Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: The Year In Review

"Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." -Mark Twain

Notice how I've paired this nice quote with a cheesy picture. -Ms. Laawyuhr

When I go running, or rather, my combination of walking and jogging that I call "my run", there are a few minutes towards the end of my time that I run flat out. I stretch my legs out as far as they will reach, my feet strike with a satisfying thud, and for a few minutes I run like I'm fleeing - before my asthma kicks in and my lungs betray me - and it's when I feel best about the world.

My body and I have always had an uneasy relationship. I was nine when my body and brain started developing in separate directions. That year was the first time I fainted from asthma. It was also the year that I suffered "a harmful or offensive touching" (what the law calls a battery) on the playground. The boy was older, had repeated the grade at least once already, and in retrospect was, no doubt, sexually abused. The boy didn't really hurt me; I was surprised and confused more than anything. And I wouldn't say I'm scarred by it. It's more of an omen about the way negative attention snuck up on me. It's also part of the reason my parents' moved me to private school.

When I moved schools, the girls there seem to already know their bodies, dressing in cute outfits and expensive jeans, while I remember being rather disinterested in clothing. I was still a kid; they were young adults. My brain didn't quite know what to do, so it continued to read books and daydream and assumed that things would sort themselves out.

Except that it didn't turn out to quite work like that. Somehow by the time I was in high school it became a regular part of my life that certain male classmates would surround me in a side hallway and taunt me, describing in detail my physical failings. Like the boy on the playground, their attention was unexpected; but they were far more unpleasant and malicious than that poor boy. And as I came to believe that I was some sort of quasimodo, I became more withdrawn. My brain and body increasingly went their separate ways, my brain resenting its container, its carrier.

O muse, I sing now of the themes of teen movies! Where we nerds of high school are promised success and beauty in the years following graduation, where the pain of high school will be sown into seeds of triumph!

But I found none of these things. There was no great success, no incredible love to sweep away all the incidents before. Rather in college and after, I tried relationships like hand-me-down shoes, squeezing my feet into ones too small or slopping around in a size too big not knowing how dating was supposed to work. I dated because I was grateful to find someone who seemed to want me, even if it didn't work. Or he hit me. And the brain believed it was all the body's fault.

And then I went to law school. After three years of educational misery, and then with the bar, and a 30th birthday this past year, I felt ready to try to have a personal life. Of course, that has been met with various degrees of disaster. I like to think that I should get points for trying, and that I'm not (completely) bitter. And if my behavior has been slightly crazy, or even pretty crazy, well, I think I'm entitled to mess up a bit at this point.

I'm not telling my story because I want anyone's pity. In fact, fuck pity. I've had enough for myself over the years. Writing it down now is like passing a mile marker letting me know how far I've run.
And at long last, with the new year, my brain has come to accept that it and my body are actually the same organism. It's like what Khaled Hosseini wrote in The Kite Runner "I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannouced in the middle of the night."

So now when I go running, when I run flat out feeling like my lungs are going to burst, for the first time since I was nine, I feel like I'm running towards something.

Of course, who the hell knows what.

Past Years In Review: 2006, 2005

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's Official: I Am a Tip Top Laaw-yuhr

I've been on hiatus quite a bit recently. Truth be told, I just haven't felt the funny. The glass is half empty as of late. Even watching "Kitchen Nightmares" stresses me out. But I've decided to write in the hopes of cheering myself up at the very least. So without further ado, I bring you the crap I've been up to lately.

Two weeks ago we had to go to our professionalism course required by the bar. It's the bar's last ditch effort to teach adults to play nice with each other. I believe that all of this is done out of a selfish desire to change society's perception of lawyers and ultimately bring about the end of lawyer jokes. This project is as futile as trying to bring an end to Aggie or Pollack jokes (apologies to aggies and poles, I use you merely as reference).

The course was held in Baltimore with a check in time of 8:30. Because the gods of timing hate us, that was also the weekend of the army/navy game. Two days before the course, the bar officials called everyone to let us know that parking would be non-existent, so we got up at 5am on Saturday, dressed in our suits, and drove to Baltimore to make sure we'd have adequate time to find parking.

What scares me is that when we got there at 7:15 a.m. the place was crawling with army/navy people. Let me just tell you, nothing short of saving my life could have me out of bed at that hour for tailgating.

Now I had decided to wear a skirt suit because my pantsuit is a tad snug to wear for an hour and a half drive plus a day long session of who knows what. However, since I had no pantyhose - a requirement for a professional appearance - I was forced to buy a pair from CVS which not only felt like sandpaper, but fit like a sack. By the time we arrived to check in, my pantyhose were falling in folds around my ankles making me look like I have like elephant legs.

In what I thought was a stroke of genius, I went to the bathroom, and put my underwear on OUTSIDE my pantyhose to act sort of like suspenders. Still no dice - the pantyhose continued their southernly evacuation. After about ten minutes I was like F it, and went and threw them in the trashcan.

