Procrastination (But I Digress)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

V and W

Wit--I love me some good wit. Isn't it great to meet someone with a great wit? The most fun I have is hitting a groove where everything is funny. I am lucky to be related to some very witty people.

Volunteerism--I'm grateful for the volunteer opportunities that I have been able to have. I have met so many nice people. Sometimes when I'm driving (I'm not a nice driver--I get so frustrated with other drivers), I wonder if the other driver is someone I know from an organization I belong to. That makes me a little nicer of a driver and calms me. Adam once asked me if I know everyone in Glendale. The answer is of course, no, but I usually know someone that knows someone in many situations. Last year I was not asked to be the cookie chair for Glendale. It is a huge job and its a good thing that someone else is taking over, but the fact is that I miss it. So when I visited the Soroptomist and they had a "menu" of volunteer positions for their members, it was too good to pass up. If this is an illness, no cure is required.

Happy Thanksgiving and to all a good night.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'll be thankful at the end of alphabet hell

ZZZ's--I am thankful when I can get a proper nights sleep. More and more often I wake up in the middle of the night and I don't always fall asleep right away. More and more often, for reasons completely unknown to me, I put off going to bed until later and later and then I sit and read for a while. Lately I have started taking naps on weekend afternoons. I'm not old enough to need a nap in the afternoon.

I am grateful for Yes. When I ask someone to do something, I really like to get a yes. I get so frustrated and angry when people tell me it can't be done. My computer has been acting up for months at work, but the computer people kept saying nothing was wrong with it. Finally I kept a diary of everything that went wrong for a month and gave it to the office manager, who finally said that they were getting me a new computer. So I have a new computer and I asked if everything on my c drive would be transferred over--YES, I was told. I asked if all of my addresses on my e-mail list would be transferred over--YES I was told. I was very happy and grateful until I tried to use my e-mail list. Apparently I didn't know the correct question to ask and they have no idea what I'm talking about, but none of my e-mail addresses are there anymore. I'm very sad at the lack of Yes I cans.

I can only think of one word that begins with X--X-ray. Think about it, how revolutionary is the x-ray to medicine. I only have it done once in a while for my teeth, but any broken bone is no big deal now that the doctor has an X-ray.

My U is Useful. I am very grateful when I can be useful. I hate volunteering for something and then standing around with nothing to do. I want to be put to work if I am giving up my time to be there. I also hate having nothing to do in general. I make myself long to do lists and even on vacation, I plan books to read and fun things to do. If I can figure out a way to be useful, I'm very happy.

I think I am caught up with my grateful letters, although no longer in order. I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving for the turkey this year. I went out and purchased a turkey that I am not cooking for Thanksgiving--a whole turkey of leftovers. I love turkey leftovers. What a great weekend this will be. Too bad I have planned to clean the entire house, get rid of all the excess stuff to goodwill and decorate for christmas and get my christmas cards out and organize my sitting room and if I have time go to work a few days and get ahead of all the stuff on my desk. Oh and since it is a holiday weekend, I also bought a couple of books to read. Has anyone tried KenKen--I just bought a book of those puzzles--they are pretty cool. I did the hardest one first and then went back to the easiest, but I got a better respect for them when I really messed up an easy one. They do require some concentration.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My T is Toastmasters

Finally, I'm thinking outside the box--just because there are 26 letters doesn't mean we have to do them in order. I am so grateful for toastmasters--we have so much fun. We had two guests today and the subject was giving thanks. People had some very meaningful and interesting things to be thankful for. During table topics, people are asked a question to answer off the cuff. While I'm sitting there waiting to answer a question, I'm forming an answer for everyone else's question. I am thankful for a lot more stuff than the alphabet can describe. Anyway we ask guests to comment at the end of the meeting and one of the guests said that she was touched at how personal people's stories were--how she remembered herself that she was grateful for so much. And yet, as serious as some of the information is, we still laughed most of the two hours. I have a cold and I usually avoid extra things when I'm sick, but I just couldn't miss toastmasters. (Don't worry, no shaking any one's hand, coughing in my elbow and head down--no breathing on anyone).

I have the weirdest colds--all weekend I was weak and stuffed up, but Monday when I wanted to stay home, I wasn't stuffed up anymore and not so weak that I couldn't get up, but I still had a mean cough. Today I'm not weak and I'm a little stuffy, but not too much, but that cough is brutal. Since I don't drink diet coke anymore, no more blaming it on diet coke. Oh well, I should be fine in three or four weeks.

