Archive for May, 2012

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Fourteen

May 20, 2012

Mouse’s birthday is this Thursday. She will be 14.

And it just happens to be that time of year where everything is happening – meetings, banquets, annual events, etc.

Mouse has her varsity banquet that night; I have a work function.  I don’t have to go, but it’s kind of something I really want to go to, and was bummed that I’d have to miss.  David and I started to talk it through, and he suggested I take Mouse to breakfast that day, instead of dinner.  My event is from 6-8, so I could be home for cake.

I felt funny about it, though, and hadn’t made up my mind.  He said, “It would be fun, you could take her to breakfast, Lemon can take her to lunch, and I will take her to dinner!”  I thought it felt kinda crappy.  But then Lemon came home with her varsity banquet plan, and I realized that no matter what, we weren’t going to be able to have our usual “Actual Birthday” evening.*  Not this time.  So we told Lemon what we’d been thinking about – her taking Mouse out to lunch – and she thought it was a great idea.  We’d let them both leave school early and walk up to Mouse’s favorite Mexican restaurant for her favorite burritos in the world.

I still felt funny about going to an event on her birthday, but they all convinced me that our alternate plan is really fun, and as long as we all have dessert together, there is no problem.

So that’s what we’re doing . . .

And now we just added a little additional plan:  Mouse is going to meet me at work on Wednesday, and we are going to go together to the Claire’s around the corner to get her a cartilage piercing.  Just like her sister did in 8th grade, and as her birthday gift.  Then we will go to DSW and look for graduation shoes.

And then Mouse told me last night that a friend of hers is jealous.  She said, “Not fair, you’re having such a special birthday, and my family isn’t doing ANYTHING for mine!”  (They are a week apart.)  So I guess I should get over my guilt for going to this event, right?

 

*  Where the birthday person gets to choose the dinner – which even though restaurants are on the table, my kids always choose something for David to cook.  I always choose to go out. Then we have dessert and presents.

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Sniffling and Arguing

May 20, 2012

Lemon got us sick.  She came down with this BUG at the end of last weekend.  Sore throat, coughing, snotting, the works.  It seemed like she was getting better on Tuesday, but then on Wednesday, she felt horrible and stayed home from school.

I woke up knowing I was getting the bug on Wednesday, because my throat felt like it was full of 15 golfballs outlined in razor blades.  I was less than thrilled because on the schedule for Thursday was my first argument in Federal Court.

But sick, I was.  I had no chance to indulge it, though, because I really had to prep for the argument, around tasks for my 14 other cases.  I ended up working a 14 hour day on Wednesday, including at home until 10:30 when I finally collapsed into bed.  I rolled over at 4 a.m. on Thursday, and the moment I looked at the clock, I had outlines of the argument running through my head.  I tried to push them out and to get back to sleep, but at 4:30, I ended up getting out of bed and doing some laundry.  Doesn’t everybody do laundry at 4:30 a.m.?

I did manage to squeeze in another hour of sleep, but then I had to go to Mouse’s school for 8th grade graduation stuff, and then for the first time since I started this job, I drove to work.  Because of the proximity of the T to my house (I walk 3 blocks, and one of them is through a park), and to my office (across a brick plaza), I never drive.  But because of the argument, I had to drive to the Middle of Massachusetts, and it didn’t make sense to go back home to get the car at noon.  I spent the morning honing my outline and preparing further, and then drove out to the Central Division of the District of Massachusetts.

The argument went pretty well.  I had one point of law that I’d made in our motion, and the other side called it “bogus” in their opposition, and I knew it wasn’t bogus.  Maybe it was petty, and maybe it doesn’t matter in the end because they can easily amend their complaint to fix it, but it wasn’t bogus.  So I had to say something in my argument.  The judge kind of grabbed onto the argument, and pushed the other side for a good bit.  I think they will need to amend their complaint.  It’s a small win, but they called me bogus, so it felt good.

Adrenaline got me through the argument without much discomfort, even though I still had razor blades in my throat.  But once it was over, and we finished up a pow-wow with our co-defendants, and I got back in my car – man, I felt horrible.  Like I’d been hit by a truck.  I drove the hour and went straight home instead of back to the office.  I stripped off my suit and got in my bed at 4:45 p.m.  I almost slept through dinner, but ended up getting up and hanging out with the family for a little while.  I had a few moments while IN the bed that I had to respond to emails – at least once angrily because the other side tried to misconstrue a conversation we had on several occasions.  Not just one time.  Several times.  Geez.

