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Friday, September 30, 2011

a hodgepodge of information

1. Hobo With A Shotgun is just as awesome (if not even more awesome) than I had previously suspected.  However, if you're feeling at all emotionally imbalanced, save it for another time. 

I think all those exploding body parts would not have been quite so hilarious, or the injustice of the hobo not being able to buy his beloved lawn mower quite so tragic, but for my sleep-deprived and moody state.

2. Remember ye olde writing conference I attended last weekend?  Well, I got two pretty solid pieces of advice.  I am working on implementing the first one now, and will update you all upon completion. (Assuming there's anyone out there in BlogLand who is interested, and I suspect most of you come here for the cute puppy pics.  Which is fine, that's why I come here, too.)

3. I know everyone laments the state of math and science education in our schools, but could we get a shout-out for civics and English while we're at it?  If I see one more person woefully misstate basic principles of governance that I had mastered in the FIFTH GRADE, I'm going to make like a hobo and eff this place up.  (Not really.) 

If oh-so-many people are oh-so-very passionate about politics these days, I'd just really appreciate it if they would give the following a skimmaroo before spouting off any opinions.

Three branches of government, people.  Three.

Also, commas, people.  Commas.

4. Somewhat related to number 3 ... have you ever noticed that when someone begins a sentence with, "Liberals ..." or "Conservatives ...", whatever comes next is almost certainly going to be really stupid?

And now I leave you with a fun postcard.

Another interview? Forshizzle?

Yes. Forshizzle.

Go here and visit Misha's blog, you won't regret it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ahoy-hoy

I'm being interviewed over at Chantele Sedgwick's blog today - go check it out and show us some love.  Gracias.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If wishes were fishes, I'd have tacos til Christmas

Every once in awhile, I just have to give into my natural inclination toward covetousness and greed.

The to-read (which probably means "to buy," since I still don't have a new library card) list:
If I Stay, Gayle Forman
Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
Shut Out, Kody Keplinger
Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher
A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
The Lonely Polygamist, Brady Udall


The to-buy list:
Do you think if I downloaded some case law, I could call it a tax deduction?
Either this, or stop walking around my house in a towel, and I'm not going to stop doing that.

I have to go to the opera next month.  That's a good enough excuse to buy an (inappropriately) expensive dress, right?  Sigh, I know it's not.

Not to be worn with the aforementioned dress, however.  I'm not that cray-cray.  Just "cray," really.  I have to express my inner sass somehow when I'm at work.
The fact that I'm not married doesn't really depress me, except when I think about how it's likely that I'll never be able to beg for Williams-Sonoma cookware in a socially sanctioned setting (e.g., the gift registry).  That, dying alone, and having no one to kill spiders for me.  Thank goodness Diego moved in.  He even got that one big spider the size of a silver dollar that I allowed to continue living in the basement for months.  According to Ru, "Peace at any price."  According to Diego, "You have awakened a sleeping dragon, Big Daddy Spider."  There are a lot of WWII analogies at our house.
So what's on your "gimme gimme I want it now (but realistically I'll just keep checking it out online)" list?

The lie factor

Reason 203 why I think raising a kid will be easier than training a dog: Kids believe my filthy lies.

No matter how much Diego and I pretend that the bathroom is a fun place to be ("Golly gee, the bathroom!  I want to get into the bathroom!  Isn't this place fun?!"), Spencer knows it's not fun. 

All the toys and treats in the world couldn't convince him, I don't know why I thought psychology would have.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's my pioneer heritage coming out

When things get rough and I don't know where to turn, I mentally redo my kitchen.

I mean, don't you think doing dishes would be a lot cooler if you had a red sink?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Grumble grumble soapbox grumble

Over the weekend, I found out that a book I recently read -- Twenty Boy Summer,* don't judge it by the title -- is starting to be banned by school districts.

