I am a second-career attorney, but I try very hard not to let that define me. One time, at the first firm where I worked, another associate who had overheard some of my stories said to me: "It is becoming clear to me that you hang out with a different crowd than I do." He was almost certainly right, and I was glad to hear it!
Before I gave it up in 2003, I was a Professor of Computer Science for ten years. (yeah, tenure and everything.) So, you will still often find me channeling my inner geek, particularly at events like MindShare and BIL.
I miss having my summers off, and, some days, I really do miss being a teacher.
I am devoutly atheist but had significant Jewish education as a child (though my parents and grandparents were atheists) and am still connected to that culturally.
I grew up in New York until I left for college in Philadelphia at seventeen. I lived in Philadelphia for twelve years, and came here in the Summer of 1993. That means that I have now lived in Southern California longer than I have ever lived anywhere. Nevertheless, I am still New Yorker and read the NY Times (website) almost exclusively. That is unlikely ever to change...
For those who were on this site in the old days of three adjectives, I am Obsequious, Purple, and Clairvoyant
On the weekend and at night: hanging out my daughter and/or friends and trying to forget that during the week days I am a lawyer...
For many years a big part of that has been my involvement with the L.A. Burning Man community. I attended for eleven years straight from 2002 to 2012, missed 2013 and made it in 2014. I will miss this year again because my daughter starts college that week, and it is possible 2014 could end up having been my last year. You don't have to be a burner, or even be interested in becoming one. But, the couple of times I have dated women who were actively hostile to the event and the community, it just made things tiresome.
Note that I am was never a glitter-and-fairy-wings raver-type Burner. You are most likely to find me on the playa in shorts and t-shirt. (Either that or chef's whites, since I spend a lot of my time on the playa cooking in enormous quantities to gift to any and all.)
I have lived in one part or another of Downtown L.A. since 2003 and have worked there for the last four years (after 8 years of commuting to the west side for law school and then my first law-firm job). I am pretty firmly an east-sider.
Lately—as I have generally adopted a polyamorous/non-monogamous lifestyle—I have also spent a great deal of time thinking about issues of honesty, sharing, trust, compersion, boundaries (and the lack thereof) and respect in relationships.
Monogamy is not off the table. But it is not my default assumption.
Actually I am a pretty good cook in general. Aside from computers it has been my main hobby/interest for most of my life. Somewhat relatedly, I am notorious for my ability to pick great little restaurants—small ethnic places in particular—by sight and some little-understood second sight.
As can be seen here, I am also skilled in the use of more-obscure punctuation marks, such as hyphens, em-dashes, slashes, semi-colons, colons, ellipsis and even the occasional interrobang. I am a lover of the oxford comma. Unfortunately it is largely disdained in legal writing, which provides me a daily source of tension.
Unless of course you like that sort of thing...
For now just say that my taste in all four is very broad. (Though, for books, probably not quite as broad as the other three. Sometimes I am a little intellectually lazy.)
Listing the music I like is not practical. So, I am going to take a whack at the music section by stealing an idea from an ex and list the bands I have gone to see live in the last few years. It is by no means a complete list of my likes, or even necessarily really representative, but it will tell you something...
Amanda Fucking Palmer (as part of Dresden Dolls twice (2005, 2006), solo, and with Neil Gaiman (October 2011), two more times with her new band The Grand Theft Orchestra (July 2012)), and again solo in fall 2103, and at least a couple of times since.
Architecture in Helsinki,
Barenaked Ladies (I went for the nostalgia because I got incredibly good deal on seats, and discovered that BNL is still a lot of fun and their new stuff is still good),
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones,
The Black Keys (randomly, because my friend was opening for them at their first-ever show in the U.S. at Spaceland),
Britney Spears (the Circus tour, it was a present for my ex, but actually a fun show),
The Crystal Method,
The Decemberists (twice),
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros,
The Flaming Lips (four times, including twice in 24 hours),
Flogging Molly (twice),
Gogol Bordello (at least five times),
The Jane Austen Argument,
Kylie Minogue (another gift for my ex, I was also lulled into hoping she would be better when I heard Nick Cave had produced one of her albums),
Madonna (another gift for my ex),
Mutaytor (many times),
The Polyphonic Spree,
Rodrigo y Gabriela,
Sleater Kinney (three times),
Oh, and though it is not music, Eddie Izzard (at least four times).
I really really really love movies. So filling in this part is even more difficult. When I was in college I often went to 3 or more movies a week, and I still do on occasion (though I sometimes also go a few months without going to a movie theater).
One of my favorite things about living in L.A. is getting to go to screenings with a Q&A with the actors or director or such. So, rather than try to list my favorite movies, I will list a few of my favorite screening/Q&A's from the last few years:
A Boy and His Dog (with Harlan Ellison, an absolute riot; the man has no filter. Extra treat was that the moderator was Josh Olson who wrote the screenplay for History of Violence, another favorite.)
Army of Darkness (with Bruce Campbell, probably the best Q&A ever)
Back to the Future (the entire cast other than Michael J. Fox and Crispin Glover).
Capote (with Bennet Miller, who grew up across the street from me and is the younger brother of my early-childhood best friend)
Clerks (for the 10th anniversary with the entire cast)
Fight Club (with Chuck Palahniuk, who is every bit as odd as you might expect)
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (with Robert Morse and Michelle Lee)
Juno (with Diablo Cody)
Little Miss Sunshine (with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)
RoboCop (with Peter Weller, I got him to sign my copy of Buckaroo Banzai)
The Space Movie (with Buzz Aldrin)
A stove capable of a really hot flame, and a cast-iron pan to go with it.
Oxford commas. (See above.)
My daughter. (Clearly this list is NOT in priority order.)
Polyamory and the issues mentioned elsewhere here. And, somewhat relatedly, my continuing discomfort with the idea of listing "casual sex" among the things that I am "looking for," even though I am certainly open to it.
So, now it will be some combination of what I did on other free nights: home or at a theater, alone or with friends, watching a movie or a band, or out and about comparing the skill of the bartenders at the ever growing number of good downtown bars or out at a whiskey tasting thrown by one of several whiskey clubs I belong to.
(To clarify that last bit: I actually have never been much of a drinker, and until a few years ago I knew jack about cocktails. But due to my recent association with a certain lovable bunch of reprobates I have become somewhat obsessed with classic mixology and can now both recognize and make a damn fine version of many classic and nouveau cocktails. I have also dived deep into whiskey appreciation. But still, I have never come home and said "I need a drink.")
Also, I like Vegemite, but still think that Vegemite:Black Death (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVKPrQv1H8I) is one of the greatest songs ever written...
I am a lover and advocate of nose-to-tail eating.
Also, I unabashedly love musical theater, primarily in this order: Sondheim, Early Webber & Rice, the classics. Not much of a fan of solo-Webber or other spectacle shows.