Archive for the ‘Zuska the Dork’ Category

I was tempted to just post a giant post of “waaaaaaa!!  I don’t feel good!!”  But, that’s boring.  I didn’t return to the blog for that.

Beloved and I are going to see an accountant tomorrow.  We don’t really have good reason to hire someone to do our taxes this year.  Even though it’s our first year as a married couple, it’s still pretty straight forward.  But he’s never done taxes with dependents to deal with, and I want to hear a tax person say, “y’all need to buy real estate!  you need the deduction!”

It makes me feel so grown up.

Why am I 35, and just now starting to feel grown up?  With an accountant, and a 401K, and research into mortgage rates.

I should have done this 10 years ago.

I’ve had so many realizations latley, where I notice that I am in fact growing up.

I can keep track of things that used to be difficult for me (things like my keys; events at the kids’ school; other smaller responsibilities).  My brain just seems more organized.

Mature, I suppose.

So this is why people wait until they’re my age to have kids.  Because they’re actually mature, and not constantly flying by the seat of their pants.

Huh.  I wonder how that would have gone.

Read Full Post »

I am really not a Scrooge.  I enjoy Christmas music.  I like the smells.  I love snow.  I love wearing sweaters, and scarves and having a red nose.

But have any of you READ this blog?

I just lost 35 fucking pounds.

I don’t need stuffing.

Or mashed potatoes

or fucking PIES.

What is up with the goddamned candy and cookies???

I am a lawyer now.

I can’t promise myself (and my fat ass) that i am going to gym EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I can only TRY.  And sometimes, I instead have to attend meetings.  Or wait for assignments.  Or sit in on conference calls. Or erase hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds of beautiful beautiful) words I had written.

Over Thanksgiving … [brace yourselves]  I gained SIX pounds.  SIX!!!

That’s a lot!!  That means I only lost 29.

Which is not 30.

It is less than 30.

and way less than 35

And it sucks.

but … guess what?

last week?

I lost it again.

Now I’m back to 35.

but I know that I’m on the very exploding verge of losing my ground, and gaining weight again.

And having a double chin again.

And that sucks.


I now hate the holidays.

Read Full Post »

I should be tired.  I have done a lot today.  A lot of work, a lot of exercising, a lot of socializing, a lot of sports practice schlepping, a lot of cleaning, a lot of chatting, a lot of cuddling.

Work still gets an A.  Sometimes I wonder what happened.  Why am I so happy, when people talk about work environments that are supposedly similar to mine in this manner?   I know I’m not in the cut-throat city, but still.  I’m just not seeing it.  And tonight, when I walked down my hallway at 5:30 to talk to a more senior associate about holiday-gift-giving etiquette, I walked past many, many empty offices.

I know, I know.  “Give it time,” or “just you wait and see.”

zuska = optimist.

I believe that my optimism makes good things happen.  It creates a better situation.  All the time.  It’s even, in the past, caused planes to take off when flights would have otherwise been canceled.  I promise.

Tonight, we all did chores.  E took out the recycling, J dusted in the living room, Beloved scrubbed the kitchen floor, I did the bathroom and 2 loads of laundry and straightened and moved furniture to get ready for Friday.

The house is taking shape.

Tomorrow I buy wine, Beloved buys beer.  I then come home (after the girls’ performance and taking the girls out to dinner) and scrub down the kitchen counters and the hardwood floors.  Then we sleep.  On Friday, Beloved vacuums the furniture and makes salsa; I work all day and then stop at the store on my way home to get paper plates and plastic cups; I wipe down the bathroom; throw the bathroom rug in the washer (how does it get dirty so fast?  it gets dirty SO FAST that I know that washing it today will do NOTHING toward it being clean on Friday.  NOTHING); take apart the kitchen table and move it to another room, vacuum the girls’ rug and the living room rug; do a final sweep of the wood floors; set up drinks and snacks; set up all the extra chairs; and otherwise freak out.

Then on Saturday, the girls have basketball games at 10 and 11.  This is okay.  Because basketball is played at the highschool.  The high school is like, 6 blocks from our house.  We do not need a zipcar.  Hell, E doesn’t even need us to walk with her.  And the games are at 10!!  And 11!!  Not 9.  Not 8.  It is downright civilized.

Then I have to make a key lime something or other ….

Anyone have any recipes????

Because that night, we’re going to an early Hannakuh party.

Sunday, I wanted to go out for mine and Beloved’s birthdays (Tuesday and Wednesday).  But I don’t have a babysitter.  😦  Woe is me.   While my kids are able to have spurts of time home alone, I’m not too keen on leaving them home in the evening while hubby and I go out on a date.  That’s a bit much.  Too much.

