Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Our entire family seems to be having very vivid dreams over the past few days, except maybe Wife, who has been having trouble sleeping. Hard to dream if you are not asleep! Let's see, Boy Wonder woke up a couple mornings ago, very excited that the dream he'd just had seemed "like real life." He dreamed something about a guy taking him to school and then home - or home and then school. As I write it, it sounds a little creepy but when he was telling it, the dream seemed to be mostly about transportation. The Princess was giggling and laughing in her sleep. I love it when the kids smile and laugh in their sleep. It makes me feel like they have happy lives that continue right on into their sleep.

I've had a lot of dreams, most of which I don't remember much about. Last night, in my dreams, I was hanging out at a house (maybe we lived there) with women in sexy corsets. Wait, no that's not what they were wearing, but they were sexy women from the L Word - Kate Moennig and Jennifer Beals. Sadly, I was awakened by a little boy going to the bathroom. *sigh*

A More Realistic Retreat

As you may know if you've been following my blog, our life tends to get a bit hectic. Whose doesn't, right? We'd love to take a few days at the beach, but can't manage it right now. Wife was thinking a continuous play DVD of the ocean sounds good. I was thinking if I added a pair of Bose headphones to block out the sounds of reality, that would be even better! Something tells me that would only work AFTER the kids are in bed. Otherwise, they'd be climbing all over me and dancing in front the tv, competing for attention with the strange new device on my head.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Time Management

It's only Tuesday and I'm already having one of those weeks where I am going in about 56 different directions at once! Is this the sort of problem that luxury watches can assist me with, or do I simply need to make some lists and start crossing off the tasks one by one? Yes, probably the latter, but really, a nice watch never hurts anything!

We have new siding going up on our house even as I type. This is both really nice, and not, because it wasn't like we said, "Hey, this is the year for that siding we've been saving up for." No, it was more like, "Oh, Damn, there are mushrooms growing out of the sides of our house, we need to do something quickly!" As a result of the necessity for siding, we've been dealing with financing hassles. Ugh.

Then, there's this little thing called Law School. For some reason that I am thinking of as SPRING FEVER, nothing in my text books seemed to be written in English. I could tell because the words were not making sense as I read them this past weekend. Clearly, they must have been in a different that was giving me subliminal messages about wanting to go outside and play in the sun rather than read. The voice did not exactly win....I stayed inside, but am pretty sure I didn't absorb much of the Public Lands reading that was in the foreign language.

Job - going fine. Internship - going very well. Kids - having a better week than last, and are a constant source of amusement. Wife - will be happy when the siding project is done and we can return to our regularly scheduled life.

Me too.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nature's Glory

Sometimes, you just have to sit back in awe and appreciation at this beautiful world.

This is the view from my window at my internship. Pretty spectacular, right? I am a lucky woman!

Craving a Vacation!

I don't think a person should have to go to drug rehabilitation just to get a vacation, do you? Seems like it has been way too long since we went anywhere just for fun - maybe a September beach trip? I guess for a nice vacation, people do need to not be required to put new vinyl siding on their house though - what an expensive undertaking! Ah, what's an extra $13K when you are going to be $150K in the hole with student loans, right? UGH.

Anyway, it has been so beautiful out lately, it would be so nice to get away to the beach. (I could say that even if the weather had been crappy - any day at the beach is a good day.) A mountain cabin? A cabana on a tropical island? A hotel anywhere with a nice view, a hot tub, and a separate room for the kids to sleep in? Well, spring break is coming! Maybe we can fit in some "for fun" plans somewhere around the shared birthday party we will likely be going to with Wife's side of the family. It would be something to look forward to!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Splitting Fiscal Authority

