Procrastination (But I Digress)

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Day Off

I took the morning off yesterday to go to the zoo with Jackson and Caitlyn. I am not a zoo person--animals are smelly and look sad in a zoo, but I am a big fan of spending time with Jackson and Caitlyn. There were lots of hills in the zoo and Caitlyn had to stay in her stroller most of the time. Jackson and I were done at the zoo before the zoo was done with us, but luckily there was construction going on and so as a bonus we got to see a really big crane from many angles.

After the zoo, but before my lunch, I ran with Marisa to AAA to register her new (actually used) car. She's very excited to finally have her own car and I wanted to put her on my AAA account. AAA is supposed to be faster than going to DMV. It was not. We waited a long time to see someone and then the cost to transfer the car was a lot more than she had anticipated. I'm so glad that I'm old and I have good credit. I remember counting stuff out to the penny--I so do not miss that.

Finally, I was able to get lunch at 2:30. It just seemed too late to go into the office. The big project that needed to get done was being held up by other people and I'm not completely indespensible, so I stayed home. The babies went to sleep. Everyone else went out (except Adam who hides in his room all the time). I guess the problem was that I forgot to turn on the tv. I don't know how a person forgets to turn on the tv, but I did. I was so bored. I was reading a book about the biology of being on a diet and I want to read it, but not exactly riviting reading.

Later we went to dinner at Outback--my favorite. I carefully preserved one half of my steak for lunch the next day in my best diet mode. When we left, the wind was so gusty that it blew my leftover box right out of my hand and my steak ended up on the ground. Anyway, I was pretty exhausted from babies and I had an hour or so to kill in Burbank, so I went to target. I needed bandaids and crazy glue. I also sort of wanted socks. I was going to look at their price for diet coke now that the grocery stores are going to outrageous prices. I also needed little photo books for the pictures from the Hoover tour. Anyway, I went up and down every single isle. I found puzzles. Since I had been bored earlier I decided that I needed puzzles. I bought five. I've done maybe five or six puzzles in my whole life--I think five will last me for a while.

I'm back to work today. I'm not sure when I'll have time for those puzzles.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Present

This year we got the Present. You know the present from someone you didn't get anything for after you've given away all the extra presents that you had squirreled away for just such an emergency. Our neighbors gave us a bottle of wine. We don't drink wine, but I could tell that it was a recognizable type and it wasn't an obvious re-gift. The two little kids from the family actually hand delivered it and made a card to go with it. The family is Armenian and they don't celebrate Christmas until January 6th, but I digress.

I had some Sees Candy left over for ABWA at my office which is located at the mall. The mall was going to be teeming with traffic, but I braved the traffic, went to my office, got the sees candy and heaved a sigh of relief. Emergency averted. When I got home, Adrienne said that she was baking cookies for the neighbors. I could have avoided the whole go to the office ordeal, but that's ok, cookies are a much nicer present. Of course, then I let a few of the burn, so it was a few less cookies and the burned ones were a little tough, so they may not have been the best cookies in the world, but it's the thought that counts. We put them on a Christmas plate that we could live without and wrapped them in green reynolds wrap. I think that I am the only person in the house who has ever spoken with our neighbors, so I took the cookies with a Winny the Pooh Christmas Card. [Wise choice as I would later learn.]

I really hadn't seen the kids for about two years and two years makes a big difference in a five and two year old. Now they are seven and four. The four year old literally did not stop talking the entire time I was there. I was probably over there for just 20 minutes, but it seemed like hours. I tried to include the seven year old in the conversation, but she invariably talked about something different than her brother so I was carrying on two conversations at once with both kids the entire time. Arthur told me that he had lots of movies and went on to tell me that he had two, not one, two Winny the Pooh movies, did I want to see them? Lillian opened the card I got them and then put it next to the card that Steve, their neighbor on the other side gave them. His just had a snow scene on it. I think Winny the Pooh won, but who's keeping score.

As usual, the entire family was very disappointed that I didn't want anything to eat and that I really, really, really would not like a cup of coffee. It is so hard to not like anything. I used, I'm on a diet, I have weird taste buds, I just ate, I'm not thirsty--everything and they kept asking. Finally, the four year old said, you could have a glass of water and I said yes, thank you. He was so grown up about it, as though it were a puzzle and he figured it out. He doesn't like superman, but he likes spiderman. He didn't know that there was a spiderman movie. His Christmas tree goes around in a circle, but the lights will get hot if you leave it on too long. Lillian had a new backpack with wheels and lots of compartments. I saw them all. She bought her brother an eraser, but he is storing it in her backpack for now until he needs it.

