table // guilty pleasure

This is an #augustbreak2014 two-fer. My indulgence is to clear off my work desk (table) every day, several times a day. I am alone amongst my colleagues in this, and it is my guilty pleasure.

 

This is an August Break two-fer. My indulgence is to clear off my work desk (table) every day, several times a day. I am alone amongst my colleagues in this, and it is my guilty pleasure.  A clear desk is helpful in allowing me to focus, so I’m not really guilty about my guilty pleasure!

Going to Court

I’ve been at my job for two and a half months now, and I’m starting to go to court!  It’s very exciting for me, although, like most things, I’m sure it will become boring or even something I dread some days.  But today is not that day!  Today, I am excited to go to court!

I went to a “Short Calendar” in New London yesterday that was only foreclosures.  I went to observe my colleague argue two cases.  As the name implies, Short Calendars are made up of dozens of motions between dozens of parties that can be argued relatively quickly.  In foreclosure court that might be a Motion to Reapply for Foreclosure Mediation made by a defendant, or a Motion to Extend the Law Day (the day the house is foreclosed on) by the defendant, or (in our case) a Motion for Strict Foreclosure made by the plaintiff (in our case this was the Town–we do tax foreclosures), or a Motion for Foreclosure by Sale made by the plaintiff (the Town or the bank).  These are relatively short arguments, and the court hears dozens of them over the course of a morning.

Well, yesterday was a bit odd.  Everything moved slowly, and my colleague told me to leave at 11:00, even though he hadn’t argued yet.  I needed to go to Probate Court in Norwich to read through a file, and then we needed to get back to the office to prepare for a Trial/Administrative Appeal today.  So I reluctantly left, not having seen the argument.  Next Monday I will accompany him to a foreclosure Short Calendar in Middletown.  And at some point, very soon, I will have to go to the Short Calendars by myself!!

So today is a Trial/Administrative Appeal.  It’s an appeal of a decision by a Zoning Board of Appeals.  You appeal those decisions to the Superior Court, which is the trial court level in Connecticut.  So even though it’s an appeal, it’s heard at the trial court level.  I’m not exactly sure how that all shakes out, but I’ll find out today.

My very first day of work, two and a half months ago, I was given the task of writing the reply brief/trial brief for this case.  I read a bunch of case law and zoning regulations, and went through a half-dozen drafts back and forth with my colleague.  So I have a soft spot for this case, and I’m psyched to “second chair” the trial.

 

In other news, I’ve been loving the August Break photo-a-day program.  A few weeks ago I was at my grandparents’ cottage with my brother and sister-in-law.  We were chatting about Instagram, and I said that you could follow me on Instagram to see pictures of my cats.  “And food!” my sister-in-law added.  “And food, indeed!” I agreed.  The August Break prompts have given me a new perspective on things to share.

I obviously adored the “in my bag” prompt, sharing what’s in my work bag, my clutch, and my organizer cube that goes from bag to bag (thanks Tom Bihn for retweeting that link!  My blog traffic really spiked!!!).  Taking the “selfie” brought me a bit out of my comfort zone, but I was reminded of the Dove Selfie Campaign video I saw in January (it’s 8 minutes long, but worth it).  I feel generally more inspired to capture different parts of my life, now, which is super cool.

I also have been appreciating my camera, which lets me take cool shots, like this one where only the water is in focus.  I posted what’s in my camera bag, and I’ll write more about my camera set-up sometime.

 

I hope your August is going spectacularly.  Wish me luck at court today!

All the best,

Eliza

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Mid-Summer

So, I’ve been working!

I started working June 2, which means I’ve been working:

  • 8 weeks
  • 56 days
  • 1344 hours

(do you guys use timeanddate.com?  It’s great!)

Eight weeks.  It seems like I’ve kind of been working there forever!   It’s a really good job, and it’s a really good fit with my background.  I am an associate at a small (4 lawyers) land use law firm.  We specialize in municipal law, planning and zoning, and wetlands law.  We also do some real estate law, some tax foreclosures, some wills and estates.

The job is 9-5, plus evening meetings.  Of the 8 weeks I’ve worked there, 6 weeks have had two meetings, one had one meeting, one had none.  It’s not unheard of to have three meetings.  The meetings definitely make for a long day.  I still try to get to work around 9:00am.  We work until sometime between 3:30 and 5:30 (depending on travel time to the meeting), then drive to the town, eat dinner at a restaurant and strategize about the meeting, then attend the meeting.  The meetings usually start at 7:00 or 7:30pm, and can last from one to four (or more!) hours.  I always get home after 10:00pm (after the Fairfield nights [see below] I got home a little before 1:00am).

Two weeks ago I had two meetings in Fairfield, CT, which is a good 90 minute drive.  And the meetings were contentious public hearings for affordable housing developments, so they went late.  Fairfield has an end time of 11:00pm, which is unusual.  Most towns just go until it’s done.  There are stories around the office of meetings going until 2:30am!  Fortunately, that is the exception.