After an introduction, we were broken up into smaller groups with different facilitators for to learn about different aspects of professionalism. One session was a sort of "what to expect in the courtroom" sort of thing, with one very polite lady judge and one, shall we say, sassy lady judge. Sassy lady judge starts by having everyone go around and say his or her name and something interesting about themselves. So people go around with their boring shit "I take ballet" or "I do belly dancing" and the judge is ohhhh and ahhhing and it gets to me and I say "I used to work for an art museum" and was met with complete silence. So somehow that's less cool than belly dancing, sassy judge?

After the introductions, Sassy judge then goes onto to talk about profession dress for the courtroom. "I don't like ladies without stockings in my if there's a good reason, one time I had a lawyer come tell me she had a rash on her leg and her doctor told her not to wear them until she healed and I was like ok, that's fine, you gotta talk to your judge...". The whole time she's saying I'm attempting to hide my pantyhose-less legs under the table so as not to be made an example of before the class.

Sassy judge continues "...and ladies don't think that you can be wearing spaghetti straps in my courtroom and take off your jacket. That is a no no." And it is at this exact moment that I look down and notice that a button, in fact the critical button, the one that holds my shirt closed across my chest - is open. Say hello to my boobs class.

This may be why I don't own many button down shirts.

The title of this post is taken from an awesome interview with Madonna that was originally printed in Hungarian and then translated back to English. The result is awesome.


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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Things I've Learned Recently

1. Friends Don't Let Friends Stencil
As we are people of disparate tastes in our household, we look to programming where our tastes converge, and therefore we end up watching a lot of design TV. However, even among the design shows our tastes diverge: I like the shows where things look better at the end (e.g. Clean House, Color Splash, and sometimes Design on A Dime) and Tiny prefers for the rooms to be transformed into shit-tastic monstrosities (e.g. Trading Space, Color Correction).

One thing we can all agree on is that stenciling is always a mistake. These poor designers, they only have $1,000 to try and make a room all TV fancy - and usually the people they're trying to help have crap furniture (not that I'm judging because I've got my fair share of that and long for fancy furniture) so sometimes, even on the good shows, the designers are forced to make some poor choices. Sometimes it involves inappropriate use of raffia, or the creation of "wall art" for "visual interest" but the greatest heresy is the use of the stencil.

For the love of god.
If you have a friend considering stenciling - stop them. Just look at it. It's terrible. Don't do it.

2. The Fleece at Old Navy is Out of Control

Since I've found DC shopping to be sup-par, I've been forced to do a lot of online shopping. Online shopping means mistakes. Behold two mistakes:
You see, I was trying to find some cute and warm winter dresses that could be worn with tights for that cuddly winter look. The dress on the left looks ok in the picture - but when worn, the smocking on the sleeves is enormous giving one puffy-arm syndrome, and the neckline is incredibly dowdy. The look is something I'd like to call Space Matron. As in, I can see someone cast as a grandmother in a futuristic sci fi movie wearing this dress. Maybe.

The other dress, wow. Where to begin. On me, the dress barely covered my downstairs business. And you can't tell from the picture, but there are holes in the bottom of the "skirt" which makes the whole thing even more indecent. If the other dress was Space Matron, this is mutton dressed as lamb. Really poorly dressed Contempo Casuals style lamb. Yeah, that bad. Even worse, the sweater is apparently exactly my skin color so I looked like some sort of oatmeal sweater monster.

When I modeled these for the roomies, Tiny doubled over with laughter. She giggled for about 30 minutes straight. And in fact, the thought of me in these dresses has apparently kept her laughing any time she thinks about it. Yeah, they look that bad. So instead of shipping them back, I trekked to Old Navy to make the returns in person.

And thus I saw the fleece. The yards and yards of fleece. It was a veritable fleece army. And it must be stopped.

3. There are just some things I would have never thought of

You know, it would just never occur to me to combine someone's love of music and gadgetry and masturbation into one magical device.

But someone else clearly did.

That's why I don't get paid the big bucks.


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You Know What Will Stop the Gays? A Highway of Prayers.

I bring you the fresh crazy. You're welcome.

Now tell me about your very own Purity Siege.


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Monday, December 03, 2007

You Like Me! You Really Really Like ME!


I've just been nominated for a 2007 Drysdale Award from the Illustrious Grant Miller Media (who I was formerly at war with).

I've been nominated for the category of "Least Updated Blog".

Please, go and vote for me...often. Me and Mr. Splashy Pants.

Of course, now that I've updated my blog twice in the past 5 minutes I may no longer be eligible for the category.


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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Dear AMC Movie Channel

Hey there, AMC.

From what I understand, your acronym means "American Movie Classics". That's a noble calling. There are a lot of classic American movies that should be shown to kids today. You know, like Imitation of Life, and Sunset Boulevard.

But Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life? Really? Come on, AMC. That hardly meets the criteria for a classic.

Unless by classic you mean the fact that Lara uses some magical orb thingy -that Alexander the Great hid in a temple, which subsequently fell into the ocean- which would lead her to Pandora's Box. Ummm, yes of course. I love movies where some culture from the past holds the key to a secret, ancient, devastating power; whereas this same culture lacked the simple power of say indoor plumbing or iron.

So really, AMC, I think you need to get back to your roots. Rethink the classics bit of American Movie Classics.

America needs you. Thanks.


Ms. Laaw-yuhr, Esq.

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