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All done.

October 02, 2006

I always like seeing blog posts with pictures. So here's my attention grabber - my favorite picture from our Hawaii trip.

I figure it's ok to post a picture of myself since it, along with this entire blog, will be gone in the next few weeks.

Yep, that's right. I'm getting out of the blogging racket.

The short story is that my job is too important right now. B and I just got the house and we're trying to conceive. Acting like an adult doesn't seem so much like play-acting anymore - my lawyer suit doesn't feel like a costume. And I like it. And I seriously doubt that I would be able to keep doing what I love to be doing if I keep up with this blog.

I haven't been "found out," at least not by anyone I work with directly. I never thought I was very anonymous, but I at least tried to be discreet. I've just found out that our newest attorney also has a blog that is considerably less discreet (and uses considerably more colorful language). If/when he gets found out, I don't want to have to tell any horrified senior partners that I've got a blog too.

As for the blog itself, I'll miss having someplace to vent, but I'm not too broken up about not having it anymore. As nice as it is to let off steam, it is incredibly frustrating to post a "what I did yesterday" post when I'm bursting with funny stories to tell, but that I can't tell because they involve work. I'm sure everyone has seen enough lawyer shows and movies to know that junior associates don't have much outside of work (luckily, it's fun work - it really is). The last three weeks really decided it for me. I got sick, and I started using my free time to take care of myself. I didn't blog, and I didn't miss the pressure of not having a deadline. I don't think I'll miss the worry about being "caught."

My dad (a lawyer) always told me that I talked too much, and that once I was a lawyer I'd be cured, because I wouldn't want to talk unless I was being paid by the hour to do it. I still talk too much, but I feel more like I have the right to talk on my own terms, which at this point in my life, on this forum, I just can't do. So for the foreseeable future, I'd rather not waste time trying to do make something passable given these constraints when there are SO many other things that I can accomplish, where the only limits are my own talent and work. So I'll be pretty busy here raising kids (hopefully soon), writing my inevitable novel (I swear, all lawyers do - most don't talk about it), and working on other hobbies that I can throw myself fully into.

I like to thank everyone for reading this blog, especially those who've linked to me or left comments. (With all this new free time, I'll be sure to comment more on other people's blogs - I think comments are great fun.) As sure as I am that closing shop is the right decision for me, I'm that much happier that others keep doing it.

Thanks again.

Hooray for monopolies.

September 14, 2006

Three separate Cox Cable technicians are coming to the house on Saturday.

I just don't know what I can say beyond that.


September 11, 2006

I guess I can't really complain about the incredible ridiculousness of the move (STILL IN PROGRESS) when I own the following appliances:

-a stand mixer
-a hand mixer
-an 11 cup food processor
-a 2 cup food processor
-a coffeemaker
-a teamaker
-a belgian waffle maker
-an ice cream maker
-a george foreman grill
-an electric skillet
-an electric wok
-a crock pot

Now multiply the asininity of having that many kitchen appliances times a WHOLE APARTMENT FULL OF STUFF. At this rate, we'll be done moving at the approximate time we pay off the mortgage.

Moving day.

September 08, 2006

Tomorrow is moving day. After a careful and considered discussion, B and I decided that this whole home buying thing, despite the fact that we found our house the first day we went looking, was far too inconvenient to ever repeat and that we will therefore never move again, ever. So tonight after work we will begin the last hellacious moving day ever.

I still can't shake the idea that our whole lives will be different after we move. We'll be responsible and tidy, we'll work harder at work and come home on time every night to make dinner together from scratch and harvesting herbs out of our own garden and having dinner on the pristine back porch listening to birds and crickets as the sun goes down. Not that coming home at 9pm and throwing in a pizza to watch hbo until midnight hasn't been a perfectly serviceable routine for the last two years, but the novelty's worn off just a scoche.

So we've been sitting around waiting for all of this new self-discipline to kick in so we can start acting like grownups and enjoying it. We sat around all night last night, but so far nothing. I hope it happens tonight. If it doesn't happen by tomorrow there could be trouble. Our very dear friends were pretty annoyed last time they helped us move and we hadn't packed before moving day. It's a good thing we're going to be so much more responsible this time around. Any minute now . . .

Getting away with it.

September 06, 2006

B found the lipstick. He surprisingly didn't mind. I told him that I had been really worried about him finding it, and he was like "no problem, I don't mind." Then I told him that I was glad the lid was on it, because I wasn't sure if it was. Then he got really quiet and left the room. And then everything was fine!