Funny how separation of chores happens in a family, isn't it? Seems like for many things, one person's natural inclinations leads them towards a particular kind of activity, and hopefully, the other person's leads them to different activities and somehow, it all gets done. When I am home (I know, not that often.....but BEFORE law school....and in the summer) I cook and Wife cleans the kitchen after meals. Wife does many of the indoor cleaning chores, and I do the outside work. (I do some indoor cleaning, too, and some laundry, though not nearly my fair share!) Until recently, I had never thought much about the odd way that we've managed splitting our financial duties - she manages the checking accounts, pays the bills, and handles all the day-to-day stuff, while I deal with longer term things like juggling credit cards to get the lowest interest, applying for auto loans and refinancing the mortgage. Neither of us likes dealing with the other's types of activities. I wonder how typical this type of split is - it seems natural that one person would handle all of the financial matters. Maybe we are both too big of control freaks to let it all go?! (Or - just too lazy, busy, whatever to take it all on!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A post simply because I have time

I am feeling SO unproductive today....nothing pressing to do at work, I have taken care of stuff needing my immediate attention, have handled a few personal tasks like making an appointment for an eye exam and providing Wife information about my retirement account (applying for a loan due to the desperate need for new siding on our house), and I find myself totally unmotivated to do anything. Blah.

It is really hard sometimes to be in different locations, having things to do those locations (internship, job, school) but not the things I either want to work on or that actually really need my attention far worse than what is in front of me. For instance, I need to listen to a podcast of a class I missed last week far worse than a project I could do at work that will end up causing more work for someone that I need doing something else for me rather than said project.

Mid-afternoons are hard for me. So sleepy! Fortunately, my Coke is kicking in and I have an early class tonight: Ocean and Coastal Law 4-6. Guess I best run.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Furry home security systems

Strange the way families change over the years, or even, over one year. I'll skip some of the obvious stuff, and get to my point. (I know, you are all disappointed at my lack of commitment to meandering tonight...) Until very recently we'd had a rottweiler in our family for the past 13+ years - the entire time Wife and I have been together, and I actually had a 5-year-old rottie when we met. ("You have what kind of dog?" said then-new-girlfriend, turning pale.) Rottie's are wonderful dogs - kind, gentle, sweet.....the only thing that gives them a bad reputation is people who either abuse them, or train them to be fierce, or both. Sure, they are big and strong, and that is enough to get them into a certain amount of trouble - they can easily knock people over in their enthusiasm to say "hi" or dig up a yard, or furniture, without even trying (puppies should be crated if you aren't home). Even though both of our rotties have been the sweetest dogs ever, having them around has given us an added sense of security. A big, strong dog laying around the house, barking in the yard, and staring out the window tends to make a house less of a target than many others. Wife recently admitted she does not feel as safe now that our dear Jaxon is gone. Jordan, the dalmatian, is a wonderful, sweet boy with a big, strong bark, but he doesn't exactly have "guard dog" written all over him. When it comes to his instinct for alarm system monitoring, and sounding out an alert when odd noises occur....well, he's pretty darn happy to stay asleep on the bed. Perhaps this summer we'll add another addition to our doggie population. We're thinking maybe a boxer this time, or a rottie-mix. I'm just not sure I'm ready for another purebred rottie. I want to honor the memories of the two we've had, and allow a new dog to create her own identity.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Fun - Word Games!

I received this in an email, but it seemed like a fun thing to share on a post. Feel free to take up the challenge on your own blog!

*Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following...

(They have to be real places, names, things..nothing made up!)

VEHICLE: Delorean
TV SHOW: Dharma and Greg
SOMETHING YOU WEAR OR WOULD WEAR: Damask Blazer (yes, I am reaching...)
CELEBRITY: Donnel, Rosie O'
FOOD: Dryer's Ice Cream
SOMETHING YOU SHOUT: DAMN! (Dinner! Delightful! Disneyland!)

What's in a name?

When you are a kid, brand names are confusing. Boy Wonder is starting to read and is very curious about.....well, everything! He reads words on computer games, magazines and books, signs, but especially intriguing are labels. Yesterday, Wife brought the kids to work for Valentine's Day so we could all have lunch together. I picked up sandwiches, pasta and milk on the way from my internship to my "real" job. During lunch, we helped Boy Wonder read his milk label. It said: Baby Moo.

