Anyway, this award requires me to state where I will be in 10 years. So here goes:
Monday, August 30, 2010
Anyway, this award requires me to state where I will be in 10 years. So here goes:
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
But best of all, Brandon Flowers is smiling and looking like he is having a good time.
Friday, August 27, 2010
I love it when I read a review for something like, say, grilled eggplant, and the review goes like this:
"I give this five out of five stars. I did change the recipe a bit. For example, I did not use the eggplant."
The other day, pushing fall because I am sick of it being 99 degrees, I decided to try something from the crock pot section. I decided on crock pot chicken and dumplings. I figured that this would get me lots of cred with the husband and kid. The husband is from South Carolina, so how could he not like chicken and dumplings. The kid is a kid, so how could he not like chicken and dumplings. The reaction from both of them - meh. The thanks I get for putting things in a crock pot. And this was advanced crock potting. I had to add the refrigerated biscuit dough at a separate time from everything else.
That's it. I'm going to make them the grilled eggplant - and use the eggplant.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Anyway, I think it is safe to say that I was probably the only person in the Home Depot today (and by that I mean every single Home Depot on the planet) in sequins. Unless RuPaul was also there picking up paint samples.
Sequins are another one of those things that seem like a fashion forward business decision at the J.Crew but that, in reality, look ridiculous when you are sitting in your cube. Ditto for the white keds with the black business suit. Perhaps this would all work out a little better if I was taller. (I am roughly the size of an Olsen twin or Tom Cruise).
You should have seen the looks I was getting from all the contractors this morning at the Home Depot as the only female there. And it wasn't contractor cat calls either. It was more, "Oh honey, no. Even we know that sequins before noon at the Home Depot are a no."
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Phew. No red flags there.
I navigated my response with honesty and professionalism. I have a lot of respect for my former profession and I don't want to burn any bridges. [I once let it fly in an exit interview and let's just say that they had no interest in speaking with me after I got laid off from the next firm]. I balanced that with the fact that she was making a major life decision and I felt that I owed her some honest, appropriate answers. I explained that I found the partner's reputation to be accurate and that he was extremely difficult to work for.
I also encouraged her to speak to his past two associates before me. All three of us worked for him for less than a year - two of us were laid off and one of us was smart enough to ask to be transferred to a different department before it could happen.
Today I learned that she that she jumped ship with him.
Here's what I love about being my age:
(1) I have learned that I am not going to be, and nobody else is going to be, the one person that can work with or change another person.
(2) I have always made the wrong decision when I have based that decision on money.
Apparently you can't explain that. You just have to live and learn.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
We are now in the process of negotiating for space. We have identified three different spots. There is a clear first choice, and distant second and third choices. Because the landlord at our first choice is being difficult, we are pursuing all three spaces at this time. There is also always the possibility that the first choice won't offer a commercially reasonable lease because they heard through various channels that their space is our clear front runner.
Of course, your reasonable next question is, "Well, why aren't you playing it more close to the vest?" I KNOW. When you negotiate for space that is owned by certain large, multi-state commercial landlords, they only work through brokers. I have very little control over the actual communication that goes on, including the negotiating.
You have no idea how hard it is for me, a former lawyer, someone who has already signed the contract to own and operate the franchise, to be still sitting in a cubicle working this crazy job so that I can afford to pay a broker to negotiate something on my behalf.
However, having signed the actual franchise contract, I am now privy to lots of new information and figures and details. Let's get it started! (Read, of course, to the tune of Let's Get It Started by the Black Eyed Peas.)
Monday, August 23, 2010
For the record, I will note here that my husband is wrong and Flight of the Conchords is brilliant.
We are currently in a non-HBO period. Accordingly, I have been exploring the B List channels of cable wasteland. Which is how I came upon Clean House. This is another hoarders type show, except that this one is hosted by Niecy Nash.
Yes. That Niecy Nash. The one from Reno 911. Now, I think we can all agree that hoarding is a serious mental issue. And I think we can also all agree that when a person has a serious mental issue, the cast members of Reno 911 might not be the first choice for expert guidance, although they are hilarious.
But hoarding is not hilarious. And this is serious too - As you know, I have a phobia of hoarding. It's like an anorexia thing where those girls can't see themselves for as thin as the really are. I can't see my house for as uncluttered as it really is. When I watched Clean House I got very anxious and felt the need to start throwing things out. This past weekend I threw out a very important piece of paper that my husband needed. On some level I know that my house is very uncluttered, but it is not uncluttered enough. It could always be more uncluttered. I have clutter anorexia.
