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Archive for the ‘work’ Category

The Scene:  Harried working mom on her way home after a 12+ hour day, about an hour longer than she planned with.  The mom is wrought with guilt, feeling the pressure of months of a heavy work load.  She is concerned that her family is starting to get sick of it.  At the same time, said Mom is kinda tickled over her new iPhone, and is fussing with it in the backseat of the taxicab when she receives a text from her daughter:

E:  When are you coming home?

M:  I should be there by 7:30. Why?

E:  I just wanted to know.

M: Are you mad?

E:  No.

M:  Sorry that I’m running late.  It was a busy day.

E:  It’s okay.

M:  Are you sure?

E:  MOM!  I’m watching Heroes!  Stop texting me!

M:  So, here I am, feeling guilty that you’re missing me because I’m working too much, and in reality, you just want me to stay gone long enough for you to finish your television show?

E:  That about sums it up.  Now can you stop texting me?

Harumph.

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Shopping

I went shopping today.  My wardrobe has been feeling oh-so-tired, and I really needed some new things.

Unfortunately, so did the girls, so the bulk of the clothing budget went to them, and I was not left with much to toy with.

Also unfortunate – I can’t find the perfect clothes for Lawyer-Zuska.  I am trying to find the right style, the right look.  Hasn’t happened yet.

Well, I found some stuff I absolutely LOVED.  But I can’t afford it.

I feel stuck between a hip young thing and a stuffy old maid.  I can’t pull either off. I’m looking and looking for a place that I can find affordable classic pieces that mix and match and don’t make me feel like I’m pretending in some way to be someone that I am not (like Ann Taylor makes me feel).  I need Ann Taylor on Tweed.  Or something.  I wish I knew.

I ended up at Gap.  I bought a few pairs of trousers and a few sweaters, and felt like I took care of the immediate need, but that’s about it.

I shall keep searching for the perfect Zuska attire …

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The third coat.

I had to dash out of work at 5 p.m. today (not a normal leaving time, in my line of work), despite the fact that I’m dealing with a pretty tight work deadline.

I used to have to do this once a week during the kids’ school year, because my husband used to work late on Thursdays, and J needed to get to soccer practice, and both kids needed to eat, and you know, be parented.

But tonight, it was not a human being who was waiting for me – none were.  They’re all gone.  It was some crappy looking unevenly painted walls.  An exciting bedroom project gone horribly wrong, needing the next phase of repair.

And I was it.  Tagged.

Our bedroom in our new place came with mint-chip-ice-cream (the kind with nasty food dye in it) green walls.  When we first saw the place, we thought it was nice:  refreshing, even.  But as J was picking colors to cover the pepto bismol that exploded in the room that was to be hers, i got jealous.  I don’t want food-dye colored walls.  I want pretty walls.  The landlord said painting was fine with her, as long as we repainted any dark colors before we left.

So, the husband started looking at colors, and thought perhaps we would do what we started talking about back when we lived on the other ocean, and do a Moroccan color scheme.

How about red walls, a tan ceiling, and dark brown trim?

Sounded fine to me. But first I asked, “are you sure the room is big enough to carry off the dark colors?”  He said, “yes.”  And, b/c he went to art school, and knows his colors, I trusted him.

Should I say it here?  Or later on in the story?  The “trim” in this particular bedroom consists of 3 doorways (and, he insisted, the doors themselves), 3 large windows with intricate trim, a really nice moulding along the [entire!] celing, and – get this – a fireplace.  With a mantle.

Before he left for his 10-day trip out of state, we went to Home Depot and chose our colors.  They looked nice near each other.  I found me a Home Depot Paint Dude, and told him what we wanted.  He said, “you need a primer with reds.”

Now, if I’d done some research ahead of time – instead of believing the commercials where the Home Depot Paint Dudes are actually Home Depot Paint GODS – I would have known to say, “yes, I know we need a primer.  We would like a [dark grey] primer, or perhaps, a primer [the same color as the paint].  I would not have just nodded and smiled.  I would have done more than thought “how weird” when he handed me a can of PINK primer.

Light pink.

