Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To Do

I always have a long "to do" list, and credit Jay Hyde and Mike Ferrari, then Waldenbooks buyers, who impressed me years ago with their Franklin Planners and effective use thereof (see, I talk like a lawyer now). I got one myself and found it very helpful, although my mother said it was like a Barbie doll in the way it demanded accessories such as cute little hole punch, cute little pouch for stamps or pens, cute color paper for lists, etc.

Once I was at IDG, surrounded by people with PalmPilots, I was mesmerized by them, and still love my Palm (I think I am on my third since 1999 when Katie McGowan and I bought them online simultaneously while we talked on the phone) despite the fact that there are much fancier gadgets around. In its prime, my Palm's best feature was that I could access a spreadsheet listing all the books I own so that I wouldn't purchase duplicates. Now the annoying thing crashes whenever I try to open a spreadsheet. Palm - or at least its agent, Circuit City - blamed this on Documents-to-Go (software) so refused to honor the warranty (hardware). By then I had a BlackBerry, so I decided it was silly to waste my energy fighting (and Circuit City has gone bankrupt when clearly I would have been spending millions in their store if not miffed).

Still, the "to do" list on the Palm is MUCH better than on the BlackBerry. The only challenge is when one scribbles an item quickly and later on cannot figure out what it was meant to be! For example, on May 17th, I have a note for myself: "Check Maria Holt."

The logical meaning would be that Holt is publishing a book in May called Maria which I should either order or read or both. Yet a quick search on Amazon yielded no such book. There is a Macmillan author named Maria Holt who writes on the Middle East but that is not my thing. There are a few random people on Facebook by that name but no one I know. I suppose the meaning may come back to me in the middle of the night but in the meantime I will move it to the bottom of the list, along with:

* San Diego, Fall 2011 (so I won't forget to go!)
* Quilt Museum, Lowell (before 2011, I hope)
* Frame diplomas (for a long time I had misplaced my college diploma, now I can't find my law school diploma)
and so on . . .

Friday, March 27, 2009

Woe is Me

It's always so sad when the basketball season ends but to watch my cherished Blue Devils get blown out by Villanova was agony. Jon Scheyer kept doggedly trying to get the offense going but the magic he had during the ACC Tournament was mysteriously gone. It also seemed all wrong to be up in section 303 when I am so used to sitting in great seats at the Garden for the Beanpot. Really, I would have seen better on TV. It felt very odd for the Blue Devils to be at the Garden at all!
Can it be true that my players are too nice to be sufficiently aggressive? Where is Christian Laettner when you need him? Making a very cute commercial with Rick Pitino . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

The Detroit Tigers are opening their season on Good Friday at 1:05 pm. Many Catholics are concerned about having to choose between church and baseball, and clearly some of the churches are afraid their parishioners may go for the baseball. However, I am not sure why the game couldn't be at 4 pm, thus avoiding the sacred hours of noon to three. Not to mention, many people attend evening services.

"Nobody is saying baseball isn't big, but Good Friday is really big," [Father] Vilkauskas told The Detroit News. "It's 2,000 years old."

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Something had to go when I began law school, as 24 hours was insufficient to work full time, get a JD, occasionally eat, sleep, exercise, and read my email.* I kept the Betsy-Tacy list, and rarely skipped a message, even if it was midnight before I had a change to read them all. I kept the Georgette Heyer list, although often I had to delete those without reading them (even in digest form, they accumulated). I did, however, cancel my subscription to Girlsown, the boarding school story listserv. It had often been enjoyable - and my love of school stories continues unabated - but some of the discussions focused on series I didn't follow, such as the Chalet School** or the Abbey series.

And without fail, this group always returned to the most bizarre topic - hair washing. There was always a faction (the Americans and the younger Brits) who insisted daily hair washing is essential. Yet there was an odd faction that tried to assert that once a month was just fine, and that once your hair/scalp adjust, your hair doesn't "need" daily washing. Okay, I don't care if you have dirty hair or not, so long as I don't have to touch it, but the arguments became tedious. This sort of discussion group only works if people discuss the books. I said goodbye to Girlsown, but stayed in touch with the members I like. And my friend Sam forwards me any particularly juicy messages.

Still, I was amused to see this article on NPR on that very hair washing topic today! One caption in the article is: "Skipping Shampoos Is, Well, Un-American." I am amused to know I could start WWIII by forwarding it to the Girlsown list . . .

