Monday, November 30, 2009

Second Class Citizens Still.

A week or so ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued new guidelines regarding when and how often women should get Pap tests, which, in case you didn't know, screen for HPV and cervical cancer. In fact, the Pap test is the sole reason why the number of deaths from cervical cancer in this country has dropped so dramatically in the last 30 years. In countries where the Pap has not been so widely used, cervical cancer is second only to breast cancer in causing premature deaths of women.

Until this change, the guidelines said Pap testing should start within three years after becoming sexually active and take place every year. Now they say testing shouldn't start until age 21 regardless of sexual activity and then only has to be done every 2 years after that. And, once a woman reaches age 30, it should only be done every 3 years. The reason for the change, ACOG says, is because doctors have been performing too many unnecessary procedures on young women; procedures which can cause these women to be unable to carry a pregnancy to term; procedures which aren't necessary because in MOST cases the HPV or abnormal cervical condition will clear up on its own.

The new guidelines came just days after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (of which not one member is an oncologist) issued its own new set of guidelines related to women's health. Namely, guidelines detailing when women should start getting mammograms, the primary screening tool for breast cancer. There too the age for testing to start was raised, from age 40 to age 50, in part because too many doctors were performing too many unnecessary procedures.

The ACOG says their guidelines have nothing to do with the mammogram guidelines; and that they have nothing to do with the current health care debate going on in which women's sexual health is a major sticking point. The timing, they say, is purely coincidental. The decision to make the change, they say, was not political. Well I for one call bullshit. LIFE is political and there are no coincidences.

But what I'd really like to fucking know is why are women being screwed because doctors are fucking up? If the doctors are over-treating then, hello, fix the fucking doctors. Why is it we keep hearing about how women's health care needs to be rationed? Why is our society so willing to put women's lives at risk because a bunch of doctors (mostly male I remind you) don't know what the fuck they're doing? What about mens health care? Is there NO overtreatment there to be rationed? You think anyone is even thinking about changing the guidelines for when men get their prostate checked? Or whether Viagra is being overprescribed? I highly fucking doubt it. And that is because women, no matter how far we've come, are still undervalued in our society. And our fertility seems more important to that society than our actual lives: it was negative fertility outcomes that led to the change in Pap testing to begin with. I'll tell you this: not being able to carry a baby to term is devastating, but I imagine dying from, or even just suffering with, cervical cancer would be a whole lot worse. Because while reduced screening will surely lead to less unnecessary treatments, you know what the fuck else it will do - it will lead to less NECESSARY treatments too.

On the day the guidelines came out, I heard stories from 3 young women who would probably be dead if they waited until 21 to get their first pap test, or waited 2 or 3 years between tests. These women are all cervical cancer SURVIVORS, instead of victims, because of yearly screening and the treatment they received after their "abnormal" test results.

The point is simply - early screening saves lives. Every day. And by pushing back screening ages, the ACOG and the USPTF are putting women's lives at risk. And I am disgusted. And what makes it worse is that the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, an organization which stresses early screening and which I thought would be outraged right along with me about the Pap guidelines, actually supports the new guidelines because HPV/cervical abnormalities ALMOST always clear up on their own in younger women. But what about those women for whom they don't just clear up? Are their lives not worth saving? Aren't these women's lives worth more than the fertility of a few others? Or are we all still just here to be babymakers, worthless without that biological ability?

You might think that in the 21st century women, and their health, wouldn't have to take a back seat to some bureaucratic bullshit. But apparently you'd be wrong.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spot the Dick

Have you heard this story yet? About the 21 year old single mother Army cook who refused deployment to Afghanistan because she didn't have anyone to care for her 11 month son and is now facing possible criminal charges for doing so? Well, technically, she didn't refuse outright to be deployed; rather, she failed to show up on the date of her specific deployment claiming she needed more time to find someone to care for her infant child while she was serving abroad. Apparently, the grandmother had originally agreed to take the kid, but after having him the week prior to the mom's deployment date, decided she couldn't do it (the grandmother, it seems, is also caring for a special needs kid of her own as well as two ailing adult family members). The Army says it would never deploy a single parent without a "family plan" in place; but the mom's lawyer says that isn't exactly the truth and the mom had been told that she had to deploy regardless of her family plan and if the kid had to be placed in foster care, well then, so be it.

I obviously don't know who is telling the truth here, or what's gonna happen to this chick and her kid, but I gotta say, reading this story on the train this morning got me all kinds of worked up. At first I was like, "That motherfucking military! What the fuck is wrong with them? How dare they even think about sending a single mother into a war zone? Have they no fucking compassion?" And that led, of course, to me ruminating about how fucked up the fucking war is in the first place and how we should be done with it already. But then I thought more about the actual story, and although I still think the situation is fucked up (and that our Nobel Peace Prize winning President should really do whatever it takes to get us the hell out of the middle east), I can't help but wonder....

1. Where the hell is the kid's dad? He's not mentioned in any of the articles about this story. Not even a 'we don't know where the hell he is' mention. Who is he? Why can't he take the kid while mom is at war? Does mom know? Is there some other fucked up cover-up going on here?

2. Mom joined the Army in 2007, her kid is 11 months old. So that means she, single and without adequate family support (I'm assuming since she doesn't seem to have anyone else to watch her kid for her), got pregnant and decided to have a baby while actively serving (and depending when in '07 she joined, potentially only months after joining). And presumably while knowing she would be deployed to a war zone; or at least knowing she was at risk of being deployed to a war zone. Um, hello, but WTF is up with that? Has this chick never heard of condoms? Or, duh, the PILL? 'Cause I know military insurance pays for the Pill. I know it for a fact. Did she do it on purpose? Is this all just a scam to get her out of the service which she VOLUNTEERED for? Why not just wait until your tour is done?

I'd really like to know the answer to at least some of these questions so I can decide whether to be pissed at the Army, or pissed at her. Because someone is being a dick here. I'm sure of it. I'm just not sure I can spot who it is. Can you?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No wonder the arts in the public schools are suffering...

So I go SMAPA on Monday night to take my usual super-awesome jazz class with super-awesome Taylor. On this particular night, there were 2 brand-newbies who obviously were friends and had come together. The first brand-newbie, we'll call her Willing, was, well, how do I put this nicely, a touch on the not-so-skinny side. The other, we'll call her Lazy Bitch, had more of a 'dancer's body' but definitely didn't just walk out of some company rehearsal or anything. Or even a different class. The point being -- these women LOOKED like newbies, not like dancers. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The class is, after all, a "open" level adult class. And yay for Sharon that she's getting new faces to her studio which, sitting as it does above one of the more sought after shopping areas in town, must fetch a crazy penny in rent.

But whatev...

There we are with the 2 brand-newbies. Taylor runs us through the warm-up (easy), on through stretches (super-easy) and then into the combination. Which he went over so many times I lost count. The whole thing was maybe 8 counts of 8. Which is NOTHING. And considering some of the other numbers he's choreographed for us, this was pretty low on the skill scale too. Anyway, after a couple of run-throughs with music as a class, we break into smaller groups so we can really 'dance' the piece. And of course, Taylor makes sure a 'regular' is in each group so the newer folks have someone to follow.

I ended up in Group 3, Willing in Group 1 and Lazy Bitch in Group 2. Which was cool, cause I wanted to see what these chicks looked like on the floor. I was actually surprised by how well Willing did -- she struggled some, sure, but she muscled through and her attitude was great and performance quality decent. I wouldn't say I was impressed, exactly, but I wasn't horrified. And then it was time for Lazy Bitch's group to go. I wondered if Willing's somewhat smaller compatriot would do as well. But! instead of trying the routine, Lazy Bitch took a seat on the window ledge. I though Taylor was going to lose his shit.

But wait, it gets better.

When asked why she was sitting and not getting ready to dance, Lazy Bitch responded in a tone of voice dripping with disdain, "We're dance teachers. And I learn best by watching. It's what I teach my kids."

Dance teachers? FUCKING DANCE TEACHERS? That has to be a joke, right? These two brand-newbies got paid to teach dance? Really? I was astounded. Not to mention the fact that no dancer worth their toe shoes would ever say they learned best by watching. Dance is something you learn best by doing you stupid cow. It's why on SYTYCD people re-do the steps for the choreography session over and over and over again. It's called muscle memory, and that shit works.

But anyway -- the show must go on, so to speak, so we kept running the number, all the while Lazy Bitch sat on her lazy ass. After a few run throughs, class finished, as it always does, with some across the floor work. Again, with Lazy Bitch sitting on her lazy ass with her holier than thou attitude, basically giving up on the whole class after Taylor tried once again to get her back on the floor.
(Willing, on the other hand, proved that while she may not have a dancer's body, she sure as hell has a dancer's spirit cause she worked it across the floor -- maybe she wasn't technically gifted, but she had the right attitude at least).

