Lil’ Bit of This, Lil’ Bit of That

I am too tired, dear readers, to write any sort of coherent, themed, focused blog post tonight. (Indeed, I am typing this from the comfort of my bed….zzzzzz…) But since it’s been several days since I blogged, thought I’d go stream-of-consciousness style. In no particular order, other than the order they pop into my head:

-Just watched Into the Wild. If you haven’t seen it, and you have 2 1/2 hours to spare, by all means, run out and rent it. Be prepared, though, because it’s extremely intense and haunting. I fully expect to dream about the movie tonight….and I’m sort of wishing I hadn’t watched it by myself! Does this happen to anyone else? My Netflix queue is full of all the things I haven’t seen in theatres, which means my queue is full of indie movies and darker, more serious things — movies I am less likely to be able to rally my friends to see on a Saturday afternoon. (With the exception of course of my friend CM, but she sees everything before I do so that doesnt help.) Anyway, even though I like getting to watch these movies that I have been wanting to see, my recent choices — the last two being No Country for Old Men and Into the Wild — are not exactly the type to give you the warm fuzzies. Does anyone have any suggestions for something slightly less dark that I can put at the top of my Netflix queue? It doesn’t need to be a comedy, so long as it is less likely than my last 2 choices to give me nightmares. Thanks. 🙂

-This is probably TMI for my male readers, but today I was having the worst. cramps. ever. Along with its fun companion, mood swings. One of the positive things about being single is that most of my mood swings end up being in my own head and I don’t take them out on anyone, but still — no fun. As I was feeling particularly cranky/teary, I thought of that awesome scene in Knocked Up (which I re-watched over the weekend) where Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl get in the argument at the doctor’s office, and he starts yelling, “You know what, I know this isn’t you talking, it’s your hormones, but I would just like to say, F#%CK YOU, HORMONES, YOU ARE A CRAZY BITCH, HORMONES–not Alison, HORMONES!” That’s pretty much how I felt today. I knew it was going to be one of those days when I insisted on listening to that Sheryl Crow/Kid Rock duet on repeat on the way to work. That’s a bad sign, there.

-In happier news, I had a really great Memorial Day weekend! My friend KT was visiting from Chicago, and she always livens things up. In fact, dear readers, I who have not had much more than a glass of wine or a beer or 2 at a time in many months got fairly drunk both Saturday and Sunday night. Sat we went to Geisha House (love the sushi there) and Sun night we went to my new favorite karaoke bar, which is going to get its own post soon. Sun during the day we went to the Dodgers game — I’m getting hooked! And Monday we went down to OC to see a friend and go shopping. There are lots of good stories from the weekend, esp the karaoke bar, but they will have to be saved for another time. Basically it was great to see KT, I was very happy to be in town and avoid the traveling madness, and it was all around good times!

-In more happy news, I am going up to Eugene to see the fam this weekend and I’m taking Friday off, so I only have 2 more work days till the weekend!! Now that is quality — if only I could have 3 day work weeks all the time! It will be really nice to see my parents and grandfather and to just mellow out up there. Mmm…

-Last thing before I pass out — tomorrow night I am having dinner/drinks with Cute Boy who is the son of the provost at my mom’s university — who I wrote about here and here. I must admit, I’m a little unsure whether this is still just networking/friendly drinks or whether it is a maybe-possibly-kinda-pseudo date. I’m still thinking the former, since 1) our parents know each other, 2) he is at least 2 years my junior, 3) he mentioned in his recent email that he looks fwd to seeing me to get advice on his job search and 4) I mean, he’s in a band for god’s sake, and he is out playing gigs in LA while I am sitting at home watching movies with my cat. I thought I felt a spark when we met for lunch a few weeks back, but it’s impossible to tell whether there was an actual spark or just me being a creepy old lady and thinking he’s cute. We’ll see, dear readers!

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Warm Fuzzies

Thanks so much for all the nice comments, thoughts & prayers after my last post! Not only did they inspire me and bring a smile to my face, my dear readers will be happy to know that things went exceptionally well at the hearing and the judge granted my client asylum. It was truly the most magical moment I have experienced as a lawyer. When the judge announced that she was granting asylum, I got choked up, had to wipe the tears from my eyes, and my client (who is a monolingual Spanish speaker who I have never heard speak English) turned to me and said in English with tears running down her face, “Thank you! Thank you!”

