Friday, December 29, 2006

Getting Paid to Watch Jerry Springer

A few weeks ago I had a hearing in a small town and arrived about twenty minutes early. I sat down on a pew in the back of the courtroom to finish reviewing my notes and wait, and this is what I heard.

“Sir, isn’t it true that you offered a young black woman money in exchange for sexual services?” asked a man who was evidently the wife’s, and soon to be ex-wife’s, attorney. The man on the stand was a white man dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt who appeared to be about 45 years old.

The man responded with “I plead the 5th.” How do these judges keep a straight face? This stuff is hilarious. The partner I was with kept looking at me and making wide eyes and snickering.

“Did you offer a teenage bank employee money to spend some time alone with you?”

“I plead the 5th.”

And so on. Guess who the next witness is? Yep, the 19 year old black female who he followed after she got off from work. He pulled up beside her, blocking traffic, and told her he needed to talk to her. She assumed it was related to work, but instead he told her that he found her sexy and said he could help her make a lot more money than she did at the bank if she’d spend some time alone with him. And yes, he did all of this while married.

During the examination of the wife, we learned that despite their seemingly dire financial situation which on occasion has “necessitated” check kiting, they had managed to pay for her $11,000 face lift, a trip to Vegas, and of course, a Mustang. The judge reprimanded them for this financial foolishness, by the way.

“Did you deny your husband sex on your anniversary?” the attorney asked. What? Is this really relevant?

“I’ve never said no to sex.” Oh no, she didn’t just say that. I am, of course, about to laugh like a ten year old, covering my face with my file folder.

“In fact the only time we didn’t have sex that he wanted to was when he couldn’t perform. And that happened at least 5 or 6 times,” she responded in all seriousness.

The wife went on to detail their sex life, her attempts at spicing it up, and so forth. Needless to say it was amusing to me, an outsider, but it was yet another reminder of why I never want to get a divorce. All of that stuff being public heaped on top of anguish and disappointment. And while it was amusing in a sad kind of way—the same kind of way I feel when I catch a second of Maury or Jerry—it made me think that all of our lives might look a little ridiculous if they were put on display and we were cross-examined by an attorney endeavoring to make us look bad, particularly when it comes to our decisions in romantic relationships.

It’s amazing how we can justify our decisions and rationalize our behavior at the time, and who is really normal anyway? Families who have seemed so “together” have almost always, upon closer examination, been flawed and marked by their own problems. Whether it’s living on the edge of financial solvency as to keep up appearances or other skeletons in the closet, we are all struggling in some way. So while certain behavior seems ridiculous to me, I need to remember that a lot of what I do is awful foolish too. For example, one of my resolutions from last year was to never throw up as a result of drinking alcohol again. The last time it happened I never even made it into the first bar we went to and was absolutely miserable. Given that I was 27 at the time I made the resolution and don't even drink that often, that might seem retarded, but I'm glad to report that I've kept it. And given my spotty tolerance and a variety of bartenders (one night I could barely sit up in the hot tub after a martini; another time I had three and didn't feel anything), I've had to watch myself. Anyone else have/have had a "ridiculous" resolution?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas

I SO don't want to go to work tomorrow. To make it a little less painful, I'll be sleeping in until 7:40ish, not wearing a suit, and using one of my three new Starbuck gift cards to buy a venti upside down solo shot nonfat extra hot caramel macchiato. In case you're wondering, extra-hot is still not very hot, and they only actually make it upside down about half the time.

So my Christmas celebration and five day weekend were awesome. Predictably work was extra busy last week, which for me meant I worked one night at the office until 9 and another until after 7:30 with another hour at home. I know some jobs require a lot more, but to me, especially with the need to pack/shop/wrap gifts, that is a lot of working. And as a result I think, I had a headache for four days and looked exhausted. Oh well, it was definitely worth all the hard work to head out Friday morning. Friday night my sister and her family had a dinner, and Lauren elected to stay home with me. We had a blast. I've rarely had time alone with her since she's the youngest, and Alaina (her older sister) goes everywhere I do. Lauren accompanied me to get a pedicure, sitting in my lap and dipping her feet in too. The lady painted her toenails and even put Christmas stockings on her big toe. Very cute. I was a bit concerned that Lauren would get bored, but she completely sat there and entertained herself for the most part. She spontaneously said some prayer that included praying for our military, which she evidently learned in preschool. Random. Everyone seemed entertained by her until I was bragging to Lauren about what a good job the lady doing the pedicures was doing, and Lauren blurted out "I don't care about her." Children say the oddest (and sometimes meanest) things. The lady didn't speak good English and said "Aw no you make me cry. You no love me." I tried to smooth it over, but Lauren refused to apologize. I felt like going on about it with Lauren would only make it more awkward for the lady. At least Lauren thanked her when we left and agreed that she'd done a wonderful job painting our nails. We made cupcakes after that and did some shopping and reading.

I had some alone time on Sunday with Alaina when I took her to lunch, and she earnestly asked me (again) why I couldn't move to Calhoun. She explained that there were jobs there and that way we could do stuff together every day. I must admit that spending extended time with the girls makes me want to move; I'd love to be more involved with them and spending time with them is one of my favorite things to do. It makes my life feel fuller. But with that being said, there is nothing attractive to me about Calhoun outside of my family and best friend. Of course, that's impossible to explain to a six year old. And perhaps some kind of compromise is worth considering, even if it's more vacation time in exchange for less salary.

My sister and I got along pretty much the entire time, which is always a relief, and I spent time with my mom, dad, and great-aunt too. And of course, I ate way too much and made more Oreo bark, most of which I consumed before I could share it. A definite highlight was the candle light Christmas Eve service at my dad's church. I feel so overwhelmed by the gift of Jesus and that service is a really nice time to focus on that gift and what it means.

So is everyone else as glad as I am that another long weekend is on the horizon? I'll give you one guess as to who I'll be with on New Year's Eve, and yes Ella, just as friends:) We're going to Charleston, which will be my very first visit. I'm excited! And looking forward to checking out a new city helps take the bite out of returning to work too.

Oh, and Ella in response to your query about what I gifts I received: a carry-on suiter, DKNY Be Delicious, Itunes gift card, 3 Starbuck gift cards (this is something I actually asked for this since I feel dumb about spending over $4 on the aforementioned beverage of choice), books, a beautiful silver cross necklace, money, and some other random things. Do you guys have any favorite gifts or holiday highlights? I took all of the good photos on my mom's unbelievable camera, but I've posted a few I got with mine.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wish List

My nieces took a ride on the "Polar Express" a few weeks ago, and Santa Claus was on board to ask them what they wanted for Christmas. They each told him and went on their merry way.

Two weeks later Santa Claus calls their home (in conjunction with some fundraiser deal through the church or something) and asks to speak to each of the girls. Santa says his "ho, ho, ho" bit and asks Lauren, who is three, what she wants for Christmas; and she replies "I've already told you on the train." Gosh, doesn't Santa know she doesn't have time to repeat herself? Listen the first time buddy. Needless to say, mommy and daddy had to smooth that one over with Lauren, explaining about Santa checking his list twice and whatnot. (I think this pic of her is the little white girl version of "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?")

Several people have asked me what I want for Christmas, and I've really had to think. How awesome is that? I remember a time when I could write down a long list in five minutes at a drop of a hat. I wanted, wanted, wanted. Now I go to the mall and leave empty handed--and this go round it's not not because I can't afford anything. I often don't see anything I really want. Sure part of it is because I haven't been overwhelmed by the styles the last few years, but I like to think that another element of it is a higher level of contentment in general and not needing that momentary rush from buying something and having something new. Of course, I say that as I type on a Sony VAIO laptop in which my nano is currently attached and charging. Hmm. I like to think that I'm evolving and becoming less consumed with material things, but at the same time, perhaps my lack of wanting is because I just have so much more now than I once did. Or perhaps knowing that I can afford things but choosing to save my money instead makes it easier to not want stuff and resist buying things. Or maybe it's because I buy the things that I want and don't have to wait until Christmas time for my parents to buy it for me. Hmm, it's late, and I'm probably making little sense regardless.

Anyway, I like what Epicurus has to say on this subject: "Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."

Regardless of why my wish list seems to be growing shorter each year (and starting to include things like socks), I'm grateful that it is and that I am so blessed to not need any "stuff." This feels like a good place to be.

p.s. I love this song by Pearl Jam too:) "I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on the Christmas tree; I wish I was the star that went on top."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ode (except this isn't a poem) to Gratitude (the Letter O)

Oxymorons: Like my ode that isn't a poem. I love the word, and inconsistencies and things that don't make sense are what keeps the world interesting, right?