Punishment due.

September 05, 2006

Remember when you were a kid and you did something really bad and you got that dread in the pit of your stomach that got bigger toward 5:00 when your parents would come home from work and you'd be caught? It's nice to be a strong independent grown woman in the 21st century and not have to worry about the sort of thing.

It's also nice to be a strong independent woman who has her own car, and can race home from work right at 5 and beat B there. I set down a lipstick, possibly with the lid off, in the bed this morning on/in our white sheets. And B sits down on the bed to take off his shoes every night first thing when he gets home from work. We hardly ever fight, but me making careless and sloppy mistakes that lead to humongous messes that take lots of labor to remedy -- that's JUST the kind of thing guaranteed to lead to a blowup.

Oh yeah, feeling the dread.

Darkside of the Perks.

September 01, 2006

Labor Day weekend. Monday we're closed, Friday we closed early. We JUST got our new house keys. Basically, this is the one perfect weekend before we move to do any rehab and redecoration we want to. Yes, money's tight, but we've got enough time and enthusiasm and elbow grease to make some big improvements this holiday weekend.

As I was getting to leave work today, I received some documents I'd been waiting to incorporate into a court pleading on Tuesday. An ENTIRE BANKER'S BOX of documents. I was expecting 40 pages at the most, easy enough to review on Tuesday. Wrong.

Goodbye weekend.


August 29, 2006

I am very clearly a fancy bigshot lawyer now, especially now that I'm getting the keys to my bigshot fancy new house tomorrow!! As such, it is to be expected that I would get all the fancy job benefits . . . my boss just got shutters and he's giving us his old blinds for the house!! Woohoo!

Big night out.

August 26, 2006

Two thing occurred to me this evening.

1) My friends tend to wear black. All black t-shirts, jeans - normal looking but dark. I must look like a big doof walking around with the pack of 'em, as when I am not at work I dress only in the colors of tropical fruits.

2) Oh my heck . . . Snakes on a Plane is AWESOME.

Home again.

August 20, 2006

After a lovely 12-hour flight/ordeal, we're home. Hawaii was completely amazing, except for the part where we set off to see the lava spilling into the ocean a few hours before sunset, realized that climbing over an unmarked trail of 15 foot tall lava piles was a lot harder than advertised, finally made it just as the sun went down and a giant rain/wind storm DRENCHED us (so that we couldn't take any pictures of the lava) and then the three-hour hike back, without glasses (they fogged up) in the pitch dark, soaking wet, and returned to the car about 5 hours after we started. The lava itself was cool though.

Not chopped up.

August 11, 2006

No updates for the next nine days, since I'll be in HAWAII (not stabbed to death with wire hangers and safety pins). I've packed sunscreen, swimsuits, tootsie rolls, and not much else. Even if there was internet where we were going, I wouldn't use it anyway. The whole point of the vacation exercise is to go native - since the big island (esp. where we're going) is supposed to be more rural and primitive according to my travel books.

I've got this idea in my head about "going native" that involves me strolling down a beach in a swimsuit, grass skirt, and hibiscus in my hair while snacking on a pineapple (an image helped by the sincere expectation that I will magically lose 20 pounds on the flight over and will thus be able to wear a swimsuit in public). I don't know that that's NOT how it's going to be - I've never gone that far from home before in my life. I've been watching a lot of old movies lately, so my imagination of "rural Hawaii" is a lot like Manila in the 40's right before the Japanese invade. I'm sure Hawaii is better than that. According to the books, the real thing is in color.

Best symphony title ever.

"Funeral March of a Marionette" by Gounod, whoever that is. Digital music television rules.

Fear of the drycleaner.

August 09, 2006

I'm terrified of my drycleaner. But, he's cheap and gets the clothes clean and never loses things and never gets huffy when I leave my stuff there for months at a time. If I suddenly go missing, please look for my dismembered corpse floating in the vats of cleaning solution in the back of the shop.