It’s been an adjustment, physically, to the work schedule.  The first weeks were rough.  I slept a lot, and weekends were so short!  But I seem to have turned a corner.  This weekend I actually tried to take on some home improvement projects!  That’s an improvement from my “just survive” mentality up to that point.

I’ve been sworn into the Connecticut bar, so I can go to court in Connecticut and sign court documents.  I’ve done both of those things, which is thrilling!  I framed my diplomas, and my name is now on the office door (!!!).

It’s definitely been an adjustment to working, but it’s been so good.  It’s good to be doing what I trained so hard and so long to do.  And it’s nice getting a paycheck!  I hadn’t worked for pay since before Alan and I married, five summers ago.

Here is a photo of the sky outside our house right now.  We had odd weather today: rain in the morning, steamy sun in the afternoon, and ominous clouds in the evening.  Alan says it reminds him of tornado weather, but I’m not sure he’s ever lived in tornado country before…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

All the best,

Eliza

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starting, again

Hello, again!

 

After an extended quiet period, I’m back.  I have news: I got a job!  Starting Monday, I will be an Associate Attorney with a small, Land Use law firm in the greater Hartford area.  It’s a very good fit for me with my Law degree and my Master’s in Urban Planning.  I am just thrilled to be finally (finally!) starting my career.

 

The last eighteen months have been tough.  December 2012 I finished my Master’s degree.  I had already graduated from law school in May 2012, and I already had taken and passed the New York bar exam.  But December 2012 is when I started waiting.  I waited nine months for Alan to finish his PhD, so we could move.  Then I had to wait six months to take the Connecticut Bar exam, and another three to find out if I passed [I did!].

 

I didn’t enjoy waiting.  Sure, my friends would mention that they’d love an extended vacation, and yes, it’s been nice to take daily naps if I want.  But I realized early on that rest is only rest if you’re resting from something.  The weekend is sweet because you’re going back to work Monday.  Getting up every day with an entire, open day in front of you gets tiresome and demoralizing.

 

On the other hand, I really learned how to be alone in these eighteen months.  And I think it’s been a good lesson.  I’m more comfortable being alone with my thoughts, alone in the quiet.  I used to get quite frustrated with the time between 5:00pm, when I wanted Alan to come home, and 7:00 or 8:00, when he actually arrived home.  I hated that quiet, alone time.  I wanted to be talking about my day, making plans for the evening or weekend, discussing dinner or current events.  I wanted to go right from school/work to talking.  I’ve learned to be happy with some quiet, alone time.

 

I have lots of fun things to tell you about.  Since I’ve gone quiet, I’ve taken up crosswords and Crossfit.  We’ve started to renovate and redecorate the new house.  Alan and I found a church we really like, and have gotten involved in small groups and service.  I bought a whole new work wardrobe (see above RE: Crossfit), and am embracing the idea of a capsule wardrobe.  For nine months, I got to be close to my sister (she was in Boston, we’re 100 miles away in Hartford), and then I got to help her move to Minnesota for an awesome new job.  I’ll work on telling some of these stories, as well as new ones that haven’t happened yet.  I’ll also continue to link to my Instagram account, so you can see snapshots of my life (which is mostly the cats).

 

Well, today is the last day of my 18 month vacation.  I’m going to do some grocery shopping and maybe take a nap.  :)

 

 

 

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Week Wrap-Up // Link Round-Up // Jun 8-14

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Happy Father’s Day this weekend!

Monday I drove to Niagara Falls to have lunch with my old co-workers from an internship four summers ago.  They are the greatest, and it was so, so good to catch up with them.

Last night I talked on the phone with Alan at 10:15.  He told me he was working overnight, as he has for the last six weeks or so (his typical hours are noon – 4am.  Yes, that’s 16 hours).  I asked him if he’d be home next week at 10:15, hanging out with me.  He said he hoped to!  The end of the dissertation is in sight!!!

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Are you a journaler?  I just started a new journal.  This post has me itching to start a dinner diary, too. {Dinner, A Love Story}

My Ladies’ Night has just finished watching Wives and Daughters.  Up next, also by Elizabeth Gaskell, is North & South, which apparently has the most romantic ending of all time (check out the post’s comments).

The grammar of this makes me a little twitchy, but I signed up for iDoneThis.  It’s a simple service that emails you daily to ask what you accomplished that day.  You reply to the email and it keeps track for you.  It reminds me of the maxim: What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.    {via Daniel Pink on Lifehacker, via The Well-Appointed Desk}

This has been all over the internet the last few weeks: Why Finnish Babies Sleep in Cardboard Boxes.  It’s a great example of how systematic problems call for systematic solutions. {BBC News Magazine}

With Google Reader closing shop soon, I’ve transitioned to feedly.  While it’s nice to scroll through all the posts and read those that interest me most first, I really, really miss the “next” button in my bookmark bar.

Do you have any mini-series recommendations?  Any plans for the weekend?  Would you use a cardboard box bassinet? 

 

photo is homemade cream of broccoli soup with cheddar, which is packed with vegetables and delicious
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