Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Surprising than Love from My Credit Cards...

Everyone knows Teenagers can be Tough. They can be self-centered. They can be ego-centric. They can be combative.

But sometimes, they can just knock your sox all to hell and back.

Last night (and the night before) were AWESOME Teenage nights.

I started working full-time on January 1. Full time as an attorney means 2200 hours a year. You do the math....

So making dinner, grocery shopping, homework, schlepping, those all take the place of sleep.

Unless you have teenagers like mine.

This year they drop me off at the metro on their way to school and pick me up whenever I call them to get me in the evenings. So far so good. Saves me about $150 a month in parking alone - net - as in $240 to park - $90 average for metro a month.

Tuesday night I got home around 6:45 - kids were starving. I threw together some quesadillas and daughter asked if I wanted to watch a movie. HA! Movie? I have to grocery shop! and Clean! And I have a 9:45 pm championship soccer game!

She said, "Watch the movie - then I'll go grocery shopping." So I did. Then, not only did they both go to the grocery store, but they came to my game and cheered us on . No we didn't win but we sure had fun! And Daughter drove me home, which is always nice.

Last night I again got home around 7pm, and again they were starving. As I walked in the house, I thought I had the wrong house. Actually, it started when I got into the car - which was totally vacuumed and cleaned out. The house? Spotless - kitchen scrubbed, drawers cleaned out, trash out, fireplace cleaned out and firebox freshly stacked with new wood; then we put away all the Christmas boxes and Daughter vacuumed upstairs without being asked. I tell you, it was the most relaxing, rewarding, amazing thing. Ever.

I think they are coming to understand that I work full time because two college bills will be starting in the fall and my career needs a little boost to pay for that. They know I try to give them what they need and more when I think it's good. Like Jamaica. They are great to help when asked - but to do all this without being asked? Simply amazing.

And that is way better than personal thank yous from my credit card company. Every time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Love from my Credit Card Company - no kidding

Remember how my LLBean card sent me a present - a really nice present? Kohl's has jumped on the bandwagon.

It looked like a delayed Christmas Card - a gold, thick envelope, nicely printed. I didn't recognize the return address or the individual named on the return address. So I opened it:

Dear Ms. Shops-Way-Too-Much:

Thank you for your recent purchases at Kohls. We want you to know that we value you as a customer and we truly appreciate your recent business. We hope you continue to spend way more money than you should at our store. Maybe we'll send you a wreath like LLBean."

Ok so those last two sentences didn't quite say that. But a personal thank-you note from my Kohl's card? I really need to stay home...which I have been doing. No shopping for me until ... a long, long time from now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

About Haiti and Another Good Thing about my Job

It started with murmurs around the office about the tragedy in Haiti. Stories of the bodies in the streets, the vast homelessness, the destruction beyond possible comprehension.

Then there were phone calls to the Managing Partner who has family there inquiring as to their safety and "how can we help?"

An email followed from Managing Partner to all The Firm, thanking them for the expressions of concern and listing three reputable organizations where we can donate funds if we so choose.

The Managing Partner's email started a barrage of emails with places to donate - Oxfam, various Jewish organizations, how to donate through a simple text message on your phone, and places holding food drives.

Once again the Firm rallied around things more important than legal precedent, contracts, billable hours or office politics. Once again the good people of My Firm reminded me why I like it here so much, (even if it's freezing in the winter) - because the people here care about more than themselves, more than the law.

We are "Big Law" and we do earn a lot of money - I admit it. It's nice to know that we're quick to give it away, too.

Won't you join us? Here are just a few of the choices available:

Edited to add: The firm is matching our individual donations up to $50,000 which, given the size of our firm, should hopefully be accomplished easily. I think the firm also made a separate donation of $25,000, but I'm not positive. A certain not-so-accurate law blog which had the audacity to hijack one of my blog entries last summer reported the 25,000. Not sure what the source of info was.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It was Supposed to be Rhetorical

Dear Patent Agent/Scientist on the elevator yesterday:

As I bundled up in my Puffy Long Winter coat, donned my gloves and made preparations to step out into the frozen tundra as you stepped on the elevator, and I turned to you and said, "HOW many more days til Spring?!" That was a rhetorical question. I didn't really want to know how many. Because the answer is, "Too Many."

Yours truly,

The Frozen Girl on the 6th Floor
who would rather be in Florida, even if it's colder than normal there, too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ridiculously Happy

It started as an idea two years ago as Daughter, Son and I spent spring break skiing in Vermont. Daughter said, "Whose Idea Was it to go SKIING for SPRING BREAK??!! BRRRRRR What were we THINKING?!"

And I said, "OK Senior Year I have you again for Spring Break. We'll go to the Caribbean."

