of the law get less important as time moves on once you realize you're fucking miserable).

If I can only use this huge intellect to get me laid. Sigh.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Inside Out

During my year-long stint with my second BigLaw, I was sick as a dog at least four times. During my year-long hiatus from the law to write the novel, I was only sick once. During my first month back in the law, I've already been sick as a dog. Hmmmm.

Fine Time

Samples of 3 chicks who've randomly struck up conversations with me about music:
1. AOL chick #1 -- into Hed Kandi records, deep house music and Zero 7. Was on the cover of Mixmag magazine. But she's only 20 and she's in Florida.
2. AOL chick #2 -- into Thievery Corporation and the Eighteenth Street Lounge. Has almost the exact same parental issues I have. But she's only 20 and she's in Virginia.
3. Ben & Jerry's chick -- hey, she's in OC, only 50 miles away. She likes No Doubt when they were punk and not ska. But she's 15.

Yeah, I must've been one really evil shite in a past life.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Living With The Law

Who woulda thunk in all the dross that is the Greedy Associates Silicon Valley Board someone woulda posted something concise and intelligent about the ennui and despair that many lawyers suffer?

Some of my non-lawyer friends have mentioned that for a bunch of folks making six-figures, BigLaw lawyers sure are a whiney fucking lot. When I was a wee lad just starting out at BigLaw, I would've agreed with them. I knew what I was getting into, and I was grateful for da benjamins coming into Marty Stark's Porn and Pimp-Mobile Account. Yet the more I practiced, the more I became embittered. Perhaps it's best to explain with an example.

Say you were offered $125K to shovel shit. All types of shit. The runny kind. The splattered kind. The kind with chunks of corn and what not still in it. I'm sure there are a lot of folks who'd say, "$125K is a $125K. I'd take it." Fine. But wait, this shit shoveling isn't 9 to 5, it's 9 to 9 if you're lucky. Then you're told that vacation you planned in Fiji to placate your significant other that you love like the dickens who's been threatening to leave you because you smell like, well, shit? You gotta cancel it because there's emergency shit shoveling that needs to be done. Have a family already? Can't see 'em because you're shoveling shit even on the weekends. Now, one would expect that after a certain amount of time, you'd rise to the rank of senior shit shoveller and could delegate some shit shovelling duties, maybe get some equity in all the profits the firm is making shoveling shit. Ahhh, but you'd be wrong. Not only do you have to continue shoveling shit for twelve hours a day plus weekends, you also have to find new shit to shovel. You can't tell me you wouldn't be a whiney fucking bastard even with the six-figure income after this.

Monday, July 15, 2002

keep fishin'

Hmmmm. So the TV chick from, who I thought was blowing me off after her "I'm busy till God knows when maybe perhaps let's kinda get together when I'm free or maybe not" e-mail, sends me another e-mail today. It wasn't an "I want your hunky yellow bod" e-mail, but it was an e-mail telling me how she found out about British comedy we both love. And she didn't wait her usual five days between posts either.

Hmmmm. So I keep hearing more dissatisfaction at my SmallLaw gig. Plus I found out the last person who worked for the lawyer I'm assisting only lasted four days. I've been at SmallLaw for over three weeks.

Hmmmm. So I've been thinking about LA Chick again lately. I had a rotten dream a couple of nights ago that LA Chick's mutual friend brought her to yet another mutual friend's wedding. I wanted to leave, but I couldn't because I was one of the groomsmen. So I had to sit there, drunk and by my lonesome while LA Chick and mutual friend were making out.

Hmmmm. Who would've thought that a song with a muppets video would be so catchy and bang on?

"waste my days, drown always, it's just the thought of you in love with someone else, it breaks my heart to see you hangin' from your shelf." Weezer

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Only Shallow

In the past month, I've seen at least three bloggers decide to just pack it up with blogs. At least one because the blog had run its course (it was a dating blog, and the dude found a girlfriend within a month of starting his blog). Two packed it up due to ennui. Now, I've been writing entries maybe once a week if I'm lucky. I'm usually too knackered to write anything when I get home from work. There's a small part of me that's beginning to wonder whether to pack this blog up.

But I'm not going to.

There's a much larger part of me that realizes this whole law thing isn't the profession for me. When I left BigLaw, I wondered if maybe the whole 2400 hours, no weekend off, twelve hour days, working for psychos was why I hated the law. Now that I've been working at SmallLaw with decent hours, weekends off, eight hour days, really nice folks, I can honestly say I just don't like the law. If you need to come to me, it's because you're enough of an asshole not to work things out, or the other guy's enough of an asshole not to work things out. Either way, I'm dealing with an asshole.

I need to keep writing so that I don't lose the language. If I stop, then the legalize will take over. So, this blog will still be around.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Inertia Creeps

So it's not like this week has been awful. I mean, hell, I only had to go into work 3 days this week. But this has been one of those weeks which feels a bit like a way station. Nothing happened, nothing is happening, and you're just sitting there waiting until the next train arrives. It's during these times--maybe it's the lack of external stimulus, maybe it's because I'm naturally a melancholy l'il fucker--that it feels like life is passing me by. I'm waiting in the way station, all my friends are already speeding along the tracks to their destination. They have significant others, families, weekends running house errands. Me? Hey, I bought kitty litter today.

