Just Playin'
Random Thoughts...
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina

-Things in Mississippi and Louisiana are horrible.
-My anxiety is high over my house-buying decisions, but I just want to say that I realize how blessed I am that this is one of my biggest problems right now.
-A woman recently elected Mayor of a small city in Miss has been reported missing to CNN by her mother.
-I just watched a helicopter rescue of a handful of people, white and black, young and old, from the roof of a building surrounded by water. The roof was painted with an SOS reading something along the lines of: Diabetic. Heart Meds?! Need transport.
-Wolf Blitzer was just interviewing an official who said that realistically it might take 3-6 months to clear the streets of New Orleans of water.
-I can't begin to imagine the enormity of the economic problems that will result from the devastation caused by Katrina.
-T and I have been including the hurricane victims in our prayers for the past couple nights, but I intend to donate money today or tomorrow. My small donation won't even amount to a drop in the bucket, but I feel the need to do something.
-It is time for President Bush to send active troops to the area to assist with rescues, to bring in necessities like water and food, and to help restore law and order.

Mulling It Over

My realtor, as you might imagine, is not wild about my idea of moving into an apartment for a while. It's not due to greed (she's incredibly successful and my business is small potatoes for her), but the fact that she has my best interests at heart and thinks that would be a step backward for me. (Really, she does. She's a member of my parish and I'm a bit younger than her own daughter; she speaks to me like I'm a member of her family and she is brutally honest and would never sell me something that wasn't in her mind a sound investment).

In explaining my reasons for the idea, I mentioned again that I'm looking for a home to live in for the rest of my life, and not just something I'm likely to sell in 7 or 10 years. She nearly went off on me. She said it was crazy for me to be talking that way and that she isn't trying to help clients find homes for the rest of their lives unless they are retired or her age (sixties?).

I guess she has a point. I certainly allow for the chance that my circumstances may change, but aside from that I was looking for a house in which I'd like to grow old. Perhaps I shouldn't. I think I could more easily let go of the basement idea if I recognized that I'd likely be moving again in the future.

I just don't see the point of a future move, to be honest. T has 4 years of high school and 4 of college when she'll likely still call our house home base. But if she moves away after that, or even if she doesn't, I really don't anticipate wanting to move. Why would I? Moving is a pain. Why shouldn't I try to find a house now that I'll be happy with in 10 or 20 years?

Oy. I always thought finals were tough, but this stuff is sending my anxiety level through the roof (my parents' roof).

I'm Still in Vacation Mode

I start work in 6 days and am trying to enjoy this last bit of freedom as much as possible. I thought about going to see The 40 Year Old Virgin today.

But that would require a shower first.

Tacky

Julie Chen was interviewing the Governor of Louisiana this morning on CBS. She asked her a series of questions and just as the Governor was listing the parishes hardest hit by Katrina, Chen interrupted her so the network could go to commercial.

I wonder if she would have so rudely interrupted one of her Big Brother cast members?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Another First Date

I have a lunch date today. Did I tell you my Mom apparently goes around asking her friends if they know anyone who will date her spinster daughter? She'd argue with this characterization and she also said she only asked someone once. Either way, she asked a friend and parishioner of our church and he said "well, yes, I do!"

So I have a blind date today. I'd normally prefer to meet for dinner, but after some difficulty trying to find a mutually agreeable day and time, I opted for lunch. I can't say much more as the blog might come up in conversation. Just know that while you are busy working today I will likely be making a complete fool of myself. Cheers.

Our Governor has Impressed Me

Monday, August 29, 2005

'preciate it

Thanks, guys, for responding to my housing hunt dilemmas. I realize the decision is ultimately mine, but your advice, your stories based on your own experiences, and even your jokes were exactly what I was looking for and are greatly appreciated.

I'm leaning toward the apartment idea today. I'll keep you posted (no pun intended).

My Fantasy Football Team

QB - Peyton Manning (at random, I got 1st pick)
QB - Byron Leftwich
QB - Ben Roethlisberger
WR - Torry Holt
WR - Andre Johnson
WR - Derrick Mason
WR - Deion Branch
WR - Rod Smith
RB - Corey Dillon
RB - Brian Westbrook
RB - TJ Duckett
W/R - Ronnie Brown
TE - Tony Gonzalez
TE - Eric Johnson
K - Mike Vanderjagt
Def - Patriots
Def - Bills

There you have it. 8 of us are participating, comprised of family and friends. I didn't play last year, but my Dad did and he is the current champ we are trying to unseat. My 14yo cousin, TJ, couldn't be present for the online draft so his picks were automatic. He has now e-mailed several of us asking for trades. I'd feel more sorry for him if I didn't know he was a crafty and competitive kid who, though one of the sweetest young men you'll ever meet, would probably not return the favor due to his desire to win :)

So - any thoughts? Suggestions? I could use another running back, probably, but the good ones (by my little knowledge) were taken. And I likely don't need both defenses, but it's tough to know what to pick up.