It's totally unfair for me to be so freaked out by him, especially since I've freaked out other people in the same way. Before I went to law school, I had an incredibly good memory - not necessarily photographic but just generally fantastic recall. (I miss it.) If I would meet someone, I would remember them forever - name, face, where I met them, etc. To go with that memory, I am also blessed with an extremely forgettable face and (again, before I went to law school) a pretty unassuming inoffensive personality. (That I don't miss). Anyway, the result of all this was that I would be "introduced" to people over and over that I already knew. For years, I would express my displeasure at this by rattling off the "new" person's name and all kinds of details about any prior meetings. Even though I usually had no particular interest in the person, the majority, upon hearing the recitation, would start acting all nervous and weird like I was stalking them or something. So eventually I started just pretending I didn't remember people when I really did. Inevitably, later on some detail would slip out that the person didn't remember me knowing and then they would get MEGAfreaked out by me.

Let me tell you, the ability to make people highly unconfortable by just being myself was SUCH a boon in high school. (Of course, post law school I relish making people uncomfortable but the opportunity never arises since I don't remember people anymore (because I don't care if people like me anymore) and because people seem to remember me better (because I'm now a highly accomplished self-promoter). ((Ha! I crack me up.))* Anyway, if anyone should know how unfair it is to be judged as crazy just for your memory, it should be me. And yet . . .

I used to go to the drycleaner four years ago. I was interning at the federal court and needed to wear a nice suit every day, but I didn't actually own many suits, so I needed a good cleaner. It was an unpaid internship, so I was poor. Plus, back in the halcyon days of 1L summer I still gave a crap about my health. So all of my problems were solved when I discovered that a good cheap drycleaner on the way home next to a pizza place with a $5 takeout greek salad that was phenomenal (for fast food). The greek salad was discontinued, but I kept up with the cleaner for the rest of the summer. Even back then he weirded me out, because after the first time, I would come in, hand him the clothes, and he would ask me my name, except it would already be written down on the ticket. So it was kind of freaky - and not helped by the fact that the place is small and dark and cramped and there's a robot parrot that wolf whistles at you. And the one guy is always the only one there. ALWAYS.

After the summer was over, I moved back to school and stopped going to him. When I came back to town during 2L summer for my current job, I basically stayed here for good (Ask me about 100+ mile commuting! It sucks!!) but I stopped wearing a suit every day (any day?) and moved to a bunch of new apartments and found a better pizza place (screw salad!), so I got a new drycleaner and never gave the original guy a second thought. Anyway, in the black cloud of suck that has been the last four weeks, I actually got lost on the way to work (I've only been there 500+ times) and found myself right in front of the old cleaner. Since I've had my entire suit wardrobe in the trunk of my car for two months, I figured I'd may as well have them cleaned since there were so many and because his prices are good I trust him not to lose them.

So I stagger up with my laundry basket and ask him if I can just dump it and run, since I'm already late for work. He tears off the claim part of the ticket and starts writing down the clothes when I walk out the door.

Now mind you, it's been a YEARS since I've been in this place. My weight has fluctuated, I drive a different vehicle (I miss my pink car), my hair is about a foot longer and drastically different colored (VERY dark red-brown, from blonde). The clothes are all different even!

So I picked up my clothes the other day. I had lost the ticket and was wondering whether I'd be able to claim my clothes since I didn't leave my name. When I walked in from the parking lot, they were already on the hanging bar next to the door for me. Not so weird, right? Maybe he just recognized me as I walked through the parking lot and remembered me from when I dropped them off? I get home, I check to see if everything is there, and it is - all inventoried and accounted for on the invoice. Which has my name on it. After YEARS.

So now I'm freaked out by the guy all over again. But I feel obligated to keep going back, to give him the benefit of the doubt because I used to be freaky like that too. But I still wonder if the police are going to find miscellaneous limbs in the canal wrapped in those filmy plastic bags.


Famous by association.

August 05, 2006

An order from my favorite jurisdiction - the MARICOPA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT - from a judge I've actually talked to at a social gathering - has been linked on INSTAPUNDIT. Now I get to feel all cool and insider-y since I actually saw the order a few weeks ago right after it was issued. But it is pretty funny.

How romantic.

August 04, 2006

Do you ever catch yourself midway through a "quick legal research memo" and realize that you've spent 17 hours on it and you're far, far too involved in what really wasn't that extensive of an issue? All the time, right?

