Monday, September 24, 2007


Tonight was one of those nights where I realized that you can manufacture your own village (I hear that in the voice of that one couple in When Harry Met Sally) and manage to do extraordinary things without your historical problem solver.

A word (or a thousand) on that. When we first got together, B was absolutely the problem solver in our relationship. Hell, I was 21 then and just beginning to understand real problems, and B had styled himself as a fix-it guy, so we were a match made in heaven in that regard. Over the years, those roles reversed in a sense, as I was called upon to solve our problems, while B solved those of others, but this is a "then" story.

Story telling time, and this one speaks volumes about other people's perceptions of B, back in the day. He had a friend whom he referred to as Big Sue. I had met her only a few times, but knew her to be a great girl. I am momentarily having some random memory about her wedding and a Faith Hill song, but cannot quite connect the dots. She and B had been close friends in the post-high school-quasi-college haze, and although their respective lives had take them in different directions, they had a shared history that kept them connected. She lived in the suburbs and we saw her maybe once a year, tops.

One night, we got a phone call in the middle of the night. I think I answered it, but I cannot remember, as I sleep so hard and am completely nonsensical when half asleep. I probably just handed him the phone. In any event, I heard him groggily speak to her and react in one word bursts. "No!" "Fuck!" "Sue!" I slowly regained consciousness and tried to parse his reaction. When he got off the phone, he told me that Big Sue's brother had just been killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling. I had only met her brother once, at her wedding, but immediately thought of my brothers and how positively inconsolable I would be if something happened to them. I became instantly empathetic and sort of melancholic at her loss. B hugged me close as I shuddered at the idea of losing one of my brothers. I then found focused on something else.

Why did she call B in the night? He had probably spoken to her once or twice in the preceding year, so it wasn't as though they were in daily contact. I wasn't jealous by any stretch of the imagination - just wondering about the human condition. What would make her call an old friend, whom she rarely spoke to, at 3am, hours after finding out her brother had just died?

The answer became obvious to me. B, back then, was the person you called when you needed someone to solve a problem. However irrational it was, she knew she could always count on B to solve the problem or make a bad situation better, which was a role he used to fulfill quite amazingly. I told this to B as we were lying in bed that night, trying to get back to sleep. I told him that with pride - that I thought it was truly spectacular that he had so many people who thought he could almost raise the dead because he went the distance for his friends and loved ones.

Fuck, too long of a story, and here's a jarring segue back to recent events. P and I went through this clusterf*ck of an ordeal this weekend to move a piece of outdoor furniture to my condo. We saw it at Home Depot last weekend and, on an impulse buy (it was $350, discounted from $700 in light of the changing season), I became the proud owner of a perfectly delicious outdoor daybed/couch with canopy. It was the last one and it needed to be disassembled in order to get it in here. We had to rent a truck (trust me when I say this was more complicated than necessary), drive all over town to get it done, and when when we finally unloaded it, we realized we had about an hour before meeting my folks for dinner (story for another post).

So all of that backstory lead up is to this evening, when P and my brother Keegan put that shit together. I confess that my brain simply doesn't work that way. Never has. I was useless. Sure, give me a single task and I am fine, but I have no spatial skills whatsoever. After about an hour, and after reading the directions closely, I fully understood the logical steps, but by then, I had a new outdoor daybed. To wit:



Saturday, September 22, 2007

Captain Fantastic

As I might have mentioned last night, I was a little pissed off. I was the kind of pissed off that I rarely get, in that I wanted no contact with anyone. Ignored all phone calls, eschewed the computer - just wallowed in my anger. I also fully intended to abuse alcohol, as those in the program say. I don't even recall tasting my first glass of wine, as I think I treated it as a shot glass, and I was just pouring my third glass when Writer Guy called:

Writer Guy: What are you up to?
Me: Getting a drink on. Shit day. Can we talk later this weekend?
Writer Guy: Listen, I had a shit day, too. Really shitty. Let's get a drink.
Me: Way ahead of you. Two drinks ahead of you. Let's talk later.
Writer Guy: I know what we need to do. I'm on my way to get you in a cab.
Me: You don't know where I live and no, I'm in for the night.
Writer Guy: Yes I do, you've told me the approximate address and I use Google.
Me: No, no, blah blah blah
Writer Guy: See you in fifteen minutes. Bye. *click*

Yes, he buzzed me about twenty minutes later and, midway through that third glass of wine, I managed to throw myself together. I met him downstairs and hopped in the cab. I asked him where we were going and he just said "to go make utter asses out of ourselves." The cab driver already knew the destination, and as we got on I-5, I started to get the shakes. "Where the fuck are we going that requires a freeway?" I asked. "Trust me," he said, "I want you to meet some of my friends. It will be fun."

I will never reveal the destination, but suffice to say, it was hardly one of my usual haunts. As we walked in, I saw the signs advertising the drink specials and, horror of horrors, karaoke night. The fuck? Writer Guy whispered in my ear that we were far from home and karaoke was safe here. The fuck? There is no place safe for karaoke. Holy hell.

We sat down with a few of his friends and I turned on my charm switch. Nice group of folks - all urbanites -- who, for whatever reason decided to descend upon this suburban bar. The karaoke menus (yes, there are menus) were passed around, and Writer Guy was insistent that I choose three songs off the menu. He cautioned that they didn't really have the full menu of songs, so I chose three songs, all of which I as confident they wouldn't actually have ready at the queue. Meanwhile, Writer Guy brought me a very large glass of whiskey with some strange garnish.

When it came time to submit our playlists, Writer Guy and I had chosen one song in common - Captain Fantastic. In the interest of choosing songs that the karaoke master might not have at the ready, I thought a 70's Elton John tune was appropriate. Writer Guy found this coincidence incredible, and, to make a long story short, we sang it. He and I. The karaoke master had it and we belted it out as only drunks can do. The man has pitch. Also, was drunk.

After our soulful rendition, Writer Guy begged me to do Lying Eyes(by the Eagles) with him. As a sucker for Don Henley, and also under the influence, I agreed. There is probably nothing I like more than a guy willing to make an ass out of himself, and he surely did. As did I. This must be the purpose of the suburbs -- places where city folks can go and make utter asses out of themselves.

As the evening wound down, I did one by myself -- Grace is Gone, by DMB. By that point, I was completely drunk and utterly uninhibited. I now shudder to think how bad my rendition, but Writer Guy thought it poignant and did Wonderful Tonight in an equally drunken slur.

It was all good. We cabbed it back to the city, and he walked me to my door. I kissed him, for the very first time, and then told him that I truly wasn't ready to date. He said "K, we're on our sixth date, I think you need to get over that." In my inebriated state, I squared my shoulders and told him (as I had told B fifteen years prior) that I don't date people who are dating other people, and that seemed kind of fucked up to request, seeing as I wouldn't admit we were dating.

He got very serious and said "I only want to date you, but only if you agree we are dating. I am not in this with you for the friendship, and I don't think you are, either. Make the choice."

And yet. And yet I still wish I would have met him in 2008. I don't want a boyfriend. To be honest, I felt like I was cheating on MRE. Still, this guy is coming to my stupid soccer game tomorrow morning. Fuck timing.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Angry Friday

Well, this was a shit day to rival the top ten shittiest days.

I had a reply brief due today which, admittedly, I completely procrastinated on. I haven't come up for air in days. I was up most of last night and up at the crack of dawn, finishing a brief that deserved better organization and more attention to detail. Although I managed to pull out a quality work product, I know I could have done better.

So I drag my exhausted ass to the office bright and early this morning, shut the door and just pound out the edits and revisions. We had another response to a motion on an unrelated case and I had about 1/10th to do with it. My colleague wrote it and I contributed just a declaration about certain pertinent facts. Apropos of nothing, I hated her brief, as I tend to edit out all of the hyperbole and pejorative language, but hell, I wasn't signing it. Just giving the facts, ma'am.

So I am plugging away, albeit a little hurried, on my brief, which was due at 5pm. Shortly before noon, when the unrelated response was due, my newish legal assistant and my very senior paralegal come in, asking me to sign the documents for the declaration on the unrelated matter. I am clearly focused on other things and I have trust in my support staff, so I sign what they put in front of me, confident that they have reviewed everything and it is good to go. Sign my John Hancock on those papers and go about my finalizing my brief. Which, admittedly, was later filed right at the deadline.

Of course, colleague and support staff fucked up and included this weird declaration, ostensibly from me, but drafted by the new legal assistant, that had nothing to do with our response. Unfortunately, the exhibits to this declaration included confidential information. This sounds so fucking boring because it is, but the short version is that our new legal assistant fucked up and inadvertently included this unrelated, draft declaration that contained sensitive information, and because I trusted in the competency of our support staff, I signed a declaration submitting them. Mind you, I had NOTHING to do with this response aside from giving four or five statements about factual matters.

This makes no sense to the lay person, but suffice to say, I signed something without really reading it because I trusted that our staff had their collective shit together. For the most part, we did, but our newish legal assistant just confused and conflated a bunch of things and filed an earlier draft that disclosed confidential information. As a result, we had a crisis situation at 180%.

What utterly pissed me off, however, was my boss. He was shaking mad and didn't have all of the information. For whatever reason, I became a convenient target, most likely because I don't fucking react when provoked, and he went off on me. He ranted about a lot of things, many, many of them valid, but I was not the cause of this particular crisis. He hadn't even made it to the office before noon, which is when this unrelated thing was filed, and for whatever reason, decided to throw me under the bus. Worse, however, was Irritating Colleague who didn't man the fuck up and take responsibility for not reviewing the final documents. Yes. Yes, I signed a document without reading it, but when you work around a bunch of attorneys and paralegals whose job it is to make sure everything is kosher, you tend to trust that judgment. I have signed many, many declarations without reading them, almost always because I fucking wrote them.

Yeah, I am boring myself with this story. Boss and I need to have a sit down in the near term, as I am not anyone's punching bag. To be fair, he has never yelled at me before and he didn't have all the facts, but it was still uncool. That said - and yes, I have learned to receive criticism objectively - he had some valid points that I need to heed and learn from. They just weren't applicable or relevant to this situation. I took the hit for other people's mistakes and while this isn't his habit, it isn't acceptable.