So I chose Toastmasters for T instead of Tennis--how can that be? Tennis is cool, but Toastmasters is a weekly dose of fun. No contest.

And speaking of choices, how could I forget that my N must be Nestle Crunch bars--and how could anything ever beat chocolate for C and I love M&M's, umm, umm. And I is for Ice Cream--no wait, I did remembered that one. Oh yea! My R is Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. My complete downfall. All during my diet years, I never had a reeses peanut butter cup--but the first time I had one, I ate the whole bag. It really was the beginning of the end. So I guess I must decide if my S is to be skinny. I really liked it, but oh reeses...

Monday, November 17, 2008


Isn't that a cool name. Ernesto is a kid (well he's 19 now) that I met when he was about three or four. His mom was terminally ill and I volunteered to handle the guardianship of her three children pro bono. At the time I was a new attorney. She didn't have transportation to my office so I went to her and I met her three children, Frankie, Christina and Ernesto. After she passed away, I handled the guardianship for them. It was a contested case and took over a year. Several years later, I received a call from an Aunt in the family asking for assistance. Frankie was in trouble at school. So I helped and got more involved with Frankie and Christina who were living with their Aunt in Glendale. In my heart, I wanted them to come and live with me and I would make everything better in their lives, but the reality was that I couldn't have them and I couldn't protect them and I couldn't make everything better in their lives.

Sadly, all these years later these orphans, Frankie and Christina are both in jail. Today Ernesto came to see me. He is such a quiet kid and I had never spent much time with him. I handled some legal work for him and then he said that he really liked my Kincaids. I told him they were prints and post cards and he said that he really liked art. I told him about Adam going to FIDM, art school. He said that he'd like to go to school to learn culinary arts--he really likes cooking. He has a job working one day a week at a hotel restaurant--business is down so they only have him come in one day a week. I told him he should apply to Glendale Community College and I encouraged him to go right then and get an application. He said he might and then I told him to get the application and bring it back and I'd help him fill it out. So he did.

In filling out the application, it came out that he has learning disabilities and that he didn't get his high school diploma because he couldn't pass the exit exam. He applied to another college but they told him he was not eligible for financial aid. This is a kid who makes a whopping $900 per year. He's an orphan. If he doesn't qualify for financial aid, how can anyone? So I told him that I would yell and scream and make sure that he got to go to school.

When Frankie didn't take his GED because there was no bus from the group home on the right day and he didn't have access to a phone to call me, I was so frustrated that I couldn't do anything about it. When Christina asked me for legal advise about her issues, I was so frustrated because I just didn't know the answers--I didn't practice that type of law. Today helping Ernesto fill out his college application felt so good. I can't wait to go to the financial aid office to help him yell and scream.

Opportunity--that's my O. P must be for Pictures--I have six million of them from prior to digital cameras. I have to just trust that all the pictures on the computer will be there forever. Q is for Quiet. As I get older, I usually turn off the radio in the car and I can never get my room quiet enough. I crave and value quiet a lot and I am so grateful when I find it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What begins with N?

Nuns begins with N. I really liked most of the nuns that I've met in my life. I think that I had a pretty good start going to Catholic school and I am grateful for that start. I think that it has served me well over my life. My mind is otherwise completely blank on N's. I am terrible at letters. In my mind, I abreviate words to the first and last letters, but I don't think I store things in my brain by their spellings, because I am a terrible speller and I hate crossword puzzles. Give me sudoku anyday.

My M is the time I had with Matthew--I had a separate post, but it was too hard to put into words. Then I thought about music. I do love music, but since we started this "what are we grateful for game", my M has always been Matt. Even when I didn't want to name people, it changed to the time I had with Matt. The time I spend with Melody and Megan and Marisa-- through all our girl scout days--is pretty wonderful too, know.

