For those Bar takers on a Tuesday-Wednesday schedule, it's over in about 4 hours. And personally I always found the second day harder from a stamina perspective. 200 questions make you question your sanity as well as your ability to be a lawyer. I'm think about you all...and thanking my lucky stars it's not me there with you. In fact, I sent in my full set of Bar paperwork yesterday to finally get sworn in. Unlike a lot of other states, New York makes you do the fitness and character paperwork after taking the Bar, not while applying to take it. And being the fatalist that I am, I waited to hear that I passed first before putting together all my papers. And no, I'm not that much of a procrastinator, I actually had to wait on receipt of affidavits from former employers before sending the packet in. I received the last one on Friday. But the best part...trying to get a readable copy of my passing notice. It's one of those mass-created slips that has a built in carbon paper section, which makes the actual notice look like a rubbing from a gravestone. 5 scans and 3 printouts later, I had something where you could actually decipher a whole name and social security number. Hopefully it doesn't look fake to the examiners.
Seems my stomach flu has a long long incubation period, because I've seemingly given my boss my illness. I begged off saying that I had nothing to do with it, since I got it from someone else in the office and that that person should be treated as the incubator of all things evil. For those people in the office who haven't had this yet...the time is nigh.
Meantime, I have discovered Cherry Coke Zero. Or if you read the can, Coca-Cola cherry zero. Either way, it tastes a hell of a lot like regular Cherry Coke, and that makes me happy. There are few diet sodas that I like. Caffeine Free Diet Coke is tolerable, Sierra Mist Zero is not bad. But I can't stand Diet Mountain Dew. So anything that lets me drink soda without getting office butt is a good thing.
Labels: food/drink, sick
Today is okay. Decided not to drive in due to weather, so the BMW is sitting all alone at home. This makes me pout. But, I'm at work...not sneezing my head off for once, so I think it's good day. I know a few of you out there are stressing about more than just weather and colds, as tomorrow begins the horrible process all over again, the first day of the Bar Exam in New York. I know it's scary. I'm scared for you. But, know this...if you feel like you've prepared as well as you can, reviewed all the major sections that should be covered, you'll succeed.
Two hints for tomorrow though: (1) allow time for coat check. It added 30 minutes to my morning, waiting in line to give up my coat...only to wish I had it while freezing to death slowly; and (2) bring lots of layers...hat, scarf, anything you think will make you warm if you could get cold. I sat under an air vent in February, and it was horrible. Survivable, but horrible all the same. My feet are cold right now just thinking about it.
Anyway, for those of you who are about to take...I salute you. And the same holds for those states that start Wednesday.
Yes, indeed if choose to drive, I have a vehicle with which to drive! I took delivery this morning on a bright blue BMW 328xi. And I do mean blue...holy crap it's blue, like NY Knicks blue (Go Knicks...*giggle*). What a sweet ride. And of course, being bright shiny clean I was snapping heads driving around today...and mostly by other BMW drivers. That just cracks me up. Too bad you went and bought boring silver...you could have had blue! Ooooh blue. And I haven't freaked out yet. What's funnier though is, if you had read my lease application, I don't think I would have given me the car. Current employment: 2 months....previous employment: 6 months...yeah, I'm good for a BMW. Thank you credit score. I even like my new license plates...and that's hard to say given the random nature of licence plate numbers. Mmmm....blue.
They say that stress impairs the immune system. Is that perhaps why I so easily caught my spouse's cold and seemingly got it three times worse? My voice has gone to hell, I keep coughing and sneezing, and my boss I'm sure is wondering what else I'm going to do. Yes, because Beanie just keeps rolling with the crisis. I come to work, I hack through my day, and I go home...trying not to have a nervous breakdown in the interim. And oh, did I mention the weather is going to go to crap, and I have to find a way home due to a scheduling issue? It could be far worse I suppose, since we've been doing the car pool thing for a month and this is the first time it's been a problem. Either way, I'm living in a state of panic and I just don't have the energy to do that. I wish I didn't feel this way at work.