I am going to update my resume this weekend. I do need change.

Also, my favorite writer on the internet just announced he is leaving my favorite website, which is utterly unsurprising (aside from his new digs), yet completely depressing. He and I talk via email a few times a day and the site (Gawker) will suffer greatly without him. His old website (TMLTMF) was fucking fantastic and he is all kinds of talented. I became a Gawker-phile when he was hired, and everything I love about that site will change after he's gone. He was, without question, the most talented writer on the site. I have every confidence that he will go on to great things. Just not where he's going.

For now, fuck it. Fuck. Fuck it. I'm going to get my drink on. I need to stop thinking.

PS - Fuck the new Jodie Foster movie. I saw it last weekend and am still pissed off at the storytelling. Stale, contrived and dumb. I love Jodie, and she performed as best as the storyline would allow, but this was a piece of shit movie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I am a little wired, to say the least.

I helped B out with his little HOA problem and, once again, was reminded of the definition of insanity. I spent a good few days learning the facts of his claim and of the situation as a whole, so that I could speak directly and advocate on his behalf. I agreed to do this, by the way, for purely selfish reasons, as I got a partial payment of money he owed me. Still waiting on the goddamn papers, of course, which he keeps "forgetting."

Apropos of nothing, I heard through the grapevine that his girlfriend wants them to register as a "domestic couple" with the City and State so she can get health benefits through his employer. She quit her job and is now working as an 'artist' full time, in a studio he pays for. When I heard that, I laughed pretty hard, as B knows full well that he cannot be married to one person and be a domesticated partner of another. I can only imagine the spin he is selling her. Comedy gold. He gets to spin that shit into gold for the rest of the year.

In any event, B was 15 minutes late to the pre-meeting, which is utterly par for the course. He got there, downed two double Jack-n-Cokes (in the space of ten minutes) and listened as I told him (and two others who came to give additional information on his behalf) to keep his fucking mouth shut. Not to speak unless I addressed him directly or instructed him to answer. Not to offer or say a word unless he made eye contact or conferred with me.

He, of course, did the exact opposite. He swore, he menaced, he bullied, he acted like an abject asshole - so much that the three of us there to help him just hung our heads and waited for it to pass. It was a disaster for most of the meeting and I did what I had done for much of the latter part of our marriage - damage control. I was embarrassed for him and a little humiliated, as I have never had a "client" act so out of school. Horrifying. He was utterly out of control and something I hadn't seen in a long, long time, thankfully.

I realized a couple of absolute truths. One, I have grown up and he absolutely has not. I have never, ever been someone who reacts first and asks questions later, but I have been known to shoot my mouth off without thinking it all the way through - all of the ramifications. Second, I don't miss anything about him as he is now - present day B. In contrast to my thoughts last night about MRE, I sometimes miss aspects of my former relationship with B, but I don't miss him as a person, especially as he is now. I, quite honestly, don't like present day B.

After I managed to get the meeting back on track and get an action plan, we concluded it and walked out. B tried to walk me to my car and I told him I didn't want or need his escort. He started to stammer about how he didn't mean to derail the meeting and I just shrugged my shoulders and said "B, you are no longer my problem. I am not your wife, your buddy, your adviser, your therapist or your clean up person. I tried to do you a favor out of a sense of obligation and honor of our marriage, but you obviously don't want my help."

He sort of continued to protest the merits of his case and I told him he had great facts and a terrible attitude. I believe I told him that he was the Britney Spears of crisis management and that like Ms. Spears, he didn't listen to anyone but himself. I found this voice inside me that said some really cutting things. I said "in 42 years, you still haven't figured out that becoming the bigger asshole in a conflict never solves the problem. Think hard about that B. Sure, you can hit someone harder (physically), bite their ear off (literally), stomp them in the balls (yep), call them the cruelest name you can think of, and yet it has never, ever solved the problem. Just made anyone watching realize that you are an asshole who cannot handle things like a reasonable person. You've lost the respect of many people who once loved you, myself at the very fucking top of that list, because now, you only know react to situations and conflict, not how to act. I am really embarrassed and ashamed of you for becoming this person, but that is absofuckinglutely who you are now. I am so glad I am no longer your wife, as this was humiliating enough and I would be mortified if people thought I was married to this person you have become."

He stared at me, then looked away, tears streaming down his face. I immediately corrected myself, grabbed his hand, then kind of chuckled. He looked at me, quite wounded, and I said "no, I am not mocking you. This is just a weird role reversal. You used to say some really cruel things to me, then mock me for crying or feeling hurt as a result. I am deeply sorry for my tone and probably should have waited before debriefing this meeting, as I am wired and wound up from that meeting." I then cupped his face, kissed him on the cheek, hugged him, and walked to my car, where I cried, just a little. I hate the principle of hurting a man I loved for so many years and with whom I have such a shared history, even if he is just a ghost now. A ghost, who, to be sure, can and does still haunt me.

When I finally got home and took Darbs for a walk, I decompressed a little and forgave myself for saying things that I probably wouldn't have said ten minutes later. No point to those words, to be honest, as I am not in the business of trying to rehabilitate B and I certainly don't want him in my life romantically. He called as I walked in the door and said he was sitting by the road. He apologized profusely for disregarding my explicit instructions and for not letting me do my job. Then he asked me the questions I didn't expect:

Q. "Have you really lost all respect for me, K?"
A. "Yes, sadly, B, I have. A while ago."
Q. "Why did you agree to do this?"
A. "You needed a favor and were willing to put up something in return."
Q. "Is that it?"
A. "Yes, and because I still felt a sense of obligation to you."
Q. "Felt?"
A. "Yes. Past-tense. Very much so. I don't like or know you anymore, B."

There was a pregnant pause, then he said he had to get off the phone. He just sent me an email, apologizing again and thanking me for always ("ALWAYS, ALWAYS having my back and seeing the best in me. Just not anymore. I deserve it.")

And here I sit, wondering if I was unduly harsh and mean. Objectively, I know I was brutal, but given the circumstances, probably justified. And yet, even as I type that, I wonder if it is ever cool to be brutal. It doesn't feel cool at the moment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Silver Lining

This entry (nee entree - HAR!) is probably going to be like the last. Not well formed or particularly coherent.

My reluctance towards getting involved with Writer Guy is rooted in reality. He is, timing wise, very much a rebound, and I continue to wish that I would have met him a couple of months from now. I still miss MRE quite a bit, some days much more than others. What struck me this morning was that I miss him -- who he is at his core -- much more than I miss our relationship. I don't think I can articulate it any better than that, except to say that I knew the weaknesses in our relationship. I knew that the dynamic wasn't hitting all the right notes. It was great in many ways, to be sure, but I was always aware of the fissures and cracks for us as a long-term couple. I was well aware and terrified of them, but I truly liked the guy as a person so much that I set those concerns aside, just to enjoy him.

This thought needs to be fleshed out better, but alas, I am le tired and don't want to revisit all of that tonight. I have a headache.

Today was such a great day, for so many reasons, and it felt fantastic to have a really good day. I got up at 5 and listened to some music. It is odd - before MRE, I hadn't given much thought to music whatsoever. My ipod contains pretty old tunes and very few recent songs. MRE was very into music and sent me a new song almost every day. He gave me a lot of presents in that regard - Mindy Smith, Glen Phillips, Kasey Chambers -- quite a few. I didn't give him much in return - Alexi Murdock, John Butler Trio and a handful of random tunes. Thing is, when you break up with someone, after a while, you need to hear new sounds. Something different, fresh and without any of the reminders we all tend to associate with certain songs.

I went on an i-tunes bender a few weekends ago and just surfed the living crap out of that site. I found quite a few new (to me) artists and groups that really piqued my interest. One of them is Rilo Kiley. Goddamn, such fun to listen to. All of them are former child actors and the lead, Jenny, has such a simple yet distinctive voice. I love them and was rocking out to Silver Lining around Greenlake this morning, wanting to sing along at the top of my lungs. I was quite surprised to hear my favorite radio station play the same tune today on the New Music Spotlight. For once, in at least a long time, I was in the know.

I also discovered Josh Ritter(if a person can listen to Right Moves and not want to dance, I don't want to know them), Rosie Thomas and Brandi Carlile (w00t for local girls), Colbie Caillet, Catie Curtis, and rediscovered Amos Lee, Silverchair (Straight Line is just fantastic), and Damian Rice (Cannonball is just haunting). I needed a new soundtrack and I think I have started building it. Huzzah to moving forward and personal growth. I was amazed at how different I felt, just from listening to new music. I have never had that experience through music and it was beyond welcome. I felt more like me today than I have in a long, long time, and while it is a different me, it was still so comforting to feel right in my own skin.

Career-wise, the case that has been vexing me for too many reasons that I probably cannot describe got a break today as well. Yes, Z, that same case that was rescheduled in April was again rescheduled today, but today, it was a very good thing. Yes, I was still pissed off at the court on general principle (this is the third time it has been rescheduled by the court, a mere two weeks before trial date), but for the client, who has many competing concerns, it was a very welcomed move. I am still going to LA for a mediation in the near term, but so much pressure has been taken off.

Ended the evening with dinner with the family - all of us in town. Keegan and his to-be bride, Kyle and his to-be fiancee (I just know this), me and Mom. The rule of short ribs proved true, once again, and we all just had a blast together. Kyle just got a new puppy, so there were playdates to be made, and I got to know his live-in girlfriend better. She is fuck-you gorgeous, by the way. Holy hell, what a rack on that chick, and a body and face to boot (pun intended). As much as I loved his last girlfriend, I just sort of realized that he is probably going to marry this one. At our first meeting, I was on the fence, but am now starting to see it.

Things are moving forward and I finally feel as though I am as well. I still wish I could meet Writer Guy in November. He is too interesting to waste as a rebound relationship, as I have no confidence that I would not presently repeat my mistakes of the recent and distant past.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I had this whole thing to write, but it still isn't fully formed. It has something to do with the men I am attracted to. I like them strong. Manly. Purposeful. Certain. Confident. And I connected all of this to celebrity chefs.

I am an Anthony Bourdain kind of gal. Aside from his earring, he does it for me. Blunt, smart, confident, passionate, flawed, cute and charming. I feel similarly towards Tom Colicchio - self-assured, talented, confident, clever and therefore attractive.

