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I’m sitting on a patch of grass, on the edge of the parking lot of my office building. My building is one of many neighboring office buildings, and my friends work nearby. Paul works directly across the street, Dan works around the bend in the road, and Friend organizes food trucks to come visit.

It might not be a glamorous area of town, and my building might be the plainest vanilla box you’ll ever see, but it takes me 15 at most to get here every morning, and there is plenty of free parking.

I took off my long sleeve shirt and am sitting in the sun in a tank top. Of note, this would have probably (or definitely) gotten me fired from last job. It is 70 degrees, bright blue sky, and I’m eating roasted red pepper hummus and carrots. A few of my coworkers are walking laps around the complex for exercise. The interstate is buzzing along behind me, and although that could be an annoyance, I’ve gotten rather fond of the noise.

At my last job, I was only allowed 30 minutes for lunch, on a good day. It is hard to drive to Wendy’s and back in 30 minutes. The job before that, my bosses liked to discuss cases at lunch, and lunchtime was not my own time, and the places we ate would have put me to sleep for the rest of the day if I’d actually eaten it. Work lunches were simply part of the job, and I think that is reasonable in certain professions like small law firms. I did lose ten pounds in the 18 months I worked there, as a side note.

Having control over my own lunch is an amazing privilege that I try to never take for granted. I go to lunch whenever I want between 11-2, and I live in a place where the weather often lends itself to sitting in the sunshine. My coworkers like to pick on me because I eat a turkey melt on an English muffin every day. But it is a privilege, and I am going to enjoy it, because it makes me happy.

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Charleston is the biggest city I’ve ever lived in, besides the summer I spent in Rome, Italy (I also spent a summer in Rome, Georgia, but that is entirely beside the point). When I go home to Augusta, I am impressed by the breadth of the sidewalks and the dampness of the dirt, and the abundance of organic material. It makes me realize that there are not a ton of trees in charleston, shade and yards are scarce, and the sidewalks are narrow. It makes me feel like Charleston is a city, a real city!

Right now, I’m drinking a glass of red wine, a Tempranillo, at the Sofitel in downtown DC, waiting for Bizzy to get off work. I’m reading a copy of High Fidelity that I swiped from Bizzy’s house (I accidentally left my nook at home, buried somewhere in my covers). I went to lunch with Cybil, and all in all, this visit has capped off a month of excellent friend contact and quality time.

My plan was to go to New York tomorrow via bus, and watch Libby run in the New York marathon. Hurricane Sandy (superstorm sandy? Dr. Sandy? Professor Sandy? Judge Sandy? Dean Sandy?) has interrupted these plans.

I called US airways to request a rebooking under the travel advisory on Wednesday, as Laguardia was indefinitely closed, and traveling to New York seemed ill advised. I wanted to fly home Sunday from DCA. They said they would be happy to change my return flight for $175. This seemed ridiculous to me.

On Heather’s advice, I took to twitter, and very nicely requested help from the US airlines twitter people. They were unable to rebook me completely, but my original Monday flight from LGA to CHS had a layover in DC, and they were able to delete the first leg of my return trip, preserving my DCA>CHS flight. So, yay twitter! And yay for an extra long weekend in DC.

DC is a stark reminder that Charleston is less of a real city, and move of the movie set of a city. Charleston downtown is so compact, and quiet, and quaint. As a side note, apparently only Europeans stay at the Sofitel. I’m picking up fashion trends from the European teenagers. Braids and big neck scarves, leather jackets and fur cuffs.

Last night, we went to the drag queen race in DuPont circle. It was amazing. This bar has the perfect pitched conversational murmur, in a dim lit red and stained wood setting. Outside, the overcast sky and the wind gusts down the streets shake the trees, and the huddled figures with scarfs and mittens, boots and long jackets, bring on an element of late fall, November, and the cusp of winter that is not yet available in my southern coastal movie set.

Libby will still be running on Sunday – I wish I could be there, and I’m so proud of her training and dedication and fundraising.

I hope you all have a spectacular weekend full of ethnic food, old friends, cozy dark bars, an international community, drag queens, roof tops, bodegas, craft beer, red blends, sweaters, leather jackets, deep conversations about life and love, tall boots, hot coffee, yoga, falling leaves, and good music (with soul! With feeling! With funk! Chasing that old time feeling). I think that is enough for one weekend.

XOXO

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On Tuesday, Jennifer and I went to Career Day at Angel Oak elementary school, to tell 4th-6th graders about being a lawyer.  We made up a little skit trial about the dog eating a kid’s homework and had a fake robe and a gavel and some candy.  I bought the candy at CVS on my way to the school, for dirt cheap because it had hearts all over it and it was February 15th.  I also bought some sweettart gummie hearts.  For myself.  Well, career day was definitely an experience, but the kids got to pick which careers they wanted to learn about and we lawyers really couldn’t compete with the bird of prey trainer who had a real life hawk on his arm, and the police officers who had handcuffs and a siren, the chef who cooked things and the firefighters who brought the damn real live fire truck.  There were a few kids who wanted to be lawyers in the first two sessions, but the third and fourth session had one kid and then two kids, and all three of them seemed a little confused as to why they ended up in this session. 

