Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lag Liv beat me to it

Lag Liv beat me to it, but a good idea is a good idea and so, I also present you the list of 25 random things about myself. There are probably a lot of people on Facebook who are tagging people or got tagged with this since each taggee is supposed to turn around and tag another 25 people. I'm not surprised it's showing up in the blogs. I mean, LL is right: why not use it for a blog post? Posting it here is kind of a no-brainer, especially since I can post this anonymously here. I can't think of 25 banal things that would be acceptable for real-life posting on Facebook that would be worth writing or worth reading. This list is fairly tame, but still, there are one or two facts that I'm not sure I want the mothers from the Girl Scout troop to know, you know? And so I post it here, on my Faceless Book.

1) I learned how to say "whilst" instead of "while" by watching Super Nanny.

2) I always chat with whoever cuts my hair and I never enjoy the conversation.

3) Of my two cats, my favorite one is Nibbles because she yells at me the most.

4) My 8 year old daughter has already outperformed me athletically because she scored a goal in soccer last Thursday and I have never scored a goal in soccer.

5) When I was 4, I performed a double flip off the high-dive at the YMCA for a watching crowd. I remember the applause. I remember psyching myself up to not be scared and I wasn't scared. I just did it.

6) I have kissed the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland. (After I kissed it, someone told me local teenagers often sneak out to the castle at night and pee on it.)

7) I have been to Liberia, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

8) The last time I left the United States was over twenty years ago.

9) I double-majored in French and Linguistics and used to speak French pretty well, especially after spending time there. I haven't spoken about twenty years.

10) I was an overnight guest at a private residence of a French ambassador and his wife inside the walls of Mont St. Michelle. They took me home with them from the train station because I had nowhere else to go.

11) I spent the night in "The Tumbleweed Hotel" at Shakespeare and Company in Paris and the proprietor, George Whitman, kissed me good night on the lips. He was like 70 years old. Blech.

12) I am the youngest of three children and the only girl.

13) I have always been compelled to prove that girls can do whatever boys can do.

14) I played soccer and lacrosse in high school, and the trumpet and piano.

15) My mother says I was always smiling as a child and wonders what happened (it's called hormones, mom).

16) My parents grew up in the same town and have been happily married for over 50 years.

17) I met my husband online.

18) We've been married for over 9 years and although we were married by a Presbyterian minister, we don't go to church (other than holidays) and our daughter has never been baptised.

19) I told my Women Studies professor in college that I never wanted to be a mother because mothers all seem a little crazy.

20) The proudest moment of my life was when my daughter first latched on to breast feed, on the day she was born. I'll never forget that moment. (Is that a little crazy?)

21) Last October, I flew to Washington, DC and walked 60 miles in the 3 Day Walk to fight breast cancer in support of the Susan G. Komen for The Cure campaign. I was on a team of other women techies.

22) I started work on a Ph.D. and left the program at the end of the first year, about 14 years ago. I've been in the IT field ever since.

23) I cringe inside whenever I hear the term "techie" applied to me (even if it's me saying it). I actually wince in discomfort.

24) I talk on the phone at least once a week with my best friend from high school who has dual citizenship with the United Sates and Liberia and now lives in Brooklyn. (She scored many goals in soccer!)

25) I wear the same pair of shoes to work almost every day until they are visibly worn down then I throw them away.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

she hates me, in black and white

So Q got mad at me the other night, because...ahem...I, uh...was like, totally completely hooked on this blogging stuff and could NOT tear myself away from the computer. It was bedtime and she was wanting me to follow her into her room and listen to something SHE had written in her journal, the shiny metallic blue one with the "I heart My Friends" tattooed on the upholstered cover below a little heart-shaped mirror.

I kept saying, "I'll be there in a minute. Just give me, like, five more minutes."

I could hear her in her room, singing the same little bit of monotonic melody she'd been singing for the past fifteen minutes. She's been writing songs since before Christmas. She wanted me to come in and listen to her latest lyrical updates. But I was working on my own updates, and I was kinda more impressed with my efforts than with hers. Because I'm a mean, selfish, evil woman. I didn't know I was those things, but I'm discovering that comment-crack does this to a person.

Okay, so she finally got so mad at my blowing her off that she got quiet.

There's nothing as effective as silence if you want your parent's attention.