The culmination of this game is to appreciate what we have in life. There is a line in a Sheryl Crow song, be happy with what you've got. In that vein, I like the carpeting in my room--it always makes me smile. I like how soft my blanket is. I enjoy my kincaid prints and calenders. I like helping people. I like jeans that fit, even if I have to buy a bigger and bigger size to make that happen. I like chocolate chip cookies on Friday, although it seems to be Friday with alarming regularity. Time is just flying by. I like seeing the mountains out my window at the office. I like daydreaming about going on trips. I am grateful that I can read books more that once and still enjoy them, just as I am grateful I can see movies many times and still enjoy them. This list is pretty long and I can keep going and going. I think it is just the alphabet that I'm not too crazy about.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

L is for Law

I went to law school for fun. I hadn't seriously considered being a lawyer--I just wanted the law degree. When I told someone at law school that I didn't have any real plans to be a lawyer, he was horrified--why are you going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer? He really didn't believe me, when I said that I was there for the education--that the subjects were very interesting to me. Actually that conversation kind of woke me up and I realized that I better become a lawyer or I was going to waste a whole lot of hard work and my new greatest asset--my lawyer brain. When I meet a new client, that's what I'm selling--my lawyer brain. I worked hard for this brain, so I have to keep reminding myself not to give out information for free.

Anyway, a few years ago, I ran for public office. If I had won, I would have given up practicing law. At first I was pretty sad that I lost. I hate to lose. Then I got to talking to this woman at a ABWA convention, who was getting a divorce. Her soon to be ex-husband had just filed bankruptcy and her divorce attorney was telling her that she needed to hire a bankruptcy attorney. She couldn't even afford her divorce attorney and now he was telling her she needed a whole different attorney. I sat and explained all the ins and outs that she was going to have to look out for in her soon to be ex-husband's bankruptcy and then I gave her some advice about her divorce proceeding. An hour later I was still animatedly explaining her options and what she should do next. That's when I realized, there's no way I could give this up. I love this stuff.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The doldurms of the alphabet

As letters go, I've never been that fond of J and K. Sure I adore our J (Jackson), but I am trying not to choose family members as what I am most grateful for. And true, I love that my own name begins with a K--it feels so much more elegant than a C (although many elegant Catherine's come to mind). I didn't think of Jeopardy independently, so it shouldn't count, although it really is right up there with my all time favorite things (I do make my dinner during the introduction of the contestants part and therefore, I usually miss the second half of the first round. Too bad there's no tv in the kitchen--I am so deprived.)

No, my J and K are pretty mundane, but nonetheless I am grateful for each of them. I like the song Jingle Bells. It is just the easiest, funnest song to sing at the drop of a pin. I love to sing and whenever I'm in a pinch to entertain children, singing is a perfect out and jingle bells is the funnest way to travel. [Unfortunately Caitlyn has started to protest when anyone sings--even me and I'm her favorite person who lets her have her binky anytime she wants it.]

As you know, I just got a new car and it comes with a wonderful feature--keyless entry. When I walk up to my car with my "key" (it's really one of those beaper things) in my pocket, the car recognizes me and unlocks the door as I approach. As long as the key is in the car, I just press "start" and the car goes on--no key. If I don't take the key out of the car when I get out, the door won't lock. I can never "lock" my "key" in the car. What will they think of next? [Don't say a tv for the kitchen--esa.]

Sunday, November 09, 2008


The H I am grateful for is my Hairdresser. Last summer I stopped drinking diet coke--well not total cold turkey, I still drink it at restraurants, but not at home or the office any more. That had to save me at least $15 to $30 per week. Yes, I drank way too much diet coke. Now I drink water, but it has to be ice cold. Anyway, I wanted to reward myself for sticking with it, but not with food. What did I want that I wouldn't allow myself that wasn't food? Someone else to wash and blow dry my hair. What a frivolous expense I've always thought. I love it. She puts something on my hair that makes it silky smooth. She's divorced, but has no children. She has three nephews--the oldest is 40, still not married. She just doesn't understand young people. (My hair takes a long time to blow dry and she likes to talk.)

My I that I am grateful for is ice. Cast Away was on tv last night and the shipwrecked character was observing that he never thought he would be sitting in a house with ice in his glass again. When we went to Europe, getting ice was such a luxury. I have to make ice manually at the office, but I am so thankful that we have a freezer at all. At home I have an ice maker, but every once in a while it goes on the fritz and that is a sad, sad time until more ice is made. What would I do without ice. P.S. I like ice cream a lot too.