I woke up feeling better on Friday, but then was very upset to get an email saying that – basically – my weekend was going to be spent working.

Again.

Sigh.

I like my job.  A lot.  It is really so much more fulfilling and exciting than the BigFirm job.  I have a lot more responsibility, I click better with the people, I like the overall atmosphere.  But man, I’ve been working a lot!   It looks like we’re hiring at least one more associate in the near future, because everybody is working a lot.  We are very busy, with new cases coming in every day.  It helps that none of it is busy work, or partner-stroking.  But it’s still exhausting.

I tried to get a lot done on Friday in hopes of avoiding the weekend work, but things were slow going.  And I was sniffling, sneezing and coughing my way through the day.  I went home at 5:30 with stuff in my bag, knowing I’d need to work at least one of the two weekend days.

But then on Saturday, I woke up feeling worse again.  I felt horrible all day long.  I didn’t work.  I slept in, I lazed around. I eventually went to Mouse’s soccer game, and I did feel better being outside and in the sun, but I wasn’t healthy.

Finally today I feel better.  I still have gunk in my chest, but I feel pretty good. And I’m drafting my complaint, and doing laundry, and I think I told Lemon I’d take her driving.  Yikes.

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Commuting and Reading

May 14, 2012

It’s funny that it makes such a difference, my new commute from my old.

When I first started at BigFirm, we were in a less-than-easy-to-get-to location.  It was easy for some people to get to, particularly people who lived on the shore south of Boston and took a boat to work.  Some others who took the commuter rail into one of Boston’s major commuter stations.  People who lived in Cambridge had an easier time.  But my particular line of the Boston T system didn’t have a station near the old office.  I’d get off in central Boston and walk 10-15 minutes.  It was a nice walk.  If I didn’t enjoy the walk, I could have connected to another line and gotten myself a few blocks closer.  But I prefer walking to waiting for trains.  Even in bad weather.

When BigFirm moved, it cut my commute in half.  And cut my time on the train by a third or more.  Instead of riding all the way to the end of the line, I was only on the train for 3 stops.  Then I had a walk similar in length to my old one, but man, did that walk SUCK.

The old walk was through the streets of the financial district.  The path had me grazing Quincy Market/Fanueil Hall, but I knew how to avoid it, and the walk was quick.  Most important, my fellow walkers were 95% business people who were, like me, quick walkers.  We either wanted to get HOME or we wanted to get to WORK.  No dilly-dallying!

The new location of BigFirm was, literally, in the middle of a mall.  And between that mall and the T station I used was either a nasty bridge over the freeway, or Boston’s famous Newbury Street.  (I got a lot of shopping done.)  But the walk drove me CRAZY.  I was forever behind tourists, shoppers, strollers, whining toddlers.  Ugh.  It was impossible to just squeeze through them all to get to the train.  They walked 6 abreast.  They walked and just – BOOM – stopped!  Right in front of me.  To look at a coat in the window of North Face, or to think about whether or not they were in the mood for Pinkberry, or to marvel at the newest design of Chucks in the window at Converse (a frequent stop of mine, I admit).

And the shorter train ride wasn’t as great as I thought it was going to be.  When I was on the train for only 10 minutes, I never settled in.  I never opened a book.

I kind of lost my reading time.

I was cranky all around.  And then if you throw in the “this job isn’t going so well . . . “, misery!

NewFirm is smack dab in the middle of Boston.  Mere steps away from the T station I used to get off.  So now I have what feels like the best of both worlds — a moderately long train ride (30 minutes), and a 3 minute walk.

I’m reading again!  Lots and lots of reading!

Here are some things I’ve read since I started my new job:

  • Peony, by Pearl S. Buck;
  • Swamplandia by Karen Russell;
  • The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan;
  • Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon;
  • The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides;
  • The Magician and the Magician King by Lev Grossman;
  • Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.

There may have been more, but I can’t think of anything else. I’m currently reading a collection of short stories by Etgar Keret (Suddenly, a Knock on the Door), and am also reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, my Mother’s Day gift from David, after watching (and loving) the movie on Friday night.

