Monday, January 25, 2010

respuestas, parte tres

New week, new answers!  Before I delve into the "Career" portion of our little Q&A Session, I thought I'd answer some follow-up questions from last week's responses...

How did you decide to buy a second dress for the wedding?  And when did you change into it?  I'm considering one for my wedding in case I overheat in my dress / can't move comfortably enough for dancing.  Thoughts?

I actually didn't purchase my second dress - it was my mother's wedding gown that I had altered into a short dress!  Ever since I saw Father of the Bride when I was a little girl, I've loved the idea of a "Going Away Outfit" (remember Annie Banks and her adorable white blazer / white and navy pleated mini skirt combo? adorable!)... I think its such a fun tradition that has kind of fallen by the wayside.  When we were told that the sound ordinance in our venue's area prohibited us from carrying the reception past 10:45, we decided to have a little "after party" for anyone who wanted to keep celebrating back at the hotel where we were staying the night.  I knew I wouldn't want to hassle with my wedding gown at that point so I decided to change right before we left.  I originally thought I'd purchase just a fun cocktail dress (I was thinking sequins) that I could wear again, but then I remembered my mom's gown... It was such a fun surprise for our guests - especially those that were present at my parents' wedding over 35 years ago - and it felt great to get out of my gown and drink my face off socialize with our guests a bit more.  I'd also love to wear this on our anniversary every year... its all clean and waiting in my closet for this March 28th!

I changed into the dress right before we left... My gown was very light and it was a little chilly on our wedding day so I was very comfy dancing the night away.  I think having a second gown for all or part of your reception is a fun idea if you have a very cumbersome wedding gown or its very hot.  But remember... you only have this one day to wear your wedding gown!  As much as I loved my going away attire, I was really sad to take my gown off!  

I loved your answer about fitness and eating.  I'm also trying to eat less processed foods and trying to cook healthier.  I'm also a stress eater, and when I'm miserable, I want comfort food.  So I can totally relate.  Do you have a hard time staying away from snacking or bad choices when you are out?  I find I do ok at home, its when I'm out and about that I have a problem.

Sure, when I eat outside of the house, I'm definitely tempted!  However, eating out is one of (my) life's greatest little pleasures and I try not to stifle that enjoyment by stressing out over menu choices!  I love Mexican food and since I became unemployed, I don't eat it very often... I ain't ordering a taco salad when there's mole to be had!  And if I'm eating at Craft? I'll be damned if I'm not ordering risotto (can I get an amen, MM?)!  I do try to concentrate on portion control - it'll be just as delicious, if not more so, tomorrow for lunch!  And when I overindulge, I amp up my cardio and cut down for the next couple of days.  Of course, we don't eat/drink out as much as we used to... Back when we ate out more / ordered takeout frequently, I tried to make much smarter choices (more salad / less risotto) since it wasn't such a "treat."  That was extremely difficult and I didn't always follow through on keeping myself in check.  Thus... weight gain.  Unfortunately, I don't have the secret to being motivated to make those smart choices... unless you count "become unemployed and be forced to cut down on unnecessary expenses" as an awesome piece of advice.

HOWEVER, capable of eating out a ton or not, my new, personal rule is that I don't indulge unless its worth it... eating crappy Mexican food?  Is not worth it to me!  This goes back to the "conscious and conscientious eating" thing... I've tried as hard as possible to cut out all mindless eating - that's where I get into trouble.  One of my tricks is always bringing my own snacks if I'm invited to an event at someone's home where I don't know what's going to be served (ie: every sporting event get-together known to man).  One, contributing something to the hostess' spread is polite etiquette that would make your grandmother proud... Two, it offers an alternative to making a dinner out of buffalo wings (NOT WORTH IT).  I'm a big fan of hummus with veggies and this bean dip recipe... as well as cheese platters loaded with fruit and nuts.


What was your major in college?  I always wonder what random people studied in college so I figured now would be a good time to de-lurk and ask!

I always like knowing about majors too - its always neat to see if that "college path" led to a corresponding career or if that person is doing something completely different!  I majored in Spanish Language & Literature, with a second major in Sociology. Wake Forest requires each student to take 4 semesters of a foreign language - as an entering freshman, you can take a test to potentially place out of several semesters.  I placed out of 3 semesters of Spanish and told my parents during orientation that I'd never take another Spanish class after the first semester of my freshman year.  And then I came home for Thanksgiving and announced I was majoring in Spanish.  I have no idea when I decided that but I'm so glad I did!  Sociology was my "fun" major but I ended up taking lots of social deviancy courses which led to an interest in law.