Let the football season begin!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Hatching a Plan

It came to me today. I think maybe T and I should move into an apartment for a while. As soon as I started contemplating this idea, I began to feel more relaxed.

Pros:
-It would give me time to find the 'right' home.
-I would have more cash in the bank for a down payment.
-T and I would be back in our own space.
-I wouldn't feel rushed while looking for a house.
-We could move into an apt almost immediately.
-(If the home I really like goes back on the market when the owner defaults again - he is currently looking for a roommate to help him cover the mortgage - I can buy it.)

Cons:
-Moving twice (though right now I have almost no furniture).
-Interest rates might skyrocket between now and when I finally buy a house.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Do I Need a Basement?

Saw about 8 homes today with my realtor. Some were nice. 1 in particular, despite a couple minor concerns, stands out. 4BR, 2 1/2 BA, pretty home with a deck leading to a gorgeous and peaceful backyard. I would jump on making an offer on this house - if it had a basement.

Why do I want a basement? Because the house I grew up in has one. Because we get tornadoes in Indiana and a basement provides shelter (though we haven't used our basement for this purpose on probably 20 years). Because I love the thought of endless storage space. Because I could send T and her friends down there to hang out in a place of their own.

But looking for a home without a basement opened up several more possibilities in the house hunt. So, dear readers, please send me your various opinions. I realize it only matters how important a basement is to me, but I'd like to know your thoughts on the subject.

Yes, he did

Dale Davis was at the same late night eatery I was this evening and as my friend and I left he gave me the eye, and I'm not talking about the evil eye. Why is he even here? Isn't there some mansion or decked-out condo in Detroit waiting for him?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

That's 1; That's 2

For those playing along at home, that's 2 major disappointments so far in the hunt for a house. First of all, you may remember I fell in love with a house while I was supposed to be studying for the bar. It was on the market for months, I did the smart thing and concentrated on my studies, someone made an offer on it the day before my realtor called to set up an appointment to see it, yada yada...

I've been pretty proud of myself for the way I handled that let-down. I took a deep breath, told myself it wasn't meant to be, and thanked God for keeping me from making a mistake. In fact, I became relieved that I hadn't locked myself into spending that much money on a house.

And then the 2nd disaster. I prayed all week that I wouldn't fall victim to someone making a better offer. Never did I imagine that the house would be taken off the market. This one will be more difficult to bounce back from. I really liked that house. Everything from the hardwood floors, the built in bookshelves, the enormous family room, the '4 seasons' room, the brand new kitchen, the millions of closets, to the beautiful backyard and neighborhood was perfect for us.

Back to the drawing board. Not before 2 martinis at 1/2 price martini night. One for each loss.

You Can't Sleep, You Can't Eat, There's No Doubt, You're in Deep

There should be news today. I made an offer on a house Friday. Seller's agent asked for 10 days to respond, which is apparently unheard of. He said because the house was in short sell,(which I understand to mean the primary lender is forcing the owner to sell because he is in default, but they haven't instituted foreclosure proceedings yet) and because there were 2 mortgages, and because the lenders are not local, that it would take about that long to get an answer.

So we gave them 4 business days. Deadline = today at 3pm. I've tried to remain detached and objective, but I really want this house. I'm a nervous wreck.

__________________________________
Update: The owner of the home came up with $12K and is now current on his mortgage. So the house is off the market. Great for him. Shitty for me.

The Questions You Forget to Ask...

besides whether Patti Lupone will EVER learn to enunciate. Ah, sir, times is hard, indeed.

Yesterday , I had the pleasure of announcing the birth of the fabu Julia's baby to our circle of friends. I simply stated the date of the birth and the name of the child (Savannah Rose). Soon, I start getting peppered with all the questions I was apparently supposed to ask. How big was the baby? Lenght? How long was she in labor? Cesaerian or natural? The answers are I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, and I assume it just slithered out of her koot like most babies do.

Seriously, I was just so happy to find out everything was ok and both mom and baby were healthy that I forgot to ask the follow-ups that a female would have.

As tuned in as I am to the female psyche, I guess there are just some things I just don't fully understand.

Now I know,
Chuck

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What Am I Doing?

Funny you should ask. I'm sitting with T and my parents. T is doing her homework, Mom and Dad are reading, and I am reading* my latest purchase: Sporting News' Fantasy Football magazine. This, sports fans, is the real reason I took some time off between taking the bar and starting my new career - so I could have time to absorb all the stats, scouting reports, and draft strategy before our fantasy football league's draft pick. Wish me luck!

*In between helping T with science (something about Pasteur disproving Redi's theory of spontaneous generation?) and Spanish (does her teacher prefer 'a las ocho y cuarenta y cinco' or 'a las nueve menos quarto'?)