People, I kind of thought we were over the "book banning" thing. I mean, the Harry Potter fiasco was AGES ago, am I right?  Yes, I know, the American Library Association still has Banned Book Week, which is going on now, but I'd like to think that's more for historical purposes of celebrating how far we've come since folks (whose underwear was clearly three sizes too small, causing serious discomfort and confusion) started campaigning against the evils of Faulkner and Mark Twain.  (And don't forget Judy Blume.  Gasp!  Girls get periods! And think about God!  Why I never.)

I think we all know that some books are not "age appropriate" for some kids.  But rather than trot out the old lines of, "But that's a parent's responsibility!" I'd actually like to just say that reading an inappropriate book is just part of growing up. 

Was I warped by reading Flowers in the Attic at age 12?  Of course, but that's part of what gives me my charm today.  (Also, I feel like my parents' biggest objection, had they been aware that I was reading a book about filicide and incest in the sixth grade, their greatest objection still would have been shoddy writing. Be that as it may.)

I remember reading naughty words and scenes via Christopher Pike and thinking, "I shouldn't be reading this."  And a split second later deciding, "But I'm going to, anyway." 

(Am I really hanging my hat on the argument that reading a book called Die Softly is an important part of gaining maturity?  I sure am!)

Frankly, literary rebellion is going to be the most minor of a kid's possible rebellions while growing up, but it's the most important one.  Not only is the act of deciding what media you are going to invite into your brain, regardless of what your parents and teachers might think, an important step to independence, but it helps create a brain capable of creative thought. You can't think outside the box if you've never ventured beyond the box.

Now, I'm not saying kids should go read smut just for fun, but that if kids don't find themselves reading the questionable (and then deciding, independently, to either go forward with some smutty fun or to put the book back on the smutty shelf) they may never figure out for themselves, "This is amazing!" or "Haha, this is gratuitous, and on top of that, it blows!"

Is that a scary thought for parents of impressionable youth?  I imagine it probably is.  But ask yourself --  "Self, was there ever a time in MY teenage years where I read something I maybe shouldn't have?  Something that was possibly beyond my level of maturity to understand?"And if the answer to either question is "Yes," ask yourself -- "Did I suffer any actual damage from that decision?"  (And I imagine the answer will most likely be, "No.")

What age-inappropriate (or maybe just inappropriate-inappropriate) books did you read as a kid?  And am I wrong, were you left scarred for life?  (I'm picturing someone who read Lord of the Flies being unable to enjoy barbecue pork.  That would be a tragedy worth investigating.)




* FYI, the objection to Twenty Boy Summer is that (spoiler alert!) a teenage girl has sex with a teenage boy (with a condom) and doesn't feel like a chewed up piece of gum, cake with poop baked inside, or stomped on rose petals afterwards.  The horror.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So what was Spencie up to while Ru was at that writing conference?

He stayed with my brothers.

And they sent me these pictures.

We're taking good care of him.

He's all dried off now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Um, so what's the deal with racism lately?"

That?  That's an actual line of dialogue from the Casa de Diego, Spence and Ru.

Unlike myself, Diego hasn't given up hope of finding a boyfriend via the wonderful world of online dating, and consequently, he finds himself on dates roughly 2-3 times a week.  Unfortunately, this has led to more hilarity than true love so far, but you know what they say: you have to kiss a lot of theater majors to find your Ryan Gosling.

The weird thing is, Diego has found himself on a shockingly high percentage of dates with racists.

Yeah.  You read that right.

Now, this isn't a case where Diego (a high falutin' liberal if there ever was one) is seeing racism where there is none.  When someone talks about hitting "n-words" with their car, there isn't too much room for debate.

The thing is, (and I can say this, having been in this situation) you'd like to think that if you were presented with overt racism, you'd puff out your chest and launch into a stern lecture.  But what actually happens is this:

Internal dialogue:

Did that really happen?


I think that happened.


Why did he say that?


Who cares? He said it.


But did he think he could say something like that in front of me?  Why?


Maybe I heard it wrong.


Definitely didn't hear it wrong.


Is he trying to be funny?


I think he was serious.