Quiet. It was quiet. Too quiet. I looked up just in time to see her stalking silently to her room, arms crossed in frustrated resignation across her chest, her gaze levelled directly at me, nothing but rage in her eyes. She never took her eyes off me as she turned the corner. It was like her head rotated around like that girl in the Exorcist. Then she disappeared into her room.


I soon hopped up - it took me a minute or two to fully disengage - and went in there and apologized profusely for not keeping my word that it would only be five more minutes. I think it had stretched into twenty minutes by that point. Maybe thirty-five. She was still so angry she wasn't speaking to me at first. Then she said I had lied to her. Which, basically, yeah, I had. I had no defense. There was no excuse. I was ashamed of myself, ashamed of what my addiction to comment-crack had driven me to, how it was tearing my family apart. This had to stop.

I apologized multiple times, she slowly relaxed her body language, softening up to me. Before two more minutes had passed, we had made up, although I could tell some resentment still lingered. She said it was okay. Hugs and kisses were exchanged. I begged for one more chance to listen to her song. She looked me square in the eye and asked with utmost earnestness, "Do you WANT to hear it?"

A quick, deep jolt of mommy guilt shot through me. My child doubting my interest in her. Boy, that moment really sucked. Without getting emotional, without burdening her further by unloading, selfishly, how rotten I felt at that moment, I assured her that I did. I really did want to hear it. I mean, if she still wanted me to.

So she sang her latest version of her latest work. Meh. The problem is, she really thinks she can sing. I don't discourage her, but at the same time, I'm not DVRing episodes of American Idol for her so she can check out the competition, either.

"That's great, honey. I really liked it. Sounds like it's really coming along. Thanks for sharing it with me." That last part I really meant.

I sat down in the rocking chair next to her bed because she always begs me to and because she goes to sleep faster (usually) if I do, as long as we don't talk. If we do talk, this is when I find out that she still has a crush on Joey, and if Beth blew her off at lunch that day or actually waited for her this time. It is at this point in the day when she loves me the most, this ten minutes of letting go, with her head on the pillow, her eyes half-closed. I get a lot of "I love you Mommy" and "You're the best Mommy in the world. I'm lucky to have you as a Mother."

At eight years old, it's a mix between, "Aaawwwwww!" and a bit of, "...uh, yeah, pull the other one."

But she really means it, during those ten minutes of each day. It's kind of like knowing what she'll be like when she's drunk. A little side-window view of my daughter in an altered state.

So, flash forward to the next night. I'm much more diligent about the bedtime routine this time. I don't even lift the laptop's lid; I don't go anywhere near it. I stay on her and with her, making sure she picks up her towel and puts her dirty clothes in the hamper and brushes her teeth. We go into her room together and she hops up onto her bed. She asks for the journal. I hand it to her, although I really should insist on lights out. She looks at me with an expression I've not seen before on her little freckled face.

"I was really mad at you last night," she says.

I knew this, but was still surprised that she was mentioning it a day later. I say I know she was, and she was right to be, and I should have stopped what I was doing when I said I would.

She hesitates, then says, "I wrote about it in here."

I pause. She pauses. I'm not sure what I should do with this information. Then I say, "Well, good. That's what journals are for. You can talk about how you feel about stuff and write about it in there." I'm satisfied with my response, purposely respecting her privacy, helping to erect appropriate boundaries for her, for us. I make a move to start tucking her in but she doesn't accommodate my efforts by snuggling down. Instead, she stays seated on top of the covers and asks, "Do you want to see it?"

There is no guile in her question. She is a little excited, and a little bit scared, to show me what she wrote in the depths of her anger the other night. But the honest desire to share it outweighs all other needs, and this is obvious to me, because I can see the raised eyebrows and the almost-happy expression as she looks up at me, waiting for an answer. And she waits now. She doesn't just plod ahead, thrusting it in my face like she used to. She waits. It'll take time for her to once again assume as a matter of course that I'm interested. Another brief jab of mommy guilt, there.

