Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Pedestal? No thanks.

From Bitch. Ph.D.'s post, I wandered over to this set of blog posts (and there are others, as well) about the college student who got busted trying to pass off a bought* paper as her own. These posts have been commented on to death, and there's not much I could possibly add to the mix... but there was one thing that I noticed about the comments railing against Nate, the blogger, and accusing him of destroying the student's life:

They all refer to the student, Laura K. Pahl-but-let's-not-scar-her-for-life-"Krishna," as a "young girl." As in "this naive young girl," or "the poor young girl."

OK, let's get something straight. She's not a "young girl." I'll grant you "young woman": as a third-year college student, she's probably 20. It's certainly possible she's 21. So, no, she's not a wise old sage (nor am I). But her sympathizers insist on using the term "young girl," as if she were a confused, pubescent middle-schooler.

Also upsetting to me is the use of the word "girl." I am the first to admit that I feel weird referring to myself and my... well, girlfriends as "women." But I certainly would be put off by others (for example, co-workers, other attorneys, random blog commenters) referring to me as a "girl." It makes me wonder how much the student's gender sex is prompting the mild outpouring of sympathy. If the 20-year-old college student had been male, would there still be this much venom directed toward the website and this blogger in particular? Somehow I doubt it.

*Actually, she stiffed the guy, so she's not only a cheater, she's a thief as well. A twofer!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Can't make up my mind

Do I post something achingly saccharine about how my smarty-pants son is so damned... well, smart?

Or do I post a carefully worded but still impassioned rant about sexual harassment at law firms?

*ponders*

I'm tired, I'm sick (yes, again--the germs have taken up in my bod like it was rent-controlled), and I've had a day of being thoroughly outraged at people. I can rage no more (at least for the next 8 hours), so here goes:

I picked up the boy at daycare today and got a wonderful earful from his teacher about how smart he is. I love this woman--she is so sweet, and it's obvious how much she loves my boy. She was going on and on about how smart he is. And yes, I know he's smart. But I don't want to get too concerned with how smart he is and lose sight of the important things (e.g., how happy he is, how generous he is, etc.). So I smiled, blushed (I'm sure), and patted his head. And I said, "Aw, thank you. He's my smart cookie." She gave him a big kiss as we left.

So we're in the car on the way home, and he's chatting quietly to himself. And I try to understand what he's whispering:

"Waaaaah..... tsooooo..... tseeeeee...."

At the stoplight, I turn to see what he's doing. He's holding a Snuffleupagus figurine upside down, pointing at each of Snuffy's feet as he talks. I realize he's counting Snuffy's feet. After he says "haahhrrrr" [four], I clap, and he parrots my applause, adding a little "Yaaay!" for himself.

It was all I could do not to yank him out of his carseat and smooch him all over.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Bad math

I cannot read a story with figures and percentages without figuring out if the numbers match up. I blame a mathematically obsessed former copy editor friend (that is, she's a former copy editor, not a former friend) for this.

This Salon article is not guilty of bad math. The pyschologist interviewed for the article posits that 4% of people are sociopaths. The interviewer writes, correctly, that this translates to one in every 25 people.

1/25 = .04, or 4%

So far, so good.

However, in one of the letters to the editor, an angry reader expresses disbelief that "25 out of every 100 people are clinically sociopathic." I feel like contacting the letter-writer and saying, "You're absolutely right--and the psychologist in question would agree with you!"

Sorry, it's the little things that piss me off. And the big things, too.

Song title meme winner?


The Phantom Scribbler I'm With Stupid Prize! Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Song title meme

Thank you, Scrivener.

Are you female or male: "That's Just What You Are"
Describe yourself: On bad days, I'm "Real Bad News." Most of the time, "Just Like Anyone."
How do some people feel about you: "Sugarcoated"
How do you feel about yourself: "Amateur"
Describe an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend: "You're With Stupid Now"
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: "The Fall of the World's Own Optimist"
Describe where you want to be: "Lost in Space"
Describe what you want to be: "Put Me On Top"
Describe how you live: "Today's the Day"
Describe how you love: "I Know There's a Word"
Share a few words of wisdom: "Wise Up"

OK, like jo(e), I'm going to ask you to guess the band/artist that provided all the song titles.

Drive-bys II, Electric Boogaloo

A while back, when we were all talking (and laughing and ranting) about mommy drive-bys, I noticed that even Joel Achenbach was the recipient of such jackass remarks. Well, in his column in tomorrow's Washington Post Magazine, he not only talks about drive-bys but also brings up the one from his blog.

