Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lilith Fair is Dead

I’ll call her Hannah. That is not her real name, and most women would agree that I have every reason to shout it from the rooftops. I could do so without impunity, for what she did I have accurately portrayed, in fact, I have been generous. I choose not to identify her, because I’m not sure I’m completely over my anger. Because my judgment might still be clouded by it. Because I want to tell my story and leave it to the reader to decide if this person, this woman called Hannah, truly exists outside of tired, cliched stories of love and betrayal.

I never knew Hannah well at all, not even well enough to call her an acquaintance. That's what makes my story particularly odd. When she came into our lives, I knew only what he -- my significant other -- told me about her. I knew that when she lived up north, where she’d organized a lot of Lilith Fair-ish, all-women arts, crafts and music events, an interest that had been parlayed into our tightly-knit community. She did good things, like using her talent to benefit the locally-owned women’s bookstore, which was in danger of being co-opted by corporate boutiques. Sisterhood forever. I had no complaint with the way she appeared to live her life. She was talented, intelligent and driven. I had no reason to dislike her.

Hannah, however, made it clear from the start that she disliked me intensely. Sometimes that happens in life, you can't drive yourself crazy bowing and scraping to someone who doesn't want to be your friend. He had brought her on board as a sort of freelance to his organization, where her talents meshed well. As she was an ancillary part of the organization, I came face to face with her maybe seven, eight times during the course of about two-and-a-half years. Each time, she was increasingly snide. I never mentioned it to him because I’m not a whiner, and secondly, her relationship with me was irrelevant. She had a professional relationship with him, not me, and I respected that. Even when I had just cause not to.

I remember the first incident. He came to me, rattled. Hannah tried to kiss him, he told me. She was drunk. He was confused; she’d told him she was a lesbian. So why would she do that? We both decided booze had something to do with it. We were still in the formative stages of our relationship; I did not love him then like I eventually came to love him, living together, planning our future. It’s fair to say the first incident was no harm, no foul. But as our relationship deepened and similar instances occurred, Hannah became cause for alarm. I always believed his version of the story, because I was a fool for him. That is what we do when we choose to love someone -- we trust that they are telling the truth.

And here’s the weird thing: I trusted Hannah, too. I do that a lot, filter things through my own moral bias, and often come up with flawed conclusions. Maybe she had been drunk and grabby on occasion, maybe she was confused about her sexual identify, maybe she was rude to me at every turn. But as a woman, I always trusted her, instinctively, never to cross the line.

Then everything blew to hell. The pivotal incident seemed to be centered around an extended business trip he was planning. Many people would have considered it a brass ring. He told me that Hannah was extremely keen on going, but she wasn’t a part of his core group, and besides, he lost money with each additional person signing on. Also, others in the group weren’t wild about the idea. I never asked any of the others why they felt this way, but now I can guess. There was a flurry of calls and emails going back and forth as to how to handle the situation, a lot of weirdness. Because I’d come to associate a inherent degree of weirdness with Hannah, I paid little attention, enjoying what was left of our sojourn. Then one day, shortly before he was to leave, I found an email from Hannah festering in my in-box. I’m not even sure how she even got my email address. What I write now, Hannah’s message to me, while redacted and considerably shortened, is not too different from the original:

“... Just so you’ll know, I’ve been sleeping with (insert my significant other’s name) for two years. One time we checked into a motel, did a bunch of (insert name of white powdery substance here) and fucked all day. We fucked on your pretty red couch, on your soft sheets, while your cat was meowing at us. In (City X), we fucked in a hot tub, and he fell asleep with his (insert body part here) in my mouth. We were together after (Event X), and you never knew it. I just wanted you to know because love doesn’t have to hurt, once you see what’s been going on in front of you ... ”

These were the least hurtful things Hannah wrote me, this woman I'd spoken to only a few times. There were other things, far, far worse things, things that I don't even think about much less rehash, because it takes me back to the most painful time of my life ...

Needless to say, if there was any wavering on his part about the business trip, that put the kibosh on it. And she would never work with him again, the shithead. But still, you can't really blame him, can you.

Was all of what she wrote true? Was only some of it true? How did he explain himself? What became of him and me? It would be interesting to find out, but this blog isn’t about a man doing his woman wrong; it is about a woman fucking over another woman -- a woman she barely knew -- spitefully, with malice. Hannah behaved unprofessionally, Hannah hurt multiple people; yet Hannah was the only one to cry foul, knowing there was little chance the truth would prevail. I made a feeble attempt to disclose; in a classically ironic gesture, Hannah’s female amigas rapidly defended her. Poor, poor Hannah, so betrayed.

