Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who Stole My Vacation?

Okay, I wasn't really on vacation. I was laid off. But I was kinda digging it. No work. All play. Sleeping until 9:00 and going to spin class whenever I wanted. Man, that was the life. Why can't somebody pay me to stay home and hang out all day?

Anyhoo, so I started my new job on Wednesday. I actually received a job offer early last week but asked for some time to explore more options. Turns out those options never panned out, so by Tuesday I was getting a little nervous about losing the job offer if I took too long. Besides, when I interviewed with the guy (let's call him The Cowboy) I felt a sense of peace and I also sensed that he was a good man. This is not usual. I generally do not like or trust anyone. Yes, I am a curmudgeon, what of it? Even Lobster was surprised when I got home from my interview and told him that I liked The Cowboy. So, I took it as a good sign and then by Tuesday afternoon I knew this was where God was leading me. I'm not one to argue with the Big Guy (well, not for long anyway. . . I am a lawyer. . . I'd argue with a tree), so I called The Cowboy and told him I'd love to join the team. And he said, "Great! See you tomorrow at 8:00 a.m!"

GAH! The Cowboy stole my vacation. Good thing he's paying me.

Especially because the drive from where I live to downtown Fort Worth SUCKS. Big time. Like crazy. Don't get me wrong; I absolutely ADORE downtown Fort Worth and I'm thrilled I finally have a chance to work there. But it's an hour's drive one way (with traffic). Needless to say, I, the girl with very low tolerance for idiot drivers, is not a happy camper on the road for that long. Idiots abound. So, I am hopeful that after the first few months I will be able to work from home (or the most comfy local coffee shop) for a majority of the work week. Or, if I'm very lucky and the planets align just right, maybe Lobster will also get a job based out of Fort Worth and we can move there. I already have some good friends house shopping for me. Just in case...

So, what is it that I am doing that would allow this type of freedom, you ask? I am a Landman. Very ladylike title, no? I'm not too fond of being called a "Landman," or any kind of man for that matter, but whatever. What it means is that I basically trace the "genealogy" of mineral interests so that oil and gas companies can secure leases with clear mineral title, thereby drilling wells and extracting natural gas and oil. For someone who has traced her own family genealogy back to the 1700s, this type of work suits me just fine. I enjoy research and I enjoy putting puzzles together. Of course, I am not writing...at all. But, frankly, I am okay with that because I felt that legal writing was sucking all my creativity out of me. Now I will be able to concentrate on creative writing when I have time to write instead of always using my talents for analytical, legal (read: boring) briefs. Now if I could only figure out what to do with the stories in my head and the neglected and abandoned fractions of stories already on paper. I need a muse, I suppose.


In other news, my good friend V over at *uncorked has honored me with her very own Grab Your Glass Award. V is one of my very best friends from law school who moved back to Chicago after we graduated. I miss her greatly and can't wait to see her again. I hope I can come visit her in Chicago very soon so we can share a bottle of wine and go shopping! Mmmmm...shopping...

Thanks, V! Love you lots!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

That Time Spin Class Tried To Kill Me

Being unemployed has its benefits. I have been working out like crazy, trying every new class at the YMCA. Last Saturday (before I was unemployed) I tried spinning for the first time. It kicked my ass. But I liked it. So yesterday I decided to take the mid-morning class and it nearly killed me. Seriously. My bum is so bruised I can hardly sit down.

And yet...I'm going to go back on Saturday. I can't get enough apparently. It's a huge calorie burner (score!) and a new activity to spice up my workout (double score!). Tomorrow I'm going to try Pilates Plus. I'm sure my abs will thank me later.

In other news, I had an interview today that seemed to go well. They offered me a position but I asked for a little time to weigh some other options that are in the works. It's not my dream job, that's for sure, but it will pay me what I need and allow me some freedom and time that I didn't have working for a firm. For now, that's about as good as it can get until I figure out what the heck I want to do with my life. If only that best-selling novel idea would pop into my head already.

Thanks to you all for all your support. I know it will all be okay and I'm making the best of the time I have off. I'm confident there won't be a lot of it left!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A New Path

Yesterday morning started out like any other Monday. I groggily stumbled out of bed and into the shower. Sleepily got ready for the day. Hungrily ate my normal breakfast, bundled up and headed to work. Upon arriving, I started my computer and put my lunchbox away, hung my coat, opened Outlook. Then my boss called to me to come see him when I got a minute.

This was not unusual. I had run out of projects at the end of last week so I figured he was going to rattle off a few more for me to get started on. I grabbed my little notebook and a pencil and headed in to see him.

"I have bad news." He started. "We had to make a really tough decision and we've decided to let you go. . ."

At this point, my mind went numb and I couldn't hear anything else he said. All I gathered was that they couldn't afford to keep me. They were sorry. They really liked me. Good luck.