My favorite part of the column is his description of a toddler's cries: "There's a brief silence from the child -- the receding of the sea just before the tsunami." I know exactly what he's referring to. Every now and then, when the boy is wailing about something (he's hitting his terrible twos early, the precocious guy) and my husband takes him out of the room, I'll notice an abrupt silence. Like an idiot, every time, I briefly think, "Wow, what did Husband do to get him to quiet down?" Then, generally just as that split second expires and I realize how ridiculous that thought was, I hear the "tsunami," crashing over our eardrums and slightly irritating the dogs.

Friday, March 25, 2005

I'm huge in Belgium

Recent search engine queries that have led folks to my site:
  • Ludacris and Vern Troyer (2 people searching this came to my site, actually)

  • Baby Bjorn "Mini Me" (in the same vein as the above, apparently)

  • Musak (searched on Google UK)

  • Raitt bootleg (searched on Google Netherlands) -- this one popped up thanks to a Phantom Scribbler comment.

Dude, Where's My Prize?

I will sing for you now what I sang after I won my first trial in state court:

I am the champ-yon,
Iiiiiii am the champ-yon.
No time for loooozers,
'Cause I am the champ-yon....

Of the WOOOOORLD.


OK, I'm done now. Seriously, though, Corndoggel, when's the raffle? And thanks for the "basketball goddess" part. Cupcakes for you. Ew, get your mind out of the gutter.

The family is much better now. I'm healthy, but tired. Husband's healthy, but tired. Most importantly, the boy is much better. I was truly worried for a while there. One of those clenched-stomach-muscle worries that parents know so well. The kind where your brain tries to suck up all the medical information it possibly can, if only to keep from thinking about all the bad things that could possibly happen. But, as I said, things are better now. My kid's on so many steroids, he could kick Barry Bonds' ass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Gone but not forgotten

(...because that Guster CD title seems more applicable than Goldfly.)

So, yes, I'm still here in spirit although I'm not posting often. I even occasionally read all your blogs in 2- or 3-minute snippets throughout the day. But because I'm spending a lot of daytime hours at home with the boy (he's better, but still not good), I need to get my work done at night. All night. I've completely lost all sense of time. So posting will be sparse for the time being. I know y'all are devastated. You'll pull through, though, don't worry.

(My tired mind amuses itself.)

Monday, March 21, 2005

More on debt

Geeky Mom's comment on my previous post mentioned payday loans in passing. Payday loans--for those who don't know--are cash advances on paychecks, and they come with large fees. So large, in fact, that some states are taking a hard line against those banking establishments. The North Carolina Attorney General filed suit against at least one payday lending bank.

So I have to ask: how are the actions of the payday lenders worse than those of credit card companies? Yes, I know that, technically, what the payday lenders do runs afoul of some states' usury laws. But both industries market themselves toward, among others, people without substantial means. Both industries smack their customers with exorbitant fees. In fact, both industries only stand to make good money if their customers do not pay them back by the agreed-upon date. So why is it that states are not afraid to piss off payday lenders, and yet Congress is bending over backward to help the credit card companies?

Could it be because MBNA is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) contributors to Bush-Cheney (MBNA gave more than $3M to Bush-Cheney 2000)?

Could it be because, in addition to MBNA, American Express and Capital One are also near the top of contributors? And that payday advance companies are farther down that list, contributing much less?

Thanks, Mom (and more)

Debt. It's something that everyone has an opinion on, but most people--myself included--are loath to talk about it. In fact, I have very strong feelings about debt, specifically consumer debt. But I also realize that my thinking processes and gut instincts have been crafted by the world in which I grew up, a world in which my mother divorced my father mainly because he was spending out of control, and because they had to borrow money from everyone they knew to pay off their creditors. From the time I was four (when they split), I was picking up strong signals from my mother that few things in life were worse than going into debt. She wasn't cheap, but she was frugal: I never had designer clothes when I was a kid, she always drove an old, beat-up but dependable car, and we had a roommate to help pay the bills. But just five years later, by the time I was nine, we were firmly ensconced in the middle class. All her debts (mortgage aside) had been paid off. I also consider myself lucky in that my mother talked to me about money. She explained that you could live within your means and yet still spend somewhat extravagantly on what was most important to you. For her, it was travel. We may not have had any fancy disposable goods, but we sure did travel a lot. When we traveled, we didn't stay in fancy hotels (in contrast to my dad, who always made sure he and I stayed at the nicest property in town); sometimes we even stayed in dorms and hostels. But she took me all over, and I loved every minute of it.

In talking to me about money, she also made sure I knew that credit cards were for convenience's sake only. In other words, if you couldn’t also pay for the item by cash or check at the time of purchase, you simply did without. She also pleaded with me to start building good credit as soon as possible. She pushed me to get a credit card (just one) while I was in college, when the offers would be crammed down my throat. She told me to avoid cards with annual fees, but she never told me to avoid cards with high APRs. The reason: she trusted that I'd never carry a balance. In retrospect, I suppose that's a lot of faith to put in an 18-year-old. But I think she knew she had sufficiently guided me with respect to money.

