December 28, 2007

Art imitates life

And if so, you should be able to gleam tons about my life from the following combination of over-seriousness, ridiculous navel-gazing, and stupid over-dramatcized fun (with snakes!). Basically, the week after Christmas rocks as a lawyer in the bay area. Everyone slows down or just stops. Don't take it off work. Stay in town. *Work* (wink, wink). The few clients and partners who need you will be thankful. The one or two people whose asses you'll have to save will be *very* thankful (which is helpful for later vacations when you will need backup).

So, from the partial work void I've been enjoying these holidays, I present the most recent collection of Netflix and pop-culture I've experienced, in the last 7 days, in case you thought you knew me.

1. The Wii, with family, over Christmas.
2. The Simpsons: Old Yeller Belly.
3. Water, which E left me to watch on my own... it just wasn't his thing.
4. Secretary, which E left me to watch alone, and solidify my adoration for both James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhall.
5. Crimes and Misdemeanors -- E liked misdemeanors, but hated crimes. I liked it, but mainly because the best parts of it made me nostalgic for Manhattan and the worst parts were like watching a bad 70's or 80's gangster flick.
8. Mighty Aphrodite: Wow. It was like all the best parts of Crimes and Misdemeanors (namely, the misdemeanors) without the heavy over-indulgence of the crimes in reality. Instead, he acknowledged his ridiculousness and indulged it via greek theatre. Which, I have a ridiculous soft spot for, thanks to world drama at Cal with JayKay (Where we did nothing but laugh at the angsty theatre folks, lust after swimmer-ben, and amuse ourselves with our professor, who insisted on lunging instead of walking. Good Times.)
6. And, let us not forget tonight's masterpiece Snakes on a plane. You might think this went straight to video, and I wouldn't blame you for the assumption, but I must admit, I enjoyed watching it tonight (because I'm a sucker for over-the-top video) and part of the reason it made it home in the netflix queue is because R claimed the movie was fun. Of course, he's the kinda guy who woulda claimed that no matter what. But I enjoyed my modern day airplane blacksploitation spoof. So there...

So, yeah, if the list above confuses you, I agree. In fact, I encourage you to try being me and trying to find a platform for voting (and if you succeed, post a comment)...

December 25, 2007

Holiday Cheer

There are few things greater in the world than witnessing the joy of an almost-six-year-old realizing that Santa brought what she really wanted, even though she forgot to tell him.

I hope your holidays were/are wonderful this year. Mine were filled with joy and family.

I spent 4 days in a quirky condo overlooking beautiful Pismo beach with E and my brother, sister, and niece, plus our cousin who couch-surfed, and daily visits to and from the extended family throughout the region.

It's crazy to belong to such a large extended family. It's like you belong to a posse and you can't do anything solo. You wanna go get a quick dinner of delicious BBQ? Make a few phone calls, and the next thing you know, you and your family will take over the joint. When you take small family subgroups with you to restaurants, you still have to request two separate large tables to seat the entire group. When it's not the holidays, your uncle goes to the local county fair and meets relatives he didn't even know he had. And your aunt cancels the "cousins' only" bbq that had been planned because due to the required politesse, the bbq would have to be 200 local invitees of first, second, and third-degree family. Instead, we have a small get-together of 15.

All in all, I could not have asked for anything better: perfectly clear and weather in the 60s (F); two days of running alongside the Pacific Ocean; one day of beach yoga; four nights of listening to waves crashing from either the hottub or the balcony; and, of course, more delicious food and family laughter than I even thought was possible.

It was one of the best Christmas holidays I can remember.

December 21, 2007


I'm a very light sleeper and I have a very active dream life. Combine this with strange noises on the roof, and, well, I've concocted some odd theories.

For example, I swear that I've been woken several times on the night before garbage pickup by what sounds like a person walking on the roof.

Why garbage night?

Why would anyone be on our roof?

I don't know, but it freaks me out every damn time. So, inevitably, I wake up E and try to get him to be concerned about what is obviously a human walking on our roof as well.

For some reason, he never is. He generally tells me it's a possum and forgets that we had the conversation by morning.

So, there I was today, working from home, rushing to get everything done so I can take FOUR CONSECUTIVE DAYS OFF OF WORK!

And what do you know, I heard the mysterious roof-walker again. This time, I was awake, dressed, and ready to attack.

I ran outside and found myself greeted by friggin' animal planet. I kid you not...

As I left the front of the house, two black squirrels scampered down our apricot tree, skittering in squirrel at me as if to scold me for breaking up their party. Simultaneously, no less than 5 crows flew from the roof and alighted over my head to nearby trees, while several other big fat black crows observed my speedy entrance to the front yard from the grass and driveway with suspicion.