I really need to go to bed, or I won’t make it to Sunday.

Read Full Post »

I guess I haven’t blogged about the fact that I’m having potentially 30 people at our house on Friday night.


It’s a large gathering of parents in E’s grade. We are creating a support/information-sharing network for parents of middle schoolers. I somehow ended up on the planning committee for it, and although someone else (someone with a house) was going to host, they found themselves double-scheduled. I think the group will be infinitely important, useful and positive. An amazing community-builder, that will help our kids to understand how a community contributes to their development and their lives. I didn’t want it to evaporate just because no one could host.

So I decided that I could move my table out of my kitchen – like I did when I studied for the bar exam – and fill the open space we have with borrowed folding chairs, if that is what is necessary.

Look at what this requires:

I will take the kitchen table and move it into the girls’ room.


(This photo was taken from the kitchen area – see the ugly linoleum?)

I will then make the green chair and the ubiquitous “green thing” flush with the bookshelves:


(See, I already have some folding chairs, borrowed from mom and dad). I will put our kitchen chairs, and the comfy chair from the girls’ room, in the living room, making a circle with the couches.

And then, if need be, the entire entry/dining area can be filled with up to 3 rows of folding chairs. Or it can just be an extension of the circle.


And then maybe … just maybe … I’ll be able to fit everyone.

Obviously, this endeavor also requires a lot of cleaning. I was going to hire someone. But I feel like it’s just too hard to do so for this small space. We have so many space-saving techniques employed, and I think it’s a lot to ask someone to work around those. So I need to find a way to fit it in around our week. Our week that not only includes full time working, daily school and Wednesday evening basketball practice, but also two bookgroups, a potluck dinner, and homework projects. Oh yeah, and my swearing in ceremony. Oh, and it’s our town’s “welcome to the holiday season” celebration, which means the girls have to perform on Thursday night.

So I made a chart:


The girls have very little to do, which of course is only fair. I have the most to do, which is of course the way of the world. I am, after all, the person who agreed to do this. Beloved never would have done such a thing.

Not on the chart is my trip to the liquor store, where I must buy wine and beer for potentially 30 people. Huh? Also … snacks?

I just remembered I had asked Beloved to make his outstanding guacamole and papaya salsas for snacks. Isn’t this a sweet way to remind him?

Read Full Post »

We got in super-late last night.  We left late on purpose – hoping to miss traffic.  We did indeed miss traffic, but found ourselves driving through pea soup fog.  It was pretty intense.

I had gotten up at 5, and was at work by 7 … so come 9 p.m. when we got on the highway, I just … fell asleep.  I was sleeping so fast, and so hard, I didn’t know what was going on when we stopped for gas an hour later.  I couldn’t believe we were already at THAT rest stop.  Huh?  J didn’t even wake up when we stopped, she was so sound asleep.  E was listening to a book on her iPod, and was still up and had to pee.

Once we left the rest stop, the attack of the fog began.  But I still couldn’t stay awake.  Every time I woke up, I found myself in this very surreal world, with glowing lights on all sides – hardly any cars visible.  It was scary.  And weird.  If I wasn’t 1/2 asleep the whole time, it probably would have been fine, but it was scary.  So I kept checking in with Beloved, “Are we okay?” or “are you okay?”  He said yes, and I would just (involuntarily) drift off again.  Just to repeat the whole interaction 20 minutes later.

Turns out I pissed him off.  He felt like I was saying “you’re not driving well — why?”

So I got to fall asleep for good at 12:15 a.m. in the midst of an argument over how my concern did NOT constitute needling.

We woke up refreshed, though, and now all is well.  My brother came this morning with his ADORABLE baby (which still doesn’t do a damned thing to my ovaries … they’re more than happy with the plan to be cut out and mutilated or whatever else happens to ensure that no more babies come into my womb).

Beloved and I are now doing our cooking tasks … I made cranberry sauce, and he’s making stuffing, and I’m getting ready to peel some potatoes.  We are cooking for 20 people, which is not something we’re used to.

The house I want to rent: the landlord had some hang-up, and it’s yanked from the market for now.  The real estate agent seems to think we can talk her into the cat.  The yanking from the market only helps us, since the more time we have to amass the gigantic* move-in costs, the better.

* My friend at work has started using the word “ginormous” despite the fact that she’s my age.  It occurred to me that the word greatly resembles the word that my sister and I used to use for our “down there” anatomy.  “Gyna.”  I told my friend, “the word suddenly sounds a bit perverted to me.” And she said, “you know what?  I know exactly what you mean, I’m not using it anymore.”  Am I the only one (well, as well as my friend) who has made this connection?

