Saturday, December 29, 2007

Maybe I'm Just A Bitter Old Lady...

...but the woman sitting next to me at the movies today really pissed me off.

Alan, Kali, Ander, and I got there early and picked a section that was a) in the middle of the row so we were right in front of the screen and b) where Ander could sit between Alan and I with no one in front of us (the wheelchair space was in front of us) so Ander could quietly move around.

The annoying lady and her kid arrived with their friends a couple of minutes before the movie started.

First, she turned to me and said, "I don't guess I could get you to move over, huh?" Um, no. There were other seats in the theater, just not as good of seats. So we'd be giving up some of the best seats in the house so she, who arrived late and just refused to sit anywhere else, could sit with the almost a dozen people she arrived with two minutes before the movie. Plus, it was OBVIOUS that we were blocking Ander in and couldn't do it if we moved over. So I said, "sorry, I would, but we are blocking the toddler in." Smile.

Next, she sat next to me, placed her purse on her seat, fumbled with her popcorn, realized that she could fit her popcorn on her seat with her skinny butt if her purse wasn't also on the seat, and pointedly placed her purse ON MY SEAT. Yes, you heard me right. I put it back on her seat and glared at her, and without as much as a "oh sorry," she moved over to make room on her own seat for the purse.

She talked to her daughter (old enough, maybe 9?, to sit quietly through a movie) the whole time.

After the movie, I brought Kali (age 5) to a long line of little girls needing to potty after the movie. She was in front of us with her daughter. Her daughter announced that she did not need to pee. Obnoxious lady apparently needs to pee, though. She enters a stall, pauses, says to her friend, "oh, I forgot to give you a piece," and - still holding the stall door open BUT NOT USING THE BATHROOM WHILE MANY LITTLE KIDS JUMP SIDE TO SIDE IN LINE TRYING NOT TO PEE IN THEIR PANTS - proceeds to spend over a minute digging through her purse for a stick of gum to give her friend (a grownup).

After she pees, she goes to the sink. Again, there is a line. She walks up to the middle sink, stops, and pulls out her cell phone. Blocking and facing the sink, she makes a loud phone call!!! The kids continue to wait in line behind her.

After finally washing her hands and finally letting others through to wash theirs, she turns to her daughter and says, "see, that's why I didn't let you bring a friend." (Aside - what about the ten people she HAD TO sit with previously, huh?) "I know you would be oblivious and not pay any attention to the other people, and that would be rude."



Friday, December 28, 2007

Getting Life Together

Yesterday, I planned my billables goals for the month of January. I have plenty of actual work to do, but I need to focus on getting it done. So I have a daily billables goal (based on what I want to make this upcoming year and whether I have Strollerfit or a nonbillable court date or meeting that day). But I think I'm also going to create a daily schedule.

Now, it needs to be flexible, because I cannot just not answer the phone (as that's how new business and lots of billables come in). Also, I have things in the morning (Strollerfit through the end of January and court dates) about 3 or 4 days each week. And sometimes I have nonbillable work that must be done on a deadline (like filing a pleading or calling a counselor for a juvenile).

So I think I'll make this my schedule:

1. Process in-box (do short stuff, calendar stuff that takes longer and give to staff to file appropriately, discard or put other things in the to be filed box for staff). MAY INCLUDE BILLABLES
2. Process e-mail (same routine). MAY INCLUDE BILLABLES
3. Do Priority One assignments in PDA. MAY INCLUDE BILLABLES
4. Meet billables goal.
5. Do any other assignments for that date or move them to new date.

That way, I don't have a crowded in-box and have a checklist to follow. In February, I'll start going to the Y, so I won't miss so much work to workout.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Time To Regroup

I've been slacking on making enough money at work. It's not that I haven't been working, but about 50% or more of what I do is nonbillable. That means it is paid for in one lump, monthly payment by the public defenders office. If I have a little or a lot of work, it pays the same thing. And lately, I have a lot of work. Add to that vacation, sick leave when Ander had his ear infection, the early pregnancy symptoms, the miscarriage, and the holidays, and I've barely been in the office 50% of the time. And the nonbillable work still needs to be done timely, which means billable stuff (unless it is critical) gets put off. I don't make any money doing that.

Therefore, I am doing a few things to increase billing. First, I'm going to set up an incentive program for my staff to inspire them to help me get on track. Lots of times, they have little questions that take up time, or we gossip for a half hour instead of working, and I don't reach my billables goal. I hope incentives will help them keep me on track. Also, I'm not going to be doing Strollerfit, so I'll try to workout at different times of day, so I'm at the office much more.

BTW, anyone else go to the YMCA? What do you think of the aerobics classes? The childcare? The hours? The tv selection? (Hey, priorities, people!)


