Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lawyering on Demand

I've decided that I want to shoot the guy who first came up with whole "If you have a phone, you have a lawyer" tagline.* Because it's stupid shit like that that makes my life just that much more annoying.

I work in a very small law office. There are not many lawyers here and therefore we can't justify a huge support staff. And that means that, from time to time, we lawyers have to answer the phone, like when the receptionist is busy on another call.

Trust me, when I'm busy doing other work -- billable work -- talking to a random person who thinks they "might" have a claim is the last thing I want to do.

First of all, far too often there's an expectation that I'll dispense free legal advice over the phone. Once they spill out the facts of their situation -- usually a long a drawn out process -- they'll demand that I immediately tell them that they have a case. Guess what: that's not my call. And even if it were, why would I tell you? If I tell you that you've got a case, nothing prevents you from then running to another firm and hiring them. And seeing as you haven't paid me for the time I spent listening to you and telling you that you have a case... well that pretty screws me and my firm.

I simply do not understand how it is that people feel like they have the right to pick up a phone and get immediate access to free legal advice from private firms like mine. I have to earn my keep here; that means working on client projects that actually generate money. The time I spend listening to you blather on, as well as the time I spend thinking about your case to come to a reasoned conclusion about the merits of your situation, is time I could spend doing other paid work. It's a simple function of economics: the time I spend listening to you is likely to generate no return whatsoever. That's why I usually refer you to an assistant who will listen patiently to you, take down notes about your situation, then bring them back to the attorneys for later evaluation.

Now, just because this is a small firm ("Law Offices of Joe Schmo"), why do you think you can pick up the phone and say "I'd like to talk to Mr. Schmo, please."? Really, do you think Mr. Schmo does nothing with his time but sit around and wait to dump free advice onto random callers? He's busy. The lawyers are busy. That's why they have support staff to answer the phones. It would be pretty silly to have them there answering phones if they then really only had to push them over to the Big Guy, now wouldn't it? Think of it this way: Sullivan and Cromwell is a rather large firm in DC. I'm pretty sure that no one ever picks up phone and demands to speak with Mr. Sullivan or Mr. Cromwell unless and until they've established a prior working relationship with them (or unless they're personal acquaintances).

Plus, let's face it, more often than not your case isn't anywhere near as strong as you think it is. I once had someone call and tell me she knew "for a fact" that she had a case. Not knowing anything about her matter, I was ready to lay odds that she was full of shit. Another person called this morning demanding to speak to a lawyer because she had an urgent need for one. Sorry, but I can't drop everything for you right now -- kinda busy. Talk to the hand.

So stop with this whole "entitlement to a lawyer" thing. You don't have one (at least not in a civil case). Just because you have a phone does NOT mean you have a lawyer. This society is too damn over-litigious anyway.

* DISCLAIMER: I do not literally want to shoot him. I just want to inflict serious bodily harm upon him.**

** FURTHER DISCLAIMER: This, too, is not true. But I think you get my point by now.***

*** STILL FURTHER DISCLAIMER: Just in case any lawyers out there get any stupid ideas, no, I am not encouraging or forecasting unlawful or illegal action against this person. I'm just writing a damn blog post expressing some frustration. Seriously, get over it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If I Had a Million Dollars....

I have a special rapport with the guy who sells me lottery tickets. Not that we tried to develop one. I was just being goofy. I keep giving him shit for never selling me winning tickets. (If I win at all, it's something like $3. Which is stupid when I've spent something like $10.)

With the Powerball up to $155 million for tomorrow's drawing, I popped in to purchase $5 worth of tickets. Another customer was in there at the time. The following exchanges occurred after I finished my transaction:

Other Guy [to Lottery Guy]: How much is the Powerball up to for tomorrow?
Lottery Guy: 155 million.
Other Guy: Hm, maybe it's worth it for me to get some then...
Me: Don't you dare buy tickets if it means that I'll have that much more competition to win!*
Other Guy: [laughs]
Me [to Lottery Guy]: Seriously though, dude, if you sell this guy the winning ticket and I get squat, I will cut you!
Other Guy: Yeah man, sell me the winning ticket.
Me: Dude, if he wins, I will cut you.
Lottery Guy: I don't really care which one of you wins it, if one of you does, I still get $100,000.**
Me: Dude, if he wins, you could have $100,000, but then you'd still be cut.

