Saturday, March 01, 2003

Creating Havoc.....and showing some gratitude

Seems I happen to share a popular name. Or at least I'm the Johnny-come-lately of gregs. Like a lot of other people, I surf other blogs (and seem to always find my blog wanting compared to some of them out there, like this one or this one or this one or even this one.)

So, one day, I happened to surf over to le petit hiboux, which I immediately found interesting. And me being me, I noticed that her "crush" for February was none other than a guy named greg. Not me, of course, but this greg. Having the twisted sense of humor that I do, I decided to have some fun, and create confusion, which I did fairly well. And darnitall if the lovely krissa didn't chastise me for it. So I will go by another name on her site (and a few others who link to her) and profusely apologize for the confusion. And say that I'm honored to be mentioned in another's blog - my visits have shot up as a result. Not that anyone's been inclined to comment, but at least they stop by......

Speaking of mentions, my post on Mr. Rogers got noticed elsewhere and linked to the University of Pittsburgh's School of Law website, which just impressed the hell out of me. A hale and hearty thanks for that......I do appreciate links here (and I try to reciprocate, if I'm aware), which leads me to further thank Sue Sponte for her link here (although, m'lady, I am not a pre-1L, as you have my link labeled, but a full-fledged 1L. An overworked, stressed-out 1L.). Welcome to one and all. Feel free to leave an opinion/comment. I do appreciate different viewpoints.

Ok, back to tax returns. Or should I write my paper? Decisions, decisions.....

Friday, February 28, 2003

The Week From Hell is nearly upon us. The topic of at least one conversation last night was all of the things going on next week – paper due Tuesday (for some of us, including yours truly), curriculum planning on Wednesday, Contracts Review session on Thursday, followed immediately by Contracts mid-term. Friday brings welcome relief in the form of spring break, and not a moment too soon. Of course, for the Saturday Legal Writing people (SLWP), their break doesn’t start until the afternoon.

My plan for spring break is simple – work on the trial-level brief due March 25th and catch up on reading, etc. There are a precious few who actually plan to travel to places like Cozumel and Cancun. More than one SLWP openly self-debated about skipping class to start Spring Break early, though most stopped when reminded of the miss-a-class-lose-a-half-grade penalty.

That segued into a discussion about Professor Contracts’ absence policy: miss two classes, and lose part of a grade, miss four and forget taking the final. This is unduly harsh to some, including me, whose work/commute schedules don’t always make it easy to show up promptly all the time.
From what I hear, I have the dreaded two strikes, simply because I arrived late. If that’s the case, I’m invoking the email I sent to Professor Contracts prior to the class’ start. The overall consensus is that Professor Contracts’ strategy is not a good one, nor popular.

Supposedly, Professor Contracts has a good memory. Last night, however, it must have been shut off. I bumped into her on the street outside one of the buildings shortly after class. She was looking for the Public Interest Law Society (hereinafter known as PILS) Charity Auction. She asked if I knew where it was, and I told her, whereupon she asked if I had been there in a prior year. I of course told her no, but seeing as I sit directly in front of her in class (albeit in the last row, but at roughly eye level), it made me wonder how much she paid attention to us.

The boyfriend of my classmate and friend Anita owns a restaurant in Highland Park, called Belle Via . He was kind enough to donate a $50 gift certificate to the auction, which I managed to win, beating out a woman none of us knew. Ironically, I was standing in line later in the evening behind several women, one of whom complained, “Can you believe I lost out to a GUY? A GUY? What guy would outbid me?” Well – me, that’s who. And you should have bid more, wench. Not that I bid a lot, but mine topped yours by $4, a nearly 20% increase. So there. Nyah.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood......

No, it's not. Mr. Rogers has died. He was 74. He had stomach cancer.

I'll admit to being old enough to have watched Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood as a child. I would say it had an influence on my life, because it was all about exploring and learning, and I've done plenty of both. I love to read, love to travel and love to learn. How else do you explain getting a CPA, then an MBA, and then a JD? It's either that, or masochism......

I'm sure (I hope) that there's plenty of educational, informative TV out there. I grew up watching Saturday cartoons (the Bugs Bunny & Roadrunner show!!!), but it wasn't all just cartoons. Every now and then I turn on CBS radio (usually for traffic reports), and hear Christopher Glenn doing the World News Roundup. Takes me back to when he used to do "In the News", a regular spot on Saturday mornings. Between the two (Mr. Rogers and Christopher Glenn), it would be hard to decide who had a larger impact on where my life has gone.

