Wednesday, January 28, 2009
** If you've never given over your dinner selection to a seasoned waiter in a fine restaurant, you should try it. Let them order for you and you might experience something you would not have chosen and therefore would have missed an amazing culinary delight. I happen to love food of all types, shapes, sizes and states of doneness, so this is tons of fun for me. I have yet to be disappointed. Except that I have to stop proposing to them....
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Picked up kids, Dropped kids at home, ran in to grab some stuff, about to leave when the cry goes out, "STINKY BUTT GOT INTO CHOCOLATE!!!!" Oh no. Chocolate kills dogs. that is not a myth. It shuts down their kidneys, affects their heart, damages the pancreas.
Quick, grab the hydrogen peroxide, call the vet to find out how much for a 9 pound dog, shove it down her throat and wait for her to vomit. (heh Suburban Correspondent, I'm honing in on your Vomit Territory!). 20 minutes pass. No vomit. Call vet. Redo peroxide. Wait. No vomit. Duh. Put Stinky Butt in car where she is guaranteed to vomit in 30 seconds. And she does. Bucketfulls of chocolate. Whew. Disaster averted.
But wait. There's more. Because that bag of chocolate that Stinky Butt was caught in? Yeah, it was 3/4 empty. And I will recall, while at work later (oh losing 2 hours to the Vomit Adventure), that it was a full, unopened bag of fondue chocolate. So someone else was there first. Quick call to home.
ME: Hey Kids, I think one of the other Dogs ate some Chocolate, too.
Daughter: No duh Mom, Queen Bee has been barfing all afternoon. Buckets of Chocolate.
Me: (thinking) how the hell did they eat so much chocolate in the 5 minutes we were home?! [they are not allowed to roam house when we aren't home, so it had to occur in that 5 minute span]
Return home from work 10 pm to a distressed Queen Bee. She's not doing well. I let her in my bed, thinking we are going to lose this dog tonight. We didn't get the chocolate out of her fast enough - she started vomiting about 4-6 hours after ingestion, meaning she was processing it. Ut oh. I snuggle with her and listen to her insides rumble, knowing more is coming out.
Sure enough around 1 a.m. I awaken to the sound of Dog Heaves, but I'm a minute too late. Thank goodness she is trained to heave in the bathroom. [no I'm not kidding, but she missed the toilet. She will throw up in the toilet if so guided...] But at least she didn't waste the Wall-to-wall rug with yet another gallon of chocolate vomit.
Next day I take kids to school, go by the office, call the Vet who says, "You need to get her in here NOW for bloodwork and IVs - we might be able to save her." Huh? Really? So I fly home to find a perfectly content Queen Bee showing no signs of distress. Double Huh? I take her in anyway, vet is astonished with her health - stomach fine, heart fine, kidneys fine. Takes blood anyway. Blood work comes back "thick" and a slight pancreas problem, but it will cure itself over time after a weekend of just rice. Vet's only explanation, "Well she's a Lab." Can You Say Marley?
I have stopped crying, I haven't stopped Thanking God (we had a lot of long chats Wednesday night!) and I have Banished Chocolate from my house. Forever. Thank goodness the Firm keeps it in the conference room candy dishes....
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
We headed back to the office around 10pm in the feint hopes of getting some sleep. We prepped our bags for the morning, set alarms, rolled out sleeping bags and took over the partner's office down the hall who had a couch for mom....
All night long sirens wailed, buses emptied, people hooted. And We Did Not Sleep. ..
Finally at 4 a.m. we "awoke" to get ready to go. We donned layers and layers and layers....shoveled food in us even if we weren't hungry, and away we went...
We wandered 3 blocks down to the entrance just below my office...but at 430 a.m. it was full. so we went another block, but that entrace was full!!!! Crazy. So we hi-tailed it to the 3rd street entrance and VICTORY is ours - we are in the "running" for getting in...along with 5000 of our closest friends....
Someone said it was about 8 degrees at about 5 a.m. when this was taken. (below)
But we have our FRIENDS to keep us warm!
And we DO get in - not only that, but we also snagged a FRONT ROW SEAT to the parade!!! Life. Is. Good.
A view of the capitol - up the street from where we were standing. There are a LOT of people up there -and then in the 'gardens' there are people flowing all over the place.
SEE?? People! (below)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Have my new camera ready for lots of photos. Will be sure to post when we get back!