I thought, conversely, about Alton Brown and Tyler Florence and other Food Network chefs. They don't do it for me at all, even though they are talented and sweet and charming. They lack what I need. Presence - larger and better than mine. It isn't just the nice geeky guy thing, although that is part of it. They aren't manly enough. Weak. I need strength in personality. Geeky is fine, but I need someone who owns the room.

I compete in a man's world, albeit in nicer shoes, and have to straddle the disconnect between striving to be attractive, smart, clever, articulate, persuasive and approachable, while my male counterparts just have to be smart. I've said this before. It still pisses me off, that imbalance. It is the professional equivalent of the whole "ladies in the kitchen, whores in the bedroom" mentality. Bothersome.

I had a conversation with Writer Guy on Saturday night, which went something like this:

Writer Guy: You know, all this talk about how you have to work this weekend and can't take the time for a meal, we could be having kickass quesadillas at El Camino.

Me: [Awkward silence] [Thinks to self, "did I tell him how much I loved those quesadillas? How did he know that?"] Did I mention my love of the shrimp quesadillas there?

Writer Guy: Not to me, but I overheard you tell Tom (Douglas) that it was one of your favorite dishes in Seattle. Just think about it. We could argue about how you don't want to date over one of those babies, smothered in guacamole.

Me: [Did I tell him my love of guacamole?] I love guacamole. I love all things avocado.

Writer Guy: I know. You have it in your breakfast burrito every morning.

Me: [I couldn't have mentioned my breakfast burrito maybe more than twice] Not every morning. I vary it up every day.

Writer Guy: So let's go get grab a quesadilla at El Camino, smothered in guac, and further debate why you don't want to date me right now.

Me: I can't. I have an early soccer game and need rest.

Writer Guy: Didn't you say your game was at 11, and that you rarely get up after 7am? And Lower Woodland, isn't it?

Me: Holy shit, the man is a stalker.

Except he isn't. He is just a guy that pays attention. I don't know what the fuck to do with this. He listens, processes, remembers and isn't nearly as self-involved as the recent men in my life. And I have no fucking idea what to do with him. What would I possibly do with someone who paid as much attention as I do.

Right now, the answer is "blow him off."

Friday, September 14, 2007


I watched a lot of television growing up. There was hardly a variety of programming in Saudi or Colombia, so when we were in the US, my parents would videotape television shows and movies all day for viewing when we returned home. This included tapes and tapes of music videos, as this was back when MTV played them. You name it: sitcoms, dramas, afterschool specials, movies of the week, etc.

One of the shows I remember most vividly was Adam. Just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine. It is based on the true story of Adam Walsh, whose father went on to host America's Most Wanted. His son was abducted from a mall and, sadly, he was found dead - decapitated, if memory serves. His mother had left him alone to play video games while she shopped, and when she went to collect him, he was gone. I don't believe they ever caught his murderer.

I haven't seen it since the 80's, but still remember the vivid portrayals of the (actors who portrayed the) parents. Maybe I was just young and impressionable, but it hit every level of emotion. How risky it is to leave your kids unattended, even in a public place. How there are bad guys out there in happy suburban communities who will kidnap kids and cut their heads off. How such a horrific crime effectively ends the lives of the parents as they once knew it and they have to almost be born again, but with all the memories of their former lives precisely intact.

This morning, as I was getting out of the shower, I heard my phone ring. Unusual for it to ring at 6:30am these days, I made my way to it and saw I had missed two calls. The last one had been my mother, but I had also missed one from my sister at midnight the night before. Also unusual to get such a late call (I had been asleep), so I first checked my voice mail from my sister.

Holy shit. She called at midnight, panicked because her 13 12 year old daughter KK, my niece, was missing. [Ed. Note: I somehow convinced myself KK was a now a teenager. She is only 12. This makes the story worse, both because I got her age wrong and SHE IS ONLY 12] Cops were at her house, going through KK's stuff and computer, looking for any evidence or clues as to where she might be. I felt stabs of sibling guilt, as I really need to sleep with the phone next to my bed, for exactly this type of situation. 13 12 year old girl. Missing. In L.A. The city, not the suburbs.

KK is her mother's daughter and not disobedient or rebellious. Sure, she is now almost a teenager and does the irritating teenager things (not wanting to do homework, interested in teenager things), but she isn't a defiant child. Quite, quite the opposite. She is loving and sweet, with no temper I have witnessed, nor any propensity towards rebellion or troublemaking. Had I been awake and taken the call at midnight, I would have been convinced that something unspeakable had happened to her. She isn't the type to run away, as she and my sister get along like close siblings. She isn't the kind of girl who would simply not come home one day and not call her mother. She had never done anything of the sort and this would be completely out of character. I would have been on the phone, trying to calm my sister down and proposing alternate, less horrifying possibilities and action items. (call hospitals, friends, every number on her cell phone bill, etc.)

But I didn't get the call and my sister had to face the unthinkable - that something and someone happened to her daughter. Even with the memory of Adam, I will never begin to understand what my sister went through last night.

I called my sister immediately and she was, quite simply, in shock. KK had just been returned home half an hour earlier. Through cell phone records, the police (there had been nearly a dozen at her home and a helicopter above her home) traced KK to a friend's home. A male friend. A 16 year old male friend from her after school program.

Yes. Yes, I know. Sister is certain that nothing physical occurred, for reasons that I still need to understand. I am much more suspicious and hope to persuade her to get KK checked out medically (although it is now too late for most types of physical evidence). I can sort of understand why she doesn't think anything physical happened, as KK isn't particularly boy crazy. She is at a stage where she is trying to find her voice and place and simply make friends. Yes. Yes, I know. Often girls make friends by going along with things that they don't want to do. I have to defer to the expert here, and the expert is my sister, who is with her daughter daily. Still, what 16 year old boy has a girl stay over and not....yeah.

So the good - no, fucking fantastic news -- is that my niece is safe at home, albeit "grounded for a year," according to my sister. I need to remind my sister that my very worst acts of deception and rebellion occurred while I was grounded. If you are already grounded, you have nothing to lose, so might as well go for it. I snuck out, smoked and drank more when I was grounded than I did when I was golden with the parents. I never got caught. "Grounded" was just a superficial label - a reason to be petulant and sulk in your room, where you just might be smoking pot (I think I did this twice) or cigarettes, or snorting coke (no comment -- it was Colombia - when in Rome and all that. It was about being local).

In addition to worrying about my sister and niece all day, I thought about the shit I was doing at thirteen. I am terrible at remembering years by age and am better by grades. KK just started 7th grade. By 7th grade, I had had one "serious" boyfriend (entry is too long, but suffice to say, he flew to see me on the weekends after I moved, and that was 6th grade), French kissed a few boys and went a little further with one or two (and I was hardly sexually-minded compared to my friends), smoked pot (once or twice - I am a failure as a pot smoker), smoked cigarettes, gotten drunk a few times (my memory may be off here - that might have been 8th grade), and snuck out a handful of times (this, by the way, could have cost my father his job). I also was a good student who did her homework and genuinely enjoyed the academic competition, so I was able to stay under the radar.

You know what I would never, ever have done? Just stayed out all night at a friend's house - particularly a boy's house - and simply not called my parents. First, my dad would have whooped my ass. Literally. Second, my dad would have been so disappointed in me and would have looked at me differently. Not just that he didn't trust me, but that he didn't know me anymore, or worse, that he didn't like me anymore. Third, and probably most important, I would have known that my parents would be frantic and beside themselves with fear. I was secretly rebellious, if that is the correct term (which I don't think it is), and although I wasn't particularly close with my parents, I would have still known that they would be worried sick about me and, upon my return, no relief would be able to overcome their anger at having been made so worried. Maybe I was a teenaged lawyer, but no risk-benefit analysis would have prompted me to just stay out all night.

Fuck, this is long. I know my sister is a great mom and KK reveres her. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why she would do something so out of character. And as troubling as this is for me, I know my sister is having it far, far worse.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Angry Thursday really had some legs this week. Holy hell. Feeling angry and bitchy really isn't my thing and feels downright foreign. I am snappish with my boss, was short with Lingering Colleague and am ignoring my neglected dog. Who, incidentally, rewarded my behavior by playing with a roll of toilet paper while I was at work today, which meant I was greeted with a ticker tape parade when I got home.

Fucking fantastic. All hail the glorious Dyson.

The bad (in no particular order):

1) Client #3 from last post needs to settle the case, even though he would be utterly vindicated at trial, and most likely at the outset. You never get a sure thing, but this is as close as it can possibly get. Putting my ego and legal chops aside, I understand his decision and am doing everything I can to get it done, but these things just cannot be rushed or forced. The biggest errors in a case are made at the beginning and the end, and his impatience is rattling me. This is also why you never represent a friend or his company. I often become friends with clients in the course of representation, but when there is a personal relationship that predates the representation, things get murky.

2) I hit my head at John and Kathy's wedding in May. I had a goose egg for weeks, but it is mostly gone. Thing is, it still hurts. I'm not kidding. Sometimes, it is a really sharp pain, but most of the time, it will ache dully. That can't be good.

3) Random, irrational anger at folks with whom I had a prior relationship, be it friendship, marriage, or other. I think I have a delayed response when it comes to anger, as I am usually called upon to be the rational one, or, perhaps more accurately stated, I default into logical mode when it comes to emotional fallouts. Take responsibility and offer up an apology when called for, try to work through it when and if possible, take the high road if the other person behaves badly, and always honor the relationship you once had. It sucks that I haven't chosen relationships with like-minded people in the past.

Quasi-related: I had a post-workout thought today that there is a correlation between folks with strong extended family networks and friends who subscribe to the same set of rules. The theory probably needs some fine-tuning. I do believe that my values on relationships is influenced considerably by the fact that I grew up with three siblings. Brothers and sisters routinely commit unspeakable crimes against each other, but you learn to deal and move past them. Sure, maybe it is just the "but you're family" thing, but every only child I know is different in this regard. Too black and white, too quick to judge, and too ready to permanently burn bridges.

B is an only child. How I wish he would permanently burn the bridge between us. Then again, I probably keep putting out the goddamn fire. I should have been a fireman.

