Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - Girly Edition

Thirteen Reasons that I enjoy being a girl

4. The amazing ability to give birth.

5. The ability to cry my way out of a speeding ticket. (I only did it once, I swear.)

6. I can do this

7. And this

without having to explain myself.

8. But I can also do this

without anyone questioning my womanhood.

9. I can admit that I love Chick Flicks and Chick Lit.

10. Did I mention the shoes?

11. I can also swear a blue streak when my browser unexpectedly closes and I lose nearly my ENTIRE *&;%$&*& Thursday Thirteen post because I failed to save it!!!

12. Not that long ago, I could comfort my babies with just the sound of my voice and my own two breasts.

13. But, in the end, no one can say it better than Maya Angelou.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
See the sidebar for lots more Thursday Thirteens - be sure and visit them!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, August 28, 2006


Yesterday, we attended the memorial service for my friend. I'm struggling to find a way to write about it - I've typed and erased seven sentences so far. We were close colleagues and he was my mentor. I should be able to find the words to express what he meant to me.

Maybe the fact that we weren't close friends makes it more difficult. There were a lot of personal things I didn't know about him and he didn't know about me. But I clearly had an emotional attachment to him that I wasn't aware of before his death. With close friends you know you have an attachment. If you're an emotionally expressive person, you probably tell your friends what they mean to you - at least occasionally. He knew that I credited him with getting me started in my current law practice area. He knew that I was happy to be working with him again and how lucky I thought my company was to have him. I never told him - at least not directly - that I considered him to be my mentor. It's a compliment that I wish I would have given him.

What I learned at his memorial is that he was a mentor to many people both personally and professionally. It was his nature to be a guide and a teacher. He had a positive impact on so many lives and will be sorely missed.

It's at times like this that I want to make bold plans. I want to say that in his memory, I vow to be more positive, less cranky and more helpful to those around me. I want to say that I'll be a better person and leave this world a better place. But I've been around myself long enough to know that I won't be able to make such big changes. I'll just end up feeling bad for yet again failing to live up to my own unrealistic expectations of myself.

Judging from what I knew of him and what I learned about him at the memorial, I don't think that's what he'd counsel me to do. I think he'd tell me to live each day with integrity - true to myself but thoughtful, honest and fair with others. He'd say to work hard but have fun. Be present for the people you love. Most importantly, he'd tell me to take it one day at a time. And so I will.

Goodbye, Jim. I'll miss you.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - yet another random edition

Thirteen Random Things

Yet again, I'm too busy (lazy) to come up with an actual theme, so here are random thoughts and stuff for this week:

1. I'm still really sad about the death of my friend. Being at work is hard because I still have emails from him in my inbox and projects pending that he would have been working on with me. His memorial service is Sunday. Maybe next week will be a little easier.

2. I can't believe the summer is almost over. Having kids reminds me of how long summers used to be. Someone once told me that summers get shorter as we get older because they make up a smaller percentage of our lives as a whole.

3. The kids have been taking piano for awhile now but it has just recently gotten to the point where they (at least the oldest) have actual songs to practice during the week. I really love when they're practicing as I get off the elevator coming home from work. The sound of the music is kind of like the smell of dinner. I know I'm home.

4. Work has been frustrating lately (if you define "lately" as, say "the last 18 months"). On a regular basis I'm just pissed off by the time I leave. Usually (as in right now) I have more to do than is humanly possible to get done in a reasonable period of time. That's one of the main reasons I haven't been blogging. I either don't have time at work to do a quick post or I'm too damn tired after work to do anything but spend some time with the family and then collapse. So, at least for today, I decided to take a little break and try to actually post a Thursday Thirteen.

5. I knit a baby blanket for the newly-born daughter of a co-worker. It's been done for several months, the baby was born a couple of months ago and I still haven't given it to them! We were supposed to plan a baby shower but the death of our colleague put that on hold. Maybe I should just bring it in.

6. On the stage mother front - our daughter got a lead role in a professional theater production that will run early next year. She's going to play a boy. She almost turned down the role when she found out that she'd have to cut her hair (I'm not kidding). But it's such a great opportunity that we all decided that a haircut (that they promise won't have to be too short) is a sacrifice worth making.