And none of this is to say that I always spent my money wisely. My second semester of college, I spent through my checking account with about 2 weeks left of classes. At this time I had a credit card. I could have charged what I needed and carried a balance for a little while until I got home and started getting paid at a summer job. But I was terrified to carry a balance. Instead, I sold my textbooks back to the store early, trusting my notes to carry me through final exams. With that, I had enough cash to make it through the rest of the semester (ate a lot of .60 mac & cheese, and Ramen noodles).

So it is with this (irrational?) fear of debt that I come to the table for discussions on the latest bankruptcy laws Congress will likely pass, all of my concerns about financial dependence packed neatly in the baggage at my feet.

The Post had very good, easily digestible articles here and here, and had some profiles of individuals here, here, and here. Although I do not think that the current legislation is the way to fix "the bankruptcy epidemic," as I've heard others call it, I think that there is something to be said for legislation that makes it more difficult for some individuals to wipe away debts. It's not like credit cards reap a windfall when consumers file for Chapter 13, rather than Chapter 7. Even in Chapter 13 restructuring of debts, a credit card company might get 35 cents on the dollar.

That is not to say that my sympathies lie with the credit card companies. Some would say that 20% APRs are so high as to be unconscionable. And the credit cards do court anyone with a pulse, regardless of means or understanding of how the credit industry works. Michelle Singleterry had this great quote on the push for this current legislation: "[T]he Republican-led Congress is intent on making the federal government a collection agency for the credit card industry."

I also know that many people who file Chapter 7 or have huge debts got that way because of medical conditions or sudden disabilities. Given my deep-felt beliefs that health care should be free to those who cannot pay for it, you can guess which side I come down on: the credit card companies, or the people who had to shell out thousands of dollars for expensive medical treatment for themselves or for their loved ones? Yeah, not a tough call at all for me.

But, though I am no friend of the credit card companies, I'm not as sympathetic to the debtors (with the exception of those with medical bills, as I explained above) as some of my political ilk. I do think there is something inherently wrong with charging something that you know you cannot pay for when the bill comes due. I think that, likewise, there is something wrong with charging something with--to use a legal term (sorry)--reckless disregard for whether you can pay.

I know this has all been rambling and without coherence, but I'm sick and am too tired to think or write logically right now. If any of you have read any books on consumer debt and/or bankruptcy and would recommend them, please let me know.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Health update

Thanks, guys, for the sympathy. The boy is still coughing, even after his pulmicort and albuterol, and he's still running a fever. So I'll be staying home with him for the morning and part of the afternoon tomorrow. Although I feel fine, just a little tired, I apparently have a fever of 100.3. HUH? So maybe it's a good thing we sickies are staying home tomorrow. Unfortunately, I'll be heading to the office in a bit to finish off some work and get things squared away for my absence tomorrow morning. (Whine whine whine, martyr, martyr, martyr.)

So we'll be Tivoing "The Simpsons" and "Arrested Development," and I'll have to post later on the topic that's really consuming (pun intended) my brain these days: debt, debtors, and the bankruptcy laws.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

W(h)eezy--not just a character on "The Jeffersons"

My boy is sick again. His put-upon immune system had managed to withstand the rigors of January and February, much to our amazement. But he's having trouble shaking a low-grade fever. Worse, he's coughing. A lot. Throughout the day, and at night. On the upside, it's amazing how much less worried I am than I was last year at this time--when he had these same symptoms. Back then, I wanted to call the doctor's office every day and was near tears. Now, I'm just kind of resigned and sad for my poor guy. But, come on--it's not like he can get more asthma, can he?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A-licky boom boom down

Sitting next to Husband on the bed. He's listening to iTunes on his laptop with his headphones on (yes, we're a two-laptop wireless couple). He suddenly says, "Aw, this is such a pretty song."

"What song?" I ask.

"Snow... by Jennifer Trynon."

I honestly thought--for a second there--that he was going to say "Snow... 'Informer.'" Hahahaha. I need sleep. I'll sleep as soon as I finish my beer. It's not St. Patrick's Day for this Northern Irish Protestant until I've had at least a beer. Unfortunately, the grocery store tonight was cleared out of all Irish beers. Even Caffrey's, which not a lot of people drink. So I'm making do (hee--"making doo"; sorry, I'm having Gene Weingarten withdrawal) with Molson Golden.

I've redeemed myself

My license won't be revoked after all: I ran the category in "Legal Lingo" on "Jeopardy!" tonight. Res ipsa kickassitor.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Art imitates life, and sometimes art is better

That's the long way of telling you that I'm watching Hoosiers on WGN rather than watching the actual Hoosiers play Vandy in the NIT right now.

