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Wow.

Work has slowed down in the past few weeks, as a discovery deadline has passed, and major motions have been filed.  I knew the slow down was coming, and quite frankly, I have been very grateful.

Beloved and I plan to go to New York City over the long weekend, and I’m taking Tuesday off as well.  I’ve been using my slower time to get back into the good graces of a doc review team that I am on, but have neglected due to the insanity on my “main case,” and to clean up a few other odds and ends that have been put off by the insanity.  Today, while not stressful, was a solid work day.

As a result, I didn’t have or take the time to check one of my usual bookmarks.

Holy shit!  You have to click on “older” posts jsut to get through today’s layoffs.  Today’s!!  Layoffs!!

This firm-wide letter left me feeling especially shaky.  I felt like it was so full of universal doom and gloom, that it was speaking directly to me!  “Zuska!  We may not be your firm, but just wait!  Next month, you will be wondering where your kids’ food will come from!!  Heh heh heh!!”

There are many, many things that I can ground myself with, to steady my breathing and stop the shaking.  The relative health of my firm (because is anyone all the way healthy?), my practice group ….  but I know that before today’s massacre (I haven’t looked close enough at today’s data), it was my seniority-year that was being hardest hit in most firms.

See what it takes for me to come out of the blogging-woodwork?  Despair.  Ruination.

What would I ever do???

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Is that our public leader is now a man so capable of love.  He is not afraid of showing his love …  and I think his capacity for love infects us all.  With hope, and happiness, and joy.

love them!

malia-and-dad

b-m-smiles

daddy-loves-sasha

I love that they love each other.  I love them for loving each other.  I love knowing that our President can LOVE.  I hope (yes, hope), that it means that come the next Katrina, come the next flooding – he will think of his love for his children, and extrapolate that onto the OTHER American children, and love them.  He will love his country, and he will respect them, and treat them as precious.

Because they are.  And they should be thought as such by their President.

I believe in this, today.

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KC-101, sort of …

When I was a pre-teen and young teen, growing up in the Wilds of Connecticut, I had a favorite radio station.  KC101. It was the one that played Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson, and David Lee Roth’s goofy Van Halen, and the goofier post-Van Halen David Lee Roth.  They played the Top 40 Countdown with Rick Dees every weekend, and I sometimes taped it.  I know I taped the end of the year Countdown (1,000 songs?  500?) whatever year that Van Halen’s Jump was Numero Uno (I think it was 1984, and I was in 8th grade). 
 
By the time I hit my junior year of high school, I hated KC101, and had graduated to I-95, which was all classic rock.  So much so that mine and Beloved’s childhood music overlaps considerably – even though there are 11 years between us.  Albums he bought in vinyl version on the day they were released are ones that I went out to get on tape because of my favorite songs that were playing on the radio. 
 
As college neared, I was trying in vain to get the semi-local college stations on my car radio, so I could hear The Smiths and The Cure and other alternative faves.  Without much luck.  I had to revisit a lot of those artists as an adult.  And those are still my radio stations of choice.  Much easier now that I have colleges a stone’s throw away in every direction. 
 
This year, J has started to listen to the radio.  She’s listening to the greater Boston area’s version of KC101.  Last night, in the shower, she started belting out “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray, but then shifted to a song I didn’t recognize.  When I asked her what it was, she was hesitant to say.  Ended up she was singing “Skater Boy,” but refused to sing it for me again.  (My google skills show me that Avril Lavigne first sang this song, but I think J was singing a newer version by this other band that is a little rockier).  She refused to sing it for me, but was capable of writing the entire thing out.  WTF? 
 
E had only heard the song at dances (monthly now, in 7th grade).  She likes it, but has determined that if they took the opening line (she was a girl, he was a boy — super creative, I know) and tweaked it to be “he was a girl, she was a boy,” it would make for a much more interesting song. 
 
So my 7th grader still listens to Show Tunes and the Beatles, but my 5th grader is the pre-teen Zuska of years past. 

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It’s 7:59 a.m., and I am back from voting.  We brought the kids with, and were excited to see that the line was almost 30% kids.

As we were walking up to our polling place at 6:55 a.m., with a line already weaving around the building, I felt tears building.  It was amazing.

I am so excited for this day.  Like everyone is noting – it feels like  Christmas.  The building and anticipation of something really exciting and fantastic.

I only worry because if Santa doesn’t come this time, it doesn’t mean that we didn’t get the toy we wanted.  It means so much more about the country’s future, and sadly, the prejudices and unfounded fears of many.

I will be so happy tonight when that ends up needless worry, and we can be ecstatic and jumping up and down and hopeful.