"What's that?"

"A little cow," was wife's reply, and then we got into the brand name discussion that we've had many times. It is confusing because it is not WHAT the product is....uh....except sometimes. Kleenex? Coke? M&Ms? (I could launch into a trademark discussion at this point, but won't.) We've described brands as the company that makes the product. Still, it is sometimes a tricky one. Here's one that got me this week:festool. Sounds like a fun stool, right? Maybe it swivels, or comes in fun colors? Nope. It's a brand of tools. Who knew?

Have a fun weekend, all! Maybe some of you will be riding your John Deere, cruising in your Bayliner or kicking back in your LazyBoy. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Been to Branson?

Speaking of odd places, has anyone been to Branson Missouri? I understand that it is quite the tourist spot for many. It is known as the family friendly Las Vegas, or so I hear. They have a ton of entertainment, theatres, music, golf......I am wondering what part of the country is drawn there. I get that people go cross-country for Disneyland, or for New York City, but do people spend time and money going to Branson? I think the answer is yes, and feel just a tiny bit sheltered that I don't know more about it.

Couldn't locate it on a map

Do you ever just hear about someone being someplace you don't expect them to be and wonder why the heck they are there? For instance, today at work we are desperately needing an answer from one of our attorneys and he was located - but in Florida. (That is NOT nearby.) In our part of the country it always seems odd to hear of someone being in Nebraska or Iowa, and you just think "why?" You read about Georgia land for sale and wonder who would buy it. The answer is probably - someone wishing to live in Georgia. Odd that we are so geocentric (is that a word) that it is disruptive to our thought patterns to hear about happenings in states beyond our own border states - or CA or NY. Just an odd thought of my day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Baby Conspiracy

Here's something many of you moms out there will be able to relate to. Have you ever noticed that just as your little ones are no longer babies, someone out there in the advertising world senses your weakness and starts sending you baby things? In the past couple months we've received two newborn diapers in the mail (separate mailings), formula, and various advertisements about "our newborn."

Uh...what newborn would that be? Our three-year-old? OR - perhaps I am living an alternate life in which I recently gave birth, or my wife did, or my husband did (hey - I did say an alternate life).

Still, the little baby stuff is always so cute and reminds me of when our kids were all sweet and cuddly and would fall asleep in a little ball in my arms. Today I saw the cutest contraption - it is like a baby hammock, and is supposed to make your baby fall asleep faster and sleep longer. Seems like it might work. It is called amby baby motion bed.

I wonder if they come in adult sizes?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mom Moment

I realized in reading back through yesterday's blog explosion that I may have portrayed a much less happy picture of my daughter's birthday than I actually experienced. It was a wonderful day and I had a lot of fun celebrating with her. There are some great pictures on Wife's blog - though none really captured the Little Princess's pure joy (though the cake-eating comes pretty close).

Allow me to adjust my lense a bit and share the really good parts of needing to compartmentalize my life as much as I do. Because I must focus on whatever my schedule says it is time for - it means I don't have to constantly make decisions about what I should be doing. The time of day dictates that for me. Easy! Also, I have become good at absorbing myself in the moment. When I am with my family - I am really with them - blocking the other stuff out of my head (except thoughts of vacations...I always have room for those thoughts). When it is time to study - that's it - I can focus on my work....right up until the point that my eyes close and the book falls out of my hand. No, wait. That doesn't happen :) When it is time to chill and watch tv, I have no guilt about doing that. I move from one fun event or task or duty day by day, giving each item its alloted amount of time, and as much as possible, live in that particular moment. That really is a useful way to live, and allows me to appreciate the small moments. Now THAT is a real benefit.

If Hillary Was A Man

I really respect the women who were in the trenches during the feminist movement, even if today that is not always a popular word. Break it down into what it was really about - equality for women - which we still do not have - and if you're not for us, you're against us. I am realizing more and more that *I* am of much closer to that generation of women than not, and share at least a piece of their sense of history, of perspective, of pain, and of hope.