And then, just as I was putting on my shoes and feeling those awesome endorphins and that super stretched sweaty wonderfulness, my post-class bliss was shattered. Decimated. Because that's when I learned that Lazy Bitch isn't just a dance teacher in some shithole studio somewhere, like I'd been telling myself since her first mention of it earlier in class. Oh no no no. NO. Instead, I learned that fucking Lazy Bitch is actually a dance teacher in a NJ public elementary school. And that's when I threw up a little in my mouth.

Because I could dance circles around this bitch and
would possibly consider killing someone for that job. How the hell did she get it? I mean, seriously? I've been dancing all my life, hold 2 degrees, and even I don't qualify for a job teaching dance in the public schools.

And those poor fucking kids. Come. On. They're being introduced to dance by someone who can't dance and who thinks you learn by watching. Someone who basically gives up when challenged by a teacher. Hel. lo. Nice fucking life lesson whore. Next why don't you teach them that reading is overrated and college doesn't matter? It makes me sick still to even think about it.

And it makes me wonder if there will be any arts left in the public school by the time I can manage to get my license to teach there. If Lazy Bitch is any indication of the direction things are headed, I'm guessing no. And that sucks even worse.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In case I haven't mentioned...

I'm a HUGE NY Giant's fan. I'm talking major crazy, out-of-my-mind, scream-your-face-off, rabid fan. I even own season tickets (well not exactly "own", yet, but that's a long story that its just too late to tell) and I'm laying out a sick amount of cash for the right to keep those tickets when the new stadium opens. Plus, in March, we went on the "Cruise with the Champions" -- which was just a regular cruise to the Bahamas with the addition of some Giants' players and some private events where you get to meet said players (it rocked!!!! except for the motion sickness part -- that was so not cool).

So, there we are, enjoying a cruise to the Bahamas while our friends are freezing back home and who should we meet, and save from what appeared to be an overzealous fan trapping him in a corner so he, the psycho fan, could drone on and on about this game or that game or whateverthefuck he was rambling about? Well. . . we met all the guys on the trip (including possible Hall of Famer Otis Anderson), but the one in the pic (for you non-fans out there) is none other than Lawrence Tynes, the kicker for Big Blue. Who once again proved his worth tonight when he kicked not one, but TWO, field goals in the last few seconds of the game for the WIN!!!!! Over those America's-team-my-ass, Dallas Cowgirlsboys.

Now, this is the only picture of me with any of the players -- although I did technically meet them all. Like I said, I'm rabid, but I'm not a hanger-on or stalker so much. The DH, however, who is usually pretty quiet, well, he out of nowhere gained some amazing fame-whoring skills on this trip. I think we have pictures of him with every single player and ex-player there. It was remarkable. We even ended up bowling with OA and one night, after I'd gone to bed, he actually caught up with Steve Smith & Domenick Hixon in one of the bars on the ship and ended up doing tequila shots half the night. I couldn't believe it. Here's a guy who doesn't even like to call to order take out, chit chattin with the pros. And, excuse me, but WTF -- he couldn't wake my ass up to do tequila shots with the pros? I like pros. I can handle tequila (usually). I mean, sure, I'd have been pissed at first, but as soon as he said "shots with the players", I'd have been up outta bed, dressed and ready to go in minutes.

Anyway -- Shit. I guess I forgot my initial point. Then again, maybe there never was one. I did have quite a few Redbridges while watching the game. And there was much screaming and jumping around so I'm pretty beat. I guess I'll just leave it with this...


P.S. I should add that I came really close to scrapping this post because the picture of me is just terrible (can you say double chin?), but I like to think I'm bigger than caring-about-outside-appearances bullshit (and for the most part I am, with people other than myself that is) so I let it ride. Plus, HEL. LO. It's not like anyone would believe me if I said I met Tynes and didn't have a picture to back it up. That and this picture was taken 6 months and about 16 pounds ago, so there's that.

P.P.S. Note to the hanger-on we saved Tynes from -- the Giants players are not going to be your best buds now simply because you were on the same ship and saw each other in your swim trunks. They aren't even going to remember your name, just like I'm sure they don't remember mine. Although it's possible Smith & Hixon remember the night of tequila shots with the guy from Jersey. But you'd have to ask them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TEN QUESTION INTERVIEW . . . consider yourself tagged.

1. Who Is The Hottest Movie Star? If I have to pick just one...Brad Pitt. Hands down. But there's also George Clooney. And Ryan Reynolds (especially playing the "bad boy" in adventureland). And Matthew Fox (of Lost & Party of Five fame). And Denzel. And Taye Diggs. And back in the day, Patrick Swayze (R.I.P.) I could go on and on... All different kinds of hot. All equally yummy.

Apart From Your House and Your Car, What's the Most Expensive Item You've Ever Bought? A couple of years ago, we bought a cabin -- an investment/vacation property -- in a lake community in the Poconos. But since that's technically a house, I'm not counting it. I'm only bringing it up because it was that purchase that led to my biggest non-real estate/non-automobile purchase... namely a bright, shiny red Old Town canoe.

What's Your Most Treasured Memory? My memory's for shit, but there are a few choice moments...such as my baby sister's kindergarten graduation. And my own, from law school, some 15 years later.

What Was the Best Gift You Ever Received As a Child? To be honest, I don't really remember. But I do remember being crazy excited when my mom got me a pair of Asiacs Tiger gymnastics shoes.

What's the Biggest Mistake You've Ever Made? There are very few things I've done in my life that I consider "mistakes"; I'm much more likely to see mistakes in, and have regrets about, the things I haven't done. That said, there is one thing I did, back in early 90s, which I realized almost immediately afterward was a huge fucking mistake. Basically, I did something very very stupid, while very very drunk. Which I'd rather not retell for all the world to read about (not to worry, it wasn't drunk driving and no one was hurt, at least not physically).

Four Words to Describe Yourself. Intelligent. Easy-going. Fun-loving. Liberal.

What Was Your Highlight or Lowlight of 2008? Last year passed in a bit of a blur, but the best thing by far was my trip to Greece. 17 days, whirlwind trip. When it was time to go home, I wished I'd had another 17 days.

Favorite Film? This is a tough one -- I've got a lot of "favorites." Two of them are Garden State...

and The Breakfast Club.

Tell Me One Thing I Don't Know About You. I used to be a competitive gymnast.

If You Were a Comicbook/Strip or Cartoon Character, Who Would You Be? I've never been a big follower of comics, but when I was a little girl I was dying to be Wonder Woman.

Thanks to 42andstillbreathing for the tag! Now it's your turn -- just link back your answers to jerseygirlesq. Tag you're it!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sleepless on Satur/Sunday

  • Am I sharing too much if I tell you I want what Kelli O got?
  • I have a new book idea. That last one, while a good one, is, if I'm being honest, just a pipe dream. This new one is a little, umm, err, sexier, so to speak, and I won't be writing it so much as editing it, but, I think the research is going to be a lot of fun. It's actually a damn good idea if I do say so myself. And I've even got a title -- which I will post here as soon as its copyrighted.
  • I also have an idea for a reality/competition tv show. Don't suppose anyone out there in blogger land knows anyone in tv?
  • I'm not a Yankee hater per se, but I fucking love it when this happens.
  • Taking hypocrites to task never looked so fun. (Via JMG.)
  • Not sure how I feel about this. Don't get me wrong -- I love the woman and it could be fun. But it could also be a train wreck. Guess I'll have to watch and find out. My husband will be so happy.
  • I know every one knows this already (or at least the non-crazies get it), but Joe Wilson is a dick.
  • I can't help but wonder what the real Susan B. Anthony would think.
  • Goddess I fucking hate that bitch. Shut the hell up already would ya?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And now for something on the lighter side

So I was catching up on bloglines and came across this from LSL:

"Oh man, I love this (not for the faint of heart.) Christians, the Apocolypse wants you to lose it's number. Srsly. (Via JMG.)"

And although today (technically yesterday) was somewhat somber, I peed my pants a little I laughed so hard. And I've only had one glass of wine. So thank you LSL and thank you to whoever came up with the letter in the first place too. Srsly.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering September 11

Exactly 8 years ago today, at almost this very same minute, I was sitting in a class at law school. I was 10 weeks pregnant and doing my best to pay attention to the professor despite my utter exhaustion and a touch of nausea.

My classmate, we'll call her Jen, sitting next to me, was doing an even worse job of paying attention than I was. She had her laptop with her that day and had apparently paid the school for the coveted wireless internet access (being a broke-ass student and since hard-wired service was free throughout the school, except in the classrooms, I had not opted for the service although I did have the required laptop). So there Jen sat, checking the news and whatever else. Occasionally, I would glance at her screen and it was during one of these glances I saw a picture of what appeared to be a plane sticking out of the upper floors of one of the Twin Towers. Having grown up in Jersey I could spot those buildings anywhere. My first thought was of an accident, a pilot with a heart attack perhaps, or some other unfortunate twist of fate.

