Friday, February 27, 2009

Sunny Day Dreamin'

It is a gorgeous day with clear blue skies and the promise of the weekend just ahead. It is still chilly, but the sun is starting to warm things, and the hint of spring is heavy in the air. I know this is just a tease. Heck...we had a bit of snow just two days ago...but I can tell spring is on its way!

First this tease, then it will get rainy and yucky....generally about April I hit the stores looking for sale on garden supplies and plants. A sunny weekend spent getting the garden in shape is just the thing to shake the winter blues. I have already been browsing on line and found a very cool natural gas campfire. How cool would this be? It is beautiful and would provide a clean fire at the touch of a switch any time you wanted. No need to look for firewood, kindling, newspapers and matches. It would be common enough to have a fire that the kids would not be so excited every time we have one that they can barely listen to fire safety rules (somewhat of a challenge for us last summer). Yes, the yard would have to be rearranged so it could be the center of a beautifully landscaped garden area -

What? The dogs? The kids? The cabin-sized tent we put up every year over numerous weekends? Oh, right...OK, I'm back to reality. Still, it's fun to dream and this is a beautiful day for it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On Being a Semi-Job-Seeker

Here I am, on the cusp of graduation, wanting very much to move on in my career, and yet practical enough to know where I am now is a great place to be during these last months of school and through bar prep. The job is low stress, those I work with supportive, and I should be able to drop to half-time during Bar-Bri study time.

Still, I surf frequently, just in case that perfect "in" to a desired company, or even better, the perfect position, opens up. I've met with various leaders in my field of interest and have a list of probably 20-30 contacts that I have met with and try to keep in touch with at least many of them. There are certainly not many positions open, nor much stir about future openings, other than the knowledge that energy, my chosen field, will eventually boom. I'm not waiting for the explosion, and am looking carefully for the tiny click of a door potentially opening.

The other day, as I was searching the "career" section of a variety of companies who manufacture renewable energy sources, such as windmills and solar panels, I came across something that sounded promising. It was something about being a part of the energy solution, a member of a growing team committed to the turned out to be jobs in sales. Not exactly what I had in mind. The search continues...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Long, Pleasant Drive

Today we drove 2 hours to get to my great-niece's 4th birthday party. We've only been to their town once before, prior to Boy Wonder being born. Since it seems kind of far away for a couple hour birthday party, we've not been looking forward to the drive, but we have been looking forward to seeing my niece's new house. As it ended up the drive went fairly quickly, the kids were good, and we were really glad we went.

Thanks to a sale before Christmas, I am now the proud and happy owner of a handheld navigational device which we took as a backup to the written instructions emailed to us by my niece. Because the instructions contain such tips as, "You will pass a llama ranch and later a buffalo ranch" we knew we were going out in the middle of nowhere and there was no cell phone service if we got lost. The Christmas gift proved an excellent assurance that we were on the right track! We arrived before the party-start time, and we all had a great time visiting with family while we were there.

Long car trips can be a challenge and I have to say I don't know what we did before our portable DVD player, Leapster, and GameBoy. Boy Wonder has loved his Leapster since his 4th Birthday when he received it and was so absorbed that he did not even notice the guests left until 10 minutes after everyone was gone. Now Our Little Princess is the main Leapster player, using her brother's for a long time until she got her own pink version for Christmas. She was thrilled! The Leapster games are great - the kids feel like they are just playing a game, but educational components are built into game play so we can feel good about the hours they spend staring at the screen! I can't say that Boy Wonder's GameBoy is nearly as educational, but it too does build certain skills, such as logic, planning, and of course, hand-eye coordination. The Leapster though is something we always feel good about. I'd highly recommend one for passing the time on long car trips!

Appreciating the Good Stuff

Why is it that after Christmas, just when you're kind of back to semi-healthy eating habits, Girl Scout cookies and Camp Fire candy come out? I mean really - who can resist those scrumptious goodies? It is almost anti-American to pass by kids, selling chocolaty deliciousness, earning money for camp. Perhaps another group should come along in April selling an assortment of diet pills as their fundraiser!

