And she was never heard from again…

Sorry to be absent so long, I have been working about 60 hours a week lately and don’t have a lot of time to think of clever things to say, much less write them down.

It would seem working away from home has caused my practice to reach a frenetic pace. I have been racing to catch up on things that were seemingly miles away before I accepted a 40 hour a week job elsewhere. I spend most of my evenings and weekends working. Last night I spent a thrilling evening working at the home of a similarly situated friend. We worked until about 10:30 p.m. before calling it a day and sitting down to watch Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and salvage what was left of our Friday night.

My working has brought changes to the house too. My kids are eating frozen dinners or PB&H sandwiches most nights as I have basically stopped cooking. (The frozen dinners are an upgrade from the takeout they got to consume all last week.) My groceries get to dire straights before one of us replenishes them with the trip to the store. I had forgotten how much time a grocery trip can take when you don’t get to go during the day! I guess when this Mommy goes to work, the home cooked meals and fancy snacks go with her!

Oddly, our house is generally cleaner and the laundry is done. I think Lee and I are frantically trying to keep up with it both each night, bit by bit, and therefore succeeding more than we did when I felt as though I had all day to accomplish our household chores.

The temp job is perking up, still dull work but I really like the other people doing it. I am fighting a never ending battle against superfluous calorie consumption as each day someone brings in donuts, cookies, or cake. (Not to mention the vat of pretzels next to the coffee maker.) My coffee consumption has gotten to dangerous proportions. I went and bought designer tea at the new fancy tea shop in Cherry Creek so I could have some tempting alternative to the dark caffeine brew.

I miss my kids, and long for them the whole time I am at the office. Otter clings to me like a monkey from the moment I get home until the moment I leave for work the next day. He has gotten right back to co-sleeping. It seems to be his coping mechanism. (Sadly, Mommy and Daddy may never have sex again.) Monkey is even getting snuggly again, a change to her uber-independant 8 year old-ness. She also wants to go with me everywhere I go, sit with me when I sit, and do what I am doing.

It’s sweet, they miss me.

Six more weeks left. Then I will get to slow down for a while.

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My temp job…

I finally did it. I finally accepted a document review position as a part time solution to the endless waiting for paychecks that is my practice.

I can’t say I am loving it.

I have great team members, a supportive and realistic work environment, and a steady pay check.

I also have “the boredom”.

I am working 10-14 hour days most days because I come home to my practice after a full day in the office. I am tired, overworked, and stressed.

But I have money!

Drawn and quartered…

Parenthood is being pulled in a thousand different directions by everyone you know and everything they need all day long, each and every day.

On one hand is a rope connected to my family. All of my family. My children, my husband, my mother and father, my pets. This rope pulls on me twenty four hours a day. Someone always needs me/wants my attention/requires my time. Most of the time it’s more than one person who wants me.

My son wants me to sit him in my lap while he eats syrup covered pancakes while my daughter wants me to watch a new magic trick while my husband wants my opinion on something in the office while my mother or father is calling on the phone while the dogs want a bit of the bacon please and the cats need more food in their dish.

Rarely, if ever, am I in a situation where I can focus all my attention on one person.

On the other hand are all the things I need to do to care for my family.

Cleaning my house, doing the laundry, shopping for groceries, preparing food for meals, changing diapers, emptying catboxes, shopping for clothes that fit everyone, making sure we have the necessary school supplies, providing entertainment and age appropriate toys, transporation to lessons and playdates, researching healthy eating habits, finding eco-friendly products that actually make a positive difference, running errands, paying bills, tracking the mail, medical appointments, dental appointments, vet appointments, eye checkups, etc.

On one foot is my law practice.

It demands my very best efforts, complete and total focus on tasks, a calm atmosphere for phone calls, huge piles of networking dinners/lunches/breakfasts/conferences, time to organize all the cases and papers, time to study for professional growth, web design, bookkeeping, personnel management, assignment tracking, staying abreast of all the clients needs and wants, staying in touch with clients, bill paying, troubleshooting, problem solving, learning new cost saving technologies that may help provide better service, blogging on up to date legal topics to increase my reputation, rainmaking, and many hours of time.

I am never done with work. There is always something that got put off because of the things pulling on my other limbs. There is not a single minute in any day when I can say I have nothing left to do in my inbox.

On the other foot is my social life. The people outside my family that want to see me in the few precious hours a week that I set aside for myself. Seeing these people is often refreshing to my soul and allows me time to regroup and prepare for encounters with other areas of my life.

However, I have more people than I do time, so much of my pleasure is often leeched out because I have to turn people away, put them off, or simply not see them for months because others require my time. Sometimes they are hurt and angry, sometimes I end up overscheduling myself and shortchanging everyone in the process.

Rarely do I feel as though I am at leisure and have the luxury of taking as much time as I would like with the person I am seeing.

In the middle is me. I used to have interests outside work and my family.

I used to be actively involved in politics. I used to study about the world. I used to be an amatuer photographer. I used to crochet, scrapbook, paint, write, sing, and dance. I used to do yoga everyday. I used to swim. I used to read over three hundred books a year. I used to blog every day. I used to think about writing a book. I used to go to the theater. I used to see movies on opening night. I used to do amazing decoupage with funky old vases and handmade paper. I used to design jewelry. I used to play games. I used to cook food to my liking. I used to wear high heels. I used to spend half an hour on my “look” in the morning.

I am in the middle of my life, being pulled apart everyday. I do not have the time to secure a little space for just me. Some times I am not even sure I know who “me” is anymore. Do I still like to crochet? How about blogging? What kinds of movies do I like?