Let’s flash forward about 5 days.  The husband is gone.  The parents come to town.  My father paints E’s room.  “oh!  it’s so pretty!  It’s so easy!”  Then they move into J’s room – where my mother has a minor freak out that I’ve bought “day glo blue” paint.  She calls me at work, demanding some kind of answer from me.  Not sure what kind.  But then she called an hour later and said, “oh, I think it’s just the way it looked next to the pink, or else it just dried softer, it’s a nice color.”  thanks, mom.  Then they did the 1/2 bath, and it came out great, too (even though I did get a phone call saying “this yellow is really BRIGHT!” just to be predictably, at this point, followed up with a “oh, it softened, and now it’s really pretty!”)

Saturday brought a first stab at my room.  The reds!  The tan!  The brown!  Oh boy!  First some primer …. huh.  The red isn’t very red on top of that.  It’s more of a pink.  Let’s set that aside and do the tan ceiling (more of a sand color).  It was beautiful.  So soothing, and warm.  Very nice.

The pink primer was so horrible that we may as well have skipped the primer stage.  The red went on uneven and wimpy.  The first coat looked wretched.

but while it dried, my dad tried the trim.

Oh.  Ew.  Gross.

On top of the pink primer, the trim looked …red.  Just a different, bloodier red.  Or, perhaps cherries next to strawberries?  Or something else that just looks totally UGLY.

So we went to IKEA where I spent $700 on new furniture, and that made me feel a little better.

Then we went to Home Depot to figure out what the fuck was going on.

“The guy gave you PINK primer?” said the Paint God, who apparently took the day off when Beloved and I were there the week before.  “Oh, that’s bad.  He shouldn’t have done that.”  So we got a new primer, and went back on our way.

We tried it again – just the primer first, but it was the color of the paint.  Now the brownish-red looked more brown, but it was dark.  And it didn’t really look good. So in one small place, I went ahead with the glossier real paint.  It at least matched the color chip at this point.

But standing in that room, with the deep red walls and the pretty sand ceiling, the dark-dark-dark of the trim already felt oppressive.  And it was only covering a 1 foot piece of baseboard.

Shit.

If I were to cover the fireplace, 3 doors, 3 windows and the moulding with that, the room would close in like a dirt-packed cave.  The red would be lost.  The tan would be useless.

And in the meantime, the second coat of the nice, deep, red did not finish the job.  There still wasn’t total coverage.  And dad had to leave.

So they went back to Connecticut, leaving me in a room with pink trim in some places, white remaining in others, and dark dark brown in others, and strawberry mush, still in others, and walls that were streaky and uneven.

I was so upset.  I had spent so much money on re-buying and re-doing the paints to make this work.  I needed a second gallon of ceiling paint, and second gallon of wall paint, a new gallon of primer …. it just felt like I spent the whole weekend buying paint and paint accessories, watching my new bed fly out of my checking account with it all.

So I decided I was done.  Since Beloved picked the color for the trim, he could deal with it.  I had worked my ass off all weekend, and I was so stressed out.  I had spent every day all day walking up and down multiple stair cases carrying boxes and then scrubbing the new kitchen, and packing the girls’ current bedroom, and stressing over my parents, and spending money and more money and more money …. the bedroom mess was pushing me over the edge. I was doing my best to release it, to pass it on and let it go (unbeknownst to him, b/c he is not here, and has not called even ONE TIME.  Which is fine.  I’m fine with it.  Really.  He’s busy.)

But then it dawned on me that the Paint God (not the Paint Dude, who was wholly inadequate) and my father both said that we needed one week in between painting the walls with their third coat, and then putting tape on them to protect them from the trim-paint (which, as far as I’m concerned, and which Beloved does not know yet, will be the color of the ceiling.  It is a beautiful, soothing, complimentary color that will not shrink the room, and which we will not need to cover over when we leave – I can’t live with that dark brown suffocating me every time I walk in my room). Or else the tape will take the paint OFF.  Which would really piss me off.

Which meant I had to paint.  Because if I didn’t, and I left the whole thing for him when he got home, then he couldn’t paint until Saturday, at the earliest, and then the week wouldn’t be up until AFTER the movers, which would mean AFTER all our stuff was in our room, and the whole thing would become infinitely more complicated.

I had to tackle the bedroom demons, and apply the third coat.

And, since it’s – you know – paint.  Which is a color.  I thought perhaps it would be good to do it with light.  Preferably from the sun.