Some of this is exacerbated (yeah, I know, I shouldn't be using dollar words where nickel words would suffice, but fuck it, you don't call a pomegranate an apple) by the fact I took over a year off, decided to step off the whole steady job track and do things my way. During that year, my pals developed in their careers and personal lives. I wrote a bit, putzed around way too much (so I do know this whole intertia thing is my fault). I would have thought moving down to Lalaland and getting back into the whole legal groove of things would have helped.

It has partly--this weekend notwithstanding, I've been going out every week. I went on a couple of dates. I've danced with adorable women. But the legal groove just isn't funky. One of the associates at SmallLaw told me there was a lot of turnover of associates. I get the impression that, despite all the talk about the office being a BigLaw refugee haven and folks being there for the pure practice of law, most of the folks there are either 1) waiting for the economy to bounce back so they can jump back into BigLaw or 2) they're at best apathetic about the law but they need the cash and don't know what else to do (you'd be surprised how many lawyers in both BigLaw and SmallLaw who fall into the latter category).

Hmmmm, maybe my issue isn't about not getting back on track so I can play catch up, but rather my issue is not seeing the point in getting back on track. I mean, sure, a steady income is a good thing when trying to hook up with a nice chiqua. But do you really want to be going out with someone who only cares about the checks you bring in? Yeah, that latter part sounds a bit too ABC Aftershool Special for Adults, though it does bring it all back to the whole "What's the point?" issue I've been having lately.

Heh heh, I bet you think I've had a bit too much to drink at this point. Funny thing, I haven't had anything to drink at all today. Maybe it's time to start.


So everyone is either out of town or doin' their own thing this weekend, which leaves me in a rather Silicon Valley-like sitch of being all by my lonesome this whole 4 day weekend. Blah. Then I go back to work on Monday to draft some motions attacking a pleading, Tuesday I go to court for a status conference, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

Maybe I think way too much for my own good. There are plenty of miserable sods, and they just go on with their business without any grumbling. They don't think, "Well, what the hell is the point? I mean, sure I need to work to get the cash that pays the rent for the roof over my head. Is the whole point that you can be a hell of a lot more miserable so just shut yer trap? Because if that's the point, that's really kinda depressing."

Maybe I should just pack it all up and move to New Zealand and raise sheep.

Friday, July 05, 2002


OK, so I've been slacking on the blog again. But I'm just so friggin' tired these days. Yeah, steady cashish is good, but when it comes right down to it, I'm back in the profession of dealing with jag-offs with too much money or too little common sense gettin' into pissing contests with each other. As time passes, I'm coming to realize that leaving litigation was the right decision. Too bad happiness rarely has any correlation with income.

Anyway, not thinking to linearly right now, so it looks like yet another selection of random thoughts from Marty Stark.

1. I have rings under my eyes. I mean dark, purple, bruised looking rings under my eyes. All this despite sleeping a nice alcohol free sleep from midnight to 9 this morning with an hour nap around 3 this afternoon. And it was a straight to level four delta wave sleep both times too. Yet I still feel fatigued. Oh yeah, plus the whole rings under the eyes thing too. I did some quick web research as to the cause, and no one knows why the rings under the eyes happen. They know the actual physical symptoms (it's blood that has coagulated in the capillaries underneath the eyes--ewwwww), but they can't figure out why sleep deprivation would cause it. The capillaries beneath the eye are directly connected to the capillaries in the upper nasal cavity, but that would explain why you would get rings under the eyes when you have a cold (with the whole stuffed nasal cavities and all). However, with fatigue, you still breathe regularly. It's kinda neat looking, but certainly not gonna get me any o' the chiquas.

2. The whole legal thing really is a downer on the creativity thing. I mean, you can't really write vernacular in a Memorandum of Points and Authories in Support of a Demurrer. I'd love to be able to write, "Yo yo, Plaintiff has fu-zucked up her Complaint. That mofo be mixing up all her claims in one shi-zingle cause of action. Howz a homeslice supposed to be answering to that shi-zit when that ho be fu-zuckin' up her theories of liability like some crackhead?" Noooooo, I have to write something like, "Plaintiff has conflated several purported claims into a single cause of action, obscuring her theories of liability. Defendant is therefore unable to answer the complaint, and request the Court to sustain its demurrer."

3. Mmmmmmm, mongolian barbeque. Mmmmmmm.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action

Friday night, I headed out to The West End, a cheesy meat market of a club down in Santa Monica. It's the type of place that, at the mention of it's name, your friends all say with a bit of disgust "Is that place still there?" Bad lighting, noisy as hell, not condusive to conversation whatsoever, but surprisingly good cover bands. My goal of the night was to just get trashed and wash away the whole stink of going back to the law. My buddy, on the other hand, was trying to get me to "go out there and talk to some women fer godsakes." On a purely theoretical level, he had a point 'cuz the likelihood of some leggy blonde into Massive Attack chatting me up while I'm in gigantous mope-a-suaros mode at the back of the bar with the rest of the mouth-breathers is slim to none.

But, for the first hour, I was just trying to decompress. I had a fine time observing others and making mental notes confirming what not to do. For example, there's the sidling gambit: You see a couple of chicks dancing and having a good time, so, being the sneaky clever guy that you are, you start moving close to them, moving closer and closer hoping that one of the chicks will notice you out of the corner of her eye, and then she'll see your moves and make eye contact and then look ma, you're dancing! You're dancing! But see, here's the rub. You're not being sneaky, nor are you being clever. You're just being creepy as hell. Why is it creepy? Look at it from her point of view--she's just had some random guy who doesn't have the cajones to say hi rubbing his crotch (or at least trying to) against her ass. See, etiquette requires at least an introduction before you do something like that.

