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.