This morning, I discovered the gummie hearts in the candy bag, and thoroughly enjoyed entirely too many of them.  As I was eating them, I was thinking, these are going to make you feel sick, stop! Stop! STOP!  But my mouth was saying, THESE ARE AMAZING!  I COULD EAT THEM ALL!  Well, my mouth won the day, and now I feel vaguely awful.  I need to go eat some lunch to even out all this sugar. 

The high today in the low county is 78 degrees. I am so happy.  The entire weekend is suppose to be amazing.  Last night there was a full moon, and I had some wacko dreams. 

So, I was paying my verizon bill online today, and it never ceases to amaze me that EVERY TIME I pay the bill on the computer, seconds later my text message alert goes off, and it never fails, I pick up my phone and think, hmm, who is text messaging me?  And EVERY TIME, it is just verizon telling me my payment has been received.  At what point, do you think, I’ll come to expect that text message and not fall for the fake out text?  It makes me concerned I have brain damage or something.  I do really love text messages, the noise is so fun, and you just never know who it is going to be!  Sigh. 

I have a few recommendations for new television shows.  Hawaii 5-0 is everything the promos say it is and more.  I didn’t want to watch it.  I thought it was going to suck.  It does not suck, it is awesome, and has awesome actors.  Pretty people, pretty scenery, good stories.  A+. 

Harry’s law is awesome, it is like a cross between The Practice and Boston Legal, two of the greatest legal shows ever.  It also has an amazing case, and some awesome humor.  Love it. 

The weekend is going to be huge.  The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is all over the place, the weather is going to be spectacular, and Kate and Trav are coming tomorrow.  It is so exciting, I’m going to have to start early.  Love y’all!  Be good.

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Last January, I struggled with the pronunciation of 2010.  Twenty-Ten?  Two-Thousand-Ten?  Eventually, I was told that the correct pronunciation was Twenty Ten.  Okay. 

This year, I’m again confused.  Twenty Eleven?  Two Thousand and Eleven?  Most of the radio commercials here in Charleston have decided to go with Tweny-Leven, which I’m fairly certain is not the proper pronunciation, but it sure does roll off the tongue real nice.

It is no longer dark when I leave work, which makes me insanely happy.  Sometimes I worry at my emotional stability by how happy certain things make me.  Like the sun setting a minute later every day.  I got so excited about the sun staying up longer, that I figured I needed to know more about when this whole daily light saving thing was going to happen. 

I found this sweet little website, and I learned a few things I’d like to share.     First, and most importantly, mark your calendars for March 13, 2011, because that is when summer officially begins as far as I’m concerned.  Then, I want you all to know that it is Daylight Saving Time, and not Daylight SavingS Time.  Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle).  It modifies time and tells us more about it’s nature, namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight.  The site goes on to say that the term Daylight Shifting Time or Daylight Time Shifting would be more accurate, but neither is politically desirable.  (I find this interesting.  What makes it undesirable?  People don’t want the government shifting around their daylight?  Hmm.)  The US of A begins daylight saving time two weeks before Europe in the spring, and ends it a week later in the fall, giving us A-mare-ic-uns three more weeks of extra daylight shifting.  The website has a lot of other interesting facts, none of which I find interesting enough to discuss right now, other than to say that the idea behind DST is attributed to Ole Benjamin Franklin. 

I went to New York last weekend for an engagement party for Libby and Bryan.  The party was Mad Men themed, and I have to say I believe it was a complete success.  I succeeded in teasing my hair up about half a foot on my head.  I hadn’t been to New York in TWO YEARS.  It was a quick trip, and the weather was BRRR, but it was really fun.  There was tons of snow.  And wine.  Haha. 

The weather tomorrow is suppose to be sunny, high 63, and the weather on Sunday is suppose to be Sunny, high 67.  I’m so happy it is friday, and I’m so happy about the impending sunshine and the fact that it is only going to get warmer from here on out.  I anxiously await the day where my feet and shoulders are bare, the humidity causes my sunglasses to fog up when I go outside, and the inside of my car is consistently over 110 degrees.  I’m dreaming of beer with condensation, leather seats that burn the back of your thighs, and the smell of sunscreen.  Happy Sigh.

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So Icy

Everyone in the Southeast had a snow day today.  Everyone but a large portion of the city of Charleston.  Despite the fact that my stairs were coated with sleet, all of the bridges were closed by 10 am, and ice was heavy on the trees outside my office window, I did not get a snow day.  When Susan Elizabeth was in town on New Year’s Day and we drove across the Ravenel Bridge, she told me to make sure I appreciate every day I drive over bridges and across the marsh and the sky.  Last week, on my way to work early, the sky behind me was lit with the rising sun and the sky in front of me way navy blue with rolling rain clouds.  Above me was seven hued rainbow that arched from horizon to horizon.  As I drove, the rain clouds rolled and eventually it was raining on my car while the sun was shining.  I love it when the devil is beating his wife.

On rainbow days like that, it is very easy to appreciate the sky and the weather.  Today, less so.  I’ve decided the way I’m going to make it up to myself for missing a snow day is to make a promise that when it gets warm, I will leave work early whenever possible, and take days off when available, and spend all my time at the beach or on a boat.

