Friday, February 27, 2004

Inside My Mind (Blue Skies)

Just to be clear about the last post, I happen to be a spiritual though not religious quasi-gnostic tolerant of others beliefs so long as those beliefs don't try to impose themselves on me type o' guy who believes in karma and trying to help your fellow person and doesn't agree with any belief system that dictates a person's good works during life is all for naught if you don't follow that belief system. Sheesh, trying saying that ten times fast. Anyway, apparently my belief system might be a problem to a particular person who is cool in all other respects. But as I said, at least I get cool ass business cards.

Peace In A World Where Everyone Gets Heaven . . .

Add to those subject matters verboten when first meeting someone religion. Sigh. At least I get cool ass business cards outta the whole thing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

And I'm A Million Different People From One Day To The Next

Hey Kids! Bored at work? Google your name and pretend that the results you get are versions of yourself in parallel universes!

Apparently, in parallel universes, I'm:

A gun nut doctor in Atlanta who thinks it is really cool to link to my real estate agent!

Grad students in a variety of engineering or computing fields!

Professors in a variety of engineering or computing fields!

Technicians in a variety of engineering or computing fields!

I wish I could say that, given the number of Marty Starks* who are in a variety of engineering or computing fields, being a lawyer would make me unique, but there are at least 3 other Marty Starks* who are lawyers. And I can't help being a little disappointed that there are no Marty Starks* who are rock stars. Oh well.

*I googled my real name. Being Asian, I guess I shouldn't be to surprised about the whole engineering or computing fields thing. Being liberal, I guess I should be real pissed that my brethren ain't really breakin' any stereotypes.

Sunday, February 22, 2004


Sheesh, as an environmentalist, I guess I should be recycling everything including that damn bug I had a couple of months back. See, this is part of the hazard of working in a small office of any sort. I get sick--bug gets passed onto boss. Boss, being Mr. Stress-Puppy-The-Success-Of-The-Firm-Rests-On-Me-And-Me-Alone, gets sick. Instead of resting like he should, Boss just keeps working and working and his immune system breaks down, allowing bug to bring in some of his friends, like Lung Infection, Sinus Infection and other assorted illnesses. Since Boss is always at work, so are the new bugs. And hence right now, my sinuses are so swollen (well, they feel like it anyways) they're pressing up against my eyeballs.

I guess this is a roundabout way of saying I've had some really intense and fucked up dreams these last three days. And since my life is a bit in stasis right now (though I am getting some cool ass business cards made, whoo hoo!), I've got nuthin' to give but my dreams.

Thursday Night/Friday Morning

I'm back in the South. It's one of the rare Southern spring mornings where the air is crisp and warm and there's no hint of the humidity that will overwhelm the days in the upcoming months. I'm traveling in the back seat of a van with my girlfriend back to the airport. We're passing by the lake district. There are folks on the water, in boats or swimming, at this early hour. My girlfriend, a pretty brunette with dark brown eyes, squeezes my hand, smiles, and says, "My dad used to wake me up early in the morning so we could watch the sun rise and see the people in the lake." We pass by this beautiful two story modern house in the middle of the lake. "Hmmm, I wonder why those people built that there?" I ask, thinking it's rather cool to have a house on the lake. My girlfriend looks over to me and says, "I don't know." We watch the lake for the rest of the trip.

Friday Night/Saturday Morning

It's past midnight and something horrific is going to happen. I'm detached. It's as if I'm watching a movie. I can't move. I'm watching a restaurant across the street. All is pitch black except for the yellow light from the restaurant. A family is having a celebration. There are little kids laughing. The adults are enjoying the glow of each other's company. I want to tell them to leave, but I can't. I know what's going to happen. I can't close my eyes. See, there's this insane woman. And she's about to unleash her psychosis right now. She walks into the restaurant and she starts shooting. She kills the children. She kills the parents of the children who are frozen with shock and grief. She has locked the doors so no one can get out. She kills the adults who are trying to escape. She hasn't seen me yet. I'm detached.

Saturday Night/Sunday Morning

I'm one of the good guys, the elite of the elite, the rescue force and I have to make sure everyone gets off the ship before the Cylons arrive. Me and my wisecracking sidekick are shepherding the passengers off the ship, keeping the humor up and thus keeping the rising panic down. As I'm getting the last of passengers to the escape pods, I see her. Time literally stops. She has dark brown eyes, black hair so dark it's almost blue that frames her round face. She is the one I'm supposed to be with for the rest of my life.

Time starts again when wisecracking sidekick says, "Dude, ask her out." I tell him that we have more important things to do, like getting the civilians off the ship and then fighting the cylons. Plus, asking her out would break the air of calm but good-humored professionalism that we're trying to vibe. Wisecracking sidekick says,"Man, you're really going to regret that."

