So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

it's the string

 lately everything's been coming up roses in my house.  great new apartment, exciting changes, etc.  so yesterday, when one little issue presented a potential setback, my dear roommate had to remind me not to be so worried about the little things:

Shaunice: "We're positive people, and things are going great for us lately.  We need to start thinking positively and expecting good things."

me: "You're right.  Things have been going great.... ever since I started wearing this Kabbalah string on my left wrist!"


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the law of love

A consequence of this law is that love can neither be created nor destroyed: it can only be transformed from one state to another. The only thing that can happen to love is that it can change form..."

it's true because i read it on Wikipedia.  well, kinda....


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

pausch says...

The key question to keep asking is, "Are you spending your time on the right things?" Because time is all you have.

lately, i feel as though i have no time.  life is hectic.  i won't allow myself to complain too much, because 1) i'm  coming off a long sabbatical that most people don't get and 2) i am grateful.

life is busy.   work is hectic, and the days are both long and exhausting.  i'm moving to a lovely new home over the next few weeks, and i am dreading packing and hauling all my ish.  in order to make up for lifeless, workful weeks, i've been having a lot of fun on weekends not getting a lot of rest.  and i'm exhausted.  but back to being grateful.

i have to remind myself to come back to gratitude, regardless of where my mind and my feelings wander.  i've been meaning to tell you something: two weeks ago i had to rush to divorce court to fill in for a senior attorney at my firm.  (an emergency situation arose, and while i am not a divorce attorney, i can handle pretty much any type of hearing in a pinch, with little prep time.)  i introduced myself for the first time to "my" client, who is going through a devastating divorce after more than thirty years of marriage.  i know it's devastating to her, because i've read her file.  surprisingly, legal files can hold so much information about people, including their heartbreak.  

i guess i expected the old woman to be sad and stressed.  but when i asked the lovely woman how she was, on what i already knew was a very stressful court date for her, her response was, "I'm grateful," she said to me.  "I'm not happy to be in court, but I'm happy."  

i've been thinking about that client often. she and i had a nice connection that afternoon -- partly because she is an old woman and old women love me (especially black women. you have no idea. i told you before that i think in a previous life i was a sassy black woman, right?)  also, partly because we sat in the back of the courtroom and chatted about gratitude and perspective.  i told her about my new job, which is running me ragged.  i told her that i'm happy to be working and learning a lot.  we really got each other, and she's not the first old lady who really gets me.  (remind me to tell you about Dianne from Pittsburgh.)

last week, our lovely client visited the office for an appointment, and she popped into my office to say hello.  "I was hoping to see you, Matthew!" she said with the loveliest smile i had seen all week. also, her skin is gorgeous. 70 years young.  black don't crack. "I just wanted to check in and see how you are."  she's checking in on me?  my firm is supposed to be taking care of her.  

i'm grateful for that lovely old lady.  i want to be like her.  well -- not an old divorcee, but -- you know.  keeping gratitude in my heart and on my face despite challenges.  despite an insane job, despite the stress of packing and moving, despite the ups and downs of everyday life, despite just a hint of loneliness since i've had neither the time nor the patience to date in the past two months.  TMI? whatever.

i'm also grateful for the Pottery Barn Outlet, which is amazeballs.  i got beautiful new bedding for my new apartment today, including a ridiculously posh faux-sheepskin throw blanket that is to die for (and that Atti will probably try to murder because it's so life-like).

so that's how i am.  i'm grateful.  and when you ask me how i am, i hope i remember to tell you so.  because sometimes life is so busy that gratitude is really all you have.


Monday, September 20, 2010

watch it again. part III.

more than a year later, this song still quiets me. one of those songs that has the power to change your mood with just a few chords. 

and this video is too lovely.  you've probably seen it, but watch it again.  it will make Monday better.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

sinatra says...

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.


the grumpy old jew says...

yesterday my boss was talking about some trial prep that he wanted to get done over the weekend.  as today is Yom Kippur (in law school my dear friend CPG taught me all about the Jewish holidays) and he and his family observe all the holy days, i said to him jocularly, "Remember, you can't do work tomorrow."

his response: "I can do whatever the fuck I want. There is no god."

"Okay," i said.  "Will you be fasting?"

his response: "Yeah, I'll be fasting. Look at me. I'm a fat fucking pig. It'll do me some good."

that's my leader and my mentor, folks.  teachin' me the ways of the world.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


i've always felt that i have a firm grasp on who i am.  i'm very self-aware, i think.  as in, i may be a little bit crazy, but i know that i'm crazy, and i know in what ways i'm crazy.  'ya know?

so when a dear friend said to me recently, 

"I don't think you really want a relationship,"

i was stunned.  scusa?  of course i want a relationship.  we all want a relationship.  i love relationships.  i love love.  i love the prospect of a happy home with a hot husband.  i love alliteration, apparently.  