Another fine observation I made was that there were guys who were better looking than me by half just drinking their drinks lounging by the wall and not doing shit even though the women on the dance floor were clearly looking in their direction. If the DJ started playing some Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, it'd be an awkward junior high dance. (My buddy, trying to pump me up, made a good point: "These are guys who couldn't get into Hollywood clubs." Maybe explains the whole 7th grade vibe coming from the bar). This made me feel a lot better.

Anyway, after that first hour, I was still content to just chill. My mental effort had been totally spent dealing with the law, so I didn't have it in me to go up and start chatting up chicks randomly. And just then, young Marty Stark fell in love, cue Blondie's "Atomic" (sorry, Trainspotting flashback).

A whole gaggle of women came in, which is usually no good in these outings. They start dancing together in a circle, and form a "Ring of Death" no man can break. Seriously, go ahead and try. Even if you're with a buddy, you and your buddy will feel eight pairs of eyes staring at you. By the time you're within three steps, that pressure is so overwhelming, you find yourself walking back to the bar getting a refill on your drinks which are already 3/4s full. If you have the actually chutzpah of getting within tapping distance of your intended, everyone in the Ring of Death will have their eyes on you, giving you the glare.

I couldn't get a bead on what type of women they were. A couple of them looked like academics ('specially the chunky blonde in glasses who shamed her honky brethren by furthering the white people can't dance stereotype--move butt down, one two three four, move butt down, one two three four). I got the impression they knew each other from work,as opposed to being a tight knit knew each other from school group, because they did break off into cliques (the academics, the help, etc.). And yet despite the whole Ring of Death potential, someone caught my eye.

She was a slender brunette with a slight smile, her hair cut chin length with one side tucked behind an ear. She had legs from here to ya-ya. Unlike most attractive women in L.A., she was totally un-selfconscious about her figure. She moved almost as if she didn't realize she was slender and utterly, heartbreakingly adorable. And she appeared to be the odd person out of the group. She stood behind her main group when she walked in, and her friend (slavic looking, brunette with blue eyes) looked like she was trying to get her to talk to other men (she kept pointing out clusters of guys, which included, according to my buddy, yours truly). My buddy thought she might be the geek of the group, and I agreed. But what really got me was she danced. While all her friends were at the edge of the dance floor watching people dance, she was dancing, swaying her hips to the music (and in rhythm too!) Then I lost sight of her. Her group of friends went off to the bar, but I couldn't see her. There was a good reason for that: She went onto the dancefloor on her own, without her buddies.

I looked at the guys in mouth-breather wallflower mode. I looked at her friends who were busy preening themselves in hopes of getting the guys to notice them. I looked at her dancing and not caring where her friends were. And I knew if I didn't make a move now, I'd deserve to be a miserable sod in a cruddy beige suit coming home to cats and porn.

I made my way through the dancefloor, and did one song's worth of recon. She was cute. She was un-selfconscious. She knew how to move. As soon as the band (70s funk cover band) started into cheesy banter mode, I tapped her on the shoulder and said, "You're a great dancer. Do you wanna dance?" She said, "What?" (OK, not the response I was hoping for). So I repeated myself, and she said, "What?" Finally, I said, "Do you want to dance?" Her slight smile became a big grin, and she said, "OK." I introduced myself, and she said her name was Nadia (I think it was Nadia--it was loud and she had a foreign accent--foreign accent, could she be even more adorable?)

Now, a lot of times, when a guy asks a girl if she wants to dance, she says sure, but in a "I have nothing better to do" sort of way and never makes eye contact. For two songs, Nadia kept looking at me and giving me a big grin. Then her friends, the Ring of Death, made their way to the dance floor. She touched my arm and said, "Thank you for the dance," in that foreign accent of hers (either Eastern European or Middle Eastern).

I wish I could say I ended up with her phone number that night (Oh God do I wish I ended up with her phone number that night) but alas, I didn't. She returned to the circle of death. Eventually, she went outside with a couple of friends, and I saw some guys trying to chat them up (but Nadia had her arms crossed in the universal sign of don't talk to me). When my buddy and I decided to leave, she was still with her friends in the outside version of the Ring of Death, but I swear her smile widened when I passed by. In a moment of self-doubt, I didn't say hi as I walked out (plus my buddy saying "C'mon, talk to her, talk to her" just as we passed her probably wasn't that conducive to me chatting her up).

But, at least I know that I can make an adorable, slender brunette with a foreign accent smile.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Sing Me To Sleep

OK, you know something is wrong when lyrics from a Smith's song are bang on with your life, and not in an ironic way. "I was looking for a job and then I found a job, and heaven knows I'm miserable now." The sad thing is that I've just been doing things at the new firm that I could've done with my eyes closed on a tightrope juggling a chainsaw, a flamethrower, and a really gassy monkey just a year ago, yet I'm tired and moody and emotional, sniff sniff. How emotional? That a non-response and a no-reply from two chicks are making me go all panicky and weepy that, in less than a year, I'll be a miserable sod in a cruddy beige suit chasing ambulances and coming home to an apartment empty save for 20 cats and boxes of porn. Boxes and boxes of porn. (OK, the whole boxes of porn thing maybe isn't so bad.)

