Thursday, January 30, 2014


Insane. What's up with that word anyway? If you're insane, you're not in-sanity. You're out of sanity. Sans sanity. Un-sane. (This is what happens when I'm intellectually exhausted, I fight the dictionary.)

So, work. Wow. Remember that time just a couple weeks ago when things were really slow and I was starting to get bored? Me neither. Seems like forever ago. Last week, the head of our division asked me to assist in one of her employment litigation cases. I've developed kind of a reputation for being a "firecracker" at litigation. Which is just the fancy/nice way of saying "the sucker you can pawn all your motions onto at the last minute." But I don't mind. I love litigation. With a passion. People think that's weird. I just explain that litigation is the perfect channel for my passive aggressive competitiveness. I get to attack people. With words! It's pretty much amazing.

So last Wednesday, my boss asked me to help her with her case (which is in federal court- I love federal court). We needed to file two important discovery motions....the next day. I put everything aside and dived right into this case I knew nothing about in a topic (employment) that I also knew nothing about. I cranked out the motion, just barely in time to meet the filing deadline.

When it was time to submit the motion, I was surprised to discover that there was no process for reviewal/approval (maybe because the boss was really busy). There was no one waiting anxiously to approve my motion for filing and leave bright, red pen marks in the margins. That is definitely going to take some getting used to. These people really trust me to file whatever the heck I want? That's so foreign to me. As I uploaded the motion onto the court system for filing, I was nervous as hell that I had forgotten something really important. Turns out I did: proofread. Ooops. I hope my boss never has enough free time that she wants to read my motion just for the heck of it.

Earlier this week, I helped file another motion. And then yesterday, I was asked to write another discovery motion which, like last week's motion, was due the next day (today). This motion nearly killed me. I didn't know about the motion until the early afternoon. I spent the rest of the day yesterday and a good portion of my night trying to learn the facts, learn the law, and begin crafting and outlining the arguments. I then spent all of today hunched over my computer furiously typing away (and deleting and re-typing and re-deleting).

My look of intense concentration did not prevent another attorney from stopping in for a quick chat. He stopped by just to tell me that he was super swamped and didn't have time to discuss a project with me. He then launched into a soliloquy of the history of workers compensation (totally unrelated to our project), every single fact in existence about this particular project, and a summary of the law regarding bankruptcy (which he knew I knew because I wrote the freaking memo for him!). I was pretty much verbally trapped in my office and he continued to talk me to as he followed me to the kitchen, to the water cooler, to the filing cabinet and even to the entrance of the women's restroom. 40 minutes later....I was a free woman. (Saved by the pee).

When I returned to my office to finish the motion, I heard the sound of a small dog running down the hall past my office. As he ran he emitted obnoxious high-pitched barks which echoed down the hall and pierced through every wall. Then the dog scurried into the office next to mine where he remained and continued barking for the next two hours. I know a lot of people like dogs. I am NOT one of them. I am totally the WRONG person to share an office wall with if you like to bring your dog to the office (apparently that's even allowed?). Oh man. I was pissed. As I typed frantically on my keyboard and tried to concentrate I plotted at least five different ways deaths for that stupid yappy dog.

Aside from the dog, the pressure of the 5 o'clock filing deadline was my enemy all day. I searched frantically for supporting case law and key facts to support my motion all while fighting against the clock. When it all came together literally in the last 15 minutes, I let out a HUGE sigh of relief, filed the motion, and sat back in my chair.

I was mentally exhausted. My eyes hurt from staring at the computer. My head hurt from thinking. My back hurt from being hunched over my computer. I skipped lunch, hadn't checked my e-mails, and didn't even gulp down my daily Diet Dr. Pepper (which may also have contributed to the headache). But as I slunk back in my chair, relaxed, relieved and exhausted, I was extremely happy. I really missed writing motions and strategizing discovery issues on a daily basis. I had even missed the rush of filing deadlines.

Just as I was thinking about how sad I was to be done with these motions, another attorney entered my office. "Can you help me with a motion next week?" Despite working nonstop for the past 19 waking hours on this last motion, I smiled, nodded, and eagerly agreed.

I love my job. I love it so much, that I can probably tolerate yappy dogs for a little while longer.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Gold Mountain And Eating With Dinosaurs

Having Ryan in the same room is basically like talking in an empty cave. There is a perpetual echo in our house. Not only does he parrot everything he hears, but he keeps all the new phrases that he's heard and tucks them away in the back of his brain to be used at the most random times.