It was actually a very lovely visit and next year the family will be on the proper list. I always have lots of Sees candy and who doesn't like Sees candy (besides me of course--I don't like anything.)

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Plane Landed

Luggage was recovered. Long drive was taken past tall buildings at airport where there were a lot of planes, and then tall buildings downtown by which time Jackson was too sleepy to comment and finally tall buildings in Glendale, which I'm not sure even earned a glance from sleepy boy.

Jackson met Caitlyn and they hugged. It was truely a kodak moment and no one had their camera out. Not to worry, they hugged again. This time the camera was out, but the picture wasn't perfect. Not to worry, they hugged again and again and again and again. It was some game. Jackson is a good hugger--he really holds on tight. Caitlyn is all for show and the game soon became hug, Jackson holding on, Caitlyn pushing him away with increasing intensty. Soon it was time to bring out the dog. Caitlyn hugged the dog right away and so Jackson was game to try also. The dog was a trooper, but Lync still bothered Erika by trying to get up in her face. I have to show Erika how her foot can easily get rid of the dog.

It's early Christmas morning, but I think that I'm the only person up. Since Jackson is still a little clingy, the more sleep, the better and I'll type quiet.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm Ready

When you call ready for trial, that triggers legal stuff. You can no longer dismiss the case without the permission of the other side. One time I called ready for trial, but the judge didn't have time to start us that day. The Judge was kind enough to telegraph to me (and to the entire courtroom) that my client was going to lose. I went ahead and dismissed. The other attorney wrote me a mean letter, but he didn't do anything about it. Whew.

So tomorrow morning I have a simple trial. I'm ready. I have all my exhibits. I have my witnesses lined up. I have all my arguments. Nothing can go wrong. I just hope that if the judge is going to rule against me that she gives me a clue before I call ready for trial.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Whenever I'm Disappointed

I feel responsible to step up to the plate. I go and look for new blogs on Mom's list everyday. There is almost something new from Erika every day, but not always. Some people go long months in between blogs, while I feel neglectful if I allow a whole week. I recently heard about a book about blogging. It's called "No One Cares What You Had For Lunch." I do not want to know that, because sometimes I get very creative over something that happened at a lunch.

At our holiday party (which was my lunch actually) there was the normal (abnormal really) discussion about how little (variety) I eat. Marisa was there. Marisa also has a limited palate, so the discussion took on new and improved life. My office mates seem to love to marvel that I don't like fish. They rattle off dozens of types of fish and can't believe that I don't like any of them. Which part of I don't like fish is so hard to understand, I am always amazed. Then someone new realizes that I don't like vegetables. None, they can't believe it. Finally I am forced to admit in full disclosure that I do like corn and peas. Those are not vegetables they always insist. Well, there you go, we are right back to my original premise, I don't like vegetables. They won't let it go. Every time we must have the same protracted conversation. I try to be a good sport about it. I mean I am interferring with their concept of the universe and how it is supposed to work and all.

I get my best ideas for blogs when I wake up in the morning. It's NPR. I just love that program. This morning I composed a great blog. Then I went back to sleep. When I got up, I went for my two mile walk and instead of singing Christmas caroles in my head as I had planned, I went over everything sitting on my desk that's not done. I try to limit my stress, but sometimes it catches me anyway. Anyway, I'm getting old. I forgot the blog I had composed. I can't remember a single thing I was going to say. It's probably for the best. No one cares what I had for lunch anyway.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

4 Down, 5 to Go Unless you count family

I have been to three Christmas parties in four days. The first one was PTSA. That's the crowd I know the least and I sat at a table with people I don't know very well. I'm thinking, good chance to meet new people, practice my people pleasing and listening skills. Not so much. No smiles at my stories and no conversation offered. At one point I reached for my sudoku that I keep in my purse, but since no one else at the table was talking much, I wasn't sure I could pull off being that rude. I'm very wimpish at being rude. Later I socialized with the folks I know better and that was fun and then I heard some really juicy gossip. Why is it so much fun to hear really juicy gossip, but it is.