Then we laughed and I left the place.

But if someone else wins the jackpot with a winning ticket from that store, I will never ever go there again. At least not without a switchblade.

* I realize this does not make sense, because there's no guaranteed winner for any drawing, but I just wanted to make a stink.

** Apparently lottery vendors get little prizes for having sold large winning lottery tickets.

Check Me Out!

Dear Random Lady at the CVS:


I wanted to write an open letter to you briefly after I observed you this afternoon at my local CVS. I had gone in near around lunch time to make a quick purchase a roll of aluminum foil and a birthday card.

I noticed you were in the process of using the self checkout kiosk. Those things are cool, aren't they? Kinda sorta fun to use, until they get all HAL 9000 on your ass. And yet sometimes they're great, and they allow you to avoid having to interact with an actual human being (which I'll admit, at that CVS is sometimes a dicey proposition).

See, here's the thing though: usually self checkouts are supposed to allow you to finish your transaction faster than if you had to deal with a real person.

You didn't have the same problems I did with the machine. In fact, from what I can tell, you had finished scanning your items before I even stood in line. Thankfully for me, I noticed that the line in front of this one checkout lady was only one person deep, so I stood there instead of behind you.

Lady, was it really that difficult for you to finish your transaction? Good gravy, I literally was halfway done with my transaction (slow checkout lady and everything!) while you were still at that machine! I noticed you fumbling around to try to sign the little pad (obviously you used a credit card -- I'm going to venture to guess that you didn't have the card anywhere near out and ready when you approached the kiosk in the first place, just to speed things up), then you spend something like two minutes tucking things away in your purse and gathering up your things. How many things did you manage to accumulate that you had to gather them up? Did you even notice that there was a guy behind you in line -- who only wanted a freaking Coke, for Pete's sake -- who was waiting on you while you just stood there like an idiot?

The self checkout kiosk has a functional purpose. It's meant to be used. And it cannot be used by more than one person at a time. Get in, finish your business, and promptly leave. It's not like you're in the aisle pondering your decision about which shampoo to purchase -- people can walk around you in that instance. But in this one, you are actually a colossal waste of space.

In and out, people. It's not that hard. If you're going to waste that much time in front of the kiosk anyway, you may as well interact with a human cashier.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving

Hope everyone reading this had a great Thanksgiving. Really, both of you.

I was given Wednesday and Friday off from work, so really it's been the shortest week ever. This is good and bad for me, because when I get into a goof-off mindset, it's harder for me to snap out of it. Going back to work tomorrow is going to suck. Hard.

(PS: Random pet peeve: I hate it when people refer to Thanksgiving as "Turkey Day." I guess I'm a sap in that I do still enjoy looking back on Thanksgiving and thinking just a little bit about my blessings and things to be, well, thankful for. I feel like calling it "Turkey Day" devalues that sentiment and turns the holiday into nothing but its material tradition. It's the same as if we had collectively changed the name of Christmas to "Presents Day.")

Thanksgiving dinner went okay. I helped make the bird, and the stuffing, and some pie. All in all, it came out pretty well. My friends continue to annoy me, but oh well. In the words of Ouiser Boudreaux -- "I've been in a very bad mood for the past forty years." Okay, not forty years, but hey. I've been in a bad mood for a while, and I feel bad, but I'm trying to snap out of it.

So, what to be thankful for this year. Basically, the same things I've been thankful for for years now: a great set of friends, a decent apartment, a decent job. Just this year I emerged from long-term credit card debt (yay!) and picked up a lead on a new job. Even if I don't get that new job, I have exciting new plans and prospects. I've got more than a lot of other people and I need to focus on that silver lining that says there's a lot I should be happy for.