Here is a really good article written by "award-winning writer, feminist leader, political analyst, journalist, editor, and co-founder of the Women's Media Center, Robin Morgan::*
* description lifted off of her blog so I did not have to write my own before my first cup of coffee

If you don't like Hillary, you may not enjoy this article.
If you don't like women, you may not like this article.
If you really believe in equality for all, you may not like this article.

If you are on the more conservative side of the political fence, try ignoring the Hillary references, and read the article for the rest of its substance. Robin makes some really good comparisons between how our country is treating Hillary and Barack, and how it seems acceptable to act in women-hating ways, but not racist ones. It is a really interesting perspective. (I bring up this topic for that perspective, not as a political endorsement.)

I was talking with an old friend yesterday and this very topic came up - well, the issue of gender, not race. She is fairly high up the ladder for a HUGE corporation - high enough to see the crap that goes on, and where women get stuck, and how frequently it is because of other women. She says that women are terrible to each other - an oddity I've both witnessed and read about. She admits that she is harder on women than on men. Maybe because she expects more from women. Maybe because she knows how hard she's had to work. The reason may not matter as much as the fact that she's identified her behavior and is actively seeking to change it. How many of the rest of us are ready to face our own hipocracy?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Experimenting with Coke and Coffee

You know how sometimes a person barely blogs at all for a while and then all of a sudden, they do a little blog explosion all in one day? No. Never happened to me either. *grin*

I experimented with making my own version of Coke Blak (may it rest in peace) today prior to my 3:00 meeting. Let me first make note that coffee should not have the consistency of syrup, but it did. It was made early this morning by someone who likes their coffee very strong. I added a bit of water, Coke and ice. It was good. I am really awake now!

I wrote a cover letter for a summer clerkship this afternoon, hoping the place might accept a part-time clerk rather than the usual full time deal since I have to still work my "real" job that supports my family. I read the letter. I looked at my resume. I read the letter again. I am trying to decide if my package says, "This person is a go-getter with great commitment to the law - hire her immediately," OR "This person is a complete nut-job - just recycle that resume." I was imagining the person reading the letter...."OK, 12 credits of class, 32-hour a week job, OK, good.....wait, she's doing an internship, too? That's crazy! She's clearly mentally imbalanced, or soon will be. Stay away from this person!"

I know. I'm just being silly.....but I am not falling asleep anymore. (I wrote the letter prior to my Coke experiment.) Time to leave for class. No more posts today, my friends.

Compartments of My Life

There are times when the need to compartmentalize my life is more difficult that others...when things seems to blur together and demand attention from beyond the borders of their duly designated time for my attention. I've been feeling that way quite a bit over the past week, but this weekend it was especially strong. It was our Little Princess's third birthday. We had a big party planned for Saturday at 2:00. I had to leave the house at 9 to go study, while the rest of the family went to go pick up the cake (ordered weeks ago) and food and then go swimming at the hotel where Wife's brother and his girlfriend were staying since they were visiting for party weekened. (Cool, right?) It's not that I really wanted to do any of those things, but I did want to be a part of the family, enjoying the excitement of my daughter's special day. I did bring balloons home, but they were all but unacknowledged since Wife's brother had arrived moments before with a much more impressive bouquet of Dora balloons. (Boy Wonder still enjoyed them, at least.) It was difficult having my head in my studies when my heart was with my nearly-three-year-old.

The party ended up a huge success and I played primary parent during the party - including performing the much-coveting duty of scooping the backyard so the kids (Birthday Girl, Boy Wonder and their cousins) could go out and play. (Yuck.) Wife did a wonderful job of putting the party together, creating and sending customized invitations, cleaning the house...etc. I did manage to clean the carpet the weekend before, and put up a few streamers on Saturday morning. Still, I know everyone would have appreciated it had I been around more for the preparation. Story of my life, right? At least, once I arrived home at 1:30 on Saturday, the rest of my weekend was devoted to family time (and the memorial reception of an old friend's mom....sad..but still the family was with me).