Sometimes, Change is a Good Thing.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
8 years and 3 kids later, he and my mom moved to CT where my brother and I joined the family (I believe the teasing goes "He was a mistake and I was an accident...") and where I was raised. 21 years, 1 house for me. In my lifetime, Dad sold real estate. He and mom had a real estate/insurance business most of my growing up years. About 10 years ago (?), mom retired, and Dad closed his office to go work "part time" with someone else.
Finally we have been able to convince the man of Boundless Energy that perhaps he should get off the schedule and live life with mom. Enjoy their Maine house. Visit grandkids. Go on trips. Hang Up The Phone! And finally, he will.
My mom and dad busted their butts raising 5 kids through all kinds of "economies." I remember when the prime rate hit 18+ % and NO ONE was buying or selling houses. Yet my parents never let me feel insecure or worried. Frugal? Yes. But somehow they always provided. (By working their butts off, this I now know but couldn't appreciate when I was 10 or 12).
Dad's job allowed him the freedom to participate in my life - for example, to take me to the hospital when a field hockey stick rearranged my nose during the last 20 seconds of my game sophmore year. He was always on the sidelines, cheering me on. Always there with a car ride or the gas card or a trip to McDonald's or the keys to his office to "make copies."
I vaguely recall conversations between Mom and Dad about franchising or "moving up" or "expanding." In the end, Dad kept his name on the door - eventually adding Mom's and the "insurance" part. (actually they dropped his first name and just used their last name). But dad's name has always been well known around town and around the state as The Guy in Real Estate. He was honest to a fault, never compromised his ethics or his clients or his profession, no matter what the "opportunity" or how difficult the times. This was one thing mom was sure to point out to us kids as we were growing up. We never questioned Dad or his ethics or his business practices. We knew if Dad said it or did it, it was honest and by the book. Lesser men may have made more money, but no one slept as well at night as My Dad or could look his kids in the eyes any straighter.
When I think of Dad and his Career, somehow I think of my high school and college years most, days when he would pop in, whether at home after school (kept me and the boyfriend honest....) or at college to take me to lunch now and then, despite his hard work, he was always "there." Looking back I see the gift that truly was. And I am proud of the man he is and always has been.
So this weekend all 5 of his kids and their Significant Others (yep insert Captain here ____) will be on hand to congratulate Dad for a life of excellence and a Job Well Done.
Enjoy your retirement Dad - you've eaaarned it.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
In December it was the fist through the window. Tonight it was a kick in the face. No I'm not kidding and I wish I were. Although it's not really as bad as it sounds.
It started pretty lovely. Daughter volunteered to make spaghetti for dinner and didn't tell me or ask me, she just started doing it. I discovered dinner in progress so made salad. It got ugly in parts, like when Son showed up to say, "Smells good" and Daughter snidely sniped, "You could at least set the table!!" I decided to smooth it over by asking, "Son could you please set the table?"
After dinner they started horsing around, calling each other names (I think they were kidding but I'm not sure) and then Daughter swatted Son in the head. Again, he blew it off and I think they were kidding. I did yell, "KNOCK IT OFF." (one of these days she'll respond, "That's what I was trying to do!")
Then we were all running up the stairs to do the "Christmas boxes into the attic" procession. Daughter was behind Son when she said something about a race and he said, "NO" and stuck his foot out behind him [here stories vary. I think he just stuck it out. She says he actively kicked her in the nose] Next thing I know there's screeching and blood and....mom's head blows off, flying all around the living room, cussing, annoyed. Daughter is screaming at me b/c she can't figure out how she could possibly be at all at fault (in truth she was barely at fault but she doesn't see how her name calling and swatting builds up to things like this. Sigh).
But Son? SON? HE ARGUED WITH ME FOR 10 MINUTES ABOUT HOW IT WASN'T REALLY HIS FAULT AND HOW SHE'S 50% TO BLAME. And what really made my head explode, creating enough energy to run the electricity for the entire city for a week, was the fact that his first reaction wasn't to grovel and apologize and feel really badly.
Huh? I thought I raised them better than that. I thought I was raising caring, loving, thoughtful kids. Where did these self-centered, self-preservationists come from?
And will anyone buy them? Or take them off my hands? Because I have come to the conclusion that I cannot live with them both another day. And thus the "one at a time" solution.