Inexperience

Yesterday I attended a day-long session organized by my law school entitled "Surviving and Thriving as a New Lawyer." I found the program worthwhile and recommend it to any readers who might be IU-Indy 2Ls or 3Ls. The agenda included presentations on topics such as 'Finding and Utilizing Mentors' and 'Effective Time Management and Technology Skills.'

One speaker, a respected local attorney who volunteers much of his time with the local bar association and to activities at the law school, said something that made me uncomfortable. While discussing diligence and preparation, he touched on the topic of going to trial and said something like, "A good way to get your feet wet is with pro bono cases. You don't want your 1st trial to be one where $1 million is on the line." So - the problems of a client who can't afford an attorney aren't as important, don't mean as much, as problems of clients whose potential losses equal $1 million or more?

I know he didn't mean it that way, and I realize that the big money cases are more often than not about more than money. If a business goes under, employees lose jobs and families lose incomes and homes and health insurance. But I didn't like the way it sounded.

And despite my indignation at the remark, or because of it, I was reminded of the 1st IV I ever started as a nurse. At my nursing school, we didn't learn technical skills like starting IVs or drawing blood. I was a licensed RN and on the job before I ever attempted an IV start on anything more than a mannequin.

I was being oriented to our labor and delivery unit and my preceptor and I assumed care of a recently admitted laboring patient. Our patient was young, Hispanic, spoke no English, and was in early labor and not yet in any pain with her contractions. The fact that she was in control and not thrashing about demanding an epidural made her the perfect person on whom for me to 'practice' starting an IV. Through my limited Spanish I was able to explain what we were about to do, but because she understood no English she seemed unaware that this would be my first time attempting to start an IV on a real person.

I was nervous but tried to appear calm so she wouldn't sense my inexperience as my preceptor stood behind me and issued instructions when needed. Blessedly, I got the IV on the very first stick. All was well, I gained some confidence, and I was relieved to have that hurdle behind me.

Ever since then when I think back on that moment, I've had a pang of guilt because I was grateful at the time that she didn't understand what was going on. I wonder if I took advantage of her by not telling her directly that I had never before performed the common procedure. Beyond that, however, after many years at a teaching hospital and now after 3 years as a law student, I have learned that everyone needs to learn.

No one wants to be a guinea pig, but people aren't born knowing how to perform brain surgery or try a case in court. There is nothing wrong with being new, with attempting something for the first time. What is unacceptable, however, is believing that some people deserve better legal representation or better health care than others. Each and every client, like each and every patient, deserves my best effort.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One Man's Perspective: Cause and Effect

"If Monica Lewinsky could swallow, we'd still be able to keep our shoes on at the airport." Heh.

-Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone Magazine, Aug 11, 2005.

Tough Job

This morning I face a motherly duty that I do not enjoy: deciding whether T should go to school. She became quite ill Sunday night and stayed home with me yesterday. Seems she had some sort of stomach bug and the worst has passed. She hasn't thrown up for over 24 hours and she is keeping food down. Despite all this, she is moping around and clearly wants to stay home.

I'd let her if this were grade school. But today marks only the 5th day of high school for her and she was barely keeping up with the homework last week. I hate for her to fall so far behind. That, and she has her first volleyball match this evening. If she misses school, then no volleyball. I hate to see her miss a match after all her hard work this summer.

Could she use a day of rest? Undoubtedly. But could she tough it out at school today? Most likely. Sigh. I need a raise.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Personal Achievement


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This post has been rattling around in my head since the day the above picture was taken - May 8, 2005 - the day I graduated from law school. I suppose it's fitting that I am finally sitting down to write it on the day I picked up my diploma.

My sister, J, snapped this pic without my knowledge as we left the Convention Center following commencement. Pictured are my daughter and I, she in a moment of sweetness and wearing my prized possession of the day, my honor cords.

While in school, I didn't talk too much here about grades. I did mention occasionally that I was worried about them, but I hardly if ever mentioned any final outcomes. I suppose because my blog isn't really anonymous and I was aware that some classmates were reading it, I felt like I shouldn't be discussing my grades. I didn't have anything to hide, but I learned early on that revealing grades to other law students rarely resulted in anything beneficial for either side.

I worked my ass off (if only that were literally true) in school and am proud of the results. I wouldn't say that I worked to my full potential, but I came close. There were times when I gave in to the fatigue and rested instead of studying (I regret some of those). There were times when I made family, including but not limited to my daughter T, my priority and spent time with them instead of studying (I regret none of those). And there were times when I simply chose fun and friends over studying (no regrets there either).