And here, I struggle for a second. What's the right answer? Yes, of course, I am interested, I love you, I care about you and everything that is important to you, yes, I am here, I am your mother, yes, yes of course I want to see it. Like, duh. Are you kidding me? And also, I AM your mother, I am not your pal, your buddy, your playmate. I am trying to erect healthy and appropriate boundaries, now that you do things like write in journals. You should have a sense of privacy, you should have the strength to listen only to yourself sometimes, to realize there's a line that separates each of us from each other. Except, this line has been blurred quite a bit by me, and probably will be again, and it's a weakness of character that will not serve her well, so the experts say, and I see how she respects her dad more than me because of this blurred line between us, but she doesn't share her journal with him and HE has never even heard of Joey. So I just don't know, and I struggle for a second, and then I cave. I cave in to the fun of sharing, because that is what she most wants in this moment, and because I'm aware of the stain that is still on my record from the previous evening, where I just wasn't interested enough. I need to prove that I really am interested, that I really do care. That is what my mommy guilt is telling me, anyway. Boundaries, shmoundaries. I need this one.

I give the smallest of shrugs, raise my eyebrows and say, "Sure, okay. You can show me if you want." Another brief pause, then I quickly add, " Are you sure you want to?"

She has already opened the book as she answers, "Yeah," then she says, "Look. See? I was really mad."

In letters bigger than half the page are the words, "I HATE HER!" which I do not need any help seeing. But the rest of the page is full of smaller print, and she graciously points out the word "Lyer" [sic] and the phrase, "She lied to me. I've been waiting and she said it would be one more minit and she is not comeing." There was more...including a picture of her hitting me with a baseball bat, while smiling. OK, that part was a bit much.

I gotta say, though, that it really did hurt. I really did wish at that moment that, for MY sake, I had insisted on forging and respecting those new boundaries. I still do not believe she showed me this out of vengeance. But nevertheless, it had the same effect on me. I tried to hide the momentary flash of pain I was feeling, and I think I was successful. I've paid for my callous, self-centered disregard of her needs, and she's had the chance to vent and share, to feel me out as to whether I really do care or not, and to hopefully feel fully avenged. And I hope, for both of us, that it's over and done with now. But I know that I am the "HER" and that those words are written in a journal and they will be there for a very, very long time. Because I still have my journals. And it's one thing when they are YOUR journals. But it's a very different thing when it's someone else's journal and you are the "HER" that is hated on a page that you cannot erase.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Freakily Fighting Hollywood

No wonder I don't go to movies anymore.

Yes, I understand the concept of willing suspension of disbelief. I'm just not good at it.

I just saw Hotel for Dogs with my 8-year-old daughter. We enjoyed it, in as far as not walking out nor wanting our money back. But it scared me, from a mother's perspective. Yes, hooray for the kids sticking together, standing firm against opposition, following through on what they believed in. But how to explain to my kid that she is not allowed to ever do about 80% of the things those kids did? I started to explain what breaking and entering was, but got as far as, "That's against the law. The police could arrest them for that. Don't go into buildings without permission."

I felt old, like somebody's mother. What a surprise.

I always take movies and their relationship to reality way too seriously. You should have heard me on the way home after seeing The Matrix. My rantings after that film got me banned for life from my husband's Movie-Buddy list. So I caught myself this time. I sorta slumped down in my seat and tried to be cool about the whole thing. Let her figure it out for herself. Let the police call me five years from now. She can tell me from jail how she saw this movie when she was eight and was sure that prancing around abandoned buildings was no big deal.

Then I started wondering, just how many crimes DID those kids commit?

If there is anyone who falls into the Bermuda Triangle of (1) reading this blog (2) having viewed Hotel for Dogs and (3) knowing something about criminal law, I welcome and encourage you to cite the various crimes committed by the kids in this film. A prize to anyone who sums up the total number of years behind bars if convicted that any one of them would have earned.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Technolawyer grows on me...sorta

Are law firms just screwed when they do a discovery motion? I mean, as a techie, sometimes we have to scramble around and produce stuff because some lawyer somewhere took half a second to poorly word their request. We send them *our* best efforts at "discovering" what they're looking for. Often, we give them more than is needed. Just to be safe. Just to sure there *won't* be anybody knocking on the door saying, "Wait a minute. We need full access to your network files and email system and archival system." Whoa, Nelly.

This approach can often lead to a situation described by a Technical Release newsletter (yes, I subscribe, and thank you for not charging, and thank you for the great job you're doing which is anything but worthless...ahem...are we clear on this point now?) called "TR: How Many Discovery Documents Can You Review in 30 Days?‏". In this instance, one of the case studies highlighted in the newsletter addresses how "a federal agency involved in a contract dispute with one of its suppliers, had just received its opponent’s discovery production—48,747 documents in single-page TIFF image format, with document breaks but without digitized text."

