Thursday, October 28, 2010

To Market, to Market

I took a train that is 5 minutes later than my normal train. Hilarity and hijinks ensued. For reasons unknown, this train is incredibly crowded. So crowded I can't even get close enough to a bar to hold onto, so I plant the 3-inch heels of my boots firmly and trying to look hardcore.

The teenage girl next to me moves closer to her boyfriend. How nice, this way I can hold on to the bar.

Or, I can just catch the oral herpes from her practically mounting him on the subway car.

It's only been two blocks and already I've decided that their parents don't allow Romeo and Juliet here to see one another and the train ride to school is the only time they can let their forbidden romance blossom. Either that, or this chick is just mauling random dudes she met on the subway.

She gets off 3 blocks later. I need a shower and a cigarette.

Mass exodus. I dive for a seat.

A stop later, a very pregnant woman gets on. I vacate my seat. A burly construction worker takes it. Everyone else opens their books. Seriously, Philadelphia? No one wants to let the little pregnant girl sit down? Weaksauce.

5 minutes later, I'm sitting on my trolley, wondering why it smells like pee. I look across the aisle and see the person in the nearest seat. Oh, that's why.

I'm trying to find a non-obvious way to hide my nose in my scarf so I can breathe and notice the odd shiny spot on the floor. Please let that not be pee, please let that not be pee.

Oh, good. It's coffee. Coffee from the empty cup the angelic-looking little girl in front of me is playing with. Also, playing, not with her Disney Princess backpack, but with an empty Dunkin' Donuts bag. Oh good lord. Please tell me her father isn't just letting her get god-knows-what from playing with random trash.

He tells her to make sure she throws out her cup, too. Oh thank God. It's her trash. HEY! WHY ARE YOU THROWING YOUR TRASH ON THE SEPTA LITTLE GIRL?

I think the Metro summed it up best when discussing the massive marketing campaign for "The Walking Dead:" Good thing they're not doing the zombie thing in Philadelphia, we have enough people riding the SEPTA covered in blood.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Days of Our Lives

Just a typical day for Hurricane Lola:

8am: Double-check the email to make sure nothing has changed before my 8:15 meeting. Debate the merits of having my coffee mug in the board room to keep me warm and awake versus possibly offending the new head honcho; who, despite being my immediate superior, will probably not decide to meet with me individually for at least a month, if ever.

8:10am: Walk across the hall to board room.

8:11am: Back quickly into hallway so as not to interrupt the meeting that is clearly in session.

8:13 am: Learn from eavesdropping that my meeting has been canceled.

8:14 am: Growl at email inbox, which contains no notice of this.

9:00 am: Productive meeting lasting less than a half an hour. Note the date and circle it victoriously.

9:30 am: Read up on some exciting (read: mind-numbingly dull) literature on programs and risk assessment for the coming fiscal year.

10:00 am: Email my "mentor" to set up emergency telephone session to discuss the rather disturbing meeting I had yesterday regarding just what constitutes a "promise" made to one by their employer.

10:05-11:00 am: Actual, concrete, helpful work. Redrafting some truly terrible questions.

11:05 am: Reflect that I probably did not need my J.D. for that.

11:07 am: Briefly fantasize about a job where I do need my J.D.

11:08 am: Remember the friends who are currently using their J.D.'s to work at Starbucks. Attempt to quit whining.

11:30 am: A sign canceling my 8:15 am meeting is now on the board room door. WTF?

11:59 am: Unexpected visit from Lily, who is about to kill her temporary office visitor.

12:30 pm: Lunch with Lily, her temporary office visitor, and Cheese. Bitching ensues.

1:15 pm: I get my mentors voice mail.

1:30 pm: Attempt to make a plan for my truly evil project. Eat M & Ms instead.

2:00 pm: Nasty-gram from the Illinois State Bar regarding employers. And how some of them, including my FREAKIN' LAW SCHOOL, haven't returned references.

2:02 pm: Briefly ponder how it's possible that my law school has not returned this reference. Wonder if I'm the first person they've ever employed that has later taken the Illinois Bar. Doubt it.
2:04 pm: Frantic phone calls and emails.

2:30 pm: Not much headway on evil project. Gnash my teeth.

2:45 pm: Mentor's voicemail again.

3:00 pm: Email from woman I met with last week regarding a part of the project. Without giving too much away, it essentially says "Yeah, when we started looking at this, we realized we weren't being paid for a lot of this. And we just kinda leave it at that." WHA?

3:01 pm: I think I just had a stroke.

3:02 pm: Contemplate suicide.

3:03 pm: Decide to work on other parts of project plan until I can grasp exactly what I'm supposed to do with that answer.

3:15 pm: Robo-call from the Mayor.

3:17 pm: Call from Mercy Hospital back in ThirdTierVille. "Following Up" on another bill from an encounter I'm pretty sure I already paid for.

3:30 pm: Contemplate homicide.

3:45 pm: Eat a TastyKake instead.

3:50 pm: Talk to Sue about project. Encourage her to temporarily ignore email. Or at least eat a TastyKake.

4:06 pm: "Stress Walk" to Lily's office. Bitching ensues.

5:30 pm: Free cocktails at Gallery.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Do I call everyone "hookers" too much?

The Streets of Philadelphia

To celebrate a friend's passing the Pennsylvania bar (and a belated celebration that I passed a bar exam in a state where I sadly, will not be living/practicing for at least a few years), we took to the streets of Philly lookin' for trouble.