In the car today:

Jacob: "Mom, if you start to see a lot of bunny poop, that means it's almost Easter time."
Me: "Hmmmm."
Jacob: "I'm serious!"
Me: "Well, keep your eyes open for bunny poop."
Ryan: "Bunny. Poop. Bunny. Poop. Ah see-ree-us (I serious)."
Me: "You're serious?"
Ryan: "Mommy, where going?"
Me: "We're going hiking. It's going to be fun."
Ryan: "Going hiking. Fun. Ah see-ree-us."

When we got home later in the day, the kids were throwing balls around the house and dancing at the same time:

Jacob: "Shake, shake, shake my booty!"
Ryan: "Shake ma boot-ee! Shake ma boot-ee!"
Me: "Ryan, come pick up your ball."
Ryan: "My bad....I shake ma boot-ee!"

So, back to hiking...we've been horrible about getting out of the house and doing things lately. I decided to raise the bar on our family weekend excursions just slightly higher. And by slightly higher, I mean higher than a trip to Costco for samples and giant hotdogs. Feeling slightly ambitious today, I packed the kids up and we headed 30 minutes away to Gold Mountain. By the time I dressed the kids in hiking appropriate clothing (no Jacob, you cannot wear your slipper crocs), packed lunches and diapers, made sure everyone peed, hauled our ginormous double jogger into the car, and wrestled the kids into their car seats, I was exhausted. I was tempted to treat that as my "excursion" and just take the kids to the Dairy Queen drive thru. Somehow, someway, I pressed onward. The mountain trails were calling.

Ready for anything!

When I announced our arrival at the trailhead, Jacob took one look around and his face fell. He looked like a kid whose favorite bicycle had just been steam-rolled by a truck. Apparently, Jacob thought Gold Mountain was actually going to be made out of gold. Ooops. 

We had a beautiful hike! For the most part, I pushed both kids up the trail. We probably went about a mile out but we stopped several times to explore. Within the first five minutes of our hike we passed several people. All of whom looked at me (towing 65 pounds of children in a wide stroller) skeptically. One guy told me that I wouldn't get passed the next bend- because his wife tried yesterday with her kid in their single stroller and couldn't make it up the rocky path. I smiled and said, "well, we'll just go as far as we can, thanks."
Silly boys. Ryan, the copycat.

You make one move and I drop the glove!

Then we came upon a parade of people riding horseback. There was absolutely no room for both of us on the trail. I unpacked the kids, set them on a log, and carted the stroller off the trail so the horses could pass. Oh how I envied those riders- perched atop a steady-gaited horse and clopping happily through the forest. I'm sure that is the ONLY way to go hiking. Ryan LOVED watching the horses. For the next 15 minutes all he could say was, "more horsies mama! More horsies!" As If I could conjure horses out of thin air. Then, as soon as I stepped foot back onto the trail, I landed in a big pile of horseshit.

To pretty to keep a look-out for horseshit.

I'm not gonna lie. It was definitely a little tricky to get up the next couple hundred feet of trail. I might have looked ridiculously stubborn as I insisted on pushing the thick tires of the stroller up and over rock after rock in the slippery mud. But contrary to what the one guy told me, it wasn't impossible. Or maybe I was just too dedicated to turn around after all the effort it took to get out here. But once we cleared the rocky and muddy path, the trail widened and it was all an easy incline. It was gorgeous.

We stopped to climb and play. 

To watch streams run across the mossy earth. 

To throw rocks off bridges.  (And give mommy a heart-attack by leaning too far off the bridge.)

To smile and laugh under the surprising glow of the sun.

We came upon some dirt bike-jumps and I increased speed to run the stroller up and down the dips. Both kids erupted into a fit of giggles each time we careened downward and then suddenly upward. Several hikers passed and looked at us like we were insane. But that's ok, because I am. After several minutes, Jacob started to complain about being cold (it was pleasant and sunny- so I think he was just tired) so we turned around much earlier than I would have liked. Both kids fell asleep instantly in the car, a sure sign that they had fun and that I did my motherly duty to wear them out for the day.

