Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's Just Another New Year's Eve

Another night like all the rest....

Barry Manilow again. This time he hits the nail on the head. I feel like a really old lady tonight. When my parents were my age, they made a night of it. Dinner and dancing at the country club followed by breakfast with champagne. I sit at home alone, play online bridge with someone whose name I am not even sure of, drink a warm wine cooler, eat stale chocolate chip cookies with leftover salami and give myself a pedicure.

That is the reality.

In my dreams, I am wearing a beautiful evening gown - ankle length, of course, - in a deep blue - my best color. I have a suave and handsome younger man by my side and we have a ringside table at a swanky hotel with a live orchestra. We dance to the tunes of the big band era as well as a few more modern things - like a rousing rendition of the bump and the electric slide. We may even try to "do the hustle". Champagne flows like water in a crystal and silver fountain and we only need to hold our flute near for a taste. As midnight nears, we slow dance - with a passionate kiss at midnight while the band plays Auld Lang Syne. There is a buffet breakfast with everything you can imagine ready and waiting. When we have had our fill, we slip out of the ballroom and meander through the lobby to the elevator that will take us to our suite for the night.

I'd best keep the rest of that dream to myself.

Maybe next year.....

May 2009 bring peace, prosperity and contentment for all of us.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Flea Tick Punch

Tonight was a Girls' Night Out. I met with a fellow blogger (Hey Girlfriend!) and another mutual friend for drinks and dinner. I searched the drink menu for something that would be good and fun. I usually prefer frozen concoctions that are sweet. The server tried to be helpful by suggesting the strawberry daiquiri or something called a strawberry shortcake. Strawberries and I do not mix well, so I flipped to another page and read the ingredients list. Since I like rum, I chose the Flea Tick Punch.

Despite the name, it was excellent. I had two.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Last Saturday I went to the dollar movies and saw Nights in Rodanthe. It was not at all like the book. I kept waiting for the best parts of the book to be depicted in the movie - but it never happened. I guess everything that can be written in a 200 page book will not fit in a 2 hour movie. Oh well.

To balance that experience, I went back to the dollar movies yesterday and saw Beverly Hills Chihuahua. I thought it would be funny. It did have elements of humor, but did not provide the laughs I had hoped. There was, however, a cartoon before the movie. It was a Goofy classic that I really enjoyed.

Movies have gotten much better through the years - better technology has allowed that. But the cost has become prohibitive for an evening of entertainment. I am thankful to see the movies a little later for only a buck.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

One is the loneliest number

I need to learn to like myself. I am alone in this world and probably will be for the rest of my life. I need to be able to get around by myself.

There are some things that I will do alone - go to the grocery, shop at Wally World or my favorite clothes shops. There are a couple of restaurants where I will go alone, but very few. It all goes back to my mother who constantly told me A lady is never seen publicly alone. That was reaffirmed on an early trip I made to Nashville where I stayed at my first highly rated hotel. I went to the restaurant there for lunch - and was told by the host that they do not seat unescorted ladies. It was suggested that I return to my room and order room service. I instead left the hotel and found a McDonald's on my way to my afternoon appointment. I never tried that again.

I did go on vacation by myself a couple of weeks ago. But I didn't stray far from my condo until Prince 2 joined me. I ate in my unit. I didn't even go to the pool alone.

This has got to change. I am not a homebody and I am not happy with my own company. Something has to change.

Maybe an increase in the prozac?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's All Relative

Christmas Day is the one day of the year that the princes and I see our relatives.

In the first place, we don't have very many. I was an only child and both my parents have passed away. On my dad's side, I have one cousin who is 18 years older than me and has nothing to do with me. There were some bad feelings at some point - not of my doing - but they separated our families. On my mom's side, she had two half-siblings, one of whom is still living and invites us for the holiday.

We gather at their home, along with their daughter, her husband and their grown daughter for a wonderful meal and catch up on a full year of events. After a couple of hours, others begin to arrive, usually my cousin's in-laws. That is our cue for departure.

As we leave, there are always promises of more frequent get-togethers. But somehow it just doesn't happen. Life gets in the way. Instead, we just see each other at Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Catch Up

The past few days have absolutely flown by, so this will be a catch up edition.