I said, "Oh" for the hundredth time as my boss pointed to a stack of file boxes that I could use to pack up my stuff. "Okay," I said and I got up and went to my office...my soon to be former office.

I don't know how long I sat in front of my computer screen as my mind absorbed what had just happened. I was shocked, to say the least. A little baffled. A bit confused. Kinda sad. But, surprisingly, a little relieved.

An interesting reaction to have just after one has been "let go," perhaps, but I was a little relieved. Lately I had been contemplating my career. After practicing law for nearly three years, I had come to the tough realization that I had no love for it. It was not my passion. It did not make me happy. Coming to this determination was a big "ah-ha" moment, but also a huge crisis all at the same time. I had spent three years of my life and an exorbitant amount of (borrowed) money obtaining my J.D. Realizing that I did not love practicing the law made me feel guilty and silly and ashamed. How could I give up on the law after all of that?

I am not the only one who feels this way, however. I am finding many young lawyers who also gave the law a shot and it came up lacking. I have heard numerous stories of attorneys who decided that they couldn't stand another year of billable hours and life-sucking work for something that they were not passionate about. I identified with these stories. It made me feel less ashamed to know that I was not the only one.

The past few months I had been playing with the idea of changing the course of my career. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew that I was not happy with the practice of law. I spent some time perusing the job sites and my alma mater's job bank, looking for things that sparked my interest but never with the intention of applying. I was also praying for God to change my heart about my career or to move me onto a new path. In all things, I want to honor God's will for me. His perfect purpose for my life and my work. So if He wanted me to stay where I was, then I asked that He would change my heart. But if he had a new path for me to explore, I asked for His guidance and that He would show me the way.

Yesterday, He answered my prayer. Of course, not in the way I was expecting, but it was answered nonetheless. I have been called to move. I don't yet know where or in what direction. Yes, I am scared and concerned about money, especially because Lobster has yet to find a job himself. But I also have a sense of peace that everything will be taken care of. So I rest in that peace and start my search for a new path.

Here's to new beginnings. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winter Wonderland Photo Ops

It's a snow day! I have never seen this much snow fall for this long in Texas. This morning I called into work and told them I'd be working from home just to be on the safe side. Which is mostly true. I am working...but I took a little time this morning to practice taking pictures with my new camera. I am trying to learn how to be a better photographer and I have come to understand that this stuff is HARD. I have to learn terms like "aperture" and "shutter speed" and "ISO." What the wha?

So here are some pics I took of the winter wonderland outside this morning. They're not stunning, but hey, I'm learning.

This picture could have been cool had a big fat snowflake not fallen on my lens right before I snapped it. Grrr.
A little better.

Birdfeeder through snow-covered branches.

Texas boot bird house. Those poor birdies need to shovel their porch.


Frozen street lamp.

Wintry street.

Lobster looking HOT in pajama pants and boots. True Texas boy.

Trying to show the depth of the snow. My boots sank pretty deep! I haven't heard that crunchy snow sound since I was a kid!

Hi, Mom!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Body Blues

Sad fact: since meeting Lobster I have gained about 10 pounds. While I didn't know it at the time, when he and I met, I was at my "happy weight." Your "happy weight" is the weight at which your body feels happy and you feel happy and your clothes fit right and you have a good fitness routine down and you enjoy it. When Lobster and I started dating I was on a very strict diet and exercise schedule and I felt great. And then I got myself a boyfriend and everything started deteriorating in the food and exercise department.

I know I'm not the only one that this has happened to, ladies. Fess up, now.

Anyhoo, Lobster himself had nothing to do with my slow decline. I just seem to have no willpower when we're out on the town eating at wonderful restaurants or drinking with friends or hanging out at the house with homemade cheesecake and a nice bottle of wine. Of course, I also let myself stay up too late to spend time with Lobster and then I'm too tired to get up and go workout in the morning, especially on Saturday mornings. All of this has led to ten ugly pounds creeping back onto my belly and thighs, which led to pants that were just a bit too snug, which led to having to buy pants a size up, which led to a complete meltdown, which led to throwing myself a pity party...you get the idea.

So I decided that I need to give myself a swift kick in the rear and do something about it. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing wrong right now, but I know a few things I could be doing better. For example, I should run more like I used to. The last few weeks in boot camp have taught me that I have become significantly slower and weaker than I was a year and a half ago. So I need to build my endurance by adding more running back into my routine. I need to continue with weight training, but focus more on the major muscle groups with compound movements. I need to seriously rein in my appetite on the weekends and stop pigging out just because it's a weekend. And I need to go to bed on time so I can get up in the mornings and get my arse to the gym.

These are my goals. I am determined to lose the evil 10 pounds that have been making me depressed for the past few months. I am determined to be in the best shape of my life on my wedding day, especially if we go to some tropical island for our honeymoon and I have to prance around in a bikini for 7 to 10 days.

