DATE CERTAIN

December 28, 2012

It’s official. My last day as a working stiff is February 28, 2013. I’ve been assured by a representative of Social Security that my first check will arrive by electronic deposit on the second Wednesday of March….minus a couple months of Medicare payments. SS pays after the month and Medicare wants its premium the month before. So, March’s check will have Feb and Mar Medicare withheld. After that, a monthly check that is half what I make now, which is half what I made when I worked full time. And then, I can spend the rest of the month trying to make it stretch til the next one. Which will be interesting, I’m sure. Still, I can now work in my yard, cook my way through cookbooks gifted at Christmas and walk Lulu and maybe I can find some cheap yoga classes. I hope I can make it up to Portland more and the City to the museums (senior memberships are the best!) and to the beach. And spend more time with the grandchildren and their parents. And drive Jim right round the bend, I’m sure! And read. And, maybe, blog with pictures! Imagine.

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Back from the brink

October 29, 2012

Chaos. Fear. Relief. Wariness. Respite. Anxiety. Anticipation of change.

If all goes as planned, I will be retiring January 31st 2013. IF. Such a small word so laden with so many possibilities. I’ve been reading some past posts and noodling around the web on sites I haven’t visited in for.ever. Not for lack of interest but from lack of leisure time to explore. Perhaps soon I will return and resume. Or, by posting the slightest intent, I have made certain failure. We will see.

confidential?

August 14, 2010

You may recall that our little 3 atty law firm merged with the family division of a quite large firm with over 40 attys and 2 offices.  To say the transition has been something of a challenge is vast understatement.  Our little firm ran a tight ship document-wise – the theory was that you could put your hand on any document in a reasonable, if not short, amount of time.  That documents would be scanned and saved in electronic versions that were also very accessible.  And, as long as our erstwhile receptionist/voice of god worked for us, we were reasonably successful.  Then he moved on and up and things went to hell quite suddenly.  But, nevermind.

The new firm ran, shall we say, a loose ship?  We brought our new state of the art binder filing system with us and while viewed with skepticism at first, have been embraced enthusiastically.  It’s not so much the filing system that poses the challenge, however, but the underlying philosophy of the practice of law and the clash of personalities of the powers that be.  To the extent that a consultant has been summoned.

Next week, he will spend 2 days in one of the conference rooms on the 14th floor interviewing all the members of the family law division.  Emails have been sent, appointments are sacrosanct.  Instructions have been given to all that we are to be completely candid as everything will be confidential.

Do they think we are idiots?  For instance, suppose you disclose a situation that exists because of a certain personality that causes you to want to set fire to something or someone on a distressingly regular basis AND that is completely unpredictable as to frequency and duration?  So, if you share, then the situation is brought up to the suspect personality, how is it that they won’t know who complained?  How is that confidential? I’m sure the corporate gods are paying a really high price for this “fix.”  So, I’ve decided that while I’ve been keeping my head down and dazzling the new firm with my extraordinary document organizational skills (2 years of discovery that was scattered to hell now indexed into 2 binders and corresponding folders at your fingertips), I’m going to tell this guy just what I think:  that I can’t tell you what is driving me (and about 10 other people) crazy because there is nothing you can do about it and there is no way it can be fixed short of a frontal lobotomy of the person in question.  So, biding my time until my secret goal:  retirement next summer.  And that piece of information is CONFIDENTIAL!

The above notwithstanding, for the most part everyone at the new firm is just lovely and friendly and welcoming.  With some notable exceptions.  But isn’t that the way it always is?

I AM STILL HERE

August 9, 2010

Garrison Keillor wrote a book called, We Are Still Married, or something like that.  And, yes, I know the title should be underlined but this software only offers bold, italic and strike through options – and if there IS an underline, I’m not smart enough to find it.  I digress.

I haven’t posted in a LONG time because nobody reads it anyway, except for now and then that wonderful Merisi and maybe one of my kids, (and yes! Red Shoe Polish just for Prada loafers comes with the feed), life has been so crazy hectic and chaotic that I don’t know where to start (or end) and work and home are both unsettled and that is crazy making.

The gym has introduced a new sign in that uses your fingerprint to identify you.  You no longer have wear that annoying lanyard around your neck from which dangles your gym card and your driver’s license to gain entry to the smelly damp crowded cave.  Yes, I know there should be commas or even periods.  On Thursday night when I went back to yoga for the first time in a few months (another story for another day), I signed up and put my right (and left) index finger on the screen and felt very “with it.”  Until Saturday when Husband and I went and my scan didn’t work.  Which reminded me of when I was trying to get my Notary commission renewed and it took 2 different places and numerous attempts to get my finger prints read – ink and paper works really well but it’s too slow and outdated.  Anyway, the nice young man finally said that when you get old, your fingerprints wear off, especially if you type all day.  I had managed to put that out of my mind for a year or so, but now it’s back.  I’m so old my fingerprints are disappearing.  So, the lines on your fingers just shift to your face, is that it?