* Although often short of time, I consider hair washing an essential activity.
* This is not to say I haven't read the Chalet School books. I first came across them in a Bermuda bookshop when I was 11, and was allowed to buy three. Naturally, I chose The School at the Chalet as that begins the series. However, for some unknown reason it never captured me the way other books and series have. Which may be just as well - I have enough obsessions already.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A call from the FBI

My law firm presented me with a very cumbersome old style BlackBerry last week, complete with local phone number and unlimited calling in the U.S. (although no text messages). I wish they had been willing to hook up my BlackBerry Curve instead; not only because I don't want to give up the cell phone number I've had for ten years but also it is lighter and more attractive!

I've been working so hard on a project the last week or so that I hadn't had time to focus on the weird wrong numbers I've been getting on this new phone. Today, however, I had to retrieve my first voicemail (which took a few minutes, since I had not had time to set up a mailbox) and got a message from an FBI agent asking me to call him! I assumed it was a prank but then I hesitated, and finally I pressed redial. When a man answered, simply saying, "Hello?" I was even more convinced it was a prank. He sounded very sincere, however, swore he really worked for the FBI and said he was trying to reach a woman named (I think) Jenkins. I explained that he had the wrong number but then he read back my phone number (I had to check it - I haven't even memorized my work phone let alone this new cell number) and it was the same. We both hesitated, wondering, but then I told him that I was a lawyer and had just got this phone a week or so ago, along with its phone number." "So the number was probably available and just assigned to you randomly," he commented. He sounded so disbelieving that I said sarcastically, "Maybe she knew you were after her, disconnected her phone and left town." I laughed but he didn't.

I couldn't help thinking that it would make a great first page or chapter of a book!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Duke wins ACC Tournament!

Sign seen in the crowd at the ACC tournament . . .

Duke fans celebrate a 79-69 win over Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference men's tournament championship in Atlanta, Sunday, March 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The mere fact that parties disagree on the proper construction of contractual language does not necessarily establish ambiguity."
First Mass. Bank, N.A. v. Florian, 16 Mass. L. Rep. 213, 2003 Mass. Super. LEXIS 139, *22 (April 28, 2003).

Believe me, if there weren't some disagreement, I would be home in bed!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Go Pap!

One has to admire Jonathan Papelbon for saying what everyone else was thinking . . .

On the other hand, I am sick of Manny and would prefer the local media ignore him altogether, rather than put the story on the front page of the Globe.

Let's concentrate on March Madness until Opening Day, please.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Isn't the glass half empty?

Women who look on the bright side of life have longer and healthier lives than their pessimistic peers, while women who tend not to trust other people die sooner than their less cynical counterparts, a large study of attitudes and health found. . . Optimists expected good things to happen and cynically hostile women were extremely mistrustful of other people, according to survey definitions.

This is bad news for my siblings and me! Not that we are cynically hostile. Just sometimes cynical and sometimes hostile.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a terrible sports weekend!


Harvard men lose to Brown in hockey AND basketball!


Harvard hockey loses second game to Brown and is eliminated from ECACs! Is this *because* my parents went to Aruba on Tuesday or were they simply spared the misery of watching?

Harvard basketball beats Yale (good) but I wasn't there (bad) and because of losing on Friday, we finish below .500 which is very annoying.

Women's hockey upset by RPI! That is more surprising to me than the men's hockey team losing.

Newton North boys basketball loses to archrival Brockton (after beating Durfee last week!).


Celtics lose (and Rondo is injured so Marbury started (boo) - no, it wasn't Marbury v. Madison, I like that Marbury).

Bruins lose to Rangers (Not very vested in the NHL this year but it's part of a big slump, a pity when they were doing so well).

Duke plays one good half, then runs out of steam in the second half, losing to the Tarheels. Now we have to play BC again (if they beat UVA in the first round of the ACC tournament).

(It wasn't a good weekend for Granny either. She fell last week, went to the emergency room, although didn't spend the night, and has been in great pain ever since.)

Red Sox:

Opening day is less than a month away!

Tax problems

I have to admit I am disgusted by Obama's [would-be] appointees who have tax or other illicit issues, and really wish that Geithner, in particular, had stepped aside. Surely he must have been mortified to be pilloried on SNL? In addition, hearing that the White House vetting process has practically come to standstill just makes me wonder why they didn't accept my offer to come help with the Transition? I have no doubt that the piles of resumes (including mine) vetted to do the vetting are in a pile somewhere while everyone else is pushing the Obamas as a brand (but not as dolls, that got canceled) . . .

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Writer

I really hadn't been following this series (it makes me sad to think about reluctant readers who prefer cartoons to books) but I was interested in a Washington Post article about the cartoonist behind Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009