At which point I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard.

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. That is funny. I'm sorry, but I think that is hysterical. A single-page TIFF image format? Are you serious? And you guys have to accept that? Seriously?!!

Yes, I'm waving my nerd banner now, see me wave it high overhead? What I understand this "single-page TIFF image" to mean is: they sent a ginormous picture of the almost 50,000 documents to the federal agency. They basically screwed the federal agency.

So the truth of the matter is that you have to take whatever we give you? And then you have to go out and hire another company to decode/decipher/decompress/deduplicate/digitize the opponent's discovery production? What a process. Borders on scam-artistry. So when my boss walks into my office and says, "We need to produce anything with the word "avulsion" in it between March of 2001 and today. Put whatever you find on a cd and send it to our general counsel and me when you get the chance. I'm going to lunch." I can send whatever I find in any format I choose?

I'm thinking we can produce a picture of our computer room as discovery. See? Here's a picture of where the data is. Here's a picture of 200 million documents. Now that's hawt!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Carrying it forward

Can anyone my age (or thereabouts) on up truly imagine what the world looks like to those of us born at the turn of the millenium? I want to know if my daughter, my little lily white daughter (notwithstanding the freckles across her nose and cheeks), I want to know what it's like for her and her peers... I mean, like, duh...a black man is what already?! Geez mom, get with the times. Like that's a big deal or something. Puhleeeze.

In his speech, President Obama (Whew! it's exciting to write that!) said:

"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."

I want today's children to not be able to imagine a time when someone would be refused service based on skin color or cultural differences. I want racism to be a distant, and seldom visited, memory. What I'd like to see is the day when this is all so standard, so typical, so usual.

Truth be told, what I'd most like to see is Michelle Obama's acceptance speech. I mean, duh, of course a woman can be president. Geez, mom. What year do you think this is, anyway?

Let's not focus on the past. Let's move forward. Let's keep moving forward.

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK legacy

I just left my daughter's room. She stayed awake longer than she was allowed to, reading a Nancy Drew book my mom got her yesterday.

She wanted another glass of water.

I went to the kitchen, returned with the water, and tried to leave.

She wanted to say prayers together.

I returned to her bedside, dutifully clasped my hands together and bowed my head.

This is what she prayed:

"Dear God, today was Martin Luther King [slight pause] Junior [slight pause] 's birthday. Please tell him that I hope he had a great birthday today. He did so many good things for so many people, and he wanted to help people, and he wanted people to do the right thing and be nice to each other like they're supposed to. I just think he was really nice and please tell him that I hope his birthday was great. Amen."

On the eve of the historic inauguration of our first African American President of the United States of America, I just want it to be known that little white girls in middle America, without any prodding or compulsion by politcally correct adults, are spontaneously wishing Dr. King a joyous birthday celebration in their nightime prayers. How awesome is that.

Grammar for idiots, by idiots

So my husband Leo, my daughter Q and I were sitting together around the dinner table, sharing our nightly repast. My husband was telling us about how much he has improved the lives of the three of us by doing so much housework today. He was especially interested in pointing out that both his daughter and his wife have benefitted from his efforts.

Him addressing both of us: "You are really lucky that your husband and your father does so much work around here."

Me addressing him: "You mean "or" in 'You are lucky that your husband OR your father does so much work around here.'" (any help with the quotation marks is welcome)

Him: "No. I am both a husband and a father."

At this, I roll my eyes.

Then he leans back in his chair a little bit so he can draw a boundary in the air around both Q and me with his hands and says emphatically: " in plural." Like he's explaining a difficult concept.

Him, with his hands hovering in the air sorta like bestowing a blessing upon us: "Yooouuuu (waving his jazz hands over us) are lucky to have a husband and a father to clean up after you all the time."

Me: "Yes, but the quality of having you as a husband does not apply to each member of this group, nor does the quality of having you as a father. They don't distribute transitively among the members of the group. The group is a singular thing, even though there are multiple entities within it, and the separate relationships of husband and father do not apply to the group itself, because both qualities do not apply to each member of the group. Therefore, you should use the exclusive "or": 'You are lucky to have a husband OR father who cleans up after you.' " (again - quotation marks here - comments welcome)

At which point he sighed and started clearing the table.