Sunday, I started the day in 4 different grocery stores trying to find pre-made sausage balls. A friend's parents had invited me to the family Christmas party. I was asked to bring sausage balls. I had no desire to play in the mess and make them, so I was on a mission. I finally found them, thanks to a helpful clerk. The party was fun. I was asked to serve as a buffer between my friend and his parents. It didn't do much good. They were still on his case constantly.

Monday was back to work. I spent most of the day playing Free Cell. We were released at 2, but I didn't head home. I went to Big K to shop for a few things still on my list. Then I went to my favorite Mexican spot for a chicken quesadilla. I ended my evening by joining my officemate/friend and several of her church members singing carols at a nursing home. That was fun and fulfilling.

Tuesday was another work day, with dismissal at 12. I did a few things, but not much. The boss did try to call me in for a conference, but I refused without representation. We made an appointment for next year. Then, since she couldn't have me, she called ALL of us in and made lots of snide remarks. I ignored her. When the day was over, I cleared my desk and wrapped presents. That took a while. I left there about 4, just in time for a party. For 19 years I taught at West End High School. Despite the fact that WEHS made AYP and was declared a Bronze level school through US News and World Report, the school was closed in May 2008. This party was a reunion of faculty and staff members from West End during the past twenty years or so. I really enjoyed it - even if I did have to answer the same questions over and over - especially about the twins, who grew up, cut their teeth, and were pampered by the entire staff there.

Wednesday. This morning I again helped my friend and her church members serve the homeless. They made lunch. I just helped decorate and serve. It was a nice event - and I am pleased to have been a small part of it. After that, Prince 2 invited me to lunch - his treat! Too bad I wasn't very hungry, but it was great company! Later, I joined my friend for a candlelight service at our church, followed by a brief visit with his parents. We then returned to his house where we piled onto the sofa and settled in to watch the classic "It's A Wonderful Life".

That hits the highlights. Have a great holiday everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home again, home again jiggity jig

Vacation is over. I could tell when I tried to turn into my driveway. The garbage can was in the middle of it meaning I had to get out and push it to the side before I could come up the hill. Wonder how Prince 2 managed to get up the hill without moving it?????

Of course there were four cars in the drive, all parked haphazardly. My space was waiting for me. I pulled in and stopped to cry because the carport is covered in trash. Cleaning out the trash and blowing out the leaves was one thing on the list they had to take care of while I was gone.

Enter the kitchen. The floor is covered in leaves and pine straw - and the sink is filled with dirty dishes. More things they should have done.

The den is a disaster area. A door has been removed from somewhere and laid across a recliner. There are dirty dishes shoved under the furniture and empty fast food containers/wrappers everywhere. The carpet is thick with dog fur and scratched badly in places. It seems they encouraged the dog to "bury" a bone in the den carpet. He tried valiantly to get it buried, but only succeeded in giving them fodder for a "World's Funniest Home Video" entry. I could also tell that someone had been smoking in my house - a definite no-no and cause for eviction.

My room is supposed to be off-limits at all times. Someone had slept in my bed. Someone had left my computer on and managed to "lose" the network adapters. Someone had covered my bathroom floor in baby powder.

I went off badly. I am so angry I cannot see straight. And the response I got was "Just chill. We'll take care of it."

It better happen quickly. A friend invited me to his parents' home for their Christmas party tomorrow. I called his mom and asked what I should bring - ever the polite Southern bell. It was suggested that I bring sausage balls. I stopped at WallyWorld to pick up some pre-made that you heat and serve. Of course, they had none. I got the ingredients to make it from scratch, but I can't do that until my kitchen is clean.

How long till spring break?


Here at my beach side condo, my favorite spot is the balcony. While there are 96 of them in the building, each seems to stand alone, providing a solitary view of the gulf and its intricacies and the beach activities.

My habit is to take a seat on the balcony first thing in the morning while I have my first dose of caffeine - a diet Dr. Pepper or its generic equivalent. I watch the early morning beach walkers get their exercise or just stroll leisurely along the water's edge. I enjoy the antics of the very young children, taken out early to avoid the harmful rays of the sun, as they tiptoe into the water for their first experience with its powerful tides. I particularly enjoy the lovers - hand in hand as they meander along the shore, sometimes stopping to investigate a particularly interesting shell or just for a hug or passionate kiss. Often these are the "more mature" lovers - many of whom have shared the joys of beach walks for fifty years or so.