Daughter has asked to live apart from him. I agree. They are twins. In the same scholar's program at school. They ride to and from school together, share many friends, share a bathroom [oh the horrors right? I shared one with 4 other siblings...and it was 1/2 the size], have classes together (some not all), do ski club together, do band together. It's just too much togetherness. So I think when Ex stops traveling next month, we are going to divide and conquer. At least for a while. Thoughts? I'm really torn on this one, but I am about to lose what little sanity I have left. And I'd like to know what you think....
Sunday, January 11, 2009
No longer a virgin, a rookie (ok I'm still a rookie), no longer a wannabe. I have finally finally finally after 8 years of waiting (sick isn't it?!) gotten on my feet and done it.
You want to know if I won, don't you? Or if I lost? Guess what. I didn't do either. Nope they weren't a "hung jury" either - we settled before they got to make a decision.
Settled! SETTLED! Crap crap crap. OK not really crap because it was good for the client to put the legal garbage behind them and get back to work and get back to making money. But let me tell you, if I could have just put on my "star witness" - the Executive VP of the 135 year old company who started in the shipping department 35 years ago and worked his way up to EVP? Yeah, he was totally awesome. Smart yet simple. Crafty yet straight shooting. Honest to a fault. The Perfect Witness. But alas, he had work to do and money to make. So he made the smart business decision and settled.
I'd like to think my killer opening with my ginormous flip-charts with the "disappearing trade dress" and my 4 hour killer-cross-examination had something to do with the parties settling. In reality, it was all about math.
Along the way there were surprises of course
- the night the partner and I were sitting in the "war room" at 1 a.m. for the 5th night in a row and, instead of arguing with each other, we were both calmly tapping away at our computer working on the outlines for the next day, having drilled the clients for info for 6 hours and sent them home, we occasionally tossed out an idea at the other person, who would catch it and run with it, declaring it "perfect." No hype, no craziness, just a Zen-like "in the zone" moment;
- working on a line of questioning for 2 hours, wondering how to lead the other side to walk through this "technical" stuff on cross and then showing up to court, only to have the other side walk everyone through it on direct without having to ask a single question, setting me up perfectly for my cross and the Client leans over and says, "PERFECT";
- running to the office at 730 a.m. on day 2, having solved a mystery of "timing" - where you know the opposing guy was lying on direct but how to absolutely prove it? You wake up and it comes to you and you run through the streets of chitown in 7 degrees in your killer new Via Spiga's with your coat 1/2 closed, too excited to realize you should be freezing;
- basking in the glow of being totally spoiled by local counsel, a man who has done this for 33 years and could try this case by himself and win it, even though he hasn't a clue as to the substantive law, but he is happy to mentor you and keep you fed with amazing italian food, to-die-for chinese food, stomach-crushing french food (where he speaks French fluently to the owner); and even a home-cooked pork loin roast made by his lovely and engaging wife - and he periodically stops by the "war room" to shake your diet coke can and refill it if necessary, all because he believes in you;
- spending an hour with a jury after you tell them they can go home because they want to know more about the law and you, and they are happy to share their points-of-view and help you be that much better the next time;
- standing next to your client in the hotel lobby the night before he leaves, just after settlement as he towers over you and in his darling and sincere deep-bass, oklahoma accent leans in closely and says, "If you evah need ah-nay-thang, an' Ih do mean AH-nay-thang, you caaaaallll meh" and feeling your heart break just a little as you say goodbye to such sweetness, wishing you could've had just 24 more hours to slam the other side for him, because he's worth every second of sleep you have lost.
Yeah, I'm home. Enjoyed a whole weekend with nothing to do but clean up Christmas stuff, shop, play with doggies, talk to siblings, run on the treadmill, hang out with the kids, watch movies. It's a good life. And I am blessed.
And thanks to ALL of you who sent me well-wishes to my "back posts" while I was at trial. I get your comments on my blackberry instantly, and they were keeping me energized and awake at 3am knowing I had my Peeps out there cheering me on!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Because there clearly weren't enough toys to go around, Queen Bee and Stinky Butt had to fight over that one big bear...
Mine - MINE - Mine - MINE
Thursday, January 8, 2009
He saw the "wrapped" box but didn't believe. He finally took out the verrrrry heavvvvy box and unwrapped it. To find his own weights and some empty christmas tree lights boxes...and, of course, a note...."
