Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last Edition, Weekend Lexapro

At some point, I was just done being depressed. I can't explain it anymore than I can explain how I got so depressed in the first place, despite my conscious thoughts willing me to feel differently. I didn't even get catatonically depressed when my mom passed away, and trust me that was way more significant than losing my job. Way more.

But Dear God I hope that such a funk never happens again because it was horrible. When I wasn't driving around listening to Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides, Now" on repeat (see - horrible), I was sitting on the couch unable to move.

Like I said, I don't know what happened to change things back to normal. At first, from time to time, and without warning, I would still feel a little pain in my heart and get angry and sad again, but then it would go away as quickly as it came. And now, if for some reason I start to think about where I am now in relation to where I was just over a year ago, I don't get angry or sad. I'm just here.

I'm here. Today is warm. There are bright yellow tulips on my desk.

I finally feel like finishing the paint job in the bedroom with that Ralph Lauren Sanctuary blue, even though the one and a half walls that I did manage to paint before my funk do resemble the color of halls I have seen in hospitals. Although I am no longer depressed, I am wondering if I am otherwise certifiable because I keep hoping that actually painting the other two and a half walls will improve my opinion of the color.

Oh, and did you know that you can download tv shows onto iTouch? Why had nobody brought this to my attention sooner? All this time at work I could have actually been getting something done rather than just sitting there doing data entry!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sleeping with Spiders

I have not one but two spider bites on my shoulder. Both bites are the same size, so we are going to assume this was the work of a lone spider, and not a posse of them. This is terrifying on so many levels.

I suspect that (1) it was either living in my shirt in the closet and bit me when I got dressed, or (2) crawled on me while I was sleeping. Neither is the better answer.

If it crawled on me while I was sleeping, it probably either lives in my ear now or it crawled in my mouth and I ate it. The bites are only inches from my face. It had to go somewhere from my shoulder. I knew an ER doc who said he spent a lot of his time fishing insects out of ears. Do you ever hear a clicking in your ear? Bug.

I had a college roommate who was bitten by a brown recluse spider and it was later discovered by the bug guy that her web (the spider, not the roommate, although she was kind of creepy too) was behind our stereo. And here's the thing, he wouldn't remove the web with the nest of babies - something about waiting for the mama spider to come back to it or something - I don't remember the whole story because that was all I needed to hear to move back in with my parents.

However, my parents shortly thereafter had a spider living on the front of their house that was so big that they called the zoo. This thing was the size of a rat - God's honest truth. People walking or driving by would stop and gawk at it. The zoo came out and then proclaimed they didn't want it because they already had one. So what do you do about that? One day it just up and left. If it went Southwest, it would have needed to buy two seats.

The moral of this story - if you have a spider issue, you are pretty much on your own. Neither the zoo nor the bug guy cares.

I guess its better than getting bitten by a killer whale.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Do Not Fear the Easter Bunny

When I saw the first Easter Bunny of the season, it struck fear in my heart - nasty rodent with razor sharp teeth, disturbing pink eyes and a penchant for evil. Last year, my son placed an Easter Bunny sticker in my calendar and he just happened to stick it on the calendar day that I got laid off. Ever since, I have associated the Easter Bunny with unpleasantness.

But then I realized that all those damn stuffed bunnies also mean something else besides evil - they mean Spring is right around the corner, and I have never been more ready. When the clock struck midnight and it turned January 1, 2010, the first thing my husband said to me was "This is your year, I can feel it." But I didn't feel it. Until now.

First of all, Cadbury Creme Eggs. Hello. I never buy them, but it is nice to know that there is such a thing as a chocolate egg with a liquid white and yellow sugar yolk - brilliant.

Tulips - what a flower. These are not fru-fru flowers. These are flowers that say "I have great big hot pink petals you wimpy ass pastel lavender hyacinth bitches." I am flower, hear me roar.

The new Vogue. It has been so long since I have seen anything in a magazine that I covet, but the latest Vogue is absolutely beautiful. Feminine dresses with an edge! Heels! There is pair of Prada heels with crystals that are so beautiful that I literally gasp when I see them, no matter how many times I turn the page to look at them. Of course, they are soooo out of the budget at this stage of my life, but it honestly make me happy to know that somebody out there can have them. (Duuuude! See, I really am turning over a new leaf - it makes me happy to know that somebody - even if it's not me - can have them!)