Labels: job, sick
I've been at this job now 2 full months. I barely know enough to answer the phone, let alone do my job in an effective manner. I've been attempting to keep my head above water on a daily basis, but the worst part is the dread. I absolutely dread coming to work. I worry that something will happen that I don't know how to handle. I freak out about what to do next. I stay in my office and quietly do things and wait for the phone to ring. It's awful. Do you dread going to work?
Yes, I do seem to still have a blog after all. I honestly got twitchy not being able to blog these last few days. Guess I'm not ready to get rid of the blog after all. Let me get you caught up as to what all happened in the interim.
Like half of the free world, we got snow last week. Lots and lots of snow. Enough snow to keep both me and the spouse home from work. And, because we never go out on Valentine's Day proper, it didn't effect our plans at all. We had gone out for dinner the night before. Mmmm, peppered tuna. I learned on the snowy day that I in fact do work harder at home than I would have at work. I had one break for lunch that lasted all of 20 minutes, but billed 10 hours for the full day. My eyes ached. My couch may never forgive me for the dent I put in it.
Fast forward to the end of the week. Saturday found us making the final decision on the car. We gave Nissan one last shot as well as Volkswagen. (Note: If we walk in the door looking for Audis, don't try and put me in a Jetta...do I look broke to you?) And the winner is....the BMW 328xi. Yes, I have become a stereotype. And you know what? Don't care. The car is that nice. Now, I only have to get over my fears of driving again and I'll really enjoy it. With all the additional snow and ice around, I get freaked out just riding in cars at night, let alone try and drive one. I'm just going to have to suck it up. Of course, I heard on the news this morning that there was a fatal accident not very far from our house last night where a kid hit a telephone pole. I just shuddered.
Today finds me having a long awaited day off. Thank you Federal banking holiday. I have my blog back, a new car on the way, and a day off. I'm happy. Here's hoping it carries over to work tomorrow.
Labels: car, vacation
Sorry I've been AWOL for over a week now, but Blogger decided to lock me out of my blog. Many of you have been switched over to the new version of Blogger, but mine has failed multiple times. Instead, I got locked in a loop where I couldn't login to the old Blogger, and can't log in to the new Blogger. For some reason it seems to work at the moment, so I'm taking this opportunity to blog and hope it works. I'm still here people...just stuck in a technical glitch. I've been waiting to blog about snow, cars, and work, but no place to do it. Let's see if this works.
When we last left Beanie a Saturday ago, a car had not been purchased and test drives were plentiful. Safe to say, the status quo has not changed. I'm having bad dreams about car shopping now, so this had better be winding down. Saturday found us at Saab, Buick, Lincoln/Mercury, BMW, and Saturn. And like every weekend before this one, there was at least one bad experience. Luckily, the good outweighed the bad this time around.
Saab is a good solid sedan. Fun to drive, but not as Saab-like as they used to be. Rather, it's more like a GM clone that has some subtle European styling, but not enough to justify the price tag. Nice salesman though, and a good experience all around.
Buick, well... There's a chain of dealerships in our area. Actually there's two big chains of dealerships, but there's one in particular whose tactics I particularly disdain. Sadly, I didn't learn enough from the first experience with them to avoid a second helping. The idea works like this...greet you, get some very scant info from you and immediately make you drive a car. It may not be the right car for you, but that's fine. They'll try to make you love that car. This is also the group that makes you pick a color before you drive. For the life of me, I don't get that. The push was so fast this time at Buick, I'm not sure what we drove. In fact, the salesman never even greeted me. He never had a clue what my name was. The spouse, yes, but me, not important. We hated the car. It was too Buick-y. It's like riding your living room couch. It had no zip, no reedeming qualities. I might have liked the other model better, but we'll never know because I made the cardinal sin at the end of the trip, I produced a redemption slip. Right now, you can take a test drive with Buick and get $50 in golf merchandise. It's a Tiger Woods thing. I'm interested, I golf. Once I produced that slip though, the guy thought we had played him. He turned us over to the sales manager and walked away. Never got a book on the car, never even got his card. He never took any info from us. The sales manager had no clue about the promotion either. I'll never get those golf balls, but I emailed Buick anyway just because the whole situation was so crappy. I went to thank the guy for the test drive, but he had disappeared.
