thursday, 30 november, 2000

Reading: More depositions than you can imagine. Believe it or not, they actually make interesting reading, although that could just be because I'm a geek lawyer. The best parts are when the lawyers fight.

Watching: That whole David Blaine thing. It was like watching a train wreck. It was the most uncomfortable thing to look at, but I just couldn't turn it off. Honestly, he should just stick to magic, because he's brilliant enough at that. He doesn't need to go around making himself insane.

Not Watching: The 'NSync holiday special. Don't think I don't want to. But I suddenly realized today that I actually know all their names, and that just isn't right.

Drinking: Those new Folger's latte beverages. The Caramel Groove one is delish. Plus it doesn't cost three dollars like it does at Starbucks. Speaking of which...

Anticipating: The best Christmas commercial ever, the Folger's commercial where Peter comes home for Christmas. I love Peter.

Listening: George Winston's December, which is one of my favorite Christmas albums. I usually wait to listen to it when it first snows, but then I read that Dora was listening to it, and all of a sudden I had to hear it immediately.

Also Listening: One of the easy listening stations started playing Christmas music 24/7, and I heard this song today that made me laugh so hard I almost caused an accident. It's a little kid singing about something stuck up the chimney, and it's been there all night, week, month, year long. It's hysterical.

Hoping: Buffy will get better. I want Spike to get his own show. It's gotten to the point where I'm completely bored if he's not part of the storyline. Plus, all the CG monsters are, like, not scary. At all.

Random Fact: I can name all the states in alphabetical order.

~ & ~

Art is long, life short, judgment difficult, opportunity transient.
-- Goethe

~ & ~

Link of the Day:

This is a reverse look-up site, where you can put it a phone number and find out who has it. If you put in your number without the area code, it will show you all the people across the country who have your number too. What can I say. I'm easily amused.

Despite the fact that I have to go to bed by 9:30 or 10:00 at the latest, despite the fact that I have to get up at 6, despite the fact that I now have a twenty- to forty-minute commute to and from work, despite the fact that I have to wear something other than jeans and a sweatshirt, and despite the fact that the weekends are the only time I can ever get anything done...

I LOVE working. I love having a place to go, I love my desk, my office, my secretary, my in-box that fills up faster than I can empty it, the security card I have to carry in order to get anywhere, my 401(k) plan, my health insurance (kicks in tomorrow, so now I can get sick again), my officemate who loves Christmas decorations as much as I do and already put up a string of lights, and yes, let's not forget, my paycheck.

I know, I know, the honeymoon period will not last forever. As far as the workload goes, it's already over. My desk looks as though I have been there four years instead of four weeks. Plus one of the other analysts on my team has gone on maternity leave, and I have taken over all her projects.

Right now, the worst part of my job is the billing. I have to bill my time in 6-minute increments, the standard for the legal profession. And for someone who is not known for keeping good track of anything, it has been the hardest thing for me to learn how to do. I've decided that the best thing is to write everything down on my timesheet as I go along, rather than writing it down on a calendar first and then transferring. Of course, either way, if I forget, I'm screwed, because I'd never be able to remember what I did the day before.

Right now, that really is the only thing that has been a struggle for me. Everything else about my job has been fairly easy to learn, even though I'm not very good at it yet. For example, we use a document-sharing system so that all the reports and profiles created can be seen, edited, and printed by anyone else on the team. The only problem is you have to know exactly how to ask for what you're looking for to get the most efficient search. If I'm looking for a medical summary on a certain plaintiff, I usually try on my own for about ten minutes before I give up and call the senior analyst on my team, a very nice guy named Matt, who will be able to give me the document number in five seconds.

But I'm learning. That is the biggest frustration for me, the fact that I want to know everything right away. I'm very impatient when it comes to learning how to do a job. People have told me along the way that it will probably take about six months before I feel really comfortable with what I do, and in my head I always think, "Oh, no, not me, I'll be all over this job in about three weeks."

Ha. But even so, things are good. Things are very, very good.

This is going to sound crazy, because no one ever says things like this, but I am completely in love with my bank.

I had a checking account with the evil (before they were evil), and when I left Pennsylvania I just closed my account there and decided to use exclusively. Then, bought PayPal and decided to close all of its checking accounts, so I went in search of a real bank again.

I decided to go with a small community bank rather than the big multi-state conglomerates because (a) it has a branch with a drive-up ATM right next to my grocery store and (b) multi-state conglomerate banks suck. I used Bank of America when I lived in California and for crying out loud, the only way to get a free checking account is if you agree not to use a live teller. They charge you if you want to go in and transact your banking business with an actual person. That is insane.

So a couple of weeks ago, I went into my little hometown bank with my first paycheck and opened my checking and savings accounts, and the woman who helped me offered me hot chocolate. We chatted the entire time, she explained to me how everything was free, looked absolutely shocked when I told her about how BofA charges you for coming in the bank, and sent me on my merry way with my starter checks and a lovely binder in which I can file my statements because, you see, they come three-hole-punched for you.

Until my ATM card arrived, the only way I could get cash was to cash one of my starter checks, so I was at the bank every other morning (drive-thrus are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate working folks like me) cashing my little fake checks, and every time the teller was so very happy to see me. I finally got my ATM card but couldn't get it to work, so I drove through again and the lovely young man explained that my PIN would be coming in the mail but if I didn't get it, here's the phone number you can call to find out what's going on, in the meantime let me give you a counter check to fill out so you can get some cash.

I'm telling you, I love this bank so much. I'm writing a letter to the president to tell him how in love with his bank I am.

Well, you know, I'm not going to use those words. I don't want them to be afraid of me.

Since we appear to be all about money today, I must admit that the paycheck aspect of my job is really the best part. Not only will I be able to go back to paying my bills on a regular basis, I will be able to plan a few trips here and there. I already have a weekend in mind to go visit my friends in Denver, I am dying to go see Elise in California, and the girls and I have just begun plotting a reunion for mid-March. Woo-hoo.

I have decided, however, that one of my New Year's resolutions will be to hire a financial planner. I can hardly believe that I'm in a position to need one, but my financial situation is simply too complicated for me to figure out on my own anymore. I need help in figuring out what my best options are for my student loan repayment, how much I can afford to put in my 401(k), and what I need to do to be able to buy a house in couple of years.

Okay, so that probably really isn't too complicated for me if I sat down with the right books and calculators and pencils, but I'd never be sure what I was doing was the right choice. Besides, becoming financially sound is a decent resolution, and history is destined to repeat itself unless I seek professional help.

Speaking of which, now that I have health insurance, I will also probably be seeking professional help of that other kind again, too. Things are good right now, but they could always be better. And the whole reason I started going last year was because I felt like I was too scattered to adequately prepare for the bar, and that turned out to be a success.

Now I just have to figure out how to be successful at work, diet, exercise, money, a love life, and I'll be one happy little camper.

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