Within moments a murmur arose in the classroom - Jen wasn't the only one goofing off on the internet it seemed. And moments after that I grabbed my stuff and excused myself. My brother worked in those Towers, although I couldn't remember which one, and I needed to get home and call NJ to see if there was any word (a cell phone was another 'luxury' I did without back in those days). I learned later that classes for the day were cancelled just shortly after I had left the building.

I lived less than a half-mile away and as soon as I walked in the door I turned on the TV and picked up the phone. While dialing my brother's home number, I watched as the second plane hit the second Tower. Time stopped as the phone hit the living room floor. I knew then, immediately, that this was no accident, no unfortunate twist of fate. This was a vicious act of terror and destruction. And as the tears welled in my eyes, and the off the hook tone rang through my tiny basement apartment, I hoped against hope that my little brother wasn't at work that day.

I woke my husband, who was sleeping in on his day off, and the two of us sat there blindly staring at the television, steaming cups of coffee going undrunk on the coffee table, as we tried again and again, unsuccessfully, to get through to someone, anyone, who could tell us my brother was alright. I knew phone service had been knocked out for much of the tri-state region during the last attack on the Towers several years earlier, but I had to try.

The rest of that day passed in a blur. At some point we went over to my mom's, who lived on the other side of town, having moved to VA a decade earlier from NJ, met there by my aunt, my sister, and my other brother. I don't remember where I was when the Towers fell, but I remember seeing it all on the TV and thinking that I had lost my brother for sure.

Several hours later a wave of relief washed over us all when we received a call from my sister-in-law telling us that my brother had made it out alive. It took him another 6 hours or so to get home to his family, but he was not in the buildings when they fell. He was alive. Witness to horrors many of us can scarcely imagine, but alive. And on his way home.

That day, my brother was spared. My family was spared. His sons would grow up with a father, my mother would not have to face the loss of a child, and I would not have to learn what it was like to lose a sibling. I remember feeling as though I had been touched by grace. Three months later, however, I had to live through a different loss. One that shook me to my core and, I think, changed the course of my very existence. But that, perhaps, is a story best left for another day.

Because today I remember September 11. I remember how lucky I am to still have my brother. I remember all those families that weren't as lucky as mine. I remember the bravery of the men and women who rushed into the Towers that day against all odds to save what lives they could at risk to their own. I remember the people who worked on the pile in the days and months following, many of whom today suffer terribly today as a result of that experience. And I remember that life is fleeting and so every day we should give thanks and cherish one another. I remember.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Looking Back at Summer 2009

It's Labor Day today, which means just one thing -- the summer is officially OVER. O-fucking-ver. And that just sucks. I'm so not ready to say goodbye to flip-flops and sarongs just yet (not like I've had much opportunity to wear the latter). But the worst part is that it feels like summer only just began. So in the hopes of making myself think I had a longer summer than it seems, I thought I'd look back at the season and what it held. So here, in a nutshell, it is...

Memorial Day weekend: the annual "Screw the Parkway" BBQ (named in honor of the highway in our backyard and the ridiculous traffic visible on this start of the season weekend). This was our 5th year doing it, and each year it gets easier, and yet, miraculously, more elaborate. Each year we learn new tricks, notice areas for improvement (like for example, having a two-tiered start time starting next year so that the kids get the run of the place during the day, and the adults get the night) -- basically, we figure by the time we're on year 10 we'll need a bigger yard - and another bathroom. Which wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for this fucking shitty real estate market.

-- Bon Jovi! at the Corzine rally: I'm not a huge Corzine supporter but there is nothing I won't deal with to get to see NJ's homegrown hottie. Of course, he only did a few songs, and the rest of the rally sucked (i mean seriously -- if you are trying to engender support, perhaps you should include speakers who don't sound like mindless morons. You want me to vote for you and yet you pick as your local campaign director some chick who can barely string 2 sentences together? Here's a hint, Mr. Corzine -- in the future you should really pre-approve ALL speeches).
-- Party for P&H: celebrating a whole bunch of major milestones (20 years together, 10 years married and 40 years on this earth for each of them). Even the rain couldn't spoil the fun on this day!
-- Weekend trip to Phili to see my cuz & my new "nephew". Since L&J have the new baby, not to mention a very rambunctious 2 y.o. little girl, it was a pretty chill weekend, but it wasn't home, so that's cool.
-- Virginia Beach with the fam: highlights include getting to see my 65 year old mom boogie boarding, the raging tan I came home with & of course, the Sun City Carnival tour (oh how I luv me some Kenny Chesney). The whole trip only lasted a few days, though, so that kinda sucked.

-- concerts, concerts & more concerts. Lynyrd Skynyrd & Kidd Rock; Nickelback (and whoever the hell opened for them); and concluding with day 2 at the All Points West festival (which, blessedly, was rain free! albeit still mud-soaked: next year, I'm wearing wellies for sure).
-- my 20th high school reunion! At the same hotel where we had our senior prom. Cheesy, yes. But still a ton of fun. Coolest thing about it? Learning that a certain popular girl who seemed like such a snob in high school was actually totally shy and worried that everyone would think she was snob because she was so focused on her sport that she didn't really hang out much.
-- wish I had more to add here, but what can I say, July sucked. (mostly thanks to the shitty hours I had to put in at work).

-- Weekend in Seaside: this was supposed to include a half-day at "surf camp" but thanks to having to work late coupled with shitty traffic, I didn't get to the beach until almost 11PM and then ended up oversleeping the next morning. We probably should have gone right to bed after I arrived, but what kind of fun is that? The DH was able to get a Seaside Tony, though, and we stopped for steamers on the way home so the whole weekend wasn't a bust.
-- The Great Urban Race NYC: on the hottest day the City had seen all fucking summer long. Perhaps wearing all black was a mistake. But damn it was fun!!! So much so, that we're heading to Phili in September to do it again.
-- Recruiting trip to UVA: had to miss my nephew's first ever Giants game (preseason) for this, but I figured I could use the brownie points at work. Besides, I got to hang out with the fam on the firm's tab.
-- S&J's in the rain: A BBQ 2 years in the making, S&J have decided to host a BBQ whenever there is a drought because every time they decide to host one it fucking rains anyway. Even with the rain, though, it was a fun party with great food (including my own GF coconut cupcakes which were gone in like 5 minutes -- and no one even knew they were GF) and great friends. Plus, I learned that I was going to be an auntie again (congrats J&T)!!
-- hiking & canoeing in Ithaca: I actually was supposed to be in Ithaca over this weekend and through mid-week; HOWEVER, thanks to my shitty ass job, I had to change the plans and travel to the region last week. It is a really pretty part of NY state, and if you like hiking at all, or like waterfalls, then I highly recommend it. But don't waste your time going to Moosewood -- maybe we just had a bad experience, but after bad service and mediocre food, the uber-famous vegetarian restaurant (and purveyor of fine cook books) now has the title of most over-rated restaurant I've ever had the displeasure of eating at.

That's it -- the whole shebang. And the one glaring problem (to me anyway)? Not nearly enough beach days. Especially considering that the beach is only an hour from my house. Gonna have to do something about that next summer. At least I'll be seeing quite a bit of it over the winter...

Now bring on the fall, and all the awesome shoes & boots that come along with it. ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Random Late Night Bullshit...

So I'm up too late, not for the first time, and I came across this random website. At first, I was just gonna post it on facebook, because, quite honestly, with that whole "share on facebook" dealy u can put in your browser toolbox, posting to facebook is easy, but then I thought, eh, fuck it, I've been all too serious here for all too long. And it was time for a little silliness. So here it is for your viewing pleasure: Drunk Yoga.

I just have a few small caveats....
1. I take no responsibility for the 'official' yoga terms used on the linked site. I do yoga. And I love yoga. But at my studio there are English words for the poses (so, for example, the "ananda balasana" pose on the linked site is "happy baby" pose at my studio) and the rest of the time I really have no idea what the instructors are saying. I know the shapes, not the words. For all I know the names used on the linked site are all bunks..., except for the Pigeon pose -- that shit kicks my ass every class. And it isn't sanscrit so I can understand that shit. And...
2. on the off chance that any random yoga-obsessed folks should come across this site, please don't bother to tell me how offended you are that someone should dare make fun of yoga. Its just yoga, not world peace. Get over yourself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No future in dance?

Have you ever had someone tell you that something you wanted to do, something you were passionate about, was a waste of time? And not had anyone to tell you different? Not had a single soul to tell you that nothing is a waste of time if your heart is in it? So that you were left with no real choice but to believe the line of crap being fed to you? No? Well, I have. And let me tell you...that shit sticks with you. It's not something you're likely to forget. Ever. Even if at the time you brush it off; even if you think you've managed to let it go, forget it, get over it, get past it. You can bury that shit far in the recesses of your mind but someday it will come back to you. I guarantee it.

