Friday, February 14, 2003

Hello? Anybody here? Hmm…..awful quiet around here…..

It’s all about me, dammit…………….

I have determined that my shower hates me. I don’t know what I did to it, but it no longer likes me. Either that, or the ghost of one of my ex-girlfriends is now haunting it. My shower is officially a tease. It starts out nice and hot, but within moments, it turns tepid at best. Factor in the fact that my bedroom is on two outside walls, and that the walk-in closet is cold enough to store food in during the winter, and the bathroom itself (which is attached to both) is cold. Cold bathroom + cold shower = I don’t spend a lot of time primping.

My apartment has been officially labeled a hazmat zone. I know there’s no chance of my having female accompaniment anytime soon, because she’d walk in, take one look and run. There’s crap all over, and the dust bunnies have completed their buildup in the living room and are preparing to launch on the kitchen soon. Intel tells me it’ll be sometime in the next week…….

Ok, so I took yesterday off from posting. I read Wednesday’s post, and realized it was totally disjointed, like I was on drugs or something. Were I that lucky. Then things might be interesting.

I’m starting to get excited about going to Europe, even if it is mainly because the weather here sucks so bad. I just asked for weather warm enough so that my car can return to its natural ruby red color, instead of salt white. So what do I get? A winter storm warning. A good excuse if I wanted to stay in and study all weekend, but it’s tax season, and I have appointments tonight. I’m not sticking around late, I guarantee that. I have research to do.

Yesterday, I finally decided to do the Bar Character and Fitness Application. Originally, I thought that Illinois bars really had cracked down on their patrons, until I realized this joke was all about being licensed to practice in Illinois. This exercise in stupidity is unbelievable – they want to know everything about anything you might have possibly considered doing. I was expecting them to ask the last time I had sex. And god forbid you miss a question – they won’t process your application!

Not that these chowderheads are anywhere near being in the 21st century. Up until late December, their requirements were that you printed the application out and typed the answers. Typed. Who the fuck still owns a typewriter? Jesus H. Christ – even my company, notorious for having big, clunky, adding machines circa 1962 vintage – tossed out their typewriters. Of course, it took a move to a new building for that to happen, but it did. And fee payment? Certified check, cashiers check or money order ONLY. Hey morons – you hear of this new invention, the credit card? Or the real fandangled new thing – direct debit? *Sigh*. And I’m planning on joining these techo-morons. I doubt if the Illinois, Chicago or American Bar Associations will see dime one of my money.

Anyway, they’ve somewhat gotten into the 20th century. In late December, they added the ability to type onto the form while still on the computer. You can then print it out, and pay via 19th century methodology. Of course, they call it “downloadable”, which implies that you can download the file, and save changes. Wrong. I spent an hour typing crap in yesterday, and hit save, and………… all disappeared. ARRRGGGHHHH!

Anyway………..another weekend is upon us. Maybe this one, I’ll actually be productive.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Dashed Dreams Dept.

What is this world coming to? Steven Segal being shaken down by the mob? No way! C’mon, we all know he’d just kick their butts…….unless……he’s a……….wimp.

Michael Jordan not an angel? Having an affair? Getting caught by a photographer? Never!

In student news....a/k/a things I learned while reading the paper

The Chicago Sun-Times' Red Streak edition has an interesting article for those of you who are planning on going to U of I and thinking about pursuing grants to pay for your education, be it legal or otherwise. If you haven't done your FAFSA yet, get on it. The money pool just shrank.

DePaul students who don't already know will be depressed to learn that the CTA is trying to boot out Demon Dogs. I've never been there, but people I know who have rave about this place. To me, a hot dog is a hot dog. To Bill the Heart Surgeon, it's future business.

Interesting case in California - seems a 17-year-old couple was having sex (no! teenagers don't have sex, do they?), when the girl realized it was time for her to go home. So she asked her date (boyfriend?) to stop. When he didn't, she filed rape charges - and won.

Now lets take a minute to examine this case, which the Sun-Times says can impact laws in Illinois. The S-T doesn't mention details, but does. And it's pretty interesting. The girl claims that she told the guy to stop when she realized that it was time for her to go home. Ok. But later, the article notes that the dissenting justice pointed out that the girl was enjoying the sex. Ok, now explain this, please. She was enjoying the sex, but not so much that she couldn't help but notice that she should be leaving now. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning what happened. Just pointing out that little inconsistency. In a related case, a woman in North Carolina really got creative in filing her case - hers was for "Wrongful Seduction."

So the lesson here is (1) if you used a really cheap pick up line, and (2) the sex was bad, you might wind up in court.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun ‘n’ games……..

Ok, so the temperatures here in balmy Chicago are more approaching the Arctic than the jungle, but who’s noticing. I mean, just because I drove to class tonight in near white-out conditions, should that be an issue? Here I am, on the phone, doing the right thing and pulling over, and what happens? An inch of snow, that’s what. And ten minutes (ok, thirty) later? Snow’s over. Ya gotta love this city.

