In The Nick Of Timing

Every job has its own rhythms, peaks and valleys.  In the retail industry, the holiday season is the crunch time.  Lifeguards are swamped between Memorial Day and Labor Day, accountants get killed in the weeks leading up to April 15, and ski instructors are snowed under when January and February roll around.

In the law business, too, different practices have different busy and slack periods.  The fine folks in the transactional and tax areas get crushed at the end of the year, as clients rush to complete deals or restructurings before their accounting period closes.  For litigators, there seems to be no set peaks and valleys during the practice year.  It’s more of a crap shoot. Sometimes the new year starts with a rush, sometimes the spring is when all of the work forces seem to come together, and sometimes judges will schedule things between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve in hopes of strongly encouraging parties to voluntarily resolve their disputes.

Whatever your job, when you are really busting it you look forward to the next three-day weekend as if it were your own personal road to salvation.  And if the Fourth of July is the holiday that might break up that period where you are buried, you hope like hell that this isn’t one of those years when Independence Day falls on a freaking Wednesday.  Because while there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with a day off in the middle of the work week, we know that a sterile, non-working Wednesday just doesn’t play the same sweet personal music as the full, complete, party-Thursday-night/sleep-in-on-Friday three-day weekend.

I’m happy to report that this year the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday, which means that we’ve got one of those official three-day weekends just around the corner.  It’s darned good timing in my book.

Advertisements

Manhattan Morning, Manhattan Evening

 Usually the views from my business travel hotel rooms aren’t very inspiring.  In fact, It seems about half the time my hotel room window faces a blank brick wall.
My view from the 22nd floor of the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is a rare and much appreciated exception to the rule.  Looking out on the Empire State Building when you go to bed and wake up ain’t bad — and looking in the other direction you can just see the Statue of Liberty between two skyscrapers.

  
  

The Bone Burier

It’s interesting how dogs can be different.

IMG_0656Penny never met a rawhide bone that she didn’t want to immediately devour.  She would take it to a corner of the room, plop down, and use her paws and teeth to tear the bone to shreds and then consume it, with relish.  You didn’t know what Penny liked more — the pleasure of using her teeth to rip the bone apart or the full belly that she felt from gobbling down the wet and disgusting shards of rawhide after the destruction was complete.

Kasey’s beagle instinct, however, is completely different.  When you give her a bone she wants to go outside and bury it — right now.  And she wants to do it in secret, too.  Only Kasey can know where all of the bones are buried, and if she sees you spying on her she’ll grab the bone and pick a new spot, away from prying eyes.  Kasey seems to get multiple joys out of the experience, too.  She is a ferocious digger and likes nothing better than to put those claws to work sending clods of dirt flying.  And when the bone is safely tucked away she has the satisfaction of knowing that another bone is under the ground, secure and ready for later retrieval.

Interestingly, I’m not sure that Kasey ever digs up the buried bones.  She seems to get her enjoyment primarily from the burial job well done.

Haus und Garten

Today is the 56th annual German Village Haus und Garten Tour.  Thousands of visitors will be trekking through German Village for the event, which raises money for the preservation and education programs of the German Village Society.  If you haven’t got your tickets yet, you can buy them today for $25.

IMG_5924The headquarters for the event, the German Village Meeting House, is less than a block from our new place.  The street next to the Meeting House is blocked off, lights have been strung up, and tents have been erected for the guests, and last night there was a kick-off event that sent music wafting over our neighborhood.

This will be the first Tour we’ve experienced since we moved to German Village.  Here’s an admittedly selfish thought:  will the Haus und Garten Tour be as personally disruptive as the various New Albany events, like the New Albany Walking Classic, that used to block off our North of Woods neighborhood and complicate our lives at our old house?  I’m hoping we can at least get in our car and drive away if we need to.  If so, we can live with the Tour.

The Value Of Marriage

I’ve long supported same-sex marriage because I think marriage is a great institution.  It has made my life immeasurably better — so why shouldn’t every couple have the opportunity to enjoy its timeless benefits?  I simply don’t understand the objection to couples who want to legally declare and formalize their fidelity to each other.

I was therefore struck by the fact that Justice Kennedy’s majority decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, where the Court held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to legally marry their partner, extols the value of marriage.  In fact, the opinion concludes with a ringing endorsement of the core, intrinsic value of marriage:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

I am thrilled for my same-sex friends, and happy for every couple that will now have the ability to explore and revel in the wonders of a happy marriage.

Weed-B-Here

IMG_5919Brick sidewalks can be charming . . . but you’ve got to take care of them.  If you don’t, before you know it the sidewalk will start to look a little shaggy from the grass growing between the cracks between the bricks.  And if you are ridiculously inattentive, and immune to the dirty looks of your neighbors, your can end up with a sidewalk that is a riotous collection of disgusting weeds — like this sidewalk on Columbus Street.

German Village is very sensitive to any changes to the outside appearance of houses; when we decided to replace our backyard fence with the exact same kind of fence, we nevertheless had to get approval from some governmental entity.  Apparently sidewalk weeds don’t raise the same concerns, even though they look like crap and ultimately will destroy the bricks.  Why aren’t sidewalk weeds more of a focus?

The Rain, Again

The rain, in Spain, falls again, and again, and again.

I’m as much a fan of My Fair Lady as anyone.  In fact, I’m as much a fan of rain as anyone this side of a farmer.  I enjoy the gentle patter of raindrops on the roof.  I like to see things nice and green, and I know that rain is what makes that possible.

IMG_5904But for God’s sake!  Enough is enough!  In central Ohio we have had gray skies and rain, for weeks now.  Our backyard is so lush and green it looks like the tropics.  And while those of us who live in the Midwest know that we have to endure the constant overcast during the winter months, we expect to be compensated by some blue skies and bright sunshine when summer arrives.  We want to be able to wear shorts and expose our flesh to the sun’s warming rays.  We want to sit outside in the clear, rather than remaining huddled indoors or under umbrellas, looking expectantly at the skies.

But not this summer, not so far.  I’ve come to hate looking at my iPhone weather app, and seeing either the dreaded cloud with lightning icon or the cloud with rain icon, day after day.  Will we ever see the unadorned yellow sun icon again?