Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I saw Jersey Boys last night. It was great fun - I knew even more of the songs than I realized, and it made me want to come home and download everything The Four Seasons onto my ipod and go for a run.*
But I was also on the verge of tears for a ridiculous portion of the show. Will the feeling of wanting to perform never go away? I thought when I started law school that becoming a trial lawyer would be a good outlet for those performance desires, but it's not. I don't like it. And so I just miss it. Most of the time the longing sort of hangs out in the back of my mind, and I don't pay much attention to it. But then I'll go see a show - especially musicals - and I'll think That person on stage is The Luckiest Person Alive. That person has The Best Job Ever. And it hurts - the longing makes my chest hurt.
Maybe I'm just being dramatic - but I guess that's the point. I AM dramatic, and I miss celebrating it.
Several years ago when I was still working as a personal trainer and trying to figure out what to do with my life, I had a conversation with my dear friend C. We were next to each other on the stairmasters at the gym where we worked, and I told her that I didn't want to end up at some point in my life and think I just gave up on my dreams. I wasn't willing to do what it would take to be great. I wanted stability instead. She told me to look around the room - Every one of these people can look back on their lives and say that.
I chose stability. And ease. I gave up. I threw in the towel. I wasn't willing to do what it takes. I blame myself.
But maybe it wouldn't have mattered.
My dad told me a story about the time that his dad told him he would never be good enough to play major league baseball. He said it hurt, but it was the best thing his dad could've done for him. That way he didn't spend a lot of time chasing after something that could never be.
So was it true that it probably never would've happened for me? Or did I just tell myself that so it was easier to give up on it?**
I don't want to spend my life living in the past - wishing that things were some way they aren't. In trut, I know so much of it is just the other side of the fence. When I was in graduate school, I was annoyed that I was always in rehearsal. When I got out of school, I was tired of working all day and rehearsing at night. I didn't want to keep auditioning for commercials and children's plays. It wasn't wildly fulfilling.
But when I see someone up on stage doing what I dreamed of doing, I can't help but think What if I had stuck with it? What if I had kept on through the hard parts? What if I had really given my all?
*Of course, I didn't come home and go for a run. I came home and went to bed. And I probably won't go for a run anytime soon because I don't exercise.
**But let's not pretend that anyone was beating down my door asking me to be a superstar.
Monday, November 16, 2009
The babe and I celebrated two years this weekend in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia and marveled both at the glorious fall landscapes and at how very much we enjoy each other's company.
It's important to have a positive attitude and be grateful for things. I've said it here myself. So, I've compiled a list of the ways in which being in law school has improved my life. Here goes:
1. I'm not as fun anymore.
Fun is overrated and often involves things that aren't good for you - like alcohol, sleepless nights, and laughter. We know what alcohol and lack of sleep can do. Too much laughing could cause you to pull something or shoot soda out of your nose, which could lead to sinus problems. Fun is dangerous.
2. I don't work out anymore.
Working out subjects your body to all sorts of stress. People who work out always have bad knees. And then if you end up looking fit, people hate you. Or expect you to help them carry things - like their new tv or their 2 ton sofabed. Not worth it.
3. I have no creativity.
It would be really depressing to have endless creativity and no where and no time to be able to use it. Better that it just gets zapped right away.
4. I am much more judgmental than I used to be.
This is important. How else can you be sure that you're right and everyone else is wrong if you're not constantly judging them?
5. I'm not very nice anymore.
It's important to get in touch with that part of yourself that hates other people who seem happy or put together. Otherwise, you might just be happy - and then other people would hate you. And who wants that?
6. I'm going to make a lot of money when I graduate.
Thank goodness, because I'll have shit tons of debt.
7. I don't hang out with my pre-law school friends much at all.
This is good because they wouldn't like me much anyway. See numbers 4 and 5.
8. I met a lot of good friends and the babe.
For serious. Thank god (or nature or science or whatever you might thank in this circumstance - see number 4 (which apparently translates into being a giant religion bigot)).
Thursday, November 12, 2009
A friend of mine just started a new blog. It should prove to be funny and depressing (through no fault of her own, of course - you can't help your subject matter).
Go check it out!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
When I first started dating the babe, I didn't understand the appropriate phrases to use for Jewish holidays - like what do you wish something on Yom Kippur? I've since learned that it doesn't really make sense to wish someone a Happy one; lots of people wish each other a Meaningful Yom Kippur. I'm thinking of that today on Veterans Day, when I've heard for years "Happy Veterans Day," and today it just seems a bit off.
So, to all, I wish you a Meaningful Veterans Day. And I offer an excerpt from President Obama's speech yesterday at Fort Hood.
As we face these challenges, the stories of those at Fort Hood reaffirm the core values that we are fighting for, and the strength that we must draw upon. Theirs are the tales of American men and women answering an extraordinary call -- the call to serve their comrades, their communities, and their country. In an age of selfishness, they embody responsibility. In an era of division, they call upon us to come together. In a time of cynicism, they remind us of who we are as Americans.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Do you think we'll ever elect an atheist as president in this country?