Too bad it was the wrong street. Rose's friend texted us the wrong cross-streets, so we wandered for a few minutes, before we asked a cop in mid-arrest for directions (as you do). The streets were also not so friendly. When we originally passed this group of Philadelphia's finest, they were engaged in a slight word-skirmish with some kid, probably about 19 years old. From what we got out of it, the boys in blue were just patrolling the street and wanted to see the kid's ID for some reason. Being a kid, he seemed to have asked why. And then said that he'd show them his ID if they'd tell him why. Then, Quickdraw pulled his cuffs. We walked down the block trying to find the bar, but really, trying to puzzle out why the kid was being arrested. Other than a smart mouth and bored cops.

I encouraged Rose, as a newly-minted officer of the Pennsylvania courts, to stick up for the kid and ask the officers why they were arresting him. In a good life decision, she said this instead, earning my eternal admiration:
"Excuse me officer, I see that you're kinda in the middle of something, but could you tell us where THEYUPPIEBAR is?"

In hindsight, it was probably a better idea than my suggested opening line: "Excuse me officer, but where's your reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed?" We're fresh out of law school, and don't have bail money. I didn't need to take the chance that Trigger would get all cuff-happy on me.

The cop, incidentally, gave us the correct directions. Thanks!

We had pre-gamed. Can ya tell? Incidentally, I wonder if my friends and I, being in our mid-twenties to early thirties, are just a leetle too old to "pregame." I can try to dress it up by saying that we met at my house and had cocktails before we left, but seriously, everyone knows that we were pre-gaming. For right now I'm broke and can't afford to drink exclusively at THEYUPPIEBAR and its ilk, so get over it, hookers.

The night was full of good life decisions, such as Rose preventing me from peeing in an alley after the bar randomly closed its bathroom. 'Splain that one to me.

Other than almost peeing in a cab on my way back to the Nunnery, the night was a complete success, complete with a 3:00 am showing of "Hocus Pocus" with some new friends.

How have you all been celebrating/mourning the bar results?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Taking the Plunge

There's truly something to be said for living alone. My house is never messed up. And if it is, I know exactly who did it and I can decide when I will fix it up.

I was feeling a little blue the other day about being all alone with no one to watch goofy Halloween movies with me and to help me eat my produce before it goes bad. And then I talked to my sister, the football widow. If she's not waiting for him to get home from coaching, or going to his games, she's watching football on t.v. Alone I may be, but I don't watch a god damned thing on t.v. that I don't want to watch.

There is a downside, however; cooking for yourself sucks. As does doing all of the work yourself. I was in no angelic mood upon my return to the city of brotherly love this week, as every elevator along the EL line seemed to be out of order and I dragged my overweight suitcase halfway across center city only to find that my toilet was backed up. And I don't have a plunger. And on Sundays, the maintenance crew will not come over to unstick your toilet.

I did not think much of this. There are several small markets within four blocks from my house (as an aside: I need a name for my home. I am considering "The Nunnery," as it is an old, converted convent; but I feel that I should name it something "acre." Perhaps "Blueacre," because the door is blue).

I was not discouraged when the first small market was out of plungers.

But, three unsuccessful stops later, I was wondering what grudge the merchants of Philadelphia had against the noble toilet plunger, a fairly ubiquitous household item. I tried three small markets on my way further west. No joy. Does noone have plumbing problems in this city? I mean, it's bad enough that my toitey was out of order, but having to ask roughly 300,000 shop owners where they keep the plungers is just adding insult to injury. Worse, though, is having to explain what you're looking for to the ones who clearly don't grasp english all that well. I literally had to make hand gestures to accompany my explanation to one gentleman. Who did not stock the wretched things.

In the end, I took a twenty minute walk to the national chain drug store. Which, thankfully, was not too proud for plungers. Though they euphemistically called it a "force cup." I had to laugh at that, dish-gloved to my elbows and plunging away. "Force cup," indeed. I am a plumbing wizard.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Girl Walks into a Bar. . .

Or she just passes it.

I was pretty sure this morning that today was going to suck until about 6pm. First of all, I knew I was going to have to check a bag on my flight home. Second of all, our White House tour got delayed by two hours, which meant I was missing it so I could catch a plane.

I was not feeling much better when I missed the 12:20 MARC train to BWI or when the 1:05 Amtrak I caught stopped in the middle of Maryland so they could inspect the motor. Myself, I would have preferred they check the motor, you know, BEFORE several hundred people boarded the train. But, hey, to each their own. I do not have a good track record with BWI and tonight is D's bachelorette party. I had to get on this plane. I made it, and was looking forward to some down time and an inflight cocktail to rearrange my head.

As I boarded the plane, Olivia called me to inform me that Illinois bar exam results were in. I had a nightmare the other night that the results came in, but my computer kept crashing before the website loaded. My subconscious has a pretty good handle on how shit goes down in my life. I made the snap decision to pay for the overpriced Wi-fi, even after paying way-too-much to check a bag. Computie boots up nicely, I enter my CC info through gritted teeth, say a quick prayer and log on to iBaby to see....

My results are not yet posted.

I blink. I know that Stephy got his results. His last name is later in the alphabet than Lawless.

I try googling it. I get re-directed to iBaby. No results.

Just when I'm cursing the Illinois State Bar and Delta Airlines wi-fi, I refresh iBaby and a notification pops up. Cursing the flight attendants for being so slow with the cocktail I need to steady my nerves, I click it.

"Dear Ms. Lawless:
We are pleased to advise that you have passed the July 2010 Illinois bar examination."

As I type, I milking that $4.95 in interwebs charges and sippin' a G&T.

So, Congrats to all the new Illinois Lawyers!!!!!!

And to close:
"Karen, I'm a laywer. Which means I, unlike you, have actually passed a bar."