Elster's World

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mailman, Please Bring Me More Blues

Couple of quick notes before we get to the actual post:

- I'm pretty much devastated about the Jets overtime loss to the Jaguars today. The pre-season super bowl vibe was based on three factors: Curtis Martin still had a three-qaurter full tank, the defense really was good and Chad Pennington's arm would revcover quickly. Well, the defense is pretty stout. Otherwise, we are 0 for the other 2. At this point, the guys I play football with Sunday morning would be giving Gang Green a better shot to win. And while C. Mart was certainly better today, he still doesn't look like he will be shouldering the load for the Jets this season. Thus, I am re-setting my prediction of the final record to 8-8. Not good times. I think if my prediction holds true, Herm Edwards gets canned as well. We shall see.

- Writing update: I finalzed four more query packages for agents. That means I've sent over twenty in the last month, plus these four going out. I have fourteen more names to send to. After that i'll have been rejected about forty times and I'll have to start sending directly to publishers (which is even more difficult).

Anyway, this post is a rip off of two others in the similar vein. Credit to Brianna and The Rabbi's Kid (I'm too lazy to link, most of you know where to find them) for inspiration. They both wrote letters to their future selves, giving advice, etc. I'm running the reverse, 32 year old Elster is about to write a letter to 18-20 year old Elster. Let's see how that unfolds...

Dear Elster:

Hey buddy, what's up? It's me, your older self. That's right, it's you at thirty two. Yes yes, I know, I'm old to you. But guess what? When you hit thirty two (congradulations, you made it!) it's not gonna seem old at all.

So, let's see. You're a lawyer (yes, that turned out to be a bad decision, more on that later). You have your hair (!!!), a great wife, two fantastic kids and a pretty good house. Though we all live in different places now, you managed to stay friends with all of your best buddies from youth and you even got to live with many of them in the same neighborhood for a few years after you all got married. Yes, your friends stayed as awsome as they were in Israel and college. Even though you rarely see them now, you would still not trade them in for any other posse. Well, maybe the cast of Lost, but only if they were jewish and you got to live in Hawaii.

So, let's see here. When you were eighteen-20, what did you want to do? Whatt did you want to be? Answer: You had no idea. Another aimless jewish drifter. You decided to be a lawyer because it runs in your family and because that's what dreamless jewish kids do when they don't know what else to do; they become lawyers. Hey, don't sweat it, I don't blame you. I would have done the same thing at your age. In fact, I did!! Hee hee, I slay myself.

But how I wish it wasnt too late. How I wish I coud talk you out of it. Like Red says in Shawshank, I want to grab that kid and shake some sense into him, or something like that. You get the idea. The point is, you don't have to do what everyone else does. Be your own man. Lord knows, I try to be. But again, how can I blame you? You're just a kid, you won't figure out how cool or funny you really are for another five years or so. Your still too worried about your own limitations to realize that everyone thinks you are hilareous. So you aren't Tom Cruise. Guess what, he falls off of Planet Sane in 2005 anyway. Anyway, you'll start "getting" it in about five years. Then it's all gonna start being gravy.

So lemme see here. College/israel? Best "fun" years of your life. You and your friends will have a blast without being destructive to yourselves and others. Good job. You will gradute college with very good grades and get yourself into one of the finest Ivy league law schools in the country. This is quite an accomplishment my friend. It will also be the biggest mistake you ever make.

Here's the advise dad will give you: Don't become a lawyer unless you get into a top notch law school, thus cementing a great job. Heres the problem. He should have stopped after the fourth word. Don't become a lawyer pal.

But not for the "standard" reasons people think. It's not because all lawyers are scumbags. That's stupid. Sure, plenty are, but plenty of doctors. accountants and businessmen are too. It's not because the job eats away at your soul. I mean, it does, but so does any job that's not for you. The reason you shouldn't go is because it's simlpy not for you. Lawyers are I dotters and T crossers. The devil is in the details for lawyers. But you struggle with that my man. You always have and you always will. You're a big picture guy. Also, you are only productive between the hours of 9:00 am and 12:00 pm. Those are not lawyer hours. By the way, this does not apply to your book because that is a labor of love.