When we came home, I made a peruvian-style roast chicken with veggies (very yummy!). Dinner is usually a stressful time in our house. Getting the kids to sit down during dinner is probably as easy as taking four monkeys for a walk through a produce store. Jacob sits on the end of his chair, then he jumps off of it, then he bounces up and down, then he runs to grab a toy, then he runs to the bathroom, then he runs to get another toy, then he gets up and runs into the living room to burp every three minutes (because he knows we will yell if he burps at he table). After we told him to sit down and eat for literally the fifteenth time and he still wasn't listening, we gave up and put him in timeout so that the rest of us could eat in peace.

My husband and I sat across the table from each other trying to savor the act of shoveling food down our throats while Jacob was crying loudly from his room and banging on his door. We had totally given up on Ryan who was sitting under the table making dog sounds. Every minute or two I would stick a piece of chicken on his fork and pass it under the table. I'd pull my hand back ten second later to find the fork empty and, supposedly, the chicken would be in Ryan's mouth. Feeding Ryan this way reminded me of that scene in Jurassic Park where they tie a goat to a post. You hear a growl, the bushes rustle around, and suddenly the goat is gone.

Sometimes, eating dinner with my kids feel exactly what I imagine it would be like to eat dinner with a bunch of ADHD dinosaurs. Probably less bloody. But everything else, I imagine, is right on

Good thing I love dinosaurs (especially of the kid variety)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Seen On The Catwalk

One time, I showed up to work wearing one brown and one black shoe. I didn't even notice until a file clerk pointed it out to me halfway through the day. To my own credit, they were EXACTLY the same shoe...just slightly different colors.

Another time, I wore a cardigan sweater to a night club. 

If you think these things are horrific crimes against fashion, you will be happy to know exactly how far I have come in my short life. (Sadness, I'm going to be 30 this year). When I was a little girl, I met an elderly gentleman named Pete. Pete was from the Philippines. My mom and I visited him in the Old People's Home occasionally. I like to say that I did it solely to give back to my community. Truth is, I did it for the lumpia. 

Anyway, one day, Pete gave second-grade me a hat. It was a maroon trucker-style hat. Except, affixed to each side of the hat, in silver, glittery glory were wings. The wings were shiny and metallic and if they caught the sun at just the right angle, had the power to blind the Cyclopse. The hat looked a heck of a lot like this: 

Man, I loved that hat. I wore it every day. To school. Yes, you read that right. I wore it TO SCHOOL. Everyone complimented my hat. And by everyone I mean only my 65 year old bus driver with a half mouth full of teeth. I thought I was so cool. I thought it made me look fast. But mostly, I just loved those bright, shiny, silver wings. My poor parents. They were such troopers. Letting me express myself in any manner that captured my fancy, such as dressing like a character straight out of a Greek Mythology book. They seriously get mad props for that. I mean, they had to show their faces at PTO meetings. 

One day, my hat suddenly went missing. To this day I have no idea what happened to it. I can't imagine that another kid coveted that hat enough to swipe it. I suspect my dad may have "disappeared" it. 

So, you see, I have come quite a long way when it comes to making myself presentable in society without burning out the corneas of the fashion astute. I still have wardrobe problems. And I still like to express myself in unique ways (such as wearing my cowboy boots to the office on casual Fridays). But when I do pull together a nice outfit or two, as I stand in the mirror admiring my social acceptable color coordination and tasteful (mostly) accessorization, I like to think fondly of wings hats. 

I'm going to be bluntly honest here. Sometimes, the best part about being a lawyer is simply getting an opportunity to dress like a lawyer. When I have an outfit that I particularly like, I like to take a picture of it. Outfit photo have saved me several times from "OMG, I Have Nothing To Wear" 

I collected some photos of my favorite outfits from this past week and posted them below. But I decided my photo collection needed some kid-contribution to liven things up a bit. It's fun to dress up like an adult. But sometimes the exuberance with which a child embraces the world, free from the strings of social conformity, can be inspiring.  

This first outfit would be a pretty simple outfit, if not for....

THESE AMAZING HOUSES! Yes, a house blouse. Every gal should own one. (I love weird/unusual prints- maybe someday I will find a print with silver wings?)

For those days when you just can't decide what to wear, there is always the option of going Full Monty. However, as your friendly lawyer, I would have to advise against wearing this particular outfit to the grocery store:

This casual Friday, I spiced up a boring jeans/t-shirt outfit with my favorite Anne Taylor scarf (and Sperry shoes- my Christmas gift).

 And on Cool Dude Day, Jacob wore his dad's sunglasses indoors. Eye safety does not suddenly stop when you exit the great outdoors, people.