The trick is to change the subject and wear him down.

Now, even as I was saying it, I wasn't sure I was right. I felt I was right, but thought I kinda sounded like an idiot. Not that I shared that thought with Leo, of course.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Economic Realities


(I'm procrastinating packing for this camping trip. I am dreading it. We are due to leave in 25 minutes. I'm not ready yet. I do not want to go, I do not want to go, I do not want to go...)

Found this article. Not sure why everything I google returns with a reference from 2005 or 2006. Am I seriously three years behind the times? What are people worried about in early 2009? Why aren't any good references to "paying off law school debt" from more recent times?

The ultimate sticking point: to get as far away from student loan debt as possible. To avoid it like the plague it is. What makes THAT so attractive, all that debt? Who says there's prestige in THAT? Selling our futures for what? For respect? For prestige? This is what I struggle with.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fire, fire in the night

My daughter has discovered the inherent fascination of a flickering flame. She wants to keep a tea candle lit in her room tonight. She likes the smell. This is all well and good until her father comes home or the house burns down. She's blown it out and relit it about five times at this point. I just explained the term "pyromaniac" to her. Doesn't seem to have phased her in the least.

"I love this candle!"

We're headed to a Girl Scout sleepover tomorrow. The cold temperatures mean we'll sleep together as a troop in the big lodge instead of individual cabins or tents. The big lodge is where the huge, walk-in fireplace is. I'm sure you can see where my anxiety is centered this evening.

Here goes Trip #2 with the Hip Cool Moms (and my pyromaniac daughter). God grant me the strength.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Career change pays off, eh?

First thought: SHE SENT OUT 685 RESUMES??? Are you serious?!

And 40 is too old to be an associate, they said. 40 is too old for a lot of things. Yet here we are, 40 and beyond, still participating in life, fools that we are. One day we might even turn 50. Egads. Who will put us out of our misery then? Little left to do but shoot us at that point.

I wonder what the numbers really are in terms of her career change "paying off". She cashed in her retirement, people. Now she's in solo practice (read: no "retirement plan" other than what she can scrape together from her take-home...can she afford to make consistent/regular contributions to a retirement account?...or will she have to work into her 90's after her hearing has failed her? And health care will she pay for her hearing aids?). It doesn't mention whether she has a husband or children. Which makes me think she probably doesn't have a husband or children, most especially children. Which makes this less helpful to me than I initially thought it would be. I am, seemingly, grossly aberrant. Comparing apples to apples in my case feels futile.

Anyway, here's the article (from via Magic Cookie's 2005 archives. Thanks CM!)

Career Change Pays Off for Techie Turned Solo and Author

By Neil Squillante Wednesday, September 21, 2005

TechnoLawyer member Diana Brodman Summers was earning a good living as a database administrator, but yearned for a career change so she used her retirement savings to invest in herself and pursue a law degree at night. A few days before the bar exam, her employer downsized her out of her job.
Fortunately, Diana still managed to pass the bar exam despite this bad news. Unfortunately, she could not find a job as a lawyer. "Out of 685 resumes I got three interviews, two of whom told me to my face I was too old [at 40] to be an associate."
Instead, she started contracting herself out to law firms on a per case or per month basis. Eventually, she earned enough money and developed enough of a reputation to open her own solo practice in Lisle, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. Diana primarily represents employees in employment discrimination matters, and also serves as an arbitrator for Cook County and DuPage County's Mandatory Arbitration Program.
Diana is also a best-selling author. Her current book
How to Buy Your First Home has become the top-seller in its category. She recently spoke about the book on her local ABC TV station. Her other books include Illinois Landlord's Legal Guide, How to Write an Illinois Will, and How to File for Divorce in Illinois. Her next book, How to Start a Home Based Business will hit bookshelves in a few months.
As for her favorite technology tools, Diana lists Word and WordPerfect, Adobe Acrobat, Netscape, and especially "It enables me to print postage whenever I want, and it keeps a records of when I printed the postage and a file of names and addresses."

I found this via a link on Magic Cookie's archives from 2005, which takes you to another 2005 link at (full link shown at top of article).