Let's just say, we have done our parts this year, and probably not shared with the children nearly as much as might be expected. Hey - it is expensive stuff, and they don't appreciate the rarity of the treats nearly as much as we do. Is anyone buying this excuse for indulgence? I certainly hope so!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Slowly Creeping Out of Denial

Do you know if you misspell "denial" you get "denali" which is a town in Alaska? I am thinking "Slowly Creeping Out of Denali" might be a good name for a book which could later be adapted into a screenplay for a major feature film. That's what I'll be doing rather than being a lawyer.

A lawyer? Really? Seriously? So, was it the fantastic hours, the great reputation or the enormous student loans that first attracted me to the profession? Maybe it was the killer 2-day exam at the end of a HUGELY expensive 4-year education that if you don't pass you don't get to play the game?

All kidding aside, just for a moment, yesterday I went to a presentation/ Q&A session with a sampling of our state's Bar Examiners, ordered my cap and gown, and sent away for the bar application kit. Apparently, ready or not, graduation and the bar exam are rapidly approaching. Wow.

If any of my classmates are reading this, the most valuable tip I got was that the March 31st deadline for the bar application is really just the deadline for the application itself. You can send in supplemental materials, such as DMV records, later.

OK, so, I get through this last batch of classes, somehow piece together a freaking major research paper that I never should have gotten myself into (but that will probably prove to be the most interesting thing I am working on) and before you know it - BAM - I will have pretty initials after my name.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Boy Wonder was so cute this morning, excitedly reading every one of his Valentine cards to me. His class had a party yesterday and they all exchanged cards...some with can imagine how exciting that was!

This weekend we will celebrate a "Family" Valentine's Day, with candy and little stuffed animals for the kids (hey - they were on sale), and maybe a little something for us grown-ups, too. If we are lucky, maybe tomorrow night we'll get the kids to bed early, pop open a bottle of wine, and NOT watch Sponge Bob!

Admission - I love TV

I admit it, I am a TV junkie. I love good, mindless entertainment. I want scripted, acted stories - none of this reality TV crap that is passing as entertainment these day. Put writers and actors and producers to work - and create something to entertain me.

If you have been following my blog for long, you may know that I enjoy The L Word quite a lot. Who doesn't enjoy watching beautiful women involved in high drama? There are usually entertaining story lines, though not always the ones the fans want to see, but it provides a nice combination of romance and comedy. That is entertainment!

We still have not moved up into a big screen TV. The new 26" (?) we purchased last summer is a monster compared to the old 19". Hey, it was on sale when the old one died, so we got the biggest one that we could both afford and that would fit into our cabinet. It is important to us to be able to just shut the TV away sometimes. (Mostly to make the house look good for company!)My point here was really that I don't have to watch TV on a movie screen, with stereo sound presented in needs are simple. Entertain me.

Gray's Anatomy is entertaining, even when it is not that good. As many of you may know, it got mingled in double episodes with Private Practice for the last two weeks. Gray's Anatomy has been popular for a while now, in fact, so long that it's losing some of the "it" that made it such a success. Sad, really. Private Practice, a spin off, is actually getting to where it is almost as good as the original. During the first season, the show was total eye candy fluff, and yet, rather enjoyable. I would totally buy the first season, partly just to get the whole series at some point, but also just because it was such blatant "pretty people" playing doctor on the sunny shores of California. Pure escapism. Couldn't we all use a bit of that right now?

Crazy Week at Work

Well, it has been an interesting week at work.

Wait, let me try that again....

It has been an i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n=g week at work.

Did you catch the sarcasm that time?

We are undergoing a reorg, which is not a result of the economy, but the result of a new dean, which means, we've been expecting it. We are even a small part of the process. So, everyone is a little on edge about what all of the new lines between the boxes on the charts really stand for....

Add in the economy, legislative session stresses and a number of other things, and let's just say the powers that be have been cranky and it has many of us looking for the exit signs. Better to take a little break than get in the line of fire, you know?

Two days ago I did not get out fast enough and got caught in some crossfire. It was not fun. It was not personal. It was merely a stress explosion from someone that should know much better. Still, left me with an icky feeling that I am mostly over today.