Should I just hope he was trying to be funny?


Would it matter?


A little.  Bad taste is preferable to straight up horribleness.


Maybe I'm hearing things.  Maybe he said,"Figures" like a white trash person.


If he did, that doesn't make any sense.


What do I say?  Oh man, too much time has passed. Say something!

External dialogue:

"Uh ... what did you just say?"



Awkward silence descends.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

King Kong

Just in case you were thinking, "This girl does not talk enough about her dog," you're in luck! 

I bought the little pup a kong, which is a rubber toy you put treats inside.  The theory is the dog will be occupied with the task of getting the treat (cheese, peanut butter, whatever) out of the kong and not with destroying various valuables.

When I picked out the kong, I wasn't entirely sure it was going to work.  First, even though I picked out the "petite" kong for a dog under 20 pounds, the hole seemed awfully small and the rubber surprisingly unyielding.  How was Spence supposed to get peanut butter out of the bottom?  But I went with it, since hey, why would they make it if it were impossible?

Yesterday I was working at home and I needed Spence to just sit and chill for a few hours, so I filled the kong full of peanut butter (which, along with parmesan cheese, strawberries, grass, bees, pickled ginger and couch is pretty much Spencer's favorite thing to eat).  He promptly licked off all the peanut butter within easy reach, which took less than a minute, and then looked at me.

I looked at him.  "There's more peanut butter at the bottom," I pointed out.

He raised his eyebrows, which I took to mean, "Yeah.  At the bottom.  How am I supposed to manage that?"

"You know, get your tongue down in there."

Head tilting, which seemed to say, "That seems a bit undignified."

"Buddy, you lick your own soon-to-be-excised balls.  You can't be aggressive with a little rubber toy?"

"It's not a matter of aggression, it's a matter of probability of succe -- hey, what was that about my balls?"

"Never mind.  Look, give it here, you just squeeze the toy a bit and more peanut butter comes out.  You try."

"Umm, I'd rather not, but thanks for the additional peanut butter.  Now, why don't you just run along and get me one of those fantastic chicken flavored rawhides that takes thirty minutes to eat.  That will do, don't you think?"

"But I've got at least three hours of work where I'll need silence ..."

"Splendid.  Six rawhides it is."

(Yeah, that is pretty much how lawyerin goes with Spence.  Him wagging his tail, me coming up with possible dialogue.)



PS - Thanks to all my new followers, homies!  I'm pretty much tickled pink about being close to 200, though part of me wants to remain coolly indifferent.  But see above, where I wrote dialogue for myself and a five month old puppy?  Definitely not cool, so let's stop kidding ourselves.

Also, while we're being honest about the subject of obsessive checking my blog stats, if you are a follower who demands a follow-back (and I know you're there, since apparently I gained one and lost two last night), just comment on ye olde blog so I can find you.  I got behind a few weeks back amidst all this blogfesting and campaigning and whatnot, and despite positive intentions, never really got around to figuring out who my new friends are.

And while we're being exxxxxtra honest (that looks dirty, doesn't it?) I can't guarantee I will follow you back.  But I will check out your blog for sure, maybe even more than once, and if it is interesting to me and well-written (and surely it is, I'm not even sure why this disclaimer is here!) then I will follow. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nothing cements victory like pastry


PS, college band leaders across America: "Livin' On A Prayer" is not really a "get pumped" song.  It's more of a song that visiting fans are going to love belting out as their team gives yours the beatdown and your fans sit in sullen silence. 

So perhaps next time consider the AC/DC oeuvre.

(Did I really just to use "oeuvre?"  Sure did.  These opportunities only come along every so often, people.)


Whoa-oh, we're halfway there
Whoa-oh, livin on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Ohhhh-oh, living on a prayer ...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Something that is not cliche

Yesterday I wrote about some common cliches in young adult literature.

Today I want to mention something that is not a cliche.