Life is pretty good.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am Turning Into Martha Stewart

I am so addicted to the Food Network it's not even funny. For a guy whose kitchen sucks, and whose culinary skills are marginal at best, I am making a huge go at trying to my hand whenever I get a chance.

For time to time, I volunteer to go over and make dinner for my friends Jason and Jessica. They have a nicer kitchen and more supplies. I provide some of the labor and try to come up with a decent, and decent-looking, meal. It's all about presentation.

I feel so gay when I do that.

Tomorrow promises to be the ultimate challenge, though. I have somehow managed to volunteer to make the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner with some friends. I got the turkey recipe off of Food Network. I am also planning on making a green bean casserole and homemade stuffing.

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

If I don't post tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why Do I Do These Things to Myself?!

Okay, so two posts ago I blogged about what I thought was the grossest video I have ever seen. I enjoy the reaction videos because, well, it was fun to watch everyone else get all grossed out. And it doesn't get old -- if I were to watch it again I would puke all over again.

Then I watched this reaction video, starring Michael Buckley on his YouTube video blog What the Buck:

(He does two video blogs. He's hilarious and fun and totally gay. You should totally subscribe.)

If you haven't seen the "2 Girls" video yet, he describes the video pretty well, so don't listen too long if you don't want to know what's in that nasty video.

Why am I blogging about this again?

Because I am an idiot.

I read through a very brief portion of the comments posted to Buckley's post, and found reference to another site.

Another site, which I stupidly enough had to check out.

You thought "2 Girls 1 Cup" was bad. "2 Girls 1 Finger" is pretty gut-wrenching too, and definitely not in a Terms of Endearment sort of way.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Okay, just a quick gripe.

It's JEW-EL-RY, people, not "jew-le-ry".

It's REAL-TOR, people, not "re-lah-tor".

And Mr. President (and everyone else who uses the word), it's NEW-CLEAR, not "nu-cue-ler".

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For... The Grossness of It All.

Where the hell have I been? I just watched Best Week Ever and heard about this viral video that's so nasty that most public-access file-sharing platforms have yanked it. So of course I went to look for it.

BWE was quite vague about what this video was and, in fact, would even provide a clip name so I could do a google search to find the video. My curiosity having spiked to huge levels, I knew I had to find it.

I started on the mother of all video websites, YouTube (natch) and did a quick search. BWE had indicated that it was disgusting (which is why, thankfully, VH1 declined to air it), and that it involved two girls, so that's the search I did. BWE also indicated that it was so viral that now the reaction videos -- videos of people reacting to watching the video -- were as popular as the video itself.

And they were right.

My search on YouTube was for "disgusting two girls" and immediately turned up pages and pages of reaction videos but no actual video. (This is when I first realized that YouTube would not be hosting this video.) Anxious to find it still, I google searched it.

Naturally, the one reliable link I could find for it was on Perez Hilton. I won't link to it here just because it's so... but I will do you the honor of telling you what the name of the clip is: "Two Girls One Cup." There. Have at it.

Have a vomit bag ready because I really was ready to hurl at several points in the video. No, I did not watch the whole thing all the way through. I spent most of the thirty-second video with my eyes squeezed shut.

I will say this, though: The reaction vids really are pretty funny. (If you do watch these videos, some of them will pretty much give away what happens in the video itself.)

Some guy who "turns gay" as a result:

Some random person's mom -- I think she threw up in the kitchen sink after:

Another person's mom:

Blonde dude cracks me up more than anything:

(First guy has a kinda cute smile but mediocre bod.)

I can't tell if this guy really puked or just half dry-heaved:

I love this one. And the boys are pretty hot:

I don't think this guy made it:

Two poor innocent unsuspecting women:

("Just watch the whole video," he says. "It's not that long," he says. What he doesn't say is that it's the nastiest 30 seconds ever.)

