January 28, 2008


My search for a new phone has not been easy. I have cell phone issues, with both service and selection.

My Verizon contract has been up since September. I have been casually browsing for a new phone and carrier since, but did not get serious until November. I spent a couple of weeks researching phones and finally found one. The day I went to purchase it, I was told by a sales associate that as of that morning, Sprint was no longer selling the phone. I still see Rumors in Sprint stores but figure my experience with trying to purchase one was a bad sign.

I moved on and spent another month researching phones. During down hours at work, I was surfing CNET and every major carriers Web site religiously. After deciding I was not ready for a full blown smartphone (a la the Treo or Blackberry) and music wasn't a big factor (see, Juke or Walkman), I settled on this. Many reviews said this phone was perfect for people looking for their first smartphone. I loved it mainly for it's tasks list and calendar functions. It is made by Palm after all.
With my sights set on this phone, I set out once again on my lunch hour to purchase a cell phone. I went to the Sprint store across from my office, however they only had the phone in pink. I am not a pink phone kind of girl. The sales associate also told me she didn't know of any stores in the Loop that had red Centros in stock. Instead of spending the next hour or so scouring the city streets, I went back to work and made some calls. The associate was right. None of the downtown stores had it in red. They said check back in a week.

After unsuccessful calls this weekend to stores near my home, I tried again today. At work I made three calls. No luck: Three stores, none with the phone I want. They had pink or black, but not red. Not wanting to wait another month, I went online. My Verizon bill recharges on the sixth of every month. If I didn't get this taken care of soon, I might as well wait until March so I wouldn't be paying double.

I started filling out the appropriate boxes and not long into placing my order for new service an IM chat opened up. "Jessica" walked me through my checkout and even offered me a $50 discount off my first bill just for using her throughout my purchase. And yes, I had no problems getting a red phone online. My Centro should ship tonight and be here tomorrow.

My lesson learned here is sometimes what seems too easy is just that - easy.

This has been personally a record-breaking year in terms of electronic purchases. The cell phone will complete my trifecta of electronic upgrades: cell phone, laptop and digital camera. But don't worry. I'm not getting all fancy. I'm still the same old girl with a tin foil TV antenna.

January 23, 2008

Sexy Specs

I picked up my new glasses this afternoon. I love them. My old ones are OK, but they're old. I thought they were cool when I got them during my college years, but it was time for an upgrade. And I upgraded.

To illustrate, here is me with contacts (AKA no glasses):

Now here are my old glasses.

Not rapist glasses, but not great.

And here are my new glasses.

So cool, retro cool. And zebra striped inside.

Did I mention how much I like them? Cause I do.

As an ending note, I learned today that my good friend, Kelsa, will be moving a bajillion states away. She's currently in Michigan and is moving to Arizona for a promotion and some serious sun. I am uber-excited for her and my prospects for visiting Arizona. It's 5 degrees in Chicago right now. Congrats again chica!

January 22, 2008

A Bit of a Downer

For those of you reading this blog, congratulations. You made it through yesterday, also known as Jan. 21... also known as the most depressing day of the year - at least according to Dr. Cliff Arnall, a researcher at Cardiff University.

Or was it? Bill Tancer diagrees.

January 19, 2008

A Not So Perfect Pitch

My violin is in good working order for the first time in years. I picked it up from the repair shop today and was a giddy as a kid. In the store, I held the violin, placed it under my chin, picked up the bow and pulled it across the strings.. and they hummed perfectly. It sounded amazing.

I took it home and couldn’t wait to play more. I’ve kept all my old scale books, beginner books and advanced books. The good news is I can still read them, I still remember how the notes should sound and I still can play the rhythms. For it having been so long since I played, I thought I wasn't sounding too bad.

I don’t think everyone agreed, though.

Oscar started meowing within five minutes of my playing. And then another five minutes later, I heard a neighbor of mine turn up his or her music very loud, I think in an effort to drown me out. I didn’t care though. I played on, with Oscar meowing and the neighbor’s music going the whole time. I did eventually stop, but not because I felt they wanted me to stop. I stopped because I was getting a headache.

I still maintain I sound pretty good.

January 9, 2008

Career Opportunity

I learned today that I do choose my life over work. I've always said that I am that person, but I've been tested on that statement lately and as of today, I know I am the type of person who chooses her life.