A Golden Egg. My grocery story is selling packages of plastic eggs with one golden egg in each package. My son is going to love searching for the golden egg in the yard on Easter morning. That's exactly the kind of thing that makes him over-the-moon excited.

Four Applications. All of a sudden there were 4 jobs posted on the bar association web page that looked like something related to my area of the law. Four. That's more than there has been over this whole past year. So I applied for four jobs this weekend.

The Lay-Off Outfit. The outfit that I wore the day I got laid off sat in my closet untouched since I hung it up a year ago. It's a decent business day outfit. It has Ann Taylor written all over it (although it is Jones New York) and it was a staple in the rotation. But I could never bring my self to put it back on. Until today. I am sitting here in the lay-off outfit, feeling a lot happier than I have in a while.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thank You, Michelle!

I want to thank Michelle for pointing out that yesterday was the most wonderful of all holidays around here - National Margarita Day! I celebrated by leaving work early . . .

Some questions you may have -

(1) Do I really drink margaritas? Yes. Frozen with salt. No swirls, no fruity flavors, and Dear God no whip. My husband drinks those.

I do realize that purists claim that the only real margarita is the kind on the rocks. Well, this is my blog, and here at Decisions on Margaritas we do frozen with salt, large. I want it in a cup so big that a goldfish could live in it, but no fish. Just the adult Slurpee with salt.

(2) How often do I drink margaritas? Sadly, not enough. They are actually surprisingly hard to come by in this town. Accordingly, I actually probably consume more red wine, although I am enjoying white again these days.

(3) Have I made any important decisions while drinking margaritas? Yup. That's how I wound up in law school. More on that to follow . . .

Valid Proof that the Sharks Are Coming

So, I don't yurt (as in, to yurt; as in, to spend one's vacation in a circular shaped tent).

Accordingly, my husband found a lovely little yurt-free resort in Baja. It's far enough away that it won't have the Spring Break bunch, but close enough to Cabo that we could participate in the Spring Break mayhem if we so choose - and, really, is there an age when it is inappropriate to do so? I think not.

I couldn't be more excited. At first I was freaked out about the timing, but now I am absolutely giddy at the thought of my husband and I getting away together. And we won't even have to shovel snow to get to the breakfast tequila. And there will be an ocean! Mmmmmm ocean.

And I may even stick my toe in the ocean. But that's it. Because I have valid proof that sharks are out to get me. It's personal. (1) I once rented a house in Cape San Blas, Florida, and mere weeks later there was a shark attack right in front of that beach house. (2) When we were in Isle of Palms, there was a shark attack in front our beach house, right where the kids were playing, right after we went in for lunch. We narrowly avoiding actually being lunch. What are the odds - directly in front of both beach houses?! Obviously, they are following me. When they do Shark Week on Discovery, you can see those very houses in the footage. I understand that you are more likely to get killed by a vending machine falling over on you, but clearly, for me - given that there is no vending machine in this building and that there have been shark attacks in front of 2 of the last 5 beach houses I have rented - I have a forty percent chance of getting eaten by a shark if I go in the water.

Shorty after our last vacation in the Keys, there was a story in the Miami Herald about a shark they found in the street. See. Coming to get me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Best Plan Yet

There is nothing to eat in my house. I don't mean that there is nothing to eat that I want to eat. I mean, unless I can think of something to make with coffee and green Tabasco, there is nothing to eat in the house.

My disdain for clutter extends into the kitchen. While I view my minimalist approach to pantry accessories (such as food) as modern and organized, I do understand that others may think that I have "issues." For example, when I suggested to my husband that I could cut back on therapy to help out with the new budget, he indicated that he did not think that would be a good idea.

It's not that we never have food. I just have it down to an art where we get only what we need. If there was ever a nuclear bomb or some natural disaster that required us to hide in our home for a few weeks, my family would be the first to parish.