This is exactly why I became a lawyer in the first place — because I thought it would be a way to do good, to give a voice to people who for a variety of reasons can’t speak up for themselves. And yes, now I work at a private firm and represent real estate developers and business owners and corporations. But I am so grateful that my firm supports me and allows me to do this other incredibly important work at the same time.

I guess you could say I’ve officially been bitten by the pro bono bug. I think I might have to wait awhile before I take on a case like this again — my firm is really great about this stuff, but at the same time I do need to focus on the paying clients too — but this will definitely not be my last asylum case.

In other news, I appear to have officially exhausted the dating pool of the greater Los Angeles area. Proof? One of my recent eHarmony matches is none other than my ex-boyfriend A.’s brother!!! (The whole story of my relationship with A., which is briefly described in the above post from my old blog, would take way too long to recount. Suffice it to say, we were friends, we dated, he broke my heart, we didn’t talk for several months, and now we are buddies again.)

Anyway, I met A.’s brother a couple of times when we were dating. He’s a few years older and is a high school teacher in Laguna Niguel. He’s a funny guy, but sort of a perpetual player — always seemed to be dating multiple women and insisting that none of them were serious. So imagine my surprise when I was surfing through my new eHarmony matches this weekend and come across “S., 33, Laguna Niguel, 5’9″, high school teacher, Jewish.” There was no picture posted, but based on that alone, I was 99.9% sure that it was him. Then I scrolled down and in the section titled “Last book read and enjoyed” he wrote, “Marley and Me” and then said that his parents have a dog named Marley. It was official. My ex-boyfriend’s brother was my supposed eHarmony match.

This could only mean 1 of 2 things. 1) I am actually meant to end up with S., and fate is causing our paths to cross once again; or 2) I have actually already met every possible guy in the greater L.A. area that I could possibly ever date, and I should just give up and either a) move elsewhere or b) declare my eternal celibacy.

Seeing as how I’m not nutso, I am ruling out option # 1.

That only leaves one thing to do ….

eHarmony, I’m sorry, but we’re through.

Say a Little Prayer

My dear readers probably know by now that I’m not a religious person. I grew up celebrating Chrismukkah (though wasn’t as clever as Seth Cohen so never came up with a catchy name for it) but never attended church or synagogue. I tend to classify myself as an agnostic.

Still, as I get older I tend to believe more and more that there is something out there that’s bigger than all of us. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t necessarily conceptualize it as God in the typical sense. But sometimes I feel it.

And today I did something I never do — I closed my office door, I closed my eyes and I prayed. Now, I know my focus is normally taken up with boys, boys, boys, so I share very little of my work life or otherwise, but I may have mentioned at some point that I have been handling a pro bono asylum case. This is the case that, time and time again, has helped me to gain some perspective. My client, a transgendered person from Mexico, is this incredibly beautiful spirit who has experienced violence and abuse that nobody should have to bear in their lives. She has lasting scars and wounds and post traumatic stress disorder and depression and anxiety. And still she keeps on keeping on.

So my prayer today was this: If ever in my life I am able to use whatever lawyering skills I have to reach a positive outcome, please, please, please let it be now. Nothing would make me happier than knowing that she won’t have to return to a country that has caused her nothing but sorrow.

Off to try to sleep….

No Place to be Singing From

…sometimes it feels like a heart is no place to be singing from at all…

A warning before I begin, dear readers: I can already tell that this is going to be one of those posts that’s all over the place. I’m exhausted and stressed and a little down and have been up since 5:30 am and am dying to go to sleep, but for some reason I don’t want to sleep until I clear all my thoughts through the blog. So here goes nothing.

As my friends know all too well, I have had a pattern of falling hard and fast and deep for guys, only to wind up hurt and disappointed when things don’t work out. Over the past couple of months, basically since the C. debacle, I have felt some sort of deep internal shift. I have gone from crying a lot and having tons of angst to not crying at all and feeling (relatively) peaceful. But I’m beginning to wonder if the pendulum is swinging too far back the other way? I’m sure it’s just because the situation hasn’t presented itself in some time and I’m not accustomed to being truly single for any length of time, but it feels bizarre to not have an object of my affection. I feel like I’m forgetting what it even feels like to be close to someone and/or be in love with someone. I almost feel like my heart is becoming harder than it once was.