These guys are kinda cute... even if one of them does toss his cookies:

(The sadism of the cameraman is hilarious too.)

Even goth/stoner/skater dudes are grossed out (or maybe it's just that they're German):

I think it turned this chick on:

(I think it gave them an idea and they had to turn off the camera to go try it.)

Bandana boy is kinda cute:

I don't know why I'm still so amused by these reactions:

I love that this video is letterboxed. Letterboxed, people!:

Dude says he's throwing up in his mouth. Little does he know what's coming up:

Okay, I'll admit it, now I'm just looking for cute boys reacting to the vid:

I love the boy in the hoodie -- and his accent is adorable:

Kinda grainy, but still funny:

These guys don't actually start watching it until over a minute into the video:

Okay, this has to be the last one or I will seriously be up all night watching this shit:


Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Dinosaur

A paleontologist at the University of Chicago, Paul Sereno, has unveiled his discovery of a new dinosaur, one that was more bovine in character and goes against the archetypical view that dinosaurs were tall, majestic carnivores. This one appears to have spent its life with its head hunched down, enabling to eat vegetation from a few feet off the ground. Apparently its teeth were formed in such a way as to make this kind of chomping easy too.

It's being called the Nigerasurus taqueti, or just Nigerasuraus.

I'm just waiting for the for the hue and cry that will surely burst forth that this name is racist.

Suspicious Minds

I know in this day and age there's this heightened awareness with respect to both national security and personal security and all. I know I bought a personal shredder at home just to get rid of credit card offers, for example. But is there a point where one's cynicism just goes too far?

The other day DC Blogs highlighted a site that I thought was kinda fun: Free Rice. It appeals to so many parts of me: wanting to help other people, not being to get up off my fat ass to do so, and dorking out over vocab words.

If you didn't bother to click over to Free Rice, let me give you a quick summary of its content. Really, all it is is an elaborate vocabulary quiz. The twist: for each word that one can correctly define, "they" will donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program. Seems to me like a win-win: test your knowledge of 50-cent words (or learn some: "picaroon" = "pirate". Did not know that) and help stack up some rice for starving people. According to the stats they post, people are helping to raise almost 2 BILLION grains of rice so far.

(Okay, I know in the grand scheme of things that may not be many bowls of rice, since rice by definition is small and is generally eaten more-than-one at a time. But still, it's not bad.)

So I told my a good friend of mine about the site. Check out this exchange:

Dennis!: hey, check out this website:
Dennis!: the more vocab words you get right, the more they donate rice to some anti-hunger fund
Dennis!: and the words are kinda cool.
Friend: 1 word = 10 grains of rice?
Friend: what's the angle?
Friend: 10 grains of rice is less than a penny's worth of rice
Dennis!: then you kind of keep going until you get to a decent amount of rice...
which is kinda win-win, because you'll also test your vocab at the same time.
Friend: what does this site get though?
Dennis!: ?
Friend: people don't spend money for nothing.
Friend: someone has an angle
Friend: not sure what
Friend: i read it

The FAQ I linked to, by the way, explains the goals of the site and how they donation process works, and how the vocab twist on it is educational. Apparently not enough for my friend.

Personally, I think it's kind of sad that we've reached a state in this country where an effort like Free Rice -- which doesn't cost anything at all -- is met with such skepticism. Instead of saying "Hm, looks like fun, why not give it a shot?", my friend instead immediately responds with "This is clearly too good to be true, it must be nefarious, and I distrust it inherently."

Let me reiterate: it's free. You can learn some vocab words out of it. Who cares if it's really some huge sham and really no rice is going anywhere ever? You can still pick up some words from it. Unless you have some legitimate fear that somehow that site is either broadcasting brainwashing zombie images at you, or is busy snatching your password information while you blithely guess at vocab words, then really, what's your damage?

Live a little.

Surprisingly, this post is quite unrelated to the one immediately below this one. Perhaps I've just got incredibly stupid friends.