Which is why, deadline be damned, I scurried out of there at 5 p.m., wrestled with the 9,000,000 people in Boston who did the same, squished on the T with the 6,000,000 of those who take the Green Line, go to the dry cleaner to spend 1/3 of my spending allowance for the month on the privilege of having clean clothes to wear tomorrow, carry 8,000 pounds of plastic and clothes home – which is not near the dry cleaners – in 87 degree weather, put on crappy painting clothes, gather my phone, my blackberry, both sets of keys, my wallet (in case today – unlike every other day this week – I would actually have time to EAT something for dinner), and start painting with as much daylight left as possible.

And of course this was the night that a partner called me (in my office) at 7:15. I don’t need to return the call until tomorrow, but it at least momentarily added to the stress.

Daylight dwindled, but I think things look good now.  (other than the pink, the brown, the white and the smooshy strawberry trim).  The walls are rich, the paint is even, and it’s shaping up. The room really can carry the red.  Just not the red and the brown. Now it can dry for a week, and then someone else can take over to figure out what color primer is needed in order to make a tan look the same when applied over a pink, a brown, a smooshy strawberry, and white.

Now it’s 10 p.m., I’m back in the messy house, and no – I haven’t eaten dinner.  Maybe tomorrow.

Tomorrow brings a training until 6 (so I can do family law pro bono work), and then the much-needed cleaning and emptying of the girls’ room.

What a week.

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(yeah, apparently I remembered that I have a blog … for today)

Boston wore a disguise today.  It pretended to be San Francisco, and try on the natural air conditioner for size.

Of course, it wasn’t as beautiful.

Like on the hotter days, back in Berkeley, when I’d decide to pack the kids up for a quick jaunt to the beach, just to cross the bridge and see the fog rolling in, wisping down off the tips of the hills, realizing that if I hadn’t brought sweatshirts, the trip would have been a waste.  But we knew what we were doing, and had not only bathing suits and sunscreen, but also sweatpants and sweatshirts.

No, it wasn’t that extreme in Boston today — there was actually no fog, just an ocean breeze — but it was a huge change in temperature.  I had gone downstairs at 2, and even left the building (an absolute rarity between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., I’m sad to report) so that I could stop by the bank and get a cashier’s check for the last step before our move in three weeks … it was sweltering.  It was so hot, you felt like you were a chicken in a roasting pan.  Despite the linen, despite the shorter sleeves – it was just. too.  hot.

But when 4 p.m. struck, and I felt drowsy while reading a deposition that printed in a weird order, I rounded up some friends for an iced coffee at Starbucks (unfortunately convenient in the lobby downstairs … still no call to leave the building).  But I’d seen that headline – 20 degree drop in 20 minutes?  And I said, “let’s go see!”

It really was cooler.  There was no sweat dripping down the butt cheeks.  Not a single drop.  It was still muggy and moist and nowhere near as seasonally disorienting as the S.F. fog had been.  But we got to sit outside.

For all of 7 minutes before the Crackberries started buzzing and the twitching got to be too extreme to ignore as we started to imagine all the partners that were (of course not) ringing our phones off the hook wondering why the hell we weren’t working at 4:07 p.m.!!

I later enjoyed my walk to Boston’s South Station, the weather still mild.  But by the time I got off the train a mere 3.5 miles away, I had left the little ocean-breeze-bubble, and the sweat returned.

Ick.

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I do not write this blog to educate others.  I am not here to give you instruction or advice.  There have been times that people have read my blog and thought perhaps I would have some advice, or experiences to share, and they’ve written to me through my publicized e-mail, and they received the advice and they’ve received more details. Through a private conversation.

If you want to know what it’s like to be a lawyer-mom, then you’re going to have to find people who want to tell you what it’s like.  You don’t have the luxury of just browsing the internet and stumbling on this blog, which is MINE (not yours), and having that particular detail of my life exposed to you.

Blogs are public.

My job is important to me.

It is not the fodder for public commentary.

Regardless of the “honesty” that you feel I have somehow committed to just by using up this URL.

Having a blog has NOTHING to do with my livelihood.  I will not risk one for the sake of the other.

If you want “honesty” from people – dig a little fucking deeper than clicking on a link.  That’s not where real sharing comes from in my life.

Real sharing comes from a give and a take – from an investment in each other’s lives.  From some sort of trust which – in my opinion – cannot be built amongst strangers.

Hell – in my experience – real trust can barely be built through years of friendship.