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I know I’ve been quite remiss in the posting department.
Quite honestly, I just don’t have much to say.  At least nothing cheerful.
I guess, when I look back at the past couple of months through to the present day, I’ll describe myself as being in a funk.  
We moved to a great new place, and I love what it’s done for our lives and our family.  The girls have the space, privacy and independence that they need.  D [the new shortcut for Beloved] has office space now, which means his belongings and work space don’t take over the common areas.  I have some space in there, as well, which means — first and foremost — I spend less time on the computer.  It isn’t always on my lap in living room – it stays parked in the office.  I hate it when the girls hover in the office, because I feel like they’re invading my space a bit, so when they come by, I get up and go elsewhere with them.  
At the same time, the new place has drained our finances for several months now, and we’re still nowhere near done. 
When I divorced the Ex, I found myself in serious credit card debt.  Through diligence and a well-timed inheritance, I got out of that debt, completely.  Since then, I have not returned to the credit-based lifestyle, and I suppose that’s a good thing, seeing what’s going on out in the world.  But the result is that if we spend $6000 or $7000 on new furniture, it stings.  And when we have 10 rooms that need carpets and wall-hangings and closet rungs and curtains – it stings every fucking month.
It is depressing to work where I work, doing what I do and making what I make and still be struggling on a month-to-month basis.  Of course, a large part of that is the temporary situation of D’s two year school program (we’re paying tuition out-of-pocket) which is almost 1/2 way done.  Another large part is my law school loans.  Suffice it to say, those puppies aren’t going anywhere for a very long time.
And D and I have been arguing a lot, and it seems to just be one of those cyclical “since you’re grouchy with me, I’ll be grouchy with you” things, but …. pleh.  
And I’m sick of being overweight, and I’m totally convinced that I cannot possibly balance a family, household duties, a minimum billable hours requirement, an hour commute each way, 6 hours of sleep per night, and any serious chunk of time for exercise.  I just don’t know how to make that piece of the puzzle fall into place.  The rest has been very manageable, time-wise.  I’m perfectly capable of doing it all, except that I have to be a fatty while doing it.  
I probably should have just kept quiet, eh?
I promise, I spend a lot of time having many interesting thoughts on the financial crisis, the election, Sarah Palin in particular, and many other fascinating issues.  I just don’t really have the time or energy to write about them.

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Not my words (this time)

“I really need to do laundry tomorrow, or else on Tuesday, I’ll be wearing a skirt.”

Those were E’s words this evening.  I am really chuckling over it, b/c I am sure I’ve said that 1,000 times in my past.

This is her first year doing her own laundry.  So far, she’s been a real champ about it.  No complaining, remembering to clean the lint trap every time, and sharing the info with her friends without batting an eye.  I am not sure, if I hadn’t asked this evening what her laundry situation was, if she would be wearing a skirt on Tuesday or not. But that is part of the lesson that this new chore is teaching.

woo hoo!  The girls are growing up!!

(I only celebrate because on the same evening, E showed me a letter she drafted to her teacher about herself and her hopes for 7th grade, and one of the key items she thought to tell her teacher about herself outside of school was that her family has movie night every Friday, and how much she looks forward to it each week.  I’m glad we’re still the touchstone.)

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I mean, seriously. Must you ? In public, even? You cannot pull out insults reserved solely for women in this setting and expect any of your further criticisms to carry any weight. Because, quite frankly, you are behaving in a sexist manner, and the rest of your thoughts will be considered suspect. I know she was mean to Harry Reid. And of course he and his staff will be feeling defensive. But that was out of line. Call her divisive (she is), call her inexperienced (she is), call her a step backward (she is), call her sarcastic all you want. But don’t call her a bitch, don’t call her shrill, don’t call her catty. (i.e., don’t be an ass!!)
As hard as it was for me to watch, and as depressed as I continue to feel over the negative turn taken in the campaign last night and the increased chance (or so I fear) that we are going to continue to move backward come the new year, I can’t help but to be somewhat impressed with the woman. She had a lot of presence on that stage, and a lot of confidence – despite what’s been going on in the media in the past few days. That takes a real spine.
It makes me very nervous, though, that she kept her true politics to herself. I wanted her to talk about abortion, about creation, about gay marriage, about religion’s role in public life. But she did not. And that makes me feel like the country is going to be snuck up-upon, and it scares me.
Tonight I am going to leave my t.v. off. I’d rather finish my novel, and perhaps start a new one. The imbalance of this convention leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, and I don’t want to tune back in until there’s a real discourse. I know that us Dems had the same imbalance last week, and I tried to remain aware of that, while watching Obama in that stadium. I forced myself to remember that it was not the whole country that was energized, but rather just those who chose to go there, because they already agree, they already want the change he is aspiring to for this country. I am trying to remind myself of the same things this week, but I just feel …. squished.