We get to our fighter ships, and sudddenly it's two years later. Turns out my sidekick died in battle and I was in suspended animation. I'm a hero to the good guys, the elite of the elite, the rescue force. But to my family, who didn't approve of my career, I'm dead. I've been dead to them even before the battle. Wisecracking Sidekick had left me a message before he died, letting me know where to find the woman who made time stop. If I don't find her, if I don't speak to her, I know I'll regret it.

I find her home. When I see her again, I know she's the one I'm supposed to be with. My heart sinks when she doesn't recognize me. Then I hear, "Marty, what are you doing here?" My father is there, as well as my extended family. "I'm here to speak to her," I tell him. I look over at her. "You don't remember me, do you?" She shakes her head. But she smiles at me. "You're wasting your time, Marty," my father says angrily. "She's been promised to your cousin Danny." I can't believe what I'm hearing. I can't believe that my family is actually following an outdated tradition. I can't believe that they're doing this even though I risked my life to save her, and yet my cousin is ending up with her. "You know this is wrong," I say to my father. "Yeah, I do, but that's the way it is. Leave," he says. I see bodyguards heading toward me. As I walk away, I look back. She doesn't take her eyes off me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Caligula Would Have Blushed

So the first song I hear on radio during my drive to work is The Smiths' "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now". And there's this from The Onion this week. This afternoon, Partner at SmallLaw offers me a permanent position.

Can you guess what my answer was?

Yeah, I know there are folks who will say I deserve to hang out with Binky the Crotch Hammer of Frustration for that decision, what with the craptastic job market and such. Whatever. All I know is that if I said yes, I'd be walking back into the life I'd walked away from for good reason. That, and I'm lucky enough to want more out of life than making money, spending it, wash, rinse, repeat.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004


OK Hot Shots. A quick quantum physics lesson--see, the simple act of observation changes the very nature of an atom. Measure something as a wave, it'll be a wave. Measure something as a particle, it'll be a particle. View a person as someone who refuses to change instead of person who's beginning to come to grips with his . . . awwwww fuggit. I'm tired and cranky and work is getting all stressed out and pressurized what with all the work and the crazy demands. So, we'll do something a little different here. A little break if you will. If you have Coldplay's Parachute album, put it on, forward to the last track, and just crank it. Otherwise, here ya go. It's been stuck in my head since last night, and that's not a bad thing.

When I counted up my demons
Saw there was one for every day
With the good ones on my shoulders
I drove the other ones away

So if you ever feel neglected
And if you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

When you thought that it was over
You could feel it all around
And everybody's out to get you
Don't you let it drag you down

'Cos if you ever feel neglected
And if you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

If you ever feel neglected
If you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

Singing out
Oh, oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Everything's not lost

So come on, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah
And everything's not lost

Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
And everything's not lost

Monday, February 09, 2004

AM 180

Yet another insightful column from Lisa Oliver over at Stylus Magazine. "[A] good portion of guys who are into music . . . tend to be a lot cooler, much sweeter and just plain funnier than their frat steve mook counterpoints." Ya see, take that Binky!

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Just Because You Feel It Doesn't Mean Its There

Yeah, Binky and I have been getting to know each other well, much to my frustration.

I was sorely tempted to erase my last entry--it's maudlin, over the top, and anyone who read it would say get the fuck over it already. But no matter how brief the situation, the feelings were also genuine. So fuggit, this blog is about me (among other things) so you get to see me, warts and all. And anyways, who isn't maudlin and over the top once in a while. As I've quoted before, "I'd rather feel things to the full even if I'm going to be upset the very next minute, because it's either that or living a half-life at half-intensity."

An Ending (Ascent)

. . . and at the party, all your friends tell you that the guy she's with is just a friend. And when she sees you, she smiles, touches your shoulder and tells you she loves your shirt. She tells her friend that you are one of the producers and a writer. And you're polite to her friend, who happens to be the best friend of her boyfriend. You begin to mingle with others at the party, keeping half an eye at her. Her friend and her are almost inseperable. The vibe, at least according to your friends, is that of a guard dog keeping watch. You see her dance to some music a little bit, you catch her eye and she smiles. You sit across from her during all the loud music and pantomime, she looks over at you and raises her glass, and you toast each other silently.

You head downstairs to the dance floor with a couple of female friends. A couple of songs later, she comes down with her friend. Her friend can't dance. She can. Your female friends are surprised at how well she can dance. Your female friends know you can dance. Strangers compliment you on how well you dance. You briefly dance with her before her friend leads her away. So you dance more energetically with your friends, she looks over, and then she heads upstairs.

When you head back upstairs, you see her friend sitting by himself looking miserable. You try to be friendly, say hi, but his reply to you surprises you a lot. "She's over there," he says. She's in the smoking area talking to some people. So you head over to your friends by the bar and drink some more.