Monday, June 24, 2002

Sharp Dressed Man

One of the weird things about the law these days is that the more formally dressed a lawyer you see walking down the street, the more likely that lawyer belongs to a lower tier / smaller firm. (No, I'm not going to go into the whole messy issue of whether small firms are necessarily lesser quality firms, etc.)

See, back during the big dot-com boom, almost all of the BigLaw gave into business casual. You look like a chump trying to court the black t-shirt and jeans start up crowd in a conservative navy blue Brooks Brothers suit. So, lawyers (mostly transactional) started adopted a more relaxed look to fit in with the clients. BigLaw caved, and instituted a firm-wide relaxation in dress code which has yet to be repealed even after the big bust.

SmallLaw, on the other hand, their bread and butter were clients outside the tech or emerging companies sector. Their typical client assumed lawyers were going to wear the suit and tie. So, sitting in the Century City Shopping Center food center, that twenty-something dude in the Gap khakis and denim button up is probably making $40K more than that twenty-something dude in the $700 black suit, $70 white shirt and $80 burgundy tie.

I guess this is a roundabout way that the firm for which I've started working today requires suit and tie.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Damn Civilians

Now that I'm heading back the whole law-talking deal, I've begun thinking about the parts that I couldn't stand about the law. Sheesh, not exactly the can-do plucky thoughts I should be having at the start of a new job. So, in the spirit of getting things off my chest, I think I'll list "don't I wish" scenarios. Couple of disclaimers: 1) Obviously, the scenarios are fictional--I don't want to be breaking the whole attorney-client privilege thing and have my ass disbarred; 2) also, if I actually said any of this stuff, I probably wouldn't have been disbarred but I would've been kicked out of the profession of law anyway. So here we go with one of many (OK, maybe just one depending how sick I get of the law) scenarios.

One of the things I couldn't stand about the law were clients--more specifically, the middle-management employees of clients who knew way less than they thought they did but were given an inordinate amount of day to day power. We'd get requests for documents to which the opposing party was perfectly entitled, and being the junior associate, I was the poor schmuck who had to convey the request to the client, or more specifically, the Joe/Jane Schmo who handled the docs. The larger institutional clients had whole departments that handled document production and retention, and those clients were a godsend--got back little lip, and received the docs for review a couple of weeks later. But the smaller ones (tech companies that used Chapter 11 as an adjective in the big bust) had true mouth-breathers handling docs.

Shoot, as my creative writing instructor in college said: "Show, not tell." So, here's an example of the typical conversation, and what I wish I could've said:

"Hey Joe Schmo, it's Marty Stark. Did you get the document request I faxed you?"
"Yeah. We're not gonna give 'em any of this shit. We're not on trial here."
"Uh, technically, since ConglomoTech is the defendant, it would be on trial if the matter doesn't settle."
"Sure, whatever. Look, these docs aren't relevant anyway."
"Hmm, not relevant."
"Yeah, and they're trade secret."
"Well, maybe I should take a look at the documents for relevance and confidentiality, just to be safe."
"No, you're not going to take a look. I told you they're non-relevant and they're trade secrets."
"OK. Hey, everybody who went to law school, raise their hand. Hmmmm, let's see, I have my hand in the air. Do you? No, I didn't think so."
"Hey asshole, you work for us."
"Hey dumbshit, I don't work for you. I work for ConglomoTech, and one of my responsibilities is making sure that ConglomoTech doesn't do any stupid shit. You know what I mean by stupid shit? I mean refusing to produce documents to which TechCorp is entitled, like, oh, documents relevant to the case. And by relevant, I mean relevant according to the California Code of Civil Procedure and the California Code of Evidence, which I can assure you is not equivalent to relevant according to some asshole with only two years worth of junior college under his cheap ass K-Mart brand faux-leather belt. And since I know what relevance is under the applicable California law, what with my 3 fucking years of law school and my 3 fucking years of practicing law, I get to review those documents for relevance. 'Cuz you know what happens if I listen to you on what's relevant and what's not? (And the word is irrelevant you chicken-fucking hick, not non-relevant.) Well, TechCorp brings a motion to compel production of documents, which we'll lose if we say 'We don't have to produce it because Chicken-fucking Joe Schmo says it's not relevant', and the Court says ConglomoTech has to produce the docs and they have to pay a shitload of money for wasting the Court's time. Or, if the Court is pissed enough, it can say, 'ConglomoTech, that is such a piss-poor excuse that I'm gonna say TechCorp wins.' And as much as I'd love to see your poultry-buggering ass twisting in the wind when the hammer of ConglomoTech comes ahuntin' for the dipshit that said 'These docs aren't relevant,' I'd rather not have ConglomoTech suing me for malpractice for letting you act like a ignorant junior college shit that you are. So, slugger, the bottom line is that you will let me review those documents for relevance and confidentiality."

Ahhhh, man that felt good, I tell you what. Hmmmm, had I actually said that, I wouldn't be bellyaching about going back to the law.

Not a big shock there (not the whole "Freedom, Youth, blah blah blah"--just that I tend to shop there).