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Bel Canto

I am reading a ton of novels again.  I feel like it’s pre-law school all over again.  I have been averaging a book a week.  I think this is not the first time I have seen that reading = no blogging. Bel Canto is the latest, and I am so loving it, I don’t want it to end.  Before that, I read Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and before that was The Secret Scripture.

I’ve also been reading all I can about Sarah Palin.  She interests me.  Nothing to do, really, with her kids.  But lots to do with her ideology and her scary ideas.  Creationism in public schools, anti-abortion, book banning (really??  Book banning???), abstinence-only teaching (despite plentiful evidence of its failures), and on and on.  Yet I fear she’s becoming the nation’s darling, and that these scary aspects of her are being lost in the throes of the drama about her kids and their kids and their boyfriends and her brother-in-law and her husband’s DUI.  Who cares???  This woman could be PRESIDENT!!

Ugh.  Back to my novel (right after Palin speaks).

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Second to last

This weekend has been relatively delicious.

In the background of all of it, I’m missing the girls, I’m stressed about them not being where they belong (here), and I’m so looking forward to them being home.  (to prove my stress over the situation, my face lovingly exploded in my worst break out in years.)  I don’t think I feel all that evil for saying that part of what I’m looking forward to is a cessation of the every 5 minute phone calls from E.  Jesus Louise Christ.  The child is obsessed with me.  I get text messages, IMs and phone calls non-stop.  There were times where I had to say “E, I’m at work, I’ll call you when I leave,” but for the most part, in light of her difficulties earlier in the summer, I indulged her.  I didn’t want her to feel blown off and rejected by both of her parents.  But her persistency!  I had a friend over the other evening, and E called my cell phone.  I ignored it.  I was mid-sentence, and I knew she was fine (b/c I’d spoken with her 548 times that day).  So then the house phone rings.  I ignored it.  Then Beloved’s phone rings.  She just doesn’t take “i’m busy” for an answer. (J talks to me probably once a day, but is obviously more engaged with the people she’s with, and a little less desperate.)

But now they’re on a cruise, and there is no cell phone reception (as far as I know).  I can now peacefully count down the days until I can have real communication with the child and greet both of them back to our new home, which they haven’t seen since it was completely empty. (probably an entire separate post about the damned hurricane … I think they missed each other.  I think the girls are cruising to where the Fay has already been, and may have to be circling wider, but should be okay.  I sure hope they don’t get sea sick…)

They come home next Sunday evening, and I have the following week off as vacation, through Labor Day.

Dee-Lish.

So today, my biggest concerns are:

1) my cell phone contract that is up on the 23rd:  I really wanted an iPhone.  Really.  But our family plan is with T-Mobile, and all my excess income has gone into the house, and our list of things we need (rugs?  art?  lamps?) is so long!  So long!!  The timing for the iPhone just isn’t right, but that means I have to sign another 2 year contract with T-Mobile.  Which, I guess, is fine.  If I have to cancel it and pay the fee later on, I will just do that.

2)  my hair!  I had it short starting November, I think, and liked it.  But the last time I went, my hair-cutter man pissed me off with sexist, homophobic and quasi-racist comments, and I knew I’d never go back.  I picked where I’d be going from now on, a local place, but since it’s so damned daunting to go somewhere new, I haven’t had a cut since January.  Which means I’m basically growing out my hair.  Which is fine, if that’s what I’m going to do, but the short-hair layers aren’t working so well on longer hair, and decisions need to be made.  I’ve been working on collecting opinions (b/c my pros and cons are equal in number for both short and long hair), and I finally twisted my husband’s arm until he gave me an opinion yesterday.

The verdict:  It’s getting cut short.  Now that the decision is made, I’m excited and anxious and want to go NOW.  Of course, the place isn’t open NOW (I went for a walk this morning, I know this.)  I’ll probably have to do an after-work appointment one evening this week.

OKay – off to do laundry and shower before we finally go see The Dark Knight.  Finally.

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1)  Come January – which is really really soon – I will have a house cleaner!  I could likely afford it now, but we have so many rugs and wall hangings and decorative pieces of furniture to buy, it’s best to hold off.

2) Work is taking fun turns.

3)  My girls are coming home soon!  Woo hoo!!! (Okay, so 11 days feels soon, since we started with 7 weeks)

OOOPSSS!

4)  Sunks are a’spraying.  I’m not sure this is a bright spot because (a) I love the smell of skunk, or (b) my cat is inside – because really I love the smell of skunk from AFAR!!

5)  Ex-BFF’s Mom and I got together the other night.  Wounds are licked, grievances set aside, and adult-behaviors are dusted off and brought out for use.  I am happy. (allow me my optimism while the little ones are out of town and the adults are left to their adult-hood, please?)

(I also love my new house) (i also love my husband)

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