Lawyers are Evil.
I have, in a general sense, felt friendly toward legal minds. I'm attracted to power, like big words and thought LA Law was a kick-ass show when I was little.
I have come to realize over the past weeks that the lawyer jokes and curses are so totally correct that I've abandoned even as case-by-case judgment system of those who practice and am instituting a full-scale lawyer alert for all my professional interactions.
Here's the deal. I held my Big Event, right? And I was handling logistics and writing my talks and gathering all the external presentations and had generally a lot of stress and tasks. So there's a small chance I may have neglected to get pre-approval on all my expenses. Maybe. But, just after the event was over and I had time, I dutifully spent a day filling out the forms and uploading documents and signing everything in triplicate.
About a week later, I received an outraged email from one of our legal team. Ursala asked why I had not obtained pre-approval. How I knew I was allowed to sign the form. Why I had not submitted to the legal process as required by God and the United States of America and her bestest pal, Satan himself.
I replied to her and her boss, Skeletor, because he was copied, that, well, it was their form, downloaded from their website. As the authors of said document, they should feel pretty good about approving it. I did not apologize, primarily because I don't like Satan and I wasn't particularly sorry about it. And I learned getting smart with legal is probably not a great idea.
Ursala and Skeletor brought in Lex Luthor and all three of them were talking about how Sick and Wrong I had been before I sent another note that said, "OK, wait. What part of the form do you actually find problemetatic? Are we arguing over an actual issue or just the fact that I didn't bow and scrape and follow your time-consuming, asinine process?"
And the villians started shouting 'non-compliant!' and 'risk!' and 'the sky is falling! Well, not actually. But it could!' and sent me very Stern Warnings about Not Doing That Again. So I checked on their forms in their process and they'd had to approve everything I'd submitted. Because it wasn't technically wrong. And I laughed. Because while the forces of evil may cause problems, they do not, in the end, win.
Children are adorable.
"Aunt Katie," was the most common phrase of the weekend as Little and Smallest One came with their grandparents for a visit. I hid Easter eggs for them to find. We played with Play-Doh and sidewalk chalk. We took walks and went to the playground and took a trip to the zoo.
I snapped several photos after we rented a stroller and before we completed our visit with the ride on the train. That's Smallest One, all of 'two and half' years, with Dad. He asked if he could ride in the stroller with her and she was giggling at him, replying "You're too big!" even as she clutched his t-shirt in her little hand. And it was lovely, holding Little One's hand as we watched the penguins swim around. Propping Smallest One on my hip and reading her the signs when she asked "What's that?" before wrinkling her nose at the snake in the case and responding "I don't like that."
They are also exhausting, which I know I always note, but I don't know how parents do it. When do you sleep in and read books and compose blog posts when there are art projects to complete and swings to push and animals to point out when they're hidden in their habitats? As I curled up in the sun on my cushioned patio chair, closing my eyes but continuing to hear the sounds of the "boogie woogie dance" happening on another part of my deck, I shook my head and thought I remained pretty happy with my similarly sleepy dog.
They're wonderful though, my nieces. Little One reminds me of me - so sensitive and serious and driven to succeed. Smallest One is more like Brother - outwardly unphased by much of anything, responding to scoldings by placing her hands on her tiny hips, raising an eyebrow and saying, "Excuse me?" rather belligerantly. So truding downstairs to get more pink milk (we put strawberry syrup in it so I keep a container in my refrigerator) at 2AM was OK, but I was rather pleased when they left and I could sleep without interruptions.
Friends are (somewhat) fleeting.
I've always tended to be a 'love the one you're with' type. While I'm doggedly loyal in some cases, I struggle with long-distance friendships. I abhor talking on the phone, first of all, and now that I do it many of my working hours, I have no patience with lengthy conversations during evenings and weekends. I don't really take vacations and can multi-task by speaking of work and personal issues if I spend time with colleagues outside work. Plus, I enjoy solitude tremendously. So I'm a sucky friend.
I acknowledged this again last night since the friend who left a while ago returned for a brief visit. I sighed with sleepiness, but put on clothes, fixed my hair and make-up and went to town to meet everyone for sushi last night. And it was fine - there's this wave of affection when I see people and I realize I still love them very much. But it strikes me as somehow pointless - to reestablish connections continuously when there's no hope of seeing each other regularly.
So I came home after a single bar, curling up with Chienne and falling asleep while my friends remained on comfortable lounges in dimly-lit establishments, sipping fruity drinks and catching up. But I was happy, selfish soul that I am, so we'll leave it at that.