There is something particularly vile about a hypocrite who plays the victim. It’s not just the people they blatantly screw over, it’s the people like me who're inadvertently along for the ride. I’ve wondered what Hannah’s friends would think about the truth -- would they still trust her? What about her parents? And the participants in the events she organized? I don’t claim to be a poster child for sisterhood. In my life, I’ve thought mean thoughts about other women, I've gossiped (just yesterday in fact), I’ve been envious of other women's lives, and I’ve become self-absorbed and let precious friendships slide. But there are certain instances in which I walk the walk. I have never insinuated myself in another woman’s relationship or marriage; I could never cause that kind of harm to another. I believe that the covenants of sisterhood are ultimately abided by in the way one chooses to behave. Not by what one professes. And certainly not by what one advertises themselves to be.

Throughout history, Lilith has been portrayed as a less than savory sort. Legend has it that unlike Adam, who was formed from pure dust, Lilith was formed from sediment and murk, and because of this, was a lesser being. A flagrant adulteress, she also wanted to wear the pants in the family; after bickering with Adam over who was going to be on top, she uttered the secret name of God in a fit of rage and was immediately transformed into a hideous she-devil with wings who preyed on men as they dreamed and darkened the doorstep of young mothers, who in turn waved all kinds of dead chickens to protect their offspring from becoming Lilith’s feast. Lilith is revered by feminists, but ironically, Lilith is the woman who lost the most through her many betrayals of her own gender. Utter the secret name, and be banished from the garden. That’s how it still works today.

I never considered Hannah as an evil Lilith; I believe all humans can be redeemed. I know that I have done my best to forgive Hannah, and I will keep forgiving her for as long as it takes for me to forget her. I think that she was probably screwed over, and inappropriately took it out on the wrong people. I definitely think she failed to take responsibility for her role in all of it. I think she might have done unsavory things, hoping this might buy allegiance, and felt humiliated when it didn't. I can’t say I know what that feels like. I’ve been betrayed, I've suffered heartache, and yes, I might look like a fool, but I have harmed no one.

Remember what it's like, to be betrayed by your sisters. And become a better woman for it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Women, not Mommies

A few nights ago, I went out to the Texas Tavern with some classmates, most of whom were women in or around my age group. We drank beer, talked shop, and related our career history, where we'd traveled, where we were from, and finally, told a few off-color jokes. Toward the end of the evening, I found out that two of the women were married, and three had children. I must admit, these are not the kind of women I pegged as having spawned. They talked about intelligent things, they knew which bands were touring, they could describe the hellishness of finding a cross-city bus in London. At no time did anyone fret about the babysitter needing to leave by ten or call home to make sure little Josie's hands weren't in the disposal. These women - who were also mothers - had rich, rewarding, interesting lives, and they didn't feel like they'd sacrificed one damned thing.

Say ... what's going on here?

As I've grown past my carefree college days, when my female friends and I saw the world as an endless source of lifetimes and opportunities, I've seen most of them change into people I no longer know, much less resemble. Back in the day, I knew that my best girl friend had a crush on Steve Perry from Journey, that she had aspirations to become a songwriter/recording artist, that she had a big, beautiful voice, that she had some strong ideas about Pro-Choice politics; now the only thing she tells me about is the negative social consequences of her child's ADD. To wit, girls ultimately grow up into one of two things: Women or Mommies. I had drinks at the Tavern with Women. But every so often, I'll phone up an old, long-neglected friend who has since become a Mommy, and it reminds me just how lucky I am.

Mommies are endearing, diligent, boring (bored?) creatures. Their lives revolve solely around one thing: their children. If they talk about anything else - what they're going over the holidays, what restaurant they went to last week - it is in the context of the trevails of parenthood. "I want the kids to spend more time with my husband's father, poor thing, he's on his last legs." "We went to Cipollina, but you know, i was disappointed that they didn't have any booster chairs, little Billy can't quite reach the grown-ups table." Mommies have every detail of their children's life history memorized, and they will tell you about it in great detail, from a reaction to the first booster shot to the smell of their poop ("a little like pumpkin pie") to the musical pottie chair that worked well with little Gabby, but not so much with younger brother Tad. No one wants to hear about that, not even other Mommies. I'm convinced that when two Mommies get together, their dialogue becomes like that of autistic children, where interaction is played out on a thin surface. It's a group exercise in speaking adult language so they don't automtically list into babytalk in the presence of non-Mommies.

