Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Read The News Today Oh Boy: (Tuesday, January 27, 2009)

"I Read The News Today Oh Boy" is a new thing I'm trying out here. Each week I'll spend one day taking pictures throughout my day, and then post those (probably on Wednesdays. Don't Wednesdays need a little spicing up?) It'll be mostly pictures, lessly writing -- to give an idea of what I do when I'm not pretending to give Mr F a time-out at the playground because he shoved a kid down the slide, pretending because (a) Mr F didn't know it was a time-out and (b) the kid had it coming; he was blocking the slide (c) the kid was four years old, if not older, and Mr F just took it to him, so I was secretly proud.

So here's

I Read The News Today Oh Boy
For Tuesday, January 29, 2009:

1. Our kitchen, 7:40 a.m. That's lunch and breakfast on the counter. I'm coming down the stairs. Off to another exciting day!

2. Stopping for gas, 7:52 a.m. I'm looking over the car at Gino's Italian Deli, which I've lived within a mile of for 9 years now. Everytime I see it, I think the same thing: I should go eat there. And I never do. Not pictured: the back door of the car, which I thought looked like it was a little unhinged or something. Also not pictured: The two lottery tickets I bought.

3. Frustration Sets In, 8:16 a.m. This is the 17-minute mark of my drive. 17 minutes is where I get frustrated with traffic. It's especially bad because 17 minutes now also marks the start of the University's merged-left-lane-for-no-reason. Note the clean windshield. Remember that I drive into work with the sun shining towards me. Imagine yourself on the road with me at that time. Shudder.

4. The parking garage, 8:25 a.m. I didn't tint this picture at all. That light is someday going to cause me a seizure.

5. View from the front of our building, 8:27 a.m. This is the view from the offices in the front of our building. That's the Wisconsin capitol building there-- the big building taking up most of the picture.

6. View from my office, 8:28 a.m. My office is not in the front of the building. Some people think that a bank drive-through is not quite as awe-inspiring a spectacle as a glorious government building. They're right.

7. Three shots of my office, 8:29 a.m. That desk is actually pretty neat, isn't it? And you can tell how important I am by the number of SpongeBob Squarepants throw pillows in my office. A lot of people forget to include "cartoon characters" in their feng shui. Not me. The lava lamp has Backstreet Boys stickers on it, as does the Boom Box.

8. The space heater in my office 9:15 a.m.. The temperature? A balmy 62 degrees. Inside. That's 45 minutes after I turned it on. I have to leave it on low because the time I put it on high, it blew a fuse in the building and 4 lawyers and three paralegals who were on the same circuit as me all got very upset.

(I played dumb.)

9. Let's focus on my desk, 11:00 a.m. Just prior to when I eat lunch. Yes, that's a Dr. Seuss book in the upper left corner. I had time to take this picture because my computer locked up for the fourth time that day, and I was just about to shut it off manually and try again.

See the little blue Post-It Note on the computer monitor?

10. 11:01 a.m. That one? (Computer's down; let's get ready to turn it back on!)

11. Be nice: 11:02 a.m. That's what it says. You wouldn't believe how helpful that note is. It first got posted there when a federal judge in Milwaukee asked me and another lawyer what he had to do to get us to be cordial and professional towards each other, and then left the courtroom for us to work it out. I ended up giving that guy a ride to the airport and chatting with him, and went back to my office and wrote this note as a reminder that it wouldn't kill me to once in a while be nice. I look at it a lot. Like the other day when some people we're going to sue were swearing at me on the phone.

12. What do you do all day? (1 p.m.) Every now and then, people ask me, why don't you talk about your job more? Aside from the fact that everything I do is protected by attorney-Dumpster privilege (It's a Lionel Hutz thing), this picture shows why. That is a written opinion from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals discussing a breach of fiduciary duty and imposition of a constructive trust as a result of a couple of land transactions gone awry. I spent a great deal of time reading that, then moved onto reading consent decrees from the Office of Thrift Supervision, after which I began to draft an amended counterclaim in a mortgage foreclosure case. Still want to know more?

But I did get sworn at on the phone the other day. So it's not like there's never anything to talk about at dinner.

13. Back at the parking garage, 5:05 p.m.. Did you ever, as you were walking downstairs to get to your car, pause, and look up and see the weird symmetry and colors of a parking garage stairwell at dusk? I did.

14. WBFP, 88.1 FM, 5:10 p.m.: That's what I call the radio station created by listening to my iPod on the way home. Today's playlist: "Upbeat." The 35 songs that always pick me up and put me in a good mood. When I play that list, I always begin with "All I Want Is You" by Barry Louis Polisar, because that's Mr F's favorite song in the world and it makes me happy to think how it makes him happy.

15. Traffic jam, 5:25 p.m. I've gone three miles. But luckily, I have time to inspect my nails, take a picture of them, try to figure out the lyrics to The Underdog (also on the "Upbeat" playlist, and on this list), and then scowl at the person next to me who thinks I should not be taking pictures while driving.

Not pictured: 5:25 p.m. - 7:10 p.m. My camera battery died and needs to be recharged. My camera sucks.

16. Bathtime, 7:10 p.m. After dinner, we went upstairs to get Mr Bunches (on the right in this picture) and Mr F dressed to go to the health club, where I was going to run laps and Sweetie was going to do whatever she does, some machine, and the boys play in the playroom. But Mr F got it into his head that we were going to take baths, instead, and got upset when I began putting his pants back on. So we scrapped that plan and instead just gave them baths. We originally began the process of getting them ready at 6:30-- taking that long because I had to first debate The Boy about Barack Obama, and then I had to wait for Mr F to calm down enough to explain that he had in fact won and we would not be going bye-bye, we were going to take baths.

17. Contemplating a snack, 7:40 p.m. That's the leftover pizza, front and center. I'm thinking about having some of it. Most of the leftovers are pepperoni, which Sweetie ordered for The Boy, who doesn't actually like it. I will, at 7:42, decide against having a snack and go play "Rrowr Monster" instead. Also, I will in about 20 minutes accidentally bump Mr F's head while playing with him, and he won't forgive me for about 15 minutes beyond that, giving in and liking me again only when I "Tickle Bug" him.

18. CVS Pharmacy, 9:10 p.m. With the Babies! safely in bed, Sweetie and I decide to go work out at the health club and leave Middle in charge. When he hears we're going out, The Boy asks if we would stop off and get him some looseleaf paper. That prompts this exchange:

Me: Why didn't you bring this up before 9 at night?

The Boy: Why, were you going to rush out and get some, or would you have just said that you'll get it when you go to the club.

I'm still a little mad about that and it's hard to formulate exactly why.

19. The Backwards Clock, 9:59 p.m. Home from the club. I didn't jog because after two laps I didn't feel like it, so I rode a stationary bike and watched "Pineapple Express" on my iPod, thereby "exercising" only in the loosest sense of that word. Then again, I didn't need to exercise much because I skipped that snack. From here, I will go upstairs, turn on "The Daily Show" and be asleep before the theme is done playing.

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