And so, because I know I worked hard, I can say here that I am proud to have graduated from law school cum laude, at the age of 31. Grade school wasn't much of a challenge for me; I breezed through without having to study - so long as I could remember to turn assignments in on time. High school was tougher, and I did reasonably well, but I certainly didn't work to my full potential and I allowed myself to become preoccupied with things other than schoolwork (boys). Nursing school was tougher, but a different type of tough. Pre-req courses required mostly memorization, which I could handle, but certain subjects were beyond my mastery for the amount of effort I was willing to expend (organic chemistry - ugh). Clinicals, where I worked with patients, were what I enjoyed, and I always did well with them.

But law school. Law school is an entirely different beast. It's like no schooling I've ever experienced. My first hint was the LSAT. All my life I'd enjoyed standardized testing. Taking the Iowa Basic Skills tests in grade school was the best part of the school year - I always got done early and could engage in my favorite activity, reading. And my scores always came back in the high percentile range. Even PSATs and SATs were fun. But the LSAT? That thing did a number on me. I didn't take a class for it, I just bought a practice book and worked on it occasionally while working full time as an RN and raising T. Then I took the exam, appropriately enough, in the nursing building on the IUPUI campus - where I'd had classes as a nursing student. The exam was difficult - and I barely had time to finish some of the sections, something I'd never experienced before.

Lucky for me, I did well enough to be accepted to the only school to which I applied, IU-Indy. And somehow in law school I finally learned to apply myself. Why on Earth couldn't I have harnessed this much effort and determination in high school or college? No idea. But in law school I applied myself. I got good grades my 1L year, surprising myself and maybe those who know me. I worked hard that year, but I still consider myself lucky - and blessed - because what I didn't know at the time was how important first year grades are to most law students. Those good grades, along with, I'd like to think, my past experience and maybe even my personality, led to several interviews and a job offer during second year's on campus interviewing process.

So by some standards, I achieved success: graduated cum laude, landed a good job with a wonderful firm, enjoyed most of my classes, learned much. But just when I've finally figured out how to 'succeed' in school, I've begun to question my idea of successful. I'm thrilled to be starting a new job soon. And house hunting, which I would otherwise not be able to do, is exciting. But I'm struggling to keep these things in perspective, to ask myself what success really is and what will allow me to feel fulfilled.

Most of us, at some point, struggle to answer to that age-old question: what is the meaning of life? Sorry to disappoint, but I don't have the answer here. The only thing I know, the only thing that feels certain, is that we should in some way during our time here help others. As a nurse, I was sure I was accomplishing this goal. I chose to work at the county hospital and to make those patients who didn't have a choice of hospitals feel as valued and cared for as any other patient at any other hospital.

Now, as I am about to embark on a career as an attorney, I'm afraid I've left that path - that I won't really be able to help people through my career in the way I think I should. You see, I convinced myself that I couldn't afford to seek work in the public interest field. Sure, at my firm I'll be helping our clients. And there is some satisfaction in that. But I want to be able to face my God at the end of my time here and know I spent my time on Earth wisely and in a way that He would want.

As I look at the picture posted above, I know my accomplishment is not whatever those red cords symbolize, but instead is the delightful girl walking next to me. I pray that if I can impart a desire in her to help others, and if I can in any way make it possible for her to spend her life doing so - including by supporting her financially if necessary - that this will fulfill my duty to help others, to make a difference here on Earth.

T is truly my greatest personal achievement and I pray that God continues to guide me in raising her, that He continues to honor us with His blessings, and that T and I find ways to share those blessings with others.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Sorry

You won't find this here.

For Those on Pins and Needles

I did it! My school inbox is down to 2 messages, and those are related to some books I'm trying to sell over the listserv. I completely deleted the other folders, including 'sent mail.' 2 left out of hundreds, I'm so glad to have cleared that sucker out. My google mail is now a bit swollen, but isn't that what gmail is for?

First Date/Last Date

I had a 'date' last night. Actually, I prefer to think of it as 'dinner', but there's no telling how the other party thinks of it.

The guy in question, lets call him H, is a local politician. I met him a couple weeks ago on a Saturday. My friend N, (who is a nurse) had a party/cookout at her house that day. After everyone left, 3 of us headed out to a bar on the west side that N occasionally frequents. That's where I met H. (N told me she's seen him every time she's been to that bar). I admit I was intrigued to find out he was involved in politics, not because I wanted to date him, but just because I thought it would make for interesting conversation.

We chatted for a while about his life, his 'day job', his family (not married), and then we debated gay marriage. He asked if I'd like to go to dinner some time and I accepted and gave him my cell phone #. I was in my right mind, I made the decision free and clear, but I just want to say: there is no way in the world that H didn't know I was less than sober when I met him.