My own mother straddled the fence between Woman and Mommy until I left for college, at which point she retired and had way too much time on her hands. She was a career nurse, there by the grace of God, because otherwise, she might have been unbearable in my earlier years. After she retired, she focused exclusively on me. It drove me insane and made me realize why my best friend in high school was so high strung and nervous whilst growing up with her own hausfrau Mommy. What time Mrs. C. didn't spend in the kitchen was spent perenially critiquing the kids still living in the house, until the only one left standing was my best friend. Her senior year in high school was not a lot of giggles. Her misery made me paranoid. What if my mother quit work and turned into a similar creature? I didn't want a Mommy who bragged about my accomplishments to the neighbors or complained about my failures to the family. I wanted one who was a savvy political converationist, who could describe her latest watercolor techniques, one filled with excitement for her own life, and not for the life of her only child. But when Mom retired, that is not what I got. And that was the time when I really needed her to be her own person.

Speaking from experience, Mommies make for very boring, frustrating conversation partners. I would adore to visit my mother and just for once, I'd like for us to talk about the sibling rivalry she experienced between she and her sisters. About the madcap adventures she had in nursing school. About the handsome doctor who broke her hear and the famous writer who courted her as she nursed him back to health. I want to know my mother's favorite movies, records, books, foods, and clothing designers. I want her to have an opinion, I want her to argue with me about something other than the financial profile of the man I'm dating. I would love for my mother to see herself as complete, whole, and worthy, aside and apart from her spawn. After some long, hard soul searching, I realize that it because of this that I haven't reached my potential. When you're made to feel like the center of the universe just because you breathe in and out and not because of a particular talent (or even because you may be an interesting peron), it breeds indolence and the attitude that heaven will somehow provide to its special little children. Which as we know is a bunch of horseshit.

When I was married to Corey Corporate, I was introduced to his married couples friends. The female components were natch, all Mommies. In fact, it didn't seem like they were ever people apart and aside of their relationship to their children. I listened to them talk with their husbands, watched how they interacted, and it seemed impossible to me that they ever had a discussion about anything other than college funds, bad report cards, and whether their sixth-grade daughter is getting horseback riding lessons this year. I don't want that to happen to Jon and me. I love and respect him too much as an individual to make him turn into a stoic, droning thing that makes all the big decisions and carries all the credit cards. Mr. Corporate would have loved me to turn into a Mommy. That way, he could be assured that I'd be too spawn-obsessed to notice that we lived in some hellish small town in the scant sticks of West Texas or in a compound in an unfriendly Mideastern sandpile. Sorry. No can do.

Sometimes I think I'd like to have a kid with Jon. He would beg to differ, but he'd make an excellent father. He's patient, he's interesting, he does't keep a regular schedule, and he remembers very vividly what it was like to be a kid himself. He's the kind of guy who'd pick up on the spur of the moment and move us all to the trendy side of Manhattan, and the quality of the public schools or whether there's a kids' park would not even be discussed. Most importantly, Jon is not a Daddy (the male equivalent of a Mommy). His existence is even more vibrant than my own; I trust that he'd live first for himself and in that way, his happiness would flow into his children on a very organic level. I too know that I will never become a Mommy. Married friends have told me that it's different when they're your kids, but I beg long and hard to disagree. I have spent possibly years of my life watching my friends obsess over their offspring only to be bewildered and bereft when they finally go off to school and come into their own. The key to being a good parent is to live on your own terms and be exactly who you want to be. It's like any kind of relationship - unless you take care of yourself first, you cannot take care of anyone else in a healthy way.

My child, if I have one, may be a talented achiever, and then again, he or she might sell handmade tie-dye outside a trailer park. But what they will or will not become won't be dependent on my obsessing about them. I learned that from my friends who are first interesting people and mothers second. Know what? The kids, like their mothers, are truly awesome.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

So he dated a Sewercide Girl ...

I am not proud of this, but here goes ...

My wonderful significant other, man of my dreams, my most precious, ubertalented Lionstar, was engaged to a Sewercide Girl. Oops, Suicide Girl.

There. Feels better now that I've gotten it out in the open.

Suicide Girls, for those of you not in the know, comprised one of the first all-girl porn sites that made a heavy-handed effort to go mainstream. It was also the first of its kind to use terms like "female empowerment" in conjunction with semi-styled photos of heavily-inked, multi-pierced young women licking each other's privates. The Suicide Girl rally cry is, "We're smart! We're sexy! We have something important to say!" Which of course, as anyone knows, is horseshit. There are no Suicide Girls who are definitively ugly, but let's be honest here; without the frank nudity, these poor kids wouldn't be featured on any type of fetish site for love or money. (Just look below the neck, boys.) And secondly, if a woman does have a gem of wisdom to impart to the world at large, chances are that she won't have to flash her tits while she says it.

