Thankful for Doing Nothing

So, what did I do with all my newfound freedom?

Let's see. I did the whole turkey and stuffing thing. I saw family. Watched football.

I had lunch with friends. Until this huge group with a bunch of loud pre-school kids (This was seriously a grown-up restaurant/tavern. Can't you take them to Chuck E. Cheese?) came in, and we literally ran out of there. They were so loud, all their fathers went and sat at the bar, leaving the mothers with the screaming kids. I drank a coffee drink with liquor, yum.

I went to see Enchanted with a friend and her well-behaved children. At a shopping center. On Black Friday. It wasn't that bad. I made up my own parking space right in front of the door, so that worked. (There wasn't a sign, or a hydrant, or lines on the pavement. I was just the only one smart enough to realize that you could park there. And by the time I came out, a few other cars had followed suit.) It was a cute movie and I didn't get a parking ticket. In fact, I even won a free small popcorn somehow.

I worked on making space on my laptop hard drive (it was full, so I haven't uploaded any new songs or photos in months) and updating my ipod. This involved moving my music to an external hard drive, and then stupid itunes couldn't find it, and then the songs disappeared from my ipod, then I had to copy all of the songs back over. Now I want to fix some of the track titles so that everything works perfectly. That could take all night.

I slept, a lot. I took a walk. I watched some Tivo, and too many hours of old America's Next Top Model episodes on MTV. I called to report a fire. Twice. So, eventually, two fire trucks came. I cooked cinnamon rolls, but only the kind that come in a tube. (And, no, that's not where the fire or the fire trucks came into play. At all.)

I thought about Christmas cards. I rearranged a thing or two in my apartment. Nothing big, I put a lamp in a different corner, I hooked up a radio. I got groceries. I gave free rice to the hungry. I watched Elf, one of my favorite holiday movies. I ate Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches (my favorite.) I put the warm winter quilt on the bed.

Overall, it was a pretty low-key long weekend. Just the way I like it.

Thankful for...

I took tomorrow, the day after Thanksgiving, aka "Black Friday," off. Meaning, I am not working. Not going to court. Not meeting with clients. Not writing a brief. Not going into the office. It's amazing. It's really my first day off since starting my new job. And I do need it.

It's a day filled with possibility. Of doing a million fun things. Or nothing at all.

The only restriction, really, is avoiding all shopping areas. Because I'm not in the mood for crowds.

I have a lot that I want to do. The list includes things like: Read, catch up on my Tivo, see some friends, and sleep all day. So, I know that it will be impossible to do all of it. But I'll try.

So, that's what I'm really thankful for today. A day off. And crazy commenters, like the one who left this last comment here, today, over three years after my original post. "THERE ARE STARVING CHILDREN OUT THERE AND YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN." Wacko... I love it.

All's Well That Ends

Ok, last funny thing about this guy, I swear. The Idiom Idiot mentioned that he used to work at this one law firm. I know someone who works there now, so I mentioned, "Hey, did you know this guy...?" And guess what his response was? "Oh God, is that the guy who only talks in one liners?" Can you imagine: He walked around a law firm doing that? Crazy.

Even more crazy was when I mentioned he has a girlfriend. "HE has a girlfriend?!?" Um, yeah, and she's a friend of a friend of mine. Eeeww.

Alright, moving on...

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Sherry's friends were so annoying.

I know, I know, "How annoying were they?"

Ok, one friend was kind enough to bring her boyfriend. First of all, they were all lovey-dovey, kissy-kissy. ("No, I love you more," "No, I love you more...")

Second of all, every single thing that he said, the entire four hours we were together, was an idiom. And then he guffawed as if he had said the funniest thing ever, every time.

I'll give you an example. Let's say one of the girls said, "Hey Sherry, where do you keep your trash can?"

The friend's boyfriend said, "One man's trash is another man's treasure! HAR! HAR! HAR!"

"Oh Sherry, this is a cute picture of your baby..."

"A picture is worth a thousand words! HARTY-HAR-HAR!"

"Oh God! Sherry! Your baby just put in a penny in her mouth!"

"A penny saved is a penny earned. HO HO HO!"

"Seriously! The baby is choking! Should we do the Heimlich or something?"

"Laughter is the best medicine! HI-YO!"

This was all before (third of all) he almost touched my breast under some completely stupid, completely false pretense. Good thing I have reflexes like a ninja, or I would've had second base with that fool.

So, um, yeah... I keep telling myself that I'm not the annoying friend that Sherry didn't want to hang with by herself.

On Being The Other Friend

I have this good friend, we'll name her Sherry. I'm calling her a "good friend," but the truth is that we don't talk to each other that often or see each other that often now. We both work full time, and she had a baby recently, so we're both busy, and we live about an hour from one another. Regardless, she's one of my favorite people, so I think "good friend" is a fair term.

Sherry and I now see each other probably 2-3 times a year. We usually get together at her place, because she has the baby, so it's easier for me to travel than for her to travel. And I don't mind.

