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will my streak continue and no doesn’t mean yes

September 2, 2014

cyberfriends, wish me luck.

i have just begun trial on a defendant that may be seriously demented. he refuses to plead out the case and keeps smiling at me from where he’s handcuffed across the room. really makes a girl feel special when a rapist focuses on you…and by special, i mean paranoid enough to contemplate buying a gun in case everything goes wrong and he’s released. meanwhile the judge is driving me up a wall, across the ceiling, and down the other side. makes a girl rather desperate to get rid of an otherwise good case.

but it is not to be. hopefully by this time next week, the jury will know him for the freak he is, the victim can put this behind her, and i can be released from a case that has been dogging me for over a year.

in other news, it’s very scary how many guys came up with “no means yes” while i was questioning them for jury selection. yet again makes me wonder what it’s like in a man’s brain. this isn’t oh baby, i’ll pretend to fight you and you hold me down for some racy sexy-wexy time. everyone knows what’s going on there. it’s not confusing. when a girl says no and starts crying, that’s a no, not an invitation to change her mind/pretend you didn’t see/turn her around so you don’t have to. nor are you entitled to sex just because you’re in a relationship, or because you feel like the big man who takes care of her financially so of course she “owes” you. consider, men, for a second what it would be like to have someone invade YOUR body when you don’t want them to. what it’s like to be a woman where sex means trusting and submitting yourself to a man. how humiliating and dirty and used that would make you feel when he takes what you haven’t given him.

on that pleasant note, i still have to work to do. sigh.

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life as i know it–2 years later

October 2, 2013

no, i did not fall off the face of the planet. rather, i became a prosecutor and “life as i know it” changed to a whole new plateau of crazy. more than TWO YEARS later and i’m angrier and chubbier, but hopefully a whole hell of a lot smarter than i was pre-career.

let’s take inventory. i am:

  • working crazy hours
  • not in a relationship, unless you factor in my unhealthy attachment to netflix
  • overweight
  • on match.com. even though i said never again
  • underpaid (apparently i’m working solely for “justice”)
  • acquainted with far too many cops (incidentally, they get paid a lot more than us lawyers)
  • chronically stressed
  • partial to binge-drinking with the rest of the over-stressed district attorneys
  • attending far too many weddings for friends and family and zero for myself
  • paranoid and checking for mayhem around every corner. yes, i keep a large, sharp knife next to my bed in case mr. rapist decides to pick me one night
  • prone to irrational bouts of road rage brought on by the morons who drive around this city
  • slowly losing all feeling in my baby toes as a result of wearing heels every day in court for hours on end
  • without sex or the promise of sex in the near future
  • the owner of 15 suits and 19 pairs of panty hose. yes folks, we’re required to wear panty hose. no it’s not sexy like on tv, it’s just hot and itchy
  • amazingly good at multitasking–i can ignore the judge while pretending to avidly hang on her every word, fill out paperwork, AND respond to a half dozen defense attorneys descending on me like vultures!

as i’ve learned at this job, always best to end on a positive note.

you might wonder why so much of that list relates back to my job. or is the result of my job. that’s because being a prosecutor slowly consumes all other aspects of your life until you look back one day and can find very little about yourself that doesn’t relate back to the office. your friends are all work friends. your conversations, even outside of work, are about work. your dating life is restricted by work and also because the search for romance seems like a futile way to spend the precious time you have away from the office. and yet, a lot of that precious time away seems to be dedicated to tv and the couch.

but i’ve been making some changes. there’s a point where you sit up and wonder how you got here and know you need to shake things up or another two years from now it’ll be even worse. i’m not brave (or crazy?) enough to go all Eat Pray Love, but i’ve taken stock of what’s making me unhappy and i’m working on it. imperfectly of course, but making progress. one thing i want to change is getting back to expressing myself in some other way than legalese.

so here i am once again putting words into space and hoping for a human connection.

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mp’s response–you are talking out of your ass

February 9, 2011

haha, so here’s an exact reproduction of mp’s response:

i don’t know why you get a negative vibe from me…i’m a positive person!

don’t take this the wrong way – but i’m leaning towards you talking out of your ass…or at least not understanding what (real) happiness is.

while i think emotional (and biological) “happiness” is relative – you have varying amounts of chemicals in your bloodstream and brain which signal that you are happy – real happiness is a state that is unprovoked.  you can be happy in response to something, but this is only a temporary condition.  spending time with loved ones, accomplishing something, or exercising.  even shorter term, drugs and pharmaceuticals can also cause one to feel this way.

in my opinion, contentedness does not correlate with happiness.  i feel that true happiness comes through detachment.  this is a theme seen in many world religions, like buddhism, hinduism, bahai, and even christianity – i belive with good reason.  unhappiness derives from suffering.  suffering comes from desire.  then to eliminate unhappiness, the goal should be to eliminate desire (or, i guess, at least to be content with nothing – so maybe contentedness does have something to do with it).  one thing that i think to myself regularly: if my job, my family, my possessions, and everyone and everything i knew were taken away from me, would i be happy?  for me, im not sure.  but i feel like i am getting there.