You see, in what feels like an eon ago, when I was but a wee little thing in 11th grade, I had this "guidance counselor." I don't remember her name but I do know that her job was to help me find my way in the world. And I don't know what she had to do to get her job, but whatever it was, it wasn't nearly enough. Because this woman, this supposed authority on what's good for young people, this alleged guide for a great number of very impressionable young people, had the audacity to intentionally distract me from something I was actually quite good at. Something I wasn't just good at but something that I loved. Something that gave me joy. And was a bright light in what was otherwise a sometimes very difficult adolescence. Something that was as much a part of me as my big ass mouth and my blond, never-dyed hair.

I distinctly remember when I had my big official meeting with her -- that meeting in the beginning of 11th grade where you go see your guidance counselor and discuss your future. I showed up at her office at the allotted time. We reviewed my grades. My extracurriculars. She asked me what my parents did for a living (I still don't know why the fuck that should matter) and what my plans were for the future.

I was 16 so of course to me the future didn't extend much farther than the next couple of weekends. But realizing I wasn't there to talk about which party I would be attending the following weekend or who I was hoping to hook up with at that party, but also not realizing that she wasn't really all that interested in my future and was just looking for me to say "I want to go to an Ivy League school" so she could check me off her little list (because if she really cared I can't imagine why she would have said what she did), I was honest. I told her the truth -- I wanted to be a dancer. Or do something involving dance. Sure I wasn't clear, but so what? I had a general idea right?

And do you know what that fucking bitch said in response? Well, she didn't say, "hey, good for you, you're only 16 and you know what you want"; she didn't say, "congratulations, you've managed to find something you love." NO. What she said was:


No future in dance? Really? None?

Not "wow, really? that's a going to be a tough road, it's really competitive, it won't be easy, have you really thought about that?" No.

Not, "dancing, huh? why dancing? what kind of dancing? are you going to go to college for it? Or just move to NY and start auditioning?" No.

Not even "Hmmm, that's interesting. What else?" No.


All she said was, THERE IS NO FUTURE IN DANCE.

And the really fucked up part is....I believed her. I didn't even question her opinion. And all these years later I want to kick myself for that even more than I want beat the shit out of her.

Sure, I could have ignored her, I could have told her she didn't know what the hell she was talking about. But I was only 16. What the fuck did I know? She was my fucking guidance counselor. for fuck's sake. All I knew was that I loved my dance classes. And there wasn't anyone else to tell me she was an idiot. So I listened. And while I kept dancing (and still do), the idea of dancing for a living slipped from my mind like one of those amazing dreams that you can't remember 5 minutes after waking up.

From that point forward I started wondering what I would do with my life. What it was that I could claim as my own. The problem was, that although I was really good at quite a number of subjects, really, whatever I set my mind to (what can I say, I'm a smart chick), nothing I did, no classes I took, moved me the way dance did. Nothing came even close. And so I floundered.

I eventually went to college -- changing both my major (once) and my actual college (twice). Hell, it took me 7 years to get a 4 year degree. In a subject that turned out to be even more useless than dance. Granted, I made some great friends at those schools (some of whom may even read this entry), friends I wouldn't have met if I hadn't been to those schools, but still. I never really felt like I'd found the right path. I even eventually went to law school, but even that was a fluke, not something I had actually chosen for myself.

And so here I am, 20-plus years later, finding myself in a career that I don't particularly enjoy and which recently is sucking the very life out of me. And all I can think is, what if?

What if I ignored that stupid bitch? What if there had been just one person to tell me that she didn't know what the hell she was talking about? I wonder what might have happened had I just went ahead and moved to New York and started auditioning. Or even, if I just lived at home and went into the city for auditions (I am only 12 miles away after all). Or even, what if I majored in dance instead of business (my first major) or anthropology (the second one)? Would I be as dissatisfied with my life as I am now?

I obviously can't answer those questions, but my guess is that maybe, just maybe, I might have found myself in a place that felt more "right." That felt more "me." So much so that I've started thinking about a mid-life career change. Started wondering what I could do with dance at this point in my life. It's probably a little too late to get into the whole audition scene, but there are tons of options. No future in dance? Bullshit. I've managed to come up with a few decent ideas just in the last couple of months.

And do you know what happened when I told some friends about these ideas? It's probably not what you think. Because friends are supposed to be supportive, right? Yeah, well, apparently not these particular friends.

It was like 11th grade all over again. When I told a couple friends about one idea (teaching dance in public schools -- no up front investment, summers off, and I get to dance for a living, hello)...can you guess what they said?

It wasn't "wow, what a great idea, I know you've been unhappy and it's so cool you've found something you're so interested in."

It wasn't "cool, a teacher, huh? Teachers rock!"

It wasn't even, "really, are you sure? there aren't that many dance teacher jobs out there."


What I got was "Dance is a hobby, not a job. If you're going to leave the law you need to get a real job."

A real job? WHAT. THE. FUCK?

Am I crazy? Am I missing something? Is it really that crazy to want to make a life from dancing? Really? Because it seems to me that there are more options for dancers today than there ever were (umm, hello, Katie fucking Holmes was singing on SYTYCD tonight...I bet no one ever told her the arts were a waste of time). And so the fuck what if it's hard, or competitive, or whatever? If it makes me happy, shouldn't that be enough?

Luckily, I'm not that impressionable young 16 year old anymore so I can ignore the bullshit. But I still wish I didn't have to. I still wish someone, anyone, would say, "dance, huh? that's awesome. good for you. don't forget to invite me to your first show." I really don't think that's too much to ask.

But hey, if people don't want to support me, fuck 'em. Because I know there is a future in dance. I just need to find MY future. And then rub it in all of their faces.

Friday, July 17, 2009

These people again?!

Several years ago, I wrote that the families of the victims of the 9-11 attacks needed to shut the hell up and just let them build the new Freedom Tower or whateverthefuck it is called where the Twin Towers once stood. A friend called the piece "provacative," and it was. Because while most people lent the "9-11 Families" a sympathetic ear, I wasn't having it. I couldn't stand the selfishness and utter disregard for the rest of humanity that these people exhibited. The 'oh poor me, my family member died so now I should be treated special' attitude they all seemed to exude.

Well now it looks like these people are at it again. This time around they think that because they lost family members during the attacks on 9-11 that Obama should reverse his decision to close Guantanamo. That shady place where people disappear to and where completely innocent people have been known to rot for years without contact with the outside world.

Why? Because, oh poor fucking them, they're the only ones who matter, didn't you know? They're the only ones who have experienced pain, who are angry, who want justice. Because they think that closing Guantanamo means the people who orchestrated the attacks won't get their just desserts. Well fuck them. I am so sick of these people and their constant poor me bullshit. One lady even went so far as to say, "I don't think there is one family member of a victim or the family of a victim who wants the commissions changed in any way."

Really? Not one? Are you sure there sweetheart? Because guess the fuck what? My brother was in the Towers that day too and maybe he didn't die but he was as much a victim of those attacks as those who didn't make it out. He moved to another state to try to avoid the memories; the nightmares; the City. And here I am, his family member,** and I say close the fucking place down. Close it. NOW. Not to mention, that of the thousands of people who lost relatives that fateful day, I'm guessing there is at least one who would join me in wanting to see that black mark upon our country's reputation gone for good.

Besides, your excuses for keeping the place open are total bullshit. This country was perfectly capable of trying, convicting and punishing terrorists (hello, can you say Timothy McVeigh) long before there was a fucking Guantanamo. Long before Mr. Bush the Second made this country hated by the people of the world. Before we went from freedom-lovers to torturers. So don't give me the old "we want justice" song and dance, because that is not what you are really after. Not if you think the military commissions are "too fair". Not if you think that human beings should treat other human beings the way the human beings at Guantanamo have been treated. What you fucking people want is not justice. It's vengeance. And perhaps media attention. You're not entitled to either. And I'm really quite sick of you all these many years later.

So shut the fuck up already. And let them tear it down.

** Point of clarity: back in '05 I said I did not count myself among the "families of the victims" because I did not have a family member die in the attacks. Well, four years later, I've realized I was outright wrong. You don't need to die to be a victim of a crime; everyone in and around those Towers that day was a victim. So technically I am a family member of a victim.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Flirting with Disaster

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you totally didn't want to be and yet you weren't really sure how to get somewhere else and so there you were, lost, basically, hoping someone would come along and push you in the right direction? That is my life right about now. Lost. And in need of a push.