So last Saturday when my husband said that he was running to the grocery store, I thought nothing of it. About an hour later, I got a knock on the door from my new best girl friend. Her husband works with my husband and both of our husbands travel all the time. Hers happened to be out of town at that time. We have lots of other stuff in common, like being lawyers and having kids and we even went to the same university at the same time and lived in the same apartment complex, but we barely knew each other then.

So, anyway, she is knocking on my door and she appears to be in some state of shock. She said that my husband had arrived at her house and told her to get dressed because he was going to look after her girls while she and I went out to lunch and went shopping and went for wine, and he would come get us. Then I went into shock. Husband of the year! Husband of the year!

And drink we did. We may have eaten, and I have a box from Nordstrom with a God-awful sweater indicating that there was shopping, but I know for a fact there was some drinking.

Today I got an email from my friend that commented on the amount of wine we consumed. And here is why I love her. Her solution to us avoiding hangovers in the future is not to cut back on the drinking, but to build up our tolerance. This is a girl with a reasonable plan.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Undress Me

Speaking of books, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is excellent. My softback copy has a quote by Oprah saying that the book in unputdownable. Somebody get the Scrabble dictionary. Is that a word? That sounds like something I would make up, but I expect better from Oprah.

Anyway, aside from the recommendation from the lady who liked A Million Little Pieces, this book is amazing. The book is about two Brown University college grads who backpack through China in 1986, right after it became open to independent backpackers. This is an absolutely fascinating book. It has never ever occurred to me to "backpack" or that such word should be a verb. And China isn't in the top three places I want to visit. But I loved this book. Get. I promise you will enjoy and be horrified all at the same time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rogue Rant

Sarah Palin fascinates me in the same way it fascinates me when one of my toenails gets too long. It needs to go away, but I can't stop looking at it.

So I got her book out of sheer fascination. Also, I wanted to know how she was going to help run the country along with being a mom to five kids (and also a grandma). I've got one kid and it's really hard to get us both out of the door in the morning. But 5 and the possibility that I might have to run the country? I promise you that either the kids or the country would not be getting my full attention.

I made it to page 223 before I just couldn't go on any further. Sarah really likes herself. This observation comes from someone who believes that it takes a good deal of narcissism to make it through the day. Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, well, isn't writing a blog narcissistic? Of course, inherently. But here's the thing - Even if I did have a background as a city council member, mayor and governor, if John McCain reached me on my cell phone while I was hanging out at the pro-life booth at the county fair and asked me if I would like to be the vice president, I would have the good sense to politely and tactfully alert him to his momentary lapse of good judgement. But not Sarah. She wasn't really surprised at all.

Have you ever known a family with five kids? Each and every one of the seven members is certifiable - usually very sweet, but certifiable. The parents checked out somewhere along the third kid and have that lights-are-on-but-nobody-is-home glaze.

Pregnant teenagers, little girls, special needs babies - they need a mommy. And this observation is coming from someone who was once asked by a law firm partner if I thought I could be a lawyer and a mom and went ape-shit over even being asked. But I have one, so it's doable. Very hard, but doable.

Of course, I am not in Sarah Palin's shoes so I cannot say what it is like to have 5 kids and an important government job. But what I can say is that if she thinks that she could be a decent mother to 5 and a decent vice president, then being Vice President of the United States of America must be a really easy job

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Still a Tent if it's Round

My husband and I had only been married a year before the lay-off. It has been hard to grow as a couple while I am, at the same time, trying to come to terms with a career that got severely derailed. Like, at this point in my life, I shouldn't be saying like and I shouldn't feel like I am having to completely start over. So when my husband suggested that we needed a trip away, part of me thought that was a ridiculous thing to do right now. Another part of me thought we couldn't afford not to.

So he gave me a daily budget for the vacation and the first place that popped-up on the travel web page in our price range was a yurt. And it wasn't even all-inclusive. And I'm fairly certain that the whole debacle with the self-help guru and the hot coals and the three deaths occurred in a yurt.

A yurt.

You can't fool me. That's a tent.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Where Do You Get A Human Brain?