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Old Moon Fades Into The New

It's looking less and less likely that I'll find anyone through Like in the real world, it's really the chicks who decide who they'll hook up with. simply accelarates the selection so that two years worth of dating for women can be compressed into two months--speed-dating I've heard it called. These chicks get approximately 50 e-mails a day via if they have a photo up. If they don't find a guy attractive, they simply ignore his e-mail as opposed to a brush off in the regular bar scene sitch (helluva lot easier on the ego, so yeah, guys too benifit from Anyway, anytime I send out an e-mail to a female member, I'm competing with at least 49 other dudes. Chances are one or two of these dudes are GQ model types who can actually come across like a human being in their profile. Assuming that a female member goes out with each one of the one or two daily hunk a burnin' luv (that's 7 a week on a conservative estimate) during a month membership (that's 30 or, ah, you can do the math), chances are that she'll end up having a long term relationship with one of those dudes. That leaves the 49 or so dudes plus some change times, well, you know what I mean, completely SOL. Now, I'm not exactly an ugmo, but I do know I don't turn heads while walking down the street. What exacerbates this for me is that I'm a yellow brutha who likes the round-eye, but unfortunately, there aren't that many round-eye sistas that be givin' the yellow bruthas their props. But still, it's one of several tools in my belt and plus it's cheap.

Anyway, the whole sitch reinforces that old adage about love coming when you're not looking for it (major suckage for me since almost every waking second is devoted to thinking about it--and even worse, the only times I've really hit it off were when I truly wasn't looking). In order to get this outta my system so I can start thinking about other things, like what color ties goes with a suit that isn't quite gray, more of a criss-crossing black interspersed with white to create the illusion of gray, here are the characteristics of my absolute dream woman:

Slim and slender, with legs from here to ya-ya (yeah I'm starting with physical characteristics, just call me shallow);
Green-eyes but almost Asian in shape, straight blonde hair cut chin length (think Gretchen Mol, crap, should've just said, "looks like Gretchen Mol");
Can talk about music for hours;
Knows the lyrics to Zero 7's "Destiny" and isn't afraid to sing them;
Still likes to slow dance, both arms draped over the neck way;
Did I already say can talk about music for hours?;
and loves me like the dickens. While we're at it, I'd like peace in the world and for all the little children to have chocolate.

I Fought The Law And The Law Won

So it looks like I'm going back to the 9 to 7 if you're lucky 180 billable hours a month one weekend day off every other weekend life of a law talking guy. The independent contracting gig came through, and, on the positive side, there are a lot of BigLaw refugees at the firm--at least two took more time off than I did and look to become permanent members of this SmallLaw. Given that this is still a horrible market, there are a lot of lawyers still scrambling to find any gig, and those lawyers don't have over $90K in their checking account, I know I'm rather fortunate. Still, there's a part of me that can't fucking stand the idea of going back to the law.

I mean, think about it this way. Remember those shots they gave you back in elementary school? They'd line up your second grade class in front of the nurse's office. Yeah, your teacher and your nurse are telling you that the shot is good for you because it'll stop you from getting sick later on. You know it's a good thing, and you know you're going to feel a little pinch and discomfort. But no matter how hard you tried, you'd still get sick from anticipation. Then it's your turn, and the nurse starts rubbing alcohol on your left shoulder. She gives you the heads up that the needle is about to go in. No matter how hard you steel yourself, no matter how many times you hear that the shot is good for you, it still smarts like a mofo. You still wince, and you still hate going through it.

So yeah, I know getting a steady cashish is good and that I'm lucky, but I'm still going to hate it.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Everything, Everything

Yeah, I've been a bit remiss on the whole blog thing. Unfortunately, I fell back into bad nerdly habits, specifically, the deadly addiction of computer games (even more specifically, Dungeon Siege--I know it's bad for me but I want more!). Luckily, I think I've beat the addiction, and am ready to lead a fulfilling productive life (plus, a friend of mine reminded me that "the only chicks who are interested in the game are bi and fat").

So, life was progressing at a steady rate last week, although at a much slower rate than my first few weeks back in Lalaland. I finally joined the great mobile masses of the 21st century and got myself a cell phone. The fact that in less than a month I've had people irate that they got my home voice mail instead of yours truly sealed the deal. I decided to go with a Nokia phone with AT&T Wireless. I was tempted to buy a Motorola, but those suckers don't have programmable ringtones (you can take the boy outta nerdsville, but you can't take the nerd outta the boy). I've already downloaded four ringtones for my phone--"Buddy Holly" by Weezer, "Without Me" by Eminem, "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes and "Take On Me" by A-ha.

I also did the whole going out thing on Thursday night, but whoo boy, let me tell you, Jack & Cokes and a big ass Japanese dinner do not mix. The result is fertilizing plants in a Santa Monica parking lot with a projectile mixture of bile and rice. I also had a false positive on A TV chick responded to my first e-mail (we both like dayquil, yay) but she has not responded to my second e-mail. Gotta remember not to turn on the whole Marty Stark quirkiness too early next time (for your information, I didn't say anything like "It's destiny, we should get married now" or "yur rahly purty, hurh, hurh").