Then the next night I went to Toastmaster's Christmas party. Now this is my kind of crowd--people who want to better their speaking skills and look at a party to sharpen said skills. I hung around the most challenging groups and I was very confident that my Roches story was going to be a big hit. Then I messed it up--midway through the story I forgot the premise I had started with. That's the problem with having too much material and being in love with all of it. Rookie mistake. My listeners were kind and didn't boo when my story ended completely off the point I had been going for. Luckily, my competition was an off the wall crazy guy who was trying to convince us that the mob controlled politics. He said well you know that Marty so and so controls such and such. And we said, who? He then went off about some business he used to run. It was very hard to follow. Nothing like being in a crowd where the bar is set really low. In that group we had a gift exchange. At one point I had a book I really liked, but it got stolen. The gift that I brought was something I would have liked to keep, but it went to someone who thought it was a gag gift. Oh well.

Yesterday at lunch was the Jefferson Christmas party. Each year our Kiwanis club has a party for selected underprivileged elementary school children. We get McDonald's for lunch and give them presents. We sing Christmas carols and Santa pays a visit. The party is located right across the street from my house, so I went and picked up Caitlyn to take her with me to the party. That is a very heavy girl after five minutes. I was only planning on staying a few minutes with Caitlyn, but the kids enjoyed meeting a baby (even if she never smiled being in a room full of strangers--go figure). Then none of the Kiwanians knew the lyrics to the Christmas Carols. I couldn't leave. Finally Santa came and I smoothed over a few ruffled feathers when a kid opened his present and didn't like it. By this time Caitlyn had figured out how to take off her socks, while I was holding her. I had to leave. The kids were so great--that's hands down my favorite Christmas party each year.

Last night I had ABWA. I love those gals. Every one feels like my best friend. I look forward to that party every year. This year I had some bad news before I went, so I looked for a quiet corner and didn't do my job at being the life of the party at the beginning. They love me anyway. I was having a benign conversation with Barb and telling her about taking Cait to the Christmas party and she started telling me about someone. I said, is that your grandson, No she said, kind of hurt, that's her son. I didn't know the name of her son. Here I just assume that everyone knows the names of everyone in my family and I looked around the room and realized that I didn't know the names of any of their children or grandchildren. It's not really surprising--I see these folks once a month, but still. Later on we were singing Christmas carols. We had the words printed out for us. Lynn is very well organized. We sang just awful--it was painful to my ears. At one point I yelled out, we better not quit our day jobs and that got a great laugh. My job was complete. Happy, happy crowd.

So today is Soroptomist--my say hello to crowd, then my class--I'm giving them candy, so it's bound to be fun, then tomorrow is the Office party at one of my favorite restaurants--yummy, then next Monday is Girl Scouts--I may skip that one--they usually go to a Mexican restaurant and as hard as I try there is nothing I will eat at a Mexican restraint. Finally, Kiwanis next Wednesday at another favorite restaurant. This year is shaping up pretty well.

And then, I get Jackson and Erika for Christmas. Talk about icing on the Cake. Yummy.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Roches

I went to see the Roches in concert tonight at Royce Hall at UCLA. There was so much in such a short time. They are three sisters. I could have sworn that there was a guy or two in the group because what they do with vocals is magic. I first heard them on the movie Crossing Delancy way back in the 80's, so as I suspected, they are getting up there in age. The very first song was off the Christmas album that I know by heart..backwards. "We Three Kings" --this is a must have christmas album--it is so wonderful that it is probably illegal in some states. Anyway, of course it didn't sound precisely like the album and so I prepared myself for disappointment. There was a lovey dovey couple on one side of me and a big guy (too young for me, but awfully cute) on the other side. The lady dovey was a huge fan (my kind of person), but the awfully cute big guy was obviously not and he was crowding my seat. So I spent most of the first song asking myself what am I doing here. Then they surprised me by stopping midsong and seamlessly going into even better christmas carol off the album that sounded dead on perfect. I wanted to cry it was soo good.

Then they talked a little, did a little stick, did a very cute and silly song and I thought--I need to buy all of their albums--I must own every one. They were selling about four out front for $20 each and I have seen tons of their albums in stores (when I searched high and low for their christmas cd several years in a row), so as I had this thought I quelled it sternly. Enjoy the concert I told myself. Another christmas song that now sounds magical and I'm in heaven. Then a few that I never heard before and frankly won't miss. I'm glad I quelled that buy every album plan.

