July 31st 2005

a post that could have been a list

Sunday, Sunday. I’ve been to church and sung two services, I’ve cleaned the kitchen, I’ve done some organizing and moving of closet-type items, and I’ve filled the wardrobe box with our suits and winter coats—the things that shouldn’t be folded into suitcases or boxes.

Otherwise, it’s been a quiet day. I wanted to do laundry but don’t have any quarters. Sunday is the worst day to do laundry here, anyway. It might be better for Mr. Angst to do it during the week when no one else is using the machines.

Still left to do this evening: write out our notice for our storage unit, figure out some sort of dinner-type meal, and bring inside the books and other things I removed from my office on Friday. Also, I need to hang up some clothes (just those I need for the week) and figure out a definitive menu for our going away party, which is in one week. Gah! Brisket is definitely getting made, but what else do I need to put together?

July 30th 2005

all alone and feeling fine?

While I understand what teahouseblossom means when she says she’s jealous of my alone time, I also think that alone time, at least at this time in my life, is overrated.

What have I done today? Well, I got up at a reasonable hour, read the news and fell asleep while reading. When I woke up, it was not such a reasonable hour (though not exactly late), and I killed some more time copying stuff to my computer from my iPod (mostly files I’d retrieved from my work computer). I felt guilty the entire time, like I should be doing more productive things, like PACKING or CLEANING.

So out I went, in the heat of the mid-morning and changed the license plates on my car—I got new ones the last time I renewed my registration. Then I lazed around some more. Then I made coffee, because I had a headache from not having coffee. Then I got dressed and organized my dresser drawers (and put some…unmentionables…into plastic bags so that when we carry the drawers out to the moving truck, my little things aren’t vulnerable to being blown out or dropped on the ground). THEN I went out. I went to Target to exchange a pair of shorts. I went to the used-box place to get a wardrobe box and some bubble wrap. I went to Home Depot to get the right kind of cord for tiedowns. And now, here it is, after 3, and I am JUST NOW EATING.

And I’m having dinner with a friend at 6. My day has been all kinds of wonky, I guess.

I wish I had more impetus to be productive in a more organized way. If Mr. Angst were here, I think I’d probably either be pushing us both to be productive or I’d be letting him talk me out of feeling guilty for being a little lazy. As it is, I tried to accomplish too much while I was out because I felt bad for not doing anything this morning and now I am tired and pissy (though at least part of that could be hunger).

Also, it’s lonely with no one to talk to.

July 29th 2005

“snif…you stink!”

Really, the worst part about going out and having a good time is coming home reeking of smoke. It wasn’t even that smoky in the bar.

The other worst part is coming home to an empty house, since Mr. Angst is off to see a baseball game this weekend. I did happy-hour-plus with folk from work, and had a terrific time. There are people I work with that I am just getting to know but, oh, yeah, I’m leaving next week.

It always happens that way.


Everybody cheer with me: Mr. Angst is done with work! Congratulations!
And I hope this is the last crappy contract job he ever has to have. (Emphasis on the crappy, not the contract part; contract work could conceivably be worthwhile.)

I’m only a week behind him! Squee!

friday downtime

So, um, we went for a going-away lunch today, to celebrate the completion and launch of three projects and to bid farewell to our director and to myself.

And when we got back, our server was down. It is still down. We cannot launch the projects until the server is working. Our tech people’s nerves are frayed. The other group in our department was also preparing to launch stuff; they can’t do anything, either. We’re all sitting around twidding our thumbs because there’s not much else we can do.

I’ve done everything I can think of to kill some time. I took all my personal effects to my car. (Remember, I’m switching offices for next week.) I took a walk around the building. I stopped and chatted with one of the girls in the other department about the server problem. I looked up some stuff on our HR site and changed the address on my W-2 so it gets sent to the right address come January. I fiddled with the numbers to try and figure out how much my last paycheck will be.

And now I am stumped. Staring at my monitor like a zombie. It’s quiet around here, so I think other people have either left or are taking their own extended breaks or are pow-wowing about what happens next. Just sitting and waiting, waiting and sitting.

Seems like a metaphor for my life right now, actually.

Friday Spies©The Prelude to My Last Week of Work Edition

Fitzy and Milby are at it again!