Oreos: dunked in milk, crumbled on top of Ghiradelli brownies, and/or crushed and mixed with peanut butter and melted chocolate and white chocolate (this stuff is unbelievable--I just finished making/eating a batch). Let me know if you want the recipe for "Oreo Bark."

Ode to Joy: LOVE that song.

The Old Testament as well as the class by the same name I took in college. I wasn't a Christian, but the class was really interesting and made me feel slightly more culturally literate.

Old people and old books, especially my copy of Self Reliance, which my great-aunt gave my mother in 1969. My aunt underlined the parts that were significant to her, and one of my favorites is: "It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."

Ozzy: He has become a wonderful friend over the last six months or so. We have so much fun doing nothing. After my moody Sunday, I headed to the ATL after work for a hearing early today, so Ozzy and I had take-out calzones from Mellow Mushroom, watched Ricky Bobby, played in the weight room, and downloaded music while drinking apple cider. It's great to have someone so fun to pal around with, and I am SO excited about our trip to NYC.

Oswald Chambers, Outkast (my drunk law school classmates were always singing "Sorry Ms. Jackson" to me) , Oleander, Our Lady Peace, the Outfield ("Your Love" --remember? "I don't want to lose your love toooonight"), overtime pay when I was paid on an hourly basis, "Off He Goes" by Pearl Jam, "Ocean Front Property" by Georgia Strait (If you'll buy that, I've got some ocean front property in Arizona...."), and "On the Way Down" (yes, I've listened to Ryan Cabrera).

Orlando: I went for the international science fair when I was 12, and my only other visit was a little over year ago and considerably less academic.





Orwell, George: 1984



Orange juice--in the small cartons and almost completely frozen. Aunt Rene always had an orange slush waiting for me when I got off the bus. If I had a friend coming over, she'd make two. We'd curl up in front of the television, eat the slushes, and watch He-man and Shera.

The O.C.: not so much anymore, but it was good when it was good.

"O Come All Ye Faithful:" This and "The Little Drummer Boy" (esp. the version by Angie Aparo) are my favorite Christmas carols. The words to this song pretty well sum Christmas up:

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
Come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;

Refrain
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;

Refrain
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

Refrain

And on that note, I officially wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope that your heart is as filled with joy when you think about the meaning of Christmas as mine is. I cannot wait to celebrate with my family, especially my nieces; we're baking a birthday cake for Jesus and cookies for Santa:)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I Don't Understand Why...

I have dreams about people and things that make me feel depressed when I wake up and result in me being in a weird mood all day. Hence this less than happy post...

Someone would bring an infant to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I love that there were children there, but a baby seems like a totally bad idea (and yes, she started crying).

The man sitting next to me thought it was appropriate to sing along with the Hallelujah Chorus. Did he seriously think I had come to hear him sing? Oh, and did the woman behind us really think we wanted to hear her keeping the beat with the music? Fortunately neither kept up this behavior that long, and I really enjoyed the performance.

People are dishonest when there is a 100% certainty they will be caught in their lies.

So many men act like boys.

I ate four mini ice cream sandwiches, two servings of tiramisu, several peanut butter cups, and a slice of roulade on Friday evening and didn't feel that full or sick. That's ridiculously gluttonous.

Some single people don't think they have anything better to do than work (because they don't have a "family").

Inertia and/or indecisive feels like my middle name.

People prefer money and working to spending time with their families, friends, and/or themselves.

I can be so ungrateful sometimes despite my many blessings.

I am writing this blog post when I need to wrap all of the gifts I've bought and finish up Christmas cards.

With all of that being said, I'm grateful that I don't have to understand everything and that I've accepted that there are some things I'll never understand and that simply aren't meant for human understanding.

Feel free to share what you don't understand:)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Swear to Tell the Truth...

I am now in my third year of practice, and despite what I had anticipated, I've not gotten that much courtroom experience. In my experience, being a lawyer isn't anything like what I have seen on television or like what I'd imagined after spending time during the summers watching criminal trials when I was in middle school.

I've taken a few depositions, had a handful of hearings, a teacher termination hearing (kind of like an informal trial), and student discipline hearings. Today I had my second magistrate hearing. Magistrate court in Georgia only has jurisdiction for claims of $15,000 or less, and in counties with populations below a certain number, the judges are not required to have law degrees. Some people call magistrate court the "people's court," and attorneys are often not involved. I had my first magistrate hearing about a year or so ago, and I spent a lot of time preparing my questions for the witnesses I planned to call and getting exhibits ready. I had never even seen a magistrate hearing but knew that it could potentially be like a normal bench trial depending on the judge. Fortunately Plaintiff was representing himself, but at least he was educated and reasonably sane. I've seen pro se plaintiffs claim that someone put a "doo doo machine on his face." Another pro se told a federal judge that the judge "didn't even know the law and that his law clerks did everything anyway and he just signed whatever they told him to." That, not surprisingly, wasn't a winning argument.

After all of my preparation for that first hearing, I only got to say about two sentences. The judge called us up to his bench and asked Plaintiff to describe his claim. Plaintiff did a pretty good job doing so, and then the judge asked me what I thought. I said two sentences, and the judge said he agreed and dismissed the case. My clients (a college) were so impressed and just couldn't believe I won in less than forty words and without them having to testify.

I've had several other magistrate hearings scheduled in the last year (dog bite and car wrecks), but something always ends up happening (continuance, withdrawal of counsel, dismissal, settlement, etc.). So today I finally had my second hearing. It was in a smaller county, so the judge doesn't have a law degree. I'm not even sure if any degree is required at all for that matter. So anyway the hearing is in the judge's office at a small table with the judge sitting at his desk. At one point he said "I don't like those rules [the rules of evidence that apply to these hearings]. I just want to hear from the people." Spoken like a true elected official, huh?

Well anyway, at the beginning of the proceeding, the judge swears in the parties, raising his hand and asking the witnesses to do the same and swear to tell the truth and so forth. Guess who else raises her hand? Yep, I lost that game of Simon Says. Opposing counsels' eyes about popped out of his head. Hilarious.

It reminded me of the time I was in bankruptcy court and thought I heard the judge call my case, so I proceeded to introduce myself to the court until an attorney I'd made friends with before the hearing told me that it wasn't my case. Oops.

Times like these I am SO glad that I don't embarrass easy. I attribute some of that to my self-worth not being defined by my job and to a high embarrassment threshold. I can thank my father in part for the high threshold. When my sister and I were younger and had friends over, he wouldn't let them order cheeseburgers (and Lord forbid they want to order the "most expensive thing on the menu"--chicken fingers/nuggets) at fast food restaurants. His reasoning was that Burger King and McDonald's charged 25 cents or so for a half slice of cheese, and he had a whole slice at home that only cost a nickel or so. My sister would always be mortified, but I finally got to where it didn't faze me. Thank goodness as my father now sometimes intentionally tries to embarrass me, particularly when I bring guys home. For example, dad likes to ask guys on their first visit home with me if they think we'll get married. He only asks to see how they'll roll with it. Another time he offered to show a guy his hot tub. He took the boyfriend out on the deck and showed him the old bathtub in his backyard. Dad proceeded to explain that when it rained the tub would fill up with water and then when the sun came out, it'd heat it. My dad is unmarried, so his house isn't the cleanest; he claims the spiders and bugs in the corners of rooms are his friends. There's tons of stories, but you get a slight notion of why I gave up on being embarrassed long ago. And it's serving me well as an attorney. So thanks dad.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gratitude: The Letter "N"

Nerds (the small boxes that you can crack open with your mouth and then swallow the contents like a shot), Niagra Falls, nachos, nail polish (but just for my toes), naps, news, nurses especially nurse-practioners who almost always spend more time with me than doctors, nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, and cashews), night, Nutty Butty bars, Nutter Butter cookies, novels (and novel ideas), "Nothingman," and nata-flavored ice cream.

Nieces: They are complete joys. Not only are they great fun, they've brought me much closer to their mother (my sister; there's a pic of her below) and the rest of my family. Every visit home is so exciting because I know I get to be with them.



New: thoughts, ideas, clothes, cars, friends, books, challenges, paper, shoes....there's just something nice about having something brand new. With that being said, I was kind of glad to go ahead and scratch up my new car soon after I bought it. I didn't want to be the kind of person that gets wrapped up with his car being perfect and gets upset about every little scratch or ding.

New Orleans: I've only been twice, and the food is what sticks out in my mind. Brunch at Commanders Palace was probably one of the best meals I've ever enjoyed, and of course, I love pralines since they are practically 100% sugar.

Nicole: She has been my best friend since I was a baby, and amazingly, as much as we've both changed, we're still best friends. It's absolutely wonderful to have a friend who knows your past and your family and really understands why you are who you are. Nicole is married with two children now, so we don't see each other very often; but I cherish our weekly talks on my drive to work. She has become a really strong Christian over the last six years and has been a source of encouragement and inspiration to me.

