Friday, October 30, 2009

The Grim Reaper

My son, being all 8 and grown up, is determined to be scary this Halloween. Starting about two months ago, he kept emphasizing to me that Halloween is for scary costumes - as if I had spent the first 7 years of his life dressing him up as a pea in a pod or something.

After months of pouring over web sites and catalogues for the scariest possible costume, my son decided to be the grim reaper. The costume came about a month ago. My son thinks that he is terrifying. While at first it was a bit disturbing to have a really short grim reaper walking around the house in slow motion, wielding a scythe and demanding in an ominous low voice that I hand over the Fruit Gushers, now I just feel like I live with the grim reaper's mini-me, especially when he starts to hip-hop dance.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The family went to Marathon Key this past summer. The Key of Marathon happens to be one of the few places left in the United States that does not have a Barnes and Noble. Accordingly, my literature procurement for the remainder of the vacation was relegated to aisle 6 of the Marathon Key Walmart. And not all of aisle 6. The book selection was a row, no bigger than my wingspan, consisting of a few cookbooks, some Danielle Steele and Victoria Olsteen's book. Since I wasn't planning on cooking on vacation, and I harbor a suspicion that romance novels may be based on a template, that left Vic's book. Truth be told, I was drawn to it like a train wreck.

Victoria Olsteen, for those of you who don't know, is the wife of Joel Olsteen, the preacher that leads the televised sermons out of the mega church at a former basketball stadium in Texas (of course).

Now, I am not going to spout off about religion here, except to say that I have, from time to time, struggled with a desire to believe. My husband believes in the Bible on a literal level, and my mother kept a white Lennox cross by her bedside during the final year of her life. I oh so want to believe that one day I will see her again and we will go to a heavenly ladies lunch and then hit heaven's Nordstrom. But, honestly, I have a sneaking suspicion that's not how its going to go.

So, I can tell you that I really was drawn to Victoria's book out of a bizarre fascination, much like I have for the Real Housewives. Vicitoria, like the Real Housewives, is a curious representation of what my gender can do when we have a self-centeredness that refuses to acknowledge that failure is an option. There seems to be something about all the hairspray and lip gloss and shirts that hug the boobs just so that causes a synapse to form in the brain where these women think that by just showing up, business deals will fall at their feet. And they do. Huh. Huh?

I have a plan. For the next week, I am going to follow all of the advice in Victoria's book, and see what happens. (1) I'm bored, and (2) It couldn't hurt me to be a little more of a respectable person around work. Vic's book is not really heavy on the God stuff. In fact, Vic's version of God is like God Light, or really even Fat Free God. Vic's version of God is even more user-friendly than the friendly white man with the long flowing beard holding a lamb in airbrushed fashion - its more like one of those yellow smiley faces.

Really, to follow Vic's advice, all I must do is be gracious and thankful and pleasant to my husband, my family and my co-workers. (I am paraphrasing here. I haven't picked up the book since I got back from the vacation in the Keys, at which point I started where I left off in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. One of the most brilliant pieces of literature ever composed is the first three pages of chapter two of AHWOSG. And, in my opinion, some of the hardest-to-slog-through literature ever written is the remaining 434 pages of AHWOSG.) But I digress.

Vic's book is full of real life stories of people, mostly cube dwellers, who end up doing miraculous things and have supreme goodness reign upon them simply by having a good attitude and going the extra mile in everything they do. So, hey, I can do that for a week. (In fact, at one time in my life I was known as a perky pleasant happy person. My first boss told me that she almost didn't hire me because she didn't know if she could stand my perkiness all day. True story). I will skim back through Vic's book, follow her advice, and see what kind of funky shit begets upon me this week (but sans the lip gloss, hairspray and shirts that hug the boobs just so).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Shirt

As all of you knew, and I suspected, the J.Crew embroidered t-shirt is a little too matchy-matchy with the yellow cords.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On the Fence

Any given second, I am either on the verge of becoming a weeping mass of bitter (and I hate that word) jell-o with excessive resentment toward everybody for everything and a need for bi-weekly counseling sessions, or determined to go forward with the grace, dignity and perseverance that those whole love me (both dead and alive) deserve for me to muster. It really could go either way.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Off to a Good Start!