Cut to later. He called several times and we finally arranged, around T's busy schedule and my house hunting, to go to dinner last night. I let him choose and so we met at Ruth's Chris*. Yum.
*(This is my favorite restaurant; it might have been a coincidence, but it's possible I told him the night I met him of my love for RC. No matter, except that he acted last night as though it was a coincidence). The day we made our final plans he called back 1 minute later to ask what I'd be wearing. I understand the practicality of this, but it weirded me out a little. After all, he's a grown man and his desire not to be 'overdressed' struck me as a bit insecure. Whateva.

I have to add here that I know 2 people who know H. So I asked them for the skinny and both were pretty sure we weren't a good 'match' for going out. And one, a friend of my Dad's, went so far as to predict that by the time the salad came I'd be wondering what in the hell I was doing with this guy.

I'm pleased to say it wasn't nearly so bad. H's company was fine. There was just no connection and I have no desire for a repeat outing. One recurring theme of the evening was my asking questions about him that we had already discussed the night we met. I warned him - repeatedly - that I remembered almost every subject we'd already covered, just not the details. (The night I met him N's party started @ 5pm and we didn't return to her house until around 5am. 'nuff said.) So every time I would ask him something during dinner, he would exclaim that he couldn't believe I didn't remember that and pout, claiming that I hadn't been listening. That got old quick. Seriously, I had too much to drink that night - I don't remember what you told me - either tell me again or don't, but get the eff over it!

And the highlight of the night had to be when he guessed that I was 33 years old. I am NOT 33. Really, who does this? What over-40-year-old-man doesn't have enough sense to lie and go low when guessing a woman's age?

He asked me several times if we could go somewhere else for a drink after dinner, but I told him - honestly - that T was waiting at home alone for me. He then wanted to call T and ask her if I could stay out later. I kid you not. I refused to let him do this and was happy to return home to my girl.

All that's left is to try to diplomatically get out of another date, without pissing this guy off. Fair readers, you think it can be done?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Elevator Etiquette

I just wanted to drop in for a second on Kelly's blog and vent. However, first some disclosure. Yes, it was me who told Kelly her blog was becoming a little stale. The complete term I think I used was "your blog is quickly becoming the official blog of 'Lifetime, Television for Women.'" But you blog what you know, and hey, if you insist on going to a hetero realtor, your life is bound to be boring.

Anyway, elevators suck. More specifically, the people who ride elevators suck. And being in a building with multiple businesses and security features that makes taking the elevator necessary for even short trips sucks even more. A few common complaints:

1. If you are more than 10 feet from the entrance of the elevator and I don't know you, I am not holding the elevator. Don't expect it, and don't shoot me dirty looks through the small gap left in the doors when you finally approach.
2. When entering a elevator, it is considered acceptable to first wait to let those exiting the elevator do so without hinderence. It is much harder to enter a elevator compartment full of people rather than an empty one devoid of people.
3. When I bring in baked goods for my coworkers in a bag and enter the elevator with them, and I don't know you, don't ask me what's in the bag. And when you find out, don't look at me like I am going to give you some. I'm not. I am an excellent cook, but I only share it with those I know and like. I don't know you. And what the hell are you thinking, trying to get food off of strangers?
4. I don't have deep thoughts often. And when I do, it is pretty obvious in my facial expressions. So when I am in deep thought and am in the elevator with only you, shut up. Don't try to engage me in conversation about the weather. I don't know you. And it's hot. We only have to go up seven floors. Shut up. I have broken up with boyfriends who talked too much (but then, I have also broken up with guys who didn't talk enough-I guess it's hard to find that happy medium) and if I don't want it in an boyfriend, I don't want it in a stranger.

Did I leave any out?
Chuck

Six stories of greatness

Noting the lack of "juiciness" around here lately, I have decided to contribute a yummy thought: Christian Bale as Batman.

I'm just sayin'!!!

I went to see Batman Begins at the IMAX at the State Museum last night. The informational program before the show informed us that the screen is actually 6 stories high. And I thought, "Who cares?" They were also featuring the dulcimer music of some 17 year old kid from Crawfordsville, which for those dulcimer fans reading this blog, can be purchased at the museum's gift shop.

Anyway . . . so I was still thinking that there is really not much need for a screen that is six stories tall. Until the movie started. And there was Christian Bale, six stories high. All I can say is wow! That is a lot of hotness! And nothing short of six stories would have done him justice.

The movie itself is very good, despite Katie Holmes, whom I detest. She is a prosecuting attorney in the movie, which is also annoying. Perhaps I'm just bitter because Katie obviously has a good resume and "passion", apparently this season's "must have" item in a new prosecutor. What judicial district is Gotham in anyway? But despite my feelings for Katie, Christian really makes up for her existence.

And the movie is missing the dorky, cartoonish characters that have plagued other Batman creations. And Christian Bale is hot. Did I mention that already? Seriously hot.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I Found One!

A house, that is. One that I love. And it's affordable - which is great. We saw it at the end of the day and my realtor was off to another engagement. We'll talk tomorrow and possibly write up an offer. I'm excited, but I think T is disappointed because I was previously looking at a house with a pool, which this new home doesn't have. Ah, well.