Well, Dr. Helen, in a post about summer reading, tangentially asked if her readers would "have any advice for me as to why so many women love romance novels or is this just a stereotype?" After a bunch of commenters (none of whom actually like romance novels from the sound of it) responded with the equivalent of "It's just porn," I felt compelled to respond. As I stated in one of my comments, romance novels are like candy. As I did not state in my comment, I've overindulged in both of them. My eighth-grade yearbook "twenty years from now" lists "has seventh romance novel on the bestseller list" next to my name. And I still think that would be pretty neat if it happened, although I'm running out of time. I've blogged about romance novels before (but always about how the books sucked - I like the genre). Anyway, since my comments over there turned into an unintentional essay, I'm reproducing them here. (Quoting myself is lame, but I don't care - I read romance novels, I'm already not cool).

I think of romance novels the way I think of candy - light, fluffy, sweet, and makes you feel good for a minute during a trying day. I don't think the porn comparison is quite fair, since a lot of them go pretty easy on the sex stuff. (It also seems like the people pushing the porn comparison are pretty hostile to the genre anyway). Sometimes it's just nice to go along with a simple little story with a happy ending and not have to think. If you exclusively read romance novels, you're not doing your brain any favors - just like you're not doing your body any favors if you eat nothing but candy. But just because you enjoy brussels sprouts and caviar doesn't mean a bag of Skittles isn't good every once in awhile.

In response to another commenter arguing that romance is bad because it objectifies men, I responded with an embarassingly impassioned defense of the genre:
I can agree with your classification as porn if you're viewing it as objectification, rather than something more salacious (I'll admit that a lot of romance novels are salacious, but publishers actually have more imprints of the sex-lite stuff than in the really gross stuff).

I get your point about the male characters' feelings not really mattering, but I don't think that's just confined to the men. Lack of character development is part of the conventions of the genre, where conformity to the same simple narrative plot is key. I'm not sure that romance readers single out the men for objectification so much as they objectify the whole package - including, yes, a good-looking and passionate man who's totally into you, but also being skinny and having good hair and living in a castle. I don't think it's quite so insidious as I think you're implying. I'm sure too much of this (like too much of anything) can warp someone's imagination, but a little bit of fluffy reading here and there is harmless. I hope people don't read romance to refine their understanding of the human condition - that's what I consider to the be the realm of more serious fiction - but I'd bet some people do. But I would equally hope that men don't shape their expectations of what women are like from Maxim, and unfortunately that's not always what happens either.

As a whole, yes, romance is an undeniably shallow, but so is Maxim and US Weekly and lots of other pop culture entertainment. I see one of the main differences between those and romance fiction are that tabloid trash has a tendency to take pleasure in dragging people on a pedestal down to the reader's level (look at her cellulite!) vs. romance where the reader wants to identify themsleves with the higher ideal. Same escapist concept, but different tastes for different people. At least it's not pretending to be real like a lot of the garbage in women's magazines.

I think a lot of the discussion about the romance genre may reveal bias against against the people most identified as it's readers - homeschooling red-state housewives. (Not that I have any demographic information to back that up, but I'd bet the type of reader that would feel some pleasure in reading a "happily married ever after" story is a much different reader than the one that cares about what one Hollywood skank says about another). A lot of people are pretty hostile to the Midwestern Christian housewife way of life, but choosing that lifestyle (and reading romance novels) doesn't mean that the romance reader can't think for herself or that she doesn't know the difference between romance and reality.

Obviously I'm not going to convince anybody of anything and I'm not really trying to. If you're going to talk about the shallowness of pop culture as a whole, I'm right there with you. But I don't think that it's fair to single out the romance novel as a salacious, pornographic, and masturbatory while giving all the other cultural garbage a free pass.

I'm interested in whether other people's attitudes toward romance novels track with their attitudes toward the stereotypical traditional Midwestern stay-at-home Republican-voting calico-dress-wearing housewives. I don't think people have any animus toward the particular books or the particular ladies, but I see a lot of pretty extreme hostility toward that whole value system (even in people that I know) that I don't think is reciprocated to the same degree. I think people's extremely negative reaction romance novels is tied into that same belief-system dichotomy. And since I'm just blowing smoke, I'm going to theorize that the whole reason that liberal people in general are so vitrolic against this conservative belief system is not only that so many people value such different things, but that liberals suspect (probably rightly) that while they're so set on valuing non-judgmentalism and following one's own beliefs, they can tell that conversatives are not only disagreeing with them, but also judging them and finding them wanting. Thus, the irrational hostility.

And if the pattern holds, I'll have xero in the comments telling me I'm full of it in 5. . . 4 . . .3 . . . 2. . .

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