Suzz is the funny one--she had great timing. At one point she was explaining the back story to a song. She said (I'm roughly retelling in her voice) "we went around this place, humm, where was that?" Pause. "Oh yeah, Harvard. Asking people to tell us prayers. That's dangerous asking people their prayers, but thats what we did. We called it the Zero Church project and even that name is dangerous. It was the address of the place we were cutting the record. Anyway, there was this one prayer that we wanted to write in a song and well we have to have permission so we asked who wrote it and it was attributed to Mother Teresa, which is really funny, because we're friends." Laughter. Pause. "What, I'm really hard to make friends with." "Anyway, when we made the album we needed her permission, but she was already dead, so do you know Sister -------. I do. I wrote her and now she's my friend. Anyway, she said that Mother Teresa didn't write the prayer, but all our research on the internet showed that she did, so we went ahead and published the song. A few days after the song came out, we got a letter from an attorney. Mother Teresa didn't write the prayer--some guy who was at Harvard in the 60's wrote it and he wanted money." I guess you had to be there. The song was about when you are selfless, people will accuse you of having alterior motives, be selfless anyway. When you are good, bad things still happen to you, be good anyway. When you work hard to build something up, it only takes a moment for someone else to tear it down, work hard to build something up anyway. The tag line is, that it's not between you and them, it's between you and God and they don't matter anyway. It was really cool. I really should buy all their albums.

After about a half an hour in the seat, my back really started to hurt. That is unusual--I don't really get back aches. Then my legs hurt. That chair was really, really uncomfortable and the guy next to me was really crowding me. And yet, I kept thinking I should pinch myself to make sure this is real, because it was so cool to hear them sing and be able to clap as loud as I could so that they would hear how much I enjoy their music. Of course lovey dovey lady next to me clapped louder and called out bravo at the top of her lungs--she was pretty steap competition.

After intermission, they sang a really, really lovely song accapella. I want to cry just remembering it. I thought I must be about to die. If I am having this good of a time, I must about to die. What else could there be. Of course my back still hurt a lot and some of the songs were really weird. Terry told a few stories and they seemed to have no meaning, rhyme or reason to them. Nothings perfect.

We gave them a standing ovation at the end, but they didn't leave stage. They just picked up their guitars. Suzz said that they were too lazy to walk off and come back and we were really nice to applaud so much. She said that she went to see Yoyo Mon (how do you spell that) at Carnigie Hall and she was so moved and in love with the first song that she cryed. Three hours later she wanted to kill him. So she was aware of the time.

The grand finale was a rousing Silver Bells which they invited the audience to join and I did. It was so fun. Then I put the Christmas cd in for the ride home and sang until I got horse and then mouthed the words the rest of the way. They sing it just the way I would if I wasn't horse. I am so in heaven.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Decision

At toastmasters last night, one of the speakers told a speech about how he made a difficult moral decision. He's a big time democrat and he works for the City. The City is having their christmas party at the Hilton, but the democrat club (which he is a past president of) is picketing the Hilton for not paying a living wage to its workers. Many top democrats in town pledged to boycott the Hilton--Dario wouldn't go to the prayer breakfast there. Anyway, Dean, in his speech decided that he would cross the picket line and go to the party. His reasoning was that there's no other place in Glendale big enough for the party (Civic Center is too small) and democrat club was too pushy making the argument. I told him his reasoning was flawed. It shouldn't matter how the argument is made--he knows the argument and he has to decide whether he agrees with the policy, not the person making the argument. Another member made a very compelling argument against the living wage--the jobs are not supposed to be livings--they are supposed to be entry level, work here while going to school. Another member pointed out that this is why illegal immigration hurts us--there is a population of workers who will take these minimum wage, transitional jobs and treat them like full time, make a living jobs--working harder and longer hours. He said that we are going to become just like Saudi Arabia with a permanent under, servant class of workers. So I said, what is the solution--a global economy--we have the technology. Tim joined the discussion by commenting on how great it is that we're having this discussion in America and said that at one time during the continental congress, they toyed with the idea of naming the United States of America, the United States of the World. Today at Kiwanis, Carl said that he's writing an article for the paper to lament the disfunction of our California congress delegation--California only gets .79 of every dollar we pay in Federal taxes. I'll bet if we were a State in the United States of the World, we'd get even less. Politics.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I am blogging from home

Adrienne set me up on my brand new computer at home. I'm wireless, I'm mobile, I'm connected. Earlier I figured out how to play dvd's and I went and saw (and finally heard) Jackson's videos. Now if I can fix the tour of homes brochure and e-mail it to the board and get their feedback tonight without waiting until I get to work after court tomorrow--priceless.