Last Day

As many of you already know, today was my last day as an associate at Baker Botts. I had many great opportunities there over the last three and one-half years and will miss my many wonderful friends, colleagues, and mentors.

On June 18, I will be joining the litigation section of Baker Hostetler, here in Houston. I am looking forward to the new challenges and new opportunities there.

Return of the Blog

After posting to this blog only 5 times in all of 2011, I have decided that it is well past time to revive this blog. I regularly come across material that I would like to share on here, but inertia and the press of other concerns tend to take over. No more.

In 2012, I hope to post every week, at minimum. This should be easier than it has been in the past, thanks to a new phone (Baker Botts is now supporting iPhones) and a wonderful new gadget: the amazing and useful iPad 2 that Sarah and I received for Christmas. This truly is an ingeniously designed device. I am actually typing this post on it, which is not quite as natural as typing on a full-size keyboard, but still remarkably easy.

Anyway, look for a major rebound in this space soon.

And if I haven’t talked to you in the last few days, I hope you had a merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2012!

Jamaica and the Amazing Airtight Humidor

We just got back from Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and it was awesome. Last week was our first real vacation (“real,” as in longer than a three-day weekend and not a holiday visit with family – a true getaway) since 2008. It was way overdue, and well worth it.

One weird finale to the trip: my travel humidor vacuum-sealed itself on the flight back. The air pressure in the plane’s cargo hold got low enough that the travel humidor’s lid was sealed so tight after we landed that I couldn’t get it open. (I did eventually get it open, but only after wedging the file attachment on a pair of nail clippers between the base and lid and using it as a lever. Even then, it took about five seconds of hissing for the interior and exterior air pressures to equalize.)

Anyway, now it’s back to the grind tomorrow.

Treadmill

I’m writing this on my treadmill! We bought a SurfShelf Treadmill Desk for those times when we want to work out but need to work or have something else to do on the computer. Pretty sweet.

Calmness, Continued

I have not been posting much on here, lately, ironically because I am not super-busy, despite having a lot of opportunities for professional development and a lot of fun experiences. Life has remained at a good, non-frantic pace since the last entry, and we have been relishing the free time. That said, I plan to start updating this more often, again. The blog is a very useful thing when I’m actually using it, which is far too rarely.

Question for my readers, assuming I still have any: I want to brush up on my foreign language skills and, ideally, acquire additional languages down the road. I’m looking at the Pimsleur Comprehensive materials, and have liked what I’ve heard so far. Has anyone used these? I know what all the reviews say, but would like opinions of friends before purchasing anything.

Craziness Halted

For the first time in several months, we’ve both been able to leave the office at pretty normal hours, without taking work home, more than once in a week. Finally, our respective cases have calmed down enough that we’re running near a normal work week again. It’s nice.

Also, big congratulations to my buddies Phil and Kathleen on becoming parents to a healthy, beautiful baby boy!

House, Work, etc.

Things are still very crazy, but going well. We close on our first home Tuesday, which is very exciting. Of course, Sarah has to be out of town for a trial – she’ll come back for the actual closing. As if that weren’t enough, my main case has kicked back into hyperdrive; my two-item to-do list when I arrived at work expanded to a dozen-plus items by the end of the day. I did manage to get most of them done; the remaining items are quick and can be handled in the morning. It is good to be busy, though, and to be developing as a professional. Meanwhile, off to sleep!

Workin’ for a Livin’

In order to catch up from the disastrous start to my week, I had to find another gear if I was going to get my latest project partner-ready in time for said partner, in turn, to get it client-ready in time for delivery to the client today. It was a good project on a great case, with great people, for a fascinating client, but it was a very big task.

What did that mean in practical terms?

In practical terms, I billed 26.6 hours between 8:32 AM Thursday and 4:00 PM Friday.

Ouch.

When it rains…

Blogging hiatus: over. The last week or so was insane. We got slammed at work all week, went to look at houses – we’re a ways out, but you gotta start early – Saturday, then went to a housewarming party Saturday night. Sunday slowed me down – way down. I got some sort of stomach bug which kept me home from work yesterday, which is unfortunate, because I really needed to bill 16+ hours over Sunday and Monday to dig out from last week.

Today: made it to the office, spent all day working much harder than I felt capable of doing, given how tired and weak I felt, came home… and discovered someone had had loaded my trash can to the brim with unsacked trash. Yes, again. In fact, on those Mondays – in this case, Tuesday, due to the aforementioned stomach bug – when we don’t rescue our trash can after pickup but before work, there is always trash in our can. Some people are just… jerks.

So, I went inside to call the city and plead for another pickup, then relax for a few minutes before going over this memo that occupied my entire last week… and my glasses broke. I was putting them on my nose and they just snapped, with a nice little “bang.” So… first thing in the morning is not work, but a trip to an optometrist. For those who don’t know, I am can’t-read-a-stop-sign-at-five-feet blind without corrective lenses. Literally – I’ve had that happen. I failed a driver’s vision test once for failure to locate the test machine once I had my glasses off. My eyes are that bad.

When it rains, it pours, folks. You can’t work a gazillion hours, or take care of personal affairs, or even get sick or take out the trash, without something else coming up. I am counting my blessings, really – it could be much worse right now, I know. But, I’m still annoyed, and that’s part of why I have a blog.

Thanks for listening, and may your stomach stay healthy, your trash emptied, and your glasses intact.

Crazy Busy

Sarah and I were laughing just yesterday at how recently, as very new associates, we were waiting to get staffed on enough cases to stay busy. We both have all we can handle, now, and it’s not busy work. Some of it is less than glamorous, but it’s all real legal work that has to get done and is useful to our clients. I, for example, have reviewed more than 30,000 documents from a single source for just one case; I have 41,000 to go. It’s tedious, yet it’s great; I have a good command over what is in those documents, which knowledge will be increasingly helpful to the case team as things progress. On the other hand, I am helping research key strategic elements of a case in its infancy. Fascinating stuff. Sarah has similarly huge and interesting workloads, and is thriving. But, wow, is this week busy.

I have a handful of mini-posts I hope to make later; work permitting, I will. Now to get some sleep…