Nice people: Like the ones who hold the door open for me or see me across the grocery store and make the effort to come speak or send me sweet e-mails to tell me that they appreciate me...in short, the people who make life a lot more pleasant.

Nice, France: The people there were so kind and helpful (unlike my experience in their nation's capital), and it was a fun town to knock about.

The Netherlands, specifically Holland: Everyone in Amsterdam seemed very friendly (the marijuana may help with that), and I especially loved the chocolate covered waffles. I went to Ann Frank's house, met a local guy who served as a tour guide for a day, and observed my Southern Baptist traveling companion's shock at the Red Light District. Oh a good small world story: I was standing in line for pizza one afternoon and noticed the guy in front of me looked American and can was wearing Nikes (Americans less-that-stylish shoe choices often give them away). So I started talking to him, and it turned out he was from Georgia too. I asked him which high school he had attended, and when I heard his reply, I asked him if he knew Coach Matherly, who had left my high school to go the one he named. The guy responded that Coach Matherly was his cross country coach. I told him that I'd run cross country with Coach Matherly too, and the guy proceeded to tell me a story that Coach Matherly had shared with them about a runner at my high school who always had to brush her teeth right before a race began. You can guess who that was, can't you?

More pics from the family get-together last weekend (sorry Dr. RJJ, these are my only outdoor pics of Walden):

Monday, December 11, 2006

This weekend felt like it was over before it even started. I was greeted when I got home on Friday by a package. I love packages, especially when I haven’t ordered anything recently and thus know it’s a surprise. The package was from Barnes & Noble and included two gift-wrapped surprises! Fun! It took me about five minutes to figure out who it was from, and the giver made it all the more of a special gift. Of the two gifts, the one I’m looking forward to reading the most is The Call by Os Guinness.

Then I had a yummy dinner (and white chocolate bread pudding) with Ozzy and his parents, and afterwards I made peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips (since I ruined the crust I made for my pumpkin chiffon pie):

Saturday I went to Walden Pond, or at least, my family’s version of it. My uncle has a cabin that’s practically in the middle of nowhere with two ponds and lots of woods, and we have our family get-togethers there. It was fantastic. Saturday evening I forced myself to do some shopping. Not the best timing ever, but once I get started, I don’t mind shopping so much.

Sunday was lovely with church, lunch with two friends I hadn't seen in weeks, and a two-hour nap.

Some of my random weekend thoughts:

Troops: I think it would be really hard to be in Iraq during the holidays. And I’m sure it’s hard for the families too. I ran across this link on a blog the other day. It matches you with a solider who doesn’t have a family or regular correspondents, and you write him/her every week and send care packages. A lady in my office did it last year, and she said her solider was able to e-mail her.

Christmas cards: I’ve been impressed with how early people are getting their cards out. Am I the only person who writes something besides her name and “Merry Christmas” on Christmas cards? Despite its huge selection, Target only had two of what I consider non-secular cards. Unfortunately they were both embossed with gold and rather unappealing. I ended up having to go to a Christian bookstore this year to find cards that referenced why we celebrate Christmas (or at least in theory why we do). I had never been to a Lifeway before, but it had some pretty neat stuff.

Adopting a Child: I adopted a little girl for Christmas, meaning that I buy her Christmas gifts. I only write about this because I was surprised by how much more enjoyable this shopping was in comparison to my other Christmas shopping. Even though I love shopping for my nieces, this was more fun. I think it’s because I know my nieces have more than they could ever want or need, and in buying this little girl things, I felt like I was giving a child something she actually needed rather than another toy that she’ll pile up in her toy box and forget the next day.

Church: As a result of traveling a lot the last two months as well as general malaise (i.e. wanting to sleep all day long) that seems to accompany the time change (SAD), I’ve not attended church in quite some time. So yesterday I attended church with a friend. It’s a community church that meets in a local coffeehouse (that isn’t open on Sundays). It was so different than the church I’ve been attending the last two years. The biggest difference was how friendly everyone was and how I met people and actually had conversations. At the last church I attended, I would slip in the door before the service began and leave when it ended, often without talking to a single person. I often thought that I should make the effort to speak to people, but the church environment did not facilitate that at all. In fact, I spoke with a friend who attends that church, and she told me that she didn’t like it when people tried to talk to her and preferred to just be left alone. I guess different strokes for different folks.

9 more working days until I’m off for Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Women Only?

In law school one of the most popular clubs was the Association of Women Lawyers. A lot of my female friends were in it and enjoyed the various meetings and activities. I didn't join simply because I didn't think I wanted to be in an organization that limited its membership to women (granted the group might not technically reject a man's application, but you know what I mean). I just didn't see the point, and I knew that an all male society wouldn't past muster and would cause a huge controversy.

Recently I've received a two invitations to the events of an organization of women lawyers in the area, and all of the female attorneys I work with have attended. I've been invited too and asked by coworkers if I were going to go. The most recent one is next week, and it's a lunch with 15 local judges. It's certainly a good opportunity for me to get to know judges, although it's $25 for really poor food):

So it occurred to me that perhaps I should go to this luncheon. Perhaps the other five women in my office see something about these luncheons that I don't (but should). I guess it's a good opportunity to network with other female attorneys, but I don't understand breaking things down on gender lines; I could just as easily network at a regular Bar meeting, right? Maybe wrong? (I am, however, not very good about networking and whatnot; after work and during lunch I'm ready to do non-work stuff; this is the lack of ambition/drive issue, but that's another conversation.)

In all fairness, I realize that women are still a minority in my profession. My firm is a good example. Of the approximately 26 attorneys, only 6 of us don't have a Y chromosome. The last ten or so summer clerks have been males. It's not uncommon at all for me to be in meetings (with clients or judges) where I'm the only woman. Fortunately that doesn't bother me very much, although it certainly does limit what outside interests I share with my bosses. Needless to say, I don't get invited to go duck hunting and the like, and I've wondered if not sharing those hobbies hurts me professionally. I don't see how any women's group will change any of this unless they offer classes on skeet shooting or deer hunting, none of which interests me.

And a little part of me has wondered if any of the partners, particularly the very religious ones, feel oddly about driving to hearings and whatnot with just me. I know that one vowed to never be alone with a woman when he got married simply to avoid the appearance of impropriety or the possibility of temptation. He has, however, taken me to a hearing before, so I guess that rule doesn't apply to coworkers.

And women still face challenges that most men do not. I've heard judges say that a woman shouldn't come to his court wearing pants or call them inappropriate names like honey. A judge recently told some attorneys from my firm that the attractive new lawyer we hired (who he had only seen) was a "good one," obviously referring to her appearance since he'd never even spoken to her. I feel like these kinds of things will eventually change as men retire and are replaced with women and men who are from younger generations. Fortunately I've not had any personal experiences with this kind of discriminatory or unprofessional behavior--unless you count being called a "girl."

And of course, in most families (right or wrong aside) women bear the brunt of child-rearing responsibilities, so in that sense, women face unique challenges in balancing their duties. Even in families where duties are more evenly split, it's hard to meet billable hours when you take six weeks of maternity leave and have to pump two or three times a day. So maybe if I were interested in trying to figure out how to balance the role of being an attorney and a mother, a group like this would be helpful. It would be nice to see what arrangements other mothers had worked out with their employers and other practical information, but for now, that obviously doesn't hold any interest for me.

Is there something else I'm missing? I feel like I have a narrow view on this and might need to hear others' perspective. I feel like it warrants more thought on my part because 5 out of the 6 women I work with think it's important, and I can be a bit black/white on some issues and miss important points.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Muchas Gracias....

Miracles, men, Mom, madras, martinis, mashed potatoes (didn't know I liked them until college), Matthew & Mark & Mary (lest I forget her as 'tis the season), mahi mahi, Mercer, Mad Libs, and misteltoe....

Ministers: I especially love Tim Keller and Andy Stanley. When I first started going to church after college (but didn't actually believe in all of it), Andy got me hooked on a series of sermons, and I attended church 13 Sundays in a row. Every sermon seemed directed at me, and I would often think about his words for the rest of the day. Oh, guess what? Looks like I'm going to NYC for a quick weekend trip with Ozzy in February and will get to attend one of Tim Keller's services. I don't think I've ever been so excited about attending a church.

Michelle: She's probably the sweetest person I know. Even her voice is sweet. We have our Bible study at her house, and she is such a lovely hostess, often baking cookies or making other treats for us.