Friday, November 07, 2008

You'd think I'd start preparing

I mean it's not like I don't know the alphabet. The first thing that came to mind (not using family or Erika's choice) was Grades. I was so jazzed to get an A or even an A-. I guess it was because I did not make good grades in high school, so when I was able to attain them in college, I really appreciated them. In Law School, I was happy with a B--it was more numbers by then and rank against everyone else. There were many classes in which no one received a score over 90. I did make the highest grade in my Corporations Class--a 94 (and worked my behind off to do it). The only other A that I received in Law School was in Contracts. Coincidentally, my one published opinion was an issue that I learned very well in Law School Contracts. Our Professor had a real think for estoppel and even though the cases were against us, I made my colleagues leave in the estoppel issue in our appeal brief. We won on that issue.

Now that I'm teaching a class, I go completely by numbers for the grades. If the students perform the required tasks, they attain the points and with enough points they attain the grade. I approach my class as a practical skills class. If the students perform the skills, they get the points. If their essay has the required structure, they get the points. The fact that it is filled with nonsense doesn't matter. That's hard for me. This class is supposed to be preparing kids for a job in a law office, but I get a mix of kids--some who aspire to be the receptionist and others who aspire to be a lawyer. Content counts for the latter and I worry about not holding them to a higher standard. I have one student who is very bright, but lazy. I'm blown away by his written work, but he just won't do the busy work. I remember be similarly frustrated by busy work. I've another student who does all the busy work very competently, but who won't articulate a point to save her life. To me, they are both A students, but where's the consistency.

I must admit I am a lenient grader and I offer many extra credit opportunities. I guess I just love A's, whether I make them or give them out.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I'm grateful for all the fun fundraisers I participate in each year. When I join something I usually go all in and that means working on the fundraisers. Each year I join committees and try to be the voice of reason (I don't want a garage full of cook books that won't sell), but I usually feel like I'm being too pessimistic. I mean it's not like I have lots of left over girl scout cookies--except for that one case of cookies from two years ago--the garbage can was always too full to throw them out. Any way, I just suggested a theater night for ABWA and I'm really looking forward to it.

The PTA has a new fundraiser--an e-bay auction--everything with bids starting at .99 to keep the cost down, but hoping to bring in a lot. Well I'm graduated out of the PTA, so I wasn't planning on getting too involved, but Adrienne is still working for the PTA. She suggested I give the PTA two pictures that I purchased years ago at a YWCA Art Auction fundraiser when I was the President. I had to buy something, but the two pictures I got never really fit my house, so they've been in the back of the closet. Anyway, Adrienne went on e-bay and figured out that one of them is worth more than $500. I know I didn't pay $500. I wanted to support the Y, but I don't think I would have gone that high. So the PTA gets a great prize and I get more room in my closet. So I worked at the PTA consession stand last week and all of the parents kept saying thank you for the donation to the e-bay auction--free kudos--I love it.

Today I was at Soroptomists (yes, I'm joining a new thing after all girl scouts and pta are done now) and they had their annual giving list--all my favorite causes (girl scouts, the YW). I can't wait to go to their big fundraiser of the year--Bras for Causes. All the members decorate a bra design--the wilder the better and then they are auctioned off. It's a hoot.

Last week I went to the Red Cross fundraiser--it's a comedy night. I was thinking about skipping it--I mean the price of the ticket went to a good cause, I was tired, I like vegging out in front of the tv and this was going to take a lot of my tv time out. But, I went anyway. I had told a few people that I would be there and I invited Adrienne so we went. It was hilarious. I am so glad that we went. They were so funny. What a great idea for a fundraiser.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Have I mentioned that I hate the alphabet. I was always terrible at crossword puzzles, but I love sudoku (because it is numbers or random letters). An E. Hmmmm. I guess I will have to go with the obvious, Erika's posts. [Don't misquote me, I love my sister Erika in the extreme, but I'm trying not to make this about people that we love and more about things I am grateful for. Otherwise, whatever would I do when I got to the M's.]

I do so love to blog, but I'm sure that it would have gone the way of mass e-mails, if not for Erika's diligence and dedication to the form. I love having a guaranteed new post every morning and I love receiving a comment or two to my posts. Between Uncle Marcel, Sean and most importantly Erika, blogging has continued to be a constant and a wonderful addition to my everyday. I love, love, love seeing Jackson everyday. So that's my E--Erika's posts.

Speaking of elections, however, I am recuperating today from yesterday's election. I must be getting old and much less physically fit, because I was wiped out yesterday. When we closed the polls at 8, I didn't take any care packing up the supplies, which I am usually quite good about. I didn't check the election signs (until we were practically driving away--I found a bunch of tape left on the windows). I let all the others count the ballots and the signatures for me, which I usually do myself and then have them check them. This time I was so exhausted I didn't trust myself to count and had two other people verify the count. I was still off by one. My fault.