God, I love this movie. Right now the little guy is on the line shooting his granny-throw baskets.

The only movies that make me cry are sports movies and war movies.

Movies That Made APL Cry
  • Hoosiers

  • Remember the Titans

  • Glory

  • We Were Soldiers

  • Tears of the Sun

  • The Natural

  • Breaking Away

  • Black Hawk Down


OK, I promise: No more lists for at least 5 posts.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ah, those Hangover Sundays...

Another mix tape I used to wear out:

Better Than Demerol (circa summer 1993)

Side A
  • "Washing of the Water," Peter Gabriel

  • "Long Way Down," Michael Penn

  • "Half a World Away," R.E.M.

  • "Love Is Blindness," U2

  • "I'm Blowing Away," Bonnie Raitt

  • "Everybody Hurts," R.E.M.

  • "When the Angels Fall," Sting

  • "Face to Face," Siouxsie & the Banshees

  • "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns," Mother Love Bone

  • "I Don't Know Why," Shawn Colvin

Side B
  • "Nightswimming," R.E.M.

  • "Guilty," Bonnie Raitt

  • "Can't Find My Way Home," Blind Faith

  • "Monopoly," Shawn Colvin

  • "It's Probably Me," Sting

  • "Bad Wisdom," Suzanne Vega

  • "How You've Grown," 10,000 Maniacs

  • "The Boxer," Simon and Garfunkel

  • "History of Us," Indigo Girls

  • "I Could Have Lied," Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • "Secure Yourself," Indigo Girls

  • "Drown," Smashing Pumpkins

No Joan Jett? What was I thinking?!

I don't really have anything important to say, but I don't feel like reading any more of the HHS OIG's Compliance Guidance for Hospitals, so I'm stealing from Phantom Scribbler and posting the playlists from two of my favorite college mix tapes. I no longer have a tape player in my car, so I don't remember the last time I listened to these:

Chick Rock (circa summer 1995)

Side A
  • "I Can't Be With You," Cranberries

  • "Leaving Las Vegas," Sheryl Crow

  • "Good Enough," Sarah McLachlan

  • "Fugitive," Indigo Girls

  • "If I Only Wanted To," Melissa Ethridge

  • "Sisters Are Doin' It," Aretha Franklin

  • "Middle of the Road," Pretenders

  • "Willya Wontcha," Bonnie Raitt

  • "I Feel Lucky," Mary Chapin Carpenter

  • "Round of Blues," Shawn Colvin

  • "Book of Days," Enya

  • "Son of a Preacherman," Dusty Springfield

  • "Strong Enough," Sheryl Crow

Side B
  • "I Kissed a Girl," Jill Sobule

  • "I Will Survive," Gloria Gaynor

  • "Heart of Glass," Blondie

  • "Possession," Sarah McLachlan

  • "Real Man," Bonnie Raitt

  • "Universal Heartbeat," Juliana Hatfield

  • "Square Pegs," Waitresses

  • "#1 Blind," Veruca Salt

  • "God," Tori Amos

  • "Marlene on the Wall," Suzanne Vega

  • "Kill the Messenger," Shawn Colvin

  • "Sorry Again," Velocity Girl

  • "Few and Far Between," 10,000 Maniacs


To be continued...

Monday, March 14, 2005

Little things my son did that amazed me today

He follwed new sets of directions ("Stand on mommy's feet"--I wanted to dance with him).
He tried to sing along to pattycake, and tried to make a "B" on his hand.
He sat through a story that he'd never had the attention span for before (a longer vignette in one of his Sesame Street books).
When we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, he not only tried to say all of the animal names, he also said "me" everytime it was in the book. He pointed at himself when he said it, too, so I think he understands what it means.

I'm thinking about all of this now because Finding Nemo was on one of our inexplicably free cable channels tonight. I was pregnant when I saw it in the theater almost 2 years ago. Back then I didn't know that I'd have such a sweet, smart kid by now--I didn't even know if it would be a boy or a girl, or whether he'd look more like me or his father.

Put me in, coach...

It's not enough that we have weight loss coaches and life coaches. Apparently, those of us who are experiencing learned helplessness can now call on the assistance of a parent coach.

In this New York Times article, we meet parents who pay to have someone else on call so that they can ring during the day for parenting advice.

Is this another example of crazy priorities (i.e., trying to be the mythical "perfect parent")? After all, think about all those parents out there from the dawn of time onward who did not have parent coaches and yet who raised nice, friendly, responsible kids. Right off the bat, I can think of two: my mom and my dad, thankyouverymuch. The parents of my parents. The parents of my high school friends.