But I digress.

The creature who captured by beloved's heart was named "Debra Jean." I'd tell you her porn name, but it's so over the top, it gives me nervous giggles. I remember the first time I emailed a friend in New York City that I was dating a wonderful guy named (Lionstar). Her response came back immediately: "OMFG! CALL. ME. NOW." I did, and she flew into an uncomely story of how she'd brushed cheeks with Miss D in NYC during her stint as a ... (oh God, please help me say it ...) ... a pole dancer (::shudder::). Friend seemed to know a lot about Miss D, not too much of which was flattering. Friend then gave me a detailed description of certain very unique body parts on Miss D that I really didn't wanna know about. Let's take a step back for a moment. When total strangers are hearing about the unique appearance of your privates, despite the fact that they have never seen them, it might be time to think about a fresh start. In another country. Where there is no Internet access. Or at least hope for entry into the Witness Protection Program.

What went on between my guy and her is unarguably none of anybody's business except their own; I'm not about to blog about what he's told me in detail. Suffice it to say that predictably, the relationship ended badly, and that predictably, there was cheating involved, and that predictably, the one doing the cheating did it on the bankroll of the other. Not too hard to figure that one out, kids, was it? To this day, he confesses a deep-seated fear of being used and/or cheated on, a sentiment expressed by most males who've been rolled by women in the sex industry. "Why the fuck -? I mean, why the fuck!" I ranted at him on a couple of occasions. It's hard to be temperate about this issue. How can an intelligent man of above-average looks and success fall for the age-old siren song of the sex worker? Maybe it does have something to do with not having a father when growing up. I know his mom, and let's just say that she's also the intelligent sort. I doubt it ever occurred to her to counsel him on the appropriate use of titty bars, which is for bachelor parties and the night you decide to eat a bullet. Or that someone whose privates have been complimented by milions probably isn't going to make the best wife material.

Confession. I've never dated a man who's had a relationship with a sex worker. I would have never considered it before I met this particular guy. I suspect, with some of the guys I've gone out with, that they've frequented sex workers and have gotten their jollies (safely, we hope), but they're not about to talk about it. It's a tough row to hoe from my end of things. Part of me fears that people will assume that I've flogged my skin at some point in time. An innate instinct to prove to others that I am *not* like my guy's ex causes me to act out in uniquely desperate ways when I meet new people: "Hi, I study law, and there is not one naked picture of me in existence, especially not on the Internet." And despite my guy's admission that the relationship was a mistake that he would not repeat, I still ask myself certain questions. If he's had shit taste in women in the past, does that mean that I'm the most recent embodiment of that as well? Is there something in him that is inherently attracted to sex workers? Is this going to be an ongoing problem in our relationship? These questions keep me in a state of indecisiveness and prevent me from making a final commitment to this wonderful man who I know doesn't deserve to be penalized for his past.

I also know that my justified criticism of his choice in women is somewhat negated by the fact that I'm a hypocrite. A long time ago in an Austin far, far away, I dated a couple of men who were, quite honestly, puddle slime. One was a multi-tattooed alcoholic who was as slutty as they come. His reputation around town was such that my roommate at the time refused to let him into our apartment. She had the right idea; he tried to engage me to pierce his privates, at which point I fled. The other was a weekend gigolo. I suspected something of the sort, due to his pervasive narcissism and fondness for tossing his hair over his shoulders like a girl. When I found out the naughty truth, we were in Dallas. I left his overtly soliciting ass on a corner in Deep Ellum for a much-older, wealthy client to pick up, and I don't regret it. If I ran into either of them on the street, I'd walk the other way. I would not speak their names in polite company, and I thank God that neither met my mother. I am ashamed, utterly and entirely, that these men had anything to do with me.

I have no excuses. I can only say that during these brief, tacky sojourns, my self-esteem was in the crapper (that's why they didn't last more than a few weeks). I can't speak for my fella. I know that this particular relationship lingers in his mind the most. I sometimes feel that he blames himself for falling in love with her. I suspect that he's sometimes ashamed. I know that he's torn. You're not supposed to fall in love with a person like this one - one who is reviled in polite society. And yet it happens. A raging case of the hormones has the same effect as beer goggles, only we have less impunity and fewer excuses. As for me, I find that it matters to me less and less over time that he once loved a sex worker. Something about the experience of it must have been slightly dangerous and as over the top as she is. Something about it must have been magic and new, filled with excitement and rash promises ...

