Thursday, March 30, 2006

I Am In Control Day

Thanks to Deals, I'm having fun with holidays. I used to have fun with holidays through bluemountain.com, but then they started making you set up an account, which I refuse to do, so I had to give that up. And now the fun is back! Today's holiday is I am in Control Day, which is appropriate, because that's what I chant to myself all day, every day. [March 9, Panic Day, is one I've celebrated for years, and I seem to have my own motto of "make EVERYDAY panic day."]

So about today's holiday:

I am in Control Day
When : Always March 30th

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt. Lots of confusion prevailed. In the White House, then Secretary of State Alexander Haig was taken a little out of context when he said "I am in control here". Instead of focusing upon the entire statement, people and the press foscused upon these few words. Political uproar eventually led to his resignation.

On that infamous day, I am in Control Day was born.

History sometimes fades with time. Alexander Haig's statement was all but forgotten. Meanwhile, this special day continued on, and evolved. People came to think about this day in a different context. They personalized it into a day to get their life in control. In that sense, today is definitely a call to action. "I am in Control Day" is your chance to get things in order and under control.

Most likely, the first step is to take a deep breath and relax. Now, assess the situation, and.......... get things under control. Once you have accomplished this today, you can work on staying in control everyday.

Important Note: This day is closely related to Panic Day (March 9th) Perhaps you went through Panic Day before getting things under control, and you are now celebrating!?

Also, don't forget the real roots of I Am in Control Day, as spoken by Secretary of State Alexander Haig in 1981.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Diets, Aging, and Other Fun Stuff

This weekend my sis and I turned the big 3-0. We are thinking of it less as a traumatic event and more of the start of a new part of our lives. Or, I should say, that’s what we are telling ourselves. For my part I don’t feel any different, except that about once an hour, I have a mini panic attack as I remember my new age. The upside to getting older is that I don't care if I look frumpy at the gym. The downside is that I look frumpy at the gym. Also, my whole body is falling apart.

My last semester of law school is barreling towards its conclusion, and that also has me mildly panicking, because I’m very used to school. It’s a sort of comfort zone. And law review, as much of a pain as it is, is also very familiar. It’s something I’m good at. I don’t get to do things I’m good at very often. Ask me a Bluebook question. Go ahead. The Bluebook and I are friends, man. We’re tight. We’re like this [picture me crossing my fingers]. The good news is, I talked to my boss last week about life after law school, and he assures me that this general feeling of incompetence only lasts for, oh, four or five years. After that, he assures me, I’ll feel pretty confident in my ability to do my job unsupervised. I’m happy to know that at least at some point I will not feel like I’m getting everything wrong.

In terms of the home front, I’ve been working out more regularly, but compensating for it by eating as though at any moment, they will stop making processed sugar and cooking oil. That has to change. Hopefully, that will change a little bit now that rr and I are doing the Self Challenge and our own personal version of the debt diet.

You may be thinking to yourself, “wait, she’s listening to Oprah?” Well, no, only sort of. I think she’s a little full of herself, so she's not the first person I turn to when I need advice. But I do think the debt diet is an idea whose time has come, and in fact it's something that rr and I have been talking about for some time now. RR and I used to look around at people we knew in our age group and wonder how they managed to afford such nicer things than we had. We just figured they were better with their money. Later we realized that many of them lived beyond their means by living off of credit cards. We as a country are a little too credit card happy. Did you know that if you pay off your balance on your credit cards every month, the credit card industry’s name for you is a deadbeat? They want you to carry balances and miss payments and accrue fees, but they also will wreck your credit if you get in over your head (which is what they want you to do). We have become a nation too worried about having things.

RR and I don’t have the swimming in debt problem (other than student loans), in that we don’t use credit cards except for things like car rentals. But we do spend way too much money on little things, and so we don't have nearly enough in savings, and we can almost never afford any big purchases. How often do I buy coffee at Starbucks? Or put that extra junk food item in the grocery cart? Or go out to eat with my friends at lunch because it sounds more fun than eating what I brought from home? How often do we buy something extra to celebrate some special occasion, or it’s been a hard day, or it’s been a good day, or any excuse we can come up with to buy those cinnamon rolls/ice cream/coffee/dvd/new c.d.?

So now we are trying to go just one pay period without buying anything other than necessary groceries and gas. We’ll just see how this goes. If it works, it should make my actual dieting easier, because I can't cheat. Say a prayer for us! Or better yet, join us! Misery loves company . . . I mean, there's safety in numbers! Come on! Won't you just hate it if I have lots more money and am much thinner than you?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Today's Installment of "What the . . . ?"

Yes, I have not posted in almost a month. It really hasn't felt like that long, though, because I've been crazy busy. I don't want to be "woe is me" here, because I know everyone is busy. But still. I honestly can't remember the last day off that I had. I work every day pretty much from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. Between school work, law review, and work, I'm always going. I feel like that scene in Indiana Jones where that giant boulder thing is rolling after him and he's just a few steps ahead of it.

I have finally finished doing my required public service hours, though. The school I attend makes us do 30 hours of public service. I think it's supposed to encourage us to do pro bono. Or maybe it's to show the pampered, spoiled kiddos I go to school with that life ain't always so grand outside "the bubble." I don't think it works, though, because they all seem to find cushy public service. Whatever. I'm graduating.

So anyway, the place I was doing my public service, I was in this office, and someone, at some point in the timeline of its existence as an office, had decided to "decorate." No doubt this person thought she was doing a good thing--you know, make it a little more "home-y" or something. But . . . not so much.

There was this painting on the wall, and it was neither well-executed nor appropriate. I mean, it wasn't indecent or anything, it was just . . . I don't know how to describe it. There was like this face, and then below it or around it, I can't remember, there was some kind of wolf or something, and I think it was supposed to be evocative of Native Americans? But it looked more like the cover of a fantasy/sci-fi book written by a 15-year-old boy that he illustrated himself. It had a Napolean Dynamite flair to it, only it was more disturbing than that. It did not feel appropriate for the office, which has nothing to do with Native Americans or sci-fi. I don't know. I really can't describe it well, except to say that everytime I saw it, I thought "WHY is that in here?"

But the real kicker was the figurine on the windowsill. I did an actual double-take then step in and squint at it, "what the heck is that?" type situation. I just . . . I don't actually have words to describe this. It offended me, because something about it tells me that I should be offended by it, and it repulsed me, because it is repulsive. I don't understand it. I am freaked out by it. I was freaked out at working some place where someone thought it was a good idea to display it.

I don't know how to describe it, so I'll just show you. The picture isn't great because I took it with my camera phone, but I think you'll get the idea.

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You see? Here, let's get a little closer:

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YOU SEE?