Just here laughing that hysterical laughter most often heard by people who need their meds adjusted, or that realize there is really nothing left to do but laugh and write off the day.

This morning I had my first ever meeting at my cube world job with the executive committee. I was to present to them what I have been working on for the past 7 months and convince them why they should change my position from temporary to permanent. I practiced my spiel in the shower, in the car with my son, and then on the way to work. I arrived with just enough time to print out the agenda for the 9:00 meeting. Only, it turns out, the meeting was at 8:00.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Exercise Tips

It makes for a hard run when all you have had to drink in the past 24 hours is 3 cups of coffee and 2 glasses of wine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Guantanamo Playlist

I could have saved the U.S. government a lot of time and effort. This is the same VH1 Classic / PBS mix that ran in my house, and my toddler never once gave up a useful bit of information . . .

AP, Oct 21, 2009 11:00 pm PDT, Musicians Crank up the Volume on Guantanamo Debate.

"At Guantanamo, the U.S. government turned a jukebox into an instrument of torture," said Thomas Blanton, executive director of the archive, an independent, nongovernmental research institute. Based on documents that already have been made public and interviews with former detainees, the archive says the playlist featured cuts from AC/DC, Britney Spears, the Bee Gees, Marilyn Manson and many other groups. The Meow mix cat food jingle, the Barney theme song and an assortment of Sesame Street tunes also were pumped into detainee cells."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Yesterday, Oh Yesterday

I decided that yesterday warranted the last squeeze of my oh-so-luxurious and bubbly Parisian bubble bath. This bubble bath was hand carried for me across the Atlantic by my lovely French friend. But do you know what happened yesterday? That shit didn't bubble. Yesterday sucked.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No Job For You

I did not get the job.

They hired someone with a different kind of legal experience. They might need someone with my kind of experience in about two years.

I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I know I am not alone. I know I am part of this recession story along with many other people I personally know, and millions I don't.

When I emailed my friends and family to let them know, everyone had a story about someone close to them in the same boat. There are so many people who did everything right and worked hard and gained usable skills and who want so badly to work - yet here we are, despite our best efforts (the resources spent, both time and money, to secure our future), despite the cold calls, the interviews, the networking.

Every time I hear or see a news story about things turning around, the recession being over, I want to scream. When my friend Hilary finds a job, my friend Kelly, Angela, Jim, the lady that my husband has to lay off this quarter, each of the secretaries that got laid off at my old firm, my neighbor, the 3,000 people that the newspaper says are getting laid off from Sun, well - lets just start with all of those people - when I hear of, lets say, two of those people finding a job (one that matches their skill level), we'll talk about the recession being over.

Meanwhile, the Tory Burch shoes sit on the floor of my bedroom in their open pink and orange box, mocking me, embarrassing me. I know my counselor will tell me (did tell me) that, for an interview, you need something special to make you feel good - but next time I will settle for a new lipstick, or wear a pair of my mom's earrings. Three hundred and fifty dollars worth of Tory Burch shoes would have bought food for two weeks, Christmas presents, or a plane ticket to visit my aunt or a friend. It would have bought a hell of a lot of big Lego sets to help my son with his process skills. Oh God, I think I am going to be sick.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Noble Quest

Earlier this summer, J Crew had a white t-shirt with some embroidery on it. Part of the embroidery was in bright yellow, and I happen to have a pair of J Crew bright yellow cords. Buying bright yellow cords seemed like an entirely reasonable thing to do until I got them out of the J Crew store and realized that they look ridiculous with everything. The only thing I could imagine that could possibly redeem the bright yellow cords purchase was the t-shirt with the bright yellow embroidery that was strategically folded in the display by the checkout.

By the time I went back to get the t-shirt, it had sold out. It was also sold out on the web. Then it became a mission. Wherever we went this summer I had the family stop at the nearest J Crew to check for the shirt. No luck in Miami. No luck in Charleston. When I asked the sales people at J Crew Aspen whether they had the shirt, you would have thought I had asked them whether they sold Crocs and/or snow tires.

One day my neighbor was outside with her kids and she had on the J Crew embroidered t-shirt, she of no need for the t-shirt like I have need for the t-shirt.

Today oh glorious today I got an email about the J Crew fall sale and lo and behold what have we here but the embroidered t-shirt. Mine. Done.