If you've been to visit here in the last few months, you have surely noticed that the law has lost its glamour for me and that I am floundering in a place of uncertainty, trying to figure out what the hell to do with the rest of my life. I've a ton of ideas, but one which I keep coming back to involves dance. And one way to make a living with dance is to teach it. Sure I could open a studio, but that scares the shit out of me (and requires a ton of money upfront anyway). So I thought, hmm, what about teaching in public school? I could be happy as a dance teacher. Because not only do I love dance, I'm stone cold jealous of teachers with their regular schedules and their summers off. Straight up, no bullshit, hard core jealous. And yeah, teachers make shit money, but not a little as you might think, considering they are home by 4pm and have summers off. Especially not here in NJ. Sure $50Gs a year won't make you rich but you ain't starvin' neither. So, I figured I get licensed, I line up a job, bang, I'm outta here.

Which led to me spending the better part of today researching what it would take to become licensed to teach in NJ. As turns out, if I want to teach Social Studies -- very little, thanks to my fancy-schmancy anthro degree, but if I want to teach anything else -- like dance -- I'd have to take a bunch of college classes...upwards of 30 credits worth. So I thought, hey, no biggie, I can take some classes. I like dance classes. I can make it work. I'll give up a yoga night. Or come in late a couple mornings ort whatever. And then I thought, oh fuck, the best I can do while still working is one class a semester -- and if I need 10 classes, that's 5 freaking years. And I thought, oh hell no. And so I stopped looking because I can't stay here, lost, for five years.

And then, last-minute-Charlie (one of my many bosses) sent me an email telling me he needed xyz done by Monday morning. Luckily, its the weekend of my high school reunion so I had an excuse to get off the hook, this weekend, but I know he will fuck up my next weekend and the one after that and the one after that. Cause god forbid he should consider that maybe, just maybe, I might have a fucking life worth living. Or, god forbid, he should assign the fucking work when he finds out about it instead of waiting until the last fucking minute. the mother fucker. Last time I had to work with this guy, I didn't have a day off for 33 days, and that was just last month. I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself, but that probably wouldn't be good for me so I said sure, I can work my face off all next week and for the rest of my natural born life until I have another acceptable excuse to run away. So you see, I definitely do not have 5 years to give.

And then, just a moment ago, I read about even more layoffs in the legal world (30 senior associates, like myself, let go from one of the nation's most prestigious law firms). And I thought, god I wish they'd lay me off.

Yes, I actually wished to be laid off.

Because as financially devastating as that would be, I know it would also be completely liberating. It would, for sure, be the push I seem to need to get the fuck out of this indecisive place.

Yes, hoping to get laid off seems counter intuitive and a bit nuts, but what are my other options really? Sure, I could go to some other shitty law job but what's the point? I'd take another job and a salary cut to go along with it and end up just as miserable but without the advantage of being able to escape to the islands a couple times a year. So, maybe like pulling off a band aid, a swift kick in the pants right out the damn door is what I need. And without a job, I could get my 30 credits in one single year. Granted, unemployment would barely cover my mortgage, but I'd get at least a few months of severance first, and I do have a little bit of savings, so I'd be OK for a bit. Scared as hell, I'm sure, but not starving.

So yeah, I'm flirting with what would likely be a total disaster, for a little while at least, but really, what's the point of money if you are too damn depressed to spend it? Or worse, if you aren't even allowed out of the office long enough to spend it? And what's the point of life if you don't get to live it? So please, bring on the layoff.

PS - my prayers will not likely be answered. Unfortunately my firm is financially sound (unless they're totally lying to us). Best I could do would be to get "asked to resign" - but you don't get severance for that. Ergo, still damn stuck.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Danger Approaches

I generally avoid fast food. Not only am I 'allergic' to most of it (cause really - what's the point of a big mac without the sesame seed bun?), but I am well aware that it is total crap and completely unhealthy. Much of it only barely qualifies as food even.

But, I do have a few weaknesses, which until lately, have been limited to my southbound trips. There are the burgers at Five Guys, which I ALWAYS get when I visit the fam in VA. If you haven't had one of these tasty suckers, well, then don't. Because they're addicting. Granted I get mine without the bun, so my view may be skewed - but I'll tell you -- a tastier fast food burger I've not had anywhere. And they're slightly less bad for you than McD's or BK, so I don't feel guilty indulging a few times a year.

And then there are slushes from Sonic. Ice cold, frosty & devoid of any nutritionally redeeming qualities whatsoever (frozen sugar water is what they are I believe), Sonic slushes are my kryptonite. Blue coconut is my favorite. It doesn't actually taste like coconut, so I'm not sure why it's called that, but whatev - it's fucking tasty as hell. And hello, they stay frozen for-like-ever!! It's probably the 2 inch thick earth-crushing stryofoam cups they come in, but I'm not convinced there isn't some secret chemical who-the-fuck-knows-what that does it. Yet as yummy as these delightful treats are, I only ever get them when driving to (and, if I'm being honest, from) the Eastern Shore (VA) or OBX (NC). Or a couple times when visiting a friend in SC, cause she has a Sonic addiction and I didn't want her to have to drink alone.

Mind you, the ability to limit my intake of these completely unhealthy "food" choices is not a matter of will -- I wish -- it's a matter of there not being these particular fast food joints where I live. It's has been a great blessing to me. But now danger approaches. And it has reached practically to my door step.

In the very next town, Five Guys is setting up shop. There are other Five Guys in NJ, but not right next door. WTF? Til now I've been able to avoid them entirely (except, like I said, when in VA). But they've gotta open in the town where I do the majority of my drinking? I am so screwed. Let's just hope they close really really early cause me + a couple of Redbridges means Five Guys will be making some mad money off of me.

But that's not all - it actually gets worse, because at least Five Guys isn't next door to the bar or on the way there or whatever -- I will have to make a special trip 'across town' (yeah, like 1 1/2 miles) for a burger. What I will not have to make a special trip for are slushes. Oh fuck. Cause you see, on the way to the fucking MALL of all places, they're putting up a Sonic. Lord have mercy I am going to be in so much trouble. Cause you know sure as hell I won't be giving up going to the mall (hel. lo. jersey girl here. malls are like my mecca). And I don't what-the-fuck they put in those slushes but they're like crack. One taste and you are fucking hooked (or so I'm told about crack). And, while Five Guys food has at least some nutrients -- I always get grilled veggies on my burger for example -- slushes, on the other hand, can you say empty calories? I already hate going to the gym and now I'm going to have to go even more.

Shit shit shit shit. What next? Starbucks is going to start carrying gluten free baked goods? Fuck me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Have you lost weight?

I've been getting this question a lot lately. It's usually followed with 'cause you look good' (which I suppose is better than 'cause you look sickly'). And my response is always the same...thanks but no; at least not according to the scale.

Now, normally the question wouldn't bother me. It's almost like a compliment, right? 'Cause I look good, right? Except that hidden behind the question lurks the ugly little suggestion that I didn't look good before; that I was, dare I say it, FAT and in need of losing weight. Before (cause now I "look good"). I know that's not really true (although I am still shedding my winter 'coat' so maybe its a little true) or at least I don't think the people asking me the question really care about my weight but in this weird transitional place I'm finding myself lately, the question just didn't sit right with me this time. And its not like I was gonna go off on a friend for asking what normally would be an innocuous question so here I rant.

Maybe its cause I'm pms'ing. Or maybe I'm hypersensitive about my weight (I am a girl after all and I do live in one of the most superficial places on the planet). Or maybe I'm just having a funky week. I am seriously sleep deprived, so that could be a part of it too. Or maybe my star sign is in the house of 'damn people are annoying'. Who the hell knows.

But enough about me . . . have you lost weight? Cause you look good.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Why Writing is Hard

A lil' while back I yammered on about this book my colleague & I were going to write. Sounded like a great idea at the time, right? Of course, since then, we've accomplished nothing. Not a damn thing. Not together and not apart (or at least I haven't accomplished anything myself; and I'm pretty sure she hasn't either). That whole "once a week at lunch" idea? Fantastic in theory; impossible in reality. It's not that we don't want to; that we've changed our minds; or won the lottery or anything. No. It's just been really really hard finding the time and drive to make it happen. And here's why:

10. There's this little thing called A Job. Mine requires me to work ridiculous hours with very little downtime. At least that's its torment of the moment.
9. Sleep is golden. And there never seems to be enough of it.
8. I'd rather be dancing.
7. Or day dreaming.
6. It's rained more days than not for the last month and weather like that is hardly a motivator.
5. Facebook. 'nuf said.
4. Did I mention sleep?
3. There is no right way to write a book. And I like to be right.
2. It's hard enough to come up with ten reasons why its hard.
1. If it was easy, everybody'd do it. And then it wouldn't pay. So what would be the point.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

So this is what exhausted feels like

Today is the 19th day in a row that I've had to work. And, even if I magically get next weekend off, I've got to work tomorrow and all week, so it will be 26 days in a row before I'm done. And the chances of actually getting off next weekend are basically slim to none, so add another weekend, plus the standard work week to the total, and I'm looking at 33 days without a fucking day off. I'm already at my limit -- and have no idea where the energy is going to come from to get through the next 14 days. No idea whatsoever.

