BACKGROUND

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Waisting Away...and other stuff

The misspelling in my title is intentional. I decided I should probably write a blog about the whole weight loss thing since it's the big deal of my week. This past Sunday, my regular weigh-in day, I finally hit my goal weight. After 10.5 months, I'm down 60 pounds and 8/10 sizes. I went from 190 to 130, size 16 to size 6/8. I'm feeling really good about that. Sometimes I look at the pictures of the old me and I can't believe I ever let things get that bad. Before/After pics for your viewing pleasure are here:

Fat/Skinny

In other news, I was in the gym at 4 a.m. this morning. This is indeed news to those of you who know me and know quite well that I am not at all a morning person. I tossed and turned from 2:30 - 3:45 or so this morning and finally just got up and drove to the gym. It was a good thing because I had a double workout today. I didn't go to the gym yesterday because I wasn't feeling good and needed to come home and rest. So today I made up for yesterday's workout and completed today's as well.

What else is worthy of mentioning today...hmmm...nothing much really. I'm going to court in about an hour and that shouldn't be much of a big thing. I hope I can find metered parking because I have a bunch of change, but no real cash for the parking lots.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I'm the attorney

I think I may be a real lawyer now. I appeared in court three times last week in three different counties. My boss had a family emergency so I ended up having to take his court appearances. It was a great experience for me in a lot of different ways.

First of all, the fact that I was able to find the courthouse in some of these places was a victory. God Bless Mapquest. Secondly, it's a great thing to just get the feel of a courthouse, to get to know the layout, where the clerk is, and so on. Finally, the more I appear in front of the judge, the more comfortable I get with it. I'm feeling good about being able to say "Lawfrog, Attorney for the Petitioner (or the Respondent)." In fact, I feel pretty darned great being able to say that and know that I can get things accomplished for my client.

On another note, I feel it's worth mentioning that, regardless of what the studies show about lawyer personalities (see my previous post), attorneys are a pretty good bunch of people. At least, that's the case here in Houston. The family emergency my boss had meant he couldn't prepare for some of the hearings he had to be at this week so the other attorneys agreed to move things up a bit to give him time to get through his personal issue. Lawyers may be sharks in the courtroom, but in the game of life, they can be dolphins: friendly creatures ready to aid you in your time of need.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Are we really different?

So get this...apparently, someone has actually done research on how lawyers differ from the general population. Not only that, the research goes from pre-law to practicing lawyer showing the changes that are made (or in some cases accentuated) in a person who chooses law as a career field. Interesting stuff for those of us in the legal profession, but boring for everyone else as is the case with law stuff in general;) For those who care or are too bored to go elsewhere on the internet, check out the research:

Proof that Lawyers are a bunch of depressed, addicted, aggressive nuts.

How Lawyers Differ from the General Population.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Workplace attraction

I've been in a couple of different professions now and I know people in many others and I've come to realize that there are some shared traits among people who choose certain professions. I wonder if we're attracted to our jobs because they reflect our best and worst qualities? Here are the traits I've noted among different professions, both ones I've worked in and ones I know people in:

1. Non-Profit Workers: These people want to change the world one person at a time. They truly care about humanity and want to make a difference in life. However, they become easily burnt out (who can blame them, NP work is hard) and they tend to move on to more education beyond their original degree or to a job where they can make more money and have more structure.

2. Journalists: These people are typically curious and driven by the need to know all the facts about any given situation or person. They want to tell the stories of others and tend to be good listeners and observers of people and life in general. On the downside, they have poor health habits, often eating junk food at their desks and they too tend to burn out as news is a 24/7 business that can get really exhausting really fast.

3. Lawyers: The majority of the people in this profession are conflict-oriented. They love a good debate or fight and will argue to the death, though they tend to do it confidently as opposed to having a lot of anger about their convictions. They can argue either side of an issue with gusto. Downside: they are totally annoying with their need to be right all the time and their high rates of depression and alcohol/drug abuse. This is a good profession for people who like to talk and love to win.

4. Teachers: I love teachers. I have many friends who are teachers. Teachers tend to have the patience of Job and truly love seeing children learn. They want to make a mark on society and they are good at putting a positive spin on bad news - who wants to tell the parents that the kid they think is a genius is really a total dumbass who will do nothing productive with his life? And yet, teachers know how to get this news across without making it sound like the worst thing in the world. Downside of teaching: money. There's not enough of it and there's not enough hours in the day to do the things you need/want to do in your classroom and with the kids. This is an exhausting profession.