Matchbox 20: The song "Push" totally resonated with me when I first heard it during my sophmore year of college at UGA (a very dramatic, depressing year). So I was really excited when they played at a small venue in Athens for $5, although only one of my friends was willing to go to the concert with me. No one else had heard of them, and the bar was embarassingly empty. The next time I saw them it was over ten times as expensive and at Phillips Arena.

"Meet Virginia," Mercy Me, Michael Jackson's music (one of my few memories of kindergarten is sitting on my teacher's steps and listening to Thriller with her son--on a record player), Molly's Yes, "Manic Monday," marshmallow scented Urban Decay powder (which has been discontinued), and my favorite Cure song "Melt with Me."

Mellow Mushroom, Monkeys, Moes, the Magees, mission trips, Miami, M &M bars, milk chocolate, mysteries (Agatha Christies, Nancy Drew)....

M*: He saw me in a restaurant downtown almost two years ago, and his lawyer friend figured out which firm I worked at and contacted one of my bosses. Predictably my boss just gave them my e-mail address and phone number, and I received an e-mail entitled "At Least This Should be a Departure from Any Morning Briefs" (I pasted it below) asking me to dinner. So sight unseen (on my part) with only knowing that he was ridiculously smart, a doctor, and 43, I met him for dinner. We talked for almost two hours before we stopped to order. I'm sure the waiter loved us. I am such a sucker for brillant people. Unfortunately I didn't feel any physical attraction after another date (I once had a two date rule), but we became an odd kind of friends, exchanging amazing e-mails, letters, and very clever gifts. M* served a really cool purpose in my life at the time and helped me overcome my cyncism for all things romantically related. He also knew me better than 99% of people I know. It seems silly, but he immediately knew my Myers-Brigg type (guessing 1 out of 16 types, particularly when my type is less than 1% of the population impressed me:) and instinctively seemed to "get me." Even the postcards I randomly receive from him (from all sorts of cool places) make me smile all day.

Here's the e-mail I received from him; it struck me as a bit odd and reminded me of an online dating profile, but I figured why not?
I wish that I had some terribly clever way to begin this
note. It would have been nice to meet you on a train
platform in Barcelona and find out after ten minutes of
conversation that you were from Macon. Or even to have
crossed your path at the library while you were checking
out a book that was a favorite of mine. I'm afraid the
real story here is considerably less exotic.

I was eating lunch with XXX Attorney at Adriana's last
week when you walked through the line. I thought you
were very pretty. He recognized your lunch company as
fellow attorneys. You had the bearing of being an
attorney as well, so I deduced that you were both
pretty and bright. As the combination is a desirable
commodity, I am writing to see if I might take you to
dinner.

I'm not in the habit of (read: never) making this sort
of invitation, and imagine you're equally not in the
habit of accepting them. I promise I make safe and
easy company. I would be pleased to supply you with
any information, references, bios, photographs,
driving records, old report cards, or anything else you
might want to clear on a pre-approval basis. To give
you a general feel, I would say that I am well rounded
and well read, intellectually curious, and drawn to
people with engaging minds. I like music more than
television, game night more than clubbing, NPR more
than Fox, and oranges more than apples.

I think Jane Eyre is a masterpiece, thought Amelie
was charming, think Scooby Doo has it all over the
Flintstones, wish I spoke better German, and like
to participate in a number of sports, none of which
I am particularly good at.

I have a strong social conscience, care about making
the world a better place, and think it's cool, even
if you have no interest whatsoever in dinner, that
you've been involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

I know that's not a lot to go on, but it might at
least help you, with a little questioning, pick me
out of a lineup (I do promise I've never been in one).
If it sounds like we might make good dinner company,
drop me a line sometime. It doesn't need to be now
if it doesn't fit; I'll be around.

Cheers.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm a Weirdo....

I've not felt very blog-o-rific lately perhaps because my life is, all in all, pretty drama-less. Not nearly as exciting as Baby's life is (I'm watching Dirty Dancing). During my incredibly relaxing weekend, I stumbled across a "meme" that just requires one to list six weird things about herself. In high school, the kids in my homeroom told me several times that I was "weird," and I responded that I prefer "goofy." That term just seems like more fun. Feel free to share what's weird or goofy about you too.

1. My step-sister and I have the same first name, middle name, and month/day of birth (she's four years older though).

2. I brush my teeth an insane amount--at least after every time I eat (and I eat a lot) and pretty much have to have that toothpaste taste in my mouth to fall asleep. I was addicted to Listerine Gel toothpaste for a few years until they quit making the exact version I prefer. An ex bought me ten tubes from a liquidator store months after it had been discontinued, and I thought that was a great gift. Don't worry though--my enamel is fine, and I use soft toothbrushes and don't brush that hard.

3. I like sugar so much that up until fairly recently I would melt butter and mix it with sugar (brown or regular) when in a pinch. I still eat brown sugar and powdered sugar out of the box. Well I haven't in at least two weeks:)

4. I don't know if this is an odd habit or not, but I cut my split-ends off. When I get really bored at work, I'll do it, or if I'm sitting in the sun and watching television, I will. It's kind of relaxing in a weird way.

5. I have some kind of ADD/narcolepsy combination. If I'm in a class that doesn't have the threat of being called on and doesn't involve dialogue, I cannot stay awake. Thankfully in law school our classrooms were wired, so I could play Text Twist, e-mail, and otherwise play on the internet to stay engaged. In seminars I do Soduko, crossword puzzles, make lists, and write letters in order to stay focused on the speaker. At work I have to listen to my ipod (and cut splint ends) while I research to stay awake, and if I want to read a book that is anything short of fascinating, I need to do it somewhere like Starbucks to avoid falling asleep. This is, of course, really annoying because it makes it really hard to read books that I think I should read (i.e. Grapes of Wrath).


6. I am addicted to White Tea & Ginger body cream from Bath & Body works and Aquaphor (for my lips). I require both (as well as a recent toothbrushing) to fall asleep and keep the cream in the office, car, and at home. Note: I began using Aquaphor at my doctor's recommendation after I had to break a very powerful and painful addiction to Chapstick (very bad for you!) and Vaseline in the 6th grade. And yes, I'm a bit OCDish, but it's considerably better now than it used to be.

On a completely unrelated and perhaps equally uninteresting note, Sam called me this weekend, and he's had further corresponded with the girl. Early last week he texted her. Yes, he attempted to contact her again after she ignored his last two voicemails. He wrote her something to the effect that he didn't have many friends in X city (as he had recently moved back) and would like to be friends with her. She waited four days and texted him back, explaining that while they were dating she was kind of waiting for someone else to "come around" and that she was dating this guy now (Sam suspects it's her ex-husband but who knows) and didn't think it was a good idea for them to talk. Oh well at least Sam finally has the closure he so desperately wanted.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Fantastic Change of Pace

Wednesday night and yesterday were such lovely days. It's nice how a change in your routine can make the work week fly by and be so much fun. Wednesday night Ozzy and I met up with two friends and Tim at an Irish pub for dinner. Tim was super nice, seemed smart, and is a good conversationalist. Unfortunately I felt no chemistry with Tim. Surprise, surprise. I rarely feel attracted to anyone. It's very annoying, especially when I otherwise like the guy. Note: the lack of attraction isn't because I don't think a guy is good looking or objectively attractive; I'm just not attracted to them. And oddly, I'm sometimes attracted to guys who I do not think are objectively that good looking. I wonder if it's pheremones or something. I have a serious affinity for Acqua Di Gio by Armani, so that always helps.

On another happy note, Tim is a perceptive man. He wrote Ozzy yesterday, saying that he thought I was cool and very pretty and would like to take me out sometime but that he got the impression I wasn't interested. Hip hip hooray. I finally effectively conveyed my feelings! Ozzy told him that he'd talk to me (i.e. forward the e-mail) and let him know what I thought. Maybe I'll meet some cool girl and set them up. I love setting people up.

The seminar I attended yesterday was great, and at the convention center, I ran into my high school trignometry/algebra teacher. That made me really happy. And so did my last speaker talking really fast to condense two hours of information into one hour (he had to catch a flight). I was done at 3:30 and had talked to my best friend, watched a little Oprah, ran 3 miles, did biceps/triceps, and started a load of laundry for Ozzy all by 5:00. That's the life. Then I played around on the internet and found a fun restaurant for us to try for dinner. If you live in Atlanta, check out Dish. It's in the Highlands and absolutely great.

We sat outside, and I had yummy lamb tenderloin. Oh, I saw a guy I would be attracted to (assuming he isn't a jerk) at the table across from me. We caught each others' eyes several times (or whatever you would call that). That sounds really gay on reread, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. The guy probably thought I was being a jerk though because it probably appeared that Ozzy and I were on a date. Anyway, the evening ended with Grey's Anatomy during which Ozzy asked me about 50 questions since he'd never seen it before.

p.s. Ozzy challenged me a lot about my faith and Christianity in general at our friend's house after dinner on Wednesday. I so wish I were more eloquent and better spoken on those topics. It's so hard to explain to someone who doesn't believe, so I'm prayerful that God will give me the right words because I'm clearly unable to be very articulate on my own.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Lightening crashes, a new mother cries...