"Why would you say that?" i asked him, somewhat defensively.

"No offense..." i guess he picked up on that.  "You find a reason to end it with every man you date... It just seems like you don't want it to work."

i would have liked to retort to him that he doesn't know me, or at least that he hasn't known me long enough to make such grand proclamations about my life.  but he does know me.  he has known me for almost 5 years, and he has known me well.  he knows me more than my spoken italics could possibly trump.  not only did we know one another intimately about 5 years ago, but he has remained a close friend to whom i'd tell pretty much anything, without even sugar-coating or PR-ing it first.  so instead of arguing, i said the first thing that came to mind:

"I don't need a man.  I need a champion."

was it an original thought?  no.  but we saw Eat*Pray*Love together, so i was sure that he'd get it.  and sometimes that's half the challenge in wit.  

at any rate... lately i've been thinking that i wasn't just attempting wit.  i've been thinking that there's some truth to my own grand proclamation about myself.  maybe there comes a point when you've known so many suitors, you want someone to come along and storm the castle walls. to defeat the dragons. to start a revolution in the kingdom. i don't know -- just -- a champion.  

a conqueror.  a defender.  a hero.  a top dog.* a victor.  

that's what i've been thinking lately.

*thanks,, that one was kinda funny.   


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

as fall nears

just thinking back...  

little did i know, it would be 2010, almost 2011, before we knew it.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

not on the corner of First and Amistad, part III

where did i find god today?

well, not today.  last night.  in a dirty dive bar, where beers were only $2 and i had a grilled cheese sandwich made with real Kraft singles. that's almost heaven, but it got better.

a David Archuleta song (is it real or just another CRUUSHHH) came on.  followed immediately by K.Clarkson (Because of You).  i was swooning like a teenage girl.  i should be ashamed, but --

thank god for dirty dive bars with jukeboxes and cheap beer. 

skarsgard says...

Sometimes I wish I had never met you.  Because then I could go to sleep at night not knowing there was someone like you out there.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

new mantra

Wherever You Stand
Be the Soul of that Place.

this is my new mantra, which i read the other day and which i needed to hear this week.  

you see, i'm working in a place that has no soul.  or -- i should say -- in a place where it's hard to see any soul. (yes. that will look much better on the transcript of today's proceedings.) maybe because everyone at the firm is too busy to have soul. 

my new office is vastly different from my last one, which i'm starting to view as a good thing.  it just takes a little time to get used to the huge change.  my last firm had a lot of soul.  and i had a lot of freedom. to blog, to take long lunches, to go to the gym in the middle of the day.  but the place had a little too much soul, with an office alcoholic causing commotion next door and an egomaniacal boss trying to rule the world three offices away.   every day was a new load of crazy.  nothing of the sort in my new office.

there's just no time for that brand of craziness nowadays.  too much work piled up.  not enough time in even a 12-hour day.  which is amazing and very good news IN THIS ECONOMY.  but the place moves so quickly and has such a buzz to it that nobody takes time to smile or to get to know anyone else.  until i came along, i'm not sure the words "thank" and "you" were put together much.

my first week, i thought that everyone at the firm was just rude.  nobody asked me how i was. nobody said "good morning."  rude.  the second week, i realized that nobody takes time to eat lunch, unless they can do it while doing work.  people who have worked together for months don't know each other at all.  where is the friendly banter? where is the water cooler talk?  there just isn't any, i've realized.   and there's no soul.

yet there has to be some hidden soul in the place, i've decided, because i work with three gorgeous 20-something paralegals and a bunch of old Jews. that's a recipe for a lot of personality.  i know the Jews are overworked. and the paralegals are pretty young sluts, so maybe they're just tired and hung over from partying the night before. every day. 

at any rate, back to my mantra.  i've decided to Be The Soul of the place.  first, there will be no more walking past me at 9 AM without hearing a "good morning."  second, i've spent all week asking people how they are, what they've got planned for their long holiday weekends, etc.  and they're responding well.  they're smiling.  give me a week, and they'll love me the best.  especially my 20-something paralegals.  they will be my work harem.  i charmed one of their kind at my old job, and she loved me so much that she moved in with me and now cooks me dinner.  i may have to get a bigger house.

i know that the office is a place to do business and be professional and focus.  but i can't do that with strangers and without smiles.  and sometimes jokes.  like today when i told my boss that he needs Xanax.  (did he laugh? no, but he will later. maybe over the weekend.)  jokes are important during a stressful day.  i think it will continue to get better, and maybe someday i'll have a personal conversation with a person who works there.  or at least i'll witness such a conversation between two persons who work there.  

for now, it's just me. i'll be the soul.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010