Lincoln/Mercury was also a semi-weird experience. This dealership also sells Volvos and Nissans, but you'd never know it. For once you mention an interest in one make of car, that's where you're stuck. In fact, we even went so far as to openly mention we might be interested in comparing the Lincoln we had just driven to a Volvo, and he shut us down. How crazy is that? The Mercury was a dog, and the Lincoln...well I'm 32. I don't want to be driving a Lincoln at 32. I don't care what their target demographic is. And anyway...that Lincoln should have been quiet as a tomb, and it wasn't. It wasn't worth the cash.
Our next choice was a fateful one. I was sort of indifferent about driving a BMW. Fighting back against the stereotype I suppose. A couple young professionals, I finally get my law license and go right out and buy a Beemer. How yuppie is that?!? I had no preconceived notions about the car though, and that was a good thing. The salesman talked to us at length about the car and then took us out in a 328xi. I didn't even drive first. But when I did, was it love at first shift? Oh, yes it was. It's everything I've been looking for. Quiet, quick, smooth and fun. When they say it's the Ultimate Driving Machine, it's not a lie. The price tag though is a bit hard to swallow. It's the next level all the way around. But wow, was that cool.
Finally, we ended at Saturn. Why Saturn? Because I had read a glowing review in the New York Times about the Aura. Built on the Opel platform, it was supposed to be this great pseudo-European sedan. It's okay. I know after driving the BMW it would be disappointing, but my biggest problem with it was the visibility. The front pillars flanking the windshield are enormous. Combine that with short side windows and you ended up with really large blind spots. That's the last thing I wanted in a car.
So, where are we now? I have my insurance check safely in the bank. We have a short list of sedans, and enough spreadsheets to balance the World Bank. The time for decisions is nigh. Stay tuned!
Since I've started this job I've had my grandfather die, totaled my car, and most recently gotten the stomach flu. I spent the last two days, either asleep or doubled over in the bathroom. All in all, due to all these crises (sp?) I've only lost one full day and 7 hours. It could be far worse. However, I still worry. If I were my boss, I'd worry. I'm not normally this way. I'm usually the person who doesn't come in late, doesn't take sick days unless I'm really sick, and am reliable as the tide. This last month and a half has been traumatic for everybody. I just want everything to calm down. I mentally can't handle much more of this...and my body certainly can't.
I'm pretty close to being a lawyer...I've passed the bar, waiting on my paperwork, not quite sworn in it yet. As a result of all this, I have some familiarity with our state's laws. That being said, I get blindsided now and again by things I should know, or at least understand.
In my state, if you have an accident that causes over $1000 in damage, there's a form you must fill out within 10 days of the accident, or your license can be suspended. I knew this mostly from prior experience, and partially due to the fact that the policeman wrote a reference to it on my accident report. (Thank you sir for having such nice handwriting, and no I'm not being sarcastic here.) My insurance company sent me the forms and a letter telling me to fill them out 10 days after my accident, so had I waited, or not known about the requirement, I would have been in default.