Are you glad you went to law school?  If you had to make the decision over again, would you still go? 

Oooo boy!  This is a question I've thought A TON about!  After ruminating for months (a year?), here's my final answer... I went to law school for entirely the wrong reasons (I've written about this, in a round-about way, before).  I was young, my self-esteem was low-ish, I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do with my life, except I WANTED TO BE IMPORTANT, GAWD DAMNIT. Oh, and I watched a lot of Law & Order: SVU.  I am the poster child for why I think law school should be like business school... 3-5 years of real-life experience before you even think about applying.

Getting off my soapbox for a minute... I loved law school.  Lots of people find themselves in college - I found myself in law school.  My mind was challenged in ways that I never thought possible.  I learned to live on my own - REALLY on my own... like, if-I'm-out-of-TP-its-totally-my-fault on my own... and difficult-thoughts-can't-be-pushed-aside-with-roommate-chatter on my own.  I met one of my very best friends who I never could have survived without.  I met Evs.  I rediscovered my love for writing.  I rediscovered my confidence in front of an audience and my love of entertaining.  Law school was an invaluable experience.

OF COURSE, there times when I think "oooooo what would life be like if I had moved to NYC for no real reason at 22, like I'd always wanted to?" or "oooooo what would life be like if I had bummed around Europe some more after graduation?"  Those are difficult thoughts to process (because... who really knows?) ... however, they're fleeting.  Because the fact of the matter is, had I not gone to law school, I wouldn't be sitting on a couch attempting to use my mental prowess to convince Evs to watch Pregnancy Pact instead of NFL.  I wouldn't be emailing RJB about the pros/cons of the Reebok EasyTone and/or boys who wear tennis shoes (hopefully not EasyTones) on dates.  And I might not have started this blog... or have the urge to do something with writing.

Short Answer:  Lawyering might end up being a "No" - but Law School will always be a "Yes."

I must have missed the "I am no longer employed post" - What exactly happened, if you can go there... (I've know for a while that you weren't working, just not the hows or whys). 

My firm performed cut-backs right after Thanksgiving and I was let go.  I am very thankful that it was an amicable split and that I still have friendly connections at AF.  That said, if I'm being honest with myself, I wasn't happy with what I was doing... There were many people that I loved working with, but the actual work wasn't for me.   And that's no one else's fault but my own.  I'm attempting to look at my current situation as a grand opportunity to find a career about which I am passionate and that makes me truly excited to get out of bed each day!  Cheesy?  Yes.  Important?  Definitely.

Also, do you REALLY want to go back to the legal world?
I know you are job hunting (best of luck).  Are you looking for a lawyer job or do you want to branch out? 
What are you wanting to do for your career change (if you want a change)?  You've said before you might want to open a wine and paper shop.  Have you really thought about getting a business plan together and going for it?

I think I can answer all of these together... My current job search can be described in two words: OPEN MIND!  I've only truly experienced one sector of the legal world... and really, if I'm being honest, only one sector of one sector of the legal world.   But if I had to guess, I don't think that private practice is really for me, long term.  I'm currently exploring some criminal, governmental, non-profit, and in-house options... all which I feel I would be better suited to do.  Basically, without disclosing too much (I don't love editing myself on my blog but I feel my current situation warrants a little editing), I'm not giving up on law yet unless THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY arises.  Which it could(!)... and I'm looking... but I'm not turning my back on the law yet.  I've invested so much in this career... but more importantly, I really love the law.

What else could be out there for me (ie: what other opportunities am I looking into)?  Writing gigs (freelance), creative / social media gigs, publishing gigs... Again: OPEN MIND.  Let's put it this way - I'm exploring LOTS of options and attempting to reinvent my resume and professional experience in a way that is marketable to different employment options.  As far as starting my own business goes... I can see myself doing that down the line.  I have several business plan day-dreams (including that wine and paper shop - which I already have a funny name for and Evs - the dearheart - has reserved with the Secretary of State) that could come to fruition in the future... but I'm saving the potential for self-employment until later in life.  It would be wonderful to operate my own business down the line with a family started (creating my own hours? yes, please!) and more savings.

Here's a fun one... I'll see how off I am on what I think you'll say... Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10 years?  Always a good staple. 