This should be fucking illegal. No wonder lawyers are a bunch of suicide prone, alcoholic drug addicts.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Dancing to the Music in Your head

Most people hear music in their heads. A song comes on, they can feel it, so to speak. They remember the tune; they know all the words; maybe even they see the video in their mind's eye. And of course, everyone is familiar with that desperate moment when you get some god-awful song stuck in your brain You know the one -- that song that you wouldn't admit listening to is suddenly repeating itself over and over and over and over and over and, well, you get my point.

Or maybe not.

My point , you see, [oh, and on a total tangent, I just watched the most obnoxiously smug commercial -- 'don't be so vanilla' some 7 year old quips; why the fuck does a 7 year old know what the hell that even means?]...oh, right, my point...

My point is that while some people hear music in their heads, I don't. Well, I mean, I do. But I don't just hear the music. I also SEE dancing. Or rather, its like I FEEL dancing. I choreograph. In my head. To everything. Almost all the time. And what is really crazy is that I can almost feel the movement coursing through my body. Even though I'm usually on a train or subway or some other public place where it would not be exactly appropriate to break out into dance. Maybe it's some weird psycho thing I've created in my mind, but I think breaking into song would be looked upon less strangely than breaking out into dance. Not to mention that you can sing no matter what you're wearing. Try dancing in a suit with 3 and a half inch heels, and things could get ugly.

But yeah, I dance in my head. ALL. THE. TIME. On the subway. In line at the grocery store. At my desk. Ev. ry. where. Always. If there's music on, you can bet I've got a number going on in my mind. Hell, the other night, at the post-last call cocktail at my place, I started actually randomly dancing. And not like oh I'm at a party, dancing. Lyrical dancing. Mia Michaels type shit. My friends, and the DH, all thought I was totally nuts. But regardless, the dancing never stops.

And I think I know why. Up until the last, say, 5 years, give or take a couple of year, I was a rabid club goer. I wasn't there for the X, or the potential hook-ups like some folks I know, I was there to dance. In fact, for as long as I can remember, I've always tried to get my friends to go out dancing with me. And it has always been depressing how few of them would ever actually go. Oh, they'd show up at the club but then just stand at the bar and refuse to dance, leaving me to dance alone (hello, if I wanted to go dance by myself at some random club I wouldn't have asked you to go with me) or not at all. A few years back, the few who said yes was depressing, but now no one EVER wants to go dancing. No one. Never. And it fucking sucks.

Plus, thanks to the new job and the crazy fucked up hours associated with it, I've not been able to take this dance class I used to take every Monday night.

And then, there's this little part of me that thinks maybe it's more than just missed classes and a club-free existence. Maybe I see dance in my head where others hear music because, simply, I feel most alive when I'm dancing. Maybe, just maybe, like George Balanchine once said, I HAVE to dance. I know that sounds, like, wow, coming from someone pushing 40 who is not a professional dancer and I realize its probably too late for me to become some star dancer, but maybe I could still become some hotshot choreographer. Or even just a great dance teacher. Maybe.

Of course any of these choices, or paths, would require leaving my job and taking some ginormous risks. Which I believe I made quite clear in my last post, I am nowhere near ready to take. But, perhaps the winds of change will sweep in faster than I can see. For they are definitely starting to blow.

For now, however, me and my Dior bag will have to keep dancing inside and maybe make some new friends to go clubbing with until I can figure the rest out.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happiness is a Dior habdbag

Two months ago I was forced to transfer from my laid back easy going NJ-based office to the workaholic land of my firm's NYC office. Well maybe not technically forced -- I did have a choice: transfer to NYC or get laid off. So, not technically forced but practically.

Anyway, since the transfer, my life has been an unpredictable mess -- some days I've wanted to pull my own hair out as a result of overpowering boredom. Other days I've wanted to cry from the sheer exhaustion caused by 16 hour days. And then there are the days that I get to revel in the glow cast by my uber-famous (at least in the legal world) champion of liberal causes boss. On those days, the exhaustion recedes and the light shines, if only for a brief moment.

Not that it's all that bad or anything. I've actually been quite lucky. I'm ridiculously well paid. The people I work with are pretty damn decent and the people I work for don't suck. So I've got it better than most (professionally speaking at least). But, having had to give up my last two weekends (or at least part of them) and expecting to give up part of the upcoming weekend, at the whim of some amorphous 'client,' not to mention not expecting to see the light of day for a couple of weeks, has gotten me thinking that perhaps its time for a change and I don't mean a 'ooh I'll go to another firm' change; I mean a maybe its time to get the hell out of the law game altogether kind of change.

The lightening quick passage of time isn't helping. Just yesterday I was a bright-eyed eager law student, ignorant of the realities incumbent upon my law school attendance and later legal career. Blink your eyes and BAM! I'm pushing 40 and wondering if maybe I made the wrong decision all those years ago. So, yeah, it may be time to make some hard choices. And the prospect is scary as hell. Mostly because, quite honestly, I've grown accustomed to my standard of living.

I know money isn't everything, and in the "big picture" means very little, but there's something to be said for financial stability -- I spent the better part of my life without it so I know what I'm talking about. Fuck. Everyone knows struggling sucks. Its comforting not having to worry how the mortgage will get paid. It's nice being able to go on vacation every year. Money may not buy happiness but it'll buy you a fucking hot ass Dior bag to make you forget your troubles.

So... Change. Choices. Easier said than done. For now, me and my Dior bag will be staying put.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The EAS Strikes Again

I can't fucking believe it. It wasn't enough that the goddamn EAS (thanks ot Adam for the nomenclature correction) interrupted Idol. Now I'm now stuck working all kinds of fucking late. I've got Bride Wars on in the background to keep from totally losing my mind and wanting to cry. And what the fucks happens? Not once, but so far three fucking times? The motherfuckinggoddamn EAS has to go and interrupt me. And I'm watching the fucking movie on OnDemand. So it isn't even regular TV that's getting interrupted now. It's a fucking move I fucking am paying for.

AND -- it isn't even a missing kid this time. NO. Its just a test. A motherfucking test. A test that has interrupted me two additional times even since I started typing this very short rant. That's at least 5 times so far. AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Somebody kill me now.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Dear Emergency Broadcast System:

The other night, while watching American fucking Idol (on a one hour dvr delay), you rudely interrupted me no less than 15 times (my FB friends may have seen my live rants). Each time you would stop my dvr and switch to the TV guide channel for an announcement about a missing kid.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've nothing against announcements about missing kids generally, but in this particular case, let's just say I was not the happy-go-lucky girl I should have been to watch the much-hyped Adam Lambert fall to cutey little Kris Allan. And here's why:

First: ummm, hello. I don't give a flying fuck what the goddamn emergency is, there is no excuse for telling me about it every 5-7 minutes. Did you not realize its the fucking AI finale? Do you live under a rock? I realize a lot of us 'mericans are a bunch of fucking moe rons (I've complained about it myself) but come on. No one is that dumb. Once is enough. I'd even give you a couple reminders. But 15 times?

Second: it don't matter how many times you play the fucking announcement cause it told me nothing other than that the state police had issued a state of emergency until 2am for about five NJ counties because of a missing kid. That's it. No gender. No 'last seen'. No nothing. What the fuck? Talk about dumb.

Third: I don't fucking live in any of the affected counties. Hell, they aren't even in my fucking part of the state for pete's sake (btw, who the fuck is pete?). So, technically, as far as my life was concerned... no goddamnmotherfucking emergency. Ergo, no need for interruption after interruption. Come on EBS - I have to believe the technology exists to target people better than that.

Fourth: even if I lived in one of the counties...why the fuck are you telling me (and the rest of the at home tv watching public) anything? What the fuck am I supposed to do sitting at home in my pjs? Hmmm? Go out searching? Even if I knew what the kid looked like or was wearing or where s/he was missing from or how s/he went missing (which you idiotically forgot to mention despite having like 15 tries at it), what the fuck good is me knowing that doing for this kid? I mean obviously, if I see a kid wandering about lost I can help without a useless tv announcement about it. Then again, I'm in my fucking pajamas so its not like I'll be goin' anywhere I'm apt to run into missing kids.

Fifth (yeah, that's right, there's more): why on earth did you keep changing the start and end times for the 'state of emergency'. From 9pm-2am to 10pm-3am to, finally, 11something-12:11am. Why is that? Was the kid less missing? More found? What? There must have been some reason, right? (Ok maybe the state police did it, but still, you are responsible for your own broadcasts, no?) Which leads me to...