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Was Tough

Maybe it was the miscarriage and the feeling that I should be fat and pregnant. I'm at my skinniest weight in over a decade, and people keep commenting on how much thinner I am. Except that I am supposed to be getting fat and being pregnant, you know?

Ander seemed the love the presents, but he was pretty bored by the whole opening them concept. Three presents from mommy and daddy are sitting under the tree. He sure does love Santa Claus, though. And m&ms.

Why do people insist on begging me to allow my almost two year old to stand on furniture, "because it's Christmas." Because it's Christmas, emergency rooms will be packed. He will not be standing on furniture. And bah humbug to you too.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Holy Milk Spills

Ander has officially mastered the art of opening sippy cups and spilling milk all over the floor. Sippy cups are about to become a kitchen only toy. Sigh.

Oh, and he was watching Superwhy today (a cartoon where they spell words) and he correctly (accidentally?) picked out the letter T. Excellent.

We are going to MILs. I'm sure I'll post then. Sigh.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Power Struggles

Ander is not even two. Not even two. So when did he learn that shouting NNNNOOOOOO!!! at the top of his lungs was a good way to respond to such simple requests as, "time to brush your teeth" or "you have to stay in your carseat until we get to Maw Maw's house." Sigh.

Lots of timeout will be happening in my house thsi week. LOTS.

Ah, well, at least he's not 16 and pregnant and about to have his hit tv show cancelled. ;)


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Attention LSMSA'ers

Received via email today:

Greetings fellow alumni of LSMSA---Please forward this message to any mailing lists, or post in relevantplaces where members of your class hang out.I want to let you know that there are two online forums where LSMSAalumni are gathering.The first is This site has been around for 6 monthsand has become fairly active. It restricts membership to those whohave attended (but not necessarily graduated from) LSMSA. To speedthe validation process, you can put me down as a referrer-- in thereferrer box put JayPrince (no space.) This isn't an affiliatescheme or anything like that, just the secret knock so you don't haveto wait to be validated.The second forum is This site is brand new and isjust getting started.Both of these are worthy places to meet your fellow alums, and aremuch better than, etc, for networking. Many peoplethought to be lost have been found and it really is like having areunion whenever you like-- the respect is there, the comraderie isthere and the sense of humor is there.Hope to see you soon!Jay

Please notify other gifties who you might know.


Oh No!!!

Strollerfit is ending at the end of January. {insert crying here} The instructor is moving to Scotland (which, admittedly, is pretty cool) where her husband just got offerred a new job. But I loved the classes, and having what felt like a personal trainer, and losing 20 pounds. Ander liked the playgroup atmosphere and making friends.

I guess I'm going to have to find a new workout place.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Confession Time

When I was in second grade, in Ms. Coleman's class, I used to think she gave to many worksheets for us to do. So I would tear off the last page, and when she asked me why it was missing, I would say it was never there and whoever stapled it must have missed that page. I did this like once a week, and she never questioned me about it. Mind you, after second grade, I never cheated, even in high school and junior high when everybody copied work. But I was a second grade rebel.

What's your elementary school confession?


Thursday, December 13, 2007

On A Budget

MSN is reporting, on there front page, luxury cars on a budget. A budget of $34,000. For a car? A car that lasts, at most, five years? That is crazy. Buy one if you'd like; you'll hear no judgment from me. Just don't claim that it's a "budget" item. Maybe I'm just too poor to understand. But I'm solidly middle class. I'm pretty sure I'd consider a $34,000 a luxury item and not something I buy on a budget.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Poop Report

Everyday when I pick up Ander, my mom gives me the poop report. He didn't go today. He went four times. It was runny. AAAAHHHHHHH!!! Cover me ears, 'cause I don't want to know. I tell her I don't want to know, unless it is at a point where he might need to see a doctor, but she ignores me and tells me anyway.

I know my loyal readers are innocently asking - why are you telling us this?

Oh, well, because I'm about to give a poop report. :)

He pooped out of his diaper this morning. All over his legs. While I was on the phone with another attorney. And then he started yelling, "STINKY. STINK. KEY!!!" Oh, and halfway through cleaning him up, we ran out of wipes. Gre-ate. And he tried to touch it.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Liquid, Solid, or Gas

I saw one of those cool air cans, used to blow the dust out of keyboards, on my mom's counter. Cool. I picked it up and sprayed it on my hand, to feel the breeze.

It was oil, not air. Dammit.

Why oh why was the temp, in December, 82 degrees?

And a big shout out thank you to those who decorate their yards with Christmas lights. We are too cheap and too lazy to do so, but all those blow up Santas and fancy lights keep my child very happy on the dark commute home.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Doing My Part

In the interest of science (and, merely coincidentally), I tried the new Fruity Pebbles to find out whether they are truly "Now Even Tastier" as promised.