7. She's in a production at a different theater this fall and was on the short list for a feature film. She didn't get to the really, really short list for the film because she's only eight, the other contenders were at least nine and California labor law allows nine year olds to work one hour more per day than eight year olds. Not to say that she would have gotten the role if she was nine (I'm not that much of a stage mother), but she would have had a shot.

8. Sometimes I wish this blog was truly anonymous so that I could write more about my family. Not that I want to say bad things about them. But there are creepy and dangerous people out there. Who knows how they might use details from my blog - kids tend to feel more comfortable around someone who knows details about them. I'm not paranoid. Just more careful than I used to be.

9. I love reading the packaging for various beauty products because the spin those marketers put on things is downright hilarious. Tonight I noticed that my sample of Olay Definity cream says that it will help create a look that's "more flawless." How can something be more flawless? It either has no flaws and it is, in fact, flawless or it has flaws. Ridiculous marketing aside, I actually like the cream. It feels like silk on your skin.

10. I am totally running out of things to talk about. If you knew me, you'd think that was funny.

11. M Girl was procrastinating at bedtime tonight. I know, there's a surprise - a six-year old not wanting to go to bed. Anyway, as part of her procrastination technique, she almost convinced me that she did not know that there are 60 seconds in a minute. I am way too gullible.

12. I'm still not organized. Yet. I think about it a lot. Kind of like I think about writing but don't actually do enough of it. I'm trying to figure out what it is about getting organized that must freak me out on a sub-conscious level. My Tae Kwon Do instructor was telling me the other day that he realized recently that he was sabotaging himself financially because he grew up poor and his mother would always say nasty things about rich people. Now that he knows where his fear comes from, he's getting his finances in order. So what the heck could be keeping me from getting organized?

13. I'm really glad that tomorrow is Friday!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
See the sidebar for lots more Thursday Thirteens - be sure and visit them!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Don't nobody bring me no bad news!

I have a strict "one tragedy per summer" rule. So after this terrible accident, according to the rule, we were done. But apparently someone didn't get the memo. I found out yesterday that a colleague and friend died of a heart attack. He just turned 50. And I'm absolutely devastated. Everyone who worked with him is devastated.

I took the day off yesterday and while I was at Eddie Z's with my husband considering window treatments, my boss called on my cell. Not an entirely unusual event. But his tone was not good and he asked me if I was in a "quiet, relatively stable" place (whatever that means). Seeing as the Eddie Z's wasn't too crowded and was in fact quiet and on relatively stable ground, I said "Yes. What's up?" I thought maybe someone important had gotten fired or quit. Juicy gossip kind of stuff or get ready to work even harder, you know? I really, really wasn't prepared for this news.

This colleague and I went way back to when I was a baby lawyer (lots and lots of years ago). He was a senior associate at the same law firm and got me started in mutual fund law. He was, in many ways, my mentor and my career followed in his footsteps. We worked together at the firm for a couple of years before he left for a corporate position. A couple years after that, I also left for a corporate position. About a year ago, he came to work with us. We were so happy to get him. He's a like a rock star among chief compliance officers. (Seriously. We have rock stars. Just without the unusual hair, bizarre clothes and dubious musical talent.) He was the best. And I was really happy to be working with him again. He was smart, funny, personable - just a pleasure to work with. I learned a lot from him over the years and was looking forward to learning lots more. Of all the lawyers in our group, he's the only one who is simply not replaceable. I feel sorry for the person who fills that spot - they have supersized shoes to fill.

So now he's gone and I keep picturing him sitting in the chair across my desk. He was just there on Friday and for the life of me I can't remember what we talked about. I don't know why that bothers me so much but every time I think about it, I start to cry. Why can't I remember that conversation?

I just can't get excited about the work projects I need to get done (not even the bonfires that are erupting all around me). There are things we were working on together and I just don't know what to do or how to pick up the pieces. I can't even begin to imagine what his significant other is feeling. It seems silly for me to be fretting over how we're going to get the work done without him. How is his partner going to go on without him?

The irony of this whole thing is that his partner was hospitalized recently when he almost died of dehydration (and I'm not exaggerating) brought on by a severe intestinal illness. After that scare, my colleague was saying how glad he was that his partner had all sorts of tests at the hospital and was given a clean bill of health. How utterly tragic that my colleague then goes and dies of a heart attack just weeks later. I mean, that just sucks.

Sorry this blog is so damn depressing these days. Pretty soon I'll be able to stop crying at my desk and write something more upbeat. Just not yet.