This is very real and I want some sort of rehab for it, preferably in Malibu and paid for by my insurance.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
There's something so comforting about hanging out at your favorite joint on a Friday night with the whole weekend ahead of you. Hope you are having a great weekend too.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Because I am wise to this concept, I went on the web page and had my one item already picked out. That's it. The one item. It was a cool wear anywhere nicely priced ring.
Instead I came home with long double stranded necklace of large orangish beads with a great big blinged out clasp shaped like a bee about to take flight. (Uh huh. You read that right. It's exactly as cute as it sounds.) And also a few Christmas presents. And a little bit of red wine headache.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
It has been surprisingly easy, however, to put that whole phase of my life behind me. It was less than two weeks ago that I put that letter in the mail, but it feels like such a long time ago that I was ever a lawyer. I have no regrets for where I am now, but I also have no regrets for my seven years practicing law.
When I practiced law, I made things happen that were important to someone else, and that's a powerful feeling. Also, it just feels good to be a part of figuring out a solution to something challenging - it's a zone, and it's a high. If you're a runner, it's the same as that feeling you get when you never want to stop. If you're a soccer player, it's like the feeling that you get when you score a goal. If you're a yoga person - hell I have no idea what that feels like. I once had a yogi tell me that my tense aura was more than he could work with.
As a lawyer, my life revolved around billable hours and trying to give my son undivided attention. That was it. My husband (who should be sainted) and our together time, or my alone time - nonexistent. My justification was that I was making enough money that I would be able to write a check for my son's university, even if he decided to go to the most expensive one, and that we would be set for retirement. So, yeah, I was basically living for days that, theoretically, I might never see at the expense of the day that it was.
That treadmill doesn't have to be every lawyer's reality. I had a boss who, after he laid me off, admitted that he didn't think anyone could really be a parent and a lawyer. And, God love him, he recognized it but didn't try to mediate that - he just worked me harder and harder and harder under increasingly tight deadlines and demands. On the other hand, I had previously worked for a guy who made it a priority to make sure that all of his associates took time for their families and their hobbies. It was during that time that I developed a killer tennis serve and would cook my husband breakfast.
I loved practicing, even at the treadmill place (and pace), even through all the noise caused by all the egos (including mine). I would do it again. I would do it differently. And it would not have been my choice to quit practicing. That choice was made for me and I only went inactive after a year and a half of looking for a legal job and not succeeding.
Yet I am incredibly happy not practicing. I have days now that I enjoy instead of days that were all just a preparation for some future day. I no longer hang out with my son or my husband for 15 minute increments before I get back to my client issues and billable hours. I know that I will be working as many if not more hours setting up and operating the franchise. However, I just have to believe that serving dessert lends itself to a whole different mental mindset and well-being than the multi-entity reorganizations and professional corporation work that I used to do. There's going to be a little bit more of me left over at the end of the day. And I can still live practicing law vicariously through my favorite law blogs.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
We have three televisions in the house, but only one that my son and I will watch. The one in the kitchen doesn't have cable, and there is no sofa in our small galley style kitchen. So you find yourself leaning against the gas stove, and if you do so too fast and too hard, you can turn on the gas and set yourself on fire. It's not good. This is why sometimes my son watches television in the sink - much safer.
There is one in the basement, but my son doesn't like to be in the basement, and I don't like the surround sound. It fools nobody. The people putting on the show are in the little box, so it is perfectly reasonable for the sound that they make to also come from the little box. Even if the people were actually in my house putting on the show, they would not be standing on either side of me yelling into my right and left ears - because as I have learned from my husband, if you have surround sound, it must be used loudly. I don't understand the surround sound much the same way my husband doesn't understand why I need 12 different shades of blush - its a gender thing.
So that leaves the upstairs television set and two people that need to watch something at 9:00. One of us needs to watch the Rachel Zoe Project, and the other one of us wants to watch the Science Channel. Nine year olds and their stupid thirst for knowledge. And, plus, doesn't he have a bed time? Oh, and I am the parent here. I was about to make some sort of argument and send him off to bed when he said to me, about the Rachel Zoe Project, "Seriously, mom. All that drama over a dress?"
So true little wise one. I was bested, and also possibly a little busted. And that is why I now know how sea anemone reproduce, but not whether Mz Zoe has finally given in and started wearing skinny jeans.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
One of my 1L professors was known for wielding the Socratic Method to put 1Ls in their place. No matter how well you read the cases for the class, he would purposefully trip you up and could make people feel 1 inch tall.
My day to be his bitch came on a day that I was particularly angry at my then-husband for something and I was in a foul mood. I think I even rolled my eyes when the professor called on me.