Any possible merits of such a parent-coach service aside, one mom in the story in particular really made me shake my head. She's the mother of two boys, one 7 and one 3. They are rambunctious, apparently, like a lot of young boys. In the article (yes, so for her sons to read...lovely), she says:
There's a piece of grieving for me that I don't have girls.... For me, I'd be reading Laura Ingalls Wilder and drinking tea, and that's not what [my boys] are going to do.

Most of my anger at this stems from this woman's naïve belief that her life would be so much easier if she had had girls. News flash: There's no guarantee that, if she did have a girl, that girl would like Laura Ingalls Wilder, or tea. My dad tried for a few years to turn me into his little princess. He dressed me in girly dresses, tutus, and tights and wanted me to learn to be a proper lady and speak French. Well, I did learn to speak French. But that was as far as he could take me into that Little Princess image. And you know, I don't ever get the feeling that he's sorry about that. We both remember fondly the times he would take me to R-rated movies with potty humor and T & A, and the poop jokes he told me, and the screaming together at the TV during football season. I guess what I'm saying is that this woman needs to stop fantasizing about what she doesn't have and wake up and realize that she has two little people (not boys, people) that she's raising to be adults. She needs to enjoy each of them for who they are and for what they bring to her life. And if she's too busy stressing about the chaos, she's less likely to catch the smiles, sweetly whispered "I love yous" and the strong bear hugs. That's my unsolicited-yet-free coaching advice.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Weekend, continued

So I went to bed not long after posting last night, around 11:30. Here was today:

Sunday

7:00 a.m.: Woken up by the dogs, who wanted to go out. Husband let them out.
7:20: Son started making happy noises, so I went and got him up and dressed him while Husband showered.
7:40: I weighed myself (pre-shower, post-pee, and while totally naked). I haven't lost any weight in two weeks, but I haven't gained any either. I rejoiced quietly.
7:45: I showered while Husband fed our son (Cheerios and some pears--not fresh; those Dole fruit cups rule).
8:00: Husband and I read the paper and watched our son play. I got to read a lot of it, including the Book World review of two books about childhood obesity. Something else to worry about...later. Much later.
9:15: Somehow time flew, and we needed to start getting ready to go downtown. Husband let out the dogs while I packed toys and a book for our boy.
9:30: We headed downtown for brunch with Husband's brother.
10:00: We find a pretty good parking space downtown. Yay. Love driving downtown on Sundays--there's so little traffic.
10:05: Husband's brother shows up, and meets his nephew for the first time. We have a great brunch. Our son ate a whole fruit plate (watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes), some of his dad's French toast, some of my home fries, and a little bit of the spinach from my eggs florentine. The staff at the restaurant was great, bringing him his own plate, talking to him about his Red Sox bib (he had no idea what they were saying, but he liked the attention), making sure he had enough to drink.
11:40: We left the restaurant after snapping a few pictures of the family together.
12:05: We got home, and played for a little while in the living room. But it wasn't long before he was lying down on the carpet and sucking his thumb, so we could tell he was ready for a nap. Right?
12:20: No, not really. I put him down without argument, but then he proceeded to make babbling noises for about 40 minutes.
1:00: Baby finally stopped babbling and (we suppose) began to sleep. We watched college hoops, I cut coupons (it's actually something I love doing), wrote thank yous, RSVP'ed (sent regrets) for a wedding, RSVP'ed (accepted) for a different bride's bridal shower, purchased wedding presents for both weddings online, and checked work email (no important messages, thank god).
3:30: Decided that we should probably wake up the boy after two and a half hours of sleep. Oh, we was sooooooo sleepy and sweet. I love it when he stretches his arms and legs at the same time. So cute.
3:45: Snack time (pretzels and milk). During snack time, I dustbust the living room, kitchen, and dining room. Then I look through the coupons and make a shopping list.
4:00: I head to the Giant, which is packed.
5:00: I head home. I saved more than $16 with my Bonus card and coupons. Yay, me!
5:30: Food and supplies are unpacked, with a lot of help from Husband and, surprisingly, a little help from the boy. While I carry his diapers to his room, he follows behind me with the pack of wipes. He puts it on the changing table shelf right where I tell him. That's a new thing. I'm proud of him.
5:40: I order pizza for dinner (it's a once-a-week thing for us).
5:45: We play in the living room, and I start a load of the boy's laundry.
6:05: The pizza arrives: pepperoni on all of it, extra tomatoes on half for me and the boy. We have the NCAA selection show on in the background.
6:30: I read some books to the boy.
7:05: We start the bedtime routine.
7:35: We put the boy to bed.
7:40: We watch a little PBS, which is doing a program on Arlington. I repair the boy's winter hat with a needle and thread (I feel so domestic, so unlike myself).
8:00: We watch our Sunday night shows (Simpsons, Arrested Development), and I post this.