I can already tell this is going to be a hard time to start kicking myself into gear, though. It's ridiculously cold outside which makes it really, really difficult to get out of bed and go to the gym in the mornings. I'd much rather run outside in the park, but at these temperatures I might lose my toes to frostbite. And then I wouldn't be able to run at all because I hear you can't balance without your toes. I wonder if that's true?

Anyhoo...so wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Letters for a Rainy Morning

Dear February,

You're kind of depressing. Every day has been either bitterly cold or raining (or both). I can handle one or the other with spurts of beautiful weather in between. You know, like normal. But this dreary pattern has to stop. Now. Thanks.

Desperate for sunshine and flowers,
Me

* * *

Dear Dallas Drivers,

Let's go over this one more time. It's just rain. It's not even raining hard. Mostly drizzling. What's more, it's not even freezing rain. Granted, a measure of caution should be observed when traveling at high speeds on wet roads, but a complete lack of reasonable thoughts and/or actions is uncalled for. If you happen to be one of those drivers that turns into a fear-struck, panic-driven, irrational nincompoop when it rains, I encourage you to stay home for the sake of the rest of the world.

Irritated because you make me late,
The car behind you riding your arse

* * *

Dear Universe,

If you could be so kind as to (finally) give Lobster a good job, we would be ever so grateful. It's making him depressed and irritable, which is in turn making me depressed and irritable, and two depressed and irritable people living in a small space with two cats (one of which is the devil, by the way) makes for a scary household. So, please, for the love of Pete, give Lobster a great job. Today would be nice, but I'll give you until the end of the week.

Impatiently yours,
Me

* * *

Dear Football Season,

Thank God you're over. I'm taking back my t.v.

Good riddance,
Not a fan (unless it's Longhorn football)

* * *

Dear Universe,

Hi, it's me again. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I would also be really appreciative if you could lead me in the right direction with my career. I need more creativity and less billable hours. If you could work on that right after you give Lobster a job, that would rock.

Still impatient,
Me (again)

* * *

Dear Monday,

Sigh.

Me

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grab Yourself Some Big Whiskey

I have heard great things about the new Dave Matthews Band c.d., Big Whiskey & the Groo Grux King. I have been a huge fan of DMB for ages and when I heard that critics were saying that this new c.d. was their best yet, I knew I had to get my grubby little hands on it.

I'm only about 3/4 of the way through it and I'm digging it. It's very...groovy. I don't know how else to describe it. It's classic DMB but with a bit of Bob Marley and The Beatles Yellow Submarine thrown in. And it's kinda spiritual, which was a bit surprising for DMB. But I like it. You should check it out.

Groovy, baby.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Put Down the Gun!

I posted this on my wedding blog but had to share here too. Just too funny.

This weekend Lobster and I went to the Galleria to look for his wedding band. We went to the jewelry store where Lobster got my Shiny and the matching band and he found a very cool Tungsten band that was (amazingly) within budget. We didn't put a deposit down because Lobster wants to keep looking, but it was good to get an idea of what he wants wrapped around his finger for the rest of his life.

While at the Galleria we decided at the last minute that we might as well start registering for gifts since one of the stores we knew we wanted to register at was just downstairs. So we hightailed it to Williams Sonoma and got signed up for a registry. The nice sales woman explained the process and showed us how everything worked.

And then she handed us The Gun.

The woman, God bless her, began to hand me The Gun and I quickly corrected her, pointing out that this store was, in fact, Lobster's mecca. He nearly snatched The Gun from the poor woman. Lobster looked a little nervous at first, but as soon as he zapped the first item he was as giddy as a school boy.

To say that Lobster went nuts is a bit of an understatement. More than once I had to use my veto power. For example:

Lobster:  "OOOHH! We need this!"
Me:  "What is it?"
Lobster:  "It's a [insert random, useless item here]?"
Me:  "We don't need that."
Lobster:  "Yes, we do! It's awesome!"
Me:  "How many times since we've been together have we ever had a need for [refer to useless item here]?"
Lobster:  Pause. "Well, we might need it someday."
Me:  "Put it back."
Lobster:  Giving me a dirty look. "FINE!"

He would then run off to zap more items. I can't be sure that I caught all the useless ones, but I sure did try. Later, we went to Crate and Barrel where I proceeded to go nuts with The Gun. Lobster was not as excited with the home goods as I was but as soon as we got to the kitchen section, he perked right up. We spent a good eight hours registering and we were both exhausted.

When we got home I realized that we hadn't registered for any linens. I just hadn't found any that I liked enough. So I did a bit of research online and finally found exactly what I was looking for at Restoration Hardware (be still my heart!). So I registered online and I was a happy, happy girl.

I think it's going to be funny when we get a bunch of kitchen stuff and Lobster's going to be the one that freaks out about it. I will be pleased as punch, too, because it means that he will be cooking more. Bwahahaha!
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