Another thing to love about the cold – I’m a non-smoker. Every winter, I see the smokers outside the building, bundled up to their ears, sucking their life away. I envy them to a degree; they get to get away from their desks from time to time and not have to go to a meeting. But in winter? Never. If I were a smoker, the weather here the last month would have been incentive enough. If it wasn’t, this case would be.

Mayor Daley has a way with words. What it is, I don’t know. But he has a way with them. I think if his words were human, you’d call it bondage. I’m wondering why the media has never sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress after one of his press conferences. Today, he lashed out at Hollywood for filming “Chicago” in – of all places – Toronto. Ahh, were there but a link to this one. Maybe tomorrow.

The fun begins

Tax season is always hectic. Trying to balance regular work, and tax work can be trying sometimes. Now add in law school, plus commitments, and....well, it gets nuts. I'm already resorting to hitting the library after class. I've got nine weeks to go. And a trial level brief to write. On the upside, however, I did get pulled over last night on the way home. Seems that October has passed, and someone neglected to inform me. (I'm working on who to sue for that now.) Mr. Bad Man wasn't happy that I insisted on doing 5 over, or that my plates are slightly past their use-by date. I had heard that mentioning law school could help, so I did. And I'm over $100 richer tonight, since Mr. Bad Man decided to let me slide with a verbal chastising. Thank you officer!

I guess I'll be visiting the Secretary of State at lunch tomorrow. I would've gone today, but the fridge was empty......

Monday, February 10, 2003

{inhale}……hold it, hold it….{woosh}….hmm. So THAT’S what it feels like to breathe..


I hate whiny co-workers. And I have several. Every time some minor issue occurs, they act like the world is coming to an end. Of course, this necessitates that I immediately drop everything and tend to their issue. It’s probably the most frustrating thing about working here. Well, after the political bullshit.

This morning, one of my co-workers, “Betty” (obviously, not her real name) comes rushing over to tell me that, over the weekend, someone booked a journal entry, and the corporate numbers have changed by $150K, and she needs a new allocation right away. Never mind that this is a $150K on thirteen million (or 1% of the total expenditures for the month), or around $15,000 per site. No, the fact that it’s financial peanuts doesn’t matter, she needs her allocation right away. This is someone you can’t rationally discuss this with, either. Last week, a discussion between her and another co-worker, Julio (not his name, either) got out of hand in a hurry. Julio, admittedly, got a little short with her, but still gave her enough info to do what needed to be done. Not good enough. She started to run, not to her boss the Manager of Financial Reporting, or his boss, the Director of Accounting, but his boss – the VP of Business Operations. So when she came over, I looked at what she wanted, and gave her a short, terse “fine”. She went away, then I went and pled my case to her boss. Not that I’m whiny, but that we’ve already moved on – the invoices have been sent to the stations, and other parties have made decisions on what we put out last Friday. To send out a minor change now, and expect everyone to revise their presentations based on it would seriously damage our credibility, to say nothing of making us look foolish. We true-up the numbers next month anyway, so there would be no great loss to waiting until then. And he agreed. It’s nice to have one person I can talk rationally to…

Moving on….

Nikki, Esq. wrote last week about some self-doubt now that she’s in law school. Nikki, I know how you feel. All too well. I make pretty good money doing what I do – around sixty thousand dollars – and I supplement that with money I earn doing tax work, which varies depending on the level of effort I put into showing up at the tax office. And I’m putting it all on the line to chase this lawyer fantasy of mine.

At some point, probably sooner than later, I’m going to have to give up this job. That means giving up twenty paid vacation days a year, a (fairly) regular schedule of 7:30-4:15, good health benefits, an excellent pension plan, and the convenience of being 1.5 miles from home to work for an uncertain future, and the hope that someone out there will want to hire me, despite the fact that, when I graduate, I’ll be 40 years old. I’m hoping that some law firm will find my CPA and my MBA valuable additions to my background. Otherwise, the time I dedicated to passing the CPA exam and the five years (and twenty seven thousand dollars in loans) I invested in getting an MBA would be a total waste of time and money.

I’ve signed up for the Rome and Oxford programs offered by Loyola, which means that I’ve committed myself to spending two months in Europe. I have no idea how I’m going to support myself, and, more importantly, I’m sure I won’t be allowed to take two month’s leave, either, which pushes the discussion of the previous paragraph into the “sooner” part, rather than the “later” part. I originally wanted to wait until next year to leave, so that I’d have five years in here, and be vested. But there are a thousand things swirling about in my head right now, and I don’t know how to resolve them all so that I am totally satisfied. The drive from work to school is an hour, and when you factor in parking, it costs me $25 a day. I could take the train, which would be cheaper, but then I’m tied to the train schedule, and it won’t save me time – it’ll actually take longer. Plus, research after class is out, since there’s only one free shuttle in the evening, and it leaves after class. If I hang around, I’m stuck with cab fare, which wipes out any savings, since it costs as much to park.

So you get the idea. I’m going through the same angst you are, only a little differently. What gets me through? Well, as an athlete would say, “keeping your eye on the prize.” In other words, remembering why I decided to pursue this, despite all the stress that I’m under. In the end, I think it’ll be worth it. At the very least, my job won’t be as routine and unchallenging as it is right now.