Oh, and the whole job thing--I'm 95% sure I got the independent contracting gig. However, we're still haggling about compensation. Obviously, there's a part of me that's thinking that it'll be nice to get some regular cashish. But, that part of me realizes that I'm not that happy about it. I don't want to go back to the law. I fucking hate the law. I like writing. I like setting my own schedule. Yeah, I know, you can't always get what you want (but if you try sometimes, you get what you need, whoo whoo--sorry, couldn't help the random excursion into the Rolling Stones). Doesn't mean I have to put on a happy face, spit on my food and call it frosting.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Back Where We Started, Here We Go 'Round Again

So I'm on the cusp of heading back into the law (though in a much smaller firm). The whole archaeologist chick thing is over (she left a message on my machine that was cut off, but the phrase "I hope you don't think this is too awful leaving this on the machine" generally doesn't translate to "I want your hunky yellow bod"--all for the best really considering I wasn't attracted to her). I'm not sure what I'm feeling right now--ambivalence? Hunger? Maybe I'll go get a burrito.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

He'd Rather Be Alone Than Pretend

I'm sure there's a cheesy ABC afterschool special message somewhere in here. So, she's nerdier than I am, she enjoys my company, all my friends would say she's a keeper. Plus, ya gotta win the soapbox derby before you race in the Indy 500. But, I had this horrendous realization after our second date on Friday night that I didn't find her attractive. Whatsoever. Could be she sorta reminds me of a partner I used to work for. Could be she turned into the stereotypical loud ugly American after a conversation about cats. Could be she can't do an impersonation to save her life. Anyway, I called her, left her a message tonight about getting together if she wants because the one more chance thing couldn't hurt, but she hasn't called back which might be for the best. Oh well. At least I've gained some self-confidence back.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

You are Spike Spiegel
A laid back bounty hunter with a mysteriously tragic past. You have a cool sense of humor and would do much for people you love.
Which Cowboy Bebop Character Are You?

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Lust for Life

I had an interview for a contract attorney position this afternoon. I have a second date with archeologist chick this Friday. I have two chapters of the next novel written. I've been going out every weekend. All this, and I haven't been in Lalaland a month. Sheesh. If things keep progressing at this rate, I might actually have a life.

Move Any Mountain

I've had about a dream a week featuring mountains. There was that weird feng shui master dream a week ago, and Monday night, I dreamt an evil land developer was buying up land to block public access to the surrounding mountain range--huge, imposing grey mountains capped by a dusting of snow. I owned a hotel at the foot of one of the mountains, and realized the way to block aforementioned developer was to be a white knight. I was going to buy the surrounding land myself.

Monday, June 03, 2002

Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo

OK, I think I'm sufficiently recovered from the weekend. The girlfriend of a buddy of mine and her roommates had a bbq down at their apartment on Balboa Island (think Martha's Vineyard with it's quaint and narrow streets, daytrippers visiting craft shops, 'cept, well, sunny year round). When I arrived around 7pm, the guy to girl ratio was very Silicon Valley which sucked cuz that was one reason I left Silicon Valley (at least they didn't head to the computers for some network gaming). There was one stunning single woman there, we'll call her OC Chick, who looked a lot like a very young Marg Helgenberger. I asked my buddy about her, and he told me that, alas, she wasn't interested in Asian guys and plus she was really picky (which probably accounts for her being single). Also, she mentioned to my buddy that she wasn't intersted in any of the guys who showed up (which included yours truly at the time). I figured she was out of my league anyway, so I didn't feel that self-conscious when I talked to her.

Anyway, she was very low key and a guy's type of girl--loves sports and bought the new Eminem CD that day to support a fellow Detroiter. At least two other guys were trying to hit on her, oddly both named Matt. One was a tall ex-jockish Aryan of a fella, and the other was a small guy who looked a shade over fourteen. Neither of them were that successful. Aryan Jock went for the hard press approach, which apparently annoyed OC Chick. Small Fry went for the conversation about relationships approach (Gawsh darn it's so hard to find a nice girl, I can't believe that you're still single, gee willickers) though with a subtle bait and switch gambit -- he mentioned how he fell in love for like five minutes with a girl he was talking to earlier that night, aw shucks, look how sweet I am don't you want to jump my bones now approach. Subtle, but ineffective.

Me? I didn't try, knowing what I knew. Plus, at the beginning of the night, the body language was totally "Don't friggin talk to me"--her arms were crossed, she was leaning back in the chair away from everyone. When I did talk to her, it was mainly because she looked a bit bored and I was just makin' conversation.

Fast forward a couple of hours. I'm slightly tipsy. OK, I'm drunk. Other women have shown up, but they're yellow sistas who be dissin' da yellow bruthas and one cute round-eye but with a three year old daughter. Now, I have a strange thing I do when I get drunk. Some people get belligerant. Some people get maudlin. Me, I breakdance. My buddy said he didn't believe me. My buddy's girlfriend said she didn't believe me. OC Chick heard this, and became really excited. She started touching my arm and begging me to breakdance. "Well, I'm not that drunk yet." "Do you want a shot? Any shot. I'll take a shot with you." "Hmmm, maybe a shot wouldn't be a good idea, you know, with me moving around a lot."

My buddy slipped in the Cruel Intentions soundtrack with Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" cued up. Next thing I know, the floor clears and everyone is looking at me. Hell, so I start doing the worm, a back flip, then spinning on the carpet. OC Chick gave me a big grin and said, "Your friend told me you were fun, but I didn't believe him." Fast forward half an hour, Small Fry was making his play for OC Chick and I was playing cool again. My buddy had to leave. His girlfriend, OC Chick and the few people left decided to go to The Village Pub--the cheese factor there was on Velveeta level. A balding sixty-something guy on the keyboards belting out Jimmy Buffet tunes with a balding sixty-something guy on sax accompanying him.