So if you want more – give more.  Make a fucking effort.   Don’t just sit there whining about other people’s choices and other people’s refusal to hand you your life’s research on a platter.

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This is the first year that the girls have been home during a school vacation week.  My higher income gave me a bit of a bargaining chip in the child support/visitation department.  He pays less, I get to play with the kids more.  We were going to go to D.C., but instead choose to syphon funds into the new apartment and furniture therefore.  I think it’s for the best, because the girls often complained about traveling for the vacations, preferring to STAY AT HOME.  D.C. is not home.  I think if we planned a week long trip, they would have been upset.  They also really needed the week of downtime, after the play last weekend having sucked all of their energy for the past 3 months.

This means it was also their first time seeing the Boston Marathon.  Beloved and I saw it in 2005, and had a great time wandering down Beacon Street, watching the “elite” runners, and even having one front runner woman collapse at our feet – seconds after we scrambled to move our sandwiches as she hovered above us looking peaked.

Today, I took the girls.

They were enthralled.

We had a great time.  We just wandered around our town, cheering the runners on, feeling first bewildered at the “elite” and their absolute lack of fat (and seemingly a lack of muscle – some of them looked like refugees!), then enjoying checking the “normal people” runners for those that we know.  I must also admit to a wee bit of mockery toward those who were still jogging/sweating/puffing 6 hours later.  Just a wee bit, because I know that would be me, if I were doing the marathon.  I mean, I could do a 1/2 marathon, and certainly a 1/4 … but not a 26 mile run.  But I also DID NOT do it.  I would rather put in the time and train and then run it in 3 or 4 hours than spend 6 or 7 hours miserably trying to keep up.  What a FULL DAY of huffing and puffing.  Ick!!!

It was a great day, though.  Beautiful weather, fun kids, relaxation.  I had one 25 minute phone call with work about some stuff that I have most knowledge about, but I don’t think it interfered too much with our day.  I knew it was probable that it would come up, because some big stuff is happening in my absence.  Considering everything – my interruption was tiny.

I just had to call it quits on a game of Yahtzee because the kids were going NUTS – so very hyper and looney.  I kicked them to the park, and am trying to take deep breaths in the quiet.

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Posting has been light, but with good reason.  The kids’ school play was this past weekend, wherein E was one of the leads, and J was an adorable little singer & dancer.  I, meanwhile, was on the “production team,” and ended up spending every spare moment – both at work and at home – dealing with various play-related issues.

Because of the play, and the importance of it to E, we had a few other things going on this weekend –The Ex was in town; my parents came for the day; and I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to schedule E’s parent-teacher conference for Friday, thinking that I would be at the school all day anyway.

But uh, Zuska?  Did you forget?  You have a job.  It’s sort of full time.

This whole thing worked to force my firm to live up to their oft-stated promises of being a place where work-life balance can be achieved.  I will find out tomorrow (maybe) if there is any fall out to my proclamation of unavailability.

The balancing of the two universes in my life gave me great stress.  It was very uncomfortable, and tense for me.  I did not have uncomfortable interactions (well, sort of one, but I think it was okay), but I had stress and guilt emanating from my very soul.  I am so glad it’s behind me.  (Although I still have a twinge of bad-feelings due to the fact that I am taking the week after next as a vacation week.)

Once that was all folded up into its work box, I was able to shift my stresses to the personal realm.

And how.

In order of events:

  1. I have my first ever negative parent-teacher conference about E;
  2. The ex shows up and drops a summer-related bomb on me during the intermission of the kids’ show – and would not let it go despite several repetitions of “i don’t want to talk about this right now.”
  3. My parents came for the day, bringing all their accouterments and noise;
  4. E woke up on the day of her second show with a scratchy voice, stuffy nose, and persistent cough;
  5. My parents and the Ex and his wife, and Beloved all had to wait in line for the play together for an HOUR, standing no more than 3 feet away from each other.  (That’s where the civility came in – thank you to all.)
  6. Beloved was assigned (by me) a play-related job that required us to partner in dealing with the actors and the cues and such – it didn’t work out so well, and we had the great pleasure of having an in-public argument.  I think people noticed.
  7. I was recognized publicly for my work on the play, with a spotlight on my face.  I hate being in front of a crowd.  Ptooey.
  8. My work at the play included being sure that people weren’t sneaking in to “save seats” and keeping the right people in the right places.  SEVERAL people now refer to me as “that bitch over there,” because unless someone was blind (there were two of them) or otherwise impaired, they were waiting in the fucking line with the rest of the universe (including my family and my children).