Which brings us to: (1) You have a fantastic family. At the time of writing, I have been ,married for 6 and a half years and wifey has cranked out 2 of the cutest little buggers ever (b'lei ayin horah and in my own humble opinion, of course). Oh and one other thing...Congradulations partner, you wrote a damn book!!! I'm serious man, cover to cover, 128,000 + words. Over four hundred pages double spaced. I bet this isn't even a thought in your mind yet. In fact, I know it isn't. And let me tell you something else. I'm damn proud of you. Even if publishers are too stupid to buy it, I can tell you it's good. It's very goog in fact. And no one can ever take away something like that from you.

And there's tons more in this head of yours too. Do me a favor, keep reading. It's how you eventually develop your style. You devoured King, McCammon, Crais, Burke and Block. You did Harper Lee and Charles Dickens and everything in between. Your friend ______ will eventually become a publisher and send you books to read. (She will also sit on your manuscript for six months and counting, piss off your wife, and make you reconsider the value of friendship in this world, but that's another story.)

Well holy moly, look at the time. 32 year old Elster has to wake up nice and early tomorrow to face the grind. So dude real quick, here's my advice to you:

Don't change a thing, man. You look at yourself now and wonder, how come I'm not cooler, more popular, etc. Don't sweat all that stuff man. You are who you are in this world. One day, a light switch flips on in your brain and you realize what and who you are. If you are happy with that realization (and you, my friend, will be), you'll be sitting in tall cotton.

Oh yeah, and don't do drugs. Please. Don't mess with your brain. That would blow. Blow, get it?

Well, peace. Maybe I'll write again. Oh, and feel free to drop me a line, too.

Your pal,



  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Greg Liddle, at 9:42 PM  

  • Pretty funny there, Elster. My older brother pretty much followed the same route you did, but after 7 years as a lawyer, he just couldn't take it anymore and quit. He went back for an Ivy League business degree (not what I would have chosen, but he is happy). Point is, you are never stuck...

    Except for the lawyer part, it sounds like you can look back and have a pretty darn good report to give your younger self. That counts for a lot.

    By Blogger MC Aryeh, at 11:25 PM  

  • "I am re-setting my prediction of the final record to 8-8. Not good times. I think if my prediction holds true, Herm Edwards gets canned as well. We shall see."

    Wrong on both counts. The Jets will be much worse than 8-8 and Herm will not get fired even if they go 4-12.

    If you don't want to be a lawyer, then quit even if you don't get your book published. Otherwise, when you're 42, you'll be writing a similar letter to the 32-year-old version of yourself.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 11:56 AM  

  • MC: Did you get the reference of the title?

    Joe: You may very well be right about the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. This has all the makings of an abysmal season.

    As for your other point, Easier said than done. Theres that whole mortgage/children thing which holds me back. Believe me, I was really REALLY close to quitting once. The problem is, IU don't really know what I would want to do with myself outside of writing. You think I could hack it as the next Bill Simmons?

    By Blogger Elster, at 12:07 PM  

  • "The problem is, I don't really know what I would want to do with myself outside of writing."

    So why was law school a mistake if you can't identify anything else you'd have done? Is your regret not getting your book published at 21?

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 2:14 PM  

  • No. Those are 2 seperate points. The fact that I don't know what to do with myself doesn't mean that I should have been a lawyer.

    Again let it be clear: I do not thnk being a lawyer is bad. it's just bad for me.

    By Blogger Elster, at 2:28 PM  

  • "I do not thnk being a lawyer is bad. it's just bad for me."

    So then quit law to do something else, even if you make less money and even if it's not to be a writer.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 2:31 PM  

  • Love the letter. Gave me a bit of perspective.

    By Blogger brianna, at 1:06 AM  

  • Joe: Still easier said than done.

    Brianna: Thanks. That's pretty much all one could want to give someone else who they don't really know.

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:28 AM  

  • Hi i am totally blown away with the blogs people have created its so much fun to read alot of good info and you have also one of the best blogs !! Have some time check my link to !!Ways for teen to make money

    By Blogger lokokid, at 10:55 AM  

  • O, Elster, you've been spammed!

    Anyways - seeming how you dislike the "lawyer" gig, I thought you might enjoy this blog:

    It's one of my personal favorites, very eloquently written by a frustrated lawyer in NY.

    As for quitting - I know, easier said than done. I am (kind of) in the same boat...

    By Blogger Dayli, at 6:50 AM  

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