It was a nice dream.

Then finances and college bills and the market crashed.

And layoffs at work, and salary cuts, and no raises.

But then, the tide started to turn back a little. I bumped myself to Full Time, the firm said some of us "might" get a raise, and quite frankly, I just said, "What's a little more money. They're leaving me in September!"

And so, WE ARE GOING TO JAMAICA! I am so ridiculously happy and excited. The kids helped me surf the web and look at dozens of resorts in many different countries. The trick? Finding a room for 5.


Yeah, Me, the kids, and two of their friends. Because that would be more fun than just us.

And they each found a friend who could afford to come (they have to pay for their own ticket, although I'll pick up stuff in Jamaica).

Saturday night, we narrowed it down to the Right Place. Sunday I made the call.

We're locked and loaded. Praying for good health and good weather.

So ridiculously excited.

Oh and no, mom's not bringing a Friend. At least, that's not the current plan. Daughter did ask if the Captain was coming- she invited him along. That's another shocking post for another day. We're floating the idea, but both of us (the Captain and me) think that maybe it would be better to be just me and the kids. We're exploring the option and the kids' true feelings on that. Truthfully, it would be nice to have a guy along to keep tabs on the boys. The Captain is much savvier than I when it comes to certain things. But it might add a twinge of awkwardness. oh well, we'll sort that out another day.

Jamaica here we come.

First step - DIET!!!!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Flash Mobs

Have you heard of them? Flash Mobs? It's where people "spontaneously" start doing something together. Of course, it's planned - groups like improve everywhere ( set up some hilarious stunts - some with just a few people, some with hundreds.

The best one? The Oprah Flash Mob - for her 24th season opener, she had the Black Eyed Peas performing. What she didn't know was that they had a surprise for her. 20,000 people performing the same dance "spontaneously" in the outdoor performance for the show opener. It's just awesome to watch.

I totally forget how to imbed a Youtube video, so you'll have to CLICK ON THIS LINK to go to Youtube to see the Video. If it doesn't work, to go YouTube and search "Flash Mob Oprah Black Eyed Peas" and a bunch of various versions will pop up. Watch the freaky girl in the front row. No one else is moving. Then see what happens. Stay til the end and see Oprah's shock. Really, it's worth the click, I promise!

I am addicted. My Son and I have joined Improveeverywhere and hope to be in one some day!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And Then BANG IT was 2010

I had all good intentions of posting our family christmas poem (yes I send one of those as a Christmas Card) and then I had all kinds of cool stories to tell about Christmas eve and Christmas morning, but first I had to jump on a plane to go to warm, sunny, beautiful Florida to be with the Captain. So blogging Had to Wait.

And then we went to the Captain's Mom's for the weekend - I had only met her once before - and we enjoyed an awesome weekend of cooking, shopping, and playing Dominoes (the lady is a rum-sipping Card Shark I tell you!). So Blogging Had to Wait.

Then I was just hanging out thinking about beaches and sunshine and thinking about Blogging. Foolishly I thought I had time to Blog. So Blogging Had to Wait.

Then BAM one of my dormant cases explodes. Fortunately or unfortunately, the client was just 20 miles from the Captain's house, so I was able to spend my vacation days at the client's preparing for a hearing and drove home each night to the Captain, a glass of wine, and dinner. So Blogging Had to Wait.

New Year's Eve in Miami? Well let's just say it doesn't suck. 80 degrees, shorts, sailing to Bayshore to watch fireworks, too much champagne, lots of good friends and good food. So Blogging Had to Wait.

I spent New Year's Day .... Not blogging. Drafting a brief for this case. So Blogging had to wait.

And every day since, I have worked my butt off on the case. Yep, you got it. So Blogging Has to Wait.

I am back to work full time now. Meaning I actually get paid full time for the work I've been doing for 5 years but being paid part time. The switch is now I have the pressure of having to bill 1900+ hours and then there are 300 + hours of required non-billables (you know, marketing, professional development, pro bono). I have a feel? Blogging Will Have to Wait.

Happy New Year to All my Blogging buddies. Blogging will likely be somewhat scarce in 2010. Or maybe it won't be - as this is THE YEAR THE KIDS GRADUATE. There have already been many exciting moments as the kids received their acceptances (and a rejection sadly) to the Universities. We're still waiting for more info, but I think Daughter is off to the College of Charleston! Woot! Son is very undecided, but going North to Snowboard and play Rugby somewhere. Maybe he'll even attend classes! There will be the Prom, a band trip to Canada, Graduation (GASP!) and lots of fun times I hope. We are blessed indeed.

Back to work for me! Yes it is 4 a.m. Sleep is apparently optional in 2010.