Briscoe and I made soup yesterday.  I love the way celery and onions smell at the beginning of soup making.  And garlic.  And tomatoes.  Mmmm.  I let Briscoe sleep in the bed with me last night because it was so cold, and she’s a great little heater.  When I woke up this morning, my feet were cold, and my little fuzzy heater was nowhere to be found.  I found her in the middle of the king size guest bedroom, sound asleep.  She shattered any delusions I had that she slept in the bed with me because she liked being near me.  Obviously I understand she has a lot more room to stretch out in the guest room, but please.  I can’t help being a little hurt.  She can sleep in the kitchen tonight.  On the floor.  You know, on a pillow with a blanket.  Like a dog.

Natalie and Travers gave me a pair of Hunter boot for Christmas.  I wore them for the first time today, and they made a splashing debut.  I love them, they make me happy.  Travers sent me a text last night around midnight of the snow that was already accumulating in Augusta.  Briscoe wanted to be with Bobby playing in the snow.  I’m going to take her to the beach to play in the pluff mud sometime soon and make it up to her.  She loves mud.

I had my follow up appointment for my appendectomy today.  It lasted about three minutes, and I was told I don’t have any activity restrictions, so I don’t have an excuse for not working out.  Sigh.  No more being lazy.  Haha.

 

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Windchills and Regrets

It is cold here in Charleston, South Carolina.  Not that it really mattered to me today because I was inside the whole day, but it sure looked cold out of my window.

As I was getting onto the interstate on my way home from work today, I saw blue flashing lights ahead and realized two seconds too late that getting on the interstate was not a good idea.  I stopped.  Considered my options.  And realized I had to continue onto the ramp of stand still traffic.  Ugh.  I knew the fluffy puff was waiting patiently at home to go outside, and I hoped she was sleeping.

When I finally made it 1/4 of a mile after 20 minutes and saw the wreck, I was instantly glad I stayed an extra 15 minutes at work.  It was for real.   There was a mercedes that had taken quite a beating but the driver and passenger area looked totally intact, which made me feel safe in the silver bullet.  She now has 199,500 miles, give or take a few.  The silver bullet is getting her 200k badge for Christmas this year!

Briscoe was extremely pumped to see me when I got home.  I felt guilty that she hadn’t gotten to do anything fun this weekend besides snuggle with Uncle Matt and lick and sniff all over Aunt Jennifer, so I decided to take her on a walk to look at some Christmas lights.

I knew it was cold, but figured I’d be okay in my layers and gloves and headband.  I should have taken into account the 20-30 mile wind, but I was so happy to be outside, and Briscoe was so happy to be outside, we ignored the cold.  I quickly paid dearly for this poor decision-making.

Briscoe was in high spirits, and her little dog breath made puffs of smoke as she jangled down the sidewalk, stopping to sniff and forage.  At one point she was chewing on something and I had to stop and manhandle her until she spit out a chicken bone.  My precious knitted gloves were no match for the 30 mph arctic blasts.

By the time we made it home, my hands were numb and Briscoe’s smoke puffs had become a constant cloud.  We were both very happy to get inside our warm apartment.  My hands were so cold I couldn’t get Briscoe’s collar off.

After a scalding hot shower, flannel pajamas and a bowl of hot chili, I’m starting to warm up.  Briscoe is asleep next to me on the couch and she’s a great little heater herself.

I hope you are all as cozy as I am tonight!

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Briscoe is at the salon today, getting her hair did.  Her hair was getting so long I was starting to feel neglectful.  I can’t wait to pick her up so Bobby can have a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.

I’ve been getting some awesome blog love from Betsy and Molly, my sweet Atlanta friends who I never get to see.  But I was lucky enough to see BOTH of them this past week.  It’s amazing how long you can go without catching up with the important people in your life.  Actually, it’s amazing how fast time goes by and how quickly life seems to happen.

Speaking of which, I’m really happy that the time changed last weekend and the daylight last an hour longer every day from now on until the fall.  I love spring, and I love summer, and I’m excited.  Also, I’m starting a new job on Monday!  It’s time for new beginnings, and I’m ready for a new challenge.  Until Monday, I’m working on getting my life put together and cleaning my house for the Masters!  Did you hear that Tiger is going to make it this year?  I don’t know how I feel about it – it’s going to bring a lot more hype to the week, which can be fun, but it can also make everything more difficult for us local people.  But the golf traffic signs are up and the flowers are starting to bloom!

First the red buds were blooming, then the Japanese magnolias and now the Carolina jasmine and the blue star onion flowers have started to bloom and it’s only going to get better from here!

Soon the cherries and the dogwood and the azaleas and wisteria and the whole world will be covered in flowers and everything will smell wonderful!  I can’t wait.

Of course, all this talk of warm weather and flowers blooming ignores the reality of pollen and allergies and bugs.  After playing tennis outside last night in Waynesboro I was violently reminded of the reality of pollen and bugs.  I think the flowers and the pretty weather are worth it.

Happy Tuesday!

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