ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷 (pjammer) wrote,
ezekiel's chariot - 張敦楷

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There is a sort of good writing which inspires a mix of intense emotion in me. The emotions are envy and admiration - this time from a wordsmith whose keen observation of human nature dovetails perfectly with razor-sharp turns of phrase that ring in your memory long after you've closed your browser.

PhilaLawyer.net, written by an anonymous corporate counsel in Philadelphia, is in turns hilarious and insightful, inspires a raging case of the aforementioned emotion cocktail. A few excerpts and you will understand what I mean:

It's been said that when you're young, you get sad, and when you're sad, you get high. When you're young, dumb and have the better part of a six figure salary to burn, you do blow. You don't look for it. You don't Jones for it. You might even run from it. But it finds you. A fool with wads of mad money in his pocket and the belief he's got the world by the short hairs will find himself in front of a mirror at 4:00 a.m., blaring "Three Days," barking gibberish to his bleary eyed comrades... - Lit Up

There are a few certain truths in this world. Willie Stargell hit the most majestic home runs in baseball history. The guitar solo in "Sympathy for the Devil" is the most soulful ever recorded (yes, including "Layla"). If you pick your nose, dig out ear wax or scratch your balls conspicuously in your office with your door open, the one hot associate from four floors up will be walking by, and she will catch you. You don't need implants, but of course you'll look sexier with them. Your girlfriend has seen bigger. The minute you open the link to the "Girl and Horse" video on your office computer, the elderly temp secretary filling in for yours will come into your office to ask you a question. The "Peanuts" comic strip and cartoons are grossly overrated. Your wife has seen bigger. The 1979 Pirates were the greatest professional sports team of the last 30 years.

And the single dumbest career move is developing the habit of using a speakerphone.

The speakerphone is a loathsome invention that allows people with an already inflated sense of the value of their time to attempt to further double task. Young associates rarely use the speakerphone, though they all have them. It isn't until they reach senior-associate status and begin to think of themselves as sharks or dealmakers that they begin relegating the people on the other end of the line to second-class speakerphone conversants. Being placed on speakerphone means the person on the other end is telling you you're not important enough to warrant his full attention. Whatever your issue is, it's simple or unimportant enough to be handled while he scans Yahoo Finance or deletes spam about "natural penis enlargement." - The Speakerphone

I knew Alex was a Ten Percenter. I knew that because I'd known Ten Percenters my whole life. I'd gravitated toward them and they to me. At every juncture - high school, college, now grad school, I found myself surrounded by people who thought in a fashion just a shade outside the perceived norm. I'm not talking about bizarre counterculture people here. Ten Percenters aren't stoners, geeks, goths, computer freaks or loners. They're not rebelling against anything. In fact, they look and act entirely average in every regard. They operate like highly functioning alcoholics. One may have performed surgery on you. Another might have been piloting the plane you were on yesterday. The difference between a Ten Percenter and anyone else is so subtle you could easily miss it. Ten Percenters hold a viewpoint, an attitude and a sense of humor ever so slightly tweaked from the everyman's.

I didn't seek the Ten Percenters, nor did they seek me. In fact, I tried several times to avoid Ten Percenters and engage with the other 90% at several junctures in my life. Try as I might, I never fit. I couldn't get truly interested in that world. I'd always return to the Ten Percenters. If there was one common thread among all of the Ten Percenters I've known, it's a pragmatic understanding that we're all just parts of a cosmic comedy. Ten Percenters seemed to take life a little less seriously than the 90% of law students biting their nails, tearing out their hair, scribbling notes furiously, retyping outlines, chain smoking outside the library and mainlining espresso. They live in the moment a bit more than the others. They didn't buy into the merry go round of non-stop devotion to the field on which the school tried to place us. That put them at odds with the other 90%. - Ten Percenter

Some people who break the law a fair amount like to brag about never being nabbed by the cops for anything. Those people get ambitious and sloppy, and get busted big later. They get pulled over at a toll booth with a digital scale and a quarter pound of Mexican freeze dried brickweed, or popped outside a bar with a joint burning in the ashtray and four train tracks cut on the arm rest. It's good to get busted by cops for small stuff from time to time to refresh yourself with the procedures. Small busts are like continuing education classes for "lifestyle criminals," people who engage in behaviors half of society accepts, but are called crimes in a codebook somewhere. A small bust for drinking in public, running a stop sign or taking a left on red keeps you abreast of the current trends in law enforcement. If you know the drill when you're pulled over, you at least know what to expect - what comes next, how the process works. And that's half the battle. - The Pretext

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Back to your holiday frivolities in progress.
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