Her placenta falls to the floor. I've always thought that any song that can work in the word "placenta" deserves some respect. Live is a great band.

Lost & found: Yeah! I just found my tree stand and am decorating my apartment. I love the cozy feeling of having a tree, lights, and all of that fun stuff.

Love: To love and be loved....

Laura: She's become one of my very good friends since we finished law school and has certainly been an inspiration and source of encouragement to me in my walk with God.

The Lion, the Witch, & The Wardrobe: I'm loving this book! I'm planning to buy the DVD for my niece once we finish reading it, so hopefully we'll like the movie too.

Laughter: I love laughing, especially when I do it so hard that my stomach hurts the next day. Unfortunately that kind of laughter hasn't happened in a long time. I need to work on that.

Longhorn's: It's one of the few chains I don't mind occasionally eating at, which comes in handy when negotiating restaurant selections with my sister and brother-in-law.

Law school: I'm so glad that I went. It was the first time I'd been really challenged academically, and all in all, I enjoyed it, especially flag football. Plus I made some great friend while I was there.

London: This was the first place abroad that I visited. I had to persuade my parents to let me go with a group of students two years older than me (I was about to turn 15) and a hippie-like teacher. I was very surprised that they let me go (no doubt a result of my masterful skills of persuasion), had a great time, and got (very very) drunk for the first time (I alternated between screwdrivers and Kahlua-gross). I loved Oxford, seeing plays, shopping, and just wandering around a new city.

Leisure, Labor Day, Lifehouse, Lion bars, Lucky Charms (and the sweet cafeteria worker from my freshman year of college who provided me with a permanent stash hidden in a cabinet, so I was never without it), lattes (specifically Chai Tea), Lemonheads, Lester (the best cab driver in Macon), Lexis (I cannot imagine having to research and shephardize by book!), life, LFO's "Summer Girls," "Love at First Sight" (Kylie Mingoue...even if I don't believe in it, it's a fun song), "Last Kiss" (my dad sang this song to me growing up, so I was thrilled when Pearl Jam recorded it), "Let Everything that has Breath," "Look Away" (Chicago), liberty, lake houses, larks, lounging around....


Lauren: My niece is a blast, and she's incredibly photogenic too. I love how she'll play alone for hours, speaks her own little language, and has such a strong personality.

p.s. To appease Ozzy who thinks I'm a "picky judgmental not-nice-word," I've compromised about meeting his friend Tim who he has wanted to set me up with for months now. Since I'll be in Atlanta tomorrow night, a group of us are going to dinner. I figured that's much better than a date since I don't think I would be interested in anything other than friendship. With that being said, I will certainly do my best to keep an open mind. And regardless, it'll be fun to try a new restaurant and hang out with friends.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Update on My Friend Sam....

Ah, back to the real world of work (yes, I'm working some today). I was lucky enough to leave work on Wednesday at lunch, stopping for a delicious cinnamon raisin bagel with cinnamon raisin cream cheese at Goldbergs in Atlanta (which made the extra two hours of drive time as a result of road work/traffic easier to endure). Highlights of the long weekend include: leisurely time with my family, three warm pieces of pumpkin pie with whip cream, elmo-cising with my nieces, a four hour visit with my great aunt, and reading almost half of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with my niece Alaina (I can't wait to see what happens--I've not "heard" this book since 3rd grade with Mrs. Grisham).

During the holiday weekend, I also caught up with Sam (who I wrote about two weeks ago). The girl ended up never calling Sam back, and he was pretty devastated about it. The day after he called her, his sister ran into the girl, who commented that she needed to call Sam back (so we know that she did indeed get Sam's voicemail message). A week passed, during which the girl was out of town for a few days, and then Sam's brother-in-law ran into the girl. She made no mention of Sam, which, of course, really bothered Sam. I told Sam that I thought he had gotten his answer--clearly the girl is not interested, and he should let it go and get on with his life. Sam said that he was going to call her again if he didn't hear from her within the next 24 hours. I asked him what his objective in calling her was since it was clear that she isn't interested. Sam responded that the girl "owes" him an explanation and official closure; he proceeded to leave her another message that night and has still not heard back. I told Sam that he was setting himself up for an awkward conversation and/or her avoiding his calls since there often isn't really a reason for not wanting to continue to see someone. Sure, I can usually articulate a few reasons, but often it's isn't that the other person isn't the right fit for me. And I see nothing productive in citing a guy's unusually small hands, wearing a scarf in October (in Georgia), incessant complaints about his back pain, or weird taste in movies, etc. None of these things would, in themselves, keep me from dating someone if I really liked the guy. So what's the point in sharing these "reasons" with someone?

I guess I agree that "best practice" in this case might be for the girl to give Sam a return call, explaining that while she's enjoyed getting to know Sam, she's not interested in dating any longer. Most guys seem to appreciate this approach the most, although the "football player" I went out with five or so times told me that he'd rather me just not return his calls than have that conversation. What do you guys think the better practice is? I went out with a lawyer once (although granted we'd hung out one night before our date, talked several times for an hour or so on the phone, and kissed) and didn't really enjoy the date very much. And then he called me the next day and asked me out for three different events, all of which I declined. He then called a few days later to ask me out for a Friday night, and again I declined, telling him I was hosting a dinner party that night. So he calls me again on that Friday night at 9:15. I thought that was weird and decided not to even call him back. A month or so later I ran into him in a bar, and he lashed into me, wanting to know why I'd never called him back. I was so taken aback that I was painfully honest, telling him that I thought it was strange that he didn't get the hint after I turned him down for four invites and that he called me on a Friday night when he knew I was hosting a party. Oddly I've seen him since then, and he's been pleasant.

Anyway, I told Sam I'd ask my blog friends if they thought she "owed" him a phone call back. His family and friends all (except me) encouraged him to make the second phone call (even though she hadn't returned his previous call) and think that she should at least call him back and explain what gives. Oh, and his sister is terminating her business relationship (no big deal kind of relationship) with the girl. This has all served as a reminder to me that I should be conscious of others' thoughts and feelings and that some people take a few dates much more seriously than I do.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My "McDate"

My date to the wedding was Ozzy (his chosen blog name, which I do not think suits him at all), who I find very adorable. Sometimes my friendship with Ozzy reminds me a little bit of Will & Grace, except that instead of being gay, Ozzy is Jewish.

Ozzy and I became acquainted in property class during our first year of law school. On our first day of class, the property professor called on me after humiliating the first person he called on—a guy who didn’t know the answer. Yikes. Fortunately I spoke with absolute conviction (even though I probably didn’t know the answer either) and survived. That caught the professor’s interest, and he called on my constantly throughout the rest of the semester, which meant that everyone knew my name early on. I guess that is how Ozzy got to know me. My first memory of Ozzy was at a party at which he expressed admiration of my ambition (Ozzy thoroughly understands that flattery will get you almost anywhere). I thought that was odd and explained how non-career driven I was (citing my haphazard career path which included a nanny gig and teaching elementary school). He was surprised.

Despite the fact that my friends told Ozzy that I had a boyfriend (of almost a year) when he inquired about me, Ozzy called and in his sweet Southern drawl, asked me to go to the fair with him. The fair is, I must note, a great idea for a first date. I declined with a little bit of regret—simply because I thought going to the fair with Ozzy would be fun (and he’s cute).

Fast forward three years later to a friend’s party where I exchanged numbers with Ozzy so that he could meet up with us later that night. He never did, but he did occasionally drunk dial me over the next two years. Ozzy has attempted to set me up with his friends, but his efforts are unfortunately always off the mark (i.e., a guy who wears his shirt halfway unbuttoned with lots of jewelry). Some of my friends contend that these mismatches are intentional, so that I’ll realize what a great catch Ozzy is.

I tend to disagree with those friends. Ozzy is a consummate flirt, often saying very kind and flattering things and doing super sweet things for me, but our friendship is just that. We’ve never even kissed despite spending weekends together. Ozzy understands how important my faith is to me and that I’d never date a guy who isn’t a Christian. Plus his current type is super skinny, high-maintenance, and much less conservative (or arguably more fun) than me. So that’s that.

I feel very blessed to have such a cool friend. He’s a lot like a girl in some respects, so he is excellent at communicating (like when I hurt his feelings), dramatic (which keeps me entertained), very intelligent (which challenges me), and way too relative (which annoys me). It’s funny how God brings people into your life at certain times and how there is a season for so many different people and experiences. It’s also funny that Ozzy has a crush on Paris Hilton.

