Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Planes, trains and boats (and I’m not on any of them)

July 28, 2013

This past week, I put my Emma on a plane.  Ballsy of me, ballsy of her; the whole trip is quite ballsy:

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She is now in Paris.  Navigating the Metro, the Eiffel Tower, figuring out which museums to see.  She’s not with a group or on an organized trip.  It’s just her and a friend, making their way.

I’m not surprised that when she called today, she seemed a bit subdued.  Or that she expressed some concern about finding their way outside of Paris to Versailles “on their own.”  (her words.)

They’re staying with family friends, so they aren’t completely adrift, but I think that having this time to plan, to execute, to budget – on their own – is an interesting wake up call.  It responds nicely to the exclamations of “I am an adult!  I can make my own decisions!” that were creeping into her arguments before she left.  Arguments for a later curfew, mostly.

She’s not an adult.  One more year of high school, and lots more years to mature.

Yet, I’m happy that we can provide for her an experience that will help her to grow into an adult.

She’s spending a week in Paris, and then a week in the countryside, staying with her friends’ parents’ in-laws.  There, they will hike, they will swim in a lake, they will milk some cows.  And I will be checking my phone, my emails, my growing number of grey hairs, much less.

Meanwhile, the 15 year old is safely ensconced in her remote overnight camp for a month.  Well supervised, well sunscreened, and beautifully cut off from internet and television:

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Last year, David and I fell down on our job of sending her letters from home.  At her camp, each “session” is two weeks, and we are allowed to visit on the mid-point day.  Before I knew it, the first session was almost over, and I hadn’t sent her a SINGLE letter.  This was horrible.  Wretched.  Terrible.  Bad.  We started getting letters that said “why haven’t you written me?” and “I can’t believe I haven’t gotten even ONE letter?  Is everything okay?” We did better after that, but it didn’t reduce the scarring.  (Fortunately, she was having a fabulous time, and this didn’t impact her experience … but it gave her a LOT of ammunition to complain.)

This year, we’re working to fix it.  We sent her postcards from the town right outside the camp on the day we dropped her off, and we’ve been alternating letters and packages EVERY DAY since.  And we EACH send something every day.  I’m hoping I can erase her memories of last year.  I’ve sent her, so far, temporary tattoos, a purple pen, nailpolish, stickers for her nails, and 2 letters.  David has sent her books.  I have some other little trinkets to send over the next few weeks.

As I’ve said here before, my kids are theatrically inclined.  They do musicals and plays, and Emma is now in the high school’s [very competitive, not that I’d brag] Improv Troupe.  Julez’s camp does a musical, too.  They work on it for the full month, and perform during the last week.  Last year, the musical was Seussical, and she was the Cat in the Hat.  This year, it’s The Little Mermaid, and she wrote to say she is Sebastian, the …. lobster?  Sadly, because her camp is 3 hours away, and on an island that can only be accessed by a boat; and because parents simply aren’t invited – we can’t see this musical.  But I take solace in knowing that I will hear the songs for months, during Juliette’s showers.  So I’ll have some sense.

David and I are enjoying our temporarily empty nest.  I’m on the verge of very intense trial prep, but so far things are under control enough that my weekends are untouched.  Yesterday we went and saw TWO movies, and then had some quick, cheap, delicious tacos for dinner out, and then came home and watched West Wing for a few hours.  Wild and sexy, us two.  Today I’m thinking of organizing my home office, so that perhaps one day it will be at the point where I don’t feel that I need to close the door and hide it from all visitors.  We’ll see how that goes.

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And, after a solid 2 weeks of vacation, she finally makes her way toward her blog …

July 13, 2013

A close friend of mine has started a blog this summer. She’s written on and off forever, but this summer, she’s picked a theme, and is writing every day.

Since I started my new job, I have really fallen off with my blogging (duh).  At first, it was because there’s an actual policy at my office, stating we can’t post on our personal blogs from our work computers.  Of course, I have no clue whether they’d actually KNOW if I were to do so.  I’m guessing they wouldn’t, because no one ever said anything to me when work was slow in February and I spent hours playing Bubble Witch Saga (I think that’s what it’s called) at my desk.

But lately, being “allowed” to blog from work (or knowing I wouldn’t get caught blogging from work) wouldn’t have increased my blogging, because I never have time to pee, or to eat, or to really breathe, while at work.  I’m constantly juggling 50 different cases, tasks, and phone calls.  There is no time to check personal email, and certainly no time to blog.

I’ve even fallen way behind on my blog reading.  (Stupid Google Reader shutting down hasn’t really helped in that department.)  Today (Saturday), I decided to check in on one of my favorite bloggers because Jules and I are re-decorating her room and this blogger has some amazing projects and design ideas.  This blogger is pregnant.  Last I checked, she was 20-something weeks along.  Today, there’s a picture of a BABY on her site.  Geez.