I sat at the same two seater table with her, but Small Fry sat in the seat next to her. My buddy's girlfriend sat next to me and asked, "So, are you making conversation or what?" I had to give her the negatory answer since Small Fry was still pulling the whole earnest shtick on her (any belief that I had playing the overly nice guy card when meeting women totally evaporated that night). We all had fun requesting Neil Diamond tunes until closing time. And OC Chick kept giving me random looks with goofy grins for the rest of the night (which I returned). She begged me to request "Bad Bad Leroy Brown," but unfortunately last call intervened.

Now, do I have any illusion that she was interested? Nah. I did the whole keeping slightly out of pace with the rest of the group thing to see if she followed, but she kept her own pace. When we got back to my buddy's girlfriend's pad, the rest of the guys started to leave--Small Fry got a small hug outta' OC Chick. Unfortunately, OC Chick decided to go to sleep before I could say goodbye. Like many other nights, I left sans digits. But on the hour drive back to Westwood (got back around 3 in the morning), I felt content. Aryan Jock guy got nothing from her. Small Fry got a cheap hug. I received full on eye to eye looks (not glances, but looks) combined with wide friendly smiles. I fell asleep happy.

Friday, May 31, 2002

I'm exceptionally artistic!

Find your soul type

Right, like this is totally surprising.

'Cos No One Listens To Techno

OK, the title isn't apropos of anything. My buddy just bought the new Eminem album and he blasted "Without Me" in his Corvette from Westwood to Santa Monica.

Anyway, sheesh, yes I've been lax on the blog of late, but I've gone out two nights in a row, taking a breather tonight because tomorrow I head down to OC for more socializing.

Sooooooooo, there's part of me that's happy I had a decent date on Wednesday night (drinks and dinner down in Santa Monica--she laughed at almost everything I said, no smoochie boochie but I did get her cell number), and there's part of me that feels a bit like a putz for being happy I had a decent date. The mass of men lead lives with plenty o' decent dates so decent dates are no biggie, probably about as fulfilling as finding a dime on the street. Thus, me feeling rather good about one single date makes me feel like the Corky of dating. "I tog doo a gul, yay!" (I know, I'm going to hell for that comment, but at least all my friends will be there.)

Last night, I caught the sneak preview of The Bourne Identity (man it's good to be back in Westwood) with a buddy of mine. Afterwards, we met up with another pal at Maloney's--better than average college sports bar. The twenty-two-year old sweetie of a brunette server commented that I looked younger than thirty, and not in an "I better get more than a buck a drink tip" kiss ass of a way. My pals and I got in a rather serious short (and very atypical of L.A.) conversation with her about what it was like turning thirty and relationships when you hit thirty. She was worried about not being married by the time she was thirty (no chance of that happening, not with those looks and that personality). Then we headed over to Santa Monica to meet some more pals. I paid $10 to enter into a bar that, although had women which is light years ahead of Silicon Valley bars, was heavily weighted toward men. We blew that pop stand. Unfortunately, having not gone out a whole lot up north, I was till building up my party legs. I cut out early from the Circle Bar, which was too bad because two attractive women (more Gap wholesome college quality as opposed to Girls Gone Wild skank on one end or Victoria Secrets gloss quality on the other) were all over each other on the dance floor. I just was flat out beat.

So, more fun and excitement in the past two nights than a whole month in Silicon Valley. I'm bushed.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Feng Shui: The Movie

How's this for a weird dream: I was nominated to be a feng shui master, but if I accepted, I would have to stay in the feng shui palace for the rest of my life. The palace was at the edge of a lake surrounded by tall, jagged mountains. The guide gave me a tour of the palace, which was done in a contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright style with lots of meeting and meditation rooms. I thought it wouldn't be too bad living here. Then the guide gave me a tour of the surrounding area to remind me what I'd miss if I accepted the position. We travelled via motorboat along the lake, then onto the river rapids that flowed into the lake. I was struck by how high and how beautiful the mountains were.

Monday, May 27, 2002

Golden Lights

In the last two weeks I've been in Lalaland, I've gone out and/or hung out with friends more than I did in a month period up in Silicon Valley. I've talked to two additional legal recruiting services. I've had one dream totally collapse but another one potentially begin. Shoot, I've kinda been a busy little bugger, haven't I?

Anyway, I don't really have much to write today, but I figure I need to blog to keep in shape. I've been rather (and by "rather," I mean abso-fucking-lutely) lax about writing. Shame on me! Here goes another random stream of conscience sequence of text.

More evidence that the universe is conspiring to remind me how much of a chork (Chinese Dork) I am: Back as a first year law student, I had a huge friggin' crush on a woman in my section--petite and slender, black hair and huge anime eyes. Not a smart thing, having a crush on someone in your section of only 20 students, but of course these things aren't guided by intellect. There was much awkwardness which eventually blew over. So, my pal tells me he's temping at the firm 1L Crush is working at (stupid dangling participle). Oh yeah, 1L Crush is a friend of Mutual L.A. Chick friend. And my pal plans on asking 1L Crush if she knows L.A. Chick (1L Crush used to work at L.A. Chick's firm).