 

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Leisurely Mother’s Day = Time to Write a Post (Miracle!)

May 13, 2012

Hi!

I miss posting more regularly.  But I just cannot ignore my new firm’s policy preventing posts on personal blogs from work computers, and so my time for posting is greatly reduced.

And then once I’m not posting, I feel like I have nothing to say when I do get a minute to post.

I am having a lovely Mother’s Day.  I woke up before the rest of the family after a good night’s sleep and spent some time on the deck with coffee and a book until the others started to move around (one of the perks of having teenagers — long mornings before the kids are up and asking for money). David had bought me a book via Amazon for the Kindle app on my iPad, and I had that notification in my email when I woke up, and so had fun with the book (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy; we’d seen the movie Friday, and I had lingering questions, and wanted to read the book, and so on Sunday – waa laa!  I had the book.  Love my iPad!) on the deck, in the quiet.*

The girls woke up around 10 and were quiet in their rooms putting finishing touches on wrappings and cards. David joined me on the deck, and after some time (and seeing many photos on Facebook of the same), I said with a smile, “you’re making me an omelet, right?”  And his face kinda fell.  I felt bad, because I knew that he’d been putting lots of time over the past week or two making sure the girls had gift ideas, and helping them execute the gifts, as well as his own gift ideas and execution.  But, at the same time, I really wanted an omelet.

And I got my way.  🙂  After David ran to the store to get the spinach that is always required for a Suzie omelet.

So we had omelets, and I opened gifts, and then we watched some last night’s (raunchy) SNL, and then cute episode of New Girl (which usually gets on my nerves).

In the midst of all that, I started to get some work emails.  At 11 a.m. on Mother’s Day.  Since I was at work yesterday for a few hours, and have busted ass to make sure things were done before today, I was a little irked about today’s emails, and I ignored them.  The thinking being, “It’s 11 a.m. on Mother’s Day.  I’m a Mother.  I’m busy.”  That thinking took into account the fact that the emails were about very small changes to a letter that isn’t going out until LATE Monday.  Why do I need to take care of that 10 minutes of work on Mother’s Day Morning?  I do not!

But then at 1, I got the follow up emails “Suzie, did you get these changes?  Are you making these changes?  I need to review after you make these changes.”

So I wrote back and said, “I got the changes, they are small and will take little time to implement.  I’m out with my family right now.  If you need them before tomorrow morning, I can do them later this afternoon.”

I’m new.  Maybe this particular partner doesn’t know I have kids (even though he’s been in my office, which contains pictures of my kids).  He responded soon after to say even late tonight is good, but he’s out of the office tomorrow, so he needs to give the letter final approval today so I can sign his name and get it out tomorrow.  Signed off with “Happy Mother’s Day!”

The only reason why this quick edit of a letter puts me out as much as it does is that I am an idiot.  I’ve been at this job since February 27, and I *still* haven’t set up Citrix for remote use on my home computer.  I get so few late-night requests and surprise weekend requests, it just hasn’t been necessary.  At BigFirm, I was signed onto Citrix all the time.  Here, it has been a heck of lot less necessary.  Yesterday I went into the office because I had to draft a proposed order, and was lamenting the fact that I had to go in to do it.  Mouse is not loving me going in on the weekends (I’ve already gone into the office during more weekends, including two FULL weekends, than I ever did at the BigFirm), and complains widely.  To the point that my friends say, “Oh, yeah, [Mouse] told me she hates your new job, because you work weekends now.”  (Nevermind the fact that Mouse is never home on the weekends; what does she CARE??)

So I went in yesterday, and was annoyed with myself because the project I had to do was small enough that I could have easily done it at home, if only I had the stupid piece of paper with the stupid instructions to sign on at home.  “I will bring it home with me today!” I told David.

But then I forgot to take it with me.  So now, I have to go in today!  To finalize this stupid letter.

It’s okay, though.  Lemon agreed to come with me, and I will NOT forget the sign-on instructions so it doesn’t happen again.

Happy Mother’s Day, everybody!

 

*Relative quiet.  My poor kitty cat came outside with me, and was VERY EXCITED to find a bug buzzing around.  He trapped it with his paws, oh so efficiently, just to let out a bit of a yelp while shaking off the sting on his paw — it was a bee.  Poor little bunny.