Later in the day, I go to the balcony for my sunbathing time. If you could see me in my swimsuit, you would understand why I choose to do that more privately. I get myself all set with a huge glass of juice, a juicy romance novel, my cell phone and prepare for my sun worship time. I usually last about twenty minutes before I burn. Often I repeat this experience several times throughout the day.

At the end of the day, I again retreat to the balcony to watch the sunset, its brilliance more vivid against the ocean horizon. This time I take a camera - or more recently the cell phone camera - and make sure that I capture the moment for eternity. A couple of times I have had the privilege of being an uninvited guest at a sunset wedding on the beach. These are extra special.

When the princes were much younger, I would frequent the balcony again after they had fallen asleep to reflect upon the day and just relax. Back when I had a husband, we would share this time, sometimes wrapping up in blankets to fight off the night chill from ocean breezes. It was a wonderful way to end the day.

I chose this topic for today because Prince 2 used the same topic for his blog today on myspace. He, like me, finds solace on the balcony here at the beach. He suffered a shock yesterday. His friend's mom died - very unexpectedly. Prince 2 had talked with her several times since he had been here, discussing their mutual concern for her son and his current lack of direction. Prince 2 had promised to call her again after he slept on the problem and had some thoughts for solutions. Instead, he had a phone call informing him of her demise. He retreated to the balcony, not only for privacy for his phone calls, but also seeking the comfort of the timeless movement of the ocean its soothing sounds as the waves break near the shore.

Balcony = Peace.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vacation - Day 3

Can you say slug?

That was me. All day. I never moved, despite good intentions.

About 7, Prince 2 showed up, knocking at my door and informing me that he is here for the rest of the week. Cool. No more lonely. Just double the expenses as he eats a lot. He won't eat the stuff that I eat either. Oh well.

He wanted to dine at his favorite local seafood spot, so we took off down the beach. It was closed. We went to Waly World to gather his foods and pick up a swimsuit for him as he couldn't find any of his. Then we went on a hunt for an open restaurant. That was harder than expected. We finally found a place in Pier Park open and managed to find something we could afford. Pronouncement: Very Good.

He got the DVD player working, so we/I watched a movie. He left in the middle to visit with friends from when he lived here last winter.

Alone again, naturally.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Vacation - Day 2

I made it to the Welcome Breakfast (but I had already eaten) and stayed for the owners' meeting. Me and one other person.

No decrease in fees coming - but should be no new assessments either as many major repairs have been completed recently. We still need to replace the living room furniture -most has been here since I bought here 18 years ago.

Pray for no hurricanes. They always get my townhouse unit.

I also made a pilgrimage to Wally World. I wandered through the aisles of Christmas decorations and made a few purchases. Not much, but it was an outing.

For dinner, I cooked my traditional holiday meal - a turkey and dressing with sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce. Had to cook here since my kitchen at home is a disaster area.

Napping has been my favorite pastime.

Jealous? I will be here again for spring break. Come with me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Yesterday I packed my suitcase and loaded my car. I drove to my condo at the beach.

By the time I arrived, it was dark.

I managed to get all my stuff in - losing only a box of tissues and my cell phone in the process. They called from the front desk with my cell phone, but the box of tissues never reappeared.

This morning, I awoke to the sun streaming through the sliding glass doors of my bedroom - and the sounds of the waves as they hit the shore and dissipate into the sand.

Two brave souls froliced in the waves, a few more walked the shoreline looking for shells or enjoying the exercise. There is an indoor heated pool and hot tub near the beach. That is where I plan to spend my time.

I ventured out today only for groceries.

Maybe tomorrow will be more productive.

I hate being here alone. I invited everyone I know to join me, but no takers. I don't understand that. I love the beach in all seasons.

I took some pictures to post for you, but my tech skills are severely limited. Help!


A few days ago I blogged about a forbidden/unwelcome person coming to one of my hearings and having words with my boss about it. As I mentioned then, that person was a state senator, etc.

Well, on Friday KARMA happened. Another forbidden person showed up for my hearing. This time a judge. And not just any judge but the chief judge of the circuit where I will most likely practice. What to do?

I did exactly what I did before. I informed him that hearings are for students and their parents or legal guardians. He thanked me and left. Class act. I was impressed.