Still, the theme of compartmentalizing was on my mind this weekend. It just seems that there is never quite enough time to do any of the categories justice.....Family - break that down even more - Wife, Kids. Work, Internship. School.....Let's add another weighing heavily on my mind...Future Work. I am working really hard to create the opportunities and connections now so that I will be employed in a legally-related area by this time next year. Fortunately, out of habit, I know how to focus on one thing at a time, and that really is the only way to get things done, but some times are more difficult than others.

Escape to - The beach? The mountains?

Ah...middle of winter and the desire for a vacation AWAY FROM HOME is strong. Disneyland is always the top choice, but as that is financially out of our reach at the moment, the beach seems nice. There is a chance of snow between here and there, though, so I've not been able to commit myself to that option. The mountains - a nice cabin with a hot tub and snow to play in would be fun, but then, we'd have the snow thing to contend with, and neither of us is comfortable driving in snowy/icy conditions. Too risky. Clicking around on cabin options, I found some gorgeous ones, Pigeon Forge cabin rentals. I looked closer to find out where they were......Tennessee!? Well, a bit far for us, but maybe not for someone reading this. They are gorgeous cabins, and I found the perfect one with a hot tub right on the deck. How great does that sound??

Dreams of a Home Theatre

While you are wondering about the bomb-resistant watches, you may start wondering if they use such things in the movies......Do stunt doubles use them in movies like Die Hard 85 (or whatever one we are on now....4?)? Maybe you could get a close-up look if you had a giant flat-screen tv,
leather home theater seating and one of the set-ups with the ability to zoom in on whatever area of the screen most interests you. That reminds me that I've not blogged about The L Word yet this seaons, and there really is a lot to say. It has been a wonderful, fun season so far, filled with everything I want from goood TV. Now, if only I had that home theatre to enjoy it in......

More on Fancy Watches

This may come off a bit like an advertisement, but since I have often blogged about watches, I'll risk it. You know how sometimes you see a gorgeous watch and think - wow, that's a lot of money, or wow, I'd almost be afraid to wear something that expensive on my wrist? This website I found has those kinds of watches. The site,, carries such brands as Bell and Ross, Rolex and Piaget. As I was reading through the history and description of the Bell and Ross watches, I saw that they were developed by a list of engineers in various fields such as space, diving and bomb detonation. WHAT? Bomb detonation? Yes - we damn well want to make sure the watch doesn't get damaged if the bomb goes off......

Friday, February 08, 2008

Still Pondering the Election

I'll continue with my election topic of my last post and say that this You Tube video is interesting and getting lots of attention:

Sure, it is manipulative, but is it moving, which is what a good speach, or a good video is supposed to do, right? Barack is a good speaker, and very appealing.

The real question right now is "Who can beat McCain?" When it comes right down to it, it does not matter if Hillary or Barack will make a better president. What matters, is who can win?

I've been reading up on this a bit, and it seems Hillary is known for being more of a strategist and Barack as a bridge-builder. Both are great qualities for a leader to possess. Overall, I'm still leaning towards Hillary, but I sure like the energy Barack brings to the election. Seems like a long time since people, especially young people, were so excited about a presidential candidate. Let's face it, our choices, and the "vote" over the past 8 years, has given us little to be excited about, plus sent out the message that our votes don't really matter since election results can be bought. *sigh*

That wasn't very uplifting, was it?

OK - how's this? Hillary or Barack - either one would be a very exciting choice and one of them HAS to win because we can't let the Republicans stay in the White House. It is time for a positive change!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Randomness: Life, School, Elections

Seems time for a posting sponsored only by My Life. What to blog about today? You know how sometimes you think, "I should blog about that someday," but then you don't remember what "that" was when you actually need a topic? It seems to be one of those days. What does that mean for you, Dear Readers? It means, you get Randomness from My Mind :)

- Read Wife's blog for updates on her medical condition. We are hoping for good news about yesterday's MRI. Good news will not change the diagnosis of the syrinx - a chronic condition that we hope remains status quo and does not get worse. Symptoms are traveling again - a weird reality she will have to adjust to - sometimes it is pain, sometimes numbness, sometimes a flu-like feeling - none of it very much fun, but easier to deal with when it more resembles back pain, which she's lived with for the past 11 years, so it is at least somewhat familiar.