And I used to think that if I had a harder heart, it’d be a good thing. Keeping my heart so open and vulnerable all the time never felt good when things went awry. But still, I’ve always though that those qualities of mine would actually be appealing to the right person, so I’m not sure I want to lose that hopeless optimist/romantic part of myself. I feel her giving way to the rational, pragmatic side, and I’m afraid of closing myself off to the ability to fall head over heels in love again.

Strangely, for the past 2 nights I have had dreams about my ex-fiance. In the first dream, he and I ran into each other in some public place and it was awkward (just as it would be in real life). But in the second dream, it was just like the days when we were together and we were so happy and in love. It seemed really vivid, and I seemed to actually feel it in a way that, when I try to think about it in real life, I can hardly conjure up. In my dream I was so happy and things were so easy and there were none of the issues that had plagued our real-life relationship. I was sort of sad and disappointed when I woke up and remembered that he isn’t in my life … that way or, at the moment, at all.

I feel so happy when I don’t think too hard about meeting somebody or reminisce too hard about the little things I miss from the various people I’ve dated. But when I start thinking about it, when I start to admit to myself that I want something more than I have, I just get wistful and sad. So I try not to think about it.

98% of the time I am perfectly content on my own. But sometimes a girl just craves some love…you know?

*********

“All at Once” by Jack Johnson

all at once
the world can overwhelm me
theres almost nothing that you could tell me
that could ease my mind

which way will you run?
when it’s always all around you
and the feeling lost and found you again
a feeling that we have no control

around the sun
some say it’s going to be the new hell
some say it’s still too early to tell
some say it really ain’t no myth at all

we keep asking ourselves
are we really strong enough?
there’re so many things
that we got too proud of
we’re too proud of
we’re too proud of

i want to take the preconceived
out from underneath your feet
we could shake it off
and instead we’ll plant some seeds
we’ll watch them as they grow
and with each new beat
from your heart the roots grow deeper
the branches, well they reach for what?

nobody really knows
but underneath it all
there’s this heart all alone
what about when it’s gone?
it really won’t be so long
sometimes it feels like a heart
is no place to be singing from at all

there’s a world we’ve never seen
there’s still hope between the dreams
the weight of it all could blow away
with a breeze
but if your waiting on the wind
don’t forget to breathe
because as the darkness gets deeper
we’re sinking so we reach for love

at least something we can hold
but i’ll reach to you
from where time just can’t go
what about when it’s gone?
it really won’t be so long
sometimes it feels like a heart
is no place to be singing from at all

Tough Cookie?

“Tough cookie.” That’s what my favorite client likes to say I am…and I’ve been giving it some thought this week because that is not a word that I would have ever envisioned being used to describe me when I was younger. I was what you might call…sensitive. I cried at the drop of a hat, I had a horrible time adapting to change, I would avoid confrontation at all costs. (Ok, so in my personal life I am still very non-confrontational…I guess you could call it passive-aggressive…I’m working on it, I swear!!) If you’d have told my parents that I’d be working in a high stress job where I essentially argue for a living, I’m sure we all would have had a huge chuckle about the idea.

I don’t know when or how it happened, but somehow my skin thickened up. And it’s a good thing, since otherwise I’d probably be crying at work every other day!

I think especially since I’ve become a litigator, it’s changed me somehow. I’ve never ever been an arguer; I can count on one hand the number of actual fights/arguments (as opposed to just gentle bickering) that my ex-fiance and I had during our 3 year relationship. I’ve always said “I’m a lover, not a fighter.” But now I have to be a fighter for my clients. Today I defended a deposition and my claws definitely came out several times. Now that I’m a “fighter” at work, I wonder, will that carry over to my personal life? I don’t know…I still don’t think “tough cookie” is exactly what those who know and love me would say about me.

And I know that getting the fighting spirit will help me in my work life, but I’m not so sure it would be a good thing if it carried over. I’m sure my mom would add that to the growing list of reasons why I’m completely un-dateable.

Speaking of Mom, she must be feeling my vibes (omg, that was such a phrase Mom would use — I’m too young to actually turn into her!!) from my recent blog posts about her matchmaking, because she apparently bought me a book called Have I Got a Guy For You: What Really Happens When Mom Fixes You Up. Mom read it in anticipation of giving it to me, and said it’s hilarious, so I’m looking forward to it (if only because it sounds particularly blog worthy. Just to get my readers super excited about my future blog on the topic, here’s the synopsis I pulled from Amazon.