4) The Today Show. Holy hell, what a mess of a show. I don't really watch it, but it is background noise as I start my day. I usually don't even passively listen, but today I caught a few snippets and actually had to change the channel. I have no idea who watches those shows. Well, hell, I know exactly who watches those shows. The folks that don't read and like being told what they already believe.

5) The Media, generally. Bunch of chickenshits, but we dictate what they report. One need only peruse the "most emailed" articles on the NYT or even local paper's website. Utterly embarrassing.

The Good:

1) Weekend starts tomorrow. (The Bad: I am working most of it)
2) SISTER SENT BAGS AND BAGS OF TORTILLAS!! (The Bad: I left them in the work refrigerator and have to eat the shitty ones tomorrow for breakfast)
3) I handled Blind Date Guy via email. (The Bad: I hurt his feelings. I hate that.)
4) I think I am back in LA a few days next week. (The Bad: it will likely be mid-week and I want to stay for part of the weekend)
5) Harmless crush on writer I admire is fun and witty and emailed a dozen times today. (The Bad: he is fucking married. Hell to the no.)
6) B finally paid me some of the money he owes me, and I needed it. (The Bad: still no signed divorce papers. He forgot. He'll "drop them off tomorrow or put them in the mail." Motherfucker.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pet Peeves and Personal Skeeves

Angry Thursday came a day early this week. I am blaming the short week last week, together with some unhealthy repression.

Work is currently kicking my ass, owing both to clients and colleagues and bosses. I have three cases that are challenging my desire to practice law, if only because none of them should be in litigation. They are no-brainers - cases that should be decided in our favor as a matter of law and freaking common sense. Two are languishing because of some utterly fucked up standards of review. The lawsuit that should be dismissed against our client is stuck in a backlog one of the busiest dockets in the country and the judge hasn't given it any meaningful consideration in over a year.

1) Case #1: former spouse of a very well known but one-hit wonder writer. They divorced secen years ago and settled their property as they then knew existed. Of course, one-hit wonder discovers infringements of his very well known work that occurred throughout the course of their marriage, when they held the copyrights as co-owners (my client actually bought the copyrights from a bankruptcy trustee because her former spouse is an idiot when it comes to managing money). The law is truly black and white on this point - unless you explicitly assign the right to sue for past infringements (which they didn't), the former co-owner retains the right to sue for those infringements and share in any proceeds realized from a settlement therefrom. One-hit wonder hit the mother-freaking jackpot and refuses to account to her, his former co-owner, for the multi-million dollar settlement. However, because there is freaking NO OVERSIGHT OF ARBITRATORS WHO DO NOT KNOW HOW TO APPLY FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW, we are stuck in a procedural quagmire, where no appellate court wants to review the arbitrator's misapplication of the law.

Think about that. You agree to arbitration because it is supposedly cheaper and faster in resolving disputes. The arbitrator, however, completely disregards the controlling law and fashions some result he deems equitable, but has no support in the law. Nine times out of ten, you have no meaningful remedy. Why the fuck anyone would agree to arbitration when this is possible is beyond me. Beware the arbitration clause.

2) City employee with 22 years of exemplary service is inexplicably placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation of "discourteous conduct." The allegations arose from a departing employee with a persecution complex whose husband conveniently is a fellow employee and friend of my client's boss. The allegations against her are vague and described in "themes", and include such gems as "she said to me "once you get on my shit list, it is hard to get off." This prompts a four month investigation (did I mention my client had never been disciplined for anything or had any type of negative comments in her personnel file and that the City had never done this to anyone, including police officers who shot someone?) and, eventually, a demotion and month's suspension without pay. In what goddamn universe is that reasonable? The shit list comment, incidentally, was the worst offense cited. Now, the appellate court can only consider whether the City acted arbitrarily or capriciously, and that is a difficult standard to meet, to say the least.

3) Client was sued by a competitor for making statements about its own services. Such statements included "we developed an innovative and better way" to do what they do. In the two years since the competitor filed the lawsuit, they have done absolutely nothing to substantiate their claims. Lucky for them, we are in the Central District of California and the court is about two years behind. Meanwhile, my client spends copious amount of money trying to get a nuisance lawsuit dismissed, all at the whim of the court. Our trial is set for the beginning of October, having twice been postponed with little notice from the court (you might remember that, Norm). It is more likely than not that the court will again postpone it a week before the trial date, which means my client will spend a shit ton more money getting ready for a trial that isn't going to happen and, when the court finally gets around to actually reviewing it, will dismiss for want of merits.

It is a legal system, not a justice system. Lather, rinse and repeat to self.

While I am at it (bitching about work), let me get personal.

1) I have a fairly new co-worker who is really nice and terribly lonely. I should be a better friend to her, as Seattle is a hard city for newcomers and I really think I could make things better for her socially. I don't, however, because of several pet peeves. She is a lingering colleague - the type who comes into your office and stays too long. When in the middle of such conversations, she does this thing with her voice that makes it....scratchy? I guess that is it, although it really doesn't capture the annoyance factor. She also finishes your sentences, which is something I am now acutely aware of if I start to do it. Worse, however, is that she interrupts you in the middle of your sentence and changes the topic to the most random of subjects. I could provide numerous examples, but what would be the point? So bizarre and irritating. I need to get over myself, or, in grown up parlance, perhaps point out the behavior to her and work it out.

2)My boss and I are usually golden, but right now, I have a lot of pressure on me. I am a rainmaker for my firm - the only associate, I might add, who is a rainmaker - and there are internal factors at play that are placing a heavy burden on my shoulders. I hear this tone in my voice when I speak to him that I absolutely hate and immediately apologize. My firm has been good to me, particularly in times where I was hardly in my best emotional state and I need to check myself. That said, unless and until I am a partner, don't ask me to do the heavy lifting.

3) Okay, this is just foul. New legal assistant is more competent than the last and much more personable. A little irritating, but all told, a nice girl. Today, as I am spiriting back and forth from the printer, I see her in the file bare feet! Bare fucking feet. I never really considered whether I had a skeeve on feet until that moment. Ick. I realize heels are uncomfortable, but we hardly have a dress code mandating stilettos or the like. There is just no excuse for walking around an office barefoot, even if you are sporting hose. When the hell did I develop this new skeeve? No idea, and perhaps it is just situational.

That said, tonight as I drove home, I came up next to a lovely 5-series BMW, where the passenger's well manicured toes were plainly visible on the dash. Ick. No idea why I am suddenly skeeved out by feet. I don't mind bare feet in one's house, and Lord knows, at my house and my family's houses, we eschew the shoes. At the beach? No problem there, either. Why I had such a reaction to it today is anyone's guess. I have massaged and rubbed my exes' feet in the past and thought nothing of it - hell, B LOVED it. God, I hope I am not getting some weird OCD about bare feet.

What meaningful thoughts for hump day, disguised as Angry Thursday. Deep down, I am starting to think that I probably do need a change. I have been with my firm for five years and although I have enjoyed it, I think I am burning out. I think I need a change, having been in limbo on many levels for a long time. I need to act deliberately and carefully in figuring out where I am going professionally, and perhaps shaking that aspect up will create momentum in other areas of my life.

Also, my sister needs to send me those goddamn tortillas. I swear to all that is good and holy in this world that I could live on tortillas.

Finally, it is utterly unsurprising that, since Saturday, I have expected to meet with B to get my papers and the cash he owes me, to no avail. He is an abject liar and has become famous for this bullshit. I have to deal with it until I get those goddamn papers, which, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why he won't give them to me. Makes no fucking sense at all.

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dumb, but Not Fat

There's nothing quite like writing a screed against society one night, arrogantly believing that it was a somewhat original thought, only to wake up the next morning to the same basic arguments being made across the media. There was a shit ton of backlash against the Britney-bashing all over the internets today, with the general consensus being that the media had taken it too far when they called out her physical appearance.

The chick isn't fat. Batshit nuts, in the midst of a complete emotional breakdown, perhaps, but not fat. Because that would be a fate far worse than being one bad day away from swallowing a bottle of pills. Crazy, stupid and whacked out on drugs and alcohol, sure. But not fat.

Sadly, some of the most reasoned and intelligent discourse I have seen on the intertubes related to Britney. Is it because it is the lowest common denominator of topics, such that anyone can discuss it with authority? Fuck, that is probably it. Reading about trainwrecks like Lohan and Ms. Spears is easier and provides far more entertainment than reading about the the corruption of our government, which is literally throwing money to their private sector associates and has "lost" billions of dollars. I'm sure I could surf over to Daily Kos or Free Republic to hear such discussions. I guess I am just as bad, as when I am squandering my employer's time, I go for the fluff, too. I am just pleasantly surprised when I see that there is a sizable population of folks who, similarly searching for distraction, nonetheless demonstrate they are capable of intelligent debate and discussion. It just kind of sucks that it is reserved for the most banal of topics.

I try to balance my fluff with substance. I read the NYT on Sundays, although I confess that the Style section (FLUFF!) and the Book Review are my favorite sections. I have the whole Sunday ritual down to a science. First up is the front section, where I read every article, albeit some more closely than others. I then slack off with the Business section, and usually take a gander through the nation's least interesting Sports section. To gear up for the more difficult reading, I usually cleanse the palate with the Travel section, always intending to keep it for later reference, but almost always discarding it when I am done. Then comes the Week in Review, which I believe to be the most challenging reading of the whole exercise. After that, it is all downhill coasting. Arts and Entertainment, NYT magazine, Styles section (how I love thee, wedding announcements and Modern Love), then finally, the Book Review.

I used to have a subscription to the New Yorker and I miss it. It would take me the whole week to read it, most of it on the bus, and I was much better informed. I think I need to renew, as I get too much information in real time about shit that really doesn't matter. It will confound me until my last days that my parents don't read anything approaching the sophistication of the New Yorker, which is hardly The Economist. I can't imagine spending 30 plus years overseas and being titillated by People magazine and that ilk. They freaking live as Americans abroad and have very little criticism of our administration. My dad was pissed about GWB2's immigration proposal, which, of course, was one of the few things I thought had some potential. My mother just doesn't have independent thoughts on such matters and, truthfully, no interest in it, either. She is a Star Magazine kind of woman, leading an expat life in one of the most oil-rich and corrupt countries in the world.