I hate my current work situation (in particular, certain projects I'm working on, and asshole opposing counsel), and as a result, it's putting me in a bad mood. I hate that.

(Okay, to make sure that last paragraph is complete, I should add that my boss was also a source of my immense frustration last week too.)

I won't go into details here of how annoying my opposing counsel is -- let's just say that I've worked with many opposing lawyers over the years, and many times our exchanges have been cordial, friendly, and professional. The kind that make you think that maybe you wouldn't mind hanging out and having a beer at some point. Not so this guy.

But what's really upsetting me is that I'm letting it take over my life in such a way that I'm in a very bad mood lately, and this means that I take it all out on people who don't deserve it. Those people would be my friends. (Oddly, I still make sure I'm polite to strangers, like the people from whom I buy things.)

Thankfully, my friends are text-addicted and therefore communicate with me mainly through thumb-relays. What this means is that I am at liberty to ignore things rather than unfairly blow up.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of things that my friends have done that bug me lately:

1. Responded to one of my texts with a lame joke.

One friend has this tendency to make the same stupid joke over and over. It's pretty stupid even when he does it in real life. Basically, when he doesn't hear what you've said (or when he claims not to have heard), he'll make something up completely (usually something crass and sex-related). Example I'm just making up now:

Me: I think I'll get the salad.
Him: You tossed that guy's salad? What?

Yeah, told you it was lame. It's not terribly funny in real life. But imagine that exact same conversation, in text. It makes even less sense, no? For some reason, I was ready to blow up at him for how lame that joke was when I got that text. Thankfully, I didn't.

2. Turned all Sybil on me about Thanksgiving.

We're planning on having Thanksgiving dinner at one friend's house. He's notoriously flaky, but given that it's Thanksgiving and he's inviting a bunch of people, he can't possibly totally flake out on it. So every so often, for about a month, he'll say something like, "We should go grocery shopping." And I'll say, "Sure. I have a menu in mind, so we can go get stuff." Then later I'll say, "So are you free to go shopping this weekend?" and he'll say, "Eh, we should wait until the weekend before Thanksgiving. There's really no need to go early." Then two days later he'll send out another email: "We should be getting ready for Thanksgiving." Gaaah!

3. Sent me inappropriate an text message.

I think just because of my mood I'm hitting (artificially depressed) tolerance levels with respect to how completely retarded my friends can be. I got a text the other day from one that was a picture of a guy in a gym shower. It was captioned "A guy at my gym."

How completely stupid is that? I mean really, who does that? That is just NOT cool.

When I finally told him never to send do that again, or at least never to send me shots of naked people who don't know that they're posing, is when he finally told me that he actually just snapped the shot off of a gay porn site.

4. Can't bother to get simple facts down.

I've mentioned on here that I had a job interview recently. It's for a counsel position at a federal agency. I have repeatedly told my friends what Agency (let's say, for the sake of this post, that it's the USDA).

This friend -- and I'm sure he's only trying to express an interest in my life -- keeps asking me "So have you heard back from DOJ yet?" No. No, I haven't heard from DOJ. Ever. Because I didn't apply for a job with them, as so I did not interview with them. I interviewed with USDA. Is it really so hard?

Just to turn all sexist for a brief moment here, I feel like I'm more irritable right now than Naomi Campbell during her monthly visit from Aunt Flo. I hate this, and I'm blaming work-related stress for it. Hopefully this stress patch will soon pass, and I shall be back to my normal, happy self again.

Wish me luck.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I've had a crush on Milo Ventimiglia since The Gilmore Girls.

So, of course, I was terribly excited when I saw that he had a pretty prominent role in Heroes.

Now I'm just thrilled that this season -- finally -- he's being given a good deal of skin time.

One word: Schwing!

Deep Breaths

My office mates are bugging me. Not the ones I actually work with (they're a different story), but the ones we share office space with. They're the older Chinese married couple I mentioned earlier.