It is no small feat that my parents and the Ex managed to stay civil.  I was very worried.  Wanna know how worried?  Here is a funny story.

I told my mom on the phone about the Ex’s stunt re: the summer, while she was driving here from Connecticut.  She was lamenting the fact that she had to see him, and was promising me that she would not even acknowledge his existence.  Which I knew could be very awkward, since I knew they both wanted to be first in line (the line that other people felt too special to go into) so they could have good seats in a sold-out show to see their daughter/granddaughter.

While the parents were finishing their drive, I was e-mailing the ex about the fact that he dropped the fact that tickets to a cruise have been bought by his mother for a week that he does not have the kids, and for a week that Beloved and I planned on taking them to Maine for vacation.

Then the parents arrived.  Mom asked me for a book.  I gave her “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter,” which I must say I didn’t like so very much, and found quite UNremarkable, but thought she would like.  She doesn’t like my favorite books.  She finds them “too hard.”  So I’ve learned to give her books that I find to be a bit …. thin.  She read the back of the book outloud.  It’s about a doctor, who because of a blizzard ends up delivering his own children.  One is born a perfectly normal boy, the other a girl with Downs Syndrome (This is all on the back of the book, I’m giving nothing away)  He turns to his nurse (tiny little sole practitioner office, his nurse his only employee) and tells her to take the baby to a home.  His wife is unconscious.  The nurse instead keeps the baby and moves to another city to raise her.

A beat goes by.  Perhaps other topics discussed.  Then:

Mom:  I am mad at him already

Me:  Mom, please don’t talk about this right now (because I just know she’s talking about the Ex, despite the fact that J is curled up on the couch with her).

Mom:  What?  I’m entitled to my feelings.  Maybe I’ll change my mind, but right now, I’m mad.

Me:  MOM!  I am serious, I need you to not discuss this right now.

Mom:  [sticks her tongue out at me]

Me:  I am NOT kidding!  If you don’t stop right now, I am going to need to talk to you in the other room.

Mom:  You are being very unfair.  I’m not saying anything but my own feelings and I’m entitled to my feelings.

Me:  RIGHT now, you need to come with me in to the other room.

[she gets up with me and comes into my bedroom]

Me:  The girls do NOT need to know that anything is going on, I don’t want you to …..   [her perplexed expression causes my brain to click into gear.]  oh.  You were talking about the doctor, weren’t you?

Mom:  What ELSE would I be talking about?

Me:   I am sooooo sorry!  I thought you were talking about the Ex!!

Mom:  NO!!

Nice one, Zuska.

J later said that she knew we must have been talking about different things, because she knew I would never get so mad about her just talking about a BOOK.  At least she knows that about me.  And is not thinking that she has an irrational control-freak bitch of a mother.

Like I said to my mother – I guess we now know what’s at the forefront of MY mind.

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It was a busy weekend.