... at least until the money ran out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Enough already.

So Jon and I just got back from a three-hour excursion to Half-Price Books on North Lamar. This is where the powers-that-be moved my favorite bookstore on the Drag after it became prohibitively expensive to rent property in that particular neighborhood (unless your store name is Starbucks or Urban Outfitters). Huge, long, tall rows of books - general fiction - encompassed the main floor of Half-Price, which used to be an H.E.B. grocery store prior to its conversion. Yummy tomes to filter through and perhaps take home, smelling slightly musty and unique, of other people's homes.

After three hours of picking through fiction designed to appeal to women, I've noticed that a certain trend has all but taken over in the so-called "chick lit" genre," which is, to wit, flimsy plots featuring a female protagonist who lives in New York City. Oh, sure, I found a handful of London- or L.A.-bound heroines, but the solitary rule of this type of fiction seems to be that the main character must either live in New York City or move to New York City, and she must love it there with a blindered Carrie Bradshaw love as to suggest that the rest of us peons are piddling our lives away somewhere in the unfashionable sticks.

Of course, our girl has a swell job - she's a publicist, a magazine editor, a food critic, a fashion designer; nothing pedantic (e.g., school teacher, bartender, manager of Chili's) will do. Thumb through the pages of any of these books, and you'll see that the pages are peppered with the words "Prada" and "Manolos" and similar nouns connoting serious fashion snobbery. That's what living in NYC is about, making an impression, and it shows in these books. But hush! One is about to read a story about a genuine woman of the world - She Who is to Be Admired - and her fashion sense and decision where to live makes her so.

The secondary feature of New York Chicky lit is the sad, beta-prone fiancee/boyfriend who inevitably gets usurped by a handsome, dashing admirer, and in true metropolitan form, always at the last minute and as a second thought. But since the romantic plotline is such a buried feature of these books, you don't have to listen to me natter on about this. There's usually some kind of career crisis involved, as family matters don't figure prominently in New York Chicky Lit. The additional supporting characters are an off-beat/bohemian best friend, an anorexic sister, a bitchy rival (who wears even glossier Manolos than our long-suffering heroine), and the ubiquitous Boss From Hell, Finally, the protagonist must have an absurd habit, such as routinely maxing out credit cards, failing to show for blind dates and what not. I've unwittingly read dozens of these books, and I have no idea what they're about; the final impression one is left with is that these manuscripts were hastily dashed off on laptops in trendy cafes by bunches of Columbia grad students during Christmas break.

The real truth, I'm convinced, is that there's only one New York Chicky Lit novel, and the rest is done with mirrors.

I don't know about the rest of you gal readers, but I'm craving novels of substance. I want real protagonists without glamorous career accountrements and large closets - women with real problems, not imaginary ones like not having enough change to valet park - and I want them to live in Boise, El Paso, Kansas City, or Duluth. My long-suffering heroines can be baristas, dog walkers, or hospital clerks, but they have to be underemployed with little hope of obtaining a comfortable measure of cash in their bank accounts unless they marry into it. Writer Sarah Bird does an excellent job of creating dynamic heroines that teeter on the cusp of sad-sack. A grad-school drop-out who works as a file clerk at the LBJ Library. An aspiring romance novelist whose rent is three months in arrears. A surrogate mother who took fifteen years to receive her undergraduate degree. Now, these are real people. These are the kind of women I know, the kind I habitually meet here in A-town. The kind who wouldn't know a Manolo from a Doc Marten. The kind that I want to know more about. Bird crafts her tales as such that you feel for her people as you trasverse their fictional landscape. Very few writers to date have been able to do that. Well, maybe the late, great Dara Joy. But that's another story entirely.

As with music and fashion, trends in literature can be dispiriting, particularly if you don't like them, and even if you do. No reader enjoys being faced with an endless stream of similar protagonists and similar plotlines; honestly, if I read another passage about a gal character lusting after a Prada handbag, I feel that I'll pitch it into the bin without further ado. But ... looking on the bright side of things, trends don't last forever. A good story does.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Well, well, well ...

Okay, this is my first blog on Blogger. I'm sort of at a loss as to what to say, so I'm gonna wing it.