Have you ever heard of the "Hero's Journey" theory, or read Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces?  (Or The Power of Myth documentary and companion book by Bill Moyers, talking about Joseph Campbell?)  If not, I recommend some light (read: dense) scholarly reading for your weekend (read: month), but here's the short version.

The reason why a lot of stories seem the same is that there are some fundamental archetypes in literature, and that the collective human spirit responds positively when we recognize these archetypes.  The big one is the "hero's journey."

Tell me if the following sounds familiar:

1. A character, usually of unusual birth or heritage, lives in the ordinary world.
2.The character discovers that he or she has some special gift or destiny, but initially refuses to believe in it.
3. The character finally commits to his or her destiny after receiving some sort of (usually mystical) aid from a mentor.
4. The character faces an initial round of challenges that only tangentially relate to the ultimate destiny.
5. The character faces a second round of challenges, which are more existentially upsetting to the character, and often involve the death of the character's mentor.
6. The character goes one some sort of quest to achieve his or her ultimate destiny.
7. The character embraces his or her own mortality.
8. The character achieves an enlightened state of some kind.
9. The character achieves his or her ultimate goal to the benefit of humanity.

Now that's condensed a little from Campbell's actual theory, but you see where I'm going with this.  Ancient myths, including major world religions, are filled with this pattern, but it carries through to film and literature today.  Luke and Anakin Skywalker, Harry Potter, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, Ender Wiggin, Shea Ohmsford, Neo, Simba, Percy Jackson -- the list goes on. They aren't all perfect fits, but there are more hits than misses, am I right?

(And now do you see why so many people WERE NOT shocked when Dumbledore died in Book 6?  Harry can't achieve enlightenment until he stands on his own, my homies.)

Is this pattern "cliched?"  It could be.  But there's a reason why it works, over and over again.*  

So if you find yourself writing in a cliched pattern, don't be too disheartened. 

A cliche is only bad when it's lame.  When in doubt, just remember--a girl falling in love with her stalker is irrefutably lame.

And that may be the deepest thing I've ever said.





* Unless you completely overdo it up by insisting on adding a throw-away character like Qui Gon Jin, just so he can "mentor" Anakin long enough to fit the pattern, then kill him.  SERIOUSLY.  Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing, George Lucas.

(Just figured I'd end with the dorkiest thing I've ever said.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lessons learned from horror movies

Last night Hannah, Diego and I watched Insidious.* Afterwards, I looked up some Insidious trivia on ye olde IMDB and found this intriguing nugget:

When the writer sat down to begin his script, he listed traditional horror movie cliches on a poster board over his desk, then proceeded to avoid them.

I thought about how this could apply to writers of any given genre.  With my last manuscript (most easily described as "chick lit"), I decided the thing I absolutely wanted to avoid was the simple-misunderstanding-threatens-to-undermine-everyone's-love-connection development. I often find myself infuriated that otherwise intelligent characters are too damn dumb to just sit down and talk out their problem.

I'm currently working on a young adult project, so I want to come up with a list of "Young Adult Cliches" that I (and anyone else) can put on their poster board over their desk. 

If you can't avoid the following, people, at least try to subvert them a bit:

1. Male love interest acts horribly to female protagonist, but as it turns out, his nastiness was just a cover for feelings of overwhelming love.

2. Beautiful best friend who attracts all the guys in school, but dates none of them.

3. The token black friend.  

(I'm not saying there shouldn't be black kids in young adult literature -- just that if there's one, perhaps it's possible that there are two?  And sometimes, they should be male.  And maybe once in awhile we should just say they're black, instead of going through the Starbucks menu--coffee, cappuccino, cafe au latte, caramel machiato, or mocha.

People, I am white and freckly.  I am not a vanilla bean frappechino.)

4. The main character's biggest personality flaw = being tone deaf.

5. The main character's biggest physical flaw = having a scar through one eyebrow.

6. Fingernail biting, chewing lips, or digging nails into palms until you've drawn blood.

7. The female protagonist with no female friends; or, in the alternative, the female protagonist with no female friends in whom she actually confides. 