Yep, World Tour Guitar Hero. Daughter and I LOVE it. He's still deciding......whatev'
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Pssssst Hey Stinky Butt, I hate to tell you, but you have this funny Cone Thing on your head and I think you're distracting from our Cuteness Factor which is why they haven't tossed us a SINGLE morsel - can you please ditch that thing?!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Today, we'll start with - Decking the Halls....
First up - the 3 foot "easy tree." I threw it up in about 15 minutes. Except this year Stinky Butt was in the house, trying to eat the "snow" under the tree. Duh. Good thing I know about "bitter apple."
Daughter was recruited to again do the banister - which lights up (no I can't rotate the photo....)
And then we got lazy and tossed the "Basement" bears onto the living room couch. And Voila! We are done...
Saturday, January 3, 2009
But first I have to find said Voucher.
last I saw it, it was on my dresser.
No I moved it off there, figuring I'd lose it.
Check the desk.
Oh that's a mess.
Check the "to be filed" bin.
The firebox? oh hell don't open that, I'm not that organized. No way did I put it there.
Look in the "coupon folder" instead. Nope.
How about the "travel folder"? Nope
Go back to your dresser - remember moving it someplace safe. Look in dresser drawers. Look in all drawers in bedroom. Take out all drawers and look behind drawers.
dang dang dang dang dang where the hell did I put it besides remembering I put it "someplace safe."
Go back to desk. Tear it apart. All piles get reorganized. Nope
Open all briefcases (OK I have 4 at my feet for various purposes....I have a problem, I know). Nope in none of the briefcases.
Think back to the timing of receiving said Voucher.
Oh what the hell, look in that firebox......and yup....there it is. Safe and sound. Even if we had a fire, it would've survived. Right where I put it.
Time lapsed 45 minutes....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Friday, January 2, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I'm sorry if I am repetitive. It may surprise some of you to know that lawyers, particularly in my area of practice (Intellectual Property - trademarks [including false advertising], copyrights, patents) RARELY go to trial. Indeed I have been at my firm for 6.5 years and have attended ONE, count 'em, ONE trial. And that didn't count b/c I just sat there. I didn't do a thing. (ok I did a lot, but NOTHING in court). So the fact that I am "first chair" and going to trial Tuesday? A pretty big deal. Just like TV [not] but I get to do opening and closing and all the directs and crosses. When I'm not peeing my pants in fear I'm reallllly excited.
So this whole New Year's thing kind of went by the wayside. When the Captain called at midnight to wish me a Happy New Year, I couldn't figure out who the hell was calling and bothering me while I was working.....lucky for me he is a patient, understanding man who lives 1000 miles away and was drinking Champagne (reallllly good stuff if I know him and I do) and enjoying Fireworks from his Sailboat on Biscayne Bay while I was freezing and working.
So today I took a 124 minute break to run to the mall, buy 3 new skirt suits (jury consultant says NO PANTS), a new long down parka (Judge says courtroom is HOT meaning I need a kickass outside coat to get me from office to Courthouse so I don't freeze then shed coat and wear light clothing inside), lots of SPANX to hold in my ever expanding butt (I have written my weight in lipstick on my bedroom and bathroom mirror and in marker on the refrigerator in the hopes I will soon STOP EATING - my 1 and only New Years Resolution), a couple new dress shirts, and some accessories for trial and the working weekend with the client. Yes I bought all that and more in 124 minutes. I am amazing. And oh the bargains.....And everywhere I went in the mall? Clerks kept saying, "Happy New Year." HUH? Why do they keep saying that? OH YEAH. Right. It's Jan 1. And I mumble back, "Yeah um Happy New Year....."
And tonight when I got home after 124 minutes away, do you think my wonderfully supportive teenagers [cough gag] managed to complete the ONE task I requested? Last night I fed 8 teenagers pizza, then drove them all to a party, then picked them all up 3.5 hours later and let 6 of them sleep over. ALL I ASKED WAS THAT THE TREE BE UNDECORATED AND TAKEN OUTSIDE BY 6PM. That's all. Just 1 tree. A few ornaments. Lights. Take it outside. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Did mama bear lose it and yell at her teens? DUH YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSss . Did they want to know why I was yelling? DUH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Am I ready to sell them? DUH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSs.
So I won't be posting anything recent for about 10 days. I have gathered photos and planned posts adhead of time for a few days to come. Then I'll be back to ranting about trials and clients and worry worry worry worry blah blah blah blah boring boring boring boring. Sorry in advance for being such a Law Geek.
Oh and Happy New Year!