Weirder still? All four siblings have rejected our parents' politics and religious beliefs. I respect the hell out of my dad's beliefs, which my mother tells me have only grown in strength as he has aged. I respect his beliefs and would never deign to debate religion with him. Religion just shouldn't be debated, as you cannot substantiate your arguments with facts - only faith. I respect his (and anybody's) faith, as I know it played an important part in shaping him as a boy and a man. The parents are having issues with the brother's NYE wedding, as it is decidedly non-religious, and there is very little God involved in the ceremony. Keegan doesn't belong to a church and, like the rest of us, is something approaching agnostic when it comes to religion. Not ruling it out, just not big believers in institutionalized religion and jaded from seeing self-professed "Christians" act anything but. His bride is half Jewish, but non-practicing, and both of them find it disrespectful to pretend to be otherwise for the purpose of ceremony. I find that to be incredibly honorable, genuine, and, respectful to those of abiding faith. It is odd that my parents don't appreciate that respect.

All of this notwithstanding, my parents deserve props for raising four independently thinking and truly quality human beings. It would be so weird if one of us were some fundamentalist Christian or crazy right wing parrot of our parents or the administration. We can all accept that my mother doesn't know or care, and that our dad is a Waco-born, Naval Academy graduate who would sooner die than actively criticize the government - an affliction that he didn't have during the Clinton administration. Somehow, for him, lying about a blow job is far, far worse than lying about war motivations, most likely owing to the "far left media" that controls the airwaves. Suffice to say, they like Fox News. And you can only imagine their thoughts on Hillary Clinton. I haven't heard my dad's take on Obama, but am hopeful it doesn't include the phrase "opportunistic nigger" or an equivalent. I can guarantee you, however, that he isn't seeking out any information on the man.

What the hell was all of this? No idea. My corner of the internets has no rules. I am secretly hoping that Hillary and Obama join forces, although I suspect that Hillary might choose Al, which would be pretty damning to Obama. I have read a lot about the candidates and can see strengths in all of them, save Guliani, who will appeal to my parents, I am sure. I liked McCain on some levels, but he seems to be in a Britney-style meltdown, probably owing to the hatchet job done to him by GWB2 last election. I don't even think my dad understands what that was all about, how a fellow Annapolis grad was utterly besmirched by the White House. They don't cover that in the weekly tabloids or on Fox News. I don't think Hillary is electable, , owing to folks like my parents in the flyover states who cannot be arsed to think for themselves. I have tentatively thrown my support behind Obama, as he is the most exciting thing in American politics since.....well, hell, I don't know. His lack of international experience and diplomacy is an issue, but holy fuck, compared to the inexperienced cowboy that is currently running the show? Step way the hell up.

Yeah, I am boring myself. I wonder if Lohan is out of rehab, or if TMZ has a close-up of Tommy Lee's black eye from Kid Rock.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Britney and Board Rooms

Another day, another avoidance of the email and voice mail. This is absolutely the shittiest way to handle this and the usual MO when one lacks the sack to do the right thing. I just haven't quite figured out what that right thing is to do.

Unrelated thoughts:

1) I retract my desire to have carnal relations with Justin Timberlake. I still think he's talented, but he is freaking annoying. I don't even think I would buy a concert ticket. I might go if the tickets were comped, but yeah. No.

2) Britney Spears is not fucking fat. Jesus H. Christ. The girl probably weighs no more than 130 pounds at most, and she has natural tits and ass. Yes, that outfit left nothing to the imagination and didn't hide any of her imperfections, but the girl isn't fat. Stupid? Most certainly. I think we have watched someone have a nervous breakdown in real time and I, like many a snarker, have derived entertainment value in it, but I cannot believe how many reputable news outlets referred to her as chunky or fat, or otherwise commented negatively on her physique. That is so fucked up.

Yes, I can agree that she probably brought on the criticism with her underwear outfit. Subtle, that. Inevitable comparisons to her 18 year old body, prior to having two kids and a complete breakdown in front of the paparazzi, which she courts. I get that part. But that woman is not fat by any stretch of the imagination. We have this fucked up relationship with female celebrities where we have come to expect - if not demand - perfection and we take great delight in knocking them when they are normal human beings. We mock the bobbleheads like Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton for being human mannequins, and read magazines that speculate loudly whether Angelina Jolie has lost too much weight. Yet here was a woman who, again, after two kids, has her body in a shape most women would sell their souls for and all the media can talk about is that she is fat? I would love to weigh those writers.

I watched the opening of the VMA's with the P last night and I kept remarking that Britney's body looked fantastic. P immediately caught onto the fact that Brit was clearly stoned on something, as she had the passion and energy of Terri Schiavo at a rave, and that the internets would be merciless today. I was sort of transfixed on her body. Upon watching it on the computer today, however, I saw what P saw last night. Holy hell. I so want to feel sorry for that girl, as she is clearly in a downward spiral of epic proportions. I was never a fan - the chick can't sing, her music grates on my nerves, and she never had anything interesting to say when she was sane, but my holy hell, she is batshit nuts now.

I can't even blame it on the paparazzi and media. Initially, Ms. Spears declared jihad on underwear, but now, she doesn't even wear pants in public. I guess I can blame the pervy paparazzi who direct their lens to her crotch, but the chick goes out without underwear when she knows the pervy paps are there. I have as much sympathy for her as I do for Ms. Lohan, who is arranging photo ops at her rehab facility. Maybe I should muster some semblance of empathy for girls who have been packaged, sold and eventually discarded by the media. Get all feminist about it. They don't do that to boys, do they? No - they want to build up the girls and take them down loudly and proudly.

The uncomfortable answer to this double standard is that women are vicious to each other. I would be surprised to hear any straight male say that Britney looked fat last night. Few men have girlfriends or wives with a body like present day Britney (although, truthfully, their SO's probably have better hair, which isn't saying much), so they aren't the critics. No, it is women who bash Britney's body. I have some remarkably attractive friends and not one of them would look better in that ensemble than Britney.

Which, with consistent incomprehension, brings me to a larger point. Women haven't figured out (pun intended) who they are competing with. Not each other, unless you are on Rock of Love (which, by the way? Still awesome beyond description). We are still competing with men, to demonstrate our equal value. One need only research the glass ceiling and comparative salaries to see that. Yet for some fucked up reason, we pick our battles with our own gender and focus on the utterly banal. Hell, I am guilty of thinking, on more than one occasion, that my coworker desperately needs a lesson from the fine ladies at Nordstrom on eyeliner application. Another colleague could greatly benefit from some hairstyle tips from any competent salon in the metro area. Both of these girls can and have given me a run for my money in terms of legal writing. I am just as guilty about judging my competition on superficial bullshit stuff. In my defense, my firm has a lot of women. But the person I respect the most? My portly (being generous here) senior partner, who, when he walks into court? Is judged on the words that come out of his mouth.

The opposing counsel in the case I referenced in the last entry? Complete asshole. Fat as fuck, he waddles when he walks, and he is by no means attractive. Yet, if the case miraculously goes to trial in three weeks? I am worried about not looking LA perfect thin in a suit. So incredibly fucked up, as the other side has no case. But we judge women differently than men. Women have to be beautiful, fit, smart, funny, clever, sexy and humble. Men only need to be smart and articulate - -arrogance, even if misplaced, is a plus. I am battling him, not any woman, in this case, and I have to be batting a thousand in terms of jury perception. It pisses me off that he can be this fat fuck, unethical, mean-spirited asshole, but in order to compete, I have to be flawless, which I am not.

And it pisses me off most that I have to worry about the female jurors. Seriously, women, we need to bury the hatchet and stop killing each other off. Britney, who I sincerely and sadly believe will be dead within a few years, would have wanted it that way. If she only had a brain.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Family Ties

Email and phone call from Blind Date Guy. I haven't returned either, as I am trying to carefully consider what is called for. What is the etiquette? Hell, if not etiquette, what is the right thing to do? I thought about what I would want to have happen if I had, what I believed to be,a promising date with someone I was interested in, but that person wasn't terribly interested in me. On one hand, I would probably want him to give me a second chance, as sometimes, the mood just isn't right on a given night, right? On the other hand, if he felt as I do - not just ambivalent, but fairly confident that the chemistry isn't there, I wouldn't want him to waste my time or energy.

Going with the idea of telling him "no thanks," I have no idea what or how to say it. Do you do it via email? That seems so cowardly, but then again, this was one goddamn date. It would certainly be more awkward to do it on the phone or in person, but it seems more.....classy and straightforward. I don't owe him anything beyond common courtesy, I suppose, but I don't want to embarrass him, either. Even after just one date, I don't know that I would want to look at someone I was interested in and have him tell me that he just isn't that into me.

Then, there is the third option of trying to build a new friendship with this guy. That still requires some conversation about not being romantically inclined and seems fraught with the possibility of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I had a friend in college who I knew had romantic feelings towards me and, like many college-aged girls, I sort of strung him along (sort of). Shitty, shitty thing to do, and not something I intend to do now.

I guess the fourth option is to cop out and tell him the quasi-truth: that I am just not ready to date at the moment. This could lead to the proverbial friend status, which could get awkward if I subsequently decide I am ready to date, just not him.

This is why I don't want to date. And probably why Al Gore invented email.

I hate that a big part of the reason I am not into him is that he isn't as verbal and (oh, this is cringeworthy) quick-witted as I am. I like to play off other people's wit and have fast and fun conversations. I made him laugh quite a bit last night and he kept saying "God, you are so charming" It reminded me of a conversation I had with my sister last week, when she said I could "out-personality" her every time. I was completely gobsmacked, as I routinely say that Kelly can outshine me under the table when we're both in a room. I never thought of it as a competition - just reality. As an aside, it is such a paradox that she is painfully shy in most social settings, yet in a room where she is comfortable, she can light it up like a Christmas tree.