  1. E had a friend sleep over on Friday night.  It went well.  It is a friend who I have had some issues with before – her behavior, her negativity, her influence on E.  There was none of that this weekend.  She was flexible, fun, and really pleasant to have around.  It was very nice.  She’s the daughter of a friend, so it was good that it went well.
  2. Both girls had basketball games on Saturday a.m.  Beloved took J to her early game (where she scored a basket, and was very proud, because it was against the Tall Team).  E and her friend walked to theirs alone.  No.  I did not go. There are only two teams in their age bracket (b/c it’s 6-8th grades, and 7th and 8th graders can play for the school teams, and usually choose that over the town team).  Every week, the two teams play each other.  It’s very casual, not competitive, and frankly — boring.  E doesn’t care if I’m there or not, just enjoys running around with her friends.  If I am there, she spends more of her energy monitoring my conversations with other parents (to be sure I don’t say her name …. even if I say “Oh, E is due for a teeth cleaning” or “E’s birthday is in September” she hears her name and has a fit) than she does playing the game.
  3. My parents came in at noon on Saturday.  Mom was having some back pain, so they were a little slow-moving, which was fine with us.
  4. E went to a movie with friends.
  5. J had a girl scout meeting – where she baked bread.
  6. Me, Beloved, Mom and Dad went to see a three bedroom apartment that is for rent. It was pretty nice, but short a bathroom and probably one room.  I also was totally put off by the other occupant of the 2 family house, which may or may not be the owner’s mother-in-law.  Things were a little fuzzy. I think that the space issues could have worked out, but the downstairs person was the deal killer.
  7. Once we collected the girls back at home, we all went out to dinner.  At your typical chain steak-house, which is the sort of place we always go with my parents.  They don’t like my favorite places, they find them “weird” – but I’ll take a steak any day.  J had salmon, and E ate a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs.  The food was pretty good.  My dad got all sappy on me when I offered to pick up the tab …. something about being so proud that I am now in a position where I can do that, but that he won’t let me until I’m “caught up.”  I don’t know waht that means.  Do I have to catch up with HIM?  Catch up with my bills?  Pay off all my school loans?  Whatever he meant – thanks for dinner, dad.
  8. Then, this morning, we cursed the time change as Beloved trudged off to a Sunday morning meeting and my parents and I left two sleeping children to go and see my office.  My parents were duly impressed.  They liked my view, the name plaque on my door, and the building at large.  I think my air-conditioning-fixing dad was a bit proud of his eldest child.  He couldn’t have said so more times.  Mom was just happy to see all the pictures of E and J around the room (and both her nephews, as well).  I think she was reassured that my job does not mean that I’ve forgotten that I still have 2 kids.
  9. We then came home and I dragged the girls out of bed at ELEVEN AM!!!  Shit!!  I know it only felt like 10 them.  And 10 is a normal weekend wake up time for them.  But today it was ELEVEN.  Which does mean that now, at 11:28 p.m., I can hear E tossing and turning and sighing heavy, frustrated, insomniatic sighs.
  10. My dad made waffles.  I don’t know what he did, but the house still smells like syrup.  What the fuck?  We had pancakes yesterday, and the house didn’t smell like syrup all day.  I think it’s because despite the real Vermont maple syrup that we stay stocked in, Dad brought his Aunt Jemima’s, and those artificial flavorings have chemically attached themselves to the paint.  Even Beloved’s stir fry couldn’t rid us of the smell.
  11. I did 8 loads of laundry.
  12. Mom, Dad and I went to 4 open houses.  As in – homes for SALE.  There were several nice ones.  I am not going to push to buy right now.  Even though our jumbo mortgage limit in the Boston area was raised to the point that I likely can buy a few of them.  I’m just not willing to do so just to find myself upside down in a year or so, wanting to move b/c my condo is too small for 2 teenagers and all their friends that they keep dragging home.  I’m resigned to be a renter for a couple more years.  Just not here.  It’s too small.
  13. Then they left.  My parents.  And I was going to go with E to a play, but I was quite frankly exhausted, so I bowed out, and spent some time organizing my ridiculous amounts of clothing, hanging out with J and Beloved, and resting for a minute, because I knew I had to …
  14. Go to the “let’s talk about our 6th graders” meeting that was scheduled for tonight.  Ugh.  That was stressful.  It was about relationships and dating.  About whether or not kids have sex in high school, whether there’s kissing in 6th grade, and whether kids are “grinding” on the dance floor at their little dances this year.   This requires a post of its own.  Because from that discussion came at home discussions, and things just went spiraling off into weirdness (as J called it, until I told her it was NOT weird, it was normal, because it all happens to everyone, and if it didn’t, then there would be no people).  Oh yeah, we had a sex talk, baby.  Replete with erections and ejaculations and the difference between semen and urine.  Beloved was dragged into it, and was stellar.  I shall try to remember to post more about this tomorrow.
  15. It’s a little more stressful that next time, I somehow ended up the chair of the meeting.  Ugh.  We will be talking about Freedom for 6th graders.
  16. Then E caught me snooping around on her phone.  I tried to turn the volume down, and was looking at who she called and who called her, and she came out of her room.  I had time to hide the phone in a towel, and she said, “I’m looking for a book.”  And Beloved told her to go to bed.  But then she found her book and said, “oh, I should put my phone in my purse.  Oh.  Where’s my phone?  I thought I put it right there.”  Dammit.  She totally heard me before I turned the volume down.  All I could was laugh and say, “fine, it’s right here, you snot, stop erasing your text messages.”  She laughed at me and said, “mom! They were all to you!!”  But she didn’t erase her call log, and there’s no denying that a certain boy has been calling her almost daily.  The calls are quick.  Not long.  She tells me that they involve questions about homework and such.  Hmmmm.