Read Full Post »

Bar exam result-day was an exciting one.

It was also an anxious one.  For all of us.

People did lots of searches on the internet for the Massachusetts bar exam results.

Seems like some found my blog that way.

Including at least one person who uses my place-of-employment’s IP address (which is shared by several law firms in my building and its general area).  The fact that it’s shown up again and again, I will interpret as “they like me!  They really, really like me!”  and not as “Oh no!  someone hates me and is going to out me and I’m going to get fired!”  because I think I’ve been careful enough and responsible enough to make that impossible.  I’m also reveling in the assumption that said “finder” – if they are from my firm – is a friend.

Either way … I’ve spent the last 3 or 4 days thinking.

Am I ashamed of what I’ve written? (For the most part – 99% – no)

Do I need to change what I write? (Not so much – even if that proves that I sort of suck as a blogger)

Do I need to delete what I’ve written?   (uhhh …. )

Honestly, I deleted one post, and part of another.

Otherwise –

This is a personal blog.  

It is not about work.

It is not about people at work.

Sometimes, personal and work intersect.  This is something I will dance around, and I will do my best to keep personal.

As in:  How does work affect my family?  How do I navigate the requirements of an intense full-time employment with the fun, joy and fulfillment of a family?

But no mention of my specific employer’s policies – or of particular interactions regarding thereto.

So if you’re sick of hearing about E and J, and you’re sick of me waxing on about the virtues of my Beloved …  well …

I don’t think you should read anymore!

Read Full Post »

A friend and I were driving around today with the kids in the backseat when a message came along from a co-worker: Free tickets to see High School Musical (The play, not the movie) – any takers?

I whispered “No!

Friend said, “come on!

I said, “No!

Kids were up until then oblivious.

I think to myself: Why? Why “no”?

Well, I told myself, it’s raining out. You’re going on a business trip tomorrow. You have a lot of errands to run. It’s really windy out. It’s an annoying show.

And I look at the kids in the backseat, being so good and patient as we drive in the rotten weather to a store which holds, really, nothing for them. And I think,
but it’s raining out.

Friend says, “come on, Zuska! They’re free!” I look again at the kids.

“Why do you keep looking at me?” E asks.

I say (stupid), “Do you want to go see High School Musical today?

Of course, the answer is yes. Of course.

So we reply to the announcement.

And the tickets are ours.

But I’m tiiiiiiiiiiired.

I marvel sometimes, at how stodgy I can be. I have a set plan in my mind, and I have a hard time breaking awy from it. Why is that? Why am I like that?

I was explaining myself to my work friend the other day, and she said it’s because I am a “J.” She said she is a “P,”* and does not suffer from the rigidity of the mind that I suffer with (which is why she knew that I was coaxable, I believe).

I told her that I have realized that being a rigid “J” (If this, in fact, where my hatred of change comes from) is not a positive thing, and I have tried to manage this “fault” of mine. Rather than instantly say “no” to things, I have learned to say, “I need some time to process this, can I call you back in 5 minutes?” I can now be honest about what I’m feeling, and tell people, “This is throwing me off, let me think.”

Which I think is a good thing. An improvement.

But tonight, even after thinking things through and realizing my reasons were just excuses, and just the old familiar clinging to the Plans As Written … I still don’t really want to go.

It’s cold outside.

It’s wet outside.


* I am typically an ESTJ.  Sometimes, depending on how the tests are worded, I come out as an ISTJ.  I think that I am more of the ESTJ than the ISTJ … but I am a borderline introvert-extrovert.  The problem is that I’m not comfortable with people I do not know.  If I know people, I’m very comfortable and extroverted, no matter how many people are in the room.

Read Full Post »

Harmless Error tagged me. I think she chose me because she knew that it was a given that I would have at least 5 dorky things.

1. I’m weird about dessert. First of all, I never eat dessert in the same restaurant that I eat dinner. Never. Usually it’s just because I am full, and I want to be active and give my dinner a chance to evaporate (since we walk everywhere, including to restaurants, this does make sense – I’m not talking about going to the gym or for a hike). Sometimes it’s just because I’m sick of the place after having been there for a while, and want to move on. But it’s my quirks about eating dessert at home, I think, that tend to drive my darling Beloved a little nuts:

  • I can’t eat dessert with the kids. Actually, I can’t eat dessert with the kids AWAKE. I want to be utterly at peace while indulging in my sweet treats, and I don’t want people asking me to get them water, or help them with this or that, or if they can have a taste, or if they can have some, or why I get some if they don’t (which is rare anyway). I just want to focus on the yumminess.
  • I can’t eat dessert if I still have the kitchen to clean up. I think this is in line with the above. To me, it’s just the topping off of the day.
  • I now also have odd rules as to when I can have dessert based upon my diet for the past week. When I was a 1L, I think I ate a pint of ice cream every night. I so wish I was kidding. Now, Beloved looks at me incredulously as I pass night after night on the pint of Vanilla Caramel Fudge that he bought over a week ago for us to enjoy together. “I can’t, I had pasta for lunch.” “no thanks, I had a cookie during an afternoon meeting today.” “I’m too bloaty today.” “Mmm, I’d love to, but I didn’t have time for the gym, and it’s just not gonna work for me.”
  • I also have a favorite spoon. I must use my favorite spoon to eat ice cream (my truly favorite dessert).

2. I’m addicted to Starbucks. It causes problems for me in a lot of ways, but despite brief moments in time where I resist and say that I’m “off coffee,” I have let this addiction control my life when: having a lazy Sunday morning at home, leaving town “first thing in the morning” to go on a trip, planning time it would take to arrive somewhere at the start of the day, and so on. This is stupid. I have been trying to be more flexible, and it turns out I’m more capable than I thought I was. However, it does in fact require 7 cups of normally brewed coffee, interspersed throughout the day, to achieve the same effect as one triple venti non fat latte. So inefficient ….

3. I get really nervous about missing buses and trains. I plan out my time, I check schedules, I allow double the time that’s needed to get to the stop. Yet, without fail, when I’m within a block of my stop, I RUN. I am so afraid that I’m going to miss the damn thing by 1/2 a second, that I get all anxious. My kids have been forced to accept this about me, and to quicken their pace once we’re in sight of the T stop or the bus stop that we’re headed for.

4. I really really hate the phone. I let phone calls go sometimes, on my cell phone, and then later find out who it was and send them an e-mail. I would do e-mail over phone talking any time. I really don’t even know why. I prefer face-to-face conversation to either technology-enhanced options. There is some sense that the phone is more of an intrusion? Maybe? Another funny phone thing: When I am on the phone, I always, without fail, sweep the floors. I have no idea why. Perhaps this is why I don’t like the phone? I can’t multi-task so easily. I can e-mail someone and tell the kids what to do or talk to Beloved. I can’t do that while on the phone. So I sweep.

And then, consistent with #5, I leave little tiny piles of swept dust on the floor, all over the house. For people to step in and kick, and spread back out around the house.

5. I am nitpicky about odd things that contradict the things that I could care less about. My room is a mess, I let the kitchen go for longer than I should without cleaning it, my desk at work is usually strewn with papers until 30 minutes before it’s time to go. Yet there are other (much smaller) things that must be “just so.” The water pitchers MUST stay full. The toothpaste cap MUST stay on the toothpaste. The husband MAY NOT pet the cats on the bed causing them to shed on my sheets and blankets. Along the same lines, I may let things go for weeks on end, and then one day, for no reason, just insist that things – ALL things be perfect.

There we are – the top 5 (for today) dorky things about Zuska. I still prefer not to tag, so instead give an open invite to all who read this to steal the concept, and let me know so I can read along.

Read Full Post »

I do not understand why things can’t be simple.  I do not understand why, despite the plans I make, things must always go wrong.  I just don’t get it.

J’s dentist appointment was at 2:30.  School gets out at 2.  We have been at this office several times, using 3 different modes of transportation:

  1. The lovely MBTA, green line trolley
  2. The lovely MBTA bus
  3. A taxi-cab.

The taxi cab was infinitely more expensive than the other options, and really not all that faster.  But there was a time that I left the house without my wallet (b/c I am a dork) and got all the way to the girls’ school before I realized it.  I would not have made it on time if I had to get J from school, walk back home, get the wallet, and then walk back past the school to the appropriate T line.  The bus that makes a direct line between us and the medical area is notoriously slow, and only is scheduled to come once every 30 minutes … so add slowness to that, and I have been known to wait for up to an hour.

Today, however, I was afraid of the time crunch.   So I called cab company at 12:40 and told them to pick me up at 2:10.  In order to get out of the school dismissal crowd, I told them to pick me up around the corner at the library.  they said fine – you’re all set.

At 2:04, J and I get to the front of the library.  At 2:07, I notice that some girls flagged down a cab 1/2 way down the block and thought, “I hope that wasn’t my cab … but it’s early, so if it were, it wouldn’t take another customer.”  At 2:16, I got nervous.  I called the cab company.  The dispatcher said, “it’ll be right there.”