More evidence that maybe I'm not the unluckiest guy in the world: So to say the legal market is tough these days is just like saying the Battle of the Somme was a minor skirmish. Getting all these rejections is tough on the ego. But there are hundreds of lawyers looking for a job--and they don't have an excuse of writing a novel nor do they have some nice stash to keep them going for a year and a half.

More evidence that I'm friggin' nuts: Last night's dream included a huge earthquake, a cross country trip with my parents, a graphic prison riot, and the girl I love falling for another guy.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

What Seven Deadly Sin Are YOU? [?]

You're ENVY! You want everything that everyone else has. Nothing's good enough for you, and sometimes even YOU aren't good enough. You're represented by the color green.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002


So I buy my favorite brand of scotch, Oban, because hell, I might as well do something that makes me happy. I read on one of my favorite blogs that the blogger is headed to Oban General Hospital to visit the sick and unwell while I'm sipping my scotch. I was listening to Jeff Buckley's Grace earlier this afternoon, and Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" plays on the background of C.J.'s bodyguard getting shot to death on West Wing. More noise.

You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby

...Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand Scenario 4 is the winner!!! Well that was quick and painful. "Um, I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a romantic thing, but I have a boyfriend." "Oh, well I'll let you get back to work then." Hey, at least there were no awkward pauses (and it was via the phone, local call, no toll charges).

I'm reminded of one of Homer Simpson's more inspired outbursts--"Why must everything I do end in failure!"

Monday, May 20, 2002


I received an invoice from Sprint PCS for cell phone service addressed to my old digs. So here's the thing--I don't own a cell phone. Dun dun dah!!! And Sprint PCS's service line is a Catch-22. In order to talk to a customer service representative, you have to enter that last 4 digits of your social security number. And lo and behold, the dude who set up service under my name didn't use my social (which I certainly a blessing in the larger scheme of things). So I had to go through 5 rounds of "Please enter the last four digits of your social security number--that is an invalid number" before I was finally shunted off to an actual person. The representative was actually a friendly guy and typed in a fraud report ("You need to call back seven to ten business days"), but then he said "Thank you for using Sprint PCS." I know it's simply a knee-jerk reaction on his part, but I nearly said, "Dude, but I don't use Sprint PCS."

Saturday, May 18, 2002


One item did get messed up during the move--my computer monitor. There are ghostly horizontal flickerings that move from the top of the monitor to the bottom. They're the type of flickerings that would seem pregnant with sinister meaning to schizophrenics and conspiracy theorists.


OK, so I've been busy unpacking boxes--that's my excuse for not blogging in the last 3 days and I'm sticking with it.

So I did call L.A. Chick on Wednesday, and either 1) a scenario I didn't envision occurred or 2) a version of scenario 1 occurred. Kinda too early to tell right now. Since I didn't have her home number, I gave her a call at her office during the late afternoon. She didn't remember who the hell I was--I felt like I was living a song by the Smiths. Anyhow, I reminded her where we met, told her I was living in L.A. and wondering if she wanted to get together sometime. She said sure, but she had a friend coming into town so this weekend was no good. There was no pause or hesitation so I don't think it was a lie (that pesky pessimistic part of me though thinks maybe that's her standard blow off line). This is where my recollection gets fuzzy (stupid influx of adrenalin)--I can't remember if she told me to call later or if I said I would. In any event, I asked if I could get her home number (I didn't want to bother her at work again, but I forgot to mention that's why I wanted it) and she said to try her at work because in all likelihood that's where she'd be. So, that's what I meant about either a scenario I didn't envision occurred (she has a friend coming into town) or a version of scenario 1 occurred ("Um, I have plans"). And once again suggestions from friends are all around the map--from "Don't call her again 'cuz she's definitely not interested" to "Give her a call next week--there's still hope yet."

In the meantime, I'm also in limbo with chick since it doesn't look like our schedules mesh until after Memorial Day weekend--even more waiting. At some point, I have to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That pesky whiney "My luck sucks/I'm a victim" part of me starts thinking "Why can't anything good happen to me?" at this point (I get that from Mama Stark, thanks mom!). Anyway, I know that good things have happened, like selling my condo for mucho profit and having the opportunity to continue writing. I'm back down in L.A. where women exist, and if chick is indicative of L.A. women, more approachable (bucking the stereotype). I now have a krewe to go out with on Thursday nights.

Since I hung out Wednesday night and went out Thursday night and spent Friday night unpacking the rest of the boxes, I think I'll just chill and nerd out tonight all by my lonesome. Some things change, some things remain the same.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Some Kittens Can Fly!

God, I always dreaded turning into one of those bloggers who sit there and talk about how Mitzy the Cat did something adorable, what a ragamuffin. Bleah! Karma is a funny thing I guess. So my cat is not the brightest of animals. I was typing away about an hour ago, and I saw my cat jump onto the loft ledge. She went back and forth and back and forth in the slinky feline way. "Well," I thought, "she can't be stupid enough to jump down the twenty or so feet." A minute later, she faced the part of the ledge overlooking the living room, put her two front paws against the side of the ledge, and jumped. I heard a thud, then a meow, then a hiss. Cripes. She was healthy enough for her to hobble up the stairs back to me. I decided to take her to an emergency animal clinic anyways, shelled out $195 for emergency consulting and x-rays. Turns out she's fine except for an accelerated heart rate and some tartar on her back teeth. 1) I'm amazed she didn't suffer any broken bones from that fall--nature at its finest. 2) I love my cat, but she certainly isn't a rocket scientist.