1. What five things should you never buy used?

Towels (except beach towels that will only be used on the beach)
Sheets (for use on a bed, not as ghost costumes)
As a general rule, shoes and beds, though I can definitely see exceptions
And finally, underwear

2. Sony BMG just ended a payola investigation by settling with New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. So let’s engage in some reverse payola: What song or artist would you pay to never have to hear again, and how much would it be worth to you?

That Rico Suave guy, or maybe the Achy Breaky Heart guy. Either of them.

3. In honor of the new Bad News Bears: Did you ever play little league, or other organized youth sports?

No. I did participate in gymnastics, but my congenital lack of flexibility hampered me from doing well, so I stopped. I did a lot of dancy-type things, which I think are plenty athletic, but they don’t really count as organized youth sports. (I think I did play on my elementary school’s soccer team and volleyball team, but that was almost an extension of PE since we didn’t really have extra practices outside of school.)

4. What was your biggest fashion faux pas?

Crunchy bangs.

5. In honor of all our readers who took the Bar Exam this week: What was the hardest test you ever took?

Hell, I don’t know. In college, I had to take two comprehensive exams (one for each major, dontcha know) and those were pretty brutal, but they weren’t HARD, in the sense that there were questions I couldn’t answer, so much as they were long and exhausting. (I think we had something like six, maybe eight hours to complete them. I moved all over campus for the first one, trying to find a place where I could concentrate. I eventually locked myself into a study room in the library and worked for four hours straight there.)

July 28th 2005

they want me to go crazy, i just know it

So, OK, Law School sent me some paperwork to fill out and return (loan stuff, ugh) and they were kind enough to provide a self-addressed envelope in which to return these papers.

Except that only in some weird universe where paper stretches would I be able to fit all the stuff I have to send them into this envelope. I think I’d be hard-pressed to get a single piece of paper to fit in this envelope. As it is, I have six sheets of paper—not onion skin paper, either!—and I can barely get them IN the envelope. Once they are in, though, the flap won’t close. I mean, unless I want to glue the flap to the papers and not to the envelope.

Plus, the papers I was trying to shove into the envelope gave me a wicked paper cut. Those papers suck, and not just because they’re loan papers!

Sigh. How hard is it to order the regular, #10 size envelopes instead of the smaller, business-reply mail size?

I need some help from those in the know

A super quick request:

When does one italicize legal terms? For instance, would one write, “writ of certiorari” but also write, “the case was granted cert”?

CMS has proven moderately unhelpful (i.e., it is VAGUE) and Garner’s Modern Legal Usage doesn’t help here, either, since I want a general rule and don’t want to look up every term individually.

it’s my GLORY, that’s why I care so much

So, a few days ago, LQ posted about a bad cheap haircut.

Now, this isn’t going to be a post about the bad cheap haircuts I’ve had in my life. (But goodness, you’d think that straight-all-one-length hair could NOT be that hard to TRIM, as in take-off-half-an-inch-ONLY, though that’s not really the point of this post. You’d also think someone’s grandfather would know better than to let a woman named Mary, who had a moustache, cut his granddaughter’s hair while he was getting a clipper cut and shave. Still not really the point of this post, but man, I always think of that haircut with serious disbelief. Some people really CAN’T cut in a straight line.)

OK, so the point of this post is that LQ reminded me of how difficult the hair thing is for me, and now I am actually nervous about haircuts in Our New City. Currently, I don’t always go to the same stylist because sometimes I want something a little different. But I always know that, if my experimentation doesn’t go well, I can get it fixed very quickly because I know at least five stylists here in My Fair City who always do a good job on my hair. (Good, not great. I’m always searching for a great stylist and I very rarely find one. Or, if I find one, s/he does a great job for a few months and then, when I want to start trying something different, s/he keeps doing the same old thing and taking more off than I asked for, like that one girl did while I was trying to grow my hair out for my wedding. But, again, not the point of this post.)

So, OK, we’re moving 1200 miles away to a city where I know (in “real life,” that is) exactly ONE person. And he’s a guy and, while I am sure he could tell me the name of a great salon, I can’t really trust that he knows if their girl haircuts are any good, and I am also not sure he could recommend a place I could afford, you know? Also, most of the people I’m pretty sure I’ll meet upon moving to Our New City will also be recent transplants. How on earth am I going to find a good stylist? Or know which reasonably-priced-but-not-exorbitant salons to go to? I’m going to have to start stalking the staff at Law School, looking for Cute Haircuts and Tasteful Color Jobs.