It's 9 right now. I actually started this post at 7:55. Still planned for this evening: folding the boy's laundry, some quality time with Husband, and at least an hour of document review--which I can do in my pajamas.

It's been a good weekend. I feel like we did a lot. Did I do everything I planned? No. I never do. But did I do everything that needed to be done? Yeah. I mean, the floor in our bedroom seriously needed vacuuming, but that can be done tomorrow night. I also really want to clean the bathrooms (at least the toilets), which I can also do tomorrow. Maybe Tuesday. For me, the key is not really caring if some things don't get done. Were the dogs fed all weekend? Was the boy fed all weekend? Was he bathed at least once? If so, then we did OK.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Working for the weekend

A friend (who may or may not read this blog--I do not know for sure) was asking about my weekends. Specifically, she wanted to know exactly how I spend my weekend time (she, like me, is a mom that works outside the home). I figured the exercise would actually help me out, too (after all, what the hell do I do on the weekends?), so here we go:

Friday Night

5:10 p.m.: Left work "early" so that Husband could leave the house by 6 to take Dog #1 in to the vet by 6:30.
5:28: Pull into driveway (love the commute!)
5:45: Husband gets home with son from daycare
6:00: Husband leaves for vet with Dog #1 (and will return with Dog #2, too, who spent all day there getting his teeth cleaned)
6:05: Feed child dinner: Gerber meat sticks (swear they're the same thing as those Vienna Sausages I scarfed as a kid), peas, cheddar cheese, and some Teddy Grahams (offered at the end of the meal, as an inducement to finish off the rest of the peas).
6:30: He's not going to eat anymore peas, and there's no way I'm giving him any more Teddy Grahams. Dinner is over.
6:31: I play with the boy, and read a few books to him.
7:00: Time to stop playing and start the bedtime routine.
7:35: Just as I'm getting ready to put him to bed, Husband comes home with both dogs. Dog #1 is herself. Dog #2 is totally whacked out on the anesthetics. Poor fella. Child waves goodnight to both dogs, hugs his Daddy, and goes to bed.
7:40: I take my temperature: 101.7. That's not good.
7:50: Head back to work to finish a draft of a brief that I promised I'd have done Friday night.
9:00: Draft is finished. Head home...
9:10: ...via McDonalds, where I pick up a medium strawberry shake for myself (dinner) and a hot fudge sundae (no nuts) for Husband (his dessert). The shake makes my burning throat feel much better, so I don't care about its utter lack of nutritional value.
9:20: Home again. Immediately change for bed and get under the covers, 'cause I'm cold. Stupid low-grade fever.
10:15: Go to sleep--very early.

Saturday
12:30 a.m.: Woken up by Dog #1 who wants to go out...I think. Husband is taking care of it.
4:00: Woken up by Dog #2 who, obviously having regained some of his motor skills, is using all four of his feet to push me off of the bed. Struggle with dog and with sleep for the next hour or so.
6:00: Woken up again by Dog #1. Husband takes her out. I hear Dog #2, who is now finally allowed to eat (he wasn't allowed dinner Friday night, per the vet's orders), crunching away voraciously in the kitchen. I pray that none of this will make the child stir.
8:12: Finally start to hear happy awake-boy noises over the monitor. I cannot believe how late it is. He usually wakes us up by 7 on weekends, too. So glad he let us sleep in.
8:15: Take my temperature. It's down to 99.6. Still not great, but not too bad.
8:30: Watch some English Premier League soccer on TV with the baby now in the bed with us. Struggle mightily to keep him from taking everything off Mamma's nightstand. He is satisfied by holding my brush and his comb, and a book about doggies.
8:45: Feed him breakfast (Cheerios--boring, I know, but he likes them)
9:00: While Husband takes his shower, our son starts to play with toys. I try to read as much of the paper as I can while keeping an eye on him. He comes over to look at some of the pictures in the paper. We see kitties and panda bears and some woman who looks nothing like me but whom he insists on calling "Mama!"
9:40: I take my shower.
10:00: Morning snack time: sliced pears and pretzels (his new favorite snack food--he even stays "pretzels," although it comes out as "peh-sell")
10:20: More play time for him, reading the paper for me (when he isn't incorporating me into whatever game he's playing).
11:30: Lunchtime. Meat sticks again, peas, and cheese.
12:00 p.m.: Put him down for his nap. He cries a little, but stops after 2 minutes (I can tell he's wiped out).
12:20: Head to work. It's my fault; I haven't done a timesheet for two weeks. I need to sit down and just crank 'em out. I whip out my hand-written timesheets and start entering them on the computer. At least there's nobody in my end of the office, so I can turn on my radio and not bother shutting the door.
1:40: Head home, start watching college basketball and skimming Parents magazine.
2:30: Son wakes up from good, long nap. Comes into bedroom to watch some hoops with me. Seems interested for a little while.
3:10: Husband has to take our son away, because I'm having a heart attack over the game.
3:30: Husband gives our son his afternoon snack, while I'm screaming at the television.
3:45: Game finally over. Oy. All three of us head to the mall.
4:30: Arrive at the mall. Let son play in the play area, look for shoes for me (can't find any I like), Husband buys some shirts, and we head out.
5:30: Stop for dinner at a BBQ place we haven't been to in ages (probably since before the little guy was born). We all enjoy dinner.
6:30: Arrive home, and play for a little while.
6:45: Bath time for baby.
7:05: Start bedtime routine.
7:35: Put baby to bed.
7:38: Take my temperature. It's down to normal. I am convinced the Southern food had a healing effect on me.
7:40: Have a Coke, watch movie recorded on Tivo (Daddy Day Care--meant to watch it when it first came out but never had the time)
9:30: Finish watching movie (only a few interruptions required use of the "pause" button), and start going through pile of mail.
9:45: Go online, check work email (nothing work-related; nice email from my mom)
10:00: Start browsing the blogs I read, then start posting this.