As I mentioned last time, whether he realizes it or not, The Husband's remarkably dependent on His Wife. When she's here, she cooks his meals for him daily (I sometimes wonder if she ever actually gets any work done for him in the office, because all she ever really does is show up, stock the fridge, and start making lunch -- sometimes it takes up to an hour), she also does his dishes when they're done eating. Don't even get me started on the smell when she decides she's going to make some sort of fish dish for lunch.

Well, notice in my last paragraph I said "when she's here"? That's the point: for about a week and a half she hasn't been here. (More on that later -- foreshadowing!) And when she's not here, he doesn't seem to realize that his indentured servant isn't there to wipe his ass for him. Translation: he acts as if there's still someone around to clean up his crap.

The other day he came up with a lunch of some sort. (Don't ask me how.) It must have been a decent lunch, because he used some 4 dishes/bowls in the process. When he was done eating, where do you think it all ended up? In the sink.

For hours.

He clearly had no intention of washing it. His Wife usually does the dishes. I really think he had completely forgotten that with the Wife gone, it really necessarily had to be up to him wash his own damn dirty dishes. He pays to sublet space, not for maid service.

(Eventually, out of sheer frustration, my office manager washed his crap.)

But what really took the cake was today. As I was walking into the kitchen, Husband was in there getting ready to do something or another. We all heard something fall -- it was so loud my colleagues in their offices down the hall heard it. I was touching nothing at the time and was probably some three feet away from the nearest surface.

He looked at me, and gestured/pointed at what just happened. "Uh, yeah, I guess something fell." And then he went about his business.

I was so dumbstruck I couldn't even speak, although the first thought I had was along the lines of "Uh, yeah, we heard that." My second thought was, "Yes, well, fucking pick it up then, motherfucker!"

Seriously, though, how does one actually survive into relatively old age not knowing such basic rules as "if you drop it, pick it up"? This is particularly bizarre when you have learned the rule that if it falls, it should be picked up. Clearly the "who should do that" part was totally missing from the lesson.


Meanwhile, The Wife is gone without a trace. I honestly can't even remember when she was last in the office.

It should be noted that Husband and Wife are not Ward and June Cleaver. Husband (it is alleged) cheats on Wife rather flagrantly. Wife can't divorce him because, well (according to her), it's just not something Chinese people do. (Never mind that she is actually Husband's second wife.) If Husband had his druthers, she would be out on her ass and he'd be with Hot Mistress. Don't ask me why, but that's not happened, and instead they all maintain some strange detente.

Wife left the office one evening and, I'm told, hasn't returned home since. I don't know where she's staying, nor do I know what she's up to. But the rumor continues: she hasn't heard from Husband at all since her unexplained departure.

So now she's trying to use my workmates to play mindgames. Apparently she has called the office now to recruit my colleagues into this bullshit: "Hi, it's me. Don't tell him I'm calling. I haven't seen or talked to him in over a week, and he hasn't made any attempt to call me. If you get a chance, you should ask him, 'Hey, where's Wife?'"

I, for one, know that no one in my office is so overflowing with spare time that they're willing to inject themselves into this stupid domestic cat and mouse game.


Seriously, some of these people need to grow spines and shut the fuck up. If I had my druthers (that's twice in one post!), I think I'd boot both of them from our suite already.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Beginning, and an End

A very dear and close friend of mine got married this weekend. The ceremony was charming and wonderful, and I couldn't be happier for her and her new husband and family.

And yet somehow I'm feeling a profound sense of sadness. My brain tells me I'm being totally stupid in that regard. But we all know brains don't always have the last say on these things.

She'd been seeing this guy for almost two years now anyway, so it's not like he just swooped in and swept her off of her feet. Indeed, truth be told, she's been exceptionally good at keeping her pre- and post-boyfriend lives pretty consistent, so it's not like she suddenly spent all her time with her new man and stopped ever calling me (as I understand happens frequently).