“In this take-no-prisoners collection of hilarious, wince-inducing true stories, you’ll meet two dozen victims of Mom’s well-meaning meddling and hear the unvarnished details of what they suffered through:
The schoolteacher who never wants to leave his house-or the couch
The mother who writes letter after letter to Michael Gelman, then-producer of LIVE with Regis & Kathie Lee, hoping to persuade him to ask her daughter out
The woman who’s set up with her cousin-by-marriage
The writer who endures eights hours of a Dungeons & Dragons convention
The over-zealous actor who performs a monologue at Starbucks
And the lawyer who sadly can’t perform . . . at all”

Leaping out of your seat to buy it, aren’t you? No? Ok, well stay tuned and I’ll give you the Cliffs notes in a few weeks (I’m picking up the book when I head up to Eugene for a long weekend at the end of the month).

And now, a confession. Just when you thought my taste in TV could not get any more adolescent I am newly addicted to Gossip Girl. I know, I’m like a year 1/2 behind on the show and like 14 years older than the target audience. But hey, we all have our vices. I suppose that given the various and sundry bad things that lawyers can get themselves into to keep their heads above water, if my worst thing is captively watching the lives of NYC high school students, well…it could be worse.

And now if you’ll excuse me, this tough cookie needs a sugar fix before the season finale of the Hills.

xo, xo!

Worlds Colliding

Tonight, despite the fact that it’s been a stressful week, and I have way too much going on at work and I keep screwing things up and it’s only going to get more hectic…I have this strange sense of calm and quiet. I don’t know why or how or where that zen is coming from, but I’ll take it! Noodles is curled up in a little ball of fur next to me, I am comfy on the couch with Lost on in the background, and all seems right with the world.

This week I’ve gotten some blog love from a couple of bloggers who I’ve never heard from before. I know that several of my “real-life” friends read this blog (and am reminded of that fact when I get a call like, “I didn’t know that happened!!! I read it in your blog!!!” — sorry, girls). I also know that I have a handful of fellow late-20s female bloggers who read this blog (and whose blogs I read religiously). I wasn’t sure if any guys read this blog though, and honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they didn’t — I’m sure neurotic women are a dime a dozen in our great City of Angels!

So I was more than pleasantly surprised when I got comments from not one, but two male bloggers in response to my poll about sending the email to Networking Guy. (Side note: I sent an email to Networking Guy and he wrote me back a friendly-but-detached email that left the ball solidly in my court. Yeah…not quite the profession of undying love that I had hoped for. Sigh.)

But I digress. The first comment I received was from Geekhiker, who has a blog that is equal parts dating, hiking, and randomness. I enjoy the dating stories — as someone who as my dear readers know is prone to recount her own tales of dating tragedy and comedy, it is refreshing to get a guy’s perspective. And I enjoy the hiking tidbits — there really are so many amazing spots around L.A. And I will go check out more than the local ones…just as soon as I get in shape. In any event, check out GeekHiker!

The second commenter, who emailed me directly, was JMB. This guy doesn’t seem to get many comments, and I have no idea why — when I started reading, it was love at first post for me. JMB chronicles his L.A. adventures through witty, entertaining writing combined with photography, and it’s sort of like reading Los Angeles Magazine (one of my simple pleasures) but with that human touch. Warning: JMB writes using the “royal we” which at first confused me (when he said “we went to this concert” I kept wondering who the “we” was) but once you get used to it, it’s amusing. The theme of his blog is recommendations of things he likes. Well, S/F recommends: JMB. Check it.

And this weekend I am meeting up in person with one of my fellow bloggers! Like me, she’s a single, late-20’s attorney living in Los Angeles and having sometimes-fun, sometimes-atrocious dating experiences. I’m looking forward to meeting her, after getting to know her through our blogs and emails (though my friends made fun of me for having a “girl blind date.”) Hey, people, it’s the 21st century. When you think about it, if I’m meeting all my recent dates online, why not new friends?

Speaking of online dating (wow, aren’t my segues smooth?) I officially cancelled Match.com and have felt not even a moment of remorse about my decision. I did decide to extend my eHarmony subscription for one additional month — query whether it’s some sort of strange addiction? Anyway, even though there is something I like about the slow pace of eHarmony (I have a theory that the higher price and tedious number of steps will deter the guys who just want to get laid, which Match.com certainly does NOT), the slow pace can also drive me a bit nuts. Also, even after having to answer the same cheezy questions time and time again, I still get — can I call it writer’s block? Here are the 3 questions facing me right now from my most recent match:

1. What is the one dream for your life you most look forward to having come true?
2. Tonight you can do anything you want, no penalties, no reprisals, and the cost is unimportant. What are you going to do?
3. How would you spend a romantic evening with someone you have been dating for more than one year?