i think without this “inner” happiness, every person will be the wrong person.  i experienced this in my own life.  for the longest time i felt lonely, and wanted to have someone.  it wasn’t until i stopped caring about what others could give me when things fell into place.  the person who i am with now doesn’t MAKE me happy.  she does, however, enhance my already happy state.

i want to see what others think, then i’ll formulate my thoughts a bit more. and, thank you mp for creating such a lively discussion! really appreciate the response. i hope you don’t mind being featured here. i would have asked first but you don’t have an email associated with your name. oh well 😉

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in response to a comment

February 9, 2011

i originally wrote this as an answer to a comment on “the road of lost innocence.” however, because its subject departs from the point of that very serious post, i thought i’d reproduce a more eloquent version of my answer here rather than taking more focus away from the Somaly Mam Foundation.

the comment was,

i’m confident that people aren’t happy with someone unless they’d be happy without them, anyhow. mp

this comment related more to my recent singledom post where i moan and groan about being lonely and boyfriend-less. anyway, i’ve heard variations of this maxim and even used it myself a few times. but i think, on deeper reflection, that it’s too simplistic a rule.

  1. first, humans are social creatures. i don’t think we’re meant to spend large amounts of time by ourselves. through the ages, there has been a progression from how people used to live in close-knit households and communities, to the sort of lives a lot of us now lead—flying solo in our own apartments and marrying late in life, if at all. in some places like india, you still see extended families living together and on top of each other, no one having their own room or privacy. now we come home every day to empty apartments. freedom, yes, but the concession we make for our privacy is greater distance, geographically and emotionally, from the people around us. that’s why, to me, it makes sense that when you have that BEST best friend to be particularly close to, it’s possible to finally achieve the content that was still somewhat out of reach when single. i don’t think this is true for everyone. it’s the closeness, the connectedness to people, that we need, and for some people that doesn’t have to be through a relationship.
  2. i think happiness is a kind of complex state-of-being that doesn’t necessarily preclude feeling lonely sometimes. they aren’t mutually exclusive. i see happiness as the measure of your overall emotional state—a sort of mathematical average of your week or month that allows for a few blips.
  3. also, i see happiness as somewhat relative. i’m the happiest i’ve ever been in my life. monday, i took my dog for a long walk and came to realize that i was just randomly grinning. yesterday, i spent a very wonderful day with my grandparents celebrating their 56th anniversary (olive garden + 500 card rummy and family gossip = bliss). and these aren’t isolated incidents of happiness. so i would say that despite my bouts of loneliness, i am happy. if i had the right person in my life, i could be even happier. it’s really just about a level of contentedness. obviously, if you’re suicidal, no significant other in the world is going to make you happy. but if you’re a glass-85%-full happy, i think that’s enough.

what do you think? i might be talking out of my ass or making excuses.

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the road of lost innocence

February 7, 2011

i knew my checking account was dangerously low, but i was hoping i could feed it before it went negative. unfortunately, i woke up this morning to a stern email from my bank, again saving my ass through overdraft protection. and smacking me with a $35 fine. it turns out that my car insurance, macy’s and nordstrom’s off-the-rack bills, and gym membership fees left me with $3 in my account…but then i toppled into the red when my monthly automatic charity donation was deducted. sigh.

besides highlighting my reckless spending, it felt as if this charity was metaphorically slapping me in the face for my recent pity-fest: stop moping around because you don’t have a boyfriend and remember that other women do not even have the fucking PRIVILEGE to search out love!

i learned about this charity two years ago when i came across a book called The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam. this is the kind of memoir that rips at your heart as you try to empathize with a young girl caught in circumstances that should never exist.

an orphan growing up against the backdrop of the bloody khmer rouge regime in cambodia and later invasion by vietnam, Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery at the tender age of 12.

when i was 12, i got a puppy.

she says of the brothels,

This was ordinary prostitution. Stinking mouths and bodies, dirty rooms, violence. The blows hurt, but the act itself was much worse. Sometimes there would be only two or three men a day, sometimes many more. If there weren’t enough, Li would tell Aunty Peuve not to feed us, so we’d try harder. If there were too many, you hurt inside and out, until you managed to shut all feeling off. (mam 60).

she speaks of never, ever feeling clean or good. of loathing the smell of semen, and feeling, for the rest of her life, as if she could not scrub the stink of it off herself. if she refused to work or attempted to run, she was punished brutally. it was a life of dead ends. the kind of life that would make most of us crawl into a ball and just never move, never feel, never care again.