I recently caved in to a year-long desire and bought a chambray shirt. I absolutely love it. I've dressed it up with a pencil skirt for work but it also looks fun with a blazer, boots, and pearls. Date-night ready in 60 seconds!

Sidenote: this outfit was inspired by U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (Justified). He's one tall drink of water in his no-fail outfit: denim, a blazer, and cowboy boots. I'm just missing a silver star. Oh yeah, and a penis.

And here is Jacob showing us what happens when underwear becomes outerwear. This look is likely to be a big trend this season. Jacob says, "it's all in how you wear it."

And because everyone wants to a tour of my office toilet.....(I really need to invest in more appropriately placed full-length mirrors...and a better camera phone would probably help too.)....This is pretty much my default work outfit: skirt, blouse, and long cardigan. I've been told I dress like a librarian. Considering that my husband STILL has a crush on his high school librarian, I'm ok with that.

Here is Ryan's contribution to the fashion conversation. In true Ryan spirit, he is wearing his binky (most under-utilized fashion accessory ever), one sock, "comfy" pants, and two hats on his head.

Last but not least, Jacob's trying out a special new look of his very own. He lost his second tooth this morning, single-handedly succeeding in cleaning out the tooth fairy. She better start selling some of those teeth on the black market if she wants to keep her fairy gig going.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rejecting Satan (AKA Facebook)

When I first switched jobs and cut my daily commute down by several hours each day, I was so excited about all the extra free time I was going to suddenly have. I thought about all the exercise, cooking, crafts, and, yes-even laundry, that I would be able to fit into my regular schedule. I had high hopes and big ambitions.

Fast forward five months to now. What do I have to show for all that extra time I added to my schedule? Pretty much nothing. So what the heck have I been doing those two to three hours between the kids' bedtime and my own? Apparently, those hours simply disappear. Into the black pit of Facebook doom. That's two hours every weekday night, or TEN hours in one work week, spent on Facebook/the internet. GROSS. Just thinking about that gives me the same feeling I would gets upon suddenly realizing I ate an entire extra large bucket of popcorn (dripping in butter, of course) at the movie myself. Ugh.

But those two hours after the kids go to bed were not the only times I spent on Facebook during the day. I usually checked in when I woke up in the morning, during my lunch hour, after work, and occasionally here and there while I was home with the kids. I don't even want to think about how much time that all adds up to be.

I really enjoy Facebook for many reasons. I love to see what all my family and close friends are up to. I love pictures of babies. Pregnancy updates. Wedding announcements. But there are a lot of negative things (aside from the time-suck) about Facebook. People can be really rude. People can be petty. For some reason, people like to say things on Facebook that they would never say to your face. Facebook can be used for a lot of good. But I mostly just see a lot of narcissism. And I'm not perfect. I do things I regret on Facebook. When people post things that make me angry or when people post things that I perceive to be offensive or insulting or just rude, I sometimes react. And not in a kind way.

The fact is, not only does Facebook distract me from kids and chores and from simply being present, I don't like the way it makes me feel most of the time, either from my own actions or in reaction to seeing things other people post. I become immature and judge and compare. I get tired of seeing politically charged and other preachy posts. These are my own shortcomings. I'm not blaming anyone else. People have a right to pose whatever they enjoy on their own page. But for me, Facebook was starting to take up too much mental and emotional energy.

Upon a lot of reflection the past couple weeks, I've come to realize that lately, for me, Facebook is tipping heavily towards the "con" side. Plus, if I didn't use Facebook, think of all the things I could accomplish and do. Think of all the ways I could be productive with those ten extra hours each week! I could learn a foreign language! Or read several books. Or create things. Or exercise. Or go back to school and get another degree (if I didn't already have crippling student loan debt, I'd seriously go back and get a public administration degree).

As I've spelled out in this post, I am clearly a Facebook addict. I took initial steps to correct this earlier this month when I challenged myself not to use the computer after work until the kids were in bed. This challenge has been less difficult than I imagined and much more rewarding. Instead of coming home and sinking my attention into the screens of my laptop or phone, I've been much more engaged with the kids and much more present in the life unfolding around me.

Earlier this week we made a race car bored game out of extra cardboard. Both kids have gotten hours of play out of it. And I even joined in, without pausing a single time to check my phone for social media notifications.

Last week I made these little wallets that hold toy cars. I discovered that my sewing skills are a little rusty (hot glue gun to the rescue!).