8. A group of nasty cheerleaders; or, in the alternative, a group of nasty fundamentalist Christians.

Any others you all would like to add to the list?  I'm sure there are plenty more out there to be found.







Solid film, fyi, if a bit defeated by a weak third act.  And, like most visually frightening films, it wreaked some havoc on my overactive imagination.  Sometime around 2am, I woke in a panic and debated asking Diego if I could sleep on the floor in his room.  Concluding that would be creepy, I then decided to let the ferocious Spencer out of his crate so he could sleep in my bed and protect me.

He may not look like it, but this dog's instincts are finely honed.  He's ready to leap into action and cuddle the bajeebers out of any potential attacker.
P to the S?  You probably don't ever want to watch a horror movie with me, Hannah, and Diego. Within the first five minutes, we were all shouting out our guesses for the twist ending that was surely awaiting us.

But I have to say, well done to Insidious for avoiding the number one horror movie cliche: family staying in a haunted house.  Once any rational person is presented with overwhelming evidence that their house has caught a case of the ghosties, they get the F out. 

So thank you, Insidious.  Thank you. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Have you noticed this?

By and large, the most "original" TV tends to be on cable, yes?*  The shows with the craziest, grittiest characters--it's all Showtime, AMC, HBO, etc.

Yet, for as "groundbreaking" as some of these characters are, more often than not, they have a spouse who is overly suspicious and controlling.

(Mild spoilers ahead.)

I used to think it was just a Dexter phenomenon--Rita, who started out sweet and oddly noble, turned into a suspicious control freak sometime around season 2 and never let up.  Honestly, the transition didn't make a ton of sense, and it always struck me as something that was done to drive the plot.  (I imagine the meetings in the writer's room went like this: Dexter needs time alone to kill people, sooo ... let's make Rita think he's a drug addict and force him into Narcotics Anonymous! Let's make Rita the neediest pregnant lady ever! Let's make make Rita, a former single mother, completely incapable of driving herself to the pharmacy!

And I like Dexter.  I just found it odd that the go-to plot twist was always, "Let's make Rita as unlikeable as we can."

Same phenomenon now that I'm getting into Breaking Bad.  About five episodes in, you have Walt (recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decides to use his skills as a chemistry teacher to cook meth as a way to leave a nest egg for his family after his death) acting slightly sketchy, and Skyler (his pregnant wife of 20-something years) acting like a hardened detective off the mean streets of New York. 

Skyler's thought process: Oooh, Walt took a mysterious phone call and pretended it was a telemarketer!  I know what I'll do, I'll *69 it, use a reverse phone directory to look up the owner, google the owner, find his MySpace page, look up his address, and go confront him. 

OVER A PHONE CALL.

I debated this with a friend who thought Skyler's reaction was perfectly normal -- Walt was acting like a skeevy little deviant.  I counter with, "Yes, but." 

But she's been married to him for 20 years.

But she has a kid with him and another on the way.

But he's never given her a reason to be suspicious before.

But he's the most mild-mannered dork on the planet -- it's far more likely he's planning a surprise baby shower than anything nefarious.

So why now?  Why turn suspicious and controlling now?  You've obviously trusted him enough up until this point to marry him, stay with him, and have his babies.  So why is a phone call suddenly so very problematic for you?

Oh, that's right.  Because we need the plot to move forward.

The thing that is puzzling to me is that, fundamentally, Rita and Skyler (and Betty Draper from Mad Men and Lori Grimes from Walking Dead and Rick from The Killing and all the rest) are right.  There is something horribly wrong with their significant other (serial killer, meth dealer, identity thief and serial philanderer, chronically emotionally closed off, chronically emotionally closed off and workaholic, respectively).  But their suspicions, whatever they are, never really hit the mark.  (Betty Draper comes closest, but I imagine she always thought Don had one mistress, maybe two--never mind a dozen, never mind a STOLEN IDENTITY.) And because of this, the Suspicious Spouse rarely has the audience's sympathy. 