Final thought: I was initially thrilled to stumble upon a site called because I thought it would be about the direct application of tech skills to lawyerly/client-related matters (emphasis on "direct application"). Alas, it seems to focus on "practice management" which is the legal profession's term for business administration, it appears. In other words, it's all about "use these tools to track your time" and how to do backups, etc. Blech! I already do that stuff, to the hilt. That's the stuff I'd like quite a bit less of, thank you very much. So my quest for info on how being a techie helps you be the best darn e-discovery lawyer around is still full on.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What type of lawyer are you?

In my continuing quest to learn more about the legal profession and what it's like to do that as your day job, I stumbled upon the list of categories below. I wonder how many people truly think about what their career as a lawyer will be when they decide to go this route (i.e. law school). From what I can tell, it seems like most of it happens by accident. Maybe the type of law you practice is much less important than the role you play within that category? I dunno. My boss's daughter graduated from law school a couple of years ago and she's doing insurance defense, but with an eye toward being an elected official, a goal she had claimed for herself before she even entered law school. So I wonder what insurance defense has to do with being a public servant (i.e. governor some day).

So, where does Insurance Defense fit in the following categories? Insurance law or Business law?

Accident Law
Auto Accidents
Aquatic Water
Bus Train
Construction Accidents
Slips Falls
Traumatic Brain Injury
Wrongful Death

Admiralty Maritime
Boating Injury
Cruise Line
Maritime Contracts
Maritime Worker Injury
Salvage And Treasure

Aviation Law
Commercial Airlines
Non Commercial Airlines

Bankruptcy Law
Business Bankruptcy
Consumer Bankruptcy
Credit Problems
Creditor Rights

Business Law
Franchise Law
Starting A Business
Trade Regulation

Criminal Law
Arrests And Searches
Drug Crimes
Drunk Driving
Parole Probation
Violent Crimes
White Collar Crimes
Juvenile Law

Employment Labor Law
Job Discrimination
Insurance / Retirement / Benefits
Sexual Harassment
Wage & Hour
Workers Comp

Estate Planning
Asset Protection
Elder Law
Living Wills / Power of Attorney

Family Law
Adoption Law
Child Custody
Child Support
Divorce Law
Domestic Violence
Pre Marital Agreement
Spousal Support

Financial Law
Banking Law
Broker Disputes
Commodities Law
Investment Terms
Raising Capital
Securities Law

General Practice
Contract Law
Legal Remedies
Lemon Law
Suing Being Sued
Traffic Law

Government Law
Civil Rights Law ADA
Education Law
Military Law
Public Contracts
Social Security Law

Immigration Law
Permanent Residents
Student Visas
Tourist Visas
Work Visas

Insurance Law
Auto Insurance
Business Insurance
Long Term Care
Disability Insurance
Health Insurance
Insurers Bad Faith
Life Insurance Law
Property Insurance

Intellectual Property
Communications Law
Computer Law
Music Law
Copyright Law
Patent Law
Trade Secrets
Trademark Law

Civil Law Suits
Class Actions

Personal Injury
Defective Products
Drug-Toxic Chemicals
Libel And Slander
Malpractice Law
Property Damage
Structured Settlements

Real Estate Law
Agricultural Law
Buy Sell A Home
Commercial Real Estate
Landlord Tenant
Mortgage Matters

Tax Law
Corporate Tax Law
Estate Tax Law
Gift Tax Law
Income Tax Law
Property Tax Law
Tax Enforcement

Small Claims

I found these categorizations at

Monday, January 12, 2009

Broken resolution

Twice today already (and it isn't even noon yet!) I've broken my New Year's Resolution to not apologize. I apologized to my suitemate for talking too long and too much to her this morning, which she waved away graciously, and I apologized to my dad about them having to drive to the doctor's office this morning for no good reason since they have to go back again at 2pm (since Leo won't be back in time afterall). I said, "I'm sorry if you're annoyed about the wasted trip down there" but my aging father heard "I'm sorry THAT you are annoyed" which actually did annoy him until I repeated the "IF" part of my apology.

You see? I just get myself in more trouble. And I want to say I'm sorry about that. Maybe if somebody slapped me everytime I said the word sorry...kind of reminds me of that last line from Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find":

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."