5. Secretaries: These people are often the real brains behind any organization. They are organized, efficient, and get the job done. Downside: never enough recognition for what they actually do. High turnover because they are seen as low on the totem pole even though they actually contribute more than anyone else to the smooth operation of the company.

So, those are my observations on jobs and the people in them. I've only held jobs in the first three categories I mentioned, but it's interesting to me how it seems that certain professions attract the same sorts of people. One thing that I've learned being an attorney is that I fit more as a hybrid of a non-profit/journalist/lawyer type. I can argue confidently and win, but it's not what keeps me going. I am not always spoiling for the next fight and I'm not an angry person with addiction problems. I like to listen to people's stories and help where I can. I enjoy some aspects of being a lawyer, but others are not my cup of tea.

But then, perhaps it is that way in every profession. Some good, some bad, and you just roll with it all until you find your true life's calling where you can feel passionate about your work and desperate to get back to it every day.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Good Morning Sunshine

Hmmm...I may be in danger of becoming a morning person. I never, ever, ever thought this would be the case. I still do my best work at night so I suppose I'm still a night person by definition, but since I started working, I gave myself a big kick in the ass and made myself get it together. I now get up every single work day and get to the gym by 6:30 a.m. I work out for an hour before I start a full work day, which lasts anywhere from 8:30 - 7 p.m. So far I haven't had to stay later than 7. I now get to bed by 10:30 p.m. at the latest and I repeat it all the next day.

I cannot explain how great I feel to take my seat in my office at 8:30 a.m. knowing that I've already worked out. For one thing, there's no "workout guilt." I've done it so I don't need to worry about it. For another thing, it loosens me up and makes me feel strong. That's a good way to start the work day especially when you have a job where you are constantly learning something new every day. Starting every day strong in that situation is priceless.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Keep on going...

This is a fantastic song for surviving those times in life when you've got to walk through the fire:

Music Video Codes by VideoCure.com

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Random Ramblings

A few random thoughts have crossed my mind recently and I thought I'd share them as we wind up the work week:

1. How do people who work for the IRS pay their taxes?

2. Knowing crazy exists in this world and seeing crazy up close are two very different things. For more details on what I mean, e-mail me.

3. My mother is the best. I called her at work today to tell her about the crazy shit referenced in number 2 above and she patiently listened, gave some excellent advice and did it all while working. My mother is the queen of multi-tasking, a great mom, and an excellent friend. Love you mom!

4. If you can't sleep, you should just get up and go to the gym. This morning, I woke up at 5:15ish and just couldn't get back to sleep. I was in the gym by 5:50 a.m. and had a great workout. It's really weird to see the sun come up while lifting weights though.

5. Thank God Tomorrow is Friday.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Productivity is Up

Somewhere, someone is missing a burst of energy because this morning, I was hit with a major energy burst. It's Saturday, the day I normally sleep in and roll out of bed around 10:30 or so. Today, I was up at 7:15 (that's a.m. people). I felt awake and ready to roll and that's exactly what I did.

I got the following accomplished before 9 a.m. this morning:

1. Went to the dry cleaners and dropped off my work blazer. I have very few clothes that need to be dry cleaned because dry cleaning is expensive, but after wearing this jacket to work every day for the past three weeks, I decided it needed it. Plus, it's actually the jacket that goes with this cute skirt I have so I don't want to wear it every day. I'd rather save the wear and tear on it for when I'm wearing that skirt.

So, I bought another blazer yesterday and will start wearing that one daily with my work slacks. I figure I can get away with dry cleaning that one twice a month (at a cost of about $12 a month). If it starts to smell bad in-between cleanings, I'll take it more often.

2. Went to the gym, worked out a new membership plan that is going to save me A LOT. I'm paying outright for the plan now, which is probably the best idea because automated payment plans with gyms can bite you in the ass. I personally have had no trouble with the automated payment plan I was on with the gym for the last 18 months, but I've heard enough horror stories from various people that I felt it better to pay outright, plus it's a lot cheaper if I do that. For a horror story on payment plans, read my best friend's blog entry for Aug. 4, 2006.

3. Got on the treadmill and did 30 minutes of cardio. Ran 15 of those minutes. Feeling good:)

4. Stopped by the hardware store to see about having keys made. They didn't have what I need so I'll have the keys made tomorrow when we do our weekly grocery shopping.

So, that's been my Saturday thus far. I can't believe it's only 10 a.m. here and I've already gotten several things knocked off my to-do list.