Come to think of it, that is how all of the siblings are. I would describe all of us as unabashed extroverts and capable of assimilating into any social situation (particularly with the right amount of alcohol). You sort of develop that skill when you move every two years. There is a shared fearlessness about us that is rarer than I realized. Not afraid to make asses out of ourselves, not afraid to fuck up, not afraid of strangers, and not afraid to walk away from a bad situation with our heads held high. I think we have a collective self-confidence that assures us that no matter the mistakes we have made, each of us are good - no, fantastic - human beings on most days. We are a fiercely loyal foursome - to each other, to our family, and to the friends we all have. We forgive transgressions fairly easily and we aren't cruel to anyone.

My parents - and my extended family, which shares the same characteristics -- we are the most real family I know. No subject is off-limits (again, with the right amount of alcohol), no sins are beyond forgiveness, and everyone really tries to do right by each other and by the world.

Which, incoherently, brings me back to wanting to do the right thing with Blind Date Guy. Tying two subjects together (again, incomprehensibly) is that I will never again be with someone who cannot roll with my family. It is the ultimate litmus test for me and one I will surely not ignore again. In the early days, B has some skills, but he never embraced my family the way they were willing to embrace mine. MRE only met the boys and performed ably, but he was clearly out of his element. Blind Date Guy wouldn't last an hour with us before becoming supremely uncomfortable. Writer Guy, on the other hand?


Saturday, September 08, 2007

BUI - First Recognized Offense

Having split a bottle of wine and had two cocktails, I think I am legally intoxicated, and yet I feel sober. And need to record this for posterity and all that.

I canceled my dinner date with Writer Guy, only to get set up last minute (by well meaning friends) with Blind Date Guy. Oh holy hell, I am not ready for this racket.

Blind Date Guy was nice. So very nice. So very sweet and adoring and kept grabbing my hand across the table. Generous with the compliments, to say the least. He kept remarking about my perfume, which is odd, since I don't wear it. I have a scented oil that I slather on after a shower, but I haven't known it to be detectable 12 hours later. At one point, he told me that he was completely intimidated by my sense of humor and my "cutting wit." He told me that he was crazy about me and that he hadn't felt this way about anyone in years.

Oh dear. I have no idea how to deal with this. He is a nice guy, to be sure, but not anyone I want a second date with. I don't think I even want to be friends with him, as he brought very little clever to the table. He was attractive physically, I think objectively, but not attractive on what I dig on. I dodged the after-date kiss situation with a peck on the cheek as I fretted on how to say "thanks, but no thanks." I haven't dated since college, and right now? Writer Guy is looking more and more attractive -- he has the confidence and persistence that resonates. Blind Date Guy is just smitten for no reason, since he doesn't really know me.

I feel terrible at hurting his feelings and have no idea how to tell him that I am not interested in any relationship with him. How fucking mean is that? "Look, cupcake, I think you are a nice guy but there is no potential here. Do you want to segue into friends who watch movies together, or should we pronounce this DOA?" I would hate it if I had a hard on for some guy and he felt the way I am feeling and didn't tell me. I am so out of dating shape.

There is an entry that needs to be made about the three phone calls I got today. All of them former friends of the B&K story, asking what the fuck happened to B. Where did our boy go? Three phone calls in one day. I have no answer, even though I know that these callers were wondering whether it was attributable to "when you left B." As if that were the event that triggered it.

Fuck, the booze is hitting me and I am le tired. I don't want B, I don't want Blind Date Guy, I don't know what, if anything, I want from Writer Guy, and right now? Just want to be left the fuck alone. I have a great vibrator if I need an orgasm, but I am not craving companionship or someone to invade my space.

I probably need to get a few cats at this point.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Sometimes, I just need to see it in black and white text. Rereading what I wrote yesterday, it just sort of all came together. Yes, I still think of B as family, but that is misguided and kind of foolish. Family, at least my estimation of it, means forever, through good times and bad, and it means past, present and future. B is just the past and I don't want him in the present or future. He was an integral and undeniable part of my life in the past, but not someone I want in my present or future. I don't want a relationship with him - not of any kind - at least in the near term. I won't be able to move forward if I am still shackled to him at the ankle. I gave B the name of an attorney who has experience in this field and has reasonable rates.

When you think about it, John Mayer is kind of a male Sheryl Crow.

Late night at the office. I am about to piss off a client something fierce and am struggling with having to do so. My client wants to settle a lawsuit brought against him, even though it is, without question, the most ridiculous and baseless claim I have seen in my career. My attorney instincts are directly contrary to his business instincts and this struggle is taking an intellectual toll. My job - the service I offer - is to get the client the result he wants. He wants to pay a ridiculous amount of money to settle a nuisance law suit. I know that I would not only successfully defend him, but would vindicate him in his relatively small industry. His reasons for settling are purely emotional -- he has litigation fatigue - but attorneys are impervious to such fatigue. If I can coax him past it, he will save seven figures and have a lifetime of ammunition against this asswipe of a competitor.

The other side's counsel is everything that people perceive as being wrong with lawyers. They are lying to their client and milking him for every dollar they can. They have to know they are going to lose at trial, but because their client can pay their bills, they will have collected seven figures in the process of prosecuting a loser case. At the disastrous settlement last week, I made the more asshole of them bluster, stammer, and eventually call me a fucking bitch. All without raising my voice or doing anything more than pointing out the weakness of their claims. Politely, I might add. I got the "look, little lady, I have been doing this longer than you have been alive" shit, to which I replied "well, that's why it is curious why you are taking a position that is unsupportable by any case law in the country." The meeting ended with him pounding the table, screaming "this meeting is over," and me saying "that is usually what people do when they are losing an argument. My dad does it with some frequency. He's been doing it as long as you have been practicing law." That prompted the fucking bitch remark. Classy, that. Still, nice to note that I can intimate a man twice my age with three times the experience.

I am supposed to have dinner with Writer Guy tomorrow night. I can feel my cancellation rising up in the back of my throat.

My $400 haircut is growing out like a weed. Somehow, I don't think I will be going back to Billy for a trim.

I made it around Greenlake in 29 minutes this morning.

I got a kickass gift card from Tom Colicchio and a handwritten note with menu suggestions. I intend to have a lavish dinner party with the sister in LA.

I am buried professionally for the next two months, assuming my CA case goes to trial as scheduled, but all of us are convinced the court is going to kick it out another six months. This will be the third rescheduling of the case and we're over a year past the original trial date.

I haven't seen the rat since that ill-fated moment of opening the BBQ, but suspect that it might have gorged itself on fat drippings. I am terrified to clean that shit out and, for the very first time, wish I had a man around to do it. I will probably hire one.

I reread a short story that MRE clipped and sent me. Stephen King wrote this fictional story for Esquire's July 2007 issue. Upon the reread, I was tantalized by his storytelling ability - the details, the suspense, the imagery. I missed MRE so badly tonight, as I wanted to rehash it with him.

And, again coming to the full circle that probably only makes sense to me, I realized that I don't think of MRE as family. We were involved for less than a year, so there's that, and while he was a part of my recent past, I don't think of him as family whatsoever. Therein lies the goal with B. The breakup with MRE was, in many ways, much more difficult emotionally than B, so the distinction isn't one of intensity. I loved him differently. Much differently.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Favorite Mistake

I had one of those post-workout epiphanies today, which came at a good time.

I had a phone call from B last night as we made plans to get together to handle some unfinished business. I know that I should handle everything through email or attorneys or some other arms' length interaction, but it honestly feels so unnatural. Contrived. Phony. Maybe that isn't a bad thing, given the circumstances. Hell, it probably isn't. Maybe I take some perverse delight in knowing he still needs me. I truly hope that isn't it, as his needs are many and never-ending and, of course, he doesn't generally offer up assistance when I need it (not that I ever ask). But I would be swimming in de Nile if I didn't acknowledge that was probably part of it.

As I was kicking myself for this, I realized that there is closely related reason that I continue to take his calls and help him out. B's ongoing need for my advice and counsel shows me that he still very much respects me and values my opinion. That matters to me. It just does. Right or wrong, that respect honors our relationship, at least as far as I am concerned. So perhaps it isn't as much as that he still needs me but that he still respects and trusts me, notwithstanding the end of our marriage.

Truth is, I don't need or want daily or even regular affirmation of his respect, which explains why I am so irritated when the calls come in. I am still astounded at the hubris of whatever request he has. Thinking about it this morning, I came to a realization that is at once obvious and curious: I think of B as family. In a nutshell, that is it. I met him when I was 21 and grew into an adult while with him. In the early years of our marriage, my family was mostly overseas and his folks were out of state, so we were a family of two. We were young and learning our way around the city and finishing educations and waiting tables and hustling and struggling for cash, like most 20-somethings. We lived on a boat, for fuck's sake, and you can't very well hide out in the bathroom and avoid conflict on a boat. We were in each other's faces and business and did everything together. I'm not saying it was healthy, but it was what it was. It is history, literally and figuratively.

He isn't my family, but he still feels that way. When he calls with a favor, I feel the same obligation that I feel with my brothers or sister. Enough time has passed between our breakup and the present where I can honestly say that I don't have any romantic feelings for him. How could I? My respect and admiration for him is quite nearly gone and I certainly don't miss being with him physically. Every now and then, I see a flash of the man I shared my life with for over a decade and that? Feels like home. Familiar. Known. Family.

He called tonight with his biggest favor yet and I was yet again gobsmacked. The nerve, the hubris, the clueless brass balls on this one. He is in a fight with his HOA and needs legal and practical advice. He ostensibly called for a recommendation for an attorney, but then said if he could hire anyone, it would be me. He has been a royal jackass of a homeowner (I believe his exact words were "K, I have been a complete fucking asshole to them") and again is looking for me to get him out of it.

I asked him if he ever felt like I was his protective helmet for the past ten plus years and that now, he is running into everything headfirst like a toddler on sugar. He laughed and said "pretty much everyday, K." I told him that these ongoing requests were truly unfair to me, as I am not calling him with requests for favors. I also told him that it was transparently manipulative to play upon, what I am sure he knows, is my reluctance to tell a former friend that I didn't want to help them. I told him that I still think of him as family and only some extended time apart will change that. I explained that he (we) needed to stop thinking of each other as friends and recognize that any prayer of a future friendship requires a new foundation that cannot be poured for a long time.

He agreed and apologized and thanked me for listening. An hour later, I called him with a recommendation for an attorney.