This challenge has made me feel more engaged in my own life and with my kids on a daily basis. And it has encouraged me to go one step further. I decided to take a short break from Facebook. Temporarily banning myself from Facebook is absolutely scary for a Facebook addict like me (but it is also necessary because, clearly I lack will power to resist the lure of post after post of pictures of my friends' homemade Salisbury steak or fried wonton salads). I mean, come ON! What if someone gets pregnant and I don't even get to know about it instantly? What if someone I met one time in college who now lives in North Caroline gets engaged....and I never find out?! The fear of missing out on Facebook is both absolutely terrifying and so insanely ridiculous at the same time.

But, I have to see what good things will come out of this experiment. I have to experience what it is like to live in a world where I am free to enjoy moments without having to worry about capturing them in a perfect Facebook post. I want to know the non-Facebook me.

I honestly have no idea what the heck I am going to do for ten hours a week. But I stopped by the library today and checked out seven books filled with sewing patterns to keep me busy (guess I better buy more hot glue sticks). I'm a little confounded as to how I'm going to keep in touch with people I need/want to contact. Because of Facebook, I don't even have anyone's phone numbers or email addresses anymore. I will still be blogging from time to time (hey, I'm not a total martyr). So if anyone is trying to contact me, you can e-mail me at my blog email address (ceepalmer at gmail dot com).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Teeth and Guts and Seahawks

Excuse me a moment while I collect myself. I'm in just a bit of shock. Apparently, my baby boy is old enough for this:

He started complaining about his tooth hurting two weeks ago. At first, I feared a cavity. Then I asked him to show me which tooth hurt. As he did this, I caught the slight hint of a wiggle. "Jacob! You have a loose tooth!" Jacob was not too excited about this. Then I realized that he probably had no idea what that means. So, we discussed baby teeth, big teeth, and the Tooth Fairy. Sometimes, being the one to have to explain things of such importance, like the workings and origins of the Tooth Fairy, to a newbie human can be a little overwhelming. Somehow, I stumble through these things alright. 

Then, Saturday morning while Jacob was celebrating his second swim lesson with burgers and fries at a local fast food joint, it happened. Jacob bit into a french fry and cried out that his tooth hurt. When he opened his mouth, blood gushed out. The tooth was gone! Unfortunately, it was really GONE. We assume that he swallowed it with a mouthful of french fry-goodness. So, in place of a tooth under the pillow, Jacob had to write an explanatory note. Luckily, the Tooth Fairy does not require a notarized affidavit. 

I never had any problem perpetuating the story of Santa Clause. But somehow, the Tooth Fairy is a little harder. I mean, the whole thought of a little fairy who goes around collecting children's teeth is so silly. As the words came out of my mouth, I felt totally ridiculous. I was sure there was no way he would believe me. But the fact that he became so enthralled in the story is a testament to the wonderful, naive, trusting nature of children. I felt a tad bit guilty for manipulating that trust. But then I remembered how much fun it was for ME to believe in the Tooth Fairy. Kids grow up soon enough to face an unpredictable and unfair world. I'll let my kids live in a sanctified, fantasy-filled childhood for the short-amount of time that they actually have the gift of believing in the impossible.

Tooth Fairy, caught in action

But still. How am I old enough to have a child who is old enough to loose a tooth? I have very distinct memories of losing my teeth. The whole thing pretty much traumatized me. It feels like not too long ago. But when I stop to count the years....that was more than two DECADES ago! Holy hell. And now my own children are entering the phase of life that will become their future childhood memories. From here on out, they're going to remember the stuff that happens and look back on it from time to time. Aw, crap. I don't know if I am qualified to be the creator and conductor of other people's childhood memories. 

In other news, Ryan colored all over his face. He is showing clear aspirations for being a tattoo artist.

Saturday ended with a family (grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, and cousins) dinner at a Japanese steak house (think local version of Benihanas). 

Dressed for family date night!

I'm 29 and I'm JUST learning how to curl my hair. 

We had major trepidation about lugging our kids out to the restaurant. They usually do OK, but the effort it takes to keep them happy and sitting in one place is typically draining and I usually can't wait to leave. It wasn't really out idea of a fun, relaxing Saturday night. 

I forgot one thing, Japanese steak houses come with built-in entertainment! The kids LOVED watching the chef set things on fire. He created a mountain out of onion rings and then set fire to the top to create a flaming volcano. Even I was very impressed. Then there was flame-juggling, and tossing food into mouths (and missing and hitting us in the face, which the kids found hilarious on its own). Ryan was not so sure about the fire and kept his face firmly-covered.