Last week, my son's school did their big presentation event and you know I went into it thinking that my kid and his presentation on lawyers and important court cases was going to blow everyone away. Well . . .

One girl dissected a starfish and pointed out its gonads with a completely straight face. (1) My son is not cool enough to say gonads with a completely straight face. (2) I am not cool enough to say gonads with a straight face. I'm thinking, "hu-huh, you said gonads."

Another kid dissected a HUMAN BRAIN. (1) ? (2) Where does one get a human brain. I consider myself to be quite resourceful (See ability to find Torani Almond Roca latte syrup for home use). But a human brain - no. (3) It is really hard to follow a kid who dissects a human brain with a discussion about the Miranda trial because, seriously, a human brain? Query the legality.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Circus Life Under a Big Top World

Earlier this week, the girls over at were talking about music, and the comment was made that Steve Perry is hawt. I know very few things to be true, but this I know with absolute certainty.

And this got me thinking that on the drive to work this morning, I really did not want to stop believing. We keep The Essential Journey in my husband's car. That way, it is ready for each and every road trip, it being more important than gas. If your car doesn't have gas, you can push it. But if your car doesn't have The Essential Journey, well then you are just SOL.

My husband is only ever in one of two places, his office at the house or Thailand, so I am never separated from my CD. Except this morning, my husband left the house, taking his car with him and thereby taking the CD with him. Oh. The. Horror. Now, I have Journey's Greatest Hits in my car, but it is not the same. It is great, but it is not essential. Furthermore, my Journey's Greatest Hits CD is unplayable. When CDs first came out, I remember my dad saying that CDs were indestructible. Although I have proven that over and over again to be a false statement, I still neglect to put my CDs back in their case because there is this voice in my head telling me, "CDs are indestructible." Unless you leave them in the side pocket of your car, outside of their case, with a broken crystal picture frame for over a year. That tends to be not good for CDs.

So I did what I always do when I need my porn (and if Steve Perry sweating isn't porn then I don't know what is) - I headed to the internet. Thereupon I called up "Don't Stop Believing" on youtube. HELL-O. And it is also true that Steve Perry is hawt for no single identifiable reason. And, in fact, if you take it in piece by piece - ouch. First of all - a mullet? Second of all, in many videos, he is sporting a yellow half shirt with black leopard spots. A half shirt. Also, he is wearing the highest waisted jeans ever designed - they come all the way up to meet his half shirt. But put it all together and add the voice and he is the hottest soft rocker of all time.

I knew this when I was 13, when I would stare at myself in front of the mirror while listening to Separate Ways and hoping that, indeed, some day love would find me and break the chains that bind me. Oh. The. Chains.

For those of you who are wondering if my husband reads this and how he feels about it, I can tell you this. Time stands still in our house when a Shakira video comes on. So there you go - Friday's post, Weekend Treat and Weekend Lexapro all in one - Steve Perry.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If Only Someone Picked Wine Making

My son goes to a special school. No, not a short bus kind of school - although, come to think of it, they do have short buses. His school is a funky, alternative, if you learn better standing on your head then by all means stand on your head kind of school.

In the interview to get into this school, my son did the whole interview as if he was a crawfish (speaking of crawfish - and we don't even live in Louisiana) because he went through this month long phase that coincided with his interview where he was convinced he was a crawfish. And, of course, this funky, alternative school thought that any kid who was convinced he was a crawfish was exactly the type of kid that would excel at their funky, alternative (read, the price of university) school.

And damn it if they aren't right. Because he has the freedom to learn whatever the hell he wants, he learns like a maniac. He is a maniac. So the fit is perfect. All year long he has been studying lawyers and the court system because he wanted to make me proud. (awwwww) And tonight he is giving a presentation about the Miranda trial. And he can tell you all about HIPAA. And the right to arm bears. I kind of feel sorry for the parents of the kids who are presenting on "puppies" and "candy" although we are supposed to be supportive of all the kids' presentations even if they chose to study puppies or candy for an entire year. Amateurs.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

But I Never Once Lifted My Shirt for Beads

1. I didn't get grounded like normal teenagers got grounded; rather, I would have to stand in the bayou with a chicken neck on a string and catch crabs for dinner.