Plans for Sunday

7:00 a.m.: Assuming the boy will wake us up at his normal time, which is fine.
9:30: Head downtown to meet Husband's brother--in town for some conference--for brunch. Pray that the boy behaves in the restaurant.
1:00: Assume we'll be home to put him down for his nap.
1:05: I'll pay bills, respond to invitations, other correspondence. Maybe a little document review before he wakes up.

Other goals for Sunday
Vacuum (at least the upstairs)
Clean the bathrooms
Read the paper (at least the front, Sunday Source, Metro, and Business sections)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Britt on Warner

Donna Britt commenting on Hanna Rosin's piece about Warner.

Uh, I got nothin'. I'm all Warnered out. I know, can you believe it?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Grand Ol' Party-poopers

Phantom Scribbler reminds me that I'm not really that upset that Kerry lost (just mad that Bush won).

Speaking of Republicans, the Post had this article on Russ Potts, who is really starting to make things interesting for the Virginia governor's race. The Winchester City Republican Committee has "disowned" him as a member of the Republican party, saying: "You can't have it both ways. You can't be an 'independent Republican.'"

Potts has this great response:
They don't have the power to tell me whether I'm a Republican or not. Only God and myself have the power to do that. It's the party of my forefathers.... I will not yield to this radical, extreme, out-of-touch element in the Republican Party.

Gotta hand it to those Republicans who aren't afraid to speak out against party leadership when they think it's gone too far.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I'm a big sap

While watching my bonus cable music channels, I saw the video for "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie. Got goosebumps, as always.

Songs That Always Give APL Goosebumps
  • "Under Pressure," Queen and Bowie

  • The Star-Spangled Banner

  • "Big Country," Big Country

  • "Windmills," Toad the Wet Sprocket

  • "Letting the Cables Sleep," Bush (it's an "ER" thing)

  • "Perfect," Smashing Pumpkins

  • "Still Fighting It," Ben Folds

  • "Adam's Song," Blink 182

  • "The Scientist," Coldplay

  • "Pitseleh," Elliot Smith

  • "In a Daydream," Freddy Jones Band

  • "Airport Song," Guster


I know there are more, but I'm tired and I can't think of any others off the top of my head.

March Madness

This sounds like a horror movie in waiting....

Work is crazybusy, which is why I'm going to be sifting through cases right after this post. I hope I'll have at least some time to watch the ACC tourney on TV over the next few days. Meanwhile, my new mantra is "billable hours, billable hours, billable hours..."

Monday, March 07, 2005

Please don't revoke my license

On "Jeopardy" tonight, one of the categories was "Latin Legal Terms."

Sad to say, I did not run the category. I missed the last "question," which was "What is persona non grata?"

*hangs head in shame*

Ubiquity, thy name is Warner!

Here's yet another article on the new Warner tome. This has the local viewpoint, as it's about DC area moms getting ready for a little "meet the author" chat with Judith Warner at a local school.