Phooey.  In the time since my last post, I purchased a Kindle.  You know, just a few weeks before they reduced the price.  And I bought my IPhone just a few weeks prior to the IPhone 4.  But that’s OK.  I bought a Kindle for Jen, too.  Ashley had been after me for a long time to get one – the day I realized I had 14 books on my nightstand and that the floor between the nightstand and the wall had about 4 stacks of books as tall as the nightstand and then the floor to ceiling shelves in the bedroom were overflowing and that was just the bedroom, I gave in.  I’m hooked and Amazon is getting rich – they send me endless emails with suggestions and they know what I like. The first month, I spent over $50.  I’ve stopped keeping track now, it’s best not to know some things.  And, now they’ve reduced the price AGAIN and introduced some improvements in software.  Oh, well.  I’m feeling very guilty because there’s nothing better than a little, independently owned/operated bookstore and I do want to them to not disappear.  But I also do not live in an area zoned as commercial and so could not open a store out of my home and so something had to give.

So, that’s it for now.  Kindle is recharging and I’ve loaded 2 samples to wait patiently until I finish Midnight’s Children.  Oh, and you should read Lucy.  And Provenance and Priceless and Angelology.  When I retire, buy a laptop all my own and download a photo management software I can figure out, this will be a busy place.  But, for now, it’s going to be hit or miss.  If anyone cares.

A DIRECT LINE?

May 14, 2010

I want to say that I’m just crazy about that new show, Parenthood.  And one of the things I like best is the theme song:  Bob Dylan’s Forever Young*.  I decided this morning to get a print out of the lyrics and when I went online to do that, I received an offer to download the song as a ringtone to my phone!  Excellent!  I jumped through all the techie hoops and got a text to my IPhone with a code so I could download the tune and……wait!  What’s this?  You have to buy a monthly subscription to download a truckload of songs – you can’t just buy one.  Scrolling through the list of different packages I see this one:  Pope Thought for the Day $6.99.  I am not making this up.  For the mere pittance of $6.99 per month you can have delivered, ladies and gentlemen, to your very own smart phone a thought for each day of the year DIRECTLY FROM THE POPE!   The prospect of a direct line to the Pope just makes me feel creepy, you know?  I’ll have some Bob Dylan, please.  Thanks very much.  Now to see if I can get Forever Young on Jim’s ITunes and load that on my phone.  I could listen to that once a day, no problem.  I couldn’t find a clip so here are the lyrics:

*“Forever Young” by Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
may you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
may you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young.

Moving Along………

April 13, 2010

This past weekend was the second weekend of April: Husband and I traditionally spend this weekend at The Gosby House in Pacific Grove.  We’ve been doing it for years (to celebrate our anniversary) and if I weren’t so lazy, I’d give you the link for last year’s post.  The little town of Pacific Grove has a celebration on this weekend they call, “The Good Old Days.”  We’ve done our best to avoid it after the year we were thrust from a sound sleep around 5am by the clanging of metal poles as dozens of vendors started setting up in the street right outside our room for the street fair.  We failed to avoid it this year but we have started staying in a room at the back of the house and away from the noise.

The vendors this year weren’t anything to blog about – the last time we failed to avoid the weekend, I found a wonderful little Tibetan jacket for Sophie’s birthday and a great cotton sweater for myself.  This year, not so much.  And it rained on Sunday.  Rained as in Biblical proportions rain, particularly Saturday night.  But, gratefully we managed a dry, if cloudy and windy, day at Big Sur and Cafe Kevah and The Phoenix then Carmel on Saturday.  Our Friday night dinner at the venerable Joe Rombi’s was excellent.  The menu has not changed in 20 years, but since we eat there only once a year, we don’t mind as the lasagna (Husband) and eggplant parmesan (moi) are always delicious.  And the strawberry shortcake this year shared the spotlight with Meyer lemon cake.  We shared dessert and Joe told me he just sprinkles the strawberries with a little powdered sugar and tosses them before plating.  I’ve always wondered what that wonderful glaze was…….duh.  Can’t wait to try it myself.  The busboy this year was the son of one of the original waiters – adorable kid and we congratulated the waiter on his success – which he dutifully attributed to his wife.