My husband summed up the news best: "That is most excellent news indeed. A noble quest comes to successful closure!" I love this man.

Seasonal Vegetables

Most people consider corn to be a vegetable, although on an elemental level, it is really a carbohydrate. Similarly, sugar is a carbohydrate and anything that is made out of a good deal of sugar is also a carbohydrate. Accordingly, you have it on good authority, and it logically follows, that candy corn is a seasonal vegetable.

Why is it, though, that a handful of candy corn is not quite enough, while one small bite out of one of those pumpkins (made out of the exact same crap) induces the gag reflex?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October and Kindoms Fall

Last week, I sent an email to the law firm. Afterall, I didn't want to risk being the one candidate that hadn't made my genuine interest known. And still nothing. I have stopped carrying my phone with me everywhere and checking my email constantly. I think it is safe to assume that their call is not coming at any moment now.

Also, I had to cancel my seminar for this month because I only had 1 person enroll.

I am trying very hard not to get discouraged, but this hasn't been the best of Octobers. If I was cheesy (wait, I am cheesy) and I was still in college, I would sit around and listen to U2's October on repeat. Thats how sad I am people!

However, I am not living in a forest with my people being hunted (See Defiance) so I feel somewhat bad for even bitching about not hearing from the firm while I do, in fact, have some form of employment. On the other hand, it still sucks. I spent the past two hours looking for attorney jobs and wasn't able to come up with anything even remotely related to the type of law that I practice, or even anything that I could fake that I could practice.

Regarding Defiance: We are suppose to believe that the man on the left is brothers with the man on the right?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bulldog v. Boston Terrier

Some of you have asked about the "stalking boston terriers" comment in my profile, so here's the story. When my son was two, and it was clear that TULMEL and I didn't like each other enough to have more children, we decided that we should get a dog. We got an English Bulldog. That dog was the most ridiculous excuse for a pet ever. Oh the farts. It didn't even wake up when someone rang the doorbell. It didn't like to take walks and we would have to push its large butt with all our might to get it to move if it didn't want to. Saddest of all, it didn't really care one way or another about my son. It liked me, and that was it. It now lives (although probably not because an English Bulldog's life span is about 8 years) with an older lady who was going to take it to New Mexico.

TULMEL did lots of research about dogs that are good with kids, and came up with a Boston Terrier. The Boston Terrier that we got for my son lives for my son. If we closed my son's door, the dog would sit in front of it and cry. At night it would curl up next to me and bury its muzzle in my neck between my shoulder and my ear. I wouldn't move all night because I didn't want to disturb the dog. My husband is allergic to dogs, so the Boston Terrier now stays at TULMEL's. By far, loosing that dog was the hardest part of the divorce. Now, if I know a family that has a Boston Terrier, I will specifically drive down their street to see if it is out playing. When I am out running and I see a Boston Terrier being walked by its owner, I will run up to it (and simultaneously scare the owner). I miss my Boston Terrier!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Still waiting. Feeling numb.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


My son goes to an alternative school that focuses on processes and not end results. They don't even give grades at this place. This is kind of ironic because it turns out my son is totally a results guy. The faster the better - get it done, move on. He comes by this honestly. I first realized that I was not a processes person when I got bored during the SATs and decided to make an argyle pattern on the fill-in-the-bubbles answer card. For the record, I FINISHED THE TEST BEFORE ANYONE ELSE. Ha!

This school had at first seemed like a great place for him, because a regular classroom would not have been stimulating enough for him. Today, however, the teacher called and said that he was crying in the classroom because he was overwhelmed. The teacher said that my son told him that he didn't understand what he was reading. Oh my heart. Why do these things happen on dad nights. I want to hold him so badly.


1. My supervisor went to management training and I have a feeling that she learned about delegation (that is, she now delegates my questions to people who have even a less likely chance of being able to answer).

2. Does the law firm that laid me off really think it is appropriate to have added me to their distribution list for their monthly newsletter?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Donut Month

I just heard on the radio that it is National Donut Month. May I propose that (1) anyone believing in this should not be included in any health reform legislation, and (2) its questionable to even be having a donut moment, let alone a donut month

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

48 Hours

My friend who thinks that I sound like an angry only child can stop reading HERE because today I am on a roll. I am anxious and angry all at the same time. I keep dropping stuff and I can't focus.