Ok, so I understand the purpose of these questions, and I like reading the other person’s answers. (Though, in response to the question “what do you find physically attractive?” the guy responded with a long winded answer about how “smart is sexy” and personality is the most important, which sent my bullshit-o-meter through the roof). But in general, I get it. Still, when I am faced with these questions I just end up staring blankly at the screen (thus eating up precious potentially billable minutes) and then giving up.

So here’s my challenge to you, dear readers. Save me from the agony of having to answer these again. Submit your own answers and I will choose the winners to send to Mr. Potential Date. Who wants to play??

Matchmaker…Part II

I’m so, so tired….and yet 1) it’s only 9:47 p.m. (yes, I’m old), 2) I really feel like writing even though I have no coherent ideas of what to write about and 3) if I go to bed now, not only will I be officially lame, even worse — I will miss tonight’s episode of The Hills. (Yes, I know it’s largely staged and most of the people on the show are almost unwatchably annoying. But somehow I still love it. Hey, a girl’s gotta have her guilty pleasures!)

Anyway, after my last post complaining about my mom’s long distance matchmaking efforts, I feel the need to clear things up. First of all, I’m not necessarily opposed to matchmaking in general. In fact, I think meeting someone through a friend is sort of an ideal way to meet someone –though I’d rather it be more organic, like at a party or group event as opposed to a bonafide setup. But even a real blind date set up by a friend is not so much different than going out with the string of Match.com guys I’ve gone out with recently (and a friend of a friend is somewhat less likely to be an A-hole than some of the dudes I’ve encountered on Match). So, in case any of my friends reading this have some great catch of a guy in mind for me but are holding back on playing matchmaker, fear not! I’m nothing if not openminded. My mother just falls into…a special category, I guess.

But, I admit to you and you only, dear readers (I will NOT say this to my mom, lest she redouble her efforts) that Mom’s colleague’s son, who I expected to be some weird snotty punk was actually….(gulp)…fairly adorable. Nothing’s going to come of it — he emailed me soon after our lunch and I emailed back and invited him to a networking event this week, and heard nothing — but still, it’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised.

I also decided, with the lapsing of my Match subscription and my firm’s recent emphasis on marketing and business development, that I’m going to refocus my efforts on networking instead of dating. Sort of a kill 2 birds w/ one stone type thing. I counted it up and realized that in the past 6 months, I went out on dates (between 1 date and 5 dates) with eight different online guys. And, while some of them were perfectly nice, most of them I only went out with once or twice and then we never spoke again. And it makes me think, Geez, what a waste of my time to spend hours with someone who I may have no connection with whatsoever, when I can be going to events where I meet a bunch of different people — who may be friends, business contacts, or romances — but in any event would be fun. So that is my new strategy.

And, sure enough, I got a chance to put this strategy to work last Thurs. My co worker and I went to a happy hour that was put together by a girl, N., who I met through my friend D. a few weeks ago. We met up at X-Bar in Century City and ended up sitting around one of the fire pits outside and ordering some appetizers. People continued to trickle in and we got a pretty good group. I ended up sitting next to one particular guy and we started chatting. About an hour ended up going by without me even noticing! He’s smart, cute, has a great laugh, has a super interesting job — and even watches The Hills! My little heart went pitter patter. When my co worker and I left, he and I exchanged business cards, he said “Let’s be in touch” and joked “Sleep tight.” My co worker later told me that she had been spying on us and that he seemed into me.

Now, my dear readers, you know that I am pretty clueless about how to deal with guys in general and that I am constantly breaking “The Rules.” Even though I break them, I at least know what the rules are when you’ve gone on a date with a guy – you’re supposed to wait for him to contact you. But what about this situation, when the guise of the card exchange (if not the real intent) is just networking? My co worker advised me to wait until Wed or Thurs this week and then email him. I think that’s probably smart. But I still wish he’d email or call me 1st! 🙂 If there are any guys who read this (I’m not sure there are), what do you think about the subject?

Anyway, if nothing else he was a fun guy to chat with…and after so much time meeting guys on my computer screen, it’s just refreshing to know I’m still capable of going out and meeting people in “real” life!

Now I’m really off to bed….more soon!

xoxo
SF