You see her, and one of your male friends is being stupid with her. When you walk over, she talks to you for a bit. She leans into you. Maybe she's just leaning into you to speak with you over the music, but she leans with her whole body, and for a second, she's nestled into you. But then your male friend plays with her scarf and the moment is gone. Her friend wants to leave. She says bye to your friends, she hugs the director's girlfriend. Then she turns over to you, hugs you tightly, holds you for all that it's worth. You hold her tightly as well. She whispers "Take care." You whisper, "You too." And with that, she's gone from your life.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

You Know I Feels So Dirty When They Start Talking Cute

Last entry about Makeup Chick. No! I promise! Cross my heart and hope to die! May Binky the Crotch Hammer of Frustration (hey, the Crotch Hammer has become such a significant part of my life these days it deserves a name) continue its groinal damage if I break this promise. And there will be a reason that this is the last entry about Makeup Chick.

See, last night I had the strangest dream. I was on a boat to China, what does that . . . whoops, sorry, my mind is all addled by the whole legal career thing, so much so it's on one hit wonder mode.

I dreamt that I was back in San Francisco on New Years' Eve, celebrating with some friends from my first Biglaw gig. For some reason, Makeup Chick was part of that group of friends. She was a friend of GalPal associate (in real life, GalPal associate was the one who informed me that Claire Danes' Clone had been in a long term relationship with the same woman for the last four years, but that's a different story--ahhh yes Binky, we've known each other a long time). You know how when you're with a group of friends at the mall and each of you want to do different things, so you all spread out and agree to meet back at a certain time so you have some quality time with each other? That's the vibe of the dream. So I decided to hit a few clubs by my lonesome, and Makeup Chick was at each club. We'd dance for a bit, and then she'd leave. This happened a couple of times. Midnight was approaching rapidly at one club, and I was searching for Makeup Chick so I would have someone to kiss at the new year. Unfortunately, the ball dropped and Makeup Chick was nowhere to be found. Then I saw her coming out of one of the rooms of the club, and I knew she hadn't kissed anyone at midnight as well. The group o' friends met outside the club. It was already morning. When GalPal saw me looking at Makeup Chich, she said, "You know Makeup Chick has a boyfriend?" I told her I knew that. We were all headed for breakfast. Makeup Chick started walking ahead of all of us.


You know Binky, no offense, but I really can't stand you.

Falling Free Falling Free Falling

Snippet of Random IM Session--

Frustrated Person: Another Valentine's Day rolling around and here I am with no one.

Marty Stark: Well, I'm taking the whole zen approach to relationships this year.

Frustrated Person: Yeah? Well monks never get laid.

Marty Stark: Yeah? Well monks don't spend the two weeks before Valentine's Day spazzing out over whether or not they'll get laid.

Frustrated Person: Ouch. Touche.

Monday, February 02, 2004

All Around The World Statues Crumble For Me

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide


Hey, I got begged to add another day to my current contract attorney gig. Partner's Sister (she has a boyfriend, so calm down y'all) hinted that I'll be offered a permanent position in the next three months. My superego is trying to pull the legal version of "There's kids in Africa starving so eat your cremed eels" to make me all giddy about this (which happens to be "There's unemployed lawyers in Silicon Valley working in the Sunnyvale Kinkos so quit yer complainin'"), but in the end, cremed eels is cremed eels.

And yesterday, I held a small Superbowl shindig at Casa de Stark. No complaints whatsoever there. I was good to hang wid da homies in the Westwood yo. Though despite the fact that I had forgotten Makeup Chick (fine, I didn't, but I was trying to, why can't you just leave me alone, damn you! Damn you all to hell!!!), Makeup Chick became a topic of discussion. I would like to say I didn't bring her up, but I was all loopy on beer and onion dip so I can't say for sure I didn't bring her up. Anyway, the discussion became very 90210 after that. Dubois' girlfriend told me that Makeup Chick's boyfriend of two years was ugly, and kept pointing out Makeup Chick was into obscure movies and anime just like me. And the Big Jew said I was very pessimistic. Happy Pragmatic Couple said I wasn't being pessimistic if Makeup Chick had a boyfriend. My contribution to the discussion was alternating between "No, bad idea about me and Makeup Chick--every time I've had a chemical reaction to a chick, it ended in tears" to "Yeah, I have a lot in common with her." Fine, the discussion was very 90210 if 90210 had a very special episode about manic-depressive chorks. (And if Dubois' girlfriend ever reads this, that last tarot card, the 3 of Pentacles not only means pride and completion in work, but also a completion of a goal with the help of one's friends. Hear that--completion of a goal with the help of one's friends. Soooo, if you hang out with . . . fuggit, that's enough of Marty Stark in 12 year old schoolgirl with Hello Kitty stickers on her notebook and a not so secret E addiction mode).

So kids, the lesson is, ummm, the legal profession drives you crazy. Either that or I should've asked New Neighbor Way Down The Hall Chick if she had any more boxes she needed help moving. Yup, time to bring out the ol' Crotch Hammer of Frustration once again.