This one's from Millitini, who knows me about as well as anyone on earth, so I say we DEMAND that she post her prediction here, along with mine.  Awesome.  Now that we're done with that Diva Demand...

5 years... Well, for one thing, we'll have a crazy kiddo.  Potentially two (WHICH IS THE MAXIMUM), if Ye Ol' Reproductive Troubles don't stall our amorous efforts.  Oh.  And that kid (those kiddos)?  Will be fucking cute.  Like, REALLY FUCKING CUTE.  And it'll (they'll) BEG for Aunt Millitini to come and visit and make Easy Mac and/or Instant Grits in the microwave.  We'll own a home... I'll have a kickass job - whatever that may be.  Evs - having found what he enjoys early in his career - will still be doing what he loves, hopefully with the same amazing mentor.  The Boom will have aged into glorious submission.  But she'll probably have schooled another Terrier-Face in her juvenile ways.  Ordinary or Extraordinary... I predict it'll be fan-tab-u-lous!

10 years... I'll be 37... SHIT... I'm not sure 10 years is so much different than 5 years, though... Happy, healthy family (the plan being to be "of four + doggies").... Hopefully continuing onward with the careers that make us most happy... Hopefully lots more amazing travel under our belts (both as a family and as a couple). Potentially having relocated to Austin, depending on MANY factors.

Random Qs, Part 1

What is your favorite vacation spot for a 3 day weekend getaway?  For a week long retreat?

For us - because of where we are located - I'd say Fredericksburg and a tour of the Texas Wine Country would be perfect for a three day weekend!  Fredericksburg is about an hour drive South-ish from Austin... the Texas Wine Trail is but a hop, skip, and a jump from downtown Fredericksburg - tons of B&Bs plus winery tours in which to partake!   In fact... {hint, hint}... CSP and I are angling for a co-birthday-trip to Texas Wine Country! TAKE NOTE HUSBANDS!

Week long retreat?  Golly Jeepers... you could almost do anything!  We took a ridiculously fabulous trip to Napa (5 days) for our 6 month "wedding anniversary" and it was fabulous (did I already mention it was fabulous?) - I would highly recommend checking out that part of the country if you are wine-o's/foodies seeking an intra-continental trip!  To read our recaps of Napa, click here and here!   For our 1 Year Anniversary (!YAY!), we are taking a trip to Oregon... to visit the Doctors O in Portland, see the Williamette Valley, and travel to the Northern Coast. {Full reviews to come!}

Honestly, for either (the long-weekend and/or the week-long getaway)... Keep a running list of places you'd list to visit: (a) within your state or immediate area, (b) within the country, and (c) internationally).  Of course there are ALWAYS tons of places outside the country you'd love to visit, but do get creative about locations nearer to you... Texas Wine Country would have never reached my radar had my feelers not been attuned to local trends.... Now its my #1 Short Vacay Locale!

Ultimate Dream Job?

I'm not exactly sure yet... Although, if I were to write a book of short stories and become a member of the Literary Elite... I wouldn't complain.  I also wouldn't complain if I were in-house counsel for an amazing non-profit company.   And, finally, I wouldn't complain if Malia Obama needed a youthologist and my talents were magically sought.

Would it be totally creepy to come to Dallas just so I could hang out and eat cheese / drink ridiculous amounts with you and Mojito Maven?  

Um.  Duh.  NO.  NEVER.  In fact, I might lock you in the back house and keep you forever and never allow you to return to St. Louis.  Unless you hate Mac-n-Cheese.  Then we might have to discuss.

Biggest character flaw you can't stand in other people?

Hating Mac-n-Cheese?  No.  I'm going to pick "those that are super judgmental."  Live your own life, por favor!  Of course... I can be a Judgy-Mc-Judgerton.  But if you can't recognize your most base hated flaw in yourself, then where's the self-growth? Yes?  Yes.

Have you always had such a distinct writing style?  Do you find yourself inspired by certain writers / bloggers / etcs? 

Oh, man... I don't think I've always had ANY kind of writing style... it just plops out, like electronic word vomit!  They do say that reading makes you a better writer... Not sure if that's true, but I've danced through life absorbing a myriad of different writings - from the classics to modern chick lit to non-fiction... I LOVE to read!   Of course that includes blogs as well - and to many individual online diary scribes, I am very thankful for the daily dose of entertainment and inspiration.  My favorites are listed on my sidebars!