I want to pick it back up.  I want to make time.  I want to blog, I want to read (books and blogs), I want to go for more walks.  I’m going to work on making these things happen.

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The Virgin Islands Can Suck It

October 3, 2012

I went to the Virgin Islands this week. I posted about it on Facebook. I had mentioned that it was for a hearing, that I'd be there for less than 24 hours (22, to be exact), but my friends (these particular ones are also lawyers) kept giving me recommendations for beaches and shopping and other islands.

The hearing was relatively high-stakes. I need to be careful not to say too much, but we really, really needed a continuance on a pending trial date, because we'd only just been engaged and [redacted]. And by “pending trial date” I mean – if I lost, I'd be flying back within the week.

I won. I was proud of my motion, and I thought it would be effective, so I should be proud. Elated. Relieved.

 

I'm not.

I'm miserable.

Let's take a little diversion, or two:

First:

Lemon is in her junior year of high school. This means PSATs and SATs. It means college research. She decided over the summer that nothing would be better than going back “home” for college. “Home” being the city of her birth, of her first 8 years of life. Meaning she thinks UC Berkeley is her top college choice.

I may or may not think she can get in. I know how competitive it is; I know out of state students are at a huge disadvantage. I know those out of state students are also a counted-on revenue stream, making financial aide harder to come by. And I know that their current budget issues make it a real question as to whether – assuming she does get in and we can afford it – it's actually a wise choice.

But we aren't at the decision-making phase. We are at the exploration phase. We are at the motivational phase. We are at the “world is your oyster” phase.

It was also her 16 birthday last week. She didn't want a party. She wanted a trip. With me. To California. To visit home, to visit my sister, to visit our old friends. We hadn't been back since 2009. And to see UC Berkeley.

As much as she wanted a trip, she also has crew. And AP classes. And stress. So scheduling was an issue.

But we found a weekend. After crew, corresponding with a teacher work day. She'd only miss one day of her AP classes. It was perfect. We bought tickets. The two of us are going 11/1 through 11/6.

Second.

I'm 40 this year. It's a deal for me. Since I started law school, my age has been a deal. Either I'm too old compared to fellow first students/then associates at my seniority level, or I'm too young for the fellow parents in our affluent urbanish community. It feels like a CONSTANT deal. So, about three years ago, I started declaring that I was having a party. A 40th birthday party. I will celebrate my age with those younger than me, and my youth with those older. I've rented a space (my house isn't an open floor plan, I can't have the 50 peeps I plan to have at home). I've sent save the dates. My friends have it on their calendars. My sister bought a ticket to come from CA. We planned to go the day after to get tattoos, and she is going to stay through Monday to hang out. I plan to take the day off.

I turn 40 in very early December. My party is set for December 1st.

Back to the point:

So, I won my motion today. In the stupid, goddamned 9,000 degree Virgin Islands. I wore a suit while lugging a suitcase, a very heavy briefcase, a red weld full of statutes, cases, past discovery, and a binder full of motions and oppositions. In the blazing sun. I went to lunch with my client for the full hour before the hearing, because it's what he wanted to do, and I tried to eat a Caesar salad while trembling at the sheer number of legal issues and pending motions that were potentially going to be raised at the pre trial hearing in 40 – 30 – 20 – 10 minutes. Dispositive motions that I had 2 days to prep for. I dealt with icy stares from opposing counsel (x 3).

And I won.

We got the continuance.

And during my layover, I got the court's notice with our new schedule.

Dispositive motions will be heard on November 8th.

Trial is on december3rd.

As much as I love my job, I am currently questioning my decision to become a lawyer.

 

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Say No More

August 16, 2012

I’m thinking I’m done here.

I don’t have time.

I still have things to say, but not to the Internet, I guess.

I can’t talk about my clients or my law practice.

I shouldn’t talk about my daughters. They’re too old for that.

Maybe I’ll drift back now and again. Maybe I’ll find a new, more anonymous place. For now, though, I’m feeling done.

Bye?

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Discord.

July 1, 2012

I’ve gone on and on and on about how great vacation was, how lovely the girls are, how much fun we had.

Well.

Let’s just say it’s time for a change in that tone.

The drive home was HELL!!  Those girls!  They are bad, bad, bad.

My facebook post at 10;30 a.m., which was, by the way, 40 minutes into our drive home:

We’ve been on the road for less than an hour & I’ve already pulled out half my hair. Not sure when my teenagers turned into toddlers.

And I tagged their sorry butts.