Prof: "Mizz Associate Girl. Did you read the cases for the day?"
Prof: "Excellent. So, if you hired someone to cut your lawn, would that be a contract for specific performance?"
Prof: "Yes? I thought you read the cases. Do you want to change your answer."
Prof: "This ought to be interesting. Because I ask my neighbor boy to cut the grass and then I give him $10. There's no specific performance requirements in that."
AG: "Right. But lets say I have a contract for my lawn to be cut on the diagonal, blades set at X inches high, and the bushes to be trimmed to a scoval - thats not square and not round, but scoval -then I have a contract for specific performance."
Prof, thinking: "That sounds like a contract that my wife would enter into. Mr. Other 1L, have you read the cases for the day?"
They carried me out of class on their shoulders that day I tell you.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
(I can still use the phrase, "Love." Rachel Zoe doesn't own it.)
These $38 treats come from uncommongoods.com, as does the picture. I can always find a good gift at UncommonGoods. Love.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Socratic Professor - 1, Associate Girl - 0
My 1L criminal law professor had a system where he would call on three people to stand and answer questions for the entire class. Typically he would spend equal time with each person standing, but sometimes he just focused on one person and only briefly got to the other two. Once you had your turn, you were done for the semester.
Of course, you wanted to be called on early in the semester so you could just relax and learn the rest of the time. It was about 3/4ths through the semester and I still hadn't been called on so I was still meticulously briefing my cases every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This included looking up words because the professor liked to ask for definitions of words in the cases.
This one particular day I really wanted to be called on because all of the cases were criminal medical cases. Prior to law school, I had worked in a hospital and I was as adept at reading medical records as the medical residents. If I got called on, I could easy navigate the cases and cement my place in law school history as one of the people who knew what she was doing.
It appeared as if the Law School Gods were smiling upon me because I did get called as one of the three people to discuss the medical cases that day. Check and mate. The professor spent a good deal of time with the first student and I could answer all of the questions that he was throwing at him (although I wasn't allowed to). The other kid was stumbling all over himself and I kept sending glances to the professor that said "Call on me; I know this stuff."
Eventually, he got to me. His first question was
"Ms. Associate Girl, what is the fascia?"
[Ha. I so know this.]
"It's a thick fibrous white tissue inside of the body that keeps all the organs in place."
"No. It's not."
And he moved on. That's it. I got one question. And by the way - IT SO IS.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Now, I have seen some crazy stuff in offices, and particularly office decor. A former law firm partner who I worked for had three dimensional cowboy art. It was the talk of the office, but was kitchy in a Jackson Hole, funky dive bar kind of way. Lots of people have paintings by relatives. I've also seen a four foot Barbie (which is like running into a white-blonde pygmie with a rockin' bod), Glamour Shots of girlfriends, and a giant lucite paper clip that was, upon closer inspection, a statue of two people getting down to business. That last item was actually in my dad's office back in the 70's. I am scarred for life.
But the most disturbing thing I have ever seen is a throw over a desk chair. You know - a throw. A woobie. A blanket. A blankie. Over a desk chair. Not even when I had an office did I ever look at the chairs across from my desk and think that what those chairs needed was a throw. During my very first legal job I had an office with a couch. But never once did I even think that what that couch needed was a throw.
No woobies in the work place, people. It's just creepy. (Ah-ha, I just clued into the customer who would buy those gnomes I was talking about yesterday.)
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Those Virginia Tech people take their maroon and orange hokie bird football very seriously. (Maroon and orange do not go together, baby. The whole world wide web is about to back me up on that.)
I think a good measure of the devoutness of the fans is the extent of ridiculous things that you can buy with the school logo. So, when I came across this Virgina Tech female garden gnome in the VT Bookstore catalogue, I was convinced that, hands down, VT has the most devout fans. And, also, WTF?
This is, perhaps, one of the grossest things I have ever seen. It got me thinking. I went to university in Texas (SMU), and I remember that the Texas A&M fans were hardcore. Can one procure a Texas A&M garden gnome? Eeeek! You can. But not female. Sorry.
I am pleased to note that one cannot procure an SMU garden gnome, male, female or transgender (although that would take care of so many Christmas gifts now that I think about it.) And, honey, as much as I love you, I did not get you the Virginia Tech female garden gnome (because its not funny in our yard). Happy Anniversary, though.
pictures of the art above from homedepot.com
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Although we have signed the franchise agreement, the space negotiations could take months. Cube World is the reality until we sign the lease and begin the build-out.