Apparently, covering your eyes takes a lot of energy. He crashed during the car ride home and didn't wake up until morning.

Sunday was amazing. Our friends came over to watch the Seahawk-49'er NFC Championship game. It was a fantastic game. My very favorite kind. 49'ers led by 10 points at the second half. We had a rough start and were on pins and needles the entire game. Ryan may have picked up a few "colorful" vocabulary words. At one point in the game, he yelled "Suck it Kappy" (referring to the Niners QB, of course). I felt an odd sense of pride and shame at the same time.

Down by 10 at half time. Afraid to hope, but still hoping. Intense.

In the third quarter, we tied the game up with some amazing plays. Penalties were thrown everywhere (mostly on the 49'ers). Both sides took some intense hits. Our players did what they do best and worked hard under pressure. We took the lead in the fourth quarter. But one 49'er TD would win them the game. Then with 50 seconds in the game, the 49'ers had a good drive and neared their end zone. 

30 second left in the game and the Niners threw the ball towards a receiver in the their end zone. The six of us were lined up, just inches from the TV. As the ball arched in mid-air, we all simultaneously stopped breathing as we sensed that doom was coming (we're used to being disappointed). That moment of intense anticipation and hope and fear is what being a sports fan is all about. Such an adrenaline rush. As the ball came down, right towards the hands of the Niner receiver and as the Championship was literally slipping away from us, an amazing thing happened. Our cornerback Richard Sherman, jumped into the air and barely tipped the ball off course with his fingers. The play was over. The game was won. What an incredible end. With all our jumping and screaming, I'm sure we had a mini earthquake at our house. It has never been more exciting to be a Seahawks fan. 

By now, anyone who follows football (and even some who don't), has heard the story of Richard Sherman's post-game-winning-play "trash-talk."  People are totally ranting on Sherman, calling him a thug and other names, including racial slurs. I'm loving the hateful reaction to Richard Sherman. I'm eating it up. I know he is too. These hateful comments are the exact things that motivate him to get on that football field and prove himself time and time again. The truth is, people don't know the full story. They judge a man and a team based on 30 seconds. But you know what? We're used to that. I urge anyone who has formed an opinion of this latest Sherman-hating to read his side of the story. He is an intelligent and eloquent guy who has a big heart and wears it on his sleeve.

Sherman's tip-off of that football and his uncensored emotional rant was the perfect ending to the playoffs. This entire season, the Seahawks have been discounted, overlooked, and judged unfairly. Seahawks fans have been disappointed so many times with losses and penalties and injured players over the years. Seahawks fans are an entirely different breed. Because of our history as a perpetual underdog, our hope is qualified and reserved. But while we are holding our hope close to our chests, our faith is big and unwaivering. 

Although they are often used interchangably, hope and faith are two different things. Hope is the possibility that something will happen while faith is believing in something, even when you can't see it. So while we are cautious to hope for good things, we have immense faith in the quality of our players and their ability to get things done. We know we have a winning team, even if we don't always see it (faith). We've seen our team lose hard. But this season we also shut-out a great team during an away game, made two intense comebacks when we were down by double digits in the fourth quarter, and won game after game without our best receiver. We've been picked on, name-called, discounted,  and put through the ringer all to be largely ignored by the NFL and ESPN. And that makes this season of victory so much sweeter. For those that STILL want to hate on the Seahawks, fine. Haters are determined to find something to hate on. As far as I'm concerned, everyone else is just jealous their team isn't moving forward and if Sherman was on their team, they would love him with just as much passion as the Seahawks do. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Life At Work

This may sound strange but I am so, so, so happy that winter vacations are over. To my surprise, three of the attorneys in my office took 3 week-long vacations over Christmas (note for file: government attorneys have no problem using vacation time!). Others took 2 and 1 week-long vacations. Me, being the newbie, was appointed to be one of the two attorneys on call during this time period.

Because I'm just a temporary employee, I don't have any of my own clients yet. So, before everyone left, I made sure to amass as many assignments and projects as possible. You have a research project for me? Yes, please! Although I had plenty to do, my days were slow and kind of boring. Eight hours a day, it was just me and my computer, and nothing to break the monotony. No meetings, no urgent requests, no e-mails or phone calls to respond to. Blah. There were some days when I barely had any human interaction (there was barely anyone in our office!) A couple of times I sat at my desk and thought, "maybe this dream job isn't so dreamy after all." I fell into my normal temptation to browse job postings (I've had four jobs in four years, apparently, I'm trigger happy when it comes to moving on).