At 2:22, I called again.  he said, “I’ve sent two cabs!  You must have gotten the address wrong!”  I didn’t.  I was there.  On the street.  He said he’d send another one.

At 2:28, we gave up and started jogging to the T station.  It was a good 5 blocks away.  I was not happy – I had to really fight for this dentist appointment, and if we were so late so as to count as a cancellation, J wouldn’t get her braces on as scheduled.

Fortunately, the T came right away.   We only had to go one stop.  I realized that I really should have done it this way from the start.  But I hate waiting for trains when stressing that I’m going to be late for an appointment.

So much better waiting for a cab.

We got off the T, and had another good 4-5 blocks (long ones) to walk.  I said, “come on, J, let’s run” and started off at a trot.

For about 12 steps.

Then:  pop, crunch.

My ankle.

I turned it in a pothole on the sidewalk.  It hurt so bad, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to walk, let alone run the last 3 blocks.  It was 2:42.  I stood on the other foot while waiting for the cross signal, and found that I could in fact walk.  It hurt, but I could move.

We arrived at 2:50.  J was seen.  Separate post to follow.

When we left, we were joking that we would not take a more than one step per MINUTE after jogging to the appointment, and we were walking reeeaaaallllly slowwwwwlllly.  I was glad of that, because my ankle was still throbbing.

But we walked to the T, we walked from the T to the school to get E.  We walked from the school to the pharmacy to get J some tylenol because her mouth was sore.  We walked home from the pharmacy.  I knew my ankle was a little sore, but I didn’t feel like I couldn’t walk.

Upon getting home, I came straight to my bed with my computer (E has a friend over, and they’re watching t.v.).  My ankle is THROBBING.  It hurts so bad.  I got up after emailing my sister to get the mail, and I could barely walk.

Great.  Just great.

I am not out of shape anymore.  I don’t understand why I can’t fucking walk without all the drama.  I exercise every day.  I hike.  I walk everywhere I go.  WHY OH WHY does this happen to me?  Note an excerpt from a post I wrote earlier in the summer:

In November of 2002, I stumbled down the steps of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I had on Dansko clogs, and my foot twisted onto its side in a way that [i think] pulled every single muscle and tendon in my foot. It hurt so much, I could barely walk for a week. I went to the doctor and had x-rays taken, thinking it was broken, but there were no breaks.

It’s bothered me ever since.

I have changed my shoe-buying habits since then. I often go for brands that are known for their sturdiness rather than for their fashion-quota … although I try to bridge the two. I still wear Danskos, but not that same heel, b/c I do occasionally turn my foot in them, and when I do, it sparks every bit of pain that I had on that day of the fall. I hear from many of my friends that they also turn their feet in those shoes, so then I don’t think I’m that clumsy.

See?  This is a theme, and I’m really sick and tired of it.

The foot today – same foot I hurt in ’02.  the shoes I had on today?  Loafers.  100% flat loafers with grippies on the bottoms.  They’re Borns.  totally conservative and safe shoes.

Yet, here I am wondering if it’s too tacky to ask E to bring me tylenol and a glass of water when she has a friend over.  Because I don’t want to get up and walk to the other room.

Because it hurts.

I will never again call a cab in this town.

I would also like to point out that this is not a side effect of not having a car.  If I had a car, and if I were to take J to the dentist right after school – we would have been later than we were.  Not because my car wouldn’t have picked me up, but because I would have been driving into one of the most congested parts of Boston, the medical area, with the least amount of parking.  A cab could have worked (you know, if it showed up) because it doesn’t have to park.  A car would not work, and driving from their school to this doctor’s office in a car that I would be required to put somewhere while inside would not have been feasible.

Read Full Post »

(as in, to move)

I went into the kitchen earlier today, remembering my parents brought yummy french bread that would have molded in the drawer while they were on vacation.

I decided that along with a glass of the bottle of red wine that they uncorked last night and left for me, I wanted a slice of bread with butter.

The butter was on the counter, and I wanted a butter knife.

But months ago, I had moved the silverware from canisters on the counter to a drawer (used to be my “junk drawer” which became a bit slovenly, so I emptied it and moved the sliverware in).

Upon arriving in the kitchen – at least 3 months later.  I felt lost.  Where were the knives?  I looked on the counter.  No.  I looked at the butcher block – are they in those drawers?  No.  I found myself turning in at least a 1/2 circle before I remembered – ah yes, the junk drawer.

I had not yet a single glass of alcohol.  Nothing to alter the waves of my brain.

I just had a hard time catching up.

Read Full Post »