Sixth: why the fuck, if the emergency is over, would you keep on issuing the fucking announcement? Sure, AI was over (although I did not enjoy it as much as I normally would have) but at this point you were interrupting me watching the dvr'd pilot of Glee. I was not amused. Nor was I in the slightest bit gleeful (although that show rocked!). Or...if you were going to interrupt regularly scheduled broadcasting (and apparently dvr viewers as well - wtf is that about?), you could at least have changed the fucking end time from 12:11 to something later. Cause it was well after that time the last time you fucking interrupted me.

And, after all of that - I still don't know what the fuck the whole thing was about. For all I know some drug-addled-excuse-for-a-mother woke up from some hazy place, couldn't find her usually neglected children and called the cops to report them missing, forgetting, of course, that in her stupor she'd asked her sister to take them for the night.

Needless to say, EBS, I am way pissed at you. So don't call me again, m'kay?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Color me unsurprised morons

From today's NJ Law Journal Daily Briefing:
The law firm revolution is not upon us. So say 208 law firm leaders in response to an Altman Weil survey conducted in March and April. "Law firms are not doing anything dramatic and are not planning to do anything dramatic," says an Altman Weil consultant and co-author of the survey, which was distributed to 687 firms with 50 or more lawyers, asking how firms are dealing with strategy, growth, pricing, staffing and business development in light of the current economy. However, 38 percent of firms with 500 to 999 lawyers say it is likely or possible that they will cut additional equity partners in 2009.

All I have to say is, no fucking shit sherlock. Law firms aren't changing as a result of the economy? Gee. I never woulda guessed that. Who decided on this stupid ass survey I wonder? And how much did they spend on it? TO find out what everyone in the legal world already knows -- law firms are what they are and they aren't changing anytime soon. Why? Because they are fucking money making machines, that's why. Would you change if you were making millions upon millions upon millions of dollars each year, hell no you wouldn't. NO revolution for you my friend.

Of course, I've been billing around the clock for the last 6 days straight (see what I mean -- money makin', money money makin') and haven't seen the light of day so I haven't really had much time to think about potential revolutions in the legal market (or anything really, other than the never-ending pile of shit to do on my desk). Although now that I am thinking about it, if there ever is change, perhaps beefing up case coverage should be among the changes so that, oh I don't know, I could fucking go home before 1 o'clock in the motherfucking morning.

I guess I really shouldn't complain -- they pay me ridiculously well, and the partner I'm working with is actually a really nice guy. And it isn't like he's piled on the work and gone home (unlike some former bosses of mine who now have their own firm with a moniker than sounds a little sleazy -- S&M anyone? and No, I'm not kidding)) -- he's been here slaving way too; at least almost as long as I have. And I have been granted a once-in-a-lifetime reprieve...despite the fact that this case is on for an evidentiary hearing (that's like a mini trial for you non-legal folks out there) on Wednesday (yes, as week from yesterday Wednesday), and that the rest of the team will not see the light of day until after the hearing, I have been excused!!! I actually get to take the next 4 days so that I can go see my baby brother graduate from UVA! (Ok, so he's not a baby, he's not even the average age of a college grad, but he's the youngest of my brothers so baby brother he is, and always will be).

BUT -- no one likes working from 7:30AM to 1:30AM no matter what they get paid and no matter how interesting the work is or whatever-the-fuck. No body. Or at least definitely not me. I like being able to see the sun. And call me crazy, but I enjoy having dinner with other people, at a table, instead of sitting at my desk and trying not to get food all over the 4000 pages of shit I need to deal with. Plus, I fucking missed American Idol AND Dancing with the Stars this week. So not cool. Then again, its always been this way. Feast or famine. Insane hours one week; extreme boredom the next. And, like I said, it changing anytime soon.

So, "the law firm revolution is not upon us"? I could have told them that.

And now, I've got to go back to my office cave of horrors. This little foray will cost me but it was either rant or go on a killing spree. I thought ranting would be much more appropriate. Otherwise I'd have to hire my own fucking lawyer.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Novelista in the Making

So my colleague and I, both relatively fed up with the legal world and major devourers of the written word, have decided to write a book. A chick lit novel to be precise (we're both VERY familiar with the genre so it just makes sense, that and we are chicks). Which we will write under a pseudonym (we've another colleague who is a bit of a celebrity in the non-fiction world and we'd rather not have to deal with what she has to deal with).

We figure we'll spend one lunch a week work on it together and then work on it individually whenever when we can. It will probably take a while, at least a year or two we're guessing, and will eventually cut into our already meager social lives, but we figure the potential life of leisure at the end of the road (you know, after the book is published and sells a bazillion copies) is worth the lost social time (and sleep). Basically, we've got nothing to lose and we figure if we can make this happen then maybe, just maybe, we can leave law firm life behind. For good. Which would be just too cool.

We've played around with this idea now for a bit but yesterday, we cemented it and even did a little brainstorming. We've got some great ideas already and I'm pretty excited about it. You'll meet the heroine here, I'm thinking. We may even give her a facebook page. :) Granted, I don't know a damn thing about writing a novel, but I figure if this guy can write a novel on the fucking subway, on his fucking PDA, then we should be just fine.

And if I wasn't convinced enough . . . I just was given a lovely assignment which is going to basically ruin my entire weekend. Again. What the fuck is it about this place that ends up with me having nothing to do for three days and then getting slammed with work on a fucking Friday. Oh - and get this -- if i had fucking KIDS, guess what? That's right,mommies are excused from working this weekend. Don't get me wrong - good for them, I love moms, especially my own, but I want to know if there will ever be a I'm not a mom but I'm still fucking worthy of respect Day. But that's a rant best left for another day. For now, I've got to get to work and start thinking about what I'll be ordering in for dinner since I won't be meeting my friends for cocktails and appetizers this evening after all. God this sucks.

I just hope (please oh please oh please) this new venture pans out, 'cause I don't know what else I'll do when I eventually get so tired of the law game that I'd rather lose my house than come to work another day. I see that day on the horizon, for real, and I can only hope that I find an alternative before it gets here. So wish me luck, m'kay?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Island Girl?

I've been listening to ALOT of (hot ass) Kenny Chesney lately. I mean alot alot. Like crazy alot. Like every album of his I own (4). At least a couple of times over alot. Like, I'm actually listening to it while writing this post alot.

No idea why...why, while commuting one morning last week, of the god knows how many artists on my iPod I landed on KC and just let it play through all his albums. And then did it again. (and again...). But that's how it started and it's been like an addiction ever since. Perhaps it was fate, or some sort of sign from the goddess or some message from the universe. I don't know.

But since that fateful morning, I've thought endlessly about moving to the islands. Or maybe the Florida keys (since you can drive there and all). Basically about moving to some place where there is a lot of sun. A lot of sand. And a laid back vibe. A no-shirt-no-shoes-no-problem kinda vibe, as Kenny might put it. Now mind you, this isn't some, oh, hippy dippy fantasy land idea of moving, a I-won't-have-to-work and I'll-just-get-to-play-all-day-on-the-beach kind of idea. One of those lottery winning dream kinda ideas. Oh no. This is way more reality based than that. Fuck. I've gone so far as looking into what it takes to join the bar of the U.S.V.I. (I'm already familiar with the Florida bar terms -- score two for the keys: no test req'd). Because what the fuck else am I gonna do, right? (which is a whole other thing I've been thinking about alot lately, but I'll leave that for another day).

Maybe it's because it's been raining for like. fucking. ever. And so now I have a vitamin D deficiency that is causing my brain to seek out the sun or some shit. Or maybe it's regret poking its ugly little head out to fuck with me (ages and ages ago I was had an opportunity to live on St. John but stupid me chose to finish college instead -- what the fuck was I thinking?). Or maybe it's just a touch of ennui. Regardless, all this Kenny Chesney listening, with all his Island Boys and girls from Boston, has left me feeling, well, not quite 100% comfortable in my own life (no, its not the swine flu). And thinking that I'd be more comfortable in a place where I didn't have to wear a jacket. Or shoes. And where I didn't need to use fake tanner because I'd have that I-live-somewhere-sunny look about me.

At first I thought, I must just need a vacation. And then I remembered, fuck, I just got home from vacation like 6 or 7 weeks ago. A sweet ass vacation too -- 7 days cruising around the Bahamas (to the left is just one of the keys we visited). And I haven't worked particularly hard since then (except for the last few days or so, before that it was snooze city). So I'm pretty sure that's not it. But I don't know why else this new fascination with island living.

So here I sit - an inescapable and sort of fuzzy idea of a totally different life floating around in my head. And I have no idea what to do about it. It's not like I could ACTUALLY move anytime soon. My house is worth shit just for starters -- I couldn't even move down the street. That and the whole, what the fuck am I going to do for a living question I was talking about before. Gotta answer that first, I think. Or maybe the two have to be decided together? I guess I could take another vacation, but I don't think that's gonna do it. At least not for the long run. I think, maybe, seriously, that I may be on to something. A (very?) long term something, perhaps. But still something. Something real. I can see it. Sort of. Or maybe I've just completely lost my mind.