It kind of makes me want to watch Nurse Jackie, just to see if Nurse Jackie's husband thinks she's secretly running a Ponzi scheme or something.

Have you guys noticed this elsewhere?  A character who should otherwise trust the main character, but for some unstated reason, does not?  And if you have, do you think it worked anyway?




* I am not ripping on network TV.  I love a lot of its programming, particularly Modern Family and Vampire Diaries.  But we all have to admit, comparing Two and a Half Men to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia just isn't fair to poor Jon Cryer. And let's not even start in on reality programming.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And a request

For anyone who has been looking for a good cause to support (I know I need one now and again), click here and learn about my friend Lindsey's fund raising goals for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Walk on September 24.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Flash fiction: 200 words

The rules:

Write a short story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open.”

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

(This was kind of a pain in my ass. Anyone who knows me or has been reading this blog for awhile knows that I love to ramble. So I hope it's still good, even after I sliced out everything I could. If ya'll liked it, go HERE and give me some love.  I'm entry 369.)

TITLE: __________________

The door swung open, but Jane had already crept down the hall, through the den, and out the window.

She landed stiffly, more focused on silence than grace.  She held her keys and boarding pass in her fist, purse tight to her side, willing the lipgloss tubes inside to not much as clink. 

Her phone was charging in her bedroom.  But she had seen him pull up to the curb.

She didn’t look back as she made her way across the lawn in a crouch, imagining him watching from the kitchen windows, eyes bloodshot, lips cracked and bleeding.

Surely he wasn’t. He was upstairs, searching her room. The kitchen would come last.

But she didn’t want to look.

She reached the garage.  She turned the knob.

Locked.

The rational part of her brain screamed at her to run—through the alley, down the street. Find any house, any car.

She was faster than him. Today at school, it had seemed like his legs weren’t working as he shambled down the halls.

But the thought of him catching her—he can barely WALK!—made her throat tighten and close.

The car was her only option.

And the garage door was heavy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things I am excited about for on

(I added more prepositions for your viewing pleasure.)

1. Vampire Diaries and Modern Family returning to my weekly routine.  Have I mentioned that I am obsessed with TV?  Absolutely obsessed.

2. The Utah versus USC football game this weekend.  I am going to make blackberry cupcakes for the occasion and I'm pretty sure they're going to be epic.  I know this isn't a cooking blog or anything, but be prepared for some mad bragging if all goes according to plan. 

3. Writing conference in two weeks.  Actually, I don't know if that's actual excitement or total trepidation.  We will see.  Either way, I plan to buy some bitchin shoes in its honor.

Speaking of shoes, can I just say I am relieved/disappointed that these are sold out in my size?


I've never bought anything at Anthropologie before (on principle and on lack of funds) and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to maintain that goal, but jeez.  It was close with those shoes.

4. Finishing A Dance with Dragons.  Stayed up until 1 am last night.  I probably would still be sprawled out on my bed, completely enraptured, if a Bran Stark chapter hadn't come up.  I am sorry, little crippled kid, but even with the ability to mind-meld with wolves and people, I find you more boring than church.

(Sorry, church.)

5. Reading Life As We Knew It.  I know I said it was number 2 on my to-be-read list while on vacation, but I ended up putting Twenty Boy Summer (yes, it is better than the title implies) there instead.  If you want a nice one-two punch of contemporary young adult, I would definitely recommend that and Anna and the French KissTwenty Boy Summer is definitely more somber, so maybe go with that one first.

Speaking of awkward titles, are there any books out there you'd like to read, but feel like you can't because of a bad title or cover?  I've mostly gotten over that, but this was a big problem for me as a kid.  I remember hiding LJ Smith books in my history text because I didn't want anyone to know I was reading something called THE PASSION (of all things) at fourteen.  It sure didn't help that the cover made it look like something that would definitely include some throbbing members.  (It didn't, but try explaining that to a group of scornful post-tomboys.)