Fast forward to today, or realistically, Saturday. As it just so happens, our car insurance is due for renewal. I received the renewal the day before the accident (HA!), but did not receive the bill until Saturday. It's due on the 16th. Both of our cars appear on this bill. I don't plan on having to pay for a car I no longer have in my possession and had left a message with our agent asking for someone to contact me regarding this problem. Hearing no response from the agent, I called this morning. And this is when the rules got all weird. Seems, in our state, as long as there is valid registration on a car, there must be liability insurance. To make this all come out right I have to do one of the following: 1) buy a car instantly and transfer my plates and registration (nice idea, but see my previous posts to see why that won't happen), or in the alternative 2) immediately surrender the plates and get a receipt which in turn I have to fax to my agent so that they can see it and say, "This is good" and in turn cancel the liability on said car. And oh by the way, they already have the title to this car, so all I have left are the plates. But that's my problem. Now...the nearly-lawyer in me wanted to argue this point. How can I be expected to effectuate liability coverage on a car that isn't mine? Isn't this the insurance company's problem? According to them, no. It seems that the car is in fact nothing but a plate. And as long as I have this plate, the title can be on the moon. My problem. So now, the spouse has to go to DMV on lunch hour and pay $1 for the privilege of handing over the plates and receiving a receipt. Which I can then fax to them, and have them deign to cancel my insurance so I don't have to pay a bunch of money for a car I don't have. Are we straight now?
So my question is this: If I, Beanie nearly-lawyer, not only didn't know this rule, nor quite grasp why it is what it is, how could the standard schmuck possibly know and/or get it right without guidance from the heavens? Riddle me this Batman!
Still shopping for cars...and seeing as how up to this point we've only taken one day each week to shop, this may take the rest of the year. Something's got to give. Don't get me wrong, I'm not eager to get a car. In fact, I don't miss driving at all. It's one of those necessary evils in my book. Yes, it would be lovely to run errands at lunch, but I just plan around it. That being said, the shopping went better this weekend. First, no active snowfall. Second, most places were more amenable this time around. Maybe I was more amenable this time around. Either way, we went to Hyundai, Pontiac, Volvo, and another Honda dealer. I actually drove five cars. I have some strong favorites at this point. We still have a few places left to check out. I was getting terribly confused by this point, and maybe it's all the time I've spent with my engineer spouse, but I actually brought up the fact that we should create a spreadsheet to do a side by side comparison. And son of a gun, it does help. We were able to knock out models, and in one case a complete company.
Things I have learned though, the hard sell so turns me off. Making me decide on a color before letting me drive one wins you no points. I don't need to visualize myself in the exact color car before deciding on whether I like it. When I stomp on the gas to get out of the way of traffic and it doesn't hesitate, that is the deciding factor for me. Don't try to get us to commit right that moment. It takes us days to buy a TV, I'm not buying a car in 15 minutes. Don't try to find out my life story. I will lie to you, on principle. You don't need to know everything about me to sell me a car. The car will speak for itself. In fact, if you're trying too hard, it's usually a sign that the car is crap. Don't dismiss me when I bring up real issues with the car. If I say the car is shifting too slowly from first to second gear, don't tell me that's the nature of CVT transmissions. Call it Tiptronic, Shiftronic, Pseudomanual, if I don't drive stick, I don't care that you put a plus and minus on the gear shift so I can play around with shifting the automatic. My old car had that too...it was labeled 2. I used it on hills.
There are some things that will win me over though. You will win points if you let us drive it by ourselves. (Given, that is a real rare instance, and only with some GM dealers, but it's still cool.) Don't overplay the safety features. In fact, don't mention anything about crashing. Crashing is something I'd rather not talk about. Just tell me it's got a bunch of airbags all over the place, and I'm good. And finally, don't act surprised that I step on it when I get the opportunity. I want to see what the car can do, and that doesn't mean 40 mph. Work with me here people!
While some of you wait with bated breath for Punxsutawney Phil's prognostication tomorrow concerning winter, I want to remind you to do it while wearing red. February 2nd is the American Heart Association's National Wear Red Day. By wearing red, you are raising awareness of heart disease and stroke in women. Heart disease is the number one killer of women over the age of 25. One in three adult females and males in the United States suffers from a form of cardiovascular disease. This campaign is dear to my heart in that my grandmother died of a stroke, after years of high blood pressure. So, when you're getting dressed tomorrow...add a little red to your wardrobe.