In 48 hours I should (supposedly, if they stick to the stated schedule) hear back from the law firm about the second interview. There is way, way too much riding on this. If I don't get this job (1) I wonder if I will stop being a lawyer. I simply don't know where else to turn and already feel like my practice skills have exponentially slipped away over the past seven months; (2) We will have to move from our house, my husband's and my first house together and the one that has the great view out of the kitchen window; and (3) No more Tory Burch shoes. And that may sound all really superficial, but here's the angry part - I worked really, really, really hard to be a lawyer. Not just because of the house and the shoes, but because I like practicing law. I don't know what I would do with myself to fill and fulfill my days if I am not practicing law.

Here's another angry part. It is suppose to snow this morning, but I won't see it because, in case I haven't mentioned before, I work in a cube - Four dark gray industrial fabric walls with a tiny slit to let me in and out and an energy saving light bulb overhead. This cube might as well be lit by candlelight. I want to see the snow. I want to see the snow for the strange reason that it will hurt. You know how sometimes you just want to hurt. The day I got laid off it was snowing and I could never imagine that I would still not be employed as a lawyer through the rest of winter, the spring, summer and the first snow of fall. Seeing the snow is almost like an affirmation of a new life, the one I wasn't ready to accept when the snow was on the ground when I first got laid off, but must accept now. Everything is going to change big time, in 48 hours, one way or another.

Dumpster Diving

It has been a blah and yucky week so today I decided to wear my favorite outfit and all my favorite jewelry. I had to stop and get gas and decided, since I was turning the week around, that I would clean out the back of the car while I was standing there. When you have a kid, things go into the car and never come out. I have a month's worth of after-school crafts back there, all made lovingly for me by my son while he was waiting patiently for me to pick him up. But there I was waiting for the tank to fill - nothing to do, a car full of construction paper and pipe cleaners and boxes, and a trash can right beside me. I started purging. Here me roar. New day! Then I realized I could no longer account for my debit card. It wasn't in my pockets. It wasn't in the car, my wallet, the ground. Oh no. I must have thrown it away with the crafts. So there I am, Tory Burch heels, black stockings, a skirt, three strands of pearls and a cashmere sweater, carefully picking through a gas station trash can. No card to be found. Then my nose started bleeding. I felt like a high priced hooker / crack whore dumpster diving for breakfast.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Last Salad

I was eating one of those bagged salad kits from the grocery store for lunch when one of the secretaries came over and told me that bagged salad always gives her sister diarrhea. Huh. Just what on earth does one do with a little nugget of information like that. Try and stuff it away, and it just grows bigger and bigger. Now this is all I will think about in the salad kit section of the produce aisle - for the rest of time.

Weekend White Out

I got a letter this morning from the out of town law firm that said that they could not offer me a second interview. Which is really kind of harsh. It sort of implies, not only did you not make it, you didn't even come close.

In other news, I painted the living room white. The family that owned our house before us painted every single surface of that house some color from the Pottery Barn paint collection. I would like to see their dogs. I am sure they painted their dogs. If there was a surface in that house, it was painted a hue. The house is way too cute already on the outside (gingerbread-style) so I have to mediate the cuteness or else you would go into a diabetic coma from all the sweetness.

Why do I live in this house, you ask? Because it borders a park and any time of the day or night I can look through the park to downtown. Its nature and city all in one. And the homeless people that sleep in our yard and the flotsam and jetsam that get out of the bus at the bus stop in our yard keep things interesting. Once we made a mistake setting the sprinklers and doused the 7a.m. work crowd waiting for the bus. They retaliated by turning over the trash can into our yard. Love it! We use to have a flute player that would play while he waited for the bus. I miss him.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Interview

The interview was anti-climatic. They did not greet me at the door with a bunch of balloons and a sheet cake. They did not decide to just go ahead and offer me the job right then and there. Nope. I am just the first candidate of many that they will be interviewing over the coming month. Month. This was just the first step in the process. There is a whole second step in the process for the lucky candidates that get invited back for the second round.

It has been a whole 5 hours and yet no phone call inviting me back for the second round. What are these people waiting for?