Now I still need to decide how to deal with the boss, as we have our "discussion" scheduled for next week. I have my union rep on standby.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I have a will. It should be simple. Anyone over 18 can have a will - if you have the capacity to understand what you are doing - and capacity is easier to have for a will than for a contract.

So why was my wills exam the worst one I have had in four years of law school?

I spent more than two hours taking the exam. That has never happened before. I am usually among the first to finish and do fairly well. I did finish in the first ten or so, but we were all hanging with it.

Part of the problem is that there were two sections of the class - two different teachers - but only one exam. The other teacher wrote the multiple choice section of the exam. My teacher wrote the short answer questions. They will grade the tests the same way. My teacher felt that a couple of the multiple choice questions were poorly written, so he allowed us to write explanations as to why we chose our answers.

I filled in the back of 21 pages of the test with my reasons - and explained a widow's elective share on the 22nd page. The test had 23 pages of questions.

Maybe I talked my way through it. I can only hope.

And I did follow it with not just one but TWO margaritas.

I slept well.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Can I just quit now?

Through my job, I participate in a Deferred Retirement Option Program. I just started it in August, and I have to work at least three more years to benefit from it. Financially, it will be well worth the effort.

But I'm not sure the job will allow me to make it that far.

Don't get me wrong - I really like what I do for a living. Most of my co-workers are also good friends - some I have worked with for many years.

But the boss is another story.

She can't keep her stories straight. She will tell me one thing and my co-worker another. When we make a decision in a meeting, she conveniently forgets it when she wants.

She did that to me today. We - as a group - made a decision back in August about one factor that may influence our jobs. We all agreed to handle in the same way. Today, I was confronted with a person in my meeting whose presence was in violation of that agreement, so I invited him to leave. He refused. He argued. He made smart remarks and derogatory remarks. He happens to be a state senator married to a local politician. When my security officer took him out - he went to tattle. The boss immediately "forgot" the agreement we made back in August and demanded that I allow him to attend. I refused. She demanded. I left it with her and walked out.

Of course, she wanted a private meeting after it was over to discuss my transgressions. I also refused that. I will not meet with her again without representation. If she has any more meetings with us as a group, I will record them - on my cell phone as a video and download to the internet if I must - to prove what happens. (Hey Lisa - I may need help with that!)

Now I need a margarita.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

One victory - two victories!

My exam Wednesday night was a buggerbear. I walked out thinking it could go either way. Teacher insisted it would be Sunday before he sent us our grades and went to the extreme in explaining how he would send them.

Thankfully, I went out of town Thursday and forgot to worry about my grade. By the time I got home, I had a fever of 103 and went directly to bed for 36 hours. Sometime in the middle of that, the grade came via email.

I was thrilled to pass - and not even just barely pass.

Then today, while driving from work to a meeting with the rest of the evening filled with errands that had to be run, I get an email informing me that my MPRE score is now available. Driving the interstate at 70 mph, I am trying to figure out if I can download acrobat reader onto my Blackberry. I finally gave up and tried to forget it.

Finished everything and got home. I immediately went to the email to check the score. But I had forgotten that my desktop and acrobat reader are feuding and won't cooperate. So I had to fire up the laptop and get there again.

I passed the MPRE with points to spare. Whew!

Two victories!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

And the winner is........


Not that it makes me happy, but...

Alabama's coach pulled some nasty tricks during the Auburn game - to the extent that even a few Bama fans took issue.

My guess is that Karma came into play. It usually does.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One down

One exam finished - one next Thursday.

The one tonite exhausted me.

Maybe it would be better if I studied. I fear I have forgotten how to do that. I attend class every week - never miss a lecture. I don't read. I don't study. I just listen and absorb information.

When it comes time for a test, I may review the notes once or twice, then I am finished.

This time, I just don't think that was enough.

I should know by Sunday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is it time to panic?

My first exam of the semester is tomorrow. So far, this class has been a downer. I have done well on the pop tests and with class participation. I bombed the midterm and fell further with the paper. Yet I feel confident about the content and material of the class.

To make it even better, my laptop died on me last week, just before this class's review. I took notes the old-fashioned way - on paper with a pencil. I wrote 11 pages of notes - and I can't read any of it.

Thanks to all my friends who have sent me notes to help me through. I will spend some time in review tomorrow afternoon then go take the test. It can't get much worse than it already has in there.....