And, when I finally got to where I could see the roof, there, by the electrical tie-in, sat a solitary, very large, very wise raven, who just stared down at me with disdain.


December 19, 2007


I *hate* insomnia.

This morning's flavor (I almost always get it in the morning, it's just a question of whether it's very early or later) was the 5:30 AM kind. Not good. After laying in bed and tossing and turning and probably waking up E 'til around 6:30 AM, I had to admit that sleep was done.

Most things in my life are going quite well, but there's no pretending I'm not stressed when I can't sleep through the night. Tonight was the third or fourth night in a row I've woken up at some ridiculous hour and been unable to sleep.

The stress, for once, is primarily not from work, and instead from my family.

I'm very worried about my brother. I want to help him and be there for him but lately, for the last 8 days or so, he won't take or return my calls. It is very hard to respect an individual's right to live their own life when their choices seem self-destructive to themselves and hurtful to you.

But, that is what I must do. Because if I don't, I'm going to be unable to sleep. And that's not doing anyone any good.

December 16, 2007

I *don't* live on a fiscal year

My clients do, though. So they all have tons of crap they want to finish before 12/31/07.

Add some financial planning for E & me including some tax-related decisions that need to be done before 12/31/07, a trip to see the fam over the holidays, the early ramp-up speed training for the miami half marathon, and holiday social madness, and you've got...

Well, basically, you've got someone busting their ass to get all their work done in time to take the family holiday trip mixed with the foregoing.

The only thing I can offer from today is this:

You know you've been mistaken for (or become) a special kind of a loser when on his way out of the office on a Sunday night, one of the partners pokes his head in your office and informs you that you *should* take some of the leftover pizza ordered for his IPO team home to your poor husband for dinner. Because, goodness, we all know you certainly haven't had time to shop for food...

Part of me wanted to point out that I'd had dinner guests the night before. That I'd made bacon risotto with mustard glazed brussel sprouts followed by *perfect* chocolate soufflées (literally, perfect! I was thrilled!). And then, this morning, E2 and I had run-walked 4.5 miles and then did 1.5 hours of the most intense yoga I'd done in a while.

But no. The reality is, despite all efforts to make it appear to the contrary, I'm not balancing it all. I haven't been shopping since when my sister was here, and that was merely to buy ingredients for the brunch she was hosting. So, I laughed, and took the Mountain Mike's home, where E and I savored it before devouring the leftover soup from Wednesday and leaving the kitchen truly, truly bare.

That's how I roll.

December 12, 2007

Mixed Metaphors

When describing how a senior partner at your firm severely verbally abused a more junior partner at the opposing firm, it's best not to say this:

He totally chewed that guy a new asshole.

That is all.
Ahhh, the irony

So, after tossing and turning for about an hour, I finally admitted defeat and got up.

If I can't sleep due to insomnia, I might as well work.

Might as well, indeed.

Somehow, between handing the valet my keys last night and getting up this morning, my safeword lcd panel cracked.

No work and no sleep for me.

December 10, 2007

Body Worlds 2 (and the 3 million tasks of our weekend)

I never saw the first exhibition, but this weekend, a group including my sister, E, friends and I all went to the Tech Museum and toured the Body Worlds 2 exhibit.

It was fascinating, if you like that sort of thing, which I do. But, even if you don't, like lucky_girl, apparently, it stops totally grossing you out after 30 minutes or so.

E, of course, couldn't help but make jokes about being hungry, prosciutto, and cannibalism. Tasteless (excuse the pun)? Of course. But, really, did I expect anything less? Of course not. I love it when I can think the unspeakable jokes and he can say them.

Other than the plasticized dead folks, it was a fairly normal, if breathless, busy, and fun social weekend. In addition to the trip to San Jose, we went to a party at Morton's Union Square, stayed the night in SF at our new favorite quality:cost ratio SF hotel, had brunch with G & O at hip universal cafe (which had an odd L.A. vibe to it, a rarity in the people's republic of hipsterville San Francisco) enjoyed a wonderfully decadent dinner at my favorite restaurant with sister and her boy, and hosted a brunch for 5 guests (thanks to my sister for planning) before take-out mediterranean feast at our house with lucky_girl and hubby (take out so the girls could hold down the fort and deal with roto-rooter and the return after a three year hiatus of the great tree root insurgence while the men got food -- see, I'm flexible on gender roles).

Ahhh, busy holiday social madness. I love it. Love the 0.5 hours of work this weekend between 5 PM on Friday and 8 AM on Monday too!

December 6, 2007


Rain is good.

California needs rain.

And the fact that the weather waited 'til after my marathon to start raining on a regular basis makes me feel like my Dad and Papa were pulling weather for me, yet again, all through training season.

I'm very much enjoying my week of lazy no-running easy yoga.

