Monday, May 22, 2006

Towards A Clone Revolution

I had a wonderful weekend, and because work is nutzo at the moment, I'm going to write about that.

The weekend started Friday night at 6 pm - the latest any weekend should start - when I left my office and went to a firm happy hour in the building. My attendance at such events is a rare occasion, because as a rule I like to spend no more time than I absolutely have to at my firm. My time is valuable (despite what the firm thinks) and I like to spend it on things that I care about, and meaningless social interactions and small talk about billable hours is not one of those things.

After my glass of chardonnay on the firm, I met Raj downstairs in the lobby where he was "picking me up" (i.e. walking with me to the subway) to take me out to dinner. We went to Lure in Soho and had a delicious seafood feast complete with oysters, chilled lobster, nori-encrusted tuna on a bed of mashed edamame (awesome!), and a delectable molten chocolate cake for dessert. Dinner was wonderful. Raj and I talked, flirted, ate good food, and gave each other our undivided attention, which is something I really needed and appreciated. He was very sweet to take me out.

After Lure we headed to Grotto to have drinks with his friend Ernest and Raj's brother. My tummy was upset, but I learned a marvelous trick from the bartender at Grotto. I asked him for bitters to settle my stomach thinking that he would pour some into a glass of ginger ale. Instead, the bartender brought me four bottles of Italian liquors - all of which apparently moonlight as alcoholic digestive aids - and had me choose which one I liked. I chose the sweetest of the bitter concoctions and he served it to me on the rocks with a generous slice of lemon rind. Amazingly, it worked.

Saturday, Raj and I cleaned, shopped, and ran some errands. Late in the afternoon, we did my favorite activity of the weekend. We went to Central Park, something I think about every weekend but almost always fail to follow through on. It was a bit chilly on Saturday afternoon, but I convinced Raj to come with me despite the weather. When we arrived, we walked for a while on the paths and then found a large rock to lie down on under the trees. It was so relaxing lying with the solid weight of the cool rock underneath me, staring up into the leaf covered branches. I love how the air in the Park always feels fresher and cooler than in other parts of the City. One more reason to save the trees.

Saturday night was fun as well. Raj and I both had events to go to. First, we went to the departure party of one of the paralegals from my firm at Sweet & viscous. Despite my loathing of all things firm-related, I had a great time. The group of people I knew there were all paras and one attorney from my Case-From-Hell that I genuinely like, so it was nice to see them and trade war stories. The Dragon Lady came up a lot, as she always does whenever two or more attorneys from my firm get together and start talking shop. It was nice that Raj got to be a part of that. I liked having him there with me.

From Sweet & viscous, we went to Heathers for Ernest's birthday celebration. Ernest was in rare form, meaning that there was a lot of navel, ab, and chest showings, interspersed with drink spilling and accidental glass smashing. It was all very entertaining, and everyone had fun. Everyone, except for yours truly, had their digital cameras out and were taking mad pictures of each other. I still use disposable cameras. (Don't shun me!) I am starting to want a digital camera badly. I'm almost ready to drop some cash on one. I just need to do some research.

I taught the bartenders at Heathers my current favorite drink: a French Martini. Technically, I didn't teach them the drink. I just asked very nicely and encouraged them to look up the recipe on google when they did not know how to make it. The drink was a smashing success. All of the bartenders made extra for themselves and seemed pleased that they had learned a new drink. Raj's friends were intrigued and they soon started ordering French Martinis as well. The whole thing was such a hit that I decided to share the recipe with all of you, just in case you happen to find yourself in a bar with a bartender that doesn't know the recipe.
French Martini:
1 1/2 oz vodka
1/4 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
1/4 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 twist lemon peel
Pour each of the above into a tall bar glass. Shake with ice, pour into a cocktail or martini glass, and serve.
Sunday, we woke up at a decent hour, despite the French Martinis and beer that we had imbibed the night before. We went to brunch at a local creperie, and then Raj watched basketball with the boys while I went to Brooklyn for my book club meeting where we discussed Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I was so proud of myself because I got to Brooklyn all by myself! Yeah me. That's the second time in 19 months that I've gone to Brooklyn. As you can see, it is not an everyday event. The discussion was great, especially because I got to spend time with another paralegal from my firm who is also leaving this week for bigger and better things. She's on her way to Italy, and then to graduate school at the University of Michigan.
One of the aspects of Never Let Me Go that we talked about was how disturbing it was that none of the clones, upon realizing the horror of their existence and the meaninglessness of their lives, took any action to rebel against their fates. None of the clones even thought about revolting. They didn't even question their fates. We decided that the clones had been so thoroughly indoctrinated from their early childhood that they were incapable of questioning the social order. Instead the clones threw themselves into their work - taking care of the clones that were "donating" their organs, before becoming "donors" themselves - and ran themselves ragged worrying about the daily minutiae of their meaningless lives.
Does this sound familiar?
Never Let Me Go is actually about my firm, and the meaningless of my life as an associate there!! The parallels are unmistakable. Like the powers that be in NLMG, the partners at my firm want to keep associates alive only so long as they can suck out every ounce of productive energy. Our lives mean nothing to them. They see us as the "other," a group inferior to them whose sole purpose is to do their bidding. They do not want our lives to be our own, and as long as we are at the firm, they aren't. Like the clones in NLMG, the associates scramble around each day, stressing about insignificant details and making themselves sick with anxiety. The associates rarely slow down to ponder what all their running around is actually accomplishing (that would be nothing).
Like the clones, associates are willing slaves to the system. At least associates bitch and complain. The clones accepted it all without so muh as whimper of protest.
It's so sad to see yourself as a clone, even a complaining clone. So sad.


Ally Bean said...

Italian liquors solve tummy probs! What a great piece of info.

And the French martini sounds like my kind of drink.

Thanks for making my Tues morning so informative. Now, if I can make it to Friday to try these things...

Gypsy said...

Gotta love a digestif.

And wow, you're weekend sounds awesome. I... loafed. And that's it.

wordnerd said...

sounds like a WONDERFUL weekend.

thanks for the tip about the digestif...I guess I should have known that...being french and all and the word for liqueur actually being 'digestif' but I guess I didn't put it all together like that and I've really never used liqueur in that sense.

I can drink for therapeutic reasons..I really can!

Buttercup said...

I think the liquor or liqueur (?) was called Averna. It was not minty and was on the sweet side. The bartender described it as having a caramel hint. Apparently Campari is also a digestif. I like Campari in the summers on the rocks. I used to drink it when we went to Sweden and still drink it when I visit my Dad.