Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Easy as Pi

I can't tell if Pi Day is becoming a nationally popular holiday or if it's just heavily plugged by our school district. When a federal circuit judge at our church cites Pi Day as a scheduling conflict, well, then, you've probably moved beyond cult status. Holiday or not, I don't really care. I'm just in it for the pie, frankly, and if my kids learn something about circumference while I'm eating their math project, so much the better.

This year as prelude to unseemly consumption, we each had to measure a circular object and divide the circumference by the diameter. The person whose calculations most closely approximated Pi won--er--nothing really, but that's beside the point of Pi Day (see above). Pumpkin pies never last long in my house, but we just barely threw away the last of the chocolate banana cream--With due respect to Mae West, sometimes too much of a good thing is not wonderful. Still, when my time comes, I'm definitely not choosing Regular Heaven.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Magic Pockets

A little saga about gloves and Sage.  She had some cheap gloves early in the winter, but was always cold and so I bought her some really nice insulated, fur-edged mittens.  Of course, she quickly lost one and it hasn't showed up on the playground or the lost and found.  At about the same time, she came home one day and said that there were gloves in her coat pockets that weren't hers.  They weren't new, and were the dollar-store stretch-type gloves that I tend to keep around as "extra" or "emergency" gloves, so I didn't worry too much about it.  They happened to be the exact same blue color as her coat, and so she kept using them.  Maybe I should have been more honest, but they WERE in her pockets, and so there you have it.  I figured it was an odd coincidence.  

But then...yesterday in the car, Sage called out, "Mom!  My pockets are magic!"  I thought she was going to tell me some fanciful joke or story, but instead, she pulled out yet another pair of gloves.  They were still used but a little nicer this time, fleece instead of stretch, and even more perfectly coordinating with her coat.  The previous blue pair was gone.  She has no idea how they got there -- her coat is in her locker during most of the day, though being a first-grader the lockers aren't locked or anything.  This can't be a coincidence.

That same day when we woke up, there were plastic forks stuck in our front lawn.

Is there some strange fairy interested in us?  Can I have magic pockets that provide suckers for my girls after a long shopping trip?  

What would you want in your magic pockets?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Uninteresting Times

Recently, it seems like people keep asking me how my job is going. The question always catches me off guard, and I'm afraid my answers are always unsatisfactory. When I'm not at work I tend to forget that I have a job, but the reverse is also true; when co-workers ask me about my plans for the weekend I'm just as likely to draw a blank. Call it the male gift for compartmentalization: if I'm not there, it's probably not on my mind.

One of the reasons I have difficulty talking about my job is that there's not much to say about it, at least not in casual conversation:

-I read trust agreements.
-Then I reread them.
-Then I write about them, or explain them to someone else.
-Then I proofread, rewrite, and re-explain.
-Sometimes--oh boy--I write the trust agreements.

It's a terrible amount of fun, but I forgive you if you don't believe me. Like most of my enjoyments, the pleasure is in the details, and the details are difficult to convey in a gloss.

At my firm, both the litigators and the corporate counselors work with marquee-level names and companies. Sometimes I envy them their ability to convey succinctly the importance of what they are doing, but not enough to actually do what they are doing. In the estate-planning world, we refer to high-stakes litigation as a "hair-on-fire practice area," and we have to smile because our hair is rarely, if ever, on fire. It may be hard to convey the essence of what I do, but I like the people I work with and enjoy a tremendous amount of flexibility, and on most days that is worth a diminished aura of importance.

Sometimes, though, all the legalese and distribution clauses and estate tax provisions become dreary and repetitive. Sometimes, the skies stay gray and the view from my office shows the same half of a parking lot and I leave work acutely aware that I have not been outside for a single daylight hour. Against just such an occasion, I have hanging in my office the famous Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." It reminds me that no matter how tedious work can get, there are worse things, much much worse. In these dark days of cutbacks and layoffs, when institutions fail and the sword of privation hangs over all of us, I tend to believe that you could do a lot worse than to have a steady, uneventful job. Let the dull times roll.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I May Not Have Gone Where I Intended to Go...

...But I think I have ended up where I needed to be.  Wise words from Douglas Adams.

And in unrelated life, cute kids doing what kids do.

Also introducing Gengis Ian, though we forgot to put a nice fu manchu mustache on him. His nice black skirt-thing and thick uggy slippers are not visible in the picture, but really completed the look.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Feel the Love

LUCY: Dad! Dad! Feel this part! Feel this part!

DAD: Hmmm. It feels wet.

LUCY [sadly]: Yeah, I accidentally put it in the potty.