The babe posed the question this evening. Before I had a chance to answer, she posed a second one.
Would you vote for an atheist for president?
It was honestly something I'd never thought about before, and I had trouble figuring out how I felt about it.
My first instinct was that I'd prefer someone who's not an atheist - I characterized this as someone who holds some belief in a power greater than themselves.
After that, the conversation went in all sorts of unruly directions, involving discussions about the merits of a number of our 3L friends' possible performance as President of the United States. The babe was surprised by my response, her vote being clearly for an atheist president. And I guess in some ways, I was too.
I'm still not sure where I stand on this - it's hard to separate out a single trait like this and make any reasonable statement. Any person running for president is so much a package that I'm not sure I would ever make a decision on it (when she asked whether I'd still have voted for Obama if he had been atheist, there was no question - yes). But that doesn't really make sense, because I feel so strongly that I never want to vote for anyone who characterizes themselves as part of the religious right - so I'm obviously able to separate that part out. Except that I guess that's the point - I'm not separating it out. Fair or not fair, I view it as a sign of the kind of person they are - conservative, intolerant.
So I guess the issue here is that I associate religious belief or non-belief with traits that I want or don't want in a president. In trying to explain this to the babe (who, just for reference, basically grew up in a home-grown moot court competition), I identified humility. I think believing in something greater than yourself (and humanity in general) evidences a sense of humility that I appreciate. But then we talked about nature or science as being that thing, and I would say that any person could be equally humbled by the power of nature or science.
So is it just that I want someone who believes like I believe? Am I just operating under my own scheme of intolerance? I'm not sure. I can't for the life of me seem to figure out what my spiritual beliefs are, but I think I value some sort of mysticism associated with the belief in a god. I'm not sure whether that matters in a president - at the end of the day, will the country be affected by whether the president believes or doesn't believe? Especially when we're talking about these religious/spiritual beliefs that fall so far on one end of the spectrum - i.e. somewhere between believing in some sort of amorphous all-encompassing god and no god at all.
There's so much more to say on this, but it's almost so much that it's overwhelming. Also, there's a decidedly non-philosophical vibe in the living room now as the babe turns to me and says, "Andy Reed drafts linemen like it's his job." Although I guess football is a religious event - judging from the number of times people cry out god's name or pray for assistance. And of course, there are the receivers who point him out after every good play.
At any rate, mostly this is just on my mind, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I ventured on to the Yes on 1 in Maine website this morning - it's actually Stand for Marriage Maine - to see what they were saying about yesterday's vote. It was risky for my sanity, but I'm continuously trying to understand what is behind the fear and hatred of gay marriage. I braced myself for a victory speech. I had already read the defeat speech at Protect Maine Equality, and imagining the victory cheering over at Yes on 1 made me feel sick to my stomach.
I clicked on the site. Nothing. No speech. No victory press release. Just all of the information about getting ready for the vote. It was like the website just stopped once the vote got started. And then I realized - it did. Because that's all they came here to do. They incited the requisite amount of fear, and their job was done. There was no need for a victory speech - nothing had really changed for them. They just retained the right to keep on being hateful. They could go home to dinner with their families and nothing had changed. Because what happens with this law DOES NOT AFFECT what happens in their home AT ALL. It just doesn't.
But the people over at No on 1 - they were having an election night party. They were liveblogging the election results. They were so hopeful. There were couples dreaming of the wedding they were going to plan this year. There were children excited that their parents were finally going to get married. There was a roomful of people who represented that hope that all of us around the country were feeling - that we could count on another state where people recognize that our love and our relationships deserve the same respect and the same name as heterosexual relationships. Not just the same rights - the same respect.
And all of them - and with them, all of us - went home so disappointed and so hurt and so angry. And what happens in their homes IS AFFECTED. They did have something taken away - something real. It's not theoretical for them - or for us - it's reality. The values are important, of course. Wanting to live in a world that recognizes certain things is important. But it's about real rights, too. It's about whether gay couples in Maine can sign a marriage certificate or not. And today, they cannot.
I hope that I am around when those who have supported anti-gay speech and legislation and actions learn to feel shame.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Last night I dreamed about the Phillies for the second time. My unconscious mind is totally confused - having never before experienced this thing called sports. So, of course my dreams are not really about the sport. There's no baseball in them. It's just about meeting the players - fame (something my unconscious is very familiar with).
My sister, who lives in NY and works at an international human rights organization, is coming to visit this weekend (hurrah!) and we're going to a cooking and entertaining show in DC.
Yesterday we had this text exchange:
me: just bought our tickets for the cooking show!!
sis: Hip hip hooray! I just sent 2.5 million dollars worth of lifesaving hemophiliac meds to Romania! It's been a big Monday morning!