But when we get together, she always invites a few other friends. I haven't seen Sherry one-on-one in a long time... over a year, maybe two.

I guess there are different ways to look at this. Sherry's a busy woman, and if she's going to take the time and energy to entertain at her home, she might as well get to see a few friends at the same time.

But I also wonder if it means I am a less-important friend. I like Sherry enough that I'd block out time in my schedule to see her one-on-one. But I have other friends who I prefer to see in groups. For example, I have a childhood friend that still lives near my old hometown. We'll call her Nickie. Nickie's not one of my favorite people, but it's also not really worth it to "break up" with her. So, if she wants to get together, I arrange to see her when I visit my family or other hometown friends. And it works out fine, we see each other, but I probably wouldn't take the time to see Nickie one-on-one.

So, I don't know. Maybe Sherry, my "good friend," sees me the same way. Or, maybe she sees the other people as her Nickie, and she invites me along the same way I invite other people when I hang out with Nickie.

But I suspect that Sherry makes all of her plans with all of her friends this way. I think she sees it as a way to see all of her friends without too much effort. So, I don't think I should take it personally. But I would hope that she would realize that she doesn't need to put any effort into seeing me - I would be perfectly happy hanging out in her apartment, messy or not, and just doing nothing or playing with her baby, no further entertainment needed.

I guess another part of the problem is that I don't really like her other friends. (Which is part of the reason why I suspect that one of them is her "Nickie," not me. Because they're annoying, and I'm not. In my opinion.) But I think that if we were hanging out with a nice, fun group of people, it would be a little better, although I'd still want some one-on-one time with Sherry.

And I also understand that sometimes you think "Hey, this friend would get along great with my other friend, I should introduce them." I can appreciate that. In fact, I've met some of my better friends when they started out as friends-of-friends. But I don't get the impression that Sherry thinks I have anything in common with these friends. She's certainly hasn't said to me, "Jane is coming too. You'll like her. Just like you, she also collects pre-war confederate bottle caps." In fact, the other friends haven't even been new people. Sherry's other guests have all been people I've met before at her get-togethers, and it's not as if we really clicked the last time together.

The same way that I feel like it's not really "worth it" for me to hang out with Nickie one-on-one, I'm starting to feel like it's not worth it for me to hang out with Sherry and her other friends.

So, what do you think? Next time she invites me over, should I say, "Who's going to be there?" And, what, come up with an excuse if she names the other friends I don't like?

I could make a point of calling her and saying, "Let's get together, just the two of us." And that would satisfy my desire to spend time with her, but I still don't want to hang out with her less-likeable friends the next time that opportunity arises.

So, what do you think?

A Little Whine With Dinner

There have been some previous comments about me going out on my own, or being my own boss, or asking whether I have to bring in business...

I guess my announcement that I was going into private practice was a little vague, so I'll elaborate a tiny bit.

I'm working for a small law firm. They had a partner that did all the criminal work and only criminal work. He was overworked, so I was hired as the criminal associate.

Some of the cases are white collar and the rest are just high-paying criminal cases. Like people who sell a lot of drugs, as opposed to my public defender clients, who sold fewer drugs in more public places. We have a few clients that have a lesser ability to pay, but we're not going to be accused of becoming a public welfare agency any time soon.

I work in new courts now than I did as a public defender, but we also have a few cases in the courts where I used to work, so part of the reason why I was hired was so that I could handle those cases.

I don't have to bring in new cases, we've got plenty of work. I guess if I brought in a case, no one would mind, but there's no imperative, and we don't have any agreement that I would get a bonus or a cut of the case or whatever.

On the other hand, I don't really have any say in which cases we take, or what we charge clients.

I also generally feel that I don't have much control over how to handle a case. For most decisions, I run them past the partner, since, in the end, they're not really "my" clients or "my" cases.

I also have less control over my own schedule. As a public defender, if I wanted to say "I'm going to leave early Thursday afternoon," I could most likely pull that off. I mean, unless I was on trial or something, I could try to avoid scheduling cases for Thursday afternoon, or get a colleague to cover a case for me if I needed to. If I had a brief due on Friday morning, I'd make sure I had it written ahead of time so I could leave early on Thursday afternoon. And no one was going to mind. If my supervisor said "Where are you going?" it would be out of curiosity, or maybe concern, but not because he was trying to think of busy work to make me stay later. As a private attorney, I might be walking out the door when I'm told of some assignment that needs to be finished or a brief that needs to be written or a client that has money is going to stop by to give some of it to us. (And by us, I mean give it to me so that I can give it to my boss.) So, then I stay.

And it's not working late that I mind so much, I worked late sometimes as a PD too, it's the uncertainty and lack of control I have about when/why/and how late I'm going to be working.

But I think that, slowly, I am coming to realize that it's not all that uncertain. I mean, I know all the answers to the previous sentence. Really, the answer is everyday/for no good reason/very late. I'm just not really ready to accept it.

So, that's the story. I'm in private practice. I need a later newscast.