somehow, Somaly escaped. she made it all the way to france where she started a new life. and yet, instead of quietly living out her days healing wounds as deep as the grand canyon, she chose to go back to cambodia to fight for the thousands of girls still being abused. since then, Somaly has begun a movement that has given new life to over 400,000 women in circumstances much like hers. sickeningly, her memoir recounts that,

Nowadays the girls are much younger too. This is because men in Cambodia will pay a thousand dollars to rape a virgin for a week—it’s always a week, for a virgin. Sex with a virgin is supposed to give strength, to lengthen a man’s life span and even lighten his skin….Often they are very young girls, just five or six years old. After the week is over, they sew the girl inside—without an anesthetic—and quickly sell her again. A virgin is supposed to scream and bleed, and this way the girl will scream and bleed, again and again. They do it maybe three or four times. (59-60).

i’m not quoting these lurid passages to be sensational. but if there was ever a book that needs to be read, this is one. you will cry, you will get up and pace, you will put it down because it is too much to absorb. i hope at the end, you will be moved, like i was, to visit the Somaly Mam Foundation website. i spend so much money on stupid crap that it was no hard decision to set up a monthly payment plan for this cause. i am currently doing $10 a month.

one last quote, i promise:

It’s still happening, today, tonight. Imagine how many girls have been raped and hit since you started to read this book. My story doesn’t matter, except that it stands for their story too, and their stories are why I don’t sleep at night. They haunt me. (60-61).

ten, fifteen dollars a month is really nothing. think about that monthly $140 you pay toward the monstrously large HDTV in your living room. the four times this month you’ve ordered delivery. the $60 bucks you blew on tequila shots at an overpriced bar celebrating nothing special.

little, precious girls. just think.

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singledom

February 6, 2011

how can one half of a person be so happy at what she has achieved, and the other half so achingly alone? last weekend i was so busy with different events and people that it wasn’t hard to keep my mind on a leash. but this weekend, no matter how much i will it to love me, my phone remains mute. when i have too much time on my hands, i resent waking up every morning and reaching for no one. if i cook, i halve the recipe because it’s far too much for one person. i hold off watching netflix movies as if i’m waiting for someone. i buy a new see-through nothing even though my only audience is a dog and kitten. i sit on my stylish leather couch in my perfectly decorated contemporary living room and watch the evening light fade to black. everything about my life is waiting for a man who is not there, and may never be.

when i consider my future, i know there are so many meaningful things in my life to which i could devote myself. especially as an attorney, there are an unlimited amount of victims to help. and yet somehow, all i can focus on is the thousands of times i will come home to an empty house, a dinner alone, a cold bed. i hurt sometimes with this desire to just BE with someone. literally actually—my cunt aches.

hopefully things change when i start work. i certainly don’t want to feel like my life is filler time until i meet a guy, especially since that kind of shallowness would not support anyone’s attention anyway. i have a feeling if i just had one gal pal to take on the city, i wouldn’t feel so desperately lonely. unfortunately, all my girlfriends are adorably paired-off. oh, how disgustingly adorably.

in other news, it has been exactly six months and three days since i have had sex.

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respect the word!

January 26, 2011

even though i have a blog, i don’t often read other blogs. i’ve only found a few i enjoy reading, even after many visits to “freshly pressed.” food, technology, politics, and sports seem to monopolize the majority of blogs, and i don’t often want to read about those (especially sports).

i’ve also noticed that many bloggers try too hard. maybe it’s really just a matter of taste, but this blog i read recently felt as if it was written in victorian times. actually, it was probably more along the lines of someone who puts every word into a thesaurus and picks a more “complicated” word at random. that really annoys me. synonyms are not created equal! words have connotations and specific uses. for example, a synonym for “exclamation” also includes “ejaculation,” but the latter term makes every normal person involuntarily picture an erupting penis. so, probably not a great choice when you’re writing about something your grandmother said.

that was an easy example. at random, a more challenging instance would be the implications of someone who “loses” during a game and one who “succumbs.” again, “succumb” is a synonym for “lose,” but succumb implies not putting up much of a fight. or “famous” versus “notorious” where the second term hints at being known for something negative. or even just understanding that some words like “vex” are out of style right now. people are “vexed” in shakespearean times. i’m sure there are situations it would still be appropriate, but you have to be careful or your writing will sound stilted or overwrought.

anyway, i guess i’ve always enjoyed writing that is simple but vivid. wordiness puts me in a bad mood. shoving an adjective before every noun does not a good writer make. certainly, it’s not easy to write and i’m not saying i know exactly how it’s done. i have, however, read a lot of beautiful, moving writing out there. stuff that makes you pause and read it again. there is an art to using the tools of word choice and sentence structure to create something that resonates. respect the word!

ok, i’m done with my little english lecture 😉 feel free to use the comments section to share excerpts of writing you find moving.