I am ready to again be positive and move forward and enjoy this job for as long as I am here. There are good people, things to learn, and much flexibility, which has served me so well, and should continue to do so as I move into bar prep.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It continues.....

I took a restroom break from the torture, walked back in and heard the words, "I don't know." In the past 90 seconds, I've heard it two more times. He can't add to what the case says about one of the points he seems to be trying to make.


In that same 90 seconds, a student corrected him and he said that is what he had said, but it wasn't. The student was right.

13 more minutes.

Yes, I am counting.

Still, seems like a nice enough guy. See how fair I am trying to be?

The torture continues...

Did this guy really just say, "I don't really know about this, has anyone heard of this?" He then proceeded to write it on the board....but it may not be right since he seems to be guessing. I am so not OK with that....He is sounding a bit more confident about part of it here, but I am not really sure it is very important to the case. I am not sure what is important about any of the cases he is discussing because all parts are delivered with the same intensity. Wait..he is reading part of the case out loud. Shoot me now.

This is torture. What is that sound? Dripping water? Yes, his voice is the drip, drip, drip of water slowly splashing upon my forehead and causing me unbelievable agony. Quick, someone, get a Delta faucet and save us all! There must be some remedy for this violation.

I bet he is a very nice guy and a good attorney.

Will this class ever end?

I admit it. I am in the middle of a class. I am bored nearly to tears and must do something to amuse myself. Posting a blog entry seemed somewhat better than screaming out loud or throwing something to interfere with the crime that is being commited upon us at the front of the classroom.

I am happy to report that the fog in my mind has mostly cleared and I am somewhat engaged in most of my classes, except this one. It feels good to no longer feel I need a tool, like spring plungers, to clear out my mind and allow it to function again. Being engaged and somewhat interested certainly makes classes go by more quickly.

This class is dragging. What the heck is this guy talking about? I don't think anyone is paying attention. It seems pointless. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Thinking About Technology

It has been pointed out to me that I am disappointing my readers by not writing more posts to entertain and distract them from their uninspiring work. So, with that in mind, I bring to you a New Post. Thank all that is good!

Today I have been thinking about the benefits and hazards of our technologically advanced world that allows us to constantly be bombarded by distractions and multitasking on a level never even conceived possibly as recently as 10 years ago. Cell phones, text messages, banner ads (Remember those...are they almost gone? We've learned to tune them out so well.....), instant messages on our computers, Blue Tooth (Is the plural Blue Teeth?), constant email, laptop computers that can go anywhere, and possibly most annoying of all to me - advertisements along the bottom of my television screen while I am watching another show. Who the heck thought that was a good idea? "Hey - let's add an annoying animation at the bottom of the screen so people know what is coming up next and will stick around and watch it. Really?"

Don't mistake what I am saying - I love technology. My cell phone is with me wherever I am. I could not live without my email. My newest gadget - a Nuvi navigational device is a really cool toy. Still, I sometimes worry about the next generation. Teens seem to think it is OK to text while driving. Having a conversation - voice or text - during a meal out is commonplace. Surfing the net, doing homework, listening to an iPod and watching TV, all at the same time, is not a foreign concept to the students of today.

Yes, I am a student myself, and have been known to multitask more than might be beneficial to me at times, and actually almost understand it when younger people say they have to be doing lots of things at once. I think their brains have been programmed that way....or maybe it reflects a lack of ability to concentrate on one thing for more than a few minutes. Are we raising a generation of people with the attention span of a 10-week-old puppy, moving from one shiny object to the next? Do they have the capacity to have a face-to-face conversation unaided by any technology?

I am probably sounding old. Maybe I am. I think the school-age kids of today are amazing with their technological savvy and ability to multi-task. Those are skills that will undoubtedly be required in the world we have created, but what are the long-term affects of the constant stimulation? Will we see more depression? Faster burn-out? Less satisfaction with life overall? Or - will this generation adapt so well to the constant level of "noise" that they ride it like a wave and will thrive on the fast-pace of change that will likely characterize their lives? Ultimately, will the technology prove to be a detriment to their overall well-being or will they harness it to create the lives they desire?