Favorite 3 cheeses? 

Oh Jesus.  Tillamook Special Reserve, Extra Sharp Cheddar (which seems like a lame answer but its my favorite "every day snacking cheese").   Pure Luck goat cheese (a local North Texas dairy).   A ridiculously good Gruyere!  Oooo and Manchego!  That's four.  I cheated.


  1. I am still so in love with your mom's wedding dress. Thinking you should wear it to brunch. I'll get you drunk and convince you to swap clothes with me in the bathroom.

  2. I think wearing your mother's dress as a going away outfit is one of the best things I've heard! What a great idea.

  3. OK, so...

    1. Hands down, if we are going to Craft, you can bet your ass we are NOT ordering a stupid salad unless it is the pre-deliciousness to the risotto.

    2. I find that hating on mac-n-cheese is in fact a legit reason to hate someone.

    3. I think you need to explore your writing in the fashion world and you need to do it ASAP.

    4. All that cheese I've consumed in the last 6 months? Yeah, it's added 15 pounds to my ass!!!!!! 15!!! NOT GOOD!!!!!!! AHHHHHH

  4. Totally agree with the other girls, the going away outfit was beautiful! But I originally wanted to comment to tell you how hard I laughed at you being a youthologist for Malia - hysterical!

  5. okay, a little confession:

    I have been thinking about your going away dress since you posted the picture last week (was it last week?). And OMG I want one for my wedding. I'm not even engaged but I still want it! I've been trying to think if my mom's wedding dress from 1980 could be turned into anything viable but man that thing has giant puffy sleeves and lace galore.

  6. I think wearing your mother's wedding dress at your wedding was awesome. And it looked amazing!

    Are there really people out there that don't like mac-n-cheese? How did they get through college?

    I bet you're two kiddos will be absolutely adorable. And hilarious. Great combo!

  7. Though I didn't ask a question I have really enjoyed reading all of your responses. Thank you so much for being so candid about your struggles and strengths with being laid off and unemployment. It has happened to so many people and it is so refreshing and encouraging to read about your positive attitude!!

  8. I suspect Malia Obama DOES need a youthologist and you're the perfect person for it.


    This is a solution to so many problems. Just think, if you get your masters in youthology, you'd have a BA and JD and a Master's--that's like a trifecta right there. And, you'd get to hang out with Malia Obama.

    Also, you've mentioned cheese. I am now hungry. And will be searching for some as soon as I can leave this hell hole also known as you know, work.

    Luckily (er?), I have class tonight and it's catered by Central Market. I suspect good cheese in my future. You're welcome to attend. It's boring, but, it has good food (which really, that's what I'm all about)

  9. I always enjoy reading your blogs and I really enjoyed all the answers to your questions. I also love to hear what peoples major was in college and what they end up doing with it. My husband and I both majored in philosophy. Now I am a lobbyist and he is in law school. I don't think majors should dictate career's and I hated it in college when everyone whould say, "and what are you going to do with that...".

    Anyway, I live in Oregon. In Eugene, which is in the willamette valley. If you need ideas of place to go, stay, eat, or drink wine let me know. There are a lot of really wonderful vineyards. We also spend a lot of time in Portland and both grew up in Oregon so I can give you tons of suggestions.

  10. Loving your question and answer posts... so interesting!

    Also, I am super pumped about your retail blog... my bank account on the other hand, is a little worried.

  11. OH you make me jealous! We went to the Oregon coast and Portland on our honeymoon, and we truly fell in in love with it there! Seriously. It was so charming and relaxing. I can't say enough. We stayed at the BEST B&B in the town of Sandlake (we had our own cottage there), which was only about 25 minutes from the Tillamook Cheese Factory! If you want any details, let me know, I'd be happy to share!

    You will truly love it :)

  12. Great answers...I may just think that because most of them would be my answers too.

    I still fondly remember standing there shivering when you left in that fabulous car.

  13. yay you answered my question! I feel like a bad reader that I didn't know it was your mom's dress! That makes so much sense and so sweet - if only my mom wasn't a size -6 when she got married, it didn't fit me when I was 14!

    I liked your answer and definitely will think about this - I could always just use it as an excuse to by a white fun dress and just bring it for the honeymoon if I don't want to change out of my wedding dress:)

  14. I totally feel you on the "what would life be like if I had bummed around Europe some more after graduation?" question. Oh to go back to college and have no real-life worries!


happy little comments!