Not much new to be said on this, but here's one thing I do have to say:

I agree with Warner's proposition that we need to end the so-called "Mommy Wars." Any feuding or begrudging based on whether a mom stays at home, works part-time, or works full-time is bullshit. We're all moms. We're all in this together, or at least we should be. But, that being said, just as there are crazy lawyers (no one I know, of course), crazy Frenchmen, crazy teachers, crazy bicyclists, crazy brunettes, and crazy any-noun-you-can-think-of, there are gonna be crazy moms. Like this one, mentioned in the article:

One Washington woman spent the night before Valentine's Day baking cupcakes with her two sons. She woke up the next morning to read Warner's New York Times op-ed piece on how we now celebrate the holiday for our children instead of our husbands. "Is our national romance with our children sucking the emotional life out of our marriages?" Warner asked. The woman dumped the cupcakes in the garbage and declared herself a failure.

OH. MY. GOD. Who lets an opinion piece in the editorial pages of a newspaper dictate her life, dictate whether she is a success or a failure as a mother and/or wife? And please tell me what the fuck she says to her two sons when they wake up on Valentine's Day and ask to have a cupcake that they'd worked hard to bake the night before?!

"Mommy threw them out because she realized she's not giving daddy enough head"?!

This woman is a nutbar. There. I judged another mom. Let the casting of stones begin.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

These go to eleven

Lots of folks are sharing what songs pop up in their iPod shuffles. I am wasted, mentally and physically, after a busy weekend, so I got nothin' new to see here:


  1. Jonatha Brooke, "Charming"

  2. Mamas and the Papas, "California Dreamin'"

  3. No Doubt, "Running"

  4. Peter Salett, "Heart of Mine"

  5. Van Halen, "And the Cradle Will Rock..."

  6. The Sugarcubes, "Hit"

  7. Jefferson Starship, "We Built This City" (Oh, like you've got nothing embarrassing in your music collection)

  8. Cheap Trick, "I Want You To Want Me (Live)"

  9. Kid Rock, "Cowboy"

  10. Blink 182, "The Party Song"

  11. David Bowie, "Slip Away"

Parent Geek

On Friday night, my husband and I discovered that we're somehow getting a lot of the cable channels we don't subscribe to. We're not sure if we're getting them by mistake, or if this is a weekend promotion, but we don't really care. Movie channels, Game Show Network, Boomerang (Yay, Hanna-Barbera cartoons!), and several MTV/VH1 channels that actually play--gasp!--music videos. I'm TIVO'ing any movie that I've even remotely had an interest in seeing. It's now Sunday afternoon, and we still have these channels. Hurrah!

Well, back on Friday night, immediately post-discovery of this cornucopia of viewing pleasure, it was sensory overload. We were like Joey and Chandler in the free-porn episode of "Friends": we just didn't want to turn off the TV. After midnight we finally gave into Mr. Sandman (saw that video, too--ah, scary Metallica!) and turned it off and went to sleep.

Right before we turned it off, we were watching a Ludacris video, one that must have been in the third Austin Powers movie, the one with Goldmember. Anyway, Vern Troyer (Mini Me) is in the video, dressed as a Mini Ludicrous. He's got the 'fro and everything. Well, at some points in the video, Ludacris is carrying Vern in a Baby Bjorn (just like Dr. Evil did in the movie). I said out loud to my husband, "Vern's not less than 40 pounds is he?" My husband looked at me like I was crazy, and muttered, "Parent geek."

Friday, March 04, 2005

Weird Musak

In the ladies' room at work today, I heard a musak version of "Shotgun" (Junior Walker and the All-Stars). It's been in my head since then.

I'm trying to think of the weirdest musak versions of songs I've ever heard. I distinctly remember laughing at a version of "Jump" (Van Halen, not the Pointer Sisters).

One night in the grocery store they played a musak version of Freedy Johnston's "Bad Reputation." I was thrilled to hear it, but I wondered why they just couldn't play the actual song. It's not like the lyrics are offensive or anything. I sang along as I plopped granola bars and Lean Pockets in my cart.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Slacker confessions

This article deals with Gen Y associates in law firms. Even though technically I am not in Gen Y but rather belong to the passe Generation X, I identified with much that was written. (Hell, it's not like I'm that far removed from Gen Y. I know who Usher is. Yeah, yeah...)

Aaaaaaanyhoo, the following paragraph caught my eye:

Generation Y associates often come from the nation's top schools and have other impressive credentials, McLean said, but what many do not have is unbridled ambition.

Unbridled ambition? I don't even have bridled ambition. In my pre-law profession (no, I am not a "straight-through"--not that there's anything wrong with that), I had no desire to be promoted or even take on a smidgen more responsibility. I want to go to work, do my job, come home and be with my family. And, occasionally, relax and have time by myself. And that is why I will never make partner. But the beauty of it is, I know myself enough to know that I don't want to make partner.

Oh, one other thing I noticed about the article: it defined Generation Y as those born in 1978 or later. I almost agree with that distinction. I would put the dividing line on May 25, 1977. My geek friends will recognize the date.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Can't wait till I have the time to read this opinion