Monday, November 20, 2006

America Has Not Disappointed Me....

A friend just sent me this link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15818960/

In short, O.J.'s book/television special has been canceled.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Check out the donkeys I befriended this weekend.

Here are some of things I'm grateful for that begin with the letter "K":

Krispy Kreme: When the hot light is on it's almost sacrilegious not to stop (unless it's one of those locations where the hot light is perpetually on). If you're nice, you might persuade them to run a chocolate covered creme filled doughnut through the hot glaze again.

K's Choice: Love the song "Not an Addict"

Keith Urban: One of the few newer country artists I like; he's got a few good songs to run to--same goes for Kelli Clarkson.

Kenny Loggins: "Footloose" I can't help but smile. If for some reason you've never seen the movie, go rent it this weekend. He sings the theme from Caddyshack too.

Kenny Rogers: You gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em.

Kirk Franklin: Rap music I can share with my nieces! Kimberly thanks for exposing me to him via your myspace page.

The Killers, "Keep it Up" (Soul Asylum), "King of New Orleans" (Better than Ezra rocks), kangaroos, Kit Kats, knowledge, kitchens (where else would I bake?), knees (I'm sooo glad I don't have any knee problems like so many people I know do), ketchup,

Kindness: I really got into random acts of kindness for a while and need to pick the habit back up. The kindness of others constantly makes me smile and reminds me of God's love and blessings.

Kimberly: I am so glad to know you!

Kinetix: We finally got a real gym, and even better, it's 1/2 mile from where I live. It sill makes me feel a little dumb to go to the gym for only 20 minutes, but sometimes a quick run is all I want.

Kin: a very Southern way of saying family....I'm especially excited about getting to spend four consecutive days with them courtesy of Thanksgiving.

Kindred spirits: My date this weekend to my friend's wedding--in which I was a bridesmaid. My date and I both love to write, read, discuss serious stuff, and flit around at social events. Oh, he also has a great camera, never forgets it, and takes lots of photos, often in fun poses (see me in the bride's veil). He's the perfect date. He even brought me a gift for being his date (even though he was my date). He knew a few people at the wedding and is socially adept, quickly making friends with my friend Grace's boyfriend. We proceeded to have great conversations at the bed and breakfast where we stayed; we're such kindred spirits about a lot, but we're also very different and he is constantly challenging my perspective.

This morning on the way back home from the wedding festivities, we were briefly lost and didn't get stressed at all. And neither one of us overreacted when we heard a loud noise while traveling at 75 mph, thinking we had a flat tire. In short, we always enjoy laid-back time together, and it looks like I'll be either going to Charleston or Knoxville with him in January, so there's one trip.

Happy short work week!!!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shame Shame Shame

I hope Americans are not going to disappoint me, but all of the major news outlets predict that they will--overwhelmingly. And this time it's not through their voting power:) It's through their buying power.

You may already be sick of hearing about O.J. Simpson's book If I Did It, which is hitting the shelves on November 30. Some are pre-ordering it on Amazon.

Personally I want to stand by the cash registers at my local Barnes & Noble so that I can see who buys this book. It infuriates me that anyone would even consider purchasing a book written by a killer who is gloating about the fact that he suceeded in getting away with the violet crime. I makes no matter to me that he may not profit from this book or that people are curious. It's sick.

Imagine the agony of the victims' families; not only was the killer found not guilty, he's now written a book detailing the murders and being featured in a special on Fox, essentially bragging about he got away with taking two lives. Who would help O.J. succeed in doing so?

At first I thought of the other day at the Soup Kitchen when the television in the corner was turned to the local news, which had a special report about a plane that had just landed on the interstate. Two guys at a table near my friend Grace & me, looked at each other and said "We gotta go check this out." Ridiculous. Someone rushing to the scene of the accident--not to render help--but to add to the confusion and chaos that comes with an emergency. But that's not quite the same thing as purchasing O.J.'s book.

What really got me wound up about this was hearing that Walmart is selling the book. Yes, I know Walmart is the devil and all, but it, at least, occasionally tries to pretend to have morals or some weird form of them. For example, when I bought the single (remember when you used to buy those tapes in the cardboard wrapper?) "I'm a Bitch" from Walmart, I was rudely surprised when I listened to the tape and the word "bitch" was muted out. Seriously. Why even sell the single? So Walmart isn't going to let its customers hear the word "bitch," but they are going to sell a book detailing the murder the author got away with. Insane.

I'd love to hear about some major retailers who are refusing to sell the book. I'd love to see corporate America stand up for something besides the almighty dollar. It makes me think about Chik-fil-a and how cool it is that it isn't open on Sundays (which is, of course, the only day of the week I crave it) even though that is certainly "costing" the company millions of dollars. I guess I want to see people say something is wrong and refuse to be a part of it because whether our society wants to admit it or not, there are things that are just wrong.

p.s. I know I'm rambling...I'm just mad (and watching Grey's Anatomy). For a slightly more coherent rant on relativism, check out this post.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dating Drama

Not mine, of course. My friend Sam hasn't dated much at all since we finished college, so I was delighted and a little apprehensive when I heard that he had a second date with a girl. Apprehensive because I was kind of afraid for him, and I hate seeing him disappointed, which he has been after all of his dating experiences. It's hard to know what to say because I really want to help, and my experience is so different than his. Sam is the kind of person who feels emotionally invested in a girl after one date. After two dates in November, he's wondering what he can buy the girl for Christmas. Or after three dates, he's giving her tickets to a play that is two months away. It's classic over-eagerness (although I've never minded over-eagerness when I really liked the guy...).

Hearing his account of their first date was fun. He said several times that she wasn't "open" enough (on their blind date). I found this amusing because I was recently told on a second date that I seemed really guarded. As some of you may know, I'm incredibly open, so I don't think the guy meant it in that context. The best I could figure out, he meant insofar as emotionally investing or planning for future events with him. For example, on our first (and blind) date he mentioned several friends and said things like "You've got to meet him" or "I look forward to getting your impression of her" and things like that. When we had a long phone conversation between date #1 and date #2 he asked me about going to one of his family's vacation homes. None of this came off as desperate or over-eager at the time (perhaps it helped that he is attractive and has a good personality and some part of me was flattered), but it still raised a red flag. I guess because he had only known me for 120 minutes when some of these comments were made. I know I'm really compelling and all but still:) I'm always wary of guys who like me a lot and don't know me. It makes me feel like they are liking me for the wrong reasons.

Anyway, this time, from Sam's account, the girl was eager too. Well maybe not the same level of eagerness I've seen him display, but she's called him and she kissed him first. It usually takes "dating dating" for me to call a guy out of turn, and I doubt that I've ever initiated a first kiss (at least while sober). So perhaps I'm not the best barometer, but regardless calling a guy is an expression of interest. And last week she was sick but still wanted him to come over for soup and a movie. So all of this has made him (and me) hopeful. Oh, and she kissed him (again) before he left last week.

She now seems to be giving him the brush-off, and he's SO disappointed. So, of course, I'm listening a lot. And he's wondering and obsessing over what happened and how great things seemed. I've been impressed this go round with how he's "played the game," meaning that he's not given her one concert ticket for a show in January or called her every day or done other things that might scare someone away (note: I'm not a huge advocate of game playing, but for some super over eager people especially those who rarely date, I vote for a little restraint). But after fifteen minutes of listening, I'm having to fight my lack of sympathy and biting my tongue to keep from saying "But you only went on four dates" or "how can you care so much about someone you didn't really know?" I tend to think that his pain results from getting too far ahead of himself (he was already planning to invite her on a trip for late January), and I speak from experience in that regard. Upon reflection, I probably also lack perspective because I rarely go on four dates with someone, and when I have, I've always ended up dating the guy for at least 6 months or more. And, of course, everything is so much more everything (dramatic, sad, exciting) when you're the one living it. Sometimes I really stink at understanding Sam's perspective, but at least I can listen. And maybe I'm too guarded and should invest more like Sam does, but I guess I don't see any advantage to being that emotionally entangled so early on. Any thoughts on advice for Sam, or should I just keep listening without offering any?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where Should I Go?

Since there is so much of America that I haven't seen, I've been trying to use what (little) vacation time I have and weekends to see more of it. Since I graduated from law school two and a half years ago, I've managed to go to San Fransico, Los Angeles, Austin, Las Vegas, Nashville, Jacksonville, Hilton Head, Vail/Keystone, Orlando, Savannah, and Boston (a few times). This year I used half of my vacation for the trip to Cabo and a few other days for weekend trips to see Donatello. Now I am itching to go somewhere plus I have some credits with Air Tran that will expire soon if I don't redeem them. Unfortunately I don't have any prospective travel companions. I've been blessed with a lot of friends, but they are either (1) married (and thus pretty much only vacation with their spouse or have children and have no money/time), (2) are attorneys and thus never take vacation time because of billable hours, (3) do not have the money to travel, (4) wouldn't make good traveling companions (i.e., they snore ridiculously loud or are the kind of friend I prefer to just spend two hours with), or (5) just don't seem interested in traveling.