I have complained to anybody who would listen (and the entire world wide web) that I hate my cube because it is dark and depressing. I complained to my supervisor, the lady who designed the office cubicles, my fellow cube dwellers, the barista at Starbucks.
So do you know what the office manager did? Gave me a new cube. Directly across from my supervisor. Now, when my supervisor is sitting at her desk, she can look right into my cube and see what I am doing. Every single move is monitored. Bye Bye two hour lunches. Bye Bye wandering around Barnes and Noble and Target during the afternoon. Bye Bye Bejeweled. And its not even really a whole lot brighter.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Anyway, it should be on its way.
After putting it in the mail, I didn't feel like popping champagne. I didn't feel like shopping. I just felt like running. So I ran down the parkway listening to Michael Frianti's "The Sound of Sunshine" over and over and grinning from ear to ear.
We just bought ourselves a franchise! (Of course, we have to build it first but details, details.)
Saturday, August 7, 2010
My normal uniform is jeans, tank and boyfriend cardigan. (Oh J Crew why won't you set me free.) However, it has just been too hot for jeans this summer.
My mom wore that necklace on the yellow and blue outfit when she had tea with the Queen. That's HRH, not Latifah. Although, come to think of it, it would be considerably more cool if I could tell you that my mom had tea with Queen Latifah. Oh, and the tea with the other Queen, there were also 999 other people there. Anyway . . .
I am very proud of myself that I found these great skirts for less than I spend on coffee some days.
[Gray Outfit: Target skirt, Target t-shirt, Limited necklace. Yellow and Blue Outfit: Target skirt, Harolds shirt (may Harolds RIP), necklace vintage (Liberty of London, I think)]
Thursday, August 5, 2010
AG: "Do you suppose it was because I gave her four year old son a gun for his birthday?"
BFF: "It might be. I thought it was a great idea. Until he shot me square between the eyes. That kid is a good shot." (I witnessed the whole thing. That kid is an excellent shot.)
Let's pause here to interject that BFF was the one who encouraged me to go ahead and give the kid a gun because, after all, he was born in Texas. Anyway, it was a really good idea.
a) It shoots non-ouchy foam disks. It's not like I got him the one that shoots potatoes; and
b) After he opened my present, he literally did not touch another gift for the entire party. He thought it was the best present ever.
Plus, I haven't been invited to another kid's birthday party since. We all win.
Who are you in Olathe? I might love you.
2. Let us not let the fact that it is Shark Week overshadow the fact that it is also the return of the Rachel Zoe Project. I actually hate myself while I am watching it, and I know it makes me stupider. But watch it I do. Oh how blissful it must be to be that self-centered. Also, does anyone not think that Taylor has a case for SLANDER. (Or is it libel?)
3. New Rule. You are not allowed to purchase all of your groceries at the Starbucks kiosk at the Safeway. Someone who has not yet had their morning coffee might spontaneously combust.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
There was a part of our private cruise where we went to a spot where we could walk from one island to the next and the water never got deeper than our knees.
Nobody else showed up for the cruise so we had a crew of 8 to ourselves. Oh but I am still just Associate Girl From the Block.
I thought to myself that there was no way in hell I was going to walk to the other island if I so much as thought I saw a fin. Well, I looked into the water and I immediately saw a fin. Immediately. My choices were to sit on the one island while my husband and Francois, our tour guide, set off to the other island leaving me alone to perish by way of rat-sized ants and rat-sized rats, or to get in the water with them and the sharks.
Those sharks will stare you down. They will swim right up to your ankles and stare at you with their dead black eyes. But then I realized that if you so much as flinch they will dart off. So after about an hour I was chasing those suckers down. "Here poisson. Here mon petit poisson" (We were in French Polynesia. They speak French.)
But the big ones in the open water? No. They would be all, "Allo! Un digestif!"
(1) Vending machines don't move. That's it. There's no 2. If somebody is killed by a vending machine, it can only be their fault.
On the other hand, nobody goes around purposefully sticking their hands into sharks and shaking them around when they don't produce Twizzlers. When sharks attack, it's their fault. Sharks make bad choices. Ergo, sharks are evil.
End of debate. I wonder what else I can prove using a pack of Twizzlers?
Monday, August 2, 2010
But it got easier and easier . . .
By Sunday I was positively giddy.
(Note to self for therapist - explore possibility of psychosis of some description.)
It felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders. I felt like running for a really long time. I felt like weeding. I felt like buying new furniture. I felt like cleaning. I smiled a lot.
(Note to self - no longer have lawyer's salary. Do NOT buy new furniture.)
(Note to self - surprisingly, don't care.)