Awkward. Early 90s, there was just no excuse.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Above The Law* Moment

A few weeks ago, Hannah received an email from a gent on an online dating service. 

She promptly forwarded the information to me, because some things are too good to share. 

Under the following headings, he offered these gems:

"What I'm doing with my life" - Graduated from a Top 5 law school.

"Six things I could never do without" - ...money, prestige, and Starbucks.

"I spend a lot of time thinking about ..." - How much money I have now and how much I will have later.

"Most private thing I'm willing to admit" - See income.

A doozy, right?  And that's not all.  After declaring that he worked for the "top" law firm in New Denver, I immediately decided to discover who this fella was in real life.  So I passed his dating profile picture along to various friends around town. 

Here's something you may not know - there is no "top" law firm pretty much anywhere.  There's the Vault 100, which is a list of the 100 top firms nationwide, and yes, it's ranked from 1 to 100.  But to actually claim that whichever firm holds the number one spot is literally better than number 2? A stretch.

This goes double for a mid-size market like New Denver, which has a few regional offices for those Vault 100 firms, but certainly no headquarter offices.  What's more, there are probably 10 - 15 downtown firms that could all make a play for being King of Lawyer Mountain, plus even more specialty firms that dominate their particular area.

Long story short - claiming you work for the top firm in town is not only douchey, but really, really stupid.

Slowly firms were ticked off the list as people responded, "He doesn't work here."  (And usually added a, "But let me know if you find out where!")  A few friends -- Amelia, Sally, Alan -- were on board with my plan, and for all the firms we don't have friends at, we began scouring websites for a head shot that could resemble our mystery dater. 

In the end, though, we couldn't find him, which I suppose makes sense.  It's the internet, it's full of lies.  If a guy says he's 6 feet tall, he's 5'10".  If a girl says she's curvy, she hasn't been to the gym in years.  A "good sense of humor" means "I laugh when someone else is funny." 

And if a guy says he works at the top law firm in town, he's probably a personal assistant.




* For those of you who don't know, Above the Law is a blog that touts itself as a legal tabloid -- a place to discuss the big stories in the legal world every day, and particularly gossip about stupid lawsuits (Lady sues ex-husband over lack of sex!), lawyers (Craigslist - always a mistake, people) and law students (Oh Tulane students. Will you never learn? Answer: No.)  

Clearly, I don't have what it takes to write for them, because I couldn't track down one measly little poser. Tear ...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My brains are scrambled

Hey ya'll, I'm back!  This is a totally non-scheduled, non-pre-written post.  Unfortunately, I don't have too much to say other than I'm fully committed to catching up by the end of the week, and that I've learned some life lessons while I've been away:

1. When you coordinate your tipping at a restaurant, make sure the other person knows what you're doing and not just checking your math.  At a ramen house on our last day in VacationLand, I asked my friend Ricky if $2.60 sounded good and he agreed.  I wrote that on my bill.  Then I watched him write $3.00 on his bill, making me the jerk who stiffed the waitress.  According to Ricky, he thought I was just double-checking my decimal moving skills. 

2. When you knock two people over at their airport, don't shout, "I'm about to miss my flight!" in lieu of an apology.  That's on everyone's mind at the airport, you're not special.  Plus, words about flights just blend together at an airport.  It took me five seconds of being mad about the whole assault angle before I processed what you said.

Additionally, you're going to look real dumb when you run into those same people when you're coming out of the ladies' room. Next time, just tell the truth.  I would definitely leap out of the way for someone screaming about diarrhea. 

3. Cheap trips are always best, and I don't regret my decision whatsoever to visit VacationLand for not-so-much-moola.  However, the next time, I think I will spring for whichever hotel doesn't have rock hard mattresses and leaves me notes on my door informing me that the room is going to be fumigated for my convenience on the morrow.

I like my fumigations to take place when I'm not there, personally.  Ideally, before I arrive.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

stolen from facebook

Alpha: Charlie, why are you cooking all that bacon so late at night?

Charlie: Because if the environmentalists won't, I will.