2. It didn't phase me when there were crawfish on the porch, cooked or raw and walking around.

3. Any cockroach that is smaller than 4 inches long, that doesn't fly, and that doesn't have its own attitude is a pitiful excuse for a cockroach.

4. I once sat on my roof and waited out a flood.

6. After soccer practice in high school, the team captain would take us for daiquiris.

7. In high school, we would stop at Pat O's for two hurricanes and then decide where we were going to go drinking for the night.

8. When I got my first house, it seemed entirely reasonable to decorate it in purple, green and gold with framed Mardi Gras posters and the Cajun alphabet picture in the kitchen.

9. I can peel a shrimp in seconds using a knife and fork.

10. Every single person that I know that stayed in New Orleans past high school has been the victim of a violent crime or directly knows somebody who has been.

Sometimes I think its a wonder that I made it past the tenth grade, what with all the standing in the bayous with the gators and the realization in my early teens that everybody else at Pat O'Briens was an amateur. So please indulge me when I say, "Geaux Saints."

[P.S. It pains my greatly that blogger spell check wants to make that crayfish. P.P.S. Many, many weekend standing in the bayou with a chicken neck. P.P.P.S. I just realized I went 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 up there - the New Orleans public school system at work my friends.]

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thank God for No Crystal Balls

As we all know, coffee plays a central role in my life. When I was at the Nordstrom in Las Vegas, I discovered Almond Roca Lattes at the Nordstrom E-Cafe. Oh so wrong, but oh so good.

I am also one of the most resourceful people on the planet. At the law firm, I was known for being the person that could track down that one case or that one little nugget of information that nobody else could find and that could change the case. This skill also comes in handy for finding Almond Roca latte syrup for home use.

I got a phone call from the World Pantry that my syrup was destroyed beyond deliverability by UPS and that my order would come later this week. Accordingly, unless I want to spend 4+ bucks on a latte, I am left to my own devices and Coffee Mate. I stood there at the grocery store for way too long contemplating what might possibly stand in for a few days for my Almond Roca Torani syrup. Now, I've never actually tasted ass, but Tiramisu flavored Coffee Mate tastes like ass.

In other news, word on the street is that my former law firm is doing a second round of lay-offs and that, given the comp structure, partners are currently making less than the few remaining associates. Imploding? Perhaps. And if it is in the stars that the entire firm is going to go down eventually, then I guess I am glad that I got off the sinking ship when I did. It's been a tough year. Sometimes I am grateful that there is no crystal ball.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekend Lexapro

I have the world's best therapist. Much like we shall never total the amount of money that I spend on lattes, so too we shall never tally the therapy expenses. Both are vital to my mental health.

I explained to my therapist how I have been feeling lately and how I was wondering if it was biological at this point. She asked me this, "Would your mood change if you found out right now that you got that in-house counsel position?" My response - well hell yea. And also whoa.

It's. Just. A. Job.

At the CT Scan, the radiology tech said that my son could have one of his parents go back with him, and he said, "I want my mommy" (Had the wind been blowing northwest instead of northeast, he would have asked for his daddy.) But that, plus the realization that this funk is all over a stupid JOB, made me realize - I am a mommy. And I am a great man's wife. And I have a friend that makes an excellent Christmas vodka.

So, on a logical level, I know that I am being silly, and I tell myself to stop it. But I can't help it - I am still crying all the time and I still have that heartbreak feeling in my heart, a literal feeling I can detect in my heart. My therapist says that I am burned out and, also, she thinks I am starting to show signs of biological depression. And I am burned out.

I emailed the company with the in-house counsel position, and got no response. I even had a meeting scheduled on Friday about a franchise opportunity, but the guy just never showed. And so it has been for months and months on end - I have been chasing opportunities that evaporate before my eyes, each and every one. And I guess I'm just burned out from all the chasing.

But I don't have to chase my husband or my son. They're right here. And did I mention that I am somebody's mommy. Did I mention that he said, "I want my mommy" and then he reached for my hand and we walked down that hall together, holding hands, toward that big scary CT machine.