In the meantime, anyone know any good realtors in the keys?

Oh, and by the way -- will someone please talk to someone about this fucking rain. I CAN. NOT. TAKE. another fucking day of it. Please. Rain is only sexy in the fucking islands.

(hat tip to D-bud for the Vitamin D reference)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

An Open Letter to the Colonel

I used to be quite a fan of your fried chicken, until about 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. The I saw the ad for your new grilled chicken and for a brief moment I was pretty damn excited. (I'm not a huge fast-fooder but sometimes a girls gotta go what a girls gotta do, right?) So there I am, watching the ad, and for that moment I actually did "unthink" what I think of KFC. But then I saw that the product unnecessarily contains wheat, and therefore gluten, and I was quickly disappointed. There are plenty of quality substitutes for the nauseating wheat-containing ingredients you use, if only you would take the time to do your homework. And I simply do not understand why you would use a known allergen in a fucking GRILLED product. Are you all a bunch of idiots? Do you not understand that you are missing out on taking money out of the pockets of as many as 3 million Americans, not to mention untold numbers of persons around the world -- many of whom would be happy as hell, jump for joy, all that shit, crazy excited over the opportunity to have a place to go for a quick chicken meal, without the worry of being fucking poisoned by gluten. Like the smiling dancing people in your ad. Hell, I would have been one of those people. And I possibly would have been so happy to able to get a dam piece of unfucked up chicken that I probably would have waited for the the slow ass motherfuckers in the my local KFC to take their sweet ass time getting me my non-poisonous chicken. And even after it had taken 37 minutes to get a bucket of grilled chicken, in a fucking fast food joint, with only 5 customers in it, I wouldn't even have been pissed, knowing I could have got faster service in a fucking diner, no. Because who gives a shit about 30 minutes when the chance to live like the average American is upon us? Nope, not mad at all -- I would have taken my yummy ass chicken and thanked the nice lady for slowing the pace of my overworked life.

But no, you had to go fuck it all up and use a fucking wheat based product on a piece of grilled meat. Guess I'll just have to keep giving my money to Chick-fil-A when I'm in a rush. If I was you, I'd figure out who the moron is behind the gluten-is-no-biggie decision, and fire 'em. The dumbass.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Catching Up

I've spent the better part of the last two hours going back and reading my old posts (I'm really really bored at work) and I've come to realize one major thing -- I used to be way more funny and so much less serious. Seriously. I discovered that my earlier posts were actually about me, and not just my opinion on things happening to other people. Granted, I probably didn't need to go back through the old posts to know that, but still... I also realized that I've barely breathed a word about myself in 3 months and that is soooo not like me. Plus, its almost impossible to be funny when discussing politics or the goings on at the NJ Supreme Court or whateverthefuck. And I decided that I like my blog, and myself, better the other way. And so I started the fuck did this metamorphose happen? Where the fuck did I go? And you know what?

I blame Obama. That's right. Obama. The President. The man I campaigned for. The man I froze my ass off for in PA weekend after weekend to get elected. That guy.

Because of him I'm actually watching the stupid news and reading the paper and paying-the-fuck-attention. I'm so attuned to what's going on in the world that that I'm listening to NPR instead of Z100 when I get ready in the morning. That I've got more bookmarks for news sites then for celebrity gossip. That I actually watch cable news (sometimes anyway). It's gotten to the point that I don't have time to tell stupid stories about my useless days. Instead, I feel the need to rant about whatever crazy shit is going on in the world because well, if I don't, then all that shit runs around my head like the fucking Jersey devil all goddamn day and night and then I can't sleep. Oh, and because I've also stopped going out on school nights, I don't have the sleep inducing assistance of the nightly cocktail. And that just sux.

Times were so much simpler in the Bush era when I didn't watch anything more intellectual than So You Think You Can Dance. Back when I drank on school nights, didn't know who the fuck the secretary of agriculture was (it's Tom Vilsack now - why do I know that?), and changed so quickly from any mention of the news on TV that I'm surprised my remote could keep up. Back when I didn't get worked up about the wingnuts and the knuckledraggers and the mindless fuckheads on the far right because, well, I was fucking completely ignoring them. Those were sweet times. I didn't post anything about current events. Or court cases. Or the fucking price of tea in China. Instead, I just told silly stories about myself. I guess ignorance really is bliss. At least in the blogosphere.

And so, in the spirit of that bliss, I hereby am instituting a moratorium on this blog -- no more boring ass ranting about things that do not personally involve yours truly. In other words, nothing that isn't, to paraphrase the bitingly charming Tom & Lorenzo describing one of their friend's blog, straight from my own experience and my own point of view. Random political ranting...
I can do that on facebook. Here I will try to stay focused entirely on the happenings in my own life -- even thought its not as exciting perhaps as I would like it to be. Either way, I think it will be good for me. Too much caring about everyone & everything else makes 'stina an even duller girl.

So moratorium in place, here's a snapshot of what's been going on in my life....

HOUSE: same old same old. Same old house with the same old fucking sewer problem. Although I did finally get around to suing my piece-of-shit town for the damage caused thus far. I'm hoping that it'll settle soon because, let's be honest, I may be a litigator, but I don't actually want to have to go to court. That's no fun. I'd rather just get a check, hire a contractor, and wake up one morning with a new basement.

HOMEFRONT: all's quiet. no major upheavals. no changes in our parenting status. although we are probably going to adopt a kitten. so that should be fun.

WORK: Ahhh, something out of the ordinary. Here is where I go way past the same old same old routine. Indeed, major massive upheaval going on here. The details: last month, my office, which I freaking loved, fucking CLOSED. Well, not exactly closed -- more like morphed into a new firm which I was not invited to be a part of. Basically, my boss decided he would rather cut ties with his firm, start his own firm and continue doing the work he wants to do instead of stay with the firm, keep my office open, and tow the party line so to speak. Which is great for him, I guess. But not so fucking great for me, or the 3 others who were not asked to join the "new" firm of Fuck You & Piss Off LLP. Of course, after a very very long weekend of worrying whether I'd have a job come Monday or whether I'd be forced to move in with my mother, everything worked out for me in the end. If you call adding more than an hour to my daily commute with no extra money "working out." But at least I was given the option, I suppose, a sort of no brainer option -- get laid off with zero severance or transfer to the NYC office -- but an option nonetheless. And if I'm being honest, so far it actually hasn't been too bad. I forgot how much I love NYC (or any C for that matter). And as an added bonus -- drinking on school nights. Cause all my former colleagues are still here and after work cocktails always happen midweek. None of that bs Friday shit here.

And finally, just cause with all the talk of drinking I could use a cocktail, here's Google's reason to drink today: it's Worldwide Roma Nation Day. Go gypsies!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Looking Back: March

Ten Things:
  1. I'm currently reading: The Knitting Circle and A Rather Lovely Inheritance. Both of which are pretty decent reads. And last week I read Tom Holt's You Don't Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But It Helps. Which is one of the funniest books ever and which has led me to think that I may have found a new favorite author!
  2. Newest music I added to my iTunes: BMG music is changing to something else and getting rid of their music club which meant it was time for me to finally use all the free CD coupons I've accumulated. So...I bought and uploaded the new Nickelback CD, the Grease soundtrack, a CD of Italian faves by Pavarotti, and Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Odd mix, I know. But what can I say, I'm a girl of eclectic tastes.
  3. Movies I saw: Let's see -- Twilight (twice). A couple of on demand movies not even worth mentioning. And The Wackness. Which was crazy good. I mean, run out right now and rent it good. Sir Ben Kingsley as a pot smoking psychotherapist helping his pot dealer, who just graduated from high school, with the doc's step-daughter, work through some issues. It's one of the best movies I've seen in a while. And yes, it was better than Twilight.
  4. Yummy food I made: Haven't been cooking much lately. Although I do make my own gluten-free bread now (or at least the machine makes it for me). It's way better than the frozen shit I would otherwise have to buy .
  5. The last place I ate out: The Orange Squirrel. New local restaurant with a rotating eclectic American menu. FAN-freaking-TASTIC!.
  6. Something that I'm thankful for: My health. My job. And that the latter allows me to do things to improve the former. Like Yoga.
  7. Something that made me cry: The Knitting Circle (see books above).
  8. Something that made me laugh: The pictures from college that a friend of mine posted on facebook. Couldn't help but laugh at myself when I saw what I was wearing.
  9. Something I'm looking forward to: Not having to lug a coat with me on the commute.
  10. Something I want to remember about this month: My first ever cruise. Even with the seasickness on the first full day, it was worth every penny!
(hat tip to LSL for the meme).