While I consider myself very independent, the idea of traveling alone just isn't appealing to me right now. I'm not sure why. I love being alone and feel comfortable eating alone, going to the movies alone, and even spending entire weekends by myself. And when I went to Austin with three guys summer before last, I chose to hang out alone part of the time. I enjoy just knocking around. I've been trying to figure out what changed between then and now. And the only thing I can come up with is my time in Boston with Donatello (my ex). The first time I went up to Boston to see him, I had really looked forward to spending the day exploring Boston while he worked that Friday. He ended up spending the day with me anyway and knocking around with him was so much fun; in fact, it was more fun that doing so alone. His company was easy, exciting (in that new relationship kind of way), and entertaining. We spent several weekends like that in Boston, exploring new areas, trying new restaurants, and just generally having a good time.

I've also become much more extroverted over the past two years. Perhaps it's because my job often doesn't involve as much human interaction as I would prefer, and now I'm in contact with a lot of people on a regular basis in my personal life. And I feel safer knowing that someone I know is nearby, especially at night.

And now the idea of knocking around alone is lonesome to me. With that being said, I think it would be foolish of me not to travel simply because I don't have any traveling companions. But I can't seem to muster the enthusiasm to plan a trip. And I hate to spend money on a trip I'm not excited about, but maybe I need to "just do it." Any thoughts? Or ideas on a particular city that might lend itself well to a solo female traveler? I've still never been to D.C. (at least not for more than an afternoon), NYC, Charleston, Chicago, Seattle, and lots of other cool places.

And because every post is better with photos....

(note the garbage can pic is from Harvard's campus....I wonder what people were putting in the trash can?)







Monday, November 13, 2006

Adult Model....

is one of the search terms that has led people here. It's really interesting to see what people are searching for when they stumble upon my blog. Do any of your ever notice the referrals that lead people to your blog? I've started jotting some down, and here's a list of some of the search phrases:

dating a metrosexual
Voddie Bauchman
Andy Stanley
styrofoamology
why Christians don't believe in carpe diem
myspace song dixieland delight
break up "third date" phone
carpe diem cub spain
4runner "frat boy"
dixie land delight
pete sampras
carpe diem blog mature
inside out reeses yummy
quotes with carpe diem included
"the bachelor" lisa ally
greek girls pic
"was holding her and loving you"
carpe diem game client
recent carpe diem short story
50 things I'm grateful for
wrangler jeans
quotes from "the sacred journey" by Frederick Buechner
choco-gels

So I googled Choco-Gels, and guess what? My blog is the only thing that Google found. Do you guys know what Choco-Gels are? They were a childhood favorite of mine, although I've eaten one (who am I kidding? I've probably never eaten just one) as recently as a few years ago. They are made by Little Debbie and are round, chocolate pies with white creme with a cherry glaze in the middle.

I went to the Little Debbie website to learn what happened to my beloved Choco-Gels. No fear, they have only been renamed with a very boring albeit fitting name: Jelly Creme Pies.

So what is your favorite kind of Little Debbie? I loved Star Crunches when I was about 5, but as I got older my taste matured and I preferred Nutty Butty Bars. I also liked the Swiss Cake Rolls because I liked to peel the chocolate exterior layer off and eat it bit by bit. Here's the top ten selling Little Debbies:

1. Swiss Cake Rolls
2. Nutty Bars® Wafer Bars
3. Oatmeal Creme Pies
4. Fudge Brownies
5. Honey Buns
6. Zebra Cakes (I find nothing redeeming about these except the cute name.)
7. Devil Squares® (These don't even have the cute name to help them out. Yuck.)
8. Fudge Rounds
9. Star Crunch® Cosmic Snacks
10. Chocolate Cupcakes

On a somewhat related note and not surpisingly, I really stink at eating healthy. In my effort to quit spending $10 a day on lunch (and so much money in general), I went to the Soup Kitchen today. My friend Ivy was kind enough to join me, and he confirmed my identification of Mr. Regular as someone in his mid-40s. Anyway, the Soup Kitchen is so much cheaper than a salad anywhere else, but the bottom line is that I'll grab on to any excuse to eat whatever I want; I can't lie. I keep on hoping that one day I'll wake up and be a mature, responsible adult and want to eat vegetables and fruit and go to bed at 10:30. I guess until then I'll vacillate between just doing what I want and trying to be somewhat disciplined.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Secret to Happiness

A career counselor type/writer said that he knew the secret to happiness in life. He offered the trite answer that we hear over and over--"Figure out what you love to do and then figure out how to make money doing it."

After thinking for a minute, one woman responsed "I think that's called prostitution."

Just thought I'd share this little excerpt of a book I'm reading since it made me smile. The current score of the Auburn and UGA game is also making me smile (30-7).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

J

I'm grateful for....

Jesus Christ (a.k.a. God's son, J.C., homeboy): I was probably one of the few people in Georgia who didn't have John 3:16 memorized by the age of ten: "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Jenoely's: The Soup Kitchen rocks (even if Mr. Regular eats there too:).

Jeans: Easily one of my favorite things to wear whether with flip flops or heels.

John Keating: "O Captain, my captain." Need I say more? Dead Poets' Society is one of my all time favorites.

Jokes, Jacksonville, James ("Laid"), J Sab, "Jane Says"/Jane's Addiction, journals, Jennifer Knapp, Jewel (just a few of her songs), Joan Jett, Journey, "Jeremy," "Jesse's Girl," J. Crew (it might be boring, but it's easy), jelly-filled doughnuts (hot and on the street corners in London), Jon Stewart (the Daily Show usually makes me smile)

Jane Austen: Ok, I don't think I've read Pride & Prejudice, but the movie was great. How often does a movie without bad language, sex, or violence keep our attention?

Jason: When Donatello and I were struggling with some issues last spring, Jason, who had never even met Donatello, went out and bought us each a book addressing the very subject. That gesture just struck me as very thoughful and kind.

Junk food: I'm kind of glad for junk food in a regretful kind of way. It's brought me a lot of happiness, but I also have no will-power and often eat too much of it (and then feel sick or sleepy). Just the same though, I have many happy memories that revolve around Krispy Kreme hot light runs, Choco-gels, puppy chow, and peanut butter brownies.

Jennifer: My sister and I certainly have our differences (she thinks I'm selfish & crazy but that's another post), but it sure is nice to share so many of the same life experiences with someone else. Plus with whom else could I so adequately commisurate about my parents? Furthermore, she is the fantastic mother of my two most favorite people in the world: Alaina and Lauren, my adorable nieces.

Here's an old photo of Jennifer and Lauren and one of my favorites of Alaina and me.


p.s. This took a long time to think up, but I still feel like I'm missing something important. Oh well, regardless I have a LOT to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Politics & Religion

Yup Dad, I'm talking about things you've told me not to--again.

My Bible study group had its weekly meeting last night, and the scripture from Romans (13:1-14) that our study covered perfectly suited the occasion of Election Day. Politics and religion have both been topics that I've thought a lot about over the years, but it's only been over the course of the last six months or so that I've been examining my political views, which formed long before I became a Christian, in light of my faith.

Fortunately the scripture and discussion didn't lend itself to the typical hot topic issues like abortion and stem cell research, but instead it addressed our relationship to the state and to the world. Until I read this passage, I hadn't thought about my obligation as a Christian to our government beyond obeying the laws. The scripture states that God put all governments into power and seems to suggest that civil governments are the institution of God and therefore deserve respect and submission. (And yes, there are all sorts of logical questions that flow from this--the first one that came to my mind was Hitler, but I'm glossing over the nuances for now.)

Over the last six years, I've failed to show any respect to our president.

The morning after the election in 2000, I was so disappointed in my fellow Americans. Almost half of American voters voted for him, and it made me sad. The debacle with the Supreme Court didn't help, and during his tenure, President Bush has provided plenty of fodder for me to make fun of him with and help me mentally justify my general lack of respect. I've never prayed for God to guide him in his decision-making or to give him wisdom. Instead I've mocked what I've perceived as his many flaws and concentrated solely on the negative. I'd never heard the verses about God sending the authorities to help me (Romans 13:4) or thought about Bush's presidency being part of God's providential control. Now that I have, I am re-thinking my attitude and trying to have an open mind and heart.