More details later.

Off topic, I've had a complaint that the blog is awfully boring as of late - a little to Lifetimesque. Sorry about that. The exciting things in my life these days involve my family, and I guess that's not very exciting for some of my readers. And then, of course, is the fact that my whole family reads my blog. So anything racy really must be censored :)

I'll see if I can liven things up a bit in the next few days.

I Miss My Sweet Nana...



maybe she'll call:

T's Update

Yesterday went well. It was only a half day; they had about 15 minutes of every class. There was a 10 or 15 min time period toward the end of the day designated for a 'snack'. When T got in the car, she declared she was hungry as she munched her way through the granola bar she had taken with her. I asked whether she'd had the offered snack, and she admitted she'd forgotten to go get it. Forgot? Then what was she doing during that time? Hanging out and talking - I'll take that as a good sign.

Also, we averted a crisis. I ordered her books later than I should have, but by the Grace of God (and some assistance from UPS 2-day Ground) they arrived yesterday afternoon. Homework was completed, if not 'til 11pm.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Amazing



I just returned from dropping T off for her 1st day of high school. High school. Man, is that hard to believe. I know for parents to say their children have grown up fast is cliche, but sending a child to high school is certainly a milestone for any parent.

I have mixed emotions, but my overriding wish is for T to be successful. By successful I don't mean that she get straight A's or make the honor roll. The 2 things I want most for her out of her high school experience are that she learn some things about herself, things that will help guide her college search and give her some direction for the future, and that she have fun - I want her to make friends, get involved, and have the time of her life.

My little girl is growing up. Your prayers and good wishes are appreciated.

It hit me again today...

...September 30th is a long way away.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mother in Law

LawMom is blogging again and begins her law school journey in a matter of days. Check out her blog; it's a good read.

A Teacher Story

T is waiting upstairs for me to come "help her" clean her room in preparation for tomorrow, her first day of high school. All this high school prep (and cleaning out my iupui inbox where I ran across an e-mail I'd sent telling this story) has me thinking about some of my high school teachers. As some of you may know, my high school experience was less than stellar. That said, I couldn't have asked for better teachers.

I had SEVERAL 'favorite' teachers in high school. I guess that isn't using the word favorite correctly, but it seems to me to fit.

One of them was Mrs. M. She taught algebra and pre-calculus and she was tough. Her name could easily strike fear in the hearts of students, and often did. I had her for algebra as a sophomore and though she was strict and expected great deal of effort from her students, she was fair and had a sense of humor. Junior year, she was my pre-calculus teacher. That was the year I got pregnant - and the year Mrs. M. did the most amazing thing for me.

I had T at the end of April. I missed 2 weeks of school - my Mom stayed home with me and T the first week, helping us adjust. T and I toughed it out the 2nd week and we both survived. Then it was back to school. Unfortunately, it was tough to keep up with the demanding workload and the new responsibilities I now had at home.

At the end of the school year, I still had a make up exam to take for Mrs. M. Classes were over, it was hot, I was still fat :) I arrived on time, sat down in one of the little bitty desks, and stared blankly at the test she put in front of me. I began the problems but as I had missed so many classes, one glance at the pages told me there was no way I could make a decent effort. I was quiet and I tried desperately to make some headway on the exam.

Maybe Mrs. M. could see me struggling; maybe her gesture was independent of my struggle. But she walked over to me, put down a coupon for a free ice cream cone at Dairy Queen, and told me to go get an ice cream. She took my test from me and I think she either tore it up or threw it away. I still can't even type that story without getting teary-eyed.

Having just left the environment of law school grading curves and stiff competition, I guess some might say what she did for me was unfair. I realize that. But the gesture touched me deeply and its implications were greater than the grade involved. It was her decision to be caring and human, her willingness to step outside of her strict persona and exacting expectations, that spoke to me. She offered me a brief reprieve at a time I truly needed it and I am forever grateful.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Volleyball Kick-Off

Tomorrow evening is the "volleyball kick-off" meeting for parents of the girls' volleyball teams. It follows T's evening practice and will consist of a meeting and then pizza for everyone.

Our admission price is a mere $5/person and a 12 pack of soda or water. At least they didn't have the nerve to call it a reception or 'parent appreciation' night.

New Parent Reception

There's a new parent reception at T's school tonight. I'm not a new parent, but she is newly a high schooler so that apparently qualifies me to be received. My hair is coifed and I've donned my business casual (per instructions). I'll be sure to bring back a full report.

Update: It wasn't too bad. The head of the school warned us that tonight wasn't really the time for long, involved questions - ha. "Welcome to our school, but don't ask any questions." He did encourage us to e-mail or call, however, and let us know we'd soon be invited to our choice of a breakfast or luncheon designed for answering questions that parents have once school has begun.