I've done this before, you see. About two years ago, my illustrious now-significant other, a recording artist, convinced me to join Myspace. My disgrace, MyDisgrace, MyDisgraceland. That's how the site evolved, to my mind. At the time I joined MyDisgraceland, I was unawares of its roots; MyDisgraceland was the original groupie site for bands and solo artists promoting their c.d.s and tours and merch (ha! rockstar girlfriend emerges, using the insider lingo, "merch!"). And to this day, that flavor is retained. Despite MyDisgraceland's efforts to expand the content and alter the site's flavor, what you really have is largely musicians and their fans - strippers, cyberwhores - both amateur (Suicide Girls, God's Girls) and semi-notorious (e.g., Liz Vicious) - and flat-out groupie types who have managed to parlay their ventures into some sort of visibility (hey, cool, I recognize these chicks when Jon goes on tour) - as well as a few random handfuls of legitimate publicists, photographers, artists, high school kids, and college students to keep things from getting ickily incestuous. Oh, then there's the ubiquitous Macy's card and porn site spammers (which I'm convinced account for 50 percent of all MyDisgraceland profiles) and the fake musicians who create elaborate vanity pages that take yonks to load, crash your machine, or both. Porn and wannabes are very, very big on MyDisgraceland.

But I digress. I unknowingly stepped into this pit and proceeded to blog, all the while wondering why the rest of my friends didn't have profiles on MyDisgraceland - it's an excellent place to socially network, no? After the first weirdo - a ka-razy!!! female fan one of my blog buddies refers to as "The Talented Miss Ripley" - began messaging my "Top Friends" fishing for information about Jon and I, I understood exactly why not. This nonsense trudged on for six months before she arrived on Jon's doorstep, freshly tattooed and ready to start their life together (...sigh...). Seriously, people. I kid you not. So I learned from my mistakes, and I learned too, that while there are good people on MyDisgraceland, it's not a place where I want to broadcast details of my existance. I still have a profile, private of course, but I'm not very active on the site, and I sure as hell no longer blog there. My Comments and Friends List features are disabled. When it comes to my safety and that of my friends, I take no chances.

Live Journal. Been there, done that, burned the t-shirt. Nothing against people who blog there, but I feel a certain anomie wash over me whenever I log into Live Journal. Putting it bluntly: I'm just too old for most of that shit. The use of pubescent-appealing emoticons that appear straight out of Hello Kitty merchandising scheme indicate that most of the bloggers there are more concerned with zit control and scoring tickets to the H.I.M. concert than Really Deep Thoughts. As such, Live Journal offers a high degree of anonymity; this, coupled with the fact that LJ blog topics spring up dominant in just about every search engine, makes it the perfect forum for nameless groupies and MyDisgraceland escapees to intentionally announce their former groupie endeavors to yours truly and the rest of the world. Sweet ...

There's a message board that I occasionally post on, comprised of smart, world-savvy women who all share an interest in perfume (yes, really!). I noticed that they primarily used Blogger as a format to post their views about life and the love of fragrance, and Blogger does indeed seem to generate a more tasteful, mature-minded crowd. I created this blog months ago, and have been meaning to pop in to jot down a few words. If you're reading this, you know who I am. And if you're not, the name's Melissa, pleased to meet cha. I'm a blueblooded Austinite, and you won't find me living anywhere else in this short lifetime. My significant other is Jon, and he sings in the band VAST - that's an acronym for Visual Audio Sensory Theater. Jon is not only more talented than me, he's more intelligent than me - but then again, Genius Boy is more talented and intelligent than the majority of the population. He's tall and stocky with thick ginger hair; something about his eyes reminds of of a lion, hence my nickname for him, "Lion." (Other variations: Lionchop, Lionflower, Lionking, okay, I'll stop now, it is sickening, yes?).

Jon and I recently wrote a book together called "Bang Band Sixxx," which rolled off the press sometime last week. But I don't generate my primary income from writing, nor have I ever. I'm a big believer in honesty. This is who I am: I am a paralegal student, cramming four semesters into two in hopes that I can parlay these skills into a respectable career at the Legislature. I might go on to law school in the future, depending on how much money I can drag in after my certification comes through. Ideally, I would like to write for a living. But until "Bang Band" sells millions of copies, gets adapted into a screenplay, and made into a movie, I am not a writer. I am a white collar worker. Nothing wrong with that.

Now that the intros are over, I'll try to post regularly and stay sane while doing so. Blogs are meant to inform, entertain, and keep others abreast of life's little trials and triumphs. I'd love to meet fellow bloggers in my neck of the woods or elsewhere, so don't be shy to say "hi."