When January rolled around and people returned, I did a little happy dance. New assignments flooded in and my calendar became full of meetings once again. Most of all, there were PEOPLE to talk to! These simple things have made my work day so much better. I've been asked to assist on some projects (developing policies and procedures for the oversight of essential executive government functions) which will give me a little more exposure with the people who will decide whether I can stay for the long term.

My pride and joy is still the work that I get to do on defending tort litigation. I have to admit, when a week or two goes by without any litigation work, I really start to miss insurance defense. Luckily for me, I have already been tasked to write two dispositive motions this month, both involving creative legal arguments based upon interesting areas of state case law. I'm trying to savor these tasks as much as possible knowing that I may not get to draft another motion for months (sadness!).

Overall, I am still so very happy to be working for local government. Just when I think the honeymoon period of this new job has run its course, I fall in love all over again. It's been such a learning curve to try to figure out exactly what the lawyers in my department do, but it's been an enjoyable introductory period full of challenges and surprises and successes. Every morning I wonder what interesting new projects I will be given next. The real excitement will come when I am assigned my very own clients. The only frustrating part has been living in limbo as to whether or not I will get a permanent position. But so far this hasn't been too stressful and I'm able to just take it day by day.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Celebrity Boyfriends

Today, literally around the watering hole (or dispenser), I was discussing my recent celebrity crushes with two coworkers. We bonded over the fact that we tend to like older men. Sadly, I'm finding that my old man crushes are turning into not-so old man crushes now that I am almost 30 (groan).

Basically, my taste in men has not changed since I was in highschool. In highschool, I passed over the obvious hotties like River Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the like. Instead, I lusted after men like Russell Crowe, Harrison Ford, Frank Sinatra (younger), and (don't hate) George W. Bush (I thought he was hot, ok?!). My penchant for liking "older" men was solidified by the fact that all of my high school crushes were on teachers rather than students my age....Ha! My high school friends thought I was pretty ridiculous. I was ok with this, less competition.

Obviously, as I've aged, my love for middle-aged and near retirement age men has become less shocking and more acceptable. So I guess you could say that I grew into my tastes. Perhaps I have always been an "old soul." Or perhaps I was destined at birth to find attractive men who have the wisdom of experience, a steady maturity, and a mortgage.

As my coworkers and I bonded over our celebrity crushes, we began a very heated debate over who was and who was not crush worthy. It was a really fun conversation. Sadly, I was forced to flee prematurely when my coworker made a comment about not being able to run her hands through Seahawk Richard Sherman's dreadlocks and I responded that there were other things to run one's hands through. At that point, jaws dropped, laughter broke out, and I turned beet red. I fanned my face with my hands and quickly excused myself before I stepped any further out of line.

Ever since then, I have been meticulously crafting my current list of celebrity crushes. Great care has been put into establishing the finest of selections. Although I have nine on my list, after the first three, they all pretty  much tie for fourth place.

I present to celebrity crushes for 2014 (thus far).

1. Timothy Olyphant (in TV shows Justified and Deadwood).

 Holy moley. My mouth is not big enough for all this drool.

He's so dreamy, he deserves two pictures. 

The hit show Justified is really entertaining and well written. But feel free to watch it just for the eye candy. Timothy makes a damn fine cowboy. 

2. John Hamm (the infamous Don Draper in Mad Men).

He can really rock that 5 o'clock shadow! Whisky and cigs anyone?

3. Russell Wilson (Seahawk QB)

He's got huge hands. And visits Children's Hospital every Tuesday.

4. Daniel Craig (Bond, James Bond...also in weird blockbuster Cowboys and Aliens)

I prefer my Daniel Craig shirtless and riding on a horse. Sadly, I couldn't find that picture.

5. Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man, 'nuff said).

6. Paul Rudd (countless comedies/romantic comedies)

7. Chris Messina (the Mindy Project)

8. Harrison Ford (old school Indiana Jones)

My heart still skips a beat for the familiar, rugged face of Indiana Jones.

9. Russell Crowe (Gladiator and Robin Hood)

As long as he has short hair.....and is wearing a Roman-style kilt.

So, who's on YOUR list?