Then I agreed to help him out. He is, at least for now, still family to me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sheryl Crow

As a counterpoint to my holier-than-thou tone as of late, I confess that I took a great deal of delight in the observations of several mutual friends who remarked that B's girlfriend has gained 40 or 50 pounds in the last year. Fucking A, that made me laugh and will serve as a personal motivation to keep myself and my body on the program I am working. I don't know the woman and don't believe I have any substantive judgment about her. I have no beef with her whatsoever and should not take any pleasure in knowing this, but alas, I do. Am often not a decent person. Living well, best revenge and all of that.

Apparently, there is trouble in paradise. That goes a long way in explaining why B calls me every day. I don't take most of them, but some habits are harder to break than others. I don't know why, but I felt compelled to tell him about the rat on the BBQ story. I really need to break the B habit, as it is a terrible relationship right now. One sided, false and hypocritical, and truthfully, just a goddamn habit. I have plenty of those and am working towards the day where I don't feel obligated to take his calls.

I said it, probably here, but I don't know how people can completely eliminate someone from their life that they once cared about deeply. B and I shared a long history and grew up together. I have zero attraction to him, as I have lost all respect for him, but I still care about him. I think I will always feel that way about him, out of respect for our former relationship. In some ways, it seems disingenuous to cut him out of my life entirely, as if I am pretending he never existed. On the other hand, he WAS a part of my life, but isn't anymore, and it seems equally disingenuous to pretend otherwise. Shit, I still talk (occasionally) to my high school boyfriend, although there is a lot of time and water under the bridge separating the two relationships. It is way too soon to try to be "friends" with B, and, in any event, he is a shit friend. A very shit friend. Just an artifact of my personal history - one that can be acknowledged and respected for the journey, but not a part of everyday life.

Getting there. Watch this space for personal growth and all of that. With a little distasteful schadenfreude thrown in.

Final aside: one of the great things I developed in the course of the relationship with MRE was a rediscovery of music. I am a creature of habit and listen to the same damn radio station all day and hear the same 100 songs played over and over. MRE used to send me a song of the day, and through him, I learned to expand my comfort zone to new artists. I went on an i-tunes bender on Sunday and bought a shitload of great new music. Some of it was music from artists he recommended, some of it was just dumb luck, but I have reignited the love of my ipod an account of him.

Since I mentioned law school friend yesterday, I am reminded of a theory she and I worked out, back in the day. In any breakup, there are stages. I have long believed they are: (1)shock, (2) hurt/depression, (3)anger/revenge, and eventually, (4) closure. She and I translated these emotional states into recording artists. Shock had no soundtrack, as no one can hear or relate to anything while in shock. Hurt and depression? At the time, I believe we assigned this stage to Paula Cole and David Grey, but present day additions would probably include Mindy Smith and Patti Griffith, and, without question, Snow Patrol - if there is a better breakup album than their most current release, I haven't heard it. Anger/revenge? Ani DiFranco, Fiona Apple, Alanis, and, of course, Peaches (Fuck the Pain Away). But when you know you've crossed the bridge and you are over it? Sheryl Fucking Crow is the gold standard. 10,000 Maniacs and Natalie Merchant. Foo Fighters (wait....what?) I have a few ones to add here, but am too lazy to google. And lest I feel entirely one-sided, I did introduce him to Alexi Murdock.

In any event, I am soaking up the sun and cool like Fonzie these days.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tone Deaf and Willfully Blind

I reread over some past posts and just hate the tone of some of them. I have to believe that I am not going to become bitter or jaded as a result of any past relationship. Perhaps that is inevitable in the short term, as you try to make sense of what went right and what went wrong, but at least in my case, any bitterness or anger I have is directed squarely in the mirror.

I don't think that anyone truly gets blindsided in relationships. Where the issue is one of an isolated mistake, well, shit just happens and people can and do fuck up and that is to be expected. Sometimes they fuck up routinely, but the cruel intent is not present and, again, people are fallible and make mistakes.

Where the issue is one of a more fundamental nature, however, I do not believe that the issue appears out of nowhere. As one example, I don't know anyone who suddenly discovered their husband was abusive - the red flags were always there, but not heeded because of perceived tradeoffs or, worse, a belief that the person will change. I realize that there is a tension between the idea of compromising ("no one is perfect") and holding out for what you really want in a relationship. Sometimes, it is just the belief that "he is so perfect in every way except...." that creates the willful blindness.

I take full responsibility for my past willful blindness. That part is easy and effortless. What is more challenging is figuring out why and learning not to do it again. What the hell is the point if you don't learn something from it, particularly how to avoid similar behavior in the future? Doesn't that completely waste the experience and render the former relationship meaningless? I find that to be disrespectful to both parties, and I put a very high premium on respect.

I had a friend in law school who betrayed me in one of the worst ways imaginable. I think about her a lot, as I truly cannot imagine how she can live with it. I had been a fiercely loyal friend to her and carried her in nearly every way you can carry a friend -- emotionally, academically, socially, financially -- but when there came a point where she had to have my back? Where she had to sack up and honor the friendship? She was completely self-serving and weak, thinking only of herself and who could best maximize her lot in life. I understand self-preservation, but not at the expense of a loyal friend who, as she damn well knew, would never have done the same to her. I am no martyr, but I would have fallen on the sword for her in light of what I believed to be our friendship. I would have healed from that wound and the friendship would have been strengthened.

I still respect certain of her achievements. She came from Nowhere, Nebraska, from a poverty-line, broken family, worked her ass off to get a partial scholarship to a somewhat respectable school, joined Teach for America and taught in Harlem, and finally ended up at a brand-name law school, drowning in debt but determined to get her permanent ticket out of Nowhere. Perhaps because I had a privileged upbringing, I tend to fall for the "by my own bootstraps" stories and have often assumed that such folks would have an even greater sense of loyalty and gratitude when it came to matters of friendship. I tend to gravitate towards them as a result. In my experience, however, the hard knock life has little correlation to a friend's loyalty.

Someday soon, I hope to discover the actual correlation. I think I am getting close, as I have friends here (and elsewhere)and family who would take up arms to protect me, and I would for them. I don't really understand the point of having a friendship or any relationship with someone who wasn't like-minded on this. I know that I have never thrown anyone under the bus or otherwise completely renounced or betrayed a friendship. I have certainly fucked up in friendships and relationships and have been cowardly in repairing the damage caused thereby, but I haven't betrayed a friendship or relationship.

Which, somehow, and probably not coherently, brings me back to my original thought. Whatever disappointments I have experienced with B or the MRE, I didn't betray them. I still have a hard time saying anything disparaging about B to anyone and I certainly don't want to slam the MRE. Both were good, if not great, men as I knew them and I am richer for the experience. That they didn't live up to my estimation of them is my problem, not theirs, as I disregarded plenty of warning signs. The same holds true for the law school friend. The key lesson to be learned (and what I am struggling with) is how to train yourself to acknowledge, heed and act upon the red flags so that you don't keep recycling the same relationships, over and over.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Would hit it with purposeful abandon - just once - but memorably. Jesus H Christ, he is talented, and of the old school model. I found myself thinking about the Jacksons, of all fucking people, but he is an old school entertainer. He has to be smart. He is too good not to be smart. I think he might be Madonna smart in terms of calculating a career.

One time. Not for any other reason other than to hit it and quit it with someone who has the fucking sack to live deliberately. That part of his personality comes through in spades and it is my soft spot - men who live deliberately. God, how I hate weak men, which, unfortunately, I attract in spades. I at least married a strong man, however flawed. My dating hiatus remains in effect, as I cannot allow myself to be attracted to someone with a weak character or personality. I actually want to be the wallflower in my next relationship. I want someone stronger than me.

I would still hit JT with wild abandon. And Writer Guy has made up a few laps.


Still haven't seen the theatrical version, but caught the reality version tonight.

I love three day weekends. I had my lazy day yesterday, piddling around the house after my morning soccer game. Holy hell, I am in dire need of conditioning. I wish we played twice a week, as I forgot how different the cardio workout is when sprinting hard in short bursts. We won, thankfully, but I am not yet in the cardio shape to really make the impact and contribution I want.

Today was a little more productive in terms of work and house issues. I got the bad news I was expecting on the condo-wide assessment and it is just as ugly as I estimated. I think it will cause me to leave my job for a better paying gig, which sucks, as I am quite content with my salary and position. Seattle just hasn't caught up to the rest of the country in terms of competitive salaries, which is baffling, considering our extremely high cost of living. I am either going in-house or pursuing some options in CA. Sadly, it is more affordable for me to commute to CA on a CA salary than to stick around here.

Perhaps in denial of this, after running the lake, I went to Whole Paycheck. The bone-in ribeyes (my absolute favorite) were on sale, so I thought I would grill one up and eat the leftovers for the rest of the week. These bad boys were absolutely huge (which probably explained the sale price) and the butcher behind the counter gave me one that was almost two pounds. Jesus Brandon, I will be eating steak in every meal this week. Steak and egg scramble, steak salad, steak quesadillas.

I haven't grilled in a while and opened up the BBQ to fire it up. Holy fucking shit, there was a live rat on the grill! I shrieked like a little bitch, jumped back a few feet, hitting my elbow on the door and ran back in the condo, shaking like a leaf. From an encounter with a rat. I still don't know where it is as I sit out here on the deck, waiting for the two pounder to grill. That fucker should be good and grateful that I didn't light the thing automatically, with the lid down. That is my usual MO, but because I hadn't grilled in a while, I was going to clean the grill a bit. It is probably wrong that I found myself wondering what sound it would have made had I just lit the grill automatically, with the lid down.

I have seen rats exactly twice before, and always at the same time of year. A few years ago, I was standing at the deck door and saw one scurry across the ledge of my balcony. It took me nearly a month to go back out on the deck. The more recent time was about a month ago and it was much, much worse. It was a hot evening by Seattle standards and I was lounging on the couch with the deck doors open. It was really late and I had fallen asleep in the couch. I suddenly woke up and was about to get up to go to bed when I saw some movement that caught my eye. As I was half asleep, I thought my eyes might have been playing tricks on me, but no. A goddamn rat had come in the condo and my goddamn dog (who barks at passing dogs across the street) slept through the whole thing. I watched the vermin scurry across my hardwood floors, only to do a 180 and run out to the deck. Filthy little fucker.