Sigh. Just one more thing I have to think about. I guess it’s a good thing I only get my hair cut every six to nine months.

introspection, a little early

CM has been talking about her goals and hopes for law school. And in another, different, post responding to CM’s post, I mentioned that one of my goals was to make sure I got to spend quality time in My New City.

And that made me start to think about TIME.

From what I hear, 1L is a huge time suck. Lots of reading, lots of time-consuming reading, a fair amount of writing in Legal Writing, and then, of course, finals.

The schoolgirl inside me says I will have to spend a lot of time doing all the right things for class if I want to do well. This is the voice I normally ALWAYS listen to—the one who says, “You can’t call in sick! You have a big project to finish!” or “Skipping class is BAD!” or “I know they don’t pay you enough, but you should still think about your job at home and on the weekends!”

Lately, though, another voice has been speaking to me. She seems more reasonable, too.

I have made no secret of my eventual goal after law school. I want to teach. Whether I go into full legal scholarship or teach legal writing as an adjunct (or teach legal writing full-time), that is my eventual goal. Right now. So the schoolgirl inside is someone I’m going to have to listen to a fair amount, because she’s the one who will prod me into doing my best work (and hopefully into my best grades).

But the other, reasonable, voice is one to take note of, also. She reminds me of the horror stories of the arbitrary nature of law school grades, about how law school grades aren’t necessarily the best indicators of, um, intelligence. See, I know that, just because I work hard, I won’t necessarily get the grades I think I deserve. Or, maybe I’ll just fall at the bottom of the curve. I don’t know. I know that I’m not used to being at the bottom of the curve, so the prospect of that makes me nervous. But I also know that my grades, while important, aren’t going to keep me from getting a job. Really.

So I guess what I’m trying to figure out right now (and it’s a foolish thing, since I haven’t started school yet and don’t know how it’s going to be) is how to balance my schoolgirl desire for good grades—which will push me into working like a madwoman—with my pragmatism and the understanding that, no matter how hard I work, I can’t do better than I’m going to do, and I should try and enjoy life some.

I want to explore My New City and I want to spend time with my husband. I also want to work hard for my classes because I find the subject matter interesting, not because I’m afraid of having to realign my ambitions with my grades.

So I guess those are some of my main goals for law school. To work as hard as I can for the right reasons. Working hard because I’m afraid of failure….that’s not a good motive, I think. Working hard because I want to do well—sure, that’s a good thing. Working hard because I WANT to understand? Also a good thing. Working so hard that I never look around and see the city, see my husband, talk to my friends, go to the gym, try a new restaurant? Bad.

July 27th 2005

break! that was the straw you just heard

I think I’ve been pretty well behaved, given I’m in the two-week stretch—two weeks till we move, less than two weeks till my last day of work—but today, things are just wearing on me. Because some people are going on vacation or leaving for new jobs before my last day (yeah, it’s been sort of tumultuous around here), we’re in a massive push to get all these projects ready to go by FRIDAY.

Technically, we’ll have next week to clean up last minute stuff, but everything important has to be done in two days so we can announce the completion of these projects Friday afternoon. Oh, and tomorrow, my group is supposed to go meet the group we are merging with. So, make that one and a half days until we have to be done with everything.

Needless to say, I’ve been working pretty steadily this week—hence the dearth of substantive or, perhaps, even interesting posts. And today it hit me. I’m annoyed, I’m tired, I’m frustrated. I’m experiencing a lot of sensory overload as people move in and out of my office and talk just loudly enough that I can hear that mumbling-voice sound over my earbuds. Sigh.

The only thing that’s really keeping me going is knowing that next week, when my replacement will be here also, I get to move into a new office. All by myself. An office with a nice window and a super cushy chair. I’ll have some relative peace and quiet in which to clean up details, pull all of my personal stuff off my computer, and contemplate the future. So, really, one and a half days more to greater serenity.

barzamers redux

Let me note that I am deeply impressed by the bartakers who continue to blog from the depths of hell.

Maybe hell is too strong a word? In any case, continuing GOOD LUCK to you all. Keep blogging! This is interesting.

July 26th 2005

more productivity!

Once I finished reveling in my techie geniusness, I took a small break. The followup from Last Project #1 just landed on my desk in the form of a Giant Red Binder. I needed to figure out where to put it because, my desk? A pit. A pit covered in paper. I shudder to think how much paper I have wasted in this job.