- Grades. What a taboo subject, right? I'd not want to break social conventions and talk too much about them, but I will say where I used to be very consistent in my grades, I am now mixing it up with more variety. Some pretty grades with straight lines in them, some with more rounded curves, some very rounded ones....all much more diverse and aesthetically intriguing. Overall, I am happier than I might have been, but not as happy as I could be.

- The election: Clinton or Obama? I'm happy with both candidates. I go back and forth. Overall, I am leaning towards Clinton. Here is a fun quiz you can do to see how your opinions match with those of the candidates:

My first attempt matched me with three folks out of the running. I switched a few answers for questions I was close on, or didn't really know about, and came out with Hilary as my third choice, below two candidates who are out of the race. (Juding by the chart, Obama was very close, though.)

-Happy thoughts for the day:
The beach, my kids laughing, Disneyland, a beautiful sunset/sunrise, oh - nature, in general - check out the gorgeous pictures on Lynilu's blog today.

- Great news (this blog has been in progress for a while) - MRI is normal! Now THAT is a happy thought!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Closed Captioned

So, most of us have probably turned on the captioning service option on the tv at least once, right? For those who are deaf, this is a wonderful service, and for those of us who are not deaf, it is still quite interesting, although possibly distracting. Here's something I'd never heard of until recently - captions at the movie theatre. Wife and I went to a movie just a bit before Christmas and saw Martian Child. (Really good!) I'd checked the times before we left, and when we got to the theatre and asked for two tickets, the cashier asked if we wanted the showing that was 4 hours away. No, we told her we wanted the one starting in 10 minutes. She informed us that one was captioned. OK, fine. It was quite interesting, having words at the bottom of the screen throughout the movie, and Wife found herself quite distracting reading the words sometimes, but overall, it was fine. What a great idea - and a way to allow anyone who is hearing impaired to really enjoy the shows. It is also useful for those of us who don't always understand what was just said because we were crunching our popcorn too loudly, or were whispering, or were otherwise distracted. Hmmm...maybe we do need to keep captioning turned "on" at home!

Ready for Wireless!

I am so ready for computers that have no cables. No speaker cables, or mouse cables, or printer cables, or scanner cables....I'm only barely tolerant of the power cord. I know technology had provided us with more and more wireless things....wireless keyboard, wireless mouse.....but do they have enough options to have NO cables behind my computer cluttering up everything, collecting dust, and frustrating me to no end when something has to be added, switched or swapped? Just wondering...

The kids have chosen their professions

Tonight at bedtime, after the kids had their story and a final bathroom run, Boy Wonder tells me that he and his sister have just decided what they want to be when they grow up. Always interested in what's going on in their minds, I was eager to hear the rest.

Really? What do you want to be.


My sister wants to be a fish.

OK. Not what I was expecting. I was not expecting a doctor or lawyer or futures broker, but I really was not expecting a fish.

He convinced her she had to pick something real. She came up with a firefighter and he wants to be a mail carrier. A firefighter is a fine profession, but being a fish sounds less dangerous. Maybe she should hold out for that one.

Superbowl Fan?

I have a confession. We don't watch the Superbowl. We don't even know who is playing. I told Boy Wonder today that the Superbowl was on - figured I should at least tell him what the Superbowl is, right? He told me he liked football. I told him he was welcome to stop playing computer games and go watch the game on tv. Nothing happened.

I found out on the radio that I was supposed to rush out and get not only a new big screen tv, but HDMI splitters so I can enjoy the game in every room of my house. I settled for buying 3 avocados and tortilla chips. Just doing my part to support the big game.