Thursday, May 30, 2013

Before You Say, "Yes," to that New Committee, Maybe Think Twice - the Job You Save May Be Your Own

Bake sale?  Count me in.  Book Club?  I’m there.  Memorial Day Celebration?  I’ll volunteer.  Welcoming Committee?  I love meeting new people.

Maybe not.

After much anguish and one too many committee meetings that seem to go on forever and accomplish nothing, my new motto is “Just Say No.”

The weather is getting hotter, tempers are getting shorter and it’s just not worth it.

Being a team player is great.  Being “sociable” with your co-workers, that’s cool too.

But sometimes, you just have to stop, focus, prioritize, do your work and go home.

Work should be pleasant because you’re with these folks for at least 7 or 8 hours a day.

However, maybe too much fun isn’t really fun at all.

For now, I’ll save my social activities for “after hours.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Shine Bright Like A Diamond" (or Don't)

The older I get, the more I worry.

When I was younger, I never gave a second thought to what color nail polish to wear.  I used to jazz my nails up with decals and I'm going to date myself here, but, I even remember the 14 carat gold fake fingernails.  I didn't say I ever wore one.  Just said I remember them.

Should there be any rules applied when it comes to which shades of polish to wear for work?  Obviously, if you're in the fashion industry or the music industry or arts and entertainment, even publishing, you have a lot more fashion freedom.  But law offices are supposed to be conservative.  Or are they?

I tend to opt for more subdued colors, light shades of pink, nude or maybe french tips.  Partly, it's due to the fact that the last time I painted my nails blue, my daughter told me I needed to "quit it."  The other reason I don't  wear dark shades, (can you say 'Linkin Park After Dark?') is that the dark colors tend to rub off on paper.  And I handle lots and lots of paper.  But I must admit I do love those dark colors.  Black is the new red when it comes to nails, you know.

I just tend get a little self-conscious when I hand one of my bosses a file and my hands are screaming, "look at me!"  

There must be a book out there somewhere on "appropriate nail polish for the law office."  I haven't run across it, but if you do, give me a shout.  Better yet - raise your hand.


Unsure in San Francisco

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Read Any Good Books Lately? "A House With No Roof" by Rebecca Wilson

When her father was murdered in 1966 Rebecca Wilson’s family unraveled.
A HOUSE WITH NO ROOF is her gripping memoir of surviving the legacy of violence that forty years later continues to cast its shadow.

“If I were a professor and taught a class on the legacy of violence,
I would make everyone read this book.”
Dr. Joel Fay, retired police officer and psychologist

“Rebecca Wilson’s A HOUSE WITH NO ROOF is a deeply touching story of spirit, of whatever thrust helps us keep moving forward, and of the sweetness and sorrow of families.”    
—Anne Lamott, author of Imperfect Birds

In 1966, Rebecca Wilson’s father, a Union Leader and civil rights activist, was assassinated on the street in San Francisco. Rebecca—known throughout as “Becky”—was three years old. A House with No Roof is Wilson’s gripping memoir of how the murder of her father propelled her family into a life-long search for solace and understanding. Her brother, Lee, turns to drugs and violence; sister Amalia, the beauty of the family; hits the road and vanishes for several years; and Becky is left to be raised by Barbara, her well-meaning but troubled mother. 

Following her father’s murder, Barbara, desperate for closure and peace, uproots the family and moves to Bolinas, California. In this small, coastal town of hippies, artists, and “burnouts,” the family begins spiraling downward. To cope, Barbara turns to art and hangs a banner that loudly declares, “Wilsons are Bold.” But she still succumbs to her grief, neglecting Becky and opting to be a friend and confidant, instead of a mother, to her young daughter. As Becky fumbles and hurtles toward adulthood with little guidance, no boundaries, and plenty of anger she comes to learn the full truth of her father’s death—a truth that threatens to steal her sanity and break her spirit.

Told with humor and candor—and with love and family devotion at its heart—A HOUSE WITH NO ROOF: AFTER MY FATHER’S ASSASSINATION, A MEMOIR (Counterpoint Press, November 2011, paperback) is a brave account of one daughter’s struggle to survive.


Rebecca Wilson was born in San Francisco and raised in Bolinas, California. She graduated from Scripps Women’s College Phi Beta Kappa and traveled to Scotland on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. During her time in Scotland she published her first book, Sleeping with Monsters: Conversations with Scottish and Irish Female Poets. She lives in Fairfax, California.

Lorna Garano

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Whistle While You Work?

Most law firms don't allow secretaries to have radios on their desks.  Of course, I don't suppose anybody has a radio these days.  

At any rate, you're not allowed to have a docking station or anything that emits noise out into the open that could possibly disturb your co-workers, or God forbid, attorneys.

So, many years ago, I took to using headphones.  There are times that require me to completely focus, such as when I'm entering time or transcribing or preparing documents for filing in court.  But, when I'm doing tasks such as simple data entry or pulling cases, I can easily listen to a CD or Pandora at the same time.

Music allows me to enter a space where I'm in somewhat control.  Meaning, I can decide what I want to hear, I'm not bothering anyone else and I have a little bit of freedom.

If you haven't tried it, consider investing in an inexpensive pair of headphones - or an expensive pair if your budget allows.

Either way, I'll bet you'll be surprised at what a difference it makes.

Don't disturb this groove.*

"Don't Disturb This Groove" by "The System" (circa 1987)