And yes, there were a couple of women there who looked like Desperate Housewives wannabes, but for the most part everyone was friendly and normal. I met at least 4 mothers or moms & dads of kids in T's freshman class. So far, so good.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I Shit You Not

I just spent $600 on T's books for school. Heaven help me.

My Sob Story

I have been checking out houses for many months by walking through my neighborhood, driving around other neighborhoods, and doing online searches. As I previously mentioned, there was really only 1 house that stood out from the rest.

In early July, I forced myself to stop thinking about buying a house and try to concentrate on the bar. Several days before the bar I called my realtor to give her a heads up regarding what I'm looking for and when I would be available to look.

The bar was July 25-26. I met with my realtor in the first week of August and my mortgage rep was out of town until this past Monday, Aug 8th. I met with her on the 9th and was pre-approved for a mortgage the same day. I called my realtor who informed me she would make an appt for us to see the house on Friday Aug 12th.

The house has been on the market since April. My realtor called on Aug 11th - to find out an offer had been made on the house Aug 10th. Ugh, like a knife to the heart.*

*I'm trying to see the silver lining here; this house is at the top of my price range. It would be doable, but tough. Yesterday we saw a couple nice houses that were much cheaper - I'm trying to convince myself to focus on getting something more affordable so I have some cash to spare.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Bummed.

-My sweet 5 mos old niece, Banana, returned home to Arizona yesterday.
-I have a huge, painful zit on my chin that won't go away.
-Plans my big sister and I made for last night had to be cancelled (she wanted to dance @ a country bar, 2-step, I believe).
-I am getting a summer cold or something. My throat is scratchy and hurts a little and I have a swollen and very sore gland on the left side of my neck.
-And, the kicker: The only house of all the homes I either drove by or checked out on the internet that jumped out at me, the one I told my family about, the only one I pointed out to my realtor, the one that was to be first on our list of homes to see today...has a pending offer. My realtor is still taking me to see a couple other homes today, but I am SO disappointed. I know, I know, we just started. I'll try to keep an open mind. But damn.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Roly-Poly

Steak n Shake; Outback; Ladyman's; Friday's; Shula's Steakhouse; grilled burgers and dogs; grilled chicken...

Just a few of the things I've eaten in the past few days while my family has been in town. I'm stuffed. And leaving for the Hard Rock Cafe in just a few minutes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Best News All Day

What doesn't go up usually can't come down.

That's the good news for Indianapolis-area homeowners.

The housing bubble may have passed over the city, which has the second-lowest home appreciation rate among the nation's biggest housing markets. The other side of that coin, according to a recent study, is one of the lowest risks of a free fall in home values and all the economic pain that goes with it.

The Indianapolis area has a 5.9 percent chance of a home-price decline in the next two years, according to a study released this summer by PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., which is the third-lowest risk among the nation's top 50 housing markets.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Off To See the Wizard

I'm off shortly for an appointment with a mortgage rep. I won't call her "my" mortgage rep until I know whether she can work some Oz-like magic and whip me up a loan despite my current debt/income ratio.

I'll try to keep John C's suggested mentality that I'm doing them a favor: paying interest, signing a house over as collateral - but it's gonna be tough.

Update: "You have a great credit score." Whew. I knew I had pretty good credit, but this was nice to hear coming from the mortgage lady. Next call - my realtor! Time to go house hunting!!!*

*The mortgage company is CTX. They will not be servicing my loan should I go through them; they will sell it to someone else. Should I be concerned about that?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Don't You Just Hate It...

...when you're out partying and the sun starts to come up?

Me too.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Indy Will Never Be the Same

Last night the sisters were out in force. My 3 sisters and I hit Broad Ripple and had a rip-roaring good time. Alas, even at the suggestion of another blogger whom we ran into, there are no pictures to mark the event.

When I fell asleep, the Colts were up 7-0. That didn't last long. Someone tell me the pre-season doesn't matter.

This morning I had the privilege of feeding 'breakfast' to my sweet niece, Banana. Then she fell asleep in my arms. Sigh.

Today, the sisters have temporarily split up. The oldest is on her way to Chicago for the night, T and I are off to a pah-ty at a friend's house, J is in Bloomington preparing for us to descend upon her, and Bob is at an infant's birthday party, no doubt boozin' it up; all the babies are doing it nowadays :)

Next on our collective agenda is a night of frivolity in Bloomington on Sunday. I'll see if I can snap a few pics for your viewing pleasure.

Happy weekend!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Cuddling is Overrated Anyway

Florida sports fan sentenced to death for killing his wife because she wanted to cuddle after sex and he wanted to watch sports.

Random House Stuff

I met with the realtor yesterday. I'm glad I let Tommy talk me into using her; our meeting went very well and I'm confident she can help me and T find something that's right for us.