Strep and other maladies

My daughter is with my parents this morning. She said it hurt to swallow yesterday afternoon, and she was coughing about once an hour throughout the day. Towards 7pm she started to feel warm. By 9pm her temp was 99.4. I was determined she would make it to school today at that point. By 11pm her temp was over 100 and I was forced to revise my plans. This morning, while still in bed in her pj's, her temp read 101. By the time she got dressed and my parents were standing in our kitchen ready to take her to the doctor to have a throat culture done, it had gone down to 100.2. Of course. She never has a fever when she is actually at the doctor's office. At this point, the three of them are chillin' at Village Inn. Doctor isn't available to do the culture until 2 this afternoon. By then, Leo (I've decided to call my husband Leo) should be back in town and he can take her. My parents are 74 years old and it can be a struggle to have the energy to run all over town multiple times a day. This morning, my mother especially, looked fragile bathed in the flouresent light in the kitchen. I wish my husband had known them when they were younger, when they were more vibrant and less temperamental. In a lot of ways, I've already said good-bye to them. They are still here, but not as they were. Just as my sweet baby is gone, and my toddler is gone, and my pre-schooler is gone forever. It seems aging is a constant exercise in saying good-bye.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

For future development

Sorry if this is tacky, but I'm sick of running out of time to post various posts/thoughts/queries. Hence, a quick list that I intend to come back to asap (where p= who the heck knows) to fully flesh out in their entirety when time permits (insert laughter).

My daughter is a stalker (shudder)

Musical heirs

I rock as a mom (scored a playdate with stalker victim)

All guys named Tim suck (re: Tim Ferriss article by Penelope)

Marriage vs. motherhood re: hardest job going (my vote is for marriage, but the massive number of variables makes this a less interesting question, more of a moot question)

Going to beat my kid if she doesn't start taking school a whole lot more seriously...and buy her a pony if she does (the ol' carrot vs. stick dilemma)

New Year's Resolution: I resolutely refuse to apologize in 2009. To anybody. For anything.

Friends of my daughter who have older brothers = an unfair advantage? disadvantage?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lucky me

Thinking of law as a career, the last thing I'd want is to spend my time searching for things and not finding them. Case law examples are one type of thing I imagine people spend time looking for but not finding. You can't cite a case if you don't know about it and can't find it or it never existed and isn't available to be found in the first place. And to spend time looking for something that doesn't exist....oooooooooh, that would burn me up.

Because I'm not a lucky person. I never win door prizes. I never win coin tosses. If I call heads, it'll come up tails. I'm pretty good at rock-paper-scissors against my daughter, but that's the extent of my luck. So looking for a relevant case citation, for me, would be likely to result in frustration without citation. That's like taxation without representation. You put the work in, but get nothing for your efforts. Oh heck no. No thank you.

Is finding a relevant case something you spend a lot of time doing as an attorney?

How common is it to not find what you need? How lucky do you have to be?

There are such things as lucky people and unlucky people. I'm certain. Read this. It backs me up on this claim. But not in the way you'd think.

The part where he puts the large insert into the middle of the newspaper, and some people don't see it...which he then attributes to anxiety or only finding what you're looking for...OMG that has happened to me a gazillion times. That old phrase "If it were a snake it would have bitten me" which alludes to not seeing something that is right in front of you, that applies to me a thousand times over. I'll read the fine print on an advertisement, but miss the headline. I'm wondering what people are talking about. "Where'd you see that?!" and the inevitable "Right THERE!" with the accompanying annoyance/dismay/disbelief/dismissal. Not fun. I think it's related to ADD. To hyperfocusing on the tiny details and missing, literally, the large print items. Overlooking things posted on bulletin boards. It's not Attention Deficit, it's Attention Misdirection. And it affects your "luck", for lack of a better term.

But all that aside, where I put my attention has little to do with whether I win the door prize. Or the coin toss. Or true/false questions like "Obama's favorite color is blue: true or false?" Some things have nothing to do with effort, focus, open-mindedness, gut instincts. Some things require good luck. Which I seldom experience, in the realm of fifty-fifty chances.

Careers where luck matters less than pure hard work: problem-resolution that is centered around a well-established skill set. Examples include ER doctors, furniture restoration, refrigerator repair, tour guides...okay, I'm making this up, obviously. But you get the idea. Luck is never completely out-of-the-picture in any career. But you need much more of it to become the next Brad Pitt than if you're trying to succeed as a librarian or car mechanic.

The important question here is: should unlucky people steer clear of the law as a career?