You wouldn’t get that from TV and movies but it turns out that NYC has so few that production companies keep filming the same one – Cortlandt Alley – over and over again.
Just happened to walk by it the other day while I was getting my clothes tailored – more on that later (thanks, Mike!).
My point is that that’s the thing; rare things don’t really seem that rare until you try to look for them.
The kicker is that I actually live right next door to an alley that was used in another famous movie. But that’s my little secret.
Speaking of secrets, people seem to tell me a lotta secrets. Think it’s because – even before becoming a lawyer – I was known as someone that could keep them.
RN: You can’t tell anyone about this. Me: I’ll put it in the vault.
And like the alleys, you think that people that can keep secrets are all over the place but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Cause I seem to field rando calls alla time from all sorts of people because they don’t have anyone else to tell them to.
Him: I needed to talk to someone. Me: You’re in luck. I’m someone.
That kinda bums me out, that I’m all they’ve got.
So people call me to unburden themselves and I usually offer them some unsolicited advice, even though I know I shouldn’t.
Cause what do I know?
But I get it. We all need someone, or something, to tell our secrets to. Cause secrets are lonely things.
Life’s lonely enough as it is.
Me: You’re kinda my best friend. So I tell you things… Her: Ditto.
On a related matter, my brother spends his free time talking to suicidal people and volunteering in dangerous foreign places.
I worry that he might be drawn into the abyss himself but he wants to help them. I can’t fault him for that. He’s a good soul and I”m proud of him.
This woman named Jo Cameron was born with two genetic mutations:
A different FAAH gene, which reduces her ability to feel pain, both physical and emotional;
A defective FAAH-OUT gene, whose sole purpose is to activate the FAAH gene.
Essentially, she feels no pain, no anxiety. She cannot suffer. She broke her arm when she was eight years old and only went to the doctor three days later because her arm looked funny. When she gave birth, it tickled her.
Me: Hurry up, we’re gonna be late! Mouse: We? You’re gonna be late. I’m gonna be a pleasant surprise.
She was my pleasant surprise in all this shit. I thought she knew.
On that note, I’m just going to call her Mouse here from this point forward, for however long that is.
Because the only reason I used Gymgirl instead of Mouse, which is what everyone calls her, was because of our inappropriately possessive ex-coach and his insane jealousy, which is a whole ‘nother story for another time.
Gymgirl: I’m sorry, it must be bittersweet. Me: No, just bitter.
It sucked. That’s all I have to say about it.
There’s a mouse in my house.
The last time there was a mouse here, it was almost a decade ago. At the time, I’d trapped it in my bathroom and told Alison about it afterward. I remember that moment well.
This time, heard something in my utility closet and opened it to find that it chewed through every single thing it could in my pantry. I easily threw out $100 worth of food and there was sugar everywhere because it went through a huge bag of baking supplies.
We didn’t find it so, after spending most of the night looking for it, I decided to just call it and take a shower.
And while taking said shower, looked looked up at my shower curtain (which is made of a dimpled cloth) and there was the mouse looking right at me.
Right. At. Me. Eye level.
Mouse!I yelled and the Gymgirl came running over.
I told her to seal up the door with packaging tape to trap it and myself in the bathroom (they can easily slip under doors).
I then proceeded to chase it around my tiny, tiny bathroom with a rolled-up magazine.
The problem is my damn busted arm; I couldn’t move fast enough to get it and the mouse snuck into the space between my sink cabinet and the wall. So I sealed it up, all Cast of Amontillado-like.
It gets crazier; the Gymgirl noticed its tail sticking out from the side of the cabinet so we taped it there – but after a day, we felt bad and released its tail.
As far as we know, it’s still stuck behind the cabinet.
We set up what we hope is a one way tunnel out through a trap. Fingers crossed it works.
Me: Well, this has been quite a night. Her: Do you want a drink? Me: (nodding) Sheyeah.
About a month after I took it, read this article that said that the building was ridiculously flawed.
How ridiculous? There was a 1-in-16 year chance that the entire building would come tumbling down with a strong wind.
That’s pretty ridiculous.
But the weirdest thing about how this all unfolded was that a female college student from NJ figured out it was flawed, tracked down the lead engineer, and contacted him to tell him that his design was fatally flawed.
And despite haven’t any number of reasons to not listen to her, he did.
Then, as Hurricane Eva was barreling down onto the East Coast in 1978, NYC and these engineers all secretly fixed the problem. All without most of the city finding out. In fact, most people didn’t learn about it until 1995.
I thought of this recently when a colleague of mine was wondering why he lost a major account. I knew why. So I told him.
There’s this illogical argument called a genetic fallacy, where you don’t want to believe something that someone says because of the person saying it.
The engineer could have sneered at any one of the things about the person contacting him: her sex, where she was from, her age, her experience, etc.
But he didn’t. Because he was smart enough to realize she was right. That’s something I still find really amazing.
People wanna have any number of reasons they believe what they believe. Even if it’s not true.
Him: (later, upset) What do you know? You’re a lawyer, not a psychologist. Me: This is true. But what I said is also true.
Thought I’d be done by now with my week but I’m not.
Had an unexpected expense of paying for some critical data I needed for a client project – which was astronomical because I didn’t know I’d need it until the 11th hour. Unfortunately, since this was a new client, it had to be done.
So I ended up agreeing to yet another project that will fill my time until the end of the month.
Maybe it’s just as well as it’ll force me to take some time off from the gym, especially since I’ve injured my rotator cuff.
One of the simultaneous pro/con things about getting older is that you really have to be thoughtful with how you spend the days you have left. I’m guessing I’ve got about 11,315 left.
There are any number of things I’d like to be able to try out/learn but my reserve of spare time is getting less and less by the day. I think in my 20s, I might have given this a go; it looks like fun.
Here’s the story: A fella named Bill tried to recreate a French cheese called Neufchâtel here in the states. But, because of the differences in milk, climate, cows, etc., it wasn’t quite right. So he added cream to it to make it more appealing, resulting in what we call cream cheese now.
Decades later, with improved technology, companies were able to better mimic Neufchâtel without the cream. As an added bonus, they realized that, without the added cream, it was naturally lighter in calories and fat.
But, because now everyone was more familiar with the name Cream Cheese over Neufchâtel, they simply called it Light Cream Cheese.
If you read this blog, you’ll see that one of the themes I have is how location influences things – sometimes for the better and sometimes not