Not to mention having time to satisfy my leftover marathon appetite. I've hit both dim sum and french food for lunch this work week with co-workers. Mmmmmm...

December 4, 2007


Waking before my alarm, in the dark, rested, my feet snuggled up against E's feet, and nothing but the sound of rain.

December 2, 2007

Marathon, the second

Approximately 12 minutes faster than last time. Not bad. I missed my goal of 4:00 by about 5 minutes, but it's close enough that I'm proud. Now, I'm sore. Tired. And finding it very difficult to motivate for the work I should do before Monday morning.

One of the partners I work for used to be an amazing runner (think sub-4 minute miles). Now, his knees are shot. Monday mornings, he stops by to live vicariously through my long runs. Last Friday evening, he told me he'd like something I'm working on by Monday AM. I told him, okay, but it's gonna be late Sunday at the earliest, this weekend is my marathon.

Oh, I forgot. Good luck. Don't worry about it. Monday by early afternoon is fine.

At the time, I thought, no it's not. Because then I won't have Monday AM to do my other work. But now, when I'm sore and tired and relaxed like only an 18-week build up to a successful and whole-body-brutalizing workout can make you, I think I'm gonna take him up on it.

Instead, I'll spend some time fixing the details of the story in my memory so I can recount it properly for him. I'll deal with the work that won't get done tomorrow night. Not tonight. The night after a marathon is for lounging and moving slow.

So, if the best part about last marathon (besides just finishing it) was the fun of imagining conversations with my friends and family, the best part about this marathon was seeing family and friends over the weekend and having them come out to support me. In addition to the marathon, I baked Christmas cookies with my niece, mom and sister, and my brother, neice, mom, step-dad, E and I went out for a pre-race meal of mexican food (mmm...pre-race soup, chips, and lots of water, I swear by it).

I spent Saturday morning racing the Amtrak towards my hometown with E2 after we missed our train (long story), which we finally caught in Martinez. I only managed to do 1 hour of work on the train instead of the planned for 3. I think that may be a theme for this weekend. She came along to run some errands, to see her family, and to support me by running the last 6 miles with me (which, it turned out, I desperately needed). We even stayed with her parents and E2's mom woke at 6 AM to drive me to the start, which was so close to their house that you could hear the starting announcements.

A minute or so after the start, I saw B (who finished in a speedy 3:45!) and ran the first mile with her, as we caught up and wished each other well. Due to the ridiculous pace she planned to keep, I had to slow, but I was too motivated by the crowds and after a few miles figured I could just tuck into the 3:50 pace group. [NOTE: WHEN THEY SAY THAT GOING OUT TOO HARD IS A GOOD WAY TO ENSURE YOU WILL HIT THE WALL, THEY ARE NOT KIDDING].

Unlike my first marathon, which was a very focused, personal, solitary activity, I was fairly unfocused for the first part of this race. I let the crowds, my fellow runners, the music, and the scenery distract me. I smiled quite a bit.

I crossed the half marathon clock and realized I was going much too fast. In fact, if I didn't slow down, I was going to beat E2 to the 20 mile marker where she was supposedly going to meet me to help out with the last 6. So, I finally started to slow as I should have much earlier.

Around mile 15, I started counting off the miles. 5 miles 'til E2. 4 miles 'til E2. 3 miles... and then, she was there, at the intersection, just as she said she would be. Unfortunately, I was just ahead of the 4:00 group a little faster than I said I would be, but I was exhausted, and there were 6 miles to go.

I told her, "You keep up with them (the 4 hour pace group), and I'll keep up with you." That worked for a couple of miles. But then, I really hit the wall. Despite the gu and gu H20, despite the sliced and peeled oranges, and despite the crowd support, I had to walk. I sat for a minute and removed my sweat pants (which, surprisingly, I was happy to leave on for the first 22 miles or so -- it was *cold*).

And then, I relied on E2's will to pull me the next 3 miles or so. She laughed and told jokes and entertained me. She felt guilty when spectators yelled, "looking good ladies!" She yelled to the folks in the bar who were partying and cheering us on. She pointed out amusing things, like the runner who yelled at the guy who was smoking on the corner.

And finally, around mile 25, I found some energy of my own. Good thing too, since E2 had to peel off at the end. I passed B and B2 near mile 26, she was covered in her mylar blanket but had come back out to the course to cheer me on. I turned the corner before the finish and E and my sister were there, just a foot or two away yelling and taking my picture. Just after crossing the finish, E2 smiled from the side, saying, "I almost missed you, but I made it." And then, my mom was there too!

Ordinarily, running is something I do to stay sane. To keep healthy. Something I do entirely for myself unless I'm supporting a friend in their runs. But today, it was something I got to do while supported by those I love. It was a wonderful feeling.

And next time, I'm gonna be true to my goal pace from the start.