Saturday, July 17, 2010

give and take

[it's disclaimer time again. this one's gonna get dark, it's gonna get VERY adult. i have some depths-plumbing to do. so for the benefit of those who either don't like the dark stuff or just don't want that much information, i'm putting this entry behind a jump. proceed if you want to; skip if you don't.]

Friday, July 16, 2010

fire and rain

this is a bittersweet day for me. this would've been my mom's 58th birthday. i've written about her before, what happened, how she got sick and how she went. but i'm not really interested in focusing on the end of things. it sucks that she was so plagued with illnesses mental and physical over her life. but there was a lot of good in that woman, and i miss her on days like this.

she was a force of nature when she had her wits about you. so damn brilliant. no one could compete with her brain. (i like to think i take after her in that.) when i graduated from law school in may, my dad and i had about five minutes to ourselves in the midst of familial insanity, and he said to me, "your mom would've been so damn proud of you." that was probably the most meaningful thing i was told during all of that. she wanted to go to law school, but it never happened. she taught kindergarten and worked as a legal secretary instead. she'd have been great at it.

when she left us, i played the live version of "fire and rain" by james taylor from his album one man band on a non-stop loop for about a week. i thought i'd have more time. don't we all. but i've since made peace with what's happened. she's free. that's what matters. i have my memories of her, and i have the knowledge that i've done right by her legacy. i've grown into what she wanted for me. that's enough for me.

top of the world, mom.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

torn up

whew, what a freaking dog of a day. i have been running, running, running. and in 3" heels, nonetheless. nine hours of bar review, a networking event and househunting, all on foot. i looked good doing it, if i do say so myself; i was dressed for this networking thing without time to change at all, so i had to be pulled together.

i love these shoes: green, round-toed T-strap heels. fun while still professional; just edgy enough to be interesting. but i sit here writing to you tonight in some pretty serious discomfort. i must've walked 2 miles today, and my feet are paying the price. but you know something? i looked the part. i was dressed to professionally kill and it helped my acumen in class. i was able to navigate the event alone with a smile, chatting up lawyers from the area with no real agenda other than to get noticed. i may have (if there's a just and loving deity in this world) even found myself a really ideal living situation.

and i smiled and i sold it, even though the pain was exquisite. it's a lesson, i guess - struggle, grace under fire, etc. also, maybe bring some better commuting shoes. but even though my feet are just torn up right now, my heart is surprisingly light. i lived. there's something to that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


my life these days, by necessity, is quite small. i study, and i take an occasional break from the crushing weight of the biggest test i'll take in my life. but every so often there are small moments of simple transcendence that sweep in and remind me that everything's going to be okay. i got one of those today.

it's been a pretty rotten day, frankly. i woke up early feeling rotten after being up late feeling stressed. i dozed, i took a phone call, then i hit the books. i ran an errand that did not end well, and then, nerves shot beyond all recognition, i set out for dinner with my stepmom. i settled down over dinner, but i was still feeling really frayed and weary.

then i took a cab home. (my stepmom didn't want me to walk from the train alone. sweet, eh?) and the cab driver and i had a fabulous, warm and hilarious conversation about life in the metro DC area. he dropped me off, and i am now ready to spend another hour or so working. nothing like a little recharge like that to get me out of my head and remind me what matters.
hey. how 'bout this - it's my 100th post. i'd like to take this time to thank y'all out there in blog-land. i've had a fabulous time getting to know my readers, discovering other people's work and generally taking advantage of this side of the internet. here's to many, many more. stick with me; it'll be fun. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

the boss

didn't i just write about losing a piece of the yankee firmament? damn.

the boss is dead. after nearly 40 years, mr. steinbrenner is gone. if mr. sheppard's passing messed with my head, this knocks my world for a loop. i was born 8 years after CBS sold the team. i remember the insane years of hiring and firing, tampa-trust free agency foolishness, and the suspension for tailing dave winfield. the man was the original big spender.

every yankee fan had a complex relationship with the man. i hated how he treated yogi berra. i hated the mercurial nature of the 80s and early 90s. but i loved the drive. i loved the acumen. i love how he - and don't argue with me on this - resurrected the yankee mystique of the earlier dynasties and rebuilt the team into the billion-dollar juggernaut of class, polish and high standards that it is today. without mr. steinbrenner, god knows what would've happened to us.

so we say goodbye to our multi-faceted benefactor. god speed, mr. steinbrenner. may your sons take what you built and make it even better. may we never forget your dedication to the yankee brand. you join the pantheon of lost yankee legends today. we're better for having had you.

Monday, July 12, 2010


i am learning, slowly but surely, what works for me and what doesn't. that's my favorite part of this whole process: finally figuring out what i alone need to get by. i'm realizing that it's going to be a rougher year than i may have anticipated. but it's nothing i can't handle. as my plans for the next 12-15 months start to crystallize, i'm learning the difference between managing expectations and settling for less.

for too long, i was all about settling for less. the middle way, the mediocre, the path of least resistance. the dull numbness of the center. i think it's pretty apparent that i have altered that frame of mind. i shook it up big-time by going to school again. now that i've earned that degree and stare down my next challenge, it's uncomfortable. i am damn tired of long days cramming for this stupid test. but the pain of this test, even though it's exquisite and annoying, is so much better than the dullness of showing up for another day at a job that just wasn't getting it done. the financial pinch of the next year will be tight, but it'll also be worth every last bit of the struggle when i am free.

i was told the other night, when i was in the middle of a lament about how much all of this has sucked, that "you are on the verge of getting absolutely everything you have ever wanted." it didn't really sink in at the time, but it's starting to creep in on me. yeah, there will be more pain. but after that, there will be more than i ever could have imagined. so i'll manage expectations. i'll live small.

but i will NEVER settle. never, ever again.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

voice of god

i am a little dedicated to sports. it goes deep with me. i've been a yankees fan my whole entire life, starting in 1981 when things were bad. i remember the lean years before derek jeter showed up. so when i read today that bob sheppard, who announced games at yankee stadium since before my dad was born, passed on, it really knocked me for a loop.

not a shock, really; to live to age 99 is an accomplishment within and of itself. but mr. sheppard passing is one more iconic piece of my childhood slipping away. it's a small thing, one that i only got to enjoy in person a few times, hearing your team's announcer speak the names of your favorite players. but tied into every joyous moment i spent in the stadium is the rolling, gorgeous voice of mr. sheppard. reggie jackson called him the voice of god. if i were a believer, i'd be inclined to agree.

time only goes one way. but losing even little pieces of the fabric of your life hurts. rest in peace, mr. sheppard.