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


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;

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;

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


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 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

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.


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.