Either they were very hyper together, horsing around and wrestling (in our tiny hybrid’s backseat), or they were fighting, complete with throwing of projectiles and punches (under the guise of a “punchbuggy” response).

In the home stretch, Lemon had a meltdown of 3 or 4 year old proportions.  I was seething with anger.  David kept trying to soothe me with pats on the leg and rubs of my shoulders, but it didn’t work.  I ended up just blaring the music and refusing to talk to her.  Which she met with, “oh, so you’re giving me the silent treatment???!!  That’s mature.”

And, no, I didn’t slap her.

Not even once.

A miracle considering some of the things she was doing.  Like ripping paper over and over and over, just to get to me.  When I told her to stop, she responded with a very snarky and challenging “Why?

She never acts like that.  NEVER.

Today, she’s taking her punishment rather well, which is that she is responsible for cleaning out the car and unpacking much of the vacation stuff.

Next time, if we go that far south again (before yesterday’s drive it was unanimous that the drive was worth it, and that we would be returning), we are (a) going with a bigger car (we all were talking about our “next car” as if the trade-in to a cross-over SUV were already in the works, yesterday’s marathon (15 hour) drive has me contemplating a trip to the dealer today); and (b) we have to break up the drive home.  We did the drive there in 2 days, but decided it made more sense to just barrel through on the way home so we’d have today to prep for the week in front of us.  But it was a mistake.  I don’t think a bigger car would solve all aspects of it; I think we need to spread it out over 2 days.

 

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Day 1*, Part 2

June 24, 2012

Lemon and Mouse

Lemon in the waves.

Poorly framed Mouse

(But helps to ensure a modest photo)

Frolicking (Lemon)

Sisterhoodship.

before we realized that I did a shitty job on his sunscreen application . . . 

(I think he’s cute!)

This picture disorients me (and the rest of the fam) – People tell me my girls look

alike, and I scoff at them.  They do not know what they are talking about!

But here, Mousey looks like Lemon. We were all confused when the picture came out.

Me.  And I not only didn’t delete it – I’m posting it.  Huh.

Purchasing these took 2 hours out of our beach day.  

I can’t imagine how red we’d be without them.

Cool clouds over her head.

Another Selfie that I didn’t delete.  I even made it my FB Profile Pic.

End-of-day.  David and I wanted to stay until closer to sunset, but the girls were beat & craving air conditioning.

Go figure.

* Not the first day of vacation; we left home on Friday morning.  But Day 1 of the beach, and that, really, was the whole point.

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Today, I live in a city.

June 6, 2012

Before Mouse got on my nerves, as I sat and struggled with my brief (the certified questions don’t actually match the real issues; it’s a bummer), I heard sirens.  I always do.  Sometimes they persist, and I might even turn around and look out the window to look for smoke or some other sign of What’s Going On.  Today, I didn’t.  I just heard them.  And I struggled with my brief.

Later, someone send an email to ~Everyone.  “If you are going to Superior Court this afternoon, allow extra time.  Someone was found guilty, and their “posse” started a fight in front of the courthouse, 4 people were stabbed, and one was killed.  The streets are closed.”

The courthouse is kind of across the street from my office.  “Kind of” because before you get to the street, you have to cross a big brick plaza.

Up until a couple weeks ago, there was a circus on that plaza.  This week, it’s the Scooper Bowl.  Honestly, the Scooper Bowl has been annoying me.  They keep playing really loud music, especially around 4:30, 5:00 – likely when most people get out of school and work, but also when I am under the gun to finish my work and GO HOME.  The music is hard to block out. It’s annoying.

Yet, despite the annoyance, there are the memories. I, personally, have never been to the Scooper Bowl.  But when I was in law school, and in my early days at the BigFirm when the girls were still young, their after school program used to go  – every year.  As they got older, and were no longer in after school programs, they’d still go.  Lemon would just go with her friends, and Mouse would go with a friend and a mom.

So today, when I was on the phone with a client, looking out the window (because if my back isn’t turned to my computer, I get distracted by incoming emails, whether they relate to other cases or to graduation, or to Mad Men), I took note of the obvious field trips lined up outside the Scooper Bowl.  Hundreds of people, ready for their $10 worth of unlimited ice cream.  And I had warm feelings.

It was only an hour later that 4 people were stabbed across the street from that crowd of charity-contributing-gluttons.  Because someone was found guilty of murder, and other people got angry.

I found it disturbing. usually we love how close our firm is to the courthouse.  Today?  Not so much.

Later, David and I were chatting about the fact that Mouse was no longer being a brat, and he said, “there are multiple helicopters hovering overhead, they’re really close.”  Then he sent me a link, once he figured out what was going on.  The train station referred to in that article means that the helicopters were really and truly RIGHT OVER OUR HOUSE.  That’s how close.