A co-worker of mine approached me a few months ago with a unique travel adventure - 13 days in Morocco this coming May. We'd have our own local guide, our own driver and everything already arranged. All I had to do is show up and have fun. Oh, and belly dance on night on the shores of Morocco by the light of a full moon. It is such an amazing trip I couldn't pass it up, nor could I stop talking about it. As a result, I've recruited three friends to join me on this trip. To take two weeks off work wouldn't be easy, but I knew this trip was at a time where work should not interfere.

A few weeks ago, I learned that the judge assigned to my big, time-consuming case was switching divisions. That meant a new judge for us with his own new schedule. I had no idea when he's have time to fit in our four-week trial set to being in a little over a month. Regardless of the schedule he had, I was certain our previous trial date of Feb. 25 would not stick.

I still don't know when our trial will be, but things are not looking good. Our firm is trying to create a schedule to submit to the judge. It is something unfortunately that will have to accommodate for at least a half dozen people's schedules. We are pushing for an April trial. The other parties said June, so the compromise inevitably will be May when I plan to be in Morocco.

The good thing about my case is I am not the only paralegal on it, so someone can take my place. This is a case I have been on since the first day it came to the firm. It something I have dedicated more time to than I'd ever care to admit, so just giving it away didn't sit well with me. Plus I've been in this profession for about a year and a half now. I know the market right now is in demand for paralegals with few years work experience and some trial experience on their resume. Needless to say, this trial will be a boost for my career.

The moment I thought about backing out though, my friends came to mind. I talked three amazing women into joining me on this trip. They would not be going if it were not for me, and based on a few conversations, I was pretty sure they'd back out if I did. And then if we all did, the number of people on the trip would dwindle from seven to three, and the trip can't go on with less than four people. It was a domino effect I felt weighing on my shoulders the second my mind wandered down that path.

So I had to make a choice - my personal life or my career. And as you know from the beginning of this post, I chose the trip. When talking about my options with a fellow coworker, I was able to boil it down to this: there will be more trials, but this will be my only chance to go to Morocco. The country will be there for a long time obviously, but this trip with these great women, will not happen again and I cannot not imagine not being there.

* A complete side note: I began training for the Shamrock Shuffle today. I ran two miles in 23 minutes. I know that is not fast, but it's also not a bad place to start.

January 1, 2008


It was New Year's Eve 2005. My friend, Jenny, and I were sitting in a cold car outside a friend's house. I was in a pretty low place and was looking to make some serious changes in the coming year. Jenny felt the same. Being that we've known one another for more than a decade, we made a pact. Not wanting to make resolutions, we each listed five goals we had for ourselves in the coming year. We wrote them down and held each other accountable for our goals. I’m happy to say this is a tradition that has continued for us. So here you are, as I've shared them with Jenny, my goals for 2008 are:

1. Do a physical activity lasting at least 20 minutes, four times a week.
This past year I did not focus on my health. It was a big push of mine two years ago to take up running and get in shape. This year, I want to get back to that. I don‘t want to focus solely on running, so I‘m hoping to try a little more diversity in my workouts. I will have belly dancing once a week, I‘m signing up for classes at a yoga studio and I plan to buy some light weights so I can do some light strength training at home.

2. Make an educated vote for president.
My friend, Kelsa, listed this as a goal on her blog and I couldn’t think of a better idea for the coming year. I will vote, but unlike in year’s past, I plan to research for whom I’m casting my vote for before I do.

3. Volunteer one day out of the month at a charitable organization.
This past year was a very good one for me. I was given a lot of opportunities and I seized them. So in the spirit of giving, I want to give back. I don’t know what organization I am going to give my time to, but I’m going to find one, and when I do, give it at least one day a month of my time.

4. Take violin lessons.
I used to play the violin. I played it for eight years. When I played I always said I don’t want to be one of those people who said I used to play the violin. Well, I used to play the violin. No more. I’m taking lessons this year.

5. Learn about my family's history.
A good friend recently pointed out to me that I’ve made an effort to travel the world and learn about and absorbs aspects of many different cultures, but I haven’t made that same effort relating to my own culture. I am incredibly proud of feeling diverse. I would like to feel as proud, if not more, to learn about and absorb my own family’s history.

Happy New Year to all. I’ve already come up with a slogan for the year: 2008 - It’s gonna be great! Here’s hoping it is for me and you and everyone we know and love.