We only had a few problems this time and the lines were really not that bad. We had a line of about 40 people at the very beginning, but we moved them quickly through and even though we had two hundred voters in the first couple of hours, after the initial rush, there really were no lines all day long. We figured out that our precinct had about an 80% turn out and later the news said that the turn out for the county was about 82%. Wow.

The biggest problem I had were the couple of voters who realized that they made a mistake after their vote was in the box. One lady was so distraught, I thought she was going to cry. I promised her that her mistake would be statistically insignificant (which really made me feel bad when I voted) to try to make her feel better. She could not be consoled and I really couldn't do anything to fix it. We had quite a few provisional voters--they were not in the book which means that they registered too late or that they weren't registered. It was clear that some of them were simply not registered, but even as I told them their vote would probably not count, I was so glad that I was allowed to let them vote provisionally. It was just so important to them.

We were pretty isolated from the news all day, but at my dinner break I turned on CNN. It was early enough that they weren't calling a winner and there were so many red states that I confess I allowed my tired old self to get pretty depressed. Luckily, Erika twittered to Adrienne and we were informed as soon as the election was called for Obama. Last night, as tired as I was, I was pretty happy and hopeful too.

This morning, I looked up the propositions on line and was less excited. We have a constitutional amendment baning gay marriage--how ridiculous. A completely social issue forcing conflicting ideals in the constitution to allow institutionalized discrimination. Prop 9, victims rights is another ridiculous constitutional amendment that passed, which will get this state into further hot water under the U.S. constitutional rights, but hey, that crazy U.S. supreme court might just not care.

No one at the office was talking about the election at all. I guess we have a lot of republicans. It was a quiet, almost surreal day. I'm getting over a very tiring day, I'm excited by Obama's election, but nervous about all the problems he'll take on for our country and I'm so disappointed in the proposition process that allows voters to amend the state constitution willy nilly.

Oh well, back to the real world. Today was Glendale Beautiful--its time to get the flyer out on Casa Adobe Luminiars. Tonight is ABWA board--sees candy, non-profit tax returns, lots of stuff to do there. Tomorrow is my class--two of my students came to the polling place for extra credit. I'm so disgusted with how disrespectful my students are in that class, I couldn't even muster the energy to let them cast a sample ballot on the test machine. I'm very disappointed in my performance, but I have no enthusiasm. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I'm going to start them on a motion regarding the constitutionality of right to counsel. I like my constitution in the abstract. It's just too depressing in reality.

Monday, November 03, 2008

ABC and bonus letter D

I guess I'm behind in this alphabetical gratitude list counting down to Thanksgiving, so let me catch up to put in my two cents worth of stuff I am grateful for:

A--I guess since Adrienne says that she already got her kudo's from Gretchen, I'll have to go with Adam. Adam has been dropping in to visit me once or twice a week since he started college to bring me up to date on all his classes and projects. I love, love, love bragging about him to anyone who gives me the slightest opening. This past Saturday I worked at the PTA Concessions for his old high school and got plenty of opportunities to brag about him--talk about heaven.

B--Barack Obama. I feel blessed that someone so intelligent and dedicated is willing to put up with the stupid horse race of politics.

C--Christmas--sorry Gretchen, I have to agree. It's my favorite time of the year. The only thing missing is snow in California. Peace on Earth and Good Will toward all just seem possible at Christmas, no matter how busy the stores are, no matter how disappointing holiday meals are, no matter how disappointing gift receiving and giving are, no matter how boring the actual day is. I'll still look at a simple Christmas tree with lights and get a warm feeling of love and contentment. A few years back, I started reading Emily Dickenson poetry on Christmas eve or Christmas morning as kind of a personal tradition. I can't believe that she wrote all that stuff so long ago. The sheer volume and depth is amazing. [Can I have two--I'm crazy for Caitlyn, or three I've always been very happy to be competent at so many things. I'm not very happy with this alphabet--I hate spelling.]

D--I'll be working the elections tomorrow and I won't have a moment to blog, so I'll blog my D early. Daydreaming. If I'm out of stuff to read, I have a pretty good imagination to make up some entertaining day dreams. One of these days, I'm going to write them down and become a very famous author, or at least a published author (even if I have to self publish). See, I told you I can dream.