Now my worry is the mortgage rep. It's tough to ask someone for thousands of dollars when you aren't even working. Mind you, I start in September. But still.

And I'm casting about, trying to figure out where a down payment might come from. I have some $ in savings, but as I described to my Mom yesterday, if I use all that then I'll be broke.

Finally, let me recommend against beginning the home buying process and then coming home to pay bills when you haven't received a paycheck in many months. Good times.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Faces of Meth

Click the above link to see before and after shots of people addicted to meth.*

My main purpose here is to say: don't do meth. Also, damn those people look awful.
But - is it wrong that I think a couple the after shots are improvements?

*Link found in a comment at Tony D's.

Anybody know?

If our diplomas are ready? Who do I have to sleep with to get mine?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Never Say Never

I dropped T off at volleyball practice yesterday at 9am. I needed gas in my sweet Jetta and regular unleaded was $2.09/gallon, but because it was a Nozone Action Day I decided to be socially responsible and wait until 6pm to fill up.

By 3:30pm at the same gas station, gas was $2.35/gallon and the cheapest gas around here was $2.29. Who declares these damn Nozone days anyway, the oil companies?

Never again.

"With that being said..."

I hate that phrase. Isn't it incorrect? Or not the preferred form? I always thought it was either:

"That said..." or
"With that said..." or
"That being said..."

Anyone know? I hear this everywhere on TV and it drives me nuts. If you tell me it's OK, maybe I can get beyond it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"And that's our news tonight" *giggle*

I just heard on one of those gossip rag TV shows that Katie Couric is thinking about replacing Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News. Her contract is up soon and she met twice with a CBS bigwig to discuss the possibility.

I just don't see it. I hope it's not gender bias on my part that I don't see her in that role. I think it's just Katie - her bubbly nature doesn't seem right for the job. And what about the anchor desk? They'd have to do away with the traditional desk 'cause we wouldn't be able to see her tanned legs and designer shoes behind it. Maybe a peek-a-boo window or something.

Snail's Pace

I've started the tedious task of forwarding e-mail messages from my school account to my gmail. I don't think there's any way to move more than 1 message at a time, so each one has to be forwarded individually. I'm a pack rat by nature; I get it from my mother. After moving a couple dozen e-mails yesterday I was thrilled to find my inbox is now below 500 messages. The challenge will be forwarding them all before the school takes away my account.

Pass the Fresh-Baked Bread

Atkins goes bankrupt. Even sooner than I'd have predicted.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The August of My Life

Well, here it is. August 1st. I wish I had a dime (or a $100 bill) for every time this summer I said "I'll have time for that in August."

In June and for most of July, August seemed light years away. And then suddenly it came rushing toward me, July 26th and 27th crashing into me and racing by, and now here we are.

So - with so many things put off until this month what have I done so far today? Get T ready for volleyball practice and watch Phenomenon (again). What a great flick. T has 2-a-days all week: volleyball practice 9a-11a then 4p-6p. They're gonna whip that girl into shape.

My project for the month is house hunting. I already contacted a realtor who belongs to our parish and she's going to help me. It should be quite an experience. Before I was admitted to law school, a friend of the family, who is essentially an appraiser, helped me get pre-approved for a mortgage loan and we spent some time looking for a place. Once I realized I was going to school, though, I figured I'd be better off if I waited. And now I'm back at square one.

Good luck and best wishes to my friends who start work today and in the coming weeks. I'm off until September. I could've started earlier, and I could certainly use the $$$, but I've got the rest of my life to work like a dog. So I'm taking this August on the front end of my new career and I plan to enjoy it at least a little bit.


About Me

Mother
Nurse
Lawyer
Approaching Middle Age
Dabbling in Blogdom

Tear Down The Walls


Today's Song Lyric

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Blawgs I Read

(Fresh Pepper)
In the Agora
Audacity
Do Not Overmix
From Engineer to Lawyer
Failure to Comprehend
Favorable Dicta
A Girl Walks Into a Bar(exam)
the imbroglio
Indiana Barrister
The Indiana Law Blog
IndyLaw Net
Legal Underground
The Menagerie
Mother in Law
The Neutral Zone Trap
Obiter Dictum
Screaming Bean
SC Trial Law Blog
Taking Down Words
teahouseblossom


Blogs I Read

About a Nurse
advanced maternal age
Approaching...
Be The Boy
code blog: tales of a nurse
Deb, hatched
Go Fug Yourself
Going Bananas
The Great Spirit
Hopedaddy
Jelly Beans...
Martinis, Persistence...
Overheard in New York
The Perils of Being in 3D
Post Secret
preaching to the perverted
Rebirth
Ruth's Blog
...the slack daily
Stay
Texas T-bone
30 Something Baby Doc
Unnamed Source
Waiting for the Punchline

Archives

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