At the end of a long day, after I have finally conquered the very last request for water/story of last year’s scary nightmare/spider in the bathroom scare/two year old strike against sleep/additional lullabye request/etc., I sometimes sit in the quiet house and think about running away. I look at my living room floor with its carpet of food crumbs, drink spills, and pet fur, and I think about walking out my front door and getting in my car. I think about driving until I run out of gas and then getting out and walking until I can’t walk anymore.

I think about gettting away.

I can’t get away. The truth is that this is the life I have worked for all my life. This is the future I wanted. Supportive and loving husband, beautiful and intelligent children, a career of my own, a lovely home, fuzzy pets all my own with no one to tell me the myriad of reasons why we can’t get another cat. (Do NOT get another cat. Trust me.)

Most of the time it makes me very, very happy.

Other times my life is so full there is no room for me left in it.

It only takes one…

It only takes on court using “archaic” methods to throw a kink into the works of a home based business.

I have been operating over email for the past two years with nary a hitch because my practice is predominantly federal and the federal courts use an electronic filing system. I bought a scanner to handle documents and then was off and running.

Until now.

One court in Texas wants to send my filings and case information via fax.

Fax.

I can’t use a fax to email service without risking a breach of confidentiality and therefore my license.

Which means I have to install a land line and hookup my fax machine for one case in one court somewhere deep inside the beautiful State of Texas.

Hitch…. hitch…. fracking hitch.

You wouldn’t eat a slimehead…

We have been going about this saving endangered or threatened species thing all wrong.

David A. Fahrenthold of the Washington Post explains in his article Tastier Names Trouble for Seafood Stocks that numerous varieties of fish are currently on the threatened species list because someone decided to give them a less disgusting name. It would seem that the seafood environment has reached this level of degradation in part due to positive PR campaigns. (Is there nothing we can’t blame on marketing?!)

Here in Colorado we are well acquainted with the idea of wrapping an attractive name around something mentally repugnant and serving it to tourists as an exotic dish. After all, we are home to the Rocky Mountain Oyster, a dish that is made out of bull testicles and has absolutely nothing to do with Oysters. Seriously though, can you blame the Cattleman’s Association for the that one? Who in their right mind would order Rocky Mountain Testicles?

The Slimehead has joined the ranks of depleted species because it underwent some PR reviews and came out with the appetizing name of Orange Roughy. Scientists named the prehistoric looking fossil fish for it’s distinctive mucus canals.

Mmmm… mucus canals over long grain rice in a tomato cream sauce. Yummy.

The fish was basically left alone and considered a by-catch of other commercial fishing enterprises until the name change occurred. Then the Slimehead became a popular food source and has been quickly over-fished. It’s currently dangerously depleted.

Other victims of good PR schemes are the Monkfish (previously known as the goosefish), the Uni (a sea urchin previously called a Whore’s Egg) and the Chilean Sea Bass (really the Patagoinian toothfish and not actually a member of the bass family.)

The biggest problem with these PR makeovers is their effect on the fish populations. Many of these previously untouched creatures have low reproduction and incredibly long lives making it very difficult for them to recover from over harvesting. Over-fishing is a serious threat to both the Oceanic environment and fisheries. If there are no more fish to pull from the ocean then there are no more fisheries. (This means no more money for you fisheries! Watch what you’re doing here!) While over-fishing is harmful for the more delicate species mentioned in the article, it is also harmful to fish who normally would be able to handle the threat due to their prolific reproduction. The Cod is an excellent example. Cod should be capable of sustaining heavy fishing but their ocean floor habitat is being destroyed by the bottom trawlers sent to harvest them.

In the meantime the renaming of previously revolting fish is wrecking havoc on these previously ignored species, adding them to the already gigantic list of species that may get the government’s attention some decades down the road.

So I propose a new approach to environmental activism. Instead of battling for months and years to have the government list a species as endangered, and then battling for months and years to force them to designate critical habitat, and then battling months and years to force them to comply with their listings, let’s start an anti-PR campaign.

Let’s rename the depleted fish something really, really gross so they won’t get harvested and eaten.

Seriously, how many of you are going to woo someone over dinner with wine and a filet of Slimehead?

_____________________________________

Background information for this post came from Tastier Names Trouble for Seafood Stocks By David A. Fahrenthold and Seafood Watch.

Oh how my standards have fallen…

  • I used to swear my children would only watch thirty minutes of educational television a day.
  • I promised myself they would have endless supplies of paint, modeling clay, and paper.
  • I swore my children would spend at least an hour outside in the sun, engaging in active play.
  • I promised to feed them whole meals comprised of fruits, veggies, dairy, and protein, and to only provide them with wholesome snacks.
  • I swore I would only drink fresh brewed coffee and eat organic foods so I would be energetic and healthy enough to keep up with my children.

Then I started a business.

Now I sit before you with the same cup of yesterday’s coffee that I have had to reheat three times already because I turned the television off after an hour and a half of brain-numbing crap cartoons and made the children play.

Since turning off the television they have gotten into twelve arguments over toys, all of them have come crying to me about being pushed or falling down at least twice, and the floors are sticky because they amused themselves by dripping juice from the “spill proof” sippy cups I gave them. Right now they are coloring in the living room, but eventually they will start fighting over the crayons.

Soon I will make macaroni and cheese for their lunch and turn back on the television so they will eat in peace. Then I will reheat yesterday’s coffee for a fourth time, consume a quickly cooked hot dog, and reflect on how peaceful the house is when I embrace my fallen standards.