And I know that the truth of the matter is things probably won't change now that she's married either. I am confident that she will make every effort to continue to get together with me and our other friends -- with or without her husband -- on a somewhat regular basis, and that we will remain very, very close friends even after the marriage.

But another part of me still can't help making a huge deal of what a significant change this is. I mean, it's huge. It doesn't have to be, but it just is. She's got a whole new family now, and from what I can tell they're a pretty cool bunch of folks, most of whom live around the area. Will she start having to divide her time up between Her Friends and The Husband's Friends? (I realize they'll be "Their Friends," but truly it's somewhat inevitable to remember which people were in which spouse's life before The Marriage.

It's the stuff of advice columns and at least one real life friend: people get married, then suddenly their social lives suffer a substantial hit. One other woman we know moved from the city to a 'burb after she got married, so our invitations to join us in the city for anything are usually met with polite regrets. Her social schedule is frequently spent with her husband's friends and family, and her time with the friends she had before the wedding have been curtailed dramatically.

I hope this won't happen with us. I'm confident that it won't happen with us.

But those tiny shreds of doubt are still there.

I suppose all that's left now is that I have to deal with it, and take whatever happens as it comes. It's been a good long run... and there will still be good times to be had.

Friday, November 02, 2007

And Here I Thought I Was Being All Slick.

I love my job. I do. (I had to get that out of the way early.)

That being said, I did have a job interview this week for a position that sounds fun, challenging (substantively) and, most importantly, could represent a HUGE pay increase for me. Let's face it, the day to day litigation schedule I get at my current job can be a strain; I'm not generally happy in wholly adversarial relationship, either professionally or personally.

So I had an interview last week.

Of course, I didn't tell my current boss about this interview. I figure I'll wait until it becomes somewhere closer to concrete. No sense stirring up the hornet's nest until it becomes closer to becoming a reality.

What I did do, though, was basically just sua sponte* took a half day off from work on Tuesday. Just plopped it on the calendar: "Dennis! is out of the office from 2:00 on." Didn't explain it to anyone. Figured no one would ask.

And usually no one does. Because usually it's for things like doctor's appointments, etc., and I'm glad my colleagues are generally rather cognizant of being too nosy about specifics of doctor's appointments. "What's wrong with you? Why are you seeing a doctor for three hours?" is not something I'll ever imagine them asking. (This is a good thing because the one time I decided to seek talk therapy for an issue I was having -- thankfully it only lasted something like 4 sessions -- it looked strange that I kept booking doctor's appointments on a regular basis at lunch.)

On the day of my interview, my boss and one assistant went out for lunch. I reminded them that they wouldn't see me when they got back, and that I'd see them tomorrow. Then, as I made my way out (thankfully I live close to work, so I went home to change into a suit then hitched a cab), I told my other colleague that I was gone for the day and that I "had something to do."

I thought I had handled it well, and I was being effectively evasive without raising too many eyebrows.

I may have been wrong.

I had asked my office assistant to order more business cards for me recently, as I was down to the last few in my box. The day after my interview, she came to my office. "So, I have a weird question," she started. "Do I still need to order business cards for you?"

"What?" I asked.

"Well, you ran out of here all secretive yesterday, I figured maybe you went on a job interview or something."

Damn! Busted.

"Ha!" I laughed. Without explicitly denying that I had been on an interview, I just said, "Just go ahead and order me the cards." (Internally, I'm thinking that if I do get this new job, I can just reimburse them for these cards.)

I really hope my other colleagues didn't get this thought in their heads too. I feel like I'm lying to them by not telling them about the opportunity, but then again I also don't want to get my hopes to high. I've been down this road before: literally three years ago I told my boss I was getting sick of litigation and that I was going to start looking for a new job -- and yet I'm still here. Strange how hard it's been.

Anyway. All I have left to say is: Wish me luck. Second round callbacks are sometime in the next few weeks.

* I know you're impressed by my random injection of a Latin phrase in here. You are, you know it, admit it.