What's sad is that I don't think my 14 and 11 year-old-nephews can say the same thing. The big impact on their lives hasn't been a news reporter, or TV host. It's been Play Station. And there's something lost there. I'm afraid of what it will mean for them when they turn 30.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

I should have known today was going to be a bad day when I woke up. First, I slept later than I wanted to. Worse, I had enough hot water in the shower this morning to get wet – and no more. I think I managed to shower in about 4 minutes flat.

Despite a fitful night of sleep, I arrived at work in a coherent state of mind, and a fairly decent mood, as opposed to the usual fog and crappy mood. Again, outside the norm, and a red flag.

Today was bonus day. Since no one had discussed my rating with me, I braced myself for the worst. Around Thanksgiving, I’d been dragged into the middle boss’ office and told all my sins for the year. Of course, it was couched in the ‘but you’re improving’ language to soften the blow, but there it was. Never mind that the person training me hadn’t done a complete job. Or that I was often left out of the loop about due dates, etc (usually finding out less than a day before with the comment “oh, we didn’t tell you? I thought so-and-so told you. Sorry.”) Not to mention that no one ever complained that they weren’t happy to me. No, no. I find out at the end of the year that my mistake my second week in this position was going to penalize me come bonus/increase time.

So it was with trepidation that I reluctantly followed my boss into an office to hear the news. Of course, he thought I should have gotten more, but, darnit, the powers that be didn’t want to hear of it. Of course, one of those powers that be doesn’t even know what I do (and has admitted as much openly), but he didn’t think I did it well enough. So, I get shafted.

So much for a good mood.

Now, I know about 20 people a day read this, but nobody ever comments. So if you’re tempted, don’t hesitate, because I could use some cheering up right now…………

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Lately, it seems like I'm perenially behind. I was able to get a whopping three hours of study time this Sunday. What frustration.

I have two tax clients who live near each other. One had already made an appointment for me to pick up his materials on Sunday. The other called during the week and asked when I could come out. What an opportunity, right? Nope. Party II would not be home when I was to meet with Party I. So I had to come earlier - five hours earlier. Now, it takes me an hour to get there. Add in b.s. time, and an hour back, and I've torpedoed three hours. I was desperately hoping to avoid that Sunday. But, alas, 'twas not to be. And to make matters worse - Party II didn't even have all of his materials ready! I told him to mail them to me, I'm not making another trip. I drove back to the apartment in a crappy mood.

My regular job was at least a little less stresful this week - my boss has been out of town the last two days. Not that he bugs me or anything, but things lighten up when the bosses are gone. Always a nice atmosphere. Of course, it would have been nice if he'd told me, so I didn't schedule a meeting with a VP to discuss salary issues. As it was, I tried my best to slough my way through.....I think I did ok.

And class - ugh. Tomorrow is the MANDATORY public service convocation. It starts at 5. Unless God himself comes down and frees up a lane on the Eisenhower, there's not a chance in hell of me making it there in time. Next weeks even worse - a paper due on Tuesday in Legal Writing, the career planning seminar on Wednesday (another pre-class event that I'll be late for), and to top it off, a mid-term on Thursday in Contracts. I am in no way prepared for a mid-term. Professor Contracts mentioned we should have our outlines well underway. I had to stifle a laugh. Right. Well underway. On five hours a weekend. Sure, no problem.

The best part of last week was getting back the homework assignment, and reading the tutor's comments - "You're on your way to IRACing..." blah, blah, blah. Apparently she thinks (1) I actually take the time to brief a case (no) and (2) I actually care what she says (no). I don't have time to IRAC, or FIHR, or any other briefing method. I'm lucky I have time to read the case. Lately, I live in dread of being called on, and wonder what smart-ass remark will fly from my lips when I'm not prepared. Hopefully, I'll be in a good mood that day, and not a grouch.

Truthfully, the best part of last week was going out for drinks with Gretchen after class. It was nice, relaxing, intelligent conversation, and much better than the blind date I had the week before.

Ok, I'm off the soapbox now. I just needed to vent. Lately, life seems a lot about frustration.

Sunday night, I had dinner with my dad. Mom had surgery, so she didn't go. During dinner, my father tried to play devil's advocate, and suggest that I pursue the personal leave of absence route. I looked into it today. The only downside is that when I come back, location isn't guaranteed. And since we have a site clear across the state, I'm concerned that I could get screwed in the long run. I'll have to wait until next week. Part of that shindig next Wednesday deals with issues like this...

Monday, February 24, 2003

It's amazing how fast a week can go zipping by, and it seems like mere hours.

I took a "mental health" day on Friday, simply because after the last two weeks of buzzing activity, I was simply exhausted, and there was ironing to do. Not to mention the near-successful assault on my apartment by the dust bunny army. Needless to say, there is still ironing to do, and cleaning as well.

I also need to revisit my weekend plans. They never seem to allow enough time for all I need to get done.