I confess to being more than a little irritable and cranky.  It’s so darn hard for me to just do nothing that I get even testier than usual.  Sorry Husband.  He must have forgiven me for he made reservations next year – the weekend BEFORE the street fair.

We went to see The Wizard of Oz on the big screen on Saturday night.  I had not seen it that I recalled anywhere but television.  It was fun and I do think I might have the entire movie dialog memorized.  The flying monkeys were not as scary as I thought they might be in such a larger size, but the Witch was!

Back to work tomorrow.  I hope I manage to retain at least some of what I hope I learned last week at work. I found some wonderful pieces for my office wall:  blocks of wood used to stamp fabric designs from India.  I bought 8 of them and now will dither over how to arrange them and on which wall of my office.  They are all unique and I hope will be interesting.

Another year.  I must speak to the person who has clearly put my life on fast forward!

sweet jesus, holy mary mother of god…

April 7, 2010

and any and all religious blasphemy you dare to utter.  The end of Day Two at the NEW JOB.  All new software and an incredibly complicated and convoluted corporate morass of procedures.  Hours of training, one after another until your eyeballs bleed and your brains fall out your ears.  Two computers at your desk:  1) the old office and 2) the new office.  All your contacts are in the old box and all the new documents you need to create are in the new one…..hiding behind hundreds of icons and subtle tricks designed to lead you straight to hell!  Today, I realized I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO USE THE PHONE, other than to pick it up when it rings and say, “uh, hello?”  All the while praying, please, please, please, don’t ask me to actually produce anything.  Then, a favorite old client calls with a real emergency that needs a motion, actual documents and declarations and the like!  Which, I am grateful to say actually was accomplished.  With help because I was stuck in training torture, but revised and cleaned up by yours truly.  So, that was a good thing.  Oh, and there were flowers delivered on the first day and lunch provided both yesterday and today.  Peet’s is a half block away right out the parking garage entrance – decent hot chocolate can be had at a price.  There are free sodas in various little refrigerators on both floors.  I get there early enough to park within 50 ft of the door.  When I figure it out, there’s a car detailing service in the garage and a dry cleaning service that picks up and delivers.  Billing software remains very mysterious but I did manage to put up a few entries today.  I confess I’m enjoying wearing some of my clothes that haven’t seen the outside of my closet for a Long Time.  So, if my brains don’t fry and my eyeballs remain in my head, this might just work out.

BITTERSWEET

April 2, 2010

Today is the last day in our old offices.  We spent a couple of hours yesterday doing “orientation” at the new firm.  Before very long, my eyes were glazing over and rolling back in my head from the sheer number of forms and information overload.  It’s all so VERY corporate over there!  They had us over for a taco lunch earlier this week to introduce us to the other 40 some odd (and I do mean odd) attorneys who presently work there.  Food was good and, really, they seem to be happy to have us despite many of them having to move their offices to make room for us on the 12th floor.  In the Employee Handbook there are a couple of pages regarding the dress code.  It’s really funny because there is a page for men and one for women and they remind me of paper doll cut outs because they are line drawings.  The styles are very 50’s (or mid-century as I understand it is now called) and straight from the Brooks Brothers catalog.  I have been concerned because it says, “no flip-flops.”  I tried to inquire once before but the conversation was interrupted and I never got an answer, so today I called Maria at the front desk and said, “I have a really important question!”  Then I asked her about flip-flops…..and to my great relief she said as long as they aren’t rubber like you’d wear in the shower, you are OK!  HOO.RAY!  I feel much better now.  AND, as if in celebration, I got a Sundance catalog email and a pair of sandals I’d been really jonesing after (of the flip flop variety) was marked down about $100 and they have my size!  Double HOO.RAY.

So now I need to pack up my office.  I spent yesterday unloading file cabinets and filling packing boxes.  Ugh.  Hard work and tiring.    Today should be some easier.  And, on the VERY PLUS side, I got my unused vacation pay out yesterday and it’s enough to buy a new Apple lap top!  Told you I needed a vacation!

BLOWN SIDEWAYS THROUGH LIFE

March 24, 2010

That’s the title of a book written by some woman who had, like, 1000 jobs in a year or something really crazy.  I’ve been meaning to read it for ever so long.  There is an extraordinary amount of stuff going on right now and I’m feeling, “blown sideways.”  I will sit down before much longer to give a Reader’s Digest version.  Although I suspect anyone who reads this is intimately related to me and already knows what’s going on………

That said, I have plans!  Goals!  Intentions!  Well, that’s just asking for trouble, now, isn’t it?  Anyway, more later.

HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL

March 8, 2010

this