And that is what happened on yet another weekend where Zuska brought her work computer home just to leave in her bag all.  weekend.  long.

Fortunately, there are no deadlines until Wednesday.

I don’t blow off deadlines.

Really.

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Along with 90% of the rest of the people that I know, I am not feeling so well.  J was sick today, and unfortunately had to fly that way (she did well, though – they landed safe and sound).  E keeps pretending/trying to be sick, since a lot of her friends have missed 3+ days of school lately.  Colleagues have been going home early.  Beloved and I have sore throats.

The stuff going around varies – some people have fever and aches (straight flu?); some have a stomach virus; some have gross snotty congestion.

So far, I’m just a sore throat.  It does hurt.  I hate sore throats.  I have to drink a lot of water to keep it from hurting more, and it hurts to swallow, and then I end up peeing constantly, b/c of how much water I’ve drank (drunk?  drinken?)

I’m scared to see what comes next.

I already committed to working on the holiday tomorrow.  I have a lot to do, so it is for the best.  But with the girls gone and the health on a downward spiral, I’m not planning on my usual 7 a.m. arrival time.  I think 7 a.m. will be my wake up time.

Half of me wishes I hadn’t publicized my intention to be productive and available tomorrow.  It would be nicer to stay in bed for the day.  But that would just wreck the rest of the week for me, and I don’t want that on my week off from one of my many jobs.

Off to engage in some healing sleep.

Huh.

It’s kind of nice to be blogging again.  Let’s see how long it lasts.  (It was also sort of nice to be missed.)

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night secretary = best friend

I spent several months working at my firm hearing some distant chatter about night staff.  I have left the office between 6 and 7 on several ocassions, and saw very few people on my floor slaving away, and none of them looking for secretarial assistance.  What the heck is night staff FOR?*

I found out on Friday night.

I was working on a project which I thought I could bifurcate into two pieces:  finish one piece on Friday, and come in on Monday (officially a holiday, but the girls are on their way out of town, and I have more than enough work to do, so I’m putting in a full day) to finish the second piece.

At approximately 4 p.m. on Friday, however, I realized I could bifurcate the project, and had to just do it all at once.  I called Beloved, wrangled through the details of what it would mean to the family for me to miss Movie & Ice Cream night, and settled in for the long haul.  I could have, instead, gone home at 5 and then spent Saturday a.m. (6 a.m. until 10, perhaps?) finishing the project.   I preferred to have Saturday to sleep in with the family, and enjoy an entire day with nothing hanging over my head.  Beloved agreed, when the options were laid out.

I scrambled from 4 – 5 with my secretary to make sure I had all the pieces that I needed to finish my project.  Tabs?  5 inch binders?  Copy center forms?  There was a chance I’d be having to send a messenger to a partner’s house on Sunday, so I was asking her about the process for that, and she said, “You know, we do have 24 hour coverage, all you have to do is call the receptionist.”  Huh.  Really?  And then she reminded me of our floor’s night secretary.  Really?

At 6, I couldn’t find any “A” tabs.  We had tons and tons and tons of every other letter, but no A’s.  So I went to the night secretary.  She arm wrestled the folks on other floors until she had a few A tabs in hand.  Phew!

And when I finished my part of the project at 10 p.m., I was able to hand the package over to the night secretary with detailed instructions as to the assembly, the copies, the delivery locations, etc.

I could have used her more, if I didn’t have so much secretarial experience in my own background.  I felt like my requirements were so specific that it would take a lot less time for me to just type my own index than it would for me to explain it to her, and then have to review/revise it according to my own peculiarities.

It is still funny, though.  That someone sits there until midnight every night just in case someone has a freak out moment where they realized their planning wasn’t good enough, and they have to work until movie-time and needs help.  I was grateful for it Friday.

And for those who were wondering – Beloved and the girls had a great time.  They watched The Party and ate ice cream and when I asked them if they missed me, they looked at me like I was from Mars and E said, “we were watching a movie, so we were sort of distracted.”

*I do hear that my friends in other departments are regularly in the office until 10 p.m., and sometimes have been working until 3 a.m. several nights in a row – this does not seem to be the case in my department, and if people are required to work that late, they are typically able to do so at home.

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