Nope. Exactly the same. Perhaps a dash sweeter, which isn't a good thing, seeing as they started out too sweet.

Alan and I attended the LA House of Reps Christmas party this year. We met the Speaker's wife (wonderfully sweet lady), a representative I know through the legal community, and Alan's co-workers. The Lt. Gov. was there, but I didn't get to meet him. How did we end up there? It was surreal.

Did I mention that I ate far more than my share of shrimp cocktail and pecan pork roast? Yummy, and free.

Oh, and the Ds watched Ander. Ander came home happy and fed, which is how I like him. He *might* have picked up a few *special* words from Mr. P, but that's the risk you assume when you send Ander to the Ds house. ;) Alan and I really need to swap sitting with the Ds more often so that the adults can party more.

When and where did my son learn to insert the words three, eight, ten, and twelve into a twelve count, at the correct time and in the correct space? Hmm. And why not one, two, three...which is what I actually work on?


My Day Has Gone Pretty Well

I managed to burn breakfast, but the second croissant I toasted was yummy. I left home on time (with many thanks to my hubby for dry cleaning my suit), and my hearing went very well.

When I got to the office, I took care of signing whatever needed to be signed, but my internet is down. Working in Paulina has some real drawbacks. So I'm at a coffee shop, twenty minutes away, because lawyers don't use books much anymore and instead, I am tied to the internet to accomplish anything. Sigh.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

When Should You Wrap Presents

Maybe sometime soon. You know, like before Christmas. So why are all my presents sitting, unwrapped, on my counter?


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

This Morning

It's only almost noon, and this morning has already sucked. I had contractions all night, so I didn't sleep very well. I woke up feeling like a zombie. Also, I've had an upset stomach for a couple of days now, and it's really bothering me this morning. But however I felt, I missed most of last week at work due to the miscarriage, so I had to work.

I got to the office, and the internet is down. Of course, the work that is most critical requires internet research. Gre-ate.

So I drove home. By the time I got home, I was falling asleep. I was literally falling down tired. So I layed down, for just a second. And woke up an hour later.

I'm finally at a coffee shop, about to start working. I'll never get everything done.

Stress level extra high.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

For Those Who Don't Know

I had a miscarriage yesterday, at 8 1/2 weeks. Some of you didn't even know I was pregnant yet, because we were waiting on a heartbeat. We never got one. The baby never developed, so yesterday I had a surgery to remove the pregnancy, since the sac kept growing and growing and making me pregnant and sick, but with no baby inside.

So many of my friends have gone through this, and often I didn't know until much later in their lives. I've decided to actively tell people instead. That way, if someone else goes through it in the future, they will know that I understand and they can come to me to talk.

Physically, the recovery is much easier than any recovery from surgery I've ever had. Emotionally, this is probably the hardest thing I've ever gone through. I've known since Monday that the pregnancy was in trouble, so it's not like yesterday was a shock. But I'm not sure I'll ever get used to this.

A huge downfall of actually believing the life begins at conception means that I believe that even if no cells ever divided (the scientific reality is that a few cells probably divided, and then they stopped because of a chromosonal problem), there was a new life inside of me. On one hand, I thought my belief of life at conception was basically a religious teaching that I had accepted, but I realize now that I have absolute, 100% belief in life at conception.

I'm still pro-choice. I'm actually more pro-choice now, because I know better now that conception issues are so sticky that I believe the mom, dad, religious advisors, and medical professions need to make the decisions. For example, my doctor was able to assure me that he was 100% certain that there was no live or viable baby, nor was there a possibility of one. My sac was easy to see and rather large, so it was clear that it was empty. My numbers were extremely low. That made a D&C (the surgery that removes the pregnancy) much easier to accept.

But for a rare minority of women, their is a minute chance of viability, and what do they do? It's easy for me. If the baby isn't clearly dead already, I would not have a D&C. But what if you believe the baby is dead, but maybe won't ever get proof, because your pregnancy sac is hard to see. How long do you wait? What if you start to get an infection? Should a woman be forced to miscarry into a toilet, just because science isn't advanced enough yet to decide if the never-happened-before miracle will happen today? I just don't want to government making those decisions. Let the woman, and her husband, and the doctors, and the Church, and her heart, make those decisions. The government cannot mandate life. Life has to come from the soul.

Also, I've noticed a lot of people telling Alan to go support his wife. He is supporting me. He is amazing. But what about him? Why do so many well-meaning people forget that Daddy lost a baby, too? It's not fair the way we treat men in society. It's not fair that we minimize the role of Daddy. We don't minimize it in my household, and I hope that is an example to the rest of the world. But what I've seen, especially when people find out that Alan does the childcare or is upset over the miscarriage, is that men are just expected to be in a support role for parenting, and that is not fair.