I have no proof, but I firmly believe that was the same fucker on my grill. If it is still somewhere in the BBQ, I hope it is positively dripping in fat drippings. I hope it dies from overeating the renderings.\\

Unrelated: I am excited to watch the Justin Timberlake special on HBO. Pathetic.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Close Calls

This thought has been rattling around my brain for a few weeks and is probably not all the way thought out.

I cannot believe how many times I have narrowly averted a disaster or worse. It has happened so frequently that I have questioned my agnostic take on things. I look back upon the times in college that I willfully drove drunk, purposefully running stop signs and I am profoundly ashamed. Waking up the next morning to check if my car was present and intact because I could not remember the drive home. Horrifying to think about now.

Going back even further, I remember an episode in fourth grade, where my best friend and I resolved to wear bras to school. I had developed breasts at a very early age and actually needed one, while my BFF at the time just wanted to wear one (of mine - I had an older sister). We both went to school with bra straps, but Julie caved mid-day. She took hers off and surreptitiously passed it to me. I took mine off in a show of solidarity and stuffed both of them into my desk. They were stored there for most of the day, until I randomly decided to stuff them into my backpack. Not two minutes later, I got busted for passing notes with Julie and the teacher (equal parts asshole and cool guy) came over to desk and proceeded to dump it over (in response to my protestation that I was not passing notes). Had he done that five minutes earlier? My entire class would have seen two bras on the floor, which probably would have scarred me for life.

From a contemporary standpoint, I have dodged more bullets than some characters in The Matrix. I could list of them now, but it would be humbling and humiliating. I am not certain if it is just dumb luck (that I get away with some truly stupid shit) or something more than that. I am not a religious person, but do contemplate the existence of a higher power. I kind of have to consider that, as I have been tremendously lucky. Lucky.

Most recent ex (hereinafter referred to as "MRE")? I dodged a crazy ass bullet there. While I loved a lot of things about him and admired and contemplated a long term thing with him, he also scared the fuck out me. MRE needed me a lot more than I needed him, at least emotionally, and had it all gone forward, I would have found myself in the position of ca retaking an emotionally needy person. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and something I am well equipped to do. But I came so very close to having MRE move in with me and assuming all of his issues and drama and shortcomings. I, in essence, would have assumed the drama and turmoil of his life at the expense of my own. Worse, and confessionally, I did not have the ultimate courage to voice these concerns. I did it superficially, but never really said what I was thinking. I would have had a nicer B to contend with. Needy, selfish, and not really as great of a man and person as I want. I was better for him than he was for me. Sofa king tired of that. MRE will forever be the most fatal bullet I dodged.

I want a lot. I realize that. I will hold out for what I want.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Celebrity Trifecta

This was, without question, my favorite trip to LA. I have a completely different impression of the city now, and just calling it a city is indicative of that. I have long observed LA to be a clusterfuck of suburbs and commutes and freeways, but because Kelly lives so in-city, I finally realized that there is a dynamic community of urban dwellers whose lives don't involve hours on the interstates.

Yesterday morning, I finalized part of the agreement that brought me to LA and spent the majority of the beautiful afternoon working in my hotel room. Glamorous, that. I was on the fifteenth floor of a Century City hotel, facing west, so I had a commanding view. I worked on the deck until the direct sunlight sent me back inside while my niece swam in the pool. Kelly finally made it over (literally around the corner) about 4 or so and, all of us exhausted from the night before, we napped a little.

Still mindful of the unbeatable Craft experience, we ended up going to a Brazilian churrascaria at Century City Mall. I have been to many a churrascaria and this was a little different from, say, Fogo De Chao, which is often the gold standard in major markets. I am used to the tableside carving of every type of meat imaginable, but Ummba Grill was more of a cafeteria style and kind of an ingenious set up.

I am still too burned out (read: not talented enough) to attempt a quality review, but the food was damn good and more affordable than most churrascarias. We had Brazilian sausages, lamb, garlic beef and chicken, and, the highlight, the Brazilian tenderloin. Utter meatfest, washed down with caipirinas (which contain nectar from the gods - cuchasa). If there is a better summer cocktail than a caipirina, I haven't had it. Notable sides were the light tabbulah (yes, a Lebanese salad in a Brazilian joint - whatever your head), the roasted cassava root with cheese, the Brazilian garlic rice and this interesting (but only for a few bites) carrot and sweet potato puree. And holy hell, Brazilian biscuits are the shit.

The niece went to a double feature at the Century City Mall's theater, so Kelly and I hit the town in her car(t), which she refers to as "Chi Diddy." We headed down to Santa Monica and hit the Promenade. Incidentally, I find it delightful that they offer two hours of free parking at most of the garages, to say nothing of the fact that they have electrical outlets for folks like Kelly. Yes, we were w00ted and hollered at the whole way there.

Almost immediately after arriving, we were corralled by some very attractive PA types to participate in the filming of a reality television program. As I am decidedly hostile to the camera, I initially declined, but upon learning that Carson from Queer Eye was the host and that we would meet him, I promptly signed a waiver that I would advise any client to burn. Carson, you see, was on Queer Eye with Ted, who is now a guest judge on Top Chef, where, of course, the inimitable and adorable Tom Colicchio reigns supreme. Even though I was sporting the spectacled look, owing to a lost contact, I participated.

The premise of the show is people (women?) with severe body issues. They had projected the (faceless) body of a woman - who had recently lost 75 pounds after a pregnancy - onto a nearby building. Apparently, she thinks she is hideous when, of course, she has a completely normal and attractive body. We were called upon to remark on whether she was, in fact, hideous. Carson is the host of this Lifetime show, and while he wasn't my favorite on Queer Eye, he is, without question, made for TV. He is delightful, engaging, affectionate and real, although he is Botoxed beyond belief. When I met him, I told him that I had just met Tom, Ted's new colleague, and Carson said "OH, I LOVE HIM! LET'S TAKE A PICTURE TOGETHER LATER!" Then he interviewed me on camera, where I was surely stilted and uncomfortable. Minutes later, when interviewing Kelly, the first thing he said to her was "I love you! Look how cute you are!" They had a great interview which concluded with Carson saying "we need a hundred more of her."

Kelly belongs on camera. I do not.

Fuck, getting long again. We went to a tequila bar and befriended two cops. As a funny aside, as we were pulling into Santa Monica, we saw a pack of guys running fast and furious across the street, holding their low hanging pants up in their getaway. We both laughed, then saw the very out of shape cops chasing them. Jesus, it was like watching Cops in slow motion. When we bonded with the cops at the tequila bar, we found out that it had just been a fight (that had precipitated the chase), which was oddly disappointing to me.

We then again cruised Beverly Hills and Sunset in the Chi Diddy, which garnered much of the same responses at the night before. Goddamn, that is more entertaining than I could ever explain, and confidential to the gorgeous guy who talked us up on the way home? If I thought I could have driven that goddamn car by myself? We would have made sweet, sweet music all night.

There is a great story to be told about Kelly and I furiously racing (in a car(t) that only goes 35 miles per hour) before the 2am cutoff for alcohol sales, to say nothing of the cop who took a load off in our backseat and the freaky experience of being at a stoplight and having someone attempt the same thing, which scared the shit out of us, but alas, this I am le tired.

After changing my flight at 4:30am, we resolved to hit The Griddle, where I desperately wanted to dine, but the night before had taken its toll and we didn't get there before the hour long lines. Kelly was adamant I try a dog at Pink's, which I did. While I am hardly a hot dog guru, I completely understand why that place is such an institution. When we passed it late on Friday night, there was a line snaking down the street. I am still gobsmacked at Kelly's choice - tortilla wrapped around two hot dogs, PASTRAMI, chili, cheese, onions, etc.

We had just enough time to hit In and Out for my sack lunch of flight food, and I arrived at the airport with time to spare. After getting everything checked in and ascending the escalator to security, the security agent was gushing "OMG, he is so good looking in person." I asked who she saw and she said "Will! From Will and Grace!"

I was directly behind him in the very short security line. He was with his wife and son, and there were jokes made about his son stealing my In and Out and, of course, the willful denial that one must observe when walking barefoot in LAX. He said he loved my shirt and we walked a few steps apart to the gate. I strongly considered asking him for a photo, but was sensitive to the fact that he was, like me, dealing with the hassles of travel, but with his family in tow.

I called Kelly to tell her the celebrity trifecta was complete and she urged me to get a photo. I looked around for them and didn't initially see them in the area, but finally realized they were sitting on the floor behind the counter for their gate. Heading to Vancouver, of course. I sat down a few feet away and took a few clandestine photos, trying not to invade their space. Then, he walked right by me to put some stuff in the trash.

I very quietly said "Eric?" He looked down and laughed when he saw me (he really liked my shirt), squatted down said "yes?" I said "hey, listen, I don't want to disturb you, but this will be a running joke for me and sister. You are my third." He looked at me blankly and asked "third what?" "Third celebrity I have seen in the three days I was down here. I promise I won't put it on the internet"(my fingers were crossed). He said yes and smiled and I took a quick photo.

He then asked who were the other two celebrities I had met. I told him about Carson, then said "you probably don't know him, but I met Tom Colicchio at Craft" and Eric ABSOLUTELY SQUEED. He said "I love Top Chef" and "how was Craft - it JUST OPENED." I gave him a quick review and told him what to order and how amazing it all was. He said he was going to take his wife there when they got back and then started to get up because his wife was calling him over. I asked him if he was heading to Vancouver and he said yes, and I asked him if he knew where to dine in Vancouver. He said "do you have some recommendations?" I laughed and he took my hand and pulled me up, saying "my wife would love to talk to you."

Yes. Yes, I gave restaurant recommendations to Will, from Will and Grace, as well as other notable sights and scenes to be seen in Vancouver. His wife took down every word and hugged me when they had to leave to board (she was especially delighted when I told her about this hole in the wall oyster bar). She is lovely, he is darling, and his kid ate some of my In and Out fries. I should have asked for a her to take a photo of me and Eric, but this one kind of captures the moment. God, I suck at pictures.

I hope this doesn't really count as posting it on the internets.