Christian or not, I think we seem much more credible when we focus more on facts and less on ridicule. Think about Venezulean President Hugo Chavez's comments about President Bush being "the devil" and smelling of sulfur. I'm also reminded of another lesson I've learned: it's better to present the facts and let people draw their own conclusions than to just call someone an idiot or stupid (or the devil). So I need to remember that it's not by happenstance that President Bush is our president, and I should recognize that, offering him my respect regardless of my disagreement with him and his policies.

p.s. Should I switch to beta blogger?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Whew....

Mr. Regular just called, and I’m proud to say that I told him that I wasn’t interested. I didn’t even have to pull up my blog to see what I to say. Maybe all of the time that has passed and you guys’ comments and thoughts helped me build up my resolve.

I figured he’d given up by now, and from what he said about how hard it is to get me, I assume he’s called several times and declined to leave messages with my secretary or voicemails.

He told me we needed to get together and eat this week and talk, and I told him that I just wasn’t interested. Long pause. Then I said “it’s nothing personal.” And after another pause, he said “Well we can still be friends. Stop in and say hi sometime.” I think that his response was appropriate, and hopefully things at the Soup Kitchen will return to normal.

On a side note: I'm reading a 50-something year old's resume, who has a doctorate and is very successful, and the individual listed that he "graduated valedictorian" and finished high school a year early. My first thought is that it's ridiculous that the person felt compelled to list this. I was the salutatorian of my class and went off to college a year early, but I do not think that's relevant to a potential employer at this point in my life. Of course, I also wouldn't have a resume of four pages. Upon closer examination, I just noticed that the honor of graduating valedictorian is from ELEMENTARY school. No joke. He listed his elementary school education and honors. He should have attached his Book It Award for winning a free personal pan pizza for reading a couple of Nancy Drews too.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Favorite Quotes

I love quotes and have a book in which I write down my favorite ones. I'd love for you to share some of yours. Here are a few of mine--I probably like them because they say what I think but in a much more eloquent way than I could express:

"...if you ever took truly to heart the ultimate goodness and joy of things, even at their bleakest, the need to praise someone or something for it would be so great that you might even have to go out and speak of it to the birds of the air." -Frederick Buechner, The Sacred Journey

"If you can understand the conditions, you can understand the behavior."
-Jean Hendricks (my great-aunt) (I try to reflect on this quote whenever I'm really frustrated or confused by someone's actions. While I don't think we should always excuse someone's behavior, it's usually very helpful to understand why she is doing what she does.)

"I'll have you know I'm not mad. I'm just hurt."
-Ferrol Sams, The Whisper of the River
This isn't profound, but it works almost every time with men. The word "hurt" can also be substituted with "disappointed."

"There are many things in life you would throw away if you weren't afraid someone else would pick them up."
-Oscar Wilde (I reflect on this when I don't want to break-up with a boyfriend--I've found sometimes this quote expresses exactly why I won't do it.)

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."
-Romans 8:28 (It's such a comfort to know that even when something is upsetting or difficult that the Lord is using it for His glory and my good--and that He has a plan for me.)

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is."
-Romans 12:2

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'm a Model, You Know What I Mean...

Whenever I stop and think about how blessed I am, I feel pretty overwhelmed (in a good way). My life is so easy, and my problems are so small. When you're biggest problem is whether or not to go month-to-month with your apartment (for an extra $150) or sign a six month lease or figuring out what you want to be when you grow up, you know you're blessed. So here are all of my many blessings—but just the ones that begin with the letter "I."

ipod: As a result of a for-no-reason gift, I have a nano in addition to my regular ipod. That works out well when a battery unexpectedly dies as I enter the gym because I definitely can't run without music.

Interdisciplinary studies: These were by far my most favorite classes in college. Freshman Year Experience and Senior Capstone made me excited about life and forced me to examine the kind of human being and citizen I want to be. The kinds of conversations we shared are the type that I find invigorating and that stick with me for days. If I could professionally do anything, I would want to teach these classes. Too bad I don't have a Ph.D.

Internet: For all of the many negatives that come with it, I am still grateful for it. E-mail, sharing digital pics, blogs, online banking, weather reports, etc. all make my life, in many ways, much easier.

Ice cream: My personal favorite is cake batter at Coldstone Creamery with peanut butter, chocolate syrup, crushed up Reeses cups, and whip cream. Chik-fil-a's dream cones are yummy too.

Independence: I appreciate our freedom as Americans, and I appreciate my parents permitting me to be very independent from a very young age. My independence has served me well and allowed me so many cool opportunities, not to mention the fact that I think it would stink to feel uncomfortable going to the movies or dinner (or Spain:) alone. Oddly I don't feel as independent as I once did, but it's not like I'm exactly dependent on anyone either. Hmm.

Islands: I love the Canary Islands, Palma de Mallorca, and look forward to visiting the Greek Isles, Australia, and Hawaii one day….

Izods: I know it's called Lacoste now, but I loved my light blue Izod that I wore on the first day of kindergarten (with white shorts pulled up way too high and velcro tennis shoes). My ex-boyfriend Sampras was kind enough to give me an adult version of the same shirt a few years ago.

Interlaken: Once I got there, I didn't want to leave. Had I known that my experience with Paris would be so stereotypical (rude, rude, and a hassle), I would have stayed longer. Sure Interlaken is typical hangout for Americans (think Greek letters carved into the walls of the bathroom), but I loved my time there. Switzerland is just so clean and pretty, and I went canyoning and on lots of long walks and just generally relaxed. And I ate lots of those smiley faced cookies.

Intuition & Instinct: I think I have a really strong sense of intuition and good instincts. Maybe it's a woman thing. Once I was running on a treadmill and just had a bad feeling about the guy behind me in the small workout room. So I grabbed my keys from beside the treadmill and went to rush out, and low and behold, I was right because the guy was doing something really gross. Yup, you guessed it. He and his family were evicted. I would have pressed charges, but I knew I didn't get a good enough look (b/c believe me, I was not wanting to look at him as I rushed out) to pick him out of a line up or anything.

Indigo Girls, INOJ ("Love Me Down"), "Imagine" (Lennon), Ivy, Irene, INXS, "I'll Be" (Edwin McCain--even if it does remind me entirely too much of an ex-bf), "I'm Too Sexy" (Right Said Fred:), "Islands in the Stream" (Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers), "I Said I Loved You" "but I lied" (I love that line of this lame song by Michael Bolton always makes me smile), "Intoxicating" (David Crowder Band), and "Independence Day" (Martina McBride).

Happy Almost Weekend!!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Open Mic Night...Macon Style

So the other evening after work I stopped at a coffeehouse. Oddly I don't like this place's drinks, but I do love the chocolate cheesecake brownies; and it's a relaxing place to read and write. Well usually it is. I curled up in a corner of a velvet couch with my Bible, a notebook, and an ipod. There was a newspaper on the table in front of the sofa so that became a conversation starter for some not-cute-way-too-old guy. Since the Mr. Regular situation is still fresh in my mind I wasn't my usual friendly self, so I only removed my ear piece to say "You can have the whole paper; it's not mine" and then ignored whatever he said next. (Side note: Mr. Regular left a message with my secretary today; whatever.).

So another guy comes in, placing a guitar behind the couch, and takes residence next to me, trying to start a conversation despite the ipod and my obvious focus on writing. Are people that lonely and desperate for conversation? I imagine some people are and that's sad.

Then the coffeehouse staff starts moving all of the furniture, and it turns out that it's Open Mic Night. I never would have guessed that there were such events in Macon simply because there just doesn't seem to be many of the kind of people living here who would participate in such. At this point, I figure I should move to the other room of the coffeehouse, but it has now been closed off and is reserved...for two old couples who are dancing. Weird.

So as soon as the mic is set up, a guy in his late teens/early 20s comes in and throws his backpack down and hops on the stool. Then he pulls a PDA out of one of his many velcro pockets and proceeds to read a super sappy poem from his PDA, pausing every few words to scroll down. It was hilarious. He finishes the poem and grabs his backpack, clearly planning to read his poem and leave without so much as listening to anyone else or buying a coffee. The guitar guy then engages him in conversation, and the young guy decides to read another poem from his PDA. The he leaves.

So the guitar guy plays a really long and loud song complete with some moaning. By his second ten minutes song, he was so loud that my ipod's volume was threatening to blow out my ear drums. So I gave up and headed home. Despite the less than stellar performances, I'm glad that Macon has a few surprises up its sleeves.

And I can't believe it's already Wednesday:)

p.s. Lately I've been thinking it'd be nice to have an annonymous blog like greenline boy does. I'm generally very open, but lately I've found myself struggling with something I can't blast over the blogosphere. Oh well, it's probably a good exercise in restraint for me.