So I cleaned off my desk and, in the process, tidied up my shelves as well. All of MY books are now neatly stacked at the edge of my desk. Ready to go home with me sometime in the next 10 days. All the paper on my desk that needs to go with me also (personal notes and lists, phone numbers, etc.) is also in a neat little stack. I haven’t delved into the drawers yet, but that’s next. I’ll be rescuing my emergency food stash (instant oatmeal and Easy Mac), some personal papers I’ve filed, and the other desk necessities: lotion, nail file, change for the Coke machine. I can wait to pull those things out; they’re fine staying hidden for the time being.

It’s getting closer!

why i didn’t post this morning

I know, I know, I haven’t posted today! I’ve been dealing with some crappy CSS issues, trying to figure out why Internet Explorer sucks so much. (I know why it sucks so much, but the specific ways IN WHICH it sucks and how to FIX THEM has been preoccupying me today.)

At any rate, about ten minutes ago, I discovered that almost any funky display issues you have with IE (on a Mac, at least) where you are using CSS to create certain visual effects (offset boxes and the like) can possibly be fixed by either adding another <div> tag, right around the affected text, or by replicating inline styles that should be inherited right into the nested tags.

If you’re not into CSS, that probably makes no sense. Sorry. Of course, IE isn’t the only browser with issues. Safari, for some reason, doesn’t like certain kinds of elements to have certain kinds of tags and will make things look funky even when Firefox displays them with no problems. (I can’t remember exactly what the situation was now; I was so frantic at the time that I was copying and pasting and deleting and copying and suddenly things worked when I got rid of a “width” style. Maddening.)

At any rate, things are working now. (None of thise was for THIS site, of course. I went through all that pain AGES ago.) I feel good: I always have liked finding and fixing problems, of course. The process was tiresome, sure, but I fixed it in the end, and I did it mostly on my own.

July 25th 2005

wishes and waves

To everyone taking the bar this week:

Good Luck!

Remember: you only have to pass!

sound, not much fury

So I bought a new set of headphones over the weekend. Partly because the little white iPod earbuds were starting to make my ears ache (after several hours listening to music at work) and partly because, even though I rarely listen to fearmongers, I don’t want to be one of those people who gets targeted by petty theives or muggers just because I have iPod headphones.

So I bought these. Mr. Angst has a pair and likes them for both the sound quality and the noise-cancelling abilities.

I am using them this morning and I’m not yet sure how much I like them. Yes, they are more comfortable in my ear, but only after getting used to having them shoved down in my ear canal. And you really have to shove them in, or the sound quality is not better at all. I do like that they muffle sound, and that’s probably terrific on an airplane, but I’m not sure how good it is in the office. (It is nice, though, that I can barely hear my own clackety-clacking on the keyboard as I type.)

Obviously, I’ll continue using them—they are much better than the iPod earbuds. But I may play around with the earbud covers since I have two other sizes. Maybe a smaller size will be more appropriate for the office, muffling less noise without sounding tinny. (As of right now, if I want to muffle noise less, I have to pull the earbuds out of my ears slightly, which leads to sound quality similar to holding your phone three inches from your ear and trying to hear the other person.)

July 24th 2005

Sunday food and book blogging

Mr. Angst and I are continuing our mission to eat at our favorite restaurants here in Our Fair City before we move.

Friday night, we had the Best Sushi Ever. This morning we had the Best Brunch Ever. That’s two in one weekend! Huzzah!

Mr. Angst also has a mere 35 or 40 pages left in Harry Potter. So I should be able to begin my reread this evening. Another huzzah!

July 23rd 2005


Per Janine’s pouty request, I will write a real review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I can’t write it without spoilers, though, so consider yourself warned. Lots and lots of spoilers after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

July 22nd 2005

hm wow hum oh boy

Oh golly finished HP 6. Can NOT wait for 7. Heidi’s spoiler post + comments is now a very interesting read.

This isn’t a proper review becuase, duh, I am NOT a spoiler queen. But I enjoyed the book VERY MUCH and as soon as Mr. Angst finishes reading it, I’m diving in again.

the crappy week, it ends up OK

I have my car back! Yay!

Also, this week, my Big Girl suit arrived and it FITS. I will have to take it to be altered because the jacket is NOT a petite and the skirt is a little big in the waist. But it’s Brooks Brothers, and they’ll do it for FREE.

So after all the crap, the week ended up pretty good.