I wish I could tell you that was the moment that I gave up wanting my career back so badly, but I still do crave it deeply. And I still wonder and stress and cry about the fact that I don't know if I will ever get it back. What I can tell you is that the whole event made me realize that I have been selfish. Because I have been so self-absorbed, it literally took my son holding out his hand for me to remind me that it's time for this to stop being about what I need and what I am not getting. Rather, its time for this to start being about what we need as a family.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'll Have the Liver!

1. CT Scan results = sinusitis. Thanks to everyone for their love on that front.

2. I worked that seminar like my career depended on it. While only part of the seminar was about law, during that part I felt like myself. The law made me tired, the law took all my time, and I would obsess about ambiguous legal matters with an unhealthy passion, but that is the world I know. Perhaps it was not always a healthy existence, but that's where and how I knew how to function. I am a lawyer. That much I know.

3. I am also a mother and a wife - not always consistent with 2.

4. I thought Julie and Julia was an entertaining movie, the book a quick and okay read. But Cleaved, her second book, dear God the reviews were terrible. Hateful even. I had to read the book right away.

It is a lot of talk about turning carcasses into meat. If anatomy wasn't the class for you, forget about it.

But it is also a lot of talk about her affair. She has a husband and we don't really know much about him, but we know a lot about the other guy. If the affair was a wound, Julie writing this book is like her putting her finger in that open would - like her licking her finger, dipping it in salt, and then sticking her finger into that wound and poking and prodding around in that wound, and then taking her finger out and licking it again. Ouch.

However, after two books, she has finally convinced me. I think I do want to try liver.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

21 Gunds

My son was at the doctor today because he has been throwing up on and off for two weeks. The doctor thinks it's probably nothing. He is scheduled for a CT scan just to be sure. They will have to mildly sedate him.

The thought of my little boy, mildly sedated and at the mercy of a radiology tech and doctors and things I do not understand, being eased into a CT scan, makes me sick to my very core. I know, however, that there are other parents out there who heard today that their kid needs a CT scan to confirm a suspected diagnosis, not just to make sure everything is okay, so I am keeping it all in perspective.

After today's doctor appointment, my son went home with his father. Also, my husband is out of town again. My son likes to sleep with me on the days his step dad is out of town. My bed has the 21 stuffed animals (I counted) that he brought to bed with us last night. These animals consist of ones that I have given him, that his father's girlfriend bought him, that his stepfather has given him, and one bear that my mother got him before she passed away and that was put in his hospital bassinet the very first night of his life.

I thought about removing the stuffed dog that is from his father's girlfriend, this being a family gathering in my own bedroom - just kind of mistakenly purposefully edging it off of the bed with my elbow. But I let it stay. We all love him and need him to be okay, even his father's girlfriend. The girlfriend seems to really enjoy spoiling, playing with, and teaching my son, and he really likes her. And for that, of course, my son and I are both blessed.

My son speaks to these animals (perhaps more than an intelligent 8 year old should). I fear, then, that they may be missing him. Accordingly, they all get to sleep with me again tonight.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm Waiting . . .

Tick tick tick tick . . . Do you know that I got a new Swatch for Christmas and it has a noticeable tick. I love that. Soothing. I am such a product of the 80's. Sadly, it is not a scratch and sniff Swatch. That would just look ridiculous on someone over the age of 13 (plus I couldn't find one anywhere on the internet).

Anyway, it is very much time that my phone rang with (1) follow-up news from the screening interview for that in-house counsel position, and (2) the results of the allergy tests. Of course, I am allergic to high paneled executive gray cube walls with energy saving light bulbs and offices with the thermostats set to 64, but it will be nice to have that confirmed.

[Plastic baby blue watches with pink flamingos Swatch circa 2009 - always adorable!]

Monday, February 1, 2010

No funcsion on allergie meds

I really do always proof my posts before hitting publish so if anyone read the last post before this morning I am sorry (I think I now caught the big ones); Girlfriend doesn't funcsion well on sinus/allergy meds. Recommend Rx read: Do not operate heave equipment or blog. Plus it was hard to add all those pictures. Love, AG